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Saturday, December 4, 2021

LPU MMA majors vie for Rotary PSA Festival 2021 awards


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Six Multimedia Arts students from the Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila campus will compete for the top prizes on December 11 as they made it to the semifinals of the 5th Rotary Public Service Announcement (PSA) Festival.

Eunice Angelica G. San Juan’s “Boto Para sa Pagbabago” (Vote for Change), Mark Wilson S. Catindig’s “Kain-Basura” (Food for Trash), Dan Enrico P. Picardal’s “Billiards,” Rikki Lou Bonifacio’s “Laro Tayo, Resiklo” (Let’s Play, Recycle) and Venus Mariel Orbon’s and Lovely Rose Veroya’s “Hide and Seek” have been selected among 355 submissions from 27 different high schools and colleges nationwide.

The Rotary Club of Circuit Makati has been organizing the Rotary PSA Festival, a 30-second video making contest for amateur and student filmmakers, since 2017. Last year, LPU Manila had four semifinalists in the competition, namely Ashley Cordero’s “Alone,” Francis Alba’s “Mother Tongue,” Austin Banaag’s “TULOy Tuloy,” and Rochelle Philippe Jedidah Urag’s and James Nadora’s “Ang Ating Gubat” (Our Forest). All nine LPU semifinalists were submitted as final projects to their Fundamentals of Film and Video Production subject.

Five semifinalists were chosen for each of the seven Rotary International Areas of Focus, namely Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Supporting Environment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Economic and Community Development, Disease Prevention and Treatment, and Basic Education and Literacy. All 35 semifinalists will automatically receive 2,000 pesos each.

The Top 5 winners will each be awarded cash prizes amounting to 35,000 pesos (first prize), 25,000 pesos (second), 15,000 pesos (third), 10,000 pesos (fourth), and 5,000 pesos (fifth) plus a digital certificate of recognition from the organizers. A special award for Best Direction will also be given 5,000 pesos and a plaque to the director who has exhibited outstanding direction for a video entry.

San Juan’s PSA focuses on the victims of extrajudicial killings “as violence and killings are still alarmingly increasing,” she said. “We might not see it often in the news, but it is still present. I want people to never forget about these innocent victims who died during this administration and still haven’t got justice yet.”

“As Election 2022 is slowly approaching, we are hoping for a change to avoid injustices and abuse of authority. We are yearning for an administration that is competent. Voting wisely starts with the Filipino. We should always be reminded that no one is above the law, even the president. So we have to speak and fight for the victims whose voices are silenced,” San Juan stressed.

Meanwhile, Orbon and Veroya, who are both advocates of women empowerment, shared that their PSA was inspired by “friends and family who have suffered greatly because of failed marriages and domestic violence and friends who have traumatic experiences from being physically abused.”

“We wanted this entry to be an eye-opener to the public that not everyone has the same childhood experiences, and not every child has the same safe environment, and not all women have their dreams come true when they get married,” Veroya revealed.

“The experiences we had heard from people around us made us believe how strong a woman – a mother – can be for her children, and for those who suffer from this kind of situation. We wanted them to be free because we always believe that a woman is where we all came from. A threat to her life is a threat to our own,” she added.

Catindig, who also competed at the Three Shots Film Festival last month, believes that developing opportunities for the community is a small step in building a better nation. “Listening and creating solutions for the neighborhood is one of the many ways to develop a self-sufficient community. In creating this call for action, I didn’t need to seek inspiration. I just laid the platform for the voice of the community,” he explained.

On the other hand, Bonifacio noticed his nephews playing with pinwheels made from plastic bottles while he was conceptualizing for a project. He was able to think of an idea by recycling plastics to reduce pollution for the Supporting Environment category. He added that he wants to persuade people not just to throw their trash everywhere but to use them creatively in coming up with useful projects.

Picardal, for his part, based his concept on a game. “Since the start of the pandemic, we all miss going out, doing things we normally do. I waited for the time we will get the vaccine for this pandemic, too. As we experience more and more variants, people still seem to resist getting a vaccine shot now that we got it. The concept is simple. I just based it on a game that I’m not good at but I like watching, billiards.”

Apart from getting high grades, some of the students were also motivated to work on a good project by the Rotary PSA Festival cash prizes which can help them during the pandemic.

Inclusive Education Bill gets approved at Congress’ Bicameral Conference Committee; appeals to the President for Bill’s passage


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Save the Children Philippines lauds approval of the Inclusive Education Bill at Congress’ Bicameral Conference Committee; appeals to the President for Bill’s passage


Save the Children Philippines lauds the Bicameral Conference Committee for approving the Inclusive Education (IE) Bill in time for the celebration of International Day for Children with Disabilities. It is now awaiting the approval of the president to pass it into a law.

“We thank the Bicameral Conference Committee for supporting the Inclusive Education Bill. We are now one step closer to fulfilling children’s rights to access health services and inclusive quality education, especially for those with disabilities and most impacted by inequality and discrimination” said Atty. Albert Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines.

The IE bill ensures that no learner with disability shall be denied admission and inclusion in any public or private, early or basic education school in the country. It will afford such learners with equitable opportunities to educational and support services, and programs such as capacity building for students, their families/ caregivers, and teachers.

Knowledge hubs such as Inclusive Learning Resource Centers (ILRC) will also be established by local government units in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd).

“All children have the right to be educated, but some of them don’t have enough access, ability, and resources. Through the Inclusive Education Bill, we will be able to experience going to school,” said Jen, a parent of a child with disability who shared her sentiments on the importance of equal learning opportunities among children with and without disabilities.

Passing the Inclusive Education Bill will be monumental for the 5.5 million learners with disabilities as it seeks to create for them a responsive system for identification, referral, and intervention, in partnership with stakeholders.

“We appeal for the immediate approval of the Bill by the President ensuring that no learner will be left behind. The IE Bill makes our educational system more inclusive by providing a safe, accessible, and supportive educational environment, infrastructures, and facilities for one of the most discriminated sectors of Filipino children,” said Sierra Mae Paraan, Basic Education Advisor of Save the Children Philippines.

Among many of the IE Bill’s other provisions are the Advisory Council for Education of Learners with Disabilities that will support the DepEd in further improving the country’s educational system, and the provision of a support system for parents to help them care for their children at home better.

“We support the Inclusive Education Bill campaign because no child should be deprived of education because of his/her disability. No child should be punished or discriminated because of disability,” said DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.

Save the Children Philippines has been advocating for the Inclusive Education Bill and is implementing programs to aid learners with disabilities including 1) the Kabataang Aralin Sa Lahat Ibahagi (KASALI) Project which attends to the different developmental needs of children with disabilities, 2) Building Resources and Networks for the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Marginalized Urban Communities (BRIDGE) Project that helps girls and boys with disabilities in urban poor communities and informal settlements in Parañaque City to access inclusive and quality basic health, child protection, information and social protection services, 3) SCOPE Project which strengthens the capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities and other civil society organizations towards effective civil society-local government engagement and improved government accountability for persons with disabilities, especially children in the cities of Parañaque and Taguig, and the Municipality of Pateros, and 4) Project ENGAGE that ensures meaningful participation of children and youth with disabilities in governance and policy.

In a message of solidarity to Save the Children, Briones highlighted DepEd’s support in protecting the rights of learners with disabilities. “We have a duty to all learners to provide them with learning opportunities and provide them with quality education as they further their search for wisdom, knowledge, and level of preparedness for life. We hope to continue cooperating and collaborating with Save the Children in giving opportunities to children especially those with disabilities.”

ARMY dances along on Twitter with 68M Tweets as BTS returns to the live stage in LA

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The highly-anticipated 'BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE - LA' concert was celebrated by #KpopTwitter globally

LOS ANGELES, US - Media OutReach - 3 December 2021 - 21st century pop icons BTS' 'BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE - LA' tour was celebrated by fans all over the world with a whopping 68M Tweets globally throughout the tour from November 27th to December 2nd. Whether they were at the concert or not, fans came to Twitter and enjoyed the act's first face-to-face concert since 2019, using hashtags like #PTD_ON_STAGE_LA#Stage_For_ARMY#BTS#방탄소년단#BTSARMY.

 

 

BTS Permission to Dance on Stage Twitter global trends map

 

On the 27th and 28th November, and 1st and 2nd December, tens of thousands of lucky fans got to see BTS perform live at the 'BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE - LA' tour at LA's SoFi Stadium while plenty more from all over the world tuned in to the moment on Twitter.

A truly unforgettable concert, many fans gathered on Twitter to rejoice and celebrate their favourite moments both in the lead-up to the performance, and after the event. For example, we saw conversation volume peaks when Jimin Tweeted just before the first concert, when Jin and RM Tweeted after the first concert, and when BTS Tweeted their photo with Halsey who attended the third concert.

Be it to complement virtual or in-person activities, fans everywhere come to Twitter to join in the fun and have conversations about them. So, even though things appear to be slowly returning to normal again and K-pop stars reunite with their fans, Twitter will continue to play an important role to drive conversations and connections within the K-pop community.

For instance, to celebrate ARMY meeting BTS in real-life this time, Twitter launched various activations for fans, including special emojis and a Live Event Page dedicated to curating all the latest action in one place. This ensured that fans were always kept updated on all the happenings and content related to the concert - never missing an important moment.

 

 

'BTS Permission to Dance on Stage' Live Event Page

 

YeonJeong Kim, Head of Global K-pop Partnerships at Twitter, said, "During the difficult times when face-to-face events such as concerts were cancelled, Twitter is where fans go to talk about what's happening, as well as stay connected with their artists. While it has been more than two years since their last real-life concert, BTS and ARMY have stayed close on Twitter and their relationship is stronger than ever, such as during the band's single 'Butter' earlier this year where we saw over 300 million related Tweets in just one month. On the first day of the tour, more than 15 million Tweets were generated, far exceeding the average 10 million Tweets per day at the time of the release of Butter in May. As live concerts begin again, Tweets from fans are expected to continue to increase."

Friday, December 3, 2021

Discover the Skincare Secret to Outshining Holiday Stress with Y.O.U Beauty


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Designed to keep skin healthy and bright, join the Y.O.U Beauty Christmas giveaway and experience the brand’s Radiance White Nourishing+Serum and more.

 

While Christmas is known as the season to be jolly, it can also be a stressful time for many of us. The pressure that comes with finding the perfect gifts, stretching our time between all the online get-togethers, and preparing for our celebrations can manifest in different ways – sometimes even on our faces in more ways than one.

To keep the possible unwanted effects of the holidays at bay, Y.O.U Beauty shares a few tips and tricks on how Filipinas can outshine the holiday stress:

 

1.      Plan ahead. With so many things going on during the holidays, it’s wise to set aside specific days for shopping, cooking, connecting with friends and other Christmastime activities.

2.      Stick to a budget. Between buying gifts for our loved ones and preparing food for your celebrations, it’s always good to set a budget, and don't spend more than you've planned.

3.      Maintain healthy habits. Healthy meals, plenty of sleep and adding simple exercises to your daily routine can give your mind and body the boost of wellness you need to keep up with the holiday rush.

4.      Take care of yourself. With all that goes on over the holiday season, it’s good to give yourself some time to find your calm and unwind. Even spending just 15 minutes alone without distractions can do wonders for your mental health.

5.      Make time for skincare. Dry skin, acne, and eyebags are just some of the effects prolonged stress can have on your face. That’s why it’s important to create and stick to a skincare routine that cleans and moisturizes your face to stave off the effects of holiday stress.

 

With its stress-busting potential, pampering your skin on a regular basis helps boost your mood. To help maintain a brilliant glow and healthy skin throughout the holidays, Y.O.U Beauty has a skincare solution to keep your face looking fresh no matter how demanding the Christmas season can get – The Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum.






The Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum by Y.O.U Beauty contains 5% Niacinamide to reduce dull skin and hyperpigmentation, Vitamin C to actively brighten and even out skin tone, and Snow Mushroom to boost skin hydration and collagen production. For those with normal, dry, oily, sensitive, or even a combination skin type, the serum is ideal for use after cleansing and toning – as part of both a morning and nighttime skincare routine.

Anybody can feel the pressure that comes with the Christmas rush - even celebrities, athletes and content creators like Sachzna Laparan, Awra Briguela, João Constancia, Yukii Takahashi, Kat Tolentino, Nicole Torres, Kristel Toledo, Missy Gacutina, Carlyn Hernandez and Niko Badayos. As part of their skincare routines and self-care habits, the Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum was made to help anyone achieve dazzling, glowing skin that’s ready for anything.  

The serum belongs to Y.O.U Beauty’s Radiance White series of skincare products formulated and designed to clarify, refresh, nourish, and protect an all-day glow. This holiday season, to empower more people to achieve long-lasting, glowing skin from inside out, Y.O.U Beauty has included the Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum in a special Christmas box which people can take home for free in three ways:

 



·        On Instagram, follow Y.O.U Beauty (@youbeauty_ph), like, and leave a comment on the giveaway post. A total of seven winners will be chosen from December 6, 2021 to December 12, 2021.

·        Post a public photo of you at any of Y.O.U Beauty offline stores and your Y.O.U Beauty products haul purchases with the hashtag #GlowingXmasWithYOU. A total of three winners per day will be chosen from December 13, 2021 to December 24, 2021. You can find their store list on the Y.O.U Beauty Instagram page

·        Buy any Y.O.U Beauty product from the brand’s Lazada or Shopee stores from December 12-14, 2021. Check out the official stores for more details. A total of 20 winners (10 from Lazada, 10 from Shopee) will be chosen during the sale event.

 

“Since launching in 2018, our mission has always been to inspire women to bring out their inner confidence, helping them on their journey to being the best, most confident versions of themselves. With ‘Youthful’, ‘Outstanding’, and ‘Unique’ in our name, Y.O.U Beauty is committed to providing women from all walks of life with accessible luxury beauty products that are both fashionable in design and created through the use innovative technology,” said Jaclyn Cayetano, Y.O.U Beauty spokesperson and beauty aficionado. “The Radiance White Series Nourishing+Serum is ideal for all skin types and helps alleviate a wide range of skincare concerns such as dullness and hyperpigmentation, making it a go-to product for use in any skincare routine,” she added.

This Christmas keep the stress at bay and enjoy long-lasting beauty that goes beyond the holidays with the Y.O.U Beauty Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum.

President Rodrigo Duterte and DOTr are set to lead the inauguration of 143 social-tourism port projects nationwide


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Growth and development are in the offing for the country’s coastal and island communities as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and Transportation Secretary Art Tugade are set to lead the inauguration of an unprecedented 143 social-tourism port projects nationwide.Opportunities likewise abound for coastal communities and fishers with better port facilities, while tourism is also seen to provide a lift in geographically displaced areas.

The 143 seaport projects involve the construction of new and modernized social and tourism ports as well as the rehabilitation and expansion of existing ports to provide better accessibility to fishers, tourists, and coastal communities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

In the last two years, the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Maritime Sector has completed 52 port projects in Luzon, 64 port projects in Visayas, and 27 port projects in Mindanao. The completed projects have managed to generate 4,000 jobs, and assisted over 8,000 fisherfolks nationwide.

The 143 social and tourism port projects form part the 484 projects completed by DOTr and the PPA nationwide over a five-year span.

In addition to addressing the accessibility of Filipino fishermen, the 143 seaport projects will also ensure that equitable and inclusive growth in coastal and island communities with the efficient delivery goods and services in remote areas.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

CineMapúa 2021 winners to be revealed on Dec. 3


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Fifteen short films in the collegiate category and ten films from the high school division will vie for the Cardinal Best Film Awards of CineMapúa, the country’s longest-running student short film festival.

The winners of its 19th edition will be known during the awarding ceremonies to be streamed via Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/CineMapuaOfficialPage/) on December 3 at 7 p.m.

The Cardinal Best Film Awardees (Gold, Silver and Bronze) in both categories will receive cash prizes and certificates. Special Cardinal Individual Film Awards will also be given in both divisions, including the new Cultural Heritage Award for the film that best depicts and preserves Philippine arts and cultural heritage.

Mapúa University’s School of Media Studies Dean Benigno Agapito Jr., who also acts as the chairman of CineMapúa, was elated by the overwhelming response that they got from student filmmakers, getting more than 100 entries for both categories – the highest since its inception in 2002.





Agapito shared that the festival serves as a testament to the power of visual storytelling through film technology and it empowers students to continue creating quality stories in uplifting the spirits and articulating the concerns, dreams, and hopes of the viewing public despite the pandemic.

“Stories have no boundaries, and this health crisis needs more visual narratives to deliver information and knowledge to the people. Their visual storytelling could be a powerful medium for human and social development, particularly during this time of the pandemic,” he added.

“Ang Laswa ni Lola Mame” (Vincent Joseph Entuna, UP Diliman), “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi” (Shiri Francesca de Leon, MINT College), “Blood Stew” (Aaron Neil Domingo, FEU), “Bycatch” (Jerico Felicilda, PUP), “Lysistrata” (John Patrick Manio, UP Diliman), “Manyaok” (Kate Villanueva, UP Visayas), “Maupay Nga Aga, Puniti Kita” (Chicken Ligaya, University of San Carlos), “Miss Informed” (Earvic Noay, UP Open University), “Silang Mga Naligaw Sa Limot” and “Sina Alexa, Xander at ang Universe” (Vahn Leinard Pascual, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde), “The Congressus” (Jan Darryl Villafuerte, Mapúa), “The Girl from Nowhere” (Flory Ann Tacuban, UP Visayas), “The Transfiguration of Saint Mike” (Jermaine Tulbo, MINT College), “Tugaw sa Uma” (Raphael Jay Cordova, Mindanao State University), and “Unsaved Changes” (Andrei Francis Arrocena, Ateneo de Davao University) comprise the collegiate film finalists.

Meanwhile, the ten high school division finalists are “Ahmad & Abdul” (Muhaliden Cawi, MSU-Malabang Community High School), “Babo Kikasoy” (Nabelah Dimaocom, MSU-MCHS), “Dapithapon” (Ethan John Dela Cruz and Marie James Palisoc, Siena College of Taytay), “Ilaw” (Aldwin Jerico Atutubo, FEU High School), “Lente” (Tereon Jay Tulaña, University of Perpetual Help System Biñan, Laguna), “My Dearly Love” (Joseph Marc Salas, St. Mary’s School of Cagayan de Oro), “Orpheus” (Vince Ivan Vesiete, General Santos City National Secondary School of Arts and Trades), “Sa Labas” (Jadrien Marc Morales, MINT College), “The Elusive Star” (Norbert Francis Baylon, Kabankalan Catholic College), and “The Girl from Paradeyes” (Amelia Elizabeth Perez, Catholic Filipino Academy).

This year, it also selected four international student films, “Grandma's Tale of the Magical Outenga” (Rishab Thakur, India), “My Black Heart” (Garush Ghazaryan, Armenia), “Split” (Kang Zheng Shueen, Malaysia), and “Tears of Gold” (Richie Chooi, Taiwan), for its inaugural World Short Film Section.

The festival ran from November 22 to 28 via Yuchengco Museum’s new digital platform YFilms (yfilms.ph), a hub created to offer and promote independent Filipino filmmakers and cultural films.

DOST-SEI, Knowledge Channel ink content partnership


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The Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) entered into a partnership agreement with the Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) towards making the Institute’s educational content more accessible to students and teachers throughout the Philippines via the Knowledge Channel’s on-air and online platforms.

On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOST-SEI set out to adapt its educational programs into distance learning initiatives in line with the Institute’s mandate to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These initiatives included novel video programs such as RadyoEskwela sa Siyensya and TuklaSiyensya, as well as beloved mainstays such as the Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition, the imake.wemake Youth Innovation Prize Award, the #Push4Science Campaign, and the Climate Science Youth Camp—all of which have been revamped for online learning.

KCFI is a non-profit organization that develops, acquires, and distributes Department of Education K-12 curriculum-based multimedia learning resources on-air, online, and offline to supplement the effective and relevant delivery of basic education, improve the engagement and learning of public school children, and contribute to national development and progress. The company works towards educating and empowering poor and marginalized children through media, and is well-known for its educational shows such as Sineskwela and Math-Tinik.

Through the newly-signed Memorandum of Agreement, DOST-SEI and KCFI look to collaborate on bringing the Institute’s programs to a wider audience, leveraging the Knowledge Channel’s on-air and online platforms. The agreement was signed on behalf of the DOST-SEI by its Director, Josette T. Biyo, and its Chief Science Research Specialist, Ruby R. Cristobal. The KCFI was represented by its President and Executive Director, Elvira Lopez Bautista, and its Director of Operations, Edric C. Calma.

Bautista welcomed the agreement, pointing out that it is just the latest of many private-public partnerships between the TKCFI and the DOST. In particular, she noted that the DOST-SEI’s mathematics and science courseware have reached hundreds of schools nationwide thanks to the Knowledge Channel’s portable media libraries.

“We are thrilled to enter into yet another exciting collaboration. We’ve been on this adventure of introducing our young Filipino children to the world of STEM for many years,” she said.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to reach new horizons and bring STEM closer to our youth as the DOST-SEI and The Knowledge Channel collaborate to uphold the value of science, technology, and innovation in building up the next generation of Filipino youth,” Biyo concluded.

The Dalmore Launches First NFT with BlockBar, World’s First Direct-to-Consumer NFT Platform for Luxury Wine & Spirits


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One set of The Dalmore Decades No.4 Collection, an exceptional selection of four rare Single Malt Scotch whiskies, is available as a unique collector opportunity through a corresponding non-fungible token and a distillery experience

 

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt has partnered with BlockBar.com, the premier non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for luxury wine and spirits, to offer a limited-edition liquor NFT with a set of The Dalmore Decades No.4 Collection. This will be the only set within the exceptional Dalmore Decades selection that will correspond to a digital NFT, making it a once-in-a-lifetime collector opportunity.

This Dalmore Decades No. 4 Collection available via NFT on BlockBar, is a unique moment for a collector to acquire a remarkable piece of history. Bridging the physical and digital worlds for the first time in its 180 year old history, The Dalmore will be digitizing and selling an exclusive set through an NFT directly to a buyer. This asset-backed NFT from the BlockBar platform benefits the buyer by guaranteeing authenticity and ownership verification, as well as offering a storage solution and handling insurance.

The announcement follows the ground-breaking sale of The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection in October 2021, which achieved a record HK$8.75 Million / US$1.1 Million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. The sale price represents the highest value for a whisky lot sold at Sotheby’s so far this year and the most valuable whisky lot ever sold by Sotheby’s in Asia.

Milestone sales of The Dalmore, like the Decades No.6 Collection, achieved over the past ten years highlight a growing appetite to acquire from a refined selection of extraordinary whiskies. The Dalmore is also the only Prestige brand to have grown share both domestically and in Travel Retail in 2020, which makes it no surprise that The Dalmore is the fastest growing of all spirits brands* over the last 2 years. Technology and cryptocurrencies are playing a vital role in investment diversification and The Dalmore’s first NFT with BlockBar enables authenticity and verification for buyers.

Private Client Director, The Dalmore, Gerry Tosh shares, “The Dalmore offers some of Scotland’s most rare and precious whisky stocks, remarkable in their desirability to collectors, investors, and drinkers alike. The Dalmore Decades selection is a truly outstanding example of this, and with the landmark auction of The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection last month setting new records, the No.4 Collection offered as an exclusive NFT signifies a fantastic opportunity for the crypto-curious to explore single malt whisky as an investment.”

One of 25 covetable sets, this No.4 Collection, set No.21, contains four Decades whiskies (1979, 1980, 1995, 2000), hand-selected by Master Distiller Richard Paterson, from a single malt that celebrates The Dalmore’s longstanding relationship with the titan of sherry making, González Byass, to the first Scotch created in the new Millennium. Each decanter in the collection is engraved with an exclusive set number and striking black collar and stopper, presenting an exclusive chance to own four remarkable moments in Scotch history. Each set is displayed within one bespoke display pedestal, with individual compartments to house each decanter, and with each whisky’s unique story engraved upon the door.

In addition to the Collection the NFT owner will receive an exclusive opportunity to visit The Dalmore distillery, nestled in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland, and taste some of the rarest Dalmore whiskies in the warehouse, hand drawn from the cask followed by a sumptuous dinner.

“We’re delighted to be a part of this momentous occasion for Dalmore, as their first NFT launch partner”, says Dov Falic, CEO of BlockBar “Through transparency, authenticity, and quality assurance, BlockBar is able to bring a solution to the current hurdles in the luxury spirits market, and we’re excited to partner with The Dalmore to make that happen.”

The Dalmore Decades No.4 Collection will be offered via NFT on 7th December 2021 at 10:00am EST using a lottery mechanic. A lobby will become available on BlockBar.com 30 minutes ahead of the drop, whereby to enter, prospective buyers must have one ETH in their metamask wallet. The lobby will close at the drop time with one buyer randomly selected with the ability to purchase. The set will be available for $137,700 USD and can be purchased from Blockbar with Ethereum (ETH) or by credit card.

Freshworks Helps 7-Eleven Improve its Omnichannel Customer Experience


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7-Eleven resolves its Philippines customer and partner support tickets faster by using the modern automations of Freshdesk

 

Freshworks Inc.,a leading software company empowering businesses to delight their customers and employees, has helped leading global convenience store 7-Eleven create a more delightful digital experience for its customers and franchise partners in the Philippines. Using Freshdesk® and Freshdesk Contact Center, 7-Eleven automates and more quickly resolves queries to deliver the same in-store conveniences to their regular customers and online shoppers.

 

Philippines Seven Corp (PSC) has been the pioneer of 24-hour convenience stores in the country with over 3000 branches. Since launching in the Philippines in 1982, 7-Eleven has been fueled by a desire to bring convenience like never before to its customers. They chose Freshdesk in 2019 to extend this philosophy to its omnichannel customer support.

With Freshworks, 7-Eleven was able to consolidate all of its customer support into one platform. The customer care team that handles the general store and payment queries and the CLiQQ group that handles queries related to the 7-Eleven Loyalty program now use Freshdesk.  As a result, 7-Eleven now has a unified control center for its customer and partner experiences in the Philippines.

“With the rise of social media use in the Philippines, we’ve witnessed a high demand for support requests on the same channels,” said Aeruh Dimalanta, Customer Care Specialist at 7-Eleven. “We got Freshdesk up and running in minutes and it helped us automate over 100,000 requests last year with easy to use automations on a platform that’s intuitive for our agents.”

Freshdesk’s easy to launch automations and pre-delivered social integrations create a more delightful work experience for the 7-Eleven customer support specialists like Aeruh. Nearly all support requests received are resolved automatically and with over 95% SLA attainment.  The improved customer experience has helped 7-Eleven in the Philippines retain and grow its customer base, as well as increase the downloads of the 7-Eleven CLiQQ app.

“Freshdesk and its contact center are built to scale for consumer brands like 7-Eleven,” said Prakash Ramamurthy, Chief Product Officer at Freshworks. “We pride ourselves with the ease of use of Freshdesk for support agents and are thrilled to see the business benefits that result from a better customer experience.”

Find out more about how 7-Eleven chose Freshworks and overcame customer experience challenges here.

 

About Freshworks

Freshworks makes it fast and easy for businesses to delight their customers and employees. We do this by taking a fresh approach to building and delivering software that is affordable, quick to implement, and designed for the end user. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freshworks has a dedicated team operating from 13 global offices to serve 50,000+ customers including Bridgestone, Chargebee, DeliveryHero, ITV, Klarna, Multichoice, OfficeMax, TaylorMade and Vice Media. For more information visit www.freshworks.com.

 

© 2021 Freshworks Inc. All rights reserved. Freshworks, Freshdesk, Freshservice and the associated logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Freshworks Inc. All other company, brand and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals its Greatest Deal Ever


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Norwegian Offers Travellers 70% Off the Second Guest Fare and Five Free Offers with a Value of Up To US$2,900


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, has launched its greatest deal ever - an incredible new BOGO70 (Buy One Get One Seventy Percent Off) offer for guests in Asia. Travellers simply purchase one fare at full price and their companion enjoys up to 70 per cent savings on the second cruise fare*.

Guests will receive five free offers valued at up to US$2,900, including free open bar with a complimentary beverage package, free specialty dining, shore excursions, Wi-Fi and deals for up to two extra guests per stateroom (NCL’s third and fourth guests sail free on select sailings).

Available to book from now until December 9, 2021, this very special promotion is applicable to a wide range of 2022 and 2023 cruises to over 300 destinations in Asia, Europe, Alaska, the Caribbean as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Some of the line’s most popular itineraries are included in the offer, including close-to-home getaway: a 5-Day Japan Round-trip Hong Kong sailing or an 11-day Asia: Da Nang & Nha Trang to Singapore voyage from Hong Kong on Norwegian Sun. For the travellers planning for a long-awaited European trip, they can get on Norwegian Dawn for the 12-Day Baltic: Germany, Russia & Sweden to Denmark sailing or explore the NESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece with Greek Isles: Santorini, Mykonos & Rhodes on Norwegian Jade.

Travellers can book their next cruise with confidence and peace of mind with NCL’s Sail Safe Health and Safety protocols in place on every vessel. From pre-cruise to new and enhanced measures on board and on shore, guests can cruise with added reassurance.

Travel agents: Please click here to download a toolkit to maximise your selling potential.

*Terms and conditions apply. For more information, please click here.

For more information about NCL’s award-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call Hong Kong on +852 2165 6000 and Southeast Asia on +65 3165 1680 or visit www.ncl.com.

DOST-SEI, BPI Foundation ink partnership for ‘new’ Innovation Awards


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The BPI-DOST Science Awards is no more.

And in comes a “new and revitalized” BPI-DOST Innovation Awards.

This, as the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) and the BPI Foundation, Inc. (BPIF), the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the BPI-DOST Innovation Awards, a competition that aims to challenge bright Filipino students to actively participate in resolving problems in the community through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In a virtual ceremony held on November 29, Owen Cammayo, BPFI Executive Director, acknowledged the value of the partnership with the science department in its mission to be “agents for sustainable positive change.”

“When we started the BPI Science Awards in 1989, we did it as BPI alone. But later in 2005, it became a joint undertaking with the DOST. We are very grateful for this kind and fruitful partnership as we nurtured the country’s young scientific minds over the years,” he said.

Cammayo said the rebranding of the project comes in time for BPI’s 170th founding anniversary.


“This year, as aligned in our 170th founding anniversary, our theme is about reinvention. And so, it is just fitting that this year, we are reinventing the BPI-DOST Science Awards and we’ll give it a new and revitalized name—it’s more encompassing and hopefully, more compelling. Starting this year, we will call it the BPI-DOST Innovation Awards,” Cammayo said.

The BPI-DOST Innovation Awards shall be open to all regular junior and senior (3rd – 5th year) college students of STEM. They can join in teams composed of three (3) students, and shall showcase an innovation project that addresses problems in the fields of agriculture, disaster management, education, entrepreneurship, environment, food safety, health, security, transportation, and traffic or road congestion.

The whole cycle will begin with the Call for Proposals, beginning in the coming days, and to be followed by the following phases: proposal submission, project selection, a technical and business workshop for the top 10 teams, a 90-day period for project execution, final project presentation, and an awarding ceremony. The full mechanics and criteria will be available both in DOST-SEI’s and BPIFI’s official website and social media pages.

The competition is expected to culminate in September 2022.

DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, in turn welcomed the new project and noted that the long-standing partnership with BPIFI “has been honoring excellence in research and innovation” and paved the way to development of homegrown talents in the sciences.

“DOST and BPIFI have this shared vision to boost interest and awareness on the value of S&T and innovation in the economy. We both hope to encourage many others to pursue research in the sciences and ultimately set an environment that is healthy for innovation and creation of high value products or solutions,” Biyo said.

In closing, Cammayo said the project is more than just a competition, “but a celebration of young Filipino innovators who can potentially contribute to the realization of a better and sustainable Philippines.”.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Conrad Jiuzhaigou Opening Marks a New Masterpiece of Luxury in Sichuan, China


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The inspiring mountain-side resort offers immersive, enriching experiences overlooking the stunning landscape of Jiuzhaigou



Hilton announced the opening of Conrad Jiuzhaigou, ushering in a new chapter for the luxury hotel market in Western China. Set amid the natural beauty of the Tibetan Plateau, Conrad Jiuzhaigou features modern design fused with Tibetan and Qiang cultural elements. Neighboring a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its natural beauty and biodiversity, the hotel offers travelers an inspirational getaway complemented by personalized, anticipatory service and exceptional hospitality. Conrad Jiuzhaigou is owned by China Green Development Investment Group Co. Ltd. and managed by Hilton.

