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Happy Holidays!

By On December 30, 2017
new year


Hey, all! Might be a little late, but I'd like to wish everyone happiness during the holidays 😊. Imma say this is going to be a yearender post (I haven't posted a lot this year though) as well. Though there's not a lot to read (and not a lot of readers coming to my space either), I'd like to thank anyone who actually paid a visit. Hope you're able to gather some takeaways!

Anyway, it's actually a bit quiet on this part of the globe as a write this (taking a quick break from work--I'm actually on a rush), and I'd like to be able to savor the peace and calm. A lot has happened over the year and I'm thankful for everything--memories, material things (of course! haha), health, and anything I have now that's there to be thankful for. I may have messed up along the way, but I'm sure I'm doing good in some departments πŸ‘Š. That sounded a bit too braggy hahahaha. But seriously, I never thought I'd be able to pull this off. There were things that went out of hand, but hey, I'm just happy that this year's almost over and I'm so excited for the next and what it has to offer. 

Ayan, tama na ang kadramahan. Note to self: you seriously have to save up (good luck to me hahahaha). I hope you are also thinking about it. Just makes sense, right? I mean, come on, sino ba hindi gumastos ng bonggang bongga ngayon? Kailangan mag-ipon, magbawas ng kain (alam mo na, nakakataba ang holidays), and some other positive shit that will make me a better person (nuks haha better person).

Okay! I'm starting to sound like the annoying kid I used to be so I'm going to sleep for now. Tulog ka na rin! πŸŒ› Good night!

PayPal To Security Bank Transfer

By On December 03, 2017
Previously, I used to transfer my PayPal funds to my Security Bank account for a fee of PhP 200.00 per transfer. That's automatic. It's been that way since I've opened my bank account, until March, 2017. Yes, that's right! No more inward remittance fees when transferring from PayPal to a Security Bank bank account. 

I just recently found out about it when I was reviewing my bank statements for the last six (6) months. When I could find the fees in my March statements, my initial thoughts were that I might get billed for it one-time, big time. But then just to be sure, I checked out the Security Bank's Fees & Charges page. There it was, sittting all-smiles and pretty at me. Okay, that's creepy. Haha! Anyway, although there was no notification from Security Bank about this, this is a welcome change and they made sure to update their Inward Remittance fees table to reflect it. Awesome! I know there are also other banks also have the PayPal fee waived for transfers ie EastWest bank. And it's a good thing that Security Bank joined the bandwagon.

This is good news for people like me who get paid via PayPal and have a bank account with Security Bank. If you'd think about it, the amount that I was billed for for the last several years, it's quite a large amount. And I don't really earn that much so, this means I now get to save an additional PhP 800.00 per month (I transfer funds weekly). Yay! This just makes me feel happy and it's so good not to share 😁. Security Bank, again, gave me another reason to be the happy camper that I am.

New Passport Application in DFA Pampanga

By On October 25, 2017
DFA Pampanga Passport Application
After getting delayed due to the recent transport strike, I finally got my passport processed. Yay! FYI, this is a new application (yeah, I'm already this old before I decided to get one--how irresponsible of me haha). I tried applying through DFA Aseana, and DFA Angeles (Marquee Mall), but then I was rejected twice already due to incomplete requirements.

After two failed attempts, I finally was able to have it processed. Never mind my rants previously. Haha. I was just so frustrated that it's almost as if the universe does not want me to explore the other parts of the globe. It's a good thing that those who had confirmed appointments on Oct. 16 and 17 are allowed to come back anytime until Oct 30th so I'm all good. Okay, so how was the entire experience then?

First off, I'd like to commend the whole DFA staff (including the security). Yay! They all made the whole ordeal of lining up seem so less than  when you have to enroll in a State U. From reminding applicants of what to bring and what to do, up to the last stretch (encoding), they all helped in a way I have never experienced in one of my previous applications (FYI, it was in DFA Angeles, back in March 2016--in Marquee Mall--where the guy who was supposed to "verify" the all my IDs and documents I brought didn't even bother to look at them when I said I only have my old employment ID and other supporting documents. It was included in the list of acceptable IDs in DFA's website). Some may have had the same experience as mine so I came up with this post to lessen that kind of situation, especially for those who had to travel several hours just to get to a DFA Consular Office.

Note: DFA Pampanga (2nd Floor, Robinsons Starmills, San Fernando, Pampanga), just like other DFA Consular Offices, only accept applicants with confirmed appointment dates. If you don't have one yet, you may schedule an appointment here. However, if you belong to the following list with the corresponding proofs, you can utilize the PRIORITY LANE as walk-in applicants:

1. Senior Citizen with Senior Citizen ID 
2. Person with Disability (PWDs) with PWD ID or visible disability
3. Solo parent with valid Solo Parent ID 
4. Pregnant women with medical certificate (and uh, of course with a big preggo-tummy?)

5. Minors below eight (8) years old (I'm assuming with birth certificate)

Aaanyway, this time I brought the following IDs and supporting documents (You may also find more about this through DFA's page):
  • Birth Certificate (one from PSA, and one issued by our local civil registrar)
  • Marriage Certificate (from PSA, and from local civil registrar)
  • High School yearbook
  • SSS - E1 form
  • College Transcript of records
  • Voter's Certificate
  • Old NBI Clearances (one was issued on 2007, when I was still single, and the other one issued back in 2013-already bearing my married name).
  • Police clearance (issued in 2013)
  • Barangay Clearance (issued on 2013)
Note: There's a new list of valid IDs for passport application. Check them out here.

Before going to DFA, I had these all photocopied so I wouldn't have to waste my time getting them photocopied on site (though there's a photocopier inside DFA, it's still better to prepare beforehand so you wouldn't have to again fall in line). You may notice that I brought mostly old documents. This is for the verifiying personnel to be able to establish my identity's and documents' authenticity. I spent about an hour (or a bit longer) just waiting for my turn for document verification. 

The guy who verified my documents this time accepted only some of the docs I brought. He filed the original copies. Those that were left to me were the photocopied ones. Here's the list of the documents filed:

  • Birth certificate (both PSA, and from LCR)
  • Marriage certificate (both PSA, and from LCR)
  • Voter's certificate
  • Postal ID photocopy

I was given a receipt which I paid for right away (I paid PhP 1,200--express--as it was a Saturday so I don't have an option to pay for regular processing which is PhP 950) Read more about Passport Processing fees here.

On to the Encoding section, this was where the applicants' photos, fingerprints, and signatures were captured. On this phase, I think I spent around almost an hour (there were express lanes for Senior Citizens and for minors 7 y/o and below so regular applicants had to wait for a bit more). There were actually a lot of capturing booths (19) so the lines move pretty fast. It's just that there were a lot of applicants that day so it took quite a while.

After several hours, it was finally over. Since DFA Pampanga is a good 3-4 hour travel from where I live, I chose to have it shipped to me instead through LBC for an extra PhP 150.  The fare alone is more costly (around PhP 150 one-way), and to wait in line again for releasing made me tired just thinking about it, so I decided it's much better to wait here at home. And besides, I can no longer afford to skip a day's work since it's going to be too busy by the time my passport's released.

Alright! Hope this would help you in preparing for a new passport application. Please note that the experience may still be a bit different. Till next time!

UPDATE:

Since I chose to have my passport mailed to me, a tracking/claim slip was given to me. Estimated  delivery date indicated was November 16, 2017. I was surprised that it came on a Saturday, November 11, 2017. Five days earlier than the date it was supposed to be delivered. Great! 

