Thursday, December 6, 2012

Surviving Typhoon Pablo Outside the Philippines

Yes, it is sound strange why I have this title about surviving a storm that recently hit the Philippines which in fact I am outside of the country. How on earth should I be affected by this storm when I am thousand miles away from home?

I am an OFW here in Abu Dhabi, UAE, so being away from the family is one of the sacrifices I made to be able to provide them with a better future. It is very normal to us that every minute we think about home and our family. So when news broke out that in 2 days time a super typhoon Pablo (internationally name Bopha) will strike our country and putting our province on the path of the storm our worries starts to grow. My province Bukidnon is not known to be a typhoon path area so I couldn't help but worry if the people, specially my family, is ready for this kind of situation. It is not just a simple passing but eventually the eye of the storm will be on my province. And this, as far as I remember, would be the first time that our place will be directly hit by a storm.

Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) 4 days befor landfall (Courtesy of PAGASA)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Yesterday, me and my wife traveled to Dubai for the 1st Anniversary of our organization called TaBuk. The event lasted almost four hours and we prepare to heed back to Abu Dhabi. Since it is early yet and it's scalding hot to travel back so we decided to take an hour or two to stop at Dubai Mall.

My wife and I came across this sushi restaurant called YO Sushi. My wife being not a fan of Japanese food, I was amazed that she convinced me that we will try for adventures sake and I gamely agree. It's my birthday and I thought I owe him a meal. Maybe she is so intrigue with the design and the set up of the restaurant. The ambiance is nice even if the set up is like a common carenderia but with a classy touch. What makes it so fun is you can choose your food in a bowl from the conveyor belt called "kaiten" that is revolving around the whole area of the resto in a circuit. If you like something wait til it is near to you and pick it up from the conveyor. In order to indicate freshness, a label is applied to the lid of the dish to indicate when the dish must be consumed. What more interesting is the food and various dishes is prepared right in front of you by a chef. We even have the privileged to talk to the two of the chefs because glad to know they are the same region of mine, Surigao in Mindanao while the other one is from Cebu.

The Chef and The Kaiten

Various sushi dishes and other Japanese cooked food in the kaiten but I only grabbed those whom I am familiar with as so not to upset my stomach, we still had a long way back to Abu Dhabi. I took the salmon sushi and California maki roll, sauces are available right in front of you and its up to you how and what to mix for your preference. I like mine with this Japanese soy sauce and a little wasabe to add the kick. Short orders are also serve, you can write it in an order slip and hand it over to a chef in front of you. My wife ordered a shrimp roll teriyaki.

Paying what you consume is also systematic. It is in color coding scheme. Every color of the bowl has a corresponding price in which the dishes is served in the conveyor. Crew will going to give you the bill after counting the bowls (carenderia concept again ayt?) I found out that this restaurant is originated from the UK and have a franchises all over the world including this one in Dubai.

YO Sushi concept

The empty bowl

My wife not a fan of sushi find the food a little bit odd but eatable as she described but I find it one of the best sushi experience. Definitely I will come back and be more adventurous next time by trying some unfamiliar dishes they serve.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


For the past 6 months Filipinos were treated with a new telenovela disguising as impeachment trial for the Supreme Court chief justice of the country. All the television networks cover the event and dubbed it as another bookmark of our history. All walks of life listened and glued their eyes to the trial as each side do their shows with a lot of fanfare and gimmickry, lawyers of both sides showed what's on their sleeves to make a point to the senator judges.

A lot of characters surfaced on the said trial, some credible some are mere imagination that they exist. There's one so called little lady, who passes information for the prosecution team for evidence purposes. There was this Mr. Anonymous whom one the prosecution can not reveal his identity (or maybe they will not reveal, as maybe it was one of the prosecution lawyers hiding as Mr. Anonymous?). To top it all there is this one public servant who vehemently delivered an envelop of so called evidence to the senate president acting as presiding judge thus ignoring the court law regarding submission of evidence.

