Monday, January 31, 2022

5 Best Practices to Help Filipino Farmers Save Water

Thanks to the imminent threat of a global water crisis, Philippine government agencies and private entities involved in water distribution have recently paid more than just lip service to "pagtitipid ng tubig" than they had in previous years.

The Department of Agriculture and its various offices have also started warning the public against wasting water. In an official 2021 social media post, Kristine S. Pascual, a senior research specialist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute, noted, “[w]e need 4,000 liters or 20 drums of water to produce 1 kg. of rice. With proper water use, only 2,600 liters or 13 drums will be needed to produce the same amount of rice.”


However, even 2,600 liters is already a generous amount by some estimates. An IRRI estimate gives 1,432 liters as the needed average amount to produce one kilogram of rice in a lowland paddy system.

And while rice is the biggest agricultural consumer of water, other crops such as corn, sugarcane, and pineapples, while not consuming nearly as much, use up non-negligible amounts of water as well.

Given this, government agencies, agricultural universities, and other institutions are now endorsing various methods for helping farmers reduce water consumption. Below are some of the strategies that are being encouraged:

1.) Implement Irrigation Schedules

Because of the low cost of irrigation water, many farmers simply don’t see much advantage in watching their field’s water levels too closely. Rice, being a semi-aquatic plant, can thrive even when partially submerged. However, most rice varieties do not require submerging for any purpose other than to deter pests. Thus, the ideal water level should only be between 5 and 10 centimeters, enough to keep most kinds of pests away.

Institutions such as the PRRI recommend only flooding fields when necessary, such as in the early stages of the planting cycle, and keeping the levels as low as practical. Soil testing and following recommended irrigation schedules for the soil type should also allow for maximum palay production with minimum water waste.



2.) Focus on Soil Quality

Different soil types have different water requirements. For example, rice planted in clay-rich soil may require less water because the soil can hold onto more moisture, offsetting the effects of evaporation. More sandy and rocky soil has less holding capacity and may require more water consumption.

Along with better scheduling, doing proper soil testing and using the appropriate amounts of water can help farmers judge the acceptable minimum amounts of water inputs for the desired yield.

3.) Use Better Watering and Irrigation Methods

A lot of water wastage in the field also happens because of the specific watering and irrigation methods used. Traditional field flooding and sprinkling both save labor, which is welcome given the hard work that goes into planting rice. However, these methods lose water to evaporation and are also responsible for much of the water wastage that happens in crop cultivation. 

Drip irrigation is an alternative watering method that uses some kind of water transportation system that goes partially under the soil, watering crops directly at the roots. This prevents water loss from evaporation and enables dramatically reduced water consumption. The amount of water released can be finely tuned to prevent over-saturation. The result is less water used with the same yields.

While drip irrigation systems are currently expensive, they may soon become a fact of life for farmers if water shortages continue.

4.) Install Rainwater Storage Systems

Rainwater is an underutilized source of soft water, that is, water that is relatively free of minerals. Before the development of modern water treatment systems, rainwater was prized for household use, as its lack of mineral content and contaminants makes it ideal for cleaning and even drinking, after some basic sterilization.

Unfortunately, many farms no longer install these systems because of the low cost of relatively clean irrigation water. However, these collection systems are often just a one-time expense that can save on water consumption for years. They can be especially useful for farms with vegetable gardens as well as for those where the municipal water sources are far from the homestead.

5.) Choose Drought-Tolerant Crops and Strains

Many parts of the Philippines are already experiencing droughts and other seasonal water supply issues. Fortunately, thanks to the work of local scientists, there are now crop strains that are especially suited for these adverse conditions.

Some strains of rice and corn have significantly lower watering requirements compared to the most popularly used ones today. This makes them good choices when planting in areas with limited irrigation options, such as in many upland farms in the Philippines. These newer crop strains may also become necessary if projections of water scarcity by the end of the 2020s become true.

Is Time Running Out for Filipino Farmers?

With the effects of climate change and water scarcity upon us, there is a growing call to reduce water waste, particularly in agriculture. By some estimates, up to 70 percent of water in the Philippines is wasted, largely as a result of outdated agricultural practices. 

