Saturday, October 31, 2020

All You Need to Know about Philippine Starbucks Christmas 2020

It's the time of the year again where we countdown to the 3rd of November because every November 3, Starbucks Philippines launches their Christmas promo, featured beverage, cards, and planners. Thankfully, this year is no different even with the pandemic. 

Featured Drinks 

One of the things that people look forward to is finding out what Christmas drinks are. Aside from the staple Peppermint Mocha and Toffee Nut, there's always something new every year. This year it's something jolly. 

Returning Favorite! Our fan favorite returns with comforting layers of buttery toffee nut balanced by subtle sweet notes of toasted nuts, Starbucks® signature espresso and velvety steamed milk. The beverage is finished with a whipped cream peak and a sprinkle of crunchy toffee nut topping. Available hot, iced or blended.

Tall - ₱180 | Grande - ₱195 | Venti - ₱210

New! A creamy blend of Starbucks® signature espresso, steamed milk and spiced apples, the new Jolly Baked Apple Latte is a multi-sensory holiday delight. The Jolly Baked Apple Latte is topped with a whipped cream dome, a delicate drizzle of baked apple sauce and candied apple sprinkles for the perfect holiday touch. Available hot, iced and blended.

Tall - ₱180 | Grande - ₱195 | Venti - ₱210

Returning Favorite! Inspired by the flavors of traditional holiday candies, the Peppermint Mocha is made with Starbucks® signature espresso and steamed milk, chocolatey mocha sauce and peppermint. Topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle and candy cane pieces, this special holiday beverage is returning for the 18th year to celebrate the joys and flavors of the holiday season all over again. Available hot, iced or blended.

Tall - ₱180 | Grande - ₱195 | Venti - ₱210


Inspired by the iconic Siren, this special-edition gift set includes the 23rd Anniversary Journal, Leather Clutch and a Starbucks Card (with ₱1,000 activation amount). 

Sold exclusively as a bundle for ₱2,700 Available in all stores starting November 3, 2020.

Starbucks 23rd Anniversary Collection A collection with Siren and water elements in sea foam blue color with accents of gold to celebrate our 23 years of giving warmth and joy one cup at a time. **Special 23rd Anniversary Card + Journal & Pouch set for Php2,700 (Starbucks Card initial activation of Php1,000) |Mug and tumbler excluded. 

Starbucks Copper Gem Collection A collection of glam minimalist look with unique shape and artwork in Matte black and glossy copper finish.

Starbucks Home for the Holidays Collection Features a warm and cheerful home setting, celebrating the enchantment of holiday season with adorable furry dog & cat friends in a mix of classic red and green hues with a highlight of camel brown and white to bring holiday spirit to life.

Starbucks Holiday Bling Cups Shades up ‘coz Bling cups are here! These must-have Iridescent Cold Cups will surely suit your dazzling look. With their textured surface and debossed logo, these new trendy colored cold cups are the perfect accessory to match the holiday vibe. Available in the iridescent color of pink and rainbow hues for Php1,695.

Maligayang Pasko, Snowman Card, Holiday Tree Card, Holiday Animals Card 

There’s nothing like reuniting with those who mean the most to you. Bring home some joy for the holidays with a gift that shows how much you care. Maligayang Pasko, Snowman Card, Holiday Tree Card and Holiday Animals Card will be available for an initial activation amount of ₱300. 

Merry Little Cards

There’s nothing like reuniting with those that one holds dear in their hearts. Show love and thoughtfulness with Starbucks holiday cards, which will be available in four designs — the Maligayang Pasko card, the Snowman Card, Holiday Tree Card, and the Holiday Animals Card — for an initial activation amount of ₱300. 


Made with rich, full bodied espresso you love that’s been chilled and mellowed with a touch of milk and sweetness. This on the go drink is delightfully delicious convenient. 



 A decadent blend of coffee, creamy low fat milk and buttery caramel flavor. One cannot possibly resist. The other, a delicious blend of coffee, low fat milk and vanilla. Perfect drink for people who are always on the go.

₱145 per bottle

For my thoughts on the sneak peek of the Starbucks Planner 2021

While Starbucks keeps its doors open for those looking to delight in their holiday favorites, they also continue to put the safety and health of its partners (employees) and customers as a top priority. To learn how Starbucks cares, read how they implement safety measures in all its in-store, to-go, and drive-thru channels. Guests ordering in stores can also pay safely and conveniently all while earning loyalty Stars, through the Starbucks Rewards mobile app.

