Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to everyone!, Maligayang Pasko sa lahat!, Feliz Navidad a todos!


This afternoon we went to Carrefour here in Jeddah to buy some things for our Nochebuena tonight, just to bring a little bit of Philippine Christmas in our home here in Saudi Arabia, which I'm missing so much. Merry Christmas to everyone around the world, especially to all the Christians in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle east. Here are my photos outside Sulaimania Plaza in Jeddah.




Click and read My "Misa de Gallo" and Nochebuena" Memories at SUPEREXTRAORDINARISIMO!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Top 10 Favorite Christmas Songs of all time


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!

The following lists are my Top 10 favorite christmas songs of all time. Most of the Christmas songs on my lists came from the 2 of my favorite Christmas albums, "The Jackson 5 Christmas Album" and "Mariah Carey Merry Christmas Album".


  1. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by The Jackson 5

  2. "Miss You Most (at Christmas Time)" by Mariah Carey

  3. "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano

  4. "Someday at Christmas" by The Jackson 5

  5. ""Oh Holy Night" by Mariah Carey

  6. "A Christmas Song" by The Jackson 5

  7. "All I Want For Christmas" by Mariah Carey

  8. "It's Christmas All Over the World" by Sheena Easton

  9. "Give Love On Christmas Day" by The Jackson 5

  10. "Christmas Won't Be The Same This Year" by The Jackson 5



Check out this links:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

President George W. Bush's Funny Moments

This President is a born comedian. He always makes me laugh. Remember this one in China? I called this "George Bush, the (can't) escape artist" (My All Time Favorite).



And now this, last December 14 incident in Iraq. The President of the United States of America was forced to duck because an Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at him, twice! We must create a new sport or a game out of this and we shall call it, " The Shoe Dodging President". This is so hilarious! I hope there's more from him. There's still time you know.

Here is David Letterman's Top Ten George W. Bush Funny Moments.

The Top 10 Embarrassing Bush Video Moments.

A new game inspired by the shoe throwing incident in Iraq,

"Shock and Awe".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Juana Change: "Cha - Cha" (in Filipino)




CHA - CHA

This is a comedic satire, about Charter Change or in the Philippines , it's what we call, Cha-Cha. A lot of Filipinos believe that the current President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies are pushing very hard to change the constitution for them to be able to extend her term in office. This satire also tells about the common Filipinos' reactions or in this case "no actions". There are two main characters here, the first one is the lady with her dancing partner who just love to dance Cha - Cha, she symbolizes some of the Filipinos who stand for what is right and just and the woman in blue hair is the politician with her bodyguard, She is using Cha - Cha (the dance) to show their step by step plan to fool the people into changing the constitution (sound so familiar!).

What really gets me is when the woman in blue hair (The Politician) said (I translate in English), "Hey! the revolutions are over, all your protests have ended. The people now are all idiots! All the smart ones already went abroad. Only those that are left here are those people who do nothing but to join "Wowowee", play the Lotto or are waiting remittances from abroad." That's so powerful! And as if she said every word of it with a certain degree of anger and emotions that would make you think twice. It feels like a big slap on your face, especially when she said "TANGA" (IDIOT), Wow! I really felt that. But then again, I'm abroad, so I guess I'm one of the smart people. Funny huh!.

I've watched from a TV program called "Probe" (in TFC, The Filipino Channel) about this satire in You Tube. There's another one of this Juana Change series in You Tube Called, "The Fixer" , it's equally entertaining and such an eye opener too. The story goes like this, a man went to a government agency to get a license and the woman who works there said, for him to be able to get it immediately, he needs to pay extra amount so that she could process the papers "lightning fast" otherwise, it would take a long long time. It revolves around the theme of "corruption".

I myself am fed up with what is happening in my country. I was born in 1972 and referred to as "Martial Law Baby", because it was when the dictator, former president Ferdinand Edralin Marcos proclaimed Martial Law in the Philippines. Ever since i was a small boy I already knew that my country is corrupt, from the highest office of the government, down to the Barangay level. There was a time that I thought of leaving my country and never to return (Yah right!, as if I can do that) and in a way, that's what I've done. I've been here in Saudi Arabia (on and off) for almost 9 years now, working very hard to save money for my future and my family's future.

