Saturday, October 23, 2021

Jabra reinvents true wireless technology with a new era of Elite earbuds

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

• Redefining true wireless range, with next generation of Jabra Elite products, each 

one tailored to specific uses

• Elite 7 Pro offers ground-breaking call performance with new Jabra MultiSensor 

VoiceTM technology, featuring a longer battery life with nine hours non-stop play time with adjustable ANC 

Elite 7 Active offers the best grip for an active lifestyle with new Jabra ShakeGripTM technology 

Elite 3 offers rich sound quality and clear calls at Jabra’s lowest ever TW price point

Jabra announced three products to establish its new Elite true wireless line-up – the Elite Pro, Elite Active and core Elite lines. Reinvention means pushing boundaries and that is what Jabra has done for call technology, in-ear fit, audio experience and design.

The additions include the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, a revolutionary product that features Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM technology, offering best-in-class call performance. Jabra is also releasing the Elite 7 Active with pioneering ShakeGripTM coating, perfect for those active lifestyles. Finally, the third addition to the range is the Jabra Elite 3, which brings fantastic sound while on-the-go to a wide audience. This redefined Elite range signifies the latest breakthrough in true wireless technology: each one is specifically engineered to reinvent the true wireless experience as you know it by introducing new and unique technologies optimised for specific use cases in a sleek and modern design. 

As one of the first companies to introduce true wireless technology, Jabra has taken six generations worth of learning and is reinventing true wireless to better fit with the needs of today’s millions of true wireless users. The new Elite range is tailored for specific use scenarios Jabra’s new Pro category is designed for those who want the best of the best for calls and music, allowing users to experience true wireless without limits. 

Jabra’s Active category is tailored for sports and active lifestyles and the earbuds are specifically engineered to stay put when you sweat. Finally, Elite 3 makes up part of Jabra’s core category, a new standard for entry-level, on-the-go sound.

Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM

The introduction of innovative Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM technology for the Elite 7 Pro delivers ultimate call clarity, even in the noisiest places. More people are connecting through voice – it is in the top 2 use cases after music*. Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM combines a bone conduction sensor, four microphones and algorithms to ensure crystal clear calls. Jabra’s expertise in developing intelligent algorithms resulted in the engineering of one of the first consumer earbuds that use this hybrid technology.

A cutting-edge voice pick-up (VPU) sensor in both earbuds makes Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM so effective. The intelligent algorithms constantly analyse the types of noise being picked up by the built-in microphones, and when they detect wind noise, they automatically activate the VPU sensor. Bone conduction technology is used to transmit voice via the vibrations in the jawbone, and the intelligent algorithm then uses the best combination of the bone conduction sensor and microphones to transmit the best call clarity.

In addition, adjustable Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) creates a fully immersive experience. Sound can be personalised even further by creating a personalised audio profile with Jabra MySound technology and using HearThrough – a technology that allows the user to define exactly how much outside noise they want to let in. 

The Elite 7 Pro earbuds are 16 per cent smaller than the hugely popular Jabra Elite 75t,which are Jabra’s smallest earbuds so far. By leveraging Jabra’s database of 62,000 unique ear scans, the technology pioneer was able to create a map of the average human ear and use the insight to totally redesign the earbud. Then, after excessive testing, Jabra has been able to produce an earbud that offers exceptional sound quality and optimized comfort.

The all-encompassing earbuds come with nine hours non-stop play time with ANC and 35 hours with case charging, with fast charging that delivers 1.2 hrs of power in just 5 minutes. 

The Elite 7 Pro comes with Alexa built-in, Siri and Google Assistant (*Android only).

Jabra ShakeGripTM technology

For those who are looking for the best fit for an active lifestyle, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is specifically engineered to suit them. Save for the Multisensor Voice technology, the Active version features the same top-quality experience as the Elite 7 Pro, with four built-in microphones for call technology and an additional two for personalisation plus adjustable ANC. In addition, based on Jabra’s unique understanding of the ear, the use of liquid silicone rubber, and a wing free design, the new Elite 7 Active with ShakeGrip coating is designed to give the ultimate fit whatever your movements, changing the way people work out. For those who want to go outside whilst being active, the microphone mesh removes wind from calls, whilst the performance boosting audio ensures a powerful workout music experience. 

Elite 7 Pro key features and specifications:

Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM for professional-grade audio

• Adjustable ANC for full immersion

• 9 hours non-stop play time with ANC, 35 hours with case

• IP57 rated durability

• BT ver. 5.2

• Use either earbud & multi-connect (by upgrade)

• Alexa built-in, Siri and Google Assistant* (Android only)

Jabra Elite 3

The Jabra Elite 3 is the perfect choice for those seeking a rich sound, powerful bass and clear calls at a lower price point. After recognising a gap in the market for a lower price earbud that still offers exceptional sound quality, Jabra has used its years of experience to make great sound an option for everyone. The earbuds are engineered to bring music to life with 6mm speakers and deliver crystal clear calls with 4-microphone call technology, a class-leading music equaliser, inclusion of Qualcomm aptXTM HD audio and seven hours of battery life (28 hours including the charging case). The earbuds offer outstanding noise isolation and with HearThrough awareness, users can tap into the sounds of their surroundings. Elite 3 also comes with an all-day comfortable and secure fit, sleek Danish design and in a new range of colours including Dark Grey, Navy, Lilac and Light Beige.