Enjoy joyful holiday offerings by ordering in-store or via drive-thru at Starbucks branches nationwide or through GrabFood starting November 3, 2020.

Friday, October 30, 2020

ThingsI am Thankful for in the last 40 Years

I turned 40 today. 

I can't believe that I am actually saying this since I've been told before that I wouldn't even reach past 21 and now, I just turned 40.

Some people have asked me what I wanted for my birthday and aside from frivolous but not really necessary things, there's actually very little that I want because I have what matters the most in life. 

So instead, I am listing down things that I am thankful for in the last 40 years of my life. 

1. my life. It isn't perfect but the fact is I am alive and for that I am grateful. 

2. my education. I know that it is one of the tools that I am able to use to get ahead in life. 

3. my Chinese upbringing. The Chinese culture is nowhere near perfect BUT it does teach you a lot of things such as being resilient and always able to find ways to have a better life. It teaches you the value of hard work and how even small amounts will lead to bigger savings. 

4. my love for reading. It was my Mom who instilled it in me and I have learned so much through reading over the years. It has also taught me to be more imaginative and to appreciate language and scenarios. 

5. my love for coloring pens and stationaries. I think that it helps to ground me and remind me to be grateful for small things. When someone gives me even a sheet of stickers, I feel really happy. Small things should be able to make us happy because if they can't, then we will have a life full of misery. 

6. my teachers. I know that I didn't appreciate them that much when I was a student but now that I look back on my school years, I realized that a lot of the way I work now is because of them. I learned how to persevere more and to be more meticulous because of how things were in school. It was a great training ground for me. 

7. my writing skills. It's how I earn my living now and I am so thankful that I have words constantly floating in my head. 

8. social media and digital marketing. Who knew that writing can actually earn you enough to have a decent lifestyle. It used to be that writing didn't make much but with social media and digital marketing, it had a total pivot and is now lucrative. 

9. my blog. Who knew that a diary of my son's monthly activities would be the reason that I got to see Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia for free? Who knew that this would be a great source of experience, learnings, and adventures? Something that was born out of laziness has become the source of so many amazing things. 

10. betrayals. I've had so many in the past and it has made me a wiser and stronger person. 

11. my friends. I have very few but I know that they are true friends and I couldn't ask for anything more. They have my back but at the same time, I know that they will call me out when needed. 

12. my travels. Though it has only been a few countries that I have visited, I learned so much from the culture of other places and how they lived. It made me appreciate what I have and it taught me that there are other ways to do things. 

13. my cats. They have taught me how to give unconditional love. Weird I know but cats are sometimes the epitome of unconditional love. You see, you take care of them, pet them, and love them. In return, they will sometimes throw you a glance, a lick, or a purr but more often than not, they will just go on their merry way. 

14. all the men I loved before. They helped mold me into becoming a better person, someone who is perfect for Mark. Naks. Hahahaha. Seriously, every heartache that I experienced has taught me the beauty of love, the ache of heartbreak, and how with each layer that gets peeled, you see a better version of you. 

15. constantly moving around. While it was tiring and toxic, it taught me to let go of things that I no longer needed and the value of having space for those that I truly love. When you have to constantly move houses, you learn to discern what it is that really matters to you and what you can let go of. 

16. my arts. Cross stitching and diamond painting is an art form, right? These things have helped me stabilize my bipolar tendencies. It has helped to calm me down and ground me especially when my mind goes on overdrive. 

17. our helpers. They make life so much easier and I know that I owe them a lot. Yes, they work and I pay them but our helpers have been with us for a long time and they have become family. 

18. PRs and brands. For the trust, the product seeding, the event invites, and the collaborations. You have humbled me, taught me a lesson, and reminded me of how fleeting everything is. 

19. My family. Things are no longer how it used to be but I will always be grateful for my family. Always.

20. My sons. They are the reason that I keep fighting and will always keep fighting. I know that 15 years ago, God gave me B to ensure that I don't give up during the most difficult stages of my life and now, HE gave me Khali to remind me that life is a blessing and it is wonderful. 

21. M. He is not perfect. Sometimes, he can be infuriating but he loves me and he treasures me. He is why everything else did not work out in the past. He is my partner and he is a constant reminder to me of what love looks like. 

Most of all, I am thankful to God. He has blessed me with so many things that I never even asked for and I am humbled and truly grateful. They say life begins at 40. I can't wait what God has in store for me for the next 40 more years. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Mekeni Chicken Longganisa

During this quarantine, we all learned to come up with dishes that we would never have dreamed of initially. Since the budget is tight, Moms need to come up with dishes that will be both healthy yet not too costly. Thankfully, Mekeni Chicken Longganisa is here to save the day. 

