First Trimester Journey: Pregnant during COVID

Last week, we announced that I’m pregnant and Team Arbo is expecting our little one this 2021. The baby is due anytime end of September to early October. Today, I’ll share with you my first trimester journey!

My first trimester journey

We have really been planning to have another baby. Zeeka turned 8 this year and I think since two years ago, we’ve really been thinking about it. But every time, I would feel that we weren’t ready (or maybe it was just me). Then 2020 came, Zeeka turned 7 just right about before lockdown in Metro Manila happened. Then, again, we thought or I thought, I wasn’t ready, especially given the situation. Until one day, I realized that we won’t always be ready. We will never be ready.

Finding out I was Pregnant

Since we were “planning”, I started taking folic acid since middle of 2020. February 2021, I noticed some changes in the way I was feeling. I missed my period this month so as soon as I missed it, I took a home pregnancy test. Lo and behold, it came out positive! I remember placing it in and envelope and after EJ’s meeting, I handed it over to him right before our lunch break. He opened it and his eyes sparkled! haha! I knew that EJ was waiting for this moment, too. We both wanted to have around 2-3 kids.

My First Trimester Journey

Oh my gosh! I remembered my pregnancy with Zeeka to be a walk in the park. I didn’t have any morning sickness during my first pregnancy. I was glowing and radiant! But for this pregnancy, I felt horrible! I felt nauseous every single minute of the day. I would listen during meetings, but oftentimes, I would feel like vomiting so I’d stop mid-sentence sometimes while talking. What helped me a lot were Ginger candy. I didn’t have much appetite for anything really. These Ginger candies would sustain me all throughout the day.

I never forgot to drink lots of water though and coconut juice as advised by my doctor. During the early months of my first trimester, I knew that I was dehydrated so I really made sure to drink 2 liters of water a day (even if I felt a little bit bloated because of the amount of water).

Obviously, exercising with gusto was out of the question. I would walk back and forth here at home. I think I need to do more walking though now that I’m in the early days of my second quarter.

Check – ups and Blood Tests

I had online check-ups with my obstetrician. She said that that will suffice for now, and I would have a teleconsult with her after having any tests done like my transvaginal ultrasounds or blood tests. So during these times (of COVID-19), it may be best to have tele-consults first with your doctor unless you’re experiencing bleeding, or if you feel that something’s wrong.

For blood tests and urinalysis, I would call Hi- Precision Diagnostics to do home service. The first tests that my doctor had me take are FBS, CBC, urinalysis, HbsAg, VDRL, HIV 1 and 2. The tests cost me around close to Php 3000 for all of these.

As for the Transvaginal Ultrasound, I had it in In My Womb. My doctor said it was better to go to these specialized clinics first rather than take it in hospital at this point in time when cases of COVID in our country is still high. A TVS in In my Womb costs around Php 2700. In In My Womb, they make sure that you follow protocols. I have a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) so I had to mention that to them.

In the first trimester, I got a transvaginal ultrasound on eh 6th and 8th (or was it 9th week?). The reason why was the heartbeat is best detected during the 8th or 9th week. Although, the doctor saw the heartbeat during both transvaginal ultrasounds. I’m telling you this so that you don’t worry also when they mention that it’s too early to see any heartbeat. I was actually due for another ultrasound during the 12th week, but I’m scared to go out of the house.

My doctor said it’s fine and to start practicing using a doppler. We bought a doppler a long time ago during my pregnancy with Zeeka. I also bought my neighbors’ doppler recently because ours was broken. You can also buy one from Lazada. This is the link to the doppler that we use now.

Reminders for your First Trimester Journey

For the first trimester, the priority is really taking care of yourself. If you have good health, your baby will have good health, too. When you plan to leave the house for any check ups, put on a mask and face shield at home and just only remove these again when you return. Try not to touch your mask or face shield anywhere or anytime outside of the house. This was an advise that I really take to heart. Even in the car, I don’t touch or take off my mask and face shield (even if we use our own car).

I also use those Ionizers that I hang around my neck. I use an ionizer that my parents gave. You can get it also from Lazada and here is the link to the ionizer that I use.

