Friday, January 3, 2014

Yearender 2013

Year 2013 has been an important year for me as an OFW Dad and as a traveler.

This year I have reaped the harvest of my many years of hard work and homesickness when my eldest son graduated from college. He completed his BS Business Administration course in University of Santo Tomas. Moreover, he placed no. 7 on Marketing Professional Examination held in last quarter of 2012.

My son is now working in the biggest bank in the Philippines and recently received his first bonus. Though he gifted his mother, sister and younger bro and forgot his poor OFW Dad, I was in blissful state since his accomplishment was my accomplishment too. I can only say welcome to the wonderful and exciting workers' world my son!

As a gift to him, the whole family traveled to the land of my ancestors. We step foot at mainland China through Shenzhen. Aside from that, we explored Macau for one day while having Hong Kong as our home base during this time. Going against the mainstream tourists we opted to follow the off the beaten path touristy places in Hong Kong such as 10,000 Buddha and Nan Lian Garden and Nunnery.

ladies clothes from Bangkok

In addition, my baby "Happy Stripes" celebrated its first year anniversary in July. It was truly an exciting year for both my daughter and wife who co-managed our online shop. We explored the wholesale malls and markets of Bangkok and Hong Kong several times. We slowly learned the in an out of being "byahero" and "byaheras." Though I considered shopping as an arduous task, for my wife and daughter it was simply a way of life. They always find energy and strength in searching the smallest nooks and street markets just to find good quality and reasonably priced ladies apparels. As if having an online shop opens for 24 hours is a walk in the park both ladies have decided to join several bazaars in the Metro as well. Few weeks back they joined a Christmas Bazaar in La Vista and UP Diliman. Surely, this year will be as exciting as it could be since we have now established a business connection with a Filipino owned cargo forwarding company in Bangkok. We have sent a trial package from this company in Bangkok and it arrived without any hindrances in Manila after 3 weeks. Likewise, we plan to visit Bangkok shortly even if there is an on-going political crisis at the capital.

Furthermore, the most important decision I made as a Dad this year was to resign from my job in Yemen and accept an offer by another oil and gas company also located in Yemen. It was a gamble on my part which paid off after 7 weeks in limbo. Not to mention that when I reported to my new job a few weeks back our Boeing 777-300 ER almost landed on a wrong runway in Dubai. It was a few seconds before touchdown when its engines suddenly roared and revved pushing all of us to our seats. A wrong info according to the pilot which almost caused a disaster knowing how busy Dubai Airport is.

While familiarizing with my new job another challenge appeared recently; a travel ban to Yemen was again imposed by our government after the death of 7 fellow Filipinos. Moreover, 11 Filipinos were also injured during a terrorist suicide attack in a hospital in Sana'a City, Yemen.

This blog was born to consume my free time while wandering in another country during the travel ban to Yemen a few years back since I couldn't go home for my monthly vacation otherwise I would lose my job. I was elated when the ban was eventually lifted in 2012 and said to myself that it was time to go home. However, due to newly imposed travel ban I am afraid that I would start to wander again. In this case, I plan to explore the hidden beauty of Yemen. Trust me, this country is a well kept secret in the entire Arabia and I hope this will be my chance to explore it.

By the way, we will be having a road trip tomorrow. We'll be coming back to Subic. We have visited Zoobic Safari in 2009. Now, we will be spending a night at Camayan Resorts and Hotel. We'll also try to go foodie in Subic. Stay Tuned.

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