Aside from the usually fried version, I tried to think of other ways to cook the Mekeni Chicken Longganisa. My brother who is a chef taught me two ways. 

The first one is to sautee it but add white onions to balance things out. This then becomes the perfect appetizer at parties or a pass around dish. 

The next one is to have it as an add on to any vegetable dish you have. For ours, it was our standard mushroom and young corn dish but now, it came with the Mekeni Chicken Longganisa. 

The Mekeni Chicken Longganisa is the healthier longganisa choice in the market which makes me feel better when I serve these types of dishes to my son. It is made from real chicken meat and it is gluten-free. When something is gluten-free, it helps with weight management and sugar control. 

For me, anything that can add to the healthier aspect of a dish is a plus. For those interested in ordering Mekeni Chicken Longganisa, you can do so by messaging them here.  

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Teaser for the Starbucks 2021 Planner

Today, Starbucks PH finally posted a teaser on what could possibly be the 2021 Starbucks Planner and Travel Journal. 

Based on the post shared on the official Starbucks PH page, there will be 4 colors and designs. Green, yellow, rose gold, and black. 

My personal fave is the rose gold one and then the green siren. Which one is yours? 

I actually made a video coz I was so excited to share my thoughts on this. Hope you can go and give it a watch. Lemme know if you agree! #StarbucksPH #2021StarbucksPHPlanner #StarbucksPlanner #2021Starbucks.

Friday, October 23, 2020

What makes Chicago a great place to live?

Chicago, the largest city of Illinois and is now the commercial center of the midwest. A bustling urban hub without the cost or stress of a bigger city, it is said to be cleaner than New York and nicer than Los Angeles. The ample public transportation, good jobs, and a plethora of attractions make Chicago a great place to live or to relocate.

Here are a few more reasons why you should move to Chicago.

Home to world-class attractions.

Chicago's front yard – the Grant Park - is a 319-acre swath of green space where you'll find several of Chicago's most popular attractions. At the heart is Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world. It boasts 133 jets that shoot water as high as 150 feet into the air during 20-minute choreographed displays. In the evening, the fountain becomes even more attractive with its performance accompanied by lights and music.

Two miles north of the Loop in the North Side neighborhood of Lincoln Park is the Lincoln Park Zoo which houses dozens of species, such as zebras, sloths, and hippos. The zoo which offers a free entrance to all travelers features large mammal species. The Farm-in-the-Zoo exhibit, where little ones can meet barnyard favorites like cows, pigs, and goats is a perfect attraction for the kids.

Another magnificent pride is the CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER, a building that served as Chicago's first central public library from 1897 to 1991. The building has two stunning stained-glass domes, lovely staircases, mother-of-pearl, and colored stone, rich hardwoods, and intricate mosaics of Favrile glass. It is home to the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome and is one of the most visited attractions in the city.

From towering skyscrapers to the rich cultural landscape, there are a lot of reasons to fall in love with the Windy City.

Diverse neighborhood

Chicago has 77 well-defined neighborhoods in nine districts. Each has its own mix of culture, history, attractions, and personality.

Northern neighborhoods are youthful and desirable. You may catch a Cubs game in Wrigleyville, go boutique shopping in Bucktown, or live jazz in Uptown.

The West Side has an eclectic vibe, where dining at ethnic restaurants and taking in the stunning murals, monuments, and churches are a few things to enjoy.

Downtown Chicago is a top tourist spot. Some of the most wonderful attractions are The “Bean” at Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and the Historic Theatre District.

Chicago’s South Side boasts an array of cultural and social offerings from monuments to the museum campus to authentic cuisines.

Renting and home buying is easier than you think

Chicago, a metro area where places are still affordable; offers first-time homebuyers great inventory and good income growth. Whether you’re looking for a single, temporary apartment or moving your family for good, Chicago is a nice place to rent and buy.  According to experts, Chicago’s housing market is the best bargain in North America and it offers the second-largest supply of starter homes in entry-level housing.

Plan on renting in Chicago? The median price for a home listing is $1,750 which is slightly over the national average, but much less than cities like Los Angeles ($3,650) and New York ($2,875). 

Great place for work

Information technology, health care, financial services—and a school district – you can find them all in Chicago. The city has a variety of workplaces, from large companies to small and medium-sized companies that are a great place to work.

