Sunday, February 07, 2021

Choosing the Right Housing Property in Manila during the Covid-19 Pandemic

housing property

It has been roughly a year since the spread of COVID-19 virus in the Philippines. This pandemic is the greatest challenge we have faced in this lifetime. Adjusting to the new normal was tough, as the first months have been plagued with confusion and fear. Many businesses have shut down since then, and most are considering implementing the “Work from Home” (WFH) model. Unfortunately, as said by David Leechiu, written in this Manila Bulletin article, the Philippines is not suitable for the WFH model. He cites poor telecom connectivity, too many relatives, and lack of proper housing to be the few major reasons why WFH would not work.

The last time I wrote an article about finding the right housing property was last 2015. A lot has changed since then. The sharp drop in economy contributed much to the price growth of condominium and house properties. Finding an affordable condominium in Manila is now a lot more difficult as prices soared almost double. In the spirit of preparing for the new year and the challenges of COVID-19 ahead of us, it is important that I revise some of my tips from my previous article.

What can you afford?

Admittedly, me and my husband have been in worrying about our sons’ permanent housing. While our ideal house ideal house has not changed since 2012, the prices to accommodate that is harder. Securing finances to acquire a new condo or housing unit is not only the beginning, but now the most crucial part. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, there is a large growth of 34.9 percent in residential property prices in NCR relative to 2019.

While rising residential real estate prices is not necessarily new, it was only made worse by COVID-19. With the declining economy, you can even say that buying a house or new property now will be detrimental. However, buying a new property does have its merits. If you are still steadfast in your decision to purchase a new housing property, then I highly suggest doing the math. While you can compute and learn the interest rates manually, you can do so with an online mortgage calculator instead.

I still do suggest having a careful decision regarding getting a housing loan, and take into consideration its maintenance cost in the long run.

Is it strategically located?

Strategic location is now more important than ever. There are more factors to consider when it comes to choosing your permanent/temporary dwelling. This does not mean, however, that my previous tips are irrelevant. Considering the location and determining its safety from natural disasters is still the number one priority.

The first factor I would like to add to my tips is the proximity of the property to a hospital. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you would want to have a shorter distance to travel in case of an emergency. The shorter travel can help you avoid more crowded areas and traffic jams.

Poor internet connectivity issues are some of the prevalent threats to online working. If you are an employee of a company that uses the WFH model, it is important to have a strong and stable internet connection. As such, the second factor I would like to add is learning the stability and strong signal of the available Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the property’s general area. Some things to consider when it comes to choosing the right ISP is their credibility, reputation, and previous experience.

The third and last factor will have to be the market value of the property you would like to buy and amount of people residing around the property. While having neighbors is unavoidable, especially for condominium units, to learn the population density can help you reduce contact with COVID-19. Learn the history of the location and see if there have been any cases of COVID-19 in that area.

Image credits: Winner Prime One Realty

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

8 Ways to Childproof your Home

Being a parent is a major responsibility. It takes a lot of work rearing a child. We protect and take care of our children until they are old enough to take care of themselves. Making the home a child proof is one of the first steps we need to consider as soon as our child begin to crawl or walk.

Though, home childproofing may not be 100% effective against unwanted injury, taking extra safety measures is needed to reduce the risk of unintentional injury by hazards in and around the home.

child proof

Here are some ways to childproof your home that will keep your family safe.

Door knob covers

Using door knob and door handle covers will prevent kids from entering areas and rooms with possible risk or danger.

Cabinets and Drawers safety latches

Installing safety locks or latches on cabinets and drawers especially in the kitchen can help prevent access to sharp objects, household cleaners and medicines.


A playpen is a form of childproofing. It will allow you less child supervision as it can restrict your child’s movement while playing or bottle feeding.

Corner and edge bumpers

Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture like side tables, center table and dining table to protect against injury. Moreover. Place furniture away from windows so children will not be able to climb onto window sills. Be wary of looped cords of your window blinds as it can be a cause of strangulation.

Childproof stairs and fireplace

As much as possible put a fireplace hearth. Use safety gates that kids cannot easily dislodge at the bottom and top of stairs to prevent falls. You may also use safety gates in the doorways of rooms like the bathroom to prevent them from entering.

Use outlet protectors

To prevent electrocution, cover electrical outlets with safety caps or outlet protectors. Likewise, make sure to always unplug appliances when not in use. Children always have the tendency to stick or put something into holes they can see.

Keep harmful items

Make sure harmful items are out of sight and out of reach. Place cleaning products such as bleach, detergents, toilet bowl cleaners in a locked cabinet. So as with insecticides, medicines, and personal hygiene products. Keys and small objects like coins, pins, or screws must be placed in a higher place where kids can’t reach.


Planting has become a hobby by most homeowners, nowadays. Be careful on selecting the plants that you will place inside your home as certain houseplants can be toxic and poisonous.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Maskne: The New Skin Condition to Watch Out

Wearing a face mask together with the face shield has become the new norm. It is required to be worn at all times in public places as a barrier to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus that spreads through respiratory droplets. However, constantly wearing a mask can develop skin issues and breakouts, and this condition is known as Maskne or mask acne.

