Tuesday ordeal: apartment hunting

When I reported a lost ATM card two weeks ago, I was given an option to forward the replacement to the branch in Ayala Avenue, instead of claiming it from the branch where I opened the account (i.e. Ortigas). I declined because I also needed to claim statements (for lack of better word, because I honestly do not know what they are called) of cleared checks I have issued and even if this is my third year paying for the mortgage, I had no idea right from the start that such statements should be personally claimed and are not mailed by UCPB. They only keep six months-worth of letters, and the rest would be shredded. =/

Oh, hello OrtigasFirst of all, two weeks —it took a total of two complete weeks for UCPB to issue a replacement card. When I requested for one in April 23, the staff in Ayala branch informed me that the new card can be claimed in about a week. Good thing I was in no rush to use the new one, but surely the circumstances would be different if it were for my payroll account.

I could not remember when was the last time I’ve been in the Ortigas area. I was also about to visit the developer, whose office was located near the UCPB – Ortigas branch but decided against it at the last minute. It took me about ten minutes to do all of my business in the bank, and when I was about to leave their building, I almost hailed a cab en route to Makati. I was able to stop myself. In the following weeks, I will be surely having a lot of things to buy and pay for. I am in the process of moving out of our house and moving in to an apartment in the Makati-Pasay area. All unnecessary expenses should be kept at a minimum, and as it was only about noon , I could surely walk until EDSA and just take a bus. LOL I was extremely proud of myself. =D

I had to be in Makati early as well, because Mon and I would be searching for prospective apartments to rent. It was no easy task and we found ourselves bickering during the entire time about various concerns regarding cost, location and accessibility. I was not really happy with all of the places that we have visited because it was either the monthly rent was not commensurate with the floor area, or the justifiably-priced was located in an unaccessible location. And then around dinner time, I thought of calling the apartment I have inquired from last week (who had mentioned that somebody had already gotten an available unit ahead of us), and tried my luck if the unit was still available. To my surprise, I was informed that they still have an available one and as we barely finished our dinner, we headed straight away to the apartment.

The studio-type apartment that we found

When we met the landlady in the corner of the street, she gave a caveat that the place was not that big. I braced myself to see the same floor area of the one we have visited earlier (i.e. the price that is non-commensurate with the floor area), just to lower my expectations. But when we finally opened the door of the apartment, it wasn’t that bad and I was happy to see that it was not a bare and square area, similar to the one located in the Palanan area. And unlike that apartment located on the third floor, this one was on the ground floor, so it won’t be such a pain to go back if ever we left something . The landlady was a kind middle-aged woman, who informed me that the one who looked and supposedly got the unit would not be able to reserve it until he gets his salary on the 15th. I did not hesitate to give the downpayment because clearly there was no way I was letting go of the unit.

So now, Mon and I have about three weeks to prepare the place for habitation. I am not a fan of the yellow walls and I am thinking of having it repainted at least an off-white color, similar to our walls at home. This will be our home away from home, so I want the walls to look as remotely identical to my present room. =)

Unscrew you, Technomarine!

Almost six months ago, I got a free Technomarine watch from the company I’ve been working for as a token of appreciation for the five-year service. Since getting it, I have never bothered changing the date and day because I had no clue how to work that dial to the right. As long as the time is right, then I’m fine with that. Fast forward yesterday (or today as it is already early Monday morning), I had a problem with the watch. I was on my way to UP and was chasing the time before 5:00 PM in order to get the official photos of my graduation last Saturday. I was in no rush because I thought I still had about 45 minutes to reach the UP Film Center, so I was really lax with my movement. However, I’ve noticed that the time in my watch was 30 minutes late from the time on my cellphone — my watch has stopped working.