Jabra Elite 2

The final addition to the new range, the Jabra Elite 2, is also suited to those who are after rich sound on the go, at Jabra’s lowest price point. There’s no being fooled by the tiny size of their 6mm speakers as they still offer high audio quality and powerful bass. 

The Jabra Elite 2 earbuds boast a customisable EQ and noise isolation and inclusion of Qualcomm aptXTM HD audio. Jabra’s stand-out design is not compromised either; with class-leading comfort and an all-day secure fit, their powerful sound is not the only thing going for the Jabra Elite 2 earbuds. Staying connected all day is possible with their 2-mic call technology, instant Alexa activation, one-touch Spotify playback* and Google Fast Pair technology. Supported by IP55-rated rainproof protection, the Jabra Elite 2 earbuds come in grey or navy and offer 7 hours of battery life (21 hours including the charging case). All this for the affordable price of € 59 / 49 USD.

*Android only

René Svendsen-Tune, CEO at Jabra said: “We are more connected than ever before. The world has also never been noisier, which requires innovative technology to ensure people can be assured of a clear voice, calls and music experience. At Jabra, we take our many years of experience to push the boundaries of technology, with the launch of our Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active and Elite 3 earbuds as a result. The introduction of these new products signifies huge developments within the market, and we are excited to be at the forefront.

Daniel Yeow, Sales Director, Retail & Online, Southeast Asia, Taiwan & Hong Kong at Jabra said:

“Consumers today seek products that not only offer advanced audio experience but also those that

enable their on-the-go lifestyle. We are thrilled to announce our new Elite range, which is a perfect combination of premium-ness comfort and stand-out features such as MultiSensor Voice, ShakeGrip technology, delivering an unmatched call and music experience. One that truly reflects Jabra's advancement in the true wireless segment”

The Elite 3 will be available from September 1st, while the Elite 7 Pro and Elite 7 Active will be available on October 1st.

See Jabra PH official Facebook page to find out where to buy:

Service Contracting Program Phase 2 at Libreng Sakay para sa mga healthcare workers at authorized persons outside residence (APORs) sa probinsya ng Camiguin

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Pinangunahan nung 22 Oktubre 2021 ni Transportation Secretary Art Tugade ang paglunsad ng Service Contracting Program Phase 2 at Libreng Sakay para sa mga healthcare workers at authorized persons outside residence (APORs) sa probinsya ng Camiguin matapos pumirma ng kasunduan ang Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) at Camiguin Transport Cooperative (CAMTRANSCO) para sa pagpapatupad ng programa.

Ayon kay Secretary Tugade, layunin ng Service Contracting Program na mabigyan ang mga tsuper ng sapat na kita sa pamamagitan ng insentibo kada kilometrong biyahe at maiwasan ang agawan sa pasahero dahil sa tinatawag na "boundary system."

“Tatakbo at tatakbo—mamamasada kayo on a per kilometer run. Babayaran at babayaran kayo, may sakay man o wala para nang sa ganun hindi na kayo nag-uunahan, hindi na kayo mapeperwisyo, naaburido sa tinatawag na boundary system,” ani Secretary Tugade.

Sinabi ni Secretary Tugade na sa ilalim ng kasunduan sa pagitan ng LTFRB at CAMTRANSCO, 35 na public utility jeepneys (PUJs) na tatahak sa rutang Mambajao to Mambajao (circumferential loop) ang magbibigay ng libreng sakay sa mga healthcare workers, essential workers, at mga Authorized Person Outside Residence (APOR).

“Gagamitin ang inyong mga modernized na sasakyan para nang sa ganun ang ating mga kababayan, ang ating mahal sa buhay dito sa Camiguin ay sasakay na lamang sa inyong jeepney. Hindi magbabayad ng pamasahe kung kayo ay essential worker, kung kayo ay health frontliner, kung kayo ay authorized person outside of residence,” paliwanag pa ni Secretary Tugade.

Ayon pa sa Kalihim, ang magdedetermina ng rutang babaybayin ng Service Contracting Program at Libreng Sakay ay ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Camiguin.

Hinikayat naman ni Secretary Tugade ang mga miyembro ng CAMTRANSCO na magpa-rehistro at makilahok sa ‘Tsuper Iskolar’ Program ng LTFRB kasama ang Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) kung saan papalawakin ng programa ang kaalaman ng mga tsuper at ng kanilang pamilya sa pamamagitan ng skills training sa ilalim ng 30 hanggang 35 na araw.

