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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cusi Optimistic About the Future of Solar Power Plants with Reliable Storage Facility


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Friday that he sees Renewable Energy like solar energy contributing more in meeting the power requirements of the Philippines in the years to come.

Cusi made the forecast as he attended the groundbreaking of a 150 megawatt (MW) solar power project in Concepcion, Tarlac.

According to the project proponent Solar Power Philippines, the solar farm will be utilizing Philippine-made solar panels and could power around 300,000 households once completed later this year.

“Currently, the country’s power demand is at 13,000 MW and our supply is barely 14,000 MW, hence we need more power as well as reserve power,” said the DOE Chief.

Technology neutral, the DOE nonetheless sees the continuous increase of solar power in the years to come, especially in helping attain the 25% ideal power reserve requirement of the country.

“The power storage of the plant’s proponent is a welcome development for the DOE and for the country because if solar can be stored already, we can source more of our power from solar energy,” said Cusi.

“Solar plants without a reliable storage facility would only be good for peaking and mid-merit, especially during daytime when the electricity demand spikes,” he added.

"Solar power plants with reliable storage capability can be most useful in island countries like the Philippines," Cusi clarified.

Cusi revealed that the renewable energy share of the country now stands at around 32%, which is the highest in the Southeast Asian region.

“We are mandated to secure sufficient, quality, reliable and reasonably-priced electricity and to develop our indigenous energy resources, thus we are open to any technology to achieve these objectives,” Cusi concluded.

SAP Cloud Platform Intelligently Connects People, Things and Businesses


Wazzup Pilipinas!

SAP SE announced the expansion of SAP Cloud Platform, formerly known as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, with new capabilities and enhancements to provide an industry-leading platform as a service (PaaS). With a comprehensive set of new business services, SAP Cloud Platform addresses the most critical business needs by making it easy and fast to build new applications, expedite the extension and integration of SAP apps, power innovative Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios, accelerate Big Data projects and enable machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. This announcement was made at Mobile World Congress being held February 27–March 2 in Barcelona.

“Since the launch of our PaaS offering three years ago, it has evolved to become the digital enterprise platform of choice that enables customers, partners and developers to build differentiating solutions that intelligently connect people, things and businesses,” said Bernd Leukert, ‎member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Products & Innovation. “To represent its breadth of capabilities, it has been rebranded as SAP Cloud Platform. This platform creates digital differentiation by connecting a rapidly growing number of smart devices and machines with people and processes to achieve superior business outcomes.”

Numerous SAP enterprise apps and over 1,000 partner apps have already been built on SAP Cloud Platform. New services are continually being added to SAP Cloud Platform providing the foundation for SAP Leonardo, SAP’s portfolio of IoT solutions that connects intelligent devices with people and processes; SAP Clea, the portfolio of machine learning solutions and services; and the SAP BusinessObjects™ Cloud solution portfolio, including SAP Digital Boardroom

Lamudi Releases Innovative App for Real Estate Brokers


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Real estate agents need to be able to manage their listings reliably, fluidly, and on the move, especially since real estate is moving online. The new version of property portal Lamudi’s app brings real estate brokers an efficient and highly functional way of listing and selling properties.

An App for Filipino Real Estate Brokers

A typical day in the life of licensed real estate broker is fast-paced, and in an effort to make things easier for them, Lamudi has launched an enhanced app that responds to the rapidly changing face of real estate. More than ever, house-hunters are going online to find property rather than looking for paper listings. Kian Moini, co-founder and managing director of Lamudi Global, notes that “an increasing number of house-hunters in the emerging markets are heading online to search for and to buy property. Real estate agents have to adapt to a rapidly changing environment to meet customer demands, and to provide the best customer experience possible.”

The Rise of the Smartphone

In many emerging and frontier markets, such as the Philippines, new Internet users are skipping desktop and heading straight to the smartphone with its plethora of apps and social media outlets. In fact, according to Ericsson Mobility Report released in mid-2016, the Philippines’ number of smartphone users is expected to double from approximately 40 million to 90 million in 5 years, a boom that is driven by the increasing affordability of these hand-held devices. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, about 3.5 million smartphones were shipped to the Philippines, according to data from the International Data Corporation. Therefore, Lamudi’s app responds to this exciting trend by giving sellers and brokers access to the millions of house-hunters who are actively seeking a home using their smartphones.




How Does the Lamudi App Work?

From uploading new properties and managing inventories, to receiving client messages and performing advanced analysis, brokers can take care of everything at the tap of a finger thanks to the application. The app’s top priority is to help brokers to showcase their business in the most impressive way possible. Through creating a detailed profile and a thorough description of their services, brokers and sellers can demonstrate their reliable and transparent services and gain the trust of potential clients. Clients can see photos of each property, complete contact details, and precise information about each service.

Attractive Layout for Property Services

The app’s design is important, especially for clients, who value not only usability but also a clean and attractive design. This makes using the app a more pleasant experience. Recent updates include the integration of a progress bar on the “Manage Properties” tab. Brokers can now preview their properties as they go along and monitor the speed of uploads when they add new information or new images. In addition, it is now possible to add breaks in property descriptions, making the layout of each property description more visually appealing to house hunters.

Listings Are Visible to Investors on a Global Scale

The world of real estate is constantly being transformed by technology, and the Internet has played a large part in the globalization of real estate investment. Presenting properties on Lamudi’s international platform opens up agents’ listings to investors from all over the world. When listing properties, agents can now add a currency code. Each property’s price can show up both in US dollars and in Philippine peso, whatever suits the agent’s target market best.


Through innovation and global expertise, Lamudi offers brokers and house-hunters flexibility and a wealth of enhanced features. Selling and renting has never been easier, and the engineers at this platform are always striving to go further.

Marriott Manila Joins Earth Hour with Dinner in the Dark


Wazzup Pilipinas!

As the whole world turns off lights on March 25 for Earth Hour, Marriott Hotel Manila brings back their illustrious Dinner in the Dark at Cru Steakhouse. Due to popular demand, this unique dining experience returns in the most perfect and darkest night.

Dinner in the Dark first came to the Philippines at Cru Steakhouse last October 2016. It returns this year with a 4-course exceptional fete for only Php 2,500 per person. How does it work? Blindfolds are provided to be worn as you take a seat and finish the last dish. Dishes are kept hidden for you to unfold by your tasteful judgement. A guide stands by for basic instructions and descriptions of what’s on your plate. Without the sense of sight, all your other senses will awaken to appreciate every flavor of the food and your ability to see.

Don’t just hide yourself in the dark on Earth Hour. As nature takes rest, jump up your appetites for this rare dining experience. Hit the dial button and see you in the dark! 





For more information, please call 988 9999 or visit www.manilamarriott.com. To join ongoing conversations, like Facebook.com/MarriottHotelManila, follow @marriottmanila on Twitter and @manilamarriott on Instagram.

I-Pay Partners with MYEG, Malaysia’s Leading e-Government Service Provider


Wazzup Pilipinas!

I-Pay Ventures Commerce Ventures, Inc. (I-Pay) signed a joint-venture agreement with MY E.G. Services Bhd (MYEG) on March 15, 2017. The 60/40 joint venture will be focused on enabling government and large enterprises to offer services online supported seamlessly by a Payment Gateway, and other value-added services.

Both parties envision the joint venture will replicate the business model of MYEG in Malaysia.

“We are super excited to work with I-Pay to offer a superior G2C user experience in the Philippines. Our unique model provides significant cost savings and increased efficiency to all stakeholders and combined with I-Pay’s established operating record, we are confident of achieving mass adoption in the coming years,” says TS Wong, Managing Director - My E.G. Services Bhd.

"Our partnership with MYEG gives us access to world class technology that can upgrade Internet infrastructure and government services in the Philippines. The ultimate goal of our partnership is to improve delivery of government services for the Filipino people. We have deep conviction behind our joint-venture with MYEG." says Enrique Y. Gonzalez, President of IP Ventures Group.

MYEG is Malaysia’s fastest growing company as the civil service embraces the digital way of providing services to the public. MYEG provides a multitude of government services which is available online in Malaysia which include online renewal of foreign workers permit and insurance, as well as online renewal of vehicle road tax and insurance and online transfer of vehicle ownership.

The tie-up with the Immigration Department and Road Transport Department has resulted in the company recording euphoric growth in its top and bottom lines.

According to its latest annual report, MYEG recorded a 36.8% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue for the five years between 2011 and June 2016 while its profit grew at a CAGR of 45.1% over the same period.

MYEG has also been constantly recognized by Forbes as one of Asia’s “Best Under A Billion” companies.

I-Pay is a payment processing provider and a direct agent of Western Union in the Philippines. IPCVI is backed by renowned investors such as IP Ventures Inc. (leading technology and retail conglomerate in the Philippines), Kaikaku Fund (Softbank affiliated fund), JJ Atencio (Founder and CEO of 8990 Holdings Inc.) and Derrick Chiongbian.

I-Pay’s vision is to enable Government and enterprises to provide its services through technology encompassing Internet, automation, big data and electronic payments.

I-Pay is the payment processing investment of the IP Ventures Group (IPVI). IPVI has successfully built market leading companies in the data center space, IP Converge Data Center Inc. (CLOUD); online gaming space, IP E-games (EG); and business outsourcing, PCCW Teleservices Philippines, Inc.

I-Pay is also a direct agent of Western Union in the Philippines, which has won various awards such the “Asia Pacific Best Newcomer” in 2010, and “Asia Pacific Fastest Expanding Network” in 2011.

Photo caption: From left to right:  Derrick Chiongbian – Chief Advisor, I-Pay Commerce Ventures, Inc.; Datuk P.S. Jaya – CEO, PDX.COM SDN. BHD.; Wong Thean Soon – Managing Director, My E.G. Services Bhd; Enrique Y. Gonzalez – President & CEO, IP Ventures Inc.; Ronald Allan M. Aquino – President, I-Pay Commerce Ventures, Inc.; Ron Lau – Group Head of Sales, My E.G. Services Bhd; Leon Loo – Business Development Manager, My E.G. Services Bhd

NEC's Video Face Recognition Technology Ranks First in NIST Testing


Wazzup Pilipinas!
NEC Corporation announced that NEC’s face recognition technology achieved the highest performance evaluation in the recent Face in Video Evaluation (FIVE, *1) testing performed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (*2). Results were released in NIST's Interagency Report 8173: Face In Video Evaluation (FIVE) Face Recognition of Non-Cooperative Subjects.

NEC's face recognition technology took first place for the fourth consecutive time following the 2009 Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC 2009), 2010-2011 Multiple Biometrics Evaluation (MBE 2010-2011), and 2013 Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT 2013).

Video face recognition technology identifies the faces of moving subjects in real-time as they walk naturally without stopping in front of a camera. The benefits of high-speed video analysis enabled by this technology include the prevention of potential incidents through detection of suspicious individuals and recognition of individuals at the gateways of critical facilities.

Using video images from standard cameras for face recognition requires highly-advanced techniques when compared to still images. This is because images are greatly influenced by environmental conditions, such as camera location, image quality, lighting and subject size, in addition to the behavior of a subject, including walking speed, face direction and sight line.

To achieve reliable face recognition of a video image, NEC developed feature point extraction technology that enables enhanced face recognition to a level where an individual can be identified with high precision from within a group, even if their face is partially hidden, or the image is taken from different angles. NEC’s face recognition technology also uses deep learning technologies for face matching to increase accuracy to a level where an individual can be identified by a low resolution face image captured by a distant camera.

"It is a great honor that our face recognition technology received a first place evaluation for the fourth consecutive time from the NIST,” said Masakazu Yamashina, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. “We will further expand global business by offering innovative biometric solutions, such as the video face recognition system, throughout a wide range of fields, including security, transportation, finance and retail."


Evaluation examples from the NIST FIVE testing

· Entry-exit management at an airport passenger gate


Tests were conducted to recognize one individual at a time as they walk through an area without stopping or acknowledging the camera. NEC’s face recognition technology won first place with a matching accuracy of 99.2%. The error rate of 0.8% is less than one-fourth of the second place error rate.

· Detection of suspicious individuals at an indoor stadium


Tests were conducted with an individual situated far from the camera with their face direction changing frequently. NEC’s face recognition technology won first place with an error rate half that of the second place error rate.


For nearly 30 years, NEC has been developing face recognition technology by defining it as one of the key technologies to help achieve a safer and more secure society. The technology has now been implemented in more than 100 systems in 40 countries worldwide. NEC will continue to develop solutions that leverage face recognition technology as part of its portfolio of AI technologies “NEC the Wise” (*3), and to deliver the solutions for a wide range of fields, including social infrastructure and private sector facilities.


(*1) https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/face-video-evaluation-five

(*2) Results shown from the Face In Video Evaluation (FIVE), the Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge (MBGC), the Multiple Biometric Evaluation (MBE) and the Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) do not constitute endorsement of any particular product by the U.S. Government.

(*3) http://www.nec.com/en/global/rd/crl/ai/index.html?

Papa J, formerly Papa Jack, Joins Energy FM This Monday - March 20, 2017


Wazzup Pilipinas!

After all the confusion, mixed with excitement, John Gemperle, widely known as Papa Jack, sat down alongside Energy FM executive Rebecca Ann Sy. The contract signing happened in PBA Cafe, Metrowalk on March 17, 2017. He will be on air from 9pm to 1am, starting Monday - March 20, 2017.

Papa J, John's new monicker, is welcomed by Energy FM Executives and DJs; Sheena and Lindsay. Attending the contract signing are a bunch of online media, bloggers, radio enthusiasts, fans, and supporters, who call themselves Team Eyebags.

John was a former DJ of Love Radio. It was such a surprise when he announced with sadness his final airing date last December 22 from his 12 year relationship with Manila Broadcasting Company. Afterwhich, he enjoyed 3 months of vacation, and just recently looked for a job.

As he defines it, he was not really looking for a job, he was looking for an employer. Luckily, Energy FM appeased his longings for a new home. He did not declare much of his new paycheck, but subsequently, he says it would suffice to take care of him, his daughter, and his 4 dogs.

Friday, March 17, 2017

That "Gay Moment" Backlash Over Live-Action "Beauty and the Beast" Movie


Wazzup Pilipinas!

"I was innocent and certain. Now I'm wiser but unsure." – Belle 

My wife and I went to the Beauty and The Beast live action movie premiere dressed as Belle and the Beast.

I'm still a bit pressed for the director obviously didn't watch the original Disney classic...or was it intentional for him to reboot some portions of this classic animated movie?

I just realized the kiddos watching this new Beauty and the Beast version will now know Emma Watson as Belle, and not Hermione Granger of Harry Potter anymore.

But the real story is that the rumors are true - a character is gay. Dozens of children left weeping. Several puked blood. Lol!

This "tale as old as time" movie which originated from an animated movie classic still opened in several Southeast Asian countries amid controversies surrounding a gay character in the film--the first in Disney's history.

The only right way to respond to this whole Beauty and The Beast situation in Malaysia is "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

Is the movie ostracizing 95% of faith-driven consumers by pushing LGBT propaganda in a children's movie?

For those who don't know, Malaysia is not showing this movie because they think people will turn gay. Well, I watched Lion King, so now I'm a lion, of course. But why are people more offended by a gay person than a woman falling in love with a buffalo? On the other hand, does seeing inter-species couples on the screen make your kids fall in love, or fuck, with a buffalo?


Seriously, It was mentioned before that Disney refuses to edit the gay content from the movie. At that point, if Be Our Guest wasn't a full-on orgy, many girlish boys was gonna be pissed. Now that we've seen the movie, we are in between cringing and worrying about the future of children's stories. Disney just decided to pull it out, instead of cutting the 4.5 minute scene. Disney isn't budging, even if it means the movie will be banned in some places.

The Beauty and the Beast movie has openly gay characters. Is having a homosexual character bad for the movie? But would you really request it to be banned just because of 4 minutes of "gay" scenes? So undoubtedly people will want to turn gay because of Le Fou (which by the way means The Fool in French). Just like people have wanted to rape, kill, grow claws, shoot spider webs, tear down buildings from watching movies. Is your faith so weak, that for 4 minutes of gayness will make you gay as well?

Was the gay scene necessary? In Twitter, I needed more than 140 characters to vent my frustration on those of you blaming Malaysia over the whole Beauty and the Beast fiasco. The homophobes boycotting Disney's Beauty and the Beast won't be happy with the way Scar is portrayed in the Lion King live-action remake.

Is it our problem if we're too sensitive towards it? Do we stop being petty and let filmmakers make their films however they want? Just because a lot of people agree with something does not make it right. I think we can agree that a dancing scene between 2 guys is not gonna change anyone's life at all. Why make it a big deal? In this case, it's about differing views.


It may not change lives but sometimes mainstream values need to be considered. But should Malaysian mainstream values of censorship of free speech and of differing values and religious indoctrination be considered? Why is it a 'sensitive' and 'touchy' issue? What problems may rise from screening elements of that nature in public?

This is no Indie film where the production or director can be rudely experimental. Is the portrayal of LGBT activities in moviesagainst the LPF (Malaysia's film censorship board) guidelines.

Is it because LGBTs are generally still not the norm for our society? Do you think scenes with gay people should be "snipped" out of film? Many would beg to differ! It isn't a sensitivity issue.... It is homophobic. Homophobia is hatred towards LGBT oriented peeps.

I believe all the proposed revisions are understandable as some people just want to make the film grounded. But don't worry, everything else is still magical.

It was such a small scene, but are we forgetting that it's supposed to be a movie for kids. Yes, adults can watch it anytime, but do we really need to expose children to this at an early age? Well, there's already openly gay kid at the teleserye Ang Probinsiyano.

"Cheer up, child. It'll turn out all right in the end. You'll see." – Mrs.Potts

Eduard Folayang’s Newborn Baby Adds Inspiration to Upcoming Title Defense


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Filipino fighter Eduard “Landslide” Folayang feels extra motivated in his first defense of his ONE Lightweight World Championship title next month as he and his wife have welcomed a bouncing baby girl to their family.

His spouse Genevieve gave birth to their first-born child on an early Monday morning, 13 March at the Pines City Doctor's Hospital in Baguio City. The couple tied the knot in April 2015, with Folayang describing his wife as his lifetime coach.

Folayang named his daughter Yeshuareigns, which means “Jesus reigns.” The 33-year-old mixed martial artist is a devoted born-again Christian and is also known for the public expression of his faith.

As a first-time father, Folayang was at a loss for words when he first saw and held his newborn child.

Quite similar to his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Folayang admitted that raising his daughter properly will pose a challenge.

“This is a huge blessing for our family. It felt like I won another world title in mixed martial arts. I am so happy. This is one of the most momentous moments in my life. I hope and pray that I can be a good role model to my daughter. I will be the best father that I can be,” he said.


With over a month to go before he steps inside the ONE Championship again, Folayang stressed that his daughter will be his driving force to win.

“I can truly say that I am super motivated for my upcoming fight in April. My newborn daughter gives me the much-needed inspiration with the challenge that is ahead of me,” he stated.

Folayang will defend his ONE Lightweight World Championship belt against Malaysian-Kiwi sensation Ev “E.T.” Ting in the main event of ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 21 April.

“I know how exceptional Ev Ting's talent is. I am in a tough preparation for my first title defense. My main advantage over him is my experience as a fighter, especially in the lightweight division. We all know that Ev Ting came from the featherweight division, so I'm more used to fighting in this division,” Folayang said about his marquee match-up with Ting.


Knowing that Ting is driven to make history as the first Malaysian combatant to win a world title in MMA, Folayang vows to do everything in his power to make sure that he keeps the coveted lightweight strap around his waist.

“Ev Ting is an amazing competitor and has obviously earned the opportunity to challenge for the title. He is the complete package, with good striking and a really good ground game. I need to be at my absolute best to make sure I can defend the belt successfully,” he ended.

​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

Top 30 Entries in DPC-PLDT Visual Arts Competition on Exhibit Prior to Awards


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Thirty entries from all over the Philippines were chosen out of 87 art works submitted for the 31st edition of the DPC-PLDT Visual Arts Competition (VAC31) which challenged fine arts students nationwide to interpret the theme “Habang May Buhay, May Pag-asa”.

The finalist entries consisted of realistic, abstract and graphic paintings that depict how Filipinos look at life, what they value and how they remain cheerful and hopeful in spite of adversities that they face.

Prior to the final judging and the awards night scheduled on March 23, 2017, the finalist entries will be displayed in an exhibit at Pasilyo Vicente Manansala at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from March 18 to 23. The exhibit is open to the public and admission is free.

The top three winners will have their works on the covers of the Philippine Long Distance Company’s telephone directories for 2017-18, both for the DPC (Yellow Pages) and the PLDT (White Pages). The first place winner will also receive P100,000 in cash and the VAC31 Grand Prize Trophy, plus a P40,000 donation to his/her school’s fine arts program. Second and Third Prize winners will receive P75,000 and P60,000 in cash, respectively, trophies, plus corresponding donations to their respective schools.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

67th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards Issues Call for Entries


Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. has announced its call for entries to the 67th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. This year’s competition is also accepting submissions to the Novel and Nobela categories, which are offered only every two years.

Established in 1950 in honor of Don Carlos Palanca Sr., the Palanca Awards aims to continue developing Philippine literature by providing incentives to writers and serve as a repository of our literary treasures for generations to come.

The regular categories for this year are as follows:

· Novel and Nobela categories

· English Division – Short Story, Short Story for Children, Essay, Poetry, Poetry Written for Children, One-act Play, and Full-length Play;

· Filipino Division – Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tulang Para sa mga Bata, Dulang May Isang Yugto, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, and Dulang Pampelikula;

· Regional Languages Division – Short Story-Cebuano, Short Story-Hiligaynon, and Short Story-Ilokano.


Young writers below 18 years old may also begin crafting their entries to the Kabataan Division with the theme “How can the youth contribute to building interest in Philippine culture and literature?” (Kabataan Essay) and “Paano makaaambag ang mga kabataan sa pagsulong ng interes sa kultura at panitikang Pilipino?” (Kabataan Sanaysay).

The contest is open to all Filipino or former Filipino citizens of all ages, except current directors, officers, and employees of the Palanca Foundation. Published/produced works, which were first published or first produced between 01 May 2016 to 30 April 2017, and/or unpublished/unproduced works may be entered in the contest. Contestants may submit only one entry per category. The deadline of submission is on April 30, 2017.

For official contest rules and forms, visit the Palanca Foundation offices at Unit 603, 6th Floor Park Trade Centre Bldg., 1716 Investment Drive, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City or at Unit 3G, OPL Bldg., 100 C. Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, or download from the CPMA website.

Winners will be awarded at a special ceremony to be held on September 1, 2017. For inquiries and other concerns, participants may contact the CPMA Administrator Ms. Leslie Layoso through email at cpawards@palancaawards.com.ph or at (632) 511-0003 / +639108878552.

Hontiveros Hits TESDA Chief for Sexist Remark


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General Guiling Mamondiong earned the ire of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday for saying that women “don’t have time anymore for their spouses because they are powerful”. The TESDA chief made the remark to media while commenting on overseas Filipino workers’ plight abroad.

“We are not your servants”, Hontiveros declared. “On behalf of Filipino women, especially those who work abroad, I’d like to remind the Director-General that our empowerment does not come at men’s expense," she furthered.

Hontiveros, who is also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, said that Mamondiong may have an outdated view of women and gender-relations.

“I respectfully ask the Director-General to clarify his remark and his views on women. It is not within men’s rights to dictate what role women should play whether it is at home or work," Hontiveros said.

The senator also pointed out the irony of Mamondiong's remark that was made while the country celebrates Women's Month. “It seems that we still have a long way to go, not only in educating our people but also our public officials on gender sensitivity and equality”, she said.

“The TESDA chief's sexist outlook reinforces societal structures that deny women our rights and the implementation of policies that are oppressive to us," Hontiveros said.

Vibrainium: Set to Discover the Strongest Brain Marketing Approach


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Get ready to wear your capes of excellence and unleash the versatile superhero inside you! Break stereotypes in a world of ordinary mortals. Be the VIBRAINIUM!

A much awaited seminar entitled “Vibrainium: Discovering the Strongest Brain Marketing Approach” will be dominating on the 20th of March 2017, Monday at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Theatre, College of Communication.

The title itself is acquired from the Marvel’s highly acclaimed fictional term “Vibrainium” which is considered as the strongest metal across the universe. It is commonly known as one of the materials used to construct the shield of Captain America. As the term suggests the said seminar will unveil the strongest approach in brain marketing.

The event is organized by the 4-2nates Productions, an assembly of creative and talented marketing students from PUP Manila. It will explicitly set to commence with the Registration at 11:00AM. The program proper will start at 12:01PM up to 5:00PM.

"Palit-Ulo" Scheme Revealed in Philippines' War on Drugs


Wazzup Pilipinas!


Ma'Rosa, originally titled "Palit-Ulo" (a term referring to the backdoor exchange usually involving corrupt policemen and captured criminals), actually depicts a reality that is happening in the Philippines. We all know that story in this Indie film by Director Brillante Mendoza is really occurring especially in depressed areas.

“They (communities) told us of the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme which means ‘exchange heads’ where the wife, husband or relative in a so-called drug list will be taken if the person himself could not be found.” - VP Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo recently revealed that government forces use 'palit-ulo' scheme in drug war. She explained it as "substituting a relative if a drug personality fails to appear." She said that when police are not pursuing suspected drug users and pushers, they are allegedly rounding up innocent relatives of individuals on their drug lists. Relatives are snatched if the drug suspect is nowhere to be found! She seeks help from the international community against these "warrantless arrests."

However, Malacañang hit back at the Vice President for misunderstanding the police’s 'palit-ulo' scheme amid the war on drugs. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Robredo’s statements are unfounded. They said that the 'palit-ulo' is to seek assistance from the drug personalities to squeal on a bigger fish in exchange of getting lighter charges. Malacanang said Robredo was misinformed. The Philippine National Police (PNP) urged Robredo to cite specific cases on the so-called “palit-ulo” scheme in the government’s war on drugs. They requested that she should have reported it first to them so they could conduct an investigation. But many are also demanding for her to recant the erroneous information.

Multiple Burden of Pregnancy and Expanded Maternity Leave Addressed by Women Lawmakers


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Multiple Burden of Pregnancy and Expanded Maternity Leave were some of the issues raised by Women lawmakers or legislators at a press conference held in a popular restaurant in Quezon City

Present at the table discussion were former Akbayan representative and Senator Risa Hontiveros , Atty. Joy Anne Lai ( Chief of Staff ) of Representative Emmeline Aglipay -Villar ( Diwa Partylist) and Ms. Asuncion Binos (spokesperson ) of IndustriALL, a multi-sectoral labor right's organization for women.

Some private business owners , Small and medium scale enterprises which composed the bulk of the business in the country will also reap in some benefits . Among the Asean member countries , The Philippines still lags behind Vietnam , Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia for these countries had longer maternity leave compared to the Philippines . Currently , Only 60 days of maternity leave is allowed under the old law and according to researches conducted by SSS and GSIS - The effect on business will be minimal.

" The physical demand of pregnancy alone is challenging. A nine-month pregnant woman carries an average weight of 15 kilos. This is as heavy as a regular hollow block or mid-size microwave oven. Yet,this is but a small fraction of multiple burden of pregnancy ," Hontiveros said.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

FirstMetroSec Grand Unveiling Highlights


Wazzup Pilipinas!

FirstMetroSec Online is a one-stop-shop online platform for stocks, mutual funds, and other financial services, offering a fast, powerful, and seamless online trading experience to investors with access to the widest range of investment products and solutions.

Last February 22, more than 800 people were in attendance at Valkyrie at The Palace, Bonifacio Global City to witness the company launch three of its latest innovations:

(1) FundsMart – the mutual funds online platform that lets you invest in over 25 peso mutual funds of the six leading fund houses in the country. Invest and redeem mutual funds with no additional paperwork, sales loads, and transaction fees with only one FMSec online trading account.

(2) Margin Financing Facility - Buy securities by only paying for half the cost and then borrowing the rest. It enables you to double your buying power and magnify your earning potential. Pay an interest rate of only 0.9% per month, lower than credit cards and other unsecured loans, plus there are no set-up costs, annual fees, not even repayment schedules. Pay when you want, when you can. Minimum equity amount is P200,000 (gives you buying power to buy stocks up to P400,000).

(3) Enhanced Mobile App - FirstMetroSec Online allows you to trade how and whenever you want using our web and mobile trading platforms. This now allows you to view streaming real-time prices, check your positions and balances, view charts w/ technical indicators, create watchlists, and more. You are always on the go, and so are we! Take your investments anywhere with you. Trade on the go using our free apps for Android and iOs.

Photo caption:

Toast joined by (L-R front row) PSBank President Vicente Cuna Jr., First Metro Asset Management President Gus Cosio, First Metro Securities Chairman Rabboni Arjonillo, First Metro Investments Corp. (FMIC) Chairman Francisco Sebastian, FMIC Director Martin Q. Dy Buncio, First Metro Securities Vice Chairman Robert Yu, Metrobank Senior Vice President Marie Edgette C. Gamboa, and First Metro Securities President Gonzalo Ordoňez. (Back row) Senior officers of ALFM Mutual Funds, Sun Life Asset Management, ATR Asset Management, Philam Asset Management, and Philequity Management Inc.

Lenovo Launches Kaby Lake-Powered ThinkPads to the Philippines​


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Lenovo, the world’s top PC maker, has just announced the latest devices in their ThinkPad lineup powered by Intel’s latest 7th Generation Kaby Lake processor to the Philippine market.

Known for its durability, robustness, design, and overall performance when it comes to the office, the ThinkPad is Lenovo’s brand made for those looking for a dedicated and reliable workstation. Placing power and performance as the main priority, the ThinkPad is designed to keep in pace with your business, whether at home, in the office, or on the move.

Lenovo Philippines Country General Manager Michael Ngan expressed that the new ThinkPad devices are geared for the working class of today who are always on the go. Anna Abola

“Our work methods are faster than ever. Workplaces are being reconfigured to encourage greater collaboration as more and more employees become mobile,” said Ngan. “To strive in this ever-growing digitized world, we need to be both flexible and agile. The new ThinkPads were developed with that in mind.”

Hontiveros: The Philippines’ War on Drugs is a Deadly Failure


Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat!. I’d like to thank the men and women of the Philippine Social Science Council, International Alert Inc., and the Philippine Criminal Justice Researchers Society Inc for their hard work in putting this event together, and for having me here today. To my fellow guests and speakers, it is an honor to be with you, as we tackle what is in my view, a corrupt and morally bankrupt campaign, delivered under the guise of salvation from an all-encompassing enemy.

The war on drugs is a deadly failure. It is a war without end, and with no victory. It is a promise of misery and death. The President told his supporters he would rid the country of our drug problem by killing all of its drug addicts and pushers– going as far as saying he’d have his own children killed if he found out that they were involved with drugs. He does not apologize for this, and has tolerated the ensuing death toll, blithely dismissing the death of innocent victims as collateral damage. He has incited violence on more than one occasion, and indeed continues to do so. In his own words, and I quote: “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” “When you kill criminals that is not a crime against humanity. The criminals have no humanity goddam it!” If I was to make a preliminary assessment of this campaign since it began in July 1 of last year, the numbers bear themselves out. The war is an abysmal failure, and I’d like to present my case for saying so. Let’s begin with some of its results.

More than 7,000 civilians have died in this campaign. Among its victims are Maximo Garcia, who was killed by an unknown assailant despite surrendering to the police after being told he was part of the government’s narco list, and his 5-year-old granddaughter Danica, who was literally caught in the crossfire. I also remember Rowena Tiamson, a graduating honor student from Pangasinan, whose body was found lifeless in Barangay Parian, with nothing but a cardboard sign saying “pusher, huwag tularan” as proof of her guilt. There are Domingo Mañosca and his five-year-old son Francis. Both died last December 14 when shots were fired through the plywood window of their house in Manila. All anti-drug related operations were eventually suspended on January 31 of this year after Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was found to have been strangled to death by officers of the Philippine National Police inside its own national headquarters in Camp Crame, with his ashes being flushed down the toilet. While I welcome the suspension, the fact that it was triggered belatedly by the death of a foreign resident and not earlier by the death of suspects without proof should be more than enough to give any democratic government pause.

But the greater danger of the campaign lies not just in the continued loss of life. It has institutionalized violence. It has conditioned the minds of many in our country that killing suspects before their guilt can be proven is acceptable. The public does not know the basis behind the creation of the narco list which is the key document in Oplan Tokhang, and instead is asked to take its veracity on faith. Police officers are given quotas to “neutralize” drug suspects. And most frightening of all, it has been used by vigilantes and corrupt individuals as a cover up for singling out their own targets and committing acts of murder. And now the administration is re-launching the war on drugs. It is clear that this approach does not work. To re-instate it without first reforming our police endangers the public, and is quite frankly patently insane.

