Gambling has ruined lives and relationships of many. Noel, a former OFW working as sales supervisor in Dubai shared his story to all through The Filipino Times, hoping that his experience will be a reminder of the perils of gambling vice and for others to avoid the same fate that cost not only his savings but his family as well.
Here is his story:
I’m Noel and I have worked as an sales supervisor in Dubai for 12 years. In May 2014, I decided to return home and worked shortly for a luxury hotel here in the Philippines. However, I was laid off due to my underperformance.
As you can probably tell, I am now facing a difficult time in my life. I have lost everything I love and own because of that one big mistake.
Let me just share that I had a simple life in the Philippines before I moved to Dubai in the early 2000s for work.
I grew up in Laguna where I also met my wife. Shortly after our wedding, I risked my chances by going to the UAE.
With my monthly salary of Dh5,000 (Php72,000) for 3 years before I left the UAE, I was able to build a better life for my family. We had afforded to buy a house in a subdivision when my wife and I learned that we were about to have our first-born.
But for the past two years since I returned to the Philippines, my family did not know that I have frequented some casinos in Manila. It started out as a fun boys’ night out but I kept coming back whenever I feel stressed. The stress-relief turned into a nightly ritual, betting on horse races, playing poker, slot machine, you name it. It was so easy to get lost in the fun of it all when you have a fortune at bay.
But of course, as gamblers would tell you, when you enter a play, you either win or you lose. My losses outnumbered my wins, and I did not mind, I continued playing.
What little money I won, I also lost in the succeeding rounds of play. I did not know that it felt like that, I could not stop. I even borrowed a huge sum from my brother, without telling him the real reason.
Before I knew it, I have drained my bank account, which contains all the money I earned in Dubai and I am drowning in debts to different people.
It was too late when I realized the trouble I was in, my family and friends found out eventually and I was forced to stop gambling.
My wife was pregnant when she left me, taking our one kid along with her. I have tried contacting her through her parents but they would not let me see my baby either.
I am now trying to get back on my feet. I need to earn the trust of my wife and my friends. I am living with my parents so they can stop me from going back to my old habits.
If only I could turn back time, I would not the same mistake again.
For my fellow OFWs who are reading this, share my piece and take it from me: always prioritize your family and do not let years’ worth of hardwork go into waste because of unhealthy habits, not just gambling.