[Review] The Serviced Residences at Kasa Luntian

To celebrate my parent's 31st wedding anniversary, I booked a staycation for the family at Kasa Luntian, Tagaytay. We all enjoyed our stay, and wished we could extend but oh well, we'll just come back next time!


The Serviced Residences at Kasa Luntian is part of an Alveo Land development located along Tagaytay-Calamba road. Kasa Luntian is part hotel part residential area, with its hotel services managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII).


The best thing I liked about the place is really the ambiance and how the suite is designed. The interior is soooo beautiful. Love the layout, decor, and patterns used in the room. The one-bedroom suite we booked looked super big at 55sqm, considering it has a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, spacious shower and toilet, and a balcony you can actually chill at.

Check-in

Check-in at Kasa Luntian is okay. The front desk is situated at The Lanai building, which is different from where your actual unit will be. So once you get your key card you have to move to another building.


The front desk area is super lovely! What it lacks in space it made up for the beautiful design. Welcome drinks (pandan juice) is a nice touch too!

There's temporary parking beside the reception area and after check-in you'll be given a car pass you can use to drive in and out of the property. To check-out you also need to go back to the font-desk area. Mild hassle right but it's fine if you have a car. Plus, walking around the place is such a delight! It's quiet and serene and the landscape is truly relaxing. The guards are also super nice and polite.


There's free open parking for hotel guests available beside each building. Covered parking is reserved for residents only. You can probably get in, but only to drop your luggage by the elevator. The Lanai also has a few restaurants and shops like 7-Eleven, Nailandia, and Taza Mia.

Before I move on to the things I liked and didn't like about our stay, here's a pic spam of the amenities and our room!


Amenities


Very relaxing ambiance.


Gorgeous pools, which reminds me of our condo lol. There's some serious DMCI vibes to this place, considering it's built by Ayala lol. Maybe because there's a resort theme to it.

We didn't really roam around that much so we only saw the pool and this small playground for kids. I'm not sure what else is there but I know there's a function room somewhere hehe.



One-bedroom suite
Now onto our room...


Oh this room is soooo lovely!

There's a fully equipped kitchen enclosed with a counter-top. There's an electric stove/oven, exhaust, set of knives (which needs sharpening), cooking utensils, a pot and pan, microwave, kitchen sink with sponge and dishwashing liquid.

They also have this complimentary glass bottle of drinking water, which they will remind not to take with you, both during check-in and check-out. Yeah. Apparently, guests keep on taking it with them because it's cute lol. There's a tabletop sign beside it which we didn't read lol. Perhaps it contained a note not to take the damned bottle, that it's not a hotel hoardable if you know what I mean hehe, but guests probably don't pay attention so management resorted to just keep on reminding everyone? Kinda condescending. For a while it felt insulting, being reminded TWICE, not to take something from the room. Sorry if I probably look like the kind who would request for extra bottles of shampoo lol, but heyy, you didn't have to imply it.

So. Can you request for extra water? That's 150 for you lol. There are better ways to remind your guests not to take the bottles with them, and drinking water should always be complimentary in the hospitality industry. If they care so much about losing glass bottles they should stick to the good 'ol plastic ones. Urgh.


What else. They also have four sets of eating utensils, as well as bowls and plates. We loved the kitchen so much because we brought in a lot of food and cooked a lot as well! They have glasses and teacups too, complimentary instant coffee and tea, and electric kettle.


I loved the living area. There's a big flat-screen smart TV equipped with cable. You can also watch Netflix and Youtube as soon as you connect it to the wifi (which wasn't setup properly, I had to call the front desk to fix it). The daybed is amazing, I actually slept in it!


Dining is perfect for the four of us. :)


The bedroom is separated by a sliding door. The balcony is spacious enough you can actually hang out outside.


That's fake turf by the way.


Closet space is enough for a staycation, there's also a safety deposit box, hair dryer, iron, and ironing board. There's an extra hidden storage behind this wall painting beside the bedroom door. Just slide the artwork aside and it will reveal more storage space for you.

Here the view from our balcony...


The pool is probably their greatest feature so I specifically requested to get a pool facing view, and also a high floor. Latter wasn't granted but it was fine cos the pool view provided such a nice backdrop during breakfast!



Price point
We stayed overnight on a Saturday and our bill totaled to around ₱8,500. Which is too much, so I don't recommend staying here on a weekend unless they have a promo. I mean if you're gonna charge me 8k+ for a night you better submit to all my requests, but that didn't happen so I think it's overpriced.

For the quality of our stay, I'd say ₱5,000 tops. Room plus taxes cost us around 7k. Then remember they charged us for extra people so that's additional 1.6k. The weekend rates can get really steep so I'd recommend staying from Sunday-Thursday if you can.

Price varies of course but Saturday rates are the worst.

