Thursday, December 22, 2011

my volvo experience

Lately, dahil halos araw-araw nag-oovertime ang asawa ko sa trabaho, nakikiusap ako sa mga tagamaneho namin sa opisina na ihatid ako sa bahay. Medyo magkalapit naman yung mga tinitirhan namin na area kaya ok lang naman sa kanila; at dahil ako yung nagaayos ng schedule nila, alam ko kung sino ang pwede after office hours. Kahapon, si P yung pinakiusapan ko na maghatid sa akin. Dahil wala pa syang permanent na kotse (kakatapos lang yung kontrata ng lini-lease namin para sa kanya at ginagamit muna nya yung mga kotse ng mga amo namin pag nasa labas sila ng bansa), ginamit nya yung Volvo ng isang amo namin. On the way, ito yung part ng pag-uusap namin (syempre sa wikang Ingles):

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

wafi's light & sound show

If Dubai Mall has the Dancing Fountain, Wafi has the Light & Sound Show which is just as entertaining. Early this year, my family went there to watch this show which was still fairly new. Back then, the theme was about ancient Egypt. It was a mix of vibrant colors and lights that showed all sorts of lifelike images, including pharaohs and pyramids. Caila didn’t know whether she liked the show or if she found it scary. One moment she would stare in wonder, the next minute she would turn away and embrace her daddy. And then she would watch again.

the shortest day of the year in dubai

...is tomorrow, 22nd of December.
Sunrise is at 7am and sunset at 5:34pm.
That’s 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 55 seconds to enjoy the sun.
Just something new I learned today =)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

mi4: ghost protocol


I’m sure many people watched (or will watch) the movie because of the story and it’s the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible series. But I’m sure as well that, like Hubby and me, Dubai residents will watch it for the simple reason of wanting to see how the emirate and all its glory looked in a Hollywood film. I haven’t watched the first three Mission Impossible movies so I can’t compare Ghost Protocol with the others, but I enjoyed every bit of this one because it had just the right blend of action, thriller and suspense, Agent Dunn’s humor, plus cool gadgets...that coming from a person who doesn’t like action films at all!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

what most people go through at naia terminal 1

We all know that NAIA Terminal 1 was declared as the world’s worst airport a few months ago, but I just wanted to share the experience we had there when we left the Philippines. We didn’t have any problems with the authorities or anything, but this just goes to show what a pretty lousy system they have.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

for my ears only

Hurray! I finally got my earrings repaired! Actually, they weren’t really broken; it’s just that the clasp of one of them became loose, which made me afraid to wear them for a long time (in case it falls off and I end up losing it). I missed wearing them because they’re the only earrings I have that I can use for any occasion, whether formal or casual. Good thing we finally had some free time over the weekend to go to the shop at New Gold Souk Centre to have them fixed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the table in asia (la mesa at asiana)

Many of our friends have eaten at La Mesa, and most (if not all) of them have given positive comments about the food and their experience. The only thing they don’t like is the restaurant’s policy of no slippers which I personally think is reasonable considering it’s in a 5 star hotel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

november = death

What is it with the month of November that makes me associate it with death? Is it because October welcomes it with Halloween, and it starts off with All Saints Day and All Souls Day? Or maybe because Papa’s birthday falls on this month and I’m sad because he’s not here anymore so that we can celebrate it with him? Whatever it is, November is the most depressing month of the year for me. And it seems no matter how excited other people are preparing for Christmas and New Year, I still get this feeling of doom.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

my blessing, my gift

Hubby was invited to give a talk to the unit heads of SFC Cluster B one evening a couple of weeks ago. Usually when he shares or gives talks to the community, we would bring Caila along with us (and I wouldn’t get to listen to him because she would always need my attention). But this time we decided to leave her at home with Ate Cel so that she wouldn’t be puyat because for sure it would end late.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

food-days

This week has been full of food! And almost everything is related to the office, so it’s not as if I could avoid eating. What the heck! I’m just using work as an excuse to pig out. But, seriously, I really don’t think anyone could resist all the tasty chow that tempted me almost every day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

rubbing shoulders with the bosses

Our company had a business meeting last Sunday and Monday. Attendees were top managers from our Japan head office, a couple of engineers from our Kuwait office and their General Manager, and some of the managers and a sales assistant from our office here in Dubai. The only person who I felt didn’t belong in that meeting was me because the topics being discussed were all about our projects, business, and engineering stuff, and I have absolutely no idea about those things. Seriously! Nothing about it is in my job description! But since our Deputy General Manager was the one who included me in the list of attendees, there was nothing I could do about it. In the beginning, I felt that my name was added just so that our Sales Assistant wouldn’t be the only female attending; but later I realized they needed me there because I was the one coordinating and arranging the whole thing with the hotel, setting up the laptop, making sure everything was working and ok, ensuring the drivers arrived on time, etc. In short, all Administration-related stuff (which was part of my job anyway).

beat diabetes walk

As planned, my family and I participated in the Beat Diabetes walk last Friday. But since we didn’t get the chance to register in advance, we had to settle on the sizes of the remaining shirts, which unfortunately were large. And because we arrived late at Oasis Centre (just 15 minutes before the walk started), we also didn’t get the chance to have our faces painted and have our blood sugar tested. It didn’t matter though; what was important was we were able to join because as I mentioned in an earlier post, our participation was for Papa.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

our family song

There’s a cassette tape we have recording an ordinary day when we were living in PNG. You could hear Mama cooking at the background, I was a baby so there wasn’t much I was doing, and Papa had gathered my siblings around him so that they could sing a song together while he played his guitar. The song was John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads, and even though the only one who sang in tune was Papa, that song automatically became our family song which we would sing during gatherings.

i won another raffle prize!

This time I got it by joining Mumcierge’s October competition, which, again I joined knowing that I wouldn’t win, but still hoping that I would.
The announcement of the winners was posted on their FB page on November 2, I found out the next day, but it was only last Wednesday (16th of November) that I had the chance to collect my prize from Elaine Stannard, the founder of Mumcierge.

Monday, November 14, 2011

mama's washing machine

One day during our vacation...
Me: Ma, alis muna kami. May kailangan lang asikasuhin sa labasan tapos may bibilhin sa SM. May ipapabili ka?
Mama: Meron, washing machine.

Take note, the way she said was as if she was asking me to buy some soap at the supermarket.
Me: Nyek! Kulang ang pera namin para dun! Atsaka di namin yun mabibitbit pauwi.
Mama: Kasya yun. Hindi naman kailangan yung may dryer; may nakita ako na washer lang na mura.
Me: Sige, Ma, magpapadala ako sa December para makabili ka. Christmas gift ko na yun sa yo. Pero sa ngayon, wala sa budget namin.
Mama: Yehey! Ok lang. At least may maeexpect ako. Thank you!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

oh christmas tree

Since coming to the Middle East, I’ve never put up a Christmas tree in my apartment. During my first 2 years, I spent the holidays in the Philippines; and then from my third year until 2009, I was too lazy to put up any Christmas decorations because I was living alone anyway and my studio apartment was too small. If it weren’t for a hanging décor sent from my family in Germany, my place would have really looked blah during all those Christmases.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011 vacation

I know, this is a late post. Our vacation was 2 months ago, but it took me this long to finish this (it had been saved and edited so many times in my draft folder). I had to refresh my memory and remember some details, but finally, I’m done. Most of it will be about our journey going to the Philippines . Let's see if I get to finish the posts about the other stuff during our vacation (which reminds me, I also need to prepare a post about our experience coming back...oops!). Anyway, enough of my explaining. Here’s what happened...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the washlet

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we would be moving to a new building. Last Thursday before the Eid Al Adha holidays was our last day at our old office, so when we went back to work yesterday, we went to our new office. As expected, it was a busy day. Everyone was unpacking, sorting out their stuff, reading and taking the required actions of e-mail messages that had accumulated over the holiday, and all the other things you usually do when you move into a new office. There were still some furniture that hadn’t been delivered yet so not everyone was able to settle down completely; but generally, we were ok.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

marriage and togetherness

There’s a couple we know who have been married for at least 25 years. Whenever we see them, we notice that they’re usually very sweet to each other: holding hands, making akbay, the husband tucks his wife’s hair behind her ears, etc. They embodied a picture of a very happy, and very much (still) in love couple considering the number of years they’ve been together. However, just recently we discovered that their marriage wasn’t all honey and roses as it seemed. At home, they weren’t truly happy. Since they both have jobs and they admitted they’re both workaholics, they rarely have time to sit down together and talk, even for dinner. Even though they lived together, it’s like they were living separate lives because of the busy schedules they had. For several years, this set-up worked for them. But then they realized later that it wasn’t healthy for their marriage.

