Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cusi Sees More Energy Options for Consumers with Lower Tariff

Wazzup Pilipinas!

COMPETITIVE ENERGY INVESTMENTS: Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on Thursday emphasized that the government is pursuing an innovative, competitive and sustainable energy environment by facilitating investments. Cusi announced this during his Keynote Address at the 29th Energy Investment Forum held on December 7, 2017 at the Makati Shangri-La. The investment forum is among the major programs in celebration of National Energy Consciousness Month (NECM).

Imagine more renewable energy (RE) players investing in the Philippines due to tariff as low as P3 per kilowatt hour compared to the feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of P9.680/kw first offered in 2012 to solar installation investors.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said today that Filipinos can stop imagining or dreaming about more affordable electricity costs as the Duterte administration opens up an era of competitive investments for energy.

In his keynote speech during the 29th Energy Investment Forum held at the Makati Shangri-La, Cusi said that the government is pursuing an innovative, competitive and sustainable energy environment in facilitating investments via lower tariffs.

“The P3/kw tariff is more than three times lower than the feed-in tariff rate that was considered under the past administrations. This development results to lower tariffs on energy that should translate to lower power rates for consumers,” said Cusi.

“Hence, the FIT era is over. It is now a question of how we can foster a RE industry that is competitive and affordable, as an alternative to conventional energy,” said Cusi.

The DOE chief highlighted environmental sustainability, energy security and energy equity as among the areas which regulators and investors alike should aim for in terms of energy development.

“The technology is available and the markets are awash with ‘green’ financing. Renewable energy needs to be a commercially viable option that is able to stand on its two feet without the crutches of subsidies as well as being an affordable solution for consumers. To continue the growth of the renewable energy sector, the DOE is laying down sound policies, including the implementation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and the Green Energy Option Program,” said Cusi.

RPS mandates energy distribution utilities to source a minimum portion of their energy from eligible renewable sources, while the green energy option provides the power of choosing its energy supplier from renewable energy sources.

In achieving energy security, the DOE leads the implementation of Executive Order No. 30 which creates an Energy Investment Coordinating Council to speed up the processing and to de-stress regulations concerning energy projects of national significance.

“No longer will it take up to 3 years for bureaucrats to respond to a proposal for a project. Instead, these agencies must act on a proposal within 30 days, failure of which, the proposal is deemed approved,” said Cusi.

Cusi stressed that entire power system, including the transmission and distribution sectors, will play a critical role. Hence the DOE developed a Smart Grid Roadmap and Vision for 2040.

“The DOE established a clear policy direction to increase reliability reserves to 25%, for us to provide reliable, secure, sustainable and affordable energy to our people,” Cusi relayed.

He also cited the move to transform the country as the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trading and trans-shipment hub in the Asia-Pacific region following the DOE’s issuance of the Philippine Natural Gas Regulation. This policy would govern the entry and development of LNG terminals and related facilities in the country.

On energy equity, the DOE mandated the national energy policy to be technology-neutral, banking on all technologies available to deliver secure and affordable power, while also meeting emission and environmental standards.

“We want energy projects to be completed at the soonest possible time to improve access and the power systems. As the President has promised, we want to achieve total electrification by the end of his term,” Cusi concluded.

Friday, December 15, 2017

DOE Intensifies PH Nuclear Energy Policy Study

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INTENSIFIED DISCUSSION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY PROGRAM: NEPIO Chairperson, Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos (center) led government officials during the nuclear workshop with the ROSATOM Experts. In the photo with Usec. Marcos and ROSATOM experts are DOE Dir. Angelina V. Manga, Amelia M. de Guzman, Asst. Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., PNRI Dir. Carlo A. Arcilla and Dir. Patrick T Aquino. The nuclear workshop is an offshoot of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the ROSATOM and the DOE as the country endeavors to draft a position on a nuclear energy program.

The Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with the Department of Science & Technology (DOST) and with the technical assistance from the Russian Federation State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM), conducted a workshop at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on 11 December 2017 on the application and development of nuclear science and technology.

The goal is to enable the Philippines the option of adopting nuclear energy. The workshop is part of the Memorandum of Cooperation between ROSATOM and the DOE signed at the sidelines of the 12th East Asia Summit last 13 November.

The workshop focused on ROSATOM’s integrated solution covering new and emerging nuclear technologies, capacity building, and inputs in the formulation of policies addressing safety, technology development, as well as other uses of nuclear technology.

Specific topics included the knowledge sharing in building, operating and maintaining a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the significance of Centers of Nuclear Science and Technologies, the introduction of Russia’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and VVER-1200 (from evolution, design, safety concerns and licensing), the development of nuclear science for medicine and irradiation and the enhancement of local industry involvement.

DOE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos emphasized in his welcome speech delivered by Director Patrick T. Aquino that “the inclusion of nuclear as a potential long-term option for power generation will further diversify the nation’s generation mix, which currently comprises of coal, natural gas, geothermal, hydropower, oil, wind, biomass and solar.”

The energy official said “this policy direction allows for the entry of alternative energy technologies, such as nuclear.”

“The nuclear workshop supports the DOE’s aim towards a low-carbon future that is anchored on a technology-neutral policy. It is in line with the DOE’s nine-point agenda espoused by DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi,” Marcos pointed out.

Meanwhile, Director of the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla emphasized in his opening statement that “while nuclear energy applications have largely lifted humankind, safety concerns should not be neglected.”

According to Arcilla, “in order to promote safety, the comprehensive nuclear law, now in advanced stages in Congress, will guarantee independence of a nuclear regulatory commission separate from the promotion and research thrusts of the PNRI.”

The DOST official clarified that “while nuclear science is often equated with energy and weapon applications, the advantages of nuclear science presents a huge potential in helping the Philippines, in the fields of agriculture and medicine.”

DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi in his previous statements encouraged the public to participate in the dialogues and discussions towards decision and a national position on nuclear energy program. He consistently reminds the participants that safety is the top priority.

The seminar was attended by representatives from the DOE, National Power Corporation, DOST, PNRI, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Science and Technology Information Institute, and the technical staff of the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives.

NUCLEAR E-DISKARTE: The nuclear energy workshop held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on 11 December was attended by the DOE, National Power Corporation, DOST, Philippine Nuclear Institute, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Science and Technology Information Institute, and the technical staff of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy.

NBA All-Star Voting 2018 by Verizon to Tip Off with Early Voting Period Exclusively on NBA App and

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Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m. ET before five Christmas Day matchups across ESPN, ABC and TNT.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China. All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader at 6 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. The 67th All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TNT.

Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, the team rosters will be chosen by two captains from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves. The captains, who will select the teams before TNT televises the results, will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

For the second consecutive year, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the All-Star Game starters. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.

Throughout the voting period, fans may submit one full ballot each day through the NBA App and, post 10 total votes on Facebook, Google Search, Twitter and Amazon Alexa, as well as 10 total votes via Sina Weibo and Tencent. All current NBA players will be available for selection via all platforms.

Players and media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards each from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Players may vote for their teammates or themselves.

Fan voting updates will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 4 and Thursday, Jan. 11. Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

How to vote: voting page at Fill out one full ballot per day (per day is defined as once every 24 hours) on from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” votes through this channel will be counted twice.

NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day, and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters. During the five “2-for-1 Days,” votes through this channel will be counted twice.

