Ten (10) Years, 10 Lessons (as an OFW)

10 years 10 Lessons as an OFW - iamjmkayne.com.png

UAE Life in 10 (Pictures from L-R ) 2008: My first night in Abu Dhabi. Me and Ate Ann – she’s the cousin who brought me in UAE. 2010 – Darrelle & I in my first CFC-FFL Family Day. Me and my ETSDC cap (my first company). 2012 – Me in the Sales & Marketing Dept. of ETSDC. 2011 – With my first sets of Households and Sisters in Christ (SFL) Ate Amie, Ate Ash & Ate Lou. 2011 – the first SFL brothers and sisters representatives from Abu Dhabi – Empowered Conference in Sharjah. 2015 – ADNOC-NDC UAE National Day celebration. 2017 – Ate Amie’s birthday with the Marvels.

 

Ten (10) Years, 10 Lessons as an OFW

Disclaimer: All opinions are personal and I don’t generalize all. It’s what I learned and that I notice them too often that it definitely left a mark into this OFW life.

This is my first passport bucketlist : To have my first passport stamped before it expires. lol 🤣🤣🤣

 

So, I took my passport in 2005 without any intention of an international travel… only to have one solid ID on my belt whenever a government company would require. But at the back on my mind, I told myself – I want it stamped before it expires. Bucket-list checked! 

First passport stamp 2008 - iamjmkayne.com.jpg

This is another post to celebrate my 10 years in the UAE and as an OFW –  I’d like to share the ten (10) of the many lessons learned in my first decade as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)

Related: Abu Dhabi 30 Places to visit. (Anniversary month post)

 

Here’s my lesson learned. “10 for 10”.

 

One: Homesickness is Real

On my very first month right after arriving Abu Dhabi UAE in September 2008, I did encounter my first homesick moment. Didn’t expect that its real. I thought I was okay and that its only a word. But – – – bang! I found myself crying in my sleep. Today, it’s been a decade and some episodes of such moment still find me.  A weak point for all OFWs indeed. #TheresNoPlaceLikeHome #HomeIsHome

 

 

Two: OFW Life Looks Nice but it’s NOT 

Social Media POST vs. REALITY

Most of the time Social media will post nothing but good stuffs. As an OFW we have this “pride” to show our food trips, travel here and there… but rarely our struggles. (hats off those who are real!) What happens when we show the “good kuno/ abundant life daw” is that people back home (not all though) tend to believe that money is as easy as 1-2-3. When we go home during our vacation – we seemed to be tagged as walking banks. When in “fact” #WhatsOnOurMind at week 2 or 3 is – “we want to go back”! hahah #relateka if you know what I mean… (ni hubas na! lol)

Sorry to break this – we may get times 12/13 or 15 of our currency – but we also spend the country’s currency which basically almost similar or more to what we spend if we are in Pinas. So to some (not to all) – because I knew of some families who just keep on asking this and that and this and that – and the list continues . . . – PLEASE! Be considerate! 

Also, ask how are you? – he/she may answer I’m good/okay – but stay sensitive and listen (or read since its mostly through FB messenger) . . . a little care goes a long way. Plus a THANK YOU whenever you receive the allotment for the month will also bring us a smile. 🙂 #NagpapakatotooLang #BeTrulySensitive #ALittleCareALittleLove

 

 

Three: Filipinos’ Crab Mentality

This may sound negative, but indeed that mentality is evident in a place that requires survival. For 10 years I have seen this mentality inside and outside a Filipino community at work (both here in UAE and even in the Philippines). Sadly it is worst in the international playing fields. Again – it’s not for all. I still find kind hearted ones.

Another encounter with this “crab mentality” thought is when you walk into a high-end store in the the malls – and Ate/Kuya Kabayan is the sales person – they tend to greet only the foreigners. Showing off their best smiles and greetings. But if you are a kabayan – it seemed like you don’t exist 🙁 . Sad! A personal experience that Kokobear and I had was when we went to a steak restaurant – when the server puts us on the waiting list but entertained the foreigner who came late. (ooppps – no they didn’t have reservations). And yes we argued and called the manager. I hope it serves as a lesson.

