Saturday, September 28, 2019

Dusit International Continues Global Expansion with New Dusit Princess Hotel in Central Kathmandu, Nepal

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal is Slated to Ipen in Q3 2020.

Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has signed an agreement with Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd. to develop and operate Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal – the second Dusit-branded hotel set to open in Nepal – in Q3 2020.

Operating under Dusit’s upper-midscale Dusit Princess brand, the new hotel will comprise 108 well-appointed guest rooms in a prime location in the capital’s vibrant Lazimpat neighbourhood. The area is home to various international institutions and is just a short walk from the bustling eateries and shops of Thamel.

Tribhuvan International Airport and major cultural attractions such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, and Swayambhunath Stupa can be reached in 20 minutes by car.

Designed to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers alike, hotel facilities will include an outdoor swimming pool and pool bar, a rooftop lounge-bar, a fully equipped fitness centre, a spa, and meeting facilities. An all-day dining restaurant will serve daily buffet breakfast plus a variety of international and local cuisines.

In keeping with the Dusit Princess brand, each room will feature high-quality beds, a cosy bathroom, modern amenities, and a contemporary design reflecting local style and culture to provide high levels of comfort and convenience.

“We are delighted to partner with Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd. to bring our unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality to Kathmandu for the first time,” said Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International. “Surrounded by popular cultural attractions, centuries-old religious sites, several embassies and major businesses, Dusit Princess Kathmandu is perfectly positioned to link guests with everything this fascinating city has to offer. We now look forward to delivering a hotel experience that delights on all fronts while providing sustainable value to all our stakeholders.”

Mr Dorje Gyaltsen Lama, Managing Director, Hotel Lhasa International Pvt. Ltd., said, “Nepal welcomed more than 1.1 million tourists in 2018 – up 25% YOY – and the country’s tourism industry just keeps going from strength to strength. To capture this fast-growing market, we were determined to find a distinctive partner with international experience, a track record for excellence, and a commitment to having a positive local impact. We are delighted Dusit is that partner, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship together.”

Dusit International’s property portfolio now comprises 271 properties (nine owned and 262 managed) operating under six brands across 13 countries. The company has more than 50-Dusit branded hotels in the pipeline and expects to open at least 10-12 hotels per year in key destinations from 2020 onwards.

Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Nepal is the second property Dusit International has signed to operate in Nepal. Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort & Spa, a luxury mountaintop resort in Nepal’s central region, is slated to open in Q1 2021 under a hotel management agreement.

DOTr Rail Sector Meets Bulacan Local Execs to Expedite Completion of Railway Projects

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In order to promote transparency and coordination on matters of mutual concern, officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade met with provincial and local officials from the government of Bulacan today, 25 September 2019, to discuss how to smoothly and efficiently implement railway projects in the province.

During the meeting, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando expressed his gratitude to Secretary Tugade and the DOTr for ensuring constant coordination with officials and stakeholders to expeditiously realize various transport infrastructure projects in Bulacan.

“Napaka-productive ng ginagawang ito ni Sec. Tugade at nako-coordinate kaming lahat. At least ngayon, alam na namin kung ano ‘yung mga development na mangyayari. Kaya ganun na lang ang pasasalamat namin kay Secretary Art, kay Pangulong Duterte at sa administrasyong ito,” Governor Fernando added.

For his part, Secretary Tugade assured local and provincial officials that the ongoing projects of the government will continue to move forward until completion.

“Makakaasa po kayong itong railway project natin ay hindi lang po ‘drawing’ ito. Ongoing construction na po kami para sa mas maginhawang pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan dito sa Bulacan,” Secretary Tugade said.

Railway projects in Bulacan

During the meeting, transport officials focused on two (2) railway projects, the PNR Clark Phase 1 and PNR Clark Phase 2, as part of the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

For PNR Clark Phase 1, Secretary Tugade reported that the rail line from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan is 2-3 months ahead of its construction schedule. Additionally, Secretary Tugade announced that 24/7 construction works have been implemented since July in order to achieve partial operability by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Secretary Tugade also mentioned that bidding for PNR Clark Phase 2, running from Malolos to Clark has received worldwide attention, following the recent opening of bids that were participated by nine (9) international and two (2) local companies.

Addressing concerns

Local officials, for their part, raised concerns and clarifications on certain issues such as the provision of accessibility for senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in train stations, proper relocation of affected families, desired designs per train station based on the history of each municipality, provision of an easier access to the airport, and reduction of road congestion.

In response, both Secretary Tugade and PNR General Manager Junn Magno acknowledged these concerns and vowed to accommodate solutions that will expedite the completion of projects.

"Kung mayroon na po kayong mga ideya, i-submit niyo na po in writing upang masamahan po namin kayo at magawan ng paraan ang inyong mga suhestyon," GM Magno said.

The transportation chief likewise suggested the conduct of regular meetings to fast-track railway projects and immediately address lingering issues.

“Gusto kong mangyari, huwag ito ‘yung una at huling diyalogo natin. Kung maaari, gumawa tayo ng agarang schedule, para pagkatapos ng tatlo o apat na buwan, magkikita tayo para sa ganun, ‘yung ating pag-implement ng mga proyektong ito, kung mayroong mga red flag isyu na dapat sagutin, mapupunto po natin yan,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

Other officials present during the meeting were Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, CIBAC Party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales Jr., Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz, Marilao Mayor Ricardo Silvestre, Meycauayan Mayor Linabelle Villarica, Angat Mayor Leonardo de Leon, Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus, Malolos Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian, and DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon.

Friday, September 27, 2019

DOE Approves NTP for Excelerate’s FSRU LNG Facility

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The Department of Energy (DOE) on 20 September approved the Notice to Proceed (NTP) of the US-based firm, Excelerate Energy L.P., for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating storage & regasification unit (FSRU) facility in Batangas.

