Little Manila in Dubai

I strongly believe that Filipinos can be found in any part of the world to work and earn a living even in the most dangerous places; Filipinos would risk their lives just to be able to support their families back in the Philippines. Here in the UAE, Filipinos have also become very dominant. There's a big percentage of overseas Filipino workers here and there's this specific place in Dubai where these co-Filipinos are settling in, this place is Satwa which is now called the manila in Dubai.

On my way to Dubai, a friend of mine told me that I wouldn't feel that homesick at all because anywhere I go, I can see Filipinos and in every mall and establishments, our kabayans will always be present. By the time I stepped out of the Emirates plane and went to the immigration section, I saw Filipinos working there. Reaching to the villa where my brother is staying, almost all the residents there are Filipinos.

Then I went to different interviews, 90 percent of the human resources personnel are Filipinos. In fact, the company where I am working now, the HR who interviewed me was a Bisaya like me from Dumaguete and almost 70 percent of my colleagues are Filipinos.

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Certified Resident

Living in the middle East is hard because of the temperature and the weather plus the people's attitude and most of the them have a strange smell. But I still consider it as an opportunity to earn and save for my future. I don't aim of living here for good, I would still prefer to grow old in the Philippines with the people I love and friends whom I can talk and go out. To be able to visit springs and waterfalls, climb mountains and swim on beautiful beaches. To feel the coldness of the wind breeze on an early morning and to hear the drops of rain in a Saturday afternoon.

I would also like to sleep under a huge acacia tree while listening to the singing of the birds and to smell the aroma of the fresh ripe fruits specially the favorite mangoes and bananas.

These are the things I miss about home but for now, what can I do? I have to wait for the right time that I can come home and so all of these things.

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Updates from DXB

I haven't posted anything since I landed a job here in Dubai, I missed a lot of things and I haven't shared any of my experiences for the past weeks. June has just ended and I don't want to start July without telling you and sharing how my month went out. Here are the highlights of my stay here for the entire month.

Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian, Arabic
1. I landed a job and started training at a certain logistics company in Jebel Ali Dubai. I met a lot of people from different countries like India, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. There many friendly ones and yet there are also other snobs and crazy ones but mostly are definitely friendly. The office is very far from where I am staying so I have to wake up early because I have to travel for an hour going to the bus station where our company bus would fetch us. From the station, it would take like 25 minutes to arrive at the office. It's kind of exhausting and sometimes I become tired with the travel time.

look at them!
2. We visited the Dubai gold city at a place on Dubai named gold souq. I know gold and other kinds of jewelries are really eye alluring and all however when I arrived at gold souq, I never thought I would immediately get enough of it because the place was full of gold here and everywhere. If I could compare it to any area in Cebu or in manila I can say that it's like divisoria in manila or carbon in Cebu but instead of vegetables or any types of goods, in front of us were all but gold. White Gold, China gold, Saudi gold and every type of gold can be found there. Because of competition as well, the price there is cheaper compared to the other market areas. They have their own price per gram and I am thinking in the back of my mind that I can maybe start a business out of this. We'll see then.
3. I went out of Dubai and went to Muscat Oman. It sounds exciting and I felt really excited about going to another country but it was a total opposite because Oman for me was boring and we went there at three in the afternoon, weather was very hot and the flight made me dizzy and then made my head ache. I went there with my friend colleague named rose from Cebu as well. We only stepped on Oman for forty five minutes. We were running towards the check in area that we never had the chance to get a photo of ourselves. The country looked boring for me and I just thought that being in Dubai is a lot better than being in Oman.

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June is Good to Me

The start of June and the end of May has been a productive week for me. I actually had accepted an offer from a big company here in Dubai after going through more than twenty interviews by the third week of May however, I was disappointed that they didn’t hand me my offer letter or contract even after waiting for five days for it. I was sitting and lying at home for the entire time then I decided to stop waiting and finalize things with them. The HR manager who told me he’ll process it told me that the offer letter needs verification and approval from the COO and he wasn't sure when would that be. I was thinking about my visa by that time and because I had already wasted five days, which by the way is like a whole week, I need to get a visa as soon as possible so that I won’t anymore extend my Tourist visa.

Anyways, to make the long story short, I called up that company and told finalize that I can’t anymore wait for the offer letter and because they couldn't really provide me a definite answer, I went on and asked a previous colleague to submit my resume or CV to their HR. It’s a famous logistics company here in UAE and I was glad that after the HR manager who was also a Filipino and from Dumaguete City received the CV, he immediately called me and scheduled for an interview.

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Cloudless City

It has been a week since I arrived here in Dubai UAE, I recall that day when I first had a glimpse of what Dubai is, I saw blurry skies and cemented structures. Tall buildings, train stations, unified trees, neat, clean city but full of sand or dust. That day when I arrived, I asked my brother why the other end of the city is kind of blurry, said it's sandstorm. So, since that day, I would always look up the skies but I have never seen a single cloud at all yet nor a clear blue sky. And oh the starry night is always absent here as well. I miss Bohol and I am longing for that view we have at the back of our house in Guindulman. The wind there blows swiftly and the blue sky with lots of clouds doing a slow dance and then there's the green rice fields which turns light brown during summer.

In here, the sky's color is dull blue, if I look on the horizon, I see a blurry view. If there's a sandstorm, my brother said the place is full of dust and that if you go out, your nose will definitely be filled with dust. 

At night, the skies don't show any stars only the moon. I believe the moon is quiet lonely there with no other company but the sky scraper buildings. I guess the reason why Dubai has a lots of shimmering things designs here like the Burj Khalifa is because they would like to see some stars across the sky at night. Though it is just an artificial star, at least they have something which represents those ones which aren't available in this country.

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Manila International Airport Experience

This is a continuation to my previous post regarding my first international flight experience...
While waiting for my turn, some airport personnel were handing out the departure information sheet in which I wrote down some personal information. After thirty minutes of waiting and standing, I went nearer to the check in counter; I provided my passport, ticket and a certain travel tax receipt since I am travelling with a visit visa. I had to run over to the counter for my travel tax, paid Php 1620 and returned with the receipt in hand. The counter person immediately assisted me and provided my boarding pass and the baggage claim stub.

I rushed at once to the next counter to pay the terminal fee which was Php 550, boarding pass was the only document needed for this step. Then I went over to the travel verification counter, these guys were from the immigration office and I am considering this step as the most annoying procedure. I went to Miss Basher’s window, presented all of my documents, passport, Visa and the attested affidavit of support from my brother which was sent to me a day before my flight schedule. Miss Basher was a strict; her looks were telling me she isn’t pleased with me. While checking on the documents, she asked why the handwriting on the departure info sheet and the one on my visa are identical, at this point; she was looking at me ridiculously and asked if the visa and affidavit of support were sent to me from UAE. Of course I said yes, I received it yesterday and that my brother and my penmanship looks the same but those documents were definitely sent from the UAE. She was still skeptical and asked a couple of documents, first she want me to hand her my brother’s birth certificate which I don’t have with me (I was already sweating by this time). Since I can’t provide the document, I presented her my brother’s Overseas Employment Certificate instead but she asked for my brother’s birth date, I replied with the month and day but I forgot the year.

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