Philippine Holidays 2018

Plan those long weekends as early as now, as Malacañan already signed Proclamation No. 269 which declares 18 red days for Philippine calendar 2018.

For 2018, Philippines would have 4 extra long weekends; not including the traditional vacay days for Lent, Holloween, Christmas and New Year festivities.

Not only that.  There are even 3 holidays that would fall on a Tuesday.  And we all know what that means... ipit day is an extra vacation leave day!

So make sure you have enough leave credits, and add this calendar to your next team meeting, cause it always pays to plan ahead!

How To: Pay PLDT Bill via BPI Expressonline

Having access to BPI Expressonline is such a big convenience, as they have a wide range of online banking service to makes bills payment a little easier.

Here's a step by step guide on how to enroll and pay your PLDT bills using BPI Expressonline.

Enrolling your PLDT bill

1.       Log-in to your account.  If you don’t have one yet, here’s a quick link on how to create one.
2.       From the top menu, go to Payments & Reloading > Bills Payment > Enroll All Other Bills.
3.       Fill in the details needed.
a.       ATM Card number – choose from the drop down menu
b.      Joint Account Indicator (JAI) No. – this is the 2-digit number located at the lower right hand corner of your ATM card
c.       Bill Information – choose PHIL LONG DISTANCE TEL CO (PLDT)
d.      Account number – this is the n10-digit your account number that you can get either from your printed bill or from my.pldthome account.  Notice that there are only 9-digits there, so you’d need to add a 0 as the 1st number.
e.      Enter your security details, such as registered e-mail address or your Mother’s maiden name.
f.        Hit Submit.
4.       You’ll receive a confirmation of your enrollment and can now proceed with payment.

5.       Alternately, you can also enroll your bill from the payment page by clicking the Enroll Bills link.  A pop up will open, where you'll be asked what type of bill you'll be enrolling.  Choose Utility, Insurance and Other Bills.

Paying your PLDT Bill
1.       To pay, go to Payments & Reloading > Bills Payment > Pay Bills Today
2.       Fill in the details
a.       Pay – list of merchants enrolled to your account
b.      The amount of – payment amount
c.       From my account – list of accounts where payment would be debited
d.      Additional Reference Number – for PLDT, leave this blank
e.      Remarks – type any information that you wish to put here as reminder, or leave it blank
f.        Hit Submit.
3.       You’ll receive a confirmation of your successful transaction in the page and also to your registered e-mail.

Lesson 4: Airbnb Payout Method

Airbnb Payout Method should not be confused with Airbnb Payment Method--where only Paypal, Credit cards or Debit cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo are accepted.

Airbnb Payout Method are ways for the host to receive their payments from guest via the Airbnb system.

Airbnb Payment Method, on the other hand, are ways for the guest to pay for their booking and reservations.

Back in 2010, when Ebay reigns supreme in online selling, sellers need Paypal to accept credit card payments from buyers.  It's an extra layer of convenience that comes with a hefty price.

Thank God for Airbnb Direct Deposit Payments!

They still cater to Paypal accounts, but you DON'T need them to receive your payment.  If you have an existing bank account--savings or current; ATM or passbook--just input the details and you're done.

1.      Name

It must be exactly the same with your bank account name.  If you have middle initial on your bank account name, then add that.

2.       Account Number

Not the card number of your ATM card, but the account number you use to deposit money to your account.

3.       SWIFT Code

This is the international standard code that each bank is assigned with.  It allows wire transfer of funds from one bank to another.  Go here for the complete list of SWIFT code for Philippine banks.

From different forums and based on experience, the best bank to use for Airbnb Payout Method is thru BPI.  Yes, with all its glitches, BPI is still your best companion.

·         How long does it take for BPI to credit my payment?

First, you’ll receive an email notice from Airbnb that they’ve process the transfer of payment.  Airbnb does this 1 day after your guest’ check in date.
Expect your payment to be credited to your BPI account on the next day, if the transfer was done on a weekday.  If weekends or holidays, it would take about 2 banking days, or after their 10 PM cut-off of the 1st banking day.
Example, Airbnb transfers the payment on a Saturday and Monday is not a holiday.  You’ll see your payment on your BPI account after 10 PM, Monday.

·         Are there additional charges involved?

