Monday, June 30, 2014

My Hometown: Hinigaran Negros Occidental #OFW41




I watched them played in the shore while Ayah watched the three children in a cottage made of coconut palm leaves. Bryan was grilling fish, hot dogs and vegetables. I’d got the two little kids from Ayah which made four of them playing in the sand. The children enjoyed it so much for the whole morning and ate our grilled foods with cold beverages.

The first time I ever played with them in the beach that had a sad story long time ago. I never thought in my whole life, that I can enjoy the feeling of fatherhood along this shoreline.


It was dark when we returned to the house that Ayah washed them all with shampoo and bath soap. They were just enjoying their innocence of what was going on with their parents. The electricity was installed and household equipment was plugged in. We arranged the house decors similar to the one when I first enter this house. Ayah only looked at me with disbelief.

“Marco, you’re still reliving the past..”

“Yes Ayah, I loved that way, I mean the decors and curtains…remember here on this room when I planted a seed on you?’

“Yes Marco, I remember it all…that I love you.”

“Where are the children?”

“They’re with Bryan…. in the cottage at the garden.”

“Can we do it again here, love?”

“Marco, you have five kids now.”

“Doesn’t matter...can we add more?”

“Let’s put the children to sleep first…”

“Okay…yes!”

Again, the desire for Ayah made stronger when the environment called for my body to respond into her. Bryan and Ayah put the children on their beds while I imagined her in advance. I reminisced the time when we were together in the past; differentiate it, which one was better than the other.

Some of the Tuyom residents were approaching us for possible job abroad which I collected their CV’s with contact number. Two weeks had passed that we received the marriage document, left the house to our caretaker and went our way as what I thought on that moment.


It was in the year 1993 of June, when I visited my parent’s house in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental.

Along the way going to Bacolod City, we stopped by my parent’s house in Hinigaran. My brothers and sisters thanked me for all the support I extended for them through sending money every month. And, my mother and father were very proud of my present status....the dreamer, the ambitious one.

‘Marco, stay with us for a month, so that we talked together with your mother,” father suggested.

“Yes father, mother…I love to stay with you.”

“Come children, come to grandpa....,” my father said.

“No, come to grandma..come...children..,” mother said while hugging them all.

“Mommy, we’ll stay here in grandma’s house?” Anne said to Ayah.

“Yes Anne, we’ll stay for vacation.”

My parents, sisters and brothers were really liked us to stay which I thought to be the best option for me and for my family. I needed answers for some of my inner thoughts for a long time; and the interaction of my children to their grandparents and relatives. The family connection I used financially while away was not the answer for the values I want to portray with them. Nevertheless, I showed to them all that I care and love them.

In the process of surviving my life after high school, I realized now, that those days were just challenges for me to tackled, which I considered as negative aspects but in the end it’s just a way of molding me into the future. The decisions I made in the past were just a part of living here on this world. I had no right to hate my parents for not giving me the chance to finish my course. It was within me on how to roll my life forward and not because of them or anybody else.

The remorse state of my feelings for them was just to nurtured for me to grow beyond my understanding and maturity. Even though their incapability affected my ambition, still, their hearts were connected with mine.

The enjoyment of my children and my parents were a part of welding their innermost desires to be close to each other. It’s just as natural as the river flows to the ocean and a wonderful thing that I contributed to my parents without noticing it. Really beautiful!

“Marco, you’re such a wild boar...ha-ha-ha-ha-ha..you’ve got five beautiful kids, you really multiplied our clan….ha-ha-ha-ha…,” father said.

“Yes really amazing to be with them Marco!” Mother exclaimed.

I suggested a family celebration for our family that everybody was excited especially my married brothers and sisters. They wanted to intermingle with my family too, and for a long time that I never visited them. All my relatives were given each assignment for the occasion. As what I expected, they were expecting this from me. I telephoned Edward to attend for this reunion.


“Hello friend Edward, how are you?”

“I’m fine Marco...just opening for another branch here in Bacolod City. Where are you?”

“I’m here in Hinigaran, visiting my family and have celebrations for them. Can you attend now?”

“Yes of course my friend, my son Larry’s with me.”

“When you’re in Hinigaran, ask for our house in Rizal Street...just along the main road.”

“Okay, I’m coming!”

“Kindly purchase me some fresh fruits, gifts and other things that you would like to give. You’re rich now, isn’t it?”

“You son of your father, yes I will...just for you my best friend!”

“That’s the boy, thank you...waiting for you here!”

“Okay I’m coming!”

Bryan and I did the marketing of all items that were going to used, including my presents to all of them. I bought special gifts for my parents. Ayah and the kids were left in the house to help the preparation. It’s a whole day preparation that each had the time to participate.

When everything was prepared, I viewed our house like a fiesta celebration in the public plaza. It did matter to me to give them the best for this celebration.