Up to this day, I still experience it. But somehow I have been a little considerate. Patience and understanding will still come handy. 🙂 Of course lots of prayer on the side too! #LordForgiveMe #AskAreYouOkayKuyaOrAte? 

 

 

 

Four: Family is always a Priority

At the end of the day, family will always be a priority. To be honest, there is a security in my heart that no matter how far I am with them – love and trust is there. Personally I only chat with them most of the time. A good morning, how are you and a few pictures sharing.  True I have been busy with community life – but never ever did I forget to raise them in my prayers and in my heart they are my top priority. After all being an OFW started because I want to help my family. #ILoveYouTheBELTS #ILoveYouKokobear

 

 

Five: Kabayan is Single (daw)

Another top of the list sadly OFW life reality. . . There’s been quiet a big number of broken families because Kabayan (both male/female) is “single daw”. It’s hard to identify who is who. It’s hard to trust and it’s hard to “kalas” once you are deeply in love. Judging them will not make us better… I guess it is all up to that person’s conscience and integrity on how he/she brings himself or herself in the public. 

A sad story in fact is I have known a few people who is inside the community (religious/church based) that claims to be one – but they aren’t.  I have to mention though that I appreciate them being inside the community – because somehow a part of them knows that they need constant reminder of God’s teachings. I hope that with God’s grace and the Holy Spirit will enlighten them.

 


Dear Kabayan,

Your wife/husband and children are waiting for you. Show up and be honest. Have faith that with God, all temptations will be broken. Stay close with Him. God bless! – JM


 

 

Six: Leaving home for the —nth time – is always 💔 heartbreaking

Ten years means nine or eight times of opportunity to be back home (for a month’s vacation) and every single time is heartbreaking. It never cease to end… You shed tears whenever its time to say our goodbyes. Even while typing this part of the post makes me teary eyed. It’s always a hard time. But we keep on fighting, we keep on surviving. Thank Lord for that! This is hats off to all other OFWs who have gone long more than me, I know how you feel. #IFeelYou #ThatFeeling #AirportJitters

 

 

 

Seven: A Community will help you get through tough times

I realized that not all people are meant for community life. Some realize that they need it a bit later, some tried and stopped. Some tried, stop, tried again and stayed. As for me, a year later when I arrived in Abu Dhabi – I know I am meant for this community life. Nine years later – with God’s grace I am still here. The Lord has kept me grounded by ebing a part of this beautiful group of diverse lovable & unlovable creatures 😀 . Community lifeagain is not an easy journey. This is where your Loving God and Loving they neighbor following thy commandments are bring tested! When all has been said and done – I still find myself in this community of sinners claiming to be better. Being inside the community doesn’t mean you are a saint – in fact it means you are a sinner – willing to change for God. And through all the hardship – it made me appreciate life that CFFL has given me people, teachings and encounters with God worth keeping and sharing. #CommunityLifeIsLove #ItsMoreFun #TrueChristianTestIsHere

 

 

Eight: Love life can come in many shapes & forms 💚

Love often is defined for family & to someone special. But being away from home and being an OFW + being a part of God’s community through CFFL, I found out that love comes in many forms and shapes. Love for family, love for your GG (God’s Gift: husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend) is just the base. In my part a new found love has grown too. Love for my FAITH, love for neighbors (including strangers!), love for what actually matters)

*Love for faith – If I didn’t join the community, I guess I will be swayed with another religion. Not knowing exactly which is which. But with this eye-opener – I am solid and secure with God and with where I am as a Catholic.

*Love for neighbors – Second greatest commandment. Practices, tested and survived! Not claiming to be perfect – but hey I know I have become better… What  I am practicing now too is – loving strangers & the poor (not just materially but those of spirit). They too are God’s people!

#LoveWhatMatters #TheOtherFacesOfLove

 

 

 

Nine: Patience is tested with Patience

When you pray to God, Lord – please give me patience for my work, for my boss, for my workmates etc… God is actually answering you! He answers you with more test on patience! This realization just came in to me in 2015. When I was tested to the highest level and realize that I shouldn’t pray that my ____ change. With God’s grace – my ___ didn’t change, instead I did! #IkawTalagaLord! #PatiencePaMore #LovePaMore #TestPaMore

 

 

Ten: God is never away.

