WE Pray..

Our Prayer

There are rumors circulating around the Filipino community about the protest in the coming days. There will be or not, WE, Filipinos should be aware of our status in the Kingdom. As a visitor in this oil rich country, we must be careful of what we are doing in our daily lives, like roaming around the city, staying late at night in the streets and having fun in groups around malls and restaurants and other places where the local authorities might sense it as a gathering with purpose.

What we need to do is to pray that what is going on now in Libya will never be happen in this country. We loved this country like our home, a country that provides us job and golden opportunities. Though some of us are not lucky enough, but majority of us Filipinos in Saudi Arabia have managed to become successful in their lives  dahil sa “Katas ng Saudi”.  Many Filipinos consider that working in Saudi Arabia is a privileged.

Although most Saudis I mingled concur that “it is highly unlikely to happen in this country” where the government is very supportive to its people.  Like any other countries in the world, it is natural for the people to air their grievances and needed some reforms.  But it should be done in a proper forum.

To fellow Filipinos, Muslims and Christians, let us join our hands in prayer  that  if such action will takes place, we pray   that cooler heads will prevail  and the reprehensible action of the few will not result in equally reprehensible retaliatory acts of violence, in GOD Almighty, WE PRAY. Amen!


Angat ka nga Pinoy!


Habang naglalakad, tumitingin tingin, ng aking mabili
Nang maipadala, sa aking pamilya, sapagkat nawili
Habang namimili, tanong ng tindero, ‘ko daw ba’y nepali
Sa arabong wika, sagot ko sa kanya, ”ana Pilipini”

Tinderoy nag”thumbs up”, ibig na sabihin, ayos daw ang pinoy
Sa bargain na damit, sa paghahalungkat, akoy nagpatuloy
Habang nagka kalkal, may pagmamalaking, sa isip sumibol
Sapagkat ramdam ko, at napatunayang, ANGAT KA NGA PINOY

Isa dalwa tatlo, apat lima anim, marahil ay walo
Mga dominanteng, mga manggagawa, sa bansang arabo
Sa ganda ng papel, na ating ginampang, mga pilipino
Nasumpungan tayong, lagi sa listahang, nag numero uno

Hindi bat yay dahil, sa tayo ay tapat, sa ating tungkulin
Ano mang iatas, bastat makakaya, ay ating gagawin
Kayat ang tiwala, sa ating sarili, ay pana tilihin
Isiping tayo ay, mga pilipinong, may talento’t galing

Imahen ng ating, lahing dinadalay, ating pag ingatan
Papel na kayputi, ni kahit, gatuldok, huwag dudungisan
Nang di man dumating, ganda nitong bukas, sa Lupang Hinirang
May matatakbuhang, mainit na bansang, naghihintay lamang

By: Briggs Napicog

OFWEmpowerment Blog- 5 years of existence

OFWEmpowerment- 5 years of existence

Like any other anniversaries, today marks a new year to a new beginning and my further commitment to serve the OFW sector.

"AKO Pilipino Taas Noo Saan man Dako sa Mundo"- Babalik AKO Bayan Ko

Five years of existence is a symbol that increases in value or in strength with each passing year that reflects what this blog has made in the partnership of my fellow OFWs. As what I’ve said in my previous entry “I am not perfect but it’s quite relieving that someone out there believes in you.   

Today is a significant milestone for this blog and time to pause, to reflect, and to celebrate what has been accomplished in a relatively short span of years. Though this blog started  just for fun to ease the homesickness of the blogger far away from home and his loved ones; yet it is very fulfilling that it became a home to our fellow OFWs who needs answers to their unanswered questions.  

I came to realization that what I am doing is not enough, because with you as my partner, together – WE can do many things to help each others in times of needs and for us to lend a hand to those who needs us.

And as long as I am the writer, the editor and publisher  of this blog, I will remain your humble servant. I will try my best to keep this blog alive, to hear your sad stories, inquiries among others. I will also try to give all the information you need beneficial to the OFW sector.

