Are you the Lucky Juan?

Hello my lovelies!

You may have noticed my recent posts (and a few future ones) have been about my Keys disease—everyone having good vibes, exploring this charming little town called Key West, getting the most out of our beach vacation, and just having fun being with each other.

I simply couldn’t get enough of those pozzivibes so let’s have some more.  Here’s a big CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 100 Lucky Juans contest.

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Jive Gonzales—There’s no place like home

John Cabrillos—My Homecoming

Ernesto Payumo—Duyan ng Kamusmusan

Jeddalyn Aquino—I love Philippines

Joan Llanilo—Surprise to my Mom


Michael Cerillo—Dream Homecoming

Ma. Cristina V. Cerillo—My Happy Homecoming

Griselle Reston—Sama samang saya sa simpleng paraan

Myra Abamonga—From Dubai to Philippines with love

Glenda Orale—My Kids

Joanna Lou Baluyut—Vacation galore with my son

Karen Cabangon—Family Bonding- A Priceless Happiness


Gina Basilan—Surprise To My Responsible Bro & My Only Child Ineng

Andrea dela Cruz—There Is No Place Like Home

Jeff Bello—Unforgettable Moment

Charis Mae Moody—Sweet Homecoming

Maryann Francisco—Ang Muling Pagbabalik

Aque Bornalo—Pamilya ang Una sa Lahat ng Bagay

Rhonel Tugaoen—My Kids


Suzette Jalandoni—TGIF Skype with My Family

Jem’s Corner—My First Flight to Dubai at NAIA 2007

Tristan Bangero—Gangnam Style LBC Dubai

Michael Gracel—Every Juans Fly With Us

Hyden Restificar—Miss Ko Na Ang Pasong Pinoy

Fritz Ferdinand—One Touch! One Smile 🙂

Ginalyn Caputol—Grant a Wish

imagesFeeling lucky? Join now! Contest runs until August 18, 2013.  Who knows you might be the next Juan to travel for free! Click this link and to started. 

Good luck!


Madinat Jumeirah

If you told me you had 24 hours in Dubai, aside from showing you the world’s tallest building, the largest indoor aquarium, and the most majestic of dancing fountains, I would bring you to our family’s favorite resort—Madinat Jumeirah.  It is only 15 minutes away from those tourist attractions and with the Burj Al Arab seen from there, we’ll be hitting 2 birds with one stone.

Madinat Jumeirah is particularly special to us as we celebrated last year’s (and my hubby’s first) Father’s day on these shores. My dear sister also took me here five years ago.

This place is an exotic private Arabian beach resort balancing high drama of Middle Eastern opulence with a comfy, laid back, sand-in-your-toes feel.  It is designed resemble an Arabian citadel.  “Madinat Jumeirah” actually translates to “city of Jumeirah”.


The  beach offers a spectacular view of the Burj Al Arab.  Cabanas and huts for your ample privacy, beach toys for your kids, and large beach towels are also available.

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The resort also offers a great swim with its massive pool.   Plus the lifeguards (there’s one every few feet away) offer a sense of security.  When you get hungry, world-class restaurants are aplenty. And if you need some retail therapy, find your way to Souk Madinat for some delightful local items.


The place is really worth a visit, whether you have a few hours or a couple of days. The beach and other facilities, however, are exclusive.  But if you just want to satisfy your curiosity, you need not check-in, just stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere 🙂

Other nearby beaches have visited:

Public Beaches:

Kite Beach

4×4 Beach

Sunset Beach 

Private Beach Resorts:

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa

Six Senses Zighy Bay

What Every Welcome Kit Should Have

Exotic cultures, impressive monuments, beautiful beaches, and a feel for a new environment can lure in friends and relatives from different parts of the globe (and family trees) to your location-friendly home.

Lighten their load of jetlag and new-country bewilderment by providing them with little niceties they need as soon as the first day.

  • A spare cellphone and a sim card for guests from abroad.
  • A set of keys and if applicable, parking access cards.
  • A public transportation card
  • A list of emergency numbers (police, hospitals, hospitals with emergency facilities)
  • Public Transport routes and hotline numbers. (For Dubai Public Transport numbers, please click here)
  • Information maps
  • Wifi password
  • Toiletries and inexpensive slippers
  • And of course, a welcome note 🙂


Beach Getaway: Kite Beach

This beautiful shoreline formerly known as Wollongong Beach has generated appeal with the active set, especially kite surfers, thus the name.

