Wednesday, December 29, 2021

P&G gets Silver LEED certification for new Distribution Center Expansion project

Procter & Gamble Philippines (P&G) was recently awarded a Silver LEED certification for its new Distribution Center Expansion project in the P&G Cabuyao manufacturing plant. 

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It is acknowledged as a symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.  A LEED certification means that a building is designed and built to improve its performance in energy and water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, improved indoor air quality, and resource stewardship. The P&G facility incorporates energy-saving features, such as the use of roof skylights minimizing the use of LED lighting during the day; and programmed ventilation utilizing 50% energy usage during the colder times of the day. 

“We are proud to accept the Silver LEED certification for our new Distribution Center Expansion project in the Cabuyao plant.  We will continue to make sustainable investments that help P&G be a Force for Good and a Force for Growth in the country,” says JP Lotuaco, P&G Cabuyao Plant Engineering and Sustainability Leader.

The LEED certification is just the latest recognition of P&G’s continuous sustainability efforts that are making a positive, meaningful impact in the areas of climate, waste, and water.

P&G’s Cabuyao Plant operations are optimized to minimize its impact on the environment. For example, it is powered by 100% renewable electricity. Alongside P&G plants around the world, P&G Cabuyao is also a zero-manufacturing waste to landfill plant.

The company is also committed to creating smarter packaging solutions to stop waste from ending up in nature. It eliminated plastic overwraps on Safeguard 3-pid packs.  It started using recycled plastic in the packaging of Herbal Essences bio:renew, which is made from 25% post-consumer resin.  Together with World Vision, P&G also recovered and upcycled over 3 million sachet waste and upcycled it into school chairs for public schools.

For more information, visit us.pg.com/environmental-sustainability/.

TECNO Announces Innovative Memory Fusion Technology to Boost RAM and Apps Running Efficiency

TECNO, a rising superstar as a global smartphone brand of the new generation, announced the release of a new virtual Random Access Memory (RAM) expansion technology for its users to increase the RAM capacity of their smartphones for optimal efficiency and processing power. This innovative technology will be available for CAMON 18 series and SPARK 8 series users in the next two weeks.

Memory Fusion Technology was designed to make use of unused read-only memory (ROM) and channel them for RAM operations. With Memory Fusion, for example, a typical 8GB + 128GB smartphone can be optimized with an enlarged onboard RAM of up to 13GB + 128GB. By allocating more storage to RAM, the Memory Fusion Technology enhances a device's multi-tasking capacity, allows for seamless switching between applications that are running concurrently in the background, and stabilizes the phone's systems for more sustainable performance and longer battery life.

"With Memory Fusion Technology, TECNO users can enjoy fullest capabilities for a better smartphone experience," said Danni Xu, Marketing Director, TECNO. 

Compared to a phone without Memory Fusion, TECNO phone equipped with the technology allows for an increased number of active applications running in the background, a more time-efficient warm reboot process, and a shorter load time for frequently and recently used applications. Specifically, on TECNO's 8GB + 128GB phones which allow for up to 5GB increase of RAM, devices saw an 81% (up to 20 apps) increase in actively running applications, a 122% increase in warm reboot speed, and a 61% improvement in the time it takes to load frequently used applications. 

One can conveniently locate and toggle the Memory Fusion setting on TECNO's user-friendly interface before selecting a preferred expansion capacity. Expansion of RAM storage capacity varies across different models. TECNO's Memory Fusion Technology allows expansion of up to 5GB .  

Memory Fusion Technology will be available to CAMON 18 series and SPARK 8 series from December 2021 following a software update notification. 

Celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou to release two new books

Celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou rings in the holiday season bearing gifts for everyone. The author-restaurateur is releasing not one but two follow-ups to his bestselling Simpol The Cookbook. 

First in the back-to-back release is Simpol Kitchen Secrets, a guidebook on cooking skills and techniques. Here, Chef Tatung breaks down the fundamentals of culinary arts for everyone’s easy reference. It is told through over 100 recipes, 200 kitchen tips, and 600 colored photos and artwork. 

The second is Baking Simpol, a cookbook with 100 recipes for desserts, pieces of bread, and pastries. Chef Tatung, who has earned praises for his innovative takes on dessert classics such as bibingka cheesecake, tsok-Nut cake, and pichi-pichi with torched queso de bola topping, lays down the art, crumb by crumb, to satisfy your sweet tooth any time, any day. 

“’Yung culinary knowledge natin it belongs to the people. Kasi hindi naman orihinal na ideya na nanggaling sa akin. Hindi naman siya kaalaman na ako ‘yung nakadiskubre,” says Chef Tatung. 

“Kung ako natutunan ko siya dahil may mga taong nagturo sa akin, may mga taong nag-share sa akin, bakit ko ipagkakait sa tao na matuto din?” 

So, for those who are looking to elevate their Christmas feast or just searching for the perfect Secret Santa gift, Chef Tatung has you covered just in time. 

Simpol Kitchen Secrets will be out by November 30. This shall be followed by Baking Simpol two weeks later. Both books will be available locally and abroad through Lazada, Shopee, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon SG, and eBay. 

The two titles shall be published under Vertikal Books, a boutique press specializing in the creative nonfiction genre, specifically culinary content. 

Simpol Kitchen Secrets and Baking Simpol shall be the fifth and sixth books penned by Chef Tatung. His previous works have won the prestigious World Gourmand Awards in Paris, France. Last October, two of his bestselling books, Rice to the Occasion: Kanin to Kakanin and Simpol: The Cookbook, were also featured in the Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the largest and oldest trade fairs for books and content in the world. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Former Citibank PH country manager confident with Citi’s choice of UnionBank

Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd. (InLife) Executive Chairman Nina D. Aguas, first female regional audit director in Citibank as well as the first woman country manager in Citibank Philippines, shares her excitement after Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Citigroup Inc. (Citi) to acquire Citi’s consumer banking business in the country. Together with the Aboitiz and SSS, Insular Life Assurance is a key shareholder in UnionBank.


Citi started in the Philippines in July 1902 when the International Banking Corporation, forerunner of Citibank, established a branch in Manila.  Today, Citi Philippines is the largest foreign bank in the country in terms of customers, assets, and revenues.

Citi Philippines is an acknowledged leader in consumer banking owing to its enviable track record for innovation and customer service.  It offers a full range of world-class banking products and services, including credit cards and Citigold Wealth Management.

“Citi Philippines was the first consumer banking business established by technology pioneer and visionary John Reed in Asia.  It is one of Citi’s crown jewels in Asia, so bequeathing this business to UnionBank says a lot about how much confidence and trust Citi’s management has for the new owner” said Aguas, one of Forbes Asia’s 25 most influential persons in 2020.

In a text message to her fellow former Citibankers, Aguas also assures her fellow Citi Alums that UnionBank will continue to build on the successes of Citi. The legacy, the culture of professionalism, innovation, and impact on the community live on. Quite a number of former Citibankers hold Board and Senior Executive positions in UnionBank.

Prior to being InLife’s executive chairman, Aguas was Citigroup Inc.’s Managing Director for Corporate Center Compliance in New York; Country Business Manager of Global Consumer Group in the Philippines; Head of Sales & Distribution of Global Consumer Group in the Philippines; and Regional Audit Director of Asia Pacific. Aguas is Citibank’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni for Leadership & Ingenuity. 

Brighter, steadier, smarter: How smartphone cameras will improve in 2022

Sensor shift stabilization, new RGBW sensors, personalized AI algorithms, and more – here’s why your selfies and holiday photos are going to level up next year

Smartphone cameras are no longer just the most convenient option – they are quickly becoming the best one, beating traditional digital cameras with computational power and innovation.