You know what, if only I could just turn back time, I would rather choose the Philippines to be a part of the Spanish Empire (Las Indias Orientales Espanolas), or be an American Territory, maybe in that way we Filipinos could all feel the prosperity, security and happiness that our rich neighbors feel. In a way, our government is the one that's slowly killing us, stripping away every layer that keeps us human. They (the people in government) are the only ones who are getting rich, while we are the ones who are suffering because of their insatiable greed. We want to have "Change" too. Wake up Filipinos!, That's the morale of this story.




RELATED ARTICLES AND BLOGS:

Inquirer.Net: 'Juana Change' Blast Charter Change

WordPress: Blogs about 'Juana Change'
To Juana Change: Bayani,

To 3 New Videos of Juana Change

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Support the [Philippine] Reproductive Health Bill



The population of the Philippines is getting bigger every year. As of this year 2008, our population is estimated at more than 92 million, according to the CIA World Fact book. And with this, the Catholic Church is more of a problem than part of the solution. The Church is against contraceptives and other artificial birth control methods. It doesn't make sense.

Let the Church Hierarchy be aware that we don't agree with their stand on the birth control issue. Contraception is not abortion. Prevent the true abortion from happening. Show your support, help pass the Reproductive Health Bill into law, sign the petition HERE or go to, I Support the Reproductive Health Bill in Facebook, administered by Mr.Carlos Celdran.





Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Road Trip to Yanbu


Today we went to Yanbu, here in Saudi Arabia, almost 350 km. north of Jeddah. We used our car and I thought we'll never get there and back again. Another one that I would like to thank God for. Last night we've rented a much bigger car, but we ended up using my small car because we've made a mistake renting an old car, and we can not return it back 'cause we already signed the papers and already gave the initial payment. Isn't that the dumbest thing to do? The reason why we wanted to rent a car in the first place was because I don't feel safe using a very small car to travel such a far destination, but we ended up driving it because the car that we rented was very old and i don't feel safe driving it either. At least my small car is new. Another thing was the meter, it runs so fast and we were scared that we might double our payment once we return the car back, we don't want to pay for the mileage we did not actually use, so this morning we decided not to use it and use our own car instead. stupid me!


Well any ways, we are here back in Jeddah and thank God we are safe and i think we made a very good decision not to use the rented car, at least we only paid sr.80. I forgot to tell yo!, we went to Yanbu because of work, we have a shop there. We finished our work there within almost 4hrs., that's around 2:30PM . I have never experienced long distance driving before, it was so tiring, i even felt sleepy at times but i said to myself "No Pepe, don't close your eyes or else you'll never open them ever again!". Here are some of the pictures from our road trip to Yanbu.




View more photos at my other blog, CAMERA NI CABRERA.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Blue Jay"



Blue Jay , Blue Jay

Fly away!

No one needs you here to stay!

Fly away, far, far away!

Take that melancholic song

of yours far away!




Blue Jay, Blue Jay

Fly away!

Find some other place to play

far away!

Fly away, fly away,

fly away!



I composed this very short poem, "Blue Jay" , on September 6, 2000 when i was still with my previous company in Riyadh, here in Saudi Arabia. I know this poem is not that good, but everything that i was feeling during that time is all conveyed here. This is also the name of my Barbershop in the Philippines.
(Photos shown below)




View more photos at my other blog, CAMERA NI CABRERA.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Favorite Lines from My Favorite Songs


I really love Nebz' new topic on his blog, about his favorite lines from his favorite music, it made me think of doing my own version. It amazes me that we both share the same fondness of Tracy Chapman 's music. I even recommend him one of my favorites, Lauryn Hill and her album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill".


I have a wide range of choices in music like Rock, Country, Jazz, Latin, Blues, even Classical but my true favorites are R&B/soul and Hip-hop. From Mariah Carey, Tevin Campbell, Mary J. Blige, Brian McKnight, Tracy Chapman, Sade, Erykah Badu, Babyface to Aretha Franklin and Groups like After 7 and Atlantic Stars. Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines from my favorite songs.
  • "Beware the false motives of others/ Be careful of those who pretend to be brothers/ And you never suppose it's those who are closest to you/ They say all the right things to gain their position/ Then use your kindness as their ammunition/ To shoot you down in the name of ambition, they do" From the song, "Forgive them Father" by Lauryn Hill.

