Saturday, February 2, 2019

Conquer the Year of the Pig with Harbour Citys Best-Kept Chinese New Year Secrets

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Lanterns being strung up and red clothing making their way to storefrontsChinese New Year is fast approaching! For those looking for luck to come their way, its time to take a look at what the Year of the Pig has in store!

With Harbour City in Hong Kong, get ready for a prosperous 2019 as actor, host, and model Richard Juan and Feng Shui master Kelvin Poon take you through everything you need to know!

Wondering what to expect this year? Take a look at a forecast of what 2019 will look like for you, as well as the four lucky zodiacs of the year. Find out your sign and see if its one of the Big Four!

For those interested in astrology, have you ever heard of the Grand Duke? If not, our hosts will take you through the basics and what it has to do with Chinese zodiacs! Expand your knowledge of the signs, and find out Master Poons ultimate secret for boosting fortune this year.

Dont miss out on fun facts and the best tips on welcoming luck into your life this 2019! Check out this video, and have a happy new year with Harbour City!

Check out this video and have a happy new year with Harbour City!

DOE to Review Franchise Compliance of ECs

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi announced the review of all electric cooperatives' (ECs) compliance to the service requirements of their respective franchises, as part of the agency's initiatives to improve power services in the provinces by enhancing EC performance.

While ECs have been the government's long term partners in providing electricity in far-flung areas of the country, many ECs have failed to carry out their mandate for various reasons. These include inefficient management, corruption, unnecessary political interference, as well as institutional conflicts as is the case with DANECO.

The DOE will also look into the rise in missionary subsidies in areas which include, among others, Occidental Mindoro, Catanduanes, Marinduque, and Tablas.

The Energy Secretary will request the National Electrification Administration to submit the technical and financial performance reports of ECs for the last five years.

In addition, ECs will also be asked to submit their road maps and strategies for improving their services, operations and economic viability in the next three years.

"The review will be an inclusive process. We will ask the ECs to identify their main challenges and work with them in determining long-term and sustainable solutions. For transparency purposes, the results of the review will be made available to the public," Sec. Cusi said.

Depending on the review's findings, task forces may be created to assist underperforming ECs.

For non-performing ECs, on the other hand, the DOE may recommend the cancellation of their franchises.

"As we seek to attain total electrification of the country by 2020, we will ensure that all operating ECs are providing the best services to their consumers. Our fellow countrymen deserves nothing less," the Energy Chief concluded.

Eyes Wide Open: Exploring the Implications of Social Media Use on Mental Health Today

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Yearly, the PUP Peer Facilitators Association conducts its Annual Youth Congress. It is a seminar which aims to provide knowledge and information on different topics, specifically to youth as per the title suggests. Each seminar tackles timely, relevant, and essential matter in the community.

This year's marks the 11th Year of PUP Peer Facilitators Association Annual Youth Congress entitled “Eyes Wide Open: Exploring the Implications of Social Media Use on Mental Health Today.” It will be a 1-day seminar which equips the participants with knowledge about the impacts of social media use (whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media outlets) on the mental health especially on the youths today.

The 11th Annual Youth Congress is FREE ADMISSION and open to students, professors, professionals and anyone who craves for learning and wants to create change in the society. This will be held on January 31, 2019 at Bulwagang Balagtas, 4/F NALLRC, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Mabini Campus, Sta. Mesa, Manila, from 9AM-4PM.

Should you have any query, please do not hesitate to contact:

Cassandra Joy V. Mallari, PUPPFA President
09501877211/ 09758909845

See you there!


Friday, February 1, 2019

Real Estate Leaders Share Optimism, Challenges in the Industry in Media Roundtable

Wazzup Pilipinas!

From the role that internet plays in the real estate sector to what’s in store for the commercial and residential property developers targeting the POGO market, the recently concluded Lamudi's Outlook Media Roundtable Series 2019: An Excellent 2018 for Philippine Real Estate and Raising The Bar in 2019 offered a glimpse of the trends that defined Philippine real estate in the past year and what the future might hold for the sector.

Lamudi’s chief executive officer, Ms. Bhavna Suresh, moderated the roundtable discussion, with members of the panel sharing their insights and views on a range of topics about the country’s real estate sector. The roundtable’s panelists were Mr. Christophe Vicic, country head of JLL Philippines; Mr. Janlo De Los Reyes, JLL Philippines’ head of research and consulting; Mr. Steve Chien, regional controlling principal of Keller Williams; and Ms. Elizabeth Ventura, president, and executive director of Anchor Land Holdings, Inc.

Technology’s role is pivotal
As the internet continues to evolve and advances in mobile technology make communication and information dissemination more efficient nowadays, members of the panel believe that trends in digital marketing have helped them communicate their products and services to their clients.

Ms. Elizabeth Ventura of Anchor Land, for one, noted that not only are they able to educate their clients better about their property offerings, but the projects that the company itself ventures into have become more viable because of the information that they get about their prospective clients and the feedback that they receive from them. “We rely on feedback mechanism so we know what buyers want. When you’re very clear with the needs of the clients, you can properly plan your projects,” Ms. Ventura said.

She noted that Lamudi, Philippines’ number one online real estate property platform, will continue to play a more critical role in strengthening the relationship between property developers like Anchor Land Holdings and property seekers who use the online platform in their search of properties to buy and invest it. “We need more info about the clients so we could advance and improve our offerings,” Ms. Ventura said, adding that so far it has been a good match between their property development projects, most of which are located in the Bay City area, and their clients.

A movement and a surge in interest
Ms. Suresh said she is very happy with Lamudi’s search traffic figures, noting that on January 2019 alone Lamudi, has seen an average growth rate of 40 percent week on week in terms of search activity. “These are incredible numbers. We’ve never seen numbers like these.  That’s what we’re very excited about. We’ve seen so much traffic coming in from the Middle East and from the US,” she said.

For Mr. Steve Chien of Keller Williams, Lamudi’s growth in the last five years has been admirable. He credited the property portal for playing a pivotal role in the real estate industry and in helping generate interest among individuals who wanted to become potential real estate agents. “It’s a movement,” Mr. Chien said, adding that Keller Williams, which is the largest property broker in the United States, even had to accommodate more than a thousand individuals in one of their training workshops for prospective real estate agents. Because of advances in communication and in internet technology, “we’ve seen more people participate in the real estate industry,” he noted.

It's still all about trust
The research head of JLL Philippines also shared Mr. Chien’s sentiment. “We want to harness the technology so we can do a better job,” Mr. Janlo De Los Reyes told the panel.  JLL Philippines country head Mr. Christophe Vicic, believes that technology has impacted everyone in the property development sector. In fact, JLL, which has been in the real estate business for over 250 years, wants to change its focus on how it conducts business in the real estate sector by transforming itself into a technology company that operates in the property development market.