Okay. Now down to the things I thought needed improvement:
  • For some reason our room smelled like paint. Anyway, we quickly got used to it.
  • There's an apparent lack of mirrors in the suite. The only mirror present is in the vanity area, and the lighting is bad over there. Can't glam yourself up and take OOTDs. Sad. Hope they get a full-body mirror in a well-lighted corner hehe.
  • Hairdryer cannot be plugged near the vanity area, where the only mirror is. I guess this was deliberate to avoid accidents? So at least add more mirrors diba so we can properly fix ourselves lol.
  • As mentioned, I didn't like how they remind guests to leave the glass bottle behind, both during check-in and check-out. Reminder during check-in is enough, then they could charge any lost bottle from the security deposit. But to ask us if the water bottle is still there when we checked-out? I really find it insulting. Could've just put a note on the bottle's packaging instead or highlighted it on the tabletop sign you know, something like "Take the water, but not the bottle". Anyway.
  • Extra drinking water will cost you, so just bring your own.
  • The flooring is elevated as you enter the room, so be careful. I fkn tripped twice on my way in and hurt my nails. Arte no.
  • The TV remote control is makunat. Ang tigas nung Enter and up arrow haha!
  • No extra keycard.
  • Not really something they should improve on but they're really strict with extra persons and guests. We're 4 adults staying in a one-bedroom suite with a capacity of 2 adults and 2 kids, and we were charged 800/per extra person. Not like most hotels where you can sneak in more guests lol. Fair is fair so next time, we'll just come in pairs. Visitors are only allowed until 10pm and they need to register at front desk before meeting you. Hmmm...
  • Hopefully they offer breakfast and other amenities too like a spa! That would really complete the serviced residences experience :D
  • If you booked online via 3rd party agent (Agoda, Booking, etc.), check-in time is 3pm. You can probably request to check-in early though. We came in around 1pm and had to wait until 2:30pm to get our suite ready. We just happily waited at one of the gazebos. But srsly, if I hadn't called front desk to follow up on our room (they said they would call), they'd probably let us wait 'til 3pm. That's how I feel about the girl who attended to us lol. Parang ayaw nya kami pagbigyan sa kahit ano lol.
And to sandwich my feedback...
  • I'm probably coming back despite the mild annoyances and hopefully they've improved by then (ie. mirrors). 
  • Their official online photos did not disappoint!
  • We all had a good night's sleep! Bed and linens are comfy, daybed in the living area is super comfy too.
  • I wasn't able to swim because I got my darned period but their pool looks really awesome there's even jacuzzi on one level. Plus two of the levels can be heated, I guess it depends on the weather. It wasn't on the morning my parents swam.
  • The guards are super nice.
  • I really really enjoyed the TV haha. Netflix should be a standard in Hotels you know. As in. Nobody watches cable anymore.
  • I loved their bathroom essentials. The handwash, shampoo/body wash, and conditioner smelled sooo sooo good!
  • Toilet has bidet, hooray!
  • Place is perfect for 2 adults. More than that and your bill will make you feel unwelcome lol.
Finally, here's short video tour of the place! Enjoy!


Hope you liked this post! I'd say Kasa Luntian is great for couples and those with at most 2 kids only. Hoping they'd considering catering larger groups but I would understand if they can't to preserve the serenity of the place lol, after all it's also a residence. Looking forward to our next stay.
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4 Ways To Break Out Of Your Workout Rut

Photo from Pexels

It can happen to the best of us.

After weeks and months of trying to take our fitness routine to the next level, we get into a rut. It might be because of tiredness, especially if we have been pushing ourselves too hard. Or it might be because we are bored with whatever activities we engaged in. Whatever the case, we can get stuck in the rut, and once we're in it, we can find it difficult to get out of again. So, what should you do if this happens to you? Here are some useful suggestions.

#1: Ease your way back in
After taking a break, the last thing you want to do is anything too strenuous anyway, as you might do yourself more harm than good. Therefore, take part in those low-intensity activities that will cause you less strain and get you back into exercise. So, you might head to the leisure centre and take a swim. Or you could purchase some Pilates mats for your home, and practise these low-impact exercises in your living room. Or you could go for a gentle jog around your local park, working your way up until you can regain your usual speed and running distance again.

#2: Grab a workout buddy
If you are struggling to find the incentive to exercise on your own, grab (not literally) a friend who is (or was) keen to keep fit and do something together. So, you might go for a run or a bike ride, for example, or you might both sign up to local exercise or dance classes at your leisure centre. Consider engaging in a little friendly competition with each other too, as this will give you both the incentive to work harder. You might both purchase a Fitbit, for example, so you can see who has done the higher number of steps within a day. Or you might challenge each other at the gym by using one of the many exercise machines that are available to you.

#3: Hire a personal trainer
To give you some much-needed motivation (and probably some tough-love too), hire a professional to get you back into shape. They will encourage you to push yourself further, even when you can't be bothered to try, and they will also guide you on the best workout for you, so you might start to see more results during your keep-fit sessions. Be sure to pay for your training sessions in advance too, because as you will have paid somebody to coach you, you will be less likely to back out as you would only be wasting money if you did.

#4: Take the routine out of your exercise routine
Once your exercise routine becomes chore-like, you are more likely to give up and do something more enjoyable with your time instead, such as playing Candy Crush on your smartphone or watching your favourite box sets on Netflix. Therefore, do something to liven up your routine. You might want to mix up your regular workout, so you aren't always focussed on the one thing. You could work out to music to make whatever it is you are doing more enjoyable. Or you could ditch your usual workout and do something completely different, perhaps by taking part in a sport or hobby that will max up the fun factor alongside your fitness levels.

Finally
So, if you're currently stuck in a rut, probably with your TV remote in one hand and the television guide in another, think about what you could do to get out of it, perhaps by using the ideas we have suggested in this article. You will feel better about yourself if you do, and you will start to get back on track with your workouts. Let us know what you think, and if you have any further ideas for our readers, be sure to let us know.
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Life Lately

In the format of The Sunday Currently.

Lovely break of day

Blogging on Sundays just doesn't work for me anymore as I'm mostly out with family. The only time I get to blog is when it's down time in the office, which you know, happens quite a lot lol. So I'm sure to always have time hahaha, thing is, when it's kinda lax at the office, what am I gonna blog about? Hehe

I haven't gotten time to make reviews too. I guess I have a couple pending in my drafts but I don't think they'll be up, ever lol. I gave up reviewing beauty products because I gathered it isn't too helpful reading someone's opinion on makeup, you need to have a face to show for it too, and I'm not quite ready exposing my bloody face to the world. I'm also done reviewing restaurants after realizing I suck at being a food critic. Everything either tastes good or bad to me and I can probably say I like this resto better or not. But to expound more on the matter? Which is probably why blogging, in its written form, has died. People have moved to other, more suitable platforms that don't require them to write paragraphs to express approval or distaste over something. Where visual content is the main product and captions don't need to relate to it. Urgh.

It's cool though, suddenly the blogosphere is back to its original form. A small community of those who like to overshare through writing.

ANYWAY. Before this turns into a bitter account of how "influencers" have littered the blogosphere with bad captions and unacceptable grammar...

