Category Archive: Reviews
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The Skin Shop is the newest player in the cosmetics market. Established in Thailand, its products are already available in other Asian countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong.
Among the many products the company carries include hand creams, BB creams, whitening and anti-aging solutions, cleansing foams and creams, massage creams, and others. Its value proposition is it is the ultimate solution in artistic skin make-up by The Skin Shop. The Skin Shop also prides itself as the nature of the natural beauty cosmetic. (more…)
Despite the popularity of blogs in the Philippines, one niche that hasn’t really gained that much fame is the personal finance-related blogs. I think this is mainly because the banking and finance industry hasn’t really caught on. I’ve been invited to blog meets related to banking but they all felt like a traditional press conference for mainstream media. (more…)
I’m reviving my Christmas Gift Idea series to help my readers find the perfect gifts for your friends and families. Here’s a great Christmas gift to your daughters, goddaughters or for my female readers themselves: Sassy Hairsies.
These unique and cute hair pieces are created by Tin Torres. For my female readers, do you remember the hairbands and hairclips we wore when we were young? I do and they were a pain in my scalp. I used to buy my hair accessories from Marcella and it didn’t have many choices then. I wonder why they didn’t have Sassy Hairsies in my days. (more…)
This is a shoutout to the Sun Broadband Customer Service.
Compared to the customer service of SMART and Globe, Sun has the best customer service personnel. Yes, they still have canned replies but overall, they are far more knowledgeable, friendlier and the easiest to talk to.
A special shoutout goes to Leah dela Cruz! May your tribe increase!
I stumbled upon the idea of a blog carnival when Mindy introduced this.
A blog carnival is like a magazine (this time, online) where an entire issue is dedicated to a particular topic. In this particular platform, members of the blog carnival agree to post blog entries of the same topic in their respective blogs at a set schedule. Different blog hosts are also appointed periodically to provide a summary (including links) of all blog entries regarding that particular topic.
It is an interesting concept because it provides a blogger another way to promote his blog, especially if she’s part of a blog that caters to a specific audience (shopping, parenting, money, etc). An even bigger benefit is that if you have paid ads on your site, you drive more traffic to your site and give more exposure to your advertisers.
My Pinoy Health Hub blog is part of this great blog concept. You can check out the Team Carnival and see it for yourself. Team Carnival is also building a community of bloggers who want to help out each other and share their knowledge.
It’s a Filipino habit, to not care so much about tomorrow. Our elders call this the “mañana” habit or “mamaya na” in the Filipinized version. This is our habit of procrastinating and putting off something that needs to be done today.
I’m glad to see that Sunlife is trying to change this bad habit. It’s new advocacy “It’s Time” talks about the importance of planning your future today. Pia Magalona, wife of the late singer/rapper Francis M, focuses on the need to protect your loved ones should you die. Social entrepreneur Bam Aquino centers on the need to invest and save while you’re young while basketball player James Yap and kid Baby James advocate the need to prepare for one’s retirement and securing your child’s education.
Sunlife’s “It’s Time” campaign is more relevant than ever. With the economic crash of 2008, the calamities of 2009 and 2010, it’s very important to be prepared. As Martin Luther King, Jr. says, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Yup, that’s how I much I paid for a brand new copy of “The Power of a Praying Wife.” Thanks to my PowerCard Plus from Power Books, I was able to buy a copy for just P60.
Back in 2008, I blogged about renewing my PowerCard Plus. For just P100, I get a 10-percent discount on new books (cash purchase). If I charge it to my credit card, I only get five percent. Although the discount is not applicable to sale items, magazines and consigned items, I can still swipe my PowerCard for rebate.
Two years later, I got more than what I paid for. I have accumulated P390 in my e-purse and I was able to redeem when I bought this new book. I only needed to pay P60. Isn’t that cool?
A couple of days late, I should have posted this on Dec. 31. But better late than never. Here’s a review of our 2009 goals. If I were to grade myself, I’d give myself a 70% passing rate. Why? Read on.
My family made some difficult choices at the last two months of 2009 and it made a slight blow to our financial standing. I just hope that these difficult decisions would pay off in the future and provide us some rewards.
1) Additional personal savings of PhP120,000.
By mid-2009, we have already achieved this.
2) Ebay net earnings of at least PhP10,000 (earmarked for travel)
3) Add PhP12,000 to our mutual funds in Philam Fund, Inc. and GSIS Kabuhayan Fund.
50% done. It was a conscious effort not to put too much money in our mutual fund. My goal was to continue beefing up our emergency fund.
