For the record, I have never bought anything from Shopee (I’m more of a Lazada and Zalora girl) and I don’t know who Blackpink is, but the recent Shopee + Blackpink incident really piqued my interest because I couldn’t fathom how kids could spend hundreds and thousands of pesos just to qualify for a contest. To be more specific, I couldn’t understand how kids could spend hundreds and thousands of pesos, period.
Are kids these days richer than kids during my day? Or am I wrong to assume that Blackpink fans are kids? When I say kids, I’m thinking 21 years old below, about high school and college age, or have just entered the workforce.
Again, do kids in that age range already have the financial capacity to spend hundreds and thousands of pesos (or even just several thousands of pesos)? Or did they do this all on credit? Do banks give credit cards to kids?
It’s ridiculous just how many questions I have.
I’m thinking of my pre-teen nieces and wondering if they’re the only “impoverished” ones in their generation because kids just a few years older than them are already snapping up mobile phones and doodads on Shopee to meet their K-pop idols.
Whoever conducted the survey that revealed that a huge percent of Filipinos consider themselves poor, obviously didn’t include K-pop fans in its survey.
I regularly get feature requests through email and I respond only to those that address me by name (It’s Jill, btw. Not “Hello,” or “Hi,”). And of those that I respond to, I turn down about 99% because I have long decided not to do sponsored posts or link exchanges to make my life easier. But every now and then, a request gets through my two filters and actually piques my interest.
The email from Moneygment was one such feature request because it claimed that its app can pay government benefits. Well hello there! Nice to meet you Moneygment!
Moneygment describes itself as:
“[A] one-stop shop financial solution for self-employed individuals, small and medium enterprises, homemakers, OFWs, and unbanked Filipinos. Current Features available are the payment of Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, SSS, and BIR contributions and taxes. Other features are currently in the works and will be released very soon.”
My primary motive for doing this post was to find out for myself how Moneygment will process Pag-ibig housing loan payments because I’m always on the lookout for a more efficient system than what I already have. This image beautifully summarizes how to use the app to pay Pag-ibig, as well as Philhealth and SSS.
This was the summary for my Pag-ibig transaction:
No additional fee(s) for Pag-ibig housing loan payments! Yay!
I received a similar summary in my email with information on Moneygment’s bank accounts because I chose the “Deposit to Bank Account” option. But payment can also be made through EC-pay, 7-11, Dragonpay and Paypal.
From what I gathered, Moneygment is not an authorized Pag-ibig housing loan payment partner like Metrobank and Landbank. Rather, it is a third party that the app user authorizes to process and remit payment on his/her behalf.
Since I already pay my Pag-ibig housing loan directly through Metrobank online, I really don’t need an intermediary to act on my behalf. But I can imagine that the Moneygment app will be so helpful to those who don’t have a Metrobank online account since lining up to pay for bills is a mind-numbing task that should be avoided as much as humanly possible.
While it may be quite useful for Pag-ibig housing loan payments, Moneygment really shines when it comes to SSS payments as detailed in this post by SSS Inquiries. Apparently, SSS has added an extra layer of bureaucracy to make paying your SSS dues more challenging than it already is:
Starting January 16, 2018, the Social Security System has implemented a new rule on paying a contribution. This has drastically changed the process of paying and most find it really inconvenient. Before, you just have to have your SS Number then go to any SSS Branch, Bayad Center or any payment center that accepts SSS contribution, accomplish their form then pay on their cashier. Now, you will need to obtain your SSS Payment Reference Number first which is a series of 14 alpha numeric characters that uniquely represents your SS Number, the month and the amount that you are paying for. The SSS PRN is currently used for paying SSS Contributions only. SSS has explained that the SSS PRN is implemented to facilitate correct and real time posting of payment and contribution.
Because of the implementation of SSS PRN, we have observed that the number of banks and payment centers that accept SSS related payments became limited. I used to pay for my SSS Contribution voluntarily to the bank near my office, but the bank teller told me that SSS has required them to upgrade their system to comply with the SSS PRN implementation and until they have complied with the required upgrade, they cannot accept any payment for SSS.
Before, I also used the Coins.ph App to pay for my SSS Contributions and Loans, however, they temporarily discontinued accepting payments for SSS, maybe also due to the compliance being required by SSS just like with other banks.
I tried to go to the SSS Branch in Diliman to pay for my quarterly SSS Contribution, but the queue can consume all your patience. There will be two process that you have to undergo: 1) Get your SSS PRN and 2) Line up to their Payment Teller. Many who were there told me that paying their contribution can consume half of your day just lining up to get the PRN and Pay it at the Payment Teller. For Self Employed and even Full-Time moms, a day wasted can really cost you a lot.
Good thing that when there is a problem, a solution arises! When I got discouraged with the new payment scheme of SSS, I searched the Facebook if there is some kind of “short-cut” to pay my SSS Contribution and Loan. And I found this Moneygment App by Togetech Inc.”