Stuck! (National Transport Strike)

By On October 18, 2017
Mag-ra-rant lang ako ulit. I understand that though our government is working towards improvement of the transportation sector, many groups (of drivers and operators in particular) just wouldn't welcome this change. Probably, due to the fact that the jeepney is one of Philippines' symbol, that there are a lot of families depending on earnings they get for operating these "beasts" transporting commuters to and from wherever. Or many other reasons. I can't name them all.

Ang point ko lang naman is that, though nai-declare na walang pasok, may mga importante pa din naman na lakad. Like on Oct. 16, 2017, I have a passport application appointment on DFA. Buti na lang, I caught the announcement early on before that date. Nakapag-bargain pa ako to move my leave to Tuesday (Oct. 17). But then on Tuesday, nandun na ako sa DFA Office (which is a good three-hour travel from my place), when another announcement of #WalangPasok was made. F*ck, di ba? Nasayang na ang pamasahe ko, nasayang din ang pagod ko.

I picked an appointment in DFA Pampanga as it was closer to our province, so to get there, I rode a bus. However, I won't be able to come back home right away as there were very few buses coming that are bound to Nueva Ecija. Kung mag-aabang ako ng bus sa katanghalian tapat ng ilang oras, baka nautas pa ako sa heatstroke. The fastest way I can come back home is ride a jeepney to Dau, then from Dau, I'll ride a UV Express Van. You know what's the most annoying part of this experience was? There were no jeepneys! Nada. I tried waiting (turns out, in vain) but no sign of jeepneys to Dau  or even other neighboring provinces anywhere. 

It was a hot, sunny day (as I always remember this province to be), I haven't eaten my breakfast just so I could get there early. But the thought of me getting stranded there just because some groups decided to stage their protests, it made my insides churn, it felt warmer than the sun. Oo, ganyan ka-OA. As in sagad sa buto ang inis ko. Kailangan ko pang kumontrata ng tour taxi para lang makapunta ng Dau for PhP700. Yes, mi dearies. It's a huge chunk of my sweldo for a day, thrown away just for me to get a ride back home.

Oo, naintindihan ko ang point ng Piston, na importante pa din sila, bilang ang mga jeepney ay isa sa mga main modes of transportation for daily commute. Government said that the effect was minimal. Fine. Minimal, kase wala ngang pasok, less commuters ang affected, like yours truly. Though I don't go to a traditional office for work, yung ganitong lakad na
nakakaleche ng pasensya at pera yung hindi ayos. Sana man lang, kung mag-strike ulet, wala na yung gagamit pa ng dahas (the taxi driver and I  had a little chitchat and he said there was a lone jeepney driver who decided to go on his usual way and picked up passengers. The results was his jeep was almost toppled over by armed men who wore bonnets over their heads, just because nagdecide syang pumasada). Kung may gusto pumasada (para na rin sa kapakanan ng ibang mamayan na may pupuntahan at wala naman sariling sasakyan), wag nang gaguhin. Hayaan na lang. Tutal, hindi naman yung piston ang amo nila. They're working for the jeepney operators or even their own selves. Juice colored. Sana di na lang nagstrike at nag-arrange na lang ng pakikipag-usap without disrupting the normal flow of daily activities. Kung walang strike, walang magsasara na government offices, may kita ang drivers, lahat ng commuters can move from point A to point B, wala din sana naaabala. P*nyeta.

-- End of rant.

Lucky Me

By On October 11, 2017
Lucky me. No, it's not the instant noodles most of us Filipinos buy in the grocery stores. I just realized that out of all events that transpired for the past few weeks, I'm lucky that the people I truly care about are safe, well, at least for now.  Have you ever thought about it? We can't really tell what tomorrow brings us. We may have planned ahead, but those plans will most certainly be disrupted. Sometimes by unspeakable things that only the mind of a corrupt human-being can do, sometimes by circumstances that nobody can ever prevent.

I'm all for making-your-own-path kind of mind-set. No one can blame anyone for whatever outcome results from one's own actions. But is it really what it is? That I am responsible for whatever happens to me, or to any person who I have close ties with? NO. Just, no. Sometimes I wonder, if this whole vicious cycle will ever end. Will it be punctuated in bloodshed? I fervently hope not. It has just started out that way. But what can I do? It's as if the entire universe conspired and made a sick joke out of this life. I can only do so much, kindle this rage I have inside. I can only hope I can retaliate in a more painful way. Inflict a damage tenfold more potent. But I can't. I won't. My moral compass is just so persistent, no amount of rust could ever cause it to fail and make me do unjust things.

Whatever it is that is somehow been "planned" for us, I wish it changes the game. I wish we wouldn't have to endure what we've already gone through ages ago. 

Bloggers vs Influencers, Earnings, Etc.

By On October 04, 2017
I'm trying my best not to comment on the previous days' events. But ikennat  (as ThinkingPinoy says) refrain from talking about it. I guess you already know that it's the Senate Hearing about the proliferation of fake news, where RJ Nieto/ThinkingPinoy (I really dig this guy's writing style, so intelligent, and I so love his mad research skills 😊--been following him since last year), together with other SocMed (Social Media) bloggers, were invited as resource persons. Much has been said about this event but I have even more to say.

Anong problema ko, ngarod? Ang laki, kasi someone said bloggers were paid/hired as influencers for promoting the President during the campaign period. Anudaw? Alright, this I have to disagree with with my entire being. Why? The terms "bloggers" and "influencers" have been used interchangeably when they're not exactly the same. What's a blogger and what's an influencer, anyway? I'll try to explain it in my own (tedious) way below:

BLOGGERS VS INFLUENCERS

To clear things out, a blogger is someone who's writing on his/her own webspace. To be a bit more technical, a blogger has his own space on the interwebs, that's called a blog (like the one you're reading/looking at right now), where the writings are housed, coupled with dates when those posts were published. 

Aside from blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. Facebook and Twitter, (microblogging platforms that allow "micro blogs"--short, frequent updates/posting) are being used by the socmed bloggers as their platform for sharing their thoughts. Hence, the term "soc-med" bloggers. They write their opinions on their own walls/pages. 

However, an influencer (may be a blogger or just a known personality such as celebrities) is a personality who can "influence" (through blog, social media, TV, YouTube, whatever) a certain set of people--specifically, a target market-- into buying products and/or services, or even turn them into "fans" of some known personalities ie TV personalities, politicians. Influencers may be paid by those companies behind those goods/services, of course, depending on them if it's their job/business. One can be an influencer without getting paid, though, in the case of celebrities who are simply advocates/patrons/product-evangelists of stuff they use.

In the digital age, one common denominator between bloggers and influencers is social media presence. A blogger may have a social media page, which is, used as well to "influence" readers into patronizing something. Some bloggers write reviews/promotional posts for certain products and/or services, which they get paid for. This way, a blogger is considered as an influencer. Influencers mainly use social media, but they can also use their own webpages (though not as much as a blogger does) in doing so.

BUT not all bloggers are influencers. Most bloggers have social media profiles, sure. They use social media platforms as a tool to gain engagement or to be able to reach a wider audience, aside from visitors gained from search results ie Google Search. Like what I do, I blog but it's not my goal to influence people into becoming customers for some brands and all that commercial stuff. In short, I'm not getting paid by different companies to promote, like what influencers do. I only get a very small amount from running Google AdSense ads (I don't get much, as people don't come here often--and I'm not actively sharing my posts on social media, so there's less chance that I get paid for views/visits). And you know moi, for each review I post, I nitpick. I spit it out here it when I don't like something. It's highly unlikely that I'd get hired to become an evangelist. Hahaha. That's about it. No frills. I have a day-job so I'm not totally dependent on what I "earn" from the ads (if you can call a few cents as earnings πŸ˜‚).

