BREAKING

Saturday, January 6, 2018

TRANSGEN: Awakening to the Digital Age of HR



Wazzup Pilipinas!

As years push through, the incontestable changes in the field of human resources management paves way into a variety of new opportunities and issues to venture.

One among these changes are the modifications in the human resources domain as new challenges and ideas from the digital era are presented in the corporate world.

Students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Human Resource Development Management – Fourth Year section 1D are now gearing up to show a glimpse of the future of HR as the digital age incorporates in the business industry.

With the theme, TRANSGEN: Awakening to the Digital Age of HR, the seminar aims to empower human capital on what is their role in the business industry and the changes and impact of the digital age to the human resources of today. The transitive generation shall need to cope up with the changes in the field and understand what will be the future of human resources.

Future HR practitioners must be fully equipped for the current and impending changes in the scenery to withstand the field of human resources. TRANSGEN’s ultimate objective is to set information from the renowned speakers to the future practitioners for them to fully understand the fluctuations in the turf of human resources today. With the knowledge given, HR students will surely gain appreciation and thus be able to fathom the human resources world.

The seminar proper will be held on February 21, 2018 at the Claro M. Recto Hall, 6th Floor South Wing, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Sta. Mesa, Manila.

CHED Chairperson Licuanan on Rep. Jericho Nograles’ Accusations on Her Foreign Travels



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Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan responds to accusations made by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles that she did not obtain Malacañang approval for official travels she made in 2017.

The CHED Chairperson maintains, “I get a travel authority from the Office of the President for all my travel including personal trips. This is well documented. I issue travel authorities for all CHED officials but not for myself.”

“It appears that what Rep. Nograles shared on his Facebook account as basis for his accusations is the internal Authority to Travel Abroad, which is routinely used to process the funds and is an attachment for securing Malacañang approval,” the Chairperson added.

CHED International Affairs Staff Director Atty. Lily Frieda Milla clarifies that, “all official travels of the Chairperson are covered by appropriate travel authorities from the Executive Secretary and signed by Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.” Milla further explains, “the Chairperson is allowed to travel business class for long-haul flights as warranted under OP Memorandum Circular No. 7, s.2010 and because of her vertigo.”

For the benefit of the general public, attached to this statement are copies of the eight official Malacañang travel authority documents that Rep. Nograles accused the CHED Chairperson of not having.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cusi Pushes Smart Energy Use As a Way of Life



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Buy fuel efficient vehicles, choose household appliances with excellent energy efficiency ratings and unplug the latter when not in use for long periods of time.

These were some of the smart energy utilizations tips which Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Thursday (January 5) pushed to become a way of life for Filipinos starting this new year.

“I’d like to emphasize the concept of smart energy utilization so consumers can save on energy costs based on strategies already laid down by the government,” said Cusi.

Among the strategies being referred to by the secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) is the use by consumers of the Minimum Energy Performance Standard in the purchase and the proper use of energy efficient appliances.

Sec. Cusi said that the Yellow/Energy Labels on common household appliances state the energy efficiency ratings of the latter and should be used by consumers as a guide in purchasing said items.

Consumers should also turn off and unplug unused appliances to avoid electricity wastages, said the DOE chief, who added that regularly cleaning light bulbs, refrigerator, television, electric fan and air-conditioners can save power.

In view of the effects on oil and vehicle prices of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), Cusi urged consumers to be more rational in their choice of vehicles to buy, as well as in their fuel purchases.

Planning trips and properly maintaining vehicles will also save consumers money while prolonging the service life of their rides, added Cusi.

The DOE also offered the following tips:

• Gas up wisely by using quality and clean fuels and by not filling fuel tank up to the brim and tighten gas cap to avoid spillage;

• Avoid overloading; accelerate with care and anticipate stops;

• Avoid idling of vehicles; shift gears sensibly and pick a lane and stay on it;

• Use windows and air-conditioning wisely; keep the music volume down or turn off other unused and fancy car accessories;

• Check tires regularly; change oil and oil filters; and ensure regular and proper maintenance of the vehicles.

For those planning to buy new vehicles, the DOE said consumers should go for fuel economy.

According to the DOE’s data, a liter of diesel saved reduces emission of about 2.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2), while a liter of gasoline saved would be equivalent to 2.3 kilograms of CO2 release avoided.

“It’s the benefit for the consumers that is my primary concern,” concluded Cusi.

Telcos Have 6 Months to Comply with One-Year Prepaid Load Validity



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In order to avoid any public inconvenience, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has given telecommunication companies six (6) months to adjust their systems to the one-year validity of regular prepaid load.

This is in clarification of the Department’s previous pronouncement that starting January 5, the expiry date of regular prepaid load is valid for one year from the date of top-up.

The 6-month period, starting January 5, 2018, was allowed to prevent telcos’ systems from crashing if changes are made abruptly, which may cause serious damage to the industry and disturb the consuming public.

“We apologize for giving the public false expectations, but if we have to err, it would be on the side of being 100% certain that nothing untoward will happen,” said DICT OIC Eliseo M. Rio Jr. in a statement.

Rio, though, emphasized that the adjustment period poses the challenge for telcos to fulfill the new validity period as soon as possible.

“However, the 6-month period is only a time limit where the telcos can be penalized if they have not complied by then,” Rio added.

“We expect the two telcos to really compete by racing to comply, because the winner can attract the subscribers of the other telco. With this, we expect their compliance earlier than the deadline. This will show that there is real competition on their part.”
NTC was instructed to closely monitor and address all complaints of prepaid loads being eaten up before the present expiration periods lapsed during the adjustment period.

Prepaid credits purchased for promos and other services with specific period of use are excluded from the coverage of the one-year validity.

Pinoy Boxer Michael Dasmarinas Gears Up for His IBO World Title Fight



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Photo Caption: Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas in top form, and ready for his IBO world title fight for Ringstar’s ‘Roar of Singapore IV - The Night of Champions’


Filipino boxer Michael “Hot & Spicy” Dasmarinas, gears up for the biggest fight of his life, as he goes for an IBO world championship title on April 20, 2018, at Ringstar Boxing’s ‘Roar of Singapore IV - The Night of Champions’, to be held at the 10,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Dasmarinas currently ranked 12th best boxer in the world by WBC, will go up against French boxer Karim Guerfi, who is currently ranked 4th by WBC. The fight is also touted by the Singapore promoter as the main event of the evening and will draw much international attention to the Camarines Sur-native.

Dasmarinas had an impressive win and KO’d his Thai opponent Phupha Por Nobnom, during the 2nd round of his match, at Ringstar’s ‘Roar of Singapore
III - The Chosen Wan’, last October 20, 2017, at the Suntec Convention Center, a win which gave way for this world title match.

Michael Dasmarinas says, “Nakakagalak po at nabigyan tayo ng Ringstar ng ganitong pagkakataong mapakita ang ating galing bilang Pilipino. Ngayon po ay puspusan ang aking paghahanda. Tuloy-tuloy po ang ating ensayo dahil nais ko po makamit ang IBO world title na ito. Samahan niyo po ako magdasal na makuha natin ang panalong ito. Ang panalo ko po ay pagkapanalo rin ng Pilipinas.” (I am happy that I am being given this opportunity by Ringstar to show my talent as a Filipino boxer. I am now training continuously, so that I can win this IBO world title bout. Please join me in praying, so that we can win. My win, will also be a win for the Philippines.)

Ringstar Boxing Founder & CEO Scott Farrel on the other hand says, “This is potentially one of the fight of the year nominees for 2018. Michael Dasmarinas WBC ranked 12 vs. Karim Guerif WBC ranked 4, will be a real war which both the Philippine and French boxing fans would love to see. Ringstar is all about a neutral fight platform, giving a genuine unbiased opportunity for both these great fighters to lift the IBO world title.”

Farrel continues, “If Dasmarinas is successful in this fight, he will be catapulted into the top 10, and in line to face the current great champions of the bantamweight division. He has the chance now to move forward and aim for greatness, like what his country’s very own hero Manny Pacquiao has achieved. I wish both fighters the best of luck, and I look forward to promoting this fight. This fight is a must-watch for all boxing fans, we have a Filipino boxer vs. a French boxer headlining a Singapore event, going head-to-head for the biggest fight night of their lives, with the IBO world title at stake.”

For 2018, Ringstar is set to bring its live events across Asia - China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines included. While for 2019, Ringstar plans to do a minimum of ten shows per year and have a combined viewing audience of over 1 billion viewers, making it Asia’s top fight media property.

New Binibining Pilipinas Candidates Known Soon



Wazzup Pilipinas!

As the Philippines continues to cement its reputation as a powerhouse in international pageants, Binibining Pilipinas, the most prestigious beauty tilt in the country, is now searching for a new batch of queens who will carry on the Philippines’ incredible streak.

Interested applicants have until Monday, January 8, to submit their forms. They will then go through a rigorous screening process led by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chairwoman Madam Stella Marquez Araneta, which will culminate on January 15.

The prestigious international titles up for grabs at this year’s competition are Miss Universe Philippines, Binibining Pilipinas International, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational, Binibining Pilipinas Globe and Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental.

Binibining Pilipinas has recently produced queens who have made the Philippines proud. In 2015, Pia Wurtzbach ended the country’s 43-year drought when she won the Miss Universe title. A year later, Kylie Verzosa bagged the country’s sixth Miss International crown.

Last year’s winners were not to be outdone either. Nelda Ibe finished first runner up at the Miss Globe competition held in Albania, while Elizabeth Clenci emerged second runner up at the Miss Grand International contest held in Vietnam. Rachel Peters landed in the Top 10 of the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, while Chanel Olive Thomas also scored a Top 10 finish and the Miss Friendship award at the Miss Supranational contest in Poland. Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel De Leon, on the other hand, has a budding showbiz career, starring opposite Coco Martin in her film debut “Ang Panday.” Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez is slated to compete in Egypt on January 25.

For more information on Binibining Pilipinas, visit www.bbpilipinas.com or visit the pageant’s official Facebook page.

CAPTION: Nelda Ibe, Miss Globe 2017 first runner up, and Elizabeth Clenci, Miss Grand International second runner up, are congratulated by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chairwoman Madam Stella Marquez Araneta.

Superstar Comedian Russel Peters Returns to Asia with the Deported World Tour



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AEG Presents and Ovation Productions are thrilled to announce that global comedy phenom RUSSELL PETERS will bring his DEPORTED WORLD TOUR to MANILA on 10 MARCH 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center’s Plenary Hall.

Tickets for the March 10 show priced at P8190, 7135, 6080, 3970, 2910 will go on sale 10 am of January 8 via www.smtickets.com.

The show features ALL NEW MATERIAL, plus Peters’ signature interactions with the audience. Peters says, “I love getting to know my audience. It’s a collaboration between us.”

Peters last toured Asia in 2015 & 2016 to sold out houses. “I’ve been building the new act in clubs across the States over the past year and I’m very happy with it.”

Peters returns to live touring after taking time off stage since the filming of his last special, Almost Famous for Netflix in April 2016 in Toronto. In between, he’s produced and starred in his own comedy-drama limited series for Netflix, The Indian Detective. The Indian Detective also stars Anupam Kher (The Big Sick, Silver Linings Playbook), William Shatner (Star Trek), Christina Cole (Suits, Casino Royale), Mishqah Parthiephal (Keeping Up with the Kandasamys). The Indian Detective will air December 19th on Netflix globally.

Peters has also appeared in the still unreleased films, The Clapper with Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried and Tracy Morgan as well as Supercon with Ryan Kwanten and John Malkovich, and Public Schooled with Judy Greer.

THE DEPORTED WORLD TOUR will also feature one of David Letterman’s favourite comics, the legendary raconteur of weird stories, comedian Jake Johannsen.

THE DEPORTED WORLD TOUR will take Peters around the world with shows well into 2019. The Asia dates follow a run through Australia and New Zealand. His last tour travelled to over 26 countries with over 200 performances and more than 300,000 fans in attendance.


RUSSELL PETERS DEPORTED WORLD TOUR MANILA

Date: 10 MARCH 2018
Venue: PICC PLENARY HALL
Tickets: PRICES P8190, 7135, 6080, 3970, 2910


Tickets available at SM Tickets outlets
Ticket Purchase Hotline: +632 470 2222
Internet Booking: www.smtickets.com

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Nine Mistakes That Online Shoppers Are Guilty Of


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Buy what you want with just a click. Online shopping has become a great convenience. You can search and shop for almost anything from anywhere around the world from the confines of your room. As convenient as shopping online is, it does not mean you should click “buy” before adequately educating yourself. Here are some mistakes to avoid to ensure a safe and satisfying online shopping experience:


1. Not Shopping Around


Once you see an item that you like, would you buy it straight away? Why not search further for a better price and save. In the current competitive market, online retailers tend to offer products at more attractive prices. By spending a fair amount of time looking through various online stores, you can, not only compare prices, but also gather more information like delivery time and shipping costs to help you make a more informed purchase decision.


2. Forgetting to Search for and Shop with a Coupon


Coupon codes are a great way to save money. Why pay full price when you can save a percent off your product? The majority of online stores offer these money-saving codes, which can be found with just a quick search. Some websites like iPrice, readily provide their coupons by highlighting it on their homepage so that consumers can easily find and use them.


3. Skipping Reviews

There is no greater fury than a customer scorned, either by a bad product or bad service experience. Many tend to make their displeasure known online. However, it is also the forum for those satisfied with their purchase to give praise to their favourite product. Bloggers and vloggers are readily available to provide useful information like how-to-use the product and their opinions after using the product. Always read reviews on the item that you intend to purchase. This can give you better insights on the product quality, what the product is used for and user experience.

As there are many opinions out there, one way to avoid being overwhelmed by it all, is to look out for the three-star reviews. These tend to offer more pros and cons, whereas five-star reviews could be inflated and those with one-star could just be from customers who are never happy.


4. Purchasing from Unknown or Insecure Sites

An important part of online shopping is to be able to trust the website. You can get clues about the security by entering the company’s website url in the browser. A good indication is if url begins with https rather than http, the added 's' shows that it is a secure site. Another clue to look for is 'padlock icon' before the website’s address indicating that the site uses encryption to ensure security. One more clue, you can get if website is secured with SSL certificate such as (Extended Validation) EV SSL of Comodo and that clue is you can also see business/company name in the browser. A good rule of thumb is not to purchase anything from suspicious looking or unknown websites – let alone linger on one. Such websites pose high potential in not only messing up your order but worse of all, compromising your credit card or debit card information.


5. Not Using Your Credit Card

Shopping online with a debit card will help limit your spending as you can only shop with the amount you have in your bank account. However, using a debit card runs a higher risk of identity theft and hackers being able to access your personal bank account and money. Should hackers gain access to your bank account, getting your money back will be difficult and in some cases, you may be forced to close your account.

Using credit cards to shop online is generally more secure than debit cards. With the rise in identity theft and fraud, credit cards offer better consumer protection against unauthorised transactions. Some avid online shoppers even use a separate credit card for all their online shopping. With this, any would-be hacker would have access to that one credit card and a call to the credit card provider would help remedy the situation.

A good habit to practice is to review your credit card statements regularly and keep a track of all your transactions. Should you spot anything that should not be on your bill, do contact the credit card provider immediately.


6. Making Online Purchases on Public Wi-Fi Connections
While shopping over public wi-fi at a café or other public areas may be a good way to pass the time, it is not recommended due to security reasons. Such public wi-fi access areas are often not properly secured and can be easily compromised by hackers. Your personal information and credit card details are at risk. So, it is best to do your online shopping when at home or on a secure private network.


7. Not Reading the Return Policy

Found the item that you were looking for, bought it with just one click and discovered that it was not the correct size. Only then to find out that it is stated in the terms and conditions that the item cannot be returned nor exchangeable once sold. A common mistake but a frustrating one.

When shopping for clothes and shoes, always be aware that different retailers, brand and model has the potential to be different. Checking size charts can give you a better idea of how different garments fit. Keep a reminder of your current measurements and typical sizes by your favourite retailer near your computer for quick reference while shopping online.

As good practice, do go through the return policy of each online retailer before you make your purchase.


8. Getting Caught in the Free Trial Trap

As retailers are always eager to keep you updated and informed of the latest promotion or trends, any online shopper regularly receives promotions and free trial offers. This makes signing up for membership or newsletters easy. If you do so, just ensure that the membership perks or the offers are genuine and they are benefits that you will actually use.

Be especially wary of free trials that require your credit card details. Some retailers may sign you up for a long-term subscription without your consent.


9. Falling for “Attractive” Deals and “Exciting” E-mail Links


A majority of consumers at some point of their shopping experience can admit to have fallen for the “attractive and exciting discounts” which one can enjoy by just signing up the retailers’ online form. However, this is followed by a daily influx of emails proclaiming a never-ending slew of offers and discounts. Such emails can tempt you to spend more, turning one purchase into several more.

If you really want to have updates on the latest sales and promotions, one suggestion is to use a separate email account so that you can check your inbox periodically and not have them be a distraction many times in a day.

Online shopping can mean a world of discounts, infinite number of products (and brands) and an easy purchase experience. But if it compromises your personal information, identity and budget, keep in mind these pitfalls mentioned to avoid long term repercussions. By all means, do search, compare prices and save with great deals in order to enjoy a good and safe shopping experience.


Contributor:


Azhann Rosmin

With a deep love of story-telling and literature, Azhann enjoys writing as much as a kid enjoys ice-cream. With a full and fluent grasp of the English language, he writes almost as good as he spins stories of gasps and awe.

San Carlos Town Center: The Latest Toast of San Carlos City in Pangasinan



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The simple and peaceful town of San Carlos in Pangasinan recently welcomed the grand opening of the San Carlos Town Center and we were there to share in the fun.

A colorful and lively cultural dance entertained the eager and excited towns folk before the actual ribbon cutting led by City Mayor Joseres "Bogs" Resuello and the owner's family led by Mike Guico and their associates and other partners.

The mall was a plan of Mayor Resuello to San Carlenians.

Like any other mall, the Town Center was comprised of food chains, department store, supermarket, play area and hopefully a movie theater. I was informed that the nearest mall theater was located in Dagupan. Quite a distance away.



Once the mall was opened, the huge crowd of overly excited throng of towns folk finally got to enter their latest town center and I was personally happy for them since it is already simple luxury for the people in the proivinces to have their own malls or town centers.

Not all branded stores were open yet since the mall is still in progress. Expect more stores to open in the next few months this 2018.

San Carlos Town Center is located at Rizal Avenue corner Zamora Street.



Mayor Resuello said the city government stands to earn millions in additional revenues once the establishments start operating.

He added he was assured by the mall owners that they will closely observe city ordinances that seek to protect the environment.

Among the VIP guests who graced the grand openiong aside from the city counsellors and mall partners were the pretty winners of Miss San Carlos beauty pageant.





There were also jugglers and clowns who entertained the kids and families. A special mall show likewise featured celebrity clothing endorsers Miguel Tan Felix and Bianca Umali and a mini concert by Silent Sanctuary.



According to Mr. Guico, its very young owner, they opened the town center in time for the holidays and Christmas/New Year festivities where a lot of people were expected to shop and bond with families, friends and relatives.

So the next time you're in San Carlos, in Pangasinan, check out San Carlos Town Center and enjoy a piece of mall adventure in the countryside.



Written by Mars Callo

DOE Directive to Oil Companies



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Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi released the Guidelines, thru the Oil Industry Management Bureau headed by Undersecretary Donato M. Marcos, to all oil companies to effectively monitor and implement the new Tax Reform Inclusion and Acceleration (TRAIN).


Pertinent provisions of the Guidelines are as follows:

1) Submission of a duly notarized inventory report as of 31 December 2017. The inventory shall be on per depot and per product basis;

2) Implementation of the excise tax under TRAIN shall not be applied unless the 31 December 2017 stocks of finished products are fully exhausted. (The minimum 15-day inventory requirement shall be enforced in accordance with Department Circular ‎2011-03-0002);

3) Submission of the daily summary of withdrawal starting 01 January 2018 until the depletion of the declared inventory as of 31 December 2017, supported by the Official Registry Book (ORB);

4) Retailers are required to post in a conspicuous area, for transparency, notice of the new excise tax implementation under the TRAIN in a signage measuring 1 meter by 1 meter in size; and

5. Submission of the petroleum products inventory report as of December 31, 2017 is on 5 January 2018.

“We remind the consumers and the oil industry participants that violators face the sanctions under the law,” Cusi said.

The DOE calls on the public to be vigilant and to report any violation to info@doe.gov.ph or to the Consumer Welfare and Promotion Office at Tel. No. ‎‎479-2900 loc. 329.

Traslacion 2018: The Procession of the Black Nazarene


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What is it about the Black Nazarene that moves millions of Filipino Catholics to gravitate to it?

This said to be miraculous image of Jesus Christ has blessed the lives of the devotees, but we should not hide the fact that it also claimed lives during the crowded procession.

But who are we to doubt what millions of people believe. Even at this day, there seems to be a multitude of believers who would literally die for offering their praises towards their beloved God.

Faith is indeed something great to hold on to as it gives many people strength and hope for a better tomorrow. But as they say "Nasa Diyos and Awa, Nasa Tao ang Gawa." We should therefore also exert extra effort to work on our dreams and aspirations, and not rely on a miracle. Praying to win in the Lotto is totally wrong. Praying to get a job without investing on learnings appropriate skills will get you nowhere. We all have to work hard, or smart, to get what we want.

For the annual Traslacion, a media briefing was held on January 4, 2018 at Quiapo church led by Quiapo Church Parish Priest Msgr. Hernando Coronel, MMDA Chair Danilo Lim, at MPD Director PC Supt. Joel Coronel

The Manila Police District (MPD) will be fielding more or less 5000 policemen and augmentation for the safe conduct of the Traslacion 2018 and security of devotees who will participate on January 9.

A Quiapo Church rector also said that organizers will be setting up 12 prayer stations along the procession route - an effort to give other devotees another option aside from joining the procession.

Classes in all levels for both private and public schools and work in government offices in Manila are suspended on January 9 in observance of Traslacion 2018.

Several roads will also be closed as early as Sunday from 1 p.m. onwards. Due to safety considerations, new route will be implemented for Traslacion 2018, veering away from the Lagusnilad: from Manila Hotel proceed to Katigbak drive to pass thru Intramuros to NPC to Jones Bridge then same route as to the previous years will be followed.

Aside from the signal jammers to prevent usage of mobile phones, a 48-hour gun ban will be implemented in the city from 12mn of Jan 8 to 12mn of Jan 10 as an security measure. 

There is no actual, direct or imminent threat reported.

As usual, it is expected that Manila will be a very busy day so it is advisable for commuters to avoid passing through the areas where the Traslacion is held. Pregnant women, children, elderly, sick and disabled or handicapped, are discouraged to attend since even the strongest man could be trampled upon by the over-eager crowd all wanting their share of the blessings.

We believe that God will grant our wishes even if we are miles away from the image of the Black Nazarene, or any other saint and church. We should not be required to actually be present at religious places to receive the blessings of the Lord. As we all believe, God is omnipresent and thus is everywhere. He is omnipotent which makes him capable enough to whatever he desires.

God gave us the free will to choose and decide for ourselves, so there is no wrong choice or decision, and that includes standing up to what we believe in. What is wrong is to give in to what the majority dictates in spite of our personal disbelief. We see Science and technology slowly enlightening us but there are still many questions left unanswered. We believe it will be a never-ending quest for answers as there are just too many wonders in this world.

Life alone is a miracle that still has many intricate complexities. We are forever a continuous story, and though we could not make it as perfect as we hoped for, the effort to go through life believing, or not, still serves many purpose for those who have gone through life loving others unconditionally.

Our fervent hope is for the devotees to spread their love not only towards the Black Nazarene, but to others as well. It is such a disappointment seeing religious people participating in the Traslacion and other similar activities but are perpetrators of unethical acts. Sadly, some just want to be seen for publicity - and this is not limited to the celebrities or politicians. 

Here's the Secret to Your Law Firm's Content Marketing Success


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Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote a law firm. By sharing blog posts, videos, and other informational content related to your particular area of the law, you can establish yourself as an authority.

Sharing “evergreen” content should play a major role in your strategy. You want to share information that will be relevant to your audience years after you first posted it. The following information will help you better understand how law firms can implement this approach.


What is Evergreen Content?


Evergreen content is content that remains useful or informative for long periods of time. For instance, if a personal injury law firm were to publish a blog post sharing details about an upcoming seminar on preventing slip and fall accidents, the information would be irrelevant after the event is over. That’s not an evergreen blog post.

An evergreen blog post for a law firm (depending on would be closer to “What to do When You’ve Been in a Car Accident,” “How to File a Wrongful Death Claim,” or “5 Tips for Choosing a Divorce Attorney.”

Barring any major changes to the law, that kind of content is useful for readers no matter when they find it.



Why is Evergreen Content Important?


Evergreen content has lasting value. When promoting a law firm, you want to share information that readers will keep discovering and sharing. Interest in a piece of content tends to fade once it is no longer relevant or helpful. As a result, it’s effectiveness as a promotional tool fades, too.

By sharing evergreen content, you can also develop your law firm’s overall ethos. A firm that shares only timely content won’t have the same authoritative web presence as one that shares useful, evergreen content.

Of course, understanding the value of this marketing strategy is one thing; actually adopting it involves a little more work. Don’t jump into your promotional strategy haphazardly. Follow these steps to develop an evergreen content marketing plan that works.



Select an Area of Focus

You shouldn’t share any content that’s vaguely related to the law. You’ll establish your authority more effectively if you select specific topics on which to focus.

However, going too broad is also dangerous. There’s a lot of content out there; yours will get lost in the mix if it’s too general. For instance, posting basic pieces of content about personal injury cases means your posts will blend in with all the other posts about personal injury cases.

When choosing your subjects, consider what kinds of cases you’re trying to bring in. Do you want to represent more clients facing deportation? Share content that directly relates to their needs, like “How to Apply for a United States Work Visa” or “5 Immediate Steps to Take When Facing Deportation.”



Know Your Audience

The more you know about your ideal audience, the easier it is to target your audience appropriately.

Start by considering their overall demographics. Maybe you stand out from other firms in the area by representing non-English speakers. Post content that’s relevant to potential clients seeking attorneys who speak their language.

You should also consider their location. Someone looking for a divorce lawyer in NYC is going to search for “NYC divorce lawyer” in Google. Include those kinds of terms in your blog posts to reach the right people.

Finally, if you’re simply struggling to come up with more topics to post about, put yourself in a client’s shoes. What problems do they have? What questions do they need answers for? This will help you better understand what kind of content will attract them.



Focus on Timeless Ideas

When you’re ready to actually develop content ideas, always go for topics that are evergreen. If you know that certain laws and regulations relevant to your area of expertise tend to change regularly (this is often the case when emerging technology, like cryptocurrency, triggers the need for new legislation), focus more on the areas of your specialty that rarely change.

While you may want to promote upcoming events every now and then, limit these posts. They shouldn’t play a major role in your long-term strategy.



Experiment with Different Types of Content

You want to reach potential clients via as many forms of media possible. Blog posts are effective because they allow you to clearly share information, but with many mobile device users consuming video content these days (it accounts for more than half of all mobile traffic). Therefore, it’s a smart idea to include it in your strategy.

Fortunately for law firms, longer blog posts are rising in popularity. This means you truly delve into a topic, instead of oversimplifying it.

Hiring a freelance graphic designer to translate your content into infographics gives you yet another way to attract clients. Infographics are eye-catching, and they make it easy to share a lot of information in a compressed space.

If you have the time, you might even consider hosting a regular podcast that delves into some of your major areas of interest more deeply. Most importantly, include a call-to-action whenever relevant. Tell listeners to call your firm; promote your free consultations. This is how you turn someone consuming your content into a legitimate client.



Getting it Out There

A quality website is the ideal platform for hosting your content. That said, you shouldn’t rely solely on this platform. Social media accounts give you the chance to reach even more people. Because it’s fairly easy to share content on social media, if your audience appreciates what you post, they’ll be more likely to share it with their followers.

Don’t think of content marketing as a minor promotional strategy. For a law firm, it’s how you develop your ethos, establish your authority, and let potential clients know you can help them address their specific needs. When your content is evergreen, the positive impact lasts much longer.

G.SKILL Releases New Sniper X DDR4 Memory Series



Wazzup Pilipinas!

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is releasing the new Sniper X series DDR4 memory that features 3 different camouflage designs and available in speeds up to DDR4-3600MHz. This new family of high performance memory kits is perfect for memory upgrades or for building PC gaming rigs and custom system builds.





Unique Camouflage Design

Sniper X is designed with a militaristic camouflage top bar to compliment any gaming system with offerings in three distinct patterns: Classic Camo, Urban Camo, and Digital Camo. Classic Camo is inspired by the classic jungle green camouflage design, while Urban Camo is styled to blend into a concrete jungle combat setting with multiple shades of gray. And developed to match the ASUS TUF Gaming series motherboard, the Digital Camo features yellow stylistic highlights for a modern warfare look. All three variations are paired with minimalistic aluminum heatspreaders that further optimizes cooling performance under heavy computing load, so you won’t miss out on the next firefight!




Extreme Performance & Massive Capacity

Never miss a shot with memory speeds ranging from a standard DDR4-2400MHz up to an extremely fast DDR4-3600MHz. On top of the blazing speed, kit capacities are also offered up to an impressive 128GB (8x16GB) configuration for PC systems that handle gaming and content creation, such as 3D rendering or multimedia editing. Each memory kit is also validated under a series of rigorous tests for maximum compatibility and reliability on a multitude of platforms.




XMP 2.0 Support & Availability

This latest G.SKILL Sniper X DDR4 series supports the latest Intel XMP 2.0 for an easy one-step memory overclocking experience, providing a boost to memory performance across all types of workloads. The Sniper X series will be available at authorized G.SKILL distribution partners in 2018 Q1.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

TCL Brings Superior TV Experience with TCL’s Asphalt Nitro Racing Competition



Wazzup Pilipinas!

TCL takes high tech entertainment to a whole new level

TCL Multimedia, the world’s third largest TV manufacturer and leading QLED TV innovator, conducted an exciting virtual racing competition, in partnership with Gameloft, makers of Asphalt Nitro, for mallgoers of the SM Mall of Asia Cyberzone Area in Pasay City.

The three-day racing event gathered hundreds of participants, who competed for the coveted daily grand prize, which is a brand new TCL 32” D2900 and a smartwatch from Gameloft.

To win the race, every participant was put in a nerve-wracking round of the video game, Asphalt Nitro, and try to finish the race in the shortest possible time.

The winners who emerged on top of the lever board were determined on a daily basis based on the shortest time to reach the line. They are Cezar C. Dela Cruz Jr., Miguel M. Rabago, and Paul Yap.

The top prize shall be claimed at the TCL Sun, Inc. office located at 4/F Zen Towers NA Lopez St., Manila City. The winners must present the notification from TCL representative (direct message on Instagram or announcement on Facebook), together with any valid ID.



Redefining TV entertainment experience

During the racing event, the participants enjoyed the thrilling features of TCL C2 Android TV and the TCL X3 TV. These sleek and state-of-the-art TVs promise a whole new and exciting entertainment experience with its cutting-edge innovations in connectivity, picture quality, sound, and multi-functional features.

“Today, TV is more than just for watching your favorite programs. It is an experience that encompasses everything you are looking for,” said Eason Cai, chief executive officer of TCL. “Consumers now want a TV that allows them to connect to the internet, play their favorite games, watch live streaming programs, and even listen to their favorite tunes. TCL’s C2 Android and X3 offer multi-dimensional entertainment.”

TCL C2: The best in Android TV

TCL’s C2 TV is the latest Android M-powered TV that allows users to access a wide range of content and enjoy many functions including Google Play Store, games, music, movies, TV shows, Chromecast built-in, and voice search.

The C2 TV allows users to search and install their favorite Android apps to download movies, TV shows, music, and sports programs. It is complemented by a built-in Chromecast streaming capability allowing viewers to play their favorite video games and access preferred apps from mobile devices in the TV screens.

TCL’s C2 TV comes bundled with Netflix giving viewers a wide selection of programs to choose from. The Netflix application delivers TV and movie titles of up to 4k allowing viewing of thousands of contents. Its exclusive Netflix button directs users to the site with one click and the “T” button on the remote directs users to content express where TV channels and internet content are integrated so viewers can get what they want instantly.

Finally, TCL’s C2 Android TV delivers a stunning viewing experience with its HDR Pro, Wide Color Gamut (WCG) 4K UHD and Micro Dimming technologies. Superior sound is delivered via its front-facing Harman Kardon speakers and the Dolby Audio and Smart TV Volume that produces a studio-like sound quality.

TCL X3: TV gaming was never this exciting!

Another innovative offering is the TCL X3. Part of the premium XESS Series, this trailblazing TV combines many great features in one. It features a 65-inch Quantum Dot screen display and a curved body that highlights a sleek, modern and streamlined design that is slim and lacks edges.

It has a metal frame giving it a premium feel and look and showcases six circular Harman Kardon speakers in the front. Some units come with a game controller and two remote controls with one having a motion sensor.

The TCL X3 allows for superior resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels that allows users to play

4K videos easily. Its Quantum Dot display technology allows for better color accuracy and higher brightness making pictures sharp and showing clearer details.

The TCS X3 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and TV+OS 3.0 enabling users to access different applications from Google Play Store. It also features apps like Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, T-Launcher, GoLive TV and many others.

Finally, TCL’s X3 TV is powered by a 64-bit A53 quad-core processor, Mali T860 MP2 480 MHz GPU, 2.5GB RAM and 16GB worth of internal storage giving viewers the ability to launch and navigate various applications easily and seamlessly.

“The TCL C2 Android and TCL X3 TVs are just two of our cutting-edge products that will make the best Christmas gift this season giving families the chance to create touching moments in life and bring people together,” added Cai.

Founded in 1981, TCL—The Creative Life, is one of the leading global players in the audio-visual market. The company has invested extensively in research and development to bring the best design and performance on every device.

The company was recognized by International Data Group (IDG) as 2016-2017 Global Top 50 CE Brands and 2016-2017 Top 10 CE Brands from China. The company also won the Global Display Tech Innovation Award of the Year for TCL Quantum Dot TV.

Through its innovative products, it has successfully penetrated the global market establishing operations in 78 countries and regions around the world. TCL’s continued high-end product developments, such as the Quantum Dot, curved, 4K and large screen TVs, among others, putting it on par with other brands in the industry. In the first quarter of 2017, its LCD TV Sales Volume performance has improved by 38 percent, year-on-year.

Dusit Thani Bangkok to Remain Open Throughout the Year so Developer Can Add Even Greater Value to the New Hotel


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Originally slated to close for redevelopment this April, Dusit International’s iconic flagship hotel will now operate as usual until 5 January 2019.

International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, has announced that its iconic flagship hotel, Dusit Thani Bangkok, will now remain fully operational until 5 January 2019 (with final check-out at 2pm on that date), instead of 16 April of this year, as was previously announced.

The hotel’s closing date has been extended to allow Dusit and its partners more time to add even greater value to the new version of the hotel, which will open as part of a THB 36.7 billion (approximately USD 1.1 billion) landmark mixed-use project to be built in partnership with Central Pattana PLC.

Founded by Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui and opened on 27 February 1970, Dusit Thani Bangkok was once the city’s tallest edifice and largest hotel. A new landmark for the capital, the hotel pioneered five-star hospitality inspired by authentic Thai values and ushered in a new era of tourism for the city, revolutionizing dining, entertainment and even the way people organized wedding receptions in the process.


With its new hotel, Dusit International plans to mirror that success by creating a new city landmark that boosts the area’s appeal, enhances existing infrastructure, creates new opportunities for local businesses, celebrates Thai culture, and elevates the brand’s standing internationally.

“Since we officially announced the hotel’s redevelopment earlier last year, we have been inundated with messages from guests, customers and long-time fans of the hotel expressing their opinions about the project,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “While the majority expressed excitement about our next chapter, there were also those who wondered how we could possibly embrace our heritage and continue our legacy in a new building.

“The answer, of course, lies in taking our time to ensure we get it right. We are exploring many ways to add value to the new hotel and mixed-use project in terms of design and innovation. This includes embracing a green concept which reflects our prime location opposite Lumpini Park, creating direct links to both the MRT and BTS mass transit rail systems, and alleviating traffic in the area by providing new infrastructure.

“While our scrupulous attention to detail means we must extend the project timeline by eight months, we are delighted that guests now have more time to experience the hotel as it stands. We plan to enrich that experience by hosting a series of special events throughout the year.”

Former Choir Member Tiffany Teo Determined to Fulfill Destiny as Martial Arts Champ


Wazzup Pilipinas!

If a teenaged Tiffany “No Chill” Teo could see her adult counterpart, she would be unrecognizable.

As a young girl, the Singaporean martial arts standout was heavily involved in choir activities, which she participated in for a decade.

“I was a nerd when I was a kid. I was not very active,” Teo shared in jest.

Today, Teo is the polar opposite as she traded in her songbooks and rehearsal rooms for a pair of four-ounce gloves and the gym.

Teo went from a quiet, unassuming choirgirl to becoming a renowned strawweight martial arts prospect with an impressive record of 7-0.

The winding road to ONE Championship began in the oddest of places — in front of the television screen. Teo’s interest in martial arts, Muay Thai specifically, was stoked by popular reality show The Contender Asia.

Fortinet Protects Operational Technology Deployed in the Harshest Environments


Wazzup Pilipinas!


Broad Security Fabric Architecture Provides Integrated Security Across Environmentally Controlled and Non-Environmentally Controlled Enterprise Facilities    

Fortinet, the global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced the availability of its Operational Technology (OT) Security solution for critical infrastructure and industrial organizations. The new solution integrates ruggedized firewall, switching, and wireless access point appliances with FortiGuard industrial threat intelligence to provide integrated cybersecurity protections for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems deployed in the field and non-environmentally controlled facilities across an organization’s OT infrastructure.
  • The Fortinet Security Fabric enables critical infrastructure and industrial organizations to deliver advanced segmentation, access control, and malware protection needed to unify their security architecture and defend their OT networks regardless of the operating environment.
  • Fortinet’s ruggedized security products enable industrial organizations to protect their OT infrastructure and devices, even those deployed in harsh environments that would render other security devices inoperable.
     
  • Fortinet’s industrial-grade appliances leverage its recently announced FortiGuard Industrial Security Services, which delivers application control and defensive signatures specific to critical infrastructure and industrial sector organizations, including utility, oil and gas, transportation, and manufacturing.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Colors of Love: Be In Love and Be Happy



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Be inlove and be Happy with the Colors of love event with three categories that you will surely enjoy, 3K, 5K and 10K Color Run.

With the combination of different colors and water splash run with different kinds of shade. COLORS OF LOVE will truly be remarkable and you can just FEEL THE LOVE OF COLORS in the air.

After all the breathtaking and color fun, there will be a Zumba, party with DJ plus raffle from our sponsor and games with the finale of color blast.

STORE REGISTRATION: Start on January 8, 2018 until February 4, 2018



GARMIN NORTH EDSA
GARMIN UPTOWN MALL BGC
GARMIN GLORIETTA 5
GARMIN MALL OF ASIA
GARMIN ALABANG TOWN CENTER


Online Registration is NOW OPEN

https://reg.goorahna.com/#/event/colors-of-love-2018


Assembly Time: 4:30

3K - Php550.00
5K - Php650.00
10K - Php800.00


Inclusion of Racekits

3K and 5K

- Event Shirt / Race Bib / Medal / Color Powder / shades

10K

- Singlet / Finisher Shirt / Race Bib / Medal /
Color Powder / Shades


For inquiries:

Joey Santos - 09239436564
Jhune Ligtas - 09274795790

Monday, January 1, 2018

14 Ways To Stick To a Healthier Lifestyle Regimen


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Not only do you need to live a healthier lifestyle, but also, you must find a variety of ways to maintain this new regimen. If you follow an assortment of tips for improving your well-being, then you will have more physical energy and mental clarity. Use these ideas for improving your health along with sticking to your healthier regimen.


Healthy Regimen Tip 1: Have Daily Menus

Rather than preparing meals and snacks randomly, create daily menus that include the foods or beverages required for better well-being. You can write your menus using a computer before printing out the information to keep the items on your kitchen's refrigerator. With the menus in front of you, you are less likely to eat poor-quality foods that will ruin your health.


Healthy Regimen Tip 2: Schedule Time For Breakfast

If you sleep too late to eat breakfast, then you must wake up 20-minutes earlier to scramble an egg or prepare a bowl of cereal. Studies reveal that eating a healthy breakfast will keep you from eating large quantities of food later in the day.


Healthy Regimen Tip 3: Take a Cooking Class

When you don't know how to prepare homemade snacks and meals, you can take cooking classes at a community college. Alternatively, you can find books about cooking at a public library, or you can learn more about cooking at an online website.


Healthy Regimen 4: Clean Out Your Cupboards and Refrigerator

After you decide to change your diet, you must clean out your refrigerator and cupboards. Take everything out of these storage places to sort through the beverages and foods to throw away high-fat items such as mayonnaise or high-sugar items such as cake mixes.


Healthy Regimen 5: Prepare a Grocery-shopping List

Don't shop mindlessly at the supermarket because it is filled with temptations. Use your menus to have a grocery-shopping list so that you won't buy unneeded items such as ice cream, pie or potato chips.


Healthy Regimen 6: Eat a Lot Of Fruits and Vegetables

Begin shopping in the produce aisle of your supermarket to buy seasonal vegetables and fruits. Dietitians recommend eating as many as 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to get all of the nutrients required for a healthy body.
 
Healthy Regimen 7: Join a Fitness Gym

If you only want to watch television while you are at home, then you aren't getting enough exercise. Joining a fitness gym is one of the best ways to improve your health because there are an assortment of weights and exercise devices available.


Healthy Regimen 8: Learn How To Meditate

When you feel anxious most of the time, it can damage your mental and physical well-being. You may have chronic indigestion, migraines or nightmares because you have too much stress. Enroll in a meditation class to learn how to clear the anxious thoughts from your mind.


Healthy Regimen 9: Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol

If you are drinking a lot of alcohol, then it can damage your health. Your body's liver must work harder to eliminate the toxins from alcoholic beverages, leading to problems such as cirrhosis. When you drink too much but can't stop, it is time to look for a support group to overcome this bad habit.


Healthy Regimen 10: Don't Smoke Cigarettes

The tobacco and other chemicals in cigarettes will damage your body by creating inflammation in the mouth, throat and respiratory system. When you can't stop smoking, you should begin to use nicotine patches, or you can join a smoking cessation program.


Healthy Regimen 11: Visit an Allergist

If you have health problems such as constant sinus congestion or digestive issues, then visit an allergist to determine if you are allergic to certain substances. You might have an allergy to pollen, or you may have an allergic response to the lactose in dairy products.


Healthy Regimen 12: Socialize Occasionally

It is important to socialize occasionally by spending time with your friends or relatives. If you spend too much time alone, then you can develop depression from isolation. Get interested in a hobby or social cause so that you can become involved in meetings with other people.


Healthy Regimen 13: Practice Positive Thinking

The way that you think can affect your physical and mental well-being. To improve the way that you feel, read books and watch DVDs about positive thinking. You may need to practice to learn how to speak and think in a positive way.


Healthy Regimen 14: Try Prepackaged Meals To Lose Weight

Whether you don’t have time, or if you’re just not good at planning, prepackaged meals can help you stay on target.  They provide a set amount of calories, typically offer a balanced diet of nutrients, protein and fiber.  But what’s more, they make it easy by removing the difficulty of making choices about what to eat, or what to cook.  It’s just easier.  And as Pure Healthy Living will tell you, there’s no price difference, just look at Nutrisystem cost.

There are a wide variety of other options to try, and Nutrisystem isn’t the only one.  But be aware that some of them can be pretty expensive.  So you may have to weigh being healthier, and not having to think about your food, versus having to pay a little more at times.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

No-Bake Lasagna Recipe for New Year Media Noche



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The No-Bake Lasagna recipe I got from the Internet requires Parmesan, Mozzarella and Quickmelt grated cheeses, plus evaporated and powder milk, also all-purpose cream, flour, cornstarch, butter,.... then tomato sauce and paste for the ground beef added with onion, garlic, basil leaves, pepper, powder, salt, soy sauce, sugar... ..and of course, the lasagna pasta.

NO BAKE LASAGNA PASTA RECIPE:

Ingredients:

500 Grams Lasagna Pasta
1 Kilo Ground Beef
1 Kilo Hunt's Tomato Sauce Basil and Cheese Variant
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste (this will make sauce thick in texture)
1 Cup Finely Chopped White Onion
1 Head Garlic Finely Chopped
Pepper Powder
4 tbsp Soy Sauce
Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
Dried Basil Leaves
1 Can Nestle All Purpose Cream
3 Tbsp Cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Grated Box Quick Melt Cheese

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients:
Unsalted Butter
6 Spoon Flour
1 Cup milk - any powdered milk will do, dissolved in warm water. Powdered milk is rich in fat. The fat in this milk will help the sauce become thick
1 Large Evaporated Milk
1 Cup grated cheese

Bechamel Sauce:

This is the thick white sauce used for layering. In french cooking they call it roux. In Greenwich (fast food chain in Philippines) you can also see it on top of their Lasagna.