Inside the house, we have an air purifier, too, that we place near the entrance hallway of our condo. We have the one from Xiaomi and I think it works pretty well. Here is the link to the Xiaomi Air Purifier we have at home. I really wanted to have those heavy duty ones so I’m still saving up for those. This air purifier approximately worth Php 7000 will do.

During the first trimester, aside from folic acid, I haven’t been taking other vitamins since my doctor said that vitamins and even maternal milk can make you more nauseous. True enough! I felt queasy after trying to take one cup of milk and drinking vitamin C (on separate occasions). Now that I feel better, I started taking maternal milk.

So there, that’s it for my first trimester journey. If you have something to share about your experience during your own first trimester journey or if you have any questions, feel free to message me! I’ll be glad to answer and chat with you. If you are pregnant and reading this, congratulations! 🙂 This will be an exciting journey!

P.S. Here are some of the other posts in this blog that you might be interested in

Go Invest with GInvest!

With GInvest, Invest Anytime Anywhere!

Update on this post for 2021! GInvest has new funds that you can invest in, both local and foreign funds! If you look below, I wished for them to have foreign funds, too, and they did! Maybe the GInvest people are reading.

Check out my video to learn how I create and investment plan and how to start investing in GInvest. Also, If you have wishlists, comment in the comment section below!

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I’ve been setting aside money for different investments. I’ve been investing since I was 27 years old. I’m using around 4 kinds on investment channels. The reason for the various channels is that I have different investment objectives for each channel. I have one that I will use for my retirement. The two other policies that we have are for the education of Zeeka (and other children, if we do have others). The last one that I have is really for emergency funds.

I personally love investing. Why? I just think that it’s like a game. Funny as this may sound, I love that investing feels like a personal game that I’m playing, and I’m competing against myself. I love that I actually have control over what happens, and the forces around me and the temptation to go shopping are my opponents! haha!

Recently, I found this cool new way of investing and it’s super easy! It’s called GInvest. So it’s hidden in our GCash App, in the “Show More” portion. Currently though, it’s on BETA and only available to a few individuals. Super blessed to be given the chance to test this.

 

So I clicked on GInvest and it asked me these questions first. You have to answer these questions as truthfully as possible since the main reason for this quiz is not to spy on you. It’s actually to get your risk profile and to get a sense of your risk appetite.

 

After you answer all of the questions, you will be shown your risk profile. In my case, I am a moderately aggressive investor.

You will then have access to the GInvest dashboard once your registration has been approved. Note that you will receive emails every step of the way. I like this, because it informs me of what’s happening with my registration / account event is I don’t open the application.

With GInvest, they will match your investment with what your risk profile is. Their partner for the investment products that they offer is ATRAM.

The ATR Asset Management​ (ATRAM or ATRAM Group) operates through ATR Asset Management, Inc. (ATRAM MF) and the ATRAM Trust Corporation. In 2009, the ATRAM Group decided to expand its presence in the fast growing domestic asset management industry by forming a dedicated business group called ATR Asset Management (ATRAM or ATRAM Group). Under this group is ATRAM Trust and ATRAM MF.

For those that don’t know, ATRAM Trust Corporation (ATRAM Trust) is the first stand-alone trust corporation in the Philippines. It received its license to operate last October 2016.

ATR Asset Management (ATRAM MF), on the other hand, was established in July 1995 as the Mutual Fund Management Co. of the Phils. (MFMCP) by the Clemente Fund Management Asia Ltd. to serve as investment adviser, principal distributor and administrator of the Mutual Fund Company of the Philippines also known as the “Kabuhayan Fund”. In 2003, Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners, Inc. purchased an 83% stake in MFMCP from some of the original shareholders thereby gaining control of the company.

Personally, I did my research first before I invested. I think they’re a pretty legit company. You can read more about them here: https://www.atram.com.ph/ATRAM/AboutUs/default.aspx

So the type of investment presented to me was ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund. This fund is a UITF or a Unit Investment Trust Fund. UITFs are types of funds that pools funds from different investors with the same objectives.

