Saturday, February 27, 2021

Brandon Vera Shares Experience on ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is among a handful of martial arts superstars to guest on upcoming reality television show, “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”

The 43-year-old Filipino-American mixed martial arts veteran joined legendary fighters Georges St-Pierre, Renzo Gracie, and former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren, as well as high-profile CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies.



Vera, who is currently in Florida training alongside fellow athletes Aung La N Sang and Martin Nguyen at Sanford MMA, recalled his experience on ONE Championship’s version of the iconic TV franchise.

“It was very educational and refreshing not to have any pressure on me in front of the camera. I got to learn a lot from the candidates. I look forward to seeing ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition,’” said Vera.

“It was an honor, an absolute privilege to be standing next to greatness both in the martial arts and business worlds.”

The show, based on the popular non-scripted television franchise, is a complete departure from the classic American version, and offers viewers an entirely new experience.

“The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” invites 16 candidates hand-picked from around the world to participate in a series of business and physical challenges, as they compete for a US $250,000 job offer to work directly for ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong as his protege.

Vera, who was front and center to witness the candidates scrap and battle to reach the finale and ultimately win the competition, says viewers will be in awe of just how tough this version of “The Apprentice” truly was.

“I think the physical challenges for the candidates were something very unexpected. They were definitely not prepared even though they thought they were. It was very cool seeing some of them push beyond their limits, while some just fell apart,” said Vera.

Apart from being one of the most dominant world champions in ONE Championship, Vera is also an entrepreneur himself, owning several businesses including the Asian branch of renowned gym Alliance MMA. He, in particular, learned a lot from his time on “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”

Vera described his experience working with guest CEOs such as Zoom’s Eric Yuan, Grab’s Anthony Tan, and Catcha Group’s Patrick Grove, among others.

“It was a combination of being nervous, because I didn’t want to miss anything, and being nervous to discover some of my thought processes to be incorrect. It was definitely a learning curve all the time, and I’m very blessed to have this opportunity over and over with ONE Championship,” said Vera.

“The Apprentice” is one of the biggest non-scripted reality television programs in history, judging the business skills of candidates who are competing for a job offer under a high-profile CEO. It has aired in more than 120 countries.

The first season of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” consists of 13 episodes. It’s scheduled to premiere across Asia on Thursday, 18 March, on AXN, the show’s official Asian broadcast partner, followed by a global launch in June across broadcast and streaming platforms.

Having been witness to the candidates’ struggles, Vera learned exactly what it takes to be a contestant on the show, and has some advice for those wanting to join the show if it’s ordered for future seasons.

“[You need to be] someone who won’t break. Someone who knows how to take lead and set the example by doing. Someone who lives up to all of the values that ONE Championship stands for. That is what it will take to win ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition,’” said Vera.

Vera is slated to make his return to the ONE Circle later this year to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Title, with a potential opponent being UFC veteran Arjan “Singh” Bhullar, although details of the bout have yet to be finalized or announced. 

Huggies And Anne Curtis Donate Over 1,000 Gift Packs

Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies® brand, together with mom-and-daughter tandem Anne Curtis and baby Dahlia, have already made 2021 even more meaningful for Filipino families as they donated a total of 1,166 Secret sANNEta gift packs to moms and babies in need. 

This remarkable gesture far exceeded the 1,000-donation goal set last December 2020 during the Huggies’ Secret sANNEta Big Reveal; a Facebook Live event where Anne and baby Dahlia were formally welcomed to the Huggies family. It was also during this event that they introduced the special Buy 1, Get 1, Give 1 promo wherein every purchase of one (1) case of Huggies Dry Pants came bundled with one (1) Secret sANNEta gift pack that contained baby care essentials.  

Huggies, in partnership with Anne and baby Dahlia, then promised to match every pack given and donate it to the partner hospitals of Anne’s foundation. Each pack came included with one (1) pack of comfortable Huggies Dry Pants, one (1) pack of skin-loving Huggies wipes, two (2) packs of Kleenex Facial Tissues, one (1) roll of Kleenex bathroom tissue, and one (1) Hugsy teddy bear. 



The 1,166 Secret sANNEta gift packs were distributed to families from the Philippine General Hospital and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. 

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Huggies continues to find ways to give comfort and care to moms and their babies, especially to those who need it the most. With Anne and baby Dahlia now joining them in this shared mission, they hope to continue providing moms and babies relief as they go through their motherhood journey during these challenging and uncertain times.  

“As we are committed to be Filipinos’ trusted parenthood partner now more than ever, we constantly seek to understand moms and babies’ situation and support them in any way we can,” shares Brian Duruin, Head of Marketing, Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. “Celebrating the season of giving has never been more important for Huggies. It’s a good start to an exciting new year, and we look forward to creating more initiatives and extend our comfort and care to moms and babies across the country.”  

“We want to thank everyone who helped us achieve our 1,000 Secret sANNEta gift pack donation goal,” adds Anne. “We are overwhelmed with all the love and support and hope that you continue to support us throughout the year. This is a collective endeavor that the beneficiaries will always remember.” 

To date, Huggies has donated over 200,000 newborn diaper packs to children’s hospitals and maternity wards. They also launched the Huggies Club: Facebook Live, a five-week online forum series that aimed to guide and provide moms the reliable support system they need by connecting them to other moms and healthcare professionals to tackle relevant parenting topics and advice. With the Secret sANNEta gift pack donations, Huggies reaffirms its role and commitment to being the trusted parenthood partner for generations to come. 

For the latest news and updates, follow the Huggies PH Facebook page or visit huggies.com.ph. Join the Huggies Club for free and get access to more parenting tips, as well as exclusive perks and deals!  

Enjoy Free Shipping, Cashback, and More at the 3.3 ShopeePay Cashless Festival

ShopeePay, an integrated mobile wallet that offers users easy access to digital payment services, launches the 3.3 ShopeePay Cashless Festival this February 22-25. Users who shop, buy load, and pay bills with ShopeePay can enjoy exclusive perks and rewards such as free shipping, ₱1 deals, load discounts, cashback, and more.

Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “As the Philippines continues to transition into a cashless society, Shopee wants to further develop consumer confidence in digital payments, ensuring their experience is seamless, convenient, and rewarding. With the 3.3 ShopeePay Cashless Festival, Shopee aims to encourage Filipinos to fully embrace digital payments by providing them with incentives when they use ShopeePay, especially during the 3.3 - 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale.”

Until February 25, ShopeePay users can redeem the following deals and rewards when they activate and top up their mobile wallet:

Free shipping for a minimum purchase of ₱199

Enjoy free shipping vouchers released every 12 midnight and 12 noon daily this February 22-25. On February 24, watch out for four limited-time free shipping vouchers to be released throughout the day.

₱1 Deals and more

With Deals Near Me, users can conveniently buy eVouchers, which can be used online and in physical stores. Purchase eVouchers using ShopeePay to redeem a variety of deals, such as ₱1 deals from top F&B merchants like Jollibee, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald's; discounts up to 90% off; and up to 15% cashback.

Flash deals on mobile load 

Get more load for less. On February 25, buy ₱30 worth of load for only ₱24. Look out for flash deals as well, such as ₱10 load for ₱5, ₱15 load for ₱7, ₱20 load for ₱10, and ₱50 load for ₱37.

Coins cashback on bills payment

Earn rewards when you pay your bills via ShopeePay. On February 23, get 15% cashback, capped at a maximum of 120 coins; and on February 25, get 20% cashback, capped at a maximum of 160 coins.

More cashback deals

Use ShopeePay during 3.3 to claim up to 20% cashback, capped at a maximum of 200 coins, from participating shops. 

