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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tips for Finding the Perfect Christmas Gift and Avoiding Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

Keep the Shopee Christmas ambassador’s tips in mind 
as you start your holiday shopping at the Sep 30 Payday Sale

As we settle into the -ber months, it’s time to start thinking of your Christmas list. If you’re at a loss as to how to spread joy to your loved ones during the holidays amidst a pandemic, who better to ask for advice than one of the Philippines’ Christmas icons, Jose Mari Chan?

The musician, who has been Shopee’s Christmas ambassador since 2018, shares that the important thing is to imbue the true spirit of Christmas. “This pandemic may have completely changed our shopping habits, but one thing remains the same—every chance you get to show kindness, do so. Whatever you give doesn't have to be a big amount.”

Begin your holiday shopping at Shopee’s Sep 30 Payday Sale and keep these other tips from Jose Mari Chan in mind:

1. Take advantage of the convenience and accessibility of online shopping

Like plenty of Filipinos, Jose Mari Chan prefers to shop online these days, from gifts to basic necessities and healthcare products. “Instead of taking public transport or driving to a store, you can purchase from Shopee while staying at home.” Aside from enjoying the safety and convenience, he adds that users get to help out other Filipinos. “You're doing not only yourself a favor. You also continue to support small businesses, manufacturers, and delivery services.”

2. Always check for free shipping and other promos to make shopping more worthwhile

Jose Mari Chan reminds users to keep an eye out for vouchers, especially during Shopee’s big sales. At the upcoming Sep 30 Payday Sale, for instance, users can enjoy free shipping with no minimum spend, 30% bills cashback, and 30% off vouchers. Stack vouchers for bigger discounts. Jose Mari Chan says, “What more can you ask for? I assure you, when you purchase on Shopee, you will always be able to get the best deal.”

3. Go cashless for safe and convenient transactions

Start opting for contactless payment methods for safe and convenient payments. Use ShopeePay, Shopee’s all-in-one e-wallet, to Buy Load, Pay Bills & Scan to Pay. At Shopee’s Sep 30 Payday Sale, enjoy ShopeePay-exclusive promos such as up to 50% off on mobile load; 30% bills cashback from Meralco, Maynilad, PLDT, and over 60 other billers; and ShopeePay ₱1 Deals from Puregold, Potato Corner, Seaoil, and more.

For account security, Jose Mari Chan adds, “Change your ShopeePay PIN regularly and do not share it with anyone to prevent unauthorized purchases.”

4. It's better to plan ahead and organize your Christmas list early on

Jose Mari Chan shares that he and his wife are early birds when it comes to holiday shopping. He advises users to follow this principle and plan ahead. “List down some important people whom you want to cheer up, then browse online to see what items you can give. Do it early. If you leave it up to the last minute, you might make some impulse purchases or even overspend,” he says.

5. Put more heart into picking gifts to make them more meaningful

Feeling stumped about gift ideas? Here’s a piece of advice from Jose Mari Chan: try to come up with gifts that hold meaning for the recipient. “For the past years, my wife and I have been giving each other a common gift that we’d both agree on prior, such as items we need for the home. I would also ask special friends if they have a favorite charity, and I would donate in their name as a gift.”

The musician concludes that as he gets older, he derives more pleasure from giving than receiving. “When you receive, it's just a moment's pleasure. When you give, it lasts longer. When you give out of kindness, love, charity, and generosity, the impact will last for many years.”

Get gift ideas at Shopee’s Sep 30 Payday Sale via this link.

Enjoy the Christmas festivities with Jose Mari Chan and watch his latest Shopee video via Facebook at or YouTube at

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Go Higher with the EU in the 2021 Virtual European Higher Education Fair Philippines

Planning to take graduate or post-graduate studies in the EU?

Let the European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) 2021 guide you to “Go Higher with the EU”.

The biggest of its kind in the Philippines, EHEF will give Filipino students, academicians, researchers, and university officials the opportunity to connect directly with world-class higher education institutions from across the European Union.

