Monday, September 30, 2013

Would you be my....MOH?

I was rummaging through our laundry basket this morning when I found a paper bag that was given to be my sister last March. I knew the contents of that bag in an instant and I can't help but smile.

A personalized card from my sister. This is the first time she gave me one.



Awww...so sweet of her to make me part of her entourage. Believe it or not I was not expecting to be a part of her entourage. After all I'm married already so I know that the special role I can do for her wedding is to be her personal assistant while preparing for her big day or one of the readers/offerors on the ceremony. That's why it came as a surprise that she chose me to be her Matron of Honor.
Tokens for the entourage together with the card
The tokens that came with her card will come in handy in November for our Bohol trip. Since the bottles are in travel size, it will be easy for me to carry them during our 4D/3N stay there.

You're probably wondering what this Matron of Honor is doing for the bride. I'd say loads! With only a month and  a few days left, I have a lot to accomplish with the assigned tasks she gave me. I was thinking of filing a leave for a day or two just to make sure that I can meet the deadline. I've been in cramming state before and that was the day before my wedding, I don't want to stress myself again for the second time. I'm taking a deep breath now...tomorrow is October and I know that I'll be busy than ever in the next coming days including the backlog posts about our food tasting and the hotel tripping. Yikes! Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ms. World 2013 is Miss Philippines!

My aunt whose currently in Papua New Guinea sent me a message in Whatsapp last night. She's watching Miss World 2013 while I'm busy posting in my Facebook account about UST team facing Dela Salle team in UAAP Basektball Finals.

Since my father and two brothers are fixated in the television last night, I can't watch the pageant proper. Luckily (or so I think) there's a live streaming available in Miss World website which I launched in my browser. Unfortunately it didn't load for 5 minutes so I closed the website and decided to hit the sack and check for news the following morning.

Surprise of surprises! Or is it expected? I got a lot of feeds from my Facebook extending congratulatory messages to Megan Young for winning the most coveted Miss World title. Prior to the coronation night, she's already making a buzz by winning the Top Model competition then she came in 5th place for the Beach Fashion tilt and came in 4th place for the Multimedia Contest. Each win in the corresponding challenges gave each candidate extra points to secure a spot in Miss World Top 10.

Photo Credit: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/127875/megan-young-crowned-miss-world
She definitely made her mark on the beauty pageant history of our country since she's the very first Filipina to win the title. Wow! Now I'm curious of her answer to the judge's question. This is a critical point as it could either make or break a candidate's chances of winning.

I was not disappointed with her answer when they asked “Why should you be Miss World?”. 

MeganYoung answered, “I treasure a core value of humanity and that guides people why they act the way they do. I will use this to show other people how they can understand each other … as one, we can help society.” 
(Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/127875/megan-young-crowned-miss-world#ixzz2gEH2pQhi). 

Bravo! I can't think of a better answer for that question myself. 

You made us all proud! Congratulations and we hold on to your promise of being the best Miss World ever. By the way, I love the color of your crown!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BDJ Fair 2013-Make It Happen: Your Life's Masterpiece on Oct13

I've been a fan of the Belle De Jour Planners since 2010. I never got to used all the coupons but I was able to share some with friends and relatives as I don't want the majority of the coupons wasted.

Last year, I was present in the BDJ Fair where I purchased four planners - for me, my sister and her soon-to-be sisters-in-law. I enjoyed the fair that's why I don't want to miss this event which is happening at the Mall of Asia Music Hall where it was held last year.  This time around I promise to document everything about the fair and of course I have to bring a reliable digital camera for some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Save the Date for the BDJ Fair 2013!
What got me really excited for this year's fair is having my name in the cover of the BDJ planner! In addition to that, I can get the BDJ Planner 2014 for only PHP 480! Squeal! Now I just need to follow the instructions given below:


So for the Bellas like me, what are you waiting for? Hurry and sign up now. Thanks to my sister for sending me this information. I'm wondering last week on when and where the BDJ Fair will commence. I got my answer now.

For more information, just click on this link BDJ Fair 2013-Make It Happen: Your Life's Masterpiece on Oct13.

You can also check out the Belle de Jour Planner website.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reminiscing

I chance upon Joyful Toons  once again (I found this website way back in 2008 or was it 2009 and found the cartoons entertaining so if you browse back on those years in my blog, you will see some pictures from this website which I shared for quite some time) and I can't help but smile when I saw this picture:


It reminded me of my own wedding six years ago. I've been told that in order for marriage to succeed it takes a lot of work on both parties. I couldn't agree more. With a lot of broken families and couples filing for legal separations or annulment, getting hitched is somewhat scary. It's like plunging into unknown. It can either make or break you as a couple. That's why I learned that apart from love - patience, trust, faith and acceptance are part of marriage life. As years go by your partner is never the same person you married eon years ago, right? Change is inevitable and so each of us must adapt to change. That means falling in love with your partner (husband or wife) all over again. It may not be easy at first but that's where trust and faith comes in.

