"Their heart is my home..."

"We keep the love alive in our home, our home in their hearts and theirs in ours"

"A family is a unit of socialization and basic institution key to the structure of society necessary for the formation of an economically productive household" thus this relates to the Pinoy Expat Blog Awards theme for 2010

Building a Strong Foundation for the Family-A MUST

I am one of the few lucky people who are able to stay abroad with their families. Often friends and acquaintances tells me that I am fortunate given this kind of opportunity. I am just thankful. I came to the UAE with my family waiting for me. I have my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece (who was in her moms' tummy back then) my nephew, my mom and my brother to greet me at the airport when I arrived in December of 2002. I was spared of all the homesickness, boredom, sadness, loneliness and buckets of tears because I have them with me. But that doesn't mean that I am better off than other OFWs, I was once in their shoes and back again...
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Dubai Summer Surprises Part 1

This is my 4th post this evening, I don't know whats got into me, maybe I am making up for the days that I am not able to blog.

This post is about Dubai Summer Surprises 2010 activities installed for kids, since its summer and people cannot stay outdoors, the leading malls in Dubai big or small has arrange fun ways to keep the young ones busy during the hot summer months.

Our first stop, Deira City Center. A group of ballet dancers and acrobats from Moscow Russia stage a very artistic dance and acrobatic moves. The young and the young at heart were surely entertained.

Ballet dance-solo

Ballet dance-courtship

Tiger dance

Trio Dance

The Finale
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Dubai Summer Sunset

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On our way to Dubai Festival City last Friday, I saw this and I try to capture it even on a moving car, I used Feralds iPhone 3Gs, the photo is great and I give the iPhone a score of 10.

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Bratz Kidz

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My Lanna is a fan of Bratz, anything Bratz excites and interests her. She also has an obsession with bandages, I dont know why and where it all started. One box of band-aid will not last for a week, she plays with it, even a teeny tiny scratch needed bandages.
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Sex in the City

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I would like to say thank you for the generosity of a friend for giving me an unexpected gift on my birthday.

The Box
Do you like the box? How about this?

This is a wonderful gift idea. Anyone will be very glad to receive such. It has three soap, 200 ml perfumed body lotion, four small tube perfumes (lust, love, kiss and passion), 100 ml love perfume and a signature pen.
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Support PEBA 2010 - Strengthen OFW Family Ties

This is repost from the article linked on the PEBA 2010 theme below.

“Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation”

PEBA has witnessed the real life suffering and loneliness of the OFWs and their families and believes that strengthening the OFW families, strengthens the homes and the nation! Thus, this season’s theme of “Strengthening the OFW Families: Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation” does not just momentarily fit the issue of hour but is a timeless subject that cannot be bound by shackles so long as there are OFWs out there.
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Paris straight from Bb.

Hello there, timeout muna tayo sa articles on food. One of my "colleague-friend-boss" is currently in Paris right now for his vacation. He ask me what I want from Paris before he left the office off to the airport, I told him nothing but on second thought I told him I want photos of him in Paris. Why not? It is nice to see the place in friends photos on real time and not in post cards. As promised, he send me this first picture standing in front of the Eiffel Tower yesterday.

The sky looks so radiant, the weather seems to be so beautiful. One day, I will visit Paris and I will take my photo on the same spot. :) He is the guy who send me the photos, isn't he handsome (wink) single pa yan!
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Food Photos-Feast For Your Eyes

As much as I love cooking and eating, I also love taking photos of the food I cook for my family. I love to look at food photos because it looks more appealing and appetizing.

When I do not know what to eat and what to cook, I browse the Internet for ideas and I experiment in the kitchen like a scientist in his lab.  I use ingredients available in my kitchen. I love herbs, only in Dubai that I learn to use spices on food so when I cook something with herbs my in-laws would simply call it "Arabic" taste. I have basil and oregano for my pasta and pizza, I have rosemary for my grills, I also have cinnamon powder, chili flakes, turmeric powder, thyme and sumac powder and the list is still growing.

Some photos saved in my computer is still waiting to debut here at Yellow Bells. You have to forgive me as I am not able to provide the recipes since I do not cook as per the given quantity on the food sites I am visiting, I only get the idea and I am off to the kitchen for my food experiments. My family loves what I cook for them even most of the time they call it "pacham" meaning pa-tiyamba-tiyamba lng. (*wink)

Below you will find photos of our sumptuous Noche Buena last December 2009

Pork B-b-q, yes that's right pork is available in UAE but it is sold separately in a designated room in supermarkets and it is not allowed to be serve at restaurants however it can be serve at "Hotel" restaurants. I  use pork belly and I grill it using my George Foreman lean mean fat grilling machine.

Everyone loves spaghetti

Prawn in butter-garlic sauce. hmmmm heavenly!