The Fair will be inaugurated on 1 October at 1:30pm and streamed live at and on the EU Delegation to the Philippines Facebook.  

The registration at is free and all that is required is an internet connection, an interest in pursuing further studies in the EU, and dreams to go higher in life.

“The EHEF 2021 promotes the diversity and excellence of higher education in the EU,” says EU Ambassador Luc Veron. “Useful, practical and comprehensive information about the different mobility initiatives and distinctive higher education programs will be available at your fingertips.”

The EU is one of the world’s top centers of academic excellence and a hub for cross-fertilization of ideas and cutting-edge technologies and innovation.

Outside of academia, the EU offers limitless opportunities for borderless travel to some of the world’s best, most iconic destinations and to immerse in a wide diversity of cultures.

This holistic experience is how post-grad students can “Go Higher with EU”, the motto of this year’s Fair.

EHEF 2021 will be the biggest yet, with 140 European higher education institutions offering MA and PhDs that will improve the career opportunities of talented Filipinos wishing to study in any of this year’s participating EU member states, namely, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Finland, and Sweden.

Participants can look forward to two days with a packed schedule of activities including webinars on specialized courses and programs, country presentations, and live chats with representatives, alumni, and scholars from participating institutions.

Regional partner institutions for this year include Wesleyan University (Luzon), Silliman University (Visayas), and Xavier University –Ateneo de Cagayan (Mindanao), which will host clustered presentations for students and other members of the academe. 

University partners for this year are the following: University of Sto Tomas, University of the Cordilleras, Lyceum of the Philippines University - Batangas, Mabalacat City College, St Louis  University, Rizal Technological University, Trinity University of Asia, Ateneo de Manila University, Visayas State University, Jose Rizal Memorial State University and Mindanao State University’s (Marawi) College of Public Affairs.

The Fair is supported by Campus Erasmus and the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Media partners this year include Business World Spark Up, Cebu Daily News, Gadgets Magazine, Inquirer Super, Panay News, Subselfie Online, Philippine Star, Manila Times, Adulting Millennials Podcast, The Philippine Business and News (, and SunStar Davao.

The Virtual EHEF 2021 is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies, education services, and Institutes and in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education.

If you’re ready to Go Higher with EU, register for EHEF 2021 now at

How Alternative Learning Methods During Pandemic Reshape the Future of Filipino Education

In one of Education Secretary Leonor Briones’ interviews, she pointed out how old our country’s education system is. From its introduction in the 1940s, it has basically remained unchanged until the recent introduction of the K-12 curriculum.

The current COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our healthcare, economy, and our education systems. Now we begin to question what needs to be changed in the way we do things, especially for our more than 80-year old education system in order for us to move forward. Aside from restoring normal school operations, we are now also looking at how we can resolve age-old concerns such as improving the quality of and widening the access to education.

According to Bridget Long, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among the lessons learned by educators during the pandemic is that the one-size-fits-all approach to education does not work anymore. We finally recognize the reality that student needs vary because of the pandemic and it opened us to consider novel teaching and learning methods that may be more beneficial to both educators and students even beyond the pandemic.

Here are some of the emerging teaching or learning methods that experts believe would transform education even after the pandemic:

Focused learning

The K-12 curriculum introduced a more focused approach to learning through its academic tracks. Students can choose their electives that will make them especially equipped to pursue a certain discipline or field.

With the pandemic, educators and learning experts had the chance to reevaluate what our priorities should be in educating our young and to take a step further in making the education system more focused by decluttering the curriculum. With a more focused curriculum, learners can dedicate their time and resources to knowledge and skills that they believe would be more worthwhile for them.

Focused learning takes into account the reality that students face other concerns during the pandemic. They have less time and even less resources to engage in extensive academic activities. By limiting the subjects they take to those essential to their chosen academic or career track, learners and educators can better manage the limited resources available to them.