For more information on the 3.3 ShopeePay Cashless Festival, visit https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-pay. 

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

An Inevitable Pairing between Soon Hye Jin, Hyun Bin, and Ben&Ben

What happens when you pair the hottest Kdrama pairing with the sweetest band in the Philippines? 

MAGIC! 

 While it was important for Smart to grant wishes of its subscribers when it comes to bringing consumers closer to their foreign idols, the latest Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin TVC presented an opportunity to put a Filipino band behind the soundtrack and musical scoring.  


Here’s where Ben&Ben comes in, providing “Inevitable,” the song that is heard in the background while Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin pursue each other in this romantic-sci-fi TVC.  

With lyrics inspired by real-life events, Ben&Ben members simply happen to be CLOY fans as well. In a collaboration set to motion by the band, Smart, and Sony Music, things started falling into place when it came to lending soundtrack and musical score for this collaborative campaign.

In an official statement released by Sony Music, lead singer Paolo Benjamin said, “Inevitable is a song that tries to describe the nature of fate, and how all our actions somehow lead us to some better place that is destined for us. It’s also a song about being real with someone, and that no matter how scary that may seem at times, there is freedom in baring your truest nature with someone dear to you, even if that someone is yourself.”     

Miguel Benjamin added, “The songwriting in itself presents a concept of the state that is both a surreal mystery and a peaceful certainty, so we wanted to create an aural representation of what these lyrics felt like. Our process started with a mix of acoustic guitars, which I tweaked with sitar effects as the main intro riff; kind of like a representation of the two contrasting feelings working together.”   


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Break with Barley

Amid the global health crisis, it is essential to keep a healthy diet. And when it comes to maintaining it, it all boils down to refusing to skip the most important meal of the day—a complete, hearty breakfast. Whether your goal is to manage your weight or simply keep yourself healthy, it pays to make eating breakfast a regular habit.

With its numerous benefits, Santé, a leading provider of premier, natural, and organic health and wellness products and services, encourages everyone to make breakfast a vital habit, especially amid the pandemic, to kick-start your day, helping you keep your immune systems and overall well-being healthy. 

If you are wondering about its other amazing benefits, then check out this list: 

You get energized. As its name implies, eating your breakfast helps you to "break" your "fast" after a good night's sleep. When you skip your morning meal, you tell your body to conserve energy since you did not get the nutrients you need. Your metabolism slows down, and your body attempts to store fat. 

On the other hand, eating breakfast helps you jumpstart your metabolism and be well on your way to maintaining your health or achieving your health goals.

It helps fuel your brain. A healthy breakfast is usually composed of food rich in carbohydrates, a preferred energy source for the brain. By choosing complex carbohydrates for your breakfast, you help improve your memory due to the increase of glucose available to the brain from the bloodstream. Among the best sources of complex carbohydrates include whole oats and cereals. 

Your cognitive functions also improve after eating any food like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. So, it pays to take a well-balanced breakfast, mixing your carbohydrates with protein-rich foods like eggs, lean meats, and healthy fats like nuts, among others. 

You eat not more than you should. A lot of people skip breakfast to avoid consuming extra calories. But did you know that eating breakfast helps decrease your appetite? 

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2011, the subjects who ate breakfast regularly reported decreased hunger levels than those who skipped their morning meals. So, by eating high-fiber and nutritious meal early in the morning, you are less likely to be hungry throughout the day. 

Another habit that you need to practice is drinking eight glasses of water to keep yourself hydrated or a nutritious supplement packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Santé BarleyTM, for instance, is a pure organic barley grass powdered drink, blended with one of nature's most potent sweeteners, Stevia. This product is best taken before meals. It also readily dissolves in water and contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and E (per serving), which can help keep your body healthy and strong.

To learn more about Santé, visit its website at santebarley.com. 


 

Meet unMEAT, the 100% plant-based meat

Ready to go vegan?

It’s a generally accepted notion that eating healthy means skipping great-tasting food.  

Not anymore. Now it’s completely possible to enjoy the best of both worlds as Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF), one of the largest branded food companies in the Philippines, unveils its newest brand: unMEAT, a 100% plant-based meat, made tasty from simple ingredients. 

“One of the biggest concerns about plant-based foods is that they are not delicious or as pleasing to the palate as real meat,” notes Nikki Dizon, a Senior Executive at CNPF. “But our Nutrition Science team took that as a challenge, and completely delivered by coming up with a meat alternative that unbelievably and undeniably looks, feels, and tastes like meat. Moreover, they made unMEAT using simple ingredients and extracted the nutrients from real food rather than synthetic compounds so it’s healthier and more affordable”

The launch of unMEAT was driven by a growing consumer demand to incorporate healthier food options into their diet, especially given the ongoing pandemic. This is evident in the shift of food trends on social media. Whereas in the past, food aficionados across the globe constantly debated on the best burgers, social media is now filled with discussions on which plant-based burger looks, tastes, smells, and even bleeds like real meat.  

With unMEAT, taste is never compromised! It is as delicious as a regular meat patty, with a similar mouth-feel, making it the best meat alternative for those who are planning to make the switch to a healthier, more sustainable diet. Even better, unMEAT is packed with simple but nutritious ingredients. It is a good source of fiber and protein. It’s also cholesterol-free, trans fat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. 

During the launch, Michelin star chef Sau del Rosario who was among the first to sample unMEAT, described it as “the taste is like you got it from the oven. It’s tasty, it’s clean, and it’s very delicious. I would put this in my menu!”


It comes in four variants:  Nuggets, Hungarian Sausages, Minced Meat and Burger Patty. CNPF aims to market the range as close to the price of real meat counterparts in keeping with its goal of providing affordable nutrition. 

In the Philippines, unMEAT was first introduced through Shakey’s Pizza’s newest offering, the Goood Burger. It has since attracted a small cult following in the few weeks it has top-billed Shakey’s Pizza chain’s foray to burgers.  

Now, as the plant-based food mania continues to sweep the world over, Century Pacific Food Inc., is giving consumers easy access to healthy and tasty 100% plant-based food options as unMEAT is now available via online shopping platforms, and increasingly in  supermarkets and specialty stores nationwide. 

Following unMEAT’s successful initial rollout as Shakey’s Goood Burger, CNFP will also be partnering with more restaurants in the country. Additionally, the company’s Global Brands Team has started offering the product to customers across a network of 80 countries such as the USA, Singapore, China and the Middle East giving consumers in many parts of the world easy access to tasty, healthy, and affordable 100% plant-based meat alternative. 

“This newest addition to our product portfolio further strengthens our company’s mission to provide affordable nutrition for all. UnMEAT is both very affordable and delicious!” added Dizon.

Now it’s possible to be healthy while enjoying what you eat with the 100% plant-based unMEAT. 

To know more, follow on Facebook (facebook.com/UnMeatPH) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/unMeat.ph/

Jackie Buntan Excited to Represent Filipino Roots in ONE Championship

Heading into her much-anticipated ONE Championship debut, 23-year-old Filipino-American Muay Thai fighter Jackie Buntan is excited to represent her Filipino roots on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of a Pinoy sports legend.

Buntan is scheduled to face off against Thai rising star Wondergirl Fairtex in a three-round Muay Thai contest, as part of the main card at ONE: FISTS OF FURY, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore this Friday, 26 February.

image grabbed from YouTube

Buntan is heading into her ONE debut with her game face on, as she looks to make a name for herself in the world’s largest martial arts organization. One man who has inspired her to do well is none other than Filipino boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

The 23-year-old shares what she’s learned from Pacquiao after watching his fights as a Filipino-American kid growing up in Los Angeles.

