Will greedy cab drivers make GrabTaxi/GrabCar lose its shine? 

I used to be so in awe of GrabTaxi that I could be appointed as an unofficial brand ambassador. I literally tell all my friends and officemates and anyone who cares to listen about how it’s the best innovation after sliced bread. 

This is the sad reality when you live in a country where transportation is a perennial problem. As a country that is pegged as the fastest growing in SouthEast Asia, with a per capita GDP of USD1649.35, equivalent to 13% of the world’s average, our transportation system belongs in the medieval times. Our MRT System, with only 2 lines compared to Tokyo’s spaghetti bowl-like train system, is literally the definition of Hades on Earth while the bus, which can be cheap and efficient, is prone to Manila’s famous traffic systems. And let’s not even discuss how hailing a cab on rush hour entails negotiating with fledging Devils. 


That’s why the introduction of GrabTaxi, launched in the Philppines in August 2013, was met with much enthusiasm by commuters who was sick and tired of dealing and negotiating with errant cab drivers. The launch of GrabCar in February this year made it much sweeter.

Unfortunately, the good impression made by the company and the people behind it is slowly being damaged by its providers, the same taxi scum bags who managed to find ways  to ruin an otherwise good thing. 

GrabTaxi-riding public: is it just me or have you experienced waiting for a confirmed ride that seems to be not coming at all. 

Consider this scenario: 


I have 100+ drivers in my immediate vicinity, but no one seemed interested to get or book the ride. Granted, it was raining and it is seven in the evening but that’s the reason why I offered a  thirty peso tip, which promptly turned into forty pesos, to fifty — but no, no one is biting at all. 

I tried switching from GrabTaxi and GrabCar but no response at all, until finally a GrabCar driver took pity of me and my PHP60 tip.


I hope GrabCar becomes more strict in monitoring their ride providers. During weekends and rush hours, you can find numerous taxi cabs, with their GrabTaxi stickers, going round and round the Glorietta 3 park fishing for desperate passengers. Round and round until someone is desperate enough to sell them his soul and first born in exchange for the much-needed ride. 

Of course, not all GrabTaxi drivers are like these. In fact, I still believed that the good drivers (the kind who trades stories while on the road, shares unheard of GrabTaxi promo codes, courteous and hardworking outnumber the bad. But sometimes, it’s the bad eggs that otherwise ruin a good bunch. 

Hand lettering practice sessions – 16 August 2015

Today is a good day – I managed to get an early start from my very long list of to do’s at work. I finished two reports and checked my work emails. After laboring on work related matters for almost the rest of the day, I managed to squeeze in some practice sessions for hand lettering and calligraphy sessions.

Happiness. Joy. Love. Faith.
Happiness. Joy. Love. Faith.
You make me happy when skies are gray
You make me happy when skies are gray

Again, I used a combination of the following pens for this practice session:

  1. ArtLine My Calligraphy Pen 4.0
  2. ArtLine My Calligraphy Pen 1.0
  3. ZIG Scroll & Brush in Blue
  4. Faber Castell markers
  5. Faber Castell watercolor pencils for basic illustration

For the paper, it’s still the small Muji unlined notebook which has a smooth and satiny finish. I tried looking for a bigger version of this, maybe an 8 x 13 version but there was none at Muji. Now, I am contemplating on a buying the Daler Rowney sketchbook that I saw at Fully Booked but my full-on pen and paper addiction has caused a considerable dent on my budget already. The Hubs is already seriously contemplating committing me to paper rehab but that would also mean that I will seriously send him to whatever tabletop gaming/nerd rehab out there. (Maybe that’s why we married each other?)

Earlier, as I was practicing lettering at the living room, my father approached and started leafing through the thick calligraphy book I had with me. You see, whatever fascination I have with art — it’s because of my father, who to me, is the best artist in the whole freaking world. It is my father who taught me the basics of calligraphy when I was still in high school and seeing him engrossed on the book, studying the many forms and format made me truly happy.

Thank you, Lord–for the beauty and stillness of art.

Lamudi joins Asia E Commerce Expo 2015 happening on November 25, 2015 at SMX Aura, Philippines

