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Sephora now available in the Philippines

Finally! Sephora now caters to their clients in the Philippines through their online site http://www.Sephora.ph

I accidentally found out about it when I was looking for a shop where I can buy Supergoop Lip balm. They offer free delivery for orders worth Php1300 and above so I ordered a Mario Badescu Shampoo & Conditioner as well. You also get a free sample upon checkout and apparently you’re supposed to get a bag/pouch but I didn’t get one 😦

Shipping is pretty fast. I ordered July 17 and I received an email saying they tried to ship my order on July 20. Their partner courier, Aramex is a bit of a pain because they did not bother calling me back and they don’t have a number on their site. They also do not answer their emails — not until I cc’ed their VP and President.

I would say I’m happy with the shopping experience but I’m giving it a 7 out of 10 because of the issue with the courier and because I didn’t get the pouch.

 

Rating

  • Navigation 100%
  • Ease of Check Out Process 100%
  • Shipping (cost, options, handling and delay) 100%
  • Customer Service 100%
  • Overall Experience 100%

GrabExpress

Have you ever wanted to deliver something to someone urgently? Like in an hour or two? That’s what happened to me last Monday so I tried GrabExpress. If you have Grab app, open it and look for GrabExpress (it’s the 3rd icon from the left).

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Amboy Hometel: Home away from home

I wanted to book through a travel agency but ended up booking with Amboy’s primarily because they were very responsive and accommodating especially Ms Glaiza and Ms Amboy. I ended up getting the tour from them as well because the “famous guide” in Batanes was not only unresponsive, I felt like I was not getting anywhere with him and his staff.

We enjoyed the tour from Amboy and our tour guide Warren, was very knowledgeable and thoughtful.

Pros: Miss Amboy was very hands-on and everyone was very accommodating. They will really go out of their way to make sure that you are comfortable and that you have everything that you need during your stay.

Cons: Room was newly painted so the stench of new paint was overwhelming. Not to mention that it stained some of our clothes/bags. We did not complain anymore because everyone was so kind and helpful, we did not want to bother them with something as trivial as this.

Limited channels available. Not really an issue but I got sick on our 4th day and just stayed inside our room the whole day. I got bored because of the limited channels available. Just pray you don’t get sick while you’re there.

Toiletries: Available

Wifi: Available only near the admin office, restaurant and the beach in front of the hotel.

Cellular Coverage:
Smart – There are dead spots inside the hotel premises. Data is “E” almost everywhere except in some parts of Sabtang where I got a an “H+”.
Globe – There are dead spots inside the hotel premises. Data is “G” all over Batanes.
Sun – Don’t even think about it!

Tips:
1. Buy coffee from any of the two sari-sari store just outside the hotel. If you’re a tea drinker, buy a tea from the ‘grocery’ in Basco town. Request for a mug and just make your own coffee/tea. Coffee/Tea all over Batanes is expensive!!
2. Request for a pitcher of water and glasses. They’ll replace these for you every day.
3. Order your breakfast the night before.
4. Beach all over Batanes is rocky so wear water shoes when you’re going to the beach.

Room Tip: Choose a room that’s facing the beach & bring your own tea bags!
  • Value 100%
  • Location 100%
  • Rooms 90%
  • Cleanliness 100%
  • Service 100%

Hacked Paypal Account

Some lowlife scumbag hacked‬ my ‪‎Paypal‬ account and stole more than US$1000 from me. I did not receive an email notification that there was a request for withdrawal in my account which is weird.

I’ve been using Paypal for more than a decade and this is the first time this has happened to me.

Clearly I’ve done something stupid like click a phishing site or one of the sites where I am shopping has been hijacked. I’d go for the latter because I am always careful about the emails I receive and the links that I click. I mean, who in the world has time to check if the sites checkout button was hijacked?!

I’ve been racking my brains on how they did it because as far as I know, when you add a credit card to your Paypal account, you still need to verify it and you won’t be able to see it in your account for days unless you’ve entered the code which will appear in your bank statement or if you’re impatient like me, you can call your bank and ask for the code. Apparently Paypal skips verification if you are using a virtual credit card.

I was not able to sleep last night trying to find out the culprit’s MO and here’s how I “think” they did it:

1. They hijacked a legitimate shopping website so when I tried to pay that site, they got a hold of my Paypal username and password and probably my email credentials as well.
2. They logged in to my Paypal account and added a virtual credit card.
3. Prior to withdrawing money they must have added an email address too because I did not receive any notification. Either that or they also hacked into my email account and deleted or archived the notification so I won’t be alerted.
4. Withdraw money to their credit card.

I’m sure there are steps after to ensure that they are going to get the money but I’d like to stop there.

After learning about this incident I immediately did the following:
1. Deleted email address that I no longer use. If you’ve been using Paypal for quite a while, your account would have accumulated a few emails.
2. Updated my credit card and bank account records.
3. Changed my Paypal password and email password.

Because I got freaked out, I also enabled 2 Factor Authentication for gmail. I also spent a few hours checking all my accounts and updating my passwords and records. I usually update my password every 6 months but there are some accounts that I just don’t bother like my email. Yes, I know it is stupid! This is one of the things that we usually take for granted including the way we create passwords. I know some who use their anniversary dates, birthday, name or anything that is easier for them to remember. At times we even use the same password for different accounts. I am also guilty of this that’s why I changed everything this morning.

I already reported the incident to Paypal and they said it will take 48-72 hours for them to investigate. I am crossing my fingers and I’m hoping I can still get my money back.

Lupus and Memory Loss

I saw this article about coping with lupus and memory loss and I felt relieved because I thought I was just going crazy or something.

When I was in high school, I read about eidetic memory and told myself that I can train myself to have that kind of skill. So, one night, armed with a book written by Aglipay, I struggled to understand and memorize 5 pages – word for word. And I did! I don’t know how I did it but I did. This skill helped me through most of my high school life.

I used to read dictionaries and encyclopedias just to expand my vocabulary and improve.

Fast forward to x years later, I’m struggling to remember a lot of things. I thought it was normal to forget where I placed my eyeglasses, cup of coffee, tasks that I need to do. But then I started forgetting about simple things — more often than not I find myself struggling to find the words that I want to say. Not because I am scared or nervous but because I’ve forgotten what I was about to say or because I forgot what a thing is called. For example, I would forget that a cup is called a “cup” or that thing that I wanted to eat is called “ponkan”. Most of the time I have to describe things to my S.O. for him to understand what I want. And even when I do that, it is always a struggle.

At times, I would forget to eat and my S.O. will just remind me that I haven’t eaten yet. Our kasambahay would sometimes bring food for me or tell me that I haven’t eaten yet. It’s a good thing that now my body tells me when I’ve skipped a meal and usually when that happens, I feel very weak already and am about to faint. (Ok maybe that’s not a good thing!)

Do you know anyone who forgets their birthday? I DO! Almost every year!!

The scariest thing that happened is when I found myself in front of the wheel and I’ve forgotten where the gas or the brake was. I tried to rely on muscle memory but I got scared at the thought that I’d hit what’s infront of me. I placed the car on reverse and slowly pressed the left pedal with my right foot. Good thing it was the brake!! One time I pressed the gas. But thankfully I did not hit anything and I was very careful.

It’s frustrating and scary and frankly, there are times when I just want to cry because I can’t explain myself very well anymore. Sometimes, I just want to kick myself for not remembering but yeah..it’s nice to know that I am not the only one who’s experiencing the same thing.