Posted by: Leap of Faith | May 18, 2007

Hawar Island

Last weekend, our bank (division) decided to have a summer outing in Hawar Island in Bahrain. Although Hawar is Arabic for small camel, it is very ironic that the island was named after this given that there was not a single camel on the island!

Anyway, the 17 km long island is situated around 45 minutes (by speed boat) of the coast of its main island (and capital), Mamama. I was so looking forward to visit this paradise island since this is only one of the few places in Bahrain which is known to have a nice resort hotel – their website is really enticing. Pictures of the beautiful beaches and resorts that I\’ve been to in Boracay, Cebu and Davao played in my mind although I wished Pinky and the children were with me to enjoy it.

We crossed the Saudi-Bahrain border around noon on Thursday in order to have a quick lunch in our fave Pinoy resto, Swan Lake. There my Pinoy colleagues and I feasted on Lechon Kawali, Bicol Express and Tom Yang Goon (wow, how Pinoy!) while we quenched our thrist with Sago Gulaman (samalamig..samalamig!). We met our officemates around half past two and convoyed to the dock where the ship was waiting (we were originally scheduled to take the faster Jetty/speed boat but this was cancelled due to bad weather). This change in transport, although more scenic, added an extra 45 minutes to our travel time!

The ship was so slow. I thought I could have done a better job if I decided to swim directly to the island (of course at the risk of being eaten alive by sharks!). So I decided to just enjoy the moment by taking pictures on the deck and eating the chicken barbeque my boss bought for all of us – burp!

Finally, we docked on the island, which looked really like the main island where we came from. The terrain was flat, sandy and dry. Trees? Not a single one. I had to erase all the mental images of my paradise… this is still a desert!!!!

The resort was located a few kilometers from the dock. It was decent but small. It actually reminded me of Island Cove in Cavite but our local resort in the land of \”tahong\” is much better.

We took a dip in the small infinti pool while some of my colleagues slid down the kiddie slide. I was singing juvenile repeatedly in my head. Shortly after, we had buffet dinner where we were supposed to be entertained by a Pinoy band. Finally, something exciting! Poolside dinner with a good Pinoy band… whooo… whooo… let\’s bring out the action!

There was a single man wearing all black (with a yellow vest and matching hair band) fixing the stage. I thought… very cheezy… very eighties… very Menudo. He must be part of the technical crew or must be one of the band mates. I was wrong. HE WAS THE BAND! My jaw dropped wide open and I couldn\’t eat the food on my plate anymore. He loaded his Karaoke CDs and started to shock everyone (well, at least the Pinoys who were there) with his rendition of Shakira (complete with the belly dancing moves) and the likes. He sounded very nasal and exaggerated the pronunciation of the words by putting a cattish \”ngeow\” at the end of each word (is cattish a word or did I just invent that? Anyway, you know what I mean). In fairness to our kabayan, he sung some Arabic songs very well. It sounded legit to me (of course, bearing in mind that I had no idea what he was saying so that must have helped). Anyway, during one of the intermissions, he was inviting us to sing a few songs on stage. Of course, I knew better… I couldn\’t risk the embarassment. If I sung, there would have been another Pinoy on that island who would be so \”TH\” in singing. I wasn\’t ready to leave that bad impression on my Arab colleagues.

Ooops… this is getting really lengthy and I\’m not even done. Pee-pee break for all of you first. Part two will be posted in my next blog.

Uuuuy, hooked na sila…. parang telenovela no?



  1. Such a comprehensive blow-by-blow from someone who claims to have poor memory…hahaha! Guess the Hawar experience did make quite an impact on you. Especially loved the “ngeow” part – hilarious!

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