Monday, May 28, 2012

An Incident in The Atrium Mall's Iloilo Supermarket Regarding Laptop Backpacks

WARNING: I probably sound like a ranter in this post.

One of The Atrium Mall's Entrances
This was the first time my laptop backpack was not allowed into the grocery store. After multiple entries in different Iloilo Supermarts bringing this knapsack with my lappy safe and sound, a security guard (a young Mr. Lasanas) stops us in our tracks saying the backpack is not allowed inside the grocery.  Of course, I've read the rules and am willing to comply, but the fact is THE MOMENT YOU LEAVE YOUR STUFF IN THE BAGGAGE COUNTER, YOU'VE WAIVED YOUR CLAIM FOR ANY DAMAGES IT MIGHT INCUR.

I was shocked but not fully confrontational during that time. I told him that if he could assure me that my gadget was safe, I'll entrust that with them. But then Mr. Lasanas says, "Just take out the laptop and bring it with you in the grocery." It was one of those YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! moments. Why would I do that? Am I that stupid? There's a reason laptops aren't carried in ordinary bags. Imagine the following scenarios.

Scenario 1: I carry the laptop in my arms while I do my shopping. Okay... I'll just pretend I didn't hear that. Count the loud thud of the laptop dropping from my arms the moment it slips out of my grip.

Scenario 2: I put the bare laptop (without any kind of protection) in the grocery basket while I do my shopping. Aside from the crowds I have to maneuver my way through, I have to be careful not to place anything wet or heavy on top of it.

Scenario 3: I use the giant stroller to carry my laptop while I go through aisle after aisle getting the stuff I need. Sure, that sounds safe... until you hear someone bumping into your cart accidentally. With enough impact, there goes your hard drive.

Since it was my boyfriend who decided to talk to them, he went to the baggage counter where their so called "head of security" (Mr. Regene Gepana) was saying that it was part of their policy to not allow laptop backpacks inside. He even claims that he is the "head of security" in all the Iloilo Supermarts which sounded a little far-fetched especially when my laptop backpack has already entered the Molo and Villa branches of this said grocery chain without a fuss.

Mr. Regene Gepana laughs annoyingly upon seeing me take a shot of Mr. Lasanas, the security guard who told us to remove the laptop from the bag and carry it with us while I do my grocery shopping.
With all due respect to the age-old policy, electronic gadgets and important personal belongings should be secured and carried with you (but what about laptops? or CPUs? or God-forbid two laptops?). How I wish my laptop was as small, thin and light-weight as an envelope of 1,000 peso bills. Or at the least, as big as a tablet so it could fit perfectly in my purse.

Now, you must be wondering why in the world would I be bringing my laptop in a crowded grocery store? Well, for starters, I'm trying to save on fare and time by multi-tasking on a Monday. I had dropped by a friend who was helping me fix these BSOD issues I've been having.

From this day forward, this laptop backpack is banned from entering The Atrium Mall's Iloilo Supermart.
Anyway, to cut things short, my beau finally asked to talk to the manager. Mr. Regene Gepana never gave us the name of the manager, or whoever was in charge of the grocery store... which I'm assuming would probably be a Que.

Finally, my beau called me saying that he wasn't able to follow me inside because in order for him to get in, he had to take the laptop out of the backpack (surrender the bag in the baggage area) and carry it with him all throughout the grocery store. I proceeded with finishing up my purchases and met him outside. Of course, I couldn't allow to  leave this undocumented so I took some pictures and names.

Just to make things clear, I am not mad at Mr. Lasanas nor at Mr. Regene Gepana. I am, however, dismayed on the treatment of laptop backpack users who go into the grocery store. What if I'd been alone? In order for me to accomplish my shopping list, I had to take my laptop out of my backpack and carry it with me throughout my entire grocery ritual?

Moral of the Story: 

1. Don't bring your laptop backpack to The Atrium if you're to enter Iloilo Supermart. Moreover, if you're going to the grocery store, leave the laptop behind.