And this is all despite evidence from other parts of the world that the punitive model no longer works, if it ever did. Former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria was quoted in the New York Times as saying “President Duterte is repeating my mistakes.” We must remember that it was under Gavina’s administration that Pablo Escobar, the leader and founder of the Medellin Cartel, was killed. Gavina has said that winning a campaign against drugs cannot be by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies alone. This is a sentiment reinforced by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2016 World Drug Report. To quote: “The failure to accept or understand that drug dependence is a health condition feeds the cycle of marginalization that often affects people with drug use disorders, making their recovery and social integration more challenging.” This is why I am proposing an alternative which emphasizes the public health approach and a revamped strategy to law enforcement. This alternative is Senate Bill 1313, otherwise known as “The Barangay Health and Rehabilitation Strategy Act of 2017.”

The bill mandates the creation of a Health Intervention for Drug Use Bureau (HIDUB) which will implement a National Health Intervention for Drug Use Program in cooperation with local government units. This proposed new bureau will absorb the existing drug use treatment and rehabilitation programs of the Department of Health (DOH). We also propose the creation of barangay based rehabilitation programs to assess the needs of identified drug dependents in their area and respond to them. Some of the proposed services include consultation, case management, psycho-education, counseling, health and social support, and relapse management along with other evidence based health interventions and strategies.

Addressing the drug problem requires efforts on multiple fronts, and we understand that any successful intervention will need the help of effective and well-placed law enforcement. As such, we propose an approach to law enforcement that rests on five pillars:

1. Conduct the internal cleansing of law enforcement agencies to ensure that they aren’t infiltrated by elements corrupted by drug syndicates.

2. Replenish the ranks of law enforcers with new agents who are impervious to corruption. Salaries and benefits must be increased to attract the ‘best and the brightest.

3. Mobilize government resources to fund modern crime-fighting and solving infrastructure and capability enhancement programs, such as a nationwide automated crime reporting system, security camera command centers in police districts and stations, air assets and modern laboratory equipment which can be used for more thorough substance analysis.

4. Strengthen community policing as a response to reactive incident-driven law enforcement work.

5. Focus law enforcement efforts against big time drug syndicates.

Now I know what some of you must be thinking. Is the police force really this bad? Aren’t these supposed to be the very people we trust to keep us safe? I am a PNP widow, and so are the wives of the fallen SAF 44. And I can tell you from personal experience that there are many reform-minded PNP officers, that there are those who believe that what we see of the police now is a far cry not only from their ideals, but the nobility of the sacrifice that outstanding officers continue to make every day. This bill does not seek to besmirch or cast doubt on the PNP itself. Rather, it seeks to hold our men and women in uniform to a higher standard. It is an earnest attempt to put things in place so that the PNP is given the opportunity to reclaim the public’s trust, and in so doing fulfill not only its mandate, but also live up to its promise.

Complex problems are never solved with quick fixes and simplistic solutions. I can understand the frustration on the part of the ordinary citizen. I can completely empathize with the agonizing desire for change, and the idea that any change, no matter how seemingly cruel, is better than none at all. But I will also stand my ground, and challenge that idea with another: Silence is not the same as peace, and submission is not the same as safety. Let us recognize that those who struggle with substance abuse are people who felt pain, reached out to society for help, didn’t find It, and so turned to something else. It is easy to cast them aside, embrace violence and say ‘they have made their choice, and we must get rid of them for the sake of this world. This is the only way.’ To this I say that we must continue to seek a better way, and this is for the sake of all our worlds.

Marami pong salamat at mabuhay kayong lahat!"

Speech of Senator Risa Hontiveros
Philippine Social Science Council and Philippine Criminal Justice Researchers Society
March 15, 2017

Live the Ultimate Dancer’s Life at BP Dance School’s Summer Dance Workshop


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Summer can be the most crucial time for a budding ballerina’s career. While most children are on vacations or staycations, the pupils of Ballet Philippines Dance School are hard at work. Three to five times a week, they fill their days with classes in classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip hop, and even lectures – all geared towards guiding them towards becoming full-fledged dance artists.

Classical ballet is a time-honored dance form that teaches grace, precision, and expression - a tradition that the BPDS has passed on through its programs that incorporates the Philippine National Ballet Syllabus to generations of dance students. Classical ballet encourages freedom of expression, builds confidence and self-discipline, and develops a sense of individuality, which would grow into an appreciation for the arts.

Modern dance explores dance movements beyond the set boundaries of classical ballet, incorporating influences from day-to-day movements, folk dances, martial arts and other sports, as well as contemporary/popular dance. Modern serves as a laboratory for emerging dancers and choreographers, allowing the discovery of new artists in dance.

Staying on top of the latest in popular dance, the Ballet Philippines Dance School also offers courses in Hip Hop and Jazz dance. Students discover different rhythms and grooves of movement, shaping them into becoming well-rounded dancers.


The Summer Dance Workshop also offers a weekly Lecture Series, in keeping with the BP Dance School’s holistic approach to dance education. Through these sit-down talks, students have the opportunity to interact with artists of different fields and learn how aspects of their art form can relate to and enhance one’s dancing.

The 48th CCP Summer Dance Workshop starts on April 17, 2016 at BPDS-SM Aura Premier and on April 18, 2016 at BPDS-CCP. Students attend a minimum of 3 classes a week (for pre-ballet and elementary ballet students) to as much as 5 classes a week, including workshop rehearsals for its culminating performances at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on May 20 and 21.

Summer classes will also be held in the newly opened BP Dance School branches in Greenhills Theatre Mall and Victoria Sports, Quezon City. Classes start on April 4 and end on May 31.

The Ballet Philippines Dance School is the professional training ground of the country’s most promising young talents in dance. With a unique curriculum that encompasses various dance styles and techniques, the systematized method and approach to instruction takes highly into account children’s anatomy and psyche at various ages and levels so that the training is physically safe, technically effective and artistically enriching for all students.


The Ballet Philippines Dance School is located at the following venues:

BPDS-CCP: Ground Floor, Cultural Center of the Philippines, CCP Complex,
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
Call (02) 832-3689 (Tina)

BPDS-SM Aura Premier:
6th Floor, Unit 602B, SM Aura Premier, 26th Street Corner
McKinley Parkway Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Call (02) 531-4436 (Annabelle)

BPDS-Greenhills:
F&B-5, Arts Plaza, Greenhills Theatre Mall, San Juan
Call 0915 630-6968 (Meann)

BPDS-Victoria Sports:
Victoria Sports, 799 EDSA Southbound, South Triangle,
Quezon City
Call (02) 832-3689 (Tina)

Connect to the Ballet Philippines Dance School online through the following social media networks:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/balletphilippines
Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: balletph

To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #bpdanceschool

See you at the studio!

Metro Race Collective Proudly Presents 1st Circulo Verde Chasedown


Wazzup Pilipinas!

