Monday, November 30, 2020

Starbucks Flagship Store is now available ONLINE.

You can NOW order your favorite Starbucks merchandise and collectibles online! 

If you have been following my IG account (instagram.com/mymetrolifestyle), then you'll know that I have been collecting Starbucks ICON tumblers and YAH (You are Here) series mugs. I also enjoy collecting their Christmas ornaments which I plan to use in the future to make a Starbucks themed Christmas tree once I have enough decors. (This year, we're having a Disney-themed tree and will post about it soon)

Anyway, Starbucks merchandise is one of the reasons why I get excited whenever I go to Starbucks because simply, we can never have enough tumblers and mugs. (LOL!)

Thus, I am happy to share that Starbucks finally opened their official store in Lazada. This means that you can get all these exclusive collectibles and merchandise delivered straight to your doorstep. Not to mention they may great holiday gifts so yes to easy and more convenient Christmas shopping. 

Here's the direct link to the Starbucks Flagship Store and check available merchandise, here.

Let me share some finds that you shouldn't miss: 

1. StarbucksxKateSpade Collection - This is going to be released on December 1st and this is one of the most exciting offers from Starbucks this year. This will sell out fast so watch out for it for this Starbucks and Kate Spade collab. 


Order via this link > 

2. Starbucks 12oz Tumbler Red Cup Holiday - This is part of the Red Holiday Merchandise Collection. It features the 2020 design to commemorate this year's release. 


Order via this link > 


3. Starbucks 14oz Mug You are Here (Boracay) - Traveling may be challenging nowadays because of the pandemic so here's your chance to score this Boracay YAH mug without leaving your house. 

So far, this is the only YAH mug available but there are several YAH tumblers available such as Pampanga, Cebu, Iloilo, Batangas, Bulacan, Baguio, CDO, Quezon City, Makati, and Bacolod. You can check the YAH tumblers here.

Order via this link >

4. Starbucks 14oz Badge Mug 23rd Anniversary - This is a Philippine exclusive ceramic mug with the 23rd Anniversary metal badge. They also have some tumblers with the siren design. This is definitely a must-have if you are a collector as these come in limited quantities only. 


Order via this link >

There are still a lot of available items in the store. Will update this post soon. For now, you can head to their store and see for yourself. :) Click here to visit the Starbucks store

Friday, November 27, 2020

No remittance fee for donations to typhoon victims via BDO Remit; BDO Foundation sends relief packs

With the volcanic eruption in January, the pandemic that we are continuously battling, and the series of typhoons that hit the country a few weeks ago, 2020 is definitely not our favorite year. 

However, despite these challenges, we still believe that this year is not 100% bad. If we see it through the lens of gratitude, these experiences provided an opportunity for us to step up and help one another. It gave us the opportunity to be a better person and to teach us to be more compassionate and to bring out the best in us as we learn to serve and be of service to our fellow men and woman. 

This is not just about individuals or public servants. The private sector, businesses, and corporations have provided huge help in making sure we survive these challenges. 


To help its fellow kababayans hit by typhoons "Quinta," "Rolly," and just recently "Ulysses," BDO Remit—the remittance service brand of BDO Unibank—has waived the remittance fee on donations from overseas Filipinos coursed through different foundations. 

The zero remittance fee for these donations started last November 4 to December 31, 2020. 

"The year 2020 has been very challenging. But we have to recover, and we have to be there for our Kabayans who are in dire need of help. Hopefully, with this, we can encourage more donations from our overseas Filipinos to those adversely affected by the recent typhoons," said BDO senior vice president and remittance head Genie T. Gloria. 

Overseas Filipinos may remit their donations free of service fees via any BDO Remit office abroad to BDO Unibank's corporate social responsibility arm, BDO Foundation, Inc., the Philippine Red Cross, GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc., and ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. 

BDO Remit has nine subsidiary offices outside the Philippines. In Asia, BDO Remit has offices in Macau, Hong Kong, and Japan. In North America, BDO Remit is located in Daly City, USA & in Toronto, Canada while in Europe; BDO Remit has presence in the United Kingdom. For the complete list of addresses, visit bdo.com.ph, go to Remittance Services and click BDO Remit international network. 

