Saturday, May 28, 2022

The importance of Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

A person's safety during calamities is mainly dependent on their community's disaster preparedness. No matter how ready they are for all possible catastrophic scenarios, every bit of preparation can go down the drain if their community cannot respond effectively to such events.

It is why a community-based disaster risk reduction and management plan (CBDRRMP) is essential. It places the responsibility of being prepared for calamities and other emergencies on the community as a whole, ensuring that organizations, households and individuals can work together in making their community more resilient in the face of disaster.

CBDRRMP is important, especially for countries highly vulnerable to disasters, such as the Philippines. Situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire and typhoon belt, the Philippines is frequented by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and typhoons respectively. The country ranked 9th in the world in terms of vulnerability to calamities in the 2020 World Risk Index.

One of the most common events experienced by the Philippines is flooding, which underscores the importance of effective floodwater management. There are many ways that local government units are doing this. Efforts range from structural measures such as sizeable underground drainage systems, floodways, pumping stations, flood warning systems, and urban greening to non-structural measures such as minimizing plastic waste, a primary culprit in urban flooding.

With the country situated on five active fault lines, Filipinos must also prepare for earthquakes. It is why many buildings are equipped with earthquake-resistance features. Taking earthquake resilience in the country further are the periodic earthquake drills implemented at the national and organizational levels.

These are good examples of effective CBDRR, where both the authorities and the citizens work together to ensure the safety of life and property in their communities.

SM City Masinag has a rainwater collection tank that can store 17,681 cubic meters of water.

As a trusted and responsible developer of integrated properties, SM has always been committed to promoting Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in its communities, which is evident in many of its malls that employ infrastructure design centered on disaster resilience. SM allocates 10% of its capital expenditures to incorporate disaster-resilient features, of which installing water management design features is one of them.

Artist's illustration of SM's rainwater collection facility in 22 SM Malls nationwide.

A few examples of these are SM City Marikina, elevated by several rows of concrete stilts to protect tenants and mall-goers during extreme floods. SM Mall of Asia was built with a storm surge barrier for added protection during storm surges, and several malls employ catchment tanks for recycling rainwater.

Across the country, there are 22 SM Malls that have rainwater collection tanks under the mall. All these malls combined can catch and store 79,880 cubic meters of rainwater, equivalent to 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Wherever SM is, we try to help our communities become resilient to changing weather patterns,” explains Arch. Fides Garcia-Hsu, Vice President of SM Engineering, Design and Development. “Nationwide, we have 22 malls equipped with rainwater catchment facilities that help rain water management to avoid flash floods for surrounding communities.”

SM City Olongapo Central's rainwater collection tank can hold up to 14,580 cubic meters of water.

Supporting these are several initiatives focused capacity-building for its stakeholders. It includes workshops & learning sessions on Disaster Risk Resilience Management and regular participation in the quarterly national simultaneous earthquake drills for its employees, and the annual Emergency Preparedness Forum for persons with disabilities and the elderly, two of the most vulnerable sectors of society during disasters.

Similarly, in line with its multi-stakeholder approach, SM Prime has also continuously built long-term partnerships with organizations that advocate for a disaster-resilient Philippines. It includes collaborations with ARISE-Philippines, the National Resilience Council, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Bureau of Fire Protection, to name a few.

SM City San Mateo's rainwater collection tank can collect 10,800 cubic meters of potential floodwater.


SM Prime, one of the leading integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, remains committed to its role as a catalyst for economic growth, delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities, thereby enriching the quality of life of millions of people. Sustainability and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience form part of SM Prime's core business strategies. It ensures that its risk-informed investments catalyze sustainable development and positive change in the communities where it operates.

For more information on SM Prime Holdings and its other programs towards disaster preparedness, visit their website at

PLDT Enterprise activates BEYOND FIBER connectivity to Odiongan, Romblon

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

PLDT Enterprise partners with the municipal government of Odiongan, Romblon to provide free BEYOND FIBER connectivity to support the daily online activities of its employees and constituents.

IN PHOTO (L-R): Orven Oyonque, Junior Manager of PLDT Regional Customer Development Luzon; Rene Anthony Santiago, AVP and Center Head of PLDT Regional Customer Development, Trina Firmalo-Fabic, Odiongan, Romblon Municipal Mayor; Euan Rex D. Toralballa, PLDT Enterprise Head of SMBiz Regional Luzon; and Nerwin Tan, CEO of K&WIN Telco.

PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the country’s largest fully integrated telecommunications provider PLDT, has extended its BEYOND FIBER solution to Odiongan, Romblon municipal government in its bid to aid its delivery of online public services.