Monday, October 31, 2011

thriller

I finally uploaded the clip I took last Tuesday! And perfect timing too because it’s the spookiest time of the year and Thriller is one of the songs that's always played on this day.

Happy Halloween!

greeting muslims

As-Salaam-Alaikum = Peace be unto you
Wa-Alaikum-Salaam = And unto you peace
After almost 8 years in the country, I still find it awkward to greet Muslims in the way they usually greet.
Note to self: Snap out of it! When in Rome...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

max's restaurant

I totally forgot to post about the time we had dinner at Max’s! I was reading my post about our dinner last Tuesday and I wondered where we celebrated the 27th last month, and that’s when I remembered. Anyway, better late than never, so here goes...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

monthsary date

My date with hubby pushed through last Thursday...and it was just the two of us as we planned. Right after hubby fetched me from work, we headed straight to DFC and purchased tickets to the 6pm screening of Rowan Atkinson's latest film.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

visiting our new office

Our company will be moving offices soon. The new address isn’t too far; actually, it’s just down the road, on the opposite side of the street. I had the chance to check it out recently, and everything was bigger, better...and just more of everything!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

dinner by the dancing fountain

Ever since we got together, hubby and I make it a point to celebrate every 27th of the month by having dinner at a restaurant. Then when Caila was born on the 27th of February, it gave us another reason to stick with this monthly tradition. However, since we haven’t had the chance to go out on a date lately, and it’s been a long time since we last celebrated the 27th as our day, I suggested to hubby that we celebrate Caila’s month-birthday in advance, and then on Thursday, we’ll go out on our own...which is why we headed all the way to Dubai Mall for dinner at TGI Friday's last night.

Monday, October 24, 2011

burjuman pink walkathon

Much as I wanted to be part of the record-breaking attempt by Breast Cancer Arabia event last Friday at the Meydan Grandstand, we weren’t able to join because I still felt a bit weak from my recent bout with URTI (upper respiratory tract infection). Anyway, there’s another fund-raising activity organized by BurJuman this time which will be held this coming Friday, 28th of October.

The 3.6km walkathon will start and end at BurJuman Mall, with fun events (live band, drumming, face-painting, prizes to be raffled off, etc) for everyone.
Registration is Dhs50 (adults) and Dhs30 (children 8-12 years old), and all registered participants will receive a free Safe & Sound shirt.
For more information, you can check out www.safeandsound.ae.

See you there!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ate caila here!

Last Thursday evening, I was watching TV and Caila was running and playing around. Suddenly, she jumped in front of me and exclaimed “Ate Caila here!” Then this morning while we were lazing about in bed, she embraced my neck and said “Don’t worry, Mommy. Don’t worry. Don’t scared. Ate Caila here.

upcoming events for breast cancer and diabetes

Hubby and I like joining events that are for causes. Apart from them being good social-awareness and fundraising activities, we also get to keep fit by running (or walking) a few kilometers.

There was the run organized by Foresight back in 2005, and around 2 years ago, the Filipino Community and the Philippine Business Council in Dubai organized a walk for a cause in aid of the flood victims of Typhoon Ondoy. And almost every year since I came to Dubai, I’ve participated in the Dubai Terry Fox Run; it just so happened that when we joined it this year, my daughter and I had a few seconds of fame. And now there are 2 more activities that I want to be part of.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

this made my day!

Meron lang akong gustong i-share, pero dahil tungkol ito sa isang katrabaho kong ibang lahi (at baka mabasa nya ‘to), ita-Tagalog ko na lang. Don't worry, hindi ito tsismis. Pagpasensyahan nyo na lang kung may mga pagkakataon na parang barok o mali ang spelling ng sinusulat ko. Di lang kasi ako sanay eh. Anyway, eto na ang aking kwento...

janet jackson in abu dhabi


Again, another one of my favorite performers will be coming...and again, I won’t be able to watch. Sheesh!

Way back in April 2005, I went to Westlife’s concert at Media City. Of course, it was great! They sang all their hits, and I had a great view at the front where I could enjoy the show. But then, that’s it. That was the only time I went to a concert here in the UAE.

our wedding portrait

Just to give you a brief background, Directors Cut DVP was the one who took care of the photo and video coverage of our wedding more than 3 years ago. Being the lazy person I was, it took me more than a year to select the pictures for our album (we finally got the albums and videos in June 2010 while we were on vacation). And it was only during the last week of August (of this year) that hubby and I finally chose the photos we wanted for our portrait.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

lunch with the vera perezes

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but prior to coming to Dubai, I had worked as a Personal Assistant/Secretary for (now) Congresswoman Gina de Venecia for more than 3 years. Back then she was simply called Manay Gina, wife of Speaker JDV.

Anyway, we were fortunate to spend a Sunday lunch with her and her family during our vacation. The last time Hubby and I had seen her was at our wedding where she was one of our godparents, so I thought it would be nice to see her and for her to meet our daughter. So I sent her an SMS, to which she replied with an invitation to their ancestral home in Quezon City the following Sunday to meet up with her and the rest of her family and attend the mass before having lunch.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

mary immaculate parish

On the first Sunday of our vacation in the Philippines, Hubby and I decided to attended the evening mass with our daughter at the new church near my family’s home. Since it would be my first time to enter the church (it opened its doors early this year I think), I was very excited. Unfortunately, none of the people at our house knew what the mass timings were and there was no billboard in sight at the church grounds which mentioned this information. So, we figured that since most churches have a 6pm mass, then we would go there by 5:50pm. And of course, we guessed wrong; apparently, the first evening mass was at 7:30pm. We didn’t want to go back home and then return, so we opted to enjoy the peace of the church until the mass started. To pass away the time and since there were just a few people there, I decided to walk around and take photos of the interiors (but of course, medyo nahiya ako so I didn’t take that many and I didn’t use the flash...which explains why the pictures aren’t as clear as I wanted).
one of the stoups (holy water bowl)
unlike most churces that had icons of apostles, this one had statues of saints
a view of the opposite wing from where we were sitting
Hubby and Caila standing in front of the icons of Jesus and Mary
the Baptistery
me and Caila and the image of John baptizing Jesus at the Baptism area
the choir
the wall being used as a projector screen
the Sanctuary
For a church that isn’t yet finished, it looks nice huh? It’s not air-conditioned, but the electric fans and the big doors at the sides that brought in the cool air were sufficient. Actually, my first thought when we entered was that it would be nice for a wedding. There was a choir loft above the main doors which would be a perfect place for the videographer/photographer to take a Princess Diana shot of the bride as she walks down the aisle. And unlike the churches here in Dubai that have a Babies Room, this one didn’t (is there any church in the Philippines that does?) so we were able to enjoy the mass in a pew inside a church with our daughter...something that we haven’t done in over a year. Anyway, the mass was officiated by an Italian priest (Fr. Pablo or Fr. Paolo…I can’t remember) who I guessed has lived in the Philippines for a long time already because he could speak the local language pretty fluently, allowing him to shift easily between English and Filipino. Unfortunately, the sound system either wasn’t working properly or just wasn’t good because several times the speakers sounded sabog.

While we were singing the hymns (especially the ones in Filipino), there were times when I could feel tears pricking my eyes. It’s a bit embarrassing, but this often happens to me when I attend mass in the Philippines. I become all sentimental because of the experience. I don’t know why. I think it’s probably because the churches here in Dubai are almost always overcrowded and the mass readings and responses seem rushed, making it difficult to believe and enjoy the fact that we’re in God’s house when we attend mass; so when I do attend a peaceful and solemn mass, I really take it to heart and appreciate it. I’m emotional that way, I guess.

Add this to the fact that the priest’s homily was enlightening as well. Weird as it may be, I wished that I had a pen and piece of paper then so that I could jot down what he was saying. The theme that day was correcting others’ faults, and he mentioned that despite Italy and Philippines having the most Catholics in Europe and Asia, these countries are the most corrupt in their continents...mainly because the people are afraid to correct each other. Faced with the fear of being persecuted or disowned or killed or rejected for standing up to what is right, we usually just act like The Three Monkeys. Because we want peace and order and we hate getting involved in any arguments, we Christians prefer to keep our eyes closed and act blind, cover our ears and pretend we didn’t hear anything, and/or keep our mouths shut and don’t tell the truth. But then, this is not the way we should do things. For serious matters, you should correct a person face to face, with 2 witnesses, and in the presence of a member of the Church or Law/Government. Easy to say, difficult to do. Oh well. At least I left the church learning something.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

fluffy mashed potatoes

I cannot believe it! My colleague who is a really great cook asked me for the recipe of my mashed potatoes! Wow!