Meanwhile, BDO Foundation, in coordination with BDO and BDO Network Bank branches, has already begun sending relief packs containing food and drinking water to families hit by Typhoon Ulysses. 

This is the latest disaster response initiative BDO Foundation has undertaken. Earlier, it has distributed relief goods to more than 36,000 families hit by Typhoons Pepito, Quinta, and Rolly. 

Relief work in Rolly-stricken provinces is still ongoing. 

BDO Foundation has already distributed relief packs to almost 11,000 affected families in Albay, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes, the provinces hit hardest by the super typhoon. 

In line with its disaster response advocacy, BDO Foundation immediately sent relief packs containing food, rice, and drinking water to more than 14,000 families stricken by Pepito and Quinta in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Quezon—provinces hit hardest by the typhoons. The corporate citizenship initiative was made possible by officers of BDO and BDO Network Bank branches, who helped gather beneficiary information and identify barangays that needed assistance. Logistical support was provided by local government units and partner non-governmental organizations. 

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BDO Foundation aids areas hit by Typhoons Pepito and Quinta. In line with its disaster response advocacy, BDO Foundation immediately sent relief packs containing food, rice and drinking water to more than 14,000 families stricken by Pepito and Quinta in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Quezon—provinces hit hardest by the typhoons. The corporate citizenship initiative was made possible by officers of BDO and BDO Network Bank branches, who helped gather beneficiary information and identify barangays that needed assistance. Logistical support was provided by local government units and partner non-governmental organizations. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Be inspired with these stories of finding ways despite great uncertainty

The pandemic might have slowed down many businesses in the country, but Maylin Remo Natan knew she had to keep going. She had clients to service, employees to pay, and her own earnings to consider.

But because BDO branches remained operational, Maylin was able to fulfill her duties, making sure that for Trucklane Corporation’s partners, employees, and herself, life did not stop.

According to Maylin's story, because BDO remained open despite the pandemic, she was still able to: 

  • Complete her FOREX transaction
  • Cheque encashment
  • Get approval for her business loan
which helped her continue with the business operations. She is also thankful that her relationship manager advised her to set aside some money when business was doing good as she could have never seen the pandemic coming. 

Do you have your own "Finding Ways" Story? Share it here

Monday, November 23, 2020

Insider Tips on How You Can Make the Most Out of Your MIBF Experience

Hello avid readers and book lovers!

The Manila International Book Fair is definitely one of the most awaited events every year. I remember going crazy seeing all the books at the SMX Convention Center last year and the year before that since all the big book publishing and distributors are all in one place. Not to mention, most of the books are available at a discounted price. There were lots of irresistible deals and offers. It was also a wonderful experience to meet some of our favorite authors who graced the event and was available to sign our precious books. 

However, this year is going to different. Due to the pandemic, it was impossible to have a live event. Thus, the organizers decided to have the first-ever Manila International ONLINE Book Fair. Since it's ONLINE, anyone can now join and buy their books as long as they have an internet connection. Yes, they can even cater to international orders. 

Anyway, let me share 6 tips on how you can make the most out of your MIBF experience. 

1. Registration is FREE - No need to pay anything to join the book fair. All you need to do is enter your name, email address, and phone number when signing-up in order to get access to the website. 

2. Attend Free Events and Seminars -  There are a lot of FREE webinars and talks from November 24-30. These are hosted on MIBF's Facebook Page, Youtube Channel, and Zoom. Some events even provide certificates (in case you need one for work) Other event hosts and sponsors are also giving away exciting freebies and prizes.  

You may check the full schedule of upcoming events here. 

3. 24-hour Shopping Experience - The website is open 24 hours so you are free to browse and order at your most convenient time. 

4. Get First Dibs on Newly Launched Books - There are a lot of books that will be launched during the Manila International Book Fair. Thus, this is your chance to be one of the first few book buyers. 


