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Why I love Cats

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My furry baby boy

What I love about cats

1. Cats are liquid. They conform to the shape of a container. Yep. Just like this:

Source: www.learnsomething.tips/

2. They don't need much to be entertained. Boxes will do. 
Source: www.breathefreelitterboxmate.com/

3. They are cute and cuddly. Yep. Even the big kitties are cute. 

Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com/

4. You don't need to buy them a bed. They will sleep anywhere. 

Source: www.webodysseum.com/

5. They can train your dog better than you. 

Source: www.londonbeep.com/

Cats are often misunderstood. They are mysterious and adorable at the same time. Most people I know who tells me they don't like cats are instantly converted as soon as they see my cat! Well who wouldn't like a kitty like him? He's a ball of fur! :)

My cat
Do you like cats? Tell us why in the comments section! 

Why Aldub is a Hit Among Filipinos

Monday, September 28, 2015

Alden and Yaya Dub

This split-screen TV love story has become the latest trend online and offline in the Philippines. What is with this kalyeserye that makes every pinoy so kilig?

At first I was like "Oh that's so baduy!" But that was before I watched an episode on Youtube. I had a hard time maintaining my "Poker face" while watching Alden and Yaya Dub on screen. What is with this couple that makes everyone feel giddy?

I think it's the incorporation of new-age "online romance" and long forgotten Filipino values that many Pinoys have been missing. In this fast-paced world where "ligaw" (courtship) is almost non-existent (couples hooking up only after a series of text messages etc.), Aldub offers Filipino viewers something refreshing.

Television's Responsibility to the Youth

Effects of television to the youth is tremendous. Kids nowadays are more exposed to TV programs that contain not so friendly themes for the youth. Parental advisory may be recommended but that doesn't mean parents are there all the time to supervise.

What are we teaching the youth of today? I see lewd actions or remarks on TV programs everywhere. Dating becomes so easy with the birth of social media and text messaging. Kids as young as 12 go out on dates and who knows what else they do behind their parent's backs. Our youth has lost most of our Filipino values. Teenage pregnancy is on the rise. What can media contribute to the youth?

What you can Learn from Aldub

Aside from each character's charm and hilarious lines, Aldub kalyeserye is also resurrecting Filipino Values that we have long forgotten. 

1. Traditional Filipino Courtship
It teaches us how to respect women and the rules set by her elders. Unlike modern courtship where couples are "nagliligawan sa kalye" or wala nang ligaw ligaw at diretso na sa dating, traditional filipino courtship can make people more "kilig". Just when you thought chivalry is dead, Alden's character in kalyeserye resurrects it. 

2. Elder's guiding their young
This is what youth of today needs--strict elders guiding them. I think we have become more liberated over the years and opinions of our elders do not matter much anymore. The Lola Nidora character reminds us of our Lolas and titas who once used to uphold the rules. 

My favorite quote from Lola Nidora:

"Walang kakahantungan ang mga bagay na minamadali."

-It teaches us why we should never rush things. Good things come to those who wait.

Other Things to do in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Sunday, September 27, 2015

On the way to El Nido, we stopped at Puerto Princesa for 3 days. We stayed at this nice and cozy hotel called "Deep Forest Garden Inn" which is only less than 10 mins away from the airport. They have this lovely garden setting and a nice pool. For only Php 2,400/ night on their Deluxe room, it was a good deal.

When you talk about Puerto Princesa, places like Underground river, Honda Bay, Mitra Farm, and etc. comes to mind. But if you've been to Puerto Princesa before and have toured these places already, what is left for you to see?

Deep Forest Garden Inn at night. Photo from: Agoda.com

BM Beach

Just a few minutes tricycle ride from our hotel is BM Beach. We came in pretty early around 7am and there were no people around besides the caretaker. Entrance fee is Php 25.

BM Beach Puerto Princesa

The water is very shallow and you will have to walk further for the water to reach your waist. 

Nice clear water on a foggy day
To get there: If you have a car with you, drive along Puerto Princesa North Road from the City Center and just before you reach Robinson's near Kia/Nissan dealer, turn right to BM road. Drive all the way down and you will see the sign BM Beach Resort.
By tricycle: Just tell the driver BM Beach (they usually know where to go). Tell them its along BM road near Robinson's

Click to enlarge map

Pristine Beach 

Pristine beach is another lovely beach in Puerto Princesa. It is just a few minutes walk away from Deep Forest Garden Inn. Entrance fee is only Php 20.

