Like all migrant Filipino overseas worker, the story of G. Tito Ralph Araneta Tibi is full of trials and difficulties. But, he chose to persevere and make his experience an inspiration to reach a prosperous life. Now, Tito can be counted as one of the successful Filipinos in the Middle East.
Tito started his family life early. Even though he is only a mechanic in a Toyota Service Center in the Philippines, he chose to get married at the age of 21. Tito’s union with his first wife, Melody, resulted to two children. Christine, 23, is now a nurse and is with him in Dubai, and Christian Ralph, 21, is currently studying BS IT in Arellano University.
Like others, the desire to satisfy his family’s needs led Tito to work overseas. In the year 1994, he went to Taiwan and stayed for 3 years. Because of his leaving, his relationship with his wife was affected which later on led to their separation.
But because he continued to be strong in the midst of his problems, good luck soon found Tito. It was in 1997 when he found his second love in Ma. Jocelyn, the mother of his youngest child, Alexis Joyce, who is now 13 years old. Like him, Jocelyn is also an OFW working in Ireland. Jocelyn’s presence in Tito’s life gave him a partner in taking care of his children which lessened his worries. Because of this, Tito was able to focus more on his work.
Tito’s diligence soon bore fruit. Year 2001, he started working in Kuwait as a service shop supervisor in Chrysler Group LLC, one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world. Because of his mechanical skill, Tito represented Kuwait Chrysler during the 2003 International Top Technician Contest in Austria where he won 3rd place among 29 contenders from different countries. Tito recounted that the competition lasted for one week to test the skills of all contestants. His winning opened for him bigger opportunities.
In 2010, he transferred to Chrysler’s Regional Office in Dubai. He believes that winning the competition made the regional office take notice of him, and trusted him to Head the Technical Service Operations for Middle East. Now, when he looks back, Tito is thankful for everything he has attained. From being a simple mechanic, he is now the Filipino with the highest position in Chrysler.
Nevertheless, Tito remained humble. Even though he is a high ranking officer, he never forgot to return the blessings he received. Proof of this are the numerous Filipinos who found work with Chrysler. When he was the head of the Training Department in Middle East, he gave all his support to his fellow Filipinos especially to those who started at the bottom like him.
At the age of 43, it is undeniable that Tito is successful. But for him, his 3 children finishing school and seeing them with good life will be his greatest trophy. According to him, the common problem of OFWs is the children they left behind. Because the children are usually without guidance, they are more likely to stray from the path or be rebellious. Now, Tito is with his eldest, Christine, in Dubai where she is continuing her study to obtain her license as a nurse, while they are happily waiting for Christian Ralph’s graduation so he can join them.
Recently, another good fortune came to Tito. Last 8 January 2014, he got a call from PAG-IBIG fund informing him that he won the agency’s OFW member “Dagdag Ipon” raffle promo. Tito first assumed that there was a problem with his payment of P17,000 to PAG-IBIG but he soon happily learned that he won the grand prize. His winning the raffle made his relatives and other colleagues working outside the country, aware of the benefits of being a PAG-IBIG member.
In the interview by the Overseas Operations Department, Tito shares that for now, he will set aside the money he won, while he is still undecided where to use it. He went on to say that it is an unusual good fortune so he should be more careful in spending. Furthermore, although he has been working for 20 years, his chance of saving has only started. He added that only 1 Filipino among 10 OFWs are able to save enough for their retirement in the Philippines. In his case, he has been a member since 2009 but has only since continued his payment because of family obligations.
At the end of the interview, we asked him the secret on being successful at work. He simply answered “Mahalin ang trabaho, maging kontento at masikap” (love your work, be content and be diligent), he finishes.