Friday, February 28, 2014

Family Finance: How We Can Allot Money for our Kids' Tuition?

For most parents, a good education for their child is a non-negotiable--no matter what the cost. We are willing to bend over backwards if only to make sure that our child gets a better, more secure future. Here are some ways to save money for tuition long before enrollment day arrives:

Set the money aside. Allot a specific and manageable amount of money per month for next year's tuition. You may create a new bank account for this and directly deposit your "payments" every payday to ensure that the money doesn't get whittled away on daily expenses.

Cut the incidentals. Jot down your spending for a couple of months and slash the payments you're making for unnecessary or frivolous items. Cancel your subscription to a magazine you rarely read. Dine out only once a week. And stop giving in to your child's whims whenever she asks to buy a toy. 

Reduce household expenses. Smart changes in home management can significantly lower your monthly bills. Save thousands of pesos by driving your child to school instead of hiring a driver. Cut your Meralco bill in half by sleeping in one air conditioned bedroom for the family. 

Use your credit card wisely. Purchase items on your credit card only when you can pay the entire balance in full when the bill arrives. Otherwise, you will be spending your hard earned cash on high interest payments and you will be setting yourself up for years of credit card debt. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Zen Institute Redefines Holistic Medical Spa

Zen Institute redefines a holistic wellness experience as it launches the true concept of a medical spa with the recent expansion of its flagship branch in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, The concept of holistic wellness includes the intrinsic value of the three psyche: body, mind and spirit. Zen Institute CEO and founder Dr. Mary Jane Torres believes that "The very essence, the foundation that makes a medical spa is that it is able to fuse, blend and integrate the four important elements namely: aesthetic, integrative, lifestyle and pampering elements. 

Dr. Mary Jane Torres leads the team of highly competent doctors behind Zen Institute which specializes in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine. An active member of the international Society of Anti-Aging medicine, the Europan Congress of Anti-Aging Medicine and Italian Society of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Torres also trained on Botox in Istanbul, Turkey and on lipo-therapy in Athens, Greece. " Our patients trust that once the treatment begins, we will be guiding them to fully understand and adapt the Zen lifestyle of total wellness appropriate to their needs and concern."

Established in 2006, Zen Institute embraces the Japanese belief in "achieving a healthy, balanced life with the help of Science." The very interiors and ambiance exude harmony, balance, calm, cozy luxury. The recent expansion of Zen Institute's flagship branch in Tomas Morato, Quezon City boasts state-of-the-art, leading edge technology and wellness center that offers a one-stop shop for an overall wellness experience for people who work and and reside in the area. Zen Institute gives guests a taste of exclusivity and and privacy for treatments of mesotherapy and L-carnitine, colon cleansing, facial and diamond treatments to basic massage. Zen Institute now also offers weight management so they also have workout classes of yoga, Zumba, TRX and RIP. With these, Zen Institute ensures their clients to get a good workout, stretch and tone their muscles while they undergo various treatments from the medispa. Search for tranquil spirit, a strong body and radiant skin will all commence here. 

The Zen Institute has three branches: Bonifacio Global City-Ground Floor, Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st St. corner 2nd Avenue, BGC, Taguig (02-856-2027), 69 Scout Rallos St. Tomas Morato Quezon City (02-441-1712/412-2528) and at the St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center, Maharlika Highway, Bgy.2, Sto. Tomas, Batangas (+43-778-4811)

For more information on Zen Institute as well as its programs, visit and Like them on Facebook at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tune Hotel Ortigas Opens

Tune Hotels--the Philippines' largest internationally owned and operated hotel brand continues to expand its operation as it recently opens its eight branch in the country; right in the heart of the business district of Ortigas. Known for its affordable and fuss free hotel service, Tune Hotel Ortigas has an impressive 182 rooms (24 rooms on each floor) in its twelve-storey building. Tune Hotels are perfectly located for both business and leisure travelers because they are within the commercial and business districts or town proper. 

