2013 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 31, 2013

Farewell 2013!

I know you are busy preppin' up for the new year! So, I made this post really short and sweet. I just want to thank YOU for making my 2013 amazing! Cheers to 136 posts, over a dozen of sweet escapes, hundreds of new experiences, thousands of calories, loads of laughter and a million smiles! :)

Here's my attempt to squeeze ladyandhersweetescapes.com's 2013 highlights in a 15-second Instagram video. 
Thank you for being with me through all these! 

Happy New Year! Maligayang Bagong Taon! 

Dec 28, 2013

The White Winterland at BurJuman

I went window shopping at BurJuman Centre yesterday and was delightfully surprised to see a portion of the mall covered with snow! I heard the Ice Queen paid a visit, sprinkled some magic snow dust and turned BurJuman into a White Winterland

This Festive Season, the mall of high-end boutiques has a great treat for the shoppers (window shoppers, like me, included). There's a Snow Zone where the kids can make snow angels and have a snowball fight. BurJuman also placed a temporary ice rink where shoppers can enjoy free skating lessons and world-class entertainment. And to top it all, there's a live snow fall every hour! 

The White Winterland at BurJuman

Dec 27, 2013

A "Merry Christmas" Lunch at Boardwalk

Our Christmas was too perfect for words! I never thought I could say that a week ago! I was actually down and not feeling the holiday vibe as Ed and I had to do things differently this year. I had to be at work on Christmas Eve and was a little scared that I will still be in my white lab coat when all the others are on their holiday outfits! To avoid disappointments, no Christmas Eve plans were made. We looked forward to a simple celebration for two on Christmas Day instead. 

Right after a solemn Christmas Day Mass at St. Mary's, Ed and I went to Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club for lunch. Out of all the hotels and restaurants that offered Festive Lunch, we chose to dine at Boardwalk primarily because of its location; it is just a few minutes away from the church and fairly in between our workplaces. Yup, no holiday break for us! Little did we know, we chose the best! 

Boardwalk at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club

Dec 24, 2013

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

Sending you the warmest of wishes 
for a holiday filled with LOVE and LAUGHTER!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Ed and Lady

Dec 22, 2013

Christmas Spectacle at the Souk Festive Market

With the winter solstice on the news over the weekend, I had my thoughts on what to do and where to go on the "longest and coldest night of the year" in the UAE. Though it was written on the news that it may rain, I chose not to bury myself under the warm fuzzy blanket at home. This sun-drenched girl officially said goodbye to the hot and humid summer days and welcomed the winter chill in an Arabian Winter Wonderland!  

Souk Festival Market at Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Dec 18, 2013

Beauty Talk and Treatments at Purity Med Spa

I was invited to Purity Med Spa's grand opening two weeks back. I immediately gave the invite a big 'yes' as I needed some pampering to chase the holiday blues and boo-boos away! I love to indulge in spa treatments and hair care, especially now that I could already feel the Christmas rush. I don't want traces of exhaustion (and homesickness) to be seen on my face. A boost of 'feel-good' hormones and a healthy glowing skin are what I needed, and Purity Med Spa guaranteed that I could have that and more! 

Purity Med Spa is every woman's beauty haven. Their two-storey villa in Al Wasl road is exclusively for women; a tranquil spot to receive treatments from the beauty experts and skin therapists. They only use high-end products and state-of-the-art technology. 

Purity Med Spa Dubai

Dec 15, 2013

Crazy over Cronuts

It is round and flaky, crispy on the outside, soft and creamy inside. It has taken the world by storm ever since it was launched by Chef Dominique Ansel in New York last May. It is a unique pastry, a cross between a doughnut and a croissant. For a foodie like me, the Cronut is definitely the creation of the year!  

The croissant-doughnut hybrid has been the talk of the town. Although Chef Dominique Ansel had it trademarked, bakeries across the globe couldn't resist to have their own versions. Probably because of the demand from pastry lovers who can't fly to NYC just for a cronut! 

Cronut of Baker & Spice at Dukkan al Manzil

Dec 11, 2013

Weekend on Ice at Dubai Ice Rink

Every time I hear the word 'winter', I often think of snow! Since there is a zero chance of snowfall and it doesn't get as cold as the weather up North, I usually get my dose of "winter fun" at the indoor snow park and in the ice rink. Skating, skiing and making snow angels are actually available in Dubai all year round; even at the peak of summer! I just get to appreciate these activities even more during the cold season, when I'm finally on my knitwear and boots.

