Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Point is...

The issue of the State-of-the Nation Address of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whether it brings new hope to the Filipino people or not has suddenly dropped to the point of nowhere.

The President must be thankful to this man-made tragedy in Mindanao, where killing is normal since the beginning. Muslim versus Christian, MILF versus Philippine Army. The President is now free from the prejudiced anti-government Filipinos who are trying to discredit her. Should the President be happy with this? The WAR in Mindanao is not just a simple headache to her which can be easily cured by a piece of a pain reliever. Mindanao’s plight is a malignant cancer to the President. Her order to crash all MILF, all those terrorists, all those anti-government can’t be forcefully implemented. The enemies are brutal and suicidal. They are more powerful and posses better fighting scheme. The Philippine army can’t by all means destroy them, unless they will also annihilate the enemies’ shelter – the people, the common masses who are most affected by this war.

We, the Filipino overseas are in sympathy to the President. She must be mourning the untimely death of her army and of our innocent brothers and sisters who are killed in Mindanao. But at any rate, we are a little bit happy because the value of peso to dollar is at its surprising rate. The $1:P45.25 dollar-peso ratio gives us some reason to smile. This rate means, we can send more Peso to the Philippines - to give healthy living to our families.

It’s just my point.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Unreliable recruitment agencies in Dubai

For Filipinos who are entering Dubai through visit visa, I would like to remind you that it is not easy to get a job here. As what I’ve observed in our office alone, every time that we place advertisement in the classifieds, believe it or not, we are receiving thousands of applicants from different nationalities. This shows that there are multiples of visit visas flocking in Dubai just to search for job. I would say, for 10 applicants who are short listed and interviewed only 1 can join in the company. And what will happen to the rest who are unfortunate? Back to basic normal steps until they find a job or until they finally quit.
Being an open city, competition in Dubai is very healthy. We can see the presence of various nationalities like Filipino, Indian who has the highest number of expatriates not just in Dubai but in all Emirates, Lebanese, Syrian, Kenyan, Pakistani, Indonesian, African, Sudan and so much more competing for the same job. This scenario gives rise to, permit me to say, incompetent, unreliable and corrupt recruitment agencies. These firms have the same styles and strategies. They advertise in the newspaper as real employers giving their phone number to call for interested applicants. When the applicants attempted to call, they are attended by well-trained agents who introduce their nature of business in their most convincing manner. When the applicants are convinced they are directed to come to their office with their CV’s for review. Review for? They review the CV’s to check whether the applicants’ qualification and experiences suit (quote & quote) their (agencies) prospect employers requirement. But I tell you, believe me for God sake! All those who submitted their CV’s are all qualified. Nobody is rejected and declined. Here comes the next step. The “qualified” applicants are then asked to pay for (1) registration of $30.00; and (2) final interview fee of $30.00. The registration is non-refundable and is with official receipt. The final interview fee is refundable but without official receipt. But the good thing is you can have as many final interviews as you like. This is stupid! These agencies are stupid! How could I say this? I was once a victim of them. I, my 2 friends and a lot more had gone through with these corrupt practices of agencies. How many times did I and my 2 friends come to their offices for final interview where there were no actual interviews happening? How many phone calls did we make to follow up our applications where the agents just say “don’t call us, we will call you”? The question is, when will they call us? Next day? Next week? Next month? Or the day our 60-day visit visa expires? Watch out. Nobody from the agencies will call you after you have registered and paid. And if you asked them to return the final interview fee because you were not called for it, and because that’s the condition, they will simply say, “okay, please bring the original receipt to our office and we will refund your money”. Gotcha! Had they issue a receipt for the final interview fee?