There. Ang haba ng sinabi ko di ba. But my main point here is that in general, a blogger should not be mistaken for an influencer.

Now, are those socmed bloggers paid/hired to become influencers? This I can tell you: no amount of money can buy that fire and passion in standing up for what's best for our country.

Smart Postpaid Plans Online Application and @SMARTCares Twitter Support

By On September 21, 2017
Here I am again with my "katamaran", egging me on to not go out and apply for a postpaid plan through a Smart physical store (aside from the fact that there's no Smart Center here in our town, ayoko lang talaga lumabas. Just because 😁). I have been looking for online telco stores accepting applications online. Having found that I can actually apply online, I eagerly contacted @SMARTCares via Twitter DM to ask how long it takes for the application to be processed. I was advised that it depends on credit evaluation of their validation officers based on the documents submitted. This, I find it fair enough as it would definitely be dependent on their assessment on the documents and info I'd provide. Then, I started gathering my documents. Here's a timeline of the whole process:

  1. I submitted my application for through Smart's Online Store. (September 18, 2017, Monday, at around 11:38 AM). I opted for the Smart Postpaid Plan 399, with a Huawei Y7 as my phone. As soon as I hit the "Submit" button, I got a text message and an email saying that my application was submitted (This, I like!).

  2. Later (afternoon) on that same day, someone from the validation team called to verify the info I sent and I was advised that my husband should also receive another call from one of their reps. And someone did, a few minutes after I got off the phone.

  3. The following day (September 19, 2017 5:00PM), I received another call saying that I'm already pre-approved and that they needed a few more bits of info ie my office/company address (which is, basically, my home address as I work from home) for the application to be fully approved. I gave it to the lady I've spoken to and after a few minutes, I saw that the order status updated to "Approved". Here's how the order status looks like (such a cool feature from Smart):

  4. The lady I talked to also made sure that I get all the necessary info I need. After the call, I received a SMS about the order status, as well as an email with the payment link so I can pay for the initial cash out (I used my credit card for this). Easy Peasy! All I have to do now is to wait for the phone to be delivered (in approximately 5-10 days, no delivery on weekends).

Contrary to most reviews I read about Smart Postpaid plan applications online, I've had a pretty good experience with it. I didn't think it would take them only three (3) business days (I submitted my documents outright during online application submission). Yup! Three days. I was expecting that no one would call me within the week (I thought there were lots of applications, that their sales team has to go through. But, boy, this made my day :D. Now, it's waiting game.

As for @SMARTCares on Twitter, they (whoever handles their social accounts) lived up to their tagline "Responsive 24/7". I got all the answers I needed in a very timely manner (would be a bummer if they didn't reply on time though). @SMARTCares raised the bar higher. Awesome!

Alright, I feel like my face is going to tear apart in two from yawning too much (so effin' sleepy) so I'd say bye for now. I'll update this post as soon as I receive my new phone and SIM. It might take a while (or not), depending on the courier service.

Update: Since the delivery was scheduled on Sept. 26, 2017, and I was not home at that time, I called W-Express (the courier) to arrange for a pick-up. I went to the branch where my package was dropped and claimed it there instead. The line was then activated the day after (Sept. 27, 2017).

Overall, the whole process (from application to activation) was good. At the moment, I'm testing it out (data, calls, etc.) and I'll see if there's anything that I might complain about in the future πŸ˜‚ (you know this, I complain a lot!).

Disclaimer: I was not paid to conduct a review/promote Smart Communications' products/services. The initial cash out is paid for by no-one but moi.

Matt Goes To School (Again)!

By On September 12, 2017
Child with Autism Can Be In School
Photo by Kelli Tungay on Unsplash
Hey, y'all! I'm just happy to tell everyone that it's been months since we've decided to send our son, Matt, to school again. Unlike before, he's now excited to come to school (aside from his therapy sessions) more than ever. 

I've rambled before about him not being able to complete the whole school year as he's being bullied for being "different". It's not like that anymore! :) As opposed to what was recommended by the child specialist we brought him to, we've chosen to sign him up under the SpEd (Special Education) program. My initial hesitation came from the fact that he may mimick what his other classmates do (also on the autism-spectrum), but he doesn't really do it. Which is good. His teacher also gives us updates about his progress (which, btw, is really surprising--this includes him being the "mediator" when the other kids are fighting). Well, he deserves to have friends, too, doesn't he? And for this, I think he's doing a pretty awesome job, regardless of his condition.

We don't really want him spending the rest of his life in solitude. I and his dad are the kind of people who have lots of friends and we'd like the same for him as well. At this time, he's formed some "bonds" with two of his classmates (there are five students in his class). We're really proud of him. He may not be as articulate as those typical kids his age, but we've come to realize that kids like him stand a chance at living a normal life. 

To Migrate Or Not To Migrate

By On August 28, 2017
Nope. Definitely not talking about me moving to a different country. Here's the real deal: I got this sweet "Value" Shared hosting plan from Namecheap for $9.88 for the first year. Not bad, right? Since I've got this package recently, I've came to realize a lot of things I'm missing out on. WordPress is the main reason behind this nonsensical rambling you're about to suffer reading through (mehehe). Okay, kidding aside, I  miss using WordPress. Since this blog's come-back, I've been using Blogger.com. I've got nothing against Blogger. In fact, it's my "first love" as it's where I started my exploration of the whole blogging venture. 

BUT, like I said, I miss the feel of customizing and creating content via WordPress. I miss installing plugins/themes of all sorts. I like challenges it has to offer (yes, I learn through the hard way). Most beautiful blogs I see out there are made of this flexible and powerful tool. It's just that I'm thinking ahead of time. Would I be able to handle the hosting's upkeep moving forward? 

Two years ago, I've signed-up for a hosting package (Arvixe, to be exact) and my experience was less than satisfactory. Sure, the package was very easy on the pocket, but I guess this is where "you get what you pay for" is most applicable. My site went offline for far too many times. And customer support was unable to give me valid reason as to why it happened to my site. I've had enough so I decided not to renew. And besides, I'd have to pay $60 for the renewal of the plan which is an amount I'm not willing to shell out for such a crappy service. End of the story.

Now, I have yet to find out if Namecheap is going to be the same banana or not. But I'm hoping it will turn out otherwise. It's just that I'm not entirely sure whether Blogger Mother is going to "jump-ship" again or stay put in Blogger's servers. For now, I've made my husband's site using my Namecheap Hosting package. I don't know. 

Right now, I don't have the bandwidth to migrate everything I have here over to WordPress. I guess it's clear that I'm not going to use it for this blog. However. I'm thinking about using it for other purposes such as my brother's/dad's little car restoration biz. 

-- End of rambling

P.S. In case you're within the area (Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija) and you need a quick fix for your cars/military utility vehicles, you may contact my bro through his Facebook page (yes, doesn't have a website at the moment).

UPDATE:

I've just realized that I really cannot move this blog over (again) to WordPress. I'd need to purchase an SSL certificate if I did, so I'll stay put. No WordPress for BloggerMother for now πŸ˜‚

"Sad Girls" - A Novel by Lang Leav

By On August 27, 2017
Okay, I've got very little time for myself but I managed to get hold of the novel "Sad Girls" by Lang Leav. I just want to know how a prose/poetry writer would take on novel writing (these are two very different things). Just out of curiousity, I picked it up and next thing I know, I'm already halfway through finishing the book. I can't really say it's a read that will give you the I-won't-put-this-book-down-till-I'm-done feels. It's just that the way it's written was easy to read through, without having to go back several times just to make sure you understood what the message was (okay that was long haha). 

