"Walang kaarte-arte sa katawan pagdating sa construction works" shared her husband, Erwin Conrad Abueva. Meriam is a flight attendant of Philippine Airlines who is also a business minded individual. Prior to this pandemic, Meriam and her husband Erwin decided to put up a three-story apartment building.
However, the coronavirus pandemic struck and the Abueva's construction of their property was placed on a temporary halt due to the lack of construction personnel.
"We started that project with no enough money to finish the construction. Konti lang tao. So malaki tulong if gagalaw ako. Nasa rental kasi kami nag- iinvest," Meriam shared.
At the same time, since the airlines in the Philippines were forced to suspend commercial services, both Meriam and her husband Erwin had limited income. While Meriam works as a flight attendant for PAL, Erwin works as a first officer pilot for Pan Pacific Airlines.
Being results driven, Meriam simply wanted things to go on, but constrained with income due to less flights and a limited number of workers as a result of the general community quarantine guidelines in different areas, she decided to take matters unto her own hands. She decided to take part of the construction, literally, when not flying.
Meriam does masonry work alongside with the present construction workers on the site. She cements the walls, operates heavy machinery like a jackhammer, and does woodwork. "Pamilyar na talaga ako sa construction. Dahil konti nga ang funds, para makatipid, lahat ng kaya ko itulong ginagawa ko. Magbuhat, maglinis at pati na nga sa labor works. And isa pa, gusto ko ipakita sa kanila na kaya ko kaya walang dahilan para di nila kayanin at di sila gumalaw at mag ayos ng trabaho," Meriam shared.
Erwin also shared, "Meriam always help our construction workers whenever there are chances and there are chores she can do in her capacity or ability. We have limited number of carpenters working at the construction site and to make the jobs done faster, she contributes by literally working along with the masons/workers."
Just for your information too, Meriam's husband, Erwin, is the pilot - doctor who also went viral for working two frontline jobs in a day. He piloted a Pan Pacific repatriation flight to East Timor early in the day and went straight to the hospital to work as a doctor later in the evening.
For Meriam, it was all about finding ways to get things done despite the hurdles and challenges ahead, especially in a time of crisis. No such thing as "arte", kelangan "diskarte". At the end of the day, Meriam was after results, to see the completion of their family pet project.
Meriam shares this important lesson, "mahirap kumita pero mahirap din at buwis buhay ang ginagawa ng mga tao ko sa site. Sinasabi ko din sa mga tao ko, malaki ang utang na loob ko sa kanila. Kahit kung may hawak akong 20M cash, di magiging building kung di dahil sa kanila. Salamat sa kanila."
Of course, all these would not be possible with the full support of her husband Erwin and the teamwork both put together in order to get things done. "Always support your spouse's passion to keep a healthier, more harmonious relationship," Erwin shared.
Being a flight attendant, you have to learn to be "madiskarte" and "results driven". There will and there will always be challenges up ahead but as Meriam has showed us, you have to move in order to get things done. Wala na arte arte, dapat ay diskarte!
Meriam does not care if she gets her hands dirty or of what others may say, whats important to her is moving forward and not being confined within the walls of their comfort zone.
Truly, a very inspiring #asensocabincrew story for us to learn the importance of hard work, determination, and focus.