Reading
Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number
Funny, so far! And I'm enjoying my new PDF reader, Foxit, because it integrates with Google Drive where all my ebooks are stored. Couple that with reflow, night mode, and customizeable themes and I don't think I'm getting a Kindle anytime soon!

Writing
Uhh, this

Listening
To the loud hum of the fans in the server cage

Thinking
About my parent's anniversary celebration! I booked a one-bedroom suite at Kasa Luntian Tagaytay, after failing to find suitable accommodations at Nurture Wellness and Narra Hill. I guess it's about as much "nature" as I can get given the 2 weeks notice. Tagaytay is just so frkn booked. I'm quite hesitant about Kasa Luntian actually, mainly because it just looks like our current condo with the way the pools and outdoor amenities are designed. But oh well, it's probably much better than Citiland, Serin, or Wind lol.

Smelling
Nothing

Wishing
I had so much money right now. Don't we all.

Watching
Alternating between Youtube vlogs and Netflix's Instant Hotel Season 2

Loving
That I was able to salvage this bridesmaids dress I'm gonna use for my friend's wedding in 4 weeks. It's a mint green chiffon infinity dress that's not very flattering because of its super short wrap.


There's not much cloth you can use to style it with so unless you're okay with plain strapless or awkward halters, it's gotta be improved.

It's also very flimsy. First time I tried it on, the zipper broke. Next time, the corset boning shot through the fabric. Argh. I had the zipper repaired, managed to hide the boning, then I bought a long-ass fabric in a similar color and tried to make a shawl from it.

Now I'm okay with it!


I used the super long shawl as a wrap-around and did an off-shoulder style. Yey.

Wanting
To do something worthwhile.

Needing
To save more moneyyy.

Feeling
Excited to go home! Look at the time!
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OC with my PC

Photo from Unsplash

Whenever I get a new desktop, whether at work or at home, I always make it a point to setup my computer according to my specifications. This includes installing 3rd party productivity tools, tinkering my start bar, creating keyboard shortcuts, and keeping the desktop clean at all times. I try not to keep stuff on the desktop, whatever's originally there can stay (My Computer, Recycle Bin, and other proprietary company software that persists upon restart that there's no point in removing them) and I'm not adding to it. I hate stickies and basically anything that clutters the wallpaper haha. Organizing my computer helps me work faster and more importantly, keeps my PC performance optimized. I'm a big keyboard user and as much as possible I try to use shortcuts for everything. Clicking on Start, typing Calculator, then clicking on the Calculator to launch it is a pain for me. I'd rather type Win+R, Calc, then Enter to launch the damned calcu.

So here's what I do when I get a fresh PC:

  1. Request for admin rights (if it's a company PC). Easy for us in the tech team to get clearance for this. Important for installing software.
  2. Setup my Taskbar. Small buttons, enable labels, never combine. Classic.
  3. Cleanup Start Menu by removing the live tiles. They're annoying. Here's how.
  4. Create a personal folder inside my user profile, like this: C:\Users\username\Personal
    Because items directly under your user directory can be run automatically from the Run dialog.
  5. Create a Notes file. Basically an Excel file where I jot down my work notes.
    In my line of work, notes aren't really necessary but I like to keep em for future reference.
    I usually create a new tab per project, then add 3 columns namely Date, Item, and Description. Every tab is color coded according to Pantone's Color of the Year hahaha. This helps me keep track of the projects I've worked on per year, which is crucial when it's time to work on our annual performance report. Every time I work on a project, I add notes to it.


  6. Install productivity tools
    • Notepad++ because it's the best code editor, supports several languages, has session backup, and pretty themes.
    • Screenhunter because I don't like the Snipping Tool lol
    • WordWeb because I need a dictionary hehe
    • WinRar because it's more reliable than Window's default compression software
    • WinMerge for diff-ing code changes
    • Google Chrome because duh
    • Adobe Photoshop Portable for fun hehe sssshhh
  7. Create shortcuts for my most used apps. Shortcuts are run dialog keywords I use to launch a certain app. Because it's easier for me to type Win+R, ie, then enter to launch Internet Explorer instead of navigating using the frkn mouse. Here's how. I create new shortcuts for the apps I installed, and also edit those I think are hard to remember


    • sh for ScreenHunter
    • sb for Secured Browser
    • winmerge for WinMerge
    • npp for Notepad++ (originally: notepad++)
    • ie for Internet Explorer (originally: iexplore)
    • excel for MS Excel
    • word for MS Word (originally: winword)
    • ppt for MS Powerpoint (oringally: powerpnt)
    • remote for Remote Desktop Connection (originally: mstsc.exe)
    • chrome for Google Chrome
    • notes for my excel Notes file
    • ps for Photoshop
    • ai for Illustrator
  8. Create a todo.txt and open it in Notepad++ so it stays in the current session
    It's a habit of mine to launch npp every time I start my machine. I use Monokai theme and lay out my text files these way, To-do on the left, and random notes on the right


Yeah, so that's pretty much how I setup my PC for maximum utility. How about you, how OC are you with PC? :D
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Clearly

This afternoon I picked up my glasses from Sarabia Optical and I have to say, holey moley what a wonderful world! I never really had problems with my vision, I thought I have a pretty clear sight. I just wanted to get glasses to protect my eyes from the computer. Turns out I also have astigmatism so uhm, yey for getting diagnosed.


This cute plastic frame is by Calvin Klein. It damning how these frames cost so much. Price ran to 7k in total. Still cheaper than Owndays lol. Thank God for our optical reimbursement I only have to pay less than half yey! 

I thought it would be hard adjusting to life with glasses, but I'm enjoying it. Everything is frkn clearer. Love it.

Here's me sneaking a selfie,


Ciao!
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Can we not push it?