Excelerate has a fleet of nine operating FSRUs worldwide. The proposed FSRU LNG Facility in the Philippines will have a storage capacity of 150,000 cubic-meters, to be located at about 9.5 kilometers offshore in the Bay of Batangas.

Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “As proposed, by the third quarter of 2021 we are expecting that Excelerate’s FSRU LNG facility will commercially operate. With our continuing efforts to provide energy security, especially since we are anticipating the depletion of Malampaya gas, the establishment of LNG facilities bring a promising future for the country."

Within six months from the issuance of the NTP, Excelerate has to comply with the Permit to Construct (PTC) requirements, which are the submission of permits from various government agencies and endorsements from Local Government Units. They are also required to submit the proof of financial closing to the DOE.

Subsequently, the DOE will issue the PTC authorizing the actual construction of the FSRU LNG facility, in accordance with the Department Circular No. 2017-11-0012, or the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry”, upon compliance to the PTC requirements.

Based from the work program submitted by Excelerate, the completion of construction and commissioning of the facility will take around two years (October 2019 to June 2021) and the scheduled commercial operations date is on the third quarter of 2021.

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMC GPHC) also expressed their interest to be the target power customer of Excelerate. Starting January 2022, SMC GPHC will require a supply of natural gas for a continuous period of at least 15 years at commercially viable tariff rates of their existing and future Gas Fired Power Plants with a total gross capacity of up to 1,800 MW on a baseload basis.

‘Tis the Season of Giving as Habitat for Humanity Philippines Teams Up with Handyman

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In this time of torrential rains, floods and typhoons, many underprivileged Filipinos without decent shelter find themselves exposed to the elements, putting their health and safety at risk.

Leading shelter advocate Habitat for Humanity Philippines teams up with retail hardware giant Handyman to reach out and give hope to underprivileged families and communities through a social responsibility initiative involving Herco Trading Inc., distributor of Greenfield hand tools.

Supporting Habitat Philippines’ mission to build and rebuild disaster-resilient homes, Handyman launches a nationwide promotion coinciding with their 25th anniversary celebration.

For every purchase of a Greenfield hand tool, Handyman will donate the same quantity of items sold to Habitat Philippines that will in turn, distributed to its home-partners. This campaign will run from September 16 to October 16, 2019 in over 100 Handyman stores nationwide.

Go beyond giving gifts and exchanging cards this holiday season by helping build back homes and hope for people who need it most through every purchase of Greenfield hand tools.

Filipino Students Wow at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival in Hawaii

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Renowned industry experts and art students from over 30 schools and organizations worldwide gathered to celebrate the rich heritage of dance at the recent Asia Pacific Dance Festival (APDF) and Conference held at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Themed Ho‘ala - to waken, the three-day convention highlighted the finest qualities and the aesthetic nuances of the art form through a series of discussions, productions, workshops and shows, to share traditional and practiced-based research.

The APDF is a biennial intimate and collaborative environment that also serves as a platform for diverse and dynamic interactions for cross-cultural understanding among the international fellows.

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) delegation from the Philippines, comprised of School of Design and Arts (SDA) Arts and Culture Cluster Associate Dean Dr. Sunita S. Mukhi, Dance Program Chairperson Christine Crame, and majors Erika Arandez and Emmerson Evangelio, exhibited the College’s homegrown talent and advocacy of our tropical islands.

Mukhi presented a scholarly paper titled Intimacy and Inclusion, which introduced three of the institution’s theatrical innovations: Quartered explored the travails, torpor, and triumphs of a dancer without the encumbrance of the fourth wall; Canvass exemplified how a performer’s body offered to the Universal Spirit exhibits the longings and desires for a better life; and Ding, Ang Bato! (Ding, [Give] Me the Stone!), a musical with Filipino Sign Language (FSL) into the choreography that allowed the Deaf audience to appreciate the play.

Decked with compelling images, her study emphasized how the art form can share stories of inclusion and intimacy. 

Under the meticulous guidance and choreography of Crame, Evangelio and Arandez executed a four-piece showcase coined Dance Stories of Magnificence and Joy. Comprised of Butterfly and the Pin Man: A Dance Story about Magnificence, Transformation, Waterfall, and White Lion and Brown Fox, the duo’s Asian-inspired contemporary intermission unfolded thought-provoking morality tales with a dramatic narration that seamlessly blended the traditional gestures of the Filipino genre and the exquisite Indian movements.

Benilde Introduces Dean of School of Diplomacy and Governance

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De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) recently announced the appointment of Dr. Gary Ador Dionisio as the Dean of the School of Diplomacy and Governance (SDG) effective this Academic Year 2019 to 2020.

A Benildean educator since 2003, Dionisio has served as the Chairperson for Consular and Diplomatic Affairs (CDA) Program for six years.

An industry expert and academician on public administration and governance and international organizations and economy for the past 16 years, he has significantly contributed to the establishment of the SDG with former Dean George Binay. He has likewise spearheaded the formation of the College’s two newest programs, Bachelor of Arts in Diplomacy and International Affairs (BDIA) and Bachelor of Arts in Governance in Public Affairs (BAGPA), which were submitted to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in 2015.

He has collaborated with various agencies and has taken part in introducing the partnership between SDG and premier institutions such as University of Gadja Mada in Indonesia, Osgood Center for International Studies and Creative Learning, both in America.

Dionisio garnered his Master of Arts in Political Science from the De La Salle University (DLSU) and obtained his Doctorate degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG).

Oakwood Introduces Asia’s First Mobile Club Lounge at Oakwood Premier Properties

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Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore will be the first serviced apartment in the region to deliver hotel club lounge experience in the comfort of guests’ apartments

Oakwood, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree”), today announced the launch of its elevated club lounge experience to be made available at Oakwood Premier properties across Asia Pacific. The first property to pioneer this experiential concept, Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore will redefine the traditional club lounge experience by delivering personalised nightcaps and delectable canapés to guests right at their doorstep.

With an award-winning portfolio of properties, Oakwood Premier offers tailored luxury living to C-Suite executives and society’s elite in the key gateway cities of Bangalore, Guangzhou, Incheon, Jakarta, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. “Service innovation is a hallmark of the Oakwood Premier product and we continuously strive to push boundaries, providing guests with a highly differentiated luxury serviced living experience unique to Oakwood,’’ said Dean Schreiber, interim chief executive officer of Oakwood and managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific. “We are excited to launch our innovative club lounge experience which we anticipate will further elevate the Oakwood Premier offering.”

Guests staying at Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore’s serviced apartments with club privileges will be able to enjoy the club lounge experience within the comforts and privacy of their abode. Making its round every evening between 7pm and 10pm, an extensive drinks menu including unlimited house pours and signature cocktails by the resident bartender as well as a rotating selection of canapés will be available. Guests can enjoy five types of canapés including standouts such as SE7ENTH restaurant’s signature Crispy Chicken Wings with Maple Truffle, Cherry Peppers with Pecorino Cream Cheese and Assorted Macarons to complement their nightcap. 

“We are proud to pioneer this enhanced club lounge experience, being the first serviced apartment to roll out this concept in the region,” shares Roy Liang, general manager of Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore. “We have introduced a number of experience-centric offerings which have been well-received by our guests. With this, we will be able to extend a highly personal and engaging experience to guests.’’

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Prangkisa ng 20 PUV Operators at Drivers na lLumahok sa Welga Noong 2017, Kinansela ng LTFRB

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Kinansela ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang dalawampung (20) Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) ng mga Public Utility Vehicle operator at tsuper na napatunayang lumahok sa transport strike na pinangunahan ng grupong Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) noong 2017.

Ayon kay LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III, ang pagsali sa tigil-pasada ay tahasang paglabag sa LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004, na nagsasaad na ang paglahok sa anumang klaseng protesta na magdudulot ng abala sa mga pasahero ay isang paghamak sa prangkisang iginawad ng pamahalaan sa mga operator.

“Lumabag sila noon, harapin nila ang kinahinatnan ngayon. Hindi kami mangingiming ipatupad ang kautusang ito dahil hindi isinaalang-alang ng mga nagtigil-pasada ang kapakanan ng mga pasahero. Ang laki ng aberyang dinulot nito sa publiko,” ani Chairman Delgra.

Samantala, inatasan naman ni Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade ang LTFRB na siguruhing mananagot ang mga operator na lalahok sa napipintong transport strike na inorganisa ng mga miyembro ng PISTON at ng Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) sa Lunes, ika-30 ng Setyember 2019, bilang pagsalungat sa PUV Modernization Program ng pamahalaan.

“Ang prangkisa, pribilehiyo ‘yan at hindi karapatan. Nakasaad sa pribilehiyong ‘yan ang responsibilidad ng operator na bigyan ng komportableng biyahe ang kanyang pasahero. Kung magtitigil pasada sila, sinong kawawa? Pasahero. Sana maisip nila ‘yon,” giit ng Kalihim.

Pinasalamatan naman ng DOTr at ng LTFRB ang mga transport group at cooperative na nagpahayag ng suporta sa programang modernisasyon ng gobyerno, maging ang mga grupong nangakong hindi sila makikilahok sa tigil pasada sa Lunes.

Sa kabila ng napipintong transport strike sa Lunes, tiniyak ng DOTr at ng LTFRB, sa pakikipagtulungan sa iba pang sangay ng gobyerno kabilang ang MMDA at mga lokal na pamahalaan, na mayroon itong nakaantabay na contingency measures para maibsan ang epekto ng ikinakasang welga sa mga mananakay.

ADventure: Traversing Marketing Opportunities

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Where will your travels take you this September? Find it out!

Don't go around in circles and begin to quest for authentic wilderness, adventure, and cultural viewpoint!

ADventure: Traversing Marketing Opportunities tripping on September 29, 2019, from 11 am – 5 pm at the Marian Auditorium - Miriam College, Diliman, Quezon City.

For inquiries and concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Juniel Luzon at 0956 078 4091 or via email at


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Satisfying Every Lasallian’s Hunger for Experience

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Annual Recruitment Week (ARW) is an annual week-long event that is usually held on the third week of the first trimester at the Henry Sy Senior Grounds. Various organizations of De La Salle University (DLSU) are given the opportunity to recruit new members, as well as to renew the membership of their previous members. This serves as a platform for the different academic and special interest organizations to present what they have to offer, so that their future members are aware of the many opportunities that they can experience inside the organization. Every year, ARW also follows a certain theme. In line with this year’s theme, which is “Cuisines Around the World”, ARW highlights that every Lasallian is hungry for experience.

One should test the waters first before dipping into it; joining organizations that do not match one’s interests is just a waste of more time as well as resources, provided that there are interviews, applications, and/or fees as requirements for membership. Hence, ARW will give an opportunity for Lasallians to discover the best organizations which would best fit their interests whilst honing their skills and immersing them to non-academic endeavors with lesser resources as possible. Though it is only optional for students to join organizations, being part of one would yield various benefits — being a member of an organization would help a student maximize his/her stay in De La Salle University-Manila by having a well-rounded lifestyle. Organizations can serve as a bridge in establishing new friends, broadening one’s capabilities, and widening one’s horizons so that he/she is not just competent in academics but also in extracurriculars. While, the edge of being in a course-related organization is that the student may receive announcements from the department where his/her degree belongs to or reviewers related to one’s course. Meanwhile, not joining organizations might lessen one’s competence along with peers and one would only have a limited set of knowledge which is deeply-rooted in academics alone.