Nope. Nada. None. Zero. Zilch.
BPI doesn’t take a cut from your payment.  If Airbnb says they would transfer, P2001, then you’ll be credited with P2001 on your account.

·         What if my guest has a foreign issued credit card?

Airbnb would quote your guest under their own currency.  Your guests credit card, would ask them if they wish to pay using their currency or your receiving currency which is Peso.  All the Forex activity is done within the guest’s card or thru Airbnb.  You’ll still get the peso equivalent to the booking notice you’ve received from Airbnb.

Do you know other payment methods that's hassle free and really free? Share it with us by commenting on this blog.

Image Credit:

Lesson 3: Basic Host Amenities

Airbnb has a nice platform where you can easily choose what your unit is offering.  It is so personalized that you, as a host, is not mandated to provide ultra-luxury amenities.  The principle is to show honestly what you offer and to price your unit based on those offerings.  It would be the guests' choice whether the amenities offered at the given price point suits they're budget.

But what are the most basic amenities that you'd need to offer, aside from a roof and a place to sleep on?

·         Essentials – Airbnb list essential items as towels, bed sheets, soap and toilet paper.  So, if you’re ticking this, your unit must have them readily in the unit.  Bed sheets should be clean! Not relatively clean, as in I’m not seeing any dirt on this, but clean as in freshly laundered, but not necessarily pressed.
There are places that rent their space in Airbnb without the bed sheet.  Guests are expected to bring their own or rent from the host for an additional fee.  But please, if you’re forgoing the bed sheet then the bed photo must be shown without them; or at the very least, put the NO BED SHEET INCLUDED information on your house rules. 

·         Shampoo – see that this is separate from the essentials featured above.  Shampoo here denotes Soap and Shampoo for bathing.  Soap above is hand soap for when you’ve done your business at the latrine.

·         Bottled Water – I’m putting is as an essential, because a weary traveler deserves potable water.

Only these three? Yes!

The next set is entirely up to you, your location, and your target market.

·         TV – who needs TV when your place is in a beach front?
·         Closet/Drawers – open closet or a simple is rack is what’s in now
·         Air conditioning – this one I must say is a must if you’re in a tropical climate like the Philippines
·         Water heater – if your place is in Tagaytay or Baguio, then yes!

Add this for boon and make your place compete with local hotel offerings.

·         WiFi
·         Cable TV
·         Netflix
·         Breakfast with Coffee or Juice
·         Refrigerator
·         A mini-kitchen
·         Desk or Work space
·         Sofa or Couch
·         Outdoor dining area
·         Welcome basket with wine
The key is to be honest and open about what you have to offer.  As you go, you'll notice what guests you'll likely get and what it is they value more with their stay.

Earn Rewards With For FREE!

Earning your first P300 with is easy and technically FREE!

Here’s how I earned mine:

1.       Sign-up for an account with using a referral link.  You can use mine here.  You’ll need to complete the following to get your reward:
  ✔ Phone Verification
  ✔ Identity Verification by uploading a photo of your Government ID
  ✔ Selfie verification by uploading a selfie while holding the government ID you’ve submitted
  ✔ Activate your account by doing a P100 cash in transaction in 7-11

Difficulty:  Medium
Time: 2 to 3 days
Rewards:  P50 for the referral, P10 for doing the verifications
Capital:  P100

2.       Earn a maximum rebate of P250 by using the Bills Payment facility of*
  ✔ Look for a bill that is at least 4 business days before due date, with an amount of P250 or more to get the maximum rebate.
  ✔ Do a Cash In transaction via 7-11 to add funds to your PHP wallet.  I did P1000 since I’m paying a PLDT bill amounting to P999.  I had to pay a transaction fee of P10 to complete.
  ✔ On the Pay Bills section look for your biller/merchant and fill up the form using the information you have on your bill.
  ✔ You’ll get a reference number on history and via SMS on the status of your Bills Payment request, indicating when the payment would be processed by
  ✔ Wait for the indicated date of payment.  

Difficulty: Medium
Time: 3 business days
Rewards: P250 for the bill rebate, P5 for the bills payment transaction
Capital: P1,010

Total Rewards Made: 
P315 Fee:
Total FREE Money From

Yeah, I know, it takes time.  That’s why you need to choose a bill that has long maturity date.  Practice this as a way of paying your bills ahead of time.

