Be-YOU-tiful Sharing is Caring with GlamBox ME October 2016

GlamBox ME – Two Different Boxes this October It’s like having two boxes for the price of one!!!

Anyway, Glambox is truly a wonderful beauty site. You’ve got to try samples, gets discounts and vouchers in various establishments, and even gain points from product surveys, buying items from them and subscribing to their boxes, which in turn you can convert into a cash amount that you can use to buy / subscribe / get discounts again! The delivery is on point, the packaging is great and the customer service is top-notch.

And this news is the greatest news ever: TWO GlamBox(es) for October. Different items in each GlamBox. Yes, why not, why not, more samples, more stuff for me or to share, more surveys to take, more points to get, more money to buy 😛 I’m getting ahead of myself. Now here’s the mega-post about the October Glambox(es)!


The Beatiful Glambox from The Apparel Group

http://appareluae.com/index.html

The Apparel Group handles different apparel lines and brands in the UAE like La Vie en Rose, Aeropostale, Levi’s, Nine West, Naturalizer, Birkenstock, Herschel, etc. Now, this box presents the best things from their cosmetics/skincare lines: Bottega Verde, Rituals and Inglot.

FINALLY. Vouchers I can actually use with ease!

  • Free hand massage and nail coloring with Rituals skincare and nail polish.
  • Free skin type test and Bottega Verde Welcome Gift Box
  • Free makeover using Inglot makeup subject to schedule and availability
  • Discount voucher for checkup at Zulekha Hospital
  • Discount voucher for purchase at La Vie en Rose

RITUALS Cosmetics is the first brand in the world to combine home & body cosmetics. With its product line – from luxury body and facial creams through to precious mineral make-up, scented candles, pure tea and Soulwear – RITUALS Cosmetics inspires people to transform their daily routines into beautiful, meaningful moments. The idea to ‘Transform everyday routines into more meaningful moments’ lies at the heart of the RITUALS Cosmetics philosophy and forms the basis for each of its products.

INGLOT Cosmetics was established over 30 years ago by Wojtek Inglot, a young chemist working at that time in R&D department in a pharmaceutical company. His principal objective was to produce high quality products at fair and reasonable prices, using only the best possible ingredients and raw materials from the most reputable suppliers. All INGLOT cosmetics are produced within the European Union and 95% of them are manufactured in our own state of art production facilities.

Bottega Verde, the home to tradition, which nestles amongst hills, vineyards and wheat fields was opened in 1972 as a small herbalist shop with a passion for artisan production and sale of cosmetics based on natural ingredients. With the belief in authentic and natural beauty where the focus is on the teachings from nature, Bottega Verde products are meant to be highly effective as well as sensorial and developed to meet every beauty need.

  • Inglot Pro Blending Sponge
  • Inglot Matte Lipstick in 417 (nude-pink)
  • Rituals Happy Buddha Shower Foam
  • Bottega Verde Pepe Rosa Hand Cream
  • Bottega Verde Uva Rosa Sample Kit – body cream, face cream and serum

 

Inglot Pro Blending Sponge

Inglot Pro Blending Sponge ensures a flawless makeup finish. This multi-purpose sponge is ideal for blending and carefully shaped for precise application. The pointed end of INGLOT Pro Blending Sponge can be used to cover blemishes, spots, or hard-to-reach areas of the face, while the rounded area should be used for larger portions. Use with any of INGLOT’s liquid or creamy products to achieve a perfect complexion with ease.

I use sponge to apply powder and foundation to my face, but not this. Well, Inglot, thanks for this!

Inglot Matte Lipstick 

The perfect opaque super matte lipstick for any occasion. Vitamin E, macadamia oil, and avocado oil moisturize and nourish the lips. Long lasting formula provides the ideal matte, smooth, even finish.

What I got was a matte lippie in 417, a nude/pale color with cool-toned pink. Cool-toned means the color leans towards violet and blue. The color is pinkish but in a way that will flatter most skin colors, but most especial skin with cool/”blue” undertones.

Application-wise, I was surprised that it does not glide the way I like my satin/sheer/moisturizing lipstick or colored balm. It might be the sample being dry, but applying it was like having to rub the lippie on my lips. It does give a smooth-looking opaque coloring, though. I also like the heavy feel of the lipstick tube. The shiny and sleek packaging screams “professional”

No flash under natural lighting – It looks almost natural. I approve.

With flash under artificial lighting – now you see it’s a pink that looks like lavender.

On an slightly related note, I got a makeover voucher from the box as well. I visited the Inglot branch in Burjuman where I was informed to schedule an appointment for the makeover. No sweat, I live nearby anyway. I was also able to check the price for the Freedom Palette (makeup) I’ve been drooling about. You can choose the colors you want in a portable makeup kit. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Magnetic Palette – AED 80
  • Face powder/foundation – AED 40
  • Blush – AED 40
  • Eyeshadow – AED 35
  • Lip color – AED 35

So, like a minimum of AED 240? Huhuhu I’m gonna stick with using my samples then.

Rituals Happy Buddha Shower Foam

Start each day with a boost of happiness with our Happy Buddha Shower Foam; that combines the citrus scent of Sweet Orange and warmth of Cedar Wood. Simply squeeze a small amount of gel into your hand, massage it into your skin and watch it transform into a rich, creamy, moisturizing foam.

Seriously this one smells like happy energy on a spray bottle. The extra soft translucent gel quickly turns into a happy cloud of white foam, with an exuberant explosion of crisp, bright orange scent upon contact with my skin. I feel so ecstatic! Perfect for an awakening morning zing. I am really one happy Buddha with this.

I also checked the website and it made me buy a lot of things from their actual store in Burjuman after I availed of their free hand massage and nail coloring (yes they have makeup and nail products as well, even handwash / liquid hand soap, dish washing liquid, tea cup and curated tea bags for the perfect beauty relaxing ritual.)

Bottega Verde Pepe Rosa Hand Cream with Pink Peppercorn and Vanilla Extracts

A rich, fragrant cream which is ideal even for very dry, dehydrated skin. Its special formula with Pink Peppercorn and Vanilla extracts protects and preserves moisture levels. The delightful fragrance opens with exhilarating hints of Pink Peppercorn and Calabrian Bergamot. The middle notes are filled with enchanting Orange Blossom aromas offering all of the passion of Sicily and it is all warmed by creamy fusions of Vanilla. When used on a daily basis, it keeps hands soft and beautiful, while helping to prevent the signs of ageing.