On March 19th, 2017, Metro Race Collective proudly organizes the 1st ever Circulo Verde Chasedown - a fixed gear criterium event which will be held at Ortigas & Co’s Circulo Verde alongside guest sports director Ravi Rajcoomar (USAC Sanctioned Race Director) & world-renowned cyclist Addison Zawada.




The event will grant the winner of the Men’s Fixed Gear Open category an opportunity to compete in the USA Cycling sanctioned event - Red Bull Last Stand - taking place at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, USA.



The first ever fixed gear cycling event in Asia: 

Circulo Verde Chasedown Cycling Event
Sunday / March 19, 2017 / 12:00NN
Circulo Verde
Calle Industria, Quezon City


Race Categories
Geared Women (Amateur)
Geared Men (Amateur)
Fixed Women (Open to all categories)
Fixed Men (Open to all categories, Winner must be available to compete in Red Bull Last Stand in October, to be held at San Antonio, Texas, USA)

Race Format
The event requires all participants to register. Pre-registration is until March 15 (Online or at all Built Cycles Branches). On-site registration is also accepted, but at a different fee. 
 

Race Requirements

- Signed waivers on-site
- Helmets
- Dropbars for the Fixed Gear categories, no brakes allowed

- Any geared bikes for the Geared categories (including single-speeds), except time trial bikes (due to brake lever positioning) 


Qualifying

A 15-lap criterium race with a maximum of 50 riders per qualifier, seeding for the 50 positions for the Men’s Finals. Finals Men’s Fixed finals will be 50 laps with the last rider across the finish line being removed after every lap until one last rider remains. There will be no free laps for mishaps, crashes, or mechanicals. The last rider across the line will be eliminated, period.


For other categories, we’ll follow a traditional criterium format. 40 laps for the Men’s Geared Category, and 30 laps for the Women’s Categories.


Race Distances
Fixed Women 30 Laps
Fixed Men 50 Laps
Geared Women 30 Laps
Geared Men 50 Laps


Race Registration

The event requires all participants to register. Pre-registration is until March 15 (Online via http://bit.ly/2lUKqoH​ or at all Built Cycles Branches). On-site registration is also accepted.


Php 500 - Race Kit + Freebies
Php 950 - Race Kit + BRKLSS Shirt + Conquer RS Bag (Pre-registration) + Freebies
Php 1200 - Includes Race Kit + BRKLSS Shirt + Conquer RS Bag (Onsite) + Freebies


Schedule Registration

10:00AM Rider Briefing
11:45AM Fixed Men Qualifying 1
12:00NN Fixed Men Qualifying 2
1:00PM Geared Women
2:00PM Geared Men
3:00PM Fixed Women
4:00PM Fixed Men Finals
5:00PM Awarding Ceremonies

Awards ceremonies and podium presentations will be after the Fixed Gear Men’s race. Fixed Gear Women’s Top three riders Fixed Gear Men’s Top three riders Geared Women’s Top three riders Geared Men’s Top three riders 

 
Course Map and Description

The course is a 1-kilometer, 6-turn city circuit around the Circulo Verde property. It uses a unique eliminator format with the last rider eliminated on each lap until only one rider remains. 


Best Viewing Spots
- Industria Building
- Sidewalk perimeter of Circulo Verde


Riders and Team Area

Riders will be provided a racers’ holding area in Industria center

Registration Confirmation
Will be located at Industria center

Sponsors Pop-up Shops

Will be located in front, beside the stage and in-front of the finish line

Asia’s Top Crime Series* Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Returns for Season Two


Wazzup Pilipinas!

No perpetrator can escape the combined brilliance of this elite force! Unit Chief Jack Garrett and his international response team have returned for a brand new season on AXN.

The top rated drama series follows the global investigative adventures of the specialized International Division of the FBI tasked with solving crimes and coming to the rescue of Americans who find themselves in danger while abroad. Heading the International Response Unit is Unit Chief Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise), a seasoned 20-year veteran of the Bureau.

The team he trusts with his life includes Clara Seger (Alana De La Garza), a smart, well-traveled and multi-lingual cultural anthropologist, Matthew Simmons (Daniel Henney), a former military hero with split-second profiling skills he honed on the battlefield, Russ "Monty" Montgomery (Tyler James Williams), the unit's compassionate, brilliant tech analyst who additionally liaises stateside with the families of those in trouble while his group is far from home, and Mae Jarvis (Annie Funke), the team's fearless and fun medical examiner. These exceptional agents are dedicated to safely returning U.S. residents home by profiling and identifying criminals who are beyond the U.S. border.

AXN is available on Sky Cable Channel 49, Destiny Cable Channel 61, Cignal Channel 121, Dream Satellite TV Channel 20, G Sat Channel 51, and Cablelink Channel 38. AXN HD is available on Sky Cable Channel 247.

AXN is the leading English general entertainment channel in Asia featuring engaging content that redefines action. Check out AXN’s new look and programming schedule at www.AXN-Asia.com or join the conversation on Facebook at AXNPH.

*In Malaysia, CMBB was the number one program across English channels on Astro during its premiere timeslot. (Source: Kantar Media Malaysia DTAM, consolidated rating, March 17-May 26 2016, Thursday 2205)

In the Philippines, CMBB was the number one program across English GE channels during its premiere timeslot. (Source: Kantar Media Philippine TAM service All Urban Panels, March 17-May 26 2016, Thursday 2145)

5th Year for Lazada Philippines is Strongest Year Yet


Wazzup Pilipinas!

With a record high 91% market share in the Philippine e-Commerce category, Lazada Philippines has plenty to celebrate for its 5th year anniversary. Since its recent acquisition by global e-Commerce giant, Alibaba.com, the country’s dominant online shopping and selling destination shows no sign of slowing down.

In just 5 short years, Lazada has been able to guard and grow e-commerce in the Philippines with commitment to its 3 main customer offerings: assortment, convenience, and topnotch service.

When it comes to variety, no other Philippine e-commerce platform comes close to Lazada, with 6.3 million items under a wide variety of categories including electronics, fashion, home & living, travel, toys, grocery items, and even pet goods.

Convenience and service are best in class with 24/7 access via website or mobile app, free shipping around Metro Manila and nationwide with a minimum purchase of P1,000, and free returns. Lazada also innovated through a wide variety of payment options, including credit and debit cards, and the highly popular cash-on-delivery option.

Lazada’s upcoming anniversary, dubbed ‘Lazada’s 5th Birthday Surprise’, has been marked as the biggest shopping event of the season. From March 21-23, Lazada will be showering online shoppers with sitewide discounts of up to 90%, low denomination Peso Sales, and time based Flash Sales. There will also be exclusive offerings from its most popular brands, and raffle prizes like vacation packages and real world treats.