You see, last Friday we prepared dinner for our German family at our place. Hubby prepared the main courses (chop suey, kilawin, pork kaldereta) while I prepared the mashed potatoes and gulaman. And since there were a few leftovers, I brought the mashed potato and kaldereta for my baon yesterday at work. Like what we do during lunch, my (female) colleagues and I taste and share each other’s food. Anyway, they all tasted my potatoes and said it was ok. And then this morning, my colleague asked me for the recipe!!! She said it’s masarap and she’s planning to cook it for her daughter. Yaaaaaaaaayyy!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

breastfeeding, button pins and n@w

I know Breastfeeding Month is already over, but please understand that the delay of this post is because of my brother. Actually, it’s not really his fault; I just wanted to blame him. You’ll find out why soon (Hehehe. I love you, Kuya!).

darn you, caffeine!

Unless I have to stay up late, I avoid consuming anything with caffeine during the later part of the day as much as possible. This includes drinks, candy or food that are made up of colas (Pepsi, Coke), coffee, and tea. Thing is, if I have something with caffeine in it in the afternoon or evening, I guarantee you that I’ll be awake until the wee hours of the next morning. That’s how sensitive my body is to caffeine. I don’t mind, though. Except for iced tea, I never cared for the others anyway. And during the rare times that I crave for Pepsi or Coke, I make sure that the following day is a weekend or holiday so that I wouldn’t have to wake up early.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the line between your nose and mouth

image taken from Wikipedia

Do you know what the narrow line between the bottom of your nose and the tip of your lip is called? I bet if you ask an average human being, he wouldn’t know. Yes, it’s part of the face, but usually when we teach our kids the parts of the body, we usually just skip it and go from “nose” to “lips” or “mouth.”

i'm back (for now)

Despite being on a break for almost a month (as you can probably guess, we were vacationing in the Philippines), I’m in awe at the number of people who have dropped by this blog to check on any updates. It may not have fallen in the thousands like the super famous blogs out there, but I’m just happily surprised that this blog of mine is being visited by people around the world, majority of whom I probably don’t even personally know. So, THANK YOU to everyone who checked this blog out. It really means a lot to me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

hawaiian pork chop

I am on a roll! I cooked another dish last night and Hubby was all praises! Whoooppeeee! You see, yesterday on our way home from work, Hubby and I were talking about what to have for dinner, when I suddenly craved for Mama’s Hawaiian Pork Chop, and since we’ve never cooked that before, I called Mama right away. Here’s how our conversation went:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

philippine consulate and polo-owwa office together again

Finally, the POLO-OWWA office and Philippine Consulate in Dubai are now located in one compound!

Since I came to Dubai, these two offices have always been far away from each other, causing a big inconvenience to the Filipino expats. Most of the time, people would go to the Philippine Consulate, only having to find out (after wasting their time in long queues) that they had to go to the POLO-OWWA office for their requirement (or vice versa).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

orange fruit cocktail gelatin

It had been a while since I cooked anything special, so last week I decided to make some gelatin for dessert for our household which would be held the following day.

Out of the various Mr. Gulaman packets we had, I chose the orange one since that was Caila’s favorite color and I was hoping that it would make it look more appealing to her.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

wild ginger with my babies

Before Joanne left for the Philippines for her wedding, I insisted that we had to get together along with her other sisters from my SFC household. As usual, it was practically another last-minute arrangement and unfortunately, this time Carol was the one who couldn’t come because she had already made plans with her members (and of course Gracie was back in the Philippines since early last year). Mitch suggested for us to try Wild Ginger which is located at Iconic in Deira City Center because she has a 20% discount voucher there, so since none of us had tried it before and it was easily accessible to all of us, that’s where we had our fellowship.

just me complaining about time, boredom and the heat

Is it just me or is the month of August just dragging by? For the past 7 months, the days and weeks were practically flying, but then it’s like time decided to slow down once August started. Maybe it’s because it’s Ramadan and we’re working shorter hours (our office works from 8am to 2pm), or I’m getting excited for our upcoming vacation...but whatever it is, I’m getting bored!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

nicholas sparks is going to manila in october!

I just found out from my SFC baby Ces that my all-time favorite author in the whole world is visiting the Philippines for 2 days for a book-signing.
I am sooooo green with envy of all his other fans who will be there when he visits in October.
Ok sana if it coincided with our upcoming vacation but it’s not, and there’s no way now to reschedule our flights. Waaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!
I already suggested somewhere on his FB page to visit Dubai, but if anyone knows him or his agent, please BEG them to arrange for a visit here soon. I swear I’ll automatically take a leave off work if he does come over.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

it's world youth day again

This is the week of World Youth Day, which is being held in Madrid, Spain this year. If I only had the time and money, I would definitely have loved to be one of the youth (since pasok naman ako sa age limit of 35 years old) participating. I swear, if 2008 wasn’t the year hubby and I got married, both of us would have joined the others who went to Sydney, Australia for the WYD that year. This event is really something every (Catholic) person should experience at least once in his life. The weeklong activities are just fun, colorful and amazing. And then finally attending mass with the Pope as the concelebrant, along with the thousands of people from around the world who are gathered in one big field just because of one common faith is simply awesome and inspiring.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

my new "style"

When you’re a mother like me who wants to always capture special occasions and your child’s milestones, you have to have a camcorder. Fortunately, I have EBI, given to me by hubby for my last birthday, which takes good videos (and a few good pictures too). And when you have a blog, it’s practically a requirement for you to have a camera. It doesn’t have to be the latest model or a DSLR; an ordinary digital point and shoot one is ok as long as it takes good pictures. For more than 6 years, I’ve been using this

Monday, August 8, 2011

where will she go to school?

I’m getting a bit worried. Since Caila will be turning 3 in February (and just the right age when school starts in September next year), I’ve been searching the net for schools. Of course, we want to make sure that she'll attend the one that will provide a good foundation and help mold her into the best person she can be, so there are lots of things we have to consider to make sure we choose the right one for her.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

blueberry muffins

Ever since my half-successful-half-failed attempt at making brownies, I was hesitant to make anything that required the use of the oven again. However, a few weeks ago when we were grocery-shopping, my hand (which seemed to have a mind of it’s own that time) pulled a box of Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix from the shelf and into our trolley. I really don’t know what made me do it, but I guess something inside me wanted to try to bake again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

maybe in their culture

These instances Hubby and I had with our colleagues just make me happy that I'm a Filipino who married because of love.

my successful attempt to cook tuna carbonara

Last Friday, my cooking skills (ha!) were put to a test when hubby went to Abu Dhabi to attend the Adam’s Quest conference of CFC. Since this was a whole day activity and hubby would be arriving pretty late, I had to cook something for dinner (lunch was easy because there were still some leftovers that we just had to reheat). I didn’t want to just fry hotdogs or chicken nuggets, nor did I just want to open a can of corned beef and sauté it with onions, garlic and potatoes because Caila always has to eat with soup or something ma-sarsa (she doesn’t eat much when the food is dry). On the other hand, even though we had packs of pork, chicken, fish, and beef in the freezer, I didn’t know how they should be sliced and what ingredients were needed (and if we had those ingredients in the kitchen). So, preparing pasta was the only other safe choice I had. The recipe seemed pretty easy to make and didn’t take too much time, so since I had all of the ingredients available, I decided to try it...and it was a success! Really! Here's why...

Monday, August 1, 2011

favourite things (mother & child)

Mother, Baby & Child magazine organized another activity, this time it was an open-house of Favourite Things in Marina Mall. The invitation was for any Friday or Saturday morning in the month of July, so I registered for 10:30am on the last Saturday of the month, and that morning, we set off for Marina Mall. We were 15 minutes late, but it didn’t matter because the other mothers hadn’t arrived. So aside from the regular members of the centre, Caila had the entire place all to herself.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

our morning at the new (and soon-to-be old) POLO-OWWA office in dubai

Early this morning, we went to the POLO-OWWA office with the plan to process everything we needed before our vacation so that we would have one less thing to worry about during Ramadan. As luck would have it, this was the sign on the gate that welcomed us when we got there:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

my childhood sandwich

When I was still young and living in Papua New Guinea with Papa, I would always come home after school to an empty house because Papa wouldn’t get home until around 5pm (our house was within the school campus where he taught). Usually by the time I got home at around 3:30pm, I was hungry. So what I would usually do was fix myself a sandwich to satisfy my hunger. Actually, it was just a quick fix of ingredients, but that was enough for me until Papa arrived and we would prepare dinner together (yes, back then I knew how to cook with his help; but when I moved to the Philippines, masyado na ako na-spoil ni Mama so I forgot the recipes Papa taught me).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

friday brunch at spice island

My family and I were fortunate to have received an invitation to have Friday brunch at Spice Island in Crowne Plaza (former Renaissance Hotel), Deira last Friday. Although we’ve tried the buffet dinner there a few times already (when it was still Renaissance Hotel), this was the first time for us to try their brunch.

