Gift of Ramadan

Ramadan, celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar  is a time for spiritual purification achieved through fasting, self-sacrifice and prayers. Ang pagaayuno ay ginagawa mula sa pagsikat hanggang paglubog ng araw. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five Pillars of Islam – five central duties required to s strengthen their faith.

Ang oras ng trabaho sa mga opisina ay pinaikli para sa mga muslim sa dahilan na rin na kasabay ito ng kanilang pagaayuno – walang pagkain at walang inumin. At sa pagdiriwang ng pagtatapos ng Ramadan, halos buong isang Linggong walang pasok ang mga pribado at pang-gobyernong opisina.

Paglubog ng araw, makikita mo na ang mga tao ay naguumpisang magkainan, nagkakasiyahan at parang pinagsama sama mo na ang birthday-anniversary-pasko-bagong taon. Meron pa ngang ilan na nakasilip na sa langit and the moment na nawala na ang araw, talo pa ang binahaginan mo ng relief goods.

Baha ang pagkain pag Ramadan. Me mga namamahagi pa nga ng pagkain sa kalsada. Ang ginagawa ko ay magdadrive ako at about 6PM at dadaan ako sa alam ko na me mga pagkain na ipinapamahagi. Iniaabot nila ito sa mga motorist, kung ilan ang sakay ng sasakyan. Ako nga humihirit pa, sasabihin ko “how about for my wife and my 2 sons?” Nakapack na ito, at kadalasan ang laman ng package na kasinlaki ng kahon ng sapatos ay tinapay, juice, tubig, dates, cake at chocolates. Me dalawang lugar dito na ang ipinamamahagi ay value pack ng Kabsa (grilled chicken with fried rice and fresh green vegetables).

Isa pa sa inaabangan pag Ramadan ay ang Buffet Dinner ng mga well known hotels dito. The dinner price is so low, it ranges from SR 30 – 100 only per person at talaga namang baha ang pagkain at drinks (non-alcoholic).

Last year, our team together with our US Partner after finishing the Technical Proposal for a project in a big Refinery – Petrochemical project here in Saudi Arabia, decided to have dinner in Tulip Inn. At tulad nga ng nabanggit ko pag Ramdan ay ang daming pagkain at drinks. While we were eating the waiter distributed raffle tickets to all customers. There are prizes to be raffled off to lucky customers. Marino, our Executive Secretary remarked that I normally win in raffles. I replied that napansin ko nga iyon, pero me 2 kondisyon: una, kailangan ay walang bayad ang raffle ticket, ikalawa, may ginawa akong kabutihan ng araw na iyon.

Everybody in our group shouted and clapped their hands when my ticket number and my name was called. They asked me what good deed have I performed that day. I told them, that is the number 3 condition. I should not tell anybody kung anumang kabutihang nagawa ko sa kapuwa.

This year’s Ramadan naman ay inaya kami ni Rodel for dinner para kay Srini, ang aming Business Planner. He will be leaving for good the following day at gusto namang magkasama sama kami ng aking Boss.

As usual, there’s plenty of food and drinks in the buffet table and again the waiters distributed raffle ticket. Srini reminded my Boss that last year I got a prize in the raffle and this year, they will see again if I am really lucky.

My name and ticket number was called, and again, I received a raffle gift, and my team could not believe how lucky I am. Srini followed up that I may have done a good deed today.

Then I asked myself. What good have I done today?

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“Because you care my life means more to me. Every dream becomes reality. Then with a smile I’ll face each new tomorrow. There’ll be no sorrow just because you care” – Wilburn Brothers

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