Good morning from Cebu. Today the weather is not so sunny. But it’s not rainy either. We often this have weather once in a while and I like it this way.  😛

Anyway, today I will be explaining about the pre-paid loading system in the Philippines. I often experience our students having problems understanding and adapting our loading pre-paid system. They sometimes ask me for assistance and I do explain them but because of language barrier, the explanation can also be confusing. I hope this post would help those who wants to understand.

First, for prepaid users we can load in two ways:

ELECTRONIC LOADING

Electronic loading is done through, of course, electronic automatic transmission. How do you do this? Simply, you go to a store that sells E-LOAD. You can buy this in retail prices such as 30 pesos, 60 pesos and etc.or small portions, not  (Because our culture likes buying things in sachet not in bulk). All you have to do is pay and the seller would ask for your number, input it and send the load to your number. Done!

Confirmation Message from SMART

Confirmation Message from SMART

(Picture Above: I bought a 60 peso E-load and that is the confirmation message certifying that I already receive the load.)

After which, you also receive a notification via text message confirming your e-load purchase. Then it’s ready to use. E-Load credit is available is sari-sari stores (small stores) and in convenient stores like 7/11 and cellphone shops.  Also, some private individual are also selling this. Like my office mate before. E-load system is more popular here in Philippines because consumers can buy load in cheaper portions/amount unlike in cards.

Special Note: E-load has several promos like unlimited text for 10 pesos, unlimited call for 20 pesos and etc. There are several distinctions for e-load credits. My advice: when you buy e-load you have SPECIFY clearly what type of load you want. If you are not sure you can just say REGULAR LOAD. That means you have to pay 1 php each for each text. Unlimited load promos is only good especially if you often call or text like chatting. Yes, most of Filipinos enjoy texting each other like chatting. We even have a “textmate” friend. (hahaha…)

CARD LOADING

Card Loading is loading through the use of card. This is more familiar to foreigners than the E-load system. E-load cards are available in cellphone shops, malls and many stores as well. The card loading has limited amount to buy from and it is not retailed in cheaper form. The cheapest card cost 100 pesos while the cheapest e-load cost 10 pesos. However, if you have 100 pesos it is more convenient to buy in bulk.

All you have to do is follow the instructions stated in the card. It’s easy as 1-2-3.

As much as I want to take pictures of a card, to my own dismay, I already throw it all. 😦 Perhaps, next time I should take a photo first before I trash it.

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

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Grand Majestic Chinese Restaurant

Grand Majestic Chinese Restaurant

This is a late upload. Last Christmas FEA teachers and staff together with the student had our first Christmas party at Grand Majestic. Yes, we all enjoyed the sumptuous food buffet! One thing you need to bear in mind is that Filipinos love buffet! We just simply enjoy the beauty of eating! So we need to double our exercise.

Food

Grand Majestic Restaurant is a serves fushion food but mainly Chinese inspired with a touch of Filipino taste. I personally think this is one of the best buffet in Cebu City. Their price is also reasonable at 600 plus without drink. It is very reasonable relative to how much variety of food you can choose. I suggest do go there without eating your lunch if you’ll have dinner! J

There is wide selection of food from appetizers to the main course desserts. For the main course, there’s shrimp, siomai, noodles, rice and their famous PEKING DUCK. I am not so familiar with what Pecking Duck is but they serve it and for me, it tastes just ordinary. But I see many people going back and forth to the Pecking duck section and they eat a lot of it! For the desserts they have ice cream – gelato specifically. There is a big difference: Ice cream uses cream while Gelato uses milk. So Gelato is so much tastier. This is heaven for ice cream lovers for me! There are also fresh fruits and salads. Good for vegetarian and those on diet and to those who attempt to go on diet but failed… This might be a big help. J

Rooms

Grand Majestic also has private rooms for special functions so man company parties and school events are catered here. They have small rooms good for 50 people to 100 and big events like wedding can also be catered at the Grand Ballroom. I remember when I was in highschool we had our Junior and Senior Prom here.

Location

The restaurant is located near Ayala Mall so all taxi drivers know this place. It is very convenient to go there.

Reservation

They do accept advance reservation unlike other restaurants.  Few restaurants do not accept reservation especially if that restaurant is quite popular. Perhaps it is because they have bigger space than other restaurants in the city. They have big round tables which can occupy 12 people. Nice for big groups!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eat, Drink and Be Happy!