ACTS: here i am to worship

Another favorite worship song, because God is truly awesome and deserving of all our praises. He is the greatest, but He was humble and loved us so much to suffer and be humiliated, and continues to accept us and love us over and over again, even though we fall into sin so many times.

ACTS: better than i

I first heard this song when I bought the DVD of Joseph King of Dreams, and liked it right away. It’s a reminder that God has a reason for everything that happens in our lives and we should just trust Him, no matter how confusing His road and plans for us may be.

ACTS: heaven

One of my favorite songs since my SFC days; when we sing this during the community gatherings, I always feel at peace and one with God because that’s when I feel His presence. I’m sure all of us would like to go straight to heaven when we die, but in the meantime that we’re here on earth, we get to experience a little bit of heaven when we’re one with God.

ACTS: no greater love

Truly there is no greater love than God’s (and Jesus’) love for us. Jesus came and walked the earth, knowing full well that in spite of all the goodness he had shown and done, he was going to end up crucified on the cross. While this song was being sung by the Music Ministry, slides were being shown on the screen of how much Jesus endured and suffered from more than two thousand years ago. It was really heart-wrenching to watch, at the same time nakaka-guilty.

ACTS: the song of my soul

It was my first time to hear this song during the ACTS Prayer Assembly, but I instantly liked it because of the tune and message (plus the soothing voice of the sister who sang it). Everyone has experienced storms at least once in their life, times when we feel that our soul is all confused and weary, and this is a prayer to ask the Lord to embrace us and give us peace.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ACTS: still

This song never fails to bring tears to my eyes when I sing it at CFC gatherings or during households. It’s a reminder that we cannot rely on ourselves alone to fix our problems. When we feel we’ve done everything we could, nothing seems to be going right, and it seems like we’re all alone, all we have to do is relax, be quiet, let God take care of everything, and just trust His plans for us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ACTS: glory glory lord

I always enjoy singing this when it’s included in the line-up of songs during CFC gatherings. The Refrain of this song being sung in different languages/dialects makes us feel that we’re all children of God, praising Him in one voice.
If you have your own language’s version of the Refrain, could you please share it with me? I’d love to add it to the lyrics.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

at the top

Going to the Observation Deck of Burj Khalifa was totally unexpected for me and my colleague. You see, on the 6th of July, we had purchased 2 tickets for guests who would be coming to our office on the 14th, and since it was their first time to come to Dubai, part of their visit was to go to At The Top. Unfortunately (or fortunately), on Wednesday just before we left the office, our boss told us that they had postponed their trip and wouldn’t be able to use the tickets; and since there was no way to return or exchange them, he told us to use them instead.

ACTS

A = adoration; worshipping and praising
C = confession; asking for forgiveness
T = thanksgiving; thanking God for blessings
S = supplication; petitions to God

Last Friday evening, hubby and I attended the ACTS Prayer Assembly with other members of CFC and it.was.awesome! There were no speakers or talks given, just a talented band with the gifted worship leader and a few people who shared their own personal stories of how they experienced the miracles of God.

But before I get ahead of myself, I’ll start from the beginning.

Monday, July 18, 2011

my more cafe cooking class experience

I know this post is almost two weeks overdue, but I’ve been so busy lately. But anyway, as promised, here’s the whole story...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

today i went "at the top"

This morning at 11am, I was finally able to experience At The Top of Burj Khalifa!
And the good thing is I didn’t spend a single thing!
I’ll share my experience (complete with photos) later.
I just wanted to jot this down today so I’ll remember that on the 14th of July, 2011 I went At The Top of the tallest building in the world!
Arigato, boss! =)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

sharjah aquarium

Our daughter loves looking at fishes; she very obviously showed her interest by staring at them when we stayed at Atlantis. Since it had been more than a month since then, almost two months since we watched the show at Dubai Dolphinarium, much longer since we visited Dubai Mall, and we’ve never even entered Sharjah Aquarium, we decided to visit the place on the Friday of the recent three-day weekend.

Monday, July 11, 2011

our lady of guadalupe...and tita grace

During the time that the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was staying in our home, we made it a point to pray the novena together every night. Last 4th of July was the night she had to leave our home and Tita Grace and the rest of the group came to the apartment to take her to the next family she would be visiting. We began as soon as we were all settled. After we thanked Our Lady for her visit, said the prayers, and sang the songs, Tita Grace went around the apartment to bless our home with Holy Water and Hubby followed her closely, sprinkling salt in the corners and walls. That’s when the exciting part happened.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

magnets from texas

A few months ago, I had to work with a colleague to apply for his US L-1 Visa. This had never been done before at our company so it was a bit complicated and took quite a while, involving so many people from our Japan and US offices; but fortunately, everything worked out well in the end.

we’re in july’s MBC magazine!

I received my July issue of Mother, Baby & Child magazine this morning and upon browsing it, I saw an article featuring the My Gym Open House...and wouldn’t you know, two photos of Caila (one with Darine’s son and one with me) were in it! The article even quoted something I said and mentioned my name!

for one more day


I sooo love Mitch Albom’s books (I also love novels by Nicholas Sparks, but that’s another subject). His stories are really inspiring and full of lessons about life. I have three of his books at home: Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, and For One More Day. Out of the three, I like For One More Day best, probably because it’s about a mother’s love.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

overdue, overload

Gosh! I just realized I have so many things to blog about and I haven’t even started a single one. There’s the magnets I received from my colleague, our visit to Sharjah Aquarium, the night the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe left our home, and my cooking class experience at mOre Café (of course!) to name a few.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

who says

Since last week, I’ve been hearing this song playing on the radio almost every time we’re in the car. Although I'm not a big fan of Selena, I admit that the song has a catchy tune and the message is nice too.
Hmm...isn’t it a coincidence that this is practically my LSS at the same time I’ve been feeling unpretty because of last night?
Thanks for making me feel better, Selena!

I wouldn't wanna be anybody else

You made me insecure
Told me I wasn’t good enough
But who are you to judge
When you’re a diamond in the rough
I’m sure you got some things
You’d like to change about yourself
But when it comes to me
I wouldn’t want to be anybody else

Na na na...Na na na
I’m no beauty queen
I’m just beautiful me
Na na na...Na na na
You’ve got every right
To a beautiful life
C'mon

Who says
Who says you’re not perfect
Who says you’re not worth it
Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting
Trust me
That’s the price of beauty
Who says you’re not pretty
Who says you’re not beautiful
Who says

It’s such a funny thing
How nothing’s funny when it’s you
You tell ‘em what you mean
But they keep whiting out the truth
It’s like a work of art
That never gets to see the light
Keep you beneath the stars
Won’t let you touch the sky

Who says
Who says you’re not star potential
Who says you’re not presidential
Who says you can’t be in movies
Listen to me, listen to me
Who says you don’t pass the test
Who says you can’t be the best
Who said, who said
Won’t you tell me who said that
Yeah, oh

i'm a 'te?!

Last night during my regular walk around the park, I passed by a woman who was also walking (but in the opposite direction)...and boy did she smell! It was a mix of too much perfume, sweat, and body odor, so you can imagine how much it irritated my nose. But that’s not the focus of my story; this is just how it began.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

lucky...unlucky...then lucky again

I honestly thought I had lost the opportunity because I didn’t use my mind right then and there. Fortunately, the guy hadn’t given my prize away yet when I called back a few minutes later, so I was able to redeem it. It was kinda embarrassing, but it was either that or regret not doing it.

water and electricity conservation tips

When we moved in to our apartment last December, since it was the winter season our monthly DEWA (Dubai Electricity & Water Authority) bill was pretty low. Maybe because we didn’t need to use the a/c or probably because we didn’t watch TV that much. But then when the summer season began, so did the rise in our bill. From less than Dhs200, it has reached to more than Dhs700! Take note, this doesn’t yet include the housing fee. That’s roughly 8,000 pesos in a month for water and electricity alone! Augh!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

nothing, anything, everything

It’s the last hour of the work day, the last working day of the week (because tomorrow is a holiday, followed by our two-day weekend) and instead of working, my mind is all jumbled up. So, instead of doing nothing at all, I thought of just typing away on whatever I’m thinking about.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

just for her

Since a lot of my posts in this blog are about my daughter, I’ve decided to create a separate blog entirely about her. I just put it up yesterday and I’m still trying to figure out what background and theme is suitable, so it may look totally different from time to time...well, until I find the right one that is.