The post then went on to detail how to use the Moneygment app to quickly and painlessly generate a Payment Reference Number and pay the SSS contributions. Kudos to the people behind Moneygment app! This is the sort of technology we need in our lives, technology that saves us time and saves us from bureaucratic inefficiencies.
You can find out more about Moneygment through its FAQ section and download the app through Google Play or the App Store.
One of my law school blockmates, together with his fraternity, bought a showdate for Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical’s first run last year. There were 5 shows for the first run and all 5 shows were sold out.
About a dozen of my blockmates saw the first run and they were so moved by the production that when rumors of a second run came up, they eagerly signed up to buy a showdate and sold the idea to the rest of us. I joined in a heartbeat because Eraserheads plus a first run that sold out? A show that will literally sell itself? Where do I sign up?! It seemed like an effortless way to get at least a 20% return on our investment.
Or so we thought.
Let me just jump to the end of the story and say that we did not lose any money in the endeavor but we didn’t make 20% either. We made way, way below 20%, as in lower single digit level (cough2.5%cough). Also, getting to break-even took a tremendous effort on our part, but despite all of that, I would do it all over again.
I always thought that I could never sell anything, because I just don’t have the personality and chutzpah to move products or ideas. However, the sight of hundreds of unsold seats and the thought of losing our Tokyo budget forced me to hustle like I’ve never hustled before. Pakapalan na ng mukha, in short.
But if I were to do it again, I would definitely think twice about buying a show from Resorts World because it did not effectively market the show leading up to the opening. In fact, I don’t think it even marketed the show outside of the posters INSIDE Resorts World. I found this really surprising because isn’t Resorts World famous/notorious for its radio ads? I mean that female voice whispering “Resorts World Manila” was all over the airwaves a few years back. It also has billboards all around the airport area, but I did not see a single billboard for Ang Huling El Bimbo. Yup, I’m still very disappointed about it.
In fairness though, the cast members had some radio and TV appearances a week or two before the first show opened and Full House Theater Company really made a valiant effort to market the show through social media, but this was clearly not enough or was a little too late, thus the first weekend did not break-even.
When it became clear that the show wasn’t going to sell itself, as we all thought it would, and Resorts World wasn’t going to help out, we had to do the selling ourselves, thus the roller coaster of emotions for the past few months. From the high of selling 10 tickets in a single day to getting seen-zoned dozens of times, I went through it all.
It really helped that my friends and I were together in this experience because I had someone to share my ups and downs with. This show became so much more than a mere investment that when our showdate closed to a standing ovation, I was probably as euphoric as the cast members. I had my heart wrenched out by the production and I couldn’t stop humming Eheads songs for the next few days, but the overriding feeling was one of relief that it was finally over and I could go back to my humdrum life.
Now that my emotions have mellowed down and I can think things through rationally, my takeaways as a first-time showbuyer are as follows:
Choose a show that you love or a concept that intrigues you, thus, it will be easier for you to sell it.
Include the scope and timeline of marketing efforts by all parties in your contract.
Unless the show is actually sold out by the time it opens, don’t believe any claim that it will sell itself. Heck, even Phantom of the Opera and Lion King did not sell out all of their shows.
Hustle and sell like you’ve never done before.
Choose to work with people who will also hustle as hard as you.
Ultimately, it’s just money and the piddling returns have not turned me off from going into a similar venture in the future because the experience obtained from this venture was well-worth the effort. However, it’s highly unlikely that I will dip my toes into showbusiness in the near future because I still have to recuperate from the last show. Mahirap pala talaga magbenta.
If you haven’t watched Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical yet, I highly encourage that you do because despite the very sad ending (you have been warned!), the nostalgia factor alone is worth your time and money and the performances are just jaw-dropping. They’ve added another showdate so it will now run until April 12. Tickets are available at Ticketworld.
In line with the annual essay writing contest in time for the new year, I also began to reflect on the year that just passed, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember half of what happened or how I felt about the events of 2018.
A quick browse through my Instagram account reminded me of how eventful 2018 actually was. To recap, 2018 was when
I finished the second month of my maternity leave;
I got to know my second son and reacquainted myself with the joys and challenges of mothering an infant;
I had my face-palm interview with the Judicial and Bar Council (although to be kind to myself, it must not have been all that bad since I did get shortlisted for a position);
my husband had an angioplasty;
we almost lost my parents’ house;
my sister went back to New Zealand and her family followed a few months after;
my mom sold a property which netted her several millions and then spent/gave/lent most of it in a span of 1 month;
my new niece was born ( lucky number 13);
I lugged my baby to Bacolod and Cebu just because he was the chillest baby ever (sadly, he’s not so chill anymore and he’s morphing into a little diva);
my baby turned a year old; and
we spent the holidays in Biliran and I got to spend time with my in-laws and US based cousins.
In between that was work, time spent with family and Netflix.