Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The nature of my work demands more time and focus, as year 2008 is about to exit. Yearly reports are to be prioritized and must be given an on-hand attention.

I’ve been very busy for the past few days, but today, I think I am much busier. I have to cope up with all these year-end problems – from receiving complaints from our tenants to computation of their dues as they are going to say goodbye from our apartments they rented less than a year ago. Their farewell is the result of the most discussed recession not just in Dubai but in other parts of the world as well.

But in spite of this hectic schedule, I have to remind myself to welcome the Year 2009. I am not certain what is in store for me in the New Year, but I am sure that something new will happen. Well, I am really hoping for good fortunes. A new year brings new life, new career, new opportunities, and new challenges. On the contrary, it may also offer things which we less expected. For sure we don’t like bad things dominating us. But as far as we have great faith in Him, everything will turn out better. I believe that by constantly attracting good and positive things into our lives, we could have a happy and wonderful life. This is a proven secret of those successful icons. Hope to have it too.

To everyone, regardless of your religion, kind, industry and location, happy New Year! Happy year of the OX!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How do I celerate my Christmas?

Christmas is fast approaching. While most Christians are busy wrapping of gifts for their love ones, others seem motionless. But, I don’t think this year’s Christmas is going to be celebrated with extravagance. Well, for the rich people who are not affected with the world economic crisis that started in America, their Christmas will be memorable.

I used to celebrate Christmas with my families. When I was just a kid, my father had explained that Christmas is the only celebration that each Christian must participate. And that all members of the family must be together at least on the eve of December 24 for the Noche Buena. Christmas is not just a mere celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas has always been part of our lives. Above those red calendar events, Christmas is in our hearts and wherever we go its spirit is always present.

Now that I am away with my families, my Christmas had never been the same. Though Christmas is acknowledged in Muslim cities like Dubai, the government has no mandate to proclaim it as one of the non-working holidays. So my Christmas will be a regular day. What’s my program? I hope to attend mass on the 24th and have Noche Buena with my flat mates. And on the morning of 25th, take a bath to freshen myself from hang-over (if any) and head for work. What else I can do? My host is an Islam country. I respect it and as a law-abiding expatriate, it’s my responsibility to follow its rule. You, how will you celebrate your Christmas?
Christmas tree in Saint Mary Catholic church, Oud Metha, Dubai.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I feel sorry for Bush..

Have you heard the news about the Shoe Attacker and Mr. Bush? Hearing this news made me feel sorry for the President. Please don’t condemn me for showing this sympathy to him. It’s not because we have the same religion and the man who did an act which the Iraqi people tagged as “Barbaric act” is an Islam believer. Although he has gained support from the Arab world where he is considered a “Hero” still I personally don’t agree with him. Why?
Let us consider this point which the Journalist might neglect. First, he is a Journalist. He must not forget that being a journalist, he has to abide the professional code of ethics or the canons of journalism. He should have memorized and understood by heart the preamble of the code of ethics that states:

“Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association, an organization exclusively centered on electronic journalism, maintains a code of ethics centering on -- public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence and accountability.”

At all times, he must be independent and impartial. He was in the conference as a professional journalist – to cover the event and report it to the public fairly. He is not a mere spectator. He must separate his “being a journalist identity” from his personal identity. Okay, personally he was bursting with hard emotions and ill-feelings with the President. But he must set aside his personal emotions because he attended the conference as a journalist and not as anybody (whoever he is).

I understand he could not keep his anger anymore . But throwing a pair of shoes to the outgoing President is disrespect. And I believe we should have basic respect to all our leaders in the country whether they are evil or angel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Water, where did you come from?

Seems like a swimmig pool, right? But it's not. What you actually see is not a swimming pool, nor a river. What's your wild guess? A sea? No. No. No.

These are the few photos I captured last Tuesday on my way to our office in Barsha. You may wonder why I post these pictures. These are only normal pictures. Pictures that do not worth a thousand dollar. Pictures which are not done by the pros.

Well, it's up to you then. We all have different perspective in life. How we are going too see things differs from one another. But for me these pictures worth more than I could think.

Considering that I come from a tropical country. A country mostly visited by typhoons and floods. A country surrounded and divided by waters. Let me say, I miss to see ordinary things in Dubai. Rain for instance is considered to be an extra-ordinary thing here in the Emirates.

So, upon seeing the flooded streets after a continuous raining of about 3 hours, these were what happened next. Water was everywhere. The dainage overflowed.

As I took these pictures from my Samsung mobile, I remembered the movie "Water world". I don't want to exaggerate things but as I said I'm here in the desert where rain is not ordinary.

I am certain when I go back to my country I will also miss this mess.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What else you can do in the desert?

If malling, shopping, going to bars and disco houses, etcetera, etcetera, are tiring and expensive lifestyle in Dubai, why don't you try something cheap? Try to enjoy the lukewarm water in the beaches. Or if you don't find peace in the seashores, go and take yourself in the forest and mountains, play hide-and-seek with your lover, friends or with the forest creatures. Aside from being away from the congested city, you can be more closer to the mother nature. Wait, I must be wrong. Dubai does not have forest to play hide-and-seek.
What I mean is, invite your friends for a desert safari. Winter is the best time to befriend the desert. Just spend AED 160.00 and there you go, enjoying the excitement, the furious and breath-taking safari you can only play on the the sand.

But that's not all. You are free in the desert. You can do anything you like.

From playing with the sand.

Eating your favorite junk food with your suitor.

Dicovering your suitor's phobia.

Or just a plain picture taking with desert eagles.

What fun could there be more in the desert? Try it.

Risking depositor's money

I would like to thank my very good friend Louie Clam for her email. I received it this morning. She was once my officemate in PIRB back then and now she is connected with Waterfront Cebu. She used to be my most trusted friend. I guess all is well with her now that she found her new home. I hope she will soon realize her dream to work here in Dubai. How soon? When the right time come.

Anyway, I was bothered by her email. She told me that PCRB was on the headline with Sun Star Cebu – declaring a bank holiday. What is a bank holiday by the way? Not all depositors have a good understanding of what this means. Bank holiday would mean, the bank celebrates a foundation or fiesta or the bank closes permanently. These were the only visible options. I have made my assessment. How about you?

I am concern with PCRB, with its people who had been my officemates. This was my first duty after I graduated college. But I am more concern with the depositors. They have entrusted their money for safekeeping hoping that it will be usable in times of difficulties, in times when they need to pay for their children’s tuition. What will happen to them now? For those who deposited more than 250,000 pesos, they must be in despair. The insurance is willing to pay only up to 250,000 pesos. For small depositors, they can get all their money back. But the procedure is tight. They have to wait at least three months before they will be settled. The central bank will investigate the bank and if proven to be not capable to resume its operation, it will be put under the custody of PDIC.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's wrong with my Smart Buddy?

I’ve been thankful to Smart buddy. Since then, I enjoyed using its roaming services here in Dubai. My family back home can text me anytime with the cheapest cost of USD .02083 per message or if they subscribed to unlimited text they could text me without limit by just paying about USD .625. That’s a big saving for my family and friends who want to get connected with me…haha

However, sometimes it gives me a kick on my ass. Every other 3 months I have to add credit on my account otherwise the service will become inactive like what happens today.

It’s a normal thing for me to check my roaming every now and then to see if there were messages from the Philippines. My brother is texting me every day from sunset to sunrise. But today none of the messages I expected from him flew to my inbox. I wonder why. He must be very busy with his accounting class. No way. He owns his time and he used to text me every achievement he has received, everyday disappointment he has faced, all his worries in studies, all his illusions, all his sleepless nights, all the current news. He even used to text me to ask for the procedures of cooking my own version of Pork Sinigang which he like most.

I was upset. I had lot of things in my mind. Maybe he left his mobile at home. Maybe he has no enough load balance on his account. Or the worst, maybe his mobile had been stolen. I kept on ringing his phone. After a few minutes I received his message to my local account (Du) informing me that he had sent several messages since this morning.

I never realized that it’s been 3 months since he added credit to my account. My account might not receive messages because it’s not active anymore. Same thing had happened last September. So I asked him to top up a few amount. After a couple of minutes it’s back and my inbox overflowed with the pending messages.

This has always been a problem with smart roaming. If you failed to add credit to your account, then, expect disconnection without any notice. The worst part is that, you don't know how your credit disappear. You don't use it. To receive messages are completely free.

