Monday, July 29, 2013

Four Sisters and a Wedding

This post is sort of a movie review mash up with personal family stories in between...

Last July 7, I forgot to bring a tissue when I watch this movie together with my fellow N@Wies thus I end up getting my face dirty and I have to resolve in using my hands to wipe the tears then wipe my hands in my pants. Good thing that movie houses/cinemas are dark and that hubby is not with me.I know it's one of those eeew moments.

Four sisters and a wedding is a hit among us probably because it shows the relationship between each Filipino family member and how we are as a family. It hit the mark big time! We have a close knit relationship to the point that we tend to look out for each other thus we end up meddling each other's personal lives.

Photo Credit: http://www.starmometer.com
Most of the time, the pressure is on the eldest. High expectations are set by the parents thus failure is not an option. This is portrayed by Toni Gonzaga and just like her character I feel the pressure of my parents to work hard even to the extent that they want me to work abroad so I can help in providing for our family. If I didn't marry at age 27 I'll probably working in Singapore or Dubai or Kuala Lumpur and probably I won't have the desire to marry =P

Second to the eldest normally comes in second and felt that they are not that important versus the eldest thus they are the ones who are tough, strong-willed, who speak out their minds and who unintentionally become tactless. This is Bea Alonzo's character which is not far from my sister's personality. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister. She's very generous and she have traits that are quite opposite from mine. If I'm lacking in the "strong attitude" area, that's where she fits in. And she's the one who made my parent's dream in owning a house turned into a realty with me on a supporting role. Wouldn't trade her for any sisters in the world!

I don't know if it's only in Filipino family but the third of middle child is tagged as the black sheep. Either the eldest is being favored or the youngest by each parent thus the middle felt neglected or that everything he/she does have a negative connotation. This is portrayed by Angel Locsin who is an independent and free-spirited individual. On our family's case, my brother happens to be an easy-go-lucky guy who doesn't care much about what's happening in our home. He is like a boarder who goes in and out of the house as he pleased =P
But there are instances where his thoughtfulness and sweetness kicks in and that was when our youngest was hit by dengue fever in 2009 (or 2010) and he have to gave her a piggy back ride going out of the house to the main road so they can see a doctor as my youngest sister is too weak to stand much more to walk on her own.

The fourth child are the ones that are shy or quiet. In the movie it's portrayed by Shaina Magdayao who dotingly looks after her mother since her eldest sisters are not living with them. She's the quiet type who doesn't take sides when there's an issue brewing among her siblings. In our family, our fourth is a male and he happens to be in college. He is the most quiet among us and prefers to be left alone in his room. Doesn't want his stuff to be touched by anyone except if you ask permission from him first. He kept most of his thoughts to himself and he is very considerate when it comes to money matters.

The youngest on the movie happens to be the only male in Salazar household. Enchong Dee was an answered prayer uttered by his sisters when they were kids. He is the affectionate, typical boy-next-door type and who decided to get married ahead. Our youngest is definitely far from marrying since she's in high school at the moment but she's the most "malambing" even to the point that it's becoming so cheesy. She's not shy to hug or kiss my parents even if my other siblings are there to witness it. She's also the "spoiled brat" in our family because my parents especially my mother dote on her too much probably because of her being malambing.

What's my take on this movie? It definitely hit the spot to reach out to the Filipino families. I'm sure everyone can relate to the Salazar family where every member have issues, different personalities, pent up emotions towards one another, got sidetracked by work, career, lovelife, material things, etc that make us grew apart. Each actors and actresses portrayed their characters very well. Though this is a family-oriented film,  it has  comedy and love story. But wait, the word action is missing. Hmmm, let's say there's a tiny bit of action during a confrontational scene of Angel Locsin with a girl that is flirting with her bf. I read somewhere that Toni admitted and even asked their director on not having to take too much drama scene as she is more comfortable punching comedy lines. I'd say she's right about that. She portrays the eldest among the siblings and yet she is the funniest among the sisters. Carmi Martin was so amazing in her portrayal as a mother of Enchong Dee's bride to the point that even Coney Reyes was all praises on her.

What I always like in Star Cinema is they make films that is worthwhile to watch and that there are values to be learned. It's like having a self-check or an awakening which made you realize the importance of living is not only for one's self. The bottomline of the movie is family is family or blood is thicker than water as they say so don't let petty issues tear your family apart. After all, they are the ones who will stick by your side through ups and downs. Every problems can be worked out through communication and I'm saying it should be a proper communication and not a screaming competition. If there's any misunderstanding between a family, it is best to say it outright and also learn to be humble and apologize for your mistakes. I know that it takes seconds to say harsh things but why is it so hard for some to apologize granting that all of us have education and that right conduct is taught in school.

More importantly, let's not left out the word RESPECT. I know there's a saying that respect is earned and not given but this quote only applies to people who are your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. This simple word should be present first hand to our very own home and practiced within the family. Let me end this blog post with this quote that I chance upon in Google...