No explanation needed. Amen-Amen to this! He is with me. He is with us at all times and anywhere. Everywhere!

Jeremiah 29-13 - iamjmkayne.com

 

Related Story: My first blog entry as OFW.

 

What about you?
Are you an OFW?
Which of these lessons resonate so well to you?
Any other additional lessons? Feel free to share it in the comments…

 

JM Kayne, signing in on my 10th year here in the UAE!

 

God bless us all,

 

JM SIGNATURE-black - iamjmkayne.com

 

 

 

 

 


 

Abu Dhabi – List of 30 places to visit 2018

Abu Dhabi – UAE is my second home♥.

Right after leaving Cebu in 2008, this city has become closest to my heart. In fact I have stayed there for 9 years. So I have decided to share this list of 30 places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

Note: I have intentionally left the malls, cinemas and cafes not on the list.

Read related stories: Abu Dhabi 10

Photo credit from getyourguide.com

To celebrate my 10th year stay in the UAE, as September is my UAE anniversary month, I’ve come up with this quick, short and sweet list of the places to see/visit in the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.

    1. Emirates Palace (photo during my first visit)
    2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (2017 visit)
    3. Abu Dhabi Corniche
    4. Louvre Museum
    5. Ferari World
    6. Yas Waterworld
    7. Yas Marina Circuit
    8. Yas Marina
    9. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
    10. Mushrif Central Park
    11. Sadiyat Paublic Beach
    12. Corniche Beach
    13. Emirates National Auto Museum
    14. Zayed Heritage Center
    15. Etihad Modern Art Gallery
    16. The Galleria
    17. Etihad Towers /Observation Deck at 300
    18. Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park
    19. Emirates Park Zoo
    20. Qasr Al Hosn
    21. Warner Brother’s Studio (Yas Island)
    22. Masdar City
    23. Khalifa Park
    24. Heritage Park
    25. Du Arena (Yas Island)
    26. Madinat Zayed Gold Souk
    27. Wahat Al Karama (The Oasis of Dignity) – for UAE Soldiers
    28. Women’s Handicraft Centre
    29. Khalifa Park
    30. Heritage Village Club (near Marina Mall)

 

Do you plan of visiting one of the world’s richest city? Then the above list might be a help!
Let me know if I missed anything! 🙂

 

See you around Abu Dhabi.

 

 

 

God bless!

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Abu Dhabi – To the Park We Go! (Mushrif Central Park)

Abu Dhabi – To the Park We Go!

(Mushrif Central Park)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi has the variety of parks to offer wherein families get together every weekends. Parks and beaches are often full-packed with kids, families and friends that chill around. Of course food will never be absent and it also have the activity areas…
Koko and I has explored almost all of the parks for the past 6 years and a half. But this year, Abu Dhabi opened the new park called MUSHRIF CENTRAL PARK. So last Friday, we visited and explored the park. It is a good place to chill, sit down, see and feel the green grasses, walk around and sweat out! We were not able to take photos of all the wonderful sites because I intentionally want you to see them yourself! For the one-hour and half in the park I would say I enjoyed the place! So what are you waiting for? Visit now!
Here are the details…
Location
Mushrif Central Park – 17th Street, Mushrif Area, Karama
 
Getting there
Taxi is the easiest way – (will cost around 15 AED) – – – you can just tell the driver the park name “Mushrif PARK” emphasise “park” as others may hear it as MALL – since there is also Mushrif Mall.
Or a bus will do! Bus No. 44 and Bus No. 32
Entrance
 5 AED per person (for one day pass only)
Events
Ripe Food & Craft Market
Every Saturday from March 21st
4pm-9pm
 Let’s Go Yoga
Weekly classes for adults, teens and younger children. For more information or to sign-up, email letsgoyoga@yahoo.com
Elite Sports Academy
Weekly children’s football and adult fitness classes. For more information or to register, visit Elite Sports’ website
Sunday & Tuesday
Children’s football – 5:30pm-6:30pm
Adult Fitness – 6:30pm-7:30pm
Saturday
Children’s football – 4:00pm-5:00pm & 5:00pm-6:00pm
Adult Fitness – 4:00pm-4:50pm & 5:00pm-5:50pm
Note: Some items are not allowed on site especially food, bottled water is ok. For the complete list – you can get it on their website.
For more info – visit http://www.mushrifcentralpark.ae/
Photography: JM & Elle Chavez (The Kokobears)