In 2021, smartphones with multiple lens systems became mainstream. Improved sensor size and resolution mean users can capture more details and render images accurately in complex lighting conditions. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms enhanced many facets of image processing. And they’re not done. A slew of changes is coming in 2022, as smartphone manufacturers push the envelope.

What are the trends that will drive this change? At a recent webinar, Global Mobile Camera Trends 2022, organized by Counterpoint Research, experts from TECNO, Samsung, and DXOMARK Image Labs, discussed some of the key trends we are likely to see in the coming year – and what we will soon be holding in our hands.

Dual OIS: Staying steady

Not getting the sharp images you wanted of your vacation views? Blurry and shaky photos are a common experience with most smartphone users and are especially pronounced in low-light conditions as the shutter stays open longer to capture more light.

Smartphone manufacturers counter this issue through Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) technology, where the lens "floats" inside the camera assembly. The OIS system stabilizes the image or video by "shifting" the lens to counter the shakes.

OIS technology is improving every year, with larger degrees of movement being taken on by the camera stabilizer. According to Jimmy Hsu, senior product manager, image technology, TECNO, pre-2019 the trend was for OIS to be about one degree of stabilization. According to Hsu, in 2021, standard stabilization has increased to three degrees thanks to pan-tilt OIS.

In 2022, the company aims to introduce the first Android phone with sensor-shift. “Compared to conventional Optical Imaging Stabilisation, TECNO’s sensor-shift technology can achieve a response frequency of 5,000 adjustments per second,” Hsu said at the webinar. By combining lens shifting seen in conventional OIS systems and the newer sensor shift technology, TECNO is setting its sights on stabilization up to five degrees.

High-resolution sensors with pixel binning: Balancing resolution and light sensitivity

Presenting trends in camera resolution, Tarun Pathak, director of research, smartphone, Counterpoint Research, said about 40% of all smartphones in Q2 of 2021 had 48-64 megapixel (MP) sensors, and 3% of all smartphones had 108 MP sensors. According to Pathak, smartphones with 200 MP sensors are likely to launch in 2022.

Sensors with a high pixel count tend to capture more details from the scene. However, the size of pixels on such sensors is usually smaller. “The smaller the pixel, the less light you can capture in each pixel, and the harder it is to get a good image quality in darker environments,” said Pan Xuebao, VP and head of R&D, Samsung Electronics.

However, sensor manufacturers such as Samsung are deploying an algorithm-driven technique called pixel binning that enables high-resolution sensors (with a small pixel size) to perform better in low-light conditions. “Just like our human eye will dilate when we are in a darker environment to let in more light, similarly, in low light conditions, our algorithm will automatically put the sensor in high sensitivity mode,” Xuebao said. In this mode, the smaller individual pixels ‘combine’ and act like bigger pixels. This mode is turned off in brighter conditions.

Continuous optical zoom: Closer to the action

Phones are getting sleeker, but these aesthetics can be a technological challenge. This trend is presenting more of a challenge for manufacturers as they try to incorporate bulky telephoto lenses. Such technologies, such as periscope lenses which use innovative positioning to allow for 5x or 10x optical zoom, started appearing in smartphones during 2021.

The next step is to offer continuous optical zoom, which will allow users to shift between different focal lengths smoothly. This requires precise movement of lenses within small spaces without affecting image quality.

At the webinar, Hsu predicted the market could see continuous optical zoom in the second half of 2022, allowing users to shift between 3x to 5x optical zoom. Driven by advances such as long-stroke motor development and Active Optical Alignment, we could even see 3x to 10x zoom in 2023, he said.

RGBW Sensors: Let there be (more) light

Cat photos not up to the mark? It could be down to the lighting. Indoor environments have less than ideal light conditions. Yet, that’s where people usually take most of their photographs.

“[A solution to] low light is the holy grail of mobile photography,” said Hervé Macudzinski, image science director and product owner of DXOMARK Image Labs, which tests camera, audio, display, and battery quality. “This is one [aspect] that can lead to disappointing quality. In low light, users capture portrait photos, pictures of family, pets, and so on. So there is a lot of challenge in this use case.”

While smartphone manufacturers use different techniques to enhance low-light performance, RGBW technology addresses the issue at the sensor level.

The camera sensor captures color information through a mechanism called the Colour Filter Array (CFA). Traditional camera sensors use CFAs arranged in the Bayer format, which comprises a pattern of Red (R), Green (G), and Blue (B) filters. RGBW sensors add White (W) filters to the mix.

According to Hsu, adding white pixels increases light sensitivity by 60%, which means the sensor should be able to absorb more light. Smartphone manufacturers are also developing Glass+Plastic lens technology - many smartphone lenses are constructed out of plastic, but introducing glass elements into the lens construction improves the transmission of light. “With the combination of both, the result is an overall 200% increase of light-intake,” Hsu said.

The low-light performance of smartphones looks set to improve as these two technologies appear on smartphones in 2022.



Localized algorithms: Using AI to personalize portraits

As cameras improve, we can see ourselves more clearly. New technologies allow our portraits to be more accurate, especially for people of color.

While hardware enhancements are essential, smartphone software is playing a more significant role in determining the final image or video quality of these portraits. “We need to have very good processing – that is, to understand what the user’s intention was and modify the image adequately,” Macudzinski said.

That’s why some smartphone manufacturers use big data and deep neural networks to drive personalized and localized image processing. For instance, TECNO’s TAIVOS signal processing technology recognizes and accurately reproduces dark skin elements. According to Hsu, the company uses a large dark skin database to “produce more than 6,120 Evaluation Scenarios spanning 115 countries”.

For portrait photography, the AI engine recognizes and classifies different elements such as faces and hair color to determine the subject's age, gender, and skin tone. The photo is then optimized for better clarity, color, and light, which helps with more accurate reproduction of darker skin tones – even in low-light environments.

Scene, light, and color enhancement: Behind every subject is a background

It’s not just the subject of a photo that matters – it's what’s behind them. Whether it’s the sun or a beautiful view, smartphone cameras are adapting to capture these details better.

With traditional photography, professional photographers use their experience and training to make adjustments that highlight not just the subject but also background scene elements. They also typically spend significant time in post-production that brings images to life.

“Smartphone cameras need to provide all these capabilities in the default mode,” Macudzinski said. “That means the final smartphone user does not have to think through everything. They just have to press the button.”

That’s where AI-driven image processing comes in. According to Counterpoint Research’s whitepaper, AI is becoming advanced enough to recognize dynamic scene elements such as trees or sky in the background. Once identified, the image-processing system optimizes their color, contrast, and exposure.

AI will also help interpret light information. For instance, if a user is shooting against the sun, the algorithm works to underexpose the sun and brighten the subject. Smartphone manufacturers are also working on software-based solutions to correct distortions caused by wide-angle lenses.

Time of flight and dynamic vision sensors: Getting a sense of depth

Photos with sharply rendered foreground and blurred background can make for a pleasing effect – especially while shooting portraits. However, to do this, the smartphone must recognize depth and subject edges.

With Time of Flight (ToF) and Dynamic Vision Sensors (DVS) improving, smartphones will get better at generating 3D models of the scene and detecting edges. This will allow for more precise measurements and offer users features such as. enhanced and gradual blurring of backgrounds.

“ToF and DVS could be the opportunities where mobile phone cameras start to outperform (DSLR) cameras,” Hsu said.

