Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Digital Anatomy: What Filipino Online Entertainment Is Made Of

For Filipinos, the online scene spells F-U-N.

Free Digital Photos

Used wildly for entertainment purposes, the Filipino online scene is a mixed repository of daily commentaries that go from random fascinations to substantial opinions.1 Far-fetched from those of our business-skewed Southeast Asian neighbors, our gadgets are filled with conversations jolted with entertainment value.

Here, we delve into the topics that headline the internet culture of Filipinos—of which the most active are university students and young professionals aged 16-24—and discover how social media apps such as WeChat have become influences as to why our smartphones, tablets and desktops have evolved into our amusement favorites.


Eight years ago, after my two girls, I was blessed with my baby boy Adrian and a sprinkling of dark spots all over my face.

I kid not.

It was like somebody opened a bottle of ink and droplets splashed on my face.

And since I was strictly breastfeeding and I cannot do any drastic procedure like sandpaper my face (although I seriously considered it), I turned into a whitening product which is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Godiva LicoWhite Cream.

It worked! And I have a jar of it stashed inside my drawers to prove to you that I did use it.

Old Godiva LicoWhite Cream

For quite some time though, I haven’t seen Godiva products.

Until about a month ago when I received a bunch of Godiva products which included a facial wash, toner, facial cream, soap, lotion and a roll-on deodorant.

How To Manage Your Time

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I'm not too good at scheduling my time.  I always start each day feeling that I have all the time in the world,only to find that my to-do list doesn't match the hours available.  If you experience the same time-shortage phenomenon, try these tips to keep the minutes in check.

Get Organized
  • Get up 15 minutes early so you can get things done in the moring.
  • Sit down each day and decide what you want to accomplish, starting with what is really important.  Don't take on additional activities that have nothing to do with your goals
  • Set up a spot in the house for anything that needs to be cleaned, repaired, or returned.  You won't waste time looking for these items when you're rushing out the door.
  • Carry a list of things you need to buy, listed by store.  If you're running an errand that takes you by one of those stores, you'll have your list ready for a quick stop-and-shop.
  • Book the first appointment of the day with the doctor, dentist or hairdresser to minimize waiting time.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rock Your Summer With Pure 'N Fresh!

(A Guest Post by my daughter V)

Hi, everyone!

Are you ready to make this summer vacation different?

If you want a summer to remember, then write this down:
Pure 'N Fresh from Unilab

While I love school (seriously, and that’s not because of my allowance ;) ), I have to admit that one of the best things about summer is that it gives me a break from being a student.  For two whole months, I get to be someone else – a writer, my mom’s official breakfast cook, bookworm, night owl, photographer, singer, ice cream eater,

And a beach bum!

Pure 'N Fresh by Unilab

Well, more than that.

This summer, I intend to have fun on my annual family beach vacay  while doing something good.  I will be making  it more meaningful by devoting my time to helping clean up the coastline.  I want to experience the wonderful feeling the beach gives me and gain new friends, while doing an awful lot of good. 

And like my mom always reminds me, I always prepare when I travel. And unlike her who will be bringing a very big kikay bag (open it and you will find a beauty parlor and a medicine cabinet inside), I am bringing along my kikay kit which has pretty much the same stuff as what’s inside Julia’s Kikay Kit.

I easily break into rashes (a thing I have in common with my mom.  It is a family curse!), and my mom chooses products suitable for my sensitive skin.  For the extreme summer heat, my mom is letting me use Pure ‘N Fresh Colognes and Feminine Wash. They are staple products inside my kikay kit, along with my sunblock!

Pure N Fresh Kikay Kit

Pure ‘N Fresh Cologne and Feminine Wash totally rocks my vacay, and since these are products made by Unilab, a company that has been around since my grandparents’ time developing awesome medicines and health products, I am assured with its seal of quality. Pure ‘N Fresh Colognes and Feminine Wash have been tested by dermatologists and are hypoallergenic.  It never irritates my mild and sensitive skin and I love them soo much!

I Love Pure 'N Fresh

And like I was saying,  this summer is your time to rock!

It’s not the time to be too lazy, too shy, and worried about how your actions will be judged. Explore your world!  Discover what makes you awesome, what makes your heart beat with passion.  Make your mark.  It is the best time to travel, try different things and discover new sides of you.

And once you do, you will have something more special than that seashell (a remembrance from that beach cleanup) or those new sunglasses.  You will discover what an awesome girl you are, and that’s something you can take with you forever! 

