Why are there Filipinos in the Middle East?Where are the Filipinos in the Middle East?Who are the Filipinos in the Middle East?How to reach a Filipino in the Middle East?What is new with Filipinos in the Middle East?

Ano Ngayon Kung Tapos na'ng Ramadan?

Ang pagtatapos ng Ramadan ay may malaking religious implications para mga Muslim sa buong mundo. Ito ay tanda ng katuparan ng mga panalangin nila na buong puso nilang tinalima sa buwan ng Ramadan. Subalit para sa mga Pilipino sa Middle East na karamihan ay hindi Muslim, iba ang kahulugan ng pagtatapos ng Ramadan.

Hindi naman sa kawalan ng respeto sapagkat iginagalang nating mga Pilipino ang kasagraduhan ng buwan ng Ramadan sa mga kapatid nating Muslim pero para sa ating mga hindi Muslim, ito ay "sigh of relief more than anything else" lalo na sa mga nasa Saudi Arabia sapagkat ito ay pagbabalik sa "normal" na kalakaran sa lahat ng bagay.

Normal sapagkat sa panahon ng Ramadan ay nagbabago ang halos lahat ng tanggap na kalakaran. Unang-una ay ang pagbabago sa oras. Under other months, the broken working schedules usually are from 9am to 1pm and 4 to 8pm. During Ramadan, the gap usually becomes wider with the night schedules usually starting after the night prayer at 8:30pm. Thus, it is not surprising if there are Filipinos who are still working at 1am. And this is not yet overtime and there is no night differentials as most of us have enjoyed in the Philippines. However, it is noteworthy to mention that there are business establishments that decreases working hours during Ramadan.

Since Ramadan is the month of fasting, everybody is prohibited from drinking, eating and smoking in public places from sunrise to sunset. The breakfast we all have come to know is taken by the Muslims after the call for the Magrhib prayer at around 5pm. One can not even dare swallow his saliva in public else he will be reprimanded for utter disrespect of Islamic practices. Good thing it is okay for Christians to take their meals in the comfort of their homes. Just be sure there are no hard line Muslims around who might feel slighted with the view.

And so Ramadan has ended. Everything will revert back to normal after Eid and the usual vacation that follows it. It is once more permissible to eat, drink and smoke in public during daytime. Work schedules will end by 9pm and only the twenty-four hours souq will be accessible in the late of the night and the wee hours of morning. So, what is in store for the Filipinos in the Middle East?

At the better end, Filipinos would tell you that they usually receive kramiyah from their sponsors. Some are offered waragah without asking for one enabling them to go out of their city of work for a much needed vacation. Others are given longer vacations than the legally provided. On the othe end, however, you will find Filipinos complaining about having to work additional hours before Eid to offset the long vacation. No bonuses at all and rejection of requests for the travel permits.

The end of Ramadan has always been seen with welcome smiles by all Filipinos since they no longer have to be constricted by the extreme religious devotion of the month. Normalcy after Ramadan is the acceptable Islamic restrictions that they have learned to adapt with. Thus, there really is nothing to look forward to after Ramadan for after all, it is still the same Islamic setting that the Filipinos in the Middle East would have to play with.

While we extend our hands of friendship with our Muslim brothers, appreciating and respecting the significance of the times, let us not be misled that we are here to achieve our dreams of providing our loved ones with better future.

Tapos na ang Ramadan. Pero hindi dito magtatapos ang pagtitiis nating mga Pilipino sapagkat habang nandirito tayo sa Gitnang Silangan dapat nating tandaan na kailangan ang patuloy nating pagtitiis. Palagi nating sundan ang malinaw nating layunin kung bakit tayo nandirito. Hindi tayo dapat padala sa kahinaan ng loob, sa kalungkutan at alok ng mapanuksong seguridad ng kulturang Arabo. Tapos na ang Ramadan, tapos na ang fasting, mayroon tayong ilang araw na bakasyon. Pagkatapos nito, tuloy pa rin ang pagsagupa natin sa ating buhay dito sa Gitnang Silangan.

The crescent moon of Ramadan looms over the Islamic world.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijra calendar. It is not exactly determined like our Gregorian calendar since the start of Ramadan is marked by the sighting of the crescent moon. Ramadan is the month of fasting such that all Islamic countries will not permit anyone to eat, drink and smoke in public from sunrise to sunset.