Agoda Refund

The other day I was so excited about booking a hotel room that I totally overlooked the payment options for Pay Now or Pay Later. I usually opt for Pay Later especially since my plans are not always firm and free cancellations allow me to lock in prices now for accommodations far far later. So, anyway, the payment default in Agoda is Pay Now so my card got charged right away. That would have been okay if not for the fact that I had to cancel the booking and book another one.   How dumb. 

 
Although Agoda has a refund policy, I was pretty skeptical given my past experiences with refunds in general. What went running in my mind…endless phone calls, long waiting time,  no replies and the like.  Considering the amount, I  was scared. That’s US$166++ (P7,800). I was prepared for the worst.

 
To my surprise, however, just after 2 days, I checked my account and the charged amount was already credited back. <Insert a huge sigh of relief here>

Thanks Agoda. I am happy customer.

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Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Checked in for overnight because I wanted to shop in Makati without having to think of driving back to the south after and wrestling with traffic, which had been horrible recently. More compelling was the early morning seminar and afternoon meeting I had scheduled the next day.

I did our reservation via Agoda. Originally priced at PhP6,600++, I was able to book it at PhP6,300++, immediate payment and non-refundable. Restricted terms are often cheaper but of course  you have to forgo flexibility like cancellations. Good thing my schedule for next day was pretty solid. 

What can I say? The front desk personnel was polite and efficient. We arrived way too early of check in time but the front desk personnel registered us and asked for our mobile numbers so he can text us as soon as a room becomes available. I got a text at about 1230pm saying we can check in despite the standard check in time of 3pm. When we got to the front desk, we were handed our room keys since we already registered earlier. A total breeze. Oh, we got a late check out of until 1pm.

Upon reaching the room, we received a birthday cake for my husband, who will be celebrating his birthday this coming Friday.  We also got the usual welcome fruits! 

The guard from the lobby, the housekeepimg personnel, the life guards by the pool and the concierge people were so nice and helpful.

The room was clean, the bed linens were fresh and looked new. The bathroom didn’t have molds or mildew…yay! The shower area drain was working perfectly — this is a big deal for me cause I am such a stickler for clogged rains. The bathroom amenities were adequate.

The pool was pretty small and I can imagine how cramped it would be with 10 or more people swimming. But that’s alright, we would have gone to the beach if we wanted to swim. My husband enjoyed his quick dip.

The hotel is adjacent to Glorietta 1 so it was easy to go back and forth between the mall and hotel especially with all the shopping I did. 

We didn’t eat at the hotel since there were many restaurants in the mall anyway.

My overall rating is a 5 of 5. I would gladly stay in Holdiay Inn Suites Makati again. 

BPI Delta Miles Card -Another Fee Waiver

I got my BPI credit card fairly recently. I got a whopping P20,000 credit limit (insert sarcasm here). At that time, I already had so many credits (think 10, no kidding)  with higher credit limits. But, I hang on to my BPI credit card because of the Delta miles rewards points. Not that I travel a lot, but we’ll never know. (Streak of optimism here)

Anyway, I eventually received a generous credit limit amounting to about P40,000 after a year or so then a little later on — to my surprise — it was bumped up to P240,000 and then to P270,000 shortly thereafter. (Figures are estimates but the 270,000 is for real)

This morning I got my bill from BPI stating an annual fee of P2,000. This is 30% of my total charges for this cycle. It is quite huge, relatively. So I called the 89-100 hotline to ask for a waiver. It took a solid 16.57 minutes of waiting before I got connected to a Customer Service Rep. 

 

The usual verification blah blah blah and then we got down to business. I requested for waiver and was given a reference number, if I ever have to follow up. The rep told me to wait 3 to 5 days for a response via SMS. 

Got pretty surprised when I received a text on the same day …

  

I am impressed BPI. Really impressed. With the last waiver request I had with East West bank a few months ago, I had to first meet some requirements like enroll a utility bill, avail of a balance transfer or some other bullshit. 

Kudos BPI. 👊 

Writing Errors? No problem. Try the Bic Micro Tape

My writing is rarely legible. In those rare times, it requires effort. And since I think faster more than I write, I always end up with errors.  I was thankful for Frixion pens which are pens with ink that could be erased. Thank you universe. (Check out my blog on Frixion pens on this site)

But, admittedly, the ink of Frixion pens are not as sharp as the normal pens with ink that cannot be erased. The original solution was to use a correction fluid like Liquid Paper. This type would call for a layer or two (2) to be spread on the erroneous words.  But this type  of correction is  a hassle  because  the fluid takes too long to dry. Additionally, you have to contend with the marks at the back of the paper. Somehow, the ink “burns” at the back of the paper when you put a layer of correction fluid on the other side. Anyway, I have resorted to using a correction tape. 

I tried about two (2) and they had been problematic. 

1. First.   The casing broke and the mechanism inside fell apart. As a consequence, I wasn’t able to use half of the unused correction tape. 

