Friday, September 29, 2023
We have electronic gadgets all over our offices and houses, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, televisions, and game consoles. Using multiple gadgets at the same time is challenging as there is always a shortage of power outlets. In such cases, power strips offer a logical solution for giving yourself more outlets, so you don't need to overload outlet space and protect your gear.
However, not all power strips are as good as each other, and selecting the best relies on some decision-making. Today, we're going to take you through five crucial steps in choosing the best power strip for you.
1. Assess Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is assess your specific demands and step into the world of power strips. Think about the number of devices that have to be powered for one second. Or that you wish to power a more robust unit that consists of a desktop computer, printer, and gaming console along with your smartphone and laptop.
Depending on your needs and demands, you may need a power strip with a greater capacity, like a 20 Amp power strip for running heavy loads and even power-hungry devices. Evaluate your needs first, then select how many outlets you need and what maximum capacity is on your power strip
2. Evaluate Outlets and Spacing
The number and type of outlets on a power strip are extremely important to its operation. Count the number of devices you need to connect, taking into account any that require large plugs or adapters. You can use this number to calculate how many outlets you need on your power strip.
Also, consider the distance between the outlets. Some power strips have outlets that are widely spaced apart or are even movable so that they can accept bigger plugs without obstructing nearby sockets. This is particularly helpful for equipment that tends to take up more room, such as transformers or power bricks.
Consider the variety of outlets as well. Some power strips include both USB connections and regular AC outlets. You may use the power strip's built-in USB connections to charge your smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered gadgets, freeing up AC outlets for other devices.
3. Prioritize Surge Protection
Surge protection is one of the most important qualities to look for in a power strip. Lightning strikes, changes in the power system, or even the on-and-off cycles of major equipment like refrigerators or air conditioners can cause electrical surges and voltage spikes. These surges can seriously harm your electrical gadgets and leave them worthless.
Surge protection integrated into a power strip serves as a barrier, absorbing excess voltage and keeping it from getting to your gadgets. Look for power strips that are designated as surge suppressors or protectors on the packaging. They frequently have indication lights that let you know whether the surge protection is still in effect.
Consider the power strip's Joules rating when thinking about surge protection. A unit of measurement for energy absorption is the joule. The power strip can withstand more powerful surges if it has a higher Joules rating.
A power strip with a Joules rating of at least 600–1000 should be sufficient for the majority of residential and office settings. However, choosing a higher Joules rating is advised for maximum protection in locations vulnerable to frequent electrical storms.
4. Explore Additional Features
A power strip's primary purpose is to provide more outlets, but many models also come with extra features that improve use and safety. Think about the following add-ons while making your decision:
a. Individual on/Off Switches
Power strips with independent on/off switches for each outlet give you more control over your devices. With this capability, you can turn off particular devices without unplugging them, conserving power and lowering standby power usage.
b. Cord Length
For practical placement, the power strip's cord length is crucial. Make sure the cord is long enough to comfortably reach the closest outlet. Longer cords provide you greater freedom to place your power strip and may do away with the need for extension cords.
c. Wall-Mounting Options
Think about a power strip with wall-mounting capabilities for a clutter-free setup. With the power strip off the floor and out of the way, you can attach it to a wall or place it beneath a desk using this method.
5. Prioritize Safety and Certification
When selecting an outlet strip, the number one consideration should always be safety. The following factors should be considered while selecting a product to ensure safety and dependability:
Check the safety credentials of repute like ETL (Intertek) or UL (Underwriters'Underwriters' Lab). The certificates indicate that the surge protector is tested, performs well, and meets certain high-performance and safety criteria.
b. Protection from Overcurrent
There are power strips equipped with over-current protection that can be resettable, often supplied by fuses/circuit breakers. This feature automatically cuts out power if there's an overload, preventing devices from overheating and reducing the risk of electrical fires.
c. Fire-Resistant Housing
It's not guaranteed to put out every source of fire completely, but having a surge-protected outlet in fire-resistant housing will limit and suppress the fire, making it safer at your home or workplace.
Before you choose a power strip to wire your home or office, consider the following criteria: the number and style of plugs, surge protection, wattages, energy efficiency, and safety measures.
Options like angle holders and wall mounts can help you save on room, while customer reviews and brand reputations ensure your purchase is top-notch. By considering these points, you determine the best power strip to efficiently and safely provide all your home or office equipment with the needed electricity.
BingoPlus, the official Bingo partner of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), has renewed its partnership with the league, ensuring that Filipino fans can continue to actively participate in its high-quality and thrilling basketball action.
BingoPlus avidly supported the upcoming 48th PBA season starting with its presence at the two-day PBA Draft Combine held September 12 and 13 at the Gatorade Hoops in Mandaluyong. Then at the record-breaking Rookie Draft event held September 17 at Market! Market! In Taguig City, BingoPlus helped welcome a new batch of young players who will join the ranks of Asia’s first and oldest pro basketball league, which is also the second-oldest continuously operating professional basketball league in the world, next to the NBA.
This year has been special for the PBA as a total of 124 rookies competed for selection by the twelve PBA teams, all aiming for success in the upcoming PBA season which opens on November 5.
The re-commitment of support for the PBA and basketball in general by BingoPlus holds special significance as it coincides with the participation of the national team, GILAS Pilipinas, in the ongoing Asian Games.
BingoPlus, a supporter of sports, culture, festivities and quality entertainment, remains unwavering in its commitment to provide top-tier and enjoyable entertainment that is accessible anytime, anywhere.
For more information on BingoPlus visit www.bingoplus.com.
When planning to take a loan, credit score is a major thing that comes into people's minds. It is one of the factors even the banks and other lending institutions check to determine your eligibility.
But does credit score apply to veteran affairs (VA) loans? Well, this article seeks to answer some of these questions to enable you to boost your score.