Vic Tria, PLDT Enterprise First Vice President and Enterprise Revenue Group Head, said that the group will provide three-month free BEYOND FIBER connectivity to Odiongan Municipal Hall which will enable its employees to complete their online undertakings efficiently.

“A robust internet connection is essential to our government offices to facilitate the swift transmission of data and also the delivery of our government services. Our BEYOND FIBER solution is the perfect technology we offer to Odiongan, Romblon municipal government as it is designed to provide fast and superior reliability for their operations,” said Tria.

Likewise, PLDT Enterprise Vice President for Small and MicroBiz Chito Franco said that the initiative will also benefit the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within the vicinity.

“Aside from the online processes of our government employees, this free connectivity will also support the online operations of the businesses around the area. We are delighted to provide this service as this will enable them to be always connected and be more efficient to grow their businesses,” Franco shared.

Meanwhile, Euan Rex D. Toralballa, PLDT Enterprise Head of SMBiz Regional Luzon, also noted that the company has been committed to providing technological solutions, such as BEYOND FIBER, to enable local and municipal government units to bolster their online capabilities.

“It is one of our imperatives in PLDT Enterprise to empower municipalities as they embrace digital transformation to power their online processes. PLDT Enterprise is committed to assisting them through their journey in empowering a digitally-enabled environment to improve their delivery of public services to their constituents,” said Toralballa.

Recently, the group also rolled out a fiber optic facility in the municipality which covers nine barangays as of now.

BEYOND FIBER is an all-in-one digital solution anchored on business-grade fiber that supports the digital operations of offices, businesses, and remote work employees.

It features the 90-90 Advantage, where users can get a boosted minimum speed of 90 percent of their subscribed speed at 90 percent reliability, providing uninterrupted online transactions to organizations while eliminating the fear of internet slowdown during peak working hours.

This means users can get a minimum of 90 Mbps at 90 percent reliability for their 100 Mbps subscription.

For more information, visit

Friday, May 27, 2022

Save the Children Philippines wins UN SASAKAWA Award for Disaster Risk Reduction

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Save the Children Philippines wins the prestigious UN SASAKAWA Award for its innovative programs on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) that support Filipino children’s meaningful participation and protection from emergencies.

The 2022 UN SASAKAWA Award, which promotes inclusive and accessible DRR practices in line with the Sendai Framework, recognized Save the Children’s Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Ecosystems and Quality Assurance System (QAS) programs that have been rolled out to more than 21,000 schools and 12,000 barangays, respectively, to ensure that the vital needs of children, schools, and communities are addressed with responsive programs and accountability from the government.

“Save the Children envisions a world where children are protected every day and in times of crisis. It is essential that we strengthen our work to improve risk reduction and response mechanisms to protect children’s rights to survival, education, and protection, and build community resilience,” Atty. Alberto Muyot, Save the Children Philippines CEO said.

Marlon Matuguina, Program Manager for Risk Reduction and Resilience in Education and Governance, received the award on behalf of the child rights organization.

The Philippines ranked ninth in the 2020 World Risk Index and 17th in the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index among countries most affected by extreme weather events, natural disasters, and numerous complex emergencies due to armed conflict.

In response, Save the Children Philippines’ CSS Ecosystems program uses technology to help develop the Department of Education’s DRR information system by combining digital tools for data collection, analysis, planning, and decision-making.

This includes the Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADaR) Mobile App, a reporting mechanism which assesses the needs of schools, personnel, and learners, and the Batang Empowered and Resilient Team (BERT), a peer-to-peer capacity building program empowering children to participate in school and community DRR programs and engage with government/ duty-bearers. The program has already trained 10,000 learners.

Meanwhile, Save the Children’s QAS supports risk-informed and responsive Barangay DRRM plans through standardized planning tools, quality benchmarks, and technology for data consolidation and info-sharing. More than 42,000 barangays will be using QAS for their DRRM template.

Save the Children Philippines works with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and other government agencies for the QAS for Barangay DRRM Planning, and with the DepEd and Prudence Foundation for the CSS Ecosystems program.

Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation said: “Prudence Foundation is delighted that Save the Children Philippines has been recognized with the prestigious UN SASAKAWA Award for its innovative efforts in Disaster Risk Reduction in the Philippines. This is a great reflection of the many years and effort towards building resilience in Disaster Risk Reduction across the Philippines, and a journey that Prudence Foundation has been proud to have supported and partnered on together with the Department of Education in the Philippines.”

For over 40 years, Save the Children Philippines has been delivering life-saving programs for and with children. The child rights organization remains committed to empower children through its DRRM programs and mechanisms, and in ensuring better informed, prepared, and resilient communities.