In very low heat, melt about 1/4 sliced of butter. Make sure not to burn it. It should look golden yellow. Once butter is in little bubbles mix flour, whisk it using fork, until it becomes egg like lump and paste like.

In low heat, slowly add full cream milk. Mix it thoroughly until it becomes consistently smooth that when you spoon it, the thickness will cover the spoon. Mix and cook around 2 minutes then slowly mix in evaporated milk until very smooth in texture.

Cool and set it aside for later use. This sauce will be use for bottom and top layer.

Lasagna Pasta:

Cook it for 13 minutes in boiling water with salt and 1 tbsp oil, cover and simmer. Make sure to mix it from time to time to avoid pasta from sticking on the pan. But be careful not to chip the lasagna.

Once cooked, drain and set aside.

Sauce:

It makes Lasagna stick to all other ingredients without the need to bake it. Just the sticky sauce, Cheeses and Bechamel Sauce. No need for baking.

Saute Garlic until light brown, followed by Onion until translucent.

Add in Ground Beef, salt pepper, soy sauce and basil.

Pour in Tomato Sauce and simmer for few minutes and mixing it to avoid sticking from the pan.

Add in Tomato paste and diluted Cornstarch, Nestle All Purpose Cream.

Add in sugar and salt to adjust taste.
Simmer and mix for 2-3 minutes

Sprinkle Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Once Mozzarella is melted. We're ready to layer it in the pan!

How to Layer:

Spread Bechamel Sauce (bottom)
Combined Lasagna Pasta and Beef Sauce (2nd layer)
Bechamel Sauce (3rd layer)
Quickmelt cheese (4th layer)
Parmesan cheese

Cooking tips: Use more mozzarella to make every lasagna slice more cheesier as presented in the photo.

Ready to serve. Enjoy!!!

I will be cooking it tomorrow late afternoon so it will be ready for dinner.

Did I miss any ingredient? Is my cooking procedure correct?


Outcome:

I made a booboo on the lasagna pasta because they got stuck to each other during boiling... So the supposed to be rectangular pasta sheets got all shredded into pieces. Lol!

But the end result of the no-bake lasagna was more than OK since my kids said it was delicious thanks to all yummy ingredients that are included in the bechamel sauce, the lasagna sauce, plus all that grated cheese on top.

In the end, it's still the taste that will tell if your dish will sell or not. The looks or presentation could add to the appetite, but it will immediately be excused and forgotten after the first bite.

The tray was half-done during dinner, and it's still 3 hours before New Year Media Noche. They just couldn't wait to try it, repeatedly.

Maybe next year I will be able to perfect it, or try something else more challenging...hehehe :)

#WazzupPilipinas #PambansangBlogger #NoBakeLasagna #Lasagna #Foodies #Food #NewYear #MediaNoche

Lamudi Conference Features Discussion on Affordable Housing



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Pioneering event by global property website Lamudi features solutions to the country’s widening housing backlog

Increasing the government’s available funds for financing the low-cost housing segment was one of the ways to meet the housing backlog that Atty. Christopher Ryan Tan, former president of the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) and CEO of housing developer Hausland Development Corporation, gave at The Outlook by Lamudi.

The Outlook by Lamudi: The First Event of Its Kind in the Philippines

The Outlook was the launch of global property platform Lamudi’s comprehensive report on the country’s real estate industry, which involved a nationwide survey of 10,000 Filipino property seekers from across the country to complete. This event coincided with a coming-together of the industry’s thought leaders.

Held at the Marquis Events Place in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) on November 29, the event brought together top-level industry representatives, including real estate players specializing in mixed-use or township developments, leaders of organizations advocating more cohesive, comprehensive and affordable housing programs, and key officials from the public sector, to discuss what’s next for the industry, backed by real consumer data gathered by Lamudi. Among the topics discussed were trends in mixed-use developments, the evolution of residential condominiums across the country, the details that go into building new cities, provincial expansion and its significance, the importance of building green and the housing backlog.

The Housing Backlog: A Closer Look

Citing a government study, Atty. Tan noted that the country’s housing deficit is estimated to reach a staggering 7.67 million by 2022. “In other words, in the eyes of the government, that’s how many households would direly need housing provision or housing units. And that is a huge number,” he said.

Given the government’s peg of the housing shortfall, Atty. Tan is aware of the daunting task ahead both for the private and the public sectors, especially since according to him, there’s only an actual production of less than 200,000 housing units annually for the past five years. “It’s somewhere between 168,000 and 190,000 a year,” he approximated, “so when you do the math, considering that population grows, it seems that you would not be able to catch up. So that’s really a huge problem.”

The battle, however, is not yet lost, assured Tan. “That’s the challenge now: How really to meet the housing need, and to be able to do that, you need to produce on the lower end.”

Homes not valued more than Php3 million are classified as affordable housing in the country. Government agency Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) outlined the bracketing for the low-income segment based on price range and ceiling. In its categorization, units sold for more than Php1.7 million but not exceeding Php3 million are considered low-cost housing. Those that sell for Php450,000 up to Php1.7 million are classified as economic housing, while homes under the socialized housing group are those with a selling price below Php450,000.

Together, these three groups comprise the low-income market, which, according to Atty. Tan, eats up the lion’s share of the country’s residential market in terms of production.

“That is the majority in terms of the number of units,” he explained, “but when you look at it in terms of the value or in terms of prices, it’s the reverse. You would find that the much expensive housing units, in terms of value, when you convert the total amount of loans generated by the housing sectors, majority are still cornered by the high-end.”

In the country, living spaces with a price range of Php3 million up to Php6 million are labeled mid-cost. Those that are sold for more are tagged as high-end. While these units enjoy a positive response from banks in terms of loans, Atty. Tan says it’s not the same for the lower income segments, especially those under socialized housing.

“The toughest, really, is in the socialized housing segment, or those housing units not sold more than Php450,000,” he lamented, “because not many banks would be willing to lend at this level. The reason for that is, this segment is perceived to be the least capable of paying and the highest risk.

“But that is the greatest need if you ask me where production has to be accelerated. So it seems that both ends don’t meet.”

This, for Atty. Tan, poses one major challenge for the government: “We need the government to come in because if private banks would be hesitant to provide financing for the low-end market, the government’s role, really, is to increase available funds for financing for that segment.”

Get Lamudi’s The Outlook report on January 2018 to read the rest of Atty. Tan’s solutions to the housing backlog—and more.

DOE Consumer Advisory



Wazzup Pilipinas!

At the eve of the new year, the Department of Energy (DOE) clarifies various topics concerning the oil industry.

A. Implementation of TRAIN for Petroleum Products

The implementation of excise tax and value added tax (VAT) for petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) is effective on January 1, 2018.

The DOE, through the Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) and in coordination with the Department of Finance (DOF), is reminding the public that the new Excise Tax rates do NOT apply to the old stocks of petroleum products. Consequently, the retailers should not charge the new Excise Tax to the consumers.

“The OIMB has issued an advisory to petroleum products stakeholders NOT to levy new Excise Tax rates on old stocks, considering that Excise Taxes are levied upon importation and not at the point of sale to the consumers,” Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III clarified.

For VAT, the new rates under the TRAIN that is applicable to consumers becomes effective on January 1, 2018.

B. Oil Price Movement for Tuesday

In addition to this clarification, the DOE stringently monitors oil trading in the international market and analyzes its effects on the domestic prices of petroleum products as mandated by the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998.

Pursuant thereto, the DOE observed that last week’s international oil trading may affect the domestic prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene as follows:

· Gasoline prices may increase by around P0.15 per liter;

· Diesel may increase by around P0.60 per liter; and,

· Kerosene may increase by around P0.55 per liter.

