Flying Cathay Pacific at 34 Weeks Pregnant

I can imagine how anxious and worried my husband and our families were while I was flying home. I was travelling alone after all at 34 weeks pregnant on a long-haul flight. I was pretty scared too but thankfully, I was in good hands (or should I say airlines).

I’m certainly not the first one to do this and I would like to give props to the amazing mommies who hurdled the long hours of flight, lay-overs and security checks without the comfort of their partners and only had themselves and the kind people they encountered along the way.

I booked an economy class airfare from Cathay Pacific for my Dubai-Manila-Dubai journey last year. As it is Hong Kong’s flag carrier, there was a short layover at Hong Kong International Airport.

I was already content because the airline has one of the most generous legrooms at 32 inches for long-haul economy flights.

But, sometimes, pleasant surprises come along.

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Throwback Series: Dubai Museum

Learning the history of your adoptive city, I say, is a must. Do not be a stranger, acquaint yourself with your new home albeit temporary. If you happen to be here in the desert city, one good place to start at is the Dubai Museum at Al Fahidi Port.

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Throwback Series: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

If you’re living in the UAE and haven’t yet visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, you are greatly missing out on a rich cultural experience. The Grand Mosque is a symbol of the diverse Islamic community not only of this country but of the whole world. The architectural design is impeccable. The grandeur and solemnity elates you yet also calms your senses. Seeing it in pictures and being there in person are two different worlds.

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Located in the capital city of Abu Dhabi, the Grand Mosque is one of the largest in the world and can hold about 40,000 worshipers at one time. The ceiling is adorned with gold-plated chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals while the floor with hand-knotted carpet. It is a magnificent sight to behold.

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Of Pomegranates and Monasteries: A Trip to Armenia

*This has been sitting in my drafts for over a year. Never had the time to transfer and process the photos. Excuses, I know. ;-p

My best friend and life partner recently came back from a trip to Armenia where pomegranates are abundant, wine is cheap and ancient monasteries are a common sight.

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Sevanakvank Monastery at Lake Sevan.

This country in the Caucasus region is famous for the magnificent views of Mt. Ararat which is actually located in the eastern part of Turkey that borders with Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is believed to be the mountains where Noah’s Ark rested after the great flood.

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La Mer on New Year’s Day

Happy New Year everyone!

Quite late but we’re still on the first month of 2018 so it still counts! 

Dubai has always captivated us in terms of architecture, open spaces and its beaches. We hail from a quiet and laid-back province in the Philippines so coming here and seeing all these mega structures just leave us gawking. It’s not that we don’t have high-rise buildings back home but here in Dubai, it’s just different – in a fascinating way.

So on the first day of the new year, we went for a walk along the newest beachfront development in Jumeirah 1 – La Mer

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It’s like a city on the beach. The vibe was very relaxing with all the contemporary, rustic and minimalist elements all coming together.

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Rebirth

I know, I know. I’ve been gone for too long. But here I am now back to digitally recording my life. No promises still, as I might just be on hiatus again.

Guess what?! I got hitched! Yep, as in married. I am scared and anxious but more of excited as I venture into this new world of being a Mrs., a wife and in the near future, a mother. What I realized is that no matter how you prepare, you will never be ready until you’re already there. You learn as you go through life and every experience is an opportunity to grow. I am delighted and blessed that I will be sharing my life with someone whom I know will be there for me no matter what, who will nurture and support me, who will question my decisions when they’re questionable, who will never get tired listening to my musings and miseries, someone who will be joyful and proud of every little triumphs I will achieve, someone who will hold my hand on any given day and just be there.

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I love how kind of muted the colors are. ♥

Of course, I am not dismissing the fact that there will be days that we won’t always be in love with each other, there will be times that we will be annoyed at each other and days that we just want to be left alone. But I also know in my heart that we will see it through because our love and commitment will always be there and that He is always there to guide and strengthen us. I hope to share more of this journey here.

