Gold and diamond-clad stilletos unveil at the Leatherworld Middle East 2017

unnamed (1)

(April 30, 2017) DUBAI-  High-heeled 24-karat gold and diamond-clustered ladies shoes in a black lacquered delivered by helicopter for 30,000 euros, how about that?

On its third year, Leatherworld Middle East 2017, the region’s largest leather trade show has so much more exciting and luxurious leather goods and accessories, designs and innovations, machneries and equipment to offer.

One of its highlights is the debut of ladies footwear collection of Italian designer Antonio Vietri,  the  24 karat gold embossed and diamond encrusted women’s footwear amounting to as much as 30,000 euros.

Vietri was a crowd favourite at Dubai’s Leatherworld Middle East exhibition last year with the  launch of a pair of blue suede loafers with gold ribbons weaved into the outsole valued at 25,000 euros .

His ladies’ shoes collection also features silk pumps embossed with gold or silver and buyers can customise them if they wish with pearls, Swarovski crystals, or diamonds, according to the press statement.

“I’m delighted to officially unveil my women’s collection at Leatherworld Middle East 2017, following the resounding success of the global launch of my men’s collection at the show last year,” said Vietri. “Gulf consumers love exclusivity and luxury that’s entirely unique, and I’m excited to present customers and retailers something completely different from anything they’ve seen before.”


The three-day event which will start from April 30 until May 2 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. will  feature national pavilions from France, South Africa, Indonesia, and for the first time, Egypt. Debut exhibitors  from Australia, Netherlands and Thailand will be joining the regular participants.

Other innovative and novel products to look out for include a selection of Brazilian hair-on-hides cowhide, used primarily for household interiors or furniture;   one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial sewing machines with more than 400 different sewing machine types for the garment, automotive, leather and shoe industries;  3D CAD software;  Amazonian fish hides (the Arapaima is native to South America’s Amazon basin, and one of the world’s largest fresh water fish – it can grow up to eight feet long and weigh 330 pounds) ;  Saudi faux-leather bags; vegetable and chrome tanned leathergoods and accessories; exotic ostrich skin crocodile, python, water-snake, eel, and stingray; ESMOD, the French Fashion Institute Dubai’s talented designers; creations and more.

“Leatherworld Middle East was designed to showcase innovative and novel products and ground-breaking designs in leather manufacturing, design and finishing,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Frankfurt Middle East.  “The show’s vast reach makes it a very efficient vehicle to reach the potentially lucrative regional market.”

According to analysts Euromonitor International (EMI), the MEA’s production turnover of tanned and dressed leather (including footwear, clothes, and accessories) was worth US$4.08 billion in 2016, and estimated to rise to US$4.22 billion by 2020.

The retail value of luxury leather goods across the region is also solid; EMI estimates that spending on luxury leather bags, travel goods, and men’s and women’s small leather items, was worth US$1.46 billion in 2016, with this rising to US$1.84 billion in 2020. #####


WMD 2017 focuses on ships,ports and people connection


(Photo source:

(LONDON) –  The three major components of maritime sector are given much importance on this year’s celebration of the World Maritime Day which is formally observed every  September 28 at the International Maritime Organization  (IMO) headquarters.

The theme ​”Connecting Ships, Ports and People”  itself  implies the valuable interconnection of  the activities, location and manpower involved in one the world’s largest industry.

In his message, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim  was quoted as saying, ” the aim of the 2017 theme is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, “Shipping: Indispensable to the World”, by focusing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.”

(In photo from, Secretary-General Kitack Lim)

As a United Nations’ agency, IMO adheres to achieve the United Nations’  (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  to combat the present challenges of the world– increasing world population; climate change; threats to the environment; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; threats to food security; societal threats posed by organized criminals and violent extremists; and instability to mixed migration.

IMO hopes that through this effort, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.”

“Throughout the year, IMO will highlight the importance of “joined-up” maritime developmend across all sectors, both from a policy and practical perspective. “The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond the ships and ports themselves and we will show how an effective interface between them can help improve the lives of people everywhere, specially in the context of Sustainable Development Goals, ” Kim said in a recorded video message.

He also emphasized the large and growing industrial sector called “blue economy” that must remain -safe, secure and not threaten the environment. Thus, to be sustainable, human activities and a more efficient shipping with the support of government-operated ports must be balanced in accordance with the capacity of the ocean to remain healthy and diverse.




