Google

December 31, 2007

What Kept Me Busy Over the Last Weeks?

I've been busy over the past few weeks and I just couldn't cope with the things I need to do. On top of my work and regular tasks/chores, I had to do some errands here and there, some of which had to be completed before the long holiday during Qatar National Day and Eid Al-Adha celebration (December 18-25, 2007). Unfortunately, I had only two days of official holiday because the long holiday is for government and semi-government offices only :(
Despite my crazy schedule, Walter and I manage to escape for a short vacation in Oman (December 19-22, 2007), which was definitely a blast! A day before our departure, my youngest brother arrived to spend Christmas and New Year with us. Our Oman trip was already booked and confirmed when my brother informed me of his plans so we can't move our trip anymore.

Anyways, I did some catching-up with my brother when I came back. In the next two days (December 23-24), we toured my brother around Doha. We went to the Fish Market, Villagio Mall, Souq, Corniche and City Center. In between those trips, I made sure I bought groceries and other stuff I needed for Christmas, otherwise, we'll have empty kitchen during Christmas. In the afternoon of December 24th, my husband arranged a Desert Safari Tour from from Qatar International Adventures. After the tour, we headed to Toys R Us to buy gifts for our godchildren and our friends' sons and daughters. By the time we finished shopping, everyone was already hungry so we decided to have dinner at Thai Snacks and Restaurant in Al-Mirqab St. before heading to the City Center. We went home after closing City Center and waited for midnight.




In-land Sea


Dinner at Thai Snacks and Restaurant



Acrobatic Show at City Center


Obviously, I wasn't able to prepare anything for "noche buena" and had limited time to cook any special dish during Christmas day. I also wasn't able to send any greetings nor I was able to respond to the messages I received. I also missed some calls from my friends.

We went back to work after Christmas but we hit the road again during the weekend. On Friday, we watched basketball and the circus at Qatar Sports Club and we had dinner at Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in City Center although the circus and dinner were disappointments and waste of money. Then on Saturday, my brother did some shopping again. Sunday is back to work but I took leave of absence today and on the Jan 2nd (Jan 1st is official holiday) so that gives me 2 days of free time to spend with my brother before he leaves on Jan 1st and a free time for my self on Jan 2nd.

It was such a hectic schedule for us but it was an enjoyable time spent with my brother. We definitely had a grand time together!

December 30, 2007

Happy New Year to All !!!

I just wanna make sure I'm not late with my geetings. I hope that each of us will have a bright new year ahead. Happy New Year to ALL!



December 29, 2007

I'm Still Here ! ! !

My schedule over the last three weeks had been insanely hectic. There are a lot of things I wanted to blog about but I'm preoccupied with various things including a short holiday in Oman, work, personal errands, Christmas celebration, etc. I wasn't even able to do my Christmas greetings on time although I sent cards to some of my friends who replied to my e-mail requesting for their mailing address.

I wanted to off-load all the thoughts trapped in my crazy mind before the 2007 ends so I can welcome 2008 with a fresh start. I'm not sure how far can I go but I'll try my best to update my blog and write as much as I could so stay tuned for my posts ! ! !

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas !!!

To all my friends and readers:



Best,

Nina Lumberio

December 8, 2007

Missing Christmas in the Philippines!

I found the above video from Travel Philippines Blog. Watching this Ad campaign, I suddenly miss Christmas in the Philippines. I miss the colorful and beautiful decorations and Christmas lights. I miss Christmas parties and exchange gifts. I miss Christmas shopping and carefully choosing each gift for my friends and loved-ones. I miss personally wrapping my gifts (although when I shop at Rustan's, I take advantage of free gift-wrapping and boxes) and writing messages on the gift cards. Most of all, I miss spending Christmas with my family. It's been years since the last time my family celebrated Christmas together. I can't remember anymore when was that last time but I do plan to spend Christmas in the Philippines in 2010. Hopefully, everyone will be home in 2010 to celebrate Christmas together once again.


December 6, 2007

So She Thought Europe is a Country..Duh?

Found this from Heather's Secret of Paris Blog. Gosh, This is embarassing...





Are they sisters? :)

December 2, 2007

Remembering 2006 Doha Asian Games

I just wanna share some videos taken last year during the closing ceremony of 15th Asia Games in Doha, Qatar where our very own Lea Salonga sang the finale song. Sorry, it's a bit shaky but I hope you enjoy it even if it's old.





We’re Not Watching Rakrakan sa Dubai 2007 But We are going to Oman

We’re very excited about Rakrakan sa Dubai 2007 but we changed our plans. First, both of us do not have any leave credits left for this year. If we go, we can only stay in Dubai during the weekend of the concert and it will be a waste of trip to do that. I would prefer to have a proper holiday even if we're not paying for it. Second, we have been to Dubai twice last year. There are other nice places to see around Middle East besides Dubai.

After much thought, we decided to go to Oman during the Eid Al Adha, which is normally a 3-day holiday plus weekends. My husband's company will have an extended holiday from December 19 to December 25. I heard that Oman is really nice and even better than Dubai. Now, is really a good time to go. The weather at this time of the year is very pleasant for walking and sightseeing.

We still have a little problem though. We are supposed to use our raffle prize for this trip but according to the PR department of my husband’s company, the prize has already expired. I was surprised because we were not informed at all that that the prize has an expiration. In fact, when we won the raffle, they told us we can use it anytime until end of the year. I think these people are fooling us around. It's unfair and unjust to forfeit the prize without informing us. Anyway, we are in the process of sorting out this problem. I am hopeful that everything will be settled accordingly.


Related Posts:

Rakrakan Overload 2007 Airport Expo
Yet Another Blessing

November 24, 2007

In Memory of My High School Best Friend

I stumbled upon some old photos in our files. These pictures were intended for a slide show to be shown during our wedding reception. We already scanned some old photos but unfortunately, we didn't have time to set-up the slide show and we scrap the idea due to many other things we need to attend to.

I would like to share some good times with my late high school best friend, PAULYN who passed away two years ago.


This picture was taken at the grounds of St. Mary's Academy
(former Sacred Heat Academy) in Guagua, Pampanga. I believe
this was taken a few days before our graduation. We have a lot of
good memories in high school. We were classmates when we
were juniors and became very close since then. Actually our
classmates and batchmates were the ones who called
us best friends and the rest is history.



This picture was taken in May 1999 at Fontana Leisure Park in
Clarkfield, Pampanga. She was still in med school then and it was her
summer break. I just passed the Chemical Engineer's board exams
and I just started with my first job. She tagged me along (she always do,
whenever there's a chance) during their family weekend holiday
in Fontana, which was newly opened then.


This was taken in Baguio City. I visited her in 2002 during the
Penagbenga Festival (Flower Festival). She have always invited me to
come for a visit during college days but I've never been able to because
of our different school calendar. My school has tri-mestral system and
her school had semestral system so the term breaks are obviously
different. Nonetheless, she stayed there until her third year in
Medicine proper so finally, I had the chance to visit her in 2002
during the Penagbenga Festival. For the first time, I was able to
witness the Penagbenga Festival celebration. I wish I
could show some photos of the floats but they are in the
Philippines - maybe next time.



It will take several posts and digging of old photos to reminisce the good time we shared but I will always remember PAULYN as a sweet and loving friend. She will always be in my heart forever.

The Countries I visited...

I have already visited 14 countries (shaded in red) or 6% of the world. I need a lot of catching up. LOLs!!!




create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


November 21, 2007

Good Morning, How Are You?

I lifted this entry from my old blog (posted in February 2006). I thought of re-posting this after reading Reyna Elena's post about standard questions and answers.

