Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 9:04 AM | 0 comments

Today I am celebrating my 1 year anniversary away from home. Am I happy or sad? Honestly, I am not completely happy but I am not totally sad. Life away from home is never easy and life inside the palace is even worst. But I am glad I am still here - fighting against the evil forces around me and trying to be the best that I can be!

Maligayang isang taon ng pagiging OFW. Akalain mo isang taon na pala akong bayani!


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Monday, May 26, 2008 at 4:37 PM | 0 comments
I received a message from Kiko yesterday:

"i think u r on d inquirer. check nepales' column abt serbis. ingat"

I hurriedly scanned the column but was not really into it because it was almost 7:15 in the evening and I needed to catch the Sunday service in St. Joseph Church, Abu Dhabi at 7:30pm. So I left and did not know what the inquirer thing is all about.

And I just read it now. Ako nga yun and I mistyped my name (Grrr!). I did not realize the typo error. Bwisit talaga! Anyway, salamat kay Mr. Nepales. Click here to read the column.
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Friday, May 23, 2008 at 3:24 AM | 2 comments
While finishing my blog entry about David Cook, I got an SMS from my bank. I was not so interested because I thought the message was just another promotion or senseless alert. When I got the chance to read it, I was awed!

The limit of my very first credit card (it's MasterCard) has been increased by 40%! And to think almost 7 months pa lang yun. Hmmm, good payer kase ako. Finally, somebody from this country appreciated me!
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Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM | 0 comments

I was really not expecting David Cook to win at all. I am surprised to read that my favorite contestant gave the biggest upset in the history of TV. I cannot imagine how all the teeny-bopper voting bloc in the US felt after the announcement!

Hats-off to you David Cook! Great guy. Great talent. I could not be happier. I wish you all the best! Bravo Cook. Bravo!

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I do not know what to say. I read some news about this movie but this made me utterly shocked. Is the local media exaggerating things back home? Ugh...

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Image taken from here.
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Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:17 PM | 0 comments
Early this evening while smoking and waiting for my friend along Hamdan Street, a man in mid or late thirties approached me. The man asked me if I was a Filipino. I proudly said yes, of course. He voluntarily handed me his mobile and said, "Please talk to this woman". Though apprehensive, I took the phone and started to hear a woman’s voice roaring like a lioness.

Me: Hello, Kabayan?
Woman:
Hello, sino ‘to?
Me:
Kabayan, lumapit sa akin ‘yung mama. Kausapin daw kita. May problema?
Woman: Oo. ‘Yang hayop na yan! Nasan kayo? Kanina pa ako paikot-ikot dito.
Me: Kabayan, nandito kami along Hamdan Street. Sa harap ng Emirates General Supermarket. Nasaan ka ba?
Woman:
Saan yan? Nandito din ako sa Hamdan. Sa may Safari Fashion (Indian boutique on the opposite side of Hamdan street. Maybe some 300 meters away from where we were standing). Lintek ’yang hayup na yan! Kanina pa ako dito nag-intay. Pinaikot-ikot pa ako! Hayup talaga yan!
Me:
Naku nandyan ka lang pala. Nandito kami sa labas ng Emirates General Supermarket. Hindi mo ba nakikita yung signboard?
Woman:
Walanghiya talaga ‘yang hayup na ‘yan! Galing ako dyan kanina. Sabi nya sa supermarket daw! Sa Co-op (Abu Dhabi Cooperative Soceity is located more or less 1 kilometer away from Emirates general Supermarket) ako nag-punta!
Me
(puzzled): Bakit dun ka pa pumunta? Supermarket din naman ‘to di ba?
Woman:
Sabi nya nga supermarket! Hayup talaga ‘yan! Pinapagod pa ako ng walanghiyang hayup na yan!
Me:
Ano kabayan, papuntahin ko ba siya dyan sa Safari o ikaw na lang pupunta dito?
Woman:
Hindi hindi! (Nahiya pa si kabayan. Alam ko naman ang gimik nya)Alam mo ba yung Standard Chartered Bank?
Me:
Oo. Nasa tapat nga kami nun.
Woman:
O sige sabihin mo sa walanghiyang hayup na yan tumawid sya sa underpass para masagasaan na yang hayup na yan!
Me:
Huh? Masagasaan sa underpass?
Woman:
Basta sabihin mo sa tapat ng Standard Chartered Bank pumunta yang hayup na yan! Pinagod talaga ako ng hayup na yan!
Me: Okay kabayan, relaks lang. Sige. Sabihin ko na lang sa kanya.


