Kish Island, Iran


It was time.
I heard many stories about Kish and I was both scared and excited see them with my own eyes. To all of you who don’t know, Kish is an Island in Iran, 30 minutes away from Dubai. If you plan to go here in Dubai, you’ll be soon acquainted with Kish because when your Visit Visa or Tourist Visa expires, you have to exit UAE and then enter again with your new Visa. As of writing, UAE doesn’t require you to exit to your home country yet so it’s customary for expats to exit to Iran or Oman.

My new colleagues and I booked our ticket to Kish from a Ticketing Agency near our office and left Dubai 3 days later. It was really exciting. It was just us girls, pulling our luggage at the airport, off to new adventures and looking forward to our new job once we get back. The plane was small and we were near its tail so it was noisy all throughout the flight (I still had a good nap though!). We were given snacks on the flight before we landed 30 minutes later. The first time I landed my eyes on Kish, all I thought was “Wow, it’s quiet”. We were taken by a transport bus from the plane runway to the airport building and the moment we entered the door, we have to go to the changing area at the right and don our Abaya and Shella. The Abaya is free from the airport, but the scarf is not so you have to bring your own. If there’s one thing you need to know about Iran is they are strict with their dress code. You cannot go outside of your hotel without proper clothing – Shella covering your hair, Long top falling mid-thigh with long sleeves, long bottom near your ankles. We were warned that the Police roaming around the street won’t tolerate people who disrespects their dress code so, you have been warned.

After we were properly dressed, we fell in line at the immigration booth as they stamp our passports and then went to claim our luggage after. We were told to sit at the waiting area and wait for everybody else to finish. We were then gathered and ushered to the buses waiting outside. They will be the one who will transport us to the hotels. You can research about hotels in Kish and you can choose any hotel you want if you like so you can ask the drivers which bus can take you there (You don’t need to pay for that bus ride by the way). It was like they were waiting for us, there were no questions asked, as if we were students done with the field trip ready to go home.
Our group was sent to the Farabi Hotel’s bus first, which was also fine since it was where we wanted to stay, not because it was the best hotel but because Kish Air Ticket Agency is just beside it.

On the way to the hotel, we were amazed by the island. Kish is a quaint and quiet and would give you the idea that it was a little rural area, just beginning to become urbanized. The little island was almost like a ghost town. You will not see a single soul on the streets, the houses look closed and empty, there were no kids outdoors or on school buses or other cars for that matter. Even the malls are closed. The place was so surreal. It was too quiet and most of the buildings are under construction as if everybody got abducted in the middle of the day.

Upon arriving in Farabi your passports will be collected. Though we were hesitant to hand over our passports (consider it gold the moment you leave your country), it was a requirement so we did. You will only get it back once you check out. You will have to give them a 100 AED down payment which will be given back to you if you would not consume its value. My colleagues and I requested to have the same room and luckily, there was an available room that has 5 unoccupied beds — luckier still because one of our colleagues who’s flight was later that night was still able to stay with us.
There are no single rooms in Farabi, as far as I know. There are 10 beds in one unit and 4 of them are inside a separate room. There’s one small kitchen on which no cooking is allowed, there’s one bathroom and there’s no dinning table so you have to settle with the coffee table to eat your food. The TV has no cable and there are only local channels so it’s no use, there are no places to visit during the day so you’ll be stuck in your room the whole day, counting the hours until your new visa arrives. The only thing you can do is to rent a (slow) computer and chat with your family and friends to pass time.
Lucky for us, we were to take an exam when we get back to Dubai so we used up all those empty hours to study. It was like we were on jail. We were all so homesick.

When the days rolled and we finally got the hang of it, aside from sleeping and eating, we took the time to know each other. We had varying ages so there were lessons learned, stories told and new found friendships started. And for all that free time we had, we were thankful because we had the chance to know each other.

Waiting for a Visa is like waiting for a rain in a year-long drought. It’s like waiting for a sip of water after a long starvation. It’s like a cure after a plague. It was that one thing that keeps people from sleeping and wakes people up in the morning. Each person in Farabi hotel has their own stories. Sad, scary and humbling stories. There were murders and suicides. There were hopelessness and desperation. And to hear them all from your fellow Kabayans is just really depressing. There were people who were already staying there for months, some were forgotten by their employers and some were left by their loved ones. Some people had nothing else left with them and nothing else to wait for.
Indeed, Kish was a place of expats’ dreams and nightmares.

