Friday, February 3, 2023

StackLeague launches Pro and Student Leagues for Season 3!

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

StackLeague, the largest online programming league in the Philippines, is proud to announce the launch of its highly anticipated Season 3! On Feb 10, participants from all over the Philippines will gather to take part in the season kickoff at Microsoft Philippines in Makati City.

Get ready for Pro and Student Leagues

With over 20,000 challengers in the league, the new season is now divided into two divisions: Pro League and Student League. The Pro League is for professionals already working in the industry while Student League is for students from grade school to college and in between. Season 3 highlights career growth, professional networking, and job opportunities for Pro League players. Student League players, on the other hand, get access to scholarship grants, mentorship, and internship opportunities.

Access year-round cash prizes by leveling up

StackLeague offers three Challenger Levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Reach Gold to automatically earn Php 500. The more challenges the participants conquer, the more points they accumulate and the higher their ranking rise. Unlock a level to access special giveaways and access to exclusive events and opportunities.

At the end of the year, the Top 10 highest-ranked players from each division will be crowned the country’s best developers with media recognition, cash awards, and special prizes.

More ways to get rewarded

Season 3 offers loads of ways to get rewarded with cash prizes. The Weekly Top 10 rewards players who gained the most points of the week. The Playoff is a battle of top players every month to earn a spot in the Playoffs Finale in December. The Ambassador Program rewards players each month who make time and effort to inspire their community into improving their coding skills. The PVP Mode allows players to challenge other players and bet on points to whoever wins their coding duel.


Supported by top tech companies

StackLeague is supported by some of the biggest tech companies in the country, such as Microsoft, AWS, Gcash, Deltek, Viber, and Accenture, and companies providing job opportunities such as JobStreet, Workbank, and Kalibrr.

Powered by advanced talent analytics

StackLeague is powered by proprietary talent analytics technology designed to evaluate 8 fundamental programming knowledge areas. The chosen fundamental knowledge areas being assessed are based on the guidelines of ACM and the IEEE-CS. These two international organizations govern all degree programs related to computing, including but not limited to computer science, information technology, and software engineering.

Be a challenger

Go out of your comfort zone. Grow your skills by taking challenges and reap rewards through cash prizes and opportunities. Sign up for the league now via

Join the Season 3 Official Launch

Finally, get first dibs on what the league this season has in store for you by joining the official launch of StackLeague Season 3 at Microsoft Philippines, Makati City on February 10, 2023. Reserve your slot now at

Boosting BPOs in 2023: Payoneer and PH outsourcing companies share insights for industry growt

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Payoneer Regional Vice President of South East Asia Miguel Warren gives an impassioned speech during The Payoneer 2022 Forum

The Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry continues to be a reliable source of employment for Filipinos. In fact, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) recorded a 10.6% increase in revenue last 2021 at $29.49 billion. With the pertinent role that BPOs play in the country, leading cross-border payments platform Payoneer aims to strengthen the industry further through intensified collaborations with outsourcing leaders in the Philippines.

Payoneer recently held a forum at New Clark City to discuss industry trends, challenges, and opportunities with key stakeholders.

“I think it’s really important to bring together all the different stakeholders that are involved in cross-border international business so we can interact, engage, and learn from each other on how to take the customer experience to the next level. At Payoneer, it’s our goal to help customers grow internationally, to go global, and to be able to help them realize all the potential that tomorrow holds,” said Miguel Warren, Payoneer Regional Vice President of South East Asia.

Filipinos: The Gold Label Customer Experience

Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) Managing Director Rosario Cajucom-Bradbury noted that the Philippines accounts for 40% of the global customer experience market by headcount, owing to the ‘gold label’ quality work of Filipinos.

With Filipinos being known globally as one of the best in the outsourcing business, more opportunities await Filipinos not just in Manila but in other provinces too. Aiming to generate an additional 1.1 million direct jobs by 2028, IBPAP targets to strengthen the presence of BPOs in cities outside of Metro Manila. In terms of emerging locations for the industry, Cajucom-Bradbury noted that Iloilo, Pampanga, Angeles, Metro Clark, Bacolod, and Davao City are already being leveraged for voice-based and transactional BP services.

“Our vision is to become the world’s number one experience hub for digitally enabled and customer-centric services while driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and social growth for the Philippines,” said Cajucom-Bradbury.

Growing BPOs in PH: CEOs share lessons and opportunities

One with the goals of IBPAP and CCAP, CEOs of different outsourcing companies exchanged stories and insights to further strengthen the BPO industry in the Philippines.

In his talk, Clark Outsourcing CEO Zack Williamson shared the importance of building a ‘COOLture’ to keep employees engaged and inspired. Creating a fun environment starting with the office design and balancing it with high belief in employees, are some of his topline tips for BPO leaders.

On the other hand, Guerilla Creative Marketing President Vanessa Janssen pointed out the importance of acquiring the right clients. She said, “Find the right clients who pay the right money for your staff. A good company, culture, leadership, and management will spot the potential.”

Meanwhile, TeleWorkPH Founder and CEO Marge Aviso reminded about the importance of partnerships especially with regards to cash flow. “Partners make or break your future. I cannot emphasize enough how paramount Payoneer has been as a partner to Telework PH because of their ability to collect cash right away.”

Payoneer is the leading cross-border payments platform that offers innovative solutions so companies can thrive in the global digital economy. The company is trusted by the world’s leading digital brands serving over 2,000 top marketplaces.

“The forum not only allowed us to understand the industry better but also inspired us to ‘take the big leap’ with IBPAP and the whole outsourcing community. For us at Payoneer, taking that leap means staying true to our goal of connecting more freelancers, online outsourcing businesses and BPOs to global opportunities now more than ever,” said Warren.

Japan-affiliated Telco - InfiniVAN, Inc., Joint-Build Partners now on Phase 2 of PDSCN Project to build longest, largest domestic subsea cable system

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) project initiated by Japanese-affiliated telco InfiniVAN Inc. that has successfully laid and landed 15 segments of the soon-to-be longest and largest capacity domestic subsea cable system in the country entered its Phase 2 during kickoff ceremonies held on January 20, 2023 at the NSD Compound, Subic Bay Freeport, Olongapo.

Joint-build partners Eastern Telecom and Globe Telecom joined Infinivan representatives at the event.

An “Express Route'' was fittingly completed by end 2022 that successfully landed system segments in Subic, Cebu, Siargao, Boracay and other far-flung islands. This first phase of the P150 million project laid down the foundation of the longest and largest submarine fiber optic cable network that would distribute internet connectivity to wholesale, enterprise and residential customers nationwide when completed. Phase 2 will interconnect these landing points terrestrial fiber routes.

