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Saturday, December 5, 2015

11th Philippine Blogging Summit: iBlog Therefore I Am


Wazzup Pilipinas!

I still consider myself a noob in blogging since I am not really aware of the technicalities like SEO and stuff, and even the accepted etiquette that is expected of a blogger. Though there have been so many issues surrounding bloggers due to these similar situations, where most are unaware of the proper actions to take as a blogger, I believe there are redeeming qualities that make up for the lack of formal training similar to what journalist undergo.

The big difference bloggers have with journalists is that we are supposed to be biased and emotional. Since we all know that blogs were supposed to be our online journals - where we can share all our special experiences, thoughts and opinions - there are some people that would discourage being too open and would want us to abide by rules they believe should be followed by everyone in the blogging community.

However, even the guests speakers from the iBlog events themselves have conflicting opinions and share different methods and strategies which further strengthens and confirms my belief that man-made guidelines are just there to serve as suggestions and not really to anchor us down and limit our creativity.

Now on its 11th year, iBlog, more popularly known as the Philippine Blogging Summit, is organized by Janette Toral, known to many as the Mother of E-Commerce, and one of the influences in my blogging life, was held at the Penthouse Lecture Room of Bocobo Hall, UP Law Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City. It's a two-day event held this time on December 4 and 5, 2015 to accommodate more people who may not be available on a single date.

NBA2k Online Ready to Awe Gamers


Wazzup Pilipinas!

NBA2K Online is an action-sports online game that combines the best of what the award-winning NBA2K basketball video game series has to offer with immersive gameplay, rich player customization, and a massive online community.

I'm quite familiar with online games and the NBA2K franchise since I was previously an Internet Cafe and Gaming Shop owner for several years before I got into the world of blogging. I still remember how updated my online games were, and how diligent I was in keeping it patched and ready with the latest program updates so that my customers will nit have to wait for the game loading for a long time. Keeping the online games updated with the latest patches was a regular task I would usually do on a weekly basis, or sometimes daily, because there were several online games that needed to be updated as well.

NBA2k was a very popular game as well, but it was only played via network gaming. Though there were already a few online basketball games back then, this will be my first time to encounter NBA2K as an online game.

X-Play Online Games upped the tempo when NBA2K Online entered its open beta test (OBT) phase on November 24, 2015. A media launch was held on December 3, 2015 at the NBA Store located in Glorietta 3, Makati city.

The Intellectual Property (IP) is owned by 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and is co-developed by Visual Concepts China and Tencent.

From Grit to Great with Jonathan Yabut Book Launch


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Jonathan Yabut, the lucky and very deserving Filipino winner of hit reality TV show The Apprentice Asia, recently launched his book in the Philippines on December 3 at Fully Booked Bonifacio Global City (BGC) High Street.

What started out as a series of posts on his popular Facebook fanpage(Facebook.com/AAJonathanYabut) became a collection of stories on how Jonathan won the show through leadership and grit. It is now an autobiography and motivational book, entitled "From Grit to Great." The book shares his life journey from humble beginnings to winning the “world’s toughest job interview.

For every book that you purchase, a portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to educational NGOs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam. The beneficiaries of “From Grit To Great are Yayasan Bright Foundation Indonesia, Teach for Malaysia, Student Development Fund of Vietnam, and our very own UP School of Economics Alumni Foundation.

The book is a delightful treat for aspiring students, rockstar yuppies, and budding entrepreneurs looking for inspiration and motivation to succeed. It’s the book where business meets wit. Though, upon interview with Jonathan himself, he said it's not limited to the youth or those below 35 years old, since anybody can still find inspiration from the book no matter what age they are.

Don Papa Rum Ambassadors and Don of Cocktails Hit Philippine Bars


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Don Papa Rum, a premium aged small batch rum from the Philippine island of Negros Occidental (known locally as Sugarlandia), is the flagship spirit of the Bleeding Heart Rum Company, the trading arm of Chat Noir Co.Inc, based in Manila.

Don Papa puts other rums to shame and sets a new standard in Philippine luxury with its magnificently bottle packaging with eye-catching design and a real cork stopper. Distilled from the finest sugar cane, Don Papa actually has two products, its flagship spirit, the 7 year old, which is aged in American oak barrels thus giving it a light amber color. It is light and fruity on the nose, smooth and delicate in the mouth with a long textured finish, offering flavors of vanilla, honey, and candied fruits.

Meanwhile, the second product, the limited-edition super premium 10 year old, showcases the Blender’s art to perfection. A careful, artisanal process by dedicated master craftsmen steeped in the Filipino rum-making tradition. The rum is aged for ten, long years in re-charred American oak barrels, giving it a dark amber color with hints of oak and vanilla. Its higher cask strength gives Don Papa 10 year old a slightly higher ABV of 43%.