Lamudi logo
Lamudi Philippines is the leading online real estate website in the Philippines. With over 90,000 properties and 1,000 brokers and developers online. Lamudi aspires to help consumers find their perfect home online from the complete assortment of properties for sale and for rent in the country. Simultaneously Lamudi helps brokers and developers connect to millions of prospective buyers previously beyond their reach. Lamudi is globally established in 30 countries and is part of the Rocket Internet Group of companies, the largest incubator of online start ups in the world with headquarters in Berlin and over 100 ventures across 50+ countries.
Previously successful ventures of Rocket Internet include Zalora, Lazada, Zalando, Groupon. Lamudi Philippines acquired MyProperty.ph in April 2015. The team together currently consists of 80 people. Jacqueline Van Den Ende, the founder and managing director of Lamudi will join Cinstantin Robertz of Zalora and Janette Toral of Digital Club Filipino in the first panel discussion.
Asia E- Commerce Expo 2015 (#AECoE) will be at SMX Aura, Taguig on November 25, 2015, Wednesday and brought to you by TAG Media and Public Relations. #AECoE will give you a unique opportunity to learn from, and network with senior leaders from the biggest brands in Asia Pacific region and in which the leading e-commerce experts from emerging markets, award winning e-commerce players and established e-retailers in APAC gather under one roof. Industry leaders will share independent experiences and insights for delegates from different countries.
You can be a part of this inspiring environment and benefit from the excellent networking opportunities it offers. It features: Sessions on ePayments, eLogistics and ePrivacy. The expo features over 15 local and international high level speakers, 30+ sponsors and an hour of Speed Networking.

As easy as 1-2-3: My tried and tested facial care regimen 


me. #nofilter

I am now in my mid-30s. Ideally, I should look less like a millennial and more like a mom who got her shit together. 

But my babies are all fur babies and most of the time I am mistaken for someone out of university (much to my kilig). For times like this when I am mistaken for someone 10 years my current age, I’d like to believe that it’s because of the health of my skin and not because of me being childish. 

I love that I have a low-maintenance facial care system – save for my first year in university where my face resembled the surface of the moon (read: pock-marked and acne filled), I never had problems with my face. I never break out even on the most stressful of situations, I don’t have fine lines yet and I’d like to believe that I do look younger for someone my age.

To keep my skin looking that way: I swear by three products: 

I swear by Innisfree Jeju Pore Cleansing Foam for my facial wash, The Face Shop Olive Essential Emulsion for my morning after-shower facial must-do and the Avon Anew Vitale Night Creme which I slather on my face before I sleep. 
Out of the three, Innisfree was the hardest to acquire. The first Innisfree I used was the one I purchased from Seoul and was more of a scrub than a wash. That was a really amazing product – you can feel the tiny scrubs cleaning your face, leaving it smooth and glowing after every wash. When the Jeju Pore Facial Scrub ran out, I had to ask a good friend vacationing in Shanghai to buy me 2 more tubes because buying Innisfree in Manila is just not convenient for me. I am down on my last tube and I am already hoping that any of my friends are going in SK, China or Japan to get me the product. I got the Innisfree for RMB70 each or about PHP503 per tube. 

The Face Shop emulsion facial lotion meanwhile is a good complement to the scrub after my morning routine. The emulsion was light and soothing in the screen minus the cloying, heavy feeling present in lotions. I also love its light scent and smooth finish. My only complaint is that it takes a long time to dry after application. So if you have plans to apply make-up, you have to make sure that it’s already dry. The Face Shop Olive Essential Emulsion retails for PHP595. 

Lastly, I always, always remember to slather on the Avon Vitale night cream after washing my face and before I sleep. This is the most tedious for me — my busy schedule sometimes leads to me falling asleep without washing my face. I know this is very unhealthy (and frankly — euwww, me) that’s why I have conditioned myself to wash my face and apply my cream after dinner. This facial cream is also light and easy on the skin and without any heavy perfume. 

From Avon’s website: Anew Vitale Night Gel Cream helps renew and energize dull, overtired skin. Hydrating gel cream, with ProEnergy Complex, is formulated to help strengthen skin’s foundation. Anew Vitale Night Gel Cream helps provide a youthful-looking appearance by off-setting the look of fatigue on skin. Over time, the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores, skin dullness and fatigue virtually disappears. Retails for PHP399

Once in a while, I treat myself by buying The Face Shop’s face masks and relaxing by slapping a face mask on and reading a book. Other than this, that’s basically it for me – very low maintenance and very convenient for a busy person like me. I haven’t done any kind of facials yet and haven’t seen a dermatologist yet for any facial skin issues. 

I am very partial to The Face Shop and Étude House before but after discovering InnisFree, I think Face Shop now has a serious competition for my loyalty. 

What about you? What are your favorite facial skin care products? 

LIFE: A New Haven for the Body and Mind



Fitness and yoga enthusiasts, rejoice! There’s a new concept establishment in Bonifacio Global City which creates a harmonious relationship between yoga, food and music and it was named – LIFE. 


Life is focused on celebrating life as it happens. The team behind it is focused on the holistic nature of yoga and believes that the practice of it should travel from mat to every facet of one’s lifestyle.


