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Archive for February, 2009

Before the midnight sky  becomes cluttered by glittering show of the fireworks and the revelry of people shatters its silence,  I am lying here on my bed tracing back what this year the world had gone through.  It would be selfish for me to say,  that I am only too concerned of what had happened to me, knowing that on the far sides of the world, there are also people who like me, are in their silence thinking about the substance of it all.  Time has trodden a lonely and eerie path for some and here, most of us await for another new year to come.

The countdown begins. From the hours and the minutes gone to the last sixty seconds, and its ticking runs out to the finish line.  A tensioned stance that will be eventually released celebrating a new beginning of another year’s end.  And the cycle goes on.

I imagine.  About a child in Sudan begging to be fed.  A man in Chile waiting anxiously for the birth of his son.  An elderly woman in Russia staring blankly into the space in the cold of the night. A bargirl in Thailand sitting silently, waiting for a customer to come.  A seaman in a dock in South Africa, miserably misses his family back home. A teenager in Japan, held in her hands a knife, ready to kill herself.  A woman in Ireland, lying there in comatose in the hospital for a year.  And a father of three in India, unemployed, worrying about work that didn’t come for almost six months now.

There maybe thousands or even more souls out there, who welcomes the new year, not hoping, but filled with fear of how could they struggle to live one more day.  And fear has slowly crept into their being and deafening their enthusiasm to get on surviving.  Everyday, in our waking life, do we care to think about what’s on the other side, when half of the world is still in darkness?

What is the worth of this pondering on last sixty seconds before the clock strikes twelve?  I do not know how to calm down, when the world is on fire of succumbing to its continual decay and destruction.   And the day will come, that survival guarantees only the strong and the able. 

What an escape is there to whitewash with revelry the truth that we are coming nearer and closer into an end?  And all is vanity and a gasping in the wind.   Perhaps with this last sixty seconds, it is a reminder of what things may come.  In an eventuality that all of us cannot deny, where the headlines read that these are the worst of times.

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Traffic. The car stops. This one will be longer, I guess. So I just fielded my gaze travelling into the vastness of the Arabian soil.  My mind just wander. And wander still. Back. Five years ago.

It’s early morning, I am walking along the streets of Mabini glossing over overseas employment prospects in the Middle East.  I can’t remember how many copies of CV’s did I send to those recruiters.  I sweat it out and inching my way towards the front desk, hoping and wishing that I can score an interview that day.  Nervous as I was, I would wait  and rehearse the words that I have to say.  Like a salesman trading myself for a price.

I can’t remember how many recruitment agencies I have tried my luck with.  Most often than not, a thumbs-down sign.  I don’t know, what drives me to go Middle East.  Though, I am filled with worries about the inconveniences of being away from home.  I just wonder how others have survived the heat, the barrenness and the loneliness of the Arab lands.

Those were the days.  Here from where I was, a palm tree struck a memory.  Yeah, I remember that too, when I was waiting in the hallway of a recruitment agency back in Manila.  The posters of the Arab boom cities lined up with palm trees. 

I remember my uncles who had the chance to work in Saudi Arabia. Year after year, they come home bedraggled from the harsh climate of the desert. I remember them talking about the expatriate’s life in an Arabian land.  It is not an easy life. 

But now, I am here as one of another generation of  Filipino expatriates trying to make a living. Accustomed to a unique culture of restraint and unimaginable patience.  Accustomed to the extreme hot weather and the abstinence to pork meat.  

I know why thousands and thousands of Filipinos are flocking there at the recruitment agencies back home. I know that most of them have the same visions I had before.  And the persistence that  they have to keep going and make their lives better.  

For me it will always be a risky bargain. You may win some or you may lose some.  It is a choice that one has to make but if things go rightly, it is worth an adventure.

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