Saturday, December 18, 2021

SSS gets COA’s highest audit rating for 2020 financial statements

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) received an “unmodified” opinion from the Commission on Audit (COA) for its financial statements for calendar year 2020, the highest audit rating that may be given to government agencies by state auditors.

“We rendered an unmodified opinion on the fairness of presentation of the financial statements of SSS as at and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, with emphasis on the recognition of Insurance Contract Liability in the SSS’ financial statements in compliance with the policy directive of the National Government requiring government insurance institutions to adopt the PFRS [Philippine Financial Reporting Standard] 4 – Insurance Contracts effective CY 2020,” the Auditor's Opinion in the Executive Summary of COA's Annual Audit Report on SSS stated.

An unmodified opinion means that the auditor was satisfied with the submitted financial statements as these have met the requirements demanded by regulations and were prepared in accordance with accounting principles, criteria, and standards.

SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio gratefully accepted the COA audit opinion on the 2020 financial report. She said, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSS continued to pursue its mandate of providing meaningful social security protection to its members and their beneficiaries through a culture of excellence in management grounded upon sound and efficient policies and best practices.

“For CY 2020, SSS' total cash inflow from the collection of members’ contribution and proceeds from investments and other income reached P231.51 billion, which surpassed its total cash outflow of P205.52 billion from payments to members and beneficiaries and payments for operations, resulting in a net cash generated from operating activities of P25.99 billion,” Ignacio said.

SSS assets in 2020, on the other hand, grew by P38.61 billion or 6.4 percent to P639.99 billion from P601.38 billion in 2019.

With the change in its financial reporting standard starting with its 2020 financial statements, SSS' Social Benefit Liabilities (SBLs) are now presented in its liabilities. In previous years, SSS' SBLs were presented in the Notes, which forms an integral part of its financial statements.

The SSS also reported that based on its 2019 Actuarial Valuation, its fund life is projected to last until 2054.

Philippine Army donates 4million to GMA Kapuso Foundation

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippine Army donated P4 million to GMA Kapuso Foundation intended for the benefit of those affected by typhoon Odette.

Here's the AFP press statement on their response to #OdettePh.:

"In close coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, our disaster response operations are ongoing in areas that were and will be affected by Typhoon Odette. 

These include emergency evacuations, search and rescue, clearing, and transport assistance for the delivery of relief goods.

As the lead agency of the Search, Rescue, and Retrieval Cluster, we have mobilized units from our regional commands to the battalion level to ensure the widest coverage possible. 

Air and naval assets are also on call and ready for deployment to support the national and local disaster risk reduction and management councils and other response clusters. 

Other units that are not in the typhoon's path are also on standby to provide support when necessary.

In this trying time, we enjoin those who can help to extend assistance in any way they can to those who are badly affected by this typhoon. Help is on the way and the AFP along with other government agencies are working 24/7 to reach those who are in need."

But why are they donating P4 million to a private, media-related foundation for its relief efforts when it could have given the funds to government agencies directly involved in disaster relief? Why not to NDRRMC, DSWD or to those affected LGUs?

Based on the AFP press statement on their response to #Odette, I don't see giving donations to private foundations in its scope of operations. 

The Oceanic Jewels of the Southeast Asia

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Southeast Asia is a beautiful destination for a laid-back sailing trip with its warm climates, crystal blue seas and white sandy beaches. This region includes mainland locations such as Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, as well as the island countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei.

The tourism industry supports more than 42 million jobs across South East Asia and contributed almost $400 million US dollars to the economy in 2019. One of the most visited countries is Thailand, followed by Malaysia and then Singapore.

While it is possible to join a group boat tour in many of these locations, hiring your own vessel from a company such as will give you the opportunity to explore at your own pace. Southeast Asia is ideal for visitors that enjoy adventurous activities such as exploring historical and cultural sights as well as water sports and scuba diving is likely to feature on your itinerary.

These are just some of the best locations you can visit on a sailing holiday in the Southeast region of Asia:

Thailand’s Sunset Beach in Koh Lipe

The famous Sunset Beach is a 400 meter stretch of white sand on the west coast of Koh Lipe. It is one of the quieter main beaches in the area but can still get busy during peak times.

This beach is ideal for swimming and watching the sunset. There are also several beach bars, with some food options and local delicacies. If you are intending to visit Thailand, why not sail through the crystal waters to this area of Koh Lipe for a relaxing day trip?

Paradise Beach of Bantayan Island

While you won't find a Starbucks or KFC on Bantayan Island, the tourist infrastructure is fairly well developed with luxury resorts and even 4G internet available to visitors.