To further encourage students to join organizations and participate in ARW, there are games that students can play to win amazing prizes. Sponsors are also invited to add to the excitement through giveaways, drinks and snacks. This adds to the reasons that explain why ARW is one of the much-awaited events among Lasallians at the start of a new academic year, especially among the freshmen, or “frosh”, as they are called in DLSU. For every student, it is guaranteed that at least one organization can give them the experience they’re searching for. For this reason, ARW invites students to find organizations that suit their interests and become a part of their journey throughout college life.

Written by Honey Pearl Fernandez, Laureen Laguio, and Selena Grace Vicerra

How Is Twitch Transforming Gaming

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It's no surprise that the content sharing platform, Twitch has become a big part of video gaming. With millions of eSports lovers streaming almost every day, Twitch has made some significant contributions when it comes to the growth of the viewership of eSports and online gaming.

Before we dive into the ways Twitch has transformed gaming, let's look at Twitch's history. Twitch was initially the gaming section of a larger livestreaming website, which broadcast live videos in realtime to users across the globe. This platform's utility coincided with the rise of traditional and new types of online multimedia games. In turn, this led to the streaming platform gaining millions of new viewers and streamers, and becoming the premier online community for fans of video games. In 2014, Amazon recognized Twitch's potential and acquired the platform for a whopping $970 million (USD).

But how does the platform work? Any individual can sign up and broadcast themselves playing video games in realtime to the avid community of viewers looking to watch live gaming. Viewers can also interact with the streamer in realtime by using the chatbar. The platform monetizes this massive user base with both subscription models and external advertising, and its network of "paid" streamers need to have an average concurrent viewership of 500+ and broadcast regularly at least 3 times a week to qualify.

With 15 million daily active users who watch video game streaming each day, let's take a deeper look at Twitch's influence on video gaming and eSports.

Regular gamers to internet celebrities

We are living in the age of social media influencers and internet celebrities. When it comes to the world of gaming, Twitch has enabled regular gamers to achieve international fame and stardom. These superstar gamers do much more than just play games skillfully; the top Twitch streamers also provide a social commentary and other engaging content that keeps the gaming community entertained. Similar is the case with overwatch boost / overwatch boosting in the gaming world.

As a platform, Twitch has supported many streamers as they turn their video gaming passions into revenue-generating careers. Some streamers have reportedly earned up to fifty thousand dollars an hour from promoting a specific publisher's games, and the global online community is full of loyal fans who will happily make donations to their favourite players.

Sharing techniques and strategy

Long gone are the days when there was only one way to successfully play and complete a video game. As games have become more interactive and immersive, so too have the possibilities for multiple playthroughs with alternative outcomes. Therefore, many viewers stream to share alternative gaming styles, delivering tips and tricks to uncover hidden bonuses and easer eggs, along with improving their overall gaming strategy.

The formula for running a successful Twitch channel is simple: either broadcast yourself as the best in your field (a professional online gamer) and share elements of your strategy, or share your personal journey as you learn a game and its rules. Naturally, this can be applied to all manner of games played online and has consequently led to a significant change in the experience of playing traditional strategy games, like poker. Twitch has made gaming more serious and concise. Gaming is more professional than ever and playing video games has become a genuine sport that requires skill and strategy.

A Hub for eSports

Twitch is truly a YouTube meets ESPN platform for video game streaming. Twitch has been largely attributed to the success of eSports going mainstream. With it's huge platform of both gamers and audience members, Twitch has enabled the execution of many eSports gaming tournaments including ESL, The International, and the League of Legends World Championship.

These tournaments now draw in millions of viewers, offering professional teams a change to establish a presence and promote themselves. Moreover, the overall prize pool per tournament series can easily go up to thirty million dollars. Twitch has opened up a brand new space for eSports that is attractive to third party advertisers and brands, who are ready to jump into this social gaming platform.

Twitch and physical sports

The “always on” nature of the internet and the sheer volume of Twitch livestreams of physical games and sports, like baseball, is also hugely influencing the way that fans interact with them. In this digital era, fans don't need to watch television broadcasts, listen to radio updates or even find screenings of upcoming games; they can simply turn in to their favourite livestreamer and watch things unfold play by play online. Naturally, this has also created a demand for things like up to the minute odds online, which is becoming a necessity for fans who like to place wagers on their favourite players and teams.

Introduction of new (and better) games

Another way in which Twitch is transforming the gaming industry is by acting as a launchpad for new games, especially indie titles that can often be overlooked. It's also become a sort of digital archive that enables users to discover games new to them, whether they are new releases or not - interest has surged in a number of older games as a consequence of them being played by high profile streamers.

Since Twitch is also a social media network, it's a place for users to discuss many aspects of video gaming and can provide game developers with insights into their needs and requirement, leading to the development of better games. Twitch helps gamers make better choices - watching a professional streamer play and review a game helps other gamers make informed purchases.

Gaming as a Social Activity

Up until recently, gaming was considered a solo activity. With the introduction of multi-player gaming and a social gaming platform in the form of Twitch, gaming has become much more of a social activity, where like-minded people build friendships and collaborate on a regular basis. Just like the community that builds up around physical sports, there are strong social connections being formed around a shared love of video games and eSports.

In the past few years, Twitch has revolutionized gaming, helping countless gamers turn professional and even giving them the platform to develop into gaming superstars. Twitch's success in setting up a massive gaming community that enjoys live tournaments is nothing short of historical, and its impact on the development of the video gaming industry as a whole - and the new public perception of gaming as a positive activity - is quite evident.

Photo captions:

Photo 1: A professional video gamer in action
Photo by Lyncconf Games / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo 2: League of Legends players at Meltdown Paris
Photo by Clement Grandjean / CC BY-SA 4.0

Celebrity Winemaker Justin Baldwin to Lead 12 Night Taste of Tuscany Wine Voyage on the “World’s Most Luxurious Cruise Ship” this October

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Created for wine connoisseurs, Seven Seas Explorer’s 12-night Taste of Tuscany, sailing from Barcelona to Venice (7-19 October 2019) will be hosted by multi-award winning wine expert Justin Baldwin. The voyage aboard the ‘world’s most luxurious cruise ship” will feature hosted dinners, wine tastings and many wine-themed shore excursions, carefully curated in consultation with the award-winning wine expert.

