Raprakan in Dubai-I want this!

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Paki rap naman Gloc 9

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YES ang sabi ko habang patawid ng kalsada
Galing sa restorang “Tagpuan” sa Sharjah
Tanong mo sa akin nagbibiro ka ba?
Sagot ko hinde, Oo nga mahal kita

Kita kong ngiti sa yong mga mata
Labi mo’y gumuhit hanggang tenga
Kulang na lang tumalon ka sa tuwa
Tanong mo talaga tayo na ba?

Hindi ka makapanilawa sa iyong narinig
Ako nama’y sigurado sa aking sinambit
I love you, I love you too bulong ng bibig
Sure akong ikaw ang tinitibok ng dibdib

Lumipas mga araw, lagi nang magkasama
Hinahatid sa subway papasok ng Sahara
Sinusundo’t hinahatid, hinatahid sinusundo
Kahit butas na ang bulsa

Dumaan mga buwan, nagbungang pagmamahalan
Sa di inaasahan ikinasal ng madalian
Lalo na’t sa Dubai bawal ang ganyang lambingan
Sumumpang habambuhay tayong magmamahalan

Ikaw ang aking buhay
Sa iyo ko lahat iaalay
Pangako hanggang kamatayan
Mamahalin kita ng tunay

Ilang taon na rin ang dumaan
Anibersyaryo nati’y ipagdiwang
Hipan ang kandila nakaguhit na syam
Habang umaasa ng walang hanggan

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Shrimp Corn Chowder

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I wanted to eat prawns, I love prawns but I know very limited recipes of this crustacean. Yesterday as I check for recipes for dinner, I found this and it’s a jackpot. My family loves it, I love it. I was uncertain how it would taste as I have not cooked this before but it was like magic. The corn loves the butter they are a perfect combo, need not use corn starch coz the potatoes have the starch leaking from it once cooked and the prawns oh yum. I can guarantee you that this is a delectable comfort food. It is very easy to cook and does not require too many ingredients. You will love this, your family will love this.

You will need:

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

1 small onion minced

A knob of butter

3 ears of corn cut off from the cob

2 medium size potatoes diced

Half kilo of medium or large prawns, skinned and deveined

5 cups of fresh full cream milk

1 cup of water
In the cooking pot melt the butter, add garlic until fragrant, add onion until translucent. Add corn including the cob and the potatoes. Pour milk and water, cover and let simmer. Boil until potatoes are soft. Add prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes, make sure not to overcook the prawns. Add little water if it gets too thick. Serve hot.

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First day of school and before it

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Mica my daughter was excited to go to school today. It's the first day of school for her since she is an old student of the school. She is in grade four now at 8. (Extended holidays!) :D New and incoming students already started last Sunday.

What do you think an excited student do the week and the day before school starts? Hmmmm

Mica (a week before school starts): Mom I would like to have that corned beef hash with eggs you cooked before for my packed lunch on the first day of school.

Mom: (the night before the first day of school): Cooking what was requested. I keep notes; it's a motivation factor for the kiddo you know. When she saw me preparing it last night, she throw herself to me and gave me a big hug and a big kiss. Thanked me for cooking her favorite. Well, almost everything I cook is Mica's favorite; she even dubbed me as the World’s Best Mom Chef every time I cooked something she likes! :D I got a title now hehehe!

Me (while cooking in the kitchen): peek at the kitchen door because I think I saw someone wandering around the house carrying a heavy backpack, looks like the ninja turtles stop by to say hi. Who else would it be but my school girl. I collected the books and the notebooks from the school earlier and that's what she was carrying around the house in that famous kitty bag. I ask what was she doing, she replied "what? I am trying on my new bag!” I go bonkers!

I wrapped her notebooks in brown paper and her books in clear plastic cover; while I was doing that I told myself, this feels like I am the one going to school again! Sooner or later Mica must learn how to wrap her school books. She helped by cutting scotch tapes. Some are too short and some are too long; it reminds me that she is still a little girl, still trying to perfect her scissors handling skills. I wrapped two dozen books and notebooks and it took me four hours, a run and a re-run of Ice Age 4 on TV and a back pain to finish it. Is that slow? Is there a notebook/book wrapping challenge around here for moms? :)

Mica: Went to bed early (but was awake for an hour after hitting the sheets.) Can't stop thinking how excited she was about school. She missed her classmates, her teachers, keeps on hoping that her classmate and friend Hilary will still be her classmate this year. Sad about Janica moving on to a new school and will not see her everyday anymore.

Mom’s reaction: Please go to sleep and you'll find out all about it tomorrow. You will still have some old classmates and some new ones and you can always make friends with them. I told her it’s really sad but those friends of hers who moved into a new school will be the new kid in the new school; they themselves will have new classmates and will also make new friends. I know it’s difficult for the kids here in Dubai to deal with the fast-phase life of expatriates who keeps coming and going every minute. After that conversation, we were both on our way to dreamland.

Mica woke up early this morning, took the towel and went directly to take a shower. Put on her new school uniform and ate breakfast; brushed her teeth and kissed me goodbye. Rushed at the door too excited.

