LBC launches new services the smart way

The OFW tradition of sending cargo boxes to the Philippines won't just go. LBC knows it best. Unlike other shipments, these balikbayan boxes are full of padama or sentiments. Every grocery item or shoes or clothes inside shouts of love and longing.

Few weeks back, LBC Express Inc., one of the most reputable cargo solutions provider in the Philippines, formally introduced their newest innovative services in a grand event in Dubai, strengthening their presence in the UAE and the wider Middle East region. Vice-president for Middle East, Mark Agalo-os, introduced a lot of new partnerships and exciting programs already in place, and service enhancements in the days ahead - all of which highlights the direction towards better customer-centric experience.

Smart Shelters

For the first time ever, LBC partners with RTA Bus Smart Shelters to bring closer its services to the Filipino community and other expats.  In the last 30 days, the company has opened 5 strategically located smart shelters across popular areas frequented by Filipinos in Dubai - Mankhool Road, Satwa (Westzone area), Sheikh Zayed Road (opposite Emirates Towers), Bur Dubai (Bank Street)  and Al Rigga (Al Ghurair Centre).

RTA smart shelters are those capsule-like bus stop shades, air-conditioned, with free wifi and mobile charging stations among other convenient services it offers.

At the 5 smart shelters, customers can avail of Express Air – a courier service to 236 destinations worldwide in which they can send small parcels in 5kg or 8kg air boxes.  They can also buy empty cargo boxes, and do onsite booking.  Daily operations start 7am until 11pm.

Installment Payment Scheme

Another accessible service is the LBC Postpaid Cargo in partnership with First Gulf Bank (FGB).  It allows customers to avail of easy installment payments using their FGB credit cards for their shipping transactions.  It's a first of its kind in the UAE.  Customers can choose to pay within 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.

LBC Plus Points Program

Customers who enrol at LBC Plus Points mobile program can use the points to redeem discounts from LBC and its partner merchants such as Conquer/Mayad Sports, The Medical City, Little Manila, Asian Inasal Abu Dhabi and Hot Palayok (Abu Dhabi) through earned points.

AED15 discount for your cargo shipment if you have 50 points, AED50 discount if you earned 150 points, or AED100 for 300 points.

DTDC Partnership

LBC announced its proud partnership with DTDC in accepting and delivering cargo bound to India.


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Today, LBC is the most-trusted courier, cargo, and remittance service of millions of Filipinos globally.

For more info about these new services, you may follow them on Facebook or you may call 800-LBC(522)-111.

Review: Ihawan - a humble but great tasting Filipino restaurant in Deira


Sometimes the best presents are not wrapped in glossy papers. Ihawan is a proof to that.  This humble 'carinderia' in the busy Hor Al Anz district in Deira serves great Filipino food - simple, easy but essentially tasty - yung tunay na namimiss mong lasa.

Ihawan is a Tagalog word for grill (station) - now you know what they are famous for.

There are freshly cooked dishes on the counter for quick orders. There's also a wide range of choices on the menu for a la cart.


We had chicken barbecue sticks on our first visit and it was really good. Masarap! It taste like the famous authentic Pinoy barbecues in the streets of Manila. This is an original recipe perfected in so many years. Tender meat with a smoky aroma. So distinct from a typical commercial sweet BBQ flavor.

Chicken liver barbecue tastes equally savory.

Beef isaw here is the best I've tried in Dubai. Soft but not elastic, well grilled, rightly flavored and not rancid.

Chicken barbecue, grilled chicken liver and beef isaw... highly recommended for a delectable street food experience.


Inihaw burger, one of their best sellers, is their version of grilled beef burger. The patty is 100% meat without extenders. Mouthwatering. I'm surprised. We like it charcoal grilled - tastes organically home-made.

Grilled tender beef ribs is okay too - perfect with vinegar dip
And there's this grilled boneless bangus with fried rice.
Coconut juice, Melon juice, Sago't Gulaman, Banana con Yelo, Halo-halo (and Mais con Yelo)
All the ingredients of Mais con Yelo, Banana con Yelo and Halo-halo are freshly made, none from preservative-packed cans and bottles. The flavorful ice-cream (ube, mais and banana) on top is also home-made.

Sorry for the injustice to the pictures, but the coolers are really cool!

I had an interesting chat with the hospitable owners who put up the restaurant last October 2015. The couple who hails from Nueva Ecija, Philippines were inspired to start Ihawan to address the ever-growing cravings of Filipino expats of real Pinoy-tasting food.