Here's the thing, though. If you are someone who suffers panic attacks, anxiety, and other psychological conditions which may be triggered, read this book with caution. There are triggers. Though it is an easy read, you must understand that this book touched on sensitive issues like suicide, guilt, etc. A bit on the heavy stuff. 

One thing good about the piece was that it has shown pretty much how real life goes for teenagers
(but heck, they have jobs already--I wasn't working until I was 24). The shit that Audrey one has to go through out of guilt, issues with parents, and all other stuff that some of us, as human beings have been in once in our lives (except maybe for being a full-on biatch on her mom), they were all real. She was portrayed as if she was good-for-nothing. I didn't really root for her, to be honest. I guess, on the "brighter" side of things, she and what she did serves as an example to people making up stuff to look "cool" (that's how I read her character) and later regret it for the rest of their existence.

Is she a bad person? I don't think so. Maybe the situation she's in made her do things that she chose to do. She tends to change her mind so quickly though. I don't know. For now, all I can say is that it's fallen flat of my expectations. The ending was quite predictable. Or maybe I've read more than enough mind-fuck books that Sad Girls didn't surprise me anymore. Anyway, I wouldn't really go much into detail (I know some may have not read  it yet) about this book, but just a thought: I'm never going to be a fan of novels with romanticized mental illness. I'm not saying I'm disgusted, but there are people who are suffering because of those and I'll never really understand what it's like to be in their shoes, even if I read/hear it from a narrative. 

Humblebrag

By On July 20, 2017
Medyo nakakapagod mag-blog at umingles so mag-"Taglish" (Tagalog-English) na lang muna ako (nakakaumay ng very light eh). Anyway, ayun na nga. Matagal ko na 'tong gustong i-post sa Facebook eh, para masampolan yung mga mahilig maki-uso at mga "humblebrags". Kaso, mga walls nila iyon, and they're free to post whatever they like. Sino ba naman ako para punahin sila, di ba? Pero, alam mo yun (sorry na, nega ako today)? I mean, I am also free to express my thoughts about so many things, right? Kaya dito ako maghihimutok, kasi ayokong may makaaway at masabihan ng maangas/mayabang at kung anu-anong masasamang adjectives. I already look like a heartless bitch, so okay na ako don (saka andun sa Facebook ang family ko. Baka i-disown na nila ako πŸ˜‚).

Ayan, so bakit ba ang laki ng problema ko? Eto kasi yun.


'Di ba kayo nauumay kung makita nyo na lang lagi yang mga hashtags na yan? They look "innocent", Godly, even. But then, ang kasamang picture, kung hindi bagong shoes, pagkain na either may kasamang tissue na may tatak nung mamahaling restaurant or kita yung karatula ng resto. Samahan pa ng pagka-haba-habang caption--minsan pa-deep na quotes, minsan Bible verses (anong konek?!). Masyadong obvious na pasikat, mga beshy. Wakebs ako sa mahal na food or bagong gamit. Hindi ako naiinggit or bitter. I have a job, I can dine in fancy restaurants, buy other stuff, even travel. Yes, it's their hard-earned money (or their parent's or their spouses', siblings', kung kanino pa man--wag lang inutang, ibang usapan na yon). But my point is that, hindi lahat eh gustong malaman ang ganap sa buhay ng iba. In short, walang silang pake (ay kami pala-- 'coz I don't fucking care).

Nakakatawa pa nga yung may pag-post ng mga gamit na bigay sa kanila, at i-ta-tag ang nagbigay para mag-thank you. Naintindihan ko naman na they're grateful. Pero hindi ba pwedeng pasalamatan na lang kung sino ang dapat pasalamatan gamit ang private messaging? Mas lalong bongga yung magkasama lang sa bahay or magkatabi lang tapos i-po-post pa? OMG te. People are not naΓ―ve para hindi makita ang intensyon na gusto lang talaga magyabang dahil may bagong gamit.

Sa panahon ng social media, censorship is a thing of the past. I'm not going to call those people out. Hindi ko kaanu-ano ang ilan sa kanila (I'm not their mother) at lalong hindi ako diktador para sabihin kung ano yung dapat at hindi dapat ipinopost. And besides, I'm just a nobody. Sana lang, ma-gets nila, that most people on Facebook have their own lives too, and that they have their own shit to deal with. But they don't post everything. Bakit? Kasi may mga bagay na hindi na dapat ipinangangalandakan sa publiko. Hindi kelangan malaman ng madla kung ano ang ginagawa, binibili, pinupuntahan at kung anik anik na ganap. Ano bang makukuha kung madami mag-like? Sisikat ba? Wala naman din magandang mapapala eh. Nothing beneficial, if I may add. Nakaka-boost lang ng ego. Unless they're social media marketers who are trying to promote something or if sharing posts that tackle relevant issues sa bansa, sa community, or kung saan man, syempre ayos ako dyan.

Ayan, actually, nag-ra-rant lang ako. I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings (kaya ako dito sa blog nag-post). Kaya nga ba hindi ako madalas sa social media eh. Sa totoo lang, yung mga may pa-epek na ganyan in-unfollow ko na. Nakakasuka lang, may nag-e-evolve na hindi naman dating ganon, pero nahahawa na. Na-obserbahan lang naman, at hindi ko naman nilalahat.

Now, don't tell me to chill out, though. Haha. This is my way of doing it. Kanya-kanyang style lang, bes. Kung gusto mong umangal, game! May comments section sa baba ng post na 'to.

Got Inked!

By On June 25, 2017
tattooed
After years of contemplation on getting a tattoo, I've finally done it! I've been thinking about it since I was eighteen and now I couldn't have been happier that I finally got inked. For years, I've thought about lots of tattoo designs, if those would look good on me, which part of my body I'd put it on, etc. It took quite a long time and a lot of thinking, 'coz, you know, tattoos are forever (not, if you'll consider removal, though--but what's the point of getting one when you'll regret it one day, right?).

I ended up getting a wave design (my husband actually picked it--it was horizontally flipped for me so it's a pair or wave tats for us) .Ain't going to post any picture here though. I'd like you to see the awesome works of our tattoo artist on his Instagram account. Here's the link to our tatoos when it was done. If you happen to be around town on a Friday to Tuesday (Nueva Ecija) and you dig his style, send him  DM (you can also catch Oskie at Maginhawa St. Teacher's Village Q.C. every Wed and Thurs, at 55tinta).

Okay, so how was the whole experience? Maybe my tolerance for pain is quite high so it's not really something I'd cry over on. I'm also assuming that it wasn't that painful due to location (inner part of the  forearm). But, to sum it up, it's bearable. Not as painful as toothache πŸ˜‚.

Online Shopping Review: YouPoundit, Gouache Harvey Bag

By On May 07, 2017
I recently got my own mirrorless camera (finally!) and I see it just fitting that I get a bag for it. Since I'm so much a fan of online shopping (and I'm too far from stores), I shopped around and found one online store that actually sells them (drumroll) -- YouPoundit.

For years, my go-to place for shopping most stuff I need is Lazada. But then, not all sellers in it don't really sell high-quality stuff so I had to look elsewhere. It was generally an "enlightening" experience as my eyes were opened (opened really wide due to their product lineup) to much better options.