To my sister who will be tying the knot this November, wedding preparations is a fun thing to do. It's like gearing up for a fairy tale act in a Broadway show. After the wedding that's when reality sinks in. Just don't forget to put God in the center of your marriage and always pray together for strength and wisdom. Prayer is a powerful tool that is often taken for granted so each of us must use it wisely. Best wishes to you and I'll see you soon.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dr. Phil Test

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been missing for a week. Been busy with the wedding preps of my sister and as well with my work. Add up to the tasks I need to do are my two canine pets who are now mopping at home since they can't walk or play outside.

For today since most of you are probably keeping to stay dry at the comfort of your humble abode, you might want to check out this test and see if the results are accurate to your personality. Don't worry, it's only 10 questions not unlike the online quizzes or personality tests that takes about 10 minutes or longer for them to be answered.

In case you're wondering who is Dr. Phil aka Phil McGraw, he is a popular psychologist in the US and a TV personality. I'm sure you have watched some of his episodes in his own television show titled Dr. Phil where he tackles on domestic violence, addictions, etc.

A little spoiler on this test, I scored 45. And it says....
I scored 45
Are you ready to find out what the test says about you? Have fun and share it with your friends or family members. Here it is.....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gearing up for Christmas

They say that in the Philippines, we celebrate Christmas longer than any other countries. As soon as September month comes in, it’s the cue for everyone to start prepping for the Yuletide Season! Do you know that Christmas is my favorite event followed by my birthday? I just love the colorful lights, decors, Christmas songs & carols and most especially the people are in good spirits during this time of the year.

So let me tell you a few things you need to prep to get in the Christmas mood right now!

1. Start making your shopping list
Photo Credit: www.funnycoloring.com 
Don’t leave it till December to think about what to get who! You don’t want to be buying things on impulse, then trying to figure out later on who would be the best person to gift it to. Not that it wouldn't work, but think about it this way: At the moment when you receive a present, wouldn't it be nice to know that your friend had you specifically in mind when he bought that gift? Also, when you already have an idea of what you want to get, you have 4 months to get the best deals around! I’m sure everyone would like that idea of scoring some good deals as Christmas gifts. My sister who is based in Kuala Lumpur told me that she didn't see any Bath and Body Works shops/boutiques in KL. I think that’s my cue to give her one!

2. Visit a tiangge/bazaar/flea markets or Divisoria
Photo Credit: thammiesy.com 
As September rolls in, so do the Christmas bazaars! Not only they are the go to place when you want to get items in bulk for the whole office, you may also want to visit a tiangge to soak in the festive season! You can also find a whole multitude of Christmas ornaments to get your house in the mood for Christmas! Places such St. Francis Square , 168 Mall and Greenhills offers bargained items which will definitely put a smile on your face. As a matter of fact, I've made three trips to Divisoria (168 Mall) since August and some shops are already selling Christmas items and decors. If the crowds are not for you, why not try online bazaars such as Zalora? Beat the Christmas rush and have stress free gift giving this year! I'm sure you will be delighted to see the products and discounts they're offering. As a matter of fact they have items that are discounted up to 70% which can be great Christmas gifts for you peers and loved ones. I'm happy to announce that some Bath and Body Works items are on sale as we speak. 

3. Decorate!
Photo Credit: www.wallpapersshop.net
No Christmas season is complete without decorations! After your trip to the bazaar, make sure you have plenty of Christmas decorations to decorate your home. That will definitely set the ambiance of your home to a festive and positive vibe for December. If your getting low on funds, how about give a chance on DIY (do-it-yourself) Christmas decors. There's a wide selection of websites that can serves us your reference. Moreover, this is a perfect bonding activity with your friends and family. 

I’m totally excited for Christmas! Are you?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Zalora Experience

Last July I was checking Zalora, an online shopping website that is so popular for carrying different brand items in Asia. I saw an ad about discounts offered for men and I was hoping I can find something for my husband for our Bohol trip in November.

I was lucky to found this on sale:
Board shorts that cost Php 163.00 each from Collective.com 
It was definitely a good buy but I decided to just put these items on my cart and look for other board shorts in Zalora if there's far cheaper than the ones I found. I didn't find anything so I looked in Ebay. Still nothing cheaper like a Php 100 worth of a board short. I give up and decided to call it a day.

