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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Yamaha Enhances the Mio with i 125S and Soul i 125S


Wazzup Pilipinas!


Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. continues to empower riders with it’s AT lineup of the Mio i 125 and Mio Soul i 125. After its successful integration into Philippine riding culture, the company ups the ante by evolving the already highly-innovative Mio.

The next step after the Blue Core Engine upgrade is the inclusion of the Stop and Start System in the Mio i 125S and the Mio Soul i 125S. When enabled, the technology allows your engine to automatically switch off after 5 seconds of being idle to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption and low emission. Your battery is well-protected and you can easily return to your riding with its quick start function that is possible because of the stored air-fuel mixture in your engine.

The S version also includes an answer back key that assists in locating your motorcycle in a crowded parking area; this edition also has an embossed 3D MIO emblem.

The Mio i 125S has an SRP of Php 73,900 and comes in white and black. The Mio Soul i 125S has an SRP of Php 83,900 and comes in matte green and matte gray. Both are available in Yamaha 3S shops and multi-brand stores nationwide.

Friday, May 5, 2017

ASUS ROG Announces Partnership with Manila Masters


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ASUS ROGas the Official Motherboard, Graphics Card, and Monitor of the Tournament


World’s top gamers gather for the 2017’s first international esports competition event in the Philippines to compete using the ROG’s best components.

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced its partnership with the Manila Masters to be the official gaming motherboard, graphics card, and monitor for the event.

The top Dota 2 gamers from all over the world will gather to showcase the best of professional esports. Organized by the Mineski-Events Team and supported by ESL, the event will be held in the SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 26-28 2017. In this momentous event, ROG is present to continue its legacy of being the top supporter for landmark gaming events in the country. It will equip its players with the best computers to bring out the best in each professional player. Being the No.1 Gaming Brand Worldwide, ROG is committed to deliver limitless performance to every gamer and enthusiast using only the best components available today.


ASUS gaming motherboards, graphics cards, and monitors

ASUS is the world’s No.1 motherboard brand and has held this distinction for over 10 consecutive years. ASUS gaming monitors are at the forefront of gaming technology, with gaming monitors like the ROG Swift PG258Q offering a native refresh rate of up to 240Hz. ASUS gaming monitors garnered a 35% market share in 2016.

Select ASUS motherboards and graphics cards offer ASUS Aura Sync[1], an exclusive technology that sets a new standard for RGB lighting performance and ease of use. Aura Sync lets users combine and control the LEDs of all Aura-enabled products from a single application to achieve perfectly synchronized system lighting.

AXN Announces Open Auditions for Asia’s Got Talent at QCX


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Philippines, it’s time to get your act together!  AXN, Asia’s number one general entertainment channel, announced today that the highly anticipated open auditions for Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 will be held at QCX: Quezon City Experience @ Metro Manila, Philippines on Sunday, May 21 2017.

Doors will open from 10:30am as thousands of aspiring hopefuls will descend on QCX for their chance to perform in front of AXN’s producers and a shot at a USD100,000 cash prize.

“Asia’s Got Talent is the world’s biggest talent competition that unites the region’s diverse cultures in a vibrant celebration of the performing arts,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and the Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia. “This season, we invite all Filipinos of any age and with any talent to show our producers what they can do. We look forward to discover the next generation of Pinoy superstars on AXN.”

Due to the expected turn out and exceptionally high demand for an audition slot, aspiring stars are encouraged to pre-apply online (www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent) to expedite the registration process on the day.

If an act is successful during the open auditions, they may then be selected to perform at the judges’ auditions later in the year. The judges’ auditions comprise the first five episodes of the series and precede the semi-finals and the grand finale episode where the winner of Asia’s Got Talent will be crowned, winning USD100,000 in cash.

More details including Asia’s Got Talent open audition dates and cities, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the terms and conditions of participation are available at www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent.
Asia’s Got Talent is slated to premiere in the second half of 2017, first and exclusively on AXN.

Join the conversation and watch the AXN crew report live throughout the day from QCX and the open auditions via AXN’s Facebook page @AXNAsia @AsiasGotTalent / #AXNAsia / #AsiasGotTalent / #AsiasGotTalentAudition www.AXN-Asia.com/AsiasGotTalent

Yamaha Unites with TESDA Empowering Women Through Education


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Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. (YMPH) alongside the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) established a Technical Vocational Education and Training Center for Motorcycle and Small Engine Servicing on March 7, 2017. The project was formalized with the MOA signing of YMPH President, Mr. Toru Osugi and TESDA Director General Secretary Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong.

The training center which was established in Taguig City, aims to educate out-of-school youth and marginalized adults, more specifically women. Yamaha will provide motorcycles and equipment for the facility to give its students the best learning environment possible. Those who will complete their course will earn National Certificates and will be assisted in being hired as trainees in Yamaha Service Centers.

It has always been part of Yamaha’s Corporate Philosophy to enrich lives beyond riding. Activities such as this showcase the importance of the Filipino Community to the company; as part of the nation’s culture it is a privilege for Yamaha to empower women through education.

Buy One Take One Steaks at Gumbo on Mother’s Day


Wazzup Pilipinas!

One for you...one for her… Celebrate Mother’s day at Gumbo, choose and order from their wide selection of steaks and get this sumptuous steak for your mom absolutely free! 

Yes your mom will enjoy complimentary steak among other gifts at Gumbo on her special day! Grab this “But One Take One Steak” until the end of May at Gumbo for as low as P595.00. Choose from sumptuous chicken steak to tender-juicy pork loin to USDA Country-style steak, among others, served with choice side dishes like mashed potato, corn and carrots, coleslaw, rice pilaf, etc.

