November 28, 2015

Ice Breaker #7: What expectations do you have for yourself that were borne from childhood?

I don't remember much of my childhood expectations however I have always known that I want to have my own garden (when I have my own home) with all kinds of flowers, all hues of green, butterflies here and there... yep. I still live in a fantasy world sometimes.

As a kid, I mostly spent the weekend afternoons in my parents' garden. I treasure those memories forever in my heart and will be forever grateful for my parents for creating such a place I won't find anywhere else in the world. Yes, there are beautiful gardens anywhere else in the world but it's a different story (and a special one) when you actually have a garden that you call home.

Yesterday, we had a BBQ night at my colleague's home. I was pretty excited about the food and company but I honestly wanted to see her garden.


It made me smile when I saw her garden. I was reminiscing my childhood years while walking around and intently looked, smelled and touched the flowers! It made me think that I will be the kind of person who would tend a garden in her 40's and so on.

November 17, 2015

I'm Grateful For

I am grateful for a lot of things. Specifically for today, I want to write about the people whom I am very grateful for -- The people I met in this new city that I am in. I have met a couple of people who seemed like they hate the world but I have also met those who are absolutely happy inside. No matter the situation is, there is that spark of light inside their heart and they let you feel that everything is going to be alright.

The people who sing their hearts out. Those who are very passionate about what they believe in which keeps me motivated to do the things I love -- and not question why I do so -- just because my heart wants it.

The people who never thinks sadly about the situation that they are in. Life goes on. Bad things pass by and so do good things. Keep it balanced that way as long as it isn't so bad. The funny thing in this city is that, the problems common people stress about is not as bad compared to where I came from. The difference between what they call 'first world' and 'third world'. It's funny sometimes.

The people who are calm. The beauty of calmness. It's just a beautiful thing. Being calm is also accepting something as it is. These people remind me that to appreciate the beauty of something, acceptance is the key. So accept whatever it is, however it is.

The people who are cheerful. These people remind me to take things lightly and sometimes comically. I mean, we do not want to live life seriously at all times. Don't forget to be merry and make others laugh! You know, as cliche as it may sound, laughter is the best medicine.

I am grateful for everyone who came into my life actually. They shaped who I am today somehow. And honestly, even though I have been through a lot of bad situations, I still love myself for not giving up. I would not exist if not because of the people who surrounded me and those who are still around. So thank you. I am so grateful for you! :)






November 11, 2015

She


"oh she,
silent smiles
trembling words
maybe dreams
but never plans
bright eyes
misty vision
different, but
a person too."

November 8, 2015

Jebel Hafeet

For a girl who grew up in a city surrounded by mountains, I was excited to visit and see Jebel Hafeet. It's located in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. 


I especially enjoyed seeing a different view on the road: the trees, mountains, less cars -- something that I am used to see back in my home country (in my city, at least!).



From the top, the view was spectacular. Looking down, the cars on the man-made road reminds me of those little Tamiya toy cars I used to play when I was a kid.


"The mountain rises 1,249 metres (4,098 ft) and offers an impressive view over the city. Jebel Hafeet was a well-known landmark throughout the area's history and is a contemporary tourist attraction. An extensive natural cave system winds through Jabal Hafeet." 






The whole area is fenced but there's a path where you can go towards the top. I would go if I could. Maybe if I have the chance to visit it again, I would wear appropriate foot wear.  There were gazebos and canteens for everyone. The weather was perfect as well.




This mighty mountain is built to see the beauty of the vast desert from above. I feel lucky to experience that!

November 7, 2015

Missed Connection: What's your shampoo?



It all happened after waiting for 8 hours in Changi Airport. We finally checked-in the boarding area of flight SQ 494. I sat right next to my sister; you sat on the opposite side. I was about to read my book when I noticed you looking at me (not in a creepy way). And right before I opened my book, you asked me what shampoo do I use for my hair. I was not sure if I heard you correctly so I gave you a friendly "question mark" look.

You stood up and sat right next to me and asked the same question, "what shampoo do you use for your hair?" You wanted to straighten your hair and make it shiny. I think it's always better to go natural but then since you asked if there's any way you can achieve such hair, my sister told you about different procedures that you can ask from a hair stylist.

It was your first time in Dubai as well. And you went to visit your husband. You told me you live in Australia and how you love it so much that you showed me random images in your smartphone. You showed me the mountains and the beautiful scenery like you know me from the inside. Honestly, you made me homesick right there but that's fine. You sat back on the opposite side doing your thing and I started reading my book and watching planes take off...

