Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dubai Tour Part 2

Our second part of Dubai tour was primarily touring the city with a tour bus. It was a "hop on, hop off" style like in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The tickets were divided into two categories: day and night tour for 280 AED per head. On the 26th of October, we took the day tour first and our pickup point was from the Mall of the Emirates. My father and I seated on the upper deck and didn't mind the heat that surrounded us during that time. It has several stops around the city and they provided free bottled water inside the bus.

One mistake that I did in booking this tour was that I chose Friday. The primary spots that I would like to see were Gold Souk and Dubai Museum but they only open at 2:30 PM on Fridays. I was kind of frustrated but there was nothing that I can do. Instead, we took most of the time in Dhow Cruise Tour on which we rode a boat and navigated the creek area. It was almost an hour of cruising which made me appreciate the "old side" of Dubai in that area. After that short refreshing river cruise, we hopped again on the bus and stopped on Burjuman to take our lunch. Fortunately, there was a lunch buffet in Barrio Fiesta so we took the advantage to fill our stomach. My father enjoyed his beef and chicken meals while I put my contentment on fish.

Afterwards, we went home and rested for a while before heading to our reserved table in Junsui Restaurant in Burj Al Arab for our dinner. I was impressed by the design and architecture style of this hotel. Also, the restaurant itself is a showcase of excellent choice in furniture, dining sets and light effects. The place required smart casual attire so I wore a suit on top of a polo while my father put on long sleeves polo with a black sweater as he was concern that it might be cold in the restaurant. The place has three main sections, Chinese, Japanese and Korean buffets. On the Korean area, there were mini tables for Thai and Indonesian cuisines. Since alcohol drinks are not allowed in Riyadh, my father took the liberty to order wine and beer as he misses those kinds of thirst quencher. In Dubai, alcoholic drinks can only be consumed inside a bar, restaurant or if you have a liquor license. The foods were really good, we actually enjoyed it. I specifically liked the Thai foods and some Chinese noodles.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Homemade Tuna Sisig

Since seafood is the only thing that I want to eat, I've been trying to cook several styles and dishes involving fish. Last time, I discussed how I prepared grilled salmon. Few weeks ago, my officemate cooked pork and chicken sisig and I asked him if it can be done in tuna and he said 'definitely!' So last week, I planned to prepare tuna sisig. In doing this, I went to supermarket to buy the ingredients that I'll need:
  • 1 onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 cans of Century Tuna hot & spicy
  • Small ginger, chopped into small pieces
  • Chili and ground pepper
  • Bell pepper
  • Heinz mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • Knorr Seasoning
  • 1 lemon
  • Cooking oil

Initially, I thought that it won't be easy to cook sisig but I was totally wrong. Easy steps are as follows:
  1. Heat cooking oil on a pan, sauté the onions.
  2. Next is to add the tuna (without the tuna oil)
  3. Then put ginger, chili, ground pepper and bell pepper
  4. Cook for several minutes
  5. Add Knorr seasoning then mayonnaise, mix well.
  6. Pour the lemon juice and mix until cooked.
  7. Lastly, add egg and mix thoroughly.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dubai Tour Part 1

Last 25th of October, my father arrived here in Dubai for his Eid holiday. I waited for almost two hours in the airport since there were many people in the immigration line because of many tourists arriving that day. We reached my home at Al Barsha at around 10AM so we rested for a while and prepared ourselves for our lunch in At.mosphere . Weeks ago, I made a reservation to this restaurant located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. I heard many good reviews on this place so I booked for a table. The place was so cozy and we seated on a window side table. It was like having lunch on the top of the world. As you may know, Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building. Anyway, on the food serving aspects, it was kinda traditional. First, they gave us this complimentary food then the appetizer came in next. I had steamed fish with avocado and mango toppings and some chili sauce while my father had lobster. On the main course, I had grilled salmon and shrimp. My father enjoyed his well-done beef steak. The foods weren't bad at all but what I didn't enjoy was that the waitress was like in a rush for us to finish our foods.

