Monday, March 31, 2014

Past Few Days (weekender)

Sardines. Facebook. Skype with my mother and nephews. Tuyo. Lomi. Barbecue. Dammam.
And I feel I am like in the Philippines!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good Hearts

Sometimes we found some people with their pure hearts. Sometimes we are not sure if they are true or not but with their good deeds we can never be at a mistake about them. There are some people who inspire us in desperate times.

And I have found some of them here in Saudi Arabia.

One is the "chief". Another one is the "second". Thanks God I have found some pure hearts in the midst of the desert. Thanks God they make me believed that light can be found in every direction if we just look. And thanks God they are just inches from me.

By the way I have bought a recharge card for my mobile load in Seiko district district. I have bought a 50 Riyals to call my mother and other cousins this day in the Philippines. To my surprised I've got a one-riyal change. A discount.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Years Of Service

Last year or two years ago  if I am not mistaken we have our "vitalization" in Pagsanjan Falls with my previous company. I remember that I have mentioned in my blog post here about the "bangkero" or boatman who almost carry us literally in their boat all the way to the wonderful site of the Pagsanjan Fall. And we have known that one of our bangkero is doing the same job for 27 or 37 years! Imagine that!

And last night  I encountered another old man here in Saudi with the same story. While waiting for the realty agent ( we are looking for a new flat) in Manila Shopping Center in Seiko District, an old man approached us and asked if we want balot. I bought two pieces for 4 Saudi Riyals each. The old man was about 60 I guess and we were right because we had about 5 or 10 minutes conversations with him. He was 62 this year and he was from Rosario Batangas, a kababayan indeed! And not to our surprise he is now on his 23rd year here in Saudi Arabia. He is a simple mananahi of local Saudi national dress. Maybe he is one of the many who really have this "sideline" of selling anything just to have extra income. We talked not that much since he was in a hurry. And I think to myself if I will be staying that long here in Saudi Arabia. It is not that I do not like in here but living here is somehow difficult as compared to what we used to be in the Philippines. Though those old kababayans staying here for that so long really inspired us but somehow we think that maybe we could have a couple of contract years ( 2 years every contract) just to have meaningful work experience in the Middle East. But I am not saying it with finality because maybe in the future I will be spending almost a decade here without noticing it. Just like my stay in my previous company.

Another kababayan spend most of his years here in Saudi ( now with us in our company) said to me that he did not plan to come back here in Dammam this year but his two children (2nd eldest is graduating next years in college and the youngest is in Grade 5) somehow forced him to make a living again in Saudi. He is in his late 40's and spend almost two decades here in the Middle East. He has to sacrifice a little bit more before retirement to ensure the education of his children. A personal hero indeed!

And now I am seeing the bigger picture of what is career and life is all about!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last Night

After my barber shop session at the Salon de Manila near the Bamboo Kabayan Restaurant, I went to Jarir Bookstore and bought The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom ( where's the photo? - not yet ready!). And now it is there..

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Al-Rashid Mall

Several nights ago I accompanied Alex and Ayie in Rashid Mall in Khobar to get their glass in the accredited shop there. It was my first time to go to that legendary mall. It was one of the oldest mall in this eastern part of the Saudi area. My fellow Ilijano, Teody - aka Tokwa commented on my fb wall when I posted those photos - that they were the one who constructed the mall way back in the early 90's. Miss Len Soriano - my high school batchmate working in UAE also commented and she invited me to go to Dubai if I have time and visa in the near future. How I love to go!

Then that night we ate at the food court upstairs and to my delight there was this Canton food shop and I ordered pansit. I missed pansit!

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Apartment's Blessing

Last week in Ate and Kuya Efren's newly blessed apartment..missed this event..missed my pamangkins! Mujay - the boy model in the apartment hahahaha!!! see you in December!

"Switch On"

Some days are really just fun and exciting and some days are just normal and unexpected things happen. Sometimes we have to be prepared to all circumstances. We must be just like that wires and switch that anytime can be turned off or on depending on a situation in life. But is it really like that in real life? We hope so.

A couple of nights ago we went to a hospital here in Dammam to see my friend and elementary classmate Gerry. We have to seek his assistance for a medical check-up of one of my fellow Filipino here in Dammam. Thanks God Gerry was there in that big Mouwasat Hospital. He was a supervisor of general services of that big government hospital here in our place. He almost ran the "show" for all the cleanliness and order of the whole hospital. It was so big we were lost in maze of hallways and floors. The medical check up did not last that long because Gerry made it clear that we will be prioritized. And he did.

