A year ago, I wrote an article sharing the good news that I was able to eliminate all the debts that we incurred when my father died. However, it is not enough to be debt free. But, it shows a good sign! A sign that we already took the first step to be financially free.

And in order for us to move forward, we need to do some follow up steps. Please take note that I am not a financial advisor nor financially free yet. I just want to share with you the next few steps that I took for me to reach that freedom. And the next one is by INVESTING WISDOM.

Investing Wisdom means studying, educating and learning. No more sugarcoat needed. You have to study what you are about to do. You have to educate yourself with all the terms and procedures of the investment instruments you are about to take. You have to learn also that your life is about to change.

From my experience, since I love reading books, I started to read simple and practical books (I mean easy to understand) which will help me remove my 'poor mindset'. This poor mindset is an attitude of mine thinking that I won't be rich nor I can't afford that, etc. And in order for me to grow and truly be rich, I need to change that thinking first!

Take a look of the (some) books I have read which helped me a lot:

1) My Maid Invests in the Stock Market - Bo Sanchez
"In this inspiring yet highly practical book, you’ll read the fascinating story of how he helped three of his house helpers invest in the stock market and build their retirement fund. He’ll tell you how he taught them the 5-envelope system. He’ll explain how he painted a clear vision of their future in their minds. In this book, you’ll learn his “4 Rules to Making Millions Thru the Stock Market”. - Goodreads

For free copy of this book (available as e-book) click here!

2) Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
"Robert developed (and shared) his unique economic perspective from two very different influences - his two fathers. One father (Robert's real father) was a highly educated man but fiscally poor. The other father was the father of Robert's best friend - that Dad was an eighth-grade drop-out who became a self-made multi-millionaire. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his poor dad pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his rich dad. Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at 47." - Goodreads

3) 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich - Bo Sanchez
"The book is a manual on how to create material wealth and gain spiritual abundance at the same time. It hopes to raise a new breed of millionaires who are simple, loving and generous." - Goodreads

4) Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin - Eduardo O. Roberto Jr
"If you need a guide on how to best manage your money, get this easy-to-read and practical book for yourself and your family—even your friends who are struggling or always borrowing money!" - Goodreads

5) Stock Smarts: Stock Investing Made Easy - Marvin Germo
"The heart of Stock Smarts is to break it down to its simplest form and inspire employees, professionals and business people to participate and make money in the market.This book is to encourage every Filipino to profit from stocks and forge their way to financial freedom." - Goodreads

There are more books about wealth and financial literacy. But for most of you who doesn't like books that much, try with these simple books or try listening to podcasts/tutorial available in the Internet.

Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to share it with me at the comment section! :)

Picking up where I left...

Days are passing by. That's what I know for sure. Waking up one day and trying to be a better person. Do my job. Love harder. Pursue bigger dreams..

All of a sudden, a year has passed already! I didn't noticed that days were so fast and I didn't noticed it (well not really hehee of course I noticed it lol). A lot of things happened and changed within that one year.

Looking back at my last post, I was there at that phase of my life where I am stuck with a toxic career and environment. Thank God I managed to get out alive and strong!

At this moment, I am happy and blessed to share some of the blessings (changes) that I had within that one year..

1) Career - After all the struggles, a better one came along and I am so blessed! I am so proud to join Lushescapes - a boutique luxury travel company based in JLT. I have two days for the weekend and I get to enjoy all the public holidays as well as good office schedule of 8:30 am - 5:30 pm (well I do overtime quite some time haha!) and a well maintained office with a stunning view of Dubai Marina side. Apart from that, I enjoy how I continue to learn every single day. My boss and my manager always push my boundaries to learn and grow more than yesterday. Learning opportunities and career growth are always being fed not only to me but to all of us. I am definitely the happiest!

View from our office - no filter used

2) Second Home - I changed flat twice within the year. First, I moved to Burjuman around May 2016 and met these beautiful girlfriends that I will forever treasure. There are rough days where I would hate our times of teasing and bullying. But we shouldn't be serious everyday right? Most of the time, I love them. They helped me go out my ultra comfort zone which is my bed! Hahaha! I am not joking! Whenever I feel bad or sad, I would stay in bed the whole day and they would literally drag me to get up. Or they would climb up to me and approach me with wide arms open.