Monday, June 27, 2011

my parents’ wedding anniversary...and mama

I had a funny conversation with Mama over the weekend. You see, today is their (Mama & Papa’s) wedding anniversary, and even though Papa passed on eight years ago, Mama still celebrates this day every year. So, last Friday during my weekly phone call to her, I teased her a little. Here’s a snip of our conversation:

yummy goodies from around the globe

Here at the office, whenever a guest arrives or someone returns from vacation, we can almost always expect some edible treat as his/her form of pasalubong(souvenir).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

uh-oh, it's virus time again

Yesterday, almost half the employees of our office were on leave due to fever or colds. Two came to work but then left after a while. Two others, although they stayed in the office to work, looked like they weren’t feeling well either. One of my colleagues who left early told me that the hospital he went to was full of people coughing, sneezing, and shivering.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

our lady of guadalupe

Her image arrived at our home last night, and we welcomed her with open hearts.

Since we got married, she’s visited our family three times already. The first was when I was pregnant; the second was when Caila was a year old; and now, she’s with us again. The first two times, we were still living in Karama. This is the first time we had her with us in our new home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

gone for eight years

Even though several years have already passed, it still seems like yesterday.
The time hasn’t lessened the pain, nor has it erased the memories.
But despite his missing out on so many things that have happened to me since then, just knowing that he is up there looking down and guiding me and my family is enough.
Happy 8th anniversary of being in heaven, Papa!
I still miss you...so much!

a failure and a success

It was my first time...to bake, that is.

Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t know how to cook, but less than a month ago, we were in the grocery and I suddenly wanted to try my hand in baking. On the safe side, we bought the White King Brownies Fudge & Crinkle Mix. The recipe seemed fairly simple to follow so I was hopeful that the end result wouldn’t be a total failure. When we got home that day, I lost the enthusiasm to cook, so we just put the box in our kitchen cabinet. It had been sitting there for almost three weeks, until I mustered enough courage to open it up and bake it last Saturday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

tisoy

Hubby has another baby...and yes, it’s ok with me and Caila.
Ever since I brought this little bundle into his life almost two weeks ago, they’re together everywhere they go. Whenever hubby is free, he places himself comfortably on the couch or in the bed to play with Tisoy. Caila isn’t jealous. She likes playing with Tisoy too. Watching them play together and hearing the giggles is music to my ears.
He’s 4.5 inches high and 2.31 inches wide, weighs 137g, and is fair in complexion (hence his name).
So without any further ado, allow me to introduce hubby’s baby:

my gym open house

Last Friday, hubby and I took Caila to the open house of My Gym, organized by Mother, Baby & Child magazine. We were arranged according to batches; our slot was 4:00-4:55pm, and Caila, along with other kids, was given the chance to enjoy the facilities of My Gym within this time.

to caila's daddy

Thank you for all of the perfect and precious moments you share with our daughter

Friday, June 17, 2011

day 7: violet

They say that violet is not purple; according to Wikipedia, this color, which symbolizes mysticism and royalty, is actually a type of purple like lavender and lilac. Since I can’t really see the difference, I’ll treat all of these as the same.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

day 6: indigo

The color indigo signifies intuition, deep contemplation, and inner harmony. Many people (me included) often mistake it for blue.

dlsu memories

From June 1995 to September 1998:
- My ID number was 9527656 (I don’t think a La Sallian can ever forget their number)
- I belonged to block LR-27
- Like all Liberal Arts students, we had almost all our classes at the Miguel Hall
- I joined Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral sa Sikolohiya when I was a froshie. In my second year, I became one of the VPs. After that, I became an Honorary Member until I graduated.

animo la salle!

Hail, Hail
Alma Mater,
Hail to De La Salle!
We'll hold your banner high and bright,
A shield of green and white,
We'll fight to keep your glory bright,
And never shall we fail,
Hail to thee our Alma Mater!
Hail! Hail! Hail!

Happy Centennial, DLSU!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

day 5: blue

The fifth color of the rainbow connotes peace, loyalty, and faith. From afar, the earth is mainly a combination of green (land) and blue (water), and water comprises about 70% of the planet. During the (first) Aquino and Ramos administrations in the Philippines, we experienced a lot of brownouts, and if these lasted for hours, our water supply would consequently stop.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

mcdonald's and tom and jerry

Last night, we went to the McDonald’s branch near our apartment building after having Piper washed and cleaned. Our daughter wasn’t hungry so she went to the area where four screens were showing the same Tom and Jerry show. I noticed that every time we go there, it’s always Tom and Jerry on the screens; nothing else. Before, I didn’t mind what they were showing because Caila would always stay with us while we ate, but this was the first time our daughter went to that area.

day 4: green

Green represents nature, freshness and growth. Lately, so many groups are promoting "going green." Although I'm not much of an advocate, I try to help save the planet in whatever small way I can. Plus, it's so refreshing to be surrounded by trees, plants and flowers that are in full bloom wherever we go...definitely much better than being enveloped in dark pollution!

kung fu panda 2 in 3D

Kung Fu Panda was the first movie hubby and I watched as husband and wife when we returned to Dubai after our wedding in 2008. We really enjoyed the film, so when we found out that the sequel would be released in 3D, we made a plan to watch it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t squeeze it in our busy schedule, and whatever free time we had, we opted to spend with our daughter...until last Friday night. On the way home after our household meeting ended, Caila dozed off in the car. This was the perfect opportunity because it was still pretty early and we wouldn’t feel guilty for not spending our free time with her. So, we dropped her off at home under Ate Cel’s care and hubby and I set off for DFC.

Monday, June 13, 2011

day 3: yellow

Smileys are yellow, and it’s no wonder because this color depicts sunshine, happiness and optimism. Come to think of it, looking back, this color actually brings back some happy memories.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

day 2: orange

According to blurtit.com, the color orange symbolizes energy, zest, enthusiasm and creativity. For me, orange represents, well...an orange. You know, the round citrus fruit, packed with vitamin C that can be eaten as a snack.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

day 1: red

The first color of the rainbow often signifies blood, danger, heat, power and romance. It also stimulates the appetite which is why most restaurants use the color red. This is one of my favorite colors because it stands out, and since I’m a bit of an attention-seeker, I like using it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my birthing story

So many people I know are either giving birth or becoming pregnant. When we go out, I see lots of pregnant women walking proudly with their protruding tummies. Considering that it’s the Chinese Year of the Rabbit (and rabbits are known for their err...reproduction skills), I’m not surprised. In fact, I’m really happy, especially for those I know who have been trying and praying so long to have a(nother) child.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

putting color in my week (7 colors in 7 days challenge)

I was thinking of something regular to blog about, and although I’ve come across bloggers who have done/are doing the 30-day or 365-day challenges, I didn’t think I’d be able to complete it. This made me come up with an activity for an entire week.

walking

Ever since our stay in Atlantis, I think my bulges have become bigger. Don't get me wrong...I'm not blaming Atlantis. It's just that that's about the same time I started noticing this. My weight is still the same, but although I haven’t checked, it seems my waistline is growing. Although hubby hasn’t commented about it (he wouldn’t dare!), I decided to take my butt off the couch and start exercising again. Much as I’d love to join a health club or work out at a gym, I don’t yet have the funds or time to. So, I chose the no-cost option which didn’t require that much physical strain: walk.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

pasalubong from germany

Almost 2 weeks ago, my sister went to Germany for an international tourism exhibition, and being the nice sister she is (love you, Ate!), she brought us some goodies:

nudity dream and blogging

A few nights ago, I dreamt I was with my colleagues somewhere outside the office, fully naked. Everyone was aware of my nudity but I didn’t mind. Then, as we were laughing at a joke one of my colleagues told, we saw a car approach and we realized that it was our big boss from Japan who was visiting. That’s when I began to get worried of my state of undress. I tried to hide, but he obviously saw me, and sent his assistant to call me to his office for reprimanding. So I put on the first shirt that I saw and tried to cover whatever I could. That’s when I woke up.

my german family

I just received great news from my German sister that she, along with our parents, will be coming to Dubai to visit again! Hurray!

I know what you’re thinking...how can I have a family from Germany when I’m Filipino, right? Well, I gained this family during my visit to their country for the World Youth Day in 2005.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

my eyes are addicted to chocolate

I keep telling myself that I have to control myself when my sweet tooth attacks, or at least not give in to the temptation to put chocolates and candies in the trolley when we go to the supermarket.

good stuff...love ko 'to!

