Brokerinmanila.com - Your Real Estate and Investments Resource

REAL ESTATE BROKER  
A person licensed to arrange the buying and selling of real estate for a fee. A real estate broker acts as an intermediary between the parties selling and buying the real estate. Real estate brokers can also be called real estate salespersons, and the people who assist them (who are generally not required to be licensed) are generally called real estate agents.
- investorwords.com

Two of our top family goals are to get our own house and to start a long term investment. For sometime now, we've been checking our different options but there's just way too much information that it gets too confusing and overwhelming. For something as important as this, I want to make sure that we make an informed decision. 

www.brokerinmanila.com is a resources I know I can trust when it comes to investments and real estate. The website is new but the information you'd find here is backed by years of experience and professional training. Author Loralee E. Aganon is a licenced Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Appraiser. She is also a financial planner associated with Manulife. She shares in www.brokerinmanila.com articles such as Things to Consider in Buying a Condo and PRC License Verification. As per Loralee's words, "Now, that you are in the field looking for a property be sure to verify if you are dealing with a licensed or accredited individual." Because ypu can never be too sure and knowing where to get accurate information is key. 

Like Hubs and I, Loralee also came from the BPO industry and must know how most of us in the industry are clueless in the financial world. We admittedly get more than most but not everyone knows how to manage it. Years of working and we still only have one source of income - our jobs. We're not getting younger and having a daughter made me realize that we need a backup.

I'm looking forward to reading and learning more about investments from Broker In Manila. It's very important that we understand where we're putting our hard earned money to minimize the risk. We're trying to build a future for our daughter and nothing will be more important. Should we invest in stocks? Mutual funds? Business? Or just save it in the bank? What are the risks and what fits our family's needs? 

www.brokerinmanila.com can provide information that everyone can easily understand and relate to. This can be an online guidebook on finding the right property for your family, and knowing how to grow your money to ensure your child's future. 

Visit the website: www.brokerinmanila.com to read on real estate and investment news and issues, property listings, insurance and investment opportunities. You can directly email the author Loralee at leaganon@brokerinmanila.com for questions or concerns. 

Show your support and join the Thunderclap campaign at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/25176-brokerinmanila-website-launch. 

*this is a sponsored post but all opinion are my own

#DEVANTxAvengers: DEVANT and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron bring Greatness in One

I cannot count how many great movies I've missed at the cinema since I became a mom. It's just impossible to be away from the baby for too long and bringing her inside the cinema is just not an option. We're now reliant on our televisions to at least catch up and watch the blockbuster film months after the first showing. To help elevate our home movie experience, we make sure that we get HD copies of the film, and play it on equally good TV.

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{press release}
DEVANT, a TV brand that frontiers in providing premium quality entertainment experience with its world-class TV collection, makes a big statement yet again with its partnership with Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron to bring greatness in one through DEVANT’s TV Collection. These two powerhouses team up not only to make a statement but to provide consumers the perfect partnership in viewing experience.
This year, April 23 marked a special date for DEVANT TV and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron as the world’s favorite super hero team assembled again for another exciting and action-packed movie.

Being one of the most trusted and known TV brands in the country, DEVANT was named as Marvel’s official TV brand partner for the most awaited movie of 2015 – Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

To celebrate this great partnership, DEVANT TV reached out to their market by holding a private block screening of Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” attended by top bloggers, media and online influencers along with various DEVANT TV dealers nationwide.

The event showcased the DEVANT TV Collection and its superb features that make it stand out among other TV brands in the market. Each TV represented a character from the Avengers, highlighting special features of DEVANT TVs that will surely boost one’s overall viewing experience.

DEVANTxAvengers TV Features:


