Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My Humble Beginning In PNG

Pinoy In PNG
The view from the house of our company's owner.
My journey in Papua New Guinea began in 2008 at Lae, Morobe Province, PNG.

During that time, I was working as the head of IT Department in a mid-sized micro-finance company in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The pay was good and I was enjoying my job which was more on being an in-house programmer and a little bit less of being a manager to a handful of tech-savvy people who were in my team. I say 'less' because having personally interviewed and selected them myself, I know their capabilities. I knew then that all of them had potentials and  a simple nudge was all they needed on such a young age to release their insatiable hunger for success.

Pinoy In PNG
My previous company in Nueva Ecija. My friends took this photo sometime in 2008. The banner behind me was one of my designs in Adobe Photoshop. The building behind serves as the main office and a branch for Cabanatuan.

I was invited by my cousin in Lae to visit them in PNG. Sponsored by his company, I was given a month for this visitation. During that time, I was of course, prohibited to work so I barely had anything to do. I just spent my remaining days mostly in the house and going around Lae or visiting my cousin's company.

Pinoy In PNG
I took this 'selfie' in 2008 during one of my visits to my cousin's company. Behind me are two staffs from his IT team who seemed oblivious to what I was doing.

After 28 days, my visiting was finally over. I left PNG and went back to Philippines. I did not immediately return to PNG after that as I decided to study practical electronics at TESDA. Although a month before graduation, I was hired to work at Sykes. I found it hard to find the balance between working and studying so I chose to work full time instead. My ex-wife was kind of supportive of my decisions with regards to our choices in life, and with this, I didn't have to fear uncertainties when I had to make drastic changes in our lives.

To make the story short, I spent another 2 years in the Philippines before I finally got an offer from a Port Moresby-based company in courtesy of my late cousin kuya Obet and his wife, which I gladly accepted. In April 1, 2011, I started working as an IT Manager for this new Company.

Pinoy In PNG
Photo was taken around 2011 at the balcony of our company's building in Port Moresby. All year-round, POM gets to have a generous serving of sunshine and a wide and clear blue sky.
If you're going to ask me how it feels like to be working here, I can say that it was a bit stressful during the first few weeks due to being suddenly finding yourselves in a different environment. But as the days go on, you'll get used to your new place, new custom, foods and also to your job.

There's no simple trick to an easy and fast way to getting over through the adjustment period but you can beat the woes by making friends with people you just met here. Although, don't be surprised when you don't get a warm welcome as you greet your fellow pinoys here with just  a simple head nod. I don't think it's proper to do that on someone you just met anyway. But I do recommend that you show them a smile and a quick eye-brow raise to show that you're glad to see a fellow Filipino. I did that a couple of times here and it was really an ice-breaker. You could easily talk to them afterwards.

Greeting PNG nationals are much easier I think because they seem to prefer a verbal greeting over a vague gesture. For example, saying "Hi" or "Hello" to a stranger is much better than raising your eyebrows or giving them a quick nod. Also, a nod here may  likely be interpreted differently so it's safe to assume that saying "Hi" is better. From my experience, it is indeed better. Although I must warn you that you may find some greetings here confusing.

For instance, when you greet someone in the evening, you will probably say "Good evening!" Here in PNG, they say "Good night!" instead. Saying 'good night' in the Philippines is only done when you want to call it a day and go to sleep. When you get a chance to come over here and someone greeted you good night in a hazy afternoon, bear in mind that he's just greeting you the PNG way and you don't have to look at your wrist for the time.


  1. hi sir, is papua new guinea safe? i have a job offer and im thinking it twice but the pay is good and i think i can bring my family.

    1. Hi @eden,

      In general, Papua New Guinea is safe. Most people are friendly. As a general knowledge, almost all country have crime problems. How do you keep yourself and your family safe from harm in your country? Apply the same principle and you'll be fine. Just stay humble and be good to the locals. :)

      If you have more questions to ask, please feel free to write me at pinoyinpng@gmail.com. Thanks!


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