The Philippines is currently at the start of a water supply crisis partly due to the effects of climate change, which has resulted in more intense dry seasons and lower average water tables. Additionally, rising sea levels resulting from climate change are causing saltwater intrusion that limits the freshwater sources available to farmers. What’s more, traditional farming methods are worsening this state of affairs.  

While there will be difficulties implementing the best practices suggested above, the water crisis looms larger with every planting cycle. Soon, such measures will be a necessity rather than just a way to save on irrigation costs.

 

ONE Championship Announces 2022 Live Event Calendar

ONE Championship™ (ONE) today announced its 2022 live event calendar. The organization has already hosted two global events this year, ONE: HEAVY HITTERS and ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE, and has 22 events left on schedule. 

Additional events for 2022 will be announced at a later date.

Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “We are thrilled to announce our 2022 live event calendar for ONE Championship. We have 24 blockbuster events scheduled so far, with more to come. We will continue to showcase the absolute best in World Championship talent, martial arts skill, and entertainment value.” 

Motorola Edge Series: Your Best Companion for Content-Creation

With another year passing by and the world-changing in surprising and significant ways, content creators are constantly challenged to find new means to produce creative and engaging content. Luckily for them, Motorola’s Edge 20 Series: moto edge 20 pro and moto edge 20 fusion are two of the best content-creating companions in the market. 

High Resolution for High Quality Content

Designed with a 108MP camera system and Ultra-Pixel technology that allows 9x light sensitivity, the moto edge series takes true-to-life photos. The camera on the moto edge 20 pro captures every detail in 8K, the highest resolution possible on a smartphone to date for stunningly clear cinematic detail and also includes a high-resolution zoom in periscope style to record stunning visuals from as far as 50x without losing clarity. 

Dual-Camera Recording

Existing and aspiring vloggers won’t have to worry about switching cameras or missing out on capturing quality footage since the moto edge series comes equipped with a dual capture mode. It allows split-screen recording to perfectly show what action is currently happening in front of the camera and your reaction to it from behind the screen.

Store More and Move Fast

Content creators won’t have to worry about not having enough storage as the moto edge 20 pro is built with 256GB, while the moto edge 20 fusion has 128GB.

Lags won’t be an issue with either of these phones as the moto edge 20 pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor and is built with 12GB of RAM while the moto edge 20 fusion is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor and has 8GB of RAM.

The moto edge 20 pro is also engineered with a 144Hz refresh rate while the moto edge 20 fusion has a 90Hz refresh rate, both perfect for on the go editing and switching across multiple applications. 

Ultra Vibrant, Ultra Long Life, Ultra 5G speed

Engineered with OLED screen technology and a 6.7” Max Vision display with HDR10+, creators will be able to produce realistic colors with improved brightness and contrast for their content. Creators also won’t have to worry about missing upload deadlines as the phone is packed with superfast 5G speed that loads everything at an instant, and a 4500mAh battery that can last up to at least 30 hours of power for the moto edge 20 pro and a 5000mAh battery for the moto edge 20 fusion.

READY FOR any moment


Content Creation is an on-the-go job. With the READY FOR application, creators can get work done and access files on their phone at any moment by easily connecting to a monitor or a TV, bluetooth device, or by downloading the Ready For Assistant on their respective devices. Creators can also use the Ready For application for streaming, gaming, video calling and so much more. The sky's the limit!  

Features perfect for anytime and anywhere

Speaking of on-the-go, the moto edge 20 series is perfect for anytime and anywhere. At approximately only 8-8.25mm, the phone features a sleek and modern look capable of keeping up with the ever-evolving trends while also water-repellent and ready for any kind of adventure. Its premium matte finish results in stunning views from every angle and its beautifully curved design makes it stand out from the rest.

Don’t miss out on the moto edge 20 pro at only PHP 29,995 and the moto edge 20 fusion at PHP 16,995, the perfect content creating companions that will help you exceed your expectations and discover your edge.

To get the moto edge 20 series, shop from Motorola kiosks in SM Megamall and SM North Edsa, participating Lenovo Experience Stores and authorized mobile resellers nationwide, or the Motorola flagship stores on Lazada and Shopee. You can also follow Motorola Philippines on Facebook for the latest products and promos. 

Celebrate a Roaring Chinese New Year at Market! Market!

