Check out Inquirer’s super cute Guyito stickers, now available for free on Line! Congrats to @mokpusung for working on these! (I was the is-it-cute-enough “consultant” lol. Man, I’d love for that to be a real job: cuteness consultant.) #line #linephilippines #inquirer #pdi #xs High-res

Check out Inquirer’s super cute Guyito stickers, now available for free on Line! Congrats to @mokpusung for working on these! (I was the is-it-cute-enough “consultant” lol. Man, I’d love for that to be a real job: cuteness consultant.) #line #linephilippines #inquirer #pdi #xs

Line now has over 3,900 (3,900!!!!!!!!) user-created sticker sets for $0.99 per set (versus Line’s exorbitant $1.99 sets). There are soooooooo many adorable sets to choose from, I can’t decide which ones to get. #xs #line #linephilippines High-res

Line now has over 3,900 (3,900!!!!!!!!) user-created sticker sets for $0.99 per set (versus Line’s exorbitant $1.99 sets). There are soooooooo many adorable sets to choose from, I can’t decide which ones to get. #xs #line #linephilippines

Derpy dog dance! #pomeranian

The Jenny Han fan giveaway

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Last June 20, YA author Jenny Han (“The Summer I Turned Pretty,” series “Burn For Burn,” series (co-written with her BFF Siobhan Vivian), “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”) was brought here by National Book Store for a fan meet and greet and book-signing events in Manila and Cebu.

Of all the books she’s written so far, my absolute favorite is “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Peter Kavinsky is such a dreamboat (squeeeee), and the book reminded me a bit of the “Sweet Dreams” series I loved reading in high school. I cannot wait for “P.S I Still Love You,” which is a sequel to Lara Jean & Peter’s story. I begged Jenny for spoilers, but the only clue she gave about the story was that another guy from Lara Jean’s past (not Josh!) will come into the picture, and that Jenny liked this character so much that he inspired her to create a sequel (we met the guy briefly in “To All The Boys…”)

I was fortunate enough to interview Jenny for our section in the paper when she was here. She was so much fun to talk to—I loved her Beyoncé-themed mani, her addiction to K-dramas, and her love for the weird (but she insists yummy) Doritos sandwich.

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Sasha Fierce tips

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Queen B and Jay (but where’s Solange? Lol)

I also asked her about dogs. I’m a huge dog-lover (crazy dog lady levels!), and I loved how Kitty was campaigning like crazy to get a dog—I’d totally do that, too. Jenny, who lives in New York now, doesn’t have the space in her apartment to get a dog, but her family did own a Jindo, a Korean version of the Akita. She mentioned that the family dog died recently (sniff), that’s why she included a dog in “To All The Boys..” because she was thinking about him. :’(

Read the full interview that came out in Inquirer’s Super section here and here.

I know her last name sounds like “Hahn,” and not “hand,” but I couldn’t resist the pun in the title, sorry! Lol.

I found it so funny how she was amazed that a blowout here costs $22 (around P900?). I had to break it to her that she was actually paying expensive hotel rates for her blowout and that she could get it cheaper at the mall for about $6. She said, “But I liked it there, I was all alone.” And I said, “Yeah, because it was $22! It’s too expensive for us!”

We all know how super welcoming Filipino fans are, and Jenny’s fans are no exception. A group of hardcore fans lined up as early as 11pm the night before her signing at National Book Store Glorietta. The lucky early birds got to bring home advanced reading copies of the third and final “Burn For Burn” book, “Ashes To Ashes,” and they totally deserved it for lining up so early!

Jenny’s Philippine book tour was her biggest signing event to date. She had around 700 attendees—a huge leap from her previous record of 100 in the States. Crazy good, right?

So, back to the giveaway. I love her books so much that I had three copies signed by her: two copies of “To All The Boys…” and one copy of “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” That’s another thing, “To All The Boys…” was completely sold out in all National Book Store branches before she got here! I wanted to give away three copies of “To All The Boys…” but I couldn’t find a third copy, so I chose “The Summer I Turned Pretty” instead, which is OK because for most longtime Jenny Han fans, it would be the first book of hers they read that would turn them into Hangirls (or Hanboys).

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Signed by Jenny

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I forgot to take a photo of her signing the books!

