With the holidays just looming around the corner, a lot of us are already looking for nice gifts to get for ourselves or for our loved ones. With technology playing a huge part in our lives these, tech products such as mobile phone and tablet accessories are an easy and convenient choice especially if you’re planning to do your shopping online.

For instance, American consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin has a wide selection of mobile device accessories that are offered on Lazada, making them readily accessible and easy to order in case you don’t have the time to go to malls to hunt for the products you want to purchase.

Here are our top picks from Belkin’s roster in Lazada, which we think you’ll really like as well:

5. Belkin Mixit 4 Feet 90 Degrees Lightning to USB cable

One of the most common complaints about Apple products is that their cables are not that built well. In fact, the cable has a rating of just 1.5 stars on the Apple store and there are a bunch of discussions regarding the product (mostly complaints) on the company’s website.

The usual issue with Apple’s own cable is that it can easily break near the connectors causing the wires to fray. The Belkin Mixit cable avoids this dilemma by using a 90-degree angle for the lightning connector, protecting the tip and lessening the stress on the cable.

The cable is also four times longer than the standard lightning to USB cable and yet it offers the same fast charging and data transfer rates as the one made by Apple and comes in 7 different colors. Belkin is also offering a 2-year limited warranty for this cable ensuring that you’ll be able to use it for a long time.

Price: Php 1,190 (Get it here)

4. Belkin Micro USB Cable with Lightning Connector adapter

Another nifty accessory you might want to consider is the Micro USB cable with lightning connector. The product extends the functionality of the Mixit cable but adds a micro USB cable adaptor so you can charge other devices.

The cable is perfect as a travel companion as it eliminates the need to bring multiple cables to charge different devices. The adapter is connected to the cable via a durable yet flexible rubber strip so you don’t have to worry of losing it when it’s not in use.

Just like the Mixit version, this cable is also 4ft long, comes in a slew of colors and if offered with 2 years limited warranty.

Price: Php 1,490 (Get it here)

3. Belkin Family RockStar 4-port USB Charger

Another handy accessory for people who own multiple devices is the Belkin Family RockStar 4-port USB charger. The device features four USB ports that delivers a total of 5.4 Amp of power allowing users to charge multiple devices at the same time.

The charger also comes with an intelligent smart chip that regulates the flow of electricity to each port depending on how many devices are being charged. The charger is also wall-mountable and sports a 10-foot cable for convenient placement.

Price: Php 3,290 (Get it here)

2. Belkin Stylus for Tablets

For those looking to do some productive work during the holidays or those who delve in the field of arts and design, a great gift idea would be this Belkin Stylus for tablets.

The stylus features a rubber tip that glides smoothly over any tablet screen allowing users to easily jot down notes or sketch illustrations. The stylus looks very much like a standard pen and even comes with a clip so you can attach it easily and securely to a folio.

Price: Php 325 (discounted by 50% - Get it here)

1. Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard case for iPad Air

If you’re looking to do more work on your iPad, the Belkin QODE Thin Type keyboard case for the iPad Air is the perfect product for you.

Despite its slim 4mm profile, the keyboard case’s aluminum construction gives a feeling of durability and strength to the user. The case features well-spaced TruType keys that are designed for accurate typing as well as tactile response thanks to the spring mechanism placed underneath each key.

The Thin Type cover uses Bluetooth technology to connect to the iPad and uses Smart Sensing technology that automatically turns the keyboard on or off when the tablet is placed on the slot. The keyboard also boasts function-specific keys that provides shortcuts for different functions.

Price: Php 4,990 (Get it here)

This holidays, give yourself or your loved ones, one of the most awesome gift they can get with these great finds from Belkin. You can get all these stuff by ordering online from Lazada. 

You can also create your own wish list on Lazada and ask your friends and family to give these items (or other products from Belkin) to you as a gift this Christmas.

Filipinos are natural food lovers, so when you add discounts on restaurants into the mix, it becomes a sure recipe for success. One particular company that’s trying to try this brew for success is Makati-based Gourmet Society Philippines.

Basically, the company partnered with over a hundred restaurants in Metro Manila to offer their community with up to 20% discount on when they dine in without the need to present coupons, GCs or QR codes. On top of this, the company has partnered with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata to provide feeding programs for malnourished children in Manila using proceeds from membership fees.

For more information about Gourmet Society Philippines, you can check the press release below.

Gourmet Society Philippines simplifies restaurant privileges by giving its members 20% off their bill at over 150 partner restaurants in Metro Manila. Members just have to present their Gourmet Society card when paying their bill in order to get their discount, eliminating the need for printing coupons or the need for scanning QR codes. Diners can avail of discounts without minimum spend and use the card as many times as they want.

Filipinos love food, and Filipinos love discounts. You’ll get all of that with Gourmet Society -Joost Boer, co-founder and CEO of Gourmet Society Philippines. 

After observing different restaurant discount programs in the country, Joost believes that there is a much simpler way of availing discounts while bringing value to diners and restaurants alike. “It makes dining out more affordable for people, and at the same time, it helps restaurants gain new customers while decreasing their marketing costs.”

Gourmet Society is offering its membership card for a special introductory price of Php 999, offering discounts for one year at over 150 restaurants. Partner restaurants include popular chains such as Burgoo, Gumbo and Mrs. Fields. In addition, independent restaurants such as the popular One Way Restaurant, Corner Tree Café, Aracama, Tapeo, Lulu and the acclaimed My Kitchen By Chef Chris are also part of Gourmet Society. There are also some gastropubs and bars such as celebrity owned The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana. Gourmet Society is continuously expanding within Metro Manila and is expecting to reach 250 restaurant partners by the end of the year.