You may order these newly launched books here. 

5. Order from Multiple Sellers - There are a total of 58 exhibitors joining the event with thousands of book titles available. So feel free to add-to-cart. 

6. Discounts and Promos - You can check both the Special Offers Page and Exhibitors’ Homepage for surprises and exclusive deals

Thursday, November 19, 2020

BDO Unibank and Network Bank Branches are all open with longer banking hours

It's almost 250 days since the quarantine period started in the Philippines and we can say that this pandemic has definitely changed the way we live. With almost everything shifting to online and digital transactions like e-commerce, webinars, virtual events, and online classes, there are still some things that we have to do offline.

For us, these are bank transactions. Despite the availability of online banking, there are still instances that we need to go to the branch to transact and this is the reason why are happy to know that the branches of BDO Unibank, Inc. and BDO Network Bank are all open to serve more clients. 

It is great that BDO is able to keep its products and services within reach amid the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) or Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) guidelines and keeping their promise to find ways for their clients.

When ECQ was declared, BDO strived to keep as many of its branches open while observing health and safety measures. In Luzon, about 130 stayed open in March. This number would more than double to 500 a month later and reach the 800th mark in May. Come June, as more cities were placed in GCQ, 1,000 or nearly all of its Luzon branches have been serving clients.

Meanwhile, in Visayas and Mindanao, all branches remained open.

“We understand the value of having financial access during this challenging time, be it for paying for utilities, loans, or everyday essentials to survive the day. Today, we are operating at a 100% nationwide, thanks to the commitment and resilience of BDO’s 38,000-strong workforce, a true testament to our ‘We Find Ways’ service philosophy,” said Nestor V. Tan, president, and CEO.

While many establishments are still operating on shortened business hours, BDO and BDO Network Bank branches are open until 4:00 pm and ready to accommodate various banking needs, including Forex and encashment requirements.

BDO assures clients that its branch personnel, including its office-based employees undergo regular health checks while its premises are managed under the most stringent safety protocols. Inside every branch, personnel, and clients are required to wear facemasks and face shields at all times, apply hand sanitizers, and observe social distancing.

“We would like to thank our clients for their continued trust in BDO. We remain committed to finding ways for you and your business,” concluded Tan.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Taiwan’s medical power shines in SE Asia, helping Philippine patients regain new lives

The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) organized recently the “Join hands with Taiwan to create a healthy and happy life” webinar, which was held at the Taipei International Convention Center.

During the meeting, five physicians and experts shared the latest medical technology, treatment methods, and services with regard to bone marrow transplantation, reproductive medicine, depression, cerebrovascular disease, and telemedicine consultation with friends in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries to offer more treatment options for patients in need. The event attracted around 900 viewers who participated online and were able to see the live broadcast in real-time.


(From Left) Mr. Onag, a patient from the Philippines, Dr. Chi-Cheng Li, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, 
Dr. Pin-Yao Lin, Lee Women’s Hospital, Ms. Elina H.L. Lee, Executive Vice President, TAITRA,
 Mr. Chin-Tang Wang, President, Medicrowd Smarthealth Co., Ltd., Dr. Ping-Sheng Lu, Landseed International Hospital

In her speech, Executive Vice President Elina Lee of TAITRA stated that various countries had recognized Taiwan’s epidemic prevention achievements. To share epidemic prevention information with the international community, TAITRA launched the “Taiwan Global Anti-COVID-19 Pavilion” in June this year. For decades now, Taiwan has already established a sound medical system as it recruited the best medical talents and adapted the best technologies to provide high-quality medical services.

Dr. Chi-Cheng Li, Director of the Center of Stem Cell and Precision Medicine of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, said that allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is often the ultimate cure for blood cancer or major blood diseases. Before, two unrelated people have only one in ten thousand chances of matching the bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells. But now, through the “half-matched hematopoietic stem cell transplantation technique,” the possibility of successful matching is as high as 90% in relatives, which significantly improves patients’ survival rate.

