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. 👊 

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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. 🙂 

Mercury Drug’s Lack of Consistent  Queueing System 

Undoubtedly, Mercury Drug is the biggest pharmacy chain in the country.  However, I have been always peeved by their inconsistent queueing system.

There are 2 branches in Alabang that I know of. One in South Supermarket, one in Alabang Town Center. Both have a number queueing system. This one really works for me because I know there’s a system and I adjust my expectations accordingly.

Now, problems arise when there’s no number system, like in Mercury Drug Balibago Sta.Rosa. Take for instance my experience yesterday. I had dull headache and I decided to grab some paracetamol. I was at the counter about 4pm. I was entertained after 20 minutes. 20 MIINUTES for a paracetamol. By that time, my dull headache had turned to a throbbing headache and heading for full migraine. I thought I was just the one icked by this lack of system. But, another customer refused to use her Senior Citizen booklets (ergo skipping the discounts and all) when she was instructed to get a number specifically for the Senior Citizens (they have a number system for Seniors). Guess why? She said, “baka patay na yung lalagyan ko ng insulin pag pumila pa ko dyan” (the person who I am buying insulin for may be dead if I queue there). Noticeably, there were only 3 people behind the counter and, boy, were they slow. There wasn’t a sense of “urgency” or a weeny bit of spring in their steps. They were plodding like elephants.  Maybe they were at it for hours. I dunno. Management should probably add more  manpower. 

Another thing that peeves me is their system of a pharmacy assistant (i think that’s what they call those taking orders)  getting multiple orders. Say around from 3 to 5 people. I was just buying a frigging paracetamol and I had to wait a llllllooonnggg time because the pharmacy assistant had to finish getting all the meds of the other customers before she checks out my paracetamol at the cashier. Why can’t they just finish one transaction before going to the next? Getting multiple orders gets highly problematic when your order gets lumped with another big order (a string of meds that need special attention like mixing or something). 

The only option you have with Mercury Durg branches without a proper queueing system is to box your way to the front of the counter. Otherwise, if you are timid, you will have to wait for a long long time. 

Since the number system works why don’t Mercury Drug adopt it for the rest of its branches for consistency?

I was frustrated when I went out of Mercury Drug yesterday with my paracetamol and yes, I had to endure a migraine the rest of the night. I would have avoided that if I had gotten my dose quick enough. 

Commercenter Cinemas: My Cinema of Choice in Alabang

I am not really a movie goer. The few times I went, it was for movies I really liked (with my favorite actors in it) and movies I deemed better to watch on widescreen (i.e. Transformers and Harry Potter). Those kind of movies come few and far between.

Because I watch only when I am quite compelled to, my movie moments are rare and I choose to make them really enjoyable. And what makes them enjoyable other than being in a great cinema? Here are my cinema criteria.

First, they have to be clean. No wet carpet smell. Seats should not have frayed covers (ew).

Second, they should be quite exclusive. Forgive me for being a little snobbish here. My experience with popular and cheaper cinemas were horrible. I had experience loud talking during the movie. I had my backseat banged by feet when the scenes were hilarious. I had seen couples make out heavily (get a room people). Worst, I had been beside someone who thought it was okay to masturbate while watching an animated movie. So, I prefer to pay the steep ticket prices rather than experience the foregoing again. They kinda ruin my movie moment.

Third, clean restrooms. Okay, I am a germophobe and nothing irks me more than a restroom which smells and are unclean. Double ew.

In Alabang, my go-to cinemas would be at the Alabang Town Center. They meet my 3 criteria. But, I have to say I am impressed by the newly opened Commercenter Cinemas.

Yes, they meet my 3 “sacred” criteria plus the added bonus of having free parking. It is really exclusive because the building is not accessible by public transportation. It is too far from the main public transport thoroughfares. They basically cater to the Ayala Alabang crowd, to the condo dwellers in the Mondrian or Levels (etc), the guests of Acacia/Bellevue Hotels and probably to employees of offices in the area.

Commercenter has four cinemas. It has one active ticket booth and another one which opens when the queue gets longer. Processing could get a little slow especially since you have to pick your seats. There is a Taters outlet for popcorn and stuff. Other than that, there are other restaurants in the building like Maple, Kulinarya, Army Navy, Yellow Cab, Mona Lisa where you could eat at before watching your movie,

A cinema would have about a 100 or so seats. Single viewing only – you have to be there exactly at the start of the screening time or be bumped down to the next screening. The restrooms are modern and clean (hurray! ). Since the cinemas just opened a month ago, people traffic is still slow. There are still a lot of empty spaces/stalls in the building. So don’t expect to do much here aside from getting visual entertainment or gastronomic satisfaction. Not much shopping (or make that, no shopping) at all.

It is located within the Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang along Commerce Ave. opposite Acacia Hotel. Visit their facebook page for movies and movie schedules.

The ticket price is currently at P231.