I really want the books to go to real super fans of Jenny Han, so I’ve created a little pop quiz for those who want to win one of the three signed copies up for grabs.

Here are the contest mechanics:

1. The contest is only open to residents of the Philippines because international shipping here is a headache!

2. There are FIVE trivia questions that you have to answer correctly. Leave your answers in the comments section (Disqus, not Tumblr) below.

3. First three to answer all questions correctly will get one copy each of the signed books. As for who will get which title, I’ll randomly assign a copy to each winner so it’s fair :)

That’s it! Good luck! Questions below:

The Jenny Han fan quiz:

1. “To All The Boys..” was based on Jenny’s own experience of writing to boys she liked. How many boys did Jenny Han write to?

2. What was the title of the K-drama that Jenny Han watched when she was injured that got her hooked again?

3. What was the title of her first published novel?

4. Which writer did Jenny Han pay homage to in “Burn For Burn?”

5. What is her recipe for a Doritos sandwich?

Jenny Han’s books are available at National Book Store. Like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @nbsalert.

Visit Jenny Han online at http://www.dearjennyhan.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

One of my favorite non-food discoveries from #pinojupiter’s event: Craft Carrot! This online craft shop carries calligraphy, rubber stamping, and watercolor tools. Bought paintbrushes with supah-fine bristles (tip: they’re also perfect for gel eyeliner, but get a separate one to use exclusively on the eyes, k?), a stackable watercolor wheel, and a rubber brayer for applying ink on stamps (as opposed to pressing the stamp directly against the ink pad). 🐰 🎨✒️ Visit them online at http://www.craftcarrot.com or @craftcarrot #craftcarrot #watercolor #craft High-res

One of my favorite non-food discoveries from #pinojupiter’s event: Craft Carrot! This online craft shop carries calligraphy, rubber stamping, and watercolor tools. Bought paintbrushes with supah-fine bristles (tip: they’re also perfect for gel eyeliner, but get a separate one to use exclusively on the eyes, k?), a stackable watercolor wheel, and a rubber brayer for applying ink on stamps (as opposed to pressing the stamp directly against the ink pad). 🐰 🎨✒️ Visit them online at http://www.craftcarrot.com or @craftcarrot #craftcarrot #watercolor #craft

Goodbye, Johnny Air!! Hello, My Shopping Box!

It was knitting that introduced me to the wonders of Johnny Air. Knitting supplies are pretty scarce here, and why wouldn’t it be? What crazy fool would knit woolen scarves and beanies in a country whose idea of cool weather is 23°C?

Except there are plenty of crazy fools here—myself included—who love to knit (also, you can make so much more than just scarves and beanies!). It was a knitter from our now-defunct stitch and bitch group, Temmy (also our group’s only male knitter), who told me how he would get his knitting supplies from the States sent through Johnny Air.

If you have no idea what Johnny Air is, it’s a convenient way to have your packages from the US or wherever brought to you here quickly and safely.

I’ve had a lot of packages shipped via Johnny Air that I’ve experienced what a blessing and a curse their system can be. Johnny Air charges either by gross weight or volume, whichever is higher, i.e, your package’s shipping cost will be charged based on either how heavy it is, or on how big the box it came in is.

For example, I once had a big-ass, heavy, hardbound makeup manual shipped to me and I got charged P2,000++ for shipping and handling. Then, there was another time when Victoria’s Secret went on sale and I bought feather-light lacy panties (around seven pairs, I think), which the shop shipped in a box as big as the hardbound makeup manual and I also got charged P2,000++ for shipping and handling—I basically paid for a big box because the lacy panties only occupied a teeny-tiny corner of the giant box. I was better off buying lacy panties from a designer brand here seeing as how I paid almost the same because of shipping.

That wasn’t the only time I’ve been burned by purchases packaged wrong. I also paid around $80 in shipping for an item that was $29.99 because stupid Amazon put it in a flat-screen TV-sized box.

There was also another instance when I saw a woman being charged for over P10k (P10,000!!!!!) in shipping and handling alone because she bought a stuffed toy (she said she chose the 15-inch version, but they shipped out a bigger size instead) from Amazon and the rat bastards at the fulfillment center had shipped it in a balikbayan box.