Pristine Beach Puerto Princesa
Just take a tricycle to get there. The fare is only Php 10 per person. But be prepared to walk quite a ways from the gate of the resort since tricycles aren't allowed to go in.

Sunset at Pristine Beach

Crocodile Farm

Wanna see Lolong's relatives? Go to Palawan Wildlife Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm). It serves as sanctuary for Philippine Crocodiles. 

Crocodile skin
Wanna eat some crocodile meat? There's a food shop inside where they only serve crocodile meat.
Entrance fee is Php 40. It is located in Puerto Princesa South Road and from the city center, you can just take a tricycle for Php 500 roundtrip. 

You can even stop by Ihawig Prison or Baker's Hill since its both along the way. 

Do you know more places to tour in Puerto Princesa? Pls share in the comments section! :)

How to Register Online and Get Philhealth ID Easily

Friday, September 25, 2015

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) is the most affordable health insurance in the Philippines. It is a social insurance program that provides a means for the healthy to pay for the care of the sick and for those who can afford medical care to subsidize those who cannot.

Every Juan should be a Philhealth member. It doesn't take much to apply.

1. Go to https://eregister.philhealth.gov.ph/

2. Fill up the registration form and attach a scanned copy of your birth certificate

3. Wait for the confirmation e-mail

4. You will then receive your Philhealth number after a few days.

5. After receiving your Philhealth number, just go to Philhealth office near you and get your ID.

Get your Philhealth ID

Go to the nearest Philhealth office near you and ask for the Philhealth Member Registration Form or PMRF. Fill up the form and submit it. They will print out your ID in just a few minutes.

In my case, I went to Robinson's Otis and got my Philhealth ID. Go there on a Thursday or Friday to avoid long lines. I got mine in less than 10 minutes! 

Digital Footprints Left by Our Loved Ones Who Passed

Thursday, September 24, 2015

source: www.indiatimes.com
It's been a year and 5 months since my mom passed away but I can still feel her presence (not in a paranormal way) but in a digital way. We used to email each other or talk via yahoo messenger. Sometimes I still email her and tell her about my day. I still read her old emails and also our conversations in Yahoo messenger. Somehow, emailing her helps me emotionally.

Examples of Digital Footprints She Left Behind After Death

1. Facebook

There's a debate whether to keep your dead loved one's account and continue managing them in order to keep their memories alive or just delete them upon death. In my mom's case, my stepdad deleted my mom's Facebook right away. I felt bad because I needed time to heal.  I wanted to keep her Facebook and see her activity history like posts that she liked, photos she shared, her comments--her whole activity while she's alive. 

2. Email Account

I still email her from time to time. There were some things I left unsaid and this is the only way I can tell her...

3. Yahoo Messenger

This one makes me sad. Sometimes I would randomly click on her name and this pops up.
"Mama appears to be offline and will receive your messages after signing in."

How I wish she will sign in again and message me.

5. E-cards

E-cards she sent me and I sent her.We used to exchange e-cards. In fact, I still send her sometimes. But since she wasn't able to view it, I get an email from the e-card company "E-card not viewed by Mama". I get a dose of reality whenever I get that email and yeah it makes me pretty sad.

In this day and age, digital footprints left behind by our loved ones would either comfort us or make it harder to move on. But the question remains whether we should keep it or delete it. I don't think I will delete her digital footprints. It reminds me of what we were as a mom and child. Reminds me of the good and bad, regrets, raw emotions we shared, and so much more.

ArmyNavy--It's a Burritoful World Indeed!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I always pass by ArmyNavy Burger + Burritos in Harbour Square but I never get a chance to try it out since I have a habit of going to Starbucks or Icebergs instead. Recently, they opened a branch in Waltermart Makati but they were always full. I couldn't stop thinking of Burritos and somehow I gotta have them asap!

I looked up their website and found out that they deliver! Yay! To satisfy my Burrito cravings, I called their delivery hotline 333-3131 and ordered. In less than 30 minutes, my food delivery came and I get to finally taste their Burrito!

My food
I ordered their Chicken Burrito (flour tortilla with chicken, spanish rice, frijoles, onions, lettuce, and cilantro) served with salsa and a slice of lime.

Chicken Burrito
Since their French fries seem inviting, I ordered it too!

Freedom Fries
And their Nachos. Crunchy tortilla chips with cheese jalapeno sauce, salsa, beef toppings, and minced jalapeno.

Here's the Armynavy pricelist and menu:

armynavy menu

ArmyNavy has two branches in Makati:

New Glorietta
Space 2-017 2/F, Glorietta,
Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel: 808-9095

Waltermart Makati
Ground Floor

Well all I can say is, it's pretty good. Now excuse me while I order some dessert! :)

Getting an NBI Clearance Online

The last time I got an NBI clearance was 2011. I only had to renew it by showing them an old NBI clearance copy and then I can get a new one in a matter of minutes. Easy peasy. Since I need it again this time, I went to Robinson's Otis, Paco, Manila (It has fewer people) to renew it again. But I was told that I have to sign up online first at http://clearance.nbi.gov.ph and fill up the form, come back to their cashier and pay Php 115 and also provide the confirmation number provided after filling up the form. Online NBI application is easy..you can even do it on your mobile phone. It only takes a couple minutes to sign up.

screenshot of the NBI form

Steps to get an NBI Clearance

1. Go to http://clearance.nbi.gov.ph

2. Fill up the form

3. Choose your schedule and NBI kiosk to go to

4. Pay via bayad center or pay up at the NBI kiosk's cashier 
5. Photo and fingerprint capture

6. Wait for clearance printing  (If you don't have a hit)

Since I was used to not having problems getting an NBI clearance, I sat there waiting for them to call my name after the photo and fingerprint capture. 30 minutes have passed and they still haven't called me. I walked up to the releasing booth and showed them my receipt. The guy looked at the back portion and told me to come back after 10 days. 10 days?? What the heck? Others who have applied the same time as me have gotten theirs in just a few minutes. 

I went home worrying the whole time. I couldn't wait till its 10 days already. I wanted to know why its taking so long. Why did I get a "hit"? Did someone used my name to commit a crime? I was really getting paranoid. 

Finally, 10 days have passed and I went back there to retrieve my NBI clearance! Voila! I got it! Yayyy! I was so relieved! I asked the guy why it took so long. He said I probably have a namesake with a pending criminal case and they just needed time to verify its not me. Well, I'm just glad it worked out good for me! I was afraid I'd have to go to their quality control center to prove that the person with a pending case is not me. Glad I didn't have to!

Reasons why people get a hit

1. Applying for NBI Clearance for travel abroad

For those applying for clearance for travel abroad, I read that it's on auto-hit. Since NBI has been updating their system, they just want to verify further that those people traveling abroad do not have a criminal record. 

2. Has a namesake

We now have over 104 million citizens and its not unusual to share your name with someone else.

3. Has a criminal record

You might have a pending criminal case that you do not know about. Even if you did not receive a subpoena, the case will still roll. 

What to do when you got a hit

If you know that you haven't committed any crime, then you have no reason to worry. Just wait for the release schedule of your NBI clearance and claim it. In case they need to further interview you, just go to their NBI clearance quality control center in Taft Avenue and answer all their questions truthfully. They just need to verify that you are not the same person with the criminal record.

In case you have a criminal record, expect to get a hit and all you can do is hire a lawyer to settle your case before you can even get an NBI clearance.

Robinson's Otis NBI Clearance Center Operating Hours

Monday - Friday  8am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 7pm

2 valid IDs
 (Passport, SSS ID, School ID, PRC License, Voters ID, Postal ID, Company ID, Driver's license, NSO birth certificate, etc.)

That's it! Best of luck!

Enough Hashtag #OOTD

Monday, September 21, 2015

Photo source: www.stylecracker.com
While browsing some sites and Instagram feed, I noticed that many people post their #OOTD. I think I've seen dozens of people posting their #OOTD every darn day. They even mention the brand they are wearing from head to toe. Naloka ako! If you are a celebrity, fashion model or an established fashion blogger, or fashion stylist/consultant, I understand the need to do it since your followers are getting inspiration or tips on fashion trends from you. 

But I see average citizens posting #OOTD every day and they were actually looking like a hot mess. Do you think people really love seeing your outfit of the day? You flood their feed with your selfies and they were all the same. Just taken from different angles, with or without pouting lips. 

Sorry to say this but I think #OOTD is just a sorry excuse for self-absorbed people to take selfies every day and pretend to be fashion icons. I know what some of you will say upon reading this blog. 

"Walang basagan ng trip"
"Kanya kanyang trip lang yan"

Eh di wow. :)

Internet Posts I like

1. Food
Some people post pics of food they ate at a restaurant they visited. That's cool. I like to see food pics and read about their experiences so that I can have an idea what to order if I ever decide to eat there.