Facebook: Post the player’s first and last name along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account. Each post may include only one player’s name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player’s first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE. Each tweet may include only one player’s name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

Google Search: Search “NBA Vote All-Star” or “NBA Vote Team Name” (i.e., NBA Vote Warriors) and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players. Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

Amazon Alexa: To vote via Amazon Alexa, the user must have an Alexa-enabled device, and enable the “NBA All-Star” skill. To submit a vote, the user can open the skill with, “Alexa, open NBA All-Star,” and then request to vote for his or her player of choice. Voters can submit a maximum of one player name per request to Alexa. Users can submit votes for 10 unique players per Amazon account each day from Dec. 25 – Jan. 15.

· Sina Weibo and Tencent: To vote on Sina Weibo (, the user must have a Sina Weibo account. To vote via Sina Weibo, voters must visit, and select up to 10 players. To vote on Tencent NBA community, the user must have a QQ account. To vote via Tencent NBA community, voters must visit, and select up to 10 players.

Maritime Sector to Activate “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos!: KAPASKUHAN 2017” Next Week

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In compliance with the directive of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, the maritime sector is set to activate next week their contingency and security measures to ensure the safety and comfort of travelers during the Yuletide Season.

Dubbed as “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos!: KAPASKUHAN 2017”, the maritime sector – composed of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)—will strictly execute their respective contingency measures from Dec. 20, 2017 up to January 5, 2018.

Under the Oplan, maritime sector officials and personnel were directed to be on heightened alert status to ensure the safety and security of passengers, particularly those travelling by sea to spend the Holidays in their respective provinces.

According to DOTr Undersecretary for Maritime Felipe Judan, maritime personnel are expected to implement several safety measures and contingency plans such as activating the DOTr Passenger Assistance Counters, ensuring that all ships and other sea vessels are properly inspected, and all passengers, bags and cargoes are thoroughly inspected prior the boarding.

Maritime personnel were also directed to report in real-time and provide regular updates on the status of incidents via SMS or e-mail form to their superiors.

Further, Usec. Judan said that a consolidated written report on the occurrences/non-occurrences of incidents should be sent through e-mail to their superiors and immediate supervisors at 7 a.m. daily.

Authorities were likewise required to send out necessary public advisories such as safety tips, documentation requirements, prohibited items, and safety regulations at seaports.

Earlier, Secretary Tugade reminded transportation officials and personnel to assure not only the commuters’ security but also their comfort while in the various public transport hubs.

“May I once again reiterate the great importance of maintaining and assuring the safety, security and comfort of the riding passengers and the public. Accordingly, please continue implementing and improving our security and safety measures to protect people, facility, structures and equipment and the like,” Sec. Tugade said.

AXN Embarks on an Epic Journey in New Travel Show “Adventure Your Way” Featuring Atom Araullo

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Brand new original series hosted by TV personality Atom Araullo where viewers shape his experience via social media

AXN has added a fresh new reality series to its roster of top-rated original productions: Adventure Your Way, a weekly 30-minute travel show that explores new adventures in exciting destinations in the Philippines.

Unlike any other travel show, Adventure Your Way invites Pinoy viewers to shape the travel experience of popular host Atom Araullo by sharing their bucket lists via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (#AXNAdventureYourWay). From these crowdsourced ideas, Atom will embark on a one-of-a-kind mission around the country equipped with only his phone and social media to guide him. From sampling the local delicacies and meeting with the locals to discovering the most thrilling activities, Atom is completely in the hands of AXN fans.

Adventurous ideas for Atom, which could be crazy, cultural, epic or daring, can be submitted from today via AXN’s social platforms: AXN or Adventure Your Way Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Atom Araullo is an award-winning TV personality and is regarded as one of the top program hosts in the industry. His most notable work is the documentary Warmer (Climate Change), which won the Bronze Medal in the World’s Best TV and Films category of the 2017 New York Festivals. Today, Atom continues to pursue his interest in documentary filmmaking.

Adventure Your Way will premiere in February 2018 first and exclusively on AXN.
Adventure Your Way is co-presented by Vivo Smart Phone, BDO, and Cherifer; and co-sponsored by Petron, Chevrolet, and Cebu Pacific.

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

Sprout Solutions Supports Local Startup Community in PH Through a Series of Free Learning Sessions

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Sprout Solutions, the fastest-growing Filipino tech startup providing a complete suite of HR software tools specifically made for the Philippine business environment, gives back by supporting the country’s startup community through its series of free learning seminars called Sprout Academy.

Through this initiative, Sprout seeks to bring the Silicon Valley culture to the Philippines where there is a free exchange of ideas and best practices across industries.

“In 2015, Sprout was accepted by Acceleprise, a Silicon Valley enterprise SaaS accelerator; this made us see the importance of knowledge-sharing, especially among the local industry players and entrepreneurs,” said Patrick Gentry, Sprout Solutions CEO and Co-founder. “We believe that through events like Sprout Academy, we can contribute to the continuous growth of the local startup community.”

Recently, Sprout held the sixth leg of the series, which gathered more than 100 participants from the startup sector, as well as students and individuals who plan to put up their own business.

This time, the session focused on how entrepreneurs can unlock explosive growth for their company. Sprout’s very own Patrick Gentry, who was recently named 2017 Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards Founder of the Year, shared some of his personal experiences and feasible strategies for boosting their startup.

Gentry emphasized that one of the primary issues that entrepreneurs, especially starters, should consider is to solve a specific need.

“Some of the most successful startups are very specific in solving an existing pain point. But to achieve stable growth, you have to cultivate the solution you offer through constant experimentation. It also pays to invest in creating good relations with the people you work with, and banking on the right tools and technologies,” Gentry mentioned.

Aside from Gentry, the event was also graced by Ravi Agarwal, the CEO of engageSPARK and the man behind some of the most successful startups based in Boston in the US.

During his discussion, Agarwal talked about the benefits of investing in product innovation which should go beyond just meeting the needs of the customers but more importantly, sparking excitement by touching their unspoken needs.

Apart from Sprout Academy, the company also stages other free learning sessions like Innovate where HR practitioners come together every month to hear from industry experts and discuss different ways to improve the way HR is done in the country.

Sprout is also sponsoring the Philippines HR Group Summit 2017 with the theme, Transformational HR: Agile and Future Ready for the Millennials and Generation Z Workforce, happening on November 23.

To stay updated on the latest HR trends and to know more about Sprout Solutions, visit their website or their official Facebook page.

The Yamaha Club Riders Getaway Visayas

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Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. continues to cultivate the culture of its riders with moments that strengthen their bond. The Riders Getaway was created for that exact purpose and is divided into different legs that include the 3 major regions of the Philippines.

The Visayas edition took 111 riders to Camp Campuestuhan Highland Resort where they enjoyed a day of fun filled activities. First it was an action filled competition in the ultimate frisbee battle. Then creativity was the name of the game for the ‘Baby Shark’ dance competition. Last but not the least, it was a total team effort for the relay that added extra difficulty because it was set on a foam swimming pool. The overall champions for the games was Team Gray and the MVP award was given to Mr. Noveh De Los Santos of All Mio Club Bacolod.

