Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TRAVEL | Chapter 1 - Night in Hongdae

Let me talk in the third person to add some spice.

He descended the subway, all alone now at midnight in Seoul. It was only he and his big heavy backpack roaming the now empty streets of Hongdae. He was playing cool pretending that everything was all right. He tried to navigate the streets using his hunch. He was pretty confident that Kimchee Hostel shouldn't be so far. So he walked here and there, until he couldn't take it anymore. It was close to 1am and his back had started to ache.

TRAVEL | From Dubai to China to Korea

I've been putting this off for a while now but the itch to blog this just won't go away. And since we're closing the final days of 2014, I guess it's only fitting to get this done once and for all.

August 9, 2014

My flight to Korea had not been very pleasant.

China Eastern 756

Boarding China Eastern Airlines from Dubai, I had to endure the company of insensitive passengers who were so loud and what with all the ruckus! And no thanks to some ill mannered Chinese family who kept on rattling with their nonsense complaints on why I didn't want to move from my seat. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

REVIEW | New Year Superstitions

You know how as Filipinos, we tend to be very superstitious on important events, like New Year for instance. When we were young, our parents taught us the DOs and DON'Ts at the struck of midnight. Now when I think about how strange our superstitious belief system is, I just laugh about it. 

For example and I quote my friend #Rachel who sent me the message below ( which sounded like a Chinese expert )

Para hindi malas new year natin ha...wag handa bilog prutas itim buto gaya pakwan, chico atbp.wag din handa ice cream pala di tunaw swerte,higit sa lahat...wag handa apat paa tulad baboy, baka, kambing kasi baka takbo malayo ang swerte...wag din isda alimango at lamang dagat kasi baka lunod ang swerte...wag din handa may pakpak tulad manok o pabo baka lipad swerte.Pala sigurado pasok swerte sa 2015...wag na handa.

For New Year to be lucky...Do not prepare fruits with dark seeds like watermelon, chico, etc.Do not prepare ice cream as well, so luck will not melt.Most of all...Do not prepare anything that has four legs such as pork, beef, goat because luck might run far away...Do not also prepare fish, crabs or any sea food because luck might drown...Do not also prepare anything that has wings such as chicken or turkey because luck might fly.To make sure that 2015 is lucky...Do not prepare anything.

This brilliant advise came out in the middle of our discussion on what to bring for New Year's Eve. It's just funny but Filipinos are deeply following this afraid that something unlucky could come if anything DON'T has been done.

Some other Filipino superstitions which bear a strong Chinese influence would include:

  • Make as much noise as you can to scare away evil spirits. 
  • Turn on all lights so that the coming year is bright. 
  • Open all doors, windows, cabinets and drawers to let good fortune in. 
  • Debts must be paid off. Fill you wallet with fresh peso bills. (Filipinos believe that whatever your financial state is in at the stroke of midnight, so it will be in the new year.)
  • Clean everything. 
  • Wear polka-dots. Anything round signifies prosperity. 
  • Scatter coins around the house, on tabletops.... inside drawers… 
  • Jump twelve times at midnight to increase your height. (Observed by Filipino children.) 

See related article from- 15 Filipino Superstitions on New Year's Eve

But whatever belief we have, what is more important is that we always work hard in order to achieve our future plans. It won't hurt to pray to God and ask for His guidance. In the end, it is us who will make our lives truly lucky or unlucky. Your choice.


15 Filipino Superstitions on New Year's Eve (Tagalog Lang)

How do you celebrate your own New Year? We'd love to hear more from. Just write your comments below.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

SPECIAL | Entry Schedule

After rounding up my articles for 2014, I came up with an entry schedule which would help me focus more on the topics that I am writing. I guess this will be a lot easier since I won't have to attempt to cover broad topics ( though I'm sure that I won't be able to write regularly but at least I now have a guide ). Cheers to 2015!

