HELLO! I’M TIN.

I’m a graphic designer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I also like to travel every once in a while.

Catching up with the Bride to Be + DIY Wedding Invites

Gladz is literally my first friend when I first set foot here in the sandpit 5 years ago. She was my roommate and the only person who taught me how to cook adobo. I can still remember those days when we were just sharing a double deck bed  in a 3 bedroom apartment where i think 20 people lives. It was during that time when I was welcomed to the reality of adulthood, what OFW life is like and how to live on your own. We were happy just having a 5 dirham shawarma every night for dinner. Well, those were the days. Look how far we’ve come now. She’s now getting married and I finally got my own apartment!

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My blog is back!

…but some of the posts were not.

It’s been a while! This website has been on hiatus since I can’t even remember when. For some very weird reason, I deleted everything and I didn’t have any backup. So basically mostly all of my posts from the past few years were gone with the wind. I managed to revive some. It’s very sad but I don’t have the time to sulk and cry on it. It’s the new year and I’m blogging from the beautiful island of BALI so I don’t have time to complain at all. I’ve never been this tanned and happy! All I know is I will try my very best to blog more this year! I will try to share some snippets of my design and travel adventures so stay tuned!

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Street Nights DXB

It has been a dusty yet colourful and awesome weekend last 20th and 21st of February as I was able to attend Dubai’s largest street party in Al Quoz! Imagine closing one street to showcase DXB’s street culture.

In collaboration with the Dubai Food Festival, the streets of Al Quoz came alive with street art, music and delicious street-food. For two nights, lots of local and international artists performed and shared their talents which was attended by thousands of visitors. Yup, thousands of Dubai peeps chose to get out of the mall, braved the sandstorm and attended this event. Street Nights is a community project which aims to promote public art in Dubai.

Street art in UAE is emerging and growing rapidly like you can’t imagine.  International and local street artists like L7M, Bandi, Zomby, Weik, FWC were among others who shared and exhibited their talents during the event.The best part is the entrance was free and open to everyone – kids and adults!

So here’s a quick photo bomb of what happened during that crazy weekend.

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2014 Highlights & Lowlights (a year in review)

Can’t believe it has already been almost a month since 2015 started and i’m still missing the holidays. To be honest, the thought that it’s already 2015 hasn’t sunk in to me yet. ‘Til now i’m still confused on what year to write on forms.  2014 brought so much change. It has been a year full of adventures, heartaches and emotional windwhirl.

So here are the highlights and lowlights of my 2014:

January: usual drill, i was a happy owl, I was able to go back home to spend the new year with my family.

February: based on my facebook posts, it was a pretty boring month and nothing extraordinary happened.

March: Visited a few of Dubai’s historical landmarks e.g. Dubai Museum and Bastakiya.

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Rehlatna: Taking Street Art to the Next Level

It’s official, Dubai now holds the world’s longest graffiti scroll for the Guiness Record. The whole graffiti scroll is three times the height of Burj Khalifa which more than 150 local and international graffiti artists participated from around the world.

Before they have broken the record, I had an awesome opportunity of seeing the “Rehlatna” process first hand. It was such a cool experience since I got a chance to see “the journey” of how they did the record breaking scroll.

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Contagion Run Dubai 2014

Contagion Run is Dubai’s First Zombie Themed 5km Obstacle Course. A contagion has infected humanity, turning people into zombies. The only way to escape this contagion is to RUN! Yup, run for your lives!

I’m a huge zombie fan. You could probably name a zombie film, book or series and there’s a 98% chance I’ve already read and watched it (and that even includes zombie films from the 80′s!). So when I’ve heard that they’re doing this zombie themed run, you wouldn’t even imagine how excited I was. I have joined this kind of event last 2 years ago in Manila (Outbreak Manila) so this is not so new to me. I was a survivor then so this time, I’ve decided to try being a zombie which was so much fun! If you have chosen to be a survivor, your goal is to finish the course with at least one of the three flags you are given, if you’re a zombie like me, well you have to chase some humans and get as many lives (or flags) as you can. I swear as a zombie, we kinda took it seriously, we chased survivors and ran so much (yes with the annoying pencil on my face). I was literally dead the next day with my body in too much pain (plus extreme hangover because of the afterparty). Rule #1: CARDIO

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Tasty Eats at Taste Kitchen

In celebration of Eid Al Adha, me and my friend decided to ditch the overrated malls in Dubai (e.g. dubai mall, mall of the emirates and the likes) because we’re pretty damn sure it’ll be overcrowded. Instead we’ve decided to go to Mercato Mall in Jumeirah.