BingoPlus introduces Luis Manzano as celebrity endorser

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

BingoPlus, the country’s first licensed online bingo game provider, has appointed popular TV host and multimedia personality Luis “Lucky” Manzano as its first celebrity endorser.

Leisure and Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) president Andy Tsui formally introduced Manzano on May 27 during the brand’s press event.

“Today, we are indeed fortunate to have Luis Manzano, also called “Lucky”, as our first celebrity endorser. Luis has earned the love and respect of so many people because of his great personality and effortless ability to make people happy. He is also known for his compassion and willingness to help those who are in need.”


Since its launch in January 2022, BingoPlus has given away P 5.1 billion in total prizes to thousands of its patrons and they do not want to stop there.

“We will launch an online community for our users so that they can communicate their game experiences and share their ideas with others,” said AB Leisure Exponent Inc. (ABLE) president Jasper Vicencio. BingoPlus is an online bingo game brand under ABLE. “We will never stop exploring new games like sports betting, casino games, and every other entertainment possibility since we aim to bring a green and interesting user experience to all the users.”

“I am very happy to have been chosen as the first celebrity endorser of BingoPlus. The ability of the brand to bring happiness to people and keep them aspiring for greater things is exactly the reason why I am in the entertainment business. Bingo Plus and I both love to bring joy to people and show them that despite challenges brought about by problems such as the pandemic, we can always choose to be mentally active and positive in our thinking. We have so many projects in store for everyone,” said Manzano.

Treats from BingoPlus are just beginning as they are set to stage BingoPlus Day, a special online concert for bingo players and the community, in June.

Three reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.

Cover photo: Dr. Saza Curaming as a veterinarian volunteer during San Mateo Veterinary Mission

Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores.

The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal.

Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet.

Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet.

According to Dr. Saza Curaming, Scientific Communications Manager, Mars Pet Nutrition for Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, there are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.

Not all proteins are created equal

Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. As Dr. Curaming notes, “For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.” She adds that “Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.”

Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.

Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

Dr. Curaming emphasized that a dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. She said, “As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.”

That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal.

Protein a day, keeps doctors away

Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine.

Dr. Curaming explained that “While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein,”. She clarified, “Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.”

To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians.

Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.

SSS welcomes delegates from Bangladesh conducting a study visit in the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) on Tuesday welcomed 11 delegates from the various government agencies of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh who are conducting a study visit in the Philippines.

In his welcome message, SSS President and CEO Michael G. Regino shared how the SSS intensified the digital transformation of its services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the continuous delivery of meaningful social security protection to its members and their beneficiaries.

As part of the program, SSS officials also provided brief discussions about its various benefit programs and digitalization efforts, including some of the initiatives that the pension fund implements for the welfare of its stakeholders amid calamities such as this pandemic, and its role in the national government’s Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program.

On behalf of the delegates, Joint Secretary of the Department of Disaster Management Nishchinta Kumar Podder expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the SSS for accommodating the group and imparting ideas and knowledge.

In 2017, the SSS also played host to officials from the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh who were on a similar study visit. Over the past years, SSS also welcomed delegates from other countries such as Azerbaijan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, and Tanzania, among others.

CAPTION - Top photo shows SSS President and CEO Michael G. Regino giving his welcome message to the delegates from the various government agencies of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Bottom photo shows the delegates from Bangladesh led by Joint Secretary of the Department of Disaster Management Nischchinta Kumar Podder (sitting, 4th from left) and SSS officials who were part of the team for the study visit led by SSS Executive Vice President for the Investments Sector Rizaldy T. Capulong (sitting, 5th from left).

PH Post Office launches National Artist Larry Alcala’s Slice of Life Stamps for National Heritage Month

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

To mark the celebration of National Heritage Month (NHM), the Philippine Postal Corporation (Post Office) will issue a commemorative stamp honoring cartoonist and National Artist for Visual Arts Larry Alcala featuring his well-known illustration “Slice of Life” cartoon series.

“His comic strips gave us a glimpse of Filipino lives in the wittiest and meaningful way. His comics became known for giving its readers the task of finding Mr. Alcala’s face hidden in his illustrations”, Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio said.

In 1988, the "Slice of Life" cartoon series received the Best in Humor Award and was cited for helping to keep alive the Filipino's ability to laugh at themselves in the midst of adversities, through a combination of art and humor.

His commentaries that are both critical and compassionate, evoked laughter and reflection in the everyday life of Filipinos. Alcala’s art embodied Philippine culture, tradition, heritage and serious social issues in the most captivating and relatable way.

“Tinulungan po tayo ni Mr. Alcala na mas mapansin at maintindihan ang mahahalagang aspeto ng buhay Pilipino”, Fulgencio said during the launching ceremony attended by representatives from the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. (FHFI).

