My One Week Battle Against Smart (Communications)

My internet connection has been restored yesterday but getting back my internet connection wasn't an easy battle. It took one week, a great deal of stress, hassle and frustration, a couple of calls and wireless center visit and a LOT of tweets in the hopes that they prioritize my case. I know there are many other subscribers having issues with the company but I kept on bugging them for some reasons, 1) I have a blog to maintain 2) I want to get what I am paying for 3) The thought of unresolved issue is making me stressful and 4) I want them to realize that they should start improving the services they provide before they accept more subscribers.

I love the company... or perhaps I used to. I never had problems as worse as this before. I may have encountered some glitches in the past four years but all those are tolerable. This recent one is simply too much for me to bear. Anyway, who wouldn't feel pissed off if something essential is being taken away? Much more if you sometimes depend on it for food, clothing, bills and other necessities to live?

Here's my "diary" on what transpired during my pursuit to get back my internet connection:

I switched on my computer but have no internet access. I waited for a few minutes but still the same. I turned off my computer, removed the cable off the CPU and unplugged the antenna power supply. I switched on and attached the cable again after a few minutes but no internet connection still. Since something like this happened before, I didn't really bother to call the customer service because I expected that things will be back to normal the next day.

As soon as I woke up, I checked my internet connection again. Nothing still...

I contacted the company's twitter @smartcares to complain. I was asked for my account number and was told that there is no reported service interruption in my area. I was also instructed how to troubleshoot, which I already did last night (unplug, restart and replug) but still can't access the internet. They also did remote checking but they can't find where the issue is coming from.

When I arrived home, I checked my internet again but my connection isn't back still. I tried calling their customer service (*1888) but the lines were all busy.

When I woke up, I check if internet has been restored but only made me frustrated. Before I leave home at around 11:00 am, I checked again but nothing.

I went to Smart Wireless Center in SM City Iloilo to complain about the issue. After waiting for like half an hour, someone in charge at the desk asked my problem and got my contact number. That's it! I was told that she already made a report and someone will contact me within 24 to 48 hours. Seriously? I get it that it's their protocol but I think it would have saved both parties time and effort if they try to sort out issues right then and there.

When I arrived home that night, I vowed not to stop trying until I can talk to their customer service representative. When finally I was able to contact their CSR, the same process ensued. I was asked for my name, Smartbro account number and my problem. I was told that there is no service interruption in my area thus I was again instructed to troubleshoot the same way I did many times already. In my opinion, if the problem is left unresolved for three days already and they find no service interruption in my area, they should have realized the problem might be in my antenna, cables or other physical settings. They should have scheduled for tech visit immediately. But they only advised me to observe for another 24 hours.

No internet connection the whole day. I called the customer service again after 24 hours but got the same answer, "no reported interruption in my area". The CSR probably consulted her superior or whoever is there and then she told me that the source where my antenna is getting signal actually has problem. My God! Why give me varying answers? Is it to shut me up? I inquired as to when they are going to fix the problem and she told me that they cannot tell and I have to wait for another 24 hours again. I want to cry due to annoyance!


I keep on tweeting and tweeting and tweeting @smartcares hoping that they'll get fed up with my persistence and send their technical team at home.

After work, I dropped by at Smart Wireless Center in SM Delgado since it is the most convenient and nearest my office. I asked for updates and the lady at the desk told me that there is already a report regarding my problem and it is still open for investigation. I also asked if she has any idea as to when it will be fixed since I am paying for the unlimited use but I am not getting what I am paying for. To my horror, she acted bitchy and told me that a reversal will be issued to my account. I wanted to bombard her with all these frustrations bottled up since the last few days but I tried hard not to because doing so will only make me look unprofessional. I annoyingly told her that I am just asking questions with the tone of "there-is-no-need-for-you-to-act-like-that". I went out of the center teary-eyed because of hatred!