Days rolled off when we finally got our Visa. It was an amazing feeling! — only our Visas had one slight problem, which I won’t discuss here. But it was amazing nevertheless. It was an experience I’ll never forget and I promise you won’t too. Just keep in mind to stay safe and stay in group you’ll be fine!:)

Extra Things to Bring in Kish:

  1. Shella
  2. Small water heater if you have
  3. Extension
  4. Adaptor
  5. Patience and Hope



When Everything Fell Into Place

My last post concerning my move to Dubai was when I had arrived here.. En voilà! It has been 3 months (almost)! So I guess another update is at hand now that there are lots of improvements already. Thank God.

Let’s start with my documents.
I have already received all my documents from the Philippines :) Yes, thank God! Everything is already here with me so whatever they’ll be asking from me I’ll be able to supply. My documents are red-ribboned and stamped by UAE embassy from the Philippines. I will post the Documents You Need in Dubai next.

Next was my DHA, I have already applied for it and is now for PSV verification! That was the biggest hurdle I had faced when I arrived here in Dubai, and now that I’m already riding its waves I feel a bit relaxed.
I will also post How To Apply for DHA.

And lastly, Job.
Yeah, I already got it, finally! That last minute when I had almost given up, this one job I had almost skipped interview with, was the one that was going to hire me. God never cease to surprise me. It made me remember this picture I once saw in the internet — a man stopped digging without knowing that behind the last wall, was a room filled with diamonds..

So, what job you ask?
I’m a home nurse. Everything I had wished for for a first job here. Yes, moderate income for a nurse here in Dubai, but the work load is light while I adjust. The hours are long and grueling but I can’t complain because I think the benefits I am getting from the company cannot be found from any other companies here in Dubai.
Other companies will process your DHA application, yes, but what company can you find that will provide you with a review, a reviewer and free materials? Tell me if that’s not enticing. — I suddenly remembered that I still have to answer this 200-item exam assignment. *groans*

That’s it. The burdens has been lifted, my stress level is incredibly in the green zone now and my face is starting to clear of bumps and pimples now that I have lost the all the weights that’s been nagging on me. Right now, I am focusing on my review for the exam and for my exit, so I’ll update you on that. Please keep on crossing your fingers for me :)

Lupain ng Ginto’t Bulaklak

Bihira ako mag post tungkol sa Politics kasi, sa totoo lang, mas may gamit pa ang oras ko sa pag ta-type kung magsusulat ako ng tungkol sa patatas, pero dahil nabasa ko ito ngayon sa aking newsfeed: 7 Afghan men found guilty of rape, sentenced to death in less than three hours at nakita ko sa Comments Section na halos lahat ay sinasabing gusto nilang ibalik ang Death Penalty sa Pilipinas kaya naisipan kong ibahagi sa lahat ang naiisip ko at baka sakaling may makabasa.

Ito ang comment ko: 

I support death penalty pero hindi pa handa ang Pilipinas para dito. Para kang nag abot ng kutchilyo sa bata. Bulok na justice system + Death penalty = disaster. Pera lang, pwede nang ipapatay ang isang inosente.

Sige, simulan natin ang usapang Politics si isang kwento.

Si Pedro.
Si Pedro ay mayaman. Si Pedro ay gumawa ng kasalanan. Nagpaulan si Pedro ng pera para magmukang si Juan ang may kasalanan. Dahil sa Death Penalty, na-lethal injection si Juan. Si Juan na walang ka malay-malay habang si Pedro ay nanatiling mayaman at malaya sa taas ng puno. Oo, si Pedro ay isang unggoy.

Ayon sa obserbasyon ko, hindi pa developed and justice system ng Pilipinas. Ni hindi nga mahuli yung mga gumagawa ng simpleng krimen na hindi naman nagtatago e, paano pa yung mga krimen na kailangan pang i-solve?

Simplehan nalang natin ha?

Nakapaglakad ka na ba sa Quiapo o sa Divisoria? Tingin mo ba legal ang Pirated CDs? Ito ay pagnanakaw.
Nakapaglakad ka na ba sa kahabaan ng Recto? Tingin mo ba legal ang pagbebenta ng mga Diploma at IDs? Ito ay fraud.

Pero bakit andyan pa din sila na tila kampante na parang pandesal lang ang tinitinda? Ilang taon na ang nakalipas, pero bakit itong mga simpleng bagay lamang na ito ay hindi makontrol? Wala bang nagagawi na Pulis dun? Hindi na ako magugulat kung isang araw, inilalako na din sa bangketa ang bawal na gamot at ang mga tao ay pikit mata na lang na padaan-daan sa harap nito.

Bakit kamo ganito? Simulan natin sa baba paakyat sa ugat ng problema.

1. Bakit madaming krimen sa Pilipinas?

Kahit madaming walang kwentang batas ang naiisip ng mga mambabatas natin ngayon tulad ng “anti-selfie” bill, madami pa din ang magagandang batas sa Pilipinas. Ang problema, hindi nirerespeto ng mga tao ang batas. Walang paki-alam ang mga tao sa batas. 

Eh ano kung may bawal magtapon dito? Eh ano kung bawal sumakay dito? Okay lang yan, wala namang nanghuhuli e!”

Kung ihahambing natin ang ating bansa sa isang bahay, ang gobyerno ang mga magulang at ang mga mamamayan ang mga anak, at nagbigay ng rule ang mga magulang na bawal magtakbuhan sa loob ng bahay pero kahit magtakbuhan ang mga bata ay hindi nila ito pinapansin kahit mali, ano sa tingin ninyo ang matututunan ng mga bata? 


2. E bakit walang takot ang mga tao sa batas?

Ayon sa pagkakatanda ko sa napag-aralan ko nuon sa eskwelahan, nahahati ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas sa tatlo. May taga-gawa ng batas, may tagapagpatupad ng batas, at may tagabigay ng parusa sa mga hindi susunod sa batas. Mamaya natin mapapagusapan ang mga taga gawa at tagapagpatupad ng batas, dun tayo sa tagapagbigay hustisya.

Bakit ba traffic? Maraming gung-gong na driver.
Bakit madaming gung-gong na driver? Under the table lang ang pagbili ng Driver’s License.
Bakit madaming sumusuway sa batas trapiko? Naabutan ng pang miryenda ang mga nagbabantay.

Bakit madaming narerape? Madaming Pilipino ang luto na ang utak sa droga.
Bakit madaming pilipino ang lulong sa droga? Pwedeng bilhin ang droga na parang candy sa tabi.
Bakit madaming nagaabutan sa madilim na eskinita ng maliliit na bilot ng foil? May porsyento ang mga humuhuli mula sa kataas-taasang tagabilot ng foil.

Tama o mali?

Sa ibang bansa, hindi nababayaran ang pulis, once na magbigay ka ng idea na magbibigay ka ng pera, lalo ka nilang kakaladkarin sa presinto. Sa ibang bansa, takot ang tao sa mga pulis, sa atin kasi, paano mo nga naman kakatakutan ang mga taong hindi mo kayang irespeto? Paano mo irerespeto ang buong kapulisan kung maya’t maya may madadaanan ka sa kalsadang ibang Pulis na tila caterpillar sa bigat ng katawan at bagal kumilos, nakaupo sa lilim at nagaabang ng sasakyan na mahihingan ng pang miryenda. Oo, unfair sa lahat ng Pulis na malinis. Ang buong kapulisan mula sa kataas taasan hanggang sa pinakababa, sila ang dapat nag poprotekta sa mga mamamayan. Sila ang takbuhan pag may nangyaring krimen. Dapat maramdaman mo na kampante ka at safe ka pag mayroong mga Pulis na nakakalat sa kalsada. 
Paano matatakot ang isang tao na gumawa ng krimen kung wala namang humuhuli sa kanila at kung mahuli man ay makakabayad at kung hindi man ay aabutin ng dekada bago maparusahan?

So far, may punto ba ako o wala? Kund nandito ka pa at nagbabasa, samahan mo ako sa aking huling ideya.

3. Bakit ganito ang ating mga “leader” na dapat sana ay nagaasikaso para maluwag at maganda ang takbo ng sistema?

Sinisisi ko ang mga eskwelahan dito. Oo. 

Nagmula ang lahat ng problemang ito dahil sa pagboto nating nung elementary at high school ng class officers.
Second day of the school year, kailangan na agad bumoto ng President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, P.R.O, Sgt. at Arms at Muse?

Anong malay ko kung sino ang iboboto ko? Ni hindi ko nga kilala kalahati ng klase e.
Sino bang kadalasang na-nonominate?
Inonominate kasi gustong asarin. Inonominate kasi mukang matalino. Inonominate kasi madaming kaibigan e.

Sinong mananalo?
Sa pagtataas ng kamay at pagbibilang ng boto at ilang estudyanteng nagkakantchawan, mapapataas ka ng kamay kung kasama ka sa minority. Wala, para lang hindi ka maiba. Kasi mukang tiyak na ang panalo ng kandidato e, kaya dun ka na lang. Kasi, pag hindi ka nakitang nagtaas ng kamay mo, baka mapag-initan ka at lagi kang maisulat sa noisy. 

President, yung mukang nerd. Tutal yun ang laging uutusan ng teacher at mamoroblema sa klase, with matching iyak at walk-out. Vice President yung hindi ganun ka sikat kaya natalo ng President, ayus lang din kasi sa tingin ko sila ang pinka chill sa lahat ng officers at taga kunsensya lang pag nag walk-out yung President. Secretary naman, basta maganda ang handwriting kasi siya ang laging uutusan ng teacher magsulat ng lesson sa board. Pag siga, makulit o kinatatakutan, Treasurer agad para walang makatakas sa ambagan ng class fund. Pag malakas ang boses, P.R.O. At kung sino pang pinakamagulo at maingay, ayun ang nagiging Sgt. at Arms. Sila kasi yung mga kwelang class clowns, at siyempre, paano ka sisitahin kapag maingay ka sa klase kung kasangga mo yung tagasuway?
Ang pinaka purong desisyon lang ata sa Class Officers ay yung nag-iisang role na hindi naman talaga “officer” at yun ay yung muse, dahil walang duda siya ang pinaka-maganda sa klase.

Yan ang sistemang dinidikdik sa utak ng mga estudyante kada taon.
Pag labas mo sa eskwelahan, hindi mo ba ito madadala? Na iboto kung sino ang sikat? Iboto kung sino ang mukang mananalo na? Iboto kung sino ang pwede mong gawing kakampi at lapitan pag nagipit ka? Iboto kahit na hindi mo naman talaga kilala? 

Monkey see, monkey do.

Tama ba ako o Mali? 

Simpleng bagay at tila nakakatawa, pero kung susumahin natin, ganyan naman talaga ang nangyayari sa Pilipinas diba? Parang simpleng class officers lang. Isang pangalan na madalas nababasa, isang pangalan na madalas naririnig, isang pangalan na isusulat sa balota. Kaya eto, eto tayo ngayon na dun nagrereklamo kung kailan nakaupo na sila. Dun madaming nasasabi at napapansin pag tapos na ang halalan. Kasi para maging leader ka sa Pilipinas, hindi mo kailangan ng magagarbong requirements. Mas madami pa nga atang requirements kung mag aapply ka sa Agency e.
Kahit tumakbo ka na nung nakaraan at napatunayan mong wala kang silbi, basta lumabas ka sa Pulse Asia at nag guest sa prime time TV, sure win ka. Basta kunwari kumamay ka sa matandang mahirap, mabait ka. Para maging opisyal ka ng Pilipinas, Kailangan lang, mayaman ka at sikat ka.

Ang ugat kasi ng problema sa Pilipinas, mas marami ang mal edukado, mas madami ang madaling mabili ang boto, mas madami ang madaling mabola, kasi sa Pilipinas, mas marami ang mahirap.
Sa Pilipinas, kahit saan at kailan pwede kang tumawid.
Sa Pilipinas, pwedeng magtapon ng basura kahit saan.
Sa Pilipinas, walang stop light.
Sa Pilipinas, hindi kailangan mag-aral.
Sa Pilipinas, hindi kailangan magtrabaho.
Sa Pilipinas, hinihikayat ang panlilimos.
Sa Pilipinas, walang iligal na droga.
Sa Pilipinas, walang iligal na papeles.
Sa Pilipinas, pera lang. Pera-pera lang.

Tatapusin ko ang post na ito sa isa ding kwento.

Si Juan ay isang batang pagala-gala sa kalsada at umaakyat sa mga Jeep para magpunas ng sapatos at manghingi ng barya. Walang pangkain at pampaaral ang mga magulang ni Juan noon para sa kanya at ganun din sa sampu niyang mga kapatid na nagsipag asawa na, kaya’t nang tumanda ay wala siyang makuhang trabaho dahil no read no write. Napag alaman niyang kahit Janitor ay kailangan high school graduate na ngayon. Walang alam gawin at walang barya para maka-kain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, hindi na dumaan sa utak ni Juan na maghanap ng trabaho at bumalik sa nakasanayang panlilimos at paghahalungkat ng mga bote at plastic sa mga basurahan. Kalaunan ay nagasawa na din si Juan at dahil sa kamangmangan at kawalan ng pera, nagkaroon ng pitong anak. Lahat gutom, lahat walang pinag-aralan. Ang asawa ni Juan ay naglalabada sa kapit-bahay at ang mga anak, nanlilimos sa kalsada. Si Juan ay matanda na at madami nang sakit, oras na lang ang hinihintay niya. Kung wala silang makain, mas wala silang pambili ng gamot. Ang panganay na anak ni Juan na sana ay nasa eskwela ay napabarkada sa kanto. Ang panganay ni Juan ay nakapatay matapos mang rape nang isang dalagita at ngayon ay nagtatago na. Ang pangalawang anak ni Juan ay nang hablot ng cellphone at nang nahuli ng mga tao ay binugbog. Nang makulong at mainterview sa TV – Duguan ang bibig na sinabing “Wala lang po kaming pangkain at pambili ng gamot ng tatay ko”. Ang tatlong maria na anak ni Juan na disinwebe, disisyete at kinse anyos ang naguuwi na kadalasan ng pera sa kanilang bahay. May trabaho sila sa gabi na pikit mata nalang na tinanggap ng mga magulang nila dahil sa kawalan ng pera. Ang pang anim na anak ni Juan ay masyado pang bata para magtrabaho kung kaya’t bitbit ang bunsong kapatid, umaakyat sila sa mga jeep araw-araw upang manlimos. Ang pitong anak ay magkakapamilya at manganganak din ng tig pipito, at ang mga anak nila ay ganun din. Ilang henerasyon ang lilipas at tuloy tuloy ang ganitong takbo ng pamumuhay at sila ang bubuo ng populasyon sa Pilipinas. 


I’m here in Jumeirah public beach. I planned to run this evening and though I did ran, I was not able to finish the track. I’m still happy though because I was able to ran farther this time compared to the other days. I had to sit here and feel the wind though because my legs have failed me, or should I say, I failed my legs… Who fucking runs along with Juris anyway? I blame the itunes shuffle.

I miss the Boyfriend terribly, terribly. I have connected his presence with anything connected with sports and beach.. and with eating and sleeping and also watching movies and listening to music.. to anything actually, it’s so sad.

The other lane here is for biking. I could still bike, I think. I’m too afraid to try. I can’t even remember the time I was on an accident while riding a bike, but I just can’t ride again. Or ride alone maybe. There are also dudes here riding their skateboards (with the smashing GoPro camera of course), and also long legged skinny girls with blonde hair and pointed nose (whom God created while showing off) on their rollerskates. I’m sorry that’s a bit bitter. I blame this mentality on my heavily westernized country.

I miss The Boyfriend terribly, terribly.

I swear the day I learn to skate, I will show you. I was born with a tad more testosterone but I was not attracted too much with sports. I don’t know why. I blame my numerology and zodiac sign.

It’s getting dark and I still don’t wanna go home. I actually want to swim. leave my shoes, watch and phone on the sand and swim. Here in Dubai by the way, you can leave your phone at the retaurant table and nobody will take it — or so i’ve been told. I’m still skeptical.

Why didn’t I just stay at jome and finish the book I’ve been reading? It’s because I have this unrealistic vision of myself that I keep on trying to run after, which I don’t understand why I keep on trying to catch. I have friends and family that loves me and I have things that other only prays about, like the famous quote said, but I still don’t want to grow old and stay the same like I’m proving someone wrong. Maybe I am. And maybe It’s not so bad because change is good right? As long as it’s for the better?

I miss my family back home.

Why was I not able to learn to skate Goddamnit!

I want to go home now, but I don’t want to.
I blame myself for everything I was whining about in this post.

Terribly, terribly.

People Like People

People Like People

Some people like things that other people don’t.

Some men like boxers, some like briefs
Some people like broccoli, some prefers meat

I know people who don’t like marshmallows and people who has tarantulas as pet
There are people who like tattoos as much as your hobby but why do they get judged for it?

Some like to marry men, some women, some both
Some likes to be in a crowd while others don’t

Some worship God, some Allah, some Buddha, some none.
Why is it such a big deal what color covers simple muscle and bone?

I don’t think anything really matters in this world as we’re all just passing through.
So people, just please, stop pushing your beliefs in other people’s throat.
NOBODY needs to fit in with somebody else’s set of “normal”.
The only normal person is a person who is his own.

We wouldn’t kill every left handed people would we? Or remove the constitutional rights of vegetarians?
I think the root of this world’s problems is that everybody’s in somebody else’s business and most of the time, the things they’re poking their noses at doesn’t even remotely affect their lives.

To every person who’s reading this, I am recruiting you. Make it your personal goal to spread kindness and love in this world. By the rate things are going, the next generations of humans woud be unbearable to even live with. Teach your friends to be kind and accepting. Teach your family members to understand these new concepts they did not grow up with. And if you can’t teach them that, just teach them to stay out of the way of those who do. Teach your kids to be loving, to stand up not only for themselves but also for others who can’t and teach them to never be the bullies themselves. Begin to touch the lives of other people and spread positivity in every direction. Maybe one of these days, something will change and this very earth we are living in can actaully be fit for living.