Clinique MOA’s Store Opening December 2012

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Last December 14, 2012 me and my friend G were asked to shoot for Clinique’s first free-standing store here in the Philippines located at the SM Mall of Asia. My friend A was supposed to be the one doing the shoot but she was otherwise unavailable hence she asked friend G and me to stand in for her. Of course friend G and I gladly obliged. Clinique is one of our makeup brands and the opportunity to celebrate their store opening was a fun event.

Hello Store!

Hello Store!

When we got to the store, we were pretty much early and we saw the colorful and happy cakes and cupcakes which were catered to by Sonja’s cupcakes for the invited guests to the store opening. They were a colorful feast for the eyes. Friend G and I could not stop taking pictures of the amazing food but also, personally, I was pleased with how the store looked. It was my kind of store. Nice displays, simple but effective coloring, interesting product displays, and knowledgeable staff who can answer any skin care question. For that day also, they hired the services of a dermatologist as an added service bonus to all the customers who came in during opening day. Below are some shots of the event! All photos were taken by yours truly.

Clinique Goodies

Clinique Goodies

The CAKE!

The CAKE!

Sugar spread for the party!

Sugar spread for the party!

Store display cases

Store display cases

the beautiful Clinique ladies

the beautiful Clinique ladies

Thank you for this fun opportunity Clinique! Until the next time…

XoXo

EV

A Run For Papa

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Ever since college I was into running but not really serious about it. I just ran for the exercise and because I felt really good afterwards. I sometimes ran solo and sometimes with friends but I did it regularly. When work started for me after graduation, the time and desire to run waned because I’d feel tired from work and did not want to exert the effort but I climbed out of that rut and started again because the feeling I’d get after was really exhilarating and I even included swimming in the equation but somehow I got into quite a lot of circumstances and I forgot all about it until last year.

Last year, 2012, was one of the most challenging years of my life. We had just started to slowly climb out and recover from a serious bout of my father’s illness when he jumped right back in this time as a complication of the previous one. We had visit after visit to the doctors and hospitals and somehow that was what my 2012 was characterized with. It also gave me and my family several important realizations all throughout but the most major ones would be that it was costly to get sick and the emotional challenges of a sickness were quite overwhelming. But with God’s help and with each other, my family was somehow able to overcome and still cope with it.

My mother’s family is not really the healthiest. From her side of the family come many hereditary diseases like hypertension and diabetes. My grandfather and uncle (mother’s side) both died due to hypertension. My father’s side contributes arthritis so I can just assume that when I grow old and not watch my health, these diseases are going to come creeping up. So it was with this thought that I urged my mother to cut down on her white rice intake as well as do some exercises. At first, it was really an uphill battle but with my father’s grisly fight for his health, she was jolted by fear for her health. My mother already has hypertension and early stages of diabetes so she started exercising with me and taking my advice on white rice. She has cut down on her intake and is a regular jogger/walker now. Sometimes she even exercises on her own when I have my moments of laziness.

I also pushed myself to going back to running. I decided then and there that it was to be a lifelong journey because I have a lot of things to consider and a future to look after for. I installed a running app and decided to do a 10k by the middle of this year with the ultimate goal of a 21k by year’s end. My mother did not know this but after I started my 10k program, she wanted to exercise with me as well but did not know that my sessions were eventually for 10k. Hehehehehehe! So it was with this thought that I registered both of us for our first official 3k serious run for 2013 – the Philhealth Nationwide Run 2013. I wanted to go for 5k but I had to be there to pace my mother for her first ever run so 3k it was.

She was all excited for the run and we even went to get our race kits together. She pranced around in her singlet and I know she was glad and proud of doing a 3k run at her age. I was also proud of her. We were up early on race day and even brought my younger sister and Zoe so they could cheer us on. We were even at the front of the starting line and when the horn tooted our start, off we went. We finished at around 48 minutes because honestly the crowds were unbelievable on the road. It normally takes us just around 30 minutes in our subdivision but so many people were in the run so we finished at 48 minutes. Not bad for my mom’s first time.