Workday is an Information Technology company with 6,706 US employees. According to its employees, the integrity and character of their workers and leaders are outstanding. The team is passionate about customer success which is why the company doesn’t make promises they can’t keep.

Power Home Remodeling belongs to the construction industry. It has 2,461 US employees and a US revenue of $52,000,000. Employees praise the company for giving them space and resources to make their own decisions. There are freedom and trust to make important decisions that help them grow exponentially professionally.

SAP America is a very famous company that belongs to the Information Technology industry. It has 19,157 US employees and a revenue of $8,551,000,000. The people working in the company are said to be highly intelligent, willing to share knowledge, and willing to listen to other’s ideas, too. They have a very collaborative environment that crosses departments, all working toward delivering a great application. 

Get 50% off on Garnier's Super Brand Day at Shopee

We all know someone who loves Garnier so this is good news for Garnier fans! On their Super Brand Day happening today, Garnier will be giving up to 50% off on selected Garnier products at their official Shopee store

I've tried some of their products and I love it, especially their Micellar Cleansing Water which is part of the deal.

Garnier Light Complete Vitamin C Serum (For Dark Spots) 30ml - Skincare

Garnier Light Complete Brightening Eye Roll On 15ml

Garnier Sakura White Serum 30mL [For Pinkish Glow] - Skincare Limited Edition

And my favorite, the Micellar Cleansing Water. 
Garnier is one of the brands that you can trust when it comes to skin care. Mild yet effective, truly something that everyone needs. Make sure to take advantage of this sale by downloading the Shopee app via Google Play or Play Store. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

3 Reasons I Love the Xtreme TV

I have always been adamant about not having a TV inside the bedroom. I thought to myself, it would destroy our bonding time, it would be a source of problem, it would be this, or it would be that. 

However, when I was given the chance to review the Xtreme TV, I had no choice but to put it inside our bedroom. This led to a change in perspective. 

When we had this placed in our room, I learned that I actually love having a TV in our room for these 3 reasons. 

1. We actually watch more shows together now. It's so easy to lie down on the bed, cuddle, and watch since the TV is already there. Even if our baby is sleeping, we can watch a show and watch our baby at the same time. 

Since the TV is so slim, it doesn't take up much space which is really good because we don't have a big home.  It also has all the necessary ports so there's no need to add any other gadgets. 

2. Ease of set up. Normally, I have to wage war at a gadget during the first few stages. Lord knows I've had my fair share of breakdowns where I'm super excited about opening a gadget only to end up having a hard time making it work initially. 

With the Xtreme TV, set up took less than 3 minutes. I know this because I actually took a video and was shocked that it went from boot up to Netflix in just 3 minutes. 

3. It is so affordable. I was so amazed when I found out that this 43 in Xtreme TV is just Php15,995. Back when I was young, you'd need to spend hundreds of thousands to have a TV this big. Now, it costs only Php15,995 and it's so thin, it can be hanged on a wall. 

I also love the fact that you can buy online and not leave the house. They will deliver it right to your doorstep. I plan on buying mine from Shopee. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Bouncing back with Cash Agad

Both entrepreneurs and workers in MSMEs are the hardest-hit by the economic disruption resulting from the pandemic. There are nearly 1 million MSMEs in the country and data from the Department of Trade and Industry indicated that more than 50% of this number or around 525,000 have closed their businesses. This has left millions of Filipinos unemployed. 

On the macro level, the Asian Development Bank said the Philippine economy had bottomed out in May or June and that for the rest of the year, economic contraction is projected at 7.3% by end of 2020. Recovery is expected to happen by 2021 when the pandemic is hoped to be contained and the economy is expected to bounce back by 6.5%. 

Cash Agad Partner Agent

Even with the prevailing economic slowdown, the country has been observing signs of gradual recovery especially in some of the MSMEs. 

One of them is Krystal Bantic of Quirino province in the Cagayan Valley region. Krystal runs a grocery store in her town and she became a Cash Agad partner agent last year. 

Cash Agad is a service provided by BDO to far-flung and unbanked communities where residents have little to no access to bank services. Many faraway places in the country do not have banks or ATMs where residents may conveniently get cash. This is due to several reasons. 

It could be that communities are located in distant islands where motorized boats are the only means of transportation. Some towns and barrios are located in mountainous or hilly areas with rocky and uneven terrain. Others are separated by sheer hundreds of kilometers from urban areas and have no concrete roads nor highways. All of these factors and more prevent banks from building and maintaining physical branch offices in these faraway towns. 