Image by Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay 

After being on waitlist for 3 months, I've given up any chances that I might make it to Planit. After all, I sucked at the technical exam. It's just that I get easily hung up on thoughts of a greener pasture, especially this one, because it's abroad, and they'd take care of you and your dependent's visa. It's the most alluring package I've ever seen. I'd get on board with anything that would ship me out of this frkn country, for free, of course. Anyway. Just recently, I've come to accept the fact that I may not be the candidate they're looking for. And that there's really no opportunity for me with them. My experience doesn't quite cut it. My mishmash of skills isn't getting me anywhere. And the competition barely leaves me breathing. I don't even know where to put myself in this industry anymore.

But since I'm past the grieving phase lol, I'd like to share this timeline of how it went on my first try, yep cos there's a brief next one haha...

  • December 20, 2018 - Submitted job application online (Software & Technical Testing Opportunities - Relocate to Australia & New Zealand)
  • December 26, 2018 - Invitation to complete one-way video interview
  • January 1, 2019 - Submitted one-way interview
  • January 11, 2019 - Passed one-way interview. Got scheduled for a Skype video interview.
  • January 16, 2019 - Skype interview
  • January 21, 2019 - Passed Skype interview. Got invited to SG roadshow.
  • January 25, 2019 - Exam details sent
  • February 1, 2019 - Technical interview and assessment details sent
  • February 11, 2019 - Exam date
  • February 14, 2019 - Technical interview and assessment date
  • March 8, 2019 - Results out, supposedly. No call/email yet
  • March 11, 2019 - Still no news.
  • March 12, 2019 - Still no news. Sent follow up.
  • March 13, 2019 - Received regret email. I'm put on waitlist for the next 6 months.
  • March 18, 2019 - Some people on waitlist were emailed for a Skype interview. I'm not one of them.
  • April 4, 2019 - Another set of people on waitlist emailed for a job offer. Now everyone I know on waitlist has been offered a job. Still not one of them.

The application process with them is frkn strenuous. I went though a lot only to fail. But it's okay. That 4 months has been the dreamiest. The thought of a new country, new people, higher salary, new surroundings, fresh air, fresh produce. I never thought of leaving the country until this opportunity came along. It really made me want it so bad. But it's not for me. And I understand hehe.

Anyway, I'm feeling slightly annoyed though. Not with the application, but with some people. Because everyone I know on waitlist has been given a slot already, some people on the group chat have been urging me to keep on following up, never lose hope, it's definitely coming, so don't worry. As if I'm worried. As if they truly cared. As if I'm craving for reassurance. They're only saying that because they were offered already, see. Urgh what toxic optimism.

Waitlist period isn't over yet when they posted new relocation opportunities. I couldn't wait, so I tried my luck at Automation, even though I know I'm not cut out for it.

  • June 4, 2019 - Applied for another relocation opportunity (Automation Testing Opportunities - Relocate to Melbourne!)
  • June 5, 2019 - Received invitation to complete one-way video interview. Here we go again.
  • June 7, 2019 - Submitted one-way interview
  • June 13, 2019 - Failed one-way interview

I wasn't surprised, really. They're looking for automation testers and I offered myself as an RPA developer. I'm that thick. Plus I can't commence with them until 6-8 months. So there, let's end it. The longer I wait, the longer my experience gap becomes. The smaller my confidence grows. But it's fine. I'm at a good place anyway. 。◕‿◕。

And well, just when I gave up on this, one of my former colleagues asked me if wanted to work with them again. Agaaaain. The last time they asked, I went through the interview and vetting process alright and got a dreamy offer. My current manager countered, and I stayed. Now they're asking me again, considering my request for an onsite position. But hey, it's all a big blur. If only my previous manager would hire me directly and not have me go through consulting again!

Oh well.
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Today

I was helping my sister look for jobs on Jobstreet when I got curious and checked jobs for my own. Haha. I have no intention of leaving just yet but I thought I'd try to see if there's anything that fits me at this point. My keyword is really just UIPath. Nothing else. Then I landed on this posting by a global logistics company looking for an RPA Developer, with, if I understood the description correctly, testing and programming skills. I got excited. Salary range is around my expected. Location is a bit worrying though. But anyway. I decided to try it out. Today I submitted an application.
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Life Events that Will Change Your Outlook

We all make mistakes when we are young, and the smartest people learn from their own or other people’s mistakes. If you would like to overcome the challenges in life, it is important that you reflect on them and don’t dwell on them. Chances are that some early mistakes in your life have taken their toll, damaged your self respect or confidence, and - until you come to terms with them - you will have a limited outlook in life. Below you will find a few life events that can hold you back from success or help you achieve it.

Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay

Dropping Out of College 
Some people drop out of college because they realize that they are not that keen on pursuing their career. Others will have too much going on in their lives, or simply need to find a job to pay their bills. If you wish you never dropped out of college, you will have to overcome the regret and find a way to forgive yourself. You are likely to be smarter now, and your circumstances have changed. There is no reason why you can’t go back to school right now and complete your course to advance your career.

Choosing the Right Guy 
You might have gone through a lot of trial and error, but - at the end of the day - you will learn from your bad choices. Once you find the right guy who is providing what you really need, you will have a more balanced relationship and a more positive outlook in life. You will know that you found the right person if you don’t feel like you have to change or pretend to be someone you are not.

Overcoming Being Cheated 
Unfortunately, fidelity is not as popular today as it used to be. You might have been cheated on, and are still searching for the reason. Maybe you are blaming yourself. You might have decided to have an abortion procedure as a result, and now would like to turn back time. The truth is that you cannot change other people; you can only learn to deal with what they do and how this affects you.  

Losing Weight
In case you have been struggling with losing weight, and you finally made the right health choices, and lost the extra pounds, you should celebrate. You will now be able to do things you never considered doing before. It will change your life and your outlook in life for the better.  
Building Your Confidence Up 

Building your confidence up
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Many people struggle with their confidence. If you have listened to too many negative comments, or simply didn’t get the help and positive feedback as a child, you can use affirmations that will help you celebrate your uniqueness and accept your limitations. You should work on your confidence level, as you can reach higher in business and personal life if you believe in yourself. 

