Filipino in Micronesia: My Pinoy Life in Pohnpei

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

 

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Richard de Guzman (first from left)

RICHARD DE GUZMAN

Since when have you been staying there?

I’ve been staying here in Pohnpei, one of the states in FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) for five years now, but I stayed in Chuuk, another state, for two years before I transferred here. So, in total, I have been working and living in Micronesia for all of 7 years.

Can you recount briefly why you moved there?

I originally had no plans of working overseas.  But then unexpectedly, my friend who is a resident physician in Makati Medical Center asked me if I wanted to work in Chuuk, FSM.  Apparently, at that time they had a patient from there, who was looking for a Family Physician. The patient had a very enticing salary offer, so I grabbed the opportunity. I felt like the opportunity just literally looked for me so I didn’t hesitate.

After working in Chuuk for two years, I was then offered a job here in Pohnpei to work at Genesis Hospital, which is the only private hospital in Federated States of Micronesia. Hence, I transferred here after I finished my contract in Chuuk.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Tell us something about your place?

FSM is divided into four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, just as the Philippines has Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Pohnpei is the most progressive among the states and is the capital. However, there are no big shopping malls here. If you prefer city life or perhaps you’re an “urbanista” you cannot live here. The place is so peaceful and quiet. I could even jog alone at night and withdraw money from the ATM without the fear that somebody might poke a knife or gun at me.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Pohnpei is the place to stay or work overseas if you want a simple and quiet life. It’s like living in the province in the Philippines.

If you love beaches, you’ll get your fill here. There are also a lot of waterfalls in the area. If you’re into surfing or scuba diving, this is definitely the place for you. In fact, we have lots of tourists from Australia and the US who visit here just to surf or scuba dive.

Filipino in Pohnpei, MicronesiaPohnpei also has a large amount of rainfall. In fact, it rains here everyday. I remember one student patient of mine who told me that this is the second place with the largest amount of rainfall next to Hawaii.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Heliconia and other tropical plants abound in FSM

What do you do for a living?

I am working as a Family Medicine physician here in Genesis Hospital – a facility owned by a Filipino Engineer married to a half-Filipino and half-Micronesian Doctor.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

At our Hospital’s Canteen

Is there a Filipino community there?

Yes and our Filipino community here is very active, kudos to its officers. They are really assisting all the Filipinos here who need their help. Our community’s name is UFCP or United Filipino Community in Pohnpei.

Tell us about your life there?

There’s not much to talk about really since we have a simple life. I usually spend my day at the hospital working.

During my free time, I jog, work out at the gym or play badminton. Sometimes, my friends and I swim on the beach during the weekend and dine out on special occasions.

What cultural practices/behaviors have you acquired from your host country?

For now, I have started to learn their language and that’s it. There are some cultural practices here that I really don’t want to acquire like betel nut chewing and drinking Sakau – a special kind of homemade liquor they usually drink here.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Your greeting to Filipinos across the globe –

Kasehlehlie! (a Pohnpeian greeting) Mabuhay kayong lahat for I know how it feels working away from home. I salute you!

Filipino in Pohnpei Micronesia

Pohnpei and the FSM

Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent sovereign island nation.  FSM, is spread across part of the Caroline Islands, east of the Philippines, in the wider region of Micronesia which consists of thousands of islands divided between several countries, and is sectioned into four states, namely – Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei.  Each of the states is composed of a group of islands.

FSM’s capital lies in Pohnpei, the largest, most populous and most developed single island in the federation.  The island is known for the hospitality of its people and its wealth of biodiversity.

Aside from the ethnic Pacific Islander and Asian population, FSM has a growing expat community from the USA, Australia, China and the Philippines. English has become one of the official languages of the FSM, where centuries old cultural and economic practices still exist to this day.

Filipino in Pohnpei, Micronesia

Airport on Pohnpei Island, FSM

 

Filipino in Micronesia: My Pinoy Life in Pohnpei

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Author: Illustrado

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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13 Comments

  1. Hello, how did you process your documents to be able to work there?
    Did you go to POEA or any agency here in the Philippines? Do we have Philippine Embassy or Consulate there? Thanks!

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  2. Is there any job opportunities in this serene place? I want to find job and live in this planet!!!

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  3. how much is the salary from micronesia for medical radiographer position dr. richard

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  4. hi doctor i am working as a medical radiographer in dubai uae. how could i transfer in the country where you are working right now. can u reply to me on my email edzelf1986@gmail.com. the place is nice and good.how much is there average salary for a para medical workers. thanks

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  5. Are credit cards and medical insurances accepted at FSM hospitals? How do tourists pay if they get sick?

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  6. ..since it looks like safer place to work than Papua New Guinea, can i ask only two words if i may work there, cost of living? thank you. 🙂

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  7. Aloha,
    I’m a registered nurse here in Hawaii with specialty in pediatric, surgical, med/surg and geriatric as well as ICU and ER and have also worked as a Hospice nurse. I’m originally from Yap, FSM and after 23 years abroad, I so missed home and would love the change to do some travel nursing to any place in Micronesia.
    I can never seem to find any nursing position in Micronesia on the web despite my extensive searches.
    I would appreciate any information as far as any position available, the salary, etc..
    I still have relatives in Guam and Yap and would take a job in any of those locations instantly!
    Mahalo!
    Diana

    Post a Reply
  8. Hi there!

    I am a filipina , an accounting graduate . I was offered to work in chuuk. Do you think it’s one of a lifetime chances?
    Please guide me.

    Thanks

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  9. Good morning from the Philippines. My husband and I are physicians in the Philippines. He is an Internal Medicine specialist and I am an Adult cardiologist. We are just curious and willing to explore greener pastures while we are still strong and able. We have been hearing a lot about Micronesia the past months and would love to hear from fellow Filipinos like you if there are any job openings plus all the requirements needed for application. I have seen a number of ads but am hesitant since I wouldn’t want to be scammed, or fall in the hands of illegal recruiters.

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    • Having a specialists here in the island would be great! 🙂

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  10. Hi I am a nurse specialist from the Philippines but currently working in the middle east, Bahrain to be exact as a Deputy Manager in Neonatal ICU and a quality coordinator for Maternity and Child Department. I was been in the Marshall Islands in the late 90’s working as a charge nurse and I am interested to work in Micronesia. Kindly advise me of the possibilities and the salary if you can. Thanks.

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  11. Hi!

    me and my boyfriend are two licensed doctors from sweden and germany who are very interesested in living abroad and working as doctors. we have been looking at the south pacific and micronesia looks amazing, but the re is so little info! can i ask you, do one require to have done the USMLEs to work in micronesia? do they search for doctors? ie to work as a general physician?
    all the best

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  12. Hi. I’m a nurse in the Philippines and I’m interested in a nursing job opportunity in Pohnpei. I heard that it’s a really beautiful place and I’m thinking of practicing my profession there. I hope you could give me information on I will be able to start my nursing career in Pohnpei. I saw a site from my google search and this is what I found: http://www.pohnpeimet.fm/vacancies.htm

    Thanks in advance for any information that you could share with me.

    Post a Reply

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