It all came as a surprise to most people who know us. My profession is not generally a good job for someone who wants to work or migrate abroad but I thought I’d give it a try.

It was not an easy decision to make. In fact, it was by far one of the hardest I had to do in my life. I was a patriot in my own little way and leaving the Philippines never brushed through my thoughts. I have always categorically said that I will never leave the Philippines other than for a vacation. I sort of reconsidered after watching the Lord of the Rings that I will only leave the Philippines to live in the beautiful New Zealand, period.

But when you start a family, your priorities and decisions change. Your ideals remain in the past and they are simply left with your youth…something you can just happily look back on.

My very good friend Greys (spelling was intentionally altered by her when we were in college) works in Dubai and I have marvelled at the things she could buy and how she has changed in all aspects. We remained close despite distance and maintain an online friendship through (almost) everyday email. She mentioned in passing that her beau has a co-worker who has a lawyer wife in the Philippines who is now working in Singapore. I quizzically raised my eyebrows asking Greys how could that be. She said the lawyer went directly to Singapore to look for a job. The idea sparked a lot of lightbulbs in my brain but it did not go any further than that.

There came an officemate who suddenly disappeared from our office and after some rumors being confirmed, we found out that she was working in Singapore and her salary is probably more than  four times the amount she was receiving before.

I then started making researches and have abandoned my Farmville life and chose to spend nights focusing on my research. Just when I was so engrossed in my research, Greys again informed me that we have a classmate back in college who now lives in Australia where he is likewise a lawyer. I liked the idea better because my brother is due to leave for Australia last year (which he did by end of November 2010). If I would migrate, I wanted it to be in a place where I know some people and I happen to have some friends in Australia.

So my research went from Singapore to Australia. After some mulling over, we realized that we did not have the funds yet to immigrate to Australia. Singapore is nearer, fare is cheaper, and we did not need a visa before leaving. I then went back to my Singapore research and I found out that it is very much possible for me to bring Ira along with me if I get any pass higher than S-Pass. That fact made me more eager to pursue our decision. 

Hubby and I discussed it and we agreed to give it a try after settling some things in the Philippines. We agreed to wait for the right time and to properly tie some loose ends in the Philippines first before jumping into such decision. We knew it was not an easy one.

Then came my father’s stroke.

Lots of things changed and we had to deal with these changes swiftly. We had to decide for my father to come home from the States because no one would take care of him. Expectedly, we had to shoulder additional expenses at home for his medications and therapy. Personally, I knew this was something I owe to my father after years of sacrifice for us. 

To cut the very long story short, hubby and I tried our luck  in Singapore and after literally shedding sweat, blood and tears, we are here now…together. That is the bottomline of our decision. Even if it is in the richest country in the world, but we would have to live apart, we would not go for that. I was raised with one parent working away and I did not like it. I do not want to subject Ira to that kind of life.

In my research, I found out that there are many Filipinos working here in Singapore. Some of the best IT people here are Filipinos and they are earning a lot for it. Though it is a foreign country, not a day goes by that I do not bump into another Filipino. It makes me feel at home.

It was indeed a difficult decision. But when we were heading out for this life, I asked God to lead me to where He wants me to be. I knew that if I was not meant to live this life, God with all His might can stop me. But without me knowing it, God helped me in my decision and He is still carrying me through it all.

I am still adjusting to everything around here. It is not too difficult to adjust to some things because they actually make life ergonomically easier around here. From the transportation system to the way we wash clothes. But of course, I will always love my country…even from afar. I will continue to be sad about the bad things that are happening there and I will still marvel about the people and things that make the country proud, like that little girl Maria Aragon.

I am still unsure as to how long we are going to stay here. We are living each day as it comes. We have made enough planning last year that I want to take a rest in making further plans this year. But one thing is definite, Philippines is just a three-hour plane ride away…and we will surely visit as often as budget and time will allow us.  😉