Although the tools of the trade are evolving and changing, the internet, according to Vicic, has not changed the process of buying. “Trust takes time to build,” he noted.

Urbanization as a driver of real estate movement

Asked whether the real estate industry is lagging in terms of keeping up with the demands outside of the metro and trends like condormitels, Mr. Vicic said that urbanization is the one calling the shots.

“The real estate readiness is linked to what the country's development requires. Outside Metro Manila, 5 or 10 years ago, cities are not yet ready—not because people didn't want to go, but because there was no viable investment to go to. When we have landlords asking us where to build next, the question should be: where is the next urbanization development taking place?”

Mr. De Los Reyes also shared this sentiment, adding that the demand has always been there, maybe just not as emphasized as what you see. As in the case of condormitels, he noted that areas near popular university campuses like Katipunan, UP, and U-belt, have long offered this type of accommodation to students. And as a response to the evolution of the working population, they are now in the fringes of central business districts like BGC, Ortigas, and Makati.

"There's a lot of moving parts to it. There's urbanization. There's technology. All of these play a role in terms of shaping the readiness of the market,” he said in response.

The rise of POGO segment: boon or bane?
Recent estimates have pegged the current number of POGO employees who are Chinese nationals in the country to as high as 450,000, with this figure increasing to about 2 million over the next five years. This has led to an increase in property prices in Bay City, where most POGO offices are located and where many of the Chinese nationals connected with those firms reside.

“Prices are at around P300,000 per square meter, and that’s comparable to Makati and Bonifacio Global City. What’s happening is the Bay Area is pushing the domestic market away from that community, not only in terms of the sale but also in terms of the rents,” Mr. De Los Reyes said.
For Mr. Chien of Keller Williams, the main reason why rents are going up fast in Bay City can be traced to the growing demand for residential abodes of POGO workers, which property developers need to keep pace with. However, he also noted that the gaming operators aren’t synonymous to the entirety of the anticipated Chinese investment that will enter the country.

JLL’s Mr. Vicic believes that property developers who want to venture into the growing POGO market should learn to invest in the POGO workers. “We do a reference check on Chinese POGO workers (when we talk to building operators).” He also recommended that landlords should keep a balanced mix of tenants in their properties.

“If I were a landlord I would not rely on POGO for a long-term strategy only because it’s highly visible and politically-charged because of the nature of the industry.”
Other topics that the panel discussed zeroed in were on government support for property developers and how urbanization could change the Philippines’ real estate landscape and affect countryside development. 

Ms. Suresh chimed in the discussion by saying that moving toward provinces will benefit the country.

“The only flip side there is infrastructure needs to catch up, we need to move our offices to these outskirt areas too,” Ms. Suresh said

PH Indigenous Cinema Takes Center Stage in Berlinale 2019

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It’s a promising start for Philippine Indigenous cinema this year as a Palawán-Filipino filmmaker will serve as an advisor for the NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema special series and Kidlat Tahimik's debut film will have a screening at NATIVe in Berlinale.

Auraeus Solito, also known as Kanakan-Balintagos, is one of the Berlinale NATIVe Advisors who will discuss Indigenous cinema with filmmakers and audiences. His film Busong will be shown at the special series.

Auraeus Solito/Kanakan-Balintagos, one of this year's Berlinale NATIVe Advisors (Photo from the Berlinale website)

Auraeus Solito is thrilled on the international recognition for Philippine Indigenous cinema. He wrote on a Facebook post, “Just amazing that in 2011, Busong (Palawan Fate) premiered at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight, and 8 years later, it screens in another A-list festival, the Berlinale.”

Making the event even more special is the Philippines' National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik who will also showcase his 1977 film Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare) under Berlinale NATIVe.

On the other hand, director and screenwriter Emerson Reyes, cinematographer and director Theo Lozada, director and art/production designer Nestor Abrogena, and director and producer Che Tagyamon were selected for Berlinale Talents among the 3,401 applicants from 130 countries.

Under its mandate to promote the local film industry’s growth and development, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) supports the Filipino Berlinale Talents participants through its International Film Studies Assistance Program (IFSAP) under the Film Development Division.

“Berlinale Talents is one of the best platforms for our Filipino filmmakers to build contacts and connect with the best of the field, and we are happy for our delegates this year. FDCP is proud to support our delegates as we intend to continue supporting the presence of our filmmakers in more international platforms and events,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

The NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema special series will run from February 7 to 15, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

The Berlinale Talents will be held from February 9 to 14, 2019 at the three venues of HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin, Germany.

DOE Turns Over e-trikes to Mandaluyong City Government

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Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi joins President Rodrigo D. Duterte in turning over e-trikes to the Mandaluyong City Government

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi joins President Rodrigo R. Duterte yesterday (23 January) in turning over 170 electric tricycles (e-trikes) to the city of Mandaluyong during the Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA) Summit held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

“We are happy that the tricycle drivers of Mandaluyong now have the opportunity to shift to a more energy efficient and eco-friendly transportation alternative. These e-trikes would diversify our fuel sources and help enhance the country’s energy security,” Sec. Cusi stated.

The Certificate of Turn-Over for the e-trike units was received by Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita "Menchie" A. Abalos.

Mandaluyong City is the sixth recipient of e-trikes under the DOE’s Market Transformation through Introduction of Energy Efficient Electric Vehicles, or the E-Trike Project.

Also present were DOE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos and the DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau team headed by Director Jesus T. Tamang.

The TODA Summit was organized by the Department of Transportation and Department of Interior and Local Government.

DOE to Review Franchise Compliance of ECs

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi announced the review of all electric cooperatives' (ECs) compliance to the service requirements of their respective franchises, as part of the agency's initiatives to improve power services in the provinces by enhancing EC performance.

While ECs have been the government's long term partners in providing electricity in far-flung areas of the country, many ECs have failed to carry out their mandate for various reasons. These include inefficient management, corruption, unnecessary political interference, as well as institutional conflicts as is the case with DANECO.

The DOE will also look into the rise in missionary subsidies in areas which include, among others, Occidental Mindoro, Catanduanes, Marinduque, and Tablas.

The Energy Secretary will request the National Electrification Administration to submit the technical and financial performance reports of ECs for the last five years.

In addition, ECs will also be asked to submit their road maps and strategies for improving their services, operations and economic viability in the next three years.

"The review will be an inclusive process. We will ask the ECs to identify their main challenges and work with them in determining long-term and sustainable solutions. For transparency purposes, the results of the review will be made available to the public," Sec. Cusi said.

Depending on the review's findings, task forces may be created to assist underperforming ECs.

For non-performing ECs, on the other hand, the DOE may recommend the cancellation of their franchises.

"As we seek to attain total electrification of the country by 2020, we will ensure that all operating ECs are providing the best services to their consumers. Our fellow countrymen deserves nothing less," the Energy Chief concluded.

Tips for Creating an Ultimate Chill-Out Working Space

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Offices everywhere are experiencing a revolution as more and more workplaces shift from having a sterile, dull environment to sporting a more relaxed atmosphere. Not only does it make their working space hipper and cooler, but it also allows them to increase overall productivity as well as employee satisfaction. If you want to make your own office more chill than it currently is, too, then follow the pointers dished out below.

Let Your People Be Flexible

More likely than not, most of your employees will spend the majority of their work hours stuck behind a desk and connected to a computer. But just because they’re in the office and have to obey the regulations you set there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them be as dynamic and elastic as if they’re at their homes. Believe it or not, flexibility in the office can increase work efficiency and productivity. In fact, it’s one of the things often noted in freelancers working from home.

Bring Your Home to Work

So if you want a more relaxed office for yourself and your team, best give it a homey feel. The more similar the ambiances between the home and the workplace are, the warmer and more welcoming the latter will be―and the more productivity will increase. Start by adding furniture usually seen at home, especially sofas, carpets, plants, and what-not. Oh, and make sure some of the stuff you get is made of wood. Lots of people dig it more than glass; they think it looks and feels more comfortable and cozy. Don’t worry about finding the right things, though; there are lots of office furniture supplier in the Philippines and elsewhere for you to check out.

Install a Relaxation Room

But in case making your workspace homey isn’t enough, you can always have an extra room built for laying back and chilling. A separate breakout space gives you and your employees a spot to relax and unwind, allowing all of you to temporarily get away from the more-often-than-not-stressing environment of the central workplace. It doesn’t have to be a large room; it just needs to be soothing and closed.

Add Something Fun

Sometimes, though, soothing isn’t enough, and you and your workmates might end up looking for a couple of entertaining things to do. That’s why you need to have a few knick-knacks in your relaxation room and elsewhere to ease the tension. Things like dart boards, board games, or even a pool table can do wonders for your well-being at the office. It not only lets you relax, but it also builds camaraderie between you and your teammates, improving communication, teamwork, and productivity.

And Don’t Forget the Office Kitchen
The office pantry and kitchen is also a place where employees go to if they want to unwind. So if you want your workplace as a whole to be more welcoming and cozy, avoid having a kitchen that’s imposing and lifeless. Add friendly furniture like a dining table and chairs, a microwave, a coffee maker, and what-not. And make sure there are loads of snacks and beverages; it’s hard to chill without something to eat and drink.

Got Anything to Add?

Aside from these tips, there are many other ways to spruce up your working space and make it more relaxing and welcoming. If you know any of those unmentioned office hacks, please share them with us on the comments section below.

Featured Image:

Author's Bio:

Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Asia. He loves to learn and understand diverse cultures and aims to share through his writing his experiences around the world.

Top Investment-Worthy Properties in Tagaytay, Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Aside from being a top summer destination, Tagaytay is also fast becoming a favorite city outside Metro Manila to find a home in. Nestled between Batangas and Cavite, it’s relatively easy for everyone to come to and from the city. That, combined with the picturesque views of Taal Volcano and Lake, cool and breezy climates, and many fantastic commercial establishments, make investing in a property in Tagaytay worth it. 

If you’re also checking out smart-investment properties in the ridge, then here are suburbs you can start with.

Woodhills Residences

A real estate project of IPM Realty and Development Corporation, Woodhills Residences is a group of four towers (Primavera, Sequoia, Albizia, and Aspen) that feature some of the best prime studio and two-bedroom condominium units in Tagaytay City. Each unit is well designed and has floor areas ranging from 40 to 79 square meters, making it ideal for small families. Amenities include swimming pools for children and adults, basketball and tennis courts, and easy access to various commercial areas, business centers, and leisure establishments.

Tagaytay Highlands

Priding itself as the premier luxury living destination of the Philippines, Tagaytay Highlands offers stunning natural views and a breezy climate alongside its exclusive and posh homes. Amenities include two 18-hole golf courses, a country club with its own mini-golf course, swimming pools, and fishing pier, and a sports center complete with tennis court, basketball court, billiards hall, and bowling alley. Properties for sale in Tagaytay Highlands vary, from the high-quality homes of Nob Hill to the luxurious mountain resorts of Horizon Terraces Tagaytay Highlands.


Situated in the mountainous parts of Alfonso, Cavite, Don Tim’s Montebello has a breezy environment and an exciting atmosphere that is ideal for retirees, balikbayans, and expats dreaming of a home in Tagaytay City. This 15.4-hectare gated village has 517 lots for you to choose from, as well as impressive amenities like the clubhouse complex that has basketball and tennis courts, swimming pools for adults and children, a view deck, and a multi-purpose hall. And the subdivision offers you a breathtaking view of Mount Batulao and its picturesque surroundings.

Alta Monte

Alta Monte is another great Tagaytay suburb from Don Tim, and it’s considered as his flagship project. The 13-hectare development offers you a pick among 218 lots, with construction, marketing, and financing included in your housing options so that you can get the property at a relatively lower price. And its location along Magallanes Drive makes it just a stone’s throw away from various commercial establishments, recreational areas, government offices, and schools.

Metrogate Tagaytay Estates

Metrogate Tagaytay Estates is a picture perfect subdivision that can provide you peaceful living at its finest. Situated in the heart of the city, the suburb blends Tagaytay’s cold climate, the perks of modern life, and the soothing ambiance of the ridge’s natural surroundings. In other words, Metrogate Tagaytay Estates offers you a comfortable and exclusive lifestyle. Amenities include 24-hour security, a centralized water supply, a perimeter fence, and pine trees, among others.

Look Them Up

Each of these real estate developments is investment-worthy, and they offer you some of the best properties available in Tagaytay. So if you really want to settle in the city, you might as well consider having a house in one of them.

Featured Image:

Author's Bio:

Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Asia. He loves to learn and understand diverse cultures and aims to share through his writing his experiences around the world.

FDCP to Honor Filipino Filmmakers’ Global Excellence with Film Ambassadors’ Night

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The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will kick off the year by hosting the third FDCP Film Ambassadors’ Night on February 10, 2019 at the Samsung Hall at SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City. This annual event is an evening of celebrating the victories of Filipino films, filmmakers, producers, and artists who received accolades and recognition from international film festivals last 2018.

