Fujairah Trip

August 20, 2008


Two days ago, Ross, Eena and myself took a very relaxing and well deserved recharge trip to Fujairah. Fujairah is one of UAE’s seven emirates and is known for its rocky mountains and rich seas. It is also home to UAE’s oldest natural forts. The ruling family of Fujairah is the Al Sharqi Family with Sheikh Hamad bin Muhammad holding absolute power.

Fujairah’s natural territories are somewhat confusing because one can find sub-territories of the emirates of Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah within its jurisdictions. Even the country of Oman has a city within Fujairah. Now that’s a little screwed up, isn’t it?

Since the weather in Fujairah is way cooler than the other emirates, we decided to take our little vacation there.

We stayed in the Rotana Al Aqah Beach and it was a marvelous resort! The 2+ hours drive from Dubai was definitely well worth it. Along the road going to the hotel were rocky mountains which provides for a scenic trip. The hotel itself was great and the staff were all nice. Although I could still say that Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai is the best place to be.

We went into action straightaway upon arrival by kayaking into the vast Indian Ocean. The ocean was pretty calm so we had a great time paddling and checking out the whole scenery. Word of caution, the currents can be very unpredictable , so it would a smart idea to always check the weather forecast and speak to the boathouse people. It was pouring in neighboring Oman when we did our open sea kayaking and we were kinda lucky the seas didn’t get rough.

Determined not to get the downpour in the mountains get into the way of our snorkling, we headed out to an isolated island off the coast to explore the underwater life of Fujairah. The sky was a little overcast and the sea was a little choppy on that day. But for us, that did not seem to matter.

The water was a bit murky because of the rain on the highlands, but I think these shots are still fairly decent.

We spent the afternoon of the second day exploring the city of Fujairah. We stopped by the museum, which was empty save for one ticket guy. The exhibits were very disorderly and were poorly labeled. I even thought that one fire extinguisher was an exhibit item. Considering how small a place Fujairah is, I wouldn’t wonder why people don’t bother visiting their museum.

Dinner was at Pizza Hut. Not the most original idea for a dinner in Fujairah, but Ross and Eena were so hungry and insisted. Funny part of the story was Pizza Hut was about a only couple hundred meters from where we stood, yet the cab driver did not know where it was!!! The hilarious thing about it was the look on the poor guy’s face when Eena and Ross instructed him to drive us to Pizza Hut and he did not know what to do! Not until Ross mentioned KFC did he realize where he was supposed to take us (KFC was just right beside Pizza Hut).

When we got back to the hotel, we lounged by the pool until late. I had a pint of Becks, Ross a breezer and Eena a Stella Artois. The weather cooperated the whole day. At around midnight, when the ladies went up to their rooms, I hit the sauna for some serious sweating (which was what I needed) before going to my room for a very nice shower and some leftover pizza from Pizza Hut.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Ingredients:

for the steamed fish…

1 whole (equivalent to about 1 to 1.5 Kgs) fresh Red Snapper (Hammour or Halibut or any white fish).

2 large onions, quartered

1 whole lemongrass stem, washed and pounded

4 tsp. rock salt

Drizzle of olive oil

for the sauce…

1 cup ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips

1/2 cup spring onions, sliced into 1/2 inch strips

1 cup Kikkoman soy sauce

1 cup olive oil

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish.

Preparation:

for the steamed fish…

1. Wash the fish thoroughly, ensuring that the gills, intestines, fins and scales are removed. Drip Dry. Rub with salt and olive oil.

2. In a large steamer, bring about a pitcher of cold water to a rolling boil. Put the steamer tray in place.

3. On the steamer tray, loosely arrange the onion and the lemongrass and arrange the fish on top. Steam covered for 10 minutes each side.

for the sauce…

1. In a heated non-stick skillet, drizzle olive oil and cook the ginger for 15 minutes to infuse the oil with the flavor. Add the spring onions and the Kikkoman soy sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes.

2. On a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil until it becomes boiling hot. Be careful not to leave it as hot oil left unattended may ignite.

Serving:

1. On an oval plate, arrange the fish and spoon the cooked ginger and spring onions over it. Save the sauce for later.

2. Pour the heated oil over it and take a bow as your guests enjoy the sizzle it creates. This is your ten seconds of fame.