To all my readers, visitors, friends and fellow community leaders, I have been deeply moved and heartened by your unwavering support and encouragement. I am gratified by the wholehearted endorsement of so many to read and subscribed “OFWempowerment” blog.

Today, WE still exist because of   YOU out there. You are the bedrock upon which OFWEmpowerment existed; you are the foundation that will sustain OFWempowerment towards a new years’ to come.

OFWempowerment 5 years of existence is also dedicated to my dear friend the late OFW Farmer Claro Ybanez  of  Davao and to his family. Wherever you are now  Nong Claro, I want you to know that –  We continue to exist because of  you and you are my inspiration.

To my brothers  Doods  and Bebs who believes of what I am doing, to my family, to my close friends, to OFW Congress-Riyadh and to all of you in the cyber world – THANK YOU So much!

Happy 5th Year Anniversary.

December 13, 2010


The busiest day so far in the Year 2010 was  Wednesday, December 8, 2010.  

596 views on your busiest day, December 8, 2010

Pageviews: 596


Top 10 Posts & Pages

These posts on your site got the most traffic.


Title   Views
Home page 129
Iqama Rules, Jawazat Procedures, Repatriation Advisories 91
New Saudi Labor Law 40
KSA Exit & Re-entry Visa 31
Handbook for Overseas Filipinos 23
GCC Labor Laws 22
Iqama System Violations & Penalties 19
Open Letter from Ex-OFW Marge 15
SLL Basic Information 15
Rep. Act #10022 13

Election 2010: Seek the Divine Guidance

Seek the Divine guidance

Philippine Election 2010 is fast approaching, a very crucial voting exercise indeed for the Filipino people to choose the new leaders in our homeland.

May 10, 2010 we will be called upon, troop down to the polling booth to elect the two highest position in our land, 12 Senators, members of   the House of Representatives and elective provincial, city and municipal officials and local officials. 

Divine Guidance

Divine Guidance

This comes a very important history of Philippine politics not only for the mature voters but to the youths who are now actively involved in the process.  The Filipino people are very tired of election maneuverings, cheating, vote buying, guns and gold. This will be a decision we are about to make and therefore we do not seek to do this in our own strength and wisdom, but instead submit ourselves to God and seek that HE will lead us to choose the right onewho will surely do the right thing for our country.Bong Amora


America’s virtual democracy

Most people have a relatively simple understanding of American democracy. Each person has a right called a “vote.” A person casts the vote for a candidate. The candidates who receive the most votes  Win and make laws. Candidates win by supporting popular policies. “Free” citizens thus govern themselves.

But contrary to conventional perception, American democracy is not an organic, grassroots phenomenon that mirrors society’s preferences. In reality, the will of the people is channeled by a predetermined matrix of thousands of election regulations and practices that most people accept as natural: the location of election-district boundaries, voter-registration deadlines, and the number of voting machines at a busy polling place. This structure of election rules, practices, and decisions filters out certain citizens from voting and organizes the electorate. There is no “right” to vote outside of the terms, conditions, hurdles, and boundaries set by the matrix.

Although most people are oblivious to the matrix, it has very real consequences. In our closely divided political environment, even an obscure election rule in a single state can determine who sits in the White House or which party controls Congress. Collectively, the various rules and practices result in a class of politicians that control various aspects of Americans’ lives, such as the number of students in a second-grade classroom in Detroit, the level of mercury in the air we breathe, and the matter of whether a student in the Army Reserve will sleep in his University of Iowa dormitory or in a barracks in Baghdad, Iraq. And because the United States is a military and financial superpower, the matrix affects not just Americans but also hundreds of millions of humans around the globe.

The book concludes by focusing on a few average Americans who—despite the demands of business and family—make time to work on democratic reforms in their community.

