Showing posts with label life in Dubai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life in Dubai. Show all posts

Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

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Mica is 18! 

Our daughter is now a young adult. Our baby girl is officially a lady. 

Mica's 18th Birthday Outfit

Although you are now 18, to me, you are still and will always be my baby girl. I want you to remember my love that you can always call mommy for anything and everything anywhere in the world you are (in the future) just like you always do now.

Anyhow drama aside...

To celebrate this huge milestone, we rented a 70-foot yacht and invited her closest for a sunset Dubai Marina cruise.

Yacht Cruise in Dubai

18th Birthday Party Ideas

We wanted Mica to have a unique and unforgettable 18th birthday celebration experience worth remembering for the rest of her adult years. The most "very-Dubai" party idea we had in mind was to have a private yacht birthday party.

For the cake, she asked for a simple white carrot cake with yellow roses and streaks of gold

Floral Birthday Cake

Beautifully made and deliciously baked by our friend Mae of Yamyam Cheesecake.

Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

White and Khaki dress code to which we all happily obliged. Don't they all look so chic?

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

Our guests were her closest and long-time friends in Dubai and just a few family members and friends.

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

18 white roses from Dad

White Birthday Party-Father and Daughter

18 White Roses

Decorations of green, white, and gold balloon garland outside the yacht. Unfortunately, we were not able to take any photos before it sailed but the inside simply looks like this. Her friends helped us with it.

18th Birthday Party Yacht Decorations

And the food is catered by Salt & Pepper. Refreshments were provided by the yacht operator. Had I known the sea would be a little rough that day, I would have ordered dry food and given our guest some motion sickness pill before we sailed on to the sea. 
18th Birthday Filipino Party Food

The yacht cruise was a total of four hours including an hour of swimming which our teenage guests enjoyed.

Yacht Cruise in Dubai with Swimming

Just as the sun is setting, we sailed back to the Marina with all its golden hue. Took some more photos to remember this great day. 

Yacht Cruise in Dubai-Ain Dubai

Yacht Cruise in Dubai-Ain Dubai

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Hello and Farewell Pinay Flying High

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Dubai is a sad place to make friends sometimes. Just when you are getting along really well with your new found friends, one is set to say goodbye because he or she is moving to another place. It is one reality of expat life, people come and go into your life and you have no power over it. The only consolation is that we are in the era of modern technology where is it easy to keep in touch.

Still I was glad to meet Noemi, the adventurous Filipina behind the travel blog Pinay Flying High the day before she left Dubai for good. Along with my other blogger girlfriend Sheila of ABandMe, we chat, giggle and nibble the night away talking about blogging, girls stuff, family, work, and our life in Dubai. We really wished that we have met long time before (but what to do yanih) we can only hope that our paths cross again.

(me, Noemi and Sheila)

With maybe an hour left to us before we actually say our goodbyes, we moved to a different venue for some dessert I mean drink

and some fun. I never thought fruits could be this fun

especially with these girls wild imagination (sorry to be vague but I'm sure ma girls get what I actually mean)

One last selfie with the girls. Take care PFH and mabrook to you and the future husband.

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Micaela's First Holy Communion

One more thing I like about Dubai and that one thing that is special apart from the millions things I like about this country is the liberty to practice religion.

As a practicing Catholic I am glad that we have our own churches here in the UAE and the people are allowed to practice their religion inside the church premises.

There are a couple of churches in Dubai that I know, one is St. Francis de Assisi in Jebel Ali and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oud Metha where we usually attend the holy mass, it is also where Prince was baptized. There is another church in Sharjah, the St. Michael's Church, it is where me and Ferald exchanged vows and where our first child Micaela was baptized.

Micaela recently received her first holy communion at St. Mary's Church after two continuous years of attending her catechism classes. Unlike in my home country, it is not included in her school program so we have to enroll her in a separate catechism class in Dubai.

Mica and her friend after the holy communion ceremony

I felt different that day. I felt pride in having to raise a God loving, God believing child. I am so proud of her for having to receive her first holy communion. I had goosebumps as I watch her and all the other children received their very first flesh and blood of Christ. I thank the Lord for such a blessing.


They looked angelic on white gowns provided by the church for a minimal fee including accessories (headdress for the girls, candle and scapular)

I bought for her a pretty white dress from Forever 21 to wear under the gown.

while I wore this blue dress from Iconic, there was this pretty maxi blue dress I found online but could not get it before Mica's event, I still want it so much and will have to get it.

I really wanted Ferald to be present on this special day but he was at work and there's no way to take a day off. No one's off during Saturdays at his workplace since it is the busiest day of the work week for them.There's another chance anyway since Micaela will have to continue her catechism classes, this time in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation or kumpil in Tagalog.

If you would like your child to receive his or her first holy communion in Dubai at St. Mary's Church in particular, your ward needs to attend two consecutive years of catechism class held every Friday and Saturday at the church followed by children's mass.

Here is the new announcement from the parish for the new catechism school year, you can also view it here should you wish to register your kids.

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Wish Granted! TGIF

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Finally wish granted, hubby's Friday off is baccccccckkkk!!!

But it wasn't easy to get it back, he needed to insist on it and thankfully the people around him in his new workplace are kind and helpful. I am not sure though if it will last longer than three months, I am just keeping my fingers crossed for now.

I was rambling about it three months ago and finally he is off this coming Friday. You can't imagine how the change on his schedule disrupts ours but of course I do understand that the husbands new job has its requirements.