Hi guys! I’ve been here in Dubai for 2 years now. Most of my friends in the Philippines are dreaming to work here in Dubai because they are thinking that Dubai will give them what they want in life. I am not discouraging you guys from coming here. It’s your choice. But let me give you some glimpse of the working environment in Dubai , its system and labor policies. Here it goes.Losing your job is never nice, but in Dubai it’s a particularly horrible experience – especially if you’re an expat.
The root of the horror is that both residency and the right to work for expats working in Dubai ’s finance industry are dependent on sponsorship by the employer. If you’re laid off, this goes up in smoke and you have 30 days to leave the country, unless a new employer takes you on.
In reality, unless your departure is particularly acrimonious, a firm will typically extend the visa for three months after your actual departure to allow your time to find another job.
With international banks shipping bankers out to the Middle East , a serious talent shortage in financial services in the region and a desperate need for expat expertise, if you’re fired it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself out of work for too long.
One way to sidestep reliance on employers is to invest in certain types of freehold property. Some people are choosing to get sponsorship through property and bypassing the employer, because it makes it easier to change jobs.
What if you lose your job and find yourself shipped out of the country 30 days later?Western nationals may return to the UAE afterwards on a visit visa, obtainable on entry, if they cannot find new employment in the country within 30 days. This is what is locally referred to as ‘the visa run’. Visit visas last for 30 days and can be renewed an indefinite number of times at present.
Job hopping is rife within the UAE financial sector, and expats have been given an extra helping hand with this by relaxed employment law.
In the past, expatriates would commonly stay for three-year assignments and then return home. Many are now choosing to move on more quickly to other positions in the region.
But you needn’t worry too much about being thrown out on your ear. If you really destined to be here, you will.

What lesson can we learn from Missouri?

Guys, have you even been to America? If yes, for sure you know that each state has a nickname. The Americans are very proud of this, and most of them happily sport the moniker on their car license plates. Many of these nicknames seem to make perfect sense. For instance, California, which is home to the gold rush of the mid-19th century, is called The Golden State. Florida, the southernmost mainland state, is called The Sunshine State.

Other states resemble natural or manmade wonders – Arizona is The Grand Canyon State, while South Dakota is Mount Rushmore State. Some are simple; you would not get a prize for knowing that New York was The Empire State. Others however, are contradictory; Wyoming is known as either The Equality State or The Cowboy State. Still more are immeasurable. Why Missouri is called The Show Me State?

If you travel to Missouri to ask this question, certainly you will met with a variety of stories about heroic local politicians and miner’s strikes, all with reference to the skeptical nature of the state’s denizens.

A Missourian, it is said, does not believe anything without proof. This maybe the reason why it has one of the highest percentage rates of smokers in the USA.

All this brings us to a more serious point. Barely a day goes by when we are not bombarded with people telling us that our planet is in trouble. Most think it’s entirely our own fault, others think it’s a natural climate cycle. But we can all agree that burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas, etc.) is a dirty, wasteful, expensive and negligent way to generate electricity.

All of us, that is, except for the residents of the Show Me State, who need proof. As a result, a two-horse town called Rock Port, Missouri, has become the first community in the US to be powered exclusively by wind. The “city” (another American idiosyncrasy: it has 1,300 residents) erected four wind turbines, predicted to generate 16 million kilowatt hours of power each year.

Since Rock Port only uses about 13 million kW, it’s free to sell the other three million to the state’s joint municipal utilities, and hopes to freeze power prices for the next quarter century – good news for residents and businesses, not to mention whoever pays the bill for the town’s only traffic signal. The turbines may be a blot on the landscape, but this is a state with half a McDonald’s logo in pride of place in its largest city.

Missouri has been shown. It has become a believer in sustainable, clean power from a natural resource. And if somewhere with a reputation for stubborn incredibility can be persuaded, why is it taking the rest of us so long? Missouri is teaching us.


PHILIPPINES, being a democratic country, blesses its people the full freedom to live. Filipinos have all the rights. They can do whatever they want. They can eat and drink whatever they like. And if they felt they are being deceived by the President, they can call for impeachment! Remember what happened to President Estrada? To some, Filipinos are nothing but arrogant and stupid people who love freedom no matter what it takes. But for the few, Filipinos are law abiding citizens. They might neglect and ignore their national laws but when it comes to the laws of the other countries they give them their due respect.

