Save for an emergency health fund

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I have a friend whose son got sick and was taken to the hospital for dengue fever.  Although he was earning a lot, he did not save for his emergency health fund.  The hospital bill amounted to twice his monthly salary.  His wife was a stay at home mom.  There was no other source of income.  It's a good thing that there are lending companies who exists during times of emergency and release money fast.  Of course, a child's life is more important right?  No amount of cash could ever replace that.

If you don't want to be short of cash when an emergency comes.  Do you and your family a favor and try to build a stable emergency health fund.  Set aside a few amount month to month.  I understand this may be difficult for those who are used to a worry-free lifestyle.  But, this is a good way to secure your families health.

Don't worry if it takes a long time for you to build your emergency health fund.  It's just better that you have something to spare.  If in a point in time, you encounter an emergency and your emergency health fund is not enough, don't feel hopeless because you can seek lending companies to cover the rest.

Facial Treatment at Zen Institute Sofitel

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Ever since I was a teenager, I would go to the dermatologist to have my face cleaned.  This year, I invited my little sisters to have our Facial Treatment at Zen Institute Sofitel.

Zen Institute Sofitel is located at the ground floor inside Le Spa.  Le Spa had a serene and cozy atmosphere.  We didn't mind hanging out there and waiting for our turn.

Soon, it was finally my turn. I was asked to change into their slippers and I was escorted to the second floor.

I was led into a large room with a single bed.  The room was probably good for something else too since there were machines, a shower room and a sink.

The staff then proceeded with my Facial Treatment.  She was very professional that she explain what she is doing to my face every step of the way from cleansing with the towel in the beginning up to the ending when she applied the moisturizer.

To assure you that they did their job, they will show you all the dirt they gathered from your face.  I thought "There goes my blackheads!" as soon as I saw the dirty piece of paper napkin.  I also observed that they sterilize their supplies too.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the Zen Institute's Facial Treatment.  I prefer the facial treatment at Zen Institute compared to those of a dermatologist.  Because of their modern and systematic procedure, the pain was minimized.  But, it does come with a price.   Zen Institute's Facial Treatment costs 2,000 php.

Zen Institute Sofitel
Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila
CCP Complex,Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300
Metro Manila, Philipinnes
Tel nos. 5515555 local numbers 1524 and 1542
Direct line: 8326957

My Landmarks Forum Experience

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I've been hearing a lot about Landmarks Forums from my relatives.  In fact, all of them have taken the basic and advanced courses.  For quite some time, they have been persuading us to enroll too.  Last night, as promised, we visited our cousins home to attend the special type of Landmarks Forum Intro.  I brought Kurt along since I thought we could learn from it.  Not that I have any positive or negative impression about Landmarks specifically.  I just believe that we can learn from every experience and every opportunity.

We were asked to register in a card where we would place all our essential information so they can do a "follow up" after the introduction.  We were also given a catalogue.  Then the Introduction leader or speaker began his speech with illustrations which were made to emphasize simple concepts:
1.  We are currently limited by ourselves through our own "blind spots" and that the three days of a non-linear Landmarks Forum Education will teach us to identify our blind spots and make them disappear.
2.  By making our "blind spots" disappear, we are able to reach our goals at a shorter span in time and this will make us feel more complete.
3. Anything is possible i.e. Money, Dreams, Relationships can be achieved in a shorter span of time
4. The Landmarks Forum Education is not some sort of fixing or improvisational.

By the end of the night, they were very persistent in persuading us to commit ourselves and make the initial deposit of 5,000 php.  Everyone in my family could not commit to go.  They all had busy schedules.  Everyone knows that I was the easiest to convince.  I know that too.  Because, I have this endless enthusiasm for everything.  I promised I'd think about it so here are my thoughts.

