Thinking Out Loud

Heck with Parking Scratches

December 30, 2009

You checked your parked car, found a dent/ scratch somewhere, and you dont even know who did it. You are in Dubai, what can you do?

Either (1) Ignore it. Then hope that somebody hit lightly that side in your presence so you can obtain a police report and you can claim insurance, expense-free (except for the stress of taking the car to the garage). Or (2) visit the police station, pay AED 60 for reporting a fault against no one. Pay AED 350 to your insurance and bring the car to the garage.

The insurance company justifies the AED 350 by saying they bear the cost of repair.Being a case against no one, they have no knowledge whom to charge it to.

So is the dent/ scratch repair commanding higher than AED 410? (We took 1st option as it wasnt).

All about our Superman

Our Christmas 2009 Chronicles

December 27, 2009

Away from family and away from tradition, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with happy hearts.  Our fulfillment was capped with our joining the 7:30 pm mass at St Mary's Church on the 25th. 

We enjoyed preparing and celebrating as we:

- Designed, printed and heatpressed white shirts for gifts
- Missed simbang gabi as planned with Kalel's sudden fever gush
- Noche Buena was shared with Perton and Dindin, Joan's family (Aunt Gloria, Jake, Joan, Ronald, Juryn), Mng Lyn, Nympha, Candice, Vanessa, Francis, Fran Gay, Mabel and the Phil Supermarket ladies (Michelle, Virgie, Andrea)
- On the table were:
       Kalel's Fried Lumpia-d Ham,
            Banana Turon, sort of Teriyaki chicken,
            Gelatin, fruits
       Joan's carbonara and spareribs 
       Mng Lyn's pizza and pansit
       Jake's sisig and grilled bacon
       Francis' Jack Daniels, Baileys
             and bottles of beer
       Nympha's Coco's Chocolate and
             Blueberry cakes
       Michelle's  Red Ribbon cake
- A Filipino guy showed up at the door with a solicitation letter
- Everybody received a gift =) Big thanks to Kalel's Santa-s
- It was a karaoke night until 5 am of Christmas day. We had to pull Kalel from owning the microphone =)
- Managed to hear from back home that everybody's enjoying too
- Woke up 11 am
- Joined the Cordillerans-UAE party at Zabeel park in the afternoon. Kalel pushed his way during gong-playing and games while his mom and dad stayed on the sidelines.
- Drove to St Mary's at 7pm. Visiting Irish priest from Jerusalem Fr. O' Sullivan celebrated. Core message was Jesus' birth marked the Word to be known to men, a message that there's no love in absence, let love be known, let love be shown no matter the distance from loved ones.
- Had Christmas dinner in pans at Fish and Co at Al Ghurair (a great break, away from pork and chicken =) )
- Post Christmas (26th) dinner at Kuya Greg and Ate Cyla's home. Got copies of The Secret and Covey's audios =)

With 2010 New Year celebrations ushering in, Kuya Greg is inviting us by the beachside near Burj Al Arab for fireworks and for his birthday as well.

If there's another to look forward to, it's to go around Filipino-dominated buildings at Al Rigga. Fireworks are not allowed for individuals so noise-making is improvised without them. Witness how each one go out their balconies or building entrance-s with cooking pans and loud radios. Witness other nationalities flock the sidewalks watching the noise-makers. Witness street dancing, Filipinos, Arabs and all. Witness cars caught in traffic honking their horns. And all these while police cars and motorbikes patrol in numbers around =) . The best place I guess is near Downtown Holiday Inn.

Happy holidays =)

All about our Superman

Gremly Tweets - December 2009 part one

December 27, 2009

I have been taking delight in tweeting whatever I can note of my Gremlin's acts this month. So posting a month's tweets in a single post would look so loaded and boring to read.

My tweets could be ordinary but I'll keep on so I'll have something to refresh with when I ask "how was my son like at this age".  I missed to journal in detail how he has grown when I got busy starting off work when he was eight months. This time, I'll try to make up.

I believe half the tweets describe his being a sweet gremlin so when he grows, he'll know how we giggled but also gnawed at his gremliness. So here's part one of December 2009 tweets:

  • The Gremlin has his ways to catch attention when he is being ignored. Yesterday he came to me and said "Mama, I miss you!" sweetly... Dec 21st,2009
  • Who's accent is it this time? "O" pronounced as "u", "urange" for orange... Then "ahwray", for "aray"... Speech development... Dec 20th,2009
  • Grinning at the intently seated gremlin. He's listening at the audio CD, minus a video. Seldom can something catch his attention to sit! Dec 15th,2009
  • Father and son to Times Square along Sheikh Zayed. The Gremlin later keeps blurting "Times Triangle"! Dec 14th,2009My gremlin's pronouncing it Ifugao way! His letter "L" blurting a rrr sound =) . Dec 2nd,2009
  • I wrote "mama, papa, lolo, lola, kalel" for my Gremlin to read. I later asked him to read alone, pointed to "Lolo", to which he said "Pogi!" Dec 9th,2009
  • "Kalel, u've got brown skin". He raised his hand, pointed to the back of his hand he said "Dark...", flips it to his palm "Light!" Dec 4th,2009
  • Had to gather my pee for flusher payback to the Gremlin. He's at his teary face after I flushed his poop. Flushing is one of his delights. Dec 4th,2009
  • Punished the gremlin to stare at his pee on the wet bed. He woke up of wet pants.  Dec 4th,2009
  • If the Gremlin asks "What's that/ where's that/ who's that", expect a followup, "Let's get/buy that" or "Let's go there" or "Let's go see"  Dec 2nd,2009

