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.