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**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.**

I am no car enthusiast nor a car owner. But I once had thoughts of getting a car for myself. But how do you choose the right car for you? Here’s a checklist as a guide..

Decide whether you want to buy from a dealership, private seller, or an auction

Once you’ve made the choice to shop for a car, the next decision you’ll face is where to buy it from car dealerships are often the safest bet, and very useful if buying a used because they are required by law to present the vehicle as factually as possible. That means that you won’t have to worry as much about surprises down the road. All new vehicles will come with a warranty and at most dealerships even used vehicles will have a warranty of some kind.

If anything covered under warranty goes wrong, you’ll be able to return to the dealership and have them take care of the issue for you. Additionally, dealerships generally offer financing options to allow you to pay for the car over time, and most will also be happy to take your old car as a trade-in to help offset the price. Private sellers, on the other hand, have a more intimate knowledge of the vehicle itself, and can explain the car’s specific driving history. Private sellers also have no ‘overhead,’ which means that they’re generally willing to sell the car for significantly less.

Auctions offer the potential for the lowest prices of all three options, but are also the biggest risk. In all likelihood, you won’t even get the opportunity to test drive an auction vehicle before you buy it.

Research the seller


Assuming that you choose to buy from a dealership or a private seller, your next step is to find out what you can about them. For dealerships, check online reviews to see how happy (or unhappy) buyers have been with the quality of the vehicles sold, and how willing they are to support their customers if something goes wrong. Private sellers don’t generally have online reviews, but that shouldn’t stop you from investigating them a little.

Likewise, speak with the seller and ask about the car’s personal history. Ask to see their identification, and compare it to the car’s title to see if the name’s match. If the seller claims to be selling the car for a friend or relative, then there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a curbstoner.

Get to know the car


Once you’re happy with the seller/dealership , the next step is to check out the car itself. For a new vehicle this will deal mostly with your personal taste and preferences. However if you’re buying a used-car you’ll have to do a little digging to learn the condition of the car. You should probably expect a little bit of wear and tear (unless the seller has assured you that there isn’t any), and ask about any specific problems they car may have, so that you can factor that information into your offer.

Pay special attention to any dents, scrapes, dings, flaking paint, rust, hale damage, or any other cosmetic damages that you may find. Check all of the glass windows and the mirrors for cracks. Check the body panels to make sure they are properly and evenly aligned (uneven body panels could indicate a car that has been rebuilt following an accident).

Open the engine, trunk, and all doors, and check to make sure that the hinges, handles, keys and locks all work as they should. Check the car’s electrical systems, including lights.

Drive the car


The test drive may be the most important (and enjoyable) part of the car-buying process, so make sure that you do it right. Get in the car and test all of the seat belts to make sure that they function properly. Adjust your mirrors and get a feel for the driver’s range of visibility (if the car features window-tint, you may wish to test drive the vehicle at night so that you can get a feel for how easy it is to see through the windows when it’s dark, not to mention give the headlights a proper test).

If it’s a used vehicle, turn on the engine, and before shifting the car into gear, listen to sound that the car makes—if the engine noise is anything other than smooth and uniform sounding, you may be dealing with a car that is in need of repairs. Shift the car into gear, making note of any delays as the car changes gears. As you drive, pay attention to the feel of the overall vehicle. Does it pull to one direction or the other? Do the pedals lack firm pressure when you depress them? Are the gauges or dashboard lights indicating any problems? Are there any new noises being made by the car as you drive? Be aware that every car will feel different when you first drive it, but issues such as sluggishness or unresponsiveness may indicate bigger problems with the vehicle itself.

Have the car inspected by a mechanic


If you’re looking at a used vehicle and you’re still interested after driving the car, ask the dealership or private seller if they would be willing to allow you to take the car to a vehicle mechanic. If the seller declines, then they may be attempting to hide something from you, and you should be very careful about continuing the transaction.

If you get permission to take the car to a mechanic, you’ll likely have to pay for the inspection yourself, but at least you’ll be getting an impartial, professional opinion of what the car should be worth.

Take a step back


If everything looks good, then you may have found the car for you. However, take some time to catch your breath. Buying a car can be an exciting experience, and it can be easy to get swept up in the frenzy of the purchase. Of course, the seller may not wish to reserve the car for you while you make your decision, and many will claim that they have other sellers who are interested in the vehicle—but don’t let that push you into completing the sale before you’re ready. If the car is sold to another party while you’re making your decision, then that’s just the way it goes. Take a couple of days to think about the purchase, carefully weighing the pros and cons. If, after a day or so, you’re still interested, then contact the seller, because it’s time to talk price.

Close the deal


Unless you’re happy to pay the asking price, you’re going to have to rely on your negotiation skills to find an amount that both you and the seller are happy with. Allow us to offer some advice: be honest. There’s no reason why you should try to cheat the seller, and if you establish a relationship of trust, the seller will be more likely to want to give you a good deal.

Here’s were Cars.com gets in the picture. It’s a great resource to learning about your potential purchase. Their website has a huge selection of information that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchase. What’s good about this website is that provide straight information on the car. No sugar coating involved.

