Yaya Blues: Yaya Mae

Friday, April 19, 2013

I think I expected it to happen naman, and it did - but it was sooner than I expected.  It actually just hit me that my Connor will be yaya-less (until I find a replacement) when we leave for Tokyo next month!  Stress levels!!

*Warning - ranting Yaya Blues post.. So, be warned!!

When I gave birth to Connor last year - I still hadn't found help yet.  So, for the first week or so - Connor slept with me.  It was such an enjoyable experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  After that time - I was able to find a Yaya for him.  When I interviewed Yaya Mae on the phone, she seemed eager to work.  She said she had experience because she has five kids (yes, you read it right - 5!)  So I believed her and hired her.  I honestly don't believe so much in interviews because some are good with interviews but are really bad when it comes to performance.  I told her I'd give her a try.

*Warning - Loooong detailed post ahead!!

Kailee can count!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I am always amazed on what my two year old Kailee can do these days.  I have to thank Barney and Brainy Babies for the things that she knows.

So last night on the way home - Kailee asked my Panget for a balloon, the ones being sold on Tomas Morato street.  My Panget then challenged her - 'count 1 to 20' he said.  We were surprised to hear her count out loud - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!  Then she stopped, and after a few seconds - counted another set of 1 to 10!  We were impressed.  We didn't think she would understand our instructions, moreso - know how to count in the correct order!  Since I was seated in front I failed to 'record' that proud mommy moment.

Before going to bed, Kailee was asking me to open my water bottle - so I told her to count 1 to 10 - after that, I would open the water bottle.

And here she is ...  counting 1 to 10!

I'm soooooo proud of her!!

Good job Kailee!

Japan Tourist Visa Circa 2013

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The last time I was in Japan was.... 2001 I think and it was just a quick 3 day trip, I honestly don't remember it anymore.  What I remember more was - freaking falling in line under the sun for two hours or so just to apply for a tourist visa!

But gone are those days!  Now, you won't need to wait under the sun - now, you'll just need to go to ANY of the accredited travel agency of the Japanese Embassy.  We picked Friendship Tours, they're located in Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati.  We were done in less than 40 minutes!  Oh, and now - only one (1) representative of the family is required to go to the travel agency to do all these (this is also the supposed 'appearance')  If you are bringing your nanny to Japan to accompany you, she will also need to be there for appearances sake.

Here are what I brought:

PASSPORTS - all of which SHOULD be still valid
BIRTH CERTIFICATES* - all should be NSO copies with corresponding receipts valid within 1 year
  In case of Late Registration - you will also need the following:
          Original Baptismal Certificate with telephone number of the Parish
          Original School Record Form 137 with telephone number of the School
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE* - should also be an NSO copy with corresponding receipt valid for 1 year
PICTURES - just go to your nearest Kodak center and tell them you need pictures for Japan Embassy (they already know this - but in case they don't, then click here for the photo guidelines)
TOUR ITINERARY - to show your day to day activity, click here for a sample
BANK CERTIFICATE - to show that you have money to spend on your trip (this is important for them because they want to make sure that you CAN spend for the trip and RETURN to the Philippines)
AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT & GUARANTEE - for those housewives, minors and nannies in tow (that the head of the family is able to spend and support the whole trip)

VISA FEE - P1,200.00 per person (non-refundable)

Friendship Tour is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm Mondays to Fridays

Make sure you bring all your documents.  
*If you have been previously issued a Japan visa, you won't bee needing the NSO documents anymore.  Just bring your old passport with the used Japanese Visa on them (they will return this to you)

Good luck!!

Price Tag Law

Monday, April 01, 2013

Apparently - THERE IS a price tag law in the the Philippines!

And for some strange reason (thanks to repetitive radio ads) - their ads, specifically the DTI Consumer Act laws, stuck in my head like a bad case of LSS.  The voice over was done by Alvin Elchico, who is one of the hosts (the other being Usec Zenaida Maglayon) in DZMM's Consumer at iba pa segment every Saturday morning.

He says in one of the voice overs that - there's a price tag law.  This law states that whatever price is written on the item's price tag - must be followed, and that the store cannot be sold at a higher price.

I know for a fact (for the longest time) that it didn't exist, that it is only is applicable in the US.  And how I envy that!  But apparently, it does exist here in the Philippines!  Last weekend, my 'factual' assumption was proven wrong!

We spent Holy Week in Subic - and since there's a new mall - Harbor Point, we went to take a look.  There I saw an M&S Outlet - since I'm a huge fan of their undies - I secretly hoped that they were selling them at a low low price (since its an 'outlet') and to my surprise - they did!  Imagine the original price for a pack was P795.00 and the price tag said that the outlet price was P415.00 and if you have a Citibank card - they will take an additional 10% off the sale price!  A pack would come out a little more than 50% off! :)  So I got 2 packs - and had my Panget pay for them (since I had long ago cancelled my Shittybank card).  Good deal right?

When we got home, I inspected my purchases - and there I noticed the receipt.  It was written that the items were P475.00/pack and that my Panget paid a total of P855.00, I immediately looked at the price tag - and to my surprise, it was just P415.00 on the sticker tag.  I then decided to go back the next day to try my luck and complain on it.

When I entered the store, I first went to the counter to inform them of the wrong price, I told them that they overcharged me for the items I got.  I said that I will be buying some more stuffs and that they sort it out and call me (since I will do more shopping) when they're done.  I picked up another pack with the P415.00 price tag and saw that all of those items on the racks were really priced at P415.00 - I then saw another batch that had the price P275.00 per pack!  I asked for certain sizes and when I got them, I went to the cashier.

I was entertained by a male manager who was really nice.  He informed me that when they scan the item's bar code the price P475.00 really comes out, but since the price tag says P415.00 they will really honor the price, thus he started to prepare a credit memo of some sort.  I was shocked - I mean, I didn't expect them to honor it!  I was expecting to hear an earful from them informing me that the staff erroneously put the wrong sticker and all - but I never heard anyone utter otherwise.  I just heard 'Madam, we're sorry for the inconvenience.  We will just honor the price on the price tag'  I was floored!  Wow - what great customer service!  The bad thing was that - i was holding three more items - and he just smiled and said that I can still get the items without them contesting on the price.  WOW.  Now, I was really floored.

The downside was that it took them quite a while to figure out how to process the credit and the new purchase.  My Panget was already complaining because we were already late for dinner - but I told him to let the staff figure it out, besides - they've already honored the price tag law.  I told him that we should be patient enough - because, they honored it without resistance! :)

So there - the Price Tag Law does exist here in the Philippines.  And we shouldn't be ignorant about it anymore.

Kudos to Rustan's Marketing and most especially the staff of M&S Outlet in Harbor Point Mall in Subic Freeport.  You amaze me, I wish all establishments were like you!!

THANK YOU for honoring the Price Tag law..