A Fortunate 3 Days


Warning: Long post ahead! 😀

As a licensed dental assistant, I am required to complete a total number of CPD (continuing professional development) credit. It was a new rule that must be implemented by all medical practitioners and allied health professionals so we could be able to renew our license before it expires. Currently, I need to complete at least 50 credits – 25 credits for category 1 and 25 credits for either category 2 or 3. To acquire these credits, one must attend a conference or a workshop, and it must be an accredited learning activity for it to be counted as one.

Last Thursday, my colleague and I attended such conference at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) and the subject matter is…

wound

Firstly, I just want to get it out there that it was my first time at the QNCC. I know probably a lot of people had already gone there, but I haven’t, so bite me! 😀

Anyway, I love the place! The “Maman” sculpture, which welcomes you at the top of the escalator, was a sight to behold. I can’t help but take lots of photos of it.

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Maman and her eggs

So going back, the conference concerns Wound Management and was the First International Wound Management Conference in Qatar. It lasted for 3 days and is approved for a maximum of 14 hours by the Qatar Council of Health Practitioners (QCHP). The topic per se was very interesting, with prominent speakers from Hamad Medical and other countries tackling a wide variety of topics about the proper management of different types of wound especially from diabetic persons, bedridden patients and wounds caused by accidents and infections.

I was particularly appreciative of the fact that they showed actual images of some of the cases they’ve encountered (don’t worry. patient privacy is still intact. no faces were shown. images are only of body parts involved), which makes the learning more effective and will keep you wide awake. And despite it being very fast-paced since there’s a time limit for every speaker, I find that I was able to listen and understand most of the topics discussed. ‘Cause seriously, I’m not going to lie, but some conferences make me want to curl up and snooze to oblivion, so I was pretty glad that I didn’t experience that here.

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Some paraphernalias we received : Badge, USB, notepad, portfolio etc.

Anyway, you might be wondering why I titled this post “Fortunate 3 days”? Well aside from me being happy with the conference itself, the beautiful venue and the eat-to-your-heart’s-content lunch buffet, not to mention the gorgeous cookies I get to snack during coffee breaks, something unexpectedly amazing happened to my colleague and I on the second day.

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I just can’t with these cookies! ❤

After we filled our bellies with all the food we can get, an announcement was made that there will be a raffle draw where one lucky winner can take home an iPhone 7. All we had to do was find the booth of Health Innovations and have our name, mobile number, email add etc. written on a piece of paper that will serve as our raffle ticket. Of course, my colleague and I tried our luck, and so did most other people.

So to cut this very long post short, seven winners were announced that day. Three of those winners received a different type and brand of watch, while the other three won perfumes. The seventh winner, and the last name called, won an iPhone.

My colleague was one of the three who won a watch, and was actually the first winner. She kind of lost it after her name was announced. It was a crazy kind of moment and I screamed and laughed with her. 😀

After all 6 winners were announced, I wasn’t expecting my name to be called anymore. For me, the chances of both of us winning something would be zero to none. However, in an astonishing twist of fate, my name was called…

So guess who just won an iPhone 7? 😀

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Forgive this very unprepared photo. We were so not ourselves we weren’t able to find a better background. All we were thinking was just we want the “Health Innovations” tarp behind us. 😀

A shout out to Health Innovations for this early Christmas present! It was a very fortunate 3 days indeed!

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Staying or Moving On?


This is no breakup post… or at least not in matters of the heart. This post is generally about my current job and some viewpoints here and there.

It was almost 5 years since I’ve been employed in a dental clinic here in Qatar (this is no publicity post so I’m not going to mention the name of our clinic). Working as a dental assistant was a total shift from my previous job in the Philippines. I was a BSN graduate and have 3 years of working experience as a nurse in different institutions in my country. It would have been easy to find a job and acquire a license as a nurse, except some of my experience were labelled as “nurse trainee” instead of “staff nurse”. This makes it doubtful if I could acquire a license as a General Scope Nurse since “nurse trainee may not be counted as employment even if my job as a trainee was no different from the staffs of the hospital I’ve worked for.