After a successful engagement with KCS, a subsidiary of Japanese telco KDDI, in Phase 1, the PDSCN project welcomed NTT-WE Marine (NTTWEM), a subsidiary of NTT, Japan’s largest telco, as its new partner for Phase 2. NTTWEM’s Subaru vessel is the ship to be used for the submarine cable implementation of Phase 2 of the project.

InfiniVAN and partners are eyeing April 2023 as the completion date of the submarine cable laying phase. The route design of the system means that it will have easy connectivity with present and future international submarine cable landing stations, thus enabling the project proponents to extend those international submarine cable capacities for distribution to the rest of the country.

“We see this as an opportunity to fulfill our objective of providing connectivity to far flung areas and hope that the good communications infrastructure will also pump-prime local economies in those areas,” InfiniVAN’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Engr. Alberto “Abet” Espedido said,

Martyr or Murderer Trailer Primer to be released on Feb 3, Maid in Malacanang to be shown on Feb 8 on Viva Prime

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

"mamayang tanghaling tapat,

sama-sama nating panoorin 

ang isang bidyong maghahanda sa atin

para sa pandaigdigang paglulunsad ng


The second chapter of  Darryl Yap's Maid in Malacanang (MiM), brought to us by Viva Films and Vincentiments, is soon to be shown most probably this February or anytime early 2023, but before that they are scheduling the release of the official Martyr or Murderer (MoM) movie trailer primer this 12noon of February 3 as announced by Darryl Yap on his Facebook page earlier today.

But the news gets even more interesting because just a few days after, MiM, the very controversial and highest grossing Filipino movie in the last three years is soon to be shown online on February 8 via Viva Prime, the wholesale and for family streaming platform of Viva Entertainment. The movie trailer primer will be released online on February 3, while the full trailer will be on February 9.

"Inuunti-unti ang pagkabog sa ating mga damdamin ha..para mas lalo siguro tayong ma-excite sa mga malalang pasabog na inihanda ni Direk"

Viva Prime will feature local content, including new and classic titles, Hollywood, Asian and Korean blockbusters, series, concerts, Livestream, documentaries and more. The price for subscription is only P49 a month and P99 ad-free.

It is no surprise that the opening film of the platform is Darryl Yap's MiM since it is currently Viva's very successful movie garnering a huge interest not only here in the Philippines but also abroad especially among the Filipino communities living and working there. Also take note that MiM was accused of spreading historical revisionism due to the sensational scenes shown from the release of its trailer...and what were also depicted on the actual movie.

Viva Prime, to serve as a platform for Viva stars as well as emerging artists, is child-friendly and more family-oriented compared to Viva's already two year old and successful VivaMax which is also a livestreaming channel but also shows mature or adult-oriented films starring the likes of AJ Raval. But Viva Prime will also deliver "edgy content" for the general audience so that it could also compete with global streaming platforms like Netflix. 

In terms of "edgy", MiM is without any doubt very edgy as its content has been touted as going against historical facts, and more aligned closer to fiction since many of the scenes in the movie are supposedly taken from the stories of the Marcos family helpers and "maids" who worked in Malacanang and witnessed the last hours of the Marcoses before they left, or were forced to leave, the country to escape the wrath of the Filipino people that were about to enter the Malacanang palace during the People Power movement on EDSA. Such stories were never part of what's officially written in historical records or documents...or what others would say as "walang resibo" meaning they could not be verified or found on any news documenting the events during those years when the Marcoses abruptly had to say their farewells to the country.

However, Darryl Yap claims that their movie, especially MoM, is very truthful: "We have the ugly truth" as heard from his interview, and "#MartyrorMurderer carries the Beauty of the Ugliest Truth" when he posted a picture of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos together with Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, as well as it's counterpart photo of a scene showing Ruffa Gutierrez and Isko Mkoreno (portraying the roles of Imelda and Ninoy in MoM), that he additionally captioned as IMELDA and NINOY * New York 1983.

Thus, many are talking about MiM and MoM:

"The truth will always prevail, it may take days, months or years, but it will, so hold your seatbelts." says one comment expressing an opinion that the real truth is actually depicted in the movie instead of what we were told or made to believe throughout the past years when the Marcos family were no longer in power.

"I think February 25 ito ipapalabas para sakto sa People Power Anniversary" says another comment guessing on the possible show date of MoM.

"Hindi pwedeng ilabas ng February 25. Either February 22 or March 1 ang showing." replied another.

Incidentally, there was even a comment before if Darryl will be doing more than just a trilogy since he playfully used MiM, MoM, and MaM (Mabuhay Aloha Mabuhay) for his three movies so why stop there, why not complete all the remaining vowels MuM, and MeM....making it five instead of just three. 

If the three movies in this trilogy will continue to break records and become blockbusters too, for sure they will not think twice in making more. The question is "Will there be more controversial stories to be revealed that will continue to capture the interest of the many Marites of the Philippines?"

With Senator Imee Marcos being also a producer of the movies, and the fact that MiM relayed that she is the one being referred to as the "Maid in Malacanang" and not the actual maids, there has been the looming suspect that these movies are nothing more but attempts "to deodorize the stinking reputation" of the Marcoses, but if ever that is true, Darryl Yap is definitely brilliant on how he creatively makes his movies very much-talked about and watched.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

A home in the South- P.A. Properties launches St. Joseph Ridgeview Phase 2

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

At 28 years, P.A. Properties and Development Corporation (PA Properties) is still living up to its mission of providing affordable homes and creating safe and sustainable communities for Filipino families.

P.A. Properties has launched on January 28, 2022 another community in Dasmarinas, Cavite, that would cater to Filipino families in the South.

With 84,552 square meters of land area, Saint Joseph Ridgeview Phase 2 will be able to house 253 families in the aesthetically designed house model, Camira.

As it is strategically located in Dasmarinas, Cavite, and can be reached from San Pedro, Laguna, it will be convenient to many services and amenities like schools, groceries, malls, and hospitals.

Saint Joseph Ridgeview Phase 2 will also have its own clubhouse, basketball court, play area, and gym area in an effort to create a neighborhood where its residents may feel safe, joyful, and comfortable.

Aside from stunning residences, P.A. Properties is betting on the service it can offer its buyers. From reservation to proper turnover, P.A. Properties is with every buyer and client at every step of the process.

 For additional information, go to the P.A. Properties website at

SPOTV to broadcast FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP 2022a

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

SPOTV is proud to announce that it will be broadcasting the only club-level World Cup - the FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP 2022™, from 2nd – 12th February 2023.

Football fans will be treated to top class action from the best clubs from around the world as champions of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Europe converge for this prestigious annual football tournament in Morocco this year.

