Saturday, October 21, 2017

Secured Credit Cards - BPI Express Start No More.

3 months of no posts. Sorry, I have been busy with Netflix lately and Game of Thrones season 7 really sucked that I didn't post my spoilers (will blog about that later though. :)

Anyway, looking back at my posts here and here, I'm surprised to know that it has been more than a year since I availed of this program from BPI.

My BPI secured credit card started February 2016. With a hold out amount of 100k, I was given a gold mastercard, which at that time only sole purpose is to secure myself a 3 year multiple entry visa to South Korea. Fast forward 1 year and 8 months later, I'm glad to blog about that it is already a regular credit card! Yey!

It happened September 2017. Ideally, you should wait for at least a year to have your hold amount be released and your card to be reviewed for retention. I believe a year is enough for BPI to review your credit card usage and payment history for them to deem you worthy of a regular credit card. Through unavoidable circumstances, I waited another 6 months to have my funds be released.

Here's my profile:

- BPO employee for 5 years at the time of request
- 50% credit limit monthly usage
- Full and on time payment history
- Zero balance at the time of request

My hang ups:

- Nature of employment - there's always this stigma of BPO employees not having a stable work tenure
- Annual salary - I would not disclose but I believe I do not meet the requirements of a gold card
- Horror stories I've read in forums on how hard it is to have your funds be released

Anyway, if I remember it accurately, I applied to have my funds be released and the card be retained last September 4, 2017. I went to my branch of account and brought along a valid ID, my latest ITR, three months payslip, three months statements of account from a non BPI credit card of at least 1 year, and a proof of billing. Yes, I am ready! LOL. A representative from my branch of account, Annapolis (which is a very lovely branch, and not a busy one) took all of the documents I have brought except for the proof of billing (which, later on would be a bad idea). I was given a form to fill up and sign, and... that's it. Very easy no? I was then told to wait at least a month although I conditioned my self to two months because of the horror stories.

Fast forward a week later, I was called by the representative to submit a proof of billing. Wait, didn't I brought it along and was told that it wasn't needed? It took every bit of restraint and willpower I have not to lash out after hearing this. Since I was at their mercy, I just politely informed them that I will forward it to them the same day. At that time, I also received a letter dated September 8 from their credit department asking for the same document.I just took it as a positive thing that at least my request is being processed swiftly.

Fast forward another week later, I received another call from my branch of account happily informing me that my request for my funds be released and my card to be retained was approved! Yey! A bit of the downside, my credit limit was lowered to 55k but it's a no biggie for me. I'm just glad that a bank, particularly BPI, trusted me to handle a regular credit card.

See, no horror story. What a relief. I guess it varies from one branch to another. I'm just glad that my experience with BPI Express Start was a smooth one, and hopefully this post may help others in one way of another. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Of Spoilers and Leaks - Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode Two

Episode 2 down. Time to check the spoilers and leaks I've read about and posted last February.

Arya is reunited with her direwolf, Nymeria, which she left in season one.
No surprise here. A glimpse was shown at this episode's trailer. I loved it when Arya tried hard to convince her direwolf to return to Winterfell with her, only to be left heartbroken. Arya quickly realises that "That is not you.", the same response ("That is not me.") she gave her father way back in Season 1 when he told her that one day she will be a lady and marry. I hope that this would not be the last time we will be seeing Nymeria though.

 The Lannisters have special anti-dragon artillery, which is designed by Qyburn.
A very large and intimidating crossbow at that. Looks like Qyburn did his homework on Westorosi history. Meraxes, a dragon ridden by Rhaenys Targaryen, one of the trio who conquered Westeros, went down after being hit straight in the eye with a scorpion bolt fired by Dornish troops. Let's wait and see.
Euron Greyjoy finds and destroys Yara’s fleet and takes her as a prison but Theon manages to escape. Euron takes Ellaria and kills off two of the Sand Snakes.
The episode's ending scene. Everything was so fast paced I barely felt the death of two of the three Sand Snakes, Obara and Nymeria Sand. Well, everyone who have read the books hate how the TV show did the Dorne plot and were very relieved seeing them go. Since I have not read the books yet, I kinda like the sand snakes, especially their mother Ellaria Sand. Her reaction when Oberyn was killed by the mountain and how she killed Doran were one of my favorites scenes of the series.

Episode Three on Monday!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Grab Promotion - Eastwood City

Php50 is Php50, right? Available for rides to and from Eastwood. Just type EASTWOODCITY on the Grab Rewards page. Valid until June 2018. Yes, 2018! One year! I wonder s there's one for every city. I know there's one in Bonifacio Global City but its only available in limited time. 


Grab away!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Of Spoilers and Leaks - Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode One

So the first episode is already out last July 16 (July 17 PH time). Time to check the spoilers and leaks I've read about and posted last February.
Arya is reunited with her direwolf, Nymeria, which she left in season one. Upon her return, Arya uses her skills and the face of Walder to summon the Freys and after sending the women away, gives a toast and kills them all with poison.
Well, kudos to them, they've got it right. In season 7's premiere, the opening sequence features Walder Frey in what seems to be a flashback scene celebrating the success of the Red Wedding. He have gathered all the Freys and started giving a speech to those who engaged at the Red Wedding. But as his speech goes on, one will realize that this is not a flashback after all. As soon as the men started coughing their guts out, one will know that this is Arya Stark in Walder Frey's face crossing out the entire Frey clan on her death list.

What about Nymeria? Well, she'll be in episode 2! :)

My own predictions:

Most online spoilers points to Tyrion Lannister as the priceless gift Euron will bring Queen Cersei. Others claim that it would be DragonBinder, a horn that can subdue Daenerys's dragons. I personally think that it would be Yara and Theon Greyjoy with Ellaria Sand and her Sand Snakes meeting their end.

