On behalf of yellow bells, I would like to congratulate all the winners of the PEBA Awards held last Decemer 27. Its finally over but for sure getting ready for the next year.

Mabuhay ang mga OFW!!!
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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 room with Christmas ornaments that we have been keeping from the last nine months. Like in the Philippines, we also observe the longest Christmas preparation and celebration here in Dubai. As the time draws near, we also plan of how we will celebrate it, what food should be on our dinner table on Christmas Eve, of course it will never be complete without all traditional Filipino dishes, what gift to be wrapped in fancy papers for our dear friends and loved ones, buy new clothes to wear on that very special occasion dedicated specially in commemorating the birth of our Savior, and also plan for parties with friends and officemates where some are also having their "monito monita" for fun. Write letters to Santa and complete our wish list.

There are also several Catholic Churches in UAE like Saint Mary's Church and Saint Francis of Asisi in Dubai and Saint Michaels Church in Sharjah where one can attend and complete "Simbang Gabi". Inside the church premises, traditional "puto bumbong" and "bibingka" are also being sold by the Filipino community so one can also enjoy this native sweets after the mass.

On Christmas day, we also visit relatives if there is any and friends for those who are bachelors, this year since Christmas falls on a Friday so it is the best time to visit them since we are off from work.

You see there is not much difference in celebrating Christmas in UAE in my own perspective. Even in a foreign land like this, I can still celebrate it the most traditional Filipino way I know and I am doing it to inculcate it in my daughters mind that we Filipinos have our own way of celebrating Christmas and I want her to know deep in her heart what is the meaning and purpose of all this celebration.We must not forget one thing, that Christmas beyond all the lights and celebration is the time of giving and showing our love for one another. It is the time of forgiving afterall, it is the main reason why Jesus was born.

Home Decor for Christmas

Now, I want you to take a peek in our humble room that me and my family dutifully decorate with Christmas ornaments and a very special tree. This is our Christmas tree. Its the second year we have this. The very first fir tree we had was sent to my mom in the Philippines so she can use it at home. We bought it from Dragon Mart for AED 150. The red and gold ornaments are from Ace Hardware and some are curtesy of Marks and Spencer when my sister is working there here in Dubai.
These are snowflakes made of cutout paper. I made it myself with the help of Lanna then we stick it at the glass door on the way out of our terrace. I just wanted to have a feel of snow at home.

This is the holy leaf that I also made myself. Who says it has to be expensive, one just have to play with the immagination and voila, I have this wonderful ornament for my altar. Isn't it wonderful?

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Christmas Wishlist # 4

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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 here all the time and my mom was here for like three times and we are able to celebrate it together. What I am really missing is the feeling of being home in the Philippines, being in my home and being home with my family.

We do celebrate Christmas in Dubai too. How we do that is a different story.
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Christmas Wish List #3-A Baby Boy

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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 convinced though. Still I prefer to wait until I deliver. To see is to believe. BUT...I definitely accepts whatever gender GOD choses to give the growing baby inside me. Sure this baby is a perfect GIFT.

Do you really want to know whether you will have a boy or a girl? Here is how you will know.

Click the link below which will direct you to a site about this Chinese Birth Calendar. You can use it for fun to know your baby's gender as it is said to be accurate but ofcourse there is a more reliable source such as ultrasound that I mentioned before...but check more than once to be sure.

Click Here for the Chinese Birth Calendar
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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 psychologically and physically ready to participate, it can give a child an opportunity to develope self-competence in their skills, self esteem and moral competence. It also helps them to learn social skills and make friends. They also learn to work with a team.

With so many benifits that sports can bring to Lanna's life, we are so supportive of her school activities. Now, I would love to share with you some snaps of the event.