At the Philippine launch of Don Papa 10 were Matthias Cadeac D’Arbaud, Don Papa Rum’s International Brand Ambassador, Davide Boncimino, the overall champion of Don Papa’s first-ever cocktail competition, a nationwide search for the ultimate Don of Cocktails, Celina Le Neindre, another Don Papa Brand Ambassador, and Kathryn Eckstein-Cornista, Don Papa Brand Ambassador and Mixologist. Also at the event were Christel Molina, Don Papa Brand Manager, Andrew Garcia, Managing Director for Asia-Pacific, and Monica Llamas, Head of Brand Communications.

Eleven Years of Marketing the Philippine Energy Sector


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With the fast evolving landscape and developments in energy policies, the Department of Energy (DOE), through the Investment Promotion Office, has been conducting regular investment fora in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao to promote investments in the Philippine Energy Sector by facilitating the process of doing business and availment of incentives in the country.

In observance of the National Energy Consciousness Month, the DOE held its last Energy Investment Forum for 2015, now on its 11th year, on December 04 (today) from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the InterContinental Hotel in Makati City.

Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos said that the DOE urges the private sector to invest more and for timely installation of committed projects, adding that “We hope to see the infusion of investments in the coming years to be able to provide for reliable supply of electricity in the country.”

The Energy Investment Forum presents the current energy climate including the demand-supply outlook, potentials in the power sector, and developments of conventional, renewable and alternative energy resources.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Exciting Biscoff Biscoveries for Christmas


Wazzup Pilipinas!

It is once again the sweetest time of the year and making the holidays even sweeter is Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee[1], Biscoff. An original from Belgium, Biscoff is spreading its sweetness in Manila. Long known as the perfect partner for any coffee break, Biscoff is now also being introduced as the perfect culinary partner.

Just in time for the holidays, Biscoff gives away easy to make, do-it-yourself recipes that are perfect for the holiday season. Whether to use as gifts or as holiday party treats, Biscoff offers delightful bites that everyone will enjoy making at home.

Rice Crispy Treats with Biscoff Spread[2]

With only 15 minutes preparation time, Rice Crispy Treats with Biscoff Spread is easy to make and has minimal ingredients.

Ingredients:

· 3 tablespoons butter
· 1/3 cup of Biscoff spread
· 1 10 oz. package of about 40 regular marshmallows or 4 cups of miniature marshmallows
· 6 cups rice crispy cereal

Red Ribbon Limited Edition Rocky Road Cake: A Sweeter Way To Spend Your Family Meal Time


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When guests are expected at home, serving a heavenly chocolate cake appears to be a sure crowd pleaser. Red Ribbon—one of the country’s biggest bakeshops—is bringing back one of its best-selling round chocolate cake that’s sure to delight your family and friends.

Red Ribbon’s Rocky Road Cake is now making a grand comeback, carrying with it more delicious toppings that will definitely add more texture and flavor to the family’s time.

The Rocky Road Cake is made of three layers of rich chocolate cake with choco-cream filling, topped with fluffy white cream rosettes, chocolate kisses, soft, white marshmallows and chocolate drizzles.

What makes the Rocky Road Cake even more special this year compared last year isthe addition of Red Ribbon’s signature brownies. These chewy brownie bits are topped along with the cake’s other toppings, giving the cake a more moist and chewy texture. Additional sprinkles of cashews and marshmallows are sandwiched in between the cake’s layers, creating a perfect combination of sweetness, softness and crunchiness from the inside and out.

Fortinet with FortiGuard Labs Predict 2016 Cyber Threats


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I've recently been affected by a "ransomware" where the malicious "virus" encrypted our documents (including photos and videos) and required us to pay for a decryption key if we want to decrypt our files. It also comes with a time limit where the decryption offer would only last a few days, after that it won't be available anymore.

Unfortunately, our back-up is done on a weekly basis thus we lost all our files done in a week and could only restore from the backup the previous files coming from the backup storage drive.

The one week of files is still a big thing for us as we had several files saved throughout the past week. I could almost cry in desperation when I couldn't find any solution no matter how I Google for an answer.

I'm not sure if that particular "ransomware" already existed for a long time or if it's an updated version of the previous virus release. Sadly enough, no anti-virus developers have found a solution to this threat. The only solution for this instance is to have backed-up on a daily basis. It may mean a lot of hard work yet it's the safest way to ensure we won't lose our precious data. If only I knew about this virus in advance then I could have encouraged myself to back-up daily.

It's a great thing that companies like Fortinet is making initiatives in determining what could be the next virus threat. Though announcing, and learning about, possible upcoming threats may also work against us. The people who intend to make us suffer via their sophisticated or  "viruses."

DOE Awards Energy Efficiency Achievers


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The Department of Energy, along with its partners, successfully hosted this year’s Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Awards at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria recognizing individuals and companies whose exemplary energy efficiency initiatives significantly reduce their energy consumption.

Celebrated every December since 1982 as part of the National Energy Consciousness Month, the DEAEEA was named after the former Meralco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Emilio Abello, who also held the position of Chairman of the Energy Conservation Movement in the country.

