Moving 101: Five Easy Steps for a Speedy and Safe Long Distance Move


“Around here, we do not look backward for very long…we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we are curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” –Walt Disney

It is no question that the moving process can be a tad bit stressful. However, while it might be a challenging task, the prospect of integrating yourself into a new neighborhood, acclimating well to your environment and meeting neighbors can be somewhat exhilarating. This new chapter in your life marks progress yet somehow; you cannot get rid of that nagging feeling that you are venturing towards the unknown. However, if you have weighed your options and decided the move is probably a good thing then go for it, pack up and drive.

Do note however that if you are moving a to a location of significant distance whether it is from Lipa, Batangas to a condo unit in Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, you might want to brush up on tips to expedite the trip and make it easier.

1.) Calculate the amount of cash you are going to need

If you are going to make a move yourself (and not hire a moving company to facilitate your move), you are inevitably going to need cash—lots of it. Moreover, you need to make sure that you secure more than enough of it so that you can pay not only for the gas you would need but for the food as well. Furthermore, you also need to be prepared for emergencies, so it would be best if you had extra cash as well.

2.) Have a Road-Side Assistance plan

Whenever you are attempting a long drive, it is always a good idea to have a road-side assistance contingency plan in case something untoward happens. After all, in the middle of a move, you cannot afford to have your car dying on you. Fluid leaks, busted tires, faulty engines—these are things you need to have checked before attempting that long move. However, as you cannot always prepare for every situation, it is best if you had a road-side assistance plan. It would at least put your mind at ease that you would be in safe hands if your car breaks down on the road.

3.) Download a navigating app on your phone

In this time and age, whether you are traveling a short distance or not, it is always handy to have a navigation app installed on your phone. In small distances, you would even use a navigation app to outsmart traffic, what more when you are traveling a significant distance? To ensure you do not get lost as well as take the shortest route possible, download a navigation app on your phone for good measure.

4.) Schedule a tune-up and oil change before leaving

One integral consideration you should make before your long distance move is to ensure that your car does not break down on you on the way there. In this regard, your car should be in top shape. Before going on that trip, schedule a car tune-up and oil change and have the mechanics change and check every aspect of the car from the vehicle lights down to the battery.

5.) Clean your car

You will be inevitably packing a lot of stuff for the move, so it is wise to get rid of your car’s clutter and throw anything unnecessary you might have. You need to make room for things to get rid of all the junk such as empty water bottles, drive-thru bags and the like. Finish it up by having the car washed, serviced and vacuumed at your nearest car wash shop.

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Four Common Questions About Philippine Real Estate



Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security. ~Suze Orman

One of the most crucial aspects when it comes to buying real estate in any part of the world is to know your legal rights. This applies true for house and lot buyers Philippines. It makes potential homebuyers more vigilant about their real estate purchases and aware whether the contract they are signing has legal color. Additionally, it would help prospective buyers weed out unscrupulous people such as scammers and unlicensed agents.

However, most Filipinos are lefty unaware of what their rights as a buyer which would render them vulnerable to bad deals and underhanded transactions which is why it would very much benefit them to have a general knowledge of our local laws.

The Philippines has an excellent set of legislation that would protect buyers from bad real estate agreements. Instead of the usual jargon found in real estate law books, this article aims to make it clearer to its readers as regards their legal rights as a homebuyer and a homeowner by elaborating on the most common questions about the Philippine real estate.

1.) Do foreign spouses or family members have the legal capacity to acquire property in the Philippines?

Unless they are renting a place such as in one of the condominium units for rent, the law is explicit when it comes to foreigners owning land and property in the Philippines. It has been stated that only Filipino citizens are allowed to buy real estate property in the Philippines regardless of whether such property is a condo or a home.

The rationale for this law is to keep Philippine lands from transferring ownership to foreigners lest we get overrun by properties owned by foreign nationals. However, foreign nationals can own property through co-ownership with his or her Filipino spouse or if the foreigner owns a corporation or an ownership where sixty percent of it is Filipino owned.

2.) What is a deed of sale and what are my duties as regards this document?

This crucial piece of document is essentially your legal proof of purchase. In essence, it indicates the transfer of property between the seller and buyer and shows that it has legally transpired. As a homebuyer, you should authenticate the document and have it notarized and recorded in the registry of deeds. After which, a homebuyer ould need to pay for transfer tax, registration fees, documentary stamp tax and other fees.

3.) What are my options when dealing with an unlicensed agent?

Before buying any property and dealing with an agent, it is best to check if the agent is registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service. Unfortunately, there is not much recourse in dealing with an unlicensed agent apart from filing a fraud charge in the same manner as you would when you file a crime report.

4.) What are my rights as a buyer?