Gourmet Society Philippines is more than just restaurant privileges

Aside from restaurant discounts, Gourmet Society is contributing to the wellbeing of local communities through a partnership with ABS CBN Foundation, Bantay Bata that will support a feeding program for malnourished children in Manila. 

Meanwhile, Gourmet Society’s blog contains articles delving into the background stories of several Gourmet Society restaurant partners. It also helps people navigate through Manila’s dining scene, and provide insightful infographic content such as foreign dining etiquette guides.

Gourmet Society Philippines has also partnered with Viber Public Chats, to create FoodTalkPH: a public chat which brings together chefs, such as Chef Laudico, Chris Locher, Philip Golding and Chef Boy Logro as well as restaurateurs and food lovers to discuss recipes, share delicious food photos and videos as well as discussing the latest news in the buzzing Manila food scene.

Exciting growth plans

The company has some very exciting growth plans for the coming year and expect to see some great new features in our app. We are also staging a very exciting food awards concept in February 2016, so watch this space!

Gourmet Society Philippines is redefining restaurant discounts in the country by giving 20% off your bill at over 150 restaurants in Manila. Members just have to present their Gourmet Society card. Aside from a physical card it is also possible to display a digital card on the Gourmet Society app, which is available for the iPhone on the App Store and Android on the Google Play Store.

It seems like just about every other week a new piece of technology is released, from just about all of the major cell phone companies.

Apple is at the top of the list and there is no question that the majority of people that use Apple products will run out to the store, even wait in line for lengthy periods of time, just to get their hands on the brand new iPhone 6.

However, a great deal of people are wondering to themselves whether getting the new phone is actually worth it.

In reality, the new devices that are being released do not have too many things that are brand new, in comparison to the past models that are already out there. While it is true that there are new designs and new pieces of technology that are integrated into each mobile device (that it is considered the hip thing to do to get the brand new iPhone), the overall price is starting to get a bit high for a cell phone.

In the past, most of the new iPhone's that came out would hover somewhere around five hundred dollars, which most people thought was a lot of money in the first place. However, the new iPhone 6's go well above that are are posted at six hundred and fifty dollars, which has made a great deal of people's eyebrows.

Nearly two thirds of a thousand dollars is a great deal of money to spend on a device that is going to become outdated in a year or so anyway and in reality, the capabilities are virtually the same. The new iPhone 6 will be slightly bigger than the older models, which seems to be a trend with Apple products, as they are also making the new iPads bigger as well.

Apple also claims that the features that are on the iPhone 6 far surpass that of the older models, although the majority of people simply use their cell phone to surf the internet, play games, use applications, make phone calls and text.

All of these things can be done on each and every one of the older models, so it has become a highly debated topic among a lot of people as to whether it is worth it to shell out the great deal of money that is required to get your hands on the new iPhone 6.

When it comes down to it, it really is a personal preference. If you are one of those people that loves having the newest of the new models of technology, then you are probably going to be satisfied with putting up the money for a new phone. These people likely already have an iPhone 5 and can probably trade their phones in or sell them to get a great deal off of the newer models anyway, so in this respect it can be very worth it for these people.

Additionally, if you prefer a bigger screen, you may want to go ahead and get the iPhone six, but in all reality, the majority of people are probably better off keeping their older model iPhone's.

The truth is that they are slightly more advanced, but the increase in technology is not enough to rush out to the store, wait in line and get a new device, all while causing a major blow to your pockets. If Apple had come out with a brand new model that had some amazing new type of technology that has not been seen before in passed iPhone's, it would probably be worth it, but in this case it is looking like the better idea to skip buying one.

About Author: This article was written by Andy G, a tech geek and Linux fan from Austria. At the present moment he maintains firmware and driver download website called Helpjet.

This week, Fortinet announced two web application firewalls (WAFs) designed to protect customers from identity thieves, financial fraud and DoS attacks.

The new FortiWeb  4000E and FortiWeb 3000E offer advanced security services that are integrated with the  company’s Fortiguard Lab advanced threat intelligence as well as real-time threat protection at the application level strengthening Fortinet’s end-to-end cyber security platform.

A more detailed description of the two products are included in the press release below.

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT) – the global leader in high-performance cybersecurity solutions, today announced the launch of its new FortiWeb 4000E and 3000E Web Application Firewalls (WAFs), designed to help customers prevent identity theft, financial fraud and denial of service through specialized, layered application threat protection. 

FortiWeb appliances now offer advanced security services backed by FortiGuard Labs’ advanced threat intelligence, providing real-time threat protection at the application level.These new FortiWeb solutions are also integrated with Fortinet’s FortiSandbox and offer support for new enhancements in partnership with Acunetix’s advanced vulnerability scanning solutions. These new additions bolster Fortinet’s broad end-to-end cybersecurity platform that protects customer data at every possible entry point to the network.

High-Performance Meets Advanced Layered Protection 

The new FortiWeb 4000E delivers an unprecedented 20 Gbps WAF throughputand features built-in advanced anti-malwarecapabilities – a first for the WAF appliance market – while also integrating leading vulnerability scanning features from Acunetix.Fortinet’s FortiWeb appliancesprovide the performance, effectiveness and featuresthat only Fortinet can deliver, surpassing all competitive solutions and resettingexpectations for web application firewalls.

The FortiWeb series of WAFs are now fully integrated with Fortinet’s FortiSandbox and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP framework), ensuring that organizations can arm themselves with seamless, end-to-end protection from even the most sophisticated cyberthreats.These enhancements to FortiWeb deliver advanced, layered application threat protection for medium and large enterprises, application service providers and SaaS providers demanding the very best WAFs in the industry.

FortiWeb appliances can now receive real-time security updates from FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s ground-breaking threat intelligence and research team. These consist of three services that can be delivered individually or in a bundle:

  • FortiWeb Security Service offers advanced and constantly updated defensesagainst web vulnerabilities and suspicious URLs while also delivering application layer security. 
  • The IP Reputation Service delivers advanced protection from botnet attacks. 
  • Anti-malware and Anti-intrusion Services proactively protect against malware infections.

All of theses services are delivered in real-time and sourced from Fortinet’s global network of over 2 million security appliances.These sensors give Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs the widest visibility into new and existing threats and ensure that FortiWeb appliances are armed with the best possible application protection in the industry.

“Application Security is an increasingly important tool in the fight against Advanced Threats. However, with many of the Web Application Firewalls on the market today,customershave to trade off Performance for Security. This problem will only get worse as customers’ network reliance and Data Center bandwidth requirements continue to increase. Fortinet is well known for the best combination of performance and security, with its Network Security products, and is now bringing that knowledge to bear for the benefit of customers with its FortWeb Application Firewalls.” - John Maddison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet.

“By virtue of continuously scanning evolving web apps and web sites with Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, Fortinet users can now be assured that their web site security is being kept up to date regardless of what vulnerabilities could creep into their web site code through business pressures and forced short cuts in the development process. While not eliminating the need to promptly fix these issues, this will help reduce the pressure on security and dev teams. A warning though. Users should scan their web apps or web sites regularly to identify new vulnerabilities as they emerge," - Chris Martin, GM,Acunetix.


The new FortiWeb 4000E and 3000E are available immediately. Please contact your authorized Fortinet channel partner for pricing and details. For more information about Fortinet’s Web Application Firewall products, you can visit Fortinet.com

If you thought the notion of someone following you around town was creepy, prepare for the next level of weird, brought to you by technology: cyberstalking. Without ever leaving their home, individuals looking for cheap thrills or to satisfy some unhealthy urge can monitor your activities and make your life miserable.

Cyberstalking often turns into harassment, with the cyberstalker sending their victim messages through email, texts or IM services such as Facebook. While some activities may be benign, things can easily escalate if proper measures aren’t taken. There are different levels of actions available to you, with some more or less appropriate for the given situation.

Like most of life’s problems, prevention is often more effective than treatment. One of the first precautions to take is to limit the kind of information you share online. A common mistake people make is oversharing details about their personal lives.

This can be anything from variable information (where you are at certain times of day) to static information (birthdays, home addresses, etc.). Sure it seems okay to post on Facebook for your family to see, but be aware that what you post may become accessible to others. This is especially true on public services such as Twitter, where anyone can see what you’re putting up.

Keep names, contact information and addresses to yourself as much as possible. Only share them with people you know and trust, and ensure those people know not to give your information away without your permission. Remember, all it takes is your phone number or email address for a cyberstalker to be able to start contacting you.

You may also want to consider purchasing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to keep the most malicious stalkers at bay. In simple terms, a VPN keeps your internet usage private by making your IP address anonymous and encrypting your internet traffic. While it won’t keep you from oversharing, it will keep your information from being taken forcibly.

Even if you keep your information private, if your accounts become compromised, it won’t do you much good. Use strong passwords with different types of characters (uppercase, lowercase, numbers, symbols, etc.) and keep them varied between your various accounts. If you have trouble managing multiple passwords, consider a service such as Blur to help you keep track.

Blur (formerly DoNotTrackMe) helps keep websites from tracking you, but it also allows you to save and manage your passwords between the different devices you may use. It also lets you create temporary credit cards and phone numbers if you feel the need for extra security.

Cyberstalkers, not unlike identity thieves, thrive on any information they can get their hands on. Sometimes your information can be stolen by mistakenly visiting a fake website or responding to an email from a suspicious person (or a friend whose account has been stolen). Be on the lookout for anything suspicious, such as being asked for your login details, or links that ask you to click on them (click here to see my pics!).

Malware can also lead to problems, so use an anti-virus service on all of your devices (that includes smartphones and tablets). Avast Anti-virus is available for multiple platforms and is totally free unless you decide you need the extra features offered by the premium version.

Supposing you keep most of your information private, you might still run into a cyberstalker who doesn’t know a lot about you, but is still interested in making your life miserable. It may be in the form of posts on one of your social media feeds, often in the form of “trolling” or posting defamatory statements and just acting like a general nuisance. You might be communicating on Twitter and find some jerk keeps posting offensive things targeted at everything you say.

Just like back in grade school, the best thing to do is to ignore these kinds of people. A great majority of cyberstalkers are doing it for attention, and they virtually feed off of your distressed responses. Yelling in all caps over the internet or trying to argue with them will only make things worse.

