Sunday, July 3, 2022

UnionBank Discusses How Open Banking will Drive the Digital Economy

Open banking and open finance are two models that are now slowly taking over the financial sector, with the promise of revolutionizing banking and financial services like never before and acting as "a catalyst for the new wave in financial innovation."

This was the main point of discussion during the 14th edition of Union Bank of the Philippines' (UnionBank) virtual roundtable series E-TalkTales, which took place last June 28 via Zoom. The event was led by UnionBank's Fintech Business Group Head Erika Dizon as its main speaker. 

In her presentation, Dizon explained that while open banking and open finance may differ slightly from each other—the former promotes data sharing on banking services, while the latter promotes data and capability sharing across the financial sector—the goal is the same, which is the creation of an open ecosystem.

An open ecosystem, she said, provides numerous benefits, including seamless data access and sharing, more opportunities for cooperation and collaboration, and most importantly, unprecedented customer-centricity. All of these point to the potential of the movement to completely change the way people see banking and finance.

Dizon listed a few examples of how the open finance movement can positively impact different sectors of society. For service providers, it can inspire innovation and create new revenue streams. For businesses, it can promote increased transparency and operational efficiency. For customers, it can help enable better personalization, and in turn more meaningful experiences. 

Dizon also named several pillars supporting open banking, namely, (1) regulatory push for frameworks built on principles of consent, interoperability, and collaboration; (2) heightened expectations coming from the digital and modern social experiences that are redefining banking and finance; (3) competition, especially with the emergence of non-traditional players; and (4) infrastructure, which is increasingly becoming more reliant on application programming interfaces.

"All of these factors are coming into play and have triggered the open banking and open finance movement and the beginning of the unbundling of the traditional banking models," Dizon said.

After her presentation, Dizon participated in a fireside chat with the event’s moderator, veteran journalist Rico Hizon. One of the questions that she answered was on data privacy, which is currently one of the biggest concerns related to open banking and open finance. She reiterated that, at the core of open banking, there should be customer consent, where end users can have the choice to share their data or not, and limit how much of their data is used.

Another topic discussed during the chat was balancing competition with collaboration, especially since open ecosystems require the latter for them to truly serve their purpose. She said that for UnionBank, rather than competing, the focus is more on “coopetition,” adding that there is a place for different industry players to benefit from a win-win-win model.

“We understand that some financial institutions, some fintech, some third parties have specific products and services that we don’t, and we believe that for us to be able to better serve our customers, we should be able to integrate those specific products and services into our own,” Dizon said.

“Open banking and open finance are only as good as the number of players that cooperate within that ecosystem, and that’s, I think, one of the biggest things that we have to consider.”

On the topic of how open banking and open finance can create more value for UnionBank, she said that these allow the Bank to identify new potential business models, and with these, generate more income streams and revenue models.

“More importantly, it adds value to our customers and how they do their financial transactions, and that is what’s really important to us,” Dizon said. “Of course, as a bank, there is a bottom line that we need to think of, but we believe that there is a space for both to co-exist, for the customers to be served appropriately and for the Bank to be able to have new business models.” 

Marian Rivera’s Top 3 Tips for Homemakers plus Shopee Home Essentials This 7.7

Upgrading your home isn’t always easy. And with so many options but with limited time and budget, sprucing up each space can be a challenge. But take it from Shopee Primetime Queen and hands-on homemaker Marian Rivera, whose tips on home design and budget-friendly must-haves will help guide you as you do home improvements without breaking the bank:

Always set a budget

Even with her current superstar status, setting a budget for everything is still an important aspect for Marian especially when buying her essentials for home and living. And just like most of us, Marian also looks out for the best deals on Shopee! As for her tip to new homeowners? Marian shares: “Always look for a peg. In that manner, mas makikita mo kung ano yung kailangan mong bilhin, kung anong kulang. [Always look for a peg. In that manner, you’ll see exactly what you need to buy and what’s still missing.]”

And for 7.7, you can maximize your budget and enjoy shipping discount vouchers, 10% off daily, and ₱49 deals and below when you add to cart and check out your home must-haves at the 7.7 Mid-Year Sale. You can also score a variety of ₱7 deals every 15 minutes at 12-1PM and 8-9PM during the Lightning Flash Hour Sale this 7.7 Mid-Year Sale. To know more about these amazing deals, visit the Lightning Flash Hour Sale page on Shopee. 

