Nearly eight months since COVID-19 has been recognized as a global health threat, the number of overseas Filipino workers who reportedly have lost their jobs continue to increase as the days go by.
This has been the story of a Filipina English teacher in Cambodia, who has now found a renewed purpose to continue living life overseas – by selling atsara and other Pinoy favorites, after losing her job due to the pandemic.
[Video] OFW Ventures Into Selling Atsara, Pinoy Delicacies After Being Laid Off in Cambodia
The Filipina ESL instructor in Cambodia, Tiffany Marie Jamaybay-Realis revealed that she almost lost hope after the school she works for closed at the beginning of the pandemic in March, GMA News Online reported.
Her husband, who works as a factory worker, while still with a job, does not earn enough to support their family.
“Nag-iisip na po kaming mag asawa kung gi-give up na po ako, kung kailangan ko na pong umuwi, (My husband and I were thinking if it’s time for me to give up, if it’s time for me to go back home,)” Tiffany said.
“Kasi hindi po sagot ng company niya ‘yung bahay, ‘yung visa, ‘yung working permit so kahit wala po kaming trabaho kailangan po naming magbayad, (This is because his company can’t shoulder our accommodation, my visa and working permit, so even though I don’t have a job, I’m still obliged to pay for these,)” she explained.
Things started to turn for the better when Tiffany decided to sell the Ilonggo specialty, the atsara.She started her business with a capital of USD 20 or Php 1,000, and her capital grew by three times after she was able to sell all her products in just one day.
Through the help and support of their fellow Filipinos in the country, Tiffany was able to launch her product successfully, even getting favorable support from foreigners, as well.
After their successful stint with her homemade atsara, she then decided to add some items to her menu such as lumpiang sariwa and ginatang bilu-bilo. She also resells peanut butter and longganisa to help other Filipinos in Cambodia, as well.
Sharing her story of recovery and success during this pandemic, this is what Tiffany has to say to other Filipinos who are going through the same situation as her: “Sa lahat ng ating kababayan, wag po tayong mawalan ng pag asa, (To my fellow Filipinos, please do not lose hope).”
“Hindi po imposible makamit pa rin natin ‘yung pangarap natin kahit sa maliit na halaga. Basta po mag tiwala lang po tayo kay lord, hindi po niya tayo pababayaan. (It’s not impossible to overcome the challenges we face today and reach our goals even with what little we have– As long as we put our trust in the Lord, He will never leave us.”) she shared.
Watch the full video clip of the report posted by GMA News Online via YouTube here: