A digital savings account that encourages a healthy savings mindset is now possible. ING Philippines redefine savings with the launch of its all-digital platform. Opening an ING digital savings account was seamless. I downloaded the ING mobile app and in 10 minutes, I was ready for mobile banking by depositing a check through the app.  How convenient that I need not go to the bank to deposit the check.

ING’s country manager in the Philippines Hans Sicat described this as an opportune moment for ING to expand its presence in the country with a retail banking service anchored on a digital platform.  With a universal bank license in the Philippines, ING has been active in the country since 1990. “ING wants to encourage more Filipinos to save by giving an attractive interest rate of 2.5 percent per annum (p. a.) with no minimum amount and no lock-in period,” Sicat said.

READ: The ING app, an all digital savings account

There are six reasons ING digital savings account is worth looking at.

1. It is the first bank savings product where all bank transactions are conducted through the ING mobile app. 

It is the first bank authorized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to allow end-to-end electronic onboarding of the customers via the mobile phone by using the latest in facial recognition technology.

2. A higher interest rate of 2.5 percent p.a. on savings balance of up to P10 million would be offered to ING users starting June 1, 2019. Any amount over P10 million would earn an interest rate of 1 percent p.a.

If you compare the interest rates with other banks, ING offers even higher than time deposit rates. Most savings accounts from major banks in the Philippines grow funds at 0.10 percent to 0.25 percent p.a..  A few high-interest savings accounts give up to 1.56 percent p.a. depending on the amount. All these banks require a minimum amount to earn interest. What’s the catch? One gets better rates because ING has lower operating costs since they do not have physical branches.Advertisements

3. No minimum amount or holding period.

The ING Savings Account offers high interest rate with no minimum amount. If one wants to withdraw the money from their ING Savings Account, transfer of funds is free to any bank in the Philippines in just a few clicks via the ING app. There is no holding period to enjoy the 2.5 percent interest rate p.a.

4. Deposit anytime, anywhere.

You could deposit money into your ING Savings Account through your mobile phone, either via check deposit or money transfers from other banks’ online banking channels. Your bank must have the PESONet or InstaPay system which lists “ING” as one of the receiving banks. Using the ING app, a customer could deposit to his account by taking a picture of any check issued by any bank based in the Philippines. The check image goes to the same interbank check clearing system. This game-changing feature is the first ever approved by the Philippine Clearing House Corp. Deputy Governor Fonacier of  BSP says “ING is one of the first few banks to adopt PESONet, and now, they are also connected to the Instapay platform. Both are initiatives by the BSP to promote digital fund transfers.”

5. Convenience is a primary consideration.

Whenever I visit the nearest branch of my bank, I need to park and pay at least P50 for parking then queue to deposit my check. I end up spending too since I am already at the mall. Even looking for a parking space in branches outside the mall is a challenge. Those working close to the banks don’t face the same challenge as a work-at-home mom like myself.  Since it’s all digital, you need not take a day off to take care of your banking needs. They could answer questions through the 24/7 customer chat support on the app.

6. Compliant with ING’s global standards and BSP’s standards.

ING mobile-only business model in the Philippines was built from the ground up. As a global bank with over 20 years expertise in branchless banking, they use the latest security

features under ING’s global standards. Since ING is a member of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), the maximum deposit insurance for each depositor is P500,000.

The ING savings account is its first product. More products would be rolled out soon, focusing not just on the features but also how the product would be delivered. ING is not just another digital banking product. With its high interest rate, it allows Filipinos to achieve their savings goals faster such as building an emergency fund. I could see myself saving more with the ING app.

Originally published at “A savings mindset with the ING full-digital savings account” on Sunday Business & IT, May 26, 2019.

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa

With the advent of selfies, looking good in the pic matters or else, why take selfies at all?

A few years ago, my friends lamented , “Why do you manage to look so nice in all the photos? ” We were making goofy faces with the photo booth in Dine’s macbook and all of us were having a ball experimenting with our smiles. I glanced at the photo and caught my usual upper smile, my mouth slightly open with the upper teeth seen. I tell them “the secret is because I practiced the art of smiling since my teen years.” Let me tell you why.

As the daughter of a very fair skinned mom, my cruel uncles ( the brothers of my mom) often teased I was “negra”. I was made to believe that being “negra” is ugly. What has color got to do with beauty anyway? I grew up believing I was ugly which in effect made me shy and feeling well “ugly”. I don’t know why my mother never stopped my uncles from calling me such horrible names. Then I became a teenager. I was fixing the bed of my mom and caught a reflection of myself in the mirror. I tossed my long glossy straight hair and then stared at my face . I smiled at my reflection and liked what I saw . I said to myself “You’re not ugly after all.” Maybe I was just being narcissistic after seeing myself with a smile instead of a scowl but from that day on, I smiled at my reflection whenever I passed by the mirror.

