OEC 2.0 (2016 Version)

So, last year I have created a blog post entitled Exit-OEC. This was about how to create your online OFW data and the process of logging in to bmonline.com where you have to register your details as an OFW and be able to request for an appointment in getting OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate).
This year as a prep for my January 2016 (unplanned) vacation, I have gone through the same process but with a little bit of improvements. On this post, I am sharing you my experience during my 27 Dec 2016 – OEC Appointment schedule.

I have logged in to my account, schedule the appointment and after completing it, I have received this Email Confirmation.

After deciding of when to go home as a result of the blog post The Fear of Losing Job, I have purchased my ticket and did the steps below for OEC 2.0.

Note: I have highlighted the Official Steps (in yellow) as the Steps you take when you are onsite during your appointment date. The steps below are “My Steps” according to how I did this process.

My Step 1 – Log in to Balik Manggagawa online (make sure you keep your details) 
Log in and find that green box where you are able to know if you are exempted to get a new OEC or you need to do another appointment/schedule. In my case I was redirected to make another appointment. I didn’t really totally understand why I am redirected to it when in fact majority of those who travelled last year has an exemption… but according to this article, some reasons are stated. Check out Question no. 8.

So, I logged in and arrived at my profile. Under this profile are 3 items : 
1. Personal Data, 
2. Contract Particulars and 
3. Legal Beneficiaries / Qualified Dependents

You can freely change details if you have changed to another employer or if other information has been changed. I clicked the upper right green box and I was redirected to the appointment schedule. I entered my flight dates and the calendar pops up where I could choose a specific date for the appointment.

This is my main profile page and on the upper right, you’ll see the green box to either acquire or be exempted for OEC.
For those who are exempted, this one will show up:
Photo from:  poea.gov.ph/files 
My Step 2 – On the Day – Go to the Appointment on time
My schedule was at 9:00 am – 27 November 2016.
First schedule was my 2015 appointment .. Don’t know what happened that it shows “cancelled” when I have completed it. maybe that’s why I was not able to get my exemption this year.

Then under that is my schedule this year – it says “approved”

My Step 3 – Struggle where to go
Yep! I am adding that step simply because when I arrived in the embassy, I struggle to find someone (or a visible guide) who could actually guide me properly on where to go. So get inside the office  look around, trying to ask questions to fellow OFWs (whose answers are also “I don’t know” because they too are on the same ground as me), and then I found this A4 paper posted on the wall for the process and although I wasn’t sure if I understood it correctly but I proceeded to the OWWA line – as step 4.

Step 3.1 (Official Step 1)
Extra Step before Step 4 (if you’re registering the first time, or if you’ve changed your company). Outside the office is an area where (Official) Step 1 starts, it’s where you as first timer/ if changed company starts the process. You need to bring the following:
  • Original and copy of your contract
  • Original and copy of your passport font page (main info) and the back page 
  • Original and copy of your visa

Above documents has to be submitted to the assigned personnel including a form that they give you onsite. Once completed, you proceed to Step 2

My Step 4 – Queue for OWWA (Official Step 2)
OWWA payments are collected every 2 years, that means your 92 AED (around 1,196 Php : if 1 AED is 13 pesos) will be your membership fee for the next 2 years, let’s say for example in my case I paid that amount in 2015 Nov and so mine is still valid until 2017 Nov.
As I reached my turn, the officer told me, it’s still valid (saved my 92 AED this time 🙂 ) then I flew right away to the next line. – Step 5 OEC.

Step 5 – Queue for OEC (Official Step 3)
I was the 8th or 9th person in line. This day is not that busy though, so it was a bit of smooth, in fact I have completed the process in 25-30 minutes.

OEC Fee is 10 AED (Around 130 pesos)

Process Complete!

* * * 

This day’s appointment is somehow 3.5*. (5* if I am totally satisfied). Let me explain… I gave 3.5 out of 5 because I think, the Embassy missed to assign a proper reception to receive the applicants. 

I would suggest:
First, that they prepare a small table right in the entrance to POLO/OWWA Office before entering to the main villa. One who could guide if the person should proceed directly to which step and at the same time issue the forms required.