Rakrakan Fest 2008

The sad side story

I didn’t condemn Led Zeppelin Tuyay, the guitarist of rock band, Kamikazee, who was arrested at Dubai International Airport after the group arrived on Thursday for the Rakrakan Fest. Dubai Police charged him for illegal possession of marijuana. He missed the show but his band members played on without him along with other Filipino bands. A hearing is being scheduled this Monday. This is not a serious matter. Most bands, as known to everybody, for sure, engaged in using not just a leaf of Marijuana.

The happy side story

Thousands of fans gathered together to the Dubai Festival City on Friday to watch four of the Philippines’ biggest names in rock performed in what they called Rakrakan Fest 2008.

To my mental calculation, an estimated crowd of 16,000—double last year’s figure—gathering for a nostalgia-fest of sorts with Pupil, Kamikazee, The Dawn and Bamboo.

Ely Buendia, the front man of the Pupil opened the show at 6:30 pm. The audience demanded him to be more engaging but he refrained from addressing the audience in between the performance leaving his band mates to do the talking. Maybe he has not yet recovered for everything that happened to him in the past including the death of his mother.

Jay Contreras, the lead singer of Kamikazee came next with his usual animated self; talking to the crowd about his personal experiences in between performances.

The crowd roared with approval as the band sang hit songs Narda, Seksi! Seksi! (Sexy), Ambisyoso (Ambitious) and Chinelas (Slippers) among others.

Next came The Dawn, the longest surviving Filipino rock band and dubbed by many as the Rolling Stones of the Philippines. Of course there is no comparison as The Dawn, which rose to fame in the late 1980s, hasan entirely unique sound of its own.

Front man Jett Pangan thanked the crowd for the warm welcome, saying it was their first time to perform in Dubai.

Last but not the least came Bamboo. As expected, lead singer Bamboo Mañalac and the band sang their hit songs Noypi (street word for Pinoy, which is slang for Filipino), Tatsulok (Triangle) among others.

Mañalac did not disappoint with impressive vocals and some extra dance moves on stage. Fans also got more than what they paid for with Mañalac going off stage to mingle with the crowd up close and personal.

Congratulations to the bands. The show was indeed a hit.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How stressed are you?

Try to have focus to the following pictures. What do you notice? Do you see some changes? Do the objects moving?

These pictures used to determine the level of stress we can handle. For some people they would attest that these objects are not moving. On the other hand some also would clear that these objects are really moving. Actually, these objects are perfectly not moving. What we actually see is just an optical illusion. If you see these objects are moving very slowly, these would mean you have a better ability to handle your stress. Allegedly criminals who were tested to focus on these objects found out that the objects are rapidly moving. On the contrary, kids and senior citizens claimed that these objects are not moving.

Test yourself...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why pay if there is free?

Sitting yourself down to do a bit of personal accounting has become a depressing hobby. The troubling world crisis and spiralling cost of living in Dubai is not lost on anyone, neither the financially crippling rents.

So when the newspapers tell us that more and more companies are lossing numbers of jobs each day, it's a bit of a kick in the teeth. Something that gives us reason to be panic and worried for the consequences ahead. Something that we must be at all times take a look on our finances.

Luckily, there are many ways to bring our finances under control than spending all the limits of our credit cards, and praying for Christmas bonuses or payrise. Why don't we have to plan for a budget? And first on the budget express is entertainment central. What are you paying to keep entertainment streaming into your homes at the moment? A satellite TV subscription, cinema tickets, DVD's...all these costs add up, when what we actually be paying is nothing.

Nowadays, entertainment is free if you want it to be. I'm not going to endorse an illegal peer-to-peer file sharing. This is much simpler. Dailymotion and Youtube are on top of my list. You missed to watch some of your favorite Indie Films and Dramas or wanted to see videos of award-winning Charice Pempengco? Visit Dailymotion and Youtube. Try also CBS website. On CBS you can watch all manner of TV program from prime time big hitters such as Big Brothers and CSI. So hurrah for CBS, but it does not stop there. Go to Joost, the free online TV provider. You'll have to download a program to watch it but that's free and gives you access to hundreds of channels with sports, movies, music and documentaries. And if gaming is your thing, you'll find no shortage of flash games online...some of them are utterly free. You have the options. Leave the house and pay to drive down the road to somewhere where you will be asked for even more money to be entertained temporarily? Or stay at home, be entertained for nothing and watch your purse bulging?

Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's over! The dream match has ended and Manny Pacquiao has won another big fight, beating the one of the greatest fighters he has faced. Pacquiao ended Oscar de la Hoya's dream of ending his career on a high note by stopping the Mexican-American in the ninth round. Oscar de la Hoya quit when he failed to answer the bell for the ninth round thus giving the Filipino fighter his biggest victory to date.
The fight started slowly with both fighters seemingly feeling each other first, trading light jabs. Manny was unusually tame for the start of this fight, not the usual aggressor that we're accustomed to. The Oscar de la Hoya starts to throw stronger punches, starting with the body, but fails to land most of them. Manny's quickness and defense looked in tip top shape at this point. With every jab de la Hoya tried, Manny Pacquiao responded.

As the fight wore on the aggression started, but only on one side. Manny Pacquiao began his relentless punches to the body, to the head, and Oscar de la Hoya seemed helpless in the flurry of blows that he was receiving. He tried to land his own jabs but weren't as successful as his Filipino foe. By the fifth round, Manny Pacquiao seemed to be landing his blows at will, still looking crisp and strong as when the fight started. Oscar de la Hoya, meanwhile, was looking slower, weaker. At this point, you could sense that only a knock would save him from losing this fight. He had to land a big one on Manny or else lose it in the decision, or be knocked out himself. Manny Pacquiao was wearing him down.

By the seventh and eight rounds, it was almost over. Oscar de la Hoya was almost finished, his legs are gone. At one point he tried a big blow on Pacquiao's body, landing it squarely. But Manny taunted him as if saying it was nothing, it didn't hurt. The Golden Boy was obviously near the end of his fight at this point. And when he failed to come out of his corner at the start of the ninth, that was it. The Golden Boy has quit!

Postscript: Here's a head-to-head analysis and prediction by Ring Online. I'm sure many of you will be interested in these stats.


Skills: Pacquiao evolved from a one-dimensional brawler into a very good boxer under the guidance of Freddie Roach. However, De La Hoya, even with his revolving-door approach to trainers over his career, has always been an extremely sound all-around boxer.
Edge: De La Hoya

Power: De La Hoya was once a devastating puncher but his power has diminished as he’s gone up in weight. Of course, he’s going down to 147 for the first time since 2001; he might have extra pop at welterweight. Pacquiao is not a one-punch KO artist but has always been powerful. However, at 147, he won’t be able to hurt De La Hoya.
Edge: De La Hoya

Speed: One thing Pacquiao’s opponents are often surprised by is his remarkable speed. Combine that with his tenacity and improving boxing ability and you get the best fighter in the world. De La Hoya has always been quick-handed; he’s just not as fast as Pacquiao, particularly at 35.
Edge: Pacquiao

Defense: Again, Pacquiao has improved significantly as a boxer. Still, he’s never been particularly difficult to hit. That can be attributed in good part to his aggressive fighting style. De La Hoya has always put a premium on safety, one reason he’s lasted so long in the sport. He knows how to avoid punches.
Edge: De La Hoya

Experience: Both fighters have been at the top of the sport for a generation of fighters, fighting in a combined 40 major world title fights (De La Hoya 29, Pacquiao 11). Nothing phases either one of them. De La Hoya gets a slight edge because he’s been a major player a bit longer.
Edge: De La Hoya

Chin: Neither fighter has been hurt many times. De La Hoya has been stung a few times by punches to his head but was never in serious danger. Only Bernard Hopkins has stopped him, with a body shot. Pacquiao was stopped twice early in his career but has taken some huge shots in his prime without a disastrous result.
Edge: De La Hoya

Conditioning: Freddie Roach, who has been around boxing for several decades, said he’s never seen a fighter train harder than Pacquiao. He could probably fight 20 rounds if he had to. De La Hoya has had periods in his career when he didn’t train as hard as he should have, which might explain his tendency to fade late in fights, but he seems to be extremely serious about this fight.
Edge: Pacquiao

Wear-and-tear: De La Hoya, 35, has never taken a beating but appears to have declined at least somewhat after 30 years of boxing. Pacquiao, 29, has been in many wars but seems to be as fresh as ever.
Edge: Pacquiao

Corner: Both trainers garner tremendous respect. Nacho Beristain has trained a number of champions from Mexico, making him a legend in his country. And Freddie Roach, too, has worked with many big-name champions. Clearly, he’s at the top of his game. Pacquiao gets the edge here because he’s worked long term with Roach; this is De La Hoya’s first fight with Beristain.
Edge: Pacquiao

