Monday, February 28, 2022

Top 7 Security Tips to Protect Your Mobile Banking Account

When it comes to online and mobile banking, Filipino consumers have one big fear: cyber attacks that can wipe their life-long savings within seconds.

However, while it’s true that there are threats to the security of your bank accounts online, there are also plenty of ways to protect yourself. Here are some tips to ensure that your online and mobile banking experience is as safe as can be:

Watch Out for Suspicious Links

If you ever receive any links that lead to an unfamiliar website or ask you to download an app, don’t click them. They’re most likely designed to capture your personal information and get into accounts. Do note that these exist not just for banking, but also for social media, e-commerce, and even gaming accounts.

That said, to protect your hard-earned money, make sure that you’re visiting legitimate mobile banking Philippines’ sites and downloading official apps. For websites in particular, check the address bar to see if there’s a padlock icon, indicating that it’s protected by a security protocol.

Know What Phishing and SMiShing Look Like

Phishing is a method in which cybercriminals pretend to be reputable companies in an attempt to acquire your personal information. This is usually done through email, and the entities usually imitated are banks, lenders, government offices, and retail establishments. Often, phishing emails will tell you that you have to update your account or that you’ve won something.

The same method is now being replicated using SMS, which is referred to as SMiShing. Instead of emails, hackers will send text messages and often follow it up with a call. 

To avoid getting victimized, it’s important to be aware of an email or text you receive is phishing or a SMiShing attempt. Fortunately, it’s easy enough. Banks and other reputable institutions will never ask you for information like your password so if you encounter anything like this, don’t proceed.

You should also inspect the email address and the name of the sender to make sure that it’s really your bank. Check wrong spellings, numbers replacing letters or overlong addresses. Most importantly, when in doubt, just delete the email or text and call your bank’s hotline.

Always Update Your Phone’s OS

Your phone’s manufacturer will release periodic updates to their mobile operating system (OS), usually every two months or so. These updates are designed to fix bugs that prevent some apps and features from working properly, as well as optimize your phone’s overall performance. OS updates also improve your phone’s security.

This simply means that you HAVE to install these updates once they become available. This is especially important if you conduct banking transactions using your phone. If you don’t install the OS updates ASAP, your phone and personal details may be open to cyber attacks.

Always Update to the Latest Version of Your Banking App

Just like how phone manufacturers update their OS, your bank also regularly updates its app. Sometimes, they only update the user interface and add some new features; however, there are also times that they provide significant overhauls to the system. In fact, you may even get prompted to uninstall the old app and get the new version that has newer stronger security features. 

Same as your phone’s OS, make sure to update or download the latest version of your banking app to receive all the necessary security features.

Activate 2FA

Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a process that requires you to input a code—a one-time password or OTP—to approve a transaction. This is regardless of whether you’ve already logged in successfully to use a website or app. This additional layer of security prevents fraudulent transactions, in case your account gets compromised.

Usually, you will receive the OTP via text or email. Don’t share this OTP with anyone; if you receive an OTP even if you aren’t conducting any transactions, report it to your bank immediately.

Stop Using Unsecured WiFi Connections

When you’re out and about, it’s tempting to use a public WiFi connection to save on mobile data. However, unsecured wireless connections are quite vulnerable to hackers. In fact, skilled hackers can take only 10 minutes or so to get into an unprotected WiFi network. Then, they can easily reveal the passwords and other sensitive information of those who used the connection.

This is why you need to stop using unsecured wireless networks. If you really need to perform a banking transaction, it’s better to either use your own mobile data or visit the nearest bank branch.

Limit the Devices You Use to Access Your Accounts

To protect your mobile banking accounts, it’s best to use only one or two devices to access them. Ideally, you should use your personal phone to download the official banking app and then your personal computer at home to access the bank’s website. This way, there are fewer ways and opportunities for hackers to “get in” and steal your information. (Of course, make sure that your phone and computer are also properly protected.)

Finally, be observant. Besides the above-mentioned tips, this is the best way you can protect your mobile banking account.

Stay safe! 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

My One Year Financial Goal Plan

I am tired of just making ends meet. Though I am grateful that I am able to provide and help my husband, pay the rent, have food on our table, and send our son to a good school, I want more. 