I went skating at the Dubai Ice Rink last weekend! It was my first time to be in an Olympic-size rink. I learned how to skate on my own at a smaller venue with lesser spectators at the now defunct Stargate. So being at the prime ice rink in the city, armed with only the basics of skating, was really nerve-wrecking. 

Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall

Dec 8, 2013

Christmas Craft: Build Your Own Gingerbread House

What's your favorite Christmas tradition? Mine is setting up our Christmas Tree; hanging balls, ribbons and colorful blinking lights while holiday songs fill the air. It's my favorite childhood Christmas memory! The gifts under it and in my Christmas stocking were just an icing on the cake! :) This year, since I am away from home (again!), I couldn't build and decorate our artificial tree, but I got to experience another Christmas tradition for the first time! I built my own gingerbread house! 

In Europe, it has been a tradition for families to build a gingerbread house days before Christmas. It is a Christmas decoration made by children using hard gingerbread as the house's walls and roof, white sugar icing as the snow, and variety of candies to make it just like the witch's house in the novel "Hansel and Gretel".

Lady and her Gingerbread House

Dec 3, 2013

Biking at Downtown Dubai with Nextbike's Byky

I have another confession to make. I can't ride a bike! Do I sound weird? My husband thinks that my childhood is abnormal. I grew up with dolls and plastic cooking sets... and it seemed normal for me. Actually, I tried to balance myself in the two-wheeled vehicle in one point of my life. Year 1995, I was quite inspired to learn after I watched the movie Now and Then, but it never worked for me. Playing in the streets was never my thing, so I am now 31 and still learning the basics of childhood life! Hashtag late bloomer here! Hehehe.

I have been eyeing the Nextbike's Byky at Downtown Dubai since summer. Whenever we passed by the rental stations, I'd always tell Ed that we should rent one, and he'd say "but you don't know how to bike!" Then last weekend night, due to the 'convincing prowess' of my husband's cousin (Thanks, Ciel), Ed finally agreed that we'd rent and share a byky for 30 minutes. 

Nextbike's Byky at Downtown Dubai

Nov 30, 2013

Dinner Buffet in Kaleidoscope at Atlantis The Palm

After our Atlantean Adventure at The Lost Chambers, Ed and I had a gastronomic escapade around the world in Kaleidoscope. It was during my birthday, so I had a valid excuse to dive into a massive buffet with International flair! Hahah! Since it was a weekend, we settled our dinner reservation a night before and received a booking code to show at the lobby. The restaurant is located at the Ambassador Lagoon of Atlantis The Palm, an area which is only accessible to hotel guests and to visitors with dining reservations. 

Kaleidoscope is one of the twenty outstanding restaurants and bars at Atlantis The Palm. It is the perfect restaurant for us who wanted a casual dining experience, a lively atmosphere and a splendid buffet with live cooking stations. 

Kaleidoscope Restaurant in Atlantis The Palm

Nov 26, 2013

The Ambassador Lagoon at Atlantis The Palm

Out of all the attractions at Atlantis The Palm, The Ambassador Lagoon has the cheapest entrance fee. It is a part of the Lost Chambers, but visitors have an option to skip the chambers and head to the lagoon directly for a cheaper fee. For only 30 AED, it is actually reasonable for those who can't devote much time at the 5-star resort! With the 70 AED difference on the the entrance fee, it seems like a good deal. My stingy self have even skipped the Lost Chambers several times. I have always thought that both attractions are basically similar, why pay more? Little did I know, I've been missing a lot! 

On our recent trip to Atlantis, I was finally able to visit the Lost Chambers for the first time and the Ambassador Lagoon for the third time! I didn't think twice on paying the more expensive entrance fee as I got a Buy1 Get1 voucher in hand! Yay! 

Ambassador Lagoon at Atlantis the Palm

Nov 23, 2013

Random Ramblings: 15 Days after Yolanda

It's been fifteen days since the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda. My heart still bleeds for the typhoon victims, but as they say, life must go on! I have also been coping up with a recurrent flu for the past two weeks. I really thought that taking a break from blogging could help me, but it actually made me more sick and depressed. That's why I came up with this post. I want to share what I've been through while I was on a blogging hiatus. I still have loads of unfinished posts in my draft folder, so I will try to settle everything and will be posting regularly next week. 