We really wanted to eat at Paul but we saw this nifty restaurant called Taste Kitchen. We saw their ads inside the mall and since we’re suckers for healthy clean food, we decided to try it. Apparently it is owned by Nick Alvis & Scott Price, the creative guys responsible for Table 9 (ehem, Gordon Ramsay trained chefs).  Think of fresh ingredients, creative cooking and friendly service in a very relaxing ambience, this is Taste Kitchen.

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Game of Thrones Inspired Greeting Card

One Saturday morning, I was strolling around Kinokuniya Bookstore in Dubai Mall and found some glittery silver pens. I instantly thought of an idea for a greeting card. Since I have a cousin abroad who’s celebrating his birthday soon, I have decided to make my idea into form and created a card. My cousin is a huge fan of Game of Thrones so I googled some nice GOT wallpapers.

I  first did the layout in illustrator and printed then using my silver pen, I drew the “Stark” emblem? or symbol? then added “Happy Name Day” to it since that’s the way you greet Happy Birthday, the Game of thrones way.

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Quick Visit to Bastakiya: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

When the glitz and glamour of Dubai gets a bit too much, then better get out of the hotels and malls and I suggest you pay a visit to Bastakiya, the old neigbourhoods of Dubai. It’s just a couple of walks along Dubai Museum. Here, you’ll step into Dubai’s past and get a glimpse of what Dubai looked like in the days before oil. This is the other side of Dubai. Visiting this place keeps on reminding me that I’m in the middle east after all.

Bastakiya, located along the Dubai Creek, is known for its traditional homes, wind towers, and labyrinth of narrow alleyways. This is where the first settlements of Dubai were built. It was named after Bastak, a province in southern Iran, from where merchants emigrated on the invitation of the Emir of Dubai in the early 20th century to avoid taxation by the Iranian state. Today the restored quarter is filled with art galleries, cafés, museums, and boutique hotels.

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Impromptu Summer Escapade: Musandam, Sultanate of Oman

If you live in Dubai and you’ve had enough sun and tired of the malls, or maybe when it’s too hot to stroll around Dubai’s iconic landmarks. What should you do? Do as the locals do and drive to Musandam, Oman.

This is what me and my friends did a couple of weeks ago. But since we don’t have a car and no one has a license, we opted to just do what a normal tourist would do: search for tours in Groupon! With just a click of a button and for only 179 dhs, we found ourselves one weekend with a group of strangers travelling to Oman for a day trip to Musandam.

Why Oman?

Located on the north, eastern point of the Gulf, a peninsula separated from the rest of Oman by the Emirates. It is a place where the Arabian Gulf meets the Indian Ocean, whose waters are called the Gulf of Oman.  It is the land of the Queen of Sheba, a land of deserts, rolling sands and shifting dunes. A land of spectacular mountains and wadis.

Meetup point for the tour was in Mall of the Emirates at 8:00 am sharp. From there the van and our very cool driver slash photographer was waiting for us. In over three hours we drove all the way to Oman – one of the Arabian Gulf’s most dramatic drives in the Peninsula. We’ve seen some of the region’s most breathtaking views. The drive is somewhat harrowing, climbing a steep, narrow dirt road that winds around the rocky mountain. The scenery is extraordinary, from stone houses built into the sides of precipitous cliffs to the surprisingly fertile Sayh Plateau with its farmed fields of almonds, mangoes, and date palms. ANearby, there are birds-eye-views to Khor an-Najd, a breathtakingly beautiful, glassy turquoise bay.

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