Second, that all staff “still” needs to be friendly. Wonder why I say so? Because few years back, I vented out my frustration about how some of the officers attended me and other people.. Wanna know what I wrote? Read that on this Facebook review PH Embassy on 2013 page.

Out of the 3 staffs I met on this day, 2 of them are pleasant, but one is not. I won’t say if he/she but that person somehow made me and other OFWs disrespected, but I just let it go. 

The fact that I have completed this process in half an hour or less is already a good thing. I just hope that it is going to be faster and more efficient than ever. Still giving a thumbs up though!

Hope this blog helped! tell me your experiences too!

God Bless!

Blog post by : JM Kayne

2016 – Year-End Review

Another year is about to close and a New Year is about to unfold.

I struggled how to structure this year’s year-end review that it took me only 2 days before 2017 to complete it. Thanks to Arriane Serafico! – a new personality/mentor I have followed for a while who has inspired me in some ways. She has given this worksheet where I could easily use to complete my 2016 year-end review.

So, in this post, I will divide it into 4 major topics as I look back what this year has been according to the worksheet guide.

3 Things I’m Most Proud Of Accomplishing in 2016
This year, aside from completing all our documents for our migration plan… below 3 items are the things I am proud of. Needless to expound, but these three are the major accomplishments, links to the stories of each item is  available.

  1. Purchasing my own domain and checked out that dream from 5 years
  2. Travelled to Sri Lanka
  3. TVM issues – The Vineyard Magazine has been running for 4 years now and I praise God for completing another year of 4 issues.

3 Things I Wish I had Done Better
I somehow become lax about these three important things in life this year, although not completely zero but I am aware that I didn’t focus much about them.

  1. Losing Weight / Exercise – yes, I know I have gained much… 🙁
  2. Learning something new – Haven’t invested in education/learning this year…
  3. Stronger Faith / Relationship with God – I have struggled for the new service that Kokobear and I have in the past 2 years, quite long isn’t it – but it was only during the 3rd quarter of this year, that I have fully accepted it.

Roadblocks that Prevented me in Doing Better:
Number one enemy/sin that has become a roadblock for me in not accomplishing the above “Could have done better” items is being lazy! Procrastinating much and being discouraged or shall I say somehow low-self esteem in some other moments. I guess I have limited myself in a way that I didn’t work harder in losing weight or learning something new – I feel I was stagnant. But now that I am doing this review and realize these, I would definitely try to be better, work harder and aim higher!

This 2017 I will devote most of my time for

To Learn

To Create

I don’t usually create a theme for a year but this year, thanks to Arriane, I am encouraged to do one! 

LEARN and Amplify CREATIVITY 2017

I also want to share this post from Positive Energy, posted by Ate Lou, inspired me . . .

May 2017 be a great you to you and your family.
God Bless!

Blog post by : JM Kayne

SRI LANKA Day 3 – Galle

Welcome to day 3 of our Sri Lankan adventure. If you enjoyed Day 1 & Day 2, well there is more! See the summary below.

Day 3 – Galle
– Left hotel at 9 am
– Turtle Farm
– River/Mangrove Tour
– Buddha Statue 
– Moonstone/Gem Factory
– Dutch Canal
– Galle Jewelry Street
– Skills fishing (missed)
– Head home, dinner on the way @ KFC
– Arrived hotel @ 10 am  
Turtle Farm @ Arun & Aman Turtle Conservation and Research Center
Entrance Fee – 1000 Rupees (27-30 AED)
Tip – Expected 
 Kokobear holding a  5-kilo turtle.
 Sri Lanka has 5 out of 7 (in the world) species of turtles.

Our 1 and half drive started at 8:30 am, arrived at the Turtle farm and started holding/carrying turtles of different shapes and specie. According to our guide the world has 7 types of turtles and 5 of them can be seen in Sri Lanka. It took us less than an hour in this place and moved forward to the next destination. 