For a wanderlust and backpacking traveler like me, Tune Hotels give the best deals when it comes to comfortable yet affordable lodging. Since most of the time a traveler explores what is there to see and experience in say a certain place, there is no need for too many hotel amenities, because anyway you won't have the time and energy to do other things at the hotel you're booked in because you were tired from all the traveling stuff. All you need is to have a good night's rest and a comfortable sleeping bed to tuck up at night and regain all the zapped energies to be ready for another travel the very next day, right? This is where I could rely on Tune Hotels. 

The best thing about Tune Hotels is that you could get a room and pay only for what you need. They have their affordable pay-as-you-use system of add ons (TV use and airconditioning, laundered towels etc.), as well as other energy consuming facilities and amenities. So if you're traveling on a shoestring, Tune Hotels allow you to budget your stay according to your needs. If you don't like to use the AC, there are ceiling fans in all Tune Hotel rooms for you to use. It saves you value for your money, so you can use your savings later in your travel adventures. 

Oh, and you'd be able to spend the night on a five star bed--Tune Hotels feature high quality spring mattress beds and pillows, pillowcases, bed sheets and 250-thread counts duvet which delivers a promise of a 5-star sleeping experience! 

Each room at Tune Hotels feature attached private bathrooms with high-pressure, heated Power Showers. So even if you're paying minimal room rates, you're still enjoying premium showers in maximum privacy. 

Tune Hotels also provide daily housekeeping services to ensure you have clean and pleasant stay with them too. Unlike other hotels whose wifi connection is limited to the hotel lobby, Tune Hotels have free wifi service access on each rooms. I've tried the wifi connection myself and it is indeed a fast one. So if you're a netizen like me, checking in at Tune Hotel via Foursquare, sharing your photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will be as easy as 1,2,3. 

"By the end of 2014, Tune Hotels will have a total of 1,720 rooms with ten hotels in the Philippines, proof that we are the largest internationally owned and operated hotel brand in the country," enthuses Sahlee Zaldivia, Country Head for the hotel's owner--Red Planet Hotels, as two more Tune Hotels are set to open within the year, in Aseana City (200 rooms, May 2014) and in Ayala Makati (189 rooms, November 2014), further strengthening the company's confidence and commitment to the local tourism industry. 

"Not only are we growing in numbers, but we have received a great deal of loyal clienteles among the travelers and tourists for the money the value for money that we provide," Zaldivia added. 

Since it was established in Malaysia in 2007, Tune Hotels has 41 operating hotels worldwide and counting: 8 in the Philippines, Malaysia (12), Indonesia (9), Thailand (4), England (4), India (1), Japan (1), Scotland (1) and Australia (1). 

All Tune Hotels feature space efficient, streamlined rooms focusing on high quality basics: five-star beds, powerful hot showers and high speed wifi. They also provide housekeeping services, electronic keycard access into rooms, extensive CCTV surveillance systems, 24-hour security and no access into main lobby without keycard past midnight for all the guests' safety and peace of mind. 

Tune Hotels are strategically located close to major shopping, sightseeing and business destinations. Inside each hotel, you'll find established convenience store operators and branded food and beverage outlets to give you reliable facilities within easy reach. 

Tune Hotels in the Philippines are located in Angeles City, Ermita, Makati, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Ortigas and Quezon City. 

Tune Hotel Ortigas is located behind One San Miguel building along Shaw Boulevard and San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas.

For more information, visit
You may also contact Benjamin Martinez, Director of Sales and Marketing, 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions and impressions expressed are my own. 

UK's Dyson Opens Shop in the Philippines

Popular British home appliance brand Dyson has set up shop in the Philippines as it understands the need of Filipino consumer's desire for durable products. The Dyson brand  was originally conceptualized by an engineer who was disappointed upon buying a vacuum cleaner which prodded him to create and invent a prototype of the kind of vacuum cleaner he wanted that uses engineering technology and eventually make cleaning a lot easier. 

Dyson brand may not ring a bell yet to Filipinos but it will surely become a household word in the next couple of years as it establishes its name in the Philippine market. Dyson senior communications manager Roanna Mottershead said the company plans to put up eight more Dyson stores of both pop up and concept stores. 

