Celebrate Flag Day with “UAE 1971”

Flag standard and measurements to be followed


DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be celebrating Flag Day on Friday, November 3. The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) has announced the proper standards when displaying the UAE flag.

uae flag day

The authority advised everyone who is preparing to celebrate the Flag Day this weekend. The right size and textile structure must be followed.


The UAE was formed in 1971 and the UAE Cabinet has approved the mandatory standard that bears the “UAE 1971”.


“The UAE standard specifies the requirements of the UAE flag, a mandatory list, which includes specific color grades used in the four colors that make up the flag, approved main measurements, textiles used in manufacturing, and respect for weather, temperature and humidity,” Engineer Khalaf Khalaf, Director of the Standards Department at ESMA, said.


Private and public buildings in the country decorate the UAE flag during the Flag Day and National Day celebrations. ESMA wanted to make sure that there is a unified general image of the country’s flag.


The flag should have the right measurements of lengths and dimensions, textile structure, and consistency of color when exposed to water, light or heat.


“The minimum weight made of [ordinary] polyester material should not be less than 155 grams per square meter and made of nylon and the weight should not be less than 122.5 grams per square meter,” the director added for temporary facilities where UAE Flag Day celebrations or festivals will be taking place.


Meanwhile, Sharjah and Dubai will be hosting two separate events to celebrate the special day. Sharjah will be hosting the biggest national gathering to raise the UAE flag on 11 a.m., Thursday, November 2, on Flag Island under the theme “The UAE of Giving and Generosity”.


Dubai Festival City will also attempt to create the largest human UAE flag on the same day on the waterfront at Festival Bay. Everyone is welcome to attend which will take place from 8 a.m. onwards.



Bench is now open in Al Ghurair Centre

Familiar Philippine brand now in Dubai


DUBAI – One of Philippines’ most loved brand is now in Dubai. Bench, a well-known retail store in the Philippines, has just opened a branch in Al Ghurair Centre. To mark the special day, Julia Montes flew to the emirate to open the new store on Thursday, October 26.


Together with officials from the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates such as Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, Dr. Yasmin Balajadia-Cortes, Labor Attache Felicitas Q. Bay, and Commercial Attache Eric C. Elnar, the Philippine actress took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the store.


Hundreds of Filipinos, mixed of Montes’ fans and the Bench store fans flocked to the scene as early as 5 p.m. to get a glimpse of the Filipina actress and to purchase products from their beloved store.


The Bench connection


Nica Antonio and Kay Abrigo were one of the first few customers to buy at the new Bench store in Dubai.


“We have been fans of Bench since we were in the Philippines,” the two friends said.


According to the two, they were ecstatic to finally find familiar products in Dubai. Being avid Bench customers for many years, they love the quality of the products such as their undergarments and slippers.


“It is made from the Philippines after all,” they added.


Lining up behind them was Florinda Dimla. The Filipina, who has been in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for six years, said that Bench products are cheap and reliable. She bought undergarments and slippers.


Located on the first floor at Al Ghurair Centre, it was announced that the store has an opening promotion of 20 percent off on all items until Saturday, November 4.


Some of the customers have shared that they were sad to not see their favorite colognes or perfumes in the shop.


Bench family


Julia Montes shared that she was overwhelmed by the amount of people who turned up for the Bench store opening.


“I have been part of the Bench family since my Mara Clara days,” she mentioned.


According to the 22-year-old, she said that Bench helped launch her career. In the Philippines, almost every famous artist had been a part of the Bench family and to be asked to represent Bench internationally, Montes said she was more than honored to do so.


She thanked all her fans and the Bench management for trusting her to represent the brand abroad. The Filipina actress invites everyone to the new store in town.


Montes added that she has a close connection with her fans abroad as she knew they really watch her shows despite their hectic work schedules. She thanked all of them for their constant support.

Hot and heat in UAE

Living in the Middle East for almost half of my life, I still struggle with the heat each day and how hot it gets each day here during summer. It showed 49 and 50 degrees celsius on my car thermometer the other day, phew!

hot-sun-picRecently, I saw a video of a man cooking an egg on a pavement. I don’t know where it originated from but as I was watching it I knew I was the egg in that video, no kidding. I placed a chocolate bar in my bag last week and by the time I reached home, the chocolate bar was not a bar anymore but a hot soup. Had to rush it to the fridge and also for me, to grab an ice cold drink.

One of the stories I wrote this week was informing people that this heat will not go anytime soon as it still has one more month to go. July and August are the hottest months in the country based on historical records from the weather bureau here.


Preventing from getting dehydrated, I followed my dad’s instruction to drink Pocari Sweat everyday or every other day. I have a long history of getting dehydrated easily and yet I decided to stay in the Middle East where it is almost hot all year round. Water is not enough. I drink a lot each day and I literally felt like the sun sucking out the water out of me even if it was just a few meters walk from my car to the office or to the venue.

Wish me luck for another hot month of August! I hope the heat sucks out my fats out rather than the water from my body. Don’t forget to drink up this summer everyone! Stay hydrated. #wheninUAE #UAEsummer


Growing up, we learn to express through different mediums and one of them is through writing. I have grown to love writing my thoughts down on any paper I could find. As time passed, I have learned to pen down my words to typing my words on a computer. It can be said like a journal or a diary at first. Eventually, I now write other people’s words.

