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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to avoid long lines at BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands)?

Banks had been helping us in many ways. Aside from securing our hard earned cash, it has also provided personal and business loans, credit allowances, remittance and a lot more banking products and services. 

However, whether we admit it or not, going to the bank is such a hassle. With limited banking hours, it would really take much of our time to get our transactions completed. They have offer online banking and automated teller machines however, it has its own disadvantages and issues such as security breaches and ATM skimming. So, for people like me, I still prefer the old practice of using a passbook and transacting with a bank teller. 

Good thing that my bank which is the Bank of the Philippine Islands is now offering EXPRESS ASSIST which made me say goodbye to long lines inside the bank. It is where you can set an appointment before you actually go to the bank. Just log in to your BPI online account. 


Go to Other Services and select BPI Express Assist Online.Then, choose "Schedule an appointment"

You just have to follow 3 easy steps: 
1. Select Branch
2. Select Appointment Date
3. Select Appointment Time

After, you will be asked to enter what type of transaction, account number and amount. 
Once you submit, you will be given a confirmation number. This is the same number that will be called (the one flashing on the screen inside the bank) when it is your turn. 

This is really one great service of BPI because ever since I started using it, I only spend an average of 10-15 minutes inside the bank. No more long lines for me. 

How about you? Have you tried it? Share your experience. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chopstop: A Feel Good Place To Eat

Whenever loneliness strikes, some people have these unique cravings to ease the feeling. Some may resort to music and retail therapy while others opt to divulge their sadness in eating.

This coping mechanism gave birth to such things called "comfort food." These are food that makes us feel good and happy. It may be as simple as your favorite hotdog, chocolate or ice cream.

Personally, my "comfort food" is anything fried. (I know it's sinful.) Fried chicken and pork chops are on top of my list.

So, I was so happy to discover Chopstop in Fairview Terraces because they serve delicious and affordable fried chicken and pork chops. 

Aside from value meals, they also have a group meal good for 4 persons.

The Chops Blowout includes:  

4 servings of chops
4 side dishes
1 buffalo wings platter
4 plain rice
4 drinks

You can either choose pork or chicken chops and since, it was only me and Val. We decided to get two (2) pork chops and (2) chicken chops. You can also choose the sauce for your chops. It can be bacon and cheese, BBQ, tonkatsu, gravy or chili.

As mentioned, the group meal also comes with four (4) side dishes. Your choices are either buttered veggies or coleslaw. We prefer the latter. 

Since I am not a fan of spicy food, we requested to have the dip of the buffalo wings on the side. Basically, it is just like plain fried chicken. It was cooked just right. No blood but with the right amount of juiciness. 

We definitely enjoyed the meal for only Php 619. 

Chopstop also offers pulled pork, meatloaf, fish chops, pasta, sandwiches, mugcakes and a whole lot more. You may also take advantage of their all-day unlimited margarita promo at Php 149. 

So, whenever you're a bit lonely or simply hungry, heed out to chopstop. 

For more details about their promotions and other branches, check out their facebook page

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free Gifts and Giveaways for New or Expectant Mommies

Did you just give birth?  Are you expecting and have a few weeks to go? 
If yes, then let me share to you a list of online promotions currently available - just for you. 

1. OBI Baby

Get a chance to win tie tie-side and pajama sets by simply registering to OBI's Mommy Club. 
You may register via this link


2.  Huggies PH 

Get a free sampler pack from Huggies. It includes 4 pcs of Huggies Dry Pants and all you have to do is to register here 

3. EQ Diapers 

They offer a pregnancy sampler kit just for expectant moms in their EQ Expecting Promo. All you need to do is register and submit the right documents such as your OB Gyne's details.You may register by visiting their website.


4.  The Asian Parent .com

The Asian features a product review and raffle promo for Baby World.  Ten (10)  lucky moms will win Php 2000 worth of baby products. 


This will include 1 Silicone finger toothbrush, 1 Travel breast pump in a box, 1 Brush and comb set, 1 Multi-purpose change mat, a box of disposable bibs (6 pcs.), 1 Nappy liner (30 pcs), 1 Nasal aspirator, 1 Milk powder container, 1 Powder case with puff, 2 pcs of Perstaltic wideneck nipple for bottles, 1 8 oz wide neck feeding bottle, 8 pieces of wash cloth, 1 Cotsheet and 3 pieces of 12 oz Wide neck feeding bottle.

