Tag: dubai expat

Love affair with books

I LOVE READING. Caps lock for intensity…


I have a longtime love affair with books.

My earliest memories of childhood always includes reading and books. I’m not choosy. Week old newspapers, bulky encyclopedias, nursery books (even during my teen years) and everything in between. As long as its printed, I’m happy.

Back then, I don’t have money to buy as much book as I want so I will re-read everything until I almost memorized them.
I read when I’m bored, I read when I’m happy, I read until wee hours of the night. (more…)

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If there’s a will, there’s a way – The bento lunch box idea

I think moms in general always feel guilty for a variety of reasons. The feeling that they fail their children one way or the other.
It’s specially true for working moms.
Personally, I always wish I have enough time. Time to help with their studies. Time to attend all school activities. Time to prepare a nutritious lunch box.

Since I started following Cuddles and Crumbs’ Facebook page, Abigail’s lunch box ideas became an inspiration.
It’s so nice that I want to be her child 😂. And I’m amaze how adventurous her children are with food.
Chicken Pilaf – check. Sushi rolls – no problem. Fruits and vegetables- bring it on! Her kids are amaze-balls!

But to be honest, I thought I can’t do it because Abigail is a good homemaker. She has the skills and the time. Might sound unfair but that’s what I thought. SAHMs have more time in their hands to conceptualize, research and prepare their children’s lunchboxes.
A working mom like me doesn’t have a chance to compete with them.

Or so I thought. (more…)

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What’s your plan for Eid?

Eid Al Adha is announced to start on 12th September. That’s a 5 day long weekend for us in UAE! Wooohooo!!!

What's your plan for Eid?

Now the big question is what are we going to do?

5 days of staying at home is not an option.
Mall visits are boring. Going to new attractions in Dubai throughout the holiday period is quite expensive.
Should we do a hotel staycation? Yes, why not. But I’m thinking of something different.

It’s about time we push through my plan of visiting all 7 Emirates of UAE in 2 days.
Based on research, you can visit all just by driving non-stop around 4 hours.
Well, we’re not that crazy. Two days is better for a group that consists of kids and 1 senior citizen. We’re also planning to rent a car.

Aside from visiting all 7 Emirates, I intend to go to places/do things we’ve never been before.

Dubai – want to go to Dubai Museum and try the abra. Yup! Never done that in 11 years in UAE. Que horror!
Sharjah – visit Al Qasba and the corniche side. What a shame as we are living in Sharjah for almost 6 years now.
Ajman – I’m still trying to figure out what we can do/visit here.
Umm Al Quwain – eat in this local restaurant that has good reviews. Although I’m not so sure if we can do it with kids. I can eat anywhere but some people in our group might not be too adventurous in dining.
Ras Al Khaimah – visit Al Jazirat Al Hamra, the ghost town of UAE.
Fujairah – stay here for 1 night
Abu Dhabi/Al Ain – the Grand Mosque and probably the Emirates Zoo

I have less than a week to prepare the itinerary, have it approve by the committee (lol) and off we go!

Who wants to join us? 😀


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All good things must come to an end

Ahhh… it’s Sunday – start of the week in this part of the world. I need to prepare and rush to office but let me post some pictures of our Atlantis staycation first.
“How I wish we can stay here for 10 days”. I said loudly while waiting for our car to go home.
I know Gibson and the kids feel the same way.

As I mentioned on my Facebook live broadcast (please go to my Facebook page), I saw this deal from Atlantis website which offers 1 night stay, breakfast and halfboard (lunch or dinner) for AED 1,595 for family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) to all Mastercard holders.
As a guest of Atlantis you get unlimited access to Aquaventure waterpark and The Lost Chambers.

That’s a good value considering that waterpark tickets cost AED 260 for adults and AED 215 for kids. For our family that would costs us AED 950 already. Plus the buffet lunch we had then it’s really a good deal.

As I mentioned, it has been kind of family tradition to try hotels in UAE and this year it coincides with our wedding anniversary. Let me share some snippets of this celebration 🙂

We’re given a slice of cake and a wedding anniversary greeting card.
All good things must come to an end (more…)

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Happy anniversary to me!

I received an email reminder that my domain is due for renewal and I was like ‘WHATTT???’. It feels like I’ve only started this blog a few months ago. Has it been a year?

I counted how many blog posts I’ve written since I started and for someone who thinks she’s busy, I posted a lot of things – not bad on my standards.

Anyhoo, few months ago I had grand plans for my first anniversary. I thought I’ll make a dramatic and touching article thanking everyone for their wonderful support. A tear-jerking piece when I recall the hardships, the struggles and the triumphs of succeeding in this cruel blogging world (LOL, there’s no such thing or if there is I don’t really care).

But seriously I want to write a heartfelt post to thank everyone who cares enough to read whatever nonsense I’m writing. And maybe to have some thank you giveaway as well. I just need to wait until things slow down a bit.

If not for that email reminder, I will definitely miss that Filipina Expat has completed one year. Well you know the fambam went on holidays, Cole got hospitalized, Gibson is flying to Philippines tomorrow to pick him up, and then Gibs and I will be celebrating our 10th year wedding anniversary in a few days.