Through focused learning, learners, educators, and industries can easily match knowledge and skills with the existing needs of the market. Those who wish to pursue entrepreneurship or employment after senior high school may do so with the assumption that they already gained the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in a specific discipline or trade.

As we look into a more fast-paced future with priority on managing resources that gets more scarce by the day, having a more straightforward education seems more responsive to the reality of our learners.

Individualized Learning

Individualized learning may be considered as a combined application of several principles including adaptive and focused learning. It is a method of teaching in which the method of teaching, technology employed, content, and pace of learning are all determined based on the capacity of each learner.

In countries like the United States and Canada, schools are implementing the individualized learning model as a solution to the growing class sizes and fewer resources to support education.

In the Philippines, individualized learning is seen as an effective way to address the challenges faced by learners, educators, and parents during the pandemic. iACADEMY, known as one of the most progressive and innovative schools in the country, wants to mainstream individualized learning in Senior High School through its Home School Program called DRIVE or Design for Remote, Individualized Versatile Education program.

According to iACADEMY President and CEO Vanessa Tanco, DRIVE combines principles of individualized learning with the strengths of the K-12 curriculum. As DRIVE is completely asynchronous, learners do not have to worry about the usual concerns of commutes to school, unguided learning, and heavy-loaded academic activities and requirements.

“Being primarily learner-controlled, DRIVE allows for more flexibility in the pace of instruction and measurement of learning proficiency for learners. However, students under the program may still reach out to their subject teachers and success coaches for guidance and for mentoring,” she said.

Tech-supported and adaptive learning

Technology is already being used in support of traditional education methods. Most teachers rely on tech for their research and to make their classes much more engaging. However, tech has much more to offer in improving education. With the wide applications of big data, user experience, and artificial intelligence, students and teachers can benefit more from the full integration of tech into teaching and learning.

Aside from allowing for access to education in the remote setting, the pandemic allowed more educators to look into other ways technology can improve our ways of teaching and learning. Among the seen strengths of tech-supported education is that it has more flexibility to support adaptive learning.

According to Zachary Pardos, assistant professor at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education and the School of Information, adaptive learning allows for immediate assessment of a student’s strengths and weaknesses and for the delivery of appropriate individual instruction based on such assessment. The benefit of adaptive learning is that students do not automatically advance to the next lesson until he or she is aptly prepared and capable. The content and pace of each lesson can be adjusted based on the capacity and competency of each student.

While technologies that may support adaptive learning are yet to be developed in the Philippines, the principles of adaptive learning are now being implemented by some progressive and innovative schools.

With the continuous emergence of new coronavirus strains, reverting to the usual face-to-face classroom instruction may take a long while. Experts see that the alternative learning methods introduced during this pandemic may be more responsive to the current and emerging needs of our learners.

Traditional learning methods may have alienated some learners due to their huge demand for time and resources. With alternative learning methods such as adaptive, focused, and individualized learning, we may open up more opportunities for more Filipinos to get the education they need in order to develop. By being accommodating to learners with peculiar learning needs, alternative learning methods may finally make the goal of leaving no child behind a reality.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Why we think Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon was actually made for adults than kids?

Raya and the Last Dragon is one of the early Disney releases this 2021 and is one of the best movies I have seen this year. This underrated film just gave me goosebumps. The ending left me in awe.

Honestly, I did not have this feeling ever since Frozen. 

I know that this is purely fiction/ fantasy but I can't help relate this to our current situation as we are battling this pandemic and this is why I think the movie, Raya and The Last Dragon was actually made for adults than kids. 

So why do we think that the movie, Raya and the Last Dragon was made for adults?

Raya and the Last Dragon teaches us one important thing - TRUST. 

In the movie, they were in a situation where there was no end in sight. Many of their loved ones were lost. Kids were orphaned and have to learn to fend for themselves. Something that is not too far-fetched in our current situation. 

