Daring Thoughts

Dubai is an open city and people have freedom to do what they want and need to do as long as it won't disturb public order. Rules are rules here, strictly implemented so you don't want to be messing up with anyone of the countries rules and laws or you will end up getting deported to your home country or worst you will land in jail. For most of the thriving expats here, we are already aware of what I have stated above but for new comers it is important for them to know this. Dubai goverment is serious with its rules unlike in any other parts of the world  where some are still able to getaway with the silly things they are doing. In here, every building, establishment and public transport has an intalled camera to monitor people's every move.

Why am I talking about these things? I was at the metro station yesterday and I noticed a lot of red buttons scattered in all of the escalators and walkalators. It reads " Emergency Button Penalty for Misuse 2000 Dirhams". Who would want to do that with its hefty fine but I had this naughty thought that what is going to happen to me if I dare to push that button? I was laughing at my own thoughts and then I looked around the station and at evey corner, CCTV cameras are intalled so if I will do what I was thinking,

I would hardly getaway with it. of course I am not going to do it, it is just a thought and maybe if I am still a teenager with no responsibilities, I might dare but if I am going to do it, this is definitely not the place.

Have a safe weekend, everyone.
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some good food, a romantic comedy movie and a dozen of red roses

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Loui's Restaurant and Cafe is perfectly situated in downtonw Dubai at the foot of the majestic Burj Khalifa. Be seated at their fountain terrace and you have the best view of the Burj Plaza, the Fountain and the Burj Khalifa itself. The enormous golden hands at the center of the restaurant are engaging and unique but it gives me a strange feeling that someone is holding the ceiling so it won't collapse. Please pardon me for having that impression or maybe it is really what the designer wants to convey. Did you notice the ceiling, Arabic and english letters are written on it.

The place is vibrant and bustling with 90% percent of its diners are Arabs in the company of their friends and family chatting, enjoying and relaxing over good food, tall glasses, Arabic music, aromatic sisha, and board games.

The restaurant caters to Lebanese, Mediteranean and Japanese taste. Some of my favorite Japanese foods are maki and tempura. The salmon maki is very fresh, soft and made to perfection tempting us to order another plate. Ferald is not into Japanese food but agree to have more. The tempura was perfectly battered and was warm and crisp when it was served on our table, if only our eldest was with us, she would have ask for second serving. Knowing it was her favorite, we ask for one to go. Ferald and I are both into steak so after finishing our Japanese feast, we ordered each 200g of perfectly grilled rib eye and sirloin steak served with mushroom and pepper sauce separately, on the side is the undying French fries and steamed assorted veggies. I would say that it is not the place I had the best steak but it did not rank last on my list. To finish our sumptuous meal, we had a slice of American cheesecake, the tangy taste of lemon flavored cream on top give it a bit of a twist.

Tempura priced at AED 54 and Salmon maki priced at AED 24

Rib eye steak priced at AED 78 and Sorloin steak priced at AED 73
I did not forget to mention that we are celebrating a special occasion when I booked the table so when we arrived, the restaurant manager mentioned that he reserved one of the best table for us and for that I would like to thank the kind Mr. The service was excellent, and I am glad that a fellow Pinay was assigned on our table. She was polite and quick with our every request. Salamat kabayan for making us feel taken care of. Blessing comes in small ways and we should always try to recognize it. Small or big, a simple gesture of gratitude is music to the heart.

After a wonderful dinner, we are in the mood to watch a movie so we head to Reel Cinemas in Dubai Mall. It was almost twelve midnight but the cinema is still packed with people queing for their tickets. The rise of the planet of the apes was our first choice but it was almost sold out and there were no good seats anymore. We ended up seeing Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake (Dylan) and Mila Kunis (Jamie). We are not so positive about this movie mainly because when we were ask to chose our seats, it shows only few tickets were sold. But guess what, we left the cinema smiling and giggling like teenagers. It was a great romantic comedy movie and cinema screen # 22 was almost full. It was rated R18 and even though it was already rated as such, there are still cuts made from the film which I am guessing is the two sex scenes Dylan and Jamie had. To sum it all up, we had a great night out together as we celebrate our eight wedding anniversary.