I noticed that my boss has stopped asking me the question "how are you?" every morning. I am not sure why, but maybe because he noticed that I do not ask him the same question or I am not really comfortable with the question. For westerners, It's sort of a standard question after a greeting. But I wonder if they are always sincere because I find it so casual for them to ask that question. In my case, it's something I would only say if I mean it. I've been here in Qatar for 22 months* already and both the companies I worked for are multi-nationals but I'm still not used to asking "how are you?" especially if I will ask the same person everyday or I am in a room with 20 people....you can just imagine exchanging these words 20 times, one after the other......

Hi, I'm Nina....How are you? - I'm good.
Hello, how are you? - I'm fine, thank you.
Hi. I'm fine - How are you? - Nice to meet you!
Good morning, I'm good and you? - I'm fine, thanks.

Gosh, I usually run out of combinations. I am really embarrassed when caught in these situations. I don't know if I'll ever get used it but If I did in time, I hope I will always ask it with sincerity.

I am also not comfortable when the word "excellent" is used casually. I often hear my colleagues say EXCELLENT to acknowledge simple favors. Duh? For me excellent is an adjective to describe things that are exceptional and nothing less period.

I may be too frank and tactless at times but one thing I can assure you is I am very transparent and if ever I give a compliment, I always mean it!

* As of now, I've been here in Qatar for 3 1/2 years already.

November 17, 2007

Classic TV Commercials

While blog-hopping last night, I came across Aileen Apolo's blog entry entitled Classic Tito, Vic and Joey and a you tube link for classic Philippine TV Commercials. I clicked the link and enjoyed watching classic 70's and 80's TVCs and some recent ones.

Back in the Philippines, there are times when I'd really get annoyed when the show I'm watching has lots of TVC. But there are TVCs that are just so cool and patok they leave footprints in our hearts. I can still remember some popular TVCs such as:

  • Coca-Cola - Lilet in I'm the future of the world...
  • Royal Tru-Orange - RJ Ledesma series
  • Palmolive - I can feel it TVC, where Alice Dixon became popular.
  • San Miguel Beer - Siboom...Siboom, Isang platitong mani...
  • Close-up - Robin Da Rosa in closer you and I
  • Ivory Shampoo - Bianca Araneta in Ang gaan-gan ng feeling, and a lot more.....

Here in Qatar, we don't get to watch the Philippine TVC anymore. Our closest encounter were spoofs from Bubble Gang. But if you want to watch some classic and recent TVCs and re-live some memories back home, visit Adman's page. Meantime, enjoy these classics:











I always hear the word "Kokuryo" from my Aunt when she is referring to a no name cosmetic brand but I didn't know "Kokuryo" really existed. I thought my Aunt just made up the name. I was surprised to find out that Kokuryu even had a TVC with no less than Amalia Fuentes as the endorsing celebrity. But I wonder if she ever used it? I mean, do commercial models really use the brand the are endorsing?

I would want to see Camay TVCs where the Revilla Ladies are the models. How about you? Do you have any favorite commercial that you still remember?

November 16, 2007

Blog ni Inday

Inday - the famous english-speaking maid also has a blog of her own... If you enjoy Inday jokes, you can visit her blog at Blog ni Inday. Enjoy reading!!!

My Phone T22 Duo Update

Last update: 17 March 2008

The SIM CLOSE problem has been resolved. Apparently My Phone is in flight mode. I posted the solution here.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Last updated 23 February 2008

Many people visit this post to get info about My Phone T22 Duo. Sadly, mine isn't working anymore. It worked fine in the beginning but one day, I just got a SIM CLOSE message from the phone. Both my SIM cards work in other phones so I really don't have any idea what's the problem. I 'm yet to discover if my phone can still be revived. I hope it can still be repaired. It's just a few months old and I haven't got my money's worth yet :( If you have info where can I send it for repair, please let me know.

* * * * * * **

I received this comment from my post about My Phone T22 Duo.



"hi. my friend bought one. she's having problems with it because she can't transfer mp3s from her computer. the phone didn't come with a driver. do you know where i can get one?"

Honestly I haven't tried transferring MP3s from my computer to My Phone T22 Duo so I read the manual and tried to follow the instructions. Page 25 of My Phone Manual about Multi Media:



"WINDOWS 2000 and above OS does not need to install driver, you must switch the phone off when loading music. When you upload music, connect the phone to the computer using the USB cable, the computer screen will show that a new hardware has been found and it will make a movable hard disk then load MP3 to the boot directory "My Music" of the movable hard disk, but not Audio, Images and Photos or these music will not play. (Only support the music whose postfix is MP3, AMR or MIDI files. "

Here's what I discovered:

The procedure works. Unfortunately, the internal memory of the phone is only 2MB. MP3 files can be as large as 3-4MB per song so it's not really possible to transfer MP3s without an external memory card. Since I don't have an external memory card, I am not able to try that option. If I already have a memory card, I'll try it again and update this entry.

I hope this helps.

November 15, 2007

Freakin'

Man, I'm still freakin' from the that incident at the junction a few hours ago. I don't know where was I exactly when the traffic light turned red and if my car was photograph for beating the red light. I turned left from C-Ring-Airport junction (Toyota Signal) to go to the Souq. Unfortunately, I already passed the solid white line along the signal when the green light started blinking. I couldn't stop the car anymore, otherwise, I'll end up in the middle of the intersection. I accelerated my car and tried to pass the intersection as fast as I could but the st*p*d car in front of me, was very slow. I was lucky there's no vehicle on my left side so I changed lane immediately and drove as fast as I could. Honestly, I don't know at which point the camera takes photo. If the traffic lights turned red while the vehicle is right in the middle of the junction, is it considered beating the red light?

Grrrr...this whole thing is driving me crazy!!! The fine (in case, my car was photographed) is whooping US$1650 plus negative points - yes, One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty USD. Gosh, I could buy a lot things with that amount of money. In fact, I can buy two round trip ticket to the Philippines. Hindi talaga ako makakatulog nito hanggang di ako nakakasigurado na wala akong violation.

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 12, 2007

It's Officially Winter!

Qatar has two seasons: Summer and Winter. It's dry most of the year with a little bit of rain during winter. While winter in Qatar is not as cold as in the temperate zones, temperatures can drop down to 10 degC. It can be really cold especially when there is wind chill.

Astronomically speaking, winter in northern hemisphere begins on winter soltice and ends on spring equinox. Winter soltice occurs on the shortest day or longest night of the year.

Without reference to astronomy, I believe many will agree that today, winter season here in Qatar started "officially." The weather has been really good during the past weeks but for the first time after summer, there's a very thick fog this morning. Upon seeing the fog, I immediately thought of two things: the winter season and the hazards of driving during foggy days. Fog reduces visibility and thus creating hazardous driving conditions. This morning, it's almost zero visibility. I can barely see the cars on the road. In situations like these, one must be really, really careful. If the trip cannot be postponed, drivers should follow these driving tips:

  • Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more.
  • Reduce your speed -- and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.
  • Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.
  • Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.
  • Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
  • Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.
  • Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn your vehicle's lights off, and take your foot off of the brake pedal. People tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the winter season and happy driving!

November 9, 2007

Decluttering Project

My mind is cluttered with a lot of thoughts but nothing really interesting to write about. There are too many things going on. I couldn't concentrate at all. I've been thinking to start a decluttering project at home and in my office but I think I need to declutter my mind first. Hahahahaha....

Anyway, for a start, I decluttered and organized my phonebook. Since I've got a new phone, I migrated all my contacts from my two old phones into my new phone. Then, I deleted all numbers that I haven't called or used for quite sometime. I found out I still have numbers of former colleagues who passed away already. I merge contact numbers of same person under one name only. In the past, I have this habit of storing names without surnames in my phonebook. This time, I made sure I also saved their last names to void confusion. Now, I have less than 200 contacts left and hopefully, I can keep it organized. Mind you, organizing a phonebook can take time but it can be a good therapy.