I want to have a hefty emergency fund. 

I want to have a nest egg.

I want to have enough for a downpayment for a house. 

I want to have a newer car. 

I want change. 

They said that if you want change, you need to make changes within yourself. So here is my plan to make this happen. 

1. Put money on a weekly basis inside my piggy bank. 

2. Any amount that comes into my GCash which is normally my side hustle will go directly to the bank.

3. Any extra amount that Mark makes goes to our joint account. 

4. If we have a GC to use for our groceries, the money allotted for the groceries will be split into savings and splurging on take-out. This way, we get to save and use that extra budget to eat out or take out which is one of our family vices. 

5. Continue to keep track of all spending so that it's easier to see where we need to cut down and save. 

This is the financial part. Now, here are my plans to make more money. 

1. Put out a video on YouTube 5x a week. 

2. Repurpose old content. I'm thinking download relevant videos on Tiktok and upload to IG reel. I can also download YT videos and post on my FB page as well as cut down some videos into bite-size and post on my wall and LinkedIn. 

3. Create a monthly content plan that should be followed. 

4. Promote. Promote, Promote. 

I'll be doing a regular update on this financial goal that I have from time to time and I'll let you guys know what worked, what made me cray cray, and what didn't work. 

Got tips? I'd love to hear it. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

6 Ways to Enhance Your Music-Listening Experience

If you love music, then you’re most likely willing to invest time and money to improve your listening experience. A good first step here is to invest in great headphones. Philippines’ tech retailers have a lot of good selections that can give that impactful, concert-level quality of sound.


Besides getting top-notch headphones, here are other ways you can enhance the way you listen to your favorite songs and musical pieces:

Get Good Speakers

When you want to enjoy your music in private or while on the go, headphones are your best companion. On the other hand, if you want a more immersive experience when listening at home, it’s best if you have a stellar speaker system. With the right setup, you can fill your home with dynamic audio and elevate the way you listen to music.

Some of the things you need to consider when getting speakers include the components, the size of the units, and proper positioning. The components of a home speaker system usually include the loudspeakers themselves, subwoofers, amplifiers, and tweeters. Depending on the size of the room, you might need more than two loudspeakers and subwoofers.

Getting the correct size of speakers is also important. If you get ones that are too big, you might get noise instead of music. Finally, positioning is crucial. If you want to get that surround-sound audio quality, it’s best to place the speakers in the corners of the room. This way, the sound waves will converge towards the center.

Go Lossless

If you use a smartphone or a digital to play music, each track’s format is likely .mp3. This is ideal for compressing the file so that you can save as many songs as possible. However, in the process of making the file smaller, much of the detail is lost. Thus, while a .mp3 music file sounds pretty decent, it doesn’t have the nuance of studio recordings.

To experience ultimate sound quality, you need to veer away from the .mp3 format and find FLAC music instead. FLAC stands for “free lossless audio codec,” which is similar to the format used by artists when they’re recording their songs. If you have an Apple device, the file format you’re looking for is ALAC (the first A stands for Apple).

Do note that FLAC and ALAC files are bigger than standard mp3’s. One FLAC file is about 5MB per minute on average, so a 3-minute song can be 15MB or more. Thus, be prepared to expand your storage or have limited songs in your database.

The built-in speakers and digital preamp of your smartphone or tablet may also not be able to “translate” all the details of the song. Thus, you’re going to need the previously mentioned studio-quality headphones or speaker system to appreciate the music better. You can still play FLAC or ALAC songs without these audio accessories but you’ll likely miss out on the changes.


Even if you have top-tier headphones and speakers, you can still improve your listening experience by learning how to equalize. This is the process of adjusting the frequencies of sound until you get the “blend” you want.

Some headphones or speakers may have been built to focus on providing better bass output, for example, but the songs you listen to have more treble. Through the help of an equalizer, you can mix the frequencies and fine-tune your music to your preferences anytime. What’s even better is that there are many quality equalizer apps that you can download for free!

Organize Your Music

Everyone has different music tastes and that’s perfectly fine! However, no matter how eclectic your musical preferences are, it’s best to organize your library so it’s easier for you to find the tracks you want. You can categorize songs per artist, genre, or even by mood, for example. Remember that there’s no single right way of arranging your music; the most important thing is to have a system!

