Thursday, 15 January 2015


Hey.. what am I doing here? After almost 5 years of absence and abstinence from the World of AbouArse, I suddenly got the guts to re-visit my blog of which as far as I remember I've started wayyy back in 2010 and wrote a couple of words.. then hurriedly left as fast I could.

Heyyyy.. i don't know what to say now and I still have no idea what am I doing here again but be nice to me and please welcome me back again in this wordy universe of blogging!

Thank youuu!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Living with the Arses (Part lll)

Free Falling!

I have resigned!

For only the 4th time in my career, I have resigned.

Yesterday was (officially) my last day and i felt numb yet ecstatic to the fact that I am now facing an open space and that it is Free Falling the moment I stepped out of the office. I felt Whoaa!

Of course, I've never been worried and concerned about what the future holds for me and my family until now... but I have strong faith to God and strong family support and believe with myself that I can fly and cross oceans if i wish, to the infinity and beyond!

Good day old friends. Hello to new life! I am jumping out board and scream from top of my lungs... Freeeeeeeeeeee!

The Philippine Election 2010

The Irony of The Right of Suffrage

Me: Honey, I have voted!
Wife: who?
Me: With this guy who I thought would change…
Wife: … Slapppped!

Gone is the day when exercising your right to vote is your own affair in which as if the future of the country is in your hand. Gone is the pride that makes us feel we have voted for the right man and whatever happens, we stand behind him with dignity and pride. Gone is the day when going to the voting station was a holiday for family, friends and foe alike to look forward to, then talk or argue about the experience for weeks and weeks to come. Today, in my country (The Philippines), Gone is the true democratic spirit of the Right of Suffrage.

I remember a long time ago on election day, my Father - dressing up on his white and loose Long Sleeve Shirt (Truvinice), black heavily starched pants and his black and white ‘Ang Tibay’ leather shoes which he only wear on special occasions such as weddings, funerals and election days- tells me on his most sober tone (he rarely was sober), ‘son today is a very special day because today is the day I will decide who is going to be the next president of our country’, as if he represents the whole nation and the future of the country was on his very hands. While my Mother looks at him with obvious contradiction as she likewise, was preparing herself to go to the voting station.

Today, millions of Filipinos and that includes me, are uncertain and praying that we are siding with the right Party and Candidates and that their choice would assert the vital change this country badly needs. This election has became not only the most expensive election in the history of the country but the most dangerous in terms of stability and progress as well, given the fact that the eight-headed monster called Corruption has already swallowed each and every private and public institutions in which the present government has collaborated with by painting allegations of sham, scam and power-hungry image in the international community that stabbed every Filipinos right into their heart. The poor gets poorer - and the war and heinous crimes in the South are still unsolved.

The presence of new technology (Automated Election) did not and will not, at least in this election, offer much help in changing the low, detrimental ethics of the old ‘Trapos’ kind of politicking in this country. What concerns us most is the fear from the looming issue of ‘failure of election’ of which the Comelect’s conceited system and its highly expensive Picos Machines has propagated. Unless proven reliable and impenetrable to fault and fraud, this technology will only make the situation worse and will cause for more political woes than solving them despite strong justifications from Comelect, these machines failed to give assurances of clean and honest 2010 election.

However on the positive note, I believe that 2010 voters are resilient and had wise-up to the calling for reforms in Philippine politics, which is the ‘mother of all evil’. Most as I assumed, will be voting not because of promised personal gains but by sense and sensibilities thru this acquired empowerment with which every Filipinos now possess.
With two weeks away from the scheduled 2010 election and whoever win this hotly contested government seats, I only hope to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, to start anew, to work hand and hand because regardless who wins, it is not only up to the winning President or his team to lift us out of economic misery and global-image downfall, it is also up to each and every Filipino, wherever he/she may be, to work harder with intelligence, discipline and pride – to be called a Filipino.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Living with the Arses (Part ll)

The Satire of Abouarse

Why Abouarse? An office friend asked me after I started writing on this blog. I said, ‘Why not’? He said, ‘because you have lots of Arab friends who at one point will resent the chosen name’. Playing dumb (oh, I am good at it!) I just shrugged my shoulders then moved on.

On the second thought, Yeah! Why Abouarse? To someone who has been living in the kingdom for 30 years, Abouarse seems a clear sign of ignominy on my part, of the country, people and its culture. Matter of fact is that ‘Yes’ I must admit I do know little about Saudi Arabia than any Filipino expatriates who have just arrived to work in the kingdom. It is not because I did not work hard to know more about Saudi Arabia – my traveling in the kingdom in the 80’s and 90’s surely did not help either – it was because, in my opinion, the secluded mindset of Saudi society back then stops us from accessing these information which unlike today, everything can be found in the cyber world and in the mass media (Prints, TV channels and Cable TVs) and is now available for everybody to pick and learn from. However, a lot of things had not changed in the country since I arrived in 1980 – for one, we still do not know the name of our neighbors. Isn’t it odd?