If you get a strange email (especially if you get more than one from the same person), delete it or report it as spam. The more you react, the more drawn in you can become, and the harder it can be to escape. But, if things start to get uncomfortable…

In most cases, there are rules in social media services that forbid harassing other users of the service. At times machines and website moderators can’t catch everything, so it may be up to you to report someone who is breaking the rules (and cyberstalking is almost certainly going to be against the terms of service). What’s more, cyberstalking is also against the law in many states and countries.

When cyberstalkers begin moving from being annoying to seemingly dangerous, it may be time to contact the authorities. Police are increasingly cracking down on cyberbullying and cyberstalking, as both activities continue to grow in frequency and in the number of lives affected negatively. Consider talking to a friend or family member if you believe you’ve become a victim of cyberstalking.

In many cases, the stalker is someone you know or have met, and while it’s never recommended that you confront your stalker, it’s best that your family knows who is giving you problems. In some cases, this is enough to give your harasser cold feet. More than anything, there is one absolute way, albeit extraordinarily inconvenient, to put a stop to cyberstalking.

Sometimes the only way to win is not to play. While it’s unfortunate, the most surefire way to put a stop to cyberstalking (especially if it’s become serious) is to totally unplug. That means suspending or at least not using social media accounts for a while, blocking messages from suspected harassers on your mobile and just generally getting off the internet.

Considering the multitude of benefits that can be had from social media and the internet, this certainly isn’t the first step you should take. But it should always be an option, and it should be comforting to know that there is an “off” button to cyberstalking.

Ultimately avoiding criminal activity and harassment shouldn’t be your job, but if you don’t take steps to keep yourself safe, you may live to regret it. Keep as much of your personal information to yourself as you can, and be certain that you can trust the people you do share it with. Use up-to-date security software to keep your information from being stolen as well.

Don’t get into fights with people online, and always consider using the proper legal channels to handle any pesky stalkers that just won’t go away. Remember that you’re in control; you can always put an end to cyberstalking if you’re willing to do what’s necessary.

Makeup artist Gail Sairon is giving a basic day-to-night makeup workshop this week in Quezon City! The three-hour workshop will cover basic application as well as an introduction to the different makeup products and tools any girl would need to come up with an appropriate day and night look.
The event will be held at The Bunny Baker Café in Quezon City from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday, October 3, 2015.

After the demo, participants can bring their own makeup kit for consultation and ask Gail for help and advice on how to edit the kit according to what suits them and their (or their subject’s) skin tone. She will also share and demo practical makeup tips and tricks that she has used in her experience as the chief make-up artist of Sarion films (an independent production company).

To those who don’t know Gail Sairon, she is the chief make-up artist for Sarion films, the in-house stylist for Alabang Town Center and a make-up workshop facilitator for corporate personal development programs. She also does freelance make-up work for all types of events.

The workshop will cover different aspects of makeup including an introduction to a make-up artist’s products and tools, appropriate day makeup and night makeup, steps of makeup application and transforming day makeup to night makeup to name a few.

Those interested in joining the workshop may register at speedycourse.com for Php500, which is inclusive of café snacks and drinks. Registrants can pay through various methods including PayPal, credit card and Bancnet online banking. 

The big screen smart TV market segment is slowly gaining traction among Filipinos, especially upon the entry of smaller and more affordable brands that allow the budget-conscious Pinoys to still enjoy the capabilities of a connected big-screen TV without breaking their wallets.

Haier is one particular manufacturer who is trying to capture a chunk of the growing smart TV consumer base with its K5000 series LED smart TVs. The series was recently launched here in Manila and should soon be available for purchase on select consumer electronics store.

For more information about the Haier K5000, do read their press release below.

When Haier Asia Co., Ltd executives said early this year that they were going to take the region by storm, they sure meant it. Haier is ready to bring out its best innovations yet, starting out with its K5000 LED Smart TV series.

Launched at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila, the K5000 is Haier’s first range of Smart TVs, offering its technology and internet savvy customers something new to get their hands on. The series is a total standout with a sophisticated design that features an ultra-slim frame, brushed aluminum finish, and stylish metal stand. 

It also boasts LED edge-lit backlighting, a 5,000,000:1 mega dynamic contrast ratio, and an IPS panel to enjoy crisp realistic pictures in wide-viewing angle. Its three built-in HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) ports also make it possible to send audio from the TV to an ARC compatible device via an HDMI cable, without the need for an additional audio cable. 

Available in 32”, 40”, 50” and 55’’ models, the K5000 series includes 2 USB ports (USB recorder, Timeshift for real-time TV broadcast recording, and USB video), DLNA, 1 RJ45 connector, integrated Wi-Fi, 3 CEC HDMI ports (1.4a) including 1 ARC-compatible port, 1 headphone socket, 1 PC D-Sub15 socket, 1 optical/ digital output, automatic volume limiter, powerful invisible loudspeakers, hotel mode, CI+, A energy rating.

If that’s too much tech talk for you when all you really want to know is how smart this Smart TV is, then let us tell you that this new range is everything you need to stay updated and keep connected. The K5000 TV has a YoutubeTM button that directly connects the user to their favorite YouTube videos. It also includes a hub with a multitude of catch-up TV applications, VOD, entertainment features, and news. It allows users to surf the net via an integrated easy-to-use web browser and keep in touch with friends and loved ones through email, and their favorite social media platforms. The K5000 series is also ISDB-T ready for receiving digital channel signals which is now available with the use of digital antennas and/or set top boxes. 

With its classy design and a heap of high tech features, the K5000 series is truly the ultimate package that promises an excellent entertainment experience. Now if you think this new product exciting, wait ‘til you hear about the cutting-edge devices and appliances that Haier has in store for everyone scheduled to hit the stores in the near future. We just can’t wait! Can you?

Fans of the Nickelodeon channel’s hit preschool series Blaze and the Monster Machines will be happy to know that the channel has launched a new app based on the show. The app is now available both on iOS’ App Store and Android’s Google Play. For more information about this app, do check out the press release below.

New app, based on Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series, Blaze and the Monster Machines, available now on iOS and Android.

1, 2, 3 Let’s Blaze! Nickelodeon’s all-new app, Playtime with Blaze and the Monster Machines is available now in Asia on iOS and Google Play. The new app, based on Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series Blaze and the Monster Machines, offers preschoolers five different fun-filled activities to test drive their skills in memory, matching and colouring, set within the world of Blaze and the Monster Machines. As each game is completed, preschoolers are rewarded with stickers that can be used to customize and create their very own scenes from Axel City.

Features include:

1.) Available on iOS and Google Play in 13 languages including English, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Europe), Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Russian, Portuguese (Brazil), and Turkish.

2.) Choose your favourite avatar: Blaze, Crusher, Pickle, and Stripes.

3.) Five mini-games:

  • Blaze’s Truck Wash: Blaze, Stripes and Pickle have gotten all muddy! Help scrub them down with soap, wash them off with water from a hose, and towel dry them to make them sparkly and clean again. 
  • Blaze Race to the Finish Line: Help Blaze avoid obstacles on the track and collect items to race to the finish line on time! 
  • Monster Machines Memory: Play the classic game of memory by flipping over cards to match all of your favorite characters from Blaze. 3 levels to complete! 
  • Creative Coloring: Get creative with 4 colouring activity sheets including Blaze, Stripes, AJ and Pickle! 
  • Match-up with Blaze: Find groups of 3 of the same tools to match up. 9 exciting levels to play! 

As you complete each game, you are rewarded stickers which can be used to create your very own Blaze world by customizing two landscapes from Axel City. 

The country’s top Apple product retailer recently launch its Pixelworx campaign that advocates the use of technology in the creation of arts.  The launch of the campaign was initiated through the introduction of PMC’s art ambassadors and the announcement of its multimedia awards winners.

The four ambassadors that were introduced during the event were Jay Contreras for photography, Nikki Luna for visual arts, Electrolychee (Marcus and Bru Nada) for graphic design and Leeroy New for sculpture. The four art ambassadors conducted free workshops and live demonstrations at PMC classrooms for the past two months.

The event was also the venue where PMC awarded the winners of its multimedia competition wherein 6 winners were chosen from the 20 finalists who submitted their work a few months back. The winners were given prizes including iPads, Wacom tablets and PMC gift certificates.

When traveling, you will likely have three consistent companions: your family (if you’re bringing them), your plans (if you have any), and your smartphone (no ifs, ands or buts). You will likely use your smartphone more than anything to navigate, communicate, and do whatever you need to do to make your travelling as smooth as possible.

What makes a smartphone so great is that there are all sorts of different applications available to make your life so much easier. If you are having a hard time navigating a new city, GPS apps abound. If you can’t understand a language, translation apps are available. If there isn’t an app for one of your needs yet, give it time, and someone will create it.

Here are 5 apps for your smartphone that will help you make sure that your trips go perfectly:

Trip Splitter takes care of who owes what when handling expenses on a trip or dinner. It works great even for large parties because you can put in as many participants as you want. You can also email participants a reminder after the trip is over if you don’t want to take care of everything right away. This is great for travelling in a large group that isn’t necessarily financially linked or for certain business situations

This is a travel app that has equal use at home, allowing you to split up a shared bar tab or simply let you figure out how much everyone owes for pizza. If you find yourself a social person, this app is definitely worth downloading.

If you are travelling, then a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be the savior to your privacy and data. If you are travelling, you are likely using many public networks, which can be incredibly risky to use since hackers can intercept sent data (including private communications and financial information) over unprotected networks and then use it against you.

What a VPN will do is connect your computer through an encrypted “tunnel” of sorts to an offsite server that no one can infiltrate, and this server will handle your requests and send you whatever information you want just like normal. Using this server also has the benefit of masking your IP Address and location data, which means you can get around regional restrictions and even possibly allow you to take advantage of regional pricing for airline tickets.

There are several options to choose from, but ExpressVPN is a great choice in particular due to its compatabilty with smartphones on any operating system.


If you are travelling to a major city, you should check out Citymapper. It is one of the most popular and highest-quality apps for figuring out transit (in almost any form) in major cities, particularly in the United States, which can be harder to navigate than many European cities. Some of the things that are especially useful are real-time updating of departure times, bike routes, and alerts if there is a disruption on a route so you can adjust accordingly.

If you put in a location within a city, this app will find a way for you to get there. In fact, it will probably find multiple ways for you to get there. When you’re in a new place, there will be nothing you are more thankful for.

If you are going to a different country that doesn’t speak English (which is most of them), you want this application on your phone. While not perfect, Google Translate is improving constantly. It has most every language you will need and is fast enough to beat out most other translation devices available and certainly faster than lugging around a two-way dictionary for each language you might need.

This one might be considered a little extreme for some, but jet lag is awful and can ruin a day or two of a perfectly good vacation. If you don’t want this to happen, then Entrain is the app you need both before and during your trip.