Some life events will simply change your view on life and relationships. Learn from your decisions; good or bad, and become a better version of yourself every day.
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All clear

I thought I was gonna be late for work today so thank God I beat the time by a minute! Whew. Also, when I came in to the CR to freshen up there's this girl whom I always see and quite honestly didn't like at first 'cos she looks like a snob and takes forever to fix herself in front of the mirror. She was on the side of the sink where the hand dryer is so I had to excuse myself while I dry out my crying pits. Commuting is hell specially when you're trying to beat the clock. She moved aside as I dry myself, and I get it 'cos the air is hot yknow. I said sorry it's just too hot, and she said it's okay and smiled. And it felt like okay I think she's actually nice and we can be friends! She does look friendlier when she's smiles, everybody does right? I just tend to judge people based on their resting face. But smiling just kinda gives you an approachable glow diba?

Anyway. 99% of the time my first impressions always prove me wrong. And this encounter pretty much puts it a fraction closer to a perfect score. Yey.
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The Relationship Advice You Won’t Want To Ignore

Relationships can be hard work at times. Let’s be honest you tend to go through some of the toughest times of your life with a partner, husband or wife. They see you at your best, but then they see you at your worst. You love them, you can dislike them, but you always remain together, right? For some, relationships can get a little off course. This is when you start to wonder whether you were the real deal, to begin with. Many relationships head to this crossroads at some point. With that in mind, here are a few golden pieces of advice that shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to your relationship. Let’s hope it helps you get back on track if you find you and your other half struggling.

Photo from Pixabay

Don’t go to bed on an argument
Arguments are going to happen. Whether they involve shouting or just disgruntled text messages sent to one another you are going to disagree at some point. But it’s how you handle it that is the key to a lasting relationship. While you may both be too stubborn to apologise or wave the white flag, never go to bed on the argument. Always accept it for what it is, agree to disagree and have a good night's kiss and move on. It’s unhealthy to sleep on it and take things on to the next day. 

Keep the relationship alive
Relationships take work. We all know that. But yet many of us don’t put in as much effort as we should. We can get a little complacent. However, this is when things can start to go sour. Keep your relationship alive by spending time together. Intimacy is very important, and often this can be the first sign things aren't going right if you are lacking in this area, this is when you may want to see some advice from Susie Tuckwell - Sex Therapist to add some spark back. You could also consider a regular date night where you are just a couple. No work or children to think about. 
Communicate
For any relationship to thrive communication is key. This means talking to one another about your day, your thoughts and your feelings. It doesn’t take much to start a conversation. Or even send a quick text to let the other know you are thinking of them. Talking is key to a lasting relationship, so don’t let that fire fizzle out. 

Accept what could be going on within your relationship
Sometimes there are big issues within relationships that just get brushed under the carpet for another day. But those days never come, and you find that your relationship suffers because of it. Try and accept what could be going on. Perhaps there is a stressor that you are both having to deal with, maybe things are tough right now. Sometimes you have to accept that a relationship won’t work and you’d be happier if you considered separating. Divorce can often be a good resolve for many couples. But accepting what is going on is key. Chances are tackling your issues could make you a stronger couple. 

Remember you are individuals as well as a couple
Finally, try and remember that you are individuals as well as a couple. Often we don’t get enough time to ourselves which can be vitally important for our wellbeing. 

Let’s hope this advice helps you with any relationship woes. 
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Struggling to Turn Things Around? These Might Be A Few Reasons Why

Photo from Pixabay

It would be great if life was always sunny and happy, with everything working out exactly as it was supposed to, and with success and accomplishment being a given.

Obviously, though, that is not the way things actually work out in reality. All of us have to deal with a pretty hefty number of setbacks, disappointments, failures, and troubles, along the way.

In order to keep things moving forward in a positive manner, and to get the most out of our lives, it’s important to be able to pause, reflect on what’s going on, and take steps to turn things around on a regular basis. But what if you’ve been struggling to turn things around, recently? What if situations constantly seem to be getting out of your control, and you’re not managing to make headway?

Well, if you’ve been struggling to turn things around, these might be a few reasons why.

You are allowing too much distraction into your life, at a time when your focus and willpower are already low
When things aren’t exactly working out for you in the best possible way, it’s very likely that your willpower, focus, and motivation, will automatically be pretty low.

So, when you add a bunch of distractions into the mix, you may well find yourself wasting hours every day checking up on your social media accounts, watching TV shows, listening to music, and giving in to just about every option for procrastination that presents itself.

If you’re struggling to turn things around in your life, it might be because too much of your time and energy is being taken up by idle distractions that you can’t seem to resist.

Counteract this situation by removing distractions from your life, as much as possible. That might mean installing a web blocking app on your phone, for example.

You aren’t eating or sleeping enough
When times are tough, and we become very stressed and preoccupied, we typically cease to take care of ourselves in the way we should.

One of the primary ways in which this manifests itself, is by missing out on sleep, and eating too little (and too little of the right things.)

The thing is, sleep is essential for health, mental function, willpower, and energy. And so is proper nutrition.

Begin feeding yourself properly again, and getting enough rest, and you might find that you are more capable of improving your life, literally overnight.

You’ve been too vague, or ambitious, in your plans – or you haven’t made any plan
Vague plans such as “I should visit the dentist soon,” tend not to lead to actual solutions to problems. Instead, researching and contacting a dentist such as monavaledental.com.au is the way to get things done.

At the same time, setting yourself goals, and making plans, that are too ambitious, often results in things remaining static. “I’m going to be fit enough to run a marathon,” is a stretch if you currently aren’t capable of going up a flight of stairs without feeling winded. And, if a goal seems unattainable, you’re likely struggle to pursue it wholeheartedly.

Finally, if you fail to make plans – well, then, it’s not surprising that you aren’t achieving much, is it?

