” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.”
-Louisa May Alcott
It’s funny to note after 32 years, here I am writing another chapter of my life. I considered Jeddah as my second home, in fact, it was my HOME, this is where I grew up professionally , I have learned my craft and skills with much passion and as my term ends, I realized the love and respect my patients gave me was tremendous and I will be forever grateful for the experienced.
So after a month, I was still wondering whether my decision to come home finally was indeed the right one. Well, mostly on financial aspect, I wonder if my savings will be enough to pull it off, at least untill my practice picks up.
Yes! I am pursuing my childhood dream to put up my own dental clinic. At age 59, I will go down to history 🙂 I will be doing what my friends and colleague have done 32 years ago !
I wish my father was still alive to witness this new chapter in my life.
So be it..
Beautybeyondfifty have changed her domain to “The Dental Aesthetic Clinic”
The third episode of “The Vin and Noira Show” is here
Are you a OFW? Expatriates? born in KSA? back in Philippines? you should listen to vin oh! and noira too, she is from Indonesia but studied in Australia.
Where are you from?
I usually say, from Philippines to make the story short, because I was born in Davao and was raised in Bicol, my father is from Cabanatuan City and my mother is from Taytay ,Rizal and you can find these places in the Philippines.
What about if you are born in another country like Saudi Arabia with Filipino parents and was raised in Saudi Arabia and never had the chance to actually live in Philippines?
What about.. if you are born in Saudi Arabia and never had the opportunity to really live in Philippines but your parents are both Filipino and you immigrated to United Kingdom or Canada?
What about..if your mother is Filipina and your father is American and you are born and raised in Saudi Arabia?
Where are you from?
As my youngest always say ” WE ARE NOMAD” 🙂
GLOBAL nomad – one who grows up in a country other than their passport country.
EXpatriate – one who lives outside of his/her own home culture.
I got interested with the topic of “Third Culture Kids” since the first episode of the show and it’s relatable to all expatriates alike, not only for the kids but for the adult and parents as well.
What is TCK? Third Culture Kids is a term they used for kids who were raised in a culture other than their parents country and a combination of both. A good example is my son , who has both Filipino parents (first culture) but was born and raised in Saudi Arabia(second culture) and being exposed on both cultures (third culture). He studied in a multicultural environment and later on went to Europe and USA to finish his Bachelors degree.
It gives me a goose bump, remembering the day I organized a club named KFC (Kids Fun Club) and TFCK ( Teens Fun Club with Kids). My main goal is for him to be exposed in a Filipino culture while in Saudi Arabia at the same time teaching children to enhance their creativity in arts,reading and our culture.
So whats the big deal?
Is there more advantages than disadvantages?
Well, it’s a matter of perspective, I can’t speak for himself so listen to his show here hahahaha, kidding aside, but what I observed TCK has more adaptability and capability than those who has mono cultural exposure. Mostly of the studies done for TCK are American children living abroad, so let’s narrowed down the topic to Filipino kids who were raised in Saudi Arabia because of their parents employment.
They speak fluent english and have difficulty in Tagalog (Filipino language), unless all their friends speaks Tagalog or they are studying in Philippine School, then there’s no tagalog difficulties but definitely they don’t speak their parent’s dialect. Yes! one of the advantage of being TCK is the fluency in the English Language, they learned different languages too, but sad to say they are not well versed in Tagalog. Is this the fault of a parent? Well, in my case, I choose to speak one language to them, so they will not be confused in their accent and pronunciation. I was raised in Bicol, speaks taglish (tagalog-English) with a Philippine accent, I was afraid they gonna pick up my accent and other students will make fun of them. You see, living in Saudi Arabia is not easy, unfortunately,bullying is rampant at school and at work as well. And being in American School, Filipino subject is not included in the curriculum, it’s either French or Spanish, and of course the Arabic language of host country. I just wish, I insisted on learning them Tagalog and Arabic more fluently.
Even for us, as OFW, we tend to speak comfortably in English than in Tagalog, As for me, I still speak taglish (tagalog-English) but can speak English well if needed and can conversed in Arabic with my patients 🙂
One of the privilege of being TCK is traveling. It gives them a broader view of the world, a better understanding of different culture but at the same time, they tend to wonder, the need to see other places and at times lost their interest to go back home.Even in food, they acquired the taste of arabic cuisine. Who doesn’t? Oh ! I love it too! kabsa, shawerma,sambusak and broast 🙂 hmmm I’m getting hungry 🙂
Another advantage of being TCK is education, not only having the chance to study abroad but the ability to adjust, experience and learn to live in a multicultural environment. This is a real education to see how people live, interact, socialize in different places. This give you a broader perspective and independence.
What about emotionally?
I remembered my son, on one of his low point of being a Nomad, he uttered in a depressed tone of “just give me a home” to which I answered, your home is ME! Home is where your family! But at that time we were all in a different continent. It was a realization for me, yeah, home is everywhere and nowhere!
Saudi Arabia is my comfort zone, we live in a big house with free car, air ticket , free education and this is where my career started and bloom. But we al knew, this is temporary, and time will come we are all going home…where?
No one was prepared to go back home to Philippines, we were all fascinated and taken away by the comfort of living abroad, having friends all over the world,going to places.. though at times we feel we don’t belong anywhere, still living abroad has its own aura. Like what is expensive in Philippines, its just a normal affordable thing abroad. Communication is easier too, though we don’t speak arabic fluently, a lot of people here tried to speak English or even tagalog to us.(this is just me, ok?) I know, I am working in a private clinic with a good position so what I meet everyday are professionals, VIPs, but I think mostly of expatriate would have the same opinion. Am I wrong or right?
Sad to say, back home, speaking English with american accent and an Asian look, sometimes doesn’t create a good start without being perceived to be showing off.
the feeling of..
you don’t fit in… reverse culture shock… out of place
Vin and noira will surely tackle these feelings of being a tourist on your own home country. As for me, I am not yet there, but I am anticipating my retirement soon and I knew, I would feel the same way but hey! life is what we make it, if we were able to survived in the Middle East, we will surely survive in Asia!
Did I say ? TCK includes adult and parents?
Accept reality, face our own fear and sooner than we think, we can say, it’s not bad as we expected it too be 🙂
Ladies, I think Vin and Noira did express their take on TCK better than I did here 🙂
When I received the link this morning , I immediately sent a message to my son.
What is this? What about Vin and Noira ?
He replied: It’s a thing I’m doing in my free time.
For teens ?
18 years old and above
Ok, so curious, that I went to it right away, huh? What is this podcast? Well, pardon me, I am in my late fifties, back in our time we only listen to radio.
The Vin and Noira Show /A Podcast of Randomness
The first time I heard his voice, OMG! Is this my son? Who is the lady? Well, you know what happened next? Google and Facebook came into rescue.
So I gathered, Christina is from Indonesia and a Octoberian as well (like us), if that is the real birthday, you know these days, they kind of change everything in their profile pics and data as well 🙂 A Filipino-Indonesian host team, both speaks English fluently!
Anyhow, this is their first episode and listening for the first few minutes, kind of “off” to me because of too many “F” word. But as I continued listening, the conversation was getting substantially good. Though I am not familiar with “Geoducks & Akon” and d&d games. Dungeons and dragons are not my thing , I guess it’s only for teenagers and young adult. It’s fun listening to them, the giggling in between makes me chuckles at times.
I didn’t know about TCK (third culture kids) ABC (aussie born chinese) did I get it right?Well, If you listen to their conversation, you will find out how Asian children born outside of their own country, live in a different culture, mingled with the locals, speaks English fluently and how they feel about it. They also talk about their “mom” yeah sure, they make fun of us! in a nice way 🙂
Overall, Hurray! for the first episodes, funny, honest awesome conversation, though I think it would be nice not to hear a lot of “F” even wonderful not to hear it at all 🙂 just a thought..hey thats your show and this is my review! Fair enough?