Reciting of Quoran

Parade of Students

The UAE Flags and The Apple International Flag

Balloons on air

Grade 1 Students Section G holding small UAE Flags

Lime relay for Grade 1 students

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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 sister once told me that a red wallet energize your finances. These are the most auspicious and excellent for generating more money according to Feng Shui. Why not, red also drives away evil and plus I have been hanging around for long with the black Francois Marithe Girbaud wallet I have. It is time to get a new one.
Wish list # 2 - A New Mobile Phone

This is the phone that I am using now. I bought it last September 2006 so that means that we have been together thru thick and thin for the last 3 years. Mind you it is really the best phone I had in years. It is in its best condition only needing to change the cover but it functions so well that I really scared to let it go. My N70, my companion, my on the go camera, my mirror for its front camera, my iPod, it's everything to me. I might keep it or give it to my mom when I decided to ditch it with the iPhone above. Hopefully I will get it soon. Wish me luck. Need to start shelling out some money in my piggy bank.
I actually do not remember how many phones I had, well I do, I change phones only four times, yes only four times... I am not a phone enthusiast who changes phone whenever something new came out in the market but I carefully choose which phone I wanted to buy then when I have it I will tell myself how long I wanted to keep it and use it as long as it is working and serving me its purpose, getting connected with people and a tool for my daily use.
I intend to list at least 10 things in this wish list and I will be thinking harder for tomorrow. I wanted to add here the things that I really wanted and what my heart desires. So please keep coming back and see what's up for tomorrows post.
The thing is we don't get things immediately when we say we wanted it. But keeping in mind what we really want keeps us on track and we set goals to get it.
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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 tight for my growing tummy and unfriendly to little one inside me.

Hhhhmmmm...what else? Gee!! Do I really have to write what I am actually thinking? Well I guess so.

There is just one thing I keep pending up to now, still contemplating whether I should have a hair makeover or not. I am a brunette and my mane is too long and unmanageable but I like it and I am willing to keep it until April of next year. The problem is that whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I am feeling too old because of my hair and you know what most people say, that shorter hair can make someone look younger, I am not too old though but I need a little boost of confidence, specially I am preggy with a baby boy and there is so much change in my appearance lately. Maybe I need a mani and pedi too.

It seems that even unplanned, I have so much things to do this holiday. Just some pending "me" time.

An oh yeah...don't forget to celebrate with our Muslim brothers, it is important that we respect this special occassion of the year for them.

Gulfnews announcements of Eid Al Adha Holiday in the UAE
Ministries and federal bodies will remain closed from Thursday, November 26 to Thursday, December 3 to mark Eid Al Adha and National Day, according to a circular issued by Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Federal Human Resources Authority.The extended break for Eid Al Adha and National Day was announced in line with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.Ministries and federal bodies will resume work on December 6.Al Qutami seized the opportunity to thank Shaikh Khalifa for his noble initiative linking the Eid holiday to the National Day holiday.He congratulated the President and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Ruler of the Emirates, and the UAE people on the glorious occasion.Al Qutami also congratulated the Arab and Muslim nations on the occasion.Meanwhile, the private sector will get a three- day holiday from November 26 to 28 to mark Eid Al Adha, and one day on December 2 for the National Day, according to a circular by Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour. Work will resume on Sunday, December 3.

What is Eid al-Adha
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2009, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately November 27th, and will last for three days.
What does Eid al-Adha commemorate?
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?
On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

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What's in a Dream?

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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 open the light but it did not open so I tried searching for the pale hanging behind the door with my hands, when I get hold of the pale, one big spider like crab started crawling into my arm and I started screaming and jumping fearfully. Then with a loud scream, my husband started waking me up asking what is happening to me. I was still shaking and my heart pounding while I am telling him the story. I am an arachnophobic and the spider like crab really make me scream and jump out.

Then I wonder, why was I dreaming of crabs, is it telling of something or I was only craving for crabs these days? I tried to analyze the dream myself but could not figure it out. I decided then to check it on the internet and below it what I found out.

Meaning of Dreams about Crab: Dream Interpretation - Crab

At first glance a crab seems to be a very negative dream symbol. It could represent a "crabby" or unpleasant personality. The claws could be symbolic of a clinging and hurtful person, or a side of your own personality. There may be too much dependence, clinging and forcefulness in your life. The crab may also symbolize your inability to effectively move forward and address your own difficulties. (Remember the crab often moves sideways or backwards.) Some folklore interpretations say that the crab is an omen of poor health. However, there is a more positive interpretation for the crab in your dream. In some areas of metaphysics, the crab is a representative of the sea and the sky. It represents physical nourishment which can be obtained from the sea and also intellectual nourishment. As with all water dwelling animals, the crab could also represent something in the unconscious and the emotions.

Whatever reason I am dreaming about crabs, I hope that it will be for the better.
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Corporate Birthday Celebrations

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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 celebration outside after work.