All about our Superman

Dont leave a Gremlin unattended

December 22, 2009

Or shall I say a Gremlin should not be trusted to behave if left alone?  Or else be ready for a surprise =)

We got ours couple of hours back as we left our Gremlin inside the room to play as we were busy in the living room printing shirts to wrap for Christmas. Behind us, he took pleasure at dousing water from the toilet to our room. He got our room drenched in water, reaching even under our bed which is on the other end!

So yeah, dont leave a gremlin unattended...

Filipinos in Dubai

Philippine Consulate Website in Dubai

December 21, 2009

Looking for the website of the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai?
Just head to:

For anything one needs from the consulate, it is quite helpful to check their website first then ring them for information before heading to their office. They are located in the "outskirts" of the city, and to be going back-and-forth more than twice for a single document is a real waste of resources. Be patient though if you try to ring them, it could take you ages to get through and if you are not lucky,you'll find the fellow Filipino on the other end un-helpful and un-friendly.

Ask yourself the following as you head there:
  • Have you brought your complete requirements?
  • Have you brought a map of their location?
  • Have you asked the best route to reach them?
The website is not all-inclusive and downloadable forms may not be available, so it also pays to check other sites as well. In my search for the requirements for a Special Power of Attorney, I stumbled on xbambinax's post which I found helpful at

All the best on your visit to the Philippine Consulate here in Dubai!

All about our Superman

Shut up

December 18, 2009

I was on the laptops as we were about to head out. Hubby was still seated with Kalel when he asked me "Paki-SHUT DOWN my dear" referring to his laptop.

Suddenly the gremlin butted in: "No papa, SHUT UP!"

=) He meant nothing mean though, this was the effect of him watching his "opposites" video CD. He now emphasizes on the opposite of words familiar to him.

All about our Superman

Nasty Worms

December 15, 2009

"Oh no Kalel, you've got worms in your ubet, that's why you're magulo!", I told the gremlin. And here he cried so scared:

Hahaha, we discovered another line to keep him still for at least a minute!

For awhile, we outsmarted the Gremlin, and oh are we so encouraged to think of more lines to make him behave!

So far the following overused lines can still scare him in a minute or two (meaning, he keeps still for a minute or two, goes back to his kakulitan/ kaguluhan, and we need to repeat our lines again):

-- Do you want to sleep with the cat by the big garbage bin?
-- Here's a coin, go ride a taxi!

Us his mom and dad have to be glad now that we are only turning to verbal control, controlling not to be physical. Earlier when he just came from Baguio, had we been so gross to do him the following:

-- grabbed his feet, pulled him to the air upside-down until he got real scared
-- tied his waist to the post until he satisfied us of his promising not to do the thing again
-- locked him out the hallway as he cried his being sorry
-- made him kneel as his crossed arms reach both ears until he finished his counting or song
-- asked him to raise both arms upwards for some minutes until he pleads to put down
-- dragged him to the roadside to flag a taxi

We try as much to spare the rod for the now until he understands it, and only if it's the only option left. 

But hey, I am going too far in my latter sentence. My Gremlin is afterall a sweet Gremlin, just magulo and makulit as a toddler can be, and seen universally, is a source of happiness we are blessed of!

All about our Superman

Work passion and parenting neglect

December 15, 2009

Past 11pm and Mommy J just arrived from work. Her five-month old Baby J is now asleep.Tomorrow she wakes up and head straight prepare for work. It has been the same scene since she started work two weeks back.

I have yet to tell her how I am carrying guilt having been amiss to my Son when I had done the same.  Though I'l also share how I advanced careerwise in doing so.

And oh, there's also neglecting one's health. There's missing lunch, theres' cups and cups of coffee, there's eye pains from continuous monitor focus, there's physical stress/ tensions/ worryings to beating due dates, there's missing sleep from reaching home late.

Yeah, in this fast-paced environment, career and parenting is just a matter of choice. Count it a thousandfold blessing when you can cover both without sacrificing the other.

When sacrificing is inevitable, I guess what matters is learning to manage time and learning to put things in perspective of what's the better choice. It signals seeing what needs to be corrected.

The workplace could be bunch of people having different levels of work passion. It pays to be passionate and at the right timing, it is rightfully rewarded, but there are times it is ignored and this leads to de-motivation. Or, what one does extra is not needful.

Lessening passion for these unnecessary parts of the work decreases stress level as well as lessens overstaying at the workplace -- in exchange to adding quality time for the family.

And as my colleague said, "If you get sick, your company will not be there, your family will be".

All about our Superman

Patience and self control

December 11, 2009

I woke up today promising not to get mad at the Gremlin, even if it means ignoring him =) . I made the promise to make up after my "I'll get mad", "Kalel, noooo", and "ok, I'll pull you out to the big garbage bin to sleep with the cat" statements the past week after the stressful monthend days at work.