Enjoy quality dishes plus huge savings at Gumbo located at the 2nd Level Entertainment Hall, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay; 3rd Level Robinsons Manila Midtown; 2nd Level SM City The Block, North EDSA: Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, Cubao; Robinsons Magnolia; and at the 2nd Level Atrium Bldg. in SM Megamall. 

For reservations and inquiries, please call 5560238, 4420106, 6353015, 5671820, 4404632 and 5271925.

Marvelous Mother’s Day Treat Combo at Burgoo


Wazzup Pilipinas!

This Mother’s Day let your mom feel loved and special as the whole family treat her with this Marvelous Family Combo for only P1,999.000. Your mother and the whole family will surely enjoy this set menu which includes four sumptuous flavors of Wild Wild Wings, a bucket of French Fries, a bowl of rice pilaf, Tomato-Basil Spaghetti, two karaffe of iced tea and one full slab of Oklahoma-style Grilled Baby Back Ribs. 

Anyways, family is where our mothers’ heart is and this day will be memorable if the family is complete! Your mother will receive a special gift and red rose on her special day! 

Bring the whole family at Burgoo located at T. Morato in Quezon City; Powerplant Mall in Rockwell Makati; The Podium in Ortigas; Gateway Mall in Araneta Center Cubao; Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas; SM City The Block in North EDSA; Mall of Asia in Pasay; SM City Marikina; SM Southmall in Alabang, The District in Cavite; 3rd level Terraces Mall in Fairview; Starmall in Taguig; and newly-opened Burgoo in Solenad, Nuvali. 

For reservations and inquiries, please call 9277424, 8381815, 6875254, 7263578, 9136112, 5560091 or 6336256.

Elfrid Payton and Sue Wicks to Coach Filipino Youth at Jr. NBA National Training Camp


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Orlando Magic’s Elfrid Payton and former WNBA player Sue Wicks are in the news! 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic and former WNBA player Sue Wicks will travel to Manila to participate in the Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 National Training Camp and help coach players from around the country vying to be named 2017 Jr. NBA All-Stars.  The National Training Camp will be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute May 12-13 and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 14.

Payton and Wicks will also serve as coaches at the annual Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game featuring past Jr. NBA standouts from across the country.  Participation in this year’s program increased by 50 percent from 2016, reaching more than 30,000 players and coaches in cities including Bacolod, Batangas, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Lucena, Metro Manila, and Puerto Princesa.

“I’m excited to visit the Philippines for the first time and experience the country’s enthusiastic basketball culture,” said Payton.  “These young players have worked hard to be a part of this camp, and I can’t wait to get on the court with them.”

“Having visited the Philippines before, I’ve seen firsthand the passion that young boys and girls here have for the game,” said Wicks.  “I’m looking forward to the trip and to working with the Jr. NBA participants to help take their game to the next level.”

Payton, who was drafted 10th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2015.  He averaged 12.8 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game with the Magic this season.

Catching Up With Doodle Art’s Mabby Triviño


Wazzup Pilipinas!
 
In 2014, Mabby Triviño was chosen as the Philippine representative for the Red Bull Doodle Art Global Finals. The then-19-year-old artist was among 28 other participants who had made it to Cape Town, South Africa that year. The experience not only expanded her capabilities but also established her as a professional artist.

Now 22-years-old, Mabby
Triviño is now art director working in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines. She is among the country’s rising graphic designers and artists. With the next installment of Doodle Art coming up, we decided to catch up with Mabby in her find out her thoughts on Doodle Art, her creative process and the art scene in the Philippines.

Do you still doodle?

Working as an Art Director in an advertising agency, I doodle during long meetings or brainstorming sessions where I allow my mind to wander. If I’m lucky, these doodles give birth to interesting campaign ideas.  Whenever I doodle, I like to finish them the same day I started on them. The reason behind this is because my doodles are thoughts during those moments which were just translated on paper.



What are your thoughts about the Red Bull Doodle Art?

What I love about the Red Bull Doodle Art is that it doesn't box an artist. This type of art is an expression without restrictions. All it asks is for you to let your mind run wild, let your creative juices flow, and doodle your heart out.

How would you describe the Red Bull Doodle Art 2014 journey from start to finish?

The entire journey was nothing but inspiring and fulfilling. Since it was just a few days after my college graduation, the opportunity to travel and experience the Red Bull Doodle Art journey was an excellent “growing up gift.” Before my trip to Cape Town, I did tons of research about it just like any nervous tourist would. I remember my parents, specifically my mom, being so scared that her 19-year- old daughter would be going to Africa alone and with no companion. The pressure and anxiousness all sank in when I was at the check-in counter of the airport and realized that I was completely alone for the first time. I got over the jitters by taking a deep breath and telling myself that I could do it.

As soon as I landed in the Design Capital of the World, I knew that it was going to be a trip of a lifetime which is why I made sure that I cherished every moment of it: from the Fire and Ice- themed hotel (with the super duper cozy bed) with a view of Table Mountain, to the Red Bull Global Gallery, and the moment where I bonded with other doodlers from all over the world which quickly became my good friends up until now. The experiences I have gained from this journey have all the more ignited my love for both art and traveling.



What are you looking forward to most in this year’s Red Bull Doodle Art?

I’m looking forward to seeing student artists who are just as eager and enthusiastic as I was when I was in their position. I bet right now they’re in this phase of contemplating whether to join or not or if they’re making the right decision. I’m excited to see those who took that same leap of faith as I did because in my experience, it was definitely worth it!

What do you want to say to the students thinking of submitting their doodles this year?

Go crazy and enjoy the journey! These are the very few moments where you don’t have to be constantly conscious about restrictions; life as a student is full of that already so don’t let doodling be one. Take a break from the stress of school work and let your mind take you places. You never know where you’ll end up! Lastly, leave all your worries, insecurities, and expectations behind. Whether you win or not, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. Trust that this journey you are about to take will be a wild but memorable one that’ll make you an even better artist! Good luck! :)

To check out Mabby Triviño’s work, visit https://www.behance.net/mabbytrivino

For more information on Doodle Art, participating countries and how to submit your artwork, visit www.redbulldoodleart.com.

#doodleart

Cusi to Transco: Use Gov't Assets to Lower Power, Internet Rates


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Not at the expense of the truth and to the detriment of the public interest.

This was the unstated message of Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi when he ordered today the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) to maximize the utilization of the fiber optic assets of the power transmission facilities to lower electricity and Internet rates.

“At the onset of this administration, we repeatedly requested the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), through TransCo, to provide the details on how we can take full advantage of their fiber optic assets embedded in the grid,” said Cusi.

“I have personally asked the officials of NGCP to provide such status report, because we want to make the internet services in the country faster and more reliable with the help of our transmission facilities,” he said.

Cusi pointed out that the availability and readiness of the fiber optic assets on the transmission system could improve the electricity services of the NGCP and reduce the cost of electricity and the national broadband project.

However, the DOE as well as TransCo have yet to receive an update from the NGCP amid the sudden proliferation of full page paid print advertisements and repeated pronouncements over the media to support the government’s broadband and grid interconnection projects.

“While we are waiting for NGCP’s data and proposals on the project, there's a need to clarify the impressions that are being projected by NGCP that it is voluntarily, willing and able to provide these services for the benefit of the public," Cusi said.

Amid the apparent disregard of NGCP of the request, Cusi directed TransCo to audit the NGCP’s work program and below are the initial yet detailed findings of the company:

a) In 2012, NGCP rejected the request of the National Government for the use of spare fiber for the Integrated Government Philippines (IGovPhils) Project;

b) Concealment of a contract involving the use of the national government’s transmission assets (substations, high voltage towers/poles, and high-voltage transmission lines) as a telecommunications backbone; and

c) Decommissioning and dismantling of a separately installed Fiber Optic Network used by major telecommunications companies.

Moreover, as the owner of the transmission facilities, TransCo has been instructed by Cusi to spearhead the move for the utilization of the fiber optic assets for cheaper and faster IT services as well as to lower the price of electricity.

The DOE oversees TransCo, which is mandated to protect the national government’s interests by ensuring NGCP’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the Concession Agreement and the policies of the State. Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), the NGCP was awarded the sole Concession Agreement for the country’s transmission system in 2009.

“At the end of the day, what we would like to achieve is that the consuming public would benefit from all the government deals and activities, thus we are exploring and exhausting all the potentials of the transmission system as a government-owned asset,” Cusi said.


"At the same time, the department will not hesitate to file cases against abuses or any violation of the contract which maybe discovered and proven after further investigation of the NGCP's operations and its activities," he concluded.

‘No Sacred Cows’ Says Cusi on ERC Chair’s Suspension


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Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi emphasized today that the preventive suspension of Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chair Jose Vicente Salazar is yet another example that there are no “sacred cows” in the Duterte administration.

While preventive in nature and not yet a penalty, the suspension of Salazar by the Office of the President should pave the way for an impartial and objective investigation of corruption allegations raised against him, said Cusi.

“As the President has said, tabla-tabla tayo when it comes to dealing with corruption allegations. Allergic ang Pangulo sa kurapsyon, so it’s not enough not to be tainted -- one must also be perceived to be clean,” said Cusi.

The Energy chief said he expects the Energy family to get past the issue stronger and more resolute in keeping its mandate to provide affordable and sustainable power to the general public.

“Corruption adds to the cost of everything. That being said, it is but proper that all allegations of wrongdoings are properly investigated. Tamaan na ang tatamaan,” said Cusi.

Nonetheless, Cusi said any and all investigations are also avenues for the accused to clear their names.

Cusi said the rule of law must always prevail and gave special mention to the equal protection of the law clause of the Constitution when it comes to facing criminal, civil or administrative charges.

“I expect fair treatment of all officers and workers in government,” said Cusi. “The suspension is a means to give way to a fair investigation of the issues being thrown at Chairman Salazar, " Cusi declared.

CoSA Proudly Presents Youngblood Year-Ender Party


Wazzup Pilipinas!


This is our time. Get ready to raise your cups and dance the school year away at the biggest house party of 2017.

Ateneo de Manila University's Collegiate Society of Advertising, CoSA, brings you Youngblood, a year-ender party on the 6th of May at Blk 8 Lot 11 Afpovai in BGC, Fort from 9pm onwards. Early bird tickets can be bought at P250 in Ateneo, while door tickets will be sold at P300. See you there!


SCHEDULE/VENUE
Block 8 Lot 11 Afpovai, BGC
Saturday, May 6, 2017 9:00 PM

JDA Category Management Empower Customers to Run at the Speed of Retail



Wazzup Pilipinas!

New Innovative Capabilities within the JDA Category Management 2017.1 enhancements increase collaboration between retailers and manufacturers to deliver a more fluid, responsive category management plan in line with consumer expectations

With the digital supply chain transformation underway, retailers have an opportunity to reinvent their strategies from the consumer perspective to best address shopper expectations. This is particularly pertinent from within the store, on the floor and on the shelf, where retailers have the biggest opportunity to impact consumer purchase decisions immediately. Additionally, there is ongoing pressure for retailers to profitably satisfy customer demand and differentiate their brand to remain competitive.

In response to these market demands, JDA Software Group, Inc. has introduced new capabilities within JDA® Category Management, that increase the collaboration capabilities between category managers and store managers as well as with manufacturers, and enhanced capabilities that give retailers the ability to thrive in this rapidly evolving market.

