Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Letter To Myself ( Series)

I will do something I have seen on the net. A chain letter to myself. To my younger self. To my older self. A series.

An art of writing. A reflection. A projection. Lessons learned. Planning for the future. Anticipating the best and worst. Guessing the unpredictable.


Will begin now.


And somebody from the government wants UP protesters to apologize to Butch Abad. And that's funny, right?

Law of reciprocity? thief from the government is laughing when they got those billions of money so we should laugh at them when they are ridiculed and shouted at in an ambush protest in UP. Kulang pa nga yung ginawa sa kanya. Sa Ukraine nga tinapon sa basurahan.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What I Left Behind

Wake Me Up When September Ends
( Greenday)
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends

And now it is Ber month so to speak. My 9th month here in KSA and I am doing pretty fine. And I am looking forward to go home come December just before Christmas and New Year. Actually a whole month of December.

I am planning now on how to maximize that limited time to really enjoy and to see who really matters. Some person might not be necessary as if they have become part of the past. Not that I am holding some issues or anger on them but it is much easier and much nicer if some of the people in my past that should be just ignored or forgotten.

So definitely I will have some good time with my IV-A high school classmates ( oh I have missed that one last year!). I have to see my Keilco friends ( Jayson, Japs, Ryan, Harry and Leonard and Garrett) to name a few if time will permit me.

I will have some drinking session with my lawyer cousin Jefren together with Jaybee and the rest of Perez clan.

Of course I have to see my own family ( all of my pamangkins and others - Inay, ate, kuya etc).

Who else?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Getting Colder

Yes the temperature and humidity are gradually decreasing. But it is still very hot here in Dammam. Or our body just adjusted to the extreme weather? Well thanks God it is "ber" month here and elsewhere and I can smell and sense Christmas even in this part of the world.

Thanks be to God that some periods like the one we have hurdled here in Middle East is little by little coming to its stabilized state.

But wait did you say colder? Oh my..I have forget that it is really extreme here that the swing will be on the far left and the temperature will drop as much as 5 degree in the coming months.

Welcome again my jacket!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thanks Be To God

Last week I have filed my vacation leave and unfortunately two of the highest manager did not approved it. And I was sad.

However a turn of event just happened today. I have approached PGM this morning and explained my vacation leave-dates. And he said that he will permit me if it will not overlap other Filipino in the Admin for more than a week. And so I have edit my vacation form and make it sure that only 7 working days will overlap but I will come back here on December 29. And he said "you don't want to spend new year in the Philippines?" I said "of course sir I want to spend the new year at home"!

So he said that I should edit and adjust the date so that it will be exactly 30 day-vacation leave that will cover the Christmas and New Year!

Thanks be to God! And my paper is in Jeddah now for processing.
I will be in the Philippines tentatively on December 3 up to January 3.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekends Eat and Run!

Photos above: Last week at Alshatea Mall where we went for a cup of coffee in Starbucks and heavy dinner at the third floor. Thanks God there are malls in Dammam!

Photos below: Last Friday in Rashid Mall in Khobar where we looked for some shoes and anything worth buying ( but not buying now - maybe later) and had our dinner at the third floor ( also ) and I have ordered lasagna and it was perfectly good! I have noticed here in Saudi that most of the employees in the restaurant and fast-food chains are Filipinos! so nakakapagtagalog kami sa pag-order hahahaa!!

Anything Goes

This day is just an ordinary  day. But wait sometimes upon reflection an ordinary day just come out as a very good day!

This morning I have come to our PGM as I always do when something is not very clear to me. I have seek his approval and opinion regarding some issues about some data and documentation pertaining to the plant's take-over. It's good to know his opinion and he is a very good in decision-making and in giving his best options in a certain issue. And he even make the "common comment" - a " very good".

This night upon browsing the facebook feeds I have seen some photos and copied them in my computer. Some caught my attentions like the photo above and I have remember those moments when I have to decide whether to accept or not the contract here in Saudi. And I have choose my power of freedom to sign and here I am in the desert. And at first I think I have regretted it but now I can fully say I did not and I am very grateful that I am working here.

Another thoughts running on my head this evening is about those things that we the Gen-X used to have and will never experience by the millenials. And one of them is the cassette tapes. Everything now is almost digital unlike before that even listening to music is somehow analog or manual.