Do you have any suggestions or comments regarding the topic schedule? Or maybe you have something else in your mind? We'd love to hear from you. Just write your comments below. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

EVENTS | December 2014 Christmas Parties

December is definitely a season of parties. Would probably say that this is the most party packed month I've had in my life... but come on, you don't really get to do much in Oman, so I am not guilty about it.

And below are just some of the photos ( the wacky ones ) that I've been to... and there are still some other parties to come up.

Latin Dance Muscat - Third Year Anniversary at the Diplomatic Club last Dec. 5th

Sunday, November 30, 2014

JOURNAL | Day 516 In Oman

Day 516  ( 1 year, 4 months, 28 days )

We are about to enter the last month of the year. Only 31 days left before we bid 2014 adieu. These past few days I have been thinking about many random things- past, present, future. Things that have been done, and many more that should have been. At 28 years of age, you start pondering on things that you think should matter. But what really matters?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

TRAVEL | Coastal Roadtrip ( Muscat to Sur )

Although this line  may be the most cliched phrase I've used in my non-existent writing career, I will have to say again... there are those days when one feels to go out of the house and explore.

Oman has now entered the winter season, albeit no snow can be expected the weather is rather inviting for day trips. It is during this season that people explore the country side- not too hot, not too cold. Just the right amount of sun on your skin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

EVENT | Third Year Anniversary of Latin Dance Muscat

Calling all dance aficionados (and dance enthusiasts)!

Latin Dance Muscat (LDM) is turning 3 years old and we'd like all of you to be a part of it.

Celebrate with us this December 5, 2014 at the Diplomatic Club from 07:30pm onwards for a night of dance and amazing performances.

Be sure to come in your most outrageous, stunning and out of this world mardi gras, masquerade or carnival get up (the more flamboyant, the better).

This is surely one event you should not miss!

Monday, November 10, 2014

EVENT | Photo Competition 2014

Fancy taking photos of Oman? 
Well, here's a chance to win 100 USD!

Photographer & Designer : Abdula Productions and Photography

Model : Philip Eichkorn
Location : Muttra

EVENT | So You Think You Can Dance... Salsa?

Hear ye, hear ye... for all dance fanatics out there (especially the Trader Vic's type), here's a chance to learn salsa.

New absolute beginner Batch! Saturday 22nd November 2014.
More details. www.LatinDanceMuscat.org

I can personally say that this all worth it. Aside from the fact that you lose some fats, you also get to meet amazing people from all walks of life. And what's more- you get the chance to visit Trader Vic's or any salsa clubs for that matter and be able to dance- sober or not.

No partner? No worries, the class rotates every couple of minutes so you actually get to dance with someone.

Never danced before? No worries, chances are you won't be alone. But as they say, the journey to a thousand miles start from a single, well... mambo. 

So still not convinced, below are few vids to get you up and started. Enjoy!

If still in doubt, just remember-
"You don't have to be great to start. You just have to start to be great!"

Friday, October 31, 2014

WRITE UP | Language Barrier... and the Funny Side Of It All

Funny Conversations

English is a universal language, and although there are existing grammatical rules; the language is still modified depending on which culture English is used. I'm no nazi when it comes to grammar, and I embrace the fact that people have the right to express however and whatever they feel in the closest words they can think of. The only thing is, it sometimes become funny, but hey I'm not complaining.

All at the Same Time

The past, present and future all walked into a bar at the same time.
It was tense.


Girl 1 : I cuted my hair today?
Girl 2 : Did you mean you "cut" your hair today?
Girl 1 : No it was past tents.


Text message sent by a flirting girl-
Girl 1 : Your adorable.
Guy 1 : No, you're adorable.
Girl 1 : Aww, that's sweet.

Now the girl thought the guy likes him when he's only correcting her grammar.

The Take Away

Talking to an Egyptian waiter. I asked if he can put my food in a container so I can take it home...
Me : Can you take out my food, I'm in a hurry...
Waiter : What?
Me : Take out... 
Waiter : I don't understand...
Me : (Brain re-wires) I mean take away!
Waiter : Ok.

(Sometimes I still forget that I am not in the Philippines)

Did you walk?