All seven (7) matches of the event will be broadcast live on the SPOTV’s linear channel, SPOTV 2 as well as on its mobile streaming app, SPOTV NOW, allowing fans to watch their favourite clubs and players in action from Real Madrid FC (Spain | UEFA), Al Ahly SC (Egypt | CAF), Auckland City FC (New Zealand | OFC), Wydad AC (Morocco |CAF/Host), Seattle Sounders FC (USA |CONCACAF), Al Hilal, (Saudi Arabia | AFC).

SPOTV NOW is available in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore on Google Play Store and App Store.

SPOTV channels are available in Indonesia on First Media, MNC Vision, K-Vision, UseeTV and MAXstream.

DepEd to strengthen numeracy, literacy programs, integrate 'peace competencies' in revitalized K to 12

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The improvement of literacy and numeracy programs and the integration of 'peace competencies' will be some of the priorities of the Department of Education (DepEd) in making the K to 12 curriculum relevant to produce job-ready, active and responsible citizens.

Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte noted that the Department will revitalize its Reading, Science and Technology, and Math programs as part of the MATATAG: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa agenda.

“We will revise the K to 12 Curriculum to make them more responsive to our aspiration as a nation, to develop lifelong learners who are imbued with 21st-century skills, discipline, and patriotism,” Vice President and Secretary Duterte said.

“We will reduce the number of learning areas in K to 3 from 7 to 5 to focus on foundational skills in literacy and numeracy in the early grades, particularly among disadvantaged students,” VP-Sec. Duterte added.

Duterte also highlighted that DepEd will embed the culture of peace in the curriculum, which would be vital in ensuring learners would lead the promotion of peace and order in war-inflicted areas.

“We will integrate “peace competencies” such as social awareness, responsibility, care for the environment, value for diversity, self-esteem, positive character, resilience, and human security into the various learning areas of the K to 12 Curriculum,” VP-Sec. Duterte noted.

The concurrent Education Chief also shared that DepEd is now finalizing the review of the K to 10 curriculum while the Senior High School curriculum is currently under review.

DepEd likewise aims to improve English proficiency while recognizing linguistic diversity through the review of the Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education Policy implementation.

VP-Sec. Duterte also mentioned that the agency will underscore the reducing of the number of learning areas to focus on foundational skills and intensifying the values formation of learners in curriculum and teaching.

The Department will also be transparent with curriculum guides and test scores, and share test items with schools and teachers to strengthen the use of assessment.

In addition, the Department will engage with Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and industry partners to address skills mismatches of Senior High School graduates.

Bayanihan E-Komsulta, patuloy na umaarangkada, mahigit 6,000 pasyente, natulungan!

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Sa loob lamang ng limang buwan, mahigit 6,000 pasyente ang nabigyan ng kalingang medikal ng Angat Buhay Foundation ni dating Bise Presidente Leni Robredo sa ilalim ng programang Bayanihan e-Konsulta.

Mula Hulyo hanggang Disyembre ng nakaraang taon, mahigit 1,000 doktor, nars, at non-medical volunteers ang nagtulungan sa mga virtual checkup sa ilalim ng nasabing programa.

Bukod dito, halos 800 COVID care kits din ang naipamahagi sa mga benepisyaryo mula sa iba’t ibang lugar at komunidad sa loob ng National Capital Region (NCR).


“Ano mang karamdaman at hamon ang dumating, kayang-kaya nating harapin basta’t nagbabayanihan tayo,” sabi ni Raffy Magno, executive director ng Angat Buhay.

Ngayong 2023, nais pang palawakin ng Angat Buhay ang programa ng Bayanihan e-Konsulta, kasama ang pagsasalokal ng mga serbisyo at pagpapalakas ng mga programa patungkol sa mental health.

Grupo ng mga Vloggers at Dentista magsasagawa ng libreng Dental and Medical Mission

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Ang Philippine Vloggers Elite at ang Dentist for BBM SARA, kasama ang mga Medical Doctor Volunteers at sa pakikiisa ni Kagawad Bernie Galay at Chairman Mariano Victorio ay maghahatid sa Barangay 111 Zone 9 ng Tondo, Manila ng libreng Dental service kasabay ng selebrasyon ng National Dental Health Month. 

Bukod sa Dental services ay magkakaroon rin ng free Medical consultation with physical assessment.

What: Dental and Medical Mission (Tooth Extraction for Adults and flouride treatment for kids up to grade 2). Free Medical Consultation and Physical Assessment.

When: February 19,2023 8am-12nn

Where: Barangay 111 Zone 9 Basketball Court in front of barangay hall, Tondo Manila near Herbosa St. 

Ito ay isa sa mga panimulang proyekto ng mga naturang grupo para makapagbigay tulong sa ating mga kapuspalad na mamamayan lalo na sa mga komunidad na bihirang mapuntahan ng mga tulong. Magpapatuloy ang mga ganitong outreach programs sa mga iba pang lugar para mas maraming makinabang ng iba pang libreng serbisyo mula sa mga naturang grupo.

Senadora Imee Marcos: Walang tigil na smuggling, nakakagalit, nakakabagabag, nakakalungkot

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Nababagabag si Senadora Imee Marcos sa biglaang pagpapaliban ng House committee on agriculture and foods sa imbestigasyon sa kontrobersyal na isyu ng smuggling sa bansa.

Ayon Kay Marcos, chairperson ng Senate committee on Cooperatives, nababagabag siya sa mga alegasyon patungkol sa smuggling, lalo na’t personal nyang nalaman ang mga paghihirap ng ating mga kababayang magsasaka.

Giit ng Senadora marapat lamang na mariing imbestigahan na ang akusasyon nang walang halong takot at pagpabor hanggang sa malaman natin ang buong katotohanan para sa mga magbubukid at sa ngalan ng katarungan.

“NAKAGAGALIT, NAKAKABAGABAG at NAKALULUNGKOT ang walang tigil na smuggling sa mga produktong agrikultura kaya dapat ituloy ang hearing. Kahit sinuman ang tamaan, dapat walang sasantuhin ang gobyerno,” gigil na pahayag ni Marcos.

“Wala na sanang postponements, nang sa gayon, matapos ang maraming taon ng paglusot at pagsalag, makulong na habambuhay ang mga kriminal, smugglers at mga walang malasakit na pasimuno nitong malawakang pagsasabotahe sa ating agrikultura!,” diin ni Marcos

Sa panig ng Senado, sinabi ni Marcos na itutuloy nila ang pagdinig hanggang hindi nakakasuhan at naipakukulong ang mga smuggler at kasabwat nila sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno.

Sa nakalipas na Senate hearing, tinukoy na ang mga pangalan ng bigtime smugglers pero walang ginawang aksyon ang Bureau of Customs.

