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Showing posts from 2009

Celebrating Christmas in Dubai

UAE is a Muslim country but then Dubai and the rest of its Emirates are open cities. Almost 60% of its workforce depends on expatriates coming from different countries that have different culture and religion living peacefully and harmoniously in the land of oil and sand. Muslims celebrate Eid, Hindu celebrates Diwali and Christians or Catholic celebrate Christmas freely in their own way and its being respected completely. To celebrate Christmas in UAE is totally different in celebrating Christmas in the Philippines in the sense that only those Catholic or Christian populations celebrates it and not as whole country. Dubai is a friendly place to celebrate Christmas and the government of UAE has nothing against it. For the last seven years that I have celebrated it here, it is nothing different in the Philippines. When we came to Dubai, we carry our culture with us. After Eid Al Adha celebration of our Muslim brothers, it became a family tradition to decorate our house or our ro

Christmas Wishlist # 4

It is only four days before Christmas and I am beyond my target of writing ten wishes in my wish list. What the heck?!!! What is there to ask for? I am already blessed with so many things that I could not ask for more and I am already so thankful to God for everything. There is just one thing...I feel homesick and the only thing in my mind now is to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines with my mom and my family. I am yearning to do that although it will not happen now but sure do plan for it in the coming year. Still a long way to go but I am sure it will be worth it. Definitely, it will be splendid to spend Christmas in the Philippines after seven long years of celebrating it in Dubai. That is right, you read that right. We have celebrated Christmas and New Year in Dubai for the last seven years that is why this wish is so important to me. Some of you might be thinking or asking how I can stay without going home for Christmas. It is simply because the family of my husband was h

Christmas Wish List #3-A Baby Boy

Ultrasound says I am having a baby boy this time. Not so sure yet until I see it with my own eyes. Why in doubt, you may ask? My sister was informed during her ultrasound that she is having a girl so what they did was to shop clothes, feeding bottles, and more baby necessities with girly shades of pink, yellow and the like. The funny thing was my brother-in-law whose waiting for her wife to deliver was informed by a fellow (who is also waiting outside of the delivery room for his wife to deliver) that my sister gave birth to a baby boy instead of a baby girl as they have expected. So the ultrasound was wrong but what I don’t know is how many ultrasound test they had before confirming that they are really going to have a girl. In our experience, we had around three ultrasound tests on different stages of my pregnancy to be sure what we will have a girl. This time for the first instance we are already informed that we are having a boy and the second time as well. I am not fully convince

Spirit of Sport - 2009 Inner Flame Igniting Motivation

Yesterday is one of the many special days in my little girls life at school. She is in grade one at The Apple International School in Dubai. It was their annual sports day which was held at the Dubai Police Stadium in Garhoud. The many benifits of sports to children includes a fun and enjoyable experience that motivates them more to participate, next to it is that it provides the arena for youth to be physically active. Letting our kids participate in sports related activity keeps them away from sedentary pursuits such as televsion watching and this can translate to a healthier lifestyle both now and in the future. Being physically active provides important health benifits such as good body composition(less body fat) stronger bones, greater mascular strength and better endurance. Participation gives youth the opportunity to learn a variety of motor and sports related skills such as running, jumping, kicking, throwing and many more. When a child is both psychologicall

Christmas Wishlist #1 and #2

Christmas is just around the corner and it is the best time of the year for me. There is no other holiday that excites me the way I get excited about Christmas and of course New Year. Me and my husband almost finished shopping for Christmas presents for our friends and loved ones and are now waiting to be wrapped in fancy shiny colorful papers with beautiful ribbons of red and green. Today is exactly ten days before Christmas and I wonder if I will received any gifts from anyone. It doesn't matter at all whether I will get one or not, what I like to do is to distribute gifts to friends and loved ones that I carefully pick and wrap for them when the clock strikes twelve on Christmas eve along with my hugs and kisses. I hope they will like what we've got for them. I wanted to write a wish list this time...not to give you the idea of what you can give me :) but what I really wanted to get for myself when I have enough cash to stash. Wish list # 1 - A Red Wallet My sist