Two students chatting in class-
Student 1 : How did you go to the next class? Did you walk or did you ride?
Student 2 : Of course did you ride.

What's your favorite food?

Was talking to my Korean student and asked him, "What's your favorite food?" He replied, "Chicken." I asked again, "What else?" After a long pause, he quipped "Teacher, I also like chicken wings!"

Slow Internet

While teaching English to my Korean student, the student interrupted-
"Slowly teacher, my my brain is buffering. The Internet is suffering!"

Phone Mishaps 1

So busy working on something at the office when the phone rang. My colleague picked it up and probably because of over thinking she greeted, "Hello, can you help me?"

Phone Mishaps 2

Someone called an office and this is how the line was answered-
"Hello, can you hang yourself for a while, I'm on the line"

Asking for a Wifi Booster

At a computer shop, I wanted to buy a wifi booster-
Me: Do you have this wifi booster, you know the thing that you connect at the back of the modem...
Salesman: NO
Me: (With all the hand gestures) It's like an antenna, a stick, a rod, (for a loss of a better word)- a satellite
Salesman: NO
Me: (Frustrated) Modem? Router?
Salesman: NO
Me: (Give up) Okay forget it.
Salesman: You talking about a TV?

Yes and No

Talking to a supplier-
Me : The room is not available?
Hotel : Yes
Me : So, is the room available?
Hotel : Yes
Me : Is that a yes or a no?
Hotel : Yes


While a friend was asking for direction
Friend : Could you tell me where this building is?
Bystander : Just go straight, straight... and sometimes left.


In Saudi, a colleague was making an inventory of computer stock, when he asked another staff, "(Referring to computers) Don't we have a dual boat? (should be, boot)

Still in Saudi, another colleague was talking about astral projection when he exclaimed, "I think I'm just having some associanation (should be, hallucination)

Funny Signs

Driving along the coastal region of Oman, we passed by this butcher's shop and the sign reads- "Sale of Murdered Chicken". (Poor chicken, tsk tsk tsk...)

Even at Death

In an email to one of my colleagues, a client wrote- "Today our manager has expired. But what to do, that's life!" (Okay, so we just move on.)

Restaurant Encounters

In Cambodia, without looking at the menu, I ordered from the waiter- "Can I have one Avocado juice please." When he came back, he gave me a black coffee, and I was like "what's that?" The waiter was surprised. Turns out that there's a coffee in Cambodia named "affugado"

And of course the funny Filipino expressions

"Ben, eat your hat out"
"All in a sudden"
"When it rains, it's four"
"Thanks God"
"Are you joking my leg"
"It's not my problem anymore, its yours anymore"
"Well, well, well. Look do we have here"
"For all intense and purposes"
"Sorry, we can't serve you bananas. Our bananas ran away"
"Base to base casis"
"Hello Mcdo... How much is a kidney meal?"
"But sooner and later"

It's even funnier when some foreign words are translated into English using online translators. And I must say that I don't really trust online translators because translations require understanding of the cultural essence of words. So, although online translators can give the general idea of a foreign statement, it does not really give a complete accurate meaning.

There is a brand new online translation services called Smartling that facilitates human translation and I quote, returns translated content to you quickly and easily. For more information, you may visit - http://www.smartling.com/product

For the meantime, enjoy the dynamic nature of English and have fun with it. We only live once, so better not take life too seriously. Have some laugh, it will do you some good. Cheers.

Friday, October 24, 2014

DANCE | Learning Salsa Moves - Beginner's Combo & RHT with Threading the Needle

In addition to the salsa steps we're doing in our salsa class at Latin Dance Muscat, I decided to maximize the time by learning a few other moves which I think are executable at least to our level.

October 25, 2014
For this week, I'm featuring the salsa combinations of I Live Salsa taught by Katie and Ian.

Beginner's Combo 2

Right Hand Turn (RHT) with Threading the Needle

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SPECIAL | Happy Diwali

Wishing all our Indian brothers and sisters who are celebrating Diwali Festival- a joyous and prosperous Diwali to you and your family. Stay blessed..