With so many things going on I can’t concentrate on blogging and I have so many things to share. I want to share the struggle we experienced on getting an OEC for my Ate V in the Philippines, write some proper food review of places we visited because that’s the only leisure we did while we were there – EAT! I also want to share our experience of flying with Emirates and lots of more. What an ambitious goal.

For now, let me go back to work and drink my nth cup of coffee and figure out how I can do all these.

Again, thank you everyone for sticking with me. Have a good start of the week 🙂

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Why OFWs need to save?


Why OFWs need to save?

I will not answer that question because you obviously know the answer. But if it is still not obvious or you’re oblivious then let me say it briefly – because we are all just expats in our host country and sooner or later we will leave whether we like or not, voluntarily or involuntarily and the worst that can happen to us is finding that we don’t have enough means supporting our loved ones. I’ve seen a former classmate venting his frustrations on Facebook on how he’s depressed that he can’t go back to Saudi (visa issues as I figured out). I am a child of a former seafarer and I know how difficult it is when your father took longer than usual boarding another vessel. The money runs out and everyone in the family feels the pinch.

How to save?

The question might be so easy and we can come up with hundred of answers but in reality it is easier said than done. I came to Dubai 11 years ago and someone would think that I may have saved a fortune considering the number of years I’ve been into this country. OFWs are all expected to save, right? But honestly, me and my husband had only started saving probably 4 years ago and had been saving almost 40% of our combined total income recently. We can save more but we want to be realistic and allocate some amount for shopping/dining out and emergency expenses. Balance baby.


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To remind myself why I started blogging

To remind myself why I started blogging

I started this blog last year during the time I was depressed. I was not happy anymore with my job, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom (I still do) and I constantly feel guilty for not spending time with my kids. I wanted change but I feel trapped. Blogging diverted my attention to something more positive. I can write mundane things and rant about issues. I can share my experiences and hope that my readers will get something out of it – something useful. I can talk about food, parenting, travel – you know, just light stuff.

Starting out, I was so passionate that I promised to write at least twice a week if not more and boy I write! But real life started kicking in and I can’t even finish one article in 2 weeks. I have so many drafts but can’t publish it. I don’t think you would like to read a post that has 3-4 sentences on it. I read somewhere that for readers to be engaged, consistency is the key. And there’s no way I am consistent with my writing schedule.

I am part of a mummy blogger group wherein some mamas are SAHM while others have regular jobs like me and yet they can blog regularly. They are witty, intelligent, passionate individuals and they seem to be in-control of everything. The group talks how to monetize our blogs, attract more readers, and oomph our blogging game. Most of them are successful and it’s intimidating.

I find myself stressing out again. Not with my day job but with blogging.

Not that my blog hasn’t been noticed. Surprisingly, I am receiving invites to try places and attend events. Sadly, I have to decline most of them and I feel bad whenever I do. I mean how can I refuse all these invitations where I can network with other bloggers, introduce myself to the right set of people and just being out and about to the blogging social circle. I am passing up opportunities to be known internationally (LOL).

But being a life coach to myself, I told her to remember the reason why she started this blog in the first place. This is supposed to be my stress-buster. I should write whenever I want to and I will only blog things that interests me. I should stop stressing about stats, Google ranking or getting that blogger of the year award (is there such a thing? If there is, can you nominate me? 😂).

And I don’t want to sound snobbish but I realized that my time is precious (for sure yours too!).  Will that dinner invitation that will consume 4 hours of my day valuable enough for me? If the answer is no, I’m afraid I have to accept that I won’t be able to go. Unless the invite comes from Filipino-owned entrepreneurs then I might make an exception. I am proud of being a Filipino and admire Filipino entrepreneurs that take risks and just go for the gold!

I know it’s very early for me to be burnt out, I’ve been blogging for less than a year but knowing myself, I have short interest span. I am impatient with myself but also forgiving at the end of the day. Is this a sign of being a Virgo or is it because I was born in the year of the monkey?

Ok. Enough said. Have a good day/evening everyone!

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I hate FAKES!!!

Both people and things. But let’s talk about the latter for now.

So this morning, Gibson and I had a small argument, It started when I told him that my dear friend received a Louis Vuitton bag from her husband as a gift and for sure it’s not fake. My husband knows me so well that I hate fake things. (more…)

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How to achieve your financial goal?

If you don’t know, I have another blog where I write about positivity and personal finance. I started that blog a few months before I even launched Filipina Expat and I am contemplating now of shutting it down. I didn’t renew its domain. I am quite heart broken and sad just thinking that I have to let it go. It’s just that I have to be realistic that I can’t physically and mentally keep up with two blogs considering my full-time job, my mommy duties and daily commuting. I have also other projects in the pipeline that would require great amount of my spare time.

Just to give you a background of what’s in there, my other blog is where I share my tips about saving and paying-off debts based on what I experienced. I also write about how to use positivity to manifest money and abundance. On that blog, I feel that I can inspire fellow Filipinos abroad who are drowning in financial troubles that it’s not the end of the world and through determination and positivity, we can reach our goals. (more…)

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