It's been 10 months since that flight, I wonder how was your first vacation in Dubai? I hope it was fun! I hope you did not straighten your hair though since you're good with your natural hair.

That was weird and spontaneous but thanks! Thanks for approaching, at least we killed some boredom. :)

October 24, 2015

SICSLN

So I couldn't sleep last night.

Lights were off and everyone's asleep.
I am laying comfortably on my bed
looking at the dancing shadows on my wall.
For a second I felt I was home.

This is not new to me --
overthinking is my expertise.
At night, ideas come and go.
I wouldn't write them down
because I trust I could remember them
when the morning breaks.

It is not usually the case.
Mornings are routines.
Routines wash away every little emotions
from the night before.

So I couldn't sleep last night.

Lights were off.
I made my way to the kitchen.
Guided by my instinct, carefully.
I've been here enough to have familiarity.

I sat down in the darkness.
I felt I was home.
I wanted to be home.

So I couldn't sleep last night.

Tears fell on my cheeks.
I couldn't wait to be awake.

July 25, 2015

2015: Road Trip to Fujairah, UAE

The last Emirate that we visited (to complete our Emirates Road Trip~) is Fujairah. It's probably my favorite as I always enjoy seeing mountains when road tripping just like I used to see back in my home land! :)

 

My sister Rachel and her husband Melbert
Kuya Melbert's officemate, Robert.

We had a quick stop over at the Sharjah Monument and learned that in 1998, Sharjah was named as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO. 



I admit I kind of miss the green environment in the Philippines but I also think that this country has something special to offer. It is beautiful & diverse yet rich in culture.


We spent some time resting & having a picnic at Khor Fakkan Beach.





The boat ride was fun~  The waves were extra playful and the view was grand as the sun was setting down making everything golden. What a memory! My pictures couldn't even give justice to the real beauty that I saw that afternoon :)

That wraps up our Emirates Road Trip! I am happy to say that I've been to all the seven emirates but the adventure doesn't stop right here since I still have a lot to know more about this country. :)

June 21, 2015

Let it be


Let It Be -- this song has been stuck with me for years and I'm glad for its existence. First of all, thanks to my brothers for being such cool rock stars -- they play The Beatles everywhere from then and now! I'm influenced by these good bands and learned good lyrics that actually guided me and calmed me down for years in good times and in bad times. There are only a few songs that speak wisdom and this is one of them. I find myself singing this song in my head sometimes when I feel like I couldn't get around something. It calms the shhh out of me. There's a beautiful imagery in my head whenever I sink myself into such melodies. I see our simple & happy home! It's perfect because those were great years hence the calming effect. ;)

So anyway, I honestly was not so sure about bringing myself here where most people live in buildings instead of having a good backyard & a garden. It's totally the opposite from where I am. As I was adjusting to the kind of lifestyle here, I was looking for signs or for any thing actually to make me feel calm. There's my sister, her husband, my cousin, a few family friends but there's something missing -- something that would keep me moving on. I didn't see it right then and there but when I saw this coffee cup at one of the malls we've been to, I thought that this was a good sign. I was not being too cheesy -- or maybe I was! -- but it made me smile and somehow thought I should give this kind of lifestyle a good try.


So, for now, I live in Dubai for most of the time but Abu Dhabi feels home to me. It's basically because my family is there. And generally when I ask some people, they'd say life in Abu Dhabi is easy & calm.


I remember when I was still studying in the university, I wondered how would it feel to be away from home and studying. My friends would go home on weekends to their hometown which is around 5 hours or so away from the city! Now I understand that travel time does not really matter at all for as long as you reach home & be with your family. Such a great feeling.


It's great to see life unfold itself for me without expecting much. I know it will be alright as long as I have a handful of positive light in my heart. I'll just let everything flourish and unfold its beauty. I don't know exactly the point of me writing this... but I am just grateful for this day, for this life.

June 19, 2015

2015: Road Trip to Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

This update is too outdated but lately I have been reflecting on the recent months that passed and how fun they were. Most especially when I saw a camel for the first time! We we're just cruisin' around the road somewhere in Ras Al Khaimah trying to spot some camels. I was the only one who has never seen a camel among the group so it was not so exciting for everybody else or so I thought. We were driving along and after some time I just thought that maybe it was not the right time for me to see a real camel until they were all enthusiastic to see a group of camels on the opposite side of the road. I didn't quite see it but I remember Kuya Mel drove straight ahead trying to find a good place to take a u-turn, which took a couple more minutes!