I'm smiling though as the scary-ings seem to work. Like now, we just command him to sleep and in a few minutes he's in slumber.

But yeah, I'm making up with him this weekend. I'm answering his what's that questions and chatted with him about the Christmas-y miniature village display at Ace.

All about our Superman

Sweet Gremlin

December 06, 2009

How sweet can a gremlin get?

Sweety One: Father and son were at Spinneys. The dad grabbed two Lays chips saying: "This one's for Kalel and this other one for papa". The Gremlin grabbed another piece and said "This is for mama". Was I so eager to reach home to munch the chips!

Sweety Two: Dad and Gremlin were preparing, the dad to roller-blade and the Gremlin to bike. To his self, the Gremlin said "Dont go far!". To his dad: "Be careful papa, dont fall down".

All about our Superman

Ingles ng Ipit

December 05, 2009

Nakakahiya pero gusto ko lang isulat na ang hirap naman mag-ingles, hehe. Nag-googoogle kami ngayon ng ingles ng naipit/ ipitin (ang bahagi ng katawan). Hindi namin alam kung paano sabihin kay Kalel na: Mag-ingat ka at nang hindi ka maipit. Masyadong general yung: You could hurt yourself.

Eto ang suggestion ng
ipit ­ ip´itin (-in) v. to crush. Huwag mong ipitin ang kamay mo. Don't crush your hand (e.g. on the car door). maipit (ma) v. to get caught in between, to be clipped. Naipit siya sa pinto. She got pinched in the door [She (her hand, foot, etc.) got caught in the door].

Hmmm, pero parang alanganin a. Tatanungin ko na lang siguro sa ibang lahi na katrabaho ko =( , hahaha. Di ba nga kasi, sana hindi awkward pakinggan lalo na pag sa bata mo sinasabi at naririnig ng ibang lahi. Halimbawa:

Tagalog - Baka masira mo iyan.
English 1 (not usually heard from native speakers) - You could damage it.
English 2 (better)- You could break it. 

UAE - Dubai

The Global Village and The Fakes at Dragon Mart

December 04, 2009

It has been Global Village and Dragon Mart for us for the weekend. It seems it was just this time that we took the shortest route to reach there. A big thanks to Google Maps! We used to miss taking the proper right turns and at a time had to drive 70kms extra, for a single way of 20kms!

Global Village hasn't fascinated me more after the first time I visited it in January 2005. There were more pavillions then and each one somehow gave me a feel of the country in terms of original products and performances. But I guess I'll keep going back to join the crowd wander around and to check how it is for the year for the Philippine pavillion. This year's theme is Boracay.

 Our visit this year was highlighted with the Wild Mouse ride. This compares to a smaller version of the Roller Coaster ride of Laguna's Magic Kingdom. I got scared and so did the Gremlin who stopped screaming when the speed caught up with more loops and the coaster kept turning. The Dad had no time to be scared as he held the Gremlin sitting beside him =)

From Global Village, we headed to Dragon Mart (translated: Chinese Mart) at International City. 

This place got me wondering of how much this host country is really keen in curtailing label infringements. High profile bag brands -- name them and find them here! Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Burberry and what have you? For a genuine bag tagged AED 2500 to AED 7000, you can buy it here for AED 140. 

We went home with a bag of soft blankets and a fake Tommy Hilfiger AED 60 bag (shhhh).

All about our Superman

Gremly Tweets - November 2009

December 01, 2009

Nov 30th, 2009  Asked the gremlin to read the letters P-I-Z-Z-A. He said "zed" for Z because of his VCD. We initially taught him to read it as "zi".

Nov 30th, 2009  "No papa, not faster" to his dad asking him not to drive fast, as he disliked swaying with the curvy and bumby road.

Nov 30th, 2009  Kalel, where's papa? "I dont know... He's out" He asks a lot, and for some we say we dont know. Now he answers that back to us!

Nov 28th, 2009  Mama Duno and Papa Arnel - Kalel used to call us since coming from Baguio. Lately, he has got used calling without our names...

Nov 24th, 2009  "Parang syang machine gun!". Commented a visitor to the Gremlin with his nonstop wiggling and non-stop loud talking.

Nov 20th, 2009  At the party last night Kalel sung Nobody But You and When Sept Ends. Uncle Greg said hindi nagmana sa akin, I said I am the music teacher.

Nov 20th, 2009  Kalel: "What happened to my tummy?" Mama: "You want to pupu (poop)?" Kalel: "No, I'm hungry" so he gets his milk.

Nov 20th, 2009  Attended Mia's birthday. The emcee knows only two names of the many kids - Cara Mia & Kalel. They said he is not mahiyain, actively playing.

Nov 20th, 2009   Lights off, I was putting Kalel to sleep, I said "You need to sleep", he continued, "so that we wake up early".

Nov 19th, 2009  I said "Grabe Kalel, hahaha!" He shot the camera to us, then he placed it on the couch, lens towards him, clicked to take photo of himself.