For each table, I assigned one family and its relatives while Mama and Papa were positioned in front of us. I assigned an emcee to the program which one of my brothers prepared.

The emcee introduced the main purpose of the occasion, then, went around each table to introduce the relatives. It was a joyous time for me and my family. I really believed for their honesty in every aspect of their speeches and such a warming knowledge for me to know them better for the rest of our lives.

The children were called to dance in the front that Anne and Kent were the first one wiggled, jumped and moved their bodies to the tune. Other children followed them and howling ensued. While they were dancing, the emcee interviewed Anne and Kent. My children answered in English language fluently. The crowd clapped their hands with delight on their face, including Ayah and me.

I gave a short speech for Papa, Mama, brother and sisters; including all the relatives who were present at that time. Some prepared comedy skit, solo singing, dance solo, drama which everybody enjoyed so much.

Different foods were served for the excitement of everyone especially the “lechon.” Bryan video recorded the occasions’ from Tuyom up to Hinigaran. The emcee called me up to the stage to distribute the gifts.

“The first gifts are for Papa and Mama.” I announced in the microphone. “The next, to all my brothers and sisters...please come on stage.”

I distributed all the gifts that everyone were happy and contented. “Listen, I have a business in Manila and Dubai, and planning to open up another four stores in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Those of you who are interested to work for me, I’m glad to help you all, just submit your resume to Papa and Mama. Another gift for Papa and Mama, I will renovate this house and a van for them!”

Papa and Mama stood up, went to the stage beside me and embraced each other including me.

“Thank you son..thanks to the Lord.” Papa said to me. I saw tears forming in his eyes as I looked at him.

“Marco, thank you so much, your Papa wanted a van, one of his dream a long time ago..,” Mama said to distract situation.

“Also, for your information, my new business partner Mr. Edward Ramirez and son, Mr. Larry Ramirez, please give them a round of applause!”

Edward and Larry came up to the stage and hugged me.

“By the way, Mr. Edward Ramirez give some gifts to us, especially the pastries and fresh fruits!” I announced. “Okay, let’s enjoy this celebration....let’s dance!”

Another long table was placed for the beverages and liquors that give enjoyment for male participants. Also, appetizers and desserts were placed at the other end.

“I am thanking the Barangay Captain and his men in attending this occasion…..and for our guests too! Enjoy the night, this is for all!"



The celebration was successful that we stayed for a week to process some papers and planned for my parent’s house renovation. Some relatives instantly submitted their resumes to Papa. Some of my brothers asked some extra money for their families. For our neighbors too, I gave some money as a token of appreciation in helping Mama and Papa.

I materialized everything; what I promised to my parents, brothers, sisters and relatives. I extended to them financially, really came from my heart. It gave me the fullest satisfaction deep within and released the guilt inside of me. I had the responsibilities for them.

I roamed around the town of Hinigaran with Edward who dedicated his love for me. He was there for me, when I’m down and out; even when I’m happy and contented. He knew me more than any friends I had in the past. The trusts that I had for him cannot be ruined for the passing of time.





We stopped in front of Hinigaran Elementary School where I spent my early studies, who molded my way of thinking until I reached high school studies. I recalled all my teachers who contributed in molding my character and the whole of my being.

For the first year of my high school, my parents enrolled me in a private school thinking that I could develop myself to the teaching of the Catholic School. I truly accepted Jesus Christ as my savior but I cannot comprehend our way of life in this world. Was it because of my true faith or a natural way of human sacrifice? We brought up by our parents to believe that God created the world, that mankind has the right to decide what’s best for him and God was the center of human endeavors.

Because of my young disposition of what really life meant to me, I questioned myself why other people behaved the way they wanted it to be without thinking about God. The anticipation of spiritual changes deep within me contributed to my self-esteem to decrease slowly while I started to find the true meaning of life. It was a matter of choice to be initiated by the way my beliefs molded as a human being.


My growing years was created in this place where I contemplated my life to have meaning, for people who believed in me, who believed that life was a continuing process of wants and likes. It was the core of my being to proceed and succeed; but not to fall and failed.

The readiness of myself to explored what God has given to me; I had to conditioned the path, I had to tread what I had decided with my life and I had the right to select what I want in life.

I transferred to Hinigaran National High School - a public high school – who also resumed the completion of my educational understanding, the learning of my new life and the initial training for college level.




We entered the Hinigaran Catholic Church who witnessed my devotion to the Christian belief. I found this place as a refuge of my heart and soul. The serenity that I received through my faith to the Almighty carried-on with my feelings to survive on this world. Believing God was not a responsibility but an obligation to explore the deepness of your faith.

Once, I dreamed to be married on this church as union of my soul to God...to continue procreating the world, that the Almighty had given to mankind.




TO BE CONTINUED===


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.





