Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

25

Mar

Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] in the parched desert land of Saudi Arabia look forward to visiting one of the world’s prime beach getaways, Boracay, when they have their vacation to the Philippines. Nestled in the waters in central Philippines, Boracay is a haven for OFWs looking for a good respite from the Saudi dessert.

Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] in the parched desert land of Saudi Arabia look forward to visiting one of the world’s prime beach getaways, Boracay, when they have their vacation to the Philippines. Nestled in the waters in central Philippines, Boracay is a haven for OFWs looking for a good respite from the Saudi dessert.

04

Jan

A prime historical location in Luzon, Barasoain Church has been a cradle of the Philippines’s infant republic. #GoMalolos #GoBulacan #GalaPinas

A prime historical location in Luzon, Barasoain Church has been a cradle of the Philippines’s infant republic. #GoMalolos #GoBulacan #GalaPinas

06

Jun

Saudi Kingdom threatens to ban messaging apps

Saudi Arabia, a country  with very conservative regulations on communication, has recently banned Viber, a popular messaging application or app on mobile phones and is reportedly scheduled to bar Skype and Whatsapp, much larger messaging services.

According to a report of online news portal The Verge, “companies face a choice: wiretap their users or risk a ban.” This refers to Saudi Arabia’s insistence on ‘monitoring’ messages that are transmitted and received through these applications.

Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] will be hit hard since many of them use these apps to connect to family members and friends outside Saudi Arabia. The oil kingdom is the prime destination of more than a million Filipinos looking for overseas jobs.

Saudi Arabia similarly threatened Blackberry makers Research in Motion [RIM] several years ago. RIM complied by allowing Saudi authorities ‘monitor’ messages exchanged through its Blackberry Messenger application, supposedly to deter terrorist plots.

Critics however said that authorities, which implement a very tight segregation of men and women in public, only want to monitor mingling of opposite sex online.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/5/4398934/saudi-arabia-bans-viber-messaging-app

Saudi Kingdom threatens to ban messaging apps

Saudi Arabia, a country with very conservative regulations on communication, has recently banned Viber, a popular messaging application or app on mobile phones and is reportedly scheduled to bar Skype and Whatsapp, much larger messaging services.

According to a report of online news portal The Verge, “companies face a choice: wiretap their users or risk a ban.” This refers to Saudi Arabia’s insistence on ‘monitoring’ messages that are transmitted and received through these applications.

Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] will be hit hard since many of them use these apps to connect to family members and friends outside Saudi Arabia. The oil kingdom is the prime destination of more than a million Filipinos looking for overseas jobs.

Saudi Arabia similarly threatened Blackberry makers Research in Motion [RIM] several years ago. RIM complied by allowing Saudi authorities ‘monitor’ messages exchanged through its Blackberry Messenger application, supposedly to deter terrorist plots.

Critics however said that authorities, which implement a very tight segregation of men and women in public, only want to monitor mingling of opposite sex online.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/5/4398934/saudi-arabia-bans-viber-messaging-app

05

Jun

School time: Boxes of iconic Mongol pencils are stacked at a store for the deluge of demand from students this school year opening across the Philippines.

School time: Boxes of iconic Mongol pencils are stacked at a store for the deluge of demand from students this school year opening across the Philippines.

03

Jun

OFWs start coming back to PH

As the economy of the Philippines gets better and better for the recent years, some Filipinos abroad start packing their bags heading back home.

In a report of Philippine daily Business World, returning Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] is “a sign of confidence” as the country “is leaving behind its reputation as a regional laggard.”

This is after a series of record-breaking achievements of the Philippine stock market. 

Just last week, the Philippines reported a staggering 7.8% growth in the Gross Domestic Product [GDP] besting China as the fastest-growing economy in Asia.

This series of economic feats translated to lower exchanges for OFWs, and made some think of pursuing endeavors back in the country, especially in the field of entertainment, tourism, and information technology.

OFWs start coming back to PH

As the economy of the Philippines gets better and better for the recent years, some Filipinos abroad start packing their bags heading back home.

In a report of Philippine daily Business World, returning Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] is “a sign of confidence” as the country “is leaving behind its reputation as a regional laggard.”

This is after a series of record-breaking achievements of the Philippine stock market.

Just last week, the Philippines reported a staggering 7.8% growth in the Gross Domestic Product [GDP] besting China as the fastest-growing economy in Asia.

This series of economic feats translated to lower exchanges for OFWs, and made some think of pursuing endeavors back in the country, especially in the field of entertainment, tourism, and information technology.