FDCP will recognize eighty-five (85) who brought honor to the country by championing Filipino culture and stories through cinema. Among them are filmmakers who received awards from A-list film festivals, which include Shireen Seno (Nervous Translation), Treb Monteras II (Respeto), and Brillante Mendoza (Alpha, The Right to Kill).

There will also be three (3) recipients of the Camera Obscura Artistic Excellence Award, the highest recognition given by the Agency to outstanding members of the film industry who made major breakthroughs in Philippine cinema. Each awardee will be given a trophy and a P50,000 cash award. Previous awardees include Lav Diaz and Jaclyn Jose, as well as the films Saving Sally by Avid Liongoren and Kita Kita by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo.

The Film Ambassadors’ Night will be a festive night of celebrating triumphs and will also serve as a gathering of filmmakers to share their extraordinary experiences with one another and open doors for future collaboration.

The year 2019 is the banner year for the centennial celebration of the Philippine cinema. Following the Presidential Proclamation No. 622, series of 2018, FDCP is the lead agency for the historic event. As part of the commemoration, FDCP’s events throughout the year will follow the theme “Sandaan”, starting with the Film Ambassadors’ Night.

The list of Film Ambassadors will be announced soon.

QCinema Finalist Premieres at the 48th International Film Festival Rotterdam

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NETPAC Jury Prize winner and QCinema Film Festival finalist Dog Days will have its international premiere at the 48th International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands starting January 30.

With its commitment to strengthen the local film industry and champion Philippine cinema globally, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) supports and takes pride in showcasing films that reflect unique Filipino culture and stories.

Dog Days tells the dark coming-of-age story of Michael Jordan Ulili, a half-Filipino and half-black wannabe basketball star who chases after his “hoop dreams.” It will screen under the film festival’s Bright Future section.

Meanwhile, Khavn, director of Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, collaborated with German director Alexander Kluge for Happy Lamento. The feature-length music film, which is part of the fest’s Perspective programme, features electricity, circus, and the song “Blue Moon.” 


Aside from screenings, the IFRR also holds CineMart, the first international co-production market of its kind. This year's selection includes sixteen (16) independent feature films with theatrical potential. Among the selected projects is The Perilous Odyssey to Mount Gulsuk by Jordan Dela Cruz under VY/AC Productions and Cinematografica Films, the only Filipino project for CineMart's 36th edition.

“IFFR is one of the largest platforms that spotlights independent films and emerging talents and content from all over the world. We are proud that Filipino filmmakers are part of their showcase this year,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.

The IFFR is one of the most industry-driven and well-attended film festivals in the world. This annual twelve-day film festival provides a platform for filmmakers to feature one-of-a-kind narratives through independent films to broader and more diverse audiences.

The International Film Festival of Rotterdam runs from January 23 to February 3, 2019 at various locations in the center of Rotterdam and in LantarenVenster at the Kop van Zuid.

FDCP Partners With Mindanaoan Cinema for Cinemagis 11

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Twenty-one (21) short films that exemplify Mindanao's unique stories and narratives will be screened at the Cinemagis Northern Mindanao’s Digital Short Film Festival happening at Xavier University (XU) Little Theater, SM City Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Cinema 1, and Kiosko Kagawasan from January 23 to 26, 2019.

Cinemagis 2019 filmmakers with Cinemagis Festival Director Hobart Savior (Contributed photo from Sunstar)

The Cinemagis is organized by the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) and Xavier Foundation in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“FDCP is more than happy to support Cinemagis because the Festival is a perfect example of what we hope to inspire in all of the regions of the country—for localities to discover their own voices, stories, and lores and showcase and preserve them through the art of film. We hope to reach communities from the country's center all the way to our regions to encourage them to develop their own film culture. Empowering regional film festivals like Cinemagis is in line with this objective,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.

As a partner and in line with its film education programs, FDCP will bring in Aped Santos, the production designer of Baler, to lead the lecture about Optimizing Local Resources for Film and Film Production Design. Coreen Jimenez, the producer ofRespeto, will also be present to talk about Film Production and Management. FDCP will also host a Filmmakers' Night where filmmakers can meet, network, and celebrate Mindanaoan Cinema at Macey’s Secret Garden in CDO on January 26.

Now on its 11th year, the Cinemagis remains steadfast in upholding its advocacy of promoting Mindanao’s rich culture, heritage, and tradition using film as the medium. It also helps regional filmmakers hone their craft and create a thriving film community.

The Cinemagis held a screening of CDO-based filmmaker Julienne Ilagan’s Kauyagan,an official entry to last year’s ToFarm Film Festival. Eight (8) entries were successfully accepted in the senior or professional category, while thirteen (13) will compete in the student category. There will be an awarding ceremony at the SM City CDO Event Center on January 26, 2019.

DOE to Tap All Possible Resources to Assure National Energy Security

Wazzup Pilipinas!

WHY NOT NUCLEAR: Energy family officials led by DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (center) with Mr. Michael Shellenberger at the successful conclusion of yesterday’s TED Talk on nuclear power. Also in photo (left to right) are DOE Undersecretary and NEPIO Chair Donato D. Marcos, Mr. Mark Cojuangco, DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas, Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr., and PNOC President and CEO Admiral Reuben S. Lista (ret).

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi yesterday (23 January) underscored the need to tap all available energy resources to assure the country’s energy security amidst ever growing demand during the DOE-hosted TED Talk of policy expert Mr. Michael Shellenberger on “Why We Need Nuclear Energy”.

“We are technology neutral, because we want to explore all possible ways to bring affordable, secure and reliable power to Filipinos throughout the entire archipelago. I believe this is time for us to take a leap and include nuclear power into our energy mix. We wouldn’t want to wait until we are all crying for power before we actually do something,” Sec. Cusi emphasized in his opening remarks.

He also expressed that Mr. Shellenberger’s views helped shed light on common misconceptions about nuclear power as he expounded on how a country like the Philippines would benefit from harnessing this energy source.

During Mr. Shellenberger’s compelling presentation, he stressed that while facts point to nuclear energy as the future of safe and reliable electricity production, the decision for the country to go nuclear must be made as a people.

The talk was made possible by the DOE - Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization, which has been actively evaluating the feasibility of developing a national nuclear power program.

The TED Talk was attended by members of the energy family, representatives from other government agencies, members of the academe and media.

Destiny Chaser's Global Launch!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A salute to all you fine gamers out there! We proudly announce that the epic and stylish no.1 mobile RPG, Destiny Chaser, finally had its grand launch on January 23! It has been a great journey for this highly addictive idle game, and there is only more to come. You will not believe how far this game has come and how much more it can achieve!