Lumpiang Shanghai-do you know that this dish is more tasty when you add red capsicum on the meat filling?

This one is Crema de Fruta courtesy of my sister

It looks like I am having a food series here in my blog, well I am enjoying it. I hope you like it. More Food entries coming soon.
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Homemade Pizza

Today is special. Prince turns three months. Since it is his birthday, I made three large pizzas and half a kilo of pasta carbonara for dinner. This isn't my first time to make a homemade pizza. At the beginning of my first pizza making experience, I thought it is hard to make my own dough but with a little research and a help from my partner, it is a breeze to prepare the dough and I was able to cook this wonderful-looking and great tasting homemade pizza.

For the Dough - you will need

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, bread flour is even better
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water-it need to be warm to make your dough elastic 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 sachet of yeast

All you have to do is to mix all of the ingredients, kneed it for about five to ten minutes until all the water is absorbed and the flour looks evenly mixed. This recipe makes three thin crust of dough for your homemade pizza

To make your own Pizza Sauce you will need

1 small can of tomato sauce
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/2 tsp of dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

Mix it all together and it is ready to spread on your pizza dough. The toppings depend on your preference, it can be vegetarian, meat lover or Hawaiian like our favorite. You can be more adventurous and may want to try seafood.

Most especially, the taste depends on your choice of cheese whether cheddar or mozzarella or mixed. Baking time is only about 10 minutes on the highest oven temperature. To achieve that crunchy pizza crust, use of pizza stone is recommended but if it is not available, pizza pan or foil is fine.

Isn't that lovely. Made at the comfort of your own home, as for me, my family love it, I love it!

Happy Three Months Prince
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Not Just Scribbles

What do you think about the drawing?

This is a self portrait of my daughter Lanna Micaela. Isn't it amazing how she captures the almost exact facial features of herself in this drawing? I was really in awe when I paid more attention to her drawing which I thought was just scribbles but then I realize how nicely she made this piece of art. If my daughter grow up to be an artist, a painter or inclined in arts, I know and she will know where and when it all started.
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I was reading an article entitled panahon ko to ni at wits end, it reminded me of the old times when all the modern communication technology are non-existent. We used to write letters, seal it in an airmail envelope, buy stamps and send it thru post offices, thats why post codes are so important to us back then because our mails will not reach its destination without this four to five digits codes.  

See the picture here, this is a letter I wrote two days ago for my mom, those pictures are my family's recent photos which I gave for printing to send to her in the Philippines. She likes having our pictures inserted in her bible, she said that we will always have Gods blessing because when she read the bible and when she pray, our photos are there and it is being blessed and we are being blessed. Thanks mom.

Why do I have to send her a letter and printed photos? The answer is simple, she will appreciate this more than browsing the net to look at our photos posted in facebook. She can carry our picutres and my letter anywhere and show it to friends since she does not have her own netbook :) Old folks does not need the gadgets that we all wanted, they are happy that we care for them, they are happy to have a simple mobile phone instead of an Iphone 4 that we all are yearning for.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you write a handwritten letter to your dear ones? When? you dont remember, I do, that was two days ago. So go on get a pen and paper and write them letters send it via post. It is unique to write a letter for your mom or your dad in your blog but be sure they will be able to read it. As for me, I will be happy when my mom receives my letter and again insert those pictures in her bible.

Ciao for now.
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Jejemon pa si kikay

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My daughter wanted to have her own farm in facebook so I created a facebook account for her so she can play farmville. Since we bought our toshiba laptop, we allowed her to use it with supervision of course, you know kids nowadays they are also into modern gadgets although we try to limit her exposure to at least an hour a day. At grade 1 she already have a computer class and she knows how to use the computer sometimes more than her dad, funny but true, just think how old we are when we had our first use of computers, for me it was way back in high school, it was MS DOS back then.

In the office, my colleague ask me if I am online on fb? I ask her why then I said maybe it is Lanna and I was right, it was her. They had a short conversation, Lanna is able to read quite fast now and she is familiarizing herself with Tagalog words since she does not have Tagalog subject in school. The convesation goes like this:

Lanna: hi po

Jeah: san ka

Lanna: sa home po

Jeah did not reply anymore and she is still waiting for her reply...

Lanna again: but po hinde kaw soma sagot

I felt very proud of Lanna as her mom. At six she passed grade one and promoted to grade two this coming September 2010. She loves reading so I support her so much, I buy her books from time to time, I read her stories every night and I read at home myself to show her that reading is very important and an interesting hobby. I have no doubt she can read, speak and write in English with all the words she know by now. I am proud of her because even though she does'nt have a Tagalog subject she is trying her best to write in our own language. to help her with her Tagalog I bought for her ABAKADA book. In fact she easily learn reading by syllables in Tagalog and in English with the help of this book. It is good to teach our children the beauty of reading at an early age.
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