Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fear of losing your job

There was an announcement made by our management. Our global technical support department is being moved into India and all emails, calls and manpower support will be routed there. At first, I was so worried knowing that there is a big chance that I will be terminated from my position. There was a massive restructuring to realign the company's marketing objective and position.

Honestly, when it was announced, I was sleepless and worried. I just joined the company and has been with them for only 3 months. I was so worried that I have talked with my manager and asked him directly what would be my fate.

Yes, he was assuring and comforting, telling me that the company would never terminate me, since my position is very valuable to the company. Ahhhh, I was a little bit relieve, but still the fear of losing my job is still there.

Now the question is, why am I so afraid of losing my job? Do you feel the same way too? Being a breadwinner, I cannot afford to go home with an empty pocket. I fear not for myself but for my family back home.

For all OFW'S like me, we all feel the same way. There are many times that we have to take even the most dangerous job all because of the high salary were getting out of it. I remember the story of Reynaldo Cortez, the Filipino who was executed in Saudi Arabia because of murder which he commit against a Pakistani driver who tried to raped him. I myself was a witness on that kind of crime in Middle East against Filipino OFW's.

It is embarassing, but I was almost a victim during the time when I was working in the Middle East. If not for my colleagues who rush to the site, I dont know what could have happened to me.

As I have said, many of us put ourselves into danger just because of our aim in giving our families a good life back home. Everything we do is sacrifice. For our families and for our country as well.

In anyway, I feel lucky for having a job here in Singapore. From my point of view, this is the safest country where I can work without having fear of being a victim of heinous crime. The only thing I was a victim of this country is in the hawker, where I bought a drink and comes back to my table all cleaned up. My food was gone hehehehe...I havent finished yet huhuhuhu.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

At the Top of the Star Apple(Kaimito) Tree

I was too amused to notice that this blog of mine have been receiving several comments from Pinoy bloggers in Singapore and even in US. I was just overwhelmed to know that there are people around the net who spend their time reading and relating to my unendless sentiments.
Yes...i am sentimental. But I believe that sentimental people needs to connect and relate himself with everything around to really understand what it means to be sentimental. You observe, you imagine and you put yourself on a virtual world to fully comprehend.
When I was 10 year old kid, I used to climb at the top of kaimito(star apple) tree whenever I feel lonely. I stay there the whole afternoon and wait for the sunset behind the mountain just kilometers away from our small home in our barangay. It was a sight for me...Everyone thinks..that I am kind of a homosexual, for doing that. "Bading" as the local word for gay or homo. But it was a different feeling for me. From that kaimito(star apple) tree, I build my dreams of finishing college, having a degree, work abroad and earn for my family. And after all the sufferings I have experienced throughout my college days, I still remember the same promise I have made to myself at the top of that kaimito tree.
As I have said..being sentimental is not weakness, it is one way of having connection to ones feelings and surrounding. It is an inner contemplation that allows you to express yourself even if youre alone.
People who knows me personally may wonder, how come I sounded like this in my blog. I am jolly person outside and a smile is my trademark at work, at home, at play or even at sleep (crazy hehehe).
Anyway, thanks to everyone who keeps on reading my blog. Its been long that I have not updated this one, but I was so happy to learn that so many have offered their reactions even personally to me. Keep reading!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The flute band and the lonely woman in Orchard

An ordinary sunday afternoon....same as the other sundays, nothing special for this week. The monotonous routine that we, play, rest, work. Head is buzzing with so much things...pressures that keeps on boiling over my head. Ahhh.....if only I can freeze time and let everything stop for awhile, so I can breathe and rest for a nick of time.

I was walking along the Orchard road....hoping to see something interesting, to relieve the boredom I feel within. Luckily, a band was performing. A road concert! A group called Quipukamak were performing infront of Takashimaya. They were a latin American band which uses several kinds of flute to play their music. Yes..I thought to myself, this one is good. So I found one corner bench and just sat down there listening to their music. Really, the sound of a flute is very comforting and lifting. It was like you are in the middle of a jungle.....hmmmmm....I got so emotional sometimes when listening to this kind of music. It simply touches my innermost feelings and provides some kind of an inner light from within, that you feel its warmth emanating.

I was so enchanted by their music, that I just got up and bought their CD. It was a magnificent music indeed. I never noticed that I already spent an hour listening to them play. I just remember the first time I arrive in Singapore. This is the same place I used to go.....just stayed here and listened to those performing bands in the sidestreet.

Another sunday has ended.......tomorrow is Monday again. The only thing that excites me is the thought that I am playing badminton this next saturday.