“In today’s customer-centric retail environment, getting merchandise assortments right the first time is crucial to shopper satisfaction as well as profitability. Given this, we have enhanced several components within JDA Category Management to move JDA further towards the goal of providing an ‘always on’ category management platform that runs at the speed of retail,” said Todd McCourtie, Senior Director, Solutions Strategy, JDA. “We have simplified many aspects of the assortment and space optimization processes to empower category managers to not only create customer-centric planograms, but to also unite retailers and manufacturers together in the planning process for more granular, localized assortments every time.”






In today's global economy, customers are demanding a more relevant, seamless and personalized shopping experience. Shopper behaviors, wants and needs are shifting faster than category managers can respond. With this in mind, JDA Category Management now enables a more agile, proactive planning process that can take into account shifting market dynamics and refine plans on the fly.


Key enhancements include:
Improved assortment collaboration: Via JDA Open Access, retailers can collaborate with internal stakeholders or trading partners via a web interface to review scorecard measures when creating assortments. Stores can review and provide feedback to proposed assortment plans to better align merchandise with local preferences and demand.

Consistent user interface: Taking into account direct customer input, JDA has redesigned its user interface (UI) across JDA Category Management to provide a more consistent user experience. The UI refresh provides a modern user experience with optimized usability. The Open Access Mobile application has been restyled to deliver a modern look and feel with enhanced intuitive navigation.

Localized space plans and what-if scenario planning: Space planners can now analyze the outcome of their merchandising rules for localized space plans before they run them. This allows for proactive what-if scenario planning which alerts planners to errors or warnings before the space plans are generated. This enables more successful, profitable merchandise plans with less user interaction.

“With this release, we continue toward our vision of empowering retailers and manufacturers to create localized assortment and space plans, and new capabilities that help them sense and respond to in-store expectations proactively,” continued McCourtie. “The future of category management lies within the ability to foster real-time collaboration both internally between store and category managers, and externally, with suppliers and manufacturing partners, to deliver a more fluid, responsive category management plan that falls in line with consumer expectations.”

Shop at Power Mac Center, Get a Chance to Win a Trip to Paradise!


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Doesn’t this heat make you wanna just pack your bags and go to the beach? You could be lying on your mat right now, sipping ice cold piña colada, and then splashing in the water to your heart’s content. What if we say you can take that trip for free? This summer, premier Apple reseller Power Mac Center is giving you a chance to win a trip for 4 to the white sand paradise of Boracay!

Simply shop any of the participating products from JBL, Catalyst, Zerotech, Olloclip, Otterbox, and Energea at any Power Mac Center store to earn raffle entries. The winner will get to fly with three friends to and from Boracay, party, and chill in a secluded resort, complete with a deluxe room accommodation for 3 days and 2 nights.

“This contest kicked off Power Mac Center’s Beach Vibe 2017 campaign, which invites everyone to rediscover their passion for exploring from the urban jungle to white sand beaches and deep sea waters. We want you to just go ahead and have unlimited fun under the sun because we’ve got you covered with waterproof products and accessories from some of the best brands in the market worldwide,” said Marketing Director Joey Alvarez.

Participating products include cases for iOS devices and Apple Watch, floating lanyards, portable chargers, power hubs, lightning cables, Bluetooth speakers, clip lenses, and pocket drones. Each item has a corresponding number of electronic raffle entries. The more entries you have, the more chances of winning.

Mediartrix Goes Blonde and Pink for their 20th Anniversary


Wazzup Pilipinas!

As they celebrate their 20th year, Mediartrix, the university-wide multimedia and musical theatre organization of the University of Santo Tomas, is ready to present their annual major production, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” An Adaptation.

If you have read the novel or watched the movie adaptation, then you’re gonna love this musical! Meet Elle Woods and witness her journey in Harvard, to study law just for love! Watch her chase Warner, her one true love, as she faces people who think she’s just a fool and desperate blonde. She’s here to spread positivity with her pink personality and she’s here to break the stereotypes for everyone.

The talented cast and ensemble will surely make you bend and snap with emotions and a remarkable once-in-a-lifetime experience. This production will make you feel SO MUCH BETTER!!

Under the direction of Gerard King Serador and John Saga; and management by Jamie Rose Tote, this production will be staged at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium at the University of Santo Tomas. Show dates are on May 9, (10:00-12:00pm; 1:00-3:00pm; 4:00-6:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm); May 10, (2:00-4:00pm and 5:00-7:00pm); May 11, (10:00-12:00pm; 1:00-3:00pm; 4:00-6:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm); May 12, (10:00-12:00pm; 1:00-3:00pm; 4:00-6:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm); and May 13, (7:00-9:00pm).



For ticket inquiries and reservations, you may contact Kanna De Guzman (09176080451). You may also visit the Mediartrix office at the Room 4B Tan Yan Kee Student Center, University of Santo Tomas. Tickets are sold at P200 each.

Experience All-Around Action and Adventure this May on Animax!


Wazzup Pilipinas!

In May, anime fans are surely in for a visual treat as they are bound to experience a whole lot of action and adventure, blended with fantasy and mystery, when today’s hottest anime series are shown on Animax. 


My Hero Academia (All New Episodes)

In a world where majority of the population has developed a superpower, the young and idealistic Izuku Midoriya seems to be isolated for having been born without one.

But as fate would have it, top hero All Might decides to impart his power with Izuku in a chance encounter, and this changes Izuku’s life forever. With his newfound superpower known as “Quirk,” Izuku begins to attend a high school for budding heroes and finally embarks on his lifelong dream to become a hero himself.