 

We spotted them right there along the highway and parked a few meters away. And then we started chasing them camels! I felt like a child for once. It was probably because my nephew used to have some plastic toys of different animals and I was partly excited to see it myself for him and partly for my childhood. 



What an experience! It would have been awesome if I were able to ride on it but I am not sure about doing that either as I am writing this. Maybe soon -- desert safari, anyone? ;)

June 12, 2015

I hope I have the courage to do so!



I always wonder how it is to be courageous. I adore people who are very courageous in their every day life and I always wonder, how do they do that? How do someone maintain that power to be strong so they can face the challenges every hour of the day? They say you need to be brave to have courage to face your fears. It's true but no human being can endure that -- even heroes have their downtime.

So far, I can say that I may have been brave in doing little things such as going to work every day, being productive at work, going home from work. My life revolves around work and then some. I am grateful for this and I am not complaining. I wanted this in the first place. Living abroad does not mean I get all the leisure any time I want. I need to work in order to grow and experience life with all the fruits of my labor. I remember when I was still looking for a job, I told my family that I want to be busy. Life heard it clearly and slapped me in the face. All is good.

Having all these things in my mind, I can probably say that all human being are courageous by nature. We all are. Add a little inspiration, drive, and goal and we are all set to face the day. This is just to remind whoever stumbles upon this nook that you are courageous; always push yourself forward. And sleep.

May 29, 2015

What have you learned so far this year about goals and moving forward?

 

So far, life has been good to me. Five months in and I have a fair share of highs and lows. It's interesting to look back to the past months: from New Year's Day to now and watch the blur become clear and vivid. It's nice to see things unfold themselves.

Last night, I had a talk with my co-worker, who was having a good glass of Heineken, (and me having a Dr. Feel Good (!!) Mocktail) about her life here in Dubai. It was nice to know she has been independent here in Dubai for 8 years starting at the age of 22. Life's good for her -- she had her highs and lows, too. Like all of us. I am inspired by how life unfolded to her now as she is a happy woman.

As for me, at the age of 24, from the moment I received my first salary (away from home!), I knew it was going to be different in a sense that I will be the one to manage my money. I will be the one who will pay my own bills (fixed expenses), needs/wants (variable expenses), and make funds for the future (savings). It's exciting for me because I have always been wanting to do some money management because I think when you know how to manage the money you earned, you are allowing yourself to be a full grown-up -- which is what I actually aim for ever since I bid farewell to my beloved home.

My learning about goals and moving forward? It has always been the same general thing: focus. But now it comes with small details such as knowing my fixed and variable expenses, choosing between quantity over quality and vice versa (because both works depending on the situation), asking myself "do I really need this", having a plan on saving for something I want to do (e.g. sky diving, traveling).

It's exciting how life reveals itself and sometimes surprise you with things you never thought would happen. What's more exciting is that there is always something new to learn and challenges to overcome every day.

May 9, 2015

931

I did not know
the meaning of
all the things that
life had to offer me
until I lay still
on my single bed,
looked back through
the years,
and realized that:
every little thing
that happened before
-- including the strange things --
makes sense now.

Everything happens
for a reason.

April 11, 2015

The Magic Thread

What I like about having a free time wandering around the internet is that I get some chances to stumble upon interesting things such as a photo (or a series of photos) that evokes something familiar, uploaded videos on my subscription box in YouTube from my favorite channels (mostly about weird facts such as: Vsauce!), new music from my favorite bands, to name a few. Yesterday, I read a short story entitled: The Magic Thread, which is just an excerpt from a children's book called The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennet. I haven't read a book since January (a.k.a. I'm on a book coma! help!), so I figured that a short story should be an easy one! 
"Peter, what are you dreaming about this time?" his teacher would say to him.
"I'm thinking about what I'll be when I grow up," Peter replied.
"Be patient. There's plenty of time for that. Being grown up isn't all fun, you know," his teacher said.
The first dialogues caught my attention so well because Peter is just like me. I always think ahead. I've been told a lot by my sister about that and says that it is such a negative trait. I couldn't see how negative it is until I have read this story.  I see the point now. Everything shouldn't be thought in advance. It's more like letting the things move their ways, naturally. As I read through the story, by and by, I realize that the character talks about my life recently (or maybe my entire life yet!). The story means so much as it progresses. 
"Your magic ball is a wonderful thing. I have never had to suffer or wait for anything in my life. And yet it has all passed so quickly. I feel that I have had no time to take in what has happened to me, neither the good things nor the bad. Now there is so little time left. I dare not pull the thread again for it will only bring me to my death. I do not think your gift has brought me luck."
It becomes so inspiring at the end, which mainly talks about: Patience is a Virtue. I honestly thought I knew what it meant exactly (hello, I'm 24 years old, I am old enough to understand things!) BUT I WAS WRONG. Maybe I wasn't absolutely wrong. But I needed an eye-opener to such a cliche.
"I should like to live my life again as if for the first time, but without your magic ball. Then I will experience the bad things as well as the good without cutting them short, and at least my life will not pass as swiftly and meaninglessly as a daydream."
 I don't want to compromise my life by taking advancements in all things. This is what I have been told for a long time and yet I didn't see the point. But somehow through this short story, I get it. Maybe I have been too rough on myself. Maybe it's time to be smooth in all things. Let's get back to one, dear self. Let's take another path way. :)