Eid Al Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice

I actually don’t have any plans this coming three day holiday in relation to the Eid Al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Some of our friends are asking us to join them beach hopping in Jumeirah but I am not in the mood to stay out in the sun at this time, I am avoiding it as I am prone to having dark spots because of hormonal change in my body. Staying for three long days at home surely sounds too boring and I don’t want to slave myself cleaning the house but I am going to devote some of my time to it as the closets needed to be arrange as they are already messed up. Oh dear, I need to think harder what I can do to keep my family busy and happy this holiday, for sure L would love to play a lot outside, I am sure she will request to go to the park or swim in the pool, go to the mall for movies and caramel popcorns (caramel popcorns @ Candilicious in Dubai Mall is a sure hit). I would love to shop for maternity jeans by now, the last pair of jeans I am using is totally killing me, too tig


What's in a Dream?

I hate waking up in the middle of the night to go to the W.C. I really wanted to continue with my sleep but the urge to go was stronger than my sleepiness. Even while half asleep half awake I was still contemplating wether to go or not to go. In the back of my head its says "I do not want to have urinary track infection just by holding it" so I decided to head to the W. C. with my eyes half shut. Back to bed and I am trying to put my self to sleep but the annoying thing is that all kinds of dream started coming. It keeps coming and I would wake up with each thirty minutes or every hour. It seems that from 2:30 I am no at all sleeping. The last dream I dreamed was... It was in the porch of my late Lolo's house in Malolos with all big and small crabs on the floor. I was with someone I dont remember but we were using a kitchen thong to catch each one and put away. I bravely thong one of the big crabs and went to the kitchen to put it aside on a big red pale. I try to op

Corporate Birthday Celebrations

Today we celebrate the birthday of two of our dear colleague and friend Ehsan (one of our office boy) and Syed (our IT officer). I was in charge of ordering the cakes. I ordered two chocolate cakes since everyone in the office like it. We used to send the drivers to pick up the cakes from the confectionary store although today I have to make a call at Caesars for delivery as we lack of drivers in the office…they are out and busy. I pick up the handset and called Caesars, I don’t have their number so I check it out on the internet. Finally I got it and an Indian male voice answered me. I ask for the flavors they have then I decide, they several chocolate cake flavors. I gave our exact office address and it was delivered on time, 3 o’clock as promised. Two cakes for the cost of AED 170.00 This was not the first time we celebrate birthdays in the office, it becomes a company tradition that we celebrate the birthday of each one of our officemates in the office apart from an extra celebra

Crabbing and Craving

Friends were asking us to join them this coming Friday early morning to go crabbing in Um Al Quwain. They had been there last week and the treasures of the sea are bountiful, they had a full basket of fresh live crabs. When F told me this, I actually jump into conclusion that we are going with them for the crab hunting this weekend. F told me that mama can’t come (I am not allowed to stay up late for some reason) and I felt too upset, how come that I can’t come where all I can think of is to eat crabs and prepare them into different dishes. I am not sure if crabs are good for me this time of the year. Crabs have high mercury content that’s why I have to eat it in moderation. Um Al Quwain is the best place for crab hunting. Most of the tour companies offer crab hunting for tourist in Dubai. You can cook your crabs in many different ways. I always wanted my crabs steamed with little salt and served with vinaigrette. F loves it with squash and string beans in coconut milk with a li

Forgive and Forget

I saw a picture of you lying next to me But in the middle was someone not you baby I wanted to be close to you But I want to hide this in the blue I am sad and I am frustrated I am sad and I am mad I am sad and I am pretentious I don’t want it to be obvious I cried myself to sleep last night Though you did not notice I went to work feeling awful Cause I did not return your hug I am sorry but I can’t live with it I am sorry I have to let it out I am sorry but this is not all the time Only when I get it too much I forgive you I will forgive you I have forgiven you And I will forget that I have forgiven you I can forgive you Carla Roque October 11, 2009 5:42 pm Dubai