Thank you everybody who participated in our various events during our soft launch, and a huge thanks to our community members who helped us improve the game. For everyone who have not picked up the game yet, the great thing about destiny is that you can choose your own path, and it is never too late to start playing this epic game. With thousands of hours worth of gameplay, hundreds of unlockables waiting for you, and an entire new world to immerse yourself in; a whole universe is just a tap away.

Download the game now, here:

The game is continuously being updated for more fun and action, and there are always events right around the corner for all players to earn in-game rewards. Please enjoy the brand new and grand new Destiny Chaser! To stay updated on news and events you can visit our Facebook page here:

Happy Chasing!

Key Features:

No. 1 Stylish 3D Action - Idle RPG

Enjoy HD Visual Effects in 3D
Thrilling and Colorful Battles with no Stress!

Endless Idle RPG
5x Max Speed! Extreme speed to explore the New World
Infinite growth through Rebirth
Full RPG experience on the GO
Easy Battle in High-level Strategic Play

Blockbuster RPG Style - Collect & Evolve!
Summon Unique Stylish Characters & Pets
Over 300 powerful equipment to use
Systematic level-up for your infinite growth
Tap to conquer Quests, Dungeons and Bosses
Exciting rewards and contents as you get stronger

Destiny Chaser is a free to play mobile idle RPG developed by Spoon Games. The gameplay features stylish 3D graphics with idle real-time fighting. In the game are hundreds of unlockables that include weapons, costumes, pets, and classes available to collect and customize.

DOE Seeks Revamp of Electricity Market Rules to Enhance Competition

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The Department of Energy – Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (DOE-EPIMB) conducted a public consultation on the proposed amendments of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) Rules at Parklane Hotel, Cebu, on 24 January 2019. The event was attended by representatives from local distribution utilities (DUs), power generating facilities, local government units, the academe, and members of the media.

The proposed amendments submitted by the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) to the DOE in September 2018 aims to strengthen current rules on market surveillance, enforcement, compliance and penalties.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “We need to empower our consumers on their right to be informed on how and where their electricity is being sourced. Their ‘firsthand involvement’ will benefit the entire energy sector as we hear their inputs on the significant improvements of market operation services and competitive pricing.”

The recommended changes seek to strengthen the roles and functions of those involved in enforcement and compliance processes; harmonize said processes with the enhanced WESM design; switch from an hourly to a five-minute trading interval; establish procedures and obligations on the issuance of notices for market rules breaches; determine appropriate violation penatlies; penalty remedies; and the utilization of penalty proceeds, among others. The revision of Market Manuals which serves as guidelines for electricity trading were also presented during the event.

“Greater transparency on electricity market processes results to a faster determination on what is best for our consumers,” Sec. Cusi added.

The DOE is on its 3rd leg of public consultations for the amendment of the WESM Rules, with previous public consultations held on 15 January 2019 for Mindanao and 17 January 2018 for Luzon.

EU-PH Launches RE Projects for Energization of Remote Areas in Mindanao

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CLEAN ENERGY PROSPECTIVE: As part of the department’s policy in energizing remote areas in the country, the DOE and EU-ASEP delegation meet for the launching of seven renewable energy projects to our kababayans in Mindanao.

In above photo are (L-R) European Union (EU) Project Manager Xavier Canton-Lamousse, EU Head of Development Cooperation Enrico Strampelli; Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz; MiNDA Chief of Staff Bai Norhata Alonto; EU Programme Manager for Energy Willy Hick; DOE Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola; and MiNDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Union (EU), through the Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), launched seven renewable energy projects that would provide power to around 40,000 households in remote areas of the Philippines yesterday (30 January).

“Our goal is to provide electricity throughout the entire archipelago by 2020. These projects will bring more progress in Mindanao as thousands of Filipino families, particularly those living in far-flung areas of the region, will have access to power,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.

Sec. Cusi added, “We have partnered with DOTr and the Malay, Aklan LGU in order to improve the public transport system for the tourists and most specially for the Boracaynons as a form of livelihood.”

The launching was led by DOE Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola, EU Head of Development Cooperation, Mr. Enrico Strampelli and Mindanao Development Authority Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz.

According to Mr. Strampelli, the project awardees signed their respective contracts on 13 December 2018, right after the extension of the ASEP implementation period.

“Over the next three years, ASEP will continue to work with the DOE in improving the lives of vulnerable communities in the country,” he added.

EU will contribute €21 million to co-finance up to 80% of the projects which involve energy investments in the following areas: hybridization and income-generating activities through the introduction of productive uses of electricity; innovative provision of basic electricity supply and services for poor, disadvantaged areas; electrification for livelihood generation through the Solar Photovoltaic Home System in the Bangsamoro area; support to decentralized and mini grids; capacity building on rural electrification; energy efficiency measures; and renewable energy management.

The seven projects launched were:

• Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES): € 5 million grant to Mahintana Foundation, Inc.

• Improving the Lives of People in Off-Grid Communities in Mindanao through the Provision of Sustainable Energy: € 4.5 million grant to Yamog organization

• SolarBnB Microhotel & Island Livelihood Energizer (SMILE) - Platform: € 3.9 million grant to Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas ng Pilipinas, or WWF Philippines

• Renewable energy technology for seaweed value added in Tawi-Tawi (RETS): € 4.2 million grant to United Nations Industrial Development Organization

• Renewable Energy Access for off-grid Communities and Households (REACH): € 3.7 million grant to People in Need

• Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY): € 2.2 million grant to Sequa

• Clean Energy Living Laboratories (CELLs): Ateneo

Around 150 participants from the Philippine energy sector, regional and local government, civil society organizations and the academe attended said event.

BDO Foundation, NU Forge MOU toplo

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BDO Foundation-NU MOU Signing. Officers of BDO 

Foundation and National University sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop simple accounting and bookkeeping modules for farmers, thereby giving them the opportunity to grow their business and, more importantly, improve their financial literacy.

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of BDO Unibank, Inc. has partnered with the National University (NU) to further bring financial education to Filipino farmers nationwide.

NU, in a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BDO Foundation, has agreed to develop simple accounting and bookkeeping modules for farmers. NU faculty members will then use these modules to train the farmers in communities to be identified by the Foundation.

"Countless farmers still experience financial hardship partly because they lack financial education. They are skilled in crop production but they are not able to grow their business because they don't know much about the financial side of farming. They do not know how to budget or differentiate between disposable income and what should be plowed back to production. Because of this, they are always in need of fresh funds and become victims of predatory lending,"   BDO Foundation president Mario A. Deriquito said.