“Slice of Life" can be considered as his most popular cartoon series and he has generously shared so many more of his creations to the Filipinos. His 1947 "Kalabog En Bosyo" is the longest running serial ever by any Filipino cartoonist which was adapted into the silver screen twice by no less than Filipino comedians Dolphy and Panchito.

“Sigurado po ako na marami po sa atin ang hindi makakalimot sa kanyang classic comic strips na “Gorio and His Jeepney” , “Asyong Aksaya” , “Siopaw-man” and the modern classic, “Kikomachine” at marami pang iba. In December 2003, the Post Office had the honor of issuing stamps for his work in Kalabog En Bosyo”, Fulgencio noted.

“Mahalaga po ang mga selyong ito dahil stamps are our window to the world, showcasing the rich history and culture of our country. Like our own National Artist Larry Alcala, the Post Office recognizes Filipino talents and achievers, and encourages more Filipinos to do their best, to give joy, inspiration and pride to the nation and make a greater contribution in the improvement of Philippine economy and the nation”, Fulgencio said.

Post Office In-house stamp designer’s Ryman Alburadora and Agnes Rarangol did the layout of the stamps.

Stamps and Official First Day Covers are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office. For inquiries, please call 8527-01-08 or 8527-01-32 or follow/like the facebook page for updates.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Art from the Heart Exhibit launch

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

“We need to protect our children and their hearts from the dangers of trans fat.”

This was the statement of law group ImagineLaw with parents and parent groups during the Art from the Heart Exhibit launch this week at Fisher Mall in Quezon City. The said exhibit aims to raise public awareness on the need to eliminate trans fat through the enactment of the Trans Fat Free Philippines Bill, and features children’s artworks on heart health. The Department of Health (DOH), StoneHedge Learners (SHL), and Fisher Mall - Quezon Avenue served as co-organizers of the event.

Trans fat or trans fatty acids (TFA) is a toxic fat usually added as an ingredient in processed food commonly consumed by children like pre-baked goods such as doughnuts, biscuits, and cookies. The Department of Science and Technology - Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) reported that children below 6 years old are more exposed to TFA than the general public.

The Trans Fat Free Philippines Bill, currently pending in Congress, seeks to eliminate industrially-produced TFA in the country’s food supply.


Trans fat intake also increases the risk of developing hypertension according to Deputy Director Rita Papey of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) during the exhibit’s launch event. “Trans fat raises bad cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, and can cause inflammation and damage to healthy organs and tissues,” she explained.

The artworks from young artists featured in the exhibit depicted their perceptions of heart health and nutrition and advocated for healthy eating habits. A 3-year-old artist created a fruit and vegetable sculpture that depicts how he takes care of his heart. Entitled “Carrot Man,” the sculpture aims to inspire fellow children to eat healthy food and remove trans fat from their bodies.

“Even children know that we need to take good care of our hearts. As their parents and guardians, we are responsible for the health and future of our children so we need to ensure the implementation of sustainable health measures,” Dir. Karen Lorenzana - Reyes, Executive Director of SHL said.

“While we recognize that health starts at home, a law banning trans fat from the food will help us provide them with nutritious diets and stronger health,” she added.

“We urge the incoming new administration and the elected government officials to heed our call to pass the Trans Fat Free Philippines Bill for the sake of our children’s health,” Atty. Mary Grace Anne Rosales - Sto. Domingo, ImagineLaw’s project manager emphasized.

The DOH, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines (NFP), and Nutritionist Dietitians-Association of the Philippines (NDAP) also affirmed their support for the legislation and other trans fat elimination initiatives.

The children’s advocacy art exhibit is open to the public until June 3 during mall hours. To know more about the trans fat elimination advocacy, visit

SSS, RCBC turns over new motorcycle to Handog na Motorsiklo Ngayong Pasko winner

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) and the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) awarded a brand-new motorcycle yesterday to the winner of RCBC’s Handog na Motorsiklo Ngayong Pasko Promo held at the 2/F, Ramon Magsaysay Hall, SSS Building, East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Regino (left) and RCBC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer Lito Villanueva (right) turned over the new Honda Click 125i to the grand prize winner Edilberto Flancia (center) during the awarding ceremony.

Under the promo, SSS members who registered their DiskarTech accounts on the Disbursement Account Enrollment Module (DAEM) and received their loans and benefits from SSS will automatically get one raffle entry. The promo period ran from November 10 until December 10, 2021.

Flancia is a resident of Lucena, Quezon, who opened a DiskarTech account and nominated it as his disbursement account when he filed his retirement claim last year.