DEVANT Curved TV x Captain America
Be unique and in the lead like the legendary Captain America with the new DEVANT 65-inch Curved Ultra HD TV. This Smart 3D TV’s sleek curved style is perfect not only for watching your favorite shows and movies but for a great gaming experience as well.
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8.3 MP Technology x Iron Man
Fond of high-tech gadgets just like the eccentric billionaire inventor Tony Stark? Devant’s 65-inch Smart 3D Ultra HD TV is the right choice for you! Armed with an 8.3 Megapixel display resolution, a built-in ISDB-T receiver and other amazing features, the techie in you will surely be impressed.
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120HZ Vivid Motion x Thor
Say goodbye to blurred scenes with this DEVANT 55-inch Smart 3D Ultra HD TV. With its 120Hz Vivid Motion and fast frame refresh rate, even scenes as fast as the thunder from the mighty Asgardian Thor will never be a problem.
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Superb Sound x The Hulk 
Hear the Hulk’s roars loud and clear with DEVANT 50-inch Smart 3D Ultra HD TV’s Superb Sound. Its built-in subwoofer produces richer and clearer audio that enhances your viewing experience.
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Perfectly Clear Panel x Hawkeye 
Clear Panel eliminates ambient light reflection and gives you balanced picture displays even in various lighting conditions and allows you to never miss a scene just like how the unparalleled marksman Hawkeye never misses his target.
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2D to 3D Conversion x Black Widow
Armed with intelligence and amazing fighting skills, the Black Widow is never afraid to join the men in action. Enjoy and immerse yourself in intense action scenes from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with the 2D to 3D conversion feature of DEVANT’s 50-inch Smart 3D TV. Experience 3D viewing at the comfort of your home with just the touch of a button.
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Together The Avengers make up a super hero team so powerful they are labeled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With DEVANT’s great roster of TV collection and the amazing features they offer, one can consider it as one of the best brands TV can offer.

Join the team and be talked about in a big way with the DEVANT TV Collection.

I've watched the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron in the cinemas during a rare mom-and-dad day out. I still look forward to getting my own copy of this blockbuster so I can enjoy it at the comfort of my onw house, and share the wonderful viewing experience with my daughter!

Visit DEVANT TV at www.devanttv.com. Like them in Facebook and follow in Instagram.




Fall In Love With Love Desserts


Before April officially ends, I want to say how wonderful this month had been. We got to travel and try new things. We received unexpected but welcome blessing and got to share them too. I had a hair make over and I feel like a different person. Most importantly Mila had been continuously achieving milestones that makes us so proud.
To celebrate, I decided that Mila and I will have a cheat day. Last Saturday, with an invitation to try the newest branch of Love Desserts in Pearl Drive, Fairview, Mila and I had the best time indulging our sweet tooth. 

Hubs was not available to drive us so we used Uber instead. The place was so easy to find and very accessible. It's just along Commonwealth Avenue so you can take a bus or jeep going to and from Fairview. Mila had a short nap during the trip so when we got to the place, she was already in a good mood.
We met up with other Mommy Bloggers who were already in the midst of enjoying the feast.
Love Desserts buffet offers all kinds of sweet treats - cakes &  cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, truffles, crepes, and even halo-halo. What's interesting is that the dishes are not really too sweet so you can try everything in the table without getting sick from sugar. Just in case you think you had enough of the sugary treats (as if that's possible), there are savory options too. From the buffet table, Mila really enjoyed her lugaw (rice porridge). I loved the spicy cheesesticks. There was nachoes with yummy salsa too. I think there's a couple more non-dessert dishes but honestly, I ignored them because I wanted to fill my tummy up with all the sinfully tasty, sugary treat I can. You can separately order rice meals too if, *gasp* you don't eat desserts. I bet if Hubs was there, he'll be raving mad because Mila is on sugar-high
Big Cookie
cookie as big as Mila's head
Dessert Buffet Table
Mila loved those shot glass desserts
Dessert Buffet Table
My favorite rainbow cake and Mini Cheesecake Cups
Dessert Buffet Table
can you say Yum?!
Dessert Buffet Table
Halo-Halo is just perfect for summer! (or any time of the year really)
Dessert Buffet Table
Some of the savory dishes available in the desert table
The space in Love Desserts Fairview is bigger and looks better. I love the interiors and the layout. It gives you space to move around without bumping into other diners so you won't feel shy going for seconds or thirds. Mila was able to run around the place even if the place was packed.

I find that this is a good place to celebrate parties. The newest branch can easily pack 65 people. The outside veranda can be an extension too if you have more visitors. It's such a good deal because the place looks good enough that you don't need to decorate much. You only pay P199.00/person and everyone will surely go home full. Good deal right?
mila OOTD
#milaOOTD: April 25, 2015
Pompom Headband
Plaid Top: Gingersnaps
Jumper: Old Navy
Shoes: Gymboree

It was indeed a cheat day for me. I already started counting the calories I eat but heck, I could not deprive my self from all the heavenly treats. Mila had her fill too and might as well because she had all the energy to play at the Babypalooza Bazaar afterwards.

We can't wait to go back!