I got an email from Zalora the following day with this message:


Wow! This site really knows how to convince it's buyers for grabbing their items. This chance is too good to pass up so I hurriedly checkout my items and use the coupon code they've provided on my email. By the way I used Paypal in making my purchase. My total bill...

Total bill including shipping fee Php 539.32. Hurray!
I decided to ship the items that I ordered on my friend's address since it's cheaper if it's a Metro Manila address (Php 100 fee) versus provincial address which is where I am now. I informed my friend to wait for a package from Zalora as I have used her home address. The following day, I received a BBM message from my friend telling me that the package arrived! Wow!

My friend and I decided to meet so I can get the package from her. She's such a sweet friend for carrying the box. I owe her so many thanks!

Zalora Package
My Zalora Package. I love the prints on the box. Simple yet stylish.
insta prize certificate
Surprise! A gift certificate with a code inside my package.
rules of insta prize
Too bad that I wasn't able to use this voucher. I've completely forgotten the date
boardshorts for hubby
Hubby's board shorts
collective.com
He is ready to hit the waters of Momo Beach in Bohol!
Now this is what I call a hassle-free shopping right at the comforts of my own home. I will definitely make a purchase again especially Christmas season is just around the corner which reminds me I need to start making my Christmas shopping list.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Philippines - 2013 CHAMPION Pyronale Fireworks Competition

I can't help but be proud that the Philippines (represented by Dragon Fireworks) won the 2013 Pyronale Fireworks World Championships! The country got 2 Awards: the Audience Choice Award and the Gold Trophy as the 2013 Grand Champion. The competition was held in Berlin Germany.

Dragon Fireworks is known as one of the best in the country when it comes to fireworks or should I say pyrotechnics. They are the go-to supplier for couples who wants a fireworks display on their reception. Wow! They've come a long way from being a mere supplier to an international sensation. Kudos to you guys!

A little sharing about myself. I have a Pyrotechnophobia. Ever since I was a little girl, the eve of New Year is not my favorite holiday as I dreaded hearing all the noise coming from firecrackers and fireworks. It even came to a point that I'll be hiding in a closet or under my bed. 

Gradually I was able to minimize my reaction towards the fireworks. Either I'll be plugging an earphone to shutdown the noise or I'll play loud music in my room. If you're going to ask me if I'm brave enough to go outside during the eve of New Year, well the answer is a big NO. I'm still terrified seeing the fireworks/firecrackers in action within a few distances from me. My close friends know this piece of secret about me that's why they understand immediately if I decline to any events if it falls down on December 30th till January 1st.

But that phobia didn't stop me from watching this video. I actually enjoyed it. Now I'm thinking of how it feels to watch it live, I should put this in my bucket list. They say that to overcome your fear, you have to face it head on and that's what I'm going to do. I'll start watching the Pyro Musical Competition live.

For now, please do enjoy watching this video. The pyrotechnics are simply amazing especially the last part! Congratulations to the Philippine Team! You made us all proud!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Flex Your Money Muscles by Fitz Villafuerte

Hello everyone! It's a rainy morning here in my place but somehow I can see the King Sun shyly peeking behind the clouds. Though it's a little gloomy and the fact that is Monday (which is not my favorite day when I was working in the corporate world), let me share this talk by Fitz Villafuerte which I attended last year (October 2012) during the Belle de Jour Fair. He owns a blog site titled Ready to be Rich which is his way of paying forward to help people especially Filipinos in handling their finances and attaining financial freedom.

So let this blog entry take your Monday blues away and be inspired to dream BIG.

Fitz Villafuerte's Flex Your Money Muscle Talk
Fitz Villafurte in the flesh
Who is Fitz Villafuerte?
Health is Wealth indeed!
Don't misunderstand the caption on the above photo but when it comes to your well-being it's indeed your wealth if you are healthy. Being healthy means you're capable to be productive and can accomplish things whereas if you're always sick your family, your job and sadly your savings are affected. So when you see, wealthy is healthy it simply means having your own fund or savings for health emergencies. Having money for your health means less worry for you and your loved ones.

Every Filipinos whether you're poor, middle class or super rich should practice this habit.
I remember when we were in grade school, my mother will accompany me and my sister to a local bank to open our savings account. I had no idea what it's all about; I simply follow whatever my mother instructed us to do. If my memory serves me right, it was Banco Filipino when we first had our bank account. Apart from the back account, my sister and I owned a piggy bank. We normally put coins ranging from 25 cents to a one peso coin. Sadly we didn't manage to continue saving up. Just like a normal kid, if we want to buy candies or cheap toys we always find ways to get the coins from our piggy bank. Now I realized that a little money each day can go a long way if you sum it up.

