Sunday, February 3

Reverse Mortgage Perks to Ponder When You Retire

The moment you retire, you will realize that your income is way lower compared to what you used to receive. As such, you may need to take out a mortgage on your home to supplement the said shortage. But, you need to think again before deciding to do such thing. Keep in mind that a regular mortgage can be difficult as you need to pay it on a monthly basis. As such, you will have additional expenses every month. Fortunately, if you are at least 62 years of age, there is a better solution called a reverse mortgage. 

Here are some reverse mortgage perks to ponder when you retire:

A Reverse Mortgage Can Give You Ongoing Financial Relief

When you take out a regular loan on your home, you get a large sum of money, but you have to start paying it back incrementally fairly quickly. When you take out a reverse mortgage you can get a similar amount of money to spend, but you can do so without adding to your ongoing financial burden. Instead you will have ongoing financial relief.

A reverse mortgage is a long-term agreement. When you borrow money from a reverse mortgage lender, you are not supposed to pay any portion of it back right away. In fact, you are encouraged to take a long time to pay back the money you borrow. The money you borrow with a reverse loan will be owed back to your reverse mortgage lender, but only when you no longer live in your home. That means you can extend the length of your loan for many years. A standard home mortgage has a set deadline of when it must be paid back. That reverse loan flexibility can help you fund your retirement without financial fears.

You Can Get a Reverse Mortgage Fairly Easily

Another perk of a reverse mortgage is it is fairly easy to get, as long as you are at least 62. The biggest other requirement is you have to own and permanently reside in the home for which the mortgage is being requested. However, there are also some other minor requirements. For example, a reverse mortgage calculator must determine there is enough available equity in your home to make borrowing worthwhile. There are government standards in place detailing the percentage of home equity you can borrow. Since a reverse-loan application calculator factors in those standards, your lender will use one to come up with the amount you can borrow.

You must also be able to prove you can care for your home by paying your homeowner's insurance and taxes. Since the home will remain yours for the duration of the reverse loan and no scheduled payments to your lender will be required, you cannot miss a payment. Therefore, you cannot be evicted for non-payment as with a regular mortgage. However, you will retain all responsibilities of home ownership, including maintenance.

You Can Pay Off a Standard Mortgage with a Reverse Mortgage

Another perk of a reverse mortgage is you can use it to pay off a standard mortgage. However, you cannot have both on one home for any length of time. You must use a large chunk of your reverse mortgage funds to immediately pay off the regular mortgage. Then any remaining funds will be given to you to spend how you wish. The advantage of taking out a reverse mortgage to pay a standard mortgage off is you will no longer have ongoing scheduled mortgage bills to pay.

The Reverse Mortgage Does Not Have to be Paid Back

When you take out a reverse mortgage, another perk to consider is you may not have to pay it back. If you stop living on the property, the balance you owe must be paid. However, the property can be sold to recover some or all of that balance, so you do not have to pay it out of your own pocket, as long as you don't want to keep the home in your family. Other assets, such as vehicles, are not part of the reverse mortgage agreement and cannot be sold by the lender. Therefore, if there is still a balance owed after the sale of the home, the remainder will be ignored by the lender.
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Monday, January 28

Long Distance Relationship Hacks for Valentine's Day

Most people have an aversion to long distance relationships; they fear that such things don’t work out in the long run, and that the hundreds (or thousands!) of miles separating them physically with their loved ones is too much to bear.

Yet with the advent of innovative technologies and solutions, we need to let go of these negative preconceptions about long distance relationships. In an era where you can not only video-call the love of your life but also send flowers and chocolate right to their doorstep without the unnecessary fuss, there is no reason to fear the distance that separates you with your partner.

As Valentine’s Day is around the corner, here are a couple of ideas to topple the physical divide and celebrate this special day as if you’re just sitting together, even if you’re both half a world away:

1. Plan the most memorable video chat date

With Internet speed getting faster each and every day, video chats have become the default weapon in every long-distance couple’s arsenal. Gone are the days of dial-up connections (a time when your parents or siblings would go berserk if you connect to the web as the phone lines get wrangled). Now, the thousands of miles have all but eroded with a tap on your smartphone.