You must be wondering why this day is so important to us. Well here in the sandpit generally our weekend is Friday and Saturday and it is so important if you have your family living with you in Dubai. He used to work from Sunday to Thursday just like me and the kids school is the same but then it all changed after 6 years when he move to another employer. Just a quick note, not everyone in the UAE has off days like ours, many of those who work in the mall and commercial establishments have their off in some other days.

But for us...

Weekend is our time to unwind and rejuvenate after a long work week, take the kids out and have plenty and quality time with them, reconnect with friends and family or do the house work, the laundry, or just laze around the house and do a movie marathon but most importantly is our time for our creator, it is only on Friday as a family, that we are able to go to church to attend the holy mass and say our prayers and thank you's for all His graces.

I am so looking forward to each and every Friday for the next three months. Yipiyayow!!!!
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Can you please give us back Friday?

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Since Ferald started his new job, we rarely had a family day out on a Friday. DSF which is one of our favorite events in Dubai is almost over but we haven't seen any of its shows yet, I don’t want the kids to miss it, I want them to see at least one or two shows. For six years we have a fixed schedule of Friday-Saturday off from work and school but now the husband's work week starts on a Thursday while I am just about to finish mine.

I used to look forward to Thursdays but not anymore. It's been two months now but I just can't get the hang of it, it's driving me nuts. The weekend routine has change and we have to make big adjustments to our schedules. It's not just me; even the kids are adjusting to it too. My daughter once told me he misses his dad and it doesn't feel like weekend. Even my almost 4 year old son is the happiest when his dad's day off comes which is on Tuesday and Wednesday. he misses him too on Fridays and Saturdays.

We all miss him, I miss him, we get used to a fixed schedule for the longest time and it is very difficult to let go of it. I just wish he get a change in work schedule soon.

Can you please give us back Friday please please pleaseeeee?
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Finding Happiness

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This December, I am officially in Dubai for a decade:). Yes a decade in Dubai. You think its long right? But when you hear people say they were in Dubai for the last three decades, you stop and asked yourself again, is 10 years really long enough?

I was sitting in a soft white couch in the lobby of DIFC patiently waiting for the free bus service to arrive. I am almost in the verge of hailing a taxi since it’s been like eternity to wait. The bus came though and pulled over in the parking, I stand and walk away from where I was seated and head out the door. As I help myself climb into the vehicle, the driver immediately offered me the news paper that was in the back seat. I wasn’t surprised by this because every time I am sitting in his van, I read the paper until I get to the intended drop off point. While I was busy flipping the pages, he ask me a question. “How old is your child?”

Sometimes when my husband is off from work, the kids would tag along with him to pick me up after work and they would wait in front of our building where others parked their car. He must have seen one of them. “I have two kids, a girl and a boy, which one of them you want to know?” I asked him. It’s the boy he wants so I told him he’s two and a half, almost three. Our conversation continued

Driver: He is so adorable!
Me: Thank you!
Driver: What is his name?
Me: Prince
Driver: You are Christian no?
Me: Yes we are, you?
Driver: I am also Christian. Malayalam mass in St. Mary’s church is at 2:00 pm. What time is the Tagalog mass?
Me: at 12:30pm
Driver: I once attended a Filipino mass and it feels so good to be there and see Filipinos, so many of them all are laughing during homily.
Me: Yes, Father Tom, he is using practical jokes in his sermon most of the time
Driver: It is very nice to see when people are happy.
Me: Sure is.
Driver: I have a grandson, his name is Joshua and it is mentioned many times in the bible.
Me: It is a nice name (me smiling)
Driver: My name is Josh Mathew and my wife is Sheryl so my daughter combined our names for her son.
Me: Is your daughter here?
Josh Mathew: No they are in Australia
Me: Where is your wife?

Josh Mathew: She is in India just came back from Australia. She came to visit my daughter and helped her for a few months with our grandchild. I have another daughter who’s in college that’s why she has to go back to India

Me: How old is your grandson? Why don’t you go to Australia with your daughter?
Josh Mathew: He is three months now. They are asking me to move there but I still have a year in my visa. After that I will see. In my holiday, I am able to see him, first grandchild. I have a computer at home, we are using Skype.

Me: That’s really nice, even they are far and you can still see and talk to them.

Josh Mathew: Yes, yes. My children are raised here; I used to work for Standard Chartered Bank before as a Driver Manager. I came here in 1979; maybe you are not born yet :)

Me: I was born in the 80’s only and I came to Dubai in 2002.

Josh Mathew: I have seen old Dubai. Sheikh Zayed Road is still Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway back then and there’s only the Trade Center and all you can see after that is the desert.

Me: Yes, I have seen photos like that. It is very interesting.

It must be boring to be an expat in Dubai at that time. It must be home after work and work after home, no play or fun at all but I did not brought that up to him.

Josh Mathew: But Dubai is so far from where it was before, it’s is beautiful now and it is rich, all this happened after the oil discovery. The only problem here for us is we are never going to get citizenship. It is alright if you have a job all the time because you have the visa otherwise there is no chance. I have spent thirty years of my life here already; it is very safe here not like in our countries. Also now everything is expensive, even there is no tax almost all income will go to basic necessities. Nothing is free.

Me: Yes, you’re right nothing is free. Oh wait there is one thing that’s free, this bus service is.

And we are both laughing. :)

I thank him for the ride but I wasn’t able to tell him how I enjoyed our short conversation and that I felt I was happy after that. It brings joy to my heart that people though you don’t know them willingly share their lives to you. His happiness radiates to me; his happiness of becoming grandpa he extended to me, to a nobody for him just a passenger, an acquaintance.

And I thank you for that and I thank God for bringing happiness to my life when I least expect it.
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