Want to get an idea of what to check out this 7.7? Here are Marian’s recommended swak sa budget home items to add to your essentials: 

Too much clothes but not enough space? This Hanging Closet Organizer is a lifesaver thanks to its multiple pockets perfect for small items. You can also hang this either inside your closet, in the bathroom, or even in your laundry area. Maximize every bit of space in your home with the help of this Wall-mounted Rotatable Hook and easily mount it anywhere without damaging your walls. Avoid spilling your toothpaste products with the help of this Automatic Toothpaste Dispenser, which also serves as toothbrush storage to keep your sink neat and tidy. Organize your grocery items with the help of this Refrigerator Storage Box, which has a space-saving design that makes stocking up supplies easier and more convenient.

Know your priorities when it comes to decorating your home.

Known for her multiple roles both on and off screen , the most important role Marian considers is being a mom to her kids, prioritizing everything that they need. “Mahilig kasi ako mag-ayos-ayos sa bahay lalo na pag walang ginagawa. Syempre first thing na kinoconsider ko is ang safety ng mga anak ko. Syempre bata, maligalig, mahirap namang makatabig-tabig sila or malapit sa disgrasya so I always make sure na kid-friendly ang mga gamit at ayos namin sa bahay. [I love decorating everything in our house especially when I’m not busy. Whenever I decorate, the first thing I consider is the safety of my kids. Since they’re kids, they’re very active and prone to accidents so I always make sure to have a kid-friendly home design.]”

If you’re like Marian who keeps things safe and sound at home, then better consider these budget-friendly and kid-friendly items on Shopee: 

Have a go-to tumbler you bring everywhere? This Protective Bottle Sleeve has a non-slip, anti-scratch, and anti-collision surface to keep your tumbler protected at all times. Make use of this Multipurpose Bath Ladle for your daily home tasks including watering the plants, washing ingredients in the kitchen, or even for your next bath time session with the kids. Avoid cluttering harmful items kids can reach with the help of this Under Desk Organizer, which you can also use for your home office setup. Prevent any accidents in the kitchen with the help of this cute Cartoon Bottle Opener, safe to use in opening bottles and jars with ease. 

Choose convenience when shopping for your home necessities

Marian is an avid shopper, and Shopee is her go-to source for all things home essentials. On what she usually buys, Marian shares: “I am very fond of kitchenwares; mga ingredients ng kung anu-anong niluluto ko, lalo na minsan of course may mga ingredients na mahirap hanapin sa grocery, so sa Shopee agad ako magchecheck. [I am very fond of kitchenwares; some ingredients are hard to find in the grocery, so I immediately check Shopee for those.]”

Want to make things hassle-free while cooking? Better add to your cart these affordable items to have a more enjoyable time in the kitchen:

If you love cooking just like Marian, then go for this Condiments Organizer to help keep your spices in place in an aesthetic way. Make cooking fun and safe experience with these non-slip Silicone Oven Gloves, which you can use to hold and transfer hot objects. Replace your plastic containers with these Sealed Jar Containers, which come in different sizes where you can store extra ingredients and food items. Always keep your cooking station spotless clean with this quick-drying Multipurpose Kitchen Towel, which you can also use on kitchenware. 

In this 7.7 Mid-Year Sale, don’t miss out on ShopeePay-exclusive load deals, shipping discounts, and bill payment cashback vouchers. Thinking of purchasing these home essentials? Make sure to check out with ShopeePay if you’re just like Marian who puts importance on convenience and budgeting.  Access rewarding perks when shopping, as well as exciting deals when you buy load, pay bills and send money with ShopeePay. Be updated with the latest promos by following ShopeePay’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

To know more about the 7.7 Mid-Year Sale, visit the 7.7 Mid-Year Sale page on Shopee.  

Friday, July 1, 2022

Surprise Back to the Future Themed Party for My Husband's 40th Birthday

It was something that I planned early part of May. After all, it's pretty hard to have a Back to the Future Themed Party. I actually had to pay for the package on Etsy just so I can find some materials to print. 

I wanted to do something special for my husband since he was turning 40 and thankfully, I was able to pull it off. It was a struggle, but we did it. 

I gave him little gifts here and there of different Back to the Future toys and memorabilia before his birthday just so he wouldn't notice. I figured that if I completely ignored his birthday as part of the surprise, that's when he might actually start thinking that there is one. 

Thankfully, the stars aligned and even his former boss was in the country during his birthday. So here's how the day went. 

First, we had a dummy cake. My family knows that I always get people cake so this was a must to keep up with the pretense. 

This was the celebration he knew that we were going to have. Below is the celebration that happened at night. 

To say that the surprise was a success would be an understatement. Apparently, my husband was really clueless and had no idea that there was a surprise party for him. 

I sent him off to a massage in the afternoon and then my bestie Kimi picked me up and we got the cake, decorated the place, and then I went back home and waited for the husband to arrive. 

I feel happy about the cake which I commissioned from Oh My Gee. This cake was definitely worth every peso spent. It was filled to the brim, it was heavy, it was delicious, and most of all, it was a pretty good replica of the cake design that I wanted. 

As you can see, there's even a DeLorean on top and the shoes and skateboard from Back to the Future because my husband is such a fan. 

with his older brother and family

with my cousin

with his coworkers

with our Ninong and Ninang sa kasal plus friends
It was a simple celebration but it was one filled with love, laughter, and good food. 

Cheers Mahal. Life begins at 40. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Five Things You Can Do with ShopeePay

Nowadays, there are mobile apps for just about everything, even for activities like shopping or making financial transactions that we previously could not do online. With thousands of apps available for our use, it's best to choose one with different features so you don’t have to constantly switch between apps. Are you looking for versatility and convenience? Then ShopeePay is for you. To get started, simply download the Shopee app, and activate and verify your ShopeePay Wallet. From paying for items on Shopee to sending money, there’s a lot you can accomplish with Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet.

Here’s a quick rundown of the things you can do with ShopeePay so you won’t miss out:

1. Avoid bank fees when you cash in via InstaPay or link your bank account

There is plenty of ShopeePay cash in channels to choose from like payment centers, e-wallets, online banking, debit cards, and more. Aside from these convenient options, did you know that you can also avoid admin fees and cash in for free? One way is to link your BPI or UnionBank account to cash in for free. For those with a different bank, cashing in is also free when you use InstaPay on your bank’s online app—get up to P25 cashback on your first two InstaPay transactions per month. 

To make the experience even more rewarding, you can join the ‘Cash In and Win with InstaPay’ promo and stand a chance to win P100,000 worth of prizes when you cash in at least P1,000 via InstaPay from June 27 to 30. Cash in as many times as you can to earn more raffle entries.

2. Send money to any bank, e-wallet, or Shopee user for free

Need to send money to your friends or family? No need to worry about paying additional fees. The best thing about sending money with ShopeePay is that it’s free, with no hidden fees. Choose from different ways to instantly send money— to bank account, e-wallet, scan to send via QR, or try the new Ang Pao feature. You can use ShopeePay Ang Pao to surprise your friends and family during special occasions or to send money to multiple people at the same time without incurring additional charges. 

On top of zero fees, you can also earn money when you participate in ShopeePay’s send money promos until June 30. 

ShopeePay Mission - From June 23 to 30, send at least P50 to any ShopeePay user or bank/e-wallet account, and earn raffle entries for every transaction. Eligible users can get a chance to win up to P1,000,000. 

Double Ang Pao promo - Get double the amount you sent when you send at least P50 to 40 friends from June 27 to 29 (capped at P200) and to 100 friends on June 30 (capped at P500). 

3. Buy discounted load and data for your mobile phone

We’re used to purchasing prepaid loads from reloading stations that usually add extra costs on top of the load. Why pay full price or more when you can call, text, and surf the net with discounted load and data promos from ShopeePay? Get up to 10% discount for mobile load and data from the country’s major networks when you top up your prepaid SIM. Tip: Check out ShopeePay’s flash deals and payday discounts for more offers.

4. Get cashback when you pay your bills 

Whether you need to pay for daily utilities like electricity, water, and internet or personal expenses like loans, insurance, or government contributions, ShopeePay is a one-stop shop for your bill payment needs. Get the most out of your monthly budget with cashback vouchers when you use ShopeePay to pay over 60 partner billers—new users can get up to 100% bills cashback (minimum spend P180, capped at 180 coins). 