4) Start a retirement account of PhP12,000.
5) Completely get rid of hubby’s credit card debt.
This is what’s hurting me most. By mid-2009, we had 26K left in hubby’s credit card. By the end of 2009, it jumped to 36K. Sigh. When we get that money we’ve been expecting this January, I promise I will pay off hubby’s credit card completely.
6) Pay off our car debt in full by November 2009.
7) Save at least PhP140,000 from hubby’s salary.
Optional goal: Travel to a foreign country.
Done. I’ve also managed to squeeze in one more country when I flew again to Hong Kong last November.
Next post: Our 2010 Goals
It’s goodbye to SMART BRO.
After two years filled with irritation, incompetent customer service reps, and thousands of payment, we have ended our contract with SMART BRO and decided not to renew it anymore.
I’ve posted an entry about our dilemma with SMART BRO (see story) and it hasn’t changed since then. A few months ago, my husband got a SUN Broadband and we find that SUN offers more value for our money with its plan.
At P800 monthly, the plan provides us unlimited access to the Internet. Sure, there are days that its connection is down but at least, I don’t fear that when I receive the billing statement, I would be charged with thousands in connection I have never used.
And because of SUN, we have stopped using our SMART BRO in the last three months. We just waited for the contract to expire so we can finally have it disconnected.
Here’s a side note to this. I posted my SMART Bro dilemma in one of the Yahoogroups I belong to. One of the members, a SMART employee, was kind enough to ask permission if she can forward my concerns to their Interactive Social Media Services Group.
A few days after, I received an email from Ashley John Villaroman. In a nutshell, he wanted to find a resolution to our dilemma and, in the process, convince us not to end the contract.
But I was hell-bent on ending the contract. My husband and I feel that we didn’t get our money’s worth with the plan. I thanked Ashley John for his email and told him that we’re not changing our minds. But because I want SMART BRO’s service to improve, I emailed him all my concerns.
We have four major issues with SMART BRO: incompetent CSRs, SMART Connect being not updated, absurd charging and intermittent connection, and its brand manager Ava Espanola, who simply doesn’t care.
The funny thing is that after I sent my email, I never heard from him again. Hahaha! He probably didn’t expect a mouthful from me. But I guess I’ve made my case why SMART BRO is not worth renewing.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate SMART. I have been a loyal SMART Gold postpaid user for the last eight years. And because of SMART, I have never bought a cell phone in the last eight years. I just keep renewing my SMART Gold contract every two years and I receive a new cell phone every time.
But SMART Bro is a different matter altogether. So, goodbye to SMART BRO and good riddance!
Regular readers of Pinay and Money know my worst experience with a BDO manager. Recently, a friend posted a very frustrating experience with BDO. My friend gave me permission to repost this in Pinay and Money.
BDO sucks big time
Just a couple of days ago, a close friend made a cash advance on her BDO credit card. The ATM did not dispense any money even if it was online and it was just newly “fed” with bills. Yet, the money was deducted from her account. Sweet, ain’t it?
So, she made the necessary calls to the ever-so-nice and efficient (yes, I am being sarcastic) people at BDO. The first person my friend was able to talk to told her that it would take 7-10 banking days to get her money back and that she would just have to wait because it was “the process.” My friend obviously got pissed so she asked to talk to the supervisor, hoping for a better answer other than “because it is the process.”
The girl made my friend wait for a god 15 minutes and never got back to her again. To even make things worse, when my friend followed-up the following day, she finds out that her report was not logged in by the girl she talked to. AND SHE WAS GIVEN WRONG INFORMATION REGARDING THE PROCESS. BDO employs really efficient call center agents, no?
Wait. It gets better.
Apparently it doesn’t take 7-10 days to get the money back. It takes 75 BANKING DAYS TO GET THE MONEY BACK. You read that right. 75 BANKING DAYS to get your money back. That’s a good two and half months. Considering the many holidays that are coming, it will take my friend up to 2010 just to get her money back. Wow. Quite a lot of time considering she doesn’t even get to charge interest from BDO for each day she has to wait.
Now where is the fairness in that? Credit card companies charge you exorbitant penalties if you pay a day late. AND YOU CAN’T EVEN CHARGE THEM FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS!!! Tell me, where is the fairness in that?! And their excuse is because: it’s the process. What sort of banking process requires 75 banking days to do, when it takes them no less than a day to call and pester you to pay up your credit card bills when you are a day late in paying? Really sucky process if you ask me.
And their tag line goes, we find ways.
I say BDO sucks big time.