I am supposed to go home when, I noticed a woman in the corner who was staring at the ground. Her looks were empty, as if she was somewhere else. She was wearing a typical shirt and jeans, probably 30+ in age. I was thinking, she is a DH here since, I have never seen Filipina professionals spending their time in Orchard alone and staring at the ground. With their salary, they always have enough to spend for movies and outings.

Yeah, another homesick kababayan. By her looks, I can see she already had a family and probably was thinking about her children. Her empty and sad look, were painful to was a sight of struggle and sacrifice.

If only their family can see the pain they feel everyday just to be able to send money back home..if only they can feel what she feels.....alas such life of an OFW......I could only imagine the feeling she is fighting now, just to keep her sanity intact.

I decided to go home..its getting late already.......another day have pass.....another day to embrace.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pinoy Badminton Club of Singapore

Last May 26, 2007 at Clementi Sports Hall, I was so astonished to see the huge turnout of the badminton players that arrived during that Saturday afternoon. It all started with a single post in the forum, asking the moderator to dedicate a separate forum for badminton. Then everbody starts to support me and yes, the website granted our request. Well, then the rest is history......we initially started the Pinoy Badminton Club with 51 PLAYERS. I started a yahoo group and was able to registered 51 members. However, it was so fortunate that there were members in the group that is so committed and very enthusiastic about our objective.

Why I was so passionate on having a group like this?....Well my experience speaks itself. When I arrived here in Singapore, I was so homesick. It was like living daily in a deep water, I am always breathing heavily. The only thing I can think of to relieve what I am feeling is to play. I was a badminton fanatic, and the sport is the only way to make me feel better. And I understand how it this group will definitely cater to Pinoys who feel the same way.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

pounded with fire

Just transferred to a new company recently last 2 weeks. This is now my third week and my second time to do a night shift. I was only a week old in the company when my manager decided to put me on a night shift because the other engineer was on leave.

I was nervous because I have to answer calls from Europe and US on that shift since it is morning there on that time. I am armed with enough information on radio and networking information but with our radio, I still have much to learn. Well, anyway, I survived the 1 week night shift and was able to answer some calls, usually with a farewell quote " please email us so we can provide clear answers to you, sorry i am just new here" hehehe. See how profound, how smart are my answers.

Well, this is the loneliest night shift I have. I was the only person on the entire building gosh!, however guarded with surveillance cameras on every corner of the floor. Hah, well got to read and read....

However, I like this job more, I get to experiment and explore more on the technical side. I can research and learn from problems that we encounter everyday. Anyhow, I feel more engineer on this office than my previous job which makes me feel like a sales guy instead of a technical engineer.

Last Sunday, I was able to join a group of Filipino in their picnic in East Coast. It was a nice place, not really a breath taking view but what makes the place interesting was the number of people who are there for a picnic.

Biking and roller skates were the popular sports here. So if your a stunt kind of guy, this is the place definitely for exhibition. The group was full of fun, playing word games and eating at the same time. Topics were all about family, work, boredom and jokes.

It was a nice experience....with all the hustle and bustle on this metropolis mixed with homesickness, it is better that you share it with others who are feeling the same way. It makes your head refresh and relax.

Well, even after 1 year of work here, any time of the day even at 1 am, I still wake up homesick and lonely. But as they said, that is what makes you more stronger and wiser. Steel is pounded with fire before it forms to a perfect sculpture. We are steel and we are pounded with fire....if we resist, we can break into fragments, thats why we treat every pounding with softness and adjust on whatever direction fire wants it to that way we shaped our destiny on something unique, something magnificent...

such a sentimental of me.....hmmm....

Monday, April 02, 2007

Back to Micasa Hotel

Last week, I was told to visit Micasa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur again, to resolve some technical issues. Well, this might be my last visit, considering that I will be transferring to another company by next month. I stayed on this hotel for 1 month and I was really homesick that time, considering that I was alone in implementing the project before.

I took the Grassland bus for Kuala Lumpur in Boon Lay Shopping Center. It was convenient since, the terminal is just in front of the HDB where I stayed. The bus took off by 9am in the morning and hurriedly I managed to grab a tuna sandwich and a Strait newspaper on the way. It was a long 5 hours travel, and it was 3pm already when I arrived in Micasa Hotel.

I paid 281Rinngits for a 1 night 2 days stay and was ushered to a Micasa Suite Room on the 6th Floor. The rooms was splendid, similar to the rooms I stayed before in Micasa. And yes of course, the delicious,sweet cookies and chocolate inside the green box, is delighting.

