K Hotel and Residences, Pampanga – A Review

We wanted a quick family getaway for the long weekend and we thought of going North – NOT too north like Ilocos as we wouldn’t like that much time to travel, but someplace just a few hours away from Manila. Our top 2 choices – Tagaytay or Pampanga.  We chose the latter. After a quick look at Expedia.com. I was able to book a a room at K Hotel and Residences.   It was (a bit of) a challenge looking for a big room which can cater to 5 people +1 kid. With patience and lots of prayers, I was able to get a big room with 2 King beds which can cater to 6 people. Yey!

 

 

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Facade

 

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The hotel entrance and lobby

K Hotel and Residences (formerly Grandview hotel)

I like the hotel. Half of the hotel is under renovation but I like that it is cozy and cheerful. It has a wide lobby with a big sofa perfect for photo opportunities with your friends and family. The carpeted, lamp-lit hallways can be a bit eerie but music coming from the speakers improved the view. Staff were also very friendly.

We were assigned a dedicated parking lot in the hotel basement and it was well guarded. I was personally thankful for it. Some of the hotels and inns in the area do not have a secured parking lot. Their guests parked their cars just in front of the building. I doubt if that is secured at all. Anyway, we were all happy we didn’t have to worry about the car.

We were happy with the room. (Thank you God!) The King Premium room was (or seems to be) newly renovated. It is wide, bright and just perfect for us.

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Two King beds for our wide, spacious room

Wifi was a bit of a problem at that time (We were told there was a problem with the connection, hope they resolve this soon.) The room came equipped with a good big bathroom with a tub, room ref, TV and the usual complimentary bottled water and coffee.

 

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I also like their outdoor pool located at the top floor of the hotel. Just perfect for the family. The view is pleasant and you can’t help but feel relaxed when you see a big portion of the area. There were chairs and tables to put your things in and have your snacks. There was a tall wall with flowing water, similar to a water fall. There was a also a small Jacuzzi in the corner of the pool.

 

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Outdoor pool

 

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We stayed for 2 nights costing us only P6,000.00. We were able to relax and get our much needed sleep. We had a happy family time and go to Nayong Pilipino and eat at Pampanga’s well known Binulo restaurant. The location is perfect as it is very near a 7/11 convenience store and a string of fast food joints – Jollibee, Chowking etc..

 

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Happy family

It really was such a special time for the family  It was such a blessing to have discovered K Hotel and Residences.

This is an unbiased review.

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Cafe Caudal in Rizal

We are on the lookout for exciting places near our area and we found Cafe’ Caudal which serves delicious coffee and tasty, savory treats.  The place is nice, quiet and cozy – perfect when you are dining with friends or just need a place to relax and chillax.

 

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Chic and Cozy

 

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Latte

 

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Blueberry Cheesecake, Red velvet cake and Tres Leches

 

 

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Red Velvet!

 

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Enjoying the place

 

Cafe Caudal is located at C. Gonzaga Bldg. Brgy San Juan, Taytay Rizal.  Contact numbers are 0936-977-8601 or (02) 881-0918 and you may look for Karen.   They are available 9-am to 12 midnight everyday.

SM Cinema opens 55th branch in Angono

What an exciting time for Angono folks as SM Cinema completes the movie entertainment experience in Rizal with 4 new fully digitized cinemas in SM Center Angono on Wednesday, December 16.

I am so happy to witness this historical event and I’m proud for my hometown!

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Traditional Clapper Rites to formally open SM Cinema Angono.  

 

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Now Open!  From left to right, Mr. Edgar Tejerero, President, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc, Prof. Ligaya Rubin (Wife of Vice Mayor Antonio Rubin), Hon. Mayor Gerardo Calderon of Angono, Rizal, Mr. Joaquin San Agustin, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Shopping Center Management Corporation, Ms. Edwin Nava, Vice President of Operations, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

The cinemas boast of its crisp digital surround-sound system and crystal clear images that convey that best theatre experience. Promising to deliver optimum movie-watching, each theatre will cater to 200 patrons in a stadium-like seating, making certain that all patrons will enjoy the view from any seat they choose. As a standard in all SM Cinemas, SM Cinema apportions an area dedicated to PWD to accommodate all varieties of guests.