"With the help of NU, farmers will learn simple accounting, bookkeeping, and even budgeting and financial planning," Mr. Deriquito added.

Through this partnership, BDO Foundation hopes to give local farmers the opportunity to grow their business, alleviate themselves from poverty, and most of all improve financial literacy and inclusion in the country.

"This collaboration is meant to further develop the education that we provide our students, as it cuts across not just academics, but also research, and community engagement," NU president  Renato Carlos H. Ermita Jr., for his part, said.

Selected senior students from NU's College of Business and Accountancy will likewise be involved in the program, as observers during the training, and as researchers, who will monitor the progress of the farmers and the effectiveness of the training.

"We are very excited with this partnership because it does not only allow us to apply our academic theories in the real world; it also helps us develop our students into well-rounded individuals. It teaches them the value of helping their fellow Filipinos," NU vice president for Academics Rachel Roxas added.

Moving forward, BDO Foundation and NU will also collaborate on other projects such a capacity-building program for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in coordination with BDO subsidiary One Network Bank, a research project to support the Foundation’s financial education for public schools, and other similar initiatives.

SAMUP Proudly Presents Math in Action 2019

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On February 9-10, 2019, the Society of Applied Mathematics of UPLB (SAM-UP), the premier organization of Applied Mathematics students in UPLB, will conduct Math In Action (MIA) 2019 at the Royal Palm Leisure Park, Brgy. Puypuy, Bay, Laguna. Around 300 high school students will be engaged in various fun-filled Mathematics-related activities in order to broaden their understanding and appreciation of Mathematics and its application to the real world.

MIA is a two-day national Mathematics camp open for all high school students from public and private schools across the country. With the theme “Connecting the Dots Between Sustainable Innovation and Mathematics”, this year’s camp will focus on how Mathematics plays a role on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.


The participants will have a chance to showcase their skills and abilities during the presentations of their investigatory projects on the first day of the camp. The students are required to come up with their most original idea, create a Mathematical project out of it such as games, puzzles and devices, and present it in front of a panel of judges. The judges will evaluate the investigatory projects based on the given criteria to determine the winners.


The parallel workshops will take place after the participants are grouped and the teams are determined. Parallel workshops will entail interactive lectures about the applications of Mathematics in Sustainable Innovation, the enhancement of students’ creativity, and the development of their appreciation for Mathematics. Each team will be on every lecture simultaneously.


The seminar will be dedicated to the faculty members of the participating schools and will occur on the same time as the parallel workshops. An invited speaker will talk about a particular topic about the given theme that will surely pique the interest of the teachers and coaches. This is also a chance for the faculty members to interact and communicate with each other.


The main highlight of MIA 2019 is the Mathmazing Race, where the participants’ mathematical minds will be tested. Formed in groups, the students will battle and encounter various challenges and stations that are based on logic games and puzzles, optimization problems and other brain challenging playoffs that require teamwork. Mathmazing Race aims to develop decision-making and leadership skills while promoting sportsmanship and camaraderie among the participants.


Math Rumble will be an extension of the Mathmazing Race and will be played by the top teams that gets the highest scores. Pegged against the losing teams, the qualifying teams must compete on a series of activities based on the application of mathematics, on a different and a whole new exciting level. The team who gets the highest score will be declared the winner.


All high school students in the Philippines can join MIA 2019. For registration concerns, just send a private message to MIA 2019’s official Facebook page, “Math Quest SAMUP”, send a text message to 09776882264, or e-mail Registration fee is Php 1,500 for students and Php 1,200 for coaches (payment inclusion of food, camping fees and materials, and a MIA shirt for students).

Lenovo and Intel’s eSports Tournament, Legion of Champions III 2019, Comes to an Exciting Close

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Team Korea emerges as champion; Team Philippines clinches fifth spot

Lenovo and Intel’s Legion of Champions III 2019 ended with a bang as Team Awe Star from Korea finished at the top of the podium.

Lenovo, the world’s leading PC and smart device manufacturer, saw its Legion of Champions Series III (LoC III) Grand Finals come to the end of its journey in a spectacular fashion, with team Awe Star from Korea, lifting the championship trophy in triumph as part of their first LoC tournament win. The annual eSports tournament, held recently in conjunction with Intel, pulled in an impressive crowd, bearing witness to the intense competition that unfolded over the last three days.

“I’m proud to share that this is the third consecutive year that we have provided an excellent platform for the next generation of gamers to gather, compete and network with each other. It is also a chance for us to engage them and ensure that the Legion brand is evolving with their needs”, said Ken Wong, President, PCs and Smart Devices, Lenovo Asia Pacific. “Since the first edition of LoC in 2017, we have doubled the number of participating teams. The results have exceeded our wildest expectations and we look forward to taking eSports to the next level in Asia Pacific.”

“Intel congratulates the winners of the Lenovo Legion of Champions and is thrilled to be associated with the league. Along with partners like Lenovo, Intel is helping transform the future of esports by inspiring and supporting this vibrant community of fans and gamers by delivering the best in class technology that pushes the boundaries of performance,” said George Chacko, Director of Global Account for Lenovo, Intel Asia Pacific.

Team Awe Star’s triumphant efforts saw them walk with a total prize money of USD$7,000 and USD$5,000 worth of Legion Y530 notebooks, while the first and second runners-up, team Diamond from Taiwan and team Mega Esports from Thailand, took home USD$3,000 and USD$2,000, respectively.

Team ArkAngel of the Philippines clinched the fifth spot, with USD$900 cash prize.

Check out for final rankings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Junior Financial Executives - PUP Manila Proudly Presemts 1st Finance Week

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The Junior Financial Executives - PUP Manila chapter an academic organizations in Polytechnic University of The Philippines, launches the first ever Finance week! One of the MOST-ICONIC, SHATTERING and MOMENTOUS event of the year and now as we take it into another level --- with the theme of "1st FINANCE WEEK: Unleash the Power of Every Financial Hero"

FINANCE WEEK formerly Banking Week, is an annual celebration of the Department of Banking and Finance for the successes it achieved for the entire academic year. This is usually a week-long celebration where the organization conducts parade, talent competitions, quiz bees, forums and career fest. The event proper will start on January 30, 2019 and will end on February 1, 2019.

The Junior Financial Executives – PUP Manila is a student-run non-profit organization with over 1500 active members, making it listed as one of the biggest JFINEX chapters in the Philippines. The organization intends to promote financial literacy to its members by upholding awareness about the field of banking and finance. With its initiative of molding its members to become successful finance professionals in the future, the organization has been holding different interactive academic and nonacademic events.

