On Oils and Why Essential Oils?


Oils are a part of most, if not every, Filipino household. Newborns are given Aciete de Alcamforado (Camphorated Oil) and Aciete de Manzanilla (Chamomile oil) for relief of minor discomforts brought on by colds, colic, etc. 

Growing up, we escalated to Efficascent Oil which is a blend of wintergreen, menthol, camphor, eucalyptus among others. This is used for almost everything — back pains, headaches, cramps, insect bites, sprains, gas, etc. 

The ultimate “Tita” accessory would be White Flower Oil which is again, a blend of several essential oils like menthol, wintergreen, camphor, lavender, eucalyptus, etc. I have a small bottle of this in my bag, in my car, in my office drawer… anywhere you can think of. It’s just something I love to use when I feel nauseous. 

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Currently – May 2017

Currently MAY 2017

May has come and gone! So what was I up to? There’s been a lot of things happening all at the same time so blogging naturally took a back seat, again. But, we’re still active in social media — sort of. Here’s the rundown:


feeling overwhelmed. May has been a whirlwind in our household. There’s going to be a big change and adjustment for me in the next few months. And I’m not just talking about the little human growing in me. I finally did it. I fired my boss. I’ll be jobless in a few days! It makes me happy and at the same time it scares me big time. Aside from that, we had a health scare in the family (something I’d like to keep to ourselves for now). 

starting to buy newborn stuff. Since I will be leaving soon, I decided that we should buy the stuff we need as early as now. As I grabbed the newborn diaper (size 1), I looked over at Alvin and said, 

“I can’t believe we are back at one”, to which he replied, “Who knew we would be starting over at 40!”

It’s scary, this pregnant at 40 situation. 

…planning our homecoming. Yep, we’ll be staying in the Philippines for a while. It’s school break for B anyway so might as well stay there so she can meet and bond with her cousins. I also plan to deliver little snowflake there so it’s going to be a long “vacation”. 🙂

…thinking of baby names. We still do not know exactly what little snowflake is. B wants a sister so they can be twins, she says. I told my doctor that I don’t want to know, I want it to be a surprise because … hey, I probably won’t be surprised this way again right? (altho, my doctor kinda hinted what the baby is… I wanted to karate chop her head. LOL)

As long as the baby is healthy, I’m ok with it. So, baby names … hmmm.

…enjoying my newest obsession. Essential oils!

It all started when I was staying with my sister in LA a few months ago. I told her I’m having a hard time sleeping because of my clogged nose … something I suffered while I was pregnant with B. I’m guessing it’s hormones, right? So, she turned on her diffuser with some oils. It helped me big time! 

Fast forward to now … 

I decided to move one level up and started using good quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. I figured, if I’m going to inhale this, might as well be good quality, right? So, yeah … I’ll probably be sharing my EO journey here as well. 

YLEO Blake

My apprentice helping with oil blends …

What’s up with you lately? 🙂

Affidavit of Support – Why it shouldn’t be required for Filipinos

Affidavit of support is a notarized document that is being required from Filipino travelers on a tourist/visit visa to another country.

Affidavit of Support – What is it, really?

The document is a statement that the sponsor takes full responsibility for the welfare of the traveler. That the sponsor will bear all necessary cost to support the traveler and that the traveler will not be a burden to the Philippine government and the government of the host country.

A sponsor, usually a relative up to fourth level of consanguinity, applies for the affidavit of support from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in the host country by filling up a form, attaching supporting documents such as passport copies and proof of residence and source of income of the sponsor and pays for the processing fee. Here in U.A.E., the cost is 100 AED at the time of writing.

Affidavit of Support and Consent or Parental Travel Permit

Affidavit of Support and Consent or Parental Travel Permit

What is the intention of the Affidavit of Support? 

The document is intended to “curb human trafficking“. A traveler on a tourist/visit visa is highly to be off-loaded without this document. It is also a source of revenue for the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.

Why it should be stopped immediately:

  1. The right to travel and freedom of movement are constitutionally guaranteed rights.
  2. It is disgrace to the Philippines because it signifies that it does not trust its own citizens. If the host country granted a visa, its a signification of trust. Banning a Filipino with a valid visa from traveling because of lack of the affidavit of support is illogical.
  3. So what if the traveler intends to find a job in the host country, The Philippines tends to benefit if the traveler does land a job in the host country.
  4. Air travel will increase, which means that more travel tax collection for the government.
  5. It contributes to corruption. Those who do not have the document are sometimes forced to use a way around the requirement.
  6. Its a waste of time and money. Sponsors will have to take time off work to be able to apply and collect the affidavit.
  7. As far as I know, no other country limits their citizen from exploring the world as a tourist.
  8. There are other means to curb human trafficking. Instead of assuming that everyone is being trafficked, use proper agency to investigate and track down human traffickers.
  9. Filipinos are caring citizens, we will take care of each other. There is no need for a document that says that we will be responsible for our visitor.
  10. It is the governments inherent responsibility to help and support their citizens abroad.