For 51-year-old Filipino patient Ronel Onag, who recently returned to the Philippines, he graced the event to share his journey and experience recovering from the “half-matched hematopoietic stem cell transplantation” and shed tears of joy. “I am very grateful to Director Chi-Cheng Li and the medical team at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital for their care and the factory owner and friends for the initial connection. In September of last year, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. It was tough to accept my illness. My wife and I felt very sad and helpless. Fortunately, I have now regained my health with everyone’s help.” He also encouraged other patients not to lose hope and stay positive!


Mr. Onag, a patient from the Philippine gave Dr. Chi-Cheng Li of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital a thank you card 

Dr. Pin-Yao Lin, Director of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Lee Women’s Hospital, shared also a case from the Philippines, Mrs. Li (39 years old). Women who are over 35 and have recurrent miscarriages can improve their embryo implantation rate and pregnancy rate through preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). Mrs. Li also shared her experience of seeking a child through a pre-recorded video. She already experienced two miscarriages before the age of 37 so she decided to undergo PGS for the remaining frozen embryos at the hospital that Dr. Lin recommended. They quickly learned that one of the embryos carry abnormal chromosomes and chose to implant the other two with normal chromosomes to avoid the risk of another miscarriage. She eventually gave birth to twins in 2019 and became a happy mother.

Besides sharing successful cases of superior medical services in Taiwan, the event also invited Cathay General Hospital, Landseed International Hospital, and Medicrowd Smarthealth Co., Ltd. to share psychological and physiological health management and application tools with Chinese people worldwide. Dr. Mao-Xiang Xiao from Cathay General Hospital mentioned a new “r-TMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)” treatment for depression. The repeated and concentrated magnetic pulses stimulate the brain’s emotional management area allowing neurons to release serotonin and other cognitive function hormones to relieve depression.

Dr. Ping-Sheng Lu, the Neuroscience Center of Landseed International Hospital, said that Asians have a higher risk of cerebrovascular disease than Western people. Reports show that the prevalence rate of cerebral aneurysms in Asian adults is 7%, and with the popularity of imaging inspections, more and more early discoveries are made. Also, unruptured aneurysms treatment by transarterial catheterization is minimally invasive compared with traditional craniotomy.

Finally, President Chin-Tang Wang of Medicrowd Smarthealth stated that more than 1,000 cooperative physicians provide telemedicine consulting services online on their medical network. During the epidemic, this service’s utilization rate increased significantly by 47.8%, of which ENT (increased by 135%) and psychology (increased by 41%) were the most significant. President Wang emphasized that digital healthcare is a global trend, and the new coronavirus disease has accelerated this trend. Taiwan’s achievements in epidemic prevention have attracted worldwide attention, and its medical technology is among the world’s best. This is a new opportunity to globalize Taiwan’s medical services, where the online to offline (O2O) integrated “all-customer” service model will be the future of healthcare.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Breakup Manual - Part One

I had the chance to go through my old stuff last weekend as I was trying to declutter before the holidays. I was surprised to find my old "Breakup Manual" that I made around 20 years ago. It was actually a compilation of short stories, poems, and songs that helped me get through when my heart was aching. 

I'm happy to share this with you. Unfortunately, I have no information about the source or the names of the original author. In case you have information, kindly let us know so we can give proper attribution for this post. 

If you are confused or frustrated with your current relationship because you feel your partner is not "romantic", please continue reading below.  

This one is entitled TRUE LOVE. 


My husband is an Engineer by profession, I love him for his steady nature, and I love the warm feeling when I lean against his broad shoulders.

Three years of courtship and now, two years into marriage, I would have to admit, that I am getting tired of it. The reasons of me loving him before has now transformed into the cause of all my restlessness.

I am a sentimental woman and extremely sensitive when it comes to a relationship and my feelings, I yearn for the romantic moments, like a little girl yearning for candy. My husband is my complete opposite, his lack of sensitivity and the inability of bringing romantic moments into our marriage has disheartened me about love.