Its goal for the academic year 2018-2019 is to build relationship with likeminded people during its promotion of financial literacy. The organization aspires to create a lasting difference not just to the lives of the members of its department but also to the whole PUP community through finance.


Vice President – Marketing

(+63)93 6023 7528

For more information, check:

foodpanda Launched Their Healthy First Food Revolution Campaign to Help You with Your New Year’s Resolution”

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foodpanda, the on-demand food delivery platform, is bringing you the Healthy First Food Revolution to jump-start with your new year's resolution to eat clean by providing special discounts on healthy restaurant options. The campaign has up to 25% off on food you love. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a cheat meal or two during the week because foodpanda has your favorite cheat meals on discounted prices too!

Healthy First Food Revolution will run for the whole month of January with the perfect compliment to those new gym memberships you recently paid for. Come home to a healthy meal delivered straight to your door at a discounted price!

These amazing deals will be available on three key cities of foodpanda, from Metro Manila to Metro Cebu and Davao. All customers can expect to enjoy a range of choices from over 50 partner restaurants, such as Juju Eats, Motorino, Subway, Banh Mi Kitchen, Big Guys Pizza, Healthy Kabab Express, and more.

“foodpanda wants to help you start off the year right with a healthier happier lifestyle. We want to promote healthy living, but this does not mean depriving yourself of cheat meals from time to time. In order to have a healthy body, you must first have a healthy mind and no mind is healthy if it is deprived. So don’t be too hard on yourself, just do your best to eat healthily and indulge within reason this month,” says Iacopo Rovere, foodpanda CEO.

As an additional bonus, we’ve managed to cook up some deals together with your favorite go-to workout spots! Make sure to check your foodpanda app regularly for chances to get free passes!

Since we are still on the “season of giving” high, foodpanda has also lowered the delivery fee from 49 php to 35 php!

For more information and updates about the Healthy First Food Revolution, visit foodpanda’s Facebook and Instagram (@foodpanda_ph) account or look out for the pink tags on the foodpanda website:

Teatro ni Juan Welcomes Apatnapu, Opens February 16

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Teatro ni Juan, Marikina's premiere community theatre, draws its 11th Theatre Season to a close with ANG PAGSALUBONG SA APATNAPU, a new musical that reenvisions the true events that has transpired in the city in the early '40s.

A deranged writer recounts how the Jewish refugees found their way to the Valley, escaping the terrors of Kristallnacht. President Manuel Quezon welcomes the ‘Manilaners’ to his abode in the small city of Marikina. Together with the Marikeños, they establish an intercultural nexus with a deeper bond as a community; a forewarning for the turmoil yet to come — the requisitioning of the Japanese Imperial Army over the islands.

Featuring the Teatro ni Juan ensemble, ANG PAGSALUBONG SA APATNAPU is a tread through the remarkable contribution of Marikina to the Philippines’ historical narrative — one that has long been unnoticed by the history books and one that is worth telling the generations to come.

The production and artistic team includes Jennelle Javier (Production Management), Elvira Lazaro (Stage Management), Clarisse Ilagan (Photography and Art Direction), Mikaela Foronda (Associate Art Direction) Wana Guevara, Ana Rae Tambaoan &Alliah Micmic (Dramaturgy), Jonpol Ponce (Technical Direction), Brian Bruno (Lights Design), Madeline Villamon (Costume Design), Wana Guevara & Kristine De Leon (Additional Text, Music and Lyrics), Julius Getubig (Additional Musical Arrangement), Kary Villaflor (Vocal and Musical Direction), Michaela Caranza (Original Music and Arrangement), Bianca Trinidad (Assistant Direction & Choreography) and Mikko Angeles (Direction). ANG PAGSALUBONG SA APATNAPU runs on February 16-17, 23-24 and March 2-3 (Saturdays & Sundays, 7pm) at Tahanan ni Juan, 43-A C. Cruz St., Sta. Elena,Marikina City. Tickets are available at PHP150php. Seats are limited. For tickets, sponsorships and showbuying inquiries, you may contact Je Vincent Trinidad (+639154954438) or Camille Doctolero ( +639268815358 ) or email

*** Tahanan ni Juan is a found space venue with no air-condition. For directions, see attached image. Tahanan ni Juan is also on Waze, Google Maps and Grab.


Monday, January 28, 2019

Pinnacle releases market insight for first quarter of 2019

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The homegrown real estate brokerage and consulting firm highlights key market indicators that defined the country’s real estate market in 2018 and what will shape 2019

January 23, 2019; Manila: The TRAIN Law, the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, adjustment of price ceilings for socialized and low-cost housing—these are some of the real estate market indicators that defined 2018 and what will shape the market in the years to come, as reported by Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services, Inc. in its latest research.

Here are the major highlights of Pinnacle’s latest report.

2018 Highlights

1. TRAIN Law and Real Estate

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Bill or the Republic Act 10963 took effect on the first day of 2018, whose main purpose is to implement revisions in the Philippine internal revenue tax system, thus providing additional disposable income to working Filipinos.

Aside from this, there were also allied gains in the taxes involving real estate transactions. Some of these are the rate-reduction and simplification of the estate and donor’ tax systems and value-added tax base expansion affecting socialized and low cost housing segments, residential condominium dues, residential leasing, and the much-delayed Real Estate Investment Trust.

It is also said that 70% of the revenues from the TRAIN Law shall be used to fund the infrastructure projects of the government.

2. Infrastructure Gains for Real Estate

The government continues to invest heavily on projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program. As of 30 November 2018, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved 35 infrastructure flagship projects with an estimated cost of Php1.537 trillion. This is in line with the current administration’s policy to undertake a minimum of Php1 trillion worth of infrastructure projects per year until 2022.

On top of the list is the Php357-billion Metro Manila Subway Project – Phase 1 funded by a loan from the Japanese government. This 25.3-kilometer underground commuter rail system will from Quezon City to Taguig City with an extension going to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

3. Adjustment on Price Ceilings for Socialized Housing
In 2018, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) issued House Resolutions Nos. 1 and 2 to increase the price ceiling for socialized subdivision and socialized condominium housing projects, respectively. The adjusted price ceiling for horizontal socialized housing projects now range between Php480,000 and Php580,000.

Price ceiling for vertical socialized housing or socialized condominium projects is between Php700,000 and Php750,000 for Metro Manila and selected nearby areas, and between Php600,000 and Php650,000 for other areas. There were no existing or separate housing ceiling under this category.

