My name is Gabriel Rossano Pike Aquino, 50 years old. 6 years working in Oman in the Academe. My family – wife and 3 kids all live in the Philippines because 2 of my kids are in college and college education in Oman is very expensive.
While most single Filipinos would spend their free time playing basketball, social drinking, malling or watching episodes in their laptops, you will find me week after week in the mountains or wadis or beaches of Oman. I love canyoning, hiking, climbing, snorkeling – and I dabble in horseback riding and nature photography. My work can be seen here:
I am a member of the Oman Mountain Club and is the lone active Filipino member in a group composed mainly of Omanis and other expats.
How do you break it down and do everything?
I work on the weekdays and enjoy the weekends with my various activities. Normally, before the weekend comes, friends will ask or invite for the upcoming weekend activity. I am always booked! I rest during the weekdays and then I am still active after work at 3pm taking my horse riding lessons.
How do you keep a healthy work/life balance?
All my weekend activities require a reasonable amount of fitness. I walk and bike to work and register 10000 steps or more on my pedometer everyday.
What are the most critical problems faced by people in your field? How do you think this problem should be handle?
Most single guys have stuck to Filipino style of living and normally suffer in silence staying at home to save money. I was also like this during my first years but I realized if I am to be effective, I need to take care of my body and enjoy the place. I don’t have a car and go to the hiking spots courtesy of friends. I just contribute to the petrol and other costs. However, I have invested heavily on climbing gear, hiking gear, snorkeling devices and other gears for my other activities.
What is most rewarding about your job/Company? What makes it worthwhile?
My job requires me to work from 8am to 3pm only. So I have a lot of time to explore Oman. I am currently looking at going to Musandam and the mountains at the Emirates border. Meeting new people and gaining a world perspective is always rewarding for me.
What’s the newest, freshest approach you are bringing to you job/company?
I never say no to a challenge especially a physical challenge!
What is next for the company/for your job?
In order for me to maintain my active lifestyle, I have to keep my superiors at work happy! I am in charge of the Intranet administration and I make it a point to never let problems reach my superiors. I solve them at my level.
Do you ever encounter unnecessary events regarding your job/company?
My job requires constant requests and online assistance. I have to be sociable, patient and have very good people skills to get through the day.
How do you see yourself/the company in 10-20 years/ in the future?
My eldest is graduating a Mechanical Engineer in 2015. My second child is starting 1st year college. My youngest is in Grade 8. All of them are state scholars! My first two are in the University of the Philippines. My youngest is in Valenzuela Science High School. All thanks to the efforts of my wife who supervises their studies 24/7! In 10 years – I will be reaping my personal success by being reunited with my wife as we travel around the world visiting our children as we pursue active lifestyles!
In your opinion, do you think you have achieved your desired goal upon your success?
Has there any defining moment that made you/the company decide to take a different path or to venture to another field?
What are your advice/s to the OFWs who are aspiring to be successful as you/your company?
Always give your 100% best. And always think outside the box. And allow yourselves to grow. And you can be anything you want! Age is just a number.
What do you miss in the Philippines?
My family – I miss them everyday! The more strenuous my physical activities is a measure of how much I miss them on that day. In the Philippines, I just lie around contentedly watching my family walking around the house.
What will you bring home from Oman, based on your experiences?
The beauty of its landscape. The wonderful Omani and expat friends I made. A global perspective at life and of course – Omani Rials!