Buying a brand new or used car can save you some serious money, but only if you take the time to do it right. Keep these tips in mind, and you may just find yourself driving home in a car that you love, without having to empty out your bank account.

Let’s all celebrate World Oceans Month together with WWF-Philippines, Oceana, the Department of Tourism, Canon Philippines and Solaire Resorts as they showcase the captivating underwater photos of multi-awarded photographers Anna Varona and Danny Ocampo in a breath-taking visual spectacle entitled “Rule of Two-Thirds Underwater Photo Exhibit for Marine Conservation”  featuring the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs):  Marine Sanctuary in Tingloy, Batangas, Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Cagayancillo and Tubbataha in Palawan and Tanon Straight in the Visayas.

Photographer, Responsible Tourism Advocate, Diver and Marine Wonder Woman,  Anna Varona and her collection aims to spread awareness on the role of MPAs in the management of long term food security not only in the locality of the MPAs but for the whole country as well.  She believes that this endeavor is very much aligned with the World Oceans Day 2017 theme: “Our Ocean, Our Future”.  According to Anna, these MPAs ensure that our coastal resources and produce are given the chance to regenerate and provide the nation with the sustenance of the sea not for this generation, but for the coming generations to come.  The MPAs can also assure  that our local fishermen are given a more stable means of livelihood as well as the education of the local fisherfolk and the LGUs towards a more stable and sustainable livelihood.

On the other hand, Diver-Photographer and Marine-Life Superhero Danny Ocampo, campaigns for ethical and responsible diving and photography, and hopes to influence tourists, foreign and local alike, to be more responsible and respectful when they visit the MPAs, as a lot of these, especially that of Apo Island, continue to inspire hundreds of individuals, organizations and policy makers here and abroad.  Sadly, its popularly is beginning to be its bane and measures have to be taken to ensure that tourism and conservation complement each other.

A big congratulations for the WWF Team who put together this effort, along with artist-collaborators Anna and Danny, together with the Department of Tourism, Canon Philippines who sponsored the printing of all the portraits, including the postcard versions that will be sold to help the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines in their continuous efforts to conserve the Philippine oceans and the communities that greatly depend on them.

A salute to the   “Rule of Two-Thirds Underwater Photo Exhibit for Marine Conservation”  as it opened to the public.  WWF-Philippines’ work in protecting the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park inspired the declaration of a one million MPA by the Municipal Government of Cagayancillo though a municipal ordinance covering its entire municipal waters and surrounding open sea.  

The exhibit runs until the 22nd of June, 2017 at the Art Wing, Ground Floor of Solaire Resorts.
**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.**

I remember growing up calling my grand dad “Daddy Abo” or “Daddy Kalbo”,  “Kalbo” meaning bald.. well, as I remember, he wasn’t really totally bald he still had some hair and because of me calling him as such… he had to go and get himself a wig to cover up his top up and so that I would stop teasing him… I was probably 3 or 4 and was just starting to speak and wasn’t really intentionally teasing my poor old grand dad.  He was then in his late 50’s maybe, quite young to be balding, but unfortunately men in our family, my mom’s side had a receding hairline or thinning of hair.  Apparently according to the women in the family, my grandmum who I call “Ms. Bubba” which I got from Ms. Aruba, one of the favorites during the 70’s Ms. Universe, and the story I will surely tell you on another day – according to them – our grand dad, in his younger days, during the pre-war time was always in a white suit and always had his hair well combed and full of pomade.  I guess the gels or wax came after several generations after.  And because of this, later on maybe during his 30’s or 40’s he started to lose quite a large amount of hair and therefore later on decided to solve this problem and my teasing by getting himself a “topay” or what is better known as a wig.

It did help him quite a big deal, he regained his confidence, I stopped teasing him and I suppose he got some respect, plus, a person with a full head of hair surely would look younger. I grew older and could pronounce words better, and called him Daddy Alex instead.

A wig, though simple as it may seem, has a vast number of uses and/or benefits – a simple accessory to match your mood or outfit,  to enhance one’s features, to disguise one’s personality, to solve one’s insecurity, to gain respect, to hide an ailment or if one is going through treatment, from the simplest reasons to the deepest or even darkest reasons.

What’s good is that now we have a wide variety of choices to choose from different styles or cuts, like human hair ponytails; a variety of colors, lengths, and of quality.  Yes it was used by some of my relatives but wigs are of course mainly used by women.  It’s available in wig specialty shops in the malls, in the specialty salons and now it’s even easier to acquire – online and have them delivered right to your doorstep.

I have short hair and I’ve always wondered if I could maybe sometimes use a wig to extend my hair on some occasions when I need to have longer hair. Or maybe for those who aren’t really sure if having permanent hair color would suit them it would be great to try on a wig first before doing the actual color or before even damaging their real hair. It really is fun to explore all these fashion accessory options and the different looks that I can achieve.  Wigs are fun to wear! And being a girly girl makes everything possible!