Another beach worth visiting in Southeast Asia is Paradise Beach on Bantayan Island in the Philippines. This beach is in a secluded location and reaching it will require a motorbike or pump boat.

Due to its quiet location, there are no refreshments available on the beach, so be sure to pack yourself a picnic in advance. The ocean is also ideal for swimming here and snorkelling to see the diverse marine life is encouraged.

Entry to Paradise Beach costs visitors 50 pesos, which is surely worth it for some peace and tranquillity.

Ha Long Bay

Over in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is a wonderful place to visit for sailing tourists. There are over 3000 limestone islands to explore. Considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bay is one of the most popular destinations in the Quảng Ninh Province of the country.

There is a huge amount of biodiversity in Ha Long Bay, making it especially popular with snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts. Many geologists visit the area to study its natural rock formations and unique appearance.

If sailing through the area, be sure to stop off at Cat Ba Island. This island has some idyllic villages and a number of lesser-known beaches with white sands and calm waters. It is also great for hiking and cycling and if trekking through natural areas you will see rare wildlife such as langur monkeys and green and hawksbill turtles.

Hoi An Cham Islands

Also on your South East Asia bucket list should be a trip to the Cham Islands off the coast of Hoi An. It is wise to avoid this area during monsoon season between October and February and try to be there between June and August for the best weather and water conditions.

One of the best attractions of the Cham Islands is the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, which sees a high number of scuba divers each year due to its impressive marine life. Within the reserve area there is thought to be around 410 acres of coral reefs and 1,200 acres of underwater plant life.

There is a lot of effort currently being put into sustainable development in the area, to ensure the islands can stay as a peaceful natural centre for biodiversity for many years to come.

Raja Ampat diving site

Lastly, the Raja Ampat diving site in the corner of Indonesia is teeming with marine life. Manta Sandy is one of the must visit locations within Raja Ampat, while Francisco’s Peak is a recently discovered dive site where you can spot rare species such as the phantom pipefish and wobbegongs.

If looking to see some natural coral then Friwin Island is the place to visit, this island is surrounded by coral and a known hotspot for White tip sharks in the deepest parts of the water.

These are just some of the top destinations to visit for those planning a sailing trip to Southeast Asia. Plan your itinerary out before you set sail to ensure you get the most out of your adventure to this diverse and beautiful part of the world.

Young filmmakers explore science mysteries amid pandemic in 5th Indie-Siyensya

Wazzup Pilipinas?!

From the mundane mysteries such as sleep and solar power to social issues such as vaccine hesitancy and environmentally-sustainable fishing traditions, everyday science comes to life in the able explorations of the young documentary filmmakers of the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute’s (DOST-SEI’s) 5th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition.

Over five dozen entries from schools and individuals all across the Philippines, from Abra to Maguindanao, joined the contest. Their entries consisted of short documentaries relevant to the theme “The Scientist in Me,” aimed at explaining the science behind everyday things.

DOST-SEI specifically chose the theme in response to the need for public safety in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a way to encourage the youth to see science as an essential part of their everyday lives.

“Science is so much more than just a set of facts: it is a way of life, a way of seeing the world,” said DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo. “This innate ability to see the world anew is a philosophy of hope that is much needed, especially in these times. It is for this reason that we chose the theme, ‘The Scientist In Me.’”

Even despite the constraints of the pandemic, the entries didn’t disappoint.

For the “Youth Category” for high school, tertiary school, and out-of-school youth aged 13-20, the winners were:


  1. “Snooze,” a documentary on the science of sleep, by Micah Paulina C. Limlengco of Philippine Science High School - Southern Mindanao Campus 
  2. “Agam- Agham,” a Filipino-language investigation of vaccine hesitancy, by Mary Antonette G. Agapito, Malena Riz C. Ballon, Juliana Krishna W. Guevarra, Val Allen U. Eltagonde, and Divine Mae R. Manadong of Rizal National Science High School (Region4 A) 
  3. “Marvels of Science: Non-Newtonian Fluid,” an exploration of the strange properties of a homemade material, by De La Salle University Integrated School - Manila (NCR) 


For the “Open Category” for college students, teachers, and S&T professionals, the winners were:  

  1. “Sinag,” a look at the surprising science of solar power, by Richelle Joan Gareza Enriquez of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (NCR) 
  2. “Super Sci Yan,” an exploration of alternative energy sources, by Kenneth Peterson F. Leviste of Arkos Digital (NCR) 
  3. “Yankaw,” an investigative documentary of a sustainable traditional Filipino fishing practice, by Khristine L. Sandoval of NU Sports Academy (Laguna, Region 4A) 


The films were judged based on scientific content, idea execution, and filmmaking technique. At stake for each category were trophies and cash prizes worth PhP100,000 for the Best Film, PhP50,000 pesos for the second prize, and PhP30,000 for the third prize. 


In addition, both “Marvels of Science: Non- Newtonian Fluid” and “Yankaw” also received the Viewer’s Choice Award, amounting to an additional PhP20,000 each. 


The winning entries may be viewed for free at the following link: 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Hilton Welcomes First Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Thailand with Opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Hilton Garden Inn makes its Thailand debut in the heart of Phuket Island,
providing affordable accommodations and elevated experiences

Hilton and GCP Hospitality today announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao, marking the debut of the award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand in Thailand. Developed and managed by GCP Hospitality, the 177-room hotel spanning seven stories is strategically located in the island’s prime Bang Tao Beach area, featuring upscale guest rooms in close proximity to pristine beaches, leisure, entertainment and sporting activities.

Christophe Vielle, CEO & Co-Founder of GCP Hospitality, said, "The opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao is especially significant for us. It marks the first and only Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Phuket and further confirms GCP Hospitality’s commitment to expand its hotel portfolio in Thailand. This hotel also serves as a promise from GCP Hospitality to bring world-class hospitality to some of the world's most exciting destinations. Bang Tao is a location that perfectly marries nature with urban living – making it the perfect fit for travelers seeking to discover the best that Phuket has to offer."

The opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao adds an open, inviting atmosphere with warm, welcoming service and thoughtful touches to Thailand’s largest and most beloved island destination. Within walking distance to pristine beaches, retail, entertainment and recreational hot spots, guests will enjoy the convenience staying close to top tourist attractions, such as the Laguna Phuket Resort Complex and Boat Avenue. Phuket International Airport is just a short 25-minute drive from the hotel.

“Being one of the strongest focused service brands in the market, Hilton Garden Inn is rapidly growing throughout Asia Pacific with almost 50 operating hotels and 110 properties in the pipeline. With the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao, we look forward to serving the evolved preferences of modern traveller, expressed through the brand’s signature positive, upbeat service, its luminous spaces and modern amenities, and its stylish and approachable design delivered at an affordable price point,” said Jenny Milos, vice president, focused service and all suites brands, Asia Pacific, Hilton.

True to the brand’s attributes, Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao is a showcase of upscale and affordable accommodations with modern amenities. With guest rooms ranging from 23 to 28 square meters, modern travelers will appreciate thoughtful amenities, including the brand’s signature bedding, featuring fresh, white duvets and crisp linens; spacious rain showers, Smart TVs, USB charging ports and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guests opting for rooms with balconies will enjoy unobstructed views of the famed Laguna area. For recreation, guests enjoy access to a 24-hour fitness center outfitted with the latest Life Fitness® equipment and two outdoor swimming pools at the rooftop.

For well-rounded food and beverage experiences, the hotel features the Hilton Garden Inn brand’s signature Garden Grille & Bar serving a thoughtful menu of local and international favorites while The Pool Bar on the rooftop offers a scenic vantage point to enjoy the aerial view of Phuket’s lush landscape over a refreshing cocktail.

“We are delighted to welcome our third Hilton hotel in Phuket with the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao, where our portfolio in Thailand now spans 14 distinctive hotels and resorts. Hilton Garden Inn’s brand entry to Phuket Island’s vibrant hospitality scene is testament to Hilton’s commitment to deliver exceptional hospitality experiences. As more travelers return to this beloved resort destination, we will create better and brighter stays with the brand’s signature upbeat service,” said Paul Hutton, area vice president, head of South East Asia, Hilton.

Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,700 properties in 122 countries and territories. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also have access to contactless technology exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app, where members can check in, choose their room and access their room using Digital Key.

To celebrate the launch of Hilton Garden Inn in Phuket, Hilton Honors members will earn 1,000 points per night when booking directly with Hilton under certain room rates which start from THB1,350++. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao is located at 111 Soi Choeng Thale 16, Choeng Thale, Thalang District, Phuket 83110, Thailand. For more information, or to make a reservation, travelers may visit Hilton Garden Inn Phuket Bang Tao or call + 66 76 609 790.

MRT-7 project well on track for completion

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

After almost two decades of failed attempts to commence construction, the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) project is very much well on track for completion with its fast-paced construction and the arrival of the rail line’s brand-new train sets from South Korea, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade underscored on Thursday, 16 December 2021.

“Ang MRT-7 ay dalawang dekadang pinlano, hinintay, at pinangarap ng mga kababayan natin sa Lungsod Quezon—hindi lamang ng Lungsod Quezon, kundi ng buong sambayanan. Ngayong araw na ito, sa administrasyong Duterte ay bibigyang buhay at patotoo natin itong MRT-7,” Sec. Tugade said.

