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Enjoy Thy Youth!

youth

“Even youth shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted” -Isaiah 40:30

Lately, I so feel this…

Felt like I have just crossed that ‘line’, that ‘angle’, that ‘time frame’, and yes that age (if that’s what you’ve been waiting for to hear hahaha). Some folks may say that age is just but a number.. And that we may continue to be young at heart though our birth certificate says another. But I’ll say that ‘though my spirit is willing, yet my flesh is weak’! 🙂

I’ve recently traveled to the Philippines to work on some papers. This visit necessitated a lot of walking and commuting. There were occasions that I needed to walk my fastest in order to reach my destination on time or if I wanted to avoid the rush hour. Amusingly but true, can’t seem to define the difference between rush hour and non-rush hour anymore! It looks like a trend to be in a rush nowadays! I hope it is only due to the holidays’ season or good heavens can someone please invent the flying jeepneys! By the way, recently making the news was the available service of UberChopper in Manila. You can now travel in-style without being stuck in the road traffic. Minimum charges is around 50 to 70US$ I’ve heard. So if the demand for this service continues to rise, it maybe a good idea to include a helipad when building your home.

And so back to what I’m saying…

I’ve been missing the time when I used to have speed like an athlete (although I’m obviously exaggerating here but it was once true that I walk fast – I can find you some witnesses who can testify if you need me to)! Those were the days when long distance walking was never my issue.  You’re right, those were the days.  Just reminiscing…

We all had those days. When we fought against time because we didn’t wish to slow down. Where our mind and bodies were so prolific that we sometimes forget that our youth is temporary and has its limitations..I want to vouch on what King Solomon once wrote – “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”.

I am sure he had a real good thought about this subject; after all he was one of not only the wealthiest man that had ever lived in this planet, but also the wisest! King Solomon must have lived his life to the fullest and yet, still regarded all his accomplishments seemingly a ‘vanity under the sun’.. he sure had some pretty good reasons too on why he thought so.

He further wrote “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever”. This simply means that, hey you, take notice of your youth! Make sure that it won’t passes you by….

As for me, I may have some regrets and could have done some things differently. But the tons of amazing memories of my youth will last me a lifetime and those I’ll surely hold on to. And so I say to my youth …Au Revoir and I’ll miss you… I’ll never forget our precious times together, and I hope we really did spend it well… Thank you for the company.

And to you who still living your youth; ENJOY IT. It is God’s gift to you. Do not waste it nor ignore it. Spend more time with family and friends. Walk outside. Run. Play. Make memories.Value what really matters.

”Again I saw vanity under the sun; one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ‘for whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?’… This also is vanity and an unhappy business”. – Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

Images from google

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Perk for Non-Indian Wives

 

PIO-OCI

If you happened to be a wife of an Indian national, this good news is for you! You may now be entitled for multiple entries, with a lifelong visa to India by simply applying for an Overseas Citizenship of India or the OCI card. Isn’t this a blessing or what?! And not only that, this benefit is extended to your children, too!  In case you had already been issued with a Person of Indian Origin or the PIO card, then the process will even be much more minimal for you. I was issued with a PIO card more than a year ago and once the news came out on the wives’ eligibility for an OCI, we immediately applied. My PIO card was replaced with an OCI, with the waiting period of less than 45 days, however it might take a little longer for new application. Please visit the Indian Consulate near you for further details or you may check out their website at www.cgidubai.com in case you are residing in the UAE.

As a wife of an Indian national, I was initially issued a PIO card to travel to India and this card is valid for 15 years from the date of issue which has been working out well for us. So much more, t’was worth the amount we’ve paid for to process. Until recently, our ingress to India has been upgraded to OCI. I am really thankful to the Indian Government for considering the family status of their people, for which I can only hope for my Philippine Government to reciprocate with a similar gesture. It has been my sentiment for a while now as my husband can only be granted a maximum of one-year multiple visa entry to the Philippines even after being married for more than 20 years and regularly travelling to the Philippines. We were told that this could be extended but the information we gathered so far on how to was somewhat vague.

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration may have a procedure currently in place on the issuance of this type of visa, but I believe so that the process can still be improved. I may be naive but we sure didn’t experience so much trouble when applying for my OCI, aside from spending only around 300 US$ for a lifetime validity (this was including the processing of my PIO, then to OCI) compared to my husband’s only one-year of visa to the Philippines which normally costing us approx 152 US$ to obtain, each time we apply. There must be a better and cheaper alternative for the foreign spouse of a Philippine national to be given the same privilege. There should be….

In fairness, I somehow understood my country’s predicament on this matter. I have heard of the so many cases of frauds and abuse in using ‘marriage’ as a means to secure entry to the Philippines for personal gain and business reasons. This is indeed an act of disgrace and only pave the way in even corrupting the already weak system to identify the legit and the truly-deserving from the bogus. All I am saying is to seriously review the current process and maybe come up with a stricter, wiser, and a much organized policy to overcome such anomalies and consider a more solid yet similar possibility. I am hopeful that a country as multi-cultural and highly developed as the Philippines can come up with a way to ease up or enhance the existing process, in order to encourage the Filipinos with foreign spouses to consider spending their retirement in the Philippines. I pray that my plea will one day fall into attentive ears and will not remain just a ‘wishful thinking’ 🙂

I can only hope especially with the present administration in the Philippines where I have been reading proposals and apparently working on a more structured programs for the returning OFWs. That they may consider this matter as one important aspect to pay attention to – family status. If there’s something I will be asked for as an OFW to push forward in terms of a long-term plan, is the possibility of issuing a permanent residence visa to our foreign spouse (or at least something equally defined). After all, our ultimate goal as an OFW is to one day settle in a place (especially in our own country) where family is welcomed to stay together,  without the burden of having to renew a ‘temporary residence visa’.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Reference link:

http://www.living-in-the-philippines.com/permanent-resident-visa-philippines.shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_the_Philippines

image from google

A Tree without its Leaves

FeaturedA Tree without its Leaves

 

If you are a homeschooling mum, this post may read familiar to you. It was one of those unexpected conversations with your homeschooler that will make you appreciate even more why you homeschool your child, apart from the many other reasons. Here is a flashback of our short and sweet encounter few days ago.

Characters

Mommy (that’s me)

Jade (my 10-yr old homeschooler)

Daddy (specially mentioned)

Scenario

Since we’ve started our Level 5 homeschooling materials near mid of this year, I have (strongly) encouraged my daughter to work on her papers independently, mostly without me sitting next to her. In short, with a very minimal supervision. Weeks came to pass and we’re still unable to put this into practice. More than a month ago, we had another discussion on this matter and finally convinced her on the advantages this will accomplish to both of us, and so we amicably agreed on this new setting. I’ve sensed her discomfort but went with it anyway. She started off well and had taken the challenge brilliantly,  however the lessons which we used to finish in two days took her almost four days to complete; understandable as she covers the lesson practically on her own. I’m not being cruel or something but only sharpening her independence and comprehensiveness. Just like testing how far she can decipher her lessons with less of me being by her side. It’s not that she couldn’t managed but she had at least identified her areas of difficulties. Eventually, her ‘enforced independence’ has worn out, and silently shout a desperate SOS. Then one day, she spoke….

Dialogue

Jade: Mom, I need to tell you something. This is very important.

Me: OK, tell me what is it (Jade  is normally a jovial kid but a deep thinker at times and this was one of those days)

Jade: (with a sad face) I know that we’ve agreed on this and that you wanted me to work on my lessons without asking you too many questions but I think I really need you to sit with me especially on Math, on Science (and few more subjects were added on the list :)) 

Me: Really? But you were doing a good job working things on your own.

Jade: But I’m too slow on my own, it would be faster if we work on my lessons together just like before.

(Our exchanging of reasons, encouragement and emphasizing on independence went on for a while.. then she said something that made me stopped on what I was trying to point out to her. For a moment, she looked like my once was two-year old daughter seeking for help and attention; she rarely looks this way after her third grade, so this was serious). She said it almost exactly like this:

Jade: You see mum, I am like a tree with many branches. I am strong with roots. I have green leaves and fruits. But when you left me to work on my lessons, on my own, it felt like all my leaves and fruit fell off and I became just a tree with branches without leaves. By the way, Dad is my roots, so he’s still there. But I’m just brown in color, no more green because my leaves all fell down. You were my leaves…

Me: Stunned, I couldn’t respond anything for a while…still in a state of processing her statement in my head.. I remembered even giggling a bit and sort of figuring out if we had read it from a book somewhere 🙂 .. I’m an adult (and a mom who supposedly has a ready answer to say), but I was speechless with such a description. She was so sincere and honest. So serious which was unusually her. And all I could do was gave her a tight hug and with teary-eyed all I could uttered was, “is that so”? I was in awe how this 10 yr old came up with a mental picture of how she looks like when I left her to study on her own. Wow. I felt so ‘green’ imagining me as her leaves! Call me self-centered but I felt a sense of importance in exchange of her grief, realizing how much she depends on her dad and me. I was elated and crushed at the same time.