Monday, October 20, 2014

SPECIAL | The TOP Expats Destinations Are...

TRIVIA TIME! Did you know that according to the latest results of InterNations Survey (2014), Ecuador is the TOP expat destination in the world... (makes me wonder why?)

And that the PHILIPPINES (Seriously!) comes at number 8 (right after Spain) in the countdown. This is one surprising result considering that the Philippines is marred by corruption and crimes, spiced with gargantuan traffic problems every single day. But then again, I may be looking at Manila only. Could it be that places outside Manila are becoming haven for expats? If so, then Philippine Government should really be working on their ass to develop cities other than the overhyped Manila. Just my ten cent's worth of thought.

Source: Welcome to Expat Insider, 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW | Gone Girl (2014)- Funny, Sinister and Mind Boggling

To be fair, I won't disclose anything on the narrative of the movie. One has to go and see it to actually realize how it is. What I will be writing in this review is basically how I feel about the overall treatment of the film.

Hitchcock's shower scene in "Psycho". 
There are three movies that reminds me of Gone Girl. One is "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock, the other "Requiem for a dream" by Darren Aronofosky and finally the 1974's "Carrie." The styling is of course distant from each other, but the way the story was presented- in a back & forth manner made it more interesting. Flashbacks were constantly utilized and provided background for the audience i.e. Day 5, followed by Day 3, followed by Day 6, etc. Truly unconventional method of building up a story. This is what makes the film strikingly similar to "Requiem" because the narrative is not linear. Whereas in the case of "Psycho", the
Carrie all drenched in blood.
audience is kept at dark who the real villain is until the end. Further, it was also reminiscent of the 1974's Stephen King's classic "Carrie" especially in the scene where Amy was all covered in blood. 

Another notable element of the film was the voice over of Amy. It gave the audience a better glimpse of how she feels and how she she thinks; how she plots and how she devises scheme. And because of that, gradually the audience learns to despise her- the Amazing Amy that America loved; the Amazing Amy that could get away with whatever she does.

Ben Affleck was effective in his acting although I felt that there was something missing. Don't get me wrong, I find Affleck portrayal of Nick as amazing. The problem was, the character seemed to resemble Affleck's normal personality and in effect, he doesn't look like he is acting. But Rosamund Pike was the girl to hate and love in the movie (this girl deserves an Oscar!). She was so convincing in her portrayal of the control freak Amy. Neil Patrick Harris was also notable but he looked so awkward knowing that he's gay and he's having sex with Rosamund's character. Just doesn't add up to me.

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne; Rosamund Pike as "Amy Dunne"

The musical scoring was also effective. In some of the reviews I've read on Gone Girl, director David Fincher said that he wanted to create a relaxing and yet sinister mood in the film. That's why the first few minutes, the audience is confused what to feel. 

Overall, the film was spectacular and I would rate it 9/10 for the simple reason that it had a very unexpected ending- one that would leave the audience wondering what could possibly happen to Affleck's character.

A Comparison of the Mise-en-Scene of Amores Perros and Requiem for A Dream

Friday, October 17, 2014

MOVIE | Gone Girl (2014)

Saw "Gone Girl" last night at Vox Cinema in City Center Seeb. I am not a Ben Affleck fan (though I am not really a fan of many Hollywood names), but this movie directed by David Fincher, based on the book by Gillian Flynn, just left me and my colleagues last night utterly disturbed. 

Briefly, Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne
was funny, Rosamund Pike as Amy was sinister, and Carrie Coon as Margo, Nick's twin & Neil Patrick Harris as Desi (the ultra billionaire) were amazing in their performances. (Longer review to follow).

Overall, it was a mix of scary-romantic-sinister-thriller type of film. What I can gurantee you is that it'll make you think at the end of the film..