“Basta tsuper ka at gusto mong mag-aral ng troubleshoot, pagmamaneho—kung gusto nyo matuto ng ibang skills pwede. Mag-enroll at makipag ugnayan kayo sa LTO at LTFRB kasama yung TESDA, mag -uusap kayo [at] bibigyan ka ng scholarship,” ani Secretary Tugade.

Paliwanag pa niya, maaaring mag-enroll ang mga miyembro ng pamilya ng mga kalahok ng tsuper at operator upang matuto ng pagtatayo ng negosyo gaya ng food business at personal care services. Habang sumasailalim sa training, ang mga iskolar ay bibigyan ng P300 hanggang P350 na arawang allowance.

Samantala, pinasalamatan naman ni Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo si Secretary Tugade at ang buong Kagawaran ng Transportasyon dahil sa mga inisyatibong nakatutulong sa modernisasyon at pagsasa-ayos ng transportasyon sa lalawigan.

"Kami po ay nagpapasalamat at natutuwa na tinulungan ninyo ang probinsya ng Camiguin. On behalf of the province at ng public transport coop, maraming salamat, Secretary, na dinalaw n’yo kami. Natutuwa ako at lahat ng opisyales sa Camiguin, ang buong DOTr family ay nandito po sa probinsya ng Camiguin. Hindi po namin makakalimutan ito, ‘yung pagtulong ninyo sa amin sa hirap at ginhawa,” ani Governor Romualdo.

Camiguin is now ready to reopen its economy and tourism

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

More than a year after the island province closed its borders for tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Camiguin is now ready to reopen its economy and tourism as Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, together with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) inaugurated the improved and upgraded Camiguin Airport in Northern Mindanao on 22 October 2021.The completed projects include the fire station building, passenger terminal building (PTB), administration building, CAAP Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) building, and runway asphalt overlay.

Secretary Tugade said that as Camiguin reopens its economy and welcomes tourists starting on 25 October 2021, the completed transport facilities and infrastructure projects will augment the recovery not only of the province but the region as well.

“Sa pagbubukas ng ating paliparan, makikita natin muli ‘yung tamis at pagsigla ng ekonomiya, ‘yung tamis at pagsigla ng ating turismo. Kung sasabihin natin na ang Camiguin ay isang tourism destination, hindi ba nakakalungkot na sabihin na papaanong magiging tourism destination ‘yan kung wala ka namang paliparan na ginagamit? Kung ang isla ng Camiguin ay maganda, at tunay namang maganda, hindi ba dapat lang mabigyan ng mobility at connectivity ang mga mamamayan ng Camiguin para ng sa ganon ‘yung sigla at tamis ng Camiguin ay makita, maramdaman, masubukan muli,” Secretary Tugade said.

With Camiguin island being part of a bigger archipelago, Secretary Tugade added that there is also a need to meet the demands in maritime and road transportation. He also stressed that developments are not exclusive for big provinces but also for small areas like Camiguin.

“Asikasuhin din ‘ho natin ‘yung mga lugar na may malaking potensyal, hindi lang sa lanzones kundi sa beauty ng lugar, at sa katamisan ng hospitality ng mga tao upang sa ganon sasabihin natin sa Pilipino, sa mga biyahero at mga dumadalaw sa Camiguin: Come again to Camiguin,” Secretary Tugade added.

For his part, Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo thanked Secretary Tugade for the swift completion of projects in Camiguin Airport, which he said were long-delayed. The governor noted that it is only during the Duterte administration and the strong commitment of the DOTr, under Secretary Tugade, that the asphalt overlay of the runway was completed.

“Tungkol sa asphalt overlay, kayo lang po nakatapos nun. Nag-umpisa ang asphalt overlay noong tatay ko po ay congressman. Namatay na lang tatay ko, ‘yung pumalit ‘yung apo niya. Sa tagal, ngayon lang ‘ho natapos ito, sa apo na. Ganon pala kabagal. Reality ‘ho since 2016 hanggang ngayon, lahat po sa Camiguin lang, nangyayari po in this administration,” Governor Romualdo said.

“In behalf sa probinsya ng Camiguin, maraming maraming salamat po sa DOTr team, na tinitingnan niyo ang Camiguin. Hindi niyo pinapabayaan. Tayo ‘ho ang second smallest province but, sa tulong niyo, nangyari na po ito. Again, una hindi ako makapaniwala na nangyari, lalo na ‘yung runway, pero nangyari po during this administration. So, Secretary Art, DOTr family, Captain Sydiongco, daghan iti (maraming) salamat sa inyong pag-abiabi (pag-welcome) dito sa probinsya ng Camiguin,” the governor added.