What makes this event extra special is the experience that can’t be replaced or replicated. Also, the miles ridden and relationships formed and revitalized will last beyond the ride. The Yamaha Rider’s Getaway will have its culminating trip on January as they head to Marawi for a mission that uplifts the Filipino Community.

All Mio Club

San Carlos
Team Mio Soul i Negros
Sniper MX Owners Club Kabankalan
Mio Owners Republic Negros

Viral Sensation The Sacred Riana Crowned Winner of Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 on AXN

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Asia is spooked: After 10 riveting weeks and hundreds of acts from 15 countries, Asia has voted ‘possessed’ Indonesian illusionist The Sacred Riana as the winner of Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 on AXN.

The Sacred Riana, whose real name is Marie Antoinette Riana Graharani, has become the most anticipated act of the season. Her spooky persona and terrifying magic tricks during the judges’ auditions, semi-finals and grand final episodes collectively achieved over 70 million views on Facebook and YouTube, making her a global sensation.

The Sacred Riana faced serious competition in last week’s grand final show, and was up against the season’s most dynamic and popular acts including runner-up DM-X Comvalenos from the Philippines, Mongolian digital dance/artist Canion Shijirbat, Malaysia-based illusionist Sobhi Shaker, Indonesian harpist and singer Angela July, ADEM Dance Crew from Kyrgyzstan, ukulele child prodigy Feng E from Taiwan, beatboxer Neil Rey Gracia Llanes and Urban Crew both from the Philippines. Ultimately, it was The Sacred Riana who rallied the most votes to take home the grand prize of US$100,000, courtesy of presenting sponsor, Traveloka.

“The viewer response to Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 has been truly overwhelming on both pay-TV and social platforms and we are thrilled to produce such a well-loved series for AXN audiences across the region,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia. “I extend my warmest congratulations to The Sacred Riana and to all the other grand finalists who made it so far. Asia’s Got Talent is the world’s biggest talent show and we hope that the series inspires the next generation of Asia’s stars to pursue their dreams.”

The Sacred Riana, who is an illusionist of very few words and does not break character even off-stage, appeared to single out and petrify judge Anggun in each of her acts. In the grand final, The Sacred Riana made a star tattoo suddenly appear on the superstar’s hand, before disappearing into a small box and re-emerging seconds later behind a shocked Anggun.

The hit-rated season of Asia’s Got Talent culminated with powerhouse judges, David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park taking over the stage with individual performances. David delighted the audience on piano with his world-famous piece, “Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire”; Anggun dazzled with her new single “What We Remember” from her latest album ‘8’; and Jay Park performed the world premiere of his new single “Forget About Tomorrow” with Yultron, backed by eight Korean hip-hop dancers.
“Our esteemed judges, David, Anggun and Jay, have been integral to the Asia’s Got Talent experience this season. Their quick wit, immense style, humor and insightful advice helped secure Asia’s Got Talent as the number one series on pay TV every Thursday night,” Lim said.

Asia’s Got Talent is the 67th adaptation of the Guinness-World-Record-breaking hit “Got Talent” format, which was created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and is co-produced by FremantleMedia. The “Got Talent” format is officially the most successful reality TV format in history and currently airs in 186 countries.

Asia’s Got Talent is supported by presenting sponsor Traveloka, the leading travel booking app for all flight and hotel needs; sponsoring partner Great Eastern Life, the market leader in the conventional life insurance business and the largest life insurer in Malaysia by asset size; GoDaddy, the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures and 100Plus, the number one isotonic drink.
In the Philippines, Asia’s Got Talent is brought to you by Cherifer, Tangkad Sagad, KFC Delivery and Vivo Smart Phone.
Marina Bay Sands, Asia’s leading business, leisure and entertainment destination, is the official venue partner of Asia’s Got Talent.

@AsiasGotTalent / #AXNAsia / #AsiasGotTalent / #AsiasGotTalentAuditions
AXN is available on Cablelink Channel 38, Cignal Channel 121, Destiny Cable Channel 61, Dream Satellite TV Channel 20, G Sat Channel 51, and SKYCable Channel 49. AXN HD is available on SKYCable Channel 247.

Ang Larawan Gets a Unanimous “A” from the Cinema Evaluation Board

Photo caption: The team of Ang Larawan. First row (seated), L-R: cast members Aicelle Santos, Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino and Cris Villonco. Second row (seated), L-R: executive producer Girlie Rodis, executive producer Celeste Legaspi, and cast members Nanette Inventor, Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Cara Manglapus. Third row (standing): producer Alemberg Ang, composer Ryan Cayabyab, actor Bernardo Bernardo, director Loy Arcenas and actor Rayver Cruz.

Wazzup Pilipinas!

“Ang Larawan,” the lone musical entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, has gotten a grade of “A” from the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).

The musical written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio and composed by Ryan Cayabyab is the only film this year wherein all CEB eleven members who previewed gave the highest grade. The CEB summation stated, “It is seldom and rare that the members of the Board give a unanimous A to a film.“

Based on the play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, “Ang Larawan” tells of how financially troubled Marasigan sisters Candida and Paula hold on to their father’s masterpiece in spite of great interest and attractive offers from potential buyers.

West End star Joanna Ampil plays Candida while multi-awarded pop singer/host and entrepreneur Rachel Alejandro portrays Paula. Urian Best Actor Paulo Avelino takes the role of Tony Javier, the boarder who is persuading the sisters to sell the painting to an American buyer.

The rest of the cast features a stellar ensemble composed of OPM stalwarts Celeste Legaspi, Dulce, and Nanette Inventor; stage and film luminaries Robert Arevalo, Nonie Buencamino, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Trinidad, Jaime Fabregas, Leo Rialp and Bernardo Bernardo; and young stars Aicelle Santos, Cris Villonco, Cara Manglapus, Jojit Lorenzo and Rayver Cruz. OPM icons Ogie Alcasid and Zsa Zsa Padilla have very special roles.

Culturtain Musicat Productions is the production outfit behind this film directed by Loy Arcenas.

The CEB praised the various aspects of production with one member citing that the movie is “enthralling, captivating and beautifully helmed!” The board described the performances by the leads and supports as “excellent.” Another member reiterated that, “’Larawan’ is a brilliant, fabulous production with great acting and excellent technical elements.”

As soon as CEB grade was released, the filmmakers took to social media to express their gratitude and joy. “Wow! What a blessing!” said Rachel Alejandro; while Celeste Legaspi declared, “Very proud!” Joanna, who is touring as part of the international production of “Cats,” wrote on Facebook, “All the hard work is paying off.”

“Ang Larawan” is Joanna’s first starring role in a film and she began preparing for it way back in 2014.

The CEB recognition is the latest of a string of accolades that “Ang Larawan” has been receiving ever since its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October. Variety’s Richard Kuipers said, “This musical adaptation of a beloved Filipino play is a class act.” Local press and writers who have watched the film at an advanced preview are predicting “Ang Larawan” will be embraced by music-loving moviegoers and will be a strong contender for MMFF awards.

The film has also gotten endorsements from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Senator Bam Aquino, Congresswoman Pia Cayetano, and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas.

Noting that “Ang Larawan” is a period movie, not a formula film, and that the musical genre remains untested, the CEB commended Culturtain Musicat Productions for taking a risk. “So, kudos, congrats, and thanks to the brave, intrepid band of producers and their fearless funders for this film. May their tribe increase and may this movie reach as wide an audience as possible.” Furthermore, the CEB made a clear call to the moviegoers “to see this film and spread the good word: go out and see Filipino films!”