2. Second. The next one I tried is very taxing on my grip. Imagine writing with a ballpen with a girth as thick as a cocktail hotdog — cooked? It also has a removable cap which I often lose. 

With these negative experiences, I still bought another correction tape the other day. My subconcious was probably in search of the perfect correction tape without my concious knowing. 

So there I was in front of this whole wall of  innocent looking correction tapes for sale at the local bookstore, confused. Because I was already doubtful of Chinese brands, I turned to the more known Bic brand (Bic Micro Tape). And I am thankful I did. 

 

Small and flat

 
The Bic correction tape has a built-in cap. You just twist it down to expose the tape and twist up again to cover the tape. The whole thing is handy and easy to grip. The biggest plus, it glides on paper. No bumps.

I am more confident making errors now because I know I can erase them easily. For the positives, be prepared to shell out almost P90 or about $2.  

An Introduction: Diet Delivery Services

I have always been trying to lose a few pounds. Alright, alright, make that about 15 lbs to be exact.

I had been successful with juicing where I took only fresh fruit juices for 3 straight days. I lost 8 lbs right away. Being a little bit hungry was bearable but the hunger migraine sucked and so was the slow re-introduction of food. After juicing, it takes about 2 or 3 weeks to finally eat pork or beef again. In the meantime, you just eat soups, eggs, fruits, veggies and a little bit of seafood and chicken. If you don’t go slow, you’ll probably get major tummy ache. By the way, juicing is tiring too. You have to make sure you cleaned your fruits and the juicer too. 

I have also been attending zumba classes lately after I got bored with walking — which didn’t lead me anywhere. The problem is I am sometimes lazy especially after a very demanding day at work. I used to attend zumba 3x a week but recently I am lucky if I can attend 1, if at all. 
As a more viable alternative, I am now experimenting with diet delivery service (DDS). I live in the South so getting a DDS to deliver is very challenging. And as if that isn’t enough, getting one to agree to deliver in the morning is more difficult.

Okay, so DDS works like this. You enroll for a 5 day food delivery (i.e. Monday to Friday). DDS offer specialized meals, there are 1,200/day meals, meals with juicing component, all fish meals, protein loaded meals etc. Since there are people more concerned about losing weight, the usual choice is to get the 1,200 calories. This is usually the calories needed to fuel your body at rest. In other words, you have fuel for the basics like breathing and digesting. For all other needs like if you suddenly zumba, you dip in to your reserves — usually fats. So you lose weight. If you want to know how much calories your body needs to fuel you, just google “calculator for Basic Metabolic Rate”. A typical DDS weekly delivery for 3 meals and a snack per day is P1800 to P2200. You can deposit payments via banks, send the DDS a photo of the deposit slip and get the confirmation. Oh, of course, you give them your details like address or any food restrictions like allergies to nuts, milk etc. Some DDS adjust for free while some adjust for a fee.

What to expect: Expect small serving sizes (e.g. Half cup of rice). Expect alternative ingredients/components (e.g organic/brown rice instead of white rice). Expect a blander flavor (e.g less salt). Expect the delivery to be a little late on some days. Traffic is bad. 
Is it boring? Not really. I’ve been on DDS for 2 weeks already but I find the food, generally, okay. Sure there were some misses but the hits more than compensated. The first week, I was consistently hungry because of the drastic shift to smaller serving sizes. I was used to eating 1 to 1.5 cups of rice per meal (i.e. Breakfast, lunch, dinner) and snack on chocolate bars plus oil-laden chips. On the second week, I was more adjusted. Sure, I snuck in some extra food but that was limited to plain biscuits.

Last Friday, I have enrolled for a full month because the result has been encouraging so far. Started at about 135 lbs and after 2 weeks I am down 5 lbs with just 2 zumba sessions. I hope to lose 10 lbs within the next month. 
ps. I will try to include some photos next time. My iPad is wonky today. 

Belo SunExpert SPF50

  

I’ve never been a fan of sunblocks. I couldn’t even remember the last time I bought one. But I started summer early this year so I thought I’d need skin protection if I wanted not to slide into 50 shades of dark. 

I bought Belo SunExpert without knowing anything about it. I guess I am tired of the usual brands of Nivea, Hawaiian Tropics etc. The only thing I probably know about it is that it is from the Belo Group owned by one of the popular and trusted derma in the country, Dra. Vicky Belo.  I think I paid around P400++ for it, which is the usual price for sunblocks of this size.  

My experience with the product was great. It came with the spray type dispenser  which I prefer. It  was non-sticky (true to its claim) and it was like a watered down oil that can easily be spread on and absorbed by my skin. It didn’t give me that  Kabuki white thing common with sunblock lotions.  This is especially important when face is concerned. I had seen so many people with that white pasty look on their faces. Ugh. I also didn’t get too dark despite swimming too long under the scorching sun. And the best part, my skin had that reddish glow. Not tan but reddish. First time ever. And I LOVE IT.

I am now a fan. 🙂