the year that was...

my 2008 was totally a struggle.
and i am thankful that somehow, i am surviving.

world crisis cant stop us from believing that 2009 will be a greater year.

as this chapter of history ends, 2008 shared much to everyone.
good and most are not so good.
different things that changed someones life...

we cant even imagine how we were able to overcome those.
but its all over now.
those that seemed impossible before are now part of our past.
written in the pages of our history...
hard to believe but its actually over - solved - finished - kalas!

and in the peak of this crisis...
fears and worries keeps on bothering us.
dont be troubled by those... 2008 is tough, yet we survived :)

the New Year marks another beginning.
a new hope that tells us not to give up.


congratulations for surpassing 2008...
and all the best for 2009!


Christmas is not on December

i am a Christian.
i am a believer of Christmas.
i am a follower of Christ.
but i dont believe that He is born on December.

its my 2nd Christmas in the Middle East - where Bethlehem is... our distance is just about 1200 miles from there, with 2 hours difference. and at this time of the year, with the story from the Bible, it really seems impossible that Mary & Joseph were walking on the desert... as well as Jesus was placed in the manger at this season. it is very cold... and how can shepherds stay there with this type of weather?

not that i dont believe in the story... it is about the date. maybe (as pastor Gerry discussed), it is between April to October... but definitely not December.

i also believe that it is our way of commemorating the birth of our Savior... the most important and the true meaning of Christmas. that He is born, to save us.

its a good thing that there is a certain date for the celebration...
a time of sharing... giving... loving... forgiving...
but this season, being the most expensive vacation, seems celebrated extravagantly that tends to over shadow the true meaning and spirit.

people were so stressed.
at this time of crisis, everybody is on tight budget... yet people still pressured themselves to buy some gifts for everyone. it is sweet thought. i have nothing againsts it.
but hearing some complains while i'm in queue for cashier, is just so irritating. if you dont have much this time... dont bother. a simple note or a 1 minute call will do.
giving does not necessarily means gift.
we all have so much to give to our loved ones, not just material things...

Christmas is believing that Jesus is born to save us. He love us so much that He paid for our sins through crucifixion. and the promise that He will come again to bring us to His kingdom.

this is Christmas.
and its not only on December that we will commemorate this.

every new morning, is a gift from Him.
not just on December.

and i think it is best to return the favor by doing the same thing.

everday is Christmas.
not in exaggerated way but in remembering that He comes to save us.
and that we should always be thankful for that.

dont rush today. do not spend beyond your means.
you have 365 days a year to give... to love... to remember... to share... to forgive.

How will you welcome 2009?

seems simple...
but most people at present situation have a deeper thoughts on these...
not even listed on these choices -------->

what about you?

the Global Filipino

this is what Global Village is all about.
showcasing the pride of each represented country through different pavilions... it was a really a priviledge to have a space for this village. having the opportunity to show to almost 18,000 nationalities in UAE, this i think is one of the best way to give each country its global identity.

at bilang Pinoy, excited ako na makita ang Philippines Pavilion... nakita ko, may isang malaking parol at ang watawat ng bansa na malayang sumasabay sa malakas na hangin sa paligid.
yan ang Pinas! kayang makipagsabayan...
akala ko lang pala...
parol at bandila. un lang, at wala ng iba...

gusto kong isipin na marahil, dahil lang sa global crisis... pero bakit punong puno ang iba?
nakakahiya diba?
pero di naman zero ang loob ng pavilion... salamat sa mga indiano o pana na nilalait natin ang amoy. pero sa sitwasyong ito, sila ung umuukupa sa lugar na sana ay mga mababangong pilipino ang nandun. kung sa bagay, parang Quiapo na rin... di ko lang natanong kung puedeng hulugan!

at ciempre, wala ang Pilipinas kung walang mga Intsik. ito naman Binondo o kaya Tutuban!