Meanwhile, to further develop Camiguin Airport, future projects such as the expansion and improvement of check-in and pre-departure area, the provision of a control tower, and the improvement of the vehicular parking area are also slated for the airport. A feasibility study on the development of the airport to accommodate larger aircraft and jet aircraft operations has also been proposed for next year.

“By next year gagawa tayo ng feasibility study kung saan mayroon bang paglalagyan ng ibang runway or kung papano iimprove itong runway dito sa Camiguin. Ang airport naman ‘ho ay depende sa laki, depende sa lapad so depende rin sa eroplano. Ngayon kung meron flight na international o maliit na eroplano, puwede rin itong gawin na international airport.” CAAP Director General Jim Sydionco said.

Friday, October 22, 2021

FDCP’s Funding Program Awards PHP 17.3 Million to 28 Filipino Film Projects

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

To show its continued support for the production and development of Filipino films, the CreatePHFilms, the public funding initiative of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), has selected 28 Filipino film projects as recipients of CreatePHFilms funding program amounting to a total of PHP 17.3 million of selective funds.

Under the CreatePHFilm Funds for Development, the 10 chosen projects will each receive a selective, non-refundable fund of PHP 100,000 for Scriptwriting:


      6th Finger” by Sheron Dayoc

      “Posthouse” by Nikolas Red

      "Safari Paraiso” by Glenn Barit

      “At the Break of Dawn” by Janice Perez

      “Mga Banggi nin Pantomina” by Arjanmar Rebeta

      “Symphonies from the River” by Arvin Belarmino

      “The Gospel of the Beast” by Sheron Dayoc

      “Ms. Mama Mary” by Sonny Calvento

      “Dalisay” by Joseph Mangat

      “The Merman in Koh Sichang” by Arden Rod Condez


The CreatePHFilm Fund for Project Development is a selective and nonrefundable fund of PHP 200,000 for production companies. These are the six selected projects that will each be given PHP 200,000:


      “Pony Boys” by Daluyong Studios

      “After Autumn” by Southern Lantern Studios

      “The Underneath” by TEN17P

      “Makapili” by Voyage Film Studios

      “Stray Cats” by Southern Lantern Studios

      “The Black Dog Which Causes Cholera” by Jim Jasper Lumbera and Joey Alexis Singh


The CreatePHFilm Fund for Small Budget Production is a selective recoupable fund of PHP 1 million for production companies. The three films selected to receive the PHP 1 million fund are:


      “People of the Lake” by Shirin Bhandari

      “Retirada” by Milo Alto Paz and Cynthia Cruz-Paz

      “Yellowfin” by E del Mundo


Two films will receive a selective equity investment fund of PHP 5 million from the CreatePHFilm Fund for Large Budget Production:


      “Topakk” by Richard Somes

      “Boldstar” by Antoinette Jadaone


Five projects will be granted the CreatePHFilms Fund for Post-Production of PHP 300,000, a selective fund granted to its engaged post-production company:


      “Alimungaw: The Ominous Wind of Uncertainty” by Bagane Fiola

      “Balaan: Sacred Voices, Sacred Lands” by Bagane Fiola

      “Bukal” by Jeffrey “Epy” Quizon

      “Ginhawa” by Christian Paolo Lat

      “Rangtay Papan Idjaybangir” by Ferdie Balanag, Kawayan de Guia, and Padma Perez


The CreatePHFilms Fund for Distribution has selected two films to receive a selective fund of P300,000 for its local and overseas distribution:


      “Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago” by Martika  Escobar

      “Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)” by Carlo Francisco Manatad


“Despite the major setbacks brought by the pandemic, I hope our programs to support our Filipino filmmakers will further inspire and encourage them to keep creating and honing their masterpieces. The Agency will continuously give its best to discover and develop creative talents equipped for the future of Philippine Cinema,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

CreatePHFilms 2021 Cycle 2 will soon open later in the month. Eligible applicants must be Filipino filmmakers and companies accredited by the FDCP’s National Registry, while eligible projects must have a Filipino director. Additionally, 100 percent of the funds must be spent in the Philippines for eligible expenses.

For inquiries on how to apply for the CreatePHFilm Funds for Development (Script Development and Project Development), Production (Small Budget and Large Budget), Post-Production, and Distribution, visit

PLDT underscores innovation as key for businesses to succeed in the post-pandemic era

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Businesses need to be agile across their operations and participate in digital ecosystems to succeed in the post-pandemic world according to the country’s largest integrated telecommunications provider PLDT.

During the recent Franchise Asia Philippines Virtual International Conference, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio stressed that Filipinos need to embrace resilience and adaptability to overcome the difficulties brought by the pandemic.

“It has become imperative to adapt and act fast—pivoting processes and operations to survive, and build resilience for a sustainable future ahead,” said Panlilio.

The PLDT executive said that the past year had presented the significance of digital transformation in every industry, which now redefines how businesses operate. Panlilio said companies strived to digitize their core processes by putting digital transformation on the top of their priority list as a long-term investment.

