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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon – Ramen Nagi

Continuing this series of food blogs, as I am vacationing in the Philippines, food and eating out is a must! 

Family Dinner has been very special every time I go home. We always look for new restaurants or restaurants that we never try before. Philippines has millions of restaurants to choose from!

Ramen Nagi is a Japanese Restaurant specializing in Ramen! Located in UP Uptown Mall the restaurant boasts its award winning ramen. 

♥️ Restaurant setup and ambiance is great! Ramen is amazing! the taste is unique and staffs are helpful. 

❌ Traffic and parking is normal in the Philippines. Price range is in medium range for Philippine Restaurants.


Dining area, i love the table and the flags!

Japanese food galore!


This is the award winning Butao King! The soup tastes like having the Balut soup but in big bowls. It tastes better with mild spice! 


Red King looks very intimidating and is spicy! The Spicy hot soup base is very interesting! 

Have you tried Ramen Nagi? If you love Ramens and noodles this definetly a must try!

PS: Ramen Nagi’s policy is no take out on all soup/ramen menu.

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Out of the Sandpit

As I await my boarding time and after finishing two servings of breakfast, I wrote this blog as try to relax but excitement overwhelms me. 

Out of the sandpit temporarily to be with my loves ones, family and friends.

I cant wait to see my two boys and of course my wife. I look forward to this vacation because in this vacation, hopefully I can tick one of my major bucket list… yes this the top of the list. Excited much!

So departure experience…. Hamad International Airport always has been an amazing place. Top of its class, one of the best airports in the world. I hope Philippine Aiports can catch up. 

I thank God of the privileges I an enjoying everytime I enter HIA. First is that everytime I passed by immigration, it means I am travelling! I Love Travelling! Second is I have free Aiport Lounges, Yes! free food, excellent wifi, nice cozy chairs, big screen TV’s, love  it. 

Al Maja Lounge Seating Area



Food tables! 

My First Breakfast


My Second Breakfast Yey!



Breakfast options…. 

Tip: Ask the waiter for the special fresh to order menu. You can also ask for alcohol on this Lounge!

This may not be the best lounge but as long as it si free, I will always come back!. Have you tried staying at an airport lounge? Please share some tips on comment below.

Cheers!

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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon Max’s Restaurant

As I am preparing for my vacation in my beloved country, in this series of Food Trip, I will share to you my experience in Filipino Restaurant called Max’s Fried Chicken Restaurant. 

♥️ Highly recommended if you would like to try Filipino food, there are 2 branches in Doha, staffs are a gem, fresh food every time.

❌ This is Filipino food nothing to write here😄 but parking might be an issue during peak hours.

Max’s is a traditional Filipino Restaurant started way back in 1960. The tag line is the “House that the Fried Chicken Built”

Starters-Lumpiang Sariwa, Lumpiang Shanghai, Chicken Wings


Recommended-Traditional Soup selection of either Shrimp, Milk Fish or Salmon Head


Crispy Milk Fish Belley with sauce


Of Course the house specialty – Max’s Fried Chicken!


I totally love this dessert so I finished it before I took a picture


Dessert! Everybody love it. Max’s also have variety of bakery products like cakes.


My favorite lunch meal – complete with drinks and dessert for 29QAR only.

If you are looking for an excellent Filipino Restaurant try Max’s! 

PS They also cater for all occations.  Talk to any staff for more information.

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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon Olive Oil

Another installment of my Food Trip series – All you can eat dinner at Olive Oil Oryx Rotana City Center… Yes EAT ALL YOU CAN!!! 

Gathering with the pinoy mafia, great friends over super delicious dinner catching up. 

♥️ Very good ambiance, great service, unlimited food, food selection is crazy! Located in west bay Oryx Rotana Hotel, booze available. Free valet parking available. Non alcoholic drinks are included in the basic package.

❌ I cannot really say anything but too much food will get you fat. Dinner closes at 10:00PM 😵.

Olive Oil Oryx Rotana is a Meditteranian inspired restaurant.


Buffet table! Wide variet, good selection of food for everyone!

Roast Beef!!! My Favorite




Of course dessert! There is alwas a space for dessert!

The Pinoy Mafia

View of the Dining Area


Have you been in Olive Oil? I suggest you try it yourself better with friends!