Next project in mind is to declutter my electronic files, e-mails and personal files. I want to delete files I don't need, old e-mails, etc. There is a long a list for this decluttering project but I want to it step by step and start with simple things.

By the way, I found this site about decluttering - you might be interested! Do also have tips how to declutter effectively?

November 3, 2007

Qatar Blogs

Qatar has a vibrant and growing blogosphere. Join the Qatar Blogs Project to add your blog to this list or to put this list on your site.

November 1, 2007

Revisiting My Friendster Blog

I used to blog at Friendster before moving to blogger. I kept the blog even if I do not update it anymore. The other day, I re-arranged the layout and created tags to organize my entries. As I review some of my posts, I realized that most of my entries are negative thoughts, rants and complaints. Hehehehe... But that is because, in the past, I only write blog when I'm pissed or I'm in my crazy mood. I used that to express my emotions and sentiments. Saka iniisip ko kasi mga ka-friendster ko lang ang nagbabsa dun kaya minsan masyadong prangka. I believe I've got a better blog now, di ba?

October 31, 2007

Doha, Qatar Photos

I found this photo blog called One Snap at a Time by Doha Snapper. If you want to see pictures of Doha, Qatar at its best, you can visit his site.




The ARABIC JAR by Doha Snapper

October 29, 2007

There is a bus with seven (7) girls inside....

I'm just re-posting this...

Scenario:

There is a bus with 7 girls inside,
Each girl has 7 bags,
Inside each bag, there are 7 Big cats,
Each Big cat has 7 small cats,
All cats have 4 Legs each !

Question: How many Legs are there inside the bus?

The solution is posted here. Unfornately I cannot upload the excel file that came with this math problem. But if you are interested, leave me a note and an e-mail address where I can send the file.

October 28, 2007

Rakrakan Overload 2007 Dubai Airport Expo

It's Rakrakan again. After the successful concert in Bahrain and Doha, the third and final leg of Rakrakan Middle East Tour will be concluded in Dubai. We watched last year's Rakrakan sa Dubai featuring Parokya ni Edgar and Bamboo. It was a huge success! Unfortunately, we're not able to watch Rakrakan Overload here in Doha. But if plans push through, my husband and I accomodation won from a raffle) to witness once again the Rakrakan performance on December 7th at Dubai Aiport Expo. are planning to fly to Dubai (we'll be using our free tickets and hotel

There will be three bands performing: Parokya ni Edgar, Spongecola and Kamikazee. I am expecting lots of fun and excitement just like last year.

To my friends in Dubai: See you there!!!

Doha Players' Annual Pantomime: "Almost Dick Whittington"

Tickets on Sales from:

International Centre for Music
39 Ahmed Bin Hanbal Street
(behind Lulu on D-ring)

Tel. 4671354

1pm to 8pm - Sunday to Wed
11am to 8pm - Saturday

or

Music Master , Landmark shopping Mall

Show Date and Time:

Dec 6 (Thurs) - 7 pm
Dec 7 (Fri) - 230 pm & 630 pm
Dec 8 (Sat) - 2:30 pm & 630 pm

Show Venue:

College of North Atlantic - Qatar



Doha Players will be staging their annual pantomime on December 6th to 8th, 2007. This year's performance is "Almost Dick Whittington."

Almost Dick Whittington is a modern panto loosely based on the popular Dick Whittington story (hence, the "Almost" at the start!). ADW still has the dames (men dressed as women in outrageous clothing for those new to panto) the principal boy (played by a girl) and the baddies who try to cause mayhem and madness all the way through the story. We have good triumphs over evil, love stories and happily ever after! Plenty of audience participation is required - lots of 'Oh no, you're not' or 'He's behind you' and of course required cheering and booing! Almost Dick Whittington is a family show
with songs ranging from Abba to Disney so make sure you come along with your singing voices!

For more details and inquiries, visit Doha Players website.

Update as of 18 Nov 2007:

Tickets will be on sale as of today but the location where tickets can be bought are yet to be announced. For further infor you may call or e-mail Doha Players.

Office Hours: 8 am to 1 pm (Strictly Sunday to Thurday only)
Tel No.: +974 5755102
Telefax: +974 4474911
e-mail: doha_players@yahoo.com
doha_players@qatar.net.qa

Solution for There is a bus with seven (7) girls inside...

Here's the solution for the popular math problem:

Scenario:

There is a bus with 7 girls inside,
Each girl has 7 bags,
Inside each bag, there are 7 Big cats,
Each Big cat has 7 small cats,
All cats have 4 Legs each !

Question: How many Legs are there inside the bus?

Solution:

7 girls x 2 legs = 14 legs
7 girsl x 7 bags x 7 cats = 343 cats x 4 legs = 1372 legs (cats)
343 cats x 7 kittens = 2401 x 4 legs = 9604 (kittens)

Total Legs = 14 + 1372 +9604 = 10990 Legs

October 26, 2007

A Tiring Trip to Ras Laffan

It's been a busy week. I drove to Ras Laffan (80 kilometers North of Doha) for four consecutive days to conduct some training for our client's technicians. Actually, I got someone else to do the training. I was merely a spectator and the "official driver." But after driving 160 Km round trip each day for four consecutive days, I was totally exhausted. If only I still have some leave credits, I would have skipped work last Thursday.


I remember during high school, I commute everyday - 2 hours round trip. By the time I reach home, I'm already dead tired even before I study my lessons and do my home work. Then, on my first job, I have to commute almost two hours each way. Believe me, I can barely do anything after work. I'm sure workers who commute or drive from Doha to Ras Laffan everyday are just too tired, not to mention that some of them work on 12-hour shift.


From experience, one thing that can really help is to get enough sleep in order to overcome tiredness and re-energize, although in the end, it will just be a work-sleep cycle. You will still be tired at the end of the day and exhausted at the end of the week. I don't know if I can work in Ras Laffan on a daily basis. But if by chance, I got a work assignment that will require daily drive to Ras Laffan, then it's going to be a real challenge for me.


Do you drive to work everyday? How do you manage long drive to work and back home?

MY PHONE T22 Duo (with Dual Sim Feature)

Last update: 17 March 2008
The SIM CLOSE problem has been resolved. Apparently My Phone is in flight mode. I posted the solution here.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Last update: 23 February 2008

Many people visit this post to get info about My Phone T22 Duo. Sadly, mine isn't working anymore. It worked fine in the beginning but one day, I just got a SIM CLOSE message from the phone. Both my SIM cards work in other phones so I really don't have any idea what's the problem. I 'm yet to discover if my phone can still be revived. I hope it can still be repaired. It's just a few months old and I haven't got my money's worth yet :( If you have info where I can send My Phone for repair, please let me know.

* * * * * * * * *

I normally carry two mobile phones - one for roaming (SMART) and one with local sim. Lately, one of my phones seemed to be giving up on me already so I thought of buying a new one. Lucky me, my husband read my mind and bought a new phone for me when he went for a vacation during Eid. But the phone he bought was a different one - it's not one those popular brands. It is called MY PHONE and it can operate two sim cards at the same time - just what I needed.






It looks similar to the NOKIA model I want to purchase - slim, big screen and lightwieght. It has a touch screen and a 2 MB digital camera, video recorder, MP3, player, calendar, etc. It has the same features as the popular phones today and the interface was patterned after popular brands. It comes with one year warranty and it is cheaper too. The only thing I didn't like are the built-in ring and alert tones. But since it can play MP3, then I can use MP3 for my ring tone.


Overall, I'd recommend this mobile phone especially for those who normally carry two mobile phones. The dual sim feature is definitely a winner!!!



MY PHONE is available at:


ADI Telecoms
4/F Bldg B, SM Mega Mall



Related Post:

My Phone T22 Duo Update: How to Transfer MP3s




October 15, 2007

I Want to Retire Young!

Yes, you read it right - "I want to retire young." People have different views on retirement. When Money Smarts blogged about retiring young, readers have expressed different opinions.

