Maldives Memories 2015

This post is dedicated to the whole of Maldives, the travel log, the budget (envelop), the city, the buildings, our hotel, the kick off travel by bus to Dubai, the tickets and more!

See the complete guide on a special #throwback blog on Maldives 2015.


Maldives: Male

Day 4 – Male

Male is the capital of Maldives – it is 15 minutes away from the man-made island that we landed called Hulhumale.

For day 4 – we decided to explore the small city & see for our self the description of the local that it is a crowded city. Indeed it was! Not with people I guess during our time because it was a holiday, but crowded because of the motorcycle!!! You couldn’t imagine the massive number of motorcycles around the city! I guess each person is having one.

We visited the old mosque and tombs, the first presidential palace and few more tourists are such as the souvenir shops. For me it was a short trip – even just half a day. The museum was closed! L
Lunch was on a familiar palate – Thai food – an eat all you can at Lemon grass!
* * *
For this trip we paid 10 USD per person (+ tip) for the tour guide who happens to be a local (Maldivian) and the Asst. Hotel Manager of Eve names Moulluo. (Not sure of his name’s spelling). He was helpful explained much about history and basic culture ideas.
 We headed back to Hulhumale in no time. Stayed back to the hotel and rested until 8 pm for our flight back to Dubai.
5th& final post is  Hulhumale itself, our hotel and more!


Blog post by : JM Kayne

The Appointment Experience (OEC)

The Appointment Experience: 25 | Nov | 2015 – Wednesday.

You may also check out an update about my 2016 appointment on OEC 2.0

Photo credit from :
 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-w6P-EhZLbrg/T41sdy0mkqI/AAAAAAAAAl8/Aj6q-EFQxKM/s1600/oec.jpg
I arrived early, 45 minutes before my schedule. As I enter the OWWA Office (This is the one on the right villa side). There are 2 tents, 1 with fellow Filipinos waiting and the other one with Embassy staff processing something… (Something without note that this is for PAG-IBIG or for WHAT).

 

So I asked one of the Kabayan and she said go to the counter on the second tent. A table/counter with 3 embassy staff is assigned – they process the Pag-Ibig payment but before that ask first for the OWWA form (OFW Information Sheet) – fill it up. (Photo below).

Submit it to the first lady to validate it and she will forward it to the lady next to her. (3rdlady does the same tasks) – That means 2 can process them (a bit faster process indeed). Lucky for me this time – there is not much queue.

Step 1 – Pag-Ibig

First lady validated, asked some questions and suggested to update my Pag-Ibig status and change family name since I am now married. Forwarded to the 2ndlady who takes the payment. Minimum is for 20 AED + a minimal charge. I paid for 2 months that costs me 43 AED. She gave the receipt and let me proceed inside the OWWA Office itself.

 

Step 2 is for OWWA Payment.

As I enter the villa there are 2 sides, left side if for the contract verification (This is for those first timer, you have to give the original + copy of your contract & they will validate it). As for me I am with the same company so there is no need.

I proceed to the right side (It has a note as: Step 2 – OWWA). Queue is short, there were 2-3 ahead of me, I prepared the OWWA Form & my passport + the appointment paper & attachment.

I gave it to the lady, she took my passport, check its back side to know if I still have valid OWWA payment – but I told her that I have already consumed the 2 years. So she took my form, signed and stamped the passport. Then I paid 92 AED.

Step 3 – OEC

Right beside OWWA Counter is the OEC – In fairness their PCs do have note (OWWA – 92 | OEC 10).
I gave my appointment booking @ 4:00 pm (it was around 3:45 – 15 minutes early – but the process goes a bit faster since no one is on the line). She asked me to sign the appointment booking form, took my passport and started typing. Side comment: Wala man lang good afternoon or Hi Maam? Parang makina eh, nag greet naman ako… – anyway mabilis naman so ok lang).

I noticed she didn’t even ask me the list of documents they put on the confirmation email. (Side comment: That somehow irritates me, because I have been stressed finding my contract and in the end – it was not asked!)  

Even the ticket and my passport + visa copies were not checked! – But I have stapled them all at once with the Appointment in front page!

Signed & stamped the appointment form, dropped it to her file and printed the OEC. I paid 10 AED. And I’m off!
All steps completed in less than 20-25 minutes (I guess)… Faster than the normal – but I am not sure if it happens all the time.  To be fair, since I usually complain about the embassy – this time I am giving them 7 out of 10 for the service rendered.
Way to go AUH Embassy!
A smoother and easiear process + approachable staff next time 🙂 please.
* * *
Do you want to know the full appointment process? Click this link : Exit – OEC (Online)

Kayne’s PF Chang Combo Fried Rice

 

Today, #KusinaNiKayne presents my very own version of home-cooked, PF Chang’s Combo Fried Rice! … Ever since we tried this rice at PF Chang, we fall in love with it and wonder how to cooked it, so I googled and add my own improvement.

