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Use Foodpanda and save money with your takeaway order

I currently live in a condo unit and the ground floor of the building is filled with restaurants, a grocery store, pharmacy, bookstore, and more. Oftentimes, I would order food for takeaway from one of the restaurants since dine-in is still at limited capacity. 

Since I have been aware of my spending habits and want to save as much as I can, I look for ways to cut down on my expenses without sacrificing a lot. In this scenario, instead of going directly to the restaurant to order, I use Foodpanda and use the pickup feature. By doing so, I am able to save 15%-20% of my total order, plus I don’t have to wait until they finish preparing my order. Once I get a notification that my order is ready for pickup, that’s when I go down and go directly to the restaurant. As for the payment, I use GCash, which has been very convenient especially when it comes to cashless transactions.

So if you always order food for takeaway or you happen to be in a mall and thinking of buying food to bring home, I suggest you take advantage of Foodpanda’s pickup feature and save money.

How to Rebook your Red Cross Swab Test

Last May, my trip to El Nido was cancelled due to COVID travel restrictions. As much as I hate travel plans getting cancelled, travel restrictions are way out of my control. Good thing, though, everything was refundable. My flight, accommodation, and even my Red Cross swab test.

However, the refund process for my swab test would take months (up to a year) and my other options: 1) rebook it at a later date or 2) transfer my booking to someone else. Since I don’t know anyone who needs a swab test and I don’t want to wait for a year to get my money back, I opted to have my swab test rescheduled. 

I sent an email to the Red Cross support team asking for a rebooking request. The thing is, they would allow rebooking but for 1 time only. Which means, if something gets cancelled again, I won’t be able to rebook my swab test schedule for the 2nd time. Fortunately, there’s no deadline when it comes to rebooking, especially if you don’t have a definite date yet for the new schedule.

To request for a refund, simply send an email to this address – prcrefunds@redcross.org.ph. They promptly reply, within a day, almost always. Once you receive a reply, you will be asked to fill out a refund request form.

To request for rebooking, send an email to this address – 1158-appointments@redcross.org.ph –  with the following details:

  • Patient Name 
  • Retrieval Code:
  • Order Number:
  • Appointment Number:
  • Date of Original Schedule:
  • New  date and time:
  • Reason:

You can also use this for the subject line – Rebooking request for Booking #______. And if you have a screenshot of your booking confirmation, you may attach that to the email as well.

5 Reasons why I decided to have 2 Online Jobs

It was October 2020 when I decided to have 2 online jobs and here are 5 reasons WHY:

  1. To have more job security. With remote work, you are not really secured. Your employer can decide one day to terminate your employment effective immediately.
  2. I want to earn more money
  3. Given that I can’t travel because of COVID, I had so much time on my hands which is only wasted watching Netflix
  4. I want to upgrade my skill set and continuously learn about eCommerce and the world of Amazon
  5. I was thinking of quitting my first job at the end of the year so I needed a backup

I was able to find another eCommerce online job through LinkedIn. There are other platforms like FreeUp, Upwork, Online Jobs PH, but LinkedIn has proven itself to be reliable when it comes to job search.

At the end of 2020, the inevitable happened – I quit my first job because it wasn’t a right fit anymore and I wasn’t happy. January 2021, I have one job with good pay, but I already enjoyed earning double of what I was currently earning. So in February, I decided to apply for another eCommerce job and got it. 

This 2nd company is based in the UK which means I need to adapt and learn a new work culture, something I actually enjoy doing, and the timezone is more manageable. Plus, all my colleagues have been amazing so far and I support the company’s mission 100%.

You might ask, “how am I able to get online jobs quickly?”

It all goes down to experience and how I sell myself. I have been working remotely for more than 5 years now and I have been continuously learning new things and upgrading my skill set. It was also good that I took the eCommerce track because, when COVID hit, a lot of businesses were impacted but eCommerce thrived.

Sometimes, even if I’m not sure that I can do the job, I fake it until I make it. Why? Because I know myself, I know that I will find ways to get things done even if it means spending hours from my own time searching Google for answers, reading forums and blogs, etc. There’s so much information available online, I can’t afford to be lazy. Lastly, I always keep my LinkedIn profile updated. By doing so, I regularly get 3-4 messages from recruiters each month asking if I am open to new job opportunities.