Outcome: Ask yourself: What was your first reaction when you heard this fight would take place? Answer: Pacquiao is too small. That is the most-significant factor in the fight. Pacquiao will attack and land his share of punches. However, in the end, if De La Hoya fights a smart fight – stay outside, wrap Pacquiao up when he gets inside – he’ll wear the smaller man down.
Prediction: De La Hoya KO 10

Another Horrific Experience with Dubai taxi driver

Friday, December 5, 2008 – a day of my first ever driving class at Belhasa. By the way, at long last I received a phone call for my class schedule from this same rude customer service agent. Since that was my first day, I had to be punctual to impress my instructor. My house is 30-minutes away from Belhasa during Holidays (Fridays/Saturdays) and approximately 50 minutes during working days.

It was already 1:20 in the afternoon. I decided to hire a taxi so that I could reach Belhasa before my hands-on classes at 2:00 P.M. I spoke to the driver and gave him my destination. I asked him if he know the place and he perfectly confirmed. He was a talkative driver. He raised so many questions and introduced himself to me. He said he is more than ten (10) years in Dubai as a taxi driver. Okay, so much for the chatting…

We almost reached the last bridge near IKEA when I saw the road ahead being divided. I’ve passed this road before but I was not pretty sure which road to take, would it be right or left. To my surprise, he asked me which direction we should go. I did not respond because I was thinking he was just joking at me and I believed he knew every place in Dubai considering his tenure of service in the Metro Taxi.

He took the right side road that brought as to Garhoud, passing Wafi City and Al Wasl Hospital. Al Wasl Hospital was a very familiar place to me. I knew that Belhasa center is found behind it. Believing my instinct, I told the driver to stop but he insisted that he has to find an exit. We were five hundred meters away from Al Wasl Hospital but we did find an exit so I shouted him to stop. He dropped me off in the deserted place. After I paid him his very excellent services he sped away.

I walked towards Al Wasl Hospital trying to find an internal road that will probably take me to Belhasa. After 35 minutes of struggle I reached Belhasa 20 minutes late.

How many more idiot taxi drivers can we find in Dubai?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Search for Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Surprisingly, when I opened my e-mail messages this morning, I saw a forwarded mail from top10pinoyexpatsblog Souls with the subject: Blog Awards Sponsoreship. As I went through the rest of the pages, I was able to acknowledge that this mail came from no less than Jebee Kenji Solis whose site ( had been linked to mine without his permission. Well, I hope he had lot of understanding when other bloggers wished to link his site and wanted to be part of his work. He has an exemplary blog that used to attract readers, including me, who wished to be inspired.

I have not met this guy in person nor I have a clear overview about him. I only have a limited idea - that he is a chemical engineer who works in Saudi Arabia and the owner of Thoughtskoto blogsite. That's all. But whoever he is, I admired his work.

Recently, he is organizing the 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards, a search for the outstanding blogsites across Asia and the Pacific, Middle East, Europe, Canada and the US with its official site at

This is the screenshot of the 2008 Top 10 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog.

To Kenji, from the bottom of my heart, congratulations for organizing such wonderful event and may the Almighty Father shower you with more thoughts and wisdom to enable you to continue your endeavour in giving the world of blogging a life beyond blogging. Should there be something I can help with, I am very much willing.


After I posted two articles yesterday, I decided to take a nap to refresh my mind. But my flat mates very noisy plus the television volume was set to 41. I could not get a nap even if I covered my ears with my two fingers. I wished these people will vanish and seize their day in the malls so that I could have what I prayed for. But, it was not a lucky day for me. How I wish there is no National Day. How I wish National Day falls on Friday. On the other hand, part of me was thankful for the celebration because it is one way of understanding the transformation of Dubai from sand to well-developed economy. With this celebration we will come to know that the UAE for the past 37 years keeps on making its way to be an economic center not only in the region but in the whole world in general.

My desires to solicit for a good nap was never been realized. Okay fine! Better luck next time. To ease myself from the dullness of the day, I was trying to figure out how I can make a better header for my blog. Here’s what I did. Out of the cotton buds I made the following designs:

I was not convinced with my own artworks. These do not give good impressions to my readers. And I do not find better reason to use even one of these. Anyway, what I did was just one way of making a lazy day looks productive.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The following is the full text of the Statement to the Nation made by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the 37th UAE National Day:

My brothers and sisters, since the last many years, we are living a new developmental boom which transformed UAE into an international trade and financial centre with all its meanings and connotations.