25

May

Bodies of beheaded gangsters hang on a busy street in Saudi Arabia Tuesday. The bodies have bags along with each body. These bags contain each body’s head.

This gruesome scene is reportedly a step for the Saudi government in curbing rising crimes committed by expatriates in Jizan, expressed by Mohammad Alsaaedi, an activist quoted by Policymic.com.

" "the government is also seeking to show how tough it is," says Alsaaedi. "The authorities are seeking to reassure the population and frighten the immigrants coming to the region in large numbers."

According to the report, 47 executions have already been done in the Kingdom, a rise from 29 same period last year.

In recent years, Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] were convicted guilty and sentenced to death. Some were saved from death, some were not.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/44303/a-shocking-look-at-the-way-saudi-arabia-deals-with-its-immigrants

Bodies of beheaded gangsters hang on a busy street in Saudi Arabia Tuesday. The bodies have bags along with each body. These bags contain each body’s head.

This gruesome scene is reportedly a step for the Saudi government in curbing rising crimes committed by expatriates in Jizan, expressed by Mohammad Alsaaedi, an activist quoted by Policymic.com.

" "the government is also seeking to show how tough it is," says Alsaaedi. "The authorities are seeking to reassure the population and frighten the immigrants coming to the region in large numbers."

According to the report, 47 executions have already been done in the Kingdom, a rise from 29 same period last year.

In recent years, Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs] were convicted guilty and sentenced to death. Some were saved from death, some were not.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/44303/a-shocking-look-at-the-way-saudi-arabia-deals-with-its-immigrants

12

May

As the world celebrates Mothers’ Day, let us take a peek on a growing concern of Arab mothers with their sons growing in this modern age. Especially in Saudi Arabia’s booming population of youngsters amidst cable televisions and social networking sites, Saudi mothers worry of the generation gap between them and their children.

In this video, Arab Reality TV shows a lampoon skit on an Arab mother’s reaction with a son’s being ‘oversocial’ with the opposite sex.

Saudi Arabia threatened makers of Blackberry couple of years ago over its messenger service, widely used in the Kingdom for socializing with Blackberry Messenger PINs even advertised on men’s cars.

Even now, mingling of opposite sexes is still frowned upon by moral authorities in Saudi Arabia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XywzuhnLUw&feature

08

May

Saudi Electric Company pushes for ‘smarter’ subsidies

"Subsidies… should be smarter and support the low-income people.” This is according to the chief executive of Saudi Electricity Co. [SEC], the power utility giant mostly owned by the Saudi government as it pushes for a revision of subsidies given in the oil kingdom.

Ali al-Barrak, SEC’s chief executive, explained in an event in Riyadh that “subsidies are becoming a big part of the government budget” and moves on updating the subsidy given to people should be done.

In fact, Saudi Arabia comes second to Iran in having the highest subsidy in the world, according to the International Energy Agency.

Currently, electricity costs of homes, of the rich and poor, local and expatriates, across the Saudi peninsula are subsidized by the government.

If subsidies in electricity will exclude expatriates, expenses of Filipino Overseas Workers [OFWs] and other expatriates working in the kingdom will be affected.

http://riyadhbureau.com/blog/2013/5/revise-saudi-subsidies

05

May

I don’t know why the community organizations decided to hold protests.

—Ambassador Ezzedin Tago of the Philippine Embassy on the alleged ‘protest’ by Filipinos in front of its office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “There is no justification,” he said, “to organize any protest.”

Migrante, a non-government organization focusing on plights of Filipino Overseas Workers [OFWs], slammed Tago’s statement. In a report by Arabnews.com, Migrante accused a Philippine Overseas labor Office [POLO] officer bringing Saudi police officers into the scene.

Consequently, three Filipinos were held by Saudi police. These were Lyndon Salonga, Juan Carlos and Jon Jon de Vera.

28

Apr

Saudi Arabia reportedly deports ‘too handsome’ Emiratis

Online reports tell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent Emirati actor Omar Borkan Al Gala and two others back to United Arab Emirates after finding them “too handsome”.

Arab newspaper Elaph reported the Kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices “feared female visitors could fall for them” and eventually “forcibly removed” the three from Riyadh’s Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival.

Photo from Borkan Al Gala’s Facebook page.

Saudi Arabia reportedly deports ‘too handsome’ Emiratis

Online reports tell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent Emirati actor Omar Borkan Al Gala and two others back to United Arab Emirates after finding them “too handsome”.

Arab newspaper Elaph reported the Kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices “feared female visitors could fall for them” and eventually “forcibly removed” the three from Riyadh’s Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival.

Photo from Borkan Al Gala’s Facebook page.