The Chinese New Year celebration is steeped in traditions and practices that are believed to ward off negative energy, and usher in prosperity and good luck. Market! Market! is inviting everyone to come to celebrate Chinese New Year, and welcome the year of the Water Tiger with fun activities, and exciting finds for the whole family, furbabies included!

Discover Your Fate in the Year of the Tiger

Learn all about your Chinese Zodiac Sign, and let your horoscope lead you towards a more auspicious and prosperous year ahead. Visit the Fate & Fortune Zodiac Display at the G/F Serendra Wing from January 30 to February 6, 2022 to find out what’s in store for you this Year of the Tiger. 

Shop for All Your Lunar New Year Needs Through ANA


Let ANA take care of getting everything you need this Chinese New Year. Book the shopping service from January 30 to February 6, 2022, and get a free Tiger Balm and Fortune Cookie with your purchases!

Test Your Luck at the Lucky Ball Pao-Chinko Game

Win fortune cookies or lucky ang paos when you play the Lucky Ball Pao-Chinko Game from January 31 to February 1, 2022. Simply present a vaccination card that shows you are fully vaccinated, along with a Php 500 single-receipt purchase to play. 

Visit Little China Town at the Mall


Shop for Chinese flavors, jewelry, and charms for good fortune from January 31 to February 6, 2022 at the Market! Market! Activity Center, and watch your luck change for the better!

Bring Good Fortune to Your Furbabies Too

Get a special Cat Care Package in partnership with Pooch Park when you register your cat or present their Ayala Malls Pet ID at the Concierge Booth on February 1, 2022.


Prepare Your Table for a Spectacular Lunar New Year Feast

Order from your favorite Ayala Malls restaurants through Grab Food on February 1, 2022, using the promo code AYALACNY150, and get Php 150 off on your delivery.

Use the promo code AYALAMALLS100 to enjoy Php 100 off plus additional discounts when you order for delivery and pickup through Food Panda, with a minimum spend of Php 399. This promo is valid until April 30, 2022. 

#CNYatMarketMarket Snap and Win

Capture memories at the virtual photo booth located at the C5 Wing and Serendra Wing from February 1 to 6, 2022. Share your pictures and boomerangs on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #CNYatMarketMarket, for the chance to win fun prizes!

For more information on mall activities, schedules, and promotions at #iLoveMarketMarket, like and follow Facebook.com/MarketMarket, @ilovemarketmarket on Instagram and TikTok, and @MarketMarketBGC on Twitter. You may also visit www.ayalamalls.com. 

 

TECNO devotes itself into a more inclusive camera technology to create a world with more understanding and connections

TECNO, a premium smartphone brand focused on emerging markets, recently partnered with BBC StoryWorks to create a short film The Future Lens: Looking Ahead With TECNO to explore how mobile camera lens provides inclusive mobile camera technologies to local consumers.

“Cameras have evolved over the years, but unfortunately, it feels like the technology isn't created with everyone in mind. As a photographer,  I think one of the most intimate things you can do is take a portrait of someone that accurately portrays who they are.” according to a photographer, Justin Amoafo. 

This is where TECNO comes into the picture. TECNO envisions a world where inclusive phone design can help form communities, connect people with one another and ensure no one is left behind. In the film, TECNO illustrates why portrait imaging is its most ground-breaking technology and how it has empowered users of dark skin tones to realize all possibilities of expression. 

Based on innovations that can significantly increase light intake, and an enormous database that covers 7 skin types across 76 skin categories, TECNO has made a significant impact in resolving the technical challenges regarding exposure, colors, and hues in portrait photography.  Meanwhile, in TECNO TAIVOS Camera Lab, more than 3,000 local samples with approximately 6,120 evaluation scenarios spanning 115 countries enable the camera lab team possible to focus on the localized ethnic research, social aesthetic ideology, and aesthetic preference research, so as to make the experience of product image effect direction conform to the localized trends. All these innovations bring users technology that they do not have to adapt to, but that instead accommodates for them. 

“The future Lens is the world without limit. Technology should include everyone and let us to be our true selves, instead of being depicted through a subjective lens . I believe that it should be the mission of humans to create the technology that is more understanding and inclusive of all of us.” said Li Jiangtao, Senior Director of TECNO Imaging Product and head of TECNO TAIVOS™ Camera Lab. 

