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Lipa City’s verdant haven

Just minutes away from the bustling city of Lipa, Batangas, Terreno South can be found in the perfect convergence of city and nature. Just within the area of Barangay Lodlod’s residential community, Terreno South is in close proximity to key establishments such as schools, churches, hospitals and more.

Vernon Velasco

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MERGING the convenience of urban living and the refreshing comfort of being surrounded by nature.

Terreno South, Rockwell Land Corp. pioneering foray into horizontal development in Lipa City, Batangas, is a community that is both at the heart of verdant landscapes and within reach of the city’s convenience.

The development offers living beyond what’s ordinary, where the family can enjoy the expansive open spaces, thousands of mature trees and lifestyle spaces that perfectly suit your needs.

Be part of our story and conquer new heights in living the life you deserve — a life that’s truly exciting and truly refreshing.

A 38-hectare community, Terreno South offers 1,350 residential lots complemented by a hectare of retail, two-hectares of open spaces and pocket parks and an array of well-planned amenities for the residents to enjoy.

Being one of the cities in the Philippines with cooler climate, Lipa’s residential landscape will be redefined by Terreno South by preserving thousands of mature trees currently present onsite, allowing for a 1:1 House to Tree ratio wherein each lot will have an accompanying tree during the turnover of lots to our residents.

EXPERIENCE beyond what’s ordinary at Terreno South. / Photographs courtesy of Terreno

Just minutes away from the bustling city of Lipa, Batangas, Terreno South can be found in the perfect convergence of city and nature. Just within the area of Barangay Lodlod’s residential community, Terreno South is in close proximity to key establishments such as schools, churches, hospitals, and more.

Terreno South’s ideal location makes it possible to merge urban living with a refreshing home. You no longer have to compromise between the convenience of the city and living in nature because both are within your reach.

An expansive two-hectare area is devoted solely for Terreno South’s recreational facilities, where your family can bond, relax, work out and socialize in the well-planned amenities: clubhouse, Multi-purpose court, jogging path, pavilion, indoor and outdoor gym areas, lawn and picnic areas, swimming pools (main, kddie and lap), gated entrance (main and secondary), 24/7 security and surveillance.

The development has resumed its operations and is strictly implementing preventive guidelines to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone.

APPRECIATE the beauty of a thousand trees from your own home.

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Living Spaces

Supply, demand, and price

Now, if a hydroponics or aquaponics farm uses grow lights, there are, indeed, advantages, especially regarding controlling the environment where the crops will grow, particularly the amount of available light per day that the plants need for optimal growth.

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Basil and mint used to cost P650 to P700 per kg (grocery price). A few months into the pandemic, that has changed. A lot. Now, they’re priced at P476 and P403 per kg, respectively.

From a high of around P700 to a low of P403, that’s a loss of roughly 42 percent of value. From a financial statement perspective, imagine the projected revenue fall by that much. If the projection is P1,000,000 per year, then it drops to P580,000.

How will this affect the balance sheet and the cash flow? How will obligations be paid? And if there is leverage involved, and the debt is substantial, how high is the likelihood of default? What is the effect on the collateral and credit standing? What is the legal risk?

Going back to economics, low demand creates oversupply, and because the market wants to get rid of the surplus (especially the perishable kind), the price is adjusted downwards to attract buyers because consumers respond to price.

The pandemic, which has shut down many businesses in the food industry, has pulled demand to significant low. Because of oversupply, the price has naturally followed the downward trend.

Price of basil per kg has dropped during the pandemic.

Now, if a hydroponics or aquaponics farm uses grow lights, there are, indeed, advantages especially regarding controlling the environment where the crops will grow, particularly the amount of available light per day that the plants need for optimal growth. And if you use LED, the light required per day is covered without having to worry about producing so much heat that is no longer healthy for the crops.

But there is also a downside to using grow lights instead of relying on sunlight which, in the Philippines, we already have a lot of. Just imagine the cost of those lights (including depreciation, meaning you have to replace them after “x” number of years), as well as electricity consumption (remember that some were charged by Meralco several times more, based on an “average” consumption rate during the lockdown period), etc.