A daughter’s cry for mom battling cancer

(September 20, 2016) DUBAI- Jerie Lee Bueno boarded a plane three weeks ago from Manila to Dubai with  a heavily stomping heart unsure of what lies ahead when she arrives here.

Her mother, Divinia is confined at the Dubai Hospital due to complications from Stage 4 breast cancer. For two months, Divinia was hoping to be home in Laguna, the Philippines, to see her mother and children but her conditions worsened before her travel documents and clearances were granted.

Now, she is roughly battling with her illness relying on ventilators and blood transfusions. She complains about pain and difficulty in breathing. She has fluids in her lungs and the doctors said the cancer cells have metastasized to her brain and all over her bones and lungs.


(Supplied photo: Divinia now confined at the Dubai Hospital)

Jerie Lee was unaware of what is happening. She never thought of her mom’s conditions as she was assured that everything is okay although she knew about the mastectomy that happened a year ago. Her mom simply never wanted her to worry .

The only information she had was when her mother told her that about the cysts in 2014 that turned out to be cancerous and after the operation, she never got the chance to undergo chemotherapy due to lack of money and residency status.

(From Divinia’s Facebook Page  during her healthier years and initial operation in 2014)

In January this year, she was not able to walk and became bedridden. She was admitted to the hospital through an emergency call and was given radiation.  However, no charity benefits were available for her due to lack of the necessary legal documents. Friends, relatives, and fellowmen shared a few amount in support of her medication.

Divinia had no idea that her daughter will come to see her. With a faint voice and wide-opened eyes, she asked her,” Bakit nandito ka? (Why are you here?)”   The misty-eyed daughter could not anything but hug and kiss her.

She fully understands her mom’s condition. It is terminal. How she wanted her mom to be freed from pain and agony but she knows she is an innate tough fighter. She is hanging on.


(A screenshot of an appeal for support to Divinia during her present hospitalization Jerie Lee’s shared on her Facebook page . This was the time she learned of the worsening condition of her mother.)

Jerie Lee recalls her mom went abroad when she was 11 years old and her brother was 4 years old; when home when she graduated from high school at the age of 16, and four years after, during her graduation in college. Her mom became the breadwinner of the family when her father lost his job and must look after them while they were growing up.

She gave the best for her children’s education and that was her top goal, her daughter narrated. Despite her struggles in employment and illness, she did everything to provide for the needs of her family.

Now her daughter worries about not only the present but the future that seem bleak.  The hospital bills are accumulating and one of these days, she will bear on her shoulders the responsibilities of taking care of her brother who is still studying in college and her father who is retired from work.

Jerie Lee comes out of the public through this blog and hoping for other media  entities to provide a venue so she can  seek help to sustain her mother’s medical needs. “Hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan kami dito sa Dubai makikipaglaban. Pangalawang confine na ito n Mama. Lumapit na daw sila sa foundation dito sa Dubai,pero wala naman nagbigay ng financial assistance.. Sa ngayon po ayun yung need namin para sa kanya.Wala kme ipon pareho, naubos na dahil  sa naoperahan at naloko pa si Mama noon. (I don’t know how long  we will be here in Dubai, struggling. This is Mom’s second confinement. They have approached charity foundations here in Dubai but cannot extend her financial assistance (not qualified). Now, this is what we need for her. We do not have savings, all used up for her operation.)


(Supplied photo)

Donasyon, tulong financial, o.kht limos pa yung term para lang maka sustain medical needs nya..hihingiin ko na po sa inyo…maextend lang po buhay nya para makasama p namin siya. (Donation, financial help, or call it al in other terms, just to sustain her medical needs, I will be asking from you, just to extend her life so she can be with us.).

Jerie Lee’s coming to Dubai at this point gave her the opportunity to see her mom after 9 years of missing her. For three weeks now, she is at her mom’s bedside uncertain of time and consequences.)

(Writer’s Note: Please like and share our Facebook Page: Kabayan Cancer Warriors – created to promote awareness of OFWs in Dubai with various kinds of cancer.)




When one day, “Charity” calls you.

Image result for charity quotes

(August 30, 2016) DUBAI-I became a social worker on my own terms when I become unemployed due to “illegal termination” in a free weekly newspaper where I worked as a newswriter cum advertising sales executive.