As a rising innovator in mobile camera technology, TECNO devotes itself through an inclusive and emerging market-specific approach to bringing its “Future Lens” camera concept to consumers. 

The brand’s continuous innovations, its initiatives to develop cameras that function at a professional level, and the impact of these efforts on progressive young consumers have encapsulated its brand essence of “Stop At Nothing” and the inclusive future they want to create. 

 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Triple Celebration With Big and Rawrin’ Discounts from TECNO Mobile!

Mark your calendars for an exciting triple celebration with TECNO Mobile! Payday, Chinese New Year, and 2.2 are fast approaching, and the premium smartphone brand has big things planned for shoppers. To close out January and welcome February, big and rawrin’ discounts are coming to the TECNO Mobile Flagship Store in Lazada and the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall.


Understanding the needs of its consumers, TECNO Mobile endeavors to continue bringing more high-performing smartphones to the market, allowing every Filipino to experience advanced mobile phone technologies that can improve the way they work, learn, play, and live, at a fraction of the price offered by other brands. With this, the brand is able to stay true to its commitment to deliver mobile innovation to global emerging markets, as the premium smartphone brand for all. 

The “Movie Master” CAMON 18 Series

Among the exceptional smartphones introduced by TECNO Mobile in the Philippine market in 2021, the “Movie Master” CAMON 18 Series has proven to be a hidden gem, as the most advanced pro-camera phone to come out of the CAMON line to date. 


CAMON 18 Premier, the perfect smartphone for filmmakers, promises a #SuperSteadyShot through its Stabilized Gimbal Camera. Video enthusiasts will also appreciate the CAMON 18P model, which is equipped with a 48MP clear and steady video camera, plus a 13MP 50mm pro portrait camera. CAMON 18 is another great option for anyone who is into mobile videography and photography, with its 48MP multi-function triple camera.

Catch these CAMON 18 Series offers during the special sale event:

From January 30 to February 1, CAMON 18 will be offered at the special price of Php 8,999, from its regular price of Php 9,499, and will include a free gamepad with every purchase at the TECNO Mobile Flagship Store in Lazada. Shoppers can also enjoy bigger savings during the 2.2 Free Shipping Festival on Lazada from February 2 to 6, where CAMON 18 Premier can be purchased for only Php 15,236, CAMON 18P at Php 10,385, and CAMON 18 at Php 8,888, with a free gamepad included in every offer.

Shop at the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall from January 30 to February 3 to get a CAMON 18 Premier at only Php 14,990, from its regular price of Php 15,990; CAMON 18P at the promo price of Php 10,490, from the regular price of Php 10,990; and CAMON 18 discounted at Php 8,999 from its regular price of Php 9,499.

Also watch out for Payday Flash Sales in Shopee, when CAMON 18 Premier’s price will drop to as low as Php 14,540. CAMON 18 will also be offered at just Php 8,729. 

More Shopee Flash Sales are happening on 2.2 as well, where CAMON 18 Premier will be sold at the unbelievable price of Php 14,151, and CAMON 18 at Php 8,495.

The Best CAMON 18 + TECNO AIoT Bundles

Make any CAMON 18 Series smartphone even better by pairing it with a TECNO AIoT device. Score these best CAMON 18 plus AIoT Bundles during the sale:

Get a CAMON 18 bundled with TECNO Buds 2 for just Php 9,899 during the 2.2 Free Shipping Festival at the TECNO Mobile Lazada Store from February 2-6.

Select bundles are also going on sale in TECNO Mobile’s Shopee store from January 30 to February 3. On these dates, CAMON 18 Premier bundled with TECNO  Buds 1 will be offered at only Php 15,989, while the CAMON 18 Premier plus TECNO Watch 1 will be sold at just Php 16,489. 

CAMON 18P bundles are also in store for shoppers during the sale period. The CAMON 18P plus TECNO Buds 2 bundle will be available at the discounted price of Php 11,289, and CAMON 18P plus TECNO Watch 1 will be sold at only Php 11,989.

Apart from the CAMON 18 bundles and discounts, the brand is offering special discounts on TECNO Mobile’s AIoT products as well, including the TECNO Watch with smart temperature detector and smart health management, TECNO Buds1 & 2, TECNO Prime P1, USB Charger, and P101X Power Bank. Watch out for these at the TECNO Mobile Flagship stores in Lazada and Shopee.