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MISC | Articles to be Released this Week

Next articles to be released this week-

  • Backpacking Adventure Series 1 - Muscat to Dubai
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 2 - Dubai to China
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 3 - China to Korea
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 4 - Korea
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 5 - Korea to Singapore
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 6 - Singapore
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 7 - Singapore to Muscat

Note: Articles to be submitted to Tripoto (so far, only my Cambodia trip has been featured. I need to be featured again to reach more people).

EVENT | Singing the Night Away at PDO Public Beach

Last night there was a spontaneous invitation from a friend to go out, where- heaven knows?! And at the end of the story, we end up singing songs at the beach... only thing missing was a bonfire, and I am a boy scout over again.

Reaching the Beach
PDO Public Beach
Coordinates: 23°38'19"N 58°29'29"E

Originally planned to walk around Qurum Park, but I suggested PDO beach instead. I've been to PDO beach for three times and the place is teeming with locals and expats (mostly Pinoys and Indians).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

TRAVEL | FAQs on Oman

Masirah Island
Q : What's the best way to get to Masirah Island
A : http://andyinoman.com/category/masirah-island/

Note: Suffice to read the link of fellow blogger Andy. Soon as I find ample time then I can write my on advice. 

Q : Nizwa to Masirah?

Source: http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Nizw%C3%A1/Masirah-Island

Nizwa to Mahout - 5 hours 35 minutes (367 km)
Mahout to Masirah - 43 minutes (26.9 km)

TRAVEL | Prologue to Personal Travel Guide

When I was in high school and university, I had this habit of re-writing everything I wrote on my notebook. Back  then, laptops are not common so everything had to be done manually. So yes, it was through pen and paper that I write notes over and over again. Time consuming but makes retention of details longer. In other words, the information becomes more long term compared to works done by typing on a keyboard. 

Flash forward to 2014... It has been ages since I have done anything manual, except write occasional minutes or phone call details. As I look today, I realize that there is just not enough time to do manual writing. But this shouldn't really be the case... though I must contradict myself because I need to write in my blog details, details, details... information that needs to be shared, for others and for me as well.

So, the long and short of this is that I am going to start writing my own personal travel guide starting with Oman. What I plan to write are basically FQA's by people wanting to travel in the Sultanate. So, let me start by writing on the next entries.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EVENTS | The Many First Times in September

And then of course there are those memorable moments with friends and random people that suddenly jolts your routinary life.

FIRST TIME : Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling

Dolphin watching and snorkeling with colleagues
Frankly this was the first time I've done dolphin watching or snorkeling. Even though I have been in Oman for 14 months, I have not done much activity (I dare say). Because there are so many things that one can do, if only there's enough will and motivation. But then again, Oman has so much to offer. PLUS, with amazing people around, nothing can go wrong.

FOOD | Grilled Fish to Sweets... the Gastro September

Rounding up my whole September- it looks like this month is all filled up with FOOD! To think that I'm a see-food diet (I eat when I see food). But come on, this is Oman, what else can you do aside from dancing?

Grilled Fish at Grand Lounge, Al Khuwair

Grilled Fish at Grand Lounge
Turkish Restaurant in Al Khuwair
My favorite so far when it comes to excellent grilled fish + turkish tea at reasonable price. Their boneless grilled fish comes with some veggies and potatoes at 3.5 RO. 

TIP: They serve free turkish tea (sky's the limit)

Visit them their website: http://www.grandloungeoman.com/about-us.html

Sunday, September 28, 2014

EVENT | Wedding, Dhow and Karaoke... the latest LDM activities

It's almost a month since I have updated my blog (blame it on my post vacation blues). And there has been numerous activities this month... no wonder time flew so quickly.

I am devoting one entry for my beloved Latin Dance Muscat family, because most of the activities I have done were with them. Only shows how I'm so into LDM, that without them my life would be utterly boring in Oman. So here it goes...