At the office, September 25, a guy came with a bunch of  big red roses for me (may pahabol pa pala)

Thanks dad. My only wish is for us to grow old together still madly inlove with each other. So cheezy you may say but it is our day and I guess there is nothing wrong feeling this way. pagbigyan nyo na ako :)

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The generous tooth fairy comes just before a child wakes up :D


As of today four of Micas teeth have fallen out already and just a few minutes ago I received a call from her

Me: Hi Mica

Mica: Hi mommy, you know one of my my front teeth is super wobbly!

Me: That’s good, but don’t panic when it snaps alright, just ask for some cold water from your aunt to rinse your mouth so bleeding will stop

Mica: Ok mommy bye mommy, I just called you to tell you that my other tooth is falling.

Then she hang up.

I feel so important at that very moment. I was with her when the first one have fallen out and then the next three. I am not beside her now but she thought of calling me just to let me know.

The funny thing was two of her front teeth start to wiggle at the same time last week and the first one of two and fourth in the batch snap out last night while we were having dinner. She was in panic running back and forth. We were giggling at the sight of her; it wasn't her first time anymore. Her dad took the tooth and wrapped it on a tissue paper. He knows what’s going to happen at midnight, we will have a visitor.

That same night, Mica slept early for school and didn’t forget to put the tooth still wrapped on the tissue under her pillow. She had a good night sleep and when morning comes, she visited her pillow and thirty dirhams was there as gift from the tooth fairy for her baby tooth. She was one happy kid that morning.

Good thing I woke up her dad before her otherwise the generous tooth fairy might not have come or might be on a day off  or something.

Today's call excites me, we will have the visitor again probably tonight at midnight and I hope not before Mica wakes up tomorrow morning.
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Finding beauty in the midst of towering concrete walls


Its weekend once again, how do you plan to spend your weekend?

I just want to share some beautiful photos me and a friend have taken earlier. We found beauty in the midst of towering concrete walls. An almost 100 sqm park perfectly landscaped to provide some greenery for the tenants of the building.

Have a nice weekend everyone!
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33 Facts About Prince

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At 17 months and 3 weeks, my little Prince shows us a lot of amazing things he learned every day. Beautiful memories of his childhood that we will carry in our hearts and cherish for the rest of our lives. He is no longer a baby but a toddler who is hyperactive, overly sweet, clever and always with smiles in his face. It is when a day's work feels worthy for someone who never fails to remind us that the world is a beautiful place to live and life is not just about earning money and work and providing for the family.

My little Prince...

1. can now climb a chair, table, his high chair, the sofa to peek through the window, I am glad that your locomotor skills are well developing.
2. sit on a chair
3. follow directions like "close the door", "get your shoes", "push the button"
4. can close the door
5. collect his shoes and slippers from the shoe rack
6. can say single words like hon as in honey - he calls everyone in the house hon, he can utter daddy, cat, apples, and says "an" for something he is asking for
7. squeaks a lot
8. can press 0 on the elevator button
8. comb his hair
9. give mom, dad, sissy and autie bhabes wet kisses
10. give a flying kiss
11. sing miss na miss kita (i miss you so much) of father and son when he hears it on a regular tv commercial
12.loves lullaby to go to sleep
13. can cover himself with the blanket when its time to sleep
14. loves to play chase and hide and seek
15. jump and run
16. has 12 milk teeth
17. has been in the movie house twice already
18. likes apples and jelo
19. is more interested in commercials intead of the show
20. can hold a pencil and scribbles
21. uses his left hand when he does the # 20
22. likes to stay in the kitchen and look at what mommy is cooking
23. has a very firm grip
24. fascinated with birds
25. loves bath time
26. can eat on his own with his spoon and fork, we are teaching him a skill so let it be messy, there is always time to clean up
27. loves outdoors
28. kissed and chased a cat
29. points to areas of the house he want to go to and to things he wants to get hold on to
30. push or pull us when he wants us to do something for him. he even put on our slippers which only mean we must get up
31. raises both arms when he wants to be carried
32. an early riser but a light sleeper
33. can identify shapes
I am sure that there will be many more of these fascinating things that you will and can do in the coming years and we will be glad to witness them all. There is nothing more important to us but to see these precious moments of you while you are growing up and learning new things. love you Prince.
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Paradigm Shift


Ano ba ang meron ang iba na wala tayo at pinipili nating makipagsapalaran sa ibang bayan?