Burjuman Girls: Ate Cory, Ate Rochelle (yes we have the same name), Lhei, Tracy, Ate Tin, ME, Aubrey and Ginny
Insert Pearl - missing in action 
Now, I am staying in Dubai Marina (don't get the wrong idea, Iam just renting a bedspace here and it's the cheapest we found!). We are 5 girls in total as of the moment and we usually have our own routine. They would go out with their own schedule, so most of the time, I am alone in the flat doing my own thing. This is what I love the most. I have lots and lots and lots of time for myself. I am starting to pick up all the stuff I wasn't able to finish like books (mostly self help for spirituality and finance books)

3) Mountains - After a two year break (rest) from hiking, I got the chance to do it again with Filipino Mountaineering Federation, also known as F.M.F. in Ras Al Khaimah. They usually organize public hiking events and it is open to all and definitely free! Yes it is absolutely free. If there's a need to rent a coaster bus for big numbers, that's the only time you will have to share some dirhams. And that's just for contribution of the coaster rental. It is equally divided to all as well. So no need to worry!

At Wadi Shah
FMF: Filipino Mountaineering Federation

4) Financial Freedom Journey - Before I left the Philippines, I am already reading a lot of stuff about Financial Literacy. And I know that one day, I will reach that Financial Freedom! But of course, the journey is not a straight line. There were times that we need to borrow money because we don't have emergency funds. There are also times that we need to relieve hunger because the salary is delayed (this happens when we relay too much from our paychecks).

I AM NOT THERE. But! I've had some progress! Each stepping stone achieved is worth celebrating! Some of the stepping stones along my journey are as follows:

*Debt Free - Me and my mom is free of debt after my dad left us with no such emergency funds.

*Small Sari-sari Store - After we finished paying our debts, we managed to put up a small grocery/retail store in front of our house. The sari-sari store serves as our bridges when there is a delay from my salary (because I still depend on it) and it made my mom busy in a good way.

*More time to STUDY - Since I get so much time off in this new company, I have read more books (than what I read in the past two years) and I have managed to read some podcasts and seminars online.

*Truly Rich Club Membership - I have joined this club because it suits my taste. I can do my studying at my own pace. No pressure of commitments for classes. The club itself didn't made me feel that I had such an obligation (attending classes) and instead, it is there waiting for your inner self to study out of your motivation.
Your first step starts here!

*COL Financial - I met COL Financial when I was still in College. And I just opened an account just this month. Crazy right? My account has been activated and I have transferred the account already! Yay! After a long time of waiting, I jumped in! It's better late than never right?

I wish to say more about my Financial Journey because we're not OFW's just to work and spend money like there's no tomorrow right? Don't worry, I will post another one soon so that both YOU and I will reach that Financial Freedom.

See you next post!



In the Philippines, you will meet a lot of couples parting ways with different kind of dilemmas. But one thing is for sure, you will meet 1 out of 10 couples (or maybe more, I am not sure because I haven't took a survey) where they would give the 'it's not you, it's me' reason.

What is this spiel anyway?

It's not you, it's me - is a plain way of saying I screwed up in every angle that only I can see. Or there's more than that where words cannot explain itself. In order to save time and avoid the hassle of explaining and arguing, they would put it as 'Sorry, it's not you, it's me'. 

I am writing this at 3:48 am. Thinking.... and looking back, as to why I can't get through the 3 month dating phase after I've been single for quite some time. Is it me or is it the other person's lacking? 

Some of them called me sick, paranoid, boring or a difficult person to talk to... after my 3 months rule. One said, I became boring because there is nothing new about me. There is nothing new to discover because I only go to office and go home right away. One said I am a difficult person to talk to because I became clingy (or needy) due to some sort of attachment to them. One called me sick because in this phase (that time), everything fell apart and I can't get a grip of myself. Whatever the time period, whoever it was, in this phase, it's the make it or break it phase. 

