Thursday, March 31, 2016

Secured Credit Card - Getting My RCBC Instacard

Update: Funds are now released! Yey!

Finally! I got my RCBC Instacard! After deciding to apply for one last February 22, and having my qualms about it not being able to be converted into a regular credit card, my Instacard arrived at my office address yesterday, March 30. That gives about a month or so from application to approval to delivery. Not bad.

What is Instacard?

Instacard is a Secured Credit Card (SCC) from RCBC. SCC means you have to place a time deposit for a year and you’ll be automatically given a RCBC credit card of your choice, subject to time deposit amount range.

In my case, I opted to place a Php10,000 hold out amount. This means that the card I would be getting will have a credit limit of Php10,000 as RCBC offer 100% credit limit unlike BPI's version of it (Express Start) which only offers 80% - 90% of your hold amount. The good thing with BPI though, is that you can have it converted to a regular credit card after a year of usage (subject for approval of course). This information actually the reason why I also opted to open one with BPI.

Anyway, of all the cards that I applied for last February (I applied for eight, 2 were SCCs, got declined by 3, got approved by 1, while the remaining two have yet to do their credit investigation), this was the one that got delivered the latest. I've already got my PNB Essentials Mastercard, and my BPI Gold Mastercard (secured) so receiving this card is some sort of anticlimax for me. I have yet to decide whether to use this regularly or just keep it for emergency use. Since this is by far, the one which has the lowest credit limit, this I suppose would be the least used card.

'Til next update.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Summer 2016 - Camaya Coast, Mariveles, Bataan

The entrance which is still far, far away from the main area.

I initially opted out of this trip. I had a large wound on my leg which personally prevents me from wearing shorts and had me conscious from wearing one. Luckily, I changed my mind and thought that this is the first opportunity to jumpstart my summer this year. I don't want to get jinxed the whole year. Hehe.

I've been hearing about this resort in Mariveles, Bataan, which is currently being dubbed as
'Little Boracay of Bataan" way back 2013. During that time, one wouldn't see any details about this resort except for an offering to invest in the area. With that, I perceived to be for members only resort. Then I became familiar with voucher sites like CashCashPinoy, Metrodeal, and Ensogo which offer day tours for as low as Php499. This I believe is what my superiors got for our team outing for this summer.

Via a private vehicle, it’s a three to four-hour drive from the metro. I've read that it is recommended to bring your own vehicle as Camaya Coast is not accessible by public transportation from the town proper of Mariveles, Bataan. One can also go there via ferry from Roxas Boulevard CCP Terminal, which only takes one and a half hours. I wish this was the route our group took but we opted for the land travel so those who came from a working shift have time to rest during the travel. 

Meetup was set to 4:30AM in Eastwood where I work. Of course, Filipino time had our group leaving at 5:30AM. I was asleep most of the travel time even though I came from a weekly off. Travel was smooth, did one or two stopovers and we finally arrived at Camaya Coast at around 11:00AM.

One thing I noticed from the entrance point is a vast land waiting to be occupied. It was a good 10 minutes drive to get to the beach area and you will pass by several units in the making, more empty lots which could house a small theme park or so. I'm really hoping that the owners and developers would turn this area into a mini tourist spot that would place Mariveles on one's vacation map. 

Prior to entering the resort, our van was quickly searched for food as bringing one was not allowed into the premises. Some of us managed to sneak in a few chips, haha! One really just have to know how to hide goods effectively. :) We were then given a plain white access card along with a meal stub to enter the area. You get to keep the card as a souvenir, which is good if only it was a designed one. Nevertheless, I kept mine for my collection of cards.

Would love to have a designed one.

On to the beach. The best I've been onto was still in Palawan and Camiguin, but Camaya Coast also has that  fine, off-white sand that is almost at par with the sands of the best beaches of the country. It is obvious that despite the still ongoing development of the area, its beach is well maintained. There' a lot of trash bins, you would be ashamed to litter.  Add to that the natural cleanliness of the waters, plus the fact that there are no sea urchins, no seaweeds. There are also lot of tables and lounges around the area were you can leave your things. They also have locker rooms to secure your belongings which I think is a bit expensive at Php49 per hour.

If there's one thing that I didn't like about this place, its that the food and drinks are expensive. I understand that this is a resort, but for its price, I would expect it to be presented in a bit different way. Other than that, the whole experience is a memorable one.     

An officemate looking fierce against a fine background.

The obligatory jumpshot. 
The whole team.

A nice goodbye photo from my manager.

More later. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Secured Credit Cards - My Journey to BPI Express Start

Aside from applying for RCBC's Instacard, I also applied for BPI's version of a secured credit card - BPI's Express Start.

Unlike RCBC's Instacard, BPI's Express Start can actually convert your secured credit card into a regular credit card after establishing yourself with good credit standing for a year or so.
Although your credit limit is only 80%-90% of your holdout amount versus RCBC's 100%, the prospect of having it converted into a regular credit card seals the deal for me.

So last February 25, I applied for a Blue Mastercard secured credit card. Initially I opted to place Php25,000 as my hold out amount. This amount would have my credit limit to Php20,000 or above. However, after reading something on the internet (which I would tell in the near future) made me change my mind and instead, I opted to place Php100,000 and request for a Gold Mastercard secured credit card.

Come March 10, 2016 (3 days after I received my first regular credit card from PNB), I received a text from BPI that my BPI Express Credit Card application was approved and the card should be delivered in 3-5 days time. I was not overly excited since I already have one regular credit card from PNB but nevertheless was happy as I will have a gold secured credit card with a higher credit limit.