Ok, let me put it to my perspective. Abouarse, when taken literally, is probably not a good choice of name for such a serious undertakings like this blog especially in this part of the world where the very word ‘Abou’ (Father) is highly respected and beloved. Yet, according to colleagues and friends in the office who happen to be Arabs and Saudis alike, it has the twist that is so peculiar, imaginative and out of the box which can also be attributed to the objectives and subjects I have in mind and that is to offer something new if not interesting to write based on my own experiences and insights which may or may not conform to the norms of the so-called secluded society I am in right now. As my dear friend Wij said, ‘The father of all Ar_es’, Abouarse is a pseudonym. It has heads and ends, wits and idiosyncrasies and will officially be my ‘nome de guerre’. Fictitious yet truthful in nature, which reminds me of some odd but true to life occurrences where my previous Saudi boss always tells me to show him some work related results ‘Weekly, weekly’ which the true meaning is translated to ‘Quickly, Quickly’!

Funny thing is that they are all around us from a catering company sign that says ‘Badkuk Catering’ to a warning sign in a shopping mall that says ‘Sitting down for woman only’ were acceptable pseudonyms or call it ‘puns’ and are characteristically negated and molded into our very lives. Now, does these harm us as a society? Nope, it just shows us that today we, Saudis, Arabs or otherwise with different beliefs and understandings were built with strong characters and are open-minded enough to make mistakes whether intended or not, which makes us all humans.

As to the colleague who asked me to change Abouarse, I’d say ‘thanks but no thanks’. This is not a client/agency creative brief that requires consensus to both parties. This is a liberty I am entitled to exercise and keep. Just like what Saudi Arabia is, the famous expatriates line goes like ‘take it or leave it’.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Living with the Arses (Part 1)

Whoaa! I don't know whats got into me but I am really excited with this new adventure of words and wisdom in the cyber world. Blame a close friend or either thank him for it, simply because this may be the last frontier where my thoughts would like to cross, if given a chance to.

For the fist time after a long time, and that is since I first met my wife, I feel nervous and excited again. You see, I am a learned man - a man who learn the lessons of life as it grinds - and having said so, my thoughts or whatever comes from it, has not been or have never been placed into something as important or as insane as this blog channel and believe me, I AM NERVOUS.

I asked my friend who triggered this idea for me, what to write and he said,' whatever comes into your mind'. Is he seeing something from me that I do not see? We'll, all I can say is that, like any normal human being, I did a lot of silly things in my life which values no one, right or wrong, but me. It is like cooking a meal and eating it as well. Ouchh! Help me Wij, I am running out of words to say (Wij is my friend who sets this fire under my feet). Doomsday is near and its lunch time... this is not gonna be good!

You see, as I am writing this piece, I am sitting in my office overlooking a gorgeous, active and busy street in cosmopolitan Jeddah. It is called Thalia Street - the so called business and financial district of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia yet, contrary to where I came from (Manila), a bustling district such this is supposed to be busy and crowded with cars and people selling their wares or just going for their daily lives, Thalia Street is empty with them people not because of the sizzling temperature of 35 degrees outside at 2 o'clock in the afternoon but simply because even during the cold season where temperature goes down to 15 degrees, it is not the norms of people in this part of the world to walk outside and savor the beauty of sun and outdoor air during the day. Like nocturnal beings, they prefer to go out, hunt and extend their lives, after dusk... so for now, I am contend to watch the expensive and luxurious cars plying off the busy Thalia Street which by the way, we do not have the luxury of seeing where I came from.

I came to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia way back in March, 1980 and I can still vividly remember how Thalia Street looks like. It was a deserted area with asphalted roads that stretched to approximately, 30 km. from west to east of Jeddah. Few buildings are still standing from those old days and one very prominently withstood the time is the small post office next to where the Pizza Hut store is now located. It is now used by the Jeddah Traffic Police Department as a sub-station or just a place to rest and relax. The old Mosque next to the Jeddah International Center or better known as Sarawat still exist and so is the Bafil Gas Station in Madina Road.

Oh! I would love to talk about those days but Lo! It is about 2:30 pm. and I haven't had any lunch yet. I'd rather put those stories-from-the-past in motion next time but for now, I will park my pen (in the old days, we used to write with a pen, remember?) and continue looking at this world from the POV of such an ar_e like me. Tsk! the world is full of ar_es if you come to think about it, but to say the least, these ar_es will hopefully make you see some new and interesting angle to this boring and stagnant, politically-correct world as we know it.

Like in the Oscar's... I would like to thank God for giving me all the chances to exist in this world... to my Wife.. for supporting me all these years. To my children who are the pillars in any endeavor I put myself to... and to Wij who sets my thought free! Thank You!