“It is the incubation of technology, purpose, and balance that drives people growth, business strategies, and sustainability. At the center of it all is still the customer. Hence, it is imperative to go beyond the hype of new technologies and discover how they can shape our future,” he added.

Given this scenario, PLDT and Smart have been leveraging digital technology and a robust network to deliver a world-class customer experience at the forefront of breakthrough innovations in the telco industry.

“PLDT and Smart are establishing programs that can effectively identify, evaluate, and incubate digitization to transform ourselves. By doing so, we are also creating new opportunities and harnessing advanced technologies to chart a path to the next horizon, mindful of our civic duty to help with economic recovery and overall nation-building,” Panlilio said.

Likewise, he mentioned PLDT’s continuous investment in network bandwidth capacity and fast-tracking of its fiber rollout, which has already reached over 524,000 km as of June 2021, a 22 percent increase compared to last year.

The group, through its B2B arm PLDT Enterprise, also continues to upgrade its network of 10 globally certified data center facilities to serve the hyperscaler market. PLDT is optimistic that making the Philippines a strategic hyperscaler hub in the Asia Pacific will propel the country to be the region’s next digital destination of choice by hyperscalers.

“PLDT and Smart continuously support Filipino enterprises by providing them with the best solutions available, exemplifying the most innovative digital transformation, enabling e-Industries, and empowering businesses in all shapes and sizes to evolve and thrive in this new operating condition,” he concluded.

For more information, visit

Are Our Protected Areas Surviving COVID-19?

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

For Protected Areas, lockdowns mean fewer tourism impacts, but fewer funds

The lockdowns spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people to stay home. The world’s Protected Areas (PAs), which have been trying to manage ever-growing throngs of tourists, were certainly granted a reprieve – but after two years, the lack of visitors is having a telling effect.

The United Nations Development Fund’s Biodiversity Finance (BIOFIN) Project, Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently staged a three-part webinar series entitled Ecotourism in Protected Areas: Towards Green Recovery on September 17, 24 and October 1, 2021.

Hosted by Alpabeto Ng Kalikasan author Anya Santos-Uy, the first session tackled the impacts of the global pandemic on ecotourism, particularly for Protected Areas (PAs). Speakers included DENR Undersecretary for Protected Areas and Special Concerns Edilberto Leonardo, International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Dr. Anna Spenceley, Mt. Pulag National Park Superintendent (PASu) Emerita Albas and Apo Reef Natural Park PASu Krystal Dayne Villanada.

Leave No Trace Principles are paramount in keeping the country’s PAs in good condition. (Center for Outdoor Ethics)

Ecotourism in Protected Areas: Towards Green Recovery was a three-part webinar series which tackled the impacts of the global pandemic on ecotourism, particularly on PAs. Recordings of the three sessions can be viewed on BIOFIN’s Facebook Page

“Ecotourism, one of the lifelines of biodiversity conservation, is struggling to recover,” shared Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Protected Areas and Special Concerns Edilberto Leonardo during a digital session on PAs. “PAs have been closed to visitors for over a year. A few reopened, but only for a limited number of visitors in consideration of safety protocols. The flow of income to our PAs dipped. Even more disheartening is the impact on the livelihoods of local communities, especially our rangers and patrollers who are largely dependent on the very PAs they protect.”

PASu Emerita Albas agreed. “Though vegetation regenerated because of fewer hikers, we have less funds for operations.” One of the most popular trekking destinations in the country, Mt. Pulag National Park hosts the tallest peak in Luzon. In 2019, 43,229 hikers entered the park, contributing PHP8,974,760 to its coffers. The lockdowns cut visits by 98%. From January to August 2021, just 778 people visited, contributing a paltry PHP28,935.

The second session discussed post-pandemic ecotourism recovery strategies. Speakers included Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center PASu Melody Ann Malano, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes PASu Moreno Tagra, the Department of Tourism’s Ramon Tiongco, Jr., DENR National Parks Division’s Gabriel Anthony Ferrer, plus the IUCN’s Dr. Anna Spenceley.

“We’re developing and refining tomorrow’s best practices to help our PAs recover faster. We’re embracing technology to facilitate everything from no-contact, cashless payments to offering the public unique digital experiences via social media, which can be offered even after the pandemic is over,” shared PASu Melody Ann Malano.

The third session on the other hand, encouraged the audience to be responsible travelers. Speakers included DENR-BMB Assistant Director Amelita DJ Ortiz, DOT Promotions Board’s Cesar Villanueva, DENR-BMB’s Pola Geneva Bumanglag, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant PASu Clint Michael Cleofe and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park PASu Angelique Songco.

Hikers trek through the sprawling grasslands of Mt. Pulag National Park, which straddles the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya. The Philippines currently has 124 Protected Areas or PAs. “Even before the pandemic, the conservation community has suffered from a chronic dearth of resources,” shares BIOFIN Project Manager Anabelle Plantilla. “The lockdowns drastically reduced funding for our already cash-strapped PAs.”

Steely-eyed park rangers patrol the world-famous Tubbataha Reefs off the coast of Palawan. DENR and BIOFIN are staging the Virtual Travels to Protected Areas video contest, which offers all-expense paid trips to selected PAs in the country. The contest is open until 15 November. Interested participants can learn more HERE

Known as the Tubbataha Reefs’ ‘Mama Ranger’, PASu Angelique Songco said the renowned offshore park modified existing policies to curb negative tourism impacts during and after the pandemic. “We’ve banned single-use plastics within the park and mandated divers to turn each dive into a cleanup dive. We’ve disallowed drones which can disturb the rookeries or breeding colonies of both seabirds and marine turtles. We want our visitors to set a good example for other travelers.”

With the global pandemic’s second year ending, the world’s national parks and PAs are hoping to welcome the public with better experiences.

During the webinar on responsible traveling to PAs, several topics were touched on, including ethics and behavior in PAs with regards to policies and laws governing wildlife in PAs, plus noise, waste, light pollution, the proper use of technology and ‘Leave No Trace’ or LNT principles. BIOFIN and its allies encourage travelers to educate themselves on these when visiting PAs.

“For those who are at home, you can devote your extra time to learn better ways to become responsible travelers,” said DOT’s Cesar Villanueva. “Share what you learn through social media and don’t forget to engage people and organizations which help protect our environment.”

DENR-BMB, BIOFIN, DOT and DILG is pushing for a proposed Presidential Proclamation to herald 2022 as the Year of the Protected Areas (YoPA) and June of each year as the Month of Protected Areas. YoPA aims to increase awareness on the value of PAs, promote visits and in turn, increase park revenues from visitors.

In addition, DENR and BIOFIN are staging the Virtual Travels to Protected Areas video contest, which offers all-expense paid trips to selected PAs in the country. The contest is open until 15 November and interested participants can learn more HERE.

With the imposed travel restrictions, much of the world is contending itself with virtual ‘Sofa Safaris’ enjoyed by tourists from the comfort of their own homes. Soon however, PAs like Mt. Pulag, the Tubbataha Reefs and other top hiking and diving destinations might be ready to take in more visitors.

“We hope to welcome many good tourists when the lockdowns lift,” concludes Songco. “For now and until our PAs get through COVID-19, we must learn to be physically distanced but socially engaged.”

Cover photo: Tamaraw rangers and civilian observers scan the grassy ridges of the Iglit-Baco Mountain Range for critically endangered tamaraw. “We need to build back better to ensure that COVID-19 leaves our PAs in a better state than before the pandemic,” says BIOFIN’s Anabelle Plantilla

Design, Art, Culture: The Opposite House’s Dramatic Renovation Makes It A Place to Appreciate from Every Angle

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

With Gallery-Like Spaces, a Collection of New Restaurants and Redesigned Guest Rooms, The House Collective’s “House of Art” Offers A Journey of Rediscovery 

The Opposite House, recently named #1 The Top 5 Hotels in China, #1 The Top 15 Asia City Hotels and #3 in Top Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure, is making its relaunch after the completion of an extensive renovation of its public spaces, restaurants and guest rooms. The first hotel under The House Collective brand by Swire Hotels, located in Beijing’s hippest neighbourhood of Sanlitun, has drawn inspiration from the city’s electric creative energy for its renovations that encompass design, art and culture. With a collection of new restaurants and social spaces, the redesign makes The House Collective’s “House of Art” into a dynamic and inspiring destination that tastemakers will appreciate from every angle.


Imagined as a contemporary art gallery, The Opposite House was originally designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in 2008. Its now-iconic emerald green glass exterior reflects the hotel’s setting in Taikoo Li Sanlitun and inside, the airy atrium presents its signature rotating art exhibitions under monumental drapes that create a screen of light.

The House’s new experience begins with Kengo Kuma’s “Origami” installation, which serves as the lobby’s new reception wall. Kengo applied Tyvek, a translucent synthetic textile resembling hand-made paper, to create a screen of light with organic texture and shades.

In the refreshed guest rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows open onto lush views of the leafy surrounds and neighbouring Taikoo Li complex. Transparent partitions maximise space while lending a modern touch to the rooms for a contemporary feel. Beijing-inspired décor complete the artistic ambiance.

"We are very excited about the relaunch of our House," said Olivier Dumonceaux, General Manager of The Opposite House. “As a space where art comes to life, The Opposite House has always been driven by the fusion of design, creativity and culture. With the art installations and pop-ups alongside new restaurant and bar concepts, we believe that our House is a true lifestyle destination with unique experiences for every guest."


At The Opposite House, you can immerse yourself in art everywhere. Whether it’s the House’s collaboration with contemporary artists, to its curation of works, or even simply a cocktail, art can be appreciated from every angle. Each season, The Opposite House presents a different series of artworks, offering guests fresh cultural insights into the world of contemporary art.

The House Collective’s biennial art programme in 2019, ‘Encounters Across Cultures: Seeds of Life’, featured multidisciplinary artist Katja Loher, who collaborated with local artists and choreographers to create ‘Videoplanets’ of the Five Elements for a floating installation in the Atrium. This year, ‘Encounters Across Cultures’ returns, where contemporary dancer Yu Jinying and Li Xinmeng have joined forces to create an interactive art installation across space and time that explores The Opposite House’s architecture.

As the “House of Art”, The Opposite House is a destination for the capital’s culture makers.

Blending fashion and art, The House features buzzed-about happenings from fashionable high tea that takes inspiration from the designers’ creation to pop-up stores featuring sought-after luxury brands. And almost as though an haute couture runway, Superfly, Union and the lobby’s Atrium inspire photos from The House’s worldly guests.

“Whether collaborating with artists to bring the ‘Encounters Across Cultures’ art programme or hosting special events with fashion brands, it’s always exciting to partner with artists and brands to create more unique experiences for our guests,” said Ami Tsou, Director of Communications & Marketing of The Opposite House.


The Opposite House is set in the bustling Sanlitun, drawing on the area’s creative energy and melange of cultures. At Superfly, vintage vibes, Chinese pop culture and Sichuan’s street culture collide; at Michelin-starred Jing Yaa Tang, Chef Li Dong explores the parallels and juxtapositions of traditional and modern Chinese cuisine; Union takes inspiration from the ancient Silk Road for an array of flavours from China to the Mediterranean; and Frasca celebrates traditional Mediterranean cuisine and the authentic flavours of Italy, rounding out the House’s global culinary offerings. “Jing Yaa Tang, Superfly, Frasca and Union are each our tribute to the past and the present, and cultures within and outside of China,” said Will Gao, Manager of Union. “Besides focusing on creative experiments on classic cocktail recipes, we also love to infuse fresh ideas which is why we often invite renowned bartenders from different cities as guest bartenders at Union.

The Opposite House Experience

In the heart of Sanlitun, stepping off Beijing’s bustling city streets and into The Opposite

House is like setting foot in an urban oasis. A space designed for peaceful moments inspired by nature, you can brush your hands against bamboo trees, swim under the “stars” and

discover your inner self at poolside yoga. Every step of the stay, from check-in to check-out, the House’s attentive team assure guests enjoy quality and personalised experience.

As Guest

Experience team leader Jessica Ju explains: “Our team always strives to provide guests with

personalised and high-quality services. We hope to offer new experiences to every guest for a true sense of leisure and relaxation.”

To celebrate the recent honour by Travel + Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards as #3 in Top Hotels in the World and #1 in The Top City Hotel in Asia, The Opposite House is launching “Appreciate From Every Angle”, a special offer for guests to experience the House themselves.

Just need to top up RMB 600++ to the daily rate to enjoy a stay at Studio 70, daily breakfast for two at Frasca and a choice of two from the four dining experiences:

• Michelin Menu for two at Jing Yaa Tang

• Silk Road cocktails at Union

• Custom menu for two at Frasca

• Special menu for two at Superfly

Chooks-to-Go to Give Away P2.5M in Christmas Raffle Promo

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Two and a half million pesos are at stake as Chooks-to-Go, the Philippines' largest roasted chicken chain, launches its Christmas raffle promo.

Dubbed "A Merrier Chooksmas," the promo runs until December 23, with 66 winners of various cash prizes to be drawn on January 14, 2022.

The luckiest winner will receive one million pesos; five winners will get P100,000 each; 10 winners, P50,000 each; and 50 winners, P10,000 each.

"This is our Christmas gift to all our loyal customers who support us through thick and thin," said Ronald Mascariñas, president of Chooks-to-Go's parent company Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. (BAVI).

"Ito ang aming munting pasasalamat sa milyon-milyong Pilipino na tumatangkilik sa Chooks-to-Go. Nang dahil sa kanila, patuloy ring nakapaglilingkod ang Chooks-to-Go sa ating mga kababayang apektado ng pandemya."

To join the promo, customers need only to keep their Chooks-to-Go purchases' receipts and send entries through the promo registration webpage, The page may also be accessed through the QR code posted at participating Chooks-to-Go stores.

For the full promo mechanics, visit the same link above or go to Chooks-to-Go's Facebook page [].

Chooks-to-Go is the country's number-one rotisserie chicken brand, with almost 2,000 outlets nationwide. In 2008, it pioneered the no-sauce-required roast chicken formulation and now serves zero-antibiotics chicken.