March 11, 2016 - I got another text from BPI that my new card is on its way and I should expect 10 working days to arrive. Well, it arrived the same day but I was not at the office to receive it. Luckily the messenger left it to the guard to whom I left an autorization letter. Good job, BPI! For now.

The thing is, I was really hoping for a gold one as it would serve a bigger purpose in the near future but when I checked my Express Online account, I was dismayed that BPI have only given a Blue Mastercard. I immediately went to the bank and asked why this was the case. Is this because I originally applied for a Blue Mastercard and when I decided to apply for a Gold, the representative who assisted me just whitemarked the check on the Blue tickbox and then check the Gold tickbox?  Not even the manager know why I was given a Blue Mastercard considering the hold out amount I placed. She guessed that in order for me to have the Gold Mastercard, I may have to increase my hold out amount to Php150,000. I told her that I initially read somewhere that Php50,000 was enough as a holdout amount for a gold card. She then escalated my case to her superiors and inform me that she would call me for an update.

March 12, 2016 - I decided to call 89-100 just to confirm what the minimum hold out for a Gold Mastercard should be. The representative I talked to informed me that a Php75,000 credit limit is enough for a gold Mastercard. Since I have a Php90,000 limit, he advised me to visit my branch of account and request for a conversion.

March 15, 2016 - Coming from a graveyard shift, I visited my branch of account and asked for a credit card conversion form, filled it up and was told to wait 3-5 business days to be processed.


It's a waiting game again for now.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Credit Cards - My First From PNB

Image from

Good things do come when you least expect it.

After being declined by BDO and BPI, and resorting to secured credit cards offered by RCBC and BPI, I got my first credit card from PNB last March 7, 2016. It was a Blue Essentials Mastercard with a credit limit of Php20,000. Small, I know, but at least it's a regular credit card, not that secured ones are less desirable.

I was really surpised. I didn't receive any call or text saying that I was approved. I applied around the same time I applied for RCBC Instacard last Feruary 19. I believe I got the mandatory credit investigation call a week after and haven't heard from them since. I was not really hoping to be approved since I was declined by two banks already but Come March 7, I got a text from a friend that a package containing a credit card arrived at the office. I was expecting that it was my RCBC Instacard so I told him to open and place it in my locker. I asked if it was from RCBC and got suprised that it was from PNB!

I couldn't contain my joy and I'm very thankful to PNB for giving me the chance to avail of their credit card services. Thank you PNB! I promise not to miss any payment. LOL.

But wait, there's more! I called their hotline at 8189818 to activate it and happened to ask for my annual fee, I was told that it is FREE FOR LIFE! How great is that? My first credit card and no annual fee for life. I'm loving PNB every seconds. :)

Image from

Sunday, March 06, 2016

unit16sweets - Message In A (Chocolate) Bar

Personalized <3

I happened to pass by a food bazaar in Gateway this afternoon and look what I chanced upon. Personalized chocolate bars! The stall was of unit16sweets and they are selling chocolate bars with personalized wrappers! Much like everything else, I believe a gift is more appreciated when its personalized. The effort of thinking what to place in each bar and the thought of thinking of someone when you see a particular message feels good.  And of course, it's instagrammable. LOL.

 Each 45g  medium sized semi dark bar sells Php 35 a piece but you can get 3 for Php100. Not bad! I initially bought 3 as a birthday token for a friend but couldn't resist buying some of the designs as well.  I ended up buying 6 pieces more! Hehe.

Here's my favorite.



This one's has a back message.

Gender sensitive. LOL.

For girl friends.

For guy friends.

It's a cute alternative from the usual giveaways (think, figurines), and comes in 3 sizes: small (25g), medium (45g) and large (8 oz). Personalized as it is, it can be given during birthdays, weddings, corporate or school events or even as a one time "I thought of you" token. I got one of their flyers in the event I need to order in bulk. Here's their price chart:

There's a minimum of 100 pieces per order and you have the option of having the chocolate bar be a local or imported variant, and the wrapper be of a glossy one. Flavors include Peppermint, Chili, Cappuccino, and Sea Salt. Boy, 

I would love to try the Chili and Sea Salt!

Contact Number: 091756956854 / 09178516454
Faceook: /unit16sweets
Instagram: /unit16sweets

I have yet to taste one though. Maybe after this post. Hehe. I bought the semi dark chocolate variant and would expect a bittersweet (of course) flavor. Will update. :)

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

FOR SALE - Starbucks Philippines Easter Egg Mini Card Pink

Since I have an extra set of the Starbucks Philippines Easter Egg Mini Cards, I decided to sell one. Just click on the OLX widget at the right side to view my other stuff. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

52 Week Money Challenge - Game On!

I've known this challenge since two years ago but it is just now that I'm really going for it. I know  it has been 10 weeks from January but better late than never, right?

For those who have been living under a rock and who is not familiar of it, the premise of the 52 Weeks Money Challenge is simple: start the first week saving Php 50, and then  add the same amount every week for 52 weeks. By week 52, you will have Php 68,900. Tempting isn't?

Fifty pesos seems easy enough to keep weekly, but there will come a week (generally by Week 40 onwards), that you would have to save at least Php 2,000 a week. This may seem a burden to some so instead of having Php50 as a base amount, you can try saving Php 20, which will yield a decent Php 27,560 at the end of the year. If you want, a thirty peso-base will yield Php 41,340, while a Php 40 base will give you Php 55,120.

I'm personally aiming for the Php50 base. I even bought myself a cute coin bank (I couldn't find a large jar) from Clipper. I'm still thinking of what to do with the amount I will save, maybe a trip or two, who knows?  Wish me luck!

I'm gonna be happy indeed at the end of the year. LOL.