5. Access amazing deals in-store and online shopping perks

Check out ‘ShopeePay Near Me’ on the Shopee app to discover deals for as low as P1 from popular food & beverage outlets, retail brands, and more. Avid online shoppers can get more value for money when you pay Shopee purchases with ShopeePay’s exclusive shipping discounts and cashback vouchers. This June 30 Payday Sale, enjoy even more rewards such as sitewide shipping discount vouchers w/ P0 min. spend, up to P1000 off on bills and 10% off vouchers when shopping.

Activate ShopeePay now and start enjoying its benefits. To learn more about ShopeePay, visit Follow ShopeePay’s Instagram and Facebook pages to be updated with the latest promos.  

Enjoy comfort and clarity with the newest Nokia accessories exclusive on Shopee

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today announces its new line-up of accessories – the Nokia Comfort Earbuds Pro, Nokia Clarity Earbuds +, Nokia Wired- and Wireless Headphones and Nokia Go Earbuds 2 Pro now available exclusively on Shopee.  Fans can also purchase the Nokia T20 tablet bundled with Nokia wired headphones for a limited time offer.

Nokia accessories – every device’s perfect match

Perfect gifts for every occasion; the new line of Nokia accessories can be used universally across your favorite gadgets whether it’s a Nokia smartphone or tablet, or another brand. The new accessories are now available on Shopee starting today:

For everyday use, the Nokia Comfort Earbuds Pro promotes in-ear comfort and noise cancellation with ANC noise cancellation technology. These earbuds provide up to seven hours of noise-canceled playback time on one charge and thanks to their natural ergonomic design and unique comfort ring, the Nokia Comfort Earbuds Pro lets users enjoy superbly balanced sound reproduction with ease. It also features dual-mic Environmental Noise Cancellation for clear calls.

The perfect partner for intense workouts or work days, the Nokia Clarity Earbuds  + offers quality sound, longer playback, and zero interruptions. These earbuds come with dual mic Environmental Noise Cancellation technology and an Active Noise Cancellation mode to keep background sound to a minimum. They also have a 13mm device driver that delivers superior balanced sound quality. Users can use up to 20 hours of playback as they enjoy its super-light design built for comfort.

Fans can ride on that sleek and stylish headphones trend in prime comfort with both the Nokia Wired- and Wireless Headphones. The accessories sport big bass with a comfortable fit with their lightweight foldable design and comfortable cushions that lets users enjoy the powerful sound with ease. The Nokia Wireless Headphones can deliver up to 60 hours of playback, the best companions for listening while on the move.

A gift of durability and precision, the Nokia Go Earbuds 2 Pro are built with balanced 10 mm drivers to let users get the most out of their music as they produce rich bass and balanced sound. The earbuds offer an environmental noise-canceling feature that keeps the user’s voice clear and heard more clearly on calls. Moreover, the accessories have a low latency mode that lets users stay in the zone in games and videos with less audio lag, where they can keep going all day with up to 24 hours of charge case battery power. And with durability that can withstand rainy days and active workouts, users can enjoy the earbuds’ sweat and splash-resistant build and a secure design for maximized comfort.

All Nokia accessories can be purchased exclusively at Shopee until July 11 starting at Php 890. The accessories will be available soon in all Nokia mobile official stores and authorized resellers online, and physical stores nationwide on June 27.

Nokia T20: A premium quality that’s built to last

Featuring the award-winning qualities of Nokia phones now in the tablet space, the Nokia T20 has versatile features for all occasions – including long-lasting battery life, a crisp 2K screen, and immersive OZO Audio and OZO Playback. Users can work, learn and play for longer thanks to its premium Nordic quality and two years of OS upgrades for signature reliability.

Starting July 1, customers can purchase the Nokia T20 tablet in Ocean Blue color variant and 4 GB/64 GB configuration for only Php 10,990 from its original price of Php 12,990, bundled with the new Nokia wired headphones. Check out this limited-time offer on Shopee.

UnionBank holds Selyado Wednesdays e-learning series for MSMEs

In celebration of Privacy Awareness Week, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) continued its Selyado 4.0 series of weekly e-learning sessions. These were conducted to educate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and highlight the importance of data privacy in the digital age.