Sabi ng maraming OFW, walang trabaho sa Pilipinas kaya sila nag-aabroad pero kung iisipin mo bakit naman ang ating mga kamag-anak na hindi nangibang bayan, may hanap buhay sa Pilipinas, kasama ang kanilang pamilya at masaya, hindi nahohomesick, hindi umiiyak gabi-gabi, kumakain tatlong beses isang araw at may merienda pa, napag-aaral ang mga anak at hindi naman sila naghihikahos sa buhay? Ang sagot diyan, gusto natin ng mas magandang buhay para sa ating pamilya kaysa sa tinatamasa na natin bago pa tayo umalis sa Pilipinas. Isa pang dahilan ay gusto natin magkabahay at lupa, makanegosyo, gusto natin mapag-aral ang ating mga anak sa pribadong paaralan at mahaba pa ang listahan ng mga gusto natin sa buhay, tama ba?

Ang tanong, nagiging mas maganda nga ba ang buhay ng ating pamilya kumpara sa ating mga kamaganak na walang kapatid, ina, ama, kuya o ate na nasa abroad? Oo, maari, siguro ngunit may kulang at iyon ay pagkakabuklod-buklod ng pamilya. Kinakailangang magsakripisyo, humiwalay at lumayo upang matamasa ang mas magandang buhay.

Nuong isang taon tinalakay ng PEBA ang theme na "Strengthening the OFW Families, Stronger Homes for a Stronger Nation" at sa ilang mga artikulong naisulat ng mga kalahok, sinabing maraming paraan upang makipagtalastasan sa mga mahal sa buhay sa tulong ng teknolohiya habang ang iba nama'y piniling isama ang asawa't mga anak dito sa ibang bayan, habang pinagsusumakipang maitaguyod sila.

Ilang taon ka na bang nasa Saudi, sa Amerika, sa Singapore, sa Dubai, sa Italy? Gaano kahabang panahon ka na bang malayo sa iyong pamilya at nakukuntento sa isang beses isang taon ninyong pagkikita? Totoo pa ba sa iyo ang iyong layunin na kaya ka umalis ng Pilipinas ay upang mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang iyong pamilya? Ano na ang iyong rason at halos isa o dalawang dekada ka nang OFW? Maganda na ang buhay nila ngayon, may bahay at lupa, sakahan, nakapagtapos na ang mga anak, mayroon na ring sariling negosyo at masasabing maalwan na ang pamumuhay. Ano pa ang dahilan at hindi mo maiwan-iwan itong greener pasture?

Mahirap bang iwanan ang mas magaang pamumuhay sa ibang bansa kumpara sa Pilipinas na hindi mo alam kung ano ang iyong kahihinatnan pag-uwi mo ruon? O di kaya'y takot kang umuwi dahil sa nakikita mong sistema na mayroon ang bansa natin. Ano ba ang imahe para sa iyo ng bansa natin sa ngayon?

Ayon sa balitang nakalap ng mga mamamahayag ng TFC at GMA at sa araw araw nating panonood, halos sinasabing magulo ang politikal na aspeto ng bansa, mataas ang krimenalidad, mababang moral ng mga tao, maraming nagugutom at walang tahanan, mataas na presyo ng gasolina at mga bilihin at kung anu-ano pang di magandang balita tungkol sa Pilipinas. Kalimitan ang mga magagandang balita ay natatabunan ng mga ito kaya halos hindi na napapansin at minsan nga kahit maganda na ay babatikusin pa sa halip na isulong ang mga magagandang nagawa upang magkaroon ng pagbabago. Papaano ba natin aasaming magbalik?

Ngunit kahit gaano man tayo katagal manirahan sa ibang bayan, gaano man kaganda at katiwasay ang ating naging buhay ruon, kahit gaano man kasama ang mga balitang ating naririnig tungkol sa Pilipinas, siguradong uuwi at uuwi pa rin tayo sa inang bayan na parang ibong muling magbabalik sa kanyang pugad, sa kanyang pinagmulan, sabik tulad ng isang batang nawalay sa kanyang ina at sa ating pag-uwi ay baon natin ang lahat ng kaalaman, kagalingan, at mga alaalang hindi natin malilimutan habang nakikipagsapalaran sa ibayong dagat. Ibang tao na tayo, pinagyaman ng karanasan at hindi na tulad ng dating Juan Dela Cruz nuong unang sumakay sa isang magarang sasakyang panghimpapawid. Mayaman na tayo sa kaalaman, pasal sa mga mata natin ang magandang sistema na mayroon ang bansang ating pinagtrabahuhan, nakita natin at natutunan natin ang kanilang kultura na kahit iba sa atin ay itinuturing nating kaaya-aya, nakatatak na sa isip natin kung papaano pinatatakbo ng kanilang gobyerno ang kanilang bansa at sinusunod ng mga tao kung ano ang batas at madalas ay naikukumpara sa mga batas na ipinatutupad sa Pilipinas. Masarap isipin na sa oras ng ating pag-uwi ay ganito na rin ang ating dadatnan. Halika mangarap muna tayo.