Alright, so the first time I heard about YouPoundit (I follow "Bayaw" Jun Sabayton--through him I found YouPoundit), I didn't really care that time but I checked it out anyway (out of curiosity). Since they sell electronics, I assumed they also have cameras, and of course camera bags.

Luckily, the camera bags they sell are those that don't look like camera bags at all (which is how I like it--regular canvas bags). Not only that the Gouache bags are inconspicuous, they're also made here in the Philippines--they're made of waxed canvas and leather, all sourced and handcrafted locally. 


I got even luckier as the Gouache Harvey bag was on sale when I ordered one. It's price was PhP1710, which is less than the original pricing (PhP1900) as posted on Gouache's website. What made things more exciting for me was that when I placed the order on April 26th, 2017, I received the bag on April 28th. Yup! Two freakin' days, you guys! Based on YouPoundit's shipping info, provincial deliveries could take 5-7 days. Well, they exceeded my expectations. Plus, the fact that they use LBC only sweetened the deal much more. I don't know. Haha. I just find it more reassuring if I know where my package is right? 

Overall, the shopping experience is really great (it would be so much more if YouPoundit comes up with a mobile app). Placing the order was easy-peasy. The brands they carry, well, they're the good stuff. Though it could be a lot better if they could bring more brands in like Canon, Olympus, etc. #wishfulthinking. Check them out through https://www.youpoundit.com.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The Gouache Harvey Bag is paid for by myself. Images, and text are all mine.

Non-fancy-holiday Kind of Saturday

By On April 16, 2017
The Holy Week this year is officially over and my Facebook newsfeed is filled to the brim with beach holiday photos. Isa ako sa mga nanonood na lang haha. Anyway, that's actually one of my many confusions at this point.

Back in the day, when I used to wear high-waist shortpants and sando (with the 2-inch bangs), we spend this time of the year (was born/baptized Catholic, but not active anymore) at home. Yes, at home, where we're not even allowed to play outside, especially on Good Fridays (another thing I didn't quite get a good grasp of). 

Honestly, I have ceased (or started to be inactive) to participate in any religious activity since I was thirteen. Long story. Pero naiintindihan ko pa din naman ang konsepto ng "pangingilin"--which explains why most businesses are closed during Holy Week. The Holy Week I knew is a time to reflect, and abstain from any other activities done on regular days. There's the Visita Iglesia, PabΓ‘sa, Penitensya and all other tradition that Catholic Filipinos have been practicing through the years. 

Okay, call me KJ (kill-joy haha), or maybe "old" for this "social media generation". But I don't get why some people would actually "celebrate and have fun" (out-of-town vacay) when this particular time of the year is not intended for that. Well, in a way, yes as going to the beach or just a small river is only done on Easter Sunday. I know, you'd say it's their prerogative, their time and money they are spending so I don't have any say on whatever they want to do with their lives. TouchΓ©. 

Like I said, I just don't get it. How times have changed. Just consider this post--me asking "why?". I'm not generalizing or anything. I know a few people who still pratice the "old ways". It's just that these "old ways" are now being replaced with something new.

I definitely don't live in under a rock. I'm actually much more aware than ever, having been on social media since Friendster days. I get to see and observe more closely. While it is good to see that the Philippines is evolving fast, it's not bad to still see that old traditions are not completely obliterated. Our nation is generally Catholic, but there are also other religions. I understand that not all Filipino people follow these traditions. But it's still good to see these traditions still being practiced as these things are part of our culture.

In case you ask what I did this week, I just had the regular stuff; I worked (online job), but didn't go elsewhere (though my husband's family is not Catholic--and we live with them). Even if we followed the trend (beachin'), it's inconvenient as the beaches were packed for sure.

How 'bout you? What did you do during Holy Week?

World Famous Snacks Salted Egg Chips

By On April 16, 2017
I didn't really quite get that time what's so special about it. Based on what I've read on various articles online, this snack originated from Singapore.  In my current job, I get to see different kinds of websites and that's where I first laid my eyes on salted-egg chips snack. The savory goodie was and I believe, still being sold by a Singapore-based startup (the name and URL, I forgot, sorry -.-). It became all the rage here in the Philippines last year (2016). There are various sellers, mostly Manila-based and have Facebook pages where orders can be placed.  But I checked and none of them accept PayPal payments. Then came World Famous Snacks (which I found on Facebook). Enter, Sandman lol.


Salted-egg chips in Davao, Philippines
It might be premature to say this as I haven't tried any other salted-egg chips from other sellers yet, but THIS IS THE BEST! Honestly. The Indian leaves added to its appeal, eliminating the "umay" you'll usually get from savory food like this. Quite minty, if you'll ask me. You might think it's weird if there's hint of mint, but I guarantee, it doesn't taste weird at all.

The packaging, though most of the other brands have the same type, is good and is re-sealable. Although it could use a little re-work on the label/logo. But everything's good. The label doesn't make the product less in  quality.

This 100g pack up here, costs PhP 200, and I bought five bags of the regular Golden Salted Egg chips, and three bags of Dragon Flavored (spicy) chips. I placed the order on April 4th. Then, of course they prepared my orders which was not shipped until April 7. I received it on the 10th of April (fast delivery!). It's really great that though the chips were shipped from Davao (yes, Davao City, where our President hails from--let's support locally made products!), I got it earlier than expected.

World Famous Snacks Salted Egg Chips

Just look at those nice golden crisps. Aren't they lovely? By the way, the bag is almost empty when I took this shot. I'd have to agree with Word Famous Snacks when they say that their salted egg chips are not greasy. Because these chips are really not greasy. The salted egg flavor is rich and it isn't THAT salty, which is a plus for moi.

As for the Dragon SE chips, they're my personal favorite. It's spicy, but it doesn't get too spicy. My husband and everyone here at home prefers the original salted-egg flavor though. IDK. I guess they like savoring the creaminess of the salted egg, sans the spicy flavor. I'll have to add more of the it when I order next time. Yes, I'll probably buy more :)

If you're interested, you may visit them at their Facebook page: World Famous Snacks. You can send a private message or call/SMS through 0917 623 7379.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Product is paid for by yours truly. All text and image content are mine.

New Blogger Template (Emporio)!

By On April 05, 2017
Hey all! Okay, I completely forgot to update y'all about the new template this blog is now "wearing"πŸ˜‚. Anyway, a few days after March 20, 2017, I found that Blogger released a set of new templates (four templates), namely Contempo, Soho, Emporio, and Notable. You can see the information about these in the Official Blogger Blog.

I tried them all out and the most fitting one (at least for my taste) is Emporio. It's not too fancy and it's very sleek. I just made some customizations further using the Theme Designer to match my preferences. Although it took me quite a while to get what I wanted as in the Layouts, there were two sets of sidebar panel, one for the homepage, one for the single post page. I found that I can set two different looks (or set different elements) on the each sidebar. Another thing that bummed me out was the search bar. As much as I wanted to add one, I refrained from doing so as it somehow causes the SSL (https) to stop woking/causes the site to appear not secure. Tried several times to "tweak" it to make it work with HTTPS but I rest my case. Hahahah. I might just have to stop for now.

Anyway, I must say that, with these new templates, Google made sure that the current users of this blogging platform can put up a blog that could rival WordPress blogs, at least when it comes to looks. Also, I like the fact that the mobile view looks really good as it maintains the design of the desktop/PC view. Unlike the older templates, the colors of the widgets, background, and other things on the PC view are not "mirrored" by the mobile version.