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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Solaire Resort And Casino Philippines Invades The Sky & OFWs? #1MNews #SkySolaire #OFW






Really Solaire Resort And Casino Invades The Sky & OFWs too? Read On....#i-TravelWorld #SkySolaire #1MNews #OFW


Solaire Resort and Casino, the Philippines premier integrated resort, in partnership with Air Asia unveils a breakthrough branding project in the Philippines. Solaire again raises the bar as it wraps its brightly colored livery on Air Asia a popular Airbus A320, which is scheduled to embark on its maiden flight this July.


But How it happened?



Through the Partnership of:
Solaire owner Enrique Razon Jr. and Air Asia Global CEO Tony Fernandes




Solaire is the first-ever consumer brand in the country to fully wrap and brand a commercial airline, with an underlying thrust of further promoting tourism in the Philippines and in greater Asia.

This project develops the unending desire of Solaire to give its best in the future for its innovations and development. A dynamic collaboration between Solaire and Air Asia represents another step forward in an on-going journey towards providing modern travel and leisure experiences for its customers, with a fresh new approach to their target market.

This partnership will facilitate more passenger and cargo traffic in both regional and domestic flights, and foster stronger trade, cultural and tourism ties within Asia.


In this milestone, a key undertaking between two passionate brands with entrepreneurial and dynamic mindsets?


"This unprecedented branding project in the Philippines may be taken as a "leadership statement," which attests to Solaire's strong growth momentum in the industry. Yes we are again raising the bar; this time we're taking it to the skies," says Donato Almeda, Board Director of Solaire Resort and Casino.

"Currently, Solaire's brand colors are donned by just one airplane, but nothing is stopping them from further rolling out this innovative wrap on additional aircrafts in the future with broader partnership arrangements. The campaign will continue until 2016 and it is envisioned that this high-impact ad in the sky will generate more hype and publicity as the partnership progresses."



Jasper Evangelista, Vice President of Brand & Marketing, Solaire Resort and Casino said, "This aircraft-branding campaign is a strategic branding initiative which would allow us to literally take our brand to greater heights. We have created amazing moments for our customers since Solaire launched last year, and now we're aiming to further connect with our local & foreign guests and travellers by reinforcing our brand presence in the country's airports. Sky Solaire will enable us to get immediate traction on this effort and even take it to a level all its own."


How About Discovering Solaire's Create Your Moments?

"In-line with Solaire's "Create Your Moments" campaign, which highlights Solaire as the perfect place to create unforgettable memories, this fitting partnership with Air Asia, one of Asia's leading and multi-awarded airlines in their category, harmoniously evokes the key thrusts of customer service, hospitality, and excitement for both their industries. This marketing initiative is also primed to open up new revenue streams for both the integrated resort and the airline carrier."



Air Asia Philippines Chairman Maan Hontiveros said, "Air Asia Philippines is a sociable and innovative brand. We also take pride on our collaborative nature. This new livery demonstrates our creative approach to partnerships and marketing opportunities especially with companies that support our vision to grow tourism. We are thrilled to carry Solaire's brand in the sky and on the grounds at the airports here and abroad extending to as far as our destinations in Malaysia, China and Korea."


"The Solaire experience is stamped with an unparalleled brand of service style, world-renowned Philippine hospitality, top-of-class luxurious accommodations, diverse dining options and impressive gaming facilities, which have all contributed to the way people people view resort casinos in Manila. Many have opted to extend their stay at the resort, to have simply grown to embrace the aspirational and stress-free lifestyle offered to them at Solaire. Solaire Resort and Casino clearly offers the utmost experience of comfort, elegance and luxury in the Philippines right now."

Look, watch this video of Sky Solaire to be perfect; The Making and Unveiling









Well, this is for your information about Solaire Resort and Casino.




Solaire Resort & Casino, the primary property of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, is a USD $1.2 Billion integrated destination resort on an 8.3-hectare site in Manila, Philippines opened March 2013. Solaire, a luxury destination casino resort, is the first property to open in the Entertainment City, a government sponsored (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) economic development zone.

Solaire's Phase 1 features 500 luxurious rooms, suites and bayside villas, 18,500 square meters of gaming space, a wide range of award-winning dining experience and signature restaurants, sophisticated bars and lounges, and an ample multi-level car park. The property has additional 258,721 square meter expansion project under development which is expected to open 3rd quarter of 2014. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at SOLAIRE RESORT AND CASINO PHILIPPINES

Now that you know about the new project of Solaire, it really invades the sky? I will answer this one...YES.


Read through the pages of your mind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.





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Thursday, June 19, 2014

After The Gulf War: The Past Still Lingers On #OFW40





We received news about the atrocities done by Iraqi people to other nationalities inside Kuwait. Different stories were spreading in Dubai about these news, other stories of heroism and escapade too.

I visited Mike Luna in the coffee shop where he’s working and found out that he had rented a room for both of them. He was living-in with his new partner. I talked to him about his wife Lina, but he ignored me. I felt sorry for him that his life centered only in one facet of living.