Get tips to Fabulosity by liking Pure ‘n Fresh on Facebook!

                                                                            Have a pure 'n fresh day!



Enhancing Education For Military Personnel

A photo by digitalart via freedigitalphotos

There are hundreds of schools with programs dedicated to military personnel. Whether you're a veteran or currently in active duty, most colleges are willing to work with military students. That's because they prove time and time again that they are dedicated and persevering students who just want to do something after their time in the military is up. Many schools have created their own military programs to help veterans even further. For example, the Education Department's Veterans Upward Bound Program offers military students more opportunities in college including help with injuries and transition back into school after active duty. There are lots of college benefits for military students that go even further. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

WeChat Wants You To Be Their Star

WeChat continues to be the world’s fastest growing app.

And three years with over 355 registered accounts across the globe since its first release,  WeChat is continuously evolving to entice its countless users through constant upgrades, features and exclusive promos.

In 2013, WeChat was launched in the Philippines with brand ambassadors Drew Arellano and Iya Villania.  The real-life couple showed us how they stay connected despite their busy schedules via WeChat’s “Video Call”, “Hold To Talk” , and “Moments”. By way of these three television commercials (TVCs), we became aware of how seamless this social mobile app can fit into our local lifestyles.

Now, how about showing your love for this wonderful WeChat app and have the chance to be included in WeChat’s upcoming TV commercial?

WeChat is set to launch another TV commercial on May 2014 with one of the country’s top fashion influencer and surprise – YOU!

Here’s how you can be a part of this shoot.

Friday, April 25, 2014

{Review} Kid's Academy's Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games

I  don’t normally shove the iPad to my kids when they get bored.  I believe that real, normal play would be more beneficial to them.  But there are certain apps that do get my approval (apps that guarantee that my child is learning while I am concentrating on my laundry. 
One of these apps is Kid’s Academy’s  Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games.

What is Kid’s Academy’s Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tips for Choosing Pendant Lighting

Design Blog Sociale - 3 July 2008 - Scheisse pendant lamp by Hans Bleken Rud for Northern Lighting C
Flickr photo by Design Blog Sociale

Pendant lights are one of the most versatile choices in modern lighting. They can be hung in multiples or alone, and they often make a bold statement. In addition, pendant lighting is practical, placing direct streams of light right where you need them. There are some tricks, however, to hanging pendant lighting correctly. Follow these basics to make sure your lights have maximum effect. 

Design Considerations

The first thing to get a grasp on is the style of your home's overall decor. Look for materials, colors and textures that go with your home's architectural and style elements. Choose metals like chrome for a sleek, modern feel or opt for brass to fit a home that's more classic and traditional. There are so many styles, colors and materials out there. A good idea would be to browse magazines or home design sites online to get some ideas of what you like prior to shopping. If you are going with multiple fixtures above a counter or other work space, it's best to go with the rule of three, choosing three of the same lamp to space evening apart in the space.

Size and Scale

You want the size and scale of your pendant lighting fixtures to flow comfortably with that of your room. Thus, if your room is large, with oversized furnishings, it's likely that you can go big and bold with your light fixtures. On the other hand, a small, compact area may require a more petite pendant. If you're hanging pendants above a counter, a common rule of thumb is to be sure the diameter of the pendant fixture is at least 10" smaller than the counter width in order to ensure there is enough headroom for the people who are seated there.

Pendant Height

Once you've determined the size range of the lights you'll need and are ready to hang them, the next question you're likely to have is at what height to hang your lighting fixtures. The bottom edge of your light fixture should be approximately 30" above the surface of the table, bar or counter below it. This height allows sufficient illumination without glare, as well as plenty of headroom. However, if you have tall ceilings, more than 8' high, you'll want to add an extra 3" to the height of the pendant for every additional foot.

These are a few tips to get you started on the right track to the perfect pendant lighting. Happy shopping!

Dog Days of Summer

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Do we have dog days of summer in the Philippines?  Because it sure is scorching hot in this side of the world.  When I was younger, I have always thought that the phrase relates to dogs looking for a shade under the tree, sleeping all day, giving him enough water and this dog supplement to stay healthy in the heat.

Surprisingly, this phrase has nothing to do with dogs.  It is all about Sirius, the Dog Star (Now I know why Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s godfather, turns into a dog!).  Sirius is a star in constellation Canis Major and is one of the brightest stars in the sky. You will know the Dog Days have finally arrived when Sirius, the Dog Star, begins to line up with the sun. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


Let’s talk about an issue all women face and never talk about - feminine freshness.  