If you want to learn more about eCommerce, drop me a message and let’s assess your skills that are relevant to eCommerce. First things first, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is always updated.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

Starting Over

I believe COVID presented an opportunity for me to start over, to have a clean slate. Or at least, that’s how I see it. It has been 2 years since I last traveled outside the country (that’s a big deal for me btw) and within those 2 years, I have been thinking about writing again.

You see, back in 2014, I created my first blog. It was intended as a personal journal that turned into a travel blog when I went backpacking in South America.

I have always liked writing, but blogging not so much. I have been a follower of wanting to ‘get-rich-quick’ through blogging, thinking that I can earn a full-time income in a matter of months, but I was dead wrong and just damn stupid to think so. 

Blogging is not a business, it’s a marketing strategy for your actual business. Whether it’s selling online courses, providing freelance services, promoting other people’s products, etc.

Anyway, I wanted to go back to writing, to start creating content that people will actually read and not just some random thoughts that come to mind. So I did, but I didn’t use my first blog, I created a new one instead.

19th of June, I created this blog and in a matter of 2 days, I was able to write 16 articles. I haven’t done that much writing ever since I started my first blog. 

What did I do differently this time?

I didn’t focus on making my website beautiful. I want my website to be as minimalistic and clean as possible, similar to Seth’s Blog, Zen Habit, and Corbett Barr. I don’t even want to use featured images on my posts because finding images to use also takes time and images slow down your site speed. So I simply looked for a WordPress theme that works for me and started writing like a content machine. 

I realized that when I took away all the vanity metrics, I was able to focus more on what’s important – creating content.

With She Finds Ways, the central theme is providing solutions to everyday problems, remote work, and of course, travel. If I encountered an issue and was able to resolve it or learned something new, and I think people will benefit from it, then I will write about it. As a result, I don’t run out of ideas to write about. I write and publish even if the article has less than 300 words. 

What’s important for me now is to be able to provide value in a faster way because people have such a short attention span and will rarely spend time reading an article that’s 3000 words long. People search online for answers, and the sooner you can provide answers, the better.

Why didn’t I just revamp my old website instead of starting over?

Because my first blog has so much clutter in it that it will take me a lot of time to clean it up, taking away precious time for content creation. Another thing, ‘I am Sonhadora’ is hard to remember and spelling will always be an issue. And frankly speaking, I have written so much random stuff that even I can’t identify its central theme anymore.

Am I expecting to earn money from this blog?

No. As mentioned earlier, blogging is not a business. It’s merely a marketing strategy for whatever business I come up with. Perhaps after a year, I will have a clearer picture of what business I can start based on how my readers engage with my content. All I know is that providing valuable content will pave the way to a market-fit product or service.

Besides, given that I have 2 full-time online jobs, there is no pressure for me to make money from this, so I can just enjoy writing and let this be my creative outlet.

And, in all honesty, I have yet to see if I will be consistent in creating content for a full year because, based on experience, I lack follow through, something that I definitely need to change. If after a year, I don’t feel like writing anymore, then I can just stop.

Where to Get a Medical Certificate with DOH Authentication

Since I’m applying for a resident visa, a medical certificate with DOH and DFA authentication is required. Not a lot of clinics or hospitals do this. Not even the big, commercial hospitals. What you should look for are those that offer OFW packages, however, clinics like these sometimes go through an agency.

My visa processing is not handled by an agency, I do everything myself so I have to search for a clinic that can provide me with the above-mentioned medical certificate. Fortunately, after an endless search in Google, I was able to find one. 

The clinic is named Angelus Medical Clinic, Inc. (ACMI), located in Makati City. You can search for it on Google Maps, it’s very easy to locate.

They currently don’t accept walk-ins and you can only book an appointment via email a week before your planned visit. If you plan to have a medical appointment on July 15th, for instance, then you should send an email to schedule an appointment on July 8th. You can’t email more than a week in advance because they won’t entertain you. They are also slow in responding so keep sending an email day after day until you receive a reply, and if that doesn’t work, call them.

In your email, don’t forget to include the following details:

  • Full name (including middle name):
  • Birth date:
  • Mobile #:
  • Email subject line: Medical appointment for [state the country and the type of visa you’re applying for]

Once you are scheduled for an appointment, you will receive a separate email with the subject line: AMCI Pre-registration with attached PDF file of your appointment/referral form, plus an applicant guide for your reference.