Tugade made the statement during the unveiling ceremony of MRT-7’s brand-new train sets graced by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

At present, six train sets or 18 rail cars out of the 108 rail cars have been shipped to the country. The entire MRT-7 system will have a total of 36 train sets.

The unsolicited proposal for the rail line, which will link North Avenue, Quezon City and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, was first submitted to the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in August 2001, while the concession agreement for the project was signed in August 2008.

Stagnant for almost two decades, the actual construction of the MRT-7 project started only in August 2016. The rail line’s overall progress rate is now at 62.10% and is eyed for partial operations with test runs starting in April 2022 and slated to start passenger operations in December 2022.

Once completed, the 22-kilometer and 14-station railway line will reduce travel time from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte Bulacan to just 35 minutes from the current 2 to 3 hours. The project is also expected to service 38,000 passengers during peak hours daily.

Meanwhile, Secretary Tugade expressed his gratitude to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President and COO Ramon Ang for pushing for the construction of the MRT-7 Project and supporting the Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte administration.

“Nagpapasalamat din ako sa San Miguel Group of Companies, lalo’t higit kay Mr. Ramon Ang. Marami tayong proyekto sa Build, Build, Build—marami kayong naitulong. Sana ‘yung tulong na binibigay n’yo sa bayan at sa tao ay tuluy-tuloy mapakinabangan ng sambayanan,” he said, adding that big-ticket projects would also not be possible without the participation of the local government.

President Duterte lauded the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for building a “world-class project that will benefit the Filipino people.”

“The MRT-7 project will provide the public with fast, efficient, convenient, safe and reliable transportation system that will result in the increase in productivity of workers and businesses in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces,” President Duterte said.

SMC President Ang, for his part, said the MRT-7 is a vital project that will develop an integrated and interconnected transportation systems and promote equity and inclusivity across cities.

“MRT-7 will decongest traffic, make our cities more accessible, and boost economic activities. This train set will represent grains into a better future for all of us,” SMC President Ang said.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also expressed her gratitude to President Duterte and Secretary Tugade, saying the MRT-7 “will forever be remembered as an edifice of progress and accelerated national growth. We thank you, not only because you have delivered on a promise, but you have also brought us to the next stage of our nation’s future.”

6 Things You Can Do With Rebisco Designer Cans

Wazzup Pilipinas!?


Collect These Beautiful But Hardworking Tin Cans and Help Young Artists Too


Looking for a nifty and unique gift you can give to friends, family or yourself for the holidays and beyond?


Rebisco’s Special Edition Designer Cans are back and there’s so much to love about them. Each can is a mini version of the iconic go-to pasalubong Rebisco Special Assorted Can filled to the brim with assorted baked goodies that have been favorite treats through the years. These junior cans are playful, charming and feature colorful artwork on the sides.


Well-known contemporary artists and budding art talents from Angono, Rizal, the art capital of the Philippines, have immortalized their art in the limited edition cans. Using bright colors, lively tints and bold pastels to portray Filipino culture and heritage, the distinct style and artistic viewpoints of Dominic Rubio, Aljo Pingol plus three young artists from Regional Lead School of the Arts in Angono (RLSAA) are expressed beautifully on the cans.

Quality Rebisco biscuits, wafers and crackers are beautifully arranged inside. Cool and classy but very affordable at P195 each, every tin can is hygienically packaged and sealed, truly thoughtful gifts to give at this time. They can be bought exclusively from online shopping platforms including Lazada, Shopee, and Snacks-To-Go by Rebisco.


Here’s the clincher. Every tin can sold will help develop more young artists in RLSAA and Calbayog Arts and Design School of Eastern Visayas (CADSEV). Rebisco is supporting the school by providing its students with essential art materials, musical instruments, and multimedia equipment.


You can collect different editions of the Rebisco Special Edition Designer Cans or give them away as tokens of your kindness. There are so many things you can do with them.


1.         Decorate a shelf or corner with those beautiful, eye-catching cans. Turn these cans into planters and treat the plantita and plantito in you.


2.         Turn them into colorful storage cans. Use them as mini bins for knick knacks, pencils, pens, and assorted stuff for your desk or room. They’re terrific organizers.


3.         Place your needles, pins, colorful threads, ribbons, thimbles and pin cushions inside and turn them into sewing kits.


4.         Re-use them as cookie jars or chichiria containers.


5.         Stack them side by side on your kitchen shelf and fill them with your cooking and baking needs: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, sachets and cooking aids. They’re well-sealed and insect-free.


6.         Turn them into your “change” box where you can go-to for small bills and loose change. The possibilities are endless.


