Saturday, November 30, 2013

MERALCO Advisory + The Move App + Energy Saving Tips

Did you know that MERALCO has a YouTube channel where they post monthly advisories? 

They do. Check out their YouTube page, for informative updates.

This month, hate to break it to you, the advisory is something we should brace for because electricity rates are going UP. In other words, tataas kuryente natin!

Overall rate is going up to Php1.24/kilowatt hour due to an increase in generation charges for the months of November & December. Fortunately, rates should stabilize by February 2014. Watch this MERALCO November Advisory to understand: 

In case you didn't catch it, generation charges will increase due to the scheduled annual maintenance shutdown of power plants (not the mall, silly!) and the Camago-Malampaya pipeline. They will still be functioning but won't be operating to full capacity and as such will be using more expensive fuel for the meantime.

Why it was scheduled during "peak season", that's something I will be asking about! Let me get back to you on that. Note that MERALCO, as a distributor, explained that they won't be increasing charges, but since all the other costs associated with electricity charges have increased these will be reflected on our bills.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Finally! H&M in MANILA!

It's finally official with this press release just out.

Where exactly in SM Megamall? BLDG D, honeys!!! Can't wait for 2014 ;)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mind Print: Like Reading your Mind

SPECIAL SUMMER PROMOTION: From now until June 30, 2014 Mind Print is offering a discounted price of P12,500 for each scan, from the regular price of Php18,000. Just use code MP002, pay and confirm your scans on or before June 30 to avail of the discount. 

Are you left brained? Or right brained?

Do you feel you will be happier doing something else? Or are you still looking for the right career for you?

Should your child be in a traditional school or a progressive school?

What are my child's strengths, her/his learning style, and how do I guide her/him into becoming the best person she can be? 

All the above questions are intriguing, but it was actually the last question that sealed the deal for me, when my friend Jenny Reyes aka My Mommyology told me about Mind Print, an innate intelligence evaluation service based on Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Mind Print is able to generate a comprehensive analysis which highlights strengths, opportunities, abilities and limitations of the various parameters of the brain. It also generates personality type, learning style and recommended career options. All these will be provided through a simple biometric scan, no paper and pen testing required.

Honestly, when I first heard about Mind Print from Jenny, I was totally blown away. 

She said that Mind Print can tell much about a child's personality and learning style based on finger print scans. They can even tell the kind of school or career best suited for a person. She also told me a story about her friend who deferred big school for her child because she realized that her daughter would benefit from the smaller class sizes in a progressive pre-school.

Thanks to Jenny, Berry & I got to try out Mind Print for ourselves, and I left wanting Dada & Xavi to have theirs done as well. Here's why:

1. There are NO written tests or Q&A's. All it takes is 30 minutes with the consultant who will take 3 fingerprint scans of each finger.

Kaiz Patel of Mind Print Philippines shared that Mind Print is all about "Innate Intelligence", and is based on dermatoglyphics, the scientific study of finger prints. He explained to me how fingerprints are our brain map. In fact, even if we burn or cut off the skin on our fingers, it will grow the same pattern. Finger prints are unalterable and unlike tests where our answers can swing whichever way based on our current behavior or mood, the reliability of the fingerprint analysis stays unbiased.

You don't have to worry about kids being distracted or having to answer long winding multiple choice questions about how one would react to certain situations. It's as objective as it gets. Berry was especially fascinated when she saw her fingerprint scans on the computer screen. Enough to keep her occupied until Kaiz was done taking prints of all ten fingers.

2. Privacy assurance. Once our finger prints scans were completed, these were sent to Hong Kong for evaluation. As soon as they left Mind Print, our scans were deleted and all that the evaluators in Hong Kong know of us is attributed to an Evaluation #. No names, no ages, no briefing on backgrounds. We are just but a number.

As for the results, apart from Kaiz, who took our finger print scans, the results were only privy to me, and Dada, who I asked to be in the room when Berry's evaluation results were discussed.

3. The evaluation report is a treasure trove of insights. I have always noticed certain things about Berry, and without knowing about it or discussing anything with Kaiz, Mind Print validated a lot of my observations.

Take for instance Berry's ability to connect with people. She's a natural charmer. People are drawn to her. As it turns out, Berry scores high in Interpersonal Intellect, meaning, she is People Smart. 

Berry easily picks up new words, even languages, and she just won't stop talking aka madaldal. Not surprisingly, we found out that she is highly Verbal aka Word Smart.

Kaiz also told us that Berry's Learning Domain is mostly Affective, and she easily learns by example. This reminded me of a time when Berry was watching her teacher at Global Art make a Minion out of clay and while I spoke with the teacher, next thing we knew, she made one herself, without the teacher's help!