You may also add beef strips if interested. A little Worcestershire sauce can add flavor and a little ginger too! Maybe a kick of spice will boost your appetite as well!

 

I have not added exact measurements of the ingredients. It is what I call, instinct.. hehehe “tancha-tancha lang”.

Read on and maybe give a try! ^^

KAYNE’s PF Chang Combo Fired Rice version 🙂

 

Ingredients:

Garlic & Onion

 

Carrots, Green peas

 

Chicken breast, marinated with salt,pepper and a little lemon/vinegar

 

Shrimps!
One egg + 1 teaspon of oil

 

Procedures:

 
Saute garlic, onion and the chicken breast – once cooked, set aside
Saute garlic, onion and the shirmp – once cooked, set aside (you may add a little butter to taste)
Then another set – Saute’ garlic and onion

 

Add the cooked chicken & shrimp, mix.
Add 2 cups of cooked rice, add 1-2 spoons of soysauce.
Set aside the mixture of all and on one side pour on the eggand mix it well.

 

Continue mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Add pepper, salt, chili powder (optional) according to your taste.

 

Top/garnish with green onion!

And your Home-cooked PF Chang Combo Rice is ready! 🙂

 


Social Media 101 – Note to Self

social media
Photo credits from: http://www.seointl.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Internet-Marketing-Social-Media-101-Training-Dubai-UAE.jpg

Social Media. . . Last night I watched ABNKKBSNPLAko (A Filipino movie with Jericho Rosales on it) and on one of the scene Echo who plays Roberto (Bob Ong) discussed with his bff Ulo (played by Vandolph) about people sharing their life on social media; “What they are, where they go, their wife, husband, kids, boyfriend, girlfriend, foods they eat, the places they travel etc. Is it a benchmark of a person’s happiness? Sometimes social media is being used to hide the real scene of a person’s life, even showing the world you are ok when in fact you are at a point of breaking down. It has become a platform to be proud and conceited.”

Somehow it hits me! There are times I over-post and share un-necessary posts. So I came across this link about the some DOs and DONTs on Social Media and I thought of writing my own personal version of it as a #notetoself and as an observer of my own wall where I see my friends’ post their life…

Mine are as follows:
1.  Social Media 101-A: Friend zone. I wanna know if a personal social media account meant to be a collection of friends? How many of your friends do you have on Facebook or followers on twitter and Instagram? (Pause – – – check your profile…) Ask yourself, how many friends do you have on Facebook that are your actual friends (in real life)? Do you actually want to show everyone that you have these thousands of connections but then in reality you don’t even have a personal contact with them? “Social” means relationship, so if they don’t count, take them out! Clean up! (I’m cleaning mine after this post.)
#KnowYourContacts #FriendsFamily #Acquaintance
2.      Social Media 101-B: It’s not your diary. You don’t have to post everything about your life on fb, twitter or on Instagram and on any other social media platform. Know your limits; this is not your diary. There are some thoughts and photos that are better kept hidden and as a beautiful memory of the heart.

Do you want to write more/ make a blog instead!

#AFriendlyReminder #NoteToSelf #GuiltySometimes
3.     Social Media 101-C: Tags, Leaving the group. It honestly annoys me whenever I am tag to something I am not even aware of, I understand that this could be a marketing strategy but some points are too shallow and not acceptable at all. Before tagging a friend, make sure to first if he/she might be interested of the subject. The more appropriate way is to actually ask permission to that person.
Regarding leaving a group may it be in a social group or of a private message group – it is best to inform people first before leaving. I have this impression that if you leave a group – it usually means that you are not happy, you are upset on whatever is being discussed. Unless it really is the reason then no need to explain yourself. But if it is because you are of no interest and no connection at all to you, then bid goodbye properly. Avoid bothering people asking you you left the group chat/old group chat maybe just by deleting it.

 

#GracefulExit

 

4.   Social Media 101-D: Stay positive! You don’t want your circle of friends to be miserable when you’re miserable, unless you are that type of person. Use this platform to inspire people, to let them see the brighter side of life. There is no need to tell the whole world about how your life sucks, better share it o God or the closest friends and family.
#NotANewsPaper #NotADramaSite #Positive #Encourage #Inspire
 
5.  Social Media 101-E: Career Profile. According to the latest strategy on recruitment; companies nowadays and some of HR practitioners apply the Social media bait of asking applicants to open their accounts and show them their profile/wall. A reflection of who you are will manifest on how you behave based on your social media posts. You are what you share.
#BeProfessional
 
6.   Social Media 101-F: Blessing not Bragging. Say it’s a blessing. Avoid over-posting of the blessings that god has given you. Yes it is ok to put them but not all the details. You could always express your gratefulness in a way that it won’t appear as being too proud and comes up as bragging.
#Blessed
 
7.   Social Media 101-G: Love life tale. I do understand that when we’re in love we fly to the moon and back! But for me (this is a very personal stand – no offense to those who might be hit with this, or conservative lang ba ko!) – posting intimate pictures of you and your special someone need not to be shown to the World Wide Web. These are important moments in life that are better shared by two people in love. I am with you when you say, we would like to share the happiness to the people around you butwe should know the limit.

     #Intimate #SharedWithLovedOnesOnly

8. Social Media 101-H: FB Fad. Ever wonder once or twice when the who facebook world turned their profile pictures into rainbows? And currently into the tri-color (red/white/blue) as France’s flag colors… This is in support to some cause. But before clicking that button to be one with the others, step back and ask yourself – what is this for? Do I stand together with the “cause” of this online “solidarity”? Do I understand what I am standing for once I turn my profile photo into : rainbow, or tri-color or all black etc.

 

#KnowTheCause #UnderstandDontJustFollow
* * * * *
Note: I may add more if I notice and observe additional input.
Here is the link of the good read of the article I mentioned earlier: http://www.stewardship.com/articles/10-dos-and-don-ts-for-a-positive-social-media-experience

HAHAHAHSULA (HAHAHA-ang Hassle)

HAHAHAHSULA (HAHAHA-ang Hassle)

This song has been my LSS for the past few days, magandang kanta kasi – #Vispop!

I’m sure marami ang makaka-relate… I wanna share it to some friends (na hindi Bisaya) who asked about its meaning…
 So I attempted to translate it in Filipino (Tagalog) – which I am not very good at ^^, pero hopefully I will give justice to it.. hehehe.. Feel free to comment if I made some lines incorrectly in Tagalog… (open tayo dyan J )
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
By: Kurt Fick feat. Paola Sandiego
Translation by JM Bacus-Chavez (JM Kayne)
 (Bold fonts are Bisaya, Filipino (Tagalog) translation beside it.)

Verse 1

Maypa sa akong mga damgo, (Buti pa sa panaginip)

 

Aduna pa’y ikaw ug ako. (merong ikaw at ako)

 

Ug kung mao man gani, maypa’g matog ko’g balik. (At kung ganyan lang din, mas mabuti pang matulog na lang ako ulit)

 

Pukawa ra ko’g buwag na mo. (Gisingin mu na lang ako kung wala na kayo/break na kayo)

 

Kuyog-kuyog pa ko ninyong duha. (Sa-sama-sama pa ako sa inyong dalawa)

 

Sungog-sungogon ka. (tinutukso-tukso ka (sa kanya)…

 

Pa as-if nga gikilig, apan diay nag sakit. (Pa – as if na kinikilig, pero ang totoo ay nasasaktan)

 

 
Pre-Chorus/Refrain

 

Di ta uyab, wala’y ikaw ug ako. (Hindi tayo, walang ikaw at ako)

 

Apan kung mag selos ko, ayaw pag buot.(Pero pag nag-selos ako, walang paki-alamanan)

 

 

Chorus 1

Sige na lang ta ani’g HAHAHA, katawa. (Sige na lang tayong HA HA HA –tatawa)

 

HAHAHAHAsula ning kahimtanga. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle ng sitwasyong ito)

Verse 1

Selos nga lisod gyud ka pugngan, (Selos na mahirap pigilan)

 

Labaw na’g siya ang imong kauban. (Lalo na pag sya ang iyong kasama)

 

Ngano ma’ng mahadlok ko’ng mawa ka, (Bakit ba ako natatakot na mawala ka)

 

Nga wa man gyud tika ma-akoa. (Na hindi naman ikaw nagging akin)

 

Maong sorry na, wa ko gyud damha (Kaya, sorry na, hindi ko sinasadya)

 

Akong dakong sala. (Malaking kasalanan ko to)

 