I wanted to try GInvest, so I clicked on the subscribed button, and transferred around Php 1000 for investment. Get this! The minimum investment amount is Php 50! If you want to invest extra funds every day, you actually can! So after hitting the subscribe button, I got a message that GInvest will message me back once I have the subscribed units.

It just took a couple of days (or less) before I got to see it on my dashboard as “subscribed”. For those who want more information about the ATRAM PESO MONEY MARKET FUND, don’t worry! You will receive an email that contains information about the fund like this.

 

What I like about GInvest

I like that I can easily invest. Investing before was (in my opinion) more tedious than just setting aside money for savings. I think it’s tedious because of the documentation that you need to fill out. You also need to coordinate with a financial or wealth advisor, even during the initial stages of the discussion. And lastly, to top up, you pay using bills payment channels, but to know if you have “subscribed”, you will still receive their manual “letters and official receipts” weeks after. If you want to know if your subscription was received, you will still need to check with you advisor oftentimes.

I also appreciate the amount of control that’s given by GInvest. I can invest or redeem whenever I want. I can also get updates and see my subscribed shares when I open the app.

I also like that the minimum investment amount is Php 50. When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe it!

Lastly, the “set reminder” functionality that sends an SMS to you with the amount that you set is something that is very useful. You can set it to remind you every middle and end of the month or every end of the month or every end of the quarter. It just makes everything more consistent.

What I wish GInvest would have

I wished they would have more investment products like stock both local and foreign stocks, etc. Also, if there’s a way to lock that certain portion of the GCASH app. This is just for extra data privacy. Also, if you could possibly add analytics (or a way to tell us how much we should invest to POSSIBLY reach a goal for our personal investments, that would be awesome!

So that’s about it, guys! Will I continue investing GInvest? Yes, I will.

I think I trust GInvest enough and most importantly, it’s so easy and convenient! haha!

Love Lots,

P.S. You may want to check out:

GSave – https://mommyginger.com/save-money-with-gcash.html

GCredit – https://mommyginger.com/how-gcredit-works.html

Financial Tools – https://mommyginger.com/how-financial-tools-can-keep-you-out-of-trouble.html

Am I Done Filing my ITR? Nag-BIR eAFS ka na ba?

Zeeka and I were playing a game last night where she was teaching me the meaning of acronyms that they often use in Roblox like NGL, DP (I thought it meant Down Payment), GN, etc. She was laughing so hard because I couldn’t figure out some acronyms. If I were to teach her all the BIR acronyms I know, she might lose her mind. Haha! My husband said that my acronyms are for old people.

Well, for old people or not, one acronym that I want to share is eAFS or the electronic Audit Financial Statement.

I see a lot of people asking if they should still have their forms stamped if they paid online or if they have their Audited Financial Statement, how do they submit it. Well, last year, via a BIR Memo (I feel calling it a memo versus Revenue Memorandum Circular makes me cooler! haha) or Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 49-2020 was released saying that after filing your ITR, you have to submit attachments via eAFS.

Basically, you will have to prepare 3 files for 3 categories and this is how you name the files.

a. File 1 – Income Tax Return – EAFSXXXXXXXXXITRTYMMYYYY

b. File 2 – Audited Financial Statements – EAFSXXXXXXXXXAFSTYMMYYY

c. File 3 – Other Attachments – EAFSXXXXXXXXXOTHTYMMYYYY-01

Where : XXXXXXXXX is the nine-digit TIN

: TY is the placeholder for taxable year to identify it as annual submission, regardless if FY or CY

: MM is the Month end of the taxable year

: YYYY is the Year Ended

: 01 is the first file of other attachments, up to 99 (applicable for File 3)

With Taxumo, they really helped me as a tax filer because if you have a subscription, they have a tab in Taxumo that fixes all the files that you need to collate and save as PDF.

Step 1: Check and see if your Annual ITR filing and payment is completed. Please allot 2 days because your payments will have to go through Taxumo’s partner Authorized Agent Banks (AABs). So after seeing if your Annual ITR is completed in your PAST FILINGS tab, you can go ahead and click on Attachments – EAFS on the left side of your screen.