It was in the year 1991 of February 15 when deadline for withdrawal had been set by the United National Security Council.

I remained in Dubai for my usual job, monitored the news headlines, an occasional night outings and continued the manpower business. The news coming from the Philippines and the local dailies were buried deep in my heart while continuing to follow its development.

The forces of a multinational coalition led by the United States compelled Iraq to withdraw its occupation forces from neighboring Kuwait. Iraq had illegally invaded and occupied Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and in January 15, 1991, deadline for withdrawal had been set by United Nations Security Council. Iraq accused Kuwait of conducting “economic warfare’ against it by overproducing oil and thereby pushing down petroleum prices. When faced with international demands for withdrawal, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein tried to elicit Arab support by offering to pull out if Israel would withdraw its forces from the territories it occupied during the Six-Day War (1967). His efforts to portray himself as the champion of the Palestinian drew little support other than the Palestinian themselves, who later found their cause injured by the support they gave Saddam Hussein.



Shortly after the invasion, U.S. naval, air, and ground forces were dispatched to Saudi Arabia, initially as a defensive force. US president George Bush constructed a diverse international coalition and repeatedly sought UN mandates for action against Iraq. Trade embargoes were imposed and enforced by naval forces. Resolutions later passed by the Security Council authorized the use of “any means necessary to bring about the withdrawal of Iraqi troops. President Bush also obtained authorization from Congress to use force, although many urged that sanctions be given time to take effect.

The forces arrayed against Iraq, commanded by US General H. Norman Schwarzkoff, included combat units from 28 nations, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Britain, Syria, , and France, and noncombat units from several others; Germany and Japan., prohibited by their constitutions from deploying armed forces outside their territory, pledged billions of dollars in financial underwriting for the operation.

The war code-named Operation Desert Storm, began on January 16 with massive allied air attacks on Iraqi military targets. The allies quickly gained air superiority; many Iraqi planes were flown to Iran (neutral in the conflict) to escape destruction. Iraq launched Scud missiles against Israel in a vain effort to split the coalition by presenting the war as Arab-Israeli conflict.

The ground phase of the war, initiated when Saddam Hussein ignored a February 23 US deadline to begin large-scale withdrawal, lasted only 100 hours. Arab troops launched a two-pronged frontal assault on Kuwait; recapturing Kuwait City on February 26, while US and European forces swept westward into Iraq, cutting off Iraqi avenues of retreat. Iraq’s defeat was decisive.



It was in the year 1991 of February 26 when deadline for withdrawal had been set by the United National Security Council.
Allied military operations were suspended at midnight on February 27. The Security Council on April 3 imposed stiff and unprecedented conditions for a formal end of the hostilities. The United Nations mandated the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons capabilities.

In the aftermath of the war, Saddam Hussein remained in power and was able to crush two major internal rebellions – by the Shiites in southern Iraq and the Kurds in the north. The coalition declined to intervene.

The war was notable for the prominent role played by high technology weapons. Hundreds of Kuwait oil wells were set ablaze by retreating Iraqi forces and millions of oil deliberately spilled in the Gulf.



It was in the year 1991 of February 26 onwards that Dubai started its developments. The expatriate workforce in the United Arab Emirates especially Dubai, continued to show the usual brisk business because of the foreign people were still around. Danielle instantly arrived in Dubai to ironed-out other important business transactions.

Dubai was gearing to be the hub of tourist attractions and business acumen of international organizations. Notable was the appearance of women from the part of Russia. They invaded the nightlife of Dubai scene which constituted more tourists and visitors around the Gulf.

Manpower businesses were thriving permanently that Danielle bought a personal visa for me, service car and a flat for me at Salahuddin Street near Al Guhrair Center. I resigned from my job in the food industry and managed to put up my own food business concept that thrived permanently. For a short span of time, I opened another two fast food stores around Dubai constructed in strategic locations.

I joined in every Filipino organization and to market the manpower and food businesses. It took some time to form the targeted network of people that really cared to trust what I had in mind. It was such a good moved for me that I uplifted the image of my company to successful endeavors.

Danielle supported me for every endeavor I made that our relationship blossomed into permanent daily living in Dubai. We carried our lives with different perspectives but more in spearheading into the future. I opened my own two manpower agencies that I planned to unify the two businesses in the future. My own transactions were mine alone that Danielle did not questioned it. For legal purposes, I documented all my dealings with government authorities and their regulations were clearly followed.

Starting from the onset of the Gulf War, I had a communication with Ayah Isabel every week that I had knowledge of their activities. The children were growing tremendously as what Ayah told me; the same with Marco Junior and Shaira Rose in Bacolod City.


It was in the year 1993 of May, when I went to the Philippines for vacation.

The rigors of my daily life in Dubai contributed much to my desire to have a break from my usual work. The improvements of my food businesses really spearheaded tremendously with my hands-on style of management and the new innovations for manpower business too.

