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Online Shopping Review - Lazada

By On November 10, 2015
Since I've started working from home back in 2013, I was able to purchase things online through online shopping portals such as Lazada. Initially, I was wary of these online stores as I have yet to try any of them and I really was a newbie when it comes to online transactions. But I've tested it out by purchasing small items such as Casio watches and a pair of Mojo Sandals from Zalora.

I was impressed by how fast and efficient it is so from then on, I buy most of the things I need or want from online stores. This is actually a convenient way for me to buy things as malls too far from our place (2-hour drive).

About a month ago, I bought a Lenovo laptop through Lazada which is being sold by Villman. It actually took me several months before giving it a go as I didn't know what state the laptop would be when it's delivered.  But it turned out to be a good purchase as it came here in just 4 days (as opposed to provincial deliveries which is 5-7 days).

Processor: AMD A8-6410 2.0GHz, Turbo 
Speed: 2.4GHz

Operating System: Windows 8.1
Graphics: 2GB ATI JET LE R5 M230 DDR3L
Memory: 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
Webcam: 720p / 0.3M; Storage: 500GB 5400 rpm
Optical Drive: DVD Recordable
Audio: Dolby Advanced Audio v2
Battery: Up to 4 hours; Display: 14-inch HD (1366 x 768) display
As always, it was delivered by LBC. The item I have ordered comes with a free Lenovo backpack so I didn't have to buy a separate bag for it. Before I bought this, I've scoured Lazada just to look for good deals for laptops with great specs. However, most of them are a bit too pricey for me. I realized that most laptops that were manufactured by major players ie Asus, HP, Dell, etc (no Apple/Mac please!), cost a bit more than Lenovo laptops with the same or similar set of specs.

To add to my savings, I went for a laptop with AMD processor as it does everything what Intel processors do (although there might be a bit of a drawback when it comes to hyperthreading-- Intel does a better job on this) for a lower price. I'm not a super heavy user so it's just fine.

I also know some friends and I have family members who have Lenovo laptops that lasted several years so I think it's going to be okay. I only have a desktop PC which I can't bring with me when I need to travel and work at the same time.

After several months of poring over my "shortlist", and saving up for this purchase, I finally clicked that "Checkout" button (item's been in my cart for several months hahaha!). I must say that I'm really happy with this one as I didn't have to leave the house and check out different stores for me to buy what I need.

Disclaimer: This is not a promotional post and I do not get any type of nor ask for compensation for writing. The item was bought and paid for by myself. Opinions, texts, and images are all mine.

Ear Tunnels from DunnyGun (Etsy) and Aroy' Ay! Organic Plugs and Tunnels

By On September 30, 2015

I have been wearing ear tunnels since 2002 (my uncle was the one who did the stretching for me). Since then, I've been "improvising", turning anything cylindrical (Zagu straws, thread spools, etc.) into tunnels as I didn't know where I could buy them. My uncle once made an aluminum pair but I already outgrew them so I have to have a new pair with larger diameter.

Last time I bought was from an online shop on Facebook, Aroy'Ay! Organic Plugs and Tunnels and I got a wooden "Mayan-inspired" tunnels. which cost approximately PhP 750 (including shipping fee).

I actually liked the pair that came from Aroy'Ay! and it fit me well. However, it's made of wood so I really have to be extra careful as it could break easily. Since I only got this pair for now, I decided to give Etsy a try as I know that sellers on this portal handcrafted these kinds of items.

When I searched for ear tunnels in Etsy, I realized that there are lots of sellers and I found all kinds of ear tunnels, tapers, plugs, and stretchers. The best part is that they all come in different materials, may it be wood, horn, or metal. One actually stood out for me which was the black ear tunnels from DunnyGun. The tunnels were made of water buffalo horn. It only took me a few minutes to place the order as I didn't really find any other ones like it from other sellers who accept PayPal payments.

DunnyGun ships from the U.S. and I was really happy that the shipping fee wasn't as high as I expected. After twelve days from the date when I placed the order, I received the parcel which was shipped using USPS. It was delivered by PhilPost, to which I've paid for PhP 100 (which is totally okay with me). I was hesitant initially as I thought that it might not be delivered. But I was wrong haha! It's really good I've found these stores online which sell these kinds of merchandise.

I might be holding off in buying stuff online for now but I'll be checking out some other stuff that I could buy which will serve as gifts for my family.