For more details, visit The Asian Parent's website

No purchase required for all the featured promotions. Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior notice and shall be sole discretion of the organizers. This post is made for announcement purposes and shall not be responsible for the fulfillment of the items or samples.  All concerns and questions should be made directly to the organizers. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Food You Need To Try Before You Reach 60

There are different recipes and types of food all over the world. Let me share to you a few that stood out. This is a list of the food available in the Philippines that you need to try before you reach 60. 

1. Zubuchon (Lechon) 

 This is the best lechon in Cebu. Whole Roasted Pig with Crispy Skin and Soft Meat. 

For more details about their branches, you may visit their facebook page.

2. Baked Scallops from Gerry's Grill. 

This is subject to availability and price starts at Php 265.00

For more details, please visit their website.

3. Mabet's Ham. 

This is a homemade chinese ham from Davao City. A perfect blend of sweetness and saltiness served with an extra special sauce.

They ship nationwide. For orders, you may visit their facebook page for more details.

4. Buttered Chicken from Wong Sau Restaurant.

This is the best buttered chicken I have ever tasted. They are located at Evangelista, Makati.

5. TGIF's Jack Daniels Burger

The perfect burger in town. The 8 oz. patty is topped off with two strips of crispy bacon and Colby cheese, with fries on the side and the special jack daniel's sauce. 

For more updated list of branches and promotions, check out TGIF's facebook page. 

Eat like a Viking at HALF THE PRICE!

Vikings, the largest buffet restaurant in the Philippines is offering their loyal customers a chance to dine at half the price. This special promotion is available during the opening of their newest branch at SM BF Homes. 


Excited? Here are the terms and conditions: 

So, what are you waiting for? See you on the opening day. 
For more details, you may also visit their website

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Getting Married in the Philippines: Legal Documents

If you are planning to get married soon, here is a quick reference about the legal documents that you would need to prepare to get started.

1. Secure a copy of your birth certificates (NSO authenticated) . Normally, its Php140/copy but sometimes there local taxes around Php 30-50 that needs to be paid (e.g. if you get at the NSO Makati Field Office). You can get this on the same day. Just don't forget to bring a copy of a valid ID. If a representative is requesting a copy for you, an authorization letter together with your ID is needed to claim your birth certificate. 

2. Secure a copy of CENOMAR - Certificate of No Marriage from NSO. It is at Php 195/copy. Normally, it is not released on the same day of request so you need to allot enough time for this. It may take 3-4 days for the release of your CENOMAR.

3. Check with your Local Civil Registrar other requirements for application of Marriage License. You can opt to process the marriage from your local LCR or your fiance's if you reside in different cities. 

Some of the requirements to apply for a Marriage License: 

a.) Marriage License Application Form - Php 20.00 (get it from the Marriage Section of LCR)

b.) Original and photocopy of CEDULA - both parties

c.) Original and photocopy of Birth Certificate (NSO authenticated) - both parties

d.) Original and photocopy of CENOMAR - both parties

e.) 1x1 ID pictures - both parties

f.) Personal Appearance of the couple

g.) Pre-Marriage Counselling/ Family Planning Certificate - must attend the seminar, check with LCR for schedule. It should be free but some request for donation. 

Upon submission of requirements, it would take 10 working days for its release.

4. Once you have your marriage license available, Check with the OCC - Office of Clerk of Court if you decide to be wed by a judge. Processing fee is Php 330.00. After getting the assigned judge for your proceeding, simply proceed to the judge's office to make arrangements. 

5. If you opt for a Church, liaise with the Church for other requirements and next step procedures. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What else can you order in J.CO aside from Donuts?

Whenever we hear J.CO, the first thing that comes into our minds is a donut. There is nothing wrong with that because J.CO is one of fastest growing doughnut companies in Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. 

However, did you know that aside from soft and premium donuts, they also offer a wide variety of coffee? They offer hot or iced espresso, latte, americano and machiatto. Their best seller and Val's favorite is the Hot JCOccino. 

