Archive for 2013

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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Bye Bye Pinas, Hello Dubai

My first international flight was with Emirates Airlines which gave me a taste of quality service and an unforgettable experience. It’s totally different compared to a domestic flight for so many reasons. But, as much as I would like to share that experience with you right now, I would prefer to share first the processes I went through before I could finally stepped in the said plane.

My brother demanded I should be at the airport five hours before my flight schedule, it’s kind of early I thought but I have to follow him since he had done this and that before. However, when he demanded I should be in Manila a day before the flight, I wanted to say no but then again, since this is my first time, I just let it be and agree to his commands. And so I flew to Manila last May 7 via ZestAir, I thought I had chosen the right airline then until I was told I had to pay Php 2250 for my excess baggage. I was preparing a thousand peso for my 25 kilo baggage, and then I thought I should have gone with Cebupac since they have this better baggage deal, but anyways, I was there and I was left with no other choice so I paid the amount with a sad and heavy heart.

Due to the baggage issue plus the super hot temperature inside the tiny Tagbilaran Airport, I wasn’t able to properly bid goodbye to my family and to James, it was almost 12 when I checked in and the flight schedule was at 12:25. Well, remembering that scene I guess there was an advantage to that, it left us with no “drama” moments, I didn’t see mama cry unlike when we were sending off my two brothers last year. Then I wasn’t able to kiss James goodbye too, haha! I didn't cry too until I reached the waiting area but I composed myself and just thought of happy stuff.

ZestAir is indeed different to CebuPac in terms of service and amenities; I would prefer flying with Cebupac in the future.

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Earn By Posting Online

Who would think that I could be this active with online paying site named Bubblews? I joined it because my brother's been asking me to make articles for him and I was curious with how this site is helping him get extra cash. So instead of making articles for him, I made an account for myself but had used James' name instead. I just thought it might be safer that way so the readers will think that it's a he rather than a she who’s posting those things there. Well, I still ended up making articles under my name though and it looks fine since the site is a democratic one. You can post anything from diary-like articles to news to tutorials and the like.

The site would only require you to post an article which has at least 400 characters and you're good to go but I prefer making articles which aren't short. The truth is that I like my post to contain 300 words and above with specific photos. Photographs have something with them which attracts readers you know.

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The Best Candy Ever!

While I was still working and I go on long vacations in my home town in Bohol, the first five days make me very busy catching up with what I missed about my birth place. Mom and I with family talk about everything and anything under the sun, I request foods which I haven't eaten for awhile, play around with my niece and catch up with some childhood friends. This is the usual trend, most of the time I would miss some of the lists here because of time shortage however right now, because I am on an indefinite vacation and since I am on my seventh day, I have already done almost all of the normal things I do. I am starting to feel idle and want to really work, in a couple of weeks from now I will be out of budget and that scares me but thanks to Candy Crush, it makes me busy these past days.

For the benefit of those who don't know what Candy Crush is, it is actually a Facebook game, it is played by matching three or more candies while completing the given task, a player is given maximum of five lives and if you lost all the given lives, you can request for friends, earn a life by viewing an advertisement or simply wait for the life to add up after a few minutes. The rules seem to be simple but the catch here’s that the level of the challenges increase on each stage. There's a road map of the challenges and honestly speaking, I still don't know where it leads, maybe there's a pot of gold at the end of it, that I'm not sure yet but all I know is that I want to reach that point. Unfortunately, I am stuck at level 33 at this point, all I need is to clear all the jellies, sounds pretty fine but I am stuck here for already a day. This is the longest time I took to clear a single stage though, it makes me want to quit. Well, the main reason I am writing this is because I am tired of asking lives from my friends. I guess I have to rest and will play again after an hour.

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Hurray To First Adsense Pay

Gladly surprised – this is what I felt when I learned that Google had sent me my first ever $101 cash out from my adsense account. My personal blog, www.jeanbeltran.info has been running since 2010, in fact, we’ll be celebrating its 3rd anniversary this April 30, and my first blog post was kinda silly though, it was all about me, my history and my pledge to make an online diary religiously but I never thought of earning anything from the site. It served as my memory lane and as I have said, diary - a virtual one that when a certain time comes and I feel like nostalgic, I can go back and back read the previous posts I had published to reminisce my life’s experiences.

Because I had resigned from my call center job and bored, I thought about checking my Google adsense earnings, the last time I went checking on it, I had like $90 that was January I guess of this year. I never really do SEO stuff or any optimization thing because again, this just served as my plain diary.

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Me Hearts Korean Drama: Playful Kiss

This Korean Drama revolves around the story of two totally different high school students who eventually complemented each other and ended up falling to each other's arms.

Oh Ha Ni, is just a normal student, she isn't good at anything except that she is persistent and optimistic about something she likes. On the contrary, Baek Sueng-jo is a man who knows all, he is the top one student in their campus. While he is good at his grades, he has a not so good attitude especially to those students whom he refers as "dumb".

