Posted by: Leap of Faith | February 27, 2007

A Toast to Us!

Just wanted to congratulate myself for surviving a year here in the Kingdom. This same day a year ago, my colleague (Ton Martin) and I landed on Saudi soil full of anxiety and fear of the unknown. I guess we were both relying on God’s grace to keep us safe and help us pull through. It was really a Leap of Faith! for both of us.

I know long term planning is a very crucial part of everyone’s lives. However, I can’t help but let God’s hand just lead us to where He wants. I always wondered of how different our lives will be if we were given a chance to live abroad (the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand). Never did I imagine that God would allow me to know the answer to that thought – yung nga lang, like every exciting story, there is always a twist! He brought my family here in the Middle East.

It is a good thing I decided to maintain this blogsite, which documents all my adventures here in the Kingdom – from the time I was in Manila and being offered a job to this very day.

The initial excitement when we first arrived easily faded away when the real images of Dammam came into view. The main city center was nothing like what we were used to back home – nothing close to our central business districts of Makati, Ortigas and Alabang. Fear and doubt suddenly crept in – two years in this desolate place! How do we survive?!!!

A year has passed and I never thought that I can be happy in this place. The landscape is still the same. The people are still the same. The culture (most definitley) is still and will be the same. I have changed, though. My disposition is different. I have chosen to enjoy every moment that God has given me to spend more time with my wife and children. Of course there are still occassional moments when I would stop and think whether this was the right decision. But this suddenly disappears when you realize how much closer you have become with the people closest to your heart.

Yes, Pinky and I still dream of eventually moving our family to a better place (or the best place, for that matter) – be it back home in Manila or some other more liberated society. However, I am now thinking whether I know where that is. What exactly is the “a better or best place” and where can that be? I guess my experience here in Saudi Arabia has given me the answer to that question. A “better or best place” is wherever God leads you and wherever your family is.

So, I give a toast to me (and my family)… to another year of happiness (and challenges) here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

And to all of our family and friends back home (and scattered all over the world), thank you for following our desert adventures and for always keeping us in your prayers. We miss you all.



  1. Well-put words which reflect the wisdom that the good Lord has showered you in bringing us to this place – that we may bloom wherever He choosed to plant us. Thank you for being the rock of this family and for your love, patience and understanding which certainly help ease the loneliness and difficulties that this temporary “displacement” brings. Love you, Hon! Happy 1st year anniversary in the kingdom! Mwah!

  2. Happy 1st year anniversary in the Kingdom, Keith! May you continue to enjoy God’s blessings. And you’re right, as long as the family is together, anywhere can be THE best place. 😉

  3. Wow! One year na pala kayo!!!!! Bilis ng panahon! Happy Anniversary Keith! Many more blessing to come! Cheers!

  4. Thanks y’all!

  5. Keith, Happy Anniversary! You are an inspiration for most of us. Thanks for sharing your and the family’s life with us through this blog site. More blessings and protection from above.

  6. Thanks Bro!

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