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Saturday, 25 April 2009


Last Friday, my family and friends were watching the Red Bull Airshow in Abu Dhabi Corniche under the heat of the blazing sun. So we decided not to finish the show and just go home because I was afraid that my daughter might get sick because of the sun.

My hubby went back to finish the show and a Western lady approached and asked him if he was a photographer. My hubby said yes and the lady was asking if he can cover her wedding the week after. My hubby told her that he will just refer her to our other groupmates who have more experience in wedding photography. However, the lady still insisted that she would like my hubby to cover the wedding, but my hubby didn't say yes because he might have to go to work on that day.

So, my hubby immediately gave this lady the phone number of our other fellow photographers, but no one was available. To add to that, my hubby was also free on that day, so he decided to shoot that wedding and asked me to be his backup.

As I have work on that day, I was only able to help him during the reception.

I must admit that I really had a hard time shooting this event because of several reasons.

Firstly, they are a western couple and their culture and tradition are different from ours. The poses that we were asking them to do are quite absurd for them. We are more on the experimental side, but they want to stick to the basics.

Secondly, we don't have a sophisticated unit to use. What we have is a flash unit from Metz which takes ages to reload.

Nevertheless, we still managed to give it our best shot and were able to shoot the event properly. We are still in the process of post-processing the pictures. I will post them as soon as we finish it.


Yup! They've finally arrived.

My hubby broke the news to me on a lovely Thursday afternoon and told me that Emirates Post contacted him and informed him that some of my purchases already arrived.

To my surprise, the ones that arrived first were the ones that I least expect.

My sifter jars arrived along with my mineral makeup from Earthen Glow Cosmetics. I was so excited to see them that I would really love to rush out from my office and go straight home to try and test my MMUs! Wow!

When my hubby fetched me from work, I forgot to kiss him first, but instead I asked for my MMUs! I was opening the parcel inside the car and was not able to wait to reach home first.

When I tried it on, it's really worth the wait...

I only put a few amount on the jar cover and applied onto my face, but it's really wonderful. My hubby even noticed the difference between regular makeups and my new MMUs.

Today, I received an email from Joppa telling me that the shipment they sent me was returned to them. Now at least I know that it will reach me (I don't care if it'll take long) because now I have given them my correct address.

I will definitely be ordering some more soon...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Wouldn’t the world be simpler if people are getting the right response to the questions they ask?


Lai – Hello, I am awaiting a shipment from the US. It’s first class express mail service from USPS weighing less than 0.5 kg, so it’s just a regular mail. I would like to know if the parcel is delivered right into the recipient’s doorstep or it would have to be picked up?

Call center agent – Can I get the tracking number please?

Lai – Oh, I don’t have it right now. Anyway, I am just asking a general question and I know that the shipment is not yet here since I ordered it about three days ago.

Call center agent – Ma'am, I need to know the tracking number.

Lai – But I don’t have it and I am only inquiring about deliveries if it is to be delivered to the recipient’s doorstep or if it’s for pick up.

Call center agent – I’m sorry Ma'am, I need to have the tracking number because if I don’t have it, I cannot give you any information.

Was my question answered?


Lai – Hi, I would like to ask you regarding our company’s health benefits. My daughter is my legal dependent here in the hospital, but her visa is not under my sponsorship. As per the new policy, dependents who are not under the employee’s sponsorship will not receive the health card from the insurance company and will not receive medical benefits also. I would like to know if I still have to renew her existing dependent card that the hospital issued her last year because it’s expiring in May. Also, will she not be able to receive any medical benefit even from the hospital itself without using the insurance like before?

HR officer – Hi Lai, as per policy, she will not have the insurance card because she is not under your sponsorship, so she cannot avail of the hospital insurance.

Was my question answered?

Friday, 17 April 2009


Since I have been living abroad for almost seven years now, there are things in the Philippines that I really miss and wish that we have here in the Middle East.