Credit Card Woes

Are you one of the people who pay credit cards on a minimum amount? Do you know how much it is costing you to pay on minimum amounts only? Well, I am asking these questions now since so many people are caught up on credit card woes and they don’t know how the credit is piling up because of billed finance charges, credit shield premium and insurance from the banks. Without sufficient information and knowledge we keep on paying our credit cards with minimum amounts only. We feel that it is easy and convenient. Yes it is easy and convenient but we are not aware of the dangers in might cause us? Have you ask yourself lately how long you want to pay all your credit cards? Until you are in Dubai, until you are working, or all thru out your life? I will show you how it is being calculated Let say for example that this is your credit card details Opening Balance AED 3, 898.03 Credit card payment (Minimum)

Sumang Malagkit

Dumating ako sa bahay ng isang tiyahin ko at sa di akalain, fiesta pala nang araw ding yon. Hinainan nila ako ng sumang malagkit. Sa mga taga Bulacan, malamang pamilyar sa inyo ang kakaning ito. Nakabalot sa dahon ng saging, gawa sa bigas na malagkit pero hindi ito matamis. Kadalasang isinasabay sa sa leche flan, haleya, minatamis na beans o di kaya ay isinasawsaw lng sa asukal. Pwede rin itong miryenda kung hapon. Tinawag akong muli ng isang pang kamaganak at dahil sa Fiesta nga ng araw na iyon hindi ko tinanggihan ang kanilang paanyaya. Muli hinainan ako ng kaparehong pagkain sa naunang bahay, kumain nman ako at halos mabunsol na ang aking tiyan sa dami ng nabalatan at nakain kong sumang malagkit. Hindi pa duon natapos sapagkat sa kabilang bahay ng isa pang kamaganakan ay pareho rin ang handang pagkain, hindi ko rin ito tinanggihan. Masarap kasi at dahil galing akong Dubai, masyado akong nasabik sa ganitong mga pagkain. Hindi ko na mabilang kung ilang suman ang nakain ko, ang ipin

Hello Kitty's Jungle Party Show

Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is one of the best time of the year where kids can enjoy a lot of freebies that the organizers prepare for the young minds and the young at hearts. I am a fan of Hello Kitty since I was a little girl and when I learned that Hello Kitty is having a series of shows in Dubai Mall, I immediately planned the weekend where I can take my little girl Lanna and three of her cousins to see the show. We are thrilled and happy to see Hello Kitty and her friends perform on stage. After the show the kids had the chance to take a souvenir photo with Hello Kitty and Mr. Daniel. For all those who love Hello Kitty, the show is FREE for all Dubai Mall visitors. It is running until July 22, 2009. Shows are at 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm and 9;30 pm; Thursdays and Fridays. Take your kids and have fun without spending so much. Enjoy :)

Anthurium-Indoor Plants

Last month, we bought an Anthurium plant from Ace Hardware at Dubai Festival City. I really wanted to put an indoor plant to add color and life in our home. One pot is quite expensive as it cost AED 59.00 and I can only buy 1 pot at that time. We also bought 2 more pots (AED 6) and a sack of soil (AED 10), the reason I bought these extras is because I am already thinking of propagating the plant. I checked the Anthurium pot and there is enough healthy shoots ready to be separated into new pots. I did it once we reached home. Now instead of one I have three pots, I already save AED 96.oo by just doing the propagation of the plant myself. I have a green thumb so as my dad always told me. Whenever i plant something it always thrive. I kept 2 pots of Anthurim with me and I gave the 3rd pot to my mother-in-law as a gift. Isn't it wonderful? I saved a lot of money and it is really fun doing things yourself. You can also do the same thing. Try it now. If you dont like anthurium you can

Qatar Airways and Jumeirah Beach Hotel Recruiting Pinoys

This is an announcement: 1. Qatar Airways is looking for Female Cabin Crew - open link below to see full details 2. Jumeirah is coming to Philippines-Read e-mail below for your reference Dear Colleagues Next week Jumeirah will be visiting the Philippines for a recruitment trip . We will be visiting Manila on 17 th ,18 th ,19 th & Cebu on 20 th ,21 st August. I f you have friends or family who would like to work for Jumeirah please feel free to advise them of our visit, we would be pleased to meet them! If they would like to apply they should contact our agent in the Philippines as below. The agent will then advise them of criteria, dates, venue, times etc. Allied International Manpower Services, Inc. Suites 201/603 , VIP Building Roxas Boulevard (opposite U.S. Embassy) Manila 1000, Philippines t: +63 2 521 5427 f: +63 2 526 6145 We will be interviewing for the following positions: · Security officer · Female Lifeguard · Butler · Guest Services Executive

A World Without Filipinos

I was deeply touched after reading this article, forwarded by a friend, written by someone who doesn’t belong to our race but sees the best in us. We should be empowered by his words, we should feel that we are significant, we should hold our head up high and be proud that we are Pinoys, multitalented individuals who proved that anywhere in the world we are viewed as important for the society to function. Without us, the world will be crippled.