A brighter, more intelligent 2022

These trends point to technology growing more intricate and catering to diverse use cases – whether that’s through personalized portrait rendition, stable imaging, or allowing users to zoom in to the action.

However, the advancements will not be defined just by cutting-edge features on pricey smartphones. It’s a win across budget tiers - the developments result not just in technological advancement, but also trickle-down premium features to smartphones in the low and medium price bands. With the way smartphone cameras are leveling up, the best moments of your life will be remembered more clearly than ever.

Looking ahead with TECNO

Hosted by Counterpoint Research, the Global Mobile Camera Trends 2022 Innovation Talk discussed new trends in imaging technology. TECNO aims to provide an excellent photography and videography experience through constant innovation and a deep understanding of consumer needs.

WATCH THE WEBINAR 

TECNO to Deploy Sensor Shift with Latest Technical Innovations, Leading the New Trend for Android Phones

A premium smartphone brand focused on global emerging markets, TECNO, outlined an array of its latest technologies and achievements at a webinar entitled “Global Mobile Camera Trends 2022: Innovation Talk”. One eye-catching development was the use of Sensor Shift, which will improve stability in photos and video imaging. 

First Runner in Android- TECNO Built Innovation in Sensor Shift 

At a moment when short-video social media and live streaming are gaining more popularity with youths around the world, a stabler camera will enable users to produce studio-quality videos and therefore have more fun with social networking sharing.

In the face of users’ growing demand for imaging stability, TECNO plans to release Sensor Shift technology in its new products in 2022, making it the first mobile phone brand in the Android system to do so. 



TECNO Sensor Shift 

Sensor Shift stabilizes images using sensor movements to compensate for vibrations rather than using lens movements as in existing cameras. TECNO has broken through a technical barrier via an innovative circular plane design for FPC, realizing sensor movement on the roll axis, an advanced step forward from movement on the X- and Y-axis. During the simulation, it demonstrated 30% better augmentation in stress performance than the traditional vertical design. Furthermore, TECNO R&D team realized another 60% anti-shaking effect enhancement by optimizing the test environment and software.

Compared to conventional Optical Imaging Stabilisation, TECNO’s sensor shift technology can achieve a response frequency of 5,000 adjustments per second. In addition, further algorithm optimization will be used to improve the control accuracy of the technology to 350% of the current level, relieving consumers from having to worry too much about the occasional hand jitter resulting in a blurry image.

TECNO is committed to continuous innovation, developing professional cameras for photography and videography, and empowering consumers to express their lifestyles through the power of future lens.  

MetroMart brings holiday happiness with the ₱1 Million Christmas Prizes

The holiday spirit is now a million times more merry and bright with the MetroMart ₱1 Million Christmas Prizes. Over a million pesos worth of groceries, gadgets, and store credits can be won by customers through online grocery orders from supermarkets and specialty stores on MetroMart.

Customers must enter the promo code “MMRAFFLE” upon checkout to join the e-raffle. Every completed order with the minimum spend requirement from all specialty stores and supermarkets on the MetroMart app and website entitles a customer to get e-raffle entries. You can avail of 1 e-raffle entry for a minimum purchase of ₱2,500. Get 3 e-raffle entries for a minimum purchase of ₱4,000, and 5 e-raffle entries for a minimum purchase of ₱6,000.



The Minor Prizes include 50 MetroMart store credits worth ₱2,000 each, 1 Black and Decker Cordless Vacuum worth ₱9,835 from True Value, 20 Holiday Gift Packs worth ₱1,000 each from Fly Ace Corporation, 5 Holiday Grocery Packs worth ₱5,000 each from P&G, 3 winners of Samsung Galaxy S21+, 2 winners of Apple Macbook Air with M1 chip, and 5 winners of iPhone12 Pro

The Major Prizes include 5 MetroMart store credits worth ₱25,000 each, 3 MetroMart store credits worth ₱50,000 each, and 1 grand prize winner of ₱100,000 worth of MetroMart store credits. These are equivalent to 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year worth of groceries, respectively.


The MetroMart ₱1 Million Christmas Prizes runs from December 10, 2021 until January 15, 2022. There will be four weekly e-raffle draws of the minor prizes every Wednesday afternoon on December 22 and 29, January 5 and 12. The raffle for major prizes will be on January 17, 2022.

New to MetroMart? Get a ₱200 discount for a minimum order of ₱2,000. Use the promo code “MM1MPRIZES” on the MetroMart app or website upon checkout. This is applicable for new customers from December 13, 2021, until January 15, 2022, one-time use only.

MetroMart Philippines is the #1 on-demand online delivery service in the Philippines. Customers can get groceries, pet food, electronics, cosmetics, medicine, and so much more. Order online at https://www.metromart.com or download the app on iOs or Android.

For more updates on MetroMart, visit https://www.metromart.com/ and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MetroMartPH. Like and follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/MetroMartPH. Order groceries online through the website at https://www.metromart.com/welcome/shops or download the mobile app for iOs or Android at https://bit.ly/2SLCdJ2. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

UnionBank acquires Citigroup’s consumer banking business in the Philippines

UnionBank of the Philippines announced today that it has entered into a  Share and Business Transfer Agreement with various subsidiaries of Citigroup Inc. (Citi) to acquire Citi’s consumer banking business in the Philippines. 

The transaction includes Citi’s credit card, personal loans, wealth management, and retail deposit businesses. The acquisition also includes Citi’s real estate interests in relation to Citibank Square in  Eastwood, 3 full-service bank branches, 5 wealth centers, and 2 bank branch lites. 

Erramon Isidro M. Aboitiz, Chairman of UnionBank, said, “This acquisition further cements our position  as a leading bank in the Philippines, as well as fast-tracks our growth aspirations in the retail banking  segment.” 

Edwin R. Bautista, President and Chief Executive Officer of UnionBank, highlighted that “Citibank  Philippines has a great, profitable and well-run retail portfolio. It has the 3rd largest credit card franchise and is a pre-eminent wealth management provider in the Philippines. We look forward to this game-changing opportunity to leapfrog our credit card business and significantly expand our banking business  in the higher-end segment of the consumer market.” 

Mr. Bautista added, “There are clear synergistic opportunities in this engagement. We intend to learn from Citi’s expertise to enable UnionBank to effectively build on its success and take the business to the next level. As we embark on this journey, we are committed to retaining all of Citi’s key talents and upholding the superior customer experience that Citi has delivered to its customers over the years.” 

Approximately 1,750 Citi employees, including senior management, are expected to join UnionBank. Mr.  Aboitiz added, “We are looking forward to welcoming all employees to the UnionBank family. With the  strong cultural similarities between the organizations, we believe Citi’s employees will feel at home at  UnionBank.” 

UnionBank is the 7th largest publicly-listed bank in the Philippines and is widely recognized to be the leading digitally transformed and most innovative bank in the industry. 

Celebrate the Year 2022 with the Windows 11 Update on your Favorite Lenovo Devices!

As we welcome the Year 2022, rewarding yourself or your loved ones with a device that can help you accomplish your goals is much-needed. With Lenovo’s dedication to addressing different needs of customers through continuous product innovation, your favorite devices now come with Windows 11.

Windows 11 has been designed to increase productivity, creativity and to be used with ease. Windows has always been about helping consumers work how they want by offering the flexibility of multiple windows and the ability to snap apps side by side. In Windows 11, Snap Layouts, Groups and Desktops have been added to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what needs to be done.

