Kabayan Corner to extend services to Filipinos in Dubai and NE

The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have launched a new project to extend their services to Filipinos living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.


Dubbed as “Kabayan Corner”, the new service will allow Pinoys who do not have access to the internet or phone may now reach out to the PCG when they are in dire need of help.




Kabayan Corner



“Ask Atty Barney / Isumbong mo kay Con Gen” has a tablet for individuals to send their legal enquiries to Gulf Law’s Barney Almazar while a drop box is placed in front for people to drop their concerns or ask for help from the PCG.


To know more here is a full report that I have written. I am glad that even though the government may not be perfect, at least, they are trying to accommodate as much as they can.




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New PH passport

The Philippines just released its new passport design and I had the opportunity to see it first hand. Below is my report on it. My favorite part is its illustrations of multiple Philippine sites.

PCG shows new passport equipped with upgraded security features

The lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang” are also available inside!

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Mid 2016

Nearly finishing the first half of the year 2016, a lot of political and economical changes have happened or are about to happen. In Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte will officially take his oath as the new President of the Philippines on Thursday, June 30 after winning the elections on May 9.


Last week, United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (#Brexit) while the final episode of Season 6 for Game of Thrones revealed a lot of new story lines – theories became a reality, a pure joy for GoT fans = ME!


Although GoT is pure fiction, the characters and story lines are reflective of our current society. Multiple actions done throughout the show, some may call bloody, are actually similar to the current political arena. The show is just more fun because they have dragons! Who doesn’t want dragons, right?


Following the news, as it is part of my job and what I like to do, I feel nauseous reading or watching the stories that are being reported. A friend of mine told me earlier that she wished that news were only good news or at least less bad news. I sometimes wish the same too but without bad there will be no good – Yin and Yang philosophy.


The most positive people in the world would have to be kids and I do wish at times that I can be a kid again where I do not need to know how much negativity the world has. However, that’s impossible so I always remind myself to look at the bright side when I am down. Always think happy thoughts, my life mantra.


One more year to go for the next GoT season – I surely can’t wait!


Touching lives

I recently received a package from someone who I interviewed earlier this year. She gave me the right gift at the right time. I have been getting sick on and off lately.


Desiree Vlekken, founder of 4get-me-not, gifted me a lavender oil scented relaxing pillow. I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate gift at the moment except I wasn’t expecting anything at all from the start.


Hand made relaxing pillow from Desiree Vlekken

Every person who I have met have left an impact on me personally which I have previously mentioned. However, this time I was taken a back as Vlekken said that I helped her moved on from something which she thought she could not move on from. I feel happy to hear that she has moved on and is happier now. I am proud of her too for taking the step of getting back on track and to be honest she did it herself.


Check out http://www.4get-me-not.org to know more about Vlekken’s organisation. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to spreading awareness about Alzheimers, a condition that can happen to anyone regardless of race or age.


Thank you again Vlekken. I really appreciated the kind gesture you have done. Now you have touched my life too with the right gift at the right time in my life.

Mother of kidney transplant patient pleads for help

To give her children back home in the Philippine a better life was what Oilivia Atanante hoped to do in traveling and working overseas. The humble single mother who works in Dubai wishes nothing but the best for them.

But sometimes life can be cruel as one of her daughters, Vengrace was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure on August 2 last year, and is in dire need of help to get a kidney transplant as soon as possible.

Vengrace 1.jpg

“Apektado na lahat…pagkain, bayad sa bahay at ng dalawa kong [anak na] estyudante…’Pag nakakakuha din ako ng pera pambayad sa dialysis. Wala akong naiipon para sa kidney transplant nya,” Atanante shared.

“May donor na kami [pero] ang problema ay pera. Kailangan ng P300,000 money sa bank account para maumpisahan na ang cross matching. Yun na lang ang kulang,” the distressed mother, who feels troubled and confused with the heavy burden she is going through at the moment, told Kabayan Weekly.

Her 18-year-old daughter had to stop going to school due to her condition, and she had been living on dialysis ever since the tragedy happened.

Atanante further said that the amount needed for the kidney transplant is approximately AED 100,000 (P1.2 million), 50 percent of which will be covered by PhilHealth.

“The remaining balance of P600,000 is to be borne by me…I have to pay AED100 a day for dialysis just to keep her alive. I am totally bankrupt. I m borrowing money from anybody to pay for the dialysis. I have been evicted from my bed space as I don’t have any money to pay,” Atanante, who earns AED1,400 per month for working as an assistant teacher, said.

She added that she also has other bills to pay and other kids to support too.

Living in the UAE for seven years, the overseas Filipina worker has been reaching out to people in her life for financial help.

“Ang St. Michael nagbibigay ng AED1,000,” said the Filipina mother.

“Minsan may time na wala akong maipadala, nanganganib po ang buhay niya. Ang mama ko at ang panganay kong anak, pareho na kami lubog sa utang. mama ko laging advance ang sahod,” she added.

Vengrace 2

Trying not to tear up, Atanante said that the much needed kidney transplant will allow her daughter to have a chance to live life once again. The mother showed old photos of Vengrace where she looked health, just like any ordinary teenage girl. The teenager girl’s latest photos, however, looks nothing like her previous photos. Vengrace has lots a lot of weight due to her condition.