The energy efficiency initiatives of the DEAEEA companies have resulted to a total of 776.3 Million Kilowatt Hours of electricity equivalent to Php 6.34 billion (more than 202.6 Million Liters of Oil Equivalent) in energy savings. According to DOE data, the industrial and commercial sectors are among the top four highest consuming sectors in the country taking up more than 40% of Final Energy Demand in 2014.

Energy efficiency and conservation is also one of the DOE’s measures in ensuring energy security for the country. This is especially significant given the current power scenarios of the nation and in light of El Nino.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL Launch



Wazzup Pilipinas!

At a media launch held at the Aracama restaurant in Bonifcaio Global City on the very first day of the month of December, the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL was announce to be available on December 14 and priced at Php 28990 and Php 32990 respectively.

It will be the first to come with Windows 10 OS. It also has new PureView cameras with 20 megapixel sensors and triple LED natural flash that shoot 4k video. Now that means mobile photography, and videography, at its best....well, so far. It's not surprising if after a month, another announcement will take it further up to a higher level.

That is the fascinating fact about smartphones in general. There will always be a new technology to be introduced making the next version a much sought after item that all those who would like to maintain personally having the latest gadgets would definitely watch out for new releases or models.

The difference between the 950 and 950 XL aside from the size? The processing speed and gorilla glass version is obviously better on the 950 XL but only the 950 makes use of liquid cooling technology.

Liquid cooling is not a new technology since PC players would install that feature that were previously done on gaming or multimedia desktops. The  installed so they can use the mileage everywhere where there's a lot of more beneficial thoughts.

4 Reasons Tech Should Disrupt the Philippine Real Estate Industry


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The Philippines’ transport industry—privatized yet heavily regulated—is a textbook example of how public transport shouldn’t be run. It is inefficient, and the ones who lose are the riding public. This is one of the reasons tech disruption, in the form of ride-sharing and taxi-hailing apps, are very successful. Smartphone apps like Uber and GrabTaxi are changing how the public is demanding service: whenever and wherever they need it. Although the response of taxi companies and regulators is to maintain the status quo, the public marches on with technology.

Which begs the question: what if there could be an Uber of Philippine real estate? If tech innovation could disrupt an inefficient industry, what’s to stop others from disrupting real estate? In fact, whether the industry likes it or not, property hunters’ behavior is rapidly shifting, and they’re taking their home-search online. Here’s why:


1. Tech innovations put the power to homebuyers

In the not-too-distant past, people looking for properties drive by neighborhoods or leaf through pages of Sunday classifieds to find apartments for sale or for rent. This is quickly changing.

A 2014 survey by Lamudi Philippines found that 9 out of 10 real estate agents said that the Internet is now the preferred tool during the house-hunting process, while a 2015 survey conducted by the real estate portal found that Facebook, Google, and other online means are used by homebuyers in looking for properties 92 percent of the time.

This puts the power to homebuyers, who until recently have to rely on information fed to them by real estate agents. Homebuyers now can choose the property that falls within their requirements, regardless of which broker is handling it. In effect, they get to choose the property that falls within their budget, and let the agent do the grinding later.


6 Vista Community Malls Spark Vista Land Developments In Luzon, Mindanao


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Shopping online may be the “in” thing these days, but for most people, nothing can beat the physical experience of going to malls to meet up, bond with family and friends, have fun, and indulge in activities that cannot be experienced anywhere else.

Malls are not just places to shop, they are activity centers that fulfill many functions for mall goers. Learning nooks, workout places, lifestyle destinations, dining hubs, entertainment venues, and more, malls are woven into the colorful social fabric of countless communities.

Vista Malls are community malls that have been designed by its developer, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., to be ALL ABOUT YOU. Within each meticulously designed commercial complex are a variety of retail options – all tailor-fit for the communities in the various Vista Land developments. Because of that, no one Vista Mall is the same as the other in terms of look or feel. Each one reflects the community that it serves.

“What makes VISTA MALL unique from other retail centers is that we focus on the communities we cater to. We don’t aim to offer everything, but we take great effort to understand our communities and give them what they need. This is the central concept of ALL ABOUT YOU,” says Camille Villar, Managing Director of Vista Land, that has created over 30 master-planned communities all over the Philippines in the past 40 years. 

Top 5 Ways to Make Use of Your 13th Month and Christmas Bonus


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Most companies nowadays add Christmas Bonus on top of the mandatory 13th month pay to show appreciationfor their employees.It’s only a few days until you get your hands on the most coveted company benefit, and here are the ways you can maximize your hard-earned money.

1. Apply the 70/30 Budget Plan

By now you may already have plans in spending your bonus.To maximize your money, it’s always best to set up a budget plan. This budgeting ratio is very effectiveif followed correctly.

The 30% of your bonus may be dividedas shown below:

10% should go to paying yourself first. Add this amount to your savings. You know how much you can afford to save and the expenses you need to prioritize. A little goes a long way as long as you set aside something for your savings.