“If the plan doesn’t work , change the plan but never change the goal”
Yay! October is our lucky month.
Happy birthday to us, my sons and our house 🙂
Yep! Thirty years of working as OFW (overseas Filipino worker), the first thing that comes to mind is to buy a house, and we did! But plan change, the two years contract was extended to thirty years! And the house was rented. Some of the previous tenants were caring, unfortunately, the last one was a tyrant! OMG! , I can’t imagine how they live. We always do repair before a new tenant comes in and we are sure that the last tenant receive the house in good condition. Shocks! The house was not livable when I received it, everything was upside down 🙁
2009 when I became a single parent, a sole provider… it was not planned but reality at times will shocked our nerves and when it hit me, I did not back off, instead I stand firmly , prayed and hope I can passed the difficulties. So many things happened in between, I can tell you it was not easy for all of us but we surpassed the expectation!
I was brave to spent my savings and earning to send my sons to college and they were able to graduate with honors. I was crazy to think I am done after graduation 🙂 Sometimes I would say to myself, It’s ok to be selfish at times, think about when you grow old when you cannot work anymore, no steady income, no pension but I also think what will happen when I go back to Philippines ? No house and no pension, that’s more scary! Time is ticking …it’s a disguise of invisibility..waiting to expire, but no! I won’t be fool by my advancing age, I like to think what I have been through, are my armor to whatever mishap I may have in the near future.
The tuition fees I paid for my two sons to study abroad, I could have bought a big mansion and a nice car but What shall I do with it? Education came as priority. Travel was second, why? Well, I don’t want to wait till I am old and can’t enjoy the scenery because I don’t remember where I was hehehe… talking about being forgetful 🙂 And renovating the house became the last in the list.
Once again, My inner me,.. says renovate the house, but I have no savings left, only my service award for five years.Besides , it’s a conjugal property. I like to file for annulment, actually saving for it. You see the irony in Philippines, We are the only country in the world that doesn’t support divorce and we also don’t have any program for single parent. I can’t file for housing loan, I am two years away of my retirement. The government should look into the predicament of single parent, this is not only to free from their spouse but to get support for education and shelter. There are a lot of separated/divorced couple that supports each other. Why can’t we be broad-minded on this subject for the sake of harmony and stability? Instead of paying a big amount of money to lawyers, spend it to other more important things like sharing for the education of children. However, out of no where, I received a quit claim and the whisper is becoming louder and louder…renovate the house…renovate the house…
Drum roll… here are some photos of before and after renovation!
Renovation 101 🙂
I calculated my service award and I said to myself, just do what is necessary and you will be fine financially.I went home, got my architect/contractor – Arch. Rosario Valezaand discussed what I want for my house.The budget of 1.8 increased to 2.5 M, oh la la la.
Shall I go for it? The inner me… Go!
Alright brave lady, Let’s do it! I talked to my boss to lend me an advanced money but with the economy going down, he cannot promise anything. Luckily, my contractor agreed that I can pay on installment basis. Wow! I am so lucky 🙂 Indeed! She also did a lot of extra work for me without even asking for extra money. Like I sent her to get me the appliances I need from Elba . I am too far away to come every time so she was so kind to extend her helping hand.Hmmm do I really think there’s no extra? Well, of course there will be but she is just so kind to ask and I am taking advantage of it :-)… joke!
Did it went well?
Well, I would say the finished renovation was beautiful compared to the old one but honestly , being far away from home while the house is being renovated is a big stress! Especially when the communication is kind of strange, timing is important, at times, she is free and at times I am not. Having internet is a plus but it is still different when you are there, in the actual site. I’m lucky also that I have my brother Eng. Kelly, who helped me visualized the outcome. Although at times, there was some disagreement between the Engineer and the architect but at the end professionalism works.
