Ceddy's Random

Monday, October 29, 2018





Apparel Group- Photo Credits to Apparel Group


I've been working in this company for almost 4 years now, and I can say that this company is the best place to work for.  Without further ado, here's my review of the Apparel Group.


Introduction 


Apparel Group is a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate residing at the crossroads of the modern economy – Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Today, the Apparel Group caters to thousands of eager shoppers through its more than 1750+ stores and 75+ brands, employing 12,000 multicultural staff covering four continents.

Apparel group has carved its strong presence not only in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia but opened thriving gateways to market in India, South Africa, Poland, Singapore, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Additionally, clear strategies are in place to enter emerging markets such as Hungary, Pakistan, Egypt, and the Philippines.

Apparel Group Operates Brands from around the world, originating from USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia and include leading names in Fashion, Footwear & Lifestyle such as Tommy Hilfiger, Juicy Couture, Skechers, Nautica, Aldo, Nine West, Aeropostale to name a few and other key brands include Tim Hortons, Cold Stone Creamery, Inglot, Rituals etc..

The Apparel Group owes its amazing growth to the vision and guidance of its dynamic Chairman, Nilesh Ved, who has taken the company from strength to strength since its inception in the last two decades. *About,  credits from the website



Job Searching




People are searching for jobs nowadays and it is not as easy as you think to find a reputable company to work with.

Flashback 2015, Apparel hired me as one of the thousands of employees to work with them.
I was assigned to the luxury watches as a sales associate and later a year, I was transferred to the Children's clothing. 

Work/Life Balance and Management




Working in this company with a multi populace is a bit intimidating on my first 6 months of work.
I don't get used to working with different nationalities before, however, I was able to adjust and adapt to a new environment as they treat me as a member of the Family. 

Two brands I worked with, the management behind the brands works professionally. Whenever an issue arises, customer disputes frontline operation or back office, They figure it out and find a solution to it.

Working along with the bosses such as General Managers and Area Managers is good. They are the bosses who don't put any walls to the staffs itself. They are very open to everyone and gives feedback to the staffs which need a room for improvement.

After working, I still have the time to bond with my friends and family, going to the gym or write a content just like what I'm doing right now. Although there were times that there is a lack of staff e.g staffs on annual leave or emergency leave, which is manageable as other staffs are willing to give a support.


Company Benefits




Apart from getting a salary, there are things that the Apparel Group provides benefits to its employees.

You will receive a free cake for your birthday. And since the Apparel Group handles more than 75 international brands, the staffs are eligible for discounts as well. 
One of the brands that I love the most is LC Waikiki and Tim Hortons and I get 25% each of them.

Paid Annual leave and Air Ticket Allowance is provided as well. Once a staff reached one year,  He/She is eligible for paid annual leave and after two years of service, the staff is eligible for Air Ticket Allowance. Sweet is it?

Working hard means you should take care of yourself, however, there's a chance that you might catch flu or get sick because of the weather change for example. This company got you covered with a health insurance.
And if in case that you need to rest as advised by your doctor, sick leave is provided and its paid. Emergency leave is available as well.

If you work for several years in the company and planning to settle or move out, You are entitled to a gratuity pay which is compulsory as well. 

Paid overtime, commisions and incentives are provided for each of the staffs once they achieved the sales target.  I even use my saved commissions for my trip to Armenia last year. It was such a fun experience.


Career Opportunities



I believe that if you work hard into something, surely you will get the fruit of success.
the Apparel Group stands for its slogan "where dreams, come alive". 
If you deserve and are capable to work on this position, the management will give you the chance to be upgraded or promoted into a higher "grade", training will be provided accordingly.

Necessary training for sale and Arabic lessons to name a few are the things that you will get from the company while working with them. 


Culture and Values

Dream into a reality


The Apparel Group are active in various CSR Activities below:

Smile Cookie – Tim Hortons
Clean Up UAE
Pink Walkathon
Product Donation To Syrian Refugees
Blood Donation Camp – Dec 2013
Blood Donation Camp 2013
Pink Walkathon 2012
Blood Donation Camp 2012
Stretch & Grow
Breast Cancer Survivor
Taare Zameen Par
Pink Walkathon
Walk for a Cause
Booksplus Scary Tales
Blood Donation Campaign 2009 & 2010

Apart from these activities mentioned above. Working in Apparel means working to a vast diversity of people. Different religion and beliefs. Apparel value these and it had a big impact and an ability to succeed because of it people and it shows that these things count and as a result, it became the biggest giant retail company in the region.