Pinoy chicken chopsuey
There's a lot more to try in the restaurant. Grilled kwek-kwek, grilled siomai, grilled prawn balls, isaw ng manok, chicken adobo sa gata and whole lot more on my list next.

Despite not having fancy ambiance, no elegant utensils, the place is orderly and the servers are friendly and attentive to details.

You can find Ihawan about 50 meters to the back of United Hypermarket in Hor Al Anz - nearest metro station is Abu Baker Al Siddique.

You may call for delivery or catering inquiries at 04-2692599.

Ihawan is worth to DAYO for. I'm telling you, this place has character.

Iftar preview at Dusit Thani Dubai


This Ramadan I (try) committed to skip Iftar buffets primarily for my "healthy diet" reasons. But if there's one I will not miss, it's gotta be Dusit - fair buffet spread, lots of healthy choices, and the friendliest environment and staff.

We previewed Dusit Thani's iftar offering before Ramadan started. As always, the affair features a wide range of delightful Arabic favorites and international cuisine from the three restaurants - PAX for Italian, The Californian for the international fare, and Benjarong for Thai.

Dates, assorted dried fruits and nuts are served as traditional fast breakers. Guests can create their own salad at the salad bar. (For a change, I had too much of salad than mains huh.)

Hummus, babaganouj, tabouleh and fattouch are some of the tasty cold mezzehs I've tried. My favorite hot mezzeh selections that evening are chicken livers, chicken kebbeh, spinach fatayer and cheese sambousek.  There are about 30+ other variants in the mezzeh table.

There's always exemptions when you're on health diet, right? :-)

Benjarong's Tom Yum mushroom soup is always a winner. There are also these equally enticing pumpkin cream soup, carrot and coriander soup, tomato soup with pesto and potato and leek soup among 13 other soup variants.
 
Mains feature 18 chicken dishes (and a few duck), 10 beef, 13 lamb, 12 seafood and 17 vegetable dishes.

Shish tawook, Thai chicken green curry, lamb kebab, pan sauteed beef medallions, beef lasagna, stir-fried seafood noodles, pad thai seafood, fish fillet in red curry sauce, eggplant mousakha are just few of my personal taste preferences.

Of course, there's the traditional lamb ouzi station.  I was told there 'could' be roast beef station, turkey station, pasta station, foul medamas and cheese presentation come the actual iftar.

Walnuts, cashew nuts juice, jallab, karkadeh, laban airan and other customary Ramadan juices are available.

Popular hot and cold Arabic sweets are on the dessert - my favorite Umm Ali, cheese kunafa, pistachio pudding, and choco-almond pudding, walnut mamoul, halawat al jeben, baklava and barazek among others. Wide varieties of cake slices, creme brulee, berries pannacotta, tiramisu, tarts and mousse complete the sugary treat.

I told you, this amazing dinner was an exemption.  :-)


Buffet costs AED 149 per person.

For company or group of 40 and above, you can create your own iftar group menu from AED 110 only and in an exclusive dining area.

You may call 04 317 4515 or send an email to dine.dtdu@dusit.com for table reservations.


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Boy Dubai is an invited guest at the Iftar preview. This is NOT a sponsored post.

World-renowned show Arabian Bubble Celebration comes to Dubai


After glamorous stops in New York, Las Vegas, Broadway, Singapore and Tokyo, this 18-time Guinness award-winning spectacular stage show is coming to Dubai.

Arabian Bubble Celebration, a never before seen bubble extravaganza will have us all floating away for the first time in the Middle East.

This family event will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre with 12 shows from May 19th to 21st.

The show will feature Guinness record holders MELODY YANG and DENI YANG, the Broadway specialists popular for mind blowing visual spectacles. One could certainly look forward to performances featuring laser and 3D effects in a 70 minute show guaranteed to leave every member of the audience in awe.

Kids can touch the bubbles, hop on stage and even go inside a bubble.

Tickets are priced from AED75 to AED999 and are available online at Platinumlist.ae.



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Competition

Win 2 VIP tickets to see the show by PUBLICLY SHARING this post in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. YOU MUST include the hashtags #ABCandBoyDubai and #ABCDubai to qualify.

Important Terms & Conditions:
  • You must PUBLICLY SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. (Private profiles won't be counted)
  • Contest is open to all UAE and other GCC country residents and visitors, provided that the winner takes care of airfare and accommodation
  • Prize is not refundable for cash
  • Competition ends 18th May 2016, 8:59 PM
  • One winner of 2 VIP tickets will be randomly drawn on 18th May 10PM, and will be announced in Boy Dubai Facebook page
This competition is made possible in collaboration with YAARDSTICK Integrated Marketing Solutions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more info, please visit Arabian Bubble Celebration official website at www.abcindubai.com. Of follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    Of Blogging & Blogs, Filipino Bloggers in Dubai Growing in Numbers


    We are not journalists.