Throughout the day, I tweeted and sent a lot of DM. It was midday when I was asked my preferred time for technical visit. Since I wanted everything to be back to normal ASAP, I answered "today" if possible, if not, tomorrow. I didn't get a reply from then on.

Tweeting spree once again. They sent me a DM asking me, again, for my preferred time for technical visit. They are making it appear like I didn't reply to them yesterday. I wanted to get this over with so I said "today at 3pm". However, the there is no available team this day and the earliest availability is tomorrow. I agreed!

I patiently waited. I even prepared back up plans if nobody turned up to check my problem. At around 3pm, I got a call from them telling me that they are on their way. I was working that time so I asked my cousin to oversee the check up. After thorough check up (despite of the rain), they discovered the culprit - worn out cables! According to them (relayed by my mother), their cables only last for around four years. Bingo! I have been a subscriber since middle of 2008 and it's exactly four years now. How did they miss that? They should have realized that during the investigation. While I'm glad that my connection is back after they replaced the cable, I feel sad because I have to pay for the new cable. The replacement should have been free if they can take the old cable but unfortunately, during the installation of ceiling outside, the old cable was locked there. One meter costs Php 51 thus I paid Php 1020 for 20-meter replacement cable.

After a week-long stress and hassle in addition to back logs this caused me, my life is finally back to normal. But I still await for updates regarding my rebate. I hope I won't be paying for something I didn't make use of. Other than that, I'm thankful that things turned out fine and really wish that this will never happen again, to me or to anyone who needs to stay connected especially those whose work is based online.

Of course, I won't end this rant without calling out to this company giant. To Smart Communications, it's about time you improve the services you provide and you can start by having your employees undergo training on proper manners and how to deal with customers especially irate ones and those with less technical knowledge. Acting bitchy when the customer approaches nicely is uncalled for. And I know it's business but please, don't be greedy. Before you accept new subscribers, see to it that you won't compromise the quality of service you provide. Consumers need to get what they are paying for with their hard-earned money. It's not about having billion subscribers... it's about making even just millions of people happy and satisfied.

Review: All Organics Tomato Face and Body Soap

This is not the first All Organics product that I've tried. I once used All Organics Tomato-Lime soap but didn't continue doing so because it caused me breakouts. Because of that, I decided not to use their products anymore so as to avoid future breakouts. But later on, I realized that it isn't right to judge the brand based on one product alone so again, I opened my door to other variants from All Organics.

The first All Organics product I tried after the "breakup" is the Tomato Face and Body soap due to my undying hope that tomatoes and tomato soaps can help address my problems regarding my pores and blackheads. All Organics soaps are rectangular and around half an inch thick. This tomato soap is surprisingly, not red or orange like a real tomato but is in fact cream-colored with small light-orange specks. Probably it's because of other natural ingredients this soap contains or they are not using ripe tomatoes. :D The soap comes in thin yet clear plastic packaging. The narrow band around the soap contains the brand’s logo and product labels.
I have been using this soap variant for a couple of weeks now but a couple of days after I started using, one large and three small pimples appear in my face. But I do not blame the soap entirely because my monthly period is also around that time.

Product Description:
  • When used as a cleanser, tomatoes in the face are fabulous for balancing and maintaining moisture and pH levels while also tightening pores.
  • We use fresh tomatoes extracted to capture all the advantages that tomatoes can offer skin, the Milea's Organic Tomato soap gently cleanses normal to oily skin and provides soothing relief for troubled complexions. It also helps to fight against aging of the skin.
  • The Milea Organic Tomato Soap is 98% natural. It combats sagging skin and unbalanced pH conditions. Your skin will surely love it.


What I like about this product:
Unlike other organic soaps, this doesn't cause stinging sensation even if left on the face for a couple of minutes nor does it make the skin red after washing. It has that light smell too! I love how my skin feels right after washing using this soap. It appears a bit tight but not dry. It closes the pores and makes my skin smooth. You will really feel the difference! It hasn’t caused major breakouts either!