  • "Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while but in time.../ Nothing can harm you , not while I'm around."
  • From the song, "Not while I'm around" (From the Musical: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

  • "I am not my hair, I am not this skin/ I am not your expectations, no/ I am not my hair/I am not this skin/ I am the soul that lives within" From the song, "I am not my Hair" by India Arie.

  • "Heaven help the heart that lets me inside/ Heaven help the one who comes in my life/ heaven help the fool that walks through my door/ 'cause i decided right now/ I'm ready for love" From the song, "Heaven Help" by Lenny Kravitz.

  • "525,600 minutes!/ 525,000 journeys to plan./ 525,600 minutes/ How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?/ In truths that she learned/ Or in times that he cried./ In bridges he burned/Or the way that she died..." From the song, "seasons of Love" (From the Musical: "RENT")

  • "I am walking on the bridge/ I am over the water/ And I'm scared as hell/ But I know there's something better/ Yes I know there's something better/ Yes I know, Yes I know, Yes I know/ That I love" From the song, "Me" by Paula Cole.

  • "Time to eat all your words/ Swallow your pride/ Open your eyes..." From the song, "Sowing the seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears.

  • "Take me now baby here as I am/ Hold me close and try to understand/ Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe/ Love is a banquet on which we feed..." From the song, "Because the Night" by Patti Smith / 10,000 Maniacs.

  • "I know we've got to part.../It really doesn't hurt me that bad/ Because you're taking me with you/ And I'm keeping you right here in my heart/ It's all because I love you..." From the song, "Call Me" by Aretha Franklin.

  • "I'm no angel, with my selfish pride, but I love you more everyday/ Love is an anger, that builds up inside/ As the tears of frustration roll down my face/ Why does love always have to turn out this way... " From the song, "I Wonder Why" by Curtis Stiger.

  • "I only think of you on two occassions/ That's day and Night/ I'd go for broke if I could be with you/ Only you can make it right" From the song, "Two Occassions" by The Deele (Babyface)
  • "I Love you in a place where there's no space or time/ I Love for my life you a friend of mine/ And when my life is over, remember when we were together/ We were alone and i was singing this song for you" From the song, "A Song for You" by The Carpenters, Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles.
  • "When you're sure you've had enough with this life, well hang on./ Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts , sometimes." From the song "Everybody Hurts" by REM.
  • "What you want might make you cry, What you need might pass you by, if you don't catch it/ And what you need ironically, will turn out what you want to be, if you just let it." From the song, "When it hurts so bad" by Lauryn Hill.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The new President Elect of the United States of America, Barack Obama!


America has healed Itself by electing Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. This is truly unprecedented, I'm proud to be a witness to this historic event. It's a new Day!




Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech, "I have a Dream"

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

To President - elect Barack Obama's Transition Directory Website , CHANGE.GOV

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Thunder Storm in the Desert

When it rain it pours, especially here in Jeddah , Saudi Arabia. Just the other night, when i was cleaning my car, I noticed that it was getting windy and from a distance i saw lightning accompanied by thunder. I didn't finish cleaning the car after seeing that incredible lightning, I was scared. It was a lighting that you only see on Television or Magazine, and I don't want to be headlined on the news paper the next day as "The man who was struck by lightning while cleaning his car", so I went inside. Then the rain start pouring down, I was exited at the same time though.

Unlike in the Philippines, it's not usual to see Thunder Storm here or any other storm except Sand storm. I really couldn't help it, I miss the rain so much, so I grab my camera and took a few minutes of video, but I was having a problem uploading it.

And when I saw the street the next morning, it was flooded, they don't usually have drainage system here , so flooding always occur whenever it was raining. And about my car, I have to do the cleaning all over again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aretha Franklin Covers Mariah Carey: "Touch my Body"

Watch Aretha Franklin sings Mariah Carey's 18th number 1 hit, "Touch my Body".


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mariah Carey's New Single "I Stay in Love"

Her Royal Highness, Mariah Carey has a new single called "I Stay In Love" her fourth from her latest album E=MC2. I really love it so much that i have to include it in my blog. It's a fusion of R&B and Hip-hop set in ballad, like only she can do better. Amazing song! Here is her performance in the X- Factor.


Go to her website (Mariah Carey.Com) for more information.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My little Halloween Squash!




Isn't he Scary.Booooo!