With the highly anticipated U.A Sports Festival approaching, the clashes between Izuku, Bakugo, Torodoki, and others continue to heighten. New faces will appear, including members of Class 1-B. All the hero students are fired up for the festival and Izuku is no exception!

My Hero Academia (All New Episdoes) airs same day as Japan on every Saturday at 10pm. 

Top 7 Romantic Places to Visit with Your Lover


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Isn’t our planet just gorgeous? It is full of wonderful places to visit and emotions to remember. But when you are in love, everything gets even better. So here are the most interesting and romantic destinations for you to visit together:

Paris

The city of gourmet cuisine, the capital of fashion, the literary paradise ... Paris has many different images. However, for many, Paris is the most romantic city on earth. Here you can feel the spirit of love and spend an unforgettable weekend with your soul mate. Take a walk along the Champs Elysees, take a look at Notre Dame, have a snack in one of the cafes in the Latin Quarter, go through Montparnasse, and in the evening climb the Eiffel Tower - the night Paris is beautiful! Here, on the first floor of the tower, you can dine at the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, which offers a stunning view of the Seine and the Trocadero Square. Another option for an unforgettable evening in Paris is a cruise on the river Seine with dinner on the ship.

Prague

Prague is literally saturated with the atmosphere of romance: ancient castles and cathedrals, cozy restaurants and coffee shops, legends and love stories of the past. And the narrow alleys of the old city are just invented for lovers' walks. One of the most famous bridges in the city - Charles Bridge - is called the bridge of kisses. The Czechs believe that if you make a wish on this bridge, putting your hand to the image of St. John of Nepomuk, it will come true.

Venice

Venice is a very unusual city with a unique atmosphere and antique culture. In addition, here is where the famous heartbreaker and adventurer - Giacomo Casanova – was born. One of the most favorite places for tourists in Venice is St. Mark's Square. Surrounded by dozens of Venetian canals, the area attracts thousands of tourists every day. Practically the whole day this place is filled with sounds of melodies, heard from cafes and restaurants. Here and there, merchants of Venetian masks, Murano glass and sweets flit around; pigeons beg for treats ... And, of course, loving couples enjoying the leisurely dates in the most beautiful city in Italy.

Sri Lanka


Run away from everyone in the tropical paradise – isn’t it a perfect wedding trip? Sri Lanka will be a perfect choice. This country is famous for its lagoons and luxurious beaches. If you search for togetherness with each other as well as with nature, love diving and other water activities, then this place was made for you. Honeymoon, spent in here, will be an unforgettable continuation of your wedding dream. If you have an opportunity to have a wedding on an island, then don’t miss it, because this place is perfect without any additional decorations.

Neuschwanstein Castle

The castle of Neuschwanstein rises above the gloomy gorge in the Bavarian Alps of Germany. The Pellat River flows along the bottom of the gorge. From the height of the hill and from the windows of the castle, an incredible view opens up to the Hohenschwangau valley. It seems like the towers of this magical castle hover above the background of dark green spruces.

Marrakech

If you like acrobats and dancers and you believe in fairy tales, then you need to go to Marrakech. This pearl of Africa annually offers all lovers an unforgettable evening in one of the coziest and most beautiful restaurants of the city.

Phi Phi Islands

The islands of Phi Phi, located near the popular resort of Phuket in Thailand, became famous thanks to the film "Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Emerald-turquoise islands are highly appreciated by Ukrainian Brides, who have a tendency to travel to Phi Phi every year to see this paradise again and again.

DOTr to Investors, Businesses: Maximize Opportunities of New ASEAN RORO Shipping Link



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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) reiterated President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s invitation to investors and business leaders of both the Philippines and Indonesia on “harnessing the potentials” of the newly inaugurated ASEAN roll-on, roll-off (ASEAN RORO) shipping network during the arrival ceremonies of the maiden voyage of M/V Super Shuttle RORO 12 at the port of Bitung in Indonesia on Tuesday, May 2.

Addressing before government officials, trade and maritime leaders of Indonesia, DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe A. Judan has urged the Indonesian business community to participate in the shipping trade using the said link.

“Let me take this opportunity to echo President Duterte’s invitation to the people of Indonesia, particularly the private sector and business community here, to harness the potentials of this new shipping route by maximizing the opportunities it offers while fostering improvements and sustainability in maritime connectivity and relations in the region,” Judan said.

Last Sunday, April 30, President Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo jointly officiated the formal opening of the new route and the maiden voyage of M/V Super Shuttle RORO 12.

The ASEAN Roro Shipping Service, the first of three routes identified to boost trade in BIMP-EAGA or the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, will cross the Philippine cities of Davao and General Santos and Bitung (DGB) in the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia.

On Friday, April 28, the transportation heads of both Indonesia and the Philippines formally signed a Joint Declaration that would establish this sea connection. The document also stated that both countries ensure sea connectivity services that would meet the safety, security and environmental standards set by international conventions, not just be limited to the newly-opened ASEAN RORO service.

This new trading route will significantly reduce shipping time of transported goods from the usual five weeks to just two to three days.

This will, in effect, reduce the logistical cost of trade by about US$1,500 (Php75,000) per twenty-foot unit or TEU. The expected cost would only become US$700/TEU (Php35,000) from the previous US$2,200/TEU (Php110,000) freight cost of taking the previous route of Davao, Manila, Singapore, Jakarta and Bitung.

With greater accessibility and cost-efficient shipment of goods, the connecting line is expected to open new opportunities for trade, investments and tourism. This will, in turn, spur local economic activities in both countries and provide jobs to its people.

The two governments are also targeting to eventually open the ASEAN RORO route for the operation of passenger vessels, enticing the movement of people in the two countries.

