Joannes Paula Espino calls herself ``The Digital Architect``.


Filipina not paid for a year gets blessing in disguise


DUBAI – A Filipina who wasn’t paid her salary for a full year while working for a company abroad said she didn’t expect it would turn out to be a “blessing in disguise”.

“When I was an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), I had a bad experience with my employer as he didn’t pay my salary for a full year,” Joannes Paula Espino told

Espino, a licensed architect, was working in Brunei when she ran into the troublemaking employer. “Because of that, I was forced to file a case against him”.

However, it wasn’t as smooth as she hoped. While the labour case was ongoing, Espino found out she could not take on another job because her employment visa could not be cancelled.

She was also stuck in Brunei and could not go home to the Philippines while the case was being heard in court.

“Because of that, the only way I could earn was to work online, which was what I did,” said the Filipina, who also has a teaching degree from Philippine Normal University.

“The labour case turned out to be a blessing in disguise because freelancing became my turning point. From earning just $5 per project, I have now transitioned to multiple business opportunities that generate up to seven figures a month,” Espino said.

The Filipina said her employer eventually agreed to settle the labour case out of court. “I got what I sued him for,” Espino said.

Finding more money online

After Espino quit working abroad to focus full time on online marketing, she is able to earn more than what she was making in Brunei.

Espino, who calls herself “The Digital Architect,” now helps other architects transition their business to virtual operations.

Her secret to successfully doing online marketing work? Merely “chatting with prospects and making an offer is not enough” to close a deal, she advised.

“It sounds too simple, but it’s what so many entrepreneurs skip over when trying to book clients,” Espino said.

“Too often as entrepreneurs, we reach out to prospects, have a little small talk, and then go on and on about ourselves and our services without building a real relationship first,” she said.

“That doesn’t work. Our prospects want to feel understood and validated,” she added.

Espino was recently resource speaker at the free Zoom livestream workshop series in Dubai “Opportunity for Filipino Workers” (OFF Workers), where she discussed how to establish an effective online presence through social media.

She gave tips on how to post a more effective social media content for OFWs who want to promote their business and attract more clients.

“My advice to OFWs jumping into social media marketing is do their homework and understand their target market, know the needs and how to fill the gap through their products or services,” she said.

Prospect clients, she said, “want to feel that you not only care about where they are in their business journey, but that you actually hear where they want to go and show belief that they can get there with your help”.

“Your prospects are ready to book with you, they just want to speak to a real person. Give them that,” she added. ICA/Expat Media

Don’t miss it

Catch the free Opportunity for Filipino Workers online seminar every Friday and Sunday from 1pm (UAE time) to learn about entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and more. Registration is free. Click here to register

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