After that fulfilling lunch, we collected our ticket in the 'At The Top' collection point for us to reach the peak of Burj Khalifa. We first bought some souvenirs while waiting for our scheduled time (4PM). It was about 5 minute walk towards the main elevator. Inside, the lights were really cool and the level countdown on the screen was amazing. From level G to level 124 and amazingly, it was a fast ride.

Upon reaching the observation deck, I was kinda disappointed because the terrace side was quite small. Also, I had this in mind that there will be a glass floor on which we can see directly what's below our feet (just like in Macau Tower). Nevertheless, the sight was breathtaking and we were indeed on the top of the world! Many tourists were there during that time so taking good pictures wasn't easy. We stayed there for almost an hour then we returned to the ground floor and made some window shopping in Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall by land area. We arrived home at around 7PM. I cooked tuna sisig and reheat the marinated shrimp that my father brought for me for our dinner.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why did I Enter the Stock Market World?

At first, I was very hesitant to invest in the stock market since I wasn't really sure what will happen to my money. I hold on tight to my savings and most of the time I only use them if I am sure that I will get a positive outcome. But most of my friends are now engaging in this activity and those Facebook and Twitter posts lead me to the point of curiosity. This buzz about the stock market started way back one year ago but I just shrugged my shoulders about it. Then when I transferred here in Dubai, I was looking for something new and thinking of business strategies and acquiring properties. Then I heard the news about the development and progress of the Philippine economy that contributes to the success of stock market investment. So without any averseness, I processed immediately my application and funded my account.

Yes, the Philippine economy is now displaying a positive outlook. The encouragement made by a church mate and friend, Don, pointed me toward to an open mind about the stock market. Risk is a big part of life and we can't avoid and run from it. Same as this investment, there is a BIG risk as the stock value might drop and the recovery of your money might not be in full. Well, we can't really tell the perfect time in investment and we have to face it but we can be assured that every day is an opportunity. You might have heard several statements from friends that they gained so much but I'm sure that they also suffered lost before hitting the jackpot.

I believe that investing in stock market needs commitment and accept that peril is a huge part in this. Making a profit isn't bad at all and this isn't about being greed and plan of getting rich. I always ensure that I have a fraction for investment and savings. I know that investing isn't that easy but with the help of more experienced investors/trades lessens the uncertainties on this. I am blessed that I have someone who feeds me the information and several tips on when and where to invest. But we should also do our part; we shouldn't always rely on those people. Looking at the financial and management background of a stock is one way I weigh my options in investing. Tracking the earnings is also a helpful factor in decision making. Common sense comes next as I also make sure that the company has a history of profitability and competent management before I invest my hard earned money to them. Learn the financial chart and be aware of the news.

There are some regrets why I didn't do this earlier. Well, it's better late than never. Excitement and the feel of rush and risk is slowly coming into my nerves. Before, Facebook and Twitter are the first things I check on the internet but now, it's the stock market. So far, I am gaining and I have accepted that this isn't a constant state. The stocks might drop but positive perspective can drag you to a better mood.

Image taken from buydearborn.com

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bowl & Dine

I've been here in Dubai for more than six months now. The first two months were struggle but I continue to survive it. As I mentioned before, the first thing that I looked for when I arrived here was a church and a group where I can grow and encourage me in my journey to Christianity. Well, I found these boys and so far I am coping up, we have spent several days in sharing and discussing the bible. But the group isn't all about seriousness, we also find time to bond in different ways. First was a bowling "competition" in a bowling alley (where else?) in Ibn Battuta Mall. We spent two hours and the result was a little muscle pain in our right arms. It was simple but fun activity. I saw some nature of competitiveness and some embarassing moments (including mine, mostly were the 'canal' part). After that, we had coffee in a nearest coffee shop (actually it was the ever famous Starbucks, I think its always the default). We separated ways after that, it was indeed a good and refreshing day.