"No family is perfect...We argue, We fight. We even stop talking to each other at times. but in the end. Family is Family...The love will always be there."                                                                        

Friday, July 26, 2013

STD

What comes to your mind when you hear these three letters? I'm sure you'll be thinking about a disease(s) being transferred from one person to another through *ex but I'm actually thinking of another STD that surprisingly not many is aware of.

According to Wikipedia STD or Save the Date- "is a notice stating the date of a significant event such as a wedding. It is typically sent to those likely to be interested or affected by the event and states the planned date of the occasion so that recipients who wish to attend know to keep that date free.

For weddings, save the dates usually take the form of a card. They are generally sent out at least six to twelve months before the wedding date, and are usually followed by a formal wedding invitation. While save the date started as a wedding-related custom, it is now used by individuals, businesses, and organizations to announce the date of any formal event."

In a traditional Filipino wedding STDs are not practiced but over the years as technologies evolved so are the ways on how to send across the message to your friends or loved ones about special events in your life like weddings. STDs are widely used in weddings compared to other events/ celebrations in a person's life. I've never encountered a person getting a STD card for a birthday since normally it's an invitation you will get.

I remember my own Save the Date which I personally designed and turned it into ref magnet but sadly I don't have that magnet of my own to remember me by. I'm pretty sure that I saved one for self-keeping but I have misplaced it. But, I can still create one since I found this in my yahoo email:
A copy of my Save the Date which I designed/created using GIMP
When I created my Save the Date ref magnets I remembered going to a photo printing shop and have this printed in photo paper for 30-50 pieces then afterwards I cut each one of them and taped them securely in a magnet sheet. Using a cutter, I diligently cut out the ref magnets and voila! Instant Save the Date to be given away to our friends and family back then. It was one proud moment of mine to have my first DIY (do-it-yourself) for our wedding. Thanks to Mandy for sharing this knowledge while we are both W@Wies back then.

Two days ago my sister asked me if I can create a Save the Date for their upcoming wedding. Compared to my STD, she wanted me to use two of their prenup photos last March and just put their names and wordings on the photo. I thought it will be a breeze but I was challenged by her OC-iness. After how may drafts, I was able to come up with these three:

STD #2
Save the Date #1
STD #1
Save the Date #2
STD #1
Save the Date #3
She wanted the STD #1 to be given out to friends but she finds the words congested on the available space on the right so she opted for  STD #3 which surprise me as she specifically wanted for all the letters to be colored white. On the other hand, I'm relieved that she was able to choose! Sigh of relief!

Photo Credit: Daniel Lei Studio

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday on Technology

I won't be posting any embarrassing pictures of myself probably in the future but not today. As the title of this post implies it's blast from the past  with the technology we have back then.

The social media eon years ago....
We are in the 21st century living a fast-paced life thus technology evolves tremendously. Proof are the things we used in our daily lives and the ways we connect to different people across the globe.

One of my favorite quotes that I always say or probably mentioned a lot of times in my blog - Change is the only thing that is constant in this world. Question is, should we hold back or go with the flow?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Vaseline Lotion Gift Pack Prize

It's been almost two years since I won a blog contests. The ones I remember were:

* Daphne's Kor Aura Bottle which I received last July 20, 2011 and I'm extremely enjoying using it even my youngest sister agrees with me.

* KikayKendz's Elf Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway which I received last August 2011. I won myself  the Elf Bright Eye Edition Palette.

And then after being jinx of not winning anything, the spell was broken! I am so happy to know that I am one of the winners for the Guess Cutesy Patootie’s Gender Raffle Contest by Kerslyn who happens to be a blogger friend of mine. We haven't met personally but hopefully soon we will. My hunch was right that soon she will be having a baby girl! My feminine instinct is still working. Hehehehe.
Excited to see my name as one of the raffle draw winners!
I know you've been dying to know what I won from this contest right?
VASELINE LOTION GIFT PACK (consists of 3 pcs 200 ml and 2pcs 100 ml lotion)
Photo Credit: http://www.acelynprojecthappiness.com
Now I don'y have to worry when it comes to moisturizing my skin. I have stocks to last me for the next few months :)
Packaged arrived last June

My Vaseline Lotion loot! Thanks Kerslyn!
I'm currently using the Vaseline Healthy White SPF24 Triple Lightening Lotion. Whether I'm out and about or simply staying at home, I make sure that my skin is moisturized and protected from the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Just like the other variants of Vaseline lotion, I love the scent! I can't wait to finish up this bottle and try the Vaseline Perfect 10 as well as the Vaseline UV Lightening B3.

Thank you Project Happiness for the contest and the raffle prizes!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Third Cycle to the 5th or is it 6th?

Sorry about the delay of this post as I thought I already made an entry and turn's out that's not the case. I was back in my OB's office in Friendly Care last July 13 and so much has happened that it's not even considered a third cycle anymore. More of like 5th or should I say 6th cycle?

I have to summarize what happened from May to July 13. So here's a flashback:

Month of April - Just like my previous checkups, she asked for the start date of my period and asked if we made a contact the past weekend to which I replied no. My OB answered why not and I told her that hubby's schedule is kind of hectic the past few days/weeks with a project as it's nearing the deadline. She replied to ask hubby if the project his working with is far more important than having a child of his own. As much as I want to agree with my OB (because she has a point), deep down inside me I knew that this job is an answered prayer that me and hubby want to cherish.

