mGa KuRo-KuRo Ni Ka UrO

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


About 2 decades ago I worked with a European construction company in Saudi Arabia. Jean and I just recently got married, when I got a call from the recruiting agency that I needed to fly immediately to Al Khobar, KSA. Leaving your love ones for the almighty dollar is one of the toughest sacrifices Filipino overseas workers are forced to endure.

I worked for 18 months straight in KSA. And it was the longest 18 months of my life. Each waking day was a day I wanted to just pass by. Saudi Arabia is such an unfriendly place to live in. The climate was harsh. If it was not scorching hot, it was chilly cold. Making it worse was the unfair treatment we Filipino workers experienced daily from our European bosses, who were mostly racist and treated us brown colored workers as second class beings.

There were only two times of the day to look forward to. The time when work ends at 6PM and the time when mail was delivered. Everyday at around 3PM we received our mails. The letters we receive from home were perhaps the most significant single thing that stopped us from losing our sanity. For they were our only connection with our loved ones and the life we miss so much.

The feeling of joy one gets from a piece or pieces of paper (in those days when there was no email or internet yet), was indescribable. Much more if one receives a letter with photos in it, the feeling was magical! Like you're on cloud nine. At one time I received a letter from my sis who was in the States. She had just given birth to my first niece, Tina. Her letter contained cute photos of baby Tina smiling and crawling. Receiving those photos was a most wonderful moment. I was ecstatic I posted the photos all around the walls of my room. And everyday until the very last day I left Saudi Arabia, those photos stayed there, putting a smile on my face and briefly making me forget the hardships and loneliness.

Image hosted by Tina now has grown up to be quite a fun-loving and really bright young lady. Last time I've seen her was 10 years ago.

I've never related this story about those photos to anyone before. To Tina, I say thank you for helping me go through those sad times. And when it's you who feel sad, don't despair. Just remember all the people around you who loves you and most importantly Someone up there who loves you the most.


  • i cried reading this. i have 2 uncles who's been working in the KSA almost all my life. in my younger days i used to write them letters, just informing them of my day-to-day activities at home and in school. i never knew if those letters i sent have any impact on them. now i understand (after reading this post) why those uncles still love me in their very special way (to the envy of their own kids!)

    By Blogger Gloria, at 4:14 PM, March 14, 2005  

  • Your uncles are very lucky to have you. Somehow I think when I wrote this post I spoke on behalf of people like your uncles. And I'm sure like me, your uncles are just as gratefull to you for those letters you've sent them.

    By Blogger Ka Uro, at 7:55 PM, March 14, 2005  

  • When I was in Japan, I also posted Tina's photos in my room. It's true her lovely and cute face really helped brighten my days.

    By Blogger Mr. DigS, at 10:29 PM, March 08, 2011  

  • When I was in Japan in 1988-94, I also posted Tina's fute and lovely photos. It's true, Her pretty face bighthens a day.

    By Blogger Mr. DigS, at 10:30 PM, March 08, 2011  

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