Monthly Archives: August 2012

Bathroom Renovations – Hits and Misses

When we decided to remodel our house, the main consideration is the cost.  Ours is more than 28 years old and begged for general repair so with the rising cost of construction materials and labor, we wanted to keep things simple.

Aside from the roof, the shared bathroom is one part of my home that needed a major overhaul.  Chipped and discolored tiles, very old bathroom fittings — everything had to go.  We had a very limited budget so we purchased the most affordable materials we can find.  The tiles we used were from a discount store and if I’m not mistaken, we saved a considerable sum because it was offered at half the original retail price.  Furthermore, we purchased the mirror and shelving from a glass supply store  as it was cheaper and of better quality than what’s sold at department stores and home improvement retailers.

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Wise Buy: Striped Sheer Curtains

I just got back from NCCC Mall and scored a wonderful deal on sheer curtain panels.  The store’s home sale is still ongoing so instead of P600, I only paid P299 (approx.  $7.11) for two panels of 84″  striped voile curtains.

Aside from the heavily discounted price, what I love best about my new curtains is that the color’s just right for my blue-themed room.  It even matches an organizer I bought months ago.

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The Case of the Slowing PC

My 17-year-old nephew, Paolo, has been bugging me a lot lately.  He’s asking me about RAM upgrades and laptop processors — stuff I really don’t know much about.  So I asked him what really ails him.  And he told me that their Acer laptop, one he’s sharing with his brother,  is showing major signs of slowing down.  He says he has reformatted the hard drive and all but still, the computer doesn’t function as it normally does.  And I know he’s frustrated because he knows he can’t ask his mom for money to have the laptop upgraded due to more pressing financial concerns.

But the thing is, when he says he has done everything to improve the laptop’s speed and performance, I don’t quite buy it.  That guy can be sloppy when it comes to taking care of  gadgets at home.  There are mindless things that a person does on a regular basis that effectively slows down a PC.  I should know because I’m also guilty of doing those things  like keeping the desktop cluttered or habitually forgetting to upgrade the anti-virus software.

Whenever I think of a slow, inefficient laptop I always remember my experience  with my netbook, the HP 2140.  Don’t get me wrong, my relationship with the netbook wasn’t that bad. I had a wonderful relationship with it for a few months before things turned sour.  At first I noticed that it takes longer for the netbook to boot up and shut down than it normally does.  And then it became excruciatingly slow at opening files and starting programs.  And finally, I could no longer multi-task because the system crashes.

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Storage Solutions: Multi-function Storage Boxes

Last year,  I bought a couple of foldable storage boxes.  I purchased the boxes because they looked nice and never  thought that the day would come when I’ll be able to find creative uses for them.

My favourite is obviously the bigger box because  one can do so much with its 12″ x 19″ space-saving dimensions.  I have used it for storing documents, books, magazines,  linen but for the moment, it’s perfect for the following uses:

A portable coffee station!  Because I don’t want to spill coffee on my laptop.

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Girl Friday Files: Better Late Than Never

My father retired in in 2008.  Immediately after his retirement, he applied for his Social Security System retirement benefits and in a few months started enjoying his monthly pension.  But in late 2009, we were advised by some of his friends from his old company to have his SSS contributions manually verified.  There were posting errors in the monthly contributions, they said.

And so we filed a request for manual verification of my father’s SSS contributions.  He was required to fill up a form and then submit it to the person in charge.  And then what? We were instructed to wait and visit SSS from time to time for updates.  And so we waited and regularly checked for updates.  I must’ve made more than 2 dozen visits.

By May 2012, I was really tired of the regular SSS visits I’ve been making.  The person in charge (I forgot her name) couldn’t  even give me a timetable.  The manual verification of contributions is done in their Manila head office and there is no way for her to track their progress.  Sometimes she made calls to ask, I don’t know if it was long distance or through PBX but from what I figured out, she was always told that our request was still being processed. Continue reading

Kreuk’s Euro Snacks and Food

Okay, here’s what Lyle and I had for pre-midnight snack last night:


The picture is crappy but what you’re looking at are two very large servings of  tasty Sate  (or is it Satay?) and Fish & Fries meals from a food stand called Kreuk’s Euro Snacks and Food.  Each meal costs P150 and believe me, the servings are so huge that even if you’re hungry, it will probably take you some time to pack it all in.

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Finally Back in my Room

Finally, I’m back in my room.  We’re having  some renovations done at home so  I had to move to another part of the house and  bear with intolerable heat, intermittent WiFi connection, and poor ventilation among other things for months.  I also slept on a leatherette couch, aggravating my chronic back pain.

Bluer than blue walls.

By the way, I had my walls painted with two different shades of  blue.  I don’t know what made me decide on the colour scheme  but I regretted  it the moment I saw the finished product.  Decorating a blue room is difficult especially when you’re working with a close to nothing budget.  I should have gone for the safe ecru and brown combo like my younger brother did.

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Skechers Philippines Running Essentials w/ Michelle Estuar

Okay, here’s something that will surely delight Davao’s hordes of running enthusiasts.

Skechers Philippines will be having a Running Essentials running clinic on August 24 at the Activity Center of Abreeza Mall.  Running Essentials will be conducted by ultramarathoner and running coach Michelle Estuar so if you want to improve your speed, endurance, and technique check out the event details after the jump.

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Destination 2013: Boracay

My boyfriend, Lyle, won free flights from this online contest he joined so we decided to go on another vacation together.

Since we need some time to save up for the trip, we decided to schedule it on June 2013. Where? There’s a very big chance that we’ll be going back to Boracay. We both like it there so it’s pretty logical that we would want to visit the place again. It has been been more than year since our last visit, after all.

And so I just spent the last couple of hours scouring the net for flight deals. And so far, the search has been frustrating. My preferred airline’s website can’t complete the pricing request while other airlines’ promo fares for Boracay via Caticlan or Kalibo are sold out. Tell me, where have all the great flight deals gone?

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Girl Friday Files: National Statistics Office – XI

I’m back to being Girl Friday.  And today’s task was to obtain a copy of my uncle’s birth records at the National Statistics Office (NSO) along Cabaguio Avenue, Davao City.

Anyway, because the alarm clock did not wake me up earlier, I arrived at NSO  around 10 a.m. Still early for me but mind you, not by most people’s standards. The golden rule when transacting at a government office here in the Philippines is to wait in line early, as early as 5 a.m.  if you want things done by midday.  Or if you’re shameless, you can arrive later than everybody else and just elbow your way to the front of the line. 🙂

Moving on to my NSO experience, here’s what happened:

  • 10:40 a.m. – Arrival.
  • 10:45 a.m. – The guard pre-screened my documents, gave me my priority number, and ushered me inside the waiting area. The cashiers were serving No. 247 (I’m number 267).
  • 10:50 a.m. – I was getting bored so I decided to observe my immediate surroundings. I discovered that the waiting area has a lot of plastic chairs, 2  airconditioning units, 3 wall fans, 2 giant Iwata evaporative airconditioners, 2 equally huge exhaust fans, and an LCD TV.

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