Their first encounter was when Baek Sueng-jo bought a drink from a vending machine and Oh Ha Ni helped him get the stuck drink by kicking the machine.

By that time, Oh Ha Ni got the guts to send him a love letter which was then ignored by Baek Sueng-jo , instead he rated it as D- and corrected some wrong grammars on the letter. He somehow returned it to Oh Ha Ni and had insulted her in front of a crowd.

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I Was Sykes Soon...

Am now counting the days until I official bid goodbye to the first company which I worked for, my first job after graduation and my first ever call center experience. It has been almost four years and I never regret being here, I have nothing to compare it to but I had unforgettable memories and experiences in this company. Working for two accounts had helped me see more of the world and had enhanced my skills.

I cannot contain my happiness when I got hired last May 11, 2009. As a fresh graduate, I have no work experience except for my OJT especially about the BPO world. All I knew at that time was I need to get a job, while others may see call center job isn't good, I never thought about it negatively, I believed it was a blessing.

I started supporting a product I learned to know when I was in grade school - Palm. When it was introduced to us during the signing of contract, I remembered the handheld I saw when a missionary came to our province before. I got excited that I will be handling customers owning those types of gadgets. I thought it was really cool.

My wave mates were also cool, we developed this type of friendship within us and though some of them we had parted ways now, some still remained until this day. After a year, I shed a tear when our original teams with my wavemates as my team mates were distributed to different groups, that was the starting point and I soon had learned that in the call center world, change is inevitable.

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How to Get TOR and Diploma Authenticated for Overseas Employment Purposes

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One of the requirements in working abroad especially in selected countries is an authenticated TOR or diploma. It is popularly called red ribbon because literally, the papers have red ribbon on it. I had researched about how to get my TOR done online but the instructions were vague and I never learned until I personally processed it myself.

1. Go to your respective university registrar office and ask for a TOR/Diploma request slip or bring your old copies and tell them for red ribbon, they'll know what to do right away.

It was our first time to come back since we graduated. James and I noticed that the campus was very silent, as in literally silent, the students were all busy studying, we both wonder if it was their midterm exams. I was kinda lost when looking for the registrar office, I found it just adjacent to the old office though, specifically window number 25.

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You Should Watch The Impossible

The title definitely reflects the whole movie itself, it was indeed something which you would think was impossible to happen, but it did! Though I have a heart about fiction stories, I am a fan of true story movies and this is the main reason why I swear to watch it.


I don't want to be a spoiler but I want to share my own overview of the story and review too.



It could have been a wonderful vacation for the Bennett family if the unfortunate event didn't occur. They stayed in a bungalow in front of the beautiful white sand beach and clear blue sea of Khao Lak, Thailand. Actually they were expecting the room to be in the third floor but certain things changed and they never mind since the area where they seated were indeed marvelous. 



The story's plot happened when the devastating tsunami occurred unexpectedly, as most tourists were enjoying their stay at the pool and some at the beach. I could imagine the actual situation; it must be a fast sequence of happenings. The angry sea water splashed its big waves over the resort and to the neighboring areas. The family had been separated when the tsunami took off. Maria, the mom had been hurt relentlessly and was lucky she found her eldest son while still being swirled by the washing machine-like waves of the furious waters. Lucas, the eldest had some injuries but endured it; he was his mom's help the entire time. His dad, on the other hand found his two younger brothers holding on a palm tree and happily the three of them were alright, they don't have any severe cuts or wounds. 

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How to Quickly Make A Word Collage

My current work team came up with our team t-shirts for our team pictorial this February and I was assigned to make the designs. Miss Bea, our team leader asked for something which showcases all our names on it and of which would still looks appealing and unique. Because I don’t want to make it hard for myself, I looked for something which will definitely save me time and effort. And just before I could search for anything, I recalled this website called wordle.net which makes a word collage. I came up with a simple collage with our team mates’ names on it. I wasn’t satisfied with how it went out since the names were kind of imbalanced in terms of the allocations.

So then I looked for an alternative, I thought it would be great if there are more than just single words for each names and that it would cover the whole front part of the t-shirts. We opt to use a blank one since it is so unisex and will definitely make the healthier ones slimmer!

I came upon this tagxedo.com site which aside from make up a word collages; I can upload a specific image and make it as a guide on how the collage would look like. I then made a template with a huge B on the center and when I uploaded it, added our names with a maximum of 200 words the result was indeed satisfying for me.

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February Stuff : The Wants I Need

Long vacation leaves were approved for James and mine’s supposedly Surigao tour however, we need to cancel it out due to bad weather and work schedule conflict. So, I got the chance to roam around a couple of malls in the city and, unfortunately I swept some cash off and rarely, I have the guts to share what I had purchased.

I went to SM City Cebu first and went straight to Surplus store. I buy shirts here and I bought another one, it's a Pink-branded blue blouse with LOVE PINK label in the front part. It was good for Php 199 only!

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Recalling January '13

I lied when I told you that December is my favorite month. The truth is that January is my first ever favorite one because it is my birth month; I know you will forgive me, everyone has their own birth month and that I suppose they consider it as their favorite month too.