The photo above is from Ayie's FB and wow our plant is running almost on 100% capacity. Only the remaining one block ( block 6 ) is still not online. Thanks to Samsung and Hajr and to our members in Nomac and maybe next month the whole plant will be in its full capacity in line with the total turn-over of the plant to us.

And now based on the photo below I fully appreciate the power of notes-taking. I have this small notebook where I log in almost everything work-related mostly to-dos and checklist to get track of my daily activities. I have to do it so that no issues will be left out or finish unnoticed. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

What? Two Consecutive Christmas Here?

The plant is on the verge of fully operational. Almost all are so busy doing everything to patch up and clear all systems so that the mighty structure will be on its full capacity. I think we are running on 2700MW and a short of 1000MW to its full potential. I think one block is still not online. But eventually it will and we will take over the plant.

And as of now I am so busy too doing the documentation and the follow-ups of whatever things that the owner and the contractor have missed. And hopefully by December it will be a "OK" scenario.

And I have filed my vacation leave yesterday. The second in command said that he will allow me but of course with the approval of the first in command.

So this day our HR ( a Filipino too) followed up and I was trapped. They do not want us to be absent on December. They need our presence either one of us ( the HR) on this year. And poor me the HR has already filed and has been approved. He promised me that he will try his best to convince that they should allow me too on December since we will be overlapping schedule for two weeks only.

I hope I could go home on December. If not then it will be if possible on November or early next year.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Gems Of Thoughts"

-"And my wife will ask me tomorrow regarding the outcome of this rerun meeting about these SODC's".. -

And we burst into laughter. He had a good sense of humor in this time of almost-done project status. Mr Brady led the meeting between the "owner", the "contractor" and the "operator". And we are the operator. The contractor is a Korean company and the owner is a local electricity company. This is the second meeting after two weeks. And we will have a follow up meeting every other week until everything is done.

I am one of the representative from our company to attend the meeting though we are only there as an observers but  I am somehow happy since what they are discussing are from my reports which collected from our section heads. I see to it that some processes are executed and turn some data into an organized reports that will be forwarded to the contractors for their necessary actions.

Last week the atmosphere is somehow different. Mr Brady ( head of Quality from the owner) was quite depressed but now he is happy and full of hopes that his target will be met in due time. He always reiterate that some of the issues being raised are but a peanuts in the mountains of work that has been already done, so why in the world it is not being taken care of.

There are three major issues that are being confronted in that meeting and I know that because of the cooperation between the three entities we will finish it on time.

Attending the said meeting give me some insights of how some leader and managers behaved in this kind of environment ( mainly construction and commissioning). Though I have been into construction work, this time it is a little bit different. We are the end-users now. Before I was connected as the contractor itself. Changing of positions, changing of perspectives.

And those gems of thoughts that crystallize after some time will definitely a big learning tool for me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Day's Account

Some days are normal some days are unusual. Some weeks are the same just like the month before but sometimes some weeks has its distinction. There are times that define us some days are just passing by. Some days are just like a Sunday here in Dammam that I have to make some effort to wake up because it is the start of the work-week. And some days are just like any Thursday where we all know that it is the last day of the week working in our plant in Qurayyah.

Some days are just like the passing of the sun literally. It will hurt us the most especially the hot weather but nevertheless it is needed to pass and cross another day. Some days are just like night that we have to sleep all days to compensate to the lost hours of sleep during the weekends. Life in Saudi Arabia. Wonderful and sometimes strange.

Some nights are so strange too. This evening ( late afternoon maybe) after we have arrived from the plant we were amazed by the fact that there was no electricity in our flat. Imagine that! Humidity and extreme temperature will fry us definitely. But God was good. The electricity was restored an hour later.

And after that I have headed to Mouwasat Hospital to see and have a chitchat with my friend there. He was my classmate before. And he guided me here in Saudi somehow in my early days here. And now if there is nothing much to do I go to his place. And he is still in duty. They have this disaster drill preparedness/awareness going when I have arrived at the hospital. It was very good drill and somehow a "live" one that in case ( hopefully not) a disaster or war or chaos occur then the hospital and its staff and nurses and all the doctors will be prepared.

And after that I have stayed about more or less two hours talking with my friend. A nice conversation of what is happening. Of what is the latest. Of what about our sacrifices here. Of about somehow enjoying here in Saudi Arabia.

And somehow I was relieved. I know that I have friends that I can count on in times of need or some circumstances that sadness sink into my own soul.

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...