Nov 18th, 2009  "Can you get the guitar so that I'll strum"

Nov 18th, 2009   To the outdoor loving Gremlin we said: "C'mon we go out!". He answered "No, I play barn!" referring to Barn Buddy at facebook...

Nov 17th, 2009  Uncle Ronald to Aunti Joan: Kalel doesnt cry when he gets hurt. Attested when I bit him in return of him biting me.

Nov 17th, 2009  Oh how, oh how, the Gremlin's always asked by strangers for a kiss and he gives...

Nov 17th, 2009  Forget looking insane along Al Rigga. Gremlin on his shoulder, arms spread sidewards, the dad whirls up, down & forward, acting an airplane

Nov 17th, 2009  Kababain, whereever he learned to do it ~ Kalel kisses baby Juryn, wipes his mouth and says "yikes!"

Nov 17th, 2009  Gremlin and his dad watching the Dubai Airshow. Gremlin: "The airplanes are painting the sky". The dad corrects "jet planes".

Nov 16th, 2009  I thought today: Sometimes we need to hear others complain to realize we are blessed. Am so blessed w/ a loving family. My work's a blessing

Nov 16th, 2009  The dad's now locating files moved/ dragged by the Gremlin. He allows the latter to mess with his laptop. I dont care as long as not mine =)

Nov 14th, 2009  Lola cute is awe-d at Kalel, he recited the Lord's Prayer alone. He knew it a week now after listening to me lead him pray...

Nov 10th, 2009   Yesterday's tweet needs correcting: SLU fishpond twelve years back...

Nov 10th, 2009  The Gremlin: "I wanna take picture of Jesus," referring to Jesus' poster on the wall, the he said "Smile Jesus~ , smile~"

Nov 9th, 2009  The gremlin grabs the mobile phone from his dad's hand "I want to talk to mama duno?". To me: "mama we go Haagen Daz, ok?".

Nov 9th, 2009  SLU fishpond eleven years back on this day, the gremlin's mom officially felt she has a boyfriend for the first time- the gremlin's dad!

Nov 7th, 2009  It took someone to hurt me for me to realize I am so blessed - a cheergiving son, loving husband, loving parents, siblings, friends, career

Nov 7th, 2009   Small mouse but the Gremlin cant reach the left button tip, small bike but the Gremlin cant reach the break. Oh such little fingers...

Nov 7th, 2009  The gremlin's got a bike, a Harley DAvidson design. Sung while driving along the beach path, passersby said he's cute...

Nov 6th, 2009  smiling... the dad taught the gremlin how to use the mouse. The gremlin's now completing the Bob the Builder online puzzle alone!

Nov 6th, 2009  "oh no, my car is broken, i have to fix it." His car are plastic bins formed together.

Nov 5th, 2009  The gremlin's dad nudged the crayon bucket to the floor, some were broken. The Gremlin said "Ay she-et, don’t worry mama duno, I'll fix it"

Nov 3rd, 2009  The Gremlin: We go Baguio see Pogi and Lola Cute… He calls his lolo Pogi as the other kids do and the lolo pleads them not to :)

Nov 3rd, 2009   "I want to hold the string of the dog" he says on seeing one. Otherwise, he pulls our shirt edges at the back and calls us his dogs...

Nov 2nd, 2009  Was punishing the gremlin, kneeling, hands on ears. He sung ABC then asked him to count 1 to 100 (guided). He said: "One-two- one hundred!"

Nov 1st, 2009  A walk to ToysRUs with uncle Jake and Baskin Robins with uncle Joshua today for the Gremlin...

Nov 1st, 2009  What does the Gremlin want? Told his uncle Perton who's washing rice to cook: "No! Do not cook anything, ok?"

Nov 1st, 2009  Uncles Jake and Ronald tagged Kalel along for a walk. Coming back, uncle Ronald said "daldal nang daldal" =)

Thinking Out Loud

Isang Pinoy: Dubai Accounting Jargon

November 24, 2009

Call me the dumb, but I thought of sharing this anyway for fellow Filipinos starting to work in a finance department here in the Sand Pit =)

Philippine English communication is basically patterned from Americans.  But this host country follow European communication at the most. Of course, it still depends on the mix of people there is. Mingling with Indians take Indian communication, as is with Arabs who have Arab vocabulary. But in a mixed environment, the outcome would be everything from each one. I now work with people from India, UK, Scotland, Australia, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, France. And each has their own jargon. They have to forgive me as I need time to digest their phrases so I pickup the correct message.
For a newbie accountant from the Philippines (without experience dealing with companies on this part of the globe), let me randomly identify the most common differences. Hey, dont expect something on IFRS or GAAP and those standards. These are just the ABCs of adjusting to work here having got used to Philippine settings:

Be warned though that the below are generally observed, but it could be different for some companies.