Order and get your hands on these limited edition designer tin cans exclusively via Rebisco Flagship Stores on Shopee and Lazada.

FDCP’s Local Funding Program Opens 2022 Cycle for Development, Production, and Post-Production

azzup Pilipinas!?

In continuing its support to the development of quality Filipino films, CreatePHFilms, the film funding program of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) returns with another cycle to provide assistance to Filipino filmmakers in the development and production of their films.

CreatePHFilms 2022 Cycle 1 announced its Call for Applications open from December 3, 2021 to March 3, 2022 with five funding programs for mid-length or feature films that could be fiction, documentary, or animation:


      Scriptwriting - A selective and non-recoupable fund of PHP 100,000.00 per project for Filipino scriptwriters or filmmakers


      Project Development - A selective and non-recoupable fund of PHP 200,000.00 per project for Filipino production companies


      Small Budget Production - A selective and recoupable fund of PHP 1 million for Filipino production companies


      Large Budget Production - A selective equity investment fund of PHP 3 million up to PHP 5 million for Filipino production companies


      Post-Production - A selective fund and recoupable fund of PHP 300,000 to be applied for by the Filipino production company


Eligible applicants must be accredited by the FDCP’s National Registry and eligible projects must be directed by a Filipino. Additionally, 100 percent of the fund must be spent in the Philippines for qualified production expenses.

“While the local film industry is still recovering from the setbacks brought by the pandemic, CreatePHFilms is among our programs that would hopefully encourage more of our Filipino filmmakers and producers to continue with the development and production of their projects. There are so many stories worth telling from the Philippines, and through our public funding support, we look forward to their production so we may share them both locally and internationally,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

Last 2021 Cycle, FDCP awarded PHP 17.3 million to 28 grantees: 10 for Scriptwriting, 6 for Project Development, 3 for Small Budget Production, 2 for Large Budget Production, 5 for Post-Production, and 2 for Film Distribution. 

Sundance Film Festival 2022 film entry Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago by Martika Escobar and internationally-acclaimed film Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon) by Carlo Francisco Manatad were part of the CreatePHFilms Cycle 1 of 2021 batch of grantees.

Launched in September 2020, CreatePHFilms aims to enhance the Filipino film industry’s reputation in global cinema by expanding economic opportunities for local workers and service providers.

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

Sheraton Manila Bay offers relaxing room package for Christmas and New Year

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

With Robinsons Place Manila, one of Manila’s biggest department stores right across the hotel, Sheraton Manila Bay proves to be the best location to beat the holiday rush. Shop for your Christmas goodies at the Sheraton Kiosk located at Robinson’s mall entrance, Padre Faura Wing then book a stay and take advantage of the hotel’s Holiday Escape Room Package until January 8, 2022. (except December 31).

Stay overnight for just Php 7,888++ for a Deluxe Room. Room packages are inclusive of daily breakfast for two persons, complimentary high-speed internet access, Pre-dinner cocktail or Noche Buena for two (when staying on the Dec 24), and access to swimming pool and fitness facilities.

Join the crowd in ushering 2022 with a New Year’s Eve Countdown Dinner at the Pacific Lounge on December 31, 2021. Don the best outfit and party starting 7:00 PM onwards. Enjoy heart-pumping DJ performance, sumptuous buffet spread of holiday favorites, and access to our rooftop countdown party with a glass of sparkling wine for only Php 2,888++ per person.

To make the celebration even special, the hotel is offering special New Year’s Eve Room Package valid on December 31, 2021 only. Stay overnight for just Php 9,888 ++ for a Deluxe Room and Php 13,888++ for a Junior Suite and get two (2) New Year’s Eve Countdown Dinner tickets at the Pacific Lounge, breakfast for two, complimentary high-speed internet access, and access to swimming pool and fitness facilities.

To complete your Sheraton Holiday experience, the hotel will also host a special Christmas Brunch on December 25 at Pacific Lounge for only Php 1,188++ per person and a New Year’s Day Brunch to kick start the year for only Php 1,188++ per person. Brunch at Pacific Lounge starts from 11AM to 2PM.

For reservations, please call +632 5318 0788 or email All quoted rates are subject to room availability. Check our 2021 Holiday E-brochure at Eco Christmas

Sheraton Manila Bay is located at M. Adriatico cor. Gen. Malvar Streets, Malate, Manila. For reservation please call +632 5318 0788, 0917 583 7294, 0917 583 7326, or email Like us on Facebook and Instagram @sheratonmanilabay and Twitter at @sheratonmnlbay.

Rebisco Volleyball Academy launched

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

To play at an elite level in international competitions and ultimately score a podium finish has always been the country’s volleyball dream.

But to become elite in any sport, the effort must begin in the grassroots.

