Wednesday, November 13, 2013

after Yolanda, what now?

days after Yolanda left a debris of crumbled structures; lost lives and hungry and cold survivors feeling helpless and hopeless in its wake, we see the sad truth about the situation in the Philippines.

I won't deny that the Philippine Government has its shortcomings - heck! even I feel frustrated at the lack of organization being done to aid the victims of typhoon Yolanda. We hear donations in cash and in kind being pledged and given by other countries which are yet to reach those affected. 

Where are our government heads? what have they done? In my opinion various Non Government Organizations have already done a huge part in collecting, sorting and repacking out relief goods and more help are coming from all over the world - medical teams, food supplies and others the least the government can do is 'pave the way' so to speak for these operations to be carried out.

I an not in a position to know how difficult the process can be but I guess the first thing the government should have done is to put ORDER and ORGANIZATION so that relief operations can be done.

As a Filipino Citizen, I love my country but I could not deny feeling frustrated with it's government. Where are the politicians that we have voted? have they set foot in those affected areas? have they smelled the stench of rotting corpses? have they seen the hopelessness in the eyes of the survivors? felt their pain and anguish? sometimes I doubt if they even watch the news. I mean who in their right mind can stomach pocketing taxpayers money upon seeing the desperate and miserable condition the country is in??? yet you STILL hear news of corruption in the midst of crisis - customs bureau attempting to tax help coming from Germany?? WTF??!! I admit to not knowing what government officials are feeling, what they are doing or not doing but how I wish for government officials to have heart, go out of their way and make themselves visible (as they were at elections) and HELP their people.

Anderson Cooper reports the harsh reality:



Days before typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda was expected to enter Philippine's area of responsibility, evacuation of families and other safety measures were done by the local government in preparation for what was expected to be the (unofficially) strongest recorded tropical cyclone to make landfall. 

When the storm hit, telecommunication lines were broken and it wasn't until about a day after since the last broadcast of news correspondents stationed in the southern part of the country that we began seeing live newsfeeds on TV.

Nothing could have prepared us from the images that we saw. Structures were crumbled as if they were a house of cards; tall tress were toppled and uprooted; countless of lives were lost and the survivors were left confused, aimless, cold and hungry. It was heart wrenching to watch the news and the only immediate help you can give is to say a prayer for the victims to find courage, hope and faith in the midst of the chaos.

Devastating though was typhoon Yolanda's aftermath, one can not help but have faith in humanity and faith in God who acts thru them as we volunteers put their efforts into helping our country.

In time, I pray for the Philippines to rise from the devastation stronger and more united. Bangon Pilipinas!

images from BBC;CNN;ABS-CBN NEWS;GMA;FACEBOOK and the World Wide Web

Saturday, July 20, 2013

spritz of freshness

... truly, every time I go out - there would be something new in the streets of Abu Dhabi...

... the latest thing I have seen are these 'spritz' machine that gives you a spray of water by a push of a button...

... what a perfectly cool way to refresh you a bit when you are walking along the corniche after a stroll or afternoon jog...

a spray of coolness


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

brain freeze

cooling off the summer heat with the sweet creaminess of ice creams... ahhhhh.... I could live on ice cream everyday if only the calories evaporate like water on a hot summer day...


Sunday, June 9, 2013

hello summer!

kick starting summer with barbecue Friday!!!

wow look at those grill marks!!! am a grilling pro!

shrimps kabobs


gotta have some veggies too!!

how about some snacks while doing all the work??!

grilling at the park

what is nice about Abu Dhabi is that there are a lot of parks you can go to for picnics and most have designated grilling places so you can just rest, relax and have fun

Saturday, May 11, 2013

the beautiful one

.... imagine being so beautiful that you had to be kicked out of a festival for fears of people falling madly in love with you...
... I could not even begin to imagine... oh the vanity!!!
... I chanced upon a news telling of three Emirati man being deported from Saudi Arabia because of their handsomeness, the story didn't include pictures and I was intrigued of course - I mean who wouldn't? I heard of people getting thrown out of parties and festivities because of bad behaviour but because you are deemed to beautiful? that person I have got to see!
... and so here it is...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

rainy Abu Dhabi

It has been cloudy with an occasional drizzle in Abu Dhabi over the past week, quite unusual but a welcoming respite from the undeniable summer heat that has been slowly creeping in.

I don't mind walking in the rain, it reminds me of my childhood when we used to pray for rain so that we could run around and play outside in it.

The pitter patter of raindrops on my umbrella reminds me of those days when we trekked to school, wearing brightly coloured raincoats and boots and of Saturday mornings watching cartoons eating a hot bowl of porridge or soup.

I do love the rain.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

happy hot pot!

After attending Easter Sunday mass, me and my brother decided to walk from the church to the main highway and from there hail a cab to the nearest pizzeria from out place. We 'thought' we wanted pizza for dinner but neither can finalize the choice we to decided to walk a bit further and investigate the restaurants and fast food joints that we passed.
Indian food? - nope, we don't want anything too flavourful. Fried Chicken? nah, we just had chicken for dinner the previous night. Arabic grills? hmmm... let's check, the next restaurant...
... as we walked a bit more we chanced upon Inner Mongolia Xiao Wei Yang Restaurant (whew!) in Phoenix Hotel... so Chinese? okay lets have a look... inside we saw tables with steaming big big hotpots and decided we could try something different and go for the hotpot.
 when the hotpot was placed on our table, I couldn't believe how big it was!