Last night, hubby had a meeting with our Unit leader and brothers at McDonald’s, and since they have a playplace there for kids, he decided we should all go. So off we went to the Golden Arches in Spinney’s Bur Dubai.

our experience at PBR

To satisfy your curiosity on my post regarding Pampanga’s Binalot Restaurant, allow me to share with you what happened. Don’t worry, I didn’t make a scene or anything. I’m not the type of person who confronts others or points out their flaws directly to their face...that’s why I decided to blog about it so that others would be aware. For those who still wish to try out the restaurant after reading this, well, I’m not warning anyone, but at least you know what to expect. And if you’re unfortunate to go through what we experienced, I hope you’ll have the guts to tell the people there how much they fail in the service department.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

our anniversary at atlantis

We took advantage of the hotel’s summer offer of Dhs895++ per night which is available until the 30th of September 2011. It’s a really great deal, considering that their rack rates are much, much higher...the lowest being Dhs3,100++ per night. We just made the reservation online and had no problems at all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

guilty working mommy

I feel sad...and guilty. I know I wanted to not post anything negative this month, but I can’t help it. I had to share this so that I could let it out of my system. So, here goes...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

anniversary plans

Tomorrow is the 27th, and you know what that means...time to celebrate again!
This time, since we’re celebrating our 6th and 3rd anniversaries, we’re not going to eat out like we do every month; we’re going to stay overnight in one of the grandest hotels here in Dubai!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

first (lower) household in cfc

We had our regular household last Friday. The big difference was Popsie and Momsie weren’t with us anymore because they were now Unit Leaders in CFC. And can you guess who became our head? It was no less than my hubby!

from friendster to blogspot (part 2)

And here are the testimonials and comments I received on my Friendster profile that made me smile...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

from friendster to blogspot (part 1)

Now that Friendster has announced that it will be closing (err...undergo mass deletion, change it’s focus, whatever you call it!), I’ve started going over my profile, thinking what I want to keep...most of which are blog entries and testimonials by my friends.

It’s a waste, really, but then, as the people usually say here: “What to do, yani?”
Well, since I have this blog, what I’m going to do is copy whatever I want to remember from Friendster to here.

So, here goes...Part 1 will be my blog posts and Part 2 will be some testimonials and comments from my friends.

bnt turns 1

I created this blog as an online diary of whatever I was feeling, things that caught my interest...anything that went on in my life; and along the road, I realized that blogging has been kind of therapeutic.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

my birthday dinner at hana restaurant

This is a very long overdue post...almost 2 months actually...coz it happened on my birthday; the reason why it took me so long to post is because the pictures taken that night were from Ate Cel’s camera, and I only remembered last night to copy them from her.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

roxette in dubai

I love their songs and I REAAAALLLLYYYY want to watch the concert. But it's definitely out of the question, what with all the expenses we have this month...unless someone very kind would be willing to sponsor my ticket (yeah right! wishful thinking!).
Anyway, for those who are interested, tickets are priced Dh300 for silver standing, Dh450 for gold standing, Dh550 for platinum seating, and Dh1,250 for the M Premiere VIP lounge. You can buy these at boxofficeme.com and Virgin Megastores. Doors open at 7pm, and the show starts at 9pm.

Monday, May 16, 2011

jewelry, rosaries...and santa niña?!

Unlike many Indian girls who are practically covered in gold whenever they go out, the only jewelry our daughter wears are her gold stud earrings. The thing is, we don’t want her to get used to jewelry. Usually, I only wear a watch, earrings and my engagement and wedding rings when we go out; sometimes I wear a necklace, but that’s it. Hubby is more simple...he only wears his wedding ring; he doesn’t even have a watch!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

big savings on our tickets

Out of curiosity, I visited the website of the airline we’re going to travel on and checked how much their current fares are for the same dates.
When I did the computation, I was happily surprised to find that we had saved almost Dhs2,100!

the dolphin & seal show at the dolphinarium

Ever since we went to Iceland in Ras Al Khaimah early last month, there’s never a day Caila doesn’t talk about her experience there. Obviously, she really enjoyed herself. So as a treat, Hubby and I took her (and her nanny) to Dubai Dolphinarium yesterday for the Dolphin and Seal Show.

our little christian

Three instances last night...

In the car on our way home, we were all quiet, just listening to the radio, when all of a sudden Caila broke the silence...

application for permission to date my daughter

I came across this post from Lea Salonga’s old blog and thought to share.
Very funny...but I WILL keep a copy for future reference =)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

wedding anniversary mass

To married Catholic couples in Dubai, I recommend that you attend the Wedding Anniversary Mass at St. Mary’s Church on the month of your wedding anniversary. I’m not sure if St. Francis of Assisi’s Church or churches in other emirates hold these masses as well, but it would be great if they did so that couples residing in these areas can attend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

pampanga's binalot restaurant

Since I vowed not to write anything negative this month, I’m going to delay posting until later about the experience we had at Pampanga’s Binalot Restaurant in Karama.
If all you care about is the basic Pinoy food (which tasted good, actually) and you have lots of time or your appetite can wait for around an hour to be filled, then by all means visit the place and enjoy (err...if you can).
That’s all I’ll say for now.
To be continued...here

Sunday, May 8, 2011

being a mom

a nice read...

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."
"We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

Monday, May 2, 2011

why i want to get married again

It wasn’t because of Catherine's gown and it wasn’t their horse-drawn carriage either.
It was the first two public kisses that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace that made me kilig and want to get married again.
Here’s how it went (according to The Sun newspaper):

Sunday, May 1, 2011

daddy can finally sing

Remember this? Well, here’s something similar that happened last night...

five years with three diamonds

Today is International Workers' Day and it’s also my fifth year with the company I’m working for!

Five years of ups and downs. I know that I often complain about some of my colleagues in this blog, but every company has their black sheep. Anyway, so far my stay has been mostly ups otherwise I would have left years ago.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

the merry month of may

Next month, I have 3 reasons to celebrate.
Tomorrow (1st of May) will be my 5th year of employment with the company I’m working in.
The 19th will signify this blog’s 1st birthday.
And the 27th will mark our (hubby and me) anniversaries: 6 years as boyfriend and girlfriend, and 3 years as husband and wife.
Plus there's Mother's Day on the 8th.
So, since this month will be a month of celebrations for me, I have decided to be positive and only blog about good stuff for the next 31 days (not everyday, but when I do blog)...at least, I’ll avoid posting anything negative, any rants, or exasperations that I might experience.
Let’s hope I hold true to my word.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

going back to carino's

Yesterday was the 27th of the month, so as part of our monthly tradition, we ate out.
We had planned to go to Wafi City so that we could also watch their Lights and Sounds Show after dinner at Planet Hollywood, but since Caila had a slight fever (maybe due to another tooth coming out), we opted to have dinner at Carino's located at the back of Deira City Centre. They have branches in BurJuman and Dubai Festival City, but we specifically chose this branch because this is where hubby and I had our first date on the 27th of May almost 6 years ago.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

vacation tickets...check!

Even though our vacation is in the last quarter of the year, as early as now, we’ve bought our tickets to the Philippines. That’s me, hubby, Caila and her nanny.
The reason of our early purchase is because the fares are still cheap.

our jigsaw genius

She can complete a jigsaw puzzle!
It took her about 20 minutes to put the 24 pieces together all on her own. Ok, I admit I helped a bit, but only by telling her what to look for; she figured out everything else herself.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

max's is coming soon to dubai

Yup, Max’s is going to open up their first branch here in Dubai.
Hubby and I first heard the news last month from our friends in CFC, and a while ago, I saw one of our friends in FB sharing a link to their page.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

hello kitty and a proud mommy moment

Last Tuesday, we went to BurJuman to watch Hello Kitty and her friends perform.

Caila, who always has to go into a Sanrio or Hello Kitty store if she sees one in the mall, was, of course, excited to see “Kitty.” Fortunately, being a weeknight, there weren’t that many people at the venue, so we were able to get a place with a good view of the stage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

the archers shoot down the eagles!

Hubby, Caila and I, together with our friends Ces and Pia, enjoyed a ringside view of the action yesterday. It was so exciting! The scores were very close. Now I have an idea how intense it feels to watch a UAAP game between the two rivals. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me start from the beginning...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ateneo and la salle to play in dubai

OMG! OMG! OMG!

I just read in the news that the Blue Eagles and Green Archers will be having a game against each other here in Dubai tomorrow!

happy 70th birthday, mama!

It’s Mama’s 70th birthday today, and unfortunately, out of her 4 children, only Kuya Boyet (who’s already in the Philippines) was able to be with her. You see, her eldest son (Kuya Boy) works and lives in Papua New Guinea with his family, and they couldn’t go home this time because they’ll be migrating to Canada before the end of the year and they need to save up for that.

Monday, April 11, 2011

modern alphabet taught in nursery

I received this in my e-mail some time ago, and just thought to share...



Thank goodness A is still "apple" =)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

iceland in the desert

My family and my Filipino Mafia colleagues (and their families) went to Iceland Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah yesterday, and we had a blast!

Weeks before, we were invited by our friends Humprey and Sheryl because they were given group discount vouchers. The normal rate is Dhs150 (for adults) and Dhs100 (for children), but we just had to pay half-price (small kids like Caila went in free). We heard that they were going to increase their rates to Dhs225 soon, which was their original rate when they opened, but we’re not sure if it was just a rumor going around. Anyway, of course we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, and it would be a good bonding experience for us, so we made plans to go on one of our non-working Saturdays (which was yesterday).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

they're here in dubai!