Then we went to his house just a walk away from the hospital. My friend indeed was a changed man now. He said that he called Dammam as his home now. He stayed here for four years without returning to the Philippines. But he made a visit last month to our beloved country because of his ailing father. In his eyes and gestures I knew he was very contented here. We made plans of visiting some favorite destinations here in Dammam and Khobar and will go as far as the border of Saudi and Bharain in the other side of the bridge that connect the two countries. We also had plans of visiting Haraj - the bargain market for everything mostly second-hand items for home like washing machine etc., and also to visit Toyota market - a place for all the cheap meat and fish products just besides Haraj.

Just before he arrived to meet with us that night we stayed for about 45 minutes near the hospitals' coffee shop and it so happened that there was this Pinoy who has his arm cemented that time. He was about to checked out after a day of confinement and operation. I could see and feel the sadness and anguish but he managed to make a meaningful and cheerful conversations with us. He had this accident ( fall from his work) and his arm was heavily damaged that a metal and screw have to be put into it. And  as he said he will be on vacation for a month and a half depending on the progress of his arm. He was a crane technician/operator in a large heavy equipment rentals here in Saudi.

May the Good Lord bless us  and guide us here always!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Got so hungry? well the world is an instant restaurant..just grab a can opener and use your hand..everything will be just a spoon and fork satisfy your hunger..especially in Saudi hehehe!

Friday, March 14, 2014

First Time

Last Wednesday we had experience for the first time a real sandstorm in Saudi Arabia. Early that morning some of my fellows returned from the site to the office since the storm was getting harsh. And when I rushed to the door I could feel some powerful wind outside. So in our lunch we had to rushed to the nearby building where our canteen was located to avoid the harmful blowing of sand with a mass of heat all over.

I thought it was over that afternoon but worst it continued until almost evening and when we got home the city of Dammam was in semi-dark too because of the storm. That was it! The one Saudi experience we would like not to have. But it did and it will come again. Well that was part of the experience, isn't it?

(photos from Grover and Zander) - I just wonder if this storm is predicted just like a local storm in the Philippines so that people can have safety protective suits in case it will happen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


(photos were taken last Monday)

Today. March 12. Three days before my official 3rd month in the company. And the PGM secretary Mr Flor approached me this morning. He handed a paper. A very important paper. Yes! my probationary approval/appraisal form. And it was graded by Mr Saeed, Maintenance Manager who also manage us in the Technical Support team which I belong. And he gave me a very high grade! Thank you thank you very much! Thanks God for the blessing and officially (three days advance) I am regular employee of this company.

The photos in this post were taken last Monday and yes Mr Saeed never run out of surprises! As he promised last week he will give a mini-cake party if we have succeeded in our first major task in making PR of initial spare parts in SAP. And after long hours of OT and some sacrifices we had made it! And he was true to his promise. We had our cake party last Monday together with our big Bosses. Literally Big hahahaha!

And beginning last Monday I was in another major task as assigned by Operation Manager and the PGM, in completing the punch list items as presented by the owner, Hajr and the contractor, Samsung. In the coming days I will be dwelling in the deep sea of data from our side and the two companies as mentioned in digging and consolidating thousands of entries and data to have a meaningful updates. We had a meeting with Mr Brady - British manager of QA/QC of the owner, Hajr. He was old but very sharp in his work and words that somehow reflect his being as QC manager. I was also introduced to Mr Venoth and Mr Nabin - both from Q/A of Hajr and we will be working hand in hand in completing the punch list as needed.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Welcome to Nomac!

photos courtesy of Zander's FB account..and welcome to KSA! welcome to Nomac! another duo from our former employer have just joined us here in Dammam..thanks God we are now a team here (as compared to other nationalities - dominance is the key in working here hehehehe)..

On The Perimeter

I know I should have explored the city or the outside of my apartment for now. I have done it last Friday but somehow I still keep on searching for something to shoot inside this apartment. And I have these products being taken and photographed for my satisfaction. Sometimes or most of the times beauty is within our reach that we should not look for something beyond..for now..just enjoy what we have and appreciate what we owned..but honestly I don't owned these products in the photos hahahaha..they are from my the way thanks to them!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Foods In Our Apartment

I do not include chicken since it is the most common here hahahaha!!! better go to Khobar to get those Pinoy foods now!

Friday Photo-Walk

Dammam is my city to beat now! a city which embraces diversity. A city of fun! of new sights! A city where we are living now. In my not so long time ago childhood, I have heard some balikbayan from Saudi they they were working and living in Dammam. I never know I will be working here too. Not in my rarest dreams! But I am here now. The city of the future! Thanks God for this.

Going Up The Ladder

I am on my age where I can be anything. And thanks God I have achieved some of my dreams. I have gone far and I felt so good about it. An...