DiskarTech is a mobile app launched by RCBC in July 2020 primarily to provide an online facility wherein SSS members can get their benefits and loan proceeds. It requires no initial deposit, maintaining balance, and dormancy fees.

Regino thanked RCBC for the initiative in developing DiskarTech, saying, “the digital platform is a convenient way for members to get their benefits and loan proceeds.” He also lauded the universal bank for providing a responsive digital solution for SSS members.

Multi-disciplinary artist Bjorn Calleja is lone Filipino featured in Art Basel Hong Kong

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Multi-disciplinary artist and Far Eastern University alumnus Bjorn Calleja, whose work has been exhibited in galleries both locally and internationally, such as headlining the recently held Art Fair Philippines 2022, takes another step forward into the non-fungible token (NFT) space as the lone Filipino artist whose work will be exhibited during the pioneering interactive art exhibit entitled “NFTs + The Ever-Evolving World of Art” at Art Basel Hong Kong.

The exhibit, organized by blockchain firm TZ APAC and Art Basel, will commence from May 27 to May 29 in Hong Kong’s Convention & Exhibition Center. Including Calleja, the event will showcase the works of over 20 contemporary “generative” digital artists from around the world. The interactive exhibition space will also feature a showcase designed in collaboration with FXhash, the leading generative art platform on the Tezos blockchain, allowing visitors to receive a unique generative artwork NFT from participating artists in a first-of-its-kind interactive NFT gallery experience.

Bjorn Calleja’s art style is described as a reflection of the interplay between the micro-and macrocosms of humans within and against their environments. He described one of his NFT projects, Stoopid Avatar, as his “satirical commentary on my outsider’s perspective on the PFP culture.”

“I think as a contemporary artist minting NFTs, value should exceed utility and marketing gimmicks, nothing against them but I understand that it’s a long game and there is more to Art than these tangibles,” Calleja’s remarks on NFTs, which are unique digital assets on the blockchain.

In line with this year’s theme of ‘NFTs + the Ever-Evolving World of Art’, Katherine Ng mentioned that TZ APAC is “excited to showcase especially innovative works that point to NFTs and their limitlessness as a medium, empowering artists as it redefines the scope and scale of today’s art world in the digital age.”

“It’s time that we recognize this new generation of digital talent in a traditional forum as the worlds of modern art, technology, and the creator economy continue to converge,” she added.

“As the leading contemporary art fair in the world, it’s exciting to once again see the art community able to gather and celebrate the spirit of innovation in today’s art scene. To have the opportunity to showcase some of the world’s leading digital art talent is at the heart of what the Tezos ecosystem is celebrated for. NFTs have given these creators an unprecedented opportunity to reach new audiences, hone their craft, and make a name for themselves in an online forum, effectively rewriting the rulebook when it comes to the accessibility of the art world,” said Katherine Ng, Head of Marketing and Operations at TZ APAC.

The other international artist featured in the exhibit are; Nicolas Sassoon (France) Qingnan Tan (Random Combo) (China), Chaeseok (CS) Lim (South Korea), Lionel Radisson (makio135) (France), Yazid Azahari (Brunei), Munira Hamzah (Mumu the stan) (Malaysia), Iskra Velitchkova (Bulgaria), Michaël Zancan (France), Sarah Ridgley (United States), Aleksandra Jovanić (Serbia), Park Se Jin (08AM) (South Korea), Fan Yi Wen (Reva) (China), Matt DesLauriers (Canada), and Wieslaw Borkowski (baiwei) (Poland).

Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 will highlight artworks from 130 local and international exhibitors. For those unable to attend the event in person, galleries will also be presenting their work online as part of 'Art Basel Live: Hong Kong,’ in dedicated Online Viewing Rooms.

What are NFTs?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique token that is utilized to represent various types of digital assets like artworks, game items, skins, music, videos, books, etc that are verified on a blockchain. The contents of the NFTs are usually stored in a decentralized data storage platform.

What is Generative Art?

The use of an algorithm or computer code to generate art. The artist creates the rules using a program like FxHash, and then the program will generate the art on the artist’s behalf.