    We don't work for someone. We don't get visas for blogging.

    We are not are guided by policies but by ethics. We may take sides but we try to remain impartial.

    We are fueled by passion.

    We have no diplomas, but we write with integrity. 

    We tell stories from genuine experiences. We verify our words before the world see.

    We are not journos, but we are relevant.

    We own what we write.

    Happy world bloggers day!

    ---

    ...and so it is with great pleasure to introduce more Filipino expat bloggers in Dubai - because I often get asked, "Marami bang Filipino bloggers dito sa Dubai? / Are there many Filipino bloggers in Dubai" Yes, and we are growing.

    Here's a RANDOM list of those I've already met offline and online. Please do check them out - they're really good in their particular subject areas.

    Expat Living, Food and Lifestyle

    1. Sandier Pastures
    2. Dubai OFW
    3. My Yellow Bells
    4. AB and Me
    5. Lady and Her Sweet Escapes
    6. Cuddles and Crumbs
    7. Filipina Expat
    8. Glimpses of Pam
    9. Tin Cura - Design and Adventures
    10. Sounds Funny and the Not So Funny
    11. Sweet Nothings
    12. The Isaacs Journal 
    13. Blessed Days in Dubai
    14. Boy Dubai - because some of you will copy-paste this list :-)
    15. Dadedidubai


    Travel, Food and Lifestyle
    1. Janesarabia - Desert Life
    2. Find Me A Break
    3. Solo Flight Ed
    4. A World of Travel and Possibilities
    5. Beyond Toxicity
    6. iKen
    7. The Thrift Trip
    8. Boho Wanders
    9. The Quesobelle
    10. The Sassy Journalist


    Fashion and Beauty
    1. Technemoda
    2. The Fierce Walker
    3. The Style Choreo
    4. Tinayums
    5. Ramblings of Life, Makeup and Everything in Between
    6. Mahryska
    7. The Shades and Scarf


    For people who still mistake us for journalists, we are not. There are differences, but we are cousins.

    It takes honorable time and effort to become a journalist. Their profession is backed by profound training and experience. They are capable of building a strong reputation not only for themselves but also for the organization they work with.

    We respect journos.

    A blog can be created overnight, but it takes integrity more than time and effort to become an AUTHORITY blogger.

    Blogging can be a stepping stone into journalism. 

    The question about who the readers trust more, journalists or bloggers, is inevitable. Both content creators can be trusted, or not. Because readers are more skeptical these days, whether you're a journalist or a blogger, trust is earned by the quality and relevance of content you post.

    Happy bloggers day!


    --
    Thanks to Kenneth Surat for some of the photos

    3 things you need to know about Philippine elections in Dubai


    UPDATE (May 4):
    Voting schedule at the Philippine Consulate Dubai is extended:
    May 5, 6, 7, 8 - 8am til 12MIDNIGHT
    May 9 - 5am til 1pm


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    UAE has the second largest number of overseas Filipino voters, next to Saudi Arabia.  There are 122,185 registered voters in Dubai and 72,437 in Abu Dhabi. Credit that to the mandatory OAV registration as part of the OEC application and passport renewals in the past recent months.

    A 100% turnout would make a huge and significant impact to the number of votes for president, vice president, and senators.

    What you need to know and do:

    1. Voting period is April 9 to May 9
    Schedule is as follows (UPDATED as of May 4):

    Dubai, Philippine Consulate
    - April 9 to May 4: 8am to 9pm
    - May 4 to May 8: 8am to 12mn (including Thursday's holiday)

    Abu Dhabi, Philippine Embassy
    - April 9: 8am to 4pm
    - April 10 to May 8: 9am to 5pm

    On May 9 voting will coincide with the Philippine election day schedule, so all precincts will open 5am and close at 1pm.

    2. You only need Voter's ID, or if you don't have one,  your Emirates ID or passport copy
    - Give your ID to the officials and wait for your turn to vote.
    - Officials will verify your name on the voters list. You will be asked to sign beside your name.
    - An SBEI-signed ballot will be given to you and the inspector will brief you how to fill it up the right way.
    - Completely shade the circle next to the candidate's name using the provided marker.

    Do not overvote. Your vote will NOT BE COUNTED at all. Be careful not to write any unnecessary marks on the ballot to avoid machine readability issues.