20% should go to giving yourself a well-deserved treat and/or Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

The 70% of your bonus should go to your personal expenses such as rent, gas, loans, and utility bills. These might cause a setback in your finances if neglected, so your diligence in following the 70/30 budget plan is important.



Cavite: Selfie-Centric Drive-Tour of Cavite with AAP and Petron


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Another cool way to tour around the Philippines is via the AAP-Petron Drive Tour Caravan. This shows how possible it is to bring your own vehicle and take it along with you on the trip. In our case, we were around 15 vehicles in a seemingly VIP convoy escorted by policemen and with an ambulance ready to serve us just in case we encounter an accident or any of the participants needed immediate first aid.

AAP is the Automobile Association Philippines who partnered with Petron to provide a "drive-tour caravan" experience to interested participants who would like to see the Philippines through their unique way. They've been doing this for a few years already and now they've introduced a tour around Cavite. With coordination from the local government units and tourism offices of the province, the "drive-tour caravan" takes you on a delightful journey of selected stops at different tourist destinations to also promote the province and cities included in the itinerary.

I was invited to join the two-day "drive-tour caravan" through a media friend whom I met at a previous Department of Tourism event at La Union. This is actually the second time he recommended me to the organizers starting off with the Oriental Mindoro for the very first MIMAROPA Festival held in Calapan, now he again said good words about me for the AAP-Petron Cavite Drive-Tour Caravan held on November 28 to 29, 2015.

Overwhelmed at how my friend believes in my capacity, I am somewhat challenged to do more than my very best so I can fully show the organizers that I am indeed rightful to be part of the event.

Top 10 Philippine Real Estate News for 2015


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The year 2015 was an eventful one for Philippine real estate. It was a roller-coaster ride that coursed through both news of optimistic growth, and the not-so-positive issues that affected everyone involved in the real estate business. Either way, these happenings helped shape the local real estate scene to what it is now, and could give us an indication of what’s in store for 2016. To refresh your memory, MyProperty.ph offers a look back at 10 of the biggest real estate-related news of the year.

A way to monitor real estate prices. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is preparing to launch a residential real estate price index (RRPI) that aims to track property prices in Metro Manila, as well as nearby provinces. According to the BSP, the RRPI, which will include information on costs of construction materials and types of houses being built, will help determine the formation of a housing bubble so that preventive actions can be taken.

Rise of the townships. The year 2015 saw the rise of townships all over the country by different property giants. Megaworld Corp. alone launched five townships this year: Sta. Barbara Heights (Sta. Barbara, Iloilo), The Upper East and Northill Gateway (both in Bacolod, Negros Occidental), Westside City (Bay City, Parañaque), and a still-unnamed township in San Fernando, Pampanga. Ayala Land added two townships to their growing portfolio: Cloverleaf in Balintawak, Quezon City; and Capitol Central in Bacolod. Meanwhile, Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. is ramping up the development of Vista City, a 1,500-hectare “communicity” located at the boundaries of Cavite, Laguna, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa; and SM Prime is continuing to expand the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay.

Vic Sotto, Ai Ai De Las Alas and Aldub for My Bebe Love: Kilig Pa More as 2015 MMFF Entry


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No less than Jose Javier Reyes or Direk Joey, the director of My Bebe Love (#KiligPaMore) has total admiration for the phenomenal "accidental love team"of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, known more as Yaya Dub, as mentioned on one of his posts in his blog titled "Choking on my Adobo."

On one blog entry, he states that Alden is "not just a pretty face. He sells" and enumerates that the kid has the looks, knows his camera, well-mannered and has the talent. He further questions why it took an "accident" to reveal those qualities to the world.

Similarly to Alden, the Massacre Movie Queen dub-smashing yaya also rise to fame because of the same accident. This situation would make you think that it's probably the new yet uncanny match, coupled with the crazy existence of the familiar Dabarkads, that has made the couple a real stand-out to an otherwise somewhat traditional noontime entertainment.

"Her rise to fame is accidental and she seems to be having fun. Her addition toEat Bulaga's roster of Kabarkads is a case of absolutely perfect timing. When she assumed the character of Yaya Dub, much harassed caregiver to Wally Bayola's hilarious Lola Nidora, that whole gang with Jose Manalo and master chameleon Paolo Ballesteros raiding the baranggays of Manila exploded with a new adrenaline overload.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Duterte for President: Are We Ready for Digong the Punisher?


Wazzup Pilipinas!

He has been called the mayor with an iron fist, a bloody one that is, since he is rumored to be killing offenders minus the benefit of a trial. They say if you cross him, you'll end up dead on the streets with a label that says "Kriminal! Huwag Tularan!" Very outspoken, he could very well be openly claiming all killings of alleged criminals who operated in Davao.

"Duterte is noted for transforming the city from the murder capital of the nation to what tourism organizations there now call "the most peaceful city in Southeast Asia." He's been suspected of being involved with the vigilante outfit Davao Death Squad and has been criticized by human rights groups for tolerating extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals."

