Pinoy Christmas traditions

When I wrote this story, I learned a lot of how rich my own culture is. We, Filipinos, love to celebrate and do it big and creatively.


Do you agree to some of these traditions mentioned in my article? Comment below or tweet me at @JekahCarillo


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Happy holidays everyone! I can’t believe it’s only a few days away to 2017!


Kabayan Corner to extend services to Filipinos in Dubai and NE

The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have launched a new project to extend their services to Filipinos living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.


Dubbed as “Kabayan Corner”, the new service will allow Pinoys who do not have access to the internet or phone may now reach out to the PCG when they are in dire need of help.




Kabayan Corner



“Ask Atty Barney / Isumbong mo kay Con Gen” has a tablet for individuals to send their legal enquiries to Gulf Law’s Barney Almazar while a drop box is placed in front for people to drop their concerns or ask for help from the PCG.


To know more here is a full report that I have written. I am glad that even though the government may not be perfect, at least, they are trying to accommodate as much as they can.


Don’t forget to Like and Follow Kabayan Weekly!

New PH passport

The Philippines just released its new passport design and I had the opportunity to see it first hand. Below is my report on it. My favorite part is its illustrations of multiple Philippine sites.

PCG shows new passport equipped with upgraded security features

The lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang” are also available inside!

Don’t forget to Like and Follow Kabayan Weekly


Let’s vote!


With a few days left to go, it is important for every Filipino to exercise their right to vote. The Philippine Consulate in Dubai has extended their timings for overseas absentee voting.


Take note also of the free bus rides to the Consulate (see second image above).


Let’s vote!

May 5 to May 8, PCG – 8 am to 12 midnight 

May 9, PCG – 5 am to 1 pm

*announced by Con Gen Cortes today*

Elections fever abroad

On Saturday, April 9, the overseas absentee voting officially kicked off to a good start. Compared to Philippines where the voting only lasts for one day, on May 9, overseas Filipinos have a chance to vote for their President, Vice President, Senators and Party list organization within a month from April 9 to May 9.


I personally have voted on the first day itself and I was surprised how seamless it went unlike the stories I have heard where there were a lot of difficulties to vote during elections.


The election fever is so infectious as everyone on their social media have utilized their posts to encourage others to further vote as some have not officially voted yet even though they are a registered voter.


As a Filipino it feels great to exercise my right to vote and I do feel everyone should do the same for their own country when they have elections. Best thing about voting is there is no wrong or right answer. What is important is you have practiced your own right to vote.


Here are articles I wrote recently about the current election fever in UAE. Enjoy!

Overseas voting starts in UAE

By Jekah Carillo

DUBAI—Overseas absentee voting (OAV) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commenced on Saturday, April 9, with Filipinos full of excitement voting for their President, Vice President, Senators and Partylist organization.

Remigio Bernardo, who works as a family driver in Sharjah, took the opportunity to vote on the first day at the Philippines Consul General (PCG) office in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

“First ko lang na bumoto uli. Matagal na panahon hindi na ako naka-boto. . . sa Pilipinas pa. Kahit sa Pilipinas matagal na rin,” the 55-year-old Bernardo shared.

… read more


Be cautious when campaigning for favored political candidates in UAE

By Jekah Carillo

DUBAI—Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes has stressed to those who are campaigning for their favored political candidates in the emirate right now to be extra careful.

“I urge all our kabayans here in the UAE to be a little bit more cautious and to be more circumspect, especially when they start giving out flyers, banners, or letters endorsing a political candidate. We all know that sort type of activity is not allowed here in the UAE and we do not want them to be accosted by the police or by CID simply because they are giving out flyers,” he told Kabayan Weekly.

… red more


To be updated follow me on Twitter @Jekah_Carillo or go to

#ChatWithRTA in Twitter

RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) announced a few days ago about having a live chat with it’s followers on October 5, 2015 at 12pm – 1pm. All you need to do is to tweet to @RTA_Dubai and use the hashtag #ChatWithRTA.

@RTA_Dubai tweet #ChatWithRTA

@RTA_Dubai tweet #ChatWithRTA

Numerous questions flooded in the twitter sphere. Some of the popular questions were whether they could make Friday a Salik free day like how Friday is a free parking day. “Salik is targeted to distribute traffic movement on the roads and Fridays witness intense traffic movement.”, @RTA_Dubai tweets.

The Al Maktoum Bridge Salik toll gate has applied an exemption of no toll fee charges between 10pm and 6am from Saturday to Thursday and until 9am on Friday. Some have suggested to do a similar exemption on Sheikh Zayed Road during non peak hours. It is a good idea and ideas like these are welcomed and not ignored by the RTA.

RTA did tweet about new road plans in place to improve the daily commute of the residents in communities like Jumeirah Village Circle and Dubailand. The authority did not comment on new Salik toll gates.