Security Bank Features (A Short Review)

By On March 28, 2015
Surprisingly, the money that I have transferred form PayPal to my Security Bank account only took three (3) business days which is awesome. Unlike the other bank I've tried, the transfer takes as long as 5 days.

Aside from the transfer, I've also decided to create an e-Secure Savings which allows my money to earn interest starting at PhP 5,000. I have yet to see how it would fare so, I'll be posting some updates as well how this one goes.

As for the other features, what I like most is how every transaction or change requires a One-Time-Password (OTP) which ensures the account security. From changing phone numbers, to enrolling other accounts/mobile number for reloading, they'll all require an OTP.

Together with the OTP, I like Security Bank's e-give Cash which allows me to send money to anyone via my online portal. I don't have to go through long lines in Western Union, and pay for additional fees for sending. I personally hate going to "Padala" centers as I always have some other important things to do.

I sent money to my mom earlier and she received the 16-digit code in her mobile phone while I forwarded the passcode to her. All she needed to do was to go to a Security Bank ATM, punch in the codes she got to claim the money I sent. Easy right? She didn't have to wait in line, fill-out forms, and present ID.  After my mom claimed the money, I also received a confirmation through SMS that the money has been claimed. I didn't have to ask her to know if she claimed it or not. Some might think that having it setup this way may actually pose security risks as my mom might not be the one I'm sending the money to. But of course, I called her before and after I sent the money just to confirm.

Has any one of you got any experience banking with Security Bank? How was it? Feel free to add your comments!

Update: Security Bank Online Banking Activation

By On March 21, 2015
Yesterday morning, around 10, I went back to the branch where I opened my savings account with Security Bank to activate online banking. I was advised that it would be activated in 24 hours. But then I got an email just a few minutes ago stating that my online account has been activated. It hasn't even been 24 hours yet. So happy!

So I went in and explored the portal, so far, it exceeded my expectation. The interface was quite clean and easy to navigate. I wasn't expecting to have an option to reload my mobile through the online banking portal as it was documented that they only support Suncellular for now--I think that's the only information in their website that's outdated. But it's okay, at least I didn't expect too much.

I also learned that the account number of the savings account is different from the card number, contrary to what I've been reading from other posts online. This is another plus for me as it ensures that the account number isn't readily available to anyone, just in case you lose your card.

I have yet to check how it would go for PayPal withdrawal as it's just been activated and I just added it today in my PayPal account. I'm actually planning to use this as a separate account just for savings. I might be closing my other account as it's just a prepaid wallet but I might still continue it for cash withdrawals.

If you'd like to know more about opening an account with Security Bank, you can go to a branch near you.

Open A Bank Account With One Valid ID

By On March 21, 2015
I've decided to post this since I've been receiving comments/ messages related to my previous posts about RCBC MyWallet as it's one of the most widely used method of verifying Paypal as well as transferring Paypal to bank and for Odesk LFT. However, it's been so stressful dealing with RCBC lately as it's really hard to get my information updated (updating mobile phone, resetting transaction password).

So I went out looking for some other alternatives and I chose  Security Bank which is quite a great alternative. The staff are friendly, and there's not too many people (actually, there were only 3 people in the bank when I went to the Rizal Street Branch in Cabanatuan). They don't make a fuss about getting 1x1 pictures and you could open a savings account with just one (1) valid ID. The best part is that you'll get the "Everyday Card" which is their ATM card with a MasterCard logo and you'll get this on the same day of your account opening. The whole process only took about 20 minutes (great, isn't it?).

This is good news for people who'd want to have a savings account but is being held back for the lack of at least 2 IDs. Please note that you'll have to prepare 5,000 PhP for the initial deposit (it's a bit too high compared with other banks though, but I think that it's just okay).  Other perks would be avoiding long queues and waiting time, being able to make transactions online and get alerts via SMS. Personally, I like the fact that I can activate my online account access through an ATM (just like BPI and BDO) and I don't have to contact their support to get this done.

I got the Easy Access account as I don't want a passbook. I've also enrolled my account for online access and activated it via ATM and I'm waiting for the activation until after 24 hours.

I guess this would just be for now as I'm still waiting for my online access to be activated. I'll be posting more about using the Everyday Card for verifying Paypal and for withdrawing funds from Paypal.

[Experience BetterBanking with Security Bank!]