My thoughts in 2015 – Revisited

I have been browsing my draft folders to see if there’s a blog post I can continue working on so I can just publish it.
Then I found this:

Five things I’m thinking today

1. When will I stop being employed and start my own business?

2. Need to fill-up our Italian visa application.

3. Waaah! Tita Beth left for good. Who’s in charge now?

4. Can I just shop without thinking of a budget?

5.

 

This is very amusing for me.

The draft is dated November 28, 2015.
I reckon the reason I didn’t publish this was because I can’t think of a 5th point, and then day ended.
If I continue working on it the next day then I’m not only thinking about these things that day but also the following day.
So it’s not only today. Get it? (more…)

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I just want to be average

My son never studies.
And I don’t push him as much as I need to.

I never review my lessons as well when I was as a kid.
But I know myself, I am quite bright.

I can memorize fast if I want to.
So I would review a few days before an examination or quiz and I would get an above average passing grade.
Sure, I will forget everything after the test, but who cares right?
As long as you passed the exam then that’s more than enough.

I think my son has the same attitude in studying.

I never saw him do his homework voluntarily.
And if he does, there’s always nagging and threats involve.
And he never reviews.

Surprisingly, he gets above average grades too.
He never gets awards or honorable mentions
But at least I am not called by school for failing marks.

And I always wonder, am I doing the right thing?

Every single day I tell him to be a star.
I heard Kris Aquino telling the same thing to his sons.

Cole never replies back until that day when he said
“I just want to be average!”

I was taken aback by his reply.

Is it bad to be average?
Should I push him to be the best?
Explore his potential and excel?

OR

Should I let him be him?
Let him figure out what he wants on his own?
And what’s wrong of not standing out?

Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up and his reply is to be a Youtuber.
Seriously.

And I have all these ideas that he can be a Chef and Restaurateur one day.
Or a business magnate.
Or a CEO of multi-national company.
Or the President of the Philippines.

But no.

He wants to be a Youtuber.

So I told him that being a good Youtuber means being good speaker.
He has to be good in something to attract attention.
He should never be shy in front of camera.

Youtuber is not bad.
Sure it’s different from what I had in mind but at the end of the day, I want my son to be happy.
As long as he isn’t hurting anyone, is respectful and contributing to the world, I think I am fine with whatever he wants to be.

Anyways, he is only 10.

There’s still chance he can be the President of the Philippines.
Help me God!

 

 

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Al Hamra Residence & Village – Ras Al Khaimah

In a month’s time, the family will go for our annual trip to the Philippines yet it’s not soon enough and I just want to take a break.
I sent some hotel deals to Gibson but he didn’t reply.
When Cole asked if we can stay in any hotel this Ramadan I knew I have to remind the hubby.

It’s always a good idea to avail various hotels’ summer promotions throughout UAE because rates are really low.
And I know I can easily convince Gibson if it won’t leave a dent on his pocket.
But I have to find a place that will be acceptable to kids, specially to Cole.
That boy has some standards yah know.

I found Al Hamra Residence & Village thru Booking.com.
Prior to this, I haven’t heard of this property.
The reviews are generally positive and the fact that it’s only AED 249 per night with breakfast (yes, AED 249 with breakfast) then it’s a place worth to try.
If it turns out to be bad, I won’t feel cheated considering that we only pay for a dinner’s worth.

(more…)

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Word connoisseur

When I first came to Dubai, I thought I’m a word connoisseur (is there such a term?)
Since I love to read, I got exposed to different words and though I don’t use them often, I have fair grasp of their meaning and know how to spell them (like the word connoisseur).

And then I came to Dubai.

This is how skinny I am when I first came to Dubai. Global Village 2006.

First few weeks were struggle. I think I know how to speak English but why the hell I can’t understand my colleagues?
British, Indian, Arabs- they all talk gibberish.

This is what my ears were hearing:
Indian:  Wer ken I get ye-four and delephone? 
British: Can you shed-jool sem-ee prive-et yat?
Arabs: Akhaamed wants bizza and bebsi.

My first job in Dubai was a receptionist so you can imagine the number of people I encounter everyday.
I am so embarrassed whenever I ask them to repeat what they said since they already repeated it twice.
They might think I can’t understand english or I’m just plain stupid.

I clearly recall an Indian colleague repeatedly yelling ye-for,Ye-For, YE-FOR since I don’t get it.
He was so frustrated. I’m so dumb.

As it turned out. He was asking for A4 paper. In the Philippines, we call them ‘typewriting’
Even if he had a heart attack screaming YE-FOR, I wouldn’t be able to give it to him.
Because I DON’T FREAKING KNOW!