* On Strength 

There's a trending comment on CNN's website about the Filipinos' strength and resilience. It is a fact and I have seen it surfaced amidst the tragic situation. Days after the typhoon, my Facebook news feed was filled with inspiring words from the typhoon victims themselves. While I was dazed and depressed, they remained strong and hopeful. Instead of me encouraging them, it's actually the other way around! I am blessed to know people like them. They are the ones who inspire me to be what a Filipino should be: a true survivor! 

Nov 17, 2013

Dine for a Cause

It has been a tough, but very inspiring week. Behind the tragic tale caused by the super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda in the Philippines are stories of love, courage, hope and faith. I am amazed by the overwhelming support that my country has received from other nations. I am also very grateful that the concept of 'bayanihan' is still alive in this modern age and time. 

Here in the UAE, there are so many people willing to help. Fund-raising activities happened last weekend and a lot more in the coming weeks. One of the activities is the Fiesta for a Cause organized by Noemi, a kind-hearted Filipina expatriate in Dubai, the blogger behind one of my favorite travel blogs www.pinayflyinghigh.com. The lunch/dinner for a cause will be held at Rosso Amore restaurant and proceeds will go to World Vision. Please check the flyer for more details.     

Fiesta for a Cause

Nov 12, 2013

Ways To Help Typhoon Yolanda Victims

I'm sorry, I wasn't able to update this blog for a week. I couldn't barely type a paragraph on Facebook and Instagram since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda wrecked my husband's hometown, Tacloban. Now that I have finally kept myself calm, I want to use this precious time to do what's best. 

Since Ed and I are away from home and couldn't help physically, we found love and strength, and have been sharing hope on social media. We have lost contact with our family for four long days! It was only yesterday that we have confirmed that all of them are safe. We are very thankful, but due to the reports of violence and food scarcity, the agony and sleepless nights are not over until they can make their way out of Leyte.

Ways to Help YolandaPh victims

Nov 6, 2013

Atlantean Adventure at The Lost Chambers

Legends are brought to life in the UAE! I have journeyed like Juha in Wild Wadi, searched for the lost pearl like Dana in Yas Waterworld, and recently, I went on an Atlantean adventure in Atlantis The Palm! The Lost Chambers Aquarium was conceptualized based on Plato's dialogues about the legendary island of Atlantis, particularly on its remains after it sank into the ocean. It is a maze-like structure composed of 10 chambers and 20 marine life exhibits with 65,000 marine animals! 

The adventure happened last month, during my birthday. It was a special day, but I wanted to do something nice and affordable. Since I have been eyeing The Lost Chambers' coupon on our Entertainer Dubai (a book of over 1,500 Buy1 Get1 vouchers) for the longest time, I thought it was the best time to use it! 

Lost Chambers at Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Nov 3, 2013

Lunch at Bacolod Chk-n-BBQ House

A lot of Filipino restaurants in Dubai have chicken inasal on their menu, but nothing comes close to the authentic. I can honestly say that my expectations are very high when it comes to this native dish, most probably because I grew up having inasal on my plate almost every other weekend! For us Negrenses living abroad, chicken inasal is a comfort food. It reminds us of home. That is the reason why I was extremely happy when I discovered that Bacolod Chk-n-BBQ House has recently opened their doors in Karama. Since it carries 'Bacolod' in its name, this newly-opened restaurant brings so much hope and joy to everyone who seek for the "real thing" miles away from home.

While I was patiently waiting for the weekend (and the payday), I followed the restaurant's Facebook and Instagram accounts; drooled on every food photo and shared the craving to my friends. I never thought that the sincere LIKES on Instagram and the simple SHARE on Facebook could make me Bacolod Chk-n-BBQ House's Fan of the Week, and that entitled me to have a dish for free! :) 

Bacolod Chk-n-BBQ House Dubai

Oct 30, 2013

Monorail Ride at The Palm Jumeirah

Right from the start, I knew Dubai is an incredible city and is going to be more extraordinary as time goes by. Though I am aware that everything is possible in here, I still get goosebumps every time I see unique structures! One of the most futuristic projects that I truly adore is The Palm Jumeirah, an artificial palm-shaped island. The island's trunk, fronds and crescent are lined by residential buildings, restaurants, luxurious hotels and white sand beaches. It was actually made to solve Dubai's beach shortage problem. The Palm Jumeirah has doubled Dubai's coastline and beachfront properties!