While undergoing legal processes on my labor case, I knew I had to do something to keep myself busy or I will succumb to hating, cursing, worrying, anxiety and all kinds of madness. So I decided to turn these negativities into something worthwhile or these will defeat my being.

Image result for charity quotes

I met one stage 4 breast cancer patient at the Dubai Hospital, 47 years old, a single mother who raised 2 sons and away from home for many years. For a couple of months, I saw her and her family struggle to fight the disease but it was too late. Her wish to go back to the Philippines and be with her loved ones was not fulfilled.

During that time, it was not only Emilie but there are five other Filipina breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. That moved me to do my part on cancer awareness campaign as a media practitioner. I created the Kabayan Cancer Warrior Facebook page. I diverted my frustrations on helping cancer patients in any way I can. I also volunteered in an annual free Reiki session for cancer patients in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and got a chance to meet cancer survivors and warriors of different nationalities.

(Photo: The battle cry of Kabayan Cancer Warrior volunteers printed on shirts that serve as  campaign material.)

When Emilie passed on, it was also frustrating not only for me but for my friends who helped along the way. We felt our best was not enough. We were caught in the emotional web too.

I was thinking if this will be the first and the last but Michelle Erika came a month after Emilie was gone. Michelle Erika, 27 years old has blood cancer and must undergo bone marrow transplant. She needs to raise a start-up of US$36,000 or US$600,000 for her treatment. While visiting her at the same hospital, I met new set of kabayan undergoing therapy or recently diagnosed with cancer. There was a time I saw a young lady crying at the lobby and I had to look for her to know her conditions. She was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer,and not a benign tumor. Another kabayan with stage 3 breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy was comforting her. I was rattled at seeing them and afraid of meeting some more  in the lobby or rooms of the oncology unit.

Image result for cancer ribbons colours

While getting to know Michelle Erika, I also got to know Divinia, 50 years with stage 4 breast cancer. Hers is a complicated condition not only physically but legally. There were legal issues that prevented to her to avail medical treatment. She opted to bear the pain until she was convinced to be hospitalized.

Up to this writing, Michelle Erika and Divinia are both still battling cancer and all the toil that it entails; physically, financially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The fight is still on.

I am also in my personal battle. In the confusion of what brought me to this; why am I in this challenging situation of other people when I also have my own set of challenges. I was once asked by a friend on why should I bother myself about this when in fact I am also in a dilemma.

Someone told me that I should  help myself first before I can help others as up to now despite my own struggles of being “jobless” in a foreign land and alone. I could not detach myself from helping. Seeing and being with Stage 4 cancer patients is a not a joke. It is gruelling. I really don’t know, or there must really a reason, as the saying goes, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Until I understand but for now, I have committed to help despite all odds. Yes, there were ties I feel like giving up but when I look at her, I must not.########

Image result for charity quotes






Young Pinay artist blooming in Dubai

(August 20, 2016) DUBAI- She was heard humming by her dad  at the age of two. That was the first sign a talent was born. Her first public singing appearance was at age five when she started schooling .She still remembers the song  -“Reflection,” a theme song of Disney cartoon film, Mulan.


(Photo by Virgilio Lichauco)

Trixia Galledo, now 11 years old, has paved her solo singing career in the past years by performing at school programs, on private occasions, guesting on public events and local celebrations organized by the Philippine Consulate Office and  private companies held in the United Arab Emirates; either solo or being a member then of young girls band named Gravity.

She attributes her talent to her mom Odessa, who put her to sleep by singing a  lullaby  but her daddy Rodolfo is the main coach. Watching cartoons and listening to nursery rhymes during her infant years also influenced her.

Her kind of music ranges from R & B, Pop Rock, Rap, “except Country” she said with a shy, innocent smile. She admits dancing but a bit, and that she can play the ukelele and piano. Her favorite singer: American singer /songwriter Melanie Martinez who competed at The Voice and Arianna Grande, whose songs hit the US Billboard and music award -giving bodies.2

(Photo by Virgilio Lichauco)

Five years from now, she envisions ” inspiring others by her talent and performing on international stage.” She also dreams of doing stage musical plays. Her inspiration to succeed is a quote from a movie- “…when you have a path that might scare you, take the risk.. you never know what’s going to happen..” To her peer group, she would like to share what she learned; that is, “to do what they love and to do it as an experience and exposure.””

“Trixia is humble. down to earth and practical,” says her mom. “During concerts or gigs that happen mostly on weekends, she balances her time for studying, practicing  and resting. Her schedule until December is full.”