However, your significant other deserves more than a simple video call on Valentine’s Day. Make it extra special by turning the call into a visual tour – go to places you usually frequent together back in the days, or places that spark joy and good memories. You can even plan it together and have a sit-down dinner together – in different places or even countries. Your acting prowess can be tested by making your significant other believe that you’re really eating with them, despite being oceans apart. Apart from having a dinner date, you can also watch a film together, then talk about it over video call after.

2. Go old-school and write a love letter

You can also opt to write a sweet love letter to your significant other – written in special, fragrant stationery, with near-perfect hand writing. You can arrange to have this delivered together with a special flower bouquet. There is a tried and tested flower shop in Davao City,, that can arrange for your letter to be inserted among the freshest long-stemmed red roses and have all these delivered to your loved one on Valentine’s Day!

3. Send a huggable proxy

Want to send gifts to the Philippines on Valentine’s Day for the love of your life? Why not send something that can serve as a huggable proxy? We’re talking about teddy bears here! These stuffed toys – that range from 2 feet to 4 feet long – will not only bring a smile to your significant other but also serve as a proxy huggable!, an online flower delivery in Davao, has these types of teddy bears in stock!

4. The way to your lover’s heart is through their stomach

Remember that memorable adage? How can you make that happen? Have a special cake delivered on Valentine’s Day, that’s one way to do it. You can have the cake personalized by having dedications written on it. Pro-tip: don’t just go for the basic dedications. Think of a word or phrase that is special and memorable for you both and have that written on the cake!

5. Share a toast

Mark this Valentine’s Day as a literal “V-Day” (Victory Day), to celebrate the fact that even if you both are thousands of miles apart, you remain to be together, and that the relationship is stronger than ever! Make sure that you have that special bottle of chardonnay or any other special wine for your significant other to toast to on that special day. Did you know that you can have that delivered too? Head to and order one now!

6. Have a weeklong (or even month-long) celebration

You know what’s the best idea there is to celebrate Heart’s Day? It’s to have Cupid work not only on February 14 but for a whole week – or even a full month if you want to! How? You can do it like we do secret Santas during the Christmas season – have something sweet or romantic delivered to your loved one’s door each day for a week leading to Valentine’s Day, with each gift making him or her remember romantic moments you spent together. Because who said you can only treat your significant other on red-letter days? With efficient online services offered by the likes of, you can have trinkets, big and small, delivered to your significant other at any day of the year!

To wrap it all up, the real thing you shouldn’t forget is to plan for all these. Remember that a memorable celebration shouldn’t be done on the last minute (it’s possible but let’s try avoiding that). Have a blast this Valentine’s Day!


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Thursday, January 10

All-New Teavana Tea Lattes: A Modern Twist On The Classic

Did you know that tea is the second most popular beverage next to water? Many people love drinking it, not only because of the great advantages that it brings to one's health but also because it is part of their tradition. As you probably know by now, people from different parts of the world have their own way of enjoying this beverage. Take for example those from Europe who has a thing for afternoon teas. For the Asians, some of us use tea for traditional ceremonies. Indeed, it is only proper to say that tea is a timeless drink that has become a major part of the lives of many individuals. 

Through the years, however, tea has changed as more people look for exciting twists on the classic beverage. A few years ago, Starbucks Philippines introduced Teavana® beverages to satisfy the cravings of their customers who are looking for a wonderful tea experience. It has been a huge success and now, Starbucks is once again ready to introduce a new way of enjoying tea.

Embracing the spirit of innovation and reimagination, Starbucks is proud to introduce a range of Teavana® TM Tea Lattes to bring a modernized tea experience. Available for a limited time only starting January 8, Starbucks introduces four new Teavana® ® beverages.

Oat Green Tea Latte

Blending the taste of earthy oats and Starbucks green tea latte with a colorful, crunchy granola top, the Oat Green Tea Latte introduces a new twist on this fan favorite.

Peach Black Tea Latte

Complementing the earthy notes of finely ground black tea with the juicy aroma of peach, the Peach Black Tea Latte possesses a subtle fruitiness that is sure to brighten up your day.

Chestnut Black Tea Latte

Blending finely ground black tea with velvety steamed milk, delectable roasted chestnut sauce, and topped with a sprinkle of chestnut and strawberry bites – this beverage is the perfect choice to celebrate the new year.