Justin Baldwin is a renowned wine expert and the founder of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery – well known for its production of world-class Bordeaux-style blends, and one of the earliest producers of that style in the New World. He has received acclaim and recognition in the form of awards such as the coveted Pichon Lalande trophy for “World’s Best Blended Red Wine” and Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the World.

The 12 night Taste of Tuscany tour is one of Regent Seven Seas Cruise Spotlight Voyages, a series of specialist journeys hosted by international experts.

“Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ ethos and our Spotlight Voyages elevate the customer experience even further by providing exclusive access to renowned experts and activities,” said Felix Chan, Vice President of Sales Asia at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This October, we are extremely pleased to have world-famous wine expert, Justin Baldwin join us onboard Seven Seas Explorer for a memorable time with our wine-loving guests.”

Apart from specialty wine tastings, meet-and-greet sessions with Justin and hosted dinners onboard Seven Seas Explorer, guests can also enjoy specially curated shore excursions that explore the region’s endless array of delectable cuisine and legendary wines on this special voyage.

Stopping by Tuscany, an Italian region that produces some of the best wines of the world, guests are able to embark on a Bocelli countryside escape by exploring medieval Volterra, browsing Andrea Bocelli’s theater and museum, sampling wines at the Officine Bocelli restaurant and visiting Pisa’s glorious Square of Miracles. With the rare opportunity to tour the vineyards on the farm that the Bocellis have owned since 1730, guests will also be treated to a three-course lunch, complete with a round of wine tasting in which they will sample a selection of characteristic wines including a lush Sangiovese and crisp, complex Pinot Grigio.

At Palma de Mallorca in Spain, guests will be driven through town to a family-owned vineyard, Tianna Negre for a tasting of wines made from indigenous Mallorcan grapes. During brunch, guests will be served a namesake Tianna Negre red blend made from Manto Negro and Syrah grapes, a Tianna Blanc with notes of ripe fruit from Giró Ros grapes, and a pink rosé with hints of grapefruit. Fresh-baked bread and extra virgin olive oil made from the estate’s olives will complement the wines. Following this eye-opening introduction, guests will then head for Gastroteca Mauricio to sample an array of representative Mallorcan foods where a selection of indigenous wines and liqueurs will also be served.

Cruising through the picturesque Mediterranean coastlines of Spain, France and Italy, Seven Seas Explorer brings travelers on an unforgettable trip with state-in-the-art teaching kitchens, classes teaching authentic local recipes coupled with onshore activities where guests can explore local markets, sip wine at renowned vineyards or savor a gourmet meal prepared by a Michelin-starred chef.

Yahoo Mail Reimagines the Inbox of the Future

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New App Introduces Innovative and Personalised User Experience that Cuts Through Inbox Clutter and Elevates What Matters

Yahoo unveiled a new version of its Mail app that redefines the way people use their inboxes. In an era of internet and inbox overload, email has drastically shifted with people creating multiple accounts for different purposes, as they receive daily promotional deals and need a way to manage the mass volume of messages. Yahoo Mail’s new app offers the perfect solution by organising the clutter for users, empowering them to personalise and control their inboxes and focus on what matters most to them.

Yahoo Mail introduces an innovative experience that groups people’s messages into “Views” such as Travel and Attachments, and controls email overload by introducing an easy, one-tap unsubscribe tool. Additionally, users can log in with other email accounts like Gmail and Outlook and still take advantage of the app’s features, making Yahoo Mail a multi-purpose inbox, designed to help organise people’s lives in the way they need.

“Fundamental to our humanity is how we connect and communicate,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media. “Today, much of that communication happens on mobile. People rely on email to manage and organize their lives from navigating multiple accounts, business documents, travel itineraries and shopping. It’s more important than ever to do this efficiently and stress free. We’re really proud of the new Yahoo Mail and how it helps people take better control.”

The app will start rolling out progressively from today on Android and iOS with new features, a modern interface, and navigation that allows for one-hand usage with even the biggest mobile screens. A few notable features and Views include:

        Design refresh and deeper customisation: A revamped interface that is built with today’s taller mobile screens in mind allows for intuitive one-hand usage with the new navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. The layout is cleaner, colourful, easier to use, and customisable. Users can also personalise their push notifications to highlight which type of mail they wish to be alerted to (personal vs. promotional) and tailor their inbox with custom colour themes and sounds. There is also a drag and drop interface with fun animations.
        Photos and files in one place: Now there’s one View that allows easy access and navigation of all mail attachments, including important files, travel documents, event tickets, and photos. The information users need is always at hand. 
     Industry-leading management of email subscriptions: With a View for subscriptions, users can browse the emails they’re subscribed to and unsubscribe from any newsletter with a single tap without leaving the app.

Huawei Mobile Services Offers Comprehensive Business Solutions for Mobile Game Developers

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) recently welcomed mobile game developers and gamers to visit them at the Tokyo Game Show 2019 (TGS 2019) that took place from 12 to 15 September 2019. At the event, HMS introduced the HUAWEI AppGallery as an alternative mobile app market that allows for apps to be better discovered in a highly saturated game app market. The company also provided one-on-one consultations to mobile gaming developers who are looking to grow their business locally and internationally.

“The AppGallery opened its service to the global market last year. AppGallery’s less saturated environment for easier game discovery can benefit game developers who are looking for ways to drive downloads. Moreover, they could leverage on HMS’ increasing market share to reach over 530 million global users across 170 countries,” said a HUAWEI representative during a keynote session titled “Grow Your Business with HUAWEI’s Game Ecosystem”.