Overall


Security, Tenure, and Opportunity


These are the 3 big factor why I like about this company

First is Security


I know, I am secured when they, the company won't terminate your end your contract for no reason.
As long as you are loyal to the company and you work hard for it. Chances are, they will renew your contract, on the long run, Apparel Group is an equal opportunity company. Everyone has their own voice and has freedom of choice.

Tenure


The Apparel Group will collaborate and work with you as long as you want. Most of the employees have been employed with them for more than 8 years. It simply shows that the organization values its employees. Its just a cycle of return indeed. You work with them and in return, they will take care of you, hold onto you and you can stay with the company as long as you want.


Opportunity


The organization gives an opportunity to talented people. They have a ladder of success to the employees. Without talent upgrade, there would be nothing, no motivation and bland at all.
Apparel Group gives an opportunity to each of the staff, they will mold you and enhance your capability to work in this industry- Retail.



Are you an employee of Apparel Group?

Share your experience by commenting below.

Thanks for reading my blog and see you next time.

--ceddy

Monday, October 22, 2018

Filipino's Longest Celebration: 

Christmas Holiday

Half Year Celebration




"Ber Months" Filipinos are on prep for the upcoming holiday- Christmas. 
Believe it or not, Among other countries, the Philippines has the longest celebration of Christmas. Once the "ber months" kicked in (September, October and so on) make sure not to get pissed with your neighbors as some of them play Christmas songs all day ( I always do that lol).  

Decorations and more!

A Parol. Picture: credits to thelucilaproject.blogspot.com


Christmas decorations like Parol ( lantern lamp)  and Christmas lights are hanged on the road center island,  across the streets, Christmas music is currently playing within the malls, neighborhood, drinking celebration, party all night, singing on the karaoke with your friends and family and more!


Get together and Christmas Bonus!




Filipinos working abroad go for vacation and celebrate the Christmas with there Family.

The best part, If you work in a private, semi or government companies, the chances are, you will be receiving a 13th-month pay from your company. It is equivalent to one full monthly salary and paid in December (the 12th month) around Christmas and is traditionally called a Christmas bonus.

Filipino Tradition


Simbang Gabi


 Being a Christian, We go to the church and complete the 9 days of early morning mass (Misa de Gallo/Simbang Gabi). They said if you complete this 9 days of dawn mass which starts between  4 to 5 AM, whatever you wish will be granted.
Dawn masses start from December 16 to 24 and evening masses start between 8 and 10 pm.  Sad to say, I never completed the 9 days.

9 days of "Panunuluyan" or "The Nativity"

photo credits to Xavier University


It is the Filipino Christmas tradition where members of the community re-enact the story of Joseph and Mary’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and culminate with the birth of our Lord in a humble manger.
After Noche Buena Mass, You'll be rewarded with neverending Noche Buena dinner feast for everyone.

Count me in.. Numbers?



More than 86 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, no wonder Pinoys take it seriously,  the rest belong to Protestants and various nationalized Christian Cults.

Believe it or not, December ends, Celebration continues until January and February.

As an Expat, I missed this kind of celebration as I'm working out of the country for 4 years now.
Sad to say, I cannot go on vacation during December as my company wouldn't allow it.

Christmas in our hearts



On the long run, the Christmas celebration is not about the food, partying nor receiving pasalubong (gifts)  from friends and relatives abroad. Rather,  it is the time where we go to church, celebrate a mass and pray together. As this is the day where our Lord Jesus Christ was born.


Greetings!


The Philippines has 8 major languages, Tagalog is the second most used language next to English. here's how to say Merry Christmas.

picture credits to www.hickshiking.com

"Maligayang Pasko Po"




Have a wonderful Christmas with your Family!

Thanks for reading. Don't forget to like and share this content <3

--Ceddy






Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Airline Competition



A lot of competitive airlines nowadays are emerging in the market. And one of them is Etihad Airways.


Preparation for the Flight


I had 2 months ahead prior my vacation to decide which airline I need to book. Of course, I need to find any promotional offer. A relative of mine offered me a discount.

Which is which?

Emirates Airline, Philippine Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Cebu Pacific are available however I  decided to go with Etihad Airways as I heard a lot of positive reviews from this airline.

Decided...




Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates. Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi International Airport. 


Accessibility...



Since I am residing in Abu Dhabi (City Centre) it is very easy and convenient for me to drop off my luggage and proceed to an early check-in into the City Terminal (near Abu Dhabi Mall) 24 hours before the flight.



All travel documents will be provided once your check-in is done, including your boarding pass.  
You have the option as well to do online check in to there Etihad Mobile App or direct to there website (hassle free).