Important things to remember:

  • Make sure to print your application/referral form (NO PRINTOUT, NO ENTRY)
  • Also print the email containing your appointment form for reference
  • A photocopy of your valid passport is required
  • It is also a MUST that you bring your own pen
  • Wear a white or light gray plain shirt (NO PRINT) for X-RAY. If you’re not wearing one, you won’t be able to get an X-RAY
  • Don’t forget to fast 10 hours before your appointment time. You can only eat or drink once they’ve taken a blood sample
  • Bring water and food because it was hard to take the psychology exam when you’re hungry and thirsty
  • Make sure that you read, understand and follow the APPLICANT GUIDE before your appointment date. No need to print the applicant guide.

On the day, you are advised to arrive an hour before your appointment time. I was scheduled for 8am and I arrived at 6:45am. I thought the clinic opens at 7am but when I arrived, they were already accepting medical examiners.

The entire process took 6 hours. I was advised to wait for my X-RAY result just to be sure that the results were good so I won’t have to come back and repeat the X-RAY. I waited for 2 hours, no complaints though because I was able to have lunch whilst waiting. There was also a psychology test that took an hour to finish. It was mostly personality and logic tests.

For the cost, I paid 4,000php total. It should only be 3,550php but I requested an extra copy of my medical certificate with DOH authentication (again, for backup) which cost 450php.

Results would take 1-2 days plus an additional 3-5 days for DOH authentication, so we’re looking at 7 working days maximum. And since I didn’t go through an agency, I have to follow up myself if my medical certificate with DOH authentication is ready for pickup. I am hoping to get it on or before June 30th because my DFA Authentication is scheduled on July 1st. Cutting it close, I know.

I called the following day to ask if my medical results are already available. They said yes, the results indicate that I’m fit to work, and that my papers are already in transit to DOH. So far, so good.

Since I have a tight schedule, I really have to be persistent with my follow-ups.

I called again 2 days after just to check and they advised me that my papers are still in DOH. Makes sense because DOH processing takes 3-5 working days and it has only been 2 days. Exactly a week after my medical exam, I called again. And this time they said my papers are ready for pick-up.

For reference, here are ACMI’s contact details:

  • Contact #: 0917-5753210 | (632) 8288 7927
  • Email: crd.mle@angelusmed.com | angelusclientcare@gmail.com
  • Address: 1730 Dian St., Brgy. Palanan, Makati City

Why Remote Work is Here to Stay

COVID-19 changed the world in early 2020. Businesses were forced to close their doors, instructing their employees to work from home as much as possible. At first, this change seemed like a bad thing for many people. Now, over a year later, many people are contentedly – and safely – working from home. But will these changes hold after COVID-19 eases up? Or will employers revert back to their pre-pandemic work modes? As far as anyone can tell right now, remote work is here to stay – and here is why.

Growth in the Remote Workforce

As far as anyone can tell, remote work is here to stay. As of July 2020, online jobs had increased by 2.8 times since March of that year, and they still show no sign of slowing down. Brazil saw the most growth, and remote job searches went up by 60 percent. The point of these statistics is to show that we, as human beings in the workforce, are adapting.

Shifting Perspectives

It used to be rather awkward having to shove your cat out of the way during a Zoom call or explain why your kids were being noisy in the next room. Now, though, this is the norm. Employers’ views of their remote employees are shifting as we all strive to adapt to our “new” work environments. You can show up in your pajamas, you do not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic, and you can tend to your kids as needed.

Changing Landscapes

This has some vast implications for why people will choose to live in certain places. It also shows that people in the workforce can be just as efficient – if not more so – while working from home three to five days per week. Urban economics, consumer spending, and transportation are just a few aspects of everyday life that are shifting with the need to work from home. Larger cities (such as San Francisco and Chicago) are seeing more people choosing to move to outlying suburban or even rural areas because they feel free to do so. Cityscapes are changing, and therefore so are suburban and rural ones. Expect to see more new homes cropping up in those outlying areas as the housing market continues to shift.

Building Trust

As remote jobs become a more permanent part of everyday life for exponentially more people, employers are having to trust their employees. Many employers were once wary of how unproductive employees were when not being overseen in an in-person workplace. This was especially true for office workers. Now that officer managers and business owners cannot be physically present to monitor everything their employees do, they can use technological methods for tracking progress and must trust their employees to be accountable for turning in timely work.

