Coffee Treat for Taxpayers!

One of the items in our to-do-list each time we visit the Philippines is to pay our property tax. Our option to pay it in advance or on time is based on the date of our visits, however, we tried not to pay late.  We have had an unpleasant experience in the past wherein we paid a big amount of penalty for delayed payment and so, we do not intend for that to happen ever again. This time we know better and we try to make it a habit to settle our dues in advance if not on time. Aside from availing the 20% discount for advance payment, it is also convenient to avoid the rush and the long queues during the payment season.

Do you know that part of the taxes we pay in the Philippines go to Special Education Fund, where it supports Public Schools and the schools for impaired children or with the disabilities? Call me naïve, but I have just known this few years ago, when I got personally involved in paying our taxes. This awareness gave us a bigger picture of where our contribution goes and, all the more reason to pray for wisdom and honesty for the people behind the distribution of these funds. Aside from the feeling-good factor for the ‘contribution however tiny’ that we give as taxpayers, you get to be a part of our country’s educational program for the under-privileged. If only the amount collected could genuinely reach the purpose it is intended to, then I am sure, we would all be motivated to pay our taxes. If only…. Nonetheless, let us not use this theory as an excuse not to comply 🙂 . Free coffee

Recently, I have been to Quezon City Hall to pay and it was one of those few hassle-free experiences I had in a government office. I considered it as my reward after walking in the heat before reaching their entrance from where the bus made the drop-off. Anyhow, the service and hospitality of the employees were commendable plus, I got to drink free coffee (from a vending machine, of course) while transacting. What an exclusive service for ‘taxpayers’! It would have been more appropriate though if this gesture is extended to other visitors, too.  Besides, aren’t we all taxpayers, whether in a manner of ‘voluntarily’ or ‘involuntarily’ contributing? (wink)!

Something to ponder upon: “Give to God what is due to God, and give to Caesar what is due to Caesar”!

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Lights, Camera, Action!

20150411_211003 Do you have the knack to direct your own film?  Do you have the creativity and the guts to transform your imagination into reality? This may be the chance you’ve been waiting for! I saw this slide the last time we were at the cinema in Mirdif City Center, Dubai. This was flashed before the actual movie was shown.  It might interest some ‘ingenious minds’! 🙂

Easy steps on how to:

  1. Shoot your short film
  2. Upload to http://www.thesmovies.com
  3. Get screened in VOX Cinemas

According to Mark Twain, “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, a tragedy”.

What’s your story?

Happy filming!

Tigers and Bears!

Tigers & Bears - The Finals

Congratulations once again to the winning colors! 

This year’s 3rd Inter-Colour League 2015 has finally concluded on 10th April 2015. As a tribute to the league’s committee, all volunteers and participants, I have written a brief article and requested the Editor of Kabayan Weekly for a chance to get it published under the paper’s Sports section.

Copy is out now – Vol 4, Issue 51 of Kabayan Weekly.  Get your FREE copy from a newsstand near you.

You may also visit their website at :  www.kabayanweekly.com

Acknowledgements: Kabayan Weekly and to Ana Dalangin for the photographs.

The Essential OFW Guide to UAE

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Came across this interesting information from one of Filipino newspapers circulated locally; The Essential OFW Guide to UAE.  Authored by Atty. Barney Almazar, holder of UAE legal consultancy licence and highly endorsed by Ambassador Grace Princesa, it is the first and only guidebook dedicated to the Filipino Community in the UAE.  This 150-page book contains all the info every OFW needs to know while in the country.  Some of the practical guides featured in this book are:

  • restructuring loans
  • property investments/other investments
  • dealing with the banks
  • getting child support
  • resolving employment disputes
  • setting up your own business
  • formalities in marrying a foreigner
  • defending police or civil case
  • registering marriage and birth
  • sponsoring family visa
  • online renewal of passport
  • filing for divorce and annulment

The guidebook will be launched initially during this year’s Philippines Independence Day Celebration in Abu Dhabi, and will be accordingly distributed to those OFWs who have reserved their copies.  To RESERVE your FREE copy, email your request to gulflaw@gulflaw.info . I have already sent them an email to reserve mine; they’ve acknowledged and sent me a reply.

According to Gulf Law office, copies are limited, so reserve your copy now.  You may also visit their website, www.gulflaw.info for updates.

acknowledgement: KabayanWeekly, Gulf Law

‘Tapsilog’ Craving!

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I have been craving to eat ‘tapsilog’ for days and can’t help to recall the last time I had one. Back home in the Philippines the cravings for food are not limited on choices, but on the budget:).  Anyhow, whenever my sentiments for home-cook food attacked, I would either attempt to make it at home or find a nearby Filipino Restaurant that could satisfy my yearning! Have done the latter.

For non-Filipino readers, ‘Tap-si-log’ is a typical Filipino combo-meal and its name is represented by the abbreviation of the main ingredients.  Tap for tapa (pan-fried marinated beef), Si for sinangag (garlic fried rice), and Log for itlog (fried egg over-easy).  This delectable meal is normally served with papaya pickle and vinegar with chilli or freshly-crushed garlic.

During one of our evening walks along Al Qasimiyah Street, we spotted a new Filipino Restaurant besides Al Habtoor Tower called “Kusina ni Nanay” or Mother’s Kitchen. Apparently, they just opened for business last 4th of March and looks like it has been attracting patrons already. We were later told that this branch is the first in Sharjah while the other three are in Dubai.  Well done I must say!  So, we went in with high hopes that their ‘tapsilog’ must be good!  We decided to place an order to-go for AED20 per serving.  The packaging was presentable and the service was satisfactory.  The verdict? Minus the papaya pickle, it tasted just the way it should be – atleast for me. Although the portion may be sufficient to fill a medium-built person’s tummy, it could have appropriated the whole deal if the price includes a cold drink.  Just saying….

Without sounding patriotic, I honestly rejoiced whenever a Filipino restaurant opens up for business in the UAE, and my silent prayer that they excel and succeed.  Of course the competition being very high, the management should also put in some extra effort to level up the quality of food, service, and hygiene. Not to mention the ‘banner’ they carry – their home country…

Next craving? Halo-halo pls!

The 3rd Inter-Colour League 2015

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The 3rd Inter-Colour League 2015, in cooperation with Victory Champions for Christ, has commenced with its opening game last Friday, 20th March 2015 in Sharjah Sports Complex.  The sports fest will be running for four consecutive Fridays, 6:00 to 9:00pm, from March 20 to April 10 respectively. There are four teams each for Volleyball and Basketball categories that will be competing and vying for the title of grand champions.  The event is partly sponsored by SMDC (SM Development Corporation) and PGW (Philippine Garment Workshop).

This has been a successful event from the time it initiated in 2013 and has been a yearly gathering since then. The goal of the League is to reach out to Filipinos and other nationalities in a friendly match of sports and, to strengthen relations that bonded throughout the game season.

All are invited to watch the remaining games and entrance is for free.  The awarding ceremony will take place on the last Friday of the sports fest, 10th April 2015 from 6:00 to 09:00pm, same venue.  Each winning team will receive a trophy.

All the best to the participating teams and Congratulations in advance to the winning ‘colours’!

‘Hats-off’ to the Organizing Committee and its Members to yet another successful year! Mabuhay!

One Day Free Consultation with TIMES

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A very good friend was kind enough to pass me this useful information to share to those of us who might need some urgent legal advice.

The TIMES is offering a complimentary consultation to mark the opening day of their new office in Sheikh Zayed Road, ONLY for tomorrow, 19th March 2015.

Book your appointment now!!