I bet everyone can relate to this
We had our fair share of financial disaster due to a medical emergency. My father was hospitalized February of last year for a suspected stroke. He was confined in ICU for a week then stayed in a ward for another week or two. My mother tried every possible way that she can to cut down the hospital bills but sadly we still need to shell out money which we didn't physically have. My sister was working abroad so she shared some of her savings and sends it over to me to help with the expenses. My cousin who is planning to buy the land inherited by my father in the province gave his payment early to my father. I on the other hand, processed the Philhealth documents of my father. He is a Philhealth member but non-active so he cannot avail the benefits of a member. To speed up the assistance coming from Philhealth, we have to deactivate his membership and registered him as my sister's beneficiaries. It was a stressful and nerve racking event for the whole family that I don't want to experience again.

I can't help but roll my eyes about inflation
Wouldn't you agree that nowadays everything is pricier compared to five or ten years ago? Before you can buy so much of items for a PHP 1,000 but now you will be surprised to see a few items in your shopping basket or cart that is surprisingly worth PHP 1,000. I always frowned whenever I do our groceries. I can relate too well. I wish that whenever there is price hike, the salaries also increase but that is just a dream.

This is so true! Nowadays, education is nothing if you don't have an ability to use that education wisely.
I always tell my brother who's currently in college that in the past faced and competitive environment that we have now, education is not enough to succeed. You need to use your brain and be creative on how you can achieve your dreams. Being strong-willed is also important and as the saying goes, Experience is the best teacher. If you can't afford to learn some technical stuff, there are ways to learn them on your own. You just have to be patient and diligent. Use the resources available and it's important that you get to learn new things in life. In that way, you will survive the trying times that is a part of life.

I like this quote very much!
From my understanding of the above quote it simply means cutting down your expenses and saving it up for the future. Stop spending buying coffees in Starbucks, or watching movies, or travelling more than once a year. I know some people will say that it's better to experience things while you're young but what about your future? Would you want to rely on your children to take care of you until you die? I'm simply saying that though our children have an obligation to look after us, that doesn't mean that their lives should revolve around us. It will be nice if we have a savings of our own (retirement plan/money) so by the time we are old, we won't be much of a burden to our children. If you think about it, your children will have a family of their own and they will prioritize their family over us (that's the truth). You're lucky if you have a child who will never forget and leave your side but that's not the case for everyone. So better to sacrifice some luxuries in life today then live abundantly in the future. Don't forget, inflation is constant just like change.

For more financial advises and questions check out Fitz Villafuerte's blog :)
I'm not saying that we jump immediately in investing our hard earned money. It pays to read and learn about finances. I myself haven't made any investment lie mutual funds or stocks though I've been wanting to do it since two years ago but I want to make sure that my finances are stable (I want to be credit free and have an emergency fund). At the moment, I just signed up for a health insurance + life insurance plan. I needed a health insurance since I don't have any. Working as an offshore consultant has ups and downs. One of the downside is they don't provide you a HMO so you have to get one for yourself.

Learn how to make your money work for you, be financially educated.

P.S. Sorry for the grainy pictures as I'm using my Blackberry Curve in taking the photos.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cavite MSMEs Trade Fair and Exhibit

Last Sunday my brother and I went to visit The District Cavite just to buy J.Co Donuts. Since it's weekend I expected that the queue on their cashier will be long. So while we are waiting for our turn, I asked my brother to fall in line while I looked for a BPI ATM machine where I can withdraw some money.

I noticed on the ground floor of Promenade that there's an exhibit where Cavite local products are showcase. I decided to take a look and see what products are being sold.