“I know it’s like the most common thing, but definitely inspired by Manny Pacquiao. Especially being a Filipino, there’s always a big family party watching his fights. I didn’t even know much about boxing, but it was just still cool to see him do what he does, and all that he does for the Filipino people as well,” said Buntan.

“I saw his work ethic and how he started literally from nothing to where he is now, it inspired me. It just made me realize that if you really love something and are passionate about something, you can just put your head down and put the work in, and you can achieve whatever you want. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned from just watching him train, his fights, and little snippets of his camps and whatnot.”

Buntan, was raised in the south bay of Los Angeles, in a completely Filipino household, says that although she’s lived in the United States her entire life, she definitely experienced the Filipino culture at home.

One of her career goals is to someday be able to compete in Manila, when the easing of COVID-19 restrictions makes it possible to do so.

“Both of my parents came from the Philippines, and my three older sisters were born there. I was the only one born in the United States,” said Buntan.

“I’ve never been to the Philippines before, but it’s definitely one of the things that excites me about joining ONE. When I told my family about ONE, the first thing they said was I needed to fight in the Philippines. I have so many relatives over there. It will be great to be able to fight in front of them for the first time, and have them see what I do.”

Though they are her biggest fans today, Buntan also says it took a while for her parents to warm up to the idea that she wanted to become a professional fighter.

“At first, my parents didn’t like it. I mean, no one wants to see their youngest daughter step inside the ring and get hit, though my mom was definitely more on board with it than my dad. My dad took a more old-school approach. He would have preferred me to compete in safer sports like tennis, swimming, and nothing with full contact. But he’s a big supporter now. It just took him a bit longer to jump into it until my later life as an adult,” said Buntan.

“Now they are so ecstatic and extremely proud of me because they know I’ve been chasing this for so long, and they know how dedicated I am to this sport and my training. They saw me coming to the gym every day. They know how serious I take it, and how passionate I am about it. So when I told them I was joining ONE Championship, they were just super proud of me.”

ONE: FISTS OF FURY is a three-part event series, beginning with a live broadcast on 26 February. The main event features a ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship showdown between reigning titleholder Ilias Ennahachi and #2-ranked contender “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.

Also on the card is kickboxing legend Giorgio Petrosyan, ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon, and the debut of rising teenage star Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee. 

Up to P10/L discount in Landers Super Fuel Sale

Thank God we are Landers members coz this is great news!


Good news for all Landers members! The fastest-growing membership shopping establishment in the country is letting its members enjoy unbelievable fuel savings as it brings its Super Fuel Sale from February 22 to 28.

For a whole week, all members with premium and/or business membership cards can save money on fuel with a discount coupon which they can get for every minimum purchase of Php 3,000 at any Landers Superstore. Members simply have to collect the coupons to avail exclusive fuel discounts in all Landers-Caltex gas stations.

Just present the coupons, along with your membership card before fueling up to avail of the discount. Members can enjoy a minimum of Php 10 off per liter of Platinum, Php 10 off per liter of Silver, and Php 5 off per liter of Diesel. The discount coupons can be used to fuel up one vehicle only and are valid sixty calendar days after the promo duration.

Landers Superstore branches are located at Alabang, ArcoVia City, EDSA Balintawak, Otis, or Cebu. For more information about Landers Superstore’s exclusive offerings, please make sure to regularly check @LandersPH on Facebook and Instagram or visit www.landers.ph.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Smile Train Philippines’ Virtual Telehealth Program Wins Anvil Award

Each day, 540 children around the world are born with a cleft, causing difficulties with eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. To help these children, Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organization, supports 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children globally—a service that could have been severely disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, if not for the Virtual Telehealth Program and Speech Camp that was launched in the Philippines.

Since the start of the pandemic, Smile Train’s Speech Telehealth Program in the Philippines has treated over 100 patients, providing them with more than 700 cleft care-related sessions, including speech therapy, nutritional support, breastfeeding guidance for mothers of babies with clefts, pre-surgical consultations, and psychosocial care. This initiative was recently recognized during the 56th Anvil Awards as the organization bagged the Silver Award.  

The Anvil award is a testament of Smile Train Philippines’ efforts to bring uninterrupted care to patients with a cleft palate even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It also shines the light on the dedication and commitment of the volunteers, healthcare institutions, and corporate partners of Smile Train Philippines to rally support for cleft patients so that they may still receive comprehensive cleft care online. 

Launched in April 2020, two weeks into the lockdown, the Virtual Telehealth program is manned by volunteer speech language pathologists. Maximizing technology and social media, the Virtual Telehealth Program made use of Facebook Live, chat applications such as Viber and Messenger, and online discussions to ensure that speech therapy classes continued virtually. More than that, the telehealth program managed to reach cleft patients who live in rural or isolated communities and made its services more readily available or convenient for people with limited mobility, time, or transportation options. When and where possible, Smile Train Philippines also provided phone cards for both the speech language pathologists (SLPs) and the patients to help with connectivity. 

”This recognition by our peers in the communication industry is proof that we are making headway in our call for a more efficient telehealth network. A combination of a variety of solutions as encouraged by telehealth will ensure that children and adolescents with special needs do not get left behind, especially during a global pandemic,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Area Director – South East Asia, Smile Train. “For Smile Train, telehealth became not only a lifeline, but a tool for amplifying reach and promoting equity.”

The over 700 sessions given to more than 100 patients were provided from April 1st to December 31, 2020. This is more than double the number of patients who received virtual speech treatment during the same period in 2019.

With a strategy focused on educating, amplifying, and sustaining, Smile Train’s Virtual Telehealth Program garnered widespread coverage in the media, positive public reception, increased recognition for Smile Train and its advocacy, and ultimately saw an increase in speech language pathologists interested in working with Smile Train Philippines.

Smile Train believes that every child is worthy of the opportunity to live a normal life, and is committed to exploring various avenues and utilizing technology to reach more communities in the Philippines. Through the Virtual Telehealth Program, it continues to help its beneficiaries, reach out to its audiences, and, all in all, continue raising awareness about cleft lip and palate – bringing hope to those who need it the most 

LifeWear Magazine 2021 Spring/Summer Issue

UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, today announces the launch of the 2021 Spring/Summer issue of LifeWear magazine in March 2021. First published in August 2019, LifeWear magazine is a free magazine that conveys the UNIQLO LifeWear philosophy of making the everyday lives of people richer and more comfortable. The theme of Issue 04 is “Find Your Healthy” and reflects the belief that leading a healthy life is the first step to creating a brighter future. With that thought in mind, this latest issue is filled with hints for living your best life in the new season.

Find Your Healthy with UNIQLO 2021 Spring/Summer Collection

What sort of clothing will make people healthy in the new spring season? Fashion pages present 15 topics drawn from this season’s latest collection. Clothing with characteristic UNIQLO comfort and everyday usefulness, such as the Kando Jacket and items with UV protection functionality, offer comfort with preppy styles and stylings that radiate a classic mood.

Hello, Haruki Interview with Haruki Murakami

This interview comprises 26 questions posed to author Haruki Murakami, whose work has captivated readers in Japan and around the world. The interview was conducted at the studio that produces “Murakami RADIO,” the radio program that Murakami himself hosts, and covers topics including novels, music, and fashion. His answers to probing questions regarding the ideas for his novels, future plans, and other aspects of the creative process is essential reading for Murakami fans.

Build the Future Interview with Tadao Ando

Globally renowned architect Tadao Ando has long been involved with social activities in addition to his architectural work. In 2020, Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest that he funded was donated to the city of Osaka. This interview reveals his thoughts on that library and contributing to society.

