Monday, April 9, 2007

1st May 2001 - Relocation to Cebu, Philippines.

This American company I was working for - 'Netrix'. promoted me to 'Engineering Manager - Asia Pacific', based in Hong Kong, I relocated in 1997, just before the 'handover' to China.

This was my first experience of the 'Far East', and I enjoyed it - (probably too much, as it led to me getting a divorce from my English wife). I would probably still be in Hong Kong had Netrix not decided to close their Asia Pacific office, when the Telecom recession hit towards the end of 1999. In May 2000, all in the Netrix Hong Kong office, were made redundant.

My boss got together with his ex-boss, and formed their own start-up company - 'Congruent' International Ltd. Basically we were 'outsourcing' our experience, skills, knowledge, as well as extensive contacts, formed over many years in Asia, together with the office, and communications. The Business Plan was, with 3 'clients', each saving 60% of what it was costing 'Netrix', we would be profitable. Sign up more clients,having 'complementary' product offerings, and we really start to make some good money.

Well it was looking good initially having reached profitability within 7 months. But even 60% savings was not enough for some clients, and went bust, or withdrew from the contract with Congruent. However one company, Sonoma Systems, was doing particulary well with their ATM 'migration' products. So much so that 'Nortel' Telecom bought them out. Things got worse, and was on 50% 'defered' salary for more than 6 months. I was spending more than that each month, with the high cost of living in Hong Kong.

(OK, so 9 months after the 'handover', property values slumped, and Rents fell accordingly. I was able to change from US$1,200 a month rent to US$800, and a bigger apartment, closer to central Hong Kong, where I worked).

It was look for another job, or accept 'relocation' to elsewhere in Asia with Congruent. Gone was the 50% Salary, but rather a 'Retainer' of US$1,000 a month plus full expenses, and increased 'Sales Commission'.

I guess it was down to the sexy, brown, and warm loving Filipina, whom I had met in 1998, working as an OFW (Overseas Foreign Worker) for 7 years there as a Domestic Helper. She offered to quit working in Hong Kong, and take me back to her home in Cebu, Philippines and we could live together there together.

So that's how I ended up relocating to 'Paradise', nearly 6 years ago.

My 'Divorce' was finalised in June 2001, and me and 'Sha-Sha' were married in June the following year.

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