(Souvenir group photo with Mrs. Dessa Galedo (left) and daughter Trixia Galedo.)

A mother’s advice to the parents, ” motivate and accompany your child towards the passion and talents and give full support. ” You don’t know what comes next.”


(Photo by Virgilio Lichauco)

Trixia is presently performing in duet with Josh Labing-isa, also a young Filipino talent. Their latest show together was held mid-August at the Holiday Inn Hotel as guest performers at Darcmatter, an adult band’s first concert in Dubai. Watch out  for the announcement of a major concert of the two budding artists.


(Photo by Virgilio Lichauco)


​In a struggle for her homecoming

DUBAI- She is sick, bedridden,in pain and  physically weak but her spirit is strong in her battle against breast cancer that metastasized to her bones.IMG_5857

(This photo was taken by the writer a week before Divina Sales was rushed to the hospital. She was bedridden for four months. )

Fifty-year-old Divinia Sales was diagnosed with cancer in 2014; had an operation in 2015 but had not received chemotherapy up to present not only due to financial reasons but residency  and credit issues that made her reluctant to seek medical treatment.

In January 2016, she suddenly became immobilized due to pain in her right hip and remained in bed at present. Her worries on availing medical attention heightened that she was no longer interested to be hospitalized.

For four months of enduring pain and vomiting during food intake, she was rushed to the hospital via an ambulance due to difficulty in breathing and her debilitating physical condition. Finally, she got the necessary treatment she was afraid of.

(At the Gulf Cancer Center in Abu Dhabi for her 5 cycle-radiotherapy, with her sister accompanying her. Photo by Lapis Mia)

She was very well taken care of at the Dubai Hospital for almost two months and her condition ameliorated. Her hip improved as well as her kidney and lungs. The hospital was generous to offer other needed treatments but she wanted to go home. Home to the Philippines to be with her family she had not seen for a decade.

Her struggle is not against cancer alone but for her repatriation. She should travel while her physical condition permits her to be in air flight for more than 9 nine hours on a stretcher; without an oxygen tank supporting her as much as possible.

With fervent prayer, her family, friends, colleagues, and fellowmen are hoping for her immediate travel clearance and repatriation process. Efforts are being done by fellowmen to provide her financial assistance too.

(Left: From POLO-OWWA, Tess Bautista visits the cancer patient to know more about her status and how to help her in her request to go back to the Philippines. Photo by Mabieh Amirah Bangsoy)

( Volunteer Bridget Lloren provides initial  physiotherapy to Divinia, days after she was discharged from the hospital. Photo by Lapis Mia)

Luzan Express Cargo reaches out to a cancer patient

(July 26,2015) DUBAI –  When help is needed, we call on family,friends, colleagues and the public for support. We blast the social media, email addresses, and mobile phones with text messages and call out for an appeal.

As the awareness campaign about Filipinos in Dubai battling with cancer continues, various pleas, updates, and efforts are exerted by the Kabayan Cancer Warriors, a group of volunteers advocating support to fellowmen with cancer.

Luzan Cargo Express, a fast-expandingcompany in the United Arab Emirates did not hesitate to offer support to one  kabayan, Divina Sales, 50 years old,who has metastatic Stage 4 breast cancer.

(Photo source: Luzan Express Cargo Facebook page)

The management offered complimentary  cargo shipment of the patient’s belongings back to her hometown as she is planning to go back to the Philippines. It was an unexpected gesture but  truly heartwarming.

The owner keeps away from publicity but hears the call for charity.  Luzan Cargo Express values its commercial business alongside with public service reflected on their previous efforts during calamities in the Philippines.

(Photo source: Luzan Express Cargo Facebook page)

edited picasa

(Standing Right to Left: Media practitioners and endorsers Ed Ybanez and Junie Sorsano visit the patient and offered the complimentary cargo shipment. Photo by Lapis Mia)

Pay with ease your LBC Express cargo through FGB card.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The LBC Express Inc.’s instalment payment scheme with First Gulf Bank is available for sea cargo, air cargo, Express Air and rest of the world services.

 IMG_1462 edit
(Overseas Filipino , Allan Sarmiento  makes sure that his box is properly sealed. He is sending the box  one month ahead of his annual vacation schedule. Photo by Lapis Mia)

(May 26, 2016) DUBAI -How often do you send cargo to you loved ones?  We, Filipinos consider “balikbayan boxes” an expression of our love and care for our families. Everything in it is sealed with affection.

