My name is Rey, I’m from The Philippines. I’ve been working here in Thailand since 2012. I am teaching Mathematics, Basic English conversation and a volunteer teacher for children with disabilities or mentally challenged. I am one of the million Filipinos going abroad not for travelling but for a living. Working abroad is not easy but sometimes it’s your destiny and most of the time it’s always a choice.
People always easily judged me for what they think about my personality and appearance and what they heard from others even without any proof or just hearsay. Deep inside me it hurts a lot, but I just zipped my mouth and pretended that I am not affected at all because I need to show them that I am strong. Hiding my emotion is not easy, but I have no choice because those who have weaker personalities always rely on me, the source of their strength, confidence and bravery. But I am also human, I also feel tired, depressed and hopeless sometimes, that is why I need to take a break and I also need to be happy.
For those who knew me so well, they can tell you that I am a person with big heart (oh my God, not heart enlargement). Always willing to help and sacrifice something for others because I am happy for their happiness. Someone once asked me “what are your accomplishments in life?” I can always answer “The success and happiness of some of my love ones (family and friends) were my greatest accomplishments!” because this is me, I am who I am and I created my own website (www.rheykeen.com) to help Filipinos here in Thailand by disseminating information regarding visa and working permit for them to work legally. They can also post for free some of their products. So many Filipinos here in Thailand knew me as a person who keeps on helping and giving information because of my facebook group (swd kapamilya Thailand, swd kapamilya, pinoy adobo Thailand). Rhey keen is my screen name and I opted to keep my real identity anonymous.
I have this unique personality (but everyone does) which children/students liked. I am a teacher inside the classroom but I am a brother and a friend outside the classroom. I am strict but I know how to balance everything and I am making the class like a comedy bar while doing lectures. The exact opposite of my past jobs in The Philippines, excelling on sales and marketing. A transformation that I never regretted. These angels always makes my day complete with their sweetest smiles, giggles and laughter. And the naughty ones were the challenges that keeps me holding on, telling myself " come on Rhey, you can always do wonders". My most amazing teaching experience in Thailand is with the special children. It is very challenging and fulfilling in helping taking care of these adorable kids with disabilities and the mentally challenged. It feels so rewarding that they can recognize me, they can smile back at me and most of all we can communicate with each other. I don’t have any educational background about special children or job experience, but I think it’s all because of my personality (it takes one to know one. For sure I am also one of them.). Every school I work with, they always have a special student and every time that student throws tantrums, I can easily let them calm down and control them. One of my special students told me before, “Teacher Rhey I love you”,
I was so happy and touched because I think he can feel my sincerity. It’s overwhelming. I don’t work merely for a living. I always see to it that there is always the TLC – tender loving care, a Filipino culture that I wished my fellowmen will still apply up to these days.
Those encounters and exposures made me decide that I wanted to be a Teacher for special children or to be a Therapist for mentally challenged. I tried my luck, applied for that particular job, unfortunately they all declined my application. Their reasons were; I am just an Asian, just a Mathematics major, not even an Education graduate. They never gave me a chance to be interviewed just so to know my background. I desperately wanted to show to them that I have several letters of recommendation from satisfied parents of my students and schools. Despite the rejections and hurt feelings, I continued searching for a school or center that will consider my qualifications. Until I finally found it!
I exited from my beloved school gracefully that's why they were supportive with my venture, I just need to follow what my heart desires. My heart belongs to serve these angels.
As agreed, they allow me to visit first my family in the Philippines because it's been 5 years since I had seen them, process my documents and reported to them after a month long vacation, but there were some changes with the schedule of my work schedules. I must wait for another month since there were few students during summer break, I understand that's why I willingly and patiently for waited, but sad to say after month, they suddenly declined my application for the same reasons I mentioned earlier, I tried to contain my emotions, but I didn't noticed that my tears were continuously rolling down my eyes. I had given up my job for this and I had sacrificed a lot, but WHY?
I must admit that life sometimes is so unfair! I want this job so bad, but my credentials were not qualified. I cannot afford to go to school and earn units and certificates on Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism plus the accommodation. It's way too expensive. My salary is just enough for my daily expenses and tuition support for my brother in the Philippines.
I wish I can touch someone's heart that is willing to fulfill my dream and I promise that I will never let you down.
Example of the tuition fee : http://cpla.fit.edu/aba/hy_courses.php
Just in case that someone can give me scholarship or support me for this program, I will promise that I will never stop helping others, I will support and have my own organization for kids with special needs, I will train people about handling special needs even without ABA education background or certificate about it and most of all, I will show to them and to the world that they should not judge a person just because of the skin color, nationality and lack of certificate.