Reaching More Gamers with Strong Smartphone Presence
HMS is growing at a faster pace thanks to a strong presence of HUAWEI smartphones worldwide. In 2019 H1 alone, HUAWEI shipped over 118 million smartphones and has topped the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. The AppGallery comes pre-loaded on HUAWEI smartphones since the launch of the HUAWEI P20 series last year.

Seamless Gaming Experience with Cutting-Edge Technology
HUAWEI devices are supported by cutting-edge innovation. Powered by HUAWEI’s very own Kirin 980, the world’s first 7nm Mobile AI Chipset, and GPU Turbo 3.0, gamers can enjoy lower power consumption, improved touch responses, reduced frame drops and increased gaming performance.

Furthermore, HMS has recently opened 51 services open capabilities and 885 APIs to developers worldwide in the hopes of building an intelligent ecosystem across all scenarios. To date, there are more than 910,000 registered developers on HMS.

For mobile games, HMS offers game SDK and ‘Wrapper’ for game developers. The open resources and assistance from the HUAWEI engineer team will ease the development and integration process to ensure cost-effectiveness and faster time to market.

Holistic Marketing Solutions to Match Every Developers’ Needs
HMS also provides customised promotion and co-marketing opportunities for game developers to help increase exposure of their games and drive downloads.

Within the AppGallery, the games can be featured on the “Recommended Apps” section, Flash Screen, banners and more. If developers have a specific target market in mind, they can leverage the pre-installation service to preload their games on HUAWEI smartphones in selected countries. HMS will also help developers co-market their products at local device launches and industry events such as the TGS.

In addition to the official app market, developers can opt to utilise HUAWEI AppTouch to distribute games in emerging markets. The “AppTouch” is HUAWEI’s mobile game distribution platform in partner with telco companies in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, South Africa and more. Currently, over 60 carrier brands have partnered with HUAWEI AppTouch across 40 countries.

Empowering Innovation Through Shining-Star Program
HUAWEI announced a new developer engagement program known as “Shining-Star Program 2.0” at the HUAWEI Developer Conference last month. The company will invest a total of 1 billion USD incentives to support global developers in digital innovation. Developers eligible for the program are given priority to access HUAWEI’s new open capabilities to promote their services within the marketing segment.

HMS will continue to increase its investments, aiming to secure high-quality content providers worldwide and provide an excellent experience to users.

For more information, please refer to

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

IV of Spades, Carlie Hanson, Alex Bruce, and Philippine All-Stars, to Perform at Nickelodeon Slimefest 2019

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Joining regional act Jannine Weigel and pop singer and The Thundermans star, Kira Kosarin  
Actor Robi Domingo announced as co-host alongside Kira Kosarin 
Tickets on sale at SM Tickets

Nickelodeon SlimeFest in the Philippines has revealed the full list of performers at the family-friendly music festival on September 28 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. With something for everyone in the family,

Nickelodeon SlimeFest will be a full-day event comprising a free admission festival area (11am– 5pm) and a ticketed live music concert (6pm – 8pm). Globe customers can get a headstart on the festival with a first-hour exclusive from 10am – 11am[1]. Expect live performances by international and local artists, DJs, and tons of Nickelodeon’s trademark green Slime. Ticket prices start from 800 pesos and are available at SM Tickets.

The slimetastic music concert extravaganza will sizzle with ‘Best Southeast Asia Act’ nominee at the 2018 MTV EMAs, IV of Spades, with their funk-pop tunes and unmistakable flair. Rising pop singer, Carlie Hanson, will also deliver a fresh and energetic performance in her first showing in the Philippines! Or groove along and party to 11-year-old rapper Alex Bruce, who will dish out her rhyme-busting technique, alongside hip hop dance troupe Philippine Allstars.

These artists will join Jannine Weigel, Thai-German singer, songwriter and actress; and Kira Kosarin, pop singer and star of Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, who will host as well as perform at Nickelodeon SlimeFest.

Adding to the festival feels is actor Robi Domingo who will co-host with Kira Kosarin at the concert arena, and amp up the party atmosphere.

At the free admission festival area in the day, festival attendees can get messy and have a blasting good time with Nickelodeon games and immersive one-of-a-kind experiences! Fans can meet and take photos with their favorite characters from shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol, and Dora the Explorer!

Event Details:

· Date: Saturday, September 28
· Venue: SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds
· Time: 10am – 8pm

o Festival:

o Gates open exclusively at 10am for Globe subscribers (show Globe signal or Globe at Home app as proof of entry)

o 11am for the general public

o Entry ends for non-ticket holders at 5pm

o Concert: Gates open at 4pm, concert from 6 – 8 pm

· Ticketing: Available at SM Tickets

o General Admission: 800 pesos

o Slime Pit: 1,500 pesos

Nickelodeon SlimeFest in the Philippines is presented by Globe, and sponsored by Krispy Kreme, Shakey’s, Richprime Global Inc, Yakult, Havaianas, and Bean Leaf.

The Nickelodeon SlimeFest in the Philippines will be the seventh installment of the successful global event that has brought kids and families the ultimate Slime-filled, multiplatform music and entertainment experience. This year, regional and international talents will deliver the Slimiest music festival experience to attendees!

In the weeks ahead, fans can get information and news updates on the Nickelodeon SlimeFest Facebook page to keep up with all things #SlimeFestAsia.

[1] Proof of Globe service required, such as the Globe signal or Globe at Home app

Jewellery Trends That You Must Not Miss

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The allure of jewels irrespective of the outfit being adorned cannot be overemphasized. Jewels have a variety of effects and are symbolic. Jewels like eternity rings are known for their significance in special given by a spouse to symbolize never-ending love, typically after 50 or more years of marriage.

If you feel that your jewellery box no longer holds sway or out of trend, here are some jewellery trends that you must not miss. These pieces that are the beads, artistic pendants, shells, as seen on blogs and online platforms have so far been of great importance and adorned the body to an extent or check out f hinds reviews for more details.