Oat Green Tea Frappuccino

Treat yourself with the creamy goodness of green tea and oats. This beverage is topped with espresso whipped cream and sprinkled with crunchy granola and dried fruits for an added layer of texture.

For those with a love for all things Matcha, Starbucks new offerings will definitely keep you wanting for more. More unique and exciting flavor combinations await at Starbucks! Grab the newest beverages and enjoy a modern tea experience unlike any other.

Visit the nearest Starbucks branch today and let me know which one is your favorite. 
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Friday, January 4

Get These Baguio Delicacies as Your Next Pasalubong Items

Famously known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the city of Baguio continues to graciously accommodate the influx of tourists primarily wanting to experience the cold weather. Aside from the cozy temperature, the city prides itself with its lush greens, scenic views, and its rich history and culture. As interesting as these notable facets of the city are the food delicacies that are also available near the city’s staple tourist destinations; with most found at the Baguio Public Market. Here are some of both the popular and underrated specialties fit either for pasalubongs or just enjoying good eats while in the city.


La Trinidad has been well-known for its vast strawberry farms and the fruit has always been associated with Baguio. Strawberry-picking is a known tourist activity in the farms which also informs people on how to identify the ripe, sweet ones, the harvest periods, and all that. Strawberries are best enjoyed in a variety of ways; the famed delicacies are strawberry jam and preserves – perfect while enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea with hot bread, strawberry taho (soy/beancurd pudding) – a twist to the known Filipino comfort food – which is best for quick snacks after long tours, and even strawberry wine!

Peanut and Cashew Brittle, and Other Nut Treats

Similar to the fame of strawberries, peanut brittle is also a well-known specialty of the city and is one of the most requested pasalubongs from Baguio. Its sweet and salty combination effectively satisfies your cravings for when you’re up for that sugar fix. A variety of brittles are available in the city – from the usual stacks of flat crisps, those with whole peanuts glued together by that sweet caramelized sugar, and of course, those with cashew. In line with this, there are also a wide variety of nuts – usually fried with garlic – available in the same areas.

Lengua De Gato

Literally translated as “cat tongue”, these thin cookies actually come in the shape of a cat’s tongue. Its milky and buttery goodness is fit for that light afternoon snack, but it comes with a bit of a problem – it will be hard to stop munching. Same goes with all the cookie variants that can usually be bundled to avail of the promo offer three or seven for 100 pesos.

Mika’San Choc’o Flakes

There is something about this snack’s simplicity that makes easy to chomp. The usual breakfast cereals are made interesting by being glazed with either milk or white chocolate. Surprisingly, the brand seems to have solely been known to make these creamy, crunchy goodness. They also now have the choc’o pinipig.

Good Shepherd Convent’s Mountain Maid Training Center specialties

The center is the home of the velvety Ube jam. Apart from that, their bestsellers comprise of the peanut brittle, strawberry jam, Alfajor cookies (with caramel filling) and the Snow Balls – a treat that looks like a cookie covered in confectioners’ sugar that softly crumbles when you dunk it in your mouth. They have a wide variety of food products that not only contribute to the tourist traffic for the city’s tourism but also in social enterprise by helping the economically challenged youths from the six tribes of Cordillera – Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Kalinga, Apayao, and Abra.

Butter Oats

This is another cookie variant, but this one’s an underrated choice since the stacks at the market can be a tad overwhelming. However, Butter Oats has slowly been creeping into the pasalubong lists of many. Its moist, buttery texture, and satisfying sweetness will surely make you crave for more…until you realize your holding your last piece.

Tantamco’s Ube Jam

The Tantamco store in the Baguio Public Market is one that does not boast of its products but can just count on word-of-mouth because of the quality of its bestselling Ube jam. Compared to most of the Ube jams, their Ube jam has this thick and chunky consistency that is rich in flavor. You can avail of the jam while it is warm and fresh – you have to literally keep the jars ajar first to let it cool down if you intend to store it for a while or for the long trips back home. They also have other jams which are also of the same high quality – pineapple jam, guava jelly, blueberry jam, among others.

Pure Honey

You can find bottles of pure honey everywhere, but you have to be careful and to know what is pure and what appears to contain “extenders”. Nonetheless, this is one of those specialties for the health conscious.