Qian Jin, president of Hilton Greater China and Mongolia, said, "Conrad Jiuzhaigou introduces another incredible hotel from Conrad Hotels & Resorts to one of the most extraordinary locations in China – adding to our existing portfolio of 12 Conrad properties across Greater China in key destinations like Beijing, Hangzhou, Sanya, Guangzhou, and more. Since ancient times, Sichuan has enticed travelers with its wealth of attractions, and as a key tourist destination in the province today, Jiuzhaigou welcomes millions of tourists yearly. With growing regional tourism, Conrad Jiuzhaigou builds upon our two other hotels in the region – Hilton Jiuzhaigou Resort and Hilton Garden Inn Jiuzhaigou – providing more diverse accommodation options for travelers."

Surrounded by mountains, Conrad Jiuzhaigou is conveniently located 12 kilometers from the UNESCO World Heritage site Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area, and 46 kilometers from the Fairy Pool Scenic Area. Amdo Tibetan villages, both large and small, can be found nearby, offering guests an authentic cultural experience just steps away.

Nils-Arne Schroeder, global brand head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts and vice president of Luxury & Lifestyle for Hilton in Asia Pacific, said, “With its breathtaking natural landscape and rich cultural heritage, Jiuzhaigou is an ideal destination for growing Conrad Hotels & Resorts in China. Through the hotel’s desirable location and distinctive bold design, and the brand’s signature intuitive service, travelers can enjoy an enriching stay infused with local connections and excellent culinary experiences.”

Locally-inspired Design and Architecture

Conrad Jiuzhaigou is a modern interpretation of the local Amdo Tibetan culture, with Tibetan cultural elements and motifs woven throughout the design and architecture of the hotel. Upon arrival, guests will notice original artifacts such as sword handles, and wooden furniture featuring bold, traditional patterned fabrics, which create a charming, quintessentially Tibetan atmosphere with a contemporary twist.

A Peaceful Sanctuary

The public spaces provide guests a relaxing experience, as greenery combined with high ceilings and abundant natural light exude a sense of space and airiness.

Conrad Jiuzhaigou offers a total of 161 expansive guest rooms, including 26 independent villas nestled among the lush trees on the mountain. Ranging up to 460 square meters, each guest room features a terrace with a panoramic view of the forested mountainous landscape. Guests are welcomed to their rooms with an art piece inspired by the Hada – a white silk scarf that is a sign of respect and welcome – as a nod to sincere Tibetan family-like hospitality. All rooms are equipped with modern amenities, providing guests with a quiet space to relax, rejuvenate and find inspiration.

The hotel offers Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton that can be instantly confirmed upon booking, themed rooms for children, and multi-bedroom independent villas for family and friends traveling together – allowing groups of any size to find a suitable option for their stay.



Elevating Dining Experiences in Jiuzhaigou

Conrad Jiuzhaigou features an all-day dining restaurant and a specialty grill restaurant, both of which enable guests to enjoy a sophisticated environment while exploring the local culture through the sense of taste.

 

  • At the BAS.IN all-day dining restaurant, guests can enjoy freshly made dishes and drinks made with carefully-selected local ingredients from the plateau, providing guests a delightful culinary experience. To compliment the Tibetan wooden furniture, the restaurant features traditional local handicrafts displayed alongside art pieces that combine green plants and native materials.
  • M'EAT Specialty Bar & Grill innovatively fuses culinary art with grilling. The open kitchen allows guests to enjoy a sensational live cooking experience of freshly grilled meats over crackling flames. The restaurant serves specialty yak meat and local ingredients, and offers guests a variety of seasonal menus for lunch and dinner. Rich furnishings made of leather, wood and aged metal add to the warm and comfortable ambiance. Guests can also enjoy alfresco seating on a large terrace for a scenic dining experience, immersing themselves in nature as they overlook the Zhongcha Valley.

 

As a member of Hilton’s portfolio of 18 acclaimed brands, Conrad Jiuzhaigou participates in the award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members can enjoy instant benefits when booking directly through official Hilton channels, including payment options that allow members the flexibility to choose a combination of points and cash to book a stay, exclusive member discounts, and free Wi-Fi.

To celebrate the grand opening of Conrad Jiuzhaigou, Hilton Honors members who book a stay through Hilton official channels can earn an additional 5,000 Hilton Honors points for minimum 3-night stay, from January 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022.

Guests can enjoy peace of mind with enhanced levels of cleanliness during their stay, with elements of Hilton CleanStay greeting guests from the moment they enter the hotel and present throughout every aspect of their experience, ensuring the safety and well-being of guests and team members without compromising the hospitality Hilton is known for.

Conrad Jiuzhaigou is located in Zhangzha Town, Jiuzhaigou County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China, 623402.

For more information or hotel reservations, please visit www.conrad.hilton.com.cn/jiuzhaigou or call +86-837-8198000.

