Posted in Qatar

Bonding with my colleagues


Every once in a while, it’s a pleasure catching up with my colleagues. I’d relocated to other office last year and I surely missin’ bonding with them.

It’s lovely to talk everything under the sun in such rare opportunity to come together. There are times when we talk about work but we tried to keep the mood light and revert back on personal topics.

Good times indeed.

Posted in Qatar

My First Doha Metro Ride (A Simple Guide)


Almost a week since the soft opening of Doha Metro Red Line Rail (Wakra to Lusail en route various stations), I decided to take a ride and have a first-hand experience of this well-received transport. As local newspaper highlighted, 08 May 2019 is a major turning point of Qatar’s ambitious journey to transport development.

Here’s a quick guide 😄

  1. Check your journey against the above map (ctto).
  2. Go to the nearest station.
  3. Ask nearby attendants for Metro Office so you can purchase card (you don’t want to mess with self-service machine 😅, not yet). They’re friendly and are more than happy to assist. Cards come with three types:
    • Standard Travel Card (STC) which is a reusable plastic travel card that costs QR 10.
    • A non-reusable, paper travel card that contains either a single journey or day pass, Limited Use Travel Card (LUTC) (single journey/day pass).
    • Gold Travel Card (GTC) is a reusable plastic card that costs QR 100.
  4. Head to train station. Feel free to approach any attendant you can find (they’re everywhere) for direction, or when in doubt.
Look for the Doha Metro flag
Go down, get the card, enter the train..
State-of-the-art technology (Announcement is being aired in Arabic and English)
Doha Metro don’t just live up with the hype, it exceeds expectations!

I usually go by Bus #76 (CityCenter to Bus Station) then transfer to Bus#55 bound to my place. I excitedly hailed the approaching Bus#55 the moment I stepped out of the Metro Station thinking that it will lead me to my place. To my dismay (because I’m an idiot), it headed straight to Bus Station 🤦‍♂️ I must be travelling on the wrong side of the road! I did it right the second time though 😎 #thuglife Lesson learned: let go of the past 😜

Posted in Let's Celebrate!, Qatar

Bella Turns 2!


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; – Proverbs 3:3

Today we celebrate Belle’s happiness as she just turned 2. It’s an honor to witness her parent’s joy as they watch her grow in beauty.

I can’t help but remember one night, I was conversing with Bella’s dad Ian. They were expecting for a child then. Surely, in God’s perfect time they shall receive their heart’s desires.

After few months, I heard the good news! Time flies indeed, their baby is now 2 years old.

My prayer for her that she grow in love each day.

Posted in Let's Celebrate!, Qatar

Bella Turns 2!


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; – Proverbs 3:3

Today we celebrate Belle’s happiness as she just turned 2. It’s an honor to witness her parent’s joy as they watch her grow in beauty.

I can’t help but remember one night, I was conversing with Bella’s dad Ian. They were expecting for a child then. Surely, in God’s perfect time they shall receive their heart’s desires.

After few months, I heard the good news! Time flies indeed, their baby is now 2 years old.

My prayer for her that she grow in love each day.

Posted in Qatar

The Chase for my Lost Baggage


I have to fly in our office in Abu Dhabi for a team-building event. I’m a bit excited, seldom I experience business travel across UAE. It’s pamper time!

My morning flight is cancelled, so I have to report to our office in Doha whilel waiting for my afternoon flight. It’s too early to be upset after all. I have to travel to Abu Dhabi via Oman. It’s A rather long travel time including 4 hours of waiting for my next flight. Nonetheless, this discomfort isnkt too much to bear compare to peerks of relaxing away from work and indulging in the spirit of teamwork 🙂

When I’m checking in my luggage, the ground stewardess briefed me that I can claim my luggage in Oman. I casually nod, having no idea of the next event that will take place shortly.

It’s a short flight to Oman, where I will board towards Abu Dhabi. Upon reaching Abu Dhabi, I found out that my luggage never made it out of Oman Airport. A moment of panic ran thru my veins. This can’t be happening to me, not this time! After few seconds, I pull myself together and calmly asked for contact numbers in Oman airport that I can talk to. I bought a local sim and tried to contact the numbers, to no avail. I headed back to ground stewardess who obviously had enough on that day – her patience is running out. I decided to call it a day and go to my hotel, it’s 10:00pm already anyway.

At least I managed to buy kinder toy for my son.