As time goes by, I learned that those words and labels might be true. And as I evaluate myself, I would like to explain the root of all these behavior of mine (from my own understanding): 
1) Being clingy - Studies shown that a person, being clingy or (let's say) needy came from being deprived of basic needs. I am not saying that I am deprived with my basic needs but let's just say that I am not satisfied with where am I. Unhealthy career, not having a good time with friends because they are all busy, far from the family, and sometimes, being a little bit deprived of satisfying my own needs. So when a person enter the big picture and shows significant value, I slowly turn my attention to that person. And since he serves as my key support network and he can help me relieve my stress from work stuff, I do get attached in a way that they don't like. So they jump into conclusions and bid farewell.
2) Boring - I agree with this (in one way). Even I get bored with myself. However, I am not a boring person in general. I do a lot of stuff back then and I have lots of hobbies and extra curricular activities too. I have my own life that I don't even need a partner to make myself happy. But, here in Dubai, I don't have enough time and resources to do my stuff. To the point that I do overtime just to get paid extra money is the worse scenario that you can imagine. So boring person, check. 
3) Sick - I don't think I am sick as what you're thinking. Though I do admit that my stress management failed me a lot of time. Being independent with a high amount of stress, where I feel that no one understands me, made me numb to the vulnerability of this world. But life is really a tough player, it is pushing me to my limits. I do experienced breaking down once in a while. Then, surrender everything because I can't do anything about it anymore. Or I would speak up and they would say I complain a lot or I am not making any sense. So instead, I keep it in and just wait to explode inside.

So why am I writing this? 
I am seeing one cool guy. He said he liked me and that he understands my craziness. The three month rule of my stupidity has passed and now I am wondering if we would have the same ending like others...

What if it's just a colliding fate for the two of us?


Financial freedom is a milestone in life that almost everyone of us wants. I've met a lot of people from different walks of life, who works really hard just to achieve this. But the question is how do we achieve this? What is the easiest way to get it right? What is the first step?
I am not an expert on this and I am following a lot of advice from different mentors and advisers whom I trust but I cannot disagree on the fact that the first way to move forward is to eliminate debt.

Most people would say that debt is unavoidable. That is true. My family and I accumulated lots of debt when my dad passed away. But after 8 months (from the day of accumulating it and until the day of the last payment), I am happy to say that we are debt-free! Yehey!

From what I learned, these are the habits that I've formed to eliminate debt:
1) Small debts are unavoidable. But if I can, I usually try to settle it within 3 days.
2) If the need of money is not matter between life and death, I don't borrow money. 
3) Whenever I received my salary, I set aside a bigger amount for the payment of debt than my remittance to my mom (Communication is the key as well!). We have to sacrifice first so that we can finish it as early as we can.
4) I don't consider accumulating more. :)

Sure, there are lots of ways to avoid it and eliminate it. But these habits helped me a lot even though it is really hard to survive especially with my current salary. But no pain, no gain.


Dubai is known for chic places, luxury spas and restaurants, beautiful beaches and camping sites and of course, skyscrapers. But before civilization, what's Dubai?

Old Dubai, mostly the area of Deira and Bur Dubai is not on everyone's list when visiting Dubai. Even I as a resident wasn't able to visit this part until the Walking Tour was organized. And I am very happy to Couchsurfing as the medium where I found this event.

Couchsurfing Members / Residents of Dubai and Travelers in Dubai
Shall we take a little tour? To begin with, we started with the Fish Market in Deira side since it is the closest one from the place of assembly. It looks as a normal local market with fruit stands and dry goods. We came to the wet side of the market and found a lot of unusual kinds of fish (well for my eyes maybe) which is pretty interesting. This makes me realize that fishing has been once the main industry of Dubai. 

I really don't know what they are called and no one is looking after them so I was not able to ask what is it
The next destination is the Gold Souk where the biggest gold ring (with Guiness' Record can be found). However, I was not able to get a picture of it since everyone wants a picture of the gold ring. But, I was held up by these little cute camels. You can find these in every souvenir shops especially in big malls but you can always find a better price. In the shop where I found them, the big one costs 20 AED and the small one ranges from 10-15 AED (it depends if you will buy more).