Why weren't we convinced to enroll at Landmarks Forum
1. We had a speaker who is a reputable consultant or trainer so I have no doubt in my mind that he would be a good one.  The speaker gave us stories about the experience of Landmarks graduates.  The stories initially sounded exciting but the story shifts without a satisfying conclusion.
2.  My entire relatives shared their experience.  Problem is we couldn't relate to them since we never encountered those problems.  If we did we must have surpassed them some time ago through self-realization.
3.  They are selling a concept that is too vague to be priced 25,500 php and their selling point is that it is vague because it is something extremely wonderful.  Honestly, it sounds similar to all marketing speeches we've encountered before.
4. It is only effective if you pay for it.
5. You can never blame Landmarks because it is only responsible for unlocking your "blind spots".  So  there's no real guarantee for the money I will shell out.
6. The idea that my relatives and the speaker's family and friends are insistent in persuading us to enroll despite that their doing it for free with the thought of helping us and the whole nation is kinda creepy.  I don't ever want to see myself or Kurt doing that.  If the Landmarks Education is one big package with this tiny bonus where I have to persuade others to feel that I'm changing the world, I'd rather skip it.
7. I want to add meaning to my life through my own self-learning and realization.
8.  I know that we will learn something from the Landmarks Forum that may or may not change our lives.  But, I could not correlate the benefits to the enrollment fee of 25,500 php.
9. I don't believe that there is one ultimate technique that is applicable to everyone.
10. The Landmarks Forum is said to improve relationships and help you connect with others.  I grew up with my cousins and have known them my entire life.  There is nothing in our relationship that has changed.  So what if, what they feel within is not as great as what actually is?  Would that mean that while they are being sincere, they could be selling us something that is exaggerated.
11.  They can't give me a specific reason as to why I should enroll.

Why should I give Landmarks Forum a second thought
1. The speech was so long and my relatives shared their problems to us which was something difficult. I know they only did that because they cared for us and perhaps they are right.
2. I have the time.

If you know Landmarks Forum perhaps you can add some thoughts?

Coal Mines Insurance is a Neccessity

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Coal is a black combustible sedimentary rock.  From the past until present, coal is an important source of energy.  It is burned as a fossil fuel to produce electricity and heat.  As technology progresses, we become more and more reliant on electricity.  Coal can also be used to refine metals.  Clearly, coal is an essential factor in our lives.

Unfortunately, coal is difficult to extract especially with deep coal mining extractions.  Coal mining requires the manual exploration.  This is one field wherein machinery cannot be fully relied upon.  Coal mining exposes coal mine workers into accidents which are almost impossible to prevent.  Throughout history there have been many coal mine accidents that have caused deaths to thousand of coal miners.  Just last April 25, 2006, the Tasmania's Beaconsfield Mine collapse trapped 3 mine workers wherein one worker died.  In China, an accident on November 2009 caused the death of at least 104 workers.

It's a good thing that Coal Mines Insurance is made available to the coal miners.  There are many benefits as to coal mine insurance:
1.  Coal miners will receive compensation benefits when they are injured or incur diseases in relation to their occupation.  Those injuries may be too costly to be shouldered by the employers alone.
2. Through Coal Mines Insurance, the coal miners are assured that they will be provided the best care possible and that their hard work is not taken lightly.
3. Coal mine worker's families need not worry about the dark uncertainties brought about by coal mining work.
4. Coal mine employers need to pay a fixed amount of premium for their workers so they need not expose themselves to expenses brought about by accidents which may be detrimental to their operational funds.
5. Coal mine employers can focus themselves in deciding their operations and not on labor matters.
6. More coal mine employers will be available since they are assured of a promising future even if they will be injured or incur diseases in the future.

Overall,  Coal Mines Insurance is a great product.  Surely, it will benefit coal mine workers and employers in many years to come.

Quality Latex or Memory Foam Mattresses for A Pleasurable Sleep

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Kurt and I always argue about the different things we want in life.  However,  we share the same ideals when it comes to what we value the most.  We value our SLEEP.  We could live with the simplest things and eat bearable food but we always want our pleasurable SLEEP.  I'm sure you've experienced how lack of SLEEP has negatively influenced your day or even your entire lives.  It can affect your mood, you productivity and your relationships.
latex mattress

The key to having a goodnight sleep is to have a quality bed mattress.  We both agreed that we need quality latex or memory foam mattresses for a pleasurable SLEEP.  We currently SLEEP on beds with latex mattress.  However, if ever we have our own homes in the future, we want to upgrade our beds to have a memory foam mattress.  That way, we're sure to have the best SLEEPS we could ever have for the rest of our lives.

Lazer Xtreme at Alabang Town Center

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I had so much fun from our last Lazer Xtreme Experience at Market! Market! (see previous entry) that I wanted to try the Lazer Xtreme at Alabang Town Center after hearing that it had a larger arena.

Upon entry, we observed that the Lazer Xtreme at Alabang Town Center is indeed bigger.  It even had a viewing deck that allows you to peek the players inside.  However, it was too dark to distinguish anyone.  Aside from that they have a large function rooms.