The Cash Agad service provides a simple, elegant, and practical solution to all that. By partnering with stores and shops already established in the community, BDO turns them into community-based ATM terminals. The shop owner receives a POS terminal for use in transacting locally-issued ATM cards, whether debit or prepaid and facilitates basic transactions like cash withdrawals and balance inquiries. 

Best of all, Cash Agad accepts transactions using ATM cards from different local banks and non-bank financial institutions in the Philippines, not only those from BDO. It's really a service that benefits entire communities. 

According to Krystal, she actually had few customers availing of Cash Agad in her grocery store in the year before the pandemic struck. This was because at that time, people were used to traveling all the way to Candon City in Ilocos Sur province, which is more than four hours away from Quirino, in order to go to banks and ATMs, enjoy fast food restaurants, and buy essential goods. 

"People would make the trip to Candon even though it's quite far because it was a mix of both business and leisure for them. Also, goods are priced lower in Candon because over here in Quirino our shops are simply getting our goods from there as well," said Krystal.

The trip to Candon is quite far and the transport available are passenger vans. It takes more than four hours across 289 kilometers. The fare costs at least 200 pesos and even more if a person was also loading some baggage in the van for the trip. When going to Candon, residents of Quirino would have to allot an entire day and at least four hundred pesos for a two-way trip. They would spend more if they included food expenses. 

From lockdown to opportunity

The pandemic caused subsequent lockdowns and quarantines which prevented people from leaving Quirino as they were used to. This meant that their usual access to cash (banks and ATMs) and goods in Candon was closed off. But fortunately, Krystal and her Cash Agad kiosk at her grocery store was available. 

"Grabe po, noong nagka-lockdown dito sa amin. None of us could leave. The local government ordered all transportation to stop. No one was allowed to go out. People had nowhere else to go to get needed cash to spend for food and other basic needs. So more and more people come to my store not only to withdraw cash but also to buy essential goods," said Krystal. 

Krystal faced her own challenges as a Cash Agad partner agent. She was also covered by the travel ban so she could not easily replenish the cash reserves meant for Cash Agad withdrawals. She was able to solve this by either renting a private vehicle to go to the BDO branch in Candon to get cash or she would get the help of the local government to provide transportation to Candon. After all, Krystal had become a frontliner and essential worker since she was the only source of cash for the residents in her town. 

Soon enough, practically everyone in the communities around Krystal's store became her customers. Teachers, government workers, policemen, and even farmers and construction workers all depend on her store and its Cash Agad service to get their salaries. Her store also became the official channel for the government cash assistance given to 4Ps beneficiaries. This was done with the help of the local government.

It's not just Krystal's store that benefits from Cash Agad. Other business owners in the area, from other sari-sari stores to eateries, to hardware shops, and even stalls for vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish at the wet market--all of them thanked her for being able to provide cash to the community. This is because the amount of local spending had become greater than ever. People were spending their cash on local businesses instead of those in faraway Candon City. 

"Krystal's experience really shows how the Cash Agad service expands financial inclusion in far-flung, hard-to-reach areas in the country. The result is a boost to the local economy. Established businesses earn more. More businesses are set up. The engine of local economic activity is revved up and eventually, there's improved quality of life for the residents.

"If the country's economy is ever going to bounce back from the pandemic, it will take all of us--big businesses, MSMEs, and both urban and rural communities and their local governments--to help each other and do our part. There's a certain inspiration, a beautiful sort of hope when you see communities working together to rise up and recover from a crisis. BDO is doing its part in helping communities recover economically through the Cash Agad network," said Mr. Jim Nasol, Head of Agency Banking, BDO Unibank.

For more information about Cash Agad, go to or send an email to  for inquiries.

Cash Agad: BDO Partner and Everybody's Partner

Ever experienced getting all excited to withdraw your money to buy something or pay for something only to realize that the nearest ATM machine is down? You try your luck with others and nothing seems to be working? 

You don't want to travel far because of the ongoing pandemic and you just really need to get your hands on your hard earned money but don't know how. Fret no more because CASH AGAD from BDO is here to save the day. 

The pandemic had severe effects on families and communities in the country not only because of the fear over COVID-19 but also because of how it disrupted their livelihoods. Many businesses shut down, causing widespread loss of jobs. For those who still had some income left, they could not so easily access their cash at banks and ATMs because public transportation was shutdown during the lockdown and quarantine periods.  

Still, some residents were fortunate that there were Cash Agad partner agents in their communities who were ready to provide banking services even amid the pandemic.  While Cash Agad partner agents were also affected by the restrictions of the community quarantine, they were still able to help their respective barangays and are now bouncing back and continuing with their recovery in order to further build their businesses.  