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This run was for my father. Here’s to hoping that for our next run, he will be well enough to meet and cheer for us at the finish line. I know it is cliché saying “health is wealth” but with what our family went through last year, we are committing to better and healthier years ahead.

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A Test & Look at Sampleroom.ph

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Just last December, I stumbled upon SAMPLEROOM.PH in my search for services like BDJ Box and I signed up with them to check it out and what I could try with it. At the moment that you sign up for it, you are given 100 points. These points are what you use to purchase samples. Once you get the samples, you try them out and post your review in the Sampleroom Review page and the points used to purchase your desired product will then be returned back to you so you can try out other samples.

The first 2 samples that I got were from Celeteque. A wrinkle reducing gel and brightening and puff-reducer eye cream which I tried out for a week before I then posted the reviews. So far the products are okay but I will need to use them some more to really see some really good results.

The total payment that I needed to shell out to receive the products was only Php130.00 for the shipping. I was really

excited and the samples I got were in their full sizes. Super! I also asked my mom to try out their products especially the one which can help out with wrinkles. I hope they do deliver on their promise so that consumers like me will want to buy the product more which is exactly what Sampleroom is aiming for. The way I think about it, it’s a good marketing strategy for products that don’t get a lot of exposure.

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For my 2nd order from SampleRoom, I got  purifying mud mask from AHAVA and I plan to start using it tonight. My product or what other consumers have to say so at least somehow we are guided with our product choices. reviews can be found at sampleroom so you can head on over there if you are interested in what I have to say about a 

Thanks SampleRoom, always a good experience with you!

XoXo

EV

The BDJ Box: Unboxed

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Last November 2012, I ordered my usual BDJ Planner for 2013. I love their planners. They look so kikay and the stuff inside really makes me want to plan ahead my days. While I was purchasing the planner, I came upon their new product -

The BDJ Box. It is a box that would consist of small but lovely items for hair care, cosmetics, skin care, and etc. that would make me try out the product to see if it is something I would consider buying in full. This is actually a great concept because it lets you try out items that you are planning to put on your skin or hair and lets you know if you are partial or not to the said item. This concept is already commonplace in the US but in the Philippines it is just gaining momentum.

Now I was not so sure if I wanted to opt for a monthly package so I went ahead and ordered 1 box for the November month. It arrived in 3 business days in perfect condition and I was so excited to unwrap it and see what they sent me. Now, you don’t actually know what you are sent unless it gets to you – so here is the surprise. It came in a small specialized box and it smelled great. Most were in sample size and some were actually in their actual retail sizes. Lovely! This is perfect for my goal of this year of having great skin and getting to know cosmetics more.

 

For the November box, these were the items I got:

1) Garnier Overnight Whitening Peeling Cream

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2) Calvin Klein Beauty Perfume

3) Nippon Cleansing Sponge

4) Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam

5) Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Day Cream

6) Physiogel Hypoallergenic Intensive Cream

7) L’Occitane Extra Gentle Milk Soap

8) Dentiste Plus White Vitamin C and Xylitol

9) Yuka Non-Acetone Wipes

10) L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Multi Action 8 Cleanser (which my dad just loved)

11) Garnier Light Complete Whitening Cream

Aside from the products above, they also included some bonus gift cards:

- Discount cards for Azta Urban Salon for hair color and digital perm

- Strip Upper Lip Waxing voucher

- Shiseido FREE product sample, quick facial and 15% discount vouchers

- L’Occitane 10% off

Overall I was pleased with what I got. My dad used the L’Oreal product and he said it made his skin softer and more supple and he wants to use it again. I still haven’t used most of the samples but I am definitely planning to try them out and see if they are good for me.

Thanks BDJ! I think this is a good product. The box retails at Php480/month. I plan to order another box as soon as I use up most of what they sent me in the first box.

