RV Gem Cuares “Dhon” Fideles, 46, is a cut above the rest among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)* in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.
Talented with the skills to line up his pocket with Saudi riyals if he wanted, he has gone the extra mile to help others instead.
It is not uncommon for him to go back to his place of work at the King Fahad University Hospital after his official duty to bring something urgently needed.
“Minsan ay nagtatampo na ang pamilya ko dahil sa tapos na ang trabaho ko pero kailangan kong bumalik sa ospital upang magdala ng isang bagay na kailangan,” he said in a text message from Alkhobar, a city in Saudi Arabia.
(My family gets annoyed when I am called away from work, but I have to return to the hospital to provide something that is urgently needed.)
This he does without thinking of something in return like a promotion or salary increment from the hospital’s top management.
He does it because helping is inherent in him: He has been doing it since he was a youngster in his then laid-back province in the southern Philippines.
“It is probably a quality I inherited from my parents, particularly my father Rogelio who has unfortunately gone to the Great Beyond,” he said.
The Fideles patriarch was a municipal councilor, then barangay chairman, more popularly known as barangay captain.
Because of his inclination to help others, he easily gravitated toward other OFWs involved in rendering service to the Filipino community when he arrived in Saudi Arabia in search of the proverbial greenback.
What is interesting is that to help others, he and co-community workers pool their resources together to fund projects instead of soliciting money.
They’re not rich, though not also poor so they should use their resources for their respective families but no; they’re willing to share whatever they have to make a difference in the life of others.
Dhon said that there’s happiness in providing for their families but the joy they derive from helping others is something different.
“There is self-fulfillment in lifting a finger for the poor living a difficult life,” he said.
He has joined at least two volunteer groups—Infinity 8 Sunergos, of which he is currently the president and Bantay at Kasangga (Guard and Partner).
With the two groups, he has participated in pioneering the provision of a free Xerox copying machine, free water, and medical check during the Embassy on Wheels (EOW) missions in Alkhobar.
As a result, a certificate of appreciation was received from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh under Ambassador Adnan V. Alonto.
They also mounted a clean-up drive called “Clean and Green Project” for which they received certificates of recognition and gold coins from Eastern Province Governor Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Saud.
They also conducted camp accommodations for free medical missions.
Moreover, they participated in promoting a healthy lifestyle among OFWs using the Newstart Principles.
In addition, they also assisted the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Attaché of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh in distributing food to needy OFWs.
“It beggars description the joy that helping others gives,” he said in conclusion.
Dhon has been working as Operating Room Charge Nurse at King Fahd University Hospital, Saudi Arabia for the last 15 years.
He is married to the former Rilinda Murcia from Surigao City, the capital of the province of Surigao del Norte, Philippines. They have four kids—three daughters and one son.
He received his Nursing degree from Mountain View College in Bukidnon, (Northern Mindanao region) and his law degree from the San Sebastián College Recoletos, Manila.
(*Overseas Filipino Workers [OFW] is a term often used to refer to Filipino migrant workers, people with Filipino citizenship who reside in another country for a limited period of employment. – ed)
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