I hope this article reaches some of our lawmakers and do what is necessary.

Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below. 


To Family, To Friends, to Life – here’s to being 40

They say life begins at 40, if that’s the case, consider me reborn. Today I turn 40. Here’s to being 40 with Family, and friends.

To Family



Last year, we achieved a milestone in our family, we celebrated my mother’s 60th birthday. We are a global family, so last year’s celebration is a big thing for us. After more than 20 years, we all managed to be in one country, one place at the same time. My family wanted to celebrate my 40th in the same way but the schedule doesn’t work for everyone in the family and the cost is just not practical.

To Friends

Al Aryam Camping

The last 2 years gave more friends and acquaintances here in UAE than the first 14 years I have been here. I did not expect that social media can bring real social connection. I know more people because of this blog. I’ve met a lot of like-minded people who are very good story tellers, whether it be travel, food, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty. The one thing that is common is the passion and the love to tell stories.

Looking back at the things I’ve done

I’ve had a colorful life. We lived in 3 cities before I moved to UAE. Most of my childhood was in part of the Philippines that is considered as notorious. Lets just say that I support President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

Immediately after high-school, we moved to the south of Manila. When I look back to what I wanted to achieve when I was in high-school, I can say to myself, “well done“. I did achieve what I wanted when I was younger. To have a loving family, a stable job, a car, a house.

In fact, I am happy that I was even able to achieve more. I was able to travel to different countries. I was able to stay in high-end hotels and eat fantastic dishes.

Looking forward

Just because I have achieved what I set for myself doesn’t mean it’s enough. At 40 my goal is different. Now my goal is for my family … for my kids. I have to make sure that they too achieve their own goals, to protect them from uncertainties of life. Here’s to family, to more friends, to living longer and healthier and to 40 years more.

40th Birthday


The sad truth in a global family

ek333The era of aviation made global travel easier, faster and more affordable. It used to be that families stay within 20 miles from where they are born. With the rise of aviation paved the way in the rise of global family.

What is a global family

A family whose members are geographically distant from each other. Lives in a different time zones and rarely sees each other in person. Read more

How to Get Entry Permit: Residence Visa Holders who Stayed out of UAE for 6 Months

There are many expatriates who are residents in UAE. In general, expatriate residents should not be outside the UAE for more than 6 months in order for their residence visa to remain valid. A special entry permit is required to be able to return to UAE after six months.

There are circumstances that going back to UAE every 6 months is just not practical. This procedure applies to the following:

  • Foreign wives of UAE nationals
  • Domestic workers accompanying local students who are studying or undergoing medical treatment abroad
  • Expatriates seeking medical treatment outside the country along with those in their company
  • Those who are employed in the UAE public sector and are overseas for work or sent abroad on training courses

Entry Permit

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Currently – February 2017

Currently FEBRUARY 2017

Currently February 2017

I’ve been struggling with my writing again. I’m just forever exhausted for some reason. I  have a long backlog of posts that I need to finish and hopefully I can do that before our trip! Anyway, just to update .. 


starting to be mindful of what I eat. I need to maintain (if not lose!) the current weight for health reasons. It’s been a struggle for a very long time. Back in late 2010, I took charge and started running. A few months after, I found out I was pregnant with B. I never got “that” active again after the pregnancy so here I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I did try but somehow I never got my groove and inspiration back so it was all stops and starts. :/

enjoying the cool weather still. A little bit too cold for the beach but we’ll get to that sweet spot where the temperature is just about right. Not too cold, not too hot (and humid!).

planning our US trip (still!). Tickets are booked, visas secured. We just need to find out where to go aside from Disneyland! LOL

Related: How to Apply for US Visa 

celebrating my birthday month (March)! Woohoo. It’s also my blog anniversary so watch out for some giveaways (ehem looking for sponsors. Ha Ha!) 

…feeling … exhausted! LOL. I’m thinking maybe a vacation is just what I need. But then again, with the time difference and the unforgiving jet lag, I’d probably be more exhausted after that trip. 

So what’s up with you? Share in the comments section!

An inspiration from India’s First Michelin Star Chef

I work in the aviation industry with academic background in information technology. Who would have known that I would find inspiration from a chef? Not just a chef, but India’s FIRST Michelin Star Chef.

A conference on Innovation

I recently attended the BOLDTalks Innovation 2017 event. This event is something that I look forward to every year because the topics are very engaging and relevant. This year’s event included the a Chef as one of the speakers. You’d ask yourself, what does a Chef have to do with innovation?

Indias First Michelin Star Chef - A B & Me www.abandme.com

The journey of India’s First Michelin Star Chef

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