Is majority of Davao living in fear that is why they are afraid to irk the Mayor? or are they really in favor of his ways since Davao is also known as one of the safest cities in the Philippines? Safe because no one dares to commit any crime if they want to remain among the living.

But the recent news shows even some more of the worst sides of the Mayor Rodrigo Duterte showing him as a womanizer and disrespectful to the highest Catholic leader, the Pope. However, many still find him the better option compared to the rest of the presidentiables.

Adventist Medical Center Manila and Florida Hospital Conduct Joint Medical Mission


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In celebration of its 86th anniversary, the Adventist Medical Center Manila (AMCM) conducted anew a medical mission in collaboration this time with the US-based Florida Hospital. The program was conducted at the AMCM premises on November 11-17 this year, providing consultation services for 132 internal medicine patients, 49 pediatric patients, and 129 optometric patients. A total of 352 dental treatments were also given for tooth extraction and restoration, and even oral prophylaxis. As for the surgical services offered, 125 minor cases, 93 major cases, 13 obstetrics-gynecology cases, and 8 ophthalmology cases were assisted.

While this had been one of AMCM’s many medical missions for years, this was the first joint mission with Florida Hospital. This was Florida Hospital’s maiden project under its Global Mission Initiatives in Asia. The foreign team brought with them modern medical equipment and a great amount of medicines to the benefit of the patients. At the end of the one-week mission, the US medical professionals were treated to a grand Filipino fiesta-style program showcasing Pinoy folkdances, traditional songs and native Filipino foods. Delighted by the success of the mission, Florida Hospital team promised to return with an even larger contingent and supplies next year.

From its humble beginning as a small clinic in Malate, Manila in 1929, AMCM currently stands proud in the heart of Pasay City as a non-stock and non-profit tertiary hospital equipped with highly-trained, professional medical team and fortified with efficient technology. AMCM carries out its regular medical missions in furtherance of its quest of ‘Sharing Jesus Christ’s Healing Ministry’ for the less and the needy regardless of their religious creed or political beliefs. “By far, this was the biggest among the medical missions organized by the hospital”, said Abdul Rajagukguk, anniversary celebration chairman.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Globe Sustains Growth of Prepaid Business with Co-Branding Partnership, Better Offers


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Globe Telecom is looking to sustain growth momentum of its prepaid business after several quarters of strong performance with a co-branding partnership with leading mobile phone manufacturer Cherry Mobile.

Consolidated Globe prepaid customer base reached 47.8 million as of end-September 2015, up 17% from previous year’s 40.7 million. Globe Prepaid customer base posted growth of 14% year-on-year, while the TM base grew by 20% on the back of offers that recognize the youth and mass market’s shift to the digital lifestyle.

Globe Prepaid has made strides in positioning itself as the digital brand for the youth with offers which are bundled with free access to top social networking and messaging apps such as Facebook and Viber, premium apps and content such Spotify, as well as top mobile games such as Clash of Clans. Globe Prepaid also enhanced its revolutionary GoSAKTO, which now allows customers to create more than 200 million call, text, and app combos that fit their needs, budget, and lifestyle.

On the other hand, its TM brand, specifically targeting the value prepaid market, has been strong with innovative value for money offerings with the most affordable call, text and surfing promos, including TM Extend which allows customers to extend the validity of TM call and text promos for as low as P5 for 1 day. Over the years, TM has achieved steady growth trajectory, making it the fastest-growing mobile brand in the value prepaid category.

Sparta Holds Biggest Calisthenics Competition in the Country


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Contestants from different parts of the country, some even came all the way from Baguio and Mindoro, gathered last Sunday to compete in the first ever SPARTA Battle of the Bars Calisthenics Competition held at SPARTA in Mandaluyong City.

The SPARTA Battle of the Bars was said to have been the biggest Calisthenics event ever organized in the country. At least 300 practitioners gathered at SPARTA, as they witnessed different contestants slug it out in the various rounds of the competition with bodyweight exercises.

SPARTA is at the forefront of bringing Calisthenics from underground to mainstream. It opened the Sparta Calisthenics Academy earlier this month, with the goal of encouraging more Filipinos to try it out.

According to Sparta Calisthenics Academy’s consultant and designer Ton Vergel de Dios, “Calisthenics as opposed to working out in a traditional gym is better because it is very honest. You can’t cheat a pull-up or a single legged squat. It is how athletes and warriors have trained for centuries. Calisthenics, uses body weight movements and has benefits which include increasing strength, balance, power, endurance, and of course, aesthetics.”

AirAsia Travel Advisory: Self Check-In & Arrive Early at the Airport this Holiday Period


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AirAsia would like to encourage all guests travelling during the holiday period to conduct self-check-in and arrive at the airport earlier to clear all travelling formalities and avoid the expected congestion due to the surge of passenger numbers throughout this period.

Guests are recommended to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours for AirAsia flights prior to the scheduled time of departure of their respective flights and to perform Self-Check-In via Web, Mobile app or Kiosk services for their travel convenience.

Self Check-In via Web, Mobile or Kiosk services are available from 14 days and up to 1 hour prior to departure for all AirAsia flights. It is also highly recommended for guests to print out their boarding passes before arriving at the airport to ease their travel process.

For guests with baggage to check-in, Baggage Drop counters close 60 minutes before flight departure. As congestion is expected at the baggage drop counters, immigration checkpoints, security scanning, and baggage clearance during this holiday season, it is advisable to complete the baggage drop process and proceed to the boarding gate as early as possible.

Slimmers World Great Bodies 2015 Grand Winners


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Congratulations to the emerging winners of the Slimmers World Great Bodies 2015 physique competition where 32 hopefuls competed for the title of Mr. and Ms. Great Bodies 2015.

The grand event was held on November 21, 2015 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater located within  Resorts World Manila in Pasay city.

The grand winners are Jan Dominic Hung & Althea Vega, while 1st Runner-up are Manuel Nuezca & Maria Ten Franco. Coming in as 2nd Runner-up are Cedric Roxas & Shara Clemente.

Female grand winner Althea Vega  posted on Facebook the following message "To my co candidates whom I consider my Brothers and Sisters, thank you for the great moments with you all. I'll keep these memories forever in my heart.☺ A million thanks to all our coaches and Slimmersworld Staff who allowed us to be more creative and utilize the skills we had. Much love and sending you good vibrations from me to all of you."

Monday, November 30, 2015

3 Start-ups Win P200,000 Impact Hub Fellowship on Innovation in Mobility with LBC Cohort Phase


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LBC Express and Impact Hub Manila has finally chosen the three teams to enter into the next phase of the Impact Hub Fellowship on Innovation in Mobility with LBC.

Congratulations to SkyEye, Wave and Food Planners for earning this chance to turn their inspiring business ideas into reality. The organizers are excited for this opportunity to empower these budding entrepreneurs.

For the next three months, the organizers will be providing SkyEye, Wave and Food Planners with living stipends, training and mentoring, skills development, a productive work space, access to a local community of entrepreneurs and innovators as well as to a network of 73 Impact Hubs worldwide, with over 12,000 members. Each package is worth 200,000PHP.

By March 2016, out of these three Cohorts, the winning Fellow will be selected. The Fellow will receive 250,000PHP seed funding and an additional 9 months of start-up support amounting to 500,000PHP. All these without the participants giving away shares or equity.

Go Duterte and Tanim Bala Game Apps from Kulit Games


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A game app developer has taken advantage of the popularity of recent political issue and personalities starting off with the "Tanim Bala" game app released a few weeks ago, and now the "Go Duterte" game app, both of which can be downloaded from Google Play.

I still remember when I got so curious of Kulit Games' "Tanim Bala" game app which pokes fun of the bullet planting at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) issue. I tried the game and though it was hilarious to create something like it, the game was so simple and immediately becomes so boring after a few minutes of play. I downloaded but got rid of it immediately after trying.

There were also similarly-themed game apps like "Laglag Bala" from UltimaA Studios and "Laglag Tanim Bala NAIA" and "Laglag Tanim Bala Catch Throw" from Joey Bambico which also gives the players a few minutes of laughter.

Similarly, there is also another game app poking fun of the Duterte campaign called "Duterte for President Campaign."

Since the news about Rodrigo Duterte running for President is a much-talked-about news in the Philippines like the "laglag bala" issue, it was not at all surprising that folks will do more than just post on social media networks and create memes out of the hype. I am not surprised why I haven't seen any Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor Santiago or Mar Roxas game apps.

The Awakening: Parenting Congress 2015


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United Ministers Aiming for Gospels Advancement (UMAGA), composed of 15 Christian churches from Valenzuela, Malabon and Quezon City and in partnership with RLTV Entertainment production, Asian Television Content (ATC) and IBC 13 is producing, the first ever advocacy program in Valenzuela City titled: The Awakening Parenting Congress 2015. 

The event is to be held at the Amphitheatre, Peoples Park, Valenzuela City on December 12, Saturday from 9am to 12 noon,  for the Medical Mission and other Pre-activities (Indigents Christmas Sharing), and from 1pm to 5pm will be the Program Proper, which will focus on the major issue on Social Media, Early Pregnancy, Peer Pressures, Financial Matters and others.

To reach the goals on the above event, the organizers has invited known personalities and celebrities that are experts on parents-teens communication and beyond, namely Pastor Willie Basilio and Chinkee Tan.

In our current issues relevant to teenage problems, it is of great importance that a gathering of parents through the initiatives by some Christian churches and its leaders must be addressed immediately to our kids in order to come up with a solution that is beneficial in curtailing teenage problems.

This parenting Congress will be aired and televised via IBC 13 on December 29, 2015 8pm to 9pm as a Family TV Special, for the parents and their children.


FrontLearners BlendEd Box Deployment at 2 IP Schools in Barangay Maruglo of Capas, Tarlac


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For the past 8 years, the performance of Philippine students on the National Achievement Test was below the national target of 75 mean score. The High School students' performance remained at around 50%.