For the three months I’ve subscribe for both Zanedo and Glambox, I almost always get one or more hand cream / lotion / therapy, you name it! This one is a full size product from Bottega Verde, with a branch in Burjuman. Aside from the quaint packaging design, easy skin absorption and gentle fruity / gourmand / floral scents, the products are just alright.

For this particular product, the hand cream has the usual drug store body lotion consistency, gets absorbs fast (unlike Crabtree and Evelyn’s) and leaves a floral scent with a hint of pepper.

Bottega Verde Uva Rossa di Palazzo Massaini – Body Cream / Face Cream / Serum in Red Grape Extract

The red grape grown in the splendid tuscan country side is used as the main ingredient in the red grape kit. The antioxidants in the red grape contains anti-ageing properties and relieves stress.


Body Cream

The body cream has a thin consistency however you feel it is packed with moisturizing oil upon application. The skin easily soaks in the moisture and the lotion’s scent is mild, comforting, but still fruity.

Face Cream

Unlike the body cream, the face cream is thick and very white. No worries, though, because it gets absorbed by the face in an instant. Scent is mild and lovely, even lovelier than the body cream.

Serum 

I got a sample sachet of the slightly colored serum. The consistency is watery and gentle on the face.

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For the Apparel Group box, it is such a wonderful way to introduce their cosmetic lines, given that these are not well-known brands here in UAE (well, except Inglot).

I got the best buck for their vouchers, too, because all three have set shop in Burjuman Centre, which is very accessible to me. I love the vouchers!

  • I got to know that I have normal-combination skin (PH levels are good, thanks TONER!).
  • I got a Welcome Box from Bottega Verde containing samples of Almond & Jasmine Hand Cream (the best-smelling hand cream from this brand so far), Ialuronplus Face Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Uva Rosa Body Cream.
  • I can book an appointment at Inglot to give me a makeover. I guess that would be the only time my face will get touched by Inglot products.I also got to discover their Freedom Palette system.
  • The people at Rituals Burjuman are wonderful and patient! The place alone is so Zen, they generously let me try those hand wash, cream, scrub and shower gel, painted my nails a midnight blue (from their own nail polish collection AED 29 each), tried their precious minerals makeup and gave me a cup of tea (black tea with bergamot, as part of their Ritual of Happy Buddha Line). I bought AED 130 worth of products and got a free full sized shower foam gel (yah I can’t get enough of those shower products).

I really felt beautiful and pampered! So , Glambox decided to give another Glambox to share!!!!!


Here’s the Glambox to Share!

Sharing is caring,but sorry I’m gonna hoard these things!

The brochures here are not as great (for me) as the first, but the 50% discount voucher for the next Glambox subscription is the best deal! If I were not leaving the UAE this year., I would have happily resubscribed. So at least this one voucher, I shared with someone so she can discover the joys of discovering new stuff at such low prices. I did my job, Glambox, I surely did.

  • Discount voucher for enrolment at Guavapass Fitness
  • Discount voucher for Kaya Skin Clinic service
  • Discount voucher for purchase at Dorothy Perkins, Dubai Mall Branch
  • 50% off subscription fee for Glambox!

The lovely, lovely things to have and share.

Arcancil – Very Mat Lipstick in 435 Nude Mat

It’s all about the comfortable texture, enriched in pure pigments sublimating intensity of each shade, matte finish, second skin sensation and long wear.

Full Size: 12g, Price: AED 66. Available at Karji Shop/ Big Brand Shop/ Layal Gallery Shop/ Vperfume Shop/ Xpression Shop/ Ansar Gallery Shop.

This is a matte lipstick with unprecedented comfort. Enriched with pure pigments, VERY MAT dresses up your lips with intense color and infinitely matte finish that lasts all day long. As comfortable as a balm, its light texture gives a velvet finish to your lips in one step. Unlike the Inglot lipstick, this one glides so easily on my lips like butter and it leaves a more warm-colored nude pink. The texture is not exactly super matte, but I like the effect, nonetheless.

With flash under artificial lighting

COMPARISON: First on the left is Inglot (more pink), second on the right is Arcancil (more orange/peach)

Catrice Glamour Doll Volume Mascara

Perfect doll eyes! Catrice’s Glamour Doll Volume Mascara has a specially developed elastomer brush that captures the creamy mascara, spreads it well and covers each individual lash without weighing it down. The results: extra volume, length and density. That’s how to get huge doll eyes! Available in Curl and Waterproof!

Full Size: 10g, Price: AED 19. Available at Sana Fashion, Joanna Fashion, V Perfumes, Lulu and Souq.com

To bad they don’t have it in Carrefour. The mascara is dirt cheap and not waterproof, yet it does the work just fine! The sleek curvy design is also wonderful.

The very short bristles pick up just the right amount of mascara and the angled brush (with a particular hand angle in application) provides a lengthening boost and an instant upward curve to my lashed. Forgive my not so wonderfully clear shot but you can see how sexy and long the lashes are. Mine look almost naturally long.

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Beauty By Edge False Lashes

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Beauty By Edge is the first of its kind in Dubai – a combination of a retail shop, hair design studio and salon all in one. Their eyelashes are very easy to apply and reusable multiple times.

Price: AED 50-100 per pair. Size: 1 Size. Found at: www.beautybyedge.com

Sadly, I am not one to use these so I also gave it to someone else. But hey, it looks wonderful! Check their websites for more eyelashes and hair extensions.

Orlane Skincare

Known for the flawless performance of its products, Orlane Paris was created by a group of biochemists more than 60 years ago. Today, Orlane continues to be a leader in anti-aging skin care, promising both immediate and long-term results to delight your skin.

Price: Starting from AED 366. Available at: Areej, BinSina Pharmacy and Boots

Orlane Elixir Royal

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This exceptional product, with its luscious textures, provide the most demanding skin with Royal Jelly’s secret to longevity and the extraordinary anti-aging prowess of 24-carat-gold. The serum is yellowish and thick in a transparent way but it glides on like water on skin and gets really absorbed fast.