Some TIPS on renovating house when your far away from home and with a stretched budget on hand:-)
1. hired a trusted architect/contractor – this will lessen your stress but of course, it should be mutual. She/He should trust you too (financial wise) double wink ** I had some problem in sending remittances, two of the big remittance center in Jeddah was suspended and there’s also limit how much money I can send which shouldn’t exceed my monthly salary. I really appreciate the patience of my contractor.
2. have a concrete plan of what you want to change from the beginning. Think what is your priority. A bigger bathroom? A bigger living room? Pushed everyone to be a part of the plan, even when they say, “Whatever you like mom” still insist on getting what’s in their mind. Don’t start until you get the plan, finalize and start.
3. Get a support from trusted Engineer, friends and family who has experience in building a house. You can get some tips but stick to your liking ,listen and make your own decision.
4. Think what appliances / gadget in the kitchen. This is very important so the cabinets can be adjusted accordingly. I ask a lot of questions from my chef’s son of course 🙂 I rather have a small but equipped kitchen than a big one with too many appliances in disarray.
5. Have an ample allowance to estimate the finishing date, so you don’t end up having double expenses of renting a temporary condo. Plus your excitement will not be overshadowed by frustration because of extra expenses. Remember you still have to furnish the house 🙂
5. Save money from the start even though you’re not thinking of renovating because it comes handy later on. I think it is better to just demolished the old house and start from the scratch.I didn’t dream of a big house, I always like a single detached bungalow.
Cute ..Simple.. and cozy.
6. Have faith, no one can defined one’s vulnerability and difficulties. I believed my courage comes in faith. I am always thankful of any blessings no matter how small it is.
Ladies, I am so proud to say at age 58, I feel fulfilled ,having done my obligation with so much love and passion…oh don’t give me that look!…yeah don’t say I failed in one aspect “marriage” (Please bring down your eyebrow) well, I survived 25 years isn’t it? Besides, It’s a mutual decision, sometimes you just have to let go in order to process the pain and be healed in time.
” Sometimes, falling is not hard if you know how to get up with grace..What is important..stand firmed and hit your goal”
Drum roll again! Life is beautiful 🙂
Oh, I forgot to mention ,say hello to our new fam member “Arya” the puppy 🙂
I woke up at 5 in the morning to watch the race of mountain bikers in Jeddah. This is my first time to be in this place. I was determined to take photos of bikers, I thought for a while it is all Filipino cyclist but there are also different nationalities who gather around cheering their compatriot. Indeed! It was cheerful morning, all the photos of bikers I took were mostly smiling 🙂
see how cheerful they are!
I took random photos of the riders, spectators and I think the satisfactions are all written in their faces! It’s amazing to note that even though they were so exhausted they still managed to smile.
and of course! my friend would also like to try cycling with her ever supportive hubby 🙂
From Jeddah to AL Ula (Madain Saleh) to Tabuk, a long four days road trip, 3 hotels, adobo, al baik, lamb mandi to pizza and ice cream, that was awesome!
Maqna or Magna is located in Tabuk province. It was known that “Bir Al Saidni” is the well from which Moses rolled away the stone to draw water for the flocks of Jewish settlers.
Fast forward, before we reached the area, we passed a small area of water along the way.And I was thinking how difficult it was for Moses and the Israelites coming from Egypt, passing through the Gulf of Aqaba to Mt. Sinai, a vast desert, hills of rocks and suddenly the rock was split open to provide water. Wow! I am fascinated by the history of the place.
The sight to the coastal area was like a “gasp on the air”.
Imagine you are lost in a desert and found this well, I think you will be shouting and jumping of joy!
Thank you to Gabriel Fam, Alji fam and Pino fam for this trip. I had a wonderful Eid holiday 🙂
and to the boys who drove us for four days just to see those wonderful places.