Herbal Teas and Fruit Wines

If you are tired of getting the usual, herbal teas and fruit wines area great products to explore. One of the widely available teas is the Turmeric tea which is also gaining traction in the Metro Manila markets with its health benefits. The fruit wines are surprisingly refreshing and quirky drinks suitable for those moments of reminiscing memories in the City of Pines.


There are several known stalls in the Baguio Public Market that sell these scrumptious meat treats that is a staple Filipino food – may it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just up to you how much of these and what flavors are you willing to bring back home and binge.

Fresh Vegetables

The climate of Baguio is also very conducive for vegetable farming and when you get to the local markets, you can avail of fresh vegetables for a price very much lower than those that are already delivered to the Metro Manila markets.

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Wednesday, December 19

4 Bags To Party With This Season

Fancy finishing off your outfit with the latest must-have bag this festive season? These on-trend designs are perfect for going from day to party time, all you have to do is pick the one that suits you. From embellished chain bags to traditional saddlebags, there’s an F/W 18 bag trend for every taste. 

Chunky Chains

It can hardly be described as a brand new trend but chain-link shoulder bags are back in a big way this season. Seen on catwalks at Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Fendi, and Alexander Wang, it’s a relatively easy look to master. Whether they are big and chunky or thin, delicate and embellished, this season’s chain-link shoulder bag is perfect for party season. Think anything from a simple, single strap to triple-rows of chains. You can wear them with almost anything but bear in mind, if your accessories make a big statement, it’s better to tone down the rest of your outfit. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, check out the Gucci bags selection.

Mock Croc

Oozing glamour on this year’s Fall/Winter catwalk was mock croc. In patent black and deep earthy hues, the embossed leather look is a great go-to style for party season. Its vintage appeal and eye-catching shine stole the show at Louis Vuitton, Marni, Tory Burch and Versace with designs varying from quirky clutches to bucket bags and satchels. To wear this look over the party season just ensure the rest of your outfit is as luxe as your must-have accessory.

Seasonal Tones

There’s nothing quite like warm caramel and tan tones to update your look in the cold winter months. This season was all about these butterscotch hues in a variety of shapes and sizes. Joseph, The Row and Mulberry all showed off the rich, autumnal tones on the catwalk. From bucket bags and rucksacks to clutches and super-totes, go for the right shade over style. That said, if you want this look to work for you this party season, go for more structured designs that will give your outfit that sophisticated edge. Alternatively, you can keep it super simple with a clutch. The beauty of seasonal tones is that they work for both day and night, so it makes sense to choose a piece you’re also comfortable going about your daily life with.

Saddle Bags

Western-inspired designs were also spotted all over this season’s catwalks. From boots to fringed jackets, it’s clear the cowboy influence is big for Fall/Winter 2018. A key part of this trend has proved to be the traditional saddle bag which was seen at Loewe, Chloé and Calvin Klein. The beauty of the saddle bag is how versatile it is. Take Chloé’s iconic designs like the Nile and Tess bags which feature detachable shoulder length cross-body straps. The result is a useful bag that can be worn casually around the shoulders by day but transforms into a clutch by night. Finally, when it comes to choosing a shade for your saddle bag stick to natural-looking leathers and suedes for a timeless feel.

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Sunday, December 16

Pressure Cooker Shopping Guide - Must-Have Features

Pressure cookers can not only help you save time, but also retain the nutrients in the food which will improve your health over a longer period of time. Moreover, they consume least amount of resources which ensures that you are able to reduce your utility bills. Owing to all of these advantages, pressure cookers have become a must-have gadget in our kitchens these days.

The problem starts when you try to choose a pressure cooker which is suitable for your kitchen. There are literally hundreds of different options to choose from. When you compare the pressure cooker options, the main question which arises is which pressure cooker suite you best?

We will today help you in answering this question. We will share below some of the factors which you should definitely consider when it comes to choosing the pressure cooker.

1. Type of operation:

Pressure cookers essentially come in 2 different types. You can choose the stove top pressure cooker or the electric pressure cooker. You have to look at the pros and cons of both and thereafter you have to take a call.

The main features of the stove top pressure cooker are:

• They have a faster cooking speed.
• They are more durable.
• You use advanced pressure cooking techniques.
• You can easily supervise the recipe and the ingredients in between.