A couple of days ago , when i went to a produce store near my place to buy veggies for dinner, i couldn't help but notice a small squash, it looks like a small pumpkin and since Halloween is just around the corner, I decided to buy it and have fun with it?, I thought of carving it to make a small Jack O'Lantern, but there was a problem, I don't have neither the tools nor the skill to carve anything, then i thought that maybe i could just draw the scary eyes, the triangular nose, the over sized smile of the mouth using a black marker. It's not your ordinary Jack O'Lantern ( it's not hollow inside, can't put tea candle ) but, he looks scary enough, I think it works. Trick or Treat?!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Food Trip: Update on SHORO

Just this evening we went again to Shoro, our favorite Shwarma fast food in Tahlia, ordering the same food like we use to with three other friends, but this time it was kind of disappointing. There was nothing wrong with the food or with the beverages, they were just fine. There was this (pardon my words) stupid, rude, bigot Arab guy who was working there ( he is the guy who is preparing the shwarma), I think he's a Tunisian or Moroccan. My friend was waiting to get his order that was already paid and he was getting anxious for waiting to long, so he ask if he could get his order in a kind and proper manner because the guy was still arguing with another customer for long time, but the Arab guy replied "scoot", in English it means "shut up" and that's where it got nasty. It's a shame, i really love Shoro, but you don't say bad words or even argue with your customers, instead they should be courteous and attentive. Customers are the life of any business and they should take care of them. The management of this restaurant should take a second look at their workers and should train them properly, or better yet, they should not hire people who don't even went to school. Do not hire Barbarians!

Rating: From 1 to 5 which 5 is the highest score, I give this particular Shoro branch a 1, because of their bad customer service.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty and Corruption

From Sudan in Africa, to Haiti in the Caribbeans, to Bangladesh and even my beloved country the Philippines in Asia, are just some of the countries that have been experiencing extreme poverty in our world today. Some are probably just more severe than others , but severe or not, still it's poverty and people should not be living the way they do.
Access to good health care, food, basic education or as simple as to live in a safe and clean environment for their families, are just some of the basic things that people need, to live with dignity and pride. It is the government's duty to provide all these basic but very important things to its people, but due to corruptions, oftentimes these things are not met.

In some countries, corruption has been a way of life, a part of the system, a part of their culture. It begins with greed, then lies and then it multiplies, a never ending cycle. We have got to make a stand and break the infinite cycle of corruption in our society, for as long as there is corruption , there is poverty.

To all the corrupt government officials of the world, you are accountable to all the sufferings and misery of countless people. You may think that you are the luckiest person of all, but believe me, you are just walking down the Primrose path and we all know where that path is heading. Your time will surely come, soon enough!

The Bible says:

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows"
1 Timothy 6:10





Monday, October 13, 2008

My Early Christmas 2008!

We Filipinos, we celebrate our Christmas very early. And when we said early, we mean early. I remember when i was just a boy, i used to set up our (plastic) Christmas Tree* early in September, 3 months ahead of Christmas. Funny huh? I don't know but for me, whenever i hear that "ber" in those last 4 months of the year and smell that cool breeze of the morning, it feels so much like Christmas, even if "El Dia de todos los Santos" (The all Saints day in November 1) and "El dia de los Muertos" (The day of the Dead in November 2) plus the un official celebration of "Halloween" in October 31 are all yet to come.

Yesterday i have just set up my Christmas Tree. It's not your usual Christmas Tree, it's not even made of plastic, it's like made of coiled vine, shaped into a giant cone and sprayed with silver paint. It was actually from one of our shops which we used as window decoration for this year's Ramadan. Setting up my Christmas Tree early really gives me that Christmas spirit, especially here in Saudi Arabia where they don't celebrate Christmas, (obviously). Looking at my Christmas Tree now gives me the feeling of comfort, joy and even loneliness, all at the same time. Come to think of it, it's just wire, sticks and a bunch of pretty little bulbs with different colors, but it can really stir up your emotions.
"OH CHRISTMAS TREE"
"Oh Christmas tree, oh christmas tree, of all the trees most lovely Each year you bring to me delight, meaning in the christmas night Oh Christmas tree, oh christmas tree, of all the trees most lovely"

MY HUMBLE LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE

*Christmas Trees in the Philippines are usually made of synthetic materials like plastic, instead of real fresh pine tree, the one they are using in Europe and North America.