While each one of them tried to fight the monster on their own, their efforts were only temporary. It doesn't really kill the enemy. The only solution is that they learn to make a collective effort to fight it.  

There was even a scene in the movie that they built canals over their kingdom to send the monster away since it's afraid of the water. This is very similar when we try to close our borders. We restrict its entry and keep our people safe but it is not a permanent solution. The threat will always be there and that people outside the "safe zone" are still in danger.

Their struggle was prolonged because they do not trust each other. They are fully aware of what they need to do but they were hesitant to let go because of too much distrust. After all, it doesn't make sense to trust each other after the many betrayals that happened in the past. The problem even started because one betrayed another. 

And this is exactly what is happening in our world today. We do not trust each other. 

People do not trust their leaders that the pandemic is real and that lockdowns are in place for the benefit of the people's safety. 

People do not trust our health experts when they say that we need to wear masks and that following health protocols are important.

People do not trust medical frontliners when they say that one is COVID-positive and needs to be confined in the hospital. They do not believe that this is done for the patient's own welfare and is not another way of profiteering.

People do not trust the vaccination program when they say that it is meant to protect and save your life and it is not another conspiracy theory. 

There is so much distrust. 

We know there are so many uncertainties. The treatment and vaccines are still on continuous trials and there is no clear answer to this pandemic. 

But you have to have FAITH that there is goodness in our leaders and medical experts. 

They make decisions that they think would be for the greater good of many. I am not saying that you will become a blind follower but at least be open-minded and not simply refute everything they say and do. 

Sometimes we have to learn how to TRUST even if it doesn't make sense. We have to learn to trust even if it means putting our life on the line because just like the movie, it may be the only way we can beat this "monster."

Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie -- please watch Raya and The Last Dragon and you'll understand what I mean. :) 

Until then, thank you for dropping by! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

More High 5 Things About European Higher Education Fair 2021

The European Higher Education Fair, one of the biggest education fairs in the country, returns on 1-2 October to again give Filipinos everywhere the EUnique opportunity to connect with dozens of institutions in the EU.

Who can join?  

The Fair is open to Filipinos interested in pursuing higher education in the EU. And it doesnt matter where you are in the Philippines. The Fair is virtual, so whether youre in Aparri or Jolo, you can join so long as you have an internet connection. Even your Pinoy friends who are currently abroad can join. The more, the merrier, especially when you eventually get to study in the EU together.

Do I have to attend the entire 2-day virtual fair? 

Participants are highly encouraged to maximize their time in the fair by exploring as much as they can. There are loads of information to take in and activities to attend that will be very helpful to start the journey to Go Higher with EU. That goes for all participants, those who already have a particular field of study or EU member state in mind as well as those who havent quite settled on something yet. The Fair happens only once a year, so its best to take full advantage of this EUnique opportunity.

What can participants expect?

A lot. Dozens of higher education institutions from across the EU are participating this year and they have packed the 2-day Fair with activities. Participants can expect to be fully loaded and raring to Go Higher with EU after the event.

Webinars on research programs, mobility opportunities, and postgraduate degrees

Country presentations from participating EU member states

Live chats with representatives, alumni, and scholars from participating institutions

Virtual meeting rooms for Philippine institutions and their EU counterparts

Is there an age limit for the participants? 

Learning in the EU knows no age, so theres no limit to joining the Fair. Its open to all Filipinos who have finished an undergraduate course, whether here or abroad, and are intending to take higher education.

What programmes are available? 

Astrophysics, Biotechnology, Business, Chemical Engineering, Football management, Geography, Green energy management, History, Information Technology, International Relations, Languages, Law, Literature, Medicine, Sociology, Teaching, Tourism, Zoology, and much more.

You can also avail of study programmes with a modular structure that allows you to build a personalised programme by choosing several different modules or units of study each year. For example, if you are studying Fashion, you might choose one module on Fashion Marketing, one module on Textile Design, and one module on Ethical Textile Production.