Camel stuffed toys
Our third destination is the Al Ahmadiya School which is the most prestigious ancient institution and the first semi-private school in Dubai. It was now turned into a museum. It was an interesting place because it's an interactive museum where you can find mannequins and a small computer where you can read facts about the place.

Intricate and detailed art after the renovation
We go straight to the Heritage House which is the typical house (and lifestyle) of an Emirati way back. From the style of the house, up to the utensils and their source of entertainment, everything can be found in the house. 

"G" giving us a brief introduction of our destination
Spice Souk is the next itinerary on our list. Nuts, dried shrimps, and up to spices being used in cooking are in here. The place is so colorful but of course, it comes with their strong smell as well. There are lots of sales people who aren't fussy to teach you a thing or two about these spices. However, some of them might expect that you will buy at least.

After our short stop in the Spice Souk, we crossed the creek with the famous ride, Abra for 1 dirham. This ride is very popular to regular residents who need to cross the creek and with tourists as well. The creek itself have different stations and you can choose which route to take. The longest route (I believe) is from the stop in Al Ghubaiba to the station near the Deira Twin Towers for 2 dirhams. Sorry I failed to get the names of these stations.

Riding an Abra
Upon crossing the creek, we are now in the Bur Dubai side of the Old Part of Dubai. We went to a Hindu temple and since it's a sacred place, I didn't took any pictures of it because it might look disrespectful. We head straight to the Bastakiya Quarter where you can find the restaurant who serves Camel Meat and Camel Milk. You can also enjoy the maze-like structure of the place where a lot of tourists take pictures as 'lost in the maze'.

Cliche caption: Lost in the Maze
The final itinerary of the Walking Tour is the Dubai Museum. I cannot remember how much is the entrance fee if it's 2 dirhams or 5 dirhams. I like the museum because the main part of it was underground. The whole history of Dubai was shown in a creative yet artistic way. Lights and sounds were supported as well and it looks very modern from my standards. One of the part of the museum that I really liked is how they set aside one big part of it to showcase the fishing industry of the city before.

Fishing Industry as shown in Dubai Museum
At the last part of the museum, typical souvenirs and free books and pamphlets can be found as well. Everyone agreed that the museum is the best place to end the Walking Tour. It was educational, interesting and fun. Hence, the Old Dubai itself shouldn't be missed by residents and tourists alike.

I am grateful for Ghaith, for organizing the Walking Tour. And as planned, everyone who joined the tour went to dinner at a Lebanese Restaurant before we parted ways. It was a good cool down time to chat with fellow CouchSurfing members. I am not as active as before but this event reminded me of what is the essence of traveling.

Dinner at Heritage Village
For us, traveling isn't to see places alone. It isn't to met locals alone. It's the whole journey and the friends you've met that counts. And true enough, this walking tour counts for me. Happy Traveling!


Companies, big or small, lay off employees in Dubai these past few months. However, our company is the complete opposite of this scenario. They are hiring more staff instead. Guaranteed that there will be enough workforce in our department, I planned a 10-day leave on May to commemorate the first year death anniversary of my dad. The operations manager said she accepted my request but I should wait for the new employees. She said I should ask the admin manager too before I book the ticket.

Today, I saw our admin manager (which is very rare) so I asked her if I can request for the leave form. The conversations are as follows:
Admin: You are requesting for a leave?
Me: Yes but it's for May.
Admin: You can't take a leave.
Me: Why not?
Admin: Because you just took a leave.
Me: That's last year. It was an emergency leave. 14 days. I haven't fully consumed any annual leave.
Admin: No. I don't think you can take your leave.
Me: Uhhh....
Admin: *walks away*

At first, I felt bad. I am mad. I want to scream it out. She did not even ask me as to why am I requesting it. She didn't even ask how long will it be. She never opened her heart to fully comprehend the situation yet she closed it with such a harsh answer. A NO.