Friday, October 10, 2008

Blog Action Day October 15, 2008 POVERTY




Join Blog Action Day against poverty on October 15, 2008. You can help in many ways like Publish poverty related issues on your blog, you can Donate your day's earning to charity or Promote the day by placing their banners, badges and video to help get mass participation. Get involved, click NOW!


Muchas gracias al Sr. Manolo Pérez para la información sobre El Día de Acción Blog 2008. Para ir a su blog, haga clic AQUI.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

CBS interview with Journey and Filipino lead vocalist Arnel Pineda

For those of you who missed the CBS television interview with Journey and Filipino lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, well here it is. I found this in Youtube. I don't have any idea when this interview happened, may be a couple of months ago? Anyway just watch it and enjoy!



They have just released their new album called "REVELATION" which made it to number 1 in the Billboard Independent Album Chart and number 5 in the Billboard 200 Album Chart.

See some of Arnel Pineda's Photo in Los Angeles, Here, from my friend, Michael Agnis' friendster Profile.

To see more of my video collections in my Mi Gente site , click HERE.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Food Trip: Shoro Fastfood Restaurant


It was the second day of Eid and yes IKEA was open and we did went to Kalediah but I don't want to dwell on that story, this time i want to share to you one of my favorite fast food here in Jeddah. SHORO. After we went to IKEA and Kalediah we decided to try eating at Shoro. They have many branches here in Jeddah but because we are near Tahliah, we have decided to go to their branch behind First Plaza in Tahlia.

Their specialty is a shawarma like sandwich but it's not rolled like the usual shawarma that we see in some restaurants here, instead it looks more like a Mexican Tacos. They have chicken and beef, both are delicious but we ordered chicken plus Pomegranate Juice, Delicious!


Rating: from 1 to 5, i give this restaurant a 4, they should have tables and chairs for customers to sit while eating. Actually they used to have chairs and tables there, but they said the baladia* prohibited them because the restaurant is near the creek.


Note: rating is for this specific branch in Tahlia only!; *Baladia is a group of people who are working with the government that deals with the businesses and workers in Saudi Arabia.


See UPDATE, click HERE.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Eid Mubarak! (The No work, just totally having fun de Luxe Edition)

Yesterday, was the first day of Eid. And so we painted the town red, not the bloody type of course. Here are some pictures to prove it.


The new Mall of Arabia here in Jeddah






Again at "El Muro con los Mosaicos" with colleagues



We also went to the Corniche, too bad we don't have photos there because we were all busy eating and no one ever remember to take some shots. Today we will go to Kalediah and IKEA, i just hope it's open on the second day of EID.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Charice (Pempengco) on Oprah

Filipinos here in Saudi Arabia are very proud of Charice (she is now uses only her first name). Seeing her in Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Paul O'Grady show and her duet with Celine Dion and Andrea Boccelli was so surreal to me, almost impossible for me to believe that it really did happen. She is truly blessed with everything. Here is her story from the Oprah Wimfrey Show aired last september 19, 2008 in the States.



To see more information of upcoming events and releases, click HERE to go to Charice's official website. See also this related sites: Lea Salonga and Journey.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Long Walk At The Open Art Gallery

Open Art Gallery

If you really love Arts, then this is for you! While I was driving at Macaruna Street along the big, high walled, Ministry of Education site here in Jeddah this evening ( this is also a jogging route for the health conscious), I have discovered a long line of different and beautiful Mosaics, about 30 to 40 of them, mostly rectangular in shapes, hanged on the wall of the Ministry of Education, It's like an Open Art Gallery.

Each one of the mosaics have different themes, colors and sizes, most are made of broken tiles, glasses and white cement. Some depicts human beings and animals while others are like images from our deepest imaginations. The artistry is quite amazing. The best time to come here is in the evening or before sunset so that it will not be so hot anymore. Here are few examples of the beautiful Mosaics that you will see there.


This is located directly opposite Al Maktaba, office and school supply store, at Macaruna street and near the Dawara Handasa or the roundabout with the sculpture of giant geometry set, pictured here at the left.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Al Mamorah Hotel Riyadh, Four Thumbs Down!

We arrived in Riyadh pm 3:00 and we went straight to the first shop that we will merchandise, in Hayat Mall. After finishing our work we then went to Batha to look for a cheap hotel and we decided to stay in Al Mamorah Hotel, we checked in around pm 9:30 (Sept. 18, 2008), a decision that we will regret later. Our first night in Al Mamorah Hotel was uncomfortable. The running water was like, salty, the air conditioner was not cool, there was only one pillow and a pile of other different issues that i would rather not mention anymore.