Berry's Minion on the left, teacher's Minion on the right

When it comes to Thinking skills, Berry is a Reverse Thinker and a Self-Cognitive Learner. Which only means, we need to be prepared to answer a lot of "Whys" because she is the sort of child who will ask a lot of questions and will persist until she gets an answer.

This is just the tip of the iceberg from a host of other exciting discoveries I learned about Berry and myself.

3. There are action steps on how to strengthen intellect, ideal career options and other useful suggestions.  

Because Berry is an Auditory Learner, Kaiz recommends that Berry sit in front of the class every time, so she won't get distracted and can easily focus on the lessons at hand.

Meanwhile, I now know why I am so good at shopping! My Innate Intelligence points out that I will do well as a BUYER! Ahihihi.

Seriously now, my career options include careers in the realm of consultancy, art, literature, philosophy & religion and education and I do kind of have to agree that these are areas that I feel comfortable with, and I am glad that in some way or another, I have found myself doing things that I do love. 

The goal of course for Berry, is to guide her in the direction where she will do something she loves as well. As parents, we want to be able to maximize her learning potential using the best tools for learning that she is comfortable with. Kaiz even says that I can show the report to teachers and guidance counselors so they can also understand Berry's communication style.

To give you an idea of what Mind Print can do for you or your child, click HERE.

4. Mind Print can help in your personal life as well. More than just intelligence evaluations and career options, it was enlightening to learn more about our personalities and how we communicate. I can now see where Berry is coming from, and can understand why & how she reacts to certain situations.

It is not fair to lump kids based on age, or intellect, as each child is unique. My expectations of Berry is managed by this report, and that is why I want Dada & Xavi to do Mind Print as well. I want to be able to understand them better, and them me, so we can help and support one another into becoming the best people we can be.

Now isn't that what family is all about?

Mind Print Philippines
Unit 803-804 TCI Tower
61 West Capitol Drive
Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Philippines 1603
Telephone: +632 631 0563
Mobile: +63917 808 9812 Email:

The Picture Company Promos + Our Annual Family Photo

Each year, it has become tradition to have a nice family photo taken for us to remember each holiday by. This year, our family photo was taken by Ishee Sayson of The Picture Company in Podium:

The Dychiaos, Christmas 2013 

Thanks to The Picture Company, you can start/continue your own tradition too.

They are offering a FREE photo session for you, my dear readers. Just screen cap and print out this coupon below, call your preferred branch to set an appointment and remember to bring the print out of coupon on picture taking day. This offer is valid until December 15, 2013 only, so better book that session stat!

talk to a The Picture Company staffer for more details on this promo

That said, I would have to share with you how we enjoyed having our photo taken with The Picture Company this year.

The Picture Company at the 3/F Podium Mall

Let me count the ways (parang Hallmark card heehee):

1. They're organized and very professional. Our photographer Ishee called us days before to set our appointment. She then emailed me a booking confirmation, along with it some pegs on how she'd like for us to pose, how we can color coordinate our outfits and a reminder to bring favorite toys and outfits for the kids to wear.

On the day of the shoot, we didn't have to wait too long as they had the studio set-up ready and waiting for us. They were very patient, understanding how hard it is to get kids to cooperate, and obliged Berry's need for several costume changes, haha.

2. The studio is big and very neat. We had to take off our shoes when we stepped into the white backdrop but that was ok, the studio was neat and clean and all the props were organized on shelves  and costumes were hung neatly on racks against the wall. There's a changing room where you can change outfits in privacy, and a mirrored area where you can touch up your makeup.

3.  They work fast. We were in at 1:15 and out by 3:30 pm, and that includes the time where I stepped out to do a bit of shopping while they went through all the photos and edited them so I can just choose the ones we wanted for printing. I got our prints in about a week. 

4. Our pictures turned out great. I will let these photos speak for themselves, heehee.

5. They've got Christmas cards and gift tags! We used to have our family Christmas cards made through Snapfish, but with The Picture Company offering the service, there's no need to get it done elsewhere. Talk about a one stop shop!

The personalized cards & gift tags offer is available only until December 15, 2013 too!

For more on the The Picture Company, visit their website, like them on Facebook and follow @ThePictureCoPH on Twitter!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Travel with MANGO

I am often asked, “Where do you shop for cold-weather clothes in Manila?” 

Well, with the holidays fast approaching, and you are planning to spend it abroad with family and friends, you might want to shop for your cold weather gear and travel clothes at MANGO.