I know.  It is one of those things we females barely talk about and if we do, it is with hushed tones and bowed heads, with lots of nervous giggling.  But being cool and fresh, especially down there, during these hot summer months, should be top priority.

I am sure you know the whole routine – like taking a shower daily, making sure your armpits and everything down south are clean, wearing clean clothes and underwear -  to prevent feminine itch , odor and infections. 

Here are more sure-fire weapons to stay cool, fresh and odor-free this hot, humid summer.

Priva Feminine Wash by Unilab

1. Wear cotton underwear.    

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Places To Visit in Baguio City During the Holy Week

Baguio City has never been so crowded and busy as during the holy week. In fact, SM is business as usual, open from 10 AM to 10 PM on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. 

Which makes you think of fun rather than recharge your spirit and reconnect with God, right?

Baguio is home to a number of retreat houses, quiet, solemn places where you can really reflect and hang out with God.  And they have the most beautiful gardens, too.  I have provided a list here, and you might try them once you have a chance to visit the city. 

Looking for a place to stay #WhenInBaguio? Here is my UPDATED LIST (As of 2016) of hotels/inns/bed & baths to stay when in Baguio.

You can try to visit these places, too:

The Lourdes Grotto

Mall Hours in the Philippines This Holy Week

Here is a complete schedule of the operating hours of some of the Philippines’ biggest shopping areas:
(SM Baguio seems to be the only mall open on Holy Thursday and Good Friday)

SM Baguio at Night by Ian Perez

Ayala Malls
April 17 (Maundy Thursday) and 18 (Good Friday): All malls closed
April 19 (Black Saturday) and 20 (Easter Sunday): Regular operating hours

Robinsons Malls

April 17 and 18: All malls closed 

Except Robinsons Place Santiago, Robinson's Place Palawan, Summit Ridge Promenade (open from 10 AM to 9 PM), Robinson's Luisita (9 AM - 9 PM), Robinson's Place Pangasinan (10 AM - 8 PM) and Robinson's Place Malolos (12 NN to 9 PM) which will be open on April 17 and Robinson's Luisita (9 AM to 9 PM) and Summit Ridge Promenade (10 AM - 9 PM) which will be open on April 18, Good Friday.

SM Supermalls
April 17 and 18: All malls closed except:
  • SM City Baguio (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Regular mall operating hours resume on April 19, Black Saturday.

Ayala Malls

April 17 and 18:  All malls closed.

Regular mall operating hours resume on Black Saturday.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls (including Eastwood, Newport Mall, Venice Piazza, Lucky Chinatown, Burgos Circle)

April 17 and 18:  All malls closed.

Except Newport Mall in Resorts World which will be open on Maundy Thursday from 12 NN to 12 AM.

Regular mall operating hours of 10 AM to 9 PM will resume on April 19, Black 

Powerplant Mall

April 17 and 18:  All malls closed.  

Reopens on April 19, Black Saturday (12 NN to 10 PM), regular mall hours resume on Easter Sunday (10 AM to 10 PM).

Gateway Mall

April 17 and 18 :  All Malls closed

Reopens April 19, Black Saturday.

 Shangri-la Mall

April 17 and 18 :  All malls closed.

Regular mall hours of 10 AM to 9 PM resume on April 19, Black Saturday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Penalties for Late Filing and Payment of Your Income Tax Return in the Philippines


Let’s face it.

Everyone procrastinates, especially when it comes to mundane things.

Today, April 15, 2014, is the deadline for the filing and payment of your annual income tax return.

Income Tax 2015:Compromise penalty has been updated to conform with the provisions of the new compromise penalty rates pursuant to RMO 7-2015.

FAQ : BIR Income Tax 2015 eFiling

I hope you filed your income tax returns, by the way. 

Because if you did not, you will be slapped by penalties.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amazing Discount on Shake ‘n Go from Lazada PH via WeChat!

Hello, Summer! 

Lately, I have been addicted to cucumber shakes.  It is such a refreshing drink and a lot of health buffs I know swear of the drink's numerous benefits (I am not sure what they are.  Drop me a note and enlighten me!).

And you know what, this amazing gadget that I have been eyeing for a long time – the Shake ‘n Go Smoothie Maker  - is now available at an even more “sulit” price of P539.00 from the original P1,399.00 at Lazada!

Yup, you read that right.  Practically 61% slashed off the original price!  (Isn’t that amazing???)