For updates and information, check out and

5 services to consider when venturing into ecommerce

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Are you thinking about setting up an ecommerce business? It’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to taking steps which will ensure you’re successful. Luckily, there are a number of different tools out there which will give you an advantage in the set-up process. Let’s explore five of the best.

1. AdWords

Google AdWords is a terrific service which makes targeting your audience much simpler. When trying to rank as highly in search engine results as possible, targeting certain keywords is crucial for success. This strategy plays a huge part in most digital marketing campaigns. Understanding what to write in your listings, and what to include as your title is crucial to success.

2. Shoppify

If you’re looking for a perfect platform to build your website on, Shoppify is a solid tool to turn to. This service effectively acts as the spine of your website, providing you with a template on which to build and customise a fully-functioning website.

3. SearchSpring

Arguably one of the most important tools for shoppers, SearchSpring allows users to see what products are most likely going to appeal to them. This works by collecting data from their previous search results and filtering for products on your site. If the buyer journey is made easier than you’re likely to achieve more success.

4. Crazy Egg

Crazy egg shows a heat-map of where your visitors are clicking on your website. As Applied Innovations point out, they can have a huge impact on where you’re putting your most valuable content. Placing this where people are regularly reading itwill theoretically result in better conversion rates and exposure.

5. DPM

Slow page load time is one of the most surprising factors when it comes to turning customers off your site. Implementing the use of a digital performance management tool will highlight where speed is lacking, and how you can improve this. Most of these tools offer conversion rate improvements as standard, or your money back.

Have these services for ecommerce websites made things clearer? If you’re looking to create a strong new website, make sure to take advantage of at least a few of them.

Universal Records Signs New Promising Band Better Days

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Better Days formally signed a recording contract with Universal Records on Monday. The band is composed of Daniel Paringit on vocals and guitars, Jaro delos Reyes on guitar, Gelo Cabigon on bass and Rosner Mabuti on keyboards. Better Days is managed by Soupstar Entertainment, home to 6cyclemind, Imago, Sandwich, Hilera, Pedicab, and Moonstar88. They now join Gary Valenciano, Christian Bautista, Noel Cabangon, Parokya ni Edgar, Gloc-9, Sponge Cola, Aiza Seguerra, Claudia Barretto, Donny Pangilinan, Julie Anne San Jose and Elmo Magalona, in the elite roster of Universal Records’ prime artists.

The contract signing was held at the Universal Records office in Quezon City. Present with the band members were Universal Records General Manager Kathleen Dy Go and Soupstar Entertainment head Darwin Hernandez.

The band is currently preparing to record their original songs and looking forward to more live performances so they can reach an audience they hope to be their supporters in the future. They are optimistic that there are indeed better days ahead for them. Better Days is set to release their debut single in January 2018.

Follow Better Days:

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram : @betterdaystour

Tugade Orders Transport Sectors to Intensify Security As Christmas Season Draws Near

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Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade today directed all transport sectors – railways, road, maritime and aviation – to further intensify their respective safety and security measures in preparation for the Christmas Season when thousands flock to transport terminals to travel and spend the Holidays in the provinces.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade also reminded transportation officials and personnel to assure the riding public not only safety and security, but also comfort while in the various bus terminals, sea and airports, and train stations.

“May I once again reiterate the great importance of maintaining and assuring the safety, security and comfort of the riding passengers and the public. Accordingly, please continue implementing and improving our security and safety measures to protect people, facility, structures, equipment, and the like,” Secretary Tugade said.

The transportation chief also pointed out that both the government and commuting public “must be proactive, alert and vigilant”, share information and maintain close coordination among stakeholders that would further improve the security safety nets in the transport sectors.

During the All Saints’/All Souls Day commemoration last November, the different transport sectors activated their Oplan Biyaheng Ayos to ensure the security and safety of the thousands of commuters flocking to the transport hubs for the traditional exodus to the provinces.

Top 25 Teams Advance to Philippine Startup Challenge 4 Semis

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Twenty-five teams composed of students from different colleges and universities are moving to the Semi-final Round of the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC) 4, the national competition for college students aspiring to be the next big startup geniuses.

Trimmed down from a pool of 202 entries, the 25 selected teams will now undergo coaching for further development of the teams’ ideas, which attempt to give technological solutions to various societal concerns on transportation, health, environment, agriculture, security, and even food shortage.

After the coaching sessions and evaluation of the teams’ Business Model Canvass and Minimum Viable Product, further judging and assessment will determine the ten (10) teams who will advance into the National Finals on April 2018.

The Philippine Startup Challenge is organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) together with industry partners Ideaspace Philippines, Huawei Technologies Philippines, Microsoft and Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE).

Below are the Top 25 Entries advancing to PSC 4 Semi-Finals:

ARKILA by Team Arki Devs from Lorma Colleges: Arkila is a ride-hailing and logistics services transport solution app that offers wide range of vehicle selection.

BLOODPLUS by Team BloodPlus from the University of San Jose – Recoletos: BloodPlus is a web and mobile application where people can request for blood if they are urgently in need for blood and notifies eligible blood donors.

BUHAY++ by Team Buhay from the University of Cebu, Main: Buhay++ is an Online Platform for Ethical and Legal Organ Donations

BUILD by Team Build from Bulacan State University: BUILD is a web and mobile application wherein buyers (clients) and suppliers (bidders) from different areas can connect through one centralized electronic procurement system.

CONVASS by Team Cord from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines: Convass is a website for online canvassing and purchasing of construction materials for government agencies whose budget is Php50, 000 below.

E-PURSE by e-Pursuers from the University of Southeastern Philippines: e-Purse is mobile wallet application that digitally pays the items and also store changes up until the last cent.

FACE TRACK 2.0 by Team Trackers from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology: Face Track 2.0 was inspired by the slow inspection system in Iligan City that would take an hour for verification of each citizen and that disturbs the activities and appointments of each citizens and sometimes, unmonitored or lack of enforcement.

GIMME SPOT by Team Gimme Spot from the University of Southeastern Philippines: Gimme Spot is a toilet finder for both public and private toilet. it will also let you host your own private toilet to be rented.

IN-SHOE TRACKER by Team Wayfarer from Bulacan State University: Wayfarer is a tracking device designed to track travelers by incorporating the device in the traveler’s shoes using piezoelectric transducer.

JAC IN THE BOX by Team Eventrix from Bulacan State University: Jac in the box is an application intended to provide convenience in organizing celebrations and surprises based on the customer's time and budget, delivering all services directly to them.

LABADO by Team Rushmore from Saint Louis University: Labado is a pickup, wash, and deliver service that provides transient students a convenient way to have their laundry done.

LAUX by Team AQ from Ateneo de Davao University: Laux is a service app primarily handling laundry services that focuses on cleaning, washing, and dry cleaning clothes.

LINKMED by Team Nexus from Bulacan State University: LinkMed aims to make the Philippines’ doctor services to become more flexible by reaching the distant patient and extending the hospital services by using technology.

LINQUE by Team Linquers from the University of Southeastern Philippines: Linque is for all sari-sari store owners and company's sales workers who are experienced hassle delivery, inefficient and improper distribution of goods.