These new templates are just enough for me at this point since I no longer have to buy or download templates that are designed by someone else. It's not that I'm discouraging everyone from using custom templates. It's just that it is easier to manage built-in Blogger templates as CSS and other coding is not or less necessary.

Alright, so there you have it. Have you tried them out yet? If so, how was your experience? Share them on the comments section!

M151 MUTT And Some More Photos

By On April 02, 2017

M151 MUTT (Military Utility Tactical Truck)


Don't be too surpsrised that I'm posting "men-stuff" 😎 here on my blog. My dad's passion for military trucks has been passed on to us and my siblings, long before we could even drive on our own. BTW, the URL "watermark" (lels) on some images lead to an old blog I set up for my dad's business, just so you know (I've set it to private for now as I'm overhaulin' the blog). Anyway, I just "rummaged" through my stash of old photos, and good thing, I still have 'em snapshots of these "beasts" we used to own.

This M151 MUTT (Military Utility Tactical Truck) (see image above) was what I used to learn how to drive, back in the late 90's (Don't ask. I know, I'm old). It has long been sold in the early 2000's. This picture was taken within the parking lot of the university where my mom teaches. She's the one using this truck (yes, my mom--a bad-ass, one-of-a-kind, bestest mom in the entire worldπŸ’—--haha sorry) back then to go to work (yup, a daily driver). I like this model the most as it feels and looks "invincible". No matter how many pot holes and road bumps there are, this mighty fine "siga" can conquer them all. This truck glides over those obstacles smoothly, without making its passengers and driver feel like they're being beaten (like duhat with salt "sandwiched in two plates", shaken vigorously to "blend"). Pretty much like how a SUV works. So rugged, yet so smooth. I guess the independent suspension with coil springs was one great feature that made this truck really comfortable to ride.  Also, the M151, unlike the M38 and Mitsubishi J23, is wider so it's much roomier, adding to the comfort of riding it.

j23 (yellow)

Now, this Mitsubishi J23 is actually the one I featured on this previous post of mine about my dad's restored military vehicles. This picture was taken, back in the year 2009. Dad's using it to go to and from the farm, and any place he used to go to. I was unable to drive this one though but rode it on a few ocassions. If you're a passenger of this, you'll really feel the ruggedness. It's not as comfortable to ride as the M151. The color was yellow (obviously haha) and it was later changed to military green, as you can see right here:

J23

To be honest, I like them all. Even more when they are painted like this one up here. The yellow one with the brown roof is too "preppy" for a vehicle with such ruggedness (maybe I'm just partial in favor of the "real" color these trucks should wear). I guess that's just Dad, being his creative self. On a side note, this J23 is just sitting there in our garage back home (I live away  from my parents) and is still waiting for a new owner. If you are interested, feel free to contact me by commenting on this post, by sending an email through contact (at) bloggermother.com, or by sending a message through this form.

Update: My brother is now starting to build his own "empire" (lol) under my dad's tutelage (naks hahah). He made his own Facebook page where you'll see the progress of his projects. Check them out here.

Globe DSL 1299 10 mbps Plan Review

By On March 25, 2017
I haven't posted in a while as I'd like to give some time for the connection to "improve" after upgrading to the new Globe DSL 10 mbps plan 1299. But it looks like there really is something wrong with Globe's DSL connection. Everyday, I'm monitoring the connection via the modem's web GUI (192.168.254.254). The connection is so bad that the modem goes offline (no "internet" light, flickering ADSL LED, and "no sync" in the web GUI) every few minutes. The Upload and Download speed changes from 10 mbps to as low as 1 mbps. Seriously. Here's a screenshot of the "downgraded" speed:


Based on my "research", I found that the modem's connection could be "transferred" to a different modem, without actually having to move the entire line and equipment. A working DSL line, modem, and the email set up in the modem ie example@globelines.com.ph, with the subscriber account number are what anyone needs to get connected. I used a different open-line modem that I bought (Tenda D301 Wireless N300 ADSL2+ Modem Router) and it worked. Now, why am I saying this? The subscriber email and account number isn't actually privy to the subscriber alone, as installers and activations team also know this (don't want to cause any conflict, but I just felt like I had to share this). Well, it's a moot point. You can say that I don't have any proof that "someone else" could actually be using my connection in a different location.  I'm open to discussions. 

I am not 100% sure and like I said, I don't have proof. How could the service be installed if people involved in installing and activating/upgrading do not know how this stuff works?? Right? They had to know. But Globe, there has to be a better way to do this. Modems or anything that has something to do with upgrades have to be pre-configured with the necessary details, without having to disclose them to anyone other than the customer himself. WTH.

-- end of rant

Now, I don't want this post to be just about my issues (even if it's not really just my issues, mind you). I have to give Globe the virtual high-five for their much improved customer service. My husband called (I didn't want to, and I was on shift) their hotline and it's good that they are going to dispatch a tech tomorrow. Today's Saturday, and it's suprising that they're sending out a tech tomorrow, which is a Sunday. Yay! Good job! In case you need something to be sorted out with Globe, I'd still recommend calling their hotline as it looks like Globe has finally "addressed" phone customer support shortcomings.

Prior to contacting Globe customer support by phone, I tried reaching out to them in Twitter. It was of no use. I was advised to cease all activities such as YouTube streaming (I blocked this in the router so it's inaccessible), and torrent downloads (we don't use torrents on any of our devices) then do several speedtests. I know that this is normal protocol (I worked for a U.S. ISP/telco), to ask customer to do basic troubleshooting before they can do anything. But like I said to the Globe Twitter handler, I would not have contacted them in the first place, had I not know what I'm dealing with. It's  not about slow speed, dang it! The connection isn't stable. I just had to stop tweeting (my connection, of course, is preventing me to keep tuned to their tweets) and I have a job (which is online). And that's it for me on Twitter. I won't contact them again on any social media channel. It's just not effective, that I had to ask my husband to call instead. Good thing, the landline is working.

Update: March 26, 2017, 10:00AM

Technician came as advised by the customer service rep. He fiddled with the home phone a bit, listened several times, then checked the modem. After a few minutes, he went out and told us hes going to get a new modem (we were still using the old Prolink H5001NS ADSL2+ Modem/Router that was installed back in 2013).

Apparently, the modem that we were using "cannot handle" the 10mbps download speed (said the tech). The technician then came back after thirty minutes, with a new ZTE H108N ADSL2/ADSL2+ Modem. I was quite surprised, as I already tried a different modem, albeit one that's not provided by Globe. But, okay, he brought in in anyway, so we agreed. 

The connection got better and he told us to just drop by at the office (no need to call customer support) which is, suprisingly, just a stone-throw away from the house. At that time, I wished we'd never really had to do that after he checked on our connection. And so he went. He even called in the afternoon to check on the status and we confirmed it got a lot better.

We were in for a suprise on Monday, though. The connection went off several times (just like before). My husband decided to come by at their office and he was told they'll check in again in the afternoon as the techs/installers are out on field duty. Okay, so pinagtyagaan ko na lang, kahit feeling ko aatakihin na ko sa asar. I use the internet for work, I train people and I can't afford to get disconnected all the time. Ayun na nga, the technician said there's really a problem with the "cabinet" (DSLAM-Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer). We've got no choice but to wait until they got that thing fixed. SMH.