1. Fishballs, squid balls, kikiam
Before going home, I always make it a point to drop by my suking fishball vendor near the tricycle station in our subdivision. "Manong" (how we Filipinos call our elderly men) seems to have the tastiest sauce that goes along with the crispy fishballs, squid balls and kikiam, not to mention ththe sago't gulaman that will quench your thirst after a hefty snack.

2. Zagu Pearlshakes
This is really worth missing because of the intense heat here in the Middle East. Yes, there are smoothies here and there, but nothing beats the taste of Zagu pearlshakes. Ooh, I can just imagine the taste of those pearls. Very refreshing indeed.

3. Isaw and Balat
Isaw is the Tagalog term for chicken intestine. Balat is skin in English, and in the Philippines, balat is the term for pork skin when it comes to street food. Both the isaw and balat will be boiled first with special ingredients then it's ready for barbecue. After it has been barbecued, it will then be dipped into two different sauces depending on what you like. First is the vinegar with lots and lots of onions and chili. The other one is a thick sauce, which, I believe, is made from soy sauce, catsup, chili, sugar and salt.

4. Siomai
Although not a native Filipino food, i definitely miss this one because of the unique taste that siomais in the Philippines have. Aside from the traditional siomai, there is also the Japanese siomai, which is better than the tradiotional one.

5. Lots'a Pizza
Pizza definitely is all over here in the UAE, but Lots'a Pizza is a standout among all of these pizzas, be it Dominos, Little Caesar's or even Pizza Hut. It's not too sweet and it's not too sour. The crust is just perfect. The amount of cheese is just right. In short, it's fantastic.

6. Mini Stop
A 24-hour convenient store that has almost everything that you are looking for even in the late hours of the night. In addition, they also have a snack bar where you can eat to your satisfaction, be it you're craving for something heavy such as a full meal or even a light snack.

7. Flee Markets
Flee markets are almost everywhere in the Philippines. With these markets, the prices are way much much cheaper than those in the regular malls. Also, there are many things that you can buy here. From food to clothes, to accessories, to electronics. Name it, they have it. Just be a little more patient when it comes to bargaining because I know that they will give in in the end.

8. Ukay-ukay
Surplus or ukay-ukay shops have bloomed in the Philippines like mushrooms. This is the place where tens and thousands of used clothes, shoes, bags, etc., are on sale in give-away prices. Just imagine purchasing an Esprit top for only P100 or $2.50! Isn't that a bargain. However, you must be very patient because it will consume most of your time searching and literally digging into huge piles of clothing.

9. Taho
This drink is made from soy beans with tapioca pearls (sago) and sugar syrup. Every morning, this used to be my breakfast. It also evolved into diferent flavors such as pandan and ube. For me, the original is still the best.

10. Christmas in the Philippines
The Philippines seems to have the longest Christmas celebration in the world. The celebration starts during the month of September where we Filipinos usually have this Christmas countdown. Then comes Misa de Galio or the Christmas eve mass which starts on the 16th of December and ends on the 24th. There is a belief that if you are able to complete the whole nine days of Misa de Galio, which, by the way, is conducted at 4:00 a.m., your wish will come true. Then comes the Noche Buena on the 24th of December, then Christmas day on the 25th for gift giving, then Media Noche on the 31st of December, followed by the New Year on 01 January and ends with the Feast of the Three Kings.

With all of what I have mentioned above, there's really no place like home.


When my monthly period is about to come, I eat a lot, and I mean it. Lately, I noticed that my waist line and my tummy is getting bigger and bigger every day. I was thinking that it's just related to me having a period in a few days, but naaahhh.... I really was eating a lot even during my period. I must do something about it though or I will end up as a couch.


I usually walk from the hospital back home because aside from doing some exercise (just imagine walking 3 km under the heat of the sun), I can also save some money by not having to hire a taxi which will cost around 8AED or P100.

This week I decided not to walk because I have my period and I might faint because of the heat.


When I have my monthly thingy, I really get too moody.

Last night my hubby got a piece of my mind. It's good that his temper is not as bad as mine and he understands that it's that time of the month again.


In the office, we received a memo from our boss.

