Get the products that you love from Watsons Delivery or Pickup so you can stay strong and stay beautiful!
The past few months have been very difficult and challenging for everyone around the world. It pains me to see people not being able to see their loved ones and not being able to explore this beautiful world. It saddens me most especially to see businesses close, because I know that what comes next is stress and panic over rising unemployment rates.
All of us never expected this to happen. What I have learned during this pandemic is to focus on the things that you can control. Focus on being more productive. Focus on being stronger, healthier and beautiful. Yes, I say beautiful because if we feel good, we feel happy! With all of these roller coster of emotions, Watsons is by our side.
Here are some tips and recommendations on how we can all stay strong stay beautiful, during these times.
Stay Protected – Safety is our number one priority especially at times like these. When you’re a mom, we always try to keep our family safe. Wearing a mask, bringing alcohol, taking your vitamins, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing are one of the most important things to do especially when going out or even just by staying at home. We supplement our diet with vitamins from Enervon, Stresstabs and Watsons Generics. We clean our body with products from Safeguard and Dove and take care of our oral health with products from Listerine, Oral-B and Himalaya.
Stay Prepared – Whether it’s ECQ or GCQ, we’re still not certain if it’s safe to go out. It’s a good thing that Watsons is available for online shopping to cater our daily needs. Our Watsons shopping list always includes brands like Strepsils, Sinecod Forte, Vicks, Solmux and Biogesic to help relieve the symptoms of common illnesses like colds, cough and fever.
Stay Glowing – Take care of yourself. the thing about staying at home is that we forget this important thing. In a recent conversation with my derma, Dr. Gaile (https://youtu.be/rHesjNH7xd8) I asked her why my skin was breaking out. She then asked me about my skin care routine and admittedly so, I told her that I wasn’t following any while at home. After that, I made it a point to follow my skincare routine and put on sunscreen everyday (check out the video of Deoproce Hyaluronic Cooling Sun Gel above which you can get from Watsons, too). Check out my YouTube channel for more Beauty Product Reveiws.
Stay Gorgeous – I miss going to the salon and having my hair colored. It’s a good thing though that there are Youtube videos that teach you how to cut your hair. Thank goodness for technology! Also, it’s great that you can color your hair using the amazing colors from L’Oreal Excellence, Beautylabo or Naturtint.
Watsons is always here to provide us with a wide range of health and beauty products to make us look good and feel great. To provide more value to its Watsons Card and Elite members, Watsons is giving free 100 bonus points for a minimum Php 1,000 purchase of participating products on select weekends: July 31 to August 1 and August 14 to 15.
It’s been doubly hard to look for activities for Zeeka these days for two reasons. The first reason, which is quite obvious, is that we are limited to the activities that we can do at home. And aside from that, Zeeka is very picky. She knows what she wants.
Recently, I’ve notices that she easily gets bored. Even with games in her gadget, she’s not as enthusiastic anymore. We took to reading lately, and i’t been hard looking for books that she would be interested in. Good thing, I came across a Children’s book called I am Happy.
The I am Happy Children’s book was made by Filipino writers and artists. I love how cute the drawings are. This book also exudes so much positivity. I love how it teaches kids values that we uphold as Filipinos.
Why We Like This Book
I’m sure one of the questions that you may have is what makes this book different from other Children’s books in the market. Aside from supporting local writers and artists, each page encourages a conversation with your little one.
Most books that we get are just “one way”. The parent reads and the child listens. Or the child reads, the parents listen. Reading just a few pages of this book took us a while, since after each page, we had to talk to each other. By the way, it was me and Zeeka who read the book.
Each page had a question or a story that encouraged discussion. The page that I’m showing below led my daughter to ask me about the “rich past” of the Philippines. I actually needed to tell her more about us being colonized by several countries. I definitely need to brush up on Philippine History again! haha!
What I also like about this book is that it just makes you feel good after. It encourages you and your child to look at the things that you can be grateful for. I really think that I am Happy is such an appropriate title. We really felt happy after reading this.
For those who want to order the book, just click on this link: bit.ly/Order-IAmHappyBook The book is just Php 250. Hope you can support local artists!
I recently talked to an economist for my vlog and the biggest realization that I got from him is that need to accept that things will be “like this” (how it is for us now) for the next few years. This pandemic has greatly hit our economy and this is the time to tighten our belts.
I also talked with Financial Advisor, Oskie King. We talked about financial management in a time of crisis. Again, what Oskie says is that we have to think about where to place our money at a time like this. If you have extra funds, stay invested. For those who just have enough on a day to day basis, clearly think about where you are spending your money.
So all of these experts really gave good advise. I’ve been successfully managing my finances since the beginning of the pandemic.
Come to think of it, we’re actually saving a lot more than we’re spending. We don’t have to go to the office. We can just cook food anytime we want.
But I don’t want to be a party pooper and just SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. We also need to relax. All these emotional ups and downs have made us tired and a little bit emotional lately (although I may just be speaking for myself 😄 Leave a comment below if you feel the same way).
Get the Most from your Bucks AND Reward Yourself with ZRewards
Who says rewarding yourself for doing a great job should always be expensive?