2. Don't raise your voice or be rude to Iloilo Supermart security guards if they stop you. They're just following orders. In fact, some of the guards there are actually nice. It's nothing personal.

Would you believe that I didn't raise my voice or scream at them the entire time we had this discussion? I didn't go Claudine Barretto- Santiago on them because that certainly isn't right.

3. If they tell you it's according to the policy, be sure to ask them to show the policy to you.

4. If you think the person talking to you isn't taking you seriously, demand for their manager NICELY.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Solution to "No Sandals or Slippers Allowed" in PLDT

It's been a month now since my mom got admitted to the hospital. Me and my beau were taking turns in helping my mom and watching over the house. It was quite hectic that SOMEONE had forgotten to wear close-tipped shoes during a physical examination in the company he was currently working on.

No ID, No Entry! PLDT Iloilo Gate Signage
We were nearing the PLDT clinic when a security guard halted us because he was wearing shorts and slippers. Good thing, I came to the rescue... Well, not exactly.

My favorite Merrel shoes being worn by my beau so he can enter PLDT Clinic's premises in Iloilo.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2: Katipunan Station

One of the most convenient transportation found in Metro Manila is the Light Rail Transit (LRT). Not only is it fast, but it's also air-conditioned, which is an obvious plus when it comes to the Philippines' very very hot weather.

LRT 2: Katipunan Station Locality Map
Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 isn't as  crowded as the MRT. This is the reason why I used to take the train from Katipunan to Legarda during my board exam review. It hasn't changed much, though. The fares are still the same and the time it takes to reach Legarda is still a solid 30 minutes.

LRT 2 Passenger Information Guide: It doesn't make much sense, but I do hope this helps someone who wants to know more about the LRT.

It's blurry because my 2MP Samsung Galaxy Y camera can only take so much.
Station stops included in the LRT 2 route are Santolan, Katipunan, Anonas, Araneta Center- Cubao (my favorite stop), Betty Go-Belmonte, Gilmore (the PC capital of Quezon City), J. Ruiz, V. Mapa, Pureza, Legarda (where a number of famed review centers are- not to forget the PRC), and Recto.

Inside the LRT 2 train. It's a Sunday, so the LRT 2 isn't that packed.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Using Uload

Has anybody heard of Uload? It's one of those automated machines where you can purchase different prepaid loads from 5 of the most widely used networks.

It was getting too late and I have forgotten to reload my phone. Since there'd been one of them near a pharmacy close to the hospital, I decided to give it a try. I guess it was because I was no longer satisfied with curiously staring at it.

The interface was pretty simple. Coupled with a talking voice saying instructions in tagalog, the Philippines' universal language, it wasn't that difficult to learn how to navigate the touch-based contraption.

To cut things short, here are the pros and cons I've observed with the Uload.


1. Since it's fully automated, there's no need for human interface. The humans can 'go offline' and the machine would still be fully functional.

2. You'll be assured that you won't be overcharged due to proximity or time constraints. For example, loading at an unholy hour or a location near hospitals where the available places to purchase prepaid credits charge additional fees ranging from 5php to 30php.

3. You won't need to worry about human errors because if there'd be one, it probably would have been yours.

4. Before completing a transaction, a short review is shown on the screen to finalize your load request.

5. It accepts paper bills.

6. It has all the different promos available on the screen, an 'Iba pa' option appears if there are other services available.

7. Did I forget to mention that it's touchscreen? It's just like using a tablet or a touch phone.


1. No choice for English instructions. That's perfectly understandable since we're in the Philippines, but it would be better if it had such an option.

2. It would probably need a software upgrade or downgrade if new types of promos were to arise.

3. No change. You need to provide exact change because it won't give back any excess credit.

4. Power outage issues. I'm not sure how the Uload machine will react if you were accidentally inserting your money and the power goes out. I certainly hope it has UPS.

5. The possibility of dead pixels after daily wear and tear.

It's pretty obvious that the pros outweigh the cons,it's now simply a matter of whether the regular joe is willing to try it out.

posted from Bloggeroid
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