Guess what it was all about: Yeah, it's all about our monthly period. My boss and two others are already past that stage and what she wanted was for us to use another bin for our "particulars" during that special time of the month. But hey, as if we Filipinos are careless when disposing our particulars. We even wrap it before disposing it. Don't tell me that it's because of the smell of blood. I'd rather smell blood than see their poops left in the bowl without even bothering to clean it first!


Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Yesterday morning when I was about to go to work, the wind was blowing heavily. I was struggling to walk and exerting all my effort because if I did not, I will be blown away by the wind (literally)!

It is really unusual here in the UAE to have this kind of weather especially this time of the year, April. Usually, April is the start of the summer months (and I mean months) here in the UAE. Maybe it's because of the global warming (WTF?) that's why the weather pattern is changing. So I'd better prepare for a long and hot summer, wheeew!


Windang, a gay lingo, was derived from the word windy which means perplexed, confused, near insanity. When I reached home there were quite a few things that really made me windang to the highest level.


I received my FCCPT Type 1 evaluation report from Kenneth Harrington (pangalan pa lang malinamnam na). He was too kind to even give me a refund for the payment I gave them for another copy of my evaluation. He also sent me information about the PLAN program of FCCPT for foreign-educated physios like me who are lacking professional units. Of course, I will not apply to this PLAN program because it will cost me another $350. To make the long story short, I am lacking 4 professional units from the 90 units required by CAPTE. I need to take additional courses to make up for my deficiency.

My friend found one school on-line offering courses for foreign-educated physios. The admission fee is $75 and the cost per unit is $343 which in my case is $1372 because I am lacking 4. $1372 is a big amount of money. I am really into thinking now if I should pursue with my State Board exam because even after finishing my additional course, I still have to pay FCCPT $350 for re-evaluation. It's good that I already have an employer to shoulder the expenses registering to the State and FSBPT. If I will not pursue with this one, then I would have just been wasting money as well because I paid $660 for FCCPT accreditation, $180 for TOEFL and $500 for my employer. Reaching your dreams is really expensive.


To buy or not to buy a condo/house? This is the other thing that has been going on my mind now for weeks.

When we went for vacation to the Philippines last month, I saw how beautiful my sister's house is. I was a little bit envy (yeah I admit) but not on the positive side.

I already have a house in Cavite, but this house needs a lot of repairs. So I need to have those repaired first before purchasing a new one. This will cost me around P100,000 and will take me around two to three months to save this much. I am so thankful that I have my father back home who will be looking after my house repairs there.

Anyway, I have been browsing through some websites offering condominium units. I have been into deep thinking whether I shall be purchasing one or not. I have found one 2-B/R unit located in Paranaque City, just in front of SM Sucat with Ayala Land as its developer. It costs around P2.5M. The terms will be 20% down payment which is payable in one year plus P120K for processing, documentation, etc., that I have to pay to Ayala. So, this means I have to pay roughly P51K a month for one year and then pay the outstanding balance which is P2M through bank loan at around P25K a month for ten years. The turnover will be the first quarter of 2010. After the turnover, I have to pay around P3K a month for the monthly dues for the garbage, maintenance, security, etc., thus giving me a total of P28K a month. And what was supposed to be P2.5M will now be P3.6M after all the bank interest, etc., for a 44 m2 floor area. It might be too expensive as it may seem, but buying a condo will give me a faster ROI (return of investment) compared to a house and lot. Why? Because I can have the condo rented for 20 – 30K a month. This is the main reason why I really want to have my condo unit. However, I still have to pay an additional P500K if I want to have my own parking space.

Buying a house and lot is much cheaper compared to a condo. In our subdivision in Las Pinas, where lots of townhouses are being built, I have found one 2-storey house and lot, 65 m2 lot area and 80 m2 floor area, with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, service area, parking space, fenced, and your own tank. If you are the first to buy, you will have the option as well to choose the color of the paint and the tiles that will be used in the house. The terms of payment will be 20% deposit which is P500K, payable in one year, but will only be P450K if I pay in cash. Then, the monthly amortization will be P26K a month for ten years. Here the monthly dues will only be around P200 a month for the garbage collection. One advantage here is that I will have my own lot and this is more spacious compared to the condo. However, if I am going to have this place rented, the highest that it can go will only be up to P10K a month compared to P20-30K a month in a condo.

