10 Things I love about UAE

10 Things I love about UAE

Ten (10) Things I love about UAE 🇦🇪

10 things i love about the uae - iamjmkayne.com

As a continuation of my 10th year anniversary of being an expat in the UAE for the past decade, I am sharing ten (10) things that I love most in the Emirates. I could give more than 10 but this are the ones that comes first.

 

1. Accessibility

Everything is accessible. I mean transportation is efficient and bus timing are on time. Of course not perfect but surely you can depend on it. Access to schools, hospitals, parks, malls are easy.

2. Baqala

This is a mini-store (sari-sari store) version of Abu Dhabi. So far I haven’t seen this in Dubai. But this baqala is a mini-store usually on the ground floor of a building, residential building. A store that you can just call and they will deliver it in your flat! In fact I have heard a few expats having an experience that they are even allowed to do a credit! 😀 How cool is that!? hehe

3. Openness to Christianity

Hats off to the rulers of this nation. Yes it is a muslim country, but they are open to other religions. In fact Catholics (and other Christian denomination) have been able to build our own churches. That is why all over the Emirates have a Roman Catholic church in their city (or even 2 & more).

4. Security & Safety

For the longest time, I praise God for the safety and security I feel whenever I go around the city. I have been able to roam around the streets (in Abu Dhabi) at 2 or 3 am and yet feel safe. With and without police presence within the city have built that secure environment and feeling to the residents.

5. Nationality Diversity

Yeah right! Aside from Indians and Filipinos – UAE has almost all nationalities around. Citizens all around the world have gathered in this nation as a melting pot to all of Arab nations, Africa and even Europe. And because of that diversity – you’ll be able to expose yourself to different cultures, language, religions and more. An opportunity to learn and get to know other people too.

6. Dubai Metro

Well, it’s only half a year that we moved here in Dubai but I have to say that Dubai metro and I have just went from complicated to “in a relationship!” hahaha … yep – my story a few months has it all. 🙂 I would say that my 2-hour metro ride almost every Friday has made me feel at home. Read: My Love Affair with Dubai Metro.

7. Filipino shops

Opppsss, it’s not only shops but to be specific Filipino restaurants. It makes you feel like you’re home. Products from home are all around the supermarkets, baqala and other shops. It also gives me a little pride and happiness whenever I see foreign people buying our products. Bananas, pineapples, chips, shrimps, crackers, tuna, noodles and more! How lucky are we! 😀 So whenever I miss home, I take a walk and get into these places!

8. Fun and Adventures

Legoland, Ferari World, Warner brothers and more and more themed parks. Water parks, Desert Safari, Zip lines, Sky Dubai. If you’re not as busy as we are, these parks and fun adventurous activities will really give you a treat. So far I have ticked off a camel ride and also hopping into the world’s fastest roller coaster! 😀 Of course there are still more to work on. Let’s see how it goes soon…

9. It’s natural beauty

Before heading to Abu Dhabi, my picture of this place is the “desert”. To be honest in 2008, there’s already Google and I wonder why I didn’t check out the photos. Haha but here’s a story: I was packing my stuffs as I head off here in the UAE and was so worried if I should bring my high-heels shoes… I was worried it might go down with the sand… peace… I was so innocent and gullible then.. lol 😀 sorry about that! Only to realize that the place where I lived was all buildings and were all cemented. Poor me! ^^ Anyway – my favorite activity is the desert camping. Such a lovely view to see the serenity of the desert. An amazing gift from God to the Emiratis. Here in the UAE we can have both worlds of the buzzing city and the serenity of the desert. Such a grace!

10. CFFL community life

I know now (or at least 5-6 years ago) that I am destined to be here in the UAE. Because I am destined to be a part of CFC-FFL community, where I have been an active member and servant for almost a decade now. As an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), having a community life such as CFC-FFL/CFFL is a blessing. A true test of being a Christian. A true training ground of the reality of His teachings in loving our neighbors and a great reminder to prepare and be ready for the real life ahead.

 

These are just  ten (10) of the many things I love about this nation. What are you favorites here in UAE? (Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman/Umm Al Quwain/ Ras Al Khaimah) Comment them below…

 

God bless,

JM SIGNATURE-black - iamjmkayne.com

 

 

 

 


#UAE10

Travel Guide : Simala Church Cebu

Travel Guide : Simala Church Cebu

Cebu is one of the first seat of Christianity in the Philippines, it is full of churches that represents the countries long  history of Catholicism – accompanied with various festivals in honor of Jesus, Mary and all the different saints. A municipality in southern Cebu named Sibonga has become a tourist/devotee destination because of the #EuropeFeels / #ItalyFeels  – SIMALA Church has. It is a façade in honor of Mama Mary.  