Backstage at the Louvre

Last January 2021, UNIQLO concluded a partnership agreement with the Louvre Museum in Paris. This series of interviews with Louvre staff provide a behind-the-scenes look at this awe-inspiring palace of beauty. Discover the philosophy of the Louvre that can’t be seen by viewing its collections.

UNIQLO and Our Town

A new series from this issue presents cities around the world with which UNIQLO has a deep connection. This issue features a guide to Hamburg, Germany, where UNIQLO opened its first store in October 2020. This city, the hometown of fashion designer Jil Sander, is filled with charms to make you want to explore its streets. 

Pinoy Contestant Louie Sangalang Recounts Tough Selection Process on ‘The Apprentice’

Following the conclusion of his professional combat sports career, Filipino Louie Sangalang pivoted to his corporate ambitions, where he developed the skills that later on earned him a spot on the upcoming reality television series, “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”

The former undefeated URCC Featherweight Champion is one of 16 “candidates” on ONE Championship’s unique take on the “Apprentice” franchise, all competing for a US $250,000 job offer to work for a year under ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

Sangalang reveals it has been a dream of his to join the hit show.

“I’ve always wanted to join ‘The Apprentice.’ So when I found out that there was going to be a ONE Championship Edition, I thought to myself, this fits my skills perfectly. I’m a martial artist at heart, and I’m highly interested in sports. So I figured, why not? I just wanted to give it a shot,” said Sangalang.

“I think anyone who got selected would feel ecstatic about that, right? First of all, it’s not just any organization. It’s a huge and a very young and powerful company. Second, ONE Championship is a big name in the martial arts scene. There’s a duopoly between ONE Championship and the UFC, globally, and ONE occupies a huge space in the market, especially in Asia. Another thing that excited me was the perception that it was going to be a tough competition, all driven by challenges. It’s what really motivated me. It’s something that aligned with my willingness to take on challenges in my life.”

When the “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” was announced in early 2020, ONE Championship almost immediately received thousands of applications to join the show. Potential candidates had to undergo a rigid auditioning process, with only a select few making it through to the final stages of casting.

Though Sangalang built his confidence through his lifelong training of martial arts, he mentioned the importance of not being too confident and self-absorbed. Sangalang auditioned for “The Apprentice” because it was a dream of his, but wasn’t exactly sure he would actually get in.

“I’m not the type of person who likes to be overconfident or sure of things. I’m not the type of person who overly tries to psyche himself up and tell himself he can do things. I don’t go in there riding high and willing to take on any task, right,” said Sangalang.

“I’m the type of person who likes to come in well-prepared instead. It minimizes mistakes, helps me prepare for the unexpected. So the short answer is no, I wasn’t really expecting to get in, which is why I was relieved when I received the news from Chatri that I was selected. The last step in the process was talking to Chatri, and he basically told me that I got in.”

“The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition” is touted as the toughest version in the show’s history, consisting of both business and physical challenges. The franchise itself has aired in more than 120 countries around the globe.

The first season of ONE Championship’s spin on the reality show premieres in March and consists of 13 episodes. Sangalang is one of 16 candidates all vying to be called, “The Apprentice.”

Now that his time on the show is done, however, Sangalang has some advice for future applicants. If ONE Championship decides to run another season, Sangalang believes potential candidates have to possess certain skills and characteristics.

“I think, first of all, critical thinking is very important in order to process a problem. Not the cookie-cutter type of processing, but being able to look at a problem and see how you can solve it within a box, with ideas from outside the box. You have to have a lot of creativity and experience in order to identify potential solutions,” said Sangalang.

“If you don’t have creativity and are unwilling to act on new ideas, you’re going to have a hard time. At the same time, if you have experience but have never tried anything out of the ordinary, what separates you from everybody else? You need to be able to set yourself apart and your personal brand, regardless of what that is. Another important thing is you have to be relatable, so that when people watch the show, they will say ‘I get this guy.’”

“Lastly, despite all your skill set, you have to be a fit in the culture you’re joining. You can be the best in the show, but still not be hired for a job for whatever reason. You’re just not going to get in and that’s just the reality of it. The reality of getting a job has a lot to do with the culture fit. You have to be real, authentic. On the TV screen, everything is magnified, so if you’re real, it will help you build your personal brand,” Sangalang concluded. 

DOT backs “Balik sa Bohol” for tourism industry revival

The Department of Tourism (DOT), in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Bohol, announced its online travel fair, Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale, which will run from February 21 to March 14, 2021. The island-wide travel sale will offer discounts of up to 70% off on accommodations, dining, and tour services. 

The Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale aims to further promote domestic tourism among the public and encourage them to see Bohol’s natural and cultural wonders. To avail of Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale deals, visit traveloco.ph/balikbohol

“With the upcoming Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale, we look forward to more people traveling to Bohol to see and experience the beauty and wonders of the province,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.  

She added, “We, at the DOT, along with provincial and local leaders in Bohol, are committed to protecting the health and safety of locals and tourists alike. Regaining the trust and confidence of Filipinos to travel again is essential to the revival of the tourism industry.” 

SAFETY PROTOCOLS, DISCOUNTED RT-PCR TRAVELERS NEED TO KNOW 

Health and safety protocols have been put in place by the provincial government so tourists can make the most out of their time in the province.  

Before visiting Bohol, travelers must have a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken 72 hours before the date of travel, pre-booked accommodations at DOT-accredited or Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) certified establishments, travel itinerary including confirmed tour bookings through DOT-accredited tour operators (if going on tour), and registration in the Province of Bohol website at tourism.bohol.gov.ph for the issuance of personal QR codes that will serve as the tourists’ electronic IDs. Bohol allows the use of saliva RT-PCR tests in place of nasal and throat swabs as of February 2, 2021.

Tourists coming from Metro Manila are encouraged to apply for the subsidized RT-PCR test at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) or at the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) for as low as PHP900 and PHP750, respectively. To avail of this 50% discount, visit the site at www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel. 

To check out up-to-date information regarding destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, one may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore. 

THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL 

With the travel sale, more people have a chance to see the gorgeous sights and experience fun-filled activities in Bohol. Among these is the Alona beach, a stunning 1.5 km stretch of white-sand beach, famous for being a must-visit spot for those who love snorkeling, scuba diving or even those who just like to relax and watch the sunset. Travelers can also island-hop to Balicasag and Virgin Islands to explore Bohol’s marine life.  

When one speaks of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills cannot be left out. These 1,776 individual hills spread across six towns have attracted tourists from many generations for their uniqueness and vastness. The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, a place dedicated to saving the lives of endangered tarsiers, is also open for those who want to learn more about these small nocturnal primates. 

ATV rentals, zipline, cable car rides, stand-up paddle boarding tours, and water bike rides are also available for those who are in for a little adventure. 

FEATURED PARTNERS AT THE ONLINE TRAVEL FAIR 

Participating establishments and tour agencies for the Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale include the following:  

Amarela Resort 

Amorita Resort 

Be Grand Hotel 

Bohol Bee Farm 

The Bellevue Resort 

Best Western Plus The Ivywall Panglao Resort 

Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort 

Bohol Beach Club 

Chocolate Hills Adventure Park 

The Acacia Glamping 

Donatela Resort and Sanctuary 

Loboc River Resort 

Mithi Resort and Spa 

South Palms Resorts Panglao 

Modala Beach Resort 

Angels Wings Travel & Tours 

Baclayon Travel & Tours 

Bohol Holidays Travel & Tours Inc. 

Coordinates Tours and Travel 

Dagohoy Travel & Tours 

Travel Village 

Balik sa Bohol: Bohol Online Sale is sponsored by Cebu Pacific Air and is powered by Atlantis. 

UnionBank opens country’s first mass retail banking hub to better support PH MSMEs

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently created the country’s very first mass retail banking hub, aimed at providing support specifically to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country as part of the Bank’s goal of enabling inclusive prosperity amid the current global health crisis.

The hub, a consolidation of all entrepreneur-centric solutions offered by UnionBank, will provide a one-stop center for resources that MSMEs might need in order to support their businesses regardless of sizes—such as financing, logistics, and a buyer-seller network, to name a few—all made accessible to mass-market customers.

This was one of the topics at UnionBank’s E-Talk Tales last February 17, wherein UnionBank’s Chief Mass Market and Financial Inclusion Executive Manual G. Santiago, Jr. focused on how the Bank addresses the typical pain points encountered by entrepreneurs, especially during the pandemic.

Santiago began the discussion by first explaining what the hub’s target market is, which he defined as “the middle-middle income level going down” which is also a mix of banked, underbanked, unbanked customers.

"I think the definition for SMEs is much more defined where we're really looking at micro, small, and medium enterprises. So, these are your businesses with, for micro, 3 million in the capital, and then you have 15 million for small, and for medium, it's about a hundred million in the capital," he added.

According to Santiago, UnionBank estimates this market at about 50 million customers, with the majority of them being in the lower-income segments. In addition, about 60 percent of this customer market classify themselves as self-employed entrepreneurs. “It's a large market and we think this is a segment that needs attention at this time, and we're putting our efforts into that.”

Santiago noted that a lot of entrepreneurs today are very careful about their decisions when it comes to their businesses, as a result of the uncertainties brought about by the current health crisis. This “wait and see” mindset is evident even in those who have immediate access to financing.

“We've seen that in the way they apply for loans. You would think that because you have loans available that people are going to flock and apply,” Santiago said. “In fact, even those existing loans that we have that have reached the renewal stage, MSMEs would even say 'can you renew that at half the amount only, and I will just come back to you when things are better?',” Santiago said.

“It's a good thing because it shows a sign of maturity, and you know, in this time, you can't be very aggressive. You really need to think about your next steps to be able to survive this crisis.”

With its vision of empowering SMEs through digital initiatives, UnionBank has already laid a lot of groundwork even before the pandemic to address SME challenges.

UnionBank Business Loan via UBX SeekCap, an online Loan Marketplace where business owners and SMEs may easily browse short-term business loan products and apply digitally. SeekCap allows SMEs to get approval within hours.

The Bank has also created the SME Business Banking App, an online platform that enables SMES to manage their financial transactions by facilitating all business payments with the most extensive list of government and utility billers, transferring funds to both local and international banks, customizing complex business approval flows, enrolling all companies and subsidiaries in a single-login setup, and opening and managing payroll accounts for their employees, among others. 

To know more about UnionBank's digital initiatives, visit https://www.unionbankph.com/ 

Bio-Science launches Bio-Gold with 55% OFF

Ever wanted to know what it would feel like to wash your face and do a skincare routine with 24k gold? Wonder no more and get the latest line from Bio-Science Bio-Gold.


Start off with the Bio-Gold Facial Wash to cleanse your skin of any impurities. Bio-Science Bio-Gold radiance cleanser face wash 100 gm- age-defy anti-aging face wash is infused with natural ingredient 24K Gold for radiant and glowing skin and gives protection against wrinkles and fine lines. 

It removes daily impurities and unclogs pores of stubborn residue. It instantly refreshes and hydrates skin with no tight feeling after wash which can be irritating at times. Bio-Science Bio-Gold Radiance Cleanser Face Wash gives your skin gentle cleansing and improves skin elasticity and radiance.


Bio-Science Bio-Gold Rose Gold Water 100ml- Age Defy Anti-Aging Toner + Serum Infused With Natural Ingredient 24K Gold And Japanese Rose Extract Ejitsu For Intensive Moisturizing and Nourishment Benefit & Preventing Skin Against Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Bio-Science Bio-Gold Rose Gold Water infused with Japanese rose extract, Ejitsu, which gives maximum hydration and smoothens skin texture. 24K Gold provides anti-oxidant protection to the skin against free radicals thereby delaying the first signs of fine lines/wrinkles and hence aging.


Bio-Science Bio-Gold Night Cream 40g- Age-Defy Anti-Aging Moisturizing Night Cream Infused with Natural Ingredient 24K Gold for Rejuvenated, Revitalized and Refreshed Skin and Gives Protection Against Wrinkles and Fine Lines

The new Bio-Gold 24K Gold Night Cream helps to recharge skin with much-needed nutrients after a long day, renewing and restoring radiance to the skin. After a thorough cleansing of makeup and toning, apply at night on the face and neck. Massage gently in circular motions until the cream is fully absorbed.

Why use 24k Gold?

24 K Gold Serum helps in keeping the skin firm and brightens it. It reduces flakiness and early signs of aging creating smooth, soft, and supple skin. It boosts the production of collagen in the skin and enhances skin elasticity.

Make sure to download the Shopee App from Google Play or Play Store so you can make your very own purchase of this newest skincare line from Bio-Science.

Shopee launches new Ambassador and their 3.3-4.4 Mega Shopping Sale Launch

BIGYAN NG JACKET YAN! 

This iconic line is something that almost every Filipino knows by now and is the favorite line of Shopee's newest brand ambassador, Willie Revillame. 



Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, proudly introduces Willie Revillame as its newest brand ambassador for the 3.3 - 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale, its first mega sale of the year. The partnership comes after several successful runs of Shopee TV specials hosted by the massively popular TV personality on GMA 7’s Wowowin: Tutok to Win. Together with Willie Revillame, Shopee invites Filipinos to enjoy weeks of promotions and prizes at the 3.3 - 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale. 

Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee Philippines is excited to kick off the first mega sale of the year with its newest brand ambassador Willie Revillame, who is one of the country’s biggest TV icons. Kuya Wil, as he is fondly called by Filipinos, has brought joy to millions during these trying times with his fun-loving personality on Wowowin. Together with Willie Revillame, Shopee hopes to provide Filipinos with more meaningful and entertaining shopping experiences at our 3.3 - 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale.”

Fans can catch Willie Revillame on Shopee’s daily segments on Wowowin: Tutok to Win and Shopee’s monthly TV specials on GMA 7. From February 18 - April 4, shoppers can also look forward to daily promotions and discounts on their favorite brands, products, and categories on Shopee, which include:

Exclusive discounts and mega shopping deals 

Shopee kicks off the 3.3. Mega Shopping Sale with exciting deals such as Mega Free Shipping with no minimum spend; 20% cashback on various categories; and ShopeePay ₱1 deals from top F&B merchants like Jollibee, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald's. Shoppers can also enjoy exclusive discounts and promotions from Shopee’s trusted brand partners across all categories on Shopee Mall, which include Havaianas Philippines, Huggies Philippines, Realme, P&G Beauty, Pampers, Unilever Beauty, Nestlé, Garnier, Enfagrow, and Vivo.

Daily themed mega promotions 

Mark your calendars for themed days featuring amazing deals and big discounts, including Mega Flash Deals Sale on February 24, Mega ShopeePay Day on February 25, Mega Vouchers Day on March 2, Payday Sale on March 15, and Mega Free Shipping Sale on March 27.

Big prizes at the Shopee 3.3 Shopee Milyonaryo TV Special

Don’t miss out on the chance to snag discounts and win millions worth of cash prizes at the 3.3 Shopee Milyonaryo TV Special this March 3, 5:00 PM on GMA 7 and Shopee Live. Tune in to join games such as Shopee Shake, Watch and Win, and Shopee Milyonaryo Pera o Kahon.