But as we all know, the value of real estate is never depreciating in the Philippines, it only has one way to go and that is upwards.

Up to now, I still do not really know which one to buy.


To cancel or not to cancel Mcxene’s visa.

The recent policy from our hospital really gave my mind a 360° turn. Before, even though Mcxene’s visa is not under my sponsorship, she is receiving medical and educational benefits from the company. Now, as per the new policy, only those dependents who are under the employee’s visa will receive the medical benefits which means Mcxene does not have medical benefits anymore.

I have two options:

One is to apply for a Daman Insurance out of my own pocket for Mcxene. This will cost around 1500 AED a year. With this, we only have to pay 20% of the total cost of the consultation and medicines that will be given to Mcxene on SEHA-accredited facilities.

The second option is to transfer Mcxene’s visa under my sponsorship. However, this is no easy task. Here in the UAE, if the father of the child is here as well, then it is a must that the child be sponsored by the father especially if the father’s salary meets the salary bracket required. Since my hubby is here and meets the salary requirement, they will question me as to why I want to transfer my child’s visa under my sponsorship. If I tell them that my hubby will resign from his work (which is just an excuse), they might ask for proof that my hubby really is resigning from work, which I cannot provide. If they do agree to transfer my daughter’s visa under my sponsorship, then we have to give a bond worth 5000 AED (P665K) which is refundable after my daughter leaves the country.

This place is really becoming unfriendly to families. I am now into thinking if we should be staying here for long.


I really have lots of things going on my mind now, thus the term WINDANG is very much applicable to my mental state as of the moment.

How I wish that every thing would be much simpler and less complicated.

How I wish that the wind would be gentler…

Friday, 10 April 2009


I have never seen Abu Dhabi sky as beautiful as the one we have in the Philippines. So while we were there, I grabbed the opportunity to take some shots of the lovely sky.

Add Image


This will be the first time I will post my top 10 on Friday. I know it's usually on a Tuesday for other bloggers, but I want mine to be on a Friday.

Anyway, these are the top 10 occupations I was dreaming of before:

1. Teacher.
Yes, believe it or not, I really would love to be a teacher. There was a time when I was playing "teacher-teacher-an" when I was small. I was the teacher and my students were my younger cousins. It's not that I wanted to teach but the fact that I wanted to write on those class records, write on the blackboard and give obnoxious grades, wehehehe...

2. Doctor.
I guess everybody wanted to be a doctor when we were young. I was one of them, too but not because I wanted to treat those people who are sick, but because I know they earn so much and that most doctors have a car of their own.

3. Lawyer.
I dreamed of becoming one before because I find lawyers so cool with their suits and that they always have something to argue about. During that time I was kinda argumentative unlike now, I will just listen and usually will not voice out what I have in mind.

4. Interior Designer.
Designing homes is also one of my dreams. It seems that there will always be a creative juice in your mind that will just continue flowing. Of course, it's really fulfilling to see the work of art that you have created.

5. Archeologist.
It's always been my interest to learn and know things about our past. I was really into this course before, but I know that we cannot afford this so I opted for another one. I also came into thinking, what job will I have after I finished college as the opportunity is very limited for archeologists and the likes in the Philippines.

6. Journalist.
I really want to be one before because I know that they are really paid high aside from the fact that they really have a very interesting and exciting jobs. Also, they also get to travel while working. How about that, huh? Then I told myself, I am not pretty enough so I may not get a job in the journalism field compared to those pretty girls. So, I crossed this out on my list.

7. Chef.
Cooking has always been my passion, but during those times, chefs were not yet in demand. Thinking practically, I was looking in the classified ads and was not able to see any demand for chefs. So, another cross for this one. If I would have known earlier that chefs will be in demand nowadays, then I think I would have pursued this because the tuition fee before for this course was not really that high unlike now.