River/Mangrove Safari 

Entrance Fee – 2500 – 3000 Rupees (30-65 AED)
Tip – Expected 
Part of this cruise is a stop over in one of the fish spa along the river, cost 150 rupees per person.

It took us more almost 2 hours to travel this very wide and long river/sea connected to the Indian Ocean. We owned the small boat with our guide/boat driver. We stopped over in some islands and the most interesting was the Cinnamon Island wherein we were able to see how the oil and powder are prepared. It was sunny & cloudy and we are facing the sun all the way!  This activity is actually the cause of our sunburns. 🙂

Buddha Statue en route Moonstone Factory
Entrance Fee –  Free
Tip – Not needed. 

It’s a big and white Buddha statue standing in the middle of a small river with a bridging one point to the other. This can be seen as we proceed to the next attraction.  

Moonstone / Gem Factory
Entrance Fee – Free
Tip – Not needed, but maybe buying a stone/jewelry will make them happy. 
A raw moon stone it is. Actually they also have other precious stones…

It was a holiday so there were few workers in the shop, a lady showed us some of the stones they get from the hole moon stones were popular in the site but they also have other precious stones such as amethyst, sapphire, emerald and more. After the tour, they will show you’re their shop and you can start your shopping 🙂

Dutch Canal and Galle Jewelry Street
Entrance Fee – Free
Tip – Not needed. 
 The canal is overlooking Indian Ocean… strong waves and big rocks right in front of this deck.

The canal and Jewelry street are back to back, in front is the Dutch Canal where you see the Indian Ocean and a beach front where many people gathered, this day was a holiday and so the area which is considered to be as a park as well is full-packed. We took some shots with the light house and then go back to the street of Galle where you see a long line of gem and souvenir shops. We stopped at one burger shop, a gelato shop and a tea shop. Chilled out for some time before returning to our car. 

We missed Skilled Fishing; it was past 5:00 pm when we arrived the place. So we just do the U turn and headed back to the city. Along the way – since we’ve been craving for a Western food, we’ve asked our driver to look for KFC and lo and behold, we found one!!!  
We’re home at 10:00 pm. 
This day was short and sweet but I enjoyed it like the past 2 days too. Try checking out SL Day 1 and SL Day 2 blogs too!

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Blog post by : JM Kayne

SFL Love Forum 2016 – My Take Home

SFL Love Forum 2016 Backdrop and the 111 SFL attendees

It’s my 4th SFL Love Forum in my 7 years of community life.

To many – they might say “ay tapos na ako so di na ako aattend”. But what I realized, attending the sessions/talks over and over again allows you to gain more ideas, teachings, lessons etc.

·         At first, I was a participant,

·         second I was a service team,

·         third I was a guest,

·         And on my 4th time, just this Friday – I became a speaker.

What’s common among all 4 is that I keep myself interested “still” in all the sessions. If some of you were there, you’d notice that I was still on my seat intently listening to each speaker as they deliver their pieces.
Because I know I can still have a take home for every talk.
Indeed even if I have heard them the 4th time – I still learned a lot. Some teachings that used to be a “hard teaching” during my 1st and 2nd have become a little bit lighter on my 3rd and 4th. I was sure the attendees had a great time; I can see it in their smile and the laughter. The fun shared to each brother & sister was indeed memorable.
However, amidst this fun and happiness shared I also noticed the silence when Kuya Pong delivered the final talk which actually has the most “hard teaching” among the 5 talks. I can hear the sound of their hearts (not all of course) – – – screaming :

“No way”
and I can see the smiling heart into a sad face heart. L

Speakers : Talk 1 – Bro Ryan & Sis Amie, Talk 2 – Yours truly, Talk 3 – Bro. Darrelle, Talk 4 – Ate Nancy, Talk 5 – Kuya Pong.

Yes, brothers and sisters – following Christ is never easy. But stay calm and be at peace with God. He has your questions answered in His perfect time. 

The Levels of Relationships
I’d like to emphasize on going through each level of relationships inside the community.
As the song goes: You can’t hurry love . . .
An advice I will testify as effective.
·         Start with the main and borderline of all relationships – be brothers & sisters (at all times) and go back to it IF – a relationship didn’t push through.