The main features of the electric pressure cooker include:
• You do not have to tinker with the heat settings again and again.
• They can work as a slow cooker, rice cooker as well as for the various other recipes through pre-programmed modes.
• They are perfect for people who are very busy.
• They are highly versatile.
• There are remote control electric cooker models which are available these days. These can be controlled through your smartphone.

Thus, when you compare the stove top pressure cookers along with the electric cookers, it is important to examine your way of cooking and your usage before taking a call.

2. Capacity of the pressure cooker:

You have to look at the capacity of the pressure cooker while buying it. Ideally, you should buy a pressure cooker which can cook for your entire family plus for one guest in a single go. This will ensure that even if you have guests around, it will be very easy for you to cook in a single attempt. This will save you a lot of time.

The capacity of the pressure cooker is measured in liters. Ideally, you should choose the pressure cooker after taking into account 1 liter capacity per person. Thus, if you have 5 people in your family, you should choose a pressure cooker with 6 liters of capacity.

3. Construction quality of the pressure cooker:

You can opt for the aluminum pressure cooker or you can opt for the stainless steel one. The stainless steel one is highly durable. That is why, if your budget permits, it is always a better idea to go for the stainless steel pressure cookers.

4. Pressure settings:

Even when you buy the stove top pressure cookers, you have to opt for the one which has at least 2 different pressure settings. This will ensure that you are able to cook the different ingredients quite easily.

When you look at the new electric pressure cookers, they have more than 10 different pressure settings. However, in reality, you will seldom need that more pressure settings. That is why; it is always a good idea to opt for the ones which have at least a couple of pressure settings. You should not opt for the one which has maximum pressure settings unless and until the other requirements are met.

5. Established brand:

Over the years, pressure cookers might require some maintenance. This is specifically true for the silicone lid ring. That is why; you have to only buy the pressure cookers of the established brands. This will ensure that you will be able to replace the silicone lid ring of the same brand quite easily. This is the reason why you should only go with the established brands. A pressure cooker can last for up to 7 to 8 years quite easily. In between, there might be a need for some maintenance.

When you opt for an established brand, you will be able to get the spare parts and the accessories of the pressure cooker as and when required. If you opt for a pressure cooker for a lesser-known brand, you might have to buy accessories and spares of other brands rather than the genuine ones. This will decrease the life of the pressure cooker. That is why; opting for a pressure cooker of a well-known brand is a must.

So, the next time around when you’re looking to buy a pressure cooker, it is important for you to consider these few factors in mind. When you compare the different pressure cookers based on these factors, it will be very easy for you to pick the one which is not only as per your requirement but which is highly durable as well.

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Tuesday, November 20

Nokia 7 Plus: A Phone You Can Rely On

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of a smartphone? For me, it is functionality. The dictionary defines this word as "the quality of being suited to serve a purpose well; practical." As a busy person who makes an effort to juggle my law school life, work in a law firm and a passion for blogging, a highly-functional phone is a necessity. Yes, you read it right. I consider having a smartphone, not a mere want, but definitely a need. 

As such, it is no wonder why I instantly fell in love with the all-new Nokia 7 Plus. Nokia has a special place in my heart as my first ever phone was a 5110 and it was followed by a 3310. All the good memories from my childhood came rushing in when I received my very own Nokia 7 Plus. In this article, I am going to tell you the top reasons why I consider it as a phone and a friend I can rely on.

1. It allows me to take a bothie. One of the best features of this latest smartphone from Nokia is its Bothie technology. What it basically does is it allows users to simultaneously use the front and back cameras in taking one photo. It can be perfect for recording live videos on Facebook or Instagram. At the same time, it makes video calls more fun and interactive. I usually use the Bothie when taking group photos with my friends.

2. It enables me to capture random moments with the ones I love. The camera of this smartphone has Zeiss lenses. Therefore, I can take clear photos of all the best moments I share with the persons close to my heart. If you check the gallery of my Nokia 7 Plus, you can see that most of the photos taken were all about food. 

3. It easily notifies me for events and assignments. I have to admit that there are times when I forget about my meetings or appointments. Aside from this, I also tend to miss the deadlines for the tasks or assignments that I need to complete. However, everything changed the moment I started using Nokia 7 Plus. The notification center of this phone is so easy to use! Reminders and alarms can be set up in less than a minute. 