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197 seats allotted with provision for PWD

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Complementing the newest cinema branch on the block is SM Cinema’s official snack and merchandise arm, Snack Time. Snack Time will serve popcorn, drinks, and other snacks, along with the latest movie merchandise that fans will surely love to collect.

The cinema boasts of colosseum type seating equipped Dolby surround sound system and wall to wall 3D capable screen. All ready to entertain families and town folks.

The 4 theatres in SM Center Angono will round off a total of 306 SM Cinema screens found across the entire nation. Reaching out to every corner of the country, SM Cinema secures its location in Rizal with cinemas in SM Taytay, SM Masinag, and SM San Mateo. SM Cinema is the Philippines’ largest cinema and exhibition brand with 60% of the country’s total market share.

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Excited for the opening!

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Blessing Ceremony

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Cocktails for VIPs and Guests

 

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An e-plus card for movie lovers

I’m watching movies using e-plus! As an introduction to reloadable prepaid cashless transactions, ePLUS Tap to Pay provides convenience for travelers, shoppers, movie lovers, and event goers. With one tap of a card, cardholders not only have a faster mode of payment, but can also enjoy perks such as discounts and freebies in various restaurants, shops, theatres, and concerts. ePLUS is the card of the century.

Dive into a world full of exciting and immersive movies right at your backyard in Rizal! SM Cinema Angono opens on December 16, 2015. For more information on SM Cinema, visit www.smcinema.com or dial (02) 470-2222.

 

My Favorite Baby Shampoo and Wash (For Me and My Son )

My son, Lukas, and I have super sensitive skin.  My Dermatologist said that we lack a certain skin barrier that protects our skin and so we have to moisturize a lot as our skin tends to be dry, itchy, and in harsh, cold weather, may sometimes be flaky.  On the bright side, having dry skin means I very seldom have pimples.  My facial skin is clear, which was a big advantage when I hit puberty.   It is hereditary so I guess, we can say are “born this way.”

When Lukas was born, he also has dry, sensitive skin so I had to be extra careful not to use harsh chemicals on his super delicate skin.  As a result, I am always on the look out for natural, high quality, organic cleansing products that does not only cleanse but is extra good and loving to the skin and smells good too!

I am a frequent customer of Healthy Options in Megamall and Shangri la.  But it wasn’t until my son had a rash and my dermatologist recommended Nature’s Gate Baby Shampoo and Wash, that I realized it is available there. I also use Nature’s gate shampoo, conditioner and lotion as well,  so it felt great when I realized there exists a good shampoo which we can use for Lukas’ delicate hair and sensitive skin.

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What I like about it:

  • Sulfate / Paraben/ Sodium Laureth/ Phthalate FREE  – no harsh chemical ingredients here!
  • Contains botanicals – Calendula, Chamomile, Orange Flower, Sweet Almond oil, Vegetable glycerin, Jojoba oil and Kernel oil
  • Smells sooooo good and clean
  • Perfect not just for babies but for my delicate skin too!!

What is amazing is that 1 heavy bottle (532 ml / 18 Fl Oz) costs less than P250.00!

I had an rash on my cheek which wouldn’t go away and the recommended cream by my dermatologist did not do a good job.  I thought of using the baby was as a cleanser for my face and guess what? The rash and itchiness went away!  Now, I use super mild cleansers but sometimes, even the mildest soap or formula that we use have chemicals in them which is not good for us.

I hope moms out there trying to find a good product for their and their baby’s delicate, sensitive skin would know about this.  Feel free to share. 🙂

Be healthy and use organic.

Cheers and Love,

Mommy Shane

Bagnetified! at SM Taytay

Last July 25, I attended a photography workshop sponsored by Rizal Media and Bloggers community.  After the workshop, we visited Bagnetified! for a friendly get together.  I have heard about it from friends and I was excited to try it for myself.

An uncle is from Ilocos and once in a while when he goes home  place, he would come home with Bagnet for us (Actually, we would order from him).  All of us would be excited for it.  Now, we can have bagnet all we want because Bagnetified is now in SM Taytay! (Yay!)

First impression of the place:  Cool place! I love the neat red and white color of the place. I also like the wall design.

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All things Bagnet – yummy (and sinful) 🙂

 

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Kare-Kare Bagnetified P279

Their Kare-Kare is good and tasty.  Sauce is thick and meat is tender.