HIGH FIVE DEALS
Make your summer sizzle with hot deals such as the Delsey 4-wheel trolley for only P3,507; JBL on-ear headphones for only P699, and Nyx Lip Lingerie for only P490. Also in the lineup are customer favorites such as the VR Box 3D Glasses for only P95, Keds sneakers for as low as P999 and assorted Nestle Dolce Gusto capsule packs with free Nestle Dolce Gusto Oblo machine for only P3,400.



FIERCE FLASH SALES
For a very limited time, Lazada will also be offering top items at markdown prices: The inflatable Banana Bed for only P199, Nivea shower gels for only P68, and a CKK Inspire mobile phone with a 5.0 mega pixel camera and dual sim capability for only P999.  Other fierce items include an Avision24” HD LED TV and a Matrix Air Conditioner at P4,999, and a car stereo Bluetooth player for only P699.



BIRTHDAY TREATS FOR ALL
No birthday will be complete without giveaways! For lucky customers who shop from March 21-23, Lazada will be raffling off a trip to Taiwan for two from KKDay. Foodie customers also get free booky.ph subscriptions worth P1,500 with every minimum purchase. Finally, every minimum purchase of P1,000 becomes a true treat, because customers get a P10 discount on FamilyMart’s famous Twirl.

So mark your calendars, make your checklists, and make room for more stuff because Lazada’s 5th Birthday Surprise is going to be the main event on your March calendar! Celebrate with Lazada by visiting Lazada.com.ph or downloading the Lazada mobile app for free today.

OFWs Exempted from NAIA Terminal Fee


Wazzup Pilipinas!

A “simple gift” from President Rodrigo Duterte is how transportation and airport officials refer to the terminal fee exemption afforded to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The exemption was made official through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed today between the Department of Transportation – Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the 40 airline companies operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Under the MOA, starting April 30, 2017, the International Passenger Service charge (IPSC) or the terminal fee amounting to PHP550 shall be waived for OFWs, pilgrims, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) delegates, and others authorized by law and the Office of the President to travel outside the Philippines. Exemption shall be honored upon face to face purchase of tickets. By the end of July 2017, the exemption will also apply to online purchases. This means migrant workers no longer need to queue for refund when departing from NAIA.

The MOA is consistent with President Duterte’s directive to give OFWs a seamless and hassle-free experience at the airport. 

Slain Barrio Doctor, Others to Receive Health Exemplar Award


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, the doctor-volunteer to the barrio killed by a gunman last March 1, will be given a posthumous award during the 3rd Health Exemplar awarding ceremonies to be held at One Canvass, Chino Roces, Makati City, on March 22.

The other awardees are Dr. Juan Sanchez, Dr. Richard Mata, Dr. Edgardo Ulysses Dorotheo, Dr. Iris Isip-Tan and the Mu Sigma Phi of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. To be given special citations for their contributions to public health are Dr. Faith Guirnela-Go, Ms. Rosamy "Jing" Castaneda-Velasco and the Hepatology Society of the Philippines.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial will deliver the keynote address during the awarding ceremonies.

The H&L Health Exemplar Awards recognize individuals, institutions, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, media entities and others who have effectively carried out activities and programs that promote a specific aspect of a healthy lifestyle and health-promoting behavior which includes diet and nutrition, exercise and fitness, smoking cessation, relaxation and stress control, hygiene and cleanliness. The awardees' contributions are recognized for the positive health-promoting and health-seeking behavior they have achieved in their respective communities or the entire population.

Noted medical specialists from the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) of the Health and Lifestyle (H&L) magazine compose the Board of Judges. The H&L MAB is composed of prominent physicians who are virtual who's who in the country's medical field.

This year's board of judges is composed of Dr. Ramon Abarquez, Jr., Dr. Augusto Litonjua, Dr. Adolfo Bellosillo, Dr. Abdias Aquino, Dr. Bien Cabral, Dr. Willie Ong and Dr. Bibly Macaya.

The posthumous award for Dr. Perlas honors his patriotism and devotion to duty as a doctor-volunteer to help our marginalized countrymen in Northern Mindanao who are in dire need of medical assistance. Despite the danger to his life, he was among the first ones to participate in rescue and medical missions during natural calamities. He was also prompt to volunteer his medical assistance during ambushes and clashes with insurgents in their area.

Dr. Sanchez, a noted surgeon, is the brain behind the innovative Mobile Surgical Unit for which he has gained the moniker as the “Doctor on Wheels." He has spearheaded medical-surgical missions in many underserved areas in the country, performing various types of surgeries for free. Consistently doing these missions monthly for more than ten years now, he and his fellow volunteers have helped transform the lives of thousands of poor Filipinos.

Dr. Mata has helped curb the rise in dengue cases in the country with his nationwide health education seminars and workshops for health workers and community leaders. He has conducted training for dengue coordinators on how communities can effectively do initiatives to prevent the rising incidence of dengue in their respective communities.

With his unstinting advocacy against smoking, Dr. Dorotheo has been actively involved in various global campaigns for tobacco control, which has made significant milestones in public health not only in the Philippines but in neighboring countries as well. He was one of the outspoken advocates for the sin tax reform law as well as the inclusion of graphic health warnings in cigarette packages.

A specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology, Dr. Isip-Tan has given true meaning to the role of a physician as a health educator and ‘influencer.’ With her expertise in health informatics, she has adeptly harnessed social media to promote health literacy and positive health-seeking behavior in the public.

The first and biggest medical sorority in the Philippines and in Asia, the Mu Sigma Phi Sorority is recognized for its various projects serving indigent patients. It has also promoted a positive health-seeking behavior in the public with its healthy lifestyle and various health education campaigns such as the Women Empowerment and Literacy through Health Education (WEALTH).

The Hepatology Society of the Philippines is cited for effectively addressing the lack of public knowledge on Hepatitis B which has led to misconceptions causing stigma for those who carry the virus, and to delayed treatment leading to liver cancer and end-stage liver disease. This was achieved through their scientific researches, extensive continuing medical education programs (Liver Caravan Symposia), and campaigns for newborn vaccination against Hepatitis B.

Dr. Guirnela-Go is cited for the public education forums she has helped organize in her hometown in Oroquieta City, as well as other towns in Misamis Occidental, under the auspices of the Foundation for Lay Education on Heart Diseases, (FLEHD) Inc. Without fanfare, she has conducted follow-up programs in her city to further spread awareness on cardiovascular diseases and promote primary prevention at the grassroots level.

Popular broadcast journalist Jing Castaneda will be given a special citation for her strong advocacy for a healthy lifestyle and other health-promotion programs. As a veteran news personality and celebrity mom, she has extended her influence and that of her network to help people in dire need of medical assistance, particularly children who are physically abused, maltreated and require treatment for their medical ailments through the Bantay Bata (Child Watch) of which she is the program director. Through her television program (Salamat Dok), she also helps address various family issues on health, empowering the public with basic knowledge on preserving health and wellness.
 
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