Saturday, November 1

Wine 101 with Planet Grapes

I am not a stranger to wine nor do I consider myself a wine connoisseur. I enjoy wine as during Christmas and New Year’s we would celebrate by opening a bottle or two at midnight. We hardly can afford the branded types but we get what we can afford. This tradition grew on me that now that I live independently on my own, I ensure that special occasions deserve a cold bottle of wine. I remember celebrating my birthday over pizza and wine with a good friend.

Planet Grapes has finally landed in Cebu. Opening its doors to the public last October at the new wing of the Ayala Center. Poised to take the next generation of wine drinkers to a new level and help them evolve into wine lovers. The tagline “Wine without the drama”, speaks volumes to those who are well-versed in identifying and enjoying honest, high-quality products with integrity. The barrage of advertisements from various media outlets, the influx of additives in our food and the unnecessary features in gadgets have taught us that less is more in many ways.

I was invited to a closed Media Launch of Planet Grapes a few weeks ago. Armed with my trusty camera, a pen and myself on high heels and jeans I felt rather underdressed mingling with other media personality. I met a good friend of mine Jessica from Sunstar and we took the journey together as we learned about the different varieties of wine.

Planet Grapes Owner Romy Sia said, “The serendipitous discovery of pairing food with wine is what Planet Grapes is all about.”

We were given a tasting menu and the lineup looked wonderful. 

The White Plate was paired with Nuevo Mundo Sauvignon Blanc 2011, L’escargot Chardonnay 2011 and Joel Gott Riesling 2011.

Thai-Spiced Crab Cakes
Quail Eggs
Squid Balls
Chicken Isaw
Fried Oyster Mushrooms

The Red Plate perfectly paired with the trifecta of red wines: Ventura Pinot Noir 211, Cartlidge & Brown Merlot 2009 and Nuevo Mundo Carbenet Savignon 2011.

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs
Rib-eye Steak
BBQ Garlic Chicken Wings
Penne Putanesca
Salted Egg Rice
Beef Tapa

And for the cherry on top: the Sweet Plate paired with the most fragrant varietal – Crane Lake Gewurstraminer 2011
Crème Brulee
Bite-sized Turon

Planet Grapes introduces guests to wine through events, wine tastings and more. They make wine fun by turning it into an experience that everyone is invited to enjoy. In 2014, Planet Grapes in McKinley Hill, Taguig hosted an Anti-Valentine’s Day party, a Hallowine event, and numerous food and wine pairing classes. 

With a state-of-the-art Enomatic dispenser in all their branches, visitors can also try different wines for as low as PHP60. It’s an excellent place to discover what you enjoy, then grow and evolve from there, with no judgment, no stress and no drama.

Planet Grapes
Level 4 New Wing, Ayala Center Cebu
Contact Number (032)-266-0526

Wednesday, October 22

PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan Application

I asked for a day's leave to process what could have been a whole day affair with PAG-IBIG (Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko Industriya at Gobyerno) or otherwise known as The Home Development Mutual Fund. Remember how easy it was to file for a loan for SSS online? Well for this transaction, I wanted to do it the old fashion way. This means heading out to work early and processing everything in one day. 

Are you eligible for loan? 

Check out the Borrower Eligibility below:

New Loan
FTW! Blog, PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan, Pag-Ibig Loan, Salary Loan, Pag-Ibig Logo
1. With at least twenty-four (24) monthly contributions.
2. An active member at the time of loan application, with at least five (5) monthly contributions for the last six (6) months.
3. Member-applicant’s net take home pay shall not fall below the minimum requirement of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or company policy, whichever is applicable.
4. If with existing calamity loan, a member shall be allowed to avail of the MPL only after payment of at least six (6) monthly amortizations. The outstanding balance, together with any accrued interests, penalties and charges, shall be deducted from the proceeds of the MPL.

Legend: MPL - Multi-Purpose Loan
Source: Multi-Purpose Loan Eligibility

Steps in Applying the PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan

FTW! Blog, PAG-IBIG Citi Cash Card, PAG-IBIG Citi Prepaid Card, PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan, Pag-Ibig Loan, Salary Loan1. Ask for a MPL form. I asked from the Human Development or from the Finance Department. Or you can get it from this link: Pag-Ibig MPL form.

2. Fill out the form and secure a photocopy of 2 valid IDs. Preferably government issued IDs.

3. Print out a month's worth payslip. Have your documents (MPL form, payslip, photocopy of 2 valid IDs) signed by the Finance Head for authentication.

4. Head out to PAG-IBIG early and get a priority number.

5. Wait to be called. Once called in, submit documents to the staff.

6. You will then be instructed to photocopy 2 of your valid IDs and fill out the Cash Card application form. Once done, head out to Counter 9 to submit all documents.

7. On Counter 9, the staff will check all documents and ask for the original IDs photocopied. He/she will then provide the cash card and have you sign an acknowledgment form.

8. Once done, you will then get a STL Acknowledgment Receipt and get instructions for your cash card.

9. Releasing of loan is between 5-7 working days.
FTW! Blog, PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan, Pag-Ibig Loan, Salary Loan

Tips in making the wait tolerable:

1. Bring a good book or listen to music. I didn't have any so I decided to take a nap instead.
2. Bring snacks and water. I got there around 8AM and ended at 11AM. 
3. Bring government issued IDs. They have a photocopying services inside the office at Php1 per copy.
4. Bring blue ballpen. Only blue ink is used for all forms.