Noong Jan. 23, pinaimbitahan naman ni Sultan Kudarat 2nd district Rep. Horacio Suansing Jr. ang sampung bigtime agri smugglers na sina Leah “Luz” Cruz, Manuel Tan, Jun Diamante, Andrew Chang, Michael Ma, Lujene Ang, Beverly Peres, Lucio Lim, Gerry Teves at alyas “Aaron”.

Pinasisipot ni Marcos sa susunod na hearing ng Senado si Bureau of Customs Commissioner Yogi Ruiz dahil sa ilang beses na pang-iisnab nito. 

The many festivals in the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippines is known for its rich culture and heritage, which is reflected in its numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year. These festivals provide a glimpse into the diverse cultural heritage of the Philippines.

Our country is known for its many vibrant and colorful festivals, which attract many tourists from all over the world. These festivals showcase the country's rich culture, history, and traditions, and offer an opportunity to experience local customs and cuisine. 

While some festivals may have ticketed events or require expenses for food, travel, or souvenirs, there are also many ways to participate in festivals without breaking the bank. For example, you can attend free community events, watch street performances, or participate in festivals that are based on cultural traditions, such as religious celebrations. Ultimately, the amount you choose to spend on festivals is up to you and your budget.

If you are interested in festivals and cultural experiences, the Philippines may be a destination worth considering.

Some of the most popular festivals include:

1. Ati-atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival is an annual celebration held in the town of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines. It is held in honor of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) and is a celebration of the arrival of the Santo Niño de Cebu to the Philippines. The festival features street parades, music, and dance, with participants dressed in brightly colored costumes, painted black faces, and tribal headdresses. The highlight of the festival is the "Ati-Atihan Grand Parade," where participants dance through the streets to the beat of drums and other musical instruments. The Ati-Atihan Festival is a celebration of the indigenous customs, traditions, and culture of the Aklanon people and is a showcase of the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. It is one of the largest and most famous festivals in the Philippines and attracts tourists from all over the world each year.

2. Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog Festival is an annual religious and cultural celebration held in the city of Cebu in the Philippines on the third Sunday of January. It is a celebration of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) and is held in honor of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, the oldest religious relic in the country. The festival features a grand procession, where devotees dance through the streets to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and Sinulog music. The highlight of the festival is the "Sinulog Grand Parade," where participants, dressed in colorful and intricate costumes, dance through the streets in a rhythmic and choreographed manner. The Sinulog Festival is a celebration of Cebu's rich cultural heritage and is a showcase of the devotion and faith of the Cebuano people. It is one of the largest and most famous festivals in the Philippines and attracts millions of tourists each year.

3. Higantes Festival

The Higantes Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival that takes place in Angono, Rizal, Philippines. It is held in honor of Saint Clement, the patron saint of the town, and is one of the largest and most unique festivals in the country. The festival is famous for the "Higantes," which are giant papier-mâché figures that can be up to 20 feet tall. Participants dress up in colorful costumes and carry the Higantes through the streets in a parade, accompanied by music and dance. The festival is a celebration of Angono's rich cultural heritage, as well as its devotion to Saint Clement. It is typically held in November and attracts both local and international tourists. The Higantes Festival is a lively and colorful event that showcases the creativity, ingenuity, and cultural traditions of the people of Angono.

4. Tan-ok Ni Ilocano Festival

The Tan-ok Ni Ilocano Festival, also known as the Tan-ok Festival, is an annual cultural festival held in honor of the Ilocano people of the Philippines. It is held in various towns and cities in the Ilocos Region and is one of the most significant cultural events in the region. The festival showcases the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Ilocano people through various traditional dances and musical performances. The highlight of the festival is the "Mimarba a Tan-ok," which is a dance competition where different communities in the Ilocos Region compete against each other. The Tan-ok Festival is typically held in February and is an important event for preserving and promoting Ilocano culture, as well as for bringing the community together for a celebration of their heritage.

5. Panagbenga Festival

The Panagbenga Festival is an annual flower festival that takes place in Baguio, Philippines. The festival showcases the city's beautiful flowers, especially the famous Baguio roses, through street dancing, floats covered in flowers, and other events. The word "Panagbenga" means "Season of Bloom" in the local Kankanaey language. The festival is held every year in the month of February and has become a significant tourist attraction and an important part of Baguio's cultural heritage.

6. Dinagyang Festival

The Dinagyang Festival is an annual religious and cultural festival that takes place in Iloilo City, Philippines. It is held in honor of the Santo Niño, the Holy Child, and is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in the country. The festival features colorful and lively street dances performed by participants dressed in intricate costumes, accompanied by drumbeats and music. The highlight of the festival is the "Ati-Atihan" competition, where participating tribes compete against each other in a lively dance performance. Dinagyang Festival is held every fourth weekend of January, attracting both local and international tourists. It is a celebration of Iloilo's rich history and culture, as well as its religious devotion to the Santo Niño.

7. Kadayawan Festival

The Kadayawan Festival is an annual celebration held in the city of Davao in the Philippines. It is a festival of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, held in the month of August. The festival features a variety of cultural activities, including street dances, musical performances, and floral and fruit displays. The highlight of the festival is the "Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan" or "Street Dancing," where participants, dressed in brightly colored costumes, dance through the streets to the beat of indigenous music. The festival is a showcase of the city's diverse cultural heritage and is a celebration of the unique customs, traditions, and history of the indigenous peoples of the area. It has become a major tourist attraction in the Philippines and draws thousands of visitors each year.

8. Pahiyas Festival

The Pahiyas Festival is a yearly celebration held in the town of Lucban, Quezon province in the Philippines. It is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, and takes place on the 15th of May. During the festival, homes and streets are decorated with colorful and creative displays made from locally grown crops and other materials. The highlight of the festival is the display of "kakanin," a traditional Filipino rice cake, and other local delicacies. The Pahiyas Festival is a celebration of the abundant harvest and is a showcase of the town's culture and community spirit. It is a popular tourist attraction in the Philippines and draws large crowds each year.

9. Moriones Festival

The Moriones Festival is an annual event held on the island of Marinduque in the Philippines during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday). It is a religious and cultural celebration that features participants dressed in elaborate costumes and masks as characters from the biblical story of the Roman centurion Longinus, who is said to have pierced Jesus Christ's side with a spear. The festival includes reenactments of the Passion of Christ and culminates in a procession through the streets. It is a unique blend of Christian devotion and indigenous traditions and has become a major tourist attraction in the Philippines.