Timings...




My flight was 10 AM the other day so I had still plenty of time to prepare for my flight.
The bus which is going to the Terminal 2 of Abu Dhabi International Airport is Bus A1. For more information about the bus timing, you can download the DARB Mobile App.

Upon reaching the airport, I reached out to the counter for my check in and was advised to proceed next to the security control section. 

Everything was on the smooth process, After the security check, I proceeded to the assigned gate (22).
I got the chance to see some planes while I'm on my way to the gate - Planespotting. 




Waiting time for the gate to be opened was approximately half an hour.
A service bus picks us and went straight to the tarmac where the plane is waiting.


The Etihad Boeing 777-300er





The plane was A Boeing 777 - 300er with a seating configuration of 3 x 4 x 3.
It comes with a Pearl Business for Business Class and Coral Economy for Economy Class. 

This is my second time to fly with Etihad Airways, The first one was my Kuala Lumpur Trip way back in 2015.


In-flight Amenities


In-flight amenities 





It's not good nor bad. For the IFE (Audio and Video). The headset is perfectly working. 



The E-box (the personal entertainment system) was having some issues with the touchscreen panel. There is a latency everytime you touch the screen. Even the controller is a bit confusing to use for navigational.



However, I love the movies being played on there IFE (in-flight entertainment) Hollywood to Asian movies and some latest music (western to middle eastern music) Taylor Swift's Album is available as well. Kids Entertainment such as Peppa Pig is also available.


AC Port



All seats in this aircraft have an ac power port. I tested to charge my iPhone via USB and it's perfectly working. However, It takes longer to get fully charged.


Meal



salty biscuit and cola


water and fresh towel (wet wipes)


Before, during and after take-off, they served the food. That consist of salty biscuit before the flight, Dinner is served during the flight and some snack (sandwich and juice or soda) is served before the landing. I requested for another cup of coffee with fresh milk and sugar too after lunch. Fresh towel and water are being offered as well before take off.

Lunch
sandwich and apple juice before landing

coffee after lunch

with fresh milk


They Offer European,  Asian and Middle Eastern meals. The food was perfect. They have a menu as well for your reference. Etihad offers as well with any in dietary needs, just inform them prior to the reservation 24 hours before.
I love how the flight attendant caters the passenger in a timely manner. 
They offer on a full meal and I didn't complain at all. It was a wholesome experience.


Lavatory





The Lavatory of the Aircraft is okay.
Nothing to see much, but they maintain the cleanliness and its odor free. 
The space of the lavatory is just right for you to move freely inside, hand sanitizer, the tissue is available as well.


Seats



Though I didn't pay for extra legroom. There was a sufficient space for the seat as the coral economy seat's width is 17.5 and the pitch was 31. It's just right.



Additionals




Etihad provides a blanket, neck pillow and an amenity kit as well which consist of eye mask, face tissue, ear plugs and toothbrush with toothpaste during the flight.

We experience a mild turbulence. As the Pilot advised us to fasten our seatbelt for safety reason and the cabin crew was doing the same.


Travel time from Abu Dhabi to Manila takes 9 hours and 5 mins (depends if not late) And it is non stop.







The IFE has the feature to provide the estimated time of arrival to your destination (ETA) as well as the camera viewfinder of the aircraft to see what is below the aircraft.


Cabin Crew Service


Etihad is well known for its highest class when it comes to service. No wonder they were rated by Skytrax as a Certified 5 Star Airline. Though I find the cabin crew service was not excellent but it's good. 
Another cabin crew was in a hurry to distribute the food and without smiling at all. Just a straightforward question which food do I need to eat. That's all. No other question nor a smile to her face. 

I was able to sleep for a few hours  before landing to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)


Verdict...







So far, My whole travel experience for the second time with Etihad was good.
Though I find that the Aircraft looks aged already.
Food was good.
IFE was good
Overall service includes the Cabin Crew Service was Good.

Do I recommend flying with Etihad?

It's a Yes. But make sure to check some promo offers before flying with them as the ticket rises up especially during holidays.

Thanks for reading my flight review.

Don't forget to share and subscribe for more!


--Ceddy











Monday, October 15, 2018

Malaysia: Truly Asia

Year of Festivals & Endless Celebrations 



PETRONAS TWIN TOWER

This was my first time to travel out of the country. And the first country that I ever visited was Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia 3 years ago *2015.

Finally, I was able to write this content after 3 years, Thanks to Apple Support, I able to retrieve all the pictures on my previous iCloud account.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Me at the KLIA Arrival




Before heading out to the United Arab Emirates, I decided to have a tour first in Kuala Lumpur for 3 days and 2 nights. 