About Tezos

Tezos is smart money, redefining what it means to hold and exchange value in a digitally connected world. A self-upgradable and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain with a proven track record, Tezos seamlessly adopts tomorrow's innovations without network disruptions today. For more information, please visit


TZ APAC Pte. Ltd. ("TZ APAC") is the leading Asia-based blockchain adoption entity supporting the Tezos ecosystem. It designs value-added blockchain transformation strategies for enterprises and creators with a bottom-up approach, working closely with blockchain experts and other stakeholders in the Tezos ecosystem. TZ APAC is supported by the Tezos Foundation and is headquartered in Singapore. For more information, please visit

About FXhash

FXhash is an open platform where artists can publish Generative Tokens which are stored on the Tezos blockchain. Generative Tokens are programs designed to produce random outputs. Once a Generative Token is enabled (when the artist decides it), anyone with a Tezos wallet can mint their own unique iteration of the Generative Token. Each iteration produces a unique piece that is stored as an NFT on the Tezos blockchain. The NFTs are FA2 compliant, which means that they can be exchanged like any other NFT everywhere in the Tezos ecosystem. For more information, please visit:

About Art Basel

Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel's engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through new digital platforms and a number of new initiatives such as the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast, and the BMW Art Journey. Art Basel's Global Media Partner is The Financial Times. For further information, please visit

Artist Biography:

Bjorn Calleja (b. 1981, Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino painter and interdisciplinary artist. He earned his BFA from Far Eastern University, where he later became a part-time lecturer. Aside from exhibiting his work, his early career involved corporate jobs and stints as a graphic designer. He also co-founded Design. Other Things. (‪2012-2014), a design studio that employed a team of visual artists.

Solo exhibitions include; Unknown Unknowns at the ArtFair Philippines/Projects (2022), The Ennead at Secret Fresh Gallery (2018); Acme at West Gallery (2018); Postcolonial Rubbish at Pablo Gallery (2017); Self-Portrait as a Hamburger at Secret Fresh Gallery (2016); There is no Solution because there is no Problem at Underground Gallery (2016); Confessions of an Almost Artist at West Gallery (2013); Bubblegum Stories at Secret Fresh Gallery (2012); Eat my Daddy at The Crucible Gallery (2012); Some Failed Attempts in Creating a Good Image for Painting at West Gallery (2011); The Color Bringer at Secret Fresh Gallery (2011); Fear Made me Do This at Lost Projects (2011). His work has also been included in various group exhibitions locally and abroad, and published in books; Toy Art 2.0 (2014), Philippines: Inter Tropical Convergence Zone Contemporary Artists from the Philippines Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection (2014).

Reasons for Nomination:

Community Leader and one of the most popular NFT artist in the Philippines

Linked Artworks:

Image 1 - The Longest Pause

Image 2 - Big Bad Idea

Super8 Grocery Warehouse joins MetroMart

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Popular supermarket chain Super8 Grocery Warehouse now available for delivery with MetroMart mobile app and website

Online grocery shopping is made even more convenient and affordable, as MetroMart - the #1 online grocery delivery platform in the Philippines - adds Super8 Grocery Warehouse (Super8) to its leading supermarket partners.

Starting this May 2022, customers may shop from Super8 Grocery Warehouse on the MetroMart mobile app and website for a wide range of grocery needs like frozen and dry goods. Shoppers can enjoy the same, affordable in-store prices on groceries from Super8, and avail of convenient online delivery from MetroMart, making it conducive for retail traders, resellers, or budget-savvy buyers.

The Super8 branches available this month include Makati Square, Masinag, Sucat, Muntinlupa, and Ortigas Extension, with more locations coming soon.

New and Existing Users of MetroMart can also get an exclusive discount when shopping and ordering from Super8 Grocery Warehouse. Use the code SUPERFREE to get FREE Delivery for a minimum spend of ₱2,500. Promo runs from May 23 to June 26, 2022, and valid for one-time use only.

All customers of MetroMart also have a wide selection for modes of payment on their online shopping. These include Cash on Delivery, via e-wallet through GCash, or via Debit/Credit cards with leading banks nationwide. Even more promos and discounts will be available through the different modes of payment availed by the customer!


“With the addition of Super8 Grocery Warehouse to our platform, so many more Filipino families now have access to convenient, affordable, and a wider variety of options in their online grocery shopping from the MetroMart mobile app and website. We are pleased to announce this new partnership with a great brand, joining our ever-expanding MetroMart family.” Stefano Fazzini, CEO and co-founder of MetroMart, said. “Watch out for more updates on even more new supermarket partners and specialty stores, new locations throughout the Philippines, and lots more discount deals from MetroMart this 2022.”

"We're happy and excited to join the MetroMart network, and make Super8 Grocery Warehouse even more accessible for Filipino communities and entrepreneurs." Armand Mendoza, Business Group Head of Super8 Grocery Warehouse, said. "We are able to serve our customers better and further with an online delivery service like MetroMart, that also believes in giving exceptional service for our amazing customers."

MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Robinsons Supermarket, S&R Membership Shopping (with or without membership card), Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, AllDay Supermarket, MerryMart and over 500+ specialty store retailers like PetExpress, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and Marks and Spencer. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook at Order groceries online or download the app via

MetroMart Philippines is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Our grocery partners include Super8 Grocery Warehouse, Robinsons Supermarket, S&R Membership Shopping (with or without membership card), Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, MerryMart and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and Marks and Spencer. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! Over 160,000 products are available with our 500+ partner supermarkets and partner specialty stores. Order your groceries through, or download the app on iOS or Android app store.

Filipino scientist wins UN Sasakawa award for disaster risk reduction

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Filipino scientist and diplomat Glenn S. Banaguas was recently conferred the United Nations’ Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, besting over 200 nominations worldwide—unprecedented in the award’s 35-year history. The award is bestowed on institutions, groups, and individuals that promote inclusive and resilient approaches to disaster risk reduction in line with the UN’s Sendai Framework. The main theme of the 2022 competition is “Building Resilience through a multi-hazard approach.”

In 2010, Banaguas spearheaded the creation of Climate Smart Philippines under his leadership at the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute. The flagship program brought together scientific experts and stakeholders to tackle disaster risks and prevent potential damage and losses from climate change and other hazards besetting the Philippines.

“I extend my thanks and gratitude to the organizers of the UN Sasakawa Award for recognizing Climate Smart Philippines’ efforts to empower people from all walks of life to develop evidence-based, humane, and gender-responsive solutions,” Banaguas said on receiving the award, which was conferred at an official ceremony Bali, Indonesia, on May 25, 2022.

This is the first time that a lone Filipino has won in the Award’s 35-year history. Also honored this year was Save the Children-Philippines, which won the award in the Organization category. Previous Philippine honorees include the City of San Francisco in 2011 and the ESCAP/Typhoon Committee in 1988.

Prior to receiving the Sasakawa Award, Banaguas earned a name for himself as a prolific scientist, diplomat, educator, and a leading expert on environment, climate change, and disaster risks in Asia. He is also a strong and vocal advocate of science-based policy solutions. He is the youngest The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureate, which he earned for his pioneering work in environment conservation and science diplomacy. He is also an Outstanding Young Scientist awardee, conferred by the National Academy of Science and Technology, and the Asia Leaders Awardee for Sustainable Leadership.

The 2022 Sasakawa Award, held under the theme, “Building Resilience through a multi-hazard approach,” recognizes the changed global landscape in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2019, the UN Sasakawa Awards have recognized the world-changing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing economic and social impact on millions of people around the globe. These lingering effects, in addition to climate change, ecosystem degradation, and other risk drivers, underscore the inter-connectedness of disaster impacts across countries and social strata. In such a multi-hazard world where everyone is affected by disasters, disaster risk management remains an urgent global challenge. Thus, the Sasakawa Awards recognize distinguished efforts to promote inclusive and resilient approaches to disaster risk reduction through the Sendai Framework.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Inspiro drives Philippine BPO industry forward through ambitious partnership with Microsoft

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Inspiro, a leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider in the Philippines, recently partnered with Microsoft to create innovative solutions, transform employee and customer experience and open new lines of business.  


The Philippines makes up 10-15 % of the global BPO market, with a national workforce of approximately 1.3 million workers. This sector generates about 9% of the country's annual GDP. As one of the country's leading BPO players, Inspiro's investments in digital transformation aim to elevate its services and establish its Philippine operations a center of excellence for the industry. 


"Our digital roadmap is driven by evolving client requirements, the changing technological landscape, and the need to stay ahead of the competition," said Yuji Hamamoto, Inspiro's president and chief executive officer. "We look to Microsoft for guidance and support to fast-track implementation of our roadmap, keeping our clients and our CX agents at the core of our digital transformation." 


Through this partnership, Inspiro will gain access to Microsoft's industry-leading technology innovations, services, and expertise, transforming and co-developing solutions to improve customer engagement, employee empowerment, operational optimization, and product transformation—all part of Inspiro's three-year digital transformation program.  


Inspiro has been operating in the Philippines for 20 years with centers in Luzon and Visayas, powered by a workforce of over 14,000 people delivering value-driven CX (Customer Experience) solutions to global brands and multinationals. Its initial efforts aim to deploy platform solutions to provide CX agents with greater flexibility, better internal collaboration and improved performance.


"The BPO industry is a key economic driver for the Philippines, one that has put our nation on the global stage, providing people and businesses all over the world with critical services, and over 1.3 million Filipinos with jobs,” said Peter Maquera, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Philippines. “As we look towards continued economic recovery in the post-pandemic world, digital transformation and innovation have become absolutely necessary. We are committed to bringing the full stack of our technology to empower Inspiro and every organization in the country to achieve their digital ambitions.” 