“In the years to come, we are hopeful that this new shipping network could entice more businesses to participate in maritime trade and logistics and eventually venture possible opportunities for movement passenger vessels. In doing so, we may not only be facilitating the movement of goods but also of people, thus promising a more vibrant socio-economic exchange,” Judan said.


Trade in goods

The M/V Super Shuttle Roro 12 which is operated by the Cebu-based company Asia Marine Transport Corp., has an initial capacity of 500 TEU, voyaging once every week.

Mindanao products such as fresh fruits, poultry, meat, coffee blends, fishing supplies, and synthetics were identified for export to Indonesia. On the other hand, Bitung will export coconut, copra, corn, high value crops, soya products, coffee beans, sugar, cement, and charcoal to Mindanao.

Times Change, But the Celebration Stays the Same


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Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Compadres!

For almost two centuries, Cinco de Mayo has served as one of Mexico’s greatest cultural traditions. Often mistaken as the country’s day of Independence, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 05th, 1862.

The combination of the Mexican-American war and the Mexican Civil War, also known as the Reform War, crippled the Mexican economy. In an attempt to ease the financial burdens of his people, Mexican President Benito Juárez suspended payments of interests on foreign debts for two years. Seeing an opportunity, Emperor Napoleon III of France sent naval forces to France as a means of establishing an empire in Latin America.

Mexico's triumphant victory against the French was hailed as the first step towards independence and because of it’s significance to the people of Mexico, Cinco De Mayo is now observed all over the world, with many countries getting the chance to celebrate Mexico’s rich culture and traditions. 



One of Mexico’s greatest contributions to the world is tequila and no other brand represents that more than Jose Cuervo®. For over 200 years, Jose Cuervo® paved the way at the forefront by producing the world’s most recognized brand of tequila. 

DOTR, LRMC Lead LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project Ground Breaking


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Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) President and CEO Rogelio L. Singson led the ground breaking ceremony of the LRT-1 Cavite extension project, a government and private sector initiative that will create an additional eight passenger stations through an extended alignment of 11-kilometers, passing the cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas and of Bacoor in Cavite.

"Mobility and connectivity are the platforms upon which you can be assured of development and growth in any nation. The realization of this project establishes that connectivity. If you have an honest to goodness, well-meaning partnership between government and the private sector, then things will move,” Secretary Tugade said.

The transportation chief noted that activities were laid as early as 2006, but it was only this year, during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, that the project is gaining actual momentum. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) approved the extension and alignment project in 2011.

“Imagine a situation where in 2011 na-approve na ng NEDA, ngayon pa lang – after 6 years – magi-inaugurate tayo. That is indeed delayed – gargantuan delay. But when you put partnership, well-meaning partnership between private sector and government, then you can fast-track the projects,” Tugade explains.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Top 8 Condominiums in Manila with Impressive Amenities


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With its malls, bazaars and hip new wave of galleries and restaurants, Manila is a must-visit. Whether you are traveling to the Philippines for its famous hospitality or stunning tourist attractions, a stay in the big metropolis should be on your list. For a non-stop leisurely vacation experience, make sure you stay at one of the top condominiums in Manila. Their amenities that let you make the most out of your time spent in the metro.

Sorrel Residences:  A genuine resort environment

Sorrel Residences features expansive open spaces adorned with lush landscaping and trees. Its modern tropical theme and architecture blends modern 20th century designs with elements that accommodate the practicalities of a tropical climate. The design makes way for airy and light elements, all while exuding a timeless appeal and quiet elegance. You will love the garden atriums and breezeways, as well as the architecture that allows natural air and ambient light to permeate the concrete building. Sorrel Residences takes pride in its commanding skyline views and convenient access to key places in the metro.

2017 Mini Countryman Launches in the Philippines


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Driving a Mini Cooper is said to provide driving fun for every occasion.

Who wouldn't enjoy driving a Mini? It's such a head-turner not only because it's so cute, but also because it is a rare sight on the road. You could say that only a few are privileged to own one, and the most remarkable thing about it is that it becomes a lot more cool to own one if you keep it physically well-maintained and in great running condition.

Car enthusiasts and collectors know how iconic and pleasing to the eye this beauty is. It may not be ideal for a big family, it's a cool car for singles or couples to own, while they save up for a bigger car. But the Mini remains a part of the family for it will be hard to part ways with this car.

MINI Asia and MINI Philippines jointly launched the new MINI Countryman, the biggest and most versatile model in the brand’s 58-year history. Having been completely newly developed, it now reflects considerable advancements in the areas of space, functionality, athletic flair and premium characteristics.

Retail price are as follows:

The new MINI Cooper D Countryman 2,900,000 
The new MINI Cooper SD Countryman 3,400,000 

The launch was held on May 3, 2017 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater located at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig city.

Members of the media got to test drive the new Mini Countryman around BGC for a few minutes. I've decided to ride the passenger seat so I could take a video coverage of our test drive.

DOTr-LTFRB, Landbank Team Up to Finance Modern Jeepneys


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To demonstrate its commitment to modernize public transportation, the government has entered into an agreement to financially assist drivers and operators in migrating into the new system.

On the eve of the Labor Day celebration, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman (LTFRB) Martin Delgra III, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, and Land Bank of the Philippines President Alex Buenaventura signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting up a financing program for jeepney modernization in a ceremony held in Davao City last April 30.

“Perhaps it is providential indeed that we sign this memorandum of agreement today. Ito pong financing program na ito ay munting regalo ng ating pangulo, through the DOF and Landbank, sa ating jeepney operators at drivers,” said DOTr Sec. Tugade.

The Landbank, through its SPEED (Special Environment-Friendly and Efficiently-Driven Jeepney) program, will institute a loan facility that will provide credit to individual drivers and operators for the replacement of their PUJs in accordance with the government’s PUV Modernization Program.