Step 2: Watch the three videos that Taxumo has prepared for you. Learn how to download attachments and all the files that you need, combine your attachments into a single PDF and how to upload the files into BIR eAFS.

Files that Taxumo collated for you. Note that only those filed via Taxumo are in the collated files.

Step 3: Download your files via Taxumo. Note that Taxumo will only have the files that you encoded or filed/paid for via Taxumo.

To look for BIR eAFS and upload your files, go to the BIR website.

So after submitting your attachments via BIR eAFS, you are done! Yes, you are truly done doing filing your Annual Income Tax.

For those who missed the BIR x Taxumo webinar in Facebook, you can still watch it here:

By the way, the deadline for BIR eAFS submission is on April 30, 2021. This is prolly to give some people have their Audited Financial statements prepared. For those who need an Audited Financial Statement, Taxumo also has CPA partners that you can commission.

If you have any other questions, looking for CPAs for AFS preparation, etc., just email customercare@taxumo.com or chat with Taxumo’s customer advocate via the chat button in their site: https://www.taxumo.com.

Good luck! Hope you learned a new acronym today. 😉

To learn more about Taxumo, hope you can read this: A FREELANCER’S AND CONSULTANT’S GUIDE TO USING TAXUMO

Globe at Home Updates: How to Get in Touch with Customer Service + Free Covid, Dengue Insurance

We all know how important internet connection is. In our home, all of us rely on fast internet. Both EJ and I work from home. Our business is a software / technology company. And after we work, I blog / vlog, edit videos, upload massive files online, post and practice my profession using the internet. EJ, on the other hand, is also a game streamer and has to load games, some of which are quite “heavy” and have to stream and avoid lagging at the same time. And I haven’t mentioned Zeeka’s (our daughter) needs. too. She still goes to school and needs reliable internet connection so she can attend Zoom classes and do her homework on time.

This is the reason why we’ve been using Globe At Home and we have been postpaid subscribers for quite some time.

I think experiences will be different per home and per location really, but what I appreciate about Globe at Home is that they have our 1) records updated and information is readily accessible to us and 2) they are constantly improving and making their service better for all of us.

We used to have a different provider but it was a pain talking to them. They seem to have our records wrong and it seems that information that we given to them isn’t shared with the team that’s supposed to address our concern. It was just frustrating.

With Globe At Home, I appreciate the fact that they empower us. I don’t feel helpless. For those who don’t know, they have the Globe At Home app that you can download. I highly suggest that you do!

If you need any help, just click on Help and Support.

Globe at Home Help and Support

You basically have access to all of these things, resources and information above. You can check for connectivity issues, check the status of your technician who will visit your home, read FAQs, watch videos (which I personally like … they have a video on how to get stronger WiFi Connection Anywhere at Home), visit Globe Community and Level up your WiFi Experience (the tech squad can help you out).

So another thing that you may want to know about is that all postpaid subscribers of Globe At Home can claim a FREE COVID-19 and Dengue Insurance for 3 months powered by GInsure and Singlife with coverage of up to P140,500. This will be from April 4, 2021 until April 18, 2021.

Globe at Home Free COVID Insurance (GInsure)

This is the latest offering of Globe At Home to its loyal postpaid customers to continuously provide #ExtraCareAtHome protection that goes beyond connectivity.

The 3-month insurance plan offers comprehensive benefits against medical costs such as Php 500 test allowance for Dengue, up to Php 40,000 confinement allowance as well as up to Php 100,000 medical cost reimbursement if diagnosed with COVID-19 or Dengue. To read more about this GInsure x Singlife product, I wrote about it here: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO SINGLIFE AND GCASH CASH FOR DENGUE COSTS

Postpaid customers can redeem a voucher via the Globe At Home app. All current Globe At Home subscribers are eligible for this promo as long as they have the Globe At Home or GCash apps and make sure that their accounts are active and contact details are up to date.

So there! Those are some of the updates for you if you are a Globe At Home subscriber like me! Hope you get to avail of GINSURE and try out using the Globe At Home App. To learn more, please visit https://www.globe.com.ph/broadband.html.

