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Showing posts from October, 2017

How to Update PhilHealth Membership?

 If you, just like me, had a change in employment status, for example from being in the formal economy (i.e. employed) to being in the informal economy or a self earning individual, you can still continue paying for your PhilHealth and reap the benefits of being covered with our national health insurance system. But before you can do so, you have to update your MDR or Member Data Record. Here are the simple steps: Fill out the PMRF or the PhilHealth Member Registration Form. Link HERE for the updated form . NOTE: Check the "For Updating/Amendment" box Bring an original and photocopy of a valid ID (SSS, UMID, Driver's License, PRC, Passport, etc) Come to the nearest PhilHealth Office. Come Early. Come Early. Come Early. The lines are long and slots are limited. Follow the instructions on site. You may have to pay for the previous months you were not able to pay. You can also pay in advance You will receive an updated MDR along with a new PhilHealth card.  If you registered

Unionbank Philippines Launches A New Online Banking Web and Mobile Tool!

I was opening the Unionbank website today to pay my bills when I was greeted by an announcement saying that they are introducing the Unionbank Online , their new online and mobile banking tool. And yes this is different from their eBanking and uMobile services. The two are still existing though to serve you, at least for now. My hunch is that sooner or later, those two services will be shutdown to make way for this all-new service. So let me pass on the news about this new tool. Here's 3 things you need to know. 1. Available in Mobile and Web The new service is available to three platforms: Android, iOS, and Web The apps can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store and the web version can be accessed via 2. You need to register again.  Yes you do. The uMobile and eBanking username and password will not work. But don't worry, the sign up process is extremely easy and user friendly. Just follow the intuitive procedure. 3. T

PROMO: PAL's Piso Fare for Marawi

Maybe it's late but I would like to inform everyone of this one-day Piso Fare promo from Philippine Airlines (PAL).The flag carrier is offering 1-peso base fare to Cagayan de Oro from Manila, Cebu or Davao. Cagaryan de Oro is one of the closest gateway to the war-torn city of Marawi. Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane.  Image by  Kentaro Iemoto  from Tokyo, Japan -  Philippines A330-300(RP-C3340) ,  CC BY-SA 2.0 ,  Link The booking period is only until today, October 28, 2017 and the travel period is  from today until December 14, 2017 . This promo presents an opportunity for those displaced by the war to return to their homeland albeit a bitter-sweet one. Tickets can be booked online at ONLY. There's only 1000 seats available for this promo so please book quickly before it runs out. Battle for Marawi Marawi City, once a shining jewel of Mindanao is down to ruins. Last May 23, 2017 a conflict erupted between the government forc

[REVIEW] Buffet 101 Restaurant Mandaue City, Cebu

It's a huge restaurant! Me and my friends arrived around 630PM one Saturday early October this year. I was really worried that we won't find a seat. To my surprise though, the area is so big that it can accommodate a weekend evening crowd. We easily found a place for our group. I'm taking about Buffet101 International Cuisine, a buffet restaurant located in City Time Square Mall, Mandaue City. The facade of Buffet101 International Cuisine in Mandaue City, Cebu So here's a quick review for those deciding whether to eat there or not. Oh by the way, the review is relative to other buffet restaurants I have tried in the past 10 years that I have been here in Cebu City. I have tried Marco Polo Hotel Dinner and Breakfast, Radisson Blu Dinner, Harolds Hotel Dinner, Yakimix Lunch, and Tokyo Table Lunch to name a few. I would review the restaurant in these criteria: Food Quality, Food Choices, Ambience, Service, Location and Parking and Value for Money. Five stars i

[HOLIDAY] No Work and Class on November 13 - 15, 2017

Proclamation No. 332 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte declares November 13-15, 2017 as a special non-working holiday in the National Capital Region (a.k.a Metro Manila), Bulacan and Pampanga. The purpose of the holiday is to pave the way to the activities in connection with the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit which the country will host this year. Most of the events will be held mostly in Clark, Pampanga and the National Capital Region (NCR). The Philippine Flag. There will be no class and work on the said dates but for those who will be required to work by their employers shall receive a premium of 30% on top of their daily rate. This is in accordance with the  rules set forth by the Labor Code of the Philippines. Opportunity for a Long Weekend Vacation This holiday falls on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which means a long weekend. This is a perfect opportunity to take a vacation in another place. Please consider the following promo with tra

Grab Car 6-Seater Service Arrives in Cebu!