Fresh Royal Jelly: high concentration of trace elements, vitamins, and amino acids, making it an extremely effective anti-aging ingredient. Smart Ingredient Vectorization: Revolutionary Delivery System * delivers fresh royal jelly to the heart of skin cells in it’s free form for instant results * via a plant micropatch grid that releases the royal jelly over time * in the form of phytospheres for targeted release deep into the skin 24-Karat Gold:stimulates the production of elastic fibers and prevents skin slackening, renews and energizes, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory to help skin protect against stressors and free radicals. Spot Reduction: Stargazer Lily, is a maritime flower, effective in significantly reducing pigmentation of brown spots.

Orlane Skin Recovery Care Eye Contour

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A treatment especially designed to provide true biological rest for the fragile skin around the eyes. This ultra-fine gel-cream with White Lily extracts decongests, smoothes and eliminates temporary puffiness and dark circles. I applied it on the skin around my eyes and it did not sting. I rarely have trouble with puffy eyes or eyebags so it was fine, I guess. I hope it does something about the uneven coloring of my skin around the eyes as opposed to other parts. 🙂

Enchanteur Moisture Silk Hand & Body Lotion – Rose Oud

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Experience the richness of Enchanteur Rose Oud Body Lotion with its French, Oriental blend of enigmatic Rose and mysterious Oud complemented by warm Cashmere Musk, Sandalwood and Saffron. It is formulated with non-greasy Moisture Silk and specially enriched with Aloe Vera and Olive Butter to give your skin optimum moisturization and nourishment.

Full Size – Price: 250 ml – AED 10, 500ml – AED 17.5, 750ml – AED 23.5, Available across retail channels pan GCC.

I love the cheap and fragrant Enchanteur talc so I expected a whiff of strong feminine scent. This one’s on the very strong, bold side because of oud. Anyway, the rose oud combination smells like old-time royalty in some desert fortresses or some exotic places, with sultry dresses, drumbeats  and dances around bonfires.

Marina De Bourbon Fragrances

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Parfums is known across the world for indulging women with a selective and luxurious range of fragrances representing the French luxury and elegance.

Price/Size: Starting from AED 195 / 50 ml. Available at: Debenhams, Layal Gallery, Beauty Bay Lifestyle and major perfumeries and beauty store across UAE

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L’Or de Marina

http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Princesse-Marina-De-Bourbon/L-Or-de-Marina-33900.html

Floral Woody Musk fragrance for women. L’Or de Marina was launched in 2014. Top note is violet; middle notes are jasmine, white flowers, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are cedar and white musk.

On me, the top note is a strong floral that transforms into white-flower scent and musk. Would be better to wear for colder weather to retain the floral pleasantness.

So, again, Glambox has consistently provided a great bang for the bucks with their reliable delivery and service, wonderful products, discounts and freebies at a competitive price. I recommend them 11/10!!!

PS. Glambox emailed me to inform that I won a #Glambreak Glambox AND the #Manbreak Box for Men. I am so happy to be honest!!!!!! I’m gonna wait for the boxes and let you know.
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Love The Skin You’re In – Zanedo July 2016 Box

Hello! I just entered into the foray of paid subscription boxes, and the first I received is a beauty box from the UAE, Zanedo.  http://www.zanedo.com/

As per website: Zanedo is a discovery online beauty site that clears the clutter and offers you a personalized way to sample, shop and learn about the best beauty products and brands available for women and men throughout the Middle East and Africa. At Zanedo we’re more than just a box, we’re a community of beauty and e-commerce experts dedicate to bringing you a fun way to discover high-end beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products.

They have 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription and a one-time deluxe beauty box with high-end samples.

I ordered at the third week of July, together with another one, Glambox. I did not reach the cut-off for Glambox, but with Zanedo, they managed to include me for July 2016 box delivery. How wonderful was that! So, I received the package via Parzel on August 2. Not bad. Anytime within the first week of next month is fine by me, given that it is free delivery.

Items came within acceptable timeframe (July Box came 2nd of August, not a problem).

Items were safe in bubble wrap with the Zanedo Logo sticker, and placed in a Crabtree&Evelyn Paperbag.

What’s inside:

Dessata Tangle-Tamer Hairbrush (Regular “Salon” Size)

The Body Shop Mango Body Sorbet (200ml)

The Body Shop White Musk Dark Rose Body Wash (50ml)

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy (Cream) Trio

Alessandro Bonne Chance (Good Luck) Hand Crème

Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Lip Balm

A tiny orange bath mesh sponge – Cute! Perfect for travel.

Shall we go into details? Yah!

  1. Dessata Tangle-Tamer Hairbrush (“Salon” Sized)

About Dessata Detangling Hairbrushes

Dessata brush has 440 triple length bristles and ergonomic, curved design without handle in many funky color combinations. It’s like holding a large computer mouse. It definitely promises pink-girly, ergonomic and hassle-free combing! It does not cause too much static and does not tug at my wet hair. I noticed almost no hair fall after combing.

2. The Body Shop Mango Body Sorbet (200ml)

http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/shop-by-range/mango/mango-body-sorbet.aspx

– It is a “summer” body moisturizer with an unexpected non-greasy texture that is both light and refreshing, and a pleasant fragrance that bursts as mango from the bottle and settles quietly on my skin as vanilla. This is one of my favorites so far. The product has a sorbet-like look to it, it has a gelatin-like feel upon application on the skin, but it quickly turns a bit powdery, and it is absorbed easily without sticky feeling. I prefer that its scent does not stay strong for hours on my skin.

3. The Body Shop White Musk Dark Rose Body Wash (60ml Mini)

http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/shop-by-range/white-musk-smoky-rose/white-musk-smoky-rose-body-wash.aspx

It is a soap-free shower gel fragranced with a blend of cruelty-free musk, tobacco flower and rose. I prefer bathing with shower gels than with soap nowadays, and this one leaves my skin soft, and me feeling sensual. The scent is seductive, I’d likely use it before going out in the night, or in winter before I sleep. After taking a bath, the smells lingers, unlike Bath and Body Works body gels.

4. Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy Trio (25g x 3)

http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/hand-care/hand-cream/

Three travel-friendly hand cream in a pretty, countryside spring-themed box. Very English. This beauty box keeps on giving me lotions and the like! You can re-wrap and re-gift this one 🙂

It includes three spring / summer variants: La Source (marine), Gardeners (herbs) and Caribbean Island Wild Flowers (self-explanatory)

La Source – A crisp, clean scent of refreshing aquatic notes, musk, and gentle shoreline breezes.

Gardeners – Fresh green clover, lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Caribbean Island Wild Flowers – lily, wild flowers, tropical citrus fruits and a marine accord

Of the three, I’m partial to Wild Flowers. Slightly aquatic with a flowery hint. Gardeners smells like a combination of herbs, surprise! My brother said it smelled like “luya” or ginger. La Source is like powder and rain, simply.

  1.  Alessandro Bonne Chance (Good Luck) Hand Crème (50ml)

http://de.alessandro.o-byte.com/bonne-chance

This particular hand crème is Alessandro’s special one. “Bonne Chance” means good luck, and the hand crème is easily absorbed into the skin while leaving a very interesting scent. Is it fruity? Flowery? Gourmand? I had to search online, and it is said to have the aroma of marzipan. Sorry I don’t know what that tastes or smells like. Anyway, Alessandro’s Hand Cream is a highly effective, intensive anti-aging hand cream that contains Biopearl complex from freshwater pearl.

  1. Dr. Organic Manuka Honey Lip Balm 5.7 ml

http://www.drorganic.co.uk/honey-products.asp

A rich natural lip balm with unique repairing properties of Organic Manuka Honey, nourishing Shea butter, Propolis, Beeswax and Vitamin E, that hydrate and protect lips exposed to wet and cold weather. It also provides SPF 15 protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. This one’s perfect all year-round! Should I toss my Labello Watermelon Lip Balm? Nah, this one smells and tastes of honey, and it’s better off in winter. Hmm…

Pros:
Branded, full size items
Products are far from expiry (yay)
Careful bubble wrapping (and I don’t mind the paperbag, I will proudly reuse it.)
Real value for money (the total price of this box alone is worth the 3 months’ subscription payment)

Cons:

More on skin/bodycare
Items are similar in type
Not in a box
Customer service and delivery can still be improved to provide order /delivery updates.


All in all, I am happy with my first Zanedo Box! No excuse for not-pampered hands and scaly dry skin. I can use all the items myself or gift it to someone and they will love it. I love it and I can’t wait for the next!



Next month I’ll receive my second Zanedo box and my first Glambox. Rumors says the August Glambox will be from Esthetic Sense, a boutique beauty salon that offers items from Dermatologica, Davines and Jane Iredale. Oh, this is gonna be even better! These brands gets rave reviews and the products are just fantastic. We will see. See you!

Wet and Wild at Masasa Beach, Tingloy, Batangas

Two weeks after our Baler trip, one of us invited us to try free diving and snorkeling at Masasa and Anilao, Batangas. All I heard was “beach, beaaaaaach” and I was sold. Even if it seemed that it would be another cloudy and steel-grey looking sky. Nope. It was a stormy steel-grey sky. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Going to the NEW Cubao Bus Station as early as possible was a problem, and good thing there was the 6:30am bus trip from JAM Liner. I still wished I just took a taxi, not a bus. The bus I took unloaded me somewhere too far from the station. Fortunately, it deposited me right in front of Andok’s and I bought roasted chicken and BBQ. I took a taxi and arrived just in time.

The new bus station almost looked like a mini domestic airport lounge with security, clean and air-conditioned lounge, ticketing area, and food court. We were pleasantly surprised with the comfortable bus assigned to us. For around P170, the bus was almost new, clean, decked with multiple television screens and a portable restroom.

Travel was a quick affair, left at 7am and arrived at around 9:30am due to it being in the middle of the Halloween and All Saints & Souls’ Day holiday season. Expect at least 3 hours from the New Cubao Station to the Batangas Grand Bus Terminal.

The Batangas Grand Bus Terminal was a new place with lots of ongoing construction and is a bare – minimum type of bus station. Good thing there was a 7/11 Convenience store and mini sari-sari stores to buy last minute items. You can choose from jeeps or “taxis” or U-Hop for travel. Opted for jeep to the port. It was a 1-hour, 35-peso travel until we arrived soaking wet at Anilao port.

What blew our minds was that the water is clear enough to see the bottom and children frolicked and asked us to throw coins they could collect in a dive. We paid an environment fee (P10?) at the port then around P80 for the boat. We were just glad to be able to sail even though the ultramarine waves were slowly growing stronger.

We arrived at rainy Tingloy Island after nearly an hour and immediately hopped into the tricycle (we were five) and sped along sinuous and winding roads towards the opposite side of the island where Masasa Beach was located.

Our homestay was a simple location. There was an open-air common area with hammocks and videoke, two kitchenettes, three small baths, rooms and two nipa huts. We took one of the nipa huts, which has a sitting room for eating, and two beds. Two slept on the sitting area, two in one of the beds and I took another, being the only woman in the group.

Going to Masasa Beach was a muddy walk on the open rice fields but you would be surprised by the crushed corals and shells-strewn cream colored sand and calm, clear blue water. The pawikans or sea turtles were a bit farther and one had to drop from a boat with snorkeling or diving equipment to see one. We enjoyed swimming for the rest of the late afternoon.

The next day at 7am we enjoyed another dip and then had our “island tour” which is basically nearly going back to the Tingloy town side but through a wondrous boat ride in a sea of alternating colors of ultramarine blue and turquoise and glimpses of corals and marine life below. It would have been a blue visual feast if not for the perennially grey skies and occasional rain.

We spotted several small pockets of sand and we were dropped by a snorkeling place. Many opted to brave the rocks to visit the “hidden caves.” Our boat man then brought us to another snorkeling and diving spot. I was only able to enjoy the underwater spectacle for a short time because my snorkeling gears were defective. Then on the way back to Masasa, the boat moved at a leisurely pace and the guys were on both sides of the boat, hands holding onto ropes and heads underwater to see the fishes, creatures and corals below. I only got shadowy glimpses and a short underwater shot thanks to my phone encased in waterproof case.