Make Time to Truly Listen

Most of the time, when we listen to music, it’s a background activity. You may be doing some chores, for example, or perhaps exercising. In short, you aren’t able to really focus on the music and really appreciate every single note. As such, if you want to elevate your music-listening experience, prioritize it. Sit back and relax, literally! Let the music flow and really listen.

Go Analog

One of the best things about listening to music through digital formats is convenience. However, there’s something truly unique about playing music the traditional way—that is, using a vinyl record and a gramophone.

This isn’t absolutely necessary, of course, but you have to admit that it’s a different sensorial experience. From sliding the record out of its sleeve to placing down the needle, this method of listening to music is truly incomparable.

Happy listening! 

Lunch with the South Gals

It has been a long time since the three of us met up and had lunch, one where we all just sat down and caught up with each other's lives. Yesterday, it finally happened. 

Kimi, the one on the left, has been my friend since 2014. She's put up with my overly dramatic stage, my crazy demands, and all the trauma of my love life. 

Jen, the one on my right, is my Godmother for our civil wedding. She's the same age as my Mom and I look to her for guidance on the things that I need to improve on and how to handle marriage matters. 

We've been through a lot of tough times and have remained a constant in each other's lives. I'm glad that I have these two with me and that they both live in the South which makes it easier to hang out, especially with the pandemic. 

I've realized that having friends who are honest with you is really important. They help you grow to become a better person and they accept you for who you really are. 

Do you have someone like them in your life?

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

3 Small Ways to Save Money

Saving money is hard. I know this because I have been through it. The good news is that even though it's hard, it's not impossible. You just really need to find small ways to be able to save money and so I would like to share a few ways that I do it. 

1. Save every Php200 bill you come across. It's not usual to get Php200 so every time that I come across a Php200 bill, I feed it to the piggybank. 

At the end of the year, I will split whatever will be inside the piggybank into our joint account, B's account, and Khali's account. 

2. When you feel the desire to eat out or order in, drink 2 glasses of water and then do something else. Usually, this would be enough to drive away from the desire. Cutting down on take-out and deliveries is one of the biggest ways that you can save money. When you successfully do this, put Php200 in the piggy bank. 

If you had enough money to eat out or order food, you can put away that Php200 without problems. 

3. List all your expenses for a week. Start with a week and then move on the next week. After a month, add up all the unnecessary and small expenses. I'm sure you will be shocked and appalled at how much money you spent on things that you didn't really need. This will help you be more mindful of your spending next time. 

How do you save money? 

5 Things Every Mom with Babies Need from YobooPH

Every new Mom is excited when a baby comes along. However, babies are messy and need a lot of things that Moms need to provide for so I am coming up with a list of 5 things that every Mom with little babies needs from one of the brands that I trust when it comes to baby care, Yoboo PH.

If you are breastfeeding, these breast milk storage bags (Yoboo Breast Milk Storage Bags 30PCS Zip Lock 200ML Clean Standable Design Double Sealing Strips) and nursing pads (Yoboo Nursing Pad 30 Sheets Ultra-thin Breathable Quick Absorption Super Soft Skin-Friendly Safe) are a must-have. This would ease up the discomfort of breastfeeding and it will also help store milk so you can have some me-time. 

I also have the Yoboo Sponge Bottle Brush Clean Thoroughly Easy to Use Soft Foam Hanging Type Teat Brush to  keep the bottles clean and the Yoboo Anti-Colic Baby PPSU Feeding Bottle Anti-inflation Off-center Milk Bottle Light Fall-resistant because my son loves throwing his bottles after feeding. 

These have been really useful to me because I am a little OC when it comes to keeping my kid's stuff clean which is why I am super excited about the launch of their wipes! 

Keep baby's skin soft with Yoboo's newest Unscented Baby Wipes! This February 17, enjoy up to 50% off on other Yoboo products - a one-day exclusive deal only on Shopee's Brand Spotlight! 

As parents, we know dealing with kids can get messy - that's why it's important to always have wipes ready for your baby emergencies. Yoboo Unscented Wipes is the perfect partner for keeping your baby's mouth and hands clean. Yoboo Unscented Wipes contains aloe essence and vitamin E to help moisturize baby's skin and has a pearl cross texture for even stronger cleansing power. 