This development demands from us to safeguard this position well-fortified through building a solid regulatory structure, which will respond to the changes and conform to the global standards.

The backbone of any improvement of governance, its development as well as its protection from any form of wastage or excessiveness is a mechanism to place laws under the microscope of revision and modernization until they resonate in tune with the methodological development and new administrative technologies.

Here, it is imperative to emphasise the role the private sector presently plays, as well the integrative relation between the local and federal levels in any process of legislative modernization and development.

My brothers and sisters, the environment constituted one of the clearly defined major areas in every aspect of development. The concern for environment was an expression of our pristine national vision, not just an act of following the global concern in this regard. If we have made visible achievements in this field, then the issue of environment should continue to be a central one in our concerns, a prime axis of our work and an ultimate priority among our national priorities.

The protection of environment, the preservation of the natural wealth and its biodiversity, the promotion of our country as a safe and suitable place to live, to work and to bring up our future generations; all these should remain the unchangeable objectives of any federal environmental strategy or local programme of work.

My Brothers and Sisters, The march of our federation has crossed several milestones on the plain of the social and economic development, as it has built an institutional life on strong foundations.

As we continue the process of building our nation with the same power and determination, I look forward to receiving more participation from the people in this endeavour, with all faith in the importance of building an interactive relationship between the two poles of our political existence and the social pyramid.

With this faith, I am solicitous to continue to strengthen our democratic process and to develop it until we reach the aspired level of its participatory role.

My bothers and sisters, our achievements on the domestic level wouldn't have been possible without the prudent foreign policy our country had adopted. This policy contributed in providing the essentials of success in the march of our federation braving various challenges and dangers it had to encounter.

As we continue to work in the guidance of the principles of that prudent policy, and ensure our distinctive diplomatic presence at the regional and international forums in defence of our national choices and in support of the Arab issues, we put among the priorities of this policy, the endeavour to restore our rights in the three Islands, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.

To regain these rights, we adopt the peaceful alternative that is based on direct negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, international arbitration or referral of the case to the International Court of Justice. We have made a pre-commitment to accept the results of such arbitration whatever they may be.

When we keep alive our hopes that Iran will respond to our peaceful endeavour respecting the good-neighbour policy and the joint historical heritage, and protecting the mutual interests of both countries, it is sorrowful to see the Iranian actions with an aim of changing the landmarks of the islands and imposing its on will on them.

I assert that betting on its arbitrary occupation of the islands, or on our loss of hope at the end of the continued demand for our proven rights be established in the islands, is a betting which will lose in the end.

As we hope that Iran will revise its stance and accept our peaceful initiatives, we also wish that the Arab and international understanding of our stance will be a helpful factor to convince Iran to sit across the negotiations table for reaching a just settlement.

Brothers and sisters, we live in a region of long-lived crises. We are well aware of the fact that we can't isolate ourselves from the hardships and challenges going on in our Arab and regional neighbourhood. Thus, our interaction with our surroundings is a tax levied on us by our regional obligations and national duty.

Based on this understanding, we paid attention to the situations in the sisterly country of Iraq. As we hope that the improvement in the relative security marks the beginning of its exit from the whirlpool of violence, which it lived for several years, we have embarked upon helping the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people in several ways.

Among the major initiatives in this regard were the cancellation of the debt Iraq had to repay to UAE and the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an expression of our support to the process of bringing the peace back to Iraq, ultimately helping it to regain its role and national sovereignty, and to protect its freedom and the territorial integrity and the unity of people.

With respect to the Palestinian issue, we see that that the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab lands, is a threat to the security and stability of the entire region. We also believe that the failure in finding a just solution for this issue on the basis of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with the Holy city of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as its capital, will leave the region as a plunder for instability and a source of threat to the regional peace. We hope from the active international parties, especially the United States of America to exert more efforts to convince Israel to abandon its hostile policies and accept legitimate international resolutions.

With regard to Lebanon, we expressed our satisfaction over the positive domestic developments, which transformed to the reconciliation among various factions to elect a new president, to form a government and to begin a series of conciliatory initiatives among the Lebanese factions. I hope that Lebanon will regain its position as a centre of radiance and an exemplary model for coexistence of various political powers and religious denominations.