Under the sea

Bestselling jewellery brand and favourite jewel of jewellers in 2019, ‘Under the Sea’ in celebration of oceanic bounty featured real and faux shells and pearls in its show. Shell adorned necklaces, anklets, earrings, and bracelets have become common in cities, a trend which erupted on the street style set en masse last summer having survived winter. Lyst, the fashion engine has reported a 43 percent increase search for the word ‘shells" since March 2019. Shells have received positive feedback since the first appearance at the PradaAW17 show.

ELLE UK’s Accessories Editor Molly Haylor explains, ‘First seen at the Prada AW17 show-Miuccia Prada is always a step ahead shells have since become a prominent statement in runway’. This trend can be incorporated into a variety of accessories from earrings to knuckle rings causing great improvement in your daily outfit. 

With a 35 percent increase in search for pearls on Lyst since March and further confirmation from Net-A-Porter that have increased sales, it seems that pearl has appealed to the mass. Haylor also states, ‘The great thing about pearls, is that the colour tone goes with anything you wear, making it more wearable than you think.

Crafty Jewellery

Crafty jewellery has made a major impression in girl’s fashion. The trend embraces both sophisticated artisan craftsmanship as well as a jejune toy like inventions using wood and beads to make items that can be paired with anything from formal to casual wear. Very quickly, it has moved from the runway to Net-A-Porter wish lists, with a 100 percent increase in searches for ‘beaded' jewellery since 2018. A new brand STVDIO was launched by the e-commerce site in response to growing demand, ‘who creates hand-woven brass jewellery pieces and have been driving sales for this trend’. Another recent trend that is getting very popular is I love you necklace.
Abstract Jewellery

Abstract jewellery celebrates the unexpected and artistic, lending the wearer a highbrow, arty aesthetic. According to Lyst, there has been a 21 percent increase in searches for terms like ‘faces’ since March. This trend was adopted by designs like Chloe, Ferragamo, and McQueen on their AW19 catwalk. According to Haylor,’ if last year was all about the single earring, then this season it’s all about abstract’.

Chain Reaction Jewellery

Net-A-Porter has recorded a search increase of 130 percent for the term ‘chain necklace' since last year. An overview of the site shows that a lot of the offerings are in no way fragile. The chain, eternity ring and the link-centered trend has everyone in love with it and adorned with a piece of it. Haylor reveals that concerning chain jewellery, ’All about the big and the bold, forget about the dainty gold chain, this is about the big links and hardware’.

FinmaxFX is a Young Reliable Broker, Suitable for All Traders

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Every day more and more people appear willing to trade on the financial market. However, not only the number of traders is growing, but also the number of companies, which makes it increasingly difficult for people to choose the best online broker for beginners.

This time we will look into the online Broker FinmaxFX and find out if you can trust them with your funds.

Basic information about FinmaxFX

Despite the fact that the FinmaxFX has appeared relatively recently, it is very trustworthy. The first thing the founders of the company have taken care of is the acquisition of the FSA license. The support of one of the most demanding UK regulators means that the company has serious intentions. Fraudulent companies often do not buy intermediary licenses, especially from such influential regulators.

The next factor confirming the reliability of this company is the great number of positive responses that can be found on various forums.

Special attention should be paid to the trading conditions of FinmaxFX. Clients can open accounts in US dollars and euros. The minimum deposit amount is $100, and the minimum transaction volume is $0.01. When trading, you can use leverage from 1:50 to 1:300. Spreads are relatively narrow - from 3 points.

Trading is carried out using the MetaTrader5 terminal. According to experienced participants of the financial market, this terminal is the most convenient and multifunctional. In addition, FinmaxFX offers their clients to use special mobile terminals for trading, which can be installed on smartphones and other gadgets running on Android and iOS operating systems.

Deposit and withdrawal of funds from the account can be carried out with the help of bank transfers, international payment systems, as well as electronic payment systems.

In case of any difficulties and questions, the client of FinmaxFX can contact the customer support team, which works 24 hours a day. To do this, you need to write an with a question or description of the problem to

Should you trust FinmaxFX

Decency and reliability of this company is confirmed by the following facts:

After the deposit is made, the client's funds are kept in a reliable European bank with the strictest regulatory rules;

In order to access the funds, the client must undergo an identity verification procedure;

The information about the broker's clients is under the protection system having 3 levels, due to which every trader can be sure of trading safety.

Based on the online broker reviews, FinmaxFX is among the best. Moreover, the ratings of this company increase every year due to the expansion of the list of available assets and the addition of new services. All this indicates that the broker is not going to leave the market at all.

Advantages and disadvantages of FinmaxFX

Opinions about advantages and disadvantages allow to form responses of experienced traders in the Internet. Among the advantages of FinmaxFX are the following

Efficiency in opening transactions;

Absence of delays;

Perfect operation of the trading terminal;

Absence of commission fees when depositing and withdrawing funds;

Prompt processing of requests for withdrawal of money;

disbursement of funds in full without delays.

There is no information about the shortcomings of the online broker's work in the network. Before moving on to real trading, FinmaxFX experts recommend you to try your hand at a demo account. It can be accessed immediately after registration. Online reviews say that this is the best online broker account for beginners. This account allows even experienced traders to test their capabilities and create their own trading strategy.

Trading conditions on a demo account are absolutely identical to those of real trading. Moreover, a demo account has all the tools and assets available in real accounts, which allows you to develop a strategy for each individual asset using a specific financial instrument.

What a beginner needs to know

The high popularity of the Forex market has led to a large number of trading strategies, which leads to confusion for beginners. In this regard, FinmaxFX has selected only the best strategies for beginners, which are tested in practice and really bring profit.

However, in order to learn how to trade independently and get a constant high income, FinmaxFX specialists offer their clients to take advantage of the broker's training program consisting of educational literature, video lessons and webinars.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Here's Why Investing in Properties In The Philippines Is a Good Idea

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As one of the world's fastest emerging markets, the Philippines has become one of the countries where investors look for great investment opportunities.