Apart from learning about the score, it is also essential to understand how to maintain a clean record to allow you to access these loans easily. If you are a veteran or active military personnel, it’s time to learn the artistry of achieving VA loan credit score excellence to better your future.
Understanding VA Loans
VA loans are government-offered loans to active servicemen, veterans, and surviving spouses to enable them to own homes. The loans are also suitable for repairing, buying, retaining, and other housing-related programs.
According to the agency, it only guarantees the loan, but disbursement is by private institutions like banks and mortgage companies. With the government acting as a guarantor, the loan is available at more favorable terms than other loans.
Since VA doesn’t disburse the money, it doesn't dictate the minimum credit score. Therefore, you will be subjected to your lender's credit score requirements, which is why a high score is essential.
Now, let’s delve into the ideal VA loan credit score requirements to achieve homeownership.
The VA loan credit score requirements depend on the leading bank or mortgage company. Typically, lending companies use a regular FICO system to gauge your creditworthiness. The system uses numbers ranging from 300 to 850 to determine credit scores.
· Less than 580: Poor
· 580-669: Fair
· 670-739: Good
· 740-799: Very good
· 800 and above: Excellent
To qualify for VA loans, you need to score at least 520. However, the higher the score, the more you are eligible to borrow. For instance, if you want to borrow $500,000, the lender will require you to have more rating than when borrowing $100,000.
While credit score plays a significant role in determining eligibility, lenders also check the length of employment and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, among others.
How to Improve VA Loan Score?
Improving your VA loan score isn’t as complicated as you might think. Even though the loan is only for military and ex-military personnel, boosting your score is just like any other loan. You can achieve high scores by doing the following.
1. Pay Your Bills On Time
If you want your rating to increase, one of the easiest ways is to ensure your bill paying is on time. While forgetting to pay utility bills is common, setting autopay will save you from the mess. Paying the bills on time or before has proved effective in boosting your credit score since companies don’t report them to credit bureaus.
2. Check Your Credit Card Usage
3. Limit Your Loan Application
Self-discipline is essential when it comes to loans. While many issues can prompt you to sign a new loan, don’t fall into this trap if you want to build a better VA credit score. Before applying for a new loan or credit, ensure the existing one is closed. Doing this will give your profile a positive score increase.
4. Consolidate Your Debts
Once you settle all loans, you can focus on repaying a single debt, which, once paid consistently, improves the loan score.
5. Verify Your Credit Reports
Low credit scores don’t always result from your faults; they can be due to wrong reporting from the credit bureaus. Always ensure your credit score report is accurate by checking your annual report and filing any errors or disputes. An accurate report is vital since you will need it when applying for VA loans.
People usually wonder whether VA loans have benefits over other loans. Some of the advantages of a VA loan are highlighted below.
1. No Down Payment Needed
Once you qualify for a VA loan, no down payment is required. This gives the servicemen and veterans a fantastic way to acquire homes without a down payment, which can be tricky to raise.
2. Low Credit Score Requirements
Although credit score plays a part in accessing VA loans, it is not as high as others. Usually, most lenders require 520 to access more money than conventional loans and mortgages.
3. Private Mortgage Insurance Free Loan
The government guarantees VA loans; therefore, no private mortgage fees are included. This makes these loans advantageous as no insurance fee is needed. Eliminating insurance and down payment means beneficiaries save a lot.
4. Closing Cost Protection
One thing you can’t escape in mortgages is closing costs. But, once you get a VA loan, there is protection against the closing cost veterans will pay.
VA loans are outstanding since they are government-guaranteed. Due to this, the loan comes with lower requirements and offers many benefits.
While the loans are exclusively for servicemen and veterans, you need to watch your steps to keep your rating high and improve the chances of high loans and mortgages.
Follow the suggestions mentioned in the article to achieve excellent VA loan credit scores.
Murano Glass Jewelry handmade on Murano Island in Venice, Italy
Are you someone who owns lots of jewelry and loves to change your look every day? Do you already have handcrafted jewelry in your collection and enjoy the unique look? Then you will most certainly want to add Murano Glass jewelry to your jewelry treasure chest. Read on to find out why Murano Glass jewelry is so special and how to get the most beautiful pieces at reasonable prices.
Glass making is an ancient craft. In fact,the first human-made glass discovered by archeologists was glass beads, which were likely an incidental byproduct of metalsmith craft 4 millenia ago. The origins of glassmaking lie in the area of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, from where it spread to the rest of the Middle East, then ancient Greece and eventually ancient Rome.
In ancient Rome glass craftsmanship became a significant industry. Glassware was used for storing and serving liquids, especially in rich households. As the masters became more skilled, they learned to produce intricate glass objects for purely decorative purposes.
When the Roman Empire crumbled many skills were lost as the artisans fled and dispersed on the barbarian-raided lands. However, a community of Roman refugees, some of them artisans, developed and thrived in the Venetian Lagoon. Historians believe the tricky tides and the shallow waters acted as a natural barrier to barbarian invasions. The first archeological evidence of glass-making in Venice comes from this period.
Venetian glass masters first created basic utilitarian vessels but soon they started creating ornamental objects and beads too. The entire Venetian glass industry was relocated to Murano Island by the order of the government in 1292. This year marks the official start of Murano Glass art. Murano artisans learned to make beads of all colors, shapes and designs over a small flame.
These beads were primarily used as currency to help Venetians trade with merchants in faraway lands. Murano Glass beads thus became precious and valuable. It’s no wonder that later on they were used for making jewelry for wealthy noble women in Venice and beyond. Many historians believe that Vermeer’s enigmatic painting “Girl With A Pearl Earring'' dating from 1655 in fact shows a Murano Glass earring, not a pearl one. Large pearls and gemstones were rare and very expensive at the time and many women wore Murano Glass earrings instead.
Fast tracking from Venice of the 17th century to today, women still love to wear unique and beautiful jewelry. Amazingly, Murano Glass jewelry is still crafted the same exact way as it was centuries ago, only the flame is now gas-powered. In fact, the ancient art of making glass beads still practiced today is even recognized and protected by UNESCO as part of intangible cultural heritage.