Under the program, an initial budget of PhP 1 Billion for Individual Loans shall be awarded to 650 PUJ Operators/Drivers in Metro Manila, for them to be able to loan a jeepney with a minimum requirement of Euro-4 engine or better.

“The lending packages are very generous. It offers low equity, longer payment period, and very low interest rates,” said LTFRB Chairman Delgra.

He added that the modernization program is an effort to overhaul the transportation system of the country, from the quality of units to the quality of drivers.

“We are looking at public transportation that is adequate, safe, and comfortable. We’re looking at a travel time that is predictable. We’re looking also at PUV drivers that are disciplined, competent, and mindful of the common good,” Chairman Delgra said.

Finance Secretary Dominquez, for his part, appealed to drivers, operators, and the commuting public to give the program a chance.

“We must convince jeepney drivers and operators that this is the way to go. They must understand that the financing package will make the shift affordable,” said Domiguez, who is also the Chairman of Landbank. “The public must understand that our inefficient dinosaur, the PUJ, must now be relegated to the museum. It is dirty, inefficient, unhealthy and unsafe for commuters. It is time we bring our public transport to the 21st century.”

The LTFRB likewise assured drivers and operators that there is nothing to worry about.

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said: “Do not worry. Trust us that what we are doing is for the development of our country, which is also for your welfare and for the upliftment of the socio-economic status of your respective families.”

There are over 220,000 registered PUJs nationwide, of which 90% are 15 years old and above. They are the biggest source of CO2 emission resulting to 5,000 deaths annually.

More specific details of the financing program is already being worked out by the DOTr and Landbank, and will soon be made available to the public for guidance.

Color Manila Launches Blacklight Tour


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Manila, Bacolod and Davo will soon be lit via blacklight as thousands of runners are soon to join Color Manila's Blacklight Run Tour happening soon.

The first CM Blacklight Run will happen at Filinvest in Alabang. You can check out the video invite we got from the two founders of Color Manila, which may not be the very first fun run organizers that grew into an epic series but it is undoubtedly the most "colorful" one indeed.

The organizers has truly lived up to its name as even their race singlets deserve more than a second look for its very attractive designs. 

I've seen runners carrying lights on their heads from other runs but Color Manila brings it one level above by making it a black light instead. I'm sure to take advantage of the black light, there will be neon colored shirts and props within the race venue to make it a really awesome spectacle of blacklight-lit items.

Though the Filinvest area is quite far for me, I'm tempted to join the run. I just hope there won't be a conflicting event happening that day which will prevent me from joining.

Celebs, Advocates Celebrate Senate’s Passage of Mental Health Law


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A day after the Senate's passage of the country's first ever mental health law, celebrities and mental health advocates joined Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros in celebrating what they describe as an historic victory for mental health rights.

In a press conference in Quezon City, advocates led by Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Be Healed Foundation’s Jerika Ejercito and actress Antoinette Taus, lauded the passage of Senate Bill No. 1354, otherwise known as the Philippine Mental Health Law. The bill, which was sponsored and authored by Hontiveros, seeks to integrate mental health services and programs in the public health system by setting up basic mental health services at the community level  and psychiatric, psychosocial and neurologic services in all regional, provincial and tertiary hospitals.

"We would like to thank the Senate, particularly Senator Hontiveros for passing this important measure. This bill brings our country one step closer to realizing a national mental health policy that will respond to the Filipinos' mental health needs and erase our record as one of few countries left in Asia without a clear mental health measure," Verzosa said.

Taus said that she hoped that the Senate's passage of the Mental health law will mainstream mental healthcare and remove the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health illnesses. "There is nothing really shameful or embarrassing in talking about one's mental health issues and finding the appropriate healthcare services to address them. Seeing a psychiatrist is no different from visiting your OBGYNE or your ophthalmologist," the actress said.

Oceana’s Statement on Rejection of Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary



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As Earth’s largest marine conservation nonprofit, Oceana commends the trail-blazing achievements of outgoing DENR Secretary Lopez in bravely pushing for policies to sustainably protect the country’s environmentally-critical areas including protected seascapes and save them from destructive activities that threaten their ecological integrity.

Secretary Lopez has set the highest standards for environmental stewardship and mainstreamed partnerships with civil society organizations - a feat that merits replication by her successor.

Her commitment and sterling leadership in ensuring justice and equity especially to affected communities most dependent on a vibrant web of life is her most precious legacy for all of us. Oceana is most grateful.

DOTr Leads Blessing of New Puerto Princesa International Airport Terminal


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Top officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) led by Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Capt. Jim C. Sydiongco led the blessing of the new Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS) building. 

Dignitaries from the Korean Embassy represented by Ambassador Kim JaeShin, local officials led by Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Luis Marcaida lll, special guest and aviation stakeholders witness the momentous events heralding the opening of a bigger and modern airport terminal complex. 

Located at Brgy. San Miguel Puerto Princesa City, the new Php 4.5 billion airport terminal has a floor area of 13000 sq. meters with a seating capacity of 1500, parking slot for over 200 cars and a 2,600-meter runway that can accommodate bigger aircraft like an Airbus A330 (seating capacity 400 pax) and 6 parking bays. 

Currently, an average of 20 flights (20 landings/20 takeoffs) are operating daily; PAL Express (Manila & Cebu), Cebu Pacific (Manila, Cebu Mactan & Iloilo), Philippine AirAsia (Manila,Cebu Mactan & Davao), PAL (Manila, Clark,& TaipeiTaoyuan) and Air Juan (Busuanga & Cuyo). 