Grab announces the arrival of Grab Car 6-Seater service in Cebu! Previously only available in Metro Manila, today, the service expands its coverage to Cebu. And as indicated by its name, this service is good for up to a maximum of six passengers.  Of course, this would be a little bit more expensive than the regular Grab Car service. Please see the table below to see how does it compare with other grab services. Grab Taxi Grab Car Grab Car 6-Seater Booking Fee 10 Flag Down Rate 30 Base Fare 45 60 Waiting time (Per 90 sec) 3.5 Per Minute 2 2 Succeeding KM 3.5 Per Km 12 18 Notes:  - Rates in Pesos.  - Except for Grab Taxi, rates changes depending on demand (e.g. heavy traffic or rush hour) The service is now available on all Grab apps. Once it detected that you're in Cebu, the feature will appear as an additional option alongside Grab Taxi and Grab Car. (see image above) FAQs Answered Grab also released a list of

[HOLIDAY] NO Work and Class in Cebu This Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's official! President Rodrigo Duterte declares Thursday, October 26, 2017 as a special non-working holiday in the province of Cebu including Cebu City, Mandaue City and Lapu-lapu City. The announcement was made via Proclamation No. 333. The purpose of the holiday according to the document is "to give people of the province of Cebu the opportunity to remember, honor and show respect, and join the interment of the late Archbishop Vidal". The popular Roman Catholic religious leader died last October 18 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 86. Since this is a special non-working holiday, those who will be required to work by their employers will receive a premium of 30% on top of their daily rate.

PROMO: 666 Pesos Fare from AirAsia for 2018 Travel

666 might be a bad number for some but definitely not for this promo from AirAsia. The largest low-cost airline in Asia offers as low as 666 Pesos base fare on some of their domestic routes. The travel period is from May 1 to November 21, 2018 .  The booking period is from October 23 to 29, 2017 . Tickets can be booked online at or at any AirAsia ticketing office. Screengrab from AirAsia Facebook Page Why Travel from May 1 to November 21, 2018? One reason to travel is on that period, there are several non-working holidays you can take advantage of as an opportunity to rest and spend time with family or friends. Here are some of them. Regular Holidays  May 1 (Tuesday) - Labor Day June 12 (Tuesday) - Independence Day August 27 (Last Monday of August) - National Heroes Day November 30 (Friday) - Bonifacio Day December 25 (Tuessday) -  Christmas Day December 30 (Monday) - Rizal Day Special Non-working Holidays August 21 (Tuesday) - Ninoy Aquino Da

Resigning? SSS Will Deduct Your Loan Balance from Your Last Pay

The purpose of this article is to inform the public about this policy of the Social Security System (SSS), the government-owned insurance company for those employed in the private sector. I just learned about this a few months ago when my company announced a workforce reduction program. Among the sad discussions is about this policy of SSS regarding loans in cases of resignation or retrenchment. Section G-2 of the SSS Loan Terms and Conditions (at the back of the loan application form) explicitly says the following: "The employer shall deduct the total balance of the loan from any benefit/s due to the employee and shall remit the same in full to SSS, in case the member-borrower is separated voluntarily (e.g., retirement or resignation) or involuntarily (e.g., termination of employment or cessation of operations of the company)." In other words, y ou will be required to pay the rest of your loan (including the interest) when you change employer or employment statu

Taiwan is Visa-Free to Filipinos Until July 31, 2024

Good news to all! Taiwan will continue to be visa-free to Filipinos visiting the island state for tourism, visiting friends, attending conferences, business, and the like until at least July 31, 2024, after Taiwan's Manila office announced the extension of this free entry policy.  This visa-free policy started on November 1, 2017, and has been almost uninterrupted except for the glitch last year when several passengers were denied entry a few days after the July 31, 2022 deadline. The issue was later corrected, and the visa-free policy continued to be enforced. Filipino travelers under this policy can stay up to 14 days in Taiwan. Taipei 101. Image by Alton Thompson - 2007,  GFDL ,  Link