Had my Trans-V since my OB wanted to check if there's an egg cell ready and there it is,  round as ever and of course my polyp is still smacked in the middle of my uterus. We were given 4 dates to do our assignment and if it's still not successful then she suggested to have my polyp removed. She explained that majority of her clients who have polyp, conceived successfully after they removed it. She even asked if she prescribed me some medicines for my polyp to which I replied none. Since our first encounter last February up to present, I'm religiously taking Folart (Folic Acid).

I knew that our third cycle will be negative since hubby is always tired from work and we only managed to do one date out of the four dates given to us by the OB. I've come to accept the realization that the only possible way that we will have a success conceiving is to remove my polyp.

We are scheduled to be back in Friendly Care for the next step and that will be removing my polyp on May 7. But before that, Hubby decided to take the long overdue semen analysis. We went to St. Luke's Medical Center Global City and went straight ahead to CARMI (Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility). I created a post with our experience in this facility here. The price for the test maybe steep but it's worth it as you will get the result after 2-3 hours. So armed with the result of the test, I went to Friendly Care   to hear the verdict of my OB. Turns out that my husband's semen test is all okay except for the liquefaction but my OB didn't make a big deal out of it so I assume that it's okay. I even pointed out to her if having 7% morphology of sperm cell is okay out of the XXX million that he has. My OB told me that it's fine since the passing percentage is 4%. She told me that we have to move forward with our TTC so she told me that I have to undergo Hysteroscopy in order to remove the polyp that's been sitting in my uterus for quite sometime now. She told me that most of her patients that had their polyp removed was able to conceive the natural way. The only concern of the matter was I don't have a HMO card. After resigning from my previous job, I have to let go of my health card that comes with my employment. It doesn't help that I am not enlisted as a dependent of my husband's HMO at his work. I asked my OB how much is the procedure for hysteroscopy and she told me that in PGH (Philippine General Hospital) it's around Php 50,000. Wow! I was baffled since PGH is known to be one of the cheaper alternative hospitals in Manila versus the private hospitals.
Photo Credit: http://www.socal-holistic-gynecology.com/

I told my OB if it's possible to buy time as I'm planning to apply for an individual HMO. Hands-down to her that she agreed with me and for the time being, we proceed to do the natural follicle monitoring method.

4th month (May) and 5th month (June) gone by and it's still a negative after she gave us the dates to do "our assignment". We also have a fault with the dates she assigned to us because most of the time we were not able to follow those dates. I'm seriously considering the idea of my friends to take a break and have a vacation within the given assigned dates. That won't be much of a problem on my part but with my husband, I'm not so sure if he still have leaves to spare.

Mid-week of June, I applied for an individual account for an HMO card. I paid the annual premium amounting to almost Php 16,000. I just filled out the form, attached photocopies of two valid IDs and the payment.I gave it to an online friend who happens to be an agent of various HMOs. It's actually a bonus on my part that she lives nearby our house thus she dropped by our house to get my form and my supporting documents.

Finally, the good news I've been waiting for arrived and it's right on time. My HMO card arrived last Friday (July 12) and it's activated thus it's good to go to use which I did as I went back to my OB  last July 13 for my ff-up checkup. My OB told me that we need to move forward with our TTC to which I joyfully told her that I got my HMO. Now we're good to go for the next step.

She created a Medical Certificate where she's requesting for the HMO coordinator in Cardinal Santos to approve my Hysteroscopy procedure for Endometrial Polyp. Once I got the LOA from the coordinator, she instructed me to see her again either on the last week of July or first week of August.

I'll be going to Cardinal Santos tomorrow for the approval of my Hysteroscopy and to check as well with my OB's secretary in Cardinal Santos if I will be admitted. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On My Way to Financial Independence

I'm taking this topic seriously since in my opinion it's high time that every Filipino should be financially educated. I'm one of the many workers in this country wherein whatever what's left of my monthly salary after taking out all the expenses (utility bills, amortization, tuition fee, allowances, shopping) that will be my savings. More often than not, my savings is not that big even if I wanted to. My mind set was, it's okay if it's not too big so as long I was able to save. Boy, I was so wrong in thinking that way.

I've been to stock seminars in Philippine Stock Exchange as me and my husband where interested in investing in stocks two years ago but so far it stuck being a "plan". I'm not sure if my husband will pursue this more than me as I'm eyeing to invest in mutual funds instead. Moreover since I can't really monitor the stocks/trading and analyzing which companies to invest into, it will be a lot much easier on my part if I let the fund managers do that work for me and trust them that they will invest my hard earned money in companies that had a stable track record in being profitable. What changed my decision? Recently I attended seminars about wealth management and financial distribution. The company aims to share a system in which every Filipino families will be financially educated from one member to the other thus being financially independent. Come to think of it, if you're financially independent you won't be worrying too much on what will happen in the future. Retirement, education, health, death, etc.