I stayed for 2 days and 1 night in trying to resolve the issue on the Micasa Wireless Hotspot. Then by morning afternoon, I took the Lok Box demo unit from Nasioncom in Midvalley Hotel and proceed to Puduraya Hotel Bus Terminal.

I took the Konsortium bus and I noticed that their magazine was promoting some tourist spots in Philippines. At last, after reading only about Thailand and Indonesia on their magazine, they have featured now Philippines. They are offering 288SGD for a package tours, whew! that is quite very cheap. I bet, you would be taking Cebu Pacific on your flight.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Loneliness ( a poem inspired by a sad look)

by kristian

As the loneliness creeps my sanity

The pain that lingers in time

Held my breathe with strength

Gasping for air, I look on thee

Such a wide space...endless

Infinite and yet so empty

Heavy as a rock

but hollow as a dead oak tree

What is happiness?....

Is it the cool wind that rushes to thy face?

Is it the sweet song of a bird?

Is it the slow gush of water in a tiny creek?

Is it the noise of the green leaves of a palm tree?

Joy oh my ecstacy...

why such thy warmth so elusive from thee?

why such comfort far away from me?

why such radiance so difficult to see?

Answers that thy heart seeks

Is it in somewhere in the midst

Or is it just within me...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sleeping in Lakeside

It was such a very tiring Saturday, Badminton and biking at the same time. 10:30am in the morning and I pick up my bike and proceed to Bukit Gombak for a badminton. Played from 11am to 1 pm and 4pm to 5pm. I was so tired that I decided to go to Lakeside and sat down there for awhile, enjoying the breeze and the horizon in the lake. Hmmm after all..with all this activity, i still feel that in solitude there is comfort..

Just looking at the trees above me, and long before I knew I was already asleep. If not for the single leaf that fell down in my face, I would definitely spent my whole night there without even bothering that I was in a public park. Well this was my first time to feel asleep in a park, so i have to take a picture, although I am awake when it was taken hehehe.

It was 7pm when I woke up, so I hurriedly pick up my bike and proceed to go home. Such a tiring day, but still I dont understand why I feel so empty..hmm to much thinking.

Well, Lakeside has become my favorite place lately...just biking around and just sit down there in a bench..thinking.....about life what has brought me....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Biking around Lakeside Jurong

It seems that I just got hook on a new addiction recently. After badminton, now this addiction which seems to me, is very expensive and costly for me. Well, it started when a bike was sold to me for only 100SGD, since the user doesnt want to bring it to their new condo..or he just don't have really the interest in using it. Well, 100SGD is 3,000 pesos already. But, I was told that 1 set would definitely cost 400SGD to 500SGD for an ordinary bike. Wow! so in Philippines this would cost 15k to 20k already. Hmmm, well I will not be ashamed if this fact seems surprising for me, really! I grew up where 500 pesos amount would make me scratch my head. Cheap for me is 100 pesos below not 1000, so I hope you would understand my amazement.

Well so much for my kuripot (in english thrifty hehehe) attitude. Today, I just decided to bike around Lakeside. It is near Boon Lay so I thought, if it rains then I still have enough time to go back to Boon Lay without getting so wet.

Hmmm..the place is beautiful. The government here really done a good job in preserving those old trees around the lake. Amenities such as childrens playground, exercise area, chairs, bench, and even cottages were present. A typical place which I love to stay and relax. This is one nice place for reminiscing old memories and letting the cool air soothes your soul while the melodic rhytmns of your mp3 player provides the nostalgic feel. Get it?

I noticed also that there were several lovers also in the area, enjoying the romantic moment along with the birds that provides the music beneath the serenity of the place. much for passion and feelings.

By 6pm, I decided to go back to my home. What a day, although I was alone as usual but visiting these kind of places is enough to refresh and unwind myself in preparation for tomorrow's work.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dubai the Movie

This was an old movie, was quite popular then but this is the first time that I watch it. Well, a typical story from the start, that touches on passion and emotion. However, what differentiates it from the other movies was for the fact that it tells a story of overseas Filipinos working in Dubai. I have worked before in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and you bet I can relate to what they are saying about hard work and perseverance.

I was touched on Aga's wedding speech which talks about a typical attitude of an overseas worker. The moment we had the chance to come home, we always felt embarassed if we dont have anything for a pasalubong or gift to our friends and family. We are placed on a pedestal and everyone looks up to us. We woked all day, struggling and going through the fangs of homesickness, just for the purpose of sending money to our loved ones back home.