Dyson manufacturers high performance vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, heaters and hand dryers are made in its manufacturing facilities in Singapore and Malaysia. Dyson brand is also present in 67 other countries including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Russia, and Taiwan. "Filipinos are now open to invest in things that can last a long time and Dyson appliances are a pretty good investment as it could last for more than 10 years depending on proper usage," said Motterhead. 

"The Dyson brand expands its reach in Asia and its also looking for a possibility of putting up a manufacturing facility in the Philippines. We are growing so we have to increase out manufacturing plants so it will be something that we need to evaluate," explains Mottershead. "You'll never look at home appliances the same way again after you've tried Dyson products. We have waterless washing machines, no bag/suctions vacuum cleaners and kid-safe bladeless fans to name a few of our innovative Dyson products."

Dyson home appliances have been sold in Rustan's Makati since last year. Dyson will soon open shops in Century City Mall, Robinsons Magnolia and Robinsons Place Manila. "We are getting good reviews and reception from the market. For a new brand Dyson is doing very well," says Jasper Golangco, marketing director of Dyson's exclusive distributor White Planet Inc. 

Visit for more details. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own. 

Jollibee Kids Club Happy Plus Card Launch

Kids from all over the country now have more reasons to be happy and become a member of the Jollibee Kids Club (JKC) as it has recently launched the JKC-Happyplus card--the Philippines' first ever electronic wallet and rewards earning membership card for children. Now with the JKC Happyplus card in hand, each time kids come and visit their favorite Jollibee stores, not only will they be able to eat their well loved Jollibee foods but they'll also earn points. 

Moms and Dads along with the whole family all trooped to the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati and joined in the fun as the Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus Card was launched. Hosted by celebrity mom Bettina Carlos, the said event was packed with lots of fun, games, surprises and activities for kids and those kids-at-heart. Kids who came had a blast with a number of booths within the area where kids enjoyed hands-on experience of what Jollibee Kids Club is all about. There were also multiple intelligence stations where kids learned about social skills, arts and crafts, reading, performance arts and so much more! There were loads of perks and freebies where kids were treated to such as free face painting, glitter tattoo, photo booth and cotton candy. There were also on stage games and programs which delighted and entertained all the guests. 

Child actress Xyriel Manabat also graced the program and wowed the crowd when she performed two songs, Katy Perry's "Roar" and "Let it Go" from the Disney animation "Frozen".  And of course, a Jollibee event won't ever be complete without our beloved mascot, best friend Jollibee and his friends Hetty, Yum, Popo and Twirlie performed special dance numbers. 

It was also fun to see other celebrity moms bonding with their kids at the said Jollibee event like TV host Christine Jacob-Sandejas, Sports anchor Patricia Hizon together with husband former PBA basketball star player Vince Hizon and family, and actress Danica Sotto-Pingris with her daughter. Commercial model and GMA Kapuso actor Mikael Diaz  also took sometime off from his busy schedule to spend time with the Jollibee Kids Club members as he became the guest storyteller at the Inquirer booth during Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus card launch.

So what makes the Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus Card special? It ain't like any other card as it is especially made with kids in mind. The Jollibee Kids Club is the country's largest club for kids to date. With over 440,000 members and counting, it promotes multiple intelligence through a variety of fun activities and workshops. Signing up is easy and upon registration, each Jollibee Kids Club member will b receiving a JKC-Happyplus card and the privilege to attend activities exclusively for JKC members. 

Mommies, Here's how the JKC Happyplus card works:
Each card costs Php100 (load not included) and is available in selected Jollibee stores for kids 12 years old and below. It entitles the bearer to a 3-year membership at the Jollibee Kids Club. Once loaded, the card can be used by the JKC member to pay for any Jollibee treat. Every correspondence/transactions made corresponds to points earned. 
For example: Php50 food purchase = 1 point = Php1
Jollibee Kids Meal purchase = Double points
Earn points by attending the JKC workshops. Php50 ticket spend = 1 point = Php1

Benefits and Freebies: 