Globe Innovation Fest: What’s New from Globe?

This morning, I watched Globe Innovation Fest, where Globe shared great news on different changes and products and services that they have introduced. Their focus is understanding the needs of their customers and since a lot of changes have been happening since last year, Globe has been focused on listening, iterating and adapting to what their customers have been doing.

Some of the things that amazed me while tuning in to the Globe innovation Fest are the following:

Updates on the Philippines’ Internet Connection

During the Globe Innovation Fest, Issa Cabreira, the Deputy Chief Commercial Officer of Globe, mentioned that Globe has been consistently investing on innovations. For the Philippines, they have managed to help increase the average mobile download speed to 26 MBPS. We also have affordable internet in the Philippines with 1 GB that people can get at only Php 10.

With regard to 5G, 80% of Metro Manila can experience the power of 5G and key cities in Cebu and Davao. For those who don’t know what 5G is, 5G is 20x faster than 4G and 3G. Globe also has 5G roaming and partnered with other telcos from other places.

The recent launch of Globe’s 5G roaming services in the UAE and Thailand are set to continue with upcoming launches across Asia, Middle East, North America, and several countries in Europe. The 5G roaming service is available to Filipinos traveling internationally, as well as subscribers of select foreign telcos visiting the Philippines.

How Gigabytes are now a Form of Currency

From learning to working to managing our own personal lives, data has become an essential part of our lives. Globe pioneers the way customers use and extend the value of data by introducing data as currency in the Philippines. This applies to any Globe product whether mobile, Home Prepaid WiFi, or Reward for loyalty.  Now, you can actually exchange your used GBs (gigabytes) for Globe Rewards points. For Prepaid, the conversion is 1GB = 1 Rewards Point. For Postpaid, 1GB = 10 Rewards points. For Home Prepaid WiFi, 3GBs = 3 Rewards. Gigabytes or GBs may be converted into points at any time within the promo validity or before the plan’s cut off date.

The Post-Paid Experience

After the Globe Innovation Fest, I immediately checked up on the plan of my husband. There were a lot of amazing updates for Globe Postpaid subscribers like my husband and I. We’ve been loyal to Globe ever since we had our own mobile phones! But admittedly so, our needs now as Globe subscribers are so different from what our needs were way back.

So it was a pleasant surprise that the new GPlan with GCash offers maximum flexibility for customers by giving them GCash credits which they can spend for anything they want and need — whether it’s content subscriptions, shopping vouchers, or even home essentials like robot vacuums.  They used the term life enablers a lot and I think these adjustments are perfect, since we have different needs and wants.

With each GPlan, aside from generous data allocations, customers will receive unlimited all-net calls & texts, free GoWiFi when in transit, unlimited teleconsultation via KonsultaMD & 3 months insurance coverage via GInsure from Singlife with plan offers like GPlan with Device, GPlan Sim-only, and GPlan with GCash. I immediately told my husband about this and asked if he maximized these perks. I already did, but I didn’t know that all GPlan subscribers had these perks. Amazing!

In the Globe Innovation Fest, it was also announced that Globe Postpaid will also make available soon special offers using the iQiyi app, one of the world’s leading online movie and video streaming websites for Korean and Chinese TV dramas, movies, variety shows, and Japanese anime. The mostly Asian content will be available using FREE and VIP versions accessible via iQiyi app or iQ.com. VIP subscription allows customers to get additional features like advanced episodes and no ads. iQiyi VIP offers will be available in GlobeOne and GCash apps next month. 

Another thing that I am excited about is that they mentioned that Globe At Home is boosting its plans’ speeds. I’m super happy for this since most of the time, my husband, daughter and myself are all on the internet at the same time. We really need this, Globe! Globe at Home has also ramped up its entertainment and health freebies through its Unli Fiber Up plan with speeds of up to 100Mbps for only P2,899.