After completing some important matters with my businesses, I purchased round-trip ticket going to the Philippines. Danielle was very glad that I had to take my break and to visit our children in Bacolod City.

I arrived in the Philippines with high spirit anticipating the happy and contented families I had. Before, I felt differently when I traveled coming from Dubai, but now it’s totally different. Ayah Isabel and Bryan welcomed me to the airport where we headed directly to our house in Bacoor, Cavite. I hugged my five children and gave time for them after I arrived. The happiness that I felt really conformed to my deepest desire for them. “Ayah, where’s Lina?” I asked her.

“Its two months now that she left us, told me to go to Imus, Cavite.”

“How is she?”

“Mike did not send money for her.”

“You helped her?”

“Yes, but I think she missed her husband.”

I kept my silence for this matter, continued to talk to Ayah Isabel. “How’s the children’s education?”

“Good, they’re improving through the help of their tutor.”

“How’s the status of our bank accounts here in the Philippines?”

“Still growing, remember, you’re transferring money every month?”

“Ohhh, yes, I forgot.”By the way, we had to go to Barrio Tuyom, your place, for some important matter together with the children, Bryan and his family."




We prepared instantly for the things to be brought, bought plane tickets; rent a ten-seater van going to Barrio Tuyom. My heart kept on pounding when we arrived at Ayah’s house before. The owner told us that they bought the house since 1988. I asked if we can tour around the interior of the house which he permitted us instantly. The house had the same in structure but different in decors and arrangement.

“Actually, I’m selling this house….if you want...we can finalize it now….” The owner said while we finished touring the interior of the house. His words were like a thousand dreams able to collide with the reality.

‘Yes, please…” I answered him directly. Next, we went to the chapel guardian and asked about our marriage contract.

“Yes, have a seat please Mr. Fernando, Ayah and Bryan.

“Okay Father.”

“I still remember that incident long time ago, your parents were killed Ayah and Bryan, sorry. The thing is that, the marriage was not fully solemnized but I kept the records. I can help you with this one for a week’s time.”

“Yes Father, please we can wait. If you need something I can help you.” I answered instantly without soliciting Ayah and Bryan opinions.

“Mr. Fernando, only, I have to go to the town of Cauayan proper for formalization of this marriage contract.”

“You need help Father?” I asked.

“No, I can manage, just wait here in Tuyom. Do you have a house to stay?”

“Yes Father, the same house of my parents,” Ayah answered.

We stayed for about three hours at the chapel office while the owner of the house removed and transferred their belongings. Bryan hired some laborers to repair the old house while we bought household stuff in Kabankalan. I rented a truck to deliver all the items that we purchased to the supermarket and got a permit for the electricity.

Our first night of stay in the old house was a moment of truth for me to realize the living conditions in the barrio with my family. Everything was temporarily used by our children who, for the first time adapted this temporary life. I never imagined that I can retraced my yesteryears with the advent of knowing what in-store for me while chasing my dreams.


Happily contented with the new environment while waiting for some important documents, I asked Bryan to find a trusted caretaker of the house while we were here in Tuyom. We went to the coconut plantation near the beach together with the children. Grilled some fish, eat ripe mangoes, collecting seashells and totally enjoying the coolness of the shoreline. Deep inside, I can still remember vividly the time when we left this place.

“Ayah, do you remember the time…..” My words lost in the vastness of the sea.

“Yes Marco, it’s inside of me that cannot be forgotten…” Her tears started to flow.

“Mommy, are you crying?” Anne asked her mother.

“Why mommy’s crying Daddy?” Kent asked me.

“Anne, Kent, this is place where Mommy’s met Daddy!” I answered.

“How beautiful Mommy…Daddy!” Anne said.

“It’s like paradise, same in the movie!” Kent shouted.

“Okay kids… let’s go….it’s time to play in the sand!”

We played with the kids at the place where we washed ourselves after the killings. I searched the heels of Ayah’s sandals in the sand.

“Daddy, what are you searching for….a big shells?” Anne asked me.

“Yes, the mermaid left it here a long time ago.”

“Daddy…let’s go to the water…let’s swim!”

“Okay, but be careful Anne…Kent…don’t ever go beyond the shore!”

“Yes Daddy…yeheeey!”

I watched them played in the shore while Ayah watched the three children in a cottage made of coconut palm leaves. Bryan was grilling fish, hot dogs and vegetables. I’d got the two little kids from Ayah which made four of them playing in the sand. The children enjoyed it so much for the whole morning and ate our grilled foods with cold beverages.

The first time I ever played with them in the beach that had a sad story long time ago. I never thought in my whole life, that I can enjoy the feeling of fatherhood along this shoreline, the shoreline of our past, the shoreline where I felt my obligation to my wife.

TO BE CONTINUED==

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.





Read More

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Gulf War: Serving the Navies #OFW39






It was in the...

Year 1990 of February, when Dubai was visited by foreign navies; including the Americans, Argentinians, French, Japanese, British and others – The Sign of Gulf War.