I also use this soap in my stomach area because I have dark spots there due to pimples. After more than a week of continuous use, I noticed that the skin around those dark spots started to peel and lighten a little bit. Could this be the solution to one of my longtime skin problems? I really do hope!

One bar costs Php 70 and when used on face alone may last for more than a month.

What I do not like about this product:
I expected that this soap will help me get rid of my deep-seated blackheads but unfortunately, it’s only good in tightening the pores. But then, it isn’t claiming to address blackhead problems.

Will I repurchase?
Yes! The result has been remarkable so far hence I am motivated to use this for longer period of time.


Review: Myra Facial Moisturizer

This Myra facial moisturizer is the last product I have to try from the gift pack sent by Myra over a month ago. This one is just a regular variant, not tinted nor specifically intended to combat the sun’s harmful rays. I use this at night only since I prefer moisturizers with SPF for day use.

Myra facial moisturizer comes in a white tube with red flip top cap and red accents. This isn’t as dense as the Sun Protect variant and has different smell too. What I got is a 50ml bottle and like other moisturizers of the same size, it may probably last for a couple of months or more.

Product Description:
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Healthy, beautiful, youthful looking skin – That’s what you get with Myra Facial Moisturizer.
  • Vitamin E enriched
  • Protects and nourishes to help keep skin healthy with a youthful glow
  • Softens and Moisturizes
  • Pro-Vitamin B5, Dimethicone and Glycerin help seal in skin’s natural moisture, making it softer and more supple
  • Hypo-allergenic and Dermatologist-tested
  • Your assurance that it is effective and safe
  • Myra Facial Moisturizer has a light and non-greasy formula making it ideal for use at daytime, under make-up, or at night.

What I like about this product:
The first thing I noticed and liked about this moisturizer is its smell. It smells clean and light! Application is a breeze because the formulation is too light it glides on the skin. Yet it is not oily nor makes the skin sticky. You won’t feel that you applied something to your face once absorbed by the skin.

Even if I apply this at night, my face doesn’t look too oily after waking up in the morning. Impressed!

What I do not like about this product:
For night use, there is really nothing that I don’t like about this moisturizer. So far so good!

Will I repurchase?
Undecided! I still have to try other moisturizers available in the market before I stick to one product.


Gift Pack from Nivea

I have been under the weather for the past few days and my internet connection has been acting up since Thursday thus explains the lack of update. Anyways, I'm now back to life (but not my internet connection! paging SMART!) and has a lot of things to share to all of you. First is of course this Nivea gift pack from NuffnangPh contest sponsored by Nivea.

I have been so excited about this because this is the first time that I joined a serious contest online - serious because it's no popularity contest. Judges were the ones who determined the winners based on some criteria. And I won one of the 30 consolation prizes which is Php 1500 worth of Nivea products. I was actually hoping for the first prize in which prizes include 10K worth of Nivea products and digital camera. But my entry is only fit for a consolation prize :D. But then again, with so many bloggers who participated, winning a consolation prize I think is not bad at all, at least that is what my boyfriend and my mother tell me.
What I got:
  • Daily Face Fluid
  • Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Foam
  • Sparkling White Whitening Day Care Oil Control
  • Sparkling White Pore Minimizing Night Cream
  • Exra Whitening Roll-on
  • Angel Star Lotion
  • Multi-Effect 8 Face Wash for Men
  • Whitening Roll-on for Men
  • Nivea Baby Soothing Avena Soap
  • Nivea Baby Pure and Fresh Wipes
Though I am a Nivea user for many years, I have not tried some of the items included in this gift pack. So yeah, I can't wait to try these products and share to you what I think about them.

Islas de Gigantes

Since the beginning of the year until now, I have been busy with testing products and making reviews that I almost forgot about our trip to Islas de Gigantes last May. I initially declined the invitation to go there because I have other activities during that inclusive dates but then I changed my mind because I do not want to miss this rare opportunity. Rare because of the conflicting schedule of the majority since it is better to go there in big group to lessen the cost of fees especially the motorized pump boat.