Last Wednesday, we had dinner in California Pizza Kitchen in Mall of the Emirates. Oh yes, the venue is very far from my house haha. Anyway, the ordering part took us long and as for myself, I had to choose one seafood pizza as I don't eat pork, beef and chicken. So the rest of the foods were their choice. I was kinda shy to suggest because I don't want them to limit their choices just because of my food preferences. Honestly, the pizza wasn't that bad at all, it was okay though I'm not sure about the rest of the foods. I was astonished to know that the drinks were bottomless so we asked for a refill but to my surprise, the glasses were brought inside the restaurant so I was kinda concern that my glass might be replaced by others. Haha yeah I know, the OC-ness striked again but in addition to that, a group member talked about some nasty things about the probablity of mixing several drinks haha. Well as a result, I didn't drink the refilled glass, instead, the water became my bestfriend. We are now 10 in the group and I gave some of them a code haha. Melvin ('the boss'), Jimson ('the IT guy'), Mervin, Ernie & Henrie ('the triplets'), Manuel ('the airport boy'), Harry ('our kuya'), Patrick ('the bunso') and the new one gosh I am not sure of the name) Kenneth ('the mister DJ'). I'm looking forward for more bonding activities and I'm sure it will always be fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Controlling Anger

This week is my worst ever in getting a taxi for my journey towards office. On the first two days, it was so hard to get a taxi which never occurred in the previous weeks. The next day I got a taxi driver who was new in his job and not that familiar in Dubai and the cab was moving so slow that other cars were able to pass us. Then this morning, the driver took me to a longer way and we were circling the area for almost 20 minutes! The regular taxi fare of 25 AED became 45 AED, the heck! I was so mad during those times and honestly, I was surprised how I managed to control my anger. If I was my "old self", then I think I might have shouted the driver and poured out nasty and bad words towards them.

So I assessed myself, I have really matured and I can really master my emotions. Though there are still those times that the anger can't be tamed and the outburst of emotions were unstoppable and I must admit that I am still a work in progress. Based on my experience for the past three years since I renewed myself and became a better person, I have this guidance for myself and several ways on how I can put a dominion on my anger. Maybe the list can help you or you can convey it to others for their use. Below contains simple steps that might be applicable to you:
  1. Take a deep breath and admit to yourself that you are starting to get irritated. Stop for a while, think it over while closing your eyes for few seconds. Counting from 1 to 10 can also be helpful.
  2. Once you are in the state of calmness, speak your concerns and talk to that person in a non-confrontational way. Discuss your issues straight to the point. State it clearly and directly.
  3. Bring your thoughts to those happy moments that you had. You can also go shopping or eat those foods that you are craving. Watch a movie or tune in to your favorite TV show.
  4. Physical activity can really lessen the stress and will ease your mind. Put the anger on the treadmill; lift those barbells as if you were pushing your madness. A shower after the workout is very refreshing.
  5. You can also seek advise or talk to the person whom you trust. Talking to that person and discussing your issues can open your mind and can bring other options or might even present some resolutions.
  6. Never play the blame game. Check and ask yourself those things that you could have done in preventing such situation. It might be that you missed some things or forgot some priorities. Always assess the situation and always think first before you talk.
  7. It is also easier to put the situation in a humorous way. Use words that can be funny and don't put too much seriousness about it. It can help lighten up the situation and your mood.
  8. Forgive and forget, don't hold grudge as it will never be helpful and will always hunt you.
image from kaleoministries.co.za

Monday, October 8, 2012

Grilled Salmon

Last 29th of September, I bought this Philips Griller from Carrefour for 299 AED. For the past few weeks I've been trying to prepare new foods since I've been eating tuna omelet almost everyday. Since I started the all-seafood regimen, I am having difficulties in choosing the right foods for me. As you may know, I am not eating pork, beef and chicken. So I checked the internet and searched for some foods that can be easily prepared. I came to this Grilled Salmon topic and it was kinda simple. So I bought the griller and started my journey to a perfect salmon!