We do celebrate everyones birhday, all the way down to the bottom of the organization.We feel that it is important to greet one on his or her special day. It tightens the bond that we have as co-workers and it keep us as a family working towards the same goal.

My birthday last July

Hiba and Inaam's birthday

Jana's Birthday

Maher's Birthday

Raja's Birthday.
I wanted to post all the photos but some has been removed from the drive and they are not available for posting. Jeah, Eleonor, Simona and Veronika's birthday are well celebrated too. You will notice that we have been using the same round tall glass table all the time for blowing the candle and most of the photos are taken all of us sitting in a one blue couch that we love to use during birthday photoshoots.
We just love to celebrate birthdays...
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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 little bit of spiciness. There are so many ways to cook crabs depending on your taste.

I wish we could go, one of F friends told him later on that he won’t be able to come as both of his kids are sick. I really wanted to go on this trip, it is more than an hour drive from Dubai but I think the experience is worth it.
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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
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Credit Card Woes

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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) AED 217.00
Billed finance charges AED 117.54
Credit shield AED 22.79

If you will calculate, the minimum amount paid was 5.57% of the balance as informed to you when you applied for the card then less the billed finance charges (3% of the balance) and the credit shield so you are only paying AED 76.67

This is how it is:
AED 217-AED 117.54-AED 22.79= 76.67 AED will be deducted to AED 3,898.03 * 5.57% again to get the minimum amount that you will pay on the next month.

So you see how it is swallowing you whole. If we continue doing this, how long we have to pay the 3000 or 4000 AED we borrowed from the bank. Maybe 50 years?

My point is we must know and we must act and pay our credit cards higher and settle debts as fast as we can.

I hope this insight will help someone out there who is in trouble of their credit cards.
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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 ipinagtataka ko ay kung bakit suman lang ang handa nila?

Nagmulat ang aking mga mata sa katotohanang panaginip lang pala ang kinatatakaman kong sumang malagkit, parang totoo at nalalasahan ko pa ang aking kinain, malungkot na katotohanan na hindi ko maitatago.

Bakit ba hindi natin totohanin, naalala ko ang mga panahon na ako'y musmos pa at nasaksihan ko kung papaano ito niluluto ng mga nakatatanda sa aming Bario, mula roon ko susubukang lutuin ang pagkaing kinasasabikan ko. Sinubukan ko rin maghanap ng detalye ng pagluluto nito sa internet ngunit di ako nakahanap ng kaparehong paraan na alam ko.

Malapit lamang ang aming tahanan sa LULU-isang pamilihan sa Dubai kaya minarapat kong magtungo ruon upang bilhin ang mga sangkap ng sumang malagkit. Ito lng ang mga kinailangan ko

1 kilo-bigas na malagkit
1 lata ng gata
dahon ng saging

Nang maluto hindi ito sing sarap ng kinasanayan kong sumang malagkit at halos hindi katulad ng nasa panaginip ko ngunit magkasing lasa rin nman at napagbigyan ko ang hinahanap ng panlasang Pinoy ko.
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Hello Kitty's Jungle Party Show

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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.DSC04186DSC04191

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 :)
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Anthurium-Indoor Plants

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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.

DSC04019DSC04014Now 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 opt for other indoor plant species that can be easily propagated.

Now the challenge is to keep the Anthurium flowering.
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Qatar Airways and Jumeirah Beach Hotel Recruiting Pinoys

1 comment:
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 17th ,18th ,19th & Cebu on 20th ,21st August.

If 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
· Waiter
· Chefs (commis to chef de partie)
· Guest Relations Executives
· Bartenders

I would be grateful if you could share this message with your colleagues who do not have access to email.

Many thanks

Louisa Saville
Director of Human Resources
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
P.O Box 11416 , Dubai , United Arab Emirates
Mail to:
Visit us at

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A World Without Filipinos

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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.

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Pets, With or Without It?

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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 show how excited she was to see me and accompany me home. I had a hammock tied at the two pillars of our house by my mom and I sit there after school to play with her. Eventually she learned how to get on and get off the hammock and it became her resting place when I am not around. One day, she came home very sick, she must have eaten something that made her stomach very upset and in the morning when I woke up she was gone. We didn’t have enough money to take her to the vet and my Lolo was staying far from our house to rescue her from dying. I felt horribly sad and to comfort me, my mom and my dad gave her a proper burial. My dad buried her in the field where he used to take Baking to nibble grass and I put a red gumamela flower in Queenie’s grave and say my final goodbye to a good old friend.