2. Travel
I love travel pictures. Keep them coming. It's good to know first-hand experiences of travelers around the world. I find it inspiring.

3. Social Issues
It's always good to be aware of what's happening in your surroundings. Spread the news. Keep the posts coming.

4. Cat Pictures
I'm addicted to cats. So yeah, flood my feed with cat photos and videos and memes. Dog pics will be great too. :)

Do Not Send Important Documents Via Philpost Coz they Suck

Sunday, September 20, 2015

More like "You Send. We DON'T Deliver."

If you want to receive your letters, parcels, or packages, don't have it sent via Philpost! There are countless stories about people getting their stuff stolen by employees of Philpost or their letters never arriving in its destination.

It is so bad that USPS doesn't accept express mail going to Philippines anymore since Philpost doesn't comply with the express mail delivery schedule. I was expecting a series of post dated checks and it was "unfortunately" sent via regular mail because the sender didn't want to shell out $50 for FedEx. It has been over a month now and it still hasn't arrived. Funny thing is, whenever I get an ordinary letter from US (no check inside), it always arrive within 2 weeks. I have a feeling it was stolen already.

After doing some research, I found out that some people get their checks stolen by Philpost people and even cashed by third party money changers. How is it possible? If the check is not crossed, it can be transferred or ‘endorsed’ by the payee. In this case, the thief can fake the signature of the payee and sell the check to a money changer. The money changer then deposits it to their bank account.

This is a serious hassle for me coz I really need those post dated checks! I hate Philpost so much! Why can't they improve their service? To those of you who has important documents to send, don't send it via Philpost if you want a hassle free experience!

Someone I know ordered some stuff online and when the parcel arrived, the box was empty! Worst thing was, she even had to pay taxes that are almost double the parcel's value at customs!

So yeah, Philpost is badddd news. Real bad. Don't use it. Period.

No Easy Way to Open a Checking Account in Philippines

Friday, September 18, 2015

Photo source: www,i.investopedia.com/

Unlike other countries, it's a pain to open a checking account in the Philippines. For average earners who do not own a savings account, it can take them months to get a checking account.

Even those with savings account can't easily get approved. Banks would base it on your account's cash flow before they even consider approving your application for a checking account. It's a real hassle for those who need post dated checks immediately.

Don't believe some blogs who tells you how easy it is to get a checking account in the Philippines. They recommended going to those "Savings Bank". I have been searching everywhere, called several banks and even visited some. They require you to have at least 6 months savings account in their branch before they even consider giving you a checking account. I even called those small rural banks and they also require to have 6 months savings account first.

Misleading Bank Promos

There are several banks advertising for easy checking accounts with low maintenance balance etc. Sounds good right? Don't get excited. There's a catch: You can only apply for checking account if you have savings account in their bank. So if you need a check immediately and you don't have an existing savings account with them, there is no way you can get one instantly. Here are several banks I have visited in hopes of opening a checking account:

China Bank Savings
Checking account: Easi-Checking Account
Initial Deposit: 5,000
Minimum maintaining balance to earn interest: 10,000

RCBC Savings Bank
Checking account: Basic Checking Account
Initial Deposit: 10,000
Minimum maintaining balance to earn interest: 10,000

Citystate Savings Bank
Checking Account: Citymax Account
Initial Deposit: 1,500
Minimum maintaining balance to earn interest: 5,000

Asia United Bank
Checking Account: Preferred Peso Checking
Initial Deposit: 10,000
Minimum maintaining balance to earn interest: 100,000

I wish banks would be more clear about their rules in opening a checking account so that people would know right away. It's very frustrating to get false information and go out of your way to prepare the requirements, only to get there and be told that you need to have 6 months savings account with them first. 

The banks also need to train their staff to answer queries right. I was told several things like:

1. You can open a checking account with us instantly, just visit our branch and bring your documents.
2. You only need 2 government issued IDs.
3. You only need a barangay certificate if you don't have proof of billing under your name.

What I learned:

1. You can't open a checking account instantly.
2. Your 2 government IDs may not be accepted at all. I presented TIN ID, Philhealth ID, NBI Clearance, and Company ID. They did not accept it and told me to present another one like the new digitized Postal ID or SSS ID or passport. 
3. Most banks won't accept barangay certificate as proof of billing. 

Have you experienced opening a checking account in the Philippines? Share your experience in the comment section. :)

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Certified foodie. Crazy cat lady in training.