This is why FrontLearners, an e-learning content developer and solution provider, promotes the use of BlendEd Mastery Learning Method in the country to help teachers improve the student competency. They cover Math, Science, English Grammar and other K-12 subjects.

Below are some photos during their deployment at two (2) Indigenous People (IP) schools located in Barangay Maruglo of Capas Tarlac.

Site 1
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE goes BlendEd
(Sitio Flora, Barangay Maruglo, Capas, Tarlac) 

They are off-grid, off-cell-site, speak 5 languages, 90 minutes away from nearest barangay by fastest mode of transport, many aspire to be a teacher, nurse and engineer someday. The 77 students of Sitio Flora Elementary School and their three teachers are not far behind from the rest with their use of leading edge technologies in classroom. They are equipped with solar power and lighting, Samsung tablets and laptop computers, and FrontLearners' BlendEd Box. FrontLearners' BlendEd Box contains WiFi router and a Web Server containing thousands of DepEd K12 aligned e-learning modules to help teachers implement Blended Mastery Learning Method in their classes.

Tamang Panahon for Free and Confidential HIV/STI Testing


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The steady rise of HIV infections, with an average of 22 Filipinos daily now get infected, signifies the right timing to strengthen the advocacy that LoveYourself, Inc., among other groups, has been crusading to prevent the epidemic from blowing out of proportion.

On 29 November (Sunday), LoveYourself, in partnership with Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM), held its second HIV Screening Day for this year dubbed as “Ito ang Tamang Panahon: Free and Confidential HIV Test” at Victoria Court, North EDSA in Caloocan City.

“Testing is the first line of defense to curb the spread of HIV and it is just the right time to grab opportunities like this free and confidential HIV screening of LoveYourself,” Ms. Queen International 2015 Trixie Maristela said. She also said that this has been one of her advocacies even before she became beauty titlist to support anti-discrimination and erase stigma to and within the LGBT Community.

Apart from capability to detect strains of HIV, the LoveYourself testing also includes results for other sexually transmitted infections (STI), such as, Hepatitis B and Syphilis. Likewise, counselling and peer education will also be conducted during the screening day to raise awareness about sexual health, particularly about knowing the basics of how HIV is transmitted and acquired.

Kaye Morales: Rebel on the Runway at Philippine Fashion Week


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Kaye Morales is the eponymous brand that offers clothes ranging from avant-garde gowns to off-the-rack pieces with a unique style statement that stays true to the brand’s vision of dark as enlightening, the rocker chic trend as sophisticated, and the odd as extraordinary. Her collections have been featured in both local and international shows, most notable of which are the LA Style and Vancouver Fashion Weeks. British Vogue has also penned a designer profile published in its Jan. 2014 issue.

Kaye Morales embraces men and women of all backgrounds with ‘Rebel,’ the designer’s collection for Spring/Summer 2016 set to hit the historic runway on Nov. 28, 2015 at Philippine Fashion Week – now on its 20th season. Dedicated to people of edgy yet chic sartorial inclinations, the latest line features tailored and wearable pieces that come in bursts of neon, fun prints, and playful embellishments.

Drawing inspiration from her own struggles as a woman, Morales shared, “I’m a lesbian and I want to (be) open (about) myself while making the fashion industry a welcoming place for all types of people. I want (others) to understand the different types of sexuality, especially mine, as I come out in this industry.”

Morales’ latest collection serves as a throwback of sorts to her humble beginnings as a student at the School of Fashion & the Arts (SoFA), during which she made her first serious foray into the industry with ‘Schizo,’ a ready-to-wear line for the young fashionable set inclined to making punk style statements.

This season, she wants to “let the audience feel that I haven’t lost (touch with) that side of myself (as a designer) and with what I’m really good at.”

Loan Agreement Signing for North-South Commuter Railway Project of DOTC


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Finance Secretary of the Philippines Cesar Purisima together with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative of Japan Noriaki Niwa signed the US$ 2 Billion Loan Agreement for the North-South Commuter Railway Project (Malolos-Tutuban) of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on November 27, 2015 at the Mezzanine Floor Lobby of the Robinsons (JG) Summit Center, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Also attending the signing were DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya, Department of Finance National Treasurer Roberto Tan, JICA Senior Representative Tetsuya Yamada, and JICA Section Chief Keisuke Fukui.

The project supports the expansion of a mass transportation network which is recognized as one of the priorities in the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan aiming to improve the efficiency of land transportation capacities in Metro Manila. It also seeks to provide a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport through the construction of about 37 km new elevated commuter railway from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila, procurement of rolling stock, and installation of electro-mechanical systems.

3rd International Gamefowl Festival Now Scheduled on January 8 to 10


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The game fowl industry is a billion dollar industry that keeps growing to ensure veterinarians, breeders, caretakers, grafters, handlers and other forms of game fowl and cockfighting-related employment and businesses, benefit generously from the perks and privileges brought about by the caring, feeding and fighting activities and events. 

It may still be considered barbaric by some due to the horrific deaths of game fowls involved in the cockfighting, but those who perceived it as a taboo sport are slowly realizing the greater benefits. 

After years of importing parent stocks and breeding excellent game fowls, the Philippines is now considered the mecca of the game fowl industry.

The 3rd International Gamefowl Festival is now scheduled on January 8 to 10 at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

A press conference was held on November 26, 2015 at The Blackboard by Chef Michel located at The Podium in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

We Owned Christmas As Early As November


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The holiday season always means busy days fro many especially those who will prepare gifts and goodies for their loved ones and special friends. This includes the task of wrapping gifts and cooking all kinds of dishes for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Thanks to Top Pick Advertising and their Pre-Holiday Bloggers Workshop, held at Green Sun a week before December (November 25, 2015), we get to have additional ideas to improve our Christmas preparations.

They invited bloggers for an evening of Christmas-related demonstrations which included gift-wrapping and pasta cooking - activities that can help the attendees to really own Christmas using the skills learned at the workshop they dubbed as "Own Christmas!"  Some bloggers were also invited to join the demos onstage so they can personally experience the fun.

Upon entering the event venue, you'll be amazed at the many holiday-themed decorations, cakes, cookies and other holiday delights from Goldilocks. The booth from El Real were giving away a cool pack of spaghetti enclosed in a plastic container, and La Filipina's booth were offering samples of their pork tuna for tasting. myPhone gave away a smartphone to one lucky participant in a contest.

PH, Spain Sign MOU on Madrid Fusion Manila 2016


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The Philippines is confirmed to host the second year of Madrid Fusion Manila (MFM) scheduled to take place on 7 - 9 April 2016. This was formalized in a signing ceremony between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and ICEX España Exportacion e Inversiones, the public export promotion agency under the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Kingdom of Spain, held on 26 November 2015 at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) were DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. and Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade Jaime Garcia-Legaz. Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Calvo; Deputy Director for Trade Policy with Europe and Asia, Maria Aparici; Advisor to the Secretary of State for Trade, Mar Casanova; Cultural Affairs First Secretary, Guillermo Escribano; Economic and Commercial Counsellor of Spain, Enrique Feas, with Joji Gregorio of Tourism Promotions Board and DOT Market Development Group Officer-in-Charge Director Verna Buensuceso witnessed the intimate ceremony.

“No event deserves repeated celebrations than Madrid Fusion Manila. Not only because it was expertly executed, not only because it was well attended, not only because it was roundly applauded, but more because it was a journey of rediscovery, a renewal of friendship, and of kinship,” Tourism Secretary Jimenez said during the signing ceremony which elicited rounds of applause from guests that include Filipino chef Margarita Fores, representatives of the Philippine Association of Convention / Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS), and members from the media.

Celebrate Global Learning Through Microsoft Skype-a-Thon


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Educators around the world are invited to participate in Microsoft’s annual two-day Skype-a-Thon, an event aimed at connecting classrooms around the world and showcasing how technology can be used to enhance the learning experience. Starting on December 3 and going through December 4, Microsoft's Global Skype-a-Thon will attempt to travel a million virtual miles during the two-day event.

For this year’s global Skype-a-Thon, educators can choose from thousands of activities including speaking with an expert guest speaker on a topic their class is studying. They can also choose to take their class on a virtual field trip. Skype in the Classroom offers these virtual trips that spark imagination, from learning about sea turtles to exploring cultural perspectives in Western American art - and nearly everything in between. Educators can also connect with classrooms in other countries with #Mystery Skype, a global guessing game that teaches kids geography, promotes cultural understanding and broadens perspectives.

Participants may be selected as one of 10 classrooms to be featured in the global Skype-a-Thon highlights video, which Microsoft will produce and share with their global educator community and beyond.

Globe and Huawei to Expand Mobile Network for Elevated PH Internet Experience


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Globe Telecom and Huawei Technologies signed a 5-year partnership deal to further enhance and expand the leading telecommunication provider’s mobile network to elevate the state of Philippine internet and strengthen its position as purveyor of Filipino digital lifestyle.

Specifically, the partnership involves planning and design of a mobile broadband network utilizing latest state of the art technology trends aimed at creating a wonderful digital world for its customers.The project also involves the creation of a “mobile innovation center” to yield innovative products and solutions that would ensure Globe maintains its competitive edge and leadership in the intensely competitive local telecommunications industry. The partnership is provided for in a memorandum of understanding signed by Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu and Huawei Rotating CEO and Vice Chairman Eric Xu November 23.

“Globe is committed in investing in and developing its mobile broadband network, understanding the needs of a growing chunk of our customers for high-speed data connectivity on their mobile devices as they continue to build their lives around a digital lifestyle,” Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu said.Cu said the partnership will deliver a more robust mobile network as well as innovative market-driven solutions to help hopefully ensure the company’s success in growing the mobile market.

 
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