Today marks the first month of February of the year 2013, and that I just bid goodbye to January 2013 last night, yes I was awake before the first minute of February stroke. Today, I would like to recall what happened the whole month.

I almost had my first zip-line experience, it was supposed to be the best place and the best people to be with yet because of the bad weather, but I never realized it. Anyways, there’s luxury of time to do it one of these days.

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Becoming Boyish Over Volleyball Players

These past few months, I got hooked with watching volleyball games on the television, specifically this UAAP season 75 which started last November, 2012. During college days, I would love watching their games as well yet I didn’t bother to really get to know the players. However, because of my housemates’ influences, I have now known more than ever the players of the different schools in fact I become addicted to the said sport.

I then came to love a specific team, they aren’t the top of the season but I totally like them and found myself following each game they play. They are the ladies in blue, that’s a hint which you wouldn’t miss guessing. The Lady Eagles are my favorite and I have three favorite players, well I like some from the other schools yet there’s something special about the lady eagles which breaks my heart whenever they lose a match.

Below are the girls I get to look up too during the ADMU’s games:
Gretchen Ho – Because of volleyball, I learned that she is indeed Robi Domingo’s girlfriend. She’s beautiful and well, I am fascinated with beautiful and sporty girls. Then here comes her style in playing, I am not a sporty person so with watching the games, I had learned that Gretchen Ho’s style is called running spike. I already followed her in Twitter and liked her page in Facebook. She updates her twitter sometimes though.

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It Could Have Been An Adventure

If I was given the chance to make a wish last Thursday, I would have wished for the weather at Gaas, Balamban to be as sunny as Cebu City's. Why? Because it could have been my first zip-line experience, too sad it rained and fog was all around the place, our plan as a team was extremely ruined. What was supposed to be a beautiful team socials day for the team Beatot became a simple, cold and rainy morning, it was like those normal days except that we went from Cebu City to Balamban, was like 30 kilometers away from the office then just had an extra simple breakfast meal there.

Everyone felt disappointed, specially our team leader, it was all her plan and the sun shone brightly that Thursday morning who would thought that up there at Adventure Cafe has a different type of temperature.

Everyone was present, except for one who's about to be pulled out from our team to another. It was a great time to build camaraderie between team mates unfortunately, when we arrived, fogs were starting to assemble, marks of some rains were obvious from how the roads looked like but it wasn't raining yet. Though we sensed how cold it was, good thing I had brought my sweater with me.

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My Pasaporte

Look what I have right now here with me?

A 3x4 inch 22 page maroon colored book with my big face and personal information in the second page with some glossy Philippine stamps in the background, aside from that I also have my smaller portrait behind those info. Characters were pin holed on each pages with and the pages look similar to that of our Philippine bills.
And finally I received my passport. Finally! I had wanted to have one since I graduated college. Because I was one of the recipients of the DOST scholarship when I was in my tertiary years, I have to spend and work for four years here in the Philippines, actually it should be equivalent to the number of years that the scholars were receiving tuition subsidy from the government. I studied Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and that was four years of studies so until last year when the DOST office lift the obligations of scholars and are now free to travel abroad whatever the reasons behind it.

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Discouraging plans for Surigao

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Originally planned as to visit the Philippine's Niagara Falls and Enchanted River after watching GMA's Born To be Wild show featuring the beautiful Enchanted River in Surigao. Thanks to Cebu Pacific's piso fare last September 2012, I got James and I round trip tickets for Mactan-Surigao City on February 1-4 this year. We are both excited as this will be our first domestic travel for this year 2013. But we realized we missed one thing with this specific trip - research. I blamed myself because I booked the ticket without even checking which airport best routes us to Surigao del Sur.

By January first week, I started looking for some travel guide for Tinuy-an falls and the river yet I found out that for us to arrive there, we need to travel eight long hours first. I was devastated since this was not what we expected it to be. Though I love travelling, I don't have the patience to travel that long specially on this unknown place. I had read some posts about some unfortunate events on the road while travelling for Butuan.

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SSS UMID at Hand

My SSS UMID came earlier than I expected, UMID means Unified Multipurpose Identification System. I had applied for it last April 2012 at our company office. Sykes Asia- Cebu had communicated with the SSS office so to accommodate their employees for the ID picture taking. Way before April, I had already submitted my application papers to the HR office and they emailed back with the corresponding schedules. I can't recall the exact date but I remember I came very early that day and someone gave us priority numbers. It was a quick though the personnel had taken my portrait twice. Though the photo came out not that satisfying, I am already contented with it.
Since the ID was addressed to my provincial address in Guindulman, Bohol I didn't have any single idea that the letter from SSS with my ID came earlier. Mom received it last August but forgot to give it to me when we went to Manila last September to attend the wedding of my cousin, Jez and Bambie. I didn't receive her text message either, she had informed me via sms when she received it, I don't know but I never really received that notification. It should supposedly arrive after six months but it was two months early.

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