1) Filipinos write 09/01/09 for September 1, 2009. Dubai reads 09/01/09 as 09 January 2009.
2) They read invoice number 77722 as triple seven double two. They spell out letters Em- Ay – double Zed for Mazz. Yes, they are used to say "double" for two letters or two numbers coming next to each other. And they say Zed for the letter Z.
3) If they say 100 gran, they mean 100,000. A gran is a thousand.
4) If they say 100-odd, they mean "more or less 100". Same with 100-ish for "near to or about 100"
5) They say P and L (Profit and Loss) for Income Statement
6) They start the explanation of journal entries with "Being…" for our "To…"
7) They say Earnings Before Tax, we say Income Before Tax
8) They say "to book", we say "to record"
9) If they say "Being True-up of", they mean "To adjust accrual/ deferral to actual numbers"
10) Accrual release - for that portion of accrual which no invoice has been accounted against and not re-accrued.

This is the list for now, that I shall update should I remember more. But should you know more that I missed, please let me know!

Thinking Out Loud

Of Mergers and Acquisitions

November 23, 2009

(A repost from my Facebook notes dated July 14, 2009) 
My husband kidded me if my next employer will witness merging/ acquisition with/ by its competitor. It was a year back in my previous employer when the papers announced it was acquired by another company.
Now my current company has just recently merged with its previous competitor. The latter being both Middle East - North Africa leaders in their industry.
Merger and acquisition news have been at the heights when recession hit hard. This was their way to save either or both companies. But there are those acquisitions where the shareholders of the acquired company voted to sell their stakes because the acquiring company offered a high price for them.
These acquisitions and mergers did not sound good to customers in the online comments after the write-ups, with accusations of market monopoly. While in the workplace, buzz is on redundancies.
Taken on the lighter side, a merger/ acquisition because both parties are operating badly brought by competition is better than the chance of both companies closing.
One operation creates economy than none at all.

Filipinos in Dubai

Buhay Dubai - Bahay

November 22, 2009

( I am reposting this please out from my Facebook notes, dated 11th July 2009.)
Kagagaling lang uli namin tingnan ung bakanteng apartments sa Al Rigga.
Prime location, malapit sa metro station, at ung isa sa may lumang building ay mukhang hindi istrikto sa sharing. Nagmura na kumpara nung nakaraang taon. 80k dirhamo kada taon ang renta plus 5% agent's commission, plus 5% deposit na lang yung lumang 2 bedroom hall flat. Last year e 150k at 10% ang agent's commission.
 Hindi sya furnished kayat kailangan ulit ng sampung libo dirhamo para sa mga gamit bahay. Wala ring parking kayat si Forky ay mangungupahan din sa kabilang kanto.
Two cheques lang daw, ibig sabihin anim na buwan na renta ang paunang bayad. Syempre wala kaming ganung pera kayat sa walang patubuan na housing loan sa kumpanya kukuha (hmm, hindi lahat ay may ganitong pribilehiyo).Yung isa naman na bago ay mas maluwang, furnished kitchen, two full baths, may shared gym, shared swimming pool at parking, ngunit 130k dirhamo kada taon at bawal ang sharing. Dahil sa istrikto ay matagal ding hindi napupuno. Naabutan ng recession.

Nakausap namin ang dalawang pinoy na nakatira doon. ayon sa isa, bawal man ay nagshesharing pa din sila. ayon naman sa ikalawa ay kung di namin kaya ang bayad ay huwag na namin i-attempt na umupa. dahil daw napansin na maraming pinoy ang patagong nagshesharing ay nagkakaroon na rin ng flat inspection at paaalisin ang mga mahuhuli.

Hindi naman yung dalawang kuwarto ang kailangan namin ngunit ito ay dahil sa requirement para makasponsor for residency. Otherwise, ok na sana na umupa na lang ulit ng kuwarto para less hassle sa annual tenancy contracts. Bumabait na ang mga real estate agents. DAti pag natunugan ka na Pinoy e uunahan ka nang "not for Filipinos", o kaya'y "not for sharing". Ngayon ay alas-onse ng gabi eh dina-drive ka pa upang i-tour sa apartment/ flat.

Nakakasama man ng loob na may "not for Filipinos" ay di mo sila masisi kasi ang mga Pinoy ay mga likas na practical. Di bale na makipagsiksikan, makapag-ipon lang. Halimbawa, ang mga ibang lahi ay gagasta ng between 4k to 7k dirhamo kada buwan sa upa, ang mga pinoy ay mahal na ang isang libo dirhamo kada tao. Ngunit marami na ring pinoy ang nag-a-allot ng 1.5k to 2k kada tao kada buwan para sa upa, natutong iadjust ang budget para makatira sa mga hindi masyadong crowded.

Sa sharing, walang hall, kasi paupahan na rin. Kada kuwarto ay may 4-10 tao nagsisiksikan. Walang privacy. Sa iba pa nga ay mix ang lalake at babae. Ang mga paliguan ay pinipilahan o kaya'y by schedule. Sa pagluluto ay pila din. Sa sharing, ang mga kurtina, kahon, cabinet atbp ang ginagawang partition. Ika nga, parang nagbabahay-bahayan.

Ngayon na maraming nawawalan ng trabaho ay hindi na nagririsk ang mga tao na umupa ng mahal. Ang mga presyo ng mga paupahan ay unti unting nagnonormalize. Five years ago, ang two bedroom flats ay 50k. Nagtriple ito mid-last year at nagsimulang bumaba ngayong taon.