P.S. I’ll be posting our photos on my next entry. 🙂

Remembering Iran

I’m a bit nostalgic lately I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m hormonal due to that time of the month or also because I just recently turned two years here in Dubai.

I went through my old files and found photos from my Visa Run last January 2015. The popular and most affordable exit destination at that time was Kish, a small island on the Persian Gulf. Prior to my exit I have heard ‘horror’ stories from fellow expats and googling Kish, Exit and Visa Run just made it worse. Though my colleagues assured me that it’s not all that bad I was still anxious.

The distance from Dubai to Kish is a 30-minute flight on board Kish Airlines. The plane I was on was really old and would seem to easily dismantle if exposed to strong turbulence and wind. This is a common opinion among those who have been to Kish for Visa Run. Luckily the flight was short and none of the above happened during the flight.

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October Baby

It is my birth month!

Though I find growing old a bit depressing, I quite like the fact that I’ve grown wiser (I’d like to think I did) over the years. I attribute most of it from the time that I left home and lived on my own in a foreign land.

I’m not planning on becoming an advice guru but here are a few things I realized for every year that went by.

YOU’LL NEVER BE IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE FOREVER

We all feel safe and secured in our little nests that we almost always reject change. We cringe at the idea of having to adjust and move away from what we have been so used to that we deny ourselves the chance to grow and experience new things. It takes courage to break that safety wall that we have built. Once you’re out and have gone through the worst phase of adjustment, you’ll feel liberated. You’ll thank yourself for taking that risk. As they say, ‘there’s no forever’, so be bold, take chances and embrace the fact that life is full of uncertainties.

WEEPING IS FOR THE WEAK

Or maybe not. At some point in our life we’ll feel defeated and discouraged that everything we have envisioned is not just happening no matter how hard you try or think you have tried. It is ok to breakdown and feel vulnerable and experience all this kinds of emotion. To feel is to be human. But let this be a motivation that you will carry on despite all the odds.

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Of Living and Working Abroad

I always knew that I wanted to live and work abroad. I’ve had that idea at the back of my head for a long time but I just didn’t know when and how it will happen.

Then came March 2014 when I knew it was finally time. I got really determined after receiving the unfortunate news of Mat’s denied working visa application to a colder part of the world. Though it wasn’t personally mine, it was a vital step to achieving our life goals. After that heartbreak, we tried another path but it seemed that there was something else meant for us, for me.

So to cut the story short, I arrived here in the deserts of Dorne on a cold and windy winter morning of November 2014.The universe conspired for me to be  here. Back home I literally had zero savings at that time, not even a single peso in my pocket. But things will happen if it’s meant to be. I have always believed that. So by His faithfulness and my father’s generosity (through his retirement money), I was able to fund my plan to be an OFW. Hurray!

I was scared and had a lot of questions but definitely excited for the whole new experience. After more than a month of job hunting and several cries for financial help from home, I landed a job in a real estate company where I met my sisters by heart (I’ll write about them soon).

The struggle is real. This is a popular line I usually encounter which became true for me when I was already here. I was culture-shocked, from the environment to the weather, people, language and way of living among others. I didn’t know what I was feeling that time and it was difficult for me to process. I felt alienated by all of it. I dismissed the feeling of homesickness as I did not want to go home just yet and put all my efforts (and my parents’) in vain.

For 26 years, it was my very first time to move out from the comforts of our home and be really independent. I’ve been here for almost two years now – the longest I have been away from my family. A lot of realizations poured in and I am proud to say that I have survived the first few rounds and will continue to hurdle the succeeding ones. Every waking moment in this sandy pasture is a day full of promise. A promise that someday, I’ll be able to live the life that I have imagined for myself and my family and that at the end of this journey I will be stronger and wiser.

P.S. It takes a lot of courage, strength and maturity to be an OFW. I salute all those who have been working away from home enduring all those lost years with their loved ones. Hindi po biro ang inyong pinagdadaanan. Mabuhay po kayong lahat!

P.P.S. Mat-Mat is my Jon Snow, my soul mate and my destiny. 🙂 ❤