Thus Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco), a committed supporter of Philippine volleyball, launched the Rebisco Volleyball Academy to train coaches and game officials on international coaches and refereeing standards to put them at par with their counterparts in other countries in Asia and the world.

The snacks and biscuits company believes that the development and competitiveness of volleyball athletes are due to the quality of coaching and officiating in the schools. Thus, coaches and referees must learn concepts, skills, and modern, scientific approaches for the game consistent with international standards.

The 5-day courses for volleyball coaches and referees had a pilot run in Naga City, Tacloban City, and Cagayan De Oro City last March and April. Four more courses were conducted in October and November in Numancia, Aklan; Dauis, Bohol; Infanta, Quezon and Morong, Rizal in response to LGU requests.

Over 200 coaches and 200 referees benefited from the courses conducted by volleyball experts. They were conducted in person, endorsed by local government units, and approved by the IATF. Strict health and safety protocols were followed.

Theory courses highlighting scientific research, game trends, new philosophies, and concepts were shared with coaches who were oriented based on a unified system for volleyball coaches’ training worldwide. Coaches were also given the opportunity to exchange views and experiences with trainers and fellow coaches.

Referees meanwhile participated in drills and on-court activities that improved their technical abilities, perceptive responses, and judgment decisions. They were also given the most comprehensive interpretation of game rules.

“We learned new skills, new tactics, and new rules that will help us a lot in handling our players and in refereeing the game. All that we learned from Day 1 to Day 5 we will take to heart and put into practice when we go back to our schools. We thank Rebisco for this opportunity. This is only the beginning,” said Coach Lutchina Tabuso of Timoteo Reyes Memorial School in Morong, Rizal.

“We are happy that the Rebisco Volleyball Academy is now a reality. It is the fulfillment of a grassroots program approved by the Philippine Sports Commission that aims to, among other things, develop a pool of people with technical volleyball know-how who can teach and improve the level of competition in their respective areas,” explained Noric Ng, Business Unit Head of Rebisco.

“The Academy will fire up volleyball enthusiasm in the provinces after the long hiatus from the pandemic. Ultimately, we hope to attain our long-term goal of being able to compete at a higher level locally and abroad,” Ng added.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

WorldHotels Collection Brings Back Blissfulness

Wazzup Pilipinas!?


Reconnecting for the festive season with WorldHotels Asia Pacific


As the ‘world’ continues to open its doors ahead of the festive season, WorldHotels is committed to providing locally-curated experiences to help guests reconnect with people, places, and with themselves. Staying true to the brand’s pledge of inspiring unique and life enriching experiences, WorldHotels Asia Pacific will ensure that every traveller – from couples to families, or those going solo can once again explore our wonderful world in the safest way possible. With We Care CleanSM, our guests stay at our properties knowing that our hotels have implemented industry-leading cleaning standards, best practices and protocols.

Reconnect in the Saigon, Vietnam

Immerse in the ultimate moment whilst preparing to welcome in a brighter 2022. Caravelle Saigon has crafted luxurious and rejuvenating accommodation packages. Whilst there indulge in Festive culinary creations, from magical, memorable dining experiences at Reflections, hearty buffets at Nineteen Restaurant, a delightful high tea, or tapas at Café de I’Opera, all with their own flairs and flavours.

Link to booking here

Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit - Festive Afternoon Tea

Caravelle Saigon - Festive Staycation

Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit - Countdown at Cooling Tower Rooftop Bar

Reunite in vibrant Bangkok and Singapore

Celebrate the New Year with something spectacular.

Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit welcomes guests back to its iconic five-star accommodation in Bangkok, one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting and exotic destinations. Make this holiday time an opportunity to enjoy the happiest of seasons at Carlton, where one-of-a-kind dining experiences await temptingly close to home. Treat yourself and your loved ones to Afternoon Tea or Christmas Goodies, each delicacy specially created by the award-winning Pastry Chef who won the 2021 Iron Chef Thailand Competition, or indulge at the renowned signature restaurant Wah Lok.

Link to the offers here

The Grand Dame of Singapore, Goodwood Park Hotel offers an exclusive Christmas Staycation in the city. Experience luxury set amongst an urban landscape backdrop, while enjoying first-class cuisine. This special festive package includes a Christmas Carousel 2-Tier Set, English Afternoon Tea and more. Find full details and link to book here

Retreat and Unwind in Ubud, Indonesia

Surrounded by palm trees and paddle fields on the outskirts of Ubud, a serene SereS Springs Resort & Spa is home to the utmost in relaxation and re-energising. For a serious wellness break, guests can relax with the resort’s signature treatments at SenS Spa Sanctuary to reboot a balance of the mind, and spirit. Take advantage of the outdoor yoga pavilion fanned by natural breezes, six treatment suites, and a sacred natural spring, overlooking the Wos River. Discover our wellbeing here

To celebrate WorldHotels’ golden anniversary and reimagine travel, we are at your service to aid you in exploring what makes travel experiences so special. Link to exclusive Global Campaign

ImagineLaw urges President Duterte to veto measure

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

“Sinakripisyo ng mga senador ang kalusugan ng mga Pilipino para sa kita at pansariling interes ng mga kumpanya ng vape at e-cigarette (Senators sacrificed Filipinos’ health to the profit-driven interests of vape and e-cigarette companies)”.

