Saturday, August 30, 2008

Opps! I Got an Award

I received an Opps Award from a fellow blogger and OFW, witsandnuts. It’s so flattering to know that someone out there appreciates the things and effort you put in what you do. Nakakataba ng puso.

The Oops award was created and is to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their humor and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a “special honor”. Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to others.

Here’s the reason why she finds my blog deserving:
“Through bloghopping from Sassy Lawyer, I landed to The Sandbox (his blog). Since then it became a regular read. I am especially looking forward to his Buhay Buhangin Series because these are witty reflections of life in Middle East.”

The rules for passing this honor on:
1) Pick 5 blogs that you would like to award this honor to.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Oops” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

In return, I’m passing this award to the following:

donG Ho – his travel journal of the Philippines is informative along with those beautiful shots he took of each places.
ever - a fellow OFW in Kuwait who made a name for himself through his art.
panaderos – his life and adventure in the US are really inspiring.
R-yo - his memoir of his life in Japan is quite revealing at the same time stimulating.
Tito Rolly - a teacher, a painter, a poet. Need I say more?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pinoy Sa Likod Nang Kurtina

Foreword: I got this prose from my inbox forwarded by a good friend, Ferdie L. I don’t know who the author is. Perhaps his/her name got lost or deleted while on transit from one address to another. This soliloquy paints a picture of a day to day life of an OFW in Dubai. It allows us a glimpse of the sacrifices our brothers and sisters have to make in order to better their lives and that of their families. - BlogusVox

Over a thousand Filipinos arrive in Dubai every month. And why not? Literally, the sun shines here all year round; prosperity is in the air; and it's a place where people have reasons to dream of waking up in the morning as millionaires or with kilos of gold on their lap.

Yun nga lang, habang hindi pa nangyayari yun, iba ang nakikita ng maraming Pinoy pagdilat nila sa umaga… kurtina! Betcha by golly wow! Paano ko ie-explain to fascinated Pinoys back home our living condition here!

Noong una akala ko isolated cases. But with the skyrocketing apartment rents in this City of Gold, such conditions are becoming the norm.

Sideways... sidesteps.
Hindi yan dance step. That's the latest move ngayon sa mga sharing flats. Sa sobrang liit ng space, patagilid ang galaw. Kaya minsan, mga ka-flatmates, hindi na magkakitaan. “Hoy, where have you been, ba? Hindi ka na umuuwi sa flat!” Kasi nga lagi silang naka-sideview.

Warning: Smoking is dangerous to your room.
Hindi health reasons ang dahilan bakit bawal magyosi, no! Ang styrofoam kuya! Yes, naunahan ng Pinoy ang IKEA sa innovation na yan. Yes, styrofoam walls, styrofoam doors, styrofoam room. Di ba nga naman, styrofoam keeps you fresh! Para kang gulay, o kaya ice candy. Pero siguro mas feel mo minsan na “tuna” ka, o di kaya “sirena” kung feel mong si Marian ka. “Ate, di ba fire hazard yan"? "Anong fire ka dyan? Rent ang mas nakakamatay dito"! Illegal ang partitions sa Dubai . At least ang styrofoam, pag nagkahulihan, mabilis sa baklasan. "Gets mo"? "Yes, Ate". Therefore, “no smoking”: ang sirena baka maging daing!

Burj Al 'Cupboards'
Hindi lang Emaar Properties ang may 'K' na magtayo ng skyscrapers? Haven't we heard, the Philippines is a major supplier of architects in Dubai? In other words, nasa dugo natin yan! Kaya ba ng Arabong gumawa ng rooms out of cupboards, luggages and shoe boxes? Dati sa airport lang bida ang mga luggages, ngayon multi-purpose na: dividers na rin sila para ang isang kwarto maging lima!

Pampataas sila sa mga cupboards kasama ng mga shoe boxes na pinaka-antenna. Siyempre, the taller the better, you keep your neighbor's eyes away.

Now Showing
Pagpasok ko ng flat, akala ko sinehan, ang daming kurtina. Mga kuarto pala. Pero ang cute, cinematic. Parang barangay, complete with eskinitas. Kada bukas ng telon, parang movie… sari-saring life. May natutulog, may nag-eemote, may naka-curlers, may nakasimangot. Sa panlimang kurtina, may nag-totong-its, sa pang-anim, may naggugupit.

Ang gandang movie, di ba? “Ang Pinoy sa Likod ng Kurtina!”