Catch the launch of Yoboo's Unscented Baby Wipes and enjoy up to 50% off on February 17 only on Shopee's Brand Spotlight! Time to hoard because this one, you'll definitely use up! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Story of How the Jaro Church in Iloilo Gave Me a Husband

This story first appeared here

It was 2017 in Iloilo that I found the church that gave me my husband.

Yes, you read that right. A church in Iloilo gave me my husband and the miracles of that church worked fast. I entered on a Friday and by Tuesday, I met the man that would be my husband.

I came across an old woman during one of the brand tours that I was in. She asked me if I had already gone inside the church and I said no. I only took pictures of the church for a contest that I was participating in and had no plans of going inside the church.

I’m not an atheist. I just wasn’t interested at that time because it was sweltering hot. However, this woman started holding me by the arm and slowly dragged me. She told me that I should go in and pray because this church grants single women the man of their dreams.

I laughed it off and tried to politely decline but she was adamant. I don’t know why but I let her drag me inside and I gave in to her wishes of praying. I remember saying that if I were meant to have someone in my life, could HE already send the guy my way and if not, to steer me away from men that would just break my heart.

Soon as I left the church, I couldn’t find the old woman anymore. I figured she had gone her merry way and I promptly forgot about the prayer I uttered and went on my way. 4 days later, I was on my way to Singapore for another media coverage.

I didn’t realize back then that the guy who had droopy eyes whom I locked eyes with and thought was creepy would be the man that I would spend the rest of my life with. I remember having absolutely no interest in him and at best, feeling mild irritation because he kept looking at me during the trip.

First Photo together

However, he was resilient and determined to get to know me. No amount of angst, yelling, snappy comments, and brush-offs worked. Finally, he got me to agree to have coffee with him and there was no turning back. From Singapore to Manila, he was like glue stuck to my side.

I didn’t realize that he liked me. I thought he was just pestering me for the heck of it. I was so uninterested in men that I didn’t realize that he was showing me signs of wanting to get to know me. It was a good thing that he didn’t get discouraged.

Civil Wedding
Four years later, we’re now married and have two kids, six cats, and one dog together.

If someone had told me years ago that entering a church and praying for a husband would actually bring me a husband, I would have died laughing. I don’t know what was in that church and who that old woman was but I am glad that I gave in to her wishes of going inside that church.

It hasn’t been all roses but what matters and what makes our relationship work is that we choose each other every day and over every fight or misunderstanding that we may have. You see, getting into a relationship is easy but choosing to stay in the relationship is what requires hard work. Most of the time, it’s easier to simply stop talking, give up, and walk away but when you want something to work, you need to be ready to put in the hard work.

Choosing your partner over choosing to be right, choosing love over irritations, and choosing your marriage over your own personal demons is what will make the marriage work. This Valentine’s, remember that more than flowers, chocolates, and intimacy, these are the things that will make love last more than anything. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

4 Life Lessons from The Apprentice ONE Championship Edition

I recently binge-watched The Apprentice One Championship Edition on Netflix. You see, I've had the chance to see Chatri Sityodtong many times during the ONE Championship media press cons and once, I even had the chance to have a selfie with him. In a way, I felt like I knew a small part of him. 

I was part of the press team in Manila tapped at the very beginning of ONE Championship. I was there during fight nights that had less than a thousand people watching. I saw the growth of ONE Championship and every time I would hear Chatri speak, he was just so consistent with every message he says. 

He would always talk about respect. Fighters may be opponents inside the ring or hexagon but outside, there needs to be respect between the fighters and everyone else. He will not tolerate abuse or bad behavior and I believe that this is one of the things that made ONE a world-class brand.  

I have been to more than 15 press cons and I have never seen Chatri Sityodtong be rude to anyone. You can tell when he's in a hurry or rushing but he has never been rude to a fan, to a fighter, or to staff. I found this amazing and it made a mark. 

When I watched The Apprentice ONE Championship Edition, my admiration grew even more. I kept watching because I felt like I was learning along with the candidates and I was gathering tips that I could apply to my own career because I am a content creator, I do social media, and I also work in digital marketing, PR campaigns, and lead generation. 