Sadly, people here in my country have a different perception of insurance or having themselves insured/secured. I guess with the horror stories that linked to insurances getting bankrupt or having no funds,  thus the fear. Not all insurances are bad. Of course, you have to do a research and ask the products being offered by the insurance companies you're interested in. If you think that's too much work, how about narrowing it down to those insurance companies who still stand tall after the recession and financial crisis that struck the whole world. That will be easy as they are a few of them that withstand that trying time.

I remember last year when I attended BDJ (Belle de Jour) fair last year in SM MOA Music Hall, one of their guest speakers in the seminar I attended is Fitz Villafuerte. He is known motivation speaker about finances and an entrepreneur. He has a blog titled Ready to be Rich which aims to educate Filipinos about their finances and how they can make money work for them instead of us working for money. Most of his pieces of advise are based form his personal experience as he is an investor himself.
FITZ VILLAFUERTE
(Photo Credit: http://about.me/readytoberich)
Here are some useful thoughts/ info he shared during his talk:

* Income minus savings is equal to expenses. In short pay yourself first before everybody else. Make sure to save at least 10% of your monthly salary. Based on a study, Filipino saved on an average of 10% or less of their monthly income whereas other Asian countries like Malaysia (saved 20% of their monthly income) and Singapore (50% of their monthly income).

* Emergency Fund should be equivalent to your salary for 6 months. This will come in handy when emergency situations like losing a job or eventually one of the members in the family got seriously ill. I admit up to now I don't have my emergency fund but hopefully next year I will be able to do this.

* Investing is making your money grow than inflation. Look for products that offers 10% interest or higher in a year. On Fritz's case his into stocks, trading, mutual funds and UTIFS. If you don't invest now, think of how much your Php 1,000 will take you after five or ten years. The world is fast changing and with a blink of an eye you will be surprised how many products cost way too much than before. Inflation rate in the Philippines is at 6% last year, how about on the next coming years?

I've started to take this road, one step at a time.
(Photo Credit: http://ideasandpixels.com/three-tips-for-financial-independence-the-hard-way)
Now the only question left for majority of the Filipinos will be, are you ready to have your Financial Freedom? As for me, I've already started making my way there. I will prioritize first the needs versus the wants and start saving religiously. I think that will be the very first step everyone should do.

"Financial Independence can be a decision not a dream."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Unboxing my first Memorata Shoes

I've been coveting this particular shoe when I first had a glimpse of it during the drama television series of Kim Chiu (Ina, Kapatid, Anak). She wore the shoes in her character's debut scene together with Maja Salvador (by the way they are one of the popular young actresses in the country). Both wear the same style of shoes but different in color.


Would you agree that the shoes are pretty? Though I know that the heels are around 5-inches but that didn't stop me from wanting to have my own pair. So when CLN (a local brand that carries Memorata shoes) announced that these shoes are available in their SM Megamall branch last May, I didn't think twice and call up the store to reserve for a pair of shoes in size 7.

Call it impulse buying but on my case it's aiming to get what you want....hahahaha! You have to understand that it's been too long that I waited for this particular shoe to be available. Though I'm coming from Cavite, the distance is not a hindrance as I make my way to Megamall just to get my hands on this pair of shoe.

Memorata on Display
Memorata shoes on the center display of the CLN store in Megamall
Other color of the shoes
Other colors of the Onnah shoe
Now, I'm  proud owner of Onnah shoes in color light peach!
Memorata by CLN
It's like opening a present on Christmas Day!
unboxing memorata
I finally have you now!
so pretty...
Isn't it gorgeous? Due to the sunlight, the color of the shoes turns to gold instead of light peach 
100_4455
Onnah shoes when worn
would you believe that it's actually colored light peach?
The actual color of the shoes :)
name of the shoes and the size
Onnah at Size 7
My sister got the first dibs to use this pair of shoes last June and she told me that she's scared walking on a 5-inches heels. She's not really a heels kind of woman though I'm not saying I am. The past few years I've been accustomed in using flat shoes but some occasions requires you to dress up and wear heels right? And that will be the wedding of my sister in November :)

So right now I made a vow to wear the shoes everyday for 5 minutes so my feet can get used to it come November.


CLN
Level 2, SM Megamall
Dona Julia Vargas Avenue
Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City
Tel. # (02) 633-7040
https://www.facebook.com/CLNph

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revamping my Blog

It's been two (or was it three?) years that my blog is sporting this theme and I was thinking of changing it for good. This will be the third time that I'm going to change it and I want it to be modern, chic and organize. I was suppose to say the last time but then again, technology keeps evolving so I don't want

I've seen a lot of bloggers changing their blogs and seeking the help of Fancy Girl Designs. Patricia Alix-Villa is the real name behind Fancy Girl and she's a graphic and web designer. I wish I know how to do web designing and put it into use for an additional income. Wouldn't it be great if you love what your doing and earning money as well? I said the same thing when  I started to blog...hehehehe.

So far I just made an inquiry on how much it will cost me for a blog overhaul. She's awfully busy at the moment thus she told me that her July month is full but she can accommodate me by August. Now I'm considering to get her services and keep my blog updated with other blogs that are connected to various social media. I don't want to be left behind!

