a filipino overseas foreign worker was found dead inside the lavatory of a ‘gulf air’ plane the other day. that plane is the same one i take every time i go home for days off. i read he took his own life while the plane was preparing to land in manila, using a ‘clothing article’ to asphyxiate himself by hanging.
it is not easy being away from one’s family. here in the middle east, there are instances that one will be assigned for work remotely, with limited ways of communication. i have been working here in saudi arabia for five years and have seen co-workers who were in the brink of ‘losing’ it, specially when there are problems back home with their families.
i remember way back, my ma never tells my father who is also in saudi arabia any ‘bad news’ as much as possible. she even warns me and my siblings not to write or call about to him anything that might make him worry or make him sad because she said being away from us is already hard for him and it will just leave him feeling helpless. i followed my father’s footsteps of working here in the mideast, it was then that i appreciated my father more, for i clearly saw the sacrifice he did for our family.
i am thinking of the man on that plane. is it self-sacrifice or his last resort to escape? his exact reason no one will really know for he has brought it with him to his grave.
i have read of a story of a filipino ofw (overseas foreign worker) in qatar who was deported back to the philippines because his name is “almost” the same with that of a murder suspect on the run. the thing is, the scenario was a complete fuck up by the authorities for he is not the same person they were hunting! although they say that he still had to be deported for further confirmation of his identity, the traumatized man already lost his job.
almost a year ago, i blogged about my name being included in the hold departure order list at the manila airport immigration because a number of filipinos have the same name as me (see related post, hold departure order). i was named after my father, a name that seems too common. there are at least six criminals who even have the same name.
i then applied for a clearance in the national bureau of investigation and a “not the same person” certificate in the main immigration office. i downloaded a form thru the philippine bureau of immigration website to apply for this document and personally visited their office to acquire one which took me a few hours. it seems like a common thing on government offices in manila for one to encounter some snobbish and not so helpful employees (i say, not all) so i tried my best to be courteous and patient with them. i’m telling you some of these people can really treat you like shit.