While I was taking a shower, I go deep in my thoughts. I was amazed at how much she has grown over the years; now independently preparing herself for school. I hope that it's not just the first day. Really!
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Fond memories of my childhood

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I grew up climbing camachile and saresa trees, chasing white and yellow butterflies in the afternoon when I am suppose to be napping, I picked sampaguita flowers to make garlands, catch fireflies at sundown, put it inside mason jars, watch it glow in the dark and then freed it afterwards. I blow bubbles made from gumamela buds and leaves mixed with laundry soap, I played hide and seek when the power's out, and tug with my sibling to bath in the river. Ate green tomatoes by the hanging bridge, chewed freshly harvested sugarcane, and fetched water for the laundry and the dishes for my mother. It's all childs play and I am ecstatic that I still can recall them. I also played tumbang preso, chinese garter, sipa, habulan, harangan taga, piko, bending and many more of Filipino games with other kids in the neighborhood.

We lived in a stilt house native to our country that my grandfather helped my parents to build. It stands near a swamp that connects to a river where my dad sometimes put crabnets to fish. Our house was surrounded with fruit bearing trees and vegetables. My mom has a small flower bed in front of the house and the gate was made from scraps of wood. Apart from the small vegetable patch to tend, my father have ducks and hens from where we get fresh brown eggs in the morning, once we had hogs and a cow who gave birth to a calf which I actually witness coming out of its mother's womb. We had too many cats and dogs but muning and spot was my favorite. Muning was a sweet fat cat that looks like Garfield (I think) and Spot was our ever loyal stray dog who always gives birth to ten or twelve pups, some puppies are given to friends, some to neighbors, and some sold in the market. Almost every morning, my dad gets us fresh carabao's milk for breakfast. The milk is poured into hot steaming boiled rice sprinkle with little salt. We co-sleep with our parents because there is just one room, no soft beds but we had a large sleeping mat and a huge mosquito net.

This was memories of my early childhood, when  I turned grade five my parents send me to another school in a different city under the care of my aunt. I had pleasant memories there too but that's another story. I love that neighborhood, I have lots of time for play and I roam free. I came once for a visit, I think when I was in college or after college, as I look around, I feel the familiarity of the place and I see myself at every corner except for our own house. Some other family was already occupying the lot and with a bigger concrete house. In my heart I was meaning to see that old nippa hut that stood there once to bring back old happy memories but it was all gone. I'm glad that even the physical part of it was gone, all the fond memories are here in my heart. I can always go back to that place and I wanted to.

Now that I have the capacity to build my own home for my family, I wanted something like that just like what I had before. Something more decent, a place where my children can roam free and be a child, a place to build their own dreams.
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WiWi aTO!

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Potty Training Prince

It comes in naturally to parents the need to potty train their children as they see signs of readiness. I read a lot of articles how to potty train but as they say it is always different with every child. Well I guess they are right about it. I have two kids and they have big age gaps between them. My eldest stop wearing diapers by the age of two, we had few accidents but she learned from that day and become independent from nappies all the way.

We are actively potty training my two year old son right now. His auntie was so supportive of him. Thanks to her. It is much easier now that he can talk and tells me, his aunt, his dad or even his older sister to take him to the toilet to pee. Everyone in the house applauds him for good behavior and encourages him to use the toilet every time he needs to including pooping.

In the beginning, I was the one taking him to the toilet but I thought that to do it visually will help him a lot. His dad was too excited when I told him the idea to show him how men do it and he is the happiest dad on earth when he saw him doing it. He still needs to learn how to poop in the toilet and they are getting there so I guess sooner we will bid goodbyes to the nappies too.

If you need help how to potty train please click here
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Back to school and a few observations

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School is starting next week at my daughter school and I think majority of schools in Dubai and UAE are also up. I guess I will need to say goodbye to the traffic free Dubai-Sharjah  highway by this weekend. It will definitely become packed with everyone hurrying up to get to their destination from Sunday morning and then add up to that all the students heading to school transported by their big yellow buses.

I have two kids but just the eldest is attending school, for now. It's not only the traffic that's going to get congested and so is my schedule. I will not only bid farewell to a traffic free road but also to the fuss free mornings that I enjoy when there is no school.

I was at my daughter's school yesterday to settle her tuition and transport fees, buy new books and uniforms as well. On the queue, another parent was paying the fees of his kids. When the accountant told him the total amount, he took his wallet and emptied it counting thousand dirhams bills. After paying, he checked the receipt and ask where are the school uniform fees? The accountant informed him that school uniforms will be paid separately in another counter. He was disappointed, I cannot blame him you know, we are standing there for about an hour already only to learn that we have to go to another counter for another payment, why not let the parents pay everything at once in just one counter?

I got M her uniforms and paid the books although it is not ready for distribution. We left her school and headed to the mall to buy school necessities. She didn't like to have trolley bag this time, she wanted a back pack just like her friends have. This is rooted from the difficulty carrying trolley bags to the second floor of their school using the stairs since there is no elevator. I am not suspecting any other reason because I have seen this and she's telling the truth which reminded me to mention this during parent-teachers meeting.

I have nothing against my daughters school but it surprise me that I have these strange observations while writing this down. We are almost ready for the new school year and I am bracing myself for it from now.
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