Additional perks at the 3.3 ShopeePay Cashless Festival

Activate and top up your ShopeePay e-wallet to enjoy daily free shipping, discounts on mobile load, up to 20% cashback on bills payment, and more exclusive rewards from February 22 to February 25. 

For more information on the best deals during the 3.3 - 4.4 Mega Sale, visit https://shopee.ph/m/3-3. Don’t forget to top up your ShopeePay for more promotions! 

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

DOT lauds Bohol's celebration of the annual Ubi Festival

The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauds the Provincial Government of Bohol's efforts in setting up this year's annual Ubi Festival under the new normal. 

Running until February 24, the festival, which has been celebrated since 2000, is proof of the Boholanos’ love for Ubi or purple yam. The root crop was revered as a “savior crop” as its discovery led to the alleviation of hunger in the province during pre-Hispanic times. Now, it has become a staple food for Boholanos because of its taste, long shelf-life, and the many food varieties that can be made from it.

As the largest producer of ubi in the country, Bohol is home to many ubi farmers who turn to the root crop for their livelihood. With this year's theme, “Pagpananum ug Ubi Napuslan, Kagutom Na Dala Sa Covid19 Nabatukan,” the festival aims to celebrate the root crop that has become an agro-historical-geographical-religious symbol for the province and highlight the impact and contributions of ubi farmers. 

As part of the festival, a showcase of a variety of Ubi products like ube jams and ube-based bibingka, ice cream, and bread can be found at the Old City Airport in Tagbilaran City. The venue strictly implements health and safety protocols to assure festival-goers of an easy and memorable experience. Other cultural activities, exhibits, and seminars are also held to honor the root crop this month.

From festivals, gorgeous sights, and fun-filled activities, there’s definitely a Bohol destination for everyone. While it is famous for the Chocolate Hills, Bohol also offers other attractions that families, groups, and even solo travelers can enjoy. 

When one speaks of Bohol, the Chocolate Hills cannot be left out. These 1,776 individual hills spread across six towns have attracted tourists from many generations for their uniqueness and vastness. The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, a place dedicated to saving the lives of endangered tarsiers, is also open for those who want to learn more about these small nocturnal primates.

Bohol also has something for adrenaline junkies. If you prefer seeing the Chocolate Hills up close, ATV rentals are available in the Carmen area. Those who want more action-packed activities can head to the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park for zipline and cable car rides. If you prefer water activities, you can also opt for stand-up paddle boarding tours or experience a water bike adventure. 

White-sand beaches

Bohol is also known for its white-sand beaches and clear waters. The Alona beach is a stunning 1.5km stretch of white-sand beach famous for being a must-visit spot for those who love snorkeling, scuba diving, or even those who just like to relax and watch the sunset. Travelers can also island-hop to Balicasag and Virgin islands to explore Bohol’s marine life. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of dolphins in the area.

Variety of accommodations

Tourism comprises 70% of the livelihood in Bohol, so there is no wonder that several hotels and resorts are available in the area. Whether you choose accommodations in the municipality of Panglao or Dauis, these hotels are committed to providing top-notch service and hospitality, especially during these times. Temperature checks, QR code scanning, plated meals, and rearranged eating areas are just some of the adjustments made by accommodations to ensure that travelers are assured of a safe environment during their stay. 

Hassle-free travel

Do-it-yourself travels are currently not allowed in Bohol. This means that everything you plan to do while on the island should be pre-booked--from accommodations and transportation to tour arrangements. This makes sightseeing around the island hassle-free. This also makes it easier for the provincial government to implement systems to curb the virus’s spread while ensuring that tourists get to fully enjoy the island’s beauty. 

Before planning a visit to Bohol, travelers must have a negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival, pre-booked accommodations at a DOT/LGU-accredited establishment, travel itinerary, and registration in the Province of Bohol website at tourism.bohol.gov.ph for the issuance of personal QR codes that will serve as electronic IDs. 

Tourists coming from Metro Manila are encouraged to apply for the subsidized RT-PCR test at the UP-Philippine General or Philippine Children's Medical Center for as low as PHP900 and PHP750, respectively. To avail of the 50% discount from either of the two medical institutions, visit the Tourism Promotions Board website at www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel.

As of February 2, 2021, Bohol allows the use of saliva RT-PCR tests in place of nasal and throat swabs.

For up-to-date information on open destinations and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.

For more information on traveling to Bohol, contact the Department of Tourism or visit philippines.travel/safetrip/bohol.  

PLDT Enterprise honors resiliency of Filipino entrepreneurs

As everyone grappled with the means to cope with the sudden setbacks brought by an economic lockdown, Filipino entrepreneurs and businesses have displayed an undeniable resilience to survive and come out stronger from what may be considered as the most daunting year for the nation.

It's that unbreakable spirit and grit of the Filipino to quickly adapt and take advantage of technology that enable them to manage and come out stronger than before. In honor of these triumphs over adversities, PLDT Enterprise, the B2B arm of the PLDT Group, celebrates the Filipino entrepreneurs who refused to falter with the launch of its latest campaign 'You Are Unbreakable'.

"We have seen the remarkable resilience of the Filipino amidst adversity. Despite the difficulties, the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit was alive and kicking. While our customers were hard at work on recovery, it was inspiring to see how most were focused on reinventing their businesses. That is what makes them unbreakable," says Jovy Hernandez, ePLDT President & CEO and SVP & Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups.

Amidst the uncertainty and disruptions of the pandemic, PLDT Enterprise made sure that it delivered the necessary support and expertise to its customers so they can ensure business continuity in this unprecedented scenario.

“PLDT Enterprise has been enabling businesses with its end-to-end technologies to ensure their operations and competitiveness,” noted Hernandez, “and we most certainly are not going to stop now when our customers need us most. This is in fulfillment of our vision of making a positive impact on every single business."

Digital adoption, of which PLDT Enterprise has long been a fervent enabler, is one of the key elements to business continuity in this new normal. The group has continued to support customers in selecting the most appropriate digital technologies for their operations to ensure resilience as well as be prepared for future disruptions.

PLDT Enterprise also supports the recalibration of operations. Whether it’s companies now implementing work-from-home setups, moving to e-commerce, or simply ensuring that their contactless operations go seamlessly, PLDT Enterprise – with its wide range of fixed, wireless, and ICT solutions – ensures support in every transformation.

"The new world of business may be daunting for many organizations. But we believe that our Filipino entrepreneurs have the power of self-discovery and the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties,” said Hernandez. “Our commitment to our customers is that we will be there during good times and bad times. We will always be here and willing to be their trusted partner, and we will continue to work with them to ensure they can withstand the toughest of challenges the future may bring. Together, we are Unbreakable." 

Watch PLDT Enterprise’s You Are Unbreakable campaign video here

NBA AND SMART LAUNCH NBA’S OFFICIAL DIGITAL DESTINATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and digital services provider Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) today announced the relaunch of NBA.com/Philippines, the league’s official digital destination in the country.  Today’s announcement builds on the NBA and Smart’s existing partnership to provide Smart subscribers with access to NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, and NBA.Smart, Smart’s over-the-top service that livestreams NBA TV Philippines, a localized version of the NBA’s dedicated 24/7 channel.

The online NBA destination will offer Filipino fans access to game highlights, stats, standings, scores, schedules and more.  In addition, NBA.com/Philippines will offer localized content, including recaps and analysis from its roster of sports reporters and basketball personalities, as well as a weekly podcast titled “NBA Hype Squad,” which will feature discussions hosted by local influencers about the latest league news.  As part of Smart’s promotions, the network will provide its prepaid and postpaid subscribers access to editorial content on NBA.com/Philippines without incurring data charges. 