I initially had no luck in adjusting the time, it was really difficult to unscrew this watch - Technomarine watch

We were in Trinoma to watch Iron Man 3 and I was already in the brink of visiting Technomarine’s shop on the 3rd floor because the watch is still under warranty for eighteen more months. But what would I say? Sure they will ask about what happened, and I honestly did not know whether I have mishandled the watch prior to leaving the house. I did not want to lie point blank and look foolish. Also, I did not have the warranty card with me as it was stashed in the box at home, so I subsequently decided to just visit another shop in the Makati area on Monday . So the moment I reached my room, I immediately looked for the box and check if all the accessories were still in: all clear. Being the curious, mend-it-on-your-own person that I am, I took out the little screw driver provided and tinkered with that dial. Nothing happened. I was also gullible and desperate enough to use cylindrical cap of the screw driver because I thought it was intended to turn the dial. LOL No chance. I had a feeling that I just needed to move that dial and/or unstuck something inside and then it would work again.

I understand both of the languages, but still the manual was of no help - Technomarine watch

I looked at the manual (or more of a leaflet, because it was so miniscule), and maybe I would have more luck since the first and last time I’ve looked at it when I got the watch. I might have been missing something because I was still not able to make the 1-2-3 nor A-B work. It says ‘unscrew’ the dial but  my right fingers were already sore from the repeated attempts to at least see a development. I got so frustrated that I had a momentary fit and threw the watch haphazardly to the box. Then something magical happened: it started ticking again!

Using a face towel and a microfiber cloth to unscrew the watch - Technomarine watchHowever, there was clearly a disparity with the time displayed on the watch and the actual time, and the problem of unscrewing that dial still persisted. I was worried to use a pair of tweezers, or pliers or other tools because it might put noticeable dents and it was a sure way to void the warranty. So I tried my luck with a face towel and a microfiber cloth (I usually use to clean optics) because I needed a good grip. And then for the first time in months, I finally managed to unscrew the dial. LOL I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” being played by an invisible orchestra.

For the first time ever, the watch reflects the correct day and date - Technomarine watch

I was very pleased because I no longer have to wake up early and make a beeline for the mall to have the watch checked and be subjected, or worse, be forced to lie. I also then promise to take more care of the watch as I know I’m not too inclined to buy this kind of watch for myself. Lesson learned: be extra careful!

P.S.

Happy 4Y8M Mon! =)

“Palpak / Sablay “

“Palpak”

Yesterday, I went to UCPB branch near our office to report a lost ATM card. The funny part — I have a good feeling that I might have lost it since Tuesday last week but only took the time almost a week after to have it blocked! I did not know what gotten to me to forget such an important thing but I remember thinking that it might be in the office or in one of my bags at home. However, I did not actively look for it until Sunday night. LOL Maybe because it was no credit card and it needed a PIN to be accessed; but once I’ve read about modus operandi concerning stolen credit cards, I got paranoid.

I arrived past 3:00 PM, past their normal banking hours so I was stopped by the guard. Good thing I placed a phone call before coming to the office and the guard had to ask somebody inside, whom I was able to tell my situation and allowed me to come inside. I was made the fill up several forms and one of the fields require the “card number”. Who memorizes their ATM card number? I have several cards with me and I don’t even know any of them by heart. Turned out, I was not required to supply this information , though I was a bit embarassed because I did not know the name of the branch I have opened my account. Anyway, there were no other untoward incidents and  I was fortunate that my money was still in my account. They will automatically charge Php 150 for the card replacement (quite expensive, compared to BPI’s Php 100) and I will pick it up next Tuesday in Ortigas.

“Sablay”

Airing out my 'Sablay' for this weekend's use

Hello again old friend. It has been exactly six years!

And the most important thing this week — the recognition rites! We normally have two ceremonies at the end of the school year: one for the college graduation, and the other for the university-wide graduation. College graduations are normally more serious, while the university graduation is more festive. I remember incessantly fanning myself with the invitation during the latter one because it normally begins past 3:00 PM when the summer sun is blazing in front of us (it takes place in the Amphitheater, behind Oblé facing west…so the sun was all on us until setting).