The prices of their drinks are very affordable compared to the other coffee shops in the market. The JCOccino in Uno size is at  Php 115 and it already comes with a free glazzy. 

Glazzy is your original honey and sugar donut that is so soft that it that melts in your mouth. It is a bit sweet and it is a perfect pair to your JCoccino. 

Another thing to love about JCO is their J.Club Series. They have two variants namely:  Cheesy Rich and Salami which is really delightful. These treats are not readily available when you order so you have to wait for at least 5-10 minutes. 

I usually order salami but it was already sold out last Friday so, I opted to try the Cheesy Rich. Both variants are only at Php 45. 

What I did not like about J.Co, Fairview Terraces branch is that they can't serve the Cheesy Rich warm because they do not have a microwave. I would love my ensaymada and sandwiches warm so, I hope they can do something about this. 

To know more about their products and branches, click here.  

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

View Park Hotel : Quick Escape from the Metro

I was one lucky reader of When in Manila and Wonder Woman Rises when I won an Overnight Stay in a Premier Room with complimentary breakfast for two (2) persons  at the View Park Hotel Tagaytay. Amazing right?! 

We were too excited that Val and I decided to book it immediately after coming home from our Cebu vacation. We decided to make a reservation on a Sunday so that there would be less traffic travelling to Tagaytay. We decided to commute going there.  The travel was approximately 3 hours from SM Fairview, Quezon City.  We took the San Agustin bus line from their Cubao terminal.  Fare is Php 104.00/person from Cubao terminal to Olivares terminal. Then from Olivares terminal, you have the option to take a tricycle at Php 60.00/ trip (good for 2) or just take the jeepney going to People's Park/ Picnic Grove at Php 11.00/person. By the way, you don't have to worry about getting lost because View Park Hotel is literally just across Picnic Grove so definitely, you won't miss it! 

Once we arrived, we proceeded to the reception area where we were greeted with a home-like ambiance and beautiful aquarium. One great thing about View Park Hotel is that their staff and receptionists are very friendly and courteous. 

Aquarium at the Lobby
After a very short waiting time, we were escorted to our premier suite which is such a beauty. We had a big bed with 4 big pillows and a throw pillow which is important for us. 
( I am used to sleeping with at least 3 pillows of my own.) 

Matrimonial Bed

Minimal decorations and enough lighting fixtures were in the room making it classy and comfortable. 
Premier Suite

Entertainment was available with a 32 inch LCD TV but if you don't want to watch cable channels then you have a DVD player ready if you prefer your own choice of movies.


They also provided a mini-ref and a mini bar with snacks and drinks available at reasonable prices. 


Not only did we enjoy the room but the view outside the room was relaxing making you want to stay at the balcony.  

View outside our room

Swimming Pool Area

Here is also the swimming pool area which is open from 9am-9pm on weekdays and 9am-10pm on weekends. I was quite intrigued why the pool is closed early in the morning when most opt for an early morning swim. Then, I realize that the cold weather would discourage you to swim unless you are a polar bear. 

We definitely enjoyed our stay at the View Park Hotel Tagaytay. Thank you once again to When in Manila, The Lil Miss and Ofcourse, View Park Hotel Tagaytay (special mention to Ms. Thea Barcenas who accommodated our reservation at a very short notice)  It is one great experience for Val and me and we will be visiting soon. 

By the way, don't forget to follow in Twitter 
and ofcourse, The Lil Miss Wonder Woman : 
and View Park Hotel:

For rates and reservations:

5 Things To Do and Places to Visit While in Cebu

Cebu known as the "The Queen City of the South" has a balance of urban and historical thrills Every year, my family and I visit Cebu and all I can say is that this city has never failed to give us a memorable experience. 

Let me share with you the top five things to do or places to visit when you are in Cebu. 

1. Sto. Nino Church, OsmeƱa Boulevard, Cebu City

I grew up with the belief that whenever we visit a new place, we must make sure to visit the Church first and pay respect. The Sto. Nino Church also known as Minor Basilica of the Holy Child was founded in 1565.

Visitors and devotees line up to see the image of Sto. Nino, the oldest religious relic in the Philippines.  

The Basilica also celebrates mass and it would be great if you schedule your visit during that time. 