Last Saturday, even if it was a weekend, the the crowd was small, which for me is a good thing.  Due to light wind, we didn’t find many kites either, but it fun to watch the few of them try to maneuver and control a large kite.

My dad wanted to give it a try but it was almost 5pm and we were told we needed at least 6 hours of lessons first, at 250 dirhams/hour.  A bit pricey for “trial”, if you ask me.

We flexed our muscles building sandcastles instead lol.  Lil T enjoyed frolicking on the beach but I had to move him twice away from a particular kitesurfer who was practicing on sand.

In my opinion, this beach is not particularly safe for toddlers or kids in general.  I can just imagine the hazards kiteboarding can pose to beachgoers, bystanders and even other kiteboarders.  The sand was a bit rocky too with shells and other loose particles close to the water. As much as he wanted to run to the water, we carried Lil T to in instead.

At least his sandcastle has plenty décor with all the rocks and shells that we easily found around us.


Location: Umm Suqeim 1 about 3km north of the Burj al-Arab, past Umm Suqeim Hospital.  The beach is located at the corner of 39a and 2nd Streets.

Other Public Beaches:

4×4 Beach

Sunset Beach 

Private Beach Resorts we’ve visited:

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Beach Getaway: 4×4 Beach

Temperatures are higher, days feel longer, climate is getting hotter…you know summer is just around the corner.

This warm season is never complete without white sands and cool blue waters.  So bring out your bikinis, put on sunscreen and get yourself to the b-e-a-c-h.

Last Friday, popular Jumeirah Beach Park was so full cars waiting for parking were overflowing to the road.

The good thing about holiday heaven Dubai is that when it comes to public beaches, you always have an alternative.  Plan B was this beach right next to it. A long stretch of sand greets you from the road all the way to the shore.  It didn’t have either shady trees nor toilets but at least it had room for us.

Parking was a breeze as you could drive your “4×4” right up to the beach.

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Location: Al Athar Road and Beach Road, next to Jumeirah Beach Park

Other Public Beaches:

Kite Beach

Sunset Beach 

Private Beach Resorts we’ve visited:

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa

Six Senses Zighy Bay

360 Club, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

A perennial favorite of tourists and expats alike,  this odd-looking club is hardly noticeable from the rest of the hotel.  It is positioned so far out, sitting in the middle of the sea.

Walking toward 360 takes a bit of an effort. Somewhere back in Florence, I was relishing skipping on cobblestones but right here in the middle of a windy Dubai night, for someone wearing high heels, it was anything but pleasant.   Buggies are available but Jumeirah Beach Hotel is busy, even on weeknights.

Once you finally get there, you’ll see that the place wows! Classy interiors don’t fail to impress.  Plus one hundred meters into the sea promises a spectacular view of the Arabian Gulf and the Burj Al Arab.  And it doesn’t hurt that this club offers unparalleled views of sunset.

What surprised me is that it’s actually comfy with a chill kind of vibe.  Not the type of club where people stare each other down.   Crowd at that time (Tues night) was a mix of office people, boy band types, couples dating, and a few single ladies.

We ordered some cocktails, took some photos (with my itouch, pardon me, it’s blurry) , then left for dinner at Latitude Restaurant.

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Expecting a Princess

I loved being preggo, aside from all the care and extra attention, I enjoyed feeling a baby in my tummy.   When I knew my neighbor was preggy, I had a flashback of all my emotions—good and not so–haha, but mostly good.

My neighbor, Isa, and her family are leaving Dubai next week after staying here for a couple of years.  That’s how it is here.   It’s a transient city and people come and go.   I know the stress that comes with packing and moving, and the sadness that comes with leaving.

So because I wanted to pamper a pregnant lady, I along with our other friends, threw her a shower.  I love celebrations and I enjoyed making decorations myself—choosing complementary colors, cutting and putting things together.  I’m a girly girl so this was no chore to me. It came out nice, so they say.

And I’m pleased Isa was so happy and touched 🙂

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