If one intends to shift a hobby to a fully operational commercial farm, how will the enterprise cover for these costs? What more if the revenue, because of sudden decline in demand for the product that has also reduced the price per kg, drops by as much as 42 percent? How will this affect the viability of the company?

And these overhead costs of systems that use artificial light is reflected in the price per kg of herbs, for example, which were grown indoors.

I have seen hydroponically grown basil that use artificial lights sold at around P2,000 per kg. Even if it is marketed as clean, fresh, pesticide free, naturally grown, etc., it’s still very expensive.

But assuming that the enterprise caters to a niche market that’s willing to pay a premium for fresh products, then all would seem fine. Yes, during ordinary times, there are niches in the market that has buyers willing to pay that price despite the presence of cheaper alternatives.

However, how did spending habits change as we entered an economic crisis due to the pandemic? Will consumption of premium produce survive this plight?

Basil grown at the backyard aquaponics farm. / PHOTOGRAPHS by VINCENT NOEL AUREUS FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Assuming that sound business practice means selling at three times the cost, or for every peso spent sell at P3 (otherwise hindi na sulit, nakakapagod lang) then, conservatively, it’s safe to assume that the cost of production of that P2,000 per kg basil is P666 (derived by dividing P2,000 by 3). That’s the breakeven price.

Competitors are selling the same (or similar) product at around P476 (for the basil). That’s a 28 percent difference. Which enterprise will flourish or, at the very least, survive the economic downturn and which one will be in for a really, really difficult time? Which one will have the competitive advantage?

And what’s the key takeaway here regarding overhead costs and growing indoors using artificial lights as a business enterprise?

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Score new homes online

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Aerial view of Sannera San Pablo development of Ovialand. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF OVIALAND INC

Staying home amidst a pandemic does not mean dreaming for a new and better home stops. The pandemic may have postponed some goals, but not in real estate.

Just in time with relaxed property loans, real estate developers have opened doors for more people to get the property they have been dreaming of.

Ovialand Inc. takes the lead in hassle-free digital transactions with its virtual tours and meetings, online-friendly presentations and easy payment methods.

Premier home unit at Terraza de Sto. Tomas in Batangas.

Online property shopping
Pammy Olivares-Vital, Ovialand president, said that despite the current health crisis, the development has posted a 15 percent increase in sales because of online dynamics.

“We did not feel the pinch of dwindling sales because we adapted to online selling. In fact, our sellers continued to thrive with their incentives and commissions,” she noted.

All processes in buying property from Ovialand can be accomplished online. Its website (ovialand.com) has a simple interface so clients can easily navigate the digital brochures and choose payment options. Agents will get in touch with buyers through virtual meetings equipped with client-friendly online presentations.

Paperwork will also be not much of a burden because the team has created an organized scheme all included in its modified digital sales kits.

“We move as one body, with all the moving parts synchronized. This agility was felt by our clients and partners as we were able to immediately respond and adjust to the reality of the pandemic, while at the same time moving toward our goals,” Olivares-Vital added.

Ovialand prioritizes the safety of its team.

Premier living
Promising to give its clients premier living, Ovialand takes care of their employees who work in fulfilling this mission. Currently, 60 percent of them are doing work from home while the remaining 40 percent are frontliners. The management also adjusted work orientation from time to output basis.

Employees who physically report for work are also given free shuttle services, accommodations and health-related provisions.

Meanwhile, all Ovialand communities are strictly implementing safety protocols such as physical distancing, regular disinfection of common spaces and upscaled security.

Proud of Ovialand’s new dynamics adapting to the new normal, Olivares-Vital said, “The moment you decided to purchase a home with us, you have already given us your trust. In return, we work on giving you ‘Premier’ — in terms of service, product, and community.”

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Bicycles boost mall complex’s green movement

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SM will build a connected network of bike lanes on all roads in the Mall of Asia Complex stretching up to 18 kilometers. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SM

The coronavirus crisis may have affected transportation at the beginning of the quarantine, but it has made commuters more creative. Bicycles, trolleys and other two-wheeled vehicles became popular as means of transportation.