Hope the ladies here were more enthusiastic
Eager to play, we went to the counter to join the next batch of Lazer Xtreme players.  The game rates are the same as the ones at Market! Market!  The price is 170 php on weekdays and 190 php on weekends.  We deposited our belongings at the counter since they don't have lockers like those at the Market! Market! branch yet.

Once the schedule time arrived, we gave our game stubs and entered the preparatory room.
We found ourselves among teenagers.  The boys chose the blue color while the girls choose the red color.  There were around ten players for each team.  Kurt and I were clearly outnumbered because only the two of us represented the pink team.

The arena was bigger than that of Lazer Xtreme Market! Market!  We wanted to roam around the second floor but the blue team were guarding it.  Sad to say, our lasers from the ground are useful against them. The girls from the red team kept on charging the blue team upstairs.  We tried to penetrate the second level but we were always ambushed by both teams so we just tried our best to shoot at any player we see.  The knowledge and tips we learned during our games at Lazer Xtreme Market! Market! was pretty useful so Kurt and I were able to gain the top two ranking.  Although there was no sign, the kuya who gave out our scores told us that the free iced tea for the top one is also valid there so we claimed it at the snack bar.
The snack bar looks pretty much the same as the other branch except that it didn't have menu boards yet.

Overall, Lazer Xtreme is really a fun activity.  It's a game of both reflex and strategy.  Hope you guys try it!

LazerXtreme Alabang Town Center
Alabang-Zapote Road,
Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Bryan Adams Live in Manila 2012 Concert is Cancelled Indefinitely

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Kurt bought us tickets to see Bryan Adams Live in Manila 2012 Concert on my birthday February 18, 2012.  Bryan Adams is one my favorite artists.  He is a great performer with his unique vocals.

Sadly, the  Bryan Adams Live in Manila 2012 Concert is cancelled indefinitely.  Refund may be claimed from TicketNet.

UPDATE: They are now issuing a refund at Araneta Coliseum

CordLife: Our Option on Grabbing the One Chance, One Choice

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Kurt once told me that his older sister who lives in Taiwan paid a large sum of money just to preserve the cord blood of her first born.  During that time, I didn't quite understand what it was all about.  When I heard that CordLife Philippines would be having a sort of forum over the matter, I signed up because I was eager to learn.  Allow me to summarize what I learned about cord blood banking during the talk by the doctor and during the open forum.

10 Things You Need to Learn About Cord Blood Banking

  1. Cord blood banking  involves the process of storing stem cells which have the ability to develop into new and healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. 
  2. There are two types of cord blood banking available.  One is public cord blood banking and the other is private cord blood banking.  In public cord blood banking, everything is maintained by the government but you have to purchase the cord blood if you need it.  While, in the private  cord blood banking, you pay for the storage fee.  
  3. Cord blood banking  is said to be a one chance and one choice because you can only extract it during the time when the baby's umbilical cord has been clamped and cut.  
  4. Cord blood banking  is safe for both the mother and the child and it only lasts for a few seconds.
  5. During the twenty-three years that cord blood banking was discovered, it has been proven to diseases including cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, blood disorders such as thalassaemia as well as immune deficiencies and metabolic disorders.  Since it is still young, there are still studying more diseases where it can be applied.
  6. Cord blood banking  can benefit the child the most.  But, it also has 60% more chance of matching the other members of the family than bone marrow.  
  7. Cord blood banking  involves freezing the storing the cord blood in a liquid nitrogen tank at -196°C permanently. 
  8. The freezing can be done for an unlimited period of time.
  9. Cord blood banking  is made available by CordLife Philippines and the cord blood bank is located at UP-AyalaLand TechnoHub Diliman, Q.C.
  10. Stem cell transplants in the Philippines are performed at National Kidney and Transplant Institute, St. Luke’s Medical Center and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.
Akiko Thompson

My thoughts on Cord Blood Banking
Listening to CordLife Philippines and to Akiko Thompson and  Lexi Schulze share about how  pleased they were with  CordLife Philippines gave me a good impression.  Lexi told us that she availed of it because she her family had a history of cancer and leukemia.  
Lexi Schulze
While listening, I suddenly remembered our friend who died from leukemia at the age of fifteen.  We used to be jealous of that guy.  He was an only son of a well-off family.  He studied at Xavier School.  Back then, he had the latest gaming consoles like the Playstation 2 and the PSP.  Even in online games, he had the money to spend for the powerful items.  One day, we were all surprised that he was hospitalized because he had leukemia.  We didn't think it was serious because when we visited him, we saw him playing the PSP.  Three days after we visited him at around 1 a.m., Kurt got a call from our his dad that he already passed away.  I was shocked. Kurt told me that the reason why his parents got him everything is because they already knew about the Leukemia but they couldn't do anything.  They couldn't find a bone marrow match for him.  