In reality, it's getting on my nerves. But I can't let that happen especially this week which is already rough and stressful. So I called my best friend, the Gift of the Gap. Okay, I will try to put my situation in her shoes. Maybe it's not a good timing and she's thinking of other stuff related to our company which is more important than my leave. Maybe she's having a bad day and that's just her initial reaction. Maybe she's just kidding. Maybe.... The list is endless.

Two letter word. NO.
Powerful. Deep. And simple.

It's a simple word. It's very easy to comprehend. But why is that we cannot use it properly? People are using it for the wrong ideas with its essence being trashed.

When it comes to our loved ones, we always say no to their small favors very easily. Our thinking is that, they will understand me because they know me. But when it comes to other people, we cannot say no because we want to be "in" or we want to portray a different version of ourselves since they don't know us yet. Sounds familiar? The examples of wrong usage are endless. Our norm (and stupidity) of saying 'no' is infinite. The ideology of how it is being used is so wrong that we cannot notice its impact. Why?

We have to be reminded that we have choices. These choices are the answers to the things that we can't control...

Yes to commitments, to dreams, to achieving goals, to success of everyone, to love, to adventure, to "YOLO", to the life ahead of us.

Maybe we can do something. Maybe there's another way. Maybe we can check it first. Maybe it's not the right time. Maybe there's something better.

No to the things and words that hurts you, me, and other people.
No to the ideas that kills the passion, integrity, and principles of this society.
No to the toxic people and relationships that hold us back to realize that we deserve better.
No to everything that is not helping us to be a better person.
No to the wrong ways of this world.

We have a choice of what to use.
And that simple choice can change something... maybe someone's life or someone's way of living. Who knows? One day you will realize, that maybe it's time to change YOU.


Whenever the word grey is brought up to the table, it's either the color or Fifty Shades of Grey. But some can comprehend that it's a different kind of thing. A thing that either makes your life miserable or makes your life confused.

What is a Grey Area? According to Wiktionary, it is a topic that is not clearly one thing or the other, that is open to interpretation. In some articles pertaining to relationships, the grey areas is where the two persons kept the other one at bay.

But the world with grey areas are not only for relationships. In the past, I kept some people at bay too. But I kept all stuff in there too. Career opportunities, friendships, family, spirituality, emotional growth, anxiety, depression. From my main prioritize in life up to how I feel about myself. I put it there. I hide it.  

It's 2016. I don't want to hide it anymore. It's time for me to overcome these stuff, one by one. Let's start with one issue that I have (or I still have)...

I am having difficulty sleeping at home (still on going yes it's been 8 months now) because of bed bugs and we all know that not sleeping properly may lead to some effects. Every article in the internet says, if you lack sleep, you intend to eat more and thus it will make you gain weight. I know that's true because I gained weight whenever I pull an all night-er session during high school days or college days.

Nowadays, I am stressed for a fact that I am not gaining weight. I am not sure if it's because of lack of sleep or maybe out of depression or maybe because of metabolism details, but I am dropping sizes.

This week was hell again. The longest time that I can sleep without waking up (or bed bugs bites) is 3 hours. The rest will be an hour and an hour and an hour. During the day, I still eat properly. I try not to worry. But over a week, I've dropped a size again. My basis is my uniform because it just fits so perfect. I would know if I gain weight or lose weight if I felt the difference. Yesterday, it was loose. I was like, maybe I am just sexy today (*pun intended) but today, it is way more loose again. Like literally loose.

My friends back in the Philippines were shocked as to how thin I was before leaving on 2014. They said I am so thin. And I know that I lose more. And friends call me the skinny one now.

As you can see, this is all new to me. You might say that I should not stress myself for a change that only happened for just a week or you can scold me and say just move out. But I know for a fact that I really lost weight for over two years. If I will weigh myself, the numbers might say I'm underweight.

No, eating more to gain weight is not as easy as it sounds. I've eaten more than my weight can imagine. So it makes me worry more. Anxiety over weight is one thing of my grey areas and there's so much more.....


