Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Internet voting for the Photogenic Award of Ginoo and Binibining Pilipinas Saudi Arabia 2008 is now open.

Sixteen young ladies and 16 fresh-looking gentlemen are vying for the most prestigious personality title ever held in Saudi Arabia since 2004 organized by S.E. Productions.

You can view and vote for your chosen candidates by visiting their internet poll or you can visit their web blog.

Voting will end on October 22, 2008 and the Coronation night will be held on October 24, 2008 at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh K.S.A.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New law in pipeline to deter Saudi smokers

A new law to combat smoking in public and workplaces in Saudi Arabia has been drafted and is awaiting Cabinet approval.

Under the proposals, those caught smoking in public places will be fined SR200 ($53).

Suleiman Al-Sabi, secretary-general of the Charitable Society to Combat Smoking, urged those affected by smokers at work and public places to take legal action against them, demanding compensation.

The law, which is expected to come in during 2009, is significant as Saudi Arabia tops the list of tobacco importers, according to 2007 statistics.

Iran is placed second, followed by Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. He claimed cigarette smoking has so far caused the death of 3.48 million people worldwide this year, including 13,929 in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Sabi said smoking would be banned in public places such as markets, restaurants, courtyards of mosques, ministries, educational, health, sports and cultural institutions, public transports, lifts and toilets.

Smoking will also banned in workplaces of companies, factories, banks, food manufacturing places as well as petroleum producing, transporting, distributing and refining areas and fuel and gas selling outlets.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

To Love

To love is to share life together
to build special plans just for two
to work side by side
and then smile with pride
as one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to help and encourage
with smiles and sincere words of praise
to take time to share
to listen and care
in tender, affectionate ways.

To love is to have someone special
one who you can always depend
to be there through the years
sharing laughter and tears
as a partner, a lover, a friend.

To love is to make special memories
of moments you love to recall
of all the good things
that sharing life brings
love is the greatest of all.

I've learned the full meaning
of sharing and caring
and having my dreams all come true;
I've learned the full meaning
of being in love by being
and loving with you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Work Productivity and Timing in Ramadan

The workdays for non-Muslims remain the same for almost all the companies in Saudi Arabia. While the Muslims observe their Ramadan by shortening their worktime for at least 2 hours, some notable Muslim, don’t like the idea of shortened workdays, noting that Ramadan is a time when followers of Islam should work harder than ever before.

According to them, Ramadan is not an excuse to be lazy but a time to excel under difficult conditions. Coz strife and hardship strengthens society and builds character.

In fact, some international businesses find it more difficult to conduct business with Islamic countries during Ramadan.

Productivity drops during the month, with both the public and private sector observing shorter working days, and business travellers should expect their plans to be disrupted.

International business transaction seems to be disturbed by the timing of Ramadan. Actually, even during regular months, the Middle East working days overlap with the most available time in international business arena.

In Saudi Arabia alone, week-end falls on Thursday and Friday while most countries consider Saturday and Sunday as their business holidays. So the international business operation in Saudi Arabia limits to 3 days only – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Furthermore, the time difference shortens the period. Take for example if a Saudi company transacts business in the Philippines, which has a five-hour difference in GMT. Philippine business hour usually from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (3:00 PM to 12:00 NOON in Saudi Arabia). Saudi business time starts at 7:30 A.M which is 12:30 P.M. in the Philippines. Hence, business hours everyday for both countries is limited to 4 ½ hours maximum (that is, 4 ½ x 3 days (MTW) = 13.5 HOURS in a week.

So during Ramadan, where offices in Saudi open at 9:30 a.m., the business hour transactions can only be possible in the Philippines from 2:30pm to 5:00 pm.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadan starts today

Today is being observed as the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

Senior religious councils in Saudi Arabia, said the moon's crescent was not sighted after nightfall on Saturday, and so Sunday would be the last day of the month preceding Ramadan.

It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.

During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. Unlike in other Muslim countries, in Saudi Arabia, even the non-Muslims are obliged to observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting.

Working hours are reduced mostly for Muslims in private companies here in Saudi Arabia. They start behind 2 hours than non-Muslims. However Government offices had a uniform hours – 9am to 2pm for all their staff.

City roads are eerily quite as the time for breaking fast (sunset) approaches. On the flipside, traffic rushes to life again in the wee hours of the night, as residents flock to restaurants and shopping malls, which stay open late.