For gamers, Windows 11 unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware by putting some of the latest gaming technology for you. Like: DirectX 12 Ultimate which enables breathtaking, immersive graphics at high frame rates; DirectStorage for faster load times and more detailed game worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, more vivid range of colors for a truly captivating visual experience.

Here’s a lowdown of the devices that can be updated to the latest Windows 11:

Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 - 82L0003DPH

The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 combines high craftsmanship with portability. Featuring up to an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800 U Series Mobile Processor with AMD Radeon Graphics, the laptop is available with optional NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics for supercharged creation.



Packed with up to 16GB LPDDR4x of memory, the Yoga Slim 7 Carbon 14 also brings up to 1TB PCIe Gen 3.0x4 of internal storage and a powerful 61WHrs battery that delivers the ease of Rapid Charge Express while on the go. The OLED panel optimized on a four-sided narrow bezel guarantees the user an immersive experience. It also mounts a stunning 14-inch 2880x1800 designed for ultra-vivid picture quality with Dolby Vision. A VESA Display HDR True Black 500 certification for enhanced video quality reproduction in a 16:10 display format with less scrolling and more content.

Ensured with military-grade durability testing, the laptop is certified-reliable and sturdy enough to withstand everyday physical shock and harsh environmental conditions. 

IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro - 82L500KKPH

“Premium” and “Better Value” do not often come in one sentence but that’s exactly what you get with Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro. Worth every penny, the laptop comes in a classy all-metal finish and weighs 1.9kg that easily lets you bring it to any cafe or business meeting without any second thought. 



Powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, you are guaranteed to get any job done. The IdeaPad Slim 5 Pro is also accompanied by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, creating high-resolution and immersive graphics. Packed with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and 1TB PCIe Gen 3.0x4 of internal storage, there is no need to worry about running out of space or memory.

IdeaCentre AIO 3i - 90NB00JEPH

The IdeaCentre AIO 3i is the one for you if you are looking for a sleek performer. Equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 and powered by the latest 11th-Generation Intel Core processors, the PC is designed to increase productivity and withstand multitasking on different programs.

With 8GB of RAM that is upgradeable up to 32GB of DDR4 and a 512GB SSD for storage, the IdeaCentre AIO 3i is also engineered with a power supply of 260W 85% Energy Star. The PC is also equipped with an upgrade slot for adding up to 2TB of 3.5” HDD storage. It also includes a 7-in-1 card reader, perfect for users with multiple media devices.

Legion 5i Pro - 82JD003VPH

Designed to balance style, adrenalin and engineered to deliver devastation in and out of the arena, the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro offers excellent gaming performance with the latest 11th Generation Intel Core H-series processors with 45W of dedicated processing power. Accompanied with the 130W NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, it dishes high-resolution gaming at optimal-frame-rates for greater visual fidelity in the latest games.

The Legion AI Engine, the Legion 5i Pro is optimally cooled via the Coldfront 3.0 thermal system with the Legion AI Engine. The laptop also features a 16-inch QHD gaming display with up to a 165Hz refresh rate, providing gamers with a 16:10 aspect ratio with best-in-class color accuracy and high dynamic range. It comes in a sleek Stingray White color to top it all off.

Legion 5i - 82JH00CSPH / 82JH00CTPH

For gamers looking to compete on equal footing with the pros, the Lenovo Legion 5i is the beast you’re looking for. Inside the clean, minimalistic chassis of the laptop, experience today’s top AAA games on the Legion 5i with the 11th Generation Intel Core processing that will allow gamers to dominate with 45W of dedicated power.



Optimized with the Legion AI Engine that powers the revolutionary Legion Coldfront 3.0 and Q control and dynamically shifts power between the CPU and GPU, experience a massive leap in performance in the Legion 5i with up to 130W NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060.

Delivering speed and color clarity for full fidelity gaming and accompanied by the new Nahimic 3D audio and the Legion TrueStrike Keyboard, experience any video game with pinpoint precision with up to 100% sRGB 15” QHD IPS display with 165 Hz refresh rate and <3 ms response time.

All devices will also include a Premium Care Warranty that allows buyers front-of-the-queue and straight-to-the-experts customer support service. Lenovo will provide peace of mind experience and ensure your satisfaction and success with faster solutions. Lenovo Premium Care’s on-site support comes especially handy during the current quarantine restrictions since you won’t have to line up in service centers.

Don’t miss out and grab these devices in all Lenovo Exclusive Stores, Legion Exclusive Stores and authorized resellers, and the Lenovo Yoga Flagship Store and Legion Flagship Store in Lazada. For more information, follow Lenovo Philippines’s official Facebook page or visit www.lenovo.com/ph. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

LG’S INDOOR GARDENING APPLIANCE PRESENTS MODERN CONCEPT FOR GREENER, HEALTHIER HOMELIFE

LG Electronics’ (LG) updated concept of green living will be unveiled at CES 2022 with its modern freestanding indoor gardening appliance, LG tiiun.1 Tiiun, which means “to sprout” in Korean, is an apt name for LG’s newest appliance that enables even the most novice of gardeners to cultivate vegetables, herbs, and even flowers in the comfort of their own homes, all year long.2 Stylish and remarkably simple to use, LG’s latest lifestyle innovation offers all the benefits of a full-featured garden without the worries of pests or unfavorable climate.

Designed as a completely self-contained unit, LG tiiun features two shelves that can each hold up to six all-in-one seed packages along with three different kinds of seed kits. With each seed package containing 10 holes for seed germination, users can grow a variety of greens simultaneously for home-grown goodness in only four to eight weeks, faster with fewer mess thanks to the magic of technology and LG’s advanced know-how.

A CES 2022 Innovation Award winner, LG tiiun was recognized for its innovative technology and system leverages LG’s technological expertise across multiple home appliance categories to deliver reliable results and an effortless, largely automated, plant cultivation process, employing various technologies from decades of expertise honed from developing advanced refrigerators, water purifiers, and ventilation systems.

Utilizing LG’s renowned Inverter Compressor, the Flexible Weather Control System precisely adjusts tiiun’s internal temperature to create the optimal conditions for organic growth. As well as automatically regulating temperature and light to mimic the natural cycle of the day, LG’s smart gardening system delivers water eight times every 24 hours while it's Auto Ebb & Watering System circulates the ideal amount of moisture to help transform the seeds into healthy greens and vibrant flowers.


The internal structure of LG tiiun is designed to increase photosynthesis efficiency, amplifying the effect of the internal LED light source to speed up the growing process. The transparent door lets users watch their plants grow while still providing an airtight seal to maintain a consistent internal temperature and keep pesky insects out. With LG’s mobile ThinQ™ app, users can monitor the entire germination process from afar, check or change settings and receive notifications when the water tank needs refilling.

A convenient solution for greener, healthier living at home, LG tiiun also provides value through its simple yet elegant design. Harmonizing beautifully with any style of interior décor, tiiun is showcased in two sophisticated and soothing colors: Nature Beige and Nature Green.

“LG tiiun is a practical and convenient solution for busy consumers who want to enjoy a greener, healthier lifestyle at home,” said Lyu Jae-cheol, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company. “A stylish addition to one’s home or apartment, our smart gardening system makes growing herbs, leafy greens, and flowers fun and simple, even for those of us with zero gardening experience.”

LG tiiun and LG tiiun mini will be on virtual display in LG’s digital exhibition booth during CES 2022 starting January 5. See LG tiiun and other innovative home appliances in LG Home.