Palm Jumeirah is best seen up above. There are people who would ride a seaplane to catch a glimpse of its unique shape. Some would even dare to jump off the plane, I mean Skydive above it, just to have a better aerial view! But if you are like me who wants everything to be nice and slow, the Palm Monorail can take you from the foot of the trunk to the tip of the crescent.        

artwork of the Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Oct 27, 2013

Comical Night at The Punchline Comedy Club

Ed and I love to have our quality time somewhere nice and quiet. We usually spend weekend nights in a restaurant talking about anything and making each other laugh in between serious conversations. It has been our stress-reliever for years. It was just last Friday that we were in a very unexpected place, with a very unusual scenario. 

We were invited to the final show of The Punchline Comedy Club's October Tour in the Middle East at the Emirates Golf Club. The Punchline Comedy Club started in Hong Kong in 1994, and a couple of years later conquered the rest of Asia and Australia. The show features outstanding comedians from UK, USA, Australia and Canada. 

Oct 24, 2013

Extreme Fun at Yas Waterworld

September has always been the month when I have to conquer my fear of rollercoasters and scary slides! I do love the pump of adrenaline in my blood sometimes, but before that happens, I have to deal with sweaty hands, fast-paced heartbeat and crazy tension! And I hate that feeling! September is the only month when I don't have the heart to say 'No'. I have to bring out the adventurous side of me as my husband, who never asks for material things, always wants to have a thrilling birthday getaway! How can I decline a birthday wish? This year, he wanted to be at Yas Waterworld, the newest waterpark in the UAE. So, his wish was my command! 

Yas Waterworld is a theme park based on an Arabic folklore "The Legend of the Lost Pearl". The thrilling waterpark slides and amenities depict the adventures of Dana on her journey to find the lost Mother Pearl. It is the home of the first and only 360-degree looping waterslide in the UAE, the world's first Hydromagnetic-powered waterslide, the largest sheet wave surfing ride in the world and the longest suspended rollercoaster in the UAE. No wonder why my husband was raving about Yas Waterworld since it opened last January 2013.

Yas Waterworld in Yas Island Abu Dhabi

Oct 21, 2013

Power Breakfast at Choices in Yas Island Rotana

I'm not an early riser. I'm usually having my morning drink when others are already taking their lunch, and I'm having lunch when they are on their afternoon coffee break! I have a very strange routine, but things change whenever I'm on vacation. It is the only time when I'm already up on my feet before 8 AM, the only time when I'm at sync with my husband's body clock! 

During our stay at Yas Island Rotana, I was already wide awake at 7. I was able to bask under the warm (not hot) sunshine at the pool area before we went to Choices for breakfast. It feels so good to wake up early, to see the sunrise and to eat my first meal of the day on a typical breakfast time! I love love love vacations!  

Choices restaurant in Yas Island Rotana

Oct 17, 2013

Overnight Stay in Yas Island Rotana

Ed and I turned into big fans of Rotana Hotels and Resorts after our very memorable getaway at The Cove Rotana in Ras Al Khaimah last August. Everything is remarkable at The Cove, so for our trip to Abu Dhabi last September, we decided to book an overnight stay in another Rotana Hotel.

It was actually our second staycation in Yas Island. We have celebrated Ed's birthday for two consecutive years in Yas. Last year, we checked-in at Radisson Blu after his thrilling birthday getaway in Ferrari World. This year, we stayed in Yas Island Rotana before his birthday adventure in Yas Waterworld.  

Yas Island Rotana

Oct 14, 2013

Dubai 101: The Frequently Asked Questions

Blogging is fun!!! Okay, in all honesty, I never felt it was on first month as a blogger. Those were the lonely days when I felt like my only reader was my dear husband, the dreary days when the comment box was empty, the crazy days when it seemed like I was just talking to myself online! 