XoXo

EV

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My bad experience with GLOBE TELECOM!

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Almost 2 years ago, I had signed up for a Globe DSL line paying 995/month for unlimited internet connection in my home as I needed it for my work online. After a few months of very unreliable connection and several complaints after and Globe telling me that they could not do anything to improve my internet connectivity because of technical issues, I decided to cut my line before my 2 year contract was up. The representative who took my call at that time was profusely apologetic of their service and so I finalized the end of my service with them and clarified all that I needed to pay and any other fees associated with pre-terminating my contract of 2 years. The Globe representative then gave me a waiver code for the pre-termination of my service and said that after I settled my last bill, I would owe them nothing and that all pre-termination costs had been waived. So I paid the last bill almost 2 years ago and signed up with PLDT and have never looked back since.

Now, since I am pretty OC when it comes to payables and other fees and about bad service, I really clarified with the representative on the phone that after I paid all balances that I did not need to pay anything else. She gladly confirmed with me that there was nothing else as I was given a waiver for everything. In the first place, I had really insisted on not being asked to pay any penalties or fees for pre-terminating my account since I would not have done it if they could provide me with good internet connectivity as they promised.

Last December 12, I was really surprised because I received a very urgent text message quoted below:

“Good day! (MY NAME)., Please be advised that GLOBE Telecom has endorsed your account to our office due to non-payment, We will appreciate immediate settlement of your GLOBE INNOVE COMMUNICATION Acct. #83XXXXXXX Amount Php3,717.23 on or before Dec. 13, 2012 to avoid any further inconvenience and/or legal problem. Thank you. We need your feedback regarding this matter. Txtbk asap! ULTADO LAW OFFICE” – this coming from a SMART number

To which I replied that I had already settled this matter almost 2 years ago with Globe and that they waived all fees as it was their problematic line in my area that they could not do anything about which was the cause of my cancellation of their service before my contract ended.

Now there is really something wrong with how this law office sent me a text and expected me to settle the matter and pay up the day after they sent over this text. Not even giving me due notice and due time to settle if indeed there is something to settle. So after I texted them that this was already settled, they called me up and as I tried to explain my side of the story and how this was already settled, the lady who called me up kept on interrupting me to explain how I could settle and how they got the endorsement from Globe to which I told her to stop interrupting me and let me explain first. I got really pissed as she went as far as to patronize me and tell me to calm down as I might collapse from high blood pressure. This even irritated me more and after a while she even hanged up the phone on me and then called me up to explain further. After a while of her high-pitched voice, I just told her I will call Globe myself to clarify this matter. My nostrils were already smoking. For everyone who knows me, I am the most patient and calm of customers but I expect to be treated right especially if I am the customer.

I called Globe right after and explained to the representative about the whole matter. She then proceeded to explain that yes they had waived the pre-termination fee but that I had still had the outstanding balance. So then I asked what the outstanding balance was, and she couldn’t at first tell me the breakdown. She kept putting me on hold because she kept on checking on my records. They do show the waiver of my contract and then she explained that the residual balance I needed to pay was for the modem pre-termination fee. I then advised her that I had heard of no such thing from the representative that explained the termination to me. I was under the impression that I had no more balance left and I even asked her to specify what else was going to be charged and what was waived since I wanted to be very clear about everything else. I told the representative that I was not informed of such a charge and she asked me if the modem was pulled out. I told her the modem was pulled out a few days after my contract was cancelled in 2011. She told me that their technicians are not able to relay that there was no modem pre-termination fee. What was also funny was the fact that she asked me if the modem was already pulled out from my house because later on she stated that it shows on my record what day it had been pulled out. What kind of investigation did she do on my account? From the way she answered my queries, I would think she just took a cursory glance at it and proceeded with her script.