And I'm glad that I did join them because the place is so amazing and I would surely turn green with envy when I see their pictures had I not join them. Islas de Gigantes is a group of islands located in Carles, Iloilo. The islands are far from each other and it'll take 30 minutes to an hour when travelling from one island to another. But despite the long and often rough and uncomfortable pump boat ride, you will eventually feel that all your efforts are worth it because of the breath-taking sceneries you will get to see in the islands. It's so refreshing to take a plunge in the bluish sea water that whitens as it hit the white-sand shore. It's fun to eat with bare hands, under the coconut trees while feasting the eyes on the natural wonders of the island. We even climbed a cliff to marvel at the view from the top.

We stayed there for one night but I just can't get enough of the island. I will surely go back there if given the opportunity. Additionally, I also wish that somebody will look after the tourism seriously. Some local tourists and even residents are spoiling the islands by throwing their garbage in such a clean sea.
Cabugaw Island
View of the neighboring island from a cliff in Cabugaw Island.
Sunset at Cabugaw Island
Antonia Beach
Tangke Salt Water Lagoon

How to get there:
Starting point is at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. From there, you may choose whether to ride an L300 van or bus bound to Estancia. Bus may be safer because it's huge but travel time is shorter than L300 vans since they no longer pick up passengers along the road. Travel time is not less than three hours and fare will not exceed Php 200 (probably around Php 150, sorry I forgot to take note about this). Upon arriving at Estancia bus/van terminal, ride a tricycle going to Estancia port (near the market). Fare is Php 10 per person. Once you get there, you can transact the locals for your transportation in going to the islands. There is also a passenger ferry from Estancia to the islands but has only one trip every day. Remember to make your transaction clear (re itinerary, charge, etc) so as to prevent misunderstanding later on. For less stressful trip, it is better to arrange your sea transportation days before the trip. You can also contact Municipal employees or office in charge with their tourism.

  • Bring food and drinking water that will last throughout your stay there since most of the islands don't have stores. You may also want to bring your own cooking utensils to be sure. In our case, we borrowed a pot from the boatmen. :D
  • Bring sleeping bag, tent, blanket and the likes because there is no hotel or resort accommodation there.
  • If you plan to hire a motorized pump boat, better make the transaction clear as to where you want to go to avoid misunderstanding on charges like what happened to us.
  • If possible, bring first aid kit (bandages, betadine, etc).
 See more photos here...

Review: Nivea Visage Deep Pore Control Toner

I have been wanting to buy this toner for the longest time ever but one thing that stops me from doing so is the size. This variant only comes in one size, 200 ml, which for me is too large when I am just testing a product. But since this is one of the reasonably priced products suited for my needs, I finally gave in.
Nivea Visage Deep Pore Control Toner comes in a slim mint green bottle. Considering my less than perfect vision, I initially thought that the bottle is white and the green hue comes from the toner itself. When I started using the toner after washing, it was when I realized that the bottle is the one that is mint green, not the toner. LOL! Silly me!

I use this toner twice a day; in the morning after washing my face with Cyleina Black Pearl soap and in the evening after washing my face with either BP or St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It’s been more than a month since I started using this Nivea Visage Deep Pore Control toner and below is my verdict…

Product Description:
Thoroughly cleanses skin and regulates skin's oil production without drying it out.


What I like about this product:
This product doesn’t sting, even just once or even if I swipe the cotton near my eyes. It is so light that sometimes I feel like I am applying water, not toner. It doesn’t cause that tight feeling on the face nor cause dry, itchy skin. I particularly love how this toner removes the remaining traces of makeup. Even if I thoroughly wash my face with soap or facial wash and water, I can still see traces of makeup and dirt on the cotton after applying the toner. Imagine the product build up it may cause if I am not using a toner… geeez! Indeed, it deeply cleanses and purifies the skin.