Sometimes, we suffer silently.....holding down our voices and crying silently...unknown to all the people that look up to us back home.I can relate to the movie, not because of the love story, but the experiences of an OFW on all parts of the world. Our families were all smiles and pride about us, and to keep that, we hide our loneliness, as much as possible, we show them that everything is alright here in a foreign country.

But as the movie said, it was all about family that makes us works so hard....our love and our passion to make them smile is what makes us survive and work harder. Whenever I see some Filipino OFW's in a bar, drinking so much beer and laughing boisterously, I wouldnt believe that they are enjoying because they are out here away from their family. Look deeper into their eyes and ask them about their children, and there you will see the longing...the deep sadness beneath those loud laughter....

Hmmm the movie really touches me......maybe you would understand now why I drowned myself with so much sports...badminton, biking, basketball and even starcraft...well thats one reason.

Monday, January 22, 2007

On bike around Singapore

Why extreme?....because I go biking straight for 2 days since last Saturday. What a weekend!. Last saturday, together with Alaba, my classmate during my college years decided to go biking from Boon Lay to Bukit Gombak. Actually, on that same day also, I have a scheduled badminton game in Bukit Gombak, so instead of taking the bus, we decided to go there on bike. With a map of Singapore at hand, we follow our way to Bukit Batok road, until we reach the MRT station. From there, we proceed to Bukit Gombak Sports Center to play badminton. After the game, we stop by Little Guillen, a man made lakeside park near Bukit Gombak MRT. Of course, with a borrowed Canon Ixus, we were able to take some pictures of ourselves. Then, we proceed to Hillview Avenue, the place where I used to live and back to Boon Lay during afternoon. A nice experience for my visitor lah!...

There were some nice view in the way, but my companion was too tired already, so we decided to go back home. Actually, I just started biking when I bought a mountain SRM bike from a my Indonesian housemate for SGD100 only. Hmmm..back home it would cost me maybe 10K plus for this kind of bike. It was a good bargain indeed.

I did visit some bike shops here to scout for some additional gears, hopefully to make me look more professional enough. And I was amazed and shocked at the same time on the prices of mountain bikes I have seen inside. Imagine, SGD5600 for the whole bike! It is almost 200K pesos already!. Back in Philippines, I can buy a car for that amount already.

I tried looking for some helmet around the diplay area, and you know how much it cost?...195SGD..What??? It is 6K pesos already for just one helmet! Arrgh, this sport is extremely expensive. I guess for now, I need to content myself with my existing gear.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shall we dance?...

I was alone in my home, well for information of everyone, i just moved from Bukit Batok Montrosa Condo to an HDB here in Boon Lay. The place was not really as good as before, but comfortable enough for me to live in. Well, I have spend my day in badminton court from 11am to 1 pm, then go home and by 5pm, I pick up my mountain bike and ride along the road going to Bukit Batok. I just cant remember the road going to the the place where I stayed before, I pass along the Jurong Canal, so I just ride there for a while and then proceed to Bukit Batok Road. Well, luckily I end up in Bukit Batok MRT but I have to go back since it was already 7pm in the evening. Hmmm, by evening I sat down on the sofa and play the Shall we dance DVD in the player. It was a nice and heartwarming movie. It was a story about a boring life of a lawyer, who have been searching for something to make himself happier. Hes not really desperate since he has his family and they were happy. I guess the right word is monotony, you know he has been doing the same thing for many years and he was looking for something to make his life much more interesting. And he found it in ballroom dancing, all because he was seeing this lady in a window of a dance school. That got his attention, so the story began.

Well, I come to my realization after watching the whole is more of a self esteem and pride. When you were young, have you ever had a dream of becoming someone? a rock star or a dancer?...Hmmm, I dream of becoming an engineer and I did become an engineer, but I have one wild dream hehehe. I want to be a singer, or maybe sing in a concert infront of the audience. Either solo or in a band, I love to perform honestly, are you shock?...hehehe that was my wild dream. I never had the opportunity of doing it during my college years, because life was so hard for me that time. Maybe if I had, I might end up singing in a band instead...I love singing actually but it is too late right?...well it was just a wild dream, I may love singing but Im not sure my voice would bring me good is not that good except of course for my mother and my aunt who have always said I have the best voice in the world.

Well to describe my wildest dream which I know would always be just a dream...i am in the stage, everyone was there, waiting for me to sing...and the audience roar, chanting my name. The band starts with a drum roll, and there was silence. And the the band play my first song..This is the moment. See, hehehe just like Star in A Million. Each one of us has our wildest dream, to be a someone else or to be in a moment where we felt pride and happiness. But wild dreams are just may or may not come true...
but perhaps I might try doing it, just to add some spice in my life..but where? hehehe better wake up now.