10. Giant Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival of Pampanga, also known as the Giant Lantern Festival, is a yearly event held in the city of San Fernando in the Philippines. It is famous for the giant lanterns that are displayed during the festival, which are elaborately decorated with colorful lights and intricate designs. The festival is held in December and is a showcase of the local community's craftsmanship, creativity, and musical skills. It attracts both local and international visitors and has become a significant cultural and tourism event in the Philippines.

There are many less known festivals in the Philippines, here are a few:

11. Aliwan Festival or Fiesta

Aliwan Fiesta is an annual festival held in Manila, Philippines. It is considered one of the biggest cultural events in the country and features a parade of colorful floats and street dancers from various cultural communities in the Philippines, showcasing the diverse cultural heritage of the country. The festival also includes music, food, and other cultural exhibits, making it a vibrant celebration of Philippine culture and traditions.

12. Binirayan Festival (Antique) - 

Binirayan Festival is a cultural and religious festival celebrated in the Aklan province of the Philippines. The festival reenacts the arrival of Malay settlers in the Philippines. It is held annually in honor of the landing of the ten Bornean Datus, who settled in the region and established the first democratic government in the Philippines, known as the Maragtas Code. The festival features various cultural and religious activities, including parades, reenactments of the Maragtas Code, and traditional dances. The festival is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and history of Aklan and the Philippines.

13. Lang-ay Festival 

The Lang-ay Festival of Mountain Province is a celebration of the indigenous culture of the Cordillera region. It is an annual cultural and religious festival that celebrates the local culture and traditions of the indigenous people of the region, and it is held in honor of Saint William, the patron saint of the province. The festival features a variety of activities, including cultural and religious events, street parades, music and dance performances, and food fairs. Lang-ay Festival is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Mountain Province and its people, and it is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate their identity.

14. Tinagba Festival 

Tinagba Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held in the province of Camarines Sur, in the Bicol region of the Philippines. It is basically a thanksgiving festival for a good rice harvest, featuring traditional dances and rituals is celebrated in honor of the Holy Cross, and it is a time for the community to come together and give thanks for their blessings. The festival features a variety of activities, including religious processions, cultural and musical performances, and food fairs. Tinagba Festival is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Bicol region, and it is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate their identity.

15. Kadagayaan Festival (Lanao del Sur) - a celebration of the Maranao culture and history

16. Kadauluan Festival (Zamboanga City) - celebrates the diverse culture of the Sama-Bajau people.

17. Banagan Festival (Isabela) - celebrates the rice harvest with dances and other cultural activities

These are just some of the many festivals celebrated in the Philippines, each showcasing the country's diverse customs and traditions.

Festivals in the Philippines serve various purposes, including religious devotion, cultural celebration, and community building. Many of the festivals in the Philippines have their roots in the country's rich religious heritage, and are held in honor of patron saints, such as the Sinulog Festival for the Santo Niño de Cebu and the Ati-Atihan Festival for the Santo Niño. Festivals also serve as a celebration of the country's cultural heritage, as well as its history, customs, and traditions. They provide an opportunity for communities to come together and showcase their unique cultural heritage, arts, music, and dance. Furthermore, festivals often have economic benefits for the local communities, as they attract tourists and provide opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Overall, festivals play an important role in the Philippines, serving as a way to promote religious devotion, cultural celebration, and community building.

Whether festivals are necessary is subjective and depends on personal beliefs and cultural values. For some, festivals provide an opportunity to celebrate tradition, connect with community, and create memories. For others, festivals may not hold as much importance and may not be considered necessary. Ultimately, the necessity of festivals varies from person to person and depends on individual circumstances and priorities.

Groups renew calls for law banning trans fat

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‘A victory for heart health’ as bill hurdles House health committee

Public interest law group ImagineLaw urged solons anew to pass the Trans Fat Free Philippines Bill into law, a measure that will ban the use of industrially-produced trans fatty acids or iTFAs in processed and pre-packaged food products manufactured and sold in the country.

The Nutrition Center of the Philippines, Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Nutrition, and Philippine Society of Nutritionist-Dietitians also expressed support for the bill, regarded as a concrete move to curb cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) among Filipinos, during the Committee on Health deliberations on Wednesday, February 1, at the House of Representatives. The bill was unanimously approved by the committee, pending a substitute bill to consolidate all versions.

“In 2021 alone, there were 136,575 deaths due to CVDs,” said ImagineLaw, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. “The measure will be a victory for heart health and a great gift for all Filipinos this Philippine Heart Month,” according to Atty. Sophia San Luis, the law group’s executive director.

House Bill No. 1485 or ‘An Act to Protect Filipinos from the Harmful Effects of Trans Fatty Acids’ was authored by Laguna Rep. Rene Ann. Matibag. Similar measures were also filed by Representatives Keith Micah Tan, Alfred delos Santos, and Ciriaco Gato, Jr., among others. Counterpart measures have been filed by Senators Nancy Binay, Risa Hontiveros, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr., and Joel Villanueva in the Senate.

“The coronavirus pandemic taught us that preventive healthcare is very important,” said San Luis. “Banning iTFA in the country’s food supply will help end the epidemic of heart disease,” she added.

ImagineLaw also urged the Senate to start deliberations on the measure. “We urge our heart health champions in the Senate to set the hearing on their counterpart measures and contribute to the fulfillment of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 as envisioned by the President,” San Luis also said.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

23 Hottest new hotels and resorts to explore in 2023

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Hotel and resort properties in Asia Pacific and destinations of interest to venture further out to

Where will your spirit of adventure take you in 2023? No matter where you’re headed in 2023, it matters where you stay—and Hilton has a bevy of exciting new properties to host you in the new year with innovative digital conveniences and personal touches of warm hospitality. 

Travel in Asia Pacific is soaring this year. The pace of recovery for the tourism industry has been strong, as the demand pent up during the pandemic is released. According to the annual report produced by the London-based World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Asia Pacific is expected to recover at an incredibly strong pace. The WTTC report expects Asia Pacific's travel industry to continue to gain traction with a positive growth forecast in 2023 and 2024.

Explore the list of new hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific and destinations of interest to venture further out to fuel your wanderlust.


1. Conrad Shanghai - Shanghai, China

Conrad Shanghai marks the brand’s first foray into the bustling metropolis, superbly located as a key landmark in the heart of People’s Square, Shanghai’s renowned tourism and business district. With its impressive 66 floors and 728 luxurious rooms, Conrad Shanghai’s soaring tower offers unparalleled views of the East Nanjing Road commercial street, the Bund, and Pudong’s iconic skyline.

Conrad Shanghai’s selection of restaurants take guests on a culinary tour, from the Mediterranean seaside and the artisanal bistros of Paris to the banquet halls of China. Situated within walking distance to major transportation networks and metro lines, the hotel’s prime location offers excellent accessibility to premium shopping malls, traditional local neighbourhoods, and popular attractions such as the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Xintiandi, the Bund, and Yu Garden.