Playdate at The Ayala Triangle Gardens

Last January, we had our first (official) playdate at The Ayala Triangle Garden. It was a day of fun and laughter that was enjoyed by both kids and parents.
Thanks again to Mommy Bloggers Philippines, I've met new friends who I can share the joys and trials of parenting. We learn from each other about blogging, motherhood, and family, as much as we just have fun talking about anything under the sun. Oh, and Mila got new friends too! Yey!
Us mommies had been chatting online and we decided we wanted our kids to join in the fun too. Mila don't have much kids to pay with everyday. We were still staying in Pasay then and as I mentioned before, we'd rather have her stay inside the house most times. We were excited because it'll be a our first time to meet some of the kids we hear and read about on some of our favorite blogs. This is a good way for Mila to practice and improve her social skills. It's also our first time to have a picnic. Parks are a little too far from our place so it's not something we can do anytime. And this is a chance for Mila to play, run, roll on the grass as much as she can. Bonus is that we have her dad with us so it's a friend and family bonding too.
Needless to say, we had so much fun that day. Mila was her usual charming self. No tears for the little girl and she was her usual friendly self. I guess they're still too young though to really play together because each kid pretty much had their own world (until it was time for snacks). We moms, had the best laugh too, in part because we get to talk nonstop while the daddies chase our kids. That's why it's fun to bring Dads on playdate. ;)
Here's some of the photos I was able to take. It's not much because we were all busy talking.

A shout out to these beautiful mommies and their equally wonderful babies!
Because I am so updated with posting this (NOT!), this small group had grown to the unofficial South Chapter of Mommy Bloggers Philippines. We had another playdate since and looking forward to another one. Hopefully very soon! Right ladies? Mila and I miss you all!




How Uber Handled My Complaint

For more than one year now, Uber had been my transport of choice when we cannot use our car FoFi. This is most specially when it's just Mila and I travelling, minus the hubby.

For those not familiar with Uber, it is a ride sharing service that allows you to book a ride through a mobile app. When you request for a pickup, the system will connect you to the the nearest driver, much like any cab, except Uber will have you picked up by a private car.

I love the system but it's not perfect. Before i share my complaint, let me start with saying why I love Uber:

1. Uber is Safe. Both drivers and passengers have a lot of easy ways to track each other, discouraging thoughts of doing something unwanted from both parties. Drives are required to undergo investigation and submit their NBI clearance before they can be part of the Uber roster.

2. Uber is Convenient. Imagine carrying a big, heavy bag on your shoulder, a restless toddler on one hand and groceries bags on another. This while you try to hail a cab, amongst dozen of other passengers trying to get someplace too. Been there, done that. I'd never want the pain of waiting for hours and fighting my way to get a ride when Uber drivers are just a click away.

3. Uber is Affordable. It maybe luxurious for some who regularly ride the bus or MRT. For someone who prefers a cab, Uber is a more affordable option. When we were still staying in Pasay, my regular taxi fare to my office in Makati is P80-P90. Drivers already expect to get paid P100 for that, plus tip. With Uber, I get charged the same rate and the exact amount gets taken from my account. I tried giving tips to some drivers before but they never accept it. Not sure if they are not allowed or too nice to do so.

Recently, one of the drivers told me that Uber map is now directly linked to Waze - a free GPS system I personally use. I love that because drivers can easily find your pickup location and also get the fastest route to your destination. I even tried chaging destinatons in the middle of my trip (as suggested by the driver just to test it)and it updated the route on the driver's device realtime. Cool!

As I mentioned, it's not all peachy with Uber. I got a couple of drivers who were not too happy with my pickup location or destination. They definitely made me feel so with the way they drove. Sometime last week, after our Zomato Foodie Meetup at Cucina ni Bunso, I booked a ride to get home. The car that came was a brand new Eon. I must say it's is a little disappointing because I got so used with the Lancers, Jazz, and Innovas . It's still nice and clean and it was just me so I did not mind too much that it's small. The driver was nice and friendly and engaged in small talk. He said he was not familiar with Timog area and may not be able to pick me up if not for Waze. He said he's starting the trip and drove off and never asked me for directions or which route i want to take. I was competent he will be using Waze to get me home too. It was a little too late when I noticed we were on the longest, heaviest traffic route. The 15 minute ride took 30 minutes more.