Donate to Typhoon Odette Victims via Shopee App and Shopee Will Match It Up to ₱1M

To help the thousands of devastated Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao grappling with the aftermath of super typhoon Odette, Shopee launches its Shopee Bayanihan: Typhoon Odette Support initiative wherein users can buy donation vouchers through the app, with the commitment to match up to ₱1,000,000 worth of total donations made to Shopee’s partner charities for this initiative. 

From December 23, 2021, to January 4, 2022, Shopee users can purchase the donation e-vouchers that will be used for water kits, health, and sanitation stations, and other essentials such as food and clothes from partners charities UNICEF, World Vision, and GMA Kapuso Foundation. Users can view and purchase these Typhoon Odette Support vouchers through https://shopee.ph/m/odette-support via Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, ShopeePay.

1. Head to the microsite https://shopee.ph/m/odette-support.

2. Choose the e-voucher of your preferred charity.

3. Click “Buy Now” to purchase the donation vouchers using ShopeePay.

Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “We are saddened to see the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette to our kababayans in Visayas and Mindanao. As we are committed to using our platform to serve and give back to communities, we are working to provide immediate assistance to aid the speedy recovery of those affected by this natural disaster. We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected and we will help as much as we can.”

Shopee remains steadfast in its commitment to be a force for good especially in times when Filipinos need help the most. Typhoon Odette is the 15th and strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this 2021 and has wreaked havoc in major areas in Visayas and Mindanao including Surigao, Cebu, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Bohol, and the CARAGA region. Through this initiative, Shopee hopes to be able to give help to the affected communities who are reeling from the aftermath as part of its Shopee Bayanihan program.

To know more about Shopee Bayanihan: Typhoon Odette Support, visit https://shopee.ph/m/odette-support.  

Tzu Chi Foundation, industry leaders collaborate for strategic response to Odette victims

A week shy from Christmas, the devastation wrought by super typhoon Odette has leveled large parts of the central and southern Philippines, placing six regions under a state of calamity: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga. However, the lack of communications within the affected regions and the unpassable roads between the various towns have made the urgent distribution of assistance an enormous challenge. This prompted a call from and for business and NGO leaders to collaborate to get the communities back on their feet, as well as to form strategic responses for future calamities.

Bro. Henry Yunez, Country CEO of the humanitarian organization Buddhist Compassion Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines, welcomed the “chance to connect to these groups.” Referring to the faith on which their group was founded, he added that they welcome volunteers and resources from all sectors because “there is no religion involved in what we are doing.”   

Since the clearing of the weather which has allowed volunteers and rescue missions to enter the affected regions, Tzu Chi has visited nine municipalities in Bohol and 15 in Southern Leyte.  They have sent gallons of water and medicines to these provinces while looking for more generators that can help in the pumping of water.  There are plans to distribute rice to around 20,000 families soon after December 26.

Technology and transparency

When the Philippines was struck by 2013’s Yolanda, one the strongest typhoons in history, Tzu Chi’s response to the relief operations was considered to be one of the most impactful by civil society and government.

Beyond the collection and transportation of relief goods for the Odette victims, help is also needed for “heavy equipment and the construction side of things,” said Amor Maclang, Digital Pilipinas Convenor. A more “participative and transparent” collaboration of partners can tap fast-rising technology like fintech, e-commerce, and logistics to “move money faster” to the recipients who need them the most.  Digital Pilipinas, a movement which addresses business and social challenges through technological adoption, has helped the Tzu Chi Foundation previously “even before Odette, to tech up their organization,” said Maclang. “Most importantly, we can leverage technology to show transparency of where the money is going.”

Tzu Chi Foundation Philippine and Digital Pilipinas’ recent meeting, “Typhoon Odette Relief Briefing and Response Planning,” was attended by industry leaders from the real estate, logistics, construction, financial services, payments, and retail spaces. It encouraged ‘Bayanihan’ and a whole-of-nation, whole-of-society approach towards addressing the situation in the Odette-struck areas.

Cherrie Rose Ang, Admin Senior Officer of Tzu Chi’s Admin and Volunteer Affairs Department, acknowledged that the “meeting is not just for awareness, but for support, cooperation, and unity.” Days after Odette has made nine landfalls across Visayas and Mindanao, Filipinos find themselves staying in temporary shelters or evacuation centers. Ang described the situation their volunteers reported:  “Children are going out to the streets to beg for help. People are desperate to salvage whatever items they can get from their ruined houses.”

Various businesses represented in the webinar are already helping out in the relief efforts. Gladys Pascual, Etiqa Head of Strategy and Transformation, said that their program EtiqaCares is supporting the rehabilitation programs.  Kim Lato, Founder of Kimstore, is opening their platform to collaborate with the Tzu Chi Foundation to launch a fundraiser. Meanwhile, Coins.PH CEO Nauman Mustafa shared that “instead of buying Christmas gifts for our partners, we will be donating instead.”

Even those struck by Typhoon Odette themselves are organizing relief operations. Roy Miclat, President of 1 Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines, said that his team is serving “in the remote areas, even though hundreds of our members have been affected by Odette.” 

Long-term solutions

Meanwhile, in response to concerns about restoring communications and internet connectivity, Yoly Crisanto, Globe SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, said that the telecom giant is “doing what we can to make sure all the provinces struck by Odette become online and connected again.” She also pointed out that the increasing threats against climate change will only spur more and stronger typhoons especially for vulnerable countries like the Philippines.  She said, “The challenge of our time is what are we going to do to become better the next time we are faced with the same situation.”

Miclat agreed that forward-looking activities “should not focus on one-time activities, like donation drives.”

One solution is the collaboration between Coins.ph’s Mustafa and Donna May Lina, Director and Executive Board of the OneLGC Lina Group of Companies. Both companies will be tokenizing the efforts for tree planting to better encourage Filipinos to take part in the rehabilitation of the environment. With the Lina organization’s expertise in disaster preparedness, they are looking to onboard more people who can become better equipped when the next disaster strikes. 

Marco Santos, representing the Mapua University and the Yuchengco group, said that the country can prepare the future architects, engineers, and other professionals with the knowledge to create resilient structures against calamities.  He described it as “producing people who are ready for the job. We produce good engineers. Our first patent is called Project Usher and it enables us to monitor buildings during an earthquake.”

Technology will also be vital not only for the operations in response to Typhoon Odette but for the future. “We can align all our groups to make technology and our systems relevant,” Georgia Martelino, Philanthropist Lead of Microsoft Philippines, said. “Let us pool our resources and label it as a Tzu Chi platform so people can access it for free. We can start with digital literacy.”

Leveraging on its worldwide network of volunteers and employees, Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines is aiding in the rehabilitation, recovery, economic, and educational resumption of the areas affected by Typhoon Odette. They involve the communities themselves in various operations, which is also a way to provide them temporary sources of income. 

“With love in our hearts, there is nothing we cannot overcome. We can come together and build again,” Anton Lim, OIC of  Tzu Chi Zamboanga Liaison Office, said. 

Maclang affirmed that the collaboration will continue because it not just “about Odette but about humanity.”  There are plans for Tzu Chi, Digital Pilipinas, and the other companies to hold more meetings with more action plans as the situation develops.

The Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines is open for donations which can be sent through the following:  Account name: Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines; BDO Account number: 011978001800; Metrobank Account number: 163-3-16307190-9. Send soft copy of deposit slips at donations@tzuchi.org.ph or through Viber/Line/WeChat: +639672110940.   

Monday, December 20, 2021

Kickstart your child’s journey in science with these five fun and fuss-free activities with 3M

Science is all around us – in our homes, in nature, and in our bodies. 