But first things first, I need to save for this particular project since it's not originally part of my budget (sheepish grin).
Blog Make-Over  coming up soon!
(Photo Credit: http://directsitesonline.com/)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ikea heading to Philippines | IR News | Inside Retail Asia

Photo Credit: http://www.insideretail.asia/InsideRetailAsia/IRNews/Ikea-heading-to-Philippines-8985.aspx

Finally! It's about time that Ikea will have their own store here in Manila. I remember reading and hearing stories about Filipinos asking their friends and relatives to buy some home items from Ikea. I even had my own experience of visiting Ikea in Shanghai with my sister and we bought mostly kitchen items for our home the my sister send it to Manila through Balikbayan box.

Some people resort to buying in Groupon deals for Ikea items which I haven't tried. I'm doubting if there are authentic or not since I heard many horror stories about Groupon deals before though there are some that I trusted.

So, imagine my surprise and excitement when I learned that Ikea heading to Philippines | IR News | Inside Retail Asia news broke out! It's been awhile since there's a buzz going around about Ikea opening in the Philippines. I sure hope that the partnership of Blims Furniture with Ikea will push through and I fervently wish that the location will be strategic and accessible for commuters like me.

Are you excited just like me? I bet you are!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Travel Madness Expo 2013

If you are part of the NCR population (like me) who miss the Travel Expo last February, no need to fret as starting today till Sunday another travel expo is happening in SMX Convention Center (it is right next to SM Mall of Asia near the church).

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/TravelMadness
If my sister is here in Manila she will definitely check out this travel sale as she is looking for great deals for their honeymoon trip but we've already booked Momo Beach House through an Ensogo deal just last month.

I bet a lot of people will be here just like the past travel sale. Who wouldn't want a nice deal for a trip especially when it comes to air fares and hotel accommodations, right? I have to pass on this one and wait for February next year. I was aiming to travel out of the country for 2014 in case that our TTC will not be successful for this year.

Entrance fee is Php 50. I'm not sure if this price is only applicable for BPI credit card holders so to know more about Travel Madness Expo, do visit their Facebook page.

The Off Price Show

As I mentioned on my post yesterday, here's another SALE and it's actually a huge one because of the famous brands we all love will be all under one roof. I bet that this will cause a traffic in Alabang. Lucky for those companies near the Filinvest Tent as their employees are only arm's length to get the best deals in the south!

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/TheOFFPRICEShow

TO REGISTER FOR FREE ENTRANCE:

GUIDELINES taken from their Facebook Page:
1. Use PC / Laptop to register. Some mobile phones are not compatible to our app.
2. Make sure you "LIKE" the page! Go to https://www.facebook.com/TheOFFPRICEShow.
3. Click the "PRE-REGISTRATION" tab found right below our COVER PHOTO and next to PHOTOS. Or, you may "click" this link http://tinyurl.com/ls73esb (it takes 5 seconds to load up)
4. Fill up the register online form!

Once you are done, you can get your "Free Pass" at the Registration Booth of The Off Price Show during the show dates by simply mentioning your name. 

