Itching for a road trip? Here are your travel essentials
February 28, 2022 3:53 p.m.
With COVID-19 cases declining, various local government agencies have recommended that Metro Manila’s pandemic restrictions be downgraded to Alert Level 1 this March.
This means traveling, without regard for age and co-morbidities, will now be allowed. Dining in at restaurants, visiting tourist attractions and entertainment venues, and going for staycations are now possible at full on-site capacity. However, owners and organizers should ensure minimum health measures, like proper ventilation, wearing of face masks, and proper handwashing, are implemented.
When this happens, will you be ready to pack your bags and travel up north for a quick weekend getaway? Shake off the cabin fever – prepare for that long overdue road trip and enrich yourself with better countryside views, the fresh air, and local delicacies.
Here’s a quick guide to help you prepare for this much-needed break:
1. Bring your vaccination and booster cards.
To be sure, it is recommended that adults and vaccinated children have their vaccination and booster cards ready for inspection. Depending on where you’re coming from, some local government units (LGU) might check for Negative RT-PCR/Antigen tests. For example, Baguio City still requires this for children aged 12 to 17 years old.
2. Tourist passes
Depending on the LGU, there might be areas that still require tourist passes. Best to check for the latest updates on your destination’s websites before hitting the road.
3. Still observe health protocols
For your safety, especially when you are traveling with family and friends, it would still be recommended to always wear your face masks, observe social distancing, and always disinfect with isopropyl alcohol and disinfectants.
4. Pre-book your accommodations
If you’re planning to stay longer than a day, it is recommended that you confirm accommodation with establishments ahead of time. Check for their requirements and restrictions so you and your travel buddies will be ready. This saves you the hassle of looking for a place to stay when you are already at your destination. With everyone wanting for a break, these hotels and resorts might even be fully booked!
5. Prepare your vehicle
If you are planning to bring your own car, it would be best to have it checked by your suking mechanic. For those of us who stay and work at home, it is recommended to have our vehicles serviced first for good measure. If your car is in tip-top shape, checking for BLOWBAG (brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air, and gasoline) is a necessity before going on that long drive. Have your back-up water, tools, and early warning device (EWD) on the ready for any incident.
6. Plan your trip
Aside from securing accommodations and preparing your itinerary, it is also important to plan your routes and stopovers. Program your destinations on Waze or Google Maps. For emergencies when travelling north or south, always keep the expressways’ hotline handy. Good thing that there is only one hotline for the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), and Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX) at 1-35000.
7. Check and reload your Easytrip account
When the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) was mandated by the government in 2020, toll operators like NLEX improved their RFID services to ensure the safety and convenience of motorists. One of these providers, Easytrip Services Corp, continues to uphold this mandate through its improved RFID account management. As the innovation arm of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), MPT Mobility’s Easytrip now offers various services for its registered users under myeasytrip web. Through the myeasytrip Customer Account Management System (CAMS), registered users can now do the ff:
– Check their balance and passages
– Generate their statement of account (SOA)
– Get the latest updates and advisories from Easytrip
– Get a chance to participate and win in different promos
To register your Easytrip RFID or to check if you are already registered, try this link here. Once registered, you can create your myeasytrip CAMS account here.
Reloading is also much easier as most of the Easytrip’s reloading merchants credit the loads in quick-time. For a list of reloading merchants, please check here. If you still don’t have an Easytrip RFID, subscription and sign up are so easy, just click here.
MPT Mobility will soon launch a new mobility-related services app, MPT DriveHub. All of MPT Mobility’s services like Easytrip will be on this app. MPT DriveHub will be available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store on March 1.
MPT Mobility president and general manager Raul Ignacio has announced, “The digital solutions our business units will offer are all about improving mobility for Filipinos, addressing a variety of customer needs and providing life conveniences via a digital interface.” This is something to look forward to, especially when planning for trips.
With these reminders, you and your loved ones can surely have a safe and relaxing trip. Always keep yourself healthy and safe travels.
Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities
March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.
STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.
He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.
It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.
“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”
“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.
“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”
The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.
“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.
ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH
March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.
Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.
The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and iPad, or on their Mac or PC.
Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”
For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201266 or https://shopee.ph/m/ShopeePay-Apple-ID-PH.
Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!
March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country.
Join the Future of Women Global Summit
SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls.
Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena
Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte
Support your local Womenpreneurs
Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion!
Wednesdays are for women!
Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!
A beautiful treat of wellness all for you
Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.
And more deals online!
Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required!
Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!
Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.
Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas
Photo courtesy of SM City Manila
Celebrate Women Power on IG!
Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!
We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.
Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting www.smsupermalls.com and following @smsupermalls on social media.