Opened in January 2022.

2. Hilton Singapore Orchard - Singapore

Located in the centre of Orchard Road, Hilton Singapore Orchard offers a prime spot for exploring the city’s premium shopping and entertainment district. Though opened earlier in
2022, Hilton’s flagship property in Asia Pacific has added 446 new keys this year to its Orchard Wing, spanning across four new categories and
completing its 1,080 room inventory. Guests now have closer access to key meetings and event facilities and can continue to choose from five world-class culinary establishments, from theatrical open kitchens with international flavours at Estate, to an afternoon tea experience at Ginger.Lily. The hotel is also within walking distance of subway stations with connections to popular tourist attractions such as Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Universal Studios Singapore. New rooms also boast of some of the best panoramic views of the city, stretching from Singapore’s vibrant Orchard Road to the scenic
Marina Bay waterfront.

Opened in February 2022.


3. Conrad Singapore Orchard - Singapore

Steps from Singapore’s famed Orchard Road shopping district and home to many luxury retailers, top-end restaurants and department stores, Conrad Singapore Orchard will feature
440 spacious guest rooms starting from 36 square metres. The hotel will also offer a fitness centre and over 1,600 square metres of beautiful event spaces. The hotel’s world-class, award-winning restaurants are a destination in
themselves. You can choose your favourite tipple at the Manhattan bar, enjoy classic Cantonese dishes at Michelin-starred Summer Palace, or be enticed by seasonal Italian cuisine at Basilico. Conrad Singapore Orchard is conveniently accessible to Singapore’s Changi International Airport, located 22 kilometres or a 30-minute drive away.

Restaurants and events spaces now open.
Rooms opening 2024.

4. DoubleTree by Hilton Toyama - Toyama, Japan

DoubleTree by Hilton Toyama, the first Hilton hotel in the Hokuriku region, is located in the heart of Toyama, just a 3-minute walk from Toyama Station, which is about 2 hours from Tokyo via the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. The
201- room hotel features all-day dining, a bar, Grab ’n’ Go, meeting rooms, a fitness centre and a public bath. This will be the fourth DoubleTree by Hilton property in Japan, joining DoubleTree
by Hilton properties in Naha, Naha
Shuri Castle and Okinawa Chatan

Opening in January 2023.

5. DoubleTree by Hilton Seoul Pangyo - Seongnam, Korea

DoubleTree by Hilton Seoul Pangyo is the premier full-service hotel in the city of Seongnam, and also the first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Korea. Located within walking distance of the serene Tancheon Stream, the
property offers an inviting space of 432 guestrooms and a serviced residence of 170 rooms, including studios, and one and two bedrooms. In addition, three dining outlets are all dedicated to delivering stylish comfort
to guests with care and thought. Conferences, weddings and banquets take place in the spacious event halls, while a fully-equipped fitness club ensures the wellness of hotel guests, members and residents.

Opening in Q1 2023.

6. Hilton Garden Inn Da Nang - Da Nang, Vietnam

Set in the scenic Son Tra district, Hilton Garden Inn Da Nang is a mere 50-metre stroll from the beach and within walking distance of downtown shops, bars, and restaurants. Travellers can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hotel’s infinity pool, taste an international array of cuisine at the Garden
Grille Restaurant & Bar, and access complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel is also located just 10 minutes from the Son Tra Peninsula and 20 minutes from the Da Nang International Airport by car.

Opening in Q1 2023.

7. La Festa Phu Quoc, Curio Collection by Hilton - Phu Quoc, Vietnam

The 197-key La Festa Phu Quoc, Curio Collection by Hilton will represent Hilton’s first resort in the country. Located 20 kilometres from the Phu Quoc International Airport, the resort will sit within the Sun Premier Village Primavera, a local tourist attraction that reflects elements of the
iconic Amalfi coast of Italy. Facing the island’s popular Kiss Bridge and within close proximity to the Gondola Cable Car station, the resort will feature bold Mediterranean-inspired architecture and join an array of restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities in the vicinity. Guests at the resort will have incomparable views of the sunset and ocean while enjoying direct access to the beach.

Opening in Q2 2023.

8. Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort - Okinawa, Japan

Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort is located on the waterfront close to the picturesque Irabu Bridge that connects the islands of Miyako and Irabu. The facilities offered by the newly-built 329-room hotel include restaurants, fitness amenities, meeting and function spaces, as well as a banquet hall, indoor and outdoor swimming
pools, spa, chapel, executive lounge and ocean-view rooftop bar. The hotel is located 15 minutes from Miyako Airport and 25 minutes from Shimojishima Airport with Sunset Beach clocking in at less than one kilometre away.

Opening in Q2 2023.

9. Conrad Shenzhen - Shenzhen, China

Located in the heart of the new Qianhai central business and financial district, Conrad Shenzhen will be designed by international firm Yabu Pushelberg. The bold design will centre on the theme of 'A Story of a Dreamer', and aims to
provide a restful respite from the bustling thrum of the city. When it opens, it will feature 300 rooms and suites with garden city and bay views, restaurants offering international as well as local cuisines, and over 2,200 square metres of meeting space, including an expansive grand ballroom. Conrad Shenzhen is committed to offering purposeful service for business and leisure travellers alike.

Opening in Q2 2023.

10. The Mermoon Resort Hainan Tufu Bay, Tapestry Collection by Hilton - Hainan, China

The Mermoon Resort Hainan Tufu Bay hotel is located in Tufu Bay, next to Haitang Bay in Sanya. It is 24 kilometres away from Sanya
Yalong Bay Railway Station and 50 kilometres away from Sanya Phoenix International Airport. With design inspired by traditional fishermen culture, the hotel boasts 116 guest rooms, four stylish restaurants and bars, nearly 780
square metres of meeting and function spaces, as well as the unique bay library and outdoor swimming pool, enabling guests to completely relax.

Opening in Q2 2023.

11. Hilton Garden Inn Hohhot - Inner Mongolia, China

Hohhot is the capital city of Inner Mongolia, endowed with famous historical relics and rich in cross-border culture. Hilton Garden Inn Hohhot South Second Ring marks the brand
entrance to Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Located in the southeast part of the city, the hotel has easy access to the city centre and major
transport hubs. The hotel is equipped with 273 spacious guest rooms, 398 square metres of flexible meeting space, a fitness centre and an all-day dining restaurant. A bright and airy atmosphere throughout enables guests to fully enjoy their stay.

Opening in Q2 2023.

12. LXR Hotels & Resorts in Bali, Indonesia

The 72 all-villa resort in Bali, Indonesia
will join a collection of unique, independent luxury properties around the world, including the recently opened and award-winning ROKU KYOTO in Japan.
Opening in Q3 2023.