Thanks to Wow Pinoy, West Zone, and Lulu Hypermarket, I can indulge in my favorite junkfood.
It was my first time to see the Reese’s products, the Pik-a-Pop and the Jujyfruits here in Dubai; and the last time West Zone and Kabayan sold Nesvita was more than a year ago, so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw these on the shops’ shelves. We definitely hoarded (around 2 packs per product).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a pain in the butt neck

For two days now, I’ve been having problems with my neck.
Yesterday morning, I woke up with a stiff neck, hurting so much that I had to ask hubby’s help to get me out of bed. I thought it would go away after my shower, but I ended up having to endure it the whole day. I could barely turn my head to the left without having to turn my entire body (and even when I did, it still hurt).

they finally fit!

Remember my sacrifices for lent? Well, it has definitely given me good results so far.
Last week, I happened to pull out a dark blue pants suit out of my closet which I haven’t worn for I-don’t-know-how-long because I can never close the buttons without my tummy seeming to want to burst out.

Monday, April 4, 2011

sports brings international cuisines to the workplace

Because their country won the 2011 Cricket World Cup, our Indian colleagues ordered pizza and cake for everyone at the office yesterday. And today, they gave a celebratory lunch for all of us. It was a purely Indian feast: chicken biryani, mutton biryani, nawaabi subz salad, hara salad, haryali salad, papad, roti tandoori, paneer tikka masala, and subzi makhanwala. Unfortunately, the biryanis were too spicy for me so I had to settle with the papad and tandoori...I became an instant vegetarian. I didn’t mind; I’m not into Indian food anyway. Good thing I had brought my own food from home just in case.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

commenting on my english

So many times, within minutes upon meeting people (from hotels, travel agencies, recruitment agencies, car rental companies, etc), they usually comment on the way I speak. They will look at my business card, look at me again, and ask where I’m from.

Monday, March 28, 2011

smile

Lately, this is Caila's favorite song which she asks me to sing every night before we sleep...

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by
If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
For you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile - What's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Sunday, March 27, 2011

her first disney experience

Over the weekend, my family and I went to MOE to watch Mickey’s Amazing Adventure. I was excited, not for myself, but for Caila since she’s a real Disney fan. Unfortunately, we were late, arriving just as the show started, and being a Friday, the place was packed. After several unsuccessful attempts of getting a glimpse of what was happening on the stage, we decided to just walk around the mall and wait for the next show.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a birthday reflection

My age can no longer be found on the calendar. Oh well. Not that it should matter, right? Age ain’t nothing but a number (as the song by Aaliyah goes). What’s important is if I’m happy with what I am and what I have become. So, as I exit the calendar and enter the lotto (hehehe), I'd like to reflect on the different aspects of my life...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

i'll be younger on my birthday!

At least, I’ll LOOK younger...because I finally had my hair cut!
I was supposed to have it cut the same time I had it rebonded, but the Chinese lady didn’t understand me; and when I told her that I wanted it cut, it was too late.

Monday, March 21, 2011

earth hour 2011

On Saturday, 26th of March 2011 at 8:30pm, people from around the world will be switching off their lights for Earth Hour.
Show you care about our planet by doing the same.
For more information on how you can show your support, please visit this site.

lent, meat, and my birthday

I just realized that my birthday will fall on a Wednesday this year...but we’re not supposed to eat meat on Wednesdays during the Lenten Season.
We're planning pa naman to try out this new restaurant that serves wagyu beef and steaks at BurJuman for my birthday.
AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!
Lord, can we be excused just this once? Birthday ko naman eh.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

singing for christ

I miss singing praise and worship songs at SFC activities and gatherings.
I didn’t realize it, until I found myself practicing last Tuesday at Rashid Park with some of the Singles of the Music Ministry I used to sing with. Fortunately, I was familiar with most of the songs, and those that I didn’t know were pretty easy to pick-up. Though there weren't any voicings, we blended well (at least, I think we did).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

she'll be fine

A typical scene/conversation when Caila trips or falls over something:
Sound of something crashing or Caila landing on her mat.
Caila: Whoooaaah!!
Me or Hubby rush to check on her.
Me/Hubby: Anak, san masakit? Are you ok?
Caila: (I'm) Ok. I’m fine.
Then she stands up, makes pagpag her hands, and proceeds to continue whatever she was doing as if nothing happened.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a simple meal made special

This morning, I was so hungry that I wanted to eat a full meal (i.e. rice and viand). Since we already had leftover rice from the night before, I immediately took out something from the freezer to fry. After a few minutes, I was seated at our table contently eating my meal. Seeing that I was enjoying myself, Caila stopped playing and climbed up on my lap. And, since she saw that I was using my hands to eat, she did the same.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

bad night...good night

Last night, hubby and I had our separate night out with our friends. I was with my SFC babies at Pizza Co. and he was with his colleagues at Barrio Fiesta. His dinner ended early (around 7:30pm), because it was their regular dinner out. Mine, on the other hand, ended late because it had been months since the last time we had gotten together and the only reason we did was because Leih had BIG news.

Monday, March 14, 2011

her first flower from a boy

This happened last night at the St. Mary's Church compound.
The main hall was closed and we didn't want to sit in the church full of so many people, so we opted to hear the mass from outside (near the basketball court). While waiting for the mass to begin, Caila was just playing around with the kids of our friends who were nearby. Then suddenly, a little boy around 5 years old, walked up to her and gave her a pink bouganvilla. It was so cute! At this age, everything is innocent so I wasn't worried.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a guy at a strictly ladies only salon

Yesterday, I went to this Chinese salon in Naif to have my hair rebonded. Being a weekend, it was full of ladies, with majority of them having the same intention for their hair as mine. Fortunately, even though all of the 3 rooms were packed, I was taken care of right away by one of the Chinese ladies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

our observance of lent

As much as hubby and I had wanted to attend mass yesterday, we decided not to. You see, being the only Catholic Church in the town of Dubai (the other one is in Jebel Ali which is waaay across town), we knew it would be jampacked with so many people (of all nationalities). It wouldn’t be good (nor healthy) because hubby had cough and colds, and Caila had just finished her bout with the virus.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

new york from japan =)

My manager gave me a box of goodies yesterday. He said it was from our big boss from Japan who arrived the night before, and left in the morning. His (big boss) instructions were that this was for me only.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

she's always a woman

Happy International Women's Day!

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child,
But she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she'll never believe
And she'll take what you give her, as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me

Oh...she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh...and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me
Mhmm...

Oh...she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh...and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind

She’s frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me
Mhmm...

Monday, March 7, 2011

a call from mama

Just a few minutes ago, my mobile rang...
Me: Hello, Ma!
Mama: Mel, tawagan mo ako ngayon. Wala akong load. May sasabihin lang ako.
Me: Ok.
Mama: Ngayon na ha.
Me: Opo.

We cut the line and I immediately dial Mama’s number.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

her 2nd birthday party

Since her actual birthday fell on a work-day, we celebrated Caila’s 2nd birthday with close friends at home on the 26th of February. It was a simple celebration, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. Here are a few photos that were taken that day:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

my birthday wishlist

Out of boredom here at the office, I came up with the things I would like to do or receive for my birthday. Some of them might be crazy or almost impossible, but hey, that’s why it’s a “wish”list, right?!

surprise (sana...)

Maybe it’s because I’m growing older (very soon, my age won’t be found in the calendar anymore), or maybe because I miss the birthday parties I had when I was a little girl...but I realized I really want to be given a SURPRISE PARTY on my next birthday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

summertime = haircut time

We’ve entered the month of March.
Already, we can feel the tail of the winter season leaving, signifying the start of summer in Dubai. Augh!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

our few seconds of fame

Last Friday, we (me, hubby, Caila, yaya and my sister) went to Mamzar for this.
It was just like the other Dubai Terry Fox Run’s I joined in the past...EXCEPT I was interviewed by a leading newspaper. Cool huh?!

as my daughter turns 2

My dear Caila,

Today marks your second year of existence in the world, and the only sad thing about it is it confirms what Daddy and I notice every day when we look at you...that you are a baby no more.
But, of course, this sadness is nothing compared to the fact that every time I look at you, I am amazed at how much you’ve grown, how you slowly change and develop your own individuality...making me proud you’re my daughter.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

my early birthday gift

My birthday is still a month away, but hubby said he wanted to take advantage of the Dubai Shopping Festival offers, so off we went to Deira City Centre a few days ago to buy his birthday gift for me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

caila's first dental visit

Yesterday, Caila had her first appointment with the dentist.
She was supposed to have had her teeth checked last year at one of the government hospitals here in Dubai (around July or September, I think), but she was in the Philippines then. When she came back, we just didn’t think it was a priority, so we didn’t bother to reschedule the appointment. It was only a few weeks ago when one of the n@wies in our e-group brought up the subject (of teeth, dentists and bad breath) that made me realize the importance of Caila’s oral hygiene. Don’t get me wrong, her teeth aren’t rotten or deformed or anything. Actually, before bedtime and after she’s had sweets, we make sure to brush Caila’s teeth. Hubby and I just wanted to make sure her teeth were developing properly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

their blessing arrived...

