Ramadan: Iftar Buffet at Red Sea Grill resto

Ramadan is almost over and I haven’t invited my staff yet to an Iftar (sunset meal), so yesterday we went to Red Sea Grill (seafood restaurant) at thalia st.

We came early to find a good place unfortunately all tables are too small for a party of six, anyhow this is the nearest place to our clinic so we decided to stay.

Taking my camera out..getting ready to take the pictures of the food available on buffet table, took few shots when the supervisor told me, I can’t take anymore, Alright I forgot this is Jeddah! Everyone has camera but you have no freedom to take pictures anytime specially in public.

Oh well, let’s just review the event:

Ambience: fair enough, clean but small. the outside decor is refreshing than the inside

Cost: SR 90 per person

Food and beverages: All drinks (soda,juice,tea and coffee) included. The foods are alright but it didn’t conform to its name GRILL SEAFOOD. Surprisingly all menu were sautee or fried.

Salad and sweets : reasonable but not of my standard. I don’t find it satisfying by eyes or my taste.

Staff: neat and friendly

My rate?? hmmm not impressed, I don’t like fatty foods, I prefer Grilled (main reason why I came) but I didn’t find any.

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Photoblog: Jeddah Fish market

A friday soaring hot morning in Jeddah Fish Market will surely make your day, fish monger are all smiling and willingly pose with their fish on hand. Some of our kababayan (overseas Filipino workers) also wave their hand and willingly smile. Even the fish (tilapia) jumps with joy, spinning and caught me offhanded ;-).

Beautybeyondfifty meet sweet sixteen’…JS prom

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Queen of the night

Yes, the beauty beyond fifties, made their way to the JS prom of sixteen and below. A reminiscence of the past comes rushing back; I guess mothers are more excited as their daughters/son to look for their own attire of the evening. This is the night to wear the best suit, gown or dress, be the king/ queen or prince/princess of the night and be the Star and shine!! : Young and adult are all excited.jsprom31

I came late from work and hurried up to the venue, I decided to wear casual, anyhow, my mission was to take my photography in different level…Wow, what level? ZERO level, my D7000 first prom!jsprom14

Kidding aside, seeing the faces of the mothers, their eyes bewildered to what will happen to their daughter/son. As I looked around, I remember my own JS prom, back then, Miss junior and Senior was already chosen, I was Miss Junior and Miss Alma Mater but I haven’t seen my mother so excited to what I should wear on that particular night, all I heard from her was.. ”ikaw na naman?”  (You again?) so for me, that was not a big deal! Whether I wore pink gown or white gown, I still have the crown. I am not in the cotillion either because I was on the stage as the Muse of the Junior and Senior.jsprom25 jsprom24 jsprom22 jsprom27

Oh well, I don’t have daughter to experience the shopping mode to get a gown and jewelries to match the occasion, although when my first son went to JS prom, I was more than thrilled, I was there to choose his suit and be excited for his moment…from flowers and corsage, to picking her up from her house, his first dance with his first girlfriend..That was the magical moment!jsprom33

mother and daughter
mother and daughter

jsprom19And so what’s new Jeddah, I had the opportunity to be invited four years ago to the JS prom and last night was not a different one. Parents were present to support their daughter and son, School staff and the guards are on look out too, after all we are in a very conservative country. JS prom was like a beauty pageant where there were judges to decide who will be the King and Queen, Prince and princess etc. I did not witnessed the turnover ceremony (I was late), but I heard it was great!

There were a lot of pretty young ladies, wearing nice gown, make up, long fake eyelashes and flashy hairdo. The young men were also equally elegant in their suit. It seemed they were not bothered by the heat, all smiled and poised! And when the winners were announced, parent’s faces are overrated of joy, all the effort were vindicated but of course, there were “ah” and “ oh” (positive and negative feedback) but who cares, free dance was announced, this is the moment the junior and senior are waiting for but wait… what? Please take your parents to the dance floor…Come on you’re kidding!!!jsprom10

So there you go …when beautybeyondfifty meets sixteen and below… it’s hilarious!

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Slow down Camel crossing…Road trip to Madaín Saleh

Slow down Camel crossing… Road trip to Madaín Saleh

We left Jeddah at 5óclock in the morning of October 28, 2012, same month when I visited the Nabatean capital of the north –PETRA in Jordan last year. Madaín Saleh is about 800 km from Jeddah. We filled our cooler with cold drinks, foods, chips, chocolates and nuts. Hence, we couldn’t find a booking on 28thwe also packed our camping gear and gadgets.

Al ULA ARAC Hotel

Arac Al Ula Hotel arranged the permit for us. We only e-mailed our names and iqama numbers and presto! Permit is free of charge. As the sun rises up, we stop for a while for breakfast. We are 10 adults and 4 children in 3 cars. My two brothers are with me and a very good friend of mine who also packed his sense of humor which made the trip more enjoyable.

The road was straight with a little curvature at times, surrounded with Rock Mountains; we had our second stop for lunch, a picnic under the shaded trees.As we get nearer to the place, more curvatures are evident on the road with has the road sign “slow down, camel crossing” wow!  As if were passing “School zone, children crossing”. This is good, because I heard a lot of accidents happened at night when suddenly camel cross the road and bumps the car.

salt bed

Our third stop is the salt pans (salt bed),

oasis

I wonder if this is the Al hasa salt pans, so excited to get down to see the place which looks like snow in the summer, and I was not able to notice the name of the area. We filled our KIA van with gasoline twice, and I can’t help not to mention that our friend’s car is Hyundai Matrix which I didn’t see him filling it, so I said “let’s buy that kind of car tomorrow immediately “joke!

We started from Jeddah to Rabigh to Thuwal to Yanbu to Al Ula then to Madaín Saleh. Ten hours driving with 3 stops and still full of energy. Al Ula is a small town which is about 22 km away to Madaín Saleh. It‘s beautiful place surrounded by valleys, plateau, green palm trees and sandy mountains.

dates

We were advised not to camp to avoid being in trouble. So we spent a night in a furnished 3 bedroom apartment (SR600) not bad for 12 persons. The following morning we went early to Arac Hotel to get our permit, unfortunately the man –in-charged was not yet there and so we enjoyed the beautiful scenery surrounding Al Ula, blue skies, overlap valleys, red sandy mountains (red-rocks too!) with beautiful high energy friends, (am I being redundant?) huh! can’t help it, what a beautiful day!

After taking photos of the surroundings, we got our permit and arrived in Madaín Saleh only to find out there’s a big line of cars waiting outside the gate. The gate opens at 10 in the morning and closes at 6 in the evening. Those visitors who doesn’t have permit were not allowed to enter the gate.

Alas! We were able to get in, amidst of excitement and happiness, we’re all packed with high energy. Madaín Saleh featured 131 monumental rock-cut tombs spread out over a vast area (I’m not sure how big it is) we only noticed the numbers when we started taking pictures. There was no brochure or map to guide us where to start. I think they should open the gate a bit earlier for the guest to look around and appreciate the place more.

A replica of the Hijaz Railway station is a beautiful site to begin with. Followed by the Nabatean well and a different kinds of tomb.

I noticed that the outer forms are finer and decorative than the inside. We left the place around 4 pm and went to checked – in to Arac Hotel. This time we were in a hurry to catch the sunset at the biggest and highest plateau in Al Ula. The road to Al Ula plateau is narrow and soaring high, so we decided to be all together in one big car. It was a thrilling experience to chase the sun which stunningly shines reflecting the golden sandy mountains.

at the top of the plateau overlooking the town of Al ULa

To be continued….

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Sand Dune bonding time

October 26, 2012, Eid Al adha, We celebrated our holiday at sand dune . It was a breakfast in style ! We met at 5:30 am, surprisingly everyone came on time, eager to catch the sunrise on top. Our leader maintained a speed of 100 kph almost (joke, he wanted to go fast, as the sun rises fast ahead of us) Anyway, what matters most, we did reach safely and had a  great time!

Continued until Al shifa stone cave and off again on sunset. Hopefully we can continue to go abha or even madain saleh (joke again) we have to cool off and end the night. Cheers!

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Serenata shines at seven

Its been awhile i haven’t written anything in my blog and i wont miss this opportunity to share with you the spectacular show of Serenata Children’s Choir and String Chamber Orchestra.How i wished i was able to take more pictures but i opted to listen and watched the show instead of doing all the clicks!

The musical presentation was under the musical direction of Ms. Sylvia de los Santos and was held in American International School of Jeddah last Feb. 6, 2012. Though my children were never a part of the show, I am always looking forward to attend the yearly presentation. I am amazed by  their talent and the hard work behind the journey of Serenata, not to mention their humble objective of promoting the Filipino cultural values and to extend financial help to well deserved students…Truly an inspiring organization…HurrAY!

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Christmas in Saudi Arabia- how do we celebrate?