Be a Discount-hoarder. Kidding aside, times like these call for desperate measures. If we want to stay liquid in the long run, we have to greatly maximize the cash that we have. So let me share a little secret. I’ve discovered a site called ZRewards.
ZRewards by Zeal is the country’s newest one-stop shop for awesome deals. Through their website, users from all over the Philippines can grab hold of premium and solid offers redeemable at their favorite online shops and physical stores.
Recently, a PH Senator requested the NBI to open investigations on some online critics, stating that “he was a victim of fake and malicious news.” (Vice, GMA News Online, ABS-CBN News, Rappler). His intention is to file a libel case under the cybercrime laws of the PH. Since then, the NBI has also cited that libel complaints have been on the rise (CNN Philippines).
These recent events should have convinced you to take your privacy more seriously. You never know when a flippant retweet leads to a review of your internet traffic that eventually brands you a dissident. This is when hiding your traffic or at least understanding how it works becomes necessary.
The tips I shared previously in Privacy Level 2: How To Keep Your Data Private talk about some of the more “generic” privacy concerns. Mainly, how can you make sure that FB, Google, and other ad networks are not privy to your online activities. Using the extensions and privacy-focused browsers I shared, doesn’t keep your ISP from knowing which sites you’re visiting, for example.
In this article, we’ll learn how to keep your activities private and how to keep hiding your traffic or activities from your ISPs (or anyone else who might be watching your traffic).
Social Media And Your Name
Social Media is a powerful tool. It gives anyone a platform that allows them to shine a light on whatever they want to shine a light on, mental health, political issues, social injustice, the latest online shopping sale, or their child’s latest prank. Originally, though, it was seen as a way for people to keep in touch with their social circles. Mostly, that’s still how people view social media so they usually use their real names and pictures on these networks.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing that, of course. However, on the internet, everything is forever. Everything you post, including the most cringe worthy mistakes or the most politically charged accusation, is permanently recorded. This is, not consistent however, with being human. Being human inherently involves making mistakes, learning, and changing – that permanent record paints a picture of a human that is static: You are as good as your worst mistake. I believe this is a big reason why people’s political choices are so intertwined with their identity — they can’t change their mind simply because it’s not consistent with the identity they have built, recorded for posterity, on social media. The effect: they don’t change their mind because they can’t — doing so involves a destruction of the ego that most people don’t even realize is there.
I digress, sorry. We’re talking about privacy after all. From a privacy POV, the posts you share, the tweets you retweet, they can all, easily and obviously, be traced to you. Simple as that.
Now, it’s important to note that just because you use a different username, doesn’t mean it can’t be traced to you. Hiding your traffic or the posts that you create is a lot more complicated. The backup email you enter so that you can reset your password, and the phone number you use for the two factor authentication allows the social media channels to associate different accounts with one real person.
Aside from that, if you are a target of a Man in the Middle attack, you may be unintentionally allowing attackers who embed themselves in your network to see that you’re the person posting from that anonymous twitter account.
Hiding Your Traffic: What is a VPN
This is a simplified view of what the flow of your data looks like:
When your data is encrypted, via an https site, for example, the ISP can’t read the actual data that’s being sent. However, your ISP can see what sites you visit. How is that dangerous? Let’s take 2 user profiles: Person A spends most of their time on Rappler, Twitter, Wikileaks, and Protonmail. Person B spends most of their time on Facebook, Lazada, and TikTok. Who of these two is probably a dissident? The woke answer, we can’t say. For a bureaucrat that has a deadline to stamp out some online comments, Person A.
With a VPN, this is what happens:
With a VPN, assuming the VPN has end to end encryption, the ISP sees that you are visiting the VPN. They don’t know what domains you’re visiting. They only know you’re visiting the VPN.
A VPN also protects your anonymity when you visit the site. The site won’t know where you’re visiting from – not your location and not even what ISP you’re using. It will just know that requests are being made from the VPN’s ID address.
Your VPN sees everything you send through it. As such, it is vital that you choose the RIGHT VPN. Not all VPNs are created equal. Hola Better Internet, for example, which is a popular choice because it’s free and used via a chrome extension, was found to be selling users’ bandwidth. Basically, if anyone wants anything to look like it was sent from YOUR computer, they can do that. Yikes.
You can think of The Onion Router as a series of nodes/sites/servers that pass your data between themselves before sending them on to the final destination.
Instead of sending your data to the target server/host directly, it is first encrypted in 3 layers of encryption and then sent to the guard/entry relay. The guard relay then decrypts that first layer of encryption and passes your data over to a middle relay. The middle relay, in turn, decrypts another layer of encryption and then passes on the data to the exit relay. The exit layer, decrypts the final layer of encryption and sends it over to the target server. Each layer is peeled, much like an onion.
Because of this process, your ISP does not see who you’re sending the data to – they just know you’re sending data through TOR. On the server/host side, your target doesn’t know where the data is coming from also, just that it’s coming from a TOR exit relay. This is how hiding your traffic is done.