Likewise, there are many reasons to build and hone your child’s ‘science literacy’. More than just a subject in school, science has many positive impacts on a child’s development. A content analysis published in 2020 concluded that STEM learning can better equip students with the skills needed to cope with the challenges that industry 4.0 brings while encouraging more innovation. 

Findings from 3M’s 2021 global science perception survey, the 3M State of Science Index found that COVID-19 has also put STEM in focus. Nearly all of Asia-Pacific respondents, or 91%, agree that the world needs more people pursuing STEM-related careers. 

Luckily, 73% agree that young people are more engaged in science and science-related issues than ever before. In fact, two-thirds of the Asia-Pacific respondents are more inspired to pursue a STEM career (66% vs. 60% globally). In addition, a 2020 YouthInsight report that surveyed 1,500 Filipino students aged between 12 and 25 years across all regions, found that 80% of the respondents recognize the positive impact of Science and Technology on the world.

It all starts with a spark. Encouraging your child to take an interest in science doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five easy and fun ways you can do so! 



Explore your child’s questions and seek answers together. There is no better time for learning than when the questions come. And when they do, take the time to explain concepts. If you are unsure of the answers, turn this into another learning opportunity. Search for answers together with your child. Head to the library or read articles online. 

In this age of the internet, where information is freely available, it is also important to be discerning. Always refer to credible sources and make use of online fact-checkers such as Google’s Fact Check Tools and FactCheck.org to ensure that you’re not reading fake news. 

In turn, parents can also ask questions to encourage their children’s learning and exploration. Instead of shying away when your child asks questions, take this opportunity to explore science together and teach them the important lessons of research and discovery! 

Play science games. Engaging in play has more benefits than you might think. A report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that play fosters the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills that support the important functions and the development of a child’s brain.

Teach your child how friction works by playing a game of tug-of-war, or let them build their own light-up board game using paper circuits. If you prefer online science games, Code - a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science - introduces computer science to your child in a fun and digestible way, such as having lessons centered around Angry Birds and Minecraft. 

DIY toys. While technology is a great tool for learning science, it is also important to take a break from the screen. Encourage your children to make their own toys using what they have around them. 

According to a Gallup poll of over 1,036 teachers, 2,673 parents, and 853 students, promoting creativity in education is key. Encouraging creativity during learning enhances students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Besides being able to retain more content, students could also make better connections between different subjects, had a deeper understanding of subjects, and overall better test performances. 

Visit science museums and exhibitions virtually. Staying home does not mean you have to be bored at home. Many museums and science organizations are offering alternative exhibits, tours, or workshops online that you and your child can join from the safety and comfort of home. 

Check out virtual exhibits organized by The Mind Museum, a science-themed museum. Explore rainforests, discover the solar system, and even meet dinosaurs – all through the internet!

Engage in hands-on activities. Take advantage of your children’s never-ending curiosity and encourage them to get their hands dirty. 

Need more resources? Try out various simple, at-home experiments on 3M’s Science At Home website. Discover how you can use common household items to reinforce core scientific principles that are both fun and educational – Try building a paper rocket, or learn how you can create amazing fireworks effects!

Encouraging your child to learn and love science can be simple, fun, and an extremely rewarding journey. With these five handy tips, we hope that you will be inspired to help hone that little scientist within them. 

Enjoy Globe At Home’s Merriest Fiber Sale for More Wins For All this Christmas

Globe At Home brings the gift of an unlimited and faster yet more affordable fiber connection to Filipino homes this Christmas with its merriest fiber sale!


For more wins for all, Globe At Home is giving P300 off for 12 months if you sign up for its UNLI FIBER Up Plan 1899/up starting today, allowing customers to enjoy 50 Mbps speed for only P1599 (formerly P1899) and 70 Mbps speed for only P1799 (previously P2099). 

With these more budget-friendly, yet speedy connections with no cap, Globe At Home aims to fuel more wins for every household especially during the holiday season: have the most productive time for working or studying online; earn the most sales for your online business; have the merriest reunion with loved ones over video calls; make it the most entertaining season with exciting content and seamless streaming experiences. 

Each plan comes with lifestyle and entertainment add-ons, as well as improved customer service to maximize your connection and make the most of your holidays. 

Customers of all Globe At Home UNLI FIBER Up plans can enjoy free landline and 1-year access to 24/7 telehealth consultation via KonsultaMD to keep their health in check at all times. Meanwhile, subscribers of Plan 1599 and up can indulge in new and exclusive content with their 3-month access to HBO Go, Viu Premium, Amazon Prime Video, WeTV, and Upstream. Reliable customer service and support are also guaranteed via the Globe At Home app, plus 48-hour installation for approved applications via the online Globe Shop.

Globe At Home is enabling #WinsForAll with its improved home connectivity bundled with a range of new health and lifestyle essentials, plus rich content and entertainment. To know more about the new Globe At Home UNLI FIBER Up offers, log on to https://www.globe.com.ph/broadband.html now!

 

tvN now exclusively on Smart’s GigaPlay

Binge-watch on all your favorite K-dramas in one super streaming app as leading mobile services provider, Smart Communications, Inc. partners with Korea’s No. 1 network and premier K-channel tvN to stream non-stop content on the GigaPlay App beginning December 15.

Smart subscribers can enjoy their favorite tvN K-dramas and Korean variety shows in the streaming platform that gives subscribers exclusive access to curated content including live concerts, sports events, films, and more.



“We ourselves are fans of K-dramas like most of our Smart customers. With tvN on Smart’s GigaPlay App, we can all binge-watch on our favorite K-dramas and TV shows. Watch and rewatch series such as ‘Crash Landing On You’ and take advantage of fresh Korean content 24 hours after Korean TV broadcast because we now have tvN on GigaPlay,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

“More than a platform, GigaPlay provides a variety of content for our subscribers. From live sports to local and foreign entertainment, we are making it simple and easy for our customers to make the most out of their passions—all they really need to do is just tap the app on their smartphones,” added Basas.

Apart from the latest Korean dramas, tvN also offers lifestyle and variety shows featuring some of our favorite Korean celebrities. Enjoy access to the tvN Premium Channel 24/7 only on the GigaPlay App.

The GigaPlay App also houses local pay-per-view (PPV) content. Catch "Love Is Color Blind," the romcom starring the "new gen phenomenal" love team of Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano. Expect more from GigaPlay's PPV offers by following Smart's official social media accounts.

Don't miss all the exclusive live and on-demand shows and content on GigaPlay! Download the app now on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or click on this link: smrt.ph/gigaplay. 

Hong Kong Welcomes 2022 with First-Ever Arts Spectacular at Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour promises to offer an electrifying experience this New Year’s Eve, with a three-part countdown spectacularly presented by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) that brings Hong Kong’s thriving art scene right to the global center stage. 

The newly opened M+ will amplify the brilliant lights around Victoria Harbour as Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District lends its 65.8-meter-tall LED facade for a grand visual countdown display. Starting from the evening on New Year’s Eve, the facade will showcase a sweeping, high-contrast visual tale created by talented local digital artists as an homage to the city’s various landmarks, neighborhoods, and vibrant arts and culture scene. 



The M+ Facade will be transformed into a countdown clock that travels across the rich cityscape of Hong Kong during the final minute of 2021, building perceptible excitement about the year ahead. As the clock strikes midnight, the numerals “2022” and New Year greetings will be splashed across the screen to deliver blessings to the world. 