Important! Please try to register using your PC or laptops instead of mobile because it is possible that your mobile phones are not compatible with the app we have. Thank you!

~~~~~~~~~~
This sale is so tempting but I need to hold my horses as we are saving up for our trip in Bohol in November. Hopefully next year, the same brands will be back and participate in the Off Price Show sale event.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Great Bellevue Sale

Everywhere I look, I always see the word SALE. Isn't it obvious that I have two posts about sale? I thought that it's only during the month of June where establishments and stores offer the mid-year discount but it seems for this year bargains, discounts and sales filled up the days of the July month. I have another sale post for tomorrow that is happening in Alabang.

But for now this particular sale will entice those soon-to-wed couples or couples who's waiting for a hotel sale especially near Muntinlupa area. You have your answered prayer through...
Photo Credit : https://www.facebook.com/thebellevueresortbohol
I've shared this info to my sister who is looking for an overnight stay accommodation in Bohol. Also, her preferred hotel for her wedding in November is Bellevue so the timing couldn't be more perfect.

"Come to Ayala Mall Greenbelt 5 Lobby in Makati City this July 12-14, 2013 (Friday to Sunday) for the Great Bellevue Sale. Enjoy up to 70% discount on accommodation and restaurant gift certificates at The Bellevue Manila, B Hotel or The Bellevue Resort." ~ Bellevue Resort Bohol FB page.

I just called the number provided to verify if my hunch is correct and like any other travel/hotel sale, you will need to go to Greenbelt 5 in order to avail the discounts and I'm pretty sure you will need to pay a reservation fee or the full amount.

For further inquiries about this sale, you can call The Bellevue Manila at (02) 7718181.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Missha Robinson Ermita Opening Sale

I was at Robinson Ermita yesterday and I didn't know that Missha had an opening sale until July 14, 2013.

Among the BB creams that are out in the market, Missha is one of the brands that have good reviews and feedback from consumers. I remember last year where I asked a friend to bought me a Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream #27 in SM North Edsa. The #27 is the perfect shade for morena skin like mine however it seems that my skin doesn't agree with this BB cream thus I stop using it. I still have a half-bottle full of my Missha and one friend suggested that I put it up on the online Garage Sale of our yahoogroups.

Enough about my Missha story and check out what this branch has to offer for their opening sale:

Buy 1, Take 1 Sale!
This is a real treat for Missha BB Cream lovers! You can stock up on your favorite BB creams as they have different variants to choose from. If only my skin is not that sensitive to this brand I would love to go back to Robinson Ermita and grab this sale.

For more details about Missha and the branches near your area, you can check out Missha Philippines Facebook Page.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Scoop's Lesson # 1

They say that Golden Retrievers are easy to train as they are known for their intelligence and friendly temperament. I only got the chance to train slowly our golden retriever pup when he is 4 1/2 months old. It's only 2 days since I trained him on how to respond to the word sit and I was rewarded with this:


Scoop is a bashful of cuteness and naughtiness all roll into one. Since he is just a pup, he really loves to play thus I end up getting some minor bruises or a saliva on my arms or legs. Good thing he already had his anti-rabies shot as his teeth started to sharpen and grow. Now I'm preparing for his next lesson so by the time he is an adult, I don't need to worry about his behavior.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Maja Home's Cafe

I've learned about Maja's Home Cafe in Passion Cooks Facebook Page. If your not familiar with Passion Cooks, they are the in-demand caterer for weddings battling out with other caterer veterans. As a proof of their fame, they even won the Supplier of the Year for 2012 given by WeddingsAtWork. The votes are tallied from W@Wies (online group of soon-to-wed couples preparing for their wedding). Maja Martinez-Angeles is the one in-charge for Passion Cooks Catering while her mother is behind those delish food that everyone's been raving about. 

Since not everyone can afford Passion Cook's wedding packages (they're not that expensive compared to Juan Carlo Catering but admit it, everyone has a certain budget they need to follow), Maja decided to open a cafe in which everyone has a chance to try the food they are serving in their events thus the birth of Maja's Home Cafe. How cool is that? Initially they are planning to open the cafe in mid-November but it was delayed and moved to May due to Ms. Maja's pregnancy. At the moment, the cafe is in full swing!

MAJA'S HOME CAFE
111 A, Adela Bldg. Aguirre Ave., BF Homes ParaƱaque City



The Alfresco
Cozy Interior
Star Wars Inspired Wall
Since their opening, their menu is consist of the "best seller" dishes being served in wedding reception. When I checked out the list of the dishes, some of them are familiar as I have tasted them before during our food tasting last year of November.

The Menu
But they've come a long way since May and now they are offering a buffet starting today....
Php 299 Buffet at Maja's Home Cafe
I haven't been to their cafe personally but definitely I will check out the place soon since I want to celebrate our 10 years of being in a relationship next month. We don't usually celebrate our BF-GF anniversary but this year I think it's best that we give importance to the day when I say those three sweet words that led to our marriage. Now I found a place to celebrate it with my husband and it will be a gastronomic buffet experience for both of us at a cheaper cost.


Maja's Home Cafe
111 A, Adela Bldg,
Aguirre Ave., BF Homes
ParaƱaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel# (02) 519-5619
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00am - 10:00pm
(Photo Credit: Maja's Home Cafe Facebook Page)

How to get there:
From South Superhighway, exit to Sucat. Then from Sucat Road, turn left to BF Homes entrance. Maja’s is in the green building right across Hanakazu just before you reach the intersection at Elizalde Street.

Location Map going to Maja's Home Cafe (click to enlarge)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Momo Beach House

After weeks of researching for a place to stay in our trip to Bohol in November, my sister and I decided to stay in the new bed and breakfast in Momo Beach in Panglao Island. Presenting....

MOMO BEACH HOUSE
(Photo Credit: www.tripadvisor.com)