“Data Proficiency for Beginners” was the first topic had for its main speaker Edwin Concepcion, ASEAN of Straits Interactive Pte. Ltd., Head of Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS). He gave an introduction on data proficiency -- what it is, how it can be done, and why organizations should prioritize it. Concepcion defined data proficiency as one's capacity to utilize data to positively impact an organization. For MSMEs, he noted that its benefits included improved operational efficiency that in turn, lowers operational costs; as well as creates better experiences for customers.

“Cybersecurity for MSMEs” was ably discussed by no less than UnionBank’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Joey Rufo. For this second leg, the focus was on cybersecurity as a must for MSMEs, especially amidst the steadily growing digital economy. It remains one of the major issues individuals and organizations face today as we continue to shift to the digital space.  

Rufo emphasized that cybersecurity applies especially to the MSMEs since many shops and firms have set up e-commerce sites or have shifted their businesses online. This setup exposes them and their customers to the threat of cyber attacks (like malware, phishing, etc.) which is why they also need to prioritize cybersecurity. Rufo reminded the business owners that consumers will only transact their information and money with establishments they can trust.

“Updates on DP Regulations and Data Privacy Trends,” the third forum, had National Privacy Commission (NPC) Deputy Commissioner Leandro Aguirre as the presenter. Atty. Aguirre touched on the various government initiatives in ensuring that organizations are able to play their part in protecting the data of Filipinos. He also discussed trends that are seen to dominate data privacy in the next few months. Atty. Aguirre underscored the importance of the private and public sectors working together to advance the promotion of data privacy in the country.

Attendees who were able to complete each session were given certificates of participation. UnionBank likewise held raffle draws giving away special prizes to make the sessions more exciting.

The Bank also made it possible for those who missed the #SelyadoWednesday e-learning live streams to have access to the recording of all the sessions on-demand and get certificates upon completion. They can visit the UBPXcellerator website and register for a free account 

ERC enables UP and Meralco’s pilot implementation of retail aggregation

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has enabled the pilot implementation of retail aggregation with the timely promulgation of the rules governing the said mechanism.

The regulator, along with Meralco and UP Diliman, on June 24 signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow the academic institution to choose its preferred supplier of electricity for the combined power requirements of the Diliman campus.

This came right after the ERC issued the rules on the retail aggregation that will allow two or more electricity end-users within a contiguous area to pool their demand and become Contestable Customers, thereby enabling them to participate in Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA).

RCOA allows electricity end-users classified by the ERC as Contestable Customers to directly negotiate their power rates and enter into a retail electricity supply contract with their preferred supplier.

(L-R) Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Business Group Engr. Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo, UP Vice President for Development Elvira A. Zamora, UP President Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion, ERC Chairperson and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera, ERC Commissioner Atty. Alexis M. Lumbatan, and Meralco First Vice President and Head of Regulatory Management Office Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles.

"We have just promulgated the Rules for the Electric Retail Aggregation Program which is another means of empowering consumers to exercise their freedom of choice. The Rules on Retail Aggregation was released today as we celebrate the launch of the Pilot Implementation of Retail Aggregation," ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera said.

The pilot implementation will involve UP Diliman’s 149 customer accounts within the campus, which have an aggregate demand of 4.27 MW.

For Devanadera, retail aggregation gives more consumers still another alternative means to manage power costs, especially now with external factors such as surges in global fuel prices leading to the volatility of power rates.

"The ERC would like to thank UP and Meralco for their initiative in making possible this pilot implementation. With their partnership, we hope that the electricity consumers will be more enlightened about the benefits of retail aggregation which ultimately is for the consumers to have the power to choose from among the electricity suppliers that offer better rates and better services," the chief regulator said.

UP Diliman intends to practice its contestability under the RCOA to comply with the directive of the Inter-Agency Efficiency and Conservation Committee (IAECC) under the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), to reduce the government’s monthly electricity consumption.

“As I wrote to ERC Chairperson Devanadera last May, this pilot scheme is borne from a series of meetings between the UP System Committee on Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program and MERALCO. The aim was to identify the best strategies to achieve energy efficiency and conservation in the University,” UP President Danilo L. Concepcion said.