To make each bead, the artisan heats up a glass cane over the flame, adds gold or silver, creates layers and decorations, shapes it into the desired form and then gradually cools it down. The bead is now ready to be strung onto a necklace, bracelet, or an earring. Every bead is delicate, unique and beautiful, making every Murano Glass jewelry piece instantly stand out among mass-produced bland jewelry designs. In addition, glass does not fade over time, does not require any maintenance, and is easy to store. The color play changes in different lighting conditions, so you won’t tire of wearing the same jewelry multiple times.
Murano Glass Antique Millefiori Beads Crafted by Moretti Company In 1915
Moreover, Murano Glass can become more valuable over time. Antique Murano Glass necklaces and bracelets command prices of hundreds of dollars due to their artistic value and rarity. In many cases the glassworks which created these pieces had closed years ago, in other situations the techniques are very complex and difficult to reproduce. Such unique Italian glass jewelry sometimes appears at auctions or in antique galleries.
If you are after a contemporary piece, those are easier to find. There are multiple stores selling Murano Glass in Venice, Italy as well as on Murano Island itself, a short boat ride off the coast of Italy. Some stores sell generic designs, and some combine a one-person workshop and a store displaying designs created by a particular artist. In the latter case it is easy to determine authenticity, especially when you can see the artist working on her creations. In the former, determining the authenticity is difficult but paramount.
Unfortunately, many Chinese counterfeits to authentic Murano Glass exist on the market. Some store owners even in Venice are not local and do not care about the preservation of this ancient craft. Therefore, they stock their stores with cheap Chinese imitations and pass them for real Murano Glass.
You can spot such stores by cheap-looking poorly-arranged displays, aggressively advertised discounts, and overall lower quality of the objects they sell. Do not shop there no matter the price. Remember, if you pay these unscrupulous sellers you support the counterfeit industry and directly contribute to the decline of authentic Murano Glass.
Therefore, you need to look closely at the store before deciding to shop and determine if it sells original Murano Glass or not. Sometimes, genuine Murano Glass pieces will carry a special sticker of Vetro Artistico Murano. This is a consortium of some of the Island’s glass factories. The membership in this consortium is completely voluntary and requires payment of significant annual dues. For this reason, most of the hundreds of glass factories and workshops on Murano Island are NOT members of this consortium.
The interior of the shop and the knowledge level and attitude of the salesperson or owner will tell you a lot about authenticity. Shops that are well stocked with expensive pieces as well as cheaper ones, have invested a lot in interior design and layout, have Murano Glass chandeliers, and use nice packaging most likely sell original Murano Glass. Those that look cheaply designed, not well thought out, stocked with cheaper pieces laying around with no rhyme or reason often sell fakes.
Sellers who can’t answer questions, seem secretive or not knowledgeable, rude or unwilling to explain, may be selling fakes. On the contrary, those who will engage in a conversation, tell you about the Murano Glass industry and masters, give you some history or provide names of artisans who make their pieces likely sell authentic Murano Glass.
If you are not traveling to Venice the easiest way to purchase Murano Glass jewelry is online. Reputable online sellers have not only a very large selection of Murano jewelry in all styles, designs and colors, but also a lot of information on their sites. For example, GlassOfVenice offers thousands of unique models of Murano Glass earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, watches, and other accessories, including a large collection of rare Millefiori pendants.
Good online sellers have some things in common, They have been in business for many years and work directly with the artisans. This is how you can be assured of the top quality and good value. Any seller who uses middlemen to procure Murano Glass pieces cannot assure authenticity and has to charge higher prices.
If you are lucky enough to own a piece of authentic Murano Glass jewelry, you already know that you get compliments whenever you wear it. Looking different and unique, Murano Glass instantly captures attention and brings out questions. Many people first learn about Murano Glass jewelry by seeing it on others and asking about it. So if you have not purchased your first piece yet, don’t wait. Murano Glass is always in fashion and the time to create your own Italian style is now!
The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) Postmaster General Luis D. Carlos and Northwest Luzon Area Director Merma Abalos and other postal officials met with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and presented the proposed rehabilitation plan of the historic Baguio City Central Post Office building located along session road.
Mayor Magalong welcomed the idea, as the City government will provide technical assistance in the development of the area which will benefit the residents and visitors of the City. The local government will also help in facilitating the titling of the lot which will provide stability to PHLPost in moving forward on their plans and programs.
Baguio City Central Post Office is a premier tourist destination located within the Post Office Park which was recently rehabilitated. The Post Office serves as a distinct symbol of the city’s rich culture and history.
The Post Office is strategically situated at the top of Session road and frequented by tourists.
The Rehabilitation of Baguio City Central Post Office Buildings 1 & 2 is one of the thrusts of the current PHLPost Administration to improve its facilities and protect its assets in parallel with the developmental plans of the local government of Baguio City.
The lot occupied by buildings 1 and 2 which are the subject of the rehabilitation plan is part of the lot consisting of about 8,000 sq. m more or less which was donated by the local government of Baguio City to the defunct Bureau of Post.
“The Rehabilitation Plan will be implemented as soon as the funds are available on Buildings 1 & 2. Conditions of the building, at present, were dilapidated, thus requiring immediate repair. Also, since it is erected along Session Road, they are visible to the eyes of the local folks as well as tourists/travelers”, Northwest Luzon Area Director Merma Abalos said.
She added, “The Rehabilitation Plan will definitely benefit PHLPost as it will provide mailing convenience to the clientele due to the provision of a spacious parking lot. Likewise, the building plan provides business space for their offices and stores”.