This was the statement of public interest law group ImagineLaw on Thursday as Senators approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2239 (SBN 2239) or the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act, more commonly known as the Vape Bill. The measure received 19 affirmative votes and 2 abstentions. Only Senators Pia Cayetano and Francis Pangilinan voted against the bill.

The measure, according to its proponents, seeks to regulate the manufacture, import, and sale of vapes and e-cigarettes. Medical practitioners and health advocates, however, heavily-criticized the measure as ‘anti-health, anti-youth, and anti-children’.

ImagineLaw Executive Director Sophia San Luis, said that the Vape Bill’s passage ‘signals a defeat of public health in the hands of corporate interests’. “The Vape Bill will not help smokers quit but will diversify the market and profit source of the tobacco industry which has invested in e-cigarette companies and manufactures heated tobacco products,” San Luis said.

“Once enacted into law, it will relax existing restrictions on these harmful products, including lowering the minimum age of access from the current 21 years old to 18 years old. It will also transfer the mandate to regulate these products from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the tobacco-friendly Department of Trade and Industry,” she also said.

An insult to frontliners amid the pandemic

The law group also said that the passage of the Vape Bill is an insult to medical frontliners. “The Senators approving an anti-health bill during the COVID-19 pandemic is an insult to our doctors, nurses, and health workers who have already sacrificed a lot in the last two years and will now have to contend with another epidemic,” San Luis said.

Previously, more than 60 medical associations and health groups released a statement urging the Senators to junk the measure. “The Senators chose to ignore the overwhelming professional opinion of Filipino doctors against vaping products, e-cigarettes, and the Vape Bill,” she also said.

Veto urged

ImagineLaw also urged President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the measure, citing that it goes against his existing policies on vape and e-cigarette use.

“President Duterte’s previous executive orders and issuances are for stronger control and regulation on vaping and e-cigarette use,” San Luis said. “We trust that he will remain resolute in fighting for the public's health. The President should not allow this measure to pass and we strongly urge him to veto the Vape Bill for the sake of Filipinos’ health,” she urged.

Jun Sabayton aka Bayaw hits on Marcos with satirical campaign ad

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Hahaha. Iba talaga si bayaw Jun Sabayton!

This satirical campaign ad is a great antidote to Makoy’s deceptive, fake news ad. Love it!!! 

We should stand behind bayaw for having this much balls to go against a machinery of disinformation. We need more satirical content like this!!!

Ganito mga kailangan natin! Ang galing! 

Sic O Clock News meets Lincoln Project.

Real pain in the guise of comedy. 

Hurt and humor in one impactful package. 

Truth wrapped in satire. 

Medyo konting practice pa sa tooth grinding pero ok na din. Ang husay niya at yung ngiwi ang nag dala! BAYAW partylist lang ang sakalam!

Kaibigan, ito yung eye opener. Yung truth pill na kailangan ng bayan. 

Ang tanong lang: totoo ba o mali ang mensahe ng ad? 

Honestly, puro pang aangkin at pagnanakaw ang alam ng pamilya Marcos.  Pati Bangui windmills na gawang private ay inangkin. Mga shabongbong fans naman, ayun paniwalang paniwala sa clown nila. Puro HANGIN lang yan. Hindi naman niya project yong Bangui Windfarm.

May the Lord bless you with wisdom, grace, and love that you will find truth in all its clarity and be gloriously free. 

Kudos to Bayaw & the producers!

Salute to bayaw for literally getting into the crosshairs of  loyalists, apologists, cultists, and their trapo masters. Facts will be your shield.

Fighting misinformation with witty vids like these. For sure tapos silang lahat. This is how you troll! 

Yahoo Year in Review: Philippines’ top searches in 2021

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

After the pandemic first rocked the world in 2020, by no means was 2021 less uneventful, especially in the Philippines: from witnessing the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold to the 2022 election race, users in the Philippines rushed online to look up these headline-defining moments this year.

Amid loosening community quarantine restrictions, Filipino netizens’ online activity was still at an all-time high as they sought out their passions online like never before. Athletes and celebrities continued to dominate headlines, while politics and catastrophes remained some of the most-searched topics in 2021.