Spot, is another joy of our childhood, she was my brother's dog; she was a beautiful white- and brown spot dog. She lived for nine years and has given my family too many puppies. Every time she gave birth we are getting at least five to twelve puppies, some of them are given as gift to neighbors, friends and relatives who wants to have a pet dog. Some puppies we keep for us to take care of and play with. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, my mom will take the puppies in the market and sell them to support some of our needs.

I had another friend, a feline one; she was named “Muning”. Muning is an orange-white cat similar to Garfield and she was very fat. She’s the one I love the most among other cats that we had. At dinner time she would sit beside me and rub her paws in my elbow to ask for food. When she wants me she would curl up in my lap and murmur. When she wants to play she would rub her body in my legs and circle into me. I used to make fun of her by tying a thread on her tail and she would run after it making her turn around and around which makes me laugh my heart out.

Last May 2009, L and I went to Philippines to visit my mom and meet my sisters’ family before they set off to Qatar. In front of my mom’s house was the house of a friend who owns three puppies, two ducks , birds and a rooster. L was delighted to find these animals in the neighborhood and she watches them the whole time. We even borrowed one of the puppies and keep it in the house so she won’t stay late in the neighbors. I felt the need for L to have her own pet. Child expert says that pets help children to grow and learn. It teaches children to be responsible by acting as a caretaker for a pet; it develops discipline and the importance of friendship and companionship. They provide comfort, increase family bonding, encourage nurturing and keep children healthy. Hmmm :) then my countryside life being surrounded by pets helped me a lot in life.

I feel sad for L that she never had the chance until now to have her own pet. Leaving abroad won’t allow us to have one as it is mentioned at the tenancy contract that it is not allowed to have pets at home specially cats and dogs that might disturb neighbors. We are staying in a flat and it makes it more difficult to get one. L wanted a fish as a pet and maybe that would materialize. A clownfish like Nemo or a flower horn fish will be great. L was eyeing on this flowerhorn fish displayed at the petshop down our previous accomodation.

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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 Bur Dubai you have to go through Al Shindagha Tunnel and if you are coming from Deira or Hor Al Anz, you will pass by Hyatt Regency Hotel on your right, cross the signal then go straight and you will reach the access road to the Fish Market before the Shindagha Tunnel. It is opposite of Gold Land Building and Gold Souq as shown in the photo below

I bought more than five kilo of seafood and I think it will be more than enough to satisfy our seafood cravings.

Apart from the joy of cooking the seafood we bought I also took some pictures for you to visualize how a fish market in Dubai looks like. It is totally different from the fish market in the Philippines; there are no tindera, all are tindero and I don't know why. It's probably a ruling from the municipality of Dubai. 

There are two market schedules, one in the morning and one in the evening. The market close for prayer at one in the afternoon to give way for prayer.
You can understand from his expression how hot it is eh?

Scene inside the fish market

Dried Fish Section

An old man napping, passing his time in this 42 degrees temperature

Trucks used to transport goods and commodities

Grains and Beans Section

A mural of the Arabian Sea in front of Fish Market

Outside temperature
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The Innocence of a Child

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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 playing outside the hall, I keep checking on them every once in awhile.

After the seminar we headed home and I started to view our digital camera and look what I have found...


This is not exactly what I mean of not enjoying. Well they get along well so much and could play with any material available and even make silly faces on the camera.

Making friends for L. comes naturally and easily. She is innocent and do not mind much about her place in the society compared to us adults who always think of how we are viewed or seen by others. It is really fascinating how L. reminds me of the things I already have taken for granted. She once reminds me that time and communication is very important between us and it really makes me break into tears after hearing what she said. After reflecting on her words I realized that yes she was right I have not paid attention to her questions for how many times I could not even clearly remember. From then on I change my attitude towards her never-ending questions and answer them all diligently as it pays a lot to listen to her even though it sounds weird sometimes.

Have you been in the same situation where you were asked by your child and you don’t even know what the answer is? Or have you been told about your behavior towards them then only on that time you realized you are not doing it right?

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World’s most dangerous – UAE drivers - Kabayan Please Take Care!