In eating a buffet, try everything in small portions then refill what’s delicious! 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

The Disadvantage of Staying Out

The Disadvantages of Staying Out

As promised I will post, according to my opinion, the disadvantages of staying out while studying English in Cebu.

ACCOMMODATION

Looking a nice and safe accommodation might take much of your time. There are many apartments available but going to many houses to check the place personally might take at least one whole day or even more than that.

LOCATION

Cebu is a small city. You can view the main area of the city in less than one day but looking for an accessible place to stay can be also be tiring.

TEACHERS

If you plan to stay out and study with a private tutor, the quality and teaching of skills of tutor is not guaranteed to be effective unlike when you study in a school where teachers are trained and goes through a formal hiring process.

CLASSROOM

If you rent in an apartment, the tendency is for you study in your own bedroom or own living room. As a teacher, I do not think is the best place to learn. Bed, TV and food can really be an irresistible distraction. You might feel easily sleepy and you might slack off easily.

BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

Obviously, your books and other learning materials are limited. Although your learning won’t be entirely be affected.  But it does have an impact.

CLASSMATES AND PEERS

Having somebody that you share the goal with is good for you in order to sustain. Living and studying alone can make you feel bored and there is a higher tendency for you to lose your focus and be distracted.

 My Final Advice:

The decision is always yours. Choose what you think is best for you and which way you think is suitable for you in learning English. What matters is your own determination! Study Smartly.

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

Things to Bring in Cebu

What to Bring in Cebu?

Cebu is a tropical island in the South. It is located at the center of the Visayas Region. It is commonly called the Queen City of the South. As for me, this has been my lovely home. I was born and raised in Cebu City so I saw how Cebu grew over the years. I still remember when there were only about 3 pizza stores in Cebu around 25 years ago. There were no international fast-foods and the tallest building is only until 10th floor and there is only one building with that height. That was back then. If I compare Cebu City now, I say it’s like Cinderella when she was still a maid turned into a princess. 🙂 That much!

So if you want to study here in my beautiful home city, I do suggest to bring the following items with you.

  1. Sunblock – Our sun shines brightly almost every day. Also, bring anything with SPF protection from lotion to lip balms.
  2. Umbrella – For sun and rain protection.
  3. Cotton shirts – This will keep your self cool.
  4. Short Pants – We often wear it due to hot weather although long denims are a classic favorite.
  5. Anti-mosquito repellant – Yes, we have mosquitoes due to our weather so I personally advice to bring enough amount of lotion.
  6. Over the counter medicine – We do have our own medicine here, most of which are internationally made but it is ideal to bring your own. Medicine for colds, fever, cough and allergy is a must.
  7. Slippers – It is normal to wear open foot wear due to the weather although formal occasion calls for closed shoes.
  8. Handy Sling Bag – This is useful for bringing cash anywhere you go. This is much safer than bringing your wallet. Coin purse is also advised.
  9. Shades/Eyewear- Be fashionable with our weather. Bring our favorite eyewear and enjoy the sun.
  10. Face towel/Handkerchief – You will probably sweat than your used to so it’s better to carry this to wipe off your sweat.

 So why don’t you start packing now?

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

What Cellular Phone to Use for Temporary Stay

As a student who wants to study English in the Philippines, having your own local mobile phone is necessary for communication for your new friends and to keep in touch with your family abroad. Cebu is also a modern city who loves technology and gadgets. But if you plan to stay here temporarily, it is ideal to buy a cheap phone just to call and to send SMS.

In the Philippines, there are still many practical mobile phones for sale which function is just to simply call and send text message. These practical mobile phones are rather cheap and easy to use.  These cheap phones are not only for temporary users but permanent residents also use this. It is common to see locals having two mobile phones – one main phone, usually a high-end one and one cheap mobile phone mostly for SUN CELLULAR. (As I mentioned in my other post, SUN CELLULAR has the cheapest rate – free text and free call to SUN to SUN numbers that is why it is relatively cheaper to have SUN mobile phone).  You can save a lot if use SUN CELLLULAR since most people use SUN CELLULAR, every time you send text or call them, it’s free.

One popular practical phone is Nokia (picture above).  I personally use this for my SUN number. The battery lasts really long and the casing is very sturdy. I personally use this. I dropped this phone many times and it still works just the same. This is not a colored-screened phone, no Wi-Fi, nothing else grand but this will serve the purpose if straightforward communication. The price is only 900 pesos around 22 USD only. Also, just in case you lose this mobile phone, it does not hurt you wallet much!

Thanks for reading,

Miss D