LBC Express Inc., the Philippines’ leading courier and cargo solutions provider came up with an instalment payment scheme at zero percent interest for its services through its partnership with First Gulf Bank (FGB),  one of the leading financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates.This time, no need to worry about sending packages abroad.

LBC’s vice-president for the Middle East, Mark Agalo-os, said: “We are proud to announce our tie-up with FGB, allowing customers to settle cargo services in easy instalment payments using their FGB credit cards.”

IMG_1454 edit

( An LBC  box is filled up with all sorts of gift items and necessities for the family. Photo by Lapis Mia)

The instalment payment scheme is available for sea cargo, air cargo, Express Air and rest of the world services. UAE residents can take advantage of this service to send packages to 236 destinations across the globe.Customers can choose to pay within three, six, nine or 12 months.

Girish Advani, head of Personal Banking, FGB, said: “As part of FGB’s commitment to providing the best innovative products and services to our customers, it is a privilege to collaborate with LBC Express to offer an accessible payment scheme for cargo services for all UAE residents. This innovative product, which is the first of its kind in the UAE, provides customers with convenient payment terms for courier services based on their preferred instalment plan.” 

“Our valued clients can send as many packages and parcels, as well as choose from any of the monthly payment options for a minimum requirement of AED 150. It is like easily sending cargo for less than Dh15 per month up to 12-month instalment,” Agalo-os said.

FGB credit card customers can also redeem their earned reward points with LBC discount vouchers as part of the FGB Rewards programme.

“LBC Express has always been a customer-centric organisation and working to offer UAE residents world-class services along with best industry rates. Our new scheme makes our proposition far more exciting,” Agalo-os added. 

13595446_1210554905624398_169071085_n EDIT

(The author’s balikbayan box arrived safely in Manila and received by her daughter. Photo by Maya Lapis Nebre)

Last month, LBC Express Inc., has opened a new warehouse that will also serve as its regional office for the Middle East. The 11,700 square feet warehouse in Al Qouz, Dubai was set-up to serve one of the biggest expatriate communities in the region, the Filipinos, as well as other residents.

It expanded its capabilities by partnering with over 500 agents located nationwide.LBC, and is now servicing 500 to 600 customers every day.

The company started in 2008, with two trucks and one branch in Karama, Dubai. and loading a 20- feet container on a weekly basis. Presently, it operates three branches in the UAE with a fleet of 30 vehicles. It loads two to three 40-feet containers on a daily basis according to Agalo-os.

During the first quarter of 2016, LBC showed a strong growth driven by its focus on strategic areas such as Deira, Satwa, Karama in Dubai; Sharjah; Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.

.“The warehouse represents the renewed commitment of LBC as it is three times bigger than our previous one and centralises our operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The renewed vision also embraces the idea of offering an entirely new set of products and services designed to enhance customer service,”  added

The company covers five countries and operates nine branches in the region, including three in the UAE, three in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one in Kuwait, one in Qatar and one in Bahrain, in addition to an agent network base in 1,000 locations throughout GCC countries.

With the expansion planned across the region, LBC is planning to increase its manpower.“We will be aggressively hiring for our dynamic sales and customer care teams as we relocate our call center from Manila to UAE. These teams will be instrumental in establishing more strategic partnerships that will help us provide better customer service,” the vice-president said. #####





Charity does not have any brand but meaning.

(May 30,2016) DUBAI- Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are most often perceived as “brand-conscious” in fashion and beauty.  But in general, OFW would say, they run for quality and affordability, as one could read in a newspaper column that features the “branded” Pinoy (short for Filipino).However,they also know that  fancy things are just perks of life and there are more valuable than those commodities.

In commemoration of  the 118th Philippine Independence Day, this group of men and women fashion savvies and models will conduct their second season of their outreach program for distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) headed by freelance journalist /contributing writer and charity advocate, Ed Ibanez who penned the Branded Pinoy column.

13254335_997950126950266_5827849947318287478_n(Supplied photo)

This will be held on June 10,2016 from 8:00 a.m onwards at the POLO-OWWA hall in Al Qusais, Dubai.