It helped that I got the smiling genes of my jolly father.

My sisters also got the smiling genes.

(Taken 2010.)

But despite perfecting the art of smiling, there was a time I couldn’t smile. Look at my no-glow smile photo below. Sure, my lips curve back and my mouth opens to expose the upper teeth but my eyes are lifeless. This was during the darkest moments of my grief journey and the time I suffered from borderline obesity.

See, there’s more to smiling than just moving the lips.

How does one develop a genuine, infectious smile?

It starts inside of you. If you are happy, it radiates and shows in the twinkle of your eyes.

1. Believe that you are beautiful inside and out. Your smile is bound to look better if you feel good about yourself!

2. Look in the mirror and start practicing until it becomes a natural reaction.

    • You have no need for the “The Beauty Smile Trainer” a mouthpiece designed specifically to make your smile wider and more amicable than the one you already have.
    • Every mouth is shaped differently and there types of smiles which work only for you. Check the 5 types of smiles which suit you.

Determine your best smile.

3. Smile with your eyes. When we think of smiling, we think of the mouth, but the eyes may actually be more essential to a warm, genuine smile. Once your eyes are smiling, they tend to pull your whole face (including your mouth) into a natural, beautiful smile. Here is a tip on how to smile with the eyes

Smiling with your eyes is difficult to describe–in general your cheekbones lift slightly and your eyebrows dip a little–but when you see it, you know it: it’s that look of your eyes “lighting up” or “twinkling.” To get a feel for how to make your eyes smile, get in front of a mirror and practice smiling, but concentrate only on your eyes. You may find it helpful to cover the lower part of your face with a piece of paper. Play around with it a bit, and you’ll find that you can make your mouth smile when your eyes aren’t smiling, and you can also smile only with your eyes. When your eyes do smile, remember how it feels, which muscles are working and how. With practice, you’ll be able to smile with your eyes at will.

4. Take practice shots from your digital camera. Raise your chin slightly if your photos tend to show your flabby chin. Knowing your best angle also helps.

5. Just have fun. Be in a happy state of mind and the smile will show.

The smiles show in my family.

How do you smile? Do you have other tips that developed your winning smile?

Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall. A mother’s secret hope outlives them all. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

my children

I was once a mother with small kids. There are so many amazing mommy experiences that I want to capture them in a few photos. I loved watching my girls sing, laugh, and play together. There were just two of them for the first six years until Luijoe came later. I miss being a mom of little kids. At that time, all I could think of “hurry up. Grow up fast”. Now I look back and see their cute adorable faces and often sign “why did they grow up so fast”. I will always be a mother in every stage of my children’s life. There is a quote that says “a man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.’ The needs change in every stage but they will always be my children.

Let me take you down to memory lane.

Laughing even if little Lauren says ” I am tired of this photo shoot.

Being pregnant with M. as L. turns one year old. Spacing is always a good idea.

M named after the Dutch form of Mary. I was sick with acute Hepatitis B when I was 6 weeks pregnant. I prayed to Mother Mary so that my baby won’t get sick.

Not a good idea to wear longish hair style if your kids sleep with you.

Having two little kids in tow cause competition. Who should be in my arms? aww poor Lauren wanted to be carried too.

I don’t regret giving up my career to be a full-time mother. The lessons learned from being a mother makes me a better person today. My children taught me a lot. Those parenting books don’t really teach you much. One should take time to be attuned to one’s kids, and listen to their feelings.

My daughter thinks my dress is horrible in this photo but how would I have known? They have taught me how a mother should dress in style which I share in my Beauty Over 50 blog.

Then I was blessed to have three beautiful children. How I miss my little babies.

Having Luijoe at 35 years old meant it was harder to lose weight. I was 48 years old when I finally lost significant weight.

I was so fat that I was not inspired to have photos with Luijoe and me together. One of my regrets.

The truth is I made mistakes that makes me wish I could turn back the time. Yes, I cannot undo the past  but I wish I had a support group of mom friends.  Looking now at my mistakes, I would not have discovered my capacity to be a better person and more loving mother. No wonder Rajneesh mentioned that “the moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ”

Mothers these days are so lucky because they have access to information and support from other mothers. In those days as a young mother, I had to buy books that were hard to find.

Though Luijoe is not with me anymore, he lives in my heart. Just like my two girls, it’s been a short while I held their hands. I know I will hold their hearts forever.

I wish all the young mothers out there, to always take care of yourself . Do a “Pamper Me” once a week and most of all, play, enjoy and have fun with your kids (no matter what age they are).

Happy Mother’s Day.


A few years ago, my younger sister told me to watch the movie “Disconnect” which tackles the issues surrounding the internet from Webcam sex shows, identity theft, and cyber-bullying. Only Robinson Galleria was showing the movie. As an advocate for kids’ web safety, I thought of watching it to see if there is anything new. I won’t write any reviews but the movie can be summed up this way.

Disconnect is three stories, with each plot a dire warning about this new-fangled Internet technology. One story is about a local TV reporter (Andrea Riseborough) and her relationship with a young man (Max Thieriot) who does sex-cam shows. Another follows a married couple (Alexander Skarsgard and Paula Patton) who have their identity stolen, and are plunged further into debt. The third tale revolves around two high school kids (Colin Ford and Aviad Bernstein) who pretend to be a teenage girl on Facebook so they can play a cruel prank on their shy classmate (Jonah Bobo).

There is really nothing new with the movie. ““Disconnect” is best summed up by the words of the cyber detective, ““If you’re going to [expletive] with someone, do it to their face.” While identity theft, cyber-bullying, and underage sex performers are a reality, these do not define the communications in the Internet age. As a mother with kids during the early years of the internet in the mid nineties, I have always followed the golden rule that parenting online isn’t much different than parenting your child when they aren’t in front of a keyboard.

For our kids, social networking is an exciting way to stay informed, grow relationships and have fun.

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

pew internet parent survey

The fact is “teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past.” Although there are no studies done in the Philippines, results of a PEW survey of 802 teens that examines teens’ privacy management on social media sites is disturbing (You can read the full report here). Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past such as the following:

91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
71% post their school name, up from 49%.
71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
53% post their email address, up from 29%.
20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.

Knowing that these information may land in the wrong hands is worrisome. I also believe that teens should become more proactive with their safety . They need to be part of the solution. Steps to safeguard them starts when they are younger, way before they are teens.

Parents need to educate them about staying safer and more secure on the internet. If you allow your kids to use social media, safety is knowing the right settings and supervising them . It has to be said again.

1. Educate your kids on the dangers of sharing too much information.

2. Make sure your computer has adequate virus protection to prevent trojans in the computer.

3 . Keep the computer in a social area of the house so it is easy to monitor who your children are interacting with.

Disconnect 1

Caring for our children’s digital footprints


My two girls used a screen moniker when they were pre-teens using the world wide web. There were no social networks before except chat rooms and the comment section of blogs. Safety was my number one concern. Since I cannot cover their eyes, or shadow them everywhere, I needed to teach them how to see and how to behave responsibly. I started them early.

These days, a lot of teens probably don’t know that every time they post publicly, they are leaving their digital footprint. A digital footprint is the data trail one leaves with everything our kids do online. Data is being stored from their smartphone to the Internet and social networks. Parents can gently remind their teens on caring about their digital footprint through this article, Teenagers: Why You Should Care About Your Digital Footprint :

1. Information travels fast and is often taken out of context.

Depending on what it is that you see, take a moment to find out if it’s true. Call your friend or check other news sources,. If you’re not sure, wait

2. Don’t be impulsive.

If you do want an outlet to further explain your thoughts and feelings, think about blogging! Blogging is a more appropriate space for some topics we think about posting on Facebook. If you do decide to blog, be mindful of what you say, how it can be interpreted and what it says about you. It’s still a digital place where your body language can’t be seen.

3. If you wouldn’t say it face to face, don’t say it in the social space.

‘Treat others as you want to be treated’, still applies online.

4. Not everything is personal

Just take a second, breathe and reread a post before responding. Even better, if you’re not sure, privately message your friend and ask them about it.

5. You are not as anonymous as you think

Assume that there is no such thing as privacy. Blogs, emails, websites and comments can be tracked back to you. This shouldn’t scare you, but will help you reconsider your potential online actions.

6. Your online actions could make or break you

College recruiters, potential employers and colleagues will look at your digital footprint. If you wouldn’t say it or show it to your grandma, it probably shouldn’t go online. From photos to status remarks, you should always portray yourself in a positive light.

7.Stop Before You Hit Submit

Consider the reactions of those who see your content. Before you post, think:
Does anyone really care?
Is this really something I want to share or am I just venting?
How would I feel if I was the one receiving or reading that?
Could this hurt someone I know?

While the issues of “Disconnect”, the movie is painfully real, it is not as morbid as it should be. The story of a family disconnected through technology can happen but it is the parent who can keep the family together. There is no need to disconnect from the reality that this is wired generation. Parents should connect with their kids at an early age. Online privacy, cyber-bullying and your digital footprint is a serious matter. We need to remind our children to take of themselves, their reputation and look out for their friends.

I have always stated that family values need to be passed along. Family values passed along to every generation play a monumental role in how our child learns and grows. Defining this time will help our family to understand what is important and what it means when one is talking about issues such as family time, play time, and other larger issues such as spirituality and the beliefs that we wish our child to grow up with.

This is the connection that needs to be defined with our children.

Photo of digital footprint from digitalfamilysummit.com