First Time in Riyadh

Salamalaykom Sadik,

This is my first time in Riyadh,  although I used to work before in Jubail and Alkhobar.  Likewise, every time I travel for the first time in a place I am not yet familiar with,  I still experience this knee knacking feeling.  It's just like, it makes me shiver to the bones. .:-) I never cry!.  Worse, if you are travelling alone and have no idea yet who will pick you up in the airport, or what if no one pick you up in the airport?. No idea where to go... And so on and so forth.  Cut the crap!

Congratulations!!...You have just experienced most PinoyOFW Engineer feel in their first trip abroad. So what do you expect and what to do when you just arrived in the arrival area of the airport after successfully going through the suspicious eye of the Saudi Immigration Officer.

First, relax,  keep calm and pretend like you are an old timer expat who come and go in this place.  It helps if you know a little arabic, but not necessary.   You can just speak plain english in filipino accent.

Second,  load a big amount to your roaming mobile phone to enable you to call your contact person that you just arrived and your current location.  Do not entertain bearded strangers or taxi drivers to bring you to your destination.  Also do not give him your passport!  Tell them you are an Engineer. Most likely, they will walk away.   You will hear them saying.." aywa,   you muder!   Just stay in your waiting area where you see lots of placards with names in it.   Most likely, you will see your name in print with welcome message.   Greet him, say " salamalaykom ", introduce yourself.   He will now bring you to your temporary hotel accommodation where you will stay there for days or weeks depends on your work assignments or contract.  Relax, have a cold drinks, call your wife that you already arrive safe and sound, and you need a good sleep.   Welcome in Riyadh!

 Photo from Left:  Allan Laranang,    Froilan Celestino

My good friend and townmate from Bagabag,  Engr. Froilan Celestino just recently arrived in Riyadh  also for the first time to work in a consulting company for various infrastucture projects in the Kingdom.   I visited him in his hotel as shown in this photo.  We talked about everything to expect in the work place, do's and dont's in the city,  pinoy destinations and among others. 

Photo from Left:  Froilan Celestino,  Allan Laranang

I treated him to my favorite mongolian pancit in a popular pinoy marketplace in Batha.   I think he like the taste of the fresh from the pan pancit with the big serving.  That for sure is enough for dinner. 

Engr.  Froilan Celestino

You can suggest to the pinoy cook your choice of cooking i.e spicy, sweet, regular or sweet and spicy.

Engr. Allan Laranang

First time in Riyadh  for a Pinoy OFW Engineer should be smooth, sweet and spicy like my hot mongolian pancit.   Definitely,  this is just the beginning of the soon to be many challenges and exciting event of being Pinoy OFW Engineer.

Till my next post.

Seize the Day,

Allan Laranang

How to Combat Homesickness abroad

Salamalaykom Sadik!

Working abroad as an OFW Engineer is not that easy especially for newbies.   Even for those already a veteran who has been in and out of the country still experience those homesick feeling.  Yeah, I know you are not alone.   What actually triggers this homesickness?
  • You are alone in your room, staring your family picture.  Urgh... Oh man!
  • You watch Maalaala mo Kaya in TFC and the story somewhat resemble your life story.  Come on!
  • You listen to Christmas Song..... " I'll be Home for Christmassssssss".... Unbelievable!
  • Your son or daughter called you in your mobile in their tiny voices.   Tears on your Mobile...
  • And many can imagine, even so while doing your Work!
 So,  how do you prevent this to lead you to anxiety or stress?

Simple, engage yourself to your favorite hobby, sports or , you can be just simply reading a good book in your spare time.  In my case,  I still manage to play my favorite billiard game in one of the mall here in Riyadh together with my colleague Omeck.  The place is relaxing and safe.
Feel free to check my video below.

Till my next post.

Seize the Day,

Allan Laranang

A Day in the Life of an OFW Engineer

Salamalaykom Sadik!

After the never ending urgent deadlines of shop drawings, take off's and material submittals,  it is always a pleasure for us here in Riyadh to unwind, get together, eat pizza and just talk about anything except WORK.   Oftentimes the policy is, if you introduce topics about Work,  you will be paying the bill!    It just so happen that this time it is my birthday.  So, no choice  dude for me.

 Photo from Left Henry Gacia, Sherwin Sundia, Allan Laranang, Robert Caguisano and Arniel Adlawan

Photo from left,  Omeck Bocaya,  Henry Garcia, Allan Laranang, Robert Caguisano and Arniel Adlawan

My colleagues as shown above managed to get some fun here amidst the many restrictions we all know.  It is just like you were in Cubao taking pizza and cold drinks after encashing your paycheck. The only difference here is, you still have money left in your pocket.  :-)

After dinner, we grabbed the chance to go to this popular remittance center here to send money back home.  Lucky you babe!   I believe that is the most important role of an OFW Engineer.  Not convince? Ask the Bank!

Video clip of this day is shown below.   Feel free to check out.

Till next post.

Seize the Day,

Allan Laranang