And you can avail of this exclusive deal by doing just two things!1.  Download the WeChat app and  2. Follow @Lazada_PH. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on the Shake ‘n Go!.  The Shake ‘N Go enables you to easily and quickly whip us some yummy beverages that can be filled with fruits, veggies or any refreshing ingredients you may like.

The stainless steel blades are powered by a strong motor at the bottom of the bottle.  With the Shake ‘N Go,  you can get to drink a cool, smooth, delicious and nutritious drink in just a few seconds!

The portable container has a built-in spout so you can drink directly from the container.  And yes, this baby has no spills, guaranteed!  This is such a handy appliance and perfect for health-conscious people, fitness buffs, joggers, mothers on a way to a fitness journey like me, and just about anyone!

And let me repeat that!  With WeChat, you can get your Shake ‘n Go for only P539.00 instead of P1,399.00!  Hurry and order this exclusive deal NOW NA!

Enjoy more future deals!  Follow @Lazada_PH on WeChat.

About Lazada
Lazada ( is Philippines’ largest online shopping mall and is pioneering e-commerce by providing a fast, convenient and secure online shopping experience combined with an extensive product offering in categories ranging from mobiles & tablets and consumer electronics to household goods, toys, fashion and sports equipment. Lazada is continuously striving to offer its customers the best possible shopping experience with multiple payment methods including cash on delivery, extensive warranty commitments and free returns.

Learn more about Lazada and download the app on iTunes and Google PlayStore.

Lazada Philippines Facebook page:

About WeChat
WeChat envisions and innovates new ways for people to connect, communicate and 1share. A mobile social communication app designed for smartphone users, WeChat is the world’s fastest growing social app with over 100 million registered accounts internationally. WeChat empowers users in fun and dynamic ways by bringing together messaging, social communication and gaming in one seamless, interactive experience, with comprehensive privacy and security settings that can be tailored as needed.

WeChat is available free for download on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows operating systems. Learn more about WeChat and download the app at

You can also follow WeChat Philippines on Facebook:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Deprivation and Meditation: Sudden Flight Series at the Picasso Abstract Painter Chiqui Rodriguez

 photo Chiqui1_zps2eb6986e.png

Filipino abstract painter, Chiqui Rodriguez announces her major new series entitled SUDDEN FLIGHT, her solo show to be held in Zurich by late summer will have its preview opening in a two-man show at the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, hosted by Altromondo Gallery on 29 May 2014 and continuing through 18 July 2014.

The 15 selected paintings from a total of over 100 works that comprise the SUDDEN FLIGHT series, awash in vibrant color, are sure to dazzle visitors to the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences. Chiqui’s unique approach to blending acrylic pigments on canvas creates gem-like surfaces. Peering through the surface to what is depicted below, the viewer realizes that all is not as glowing as it first appears. Chiqui is noted for her deep abstraction of complex realism.

Chiqui also explores a complex subject; her work calls attention to our culture’s thought of hardwork. Much of Chiqui’s artwork is influenced by her experience in the corporate world. Through this new body of work, she connects hardwork to social class as a form of meditation.

Says Chiqui of her SUDDEN FLIGHT series, “I was inspired by my short trip to Brussels after a show held in Berlin in 2013. I arrived with the intent of finding an artist who would be willing to collaborate with me in my upcoming projects, so I started to look around. Instead of finding an artist, I found some Filipinos who work around the city. My interaction with them in a different environment led to varied conversations about how challenging life is to be away from their love ones but nevertheless find solace knowing that their families benefit from their sacrifice. I started on my e-sketchpad and started to express my thoughts after this encounter. The title 'Sudden Flight' refers to several layers of meaning: sudden burst of happiness, excitement as reaching out lives of far-flung Filipinos extending compassion, a moment of bliss.”

The show plans to bring forward awareness on the inner thoughts of Overseas Filipino Workers.

About the Artist: Copy of Chiqui Rodriguez Sudden Flight preview edited (1).jpg

Chiqui Rodriguez enjoys telling people how she started as an artist. It kicked-off one morning discussing the paintings she had been working on back in 2003 while having coffee with her long-time confidante.