I did get an SMS alert from PLDT that my bill was paid on the indicated date of payment by and yes, I still have the P100 that I initially Cash In from step 1.  *The P250 rebate is not perpetual.  It’s a promo and would last only until June 30, 2017.  But don’t despair, the P5 rebates per bills payment is not a promo. 

You also have a chance of getting another P250 if you successfully referred 5 friends and they completed the verification until June 30, 2017.  Better hurry and refer your friends now.  For more details on the additional P250 referral bonus, check blog here.

You’ll also get P100 if you pay 5 different bills in a week.  That’s on top of P5 per bill.  For a total of P125 for 5 bills in a week.

You might ask why I had to add P1000 instead of just P840 on my wallet for the PLDT bill since I did have P160 there from step 1.  Let’s say that I’m a curious person and I want to try the other function of which is forex trading of Bitcoins.

FREE Virtual Visa Card With

Let's face it; getting approved for a credit card application is difficult in our dear Republic of the Philippines.  There's a thousand and one requirements needed by the banks before they approve your request.  So, it doesn't come as a surprise to me when I encounter guest requesting to do a cash payment to book our unit thru our Facebook page.

But it's still nerve racking and requires some FB detective works and a little snooping.

That's why I'm pleased to announce that with just your smart phone, you can now get a USD denominated, virtual prepaid Visa debit card that you can use to pay for your Airbnb holiday or even shop from US stores., one of the three biggest Bitcoin wallet provider in the Philippines is issuing the virtual card.

Joining is easy.

Simply create an account using this link and follow the step-by-step process.  It would require you to link a social media account and upload a government issued ID with photo for verification, which is exactly similar to Airbnb verification.

Once your account is set-up, you can now avail of the virtual VISA debit card, by activating the card thru a load. They also have an app available for Android and Apple based smart phones, so you can always have your account at your finger-tips.

And there, you're all set.

In addition, you'll also get a P50 signing up using this link and activating your wallet.

Airbnb Lesson 2: What Kind Of Place Are You Listing?

From its humble beginning of an Airbed rental in San Francisco back in 2007 to make ends meet, Airbnb has transformed itself to 3,000,000+ listings over 191 countries in 10 years.

And in all those listings, the variation of accommodation offered is staggering.  Do you know that the choices of rentals vary from the common shared room to a cave, a castle and even an entire island in Airbnb?

Here are the types of accommodation that you can list in Airbnb.  The first list are your typical accommodations.
·         Apartment
·         Bungalow
·         Cabin
·         Condominium
·         Guesthouse
·         House
·         In-law
·         Guest Suite
·         Townhouse
·         Vacation Home

These accommodations on the next lists are more similar to a traditional hotel.  They even included cultural hotels native to each country in the parenthesis.  

I would love to try a Ryokan.  I read before that prices for Ryokan in Kyoto costs more than your typical hotel because of the cultural immersion.  But if it comes with an Onsen in a snowy mountain, then we have a deal.
·         Bed & Breakfast
·         Boutique Hotel
·         Nature Lodge
·         Hostel
·         Timeshare
·         Serviced Apartment
·         Casa Particular
·         Pousada
·         Minsu (Taiwan)
·         Ryokan (Japan)
·         Pension (Korea)
·         Heritage Hotel (India)

And the more than usual types but would likely get your attention especially if you’re the more adventurous traveler.
There’s a castle in the list!
·         Boat
·         Castle
·         Cave
·         Chalet
·         Dorm
·         Earth House
·         Hut
·         Igloo
·         Island
·         Lighthouse
·         Loft
·         Plane
·         Camper/RV
·         Tent
·         Tipi
·         Train
·         Treehouse
·         Villa
·         Yurt
·         Other

If you’re wondering what a Yurt is, according to Wikipedia it’s a portable round tent covered with skins or felt and is the traditional dwelling place of nomads from the steppes of Central Asia.  Think of Genghis Khan from Mongolia existing his dwelling from a plains several hundred feet above sea level.

Maybe you have a piece of land somewhere in the province near a river or falls with crystal clear water?  Time to put up some tents or a yurt in that place and list it on Airbnb.

Image Credit:  Damien Knowles, Clipart-finder, Nihongodaisuki, Clipartof