Americans are not inevitably destined to a fate in which a narrow class of political elites controls the matrix. Change is possible. This book is a road map for bringing the power of the vote back into our hands.  – Taken from: Stealing Democracy by: Spencer Overton

same entry posted at: http://www.ofw4Noy24president.wordpress.com

words to remember

s56799103571_4780To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

U.S. Pres. Barack Hussein Obama



Obama’s victory and today’s  inauguration are great moments of another important U.S. history. Personally Yes! I am pleased very much with the outcome of the just concluded U.S. Presidential election. It is a big victory and a bigger challenge to American people. We are hoping that he (Obama) may have a positive outlook foreign policy especially in the Middle East. – Manuel A. Amora

Dugo Ko Alay Ko

Dugo Ko Alay Ko

During the Iraq-Iran war, Saudi Arabia required all those renewing or applying for a driver’s license to donate blood to the Ministry of Health. The blood collected was sent to Iraq where these are used in the operation of Iraqi soldiers who got hurt in the field. Years later, whenever the Ministry of Health needs blood to augment the inventory of its blood banks, it pays the donors a good amount of money.

H.E. Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Antonio Villamor

H.E. Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Antonio Villamor

Starting today, the Ministry of Health will be receiving a steady supply of blood for free. It does not even have to ask for it because the donors are giving it voluntarily.

Dugo ko Alay ko, a blood donation project spearheaded by the Philippine embassy and the Philippine overseas labor office in cooperation with the Filipino community in Riyadh and the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, was officially launched at the Philippine embassy compound this morning.

"Dugo Ko Alay Ko"

"Dugo Ko Alay Ko"

The project, which is said to be the first of its kind, is the Filipinos’ way of expressing their thanks and appreciation to the people and government of Saudi Arabia, who for more than two decades have provide home and source of income to the growing number of overseas Filipinos. Indeed what could be a better way to express gratitude than to let ones blood mix and run with those of his friends?

A big round of applause should be given to the organizing committee that managed the project from conceptualization through its eventual implementation. The launching alone this morning speaks a lot. Banners and streamers decorate the chancery both inside and outside; colorful posters are stuck on bulletin boards, some even cleanly pasted on rear windows of some cars; shirts and caps bearing the project’s logo are worn by volunteers; and almost everybody were given buttons to pin to their shirts.

FilCom "Sharing Blood, Giving Life"

FilCom " A Life, Giving Life"

What the recently concluded overseas absentee voting lack in information campaign materials, the Dugo Ko Alay ko project had so much in abundance.

The embassy gates were even left wide open through out the day, as if telling passers by to come in and join the celebration. An early celebration of success it looked like indeed. The chancery was filled with people that it was even a bit hard for the lady volunteers distributing free bottled water to squeeze into the crowd. That size of a crowd was never seen during the voting period.

The blood letting will run through out the year. The first group of donors this morning came from members of Alpha Phi Omega. Because pre-screening of would be donors is required, those who registered as donors, and passed the requirements, will be scheduled during the succeeding weekends. Where a group of donors is located in one area, the mobile blood bank facility may even go onsite instead of requiring the donors to go to the embassy.

The launching was capped by a light noon snack hosted by no less than His Excellency Ambassador Antonio Villamor and Labor Attache Rustico dela Fuente. The food provided by a catering company was good, and added more color to this all new experience of A Life Giving Lives. * May 25, 2007 By: Ka Ambo

Hawak Kamay

Hawak Kamay

Hawak Kamay

The song “Hawak Kamay” composed and interpreted by Yeng Constantino really touches the Filipinos heart. The song relates a story of two friends stick together, helping each other, lending each others hand against sorrows, pains and miseries in life. Hoping that this entry may find a way to connect OF/OFWs worldwide.

FWRC or Filipino Workers Resource Center, a center for our Filipina runaways distressed OFWs was established by the virtue of the 1995 Migrant Workers Act.

It’s not new to us that many of our distressed OFWs housed at FWRC like “Bahay Kalinga in Riyadh” and “Bahay Kanlungan in Jeddah” needs personal things to be used in their daily needs while staying at our Government shelter. A number of them are there for quite a long period of time waiting resolution of their case and others luckily waiting for their air tickets. OFW community organizations, kindhearted individuals and companies in the Kingdom usually offered monetary help in securing air tickets for their final freedom bound for home.

