Lots and lots of filipinas (pinays) are coming to Dubai everyday – on transit, visit or employment visa – each dreaming of not only seeing the beauty of this country but also to get a better opportunity in life. Some fail, some succeed, but most just live and let live.
I have lived long enough and experienced well enough to share with you how a typical filipina live her life in Dubai. I just hope that each will learn a lesson or draw strength from these experiences in order to cope with their own struggles.
An educated and well-mannered filipina may land a good job and be able to send money to her family. But because of the way she normally carries herself (sexy dress, giggling, friendly),she is bound to attract guys good and bad alike. The emotionally strong pinay may pick the good guy and have a good life. The weak one will surely fall prey to the bad guy whose only motive is to get into her pants. The emotional distress of relationship issues in Dubai is well-known. Falling in love to either a filipino or foreigner is both a problem to her. So many filipino men in Dubai are married but pretend to be single to ease their loneliness and get an easy way out of their financial problems. Ever loving and nurturing as she is, the pinay would always give it all to her man hoping and believing that awaiting in Phils is a good life for them together. Of course, some are fortunate enough to get a good pinoy guy who is really single, sincere and loyal. But 4 out of 5 pinoys in Dubai fall to the first kind – the pretending ones. When a pinay falls in love to a foreigner, her life gets no better either. Most foreigners are just passing out time to filipina women as they have the reputation in Dubai of being “friendly” and “good” – descriptions that both extend to bed. The ones taken seriously are those who give the foreigners a hard time, who won’t enter a relationship without marriage, who would never go to a disco or hotel with a man other than her husband. Unfortunately, only 1 out of 10 filipinas are like that. Broken heart is a common thing in Dubai. And most of the time a pinay’s relationship issue gives rise to her bad decisions in career and family too. Broken relationships oftentimes mean broken careers and broken dreams.
There are some pinays who refuse to be fallen by these sad experiences. They bounce back and pick up the pieces of their lives by remaining in Dubai. You can expect these pinays to be more distant, more conservatively dressed and definitely more choosy of their friends. It may not be in sync with our filipino culture but it survives them from the sad and harsh reality of Dubai life. However, most pinays just go home and surrender to fate.
Househelpers are the greatest in number of filipinas in Dubai. As we already know most of these pinays have fallen victims to illegal recruitment and end up miserably in this foreign land. But even those who are lucky enough to land a good employment sometimes end up ruining their lives, not because of employment issues but of their personal way of life. Filipinas are naturally fun loving. They love going to discos, going out with friends and spending holidays with families and lovedones. So when they are deprived of these natural tendencies, as most housemaids are, they run away and prefer to live an illegal life than stick it out with their employers. This is truly a very sad thing. A cultural weakness that can’t be fully blamed. Although it may not always be their reason for running away, it definitely adds up to their dramatic decision to do so. Friends and family will surely be there to help them out but in the long run, it is still an individual’s struggle to live her life in Dubai. So when time finally comes that she gets so burdened and left alone, this pinay resorts to activities which just seems normal to her as a filipina but is actually forbidden or “haram” in this country. She sells liquors, cigarettes, drugs, or worst herself, just to get by. She either ends up in jail or in a hospital. Such is a sad fate borne out of a bad decision.
It is not always a dim world. There are pinays who made it to the top by simply being themselves. The educated, formal, talented pinay who may sometimes be an object of envy and greed of other pinays but will always rise up to her situation and prove to the world what a true pinay is made of. She is such a pleasure to see, a joy to be with and definitely one we can always be proud of.
Dubai is a wonderful country with wonderful opportunities – only if you are strong enough and morally upright enough.
Experiences are there for us to learn not to bring us down. So keep on. Dream big. Be the best you can be.