With the easing of quarantine rules, cyclists are owning the streets and encouraging others to take up environmentally-friendly ways of commuting while practicing physical distancing and boosting one’s health as well.

SM Supermalls through SM Cares supports the creation of bike-friendly cities by providing a safe zone for cyclists traversing the roads of its complex.

The Bike-Friendly SM initiative rolls out at the SM Mall of Asia this month, and across all SM malls nationwide in the coming months.

 

Street-level bike parking zone.

SM Engineering, Design and Development president Hans Sy Jr., the driving force of this project, said: “By transforming our malls into bike-friendly establishments, we hope to support inclusive and safe mobility, and promote a culture of cycling. It is part of a comprehensive plan to make communities where SM malls are located, more inclusive, livable and sustainable.”

The SM Mall of Asia is taking this initiative to the fore through bicycle lanes in the MoA Complex complete with bike-centric street signs. In addition, SM will enhance its bike parking capacity, install repair stations, a helmet depository and bike supply and refreshment stations.

“We have designed our bike facilities to be enjoyed by all members of the community across all ages and biking abilities, whether it be for utilitarian or recreational purposes.’’ Sy added, “SM hopes that this will encourage more people to take up biking as a healthy and environment-friendly mode of transportation.”

Through this initiative, SM has built a connected network of bike lanes on all roads in the MoA Complex stretching up to 18 kilometers, including a dedicated bike lane along J.W Diokno Boulevard. Future plans consist of connecting SM’s network of bicycle lanes to major roads in the metro.

Visible bike-centric road signs will also be installed to provide riders and motorists with easy and orderly routing within the Complex. SM’s road signage is based on NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) US Standards implemented by member cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.

Newly installed bike racks.

Sustainable features
To further support its advocacy of promoting multi-modality and agility among its community’s mobility, here are more features to expect as SM goes bike-friendly:

Convenient, safe and accessible bicycle parking; bike repair stations will be placed in strategic locations to assist the pedaling public in their emergencies and maintenance; helmet depository where bikers can simply leave their helmets at no cost at the Helmet Depository located at Ocean Drive for their trips to the mall; and bike vendo machines offering ride essentials such as bike tubes, lights/blinkers, bike locks, repair kits, tire patch kits, hand wipes, ponchos, gloves and multitools.

Besides the bike infrastructure, SM will spearhead information sessions on road safety, first aid, basic bike repair and biker and motorist etiquette in partnership with biking communities.

With the Bike-Friendly SM initiative, customers can look forward to a safe, convenient and enjoyable riding experience. The project is also one of the highlights of SM’s Green Movement campaign promoting environment-friendly initiatives for sustainable communities.

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Comfy isolation

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Discovery Suites Manila is one of the preferred addresses by business and leisure travelers because of its all-suite setting. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF DISCOVERY SUITES

With the challenge brought by the coronavirus crisis, movements have been challenging nowadays as returning nationals who have traveled overseas are required to go through quarantine. Discovery Suites Manila ensures guests stay safe when they book at the serviced hotel as each room comes with a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test. The hotel has partnered with an accredited medical laboratory to ensure that testing is properly done in-room and released in three to five days.

Discovery Suites Manila is one of the preferred addresses by business and leisure travelers especially since it has the convenience of a spacious residence with the personal touches of a hotel, including the efficient expertise of a well-trained housekeeping staff. Its 220-key all-suite property offers complimentary High-Speed Internet Access for unlimited devices and access to PressReader. Dining options include its flagship steakhouse 22 Prime and Restaurant 5 for lunch and buffet options.

 

For rates starting at P14,300, have the self-isolation in the comfort of the hotel’s suites inclusive of COVID-19 RT-PCR test, full-board meals, virtual butler assistance, and grocery assistance. Bigger suites are fully-equipped with kitchens.

For more information about how the hotel keeps its guests safe, visit bit.ly/SafeLikeHome.

Discovery Suites is located along 25 ADB Avenue Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For inquiries and reservations, call (+632) 7719-8888, email [email protected] or visit www.discoverysuites.com.