LUGAN by Team The Boys from the University of the Cordilleras: Lugan is a shared ride service that picks up multiple passengers heading in the same direction and keeping rides affordable and easy.

MOMENTS by Team Eksena from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines: Moments is a web-based platform as a service to be used by event organizers in finding event resources provided by legit businessmen.

MYMDLAB by Team The Elaborators from Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation: myMDLab is a mobile and digital application that lets the patient request for laboratory services at the comfort of his home.

PARKinLOT by Team Accelerate from Saint Louis University: ParkInLot, is a mobile-web application that will help lessen road obstruction by utilizing unused parking.

PETPAL CO. by Team Bangan from Ateneo de Davao University: Petpal Co. is an application that can help you find trusted pet sitters.

SENTINEL by Team #Proud IIT from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology: Sentinel is a Smart Watch with GPS locator with a feature that, when activated, will locate the person in any place.

S.M.S by Team Fibonacci from Gordon College: S.M.S or Send me to school is a scholarship-matching application designed to ease the scholarship searching and application process.

SWIFT by Team The Night’s Watch from Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion: Swift lets you hire bike and motorcycle riders to deliver your documents from point A to point B securely, easily, and swiftly.

TAP TRACK by Team TechnoGeeks from University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines: Tap Track is a Portable RFID Based Attendance Management System with SMS Transmission for Field Workers.

TRAVEL WATCH by Team Metanoia from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology: Travel watch is an IoT technology that helps the drivers to stay alert, secure and safe throughout the travel.

VENTURE PAL by by Team Rocket from University of Cebu – Main: Venture Pal is an online investment pooling platform for Philippine Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Benilde Dance Major Wins in Malaysia

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Olivia Bugayong, a third year dance student from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, recently won the bronze medal in the senior category of the second Malaysian International Ballet Grand Prix.

The competition, which ran from November 26 to 30, was divided into three stages — preliminary, eliminations and final. Participants were judged based on both classical repertoire (80%) and contemporary pieces (20%).

After the total score was accumulated, Bugayong was among the ten finalists who got into the final round of her category. She eventually became the first Filipino who made it to the top three of the said competition.

The DLS-CSB scholar is grateful to dance faculty Nina Anonas, her coach for ballet who joined her in Malaysia; dance chair Christine Crame, her mentor for contemporary; and associate dean Dr. Sunita Mukhi for her support to the Benilde’s Arts and Culture Cluster.

The MIBGP organizers, witnessing the growth of ballet and the performing arts scene, worked with the HELP College of Art and Technology to launch the competition in 2016.

The event aims to provide opportunities for all dance enthusiasts globally, boost the status of dancing, build integrity and friendship among dance enthusiasts, and share the knowledge of ballet.

Bugayong started her classical ballet training when she was just three years old at the Vella C. Damian School of Ballet, Inc. where she learned the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Syllabus under the tutelage of Damian herself.

The dance major previously won the gold medal at the 2016 Hong Kong Challenge Cup Dance Competition. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts named her one of its Ani ng Dangal awardees the following year for her achievement.

She performed the role of Black Swan in Crame’s contemporary choreography of Swan Lake with the Saint Benilde Romançon Dance Company and also played the part of Ina in Brillante Mendoza‘s Ang Pagtatapos which aired on TV5 last April 22.

Tilda Appleseed Animation Wins Asian Television Award for Best Preschool Program

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Hamburg-based WunderWerk GmbH along with Manila’s ASI Studios Inc. & Singapore’s August Media Holdings have announced that their animated pre-school production Tilda Appleseed has won the Asian Television Awards 2017 in the BEST PRE-SCHOOL SHOW category. Speaking about the win, Gisela Schaefer, Managing Director at WunderWerk said, “We are delighted to have received the award. This recognizes the true beauty of the characters and the simple but key values that this show will deliver to it pre-school audiences.”

For her part, Jackeline Chua, Managing Partner at ASI Studios Inc. said, “The show presented for the studio, a particularly unique challenge in its art style. Once again our team demonstrated its versatility by not only taking on that challenge but also creating award winning works.”

The recently completed Tilda Appleseed is based on Andreas Schmachtl’s book series of the same name. The series follows the adventures of a spirited mouse with a big heart and an even bigger imagination – Tilda. The series is filled with many wonderful characters who model friendship in marvelous ways. This show about friendship and problem solving is designed for pre-schoolers and features an art style that completely resembles water colored books. The first season of the show was delivered in 2017 and a second season of 52 episodes is currently in the works.

WunderWerk had developed the book series into a TV series under license from German broadcaster, MDR/SWR for KiKA and is also the lead producer of the series. The series is animated at ASI Studios and co-produced by Synergy88 and August Media Holdings.

For August Media Holdings, this is the 6th nomination in the last 3 years, 4 of which have been for shows produced in partnership with ASI Studios Inc. Founder of August Media Holdings (who is also a partner at ASI Studios), Jyotirmoy Saha said, “It’s wonderful to hit a home run year after year. I am proud of my teams at ASI and August Media and the association between the two companies.”

Tilda Appleseed is currently on air on MDR/SWR in Germany, Good TV in Taiwan and is available on the recently launched Over-the-top platform Tapow™ media streaming and download service. The show is soon to air on multiple other networks in various parts of the world starting the early half of 2018.

City of Dreams Manila Grants a Father's Wish in a Touching Video

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Following a touching father-daughter short video titled “Perfect Moments Made Real” that went viral in October with almost seven million views in Facebook, the luxury integrated resort City of Dreams Manila released another video granting the wish of a father to bond with his family this holiday season, captioned “This was our response to a father who had a simple dream for his family”.

The story of Don Pilapil, an app-based driver and bottling company agent and father of four, was discovered through his comment on City of Dreams’ first viral short video. He expressed a wish to have the time to bring his children to DreamPlay and have the same memorable experiences that his passengers seemed to enjoy when he would drive them to and from the resort. Because Don held two jobs, he got anxious about losing touch with his growing kids because of the little time he spent with them.

City of Dreams Manila’s team reached out to Don to give him the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience and quality time with his family, which included lunch in an elaborate set-up at the Grand Ballroom, play hours at DreamPlay and a staycation at Nobu Hotel Manila.

“Don’s moving story was something we wanted to share with our audience on Facebook because it resonates with a lot of Filipinos striving for a brighter future for their families. In this season of giving, we take pleasure in making a father’s dream come true to have memorable moments with his family,” stated City of Dreams Manila Property President Geoff Andres.

Barely a week since its posting on November 30, Don’s story on City of Dreams Manila’s official Facebook page has reached over 1.4 million views, garnered more than 40,500 likes and reactions, over 7,600 shares and more than 1,600 comments. Don’s heart-tugging words certainly merit a thumbs-up: “I’ve learned that being a good parent isn’t measured by how much you’ve given. It is felt by caring, by spending time with them. So before they totally leave my side, if there’s something they could bring as they grow, I hope they remember that I have been a good father.”

City of Dreams Manila’s viral video ends with the caption “Make more perfect moments together”, which inspires its viewers to give the gift of time and love for their family this holiday season.