After using for more than a month, I noticed that the blackheads on my face lessened. They’re no longer as big and prominent as before.  Though the blackheads have not totally disappeared, the toner (with the help of steaming) prevented them from getting worse.

The product claims to have the skin’s own carnitine and lactic acid, two ingredients said to regulate the production of oil within the pores. Moreover, this toner also contains aloe vera which helps soothe the skin. The toner does have a light smell but then, it doesn’t claim to be unscented. The smell is too light that you won’t mind applying it even near your nose.

The 200 ml costs Php 169 and will probably last for more than months when used twice daily.

What I do not like about this product:
While I noticed that this toner prevents new blackheads from occurring, this cannot remove the deep-seated ones. I have been using this for more than a month already but until now, I still can see some blackheads around my nose (I also steam and use facial scrub once every week). Other than that, there is nothing I really do not like about this toner.

Will I repurchase?
Possibly! But I still have to try other brands of toners before deciding if I really should settle on this.


Other products from Nivea:


Lesson Learned From Snow White and the Huntsman

I don’t usually post about movies since I am not a big time movie buff but in my opinion, there is something beauty-conscious women (and even men) can learn from this movie.
Ravenna covered with milk. (I do not own the photo)
Similar to many women nowadays, the villain in the story Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is obsessed with beauty and staying young. She gains power and steals youth from other women in the kingdom. Good thing in our dimension, there are anti-aging creams, botox and other surgical procedures women can resort to to restore their youth and beauty. :))

My point here is that, there is nothing wrong for wanting to look good but then, let us always bear in mind that there are limitations. Before we do things, let us always take into consideration how it will affect those around us and most of all, how it will affect us. Is the operation or a particular product safe? Won’t it have adverse effect in the long run? Can you sustain the cost of it? Can it affect the relationship you have with your loved ones?

If you are 100% sure that it won’t do you or others harm, then go for it. But if you are not really sure about it, then it’s about time to reconsider your options. While you can both be "the fairest of them all" and happy, you can also look natural and happy. It’s only a matter of accepting who and what you are and be happy with it.

I am not sure if I am really making sense here but at least I have expressed something that has been going on mind after watching the movie.

When the Sun Sleeps

What I do to make myself feel better on a rainy day...
(Inspired by almost a week of raining :)) )

Photo by: Peleda
To persons with terrible migraine attack like me, the pouring of the rain can be a blessing. Since Mr. Sun is sleeping and let the rain takeover the skies, I never have to endure migraine-inducing heat. But as the skies darken, the mood sometimes follows. The gloomy surroundings often have that effect on people. But instead of going with the flow, why not do something to make you feel upbeat despite the pouring of the rain for almost a week?

Here’s what I usually do…
  • Sleep Early
    Getting out of bed on a cold rainy morning is truly difficult. More often, we extend our sleep for five more minutes and then another five minutes until we realize that we are already running late for work or school. And when in hurry, we often tend to act snappy and feel stressed. Sleeping early is the best way to address this problem. If you are able to get enough sleep, it would be less difficult to wake up in the morning no matter how cold the temperature is.
  • Stock up food
    I’m not sure about others but as for me, I always find my appetite increase significantly on a rainy day. I just love to eat and eat and I sometimes find it frustrating if I cannot go out and get what I wanted to eat since it is raining. Stock up non-perishable foods especially the ones you have been craving for. And besides, you will also need those items in your survival kit just in case things get worse.
  • Footwear matters
    Photo by: SEPpics
    Concrete and even soil can be slippery when wet. Thus for your safety, wear a footwear that is more likely to prevent you from slipping and possible injuries. I prefer closed shoes during rainy days to make my feet feel cozy and dry however when the rain is pouring heavily and threatens to flood or there is chances that you will be walking in puddles, better wear rubber slippers, plastic shoes or boots when going out.
  • Color can make a difference
    Don’t make a gloomy day gloomier by wearing neutral colors. Neon colored-blouse, floral printed dress or lipstick in bold colors can change the mood for the better, at least for me. I always feel good when I add or wear something I do not usually wear during regular days.
  • Be informed
    Nonstop rain for hours can cause flashflood especially in low areas or areas with poor drainage system. Get updates from weather forecasts bureaus to ensure your safety.


