I have been living in Germany for 27 years when my German husband and I decided to move to the Republic of Ireland. Ireland was our holiday country. We often stay in Ireland than in the Philippines for a vacation. We have been to many places and every time we were there, we would still get fascinated by the people, the nature and the awesome landscapes of this Emerald Island.
After a year of planning, we started our journey to the new lives we have chosen for ourselves. Packed with our luggage and our spaniel, Cavalier King Charles, we drove to several countries with our trusty Volkswagen. We travelled from Germany to Hoek van Holland with our car, then boarded the ferry crossing the North Sea to England. From Harwich Port England, we continued our travel to Holyhead Port in Wales crossing the Irish Sea by yet another ferry boat. From Dublin Port, driving again with our car to County Mayo, our chosen destination.
When we arrived at our final destination, the West Coast of Ireland, we were tired and exhausted but happy. For a month, we rented a cute, little cottage owned by a German family
We’ve only stayed for a week in Ireland when the wife of the owner told us about a newly-opened spa near our place. She knew that I was looking for a job as a massage therapist. Before moving here, I learned different kinds of massages in Germany as a preparation for a job here. I went to the spa the next day and came home with a job. I was very happy at how fast I’ve managed to land a dream job in this new country.
On my first day, I must have given six massage treatments right away. It was a busy Saturday and after my boss introduced me to my co-workers and clients, mostly locals, I immediately began giving back massages and champisage (Indian head massage). I only had exactly one hour of break with my workmates throughout the day and I was rearing to go home and rest. To my amazement, when I got into the car, my boss handed me my payment. I did not know that wages are mostly paid every weekend in Ireland.
It’s amazing how relaxation opens up people. In my job as a masseuse in Ireland, I’ve had so many beautiful experiences, some were funny, others were heartbreaking but all memorable.
While I am doing my job, I’d like to stay quiet as possible because I want my client to relax and concentrate on the pleasure that a massage is giving. Once I had a client who for the first time came to the spa for a massage. When I started giving her the massage treatment, I immediately felt her shoulders and face were very tensed so I told her to relax. I even asked her to do the breathing exercises with me. After the head massage, I could feel her relaxing and breathing better. Then suddenly she started sobbing and her body started shaking. In broken words she told me that she buried her husband a week ago after he suffered from cancer. I just listened while she was pouring her heart out while continuing to massage her. At one point, I could not help but shed a few tears because of her story. Afterwards she calmed down and was able to sleep. She thanked me for listening to her.
I have many stories like this. Sometimes I had to dim the candle lights in the room because I’d catch myself crying with the clients. But there are also funny stories that you could sometimes hear myself and the client laughing our hearts out particularly when clients would ask me for tips on what to be young-looking like Asian people.
I could tell you more about my experiences but I rather add some important informations regarding working in Ireland. As a Filipina expat with a German passport, I was allowed to work in Ireland like any other European citizen, without a working permit. What I needed were:
- Accommodation, a place to live
My passport to register myself at the Garda National Registration Office
PPS (Personal Public Service) Number at the local Department of Social Welfare
Telephone, Utility bill or current permanent address for opening a Bank Account
For those Filipino expats who are or not living in European countries like Spain or The Netherlands and who would like to work in Ireland here´s a link you needed.
As a Filipina expat, living and working in Ireland is almost as good as at home because Ireland is a catholic country. Attending a Mass is like attending a Mass at home in the Philippines and the people are friendly. Besides that, Irish people don´t take the time seriously although you still have to be punctual in going to work. The only disadvantage is the cold weather. But then, you could wear angora warm clothes in layers when you are outside the house.
Here´s the address of the Philippines Consulate in Dublin, Republic of Ireland
39, Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin
Monday and Wednesday, except Philippines and Irish Holidays
by Appointment Only