FDCP pays tribute to Brocka, Bernal, and Diaz-Abaya with Film Talk and Premiere Screening of “Sugat sa Ugat”
The Film Development Council of the Philippines’ (FDCP) Academic Film Society (AFS) pays tribute to the Filipino masters of cinema with the event titled “Brocka, Bernal, and Diaz-Abaya: A Talk on Filipino Masters of Cinema" and a premiere screening of the digitally restored version of Bernal’s “Sugat sa Ugat,”on September 27, 2023, in Cinematheque Centre Manila.
To honor the indelible contributions of the National Artists for Film, Ishmael Bernal, Lino Brocka, and Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Filipino filmmaker and academe member, Jose Javier Reyes delved deep into the themes, narrative techniques, and the contemporary relevance of their work to the Philippine film industry.
“With the case of Bernal, Brocka, and Abaya, being a filmmaker was not a job—it was a passion and it was a mission. They lived their life to the fullest with what they left behind as artifacts of Philippine history in their films,” Reyes said in his lecture. “In all their works, despite the diversity of who they were as individuals, they were all Filipinos and they all carried commitment and value to their cinema,” he continued..
Continuing the insightful discussion, the film talk featured the premiere screening of the digitally restored version of “Sugat sa Ugat”starring Christopher de Leon and Hilda Koronel.
Bernal’s classic film follows the story of a provincial son who just graduated from law school as he sets out on a path of success, even if it means leaving behind his past and pursuing a woman beyond his means.
As part of the ongoing 3rd Philippine Film Industry Month (PFIM) and the Philippine Creative Industries Month (PCIM), the FDCP continues in its mission to honor the cinematic legends who have paved the way for the growth and triumph of the Philippine film industry. This film talk stands as a tribute to the rich heritage and artistic excellence that continue to define Philippine cinema.
For news and updates, stay tuned to FDCP's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Honda Philippines Launches the All-New BeAT and the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition designed especially for the All-New BeAT and CLICK125
Discover how these new bikes turn up the style and change the game.
Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI), the No.1 motorcycle manufacturer in the country, is celebrating 50 years of providing high-quality, innovative, and reliable motorcycles to bring the joy of mobility and comfort to every Filipino.
Launched on September 23 at Market! Market! The All-New BeAT is designed to give a new meaning to style and performance as it showcases a seamless fusion of impressive looks, optimum performance, and unmatched fuel efficiency.
In the photo (L-R) Mr. Tawatchai Kasetwetin, BeAT Large Project Leader of Product Engineering Division, Honda R&D Southeast Asia Co., Ltd. (HRST), Mr. Makoto Dohi, Asia-Oceania Regional Large Project Leader of ASEAN Product Strategy Division (HRST), Mr. Jomel Jerezo, Vice President of Motorcycle Sales & Supply Chain Management (HPI), Mr. Kohei Yamamoto, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing (HPI), Ms. Sayaka Arai, President (HPI), Ms. Maria Fe Quijano, Assistant Vice President of Finance & IT (HPI), Mr. Juan Gerry Datario, Assistant Vice President of Business Admin (HPI) and Mr. Yasunori Miyamoto, Vice President of Finance (HPI)
Modern Style Elements
The All-New BeAT had elevated its new body and color design, advance features, and performance that everyone knows and love. The result is a striking youthful look that takes its new design style a step further. It is also available in three variants, the Playful, Premium and the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, differentiated by stunning colors and stand-out design elements. These factors give riders the chance to match their individual sense of style.
New Body Sticker
The Playful variant comes in eye-catching colors, Fighting Red, Pearl Sylvestris Gray, Pearl Nightfall Blue, and Clipper Yellow colors. These colors when combined with its unique decals make it ideal for individuals with different personas like guys with a sporty personality, artistic flair, or a gamer’s sensibility. Even the fashion-conscious individuals will love it! On the other hand, the Premium comes with a new 3D emblem and gold color cast wheel is available in Pearl Arctic White—perfect for riders with a sophisticated style, and Matte Axis Gray - ideal for those who prefer a dashing yet understated look. And its new Semi-Digital Meter Panel design is not only easy to read but visually striking.
But it’s more than just style. The All-New BeAT delivers exciting performance with its 110cc ESP engine capable of producing 6.63kW of maximum power @7,500rpm and 9.30Nm of maximum torque @6,000rpm. This engine works in tandem with the bike’s Combined Braking System for complete handling control. What’s more, this engine is equipped with PGM-FI technology, the advanced fuel injection system engineered to give the bike an impressive 58.2 Km/L fuel efficiency. This factor when combined with its large 4.2L capacity gas tank lets you take the bike on long, worry-free adventures.
The All-New BeAT is equipped with new and advanced features - LED headlights offering outstanding visibility at night or during bad weather, a new ACC power socket that can work with most adaptors for easy and convenient smartphone charging. So, no matter what type of mobile phone you have, charging will not be a problem. It also features a new Integrated Seat Opener and a larger 12L U-Box capacity for greater storage capacity. Moreover, the bike’s Side Stand Switch, and Secured Key Shutter provides safety and security.
50th Anniversary Limited Edition Variants
To celebrate the company’s 50th Anniversary, HPI rolled out a unique motorcyle, The All-New BeAT Limited Edition to mark the occasion. This unique variant features a Pearl Arctic White color, new accents, and a front position 50th Anniversary logo to enable riders to experience a sense of exclusivity, fun, and stand-out style.
Changing the game: The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
In addition, HPI launched the ultimate game changer: The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. This 50th Anniversary bike features the signature Honda Tri-color accents highlighted by brand new decals and more refined front and body details. When combined with its special edition Pearl Arctic White color, Sports-Style muffler, and Matte Grizzly Brown color cast wheels, you get a bike that’s both sleek and stylish. And its 18-liter luggage box delivers loads of practicality that suit any lifestyle.
“2023 is a significant year for HPI since we are celebrating our 50th anniversary as manufacturing company in the Philippines. As committed, we always bring the joy of mobility to every Filipinos and Honda never stops in creating and providing top quality products especially to the young market. We are proud to announce that these new models are locally manufactured here in Honda factory in Batangas to further cater the increasing demand of Filipino customers and strengthen the brand position of Honda as the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the country”, says Sayaka Arai HPI President.