I was persuaded to try it when we were at Masasa Beach as it would be just a short distance to the safety of the shore. Even with a gear that threaten to leak water on my face, I still managed to see the large yellow pawikan (sea turtle) grazing lazily at the sea bottom. All worth it 😀

So after that we initially planned to go to Anilao so we can try free diving, but the weather seemed to get worse so we decided to eat and pack up to leave. Unfortunately, the supposedly low pressure area became a tropical depression and the seas were rough. No boat. We were kind of stranded in the island. So what’s the best to spend the idle time but to sing our hearts out with the videoke? Yep, we further incited the wrath of the storm with our singing. Boom! Crash!

While the guys played card games, I retired to my bed and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but I felt sleep creep in. In several times my consciousness awakened, I heard the storm pounding down with heavy rains and thunders. I woke up too early… like before 3am and tried to get news from the internet. Cellular signal was a problem in those homestay near the beach and communication could be really challenging. Nonetheless, the strong rain stopped into drizzles the moment I was fully awake. We decided to go ahead for Tingloy port. A short uphill walk, then a bumpy tricycle ride, and we arrived at a jam-packed port full of vacationers just wanting to go home, as you know, we were supposed to leave yesterday and be able to report back to work today.

The boat would not start but it did eventually and we heaved a sigh of relief at the weather that slowly returning to a bit better and almost no strong waves to batter the lowly boat.

The travel was smooth-sailing literally and figuratively. We rode the jeep back to Batangas City, then the bus. We arrived in Cubao and parted ways under stormy steel grey skies, the same skies when we left.

From Redditors: Haler Baler!

If we tell people of decades ago that it is now a norm for one to post an invite for a trip, interested people would communicate by, let’s say, written letter or notes, and meet random strangers to join in said trip when it’s time for departure, I think it will blow their minds. Questions of safety, trust, and even money are at stake! However, this is the digital age, and that guts and a few finger strokes can be a start of a something wondrous.

So it happened that a new member threw the stone of invitation in this internet pool I would call Reddit and the ripples reached several people who seemed interested, most of them first timers to the world of surfing and I guess, traveling with unrelated people in general.

An aspiring surfing hobbyist decided to go back to dear Aurora’s watery embraces and tow a few people who were inclined to go and posted details in r/Philippines’s Random Discussion Thread. I was one of those who got interested. My reasons? First, I am getting old and still have not experienced out of towns with friends, let alone strangers. Second, it is part of my training for improving socialization skills and perhaps meeting new people and friends. Anyway, some of us met up beforehand to pay up, discuss the logistics and had some bonding over ramen and card games.

Lowdown on Logistics

So, the selling point of this weekend trip is its value for money. One Redditor would have booked us a house with pool via AirBNB but some people backed out, so we booked bunk beds at The Circle Hotel for P500 per each confirmed person. We added some more when others contacted us. The trip master rented a van for 11 people for P11,000 all-in plus P500 for additional trips near Baler. The rest of the expenses were variable factors and one may go cheap or go all out.

Early Morning Trip

We met up at one Redditor’s home Friday evening and waited for the van to pick us up by 2am. Van was a Toyota GL Grandia that can comfortably fit 11 passengers and driver. Early morning means faster travel and we breezed through NLEX, SCTEX and the winding highway along the mountains within 4.5 hours. We arrived at the hostel before 7pm and since we were too early for check in (9am), we decided to eat silog meals nearby. P60-75 per meal and P10 for coffee sachet.

Center of The Circle (Hostel)

9 am check in and we were given one pillow, blanket, bed sheet and pillow case each. Towels can be rented for a fee. We were lumped in together at one-coed room with 5 bunk beds = 10 persons. Two would just share a bed. Small lockers were in the room for valuables but we had to go to the town proper to purchase pad locks at P40 each.

The nipa-hut hostel was a no-frills area but it would be good for solo travelers. Cement grey walls were splashed with graffiti and inspirational quotes and drawings. Top-naked locals and visitor lounged around before going out for surfing.

• Lots of electric and ceiling fans

• Three shower cubicles with hot water per gender

• Three toilet cubicles with tissue and bidet (water spray)

• Area to practice balancing at the surfing board

• Open kitchen with microwave, toaster, refrigerator, water dispenser, utensils, dinnerware etc.

• Common Areas for socialization

• Next-day breakfast of pan de sal, bananas and peanut butter

Surf’s up at Sabang Beach

One hour surfing lesson and board rental is at P350 and can be coordinated directly at the hostel and to be paid upon check out. We got transported by van to that side of Sabang Beach with weaker waves and surf boards were brought in by tricycles.

Sky was a dull light grey and so were the waves.

A female Redditor and I shared one board and instructor for a 30-minute lesson. Man, I think we only lasted 15 or 20 minutes each. I did get a rare chance to be able to stand on the board on water and ride it for let’s say nearly 1 minute. A guy kept trying to sell us pearl earrings for P100 per pair. Not bad for the price, but it was cheaper by the garland (of pearls) in Palawan. Since we do not want to wet the van with our wet bums, we opted to ride tricycles back to the hostel for P17 per trip (three-four persons).

Downtime at the Nipa Hut

The best part of the hostel was the airy and spacious common area above the skateboard / surfing board practice area. We actually slept there later that night.

For the meantime, we ordered food from the hostel. For example, my Pork Salpicao with 1 cup of rice is at P80 pesos. Pasta was at P100 plus. Some tried the Cala-mint (P50-60, cannot remember the price) and it was a refreshing mix of cold calamansi juice and mint served in mason jars. We had our phones charged and claimed our bean bag chairs and pillows. We also got to meet an aspiring singer, a redditor – lurker, fellow local and foreign surfers.

Wonder-fall Ditumabo Falls

As the others opted to surf once more in the afternoon, some of us decided to pay a visit to Ditumabo Falls at the neighboring area of San Luis, Aurora. The trip was part of the P500 extra fee to driver and was shared among 7 people. It was a 20-30 minutes travel by car. Paid Parking (P20-30 I think) at the foot of the mountain was alright, good for 10 or more light vehicles. There were well-maintained restrooms and Eco-fee of P30 per head.

A tour guide helped us, well, mostly me, brave the 1 km trek to the falls.

I was the one adamant to visit the falls that late in the afternoon for fear that we would not be able to next morning, but the trek through uneven rocks and river crossings proved to be hard without slip-resistant footwear. It took us around 20-30 minutes one-way and it was faster when going downhill.

