Tag: Dubai blogger

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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Doc Gelo’s 10th year blogging anniversary

I was invited by Doc Gelo on his 10th blogging anniversary dinner sponsored by Lemongrass. If you don’t know Doctor Angelo Santos, do yourself a favor and follow his adventures on Instagram here.
The first media event I attended was the launch of his travel book – People. Places. Memories. (which is still available at Amazon) and the Filipino bloggers I met were all very warm and fun.

Doc Gelo’s intimate dinner consists of small group of Filipino bloggers and Instagrammers who have thousands of followers each. I don’t know why I was invited to that bunch of talented people considering I only have less than 300 friends on my Filipina Expat IG account.
For sure Doc Gelo sees something in me. Choz. (more…)

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From an Overseas Filipino: 10 Lessons I Learned From Becoming A Self-Made Millionaire

This is not a brag post. I am not here to enumerate the things I acquire or tell you how much money I have. I am writing this post to let others know my way of thinking that helped me achieved my first million (in Philippine Pesos for now) in my early thirties.

As someone who aspires to be rich (in all aspects of life), I devour reading positive and enlightening articles, how to get rich posts, success stories and anything about getting out of debt and poverty.

I would have loved to read something similar to my post now when I was younger.
Someone who I can relate to. Be inspired to achieve more in life.
If all of us will be scared to tell people how we achieved our success for fear of being labelled as brag, then we’re not helping each other. (more…)

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Holiday plans

I am bored this past few days at work and although I am totally fine with it (means I am not stressed out), my mind wanders a lot.

Planning activities for our Hong Kong trip in July seems to be too tasking that I don’t know how to start.

Imagine doing an itinerary for 19 people that consists of 5 seniors, 4 kids, few millennials and a number of Gen X and Y – it’s complicated.

I need to plan the following:
– How to go from one place to another
– Activities
– Cost
– Where to dine
– How not to lose each other

Good thing that I already booked the hotel and flights. One less headache.

Since thinking of Hong Kong doesn’t excite me yet, I am checking hotel rates in UAE for some good staycation.

Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa has good Ramadan offer and I almost booked until I remember how far it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Fujairah and I love staying in hotels but staying just for 1 night is tiring. And right now, I only have weekends to spare.

Then I thought why not check Anantara in Abu Dhabi and do some desert and nature activities, I excitedly went to the website, enter my preferred dates and the price for 1 villa is AED 6k++!!
I had a migraine.
Immediately closed the tab.

Ok, let me go somewhere near. Let’s try Ajman Saray. Beautiful hotel, good reviews, close proximity from Dubai and Sharjah.
But strange that there’s no availability on all weekends from Ramadan until August.

Is it just a system glitch? Are they full? Under renovation? Or they don’t like me?
Whatever it is, I am not very keen to call and make some personal interaction. I prefer the anonymity of online browsing. It’s their loss not mine. Choz.

Then, I really want to go to Georgia this December or January to experience snow! But I want our family to travel with group of friends. When playing in snow, the more the merrier. Do you want to go?

As if that’s not enough, my siblings and I are planning to go to Paris next spring break. This is totally an upgrade to our usual travel plans. Although we’ve been travelling together to several cities and countries, this is the first time that we will go to a place where visa is required.
Hope all of us can get a visa otherwise it won’t be that fun.
All the best to us.

 

I have such a big problem, right? Right! 🙂

Enjoy the day friends 🙂

 

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