All the ingredients are available in your favorite supermaket. It includes lime, teriyaki sauce, pepper and olive oil. First, I marinated the salmon with lime juice and I got this pepper grinder so the spreading of the spices became easy. Afterwards, I put the teriyaki sauce on the salmon and sprayed olive oil on it. In just a span of five minutes inside the griller, the salmon was ready and the taste isn't bad at all. It wasn't just about time saving and diet purposes but this food is also beneficial in terms of its nutrition factors. Salmon is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids which is good for the heart.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Taken 2 and Skyfall

In 2008, I became an instant fan of Liam Neeson after watching the movie Taken. Since then, I followed most of his movies such as Unknown, The Grey, The A Team and recently, Taken 2. Same as the initial instalment of the film, the movie is action packed and the thriller was a perfect mixture. But honestly, it wasn't good as the first one. I miss those violent scenes and the bloody fights. Also, it is too predictable like the ending where the main villain tried to kill Liam using a gun without a bullet, i knew it was coming! The movie is also too short. Location wise, I liked Turkey and gave me an idea to visit it next year. Nevertheless, I was still entertained and enjoyed the movie.

Last 5th of October, the World James Bond Day was held. In accordance to it, the movie theme song for Skyfall was released. The song is self titled and performed by Adele. Yes, I am a HUGE fan of James Bond! I have watched all, yes ALL 22 Bond movies. Can you believe that I even bought a CD containing all the movie themes of James Bond? Also, I have a DVD compilation of all the films? Anyway, I am so excited to watch this latest Bond offer. I think it will be shown here in Dubai on the 26th of October, just in time when my father visits me here so we can watch it together.

You can enjoy the movie theme on the below video (it gave me chills, love it!):

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Digital Martial Law?

For the past few weeks, many reactions were staged about this new law. Some agreed but mostly showed objection and disappointment. Before a president sign a new law, it should be read and were fully understood. In this case, the point of disappointment is that the president's parents fought hard for democracy but due to this act, his intentions are now being questioned. I am one of the netizens who strongly rejecting this law. The law is supposed to protect us from any wrong doings thru digital means but it also prohibits us to express our opinions and admonishes our freedom of thoughts.

The law seems like commanding us to use only good words towards others and especially the politicians. Any negative posts or comments can be suggested to violation of the law. Yeah right you will say that we should be responsible enough in posting any thoughts but isn't it our greatest responsibility is to protect the welfare of our country? What if we saw some unacceptable actions of others and we post it? Can't we do our part to make others aware of such thing? Should we ONLY use flowery words and only profess the good traits of them? Should we ALWAYS use the best words and positive aspects of their life? What if behind those smiles and statues constitutes lies and intolerable manner? Should we just keep quiet about corruption? Also, one thing in this law is so questionable. For example, if we post a negative thing about a person way back years ago but still active in our wall, based on the law, it is a violation because it only shows that we are still standing in that thought and that "technically", it is still published in our feed. The other thing is the issue on the deprivation of our laptops, computers, mobile devices and other gadgets. Section 19 of the Act says that if a computer data or status post is in question and in the state of violating the law, DOJ can restrict the access on the computer who publishes it even without the court intervention.  We can't also say or post any negative things about the dead persons. But what if that person was a criminal, committed rape or murder, a corrupt official and totally a bad person? Does this mean that we cannot use it for history purposes and making aware the others about their past lives? The law can also implicate that once we hit the buttons 'Like' and 'Share' on a post, we can be called as an accomplice to a crime since we are part of spreading the "negative opinion" and could be suggested as influencing and encouraging others. Does the law wants Facebook to finally put the 'Unlike' button? There are many sections in this law that is in question especially on the part of 'libel' on which Senator Tito Sotto proudly said that he inserted such item in this law. The list of issues and other questions about this new law seems like a never ending book where we can write and assess the true nature.

I really don’t understand why such law was passed immediately and not taking notice of more important laws. What will happen now in the freedom of speech on the internet? Undeniably, social media became a huge influence to the Filipinos as it can reach way faster than the television and radio. Are the politicians afraid that the social media can be a hindrance in their political career especially if their "extra-curricular" activities were exposed? As of now, I think there were 7 or more petitions to put a TRO on this law but as of latest, the Supreme Court delayed the hearing until next week. This law will be implemented tomorrow. So what will happen to the social media then? As a blogger and an enthusiast in social media, I feel unprotected. I believe that Filipino lawmakers can do better than this.

* photo take from diversityhuman.com

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