I was assigned by our area manager, Mr. Gamal Abdul Rahman to transact business with Dubai Mercantile and Maritime Authority - the organization who handled the traffic of the sea along the coast of Dubai - through the recommendation of the top management. I’d got a written permit from them to sell our food products inside the Jebel Ali Free Zone where the American fleets were stationed.

I organized my resources; manpower, transportation service, equipments, frozen items, fresh bread, vegetables, beverages, identification cards of employees and other legalities. Our main objectives were the American fleets who docked in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) for repairs. The JAFZ was located approximately three kilometers from the city center of Dubai where it housed some products of the world’s largest corporation. The warehouses were built according to the structural development of the management. It had a multiple docks for easy loading and unloading of product items to and from Dubai, or the whole of the Emirates. It embodied the increasing economy of Dubai by developing it to be a global market.

We constructed a temporary store along the canal where the gigantic ship was anchored where the navy people used to roam around the place for temporary break. Some of the famous international fast food companies were also there with the same purpose as ours.

Our makeshift store was connected to mobile equipment that supported our electricity needs. We had upright chiller, big chest freezer, open fryer, bread warmer, salad chiller and family sized cola drinks. The ready- made packaging was prepared in advance to avoid delayed orders. I considered this journey of mine as very exciting but hard to accomplished for our daily operations.




I was with my staff for the whole-day-operation to ran smoothly daily; to managed the stocks, manpower and to applied the QSC of our system; quality of products, fast service and cleanliness. Even giving solutions to complaints and other problems that may encountered along the way.

Our first job was the American fleet, USS Nimitz, when it docked around nine in the morning. I asked beforehand some fleet officer about the schedule, that the navy personnel were being scheduled for their rest hours by fifty personnel in one batch. We served them batches by batches for the whole day that I telephoned Mr. Gamal Abdulrahman for a possible delivery of additional stocks and manpower at JAFZ.

As we continued selling our products, the Americans thanked us for our effort in supporting them for their snacks. Each of them, usually bought a family sized cola and two large beef cheeseburgers in which they paid in US currency and not getting their change. In this case, every day I calculated our sales and stocks, and the overage was distributed to my staff as tips.

Daily, we brought all the perishable stocks to Al Fahidi branch for proper storage, and in the morning, we prepared the required stocks for our daily operation. It was hard for us to stay there in the makeshift store because of the high temperature. The usual staff cannot withstand the environment that I reported the matter to our area manager. He told me to re-assign some staff from the other stores with added remuneration.





I was managing this kind of set up for almost three months that I only managed the manpower office in Al Maktouum Street through my mobile phone given by Danielle.

It was on this situation that Danielle called me up that she gave birth to a baby girl which I was glad to hear. Another thing that she relayed to me was to go to Kuwait for business transaction of manpower by a large corporation stationed there. I answered her that I had to ask permission to our area manager, if he will allow me when I was busy for the operation in JAFZ. He permitted me for two days’ time of my emergency leave.


It was in the year 1990 of June, when I went to Kuwait for business meeting with manpower clients. I purchased a round-trip ticket going to Kuwait through Kuwait Airways. I arrived around eleven in the morning that I directly went to the office of my client at the city center. I brought my attaché case with some documents of the manpower I represented.

My client was an international fast food chain of restaurants that was planning to put up their business in Kuwait, thus, they need Filipino workers for this endeavor. He was an American guy with a nice disposition about the spreading of the business. More International fast food chain of restaurants are willing to invest to this place especially the United Arab Emirates. And this client of mine has the financial capability to go on with their plans; and they need Filipino workers for this purpose. We talked each other personally during our lunch that he relayed a message about the rumor of Iraq invading Kuwait for the coming month.

I called up Danielle about the news and she told me to come back in Dubai City for finalizing the remaining transactions. I hurriedly left Kuwait and back in Dubai where I personally copied all the data to my diskette. Also, I telephoned Danielle about purchasing independent visa for me that she answered in a positive tone and I held a meeting with the manpower staff about the rumors.

I was back with my usual job in JAFZ where different fleets and ships were being repaired. Rumors now were spreading like wildfire around Dubai about the Gulf War; some expatriates were only disregarded while some were over speculating. Other people were spreading about the possible chemical attacks by Saddam Hussein. Everyone I met feared for their lives and calling their loved ones in the Philippines.






There was no news about the rumors but I observed that more navy ships were coming from Dubai seashore when I checked Danielle’s house at Jumeirah Beach. The ships were anchored from Dubai shores up to Sharjah shoreline.

It was in the year 1990 of August 2 up to February 26, 1991, when Iraq occupied Kuwait. Kuwait an oil-rich Arab sheiksdom in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula at the head of the Persian Gulf became independent in 1961. Kuwait is bordered in the north and west by Iraq, on the east by the Persian Gulf., and on the south by Saudi Arabia. It ranks fourth in proven oil reserves (after Saudi Arabia, the USSR, and Iraq) and was a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC).