Yahoo’s Year in Review 2021 recaps the year through top trends, happenings, events, and personalities that Pinoys cared about the most.


Top newsmakers of 2021: Sports, politics, and history in the making defined headlines

Boxing legend, senator, and now presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao topped headline searches this year for multiple reasons, beginning from his unanimous decision loss to reigning WBA welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas in August to his decision to run for president in September under the PDP-Laban party.

Politics is clearly on Pinoys’ minds, in light of the upcoming 2022 elections: Filipinos also widely searched for Ferdinand Marcos (3rd) with Bongbong Marcos announcing his own bid for the presidency in 2022. Other political newsmakers include president Rodrigo Duterte (5th) who announced his departure from politics this year; his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio (7th), who is running alongside Marcos Jr. as vice president; and former President Benigno Aquino III (6th), revered for combating corruption and championing economic reforms, who passed away in June this year of renal disease.

COVID aside, Filipinos also concerned themselves with major events: the threat of Taal Volcano (2nd) continued from last year after yet another volcanic unrest was recorded in July this year—prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to place Batangas province under Alert Level 3. Users also searched for updates on Typhoon Maring (9th) after it ravaged parts of northern Luzon; 15 national roads and highways made impassable due to flooding, thousands displaced and affected with around 40 dead and several others missing and injured. Pinoys also kept themselves updated on the tragedy of the Philippine Air Force C-130 (10th) crash in July that took the lives of 53.

Meanwhile, historical events topped searches in 2021: weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was the fourth biggest newsmaker this year after her groundbreaking win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—snatching the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines. Netizens also searched for Rappler CEO and awarded journalist Maria Ressa (8th), who became the first Filipino individual Nobel laureate after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov.


Most searched personalities: Bea Alonzo and Lee Min-ho emerge on top

Pinoy celebrities and Korean stars continued to dominate this year’s searches. Award-winning actress and prized ABS-CBN talent Bea Alonzo was the most-searched female celebrity this year after her transfer to rival network GMA-7 made headlines. Her latest relationship with actor Dominic Roque, following her breakup with Gerald Anderson, also caught the attention of users in the Philippines.

After topping last year’s searches, YouTuber and Kapamilya star Ivana Alawi slid to the second spot. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (3rd) was still one of the most-searched female stars after hosting this year’s Bb Pilipinas pageant, and news of her online course with the controversial Nas Academy made rounds. Miss Universe 2020 Rabiya Mateo (4th) and actress Angel Locsin (5th) rounded off the top 5. Stars such as Sarah Geronimo (6th), Julia Barretto (7th), TikTok’s Bella Poarch (8th), Ara Mina (9th), and Kathryn Bernardo (10th) completed the list.

The Hallyu wave continues to crash land on Pinoys well into 2021. Beloved K-drama superstar Lee Min-ho topped searches for male celebrities, while Crash Landing on You’s Hyun Bin (3rd) continued to be popular in searches, as well as Ji Chang-wook (7th). However, more Pinoy celebrities made up this year’s list, led by Ang Probinsyano’s Coco Martin (2nd) followed by Robin Padilla (4th). Heartthrobs such as Daniel Padilla (5th), Gerald Anderson (6th), Xian Lim (8th), Paulo Avelino (9th), and Dingdong Dantes (10th) rounded up the list.


Most searched athletes: Pinoy pride swells

Aside from Pacquiao (1st), the Philippines’ impressive run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has seen a spike in searches for Olympians and other athletes making waves globally.

2021 was truly Hidilyn Diaz’s (2nd) year as the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, who shortly got engaged to boyfriend and coach Julius Naranjo. Basketball fans also followed updates on young star Kai Sotto (3rd) and his budding international career, while billiards legend Efren Bata Reyes (4th) continued to be popular in searches. Sports enthusiasts also kept tabs on Filipino-Japanese golf star Yuka Saso (5th), who won the US Women’s Open this year, and Australian Open titleholder Alex Eala (6th).

Olympians Nesthy Petecio (7th), Carlos Yulo (8th), Carlos Paalam (9th), and Eumir Marcial (10) rounded up sports searches.


The cryptocurrency fever in the Philippines

2021 was also a big year for cryptocurrency in the Philippines, as interest surged in the country. Binance Coin (1st), Bitcoin (2nd), Tether (3rd), Ripple (4th), and Uniswap (5th) topped crypto searches, while “meme coins” Shiba Inu (6th) and Dogecoin (8th) also made the list.

For the biggest moments online and other surprises from the year, take a detailed look at Yahoo’s Year in Review 2021.

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