These new and exciting bikes are well within the reach of Filipinos who want only the best. The All-New BeAT variants are priced as follows: Php71,400.00 for the Playful, Php72,400.00 for the Premium and P74,400.00 for the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. On the other hand, The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition can be yours for Php83,900.00. These new models will be available to all Honda 3S dealerships nationwide this September 2023.
For more information, visit www.hondaph.com. Stay updated on Honda’s newest products and promos by following Honda Philippines, Inc. on Facebook (facebook.com/hondaph) and Instagram (instagram.com/hondaph_mc/), YouTube (HondaPhilippines_Motorcycle) and Tiktok (tiktok.com/@hondaphilippines) or contact (02)-8581-6700 to 6799, and 0917-884-6632.
The ripple effect of the water crisis has reached every part of the globe. According to the World Wildlife Fund, some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. Worst, two-thirds of the global population may face water shortages by 2025 and ecosystems will suffer.
As the gravity of these issues becomes increasingly apparent, several countries have taken significant steps to forge a more sustainable future for the Earth. Noteworthy examples include Singapore's water management plan and The Netherlands' intricate conservation practices.
Singapore’s Desalination Plant
Inspiration for the Philippines
In the Philippines, a multifaceted approach has also been embraced by the public and private sectors in safeguarding and managing water resources. SM Supermalls are at the forefront of the conservation and management of water resources in its mall facilities. Its endeavors form the foundation of a more sustainable and water-secure future that the company has long been advocating.
SM's Vision: Greening the Future
SM has been recycling water since the 1990s, treating an average of 1 billion gallons of water annually in recent years, equivalent to 1,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In line with the SM Green Movement, SM has been continuously working towards responsible consumption and water conservation in its properties.
To illustrate, the SM Supermalls’ comfort rooms have smart fixtures to manage water flow. There are also signages in the mall that advocate wise water use. Wastewater is channeled to the malls’ sewage treatment plants that recycle an estimated total of 4 million cubic meters of water, lessening their dependence on freshwater sources for non-potable uses. SM did this even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.
SM Mall of Asia has been involved in various sustainability and environmental initiatives, including water recycling among others.
SM Supermalls utilizes recycled wastewater from the mall for irrigating its gardens.
SM Malls have “Save Water” signages that typically aim to create awareness about water conservation and inspire people to take simple actions to reduce their water consumption
Recently, SM took a step further in resource management by launching the first-ever water filtration system at SM City Baguio. This facility can turn collected rainwater into potable water for mall tenant use such as washing and cooking as well as dishwashing and handwashing, allowing the mall to further lessen its dependence on the freshwater supply of the Baguio community.
SM took a step further in resource management by launching the first-ever water filtration system at SM City Baguio.
The Rainwater Treatment Facility at SM City Baguio Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (right) samples the potable water from the SM Baguio rainwater treatment facility with SM SVP for Marketing Joaquin San Agustin (left) and SM VP for Corporate Compliance Engr. Liza Silerio (center).
SM's dedication aligns with the world’s environmental sustainability and climate action goals. Rainwater catchment basins in flood-prone areas and the rainwater filtration in SM Baguio further exemplify this commitment. These significant efforts underscore the ongoing need for sustainable practices and policies.
The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) lauded their San Mateo Post Office Municipal paid Letter Carrier Mr. Ruben Gregorio for returning the wallet containing 8,000 pesos and important IDs owned by Mr. Romeo I. Nabo, a teacher at Dulong Bayan Elementary School, San Mateo Rizal.
Since 2017, LC (Letter Carrier) Gregorio was assigned at Brgy. Pintong Bukawe, Timberland, Maarat in San Mateo, Rizal a remote and mountainous area delivering mails, parcels including PhilIDs.
According to Ms. Juliet Dawila Otadoy - Acting Postmaster (PM) San Mateo Post Office in Rizal, LC Ruben immediately returned the wallet containing money and other things he found at the Post Office. They immediately contacted the owner, Mr. Nabo who personally went to the Post Office to receive his belongings.
“We are proud that PHLPost honors him for a job well done”, PM Otadoy said.
LC Ruben is a father of four kids and married to Cristy Gregorio who is a housewife.
“Our employees prove time and again that the culture of honesty is truly present in all post offices and remote areas of the country”, Postmaster General (PMG) Luis Carlos said.
At the Post Office, his co-workers were jubilant, posting on social media a statement saying, “your excellent performance and loyalty deserves a merit of appreciation…! We are so proud of you, Keep up the good work always, God bless you”.
“A simple achievement like this will set a bigger example for others to emulate” PMG Carlos added.
SM scholars from Roxas City volunteer to clean the new school building ahead of its turnover.
In time for the school year opening, SM Prime through SM Foundation turned over a fully furnished two-storey building to the President Manuel Roxas Memorial Integrated School-South in Roxas City, Western Visayas.
The 104th school building made through the collaboration is built in accordance with specifications set by the Department of Education (DepEd). It holds four classrooms, each furnished with desks, chairs for left-handed students, toilets per classroom, including a special toilet for PWDs on the ground floor.
It also includes concave blackboards, electric fans, and LED lighting. Emergency lights were installed in the stairways for emergency-preparedness.
Supporting DepEd’s commitment to ensure that learners have access to water for hygiene and sanitation, SM Foundation installed a handwashing facility along with liquid soap for the community’s use.
To further assist, the SM group will help with the maintenance and upkeep of the said school.
SMFI School Building head, Juris Soliman (center) leads the preparation if the school building turnover.
It was earlier announced by DepEd that roughly 21 million students enrolled this school year 2023-2024. Amidst this, the agency reported that only over 100,000 out of the more than 300,000 school buildings are in good condition.