Pets, With or Without It?

I grew up in the countryside where I am surrounded by different kinds of animals. My Dad loves to take care of domestic animals and it was one source of income for the family. We had a cow named "Baking" and its calf as "Bakiking", I literally witness how Baking gave birth to Bakiking and it was an amazing episode for me. We didn’t have both the cows for long as they are sold after a while. We had a lot of feathered animals like ducks, hens, pigeons and roosters too. Their eggs become our breakfast along with hot pandesal (bread.) Dad raised some hogs and goats too, I even get a chance to clean and washed them and it did not feel like working, it feels like I am playing and having fun. The best time of my life was when I get to own a puppy whom I named Queenie. She was the prettiest puppy I have ever seen. Queenie would come every single day about a few meters away from our house and wait for me to return from school, as she sees me she would wave her tail to sho

A Trip to Dubai Fish Market

For a working mom like me, what to serve for dinner has always been a big question before I go home from work. During my free time, I used to check food websites just to have an idea of what will end up on our dinner table. I have tried cooking a few interesting recipes and are luckily appreciated by my family. There are thousands of recipes available on the net and you just have to chose what will satisfy your tastes buds.  Here in Dubai, we say that you only have 2 choices, it is either chicken or beef. (it's a personal joke among our Filipino community) For some reason, I don’t want to eat beef and chicken this time so we decided to go to Dubai wet market and shop for seafood. We go there from time to time to add varieties to our home cooked meals.  The weather outside is bad; it is too hot and humid plus the sandstorm really makes it unbearable but we are already used to it so it won’t really stop us from heading to the fish market. Dubai fish market is in Deira, from B

The Innocence of a Child

I was attending a seminar on personal finance on a Friday afternoon and L. did not want to go with F. to Deira City Center instead she wanted to stay with me at the seminar not knowing exactly where I am going and what I will do. The seminar haven’t finished yet and L. started to feel bored and show restlessness inside the seminar hall and it was quite disturbing to others. I have offered her everything from pencils and paper to food to my mobile phone to play with but all didn’t last. Thank goodness there was another kid in the room and I offered L. to stay outside with her to play. Even when outside and playing with her new found friend, L. would still peep in the door and ask if at what time the seminar will finish. I said to myself that maybe she was not enjoying with her playmate and I think of leaving at the middle of the talk but then on a second thought I do not want to go as it was very informative. I started to become anxious too and make sure that the kids are doing fine

Half Blood Chinese

According to my in-laws my daughter looks like my husband’s grandmother when she was born; F’s grandmother is a Chinese national who married a Filipino. People who know us will agree that F. looks like a Chinese well exactly because of his eyes.For me she looks like my big sister J when she was small and even my sister J. said “is she my daughter? She looks like me!” While growing up, L. started to resemble more like her dad and now at the age of five she already look like me (hurray!!!!Hail to the Queen). The same story goes, my mom has a photo of her at the age of fourteen and when I saw it I told myself that I looked like her and everyone in my family agrees even my mom. I am sure she is proud the same way as I am proud that my little girl looks like me and not anyone else. In the family, I used to hear my sister say that she looks like our dad and me and my bro D. looks like our mom.The reason behind this is the gene that is in our body that we received from them. Their gene tell

Growing Numbers of Filipinos in Dubai

This is an e-mail being circulated recently. I posted it here to give the Pinoys an idea how many Filipinos are in the UAE. We are on the 6th place with 4.3% of the overall population of this nation and contribute daily in nation building as well as building the assets of the Philippine Goverment. An official public figure in the UAE has revealed data related to the nationality split in the country. With the latest update on the census (2007), the total UAE population is touching 6.5 million people. This represents an increase of almost 70% against the preliminary results (3.8 million) that were published back in 2004. It was not a secret that the Emiratis represent a small portion from the population, the previous estimations were always between 15% and 25%; the below chart shows that it is even lower that the estimates at 13.5% only. Details of the nationalities as follows:- Nationality Absolute population% Emirati 875,617 13.5% Arab