United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development or UFWCD is a newly organized, SEC registered non-profit global overseas Filipino organization. UFWCD was primarily formed to help build our nation to move forward towards progress. We believed that Overseas Filipinos and our fellow Filipinos at home, united as ONE and armed with a vision that regardless of political and economic mayhem our country been facing there is still hope for a “BETTER PHILIPPINES“.

Last Year, UFWCD personally went to Albay to reach out the typhoon victims in the area and a small token of contribution were handed to our less fortunate brothers and sisters at Tala Leprosarium in Cavite. (Posted in my previous entry titled Transnational Philanthropy).

Last month, the just newly elected worldwide officers and the group general membership headed by our very own President Mrs. Fe Kim (Korea) initiated a project for the purpose of “lending a hand” to our fellow distressed OFWs in the Kingdom.

Thus, the “Hawak Kamay” project (name of the project was suggested by this blogger) was launched recently at the UFWCD e-group. Targeted recipients are our distressed OFWs, mostly lady-kababayans currently refuge and housed at FWRC, Bahay Kanlungan, Jeddah as well as at the FWRC, Bahay Kalinga, Riyadh and other satellite centers in Al Khobar, Eastern Region-KSA.

Walang Bibitiw

Walang Bibitiw

It all started when 2nd VP elect Ernie Perez of Riyadh, who had the attention posted at UFWCD e-group on the late distressed Domestic Helper, OFW Ms. Rosita Crisologo who died of cancer to whom this “HAWAK-KAMAY” was coined incredibly. Today, it is an active on-going project as long as there are many fellow OFWs willing to reach a hand of those in needs.

As per report by our energetic 1st VP elect Jun Macaranas based in Jeddah, aside from the previous goods intended for the “Hawak Kamay” the following were being mobilized:

– There is a 3rd group of GOODS still stored at Home Health Care Office, KFSHRC-Jeddah with a destination point to the distressed workers at Phil Consulate Jeddah.

– Estimated at 250kgs, sealed 6 boxes plus loose goods containing: used clothing, blankets, mattresses, bath soap, surgical items, used bags, footwear and 2 boxes of noodles.

– A nursing staff and a physiotherapist at HHCare-Jeddah have expressed their willingness to do a voluntary service (medical and counseling) especially to the ladies stranded at the Consulate Center, a planned schedule to be finalized.

This 3rd batch of goods may not be realized without the following kindhearted OFWs:

Mr. Arnold Francisco Taguiam & wife Lina Medical Records, Ms. Remi Ancheta Chief Medical Officer’s Office, Ms. Annie Agoncillo OB-Gyne Clinic, Cecilia “Salma” Laguna OB-Gyne Department, Eden Castillejo NeuroSciences Department, Roselda O. Agpalza Home Health Care, Leilani Purisima (PT Dept.) Home Health Care Unit, Mohammed D. Amrou, Asst Head Nurse. All employees at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, KFSHRC-Jeddah.

Mr. Philip Alinas, Pharmacy Dept., KFSHRC, Jeddah and Mr. Dennis Follosco of Saudi Oger-Ltd, Jeddah, who have conveyed their voluntary gesture of assisting UFWCD-Jeddah in due time to finally connect these goods to kababayans at Phil. Consulate, FWRC-Jeddah.

To those willing to participate in this noble cause, UFWCD “Hawak Kamay” Project, contact persons are listed below:

In Jeddah: UFWCD 1st VP Mamerto “Jun” C. Macaranas, Jr., Home Health Care (J-13), King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center-Jeddah (KFSHRCJ) at Tel/Fax: (+966-2) 667-7777 Ext 3506/3524 or Mobile Mobile: (+966) 551-348251 – dial from Outside KSA, 0551-348251 – dial within the KSA.

In Riyadh: UFWCD 2nd VP Ernie Perez at Tel. # (+96611) 2258763 or to Email Address: eljoff@yahoo.com / erniep@sabic.com or leave a comment in this entry and we will be with you very shortly.

The Career Path

Career Path

Career Path

1) “VISION”: PROJECT your destiny while STILL young. Identify the state where you are happy, which kind of work that suit your taste and who you will be in the near and distant future. Know your destination. “A person without a vision is like a ship without a rudder”. It just depends which direction the wind blows.