Cavite MSMEs Trade Fair
Cavite MSMEs Trade Fair and Exhibit when viewed on the 2/F Promenade
100_4678
Dry goods and foods are up for sale by Cavite entrepreneurs
100_4679
I spot some shoes! 
Since I want to take a closer look of the items on the exhibit, I went down from the 2nd floor and aimlessly roam around the exhibit.
shoes and sandals
Sandals and shoes for sale. I didn't ask for the price so I have no idea how much it costs.
RTW
RTW for fashionistas! My youngest sister will definitely like the white shirt with a UK flag print. 
wood crafts
This caught my attention. I loved how the mini houses were made. This is perfect for students creating a dioramas.
felt finished earrings
Felt finished earrings. I was tempted to by a pair or two but decided not to do it.
Looking back, it will be a perfect accessories for my Bhutan beads that has the same texture as these earrings.
accessories
Another accessories booth! But they are selling pearl earrings =)
Alegro Enterprise
Alegro Enterprise.  I didn't take a closer look on what products they are offering.
I just zoomed my digicam that's why the picture is a little blurry.
Silang Farm Harvest
Silang Farm Harvest boasts their 10 in 1 Herbal Tea and their Guyabano concentrated powdered drink
dried fishes
Dried Fishes! I was craving for a Danggit and Dried Pusit since June.
I was hesitant to purchase dried fishes in groceries because most of the time, they are not as good as the originals.
vegetable chips
Vegetable Chips! A healthy snack that you can eat with your family. I wonder how they taste...
spreads
Coco Jam and Peanut Butter spread to put on your bread if you have a sweet tooth.
 I like my peanut butter when it's not oily. Same with my coco jam.
snacks
Chips and Curls. I bet my husband will love these sight. 
I wish the trade fair and exhibit will be extended till next week where I have my salary by then and I can try the vegetable chips, the coco jam and the dried fishes. For those of you Southerners especially Cavitenos who have money to spare, go to The District Cavite and sample the locally products that our beloved province has to offer. The exhibit is till Sunday only (September 8).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Road Block

It's September and it's been 7 months that were seeking an infertility OB to help us conceive. After months of follicle monitoring and having a semen analysis done, my OB decided for me to undergo hysteroscopy procedure. My last post on our TTC journey was Dra. Aguilar wants me to get an approval from Medicard about the procedure.

So last July 24th or was it 26th that I went to Cardinal Santos Medical Center and made a beeline to the Medicard coordinator. On the main entrance you will see some cubicles on your right with seats provided for outpatients waiting for the approval of their respective HMOs. Armed with the medical certificate from my OB I went to the Medicard table and explained my situation. Turns out that I need to have an ultrasound printout and admittance form filled up by my OB before they can accommodate my request for approval.

Cardinal Santos Medical Center
(Photo Credit: http://www.yellow-pages.ph/)

Dra. Aguilar's office schedule in Cardinal Santos is MWF 10am-12nn. It's quarter to 12 so I decided to pay her a visit to discuss the things I need to acquire before having the hysteroscopy procedure. In her office I met Lizette, her secretary. Unfortunately my OB is not in her office and went out since they only have 3 patients during that day. So I relayed to Lizette my situation including the approval needed for Medicard. She sent a SMS to my OB and we waited for her reply. Turns out that since I'm her patient in Friendly Care, she doesn’t have the records on her laptop at her Cardinal Santos' office. I will need to see her on her clinic schedule in Friendly Care. Oh well, at least I tried resolving the issue right there and then.

August 1st, I went to Friendly Care so I can discuss with Dra. Aguilar my concerns and the documents needed by Medicard. For the print copy of my ultrasound, she referred me to a sonologist within Friendly Care; I had a TVS and have to pay Php 800 since Medicard didn't approve the request of the nurse to shoulder the ultrasound. After having the printout copy Dra. Aguilar gave me a request slip to have a urinalysis, CBC and ECG done. She wanted to make sure that I'm not pregnant and everything is okay with my vital stats before the hysteroscopy.

August 17, I went to Medicard clinic in Festival mall for the Urinalysis, ECG and CBC. I presented the request slip signed by my OB however the diagnosis or the reason for that procedure is not stated so the nurse/staff in Medicard have to ask me some questions on what is the cause for the request slip. I have to wait for Medicard's call regarding my situation and after 5-10 minutes, the staff told me that the lab tests will not be shoulder by Medicard since the root cause is my endometrial polyp. According to Medicard, polyp is a pre-existing condition thus for the first year of my membership it is not covered. Anything that has got to do with polyp, procedures or lab tests will not be covered and I have to wait for next year (2nd year of my membership). Bummer! I know that this is the sign that my request for hysteroscopy through Medicard will not be approve.
Photo Credit: http://www.affinitydentalclinics.com/
I decided to go ahead with the lab tests despite of having to pay for it. For the three lab tests, I spent around Php 600+. The prices are discounted since I'm a Medicard member. After a week I went back to get my results. Everything is normal but it seems that I won't be using the result of my lab tests. As if by a cue, my OB sent me a SMS which is unusual for her to do. She's wants to know if I will proceed with my hysteroscopy as she has another patient waiting to be schedule for the same procedure. I replied to her saying that I will give up my slot for hysteroscopy and she can give it to her other patient as Medicard won't approve our request due to the pre-existing limitations for the first year of HMO membership. So now I'm stuck and trying to figure out other options. I was thinking of consulting another OB for second opinion or what will be their take on my situation.