Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: My Flower Depot

Whenever I think of flower deliveries, I think of nothing but My Flower Depot. Over the years, I can almost add them to my browser's bookmarks. Years back, I started browsing for an online flower shop that delivers in Metro Manila. As a flight attendant (then), I would miss a lot of occasions ranging from birthdays to weddings, and not be in Manila for times when people need me: death of a family member, broken-hearted friends, or somebody in the hospital. This site, in a way, has been filling in for me.

So, why did I choose My Flower Depot? I have a thing for being organized and neat. Call me weird but I chose them simply for the following reasons:
  • The name sounds legit. No offense to other sites, but this just seemed that it was thought of.
  • The website is not a mess. It looks refreshing as if you're walking into a room full of flowers for you to choose, unlike other sites where it's like [picture]+price, that's it.
  • They accept PayPal. Major brownie points for me. The last thing I wanted was someone stealing my credit card info.
  • Prices are quoted in Philippine Pesos. For me, that indicates that these are priced based on Philippine standards, and not overpricing their items, greedy of the foreigners' and balikbayans' money.
Proving my hunches right, they are indeed a quality provider. Bouquets are in sturdy boxes avoiding damage in transit. You can also give them minor requests. I once asked them to deliver flowers to my lola on her birthday and have asked that it not be in a box, to mimic the feeling when someone gives you flowers, not when someone is giving you a boxed present. And that's what they did exactly.

A couple of days ago, I heard that a friend was in the hospital. I'm swamped at work and am unable to visit her. Before I went home that night, I browsed for flowers again, and found out that I just missed the 4PM cutoff for next-day deliveries. I'm not sure how many days my friend will be confined, but shrugged and thought it might be worth a try. The following afternoon, my friend sent me an SMS: "I just woke up from the operation, and I saw the flowers. Touched." It's just...priceless, making someone feel you're there even if you can't.

To whoever owns My Flower Depot, thank you. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Personal Top 5 iPhone Tips

With me teaching Abet a few tips and tricks on iPhone last week, I got inspire in making my own list of the top 5 tip/trick that any iPhone 4/4S user SHOULD know. My iPhone 4 is my first iPhone ever, so I'm not sure if these apply to all models.

Why you need it: Capturing what is on your phone may be handy a lot of times. Like, when you want to save an email conversation and share the exchange. Screenshots are also helpful when teaching somebody about something: which to click, what it looks like, etc. Lastly, I have also used screenshots as reminders. Sure, the calendars works out well, but I'm the kind of person who'd prefer seeing my to-do list over and over again. I opened a new note, wrote my list, captured the screenshot and saved it as my lock screen. That way I see it every time I check my phone. 
How to do it: Press and hold the home button. While doing so, press the On/Off button (on top of iPhone 4/4s). You should hear a camera flash sound and see a white flash-like split-second display. Your screenshot is now captured and you can view it from your Photo Album.

Locking Portrait Orientation
Why you need it: The first few days that I had my iPhone, being a noob and all, my first dilemma was using my phone while in bed. Everytime I do, the orientation changes landscape. Sure you can text on landscape orientation, but I prefer seeing more of my message than a bigger keypad.
How to do it: Wherever you are on your phone, double press the home button. Your screen should go up and show you app icons that are running. Swipe to the left until you reach the leftmost, you will see a gray icon with a rounded arrow. Click to toggle lock/unlock. 

For Tip #3
Why you need it: Apple says you don't have to, and will allow you to multi-task by having apps running in the background. However, I believe it does use up your battery more...or something like it. 
How to do it: Double press the home button. Your screen should go up and show you app icons that are running. Press and hold any of the apps until they start dancing and appear with a (-). Click the minus sign on the apps you wish to close.

Why you need it: Most likely you bought your iPhone for the apps, and browsing. You've been browsing and reading a very long webpage, or you've been reading all the tweets you've missed, or Facebook updates you weren't able to read, then you wanna go back to the top. You don't have to scroll up manually. It's like a long drive going to the beach, but you don't want to suffer the long drive again after you've enjoyed the beach.
How to do it: Tap the top most bar, where the time is. It should scroll you all the way up magically, or not so magically.

Why you need it: Well, sometimes you just want to. You may know by now how to tell your phone to shut up when someone's calling, but rejecting? Most people don't know.
How to do it: During an incoming call, press the On/Off button rapidly twice to reject. Or once to turn off the ringer volume.