Since there’s more than 1 user going through each relay, your data is effectively anonymized – it looks like everyone else’s data that’s passing through the same nodes.
Of course, this means that if you’re logging into your official Gmail account or your personal Facebook account via TOR… then there’s no point being anonymous. You are logging on to an identifiable account, after all. So TOR is really best used in activities where you need to keep your anonymity.
The passing on of data, and the multiple decryption steps also make TOR slower so there are certain activities for which TOR is not recommended – this includes streaming and torrenting.
Also, take note that the exit relay technically sees your data in it’s original pre-TOR form. If you’re sending unencrypted data through TOR, the exit relay will see that unencrypted data. This is a volunteer network of nodes and relays after all, which means one non-well meaning exit relay can read the data that goes through them.
The easiest way of using TOR is by using the TOR Browser. Simply download it and start surfing. Note that any other traffic that doesn’t go through that particular browser won’t be sent over TOR though. It is possible to set-up your network configuration so that all traffic goes through TOR, but the steps are a bit more involved: Windows, Mac OSX.
Another way of using TOR is by using the TAILS Operating System. TAILS is designed to be run off of a bootable USB stick or external drive. Install it to the USB stick via the instructions on the TAILS website, then restart your system and boot from your USB stick. Once running, setup your WIFI and TAILS will automatically connect to TOR. Interestingly, the “A” in TAILS stands for “Amnesic” which means that everytime you but up TAILS, it’s like the first time it’s booted. It doesn’t remember any files nor any sessions.
Whew, hiding your traffic sounds like a lot of work
Yup, hiding your traffic is a bit of work, certainly more than just installing an extension. Once you have it setup though, turning on the settings to protect your privacy becomes super easy.
Think of it as starting a new job. On your first day, you come in to your empty table and you start setting it up the way you want to set it up. Put up pictures of your family, and the little cactus at the corner. Maybe setup your laptop stand so that it’s more ergonomic. It’s a lot of work at the start, but it’s mostly just at the start. You also have to setup your bank account, provide NBI clearance, and all that fun stuff. After all of that, however, everyday, you simply just press your laptop’s power button, get a cup of coffee, and you’re good to go. Most of the work is in setting up your office. Once you’re set up, keeping your data private is as easy as just opening an app.
EJ Arboleda is a guest writer for MommyGinger.com. He is the CEO of Taxumo Inc, an avid fan of technology, a paranoid android user, an influencer’s chubby hubby, and proud dad to a whip-smart little girl. The opinions he shared in this article are not shared by Ginger Arboleda, MommyGinger.com, nor by Taxumo Inc.
Credits: Icons used above made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
In the Philippines, as a woman in business, I don’t feel much of the gender bias that we often talk about. In my travels in the past though and through my interaction with women from all over the world (especially during Network Leader calls for Lean In), there is still a lot of judgement and discrimination going around in other parts of the world. As a Filipina, we are actually quite lucky that we are given equal opportunities as men in the Philippines when it comes to business. In our country, there are actually more women (based in data from DTI) who are opening businesses.
Well, I can’t say the same is true with the other aspects such as politics, etc. We still need to see more improvement in that area. We don’t have much female leaders (based on the 2020 PSA Fact Sheet on Men and Women).
But even if we are “all good” in the aspect of business, this does not mean that we don’t need support and we don’t need to talk about it. We still do.
This is the reason why Frances and I started a Lean In Network in the Philippines. It’s called Lean In PH (https://leanin.org/circles-network/lean-in-ph). Just to backtrack a little, Lean In is an organization started by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She started this organization to encourage women all over the globe to start “circles”.
What are circles? Circles are get togethers or calls online where women can talk “life REALNESS” with other women who will lend a listening ear and who will support you. Lean In Circle sessions are safe spaces. Anything you say inside the circle is kept within the circle. We value trust.
In the Philippines, we ran two Circle Sessions so far since we started two months ago. For those who’d like to join us for a Circle Session, we’d love to meet you. You can sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/113194888960
For ladies who have your own groups and communities, we are looking for circle leaders, too. If you want to start your own circle, feel free to reach out to Frances and yours truly via the Lean In PH group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leaninph
Now, how do I feel about women in business? In my vlog and as COO of Taxumo, I’ve talked to a lot of women CEOs, women Sole Proprietorships, women founders, etc. and I am always amazed when I see what they have accomplished. And I see a lot of aspiring women entrepreneurs who I really have great potential and ideas.
Just this morning, I talked to a single Filipina mom who is based in Australia. She raised 4 kids on her own and owns this amazing virtual assistance / outsourcing company. After the call, I was so astounded and kept repeating to my husband how I was so inspired and amazed by her.
Just like what I mentioned in this video…
When I wanted to start my business, the question that I had in my mind was “Could I do it?” And this was something that really stopped me from starting right away. I imagine that some women may feel the same way, too.
And looking back, what I realized is that what helped me decide was my support system. EJ (my husband) was very supportive. He encouraged me to just try it out… and I did.
So to you reading this, you can do it! Even if I don’t know you or even if you’re miles away, I truly believe that you have what it takes. You are reading this for a reason. I really do believe in you!