You Can Now Check MRT Congestion Levels on Your Phone

Thomas Dy and Philip Cheang, two tech geniuses who first gave us transit application Sakay.ph in 2013, are back with another tool to help the brave commuters of Metro Manila. Traincheck, launched on November 22, is an app that allows train riders to check congestion levels at the MRT and adjust their schedules to avoid long lines. It’s like Waze for commuters. Traincheck estimates how many minutes you’ll be waiting at the MRT station and the best time to leave if you have to be at your destination at a specific hour.

The goal of Traincheck is “to save daily train riders 10 minutes every day by cutting down time spent lining up at suboptimal times.” What exactly can you do in 10 minutes? Well, a lot — from getting another five minutes of snooze, to getting a quick bite.

Sounds too perfect? We know. But the tech behind it is pretty legit.

Traincheck’s creators first looked into the public site of the Department of Transportation where anyone can see real-time camera streams from every station of the MRT-3. Yes, in case you didn’t know yet, you can see how long the lines are at the ticketing booth are, as well as at the platforms, via your computer or phone. Trends on the most congested hours were drawn out, historical data was used to derive patterns, and voila! They are able to predict congestion levels.



Using it is simple. For example, if you’re coming from North Avenue station and you’re willing to wait only for an hour before a train arrives, the app tells you to leave at a later time when there are less people. You can also check out specific hours when the congestion is light, mid-light, medium, mid-heavy, or heavy. This feature is also pushed to the Sakay.ph app to complete the commuter experience.

Traincheck and Sakay.ph are available on your browser, iOS, and Android.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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You Haven’t Seen A Christmas Village Decor As Pinoy As This One

It’s safe to assume that Christmas in the Philippines is like no other. We start the season in September and end it a weeks after the New Year; carolers knock on our doors as early as the first of December, and reunions happen almost every week. We have the Noche Buena on Christmas Eve, which is just an excuse to stuff ourselves with ham, quezo de bola, and fruitcake, only to eat some more on Christmas Day. These and more are captured through the inaugural Christmas village collection of Hello Bermonth.

Hello Bermonth began as a casual conversation between two overseas Filipino workers who would always reminisce about the holidays in their respective hometowns. They observed that Christmas villages are often snow-covered ski villages in the snowy mountains, a quaint small town in the countryside, or a traditional Victorian era cityscape. There hasn’t really been one that represents the Filipino Christmas spirit. This is where Hello Bermonth comes in with its Pasko sa Barrio edition for 2016.

It features the Cathedral San Gabriel (P1,290), a city hall (P1,090), a bahay kubo (P990) with parol, a local bakery (P990), a simple two-storey townhouse (P990), and Christmas tree (P690). There’s also a puto bumbong stand (P490), little carolers (P490), a balikbayan (P490) welcomed home by her family (P390), a young couple attending mass (P390), and a sabongero (P390). The resin buildings and figures are all hand painted. Each collection is also limited to the year it’s released.

Pasko sa Barrio (P7,990 for the 12-piece set) is available at Hello Bermonth. For more information, visit their website and Facebook page.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Chesca Garcia Kramer’s ‘Bati Na’ Trick Whenever Her Kids Fight

Part of parents’ daily goal is to make sure there’s harmony at home. But when you have three active kids, whose ages are so close to each other, petty fights are inevitable.

Cheska Garcia-Kramer — mom of Kendra, 7, Scarlet, 5, and Gavin, 3—revealed to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the recent launch of Fujifilm’s Photo Diary in Discover Suites, how sibling fights are handled at the Kramer household.

She began, “Very petty things. Toys, who got it first. ‘That’s my chair.’ Kung ano yung mga pinag-aawayan natin nung mga bata pa tayo sa mga kapatid natin, ganun din yun.”

Normally, it’s her husband Doug who acts as the referee. Cheska said, “…pagdating sa disiplina, parang mas iniiwan ko yun kay Doug.

“Ako yung parang everyday na nagre-remind, ‘O, kailangan mo nang maligo o kailangan mo nang mag-aral.’ But when it comes to disciplining the kids, I would rather have one point person. Yung talagang nakikipag-usap sa kanila.