And the line was dead… Sabi ko na lang, “Salamat kabayan!”

While talking to the lady, I was looking on the opposite side of the street where this Safari Fashion is located. I saw an overweight Filipina woman in her mid to late thirties) in black fitted blouse (long-sleeves pa) and black jeans walking towards Standard Chartered Bank. Naka stiletto heels pa ata si kabayan. Since summer started some weeks ago, it was so damn hot. More or less mga 40 deg C siguro. She was so irritated. I had a clear vision of her gestures whenever I hear the word “hayup” during our phone conversation. I clearly instructed the man to cross the street, use the underpass and meet the Filipina lady on the opposite site of the street in front of the bank. I learned that he is from Morocco. He was delighted when I said that I visited his country more than three times already. He told me to inform him when I will visit Casablanca again. And I said okay, and told him that the lady is already waiting on the other side of the street. Though inaudible, I imagined from where I was standing how the filthy words started to get out of the mouth of this lady kabayan. Maybe it’s as filthy as how she smelled right at that very moment with her all-black attire and temperature nearly 40 degrees.

The poor Moroccan started cleaning up the mess the moment he approached this lady kabayan! And then I started to think, maybe an action-packed bedroom adventure will follow shortly! Hehehe. OFW - Bagong bayani? Tingin nyo?

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I had my last puff when my friend Mon showed up. He handed me the DVDs and told me a horrible story that happened to his colleague. A local woman filed a case of sexual harassment against his colleague. This local woman felt harassed when kabayan smiled at her and his (Mon’s friend) left shoulder accidentally touched this local lady‘s right shoulder while walking inside a mall. Well, knowing that we are in the Arab world, I am no longer surprised. Mon added that this local woman is very much willing to drop the case against this kabayan if he would pay 10,000 AE dirhams (roughly around PhP 120,000) for the “damages”. Mon's friend had no choice and decided to quit his job, pack his things and go back to Manila. Kabayan will be finishing his two-year contract sana this coming July 2008. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Na-devirginize ata yung babae sa ngiti ni kabayan. Hehehe. Ibang-iba talaga ang pinoy. Ngiti pa lang naka-donselya na!
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Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 1:06 PM | 2 comments
I can never say enough wonderful things about my Nanay. If only each one of us has the heart of Nanay, I know, the world we have now will be a better place. I love you Nanay and Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all the amazing mothers around the world.

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This image was taken hours after I took the Philippine Physical Therapy Licensure Exam few years ago.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 1:45 AM | 0 comments
It’s almost one in the morning when I got the chance to go online. I did all the usual things I do whenever I go online. I read some news back home via inquirer.net, checked my yahoomail, friendster account and my blog. I also managed to visit the blogs of kiko, lala, bads, au and rain.

Rain’s latest post is all about the hardships of a young professional who happens to have so many dreams. She is complaining for she needs a break. Well, everybody does except of course the ones who are having theirs at this every moment. Then, my rebellious but beloved cousin bads posted this message: “nates, is that you?” And I just felt that my blood rushed to my head.

Fine fine fine. Guilty ako. I do not want to hypocrite for there are enough here around me. I admit that I am a reklamador! I complain a lot. In fact I have a never-ending list of complaints - from the simplest taste of my coffee, to the disgusting scent of the man beside me, to the corruption back home, to the attitudes the people I am working with, all the adversities I have here etc etc. It is a never-ending list of “valid” complaints. Valid, I say. Believe me for once, please.

So, why do I complain? My friend told me once that I complain a lot because I never become satisfied with what I have. Well, humans never get contented and I glad to know than I am more of a human. But I think the reason for my complaints is more of the unhappy feeling with all the things that are happening around me. It is plain and simple, I complain because there is something wrong. And that “something” annoys me so bad. Mababaw lang ang kaligayahan ko (believe me, for one for time). Life already taught me on how to appreciate even the simplest things that come my way. I dream of a perfect world so I try my best not to deny the wrongdoings that I see. I complain because I believe that it is the best I can do so that the proper authorities can acknowledge that something is not right. I won’t be complaining if everything is in its proper place and everything is right. I still complain about my work and I already raised my grievances. The problem is the ones who should be helping me solve the problems do not seem to care. All the simple complaints and the major ones I have since day one are completely unresolved. They just gave me false hopes and some unacceptable excuses. My case here is extremely hopeless. Mas mabuti na rin siguro na magreklamo ako sa tama at desenteng paraan kesa mag-amok na lang ako dito! Pray for me that I won’t do the latter here.