After work around pm 7 o'clock, almost a day after we checked in, we decided to transfer to other hotel near by. We packed up our things and went down to pay for our dues. When the front desk personnel gave us the bill it was for 2 days, we were perplexed. Why for 2 days? We just stayed there for only 22 hours and it was not even a whole day yet. They answered that it was in their policy that it doesn't matter what time of the day or night you checked in, but checking out should be done before pm 3 o'clock and beyond that time will be considered 1 day.

We were so furious, but there was nothing more we can do but to follow their stupid policy (pardon my word). We paid sr. 260 for a 22 hour stay for 2 people in a cheap, dirty, smelly, very uncomfortable hotel. It make sense! It's a Highway robbery.

Rating: no star in this rating, instead, a black hole to suck that tobacco road of a hotel!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nobody Smokes here anymore!


Tomorrow Sept. 18 will be my 8th consecutive month without smoking! Many of my friends have been asking me how i did it and i really don't know what to tell them because i didn't use any techniques or followed any rules to stop my addiction. In my case, i have done everything just to stop smoking, like chewing gums to divert my cravings, hiding my ash tray so that it would not remind me of smoking and disassociating myself from people who smoke and even thought of hypnotism but it's too complicated for me and besides, where the hell will i find a doctor who knows hypnotism (here in Saudi Arabia) and if ever i found one, how much will it cost me? It was impractical and so unrealistic. But this time is different, I think it's the "Fear Factor".

Aside from the usual things that we hear about those diseases that we get from smoking, like cancer, heart problems etc., i have been a witness to the suffering of a family friend in the Philippines, we affectionately called him Mang Remy, he had Emphysema. It was when i visited him in his hospital room and it all came to me, the fear, there he told me that he was not feeling any pain or anything, but it was his breathing. He was having hard time breathing, he was gasping for air, almost like suffocating. And ever since that day, i was so sure that, what happened to Mang Remy will surely happen to me too and that was enough to scare the funny bones out of me. I have to stop smoking.

The first thing i did was to find out what is the best time for me to stop my addiction and in my case it's easier for me to stop smoking, a day after a heavy drinking and smoking, and so i did. Next i have to incorporate exercises and diet, without these i will surely get fat, I've learned about that in the Internet and Television. At least an hour a day of walking on a tread mill plus some weight lifting, the diet should be less fat and less carbohydrates and more protein.


And now i feel clean, healthy, unlike before, its like I'm gonna die without smoking, but look, I'm alive and free of it. To all smokers out there, there's still time. Take it from me, i was 18 years old when my addiction with cigarette started and now I'm 36 years old, yes it will take time, but if you persevere, you will win the fight. You can do it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ramadan: Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have been very busy these past few weeks since Ramadan started. We've just finished decorating the windows of our shops, all 8 of them here in Jeddah (a shop per day). And this coming thursday we will be going to Riyadh. We have 3 shops there, in Hayat Mall, in Quorash Mall and in Rimal Mall. We will be staying there for 4 days (Ohh my poor cats!, just joking, somebody will look after them 'til we return from Riyadh) .

To some of you who do not know, Ramadan is the busiest time of the year here and all the Muslim world. It's like Christmas to us Christians (so commercialized), it's just that it doesn't have a fixed date, Ramadan changes every year and the start and end of Ramadan depends upon the moon. Ramadan started last September 1 and end (maybe) on September 30 or after the moon finished a whole cyle for one month.

During a typical Ramadan day, a Muslim should not eat, drink, smoke or have sex starting at day break, but may do so after around PM 6:30 or what they call Adan. Unfortunately, eventough we are not Muslims, we must inhibit ourselves from eating, drinking (water), and smoking during the day, in public, as a sign of respect. So what we do is eat and drink before we go to work at PM 2. We usually sleep around AM 4 (or even later) and wake - up at around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. "Ramadan Kareem" to all my Muslim friends.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pictures from Jeddah Corniche

The humidity level at the Corniche was way off the chart, never in my entire life have i ever experienced that humid before, I swear!... Well anyway, it's nice to experience things like that sometimes. And here are some of my pictures taken along corniche road this afternoon by a friend of mine.