1. Be a PHD. 

One time, I heard my brother's joke that a certain fighter no longer wins in his fights because he already had money. I was intrigued. They explained that when this fighter was still poor, he had a hunger to have a better life, and now that he had it, he lost that hunger and so winning wasn't such a big thing for him anymore. 

During the show, Chatri would always ask the candidates why they should be THE ONE. He was always looking for the person who was POOR, HUNGRY, and DETERMINED. I agree with him on this one. 

When we have something to strive for, when we still need to improve, acknowledge that we have to improve and get better at life, we are more determined to prove our worth and show that we deserve to have what we want. 

When you're a PHD, you are not complacent. You will continue to improve, to have more skillsets, to learn and learn, and to keep reaching for the stars. 

2. The most important skill you have are not on your CV. 

A lot of people think that when you have a stellar CV, you can do anything and be anything. Case in point: Clinton. This guy was obviously a genius but he was also disruptive. He thought that just because he had all the ideas and he had the creative genius, people should adjust to him and cater to him. 

In life, it is your character, your values, your resilience, and your work ethic that will determine if you will succeed. As much as you may have all the talents and skills, if no one wants to work with you and for you, you won't succeed. 

No one will help you. No one will back you up. No one will open the doors for you. No one will want to see you succeed. 

3. Integrity is everything. 

Do the right thing even when no one is looking. When everyone else is playing dirty, remember your values and morals and stick to them. There is no need to allow yourself to be muddied just because everyone around you already is. 

Personally, I loved how Louie Sangalang played the entire game. He kept his cool, he remained calm, and he strategized. He had his moments because he's human but overall, he did not allow himself to go low when others did. 

4. Choose to be the bonfire, not the match.  

Matches are quick to burn. You scratch it once and it lights up immediately. However, it also dies just as quick. Bonfires on the other hand take time. It's a slow burn but once it lights up, it takes hours before the last ebb dies down. 

Have you watched The Apprentice ONE Championship edition? Let me know what you think and if you agree with my thoughts. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

3 Kitchen Items I Will Invest In this 2022

It is now 2022 which means that it's the 2nd year of the pandemic. Almost everyone was hit by Omicron when January 2022 rolled in and my family and I were not spared. We all had COVID except for my sister in law who was arguably the healthiest and fittest among us all. 

It made me realize that we really need to take care of our health and body because health, truly is, wealth. So for 2022, I decided to invest in some kitchen pieces to help me be more inspired to cook healthy dishes for the family. 

1. Instant Pot Vortex 

Amongst all of the air fryers that I saw, this was the one that seem to work best for all of my needs. It's an air fryer, it can bake, it can broil, it can dehydrate, and it can even roast a chicken. Also, it will let me cook french fries organically and with way less oil. I'm really excited about this. 

2. Deerma Deep Pot Cooker 

My kids love noodles and so one of my goals is to make healthy noodles or ramen for them. I think that having a hotpot that also doubles as a steamer would be perfect for my family. Bonus is that it looks really pretty too so it's perfect for my videos. 

This rice cooker will be a great upgrade to our old rice cooker. I also love that this can be used to cook porridge and steamed eggs. My heart is so happy. 

Do you have suggestions? Which one do you think is the best investment that I am making? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

8 Shows To Watch on Discovery Plus Philippines

I recently found out about Discovery Plus Philippines when they launched last year. I was initially hesitant to subscribe because I already had other apps but when I saw the initial price they were being offered at, I thought to myself, "why not?"

I can now say that Discovery Plus Philippines has become my favorite streaming app. Hands down, I have watched so many shows on it that I finished from episode 1 to the last. So I decided, why not share this discovery with you guys? 

Here are 8 shows that I recommend you watch on Discovery Plus Philippines. 

For fans of True Crime, there 4 shows will have you hooked. 

American Detective 

American Monster

Evil Lives Here

Unusual Suspects

For fans of the Paranormal, some of these scared me for real enough that I stopped watching and only do so in the morning, no longer in the middle of the night. FOR REAL.

Deadly Possessions

Paranormal Witness

A Ghost Ruined My Life

Most Terrifying Places

There are still so many more to watch but for now, these are the shows that I have watched from start to finish. Let me know if you have your own recommendations!