In order to turn things around in your life, you need to make concise and focused plans, keep them manageable, and work consistently to fulfil them.
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[Review] IVO Faucet-mounted water purifier

I can't believe we only learned of this product recently! Faucet-mounted water purifiers are products that turn your faucet water into drinking water using some kind of filtration system. It's works pretty much like your usual water purifier except that it's mounted directly on your faucet so it's much smaller, and doesn't take up a lot of space. Perfect for condos and small households!


I learned about IVO by asking in our community Facebook group, then I also learned it's being advertised in OShopping. There are other brands that offer this kind of thing, there's Megafresh, and some generic items from Shopee, but I decided to stick with IVO for the following reasons:


  • It's manufactured by a reputable Japanese company, Torayvino
  • It employs a 4-level filtration system (Pre-screen, 2nd Screen, Hollow Filter Membrane, Granular Activated carbon)
  • Claims to deliver 99.99% bacteria-free drinking water - I mean if a Japanese product has boldly put such claim in their packaging I'm bound to believe it lol
  • The product looks pretty haha (I mean compared to other brands yknow haha)
Okay, so what's in the box?

  1. User manual in English
  2. Head unit
  3. Filter cartridge C151 than can filter 1500L of water
  4. Various adapters

It's pretty easy to set up, you just need to try which adapter works for your kind of faucet. Once it's installed you'll now have 3 water settings...

Photo from Oshopping


You can even open the cap of the cartridge to see it in motion. 
.

This is one of my happiest household purchases so far.

We've finally kept our ugly blue water container for good because we didn't have to fetch water every week! I mean, our condo supplies us free drinking water but it's a hassle when we run out of backup and they're closed for the day or it's a Holiday idk I hate it. I also think they don't clean the containers well. Also, I hate having to nag my husband to fetch water when it's out lol.

It's space-saving, compact, and portable too. I could imagine bringing this with me on staycations? The attachments included in the package allows it to be mounted on almost any type of faucet. We don't really pay for drinking water, but if you are then this is quite a good replacement. I admit this is actually an added expense for us, we pay for the filter and cartridge replacement and our drinking water is now being added to our water utility bill, but it's not really a big deal considering how convenient it is to have clean drinking water right from your faucet.

VERY Important usage tips!
  • After installation, make sure to "break-in" the filter by running a slow flow for at least 30 seconds. I read about a user who ran a fast flow on first use and by 2 weeks the water is already running slowly, they had to replace it.
  • If left unused for more than a week, prime the cartridge by running a slow flow first for a few seconds before drinking.

How's the price?
IVO Faucet-mounted Water Purifier Set retails for ₱1,980.00. It includes the head unit and 1 cartridge. C-151 cartridge replacement costs ₱1,380. You can purchase online through OShopping, or head to the nearest True Value or All Home, I bought mine at True Value Glorietta. :)

How's it doing so far?
So far so good, we bought the unit on April 17 and it doesn't look like it needs to be replaced anytime soon. We're just a household of 2 so I figured it would take quite a while to have it replaced. They say it's time to change when the water flow is becoming slow already. I'm waiting 6 months and we'll see!

I would recommend this to a small household. Like maybe 2-3 people. Also those living in condos because it's usually tight and every square inch of space savings matters. I wouldn't sell this to big families, obviously they have more water needs and would max out the cartridge in a few weeks. With a cartridge that pricey, I'd say you'd be out replacing it every 2 months and that's not very practical. 
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I need a break

This has been the most stressful day of my career here at the firm. I accidentally truncated a table that removed everyone's leave records. Easily trumps the infinite loop issue I had back then by a big notch. This has been my biggest ~work~ mistake and I'm so embarrassed by it huhu.

We were able to restore a backup copy of the table but the data was only until 1pm today. I deleted the records around 5:30pm so that leaves us with 4.5 hours of data gap where I could only hope no one tried to request or approve leaves. I'm so close to asking those who logged in between that gap to know if they made any leave transaction. Just to remind them to file them again, cos you know, they're gone. And I just want to make sure. But heck I'm too tired and right now I'm just kindof wallowing in my mistake. I tried to look for the logs but wtf for some reason there are no logs for the day! I'm suspecting the app isn't logging prod transactions at all and it's so weird but I already got an idea. My goodness.

I haven't touched the system in 4 hours now and while a part of me wants to continue working, I don't feel like coding 'cos I don't want to make any more mistaaaakes huhuhu. May trauma paaaaaa huhu!

Gosh I don't even know what to work on next! Whew. This is definitely not the Friday I was expecting. I was looking forward to continuing working on my dev tasks. I was having fun. I actually think I'm on a roll, little did I know this snowballing mojo of confidence would be smashed by a careless mistake. I was working too fast, missing the little details, relying on muscle memory, trusting my productive streak. Heck I just got a commendation yesterday for deploying a robot and now this?

Man I deserved this right? I know I did. I was being complacent and too confident with my work. What a slap. As much as I needed this wake up call, I didn't want to affect prod data just to learn a lesson! Huhuhu

Anyway. I have so much to thank my teammates for and Lani too our server girl whom I called first to ask if they have database backup. My team mates swooped to the rescue and looped in my boss. Juskooo I wouldn't have the heart to tell my boss I did something wrong when I haven't fixed it. The horrorrrr. They reassured me everything's gonna be alright, we have backup, we'll definitely get a development database now.... but argh. Stuff like this just kinda lingers on me. And I just realized, in my 7 years of working, that I'm not mature yet. What would I do without my teammates' support and my boss' supervision. I'm a frkn child I could cry!

I'm still mourning for the data we may have lost forever. Huhuhu

Anyway. Here's a distraction. Trifold brochure design for one of my friends.


Happy weekend I guess.
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Ah, life

Currently slaving on a project I should've finished last month. I kept procrastinating on this because I knew I'd be able to stumble on a more elegant solution to my dev enquiries. And I did! I'm done with the code and I'm doing some testing and validation before moving to UAT. I'm glad I tested this out (well, that's a must) 'cos I was able to fish out a logical error in my workflow which resulted to my partial deliverable being inaccurate. What a shame!