buti pa sila, naipapakita kahit paano ang mga produkto na bansa nila, sa lugar na dapat sana ay sa mga Pilipino napunta. no wonder, puno kasi ang pavilion nila... samantalang nilalangaw ang sa atin...
bakit nga ba tayo nilalangaw???
eh naka estante naman pala..
ang dalawang tindahan na yan... Turo - Turo. Proud to be pinoy!
yan lang ung atin... yang lang ung pagkaka kilanlan ng bansa natin!!!
kikiam - squidball - sayang nga at walang fishball... na miss ko un!

nakaka tuwa diba? hindi ko alam kung paano ko lalabas dun nung paalis na kami. wala akong mukhang maiharap sa mga banyagang nakakasalubong ko... at kung puedeng harangin ko ang mga taong papasok dun at makikita ang nakatiwangwang na mga puwesto, na di kayang lamanan ng mga Pilipino...

nga pala, may isang malaki at magandang graffiti dun:
sponsored ng western union. 35 dhirhams lang daw ang padala...

malamang nga, yan na ang bentahe ng ating bansa. wala na tayong maibentang ari arian, ubos na ang pag aari ng bayan, wala ng yaman na puedeng pang - kabuhayan... kaya sa ngayon, tao na lang, mga Pilipino ang puedeng ipalit sa kalakalan.

OTOP. One Town One Product.
ang ganda ng ngiti ng pinaka mamahal nating pangulo... pero sana palitan na ang poster na ito... pati ang proyekto. kasi wala na tayong produkto. kung meron man, wala namang makakatulong para mag angkat ng mga ito.

One Town One Million OFW - malamang mas makatotohanan. tutal, yan ang pangunahing 'produkto' na ipinagmamalaki ng ating bayan. nakakatakot na dumating ang araw
na wala ng Pilipino sa Pilipinas...

ang makulay na simbolo ng bansang Pilipinas, natakpan na ng makikinang na produkto ng ibang lugar... maski ang sarili nating bansa, di na natin makuhang ipakipag-sabayan. hindi ko alam kung gaano na kalabo ang pag-asa natin... pero ang tiyak ko, higit na malinaw ang iba.

Global Village - Dubai

Global Village, Dubai's one of the exciting tourist destination, located in the DUBAILAND - the world's largest leisure, tourism & entertainment project, started simply as a small site along the Dubai creek in 1996, with small kiosks selling products & handicrafts from different countries.
Themed - A Journey of Global Discovery, Global Village brings together diverse customs and cultures covering a broad spectrum of activities including music, dances, arts and handicrafts, theatre, costumes and cuisine of different countries.
Pavilions were designed according to the country. The ambiance of each will make you feel that you really visited their place...

Showcasing the pride of more than 20 countries... shopaholics will surely enjoy not just the scenery but most espacially the best buy items that are available in different pavilions.

From clothes, shoes, jewellries, perfumes, different handicrafts, fabrics, bags... everything!
not to mention native foods, herbs & spices.
Aside from shopping & dining, people should not miss the Entertainment Fun Fair Area, which has a lot of adventurous games & exciting rides to explore, not just for kids, but for kids at heart as well :)

Global Village opens only from November to February... just like how theme parks in our country was... perfect timings for cold weather... Christmas spirit is alive... good enough to make me miss my family again :)

New Home for Christmas

we moved out.
but have not move in yet.

there is this one week transition before we start making the house our home...

for a year and 3 months, i have kept this feeling that everything here is just temporary.
well, that is a fact in general.
but what i meant was... this place.
this life... living away from home is temporary.
and i dont need to feel comfortable with it because its not permanent.

as we were looking for new place last week.
i was somehow disturbed... confused... i dont exactly know what i was looking for.
i dont have a picture in mind of what i want to have... not because i am clueless, but more than that, i dont know what to consider. whatever comes first?

before we moved out, we went to church. after few months of not attending the service, it was a relief. i was recharged...

