All posts filed under: Expat Life

Ramadan after 10 years

This is our 11th Ramadan as an expat family in Dubai. Each year we have  learned and appreciated how it can be special for us too. Looking back, our first Ramadan here was very different. A lot of things freaked me out – no place to buy food; we might get deported if we eat; we can’t go out during the day. Crazy! Below are some questions we often get asked. This has also been some of my worries when we first moved here. What is Ramadan? Ramadan is considered the holiest time in the Islamic Calendar. It is a time for prayer, reflection, and religious devotion to cleanse past sins and do good deeds. For 30 days, Muslims wake up before dawn to consume their first meal, called Suhoor; they then refrain from consuming water & food during the day; breaking of fast happens at sunset which is called Iftar. Here is a link to a short video produced by Tani of Our Big Dubai Adventure & Zeyna of Mummy on my Mind, explaining …

Embracing the woman I am today

“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” – Arnold Jean Palmer I stepped in the building of my first corporate job at  the age of 19 yrs, surrounded with career woman looking gorgeous and powerful in suits. I wanted to be just like them. Why? Because I saw how lost my Mama was when she became a widow with three kids and living with her in laws. Growing up, my mom did not have much authority on us because she had to rely on relatives help to financially get by. She worked so hard to finally be on her own and even manage to buy us our own house with her salary as a government employee. I want to be the woman who does not rely on anyone to pay her meals, travel or go out and have fun night on her own.  When friends and I discuss family life, I stand strong to my ideal life of still having a career of my own and not depend …

Philippine Passport Renewal in Dubai for Kids

LittleMiss C’s passport expires this year and what I thought was a daunting task only took us 12 minutes! I could not believe that we were done with the whole process that fast, sharing with you some tips for a smooth and fast process. 5 tips for a FAST Passport Renewal process for kids 1)      Prepare DOCUCMENTS and bring EXTRA COPY. You can save and fill out the E-Passport Application Form on your computer. I strongly suggest you type the information needed from your computer to avoid misspelled names and be sure to recheck once printed. Form and documents needed for passport renewal are listed in the Dubai Philipine Consulate General (PCG) website. 2)      Talk to your child about the whole process and why they need to have this done. Practice how they should smile without teeth showing. You will be asked to remove jewelry and have your daughters hair tucked behind ears so keep hair tidy. I told LittleMiss that a person will take her photo so she can ride the airplane again. 3)      Start early. …

Jebel Jais Mountain sunrise

Sunrise at Jebel Jais Mountain

We recently had a week long holiday here in Dubai to celebrate Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha. That was one week of no school for the kids and 5 days off for Daddy C. Our plan was to stay home and setup Christmas decorations. Carla of MyYellowbells invited us to join her family for a road trip to Jebel Jais Mountain. So we did. Four cars convoyed to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah where UAE’s highest mountain is located. Jebel Jais Mountain stand tall at approximately 1900m above sea level and promises a scenic and rustic view of sunrise. We left Al Qusais at 3:30 am and arrived at 5:40 am, just before sunrise. No lights on the zigzag road going up so make sure your headlights are working fine and drive slowly. We stopped at the last camp site only to find out from other campers that the trail going up to the highest peak is close due to road construction. There was no available signs (as far as we know) on where …

Working on our Christmas Tradition

Welcome to the December #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl! This December, we talk about the much anticipated and somehow dreaded, ultra sentimental Christmas holidays. How were the Christmas holidays outside your home country?  How is it similar and different?  What did you enjoy most spending Christmas abroad? Find out how we spend our holidays and how it feels to spend it in different corners of the globe, so don’t forget to read more stories of fellow trailing spouses at the end of this blog post. We have spent 4 Christmas’ here in Dubai, and I can say that we are getting better at making our own traditions each year. I initially thought that we won’t feel Christmas’ festivity here, since we are living in a Muslim country – I was wrong. Almost all establishments have decorations that would definitely put one in a holiday cheer. 2009 This year was supposed to be our first Christmas as an expat family but we decided to go home for the holidays.

Free Pizza for Mother’s Day

Pizza Express is giving all Mama’s accompanied by kids a free classic pizza to celebrate Mother’s Day (March 30). The special offer applies to all PizzaExpress restaurants* across the UAE, and includes their outlets at Ibn Battuta Mall, Al Safa Centre, Bin Sougat Centre, Dubai World Trade Centre and City Centre Fujairah. *Does not include Jazz@PizzaExpress