I define retirement as getting out of regular employment. But that doesn't mean I'll be a bumming around or I'll bore myself doing household chores after I stop working. In fact, I was thinking, if I quit my job then I'll be able to supervise a maid (hehehehehehe!!!!).

Kidding aside, I want to retire young, enjoy life and spend more time with my family. I want to visit more places and do things that I also enjoy (apart from my regular job) but I couldn't do because of my full time job. I love my job but I don't want to be tied-up with an 8-5 job for the rest of my life. I want to pursue other endeavours totally different from going to the office everyday. For example, I want to blog, blog, blog! I want to read more (for leisure), bake different pastries and do photography (as a hobby). Who knows, I might just become a great cake decorator or perhaps a wedding coordinator? Wouldn't it be great not to worry about your boss, deadlines, clients, etc?

Actually, I can quit working now and just stay home because my husband has the financial capability to support me and our future children. But being a woman of today, I also wanted to become financially independent. In fact, my goal is to gain financial independence before I get out of 8-5 job. I set a time-frame of 10-15 years (or possibly earlier) to attain this goal. So what are the steps I am taking to achieve financial independence?

  • Set a clear goal that is attainable within a set time-frame.
  • Stay out of debt.
  • Prepare a budget and spend within the budget.
  • Save, save, save!!! According to the experts, Expenses = Income - Savings and ideally, 10% of our income must be saved.
  • Establish an emergency fund for emergency expenses such as car repairs, sickness, etc.
  • Do not spend more than what you earn.
  • Do not buy things that depreciate in value because you
  • Buy only what you need (I'm guilty of buying unnecessary things!)
  • Try to be frugal but not cheap - they are different
  • Invest, invest, invest!!! Before careful though, you have to research well before you invest your hard-earned money.
  • Read personal finance blogs. You can learn a lot from personal finance blogs. They are free so start reading now. Some of my favorites are in my side bar.
  • Read personal finance books. It's good to start with a book that is written by a Filipino author because their contents are tailored to Philippine setting. I've read those written by Francisco J. Colayco and Efren Cruz. They are simple and easy to understand. They are also eye-opener especially for those who are clueless about personal finance.

Sounds too good to be true? The things I mentioned are doable but one must have a strong determination and will-power to make it happen.

Last August, I challenge myself not to shop for a year as a way to save some money. So far, I think I'm keeping up with my own challenge. After my shopping spree in New York and in the Philippines, I think I can skip buying clothes, shoes, and bags for at least one year.

I guess, if I try harder, I can achieve my goal in less than 10 years.


Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. The views and opinions expressed by visitors of this blog are theirs and do not necessarily reflect mine.

October 14, 2007

$1 = P43.6

I usually check BDO and BPI for exchange rates because their rates are close to those at the remittance centers. BDO rate last Thursday (October 11) was $1=P43.60 and based on the trend, Peso continues to be strong because of the $ sent by OFWs *sigh* *sigh*

I have mixed feelings. I just hope that continued appreciation of peso benefits the majority of Filipinos.

October 12, 2007

Eid Mubarak!

Today, Muslims are celebrating "Eid Al-Fitr," a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Eid is an Arabic word which means "festivity" while Fitr means "to break the fast."

Eid is an important holiday for Muslims. It's like Christmas for them. Here in Qatar, government offices have a week-long holiday just like in the previous years. Private companies like the one I work for, usually declare a three-day holiday. Others who cannot afford to have long holiday (e.g. those who provide services) at least take a day off during the first day of Eid.

Due to long days off, many people take the opportunity to travel. We decided not to go anywhere this year because we just had a month-long vacation in the Philippines and we've travelled several times in the past 12 months plus I already consumed my leave entitlement for the rest of the year. With a few days to spare, my husband flew back home to the Philippines to attend his grandmother's 80th birthday. He'll be back next Saturday. Until then, I'll be alone but not home alone because my brother and my uncle are staying with us. My only problem when my husband is away is that I couldn't sleep. But I think, this long holiday is a good opportunity for me to have a real R and R (rest and relaxation) and (I hope) to de-clutter our room.

I wish everyone a Happy Eid!

October 9, 2007

Cruising Ras Laffan

When I bought my car, the model I chose came with extra options, which I really don't need. Among them is the CRUISE CONTROL. I never tried it and didn't bother to learn how to use it. Yesterday, on our way to our client, my boss mentioned that he is on cruise control and that it is helping him to keep the speed within the limits. According to him, it keeps him relaxed as he didn't have to control the gas pedal anymore.

Curious, I tried how mine works this afternoon. It's kind of weird not to be stepping on the gas pedal. But it is relaxing not to worry about exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast even though my right foot is itching to step on the gas pedal. I had the same feeling during the first few weeks of driving an automatic car - my left foot was so uncomfortable without a clutch to step on.

Ras Laffan is only an 80-km drive from Doha and only a portion of the road is a freeway. Cruise control will not be beneficial during rush hours because of the volume of vehicles rushing to and from Ras Laffan. Cruise control would work best for long drive in a free way. Perhaps, when the connection bridge to Bahrain is already built, we can take advantage of the cruise control option.

For now, maybe I can use it from time to time when driving to Ras Laffan during off-peak hours.

October 4, 2007

Feeling Good!!!

It feels good to be home early today without any work to think about. I just finish a portion of my project and sent off the draft report to our client. It's rare to have a worry-free weekend so I'm really feeling great :)

Finding Fr. Bobby Mac Roxas

I studied in an all-girls catholic high school in Guagua, Pampanga. It's called St. Mary's Academy now but during my time, it is known as Sacred Heart Academy. As a catholic school, we had yearly recollection usually held in the school. But during fourth year, instead of a whole day recollection , we had a three-day retreat at Don Bosco Batulao (Batangas). Our retreat master then is Fr. Bobby Mac Roxas, son of Digna Agra Roxas - a known music arranger.

I can barely remember the retreat we had but I still do remember Fr. Bobby. I just came across his multiply site. To my classmates who wants to be in-touch with him again, please feel free to visit his site. He probably doesn't remember us but I'm sure, he at least remember our school!

September 29, 2007

LASIK Video

Found this video at you tube. Watch how actual LASIK surgery is done. The surgery was actually done at St. Lukes International Eye Institute, Vision Laser Center by Dr. Joey.






Related Posts:

LASIK at Asian Eye Institute Part 1
LASIK at Asian eye Institute Part 2

LASIK at Asian Eye Institute Part 2

Recently, I had LASIK surgey at Asian Eye Institute. I'd like to share my experience especially to those who are considering LASIK surgery.

Screening
Before the surgery I underwent screening to determine if I am qualified for LASIK. A team of doctors led by Dr. Robert Ang, performed different examinations. Some of them were done while my eyes are dilated. During the examination of my retina, Dr. Veloso found that a tiny partion of my retina is already thin and also needs a laser treatment to prevent possible retinal detachment in the future. In addition, I will only be allowed to do LASIK if my retinal problems will be treated first. On that same day, I had the laser treatment because I was terrified with the possibility of getting blind if retinal detachment occurs.

The Surgery
On the day of the surgery, I was advised to use mild soap and mild shampoo and not to use any perfume, cream, lotion, shampoo and other similar stuff. I believe fragrance can interfere with the laser.

Before the LASIK procedure, I was given a mild sedative to calm me and anesthetic drops to numb my eyes. I felt a slight discomfort when the anesthetic drops are applied but it went away after a few seconds. LASIK itself took just a few minutes per eye. I didn’t feel any pain although the device used to keep the eyes open made me slightly uncomfortable.

You can a watch an animation of LASIK surgery here.

I was given safety glasses to protect my eyes on my way out of the clinic as well as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops. After only six hours, I can already read, watch the television and I can already tell that my vision is a lot better even if it’s still blurry.

