Shopping

SM Biodegradable Plastic Bags

One night, alone in my bed, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was working overdrive. My attention was somehow directed to the trashbag we had hanging by the doorknob of my bedroom. It was an SM shopping bag and I was puzzled by what was written at the bottom: BIODEGRADABLE.

I was itching to turn Alfred’s laptop on and do some research right there and then. But I had already turned off the wifi router downstairs and I really didn’t want to make myself up more by walking all the way down and then up again. So I decided to leave it until the next day.

I forgot all about it though. The next day, I wracked my brain for what I wanted to research but couldn’t remember what it was. Today, I saw three or four blue SM plastic shopping bags on a chair – obviously my parents went shopping on Sunday afternoon. Then I saw it again: BIODEGRADABLE.

Was it possible? I asked Alfred. We finally looked it up.

I am disappointed that there is not much press about SM’s – the largest shopping mail chain in the Philippines – initiatives like this. I mean, they should totally use it in their advertising. Here’s one story I found on Google. And there are a lot of shoppers who blogged about this too. They have photos posted as well, which is what kept me from posting my own photo of the bag. Haha.

BUT. There seems to be a question of proper disposal still.

On the Wikipedia entry on Biodegradable Plastics, it says

Proper composting methods are required to efficiently degrade the plastic, which may actually contribute to carbon dioxide emissions.”

Okay, I’d really like to know more about bioplastics and the proper disposal of such. Like, would it better if we use the SM bags to line our trash cans or would that mean it would also end up in landfills and would still not be decomposed as fast as literature says it should? I’d rather not research much on it right now though. At least not now. So if you have any useful links that can tell me more about this, be sure to send it over?

I appreciate that SM is taking steps to address the problem of environmental degradation, at no obvious added cost for the consumers. Maybe Robinson’s and Ayala Malls will follow suit? They should also encourage buyers to bring their own reusable bags.

Weekend with Frank (the Typhoon)

After 36 hours of no TV, electric fans, computer and Internet – we are back online. Warning: extremely long post. You gotta give it to me, I itched to post!

Tropical Storm Frank changed course and hit Manila directly on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Alfred and I left work together and were both surprised at the strength of the winds and the rain that welcomed us as the glass doors of the building opened to let us out.

As the cab took a right on our street, it was so dark – there was no electricity in our neighborhood but those living right across the creek from us still had their lights on. Since the typhoon had cooled the house, we didn’t mind not having electricity, we did hope that power would be restored when we awoke. It was not to be.

At 3PM, we went down to eat and then confirmed that not only was power still out, but that my grandpa’s house had already been flooded though the water was already receding. My nephews had spent the day with my mom and dad and they even ate our share of lunch. Their moms and dads were already scrubbing their floors when I went out to check on them and the flood waters were already outside our gates. Our house was only built 6 years ago and the floor was elevated to the highest flood level recorded in this area, so we were safe from the flooding. My brother and his girlfriend got off work in the morning but were not able to come home because it was already flooded. They spent the day at Trinoma and were only able to come home at around 4PM when the water cleared.

Though it was still raining, the wind had died down and it was evident that the worst was over. We had also hoped that it meant that power would be restored very soon.

We had planned on malling because Alfred was on leave for Sunday night. We had not been to the mall since he moved to the night shift, and we were both itching to check out some shops. Off we went as soon as the water receded back to the creek and out of the road. We had to walk on the rip-rap though to avoid the stinky mud that was left by the flood. I had to concentrate on avoiding so much as glancing at the water lest I’d feel like falling into it. Eventually I asked Alfred to walk beside me on the sidewalk instead of behind me just so he could hold my hand. Haha.

Getting a cab was easy and so we were in Cubao in no time. The weather was conducive for a cup of coffee so we had some with muffins before we set off window shopping. When we finally went up to Gateway, we hit the shoe stores first but I didn’t find anything I really wanted. Next stop was Fully Booked – since seeing it in Yummy mag, I’ve wanted to purchase an Envirosax and so I did.
This is how my lovely bag looks like and I am totally bummed out that I can’t show you the pic of Alfred modeling the bag for me last night. After purchasing the bag, I met him at the mall’s lounge and I went in to take a pee, leaving him with the rest of our stuff. When I came out, he had already unfurled the bag and put my purse in it. I also actually used the bag for shopping too. We went back in to Fully Booked and I finally got the sequel to the only Garth Nix book I’ve ever read, Sabriel. This one’s titled Lirael and it’s the first brand new book I’ve bought this year. I’ve just been buying previously owned books, remember? I also refused the Body Shop paper bag for my purchases and just plopped them in my reusable shopping bag. 🙂

Speaking of Body Shop purchases. White Musk is my new favorite scent and I love how the Chiffon Sheer Body Mist is so light – it feels soft, smells pretty, and you won’t feel sticky when you spray it on. Mom had it and I just had to get one for myself too! I also bought a gift box that had small bottles of White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower Gel and Smooth Satin Body Lotion. Body yum! (the shimmer fragrance in the picture is on my wish list)

I also asked the attendant if they still collected the empty bottles of their products and she mentioned that they still do and they returned them to the factory, but there was no promo for it, meaning I won’t get anything in return if I took the bottles back. I don’t care. Knowing that I returned those plastic bottles for recycling is enough for me.

