maligayang pasko at masayang 2008!

ano nga ba ang ibig sabihin ng pasko? minsan kasi naa-associate lang natin ang pasko sa bakasyon, sa mga regalo, sa mga gimik ng pamilya at barkada. lately though, simula nung umalis ako at nagpakalayo nag iba na ang tingin ko sa mga bagay-bagay.

katulad ng pasko. napaisip tuloy ako sa kung ano talaga ang kahulugan nito. eh di ba't ito yung araw na ipinanganak si Kristo, so hindi pala dapat na tayo ang bigyan ng aginaldo dahil hindi naman natin kaarawan ang december 25. wala, napaisip lang ako.

anyway, happy new year to all! hmmm... time to make new year's resolutions na naman. ano nga ba ang magandang resolusyon? ang ayaw ko sa sarili ko lately ay yung pagiging "player" in many fields. sige na nga, by 2008 i will take things slowly and seriously. ano pa ba ang mga dapat kong baguhin sa sarili ko? yung pagiging latecomer ko nga pala, yung mabilisang pagbabago ng isip ko, at ang pagka "empty-head" ko when it comes to directions. absent yata ako nung nag discuss kami ng map-reading sa klase, but anyhow i must learn to find my direction (in truth, di ko pa rin kayang umalis ng bahay na mag isa at pumunta sa suki naming net cafe, whew, what an indiot i am sometimes talaga!).

so much for resolutions. i am sure i could hardly make all of those din naman. but i'll try.

have a happy 2008 everyone!


waiting for thursday

i wish it were thursday already, my mind screams.

thursdays are ultra special to me lately. for one, thursday is the last day of the working week. fridays and saturdays i am off to bond with my bed, my laundry, and of course the internet. this coming thursday however is a bit more special than the usual because then i would end my contract here. i know it is wrong to wait for days to come by. i also know that every minute is important as it can't be brought back. but nonetheless, i also know that i am not so happy being here, being far from the people i know, and from the place that i have started to learn how to live in.

by thursday, in shallah, i will hand over all my reports and responsibilities to the kabayan who has given me the opportunity to have a taste of UAE work. and by thursday, in shallah, i could get a hold of the promised and most-awaited reward. really, may the lord allow such a thing to happen this thursday and not later than that.

i may feel like this week is a long stretch. sunday, monday i have to work. tuesday is new year and i am not so sure how i would celebrate the coming of another year, then comes wednesday when kabayan comes back to work then thursday for goodbyes. i really can't wait.

i am about to end a chapter of my life and begin with another. as i end my stint here in abu dhabi this coming thursday, another page is coming up. friday and saturday as i said will be bonding with my bed, my laundry and the internet, and come sunday i will be occupying another room, sit in another chair, and meet new associates. in shallah, everything will be fine for me. al hamdulillah!

missing maki

been here for more than a month. that's more than a month of being far from maki.

if there ever is a person i miss so much, it would be him. the rest of them back in there are important too, but i have grown used to being far from them such that these days do not mean so much of homesickness to me. except when i think of maki.

five years old, so lively and manipulative, maki is the one thing i could not live without. each passing day i always think of him, how he fares in school, what toys is he playing, what he does at this moment, and so many other things yet. i worry about his baon to school, about his assignments, his exams, and these are the moments when i wish i were there in our old place, teaching him his lessons and playing with him until late at night.

i miss the smile he flashes when asked if mother and son look the same. i miss those times when he would simply sit on a corner and tinker on his toys, or when he watches cartoons and racing movies. i miss cradling him. i carried him to sleep a few months back, and though he was heavy i was still able to sing him songs from his early childhood. there is this song i always sang when he was young. and growing up, he has come to memorize the song. it really feels so good that this child had this song associated to me and that over the years, he has come to love this particular song.

there are a lot more i could say about maki. but remembering him, the time i spent with him, and the time i did not spend with him, send a bullet through my heart, each time crushing me and breaking me down. i miss him. so much that it hurts.


december 15, saturday

i got three interviews on this day.

met ice at the crown plaza (sa labas lang po ("/,) in sheikh zayed road. had an interview at 10am. he was half-greek and half-arab (not so half-god). he was so gentle it makes u feel like u'd want to work in the company. old and balding, he was soft-spoken like a dad, and so concerned of everyone's welfare (like he asked me how ice and i got to golden diamond plaza because true enough, it is a far place).