PROMO: 40% Off on PAL Flights

Citibank and Philippine Airlines (PAL) teamed up to give Citibank Philippines card holders a massive discount on their flight fares early next year. The discount is up to 40% of the round trip fare to some of PAL's international destinations including Japan, London, Los Angeles and New York. Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane.  Image by  Kentaro Iemoto  from Tokyo, Japan -  Philippines A330-300(RP-C3340) ,  CC BY-SA 2.0 ,  Link

SUSPENDED: Classes and Government Work Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

[Updated: Oct. 17, 2017, 12:50AM] Reversing its earlier announcement that classes and work will resume tomorrow, Malacanang Palace just announced that school classes on all levels as well as all government offices under the executive branch of the government are still suspended tomorrow, October 17, 2017. The reason for the cancellation is the continued nationwide protest lead by transport groups opposing the government's plan of "Jeepney modernisation"

SUSPENDED: Classes and Government Work Suspended Tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

Memorandum Circular 28 released by Malacanang Palace suspended all classes throughout the country in both public and private schools tomorrow, October 16, 2017 in response to a planned two-day transport strike by Jeepney Operators and drivers. They are protesting the Jeepney modernization program of the government that will phase out  jeepneys aged 15 years and older. Jeeneys in SM City Cebu terminal

PROMO: Free 10GB Data from Globe!

Just received a message from my friend saying Globe is giving out free 10GB data to selected subscribers. All you need to do is send this keyword FREE10GB to 8080. You'll immediately receive a response.

GRAB CAR: Missing "Extra Stop" Feature Solved!

A few months ago, Grab released the feature enabling passengers to add extra stops to their Grab Car rides. This feature worked so great I had to use it several times, mostly to drop friends to their houses before going home. As you may have know, to use the feature, you just tap the "+" button in the destination box to add the an extra stop. Recently though, I haven't been using that feature and at the same time, the Grab app has been updated several times. Early this week though, I need to use it but to my surprise, I can't find it. Tapping the "+" button allows you to add extra stop to your Grab Car journey.

UPDATED LIST: Remaining Non-working Holidays of 2017

This year 2017 is coming to it's end very soon. Time flies indeed especially if we are busy with so many things competing to get our attention. So, maybe we may need to stop and for once, enjoy a time with our family without worrying about work. That's the other purpose of national holidays and here in the Philippines, we are fortunate to have many. Experience this years' winter. Photo by amagnawa Since we're almost at the year's end, here's an updated list of the remaining national holidays of the year. I hope this information can help you plan ahead your vacation for the rest of the year. Regular Holidays January 1, 2017 (Sunday) – New Year's Day April 9, 2017 (Sunday) – Araw ng Kagitingan  April 13, 2017 – Maundy Thursday  April 14, 2017 – Good Friday May 1, 2017 (Monday) – Labor Day  June 12, 2017 (Monday) – Independence Day June 26, 2017 (Monday) – Eid'l Fitr  August 28, 2017 (last Monday of August )– National Heroes'

PROMO: Cebu Pacific Offers Discounted Fares for 1Q 2018

Low-cost airline Cebu Pacific announced yesterday their latest promo offering as low as 1500 pesos all-in fare on their domestic and international flights starting this November until March next year, 2018. You can book your tickets online at or through their ticketing offices. Promo runs until October 13, 2017 or until seats last. A view from Cebu Pacific aircraft cabin. For the complete list of destinations under this promo and their corresponding air fares, please check out this link .