“We’re excited to partner with Smart and relaunch NBA.com/Philippines as we continue to expand our digital footprint in the country,” said Ramez Sheikh, NBA Asia Head of Global Content and Media Distribution.  “Through our redesigned destination, fans will be able to connect with their favorite teams and players through instant access to NBA news and original content.”

“This is a huge milestone not only for Smart, but also for Filipino fans who now have a dedicated new platform to follow their idols, stay up-to-date on games, and engage with fans who share the same passion for hardcourt action,” said Smart President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio.  “NBA.com/Philippines bolsters our line-up of NBA offerings for Smart subscribers, which embodies our “It’s all here” campaign tagline and reflects our commitment to bringing the world’s premier basketball league closer to fans nationwide.” 

Smart users can watch the 2020-21 NBA season by subscribing to NBA League Pass, which is offered in monthly and 3-Game Choice packages at Php 485 and Php 85, respectively.  NBA League Pass provides the most comprehensive live and on-demand access to an entire season of NBA games in high-definition with live stats and additional camera angles including NBA Mobile View, which delivers a closer shot of the action optimized for viewing on mobile devices. 

Additionally, Smart prepaid customers can watch the livestream of NBA TV Philippines by subscribing to Smart’s data packages by dialing *123#, choosing GIGA VIDEO 99, and registering their mobile and ticket number on NBA.Smart. GIGA VIDEO provides 1 GB for watching videos on NBA League Pass, YouTube, and Cignal Play as well as 2 GB of additional data per week.

Smart subscribers can visit www.smart.com.ph and follow Smart’s social media accounts on Facebook and @livesmart on Instagram and Twitter for more details on promotions and services.

Fans in the Philippines can follow NBA Philippines on Facebook (@NBAPhilippines) and Twitter (@NBA_Philippines).

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Fet Boys introduces the First Ruby Chocolate Cookie

Chef Kirk Ngo of Fet Boys is indeed a trailblazer. After making the first-ever Coffee Butterscotch Cookie, he is now launching his newest creation, the Prettier than Pink Cookies. This is the first Ruby Chocolate Cookie in the Philippines and it is gorgeous!

Derived from Ruby Chocolate, the Prettier than Pink cookie is the first of its kind. Ruby Chocolate is the 4th type of Chocolate that is accepted as "real chocolate." This is derived from Ruby Cacao beans which gives it its natural pink color. 

What makes Ruby Chocolate unique is its taste characterized by fruity notes and a pink color which is all-natural. After Dark, Milk, and White chocolate, Ruby is the newest chocolate in the market and it is about to become the next big thing.

In 2020, Chef Kirk of Fet Boys launched his Too Much Chocolate Chip Cookies that were as big as a regular guy’s palm and it was a hit. In the last quarter of 2020 alone, he made over 5000 pcs of his giant creation. 

He also invented the Coffee Butterscotch Cookie which was an instant hit with all the coffee lovers because it is best when paired with their favorite morning drink, a cup of joe. However, what truly sets apart the Fet Boys cookie is that it is best eaten chilled. Unlike other cookies that are tastier when heated, the Fet Boys cookies are even better after being chilled in the ref.  

Grab a box of the Fet Boys cookies and find out why it is considered the best-kept secret of the North and South! To order, message them through their Facebook Page.  

Joshua Garcia stars in beefy new Jollibee Yumburger commercial

If there is one thing that hasn’t changed over time, it’s the fact that Filipinos absolutely love their burgers being super beefy and meaty. No other burger comes close to capturing that Pinoy taste than the 100% beefy, langhap-sarap Jollibee Yumburger!

And to drive that point home, Jollibee has launched a new TV commercial for the Yumburger starring brand ambassador and popular celebrity Joshua Garcia! In the new ad, Joshua is seen doing a workout routine and at the end of the exercise, he rewards himself with the 100% beefy goodness of his favorite Yumburger.

Here's the video.

“There’s really nothing like the Jollibee Yumburger when it comes to beefiness and being delicious! And sakto yung new commercial ko since I’ve started becoming more active and realized that I need to be fit and healthy especially during this pandemic. And what better way to enjoy yung efforts ko than with my favorite Yumburger! Masarap na, value for money pa kaya solve yung cravings ko,” said Joshua. 

“We know Filipinos really love the Jollibee Yumburger because of its beefy goodness that you won’t find in other burgers out there, and the fact that it’s made with 100% real beef. We’re always happy to remind them why it’s the best way to satisfy their burger cravings, just like Joshua in our new commercial,” said Cathleen Capati AVP for Bestsellers.

You can enjoy the 100% beefy langhap-sarap Jollibee Yumburger for only Php 35 solo, or the Cheesy Yumburger for only Php 49 solo. Have these safely delivered to you via the Jollibee Delivery App (bit.ly/JollibeePHApp), JollibeeDelivery.com, #87000, GrabFood and Foodpanda! Also available in Drive-Thru, Take Out and Dine-in.

For more info and updates on Jollibee products, like Jollibee Philippines on Facebook, subscribe to Jollibee Studios on YouTube, and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram. 

Canon's EOS M50 Mark II is a Content Creators Dream Come True

Canon Philippines today announced the local availability of the Canon EOS M50 Mark II mirrorless camera, designed for photography enthusiasts who are also keen to do videos and live stream. Whether you are a parent looking to capture fleeting moments of your child’s milestones; a frequent traveler looking for a compact and fuss-free shooting experience; or someone hoping to start your own YouTube channel; the EOS M50 Mark II is designed to help create captivating photos and videos with ease. 

Capture sharper images and video with its 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor, while it's Dual Pixel CMOS AF provides quicker and more accurate autofocus functions, all while maintaining its ease of operability.

Capture Beautiful Portraits and Vivid Action Shots

Always had trouble capturing sharp images of your active toddler who is constantly on the move or find it hard to zoom in on your child’s face as he runs across the pitch during soccer practice? The EOS M50 Mark II features an enhanced Eye Detection AF, which is able to detect and focus on a subject’s eye even when the person is far away. 

This will ensure the eye will always stay in focus, making it possible to use Eye Detection AF for full body shots in addition to the common upper body portrait shot. Users can capture subjects quickly and accurately when they are approaching from a distance, making it great for candid shots as well. 

Eye detection AF is also available with Servo AF when shooting still images and Movie Servo AF when shooting video, so you will always be able to capture your subject’s natural expressions even when they are in motion.

The EOS M50 Mark II has a continuous shooting speed of up to 7.4fps with servo AF so users can capture multiple shots of moving subjects such as children or pets. Its built-in high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) makes for easy viewing even when shooting in the bright outdoors. 

The AF frame display in EVF or LCD screen of the EOS M50 Mark II, which shows which part of the picture the camera is focusing on, has also been improved. It is now faster and tracks the subject more smoothly, so users will always know which part of the picture will be in focus without experiencing any on-screen lag. Display speed on the AF frame display in the viewfinder or LCD screen has also been improved on the EOS M50 Mark II, allowing for better visualization of the tracking. 

An EOS first, the EOS M50 Mark II makes full use of its touch-sensitive display with the new Tap AF feature where users can instantly switch focus from one person to another by just tapping on the screen, which is especially useful in group shots. This is in addition to the Touch & Drag AF, where users can move the AF frame by dragging their finger on the screen while shooting through the EVF. 

Enhanced Movie Shooting Experience 

Fast and stable AF is essential when it comes to shooting videos of moving subjects. On the EOS M50 Mark II, Eye Detection AF works with Movie Servo AF shooting. By simply keeping the subject within the frame while shooting, it will track the subject smoothly. Users can thus focus on the composition of the video while leaving the tracking of the subject to the camera.