The Cash Agad partner agents network is comprised of small to medium business owners in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao who are operating the Cash Agad service in their communities. This service aims to provide ready access to cash for distant communities, especially those who are not so easily reached by public transportation. These would include communities in places that were located in challenging terrain like mountains, hilly areas, or those in far flung islands only reachable by boat. 

Cash Agad is  the solution provided by BDO Unibank to unbanked and financially underserved communities, especially those places where setting up a building or bank branch or even an ATM machine would prove to be impractical and unfeasible.  

Community shops-turned-ATMs

A community shop owner (the business might also be a salon, drugstore, hardware store, etc.) is usually tapped to be Cash Agad partner agent. Since such a business owner has long been part of the locality, has an establishment close to the residents, and is a trusted  figure in the community, it’s much easier for the people to trust him or her with their money-related transactions. 

Once the shop owner becomes a Cash Agad partner, he or she is  given a POS terminal that is capable of accepting transactions using any Philippine-issued ATM card whether debit or credit.  And even though BDO Unibank is the one that runs the Cash Agad service, the POS terminal accepts ATM cards from all banks in the Philippines.  

Cash Agad and LGUs 

Another advantage of using Cash Agad is that it does not depend on banking hours. As long as the Cash Agad partner shop is open, it can accept transaction. This was modified, however, when the pandemic struck and community quarantines were imposed.  Local official had to set schedules and limit operating hours for Cash Agad transactions in order to follow physical distancing requirements designed to keep customers safe and prevent disease transmission. 

Even LGUs depend on Cash Agad to deliver government’s financial aid to those in need.  For example, the beneficiaries of 4Ps withdraw their monthly cash assistance  from Cash Agad.  Even the IPs or members of the indigenous people’s communities are able to get their financial aid through Cash Agad. All these are possible thanks to the cooperation between LGUs and Cash Agad partner agents. 

LGU employees, policemen, and teachers in the community likewise depend on Cash Agad for their salary withdrawals. Private employees, families of overseas Filipinos, all of them now access salaries and remittances from Cash Agad, too. 

All of these were a great relief to residents who, for several months during community quarantine, were unable to travel due to lockdowns and checkpoints. Their mobility had been restricted within their own or the nearby barangays. They could no longer go to urban areas to transact with banks or go to ATMs. 

Financial Inclusion

According to Jim Nasol, Head of Agency Banking (Cash Agad) of BDO, the bank has been planning to have Cash Agad partner agents in secluded areas for a long time. This is because they want to help rural areas across the country to be more progressive.

“Many Filipinos are smart and hardworking; they dream of better livelihoods. But they are being held back because of their lack of access to cash and capital. There are a lot of Filipinos who don’t have  enough money because just withdrawing it already takes a lot of time and a huge expense.”

“Our Cash Agad partner agents are the key to broadening financial systems. We see that in places like Pitogo, financial inclusion can go a long way in making lives easier for Filipinos in secluded communities,” he explained.

In addition, Arnold Katipunan, Head of Sales of Cash Agad in BDO, said that financial inclusion and access to money is very important during this time of the pandemic, when a lot of people and businesses need to rise up from the dampening effects of the crisis. Ultimately, their recovery will bring new life to the national economy.

The number of Cash Agad partner agents in the country continue to increase. For more information about Cash Agad, go to the BDO website or send an email to

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Unveil the ‘New You’ with NUA

When we enter a new phase in our life, we need to be ready for change. I'm nearing my 40s in just a couple of weeks and I have begun to notice small changes in my appearance and body. 

I don't have the same energy as I used to and my recovery from an all nighter is not the same. My skin has started to feel dry and a bit saggy too which is why I've been on the lookout for something new.  

Having clear, fresh-looking skin is the goal of everyone who cares about how they look. And with the market full of skincare products, achieving this goal should be easy, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, as many of us have learned, having clear, beautiful skin isn’t that easy.

Take the case of 22-year old Martina Salimbangon, who like every young lady her age, dreams of having beautiful, flawless skin. “I’ve been obsessed with skincare since I was about 15,” she says. “I watched hundreds of YouTube videos and tested so many products but I just found myself being overwhelmed by the amount of products I was being urged to buy. I didn’t want to break my bank account trying to clear my skin.”