Changing To The New Blogger Default Template/s

By On March 21, 2017


Yas! I'm just excited to see some brand spankin' new templates released by Blogger and I can't wait to try them on. If you'd remember, I just made some changes to this blog's template but I saw the cool templates a while back, so, yeah. I'm switching it again. Anyway, I'm still going to test them out. Just a little info, though, there are four new templates: Contempo, Soho, Emporio, and Notable. I'm going to try them out for now on my test blog though. Might take a while though as they all look so clean. Alright, bye for now!

On Lazada Delivery Issues and Email Customer Support

By On March 17, 2017
Lazada Philippiness customer support, courier issues
In November of the year 2015, I posted about my great experience with shopping for a Lenovo laptop in Lazada. Everything went through without any hassles so I gave it to Lazada at that time. However, there were some major changes that made it all disappointing. 

Just to give it a little more context, Lazada is an online shopping portal where anyone can buy almost all kinds of stuff you can think of. It's considered as the "Amazon.com of Southeast Asia" and that means that it's kind of a huge company, having covered Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Now, like I said, it's a huge company. With that fact, and being an employee of an online company, I know that such growth means there are things or processes that are often "sacrificed" with the hopes of "improving". From an employee's standpoint, "overhauling" (or upgrading) how the entire system works would bring about a lot of adjustments and points to consider. This is a given. And most companies suffer from bungles that these upgrades bring.

To make the story short, Lazada apparently,  made some changes that were too obvious and that there was not even a transition period at all. The changes smacked me hard, right on the face. No emails, nothing that would let customers know of these changes.

Warning: Long Post!

First change: Courier/logistics partner and tracking

We used to receive packages from Lazada via LBC. However, in December of 2016, I noticed that the items I ordered were delivered by 2Go. At first, I thought, maybe they're short of manpower (LBC) and they used 2GO instead. Also, I honestly thought about Lazada bringing in packages using 2Go as LBC might have changed their "coverage" and 2Go can only deliver in our area now (we live in the province). But it looks like this is a permanent change as I've placed an order recently (March 6, 2017 to be exact) and one of the items were delivered using 2Go. The other item (there were two in a single order, from two different sellers), was successfully delivered, while the other one was not (more on this later).

Though I like the fact that 2Go guys who delivered several items called before delivering the items, it's a bummer to not have any tracking number. Yes, you read it right. NO MORE TRACKING NUMBER. While we used to be so excited tracking the location of our items online, this change is a complete 360⁰ turn. I even lamented about this on email when I contacted their support via their webform. It's just so inconvenient, especially if you have other appointments or you have to go somewhere. You can't leave the house since you don't know, even an estimate, when the items are going to be out for delivery.

Second change: Order updates

Another noticeable "tweak" Lazada has implemented would be the updates on the Order Details page. Before, I used to get emails about the phases which the items have gone through and which date those updates were posted. Take this order I placed back in 2015 as an example:



Now, it's nothing like that screencap above. Regardless if an item is from another seller of if it's sold by Lazada, I don't get the same detailed view of the phases of the order. Check out the order details below. This is the most recent order I placed and this is the item that was delivered successfully:


See the huge difference? I know. The new system just sucks that it felt like customers are being left in the dark. You wouldn't really know where the hell your package is already or if it's been even processed at all. And, by the way, this might be, I think, what happened to the other item, a laptop battery (the one I really need--guitar accessories is my hubby's stuff). I was really waiting for that one it's the main thing I've ordered in the first place. But it wasn't delivered. What went wrong there? Guess what? I.don't.friggin'.know. I was only told that it "did not reach me due to delivery failure".

Third change: Customer Support

For the customer support aspect, it was pretty obvious (I'm fond of contacting support of any company). Lazada's a online shopping mammoth and is continuously growing. With the rate of the company's growth, there may be the need to ramp-up or hire more people. The problem with hiring a lot of people is that the quality of training may not be as effective as when training fewer people. In this case, the quality of responses being sent out by customer support becomes less. And that's where things might have gone wrong.

I'm not blaming the representative who gave me a super generic answer when I asked why the item was not delivered. Again, the reply I got was "the item did not reach me due to delivery failure". It didn't say WHY the delivery failed, it's just relayed to me that the delivery failed. My speculations are: the rep is a newly-hired one, rep was in a hurry and did not check details, rep was just tamad (lazy), or their Quality Assurance team isn't doing a great job in preventing things like this. The company should really impose high standards when it comes to their front-line employees. They directly interact with customers and it's a must that they are trained well to provide great support. Apparently, based on the response I got, it's not something that's being reinforced (I could be wrong). Like I said, I don't blame the representative. Lazada should really do something about this. This instance is what irked me the most, to be honest (It isn't obvious, is it?).

I know that it might be unfair for them that I'm blabbering about this experience online. But I do hope that this feedback (aside from the one I sent them) reaches the people concerned. I'm an employee of a online company (not as big a Lazada though), and this is not how we treat customers. 

While this latest experience I've got with Lazada isn't so satisfactory,  I ain't giving up on them. Not just yet. A lot of people are turning more to this online shopping portal (more growth) and I'm still hopeful that they'll get their shit right.

Whew.

Thinking of Camping

By On March 12, 2017
Camp fire


Summer's officially here! And I still don't have any plans yet how I'd spend it (mmm, I work, so..). Okay, last time, I was thinking about going to the beach. But then, I thought "Scratch that! I want to do something new." We've been doing that many summers ago, and I'd like to try something else that I haven't really done yet in my entire adult life. We've had "camping" back in grade school (Girl Scout, yah), and I really can't call it "camping" as we've spent the entire day and night at school (it sucks, actually).

What I'd really want to do during summer would be to travel outside Luzon (hahaha, I'm Filipino and I'm quite confined in the island where I was born and where I grew up). You know, I'm more of a potato, and most of the time I'd want to just stay at home and do nothing. But it gets old, and it could get tiring as well so I really have to go somewhere else and do some new stuff.

I'm also thinking about getting serious about photography (yup, I love taking pictures, albeit just using my mobile phone). I don't really want to start with big-ass DSLR cameras so I'm looking at different options for mirrorless cameras (Sony, Panasonic, Olympus are in my list). Can you help me decide? I really am not knowledgeable enough to know which would work for me. But let's start with me being a beginner. Like teaching a pre-schooler with mathematics πŸ˜„

But seriously, I wanted to get my own mirrorless camera for several reasons; I'd like to take my own pictures instead just creating them using Canva (yup, that's what I use for my images here). I also want to start learning more about photography, not because nakikiuso ako, but I just want to learn something new and put it to good use. And camping is one of them uses 😁.

Globe DSL 1299 Installation

By On March 07, 2017
Just an update to my previous post about changing ISPs (Globe to PLDT)! Anyway, Globe, apparently, is going beyond what's expected of them. Or maybe they'd like to do it fast before I change my mind hahaha!

During the call about the loyalty reward, the rep who contacted us said that the upgrade of our plan will be processed in the next three to five business days. The installation would be in seven days after the upgrade was processed. Guess what? It's only been three business days (we received a call yesterday about installation confirmation) and new plan (with landline) will be installed. We currently have the internet-only plan which comes with 3mbps speed, and a 7GB/per day volume data. The current internet plan came with a single LAN port ADSL modem/wifi router and this would be replaced with a newer one. 

Ayan, so mabilis ang Globe. Sorry ka na lang PLDT πŸ˜‚. I need an upgrade fast and I don't care now whichever ISP gives it to us. They're pretty much the same, so I'm expecting the team who'll take care of the installation at around 10:00AM today. I'd be updating this post once everything is in place. Okay, mamaya na ulit!