2.  Magellan's Cross, Plaza Sugbo, Cebu City

The Magellan's Cross is just a few steps away from the Sto. Nino Church. It houses a replica of the Christian Cross planted by the Spaniards when they arrived in Cebu in 1521. This has been a historical landmark so, you might want to make sure that you have your pictures taken here. 

3. Birhen sa Simala - Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, Sibonga, Cebu. 

The Monastery in Sibonga, Cebu is approximately a 2-3 hour drive from Cebu City proper and it is believed to be miraculous. A lot of testimonials and tokens of gratitude for prayers answered can be found all over the monastery. Couples having difficulty in conceiving, and persons with disabilities healed are just a few who became living testimonials of God's grace and love for us.

Inside the monastery, you can find a lot of statues of Mama Mary in different forms. Each statue has a short description of when and where the apparition took place. 

4. Edge Coaster, Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, Fuente Osmena Blvd., Cebu

Are you looking for an adventure you'll never forget? If yes, then you should not miss the Edge Coaster Experience. The Edge Coaster is taking your adventure to the extreme by going around the edge of the tower on the 38th floor while being locked into a rail seat.

The crazy thing about it is that you have the option to tilt it to 55 degrees and face the streets 130.84 meters above the ground. 

Was it scary? YES
Was it worth it? Of course! 

I was shouting the whole time but it was fun. Though, this is not recommended for the faint-hearted. As a reward, you also get to have a certificate that you survived the adventure. Isn't that cool? 

5. Kartzone, F. Cabahug St., Cebu

Want to drive without traffic and no speed limits? Take time to experience Go-Karting in Cebu.

It is safe since they conduct driver's orientation to make sure that everyone is aware of the rules and regulations while on the track. Definitely, it is a fun way to bond with family and friends. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Justice for Tyler, The Dog

For all pet-parents, it is a big nightmare to lose our babies. Much more if such loss is caused by the negligence of others. 

One furbaby named Tyler was brought by her mom to a spa in BF Homes, Paranaque for his weekly haircut and grooming. Little did they know that it would be his last one. 

Karen Balce posted the story in facebook last January 9, 2015.

Source: Facebook/ Karen Balce

This is such a heartbreaking story and no amount of condolences and sympathy can be made to ease the pain of losing one's pet. Everyone should realize that our pets are family to most of us and such "accident" is unacceptable. 

Let this sad incident be a warning to all us since I also leave Crumpy at the spa. If time permits, maybe we can just watch them while being groomed. No amount of time is wasted to ensure their safety. 

For Tyler and his family, we are all praying for you and we support you in seeking justice. 

You may read the original post, here

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Celadon: Contemporary Thai Cuisine

Val and I had fell in love with Thai cuisine even though I am not a fan of spicy dishes. We spent the last few weeks of 2014 searching for the best Thai restaurant in the Metro. 

It was actually Val's birthday when we booked a reservation at Celedon, Powerplant Mall in Rockwell and we had late lunch with my mom and godmother. The place was not crowded but there are several tables occupied. 

We ordered Pad-Thai. It described as "Thai style fried flat noodles with tofu, pork and beansprouts wrapped in eggnet." Our waiter has kind enough to mix it for us. Personally, I find it as a combination of two of my favorite food from Dencia's Restaurant in Davao. It is like chinese fresh lumpia and tokwa't baboy in one. 

We also had Thai Fresh Rolls. I also love how they present the food - complete with dips and flowers. 

 Their prawn cakes known as Tod Man Kung were delightful. 

It was indeed a seafood escapade for us. We also ordered Tempura Soft Shell Crabs. It was served with green tamarind and green chili sauce. My mom loved the green chili sauce. 

The Cinnamon Pork Ribs were so tender with the right amount of sweetness. It is definitely a must-try though my mom was looking for a little bit more of texture. 

Our overall experience was great. The waiters and the manager were very attentive. It was very easy to make a reservation. Definitely, we would recommend this place. Our total bill was approximately, Php 2500 which was inclusive of steamed rice and drinks. 

I would like to thank my friend, Caryn for giving us the gift certificates that we used during the visit. 

For more information about Celadon, please visit their facebook page.