·         Be Friends; meet in HH, fellowships and other gatherings 

·         Become co-workers in the SFL mission – be CLS service team, community events, music ministry, choir, KFL/YFL heart champs and more. There will always be a place where you could both serve.  

·         To some, they may also go through Leader-Subordinate relationship – and respect is always important in this level. 

·         Finally, Special relationships will blossom and hopefully you both continue to become ambassadors of Christ’s love to each one of us especially those people who look up to you.
You will go through bumpy roads, wavy oceans and strong winds that might tell you to give up. But Hold on. Hold On.
Let the Lord hold your heart. Have that burning desire to seek Him first and when He sees you’re ready – He will surely allow your paths to cross.
While reviewing the talk, I realized “Oo nga noh, napagdaanan naming lahat ng levels na ito” and there is that joy in my heart that indeed it was an awesome feeling to be actually going through the right path guided by God through the SFL ministry. 

The Kokobears – yes, that’s our endearment! ^^

My last call?
Is that I hope all the attendees didn’t just enjoy the event, but also learned. We (the speakers & the organizers) are hopeful that you will “apply” the learnings you’ve gained. Nevertheless, I know that no matter how much we push and emphasize those guidelines/talk- it will never be effective if you won’t put it into action. Start it from oneself and let the Holy Spirit guide you.

That 111 strong SFL from Abu Dhabi! May God bless the desires of your hearts.

A relationship works best when God is the Heart of it.  

Kumusta ang puso mu Y?  #AfterSFLLoveForum2016


Sis JM Y | www.iamjmkayne.com
Photos by: Sis Arlene Tubaña & Sis Asfel Timog.

Blog post by : JM Kayne

Book Review : Tuesdays with Morrie

Photo taken from the shelves of Abu Dhabi Mall’s book store 🙂
Among many writers, Mitch Albom is one of my favorite! My first ever book review published in Zee – Cebu’s Lifestyle Magazine was another book of him entitled For One More Day.
This one is the second book I get to read from this brilliant author! “TUESDAYS with MORRIE“. From the title alone, it gives you an impression of a regular meeting (on Tuesdays) with a person named Morrie. What is the compelling story behind these Tuesdays will make you re-think about how to approach life.

Many would say that “Tuesdays with Morrie” (TWM) is a dying man’s last hurray about life, indeed it was but more than that,  it’s an inspirational detailed lessons for the last time of a student (Mitch) as his professor recounts his life – his passion, marriage, family, life and facing death head on.

After being featured in the late night show, Nightline; Morrie Schwartz has gained popularity that many people who experienced ALS have shared their own story & that have gained inspiration as to how he handled it. Albom was saddened with this news and thus quickly reconnect with his old professor. There were 16 Tuesdays that they’re together and to name a few of their topics, Morrie was giving the last lectures of his life which includes aging, culture, society & more.


An excerpt is this:

We all know how to be a child. It’s inside all of us. For me it’s just remembering how to enjoy it.”“We all yearn in some way to return to those days when we were completely taken care of — unconditional love, unconditional caring. Most of us didn’t get enough.” Now if that isn’t getting the most of an unfortunate situation, I don’t know what is!   

– Morrie

Morrie spent his life doing what was right for him, against what was right according to the society’s standards. But he sees the problem that we all are raised to the thought of becoming unique & independent when if cat we all have the same needs. Society says we are different when we are alike. 
When all are said and done, when the Almighty takes us back into His kingdom – allow people to remember you with your deeds not with what you have – not your possessions. Let us invest on people and on our relationships. There are hundreds of beautiful quotes from this book but I will leave it for you to read and have your way in joining Morrie and Mitch.
There are hundreds of beautiful quotes from this book but I will leave it for you to read and have your way in accompanying Morrie and Mitch.
But let me share you some of my favorites as I slowly close the final chapters of this brilliant book!
“Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
 “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”

“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

“Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”
“As you grow old, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, its also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.” 

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”  

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in.”

“If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important.” 

