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Pinay OFW scammed by employer and becomes freelancer online, now earns 7 digits per month


A licensed architect who was not paid her full year's pay while working in Brunei has turned things around and is now freelancing online, earning up to 7 digits per month.


Joannes Paula "JP" Espino, who graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) with a bachelor's degree in architecture and a master's degree in education from the Philippine Normal University (PNU), said the incident with her employer turned out to be a blessing in disguise because she now works from home.


“When I was an Overseas Filipino Worker, I had a bad experience with my employer, whereas he didn’t pay my salary for a full year,” Espino said.


“Because of that,” she added, “I was forced to file a case against him.” But unknown to her at the time, filing a case against her employer meant she could not take on another job because of her employment visa, which could not be nullified while the matter remains pending arbitration.


While the lawsuit was ongoing, Espino was also unable to return to the Philippines. “Because of that, the only way I could earn was to work online, which was what I did. It (labor case) turned out to be a blessing in disguise as that (freelancing) became my turning point. From earning just $5 per project (during the early days of freelancing online), I have now transitioned to multiple business opportunities that generate up to seven figures a month (in pesos),” Espino said.


Espino used to travel around the world with her daughter before COVID, spending days as a digital nomad when she wasn't working on her architectural projects or delivering "value bombs" in her workshops and webinars.


Meanwhile, Espino recently spoke at a weekly, free Zoom livestream workshop series in Dubai called “Opportunity for Filipino Workers” (OFF Workers), where he explained how to create an online presence using social media.


For OFWs who want to transition and utilize social media to promote their companies and attract more clients, Espino offered advice during the online session on how to publish more effective social media content that attracts the target market.


There will be nineteen sessions, each guided by one of the 19 resource individuals. The subjects include a wide range of issues, including entrepreneurship, e-Commerce, personal and visual branding, sales and marketing, Facebook advertisements, e-mail marketing, and website building, to name a few.


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