Maskne is a common side effect of using a face mask. According to Healthline, it doesn’t simply cause pimples, it may result to other skin issues like irritation, bumpiness and redness.


Skin conditions caused by wearing face mask

Acne. Sweat, make up, oil, dead skin cells can clog pores which can cause blackheads or whiteheads and pimples.

Rosacea. Wearing a face mask can flare-up rosacea - the skin condition that produce small, red, pus-filled bumps and causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face.

Contact dermatitis. Not all face mask may suit your skin. If you have a sensitive skin, the material of your mask may cause an allergic reaction which may result to blisters and red rash.

Folliculitis. Very tight wearing of the mask can result to Folliculitis. It is a skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed.

Causes of Maskne

Clogged pores. Dead skin cells and oil can build up more when you wear a mask  and block your pores.

Sweating and breathing. Due to sweating and breathing, the mask traps humidity which may increase the risk of skin break out

Friction. The material of the mask you’re wearing can rub against your skin which may eventually lead to irritation.

Allergic reaction. Skin sensitivity to the material of your mask may cause allergic reaction. Masks washed in scented laundry detergents may also cause irritation to sensitive skin.


Cotton made mask. We sweat more as the temperature rises, and we need to keep our mask clean at the same time. Most dermatologists suggest using a 100 percent cotton mask as it allows the skin to breathe a bit.

Skin care. Be wary of your skin care routine. Use a gentle facial cleanser and a non-comedogenic moisturizer which likely will not block your pores but will keep your skin hydrated.

No to makeup. Temporarily break up with make up when you go out.

Choosing and wearing the right mask

To avoid skin irritation and skin conditions mentioned above, be aware of the type of mask that you buy and wear.

Choose a mask that is made of soft and natural fabric like cotton. Choose the ones that has two or more layers of fabric for more protection.

Your mask must fit tight but not too tight.

Nylon and rayon are synthetic fabrics, so if you have sensitive skin, you must not wear masks made of these materials.

To help give skin a break, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends removing your mask for 15 minutes every 4 hours. However, be mindful, wash or sanitize or hands first and more importantly make sure you are far from the people around you or there are no people around you before taking a mask break. Moreover, use micellar water or a gentle cleanser to do a quick wash when you take it off.


Tuesday, January 05, 2021

6 Tips in Embracing the New Normal

Adapting, adjusting and embracing the new normal could be a difficult challenge for all of us. The Covid-19 virus and its mutated strains global pandemic is ceaselessly impacting our way of life and drastically forced us to establish new habits.

Different types of Covid-19 vaccines have been developed by internationally legendary scientists and researchers like Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Sinopharm and more. These vaccines were developed to prevent the illness, suppress transmission and scale back mortality. However, we all know that these were all newly developed vaccines, though proven effective in clinical trials, still most of us are worried in their possible side effects particularly to people with underlying health conditions. Still the choice is yours if you wish to be immunized.

One thing is certain, we are living in a situation that has never happened in this lifetime. Embracing the new normal, the sudden shift in our way of life can be challenging. Here are some thoughts and tips on how to embrace the new normal.

New Normal: Wearing of masks, face shields and physical distancing.

Depending on where in the world you live in, wearing of protective mask, face shield and social distancing will be a standard health protocol. Remember that queuing is now the norm whether you go grocery shopping, riding a public transport or even getting in a lift.

embracing the new normal

Handwashing and personal hygiene.

Hand sanitizers are a common sight in most public places; yet, it is still recommended to bring along with you your own personal sanitizing kit whenever you go on a trip outside. Keep in mind that when you go out, there is always the risk of contracting the virus and possible contamination can be passed on to your household members. So, as much as possible stay at home.

Go for cashless payments and transactions.

The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the trend toward a cashless economy. Touch-free payments is more convenient rather than using the physical cash. You can do bills payment, order food delivery and grocery shopping just by using your mobile phones or computers.

embracing the new normal
image via pixabay

Stay connected with family and friends.

Just because we are encouraged to stay at home doesn’t mean that we need to get disconnected to our family and friends. We can still remain connected with our loved ones in different ways: online catch ups with the use of the video chat apps, and other social media platforms.

Social greetings

Social greetings have transformed. No to hugs, cheek-kisses and handshakes. Friendly gestures are now replaced by elbow bumps, waves from a distance or foot-shakes.

Work from home and online education

The present pandemic changed the mode of learning for students. Online education or e-learning has been exercised by most schools. Most businesses and offices embarked on working from home, thus, making your home a workplace and a temporary school as well. To adjust on the new set-up, it is best to create a new routine.

embracing the new normal

The year 2020 marked as the beginning of having to let go of our old normal. This pandemic brought drastic change and impact on our way of life, finances, environment and economy. Many of us are still struggling to embrace and settle into what seems to be our new normal, but life has to go on so stay safe, be strong, and healthy as this too shall pass.