Ang mga nabanggit na scenario sa itaas ay specifically sa mga prime areas gaya ng al rigga. dahil sa mga medyo mas malayo ay iba naman ang kwento. mas mura ang mga upa, ngunit kailangan magdrive/ commute ng additional hours/ traffic kada araw makauwi lang. ang iba naman ay malayo sa mga malls, simbahan, parks, atbp.

... heto kami ngayon hindi pa decided kung kukunin ung flat. umaasa sa mga haka-haka na maraming mababakante pagdating ng August at magmumura pa, sa ganun ay hindi na kailangang magsharing. sana nga bumaba pa...

All about our Superman

Gremly Home School

November 22, 2009

As we feel unnecessary yet for the Gremlin to attend school, we thought of trying to slightly home-school him so when he later attends school, he can at least cope up with classmates who had been in the classroom as early as three years old. So we bought him the Brilliant Baby CD series. He would seem to be almost late at starting with them as the age bracket is for one to four years old and he is three years five months. He has watched the CD like an hour a day for less than a week and he could identify most of the letters now.
I guess the key to my little boy is not to force him and to keep him interested.
I observed that his interest changes as months pass. He now could focus on watching educational CDs, unlike when he was around six months to two years, he cant even sit except for this particular Nursery Rhyme CD. He'd rather climb and run then.
As for the Brilliant Baby CDs, there are VCD versions and are 25% of the DVD price. Of course the DVD versions have extra features of chapter selections, sneak peaks and educational acivities. For us, we bought the VCDs to take in more topics.  

All about our Superman

London Bridge is Falling Down

November 22, 2009

My two boys went afternoon biking and roller blading.

The Gremlin pedaled his bike as his dad tried the roller blades (the first time).  The dad keeps falling and the Gremlin would get to his side and ask:
"How are you papa? Dont worry...".

One time the dad said "Dont come near me, if I fall I could hit you", that the Gremlin sung "London bridge is falling down". The dad suggested singing instead "Papa is falling down, falling down".

Thinking Out Loud

Review: Samsung SGH-F480

November 14, 2009

 Its slimness, 5megapixel camera, touch screen and big screen view -- made me happy to receive this mobile phone from hubby on my birthday. But now I look forward to having another phone and does not really want a touch screen now.
  • Just barely five months of use and started not budging, sort of it "hangs". Pressing the screen hard does not help, and pressing the switch off button for re-setting does not help either. I have to remove the battery then wait awhile before switching it back on. Imagine the phone ringing and it wont let me receive the call. 
  • This is a definite no-no for a texter (SMS). The screen is ultra sensitive, and the fingers ought to be small-sized to avoid wrongly hitting nearby letters.
  • This does not have an external switch to activate the camera, at times you need to urgently take a photo.
What else? I think these are generally what it is for touch screen phones as written in other pages, not just specifically for Samsung SGH-F480.

Whatever it is, I dont recommend this phone =)

All about our Superman

Gremly Harley Davidson Bike

November 13, 2009

Kalel's now driving a Harley DAvidson (the inscription, that is =) ) kiddie bicycle.
Adventurous as he is, he does not drive it straight and fast.
He circles plant boxes. He never misses to hit anything bumpy along the way. Bet on him to pass on paper or anything on the sidewalk and you'll never be wrong.
For us, the bike is helpful. We bluff him everytime he misbehaves to return the bike back to ToysRUs, and he would obey.

All about our Superman

School for the Gremlin

November 08, 2009

"What month does Brent start classes?" asks the gremlin's dad. He's asking about the one in Baguio.
Yeah, we're both re-thinking sending our Gremlin to school back home. You see, the minimum AED 15k annual fee for nursery classes here translates to around Php 192k, enough to pay Brent School Baguio. And that means our son getting the equivalent of the premium schools here.
We thought attending a school in Baguio could be better because:

  • Filipino schools (as cheap options) here in Dubai are much like the Philippine public schools according to two moms I chatted with;
  • The other cheaper options are some Indian schools but these mean other culture and different curriculum;
  • Unless at Saint Mary's (which is not of Philippine curriculum), schools here dont include Christian (Catholicism) religion subjects;
For us the Gremlin's parents, an ideal school is where learning and playing comes hand in hand. This could be everywhere in Dubai but it comes with high cost.
That aside, we also consider Baguio because it is where family is and where our gremlin gets a normal social life. Earlier,it was during his stay there that his social and mental growth has accelerated. He was just a month old when he would speak his syllables to his grannies and to his aunt Bistang every time they speak to him at every pause of an ascending tone. He babbled "bah", "gah", "inggah". (I remember those syllables still quite well!) 
Coming to Dubai, it was just us his mom, dad, anta lisa. We were not enough to encourage him to converse. Yes, he turned two without being his like mom =) who at prior to two years old is talking her simple sentences (according to the gremlin's granny, haha).
He only caught up when he settled in Baguio again for seven months. According to his grannies, soon as we left him (at two years seven months), he started speaking his simple sentences until he became conversant.

(Although it should not be ignored that he's extra hyper, he is more than the usual hyper toddler. This gave us hard time to let him sit and learn to talk.)