I can still clearly recall the first day I arrived in Dubai. That was summer, way back 2006. The air-condition unit in my cousin’s room was not functioning well. I could not keep myself but to perspire. Thinking that I could bring my body temperature to normal, I went outside the house wearing only a short (pants). I used to do this when I was in the Philippines. Meanwhile, my cousin’s friend approached me. With a voice of authority, he was explaining to me that what I did was a “no-no” in this city. It was absolutely prohibited and if the police caught me I would surely end up in jail. This sounds exaggerating but this is the truth.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is one of the country’s main cities. Sometimes it’s called “Dubai City”. A Distinguished city of the Emirates, it was incorporated (from a mere town into an emirate) on December 2, 1971. Dubai is a home of 2.2M people (according to 2008 survey) from different parts of the world comprising of 42.3% Indian, 17% Emirati, 13.3% Pakistani, 9.1% Arab (other), 7.5% Bangladeshi and 10.8% others.

Dubai has a diverse and multicultural society. The city’s cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals – first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by the Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Despite the diversity of the population, only minor and infrequent episodes of ethnic tensions, primarily between expatriates, have been reported in the city.

Because Islam is the official religion and norms of Dubai, certain laws are strictly implemented to protect and preserve its culture against its expatriates. For instance, there is a special law governing the consumption of liquor and use of cigarettes. In spite of these laws, Dubai still has its best nightlife. As a matter of fact, the New York Times listed Dubai as its travel choice for partying in 2008. Clubs and bars are open until 2:00 o’clock in the morning where you can dance, drink and smoke freely. But take note. These clubs and bars are mostly found in hotels only due to the laws on liquor. And no one below 21 year-old is allowed. Unlike in the Philippines, overnight party in parks is not permitted.