Words are very powerful. A video was once shared to me that a word or two words can make a huge difference in one’s life. Uttering the right words to someone can be life changing for the better or worse. Whenever I meet someone new for the first time, I always tell myself to let them express and listen to the words they have chosen to describe in their sentences.

Now that I write other people’s words, I always try to understand the person first to be able to paint their life story or emotions. They may use similar words when describing their experiences but the emotions and message behind each word can mean different from each other.

Many have come up to me saying thank you for writing this story or that story, you really captured what I was talking about or your story had helped motivate me to do something life changing. I always feel very honored to be able to project and share the many stories that have been shared with me. Some are very beautiful and inspiring while some can be very sad, left me teary-eyed.

Words are very powerful and I did not realize that until I started writing other people’s words. My whole life, I started writing down my own words, my own feelings. I will continue to write other people’s words as much as I can, especially those who feels that they do not have words to express or a voice to shout how they feel.

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!

Mid 2016

Nearly finishing the first half of the year 2016, a lot of political and economical changes have happened or are about to happen. In Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte will officially take his oath as the new President of the Philippines on Thursday, June 30 after winning the elections on May 9.


Last week, United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (#Brexit) while the final episode of Season 6 for Game of Thrones revealed a lot of new story lines – theories became a reality, a pure joy for GoT fans = ME!


Although GoT is pure fiction, the characters and story lines are reflective of our current society. Multiple actions done throughout the show, some may call bloody, are actually similar to the current political arena. The show is just more fun because they have dragons! Who doesn’t want dragons, right?


Following the news, as it is part of my job and what I like to do, I feel nauseous reading or watching the stories that are being reported. A friend of mine told me earlier that she wished that news were only good news or at least less bad news. I sometimes wish the same too but without bad there will be no good – Yin and Yang philosophy.


The most positive people in the world would have to be kids and I do wish at times that I can be a kid again where I do not need to know how much negativity the world has. However, that’s impossible so I always remind myself to look at the bright side when I am down. Always think happy thoughts, my life mantra.


One more year to go for the next GoT season – I surely can’t wait!


Touching lives

I recently received a package from someone who I interviewed earlier this year. She gave me the right gift at the right time. I have been getting sick on and off lately.


Desiree Vlekken, founder of 4get-me-not, gifted me a lavender oil scented relaxing pillow. I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate gift at the moment except I wasn’t expecting anything at all from the start.


Hand made relaxing pillow from Desiree Vlekken

Every person who I have met have left an impact on me personally which I have previously mentioned. However, this time I was taken a back as Vlekken said that I helped her moved on from something which she thought she could not move on from. I feel happy to hear that she has moved on and is happier now. I am proud of her too for taking the step of getting back on track and to be honest she did it herself.


Check out http://www.4get-me-not.org to know more about Vlekken’s organisation. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to spreading awareness about Alzheimers, a condition that can happen to anyone regardless of race or age.


Thank you again Vlekken. I really appreciated the kind gesture you have done. Now you have touched my life too with the right gift at the right time in my life.

Mother of kidney transplant patient pleads for help

To give her children back home in the Philippine a better life was what Oilivia Atanante hoped to do in traveling and working overseas. The humble single mother who works in Dubai wishes nothing but the best for them.

But sometimes life can be cruel as one of her daughters, Vengrace was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure on August 2 last year, and is in dire need of help to get a kidney transplant as soon as possible.

Vengrace 1.jpg

“Apektado na lahat…pagkain, bayad sa bahay at ng dalawa kong [anak na] estyudante…’Pag nakakakuha din ako ng pera pambayad sa dialysis. Wala akong naiipon para sa kidney transplant nya,” Atanante shared.

“May donor na kami [pero] ang problema ay pera. Kailangan ng P300,000 money sa bank account para maumpisahan na ang cross matching. Yun na lang ang kulang,” the distressed mother, who feels troubled and confused with the heavy burden she is going through at the moment, told Kabayan Weekly.

Her 18-year-old daughter had to stop going to school due to her condition, and she had been living on dialysis ever since the tragedy happened.

Atanante further said that the amount needed for the kidney transplant is approximately AED 100,000 (P1.2 million), 50 percent of which will be covered by PhilHealth.

“The remaining balance of P600,000 is to be borne by me…I have to pay AED100 a day for dialysis just to keep her alive. I am totally bankrupt. I m borrowing money from anybody to pay for the dialysis. I have been evicted from my bed space as I don’t have any money to pay,” Atanante, who earns AED1,400 per month for working as an assistant teacher, said.

She added that she also has other bills to pay and other kids to support too.

Living in the UAE for seven years, the overseas Filipina worker has been reaching out to people in her life for financial help.

“Ang St. Michael nagbibigay ng AED1,000,” said the Filipina mother.

“Minsan may time na wala akong maipadala, nanganganib po ang buhay niya. Ang mama ko at ang panganay kong anak, pareho na kami lubog sa utang. mama ko laging advance ang sahod,” she added.

Vengrace 2

Trying not to tear up, Atanante said that the much needed kidney transplant will allow her daughter to have a chance to live life once again. The mother showed old photos of Vengrace where she looked health, just like any ordinary teenage girl. The teenager girl’s latest photos, however, looks nothing like her previous photos. Vengrace has lots a lot of weight due to her condition.

For those who would like to help, Olivia Atanante can be contacted through doristuazon4664@gmail.com and/or +971 55 376 7584


*This story was originally published on Kabayan Weekly issue March 31 – April 6, 2016

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*