Over time, I told myself it’s not me, it’s them. If I can’t understand an English man, it’s not because I don’t freaking know English, but his accent is at fault.
There are some people who speaks english in neutral accent and I don’t have a problem in conversing with them.

Also, there are so many words added on my vocabulary in 12 years I’ve been living here.

Toilet – does it sound very vulgar? We’re used calling it CR, comfort room, washroom but toilet?! No.

I recall going to a mall and asked the cleaner
Me: Excuse me, where’s the CR?
Cleaner: No
Me: Bubble thoughts ‘for sure there’s CR in the mall’. Oh, I mean comfort room.
Cleaner: No. No.
Me: Washroom?
Cleaner: NO.
Me: Bubble thoughts ‘WTF’

I then started using sign language as if I’m washing my hands.

Cleaner: Ohhh! Toilet, go straight then left.
Me: Almost peed on the floor… 

Pantry – If I tell my mom to grab coffee from pantry, I will end up just taking it myself because what the hell is a pantry. We call it cabinet on our side of the world.

To Let – my first thought when I read this in 2005 – “Have they stupidly forgot the I in the banner? But why are they promoting toilet?”

Tiffin box – when my son asked if he can have a tiffin box, I googled it right away.

And you know how we are taught of US English in school? It’s quite an adjustment to write centre, colour, organisation.

And the most difficult adjustment is using day-month-year when writing.
So 5-6-2017 is not May 6, 2017. It is June 5, 2017.

When we got married in 2016, Gibson and I discussed how we should write the date on our wedding ring.
He said that we are Filipinos and we should write August 6, 2006 as 8-6-06.
I agreed.
After 11 years of marriage, I am now confused on what’s our anniversary date since I always rely on my ring to help me remember. Don’t tell my husband. I’m really bad with dates.

Overall, I’m grateful being exposed to different nationalities and learning different accents and new words.
Now, me and my family can survive going to any parts of the world and be able to communicate as long as English is the medium of conversation.

Have a good day!

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Tong Ren Tang Dubai

I told Gibson last week that I have vouchers from Air Miles and we can dine in any of the restaurants in Le Meridien Dubai.
We really enjoyed Yalumba’s Thursday buffet last January so it’s time to revisit them.
But I don’t want this dinner to be our couple’s date for the month of May.
I want our date venue to be different every month.
Note: Yalumba didn’t accept our Air Miles so we use our Entertainer vouchers instead. 

Then I thought why not try an activity together.
We had a massage at Dreamworks Spa in March and we enjoyed it.
So I just need to think of something that Gibson will be willing to try.
Nothing too girly, too expensive, too dangerous and I might be able to convince him.

I remember that our insurance covers alternative medicine which includes acupuncture, ayurvedic and the likes.
Acupuncture is something I always wanted to try but never get the chance to experience.
My dear friend Sheila always had acupuncture therapies when were both working at Tetra Pak but I never asked her how’s the experience.
I think that’s a good thing so I won’t have any pre-judgement.

Tong Ren Tang Dubai (more…)

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Cole’s 10th Birthday Celebration at Aquaventure Waterpark

This post is 5 months late but as they said better late than never!

Cole's 10th Birthday Celebration in Atlantis The Palm

My kids are not excited having their own birthday parties.
They prefer simple lunch or dinner and then receive birthday gifts.
That’s it.
Big factor on this attitude is having a mom who doesn’t like to plan party celebrations.
How ironic that my job requires me to organize meetings, dinner and events on regular basis. (more…)

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Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City

I have so many things on my draft folder and let me try to finish and post them one at a time. Today, let me share with you our experience at Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City.

Our family loves staying in hotels and before the year ended last year, we decided to have another hotel staycation.

With several SPG points to use, I started searching for hotels that we can stay in. We just wanted a Dubai-based property that we’ve never been before and Westin Dubai Al Habtoor fits the criteria. Quick Google search shows that it’s a brand new hotel just opened in September 2016. It’s part of a multi-use development in Al Habtoor City and one of the 3 hotels in the complex. The other two is the luxurious St. Regis, and urban and hip W Hotel.

As usual, I tried to check reviews and photos before our visit but since it’s the hotel is quite new I haven’t really found anything on the net. So let me make my own review.

Online reservation was smooth. Check-in was supposed to be swift but Gibson didn’t have his Emirates ID that time as his visa was under renewal. He searched through his mails to find a copy of his passport. So our check-in took longer than expected.
Good thing that check-in counters were not busy considering it’s UAE National Day. (more…)

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Bentoya Dubai

Bentoya Dubai

Bentoya has been in Dubai for at least a decade now so you must have visited this place before but for those who haven’t this is for you.
I’ve dined several times in their Jebel Ali branch (inside JAFZA) when I was still working there and have been recently visiting their Garhoud branch nowadays.
(more…)

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Thoughts About Blogging

I started blogging in 2005 just to get things out of my mind.
I’m quite depressed that time and I need to divert my attention to something.