PS. Olive Oil is part of the entertainer buy one get one offer. All you can eat dinner is 119 QAR plus the enterainer you and your friend wil pay 60QAR each… not bad! Better than eating at Fridays. 

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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon – GAD Restaurant

This is already the third installment of my Food Trip Blog-A-Thon… Wow I am on a roll…. If you like to read the earlier editions, just click here – Tofu House or Ocean Basket.

Earlier today as I am driving with friends along Matar Qadeem Area looking for a good place to eat, we passed by this restaurant and I recalled how great is their shawarma and sandwiches. So we decided that this is it our dinner place!!!

My colleagues always buy shawarma and all sorts of sandwiches in GAD. I do not know the meaning but it feels like the name is missing something like it is very short and straight. I suggest they put in some background to the restaurant why it is named as such. Anyway I know it is famous and people are flocking the restaurant.

GAD – Located in the very busy and lively Matar Qadeem area, Egyptian restaurant, and its specialty is Egyptian – Arabic food (Egyptian=Arabic yes!). I do fancy Arabic food! Yay!

  This restaurant is the pride of the Egyptians, I heard it has several branches, with plenty if dining spaces (with special private place with curtains).

  Parking is a challenge, traffic in Matar Qadeem is a fact, a bit of issue in ordering due to language barrier, staff is not so much attentive and accommodating and I think they have to replace most of their plates.

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This is my Lamb Chops… please don’t burn my chops….

My Lamb Chops is over cooked.. I love lamb chops… even it is burned I will always eat it 🙂

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Grilled Chicken… Too much grilled…

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Some kind of Fried Chicken….. still gonna eat my burned Lamb Chops…

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Some sort of Rice with Tomato soup… Filipinos Love Rice!!!

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A view of the Private Dining Room

I like GAD’s shawarma and sandwiches maybe next time I will just order shawarma and sandwiches….. Their pizza looks good and I heard it taste good also.

Have you been to GAD restaurant? If you fancy Egyptian Food and some burned grills this is the place!

PS: They say GAD’s cheese sticks are very good – well it was not suggested by the staff I would have ordered it for appetizer.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon -Ocean Basket

This is the second installment of my Food Trip Blog-A-Thon. Hoping that I could write more before my vacation break. If you missed my first edition of the Blog-A-Thon, just click here – Tofu House.

It was a very sunny 3rd week of January 2017 when we are tasked to go to the Al Riffa Metro Station for a site visit. Al Riffa Metro Station is also called Al Rayyan Metro Station it means it is beside the Mall of Qatar…. Yes MoQ – the biggest mall in Qatar… is that great?

To make the long story short, the site visit finished just before lunch time, what do you think we did? yeah right we go straight back to the office…… not! Of course we have to take our lunch first! so off we go to MoQ and we saw OB or Ocean Basket just opened for the day and we are the first customers! Here we go…

Ocean Basket – located inside MoQ near Texas Roadhouse, originated in South Africa, specialty is Sea Food (Sea = Ocean match!). I love seafood!

  Highly recommended especially if you’re into seafood, inside the MoQ, above average serving size, free unlimited fresh from the oven bread and butter, medium price range, very good restaurant concept. The staffs are a gem! great recommendations and very accommodating.

  Very busy during weekends, long lines and waiting time.

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Freebees!!! Unlimited, hot delicious bread straight from the oven!

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Dips for your bread – my favorite is the green one!

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Green salad comes with the Lunch Meal

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This is my Lunch – KINGKLIP – very tasty!

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Condiments and iced tea.

Ocean Basket menu for your your reference – OB Menu. Please note that this is not yet in Qatari Riyal but in South African Rand.

Have you been to Ocean Basket? If you fancy seafood, this is the place!

PS: They say the chefs are really from South Africa.

Cheers!

 

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Food Trip Blog-A-Thon – Tofu House

This Food Trip Blog-A-Thon has been in my mind for along time. The aim is to make a short blog about my dining escapades. Hopefully this should be the first of many.

I am very fascinated of food …. as long as its edible or a delicacy I would definitely try it. Whatever you call it – restaurant, diner, kitchen, bars, turo-turo (point-point?), bistro, eatery,  hawker stalls, etc., as long as it sells food I dig it!

Tofu House – The place is very near to our flat, coming to and from my favorite barber shop, remittance center or grocery shop, I always pass by and observe lots of people coming in and out of the place. What the hell I can eat tofu…. Its good for the health! But whalaaaaa it only have a few tofu menu…. It is a Korean Restaurant 🙂 Thank goodness!