I am sick of this life. Really. Oh sh*t, there comes another complaint.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 2:12 AM | 0 comments
It's 2 am in Abu Dhabi, 6 am in Manila.

Earlier last night, I was lucky to catch Kiko on-line. We had the usual kamusta at konting kwentuhan. Wala muna away. Peace Bro! It lasted for a little over 10 minutes, I guess. I had to log out for I needed to go to the other side of the palace. Banny, my previous roommate gave me a call to inform me that there are numerous letters for me there. So after the chat session with my brother, I immediately took a shower and headed straight to my previous accommodation. After some small talks with my previous roommates, I decided to visit my friends in the city.

While waiting for the cab to come, my knees were shaking. I was so damn hungry and all the muscles of my body hurt so bad. Nag-exercise na kasi ulit ako kahapon at kanina. And really my body hurts like hell! Few minutes later, the cab arrived. Thank God for sending the cab! I haven't had some decent meal for the past 48 hours so I decided to reward myself. I went straight to Tagpuan to buy my ever-favorite pancit canton (yum-yum) and some potato wedges. Then I hurriedly went to Duday's flat to start the feast!

I guess, luck was with me last night. As I entered Duday's room, something special was in the air. Hallelujah! A newly-cooked Sinigang na Baboy was on the table! I can't help but exclaimed: Thank you Lord for all the gifts! We shared the feast and were all feeling bloated when Angelu de Leon won a trip for two to Hongkong in Edu Manzano's Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba? I guess, luck was with her too.

It's 2:10 am now and I am home. And alone again. Hay, I wish luck never left my side.
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Friday, May 2, 2008 at 7:40 PM | 0 comments
Last Saturday I received a surprise call from Noel. By the way, Noel is one of my trusted big brothers here.

Noel: Pards, tinawagan ka ba kagabi ng butler ni amo?
Me: Hindi. Bakit?
Noel: Magpapamasahe daw kc si amo sabi ni Nognog. Pinapatawag ka daw. Nag palit kc ng sim card yung butler butler. Yung number mo naman kay Nognog kulang ng isa. Arabic daw sumasagot kapag dina-dial nila.
Me: Ah Ganun ba. Wala naman tumawag sa akin. Umaga na nga ako natulog mga past three am na.
Noel: Mga bandang ala-una daw nung tinatawagan ka nila. Di bale, baka ipatawag ka lang ulit mamaya. Naibigay ko na ang number mo sa kanila.
Me: Okay. Salamat.
Noel: Cya, sige pards. Intay-intay ka lang baka ipatawag ka ulit mamaya.
Me: Sige Pards. Thank you ulit.

After the conversation, I remembered one incident that happened late last year. I was still staying on the housekeeper’s accommodation when I received a call from Willie (my employer’s personal waiter) at 3:30 am. He asked me to go to the gate immediately. My employer wanted some massage after an evening meeting. My reflexes were so hyperactive that I managed to be at the gate in less than two minutes. After waiting for nearly 10 minutes, the car arrived and we hurriedly drove towards the other side of the palace. When we finally arrived, I waited for some thirty minutes and then finally advised to go back to my room. Some waiters told me that before we (the butler and I) arrived, my employer left already to spend the night with his family. Saman, a Sri Lankan waiter who was on duty that time told me that my employer was furious! He was so mad because the people who should inform me did not do their jobs. I told him, nobody informed so it was not my fault. Saman assured me that my employer was not angry with me. Then the driver came to bring me on the other side of the palace.

God knows and they know that it was not my fault at all. Like what I usually do here for more than three hundred days, I am just waiting for any orders. I sleep at three in the morning waiting for any calls and stay awake whenever all my co-employees are having their siestas in the afternoon. I do not really have worry-free days here except during the days that my employer is out of the country and I am not included in the entourage.

I once read that a thing that happened once can never happen twice. But if that thing happened for the second time, it will surely happen for the third time. My friend told me, "alam mo sa palagay ko hindi yun sa hindi ka pinatawag ng amo mo, baka hindi ka lang sadyang tinatawag ng mga dapat tumawag sayo". Hindi nga kaya? Sinasabotahe na ba ako?
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