I asked her why they did not even call me up and I even clarified my phone number with them and they indeed had the right one. She said Globe made 2 calls (not even 3) to inform me of the balance. I then asked and dared her to send me recordings of those 2 calls she told me about so I could listen and verify since I did not really receive any phone call from Globe informing me of this balance, it was here that she told me that on their record it shows that I did not pick up and they were unable to contact me (this after putting me on hold again). I distinctly remember not receiving any more calls from Globe and if indeed I had a missed call from them, I would have texted to ask who or what it was about if the number was not in my contact list.

She then told me that the solution she could offer is to arrange when I would be willing to pay and I told her: “I am sorry but that is not the solution I am looking for. I was never told that there was a modem pre-termination fee and I specifically asked the representative that I talked to almost 2 years ago and no information was given to me of this fee and I was assured that after I had settled my balance then that I would owe them nothing”. I told her to please escalate my case to upper management and she said she would and also said I would get an acknowledgement email from her right away but to this date, I have received none. Oh well, it has just been 4 days. I wasted a better part of my afternoon on the phone with them and they upped my stress levels as well.

I could have settled that amount or asked for it to be waived almost 2 years ago since I did not really want to terminate my contract with them. Their technicians just told me that they could not really raise the level of my internet connectivity to what their contract has promised and I was assured that I no longer needed to pay anything else after I settled my last monthly bill.

What a disappointment GLOBE! And to think that all these years I have been loyal to you guys, I am now thinking to shift to SMART!!!!

P.S. As I was ending the call with the representative I did say sorry and told her it’s really Globe that I was furious at and not her. I come from a customer service background and do understand that this was something in their system and not the representative itself, but they could have done a better job of handling my case.

UPDATE: As of January 15, 2013

The email that the last Globe representative I had talked to and promised to me still hasn’t reached my inbox yet. It must be due to the holiday traffic of many unsatisfied Globe customers or they just don’t really value my business at all since I can see no action on their part when I asked my case to be escalated to Upper Management and the “Ultado Law Office” collection lady has called me thrice since then and  every time I ask her to just send me an official notice, she calls back a few days after and asks if I have settled with Globe. Please guys, stop bothering me at work after I had repeatedly told you that you can send in your official notice/warning. Globe seems to not want to do anything on my case and I am not sure if my case was escalated even. Good luck with that. Maybe because I am just a small time customer, they don’t mind so much. Well, vice versa I say! Good luck GLOBE!

Donate through UNICEF Philippines and help children and families in Mindanao affected by Sendong

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Lack of safe water and sanitation are the main priorities for those responding to the emergency in Mindanao. UNICEF is co-leading the water and sanitation response with the government, UN and NGOs to respond to the needs of children and families affected by tropical storm Sendong.

The flooding has affected more than 63,000 families or 338,000 individuals half of them children in some 260 barangays (villages). UNICEF has dispatched supplies to the affected areas including: water kits, water treatment, to ensure safe, clean water; hygiene kits containing soap, toothbrushes and personal hygiene items.

UNICEF is also preparing to send tents and tarpaulins for temporary shelter; vitamin A for mothers and infants; breastfeeding education materials to reduce the risk of infant mortality; and recreation kits so children can play and begin to have a sense of normalcy.

Donate now through UNICEF Philippines. Log on to www.unicef.ph orhttps://donate.unicef.ph. You may also call (632) 758-1000 or (632) 758-1442. Check out UNICEF Philippines’ social media accounts: Facebook (Facebook.com/unicefphilippines) and Twitter (Twitter.com/unicefphils).

For local wire transfers, you may deposit your donation to UNICEF Philippines’ Metrobank account: UNICEF C/A No: 066-7-06631209-3 and for international wire transfers: UNICEF C/A no: 066-7-00141392-5 with Swift Code: MBTCPHMM.

UNICEF Philippines has Fundraisers on the ground in partner malls. For corporate donations, contact Ms. George Belardo at gbelardo@unicef.org and mobile number +639178844982.

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