ANYBODY is free to dream but how to realize it is a different thing. For Eric Moldes who was once an orphan, he made waves in his work as a welder which he started in Hiroshima, Japan for 12 years.
Eric started his life as a lowly house helper and driver. He came from a poor family of nine siblings. He is the 4th son of his parents Efren and Estrella Luz Moldes of Victoria’s City.
At the age of eight, they transferred to a farm in Barangay Tapi, Kabankalan City where he was made to help till the land. He would walk some seven kilometers going to school and another seven back just to study. And when it rains, he would have to swim a river in order to go to school.
“We swim using one hand while my other hand was used to hold my uniform to keep it dry because I will still wear it again when I get near to our school. My humble beginnings were marred with so much difficulty and sacrifice. But I continue to face my life with faith in God. All I did was to focus on the sunny side of my hard work. Such odds did not hinder me to follow and realize my dreams for myself and for my family,” he said.
His father Efren was also a former welder. And that has opened his interest in welding.
When his father’s eye was damaged and turned blind because of welding, they were forced to take care of the responsibility to sustain the needs of their family.
In 2001, his aunt Lagrimas Lagahit told him about a training offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
“I grabbed that opportunity to get the needed training. I finished the training for six months and then after, I applied for an on the job training in a particular company and that was my stepping stones to go to Japan as a Tesda-trained welder,” he said.
In Japan, his first job was with IHI Kure ship yard on Hiroshima, Japan.
The work was never easy because of the strict rules of the Japan-based ship company.
He also worked at Koyo dock shipyard and Mitsui shipyard, all in Japan.
He endured all the challenges because he wanted to succeed in life. He followed all the strict rules that helped him do the right thing and developed a positive attitude to always do the right thing.
Working in a shipyard is no joke. A Japanese company has rules that when you are welding a particular steel plate, you have to affix your signature so that when something wrong happens to your work, you are made accountable for it. This is the reason why I have to do my job well and right, he said.
It’s indeed risky to work in a shipyard because you are part of building huge ships. If not with Tesda, I would never have the chance to learn about this particular skill. This is a hard work that if done right will bring economic gains and this is the reward and benefits that I got out of my trainings with Tesda which truly helped me and my family, he said.
Eric is married to Maria Jesusa Regenio Moldes and they were blessed MJ Eric Moldes, 9 and Eric Marie, 2 1/2 years old.
He is back in Bacolod City now and he started his own training center- the MIRAI Empower Foundation Corporation which is based in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City.
The training center is being supported by Tesda, whose programs were made into reality by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara who funded the training of 167 individuals and also to Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya.
Moldes expressed his sincerest thanks to Tesda and to all benefactors for helping their training center, train young people who placed their interest in skills and vocational trainings.
Tesda has opened an opportunity for him to be trained, worked in a reputable shipyards in Japan and now to share his work experience and his skills on welding to the young people who are aspiring to be like him or go beyond what he has reached and has enjoyed.
“I am truly grateful to Tesda and to those who were instrumental in my way to reach my dreams,” he said.
He will continue to do more for others as this is his way of giving back the blessings of God to him and his family.