8. Market vendor.
Laugh if you want to, but yes, I dreamed to be one before. When I was a kid, my mother used to bring me to market and I find those vendors really entertaining to look at. I also used to think that they were really rich because even if the buyers were asking them to lower the price, they were still giving their goods to them. So, I was thinking that they must have been really rich because they can afford those discounts that they were giving the buyers. What logic did I have during that time? Geeesshhh!

9. Actress.
The nerve! Yes, my mother used to bring me to auditions whenever there is a search for potential artists. I remember during the time when ABS-CBN 2 was holding their auditions for the teleserye, "AnnaLuna," my mother brought me to Mother Ignacia for that. Hahaha.... I know for my self that I really did not know how to act. So when it was already my turn, the staff asked me to cry and not even one drop fell from my eye. It was really embarassing, but at least I get a taste of showbusiness even for a second, hahaha.

10. Flight attendant.
How about traveling every now and then to almost all parts of the world? We all know for a fact that this is the occupation that I will never ever have. Why? I stand 4 feet 11 inches only. When I myself am traveling, I cannot even reach the plane's compartment. Too much said for that.

Any hoo, my profession and the course that I took up were not included in this list. WTF? Too much dreams and not even one fulfilled! Oh well, at least I am earning from my job and able to support my family with that.

Until next Friday...


Kanina pag dating ng amo ko sa work, ayun bigla ba namang - "Good morning, Lailani," with matching modulation ng voice at jus mio parang hanggang sa kabilang mundo eh rinig na rinig ang boses nya. Di pa dito natapos ang topak ng amo ko, niyakap pa si Weng na para bang close na close sila. Come to think of it, naboljak lang ako ng isang araw dahil lang sa nagtanong ako sa HR ng bagong policy sa insurance namin. Gusto nya kasi secretary ang gagawa nun, eh haller sanay ako na ako ang umaayos sa problema ko at ako ang gagawa ng paraan para makakuha ng impormasyon, hmp!


Pabalik na ako galing sa lunch, bigla ba naman akong tinawag ng amo ko sa opis nya. Syempre akala ko boboljakin na naman ako. Yun lang naman kasi yun eh. Once na tinawag ka nya, ihanda mo na sarili mo, boljak na kasunod nito. Nagulat ako kasi nga, hindi naman ako naboljak. Nagbigay lang ng reminders with chika on the side. Aba, aba, aba..... na-chorva siguro to kagabi at maganda ang mood... hmmm.... teka muna.....


Buong araw halos puro Medical Evaluations ang ginagawa ko na usually sa puti lang nya binibigay. Ewan ko madami naman kami bakit sa akin binibigay, siguro sinusubukan ako. Eh di subukan nya, care ko naman! At dahil nga wala naman syang magawa at ginagawa, ayun nagbasa ng mga reports na tapos na. Nung wala naman syang nakitang mali, nagdagdag-bawas ng articles, "a. an, the." Nagwe-wear off na yung mood nya na masaya.


Ending, natapos naman ang araw ng matiwasay. Yun nga lang, mejo mabagal ang processing ng utak ko kanina. Late ko na nare-realize na mali pala ang ginawa ko at pwede ko palang gawin ng mas maayos ang isang bagay kaso di ko naisip.


Habang naghihintay ako ng taxi pauwi, nakita ko na marami ang naghihintay, iba't ibang lahi. Well, hindi naman ako mainipin so mega naghintay talaga ako. May dumating na Pinay, mejo may edad na, may dalang karton, nginitian pa ako, eh di syempre smile back naman ang lola mo baka sabihin suplada ako. Ayun bwisit na bwisit sya sa mga ibang lahi dahil inuunahan sya sa taxi, eh haller mas nauna naman yun. Di nya yata napansin kasi feeling nya sya ang nauna sa lahat ng tao na maghintay ng taxi, ultimo ako na nginitian nya at kabayan nya eh inunahan nya. Kung di lang to matanda, nakutusan ko na to eh!