 Life offers different types of yoga depending on your preference:


  • ASH ASANA – Ash Asana is a traditional kind of yoga named after the eight-limbs of yoga in yogic scripture. Breath is linked to movement as we follow a dynamic set of postures intended to realign the spine, detoxify the body, build strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. The asana (posture) is the method of purifying and strengthening the body. This class is great foundational class for seasoned yogis and beginners alike. It is taught at the Lotus Room, which is a non-heated studio.
  • HOT BEAT – A dynamic class that is a variation of the Bikram series in which a set of postures and breathing exercises are performed in a hot room. The hot room is equipped with infrafred heat which aids in the detoxification process, reduces muscular tension and increases oxygen supply to tissues. In this class, we build strength and promote a deep sense of well-being  with postures that work through your entire body. This class is taught at the Prana Square (heated) studio.
  • FEEL GOOD FLOW – There is no better reason to practice yoga than to feel good with your self. In this class, we flow through a series of breath-synchronized movements. The strength here is in its diversity as there is no single philosophy or sequence that the teacher must follow. This flowing, dynamic form of yoga creates a movement meditation that will leave you feeling full of life and glowing from the inside and out. This class is taught in heated and non-heated varieties.
  • ROCK N FLOW – A powerful, energetic form of yoga where students fluidly move from one pose to the next while connecting breathe to movement. The Rock n’ Steady flow borrows from the yogic tradition while incorporating modern movement and sound. This practice bullds great physical power, mental resilience and instills peace as we learn to detach our minds. This class is taught in heated and non-heated varieties.
  • GOIN’ YIN – Yoga targets the deeper connective tissues of the body with the aim of increasing the circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. We take a more meditative approach to yoga by cultivating awareness of one’s inner silence. YIn is great in the morning when muscles are cool, but is also the  perfect way to unwind at night before calling it a day. This class is taught at the non-heated Lotus Room.
  • SPIRITUAL WARRIOR – This is a fully-balance class that incorporates chanting, setting an intention, meditation and an invigorating physical practice all in one. This class is based on the traditional practice of Jivamukti, which emphasizes the development of sound body and mind through listening, meditation and a compassionate and non-violent lifestyle. This class is taught at the non-heated Lotus Room.

LIFE Yoga offers the following affordable rates and packages:


Class Card

LIFE Yoga is located at 2/F Eight Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

For more information about LIFE you may visit them on the following links:


Website: LifeYogaCenter.com 

Facebook: Lifeyogafoodmusic

Instagram: @life.yoga 

Namaste and see you around!


This was published first at www.ohohleo.blogspot.com



The “F” word and how lonely it can make you feel 


planting the seeds of hope

I always say that I cannibalize my life just to provide content to this blog. However, there are certain topics that I try not to mention-just because it’s a part of my life that I am most sensitive about. So this post gets really personal. While I am not comfortable discussing this public, the seminar I attended earlier made me realize that this shouldn’t be lonely and painful battle. 

The Hubs and I got married in 2008 when we were in our late 20s. In spite our happy go-lucky demeanor and often childish fascination to toys and to objects of our geekiness, we are both normal people who also wish to have children of our own. So we tried, and tried and tried…and tried again. Six years and eight months into marriage, we are still trying.  
I probably heard it all: you are too stressed/fat/busy/childish/immature/broke to have a child. I have been told to slow down; silently judged for having a career and loving to travel and even pressured into procreating by “well-meaning” people because “your parents are not getting any younger.” The Hubs and I also endured seemingly-harmless jokes about our parts “not in working order”, of being “mahina shu-moot” (I know, the crass vulgarity is upsetting) and yes, the outright “wala ka yatang matris eh.” 

It’s as if being childish is equivalent to being a freak. And me and the Hubs are the main event of the  evening. 

And so, in my case, I decided to ride it all out in a great combination of jokes and nonchalance. If you are one of the people who outright asked me, “BAKIT wala ka pang anak?” in a really patronizing manner while (in the same vein) quipping, “maiintindihan mo yan pag May anak ka na. Hindi ka pa kasi magulang eh” — I probably answered you a combination of the following: 

  • God has other plans pa
  • God probably wants me to earn money and travel and be rich before I have kids 
  • Because I am child-proofing my toy collection pa 
  • Because… 
  • And most spectacularly — yeah, in my mind – I probably told you to fuck off and mind your own freaking business. 

I want you to know that in my mind, I am already calculating the risk of unfriending you on Facebook and in real life. Or I probably don’t wanna see you or talk to you again. Or sometimes, I am probably asking myself if you have managed to enrol yourself to a sensitivity seminar. 

I wish I have an answer why i have yet to have my little one. You see, I was diagnosed as PCOS and probably already spent tens of thousands of pesos undergoing fertility treatments, taking medicines and supplements and being acquianted with the prophylactic-ed end of a TVU. I wish I can tell you that there are days when the sadness gets to me and I vent my feelings on (an old-fashioned) journal. I wish I can tell you that there are days when seeing baby bump and positive pregnancy tests can lead me to bouts of sadness. I wish I can tell you that I already have a little one at home waiting for me after work. But no, infertility is a lonely battle. 