 


Writer Mode … [daw]

Writer Mode … [daw]

From my instagram page.
My dream of being a writer was made possible in God’s vineyard through the community, that has opened so many doors for me. Of course this will not be possible without those people who contributed to its completion! I thank the Lord for this wonderful opportunity. 

#GodsBlessings 

#SharingThreeTs

#WritermodeDaw 

#EditorInChiefPa

#ThankYouLord

#TheVineyardMagazine

#CFFLMedia #CFCFFL

 

 

 

 

In order after the full 4 issues – Issue one FAITH WORKS WONDERS, Issue two EMPOWERED TO WITNESS, Issue three WE ARE SAINTS, MARTYRS, WARRIORS and finally Issue four MISSION WEEKEND.
These are the 4 issues of 2014.

And now I am again excited for the next issue this 2015!
Updated mag cover will be added here soon! 🙂

#IDreamADream #AndGodGaveIt 🙂

#Happiness #HappyMe


Blessed

 

Blessed!

Today I cried… my heart out!
 
Opppsss.. don’t get me wrong. I cried my heart out because – I am being soooooo blessed by God.
A whole week of hectic schedule, stressful tasks of the office. Short convo with family. Limited bonding with Kokobear because of the many tasks that God has given me. 
 
Today I hosted Mission Weekend’s Bond of Sisters. Running, coordinating, taking photos & videos, greeting old, unfamiliar and new faces of the community. The glow in the venue exudes as we all flash our smiles to each other.  The crowd was fun and cooperative. Such a light tone of teaching. Fashion Show kicks off right after the prayer. The sisters have gone crazily happy and amazed with our 12 sisters from Northern & Southern Emirates. I honor them all & to everyone who made the whole MW a success. (you know who you are!)
 
Tita Elaine opened her 1st talk by Empowering all of us as a Saint, A Witness, A Marytr & a Warrior.
 

Here comes Minefield game. Overcoming obstacles and with a lesson that alone time requires listening time to what God has to say. 
 
In between breaks… and we had our tummy seriously full. God’s blessing of food was overflowing. E-Photobooth was a blockbuster… the sisters had their glam & gorgeous moment; wacky pose will never be out! But – when lunch was served? – Well~ there goes the “mega” blockbuster!
 
Afternoon session with Balloon Walk activity – we learned about Community life, about the communication, about leaning on to others, about UNITY.
 
Then, that 10 things What Men Wishes Women Knew.  Everyone has their own take of each point and for sure everyone somehow learned from CFL to HFL & SFL as well.
 
I was amazed to see an all girl band doing their share in music, the Music Min lead the way  with the 5 sets of praise & worship songs! What caught my heart was my ever favorite song, Thank You Lord! Every time I sing it, it brings me to that mode of being in front of God. I tried to stop, I tried to control but my tears just simply fall. These are tears of JOY! Not Happiness, but JOY! An unexplainable emotion. It makes me think, that when Tita Elaine talks about that nega built in emotion, there is also that POSITIVE built in emotion of just BEING GRATEFUL! 
 
So I grabbed Macmac and let my mind and thoughts flow as I write this blog. I don’t want to let go of what has been stored on my mind and in my heart. 
 
I am BLESSED and I would like to share this!
 
Thank You Lord!
 

 

Hosted today’s #CFFLBondOfSisters for this year’s#MissionWeekend.
Lord, you have blessed me soooo much today!!! #ThankYouLord! I just wanna
Thank you Lord…
#Family #TheBelts #CommunityLife #HHLove#UHH #FHH #Kokobear
#UAELife #AllSisters #Friends#NewFriends #MamoDadoPasio
 — at City Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi.