Arnold Ancheta – OFW story of survival, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Me and my housemates were eating at one of our favorite Pinoy restaurant in Batha when I chanced upon a guy who was cleaning the dining tables after customers left and our table too after having our breakfast.

Let’s meet another Kabayan and his simple story.

Born in Bulihan, Silang Cavite is 23 years old Arnold Ancheta.  He worked in a printing press in the Philippines before he set  foot in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 2010.

He is the second child of Arnold (deceased) and Shirley Ancheta. His mother, Shirley, 46 yrs. old is working in London as a househelp for 11 years now.  His two siblings are Sherilyn Ancheta Garma, 27 yrs. old his eldest sister,  married with 2 kids and the youngest, Sherwin Ancheta, 21 yrs. old and is in his 1st year in College.

Arnold married at a very young age of 18 years old to Gwendolyn Ancheta. The couple was blessed with  a son named Thirdy Ancheta now 4 years old.

When he was still working at the printing press, he earns 300.00 pesos for 8 hours of work a day, 6 days a week. As most of the companies in the Philippines specially the small ones, it’s a no work no pay scenario.  He then took Automotive course in Technical Education and Skills Development  Authority (TESDA) to enhance his skills hoping to land better opportunities.

Due to the economic situation in the Philippines, he tried his luck abroad to give his family a good life and set his foot in this oil rich country Saudi Arabia on November 2010 with a contract of 2 years.

He is working in Hara Al Wasarat as pizza maker from 1:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday without day off with a salary of 1,200 SR.  Free food and accommodation are part of the contract.  Since Arnold is already a family man, he find ways to augment his income and found a part-time job as a utility man at Pasalubong, a one stop shop store and restaurant of Filipino food, products and delicacies.  He goes to work in this part-time job from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  and earns extra 600.00 SR a month before he goes to his main job as pizza maker.

Thinking that this is still not enough to support his family and considering his son will be in school soon, he used his talent as a barber and serviced kababayans who wants to avail of his service at 5.00 SR per person. Usually, 5 – 6 persons per week comes to him for hair cut which he said is a good added income which he can use to buy for his personal needs.

If we know how to use our God-given talent, there is no excuse we cannot survive in this word full of competition.

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