October 30, 2008

Seeking Answers

We go through life seeking answers to questions about our very own existence. And sometimes we discover the answers as we go along our way. Some are freely given to us, others we have to work hard for in order to get, and still some remain as elusive to the seeker as silent ocean foam disappearing on the shore upon every pounding beat on the sand by the rolling waves.

October 28, 2008

Of Scars and Past Hurts

“People have scars, in all sorts of unexpected places… like secret roadmaps of their personal histories, diagrams of all their old wounds. Most of our wounds heal, leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them don’t. Some wounds we carry with us for some time. And though the cut’s long gone, the pain still lingers.” - Grey’s Anatomy

… the scar continues to remind us of a past best forgotten, and the pain.. the pain will linger for as long as one allows it to.

Personally, the physical scars are not that important to me. It’s usually the emotional ones that are hard to ignore. Like hurt from people you trust and love and who you expect would hold you up and respect your life’s decision – these and more. They will continue to remind me that there is only the Lord who will remain faithful to me in all His promises.

October 26, 2008

Church Here

This is St. Mary’s Church here in Dubai along Oud Metha Road.

This is the church where we go to attend mass every Friday. Weekends here in Dubai start on a Friday and end on Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the workweek.

Here's me with my aunty Brenda and cousin Debbie.

This mosque is just beside St. Mary’s Church. Imagine, a mosque and church alcross each other.

October 20, 2008


Eight years back, when me and friend Glo started planning (nay, dreaming was more like it), about working and living abroad, we talked about our ideal place- what kind of people we want to meet, which continent we want to go to, what kind of job we want to be working on, etc.

I have actually attended a seminar-orientation for Canada and have also signed up online for New Zealand. We both agreed on much the same things: peaceful environment, good place for children to grow up in, low crime rate, not so hectic lifestyle, and where there’s already an existing Filipino community who can help and support us in each wee bit of problem every newbie/self-starter would find himself in. I’ve often said, I want to stay in a place where I know I can have people to run to when I have troubles hounding me. I just thought how difficult it would be if you have no support system in place.

Well, I know I can always count on my family to cheer me on and give me that much-needed morale support. But then, that’s really all that they can do (them being so many miles away from me). I also must have enough courage to keep me going. And I must learn to adjust to the new environment, the diversity of cultures around me, the food, the accent, the smell, the prices of commodities, aahh… this I think deserves a separate blogtime. Coz there’s just way too much to talk about when it comes to adjusting, especially in a totally different world.

Well. Anyway, back to what I was saying- community. Yes, that sense of community is much too elusive nowadays. I found out that however high your hopes of finding your own community some place else, there’s just way too much politics, or ruckus, or whatever it is you call it, for community to be truly working as it should be.

Even if you have your own relatives to run to, the real spirit of communion just doesn’t seem to be present. You always get to a point when there’s always bickering or talk behind the back, or minor disagreements that oftentimes lead to bigger arguments. Somehow, I have so gotten used to living on my own for more than half my life that it’s not easy living with family under the same roof once again. Somehow, I just have to go through another adjustment on that aspect once more.

On the first mass that I attended here in Dubai, I heard the priest talk about the illicit affairs that most Filipinos get into, even with the parties involved being both married people. Most times though, it’s the Filipino women (married back home), engaging in adulterous state of affairs when they come here. I don’t understand it. Everyone is telling me to just accept it, that it’s an everyday reality here. I must learn to live with it. I just want to understand it a little better before I can accept it. I know it’s happening in almost every part of the world now, but I just don’t get it. Why can’t these married folks remain faithful to their partners back home? Is the distance and separation really so much to bear that they can’t stay true to the vows they made on their wedding day? Do they not think about their kids back home? Why then did they decide to work so far from home if they’re not strong enough to stay faithful?

I can see the Filipino diaspora in excellent play here. Everyday, thousands and thousands of Filipinos try their luck in this city of gold. Yes, they get duly compensated, but the distance from home has resulted to a lot of Filipino families getting destroyed or disunited – the basic unit of Filipino society crumbling to its very core. And thanks in part to the Arroyo administration for encouraging the flight of so many Filipinos to participate in its call for the Bagong Bayani OFW’s dollar-earning stream in support of the flailing Philippine economy. I for one would like to know just how successful is this OFW dollar remittance program though. Did the dollars really pour into the Philippine treasury or somewhere else? What is the metrics for this kind of program- the $ sign?, the GDP?, the Philippine peso’s stability? What of the upliftment of society? What metrics do we measure this by?