One day, I finally decided to tell him my decision, that I wanted a divorce.

“Why?” he asked, shocked. “I am tired, there are no reasons for everything in the world!” I answered. He kept silent the whole night, seems to be in deep thought with a lighted cigarette at all times. My feeling of disappointment only increased, here was a man who can’t even express his predicament, what else can I hope from him? And finally, he asked me: "What can I do to change your mind?”

Somebody said it right, it’s hard to change a person’s personality, and I guess, I have started losing faith in him. Looking deep into his eyes I slowly answered: “Here is the question, if you can answer and convince my heart, I will change my mind, Let’s say, I want a flower located on the face of a mountain cliff, and we both are sure that picking the flower will cause your death, will you do it for me?” He said:” I will give you your answer tomorrow….” My hopes just sank by listening to his response.

I woke up the next morning to find him gone, and saw a piece of paper with his scratchy handwriting, underneath a milk glass, on the dining table near the front door, that goes…. My dear, “I would not pick that flower for you, but please allow me to explain the reasons further..” This first line was already breaking my heart. I continued reading.

“When you use the computer you always mess up the Software programs, and you cry in front of the screen, I have to save my fingers so that I can help to restore the programs. 

You always leave the house keys behind, thus I have to save my legs to rush home to open the door for you. You love traveling but always lose your way in a new city, I have to save my eyes to show you the way. 

You always have the cramps whenever your “good friend” approaches every month, I have to save my palms so that I can calm the cramps in your tummy.

You like to stay indoors, and I worry that you will be infected by infantile autism. I have to save my mouth to tell you jokes and stories to cure your boredom. 

You always stare at the computer, and that will do nothing good for your eyes, I have to save my eyes so that when we grow old, I can help to clip your nails, and help to remove those annoying white hairs. So I can also hold your hand while strolling down the beach, as you enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful sand… and tell you the color of flowers, just like the color of the glow on your young face. 

Thus, my dear, unless I am sure that there is someone who loves you more than I do… I could not pick that flower yet, and die.. ”

My tears fell on the letter, and blurred the ink of his handwriting… and as I continue on reading… 

“Now, that you have finished reading my answer, if you are satisfied, please open the front door for I am standing outside bringing your favorite bread and fresh milk…"

I rush to pull open the door, and saw his anxious face, clutching tightly with his hands, the milk bottle and loaf of bread.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hongkong Disneyland to Open the Castle of Magical Dreams

Today, we got a sneak peek at Hongkong Disneyland's latest attraction - The Castle of Magical Dreams through their official Facebook page. 



Since 2018, Hongkong Disneyland is undergoing major renovations and expansions which includes saying goodbye to the Sleeping Beauty castle and replacing it with a new castle. The new one will feature a mix of architectural styles inspired by different cultures, while paying tribute to the multiple Disney princess stories, including Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Moana, and Anna, and Elsa. 

And now after the long wait, Hongkong Disneyland will be reopening the reimagined castle on November 21 as it officially celebrates its 15th anniversary. This is also in time for the special kick-off event of the resort's "A Disney Christmas




What can expect from the Castle of Magical Dreams? 

  • The Castle of Magical Dreams offers something special for every guest with its many towers and spires embracing iconic patterns, textures, colors, and ornamentation unique to each story.
  • Guests will be able to admire these features both up-close and afar, against the idyllic backdrop of the lush landscape of the surrounding mountains.
  • Witness the castle’s magical transformation.
  • Guests can visit the “Building a Dream: The Magic Behind a Disney Castle” exhibition, and embark on a visual journey that goes behind the magic, discovering the Walt Disney Imagineering process of reimagining the beloved castle, and gaining insights into the transformation from concept and design development to the innovative building techniques, interpretation of the Disney Princesses and Queens’ stories in partnership with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, and upcoming entertainment offerings. 
Since most of us won't be travel and visit the happiest place on earth, you are invited to celebrate this historic milestone and join the virtual countdown to launch starting November 6 via Hongkong Disneyland's official website and Instagram account (@hkdisneyland)

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