Building life muscles
Muscat Daily -

Recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Leadership Award presented by the Embassy of the Philippines in Oman, Jonas Dupo is currently working at the Directorate of Nursing for the Governorate of Dakhliyah. Following master’s degrees in Nursing Administration and Public Health, Dupo is now working on a doctorate in nursing, besides being committed to helping OFWs realise that the ‘journey’ as expats in another country is temporary and they should prioritise saving and building their assets.

“I see my fellow OFWs, my good friends, spend their money on unnecessary things. They don't have savings, no assets. They just enjoy. They are broke. They have credit cards and loans... When I see my friends who have no investments, and are broke, it pains me,” Dupo said about what prompted him to write the self-published book titled Overseas to Overflowing Richness – A Tale of an Overseas Filipino Worker in Oman.

The tale begins in a remote and isolated coastal town called Palanan in the Philippines with the birth of Jon Dela Cruz on a boat before his mother could reach the hospital to deliver him, much like Dupo himself. “I was born and raised in poverty. We didn’t have three meals a day. We lived in a very small house. My parents were farmers. We lived in a virgin forest without any technology. I spent most of my time helping my parents in a farm or just playing in the river.”

Asked if the character Dela Cruz, also a nurse, is he himself, Dupo said, “I represent the story. Eighty per cent of the story is my life.”

Following a dramatic incident in which Dela Cruz saves millionaire Billy Guzman’s son from choking to death by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre, the latter starts mentoring the young nurse who is about to venture abroad to take up a job in Oman. Guzman started out as an OFW himself and learnt the hard way the priorities of life before earning his millions.

“I have a dream that every OFW will go home rich and free, with savings, with investments, and with a happy family,” Guzman tells Dela Cruz in one of his many long-distance sermon-like lessons which were delivered on a regular basis.

“I am always saddened to hear OFWs going home broke because of their ignorance and pride... I hope you will join me in this mission of saving one OFW at a time. They need to hear our message and since you are working there, find your co-workers in Oman and share what I am sharing with you,” he tells Dela Cruz.

Coincidentally, Dupo is also the current team leader and preacher of Feast Oman - a Catholic lay community founded by Bo Sanchez, a best-selling author, entrepreneur and lay preacher popularly known as the Preacher in Blue Jeans.

According to Dupo, Sanchez is ‘not really, but partly is’ the character Guzman (who he refers to as Mr Billy) in his book.

“Mr Billy is fiction but all his teachings came from Bro Bo Sanchez, Robin Sharma and a very good friend and mentor Berryl Gamayao. He is the most synonymous with Billy Guzman. He is the one calling me almost every day and teaching me to embrace the principles of success.”

Guzman’s training and personal development sessions with Dela Cruz are in-your-face. Even as Dela Cruz is settling into his new job and life in Oman, Guzman starts a discourse on ‘mistakes most OFWs make’, which include ‘OFWs do not know how to listen attentively’, ‘a lot of OFWs do not save money’ and ‘OFWs become an unlimited source of wealth, an ATM with unlimited cash’.

The book – its opening chapters in particular – is engaging; not just OFWs but most expat workers irrespective of nationality will relate to it. As the story picks up, it doesn’t read like a self-help book with nice turn of phrase. “After checking in for my flight, I slowly pushed the cart with my luggage. I don’t know which was heavier. My bag or my heart…” Dupo writes in Chapter 6 of the book.

Not surprisingly, the book is peppered with quotes - a mix of curious and inspiring - many of which are of Robin Sharma, such as ‘The swiftest way to triple your success is to double your investment in personal development.’ Then there’s Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step’ and Brian Tracy’s ‘Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.’ And gems such as ‘Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared,’ by George S Clason and one in particular from Guzman himself – ‘The more failures you experience, the bigger your life muscles grow as you battle life’s unexpected twists.’

Dupo claims he wrote the first draft of the book in just 12 days last August which was followed by several cuts and edits. Available to order on his website for a promotional price of RO3.500, the book can be shipped anywhere, but Dupo will deliver the book himself if a buyer is conveniently located.

 Asked how successful he has been in 'saving one OFW at time', Dupo said, “I have been able to teach my fellow OFWs about building their emergency funds, settling their debts and building their businesses.”

Practising what he preaches – ‘Your OFW journey is just temporary; prioritise building your assets, emergency fund and savings’ – Dupo is returning to the Philippines in January after five years. “I am going home for good to start my business – a motivational centre and publishing firm. I will pursue my dream of becoming a full-time speaker and author.”

About his stay in Oman, Dupo said, “There were ups and downs. However, I am just so happy with what happened to me here.”

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