I still did try to apply as a nurse here in Qatar, preferably in a hospital, but it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of requirements I must accomplish and papers to process – and the salary offers in hospitals were too low. The only hospital paying good salary was Hamad Medical, but it was no easy task getting in. I almost want to give up and just go home, until someone offered me job as a dental assistant.

I wasn’t interested – at least not at first. In my mind I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to continue doing what I’ve sacrificed years of studying for. I don’t want my degree to go to waste, but then I realized time was running out. My visa will expire in a month and here I was being offered a job that pays higher than the offers I’ve received thus far. Not only that, it was a new clinic, making me a pioneer if I were to accept. And I did… 5 years ago.

So everything I said above is just the preface part of this slightly long post. This is where I start telling the whole gist of this whole thing. So read on if you feel you must…

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A year ago, a few changes in Qatar’s Labour Law was announced; putting emphasis in the End of the KAFALA System (sponsorship system). I won’t dive into a detailed account on the number of changes made, but I will mention what they meant when they say “End of the KAFALA System”:

“Expatriate workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period. For this they don’t need approval from their current employer. However, an approval is needed from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.

If the job contract is open-ended, a worker can change job after five years with approval from both ministries”

This meant one thing – NO MORE NOC (no objection certificate) for expat workers who want to leave their current employment in exchange for a better one. Imagine the number of workers wanting to take this chance to find greener pastures. Something I myself have thought of many times after realizing there’s been no financial fulfillment in my almost 5 years of service. But no –  I did not hand in my resignation. I probably won’t just yet. I’m one of those employees who have this “loyal streak” ingrained in them. Or maybe I just don’t hate my job as much as I thought I did… Or maybe I just don’t feel like it was the right time… Whatever the case was, I guess I’ll be stuck here in while.

Anyway, I’m doing a shout out to one of my colleagues and also a friend who have already taken full advantage of this law (to find greener pastures); and which she was lucky enough to have found one that she really wants. She’s probably the reason why I’m doing this rare and long reflective post. The notion of one day deciding; just like her, to finally move on…

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Thanks Janelly for the years of friendship. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still a memorable one. We’ll still get to bond from time to time right? God bless you on your new job!

Thirty, Flirty & Thriving


“I wanna be thirty. Thirty, flirty and thriving”, the line that young Jenna Rink (played by Christa B. Allen) kept on repeating as “magic dust” cascade over her in the 2004 movie ’13 Going on 30′. I was 19 then.

Two weeks ago I celebrated my 30th birthday – the “big 3-0” as my best friend put it – eleven years since I’ve watched that movie. Unlike Jenna, I did not have the same exciting view of what being 30 is all about. I never really equated it with being flirty and fun. In my defense, from what I’ve seen growing up, majority of women I know who are in their 30’s are either married (both happily and not), pregnant, tired from work (if employed), and not exactly having the time of their lives. Yes, it is not exactly a promising age number as what the movie was trying to convey, but then things change… I became 30.

The good thing about finally being 30 is I get to finally realize that Jenna wasn’t entirely wrong. Thirty CAN be flirty and fun! And depending on the person, it can be a whole lot more. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to have such an epiphany. To realize that you are very much in control of your life and not giving too much crap to “crap” is very liberating. Age does become just a number that you won’t really think much of anymore. You can choose whether you want to be flirty and fun.

Anyways, as for my birthday celebration, I had to celebrate at least three times.

The day of my birthday, me and my boyfriend wore our couple tees (yes, I wanted to be all cute and corny with my baby boo) and went to eat for the first time at Wagamama at Ezdan Mall here in Qatar.

It’s a modern japanese restaurant where we ate our fill of spicy shrimp, duck gyoza, tonkatsu and coconut cheesecake.

also treated my workmates to a dinner buffet at Millenium Hotel. It was on a Thursday night right after work. I forced everyone to wear their best dress, heels, hair and makeup for the occasion. It was our first night out together. We took lots of pictures and ended the night with a cup of hot chocolate and mocha at Starbucks before finally going home.

My third treat, so far, did not happen yet… still on the works as my dad is being the busy bee that he always is. However, he did gave me a blueberry cheesecake (the cake) and blackberry classic (the phone) for my birthday. Teehee!