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Bagnetified Rice P199

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(Sizzling) Sisig bagnetified P289)

Their smoking hot sisig is flavorful!  You’ve gotta try it.

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Bagnetified Burger with free iced tea (P149)

I love the taste and the colorful presentation of this burger!

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Bagnetified!is now in SM Taytay, BPO Building (IT park). Will surely come back and bring hubby along! 🙂

Dine ‘n Dash: Serving Great American Comfort Food

If you’re the type who loves quality, grilled burgers and other “related” food, then I’ve got news for you!  Dine ‘n Dash opened its doors last July 30 at SM City Taytay- IT Park. They serve quality American comfort food (read: burgers, wings, fish, fries, pasta etc..) that’s meant to dash their way to your hearts and tummies.  What’s more is that you can have them at an affordable price!

I sampled their Texas Buffalo burger made of breaded chicken breast fillet topped with bleu cheese and tomato.  So yummy and definitely an alternative for those who wanted chicken meat in their burgers.

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Texas Buffalo Burger (P119)

Sally’s (Salibury steak) is a real treat, served with special gravy, rice and fries.  I love their Big Fish-  tender cream dory fillet with sauce and fries!

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Entree’s: Sally’s (P119), The Big Fish (P119) and Texas Buffalo

Their wings are amazing!  You can choose from 4 flavors – Classic, Hot and spicy, Garlic Parmesan and Barbecue.  You may choose from these dips: Chipotle Mayo, Aioli, Bleu Cheese and Honey Mustard.  I tell you these are good wings and comparable to restos well known for their wings 🙂

 

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Wings – Twin: 5-7 pcs for P179 and Party: 8-12 pcs for P279

 

I loved their pasta selection as well. My favorite is the Seafood Bleu Cheese.  I’ve never tasted anything like it and since I like cheese, it actually made its mark. I’ll definitely order this.  It has squid, shrimp and clams.  It is really so good.

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My favorite: Seafood Bleu Cheese Pasta!! P159

 

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Chicken Aglio Olio (129)

Now these two burgers are awesome! The Fantastic 4 Cheese burger is 1/3 pounder grilled beef patty enriched with 4 types of melted cheese – mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and bleu cheese! (Oh yumminess!) The signature finisher is soo good as well with onions and a slice of cheese (as you can see in the picture below)!

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Fantastic 4 cheese burger (P179)

 

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Signature Finisher (P179)

Dine ‘n Dash is managed by a husband and wife team, June and Cynthia Go. The husband chef is in charge of operations while the wife in charge of marketing and PR – sweet! .  I like the store’s cozy interior, perfect hang out place for family dining and time with friends. I will definitely visit them again, this time with my family!

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Their store is located at G/F SM BPO Bldg (IT park), SM City Taytay, Manila East Road, Taytay, Rizal. You may reach them at 296-6360.  They are open every day from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.  email: dinendash13@yahoo.com   Facebook: facebook.com/dinendashburgers.

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10th Anniversary Getaway (Part 1) – Serenity Suites, Antel Makati

June 18 marked our 10th year wedding anniversary and it called for a celebration! The original plan was to go out of town, but since we also celebrated Lukas’ 4th birthday the previous day – June 17th, we decided to have a staycation in a hotel in the city.  Our original plan was to celebrate in a hotel in Ortigas area but the husband suggested that we book in Makati as Ortigas is an “all too familiar” place for both of us.

I followed his advice was led to check out Antel Hotel in Makati.  I spotted the hotel previously when I attended a blogging summit last year. I got great feedback on the internet and the location was perfect as it is so conveniently near A.Venue mall and Century city mall which I long planned to check out.  It boasts of 3 towers – A. Venue Suites, Antel Spa Suites and Serenity Suites.  The three towers are connected and in the common area, you would see their big pools – the biggest in the area. (There were actually 3 big pools and 1 kiddie pool – I counted!)

What a blessing to get a 1-bedroom suite at the Serenity Suites!  The hotel staff were courteous and did everything with a smile.   Reservation was quick and check in process was a breeze.  What I loved is the personal touch which made the day even more special! Our room was neat, charming and lovely.

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Personal touch: “Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary, Sweethearts Adrian and Shane” personalized greeting,  complimentary wine and rainy day giveaway.

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Our lovely, charming room!

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Cozy zen inspired rest room

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Love the red couch!