Upon reaching Centro hotel, I hurriedly settled my carry-on bag and dashed for a cab. I instructed him to drop me in Carrefour, a local departmrnt store. I have to purchase hygienic items and my shirt to wear the next day, including socks and underwear. As if nature is playing with the trouble I am into, the driver misheard me! He thought we’re going to corniche! After 10minutes, I broke my silence and in my frustration, I asked him to drop me to the nearest department store we can find. I paid hefty price for the ride, and have to jostle my way in the store. It’s 11:00pm.

I went back to hotel shortly. Exhaustion is an understatement. I’m drained. Need to sleep.

Team-building went well. We even allowed to walk on the beach while discussing commercial topics. Truly I learned a lot in the most enjoyable way possible. I tried to call Oman airport, but no one is picking up. I shared my experience with my colleagues and I found out that one of them experienced the ordeal I am dealing with. She advised me to log a complaint upon reaching Doha.

Commercial team!

It’s time for me to head home. As I’m checking in, I promised myself not to bring a check-in luggage anymore, especially for short flight as such. Lesson learned.

I thought I had enough sufferings already. Then I lost my phone on the plane. I realized that after passing thru immigration. Since I cannot come back (i was cleared on the scanner), I asked the police for assistance. You know you’re panicking when all thoughts are rushing in your head. Once again, I have to calm myself and seek for the most rational approach on dealing with it. Police advised me to look for Information Table and ask their help in tracking down the plane’s next flight. Radio message is transmitted, then a series of radio communication flooded the room. Finally, they located the plane – it will take off in the next hour! I found myself chasing my phone, with my lost luggage in my next to-do task.

I finally managed to speak with the ground steward, and ultimately able to hold my phone once again. The feeling is very fulfilling!

Upon (finally) reaching Doha, I filed a complaint. I was advised to come back on the evening. It’s 4:00am and I long for my bed.

I finally able to claim my luggage that night.

Reunited!

I should’ve brought my carry-on for a day trip, and never ever trust that everything will happen as expected. Murphy’s law is lurking in the corner.

Praise God for presence of mind. God is good, all the time.

Posted in Qatar

Winter No More


I’m a bit surprised to see droplets of rain in our frontyard upon emerging out of our flat. I saw in my widget last night that the probability of rain is just 10%. Well, we can’t underestimate the weather.

Winter in Qatar usually runs from november to january – february at most. But it’s almost the end of March, and only now that it rains – an indication of weather shift.

I’m enjoying a cool morning breeze before it’s gone 🙂

Stay safe everyone!

Posted in Let's Celebrate!, Qatar

Gian Turns 1!


It’s an honor to be selected as one of the godparents of Gian, being a closed friend of my colleague Anna. He is offered to our Lord thru baptism on 21st of December, and party is set the next day with Hawaian theme.

I threw a party for my son once, thus I knew the feeling. The excitement of the event and the anxiety of “what if’s” surely hover in their mind as time pass by. Before we knew it, big day is here so let’s get the party started!

Posted in Qatar

Here Comes Intercompany Basketball League


So our company suddenly woken up from peaceful sleep and decided to let us participate in the basketball league here in Qatar. The game is on!

Being an underdog isn’t new to me. I love to be treated as such and then prove ’em wrong. Here comes the challenge: with fading skillset, slow stamina, and age catchin up on me, I might as well prove otherwise 😂

We have two or three key players, I’m not one of them :). During the game practice this morning, I stumbled twice! Good thing, the court floor is rubberized. My body is slow to react. What can I expect, I’m not playing for how long, 5 years? Every factor is on my disadvantage. What left for me is the willingness to play. I knew it’s not good enough, but when we’re facing the giants we’ve got nothing to lose.

I have six fouls to give anyway 🤣

Posted in Qatar, Reflections

Coping Up with Daily Demands


I’m an organiser, or perhaps the pressure in our workplace forced me to pick myself up and put my gear in the game. Whichever, I’m arriving in the same state of mind – not being satisfied upon hitting the due dates but feeling paranoid always. As if a monster from the manga/movie Death Note (japanese version, the scary one) is lurking in the shadow, persuading me to lose half of my lifetime in exchange with an ability to see the future (only anime lovers will understand, apologies). Notwithstanding, I gained confidence and grasp of real-time demands which save my skin.