 fresh add ins of veggies, thinly sliced beef, fresh shrimp, squid balls and a variety mushrooms



chili garlic oil and chili garlic soya sauce
the hotpot hit the spot! it was a great happenstance and we really we full to bursting in a very satisfied way. The soup base was flavourful with Chinese herbs and spices, the add ins are fresh and there are a variety of sauces you can pick to complement your taste.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

a happy bunch

I had just recently read an article written by an Emirati highlighting the happy disposition Filipinos have. Come to really think about it, Filipinos really are a happy bunch - you wouldn't know from our smiles, the problems and trials we face.
Take being an expat for example - as an expat it is our unspoken responsibility to send money back home to support not only our immediate family but our relatives and occasionally our friends as well never mind not having enough to survive before the next payday comes, as long as we can fulfil our responsibilities we can happily live on boiled eggs, canned tuna and instant ramen. It can be difficult at times but we know how to set our worries aside and de-stress even if it is only by letting off steam over a cheap cup of coffee.
The downside of this happy pill that we constantly have it that sometimes we loose focus of the matter at hand, let everything be, live by the phrase 'que sera sera' and make no effort whatsoever to improve the situation. This is the other side of the coin - sad but true.

read full article here

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I consider myself very lucky indeed for being spared from experiencing any devastating events caused by natural disasters or human acts of violence. When I was in high school a powerful earthquake hit the Philippines. I was in school but other that the shock of seeing chairs, tables and potted plants shake and the panic that ensued, we all went home safely unlike the countless of other students across the country who were caught between rubles of collapsed school buildings. I am very lucky indeed and I thank the Lord for always keeping me and my family safe.
Today tremors and aftershocks from a massive earthquake in the Iran-Pakistan border again hit the region. It is the second time this week that it happened. Holding office in the ground floor, I didn't realize what was happening until a colleague pointed it out. I was standing wearing three-inch stilettos that I thought I was just loosing self balance as I'm not used to standing too long in heels.
I got goose bumps and my heart skipped a beat when what happened dawned on me... I pray for the Lord to keep us safe...

Friday, April 5, 2013

hats off to you ladies!!

Other than the occasional baseball cap I wear during a jog or walk, I feel rather awkward donning on any type of head gear - I just don't think I could pull it off so you could just imagine my admiration for these women who gracefully wore these funky, colorful, extravagant and elegant hats at the Dubai World Cup.

photo credit to TimeOut Abu Dhabi

Check out Time Out Dubai's Gallery | Dubai World Cup 2013: Ladies

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

100 bucks of summer

Free beaches have been one of the top things I like about Abu Dhabi. I have, countless of times went to the beach on a whim just so I could soak up the sun and feel the fine sand between my toes as I walk barefoot collecting shells. I didn't worry about anything and went with sometimes just enough change for taxi fare and a cold beverage.
Imagine being charged a 100 dirhams for that!!! nooooo!!!! in this news article, it is said that Yas Island public beach goers will have to shell out a hundred big ones to enjoy the beach. Oh my! that seems too much, specially for families - yes granted that it is in Yas Island and yes they said a beach club would be introduced complete with amenities but then again if that is the case then it won't be a public beach anymore now would it?
The project is said to be completed by the end of this year - and only at it's completion can we say if paying the 100 dirhams would be worth it or not. As for me, I am sticking to going to the free corniche beach - I just know I can relax better knowing that I did not blow a huge chunk off my budget just so frolic under the sun - I am after all just a middle class abu dhabi expat!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

earth hour 2013

I sadly missed the Abu Dhabi Earth Hour 2013 activities because of prior commitments but as I have pledged to go beyond the hour in doing my small bit in conserving energy, reducing carbon footprint and saving mother earth here's to my continued efforts to protect the planet.
this year's theme is 'I will, if you will'. Posing a challenge and making it more fun for each and everyone of us to participate and go beyond the hour. what is your challenge?


Thursday, March 14, 2013

snap happy - reflection

one of the old pics of various abu dhabi buildings that I have snaped. I have been neglecting my study of photography and kind of missed going on photowalks with fellow photography newbies. At the moment, I get to practice photgraphy during events with friends and when I feel like taking self portraits.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Red Lobster

My office mates have been looking forward to trying out the Red Lobster Restaurant which had recently opened in Al Wahda Mall and finally, in celebration of a colleague's birthday we did.

The place had a nautical theme going on with paitings of lighthouses and lifesavers on the walls, the furnishings are of dark wood which reminds me of beach cottages only more posh.

The wait staff we all friendly and attentive and here's hoping their zeal and zest to provided great service won't wane ever.
 seafood on the menu!!! good thing I am not on any diet! bring it on!

 while waiting for our entree's to be served, we were given a basket of complementary cheesy biscuits, yum!

 each was also served a portion of salad, wow two free items already??!! the anticipation builds up!

 our pasta choice of Cajun Chicken Linguini Alfredo - I was surprised how big and generous the chunks of chicken were! the alfreado sauce had a spicy kick which perfectly balances out the creaminess of the sauce making it less overwhelming.

 scallops are rarely on any american style bistro's so I went for this Peach BBQ Shrimps and Scallops. The shrimp and scallops are cooked prfectly but I wished there was more of the Peach BBQ sauce or an extra small bowl of it on the side.

 the Ultimate Feast featuring Maine lobster tails and Shrimp linguine - the lobster tails were succulent and tasted even better dipped in butter, the pasta lacks a tad bit of sauce.

Overall dining experience was above expectations, the service and food was good with generous portions, all these were shared by three people and we ate until we were full to bursting - that is why I wasn't able to try their dessert *cry* but we still had to parcel half of the pasta and a portion of the lobster tail. We were discussing that maybe the servings were huge and they gave complimentary biscuits and salads only because they had just opened and my friend argued that the portions might get smaller as they gain following well I sure hope not!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

snap happy - Terry Fox Run 2013

Sharing with you pictures from the annual Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi. It's my third year participating in the run and wrote a blog post about it  a few years back, its a cause I support having lost relatives to cancer. Here's hoping we finally outrun cancer.