The partnership will focus on four key areas of empowerment: 

  • Improved average handling time and accelerate speed to market 
  • Strengthen competitive positioning 
  • Boost revenue growth and create new revenue streams 
  • Raise employee productivity, engagement and mitigate attrition 


Microsoft in turn will employ technology such as robotics process automation, data warehouse modernization, app modernization and security to enable Inspiro’s desired outcomes. 


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Inspiro quickly shifted their operating model to work-from-home, ensuring its people were healthy and safe. The company deployed Windows Virtual Desktop and utilized Microsoft Teams to enable a remote workforce of more than 3,000 agents to ensure business continuity and sustain operations.  


Inspiro has a global network of 32,000 employees and operations across Asia, North America, Latin America, and Australia. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Top 5 Payments Methods in The Philippines Online Casinos

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You will definitely need an online banking method to deposit and cash out your winnings while gambling. This review will introduce you to the top 5 payment methods to use at any Philippine online casino.


The rate of online gambling has increased to a massive number, with more and more Filipinos making the best use of this digital upgrade. This is because of the conveniences of playing casino games they can never get from a land-based casino. And truly, these online services make gambling comfortable by allowing bettors to play different games and use various payment methods to pay and withdraw.

However, the rate of cyber scams is also on the rise, leaving many bettors with the fear of getting scammed at an online casino. Seeing real money banking as a means for cyber threats, it is now very important for online gamblers to stay careful. Luckily, you will still find a good number of legit online casino Philippines GCash and other payment options that are safe and reliable.

Thanks to the advancing world of technology, online casinos can now implement scam-proof banking measures. To help you remain more vigilant, this review will expose you to the top 5 payment methods you can always try at any Philippines casino. Let's go!

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a reliable banking option, many online casinos provide for their customers to make deposits effortlessly. From the casino's server, you can simply use this method by entering your card details, specifying the amount, and then confirming payments. In addition, credit card options have a compound anti-scam security that expels and protects its users from fraudulent online activities.

Regardless, you still need to be vigilant when using your credit card. First, check the site's URL. Make sure it starts with HTTPS and opens with a padlock icon on the address bar. Also, it would be best not to use public Wi-Fi to make these payments, as it can risk exposing your banking details to scammers. If you don't have one, you can apply for a credit card and get one almost instantly.

Debit Cards

Debit cards are another prolific banking method that allows every gambler to make safe deposits and withdrawals. It is similar to the credit card option, only with a few more directions. Even more interesting, the debit card allows you to spend only what you have in your account. So, if a scammer steals your details, they won't be able to do much if there is nothing in the account.

Apart from the safer solution with debit cards, it also provides online casino gamblers with the wonderful benefit of playing free games. Many gambling services have bonus schemes specific to debit card deposit options. This provides certain benefits for gamblers using this payment method to top up and cash out.


E-wallets are also known as digital wallets. It is another reliable online banking method for every Filipino bettor. There are a variety of these services available on the internet today. It will be easy to pick from this multitude and make the best of it.

After you sign up, top it up with an online banking method like a credit or debit card. Once the account is stuffed, you can then use it to top up your casino account according to your wish. Like debit cards, you only get to spend what is in the wallet. Here again, you are safe from cybercriminals stealing your information if the account is empty.

Third-Party Payment Options

There are now a lot of third-party banking services serving as an intermediary between an online casino and payments. Being the best of these services, PayPal has made online banking possible. Although other services, including Payoneer, G-cash, Skrill, and many more, all make banking easier.

The best of using a third party is its safer processes that direct you to only one entity. Moreover, it follows very easy steps to deposit and withdraw without stress. For instance, you get to cancel PayPal payments before it's too late. While trying to process a payment, you make a mistake. The likes of PayPal make it easy for you to cancel the order before it's too late.

Online Banking Services

Several utility services and online merchants also intermediate online banking for Filipinos to make payments. Making these payments is also very easy. You just need to enter the correct account number into the banking server (app or website). Then, specify the amount you would like to pay, and that's all.

As a security measure, these banks will tell you to enter a 4 or 6-digit one-time password (OTP). The bank will send this password to the mobile phone number you used to register with them. If you mistakenly input the wrong password, the platform will cancel the full payment.


If you want to gamble online, you will definitely need to make real money transactions. And sadly, the internet space is not as safe as it looks: cybercriminals are on the watch to scam anyone surfing the net with leniency.

You will need to use the best online banking casino methods that allow Filipinos to make safe deposits and withdrawals. Thankfully, we have exposed you to 5 of the best methods to make payments in any online Philippine casino. Good luck!

Author bio: James Warner, an editor at He has several years of experience in online gambling in the Philippines market. His author page is

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