Per DTI Fare Trade Permit No. FTEB 128746 Series of 2021.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

DOTr signed the project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment contract with its Project Management Consultant

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The much-awaited Mindanao Railway project finally moves closer to reality as DOTr Secretary Art Tugade signed the project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment contract with its Project Management Consultant today, 20 October 2021.The Mindanao Railway project is a 1,544-kilometer railway system connecting the cities of Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Cotabato, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, and Malaybalay.

The MRP's first phase - the Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) segment - will have 100 kilometers of railway line to connect the cities of Tagum in Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Digos in Davao del Sur with eight (8) stations. The MRP's first segment is designed to accommodate 122,000 passengers and will reduce travel time between Tagum and Digos from the usual 3 hours to just 1 hour.

Emphasizing the decades-long delay of the railway’s construction, Secretary Tugade said the signing of the Project Management Consultant contract starts the government’s commitment to finally deliver the Mindanao Railway project.

"Since more than four years ago, when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, people were already expecting and people were already asking the question: 'Where is the Mindanao Railway [project]?' Today, we are saying that with the signing of the agreement, it is about to be born and it is about to be triggered into reality," Secretary Tugade said.

China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC), the Project Management Consultant for the MRP-TDD, will assist the MRP-Project Management Office in the preparation and management of the overall project implementation program, including its land acquisition activities, coordination with concerned government offices, a review of the project's detailed design, and supervision of construction activities, among others.

"I believe that the winning Chinese companies will do their best to fulfill their tasks, providing professional recommendations and consultancy to the project and offer its satisfactory management services. I also believe that with the close cooperation of all joining parties, we will work together to release more benefits to the peoples of our two countries," Mr. Zhu Min, Chinese Embassy Chief of Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office expressed.

The massive Mindanao Railway Project, the first railway system outside Luzon, is one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration under the Build, Build, Build program. It is designed to help improve inter-island connectivity and boost economic development in Mindanao.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The new color of the opposition: From Yellow Dilawans to Pink Kakampinks, supporters conduct pink caravans

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

"The color pink generally represents nurturing and love. It is usually associated with femininity, but also with the innocence and playfulness of childhood. It is non-threatening, calming, and reassuring; so often seen as a SIGN OF HOPE"

When it rains, it pinks? Bicol Caravan for Leni. Same thing happened in Cebu.

VP Leni Robredo’s supporters and volunteers conduct a “pink caravan” in various parts of the country as expression of support for her 2022 presidential run.

Let all the doors and all the roads of opportunities  open today, give us light in darkness and never live us aside. 

Please make the days enjoyable for everyone.

Let's hope nobody does anything to thwart the people's desire to elect whoever they want to. It's time the voice of the majority is heard again, not that of the few who are more concerned about their money, influence and power.

Who was it who spent millions and wasted years questioning the results of the previous election?

We maybe laughing at his desperate move especially on historical revisionism, but you know what, we must be scared because Pinoys are so gullible. The fake news peddlers are working double time  to brainwash the masses...and many are being manipulated.

It is frustrating that some Filipinos have very short memories. Ferdinand Marcos pillaged the country's coffers. His wife acted like a queen. His son played with expensive cars. His daughters were married to sons of oligarchs to solidify the fiefdom.

It is alarming that only 1% of voters are influenced by Twitter versus the above 70% that are based sa Facebook. Twitter is indeed an eco chamber of Leni’s supporters. Leni’s socmed teams need to step up on Facebook. 

To my #kakampinks do not feel disheartened or disappointed let us trust the process. VP Leni also admitted they are not perfect or her slates may not be perfect, but what's important now is they are one in certain issues to help uplift our countrymen. 

The blaming game would just divide us.

Marcos Jr. has been campaigning on social media for so many years. But that’s all just smoke and mirrors. Let’s see how he fares when his campaign collides with reality.

I don't think people should be discussing politics on social media. People here have already made up their minds. The votes that matter are off line and they cannot be won over with vitriol.

The partial battle is in social media to dispel fake news. But for purposes of getting votes. It is still in a face to face campaigning and educating people in the grassroots...

Wear something pink when you stroll even if it’s not Wednesday. Please wear pink and then post on social media. #Kakampinks go forth and multiply!

We will vote for Leni in the 2022 presidential elections. 

But we will continue to be a critic. We will continue to be a critic of anyone who wins. It is not our job to defend people who are supposed to serve the Filipino people. Address the roots of conflict in the country!

We will support Leni all the way but when she's now president, we will keep on reminding her that she is a public servant first and foremost and her thrust is good governance. We do believe that powers corrupt but not Leni, we trust her 100%.

We Catholics vote by conscience so the Church never endorses a candidate. But as individual priests, they have the moral duty to pray for, discern, and lead their flock to good. 

We admire VP Leni Robredo for her grit. She has an unyielding courage in the face of adversity and has proven to be effective despite her limited resources. Above all, she has no traces of corruption. 

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