ECOVACS ROBOTICS Reimagines Household Cleaning in the Philippines With 9-in-1 DEEBOT T9 and DEEBOT N8 Launch


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ECOVACS ROBOTICS, the world's leading home service robotics maker, is bringing its world-renowned smarter cleaning experience to the Philippines with the launch of a brand new campaign, "The Best DEEBOT Lands in the Philippines." It will introduce the DEEBOT T9 Family, the company's flagship product family, and the DEEBOT N8 Family, ECOVACS' advanced robotic vacuum cleaner, to help Filipino families enjoy hands-free and effectively superior cleaning with robotic vacuum cleaners that are more powerful and intelligent than ever before.

The new launch answers what Filipino consumers wanted: smart products to make homecare simpler and multi-tasking easier. With the DEEBOT T9 and DEEBOT N8 Families, ECOVACS answers their needs by offering the latest innovative and efficient cleaning experience.

The DEEBOT T9 Family is ECOVACS' flagship robotic vacuum cleaner. It integrates cutting-edge features from other industries and the company's industry-leading innovation to go beyond the conventional robotic vacuum cleaning experience. They include:

 

Upgraded ECOVACS HOME App Improves Obstacle Avoidance and Navigation:


o    The upgraded TrueDetect 3D 2.0 technology, with a range of 70-350 millimeters, quickly detects different obstacles at a distance. It allows the DEEBOT T9 to detect objects ten times more accurately than traditional infra-red technology.

o    The combination of TrueDetect 3D 2.0 and TrueMapping 2.0 with 3D Maps allows users to quickly locate the robotic vacuum cleaner and manage various cleaning tasks on the fly.


  • Built-in Air Freshener Provides Luxurious Cleaning Experience


o    The DEEBOT T9 is the first in the industry to clean floors and freshen the air simultaneously. The built-in air freshener eliminates musty and pet odors, while a fan at the bottom spreads the fragrance evenly. Users can operate the air freshener, which uses replaceable capsules that can last up to 60 days, via the ECOVACS HOME App.


  • OZMO Pro 2.0 and Auto-Empty Station Expands Cleaning Performance


o    The latest OZMO™ Pro 2.0 Electric Oscillating Mopping System has a newly designed motor and movement structure that minimizes noise while its 3,000 Pa suction power enhances cleaning performance. With a high-frequency vibration of up to 480 times per minute, the Mopping System is comparable to electric mops.

o    The DEEBOT T9 uses disposable mopping pads with specially-designed microfibers to absorb water evenly, efficiently capture dust, and reduce residual water stains. The composite structure removes stubborn stains on the floor. 

 

The DEEBOT N8 Family combines premium-grade features that continue ECOVACS's commitment to superior cleaning but are more affordable. They include:


  • TrueDetect 3D Technology Adds Precision To Object Detection


o    DEEBOT N8 Family uses the ECOVACS's TrueDetect 3D technology to avoid collisions and getting entangled with millimeter-level precision. It recognizes dark surfaces better and detects the smallest obstacles, including shoes, wire cords, and small toys. It is ten times more accurate than traditional infrared technology.

 

  • Maps With 2x Coverage and 4x Accuracy

o    The TrueMapping laser-based mapping and navigation technology creates floor maps in seconds, allowing the DEEBOT N8 Family to intelligently navigate and find the optimal cleaning paths for each home.

o    The DEEBOT N8 Family dToF laser detection doubles the distance recognition capabilities and improves object recognition by four-fold. It can detect objects as small as two millimeters 10 meters away. Using industry-leading algorithms, the N8 Family can scan, map, and plan an efficient cleaning path faster and with more precision — a welcome benefit for larger homes. The Virtual Boundary™ function via the ECOVACS Home App restricts robot movements for privacy.


  • More Powerful Cleaning With Upgraded Suction Power


o    The Revolutionary Pressure-Retention System delivers energy-efficient high vacuum pressure at a surprisingly low noise level. The Max+ mode increases the suction power of the DEEBOT N8 and N8+ to 2300 Pa for higher performance.

 

  • OZMO™ Vacuuming and Mopping all at Once


o    The ECOVACS signature OZMO™️ Mopping System can efficiently clean the whole house without repeatedly stopping to top up the water tank. Sensors on the DEEBOT N8 Family improve cleaning efficiency, and users can manually manage the water yield using the ECOVACS HOME App.

o    OZMO™️ Mopping technology uses upgraded disposable mopping pads to remove over 99% of bacteria.


  • Intelligent Control for Remote Cleaning Management


o    The ECOVACS HOME App allows users to set the optimal cleaning schedules using smartphones or smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo/Dot and Google Home. The upgraded advanced mapping function allows users to customize the cleaning plan for each room.

 

Enjoy Hands-free Cleaning With Auto-Empty Station

The Auto-Empty Station eliminates the need for users to manually empty the robot dustbins by storing the contents in its large-volume 2.5L disposable dust bag, which users all-natural paper materials and has space for up to 30 days of dust. Users can manage the Auto-Empty Station via their ECOVACS HOME App. It is compatible with all the DEEBOT T9 and N8 Family models.

 

Pricing and Availability

The DEEBOT T9 and DEEBOT N8 Families are available today on Lazada (https://www.lazada.com.ph/ecovacs-official-store). The suggested retail prices of DEEBOT T9: PHP49,990, T9 with Auto-Empty Station: PHP69,990, N8 PHP36,990, N8 with Auto-Empty Station: PHP56,990, and standalone Auto Empty Station: PHP19,990.

 

As part of the 12.12 Mega promotion on Lazada, the above models are available at up to 58% discounts from December 1, 2021. The promotion also includes DEEBOT OZMO 950 at discounted with PHP13,490.

 

For more information, please visit ecovacs.com or connect with us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ecovacs.ph) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ecovacs_philippines).

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