Buti na lang dumating si Mama Lai at dala nya si Pangcar (Honda Civic nila) at sinakay ako pauwi. Kakakuha lang nya ng lisensya about one week ago. First time kong sumakay sa kanya and I must say, mejo umiral ang pagkainggitera ko at wish ko nagda-drive din ako. Eh sa gusto kong mainggit eh, bakit ba?


Before the day ended, pumunta kami sa haus ni Mai at naki-partey sa birthday ni Lance. Cutie Lance, dinedma naman si Mcxene. Di bale, dinedma rin naman sya ni Mcxene, hehehe...

Nandun din ang mga bruha kong sis. Syempre kwentuhan to the max at kahit late na, lafang pa rin at lafang. In pernes, ang ganda ng muffin cake ni Mai! At ang mga bruha kong sis, nakipag-agawan pa sa loot bag na bigay ni Mai!

At ako eto, 1:43 na ng madaling araw, blog pa ng blog.

Nighty night!

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Sam and Em, my hubby's friends, asked us to have their prenuptial photos taken and we gladly obliged. These photos were taken in Picnic Groove, Tagaytay during our vacation in the Philippines last month. Mind you guys, this was the only photoshoot that we had during our whole month's vacation in the Philippines.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


These photos were taken without a tripod, so the images are not that sharp.


Sometimes, I can be stupid even without knowing it. I just realized today that the UAE doesn't have a system to deliver mails directly to one's home. It's all in the PO Box unless shipped through Aramex, Fed-Ex, etc.

Two weeks ago, I went on panic buying mineral makeup from the net. All of those orders were addressed here in my house because when I ordered a book online last time, it was delivered right at my doorstep through Fed-Ex. Thinking that everything will be like that, I ordered online without hesitation and have it delivered here. How I wish that it will come through. Two weeks have passed already and I am keeping my fingers crossed that those shipments will arrive.



Oo. Yan ang ultimate na description ng mga lokal na utaw dito. Oo nag-Tagalog ako, baka mamaya kasi may makabasang lokal, yari ako.

Bakit ko nasabi to? Bweno, isi-share ko lang ang istorya ko.

Nagpunta ako kanina sa Immigration Department para mag-inquire kung ano ang mga requirements para ma-transfer ko ang visa ng anak ko sa sponsorship ko. Ang sabi sa akin nung mokong na mamang taga-Immigration na walang kaabog-abog at walang kurap -> hindi pwede kasi hindi ka nars, titser o engineer. Jus mio naman, eh anong konek? Isa pa, ang dami na kaya nilang ni-approve na transfer of sponsorship from male to female na hindi rin naman yung tatlong propesyon na yun ang trabaho ng mga babaeng yun. To make the long story short, hindi sila consistent sa mga sinasabi nila at sa mga laws nila. Saka parang may presidential pardon pa, sabi ba naman, bumalik daw ako kinabukasan at kausapin ko yung pinuno nila baka daw pumayag. Eh haler naman di ba? Kung meron talaga kayong rules na sinusunod, dapat walang exemption to the rule. Patupad sa lahat, hindi yang iba-iba ang sinasabi ninyo, depende pa kung kanino ka natapat.

Hay, pasensya na pero you have to be here to know what I am trying to say.


And then we come to the last part of my stupidity run.

I applied for an FCCPT type 1 credentialing a couple of months ago. They are only sending the results online, but I did not seem to receive the result from my email. I have a feeling that I had accidentally deleted the mail since I was in the Philippines during the time that they sent it and I didn't have the time to scan my mails one by one.

Now, I have to apply for another copy and pay $90 for that.

So all in all, $90 plus almost $100 for the online orders that might not arrive (I hope not) equals $190 dollars just because of stupidity.

Oh well.....

Nighty night!


I have always wanted to keep one, but has not been able to. I don't know. There are times that I really want to blog, but time restricts me to do it. I will do my best, however, to keep this one. As it is really hard for me to keep just one blog, this will be a mixed blog, photoblog, digiscraps, and everything that my mind wants to shout out.