the second interview ice and i skipped. we just felt so tired that we wanted to get back to the hustle and bustle of the big city. we hiked, hitched, rode a bus, and got lost. that was it. we went down on the round-about at trade center, rode another bus, intending to get to pizza hut but traffic was so crazy we reached the desert. so much for thrill and excitement! we had lots of pictures though, and we have a picture of our tired feet.

and then we met imran and he brought us back to deira. the seasoned-driver proved to be so much of a help in finding the location of the third and final interview. lo and behold! i got the job. life's pretty much exciting and fun afterall.

God is good.

really, i always feel God wherever i go.

there are times when i wonder why i do not worry about things when other people with a situation the same as mine worry. for example, going here. it seemed as if it was written, maktub as it was said by Santiago in the Alchemist. i didnot worry too much, everything seemed to fall in its place. maybe i wanted to come here so bad that all in the universe conspired for me to reach this place.

and then there's the race to find a job. barely 10 days old in this queer place and i found a job somewhere in the next emirate. it's just a releiving post actually, but i have not even finished the thing when i got a call for a job after the 4th of january. this saturday i will be handing over my passport, visa, and all other pertinent documents for the processing and completion of my employment visa. that's it. things just fall in its place.

all these time i feel the hand of God working in my life: protecting me, guiding me, guarding me. and though i am not so expressive of my love for Him, He knows i do believe in Him.

indeed, God is good.


kkk (kwentong kilig-kilig)

tatlo sa isang piso ang bentahan ng mga pogi dito, hehehe.
kung sa brok halos wala kang makikitang gwapo, dito naman naglipana ang mga totoong gawa ng diyos, yun bang mga mala-adonis sa kagwapohan.

today is the birth of a new crush. ngayon ko lang napansin, mas gwapo pala si adam kaysa kay brian. akala ko fixated na ako dun kay brian, di pala.

mabuti na lang at nakita ko si adam kanina. time to end my fascination over brian na kasi. alam nya na kasi na gwapo xa, hahaha.

so pano, bye brian, hello, adam.


what's in a name?

this is but a common question derived from shakespeare's romeo and juliet and has actually gone so popular over the ages just as "to be or not to be" has evolved and used in several tongues and contexts.

the turn of events has gone so fast for me that i do not even realize i have been here for more than 2 weeks already. this poor pea-sized brain could still not remember names of streets- not even of major roads, and the difficulty is double when it comes to remembering names of people. several times i cried because i was lost, or stuck in the middle of dunes, or simply tired because i could not figure my way out of the mall. to be honest, i never knew my incapacity to decipher geography and maps is at its worst level until just recently.

on my first day of work i got lost and the taxi cab driver thought he was so unlucky to have me for a passenger when all of the city was so busy. i tell u, taxi drivers here are snobs, and they have a special position in the society knowing that there is scarcity in transportation all over the area. he brought me to the old philippine embassy instead of the new one, and he wanted me to come down of his taxi as there were several passengers waiting for a cab in the main road. imagine me so anxious, biting my nails, and pressing hard the tears back. my hands were cold, even my feet, and my brain was whirling and shouting for help. if i were so witty and not one to be bullied when i was in the homeland, i am the exact opposite these days. i cry at the slightest provocation and i feel so weak, so minute, lately. and honestly, the thought of going to this or that, or talking to mr/ms this or mr/ms that sends me off to a spin. why? because there are many times, and i'd say most of the time, i hear and/or read things wrongly.

you see, people here are from different walks of life. some speak english pretty well, the brits talk very good but are sometimes hard to understand, pakistanis are talkative (mind u, not all are friendly. and pakistani drivers? they bark to passengers, literally. i could count a few friendly ones though. there's imran who's very interested in learning tagalog, then the taxi driver whose cab i rode one early morning after bringing tina to the bus station, then the driver this morning.) but there are times also when i hear things wrongly. and people here have no sense of spelling such that i mistake a place to another, and later end up lost and so stressed.

another thing worthy to note is how one's family name affects an image. one time i was asked to process some papers for this particular guy whose family name sounds not so good. secretly i was laughing at the name but when the guy finally came and inquired about his papers, goodness! he's the cutest guy that has ever walked in this planet. the man is simply gorgeous, just ignore the name and everything else would be so perfect in him.

