Posted in Business, Lifestyle, Marketing

Coffee Shop Marketing Strategy


¿Te apetece un café?

Do you ever wonder how most coffee shops have dim lighting? Last week I was hanging out at a dimly-lit Starbucks sweet-binging my week frustrations away when a light bulb went off in my head (pun intended). The fact that I was questioning that is a testament to a coffee shop marketing strategy that works.

I’ve read articles about how the pineal gland produces more melatonin, a hormone which controls our body’s circadian rhythm, most especially in dim lighting. Controlling the brightness of the light signals the pineal gland to produce more melatonin and induces drowsiness. The brain is tricked to think it needs to stay awake and we eventually hanker for another coffee cup or refill. Together with additional espresso shots, the efficiency of dim lighting in coffee shops is magnified and your mind cannot stop spewing ideas.

Sometime last year I used to hang out in another coffee shop to work on long pages of translation documents and I remember spending 5 hours in 4 or 5 consecutive days to get the job done. It was ideal to stay there starting lunch time up to pre-sunset. When the sun sets the staff pulls down the window blinds and it gets dimly-lit from then on and I found it hard to concentrate – along with less brightness was my waning interest in work and I get tempted to pack up and go. But what happens after I switch to another brightly-lit area is my brain starts to function again and I would want to pick up where I left off.

I made a mental note of that and told myself if I ever work on long pages of translations again I would move to a brighter place to hang out. I counted local coffee shops I’ve been in and controlled brightness of the light in the room is never absent.

Posted in Business, Finance, Uncategorized

Direct Money Transfer Scam in OLX

As a precautionary measure, we should do our research when it comes to online ads before we confirm a shipment. Online selling/shopping has its risks.

My cousin recently posted her online ad on OLX for an iPhone 6s she was selling. An eager, wait, too eager buyer responded to her online ad and immediately proceeded to making the so-called direct money transfer. There are many red flags, however, with this direct money transfer.



  1. The email address – One Google search will tell you that has frequently been associated with online scammers.
  2. The Direct Money logo is actually owned by If the transfer was legit, the email address should have contained something like
  3. The Payment Approved logo, upon doing a Google search image, has a different filename.
  4. The orange logo with the text Send Money Worldwide belongs to Ria Financial.
  5. The disclaimer about the escrow payment. This puts the seller in a precarious position because no funds have been received by the seller and the buyer is requesting for the item to be shipped.
  6. It’s signed by Direct Money Transfer Service but there is no link to a website that you can click through. Nowhere in the email is a clickable link indicating which financial or remittance agency the wire transfer was supposedly made from.
  7. Copyrighted by Continental Exchange Solutions, Inc., which Ria Financial is a part of. However, the Track a Transfer in Ria Financial Services’ website does not return a valid money transfer starting with DMT.
  8. The logos, like any other in the email, cannot be clicked through.










Be warned when you come across an email address coming from especially when it comes to payments.

On behalf of my cousin, I replied to the interested buyer that we will put the shipment on hold until the payment has been received. He was requesting to have the iPhone 6s sent to an address in Balibago, Angeles, Pampanga to a different recipient. I made it clear to him that I did contact (seeing as their logo was used in the email confirmation for the wire transfer) via the Hong Kong phone number. I spoke with a Nigel Hazell who was kind enough to verify after I forwarded the email confirmation with their logo on it that the transfer was not done via their company nor their partner agencies.




The interested buyer somehow got defensive in his subsequent email replies. His scam has been exposed and he has been found guilty. He literally wanted my cousin to cancel the shipment while he sulks his sorry, guilty, pathetic ass. Never mind the bad punctuation. The syntax strangely reminds me of those Nigerian scam emails.




It’s so bad because it seems he doesn’t know how to communicate. He DID see the pictures of the phone in the OLX online ad and in the OLX private chat my cousin did send him a few additional images of the phone. He continued to evade my question about which remittance agency in the Philippines the money can be claimed if indeed he was being truthful about the wire transfer. He went on with his ad hominems and I told my cousin to desist replying to him. It’s a shame other legit companies like and have been dragged into this direct money transfer scam to make it look like the bogus wire transfer was real.



