Earth Hour

Saturday, November 24, 2018

IKEA is coming to the Philippines in 2020!

After years of speculation and waiting, IKEA made it official: it will open a store in the Philippines in 2020. It will be the Swedish retail company's biggest store globally, covering an area of 65,000 square meters.  The two-story building will be located at the Mall of Asia complex, and for added convenience to loyal SM customers, there will be a walkway that will connect the store to the mall.

image from the Internet

I've been to an Ikea store in Singapore, and it was a great experience.  Although it was like going through a maze, I was like a child in a candy store.  By the way, I am not really interested in their furniture, which doesn't look durable.  What really made me go around the labyrinth-like store were the home accessories like curtains, cushion covers, and decor. Plus, the products were priced reasonably that you can be forgiven for indulging.  Hopefully, the future local Ikea store will use the same price points when they finally opened their doors in 2020.  Online shopping will also be available for those who want to buy stuff from the comforts of their home.  But personally, I prefer to see and touch the products before purchasing.

Some 9,000 products will be included in the store's line-up, raising some concern among local netizens.  The store's opening could potentially affect local furniture producers, according to some posts,  and negatively impact the livelihood of those working in the industry.  Others hope that the retail giant would include locally-sourced products in their inventory to 

Nikkei Asian Review reported that Ikea had 422 stores in over 50 countries as of the end of August when the retailer closes its fiscal year. It attracted 957 million shoppers and generated $43.9 billion in sales during the 12 months.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

"Dugo dugo" Gang Strikes

Image from the Internet
I still couldn't believe it would happen to me. But just recently our house helper received a phone call recently that I was involved in a terrible accident.  Our helper told the caller that I didn't have my car with me at the time, but the caller, a woman, said to her that I took a ride with an office mate and I was in a hospital because I was terribly hurt and can't talk. Our house helper started to panic, and she asked what hospital I was at.  The woman then asked someone on the other line to bring "me" close to the phone so our helper could hear me. The helper could hear a male voice mumbling something.  

The woman told her that I was in terrible pain, but I wrote about my money in my closet and jewelry.  That's when our helper smelled a rat.  She knows I don't keep money at home, and I don't wear jewelry.  She told the caller to get back to her as she would collect the money and jewelry.

Our helper called me on my mobile phone immediately when the caller hung up and told me the whole story.  I said I wasn't involved in an accident and did not even leave the office at the time.  I instructed her not to go out and to be watchful of our surroundings. I was worried the caller was just around the neighborhood waiting for her to come out.  

The scammer did not call back, but the experience scared us and worried us for days.

It was a classic "dugo-dugo" case.  It's a scheme where someone would call and tell whoever answers the call that someone from the household got involved in an accident and needed help.  They will then give instructions to find money or other valuables in the house and bring it to a place other than the hospital.  In other cases, the caller would pretend to be a family member who hurt someone on the road and needs money to pay for the damages.

It's good that our helper immediately doubted the story of the caller and didn't act impulsively.  But hopefully, this story will remind everyone that it could happen to any of us, so let's all be careful.