The Blog World became amazing when I started to interact with fellow bloggers. It was when I realized that I was never alone! There are people who are walking with me in the same path with the same goal. One of them is Brennan, the blogger behind www.baktincorporation.com. He has been blogging since 2006 about his travels, food trips, favorite books and perspectives. He is an inspiration to the newbies, like me, in the Blogosphere. In fact, he is nominated for Best Cebu Blogs Awards 2013 (vote for him here). 

Every now and then, Brennan collaborates with a blogger for his 7-Questions series. They would casually answer seven frequently asked questions about a certain place! So, when Brennan asked me to work with him on his "Dubai in 7 Questions" post, I was really thrilled since this would be of great help to future travelers. 

Tourist Attractions in Dubai

Oct 12, 2013

Chimes October Crab Fest 2013

Craving for Crab? Well, you are not alone! :) My crab cravings haunted me for several months, exactly after I failed on my 2nd Singapore stop-over with a goal to have the famous Singapore Chilli Crab. I settled on the soft shell crab dish at Changi Airport and even splurged for a steamed blue crab in Downtown Dubai months after, but those crab encounters never helped me get over. I was on the verge of booking another flight with a stop-over in Singapore for our next homecoming, but early this week, I learned that I don't need to go that far! A 30-minute train ride can take me to a "Crab Carnival"!       

Chimes Restaurant in Al Barsha Dubai

Oct 10, 2013

Stars'N'Bars: A Hip and Unique Restaurant in Yas Island

When Ed and I decided to spend a night in Yas Island, I immediately looked for a place to eat and I had several options. We can dine in hotel restaurants, but that also means we need to splurge. We can also grab a cheap meal in Ikea, but a food court meal isn't really suitable for Ed's pre-birthday dinner. So, we decided to go somewhere in between. 

Stars'N'Bars in Yas Marina is a branch of a popular bar/restaurant in Monaco. It offers affordable American cuisine and great entertainment facilities. It sits right next to the yacht club, located just a few minutes away from we stayed.    

Stars N Bars at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi

Oct 7, 2013

The Majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Every time I visit Abu Dhabi, I am always mesmerized by the huge white mosque that majestically stands along the busy five-lane E11 highway. It is a reminder that the long bus ride from Dubai will soon be ending and I will be in the heart of Abu Dhabi in 30 minutes or so. It is the capital's iconic structure that I was able to visit during my recent trip.

The marvelous structure is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, established by the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. I have learned from SZGMC's official site that "the Mosque is an expression of a visionary leader who believed that nothing is impossible and conceived that the most gracious achievements start from the heart."

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

Oct 5, 2013

Fournil De Pierre: The Newest French Eatery in the City

I have been giving myself a priceless birthday gift for four consecutive years: REST! Just like last year, I am currently on a 10-day staycation, and so far, I've been having a blast. I've showered myself with a lot of me-time, learned to be a better homemaker and happily accepted event and restaurant invitations! 

Last Tuesday, Ed and I went to Fournil De Pierre's official opening celebration. Fournil De Pierre is a restaurant that has been around in France since 1980, and has recently opened its first branch in the UAE in Downtown Dubai. It offers freshly baked bread and pastries, healthy beverages and the finest French traditional dishes. I always love to discover new romantic dine-out spots, so I was excited to check out this newest French eatery.      

Fournil De Pierre at Downtown Dubai

Oct 3, 2013

Amazing Tastes of Thailand Fest 2013

I was invited to the launching of Amazing Tastes of Thailand Fest 2013 at Dusit Thani last Monday. I love Thai cuisine, so it was an event I couldn't afford to miss. I was looking forward to it, but was a little bothered when I realized that I had no one to go with. Events are fun, but it's always better when I have someone to share the happiness with! My husband comes home from work at 8 and my constant companion during morning events 'J' was working on the late shift. Good thing, a friend who was here for a very short vacation took a break from his travel itinerary and agreed to be my +1/foodie buddy/partner-in-crime aka companion to the event. :) 

Lady and Bien at the launching of Thai Food Fest at Dusit Thani

Oct 1, 2013

A Visit to Abu Dhabi's 7-Star Hotel: The Emirates Palace

A trip to Abu Dhabi wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of the most expensive hotels ever built! The Emirates Palace is the capital's iconic structure, Abu Dhabi's answer to Dubai's Burj Al Arab. The luxurious hotel is worth more than 3 billion USD! It has a classic Arabian architecture with extravagant amenities and services that goes beyond 5-star.  
Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi

Sep 28, 2013

Lunch In The Sky: Colombiano Coffee House at Marina Mall

Fresh from a 2-hour bus ride from Al Ghubaiba bus station in Dubai, Ed and I hopped off the bus at Abu Dhabi's main terminal and embraced the hot, humid and hazy weekend morning! The summer heat was intense, yet I was still hyped up to revisit my favorite spots and to discover new places. 