The team will provide four airfare tickets to the OFWs in coordination with the POLO-OWWA. Gift packs consisting of personal items will also be distributed and free of charge cargo through the generosity of Luzan Express Cargo , Infinity Beauty Lounge and Spa-Rigga,  their charity project sponsors.

13304981_1003329516412327_3268651312400645020_o(Supplied photo)

Ibanez, himself, an awarded model, acting / commercial personality and a media practitioner in the UAE since 2011, formed the Branded Pinoy group of OFW models from his regular column in Kabayan Weekly tabloid.

(Supplied photo)

He has been involved in charitable activities during his elementary days in Bacong,Anda, Bohol and continuing his commitment on reaching out to the needy up to this day. His objective in helping out the distressed workers in the country is “to promote unity among OFWs in the UAE and good characteristics of Filipinos.”

Strange, but true, you might not believe it.

1915058_10154035545267650_7745602800238937856_n (1)

The wallpaper of my cell phone for several months now. (Photo source: Facebook)

(May 29,2016) – DUBAI- I was so eager to reach home and get hold of my laptop to start writing about my extraordinary experience this morning.

Have you ever encountered the spirit of a dead person, or at least seen signs of his or her presence when he /she had just passed away a month ago? I did. Today.

I knew about her and her physical conditions when I attended a program for the distressed Overseas Filipino Workers at the POLO-OWWA (Dubai) in October last year. A member of a Christian organization supporting cancer patients asked me a favor to feature this lady’s story in a weekly newspaper for the Filipino community.

She had a breast cancer that metastasized to her bones and in need of financial assistance. She had been battling the disease since 2013. Her name is Emilie Padua Ramos, 47 years old,  a single parent with two sons.


My first visit and interview with Emilie in February 2016, during her chemotherapy at the Dubai Hospital (Photo by Lapis Mia)

We were strangers to each other. For four months, I only communicate with her through phone and Whatsapp until I finally met her in February during her chemotherapy session. I failed in my attempt to publish her story in some newspaper. I approached several publications but nothing happened, so i just dedicated a Facebook for her and other “kabayan” (fellow Filipino) cancer patients as I found out that in one hospital alone, there were 6 Filipinas undergoing chemotherapy at that same day. That sparked my cancer awareness campaign- to call the attention of the 800,000-strong Filipino community that there are people suffering from cancer and in need of support from their fellowmen. I must say, in need of that sense of belongingness too, being in a foreign country.

But she passed away last month due to complications. Her lungs and kidney weakened. I was there during her last few days, having spent a night watching over her and during her last few hours on earth.

Today, 34 days after her passing, I busy with my own personal dilemma. I was praying over a major decision I need to make and I was asking for Divine Intervention. I have work-related issues to settle when my phone rang and I answered it. A lady was following up my attendance in one event.

IMG-20160416-WA0000This photograph instantly appeared on the screen of my phone.  (Photo by Lapis Mia)

My phone which bears an inspirational artwork SUDDENLY  changed into a picture as I put the call down. Emilie appeared on my phone screen. A photograph of her while lying on a hospital bed with her family and friends including the lady who introduced her to me popped up. She was right there facing me.

When I shared this incident with a friend, she commented that maybe I pressed something on my phone that made the picture appear. Yes, it may be the case, however, out of the hundreds of photos on my library, why this one?

I believe she was with me  during my ordeal. She was my guardian angel; heaven sent to guide me along the way.

Thank you for being with me.


Our only picture TWOGETHER.  She was weak but attentive to us when we visited her and still managed to smile at our jokes. I was trying to catch that smile. A week later, she passed away.


Emilie Ramos Padua is not only a beautiful lady as can be seen on this photograph but also creative,artistic, hardworking entrepreneurial, neat, classy, yet, above all descriptions that were given to her by her fellow OFWs who knew her for 13 year-long stay  in the United Arab Emirates, what I personally know about her is that she is a STRONG WOMAN and a LOVING MOTHER who fought for her life until life itself surrendered.


Emilie’s 40th Day after death will be on June 3, 2016. 

The 40th Day concludes the 40- day memorial period  and is observed by the Filipino families though it originated from traditions of Orthodox Slavs.

It is believed that the soul of the departed remains wandering on Earth during the 40 day period, coming back home, visiting places the departed has lived in as well as his fresh grave. The soul also completes the journey through the Aerial toll house finally leaving this world. The rituals during the period aim to let the soul go in order to keep it from returning and bothering the living. (source: Wikipedia) ####