It provides you with a schedule and data for when you should seek light in order to help your body adjust to the new time zone as quickly as possible. You can use this data to adjust your circadian clock and keep up your energy after your flight. With lots of options at the press of a thumb, you won’t need to figure out anything else to get your sleep cycle in check.

Thank you for reading. Please note that any applications listed here can be found on both iTunes and Google Play. I hope that you have found something here that you are looking for so that you may travel with improved safety and convenience.

The country’s biggest book fair is back for all book worms near Pasay City. Now on its 36th year, the Manila International Book fair is setting up shop at the SMX Convention center to bring the largest and most diverse collection of literature whether it’s for leisure or for academics. The MIBF will be held on Sept 16-20 and will feature various publication companies as exhibitors.

To know more details about these event, do check out the PR materials sent to us by MIBF’s organizer Primetrade Asia, Inc.


One of the country’s most awaited events for book lovers is back as the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) is set on Sept. 16-20, at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Now on its 36th year, the MIBF showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature for leisure and academic reading, including bestselling novels, to textbooks, to graphic novels, to religious publications, to stationery and school supplies. The MIBF is also the go-to event for this year’s biggest book launches, signings, contests, dialogues with readers, and other literary events. It has also been providing a venue for the exchange of ideas amongst players in the publishing and academic industry.

Joining this year’s book fair are Abiva Publishing House, Inc. Academic Book Sales, Inc, Adarna House, Inc., Adbox Book Distributors, Alexan Commercial, Alpha Stream Marketing, Anvil Publishing, Inc., Asia Pacific Publishers Association (APPA), Asia/Pacific Circulation Exponents, Inc. (APCEI), Ateneo de Manila University Press, Bantay OCW Foundation, Inc., Bayard Assumption Media Foundation, Belview Co., Inc., Book Trends Enterprises, Bridge Publications, Inc., Brilliant Creations Publishing, Inc., C & E Publishing, Inc., Catholic Book Center , CD Books International, Inc., Cengage Learning , Central Books , Christian Growth Ministries, Inc. (CGM) , Christian Literature Crusade , Church Strengthening Ministry, Inc. , Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc. , Creative Mind Books Center , CRW Marketing Services for Publishers , Cunanan Map House , Data Science and Technology Corporation , and Edcrisch International, Inc.

Also participating at the book fair are Elsevier Science and Technology , Emerald Headway Distributors, Inc. , F & J de Jesus, Inc. , Far Eastern University Publications , Fastbooks Educational Supply Inc. , Felta Multi-Media, Inc. , Filway Marketing, Inc. , Forefront Book Co., Inc. , Fujian Publishing Industry, Fully Booked (Sketch Books, Inc.) , Global International Education Link, Grolier International- Cyclophil Division, Goethe-Institut Philippinen , Golden Books Services, Inc. , Great Books Trading , Gunnar Lie & Associates Ltd , Heartshaper/Lighthouse Educational Corporation , High Access Line Phils. Corp., IBC Book Consolidators, Inc., IBON Foundation, Inc., iGroup , Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing Corporation , IRH Press Co., Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc. , Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Lighthouse Inspirational Books and Gifts, Inc. , Linar Educational Materials, Inc. , Logos Publications, Inc. , Lyric Piano and Organ Corp. , Maxcor Publishing House, Inc. , Meganon Comics Publishing House , Megatexts Phil., Inc. , Megaviz Publishing, Mind Mover Publishing House, Inc. , MSA Publishing House , and National Book Store, Inc.

Meanwhile, the National Historical Commission of the Phils. (NHCP) , Navigator Ministries, Inc. , New Century Books , New Day Publishers , OMF Literature Inc. , Overseas Publishers' Rep. Assn of the Phils. (OPRAP) , Paulines Publishing House , Perbadanan Kota Buku, Periplus Editions, Philippine Bible Society , Philippine Christian Book Store (PCBS) , Phoenix Educational Systems, Inc. , Precious Pages Corp. , Publishers Group West , Readers Knowledge Bookstore , Rex Book Store, Inc. , Shepherd House Publishers, Inc. , Shepherd's Voice Publications, Inc. , Sinag-Tala Publishers , St Pauls , St. Mary's Publishing Corporation , St. Matthew's Publishing Corporation , Summit Publishing Co., Inc. , The Bookmark, Inc. , The Ramakrishna Society of the Philippines, Inc. , Touchlife Global Foundation Inc. , Tradewinds Books , University of Santo Tomas Publishing House , University of the Philippines Press, Vibal Group , Viva PSICOM Publishing Corp. , Wiseman's Books Trading, Inc. , Word & Life Publications , and WS Pacific Publications, Inc., Blue Silver and Black Marketing, Cosmos Bazaar, Gentle Star, Jevzam’s Enterprise, LPI Rack Range Philippines, Merr-C Society of the Word Foundation, and Mindwerks are also joining.

Aside from the varied list of exhibitors, the MIBF will also host two co-located events. The latest trends in technology will be discussed at the Digitech Manila Conference and Expo on September 17-18. Meanwhile, one of the most awaited events for anime lovers and cosplayers, the Best of Anime 2015, is slated on September 19-20.

Lazada has recently teamed up with ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata 163 most likely as part of their corporate social responsibility activities. The online retailer has recently visited the Bantay Bata site in Calauan, Laguna and has pledged to help these children by donating a certain amount of their sales from July to October made by using their special Bantay Bata voucher.