After the Surgery
Just like any surgery, there were restrictions after the procedure. Safety goggles has to be worn for one week. Scratching the eyes or putting pressure in the eyes is a no-no. I wore my safety glasses for a few weeks even while sleeping because I’m scared that I might accidentally scratch my eyes. Eyes must be avoided during shower in the first three days. Full/ regular shower is only resumed after the 4th day. Swimming is not allowed for a month. Blood clots will be visible but that’s normal and will go away after two weeks. Vision fluctuation and halos during night time are normal. According to Dr. Ang, vision will stabilized and halos will disappear after three months. So far, I didn’t experience any extreme vision fluctuations and I can drive at night even with those halos. From time to time, I experienced discomfort due to dryness of the eyes, which is just normal. I was given an eye lubricant to relief dryness.

Payment
Cash and credit cards are accepted. Note that only facility fee may be settled with a credit card. Professional fees are paid in cash.

So far so good! I think it’s one of my best decisions ever. I’m so glad I had LASIK. Before the surgery, I cannot function without my eye glasses. Now, I am not anymore dependent on my eye glasses. If you are considering LASIK surgery, you might want to read some information on LASIK at FDA website.

For screening, you may call or e-mail Asian Eye Institute to set an appointment or fill-out the appointment form in their website. The cost of screening will be deducted from the total cost of the surgery, in case you qualify and decided to do it.

Email: eyehelp@asianeyeinstitute.com

AEI Rockwell: (632) 898-2020 – trunk line

AEI TriNoma: (63) 917-897-2020 – trunk line

For maps and driving directions click here.


Related Posts:

Lasik at Asian Eye Institute Part 1
Lasik Video

LASIK at Asian Eye Institute Part 1

When I went home for vacation last July -August, I had a LASIK surgery at Asian Eye Institute. I've been contemplating to do it in order to reduce my dependency on eye glasses or contact lenses. But then, I’ve always had reservations because no matter how simple LASIK procedure may seem, it’s still a SURGERY and there are risks associated with LASIK.

So what convinced me to do it? There are people I know personally who have done it. After talking to them about their experience and hearing positive feedbacks and encouragement, I decided to give it a go. Initially, my plan is just to undergo the screening and have the surgery in my next vacation but fickle minded as I am, I proceeded with the surgery for two reasons.

First, if I do it in my next vacation, I will need to repeat the screening. I was scared that I might not be qualified anymore by that time.

Second, my spectacles already need replacement. If I delay my operation, I need to buy new eye glasses and contact lenses. I normally use transition lenses to have instant sunglasses when I’m out in the sun while for contact lenses, I use the toric type because of my astigmatism. These things plus a nice, durable frame can be expensive. Instead of spending a few thousand of pesos for something that I will replace/discard later on, I thought I’ll just use that money for my surgery to correct my vision permanently.

So what is LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. A knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middlesection of the cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is replaced

To know more about LASIK, visit the US FDA website.

So there I go, when I finally decided, I called Asian Eye Institute and set-up an appointment , had my screening and the surgery.

Related Posts:

LASIK at Asian Eye Institute Part 2

LASIK Video Clip

September 26, 2007

Pinoy Men

Are Filipino guys more traditional? If so, does that mean their values are more intact than that of foreigners?

Not necessarily. People are different and we cannot generalized based on nationalities.

Is the stereotype true that Westerners have a less of a sense of spirituality?

Spirituality does not relate to nationality. Anyone can be spiritual or atheist.


What about a foreigner’s view of commitment in a relationship?

I think foreigners are frank-enough to speak their mind. I believe they say when they are ready for a commitment or not.

How are they as mates- are they jealous, possessive?

Can't really say, I didn't have any romantic relationship with a foreigner. But based on my observations, foreigner are more open-minded.

Is it true that normally a stronger woman is better of with a foreigner?

A strong woman is better off with a strong man. Not only foreigners have strong personality.

Sorry folks, can't relate with the questions. I am married to a Filipino guy and never had any romantic relationship with a foreigner although at one point in my life, I dreamt of marrying a foreigner.

I'm tagging:

Nette - Philippines

Cates - Canada

Cynts - Philippines

September 24, 2007

Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) in Qatar

LDAR Services in Qatar:

  • LDAR Program Development and Implementation
  • P&ID Markings
  • Component Identification
  • Component Tagging
  • Technician Training
  • Technical Support
  • LDAR Audit
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Consultancy Services

For inquiries, please contact:


URS Qatar LLC
P.O. Box 22108
Doha, Qatar


Tel No. +974 4130834
Fax No. +974 4130835

September 19, 2007

Survey

This is a survey posted by Reyna Elena in her blog. Here are my answers:

  • How satisfied are you with your job? Right now, I am very satisfied with my job - both in terms of work and financial aspects.

  • Are you fulfilling your childhood dreams? In essence I think - YES- but not exactly as I've imagined my future then. When I was in grade school my dream is to become a Chemical Engineer and work for a multinational or top company, study MBA, climb the corporate ladder, buy my own car, my house, etc. I did become a Chemical Engineer and I had my first job at a petrochemical plant. But then I realized that I really wanted to do environmental work instead and that's my job now so I consider my childhood dream fulfilled. I think it's normal to go through paradigm shifts in one's life. The only thing I am yet to fulfill is obtaining MBA but I did enroll in Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering and Management and I just need to do my project to get the full-pledge degree. At this point in my life, I am not anymore wishing to climb the corporate ladder. A few years ago, I had another paradigm shift and the goal I'm tyring to achieve now is to obtain financial freedom and move out of the 8-5 job.

  • What would be your dream job? I've always wanted to have a job that has a lot of travel opportunities within and outside the Philippines. I didn't land into that kind of job but it's okay because I'm still able to travel to different places.

  • What’s the most satisfying part of your job? I feel good when my clients are happy with my work.

  • What’s the most important quality of a great boss? A good mentor and motivator. I also like a boss who can defend his people and stand for his people through difficult times.

  • What’s the best job-related advice you’ve ever received? First, "if you are not happy with your job anymore, leave" and second, "always protect yourself." As a young employee, I was so naive and I trust too much so I end up getting blamed for things I did not do. But through time, I learned to protect myself and be careful of people around me.

  • What’s the one thing/person you hate at work and why? I hate to work with people who steal credit for work they did not do.

How about you?

Math Quiz: There is a bus with seven (7) girls inside...

This is fun! Let's see if you are a real Math wizard!

Scenario:

There is a bus with 7 girls inside,
Each girl has 7 bags,
Inside each bag, there are 7 Big cats,
Each Big cat has 7 small cats,
All cats have 4 Legs each !

Question: How many Legs are there inside the bus?

I have the excel file that illustrates how the correct answer was arrived. Unfortunately, I cannot upload it here. If you want a copy, leave me a note and an e-mail address or e-mail me privately through the e-mail provided in my profile. I also posted the solution here.

September 18, 2007

My New Kenwood Stand Mixer

I've always thought of buying this Kenwood Stand Mixer in lieu of my much desired Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer because Kenwood is more than 50% cheaper. But then, I really don't want to settle for a second choice especially I have very specific reasons why I like Kitchen Aid (e.g. capacity, availability of spare parts and accessories).



So what made me decide to have it? Because it's FREE!!! My husband had enough reward points from Airmiles to get it at no cost at all. Isn't it great?

By the way, I would have prefered the white one but it's not available.

September 17, 2007

Can You Sing Lupang Hinirang?

I'm a proud Pinay and I mean it! I am also proud that I can sing Lupang Hinirang and I can recite Panatang Makabayan by heart.

Watch this video of Christian Bautista as he sing Lupang Hinirang with missing lyrics. This is really embarassing!


What are we getting for our OWWA & PhilHealth payments?