Uber always sends a receipt for each ride and there is an easy link to rate your driver. I gave the ride 3 out of 5 stars. Uber charges like any metered taxi. It calculates the distance and time for the ride. I knew I was paying more than I should and I did not appreciate the lost time I could have spent with my daughter. The driver was still nice and courteous so I gave some points for that. The other night, I had time and decided to give a full feedback on my ride. Here's What I wrote: 

 

I thought that was it until I checked my email yesterday afternoon. After less than a day, I got a response and was being given a refund! Talk about great customer service. I never asked for a refund but they proactively gave it. It shows that they took time to read and review my feedback. Kudos to Michael and the whole Uber team.
The reply I got from Uber Support
Screenshot from my Uber Account

An email confirmation of the refund with trip details
I work in a client-centric environment and I know how important it is to make your client's know that you care for them. There may be some complaints that you cannot do anything about, or you may not be able to provide what your client is asking for. What is important is how you make them feel. How you show that you genuinely care and is proactively looking for options beneficial to both parties. That is how Uber handled my concern. They showed that they treat their clients as human and not just numbers that they earn from.

Months ago, I posted a horrible story about cab driver and my lost mobile phone. We hear lots of nightmare stories about other cab drivers and all we can do is post it in social media and hope that it goes viral because that is the only way LTFRB or any other authority will be moved into action. Now I know I got Uber to take the risk out of commuting. And for any reason I got something to complain about, I also know Uber will listen.

*I was not paid by Uber or ayone else to post this. I just had an experience I want to share. If you want to try Uber too, use my account referal code: ubermilastolemyheart and get FREE P100 for your first ride


#milaOOTD: Ladies Love

IT. IS. SCORCHING. HOT.
Somehow, I wish I was at the office so I can escape the scorching heat and enjoy the free air-conditioning. If only Mila could come with me, that would be perfect.
We were supposed to go to the mall but we were too lazy to move. Seems like we just want to lounge around when it's too hot or too cold. I wonder if everyone feels the same. Or maybe we're just really lazy.
Mila played in her little pool earlier (I wish we have gotten a big one to fit us 3). She actually does not want to put any clothes right after. This is a first for our little fahion loving gal. Well, she did put on her favorite red shoes and agreed to wear her diapers. But that's it.
To compromise, we got her to wear an airy muscle shirt and ruffle panties. She ended up looking too cute, I can't help but share right away. I think she loved it too, she gamely posed for shots. Here are my favorites.

#milaOOTD: Ladies Love (the Mustache) 
Headband: handmade freebie from @petitbelles 
Muscle Shirt: Gingersnaps (boys collection) 
Panty: Gingersnaps
Taken: April 27, 2015 


Stay cool and hydrated dearies! 



#milaOOTD: Clownin' Around

It's the Weekend!!! Finally!
Seems like it's been decades since I stayed home for the weekend. We were suppose to go to Zambales again today with Hubs' team but I decided it's best that Mila and I just stay home. We love the beach but the travel can be tiring. And it's so hard to keep up with household chores when you barely stay home.

I also missed playing with Mila. I know we had been spending a lot of time together but it's mostly spend on traveling or eating and sleeping. I missed carefree time with Mila. Just to give you a glimpse of what we do together, here's some of my favorite "fashion" time with Mila.

It was one of those days when I was sorting through clothes I want to sell or give away. We were on our usual ritual: I fold, Mila unfolds, I fold, Mila throws, I fold, Mila wears. Everytime she sees me with her clothes, she thinks it's dress up time and will pick up her outfit for the day. This is what she picked up. She was already wearing the dress. She would not stop bugging me until she got her skirt on. It was the skirt she wore for her birthday and last year's Halloween party. The headpiece, she picked that one up too and wore it herself. 

I could not stop laughing and she keeps giving me her pacute face. Too bad I was not able to get better photos since I only a cranky old phone nearby. As soon as her outfit was complete, she was out of the room to go check herself out in the mirror and show off to her dad.
 
#milaOOTD: Mar 13, 2015
Headband: IG Shop
Dress used as top: F&X
Skirt: made to order from Tiddletots


I never got to finish my task because I was laughing so hard and I could not let that moment pass. It was just playtime the whole day then. I wish this weekend will be as fun!


Calorie Counting with FamilyMart's Fresh n' Lite Meals


It's no secret that I am a fan of FamilyMart since I go there pretty much everyday for my work lunch or snack. Recently, I started counting calories because I gained almost 15 lbs in one month. I know I should exercise more but I find that for now, adjusting my diet is the way I would have to go. So no more of my favorite FamilyMart Green Tea soft serve ice cream (a tear fell).

I couldn't be happier when I got the invite to attend the launch of Family Mart's Fresh n' Lite Meals. These are the newest offering of Family Mart's on the go meals - healthy meals that are accessible, scrumptious, and affordable.