It’s an undeniable fact na mahirap talaga ang buhay dito sa Dubai. Kikita ka nga ng medyo malaki pero matataas naman ang mga bilihin dito. Kung hindi lang dahil sa pamilyang naiwan sa Pinas, siguro walang mgtitiyaga dito. Paano nga ba mabubuhay ang pamilyang sa‘yo lang umaasa? Saan kukuha ng pang-tuition si Junior? Saan kukuha ng pera si Inay para pambili ng NFA? Sino ang susuporta kay mister na pitong taon ng naghihirap sa kanyang ubo? Eh, ‘yung pampakasal sa girlfriend mo? Kailangan makapag-ipon para naman medyo grande ‘yung kasal.
Ang daming umaasa sa‘yo. Noon kung hindi ka nilalapitan ng mga kapatid o pinsan mo, ngayon panay ang tawag sa‘yo. Panay ang paramdam. Ang daming dahilan. Kesyo, may sakit daw ang anak. Inaatake daw ng high blood ang bayaw mo at kailangang dalhin sa hospital. Manganganak daw ang hipag mo sa susunod na buwan. Bayaran na daw ng motor na hinuhulugan ng bilas mo at walang pambayad kasi kinulang ‘yung kita sa pamamasada. Sangkatutak na reklamo. Walang katapusang problema. Ngayon ‘pag hindi mo naman pinagbigyan sasabihin sa ‘yong ang takaw-takaw mo. Nakapunta ka lang sa Dubai nakalimot kana sa amin! Ang sarap sakalin, diba? Noong nasa Pinas ka pa, may nagawa ba ang mga taong ito sa ‘yo? Pinahiram ka ba nila ng pera noong papunta ka dito? Kilala mo ba itong si pinsan mo na ngayon lang nagpakilala sa’yo? Ano ka ba, bangko?
Hay naku! Paano mo nga ba mababayaran ‘yong inutang mo sa five six makatuntong ka lang ng Dubai? Buong araw buong gabi Pilipinas ang inisip mo. Tuwing sweldo takbo ka kaagad sa bangko para lang sa Saint Philippines (read: sent to Philippines). Dahil sa Pilipinas di ka man lang nakapag-ipon. Kaya nga gustuhin mo mang magbakasyon pagkatapos ng dalawang taon, hindi pa rin pwede. Pagdating mo pa lang ng airport buong barangay na ang sasalubong sa ‘yo. Pagdating sa bahay magpi-fiesta ka pa. Ang mahal mahal pa ng bilihin sa Pinas. Tiyak na isang lingo pa lang ubos na ang baon mo. Hay, magtiis ka na lang sa lungkot. Siguro habambuhay ka na dito. Magtiis ka na lang di sila (pamilya sa Pinas) makita sa personal.
Minsan nagdu-duda ka sa Pinas. May mga time kasi na tumatawag si Inay. ‘Wag lang daw kayong mag-alala sa kanila at maayos na man daw ang buhay nila. Nakabili na daw siya ng yero para sa bubong na sinalanta ng nagdaang bagyong Frank. Eto naman kasi si Frank ang tindi ng hagupit. At si Junior ang ganda-ganda daw ng grades, palagi daw first honor. Ang kapatid ko namang babae na si Mahinhin 4th year na daw sa college at magtatapos na sa kursong Nursing. Nakakatuwang marinig ang mga balitang ganito. Kahit papaano nagamit pala sa wasto ang perang padala. Pero paano kung ang binabalita sa‘yo ay lahat kasinungalingan? Paano kung ilang taon na pala si Junior sa grade one dahil sa pagiging bulakbol? Paano kung wala palang naipundar ang pera mong pinagkatiwala sa pamilya mo? Paano kung hindi na pala makapagtapos ng college si Mahinhin dahil nabuntis na ng boyfriend niya? Diba parang walang silbi din ang pangingibang bansa mo? Napakasakit isipin lalo na pag nabalitaan mong si mister ay sumakabilang bahay na. At ang perang padala mo ay pinanggastos niya sa kumare mo at ang mga anak mo ay wala man lang makakain.
Ito naman si Girlfriend grabe kung magselos. Diba niya alam na ang lungkot dito sa Dubai? Sabi nga ng mga beterano na dito may espiritu daw na gumagala dito. At ang espitung ito ay ang espiritu ng kalungkutan. Kaya pala may reason si Gilfriend na magalit kay boyfriend. Nasapian pala ito ng masamang espiritu at nakalimot na magtext kay Girlfriend at kung magtext man “wrong send” pa. Para pala sana kay girlfriend no. 2 ‘yon. Paliwanag naman ni boyfriend, inaasawa lng niya si Girlfriend no. 2 dito. Hanggang dito lang naman daw ‘to sa Dubai. Pag-uwi daw niya sa Pinas siya naman daw ang pakakasalan. ‘Yan naman pala. Hayaan mo na lang Girlfriend no. 1 si boyfriend mo. Nalulungkot lang siya dito. Kaya lang niya inaasawa si Girlfriend no. 2 para may mag-alaga sa kanya. May tagalaba. May tagaluto. Pero paano kung gagawin din ni Girlfriend ang ginagawa ni boyfriend? Paano kung nakikipagdate na rin si Girlfriend no. 1 sa best friend ni boyfriend? Ano ang tawag nito, pasensyahan? Sino nga ba ang dapat masisisi? Si boyfriend na nasalinan lang ng masamang espiritu o si girlfriend na gusto ding makalimot kay boyfriend?
Multiple partners
Uso kaya ang tawag nito? Sabi ng asawa mo may amnesya ka na daw kasi nakalimutan mo na siya. Ang lambing-lambing mo pa daw noong bago ka pa dito. Bawat lingo ka daw tumatawag sa kanya. Pero ano nga ba ang nangyari sa’yo ngayon? Bakit ba kung tuwing tumatawag ka sa kanya palagi kang galit? Minumura mo pa siya. Sinabihan mo pa s’yang mukhang pera. Bakit mo sinabi ‘yon? Totoo nga bang may amnesya ka o dahil lang yan sa bago mong asawa dito? Normal lang na makalimutan mo ang isang taong di mo palaging nakikita at nakakausap lalung-lalo na kung may kinahihibangan ka nang iba. Mapalalaki man o mapababae kung gusto mong mag-asawa dito simpleng simple lang. Kadalasan (sana hindi lahat) pag tinatanong mo si babae o si lalaki sa marital status niya sasabihin lang sa ‘yong hiwalay na, single parent or di kaya patay na ang asawa. Eh, sino ba naman ang dapat maging partner ni widow diba si widower? Basta’t magkaintindihan lang sila kahit walang pag-ibig at manunumpang magtanaw ng responsibilidad sa bawat isa, hala bira! Ayaw mo pa makaka-save ka ng upa sa bahay. Dalawa na kayong magbayad sa upa mong AED 500/- na single bed. O di kaya aakuhin na ni lalaki ang bayad. May purpose din diba? Pero kawawa naman ang mga asawa sa Pinas. Eh, paliwanag naman ng iba, kailangan pa ba daw uuwi sa Pinas para lang umihi? Hayan na. Gusto lang palang umihi. Kaya pala halos tatlo ang asawa sa Dubai. Ang tanong sino nga ba ang original pag tatlo ang asawa mo? Tiyak na silang tatlo ang magki-claim na orginal. Kung sino ang may hawak ng marriage contract (authenticated) siya ‘yong may karapatang magsabi na original. Ito naman si lalaki para lang nagpapalit ng brief kung magpapalit ng asawa.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Babala sa mga OFW sa Dubai