This, quite naturally, builds trust and a better working environment overall. When employees feel trusted and valued, they are inclined to put in more effort. Being able to do so from the comfort of their own homes is a huge asset that encourages this, as many employers are now finding out. A more productive workforce is also one that is more relaxed and invigorated. They are more motivated to put out high-quality work.

Cutting Costs

Companies can now also reduce real estate expenses by cutting down on office space. This is a huge money-saving technique that was not seen as viable pre-COVID-19. Some office space is necessary, and select employees will be able to do hybrid work (working from the office a few days a week and from home on other days) or strictly online jobs. Cutting down lease expenses and operations costs can lead to companies being able to expand and hire more remote employees. This is a scenario in which more people – both employers and employees – can benefit.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a negative impact on many lives. However, there is an upside to how it has shifted the workforce and its productivity. Remote jobs are definitely here to stay and will only continue to grow.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

simon sinek

How do you deal with someone who works for a company that kills people?

OK, that title seems like an exaggeration. Lo siento.

One of my sisters, I have 4 sisters and a brother, works for a tobacco company. She’s been with the company for a decade now, she’s really good at what she does plus she gets paid well.

Anyway, my concern really is how smoking can kill you. Especially with COVID, where the lungs are the primary target of the virus, shouldn’t we all be smarter and stop smoking altogether? Given that I am not a smoker, I know it is easier said than done. I understand that asking someone to stop smoking and them actually deciding to stop is quite a long shot. Should I even bother trying?

So tell me, how do I react when she tells my other siblings about a new product? I want to join in the conversation and say, “SMOKING CAN KILL YOU” but of course, I can’t do that because what anyone does with his/her body is none of my business. 

The only thing I can do is to write about it.

COVID Vaccine Passport and The Future of Travel

As we fight to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, immunization passports may soon become the future of travel. Nowadays, anyone who plans to leave the country will need to look at all the factors, such as available flights and pre-travel requirements. You may need to look at post-travel requirements as well. With the vaccine easing the burden on airlines, many experts believe that a new concept known as the vaccine passport will show the immunization records of travelers.

What is the COVID-19 passport and will you need one to travel?

The immunization passport proves that you received the immunization against contagious viruses, and they will likely require it for travel. They may put this record on paper, but they may also decide to make it digital. We can’t tell yet because vaccination hasn’t reached widespread levels. Every day, another 2.8 million people receive the vaccine in the United States. Some vaccines may also prove less effective than others. For example, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only has a 66.3 percent effectiveness overall. Compared to Pfizer, they have a 95 percent effectiveness rate.

This concept of an immunization passport isn’t anything new, and they have, in fact, existed since the 1800s. When the Yellow Fever Outbreak happened in Africa in 2016, they began requiring such passports in certain countries.

Can COVID vaccine passports save the tourism industry?

Unfortunately, these passports may not make things any easier for tourism. For example, mandatory quarantine at state facilities in some countries will still exist even with the passport.

Some agreements between countries have made travel slightly easier, but it hasn’t made it without hassles. The new restrictions will continue to prove a problem for the foreseeable future. The COVID vaccinations will likely turn into the standard for most international flights. The COVID vaccine travel passport will pervade the travel scene for a while.

What do vaccine passports mean for you?

The COVID-19 passport exists to show others that you don’t pose a threat to their health. It does become somewhat of an inconvenience, but it will help us in the fight against a harmful disease that has killed 2.84 million people worldwide with many deaths that went unrecorded in some countries.

Many proposals have been made on what will make up the COVID-19 passports and the structure behind them. Some also worry that this will endanger privacy while making societal inequities more obvious than before. It could create a two-tiered world where those who received vaccinations in the richer countries will receive more benefits than those in the more poverty-stricken countries.

What it ultimately means, however, is to protect public health and restart the world economy while removing barriers to travel over the long term. Don’t think of the COVID vaccine passport as something that will exist forever.

Can you travel once vaccinated?

Along with being able to travel, the vaccine certificate could allow you to go to a stadium game or the local bar. Before they have decided on this scheme, however, most officials agree that they will first have to offer the vaccine to all individuals so that it doesn’t create inequities.

The COVID-19 passport should be seen as helping us to return to our normal lives. The more people who take the vaccination, the better for us in fighting this disease. One of the goals with this is that someone who may have caught COVID doesn’t carry the disease over to a country that previously didn’t have COVID. In this way, we can continue to stamp down on the numbers. None of the vaccines work 100 percent of the time, but they reduce hospitalizations and lower the risk that someone would catch it.