For those who would like to help, Olivia Atanante can be contacted through doristuazon4664@gmail.com and/or +971 55 376 7584


*This story was originally published on Kabayan Weekly issue March 31 – April 6, 2016


Let’s vote!


With a few days left to go, it is important for every Filipino to exercise their right to vote. The Philippine Consulate in Dubai has extended their timings for overseas absentee voting.


Take note also of the free bus rides to the Consulate (see second image above).


Let’s vote!

May 5 to May 8, PCG – 8 am to 12 midnight 

May 9, PCG – 5 am to 1 pm

*announced by Con Gen Cortes today*


Elections fever abroad

On Saturday, April 9, the overseas absentee voting officially kicked off to a good start. Compared to Philippines where the voting only lasts for one day, on May 9, overseas Filipinos have a chance to vote for their President, Vice President, Senators and Party list organization within a month from April 9 to May 9.


I personally have voted on the first day itself and I was surprised how seamless it went unlike the stories I have heard where there were a lot of difficulties to vote during elections.


The election fever is so infectious as everyone on their social media have utilized their posts to encourage others to further vote as some have not officially voted yet even though they are a registered voter.


As a Filipino it feels great to exercise my right to vote and I do feel everyone should do the same for their own country when they have elections. Best thing about voting is there is no wrong or right answer. What is important is you have practiced your own right to vote.


Here are articles I wrote recently about the current election fever in UAE. Enjoy!

Overseas voting starts in UAE

By Jekah Carillo

DUBAI—Overseas absentee voting (OAV) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commenced on Saturday, April 9, with Filipinos full of excitement voting for their President, Vice President, Senators and Partylist organization.

Remigio Bernardo, who works as a family driver in Sharjah, took the opportunity to vote on the first day at the Philippines Consul General (PCG) office in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

“First ko lang na bumoto uli. Matagal na panahon hindi na ako naka-boto. . . sa Pilipinas pa. Kahit sa Pilipinas matagal na rin,” the 55-year-old Bernardo shared.

… read more http://kabayanweekly.com/oav-starts-uae/


Be cautious when campaigning for favored political candidates in UAE

By Jekah Carillo

DUBAI—Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes has stressed to those who are campaigning for their favored political candidates in the emirate right now to be extra careful.

“I urge all our kabayans here in the UAE to be a little bit more cautious and to be more circumspect, especially when they start giving out flyers, banners, or letters endorsing a political candidate. We all know that sort type of activity is not allowed here in the UAE and we do not want them to be accosted by the police or by CID simply because they are giving out flyers,” he told Kabayan Weekly.

… red more http://kabayanweekly.com/cautious-campaigning-favored-political-candidates-uae/


To be updated follow me on Twitter @Jekah_Carillo or go to www.kabayanweekly.com.


Sad news

As I put my bags down from work today, I was shocked to receive unfortunate news. Baby Raimi, the baby who was suffering from Biliary Atresia that I featured a few issues ago on our paper has passed away. I received confirmation from his father Ramil moments ago.


For the past few events, Ramil together with his sister had been given a chance to sell t-shirts for Baby Raimi. They were there for OPM Hitmen, Andrew E and The New Salbakuta, and World Vision with the help of Ms. Vagelyn Federico.


I had personally purchased a couple of shirts from them to help. They did say that having Baby Raimi be featured on the newspaper had already helped them a lot too which the Sencio couple are very grateful for.


I may not have met Baby Raimi personally but through his loved ones, I have become attached to his story. I did not expect to be emotional as I am right now. My sincerest condolences to the Sencio family.


May you rest in peace Baby Raimi.



Here is his story


A life to tale

As a local reporter, I meet lots of different people from all walks of life with different stories to tell, ups and downs, struggles and achievements. Professionally, I deal with them as much as I can that they are able to share their stories with me comfortably.


I am human after all, there are times that some of the stories I hear that do leave an impact in my life. I do not know everything in life so I am also learning to be a better person through the process.


One of the recent stories that I reported was about a baby who is suffering from biliary atresia. It’s a condition where the person’s liver is not properly working. The baby is 8 months old. To know more about it I’ll put the article that I wrote. I was happy the story was published in both our paper and website.


 Mother asks help for 8-month-old baby

By Jekah Carillo

A baby’s cry can be of a thousand reasons, not because he was hungry or needs a mother’s touch. Parents will never know the real health condition of their baby until running multiple tests.

Eight-month-old Raimi Sencio, son of Ramil and Catherine who both work in Abu Dhabi, suffers from biliary atresia. Raimi was diagnosed on December 18 and his parents was told by doctors that a liver transplant is needed to be done as soon as possible to save his life.

To continue reading click here or http://kabayanweekly.com/mother-asks-help-for-8-month-old-baby/


I don’t know if you have noticed but I have been MIA lately. That’s because I now work for a newspaper, Kabayan Weekly. It’s a Filipino English newspaper in the UAE. I write local stories for online and print which is great. I cover events, meet and interview influential people from different industries.

Currently I was able to interview famous PBA stars from Alaska Aces and meet the world boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao. Other than that, I have also met people from the UAE government and from the Philippine government. It was a true honour how my work has led me to meet these people.

To keep up with my new stories which are published online or on print, follow my Twitter @Jekah_Carillo , my Facebook profile www.facebook.com/JekahCarillo or my Instagram @Jekah_Carillo

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