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From weekend to lifetime getaway

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF TAGAYTAY HIGHLANDS

Why settle for a brief weekend escape if you can have the luxury of having a home with scenic views and cool breeze for a lifetime?

This is how SM Group’s Tagaytay Highlands sees the new normal Filipino lifestyle — living in homes with lush spaces and tranquil environment. The mountain-resort-themed estate with stunning views of Mt. Makiling, Canlubang Valley, Laguna de Bay, and Taal Lake can be any family’s primary home as it evolved its expanse as a residential community.

Delightful new normal
While social distancing has often been associated with lonesome, Tagaytay Highlands ensures that its homeowners will enjoy complying with the protocols. It has low-density communities and wide-open spaces that exude serene living with clean and crisp air from the surrounding mountains, deterrent to the transmission of virus.

In convenience and service, Tagaytay Highlands has top-tier health and safety measures aligned with government mandates — from urging residents and guests to handwash, wear safety attires to regular temperature-checking.

As for safety and well-being, Tagaytay Highlands takes pride in its proactive management and high level of emergency preparedness as proven by its proactive management of the Taal eruption last January.

 

Tagaytay Highlands’ tranquil setting, wide-open spaces, and lush mountainous area have made it a safe haven for homeowners and their guests.

High-class amenities
With its promise to give dwellers high-quality service, Tagaytay Highlands deploys management, staff, security, and technicians on a daily basis to provide professional services to homeowners, guests, and members.

Keeping the getaway feels while feeling at home, it still offers high-class amenities such as The Spa and Lodge, the Tagaytay Highlands Golf Course, dining places, and the Sports Center while still following the protocols.

With the country adapting to the “new normal,” families and individuals are beginning to see the wisdom in relocating to and making Tagaytay Highlands their permanent address. The premier development is their best — and probably only — option south of the metro for long-term safety, security, and good health.

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Safe haven for retirees, foreigners

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Brentville International Community allows residents to enjoy life away from the highly congested urban centers. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BRENTVILLE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Choosing the perfect location for retirement is tricky, especially with the whole world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. For most foreigners and retirees considering the Philippines as we navigate the new normal, the criteria will ultimately come down to convenience, access to world-class standards for safety, security and urban planning, and well-thought out amenities.

Retirees, foreigners and those who want to call the Philippines their second home can find all that and more at Brentville International Community, a self-sustained suburban community in Biñan, Laguna. The development is accredited by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), a Department of Tourism-attached agency mandated to promote the Philippines as a retirement haven to foreign nationals.

There is an opportunity for foreigners to legally own a single-detached or single-attached house in the Philippines through the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) of Prominence II, a cluster in Brentville which offers a huge livable space compared to owning just the usual box-type condominium.

Prominence II provides options for active investment through purchase of single-detached homes, instead of making a Special Retiree’s Resident Visa (SRRV) deposit.

SRRV deposits for 50 years old and above is $10,000 for those with pension and $20,000 for those without a pension, and $50,000 for 35 to 49 years old. Required pension is $800 for those who are single and $1,000 for couples, while the value of the property should be at least $50,000 when purchasing.

Prominence II offers a mix of Southern-Californian Mediterranean-inspired townhouses and single detached homes with expansive gardens and lawns. It is perfectly suited for residents wanting a relaxed and slow-paced lifestyle.

Residents can bond with families and friends, adopt a fitness routine or enjoy nature through its soon-to-be developed clubhouse exclusive to dwellers of Prominence II, featuring a swimming pool, pavilion area, and an open lawn with wide spaces that allow physical distancing.

Strategically located right after Mamplasan exit, Brentville International Community allows residents to enjoy life away from the highly congested urban centers while assuring convenient access to Metro Manila’s central business districts. It is a 10-minute drive from Filinvest City, a 20-minute drive from Makati City via Skyway and South Luzon Expressway, and a 30-minute drive from popular tourist destinations such as Tagaytay City and the provinces of Laguna and Batangas via CALAX.

To know more about Prominence II at Brentville International Community, visit www.brentville.com or contact +63 917 854 0121.