We saw a smaller falls and then the dam, and then the Mother Falls itself. The thunderous hitting of the water from above was strong that we could feel the mist of water spray from several meters away. It was hard to take a picture lest you risk wetting the gadget but the tour guides were surprising good with the imaging technology that were our smartphones, DLSR and compact cameras.

Jumping into the water basin took away our tiredness as the ice-cold water embraced us. We swam in its crystal-clear fresh water and took pictures with the Go-Pro. Unfortunately, the moment got cut short by rain threatening out already perilous trail and all of us in the area had to go down quick.

Again, I was the last to arrive at the food stop because of my clumsiness and inappropriately slippery slippers. We ate kakanin, hotdog and tokneneng (P10-20 each). At the end of the trip, we gave P200 for the tour guide’s fee and I added P50 for tip, because she helped me all the way.

I’d strongly advise to schedule the visit early in the day to make the most out of the falls’ basin.

Heaping Servings at Kusina Luntian

Tired from the trek, we rested for a while then looked for Kainan Luntian, an unassuming resto-bar. We sat on the bamboo floor and was served our food in banana leaves without utensils, kamayan style.

Many of us opted for the Wapang-Wapang na Liempo meal at P95. This came with a large cup of rice (more like 1.5 cups of rice), the meaty goodness of liempo, topped with half a salt egg and the pako (fern) salad. The fern salad was delightfully drenched in sweetened kalamansi juice dressing. This meal was so good and heavy on the stomach that some of us had difficulty finishing it off.

I also tried the Home-brewed Calamansi Juice with Thyme at P65 per mason jar. This one tasted sweeter with a barely distinguishable hint of thyme. Calamint from The Circle was better.

Octobrewfest@TheCircle – The Night Life

We got a taste of the Night Life at Baler with houses converted to bars and inns having their own drinking sessions and singers for the night. We looked for Smirnoff Mule and and found it at the jam-packed house compound-turned Cauti Bar. We went back to the hostel and enjoyed listening party music, then to one group’s impromptu singing session, then to chill late-night music. The local brewery present offered craft beer by the liter (P150-200 per liter).

Tired and drunk for the day, we went up the airy common area to play games with our resident game-master Redditor leading the Uno game, then the Categories game, which revealed too many “feels”. It was really cool at the common area so we slept right here and there.

(Peanut) Butter, Bread and Banana Breakfast

We woke up to a sunny morning and loud crashing of waves. The hostel staff brought bananas, pan de sal and peanut butter for a power breakfast. We also got the time to chit-chat with fellow bed spacers there. One of them was this Fil-am guy with sun-burned skin, nearly grey eyes and can speak a bit of Tagalog as well. We mostly talked about history and government.

Sunny Days at Diguisit Beach

While some of us were mastering the art of surfing and some were sleeping again, I visited the other, cleaner side of the beach where the sand was black mixed with yellow and the waves were strong. As I get pounded by the waves crashing onto the sand, I watched the pro surfers glide effortlessly along the water.

I came back quickly to invite the others, and then one of guests at the hostel told us stories of their motorcycle trip the day before. Apparently, they rented motorcycles (P250 or P350 per day) and went to the other beaches like Cobra, Cemento and Diguisit. Struck with an idea, I asked our driver to bring us to Diguisit Beach and Rock Formations.

Only 30 minutes ride from Sabang, Baler, Diguisit Beach was a tiny white sand beach with a kiddie pool nearby, with corals and rock formations abound instead of fine white sand on water. On shallow areas you could see tiny fishes and sea creatures or float in deeper pockets of coral / rock floor. Many would walk gingerly on uneven rock formations to take picture.

There was a hidden small pool by the rocks where strong waves may crash on it. The beach was not ideal for chill swimming as the rock formations were sharp and serrated. There was the pool, anyway.We paid P30 per head for the entrance fee.

Our other companions trekked the sand and reached the hill with a lighthouse. Not sure if it was the Dicalasarin Cove light house of another one altogether, but they could not get nearer because of natural barriers.

Afternoon Delight

We went back in town after 1 hour at the beach to eat and our driver took us to where he usually ate. We spent P60 to P120 for our meals. The Bulalo for 4-5 people was P300, the inihaw na posit or grilled squid was P200 and was for 3 people, rather than 4.

Afterwards, we got ready for check out. Our trip master collected payment from various expenses like the food, items, fare, fees etc. We surrendered the pillows, blankets, bedsheets and pillow cases at the front desk, and chilled at the common area while waiting for our van.

Back To Reality

We left Baler at around 3:40 pm. We stopped at the first gas station in NLEX for some Jollibee goodness. I requested the trip master and the driver to drop me in one of the exits so I could travel back home faster. It was more expensive than if I dropped off with the others in QC, but the travel time was cut short considerably.  If I were correct, the van reached the Quezon City stop at around 9:30 or 10pm.

It was a fun first trip for me, my companions were game to do thing even if tired and we did not have issues with the shared expenses. My only regret was that we did not have a group picture. Introverts that we are, perhaps, it was not necessary anymore. The memories and a chance for future trips and meetups are enough.

——————————-

Summary / Itinerary

  • Van Rental for up to 11 people – from OLX –  P11,000 all in (driver and his food and lodging, GL Grandia van, toll fees) + P500 for tour trips nearby
  • Accommodation – The Circle Hostel – P500 / head at in dorm / bunkbed / hammock or P1000 in a room for 2-3 persons
  • Surfing lesson and board rental – P350 / hour (tip encouraged)
  • Food – P60 above per meal depending on location and preference
  • Alcoholic drink – P30 above per bottle
  • Tricycle – short trip to Sabang beach – P17
  • Tricycle – rental for visiting attractions – P500 – P800 for 3 persons
  • Motorcycle – one day rental – P350 excluding driver
  • Diguisit Beach entrance – P30 / head
  • Ditumabo Falls Eco Fee – P30
  • Ditumabo Falls Tour guide – P200
  • Ditumabo Falls parking – approximately P20-30

Preferred Itinerary:

Day 1

2-3am ETD from Manila

8 am Arrival and Breakfast

9 am Check in

10 am Town visit (museum, municipal hall, church, Aurora’s house etc) OR Sabang Beach surf (interchange with trek to waterfalls)

12 pm Lunch

1 or 2 pm Ditumabo Falls Trek and Swim (interchange with town tour or surfing)

4 or 5 pm Surfing

6-7pm Dinner

Day 2

7 or 8am Breakfast

9am Sabang beach / Diguisit Beach and Rock Formation / other beaches and sites to visit

12pm Lunch

2-3pm Check out

3:30 or 4 pm Balete Tree (if it’s on the way home, we scrapped this one)

10pm ETA in Manila

Just Checking In

June 24, 2017.