Perhaps, if CordLife Philippines existed during our friend's birth, his parents would have availed of it.  Money can be earned back but our friend's life is forever gone.  So in that case, I think cord blood banking would have helped.  What they are offering is a one chance and one choice.  It's an opportunity to save life when the need arises.  But, I don't think that CordLife Philippines is advisable for everyone.  It depends on the medical history of the family.  If your family is clean from those diseases, then I don't think it is needed.  However, if you do have those diseases within your lineage, then what is the sum of 48,000 php down payment plus 8,000 php annual fee in exchange of the possibility of losing a loved one right?  If you think that that large sum is pretty heavy, CordLife Philippines even offers payment schemes that involves deferring the payments.  

Lastly, I think the main question every probable consumer like you and me would have lingering in our minds is whether CordLife Philippines is capable of sustaining their operations indefinitely, as needed.  CordLife Philippines is a subsidiary of CordLife group of companies (CordLife Limited) which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:CBB).  The group owns and operates cord blood processing and tissue storage facilities situated in Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. 

In case you want to know more you can visit or call 710-9195 or email

Dog Socialization at Hobbes and Landes Walk Your Pet

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Having seven dogs, we usually take our dogs out for a walk on the malls or just the neighborhood on rotation basis.  One of our favorite dog outings is the Hobbes and Landes Pet Club.  It's our way of enforcing dog socialization.  However due to our busy schedules, we haven't been attending for quite some time until now.  We all decided to free our schedule for the Hobbes and Landes Walk Your Pet event.  We brought Lychee (maltese) and our three Chinese Sharpei.

lychee hobbes and landes
Happy Lychee at the Hobbes and Landes Walk Your Pet
walk your pet
Registration Table
Upon registration we were given a FREE Hobbes and Landes 2012 calendar which we are happy about because it had a group of Chinese Sharpei modelled for the month of June.

walk your pet

There was a talk about dog obedience my family listened to while Kurt and I walked Lychee because she was bored and wanted to socialize with other dogs.

Check out all the dogs Lychee socialized with.
walk your pet

walk your pet

walk your pet walk your pet

walk your pet

walk your pet walk your pet
Lychee is still a young puppy at one and half years old so she still enjoys playing with other dogs.
walk your pet

Our Flowered Chinese Sharpei Oreo is pretty sociable too.  A lot of people here in the Philippines think she is a mix breed because she is flowered. =p
walk your pet

Mochi is our largest Chinese Sharpei.  But, he is like a gentle giant.  He can make friends easily too.  See!
walk your pet

This is our Chinese Sharpei Butter's first time to socialize during an event.  She is trying really hard look...
walk your pet

I know it looks easy to let your dogs just socialize and mingle by themselves.  But, its not as easy as it looks. Dog socialization requires the owners of all dogs to pay attention and be wary of dog movements.  If not, it could result to a bite or worse, a dog fight.
walk your pet
If you see this pull the leash quick =)
The main highlight of the event is the Walk You Pet.  We joined the pet walk with the rest and got a bottle of Absolute Mineral Water at the end.  Thank you Absolute!
walk your pet

Hobbes and Landes has a lot of contest going on do check their Facebook Page.  They announced the winners at the end of every Pet Club activity.
walk your pet

There was also a fish bowl raffle for prizes like the large Royal Canin Dog Food and gift packs of dog treats.
walk your pet

The activity is a great educational event.  We learned a lot about dog obedience.  Our dogs learned to socialize.  I also realized as I got closer to take a photo for this blog entry that the fish bowl raffling system can easily be rigged.

As expected from a Hobbes and Landes Pet Club Activity, it is always tons of fun for us and our dogs.  It is the one of the best dog activities that is organized here in the Philippines so I hope you guys can join it too!  It's best if you apply dog socialization at a young age.  Too bad we learned that the hard way.  =p