For the coming weekend, I will  be finally attending the ceremonies to culminate my finishing of my graduate degree. I still haven’t bought a barong tagalog and I will most likely buy one this Friday. I did not particularly like the one I’ve used six years ago, so I am decided to buy a better one to make up for that lack. =D As for the Sablay, the official and distinct academic costume of the university, I have already taken it out of my closet, where it was kept all these years, with the mentality of using it again. So here I am, about to use it again, and I can’t be more happy to attend my graduation with a parent FINALLY with me. Too bad Papa won’t be able to come and attend my graduation again because of scheduling conflict. I just informed Mama that it wasn’t so bad since she’s here, and I jokingly added that I’ll just take another graduate degree so he can attend next time. LOL

I’ve been making mental notes of the things I wanted to do on Sunday, like having my pictures taken with the sunflowers along the University Avenue (because I did not have one in my graduation before) or do the same foolish stunt, climbing the base of Oblé with a left leg extension. But alas! The mind is willing but the body is unyielding. All in all, I just hope we’ll have a good sunny and cloudless (or maybe even windy) day on Sunday because I do not want to ruin my leather shoes with the rain. If I remember correctly, there was one university graduation after mine, when the weather did not cooperate at all. If that were to happen on Sunday, I would just ditch the event. Just kidding.

Seriously, finishing my undergraduate degree in 2007, I only have getting a good employment in mind, without any regard to anything at all. Yes, a UP student/graduate is expected to give back to the people who, in essence, paid for our education. Working for more than five years in a private company, I always thought that I have already paid my share back with the *insert expletives here* tax deducted from my salary. But getting my master’s degree and having a better understanding and vision of what is really out there, I now know that giving back can’t be equated to mere tax cuts. I still have yet to inform the rest of my family about my decision for a career change (sauf my sister, to whom I have shared everything last Thursday), but I guess the high spirits of the graduation rites might mitigate the shock of my announcement. =D

Bye, Bye March!

It’s Easter today and my mother was very kind enough to give me a rack for my bags. She thought my room could have a bit of organization with all of my bags in a single place. Well, it was very sweet but I still have some of my bags inside a plastic container. The rack just won’t hold up all of them. I’m in the process of selling some of them off on Ebay, together with the other things I managed to sell internationally.

My bag rack, given by my mother - Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Coach, Prada, Burberry, J. Peterman Mailbag

After lunch, I went to the Marikina Public Market to buy materials I would be needing to ship the items. I found everything perfectly fine, except for some bubble wrap. The ones I found were on a ready-made padded envelope, and I was thinking more of the ones sold per yard. I will most probably be going to National Bookstore tomorrow to buy them, before heading to the Makati Post Office.

When I got home, I was really cautious not to further wrinkle the felt cloth that I’ve bought. I managed to get two kinds of cloth: the white one for the Ebay items and the black one for my own bags. I’ve been hoping to make dust bags for some of them, because they had none when I first bought them online. I was really happy I bought my mother a sewing machine because, ahem, I would no longer have to hand sew a lot of things, which I painstakingly did for a dust bag of an extra large tote bag. =D

DIY felt cloth clothes and bag dustbag

Save for minor interruptions, I had no trouble with the Brother BM-2600 sewing machine and I was able to sew eight white felt cloth containers in just an hour. I was only able to use about half of the three yards I bought and I have honestly miscalculated because two of the garments need dust bags with the same capacity as the others. I still don’t know how they would hold up during the shipping, so I really need to buy bubble wrap to make sure they will arrive fine to the buyers. The last time I have shipped internationally, it was for two Gucci bags bound for Australia and the buyer got them within four working days. I am honestly very nervous of this new venture but I know deep inside that I have to get over my fear of international shipping if I were to successfully sell globally.

Sold items on Ebay ready for shipping tomorrow

As for the black ones, they took a much longer time to be made because I had to attach velcro to make sure they would snugly close. I only managed to make two, which were for the ‘quite sensitive’ to humidity bags. The one for the Mulberry was not perfect, but it was still acceptable; but for the Coach one, the dust bag fits like a glove. =D If I have more time next week, I will be doing more for my other bags.

DIY felt cloth dustbag for my Mulberry and Coach messenger bags

On a different note, it was bittersweet seeing the buyers send the payment to my PayPal account. A lot of them has sent payment within the day, but since I’m a new seller on Ebay.com, PayPal would have to hold my funds for 21 days. What does it mean to me? It means that I would have to shoulder first the shipping of all the items tomorrow and hope to the highest heavens that the buyers will like the item because I don’t want to be traumatized this early. Oh well, at least most of the items got sold and I will hopefully get a good selling history soon. Patience. Be good to me April, my birthday month! =D