Fearful that she did not finish a BFA degree, she was nevertheless encouraged to share her work publicly because painting has been her hobby since she was six. Through her renewed confidence and the opportunity entrusted in her, she learned that she can do anything to cultivate her art. With this experience, she believed that she can also inspire others that everything is possible if you put your heart into it. Chiqui went on to develop her signature painting style since then. The politically motivated environment of the Philippines and her adventures while traveling between Asia Pacific and Europe molded her ideals of optimism, hope and internal happiness. The first of five series from her upcoming exhibition “Sudden Flight” is now viewable through and Saatchi Art. While the Manila preview of the fourth series is on 29 May 2014 at the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences hosted by Altromondo Gallery (

Chiqui continues to research on cultural entrepreneurship in developing countries like the Philippines and remains active in various social causes.

For more information and high-resolution images contact:

Chiqui Rodriguez

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

{How To File Your BIR Form 1701 Income Tax Return} For Self-Employed Individuals -

The following guidelines are designed to assist Self-Employed Individuals (Including those with both Business and Compensation Income), Estates and Trusts with the preparation of the annual income tax return (ITR). For Corporate Taxpayers, go here. For regular employees and individuals earning non-business/non-professional income, go here .  For general guidelines, go here. 

Applying for a TIN Card as a local employee?  Details here.

Update for Income Tax Season 2015 (covering taxable year 2014) - BIR TO STRICTLY IMPLEMENT E-FILING


2015 Income Tax Hack: An Insider's Guide to Preparing your Philippine Income Tax in Record Time 

If there are questions which are not adequately covered, consult your BIR Revenue District Office.  If there appears to be any discrepancy between these instructions and the applicable laws and regulations, the laws and regulations take precedence.

What Form to Use:

For Annual Income Tax Return for Self-Employed Individuals, Estates andTrusts , including those with Business and Compensation Income, the ITR Form touse is BIR Form No. 1701.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

{How To File Your Income Tax Return in the Philippines} For Employees and Individuals Earning Non-Business/Non-Profession Income

ITR in the Philippines
These guidelines are for Employees Only (Individuals Earning Purely Compensation Income) and Individuals Earning Non-Business / Non-Profession Income. For Corporate Taxpayers, go here.  For self-employed individuals (including those with both business and compensation income), go here.  For general guidelines, go here.

Have you applied for your TIN as an employee?  If not, go here:  How to apply for your TIN as an employee.

Monday, April 07, 2014



(These guidelines are for corporate taxpayers.For general guidelines on filing your income tax return, go here.

itr corporation
Guidelines and Instructions will be given along with the ITR

  1. Enter all required information in CAPITAL LETTERS using BLACK Ink. Mark applicable boxes with an “X”.  Two copies MUST be filed with the BIR and one held by the Tax Filer.
  2. Indicate Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and registered name on each page;
  3. For all questions wherein an appropriate box is provided for a possible answer, mark the applicable box corresponding to the chosen answer with an “X”;

Friday, April 04, 2014

Team Up with NaturHouse and Be Fit and Fabulous

I know.  Between being busy preparing financial statements for the April 15 Income Tax deadline and making sure my kids who are on summer vacation get to eat healthy meals even when I am in the office, I have got enough deadlines in my life!

Which made me put off my New Year’s Resolution to look svelte before summer.  Until now, that is, when I can no longer hide under my cold weather clothes as the heat, sunshine and visions of the beach make me want to dress light (and feel lighter). 

If you share my sentiments, you may want to try NaturHouse!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Hundreds of Tablets Sold in a couple of hours Via The WeChat/ Lazada Partnership!!!

Lazada, my favorite and of course one of  the country’s leading online shopping malls, has teamed up  with leading social mobile app (and of course, my favorite din)WeChat, to bring users an exclusive surprise in line with Lazada’s 2nd anniversary sale.

The strong partnership of Lazada and WeChat has previously drawn great success, with HUNDREDS OF TABLETS SOLD in a couple of hours through WeChat!   Combined with Lazada’s creative promotional ideas and WeChat’s large number of young users who loved its easy-to-use interface and quick-to-navigate features, they are a perfect pair!  

How To File Your Income Tax Return In The Philippines

Update for Tax Season 2015!  Read the salient features of Revenue Regulations 5-2015 which could affect your Income Tax Filing for this year!

It is tax season once again! The deadline for filing your Income Tax Return for the Taxable Year 2013 will be on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  Every individual or entity required to file his/its income tax return and pay his/its corresponding income tax due is expected to beat the deadline to avoid being penalized and imposed with additional charges such as 25% or 50% surcharge, 20% interest per annum and compromise penalty for non-filing and/or non-payment of taxes.   

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has issued Revenue Regulations No. 2-2014 prescribing the NEW BIR FORMS that will be used for the filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) covering and starting the taxable year  ending December 31, 2013.