2) “MISSION”: CHART YOUR DESTINY WITH A ROAD MAP. Identify which road you are going to take in going there. Identify what are to be accomplished. What should be done to prepare yourself.

3) “STRATEGY”: STRATEGIZE TO ACTUALISE YOUR MISSION. Hone your skills and competencies while there is still time. According to Stephen Covey, “Sharpen your tools. Train yourself”.

book%20coverThe story of the disappointment that led to the “cuaderno” was after all not wasted. It was part of reality, a part of the never-ending learning. Each learning is a preparation to a higher level of responsibility.

4) “ALIGNMENT”: Drive yourself into correct direction desired. According to Jack Welsh, CEO of the great General Electric, “control your destiny or somebody else will”. Align yourself with the company’s mission & vision. You will then feel comfortable in your work.

5) “BE A SHINING JEWEL”: Broaden your capabilities so that you will be on top of the heap among jewels. You should have the TECHNOLOGY, keeping abreast of TRENDS & other competencies that others don’t have. Make yourself exceptional.

6) “DO IT”: Make it happen. Create opportunities. Don’t wait for something to happen. Make yourself a participant to the events. Don’t be a fence sitter.

The story of the “cuaderno  did not end up hanging. It had already produced five books.

7) “KAIZEN”: Continuous Improvement. Don’t sit on your laurels because if you rest, you rust. It means relentless adrenaline & energy. Remember, your best may not be good enough. There should always be an extra mile.

8) “TEAM PLAY”: Don’t think of yourself. That’s Interpersonal Relationship in American management. Interdependence in Japanese style of management. Make something to lift others. Make a clone of yourself. Make others as good as you are so that others could replace you. Remember, you can’t be promoted to higher position if nobody can replace you. Remember, Management is the art of making others do it for you.

9) “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS SUCCESS”: Never think that you are successful. Success is relative, intoxicating and momentary. You might be the president of a company but your family might be in shambles. Thus there should be a balance of career success and family success. Remember, man’s life is an open book until he dies.

10) “AIM SMALL BREAKTHROUGHS”: A winner never quits, a quitter never wins. You should learn to accept small breakthroughs as winnings because success is not all material. What’s important is that you are happy in what you are in. “Mababaw lang ang kaligayahan”-that’s better than a Big Success but laden with corruption.

11) “GOD’s GRACES”: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added on to you. Your greatest inspiration, mentor and ally is GOD. No matter how colossal your efforts are, they are nothing if there is no grace from heaven. Remember, for every great phenomenal fortune, there is always a crime in the closet.

Taken from CESEEPS 

By: Doods A. Amora ( Managing Director-CESEEPS International )

Note: See  related article by clicking “CUADERNO” .


Dear FFBP (Filipinos For Better Philippines),


Isang munting tula ng aking paghanga
sa lahat ng nangangasiwa sa katipunang FFBP.

Ako’y natutuwa,
Ang samahang ito’y nalikha,
Sapagkat aking napagalamang,
Kay dami pa palang nagmamahal sa ating bansa.

Sari-saring paksa’y,
Sinasaliksik tinatalakay,
Kanya-kanyang pananaw ipinaglalaban;
Ang nakakalungkot lamang kapag nagkasarapan,
Humahantong sa di inaasahang personalan.

Talas ng isipa’y nabibigyan ng buhay,
Mapa-wikang sarili o mapadayuhan,
Mayroong tonong maka-bayan,
May himig maka-banyaga; nangag-tutungayawang
ipangtanggol kanya-kanyang diwa.

Lahat sana ng ikagagaling,
para sa bayan nating ginigiliw,
Talas ng isipan ating ng pagsama-samahin,
Mag kaisa-isa na sa i-isang layunin,
Maging isang bansa sa isang diwa at gawa,
Sa ilalim ng isang bandila.


Mabuhay po ang samahang FFBP!

Note: Please be informed that FFBP today is the United Filipinos Worldwide for Community Development – UFWCD. 