“The truth is, you don’t get satisfaction from those things. You know what really gives you satisfaction? …Offering others what you have to give.” 
—————- . ♥ . —————-


Blog post by : JM Kayne

8 Years in Abu Dhabi

This is a quick post on how time passes by.

My Facebook newsfeed today, 12th October 2016 showed a 7 year photo of me being home in the Philippines. That was my first “OFW Balik-bayan moment” after a year of being in the world’s richest city! 

Those years seemed to pass in just a click. A lot have changed, few remained the same and one thing has been constant. 

Changes – Aspects in life such as physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological and more. 

Remained Family (also constant), Friends (true one stays), the same JM or BJ that left Cebu in Sept 2008 etc. 

Constant – God’s Love for me and my family! His blessings, mercy, love and faithfulness! 

I won’t go into details this time. As I’ve said this is a quickie! Hehehe  . . . The main thing I want to express is that I AM GRATEFUL & I AM BLESSED.

Father, allow me to honor you for everything you have done for me in this foreign land! Amen.

Blog post by : JM Kayne

SRI LANKA Day 2 – Sigiriya, Elephant Ride & Safari

It’s day 2 blog now! Catch the earlier stories and previous post links at the end of this blog.

Day 2 – Sigiriya,  Elephant Ride & Safari
-Left hotel at 5:30 am
– Hike Sigiriya Mountain
– Elephant ride
– Safari
– Head home, dinner on the way at Mango Mango
– Arrived hotel at 11:30 pm

Climbing Sigiriya in Dambulla
Entrance – 4620 Rupees (125 AED) – Kinldy note that Locals & Foreighners have different entrance fee.

Tour Guide – starts at 400 Rupees ( more or less 35 AED ++) – Optional.

SIGIRIYA as you read it on Wikipedia is world reknown site (a rock fortress) that has the shape of a lion. Its name – Sīhāgiri, means the Lion Rock. Some of the attractions within this fortress are the Mirror Walls, The Garden, The Water Gardens, the paintings, Boulder Gardens and Terraced Gardens. The most rewarding is that when you reach the top, you will get a view of Sri Lanka 360. Today, Sigiriya is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Elephant Ride @ Green Island Elephant Safari
Entrance – Free
Elephant Ride – 3500 Rupees (95-120 AED or 25 USD)
Tip – Expected (At least 500 Rupees and above)
We were in a not so good timing for this elephant ride. While the other sites are closed… The only option we had was this place. We reached the place with only 2 elephants, one is not in action, so only one is available and there was a queue of tourist. During this month, Buddhist people offer their elephants to the temples for a festival. This is where they paint and put on beautiful and colorful clothes/designs to each elephant, but then we still got that chance, therefore I was able to tick off this bucket list! We end up 3rd in line and had a very short ride with Rani. Kokobear is the one who enjoyed it most; he had a chance to be riding on the neck of Rani!

Safari Adventure @ Habarana
Entrance – 1000 Rupees (35-40 AED)

Safari Jeepney – 4800 Rupees (137 -150 AED) – Can take up to 6-8 persons
Tip – For the Driver, expected(At least 1000 Rupees and above)
It took as a few minutes to reach the entrance to the Safari area – a 20-25 minutes ride as well to reach the heart of a very wide land, lush green grasses, a lake in between and hundreds of birds around it. I expected more animals. Although variety of birds were there, a flock of cows/carabao  or I think a family of both – – a water buffalo, an eagle, a peacock, squirrels, and a big number of small and gigantic elephants!!! Actually I was a bit disappointed with this Safari ride but still happy to see this wonderful place. I will be showing you off more photos of these animals that Kokobear captured on a separate blog post soon. 

Three major sites and a 5-6 hour long drive have occupied our day 2. A bit tiring but feel fulfilled with Sigiriya being conquered by the 3 of us! A closer look and touch with the Elephants is also something amazing. I missed to see a leopard though! Dinner was at Mango Mango a local restaurant that served us fried chicken, vegetable rice and noodles. The hard day has wrapped up at around 12:00 midnight!

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Blog post by : JM Kayne