When I first came here, I had such high hopes about fitting in easily because I heard there are so many Filipinos here. But as the days wore on and I got more acquainted with Dubai for all it is, I developed a negative impression of the place. And mainly because of the negative reputation of Filipinas here. I fear I might be classified among them. I fear I will also be treated like second- or third-class citizen.

It took me several weeks getting used to this facet of life here. Having interacted with decent Pinays here at work and elsewhere, and also hanging around other cultures who treat us no differently than they would their own, I somehow felt a little lighthearted by the warmth they showed. But still, it burdens my heart so, knowing that somehow we still need to make more effort to uplift the status of Pinays in this society.

And where to begin?

October 14, 2008

Pink Ribbon Walk

I took part in a Walk for a Cause here at Dubai Burjuman. It's the weekend here and poeple are usually hungry for some activity. My cousin took me and Gina with her to participate in Pink Ribbon Walk which was the highlight of the Breast Cancer Awareness program here in Dubai.

It was fun marching with young and old alike. Even little girls (girl scouts) joined and cheered as they walked along with their teachers.

Chatted with friends yesterday and today. Grabe, kakaubos oras din pala. kaka-miss sila.

Also chatted with trish. But Langga went offline. Maysakit siya. Nabasa daw ng ulan yesterday. Langga stay healthy. Take care ha.

Missing Home

Coming to Dubai was a big decision for me- something which a lot of my friends were shocked at finding out; that I will be leaving behind a very, and I mean very, comfortable life back in the Philippines. Being single and at the prime of my career, it was a big shock to my friends that I was thinking of getting lost in the middle of nowhere—well, actually in the middle east. I comforted them and myself with the thought that I have actually lots of cousins here. So it really won’t be such a big adjustment then, huh.

Oh how wrong I was. I miss my family terribly. The first weeks passed by through long distance calls and chats with my family, especially my favorite niece, Langga. And I have my flatmates keeping me company on walks and short trips just around Deira to while the hours away.

October 09, 2008

Eid Mubarak

We celebrated the Eid Mubarak! It’s the day that signals the end of Ramadan. This means that the fasting season has ended. Additionally, it means that there’s a three day- holiday for everyone here.

And because it’s holiday, the whole flatmates went on a swimming spree to Jumeirah Beach (all the gals, guys not included). This is the first time we were all able to come together since I arrived. More often than not, there’s just one or two of my aunt or cousins who could accompany me because everyone was working. We’d be lucky if all the nurses in the house would have the same off-days so that we can all together get around on short walks or go shopping. But now, even the other flatmates came along with us.

Wacky, our little boy at the flat (he-he.. doesn’t look little anymore, huh?) enjoyed playing in the sand so much; he wouldn’t want to come out of the water hence the ‘tan’. Sa atin, tostado na ito.

Afterwards, we then went to the open beach to go sunset watching and take pictures with the famous Burj Al Arab hotel at the background.

What’s different from the sun’s rays back home and here in Dubai is that the sun’s rays here are painful to the eyes. One really needs to wear protective eyewear when outside during the day. I think maybe it’s because there aren’t too much trees here. Whether out here in the open beach or in the desert or even in the city where the tall buildings are, the sun’s rays are very penetrating. Unlike in the tropics where the greeneries have somehow absorbed the radiation or maybe the ozone layer is still more intact back home compared to here.

New Place, New Phase, New Ways

For one who loves to travel, this has been one hectic move – and to think that it’s about the farthest I’ve ever been away from home.

I’ve had sudden change in plans and was ready to go along with my bro. I was just waiting to see if he’d make it in the interview by the Canadians then I’d also join the next batch for CND.
He didn’t make it however so had to push through with the original plan of going the Dubai route.

Learned at the last minute that I’ll be needing a red ribbon for my educational certificates which should be authenticated by the UAE embassy. So while waiting for that, I made the rounds of my friends just within the vicinity to say my proper goodbyes to them. There’s no telling when will be the next time I’ll be seeing them again. Definitely, I’d be flying the Cebu route and head direct for home when I come back.

Nothing in this world stays constant but change. We all have to move on with our lives. But it’s heartwarming to know that despite the distance, friendships stay strong and families continue to hold us up. I thank the Lord for His continued blessings each day.

Tatlong buwan matapos akong nagpaalam sa aking trabaho sa pinas,....grabe, sobra akong nainibago dito. May halong takot kasi alam kong kaiba ang pamamalakad dito. Pero as long as nasa tama ka naman daw, wala dapat na ikatakot. Kaya, hala... tuloy lang sa pagbabakasakali.

I’m posting pics of my favorite buildings just near where I live. I like walking at dusk when the darkness sets in and then pass by these buildings which are lighted up. They look so beautiful in actual. These photos just don’t seem to do them justice. “,)