To view the video, click on the following link:

Power Mac Center Opens Biggest Store in Festival Alabang

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Opening day discounts await early shoppers​

Head south this weekend as premier Apple partner Power Mac Center is opening its biggest branch in the country yet. The brand new store and service center, located at the Expansion Wing of Festival Supermall in Filinvest City, Alabang, is opening its doors at exactly 11AM on Friday, December 15.

It’s the perfect excuse to go shopping as Power Mac Center is giving out special treats* on opening day especially for loyal Apple fans. Premium Apple products, including MacBook Air, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPad (5th gen), urBeats, and many more, will be at 20% off! Offer is valid from 11 to 11:20 AM only and subject to stock availability.

Meanwhile, select non-Apple products will be at 50% off from 11 AM to 12 NN while Service Center offerings such as Diagnostic Test, Software Repair, and Non-repair Services will be at 20% off the whole day. Do note that only cash, debit, and straight credit card payments will be accepted.

Can’t make it to the opening day? Don’t fret as premium accessories are at 20% off all weekend from December 15-17 so save the date and fill your shopping bags with stocking stuffers everyone on your gift list will surely love!

“The new store and service center in Festival Supermall ─ our biggest one yet ─ is a testament to the growing patronage of Filipinos to the brand. We are pleased to be able to serve them by being readily available to support all their Apple needs,” said Power Mac Center Marketing Director Joey Alvarez.

For more information, visit Power Mac Center on Facebook.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

State of Qatar Celebrates Its National Day

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Photo Caption: Oman Ambassador Munther Mahfoodh Al-Mantheri, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Atty. Sal Panelo, Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, Kuwait Ambassador Musaed Saleh Al-Thuwaikh, Morocco Ambassador Mohammed Rida El Fassi, Qatar Ambassador Ali Ibrahim Al Malki, Office of the Middle East & African Affairs Assistant Secretary Joy Quintana, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, Archbishop Gabriele Griordano Caccia, the new papal nuncio to the Philippines and Charge D'Affaires Mr. Ahmed Eddeb of Libya.

The State of Qatar celebrated its National Day a week in advance last December 11, 2017, at Makati Shangri-La Hotel, to commemorate its First Ruler, Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohamend Bin Thani, with the theme of ‘Promise of Prosperity and Glory’.

The reception was attended by foreign dignitaries and government officials such as Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Chief Legal Counsel Sal Panelo, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, among others.

Qatar Ambassador Ali Ibrahim Al Malki says, “The ties between the Philippines and Qatar are going very well. This year in April, President Duterte visited Qatar and both sides signed new agreements, we are also currently working on other agreements right now. We are expecting this relationship to go ahead with more enhancements in the field of investment, as well as political cooperation.”

The Ambassador continues, “Qatar now has more than 240,000 Filipino workers and they are enjoying the privilege of the Qatari government. They are also our partners in development, and we are looking forward to an even stronger relationship. And because of the FIFA World Cup 2022, we now require additional supply of manpower from the Philippines. We also see Filipino workers as one of the best in the world, very professional, educated and talented.

The FIFA World Cup 2022, which is the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, is said to be working ahead of schedule.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September, said that the “2022 FIFA World Cup is a first and foremost opportunity for the Arab world and the Middle East to highlight the true and peaceful nature of the rest of the world. It also gives the State of Qatar a great opportunity to stimulate innovation, positive change and sustainable development.”

His Excellency continues, “The State of Qatar is currently building 8 stadiums, 64 training grounds, 5 fan areas and accommodation, as well as major infrastructure developments including roads, railways and airports. The World Cup is an occasion to bring people together, overcoming geographical, religious, cultural and linguistic differences.”

Qatar National Day celebrations started 9th of December, and will last for 10 days. Exact date of Qatar National Day is 18th of December.

The 4 Tips to Making Your Mobile App Succeed

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Having a great idea for a mobile app is not the same thing as successfully executing your idea. Because consumer behaviors and preferences are constantly evolving, it’s important to strategize carefully as you develop your product. After all, most apps fail. Even seemingly popular apps can struggle to find a loyal user base.

You’ll substantially boost your odds of success if you prepare thoroughly before undergoing native Android app development or other mobile designs and releasing your app. Specifically, you should keep the following essential tips in mind.

Do One Thing Well

Many of the most successful apps only offer one or two main features to users. While it’s tempting to try and do everything, it’s hard to actually create a reliable product that offers a wide range of features. Decide exactly what problem you’re going to solve for your customers, and work on developing an app that serves its purpose well.

During this planning stage, you should also work to define your ideal customers as clearly as possible. It’s easier to serve them well when you know exactly who they are and what they want.

Test as Soon as Possible

Don’t waste time developing the “perfect” version of your app, only to discover that users have problems with it you didn’t anticipate. Let users test your prototype as soon as you have one. Whenever you develop a new iteration of the product, test it again. You’re more likely to develop a successful app if you’re constantly refining it throughout the development process.

Anecdotal reports from early users are valuable, but you also need to focus on data. The more data you collect, the easier it will be for you to identify what kinds of enhancements your customers want.

Be Prepared to Change

It’s not uncommon to learn that a successful app originally began as an entirely different type of product. Regular testing allows developers to find out if there truly is any demand for the app they’re working on. It also allows them to identify other types of services their customers may prefer.

Make sure your developers are nimble and efficient enough to shift gears if need be. Working hard on a bad idea is a recipe for failure. Working hard, while being ready to change your approach, is key to your success.

Prioritize Tasks Based on ROI

Each department of your overall team will have their own set of responsibilities. By identifying your highest ROI tasks from the start, you can be sure each team member is focusing on the most important priorities. Every tasks needs to get done eventually, but some should get done earlier than others.

In addition to the above, you also need to study general app development best practices. They’re always shifting, as new technologies provide users with new options and features. That said, these tips will ensure that your overall strategy lays a foundation for success. You’re far more likely to achieve your goals when you have a detailed plan.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Top Eight Reasons Why Bloggers Bash Other Bloggers

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ever wondered why there are bloggers with unending complaints or rants towards others. Those self-righteous pricks that thinks highly of themselves like they're faultless. They keep telling others that some bloggers are damaging the blogging community. But we all that it is actually their blabbering that has ruined the outsiders impression towards bloggers.

But there are several reasons why bloggers bash their fellow bloggers. Instead of getting their attention privately, they would rather resort to social media or bad-mouthing to announce the alledged wrong-doings of their fellow bloggers. There seems to be an ulterior motive for if they truly seek to correct mistakes, they should give bloggers the chance to change rather than putting them to shame.

Here are the top eight reasons why bloggers bash their fellow bloggers:

1. These bashers are not busy enough to mind their own business. Idle hands lead to idle minds, or the other way around. When they can't find anything to do, they look for something to destroy to keep themselves occupied. Sadly, they look to bash those who seem too good to be true, so they exaggerate the llittle trivial issues, or even fabricate lies in an effort to bring others down.

2. These bashers see others as too successful or actively engaged in blogging activities that envy starts to creep into their malicious minds. Those who seek the shirtcomings of others are just to overwhelmed with how popular their peers are, so they go into a mission of portraying others as not picture-perfect.

3. Other ways to stand out among a multitude of bloggers is to defame others. These bashings could be a way to discredit other bloggers so these bashers would remain on top of the choices for events where only a few gets invited. The bloggers population has drastically gone so high that the cunning would tend to play unfairly by badmouthing others to PRs, event organizers or the brands themselves.