March 28, 2015

2015: Road Trip to Ajman, UAE

Among the group, I was the only one who haven't experienced the life in the Middle East. So it was nice to have a sneak peak of the UAE via road tripping. Seeing all the Emirates (except Fujeirah which I am going to take a sneak peak soon I hope!), I could say that each of them is distinct from one another. Though I have to figure out more  to have a clearer view of their distinctiveness.



Anyway, so we passed by Ajman. And we took a lot of photos in front of the Palace. Portraits, jump shots, group shots were taken until a guy passed by us. He looked at us while we were cam-whoring (in a nice way! Hehe). I don't know exactly how it happened but he just became a part of our crew~ Let's just say we're friendly! Hehe.


We learned that he was also a tourist from Nigeria. And he's a CEO of a company somewhere in his country. Cool!


It was just a short stop and drive along the city since it is the smallest among other seven Emirates. Next stop: Ras Al Kaimah.

March 20, 2015

2015: Road trip to Umm Al Quwain, UAE


Next stop: Umm Al Quwain. What really made me very excited about this trip is to see a desert because I have never seen one before! I see photos and videos from all sorts of media but it's so much exciting to feel the authentic desert feel (what? haha!). So there we were devouring the Arabian desert and taking photos of all angles of hills shaped by air! So cool!


Unfortunately, the museum was closed. We saw some kids playing around the area so we made friends with them! This kid wearing a red clothing is Usman. He isn't talkative but he's not shy to smile for the camera!


The other kids didn't wanna say their names but they said they came from different places such is Iraq. When I looked at them playing around, I reflected on my childhood days. These guys are lucky to be playing around with real friends under the afternoon sunlight. Made me smile a lot and reminisce my early years so I decided to teach them hompyang! Hahaha



It took them a while to get how it is! Hehehe



They even let me borrow their bike! Isn't it so much fun to have a wide area to play with your friends? Than having to be stuck in a room playing computer games on your own... These kids are lucky!


In 5 years, certainly, these kids will be adolescents and will be much more taller than I am! I wish them more joy growing up! And I hope they will remember us somehow. :p

March 14, 2015

2015: Road trip to Sharjah, UAE


My first road trip in the United Arab Emirates are with these people: Kuya Ariel, Kuya Richie, Kuya Mel, and Ate Rachel. First stop is in Sharjah. I don't know if this beach has its particular name though but it looked nice to spend a weekend with family and friends with some food on the side.It's a nice beach!



Someone left this can of soda for me to take a photo of. Heh.



A panoramic view of the beach.


It's so great to have roamed around the city of Sharjah. I would love to see more of Sharjah including different museums and some parks.Soon! Next stop is: Umm Al Quwain.

March 7, 2015

First weeks in Dubai, UAE

Here are some photos I took during my first weeks in Dubai, UAE. I arrived a day after Christmas Day with my sister. We spent days around the city. It's a very diverse place! I am excited on what's ahead. :)

 

I finally saw the tallest skyscraper: Burj Khalifa. Also, we witnessed the dancing fountain!

 

The sun is bigger here! Awesome.

 

Inside the Dubai Mall is an aquarium. I would love to visit it soon.

 

Then there's the Burj Al Arab. 


I have been to Atlantis, malls, other places. I am looking forward to seeing more of Dubai and the other Emirates. I have been to all emirates (via road tripping) except Fujeirah. So I am looking forward to visit it soon as well. I am very excited on what's ahead. :)
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