The Sabah dynasty was established in 1756 after Arab tribes settled the area. Kuwait was nominally a province in the Ottoman Empire, but the sheik received British protection in 1899.when the Turks threatened actual control. Kuwait achieved independence in 1961, but when Iraq claimed the area, it again received a British pledge of protection. Under the 1963 constitution, executive power is vested in the emir and exercised by a council of ministers. Sheik Jabir Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah became emir in 1977. The legislature was suspended from 1976 to 1981 and again in 1986; an interim council without legislative powers was elected in June 1990. In the 1980’s Kuwait was subject to terrorist attacks by Shiite Muslim Extremists, including the 1985 attempt to assassinate the emir; it supported Iraq against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War (1980 – 1988).


On August 2, 1990, after dispute over oil, money, and boundaries, Iraq occupied Kuwait, a move condemned by the world community.




We panicked by the news of chemical attacks that all of us feared for our lives. Gas masks and masking tapes were selling like hotcakes in the market. Panic buying was showing in some other areas; Deirah Side Souq, Supermarkets, Al Fahidi Street and even some Malls, but we were still opening our stores around Dubai. I instructed my staff to minimize selling of goods for our consumption in case of chemical attacks and to be ready always, when worst comes to worst.

Also, we came to our knowledge that some owners and managers of the companies around Dubai were evacuated their families at the onset of the occupation. Our company issued a memorandum that nobody can leave Dubai because all possible route terminals were suspended. We were discouraged for this announcement that we felt discriminated because we knew that our Company's top managers left us beforehand. We had no other choice but to stay with our jobs. We suspended our operation inside the JAFZ that we took our duty on our respective stores.

As the days passed without any chemical attacks happened, we enjoy serving foreign people of different nationalities. Brisk business of all sorts was increasing due to these developments. The fear inside of us became an enjoyable experienced wherein we intermingled with the foreign people. We had lots of tips from them everyday that we can use with our nightlife, together with them.

Our stores around Dubai got an increase in sales for the first month of the invasion. But the stocks were limited from the main office in Sharjah because of the restrictions during the occupation.

American people were very friendly and gave tips every time they purchased food. Disco houses, themed-parks, shopping malls were full-packed with navies that each night when we came home from work, we can see foreign people sleeping outside our store and some in the roadside. Everyday, we experienced this kind of operation that my friends were also tired for their daily operation.

In the manpower office, I instructed them to open daily to do their jobs. Danielle called me up daily for the Dubai happenings and she in return gave the news that I needed in Dubai. Every week, I had a scheduled call to my wife in Bacoor, Cavite for their living conditions.

We received news about the atrocities done by Iraqi people to other nationalities inside Kuwait. Different stories were spreading in Dubai about this news, other stories of heroism and escapade. News were spread by mouth through the navies, not by the media.

I visited Mike Luna in the coffee shop where he’s working and found out that he had rented a room for both of them. He was living-in with his new lady partner. I talked to him about his wife Lina, but he ignored me. I felt sorry for him that his life centered only in one facet of living.


TO BE CONTINUED---

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.





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Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Friends And The Sign of Gulf War #OFW38


I telephoned Mr. Gamal Abdulrahman in Sharjah Office for possible extension of my emergency leave which he answered positively. I immediately talked to them about the celebration.

“Okay, all of you know that Ayah and I are very happy for the turn of events. I’m planning to have a party for this occasion. I need your suggestions….”

“Marco, I think just a simple celebration here, the better?” Edward suggested.

“How about you Bryan? By the way, what’s the name of your wife?”

“Donna, Marco….she’s from Bacolod too.” Bryan answered.

“Nice to meet you Donna and thank you for helping Ayah….”

“Me too…. Marco.” Donna replied.

“Lina how about you?....” I asked.

“Yes, here inside the house the better….” Lina suggested.

“Okay then, let’s prepare….with videoke machine?”

“Yes….” Everybody answered in unison.


Edward and I listed all the items, went to SM Supermarket in Makati, and called Danielle in Greenhills to come with us buying the celebration items. We’re like small children gathering fruits in the field without knowing the consequences that lies ahead.

While Edward continued to load items in the supermarket strollers; I relayed to Danielle what transpired for last few days. She’s happy for me and glad that we’re heading our lives in Dubai.

“Marco, I’ll be in my manpower office in Makati for the meantime while waiting for you. Enjoy your time with your family.”

She kissed me even inside the supermarket and left. We continued buying things, ordering cakes, renting a videoke machine and decorated the house. Everybody’s were contributing their effort for the positive outcome of this celebration. Edward and I took the food as our assignments; Lina and Bryan for the decors and lightings, and Donna for the children, with Ayah Isabel.