When it comes to property sales agreement, the rights of a homebuyer are essentially two things which are:

1.) The right to demand the developer to deliver the title of the unit or property upon full payment; and

2.) The right to be reimbursed with the amount you have paid which would include the amortization payments.

In essence, this would mean that it would be illegal for the developer to forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or the developer himself. Both laws are reflected in Presidential Decree No. 957- Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree.

Things You Can Do at Home That Help Reduce Electricity Bills




Most of us, if not all, paying our monthly electricity bills is just so frustrating, especially when our budget is on tight. We sometimes even have a hard time looking for money just to pay the said bills. Well of course, wherever you live—may it be in a condo Philippines, Makati area or not, you still have the need to pay your monthly electricity bills.

There are many things you can do to lessen the consumption of your electricity bills. Well, you do not need to totally cut off your appliances for you to have no electricity bills to pay. However, you can still use it in a moderate way.

Now, here are some simple and common things found in our house that can add up to your electricity consumptions when you don’t know what to do with these things.


We all want to use aircon, especially when we feel that no wind can reduce the heat of our room. Using of aircon is our first thing in mind when we need to cool ourselves down. We even use aircon in our house, even if it is still in the afternoon. We can’t help it, right? We just need to use it.

Of course, even if we are reducing the consumption of the electricity bills, we can also contribute to reducing and or minimize the consumption by lessening the use of it. Like what you did for the fridge, you can also do it with your aircon. When you feel like you are already cool down or the room or the place is already cold enough, then you can turn the aircon off. In that way, you can the use of aircon is minimized since you had it turned off when you think that you are already satisfied with the coldness of the place.

Of course, as much a possible, try not to leave the aircon on when there is no one around in the room or the place.

Clothes dryer

Did you know that the clothes dryer is also one of the things that can add up to the consumption of the electricity bills? When you do laundry, if you feel like the heat can dry up your clothes, then as much a possible, try using the natural heat of the sun in drying your clothes. Also, make sure that you do laundry in the morning, or in the early afternoon for you to be able to use the heat of the sun still.

And as much as possible, use only the clothes dryer when you are in a hurry, and you need to wear or pack the clothes that you just washed. In that way, saving electricity bills can never be this convenient.


We all have refrigerators, right?! Especially when we feel thirsty and we have the need to drink cold water to satisfy our thirst, our refrigerator helps us a lot when it comes to it. Of course, not just for storing cold water, we can also store some foods and other things that need to be refrigerated.

But to lessen the consumption of your refrigerator, if you think that your fridge is already too cold, which makes the food be frozen, you have to turn it off. And if you believe that there is a need to turn it again, then you have to do it. Also, if you think that there is a need to defrost, then you have to defrost it. With that, you can reduce the consumption of your electricity through minimizing the use of the fridge.

Moving 101: How to Make Moving Easier For Your Kids


“I know well the delectable thrill of moving into a new house somewhere altogether else, in somebody else’s country, where the climate is different, the food is different, the light is different, where the mundane preoccupations of life at home do not seem to apply and it is even fun to go shopping.” –Jan Morris


So you are thrilled about the new place you have found. Almost everything is in proximity to it—the school, the offices and even the major shopping malls. You have made the decision to move months ago and though you know moving can be quite stressful for everyone; the transition would hit the kids the hardest.

Undoubtedly, kids like consistency and thought they are not exactly resistant to a change in scenery, they are much more accustomed to familiarity. This is especially hard for grown up kids who have already established friendships and relationships in your existing neighborhood and unsurprisingly, they would throw tantrums the moment you make an announcement and for a while, may even resent you. This is a typical reaction; however, you may want to find ways to make the move less of a stress and less of a shock to your children. Regardless of whether you are moving into a condo unit east gallery place of a residential one, appease them with the simple ways below.

1.)    Break it to them gently and get them ready


Give your kids at least a month to get used to the prospect of moving by letting them know about the move at least a month in advance. This will give them adequate time to process the information and think about what sort of changes would happen. Additionally, to help make the move easier, give them a tour of their new home and show them the things that they might potentially like such as the playground, the park and some of the things that you think they might love. This will enable them to be a bit more receptive and even excited for the big move.


2.)    Be patient


Even preparing them for the move adequately would not be sufficient to make them fall in love with their new home overnight. You would need to give them ample time to let the reality of the move sink in. Experts believe that children could take at least six months to get used to new routines and surroundings. In this period, be prepared for tantrums and sadness. If they are separated from people who have been with them in your old homes, help them adjust by regularly letting them call those people they left behind.


3.)    Stick to beloved routines


The transition that comes with your new move might affect some of your old routines, but that does not mean that you should forget all of them entirely. Make the move easier by continuing habits such as game nights, family dinners, storytelling sessions, etc. would be reassuring to them that things have stayed the same despite moving away.