ooopppsss, dont worry... i am not going to write the whole sermon!

just a piece of what reflects on me.

the pastor emphasized the value of being part of a cell group in church... in which you have to register to be a part of the church. admittedly, i am one of those who doesnt want to register, thinking that i have a local church at home... which is in Bulacan.

i am attending... as a guest?!

but he said, we are not. we should accept this place as our new home since we are legal resident of this country... and we are staying here... living a life here... we should understand that this is now home, for us.

and he is right. of course!

for 15 months... i was thinking of going home, where my childhood photos were... thinking of my favorite blankets & my pillows... dreaming of my bed...
and ignoring the things that i have at present... these 'temporary' things that i am using everyday and for few more years from now.

my parents will always be my home...

but what i have right now. wherever i am. i should also call it home.

this enlightens me... and after the service, i found peace of mind...
i can somehow enjoy the few more years here.

and can make myself feel at home, especially this Christmas :)

Eid Al Adha

i was quiet for the last 5 days...
it's because we were on holidays for the Eid Al Adha.

The Festival of Sacrifice

Festival HistoryEid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibraham's willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son, Ishmael. Ishmael is considered the forefather of the Arabs. According to the Koran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead. The feast re-enacts Ibrahim's obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. This feast is shared with the family and the remainder is donated to the poor.

the last 5 days (3 days holiday + weekend) was not spent the way you think it was.
we didnt had a holiday.
we were given a notice to leave the room that we are renting... for some personal reasons, and we dont have any other choice but to leave.

we looked forward to this long holiday. even had plans for jordan trip...

but it didnt turned out as a what is expected. forget the travel... but more than sleeping & eating, we spent more time outside, walking, looking for a new place. thank God it's winter :)

during those days & nights, we were so stressed. even though of going home... almost wanted to quit. aside from the not so presentable spaces... the rent was so expensive.
admittedly, our spirit were so low... we want to think of something good but during those times, none comes to my mind.

not until yesterday... when one of our neighbors accompanied me in searching. after the morning jogging, i showed them my choice, the only good space, i thought... but it was a NO! NO! to them. we checked out somewhere else, and that fits in!!!
we went again in the afternoon to check and finalized everything :)
we are moving this weekend.

it wasnt the best, but i know its what God has prepared for us. so, its more than the best!!!

we all could wish that we found it on atleast the first 2 days of the previous holiday... or even on the third day, so we still have 2 days arranging the things, but again, it didnt.

it wasnt late. i know it was the best timing... God's time is always the perfect time.

we didnt enjoy the holiday as everybody else did, but i believe that what we've been through these pass days was at least our share of sacrifice...
after all, that is the purpose of the Eid.

37th UAE National Day

2 December 2008
UAE celebrated its 37th National Day.
there was a grand celebration at Adu Dhabi, the capital of UAE.
Another spectacular fireworks glitters the sky of AD.

different programs were expected. of course, with the continous success of this country, occasions like this should be well celebrated. parades all around the 7 Emirates. they painted their cars with UAE Flag colors. some were decorated with stickers... some were airpainted with flags... some have pictures of Sheikh Nahyan & Sheikh Maktoum on the window pannels... and almost all have their flags.

these are not just in parade... most residents done these... cars like those pictures above are continously roaming along the main streets... people were screaming... everybody seemed so happy. they were so proud being Emiratis...

who cant be proud? UAE have come this far... from ashes... i mean, from their sand rises the largest building in the world! one of the largest mall in the world in on soft opening now.
and not to mention the only 7 star hotel, the burj al arab.

maybe, if i am also a natural emirati, i can feel the same confidence. as young as 37, UAE have contributed a lot in history.

but most of all, it is not being boastful or too proud. i noticed that these people was trained to be patriotic... their culture and tradition has been planted since childhood.

i think its one thing that makes them somebody. being able to preserve their identity amidst the rapid progress in their country.

Coke Side of Life 1905

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