I prepared my favorite appetizer, “Fish kinilaw, beef steak, grilled milk fish, menudo, beef afritada, fresh fruit salad, and three bottles of tequila Cuervo. Our table setting was superb like in a five-star hotel where different foods were placed in their own containers. I positioned the four-layer cakes at the center of the table. While I was doing my assignment together with Edward, we’re drinking the liquor, shot-by-shot...to energized.

The videoke machine was placed near the table where I placed the liquors and beverages and used my ingenuity in setting and preparing the table for this occasion. Ayah and Lina were watching the children when I approached her.

“Lina, how are you….. Mike sent a letter to you?”

“No, Marco….he’s not sending any money neither..”

“Don’t worry I’ll remind him. Anything you want, just ask Ayah about it, okay?”

“Yes Marco, thank you so much!”

“You visited your child?”

“Yes, Marc, he’s fine.”

I hugged Lina Luna that she cried in my arms. She’s distraught with her husband, Mike Luna in Dubai.

“Don’t worry, I’ll talk to Mike about it...just enjoy tonight, okay?”

“I’m happy for you Marco…..you developed your life for the past years, while for us..it’s slowly breaking apart...”

“I’ll help you and Mike...don't worry...”

I separated from Lina to offset the situation, held the microphone for a toast.

“Attention everyone, this occasion is for my newborn daughter, and for my son…who lost because…..okay, let’s have toast!” We drank our beverages and began to eat.

Everyone enjoyed the food while the music was on the air to remind us...reminded me that I was sold my soul to the devil.

Edward took the microphone and sang, “My Prayer” and after a while Lina had the microphone, sang. “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” They simultaneously sang their favorite songs where I sang, “My Way” just for them to know that I was doing my own way to get rich.

We celebrated this day with my family that needed my love and devotion. But those hours of my life away from them was not merely a work...it’s a continuation of my dreams.



I spent my emergency leave for two weeks with my family where I kept Danielle out of their view. We came back in Dubai together and go on our separate lives in the eyes of my friends. I visited them all including Mike Luna which he lied to me about his status with Lina Luna.

Arnold Castillano visited me in my room to tell his condition that he cannot controlled his emotions.

“Marco, since that bad moment of my life; I cannot control my feelings towards Joel. I’m asking myself why...and how?”

“Are you serious Arnold?”

“Yes, Marco, I’m longing for that thing…”

“You mean to say, you love Joel Arevalo?”

“Yes…I told him about this, but until now, he’s only playing with me.”

“You have relationship with other men...M2M or only Joel?’

“Just for him….only once…and I gave him money when he needed it.”

“One of these days I will visit him and talk to him about this but you need to control your feelings and don’t get entangle with other men especially other nationalities, okay Arnold.”

“I’ll try Marco.”

“Do it...don’t try.”

“Yes Marco.”

He left me inside my room wondering the consequences of not helping him instantly on that night; that our cowardice to fight for him was showing on his personality, growing into another dimension of his soul. That was none of my business but I had the feeling that I contributed a mark on his destiny. The damaged upon him was a fate intended for him alone, not for me. I had my own destiny to tackle but not the same for him.

I held a party in my room that all of them attended; Vivian Montoya, Joel Arevalo, Arnold Castillano, Mike Luna, Ronnie Ramirez, Susan Magtoto and Roger Ferrer. I prepared and arranged the room for us to sit down in the floor, Japanese-style. Everybody was with me when I talked to them in a serious mode.

“I hold this party just to all of you to understand. I’m your friend here away from home. Whatever help I could extend to all of you, it’s deep within my heart. Let’s eat friends!”

Everybody ate the food but nowhere to be heard them speak about their love affairs. I noticed Joel and Arnold were talking about something in one corner of my room while Mike Luna was chatting with Vivian Montoya all throughout the night. Susan Magtoto was amazingly attracted to Roger Ferrer. But Ronnie Ramirez told me something about Roger Ferrer; he befriended Ryan Mallari and Glenda Teruel that he visited Danielle in manpower agency. And I observed them all throughout the whole night.

The observations that I gathered that night were all confirmed after a month’s time. I kept my knowledge to them and kept my private affairs out of their knowledge. I visited Danielle’s place in Jumeirah when I want to be with her. Our relationship blossomed until she got pregnant. She needed to be back to the Philippines for this purpose because of the government restrictions for the pregnant woman in Dubai.

We separated our ways but our communication was opened to each other. The thing that I completed before she left was the transferring some of her assets to my name. I continued working with my company and at the same time, running the manpower agency in Dubai.


It was in the...

Year 1990 of February, when Dubai was visited by foreign navies, including the Americans – The sign of Gulf War.


I was assigned by our area manager, Mr. Gamal Abdulrahman to transact business with Dubai Mercantile and Maritime Authority through the recommendation of the top management. I’d got a written permit from them to sell our products inside the Jebel Ali Free Zone where the American fleets were stationed.





TO BE CONTINUED---




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.





Read More

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