“I warmly thank the UP System EECP Committee members and their MERALCO counterparts for the hard work and creative thinking they put into this planned pilot implementation of retail aggregation for UP Diliman. Thank you to the Energy Regulatory Commission headed by Chairperson Devanadera for supporting this pilot retail aggregation scheme for UP Diliman,” he added.

Meralco, for its part, expressed its full support to the pilot implementation and pledged its continuous participation in exploring ways of expanding customer choice through retail aggregation.

“We would like to recognize the ERC for its instrumental role in this partnership, particularly by the promulgation of the necessary rules and regulations governing retail aggregation. Their guidance and oversight have shaped both this pilot implementation and retail aggregation for the rest of the country. Beyond retail aggregation, we are hopeful that this project will be the first of many initiatives where Meralco can work with the ERC and University of the Philippines to bring innovation and customer empowerment to our kababayans,” said Meralco FVP and Head of Regulatory Management Atty. Jose Ronald Valles.

The ERC said the Retail Aggregation program will encourage competition among Retail Electricity Suppliers and will result in better rates and better services for customers. 

The ABCs to Healthy Skin for You and Your Child

As parents, we spend our days making sure we have the right tools and partners so our children can grow up healthy, and enjoy all the joys of life, big and small. From the vitamins they drink to keep them strong, to the lotions and creams that keep their skin smooth and healthy, their well-being is at the top of the priority list.

Young moms and dads who have experienced eczema, or who are now seeing eczema symptoms in their kids often feel anxious and worried when their little ones experience redness or skin irritation. Also known as atopic dermatitis or skin asthma, eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that leads to dryness, itchiness, and redness in the skin, and these symptoms appear over time in varying degrees. From spotting the first signs of redness and flaking, itchy skin, to reaching the peak of severe cracks and bleeding, worsened by scratching, eczema may come and go but mostly remains dormant in the skin. 

While eczema is not life-threatening, parents worry over this because it may have a significant impact on their child’s life, limiting the clothes they wear, the activities they do outdoors and under the sun, and even the food they eat so they don’t further irritate their skin. When a flare-up happens, you as the parent want to help your child not only relieve the itch and prevent skin from bleeding, but more importantly, space out the next flare-up for as long as possible and get their life back to normal.

Because eczema occurs as a succession of inflammatory flare-ups which appear over time, Bayer Consumer Health introduces its ABC Eczema Care System. Bayer aims to help parents and their kids reactively treat eczema flare-ups, while also proactively repairing and moisturizing skin to mitigate future flares-ups. With their products, managing eczema and controlling flare-ups is as easy as ABC.

A is for Anti-inflammatory
The peak of eczema symptoms is flare-ups that often come with redness and swelling of the skin. For fast relief of these symptoms, Mometasone furoate (Elica®), is an OTC topical steroid that helps control and calms down the inflammation, with visible results in just 24 hours. Available in cream for wet wounds and ointment for dry, thick areas, Mometasone furoate (Elica®) relieves itching, swelling, and inflammation. 

B is for Barrier Restoration
Once major symptoms have subsided, your skin needs to heal from scratching and dryness. Bepanthen Itch Relief Cream not only calms itchiness within 30 minutes but also helps heal the impaired system barrier in eczema-prone areas. A steroid-free cream, it can be applied as needed when itchiness occurs, so you don’t need to worry about potential harm to your babies and children. As it helps prevent the loss of water in your skin, using Bepanthen Itch Relief Cream is proactive measure parents can take to lessen itchiness, redness, and irritation. 

C is for Basic Care
Eczema management is not just a one-time occurrence. To help space out the next flare-up for as long as possible, the skin needs to be cleansed and moisturized on a regular basis. Bepanthen SensiDaily Moisturizer is clinically tested to help keep skin flare-free for at least three months. Formulated with prebiotics to help keep extra sensitive, eczema-prone skin healthy, it provides deep and long-lasting* hydration for your whole body. 

Beating eczema should not be a case of hit or miss. With Bayer’s ABC Eczema Care System, managing it is as easy as ABC! 

If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.