Update 1 (March 7, 2017 2:23PM):

The plan has now been upgraded, with a landline phone. At this time, the speed is just set to 5mbps but we were advised that the 10mbps download speed will be on tomorrow. Yay! We'll see about it tomorrow then.

Update 2 (March 7, 2017 5:27PM):

Brownout kanina! Well, power has now been restored, and download speed is now fully upgraded. Didn't even have to wait 24 hours for the new plan to take effect πŸ™Œ. BUT, we have yet to find out how this upgrade will work so I'll be updating this post for any observation.

Update 3 (March 9, 2017 8:17AM)

After almost 48 hours of test driving the new Globe DSL 10mbps 1299 plan, I've had several observations:

  • The connection's not as "stable" as the old 3mbps plan. -- connection goes off for a few minutes, then goes back up, at least once every hour. I'll call the hotline later to complain about this.
  • Connection gets worse around 6PM until 11:30PM. My suspicion is that there are a lot of users online during those hours.
  • Upload  is good though. Even if I'm uploading something, like an image which is about 3MB, the connection doesn' get choked. Unlike on our old Globe DSL plan, if I upload even just a photo which is 2MB, I couldn't browse any webpage.
  • Home phone lets me call Globe and TM numbers without any trouble. I'm still checking for someone who I can call through a landline number who's within the same area code as me.

Blog Update - Re-publishing "Old" Posts

By On March 05, 2017


Okay, you might have noticed that my total posts have suddenly increased. Most of those were the old ones I had way back. I tweaked them a bit before re-publishing (some of them have broken images). The broken images have now been replaced--I managed to get them from somewhere (don't ask 😁) so they're all up again. So yan, nag-update pa din ako, di ba?

Still trying to retrieve images for the other posts ie herb gardening but in case I can't manage that, I'd just post a new one or just take some new photos (I'm leaning more to creating new posts though). Alright. That's it! I'll have to stop right here and I'd be back (again) when there's some new stuff for you.

Mahalo!


Globe To PLDT Update, Browsing Privacy

By On March 04, 2017


Hey, everyone! I am here again (I really just have to post this while it's fresh in my mind) to let you know about what transpired yesterday. Warning though: This is going to be a looong post.

A few days ago, I posted about my plans on switching over from Globe DSL to PLDT DSL. This is due to the connection getting worse (7gb volume data allocation per day being maxed out, and plainly crappy connection)--which, by the way,  I think is somehow done on purpose (just an opinion/observation). While I was having a nap just yesterday afternoon, my husband received a call from a Globe representative from their Loyalty Department. He informed us that we're in for some "treats" as rewards for being "loyal" customers πŸ˜‚.

However, I find that the timing was really uncanny as here comes one dude letting us know about some "rewards" which, apparently, we're eligible for, only a few days after I declared through my post that I've had enough of the sh*tty service.

First thought that came to mind was "Is Globe really going this far in monitoring all the outgoing traffic from my connection?" Well, had I not know about their "Fair Use Policy for Mobile and Broadband Service", I wouldn't have thought of it that way. The specific part of this policy that ticked me off is under "CONTENT PUBLISHING" section . The paragraph that says:

We are under no obligation to monitor transmissions or published content on the Service. However, we (or our agents) have the right to monitor such transmissions or published content from time to time to ensure that you are complying with the terms of this policy, and to disclose that content as required.

Say whatever you want (paranoid, feeler, whatever) about me. I know that there are a lot of subscribers (yes, it is that desperate in this country that people still choose to go with them even if it mostly sucks). You'd say it would take too much of their time to do that. Oh you just don't know how many people make up their entire team. There could be a dedicated team to do just that: monitor outgoing traffic.

It's not like I'm too much of a privacy freak (well, sort of), but the thing is, it totally made sense. They really are doing that. You can read about it through their Privacy Policy, in Article 3. Use of Customer Data. Though it's an official document (it's their policies), I still don't think this is a good idea. If Globe can actually "see" what I'm posting from my connection with them, to what extent do they actually have access to?

Fine, you can say I should use VPN. I.am.so.over.that.shit. It makes the connection much worse than it already is. And besides, you wouldn't really know who have access to VPN servers. At least if my connection is directly with Globe, and my private data somehow leaked, I know who I'd go after if something went wrong with my online accounts😈 (suck it up, Globe!).

Aaaand, that is the reason we chose to still stay with Globe. Aside from the fact that no one has called me yet about my application with PLDT (and I cancelled it already via email), we already have an existing connection which will just be upgraded.  I wouldn't have to worry about the service not getting installed just because there's no "slot" available. I do hope that when they upgrade our service, it will really be an "upgrade" from the crappy one we're using now.

--

Jeez, that was long. Alright, back to my cave. See you again some time!

Taking A Short Break!

By On March 02, 2017
Temporarily Closed


For starters, I promised to myself that I'd be more active on blogging, compared to how I did a few years ago. However, my current momentum for posting at least once a day may have to take a backseat for now. Yup! I'm doing a lot of stuff at work and I might just have to do with one post a week. Okay, no. Make that two or three (hahaha). Seriously, I'll have to limit it for about three posts maximum. I've got a lot of pending tasks and I don't want to drown in them so, yeah, I'd have to slow down a bit.

It's going to be a really short break (really!). I'd be back so soon that you wouldn't really notice that I was gone (I'm not like holding a rockstar/celebrity badge so I'm sure you won't really miss me) for a bit. Anyway, I'd be back with some more useful stuff and less of my nonsensical ramblings (like the one you're reading now). I'll also need some time to take a rest before rolling up my sleeves and start crushing the beast (a giant mountain of tasks πŸ˜…).Buh bye for now and I'll see you next time (week, or whenever)!

Summer Love

By On March 01, 2017


Dear Summer,

I know it's that time of the year again, when you come into our lives. You make us feel the intensity of your love by warming us up, even the tiniest weed on the ground. Your love is so intense, it kills those poor little things that sprouted everywhere.. But still, everyone loves you and the joy you bring.

You see, you wake us up from our sleep, make us come out and bask under your warm rays. You prompt us to go looking for adventures out there on the seas. Your effect on us is so strong that we sometimes have to stop and look for ways how to shield ourselves from your embrace.

We can't stop you from coming every year. It's your time and we know you spend every single minute to its fullest. We get it. We know the world is ever changing, so is your warmth. And we can't blame you for that. Our kind has been doing despicable things to Mother Earth and you're just reciprocating with a different kind of love.

I know I can't tell you what to do. You won't understand. You have a different brand of caress that blankets a huge span of humanity. Everyone, who's given the privilege to feel you, knows. Please don't be so intense. It hurts.. But we still love you. Just give us some time to gather ourselves. Let us do what we have to do so you won't go to the extremes. 

I can't promise you, though, that we'll do everything. Many are still so full of themselves, that they don't care what happens to you and to us alike. But, you know what? I think I'm just going to stay put, and let you do your thing. I may not understand why you're getting warmer and warmer every year, but I am, we are lucky you're on when its your time to come to us.

Thanks for the warmth! You are the very reason behind family gatherings on the beach. You are what the youth look forward to during their vacation. You give life to young adults' parties. You are so warm that you cause the spur of creativity to make everything cool until it's time for you to leave us again.

I hope that when you leave, some of us would realize that you are a part of our lives, no matter what. And that you can only make your  presence felt, in your own special way. But please, if you understand what I'm telling you now, I hope that you can tone your presence down, even a tiny bit. It might be too much to ask, but I thought I'd try. I hope, that when you arrive again next year, what you'll bring isn't too much.

Let's make this time worthwhile! 

Until then,

Human.