Here comes social life. Colleagues and friends want to hangout with me. I envy them because they seem to have all the time in the world to dine, travel here and abroad, and having some fun away from the workplace. I’d read countless articles discussing tips and tricks on how to spend your day 7-5pm in the office and the rest with your personal life. Most are convincing enough, but I almost got fired when I applied those 😂 Naturally, management is not pleased. At the end of the day, it’s a case-to-case basis. I love my job because I love what I am doing. And being productive is self-fulfilling and pleasing to the eyes of the bosssss (plural, pun intended) at the same time more food for my family way back home which is the main reason I’m serving my life sentence here 🤣.

Here comes personal life. I am committed to keep in touch with my wife and son in a daily basis. As a seasoned employee, I managed to be professional enough to avoid chatting during office hours. I understand some may argue: “Will it do harm chatting while working?” I don’t know about the nature of your job, but in the office my gear starts at 7am, and by 8am I am accelerating. And chatting will swerve my focus on the road. Recollecting my thoughts will take 5-10mins, long enough to accomplish one of my tasks. For that reason I opted out. Of course there will be few coffee breaks throughout the day, that’s the time I’m engaging in the conversation. I’m chatting with my wife early morning (lunchtime in the Philippines, 5-hr timezone difference), and after office everyday. Chatting with my family is my most sought-after engagement in a day. There, I’m expressing my love to them and feel genuine compassion from my wife and my son. That’s my charging spot. There’s where my life is. I am living an alternate world in parallel with the actual world: family. Some sort of setup in the movie “The Matrix” to visualize it. Before disconnecting, I’m telling my son “ikaw na magpatay,” (you push the end button) then he complies. Lately, when I’m waving my hand as a gesture to goodbye he told me “daddy, ikaw na magpatay” (Dad, you push the end button). He’s smart, must be my wife’s gene 😋 

How about my me time. I should have, right? Of course! I will not be able to write a post this long (I’m boring you hehe) if I don’t have the time. I have to find time to kneel down and pray, devote and reflect, and if time permits do some exercise. I read books for my mind muscles, do some brisk walking (in the shopping mall mostly), and run for my life everytime dogs in the neighborhood chase me down with an intent to bite whenever i do cardio. I also have a knack on rearranging my room from time to time – an OCD I guess. My roommates casually say “again?” Whenever I shuffle my space. 

Here comes weekend. I’m shying away from work’s demands when it’s my dayoff – it’s called ‘off’ for that very reason. However, submission to clients on the next working day hampers the idea. Thankfully, I can claim overtime pay for that – thank You Lord.

Am I balancing my time? Well, almost. When all the planning and efforts fail and eventually will, it’s an art of dodging the bullet and trusting your guts when your neck is in the line. That’s why there’s Plan B.. to Plan Z if necessary. I usually settle on Plan D because before I can think of Plan E, I need to act. This is how it works: 

Plan A: ideal, low risk, compliant with standards

Plan B: alternative, minimal risk, deviating slightly with the usual practice

Plan C: worse-case scenario, medium risk, still legal 😂

Plan D: worst-case scenario, high risk, who cares? Shoot now, ask later 😎

Plan E: i’m out of the picture, jobless by then 🤣

Thank you for taking time to read, I’m grateful. 

Posted in Qatar, travel

Sensei’s Visit


Training/seminars are essential to equip us as a team in line with our corporate’s vision. We excel individually, no doubt about it. How much more if we advance in sync? Possibilites are limitless!

Two of our colleagues from Dubai and Abu Dhabi visited us to update our brains with corporate’s CRM tool. They’re very kind and hands-on with every trainee. I learned a lot and am more confident to utilize the system now – thanks to knowledge imparted by our coaches. Kudos!

Business development team in action!

Training proper: a time for me to pretend that i knew something by asking back whenever i’m being asked haha. 

Sensei: So Albert, can you show me [something..something]?

Me: which? 

Lunch..am wearing awkward smile in midst of phone convo
I’m that silly boy in the far left
Spot the difference 🙂 not much, just the powerpoint presentation. Let’s ‘brand’ our business!

Isn’t she gorgeous? That’s an understatement. She’s stunningly beautiful inside out.

Posted in Let's Celebrate!, Qatar

Reward for Grumbling


Lately, I posted about something good that’s going to happen, well here it is!


Talkin’ about motivation to work. 

I’m struggling with injustice in our office, and WP is my outlet to rant 🙂 I even decided to quit my job (drafted resignation letter twice, felt so good in doing so, and regretfully archiving these). 

And so I ask God to have His way. I asked for a sign. 

Instead, He made my extra hours of stay in the office count. It may be a simple gesture to compensate my hard works, but for me it is God’s hands reaching out.

To God be all the glory, forever.