Media is also milking on the said trial, discussing the issues and evidences to create and attract attention for rating purposes. In my own mind, I thought case already in court are not allowed to be discussed in public specially if it is still on trial. But as the trial heightens the battle is not only inside the court but also outside using media as their tool. Evidences not yet submitted in court was announced and shown in public. How could this be? Well, as we understand that this is a quasi political court which understandably this congressmen aka prosecution team waving this evidences for media mileage maybe. 

People from all walks of life had their opinion on the said trial, making the nation divides. Some furiously declared the guilty verdict of the chief justice while others declared his innocence. Social networks and other internet forums this is the hot issue, or you may say trending. Facebook pages appeared like mushroom condemning the chief justice but not to be outdone there are pages also defending him. Even OFW's abroad had their own opinion whether he is guilty or not. Some families are divided on their stand. 

All I can think of is, we are just like watching the Pinoy Big Brother eviction night. With the chief justice as the one who is evicted from the house of kuya. I mean after all this clash of mind and reasoning by both sides what is next? What are we going to expect next? Was the victory of the prosecution team successfully impeaching corona a victory to the Filipino people? or it was just a show in preparation of the 2013 elections? If it is the latter, then our chief justice of the Supreme Court, the highest court, becomes the sacrificial lamb! Just sayin'

*Photos from credit to the owners.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

That Feeling Again!

As our plane touches the ground of Mactan Cebu International Airport the sense of excitement become more intense and the grin on the face can not be fathom. It feels good to be home, the air, the people, the traffic, and the hassles in the airport, man! Really feels good to be home.

As an OFW, going home becomes the best and most awaited part of one’s life. The feeling of having freedom on its own country has no equal. The feeling of being a second class citizen is completely gone. While walking at the tube towards passport control, the nearer we are at the immigration counters the faster our heart beats, ah! That feeling again!

Our assigned gate for boarding in AUH

While queuing I can hear my familiar language, no more broken English or language I can’t fully understand. My mind wondered on what to do on this vacation, maybe I can hit the beach with my family, or go somewhere and spend time with them. Even if I will only stay at home for the rest of my vacation it would still be the best one as long as my love ones are with me. I am home and this is where the happiest place I can be.

“Welcome home sir!” the immigration officers greeted me after stamping my entry to my country. I said my thanks and smiled back at him. Now officially I am home!
Airport view inside and out

(The author as of this moment is now back to behind the desk of his work in Abu Dhabi but his mind still lingers back in the Philippines)

VISITA IGLESIA:Catholic Churches in UAE part 3

...the last part of the journey.

We departed Sharjah and proceeded to another Emirate State to visit another church which is in Ras Al Kaimah, The St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church.

St. Anthony de Padua Church in RAK

The Church situated at the back side of a general merchandise store. The church is slightly smaller than other churches we visited but enough to cater the spiritual needs of every Catholic residing around the emirates of Ras Al Kaimah. 

We commemorated the 9th and 10th station of the cross and made some individual prayers and after that we checked out the vicinity for photo opportunity of the church.

The group decided to take lunch first before we embark to a long journey going to our next destination. We settled in a parking lot in one of the mall there and ate our lunch. The spirit of sharing was noted during the feast as foods and beverages were being shared and passed on to everybody like one big happy family, not to mentioned we ate inside the coaster.

After we ate we embarked in a long journey towards Fujairah were the Church of Mother Perpetual Help is located. Along the way we had the opportunity to see God's marvelous creations of mountains which decorated the scenic view of the way. It was a 3 hour travel going to Fujairah but you will never get bored as scenic beauty unfolds during the travel.

The mountains surrounding the road to Fujairah

We arrived at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church past 4 in the afternoon. The group then commemorated the 11th and 12th station and proceeded with a short prayer.

The church is slightly bigger than the one in RAK and also a bit spacious, we saw a lot of parishioners inside the church from different countries. Blessed that they can exercise their faith in this Arab Country.

The ground of the church

The entrance of the church