4. Boracay Closure

In April 2018, the government ordered the closure of Boracay for a period of six months to rehabilitate the island. Fast forward, Boracay reopened to the public in October 2018, but the government has now enforced stricter rules and regulations in the operation and maintenance of the island in order for its tourism industry to be sustainable. Major changes are the reduction of the daily tourist capacity and accreditation of resorts, hotels, and other lodging facilities ensuring they are environment-friendly before they operate.

The closure and rehabilitation of Boracay may have encouraged sustainable and responsible tourism as the government is closely monitoring the situation in El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, and Panglao in Bohol.

5. New Manila International Airport in Bulacan

The 50-year concession agreement for the New Manila International Airport finally got the approval from the National Economic and Development Authority. San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC), a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation, submitted the unsolicited proposal for the construction, operation and maintenance of the airport.

The project will be constructed in a 2,500-hectare land in Bulakan, Bulacan with an estimated project cost of Php735.6 billion. Once completed, the airport will have a passenger capacity of 100 million a year which is thrice the passenger capacity of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

2019 Indicators

1. Updates on REITs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have made moves to dismantle two roadblocks that hinder the full implementation of the REIT Law. The SEC, for its part, has agreed to lower the minimum public ownership (MPO) to 33%, provided that the BIR clarifies that initial transfers of property to REITs are exempt from VAT as provided by the TRAIN Law. Statement from BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay affirm that the interpretation of the TRAIN Law, saying that the initial property transfers to REITs are VAT-exempt as long as they qualify under Section 40(C)(2) of the 1997 tax code.


The Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill or the second package of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law was approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives. As its title suggests, its objective is to generate better and high-quality employment opportunities by attracting new business and investments through reduction of their corporate income tax (CIT). The Philippines has the highest CIT among ASEAN countries at 30%. Singapore, which we could say as the most business-friendly state in the region, has a CIT of only 17%.

3. Cebu Continues Winning Form in the Tourism Sector

The second most important metropolitan area in the Philippines, Cebu has a prosperous tourism industry, and the opening of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 has been a game changer and only bolstered the province’s position as one of the country’s top tourist destinations, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT). MCIA data shows that there were 1.4 million foreign tourist arrivals in Cebu from January to September of 2018, which is 22.76% higher than the figure recorded for the same period in 2017.

Another industry that Cebu should focus on is the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) industry, according to DOT chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. Two major international events will be held in Cebu this year: Routes Asia 2019 and Centre for Aviation’s (CAPA) LCCs in North Asia Summit. Cebu is a perfect target for big-ticket and high-profile events because of its touristy ambiance and its new airport terminal. These events are also expected to boost Cebu’s hotel occupancy this year.

4. Bay Area Continues Uptrend

With a condo stock of approximately 20,000 units as of 2018, the Bay Area has already surpassed Ortigas Center as Metro Manila’s third largest condo submarket, and is expected to overtake the Makati central business district as the capital’s second largest condo submarket. Meanwhile, the Paranaque side of the Bay Area will soon have its own anchor retail tenant when the Ayala Mall Bay Area beside the City of Dreams Manila opens sometime in 2019. 

Touted as one of the biggest Ayala malls, foot traffic will significantly increase on this side of Entertainment City, and will have a significant impact on the resale price of condos near it. In addition, office rental rates in the Bay Area have already breached the Php1,000 per square meter per month mark, on par with rental rates of Grade A offices in the Makati CBD.

5. Central Luzon as New Growth Area Outside Metro Manila

The current administration’s goal of spreading business opportunities outside Metro Manila is definitely spilling over to Central Luzon, most notably the areas within and around the Clark Freeport Zone. This development is boosted by several planned transport infrastructure projects that will improve the region’s connectivity.

One of these is the ongoing expansion project of the Clark International Airport, the first phase of which is scheduled for completion in June 2020, and involves a new 100,000-square-meter terminal being built by Megawide-GMR consortium and is expected to increase Clark’s capacity to 8 million passengers per year. Second in the government’s list is the Subic–Clark Cargo Railway, which will provide freight service between the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone.

Several national real estate players are seen to benefit from these ongoing developments, most notable of them include the Filinvest group, Dennis Uy’s Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC) with its Clark Global City, and SM Prime. Recently, GGDC has engaged the SM group to be the first anchor locator in Clark Global City. Pinnacle data shows a burst of activities in Central Luzon, most notably Mabalacat, Mexico, San Fernando, and Porac in Pampanga, LGUs that surround Angeles City.

6. Davao as the Next ‘It’ Destination for Investment

One of the most exciting places in the Philippines at the moment, Davao City and the larger Davao Region will be the place to be this year. One of the region’s major draws is the planned transport infrastructure projects aimed at mitigating congestion in Davao City itself and improving transportation logistics for the whole Davao Region.

Foremost is the construction of the 44.6-kilometer Davao City Bypass Road that will commence in 2019. This ambitious project will include a tunnel section and will start from the Davao–Digos of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Toril and will terminate intersecting the Davao–Agusan National Highway in Panabo City.

The city’s airport will also receive a much-needed upgrade soon, thanks to the Davao Airport Operations, Maintenance and Development Project that will start in 2019. Once completed, the airport’s design capacity will be increased 500% to 17.9 million passengers per year. Data shows that in 2017, the airport handled 4,234,667 passengers, way above its design capacity.

With key infrastructures set to be delivered over the next few years, property developers have been very busy changing the landscape and skyline of Davao City dramatically. A multitude of property giants are bringing their unique and different brands into the real estate market of the city. One of the most anticipated developments is Ayala Land’s Azuela Cove and Megaworld’s Davao Park District.

7. The Rise of Condo Submarkets Outside Traditional CBDs

With land prices in the Makati central business district and Bonifacio Global City scarce and prohibitively costly, developers are venturing out of the traditional business districts for their next Metro Manila projects. 

The Chino Roces area over the next few years will be a thriving condo submarket, similar to the north of Ayala area, while Ayala Land and Lucio Tan’s Eton Properties recently entered into a partnership to develop Parklinks, a 35-hectare master-planned project along C5 Road between Pasig and Quezon City (close to Eastwood City).

About Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services, Inc.

Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services, Inc. is a home-grown real estate brokerage and consulting firm. It provides a full range of services to local and foreign investors, buyers, and real estate lenders. It is composed of a team of experienced professionals dedicated to enhancing the value of client investments throughout the Philippines. 

The company’s primary business lines are real estate asset management and brokerage, real estate closing and advisory services, property appraisal, research and consulting, property and facilities management, and non-performing loan (NPL) asset management, among others.

To know more about Pinnacle, visit its website at and check out its pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. - Pinnacle Press
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