Club de Damas Latinas to Hold 51st Annual Charity Ball


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On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Club de Damas Latinas (Latin American Women’s Club) of Manila will hold their 51st Annual Charity Ball. It will be held at the Fairmont Hotel Makati, with the theme of "The Great Gatsby". The fantastic food will be prepared by Fairmont hotel, and wine and cocktails will definitely be a part of the drink selection. Entertainment will be provided by the lively Latin band and the always an energetic DJ, so expect dancing to be a major part of the activities. The event will start at around 6:30PM and can go through till the morning. There will also be a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go to the two beneficiary foundations that the club has been passionately supporting over the last 20 years, The Holy Family Home Foundation in Pembo since 1997, and the Eugenia Ravasco Daycare Center in Parañaque since 2007, both of which have several actively involved Latin American nuns. You can contact Lissette Romero at 0917-6787153 for any information regarding ticketing, sponsorship, and donations.

The annual Charity Latin Ball is one of the many events that the Club de Damas Latians holds to gain support for the two causes. It has become a tradition of the club and is the main fundraising event of the year. The Annual Charity Latin Ball is a wonderful evening to honor Latin heritage and has recently been recognized as one of the Top 20 Events of the Year in the Philippines (Philippine Tatler). The attendance of prominent members of Philippine society and the Diplomatic Community, and the presence of numerous executives, business owners, and multinational executives has secured extensive media coverage for the club and their sponsors, which is always good leverage for them to meet their objectives and is without a doubt, a great opportunity to further strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood between nations.

Last year alone, the ball was able to raise 1.8m. This year’s promising sponsors include the likes of: Diamond sponsors - COCA COLA FEMSA, KLM AIRWAYS, AMANPULO / Platinum sponsor - SANTOS KNIGHT FRANK. The club is confident that their generosity will help them in their aim to at least double the funds raised last year and help can be extended to the foundations. Please also note that anyone is welcome to donate to this auction and that there are still sponsorship packages available for those interested. You can contact Lissette Romero at 0917-6787153 more details about this. You can also get updates through the Club de Damas Latinas en Filipinas website http://damaslatinasmanila.com/ and FB page https://www.facebook.com/DamasLatinas/


The Club de Damas Latinas (Latin American Women’s Club) are a duly registered non-stock, non-profit organization founded in 1966 by a group of Latin American women seeking to establish an organization with two main purposes:

  • To offer a source of information, friendship, and support to Spanish speaking families who have come to live in the Philippines
  • To gather forces to provide assistance to local people in need, especially children who do not have access to education, health services or a safe environment.

The Holy Family Home Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization managed by the Congregation if the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family, a congregation with Franciscan Amigonian Spirituality. Holy Family Home provides long-term residential care, protection, and rehabilitation of over 30 abandoned, neglected, orphaned, and physically abused girls. The foundation aims to mold the girls residing in the home into socially functioning individuals. The Holy Family Home Foundation's mission is to welcome, protect, & rehabilitate marginalized children and youth in order to attain their integral formation & assure them of their human and Christian participation in society. At present, the Holy Family Home cares for more than 30 girls whose ages ranger from 6 to 22. The Home is run by the sisters, who take care of the girls and act as their family. They depend on the professional support of social workers and psychologists, and the tutoring services that of some professional members of the community offer pro-bono.


The Eugenia Ravasco Daycare Center in Parañaque is run by The Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Congregation. Their mission is to provide basic health care, education and a clean safe environment for children from 4 to 6 years old, so that their parents can go to work and earn a living. Their health care program addresses the children’s primary needs such as: vaccinations, screening and treatment for Tuberculosis, dengue, and regular check-ups. It also offers emergency care when needed; technical assistance to the children’s community on sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition. The education program is currently being improved in order to guarantee a smooth transition of the children from the center to a mainstream primary education system. This is being done in cooperation with education consultants who are working on the design and implementation of a curriculum that provides children with the necessary skills for entrance in the elementary school system. All these goals are achieved in close collaboration with the families of the children who actively participate in the developments and maintenance of the center.

The Club is looking forward to having you there to help show support to the organizations and to share the Latin culture.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Historic Mental Health Law Passes Senate


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In a historic vote, the Senate on Tuesday passed on third and final reading a national mental health policy, the first of its kind in the country. 

Senate Bill No. 1354 otherwise known as the Philippine Mental Health Law was sponsored and principally authored by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros. It seeks to integrate mental health services and programs in the public health system.  The bill also mandates the government to put up basic mental health services at the community level and psychiatric, psychosocial and neurologic services in all regional, provincial and tertiary hospitals. 

Philippines: One of few countries in the world without a mental health law

"This is an historic day for all of us. After being one of the few countries left without a mental health policy, we are now one step closer to realizing a national mental health law to comprehensively address the Filipinos’ mental health needs and ensure that our rights as persons with mental health needs are protected and secured," Hontiveros said.  

Hontiveros thanked her fellow senators for supporting the passage of the said bill. She particularly commended the Senate's new Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Senator JV Ejercito, for backing the proposed measure. 

"Invisible illness, invisible war"

"Because of this measure, our people with mental health needs will no longer suffer silently in the dark. They will no longer endure an invisible illness and fight an invisible war," Hontiveros said. 

In 2012 alone, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were 2,558 cases of Filipinos committing suicide, averaging to 7 suicide cases daily.  On the other hand, the Department of Health (DOH) counts that 1 in 5 Filipino adults have some form of mental illness, with schizophrenia, depression and anxiety topping the incidents of disorder. 

Hontiveros’ mental health bill was co-authored by Senators Vicente "Tito" Sotto, Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes, Bam Aquino, Sonny Angara, and Joel Villanueva.


Mental health advocates led by Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, Antoinette Taus and Jerika Ejercito attended the senate session and lauded the passage of the said bill.
 
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