DH-turned-BPO owner headlines OFW Reintegration Fair

I met her years ago when the first Microsoft Tulay facility opened in Davao City. Her name is Myrna Padilla. She worked for 20 years as a domestic worker in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Extreme poverty while growing up forced her to give up formal schooling but never prevented her from learning what she could.

While in Hong Kong, Myrna was a community leader. She was a familiar sight in pro-OFW rallies. One day, her association tapped her to write position papers, lending her a typewriter for use at home. Myrna would only bring out the typewriter when her employers were asleep, sometime past midnight. Takatakatak! The keys of the used typewriter would make such a ruckus that Myrna’s female employer would wake up and search for the source of the noise. It was Myrna, hunched over a typewriter, punching its keys with a passion that only true blue advocates can have.

Tired of the midnight “Takatakataks!”, her madame decided to buy Myrna a laptop with Internet access. Encouraged, the fearless domestic worker decided to use her days-of to enroll in a computer course. Bursting with things to say, Myrna decided to blog. Her blogging routine, however, was often interrupted by the number of bugs or technical glitches in the system. An irate Myrna would dash off a complaint letter -one after another- every time the bugs would appear. One day, the administrator of the website decided enough was enough and offered Myrna a job as a “bug-detector”. That started her off on the path of outsourcing.

Today, Myrna is back home in Davao City. No longer an OFW but always with a heart of an OFW – the former domestic worker now owns and runs a business process outsourcing company known as Mynd Consulting. She develops Facebook and Google Apps, websites, and other Internet-based outsourcing work. She maintains a strong connection as founder and honorary leader of the Mindanao Federation of OFWs in Hong Kong.

Myrna Padilla is one of the resource persons that the Blas F. Ople Center has tapped for its first ever OFW Reintegration Fair on Friday, July 29, from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Activity Center of StarMall Edsa Mandaluyong. This one-day reintegration fair would not be possible without the support of the Sagip-OFW Program of Senator Manny Villar and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs of OWWA.

Our other speakers are: Paul Tibig of V.Cargo and president of the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc (AFFI), Peter Sing, owner of Pan-de-Pidro and son of an OFW, Randell Tiongson, a noted financial coach and adviser to OFWs, and Director Vivian Tornea of OWWA-NRCO who will brief the participants about the Php2-billion Reintegration Fund for ex-OFWs and current OFWs. A panel discussion will ensue from 3 PM to 5 PM with representatives from the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines on how interested borrowers can avail of the Reintegration Fund.

To reserve a slot, please call up the Blas F. Ople Center at 833-5337 or 833-9562 and look for Jeffrey or Raiza.

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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