Below are interesting letters sent to Inquirer by our fellow OFWs. I have exactly the same question as the Title.

When you read the news or you listen to our politicians, OFWs often get praises for being new modern heroes of our country. We all know also that OFW remittances are the saviour of Philippine economy. But come to think of it, what benefits do we get from the government? If you read below, you will find out the sentiments of OFWs. I am lucky not to experience any of those but personally I really get frustrated with the poor government service at POEA or at the airport, etc. I will not rant and write a litany of every incident I have encountered but if you are an OFW, I'm sure you know what I am talking about.

What are we getting for our OWWA & PhilHealth payments?
INQUIRER.netLast updated 04:31pm (Mla time) 09/17/2007

To fellow Overseas Filipino Workers and concerned Filipino citizens all over the world:

It is so sad to know that when we need to seek "financial benefits" from our government, paid from own pocket, we have to go through like hell, and at the end we get nothing.

I may not have directly experienced this but I have been seeing it with my own eyes, hearing it directly from the affected people over and over again every time I am at POEA OWWA-PhilHealth Section.

One OFW who went to POEA main office caught my attention - an OFW beneficiary whose parent was hospitalized. The OWWA office in their provincial branch asked him (the OFW himself) to bring other documents until he got irritated as they kept on asking him to come back, asking for so many papers. It was as if they were begging for something the OFW had already paid!
The OFW stopped going back and forth as they had spent so much in transportation fare as though they would be reimbursed for it and the time spent. As we all know transportation fare is not cheap anymore. You also stand in the long queue and some government employees are not really accommodating when asked all these things.

Let's pray for our fellow OFW, ROBERT PANGANIBAN, who was once a philanthropist for fellow Filipinos who were in dire need of help, doe him to overcome the challenges of lung cancer. It is tough to be in his situation as a cancer patient but it is also tough to accept and know that OWWA will not cover his status as we thought before, though we are still hoping that our government will heed his needs and his right to the monetary benefits he has paid for being an OWWA and PhilHealth member.

of P2,175.00 (P1275 + 900) per OFW VALID FOR ONE YEAR ONLY and it is a MUST to pay again for our travel exit clearance requirement....Bato bato sa langit, ang aming dalangin na huwag po sana tayo bilang OFW magkasakit including your beneficiaries while an active OFW

ISABEL SAGUINSIN II, Concerned OFWAbu Dhabi, U.A.E.

***
Isa rin po akong OFW na nagtrabaho sa Maritime Industrial Services sa Sharjah, United Arab Emirates at last July 31, 2007 y umuwi po ako ng Pilipinas dahilan sa karandaman. Sa St. Luke Medical Center ay napag-alaman na ako po ay may Lung Cancer at ito ay nasa 4th Stage at hindi na puede ang anp mang operasyon. Tanging combined Chemotherapy at Radiation Therapy na lamang po ang lunas at ang disability ko po ay nalagay sa Total Permanent. Bilang isang aktibong miyembro at contributor sa OWWA at alang-alang na rin sa tiwala at paniniwala ko sa magaganda nilang mga programa tulad ng Insurance and Health-Care Program Benefits sa bawat miyembro ng bawat OFW, ay nagsadya po kami ng maybahay ko sa mismong opisina ng OWWA upang mag file ng aplikasyon para sa anumang tulong na kanilang maipagkakaloob.

Subalit nadismaya po ako at ang aking maybahay dahil sinabi po sa amin na hindi ako qualified dahil ang disability ko na Total Permanent ay resulta ng karandaman at ang sinasagot lamang at tinutulungan ay iyong mga OFW na miyembro ng OWWA na nagkaroon ng disability dahilan sa AKSIDENTE. Kaya naisip ko tuloy, lumalagay na balewala o walang kuwenta ang binabayaran ko na OWWA MEMBERSHIP sa tuwing aalis ako pagkatapos ng aking bakasyon bawat taon.

Tayong OFW na sinasabi nila na mga Bagong Bayani ang nagpapasok ng malaking halaga ng dolyar sa ating bansa. Tayo ang direktang nalalagay sa mga panganib, sa mga hindi maayos na kapaligiran na kung saan ay ipinagkakaroon natin ng karamdaman. Tapos ngayon, kapag lalapit tayo sa OWWA upang humingi ng tulong ay sasabihin nila na HINDI PUEDE KAPAG ANG DISABILITY AY RESULTA NG KARANDAMAN... Mga kasama at kapwa kong OFW, sa palagay n'yo kaya ay tama at katanggap tanggap ang nasabing aksiyon ng OWWA? Naging karanasan ko na po last Friday (Sept. 7, 2007) kaya naipasya ko po na ipaabot sa inyo - na mga kapwa ko OFW. Ang karandaman ay maaaring dumating sa kahit na sinong OFW kaya hindi man ako matulungan, sana - kayo na naririyan pa ay magtulong-tulong at magkaisa na hilingin sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) na huwag lamang ang NAAKSIDENTE o NAMATAY na OFW ang nararapat na tulungan.
Dapat sana, basta OFW - bilang Bagong Bayani ng ating bansa na nangangailangan ng tulong o benepisyo ay nararapat lamang na tumanggap ng karampatang tulong. Kapag pupuwedi, ipaabot o ipaki-forward kay Mrs. Letty Castillo "letty" at sa mga kapwa natin OFW na pupuedeng abutin ng e-mail kong ito upang magkaroon po sila ng kabatiran tungkol sa ilang Programa ng OWWA. Ninahangad ko rin na sana'y dinggin ako o tayo ni asalukuyang OWWA Administrator - si Hon. Marianito D. Roque.

Every year or every time we're going back to our home country, it is a must for us to pay our OWWA Membership and PhilHealth of P2,175.00 (P1275+900) per OFW, as a Requirement for travel exit clearance upon exiting the Philippines to go back to the country where we are deployed for work. Being an OFW, it is our "OFW MEDICAL PROTECTION" while working away from our home country.

Ang inyong kasama at kapwa OFW, Roberto E. Panganiban Forwarded by Isabel Saguinsin

***
Thank you so much for forwarding to ME these testimonies from our OFW-OWWA brothers.

W H Y can't we do something to stop this anomalies/improper treatment of the GOV'T to the OFW-OWWA. What is their saying "BAYANI NG BAYAN"? They are very much aware that OFW-OWWA has the biggest contribution/remittances back home.

Who has the guts to question the government to find out where are the contributions to the OFW-OWWA? We claim that we are all educated. WHY can we not do something to protect OFW-OWWA and their families back home? Why we are all tongue-tied? Are we all blind to what is happening to us? Kung tutuusin, we can elect our own president, build our own hospital, pay our own doctors, build our own schools/ universities where our children can study. How many OFWs are there in the world?

I hope you don't mind of my own pananaw; our life being that of a family of OFW-OWWA. Of course, you have to go back home to retire. How do you find yourself in those years? Nasaan ang pinaghirapan mo?

Nitz Sembrano nitzsembrano@rogers.com

***
Dear All, Different story but same conclusion – I met an accident as an OFW and went home with the aid of wheel chair. My employer shouldered all expenses during my deportation. When I regained my physical fitness, I went to OWWA to file for medical support but the officer just told me that I get nothing from OWWA since my company already paid everything!

Another type of milking cow from OFW is the Philhealth which also happened to me. I paid a premium every year and you have to pay it once for one-year validity but all your contribution are USELESS once your premium for the next month is missed and unfortunately it is the time that you are going to use it as your loved ones got sick and confined in the hospital.

Where are my contributions for several years?

Best medical benefit is in Taiwan - everyday you are in the hospital or you underwent an operation, you just pay a registration fee of NT$50, then ALL expenses including medicines (or minimum of 95%) are shouldered by the Taiwan Medicare.