4. Similar to how companies get the services of bloggers to promote ttheirproducts,o ssservices or personalities, they could also do the same to tarnish the reputation of their competitors. Thus, there is also nothing stopping bloggers to do the same to their fellow bloggers. Make their friends look good, while making others not belonging tobtheir group look bad. When you notice others ganging up to bash others, it's more of mudslinging rather than an effort to improve the community.

5. In general, people are more inclined to join in on the bashing even if they have very little idea of what's going on. Being clueless does not prevent them from posting derogatory remarks. Many do not even know the victims personally and have not even interacted with them in any way. Online bullies are normally those who have their own personal hatred to battle and thus take their frustrations out against anybody they know could not retaliate easily. Try facing them on and let's see who squirms uncontrollably.

6. Those who gang up on others were probably bullied as well. But the real reason is because they felt inferior during their younger days thus are out for revenge on whoever is out there. This is true especially for those who are confused with their real identities, and still searching for their fortress of solitude or batcave.

7. Greed to keep the opportunities to themselves, or within their circle of friends, could be another reason. At events, there are only a significant number of invitees, thus not every blogger out there could be tapped for campaigns or promotions. Getting lots of invites to events does not necessarily mean you're the most credible or influential among others.

8. Alliances with other bloggers who had or in a quarrel with another could motivate you to avoid inviting the latter. Regardless of how much they would deny it, we would always have the tendency to side with those we've had a working relationship already. It could also motivate you to speak out against the latter to show your support to your blogger friend(s). These are called blind followers who blindly look up to somebody or only a select few, and curse others who are not on their friends list. Their motto "Your enemies are my enemies."

Perhaps there are more reasons, but these are what pops up on the top of our minds. If you have other thoughts that you believe should be added on the list, then write it on the comments below so we could check if it warrants an inclusion on our list.

At Wazzup Pilipinas, we believe that there are several opportunities for bloggers out there that we do not need to seemingly fight it out for supremacy or even survival. What we experience right now are actually just the tip of the iceberg. The future holds many more doors opening for online influencers that openly and freely express their opinions and naturally gets involved to share pieces of their mind. We are now aporoaching the days when media would never hesitate to report with a heart and soul, which means no holding back. Now that we could even report in real time, it would be proper to report as is and without any sugar-coating. Covering up for others, especially when they are sponsors, advertisers or valuable clients plague mainstream media. Let us not make blogging another means to cover-up or spread fake news - intentionally modified, fabricated, realigned, incomplete, baseless, and biased just to wrongly promote, protect or persecute others.

Be Santa to Kids in Need this Christmas with FamilyMart

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The holidays are all about spreading the spirit of giving, so this Christmas season, grab your Santa hats and visit FamilyMart to help someone in need.

Until December 31, you can drop some love and raise funds for Lahat Santa, a campaign spearheaded by Save the Children, the world’s leading independent organization that has been dedicated to protecting and supporting children for over three decades.

All FamilyMart stores will have Lahat Santa Coin banks by the counter, where you can donate any amount to help kids in need. In the Philippines, it’s estimated that 1.5 million children go to sleep hungry every night, and your support for Save the Children will not only provide high-energy emergency food to treat malnourished children but will also hopefully help prevent these cases from occurring at all.

You can also be part of Lahat Santa’s efforts to spread holiday cheer on December 15, as they invite everyone to Be a Hero, Wear a Santa Sombrero! Grab a Santa hat, round up your friends and family, and put the fun back in fundraiser in your own special way, whether it’s holding a bake sale or going Christmas caroling around your neighborhood.

There’s no limit to the ways that you can do to bring more joy to the world this Christmas. Visit a FamilyMart near you today to donate and make the season more meaningful for everyone.

For updates, exciting products, and awesome deals, like and follow FamilyMart Philippines on Facebook, @familymartph on Instagram, and @FamilyMartPH on Twitter. For store locations or more information on FamilyMart Philippines, log on to

FamilyMart is the 2nd largest convenience store chain in the world with over 18,000 stores across Asia. In the Philippines, FamilyMart has branches in Makati, Fort Bonifacio, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pasay, Alabang and Laguna.

48% of APAC IT Decision Makers are Confident of their Cybersecurity Postures

Fortinet Survey Reveals 48% of APAC IT Decision Makers are confident of their Cybersecurity Postures despite 86% of organizations being breached

Prioritization of Security Fundamentals Such as Employee Education Lacking, According to Respondents

Fortinet, the global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today revealed additional findings from its Global Enterprise Security Survey. According to the research, 40 percent of IT decision makers (ITDMs) at 250+ employee organizations around the Asia Pacific are confident of their cybersecurity posture, despite 86 percent of organizations being breached in the past two years. In addition, 82 percent believe they are doing better than their peers with regards to cybersecurity, while only six percent believe they are lagging behind. The research is a reminder of the importance of employing cybersecurity best practices and fundamentals as well as the urgency to avoid complacency in defending against cyberattacks.

“ITDMs continue to prioritize the maintenance and upgrade of their cybersecurity solutions in an attempt to combat today’s cybersecurity adversaries. Although important, other security best practices within their broader cyber and technology strategy are still missed opportunities. In particular, the urgency to prioritize security hygiene, educate with broader awareness, or implement security approaches that leverage automation, integration, and strategic segmentation, is critical to defend against the highly damaging Internet attacks possible in our near future,” said Patrice Perche, senior executive vice president, worldwide sales and support at Fortinet.

Complacency despite clear concerns

Respondents reveal that 33 percent of breaches experienced in the last two years were the result of social engineering, ransomware and email phishing. In 2018, 73 percent of APAC businesses are planning programmes to educate employees in IT security, reflecting a growing awareness that breaches are caused by carelessness and ignorance as much as maliciousness.

Another top concern for organizations is protecting access to the network. Under half (44 percent) of APAC ITDMs feel confident that they have full visibility and control of all devices with network access. A similar 45 percent of APAC ITDMs feel confident that they have full visibility of the access level of all third parties who frequently have access to networks, while 52 percent of APAC ITDMs feel confident that they have full visibility and control of all employees. This lack of confidence in the network visibility suggests that this is an area that should be treated as a top concern for organizations. Yet, basic security measures like network segmentation are only being planned by 26 percent of APAC businesses in 2018. Without network segmentation, malware entering a network will often be left to spread.

Employee knowledge key for security in organizations

When asked about what they would have done differently over their career in security, 46 percent of APAC ITDMs wish they had invested more in employee security awareness training to prevent a security breach. Educating users can lessen the chance that they become victim of an intrusion attempt that targets one of the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain: employees themselves.

In 80 percent of breach incidents, in the first instance the APAC board blames the IT department – either a specific individual (34 percent) or the department as a whole (47 percent). Employees outside the IT department get blamed in 30 percent of breach incidents, even though they’re often recognized as the weakest link. The IT department can no longer be the only one responsible when it comes to a breach. BYOD and IoT, the use of cloud-based applications, and shadow IT, all extend the security responsibility to the broader organization − and employees.

Balanced Cybersecurity Investment Priorities Are Critical

In 2017, ITDMs investments ranked the following as their number one investment:

35% - New security solutions and services
27% - Upgrading security solutions
21% - Implementing security policies and process
9% - Employee training
4% - Auditing and assessment

Continued technological investment allows businesses to keep pace with malicious attacks and prepare for them by implementing a comprehensive security solution. Investments in new and upgraded security solutions will continue in 2018, but 27 percent of APAC respondents also reveal that investments towards employee training will become one of the top 3 investment priorities.