Last year in January (after months of trying), our good friend Dhenzio and his wife Ann found out that they were going to be parents soon. Of course, they were overjoyed! But, unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived because it was an ectopic pregnancy, and they had no choice but for Ann to undergo laparoscopy. You can imagine what a painful experience it was for them. It was really devastating.

pregnant...in my dreams

Last night (or maybe it was this morning), I had a weird dream.
I dreamt that many of the people I know were getting pregnant (which is true) and most of them were on their second child even though their first was just 1 year old (also true). The next thing I know, I was also pregnant and had a schedule at the hospital to deliver.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

dubai terry fox run 2011

Ever since I came to Dubai, I've made it a point to participate in the Terry Fox Run every year...that is until I became pregnant and the last few runs have taken place in Abu Dhabi. This year, finally, it's returning to Dubai. Yay!
Here are the details if anyone is interested:
Date: Friday, 25 February 2011
Venue: Al Mamzar Park Route
Length: 8.5km
Registration on the day will start at 8am
The run will start at 9:30am sharp

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

please and thank you

Words that we were taught so early in life, you’d have thought that it would be automatic for everyone to say when they ask or receive something.
It seems to me that people with good manners are becoming a rare specie these days. What a pity!
Let's hope that the kids who watch Barney will remember at least this song of his even when they've long outgrown him.

There are lots of things
We can do to be nice,
Sometimes they're hard to remember.
But there are two little things
You should never forget,
From January through December.
He's talking 'bout please and thank you,
They're called the magic words,
If you want nice things to happen,
They're the words that should be heard,
Remember please and thank you,
'Cause they're the magic words.
Use 'em in the morning, at noon, and night,
'Cause it's a great way to be polite!
Please and thank you,
They're the magic words.

sixto

I have absolutely zero knowledge with what features and specs in a laptop are considered “cool,” “lufet,” and “asteeeeg” (hubby’s and his friends’ words, not mine).
So just in case you’re wondering, here are the specs of the HP DV6-3298SE I got for hubby:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

happy hubby's hp lappy

Last night, after months of searching, I was finally able to buy the laptop hubby wanted.

During last year’s Gitex, he mentioned that he wanted to replace his old laptop because it was, well, old. Plus, he needed a new updated model where he could work on his templates and whatevers if he needed to bring home some work. So, that time, I told him that that would be my birthday gift to him (his birthday was still 2 months later). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find one that he liked. We looked around the shops, but still there was nothing. And then, Ate Cel came and we had all these expenses, so hubby said that it would be better to delay buying the laptop for a while. Little did he know that I had already put aside the money and had no intention to use it except to buy his gift; I was ready anytime.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

barney


Yesterday, while walking around DFC, Caila met one of her favorite tv characters.
I’m not sure if she was just shy or starstruck, because she didn’t seem really excited when she saw Barney. He even offered to carry her for the photo, but she preferred me. Then, when she saw Barney walk away, she started crying and wanted to run after him.
Haaaay! Toddlers...go figure!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

make-up...no make-up

This morning, I decided to wear make-up and use contact lenses instead of glasses.
I don’t know how to put on make-up and I’ve never worn make-up to the office before (I always just put on face powder and lipstick), so I just experimented with eye-liner, eye-shadow, mascara, blush, and red lipstick.

27.01.11 = 68, 32, 23

Today is the 27th of the month...
68 months of being in a relationship with a great man.
32 months of married bliss with a loving husband.
23 months of motherhood to a wonderful daughter (she’s growing up so fast!).
It’s celebration time once again!

the mv logos hope

Last Saturday, I read in Gulf News that the MV Logos Hope was docking in Dubai until the 5th of February, and since I love reading and I’ve been reading to Caila lately, I wanted to check it out. When I was still a kid in Papua New Guinea, my dad took me to the MV Doulos when it docked there (either in Rabaul or Madang) and I remember I was amazed at the thousands of books they were selling.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

another lunch at al dawaar

Ohhh...I'm soooo full!

I just returned to the office a few minutes ago from a lunch meeting at Al Dawaar in Hyatt Regency.
Actually, I thought it was just going to be an ordinary meeting that would last 1 hour max. The meeting was scheduled for 2:30pm, so naturally I had my lunch during the break from 1 to 2pm, and left the office at 2:10pm. However, as soon as my boss and I arrived at the hotel lobby, our account manager informed us that she had made a reservation at the revolving restaurant. Of course, I was happy (free food!), but then I had just had a filling lunch and I didn't have any room left in my tummy for more.

selosa?!

Last night in bed...
Hubby: O, anak, goodnight kiss na kay Daddy.
Caila plants a kiss with matching MWAAAAAAHHHH!!!
Hubby: Ang sarap naman! Si Mommy naman, goodnight kiss mo rin.
Caila also kisses me with matching MWAAAAAAHHHH!!!
Me: Wow! Ang sarap! Goodnight 'nak.
Hubby: Si Daddy naman, mag-goodnight kiss din kay Mommy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

talking with caila

When you ask her to identify the parts of her body...
Eyes!
Ears!
Nose!
Mouth!
Chin!
Cheek!
Neck!
Tummy!
Ulo!
Kamay!
Paa!

Toinks! Bilingual?! Hahaha!

japanese pasalubong

Yesterday, our big boss from the Japan head office came to Dubai for another short visit.
For 2 weeks prior to his arrival, he had requested me to book flights, make a hotel reservation, and change his flights and hotel booking several times.
When he arrived at the office, he handed me 2 different boxes. One box was for me and my family only (as per his instructions), and the other was for the rest of the staff to share.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'wawa caila

We had to rush Caila to the hospital last night (which, fortunately, was just across the street) because her temperature had suddenly shot up to 39.3 degrees. She wasn’t delirious or anything; in fact, she was her usual playful and active self, but of course I was alarmed. Before leaving our apartment, we gave her some paracetamol, so by the time the nurse checked her temperature, it had gone down to 38.6.

Monday, January 17, 2011

the cooling patch

Since yesterday, Caila has been sick with fever.
She hates wearing the fever cooling patch, and it’s always a struggle to put and keep it on her forehead.
Yesterday, just so she would keep wearing it, I had to tell her “Mommy will also use the patch.”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

plans & conversations with the mister

Ever since we renewed Piper’s registration last year, she has undergone numerous repairs and tinkerings, and several of her parts have had to be replaced. Of course, they haven’t been cheap.
Tonight, she has another appointment at Emarat Fast Track, and it’ll cost around Dhs3,000.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

nighttime routines

For the past few evenings, Caila and I have gone through a routine.
Before dinner, we would settle ourselves on the carpet in our living room and I would take out my mobile phone and play Caila’s latest favorite song.
My daughter would then hold the phone and sway her head from side to side while sitting in my lap. The song is played over and over until it’s time for us to have dinner.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

our quest to sponsor a nanny

For those parents in Dubai who want to sponsor a nanny or maid by themselves (instead of getting a local to do it which is less expensive but more risky), you can check out this site.

And for those who seem to be having problems like what happened to us or want to know what to avoid so that the entire process will be easier, you can read on. I warn you though, this is a veeeery long post. So, here goes...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

happiness

This version was sung by Lea and Gerard Salonga when they were very young, and lately, it's Caila's favorite song.
When she wants to listen to it, she hands me my mobile phone where it's saved, and says "Mommy, Happy-aness. Please?" Of course, I oblige, and we sit down to listen...

(Spoken)"You know some kids ask us what happiness really is.
Well, to me happiness is a hamburger, going to the movies, new clothes.
Well, what's your happiness, Gerard?"
"My happiness is a hotdog sandwich, new rubber shoes, new t-shirts, new jeans.
And also my favorite part of happiness is LOVE."

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream
Finding your skate key, telling the time
Happiness is learning to whistle
Tying your shoe for the very first time
Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band
And happiness is walking hand in hand

Happiness is five different crayons
Knowing a secret, climbing a tree
Happiness is finding a nickel
Catching a firefly, setting him free
Happiness is being alone every now and then
And happiness is coming home again

Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime, too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That's loved by you

Happiness is having a sister
Sharing a sandwich, getting along
Happiness is singing together when day is through
And happiness is those who sing with you

Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime, too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That's loved by you
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