Comparing my job to the last one as sales supervisor was indeed an irony. Here I am, sweaty and smelly notwithstanding the efforts of sustaining my strength from morning until afternoon under the searing sun of the tropics. Someday might say how can that be when PNG is a rain haven at 365 days a year? There was drought at those months. The river was almost dry to a point that the delivery of very critical items like cement and food were done via choppers and C130s. All of these busy traffics were to my advantage, giving limitless overtime work. That what I came for anyway. I could not believe that the efforts I spent for my six months salary in the Philippines was equivalent to my one-month salary in Papua new Guinea, provided I worked hard. At that time, I thought I was in paradise with good money and good food. Then I realized that working overtime took a toll on my relationship with my family, for I had no more time to communicate to them via letters because at the early stage of the project, the technological advantage of our company was no match to the cruelty of the Kiunga jungle. Telephone calls are next to impossible.
The feeling of having so much money was so suffocating that my values started to change. Simple values became complicated. Before, in my leisure time I could drink beer and cheap spirits. I started to ridicule my peers that the brand they were drinking was good only for washing their athlete’s foot. I started to decorate myself with gold and do many thongs that even the rich would be shocked at my arrogance. I always entertained the thought that I had a good salary working in a top line construction company employer and also I felt that I was the best because I was trained by San Miguel Corporation and Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines prior my being OFW. However, despite this lifestyle, there was a single positive investment I made for my two kids, I gave them the BEST EDUCATION. I sent them both to the top caliber school in the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University. Believe me, not a single moment had I thought of thanking the Lord for those graces, for I believed that I was able to do this through my efforts, my experiences and my innate talent that enabled me to be on top of everything. In short I was full of pride.
I thought that my family was already a regular practicing Catholic. In fact we never missed Sunday masses, but we never read the Bible nor shared it with other people. While I was abroad I went to mass every Sunday and I made sure to have a good time after that. I felt this was needed to keep me busy, to avoid boredom and at the same time keeping my duty to my faith. Until I met some friends who were the constant companion of “engineer” Johnny Walker, “architect” Hennesy or “boss” Jack Daniels. During our usual conversations and jokes we were talking about the challenge of why we can’t make it with other women. With my faith at a low gear I succumbed to temptation which almost destroyed our marriage.
I went home on the ...