Elica and Bepanthen are available via Bayer Official Stores on Shopee and Lazada. To learn more about Elica and Bepanthen, visit their official websites at and 

*For up to three months, with regular use

ASC Ref. No. B214P052622BS


For long-time TOYCON fans, it’s no secret that Voltes V holds a special place in this convention’s heart. This iconic robot has never missed a spot among the collage of colorful characters on our poster since the very start, and on special milestone years, it has even become the central symbol of our show, with the huge Voltes V statue in 2016 when we first moved the convention to the SMX in Pasay, the fleet of Voltes V ships gracing our 2017 merchandise, and TOYCON’s launch of the Tamashii Nations Super Electromagnetic Machine VOLTES V, Bandai Spirits DLX Soul of Chogokin in 2020. 

It’s been too long since the community of pop culture fans and collectors has come together since the pandemic struck. For many, this long drought without any gathering to celebrate our common love for all things creative, innovative, and collectible has gone on way too long. And so with the effects of CoVid winding down, we just cannot wait to see you all, our fans and loyal community, finally come home. 

And this year, our 19th year of putting on an onsite convention, Voltes V takes center stage again as part of a promise made by our event partner, Quiccs, back in 2019 to launch his trademark TEQ-63 in unmistakable Voltes V style only at TOYCON! And this year, in partnership with TOEI Co. Ltd. Telesuccess, we’re all set to finally launch it! At the heart of the Voltes V story is a tale of a family divided, of struggles suffered and surpassed, but ultimately a reunion of love. Which is really what TOYCON is about too, isn’t it?  It is a yearly reunion, and for this year, a homecoming, as we return to the place where it all started.


TOYCON was started as a gathering of people of like minds, and this year as it has been every year, it is a collaboration of many to put together the biggest pop culture event in the country and in South East Asia. It is an alliance, which this year, goes back to its roots, as we put on a TOYCON which feels familiar but still is the cutting-edge show it has been which other shows have imitated but never duplicated. 


The biggest Voltes V Licensing and merchandise exhibit in collaboration with Telesuccess Productions Inc.

Surprise Celebrity appearances (to be announced soon!)  

Funko Funatics Philippines release of exclusives and celebrity signings

Top toy studios and designers from the region on exhibit 

TOYCON Creator’s Alley – co-organized by the Bulletpunk Network where the top Filipino toy creators meet the up-and-coming young upstart creators

Artist Alley – co-organized by Komiket with some of the Philippines' top comic book artist/s assembled for signing and sketching

The TOYCON Collectors Gallery c/o the Philippine Toy Groups Association

Toy Art and Toy Customizing competition

ToyClick and Cosclick Photography contest

The TOYCON Cosplay Competition and the World Cosplay Summit

Collectors and Customizers Panel discussions  

The Pinoy Pop Culture Icon Awards

And the Biggest collectibles retail floor of more than 250 booths


Online selling seminars, live auctions, and live streams brought to us by Lazada

VIP access, NFT workshops, and Bulletpunk BitWars art brought to us by Smart Signature

Come home to a very familiar, yet still, a whole new playground as the TOYCON PH 2022 happens on July 8 to 10, 2022 at Megatrade Halls, 5/F of the SM Megamall Building B. The event is organized by VLAC Event Management Inc and co-presented by Lazada and Smart Signature.

Sponsored by Telesuccess Productions, MaxiCollector, Great Toys Online, Legendary Beasts Studios, EC Collectibles, Filbars, Toy Empire, Bully Boy Collectibles, and DHL.

In cooperation with

Vans, Yori, Funko Funatic Philippines, Warner Brothers, and The Linden Suites 

With media partners, ABS-CBN, 106.7 Energy FM, and FPS PH.

And event partners Anime Alliance, Ex-Link Events, Komiket, PICOF,  and the Philippine Toy Group Association.  

For event details go to: or Like ToyConPh on Facebook and Twitter

Tickets are available online at and the TOYCON 2022 store on Lazada.     

Monday, June 27, 2022

Dae Nong Mart in BFRV, Las Pinas is the Best Korean Store

When I say that I have been to my fair share of Korean Marts, trust me on this. Every single time I pass by one, I make sure to stop and check it out. Most of the time, I am okay with the choices but sometimes, I feel let down, especially after I started watching Korean vlogs.

I found out that I have a love for Korean food and cooking, thus, the search for the most complete KMart has started. Thankfully, I saw Dae Nong Mart. 

This is located right beside BPI Family Bank which is along BF Resort Drive. It's not that big but trust me, it's almost complete with the basics to cook a wonderful Korean dish.