I know other parents feeling against sending their children through school back home while they work here, fearing the kids might be left out unguided.
But we feel blessed in this aspect because we have the all the confidence in the love and care of the gremlin's grannies. They love him and are happy to have him there =)

It just then becomes a case of us missing him around if we do send him home. In the meantime, we aim to keep growing in our careers so $ becomes a lesser restriction whereever our gremlin could enjoy school. (How about getting that managerial employee benefit of AED 30k annual schooling allowance?)

Btw, we realized sending the gremlin to Brent school may not be financially practical. Say, how about sending him to SLU Lab/ Saint Louis School Center, then attending drumming lessons at Musar Yamaha on his free time?

All about our Superman

Gremly Tweets - October 2009

October 30, 2009

Oct 28th 2009   "Papa's shirt is red, mama's shirt is red." and i havent even noticed!

Oct 28th 2009  How tuso can a gremlin get? "Mama I want hug & kiss" Hugs me,curls feet backward & I end carrying him. He knows "Pls carry me" lead him none

Oct 27th 2009  Grinning... the Gremlin said "Papa Arnel, you better hurry, let's go". he picked this line from Agent Ozo, so we call him Agent Parrot...

Oct 26th 2009  Being hopeful of being vindicated, the Gremlin's voice resounding inside the toilet while singing. and he gets to memorize lyrics...

Oct 26th 2009  Thinking of the best adjectives: parrot, talking machine, tarabitab, humabutelew...

Oct 26th 2009  Toddlers know better - Kalel on coconut juice: The juice is yummy mama duno!

Oct 20th 2009  Is grinning at the Gremlin, to the shirt he said " No, I don’t want the color!"

Oct 17th 2009  Amazed at how the gremlin is picking up soundtracks of Jimjam and Disney Channel's programs...

Oct 5th 2009  wishing am not missing anything in my entries... wishing this will be the normal monthend- not stressed...

Sep 23rd 2009  sent my Gremlin off to the yellow school van for his first day of nursery school

Aug 2nd 2009  "Why they do that?" Kalel asked while watching King Arthur's fight scenes... hmmm starting to be like his mom. asking why questions...

Jul 27th 2009  Don’t watch poker face, not good for babies ~ Kalel told Nicole, his three-month-old baby cousin.

Jul 21st 2009  Wondering on my gremlin's career interest (too early!) as he puts a string around his neck and says "I am the doctor, I will go to town".

Jul 19th 2009  Giggling on Kalel's statement: why lolo is drunk?

Jul 15th 2009  My gremlin said : The sun is hiding because its dark

(I have just started using Twitter to at least note these ones but I look forward to summarizing my inbox for other notes I have about the Gremlin)

All about our Superman

Toys for the big and little boys

October 30, 2009

To make up of playing time with Kalel, we added naming car brands during our walks. The first brands he could readily identify were Toyota (as they are in numbers in car parks), and BMW (being the first car he was taught).

-- Nissan, Honda, Kia, Lexus, Ford, Infinity, GMC, Chevrolet, Mercedes, Hyundai, Jeep

All about our Superman

The Rockstar

October 29, 2009

From returning from Baguio, we hear him sing lines of these songs (not necessarily the titles please, =)) 

  • Wake Me Up When September Ends
  • Nobody, Nobody but You
  • Poker FAce
  • I've Got This Feeling, ooh
  • Boom, boom pow (Kel-ay Get It, Kel-ay GEt It)

All about our Superman

Shoes for Singing in Church

October 29, 2009

I had posted this in facebook and thought documenting it here :)

Kalel and his dad attended Church. Atmosphere was suppose to be low as the prayers were about Ondoy and calamities. My 3-year-old son, innocent as he is, gleefully sang and participated in the mass. One elder, a stranger, thought he brought a nice feeling so she handed the gremlin AED 100...October 9, 2009

The elder (we call her aunt/ tita) even asked Kalel what he wants to buy, and she jokingly suggested a pair of shoes. So here is the Adidas we bought with the AED 100 for.

I was working that Friday in the office, and it was already 12 noon when I remembered a Filipino mass is scheduled for 12:30pm. Grabbed the phone, rung hubby to ask he bring Kalel to Church. But both had not taken bath yet, put on their jeans and in slippers. Late as they were, they joined the standing Church goers. Kalel asked to sit on his dad's shoulders as he smiled, clapped and sang loudly (humming the tunes).

Hubby and I are not regular Church goers but we feel obliged for our son as:

-- He loved going to Church during his stay in Baguio, he himself requesting to go.
-- He particularly knows the different Churches he sees back home
-- A Church is among those he regularly scribbles
-- He knows Father Benny (Castaneda)
-- To strengthen his prayer time which they taught him back home (we pray with him before he hits bed at night. Among his prayers back home was "Jesus bless mama, papa)

All about our Superman

A Gremlin's Pronunciation

October 29, 2009

Kalel has people around him speaking mainly Ilokano- Tagalog dialects, yet he speaks English. Programs he watch are among his teachers, including Barney, Playhouse Disney's, Jimjam's, Dora, Little Einsteins.
Though he has the Filipino English accent and pronunciation, some still thinks he has some slang. Here are some of his words:

  • Kel-ay = Can I (eg, Kel-ay take a bath?)
  • The woler fountain is geling bigger and smaller = The water fountain is getting bigger and smaller
  • Tomowow = Tomorrow
  • Bue = Blue
  • E-k = ok
  • Wehd = Red
  • Mimub = Remove
These are basically at pre-three years old and are being corrected now. The first first obvious mispronunciation he had is his name, he used to say it as Kalen.
-- letters R and N becomes L when in between two vowels used in a sentence, otherwise are mostly pronounced properly
-- R becomes silent when in the middle of a word

All about our Superman

Gremlin's Journal: A Rockstar?