Na-fall ko nimo doh, promise di na gyud ma-utro. (Na-fall ko nimo “doh” (doh-expression na may diin/ mean “really”), promise di na mauulit)

 

Pre-Chorus/Refrain

 

Kay di ta uyab, wala’y ikaw ug ako. (Dahil hindi tayo, walang ikaw at ako)

 

Apan kung mag selos ko, ayaw pag buot. (Pero pag nag-selos ako, walang paki-alamanan)

 

 

Chorus

Sige na lang ta ani’g HAHAHA, katawa. Sige na lang tayong HA HA HA –tatawa)

 

HAHAHAHAsula. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)

 

Unsaon ta man, wala na ko’y mahimo. (Ano pa ang gagawin, wala na akong  magagawa)

 

Perming pahisgot na lang ba ko ani kutob. (Lagi na lang bang pa-hapyaw/palipad-hangin)

Chorus

Sige na lang ta ani’g HAHAHA, katawa. (Sige na lang tayong HA HA HA –tatawa)

HAHAHAHAsula. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)


Bridge

Awa lang, (Tingnan lang natin…)

 

Magkadayon ra ‘nya ta puhon. (Magiging tayo din pagdating ng araw)

 

Purya buyag intawon. (Pwera “usog” (not sure if this is applicable – but “pwera buyag” is pwera usog 😀 )

 

Ayaw na lang ug angal kay FLAMES ang nag-ingon. (Huwag ka na lang umangal, dahil yan ang sabi ng FLAMES)

 

Mao nang sa pagka-karon… (Kaya sa ngayon…)

 

Chorus

HAHAHA, katawa.  (HA HA HA –tatawa)

HAHAHAHAsula. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)

Kay Di ta uyab, wala’y ikaw ug ako. (Dahil hindi tayo, walang ikaw at ako)

Apan kung mag selos ko, ayaw pag buot. (Pero pag nag-selos ako, walang paki-alamanan)

Sige na lang ta ani’g HAHAHA, katawa. (Sige na lang tayong HA HA HA –tatawa)

HAHAHAHAsula. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)

Unsaon ta man, wala na ko’y mahimo. (Ano pa ang gagawin, wala na akong  magagawa)

Perming pahisgot na lang ba ko ani kutob. (Lagi na lang bang pa-hapyaw/palipad-hangin)

Sige na lang ta ani’g HAHAHA, katawa. (Sige na lang tayong HA HA HA –tatawa)

HAHAHAHAsula.. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)

HAHAHA, katawa.  (HA HA HA –tatawa)

HAHAHA… HAHAHAHAsula. (HAHAHAHA – ang hassle)

Blog post by : JM Kayne

Abu Dhabi – 10!

10 Basic Things to know about ABU DHABI

It has been 7 years and a couple of months since I first stepped on this beautiful city of Abu Dhabi! When I travel to a certain place, I often research the basic stuffs… I have tried to search on the net but it’s either too small or too long. On this blog I am making 10! Ten of the basic information every first timer should know about AUH-Abu Dhabi.

 

1.       Flight
·    Duration: 8 Hours ++ (especially if you have stop overs) – from Philippines

·    Cost – More or less 2500 – 4000 AED depending on the season (2 way) – its around 30-40K Php)

There are various of airplanes that offers flights to Abu Dhabi… during my first time – i flew with Qatar Airway… Actually Abu Dhabi has the flag carrier – Etihad Airways… while Dubai has Emirates Airlines…

 

2.       Capital – Abu Dhabi is the Capital of UAE.
Abu Dhabi

The Other cities : Dubai – the most popular among all 7 emirates, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Um Al Quwain (UAQ), Ajman andFujairah.

 

3.       Dirhams – Abu Dhabi or UAE in general, uses Dirhams (Money currency).
·         Conversion – 1 dirham is usually between 11-11.50 Php – sometimes in the year it reaches 12 Php too. But to make the calculations easy – I usually use 1 AED = 10 Php.

·         Salary – new comers can at least expect 2000 – 2500 as a first salary (this depends on the type of job though) – some are blessed to get higher based on the qualification and the companies Salary scheme

 

4.       Weather – Summer/Winter
·         Ramadan – summer – the heat can go up to 50 degrees Celsius
·         Christmas – 18 degree probably… though some Emirates are noted to experience some hail storms.

Although they also use spring or fall in between Summer & Winter seasons…

 

5.       Downtown Streets  & Sites to See 

Hamdan, Elektra, Salam, Najdah – these are the downtown streets that I am very much familiar with because in these aread, you see shops, malls, restaturants and more!