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Dining in style at home

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CRATE AND BARREL

As people spend more time working from home, a brand specializing in housewares, furniture and home accessories such as Crate and Barrel is stepping up its game in the business with the release of explicit pieces that could make any home as stylish as it could possibly be.

Zoom call meetings often have incalculable time which leave attendees with no other choice but to answer it wherever possible at home, even when they’re idling at the dining area. Don’t fret because pieces from Crate and Barrel’s new dining collection adds chicness to any space, a simple huff and puff can turn every corner like those of the spare settings we often see in our favorite K-dramas.

Given the fact that your home workspace is not only limited within the confinements of your room, dining areas can also be Zoom-ready with the collection’s engineered wood, powdercoat finish and cord management cutout features. The selection, some are enumerated below, ranges from a dining table, bakers rack, kitchen island, sideboard, cabinet, chairs and stools.

Oli Oval Dining Table
Made in Vietnam, this piece is made with oak and oak veneer, poplar and engineered wood with a natural, iron hardware and brass finish. Its top has a demi bullnose edge.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CRATE AND BARREL

Price: P94,990

Apex II Walnut Sideboard
Made from American walnut veneer over engineered wood, this sideboard has a clear lacquer finish and two doors with two adjustable shelves.

Price: P129,990

 

Delta Side Chair
Made in multiple countries, these chairs are hand-polished aluminum with electroplated brushed brass, black or nickel finish. Foot caps are placed to protect floor surfaces.


Price: P9,990

 

Galvin 72” Metal Top Dining Table
A clear matte powder coat finish with milled steel top hot-dipped in zinc, this dining table has a solid mango wood legs with acrylic-based lacquer coat that is hand finished with a rubbed wash wax.


Price: P79,990

 

Casement Black Tall Cabinet
Designed by Paul Schulman of Schulman Design, this cabinet is made with steel of powdercoat finish, has two steel bottom doors and two glass top doors, four adjustable metal shelves and four levelers on base.


Price: P64,990

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Safety tips for handling LPG tanks

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latest data from the Association of Safety Practitioners of the Philippines and the Bureau of Fire and Protection revealed that exploding LPGs remains to be one of the top five causes of fires across the country. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SOLANE

Unlike counterfeit brands for clothing or bags, fake and knock-off liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks can be a matter of life and death. Any potential of gas leaks from the wrong tank could lead to massive fire incidents, gas explosion and gas leak poisoning.

Unfortunately, despite these known hazards, the market for fake and copycat LPG thanks continues to thrive. While the government is doing its best to cut this activity with regulations against unlawful trade and illegal refilling of tanks, consumers need to stay vigilant against those dealers who deliberately confuse unsuspecting customers with similar-looking products.

Fake tanks pose serious threats
LPG is a volatile, high performance fuel with a low limit for flammability, which means even small leaks from unnoticed holes in dilapidated cylinders could ignite the gas and lead to more serious results.

Non-compliant containers also usually bear fake seals, incorrect labels and expired cylinder dates. Important markers customers can look for are the mandatory markings such as the Bureau of Philippine Standards, the required weight of the tank, and the brand of the company. Important markings as these point to the tank being thoroughly inspected and without these, it is a giveaway that the LPG is unauthorized and unsafe.

An easy sign of illegal LPG tanks is the cylinder — shabby, tarnished and old-looking. Used, scrapped tanks with broken seals are a sure sign that the store is dealing with illegal products. More than the unsightly appearance of the tanks, these kinds of cylinders pose a bigger concern in exposing buyers to potential gas leakage and explosion.

Another way to verify if your product is genuine is its weight. Many illegal refillers underfill the tank for the simple reason of saving money. A standard Solane LPG cylinder, for example, has 11 kilograms LPG content and an empty cylinder weight should be around 13 to 15 kilograms for AS or de salpak and 11.5 to 14 kilograms for POL or de roskas. The weight of the empty cylinder is referred to as tare weight (TW) and this varies per cylinder as indicated in the tank’s shoulder. Therefore, total weight of a filled cylinder should be LPG content + TW. Anything under this, even a fraction, is a sign that it is not a genuine product.