DANCE | Bailando Salsa Choreography

Bailando Choreography

Part 1 : 00:00 to 01:06

Yo te miro y se me corta la respiración
Cuando tú me miras se me sube el corazón
(Me palpita lento el corazón)
Y en un silencio tu mirada dice mil palabras
La noche en la que te suplico que no salga el sol

(Bailando, bailando, bailando, bailando)
Tu cuerpo y el mío llenando el vacío
Subiendo y bajando (subiendo y bajando)
(Bailando, bailando, bailando, bailando)
Ese fuego por dentro me va enloqueciendo
Me va saturando

Saturday, September 6, 2014

JOURNAL | Post Vacation Blues

There are days when you just don't feel like moving or getting up from bed.

And this has to be one of those days!

I feel so lethargic that even eating lunch seems like a Herculean feat for me. And I know exactly why I feel this way. And the weather is not helping. Not at all.

I have heard about this so-called phenomena of OFWs who just came back from their recent vacations. Talks about how it is difficult to get back in the work momentum, and now I understand how it feels.

This feeling- similar to a separation anxiety state but not quite much, makes one long about the previous events. In a nutshell, it makes you think how it is so much better if the holidays were not over.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SPECIAL | Eid Mubarak

A very special greetings to all our Muslim brothers and sisters who are celebrating the holy Eid Al Fitr. We are one with you in prayers, especially for world peace and harmony. Have a blessed day.


Very nice Eid Mubarak design, fit for the wonderful occasion. Taken from Facebook post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

EVENTS | From Bowling to Spaghetti

Here's a roundup of the busy-event-filled week...

July 21st, my article entitled, "Dancing Shoes" was featured in JeraldUy.com. The site covers topics on pop culture and lifestyle. Dancing Shoes basically talks about how dancing salsa can be a source of support for the expat communities in foreign lands. We also identify the striking difference between Oman and Saudi Arabia in terms of cultural exchanges.

Read "Dancing Shoes" - click here

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DANCE | Salsa in a Foreign Land

When I moved to Oman in 2013, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a new form of latin dance- Salsa and Bachata. Unlike other social dances, salsa and bachata are two very popular dances in night clubs, not just in Oman but in most metropolitan cities of the world.

Before Ramadan started in 2013, I visited Trader Vic's in InterContinental Hotel. On the dance floor were people dancing salsa. I honestly thought that it was just a quick cha cha cha. But when I observed that twists and signature salsa techniques, I told myself that I need to learn how to do it one way or another.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SPORTS | Post World Cup 2014 Snaps

Now that the World Cup is over, we can all move on with our lives and forget/cherish (depends on which side of the fence you are in) all the action that transpired this 2014.

But before anything else, just want to share my photo memoirs while the event was happening.

Semi-Final Round

Brazil Vs. Germany! Live at The Tent, we witnessed how Germany thrashed Brazil with a surprising 7-1 goals. This semi final round will go down World Cup history as one of the most depressing matches ever.

Everyone was so tensed during the fight. Brazil looked dominating in the first few minutes, but when Germany scored a goal, that's when disaster started. It looked as if Brazil lost all it's hope of getting into the final match. Tough luck it was!
Goal after goal after goal! It looked like Brazil is giving away all pretensions of winning and didn't really bother to defend anymore. After Germany's 7 goals, that's pretty much it.
(Above) Cover that up please! Francisco was so 
funny hiding my "Brazil" logo after being defeated 
during the games. He (Francisco) doesn't really 
support any team so he doesn't really mind 
the results. He's from Spain by the way.

(Right) German supporter sure about winning.

And Germany went to the Finals! Congratulations Deustchland for the much deserved victory- 7-1 (that's one historical win, not to mention player Miraslov Klose being named as the most number of goals in World Cup history)

Final Round

At 11pm, we all gathered together to watch the game... hoping fervently that Argentina (against all odds) shall win this cup. Of course the other half of the audience is wishing the opposite.

It was a night of shouting and boo-ing and cheering for the teams... and the popcorn made it feel so extra fun! 10 minutes before the extra time lapsed, Gotze (German player) caught the ball and kicked it in.... I was like OH MY GOD!!! (Facepalm big time). And Messi had the whole world on his shoulders, less than 2 minutes with his free kick... and just like the ball, all his dream of winning flew away above that net.