Blogging become some kind of therapy.

After a few months, I started receiving invites to attend events.
To be honest, it’s exciting.
But 9 out of 10 times I will need to decline as these events don’t interest me or the timings are in conflict with my schedule.
I also don’t attend events during weekdays.

From time to time, I feel pangs of jealousy on other bloggers who receive payment for their collaboration.
I don’t get anything from blogging. In fact I actually spend yearly for my domain. (more…)

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Eating Habits to Follow During Ramadan

I don’t fast during Ramadan but this article I received from Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi is really useful so I’m sharing it with you.

Suhoor and Iftar food: To Eat or Not to Eat Eating Habits to Follow During Ramadan

Eating Habits to Follow During Ramadan

Ramadan is just a few days away and while the holy month is filled with goodness, Ramadan falls at the peak of summer this year.
It is important we maintain our energy levels and avoid the unhealthy food temptations that come with the month.

“In Ramadan our diets are radically altered, as we eat only during Suhoor (pre-dawn) and Iftar (at sunset). As such both these meals form an essential part of fasting.
While it’s a good idea to consume low Glycaemic Index (GI) items, both Suhoor and Iftar should be well-balanced and contain items from each food group, such as vegetables, cereals, meat, dairy products and fruits,” said Ms. Rahma Ali , Clinical Dietician at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi.

“Suhoor needs to be wholesome to provide enough energy to last during the long hours of fasting.
It is important that the food you consume keeps you hydrated, so pay careful attention to the selection of food-items during Suhoor,” added Ms. Ali.

Foods to Eat During Suhoor

Protein Rich Food: Eggs are high in proteins and most nutritious. They not only help you to stay fuller, but can be made in several ways to suit your taste buds.

Fibre Rich Food: Oat meal is rich in fibre and a perfect meal your body needs during Suhoor. Soluble fibre turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose, perfect to keep you energised throughout your fast.

Calcium and Vitamin Rich Food: Dairy products are a great source of nutrition. Opt for a yoghurt smoothie or choose a vanilla and honey milk shake to stay full and hydrated throughout the day.

Foods Not to Eat During Suhoor

Simple or refined carbohydrates: these are food that last only 3 to 4 hours and they are low in essential nutrients Such as: sugars, white flour, pastries, donuts, croissants

Salty food: imbalance of sodium levels in your body makes you very thirsty while fasting so try to avoid salted nuts, pickles, chips and food that contain soya sauce

Caffeinated Drinks: Coffee has caffeine which leads to insomnia and restlessness. In addition, it doesn’t hydrate and keeps you longing for water the whole day.

“While Suhoor is important, eating habits during Iftar cannot be ignored. Hence, it is important during Ramadan to break the fast with a balanced diet ensuring that the essential nutritional needs of your body are met.
These include sodium and potassium which are lost due to sweating, especially during summer,” said Ms. Ali

Foods to Eat During Iftar

Potassium Rich Fruits: Dates are nutrient powerhouses and excellent food-item to break your fast. It not only helps you hydrate quickly, but gives you instant energy to make you feel rejuvenated after the long-hours of fasting.

Sufficient fluids: Drink as much water or fruit juices as possible between Iftar and bedtime to avoid dehydration

Raw Nuts:  Almonds contain good fats which are essential, particularly when your body has been craving for fats after the long-hours of fasting. It is a perfect Iftar item which helps you feel full and in control, without the need to binge.

Hydrating Vegetables: Cucumbers, lettuce, and other vegetables are high in fibre and laden with the goodness of hydrating properties. It not only helps your body feel cool, but is also a great choice to keep you skin healthy and avoid constipation during Ramadan.

Foods Not to Eat During Iftar

Carbonated Drinks: Avoid drinking processed beverages and carbonated drinks. Stick to regular water and or coconut water to soothe your thirst.

High-sugar Foods: High-sugar food items as sweets, chocolates should be avoided. They are instant source of weight gain and can lead to complexities if consumed every day.

Fried-foods: Greasy and fried food like fried dumplings and samosas should be avoided. Also avoid oily curries and greasy pastries to reap healthy benefits for your body during Ramadan.

“Fasting during Ramadan can improve one’s health, but only if done in proper manner, if not, it can cause more harm than good. It is important to have self-control when you see a good spread of appetizing meal. The key is to remember that Ramadan is a month to reap rewards and benefits, and increase your spiritual connection,” concluded Ms. Ali

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