In the Philippines, only 15% is shouldered by the Medicare, excluding medicines, which are very costly in the Philippines! We hope that everything will become better. Ed V. Francisco edvfrancisco@yahoo.com

***
I have the same experience when I recently came home for my annual vacation. My wife got sick and unfortunately it coincided with the expiration of my annual membership. We went to the office of Philhealth Insurance to pay my annual dues but was refused unless I show them a new contract. How on earth does this agency associate itself with the word INSURANCE?Our predicament never happens with any immediate family member of government officials simply because everything favorable is accessible to them in terms of healthcare; so how on earth will they ever feel the agony when an OFW gets into a tight corner brought by sudden illness?Our health insurance was done in the Philippines and not on foreign soil. Their existence and prevailing insensitive policies in dealing with OFW's who are out of the country during the effectivity of the insurance strengthens the evidence that our government officials, particularly those who are given the responsibility of looking after our welfare as OFW's (POEA and OWWA), are playing deaf and blind simply because of the huge amount of benefits and goodies they receive from a "benevolent" PhilHealth Insurance and similar agencies.

You don't have to be a super mathematician to figure out how much P 2,175.00 per OFW per year will sum up when you talk about 1,000.0 OFW's renew their policy each day for just ten days! And all these amounts simply vanish into thin air just after 365 days in the hands of an agency whose top positions are manned by the country's best minds? Some people are so sensitive they cannot stand the sound of the word s-h-a-m-e. Our government officials on the other hand would regain the trust, appreciation and love of people they are supposed to lead when they kneel, pray and ask God the almighty to help them live each day with compassion to those who leave their family behind by force of circumstance, not by choice, in order to earn a living.

Noel Jola, Filipino father and OFW(joland2005@yahoo.com)Piping Group/Off-Site AreaTasnee Ethylene Project

September 13, 2007

Tagalugin Mo

Kamakailan, pinadalhan akong e-mail ng isa sa aking mga kaibigan kung saan mayroon itong attachment na isang excel file. Ang file ay naglalaman ng isang word challenge. Ang mga English words ay kailangan i-translate sa Filipino/Tagalog. Sa bawat tamang sagot, ay 1 point. Matagal-tagal ko rin ito sinagutan. Ilang araw ko binalik-balikan pero 87 points lang ang nasagot ko nang tama. Ang mga salitang hindi ko pa rin masagot ay ang sumusunod:

  • adjective
  • alternate
  • calf
  • care
  • customs
  • chalk
  • cloud
  • customs
  • erase
  • feature
  • gerund
  • idiom
  • sewerage

Pero parang mali din naman yong ibang sagot nila. Halimbawa, ang alam kong Tagalog ng cloud eh ulap pero mali ang ulap. Wala na akong alam na ibang tawag sa ulap. Sa pagsagot ko sa word challenge na ito, na-realized ko na mahina na ang Filipino/ Tagalog vocabulary ko. Nakakahiya at Filipino pa naman ako.

Kung nais nyo subukan, pwede nyo i-download nag file dito.

Actually, meron pang isa. Tagalog words naman tapos gagawing English. Naka-90% correct answer ako. Nahirapan din ako. Ilan sa mga hindi ko nasagot ay ang mga sumusunod:

  • bahagdan
  • balara
  • kalasag
  • kola
  • konde
  • kusot
  • gulod
  • himagsik
  • mabini
  • medida
  • nangangalumata
  • pagbabawas
  • pantal
  • parokyano
  • pilegas
  • pinagbuhatan
  • pita
  • tripulate
  • talamak
  • talampas

Sayang, hindi ko kasi mai-upload yong pangalawang file sa google documents pero kung gusto ninyong subukan, pwede kong ipadala ang file sa pamamagitan ng e-mail.

Kung sino ang makakuha ng tamang sagot sa mga words na hindi ko nai-translate, sabihin nyo naman sa akin kung ano ang tamang sagot.

Pagbutihin nyo. Good luck!

September 12, 2007

Ramadan Kareem

This year's Ramadan will start tomorrow. It will be my 4th Ramadan holiday here in Qatar.

The holy month of Ramadan is the most important and most awaited holiday of Muslims. During this time, for one month, Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. They do not eat meals and they do not drink any liquid throughout the day. The breaking of the fast (break-fast) at the end of the day is called Iftar. Usually, family members gather together to share a sumptuous Iftar meal. Some families even host Iftar meal for relatives and friends. Aside from fasting, Muslims also devote this holiday to praying, giving, sharing and doing good things.

There is a change of lifestyle during Ramadan. Work hours are shorter. Shops are normally open in the morning until noon. Then, they re-open in the evening until past mid-night. Banks and some offices open certain branches at night to serve clients/ customers. Restaurants are normally closed during the day. Eating and drinking in public or in the presence of a fasting individual is considered disrespectful (that is self-explanatory). Day activities are slow.

There are many promotions during Ramadan - a good time to buy cars and other things.

The Ramadan ends with a Eid holiday. Eid is like Christmas. It's usually a long (3-days) non-working holiday to allow people to celebrate and visit families and friends. Many people also take this oppurtunity to go out of the country for a holiday.

I wish everyone a blessed Ramadan!

I'm Stucked!

Oh boy, I'm still stucked! Can you imagine how frustrating it is? I feel so bad that I can't move on. Grrrr!!!!....

September 11, 2007

Clueless

I'm so lost. It's so difficult to do something when you are so clueless about it. I need to move on but I have to finish this thing first. Can't undestand why I was burdened by something I'm not involve with in the first place. Huh?! Haaaaayyyyyyy!!!!

September 7, 2007

Using Filipino Language

I am thinking of starting a blog using Filipino in my entries. I thought it's cool! In fact, I already created one. But then, I realized I can't even maintain this and my other blogs so there's no point creating a new one.

Anyways, I'll probably just make some entries in Filipino in this blog whenever I'll get a chance!

Hanggang sa muli!

August 30, 2007

Taking Personal Finance Seriously

My interest for personal finance started when my classmate introduced Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad book to me. While some of the things discussed in the book are not applicable in Philippine setting, somehow there are some very specific topics, which are eye-opener for people like me who are clueless about personal finance. Since then, I started reading other personal finance books and later on blogs. Somehow, I managed to have a mind-set of SAVE, SAVE, SAVE and INVEST, INVEST, INVEST but I have to admit that I haven't been disciplined enough in handlilng my money. As I look into my current financial standing, I realized that I need to re-focus my financial priorities in order to achieve my financial goals and eventually financial freedom.

Here are some thoughts on how to achieve my short-term financial goal.

  1. I created a spending a plan from now until the end of the year and for 2008. This way, I'll have an idea of expected upcoming expenses and projected savings. It is just a simple matrix/excel sheet with all the recurring and expected expenses. For example: car payments, SSS and Pag-Ibig contribution, budget for Christmas gifts, budget for daily/weekly expense, etc.

  2. Moratorium on shopping. As I was telling my colleague earlier, I will impose upon myself to have a moratorium on shopping for one year. Okay, okay, I know my friends (and my husband too) are raising their eyebrows now. But give me a chance, okay? I know it's difficult but I'll try.

  3. Avoid use of credit cards. Pay cash or through debit cards as much as possible. It's proven, tried and tested: buying on credit is very tempting.

  4. This is difficult but I'm re-considering our travel plan next year. As I've said, it's difficult but let me put it this way: I've always wanted to go to London and we've been planning it for a long time. We've got free tickets from Qatar Airways mileage program so our expenses will be hotel and pocket money only and I've already allocated funds for those. But if we decided to postpone it, I'll have extra savings next year.

There are many ways to save money. For me the two things that break my budget are travels and shopping so curbing those spendings can really save me a lot of money. I will try my best to spend wiser for the remainder of the year and next year and ofcourse I'll let you know if I'm successful or not.