another instance is when somebody dialled up ethel's number by mistake. he said his name was this (and ethel being so reserved in person and on phone asked me to pick the call for her). i asked, "sorry?" and he said how come i did not know his name when it is a wonderful name that his parents picked for him. geez, i didn't know. it sounded greek to me at that time.

several encounters with names yet and still i have a long way to tell. later when i have much time to put it down, more stories about names are to come.


how talkative are filipinos?

i was running late early today and no taxi was available in the airport road. i had to wait for more than 30minutes to get hold of one.

the driver was a pakistani. good thing he stopped right in front of me, otherwise i would have not gotten the ride. anyway, i haven't even said where i was going when he started asking me "kumusta ka?". i was flushed, but happy at the same time, to be asked how i was when everything else seemed to be crumbling. he flashed a huge smile, not really perfect, but a smile- even from a complete stranger- was what i needed this morning. and so i smiled back, told him i was fine (and that was in english) and added i was going to the villa next to the philippine embassy.

to my surprise he asked me again, "doon ang trabaho mo?". geez, the man was cool. i told him i am not working yet, that i am only visiting someone who lives around the embassy vicinity. he quipped: "nah, hindi maganda dito wala trabaho, dapat meron dahil lahat mahal,". holy molly! did i hear him right?

he went on to lecture me about the fast and expensive lifestyle people here have to adapt to. he said that one has to find work right away, not only to save himself/herself from the prospect of exit, but to enjoy life. and according to him, to enjoy life is to earn the pay.

why? because money here has so much purchasing power. take a twenty bill from ur pocket, enter a supermarket, and u'd come out with a bag or two of goodies. even a five bill could take u a long way. and a coin could allow one to munch on pringles, or savor a wok of noodles, or enjoy a cadbury.

he said all these things in tagalog. his sentences may not be perfectly constructed, but the thing was that he was conversant in our dialect. he would even tease me by asking, "tama?" or "bakit ka natahimik?".

when i commended him for his good communication skills, he said "kasi kayo filipino masyado madaldal," followed by a really, really hearty laugh. it turned out that he favors kabayans for passengers over other nationalities because filipinos talk a lot, are bubbly, and considerate. he mentioned that only filipinos would invite taxi drivers to eat with them when they eat inside the vehicle. filipinos would always ask "kumusta ka?" whenever they would get in a cab. "filipinos are madaldal," he said again and again, and this comment sent me laughing all the way to the office.


united nations

have finally found work, yuppee!!!

ooops, this is not permanent work yet. i am relieving richard who went back to davao for a month. so happy to get this job, not only for the pay i'd get (mind u, the company pays generously) but also for the experience this post offers.

barely 2 weeks here, i was torn between accepting this admin post for a month or finding a permanent job in a company that would offer me working permit/visa. it wasn't easy deciding but my friends think i am crazy for ever having doubts about this relieving stuff. for one, not all people who come on visit visa get a month's stint in this big company (and this is really huge!). an international company situated in the heart of this great and wealthy state, the experience it could offer to anyone is really enticing, not to mention the certificate they would give by the end of the month (with the company's name printed in bold, geez, how dare i thought of turning down the offer a week back?!). and the salary, it's almost double to what most filipinos who have stayed here for years get.

so, what's with the title? it's because, being in an international company, i get to work with people from different backgrounds. there's Miss A who's from London (geez!), Mr. B who is from london as well, there are americans, indians, pakistanis, filipinos, etc. if we were to wear our national costumes, i tell u, a child could take our group picture and submit it to his/her social studies teacher.

on a different note, my filipino colleagues here laugh at my lunch box. they keep on teasing me for my rice and viand combination of a baon. they think i'd soon gain weight even before i finish my contract here. with all the chocolate chips and cookies, the bread-butter-cheese and what not in the cupboard and every where else in the kitchen, it would really be a wonder if i still do not get bigger by the day here.

working with people from different cultures is never boring. u learn a word or two a day, it does not matter if it is old english, chinese, hindi, pakistani, or whatever. also, their working culture is different, and this difference makes one grow, and i hope by the end of the month i'd have much to bring with me.