That was classic, wasn’t it? So many metaphors of what she told me came across my mind. Every day has its own stories and revelations. All part of our homeschooling saga; the drama, the dialogues, endless reasoning, and discussions. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned so much more about my daughter the moment she homeschooled. Her strengths and weaknesses, her highs and her lows.

One day, she’ll have to go back to school. By then her ‘tree’ will be fully grown and much stronger. For now, we don’t want her ‘tree to be leafless’, so we’ll stick around as long as she needs us to. We’ll all get there, one day at a time.

 

google for the image

 

 

Credit Cards and Bank Loans – Free Legal Aid and Seminar

FeaturedCredit Cards and Bank Loans – Free Legal Aid and Seminar

Are you looking for some legal advice on how to restructure your existing loan or wishing to know on how to settle your credit card dues amicably with some abusive debt collectors but do not know how or who to speak to? You may want to attend this.

The Gulf Law and the Filipino Lawyers in Dubai are once again conducting a FREE Legal Aid and Seminar to tackle on topics that involve the following:

  •  Know your legal rights and obligations
  • Dealing with a Police Case
  • Bounced Cheques
  • Bank Settlements
  • Court Case
  • Abusive Debt Collectors
  • Central Bank Blacklist
  • How to restructure your loans from different banks

Venue will be at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, on Saturday, 11th June 2016 at 2:30pm and to be attended as well by a special speaker from the UAE Police, Mr. John Ray Cerna.

To register, you may confirm your attendance by email along with your name and mobile number to Gulf Law Client Care at gulflaw@gulflaw.info or to gretchen@gulflaw.info

You may not probably be in any actual involvement on these cases as yet but would like to know the legalities should in case, you too are welcome to attend.

Stay safe. Be aware.

 

 

Image by Google Image

 

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Chicken (Noodle) Soup – An apparent food for the soul

img_20160308_153941.jpg

I’ve just started a new category on this blog called D.I.Y. which stands for Do It Your-Style. In this page, I will be sharing with you anything that has been modified by us from its original version or perhaps some sort of reinventing stuff to suit our tastes, liking, and needs (what I meant by ‘us’ is a joint-effort together with my hubby, my daughter, and myself).  Living in a country far away from home, we sometimes refer on methods on how we traditionally prepare things, especially on food. It’s undeniably a fact that we are a family who loves to eat and enjoy a home-prepared meal together.  And not only that, this also applies to our homeschooling daughter who has recently been exploring on arts, crafts, and cooking where some of the materials/ingredients needed can be way out of our budget. So all the more we see the need to look for affordable alternatives and home-produced as much as possible and still be happy with the results.  This is a real challenge for me as I am not a very creative person but “it’s never too late to explore”, assures my daughter :).

So to begin with our first entry, just recently, all three of us were craving for a hot bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. My husband often shares stories on how they used to prepare variety of noodle soups in his birthplace in Cambodia. How they garnished it with these spices and that herbs which sounds alien to me as most of them I have no idea about. But his enthusiasm while narrating makes me drool for the finished product most of the time haha!  We assumed that most of those ingredients might not even be available in the local store so we’ve decided to improvise and enjoy a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup, our style!

It’s not really a rocket-science formula in making any noodle soup but only varies on preference. For me, any type of noodles will do, any green, leafy vegetables can be added, and your own choice of chicken stock will justify the taste. Obviously this wasn’t the first time we’ve prepared this type of soup at home. The difference from the usual was that we’ve decided to use fresh noodles which we’ve just grabbed from a local supermarket and it made a big tasty difference! We picked up few type of veggies as well compared to how we stocked up our noodle soup with veg in the past. We also added up on flavor by boiling the stock with cinnamon stick and star anise. Result? Very satisfying!