Al Mariah Island, Ferrari World, Beaches, Malls, Yas Waterworld, Emirates Palace, Heritage Park, the newly opened The Eye,  and more.

6.       Corniche & Parks

The most popular park is called Corniche, but many parks sourrounds the city – you would notice various green areas because the government has done a good job when it comes to park wherein always full-packed on Fridays for families gathering. Picnic, barbeque or if the weather is friendly – you would see beach buddies too!

 

 

 

7.       Religion & Leaders
As known by everyone – UAE with the 7 Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Um Al Quwain and  Fujairah) is a Muslim country. Islam is widely practiced by the locals & other Arabs. But! Christianity is open. You will be able to find Catholic churches around the place and other denomination of Christians. Hindu and other eastern religions are present too!

H.E. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan has allowed the openness of this city to the other faithful that made this country blessed.

Crown Princes of  UAE
8.       Sports

If basketball is the hype at home, here – soccer is the BIG one! UAE’s Soccer team is the no. 1 in the gulf. Our very own team AZKALS did have a friendly match with these fellas just this year and although the Emiratis won, the Philippine crowd won – as we made the stadium

 

9.       Races & the Locals 
UAE as a whole has so many different people. You will meet different nationalities & races. But for sure in every shop – a Pinoy/Pinay is present!
UAE people are called Emiratis or also known as “Locals”. While they call us “Expats”. Filipinos though because we are 3rd in population are also known as “kabayan”.

 

10.   Job Sites
Often Pinoys come to Abu Dhabi for one (1) major reason – and that is to get a better job. Although at the moment, our government claimed that Philippine economy has been performing well, it doesn’t stop us to go somewhere with a greener pasture.
Visit visa? Tourist visa? Here are the important job sites to search for job opportunities in Abu Dhabi and the nearby cities.
www.linkedin.com – a general recruitment & professional social networking.  You may also consider, bayt.com.
———– * * * ———-
Helpful websites about Abu Dhabi & UAE:
1. http://www.uaeinteract.com/news/default3.asp?page=2&ID=234
2. https://www.abudhabi.ae
3. www.http://visitabudhabi.ae/
4. www.http://government.ae/en

 

Photos: From google & its respective main sources.

Exit – OEC

POEA Online – Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System
 We’re going home! !!
Among the many hassles we Filipinos go through… (OFW to be specific) is the yearly visit to the embassy/consulate (if you could take a leave yearly) and get the so called OEC.
OEC is – Overseas Employment Certificate.
For the past 6 years, I often just show up to the embassy- fall in line and wait until my turn to present the required documents, pay for Pag-ibig, OWWA and others… but this year the embassy (in UAE) has started doing online appointment by visiting the website: http://bmonline.poea.gov.ph/
So, for those who plan to go on vacation, here is a step-by step guide to create your online profile (pretty much facebook/email account actually but a bit personal) and schedule an appointment to collect your OEC and avoid the long queues.
#PublicServiceBlogpost
Disclaimer: As of writing this blog, I have not taken my OEC yet – I am scheduled on 25th Nov and by that time, I will observe if the appointment schedule system will make things easier and smoother than the normal long queues. Wish me luck! (published-16Nov2015)
Medyo mahaba so I decided to create a separate blog –
Visit the website and create  your profile. Fill the data required as New User.

 

If already registered, just log-in with your email and password.
Add profile photo (it is required) then add your own choice of cover photo (pretty much like fb 🙂 )
Fill Item no. 1 – Personal details then save.

Note: Some browsers don’t support photo uploads, so if you are having trouble, try to use other browers as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer etc.

 

Continue filling item no. 2 – Contact particulars.
Note : * means madatory so you have to add them in order to proceed.

 

Item no. 3 – Beneficiaries… Save then press next step.
It will show you this pop-up, add your travel date.

 

Select Middle East Location, then Abu Dhabi / Dubai depending on which Emirate you belong.
Press Next.
Choose your preferred schedule. Double click the desired timing and another pop-up will show you the details for you to review and confirm.

Then an email will be sent to you with the requirements.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

ADDITIONAL INPUT Added, after Kokobear’s experience today… (23/11/2015)

 

 Upon receiving your confirmation email, click the link on that email & log-in back to your account, click “MY TRANSACTIONS” and it will show you this photo. Click Print Info Sheet 

 

This page will then open in a new tab – will show your full details.
Print this one as your Official appointment.

You will also be required to bring a copy of your Flight schedule/booking.
I have created a 2016 update of this blog – Currently completing the blog post OEC 2.0 soon.