Our first destination should be Emirates Palace, but we were halted at the gates since Ed was wearing shorts! Without an extra time to waste, we immediately asked the taxi driver to take us to Marina Mall instead; where Ed could purchase a cheap pair of jeans and where we could have our early lunch.

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

Sep 24, 2013

Coron: A Treasure Trove of Natural Beauty

Now that we are about to welcome the last quarter of 2013, our homecoming plan for next year is already brewing. Having a home country with 7,107 beautiful islands is also having 7,107 or more getaway options! "Which island shall we explore?" has always been the big question. Since I'm always OC and too ecstatic when it comes to 'escape plans', I am already doing some major research. 

I have been browsing the archive of Cebu Pacific's inflight magazine, and I stumbled upon a very interesting article about Coron in Smile magazine's December 2012 issue. I have always longed to visit Palawan; to travel to Puerto Princesa and see the Underground River, but the Coron's Jewels article makes me want to fly to Busuanga instead!

Sep 22, 2013

A Girly Morning with Virgin Megastore at Mercato

I was already running low on energy mid-September! The first two weeks were jam-packed with getaways on weekends and massive workload on weekdays. I badly needed some precious ME time and I was really thankful when an invitation from Virgin Megastore arrived in my Inbox. It was an invite for the Family Festival; a 4-day celebration in line with the opening of Virgin's newly renovated store in Mercato. I was jumping inside while reading these: fashion shows (wow!), live music performance (yay!), food demos (omg!) and free manicure (oh yes!).

Virgin Megastore Family Festival at Mercato

Sep 20, 2013

Featured in InterNations

I have just received an early birthday present!!! :)

Lady and her Sweet Escapes is now bearing the "Top Expat Blog-Dubai" badge from InterNationsCan somebody pinch me, please?  I have seen that lovely badge on the blogs that I look up to and I just can't believe that it is now in the right side bar of my little pink 1-year old blog.

Sep 19, 2013

Sporty and Foodie Night at The Huddle

Last Saturday, my husband aced another Microsoft exam! Proud wifey here! It was an achievement that called for a celebration. With all his perseverance and the late nights in front of the computer, Ed deserves not just a pat on the back, but a big meal and an ice cold beer! :) His success perfectly synced with an invitation that we have received from The Huddle Sports Bar and Grill for its 2nd Anniversary celebration!
The Huddle is a bar/restaurant made for Sports Aficionados. It has huge flat screens telecasting live sports, pool tables and dart boards. After the big games, a live band takes the stage and transforms The Huddle into a music venue. Sports enthusiasts also get to enjoy sumptuous bar food and refreshing beverages. It has a very masculine concept; furnished with contemporary bar stools and sleek lounge chairs, and with walls decked with sporting memorabilia. And so, this girly girl who was never into sports was quite scared to feel out of place, yet was ready for an all new dine-out experience. 

The Huddle Sports Bar And Grill in Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai

Sep 17, 2013

More Flights! More Fun!

Since 1996, the Philippines' leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific, has been offering affordable flights and has made air travel possible for everyone. It has changed the Filipino's perception about traveling as CEB's seat sales have made budget vacations possible. With Cebu Pacific every Juan can fly! 

Cebu Pacific continues to grow as it has recently welcomed two Airbus A320 all the way from Toulouse, France! The A320 is equipped with fuel-saving sharklets and is one of the most modern fleets in the world. With the arrival of new aircrafts, additional domestic flights to the Philippines top tourist destinations were launched last August! 

Sep 14, 2013

Ibn Battuta: The Travel-Themed Shopping Mall

Once upon a time, there were two explorers named Ed and Lady. They rode a magic train that took them to places they've never been. They visited the pharaohs in Egypt, had a quick stop at Tunisia, then traveled to Andalusia, had a coffee break in Persia, then flew to India, and watched a movie in China.... all in one day! :) Okay okay, before you think I'm crazy, forget about the magic train! My imagination has gone wild again! Hahah! Ed and I went to Ibn Battuta, a shopping mall with six different themes based on the travels of the 14th Century Arabic Explorer, Ibn Battuta. 