Report Methodology

The 2017 Fortinet Global Enterprise Security Survey was undertaken on behalf of Fortinet by independent market research company Loudhouse to examine the changing attitudes towards security in business in July and August 2017. The global survey of IT decision makers with responsibility/visibility of IT security, received 1,801 anonymized respondents across 16 countries (US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Middle East, South Africa, Poland, Korea, Australia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia). Respondents to the online questionnaire were not aware of the purpose or sponsor of the report.

Shanti Dope releases “Materyal” EP; Debut single “Nadarang” zooms to #1

Wazzup Pilipinas!

16-year-old rapper Shanti Dope releases “Materyal” EP; Debut single “Nadarang” zooms to #1 on Spotify PH’s Top 50 Viral Chart!

iTunes/Apple Music





Shanti Dope is a 16-year-old rapper from Manila, who started writing verses in 2013 following the footsteps of local rappers who use songwriting as a way to tell stories. Influenced by the idea of storytelling through rap, his first long verse got him into rapper Smugglaz 2015 album Walking Distance. 2017 marks the year he comes out with his own EP with Universal Records.

Along with Smugglaz, he counts as influences Loonie, Ron Henley, and Gloc-9, whose wordplay, context, rhymes, and narratives he aspires for in his own work. The name Shanti Dope meanwhile is borne of the influence of his father, who was a practitioner of Krishna Consciousness. Shanti is the sanskrit word for “peace,” which, alongside “dope” could mean “Peace is my natural drug.” This call for peace, given songs that actually speak of injustice and inequality, that insists on discussing the state of the nation, is what sets him apart from many rappers his age.

In less than a week after “Materyal” EP release, the carrier single “Nadarang” shot straight to the NUMBER ONE spot on Spotify PH’s Top 50 Viral Chart. Not only that, three other songs from the EP entered the chart as well — Materyal (#10), Shantidope (#15) and Norem (#50).

Shanti Dope's “Materyal” EP is now available on all digital formats.

DOTr, LTFRB Open Missionary Routes in “Yolanda”-Devastated Villages in Tacloban

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation - Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (DOTr-LTFRB) recently approved a resolution approving the opening of missionary routes to establish an efficient, reliable, and safe mass transport service for the residents of typhoon-ravaged Tacloban City in Leyte.

The wrath of super typhoon “Yolanda” left thousands of casualties and billions of pesos worth of properties in ruins after its landfall in Tacloban City in 2013. As residents struggled to rebuild what they lost, and as the government struggled to expedite the completion of relocation sites, another vital component was left to be addressed-- the need for an efficient public transport within, and outside the city.

Four years after, the DOTr-LTFRB has opened new missionary routes to ease the travel of those displaced by the devastation.

In a Board resolution no. 22, the LTFRB said that due to the disaster, around 15,000 families or 90,000 individuals are being relocated to Tacloban North, the single largest post-disaster resettlement area which is located 15 kilometers from the city proper.

Most of those affected by the relocation project of the government come from those living along the coastal areas.
Tacloban North consists of seven barangays (villages), stretching from Barangay 97 (Cabalawan) to Barangay 98 (Tagpuro).

LTFRB also noted that “there is presently no authorized public utility vehicle service route that would serve the area between Tacloban North and Tacloban City Proper.”

In an effort to assist the thousands of relocatees, LTFRB said “there is a clear and urgent necessity to open new missionary routes in this area in order to establish an efficient, reliable, and safe mass transport service for the needs of residents of Tacloban North resettlement site.”

The following are the new missionary routes:

1) Route A – New Transport Terminal to Tagpuro and vice versa (14 kms), servicing the housing sites of Villa Sofia, Sangyaw Village, and New Hope Village

2) Route B—New Transport Terminal to New Kawayan and vice versa (12kms), servicing Villa Diana, North Hill Arbours, Guadalupe Heights, Greendale Subdivision, and St. Francis Village

3) Route C—New Transport Terminal to Cabalawan and vice versa (8 kms), servicing Ridgeview Subdivision, UNDP housing site, Lions Ville, and Knightsridge

In the same LTFRB Board resolution, there will be 15 franchises to be opened for each route, or a total of 45 franchises for the new missionary routes.

Maskipaps: The Crossover x Raveolution The Official Afterparty of the UP Lantern Parade

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What do you get when you fuse the biggest and most colorful music festival in the country with the most awaited university party in the metro? The UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity and Super Awesome Productions bring you Maskipaps: The Crossover x Raveolution. Get ready to paint the night this coming December 15 at the UP Sunken Garden!

Now on its fourth installment, the official afterparty of the UP Lantern Parade is back to celebrate the end of the year with a colorful twist. With Raveolution joining the fun, expect to have your year-end bash with a dynamic splash of colors!

Have you ever wondered why it's called "The Crossover"? It's pretty simple as the party begins with the top bands in the country until it finally cross overs to a whole different genre of rave brought to you by the hottest DJs combining to an awesome experience that you wouldn't want to miss!

Lose yourself and rock the night with Spongecola, Franco, Silent Sanctuary, Gab and John of Urbandub, IV of Spades, Gracenote, Autotelic and BP Valenzuela. Move to the beats of Patty Tiu, Marc Marasigan, Everyday People, John Sedano and Monkey del Pilar as we get hyped by MC Ronthug on the mic. This unique fusion of OPM and rave music will surely put an exclamation point to 2017 as we celebrate in a whole new spectrum!

Get ready to live the night with the vibrance of colors in

Maskipaps: The Crossover x Raveolution
The Official Afterparty of the UP Lantern Parade
7 PM| December 15, 2017 | UP Sunken Garden

Tickets are available in all SM Ticket Outlets in SM Cinema Branches nationwide!

You may also buy at the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity Tambayan located at 2/F Melchor Hall, UP Diliman.

For ticket inquiries you may contact 0945 294 2183 or 0995 144 7382.

Ticket Prices:
PHP 250 - UP
PHP 300 - Non-UP and SM Tickets
PHP 350 - Walk-In

Stay tuned to their social media pages for updates!

Maskipaps: The Crossover x Raveolution is co-presented by:

San Miguel Flavored Beer || GSM BLUE || Jack 'n Jill Calbee || Jack 'n Jill Puff Corn || Fly Shades || Fitbar Philippines || SIP Purified Water || Swish

In cooperation with:
Trampoline Park - Zero Gravity Zone || Freshman Masculine Wash || Stellina's

Also brought to you by:

Black Beauty Philippines || The Other Room || Orange Segment Print and Design Studio || Uber || Hawk || MARSCHE Bluetooth Headphones || Mystery Manila

Official Radio Partner:
Monster RX93.1

Media Partners:
Solar Entertainment Corporation || Basketball TV || Philippine Daily Inquirer || Inquirer Lifestyle (to be you) || InqPOP || || Clickthecity || GimikZone || Maroon FM || looloo app || MYX Philippines || Manila Concert Scene || DJ MAG Philippines || Indie Manila || || Rave.PH || RAVEManila || Wazzup Pilipinas || GV Philippines
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