It’s very important to know that exposure to fake products could potentially compromise safety. Gas leaks are still a leading cause of fire in the country. In fact, during last year’s “Fire Prevention Month,” the latest data from the Association of Safety Practitioners of the Philippines and the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) revealed that exploding LPG is still one of the top five causes of fires across the country. In Central Visayas alone, BFP 7 records show 130 fires caused by explosions of LPG tanks or gas stoves, contributing to the 1,893 fires that destroyed P257 million worth of properties in 2019.

Verify your tanks
With the rampant illegal activity among fake LPG dealers and the increasing creativity of illegal sellers in tricking customers, Solane advises purchasing gas tanks only from authorized dealers.

For more safety tips and information, check its website www.solane.com.ph. To locate a Solane store near you, visit tinyurl.com/SolaneStoresNationwide or call (02) 8887-5555 for Metro Manila or send a private message to Solane FB at www.facebook.com/solane.ph.

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Stove-buying season

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Be extra smart when buying kitchen appliances online. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF LA GERMANIA

Who says quarantine will stop cooks at heart from keeping themselves busy in the kitchen to whip up festive meals when the holidays begin in a month or two? The time that people are actually spending at home has served as food for thought to those who are thinking of either getting into a holiday food business or creating potluck dishes to be delivered to loved ones when December hits the calendar.

Invariably, cooking during the time of quarantine also moves one to realize that a kitchen appliance upgrade is in order to keep up with the new volume of dishes one has to prepare as well as to enjoy more cooking techniques in preparing stovetop and baked dishes.
So how does one even begin to shop for new equipment online and from the safety of their home? Italian heritage brand and trusted Filipino kitchen partner La Germania shares a quick online shopping guide to getting the right kitchen appliances.

1. Know what you need.

Function and quality should always come first. While you’ve probably come across pretty appliances while scrolling through social media and trawling through the Internet, keep in mind what you will be using your appliances for and how often you’ll be using them.

A vintage cooking range with a rustic vibe may catch your eye, but if the cooktop is only able to go up to a few heat settings or the oven doesn’t have a timer, those are added worries when you need to be more precise with your cooking.

Read up on the features, tech and quality of each appliance to ensure that it suits more than your aesthetic, but also your needs. La Germania’s product range offers both precision and flair to your cooking and it’s only a matter of figuring out which one works best for you.

2. Know your space.

Before you begin your hunt for your replacement refrigerator or range hood, take measurements to ensure the product you’re getting fits into your kitchen space. Knowing the dimensions you can work with immediately helps narrow down your search.

Consider also the layout of your kitchen and where you’re staying. You don’t want to get a fridge that opens to the right and bumps into your kitchen door all the time, for example. If you’re staying at a condo, induction cookers will be ideal as you wouldn’t have to worry about where to put the gas tank and they typically don’t produce as much smoke when cooking.

3. Know your seller.

As with anything bought online, it’s important to make sure that you’re transacting with legitimate sellers that you can trust. You want to have assurance that you’ll actually get the item that you’re paying for. And it’s never more vital than when you’re buying big items such as kitchen appliances.

Your best bet is to head to the brand’s official website to make your purchase. Alternatively, you can confirm their list of official retailers — whether online or offline — on their website or their official social media pages. This way, you can breathe easy that you’ll get authentic products complete with quality assurance and warranty.

4. Take delivery logistics in consideration.
When making your purchase online, you shouldn’t forget to check the delivery policy of your chosen retailer. If they don’t have it explained within the page, don’t be afraid to chat up their sales representatives. E-commerce channels and websites typically have a built-in chat function so you can speak to a representative about your questions or concerns even before you hit “add to cart.” You want to make sure that your item reaches you in good condition so making these clarifications should be a priority.

Some online shopping malls or platforms may also be able handle delivery of products only up to a certain size, so double-checking a brand’s official website to compare product availability is always a smart step.

For more information, visit La Germania’s website at https://lagermaniaph.com or check out La Germania’s official pages on Shopee (https://shopee.ph/lagermania) and Lazada (https://www.lazada.com.ph/shop/la-germania).

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