Balita sa pahayagan, radyo, telebisyon, facebook, twitter, at blogs na pinauuwi na ang lahat ng OFW sa Pilipinas. Marami nang hanapbuhay, malinis at maganda ang kapaligiran, tapat ang gobyerno, mayaman ang agrikultura at maraming pagkain para sa lahat, maayos at mabilis ang transportasyon, nasolusyunan na ang polusyon sa tubig at maari na muling paliguan ng mga bata ang mga ilog, mababa ang antas ng krimen at sumusunod sa batas ang lahat ng tao, maganda ang sistema ng edukasyon at lahat ay nakakapagaral, buong populasyon ay nakatala at may kanya kanyang health card, mabilis umaksyon ang kapulisan at mga mambabatas, labas pasok ang mga negosyante sa isang magarang paliparan, at masayang namamaalam ang mga dayuhang bakasyunistang may pangakong pagbabalik. Ang dollar peso rate ay halos $1 to 5 PHP - malakas. Ang sarap mangarap hindi ba? Parang scene lang sa pelikulang Wall-E na sobrang saya ng mga tao ng malamang may buhay na muli ang mundo at maari na muling magsimula.


Ginising ko ang aking sarili sa pangangarap, sabi ko kung magkakaganito, siguradong kagyat kong papangaraping iuwi ang pamilya ko sa Pilipinas at hindi na muling lilisan pa para lamang maghanap-buhay. Ngunit hindi ito ang katotohanan, mukhang malayo pa tayo sa ganitong estado, marami pang palay ang itatanim at aanihin sa unti unting nauubos na palayan o bigas na aangkatin sa mga bansang tinuruan lang nating magtanim na ngayon ay sila na ang pinagkukuhanan natin ng makakain bago tayo makarating duon. Malaking bilang na ng populasyon natin ang nasa buong mundo, humigit kumulang labing isang porsyento ng kabuuang populasyon na umaabot na sa halos siyamnaput dalawang milyon, kalat kalat sa halos lahat ng mayayamang bansa sa bawat kontinente at sigurado ako, nakita na nila ang paraan ng pamumuno sa kanilang host country kaya ito maunlad at kung ano ang meron sila na wala tayo at kung ano ang meron sila na may roon tayo at kung ano ang kulang at bakit hindi nagiging epektibo ang ganitong sistema para sa Pilipinas.

Ayon sa mga eksperto, malaki ang epekto ng mentalidad ng isang tao upang umunlad sa kanyang pamumuhay at malaki rin ang epekto nito sa pag-unlad ng kumuninad at ng bansa. Kapag ang mga tao ay may positibong pananaw at binubulay bulay ang mga pangyayari sa kanyang pangaraw-araw na pamumuhay at sa kanyang kapaligiran at hindi nagpapadala sa sabi-sabi ng iba, may kahihinatnan ang kanyang plano at bawat planong ipinatutupad ng pamahalaan para sa mga mamamayan at bansa.

Ako at ang aking pamilya ay halos isang dekada nang pansamantalang naninirahan dito sa UAE. Wala sa plano na dito kami bumuo ng pamilya ngunit nagkataong dito kami naipadpad ng tadhana. Ang tanong ko sa aking sarili, ano nga ba ang magagawa kong pagbabago para sa Pilipinas kapag ako ay nagbalik? Isa lang ako sa maraming simpleng mamamayan na piniling maghanapbuhay dito sa Dubai at isa rin ako at nang aking pamilya sa maraming simpleng taong nakamalas ng magandang sistemang mayroon ang bansang ito. Kahanga hanga na sa loob ng tatlumpu't dalawang taon ay napaunlad ng bansang ito ang kanilang ekonomiya. Sa aking paninirahan sa UAE, naobserbahan ko ang positibong pananaw ng mga tao rito, lokal man o banyaga, namumuhay na magkakasama sa iisang bansa ng may pagkakaisa, kaayusan at pagsunod sa mga layunin at platapormang ipinatutupad ng gobyerno. Ang ibig sabihin ng kalayaan para sa kanila ay magawa ang nais nang hindi nakakasira ng lipunan.