The dazzling light art extravaganza, featuring the facades of numerous prominent skyscrapers cheering brightly for the New Year along the entire Victoria Harbour, will be further enhanced by an outdoor concert in the West Kowloon Cultural District, led by the city’s flagship orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil). Winner of the prestigious Gramophone Orchestra of the Year award in 2019, the HK Phil will perform energetic and jubilant music for a global audience to build anticipation to a triumphant climax as Hong Kong celebrates the New Year.

For more information about the Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations, please visit https://www.discoverhongkong.com/countdown.

The Jollibee Chick’nwich’s new ad: A global innovation beyond expectation

Jollibee’s new Chick’nwich has definitely been making waves in the Philippines, especially with chicken sandwich fans who absolutely love the brand’s new level take on what is now a fast-food staple.


Along with the Chick’nwich itself is Jollibee’s fresh and equally new level ad that puts the product in a whole new light, a different way from the brand’s other products—and rightfully so, as the Chick’nwich is made to stand out from other chicken sandwiches in the Philippines and around the world.

With the new Chick’nwich ad, Jollibee takes its marketing to the next level by recruiting some of the world’s top creative minds in advertising. The ad is conceptualized by ad agency BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) Singapore and shot in Prague by world-renowned Paris-based director and mixed-media artist Louis Nieto, who in turn enlisted the help of London-based director of photography Tim Green and food stylist Elaine Ngan.

Their new level work portrays the Chick’nwich as something like a sleek and dazzling high-tech gadget being unveiled for the first time. With these global luminaries coming together for an extraordinary Jollibee ad, the end result is something that’s definitely on par with the creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship of international ads.

Watch the awesome new Chick’nwich ad here. 

Throw a Hybrid Holiday Party with HP

For this year's celebration, many people are excited to gather in person again as the country stays on Alert Level 2 which means there are lesser restrictions and more fun activities to do. However, the Department of Health (DOH) urges employers to still hold Christmas parties virtually for the second time during the pandemic. This means creative ideas for gathering from a distance will still be key to helping friends, family, and colleagues celebrate together—finding ways to tie in virtual events and hosting in-person activities. This is where a happy medium introduces itself: the hybrid party, in which some people gather in person and others connect virtually to celebrate together. 

While people still can’t celebrate Christmas like they used to pre-pandemic, a Twitter report showed that the holiday season remains to be a “joyous occasion” for Filipinos based on their vibrant conversations on the platform. It's just a matter of recreating traditions in more accessible, safe, and secure ways.

Hybrid events may look and feel different, but they can still be fun, festive, and memorable with a little thoughtful planning. 

“At HP, we’ve really harnessed technology and figured out how to continue connecting while miles apart and still keep that fun interactive experience like we're just chatting and sitting in one table,” says Christian Reyes, Philippines Managing Director of HP Inc. 

Whether you’re planning a simple Christmas dinner with friends, family Noche Buena, or an office holiday party, here are fun, creative ways to bring everyone together this year, wherever they are.

Share the ambiance

Engage your virtual guests’ senses to create an experience that feels delightfully different from their day-to-day Zoom meetings and mimics what’s happening in the room. For example, if your in-person decor includes Christmas lanterns and fake poinsettia, send virtual guests smaller-scale versions for their home office and have them download Pinoy-themed and other festive Zoom backgrounds. Browse through various designs and print holiday craft activities and decorations for in-person guests on a high-quality home printer like the new HP Smart Tank 700 series available at Lazada and Shopee. 

Send links to the same activities to remote guests so everyone can get creative together. Prepare home-style Bibingka, one of the Christmas food staples, as a gift for all attendees. If you want to make it a little more exciting, send virtual guests the ingredients so they can also make their own special versions.

Pre-record holiday-themed videos to watch together

Pre-recording content can help create communal experiences and level the playing field between in-person and online guests. A company might record an uplifting holiday message from the CEO, or prepare special performances from members of the team who are not afraid to showcase their amazing talents. For family get-togethers, ask some to film their greetings or special messages to the one they pick as Secret Santa.

Host a hybrid game or karaoke night

With the onset of virtual gatherings, many platforms have popped up to offer a variety of fun activities and games to choose from. Mentimeter and Kahoot are two of the most used for questions, polls, quizzes, and the like where responses from participants are showcased in real-time. You can create your own trivia quiz or choose from their templates. Zoom even have built-in apps that also deliver the same interactive experience. If the group feels more like singing Christmas carols, you can also host a hybrid karaoke party over Zoom. You can even mail virtual guests their own karaoke mic.

Organize a multi-location gift exchange

Draw names or use the free Secret Santa generator Elfster to match up gift-givers and recipients. Ask everyone to mail their gifts well in advance — no peeking! — and then have everyone open their presents during your live event. Play a Spotify holiday playlist with suggestions from all of your guests during gift opening.

Book a hybrid or virtual experience everyone can join

Or, instead of physical gifts, give experiences people can do together. Set up a holiday dessert tutorial or partner with a local business to arrange charcuterie workshops. Guests can post pictures of their creations on social media, and the one with the most likes wins a prize. Other experiences to explore include a virtual tour of your Christmas decorations at home or in the office and inviting a live band to serenade the guests.

Capture everything in fun video playback 

Apart from taking virtual group photos and being creative in adding image filters or actual photo booth-like props, what makes an experience extra memorable is if you can capture the whole session and be able to replay it after or in the next year's celebration as a look-back. You can task the most skilled in editing among the team or family to add some other video and sound effects that would make the recording more fun to watch and share on social media. 

Whether you’re imagining something immersive or trying simple touches like festive Zoom backgrounds and a shared holiday playlist, we can all agree that the most important consideration for any celebration this year is staying connected while being mindful of each other's well-being and safety. It's being able to spread nothing else but love and care no matter what. This, after all, is the spirit of Christmas. 

For more information about HP, visit HP.com.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Dare new beginnings with the Nissan Almera

For most of us, choosing the right automobile may be one of the most exciting things that could ever happen. Whether it’s starting fresh and moving to a different city, or a promotion at work that warranted a new ride, nothing says “Game on!” quite like driving the newly launched Nissan Almera.

This exciting sedan is more than just a means to get from one place to another. With bolder design elements, it’s a car that matches the go-getter attitude of the person behind the wheel. Stylish and smart, driving an Almera is a statement that you are ready to take on the next chapter of your life. New car, a new beginning.

Just like anyone who goes through their first jobs, the all-new Almera comes with a lot of firsts. For starters, it comes with Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) features—a first in the passenger car segment. 

It’s a suite of monitoring and intervention technology, which gives car owners an extra layer of driving confidence and safety, so they can focus on enjoying the ride. These features are helpful, especially for yuppies who have just learned to drive. On the road, every little thing that helps drivers get safely from one point to another is a big plus. 

The NIM features include the Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which immediately warns drivers with an indicator and an audible alert when it detects any sudden movement from another vehicle, helping reduce or avoid any untoward risk of crashing into or bumping the car in front of them.

Another useful NIM feature is the Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking, which alerts drivers and applies light, automatic braking (if necessary) to avoid any unfortunate collision with vehicles or pedestrians. 

Likewise, the Blind Spot Warning works similarly and in tandem with the aforementioned features, in which it assists drivers to avoid a collision, this time by detecting vehicles in the blind spot area when changing lanes.


Some of us find parking a vehicle or getting out of a parking spot to be a challenge. This makes the Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the Intelligent Around View Monitor all the more helpful. The former is an NIM feature which makes use of the car’s radar sensors to detect any approaching vehicle from behind. The latter, on the other hand, displays various camera views (including a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle), which allows drivers to quickly understand the vehicle and parking space orientation. Both features aid drivers to get into and out of any challenging parking situation safely and with ease.