Lovely to have these people around you, especially when you're watching the finals of World Cup. Until next time folks. Let's find a reason to get together again.

Friday, July 11, 2014

EVENTS | Meanwhile in Muscat

You would think that Oman is a very quiet country, but truth be told- this is one busy place for expats, a place where getting bored is not an option.

Here are some of the most recent events in the busy corners of Muscat Oman.

Brazil vs Germany World Cup Match at The Tent
09 July 2014

With a not so great ending for Brazil this 2014, our love and support of the Latin country shall not fade. A staggering 7-1 (historic in all proportions), Germany has made enough statement to go into the finals leaving everyone excited for the finals against Argentina.

Related Pics:
Brazil vs Germany with LDM 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WORLD CUP 2014 | Final Match - Germany vs Argentina

And now we are down to the final stage of the World Cup 2014 (play PitBull and JLo's We Are One in the background).

And though I am not a soccer aficionado myself, I still am uberly excited about this final match because I have sort of predicted and saw this coming (i.e. my wild guess for the top 4 are Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands). 

And whoever wins this game truly deserve the title because both Germany and Argentina have proven to be tough nuts to crack this year. But my heart belongs to the Latinos- Argentina not because Messi is there, but because Argentina can really use some help to boost the morale of the Argentinians who are not in the best economic disposition at the moment.

But I know that Germany will not give away the trophy that easily. So I'm sure this will be really a good fight to watch out for. (More entries on World Cup coming up soon!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

EVENTS | World Cup 2014 at Radisson BLU (and every other hotel for that matter)

It's difficult not to to jump into the bandwagon and get crazy with the World Cup 2014. 
Doesn't matter if you have no country in the match to represent you. At least you have Shakira and J.Lo to keep you company minus Pitbull. Kidding aside, no matter which country you support, the intensity of the games will surely get into you. And in countries like Oman, you will find screenings of the matches everywhere, just like in the poster below.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NEWS | Cyclonic Storm "Nanauk" Heading to Oman

Oh no, it looks like we're expecting some whiplash this weekend!

The Oman weather forecast center has announced the landfall of a strong cyclone in the sultanate. For people who come from countries where cyclone (hurricane) is common, you need to understand that Oman has a very different story. The Sultanate is rarely visited by storms and even with small rains, the roads get flooded- what more with a storm?! But we all just have to be vigilant and cautious during this time. Keep safe!

Photo Source:

Monday, June 9, 2014

EVENT | Social Night at Trader Vics Every Wednesdays

Rock Bottom has (temporarily) stopped the Salsa nights. 
But that doesn't stop us from dancing.

Social night every Wednesday at Trader Vics. Come one. Come all.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

DANCE | Salsa and Bachata Index

Here is the index for the SALSA and BACHATA open combinations. Most of the terms I used in here are non-standard and for recall purposes only. 

Should you find any discrepancy between the terms and videos, please feel free to point them out. In any case, these open combinations can be executed in no particular order. But some of the patterns tend to belong into similar moves. 

As dancers, you can decide which patterns you can put together and suitable for your choreo. Enjoy!




Pattern 001 : Hand Flick and Walk Around
Pattern 002 : Drunk Butterfly with Hairbrush


Pattern 001 : Cross Body Lead to the Side (from the shoulder)
Pattern 002 : Rhumba with Man's Body Roll
Pattern 003 : Hand Flick with Lady's Hammerlock Ending in Dip
Pattern 004 : Enshufla Doble with Walk ending in Lady's Wall
Pattern 005 : Turn Combinations
Pattern 006 : Lady's Hammerlock Ending in Dip
Pattern 007 : Butterfly with Fall

Pre-Intermediate / Intermediate
Pattern 001 : Rotation (R to R hands)
Pattern 002 : Rotation (R-L hands) with two ending variations



Pattern 001 : Around the World

Other related articles on SALSA and BACHATA in this blog:

Salsa Routines - May 2014
Salsa Routines Series
La Rueda
Bachata - Intermediate Routines
Learning Salsa Routines

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Learn to Dance Salsa This Summer... at Latin Dance Muscat

For latin dance lovers out there, well here's your chance to get those feet dancing. 
Latin Dance Muscat (LDM) is inviting everyone to join its newest absolute beginner batch. Details below. See you there.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Salsa Routines - May 2014

Here's some Salsa Routines you can work on (for beginner and intermediate levels).
Some of the FULL SETs have video links which you can click and review. We'll make the complete video for the whole set later on.