Anong pagbabago ang maiiuuwi ko sa Pilipinas kapag ako’y nagbalik?

Sa aking pag-uwi dala ko ang malawak na pananaw sa malaking potensyal ng ating bansa para umunlad ngunit hindi ito maisasakatuparan kung ako'y nag-iisa ngunit kung ang halos labing isang milyong OFW ay uuwi ng Pilipinas at magsasabing positibo ang kanilang pananaw sa hinaharap ng kanilang kumunidad at bayan at mangangakong makikiisa sa pagsulong ng kaularan hindi malayong makamtan natin ito. Kung ang positbong pananaw ay maibabahagi natin sa ating mga mahal sa buhay at tulad natin ay yayakapin nila ang pagbabago, ang dalawang milyon ay magiging apat na milyon at kung ang ating mga kapamillya ay ipapasa ang positibong pananaw sa kanilang mga kaibigan at kakilala, ang apat na milyon ay magiging pangkalahatan. Kasunod ng pagkakaroon ng positibong pananaw ay ang kagyat na paaksyon nang naayon sa ikabubuti ng nakararami.

Tayo ang bagong henerasyon ni Juan Dela Cruz at ang Global Pinoy. Kung ang ating remittances ay umabot sa $11.35 bilyon hanggang July 2011 na sapat upang paangatin ang ekonomiya ng bansa, papaano pa kaya kung magbabago ang ating pananaw tungkol sa inang bayan at hindi basta huhusgahan tulad ng nakikita lamang natin sa telebisyon, malaki ang maitutulong nito kaantabay ng salaping ibinubuhos natin sa kabang yaman.

Muli kong uulitin, hindi ito maisasakatuparan kung hindi ito magsisimula sa pagpapaunlad ng ating mga sarili at pagbabago ng pamamaraan ng ating pag-iisip, kailangang simulan ito at ang oras ay ngayon na.

Ito po si Carla Roque para sa My Yellow Bells-Dubai at ito ang aking kathang lahok ngayon taon sa temang "Ako'y magbabalik, hatid ko ay pagbabago" ng Pinoy Expat Blog Awards.

Some inspirational word for you - I personally love this phrase: Gratitude and Paradign Shift

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."-- Melody Beattie
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Micas Sports Days

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Here I am again never tired of my rants...never mind because my daughter is growing so fast. I don't want to miss any single part of it, it's like documenting every single one of them so she sees and read it here and she know she can rely in every word I wrote here and when she has questions about her childhood she can always ask me or read MYB if I am not around.

I wasn't as lucky as her, there were no computers when I was a kid and blogging wasn't invented yet, camera phones are non-existent and even cameras are rare to middle class families in my country. I have few snaps of my childhood on different occasions and I vaguely remember everything that happens to me except for few unforgettable ones and the ones that my mom told me while I was growing up.

Let's not take this post to a different level, I just want to share my daughter's stories with you. This is simply about the annual sports day at her school. This type of activity at school teaches children that physical fitness is important for a fit body and mind. Not just that, it teaches them team work, camaraderie, friendship, competitivenes, and acceptance, more so it is fun to participate in this kind of events at school.

When Mica was in KG 1 and KG 2, the sports day is held at school premises only. During her 1st and 2nd grade, they move to a bigger venue at Dubai Police Stadium where all students from Grade 1 to 8 participate in the event. I still have the video of Mica during her KG 1 sports day and whenever we watch that, me and my husband could not stop giggling, she looks so cute while doing the jumping jacks which she hardly did right, it doesn't matter actually, she exerted efforts to it and did what she can do. We love that moment when we first saw her run and have fun with her classmates.

Mica - KG 1 @ 3 years old-first on the left - waiting for the cue from her teacher

Mica - Grade 1 @ 5 years old - lemon relay first in line next to the girl in yellow

Mica - Grade 2 @ 6 years old - aerobic excercise - girls line on the left - fourth in line wearing orange T

Did you notice that I don't have the KG 2 picture, could not locate it in my hard drive. sigh!

Ok so thats that, her annual sports day. Mica is now seven years old and in Grade 3, she is more eager to learn and have more fun. We are looking forward to a fruitful year ahead. Love you anak.
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