PROMO: Philippine Airlines Slashes Fourth Quarter Airfares

The fourth quarter of the year has always been very busy. There are many deadlines to meet, and many things to close out. But in spite of that, it is also a time for vacation as the government provides many holidays during that time. Personally, what I want to do during the holidays is to travel. I'm okay with simply driving to the next town as long as it will change my surroundings, giving me a break from the monotonous city life.  So yes, fourth quarter is indeed a great quarter of the year. Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane.  Image by  Kentaro Iemoto from Tokyo, Japan - Philippines A330-300(RP-C3340) , CC BY-SA 2.0 , Link

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Release Date in the Philippines

The first official trailer of the epic space opera film Star Wars: The Last Jedi (a.k.a. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi), has been released yesterday in the United States. Here's the clip from YouTube. But maybe you're asking when the movie will finally come out to the big screen? In the United States, it's scheduled to be released on December 15, 2017. In the Philippines though, there's no final date yet but it is likely that we will be able to see the soon blockbuster movie on the same date, December 15, 2018. Promotional poster of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Image by Source, Fair use , Link The Premise From the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) : "Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga." From Google's Knowledge Graph : "Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upen

LIST: 2018 Non-working Holidays in the Philippines

Great deals from airlines and hotels usually needs to be book long before your trip. For those who are employed, they need to plan ahead in order to file vacation leaves. The good thing though is that the holidays here in the Philippines for each year is being announced about 5 to 6 months ahead. The Philippine flag. Image from Wikipedia under license  CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link

Philippine Airlines Beefs Up Cebu, Davao and Clark Routes, Offers Promo Fares

The country's flag carrier and the oldest commercial airline in Asia Philippine Airlines (PAL) beefs up its Cebu, Davao and Clark routes and now flies to these destinations. Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane.  Image by  Kentaro Iemoto from Tokyo, Japan - Philippines A330-300(RP-C3340) , CC BY-SA 2.0 , Link

Experience Autumn in Korea in this Latest Promo from Air Asia

In my whole life, I've only experienced autumn just twice, maybe thrice. I went to the United States for a work-training assignment in the fall season of 2013 and 2014. And last year, I went to Seoul, South Korea for a vacation with friends but the timing of that visit is not very good. We went there in the last full week of September but it was still summer for the most part. A little bit disappointed there. [ Related: 5 Cool Things to do in South Korea ] For me, Autumn is the best season. Cool, dry air plus the of course, the color change in the plants. The "last breath" of nature before it sleeps into the winter is truly magnificent, magical! Here are some of the photos I've taken in some of my earlier trips. Colorful trees in Natural Bridge National Park, KY, USA. Photo by amagnawa , October 2013.

The Latest Promo from Cebu Pacific Flies You to Taipei for Less Than 2000 Pesos

In a seeming response to the latest news about Taiwan opening their country even more to Filipinos by removing visa requirement, Cebu Pacific now offers cheap flights to the island state's capital Taipei. Fares can be as low as 1799 Pesos. The travel period is from November 1 to March 31, 2018 and booking is until October 7, 2017. For those interested, you can buy your tickets online at or their ticket offices. Aside from Taiwan, this promo also offers cheap flights to other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, Hong Kong and many more. There are also promo flights for domestic destinations such as Cebu and Davao. If you want to see the complete list of destinations under this promotion, please check them out in this link . About Taiwan Officially named as Republic of China (ROC) , Taiwan is a small island state north of the Philippines and East of China. It is home to thriving electronics manufacturing industry as well as many tour

Modern Habal-habal "Angkas" is Taking Over the Streets of Cebu!

If you haven't noticed yet, the streets of Cebu is quickly being dominated by the increasingly ubiquitous motorbike drivers with blue shirt and helmet. Equipped with shiny new motorbikes and helmets, this new road "character" is the modernized "habal-habal", motorbike taxis that can take you basically anywhere you want in Cebu and Mactan islands. This is the famous Angkas, the Uber and Grab version of motorcycles. Angkas driver on his motorbike with rain cover. Image by amagnawa.

Promo Alert: Vanilla Air Flies You to Tokyo for ~5000 Pesos

Catch the winter in Japan with this exciting promo from the low-cost carrier Vanilla Air , the low-cost arm of the renowned airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).  Tokyo Tower at Night. Image by   Kakidai - Own work , CC BY-SA 4.0 , Link The promo is from September 29 until October 4, 2017. Meanwhile, the travel period is from November 28 to December 25, 2017. Judging by the travel period, you'll likely catch the start of the winter in the land of the rising sun, Japan. You can book you tickets in their official website: