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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Philippine embassy messed

By Noel Malicdem

in Al-ain, United Arab Emirates


I was at the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE last December 2009 to renew my passport. I had taken a half day leave on my work so that first thing in the morning I could travel from Al-ain to Abu Dhabi. So, I arrive in about 9:00 am and went straight to the embassy. I arrived there full of expectations as this was my first time to visit the embassy since I came here in UAE 3 years ago. Upon entering the premises, I was dismayed to see a toilet beside the  building which is not even screen and it was even built as a temporary shelter just to accommodate my fellow kabayan for public use. As I approach the entrance, a number of memos, notices and announcements are posted on the walls of the building entry (can they not provide a bulletin board) in which I considered it as unpleasant and unwelocoming. Once I step on the receiving hall which I guess has an area more 4 sq.m. a lone kabayan will greet you on his makeshift reception desk located in the left corner. Then he'll ask your purpose of visit, fill up forms, hand over your stub with a manually written number on a hardboard paper (can they not provide even a computer printed stub) and you'll be advised to proceed with next step. Once I entered the main room for the processing, I was in shame to see the place in total disarray and considering that this is supposed to be an example of our country's hospitality and pride. It would really be a shame to write it all  in details but its my fellow Filipino's right to know. Is this how we are going to represent our country in a foreign land? To continue with my story, inside was more unacceptable. A line of tables with different sizes, models and colors in which I considered them as a trash or had been donated by our kababayans, a monoblock chairs and a disorganize space with no proper work designations and work descriptions. No curtains, an old tv monitor and a makeshift counter and a temporary divider wall. We'll in short the place was terrible, disgusting and its not the proper place to represent our country. In my own opinion, an embassy is supposed to be a place to give relief and comfort to our fellow Filipinos working abroad, but with this kind atmosphere you're going to be welcomed, then I guess I just have to finish all the necessary applications and head back to work.


I hope I would not misunderstood on my opinions on what I've witnessed. I went abroad for a reason and not to be influence by culture and character in the place where I choose to work and besides Abu Dhabi is a modern city, so we might as well represent our country in a respectful way. I can't blame other nationalities why they treat us that way, but my point is someone has to stand up and take pride in being a Filipino and we OFW's are the best example. No wonder most of the employer choose Filipinos to work for them because we are the most competitive.


I don't know if the ambassador is partly to be blamed or is he/she aware of what is happening to its area of responsibility or just  busy  organizing parties  and raising funds for no apparent reasons or the government itself for its inability to provide better services to its citizens abroad. Its my right to say this things for I consider myself a major contributor on our economy and I deserved to avail all this services.





Noel Malicdem
Senior Designer

For and on Behalf of

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