  Highly recommended especially if you like spicy food, delicious menu, fits your budget, serving portion is Ok.

  Parking is a bit of a challenge, very busy during weekends, place is a bit cramped especially on weekends, the main dining is upstairs no elevator.

Tofu House Specialty – Korean Food (Korean restaurant right?), Location is in Bin Mahmoud along Al Jazeera St. In front of Indian Hypermarket.

These are the freebees with matching soup.

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Must try my favorite – Jjambbong (Warning very Spicy)

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Another Favorite – Seafood Pancake

Here’s the menu for reference. There are also new additions on the menu posted on the restaurant wall and tables.

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Have you been in Tofu House? If you fancy Asian food especially Korean, this is the place.

PS: You can meet Koreans there 🙂 You might see Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun there.

Cheers!

 

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OFW Contributions and Obligations

On my first blog of the year 2017, I would like to discuss about the most common OFW contributions and obligations that we need to settle at home (for me Philippines) to avoid penalties or missed contributions. It is now time to catch up on our payments or contributions.

Please note that this blog is intended for OFW’s and if you want details for regular and other members please visit the correspondence government agency website link.

These are the following:

  • Philhealth – or the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation was created in 1995 to implement universal health coverage in the Philippines. It is a tax-exempt, government-owned and government-controlled corporation (GOCC) of the Philippines, and is attached to the Department of Health. Its stated goal is to ensure a sustainable national health insurance program for all.
  • SSS – or the Social Security System is a state-run, social insurance program in the Philippines to workers in the private,professional, and informal sectors. SSS is established by virtue of Republic Act No.1161, better known as Social Security Act of 1954. This law was later amended by Republic Act No. 8282 in 1997. (Wikipedia)
  • Pag-Ibig Fund – or the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) is a Philippine government owned and controlled corporation under the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council responsible for the administration of the national savings program and affordable shelter financing for Filipinos employed by local and foreign-based employers as well as voluntary and self-employed members
  • Real Property Tax – is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; in the Philippines it is to be paid to the City or Municipality.

Philhealth

phI do pay Philhealth since it helps a lot for my family’s medical emergencies especially for hospitalization. Individually paying members including OFW’s are given an option to pay on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.

The premium or contribution of an individually paying members and OFW’s are as  follows:

  • Per quarter – 600 Pesos
  • Semiannually – 1200 Pesos
  • Yearly – 2400 Pesos

The deadline of quarterly  payments is the last working day of the quarter being paid for. Thus, all payments within the quarter shall be applied on the same quarter within which the payment is made.

Deadline of payment for semi-annual or annual shall be on the last working day of the first quarter of the applicable semester or year

This information are derived from the Philhealth circular, Click this link to view the circular – Circular No. 27 Series of 2010.

Social Security System (SSS)

sssI am also religiously paying my SSS contribution quarterly but sometime I missed some quarters because I forgot. As of today I am up to date on my contributions. I know that my SSS contributions will help me in my retirement years.

The latest schedule of contribution is shown below. Note for OFWs, the minimum monthly salary credit is pegged at P5,000.

OFW payment of contributions for the months of January to December of a given year may be paid within the same year; contributions for the months of October to December of a given year may also be paid on or before the 31st of January of the succeeding year.

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If you have SSS Loan, payment should be made monthly in accordance with the prescribed schedule of payment which is according to the 10th digit of the SS ID/Number.

For more details on your contributions, visit the SSS Website.

Pag-Ibig Fund

piAccording to RA 9679 at Implementing Rules and Regulations all OFW’s must be a member of Pag-Ibig. OFW contribution collected at POLO OWWA is usually equivalent to 100 Pesos per month but we can add if you want to avail of higher loan amount and higher return.

OFW contribution deadline are as follows:

  • For monthly payments – on or before the 10th day of the month following the applicable month
  • For quarterly payments – on or before the 10th day of the month following the applicable quarter

For more information on OFW contributions, Click this link – Pag-Ibig Q&A.

Real Property Tax

For OFW’s how owns a property in the Philippines, do not forget to pay for the Real Property Tax. Real Property Tax (RPT) is a tax that owners of real property need to pay every year so that the local government unit (LGU) will not auction off their property. Penalties or possibly loss of property if you missed payment but there are generous discounts if you pay early.