Humidity levels in the UAE

It is now October, Fall season for some countries but not for UAE. It is however the time where the temperature changes from the blazing Summer to prepare itself to a cool Winter. Over the past few weeks, there has been numerous reports and posts on social media that the thick fog in the mornings are at zero visibility at times. This is dangerous for carpools to people rushing to work. There has been accidents due to this.

Abu Dhabi weather forecast from National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

Abu Dhabi weather forecast from National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

The fog usually isn’t present during midday but during dawn or early mornings. It has been reported and forecasted by the National in August that the humidity levels are going to be very high, at 75%. Let’s look at how high it has reached today.

Dubai weather forecast from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

Dubai weather forecast from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

You can see from the two pictures above that the humidity level differences are very far away in numbers. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are at humidity levels ranging from 25% to 90%. This causes thick fog blanketing the city roads.

Other than the visibility problems, respiratory health problems also occurs. Here is a report on the said problem by The National last month.

High humidity puts the body’s cardiovascular system under increased strain, placing heart disorder patients at higher risk.

Dr Ahmed El Hakim, a senior adviser to pharmaceutical firm Cinfa, said: “When temperatures rise, the body works hard to maintain a normal temperature of about 37°C.

“This is done through radiating the heat away from the body, and evaporating sweat molecules.

“Both of these natural methods of cooling down require the heart to pump faster and harder to eliminate the heat, and are made more difficult with high humidity levels.

“While people with normally functioning hearts can more easily adapt to these changes, cardiovascular disease patients must take precautionary measures to ensure their hearts are able to cope with the added strain.”

Warning signs of heat-related health problems include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, disorientation and muscle twitches. If any of these symptoms appear, the sufferer must immediately be transferred to a cooler place and drink cold water. If the symptoms persist, professional advice must be sought.

Even though the temperature is cooling down now in the UAE, residents still need to drink plenty of water to keep their bodies cool and at the right temperature. The sudden changes of humidity levels will give a shock to the body leaving it helpless to normalize the body, making the person ill.

Gitex Shopper celebrates 25 years this year

Gitex Shopper this year is celebrating 25 years from October 3 – 10, 2015 at Dubai World Trade Center. In honor of this occasion, they have numerous prizes to win through their daily raffle draws to the big final draw. Prizes to be won are from mobile phones to a brand new car.

Gitex Shopper 2015

Gitex Shopper 2015

I had the opportunity to visit it this year. It has been a while since I last visited the event. If you are a tech savvy person then Gitex Shopper is perfect for you.

Numerous booths at Gitex Shopper 2015

Numerous booths at Gitex Shopper 2015

Left and right, promoters are holding up sign boards with their promotions while fellow gitex shoppers are busy collecting flyers and browsing to get the best deals.

The people selling their promos there were very convincing. They had one promo which was very good for example which was offered to me, though I didn’t ask. “If you buy the new Samsung Note 5, you will get the chance to get a free gift of either a smart watch or tablet.”, said the salesman who was pushing for me to buy his product.

Obi mobile flyer at Gitex Shopper

Obi mobile flyer at Gitex Shopper

There were two mobile brands present that were unheard to me, Obi mobile and Lava mobile. It was interesting. Affordable too. I did go to Gitex Shopper to help my friend look for Asus Mobile. However, they are not available in the Middle East at the moment.

Lava mobile at Gitex Shopper 2015

Lava mobile at Gitex Shopper 2015

Other than mobile phones, gitex also had other electronics available like washing machines, microwaves and televisions for sale. They had great promos too.

Gitex Shopper 2015 at World Trade Center

Gitex Shopper 2015 at World Trade Center

There is still time for you to visit the event. The entry fee is dhs. 30 and you get raffle tickets to enter the draws. You have to make sure to fill it up and drop them at the raffle boxes provided so that you may have a chance to win. Good luck!

Barbie at Mall of the Emirates

A Barbie exhibition is showcased at Mall of the Emirates this month. It displays 24 collector dolls dressed by international designers like Monique Lhuiller to Calvin Klein. The Barbie dolls are dressed fashionably with mini version of clothes off the runway from designers on different years.

Barbie at Mall of the Emirates

Barbie at Mall of the Emirates

Barbie has been dominating the market for over 50 years. This exhibition is celebrated in honor of Majid Al Futtaim’s 10th year anniversary of Mall of the Emirates. The Barbie dolls are available for the public from September 6, 2015 to September 8, 2015.

A Barbie dressed in Monique Lhuiller design

A Barbie dressed in Monique Lhuiller design

Starting from September 9 to 14, there will be fun activities for Barbie lovers. Barbie Rock’n Royals experience will allow Barbie fans to listen to music, dance, do some creative arts and crafts and play wireless musical instruments with other band members.

Discounted vouchers will be handed out to participants of Barbie Rock’n Royals experience. These vouchers can be used to purchase Barbie Rock’n Royals merchandise available at The Toy Store in Mall of the Emirates. For more check out or