    * If you want to get your voters ID, check your name on the list here. Print the copy or take a screenshot - you must give the batch number where your name is listed and the sequence number. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes if you have these info with you.

    3. Check your VVPAT receipt
    Insert your ballot into the vote-counting machine. You will get a printed receipt called Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with a list of your votes. Check all info and if there are discrepancies on your ballot and the receipt, inform the inspectors right away. If all is correct, drop the receipt to the designated box.

    That's it. NO INDELIBLE INK on your finger. It's useless because the voting period is one month anyway.

    It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.

    Don't bring a pen. Taking photos inside the booth is highly prohibited.

    There is a huge banner outside the consulate if you want to take selfies - that could be the last step. :-)

    Think of them when you vote, the kids and Jose Rizal


    Free shuttle service is available if transport from and to the Consulate Office is a problem on May 6.  Just call 0559508489 to verify if your name is in the COMELEC list.


    #BotoKabayan



    God bless the Philippines!

    Mega Theme Parks opening in Dubai this year

    Better not forget to add these 2 mega theme parks into your savings. They are set to open few months from now.


    IMG World of Adventure
    Dubai’s first international mega-themed leisure and entertainment destination
    Location: Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (near Global Village)
    Opening Date: 15th August 2016
    Key Attractions:
    - 20 rides and attractions
    - Marvel comic heroes
    - Cartoon Network characters
    - Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventures
    - Avengers Flight of the Quinjets
    - Avengers Battle of Ultrons
    - Hulk Epsilon Base 3D
    - Spiderman Doc Ock's Revenge
    - Thor Thunder Spin

    Tickets: AED300 adults; 250 children under 1.2 meters (on sale now)
    Website: http://www.imgworlds.com/ 
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IMGworlds/



    Dubai Parks and Resorts
    Location: Sheikh Zayed Road (From Dubai: after Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, opposite Palm Jebel Ali)
    Opening Date: October 2016 (exact date TBC)
    Key Attractions:
    - Legoland Dubai
    - Legoland Waterpark
    - Motiongate
    - Bollywood Parks
    - Riverland Dubai
    - Dreamworks
    - Smurfs Village
    - Sony Pictures Studios
    - Lionsgate
    - Hotel Transylvania
    - Shreks Merry Fairytale Journey
    - Kung Fu Panda Academy
    - Hunger Games Experiences

    Tickets: Annual Pass for all parks costs AED2495 per person | Regular tickets to be announced soon | Other annual pass available here.
    Website: https://www.dubaiparksandresorts.com
    Size: 25 million sq ft

    --

    These two parks are massive! From the looks of it, one day is definitely not enough to explore everything. Annual passes could be a good deal if you have a budget.

    Duterte - his flaws make him unique



    If you are voting Mar, Grace or Miriam, this is NOT for you (no one votes Binay right?). I respect your valid reasons for choosing your president. But if you are trying to convince me not to vote Duterte, then read on…

    They say, you are only as good as your last game - I don’t buy it.

    Yes indeed, that was one insensitive and tasteless bad joke. Many were offended, but "just because people are offended doesn’t mean they’re right” (Ricky Gervais), right?

    But wait, aren’t we living in a country where even comedians get flak for "bad jokes”? Are we not in a country where insulting jokes are our everyday lunch?

    Critics ask, "Yan ba ang values na gusto nating ituro sa kabataan?”

    If my memory serves me right, values should be taught by the parents, not the president. Mas bad influence pa nga ang ilang teleserye gabi-gabi e.

    "No flaw is sinful or shameful.” - Rick Warren. This kind of flaws make him unique compraed to the traditional politicians failures.






    Pretty sure we will just shrug it off soon and move on from this. We’ve all moved on from real big jokes anyway - the Kidapawan farmers letdown, incompetent Yolanda relief and rotting donations, Lumad killings, Maguindanao massacre and SAF44 horror, Laglag-bala shame at NAIA, TRAFFIC, Napoles and so on…

    Now tell me where the mayor's verbal meltdown fall under.

    Like most of you, I also pray for Mr. Duterte to look into this facet of his character. He don't need a charisma built around machismo if he has to become a president.

    I will always take a bad joke than a bad governance. Tama na! Putang-puta na ang 'Pinas dahil sa mga elitistang ungas!

    (Excuse my French)

    I'm at peace voting for #Duterte. The man understands his priorities. The mayor knows by heart and has proven that actions speak louder than words.

    Good governance will never be a joke.