We started our journey at Ibn Battuta's Egypt Court. The mall's facade has craved images of pharaohs. Inside are drawings of Gods of the Egyptian mythology, date trees and a huge centerpiece of ancient Egyptian structure.  

Outside Ibn Battuta: Egypt

Sep 11, 2013

Snow Adventures in Ski Dubai

Years before I decided to work abroad, I used to think that life in the Middle East can be very sad and boring. I pictured it out as living in the middle of a lifeless desert, where I must handle a backbreaking workload and struggle in a burning temperature; all in exchange for growth and a better future! Then, when I learned about United Arab Emirates, a fast-growing, multicultural country in the Middle East, my perception changed. I knew from then that if I have to work outside the Philippines, and with Middle East as my only option, it should be in the UAE!

When I arrived in Dubai, I realized I was right with the struggle in a burning hot weather and I was clearly wrong with the dreary life. For five years, I'm living in an astonishing desert city where everything is possible! I am in the midst of an 830 m skyscraper, a 7-star hotel with a very unique shape, a palm-shaped island and a ski resort! Yes, there are snow slopes in the hottest part of the world! :)

ski slopes at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates

Sep 8, 2013

Authentic Korean Cuisine at Hyu Restaurant

Annyeonghaseyo! :) 

I was again on my foodie trail with a mission to find more authentic, not-so-popular and not crowded, specialty restaurants in Dubai. My restless feet and my "always hungry" tummy lead me to Hyu, an authentic Korean restaurant tuck in a secluded area in Oud Metha. 

On a weekend, Ed and I went out before dusk and embarked on a quest to find Hyu in Oud Metha. We have only heard about the Korean restaurant days before our visit. We actually didn't know that a certain restaurant exists in the area! I didn't want to spend so much time searching for the restaurant on Google map, so I used a Lifeline (phone a friend) for directions. :) Hyu is a short walk from Oud Metha metro station, the station where we leave or ride the train whenever we go to St. Mary's Church. It is located at Garden Home building which we always see from the main road, but Hyu is hidden at the back side; away from the busy streets of Oud Metha.

Hyu Korean Restaurant in Oud Metha

Sep 6, 2013

CEB's Maiden Flight to Phuket

One of the flight routes that I have been wishing and waiting for have just began! Last August 16, 2013, Cebu Pacific have launched direct flights between Manila and Phuket. Thailand's largest island is CEB's 21st international destination. During the maiden flight, the first passengers received a special send-off from the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Excellency Prasas Prasasvinitchai, together with the Executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, Hon. Carmelo Arcilla. 

photo source: www.cebusmile.com

Sep 5, 2013

CioccolatItaliani: The Finest Italian Cafe in Town

While Ed and I were having our usual weekend date night at Dubai Festival City, a newly opened cafe  along the Canal Walk caught our attention. CioccolatItaliani  is a famous upscale cafe in Italy that serves contemporary Italian dishes and desserts. I can tell, the lovers of Italian cuisine and the chocolate connoisseurs are very pleased to welcome CioccolatItaliani to Dubai's dining scene. CioccolatItaliani sounds so sweet and so chocolatey. Aside from the catchy name, the cafe looks elegant and very inviting! 

CioccolatItaliani in Dubai Festival City
CioccolatItaliani at Dubai Festival City

Sep 3, 2013

Juan for Fun!

Life may be tough and there may be challenges to face, but we can always get through the difficulties together. Strong teamwork and motivation, fun-loving attitude and positive outlook can help us succeed in life, as well as in Cebu Pacific's Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge!

Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge is a contest that will bring five teams of  three students to six local destinations in the Philippines for an all-expense paid adventure on August 27 to September 2, 2013. The challenge is to have the most number of fun activities within the duration of the trip with the given travel allowance. The teams have to document their fun adventure through photos and videos using their Canon point-and-shoot and video cameras; a gadget which was handed to them, along with official T-shirts, Wegner travel gear, Tablets powered by Sun broadband and travel allowance, during the send-off day.