Beside a lamp post....


...with a whatchamacallit at my back ?



On a foot bridge...



......on my super, extra, muy pequeno car... LOL!!!



Beside the lamp post... again! (and i'm getting good with it.)

See more of my photographs from our Corniche adventure. Click HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Unexpected Job

Our boss called yesterday and he asked me a favor, if we could help him decorate the door of a hospital room because the wife of his friend just had a baby boy, since we are not doing anything yesterday night and we're kinda bored, so i replied positively on his request. And so we bought the materials and asked a few tips on how to do this project, we then went straight to the Hospital A.S.A.P and started cutting, assembling, blowing, sticking and walahh!



Now what do you think? Do you think it's professional enough? We did this in less than 8 minutes. And would you believe this was the first time we have ever done this and we got paid for it. This was at room 209 in the United Doctors Hospital here in Jeddah. Not bad Huh!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Food Trip: La Paz Batchoy Restaurant (Jeddah)



Bacolod Chicken Inasal


Buko - Pandan Salad


My friend and I came home very early from work yesterday, and we were feeling kinda bored and so,....We went on a food trip! There are not so many Filipino restaurant in Jeddah, but there is this newly opened restaurant along Macaruna street, corner Al Imam Al shafeia called La Paz Batchoy Restaurant and we often just pass by it going to Aziz Mall. Since my friend came from Bacolod in Negros Occidental, and he is familiar with Ilonggo food, we both decided to try the restaurant.

At first, when you enter the restaurant you'll immediately notice the beatiful interior, it's like a diner style restaurant. It's clean and spacious, the waiters are all in uniform and they will quickly usher you to your seat then take your order. We decided to try their famous Batchoy, Chicken Inasal and for Desert, the Buko - Pandan Salad. It didn't take long for our order to come, in fact it was so fast we didn't even have enough time for us to think of what topic to talk about.

We first tried their specialty, the La Paz Batchoy, then the Chicken Inasal, down to our desert, Buko - Pandan Salad and it was all so delicious and not heavy on your pocket too. But there is just one thing that I've noticed, the air conditioner inside is not cold enough, especially when you sip the hot delicious soup of the Batchoy, it'll not take long for you to sweat to much and realized that it feels so uncomfortable, you would want to go home and take a bath. And i hate it when that happened. From 1 to 5 , I give this restaurant a rating of 3 for the excellent food and services. Yummy!

UPDATE!
January 2010

The last time we went to La Paz Batchoy Restaurant was a week ago. I love the fact that the temperature of their airconditioner is pleasantly cooler than before. We don't sweat too much this time when we ate their famous La Paz Batchoy.

And speaking of La Paz Batchoy. I wonder why they change the chicharon ingridient of their Batchoy to kropek?, even the sound of it is not so appetizing. And for that, I will down grade their famous soup's rating. They should bring back their original recipe, and use chicharon, please!. Kropek is for Indonesians!

Another thing, I hate the fact that everytime we finished eating in the restaurant, our clothes smelled like we've been cooking in their kitchen. Everything just smelled so bad. I think they should do something with the ventilation of the restaurant.

And because of those things that I've just mentioned, I give the restaurant a rating of 2 out of 5.

Note: I hope the management of the restaurant could do something with the way they spelt La Paz. They should have put a space between La and Paz. Just a thought.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Agua por favor!, Agua...!



It's been 4 days now here in this part of Jeddah (where i live) without water and our containers are almost empty (we usually stock water in big plastic containers to go around this problem). If you think that this is an isolated case, think again! Sometimes we don't have water for 2 days and sometimes even for 5 days in a week, but the longest days without water that i have ever experienced in my almost 10 years stay in this country was 7 days, a whole week, it was horrible and unthinkable. But I can understand why this thing happened, oh yes i do, simply because we live in the desert and that they still have to dasalinate sea water before even people can use it, but longer than five days without water is crazy! You might say, why i'm still here or why shouldn't i go home if i don't like something here. My answer is simply because they need me and people like me (Expat), as much as we need them. This is Jeddah one of the primier cities in Saudi Arabia with more than one million people living in it, we are not in Darfur. This is a Mega City having a problem with their water supply. And beside, it's not just Expat who are suffering from this problem but also the Saudi Arabian People, who happens to thinks that it is just "normal". There is always room for improvement.