When I was in college, I worked once in a theme park in the Philippines as a summer job. It is known as Enchanted Kingdom which is located in Southern part of the metro, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I've been there for 2 and a half months and it's one of my happiest part-time job I have (apart from McDonald's). That experience made me love parks. Theme parks to be specific became very close to my heart.

Summer Job 2011
In Dubai, there's one theme park (fully operating) that I've always wanted to visit ever since I arrived here. It is called Global Village which is located in Dubailand. We took the public transportation by bus from Union Metro Station. One way costs 10 AED and the entrance fee costs 15 AED. We went there at exactly 4 pm and the park is open until 12 midnight.

The park consists of pavilions of different countries showcasing products and crafts from the country of origin. Replicas of famous landmarks were built and products were imported to be sold here.
Replicas of Big Ben, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Colosseum or Flavian Ampitheater
Chinese Gazebo
African Pavilion
This pavilion is my favorite and it deserves a special mention. The products are all authentic. Every craft and art and all products were new to my eyes (not that I've never seen anything like that) because you cannot find these in big malls of Dubai. The song playing in the background was an African one (that's one thing for sure) and there are people standing outside the pavilion wearing native costumes of their country.

What I love about it is that I felt their pride of their country. Here in Dubai, a lot of Africans were paid really low. They weren't treated that nice. But here, they are all happy. Their face shows their love to their origin. Being patriotic. Patriotism. Yes. Despite of all their struggles in their country, here they were, full of pride and saying, I CAME FROM AFRICA. I LOVE AFRICA. Salute to these people!
Crafts and stuff from Africans
 The second pavilion I liked is Japan's. Anime is from Japan and I am so happy to see some collection! Yes it is not complete and very limited, but still, it's so hard to find these stuff here in Dubai. I found a small stuffed toy of Chopper and it broke my heart that I didn't bought it. It's too expensive for me! LOL. #byechopper
You can find two Japanese friends in the farthest stall of the pavilion. One guy and one girl. I am not sure if they are a couple but they look good together. Haha. Anyway, they are offering this service where you can try wearing Yukata (Kimono is the elegant one, more expensive and traditional one with the bow at the back where Yukata is more casual) and they will take a picture of you for 10 AED. They will give you a print out of this picture. You can also add a background of Japan for 30 AED if I am not mistaken. And no, this is not the picture they took. I look so silly there.

I am able to try Yukata too! Look at the face! Mission accomplished!
Yukata, the casual style form of Kimono
Each pavilion offers short performances (groups, bands, individual) of any kind of entertainment they have. I remember the band from Iran playing a happy 'bandari' music. I saw dance performance in India's pavilion with a Punjabi group as well. A traditional dance was performed of my 'kabayan' in the pavilion of Philippines.

Syrian Performers on Main Stage
There's a small part of the park with rides for kids and adults. They have a huge Ferris Wheel called Wheel of the World for 30 AED. It doesn't move that fast unlike the others and you won't feel scared up high. The aerial view of the whole park is fantastic.

Wheel of the World
Aerial view of Global Village
It was tiring but fun. I felt like I'm a kid again. And it's a feeling that everyone would like to go back to once in a while. Though I was a little bit sad that I was not able to buy Chopper and I wasn't able to play those games with huge stuffed toys as prizes, but surely, I'm gonna come back.

So long Global Village! I'm gonna come back sooner or later!


A Syrian guy with an Indonesian wife (I guess) asked for a dummy ticket for CGK - BEY flight. What I know is that we can issue these dummy tickets as long as the original tickets are refundable. So I gathered all the information and their preference for the said tickets.

Before making any booking, I called one of my boss for his go signal about this tickets. He told me that this dummy tickets are risky and that I should not give it. I asked him why and he cannot give me a valid (and logical reason) so I kept asking him of what I should I offer instead. Then he told me, "JUST DON'T. I WILL JUST GIVE YOU SALES TODAY FOR YOU TO STOP."

I was like... woah! EXCUSE ME?! I told him straight away that that was so rude of him. It's totally inappropriate. The boss told me then why do I kept asking if he already said so. I told him that I was just fishing out for options of how can I help this guy. And right away I told him I don't need any information from him any more, thanked him and cut the line.