Here’s a tip though when planning your travel wardrobe – travel light. The last time I packed for our trip to LA/Vancouver I just had 2 jackets, two pairs of dark jeans, leggings and a couple of tops, and tights to keep me warm in chilly weather for an almost two week trip.

If there’s one thing I learned from all my years of traveling, traveling light is an art form in itself. You can’t just dump stuff into your suitcase. You really need to think outfits through and make sure you get the most mileage with each piece.

Take for instance, dark skinny jeans. To me, this is a travel essential that will go from sun up to sun down. I found a great pair of jeans from MANGO’s Premium Denim line – super slim, with a regular waist (neither too high nor too low) that hugs at the right places. Comfortable enough to be worn inside the airplane, it’s also great for shopping and sightseeing as well as a night on the town.

Not bad for Php2,750 ha!

MANGO Premium Denim super slim jeans paired with a chunky MANGO sweatshirt, smoking slippers from LeBunny Bleu, for the plane ride,

MANGO Premium Denim super slim jeans paired with a MANGO chambray top and Isabel Marant Betty sneakers for shopping & sightseeing. Throw on a sweater or a jacket if it gets cold! 

For dinner out with Dada, just slip on a pair of pointy toe heels and a sheer plaid top from MANGO

1 pair of MANGO denims, 3 different looks! Easy as pie.

There is nothing chic about lugging huge suitcases for a week long trip, so really, travel light. Besides, why use up all your baggage allowance when you need it for the return trip home? Otherwise, where else will you pack everything you’ve shopped? 

Follow MANGO! 
Instagram: @Mango

Monday, November 25, 2013

Denim on Denim Done Right

This look is just purr-fect! I need a skirt exactly just like dut. With buttons going all the way down, but the lower ones unbuttoned, just like so.

Shala, tell us where you got your skirt. Please?

J. Crew Looks I Love: November 2013

These looks from J. Crew's current "Looks We Love" made me want to bust out my oversized buffalo check cardigan in that exact black & red oversized check print. 
Now if only I had some place cold to wear it to!

Key Looks: pointy pumps, pointy flats, smoking slippers, skinny jeans, army green, buffalo checks, plaid, chambray, cable sweater

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mothering Earthlings x AntHill Fabric Gallery Launches at Global Pinoy Bazaar, Rockwell

Mothering Earthlings is launching it's first capsule collection in collaboration with Anthill Fabric Gallery at the Global Pinoy Bazaar this weekend. 

It's a vibrant collection with details of indigenous woven fabric.

When you drop by the Mothering Earthlings booth at Global Pinoy Bazaar at Rockwell Tent, show them the photo above to get a 10% discount!

Affordable Luxury #1: simpliste

During these times when it just doesn't seem right to be spending a fortune on "wants", because people have barely enough to cover their needs, I will be highlighting "affordable luxuries". These are products or brands, both local and foreign, that do not compromise on quality. They either: use the best materials available, focus on thoughtful design, price points are reasonable, or are all of the above. Because who says luxury has to always be out of reach?

freya and vyras totes from simpliste, colorful, functional bags made from real leather

I first heard of simpliste from my friend Evee aka Boogie Wipes Philippines, who had a gorgeous navy bag slung cross-body style, that at first glance looked like my Celine Trio. 

Evee with her navy treveen from simpliste
Her bag was really well-made, and the leather? Beautiful! It smelled so good the way a real leather bag only can. Turns out she was carrying the treveen, simpliste's version of the shoulder bag made popular by Celine:

So it was like fate when Nikki Corpus and Denyse Sy of simpliste got in touch with me to tell me about their freya tote, a boxy tote, made from genuine leather, that would be great for both work days and weekends:

my freya tote in chic black & navy

I like that it has a sturdy, flat bottom, so it won't droop. The construction is solid and will fit all our life's essentials. It also comes in the most interesting colorways and texture combinations:

freya colorways

The same goes for the vyras, a less-structured tote that is equally eye catching.

vyras colorways

According to Nikki, all their bags and goods are made of genuine leather.

"We believe that quality and style can meet in the middle, and be made available at a reasonable price point. We produce very limited pieces per color per style (usually 2 to 6 pieces per colorway), so we guarantee exclusivity of each item.", Nikki shared.

Apart from their bags, they also make wristlets:

As well as catch-alls for accessories:

Simpliste bags make great gifts, for yourself or for loved ones. Plus, at prices so affordable, they're practically guilt free!