Earlier this evening I had a health risk assessment from our clinic. As usual, yet another validation of why I feel awful everyday. I'm overweight. Obese 1 in fact. And just so I'd remember, here are my stats:

Current body weight: 69 kg (152 lbs)
Ideally: 45-55 kg (100-121 lbs)
BMI: 28
Body fat %: 37.9% (acceptable is 25-32%)
Body age: 47 (I'm frkn 28)
Visceral fat: 8.5 (normal)

Yeah so the only normal reading I have is my visceral fat and pulse rate lol. Can't be too happy. I definitely gained so much weight over the past few weeks. I blame rice. Don't we all. I'd like my weight to be down to 140 lbs first, that's enough to fit in some of my old clothes. I think even the upper range of my ideal weight is ridiculously thin for my height. But of course, thin is normal. At least healthy normal.

Oh well.
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5 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get To Sleep

For some of us, getting to sleep can be a real mission. It can result in hours of tossing and turning, which can become more frantic as it gets to the early hours of the morning. There are many factors that can stop us from getting to sleep easily. Here are five possible reasons you may be struggling to drift off.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


You’re too stressed
Stress can keep many of us up at night. When stressed, our body releases cortisol which makes our mind more alert and our body more energised. Taking the time to de-stress before bed could help to flush out this cortisol so that your mind isn’t racing and your body isn’t tense. There may be forms of bedtime meditation that you can try in order to get yourself de-stressed. A hot bath meanwhile is another effective stress reliever. Avoid stressbusters such as exercise, which may simply perk you up and make it harder to sleep.
You’ve been consuming the wrong foods/drinks before bed
Certain foods and drinks will make it harder to go to sleep. Caffeine is the biggest culprit – coffee or tea before bed is best avoided and you may want to limit chocolate (this often contains caffeine too). High-sugar drinks may also keep you up, whilst fatty foods may cause bloating that makes getting to sleep difficult. Instead, try foods like honey or oats, which can help you get to sleep by promoting the hormone melatonin. Bananas and almonds are also good sleep inducers due to their content of magnesium.

You’ve been looking at too many bright screens before bed
Staring at a bright TV, laptop or phone screen before bed could be tricking your brain into thinking that it’s still daylight hours, delaying the release of melatonin. Try to make it a habit of turning off all devices with screens an hour before going to sleep. As mentioned earlier, you could try having a hot bath or meditating instead, or you could read a book – anything that doesn’t involve a screen.

Your bed/bedroom is too uncomfortable
An uncomfortable bed could also be preventing you from getting to sleep. If you suffer from any kind of back or joint pain, you may find that a soft mattress exacerbates the pain, whilst a firm mattress provides more support. Alternatively, some people may prefer a soft mattress that they can sink into. It’s also important that your bedding doesn’t make your too hot or cold – consider using different materials of sheets for different seasons to help regulate temperature more easily.

You’ve been lying in too late
Lying in late will make it harder to go to sleep at a reasonable time. Because you haven’t been awake long enough, your body and brain won’t be ready to sleep. Try making an effort to get up earlier even if you have no reason to. If it’s your day off from work, you may still be able to get a lie in – you may just want to keep a cut off point such as 10am to prevent you lying in too long so that you can then go to bed at a reasonable time the following night.
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[Solved] Cannot link Paypal to GCash

After a bazillion years of trying to get GCash to respond properly to my concern, I finally got the answer I'm looking for. I don't want to go into the details of how frustrating it is to deal with GCash support kasi ayoko ma-highblood so let's just get into the details of why I wasn't able to link my Paypal account smoothly.



Root causes:
1. My Paypal acount type is business
2. My first name in Paypal is wrong (it included my middle name)

So yeah, before you attempt to link your Paypal account to GCash, make sure to take note of the following prerequisites:

  • Your first and last name on Paypal must be identical with your first and last name on GCash
  • Your Paypal account must be setup in the Philippines
  • Your Paypal account type must be personal (not business acocunt)
  • Your GCash account must be KYC-ed (fully verfied)
When I first tried to link my Paypal account, I kept on getting this error:


"We are unable to link your account. Please make sure your credentials are the same in both your PayPal account and GCash wallet"

The error message was followed by two emails. The first was a preapproved payments plan registration notification, and shortly after -- its cancellation.

The message prompted me to check my details both on Paypal and GCash. My email, full name, and even home address are exactly the same down to the very last character. So what gives?

I kept asking GCash support about it. I've gone throught Facebook, Website, and InApp support.

They're all trash.

I told them that I've checked my details and they all match. And if they could just provide me which details don't match, then I'll work on it. But hey, they just can't do any more digging. I was convinced that my details were perfect, but I still don't get what's wrong. They kept on resending the steps and guidelines and it was getting frustrating having to deal with their very incompetent support group. Eventually I took my problem with Paypal, but the answer I got was as dismal. The verification part is made on GCash's end so they're the one's who can answer my question.

Then I found this thread on Reddit discussing the issue. OP found out that his first name in Paypal included his middle name so he requested to have it changed. I figured it must be the same case with me. I just need to validate if my first name really included my middle name.

But heck, there's nothing on my Paypal dashboard that says this is my first name. I have no welcome banner when I log in, and my profile simply states my full name, as in <first> <middle> <last>. I was wondering where I could see a clue of what my actual first name is.

Until one day, GCash responded to one of my many emails with yet another set of steps and guidelines. But this one's longer and more detailed. It included the prerequisite that your Paypal account must be PERSONAL type and not BUSINESS.

I felt pretty hopeful! So okay, I requested to downgrade my account. From business to personal. No biggie, my Merch by Amazon account got terminated anyway so there's no reason for me to run a business account.

When my request got approved, I logged into Paypal and noticed this change:

I don't know why I had to blur that lol

I have a welcome banner now!

Okay so apparently Paypal doesn't greet its business account holders looool.