Martina’s case isn’t unique. Many of us have also experienced – and many more continue to experience – what she went through. On any given day, we use soaps, body washes, lotions, creams and oils, and these don’t even include what we put on our faces. Yet, for most of us, the search for the right skincare product – the product that works for us – continues to be a seemingly endless and increasingly expensive quest. And, as a result, according to renowned dermatologist Dr. Sarah Barba-Cabodil, we tend to use more than what we need. 

“When we minimize the skincare products that we apply, we allow more oxygen to get into our skin and that helps our skin regenerate elastin and collagen,” she points out. “Essentially, we want our skin to do its job on its own every now and then. In other words, we need to give our skin time to reset.”

The secret to effortless and effective natural skincare is simple, Dr. Barba-Cabodil says. It starts with breaking bad skincare habits and learning how to simplify our routines by choosing the right product. And this is where NUA comes in.

NUA combines a centuries-old Brazilian beauty secret, cupuaçu, with an abundant Philippine natural resource, the versatile coconut oil. Cupuaçu, pronounced as “ku.ˌpu.a.ˈsu,” is a fruit rich in vitamins, fatty and amino acids, as well as antioxidants that is harvested from the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The cupuaçu fruit is a popular ingredient used in numerous South American delicacies; while the fruit’s pulp and seeds are where the skin-nourishing cupuaçu butter and oil are sourced. Because of cupuaçu’s extremely low melting point, the cupuaçu butter can easily melt into the skin. The addition of locally harvested premium-grade coconut oil into the mix allows the cupuaçu butter’s ultra-hydrating and moisture-boosting properties to get sealed in, without the heavy, greasy feel that you usually get from most skincare products.

Now, how did NUA, with its amazing secret ingredient from the Brazilian rainforest, get to the Philippines? Let’s get back to Martina for the story. “NUA started as a dream,” she says. “My father approached me about three years ago to tell me that he had just learned about a remarkable Brazilian fruit called cupuacu. He asked me if I wanted to join him in creating products made from it that we could bring to the Philippines. After researching what cupuacu was all about – and the wonders that it could do to the skin – I quickly accepted his offer.”

Fortunately, for us Filipinos, Martina is the daughter of Elton and Cathy Salimbangon, the dynamic duo behind Organique, the company that produces and markets the Organique Acai Premium Blend and the Organique Acai Freeze-Dried Capsules that are now helping countless Filipino families live a healthier and happier lifestyle.  

Realizing that they have found yet another “wonder fruit” from the Amazon rainforest, they quickly worked with a team of experts to develop cupuacu-based skincare products. And, in the process, they were exceedingly glad to learn that the butter from this Brazilian fruit worked well with premium-grade Philippine coconut oil. Their work has, so far, resulted in a soap and a body oil – the initial offerings of the NUA skincare product line that is now being marketed by Organique Skincare Inc.    

“NUA translates to ‘naked’,” Martina explains. “That name was chosen because our brand is ‘naked,’ free of chemicals, toxins and unwanted preservatives. It is organic and all-natural because NUA believes in enhancing one’s own beauty, rather than changing it.”

So how does it work? Simple, Cathy Salimbangon, Martina’s mom and Organique Skincare chief executive, says. Start by lathering up using NUA soap, and then apply a thin layer of NUA body oil after rinsing. The result is skin that retains moisture longer, thanks to all-natural ingredients packed with phytosterols that boost skin hydration as well as antioxidants that fight free radicals. And all these happen, she notes, without clogging up your pores or leaving that all-too-familiar greasy feel that is typical of super-moisturizing products.

“Dr. Barba-Cabodil is right,” Cathy says. “Skincare that works should be effortless and simple – but only if you have the right product. With the cupuacu fruit, that’s exactly what we found.”

And the right skincare products are precisely what NUA is bringing to you. But don’t just take our word for it. Take NUA’s “New You Challenge” and see for yourself. Use the NUA soap and body oil following Cathy’s simple directions and unveil the “New You” – the fresher looking, more beautiful you!   

NUA is now available from the following retailers—all S&R branches nationwide, BeautyMNL, and Southstar Drug branches nationwide. For more information on NUA products, visit

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

8 Ways to Calm Your Mind

These days, it seems the most coveted thing on Earth. Peace of mind. 

With all the the anxiety we feel from what's going on in the world and the effect of it on our income earning potential, it's very easy to get lost in a rabbit hole of misery, worry, and crazy. 

So, how do you have peace of mind? 

1. Declutter

You need to let go of things that are just gathering dust. You know what I am talking about, the ones that have just been there just because. Let go so that you can make space for better things to come along. 