At first we were hesitant to book this place as we scout in Agoda and Trip Advisor for other options meaning for cheaper accommodation since  we wanted to try to stay overnight in Amorita Resort. But then a deal came up in Ensogo and I couldn't pass up the chance. Of course, I have to verify it directly to the Amorita Resort/Momo Beach Sales office about the deal as I don't want to be scam like the others. Yes you heard it right, Momo Beach House is under the same management of Amorita Resorts Group. True enough, the deal is legit and they are very nice to answer all my queries concerning the deal.

Ensogo Deal for Momo Beach House
Details of the Ensogo Deal
Who couldn't resist this deal? An overnight stay for two with free breakfast, roundtrip airport-hotel-airport transfers (I was told that it cost 650 per person), free Wi-Fi access and best of all free use of Kayak & Paddles Board and Bike! I confirmed this information when I called their Sales office and talk to Avery and Charlotte.

After that, I hurriedly booked for 3 nights for me and hubby then 2 nights for my sister and her soon-to-be-husband. I know you notice the word "hurry" since at that time when I buy the vouchers I have only one day before the deal expires. Surprisingly, when I check Ensogo today they have extended this deal.

I drop off the idea of spending an overnight stay in Amorita and decided to stay here in Momo Beach House for the rest of our Bohol trip which is 4 days and 3 nights. Php 10,164 was our total expense for the accommodation. What sold me into this deal was the place is just new so I know that the rooms, facilities and the surroundings are well-kept and clean. Plus, it's near the beach! And lastly it's a cheaper alternative of their sister resort, Amorita.

I requested for a standard room good for two person located on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool. Initially we wanted a view of the beach but turns out those rooms with that view are the family rooms.

STANDARD ROOM
(Photo Credit: www.tripadvisor.com)
DINING AREA OF MOMO BEACH HOUSE
(Photo Credit: http://www.momobeachhouse.com)
I got more excited to spend our Bohol vacation in Momo Beach House when I read an article published by Manila Bulletin under Travel featuring Momo Beach House. Hopefully by November we will still experience the serene, secluded and calm Momo Beach which is considered to be a secret haven.


Momo Beach House
Barangay Bil-isan, Momo Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines 6340
T: 038 502-9003
F: 038 502-9002
M: 0949-8972903 / 0915-9889932 / 0917-8619441
E-mail: inquiries@momobeachhouse.com
www.momobeachhouse.com

Manila Office
Unit 701 The Infinity 26th St. Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila
Trunk Line: +632 553-9549 to 856-1443 
Fax No: +632 519 3024
Email: inquiries@amoritaresort.com

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Philhealth 101

I'm sharing this information so if anyone in the future have the same situation as mine, you'll know what to do.

Photo Credit: http://kalusugan.ph/listahan-ng-mga-benepisyo-ng-philhealth/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First Scenario: This is all based on our experience last February 2012 when my father was hospitalized. All of us were caught off guard. My mother thought it was a common case of flu due to the weather changes but it led to a more frightening ailment - heart attack/stroke (almost).

From emergency room, he was transferred to ICU due to his low blood and to monitor his heartbeat as well and his breathing. My father had a history of heart palpitation before due to his smoking so we were not surprise when he was brought to the ICU.

During this time, we decided to use Philhealth to minimize the cost that we have to pay. I made a few calls to their call center to check the status of my father's account. Though he is a member, the account is inactive so he can't use the benefits. And here's what I learned from going back and forth with Philhealth on how to avail the Philhealth benefits for inactive members.

* If the member is inactive, he is still a member of Philhealth. Inactive means that a person has an existing PIN # but contribution is not updated and according to Philhealth, you cannot enroll as a dependent those who are inactive member. Either you have to cancel the membership or update the contribution. By the way, we stated on the letter the reason why we are cancelling the Philhealth membership and that is to enroll my father as a dependent.

* For senior citizens who are inactive member, you need to create a letter address to Philhealth to cancel or terminate your membership. You can do this for urgent matters such as our case. Once, the membership is deactivated, any son/daughter of the SC (senior citizen) can add him/her as dependent. Yup, 60 years old and above can be declared as dependent on Philhealth. You need to sign M2 form then attach the active Philhealth member's birth certificate, photocopy of valid IDs, dependent's birth certificate and Senior Citizen ID (photocopy). Now if there are instances that there's a discrepancy with the name of the soon-to-be -enroll dependent, you will need to create a notarized letter or document stating that the person that your enrolling as dependent and the one whose name appeared on birth certificate or any government ID is the same person. Any notarized office has a template for this type of document so just ask them about it. I think I paid Php50-100 for this letter.

On this crucial moment, I decided to declare my father as my dependent since my office can process my request through sending an errand to a messenger. No need for me to process it by myself. Within the day, I got my updated MDR from Philhealth and I'm glad. Who would've thought that it can be easy peasy. But I was wrong....

I was busy preparing the supporting documents to avail the Philhealth benefits and that includes getting a signed form from HR regarding my Philheath contributions. As it turns out, my contribution is not enough or eligible for me to use Philhealth for my father's hospitalization during that time since I'm still a probationary employee and the fact that my Philhealth contribution is not updated. Our HR said that I need at least 6 months contribution and during this time I only have 3 months of contribution as it was stopped when I got laid off. Since we are aiming to cut down the cost of the hospital bills, I remembered my sister paying her Philhealth contribution for one year as an OFW when she went to POEA. Time is crunching so I have to create another letter to Philhealth requesting to remove my father as my dependent and instead he will be my sister's dependent. I don't remember how long it took for my father's name to reflect on my sister's Philhealth record but it didn't take one week. I'd say 2-3 days as we made it just on time before my father was given a go signal to go home. It was a relief on our part that we were able to avail Philhealth since my father doesn't have a medical card (HMO).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second Scenario: A couple of months back, I resigned as a full-time employee in a corporate environment. Having my lesson learned from the past year on my father's case, I was determined to continue my Philhealth contribution as a voluntary member. I called up Philhealth's hotline to inquire about the process of changing my status from employee to voluntary. She gave the ff. as requirements:
- Accomplished Philhealth Membership Registration Form (PMRF)
- Photocopy of my birth certificate
- Photocopy of marriage certificate if married
- Photocopy of your dependent's birth certificate. In this case, I declared my father since his already 63 years old.

The requirements above will be used to update my information on Philhealth's database. Then I was told to secure myself a copy of Philhealth Premium Payment Slip which is downloadable from their website and a certification from my previous employer with regards to my Philhealth Contribution while I was under their employment. After hearing this I hurriedly requested for one from the company creating a request letter and my reason that I need it to continue my contribution in Philhealth as a voluntary member. Once I have the certification of Philhealth Contribution, signed PMRF and supporting documents, I went to Philhealth.

First step is I need to update my status to voluntary then I can pay my contributions. My first attempt to do this was two weeks ago but end up going home instead due to the long queue and the fact that I can only update my information but cannot pay the premium. I went back last June 30 (talk about last minute cramming) and arrived at their Philhealth's Makati branch at 1pm. Though I have the downloaded payment slip form, they have another slip which you can get inside the branch so I signed one just to be safe. As expected, there were a lot of people in the queue. Good thing at around 2pm or 2:30pm, a security guard started calling out those people who will be voluntary members and will be paying the premium at the same time to expedite the process. He collected the forms and docs and presented it to one of the Philhealth staff. Once the record has been updated, we are given our own Philhealth ID cards and redirected to the cashier. We just have to wait for our names to be called. Once your name is called on the cashier, you just have to present the signed payment slip form. On the form you will need to declare the coverage of your contribution, your name, Philhealth number and total amount of payment. For Philhealth coverage, it's by quarter payment and since my April contribution is paid, I declared May to June then added July to September. Philhealth payment contribution per month is now Php 150. I also presented my Certificate of Philhealth Contribution from my employer as proof of my updated contribution. I have to make a photocopy of this certificate since Philhealth wanted to secure a copy of their own. After the payment and getting my receipt, I'm done and was out by 3:15pm. Whew!

Tip: Call Philhealth's hotline (02) 441-7442 to inquire about the requirements needed and ask the process/ procedure so once you go to any Philhealth's office, you won't have trouble making a transaction and your time and effort is not put to waste. In all honesty, this hotline was very helpful for me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monte di Portofino

Hello everyone! I know I've been a bad blogger for the whole month of June and due to my busy schedule at work thus the lack of posts relating to wedding. My sister will be disappointed if I don't post the food tastings we've attended on her behalf so I'm going to post those caterers even if it's not the wedding month. In preparation for the future posts, I'm uploading the photos in my Flickr account so it will b a breeze to put the pictures in my blog post.

Enough of my babbling and let's get down to this venue that my sister and her fiance selected. This was their first choice from the beginning and though there are some hesitations on my sister's part because of the space  she finally decided to give it a go since it's the cheapest with a scenic view to boot in Alabang.

1
Monte di Portofino Clubhouse
Before you will need a sponsorship from a member of Portofino in order for you to use their clubhouse but as years passed, they decided to open it to non-members as well. It's a great news especially if your looking for a venue that is nice and photogenic without breaking your wallet.

For the rental fee for non-members, it's Php 30,000. For members, I think it's Php 20,000. Reservation fee is 50% of the total fee for the venue which is Php 15,000. Reservations must be made at least 1 month prior to the event date at the PHHOA Administration office (subject to availability).

3
PHHOA (Portofino Heights Home Owners Association) Admin Office
For the rental fee of the clubhouse, event should be strictly within 8am-10pm only. Furthermore, events are limited within the clubhouse vicinity only.
6
Lobby Area
9
Grande Roma that can accommodate up to 180 guests
11
inside Grande Roma
13
Main Entrance to Grande Roma...this is also where the newlyweds will make a grand entrance

19
Caterer buffet setup will be in this area. This is also included on the venue rental of Php 30k
33
The pantry/kitchen area for caterers
24
Overlooking the venue is a pool
Should anyone wish to include the usage of swimming pool in there event, that's additional of Php 25,000 on top of the venue rental fee.

Portofino doesn't allow cooking in any form. Firecrackers and candle balloons (lanterns) are strictly prohibited.

All decorations such as curtains, backdrops and other accessories must be coordinated with the Administration office prior to the installation. Use of any fasteners (screws, nails, adhesive tapes, etc) in any part of the walls, ceilings or floor is prohibited.

Since there are some restrictions in using the venue, the best way to have the perfect reception on your event is to coordinate with the PHHOA Administration Office and with your event stylist/caterer.

20
Luscious Landscpae
21
Another angle of the pool
26
Hidden Gazebo
You have to admit for the price of Php 30,000 the place is definitely a good deal. You'll just need to add a few things and voila! A magical reception will be unveiled. I can't wait for the outcome of this place during my sister's wedding in November.

How to Get in Portofino Heights?
Photo Screenshot from http://www.portofinoalabang.com.ph/

Monte di Portofino
Portofino Heights
Daang Hari Road, Alabang
Muntinlupa City
http://www.portofinoalabang.com.ph/

Rachelle U. Afaga (Account Executive)
rachelle_portohts@yahoo.com
rachelle.05082012@gmail.com
(02) 915-00-65