Believing in the power of education in uplifting communities, SM Foundation has been an active member of DepEd’s Adopt-a-School Program since 2002, turning over more than 100 school buildings to grassroots communities nationwide. The said program intends to address overcrowding in schools and provide an environment conducive for learning.
New SM scholars recently joined the contract signing event in Pasay.
"I desire to become an educator not just to fulfill a dream but also to be a blessing to the next generation."
These inspiring words come from 18-year-old Princess Eunice Motel, an SM scholar currently pursuing her education at the Philippine Normal University. She is one of two children of Hildajane, an on-call factory re-packer, and Richard, a set man, hailing from Caloocan City.
Princess' dream of becoming a teacher has been a lifelong aspiration, deeply rooted in her heart and mind since her childhood. This calling became even more pronounced when she embraced her Christian faith.
SM Scholar and aspiring educator Princess Eunice Motel
"My unwavering commitment to becoming a teacher is directly inspired by the Kidz Life Ministry, a cherished initiative of our church dedicated to teaching children about God's word. I aspire to be a vessel for sharing knowledge, instilling hope, and nurturing a brighter future for the next generation," she said.
To pursue her dreams, Princess has chosen to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education at the Philippine Normal University, her dream institution. "PNU is renowned for its ability to nurture exceptional teachers," she remarked. "As I aspire to become an educator, I also strive for greatness and excellence, and there's no better place to achieve that than at PNU."
Following in her mother's footsteps, Jhona Bolinas is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education with English as her major. Born in Baliuag, Bulacan, she passed entrance exams at other universities but opted to enroll at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela due to its proximity to her family.
Despite considering other career paths, Jhona opted education, drawing inspiration from her mother, who is also an educator. "Watching, observing, and listening to her, I learned the basics," she shared. Driven by her love for reading and writing, she also chose to specialize in English.
When asked if she plans to work abroad after graduation, Jhona keeps her options open, recognizing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "But right now, I want to ensure that my mother enjoys a good life before making such a significant decision," she explained.
Another aspiring educator is Krissa May Oquindo. Her father, a cable technician, is the family's sole breadwinner while her mother dedicates her time to caring for the family. Krissa completed her senior high school education at the Universidad de Manila. She applied to four State universities and ultimately chose to enroll at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), known for producing graduates highly sought after by employers, as per a recent survey.
SM scholar Krissa May Oquindo (right) aspires to be a teacher for her family and community.
When asked about her motivation to become a teacher, Krissa responded, "Being an educator has always been my passion. From the moment I set foot on a school campus, the idea of standing in front of students and sharing knowledge excites me." She has selected Science as her major to deepen her understanding of the subject and to enlighten others about it.
Krissa has no plans to teach abroad. She believes that while there is demand for teachers overseas, the same holds true in the Philippines: "My passion for teaching is rooted in caring for the next generation, especially for the youth of our country."
Through the years, the SM college scholarship program has empowered 3,791 graduates who have enrolled in over 120 partner colleges and universities across the nation. These scholars enjoy full tuition benefits, monthly allowances, part-time work opportunities during semestral and Christmas breaks, job offers from the SM Group upon graduation, and engaging activities and enrichment programs.
Additionally, SM's tech-voc scholarship program has produced 4,669 graduates, further contributing to the development of skilled professionals in various fields.
IN PHOTO (Left to right): SM Supermalls Vice President Liza Silerio, SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, GUUN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda, GUUN Philippine Branch Senior Managing Director and General Manager Takeshi Konishi
Leading real estate developer in Southeast Asia, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s GUUN Co. Ltd. to explore a potential partnership to implement waste management solutions by recycling waste paper and plastics as an alternative source of energy called ‘fluff fuel’.
Fluff Fuels are one type of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) which are produced from shredded and compressed plastics, papers, and fibers. These are used as fuels in cement manufacturing, paper mill companies, or power companies in Japan.
SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy is positive that a partnership with GUUN will contribute to the waste reduction goals of the country. “Today, Japan’s waste management and recycling technology is among the most advanced in the world,” he said. “There is no better partner for SM because we do not just talk about being big, we make sure we do it; we do not talk about being environment friendly but we do take bold steps to save the environment. I am looking forward to growing with GUUN as among leaders in solving environmental issues in the Philippines.”
GUUN Co., Ltd., founded in March 2001 and headquartered in Yokohama City, Japan, piloted the production of fluff fuel from plastic waste in Inayawan, Cebu in 2014 and recently inaugurated its P200-million, 2,400-square meter waste recycling plant in Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu.
Since then, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has adopted GUUN’s waste-to-fuel technology as a model for advanced low-carbon technology innovation for further deployment in developing countries.
“This will be a milestone partnership for us,” GUNN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda said after the signing ceremony. "I understand very much how important waste management is for SM and for the Philippines and we look forward to more projects we can do with the properties of SM Prime.”
SM Prime’s initiatives for waste management include waste reduction and effective waste collection and segregation. Over the years, it has implemented programs such as Trash to Cash, Plastic Waste Collection, and E-Waste Collection that have contributed to reducing the total solid waste generation across its real estate portfolio.
Through its pioneering Trash to Cash recycling market, SM Prime has collected and recycled 1.4M kg of plastics, paper, metals, and others in 2022. “We have saved 16,766 trees from the 986,222 kg of paper recycled,” SM Prime disclosed in its 2022 Integrated Report to shareholders.
Meanwhile, SM’s Plastic Waste Collection program, a partnership with the Plastic Credit Exchange that was launched in February 2021, has accumulated 42,541kg of plastic waste from 14 mall sites. Also present in all its 83 SM Supermalls is the E-Waste Collection program for the responsible disposal of WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment). This drive has helped process close to 7,000 kilograms of e-waste.
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Maritime specialists, development workers, scientists, and advocates send their unequivocal support to the Senate in swiftly passing the Maritime Zones Bill as it conducts the second hearing to discuss the legislation under the Senate Special Committee on Philippine Maritime and Admiralty Zones (Special Committee); they likewise laud the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) for including the Philippine Maritime Zones Act (MZ Act) among the priority measures that will be adopted within the year 2023.