Check full details of this campaign by reading their press release below. 

MANILA PHILIPPINES - Lazada, the Philippines’ One-Stop Shopping and Selling destination, recently partnered with ABS CBN’s Bantay Bata 163 in reaching out to children displaced by recent calamities.

Last July 3, 2015, Lazada Philippines, together with Bantay Bata 163, brought smiles and laughters to over 100 kids when they visited the Bantay Bata Site located in NHA Calauan, Laguna. Lazada PH employees together with the company’s CEO, Inanc Balci, shared an afternoon with the kids through healthy lunch, games, and other fun-filled activities. Later that afternoon, the kids of Bantay Bata in NHA Site Calauan Laguna received school supplies and educational toys. The afternoon was filled with joy and hope as Lazada Philippines pledged its support to the cause of helping out Filipino children.

In line with this, Lazada is giving away P300 worth of vouchers with a minimum purchase of P3000, exclusively for the Toys, Kids, and Babies category.  These vouchers will be available every month for a week from July 27 until October 2015. Enjoy this discount using the voucher code BANTAYBATA and for every voucher used, P50 will be donated to Bantay Bata 163. Grab the opportunity to help out and head on to http://www.lazada.com.ph/bantay-bata-163/ and spread the joy of giving.

Let's face it: owning a car can be very convenient, especially if you travel a lot. It doesn't matter if you travel for work or leisure. Cars can get you places faster, and provide you with personal comforts that traveling by bus or train can't give you. However, not everyone owns a car, or can drive a car. This is where car rentals come in.

So when exactly is the best time to rent a car? Let us help you figure it out!

1.    Long Road Trips
Driving from Point A to Point B can get exhausting, especially if you'll be traveling by car for extended periods of time. If you want to relax during a long road trip, rent a car so you can be at ease. Also, your current car might not be equipped for long-distance travel, so it will be more convenient and budget-friendly for you to rent a car, than risk getting your own vehicle damaged during a long drive.

2.    When Your Car is Out of Commission
Picture this: you're driving down the road, following traffic rules and regulations, when someone crashes into your car and renders it useless for the next few weeks. It's the absolute worst thing that can happen, especially if you need your car to get to work, or drop off and pick up your children from school. While your car is at the mechanic's undergoing repair, you can rent a car to go about your daily business. The costs of the rental can even be covered by your car insurance, so be sure to get a policy with car rental benefits in case you send your car in for repairs due to an accident.

3.    Vacations
Summer vacation is the perfect time to go to the beach for a few days. Some families even go to their ancestral homes in the provinces to spend the entire vacation there, while hosting a big family reunion. Renting a car can ease your minds about transportation going to and from your vacation destination. Not only that, you can even have the car rental so you can move around the area with ease, especially if you're staying in the provinces for more than a few days.

4.    Going To & From the Airport
You have your own car, yes, but when you need to fly out of the country, it's a hassle looking for a place to park your car for the entirety of your trip abroad. Plus, if you’re taking a lot of luggage with you, taxis might not be the best choice of transport coming from your home to the airport. Renting a car can help you with this problem! The same can be said of coming from the airport when you have balikbayan boxes filled to the brim with pasalubong for your family and friends. Don't settle for a taxi when you can rent a car!

5.    First Dates
They say that first impressions last. So how about this? If you don't have a car, rent one (chauffeur included) and pick up the girl of your dreams with a nice, sleek ride. Maybe ask what her favorite car is, or her dream date vehicle. It would definitely make a good impression. Plus you can take her wherever she wants to go, and you get to keep your eyes on her, and not on the road during the entire trip! Romantic, right?

6.    Weddings
This is your big day! And since this is a very special day, you'll want a very special car for the bride. Don't settle for your grandparent's sedan. Rent a car!

7.    Formal Events
Prom? Someone's anniversary? A friend's wedding, and you're part of the entourage? High school reunion? Fancy dinner with the in-laws? Don't worry. You can still stay classy even if you don't personally have a car. Renting a car for events like these can help you worry more about yourself than how to get to these events!

8.    Business-related Travel
If you have errands for your company, or if you're a multinational company with foreign visitors needing a tour around the city and not enough company vehicles to go around, then renting a car can solve this problem! You can even rent a car to pick up and/or drop off your foreign guests at the airport, to ensure that they have a smooth and comfortable experience in the country.

9.    Company Excursions
Company trips are always fun, be it a corporate team-building exercise, a general company outing, a business trip, or an out-of-town meeting. What's not so great is if your company doesn't have a fleet of cars to get large groups of people to the trip destination. But did you know that companies can rent vehicles for this purpose? It's easy and affordable, too!

10.  Moving
If you're finally leaving your parents' space and moving into a place of your own, but you don't have the means of moving all your things from your parents' house to your new condo... That's right, rent a car! An SUV should be able to help you pack in all your moving boxes and transport them and yourself to your new pad easily!

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Want a taste of Europe without the hassle and cost of travelling to another continent? You might be pleasantly surprised to know that a very attractive alternative is accessible to you right here in Southeast Asia. The Philippines is a gorgeous underrated holiday destination, chock full of European influences and western charm – left behind by the Spanish Colonial Era (1521 – 1898). For those seeking a little more cultural enlightening past the beaches of Boracay, we recommend a historical tour of the Philippines’ best-kept Spanish heritage sites. After all, how can anyone complain about a history lesson when you’re on holiday?

Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

First up on anyone’s list of Spanish scenic sites should only be Vigan City. This capital city of the province Ilocos Sur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and with good reason. It’s one of the last remaining Hispanic towns in the country with its structures still intact. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Vigan was the center of Spanish colonial power; today, the town is a living testament to the Spanish Colonial Era, exerting strong cultural influence to the modern Philippine nation.

Paved with cobblestone streets and unique Spanish colonial architecture, Vigan City exudes old-world colonial charm, inviting you to take a step back in time. The town plaza, Plaza Salcedo, is a good place to start if you’re up for a walking tour. But to truly experience Vigan at its finest, ride a calesa (horse-drawn buggy) down the picturesque Calle Crisologo – open streets lined with authentic Spanish Era ancestral houses, and Vigan City’s crowning glory.

San Agustin Church, Manila

Located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros, Manila, the San Agustin Church is one of four proud members under the Baroque Churches of the Philippines – a collection of the most treasured Spanish-era churches in the country, that served as the political backbone of Spanish colonial rule.

The original San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, was the very first religious structure constructed by the Spaniards on the island of Luzon. Today, it is the third church to be erected, but the present edifice is still nothing short of magnificent, having been patterned after the medieval Augustinian temples of Mexico.

Known for its interior, the Church promises an enchanting experience, complete with traces of the original Mexican wall painting, and choir seats carved with ivory inlays of the 17th Century. Intramuros may have lost its shine as the nerve center of the country during the 350-year Spanish rule, but the grandeur of Spain lingers in its ruins, and certainly in the San Agustin.

Taal, Batangas

The heritage town of Taal is famous for two things – its old ancestral houses, and being home to the largest church in the Philippines and Asia. Enter the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours, which stands at a massive 88.6 metres long and 48 metres wide.

Around town you can find historic and grand ancestral homes, some of which have been converted to museums open to the public. Head over to the Villa Tortuga for a slice of upper class life during the Spanish regime – the dinner package includes dress-up time where you can don period dresses and have it immortalized in a souvenir photo. A tourist trap? Maybe, but Taal was declared a National Historical Landmark for a reason.

Santa Maria Church, Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur isn’t just known for Vigan City. This Philippine province is also where the Santa Maria Church, or the Nuestra Señora dela Asunción, can be found. Curiously enough, the Santa Maria Church isn’t built following the traditional Spanish urban town plan of situating a church in the heart of the town plaza. Instead, it stands alone majestically on the crown of a freestanding hill enclosed completely by a high stone wall – a true fortress!

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and part of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, the Santa Maria was built on top of a hill as a religious center by both the friars of the citadel and the soldiers of Spain. Made entirely of brick, it makes for quite a sight, especially with the sweeping stone stairways connecting it to the town, and to a cemetery. The outer walls are built with buttresses of typical Earthquake Baroque architecture, which is probably why it still stands today in its original form.

Malolos City, Bulacan

Hailed as the Premiere Heritage City of Bulacan, Malalos City shines with historic importance, having been the center for many vital events that took place during the transition from the 19th to the 20th century – such as the establishment of the Constitutional Convention.

Take a scenic stroll around the many ancestral houses from the Spanish and American Colonial Eras, or wander through the numerous Spanish colonial churches and chapels scattered around. Malolos is one of the few towns in Philippines with three Spanish-era churches: the Barasoain Church, Malolos Cathedral, and Sta. Isabel. In August 2001, the historic little town of Malolos was declared a National Heritage Landmark.

The Barasoain Church is a Roman Catholic Church built in 1630, and is home to many prestigious titles. It housed the first Philippine Republic, as well as the Constitutional Convention – carving for itself a name of incredible historical importance amongst Filipinos and tourists alike. Doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines.

Miagao Church (Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church), Iloilo

Last on the list doesn’t make this any less of a ‘must-see’! Looking at the grand Baroque architectural style of the Miagao Church, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re suddenly in Europe. Don’t be fooled though, the church façade is a mixed influence of Medieval Spanish, Chinese, and Muslim elements, embellished with Filipino folk motifs, making it a stunning fusion of cultures.

Also known as the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, the Miagao Church is the third member of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines – and with good reason. This mighty fortress has withstood typhoons, earthquakes, and even rebellious arson during the revolution against Spain in 1898, and the Philippine-American War.

The distinct yellow-orange sandstone is reminiscent of old western gothic cathedrals, and the Miagao Church is a shining example of a traditional Spanish Baroque fortress. And standing on the highest point of the town, it’s a guarantee that you’ll be glad you made the trip. 

About the AuthorWriter Amanda is only 156cm, but has a big heart for travel. When she’s not daydreaming about cruising open-top convertibles down Sunset Boulevard, you can find her furiously googling for budget flights on Kayak. And one day she will own all the shoes in the world. She also writes for ShopBack.ph.

They say June is a month filled with weddings and we all know that weddings is usually followed by the couple's honeymoon.Europe is probably one of the top picks of a lot couples for their dream honeymoon destination, because who wouldn't want to spend that special day in a place filled with historical monuments and scenic landscape. For couples who are considering having their honeymoon in Europe, Paris and Rome are two of your best options. 

Our friends from Parisapartmentsbynumbers.com have created this awesome infographic that compares what Paris and Rome have to offer to tourists and travellers (especially honeymooners).

Paris vs. Rome

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