It’s not easy to celebrate Christmas in a place like Saudi Arabia, where almost everything is forbidden like, mixed party, religious activities for non-Muslim etc, and what more if you are home away from home meaning, your family are not complete. A lot of OFW (overseas Filipino workers) are home alone (no wife or husband or children) it is really depressing but in spite of the homesickness, the spirit of Christmas overcome the loneliness.

I am lucky to have my youngest son with me, my brothers and my friends and with the advent of technology,” Skype “group video call made the distance a bit closer, I was able to see and talk  to my parents, my eldest son and my brothers, their wife and their children simultaneously.

However, a family will always be incomplete without a father, my husband is so distant, I wonder how much the cost of bottle of beer or a case maybe ,compared to the cost of calling and hearing the voices of his family. Virac, Catanduanes is an island but internet cafe is amazingly around each corner, so I don’t think internet connection is a problem. Probably a better quote would be “sorry ka na lang mas mahal ko ang beer” oh so, it’s not the price! 🙁 , in fairness, I got a short text greetings of “Merry Christmas”.Ahhh at least in between the “gulf”,”crack” and jokes!!!

my TFCK family, I miss u all

Oh well, life continues and i am so thankful for the blessings in spite of my pain (physical and emotional) I am still functionally alive and able.

old and new friends

I have seen old and new friends with their family, though, it gives some twist in my heart, I am thankful and lucky with my two sons.I am also thankful to received messages of greetings from a lot of friends ,relatives and a “name” poem, and I am happy to share it to you:

M-ost eloquent

I- instrument of beauty; a

M- mirror of life

I-n the crest of wave.

S-uch irresistible beauty beyond

U-nderstanding yet

A-mazingly spontaneous,

R-eaching out to share the

E-xcitement and

Z-est for life

author: Joey,… thank you, though we see each other only once or twice in a year. to say “hi and bye”, I am glad to received this on 25th of December.

“the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”- Burton Hillis

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OFW kitakits – a breezing night!

It was a cool ,breezing night for all OFW (overseas Filipino workers) in Jeddah, the mood was festive and extra ordinary. Extra ordinary because we live in Saudi Arabia where male and female are usually separated in all occasions.It’s a one night happening in a year, you wont be glad to miss!

my bff at the entrance

As usual, i am carrying a small point and shoot camera, so here’s some of my shots…cheers!

my ladies
mens fashion

 

 

 

 

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to be or not to be…housewife or career woman?

As I get out from my office to clinic room, I met my old-time patient with his wife and twin daughters., already grown up and had just recently finished her medical training in USA. I started the conversation:

Me: Congratulations! so whats next? marriage?

Father/mother: oh! she gained a lot of weight, she has to lose weight first.. then find the right man.,marry and have baby then gained weight! ha ha ha ha

Me: Lol! are you gonna work after marriage?

Mother: She has to work..I am an engineer but i became a full time stay at home mom, so boring..not good, I am dependent to what my husband says.

Me: why do you regret? look at your daughter, she is now a medical doctor..the twin is a special child being at home, you took care of them.

Mother: Oh! I am tired..i dont have my own money, i have to beg for money (which the father resisted, as I see his eyes and face turned red)

Father: don’t say that, i provided everything, you have a nice house, a car, a helper and you can buy anything you want

Mother: but you have to check and ask questions a lot!

Me: If i will be given another chance, another life, i would rather be a stay at home mom than a  career woman. All eyes on me whoaaaa!

Well, let me explain..its always greener at the other end as they claimed but there’s a big difference between a PLAIN housewife (who does everything from cleaning the house, to ironing, washing and taking care of the children and the husband) to stay-at home wife (who has helper and a nanny, all she has to do is to supervise them, help the children in their studies and take care of the family) to career woman (who use her education to fulfill what she wants to become and yet still have time to take care of the children and the family) to a full-time career woman (who earns a living to survive and yet still take care of the family)

So you see what I mean? I am traditional but progressive in a way, I like to work but i also want my husband to provide for everything. If I will be given a choice once more (which is ridiculous to ask..i’m stuck and retiring) I rather have my own clinic.., work for 4 hrs and take care of the children, let the helper do the household chores and let me take care of my children, guide them in their studies, have fun  and spend time with my husband. I don’ t want to be a career woman and still comes home and take care of the household chores.

ahhh..oppps..pinch me!  i am awake..in reality..i am fifty two years old, still working, professionally successful, earning a living , house cleaner, cook, errand girl,in short a “domestic diva”!

Ladies, if you only knew, I’ll take your shoes but of course you will never understand because for sure you wanted to be on my shoes too!

To be or not to be..the answer is…..