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An Inspiring Story of an OFW
« on: February 25, 2012, 10:08:01 AM »
Read and be inspired: An Inspiring Story of an OFW

“I was a nanny in Hong Kong then and part of my job was to make sure my ward would do his homework before he plays with the computer. I was amazed when I saw him move the mouse and something on the screen moved,” she recounts. “I asked him what a ‘mouse’ was, and the boy, lost for words, replied: ‘I don’t know Myrna. Ask the one who invented it.’”

Myrna realized then that she had to learn how to use the computer. She went to the Philippine consular office in Hong Kong and applied for a free course on basic computing, but she had to wait for three to six months because there were so many enrollees. “But I persevered, and I did learn how to use the mouse. When I first learned how to copy and paste, I was so thrilled,” she says.

Myrna is no stranger to perseverance’s evil twin – adversity.

“My father was a fisherman. There were times when my mother would cry because we had nothing to eat. Even my siblings were crying. I think I was the only one not crying, but I was crying inside,” she says.

After high school, college was not an option. She sought work abroad and, in 1988, found one as a maid in Singapore. Taiwan came next after Singapore. Then, it was Hong Kong, where she ended up with a bad employer. “I slept in the kitchen, with cartons for a bed,” she reveals. Luckily, she found another job, with a wealthy family who helped her realize her dreams.

They allowed her to enroll in short technical courses and helped her with her work for the Mindanao Hong Kong Workers Federation, which she founded in 1999. After seeing Myrna pounding on a typewriter at 2 a.m. to write requests for her fellow OFWs, her employers gave her a laptop and a printer as a Christmas present.

The laptop became Myrna’s window to business opportunities. Through it, she discovered the social networking platform and came upon one website where she posted a comment. To her surprise, the company to her and told her that her complaint was valid.

“They said I was a very good bug tester. That was when I learned that before a software comes out, the developers need bug testers,” she says.

She kept exploring the Internet for social networking problems until she found a company in the United States that wanted more of her feedback. It was two-way: They got feedback from me, and I learned from them,” she says.

In 2006, Myrna went back to the Philippines to have her thyroid problem checked. It was supposed to be just a temporary visit. After the operation, however, she sent an e-mail to her employers and told them she was not going back. “I told them it would be already difficult for me to work as a domestic helper. I asked them to understand my situation. I was surprised because they not only understood, they even gave me a long-service pay,” she says. - full story here

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