President Marcos met with the LEDAC last 20 September 2023 for the inclusion of the declaration of the Philippines maritime zones in the Common Legislative Agenda of the 19th Congress. The MZ Act is among LEDAC’s new priority legislations.
The group backs the Senate on its sense of urgency in adopting the MZ Act amidst the varying issues arising in our maritime domain, including escalating tensions on the West Philippine Sea and the continuous destruction of our marine wealth and natural resources, among others.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva released a statement on the installation of floating barriers in the Scarborough Shoal and reiterated the importance of the immediate passage of the MZ Act: “Kaisa po tayo ng Presidente Bongbong Marcos sa paniniwalang prayoridad ang agarang pagpasa ng Philippine Maritime Zones Act na naglalayong magdeklara ng mga maritime zones na nasa pamamahala ng Pilipinas kabilang ang internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, EEZ at continental shelf.”
“Congress needs to pass the Maritime Zones Act to clearly delineate the geographical extent of our maritime jurisdictions and define the applicable powers and authorities over our marine waters consistent with international law.”, said Dr. Jay Batongbacal of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (IMLOS).
The MZ Act will declare the country’s maritime zones based on standards set by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It also reinforces the Philippines’ victory in the South China Sea arbitral ruling which declared illegal the nine-dash line, among others. Mr. Julio Amador, CEO of the Amador Research Services, further emphasized that it is imperative to fortify our claims through the Maritime Zones Act in order for us to effectively protect what is ours.
“Time is of the essence. Everyday we are confronted with news about aggressive and assertive activities that undermine our rights over our own waters. Policymakers should firm up policies and strategies that protect the country's status as an archipelagic and maritime nation. They can by passing a foundational policy clearly defining and declaring the extent of what is ours. The time to pass the Maritime Zones Bill is not after the next incident, not towards the end of the year; it is now.”, adds Amador.
The House of Representatives approved House Bill 7819 or the proposed Philippine Maritime Zones Act in May 2023 while eight (8) versions of the Maritime Zones Bill have been filed in the Senate, as to date. In August 2023, the Senate created the Special Committee to focus on measures in connection with the country's maritime and admiralty zones. This is led by Senator Francis Tolentino with members Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa, Robin Padilla, Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go, Juan Edgardo 'Sonny' Angara, and Risa Hontiveros.
In August 2023, Senate President Miguel Zubiri committed to prioritize the passage of the measure: "We commit to you by the end of the year, before December, we will deliberate it during the budget deliberations. Isasabay namin to, ipapasa namin ang Maritime Zones Act ni Sen. Tolentino and several senators. We are going to pass it."
During the Senate Special Committee hearing today, Senator Tolentino emphasized: “What we’re doing is for the Filipino people. Ang ginagawa natin, para sa Pilipinas.”
Photo by cottonbro studio
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it's estimated that around 1 in 4 people globally will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. This shows that mental health issues are common and can affect people of all different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life.
Therefore, those experiencing mental health issues should know it's okay to seek out help. Mental health significantly affects an individual's overall quality of life. Seeking mental health help is important for several reasons. For example, when mental health issues are left untreated, they can impact various aspects of life, including relationships, work, academic performance, and physical health.
However, for many, the costs of regularly meeting with a therapist or having a prescription can cause hesitation. Fortunately, there is good news—there are many different ways to receive affordable mental healthcare.
Getting Affordable Care
If someone needs mental health services but is concerned about the costs, there are several steps they can take to access the help they need without putting too much strain on their finances.
Check if you have health insurance that includes mental health coverage. Many health insurance plans offer therapy, counseling, and psychiatric services coverage. Review your policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage.
Additionally, Medicare also covers mental health services! Medicare is similar to Medicaid in that it's a federally-run health insurance plan. Also, it's similar to a private health insurance plan, with deductibles and copays. Medicare is divided into four parts, and you might be eligible for more than one.
Medicare Part A: covers inpatient mental health care
Medicare Part B: covers outpatient mental health care
Medicare Part D: covers prescriptions
If you have insurance, try to find mental health professionals who are in-network with your insurance plan. In-network providers typically have negotiated lower rates, which can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Community Mental Health Centers
Local community mental health centers often provide affordable or even free mental health services to individuals who cannot afford private therapy. Government agencies often fund these centers and offer various services.
Many nonprofit organizations focus on providing mental health support and services. These organizations might offer low-cost or free counseling options.
Online Therapy Platforms
Some online therapy platforms offer more affordable options compared to traditional in-person therapy. These platforms connect individuals with licensed therapists through video, chat, or phone calls.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Check if your workplace offers an Employee Assistance Program if you're employed. EAPs often provide a limited number of free counseling sessions for employees.
Universities and Training Clinics
Universities with psychology or counseling programs often have training clinics where graduate students provide supervised counseling services at reduced rates.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
Local Support Groups
Support groups might not replace therapy, but they can provide valuable emotional support and a sense of community at little to no cost. Many local organizations or churches host support groups for various mental health concerns.
With the rise of telehealth services, you might find more affordable options for online therapy sessions. And the great thing about telehealth services is the flexibility. You can find a therapist that works with your time and schedule.
The Importance of Mental Health Treatments
There are many reasons why mental health treatments are important. Here are a few of them.
Like physical health issues, early intervention for mental health concerns can often lead to better outcomes. Addressing issues early can prevent them from worsening and becoming more difficult to manage over time.
Mental health professionals are trained to help individuals understand their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. People can develop coping strategies, communication skills, and tools to manage their emotions and challenges through therapy and counseling.
Seeking help for mental health issues helps to reduce the stigma associated with these conditions. By being open about seeking treatment, individuals contribute to a more supportive and understanding societal attitude toward mental health.
Many individuals who struggle with mental health issues also experience suicidal ideation. Seeking help can provide essential support and resources to prevent suicide.