Posted in Business, Technology, Tutorials

Using GCash Amex and My Shopping Box For An Amazon Purchase

I bought a keyboard protector on Amazon using GCash Amex a few weeks ago and it was a breeze. Most Amazon purchases cannot go through if you don’t have a US address but because of GCash Amex, Philippine residents can now conveniently shop in Amazon.

It’s all really elementary but I would like to specify one issue when shopping and checking out on Amazon – it’s very important to mind the BILLING ADDRESS and the SHIPPING ADDRESS when you’re registering your GCash Amex on your Amazon profile. Don’t assume your billing address in GCash Amex to be similar to the shipping address indicated in your My Shopping Box account. If you got the process correct, you won’t have to scratch your head wondering why you got an e-mail notification from Amazon with the heading “Your payment has been declined.”


GCash Amex Billing Address


My Shopping Box Shipping Address

In short, you look for the BILLING ADDRESS in your GCASH AMEX account details and the SHIPPING ADDRESS in your MY SHOPPING BOX account.

Soon after your purchase you will then receive an e-mail from My Shopping Box that the item you purchased on Amazon has arrived at your US address/My Shopping Box shipping address. Authorizing the package for shipment entails that you pay for the required shipping fee from the US address to your Philippine address. I used my GCash Amex for this process, too, and here is the video for it:

Posted in Business, Mobile App

CDOGRAB Promo Codes

I’ve been using the Grab mobile app since late last year when it was still known as Grab Taxi and I had no complaints regarding their drivers or the taxi service in general. This month, though, I did send feedback to their Support team regarding the CDOGRAB PhP20 off promo code. Under the CDOGRAB promo code, a Grab user is supposed to get PhP20 off their ride within the city centre of Cagayan de Oro.

One afternoon I entered CDOGRAB in the promo code field when booking a ride to a local mall. It’s important to enter the promo code in the field provided before the mobile app can search for a Grab taxi driver near your location. I was waiting for the driver to acknowledge that I entered a promo code because something in me knew he wouldn’t honor the said promo code. I wasn’t wrong, it turned out, because the taxi meter said the amount I incurred was PhP54.00 but he still charged me the full amount. When I opened my smartphone to check the actual rate in Grab mobile app, I saw PhP34.00 instead of PhP54.00. Of course the driver saw that in his system, too, and I bet he was secretly wishing I would pay the full amount up front.



I have no problem with paying the full amount and I understand taxi drivers may not always see profitable days as often as they wish. I stopped using the CDOGRAB promo code because the first (and last) time I claimed it, it didn’t go too well. Either Grab eliminate the useless promo codes altogether or they make sure the promo codes are a win-win situation for their drivers and passengers alike.

To this day, I have not gotten a response regarding that inquiry I sent about the CDOGRAB promo code. It’s strange because few days after that I did send an entirely different inquiry about a bug I found in the Grab mobile app and have gotten a prompt response for it.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Travel

Jinisys Fortifies Its Proven Track Record in Software Solutions

Jinisys Software, Inc., with offices in strategic business locations such as Alabang and Cebu City, is one of the Philippines’ most dependable provider of all-inclusive software solutions. Since 2008, Jinisys Software has developed and enhanced their oft requested office automation systems such as hotel management system, restaurant point-of-sale system and call accounting systems. Other straightforward product additions also extend their scope to property management system, asset and warehouse management system as well as shipping management system.

Their online 24/7 customer service support facilitates prompt answers to client’s inquiries. With over a hundred companies served and growing, Jinisys Software fortifies its proven track record when it comes to office automation and software solutions. Request your software solution with Jinisys Software HERE.

Posted in Business, Internet, Technology

Streamline Hotel Operations With Jinisys Software Solutions

As a hospitality business gets bigger, it needs to upgrade the various systems it uses to facilitate its growing operations. Jinisys Software, the Philippines’ premier Software Engineering Company, is a very capable ally in this department. For a hotel industry, for instance, Jinisys Software will fulfill your essential requisites for an automated hotel management system, saving your burgeoning company from the tedious herculean task of manual data input. Software systems such as Folio Plus, Event Plus and In-House Plus, which are suitable for MS SQL, MySQL and/or Oracle database environments, can be integrated into your current hotel management system to streamline hotel operations. To keep up with the smartphone frenzy, Jinisys Software has also come up with JTracker, their own mobile application which can be accessed via an iPhone, Android or Windows smartphone.

Visit Jinisys Software HERE for an in-depth explanation of each product they offer.