See photo of the woman’s box here (you can see her finger pointing at it while she was arguing with the staff)

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I hope they worked it out to something more manageable, but from my own experience, Johnny Air doesn’t give a rat’s ass about these kinds of issues.

Not even for me, who’s been a super longtime customer (almost ten years, and a frequent one at that). But then, it’s business, right? Fuel is expensive and that’s how they make money. They also don’t offer consolidation services, so if you’re screwed, you’re screwed.

There’s a sea freight option, but rates are computed differently, and you have to inform them ahead that you want it shipped by sea or have it shipped to a different address. Either way, the procedure isn’t easy.

I think the last straw for me was when I ordered a pocket spotlight the size and weight of a matchbook (stuffed in a box the size of a mug) and they charged me almost P1,200. After I complained about it, they waived the handling fee and charged me P800++. I also asked if they could deliver the package to my house and they said they would, but with an additional charge of P300++ HELLO!!!!

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I was charged P877.28 shipping and handling for this pocket spotlight. It came in a box the size of a mug.

Does that mean I have to stop online shopping now that I’ve lost my love for Johnny Air? Thankfully, I don’t have to, because My Shopping Box is here, and it is SO much better than Johnny Air. Here’s why:

Their shipping process is very clear, and you have complete control over it.

My Shopping Box (MSB) charges the same way Johnny Air does: by weight or volume. But here’s where MSB kicks Johnny Air’s ass—hard—to the curb: MSB, upon receiving your package, will send you a request to authorize shipment for processing via your account page on their website. There you’ll see the details of your package: contents, package size/weight, etc. They will then give you the option to ship the item either by AIR or SEA based on the package details. If telcos have coined the term “anti bill shock,” then MSB’s method is the solution to “package shock.”

For example, we recently placed an order via Amazon. Since I’m a Prime member, I automatically get upgraded to free two-day shipping, but apparently, in order to honor their two-day shipping guarantee, they shipped out the order in six (SIX!!!) separate shipments.

I was so worried because had this happened with Johnny Air, this would have been a very, very expensive clusterfuck, indeed.

With MSB, I had a choice to ship out the items via air or sea. So, when a small pack of knitting needle point protectors was shipped out by its itty-bitty lonesome, I opted to have it shipped by sea for $2.99 or P134.30 instead of by air for $5.99. I also like how being offered the two options side by side helps you gauge how urgently you need your package. Is it really important for me to get my needle protectors in ten days or can I wait a month or two having seen the price difference between air and sea freight?

And that’s another thing. MSB’s shipping cost minimum is way lower than Johnny Air’s. Even if I had chosen to ship the needle protectors via MSB’s air freight service, I would only have paid $5.99 (roughly P258).  I have never paid for anything less than P800 for shipping at Johnny Air, no matter how small the package is. They once charged me P860.74 for an airmail envelope of 5 iron-on patches!! I complained and they finally brought it down to P557.08. Check out how small the “package” is that cost me P557.08:

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That envelope is barely a package. 

Signing up with MSB via Globe’s Virtual Amex card (a Virtual Pay account automatically gives you a My Shopping Box account) also gives you a 3% discount off your total shipping cost. Amazing.

And the very best part? My Shopping Box will deliver your packages to your doorstep at no extra cost. Plus, since everything’s automated, I can more or less estimate when my package will arrive. It’s always (so far) ten days (via air) from when I’ve authorized the shipment and paid for the shipping costs. I’ve already used MSB twice, and so far so good. 

I highly recommend you get a My Shopping Box subscription through Globe’s Virtual Pay service because of the discount (it’s also cheaper than getting a subscription through MSB). Funneling cash into your GCash/Virtual Amex is easy if you have a BPI account: you can transfer money from your account into GCash via mobile banking. So easy that it’s dangerous for shopaholics.

So, for now, goodbye and good riddance, Johnny Air. I think they really need to update their severely antiquated shipping process. I’m grateful that they paved the road for other shipping services to set up shop, but they’ve been left behind by others who’ve found a better way to serve their customers, and I can’t allow blind loyalty to let me swallow exorbitant shipping prices brought about by a gap in their process.

To know more about My Shopping Box, visit their website at http://www.my-shoppingbox.com.