Looking more 13 than 30. LoL!

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Stars Night Concert


Before anything else… Belated Kung Hei Fat Choi Everyone! I really miss the Philippines right now. I’m not chinese, and even if we’re told that we have a bit of chinese blood from my mother’s side, still that would only be equivalent to a quarter of a teaspoon now in my generation. Ha! Anyway, I miss eating “tikoy” (a chinese rice cake). If I’m in the Philipines right now I probably would be enjoying some in the comforts of our living room. And being that I have a very generous chinese friend also meant my tikoy will be free! Hahaha!

Back to the subject at hand, last January 31st, I celebrated the Chinese New Year with friends well not exactly celebrated, but it did fall on the day of the new year. We went to watch a concert, “Stars Night Concert in Qatar”, which was held at the West End Park Amphitheater. The concert stars two of the best known artists in the Philippines, Aiza Seguerra and Gloc 9, who are both exceptional in their own music style. This was the first concert I’ve watched here in Qatar and I enjoyed it despite the cold weather.

Concert Ticket
Concert Ticket

Let me inform you that the West End Park Amphitheater is a large open-air amphitheater with 14,500 seating capacity. The concert proper which supposed to start at 7:30pm started a little late, probably due to organizers wanting to have all audience settled on their seats before the start of the show. Anyway, it was a night of rap and acoustics.

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Before the main acts, we were entertained by a few dance numbers, an intermission act by the main host of the evening – Ava Jugueta, and a solo number by 16-yr old Haina Uddin, who won gold at a singing contest in Hollywood, USA last 2012.

Ava Jugueta - Host of the Evening
Ava Jugueta – Host of the Evening

Gloc 9 was the first to go on stage after the special numbers and he sang his first song of the evening, Bagsakan. Other songs he sang were Upuan, Sumayaw, Sirena, Magda etc. He then finished off  by singing an old favorite song of mine by him, Simpleng Tao.

Gloc 9
Gloc 9

Aiza came next and she opened her performance with the song “Magasin” by Eraserheads. She also sang acoustic versions of Runaway” by The Corrs, Bilanggo, Ipagpatawad mo etc. She also sang some of her orginals (Para lang Sayo) and ended with her major hit single “Pagdating ng Panahon”.

Aiza Seguerra
Aiza Seguerra

The concert ended with a duet from Gloc 9 and Aiza Seguerra, closing remarks from the host and lots of picture-takings.

Of course, I wouldn’t end this post without this picture. After all, watching is made twice more fun with company…

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credits to the owner of (some) above pictures.

Friday Aero


Staying slim and fit is hard. It’s a raging battle between the mind and that delectable piece of red velvet cheesecake or that tasty and cheesy lasagna. It’s practically torture. Like so, it is better for me to find ways to maintain the weight than letting myself bloat to unimaginable proportion. 🙂

Every Friday, at roughly around 5:30 in the morning, my colleagues and I would be at Doha Corniche — a waterfront walkway running the length of Doha Bay in the city of Doha — where a small gathering occurs. And this small gathering happens to be a crowd of people who practically are just like us — people who like to keep fit. In short, it’s aerobics for everyone on open air. 🙂

… And I just had my first experience last August 30 (friday) near Ory the Oryx at Corniche.

Just look at that early morning sun!
Just look at that early morning sun!
...and that wide open space for the gathering crowd...
…and that wide open space for the gathering crowd…
“aero crowd”

Aerobics time usually takes an hour and a couple of minutes if extended. Though somehow, I feel it’s a bit more like zumba, because of certain dance elements incorporated in the exercise. Anyway, it’s a very good opportunity to sweat out and at the same time have fun, since i personally know that going to the gym is a very boring way to loose weight. :p

In any case, anyone interested is free to join. It’s basically open for everybody and it’s a great way to meet new people. If you’re in Doha, you can come at 5:30 in the morning every Friday. Current venue will be at the wide space area near Sheraton Hotel. It’s not as wide as the one near Ory the Oryx, but due to the road repairs happening  near Corniche plus the difficulty in acquiring parking areas, the people in charge opted to move the location.

So who’s going this Friday? 🙂