Til the next! ;)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#kolokoytravels - Maginhawa - The Nook Cafe

No one is too old for Harry Potter. Being the Harry Potter fan that I am since good old college days, I dragged a friend to The Nook Cafe Cafe, a Harry Potter inspired cafe in Maginhawa.  It is worth to note that my friend and I have been to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan way back October 2016. We already have the taste the original butterbeer (hot, iced and frosted) so we kept our expectations to a minimum. 

Located at 164 A Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, and since there are no local jeepneys that passes the area, the best way to go there is just via Grab and Uber. If bringing a car, expect to search for a parking lot nearby as it does not have any. 

We arrived on a weekend, around 3PM which I guess a bad decision as the place is packed when we got there, and was told that the waiting time is an hour or so. Since we are already there and the weather is not too sunny, we decided to wait the time out. Good thing they allow ordering even though we are not seated yet. I initially opted for a mug of butterbeer. I was surprised that the staff didn't asked for any payment immediately and was told that it would be at the end of our stay. Plus points for believing that people are basically good. Haha!

My verdict? The butterbeer is just okay. A bit sweet for me. It tasted like butterscotch as it should be. However, there something missing from what we have tasted in Osaka. I believe it's the kick a carbonated drink will bring. At Php100 a glass, I think its alright considering the number of photos you would post in social media plus the bragging rights of "Been there, done that" tune. I've had thee glasses by the way. LOL.

I love this corner. 

From the stairs.

I believe that a part of what will make a successful themed place, is the staff who will manage it. Fortunately,  they were nice and accommodating. I can see visitors talking to them about the series while waiting to be seated. They really make you feel at home. I guess it counts to be a Potterhead too when applying for the job.

The place itself was small. Two-storey but could only seat about 6 persons at the ground floor and about 9 persons in the second floor, but filled with Harry Potter memorabilia: from books, funko pops, robes, wands. There is a cupboard under the stairs which I sadly was not able to explore as we opted to be seated at the second floor. They also have board games that you can borrow from the counter to level up the experience.   There's a hammock at the corner of the second floor and it quickly became my favorite place in the cafe. Nostalgia will really eat you out as you try every bits of the place. Sorting hat, school robes, wands, chocolate frogs, even the wall is painted as Diagon Alley. With a waiting time of almost two hours, we only stayed for an hour or so, but every minute was worth it. 

Food. Aside from butterbeer, we didn't really order any except for the bacon wrapped chicken which I can say is very very good. I always tell myself that for themed cafes, go for the experience, not the food, and you'll end up with a smile plastered on your face. Should there be a next time, I'll surely order more. 

Writings on the wall. 

Top view.

I swear someday I'll have my room with this. 

My favorite house. :)

Potterheads, literally. :)

I can stay here forever. <3

Overall, it was a great and unique experience. I just hope that they’ll get a more spacious place or a second branch I guess because it’s really hard when you have a lot of customers and the place becomes crowded and noisy especially during the photo ops time. I think the time taking pictures are longer than eating what you have ordered.  I basically gave up a Slytherin robe after 20 minutes of using it for a girl of 10 who really wants to try it and was obviously waiting for my turn to end. Being of older age that I am, I gave her my turn and just contently watched her role play with her parents, who obviously are Potterheads too. :)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

eBay 101 - 3 Things I Learned From Online Selling

Image from ebayph twitter page

I've been an occasional eBay PH seller since 2012. Nothing grand, just some collectibles which I decided to part with, and some buy and sell stuff.  My friends are usually surprised whenever they learn that I trade on eBay PH. All they know is OLX, though I also trade there from time to time. With that, here are three things I usually tell my friends when the subject of online selling via eBay comes up. This also applies to OLX, as they are both online trading sites.

1. Check out the nearest couriers around your area. It would be difficult for sellers to ship items if there's no available within your vicinity. Familiarize yourself with shipping cost, locally and internationally. Couriers like Air21, JRS Express, 2GO, Xend have lower rates compared to LBC, which I believe is the most popular courier in the country. I personally use Xend in shipping my items since I can always drop it off a 7-11 convenience store near my workplace. Having my items picked up at home usually does not work for me since my work schedule shifts every month or so. For international shipping, expect to pay a lot. I didn't and my first international sale was my last for the time being.

2. Before deciding to sell online, make sure you have that extra time to check your page at least 3 times a week and be prepared for haggling. learn to say "No, thank you". You can make your mobile number known to interested buyers for faster transactions. Be ready to respond to inquiries the soonest possible time, and not take it personally should the buyer decided not to push through despite several communication exchange. Believe me, Pinoys are great in haggling.

3. Decide how on you'd like to be paid. I personally choose to accept payments via bank deposit so I can have the cash immediately, and there's no fees to be paid. This is common on OLX and eBay PH. However, on other eBay sites especially the main US site, PayPal is king. And with the fees PayPal charges on every payment received, it best to be aware of the fees you will be paying so you can come up with an item price that won't get you out of pocket.

To sign up for an eBay account:

1. Visit and register
2. Fill up the needed information
3. You will be asked to confirm either thru your email or via text messaging.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grab Promotion - July 12 - July 17, 2017

One reason why I love Grab.

Hey Grabber!

This week, we're giving you a P50 discount on a total of 5 GrabCar or GrabShare rides!

Just book with exclusive promo code GC250H from July 12 (Wednesday) until July 17 (Monday) to enjoy the discounted fares!

Promo Mechanics:

- Book with promo code GC250H to get a P50 discount on up to 5 rides;
- Valid for GrabCar, GrabCar Premium, GrabCar 6-seater or GrabShare services;
- Valid until July 17 (Monday).

Enjoy, and keep riding with Grab!