For more on simpliste, sms/viber/whatsapp +63917 450 7676 and like simpliste on Facebook: and follow @simpliste on Instagram.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Help MANGO Build Classrooms + Gift With Your Purchase

When you shop at any MANGO store here in the Philippines this month of November, a percentage of the amount you spend will be going to the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation. The proceeds will be used towards rebuilding classrooms in the most affected regions of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. This, on top of the donation MANGO has already sent to ABS-CBN last November 14, 2013. 

There's something for you too when you shop at MANGO.

This cute 20" polka dot hard case carry-on luggage, which you can get for free, for a minimum spend of Php10,000.

As for you guys, when you reach the Php10,000 minimum spend at H.E. by MANGO, you get this limited edition 4GB USB flash drive which is shaped like a Zippo lighter.

If you have a MANGO RCBC Bankard, you only need a minimum spend of P8,000. Both promos are ongoing until December 8, 2013 only. 

Follow MANGO! 
Instagram: @Mango

Thursday, November 14, 2013

FEED Philippines

Family & Friends in the US! Please support efforts to FEED the victims of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Many of our countrymen are going hungry, it is already Day 6 and relief goods have not reached everyone, especially those in far flung areas.

Every FEED Philippines T-shirt sold will provide 10 emergency meals for families, especially the children who are going hungry in calamity stricken areas. BUY HERE.

Sizing is unisex S, M, L and XL and if you would like a looser fit, just order a size up.

For folks here in the Philippines, I am working on getting the shirts here ASAP. Will keep you posted as soon as they arrive!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Full Foton Big Show 2013 Experience

I have to admit, it was the Foton Dancing Wheel Loader that inspired me to Bring Berry all the way to World Trade Center in Manila for Foton’s Big Show 2013 last Friday, October 25. 

One of the highlights was actually the unveiling of Foton’s 15 seater van, the View Traveller…

… but the idea of a dancing construction vehicle was just hard to get over!

Well, as if that was to signal the feel of the day, we were in for a morning like no other. 

Foton’s Big Show 2013 formally opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the guests-of-honor Senator Nancy Binay, The Chinese Embassy’s Economic & Commercial Attache to the Philippines Hon. Wu Zheng Ping and Department of Public Works & Highways Secretary Hon. Rogelio Singson.

To set the mood, the National University Pep Squad performed a high-powered routine, and stayed on to present Foton vehicles to the guests of honor.

 photo via

Hosted by the lively Cito Beltran and the lovely Nicole Asensio,

and with the presence of officials from Foton China,

…the management and staff of Foton Philippines, and their guests, were treated to accolades and speeches from the esteemed speakers…

As well as a wide array of Foton vehicles that just goes to show the breadth of Foton’s manufacturing capabilities.
There’s the handsome and rugged Foton Thunder pick-up truck, which retails at about PHp898,000 for the 4 x 2 model…

Commercial vehicles such as the LCV which would be great for making deliveries and shuttling merchandise around… 

Light duty trucks such as the Tornado models:

Foton Auman heavy duty trucks, the result of a joint venture with Daimler AG:

And an extensive line up of industrial and construction machinery such as fork lifts, excavators, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders and such:  

But more than just the usual passenger and commercial vehicles, there were special Foton vehicles that Berry & I enjoyed seeing up close, the kind that little kids dreams are made of. 

The Emergency Response Vehicle which can load a rescue boat on its roof. Totally useful for crisis situations.

A tanker truck, OMG! When Berry saw this, she immediately ran for the stairs so she could come closer.  

A real red fire truck! Complete with all the whistles and bells that a fire truck requires. 

Then of course, as Berry & I climbed up to take a closer look at all the awe inspiring trucks, we were also treated to a first look of the Foton View Traveller, a spacious passenger van with safety features like dual front airbags, ABS and EBD, seat belts for seats, dual air con system. And as expected from Foton, reasonably priced at less than Php1.3 million. 

Seeing all these shiny, well-built Foton vehicles, was impressive. But we had to find out if there was more to Foton than form. 

With my fellow meticulous mommy friends Michelle aka My Mom Friday and Rowena aka Animetric, we just had to board the Foton Thunder to see for ourselves what it’s like to ride a Foton pick-up truck. 

Stepping inside, it felt just like being in a Japanese pick-up truck. The seats were comfortable, the leg room was spacious. The dashboard was pretty standard, but better than expected, given the price point. 

As for the ride? It was way better than expected! We had a smooth, controlled ride, and it felt like being in an SUV with great suspension. My brother drives a Japanese pick-up truck and it is so bumpy, that this Foton trumps his truck by a mile. Amazing! 

And with that, I leave you with a video of the Dancing Wheel Loader! Awe-mazing! 

For more on Foton vehicles, Like the Foton page on Facebook:
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