    (With all due respect to victims of rape and their love ones, you are in my thoughts and prayers.)
    ---

    Photo by Jover-Design Deviantart (Google search)

    BoyDubai.com acquired by a European startup for million dollar deal


    Recognized as one of the top blogs in the region, Boy Dubai was recently acquired by the emerging start-up company Sloof Lirpa LLC for a million dollar deal. This is a first in the world that a blog domain was bought for a huge lump sum.

    Beginning 2nd quarter of 2016, expect dramatic changes to this blog and the way you use it.

    It was not an easy decision to sell this domain as I have also quite interesting plans to reinvent the blogging wheel.  It's really hard to let go of my brainchild. But the drooling offer from Sloof Lirpa was just too good to refuse.

    One key factor that the buyers looked at when they bought the domain is the power of the prefix 'Boy-' especially to the ever growing Filipino community here - which makes the whole thing mean... the master of Dubai - Boy Dubai.

    To the readers and followers of my blog in the past 5 years, thank you very much! Please continue to support the new Boy Dubai way forward.

    As for myself, I would probably take the road ahead 'unknown.'

    Mabuhay ang Pinoy!





    I'm sure by now you know it's April fools!

    20 reasons why OFWs love being TAGged



    TAG 91.1 celebrates its 3rd anniversary today.

    The first Filipino radio station in the UAE began their journey with only 4 RJs on board - Kabayan Bluebird, Louie Da Costa, Chikay and Maria Maldita. Bob Kebab joined the gang several months later and Chico Loco just few months back.
     
    Since then, our FM radio experience has changed dramatically (and comically).  We were not just reconnected to Philippine music, we also found a company on our drive, our bus and metro ride and even at home or at work.

    Here are 20 random reasons why being TAGged is worth celebrating:

    1. Bluebird and Louie's Gandang U-maga show keeps everyone upbeat in the morning drive to work. The tandem also gives back to the community through their Bluie's Blowout and recently the Bluie's Choice awards. And oh, Louise Da Costa speaks cute Tagalog and we're loving it.

    2. Bob Kebab gives us a wacky company til the wee hours of the night - Ingat lang sa gatong!

    3. Chikay solves those puzzling blind items, shares some lunch recipes and updates us about the latest gadgets. Attagirl!

    4. Chico Loco joins Maria Maldita in Uwian Na making it a more fun drive home; And it's riot when "Lola K" joins the fray to tell us those witty 'alamat' stories.

    5.  Filipino concerts and sporting event pre-shows have never been so lively with the cool RJs setting up the mood.

    The RJs foing the preshow at Eraseheads first Reunion Concert in Dubai
     6. TAG presenters could be the only group in history to host 2 Eraserheads reunion concerts, and that's in a span of just 8 months.

    Eraserheads second reunion concert in Dubai
    7.  We can relate to all the funny Pinoy Nga Talaga skits - "Sige na, kabayan naman eh..."

    8. DJ for a Day Saturdays gives wanna-be radio presenters a chance to co-host Pinoy Songhits with the ever amusing Maria Maldita.

    9. They are always present at many fund raising campaigns to aid calamity victims in the Philippines

    TAG and Ateneo LSE team at Hakbang Buhay Fund Raising Walkathon
    10. The news that matters to OFWs delivered very well by the spirited roster of news presenters Milanie Regalado, Rachel Salinel and Zeena Zalamea, and Rouie's Kwentong BizShow.

    11. Louie and Bluebird along with news presenters Zeena and Rachel were named to 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf. Louie also wins Female Personality of the Year at Ahlan Awards; and other RJs are consistent nominees.

    12. "Okay Lang" public advisories remind us to be more proactive.

    13. Hot Pandesong gives us the latest hits in the Philippine music.

    14. Pinoy Bulletin keeps us informed of more group events happening in the community across the UAE.

    15. Bati Time - we all love 'Batian portions' don't we?

    16. Maria Maldita reborn as The Blending Diva. Just tune in before 9pm everyday in case you don't know why.

    17.  Chikay played a basketball exhibition with Kobe Bryant & Soulja Boy among other celebrities in sports and entertainment.

    Chikay sharing light moments with The Black Mamba
    Chikay, Soulja Boy and Kobe Bryant
    18. Bandang Hapon and Kantambayan shows (on Saturdays) become open mic segments as Louie, Chikay and Bob feature UAE-based Filipino talents and bands live on air.

    20. They bring the Christmas spirit closer to the Filipinos during the Yuletide.

    Indeed, TAG has quickly become the center of Philippine entertainment in the UAE.

    Happy 3 years!