Was it over already?

The fun? The friendship? Socialization?

I went out of the wall and got hurt real quick and now I ensconced myself back inside that wall again. Refusing to get out again.

Have I make a fucking mistake again? I’m figuratively burying my head in my hands in mixed exasperation and shame.

I can’t even bring it up. I can’t type the details or I’d go rambling like mad, and it’s nicer to just spit it out to let go of the steam or whatever.

I feel too tired and lazy to get out. Even if I just have to just fucking sit on the family car, a few hours of socialization, heck they’re just with family members but I still don’t wanna.

I’m spiraling down the well. I knew. I know. I will.

I’ve cut ties again. I see them and I feel sad or angry or envious.

I’m just wondering how long would it take for me to waste away.

I’m nearing thirty. Well, two and a half years, to be exact.

I’m giving up hope of finding like-minded friends.

I’m giving up trust that I’d find that “zing” with someone.

I’m giving up my old dreams and just trudge on my current path in my career.

I’m just letting them go, letting them flow. Let the torrent of tears wash away everything that so far has only given me pain, until it erode my heart. My heart eroded. My mind washed clean.

I long for the day I’m an empty shell. But fuck it you’ll never know because my persona is so well-fucking-built you’ll never know until you see my eyes and I don’t know if you can peep at something or anything there.

This fucking cycle doesn’t seem to end, does it? I do hope it wear me out eventually.

Can someone really die early with a grievous heartache?

Would I even qualify, this coward who cowers at a paper cut?

This is a drag.

I hope that tiny white furball we adopted grows so fast I could hug him for real after two weeks. This one had made me happy so far.

It Was But A Fleeting Moment

It was only a month but I couldn’t remember the feeling as if it was a memory from a very long time ago.

You see, I thought it would be just another evening, where I smile my politely pained smile and utter pleasant nothings at strangers I barely knew and then I would go home and just forget their faces, as I do not even bother to memorize their names.

A wallflower.

No, I would not be like that tonight.

I had a potion that would tear the walls and release the real me.

The night was sensual in its darkness and warmth. Voices sounded like lilting music. Breaths mingled. Laughter roared. The scent of alcohol wafted.

The night was intoxicating. The faces were blurry but the banters were crystal clear. Chinks of bottles for toasts and well wishers.

I was bare. And I was safe. But not for long.

You were the life of the party and the death of me. Your banters and laughter and antics nearly brought me in tears. Words exchanged were daggers in my chest. Your gestures caught me by surprise and it wounded me. My heart was trapped.

Such a wicked man you were. A daredevil with the heart of stone and eyes of flint. A bloodsucker. Prey of virgins and sluts alike. All hidden by a winning smile. Ah, those smiles overshadowed everything else. You see it, you get blinded.

A fucking tease, that was you.

I went back to my lair with a death sentence and I was euphoric about it. I saw cupcakes and rainbows and hope where none existed. My white dress were done, my vows were memorized, and and was ready to jump into the unknown. However it consumed me, this feeling that reached a hundred degrees. It took me away from my roles, from my ministrations, from my reality. I was trapped in an illusion of my own doing.

It took hundreds of owls sending secret notes, several bottles of sobering potions and antidotes, and the suggestive powers of three wizards to wake me up from that slumber.

From euphoric to miserable I went down the hill. The cold was harsh. I gnashed, shook my fists towards the heavens and utter innumerable curses towards no one in particular. For deep in my aching heart, it was, ultimately, my fault. I let my guard down.

And mine eyes laid upon a lone star up in the dark sky. All went black as a vision took over.

The night was sensual in its darkness and warmth. Voices sounded like lilting music. Breaths mingled. Laughter roared. The scent of alcohol wafted.

The night was intoxicating. The faces were blurry but the banters were crystal clear. Chinks of bottles for toasts and well wishers.

I was bare. And I was never safe. I saw the way he moved, the way he flitted from one place to another, the predatory glint in his eyes. The honeyed voice hiding a menacing tone. My heart skipped a little and then it went still.

I have loved and lost. But I’d revel in that loss. The loss made me see the world in a new wavelength. However, I couldn’t deny that, you were a promise, but was a disappointment as well.

I would be a wildflower.

I saw you in the market the next day, a lady hooked in your arms. We shared a look. But in that look I have already whispered your real name. In that brief second our eyes met I have already whispered truths and words that will someday bring you down.

If I have met you at an earlier time, I would have loved you even more. It was just so bittersweet. I could not handle it so I went to the pool of forgetfulness and bathed in its bliss.

A fleeting moment, that was you.

So today, in the company of people and wizards alike in the very same place, I have a vague memory of someone I met and lost. Perhaps he died, I thought. Again, just a fleeting memory.

I smiled a rueful smile.

It was but a fleeting moment.

  • CT. 04.22.17.

(Reposted)We Only Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime—Each One for a Specific Reason.

We Only Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime—Each One for a Specific Reason.