The substantial rise in acquiring interest from the international market has continuously risen, as seen from the increase in the purchase of condominium units by expatriates, foreigners, and multinational corporations.  But why is investing in real estate properties in the Philippines a good idea?

The demand for Philippine properties remains strong

Because of the growth of the BPO sectors and the influx of Mainland Chinese in the country, the need for residential properties, both from the workers and the expats of the companies, increases as well.

By the law of supply and demand, because there is static supply and the market’s demand is high, the rental rates are steadily increasing. The vacancy rate is at its lowest that’s why a record-high of 54,000 pre-sold condo units were sold last year in Metro Manila.

Another sector contributing to the growing demand for office space is the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) landscape. Megaworld Corporation, the top lessor of office space in the Philippines, has already leased 80,000 square meters to POGO operators.

POGO requires a lot of office space for their back office, customer support operations, IT and technical support. As reported earlier this year, POGOs and BPOs have been fighting for limited office space in Metro Manila, and the result was an increase of as much as 300 percent on rental fees.

The Philippine economy continues to expand

Figures coming from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) states that the country is still among the fastest-growing economies in Emerging Asia, with an average annual growth rate of 6.2% in 2018.

An excellent hedge against inflation is in real estate investment. Philippines’ properties rental income and its investment value increase as the price level increases due to inflation. It implies that both the immediate and long-term impacts of inflation protect investors.
Cost of property is one of the lowest in Asia
In fact, according to the Global Property Guide, the average price per square meter of a condo unit in Manila is approximately $2807, making the Philippines the third least expensive country for real estate investment.

Philippines won’t see any price correction and real-estate bubble in the future, even with comparatively low prices, as the economy is continuously climbing at an impressive rate. Because of the low peso value, foreign investors can invest more in the real estate Philippine market.

The Philippines is a top tourist destination
The Philippines is truly a traveller’s dream. The country is known for having rich biodiversity as well as a profound cultural and historical heritage. Statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that there were 7.1 million tourists that visited the Philippines in 2018. That is a growth of 7.7% compared to the year before.

Leisure and tourism facilities are known to influence property value. Because of the volume of the tourists that needed a place to stay, there is a high yield for short term renting of properties in the area. Over time, the development of infrastructures will commence catering to many tourists, thus affecting the land value of the surrounding properties.

President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” Program
President Duterte launched the "Build, Build, Build" (BBB) program aimed at accelerating infrastructure spending and developing sectors that will deliver steady growth, generate employment and enhance Filipinos ' lives.

Philippine infrastructure modernization is anticipated to accelerate and work particularly well for the real estate sector, giving an additional boost and more confidence, not only in Metro Manila, but also in other parts of the county.

Good Return of Investment
Making profit is the primary purpose of any real estate investment. Philippines real estate experts would argue that Return of Investment (ROI) is the measure which is used to evaluate the profitability of an investment. It measures the amount of return on a specific investment relative to the investment’s cost. 

Unlike before, when investors only considered condo units, houses and land as suitable types of investment, investing in memorial lots are now growing in popularity as they see a high return on their investments. These investors can expect to earn 10% of their investment every two to three years.

Almost everyone can find a memorial lot for sale and purchase it because they can pay by monthly amortizations at low-interest rates. Investors can purchase memorial lots for the inevitable future, or they can resell it at a higher price later.

There is also no need for constant upkeep since maintenance of memorial lots are also shouldered by the developer, which already includes the cleaning of the area and the regular trimming of the grass. 

The Roots Commune: Building a Creative Community of Entrepreneurs for Local Growth and Sustainability

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Can sustainable living be, in fact, sustained? A small band of local entrepreneurs is certainly pushing to make it so.

To promote sustainability and local creativity, the Roots Collective, in partnership with the Peace
and Equity Foundation (PEF), will hold a special retail exhibit and fair at Uptown Bonifacio mall at the end of September. Called the Roots Commune, it is to showcase a wide array of ethically-made products – from farm-to-cup herbal blends to zero-waste necessities, to handcrafted accessories, to all-natural foodstuffs.

This seven-day event will also feature founders of social enterprises, as well as key members from their partner communities, who will be talking about their journeys together in building long-lasting collaborations towards a better future for the next generation.

The Roots Commune is part of the Roots Collective’s efforts to create a space where entrepreneurs can come together and work towards local growth and sustainability. Through this fair, the participating enterprises can provide greater market access and funding opportunities for their partner communities.

It will house several well-loved local brands such as Tsaa Laya, HABI Footwear and Lifestyle, Gouache[AC1] , Woven, Hiraya Chocolates, Wholly Grain, BalaiKamay, Lakan Lubi VCO and many more. Each of these enterprises collaborates with a community of skilled workers – from farmers to rural weavers to urban artisans – to create mindful and impactful yet useful and quality products. More than the bottom line, these entrepreneurs give importance to their respective social missions and their shared goals of inclusive growth.

According to Jamir Ocampo, CEO of the Roots Collective, “We realized there’s really a need for a community hub. It’s just more than a space – we help each other figure out together how to grow big. If there’s anything that this new generation of social enterprise did at Roots, it’s growing together.”

The Roots Commune will be held at the Atrium of Uptown Bonifacio mall in Taguig from September 30 to October 6, 2019. On Wednesday, October 2, the Sibol Fund Kick-Off will be held at the space, featuring development funders PEF and Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP). The Sibol Fund is a special grant facility that will enable start-ups to develop or enhance the social impact of their business for poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.

Apart from that, there will be creativity workshops, advocacy talks, and recycling drives all throughout the week.

About the Roots Collective

What began as a co-working space-cum-boutique in Katipunan has grown into a pioneering community of entrepreneurs working for the sustainable and inclusive development of the Philippines.
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