4. Its battery can last for long hours. The Nokia 7 Plus also comes with long battery life. I can use the phone for two straight days without the need for charging it. This is such a good thing for someone like me who is always on the go. The battery capacity is 3,800mAh and is capable of fast charging.

Here are some of the top features that I really love about this phone:

  • > Screen, see more: Enjoy a bigger viewing experience on the 6” Full-HD+ display with an 18:9 ratio, or watch and chat at the same time by splitting the screen into two 1:1 windows.
  • > The camera, unleashed: Switch between aspect ratios and shooting functions, as well as adjust parameters within different camera modes, such as the intensity of effects like Bokeh and Beautify. And with Google Lens™ and Motion Photos seamlessly integrated into the camera app, its easier than ever to explore and capture the world around you in new, creative ways.
  • > Your photos like never before: The 12 MP and 13 MP sensors with ZEISS optics and 2x optical zoom deliver vivid colors that bring your photos to life. On the other side, the 16MP front camera with ZEISS optics and great low-light performance takes stunning selfies, day or night.
  • DesignBeauty in strength: Machined from a solid block of aluminium, Nokia 7 Plus can take what life throws at you and look good while doing it. Its subtle curves and ceramic-feel coating bring the best of both worlds: a great grip and a clean look. (Source:


In conclusion, I have to say that the Nokia 7 Plus is a must-have! 

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Saturday, November 10

All About Giving: Shop Exclusive Unilever Deals at Shopee

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when it comes to online shopping? For me, it has always been “Shopee,” because this online marketplace has everything that I need. The best part of all is that I never had a bad experience since the day I start shopping at this site. I had several transactions with the various sellers and so far, everything went well. The items I received were all in excellent condition, and the shipping was fast. 

As such, I became excited when I found out that there is going to be an 11.11 CHRISTMAS SALE at Shopee! All participating brands, including Unilever, are going to offer some exclusive sales and discounts to all online shoppers. Most importantly, some of these items are available for FREE Shipping! That means you can get whatever you want at an affordable price, without the need to pay more for the shipping fee. 

Here is one of the deals that I find interesting:

We all know that the holiday season is all about giving. If you have no idea on what to get for some of your friends or family members this Christmas, then make sure to check the Unilever (All About Giving) page on Shopee. Kickstart the holidays by stocking some of your favorite products! Take note that some deals are exclusive at the said e-commerce website. 

Here are some of them: 
  • > Tresemme: UP TO 50% OFF 
  • > St. Ives: UP TO 50% OFF 
  • > Dove: UP TO 40% OFF 
  • > Unilever Homecare products: UP TO 30% OFF 
  • > Unilever Foods products: UP TO 40% OFF

Also, don’t miss the 11.11 FLASH SALES for more savings!

Mark your calendar! The sale will start at 11:00 AM on November 11, 2018.


Use this code to get 20% off when you buy PHP 1,000 worth of Unilever items.

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Monday, November 5

Starbucks For A Year Promo: Be One of the Winners!

One of the country's leading coffee shops, Starbucks Philippines, is back again with its Free Coffee For A Year Promo. This promotion is available only for the holders of the all-new Christmas Traditions Starbucks Card included in the 2019 Starbucks Philippines Planner or Travel Organizer. 

When is the promo period?

From November 2, 2018 to January 7, 2019

How can one qualify for the promo?

Starbucks Philippines customers earn a raffle entry by:
  1. Activating the Starbucks Christmas Traditions Starbucks Card with at least ₱500 at any Starbucks store in the Philippines; and 
  2. Registering the activated Starbucks Christmas Traditions Starbucks Card to a new or existing My Starbucks Rewards® account within the promo period.

What are the prizes?

  • Starbucks for a Week – 84 Beverage Stars equivalent to 7 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons 
  • Starbucks for a Month – 360 Beverage Stars equivalent to 30 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons 
  • Starbucks for a Year – 4,380 Beverage Stars equivalent to 365 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons

When are the draw dates?

Yes, you read it right. There will be sixty-three winners for this latest promotion from Starbucks Philippines. Take note that a customer can win only once during a draw. Non-winning and winning raffle entries will automatically be included in the next draw. The winners will be notified through their registered e-mail address based on the customer’s contact details in Starbucks Philippines’ records.

How can the winner claim the prize?