10 Little Things OFWs could do to help

Taken From: The Desk of Atty. at Work

(Atty. Alexander L. Lacson is the author of the Book “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country.” He wrote the article “10 Little Things OFWs, Balikbayans & Pinoy Expats Could Do To Help Develop Our Philippines” as a reply to the request of PinoyExpats Magazine (May 2006), an online magazine based in Europe. A number of websites and e-groups have since picked up and passed around that article, but according to Atty. Lacson, the version being passed around is the cut-and-pasted one. Here’s the clearer version, reproduced in full with his permission.)

a)     Spend your vacation, your dollars, in our Philippines

It is understandable for our OFWs, balikbayans and Pinoy expats to spend vacation in other countries. The world is truly beautiful and majestic. But please do spend some of your vacation, and some of your dollars, in our Philippines. Every dollar that you bring into our country will help build our Philippines. It will help our tourism industry. It will mean more sales and more jobs for our local industries. It will mean an increase in our country’s international dollar reserves. It will help stabilize the Peso. And ultimately, it will help stabilize our economy.

b)     Teach your relatives back home to be good citizens & good Filipinos

Whether or not you are sending money to your relatives in the Philippines, you are one of their heroes. They look up to you as models. They listen to every word you say, to whatever you tell them. Please teach them to become good Filipinos, to become good citizens. They can start with my book – 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country. Please ask them to help me spread the message of the book. In particular, please ask them to “Buy local. Buy Pilipino.” In an article in one of the recent issues of TIME Magazine, it was said that the most crucial factor for economic progress is not foreign investments, but economic nationalism, i.e., when people learn to support their own country’s products. 

c)All OFWs, Balikbayans and Pinoy Expats should do more during elections in RP

In the next and all future elections, the OFWs and Balikbayans and Pinoy expats should do more by helping your relatives back home in choosing the right leaders – the national ones especially – for our country. Your relatives at home will surely listen to you. This means that as OFWs and expats, you need to surf the internet and read the news so you’ll know the candidates who should be elected to office. There are organizations and websites which can help you on this.

If is true that there are at least 8 million OFWs all over the world now, and if it is also true that every Filipino has at least 4 family members or relatives, then the 8 million OFWs have at least 32 million relatives back home in the Philippines. This means that the OFWs and their families, by their own numbers, can already change and transform the political leadership in the Philippines, our government, and eventually our nation as a whole.

Click here for the rest ” 10 Little Things OFWs Could do to Help“. 

The Foundation

The Foundation

Behind success stories there are untold story to tell, many individuals out there become successful in their field of profession, businesses, etc. Sen. Manny Villar is one of them whose story is an inspiring one that we may call it from “rugs to riches”.

But success is not only measured when someone reaches the peak of his/her accomplishments but it is measured by strength and perseverance. It means our desire to pursue our dreams and the will to cope up hardship in life.



My late father after WWII worked as a gasoline boy, and his determination to provide us good education is the only treasure that we keep through all these years. I think of him as the land, the heart and soul of the family. He gave us the avenue and structure to pursue our goals in life. He always remind us of a verse that goes “Lihok Tawo ug Tabangan ko Ikaw” (Work for it and I will help You).

That verse guides us and made us strong in spite from families’ financial difficulties in life. My brother woke up at 4:00 in the morning selling “pandesal” in the neighborhood to sustain his school needs. All of it was not put in vain, he graduated Valedictorian both in elementary and high school, and a full scholar in college and the rest is the story about “CUADERNO“.

Today, he is now a successful businessman of a consulting firm that he organized based in Mandaue, Cebu and presently the Managing Director of CESEEPS (Center for Studies in Electrical Engineering Practices and Standards). Currently, he is also in the world of blogging.

As a youngest of the five, my brother has been my mentor, listener, and taught me so much about life and the future.

I am writing this because I remember what he says in the – Biggest Challenge, “It is best to prepare and anticipate. But preparedness does not mean that we allow ourselves to lose track of the basics. It is the bedrock foundation of our competence”.

The basics are those tough times everybody had, the bedrock foundation of who are these people today.

Ang hindi lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa patutunguhan“.