So I turned 26 the other day. I am always saying this but I will say it again, "time flies so fast!" When I think about my age, I cannot help but wonder what is in store for me in the years to come. I may be permanently employed and earning way more than the minimum wage (LOL!) but I do not feel like growing old doing my current job. Well, that is something I need to figure out in the days to come. :D

Back to my birthday, since it is a day before pay day, I opted for a low-key celebration; hang out with the guy and bonding over dessert with the family. The next day (which is pay day), the guy treated me to one of our favorite restos (Perri Todd's Burger) in the city wherein we ate giant burger and deep-fried potato with crunchy and yummy coating (Todd's Potato). I am so bloated that I almost puke when I burped after eating. LOL!
I've been craving for Todd's Potato days before my birthday.:D
This may not be a grand birthday celebration but having people who makes my special day special is more than enough.

Check Your Cosmetics With Cosdna!

I'm “googling” a particular skin care product when I came across,, a site wherein you can check the safety of the ingredients of a particular skin care product. I’m not sure with its reliability because I haven’t seen any review or mention about it and besides, the site doesn’t have that spectacular layout and presentation.

Look at the homepage! It’s bare and even has Chinese (?) text in the upper left portion and ads in the right. The succeeding pages are as bare as the homepage. But we cannot judge a site by its looks, right?

You can input your cosmetic ingredients in these two succeeding pages.

And of course, the forum page with only few threads.

I checked the site’s info through whois and learned that it has expired in 2007 but was updated March this year. So I guess the site’s owner/programmer is probably working on it now. The site’s meta description is:
Cosmetics product ingredient analysis, simply paste cosmetic full ingredients, and known each ingredient risks (comedogenic, irritation and safety) and benefits.
Though I know a little about this site, I believe it can be helpful in spreading awareness about the various ingredients of a product and what each ingredient does. I still have to bring up the topic to some beauty forums to find out more about this site and I'm looking forward to seeing this site develop. :)

A Photo A Week: Kristen Stewart at Snow White and the Huntsman Screening

Photo credit: OMG
 I'm not a big fan of Kristen Stewart as an actress nor like her taste in fashion but I find her get up during the Snow White and the Huntsman screening admirable. The ballooney miniskirt, white blouse with high collar and black blazer are pieces I am sure I can pull off with confidence. Two thumbs up for Stella McCartney for this look.

Potential Treasures (May)

* Click the product name below for review.
  1. Myra Facial Moisturizer
    My first facial moisturizer that doesn’t have sunscreen. Prefer to use this at night only.

  2. Myra VitaFirm Firming Hand and Body Lotion
    200 ml bottle sent by @Myra_Beauty along with other Myra products.

  3. Nivea Visage Deep Pore Control Toner
    I have been wanting to get this but didn’t do so because the only size available is 200 ml bottle which I think is too large if you are just testing a product. But since I am really curious as to how this toner will affect my skin, I finally gave in.

  4. Myra VitaSmooth Shine-free Face Powder with SPF 15
    New powder to try! Got this in natural shade.

  5. Myra VitaMoisture Lip Balm
    Actually, this is my second lip balm from Myra. But the first one I got is cherry, I got vanilla this time.

  6. Nyx Round Lipstick in Narcissus
    The formulation of this shade is very moisturizing and has glossy finish. It settles on lines though.

  7. Nyx Round Lipstick in Femme
    A coral shade that is more lasting compared to other Nyx Round Lipstick shade.

  8. Nyx Round Lipstick in Black Cherry
    A vampish red shade from Nyx. It’s the first time I got a lipstick shade in this risky color.