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Half Blood Chinese

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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 tells the body how certain things are to look like, to act, or to function. When you're born, you are born by mixing these genes together, forming a figure(you) which looks, acts, or functions like your parents. This is why if your parents have a genetic disorder, they can inherit it to you. This t is called heredity.
I was not actually well aware that Fs grandma is a Chinese until L was born and I get surprised when I learned about it, then only I understand why F looks like a Chinese. To tell you honestly I really like Filipino men with Chinese features, its Luck.  Speaking of Chinese, I took pictures of the food I cooked for dinner about three or four days ago and I only find time today to post it. I made Chinese Fried Rice, Sui Mai and Shanghai rolls and that is what goes in to our dinner table.

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Growing Numbers of Filipinos in Dubai

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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 Expat 823,633 12.7%
Indian 2,367,732 36.5%
Pakistani 822,914 12.7%
Bangladesh 589,545 9.1%
Filipino 279,602 4.3%
Sri Lanka 104,623 1.6%
Iran 100,309 1.5%
Nepal 93,4691.4%
Other Asian151,2342.3%
Other African72,453 1.1%
Europe and Australia 134,630 2.1%
North American 41,3540.6%
South American 4,1770.1%

Total 6,493,929 100.0%
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One Special Day

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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 hug. Isn't it nice huh? Thats not all, I love birthdays because of all the gifts you can get, I am not so materialistic but lets face it everyone wants to receive a gift on their birthdays, dont you?
I am not a big fan of perfumes but I like the scent of Alien a lot. It is sexy and the bottle looks so elegant. Thanks F.

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Beef Caldereta

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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 cut into cubes it is good if there are some visible beef fat with the meat
2 potatoes cubed
1 carrot cubed
1/4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 red onion diced
2 red chilies chopped
4 green chilies sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of vinegar
3 tsp of cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste and a little msg.

I do not have peanut butter this time and I do not have time to ask for home delivery so I added pili nuts from the pasalubong (presents) of a friend who just arrived from the vacation in the Philippines. I used my mortar and pestle to crushed and make the pili nuts to become like a paste.

I made it really quick since F. and L. are hungry and waiting. The solution is I took out my pressure cooker for a shorter cooking time instead of boiling the meat.

I started sauteing garlic, onion, red chillis, beef cubes then I added the soy sauce and vinegar. I added water just above the meat and cover the pressure cooker. Let it boil for 20-25 minutes to allow the meat to become tender. I let the steam out of the pressure cooker then I added potatoes, carrots, and the green chili. I let it cook and boil for like 10 minutes and voila my Beef Caldereta is ready to serve with the steaming rice.

It may be a shortcut but the taste wasn't compromised.
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Summer Coolers

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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. 

You will need the following

Tall glass
Blender (a must)

Mix all the ingredients together. Blend and transfer in a tall glass, add a straw and there you go your favorite summer cooler is ready.

I love strawberries.  It is packed with vitamins and minerals and so I prepare a strawberry smothie for Ferald and Lanna and myself. They just love it, then I pop a dvd and watch a cool movie. Its frugal and its cool.

The froggy straws are from Carrefour, its AED 3.75 each. I am buying only once since it s washeable and reusable. I bought 3 of different styles for me, my babe and my baby. :)
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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
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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
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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 break free hence My Yellow Bells was born. She writes just to empty her mind, pour out her feelings to the web by writing blog posts. To relieve stress and escape boredom back then. It somehow helped her keep her sanity and it gave her the satisfaction she was looking for.

9 years later...
My Yellow Bells is still here and she is still in the UAE. She is now a full pledge blogger and a mother of two. So far there is 600+ post on this blog. She blogs whenever she can because she's also a full-time employee, a mother, and a wife. Juggles all while trying to keep the balance.

My Yellow Bells became her constant outlet to express herself. It flourished the way she never thought it would. She met new friends online who eventually became her real and longtime friends in real life. MYB has open new doors for her and she is truly grateful.

Thank you for visiting My Yellow Bells and hope to see you back soon. Please feel free to leave a comment so we would know you were here. We would love to visit your blog or reply to your message. It is because of you why this blog is still online, it's you who's actually keeping it alive. thank you!

Should you wish to contact the editor/author, you can drop her an e-mail at
carlaroque.dxb (at) gmail (dot) com

you can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin, and Instagram
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