October 16, 2009

Today I want to note my amazement at my Gremlin's humming along with the different "sound tracks" of Jimjam's and Disney Channel's individual programs. We were at home for most of the day and the tv was on while we do our stuff. Only then had we noticed Kalel knowing the next tunes of the program at hand. I am amazed because he had been watching these channels for barely a month just yet.

While it hadnt occured yet on me that my son might be a musician, this week alone had two persons saying we let him join Kids For Christ to hone his singing, and also to let him join the karaoke singing contest.

How can a mum like me tell that my son is gifted with a singing voice when I am getting used to hearing him shout at the top of his voice wherever we go. But yeah, parents should help develop their kids' talents.


First memorized nursery rhyme: Twinkle twinkle little star (because he hears me sing it everyday to him)
First Barney song he liked: I love you (he asks us to sing this everytime we put him to bed)
First non-kid song we heard him sing at early two-year-old: Wake Me Up When September Ends (he has been hearing it on the car radio)

All about our Superman

Toddler schools and nanny options in Dubai

October 11, 2009

With our Gremlin back here with us after a great seven-month stay back home in Baguio, we now again need to have somebody look after him if we're out of home.

We got excited after knowing that some nursery schools offer 7am to 7pm childcare services. This means we may not need to spend on a nanny! So off we paid the fees to the nursery nearer to our apartment. This one has Filipino nannies, so we felt some sort of security.
Kalel's first day of school got us excited and even had the camera as we waited for the yellow van. Unluckily, his dad wasn’t expecting the humidity to blur the camera lens.
Two days of school and the school van missing to pick him on the third day, we stopped sending him. We were frustrated because --
• We let the gremlin use nappies on his first day and he came home still using them. He ended up with rashes days later.
• We didn’t let him use nappies the second day and he came home clothes changed as he pee-d on them. As Kalel is potty-trained and communicates when he needs to use the toilet, we were wondering what level of attention he is actually receiving that he got his clothes wet.
• We happily bought him different food boxes labeled as Kalel's breakfast, Kalel's lunch and Kalel's snack, only to see most of these back untouched when he came home.

And so we agreed the gremlin is anyhow too young for school schedules -- of forcing him out of bed early (he told us "What's the problem with my eyes" when he was still groggy to wake up); of being unsure if he had his meals. We thought to let him enjoy playtime at his age. It is after all not just school where learning is. While he was away back home in Baguio, his communication skills caught up, because he had people and nature around him as his teachers. Imagine us amazed at his speech improvement when he came back – English in full sentence and some real vocabulary. He has somehow become a normal toddler.

Anyway, back to nanny options here in Dubai. For working parents who need someone to look after their babies/ kids, there are:

• Childcare/ nursery schools. The rate varies for half or full day. Half day rates range between AED500 to AED 2000 a month. The school bus could fetch the child to school and back home at a separate fee. The more expensive ones have better facilities though don't warrant excellent childcare. My colleague who's paying expensively visited and caught her 1.5 year-old baby wandering alone at the play area nibbling with a not-so-clean toy strewn on the floor. The baby gets sick easily too.
• Home-based parents cum nannies, who while looking after their own kids, are also accepting to care after other kids during the day. You drop and take your child to their house when needed. Monthly rates are cheaper, like AED400 for half day, and AED700 for whole day. Hourly rates could be as much as AED20 per hour.

The denominator above is on your trust that your child is cared well as you would do yourself.

All about our Superman

A gremlin's canvass

October 05, 2009

Kalel had since love pens and paints. While he was away for seven months, we would just imagine as his Lola Cute describe how he draw and tell stories of his arts. For one, he loves drawing big and small Churches while naming them. He also loves drawing his Lolo pogi's beu (blue) car, so we asked him to draw his papa arnel's car. And here it is drawn by the wall: 

All about our Superman

Welcome us on blogging

September 03, 2009

Please be my reader as I write about chasing Kalel; about being a Filipino living in Dubai, driving around with my husband, and anything under sun. Catch-up with you soon!

This blog is inspired by our Kalel -- malikot/ makulit/ magulo/ madaldal/ malambing -- who always amazes us in the family.

About our KALEL MOSAIAH, the name

Staying here in an Arab nation, Kalel is mostly thought of as "Khalil" and related to a Muslim name. Smallville followers would however guess it right that it came about from Kal El -- Superman's (planet) Krypton name. On a side note, 'Khalil' in Arabic means 'Friend'

Mosaiah, on the other hand, is his Igorot name. It could be simply spelled as Mosaya, however his Lola suggested giving a fix on the spelling. 

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