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” ~ Unknown
It’s been said that we really only fall in love with three people in our lifetime.
Yet, it’s also believed that we need each of these loves for a different reason.
Often our first is when we are young, in high school even. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairy tales we read as children.
This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake—and probably our families. We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be.
Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel.
It’s a love that looks right.
The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation.
We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons—but we hang on. Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.
Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this story line, because it’s the emotional roller-coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.
With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should.
It’s the love that we wished was right.
And the third is the love we never see coming.
The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.
This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are.
We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core.
It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true.
This is the love that keeps knocking on our door regardless of how long it takes us to answer.
It’s the love that just feels right.
Maybe we don’t all experience these loves in this lifetime, but perhaps that’s just because we aren’t ready to. Maybe the reality is we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can grasp what it is.
Possibly we need a whole lifetime to learn each lesson, or maybe, if we’re lucky, it only takes a few years.
Perhaps it’s not about if we are ever ready for love, but if love is ready for us.
And then there may be those people who fall in love once and find it passionately lasts until their last breath. Those faded and worn pictures of our grandparents who seemed just as in love as they walked hand-in-hand at age 80 as they did in their wedding picture—the kind that leaves us wondering if we really know how to love at all.
Someone once told me they are the lucky ones, and perhaps they are.
But I kinda think that those who make it to their third love are really the lucky ones.
They are the ones who are tired of having to try and whose broken hearts lay beating in front of them wondering if there is just something inherently wrong with how they love.
But there’s not; it’s just a matter of if their partner loves in the same way they do or not.
Just because it has never worked out before doesn’t mean that it won’t work out now.
What it really comes down to is if we are limited by how we love, or instead love without limits. We can all choose to stay with our first love, the one that looks good and will make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second under the belief that if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having—or we can make the choice to believe in the third love.
The one that feels like home without any rationale; the love that isn’t like a storm—but rather the quiet peace of the night after.
And maybe there’s something special about our first love, and something heartbreakingly unique about our second…but there’s also just something pretty amazing about our third.
The one we never see coming. The one that actually lasts. The one that shows us why it never worked out before.
And it’s that possibility that makes trying again always worthwhile, because the truth is you never know when you’ll stumble into love.
“You found parts of me I didn’t know existed and in you I found a love I no longer believed was real.” ~ Unknown~

Minahala Kita – Julianne

Minahal Kita – Julianne (AKND) – lyrics

from the indie movie Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa

kung sakaling nakikinig

alam kong maari ding hindi

ngunit kelangan ko ‘tong sabihin

di ko na kayang ilihim

 

umaamin

ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin

dinadalangin

na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita

sa abot ng aking makakaya

 

ako sana’y patawarin

di ko ginusto ito

makitang kang nalilito at dismayado sa akin

di ko sinasadyang talikuran ka’t saktan

 

di ko rin kayang masamain

kung mayroon ibang higit sa akin

di ipipilit ang sarili

kung hindi rin lang ako makakabuti sa’yo

 

umaamin

ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin

dinadalangin

na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita sa abot ng aking

makakaya

 

di inasahang

mauuwi sa ganito

kinailangan lumayo

para hilumin ang puso

nagtitiwala sa maykapal

na kung ikaw nga at ako

ibabalik ako sa’yo

 

umaamin

ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin

dinadalangin

na sana di pa huli ang lahat

 

umaamin

ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin

dinadalangin

na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita sa abot ng aking

makakaya

 

buong puso minahal kita sa abot ng aking makakaya

 

 

NOTE:

from this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6R6l_6187U

 

Cheap Thrill: Global Village

Whoohoo! So my brother and I are avout to leave Dubai for good this November, and the Global Village just opened this fine, kinda – cool month. Would be great not to pass the opportunity to visit different countries in one place! First and last time I went was on my first year here and that was in 2013!!! Maybe things got better. 
Problem is that our eldest brother nor our flatmates would’t even consider coming along without an easy-breezy car ride. Good thing is there are dedicated public transport buses to the Village in the desert.

Special trip 103 bus starts at the Union Bus Station in Deira, and we took the second 104 bus trip (3:15pm) from Al Ghuibaba Bus Station. The trip is approximately 30 munutes.

We came at just after 4pm, the park’s opening but the crowd were already thick. The Taj Mahal-like entrance facade was equipped with ticket-reading scanners, greeters who loudly welcomed you at the Global Village and a spacious VIP entrance that offered Arabic tea.

We spent 4 hours visiting nearly every one of the 25 or so pavillions representing different countries! Each pavillion is meticulously designed and there is no shortage of wonderful souvenir, gift and food to buy. A small stage is also set up in a corner for country or culture-specific performances. 


Amenities like ATM locations, toilets and Prayer rooms were plentiful / sufficient and well-maintained. There are restaurants and a lane with food stalls aside from stalls scattered around, although the prices will put you off. 

There was also a space for amusement rides and games, not unlike the carnival or perya. There is also a short canal and boats/abra to take you sailing. 

There is also a big stage with seashell design where entertainers dance, sing, and perform various stuff for all.
On a personal level, these are the things that I can vividly remember about my second and final 😦  visit at the Global Village:

  • Indian guys toting  very large metal tea pot sized jugs (or actual tea pots) like it’s a bagpack and selling karak tea (chai or Indian milk tea).
  • The bus trip was more or less 30-40 minutes instead of the estimated 1 hr. travel time
  • Mini Burj Khalifa
  • Vividly colorful glass tea / coffee glasses
  • The outstanding pavillion designs esp. the Arabic and Asian ones.
  • The near-full moon looking much larger than usual.
  • An orange kitten bolting across our path
  • Canary yellow Zafran (saffron) ice cream with hot pink Rose Syrup for AED 10
  • Effin expensive Turkish Ice Cream that I declined to buy (AED20)
  • Insanely expensive drinks except chai / milk tea, tea or water.
  • Nearly life sized statue of Japanese woman in kimono
  • Anime-inspired keychains at AED 35 😥
  • Insanely priced 1 tola of Arabic perfume oil at AED500 (discounted to AED 250 but no thank you)

Total Spend:

2 500ml Bottled Water = AED 2

One-way bus trip x 4 = AED 40

2 Entrance Tickets = AED 30

Slush drink = AED 10

Saffron Ice cream with Rose Syrup = AED 10

Olive Oil Soft Black Exfoliating Soap for Moroccan Bath (Actually light brown) and exfoliating gloves = AED 50

Thailand Elephant Refrigerator Magnet = AED 10

1 Bottled Water (inside)= AED 2

Poutine with cheese = AED 20

Buko Pandan Juice = AED 10

Whoa, so per person, it’s AED 20 two-way bus trip, AED 15 entrance fee, at least AED 4 for bottled water, maybe minimum of AED 20 for food. A separate shopping fund can go as low as AED 5 (just 1 tiny keychain or super mini wood figurine) to infinity. Another fund will go for rides and games, like AED 12 for 1 game token, or AED 30 for a Ferris wheel ride.

All in all, this is a great shopping, walking,