13. Hilton Yokohama - Yokohama, Japan

Hilton Yokohama is approximately 20 kilometres from Haneda Airport and conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Yokohama station, offering excellent access to popular sightseeing
spots such as Japan’s largest Chinatown, Kamakura, as well as Tokyo’s metropolitan areas. The 339-room hotel will offer facilities including a fitness centre, an executive lounge and
meeting spaces. Guests will have a selection of dining options from the hotel’s all-day dining, a speciality restaurant, and a café and bar lounge.
Opening in Q3 2023.

14. Conrad Chongqing - Chongqing, China

Set on the upper floors of a 260-metre skyscraper, Conrad Chongqing features the highest lobby lounge in Chongqing Nan’An district. The hotel is designed by award-winning hotel interior design consultants, Cheng 
Chung Design (CCD). 275 luxurious rooms will provide guests with breath￾taking views of the Changjiang river. The hotel has a lobby lounge, specialty restaurant and private dining rooms, and includes 1,300 square metres of meeting spaces and over 800 square metres of lush gardens, which will cater to the needs of different social events and occasions.

Opening in Q3 2023.

15. Hilton Garden Inn Busselton - Busselton, Australia

A gateway to the famous Margaret River wine region, Busselton is home to one of the state’s most visited tourist attractions, the Busselton Jetty, the longest timber pier jetty in the southern hemisphere. Hilton Garden Inn Busselton has been designed to maximise its expansive views of the ocean across Geographe Bay and 
Busselton Jetty. It will include an all￾day dining restaurant serving Hilton Garden Inn’s signature cooked-to-order breakfast, a bar serving shareable small plates and handcrafted cocktails and craft beers, a fitness centre, and 242 square metres of flexible meeting space.

Opening in Q4 2023.


16. Conrad Rabat Arzana - Morocco

Featuring 120 spacious luxury rooms and suites, Hilton’s first luxury hotel in Morocco will offer spectacular ocean views from its elevated waterfront location in the exclusive area of 
Harhoura, overlooking tranquil lagoons and beaches. Guests will be able to experience breathtaking surroundings while enjoying locally inspired dining at four world-class restaurants and bar lounges. The hotel will also house 
Morocco’s largest Royal Suite at 623 square metres, offer a fully appointed Conrad Spa and 
beauty salon as well as 1000+ square metres of event space that includes a grand ballroom, four meeting rooms and an outer terrace, overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean. 

Opened in December 2022.


17. Motto by Hilton Times Square – New York, United States

Anticipated to open in March 2023, Motto by Hilton Times Square will be the brand’s second hotel in the city, located in the heart of Manhattan's famous Theater District, and just steps from historic Radio City Music Hall and 
Rockefeller Center. The 400-room hotel will allow guests to create their own experiences for a truly local stay through flexible and modern design, the best of the neighbourhood food and beverage offerings, and a local vibe that reflects the Big Apple. The flexible, modern hotel with a design 
inspired by 1920s New York will offer travel-sized guest rooms with everything guests need for an enjoyable night's sleep. Motto Times Square will simplify coordinating travel for larger groups headed to the Big Apple with the ability to connect up to six rooms, using pioneering Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton technology. Travellers and locals alike can also enjoy the Motto Commons, a gathering place for the surrounding neighbourhood to grab a coffee or catch up on work before heading out to explore Midtown. Thoughtfully curated food and drink selections can also be found at the property's signature restaurant, which will offer an elegant take on the classic New York City diner and feature seasonal, sustainable foods from the surrounding region. 

Opening in Q1 2023.

18. Waldorf Astoria Cairo Heliopolis - Egypt

Waldorf Astoria Cairo Heliopolis will mark the luxury brand’s debut in Egypt, offering inspirational environments, unforgettable experiences, and seamless elegant service to residents and travellers alike. Ideally located less than 10 minutes away from Cairo International Airport in the vibrant neighbourhood of Heliopolis, the hotel boasts a distinctive grand lobby with traditional elements such as the iconic Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock and the famed Peacock Alley. The hotel features 252 luxurious rooms and suites and is home to a variety of dining and entertainment outlets. Perfect for both leisure and business guests, the hotel will house the signature Waldorf Astoria Spa, a relaxing pool surrounded by a landscaped garden, a fitness centre, nine meeting rooms, and ballrooms that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests. 

Opening in Q2 2023.

19. The Bo Vue Hotel Bodrum, Curio Collection by Hilton - Türkiye

Situated along the Aegean Coast, The Bo Vue Hotel Bodrum, Curio Collection by Hilton provides 1.2 kilometres of private white sandy beach and 102 stylish and modern rooms–nearly all with glittering sea views. The hotel is just a short drive away from the popular town of Yalikavak and a 40-minute drive to Bodrum Castle and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Guests can enjoy a range of world-class dining options, including the property’s main restaurant, Bo Giorno, offering delicious Mediterranean and Aegean cuisine, as well as the Turkish restaurant, Delmanzo, and the seafood restaurant, Bacalao–both offering a mouth-watering selection of à la carte options. Those looking to unwind can indulge in a relaxing treatment at the fully appointed, 1,000 square-metre Spa Soul or take a refreshing dip in the property’s indoor and outdoor pools. 

Opening in Q2 2023.

20. Hilton Heidelberg - Germany

In the heart of the historic old town, Hilton Heidelberg is located on the River Neckar in Southwest Germany. Guests can enjoy a unique dining experience in the restaurant, which 
offers classic German dishes fusing the old world with the new. The 244-key property also has seven meeting rooms, a conference and events 
centre, a fitness centre, and an elegant ballroom for up to 300 people. Heidelberg is situated just one hour from Frankfurt-Am-Main airport and 
Hilton Heidelberg is within walking distance from the city's main attractions, including 
Heidelberg Castle and the country’s famed Christmas Markets. 

Opening in Q2 2023. 

21. Legacy Hotel Cascais, Curio Collection by Hilton - Portugal

With idyllic scenery that captivated writers, artists, and European nobility in the 20th century, Cascais is the latest Portuguese destination in Curio Collection by Hilton’s expanding European portfolio. Opening next 
summer, Legacy Hotel Cascais, Curio Collection by Hilton, will feature 59 guest rooms, many with stunning sea view balconies overlooking the town’s picturesque beaches. Guests can 
enjoy the hotel’s lobby bar, restaurant, swimming pool, spa, and fitness centre, before 
exploring Cascais’ many attractions, such as the imposing Conde de Castro Guimarães Museum, with its impressive collection of art and Indo-Portuguese furniture.

Opening in Q3 2023.