4.)    Give them a voice


Your kids are part of the family, and they would like to think that their opinions matter as well. Give them the opportunity to voice out their concerns about the move or their opinions as regards this. Make them feel like they are part of the decision-making process by letting them choose the color of their bedroom, the kind of family pet the family should have, etc.


5.)    Create opportunities for your kids to meet new friends


A definite way to make your kids more open, more receptive or even excited about the move is to create opportunities for them to make friends. Every time you do an ocular visit to oversee the progress made into your new homes, take them to meet some of your neighbors who might have kids in the same age group. Introduce them to each other and allow them to play together. Alternatively, you can also sign them up for recreational activities where they can find kids who share the same interests thereby boosting their confidence and making you worry less.


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Apartment Living: Five Tips In Keeping Your House Plants Alive


Plants are a good alternative to having pets in a condo unit or apartment.

More often than not landlords or some certain condominium policies keep us from having any four-legged company in our homes, but having plants in the apartment is a great alternative. It may not do tricks for you, play fetch or needlessly ask for attention but it gives your living space that truly lived-in feel. Additionally, plants can be a good alternative to people who are allergic to pet dander or fur and for people who do want something to take care of but cannot commit to doing some because of their perpetually busy schedule.

Unfortunately, some of these plants never make it. The fact is a plant’s growth being stifled inside a pot is vastly different than having a plant grow in soil. But this is not to say that is impossible either. More often than not, the survival of a plant in your apartment needs a little more dedication and commitment on your part. There are ways of providing your plant the kind of environment it ought to have for it to thrive regardless of whether you are billeted in a condo or in an apartment. Read below for a few of these tips so that even if you are living in a Davao apartment or a condo in bgc, your plant will survive.


1.)    Assess your humidity levels

Indoor plants are different from outdoor plants when it comes to humidity. Indoor plants need to have the right consistency in order for them to thrive. Considering the Philippines is a tropical country, your plants are likely to require more humidity. One thing you can do is to place gravel at the bottom of your plant’s container and place the planter in a dish with water. Spritz your plants with water from time to time as well to keep them hydrated.

2.)    Drainage and overwatering

Watering plants whether indoor or outdoor is essential. But keep in mind that anything more than just adequate is bad for your plants. Your plant’s roots will rot if they are overwatered or improperly drained. Make sure your plant has drainage products that would help it keep the balance between wet and dry. Apart from keeping the soil moist, it should also be allowed to dry a bit between watering sessions as this will help your plants stay alive longer.

3.)    Let the light in

Water is vital to plant survival, but so is light. Survey your condominium unit or your apartment. If you have observed that you do not have a lot of natural light, then indoor plants may not just be an option for you as they will die faster without any natural light to aid them with their lifespan. Conduct the appropriate research and know what kind of light your plant requires whether it is direct sunlight, partial or is best left in the shade.

4.)    Choose your plants wisely

Some plants thrive as an indoor house plant while others do not last too long.  So, choose your plants wisely. If you cannot be committed to care for your plants as much as you want or as much as they need, opt for plants with more resiliency. Snake plants, aloe, African violets are low-maintenance plants that do not require a strict watering schedule and would not need meticulous care.

5.)    Do not move plants too much

Rearranging your furniture might constrain you to move your indoor plants as well but you may want to reconsider. Your plants, just like pets would like to stay put in one place. If a plant is thriving is a particular space in your residence, it would cause it to go in a state of shock if you moved it around. Once you have found the ideal place for you plant wherein it can get the right amount of sunlight, let it stay put and do not move it around.


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Steps to Hosting a Housewarming Party After Your Move


Moving into a new neighborhood can be daunting and can cause you a lot of stress. The new environment, the new home you are living in, the new people who are your neighbors—these are all factors that would contribute to how good or bad your experience in that particular neighborhood will be in the future. One way to make sure you would be settled will into your new community is to make sure you befriend your neighbors and introduce yourselves to them as you will be spending time in close proximity to each other and in cases of condominium units, you would only be a wall away from each other.

Though throwing a housewarming party after your move may be the last thing you want to do, and can be a little bit intimidating, this is the best way to introduce yourself to the neighbors and an avenue to make potential friends that are within your vicinity. Regardless of whether you are billeted in park point residences or 1016 residences, it is important to get to know your community and make some friends. Keep the affair simple so that you would not have to stress about the cleanup after. Your guests are not expecting anything lavish either as they are aware that you have only just settled in.

1.) Keep it simple

The first step to a successful housewarming party is to decide who would be invited to the affair. Would this be a party exclusive to the adults? Or should kids be included? Another thing to consider is to keep things simple and not too fancy. The best time to host a housewarming party is probably in the afternoon where you can simply serve snacks and cocktails instead of a full course dinner during the evening.