Friday, April 20, 2012

iTunes US Store Problem

Last night I watched American Idol's Top 7 Redux performance. For the first time since the first season, I finally thought of legally purchasing the songs on iTunes. All thanks to Phillip Phillip's rendition of Usher's "U Got It Bad." I know Niko doesn't like him, but I think that was just amazing.

At work today, I open my iTunes, fumble around it, and found out I can't purchase for US iTunes store. What a bummer! Would music companies prefer that people wait for it to be available on shareware rather than make some money out of it? With how American Idol is made international, they should be cashing in.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Globe Telecom Customer Support

My phone rang mid-afternoon today, flashing an unknown landline number.


ME: Hello?
HIM: Hi, this is **** from Globe Network support team.
ME: Okay...?
HIM: Ma'am I'm calling about mobile number 917-52-----. May I get your name please?
ME: Kat
HIM: Are you the assignee for this number?
ME: (sarcastically) Yes. (Duh?)
HIM: Is it a good time to call?
ME: What do you need? (Annoyed by this time because he speaks slow, and I'm at work.)
HIM: I'm calling about your concern po about your network problem...?
ME: What?! What concern?
HIM: We have it on file that you reported a problem using your BlackBerry services?
ME: No.
HIM: Meaning, you did not create this ticket po?
ME: What date is that filed?
HIM: February 22, ma'am.
ME: It's April na.


Wow, Globe Telecom! That's just unbelievable.

Plans on Migration

Ever since I could remember, I did not have the usual Filipino's "American Dream." Nor did I have a Canadian and Australian version of it. I am content with what I have here in the Philippines; I think it's a perfect work-life balance here. Having had a boyfriend in the US did not change that fact, although I was ready to move to the States if needed.

So I wonder now, what happened? Yesterday, I found myself browsing through the Canadian Embassy and Australian Embassy's websites. I was clicking and trying to learn more about migration to these countries--in Canada I didn't pass the self assessment test (ha!). Understanding that a plain "company employee" is not really in demand for these countries, I caught myself thinking of changing my career, planning on post-grad studies, and even improving my French (as a second language in Canada).

Is it just me getting bored at work? Is it because I know now that I am fully capable of living on my own?

If anyone asks me now to move to the US, Canada, Europe, Australia or NZ, I don't think I'd bat my eyelashes twice.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sick on Holy Week

My usual Holy Week schedule is Visita Iglesia for Thursday, procession on Good Friday and "Salubong" at Easter dawn. I just happen to not finish this tradition this year.

MAUNDY Thursday
I drove home early from Pasig, left at 5-ish. The family went on with the usual Visita Iglesia, visiting only 7 churches. I ate 2pcs of kikiam and buko along the way and we ended up at a Chinese resto in Manila after the last church.

GOOD Friday
Despite lack of sleep and my plan on sleeping until noon, my tummy woke me up at 7am and didn't let me go. By 10am mom is asking if I want to go to the hospital and I said yes. We, of course, didn't. We went to my uncle who's a doctor. Because of the agonizing pain, my mom's fear is appendicitis or gall stones. My uncle checked me up and said it might be something I ate the day before. Okay, screw kikiam. Maybe I'm no longer used to street food. Arte much?

I am wincing in pain, had taken meds and cant get myself to eat anything. By 5pm, I'm having chills. Temp is almost 40°C. Not cool. By the end of the day, summing it up, I did nothing on this day but lie down, wince in pain and drink water. I only ate one donut and a couple of spoonfuls of pancit canton.

BLACK Saturday
Mom says uncle recommends some
Lab tests to make sure I don't have dengue nor typhoid fever. By now I don't really care what diagnosis they wanna call it, I just wanna be able to eat and my tummy not reacting so violently! Fever has subsided after forcing myself to sleep last night despite chills.

It's now half past midnight so it's technically Easter. I hear fireworks signaling the "Salubong" is happening already. Well, I'm still in bed. I still don't have a diagnosis (it ain't dengue, at least), and every spoonful of food gets me twisted. I am assuming I have some sort of intestinal flu, amebiasis, or probably food poisoning. Whatever it is, I just want it over and done with. My eyes have sunk so deep--as if my inborn dark bags aren't enough! This is probably the sickest I have been in more than a decade.