I used to believe that the more ingredients you put in a soup, the tastier it will become. Being regarded as the ‘Food for the Soul’, it is said to be filling and comforting hence, a bowl should gratify. Until my hubby introduced me to the ‘science of cooking’! On how simple and affordable a dish can become without really populating it with so much elements. It also helps by familiarizing oneself with the ingredients and its effect on the taste especially when using different herbs and spices. Soup is all about the taste of the soup, so that’s where we systematically experimented. I must say, there’s indeed a science in cooking!

Till my next D.I.Y.

Meantime, keep discovering! 🙂 ♥

Expat-Pinay was Nominated!

FeaturedExpat-Pinay was Nominated!

What!? Got an email from bab.la that this blog has been nominated for Top 100 International Exchange and Expats Blogs 2016 (IX16)! I’m so grateful that my humble blog has been noticed and even more, Expat-Pinay got nominated along with other great travel/community blogs! Wow. I didn’t even know how that happened :). Thanks @bab.la for the nomination.

I do not expect to win and just simply being nominated (for the first time) is already an accomplishment for me! However, one of my favorite rule of the thumbs is, “there’s no harm in trying”! So, I’m asking you all, wonderful people who (still) visit and read my blogs, this is your chance to show little more of your love and vote for Expat-Pinay! ♥

Here’s how:

Voting is easy: just point your cursor to EXPAT-PINAY blog (find it among the lists of nominees as they were arranged on a random order) and a voting button will appear. When you have voted a message will appear that your vote has been counted. VOTE HERE

Voting is possible until February 21st 2016 (23.59 CET). Every user will only be able to vote once: double votes will be removed in the final ranking.

In order to improve my chances of winning, you can of course ask your FB & Twitter friends to vote for EXPAT-PINAY by sharing this post (only if you want to – no pressure 🙂 ).

Thank you in advance everyone! Whether Expat-Pinay made it to this nomination or not, WE’RE ALL COOL, LOVED, AND BLESSED!

 

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H2O Compliant

glasses of water

Yup, 2016 had finally sinked-in! The first month of the year is almost over and here comes February. How are we going along with our resolutions or faith goals? I am sure a lot of us have committed to a healthier lifestyle this year; the regular exercise, eating healthy meals, maintain proper diet, and probably to stay away from stress. As we begin our healthier habit this year (hopefully, and beyond), I’ve set myself to start with something basic, attainable, something necessary or mandatory: and that is to drink eight (or more) glasses of water every day! The truth is, I just simply forget to drink water! Consciously or sub-consciously? Well, I’ve told myself that if I can pull this through, then I’m good to go with my other planned healthy routines.

One of the reasons (or excuse) why I probably neglect to comply with this necessity is, because I immediately pee afterwards! Yes my good people, you’ve read it right! Sorry for being blatant, but that’s the truth! Especially when I know that we’re about to go out somewhere, I’ll start to restrain myself from taking any liquids at least half an hour prior. Then I resume taking liquids again if I know that there’ll be an immediate access to a loo! Otherwise I’ll be an absolute nuisance as a travel companion until I visit the toilet. Imagine if we’re going on a long drive (wink)! Hence, water is not always my best friend.

Anyhow, along with this shameless revelation is the fact that there is no excuse for not drinking the right amount of water daily. I may faithfully do sometimes but not really on a consistent basis. I’ve read lots of articles on how most of our common sicknesses are due to lack of water in our body, and that could somehow be true. Getting dehydrated is a serious offense to holistic approach of healthy living, so say some health experts.

So in order for me to ensure I meet my daily quota, I need to outsmart my system. I may not use the eight glasses as my standard of measurement, but what if I can somehow consume the equivalent using other means (or tricks)? And so, I tried to outwit the equilibrium by switching the size of my drinking glass to a taller glass! At least drinking few glasses here and there before any sudden going-out plans assures me that I had almost enough until I am once again stationed to drink water. Unorthodox perhaps, but so far I think it’s working on me. And if I continue to persevere, my quota of eight glasses of H2O a day, or its equivalent, is almost near my reach :). All the best to me!

What about you? Faced any difficulty to continue what you’ve started this year? Don’t give up, pull yourselves together and remind yourself that, If there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂

images from Google