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Dining and Kitchen area

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uploaded these pictures here in this area – Wifi uploads were fast!!!

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Nice!!! Pool 1 with kiddie pool on the far side

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Indoor Pools #2 and 3 parallel to each other

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The Husband enjoying his BIG breakfast at Cafe Azzurro

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Us at Azzurro Restaurante Mediterraneo

We spent our day touring the nearby area, watching movies, eating and sampling restaurants and enjoying the city lights and the live band.  We talked about the years we had, our highs and lows, the lessons we learned and our plans for the future.  All of these, while thanking God that He wrote our love story and brought us together.

Can’t believe it has been 10 years!  Cheers!

Lovely Dining Experience at Filio Bistro

The husband took me out on a date and we went to this lovely place with super good food and a delightful ambiance – the cool kind where you can take your friends for an afternoon treat and can enjoy catching up with one another.  A cozy, special place to bring your special someone for a date, or if  you’re like me, a nice, a homey place to enjoy a favorite book or surf the net and simply unwind.

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Filio Bistro – Cafe and so much more!

Filio’s warm and welcoming ambiance

 

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Cozy and homey hang out place

 

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Lovely desserts!

The place is quite impressive with its glass windows, high ceilings, open spaces and thoughtful lighting.  The dining area – tables and chairs is made of fine wood. You can tell that the artwork and designs were tastefully chosen.  Relaxing music plays in the background.   You also would have the option to choose to dine open style in their foyer for a real taste of Antipolo breeze.  Over-all, you would feel the welcoming and relaxing vibe the moment you walk though its doors.

Our order taker knows the food selections well and can give you advice.  And the food??? Oh so yummy!  Let me put it this way, the food, is comparable (if not better) to the food you can have in Ortigas, Taguig and even Makati and these places are hours away from Rizal!  I can say that with Filio’s good food, I should’ve asked for Chef’s name! (Note to self – meet the chef next time!)

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Yummy BBQ Ribs – so soft, tasty with their special sauce and well cooked meat that falls off the bone, with choice of 2 sidings: mashed potato and grilled veggies

 

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Delectable Pesto pasta with grilled chicken and bread. Wow!

 

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Cheesy fries with a twist – tomatoes!

We  also enjoyed their Frappe’: Mocha and Dolce de Leche.  We had fun talking about stuff that we forgot to take pictures of what we ordered! 😦

I noted that there is a provision for a function room for special occasions or company meetings.  There’s also an option for diners to stay in the foyer and experience the cool, breezy Antipolo Air.

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a foyer / veranda for open dining

Don’t you just love good food and all the more appreciate it when you enjoy it in a relaxing ambiance?  Then you have to visit Filio Bistro, a place I would definitely come back to in Antipolo.

Filio is located at HI-5 Arcade, Sumulong Memorial Circle, Brgy. San Jose Antipolo, Rizal.  Their business hours are from 9:00am to 1:00am daily.  They vary their schedule during holidays and special occasion.  You may get in touch with them via 0906-333-RIBS (7427). The also have an FB page.

It is truly nice to know that we Rizaleños do not have to travel so far to find a cozy, warm place, with good food and dine in style.

We will visit you again, Filio!

Finding (and Wearing) Your Perfect Scent

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“You are never fully dressed without perfume.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

Do you love wearing fragrance?  I do! Not only does it “complete” my look, it gives me joy and motivates me to head out the door and do what I have to do.  I find that it adds beauty not just to the senses, but helps prep my emotions as well.

It is no wonder that even the Bible speaks of fragrance – of cinnamon, precious oil, myrrh and incense.  If ever you are feeling down, Proverbs 27 states that oil and perfume makes the heart glad. In my case, my favorite perfume really does lift my spirits! As in!

But did you know that is actually a better way to find that perfect scent and properly wear them?

HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR PERFECT SCENT?

1. TRY  BEFORE YOU BUY

When it comes to scents, you’ve got to shop around. Try before you buy.  Choosing a scent is just so subjective that you may actually have to look around for the one that “fits” you.  Don’t just try a recommendation by a friend, what may be good on them may not be for you.  Our own body chemistry actually plays a big part when choosing scents.

2. YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE THE NOTES

Notice that each scent has “top” and “bottom” notes.  Make sure you love both.  The first thing you smell is the “top” or the “sales” note.  After 30 minutes to an hour, the scent you smell is now the “bottom” note.  Do you like both?  This would help you decide if the scent complements you.

