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!

* * * 


MY REVIEW:
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

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.
Why?
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 :

“Whyyyyy”
“No way”
“Really!?!?”
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

Love,

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!
 
ABOUT HOLDING ON TO SOMETHING
“Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
ABOUT DEATH and RELATIONSHIP
 “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”


ABOUT CULTURE
“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.”


ABOUT LOVE & BEING GONE
“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”


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


ABOUT TRUTH:
“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.”
 
ABOUT AGING:
“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.” 

ABOUT LIVING:
“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.”  

ABOUT LOVE
“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.” 


ABOUT SERVICE and SATISFACTION
“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.” 
—————- . ♥ . —————-

SaveSave

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!

—————- . . —————-

Previous Posts:


Blog post by : JM Kayne

Kayne Series (Vol. 2)

Taking a break from the Sri Lankan blogs for a while and took time to share another volume of getting to know yours truly 🙂 . I call this series as KAYNE Series – where I will be sharing you some stuffs about me. Kayne Series – Volume 1 were some basics.

So , this is actually Volume 2 – with it, I’ll share something from Facebook bucket list- that was shared by many of my friends and answer it here in this blog post.

Bucket list – Please play along and do yours on the comment section of this blog 😀  
Put a yes or no next to the ones you’ve done. Be honest!


💍 Been married: …………………… Yes
👫 Gone on a blind date: ………….Yes
👶 Had children: …………………….Not yet
👥 Skipped school: ………………… Yes
🐌 Been to France : …………………No
🚑 Ridden in an ambulance: ……..No
🌇 Been to America: ………………..No
🌃 Been to Europe : …………………No
🗼 Been to Cape Town: ……………. No
🚁 Flown in a helicopter: …………..No
🚢 Been on a cruise: ……………….. Yes (mini-cruise)
️ Danced in the rain: ………………Yes
🎤 Sung: ……………………………..Yes
️prank calls: ………………………..Yes
😂 laughed so hard you cried: ……Yes
played in snow: ……………………No
🐍 Had a pet: ………………………….. Yes
🏂 Been sledding on a big hill: ……No
🎿 Been downhill skiing: …………..No
🌊 Been jet skiing: …………………..No
🚩 Ridden on a quad: ……………….. No
🚌 Travelled on a bus, train & coach: Yes
Jumped out of a plane: ………………..No
🎬 Been to an outside movie:…No
🐫 Ridden a camel …………………Yes
🐎 Ridden a donkey: ………………Yes
🎬 Been on TV: ………………………..No
📰 Been in the newspaper: …………..Yes (answered a contest in Superbalita)
🏥 Stayed in hospital: ………….Yes
💉 Donated blood: ……………………No
📌 Had a piercing: …………………………. Yes (ear)
🐾 Had a tattoo: …………………………….. Yes (henna)
🚙 Driven over 100 km/h: ….. No
🏠 Lived on your own: …………..Yes
📝 Had a speeding ticket: ………No
💊 Broken a bone: ………………. No
📍 Had stitches: ………..No
💺 Travelled Alone: ………………….Yes
💁 Had bank savings……..Yes

Feel free to copy and paste and answer it.

Go on…😆😀
Blog post by : JM Kayne

Sri Lankan Foodie – ආහාර (āhāra)

As a part of every travel; it is indeed a good way to know more about a country’s culture with their food. Sharing a separate blog post of our gastronomic adventure in Sri Lanka!

Trivia: While in Sri Lanka, the 3 of us never had lunch!!!

Wanna know why? . . . Read on! 🙂

Two (2) of the three (3) days tour that we had started early in the morning because of the distance of the sites we visited. Day 1 & 2 – we had our packed breakfast.

The hotel packed a very “safe” set of breakfast for the three of us: Cheese Sandwich, Orange or a banana, a slice of cake and a boiled egg! (Missed to take picture of this)

No lunch because – we tried to catch up and cover the entire planned itinerary and we only survived by water and the breakfast pack while on the go. Hungry? Yep but we didn’t feel it much –although I feel a bit sorry with Amila (driver/guide) that he didn’t take food (maybe)…. maybe because we were so engrossed with the activities that when we look up our watch, it’s past lunch time and yet too early for dinner. Part One – will be about our Sri Lankan Foodie adventure… Part Two are the general/international foods we ate. 

Part One – Sri Lankan Food
Day 1 Dinner  @ Kamlo.
Got curious what a “Devilled” Chicken, Pork or Beef – So I chose that!
Devilled Pork… Yes it’s like a beef steak but has a distinct sauce which I believe that’s what “Devilled” is…
CURRIES!!! – Ate Amie & Koko took Shirmp and Chicken curry. With 5 side dishes of eggplant, cabbage, coconut salad etc.
Kamlo Restaurant’s entrance. Right in front of it is a bar!

Day 2 – Dinner @ Dee Tree (D3)
Egg Rotti. It’s a snack!
Chicken Kottu – A heavy dinner that requires no rice. It is made of variety of vegetables such as cabbage, onions and a Gothamba ma roti – – – a simple Sri Lankan flatbread usually made from wheat flour. It also has a mixed of chicken.
Take a look on how it is done:

Part Two – General/International Food (in SL)

Fried chicken.
Vegetable rice.
Noodles…

Hotel Breakfast
A burger in Galle…
Bottled Water in the railway station – night market stall areas. 1L water usually costs 100 Rupees (2.70 AED). Smaller ones cost 60-80 Rupees (2-2.10 AED)
Third day dinner was in KFC! We were so excited to see a familiar resto that we asked Amila to look for KFC! And yes we did! The thing is, I forgot to take a picture! ha ha ha
Last Night Dinner
KFC night was a good one. But what gave us a happy tummy is our Seafood platter dinner at the TUSKER. The total cost of this dinner was around 6800 Rupees or 50 USD (185-190 AED) for 3! The restaurant was fully booked when we arrived, so we have to wait for some time. And the wait is just worth it because we enjoyed what they’ve served us!

SaveSaveOver-all, the dining experience in Sri Lanka was not bad. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant about how the food will be. I am not a fan of curries and I thought it will have less options. To my surprise, the stalls lined-up right on the street of our hotel has so much to offer! If I am to rate my over-all foodie adventure in Sri Lanka; out of 10 I would give it 7 or 7.5.
Have  you been to Sri Lanka? What food have you tried?
—————- . ♥ . —————-


Blog post by : JM Kayne