With regard to Sudan, I hope that the efforts for finding a viable solution for the difficult humanitarian situation in Darfur within the framework of preserving Sudan's freedom and unity will succeed.

I also hope that the efforts to save Somalia from the vortex of violence will gain more strength.
As I hail the achievements of the international cooperation on the plain of combating terrorism and drying its springs, I also believe that these efforts should continue and improve, not only with the military and security means, but also through the work for solving explosive issues, without leaving them for the terrorist groups to exploit for their private agendas which have nothing to do with the supreme interests of the region.

Based on our responsibility we paid attention to the humanitarian situations in several parts of the world. UAE's continuously growing initiatives in the field of charitable and humanitarian works became a basic component of our foreign activities. Apart from the emergency aid we provide to alleviate the sufferings of victims of natural disasters, calamities and crises, we worked for transforming UAE's charity activities into an institutional activity with an aim of making them more effective and sustainable.

My fellow citizens, If the deeds are measured by their results, then what we have achieved over the past years since the birth of our country was historic, exceptional and visible. O the children of our country, you created these achievements, uniting and united under the flag of the UAE.

On this day, I salute the officers, non-commissioned officers of our Armed forces and the Police directorates, as well as all the other security agencies for their sincerity and dedication and sacrifice in fulfilling their duties. I reassure them of my limitless trust in them, of my endeavour to develop their abilities and modernize their material, and to guarantee comprehensive care for them and for their families.

I never forget to express my appreciation and gratitude to those who reside among us, the citizens of sisterly and the friendly countries, for the role they play and the efforts they contribute.

I pray to Allah Almighty that He may bless us for all that He loves and grant us success in pursuing the march of progress and prosperity of our country.

I wish you many happy and prosperous returns of the day.


The sky is covered with thick gray clouds. A helicopter is making a great noise up in the sky circumnavigating Dubai. The roads are very quiet. Only cars decorated with colors red, white, green and black are freely speeding. Offices are closed. UAE flag is displayed everywhere. Today is a very special day. Today marks the UAE’s 37th National Day! Congratulations UAE!
I personally extend my deepest and warmest congratulations to the UAE in celebrating their National Day. I am green with envy to this people on their dedication and on how they are showing their nationalism and love to their country. UAE stands out among the rest of the countries in the whole world in commemorating their most significant national event.

As the UAE celebrates its big day, the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that he is determined to expand the UAE’s democratic experiment and build a legislative structure to safeguard its position as a global business and financial centre. He urged the Emiratis to consider the outstanding development of the past 37 years as an incentive to do more. He also said that the sense of satisfaction over what the UAE has gained should not be a reason to be complacent.

Sheikh Khalifa said there was a need to introduce a legislative framework to preserve the UAE's traditions and culture. He uttered that the distinguished position the UAE attained in the world, based on its openness and the spirit of tolerance has had its price, reflected in the demographic imbalance. He called for a comprehensive vision to create a balance between the country's social and economic development. He said the UAE leadership is looking forward to expanding public participation in the political process, aimed at building strong state institutions.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The plight of real estate agents in Dubai

I was saddened by the headline of the newspapers today. I know even before that the Economy of Dubai like any other cities of the world is also at its downturn stage. Some real estate companies were issuing NoC’s to their employees and advised them to look for new job prospects. But today’s news is horrifying. The Government-owned property giant Nakheel has begun to cut 500 jobs in the real estate sector since the industry’s slowdown. I don’t expect Nakheel, the developer of man-made palm islands, in spite of its being a giant leader of real estate industry has felt the need to axe its workforce. Nakheel tops the list of big project owners in the UAE with $98 billion (Dh360.44 billion) worth of projects according to the world media Dubai, the organizer of Big 5 Exhibition. Nakheel's biggest projects include Palm Deira, the World, Dubai Waterfront and Nakheel Harbour and Tower development.

What will happen to these 500 jobless individuals? Find a new job in same field where most of the companies are on the retrenchment period? Be prepared to enter into another field of industry where they luck or no experience? Or return to their home country and start again?

Pity for those real estate agents who don’t know other jobs, their work is at risk. Pity for those real estate developers and investors, they lose their ROI. But I am not afraid that my co-Filipinos may become unwaged because I know for a fact that they are flexible and whatever new challenges ahead they will be able to cope up.