Registration is free. Thus, you are interested just visit 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

These Harry Potter books are so pretty and here's where you can get them

I have been a Potterhead since I was 14 and 20+ years later, I am still in love with the wizarding world. That is why I got so excited when I saw these books online. 

It's so pretty that honestly, I stop thinking about it! So, I did a little research.
Here's what I found out. 

This is not a new edition of Harry Potter books so which means that you don't have to buy a new set to get this. (Thank God!) 

Instead, these are dust jackets from a small family-run business called Nerdy Ink. It retails for $35 or roughly around Php 1,700. Considering that it helps protect our books plus it's the perfect way to brighten up our bookshelves, I guess the price is reasonable. 

They also offer free shipping for orders of $35 and up. Thus, if you are in the Philippines, you only need to worry about the shipping costs from the US to the Philippines in case you decide to use shipping companies like Buyandship. If you don't want to go through the hassle, I saw a seller on Carousell selling this set for Php 2,350 (you just have to confirm legitimacy) 
Please note that this is not official Harry Potter merchandise but based on reviews, it seems to be of good quality. Also, this is only suited for the Harry Potter Potter US Hardback Set, ISBN: 9780545044257 so, you might have to check which edition you currently have before ordering. 

Anyway, that's it for now! Thank you for dropping by. 

If you are also a Potterhead, let us know by answering this question in the comments section below. What’s the name of the three-headed dog that guards the door to the Sorcerer’s Stone?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Movie Review: Cinderella (2021)

Amazon Prime's latest adaptation of Cinderella which was released last Friday (September 3) has received quite a lot of negative reviews. This made me a bit hesitant to watch since it may just be a waste of time. Actually, as of writing, it has a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Anyway, as a huge Cinderella fan, I decided to just see it for myself and ended up having mixed reactions about the movie too. Watching the first few minutes was cringe-worthy as I was expecting something different. 

Then, I realized that it is important that we need to manage our expectations to be able to enjoy the movie.

1. First, the movie is not produced by Disney so, it is important to let go of our expectation of the "magical feels" while watching this movie.  

2. It's a musical. It's like Pitch Perfect + High School Musical + James Corden's crosswalk musicals combined. So, if you are a fan of those, then this movie is for you. (By the way, James is part of the cast and one of the producers) 

3. One thing that I love about Disney's movies and adaptation is their attention to detail. That is something that is missing here. 

4. Happily Ever After means different in this adaptation. Her dream is not about marrying the prince, living in the palace, etc. (This has be shown even in the trailers) Instead, it focuses on the "girl boss feminism thing" and it is not only through Ella's character but also with the other characters in the movie too. 

Thus, if you are looking for something that is a princessy type (if there is such a term.)
This movie is not for you.  Ella in this movie is a bit "rough."

Do you recommend the movie? 

One thing that is notable in the movie is that it is inclusive in terms of race, gender, and size. Parental Guidance is a must since it uses strong words such as "idiot", "disgusting" to describe people and animals. 

What the movie can improve on? 

Since Ella is shown as a promising dressmaker in the movie, I hope they did not skip making clothes for her mice friends. It was one thing I loved in the original animated movie and with all the sewing supplies available, it wouldn't be far-fetched to make one for them. 

I also wouldn't mind if they just throw away the movie title and choose another one instead of banking on the popularity of a classic. They can also opt for better song choices and find one that we can better associate with Cinderella. I don't think "Let's Get Loud" is one of them. 

Anyway, that's it for now. How about you? What do you think of the movie? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Where to Find Discounted and Toys on Sale in Lazada?

Christmas is fast approaching! We know times are hard and this is why we'd like to share with you our little secret - Where to Find Discounted and Toys on Sale in Lazada? 

For someone who tries to save money and still wants to continue with the traditions (a.k.a gift-giving), shopping early and taking advantage of the sale events is a good idea. After all, every penny counts. 