3.  WHEN, OH WHEN?

To find “your” scent, try  to think about when (season or occasion) you’ll be wearing it.  During summer for example, you may opt for something citrus or something refreshingly light.  What you may wear to hang out with your friends might be different with what you’ll opt to wear for dates with someone special.  This is helpful when you already have a collection of scents.

HOW SHOULD I WEAR IT? 

1.  It is best to apply fragrance to your pulse points. The warmth in these areas heat up the scent and allows you to smell it better. Pulse points are spots like behind your ears, inner elbows, wrists.

2.  Avoid rubbing wrists as you make the top notes evaporate quickly. Such a waste!

3.  Avoid spraying on your clothes – they may leave a mark, or worse, stains!

4. Some people I know spray very lightly on their nape and hair.

A WORD ON STORAGE:

Remember to keep them in a dry, dimly lit area, such as your closet.  Avoid the bathroom and the refrigerator as the humidity in these places may affect the chemical make in your perfume.  When properly stored, your perfume can last for 3 years (or even more)!

THE SCENT LAB and My Love for Variety

I already have a small collection of favorite designer perfumes but sometimes I’d like to try something new that doesn’t injure my bank account!

The SCENT LAB helps me to enjoy a variety of quality scents! (One thing about me, I love variety.)  They use high quality fragrance oil imported from Grasse, France.

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It is long lasting because it is Eau de Parfum where the oil concentration is 20%, compared to Eau de Toilette where concentration is anywhere from  5 to 15% only.  It lasts for about 4-5 hours.

The magic here is how super close (if not surprisingly exact) these scents are to the original!  Yet, it is pocket friendly and my make-up / “kikay” kit loves it too!  I love that I can carry them around with me without a hassle! (I cannot imagine myself carrying a bulky and chunky bottle in my bag.)

Use them or give them as gifts or giveaways.  They can customize the label to include your name or business info to promote your business.

Shipping is FREE for MMla and P45 for provincial areas.  It comes in the following available sizes:

      12 ml (minimum of 2 orders)    Php 225.00

      30 ml                                        Php 250.00

      50 ml                                        Php 350.00

For orders please contact 0939- 9204475 or send a message at thescentlabph@gmail.com.

Follow them at Facebook or instagram: @TheScentLabPh.

Payment is made via BDO or BPI.

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  “Perfume is the most intense form of memory.”   – Jean Paul Guerlain

Bloom, BLOSSOM and grow.

Have you heard about ZAP?

Cash Back. Rewards. Loyalty Program. Have you heard about ZAP?

Picture this: You happen to be at your favorite merchant establishment lining up to pay for your purchase. You smile at the thought of the discount you’ll be getting using your rewards card.  The problem is, you have checked your wallet, your pockets, your bag- and every pocket in it AND YOU SIMPLY CANNOT FIND THE DARN CARD! (Familiar scenario? This happened to me – A LOT!)

Enter my newest discovery: ZAP!

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I discovered ZAP just recently when I attended Blogapalooza 2014. I decided to blog about this product because I just love it when I EARN something everytime I SPEND! There’s actually a  new term for this now – “SPEARNING.”  Through ZAP, we get to enjoy 5 to 20% Cash Back from transactions made at partner establishments.

So, you purchase your dream sneakers at Adidas worth P3,000, you get 5% (P150) when you enter your mobile no. in the ZAP terminal. Then you buy milk tea at Happy Lemon or have coffee at Figaro’s using your points. Cool isn’t it?

What’s even more cool is the fact that you don’t have to carry an actual card with you! You see, my wallet can only accommodate so much. (Girls, you know what I mean!) Plus, there’s no app to download either! That’s one less dependency on mobile internet.

Simply to key-in your mobile no. and your 6-digit pin on the ZAP terminal and you earn or use your points right away!

Create your FREE account now and start spearning! Click this special REFERRAL LINK and YOU GET P50 POINTS instantly!  Once you created your account and refer friends, they get P50 points too!  You earn points as well when your friend uses ZAP for the first time!

Look for the ZAP CashBack Sign at your favorite establishments and sign in to squeeze more out of every Peso you spend.

Sign up now and be amazed with ZAP!

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Photo courtesy of asiatechhub.com