Upon purchase of the JKC Happyplus card, your child instantly gets awesome freebies which includes 1coupon for a FREE Vanilla twirl, Php250 worth of discount coupons redeemable at Jollibee, Greenwich, Chowking and Red Ribbon. And your kid also gets a chance to win up to Php100,000 in the monthly raffle. Additional raffle entries can be earned each time you reload. 
Load of Php100-200 = 1 raffle entry
Load of Php300-400 =5 raffle entries
Load of Php500-900 =10 raffle entries
Load of Php1,000 = 25 raffle entries
In excess of Php1,000, in every Php100 = 5 raffle entries

And all JKC Happyplus card holders can also have a chance to win one of 5 Jollibee Kids Party Gift certificates worth Php6,000 in the monthly raffle. Additional raffle entries can be earned for every reload. 

So Moms, all these reasons are enough for you and your family to frequent more at your favorite Jollibee store! It's like hitting two birds with one stone--you're kids will be loving the fun activities, enjoy their all-time favorite Jollibee treats and at the same time, earn rewards. Get your kids into something creative, interactive, entertaining and fun by making your kids join the Jollibee Kids Club so they can enjoy all the perks, freebies and priveleges of being a member and show off their Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus card and gain instant rewards! 

To learn more about the Jollibee Kids Club and the Jollibee Kids Club Happyplus card, log on to

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions and impressions imposed are my own. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Discover the Wonders of Spain

I'm often associated with Spain. I've been teased and called "Ms. Spain" a lot of times and my teachers could easily remember me because of my surname--Madrid. Yet I had to admit I know very little of Spain--well, except maybe Barcelona, since I remember being an avid follower of the 1992 Summer Olympics games held in Barcelona, Spain. So what is it about Spain that makes it so special? I was surprised to know there's actually a lot more interesting things about Spain that most people probably don't know. I got to learn all these when I was invited recently to attend an event organized by Embajada de Espana en Filipinas about the said country's product update for 2014. 

For the record, Spain receives a whopping record of 60.7 million tourists in 2013! Wow! This makes Spain one of the top three most visited destinations in the world. Why is this so? No big surprise there as Spain's tourism industry had always been at the top of the world. Spain consistently holds strong and extensive attractions for tourists and guests, from its excellent cuisine, awesome destinations and such a shopping haven for shopaholics. Not to mention, there are many Spanish tour packages that have been put together with the help of valued local travel agents. 

There's a wide range of activities available to tourists and visitors in Spain from theme park visits of places such as Warner bros. Isla Magica, and Xanadu; shop until you drop shopping spree at the country's best shopping places like El Corte Ingels; Spain also houses the largest concentration of luxury brands at low prices like Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Cartier, Lladro, Zara, and Mango--all have flagship stores in both Madrid and Barcelona. Add in Spain's nightlife, gastronomic adventures, honeymoon and romantic getaways, religious pilgrimages and visita iglesia, golfing, beach and cultural immersions. 

The Huffington also had a post which cites 20 reasons to drop everything and go to Spain. I'll give you here a few reasons why a visit to Spain this year is a must:

Jerez de la Frontera had been chosen as the European Wine City for 2014. Jerez is a city rich and diverse in wine culture. The Jerez Festival is on full-swing from February 21-March 8--they also put on the spotlight the passionate dance of flamenco. 

Spain won the bid for the World Cup Fever for the Year 2014! Yes, amigo! All eyes will be following their favorite teams at the World Cup 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this June 2014. FC Barcelona will surely keep the fire burning at the football field. Make sure to transit in either Barcelona or Madrid.

Spain is world's third destination in meetings, incentives, congresses and exhibitions in 2012. With more than 50 conference centers, located in a wide variety of different places and a broad range of infrastructure in continual growth and renewal, in response to the promising future of the sector in Spain. 

What makes Spain different is the establishments (modern ones) which co-exists with remnants of history. It is a melting pot of races and cultures brimming with diverse entertainment options, exciting attractions and a comprehensive transportation system. For these reasons and so much more, these are enough to make you fall in love with Spain, thereby making Spain as your top choice in your next travel destination. 

For more information, visit 
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Watch its beauty at

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions and impressions expressed are my own. 

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