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Telling them to stop is one thing, telling them to forgive each other is another. Cheska said, “When Doug is not around, I pull my kids, I talk to them one by one.”

What if that does not work? “…When they don’t wanna budge, and they don’t wanna give in, forgive each other, I gather them close together. Make them hug each other until they’re ready to say sorry.

So nag-aaway sila, later, ‘Hug, don’t let go until I tell you to let go.’ So they’re hugging until they end up laughing, because it’s a light moment. And, you know, they forgive each other. With my children, I realized that that’s the trick of getting them to be friends again.”

Interview by Noel Orsal

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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5 Skincare Habits You Should Be Doing in Your 30s

1. Wash your face the right way
We know you’ve been doing this habit all your life, but have you ever asked yourself if you’ve been washing your face correctly? Whenever you lather on a foam cleanser, you need to let it sit for one minute before rinsing it to let the active ingredients work their magic. In the evening, double-cleansing (the use of makeup removers prior to facial wash) is the best way to clean your pores. Most importantly, never go to bed without washing your face.

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Try: Biore Micellar Water, at Watsons branches

2. Exfoliate every week.
Skin renews every 30 days, but this changes once you reach age 30. It declines a day each year after your 30th birthday. Having dead skin buildup on your skin causes breakouts, makes you look haggard, and decreases your skin’s ability to absorb skincare ingredients. Help your skin by buffing it with gentle peeling gels or mild scrubs. Better yet, visit a derma and have a facial to have your pores purged out carefully of dirt, dead skin, and other unmentionables.

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Try: Cure Natural Aqua Gel, P1,500 at Beauty Bar branches

3. Believe in SPF.
When you slather anti-aging products at night yet you neglect to use suncreen in the morning, you’re just negating your lavish nighttime skincare routine. Sun damage is the prime culprit for skin pigmentation and aging. The only way to fight this is to use (and reapply) sunscreen everyday even if you’re not at the beach!

Try: SCO Skin Essentials Sunlover Facescreen, at Strip and Browhaus branches

4. Hydrate, really.
You have to be serious with anti-aging. If your teens and early 20s were all about battling acne, this age group is all about battling wrinkles and sagging of the skin. Drink lots of water and go for products that will plump up and firm your skin. There are moisturizers available for every skin type even for oily skin.


Try: Kanebo The First Serum, at Rustan’s branches

5. Don’t forget the eye cream and lip balm!
We tend to be lax in terms of eye and lip care, but we really shouldn’t. The skin around these areas are thin, so these show the early signs of aging faster than the rest of the face. Invest in a good eye cream, and dab these around the eye area (hello, crow’s feet!). You may use the leftover eye cream on your lips just like what Heart Evangelista does, or you may swipe on lip balm for young-looking, soft, full lips.

Try: Celeteque Brightening Eye Tuck, P299, at department stores and BeautyMNL

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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7 Things You Can Do to Smell Fresh and ‘Mabango’ All Day

You’re probably up to your neck on your to-do list by now. And judging by the things on your list — shop for gifts, organize parties, do the holiday grocery shopping, cook, plus attend get-togethers, and what not — you’re going to need any feel-fresh hack to tide you through the day, every day. The quick and simple solution would be to spray on your favorite or signature scent. However, heed these guidelines:

1. Choose your scent wisely.
One that smells great on your BFF may smell differently on you because each person has her own biochemistry. An easy way to find your signature scent is to observe the fragrance notes that excite your senses. For example, if you’re a fan of doughnuts, then warm vanilla and sweet scents will work for you. If you find yourself being addicted to the scent of fresh laundry, go for crisp, green, and clean scents.

Whatever fragrance family you choose, try it first on the perfume counter. Leave the scent on your skin for a few hours to find out its ‘final’ scent on you. When you’re happy and satisfied with it, then by all means, take the bottle home with you.

2. Store perfumes properly.

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Exposing your perfume bottles in sunlight, heat, and moisture can alter its molecules. These will lessen the potency of your fragrance and change its color and scent. It’s best to keep your beloved scents stashed in a cool, dry place.

3. Master the art of layering
A basic trick for all-day fragrance: build it up, right from the shower. Start with a shower gel and lotion that mimic your chosen perfume. This subtle veil of fragrance acts as a good base for your perfume.

4. Apply perfume after you shower
The best time to spritz on perfume is when your skin is soft and damp. Plus, spraying on perfume when you’re already dressed may be damaging to fabric and jewelry. The alcohol content may affect the surface of your jewelry.

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5. Know where and how to apply it

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Your wrists aren’t the only spots you need to spritz fragrance on. In fact, the back of the ears, arch of the back, belly button, folds of the elbows, and the back of the knees are prime areas for perfume! The said spots are the warmest areas of the body, which then allow the perfume to diffuse better.

Refrain from rubbing your wrists together, as this breaks down the real molecular structure of the scent. Letting it be allows the real scent to spread out.

6. Keep your skin hydrated
An important factor to having a long-lasting fragrance is moisture. Apply lotion on your skin before spraying perfume to give it something to cling to.

7. Reapply with care

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Of course our tips above can extend the wear of your fragrance, but you still need to re-spray after a few hours. Massage unscented lotion first on your pulse points before spritzing perfume again for a lasting scent. And if you’re a bit sweaty, wipe it off first before spraying to avoid the fragrance from smelling funny.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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7 Romantic Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen But Should

1. Man Up

Starring: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell

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Recently divorced Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes Nancy (Lake Bell) for the woman he has a blind date with, but instead of telling him, she plays along to see what happens. And it’s seriously one of the cutest dates of all time.

2. Enough Said

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Galdofini

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Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (James Galdofini) are both divorced single parents of teenagers. They meet and realize that they have a lot in common. Eva makes a new friend—Marianne (Catherine Keener)—who she really connects with, and they bond over their failed marriages…except she later finds out that Catherine’s ex-husband is Albert.

3. Sleeping With Other People

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie

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Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) have a one-night stand in college—btw, they lose their virginities to each other—and 12 years and several failed relationships later, they run into each other. Despite their instant attraction, they attempt to become platonic friends.

4. Two Night Stand

Starring: Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton

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What was supposed to be a casual hookup turns into an intimate bonding sesh between Alec (Miles Teller) and Megan (Analeigh Tipton) when they get stuck in one apartment because of a snowstorm.

5. French Kiss

Starring: Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline

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Kate (Meg Ryan) thought she was in a solid, serious relationship until her boyfriend, Charlie, falls in love with another woman during a business trip in France. On her flight to Paris, she meets Luc (Kevin Kline), who eventually tries to help her win Charlie back.

6. Comet

Starring: Justin Long, Emmy Rossum

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Cynical Dell (Justin Long) and insightful Kimberly (Emmy Rossum) meet and fall in love while lining up to watch a meteor shower. The entire movie jumps through different stages of their six-year relationship. Everything hurts, but in the best possible way.

7. Life Partners

Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Leighton Meester

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Best friends and complete opposites Sasha (Leighton Meester) and Paige’s (Gillian Jacobs) friendship dramatically changes when Paige gets into a serious relationship, and Sasha feels left out. By the way, the guy Paige falls in love with is played by Adam Brody, who is Leighton Meester’s real-life hubby!

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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Marian Rivera and Baby Zia are Super Adorable in Twinning Outfits

A few days shy from turning one year old, Zia Dantes has already shown flair for fashion.

Wasn’t she adorable in her off-shoulder top?

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She also rocked this fairy costume at the birthday party of Baby Lucia, the daughter of Bianca Gonzalez and JC Intal.

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On ordinary days, she and her mommy Marian Rivera can be spotted wearing matching OOTDs. Here are a few:

Pretty in Pink

Weeks after she was born last November 23, 2015, the baby and mommy wore terno pink dresses.

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Bright and beautiful
The mother and daughter pair greeted 2016 in orange polka-dot dresses.

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Denim Day
Here’s her video with Mommy Yan (Marian’s nickname) dancing in their white tops and denims.

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Classic and chic

Just last November 5, Zia was no doubt a “Little Marian.” They wore dresses by Mariane Perez.

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The designer was so “kilig” to see her twinning outfits on Marian and Zia.

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This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

*Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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These Cool 2017 Planners Are Only P20 Each!

There are people who would drown themselves in coffee to get their hands on a coveted planner, but there are also those who just need a P20 pocket planner to get by…and who could resist these budget-friendly planners when they look this cute?

You’re looking at Papemelroti’s 2017 Pocket Planners, and they’re really only P20 each! These monthly planners come in 12 different designs by Papemelroti artists and make use of unbleached, recycled paper–they’re perfect for straightforward people who like to see their entire monthly plans at one glance!

Aside from their popular pocket planners, Papemelroti is celebrating their 50th anniversary and they’re coming out with special edition daily planners fro the first time. The 50th Anniversary Planners are available in 10 different designs and all feature inspiring quotes and artwork by their designers. You can score them for P398 each!

The 2017 Pocket Planners and 50th Anniversary Planners are available in Papemelroti stores.

For more information, log on to Papemelroti’s Facebook page

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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10 Lipsticks That Can Brighten Your Complexion Instantly

With just a simple swipe of lipstick, a bare, makeup-free face can look made up in seconds. Plus, with the right shade, it can perk up sleep-deprived skin. Here, we list down the beaming shades you can paint your pout with!

1. Muted papaya with a hint of pink

NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Playpen, at Rustan’s

2. Gradient combination of magenta, hot pink, and nude

Maybelline Lip Flush Bitten Lip Color in PK01, P299, at department stores and Beautymnl

3. Muted red

Kanebo Moisture Rouge in Code Red, at Rustan’s

4. Rosy brown

Celeteque Matte Lipstick in Nude, P595, at department stores

5. Persimmon


Dior Rouge Lipstick in Ready, at SM Makati

6. Bright, fuschia purple


Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipstick in Fandango Purple, P450, at department stores

7. Coral red

Esteé Lauder Pure Color Sculpting Lipstick in Daring, P1,700 at Rustan’s

8. Warm, brick red with a touch of greige


Pink Sugar Lip and Cheek Tint in Queen Bee, P349 at department stores

9. Dusty rose aka my-lips-but-better


Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse in Laugh Always, P699, at Glorietta

10. Classic, ruby red

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Collection in Ruby Red, P595, at department stores

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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3 Crucial Differences Between Healthy and Toxic Marriage

We all know that finding the person who complements you and finds your little quirky habits appealing is definitely one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. But sometimes, when you’re so drunk in love, you also tend to settle. You end up compromising your standards to fit your partner’s capabilities, and you unknowingly turn a blind eye on the red flags of an unhealthy relationship — yes, even if you’re already married.


Manhattan-based clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy.D says that toxic relationships usually start with intense passion and attraction until it becomes controlling in the long run. “That makes it much more difficult for the person to push back or leave the relationship until it really starts to escalate,” he adds. If your marriage is showing signs decay, recognize the signs early so you can overturn your relationships for the better.

Healthy relationships understand the importance of apologizing; toxic relationships play the blame game.
Anne Brennan Malec, Psy.D., a Chicago-based clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why it Works, When it Works explains that the reason some people don’t want to say sorry is because it makes them feel vulnerable or flawed.

Couples who are in a healthy and mature union wouldn’t mind swallowing their pride when there’s trouble in paradise; both parties will strive to be the bigger and better person by acknowledging their mistakes instead of passing the blame on to their partners.

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Healthy relationships bring out the best in you; toxic relationships pull you down and drain you out.
Whether it’s good or bad, they say that the only thing constant in this world is change. You won’t be the same person you both were when you started dating so it’s important to accept the good things that come your way.

It may be in your career or life in general, if he can’t handle the way you’re growing into the woman you’re supposed to be, it will only lead to fights – and before you know it, you start to bend your ways just to satisfy his ego.

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A healthy relationship is a two-way street; a toxic relationship is only focused on the benefit of one person.
Remember that there are two people in the relationship – not just one; so if he shuts you down when you try to speak you mind, you’ll only end up bottling all your emotions inside which can be dangerous to your health.

A study conducted by psychologists from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester found that “suppressing emotions may increase the risk of dying from heart disease and certain forms of cancer.” Aside from that, it can also take a toll on your mental health. “Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment,” says Tori Rodriguez, a psychotherapist and writer based in Atlanta.

This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.

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