Kung iniisip mo ngayon na lumipat ng trabaho saan mang parte dito sa United Arab Emirates, babala lang po, hindi ganyan ka simple ang proseso ng pagta-transfer ng visa o pag-iissue ng bagong visa at labour card.
Pero ang prosesong ito ay likas na simple at pinahihirap lang ng Public Relations Officer (PRO) sa dati at bago mong employer.
Kailangan mong mabasa at mabigyan pansin ang anumang nakasaad sa kontrata na pinirmahan mo para alam mo kung ano ang mga limitasyon sa pagkuha ng bagong employer.
Ilan sa mga nakasaad sa kontrata ang pagkawalang bisa ng iyong karapatan na lumipat sa ibang employer kung hindi pa natatapos ang dalawang taon.
Sa pagta-transfer ng visa, kailangan ng bagong employer ang pahintulot ng iyong nakaraang employer, pagkatapos makuha ang pahintulot ng Ministry of Labour. Ang residence visa ay kadalasang ini-issue sa loob ng tatlong taon, maliban sa Free Zone areas na pwedeng mai-transfer ang visa kahit anong oras. Pero, kailangan pa rin ng dating employer na mag-issue ng NOC (no objection certificate) sa bagong employer. Ang NOC ay pwedeng sinusulat sa wikang Arabic at lalagdaan ng local sponsor.
Kung ang visa mo ay hindi sa Free Zone Kailangan muna itong i-cancel bago pa man makakuha ng panibagong visa.
Kailangan mo ring lumagda sa kasulatan na nagsasaad ng ban sa loob ng anim na buwan. Ang ban na ito ay pwedeng mapawalang bisa lamang kung ang dati mong employer ay mag-issue ng NOC.
Kung ang non-free zone visa ay pinawalang bisa, ang bagong employer ay magbabayad ng fine para sa nalalabing visa kung ang nasabing visa ay hindi pa natatapos. Ang mga expats na Masters at PhD holders ay pwedeng makapagpalit ng employer kahit anong oras at kahit ilang ulit sa loob ng isang taon. Ang mga Bachelors degree holders or its equivalent ay pinapayagan lang magpalit ng bagong employer ng dalawang bisis sa loob ng dalawang taon. Ang ibang kategorya na may mababang kwalipikasyon ay pinapayagan lamang magpalit ng trabaho ng isang bisis sa loob ng kanilang employment at kailangang nakapagtapos ng tatlong taon sa kanilang kasalukuyang employer.
Kung ikaw ay may pag-aalinlangan sa mga regulasyon ng visa at nagnanais na lumipat ng trabaho, makiusap ka sa iyong PRO sa kompanyang lilipatan mo.


Got a bad day today! My previous blogs in encountered some technical problems. I have decided to move here in google as this is a reliable host. Anyway, in the next few days I will transfer my articles and write-ups here in this site. Hope guys, you still keep visiting my site.