Filipinos in Romania : My Pinoy Life in Bucharest
Donnie Ray Del Rosario
When and why did you move to Romania?
I started travelling to Romania in January of 2014, as part of my job back in Dubai. I attended some meetings, did some training for the local employees and led program implementations.
Then, the company offered me a temporary job for three months in October 2014. In January of 2015, I was told that they will give me a work permit and hire me as their permanent employee here in Romania. So happy!
Tell us something about your place in Romania.
Because I have visited Bucharest several times in the past, I already had an idea on what it would be like to live in the city – i.e. how bad the traffic could get, how it gets too crowded, and noisy. So, I chose to stay in an area called Bulevardul Apicultorilor which is in the outskirts of Bucharest.
I have a small furnished apartment in a quiet area. I like the area since it is in the middle of the old city (where all the fun stuff happens) and my office (where all the work serious stuff happens).
Romania can be a great tourist spot in the Eastern Europe region. It is the mini Paris. The world’s 2nd largest building is here: the Palace of the Parliament, also known as the House of the People. They have the Black Sea that is a perfect destination during summer. They have the mountains that are ideal for off-road ATV, hiking and skiing during winter. And of course, one’s experience of Romania wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the different castles that the country is famous for, like the Castle of Dracula.
The people are friendly and can speak English. With a bit more advertising from the government, Romania can be one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
What do you do for a living in Romania?
I am an M3 Coordinator for a Power Generation Company. We rent out big machines to different companies. Our biggest customer is from the largest Oil and Gas Company here in Romania.
I am responsible for reviewing contracts, purchasing, and supervising the stocks and logistics area of the business. I do training for the office employees and technicians as well.
It sounds complicated and seems that I have a lot of responsibilities, but it is what it is. I need to work hard to establish a good career.
Is there a community of Filipinos in Romania?
When I stayed at the Howard Johnson Hotel in the city, I found out that there was a Benihana Restaurant inside the hotel. I was craving for teppanyaki at the time, and had heard of the lively shows they had there, so I went in to check it out. I was surprised to discover that some of the chefs were Pinoy. There is also one Pinoy Sushi Chef at a Japanese Restaurant in the old city itself. For sure, the people working in the Phil. Consulate are Filipinos too. I’ve been told that there is a Filipino community here, but I’ve yet to meet them. There aren’t as many Filipinos here as there are in the UAE.
Tell us about your life there in Romania?
My life here is simple. If I am not at work, I’m just at home, cooking and surfing the net. When friends invite me to go out, that’s the chance for me to try the different restaurants and clubs in the area.
Week nights here in Bucharest are like the weekends also – the old city gets just as crowded. At first, I wondered if all the week-nighters have work the following day. Apparently, they do!
What cultural practices/behaviors have you acquired from your host country?
I haven’t been here long enough to be able to say that I’ve fully adopted any of the Romanians’ unique cultural traits, apart from partying until 3am on a week night. What I really appreciate is how accommodating and hospitable they are. They are very interested to meet and learn new things from us Asians. Like Filipinos, they like karaoke as well. You can’t imagine how many karaoke pubs and events they have.
They like rice too, so it was not hard for me to look for Jasmine Rice.
Your greeting to Filipino across the globe?
Keep on smiling!
Just remember that even if we are in a different country, we shouldn’t forget where we came from. We can enjoy the new stuff and maybe acquire some traits from the country we live in, but we must not forget that we have our own unique traits that we can be proud of – like constantly having a positive outlook in life. Filipinos, no matter what happens, good or bad, still manage to smile and put smiles in the faces of others.