With an improved contrast AF algorithm, users can also expect enhanced AF stability during 4K movies shooting with EF-M lenses. This will enable smooth movie recording, with reduced wobbling. EOS M50 Mark II supports movie digital zoom (approx. 3-10x) at the central part of the screen during shooting, which can be combined with optical zoom on a zoom lens to achieve magnified shooting with up-close shots.  

With existing cameras, movies shot vertically are displayed smaller in a horizontal position when users playback the movie on a smart device. On the EOS M50 Mark II, an “add rotate info” option enables automatic vertical playback on smart devices, PCs, and compatible social media, which enables a better viewing experience.

Vloggers are now able to live-stream directly to YouTube from EOS M50 Mark II by connecting to Wi-Fi without using a streaming unit. The EOS M50 Mark II also supports Canon’s new image. Canon cloud platform and registered users of the platform can upload, store, download, and transfer images smoothly between various devices. 

Equipped with a Vari-angle LCD monitor and features such as touch screen recording, movie self-timer, and an external microphone jack, the EOS M50 Mark II makes it intuitive and easy for vloggers to record videos and do live streaming. 




Denice Zamboanga All Praises for 16-Year-Old Victoria Lee

Women empowerment. When women support each other, nothing can stop them!


Teenage fighting sensation Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee is all set to make her first appearance inside the Circle, and #1-ranked atomweight Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga is looking forward to her highly-anticipated debut.

Lee, the younger sibling of ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee, will face off with Thailand’s Sunisa “Thunderstorm” Srisen at ONE: FISTS OF FURY, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday, 26 February.

Zamboanga believes the youngest Lee fighter yet has a bright future ahead of her and is all praises for the rising star.

“I think Victoria, coming from a renowned fighting family, is destined to become a world champion like her older brother and sister. She’s got a good camp, and her future looks bright,” said Zamboanga.

“This fight against Sunisa is going to be a good match. Victoria is so young and talented, while Sunisa has some experience.”

ONE Championship announced Lee signed with the promotion late last year, joining her older siblings in the Home of Martial Arts. Despite being just 16 years of age, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong was buzzing with excitement at the teenage star’s potential.

Sityodtong iterated that Lee’s age had no correlation with her ability to fight. It’s a sentiment that Zamboanga seems to share with ONE’s head honcho.

“I really admire Victoria because at such a young age, she’s already fighting in professional mixed martial arts in the best organization in the world. When I was 16, I hadn’t even started martial arts yet. She’s got a fantastic running start, and I have no doubt she will go far,” said Zamboanga.

“When it comes to mixed martial arts and fighting, I don’t think age matters. It’s all about skill and capability, strength, technique. With her support system and resources available to her, she’s going to be a strong contender. I believe she can smash all of her opponents, even if they are older than her.”

In the main event of ONE: FISTS OF FURY, reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias Ennahachi defends his world title against multiple-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.

Also seeing action on the card is kickboxing legend Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, and reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon. 

Modern ageing with grace-empowered Kaki persimmon soap

Numbers that indicate progress in a person’s life can sometimes be daunting especially for women. In fact, age is often left off the table during conversations, but what if it doesn’t have to be? Fortunately, a new soap that empowers ladies to age gracefully is emerging in the Philippines. 

Nonenal among aging people is often caused by hormonal imbalance but with a pure soap that cleanses the body, the smell might as well be a non-issue. This is what KAKI promises as a consumer brand. 

KAKI is a new persimmon-based soap that indulges the body into a regenerated state, away from unwanted odors, discoloration, and firmness of the skin.

Gina, 42, a bachelorette shares what she noticed after a month of continued use of the soap. 

“I no longer feel insecure because KAKI takes care of my body. I used to be so conscious of how I smell because I easily sweat. Now because of Kaki, I feel very confident even after a long day in the sun or even working out.”   

The same sentiment is also observed even in more mature ladies. A retired teacher, Angela, 56, says: “My skin feels very light and plump, and it reminds me of my younger days. My children and even my apos are not taken aback by my smell and they love bonding with me. This means a lot to me now that I can focus on my own grandchildren after teaching in a school for decades.”

Unique in gentleness to the skin and purifying effect, KAKI is without harsh chemicals that promise to speed-up skin lightening or exfoliates the skin more often than it needs to. 

KAKI’s Founder and CEO share her vision for the brand, “At Kaki, we truly aim to empower ladies to age worry-free. We can keep them flawless so they can have the time and energy to focus on what makes them happy. Our running joke internally is that if you use the Kaki soap, life can begin even beyond 40!”  

Apart from the immediate effects on the body, KAKI also lessens the nominal on pillowcases and bedsheets of its consumer and detoxifies without stripping the body of its natural oils. It also comes with a feminine foam wash for the sensitive parts of the ladies. 

Kaki keeps the side effects of aging away and assures its users that aging, like coming-of-age, should not have a wisp of embarrassment but a treasured phase of grace and poise.  

*KAKI is available at Shopee and Lazada starting at Php 160 and foam wash at Php 350. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

on learning to truly let go, loving oneself, and waiting for God's best

Paubaya. 

Let Go. 

I watched Moira's new MV for her song Paubaya and it reminded me so much of my past loves. Men that I thought loved me but simply needed me. Men that used me but made me think that they loved me. Men that were wrong from the very beginning but I thought I could make right. 

It didn't. 

They just needed me. 

They just used me. 

They were just wrong.

When you love someone that's wrong for you, it will always be a struggle. There will always be fights that you just can't seem to fix. There will always be doubts that you will try to squash. 

It will always take so much time. It will always feel like "I need to do this" vs "I want to do this." It will always be a feeling of "you and me against the world" instead of "the world celebrates our love." It will always be "why am I doing more, why am I hurting more, why am I feeling more?"

You see, when love is wrong, even the Universe will conspire against you. When it's not God's will, no amount of praying will help. I know because I have prayed so hard to God before. I prayed I begged, I threatened, I begged some more to make this guy the right one, to make him love me, to make him choose me. I begged and prayed and begged and prayed and still, nothing. 

I lost the guy. I got my heart broken into a million pieces. I cried buckets of tears.

And so I let go. I had no choice really. Every single time, it was either the guy was never really there from the start or has left without fair warning. So I let go. I had to. 

It wasn't easy. Sometimes, it took years. I would play scenarios in my head. What if I did this? What if I had done that? What if, what if, what if? 

Then, I truly let go. 

I let go of my constant quest to be loved and started learning to love myself. 

It was hard. 

I was so DAMN hard. 

I didn't know where to begin. I even asked people, "how do you love yourself?" 

I didn't know how to but I started by taking baby steps. 

I did things I wanted to do. I laid in bed and did nothing. I watched that series I have always wanted but never had the chance because my partner didn't like it. I wore that dress I wasn't allowed to. I took that hobby I have always wanted to pursue but couldn't because it took up too much time. 

I wore makeup just because. I didn't wear makeup because I didn't want to. I spent time with friends. I spent time with family. I spent time with ME. I did things with ME. I nurtured ME. 

I forgot about finding the one. I forgot about needing to have someone. I forgot about the eternal quest of having someone to complete me and I completed myself. 

I became whole. 

Then I met him and though there were struggles, it was easier too. 

It was easier to hold on. It was easier to fight for. It was easier to forgive. It was easier to choose each other every single day. Even in our darkest moment, it was easier to remember why we wanted this to work. 

That's how I knew this was it! He was God's best for me. 

It took 40 years but I finally found God's best and it only happened because I let go of the men who didn't love me, the men who didn't want me, the men who only needed me, and the men who only used me. 

I let go. 

I loved myself 

and I waited for God's best. 

Now, I have him and I am never letting go again.