Salsa Routines - May 2014

CBL - Cross Body Lead

THE WARM UP (Approx. 2 - 3 minutes)
1 X Basic
4 X Turning Basic
4 X Back Break
4 X Side Break
1 X Basic
2 X Diagonal (ending with lady's spin)
1 X CBL with inside turn
4 X Lady’s / Man’s Turn Combinations
2 X Turning Basic

THE MAIN SET (Approx. 3 minutes)
1 x Basic
Full Set - Half turn with rhumba ending in CBL
Full Set - Half turn with arms on shoulders ending in CBL with inside turn
Sombrero komplikada
Hook turn
R-R arm rotation
R-L arm rotation
Handflick pattern 1
Walk combinations (simple) and (with block)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Photo Featured in German Travel Guide

Another feather in the hat!
My photo of Wadi Tiwi (Oman) while a 4WD drives through a shallow water, was featured in a German Travel Guide. My name was not mentioned in the original brochure (so I just edited... lols). But still that's some jumpstart for a hobby photographer like me. Looking forward to more adventures and sharing to the rest of the world.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dance | Salsa Routine Series

In this series, we will be introducing the salsa moves that we have done in our salsa classes. 

So let's begin.


Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
(Hands - Left over Right) Cross body lead - Open for titanic/butterfly
Girl - Front diagonal
Man - Back diagonal
Turn the girl facing man - exit by hairbrush

[ Video Insert Here ]

Cross Body Lead with Slide

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
(Hands - Right to Right) Cross body lead
Push girl to the right
Girl turns toward man (hand at the back)
Man does a cross body lead again and turns the girl
Catch the girl's waist and lead to slide (8 Counts)
Turn 1 1/2 and do a hairbrush

[ Video Insert Here ]

Cross Body Lead with Turn and Spin

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
(Hands - Close Embrace) Cross body lead
Turn the girl and catch the waistline
Twist to man's left and release the girl to spin

[ Video Insert Here ]

Turn Combinations with Cross Body Lead 1

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
Basic (4 Counts) (Prepare the girl for an outside turn) - Girl turns (4 Counts)
Man right turn with hand locked at the back
Girl slides hand on man's shoulder
Cross body lead

[ Video Insert Here ]

Turn Combinations with Cross Body Lead 2

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
Basic (4 Counts) (Prepare the girl for an outside turn) - Girl turns (4 Counts)
Man right turn
Girl right turn
Cross body lead

[ Video Insert Here ]

Enchufla Doble with Cross Body Lead

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
Break (4 Counts) - Enchufla (block) (4 Counts)
Enchufla (8 Counts)
Step back (4 Counts) - Block the lady (4 Counts)
Step back (4 Counts) - Release the lady with double turn (4 Counts)
Cross Body Lead

Basic Salsa (8 Counts)
(Hands Right to Right) Break (4 Counts) - Enchufla (block) (4 Counts)
Enchufla (8 Counts)
Step back (4 Counts) - Block the lady (4 Counts)
Step back (4 Counts) - Release the lady with double turn (4 Counts)
Cross Body Lead

[ Video Insert Here ]

Turns with Cross Body Lead

Turns with Cross Body Lead (Variation 2)

Handflick with Turn Around

Handflick with Hammerlock and Hook Turn

CBL with Lady's Lock Turns to Slide

Catch the Back (Enchufla Doble) Combinations

Man's and Lady's Turn Combinations
with CBL

Drunk Titanic with Hairbrush

Lady's Hammerlock with Dip

Titanic Move with Fall

Rotation - Variations 1 & 2 (Open Embrace)

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