2. Clean up your Facebook friends list. 

If you can't unfriend certain people, UNFOLLOW them. For those who you need to really get rid of, BLOCK them so that they never, ever appear in your feed. You shouldn't have to force yourself to be friends with someone that you don't want to be friends with. 

3. Watch a funny movie. 

Sometimes, you just need to find a way to make yourself laugh when there is nothing to laugh about. Find a funny movie or re-watch something that made you laugh before. Laughing is very good for the soul. 

4. Empty out your online shopping cart. 

Sometimes, we add too many things on our online shopping cart knowing fully well that we won't buy any of it. This can trigger a depression because you will end up feeling inadequate because you can't buy everything you added. 

5. Attend an online concert. 

Now that you can't go out, look up the online concerts of your favorite singer or band and watch it at the comfort of your home. This will help to relax your mind and make you feel happy. 

6. Write it down. 

Write down all your thoughts at the end of the day. This helps to release your mind from everything that boggles your mind. When you write things down, you can easily segregate what doesn't matter and what truly matters. 

7. Spend time with a furry pet. 

I have a cat whom I cuddle frequently and the purr she makes is very soothing. It eases my mind till I fall asleep. Cats or dogs are known to help people feel better. 

8. Enforce a work life balance. 

Clock in 5-10 minutes before work and leave work 5-10 minutes after your time. Once you are off work, make sure you stay off the grid until you need to log back in the next day. Learning to have a separation between work and life helps you to compartmentalize. 

I hope that one of these helps to calm your mind and put you at ease. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Gratitude # 10

To say that life has been chaotic would be an understatement. Since my last post back in August, so much has happened. 

A client ghosted me. I didn't even think this was possible until it actually happened. What's funny is that this business is owned by a self proclaimed digital marketing guru who goes around Facebook and TikTok talking shit about others coz he thinks he is all that. Really unprofessional. 

They just literally stopped reading messages, accepting calls, and basically ghosted. Maybe instead of focusing on their project commerce, they should focus on being better people and not douchebags. Oh well, what goes around comes around and I can't wait for karma to visit them. 

Aside from that, there are still many other things that I am grateful for and that's what I want to focus on this post. 

September, I finally got my Happy Planner and I have been utilizing it like a madwoman. I love, love, love the Happy Planner and it's exactly what I needed in a planner. It is functional but at the same time, I can personalize it and when I make a mistake, I can cover it up with the fancy shmancy stickers that come with their Mambi stickers. 

I had two Facebook LIVE guesting and it was a lot of fun! I talked about blogging and journaling, two things I feel passionately about and it was just a lot of fun to be able to share something that I love with people who are curious to know more about it. 


I also got to finish and framed the baby photo of Khali so now there's two of them on our wall. My two treasures. 

My mother in law gifted me with a tablet because I was talking about it so much haha. You see, I have over 1000 eBooks and really wanted to get back to reading. This is definitely going to be a big help. I've actually already started reading a book and though I survive on 2 pages a day, it's still better than nothing. 

I was also lucky enough to have been the recipient of these gorgeous planners from Belle du Jour. It is amazing how they have so many different ones to cater to the different types of planners. 

Family in Canada also sent a balikbayan box and I am so so happy. It's my first time to ever receive a balikbayan box and I just felt so giddy. It felt like Christmas eve. 

One of the most wonderful thing that I am truly grateful about is the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX425 in Lilac Mist. I never thought that I would be the recipient of one. Thank you so much to my ASUS Family for this. I felt so humbled and honored. 

Now this one was a surprise. I have been eyeing her works for years now and to be gifted with these gorgeous, gorgeous diamond painting drill pens was just so incredible. These are too gorgeous guys. I felt so blessed and it was just crazy. I look forward to doing my diamond paintings with these pens. I know that it will add for a more fun experience.  

Most of all, I am grateful that my brother's business is finally taking off. People are loving the Fet Boys Cookies and it's about dang time. 

My family and I are also doing okay and I can't ask for anything more. We are alive, healthy, and safe. 

M and I also managed to squeeze in one lunch date when we went out to do a grocery run. It felt weird but it also felt nice being out. However, we do minimize going out. I go out once a month only and that's just for groceries. 

We've bene together for almost 34 months now. Soon it will be our 3rd year. It hasn't been easy all the time but we make sure to work on things together because we want to stay together. 

My YouTube channel, blog, and affiliate programs are doing well. I also still get side projects and today, I am starting work for a consulting firm. I am still way more lucky than a lot of people and this is why I am grateful. 

Thank you Lord. Thank you so much.