I guess the photo says it all 🙂 are we going ahead with this trip? hahahaha Who can say no to madame Rhea! clap your hand and raise your feet 🙂 o la la …
Along the way, we have seen a lot of beautiful sceneries that no photos can justify our feelings at that moment. Ladies, you should do wonders to drag your husband to this trip, it is worth a try, trust me!
After a long travel to reach Mt Sinai, the road has ended with a barricade. Oh yeah, there was no sign what so ever that we can get through. So, we just took in the scenery with a sigh and relief that at last we have seen how difficult the survival was.
For a little trivia, Mt Sinai is the mountain at which the Ten commandments were given to Moses by God. It was found in Egypt but contested later on by historian that the actual location is in Saudi Arabia. Whichever is right, this road trip is worth a try, having seen the red sand dunes, the archaeological arts of rocks, oasis,gulf of aqaba and the tip of Mt. Sinai, indeed, this is the most memorable road trip ever.
Another contested trivia is the Red sea crossing of Israelites at the gulf of Aqaba. We headed to see the coastal view of Gulf of Aqaba, which could be seen or divided between four countries namely:Saudi Arabia,Jordan,Israel and Egypt.
A half sunken ship can be seen 55 km south from Haql city in Tabuk province. The water is crystal clear, which is good for swimming, unfortunately we were not ready for this 🙁 The place is known as “Al mashee well”, I would call it as Haql Shipwreck beach 🙂 because literally the half sunken vessel is just along the shore and with the mountain backdrop and the crystal blue water, one can imagine that you’re in a movie set.
I can’t say it was a good night sleep but we woke up early to have a sunrise view at the elephant rock.
This photo was taken after a car driven by crazy “young adult” circled around , I guess they were showing off and created a big sand dust around us. However, it didn’t get into our nerves, we still went on 🙂 the mandatory jump shot!
Back to road and we just found out there is a better accommodation than the furnished apartment we have rented. The place is “Shaden Resort” hmmm we will come back for sure.
I don’t know how we were able to… but here we are alive and kicking 🙂 My friend Rhea came from a two months holiday and a day after they arrived, we joined another groups of family to a road trip which we thought will just be an overnight thing, like two days and one night OMG!
DAY 1 Friday Sept. 1,2017
We left Jeddah at 4:30 am. not wasting time huh 🙂 considering I worked a day before, rhea just arrived and here we are, traveling early in the morning. Yep! you got it right..we are the “lakwatsera” wanderlust of Jeddah. Beautybeyondfifty is all smile 🙂
Anyhow, we stopped in Yanbu and had our breakfast .Yep! your guess is right again 🙂 we had “adobo and rice”.
Arrived in Al Ula around 12:30 noon, unfortunately, Arac Hotel was closed and we headed to find a furnished apartment. We had ” adobo and rice” again for lunch :-). At 3:30 pm we moved to see Madain Saleh. We’ve been here before but we were still excited to see the ancient Nabatean caravan city which is filled with desert tombs.
Oh by the way, You only need Iqama to get in, there’s no permit anymore and it is open until 6pm.
At the entrance is a replica of the old train and Al Hijaz railway station.
Red sand dunes of Tabuk region, an awesome experience of seeing the beauty of nature.
I came home from a four days road trip ,exhausted but happy and can’t stop looking at the photos I took. Hmmm can’t really decide upfront which one to upload first. I am fascinated by the red color of the sand dunes in Tabuk region. It’s a small area of the vast desert where you can see a red sand dunes.This place in An Nafud al kabir is a sight to behold and no photos can literally translate my feelings to see this beautiful nature. We didn’t mind the hot weather, I can feel the hotness, redness of my face but I didn’t back off taking photos.
What is more fascinating, the green grass has two shades of green!
I am giggling inside seeing this awesome scenery, I thank God for the creation.
Ladies, have time to enjoy the nature, look at beyond the beauty of nature.