August 26, 2007

Back in Qatar

I'm back in Qatar for two weeks now after a month-long vacation in the Philippines. I'm still in the process of re-acquainting myself to my regular activities, work, blogging and hopefully my so-called diet.

So many things to blog, I'm not sure I'll have the time to write everything but I'll try my best to share bits and pieces in my future entries.

Let's just say, I'm officially back to blogging!

July 5, 2007

How Much Time Do You Spend for Blogging?

I asked the question because I realized that reading feeds and posting an entry can take a lot of time. When we went to US (for two weeks) last June, I had 100 unread feeds in my Google reader despite the fact that from time to time during those two weeks, I read the feeds for my favorite blogs whenever I got a chance. It took me sometime to read all of them - not to mention that I also had tons of e-mails to read both official and personal.

My friend once told me that she can write a blog in 15 minutes - but that is simple blog - no photos and no links. I am really amazed because a simple blog will take me more than 15 minutes to write. I find that adding photos makes one's blog more interesting but can be time-consuming as well especially if you need to re-size, etc. No, I'm not whining I am just frustrated because I have a lot of things in mind that I wanted to write about but I don't have the time.

So how much time do you devote to posting and reading blogs?

I am Giong Back to the Philippines!!!

I remember the famous group MENUDO (where Ricky Martin was a former member) had a song entitled "I am Going Back to the Philippines." I don't remember much as I was only eight then but I think the song was created when they returned to the Philippines for a concert.

Anyway, we're going home for a month of vacation. I am excited to see my family, relatives and old friends. We're planning to do a lot of things and visit some interesting places. Originally, our plan is to go up North but since it's already rainy season, we might not push through. Alternative plan is to go to Palawan. We'll see what will happen.

I already started packing and guess what? One balik-bayan box is already filled with presents. I have shipped a large box last June and we shipped another one before we left United States. Hahahahaha.... So right now, I have three boxes full of goodies. I still need to pack other things (my clothes, old clothes and some stuff I wanna get rid of).

Gosh, I always have this indescribable super excited feeling whenever we go back to the Philippines for a visit especially when the plane hits the ground and the flight attendant starts her PA by saying, "MABUHAY! We have just landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport......."

There's really no place like home!

July 3, 2007

Log-on Problems Finally Resolved

I couldn't log-on since Friday. I thought it was just a network problem but after a few days, there must be something wrong with my laptop. Curious, I tried using the other laptop at home. I still cannot log-on but atleast it gave me possible solution to my problem. I deleted the laptop's cookies as recomended and like magic, I am online again. I think, I need to do the same with my laptop.

Technology - it just drives me nuts sometimes!

June 26, 2007

My First Parking Ticket

The Police gave me a ticket for illegal parking. It's my second time to park in that area but it's my first time to get a ticket. Well, serves me a lesson to always park in a proper place!

Now, I need to pay QAR 200 (US$ 55) as penalty. Grrrrr....

Photo Hunt: Shiny

Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.
Photo Theme. Join the blogroll.
Visit participants.

I know this is a late post but better late than never. I had difficulty finding a photo for the shiny theme ;). Below is the Flame of Liberty, an exact replica of Statue of Liberty's flame. It sits above the entrance to the Paris tunnel (Pont de l'Alma) where Diana, Pricess of Whales had the fatal accident. This marker is in no way related to Diana's death but in the past years tourists have used it as a makeshift memorial.



June 23, 2007

Catching Up with Fellow Photo Hunters

I haven't been able to post anything since June 9th. I was away traveling to US (Austin and New York) and just got back this week. It was very unfortunate that I missed the theme "shoes" one of the things I really love.

Perhaps, former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos just popped into your mind. I just realized how famous her shoes were when I told my boss I bought shoes in the US and he suddenly blurted out "Oh, like Imelda Marcos." It's been 21 years since those shoes were shown to the world and the world still remember the shoes!

Technically, I am already a candidate for deletion in the Photo Hunter Blog Roll. But I'll catch up with this week's theme - SHINY. I promise to post mine tomorrow.

I would like to apologize also if I'm not able to visit other blogs regularly. I'll do my best to do more visits in the days to come!

June 1, 2007

Photo Hunt 60: Art



Photo Theme. Join the blogroll.
Visit participants.




Henna Painting is quite popular here and other Arab countries. The picture and henna painting above was taken in Dubai, UAE in May 2006.

May 26, 2007

Photo Hunt 59: Colorful



Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.
Photo Theme. Join the blogroll.
Visit participants.

The pictures in this collage are also in my previous post. It's my birthday yesterday and the night before my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen of roses of different colors. The gesture is really sweet - it's been three years since the last time he gave me flowers.



May 25, 2007

My Birthday Celebration

Today, I turned 30. I originally intended to prepare food and invite some friends and also bring food in the Office. Busy as I am, I didn't have time so I just decided to just bake a mocha cake and cook pancit. Actually, I ordered purple yam cake because my husband loves purple yam. The cake I baked was for my neighbors.






Pancit - sauteed fried noodles. Foreigners identify this as Filipino Food but to my knowledge, this is a chinese food that has evolved to what is it now.














Ube cake (purple yam cake) and cheese ice cream (leftover from the fridge). There's also a purple yam ice cream in the Philippines and the purple yum and cheese icecream combination is so Pinoy.














Mini-mocha bear cake that I baked and gave away to neighbors. I don't have time I wasn't able to frost the whole of the cake.







In the afternoon, we watched the matinee show of "Annie" at College of North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) Auditorium. The actors' performance were good. Too bad, the auditorium isn't really appropriate for a play. It's nice though as an auditorium. There's no "real theater" in Qatar. The one they used to have was struck by a tragic incident in March 2005. During the production of Shakespeare's "The Twelfth Night," a suicide bomber drove his car through the wall surrounding the theater. The show director, Jon Adams was killed. Several people who were at the theater and some residents nearby were injured . So far, that is the first and only bomb-attacked in Doha. Btw, the CNA-Q campus is huge and very spacious.



Then on our way home, we stopped at the Heritage Village and Al-Bidda Park (they are side by side) and took some pictures. We've been in Qatar for three years and this is the first time to visit these two places. There's not much to see but there seem to be a show at Heritage Village at a later time. Not sure what activities they usually have there. The Al Bidda park is strictly for families and strolling only.

May 24, 2007

Pampering Myself

As I am celebrating my birthday tomorrow, I thought of going to the saloon to pamper myself. I had an oil massage, pedicure, hair cut and hot oil from my favorite saloon (Thai Massage and Saloon) at Al-Kinana St. near Al-Naser - Al-Sadd area. Normally, I prefer Emil's massage but this week, our schedule didn't match. I'll be busy tomorrow because I'm planning to bake a cake and prepare some food.

The massage is so good and relaxing - I fell asleep ;) Emil's massage is harder though. For hair and feet matters, only Thai Massage and Saloon can satisfy my expectation. Their hairdresser is Thai and I like her because she takes her time when working on my hair - from shampooing, hair-cut and other treatments. The pedicurist is Filipina and I like her because she's gentle. One Filipina pedicurist I've tried sometime ago made all my toes bled - I was horrified! Anyway, my pedicurist asked me what is my regimen for my face. Hmmm... My face is not flawless but the moisturizer that I am using is also supposed to lighten blemishes. I think it's working! I'll write another blog on that.

Before going home, I drop-by Toys R Us to buy a brithday gift for our neighbor's son - who is also celebrating his birthday tomorrow. There are some Barbie at discounted price and I bought a bunch! Hehehehe for gifts when I go home for vacation.

When I got home, my husband is already sleeping and normally, if my husband is already asleep, I would just turn-on the bathroom's light so as not to wake him up. I kissed him then when I lifted my head, I noticed a figure dressing table shaped like a bouquet of flowers. It was roses of different colors! I was touched because I didn't expect to receive flowers. The last time he gave me flowers was three years ago ;). I think it was a really sweet guesture.