This January, I went on a vacation and took a trip down south to visit the church and paid homage to the Blessed Virgin for all of her blessings she and her son have showered to me and to my family! Here I’m sharing you a travel guide.How to get there:
1 – Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Various of bus going South is available, known to pass by Sibonga is Ceres. Take it and ask the driver or his assistant (known as konduktor) to drop you in Simala. Travel takes about 2 hours. Fare varies as per bus company but it should be between 80 to 100 Php. Your best land mark will be that 7-11 shop on the right side built as the ground floor of an old house.

For bus schedule visit this link of Cebu Gov’t Bus Schedule.
2 – Upon Arrival in Brgy. Simala– Look for motorcycles (habal-habal) going up to the sanctuary. 
Habal-habal (or motorcycle) is the most common transportation going up to the church. Fare is around 20-30 Php per person, each motorcycle can accommodate at least 2 passengers.

3 – Going Home. 
Motorcycle drivers are just around the corner, you can choose and they will drop you right in the highway! In the highway, all you have to do is wait for the bus going back to the city  and you’ll be home. Fare will be almost the same as to going  back and forth.

What can you do:

  • Pray! – Among the many reasons why we visit Simala is to simply pray. Thanking God/Mama Mary for their blessings and this should be the primary reason.
  • Visit the Miraculous Statue of Mary – At the back of the church altar , there is a way where you could offer your flowers and prayers.
  • Write An Intention – Along the way to the statue are writing stations where you could write a letter to Mary. And if your generous enough – feel free to share your blessings!
  • Light a candle – Color-coded candles are available for a specific intention, pick what fits your prayers.
  • Buy – Memorabilias, small statue, prayer guides, rosaries and more are visible on the right side of the church. 
  • Finally, Take a Picture!  – Of course every Filipino won’t miss that chance to take a photo of this beautiful, stunning and amazing structure.
And at all times, be mindful of your noise, stay calm and avoid disrupting the other people who are praying. Please be respectful as well on the way you dress up. Avoid shorts and sleeveless blouse. 
* * * 

I prefer not to get into more details of how was our visit. I’d like you to experience it yourself. All I can say is that it’s my 4th visit and every time I set forth my feet into this amazing place, I’d say it is an encounter with Mama Mary and of our Creator.  

Take a look at some of the photos I took. 

“This crown structure is memorial of the victorious and powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother thru the Penitential Rosary Walk in 1998, against the killer epidemic hat struck the place, where several lives of poor children and infants had died. Built to honor Mary on the 8th year anniversary of the Monks arrival in Lindogon. Blessed on the 27th day of February, 2004.”

On Facebook I posted: In awe of His creations! Mama Mary, thank you for giving us your son. Amen. 
Lord, I am confident of your love, mercy & grace! Excited na ko sa imong gift nako!
#ThankYouLord #Sibonga #Cebu #cebu2017 #Simala 
DOME. This is the dome of the church. I took this photo on our way going to the back of the altar where you will have a closer encounter of the miraculous statue of Mary. 
See more photos of this amazing & stunning place on
* * * 
 
Also known as  as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist (for locals, it is known as “Birhen sa Simala”) is located at the Marian Hills of Lindogon Simala, Sibonga Cebu.  It started with a miracle that Mother Mary cried  with a blood and was witnessed by some of the devotees and believers.  Furthermore, the Monks of Mary (Mga Monghe ni Maria) lives and started the cause of building this palace-like church. Devotees, faithful and just merely the curious people started to flock in this location, thus the support and donation of the faithful has made this #EuropeFeels – instagram worthy photos facade is built (and still on the process of making it better).

Believed to have fulfilled many prayers, a row of “aparador” / cabinet of testimonials of various stories on passing of the board exams, miraculously cured cancer, baby prayers and more will inspire you. An array colorful of candles can also be seen in some areas; color-coded depending on the prayers & intentions you would like to lift up. Red, blue, green, pink, violet etc. –  stands for a specific purpose – wanna know what are they? Go ahead and visit this place! 🙂

Most importantly, attend a mass! 

Here is a guide to the regular mass schedule of the church. 

I would also suggest to avoid Fridays, Saturday & Sundays if you wouldn’t want a crowded place. Pick a weekday and enjoy the peaceful ambiance that Simala Church has! May your prayers be granted!

God bless!