For a working mom like myself, it's a daily challenge to prepare good food, much less count calories. At work, I almost always rely on convenience food since I couldn't not always bring my own packed lunch. The Fresh n' Light meals from Family Mart gives me that good option to easily manage my calorie intake.

According to authoritynutrition.com, I need to be eating about 1000 to 1200 calories per day to loose weight. Let's see how the Fresh n' Lite meal will fare


Fresh n' Lite Meals The Whole Day


For Breakfast

All Fresh n' Lite rice meals are served with brown rice. I usually eat white rice and occasionally, corn rice. I never found brown rice apetizing because of it's texture. When I tasted the Breakfast Beef and Chicken Rice meals, I could not believe this can be coming from fast-food. Brown rice is very high in fiber and low in glycemic index. It has a light coating of sesame mayo and has added bits of kangkong for a more nutritious meal. Between the two, I like the Beef Rice Better only because it's served tapa style while the chicken is more like tocino.


Breakfast Beef Rice | 427 Calories | P150.00
Breakfast Chicken Rice | 520 Calories | P150.00
For Lunch or Dinner

Craving for chicken? The Healthy Hainanese Chicken is a better, tastier option. It's served with chili sauce and ginger leek sauce for that spicy boost of flavor. You know I love spice and I enjoyed mixing the two. Another light meal available is the Smoked Fish Rice Meal. You'd get a serving of tinapang bangus and greens for  good dose of Vitamin B and K, kangkong, and tomato salsa which is high in vitamin C. And my favorite, The Kimchi Beef Rice. I've always loved kimchi but my husband does not like the smell. I bet this is something he will enjoy barbecue you get the taste of good kimchi, without the smell. The beef is seasoned with sesame oild and it's just so tender, with a good serving size.
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Healthy Hainanese Chicken | 173 Calories | P150.00
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Smoked Fish Rice Meal | 275 Calories | P150.00
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Kimchi Beef Rice | 401 Calories | P175.00
For Snacks

When you need that extra something in between meals, Veggie Sticks with Hummus Dip is perfect for you. Serves more and sold cheaper than from a known coffee shop, the hummus really makes this snack taste extra special. If you are like me who can't skip meryenda, Fresh n' Lite pasta meals are also available - the Chicken Pomodoro and Spanish Sardine Arabiatta.. Both are spaghetti topped with tomato sauce that's rich in aromatics and seasoning. You can choose to have the protein-rich slices of chicken fillet, ot the light and spicy spanish sardine. I find the later more flavorful.
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Veggie Sticks with Hummus Dip | 154 Calories | P75.00
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Chicken Pomodoro | 332 Calories | P69.00
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Spanish Sardine Arabiatta | 320 Calories | P69.00
For Dessert

Filipinos would not have a complete meal without dessert. The Classic Taho is more like panacota with a taste of vanilla. The silky soya pudding is so rich in protein, it's a dessert I can enjoy guilt-free.
Fresh n' Lite Meals
Classic Taho (Mango Taho also available)| 180 Calories | P55.00

Calorie Counting


Here's two sample full day menu:

Breakfast: Breakfast Beef Rice - 427 Calories
Lunch: Healthy Hainanese Chicken - 173 Calories
Dessert: Classic Taho - 180 Calories
Snacks: Veggie Sticks with Hummus Dip - 154 Calories
Dinner: Kimchi Beef Rice - 401 Calories
Total: 1335 Calories

Breakfast: Breakfast Chicken Rice | 520 Calories
Lunch: Spanish Sardine Arabiatta | 320 Calories
Snacks: Veggie Sticks with Hummus Dip - 154 Calories
Dinner: Smoked Fish Rice Meal | 275 Calories
Total: 1269 Calories

sample calculation on how many calories you should be eating in a day to either maintain or lose weight

Notice how I can easily be within the recommended calorie count and lose weight. I can even skip on snacks and dessert to lose weight faster. With how the meals taste and the amount of each serving, I know I will not feel like I'm on a diet at all.
 

Instant Party Food


During the event, we were served the same convenience food straight out of the store into the microwave. Chef Him who was the main guy that developed this menu plated these for us. He said he wanted us to really taste the Fresh n' Lite meals the same way as when we buy it from the store. What's nice is that the food really looks nice and taste good. If you are in a pinch and you need to serve some quick food to your guest, this is a great idea.


Healthy Fast-Food? Maybe. You be the judge. For me, I know I love to eat good food and when I need to have it fast and not worry about the calories, I can rely on Family Mart's Fresh n' Lite Meals.