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" =)

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