One Special Day

I turned twenty eight yesterday and I would like to take this opportunity to thank first of all God for giving me another wonderful year and to the people who celebrated this day with me, my collegues at work, my loyal friends and most of all my family. Thanks to my office buddies for the tiramisu cake hmm yum, to all my friends for the never ending birthday messages and greetings and to my family for the gift that I have always wanted but did not bother to buy. As they say two years more and I will be out of the calendar, oh yes but since July is my birthday and July has thirty one on it its going to be three more years before I step out of the calendar. That sounds good. To Ms. JO thank you so much. I love birthdays, it reminds us/me how special and unique we are. People around us will make all the effort to make us feel special and loved even for one day of the three hundred sixty five days of the year and even the person you hate the most in your place will come and give you a

Beef Caldereta

Way back in college - Mapresko (cool place) is an eatery where I and my friends used to go for lunch and chat until it is time to go back to class. It is our friend and classmate JR who introduce us to this place where we get to hang out most of the time. We never knew who the owner was but everyone was so nice and the servers (ate meaning sister is how we call them) are so cool. I used to order beef caldereta almost every day along with my cup of steaming hot boiled rice. Their caldereta is the best caldereta I have ever tasted until I learn how to cook it on my own. This is not the first time I cooked beef caldereta but every time we have this dish for either lunch or dinner my little girl would always say Yum. Her praises are always music to my ear because you know how hard it is to feed and please the young ones. There are so many different ways how to cook beef caldereta and this is my own version. I used the following ingredients in this caldereta: 1 kilo of stewing beef

Summer Coolers

Summer months are here again, it starts from May to September and temperature can rise as much as 50° C. Kidding aside, one can really fry eggs on the road at noontime in this time of the year. Yes, that hot. People in Dubai prefer to stay indoors and keep cool at the malls or at home. If you are new in Dubai the weather is literally intolerable but it's gonna be fine once you get used to it. Many expatriates and even locals go abroad during this season to avoid the heat. It is the best time too to take advantage of the school summer vacation for expats to go and visit family members back home.  Well, it is not really bad after all. Dubai has developed quite a lot of good places to go to get entertained and stay cool during summer.  Summer is also the best time for “summer coolers”. Who said it has to be expensive to get this great tasting treat, all you have to do is have your favorite fruit ready and the rest of the ingredients are usually available in your kitchen. 

I'm Yours

This greatest fear has changed my life I have shared to you what is mine I have collected "me" from the years that pass And now I am here like a wholehearted lass Believe these words from my devoted heart Commend your trust to this fate we have From this day on you will be my man Till the day I die I will be by your side Never give up when the days are tough Lets be sturdy when the road runs rough This is our chance to be as one Lets carry on with life, now that it has begun


Cry all your tears and laugh all your happiness Use all your strengths and empower your weaknesses Hate nobody and befriend your enemy Endure life, as it has to be Never lose hope because it is a promise That is made in heaven for you to cherish There are trying times, yes there is But don’t you quit; it’s just a quiz Prepare yourself for something new Care for someone and be true Discover things on your own And see how different you have grown Keep an eye on the keys of life Follow your dreams and go for what's right Withdraw all your fears and Leave the past behind. Written on February 15, 2003 Written by: Carla Roque


Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her, her family, their expat life, as well as occasional dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, restaurant reviews, parenting tips, and all things about Dubai and the UAE. My Yellow Bells Beginnings Carla came to Dubai in December 2002 but started blogging in August 2009. The first seven years was amazing. She landed in Dubai and was reunited with her immediate family. Got a good job. Met the man she will live with for the rest of her life. Got married. Had her first baby and explored all the corners of UAE with them. She cannot ask for more. But you know how expat life can be boring at times when you've been doing the same things over and over again. It was when she felt that her life was slowly slipping into monotony so she needed to do something to bre