22. Hampton by Hilton Budapest City Centre - Hungary

Hungary will welcome its first Hampton 
by Hilton hotel in the heart of the capital, Budapest next summer. Boasting 219 guest rooms, Hampton by Hilton Budapest City Centre will be located close to the Hungarian State 
Opera and within walking distance of 
St. Stephen’s Basilica as well as the many restaurants, bars, and shopping district of the metropolitan ‘Pest’ side of the city. Designed under Hampton by Hilton’s brand-new prototype, the hotel exterior will nestle in the street’s local architecture while its interior will feature refreshed public spaces and updated guest rooms, as well as free hot breakfast and fully equipped fitness facilities available to guests 24/7.

Opening in Q3 2023.

23. Hampton by Hilton London Old Street – United Kingdom

Set in the heart of one of London’s most eclectic and vibrant commercial hubs, the new-build hotel will be just a five-minute walk away from Old Street station. Part of the fast-growing and 
popular Hampton by Hilton brand, the property will be a short walk from the vast array of restaurants and bars on Shoreditch High Street and the bustling corporate offices of Liverpool Street, meaning the 107-room hotel will be 
perfectly placed to attract a diverse range of clientele coming to the area for both work and leisure. The hotel will offer delicious Italian cuisine in the restaurant and a 24/7 snack menu in the comfortable lobby bar. Guests will be able to choose to work in any of the hotel’s flexible public areas, with free Wi-Fi throughout. The hotel will have a conference meeting room, a state-of-the-art gym and free hot breakfast. It is being built with environmental sustainability as a priority, including being designed to make use of harvested rainwater.

Opening in Q3 2023.

PBBM, education stakeholders rally behind VP Sara, DepEd to achieve MATATAG agenda

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Education stakeholders, led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., signified their support for DepEd after Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte delivered her first Basic Education Report (BER) held at Pasay on Monday.

"All of us have roles to play. We have parts to contribute. Let me issue a challenge to you all to become active key players in these efforts. Let us join hands and act in unison as we build the best education system that the Philippines have ever seen," President Marcos Jr. stated in his keynote speech.

"We owe it to our children to prioritize their wellbeing and give them the highest possible quality of education so they may become the innovators and the learners of tomorrow, not only in the Philippines but of the world," he added.

The event served as an avenue for the education stakeholders to convene and discuss the current landscape of basic education in the country and reaffirm their commitments to support the Department and its programs.

President Marcos Jr. then joined VP Sara in signing their pledge of commitment to MATATAG: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa, the newly-unveiled education agenda of the Department. Senators Miguel Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Rep. Roman Romulo also joined the ceremonial signing.

The MATATAG Agenda envisions implementing resilient reforms in the curriculum, education services, and provision of facilities, learner wellbeing, and teacher support programs.

Meanwhile, education partners also provided insight into the current situations on learning poverty, curriculum, learner and teacher welfare and graduate employability at the start of the program.

"The challenges facing Philippine basic education today did not happen overnight and will not be solved overnight. Overcoming them requires sustained national political and societal commitment from the highest political levels to all members of the society," World Bank Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brunei Ndiamè Diop said.

World Bank, UNICEF, Assessment, Curriculum, and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC), Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) of the Philippine Normal University (PNU), and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) were among the five partners who have promised continuous support to the Department.

"The Filipino children's journey in basic education is challenging, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized. But the fact that we are gathered here today is a testament that we are ready to face the challenges together," UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov expressed.

FEU filmmakers lead REALIFILM awardees

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Student filmmakers from Far Eastern University recently got the lion’s share of the awards in “REALIFILM 2023 | Haze of Truth: Underlying Gap of Life,” an interschool film competition organized by Silip@Lente Adamson University (SILAU), in collaboration with the AdU Cultural Affairs Office.

Josh Van Ulric Campo and his production team from Recto Pictures led the winners from FEU Department of Communication by bagging Best Director, Best Screenplay, Award of Virtue, Award of Excellence, and the Gold Award for “All the Things Left Unsaid.” In Campo’s short film, a boy narrates his life as a queer individual, speaking about his inner child in a very mundane setting.

Campo, who also designed the film’s sound, collaborated with producer, assistant director, and editor Sophia Amoyen, production manager and script supervisor Jamelah Tumanguil, cinematographer and animator Samantha Lorraine Ramirez, co-cinematographer Roen Cueto, camera operator and sound recordist Sean Ballesteros, production designer, co-animator, wardrobe, and hair and makeup artist Gener Pescadero, lighting director CJ Ablaza, set designer and talent coordinator Kyle Estrella, location manager and set designer Nell Dariane Villareal, and production coordinator and clapper Mikka Llarena.

Fellow FEU DepComm student Rianne Martinez brought home Best Production Design for “Save the Last Dance for Me” from Sine Sibol and TaraTahak Productions. The film follows the story of a young man (Aristedes Lamorena, Jr.) who meets a mysterious woman (Bjorn Pestaño) in the middle of a forest.

FEU Film Society president Patrick Pangan won Best Editing for “If You Leave Me, Please Let Me Know” from Sine Sibol, peliksmata projects, and Pelikula Persona. In the film, which Pangan also wrote and directed, a young boy (Kaloy Estrella) finds a connection with a giant tree in front of their house.

FEU also bagged the Best Supporting Actor award for Ron Gabriel Yu from Project Horsemen’s “Hilahil,” Best Musical Scoring for “Banaag” from SinagTala Films and TaraTahak Productions, and Best Poster for Mar-ian Ejandra from “Ang Babayi” of 120 Frames Production, Bluelight Production, and Talahib Films.

The other winners of REALIFILM, which had “Romanticizing Life and Social Issues” as its theme, are “Sa Mga Mata ng Bata” by Chauncy Cruz of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Silver Award, Award of Virtue, SILAU’s Choice Award, and Best Actor for Kenshin Lagutan; “Hindi Kita Malilimutan” by Vahn Pascual, DLS-CSB, Bronze Award, Award of Virtue, and Best Cinematography for Reeve Ducusin; “Malikmata” by Jean Evangelista, DLS-CSB, Best Supporting Actress for Czarina Sinio; and “Papa, Huwag Po” by Ron Ruzzel Valencia of Bulacan State University, Best Sound and Best Actress for Abygayle Magcasi. The awarding was held last January 27 at the AdU Theater.

Other FEU films which made it to the finals of the competition include “Akin ang Buhok Ko” written and directed by Luke Salazar, “Baka Búkas, Bukás Na” by Ely Baculo, and “Heels On” by Daniel John Sanchez.

FEU DepComm program chair Herwin Cabasal lauded the FEU finalists for being “proud to tell the stories of the unheard and explore the gaps in today's society.”
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