They have all of these mushrooms. They have 5 different kinds and I love them since I love dishes with mushrooms and a lot of the Korean dishes that I want to learn involve mushrooms in one way or another. 

They also had the small sausages that are perfect for budae jjigae which I love serving in our home since it's so easy to make.

They have premium Korean beef which I use for beef enoki mushrooms, soup, and stir fry beef veggies. They also have Kimchi which I use for Kimchi rice. 

They had fish cake, the big togue, and hotpot ingredients. 

They even have really affordable bokchoy which is one of my go-to veggies. 

And this! Singapore Fish Ball is the best when it comes to noodles and ramen. ACK! So so good and bouncy fish ball. GAH! 

I also tried their gimbap ham and it's definitely something that I will be adding to my menu now. Their japchae is also so so great because a big serving is only 120 pesos and it's good for at least 3-4 meals. It's so easy to cook too coz you just need to pour hot water and leave it for 30 minutes to one hour. 

Here's the latest dish that I cooked at home. It's not perfect but I know that I am getting better with every attempt. 

I even bought a ttukbaegi for making Korean steamed eggs. I also have Mirin. The other dish is a veggie stir fry with gimbap ham and baby eggplant that I harvested from our tiny garden.

My version of jajamyeon.

Next time, I'll try the gimbap. I am so so excited. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

K-Beautrition for Angelic Radiance

You are what you eat. Diet and health have always been interlinked, and the K-Beauty industry is resurfacing this age-old wisdom through beautrition, the latest craze to achieving and maintaining your glow goals. 

Long before they made us obsessed with the 10-step routine and glass skin, Koreans have been practicing the harmony of beauty + nutrition. Take for example their fondness for kimchi and other fermented foods, which are known to promote a healthy gut, more luminous complexion, and overall fitness. 

Now the K-Beauty industry takes beautrition to a new level with edible or ingestible beauty---supplements that are usually in the form of drinks, capsules, candies, gels, powders and the like.

Greater than the Glow

More than the desired effect of radiant skin, beautrition products emphasize holistic health starting from within. When our insides are in tip-top shape, it shows on the outside, too. 

Beautrition products provide the energy our body needs to function properly, plus it helps improve blood circulation, which in turn enhances nutrient absorption and delivery to nails, hair, and skin.   

What sets apart beautrition products from other supplements? Aside from satisfying recommended nutritional values, beautrition products come with specific actives or combinations of particular ingredients that target special concerns. 

K-Beautrition with Cheonsa

Cheonsa is the newest name you can trust for beauty nutrition. Cheonsa uses premium-grade ingredients from Korea to ensure high-quality results. These include hyaluronic acid, glutathione, vitamin C, zinc, collagen, and biotin. 

While other health and wellness brands also use these valued ingredients in their products, Cheonsa invests in sourcing them from Korea where more meticulous production standards are followed and maintained.  

Kylie Padilla for Cheonsa

Kylie Padilla is the newest endorser of Cheonsa. Way before it became super popular, the Kapuso actress has been practicing the ways of beautrition. “I love trying out new skin care products and trending regimens, but throughout the years, what worked for me is being very conscious of what I eat as I know it will eventually affect the state of my skin.” 

Kylie adds, “That’s why I feel honored to be chosen as the face of Cheonsa as I am advocating total fitness to be your prettiest. I’m really impressed with Cheonsa’s high-quality ingredients from Korea. Aside from helping me achieve glowing angelic skin, it makes me feel energized and healthy everyday.  

Kylie’s favorite drinks these days include Cheonsa’s Collagen powder boosted with hyaluronic acid and glutathione. They come in two flavors: Creamy Cappuccino and Strawberry Smoothie. Whether with ice or taken piping hot, these collagen drinks help Kylie have that supple-looking, hydrated, and brighter complexion. 

On busier days with longer taping hours, Kylie gets beauty reinforcement from    Cheonsa’s supplement capsules: Glutathione with Vitamin C and Zinc, and Collagen with Biotin. Taking them is part of her daily self-care routine to combat the adverse effects of such a hectic lifestyle. 

Get that angelic Korean glow and be vibrantly healthy like Kylie! Nourish your skin, only with Cheonsa. 

Cheonsa is exclusively available at Watsons and other leading online stores nationwide.