Mindanao Mission – Day 3: Not so slow day

Housemates Dormitel was just a hop, skip and a pirouette away from our Sub-Office in Davao, so it was a surprise that we had to drive that short distance. =P We conducted two interviews with our colleagues, but the most tiring one was the short clips of everyone working in Davao. Rob and I had an idea of splicing several shots of our colleagues, but I can only imagine how bloody the editing job could be. Anyway, I will definitely be up for it, and I am still thankful that I get to do these things and have a creative outlet on a paying job. =D

I brought two pair of Red Wing boots with me, but I did not have a chance to use the brown 8875s. It was a pity but I guess it would have been severely abused from all the terrain mishaps that has been happening to us. I was trying to get B rolls from every place as I can, with my humble camera and I was hoping that my shaky hand would not make these clips unusable. I know that I should have bought a portable, mini-tripod to make my life easier, but alas, I was too stingy at that inconvenient time.

My boots has been through a lot within three days

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Preparing for a week in Mindanao!

 

Say hello to a new day! I have brought along almost all shortsleeves polo with me but I don’t remember wearing one since bringing them. As it is almost raining the whole week, the prospect of sweating profusely has significantly reduced. Another colorblind moment, though, as I thought this was a white polo with gray stripes, but apparently, it was pink in some other color. Oh well. I would never know about it not until I commented that Mon and I were both wearing white polos and looked like high school students. I was evidently wrong.A shirt I thought as white, black skinny pants, Red Wing  2913 boots

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First day

We had two alarm clocks on but I still failed to wake up at 6:45 AM. I had a little trouble sleeping last night as I kept on waking up every hour. It was that same, familiar I used to have before a day of a field trip when I was young or before a cheerleading competition — exactly the mixture of nervousness and excitement I was talking about yesterday.

Ready for my first day

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Not to be dissuaded by a problematic buyer

One of the first things I have brought inside the apartment was a full-length mirror — something I did not have in our house in Marikina. As we still do not have a closet, all of our clothes are still to be taken out of  our luggages and bags. We also do not have a flat iron, so we just resorted to the old ‘pagpag-and-hagod’ method to sort out wrinkles.

Our nice mirror - PLAY by Comme des Garçons shirt,  brick pants, Red Wing 2913 boots and green Prada tessuto robot tote

Last Friday, I was shocked to see that an item sent via Registered Mail, which I thought to have been lost in transit to a buyer in Netherlands, suddenly showed up as “Item Delivered” in PhilPost’s online tracking. It has been almost a month since I sent the item and as the online tracking was under maintenance for weeks already, I was left with no choice but to refund the buyer. My mistake because I was too quick to refund her without waiting for Ebay to do so. Maybe I just wanted the whole thing to be over, and I was counting on the buyer’s honesty that she would return my funds back to my PayPal account once she gets the bag. Of course, I was wrong and naïve.

PhilPost tracking showing delivery to NetherlandsMy initial reaction was to dispute the case, but as it was already past the 45-day period to open an appeal, I was left with no other choice but to contact the buyer directly. In my email, I have informed her about the online tracking showing delivery, and if it was okay, she could send my money back OR return my item because I cannot NOT have both the funds and the bag. I gave her 24 hours to reply because we live in different time zones, and maybe she was busy with something. Then when I received her reply, she mentioned that she was preoccupied (for three weeks, huh?), that was why she was unable to give a feedback about the bag. The catch was, she did not like the bag because it was too small, has several scratches and the leather was stiff. Hmmm… I have disclosed all information in the auction description so I did not get why she was just telling me that when I already contacted her. As a buyer myself, my initial reaction would be to immediately contact the seller and inform her my dissatisfaction. So why wait for 20 days to react? I guess somebody wanted a free bag.

The worst thing about her reply was she was short of asking money from me so that she can send my item back. The auction description clearly mentioned that in cases of return, the buyer has to pay for return shipping. It was fair enough, considering that as Ebay and PayPal have a 21-day hold on my received funds, I have taken the shipping fee to Netherlands out of my own pocket. Therefor, it was unjust tht I shell out money just to get my bag back.

She did not bother replying until I gave her an implied warning about her school hearing from me, and discussing in full details about her fraudulent online activities. I managed to contact another seller from Slovenia, who received a negative feedback from her on May 5, 2013. I found it too hard to believe that she was busy to inform me of her dissatisfaction, yet she managed to give that poor seller a negative feedback three days after receiving my bag. I think her school administrator would not be too pleased to hear that they are employing a teacher with questionable morals in their school.

I think she got scared after that stern warning, as I flat out told her that all that hassle was not worth it — all of that for a bag. So in the end, she ended up shouldering the return shipping and eventually sent the item back to me. However, she did not mark the item as a “Returned Merchandise” and I have a feeling I will end up paying custom fees for a returned item. In my return policy, I have specified to send the item with the original packaging, but apparently, this seller was intent in keeping a bag and thought she got away after not hearing from me since May 2. What a devious buyer.

A 500g parcel to be sent to US via Philpost's IEMSMoral of the story? Do not use Registered Mail because it takes forever. I am now using International Express Mail Service (IEMS) from PhilPost, and even if it was slightly more expensive, the 3-5 working days delivery time would surely be more favorable against impatient overseas buyer. For instance, a 500g parcel sent to US via Registered Mail cost Php 885 (and Php 1,770 once it passes the 500g mark), while a similar weight via IEMS cost me Php 1,409 (and Php 1,853 if more than 500g). PhilPost’s website is also updated with the fee, and they have the rates printed and inside a clear book so they are definitely accurate. (See link: http://philpost.gov.ph/web/international-mail-rates/) Well, the new batch of items I have sent via IEMS should be received by early next week, but my first experience of IEMS years ago was pleasant. I do hope that my funds get released earlier than the expected 21-day holding period because shipping via IEMS was no dime a dozen!

P.S.

Mama, Kuya and Ate Ja visited our apartment today, and I was so happy they thought our unit was fair enough! ^_^