2.) Easy snacks

It is a good idea to know and decide what you should serve before deciding on a time. Go with a snack that is appropriate to your chosen theme and time. To make sure that efforts and plans are kept to a minimum, go for an afternoon tea which would be served after lunch or an evening cocktail soiree after dinner. It does not take much to serve a few finger foods, some hor d’ oeuvres, cocktail drinks, tea, and juice.

3.) Tidy up

You want to make a good impression on your neighbors so make sure that your house is spruced up and ready for entertaining guests. Having just settled in and moved is no excuse– simply cleaning your home before you have moved in or unpacked should be an easy feat to do. You do not need to make sure that every nook and cranny of your home is spotless, just make sure it is clean and tidy enough to welcome guests.

4.) Arrange the party area

Seeing as you have only settled in, there will be places in your home where you cannot accommodate guests for the meantime. So, with this in mind, arrange a place that already has a semblance of what it should look like after you are done unpacking and designate that as the party area where the food will be served. Make sure this place is thoroughly clean and is a good place for your guests to relax and converse with each other.

5.) Relax

Do not be too wound up about making your party a success or impressing your new neighbors. Instead, relax and strike up a conversation with them. As this is your first time in meeting them, make sure you allow for enough time to get ready before their arrival. Keep everything casual and mingle with them. Make sure the overall atmosphere is welcoming that breeds camaraderie and before the affair ends, you will have made potential neighborhood chums.


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You’d Definitely Want to Have These Creepy yet Classy Halloween Decorations

We may like the thought that it’s now the season to scare people out. But there’s no scarier and creepier than having decapitated heads and skeletons decking out of our home. Although we might need these creepy decorations at home, if you have children, this is definitely not an option. Who would want that? But of course, Halloween season would not be completed when there are no such things. Fortunately, there are already decorations (not the real thing tho) that are creepy yet classy, having still the right balance between the two extremes.

Of course, whether you’re living in a condo or any other Ayala land properties, decorating your home with spooky decorations is achievable. And to keep the essence of the Halloween season, you have to take into account your current decorating scheme. You have to know what you want your home to look like. You have to start focusing on the things that you want to have in your home. Of course, it is not just about the decorations that you will need but also, you have to consider the color schemes. If orange doesn’t fit, then try just black and white. Play with the color, and you will eventually get the right accent for each decoration.

The choice of your decorations matters the most and below are some of the decorations that you might want to include.

Ravens or Crows

Ravens or crows are the most common symbol for Halloween. They are known to for perching on tombstones. There are actually stores that sell fake ravens. Well, you can already buy it at an affordable price. And for you to make it more creepy and classy, you might want to put these on top of a pumpkin or a black book. Just play with the color and the design. If you don’t have any black book at all, then you can cover it with black paper or Carolina.

Chemistry equipment

Chemistry equipment such as test tubes, bottles, and/or even old-fashioned-looking periodic tables of elements are known to be used by the witches for making potions. Of course, you can also use these things for your home decorations. Well, you can also put some colourful liquid that looks like a potion. Just make sure that you also arranged it like you are about to make an effective potion for your visitors.

Old-fashioned remedies and cures

Vintage papers or books can definitely add the sense of Halloween season. Especially when you have an old-fashioned remedies and cures that witches used to use, it is going to be a lot creepier than you think it is. Of course, it is one of those spells that you definitely want or don’t want to try with your friends.

 Spooky lighting/candles

Halloween decorations will definitely not be complete when there is no right lighting. Of course, the choice of your light also matters. And especially when you have a spooky looking light, it will definitely add beauty. And don’t forget the candles too.  Gothic candlesticks can practically add creepy feeling, especially when you grouped it together on a mantel or on the top of your piano. Red or black candles are advisable.

Creepy wall hangings

Of course, you also should not forget to decorate your walls. You can hang something creepy on your walls such as a skull picture, a picture of an owl or a dead person. Also, make the frame vintage look vintage. Don’t forget to hang the cobwebs, they also add a spooky feeling on your home.

Bloody handprints

If you want something scary, you can definitely do DIY bloody handprints all over your windows or walls. This decoration will literally scare your neighbours and/or kids. You don’t have to worry since it is just an easy thing to do. Just paint both of your hands with red and you are ready to scare the people out from it.

Decorating your home with creepy yet classy decorations is definitely a fun thing to do. However, you also have to be reminded that you should observe safety. If you have something that you want to hang on your ceiling, you need to make sure that it is properly installed for as not to accidentally fall on the person. Moreover, if you are using candles, make sure to place it in a safe place for as not to start a fire. Always think safe.