Alfred has been wanting to checkout the Adidas sale since he heard about at the start of the month, so the Adidas shop right next to Body Shop was one of our stops. He didn’t see any of the shoes he wanted on sale but he did see some jackets that he has been wanting to buy since time immemorial (of course he will only be buying one, if he actually gets to buy any). We’ll probably go to Trinoma next weekend (after payday) because he wants to checkout the stocks there too.

Last stop before having dinner was grocery shopping and of course we came prepared with the reusable canvass bag. I restrained myself from buying anything unnecessary and I really do congratulate myself for it. 🙂 After all our purchases were tallied I found that I had enough receipts to get a ShopWise card and earn points. The system was offline though, probably because of the intermittent power outages.

After dinner, we were confronted with a challenge – transport. There was a long queue waiting for cabs outside the grocery and after waiting in line for about 5 minutes and seeing no taxis, we decided to wait somewhere else. Out came my jacket (with hood) and our big umbrella and we walked towards Gateway. After another 15 minutes of waiting and only one other couple getting a cab we decided to move on to another stop, and then another. When we least expected to get a cab while walking towards the main road to just get public transport, we got one. 🙂

As we approached E.Rodriguez, we were hopeful because there were lights on the street and establishments. As we turned right at Sunny Side Drive and then through the streets of our barangay, there was hope because they too had power. Sadly – our street was still cloaked in darkness. Yes, just our street.

And I could not sleep. It wasn’t hot, it was still raining a bit and it was still quite cool. There were a few mosquitoes buzzing around but they weren’t bothering me – afraid I’d whack them I guess. But while Alfred was sound asleep, I couldn’t. When he woke up, I was just drowsing off. Haha.

I had to call Meralco several times over the evening, early morning, and yes, until this afternoon, to follow up on the reactivation of our service. I swear, between me, my cousins an uncle, I can’t count the number of times we’ve called their customer service hotline 16211. We understand that it’s because of the storm and that they have to address consumers from all over the Metro. But we didn’t even get an explanation for why were the only street that had no power for more than 24 hours already!

What’s worse is that the first time I followed up on my initial report, they said that a crew was sent over and was already at the site – and since my report was specific to this street, naturally that’s where I’d assume they’d be. We waited another hour, then two. Nothing. When we called back, the feedback was that power was restored. Well, duh?! Would we be calling back if it was? So they gave us a new report number. This time, response was not as fast. Up until 3PM all they can say when we called was that we were lined up on queue to be addressed. I asked that they trace whoever it was that reported that power was back in our area because obviously they didn’t go to the actual street that was reported! After I asked for such a report, on the next call, the rep mentioned that the team didn’t actually go to the site, but was just patrolling the area. That’s clear misreporting and mishandling of the report! Ugh.

Anyway, I do not want to continue hating the power company Meralco. There’s no use, right? I was upstairs when their crew finally came and I heard my cousin welcoming them sarcastically. They (including the kids) were singing the Meralco jingle that one would hear when they call the support number (their hold music). Apparently, they had to disconnect our lines yesterday because there was a tree that was in danger of falling due to the winds. They just didn’t come back to fix it right away. Now why didn’t they just note that in our reports and told us that in the first place? At least we’d know that they knew the reason why we didn’t have power!

Please offer prayers for the victims of the tragedy also caused by typhoon Frank.

Anyhoo… I am off to browse and watch TV and DVDs, and charge my phone, and drink cold water, and just show appreciation for our electricity. Haha. 🙂 Oh I do hope I still get to catch a sale or two in the digi world.

Free Agent


I got me a Seagate FreeAgent Desktop – a USB External Hard Drive.

It’s just given me 320G of additional space for all our photos, files and most importantly – my digiscrap supplies.

I know that an EHD is also a hard drive and can get corrupted, so I’m not being complacent and I will still make backups on DVD. I’ve also been uploading some photos on online photo storage options (some remain private, of course).

I recently received some additional income via a project I was working on for my mom’s office, and it made sense to spend part of that on this. It now sits next to our wireless router and it’s neighbors with my printer. They all look cozy up there. Haha!

Anyhow, today was a very interesting day. Alfred picked me up from work and we went straight to Gilmore to make the purchase. He also had to drop off something that he needed to have fixed. We wanted to lunch at JT’s but it was too early. He then thought perhaps we could go for Thai food – but it would have also been too early for the place we were thinking of. Arianne confirmed that SR Thai was still in business, though they moved to a new place still along Katipunan (I don’t know how long ago they did, but at least they moved since I was there last). By the time I received the info, we had already decided to go for Pizza Hut Bistro along E.Rod.

Boy did we have a huge fight that started from something really, really petty.

I left the restaurant before he did, but he followed me home. There was much drama in the next 30 minutes or so – which involved cellphones flying all over the place – but then things got settled again.

All is well again. Whew.

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