For the prizes to be credited, the winner must send a copy of the front and back image of the Starbucks Card that matches the card information of the winning entry, and a valid I.D with picture by replying to the email notification.

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Thursday, November 1

#makeITsafePH: Online Shopping Addiction 101

Globe has a new campaign called #makeITsafePH that aims to spread awareness about the responsible use of digital technology. It focuses on cybersecurity and cyber-wellness to educate different consumers in the Philippines to inform them about the potential risks of using the platforms made available via the Internet. 

The goal of the campaign is to provide consumers with the right information necessary to protect themselves from the said risks. The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that would not become a source of such deplorable behavior. I am happy to be part of this campaign. 

Here is my take on this latest and amazing effort of Globe to #makeITsafePH:

In this modern age of technology, almost everything we want is already within our reach. All we have to do is use our smartphone or laptop to get what we want. If we are hungry, we can easily call up a restaurant and request for food delivery or visit its website to make an online order. If we want to shop but do not have the luxury of time to do it, we can conveniently go online and buy from our favorite e-commerce site. 

For these reasons, we can conclude that the advancements in the field of technology have absolutely made our life more comfortable than ever. As long as we have an Internet connection, everything is going to be okay. It may seem like we have a good life because of the availability of the Internet but let’s face it – it also has some disadvantages. One of which is an online shopping addiction. 

Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of online stores available all over the world? A large number of these businesses can even cater to all existing customers and potential clients around the globe. With the increasing number of online stores created every single day, it is safe to assume that the competition has become tough for the industry players. Because of this, many online entrepreneurs offer big sales and amazing discounts or promotions to their target market. As a result, more people are encouraged to shop online. For some, it even leads to addiction.

What is an online shopping addiction?

Addiction is a negative term, which is usually associated with the words “craving,” “dependency” and “compulsion.” Some experts call it “pathological buying online” addiction. Allow me to quote a portion of the research completed by PLOS ONE entitled “Pathological Buying Online as a Specific Form of Internet Addiction: A Model-Based Experimental Investigation.”

Pathological buying (PB), compulsive buying, buying addiction, and oniomania are different terminologies describing the same phenomenon in which individuals are preoccupied with shopping, suffer from recurrent buying impulses or episodes, and lose control over their buying behavior.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The following characteristics indicate that someone is suffering from this online shopping addiction:
  • Choosing to shop online instead of fulfilling duties or obligations at work 
  • Having financial troubles or issues because of unpaid credit card bills arising from online shopping activities
  • Experiencing extreme sadness for failure to catch a limited time offer or sale
  • Having difficulty in sleeping at night
  • Feeling like one cannot stop himself from shopping online
  • Sacrificing relationships with family members, friends and even loved ones because of irresponsible online shopping activities
  • Spending less time doing more meaningful activities because of online shopping 
  • Thinking of online shopping endlessly

How can one get over from this addiction?

Fortunately, there are still ways on how one can overcome online shopping addiction. If you believe that you have a pathological buying online attitude, make sure to follow these courses of action:

1. Find your passion. Think of other things or activities that can keep you preoccupied so that you can stop thinking about buying some items online. Keep yourself busy by doing more of what you love and none of those that can only cause troubles in your life.

2. Talk to a friend. Try to open up about your problems regarding your shopping addiction. Take note that the more you keep it in yourself, the more difficult it would be to take it out of your system. Find someone whom you can be honest about. 

3. Think before hitting “buy now.” Take all the time you need in making an online purchase. As already mentioned above, online shopping is actually not a bad thing. It only becomes dangerous if you are already addicted to it. Do not rush in putting items on your online cart. Think twice before you make an order.

4. Know wants from needs. Keep in mind that just because an item is on sale does not mean that it is affordable. Be smart enough to know the significant distinctions among the things you need to have from those that you merely want. Of course, the former shall be a top priority while the latter can be foregone. 

5. Remember your financial status. Learn how to assess your financial status. Do you have enough savings in the bank? Can you afford to buy all the things you want online? If the answer is in the affirmative, then shop all you want as long as you can pay for it. On the other hand, if you are already on the brink of experiencing financial collapse, then maybe learn how to control your shopping urges.

6. Seek professional help. There are different forms of online shopping addiction. If what you have is a severe kind, the best thing to do is to seek professional help. Look for an expert who can help you in recovering from addiction.

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