Paraisong Kurtina
Ayyy! Our Paraisong Kurtina. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry. Be proud of our Paraisong Kurtina. It exists because we'd rather send our money home than spend more for our comfort. Within its walls, lies our desire for a little privacy, our groans, our tears, our dreams, our struggle for some little savings. My curtain says a lot. It says, “I have saved again, inay; I'll be able to send money next month.” Dream mo pa bang pumunta ng Dubai?

Mag isip-isip...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Deceitful Salesmanship

The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it. - Oscar Wilde

In these trying times, even OFWs penny pinch to save more to bring back home, so do we. My wife’s “radar” is always on the lookout for the cheapest stuff we need to put more premium on our hard-earned money.

Yesterday my wife heard that Danube, a mall-cum-supermarket, advertised a promotional sale. We never shop there except to bring our daughter to enjoy the rides in its amusement park. But since its on “sale”, we went there anyway and proceed directly to its Promo Section.

What caught my eye are stacks of 6-pack beer in one corner. The bold sign says “buy 1 + 1, SR11.50”. That’s cheap. Doing some math, each bottle cost less than 1 riyal considering each beer cost SR2 up to SR2.50 tops depending on the brand. I took two 6-packs and proceeded to the check-out counter. I unload the beers last because it’s the heaviest among the goods we bought. When it was scanned, it registered SR16.95. Whoa! I told the cashier to scan it again and the price is the same. I complained to the supervisor and he went to see where I got the beer, when he came back, his tagging a “kabayan” along. The “kabayan” explained I took a “Holsten” brand which cost more. What is he talking about? Even if that brand cost SR2.50 each, that’s still SR1.95 less than what they are charging me. Besides that, the sign says “buy 1+1, SR11.50”. No mention at all about “Holsten” cost SR16.95 or “Barbican” cost SR.11.50. Pissed, I returned the beers and went home.

At home while unpacking and storing the items we bought, my wife did a review of the sales receipt. She told me they cheated us on another item. The “Fairy” dishwashing liquid was on sale for SR.7.95 but they charge us SR.9, its regular price. I looked at their ads again and true enough; the Fairy was on sale but the white one. My wife took the yellow one. What is deceitful was my wife took it from the Promo Section where all the products are supposed to be on sale. I told her to forget it. I’m not going back to that place again.

I don’t mind if businesses apply selling techniques to attract more customer. But to put up perplexing ads in order to confuse consumer is tantamount to cheating.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tag! Your “It”

I was tag by a fellow blogger and OFW, witsandnuts, and I apologized to her if it took me this long to answer it. Anyway the rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag as many people you want.

I have the urge to ransack my bookshelf for a “deep thinking” book but that would be cheating. So, since the nearest book within my reach is a technical one, sorry if this may sound mambo-jumbo to you.

Book: Network Programming in C by Barry Nance

The first thing to note is that the high-level call fopen() is not generally LAN-aware, and does not provide a means for indicating sharing mode and access mode. At any rate, avoid using fopen() in your LAN-aware applications; it does not give you enough control over the different file-sharing modes. Use the open(), _open() or sopen() calls instead, as outlined in the following sections.

I’ll pass muna in tagging others.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Temporarily Signing Off

I won’t be able to blog for sometime because a job order is forth coming that will occupy most of my time. My apologies in advance to all my blog pals and frequent visitors, but as Gen. Douglas McArthur once said… “I’ll be back”!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Olympic Fantasy

Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories. – Sun Tzu

The Beijing Olympic is just around the corner and all participating countries are gearing up, hoping and speculating how much gold medals they will win. The Philippines is no exception. We created programs and spent lots of money with one thing in mind, to bring home that much coveted Olympic gold. From Marcos’ Gintong Alay to the present administration’s dangling of millions of pesos to who ever win that elusive medal, we must have our Quixotic dream.

But let’s face it. We field in entries in almost all events without thinking if we have a chance to even qualify. Not only that, as far as I know, we are the only country whose officials outnumber athletes in its contingent. Unlike the Kenyans, where you can count their group in your fingers during the opening ceremony parade, yet how many gold do they brought home? Five? Six? It speaks volume considering their fewer numbers. That’s because they concentrate in only one, the long distance running events. Their bodies are built for it; it’s their strength so they focus on it.

Except for boxing, Filipinos doesn’t have the body structure to compete in any international athletic event that requires strength, speed and stamina. You know where were good at? Skills. We’re world class when it comes to bowling, billiard and martial arts because it requires skill. We should concentrate more on events that involved skill like archery, gymnastic, synchronized swimming and diving, instead of recruiting Fil-Ams from American Universities for track and field or paying professional basketball players with questionable citizenship.

If we pool in our resources and capitalize where we’re good at, then maybe we will have a chance to fulfill our fantasy.