Travel Time


The travel time from Iloilo City, Philippines via Manila to Kuala Lumpur takes 6 hours and 55 mins.
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay peninsula and the island of Borneo.





I booked the trip alone without any accompaniment and so when I arrived at the KLIA Arrival, a representative is waiting outside holding a signage with my name on it.

Hotel Accommodation


The hotel is rated 2.5 by Trip Advisor. The hotel is so simple, no fancy things. If you don't expect anything but for sleeping only, this the Hotel that I can recommend. The hotel is near to the shopping complex and the place was quite also near the city center. Bed and breakfast are also available.

Day 01


Since It's my Day 1. I decided to take some rest a bit and went to the City Center to check some food to eat.
It's 12:35 AM,  no shops were open and I am in a hurry and starving, so I decided to buy some cup noodles in a 24/7 convenience store. Went back to the hotel and took rest.


Day 02


Bed and Breakfast


Breakfast Timings was 8: AM. I was alone in the morning and none other guests were available at that time. Omelet egg, coffee, bread, and beans.

I waited for half an hour for the driver to pick me up.

This was A half day SIC City Tour.
The trip was a journey through the central city to view the Moorish Architecture.

First Stop :


Istana Negara: King's Palace

ISTANA NEGARA


The King's Palace is so beautiful. We are on the main gate. And outside the gate were guards stand still which is similar to the British Guards. It was the residence of the King, way back in 2011.
Were allowed to take a photo of them. I had even one.



Pictures below:












Second Stop:


National Museum


Much of the National Museum’s original collection of artworks was razed during a World War II bombing. Its impressive collection starts with ritual weddings, the way how Malaysian lives before (fishing, weaving and more).

There's a life-size traditional house as well. I am not sure what is the name of that traditional house, however, the house was fully decorated with gold and silver ornaments. And it comes with very intricate detail. There are also traditional musical instruments in the museum.

Here are the pictures that I took within the vicinity of the Museum:































Third Stop:


National Monument






The National Monument was built in dedication to Malaysia's Soldier who died during the emergency struggle for freedom, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 until 1960.

A spacious massive land with a perfect landscape will welcome you. The spot is overlooking the City Center. If you want to unwind and spend some time with your Family or have some short walk. This is the best place to unwind.

Some pictures below:













Fourth Stop:


Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station





After Petronas Twin Tower the famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur. Next to it is the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It's the unique Anglo-Asian architecture in the region.

Had some pictures below:






Fifth Stop:


Malaysia Batik



Malaysia Batik is a textile art in Malaysia.
Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to the whole cloth.

It is the national identity of Malaysia, there National Costume and its part of their cultural heritage.

Interesting pictures below:

















Sixth Stop:


The Chocolate Kingdom



If you are a chocolate lover, this would be your chocolate heaven.
We stop over to Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom to sample some local chocolates.
Wide selection of chocolates to choose from dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

An interesting exhibition and if you have kids, surely they will love this place.
Note: I was not able to take more pictures as my phone's battery was about to die. My spare battery was left on the bus. :(


Here are some of the pictures:












Seventh and Last Stop :


Petronas Twin towers



The Twin Tower is named after Petroliam Nasional Company, as the company owns the towers, and the Tower One is fully occupied by the company as its headquarters.  The Tower Two, however, was leased by some of the giant companies, to name a few were Microsoft and IBM.

Unfortunately, the spot we took a picture was too far from our location, and the weather condition was foggy. It's just outside of the chocolate kingdom.  Good thing, I was able to take a few snaps before as the service van was able to pass by near the Tower before the tour began.

Here's some of the picture below:









After the tour, I transferred back to the hotel and at leisure.
So I still have the time to discover and roam around the City Center.

At Leisure:


Berjaya Times Square




One of the largest shopping mall in the region. It has a large food court, amusement area and has an indoor roller coaster. You can ask for a bargain from selected shops which is comparable in the market outside the mall.

Branded boutiques are available as well such as Burberry and Giordano to name a few.

Here are some pictures below:
















Day 03:

Breakfast and Free day


I still have a few more hours for my check out and I got the chance to roam again in the City.
Bought some souvenirs and returned back to the hotel.

Some pictures around the city center:

























Check out at 12:00 PM and transported to the Airport.


So far, that's my 3 days stay in Malaysia.  I think 3 days is not enough to visit all the places and there are still more beautiful spots to visit.

Thanks for reading my content.

Don't forget to share and subscribe for more!

--Ceddy

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