You have the option to pay the annual Real Property Tax in full or in four equal installments (quarterly), which is on or before the last day of every quarter of the year.

Payment deadlines are as follows:

  • 1st quarter on or before March 31
  • 2nd quarter on or before June 30
  • 3rd quarter on or before September 30
  • 4th quarter on or before December 31

Talking about discounts, do you know that we can enjoy tax discounts? If you pay in advance, you can get up to 50% discount on your tax depending on you city/municipality.

In our municipality in Cainta, we enjoy 20% discount if you pay early.

I know that these are all expenses but if we pay it regularly and in time we could benefit from this in the future. As an OFW, I take this an opportunity of having the ability to pay these contributions and avail of discounts if any.

How are your payment contributions?

Prosperous Happy New Year to everyone!

Cheers!

Henrik

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Happy New Year!!!

This possibly my last blog for the year 2016. I have looked back and try (my very best) to summarize the most memorable experience that happened during the year – I should have written a blog on all of these but I only managed to write some….

So here it goes….

January 2016 – Visited Bahrain

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Tree of Life

February 2016 – CPO Team Bar Hopping

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Abstract Colors of The Z Bar

April and May 2016 – My Family Visited Doha

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Our time in Sheraton Hotel

July 2016 – Visit Armenia

August 2016 – Speaker for the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers

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PICE-TSE Seminar Group Picture

August 2016 – Received my ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer Certification

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September 2016 – Philippine Vacation

October 2016 – Banana Island Experience

October 2016 – Visit Dubai

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Me in BurJuman

November 2016 – PICE General Assembly

December 2016 – Christmas Time!!!

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All of these are the highlights of the year but for every highlights there are also shadows that everyone experiences. I thank and praise God for all that happened in past and continue to pray that everything will be better. To sum it up, I was a very good year and I hope and pray that 2017 will be better!

How is your 2016? I wish every one Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!!!

Henrik

 

 

 

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A Day in the Mall of Qatar

December 10, 2016… on this day, the biggest and grandest mall in Qatar opened – The Mall of Qatar (MoQ).

Even if it is located 20km east of Doha, thousands of people visited on its opening day. A bit of confusion on the parking area but it has plenty of parking space both open and basement parking.

Below are some of the facts and figures about the MoQ.

  • Qatar’s largest mall
  • Located in Al Rayyan Area, 20km east of Doha
  • It has an equivalent size of 50 football pitches with over 500 internationally knowned stores and restaurants
  • Beside the Al Rayyan Stadium (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium), a host stadium in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
  • Has dedicated metro station connected to the mall – The Al Rayyan Station (under construction)
  • It has an integrated Hotel
  • Novo Cinemas are present
  • and my favorite – the mall-wide live entertainment and the first professional live theater in a mall in the world with 360 degree acts and shows performed on the multi-lift rotating Festival Stage with theatrical sound and lighting.

Even with thousands of people, I enjoyed my afternoon especially the “Oasis” central part of the mall.

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The Oasis

Some of my favorite restaurants in Dubai, UAE has or will open its store in MOQ.

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Of course my favorite stores and restaurants in Doha are ever present.

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I also noticed the first ever Under Armour specialized store in Doha.

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Here are some Tips and notes that I would like to share to you for a better MoQ experience:

  • Parking – Try the basement parking look for the Purple, Pink and Yellow areas these are areas that is less parked
  • Exiting and going back to Doha – The mall has a dedicated connection to the Dukhan Expressway. The exit connection area is located in the yellow parking side of the Mall. Try it and the drive to home to Doha will be a breeze.
  • There will be a dedicated Metro Station and connected to the MoQ. When this happens going to the mall will be much cheaper and faster and no more parking problems
  • Visit early or during weekdays – the mall are virtually empty during weekdays
  • Try the new restaurants – they are fabulous especially the Texas Roadhouse, and Uno.
  • Watch movies on the Novo cinemas – fresh, new and state of the art facilities.
  • Watch the central fountains – they are gorgeous.

The MoQ is a great addition to the ever growing commercial, entertainment and tourism sector of Qatar. I am looking forward to many more MoQ visits and shopping experience.

Have you visited the Mall of Qatar? Please share your experiences and tips to enjoy everyone’s visit to the mall.