What’s great about the NIM features is that they work to prevent any untoward incidents in the background, with no added distractions to drivers, so they can have the peace of mind they need while on the road.

The all-new Almera delivers greater power and better fuel efficiency, too, thanks to the segment-first 1.0L turbo engine. This means drivers can enjoy the best of both worlds with exciting, turbocharged acceleration and performance with an outstanding fuel efficiency of 23.3 kilometers per liter. With the Almera, a better driving experience doesn’t mean a compromise on practicality.

The all-new Almera also has a sleek and comfy design ideal for first-time car owners, start-up families, and even those looking for a sensible second vehicle. 

It has an exciting look that features lower, wider, and longer exterior dimensions that give it a sporty and dynamic feel. When it comes to a car’s spaciousness, every inch matters. After all, this could very well spell the difference between being able to fit that extra luggage on the way to a leisurely trip and leaving it behind.

Obviously, it’s important to look at what’s under the hood of a car, but the exterior look of the car matters a lot, too. For Nissan Almera, every detail has that powerful and stylish look, making it versatile enough to bring to any kind of trip.

The all-new Almera’s dashboard is as stylish as the rest of the car’s interiors, with the 8-inch Advanced Touchscreen Display with Apple CarPlay at the center, allowing drivers and passengers to access and connect to the Almera’s infotainment system with ease. With just a couple of taps on the screen, anyone is able to blast out that road trip playlist from their phones or check out the route to their next destination on their preferred navigation app. 

To top it all off, the Nissan Almera starts at just P728,000 and comes with a segment-first vehicle warranty of five years or 150,000 kilometers, or whichever comes first, for the VE and VL variants.

It also comes in six awesome colors that allow everyone to express their personality: from the loud Cayenne Red and Premium Corona Orange, the sophisticated Gun Metallic and Brilliant Silver, to the more subdued yet eye-catching Galaxy Black and Pearl White.

All of this is to say that the Almera is a cut above the rest in the passenger car segment—without even trying. So if you’re still on the fence about which car to get for your first ride, look no further than the all-new Almera. With its impressive design, thrilling performance, and smart features, the Nissan Almera is exactly what you need—a car that could keep up with your lifestyle as you explore the world and dare new beginnings.

The all-new Nissan Almera is now available in all Nissan dealerships nationwide. Check your nearest dealership’s health and safety guidelines first before scheduling a test drive. Click here to know more on how the Nissan Almera empowers people to dare new beginnings: And for more information on the Nissan Almera, visit https://www.nissan.ph/vehicles/new/almera

GCheck Your Shopping List Twice with Santa’s Merry GCash Shopping Guide

Ho, ho, ho! It’s already the Christmas season, which means people are putting on their Santa hats and buying gifts for their loved ones on their nice list. Things may have changed but the holiday spirit remains the same, especially for the modern-day Santa who has found a reliable partner in spreading the holiday cheer. G Pa Rin ang Pasko dahil GCash ang kasama, which means you can do your holiday shopping conveniently and securely without having to go out in the cold and silent night. This year, experience a worry-free Christmas while enjoying your bibingka and puto bumbong safely at home.

But before you get into your holiday hauls, you need to be mindful of those on the naughty list and the tricks they have up their sleeves. You better watch out for these few GChecklist reminders from Santa: 

Do search about the seller; don’t skip the getting-to-know stage. Research about who you’re transacting with. You can check if they have accounts on other platforms or if customers have posted about them on pages or groups. 

Do check seller reviews; don’t rush into any too-good-to-be-true deals. This Christmas, Santa is reminding you to support small businesses, especially those from your friends and relatives. If you’re buying from a small business you don’t know, make sure you check the reviews. Read the comments section on their official Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as product ratings and feedback on Lazada and Shopee. Good reviews mean they are a trusted seller and that you’re going to get what you pay for. 

Do check when the account was made; don’t underestimate what their history can tell. A potential red flag when buying online is newly-made accounts with barely any activity. The seller could be a legitimate one who has just started, but it’s also possible that it’s a fake that keeps making new accounts to avoid detection. 

Do make the most of your Christmas; don’t worry about the fun away. There are many ways to recreate the joy of Christmas wherever you are. With the Merry GCash activities, you can support local and small businesses while enjoying discounts at the Christmas GLife Tiangge, send your aguinaldo with heartfelt messages via the app’s Send Pamasko with Clip, and even have the option to donate to your chosen charity.

Rest easy and if you have any concerns, go straight to the Help Center accessible within the app. Always remember to #GCheckMuna and go over these short and easy tips when shopping online. That way, you can have a merrier and safer Christmas!

Enjoy a magical day-out with the kids at the City of Firsts

Christmas is the perfect time to bond with your kids and treat them to a fun holiday experience! And when it comes to holiday activities that will make the Yuletide experience of kiddos merrier, there’s nowhere else to go than Araneta City!

Here are some of the colorful and exciting offers that you and your kids can look forward to at Araneta City:

Amaze and dazzle them with a Grand Fireworks Display

Filipino holiday seasons wouldn’t be complete without a dazzling display of fireworks. Amaze your kids with an amazing array of colors and lights that will illuminate the sky over the City of Firsts. This weekly holiday event takes place on December 17-19, 24-26, 30, and January 1 at 7 PM. It’s best viewed at Times Square Park, so make sure to be there with the kids when the spectacle happens.

Have a jolly good time with Kiddie Fun Rides

Delight the kiddos and, yes even the young-at-heart, to a day filled with fun and excitement at the City of Firsts! Araneta City has some Kiddie Fun Rides especially just for them. From 1 PM to 11 PM daily, they can have a good time riding the Carousel and Space Ship located at Times Square Park. 

Enjoy more playtime at the mall

The City of Firsts has prepared a special and interactive spot to spend your break from mall shopping! With a play area located at the Ali Mall Activity Area, kids can have a blast playing some life-sized games like Four-in-a-Row, Chess, and Christmas-themed Slides and Ladders! It’s the perfect challenge that will exercise both brain and brawn, all while having fun!

Take them to meet Santa



Santa is taking some time off the frigid cold of his home in the North Pole to bring kids and kids-at-heart some holiday cheer. Meet Santa every Saturday and Sunday of the month (December 18, 19, and 25), 3 PM at Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza. It’s the perfect opportunity for the kids to share with Santa their Christmas wish! 

Join in on the fun of the Christmas Parade

You can also catch Santa Claus, his friends, and other colorful mascots while they prance around and share a musical holiday spirit with the entirety of the City of Firsts. Follow the Christmas Parade on December 19 and 25 at Gateway Mall and Farmers Plaza and December 26 at Ali Mall.

Get an early start on the holiday feasts

After doing all these fun activities, the kiddos would’ve surely worked up an appetite. Good thing the City of Firsts offers some cool alfresco options when it comes to dining. You can choose from Manhattan Row Al Fresco (open daily from 1 PM to 11 PM), Times Square Food Park with the grand view of Araneta City’s Giant Christmas tree (open daily from 1 PM to 11 PM), or Gateway Mall’s The Oasis (Ground Floor) or Topiary Park (Level 5).

No need to worry because strict health and safety protocols are in place throughout Araneta City. In fact, Gateway Mall, Farmers Plaza, and Ali Mall have all been granted a Safety Seal because of their exemplary implementation of measures to promote the health and well-being of everyone. 

Enjoy a safe and magical day out with the kids this season only at the City of Firsts!