Thus, if you have the funds available, go ahead and start your Christmas shopping now.  

Anyway, I am going to share with you the list of toy stores where you can find discounted and sale toy items. Don't worry! Most of them are LazMall stores so authenticity is guaranteed. :) 

1. Toy Town - They have been in the toy retail business for more than 30 years and they carry a wide variety of brands such as Little Tikes, Tomica, Lego, Funko Pops, etc. I believe that they are also the distributors of the major toy stores in the mall since the promotions are exactly the same as the ones they have.

Their Christmas sale will start on September 9 and toys are on sale for as low as 75-90% off. 

Store Link:

2. Toys R Us - Yes, there are a lot of sale items available in Toys R Us. They carry a wide array of toys, books, and other collectibles. What I love about this store is the variety of sale items for a certain price point. (e.g. sale toys for 100 pesos. :) 

I also make sure to check toys priced at exactly Php 150, 200, and 300 because these are where most sale items are. (Don't forget to use the filter option to make your search easier.) 

Here's another tip! 

You can also find Toys R Us items at the Robinsons Department Store official store. They usually list under Toys R Us Toybox and these are the same toys (mostly on sale too!) from Toys R Us. 

If you want to check them out, here's the link:

3. Kids Craze Warehouse Sale - The Kids Craze Warehouse Sale is brought to you by the Richwell Club. This used to be a live sale event in their corporate office in Quezon City. In 2019, they decided to bring it online which is good news to us who are not from Metro Manila. Now, it is accessible for buyers nationwide.

They mostly carry Crayola, Barbie, Hotwheels, Shopkins, Fisher-Price, and many more. :) 

Please note that some items in this store are on clearance because of dented boxes or damaged packaging but the items inside are okay. Items go on sale for as low as 70-90% off too! 

4. Toy Kingdom - Just like Toys R Us, Toy Kingdom has a lot of sale items on sale too! Since our TK store is not so big here in Bacolod, I get to find more items online instead of the physical store. 

Just a tip! You can find one of the cheapest Transformer toys here. :) 

Anyway, that's it for now! Do you know other toy stores that carry sale and discounted items? Feel free to share in the comments section below. :) 

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook - to be updated with the flash sales and sulit finds. :) 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) Dates, Schedule and Things You Need to Know

We are happy to share that the Manila International Book Fair is happening again ONLINE from September 30 - October 4, 2021. 

Anyway, preparations are ongoing, and here's what we know so far. :) 

1. SPECIAL EVENTS - There will be special events live on MIBF's official Facebook page and Youtube account all throughout the 5-day book fair. Some of the special events that you shouldn't miss are Sha Nacino's 90 Book Writing Challenge Book Launch and the Authors Got Talent happening on October 1 and 2 respectively. 

BOOKS - Both printed and ebook formats will be available. You can shop and start adding to cart on September 30. Just go to You can expect lots of promotions and discounts during the fair. 

  • Abiva is celebrating its 85th year anniversary and all books (mostly textbooks) will be available for Php 85 only. 
  • OMF Literature is on sale for as low as 80% off in selected items and all other books at 20%. (So, this might be a good time to get your copy of The Purpose Driven Life) They also have books for as low as Php 20 only. 
  • 20% off on ALL Adarna books which includes board books, coloring books, picture books, and young adult literature. 
*will update you on this. 

3.  EXHIBITORS - Here's the complete list of exhibitors this year. 

4. SCHEDULE - The website is available 24/7 which means that you can order anytime. The special events will run from 8AM - 8PM. 

5. LOGISTICS - We know there have been challenges in the shipping of orders last year. For this year, the organizers will have better and improved logistics to address this major concern. Thus, we are looking forward to a seamless and easy buying experience.  

Anyway, that's it for now. We will update this post once we have more information about the MIBF 2021. Make sure to check back from time to time. We'll share as well the complete list of exhibitors next week.