Adjustments on petroleum products are implemented every Tuesday of the week. Please note, however, that these findings may still be affected by the Friday trading activities which will be accessed on Monday.

C. Prize Freeze for Kerosene Household LPG for Calamity Areas

The DOE reiterates that upon a declaration of a State of Calamity, the DOE is implementing a ‘price freeze’ on kerosene and household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

For its implementation, the DOE reminds the public of the following:

· The price freeze is applicable for 15 days, commencing one day after the declaration;

· “Household LPG” refers to 11 kilograms and below of LPG in containers;

· Price movements for kerosene are implemented every Tuesday of the week; and,

· Price movements for LPG are implemented at the beginning of each month.

Through the OIMB and the agency’s Field Offices, the DOE is closely coordinating with the oil industry players in the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) 7581, as amended by RA 10623, which imposes a "price freeze" on these basic energy products being sold in the areas affected by the calamity.


D. General Reminder

The DOE calls on the public to be vigilant and to report any violation to info@doe.gov.ph or to Consumer Welfare and Promotion Office at tel. no. 479-2900 loc. 329.

Page 365 of 365: Starting Anew for Book 2018



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Another year will soon end in just a few hours. Are we ready to close the 2017 book? And create a new sequel for 2018?

"Lots of lessons learned.
Bunch of tears, bucket of cheers.
Failed flings, reciprocated feelings.
Others left, real ones stayed.
I almost died, but I survived"

We've reached page 365 of 365 of Book 2017. The title of this book was, "LEARNED SO MUCH" and tomorrow will be page 1 of 365 of Book 2018, the title might be, "REINVENTING OURSELVES"

Normally we see people post lots of New Year's Resolutions to promise themselves to change for the better, or be more disciplined to accomplish what they couldn't religiously follow like diet, exercise, and similar stuff for self-improvement. But it is very rare to see posts announcing if those resolutions were completely done.

If I would be listing down some goals, do I need to be realistic or aim for the nearly impossible? Sometimes it becomes harder to follow a list especially when circumstances are unfavorable. We needed to sacrifice some to give way to other more important matters, or we are just too lazy or stubborn to go on.

The temptation to go along with the fad, peer pressure, or the lack of time and resources, often hinders our attempt to move forward and follow our outlined goals.

"I want to be able to learn to play the piano"

Everyone wants the best for ourselves, but we can't just stop our bellies from growing like we're pregnant because the most sumptuous dishes are those that are greasy, salty, and sweet.

We all want to exercise, go to the gym or do some Zumba but work hours and traffic congestions before and after work prevents us from using up extra time. We would rather rest and sleep earlier so we would feel refresh the next day.

But we could go on and on with so many excuses yet remain unconvinced. The fault is still within us. Remember that "Kapag gusto, may paraan. Kapag ayaw, maraming dahilan"

Time really flew so fast, and now we're on the last page of the 2017th book, page 365 of 365. We may not have been able to do what we all hoped for, but we should not worry for tomorrow is another day to work on what we were unable to accomplish.

Let us end an awesome 2017 with a happy heart and soul. May our 2018 book be equally awesome and filled again with lots of blessings!

We salute those people who kept on smiling regardless of their problems.

Leave a Legacy Behind: This Life is Just Too Short to Waste



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The imperfect me do not need to live according to the expectations of others. The definition of success varies from person to person because we are all individually unique. Some of us find real satisfaction from even the trivial things in life.

It's the imperfection that makes life perfect.
As long as we are happy and contented amidst some shortcomings and challenges, we have lived a full life.

We wouldn't be as successful if it were not for our mistakes. They were lessons which taught us to improve ourselves and not always listen to what others would say. Do not care for what people perceive for the real meaning and purpose of life lies deep within.

Our imperfections made us unique and real, and has given us the opportunity to change for the better.

We are forever grateful for all the experiences. Life continues to be perfect for our family as we share the blessings of our successes and heartaches of our imperfections.

However, just like in traveling, it is not the destination that is entirely important but the journey we went through before reaching it. We may have seen the entire world, swam on all the beaches, climbed all the mountains, took selfies at all scenic spots, filled our social media accounts with pictures from all our trips, but what have we done to be remembered by the people that matters most. Have we even touched a single life outside our family, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances and circle of friends? Or are we also seemingly strangers to these people?

Life is too short to waste, so leave a memorable and significant legacy behind while we still can.

They say if you want to be remembered either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about. Let the people share the stories you made or the stories about you. From there you would become immortalized and forever be a part of history.

How about you? How do you want to be remembered?

DOTr Procures Spare Parts, Independent Audit and Assessment (IAA) Consultant for MRT-3



Wazzup Pilipinas!

In its commitment to progressively address the issues beleaguering the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Department of Transportation MRT-3 (DOTr MRT-3) team recently completed the procurement of the first batch of various spare parts required for the system’s maintenance.

Among those already procured by DOTr MRT-3 through its Maintenance Transition Period Bids and Awards Committee (MTP BAC) over the last seven weeks are spare parts for rolling stock, worth about PhP8.66 million and spare parts for tracks amounting to PhP7.33 million.

The rolling stock spare parts contract had an Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) of PhP8.89 million and was won by Linkers Enterprises, while the spare parts for tracks had an ABC of PhP7.97 million and was won by Nikka Trading.

Notably, the contract for the Independent Audit and Assessment (IAA) Consultant of the entire MRT-3 system was also awarded to TUV Rheinland for PhP45.31 million. The contract had an ABC of PhP48 million, and offers from TUV SUD and Bureau Veritas were also received.

The IAA will cover all sub-components of MRT-3, including its signaling system, tracks, and rolling stock. Both the current fleet of 73 Czech-made trains and the unaccepted 48 China-made trains will be covered by the IAA.

The IAA Consultant will make specific and actionable recommendations to address identified issues.

To ensure quality and independence, the MRT-3 MTP BAC required all bidders for the IAA Consultancy to be ISO 17020:2012 and ISO 17065:2012 certified firms, and further required membership in the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA).

Other contracts for trunk radio communications (P924,000), spare parts for power (P6.44 million), pantograph strips (P7.88 million), spare parts for overhead catenary system (P2.8 million), and various bearings (P1.98 million) were also awarded to various bidders.

Assistant Secretary for Railways TJ Batan said the DOTr MRT-3 MTP BAC adjourned its 16th and last meeting for 2017 early Friday morning. The MTP BAC was created last November 9.

“The DOTr MRT-3 MTP BAC would sometimes start as early as 6 AM, and on some days end as late as 12 MN, to ensure that the spare parts needed by our Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) are procured at the soonest possible time,” Batan said.

The MRT-3 MTP BAC was created by DOTr after terminating its maintenance service contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI) last November 6 due to poor performance and breach of contractual obligations.

“Deliveries of some spare parts have commenced, and will continue over the next 30 - 90 days. We got the commitment of all suppliers to exert best efforts to deliver earlier than the prescribed contractual lead times, and our MRT-3 team will focus on realizing this,” he said.

With instruction and guidance from Secretary Arthur Tugade, Asec. Batan said the DOTr will continue procuring next year signaling spare parts and general overhaul services, among others.

“I believe the entire MRT-3 organization and our DOTr Central Office representatives have truly stepped up and delivered on our service commitment to the public,” Asec. Batan said.

The purchase of spare parts for the MRT-3’s Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) is Part 2 of DOTr’s 4-Part Strategy for fixing MRT-3:

Part 1: Promoting accountability with the termination of BURI

Part 2: Ensuring continued service delivery by establishing the MTT and purchasing needed spare parts

Part 3: Contracting a rehabilitation and maintenance service provider together with an Official Development Assistance partner

Part 4: Putting in place a long-term, single-point-of-responsibility, operator and maintenance provider for MRT-3
 
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