Learning Coping Skills & Resilience
Mental health professionals can teach valuable coping skills and strategies that empower individuals to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and other challenges healthier.
Also, learning how to navigate and cope with mental health challenges can enhance an individual's resilience and ability to bounce back from difficulties. Therapy gives people hope for a better and much brighter future.
Validation and Support
Talking to a mental health professional provides a safe and non-judgmental space to express feelings and concerns.
A therapist is a neutral party—someone who isn't your parent or friend. They can provide unbiased advice and encouragement. This validation and support can be immensely beneficial, especially to individuals who feel like no one understands them.
Understanding and Self-awareness
Therapy and counseling help individuals better understand themselves, their triggers, and their patterns of thinking and behavior. This self-awareness can lead to personal growth and positive change.
The Effect on Relationships
Improved mental health can positively impact relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
Therapy helps to give a different perspective on things and can help you view the people in your life through a different lens. Also, effective communication and emotional regulation learned through therapy can lead to healthier interactions.
Photo by Văn Thắng
Remember that seeking mental health help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Mental health is vital to overall well-being, and taking steps to care for your mental health is an important investment in your future happiness and success. Money shouldn't prevent you from becoming your best version of yourself. Reach out to a professional today to begin your journey.
Finding a smooth experience might be challenging in today's courier services. Fortunately, several tips and tricks may help you have a pleasant and productive shipping excursion. An exceptional experience is described by timely and reliable package delivery. But this is only possible if you take charge of your shipping.
First on your journey is selecting the perfect courier company and tracking your shipment. You can plan and anticipate the delivery of your shipment thanks to real-time information on its whereabouts. Efficiency involves determining the safest and quickest routes, eliminating errors and delays, optimizing your packing, and reducing the likelihood of transit-related damage.
It involves open and effective communication with your courier service to ensure that your expectations and theirs are perfectly aligned. Here are some pointers for navigating a successful courier service experience.
1. Choose The Right Courier Service For Your Needs
In courier services, there are many options available with different offerings. In making choices, the lodestar of your selection is reputation. You must seek a courier service that stands tall amidst the waves.
Consider the track record in the industry, the murmurs of approval that travel from ear to ear. A courier service Toronto with a good track record is a reassuring lullaby that restates your worries. The trust builds with every package successfully delivered and every promise fulfilled.
Besides the reputation or a history of excellence, ensure the choice aligns with your needs and values. It's about developing relationships beyond commercial transactions and fostering cooperation that improves your experience. Choose wisely because this decision is critical to seamless deliveries, to promises kept, and marked by excellence from start to finish.
2. Pack Your Items Carefully
When shipping your items, the road ahead is full of twists, turns, and unexpected bumps. The secret to ensuring your precious cargo arrives safely and sound is in packaging. Packaging is the shield against the chaos of transportation.
First, choose sturdy boxes or containers to withstand the journey's challenges. Avoid the dreaded overstuffing. Just like a backpacker's backpack, your boxes have their limits. Stuffing them to the brim can lead to disaster during handling. Nobody likes a squished package.
Next, label the boxes with clear and confident markers. Clearly state what lies within on all sides of the box. Ensure you have a sturdy pen or marker on hand. Include details that will ensure your package arrives at its destination securely. You'll overcome shipping difficulties if you have solid boxes and proper labeling.
3. Provide Accurate Shipping Information
When your package leaves your hands and ventures into courier services, the journey can either be smooth sailing or a rollercoaster of unexpected detours. The correct address, a contact number ready to receive a call, and those little nuggets of wisdom you share as special instructions make the journey seamless.
At a sorting facility, packages zip around in controlled chaos. Your package can stand out because of the meticulous details you've provided, ensuring it's not lost in the shuffle. Provide contact information like a phone number to be used in case of need. The line of communication ensures that any hitches may be fixed immediately.
You have the authority to ensure this voyage succeeds. Your cargo will avoid delays and hiccups thanks to your attention to detail, proper address, and specific contact number. In logistics, careful attention to detail ensures that your package arrives where it's meant to, when it's meant to, in perfect harmony.
In modern package delivery, you can trace the footsteps of your package as it makes its way through the routes and destinations. It's a virtual map or an electronic trail that mirrors the physical journey of your package.
Package tracking transforms uncertainty into certainty, which turns waiting into anticipation. With a few clicks or taps, you can watch over your package, ensuring it's on the right track. Through the courier company's website or app, follow a journey that unveils the whereabouts of your cargo.
As your package moves from hub to hub, you're right there with it, following its progress, tracking its every move. You know when your package arrives at a sorting center, when it's out for delivery, and when it finally finds its way to its destination. Package tracking can replace uncertainty with confidence. Watch as your package journeys from the sender to the recipient.
5. Be Patient
In courier services, delays occasionally sneak into the mix. If your eagerly awaited parcel takes slightly longer than anticipated, don't fret; it's all part of the courier adventure. Keep calm and contact your courier service for information and reassurance.
When your package takes its sweet time to reach you, take a deep breath and wait. The world is full of surprises; not all are pleasant. Traffic jams, pesky weather quirks, and other unforeseen twists can wrench even the most meticulously planned delivery schedules.
While your package takes its time, remember that good things come to those who wait. In this case, your eagerly awaited parcel is just around the corner. Feel that itch to know more? Go ahead and reach out to your courier service. Pick up the phone, tap out an email, or use your favorite mode of communication to connect with your courier service.
For successful courier service navigation, you must be meticulous in your planning. Selecting the best courier service is the key as it influences whether you'll sail across calm waters or encounter rough waves. Armed with transparency, reliability, and a proven track record, your chosen partner guides you through the shipping cosmos.
A simplified procedure turns a potential setback into a moment of happiness. The secret is in the small things, in streamlining each process to guarantee promptness and dependability. Optimizing your shipping processes cannot be overstated, with the demand for seamless service surging.