3. Before everyone starts to dig in, pour the infused Kikkoman sauce on the fish and garnish with freash coriander leaves. Enjoy!

This recipe is good for a party of four and is best served with plain steamed jasmine rice. A perfect accompaniment to this is a very bottle of white wine.

*the above picture was borrowed from http://picasaweb.google.com/cathy.danh/DaNang/photo#5106173798069398594.

Bon Jovi is coming to town! This followed by the ‘Under the Same Sun’ band Scorpions. Wooo Hooo!!!

That’ll be two days in a week to look forward to!

 

Concert photos coming soon…

 

Long Overdue Pictures

May 5, 2008

The environment friendly and ever reliable source of ventilation in Arab homes.A humid summer night at Segreto with the views of the wind towersThe Arabic SoukOne of the small alley ways of the soukBoxesmy favorite - Cherry and Mint flavor in a PineappleThis is where I have my weekend breakfasts

Ahhh… Dubai. The land of Sheikhs and Belly Dancers.

Earth Day

April 22, 2008

Earth Day is either of two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth‘s environment. The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second Earth Day, which was founded by US politician Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in the late 1960s, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.

I am a Filipino

April 17, 2008

I am a Filipino-

inheritor of a glorious past,

hostage to the uncertain future.

As such I must prove equal to a two-fold task-

the task of meeting my responsibility to the past,

and the task of performing my obligation to the future.

I sprung from a hardy race-

child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers.

Across the centuries, the memory comes rushing back to me:

of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships that were as frail as their hearts were stout.

over the sea I see them come,

borne upon the billowing wave and the whistling wind,

carried upon the mighty swell of hope-

hope in the free abundance of new land that was to be their home and their children’s forever..

I am a Filipino

born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my inheritance-

for myself and my children’s children-

Forever…

Wear Sunscreen

April 17, 2008

A Wedding in Boracay

April 1, 2008

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 1. Do not interfere with others’ business

 Most of us create our own problems by interfering  too often in others’  affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic, and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and

steered to the right direction, our direction.

 

 2. Forget and forgive

This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind.   We  often nurture ill feeling inside our heart for the person who insults or harms us. We  forget that the insult or injury was done to us once but by nourishing the grievance we go on excavating the wound forever.   Therefore it is essential that we cultivate the art of forgiving and forgetting.

 

3. Do not crave for recognition

This world is full of selfish people.  They seldom praise anybody without selfish motive. They may praise you today because you are rich and have power but no sooner you are powerless, they  will forget your achievement and start criticizing you.

4. Do not be jealous

We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know you work harder than your colleagues in the  office but they get promotions, you do not. You started a business several years ago but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old.  Should you be jealous?

5. Change yourself according to the environment

If you try to change the environment single  handedly, the chances are you may fail. Instead, change yourself to suit the environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has remained  unfriendly for you, will mysteriously appear to be congenial and harmonious.

 

6. Endure what cannot be cured

This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an  advantage. Everyday we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations and accidents that are beyond our control. We must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, ‘God will it so, so be it’.   God’s logic is beyond our comprehension. Believe it and you will gain in patience, in inner

strength, in will power.
7. Do not bite more than you can chew
 This maxim should be always remembered.  We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable to carry out.   This is done to satisfy our ego.  Know your limitations.

8. Pray regularly

Prayer brings you closer to God. Drawing closer,  trusting in God, brings peace of mind. Try and experience it.  If you pray earnestly everyday, your mind will tend to relax and you will be calm during the day. Your mind will not be disturbed as much as before.  This will  increase your efficiency and you will turn out more work in less  time… with less stress.

 

 9. Never leave the mind vacant

An empty mind is devil’s workshop.  All evil deeds start in the mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. You must decide what you value more – money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment  and achievement. Even if you are resting physically, occupy yourself.

10. Do not procrastinate and never regret

Do not waste time in wondering ‘what if?’ or ‘should  I?’ or ‘shouldn’t  I?’  Days, weeks, months and years may be wasted in that futile mental  debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate  all future happenings.  Always remember God has His own plan too.  Value  your time and do things. It does not matter if you

fail the first time. You can rectify your mistakes and succeed the next time.  Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes but  do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET!>