Updates from the Globe Innovation Fest

Aside from those mentioned, customers are also covered with 3 months worth of FREE GInsure medical coverage for COVID 19 and dengue of up to Php140,500. Health is very important nowadays and having peace of mind that if anything happens (related to COVID and Dengue), we can reimburse up to Php 140,500 of the costs. I also appreciate the free 3 months medical consultation through the KonsultaMD Family Plan. I got to use a teleconsult last December when I got food allergies. I really appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to pay for any medical consultation.

For entertainment, customers can choose to watch their favorite shows via three months FREE access to Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, and Viu Premium. For gamers like our family, this got us excited! Globe customers can enjoy Amazon Prime Gaming, which comes with the 3-month Amazon Prime Video access and offers in-game content for top games plus a selection of free games every month.

I also downloaded the Globe At Home app. where I can easily see details of my account. You can get support and avail of services like bills payment, plan upgrades, and volume boost to get more data using the app. Concerns may be resolved without calling a hotline or visiting a Globe Store by simply sending a message to the Globe At Home Facebook chatbot. To reach customers faster, installation is guaranteed to happen within 48 hours upon plan approval, exclusively for online application only.  Requests for repair may also be done via the app.

Helping SMEs and businesses in their digital transformation

Now some good news for business owners which was shared during the Globe Innovation Fest. Globe myBusiness has been assisting hotels, restaurants and cafes through the Safe Recovery Campaign. Going digital, accompanied by proper safety protocols has allowed the hospitality industry to slowly gain its momentum back. Globe myBusiness offers solutions and services such as Amber (SMS service to reach customers), Rush (loyalty & rewards program), and KonsultaMD (to ensure safety of staff and guests). Also, Globe myBusiness has partnered with SGS, the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company, to offer the Hygiene Monitored Program.

For corporate customers, Globe Business continues to work with clients and partners to ensure that enterprise businesses run smoothly and securely, as they propel their digital transformation. Globe Business helps in future-proofing businesses through connectivity, Cloud, cybersecurity, and a host of digital solutions, meant to reinvent the concept of ‘anytime, anywhere’.

Through the Cloud, for instance, businesses are able to elevate their operations from on-ground activities to online. Companies that used to be restricted to maintaining servers on-premise can shift their workloads (applications, services, and capabilities) to the Cloud. To help enterprises progress towards digitalization, Globe fully acquired cloud professional and managed services company, Cascadeo. This investment will help attain the highest level of professional and managed service capabilities for multi-cloud operations, guaranteeing extensive experience and knowledge in designing, architecting, building, migrating, and managing workloads and applications on the cloud.

Aside from its acquisition of Cascadeo, Globe also staked a claim on business applications and consulting company, Third Pillar—the Philippines’ largest Gold Partner of Salesforce, the world leader in CRM solutions. Through Salesforce, businesses can take advantage of cloud-based applications that allow them to automate B2B sales processes, leverage on AI to support customers, and more. With its expertise in CRM and impressive list of success stories, Third Pillar serves as a guiding hand for implementing best-in-class technologies that help Globe customers achieve innovation, sharpen their competitive edge, and generate growth in a digital landscape.

Join the Globe Community in Doing Good

What I admire most about Globe is that they do most of their projects while keeping in mind that they are supporting the UN SDG goals. One of the things that they help with is climate change. Globe continues to forge partnerships with government organizations and has committed to adopt frameworks like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to help address climate-related risks through science-based research, financial information and disclosures. Proactively investing in initiatives that create real and lasting social impact is a testament to the company’s commitment in creating a #GlobeOfGood.

Another thing that was mentioned in the Globe Innovation Fest is that Globe continuously encourages the community to be involved in different initiatives through innovations like Globe Rewards, Globe One, and GCash. We all can do our part and help in promoting proper e-waste disposal, recycling, rainforestation, energy conservation, marine biodiversity, and minimizing single-use plastics.

Globe company supports 10 UN Global Compact principles and contributes to 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SDG No. 9 which recognizes the importance of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development, and UN SDG No. 12 –  Sustainable Consumption and Production, which is about achieving economic growth and sustainable development by urgently reducing ecological footprint. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources.

What do you think about these things? 🙂 Feel free to comment on the comment section below.

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