After all, we are all programed to believe that it is easy to reproduce. If it’s part of human nature, how hard can it be, right? 

Fertility Awareness Month
The seminar earlier, “Planting Seeds of Hope” an advocacy of Merck Serono in coordination with the  Philippine Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (PSREI) and DOH gave me a fresh insight on infertility and the number of misconceptions about this is astounding. In fact, did you know that 1 out of 10 Filipino couples suffer from infertility? And that, sadly, infertility is always interpreted as the sole problem of the woman alone? In exact, if the couple seemed to have problems conceiving, people are always quick to judge that it’s the woman who has a problem? 

The guests speakers are Dr. Anthony Marc B. Ancheta, FPOGS, FPSREI and is one of the country’s respected names in OB-gynecology; and Dr. Rudie Frederick B. Mendiola, FPOGS, FPSREI and the medical director of Kato Reproductive Biotech Center and current president of PSREI. 

Dr. Rudie Frederick Mendiola


Dr. Anthony Marc B. Ancheta
 The doctors provided an in-depth look on the causes of infertility and the treatments available. They also answered questions and provided outlook on how infertility can be addressed. Perhaps, one of the things that stuck to me the most is when Dr. Ancheta said, “There are times when you have undergone all the treatments and is convinced you a physically ready, but still emotionally and psychologically unprepared, pregnancy will not happen.” 
In the end, getting pregnant is a product of being physically, emotionally and psychologically prepared. 

Being around people who is also fighting the same lonely battle as ours is also comforting in a weird way: we are not alone. It is also sobering to think  that there are people with us who have been trying longer than us. With stories lonelier than what we have. And heartbreaks we can only imagine. 



The program ended with planting of succulents which served as a bonding activities for the couples. 

I left the event hopeful and inspired. In my mind, I am telling my future child that “mommy is ready — I’ll be glad to share with you my toys, my life and more.” 
Disclosure: This is not a paid post or a press release. I signed up for the free seminar. However, I believe that the organizers and Merck are providing a lot of Filipino couples a renewed sense of purpose and “a hand to hold” so to speak.  As I’ve said, infertility is a lonely battle and we need all the help we can get. 

PS: This seminar and talk will have a second run  on Saturday, 15 August. To sign up, please email Jinny Dolendo at jjacaria@seinc.com.ph.  


The dawn of Digital Marketing and eCommerce: Get ready for Asia E- Commerce Expo 2015 (#AECoE)

An exciting gathering of rising digital marketing stars, business leaders and eCommerce enthusiasts is happening on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 at SMX Aura, Taguig with Asia E- Commerce Expo 2015 (#AECoE). 

#AECoE is brought to you by TAG Media and Public Relations.

#AECoE will give you a unique opportunity to learn from, and network with senior leaders from the biggest brands in Asia Pacific region and in which the leading e-commerce experts from emerging markets, award winning e-commerce players and established e-retailers in APAC gather under one roof. Industry leaders will share independent experiences and insights for delegates from different countries.

You can be a part of this inspiring environment and benefit from the excellent networking opportunities it offers.  It features: Sessions on ePayments, eLogistics and ePrivacy Opening reception Conference programme Over 15 local and international high level speakers 30+ sponsors 1 hour of networking

What will you learn:

  • Market Analysis
  • Digital Marketing
  • CRM
  • Strategy
  • eCommerce
  • Going Global
  • To grow your business
  • To meet investors
  • APAC Audience
  • Maximizing cross border eCommerce

Speakers are leaders from different industries and engaged in momentous pursuits of significance to the ASEAN region and beyond. Attendees are senior business people, high-ranking government officials and media.  Speakers and Attendees will be coming from various industries.

#AECoE is not just about learning but a potential future collaboration that’s why we allot time for networking.

The roster of confirmed speakers include:

  • Constantin Robertz- Managing Director, Zalora
  • Lars Jeppesen- CEO, Tech One Global
  • Jacqueline Van Den Ende- Managing Director, Lamudi
  • Kristian Melquiades- General Manager, Viber
  • Janette Toral- Founder, Digital Club Filipino
  • Subir Lohani- Managing Director,  • Chinkee Tan- Book Author and Radio Host
  • Robert Yupangco- CEO, Yupangco Group of Companies
  • Frederic Levy- Founder & CEO, CashCashPinoy


  • Chris Kiklas- President, EmLogis
  • Bjorn Martinoff- CEO, Fortune 100 Coach
  • Pocholo Gonzales- CEO, Creativoices Production

Asia E Commerce Expo 2015 (#AECoE) is expecting 300 visitors & up to 30 companies to share their products and services in the expo.

For partnership/sponsorship, please contact the organizer at 09166299381 or at maria@asiaecommerce.ph   Registration Fee per delegate: Php 3,000.00 (Inclusion: Snacks and Elegant Lunch, Conference and Expo.)