I just explained to the Syrian guy that we can't issue the tickets on that cities. But I feel so bad because I know we can. In return, I just gave him a booking reservation for free which he truly appreciates it. For him, I was so kind. For me, I am disappointed that I can't go beyond my boss' orders.

What is Customer Service? Why do people cut it back even if they know they can do it?

I've been in a customer service-oriented industry since I was 16. Been in fast food chains, theme park, call center - directory assistance, hotel, and now in the travel industry. Customer service is meeting clients' expectations. Giving them what they need. As easy as that.

However, there's a thing called 'Extra Mile'. I have learned this from my training when I was in McDonald's. It was a great strategy. People will be happy of your customer service but people will love you from your extra mile. People will never forget what you did for them. It keeps the business rolling. If employees must always remember that, I think superiors and bosses must embrace it. Because if not, there's no point of being in a Customer Service Industry.

At the end of the day, I am disappointed because what I learned throughout the years was just a failure because of a boss' orders. An underdog employee like me? What can I do anyway?


One friend of mine from Couchsurfing is in Dubai right now for his vacation with his friend. One of their plans is to visit the Grand Mosque which is in Abu Dhabi. And since I haven't been there, I asked them if they can arrange this visit on a Saturday so that I can come with them. Lo and behold, my wish is granted and after so many months, I finally got the chance to visit the Grand Mosque! 1 goal down for this year!

We took the bust E100 from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station and it took nearly 2-3 hours of travel from Bur Dubai to Abu Dhabi Bus Station. A round trip bus ticket costs 50 AED. We arrived at around 3 PM and went straight to Al Wahda Mall before heading straight to the mosque.

Before entering the mosque property lot, the security at the gate asked us to stop because my hair was not covered. I covered it with my scarf (good thing I brought it with me). Then there's a small tent as an entrance where I was asked to put the abaya as my body cover.  Wearing an abaya is one thing that I would really like to experience even once in my entire life. The Islamic culture is really interesting. Okay don't freak out. I'm not about to convert to Islam. I just appreciate it.

My friends went to their ablution and prayer while I roam around and be as a happy tourist as I can. 

I ran out of words more when I entered the main area. The beauty is overwhelming. The art itself is magnificent. This is one of my inspirations to go to Iran.


Zoomed in.

From ceiling, chandelier and wall art... intricate details.

Even the pillars itself are not left unattended
I had so much fun and if I will get another chance to go back to the mosque with less crowd, I would like to go again. Happy tourist today!

PinayHakawati gets to visit the Grand Mosque in abaya. Goal achieved!


Happy New Year! 

It's the time of the year where everything is fresh and new! Last year might not be one of the best years of my life, but it's over. It's already in the past. So right now, I should focus on planning and claiming to be waaaay moreee HAPPY this year! And for me to maximize my time here in Dubai (Inshallah), I've decided to come up with a list of my own goals (SMART goals).

These smart goals, once achieved and accomplished, will have it's own post here in my blog. And so here it is and let me try my best to fulfill these goals before the year ends!

Travel, Sports & Adventure - UAE
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Global Village
Walking Tour - Old Dubai
Arsekal Avenue
Ferrari World
Ski Dubai
Jebel Jais
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Iceland Waterpark
Motiongate Dubai (still under construction)
Oman Musandam
Practice ice skating in Dubai Ice Rink (Dubai Mall) and in Hyatt Regency
Try paddle board around Burj Al Arab
Attend one Yacht Party

Travel - outside UAE 
Hike one mountain/volcano
Visit one town outside Luzon
Travel to one Asian Country
Try Couchsurfing as a GUEST

Road to Financial Freedom
Be debt free
Create a solid emergency fund
Help our small convenience store in the Philippines to grow bigger
Buy 1 22k carat gold as an investment
Buy the gold arrow ring or a necklace with the arrow pendant
Open an account in mutual funds 

Personal Growth
Land in my dream job/company
Learn how to do make up professionally
Learn how to wear good heels

How about you? What are some of your goals for this year? Let me know and maybe I can add it to my list! Good luck to everyone!

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