There’s only one word to describe Cristina Giron Dela Pena, that is the word fighter. The current manager of St. Zita Cleaning Services, a company under the umbrella of the Filipino Institute, has been through many storms. However, according to Cristina, she didn’t wait for the storm to pass on. She had to learn to dance in the rain.
Hailing from Bulacan, the single mother for over a decade now has been bestowed to oversee the cleaning services by the educational institution.
“I managed my life to be a single and independent woman, contented with my life and a hardworking mother to my 17 years old son and 14 years old daughter,” she said noting that she has to be strong now that both of her parents have passed away.
Cristina was not able to finish studying college as her family struggled financially. She was forced to work immediately to help her family to survive.
“Hindi ako nag-rebelde dahil pinaghinto ako ng pag-aaral. Mas ginawa ko tong inspirasyon at ginamit yung knowledge na natutunan ko sa work,” she said adding that while she was still studying, she worked as a ‘gasoline girl’ until she was promoted as a liaison officer.
‘Adjustment, acceptance, and faith’ are her pillars in life.
Cristina has a long list of overseas jobs, including being the supervisor of Emirates Aircraft Magazine Cleaning and Hygiene, Senior Supervisor Sales cum Merchandiser, Sales Coordinator cum Admin of Logistics, Sales Executive Manager, and Private Manager, among others.
Being part of the Filipino Institute, according to her, has given her the opportunity to work professionally and study for free.
“Nagpapasalamat ako dahil sa Filipino Institute nagbigyan ulit ako ng pagkakataon na ma-i-continue ko ang career ko dito sa Dubai,” she said.
Cristina’s advised her fellow Filipinos abroad to always have faith in everything and remember their purpose of working abroad.
“Doon tayo makakahugot ng lakas para ipagpatuloy ang laban at tumatag pa,” she added.
This story has been featured on the fourth issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.