And also, I got to validate that my first name is indeed wrong! I mean, welcome templates don't usually include your middle name right? It's usually just Welcome <firstname> or Hi <firstname>! 

Great. So that's it. I had my name changed at Paypal, which was quite an ordeal too. I had to request thrice, each with a note that says not to include my middle name with my first name. All of them were executed wrongly. They'd say congrats we've changed your name but nothing has really changed! I'm still being greeted with my middle naaaame aaarggh. That's the time I contacted support through email, not by contact-us form, and thankfully they responded correctly.

Finally I was able to successfully link my Paypal account to GCash, and cash-in my money instantly.


The name change also did not affect my Paypal to Bank transactions, so I'm glad. No more waiting 3 days to withdraw my earnings!

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Frustrating! Why you can't link your BDO Debit Card in GCash



Long story short, BDO blocks GCash transactions because it considers it a high risk app.

According to a BDO customer support agent, Mastercard has added more security layers in its platform restricting several apps, like GCash, from transacting with your bank account in order to minimize fraudulent activities. 

In order to link your BDO account to GCash, you have to call BDO Hotline and request to whitelist your account. In this process, you have to confirm that you have no other means to shop online, or have no other card you can link to GCash. Otherwise, they won't process your request.

BDO clearly doesn't want you to link your account to GCash because of its many potential security threats. But I think they're not allowed to explicitly discourage you because that's denial of service? Hehe

So if you're considering using your BDO card for GCash transactions, look for other options. Or just quit using GCash altogether, their customer service sucks so much it opened a new level of disappointments for me. 
Story time!
The only reason I wanted to link my BDO to GCash is to allow me to transfer my BDO funds to my BPI account without having to go out to withdraw and deposit. It was an exciting thought, to be able to cash in my money from BDO and move it seamlessly to BPI. Real time and without charges. Wow. That's just so ideal for me as I've been doing this whole withdraw then deposit process manually for the past 2 years. 

But when I tried to link my BDO Debit Mastercard in GCash, I always receive this unfortunate message:

"Sorry, your card enrollment cannot be processed. Visit http://bit.ly/DebitCardErrorInfo to know more about failed enrollments."


So what should you do?
1. Forget about asking GCash Care or reaching out to any of their hotlines. 

They were NEVER helpful in my months long attempt of trying to ask WHAT'S WRONG. Even if you've provided ALL the details they need to look into your account, they will always, and without fail, ask for it again. They never review your request. They're just delaying your request until you eventually give up and forget about it. 

I call it rude, lazy, and a fckn customer service disgrace. But then I thought they were probably doing it on purpose to discourage people from actually using BDO because the bank has put so many restrictions on GCash. 

At this point they could have told you to call BDO instead to whitelist your account right? BUT NO. They don't know that detail. Or they're purposefully withdrawing that basic information.

Which leads me to only step that matters,

2. Call BDO Hotline at 02-631-8000 (landline)

Tell them you can't link your BDO account to GCash. They will inform you of the Mastercard security features they've put in place blah blah blah and ask you if there's really no other card you can use. Then they'll get your account number, card number and a few other info for verification.

They'll lodge your request to whitelist your account number and have you wait for 4 hours or a confirmation message coming from BDO. After that, you can try linking your account again...



I got this message from BDO nine hours after the call and immediately tried to relink my card.

Did it work?
NO! It didn't! Much to my dismay, which I'm growing more fond of, my card still won't link, and I'm still getting the same unfortunate message.

So what now?

Nothing. I don't want to deal with it anymore... at least for now. 

If you're experiencing the same problem, I hope calling BDO to whitelist your account works for you. It didn't for me, but I sincerely hope it works for you at least. Please let me know if it does, I want to learn of success stories! Maybe I'll try to look into it another time... when I'm not feeling so hopeless.

Haaaaaay! 
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Niggling Pains That Can't Be Ignored

Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

Nobody likes being in pain, but one of the most common complaints that people have, is that they're in some sort of pain. Whether it be because they're aching, because they've got a medical problem, or something has just started causing severe pain out of the blue. There are literally thousands of causes for this, yet we're so bad at actually finding out what's wrong. So many of us put up with pain until it's completely unbearable, until one day it gets too much, and finally a doctors trip happens. But realistically, we should be sorting the problems we're having as soon as possible, to make sure that we have the best outcome. So we're going to run you through some of the paints that definitely shouldn't be ignored, and simple thing that you might be able to do to get it sorted quickly!

Joint Pain
Joint pain is something that we're all going to experience at some point in life, especially as we move towards the older years. But even as young healthy people, we will have all of the joint aches and pains that older people have. It's due to the work we do, and the way we look after our body. People who sit in offices a day are known for their problems with joint pain, but mainly in the neck. But neck pain isn't something that should be ignored, and just shrugged off because you know it's related to your job. You should start practicing a better position at work, ensure that your back is straight and you're not slumped over. This will straighten your posture, and allow your neck to sit in a neutral position rather than tilted. It takes all of that pressure off the neck joint. Doing light rolls of your head and neck stretches to relieve any tension is also advised!

Something Caused By Injury
Now this is definitely something that can't be ignored, yet again, so many of us do. Injury can occur for many different reasons, from lifting something to heavy, to sports related injuries. Physiotherapy is always recommend when you've been injured with something that's long lasting. So torn muscle or ligaments, it's almost essential to have the physio to help the injured area repair to the optimum level. Don't ignore any pains that you're having through injury when it's long lasting area. It's always best to go the your doctor or to A&E, just to make sure that there's nothing more serious going on!

The Worst Kind Of Aches
There's nothing worse than both tooth and ear ache. Both are such a niggling pain that can lead to headaches and other aches. There are quick remedies that can soothe some pain, such as resting your ear on a hot water bottle, and for the toothache, getting into the dentist as quickly as possible is essential. There are emergency dentist appointments for people in serious pain, so never leave it!

So if you're going to take anything away, it's that you go to the doctor or whatever medical professional is relevant, and always get pain treated before it gets any worse!
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