Why some foreigners in Riyadh are learning Tagalog
RIYADH – Just by listening to him speak, one would think that Dr. Waheed Al Omari is a Filipino.
Al Omari speaks fluent Filipino, having studied dentistry in the Philippines.
"Nami-miss ko yung mga barkada ko, lalabas kami, yung aral, yung mga bagyo. Pag marinig mo si Ernie Baron sa umaga 'O, walang pasok ngayon dahil signal No. 3'," he said.
The dentist is also married to a Filipina and they now have four children.
While in the Philippines, Al Omari also experienced what it was like to court a girl. He said he fetched water and even serenaded the girl he wanted to marry.
Al Omari said learning the Filipino language became easy for him because he took it to heart.
"Kailangan talaga pakinggan mo, parang bata, tapos pag nagregister na sa utak mo, nagsasalita ka na. Parang baby. Yung una nakikinig siya then nagsasalita...ganun ang umpisa ko hanggang nung unang taon, pangalawang taon nag direcho yung dila ko," he said.
Like Al Omari, Indonesian nurse Wida Yanthie Sagita is in the company of many Filipinos at the hospital where she works.
Sagita is just beginning to learn the Filipino language and attempts to learn 10 Filipino words every day. She also likes to pose and model in front of the camera of only her trusted Filipino photographers.
Foreigners like Bangladeshis and Egyptians, who are manning perfume stores and restaurants, often befriends their regular Filipino customers. These regular Pinoy customers teach them a word or two of the Filipino language which they find useful in their dealings with other Filipinos. Report from Roland Blanco, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau