My OFW Story

I come from a family of OFWs. My father was an OFW Seafarer for most of his life, so were some of my uncles from both sides of the family, some of my aunts used to work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and as an office worker in Bahrain. When I was growing up, friends and family asked me if I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a seafarer like him. My answer was always no. I had no desire whatsoever to work overseas or be away from my family. Fast forward many years later, here I am- an OFW.

Continue reading “My OFW Story”

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Dubai Eats: Chinese Food Indulgence on a Budget

I’m so sick of eating at fancy, over-priced Asian restaurants. For a bowl of noodles, and 4 pieces of dim sum, I would have to fork out up to AED 100 just to satisfy my craving.

There were times when I craved for Hot & Sour soup, but the thought of spending AED 30 for a temporary high is overwhelming as that is almost Php 500 for a bowl, which is enough to feed an entire family back home.

After living in Dubai for more than 3 years, the long search for affordable authentic Chinese food in Dubai is finally over! Thanks to the recommendation of my Chinese friend who has a discerning palate like mine.

Noodle Bowl is located at Dune Center, Al Diyafah, Dubai.

The menu is huge from soups to braised dumplings to noodles, not to mention the rice dishes, stir fried dishes, and traditional congee. There’s a number of vegetable, egg, chicken, beef dishes which made it so difficult for me to choose. The long list of steamed & deep fried dim sums, and cheung feung (or cheung fan) is so appetizing. Ordering was a struggle!

Out of curiosity, I tried Salted Egg Chicken (AED 39) because anything with salted egg is very popular now in Singapore and Malaysia. The quantity is more than enough for one. It was very good.20180803_173103

Cheung Fan is a must. We had Steamed Prawn Cheng Fan (AED 23). Honestly they hit a home run with its flavour.20180803_173015.jpg

Another dish I liked was the Salt & Pepper Squid (AED 39). It is so simple yet  so good. I will come back for this.20180803_173105_001

Their Hot & Sour soup was satisfying and cost only (AED 15), good for one. I wish it had a stronger sour flavour though. The Spicy Wanton in Soy Sauce (AED 20) was also good but not as spicy as I hoped it would be.20180803_173219

The ambiance is not anything special but the portion of some dishes are quite big and definitely good for sharing, and the authenticity and quality are exceptional.

It was our first time here and we enjoyed the food that I totally ignored the fact that the customer service was below average. That or maybe I was just on a good mood.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to everyone who likes Chinese and Malaysian cuisine without breaking the bank. Next time I go I will have their Beef Ho-Fen and Ha Kau Prawn Dumpling.

Would you like to recommend other inexpensive Chinese or Japanese restaurants for us to visit? Please feel free to comment! We would love to hear from you.

T’s Eats Under 100: Marakesh Restaurant

Morocco has always been in the Top 3 of my dream destinations. I feel like there is so much to see, feel and learn in a country that is so colourful, with its interesting culture and hospitable people.

My friend has a friend who has a friend (true story!) who is Moroccan and knows very well how local flavours taste. He recommended a place in Dubai where the food is as good as his mother’s cooking.

Keep on reading!

Debt- The Good and The Bad

Debts- who doesn’t have any? Is it wrong for a person to have debts? Does it make you a bad person if you have a lot of debts? Well, if you’re the type who likes to borrow money and not pay it back- then people probably don’t like you that much. I know I wouldn’t. So is it wrong for a person to have debts? It depends. It depends on why you’re in debt and what kind of debts you have.

Keep on reading!

What’s your Score?

If you’re an OFW in the UAE or other countries like the US you’ve probably heard of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (UAE), or the Credit Bureau in the US. Centralized credit bureau offices like the two mentioned above are agencies responsible for collecting credit information from financial and non-financial institutions. The information is then used to calculate for a person or company’s credit score.

For this entry, we will be discussing mainly about the Al Etihad Credit Bureau.

What’s a Credit Score and Why is it important?

As defined by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, a Credit score is a three-digit number that predicts the likelihood that you will make your loan and credit card payments on time, based on your previous credit and payment behavior.

The number ranges from 300 to 900. A low score indicates a higher risk, whereas a higher score indicates a lower risk.

The Credit Score will help financial institutions make better-informed decisions, process credit card and loan applications faster and provide preferential benefits for those with high scores.

Whenever you apply for a credit card or a loan, the banks will use the information about your credit score to determine if they will approve your application or not, as well as the interest rate that you will get or the Credit Limit on your Credit Card. If your score is high, then you have a better chance of getting your loan or application for a credit card approved. If it’s low, then your application will be declined, or you will probably get a very small credit limit, and a higher interest rate.

How can one improve his or her Credit Score?

If you’ve already had your Credit Score calculated by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau, and you have a low score, you can improve it by making sure that you pay all your bills on time. Pay your credit card and loans diligently. Minimize using your credit card, and work on having a positive bank balance at the end of each month.

Be more responsible when it comes to your finances and your Credit Score will surely improve as well.

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For more information, you may check their website.

https://www.aecb.gov.ae/credit-report

5 Simple Saving Tips from a Kuripot OFW

This month I celebrated my third anniversary as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). I love the whole idea of working abroad and being exposed to different cultures. I am thankful for the opportunity to be here, living my dream to travel the world while saving and investing for my future.

Three years. That’s more than a thousand challenging days of work to achieve my KPI’s! There were moments when I rode the wrong bus and got lost, fainted in the middle of the road because of hypoglycemia, cried in front of my former boss when I was overwhelmed with too much pressure, underwent a total of three major surgeries from a fall accident, and so much more!

Three years. I met new friends and let go of some. I also learned to appreciate my hard-earned money more – keeping track of where it goes and prioritizing my emergency fund and life insurance. I stopped shopping for useless things (in fact, I have not purchased a new purse this 2017 but more on this later). I am embracing the minimalist lifestyle and doing better at keeping to it.

Keep on reading!