More exciting smartphone offers from TECNO Mobile

The upcoming sale is the perfect opportunity to check out the new, extra tough POVA Neo. Perfect for gaming, this smartphone is equipped with a large battery, big screen, and ET Engine optimization boost. Game Space also gives this phone a cool interface and fast play features. 

POVA Neo will be offered at the special promo price of Php 5,499.00, and will include a free gamepad, when purchased at the TECNO Mobile Flagship Store in Lazada from January 30 to February 1.  Moreover, the price will go even lower, from Php 5,999 to Php 5,444 with a free gamepad during the 2.2 Free Shipping Festival happening on Lazada from February 2 to 6.

The “Ace for New Gen”, Spark 8P is also available for only Php 7,086 from its original price of Php 7,499 at TECNO Mobile Lazada Store from February 2 to 6. Spark 8P is equipped with a 50MP Ultra Clear AI Triple Camera that allows you to capture moments clearly and vividly, a 1080P FHD+ Dot Notch Screen, and a huge 5000mAh battery with power-saving optimization. 

Another smartphone to look out for during the sale is Spark 7T. Get this smartphone at the TECNO Mobile Lazada Store for only Php 6,299 from January 30 to February 1, and at a much lower price of Php 6,048 from February 2 to 6. Spark 7T will also be available in the TECNO Mobile Store in Shopee for only Php 5,999 from January 30 to February 3.

Don’t miss any of the stellar deals and bundles coming to the TECNO Mobile Flagship Store in Lazada and the TECNO Mobile PH Official Store in Shopee Mall in the next few days. Stay updated on all the latest promos when you like and follow TECNO Mobile Philippines on Facebook. Visit www.tecno-mobile.com/ph to learn more about your favorite TECNO Mobile smartphones and gadgets.

Macao Imperial Tea’s Unbreakable Commitment to Bringing Special Café Experience in Every Cup

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven companies to reinvent their operations to effectively deal with the changing needs of their customers. For businesses in the food and beverages industry, undergoing a digital transformation has become instrumental to ensuring business continuity and resiliency at the advent of the so-called new normal.

The café chain Macao Imperial Tea proves how innovation played a significant role in keeping the business up and running during the onset of the pandemic. 

With mobility restrictions in place, customers were unable to visit stores to purchase their favorite drinks. Thus, the business dared to develop innovative ways to accomplish its unbreakable commitment of bringing customers genuine, memorable, and special café experience. 

"With the pandemic happening, we have sought out different solutions to be more accessible despite shutting off. We started being more proactive with our digital efforts by establishing our online store, our e-store, and by partnering with our third-party aggregators, especially for the Macao Imperial team,” said Fredley Group of Companies’ Founder and CEO Avin Ong.

To support the company's online delivery services, the business needed a robust and reliable internet for the simultaneous reception of orders from their customers. They partnered with PLDT Enterprise for enterprise-grade connectivity solutions that could sustain the business' online operations. 

"Part of our company’s vision is to always serve our customers better and we will be able to do that only if we stay connected with our customers. PLDT Enterprise serves as the link between the business and the customers because we were able to listen to their feedback, identify their needs and wants, and take the necessary actions,” said the executive.

PLDT Enterprise has been empowering businesses all over the country through cutting-edge enterprise technologies suited to support businesses in maximizing their business productivity and efficiency.

“We understand the need of our partners for a strong and reliable digital foundation that will allow them to be more agile, resilient, and be always connected to their employees and customers. As we endeavor to make an impact on every single business, we are committed to assisting organizations like Macao Imperial Tea as they work to continually serve their community, especially during these uncertain times,” said Jojo Gendrano, FVP & Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise.

PLDT Enterprise launched its Unbreakable Commitment campaign to show how partnerships have assisted companies to thrive despite challenges and in turn, contributed to the lives of Filipinos.

Likewise, the campaign highlights PLDT Enterprise’s unbreakable commitment to empowering organizations through digital solutions that empower them in the ever-changing business environment. 

“We appreciate that PLDT Enterprise was here to provide us good internet connection, to provide us quality service, and they were very reachable and proactive during this time, easily addressing the challenges we’ve had,” said Ong.

As one of the fastest-growing café chains, the brand has been committed to providing products that are readily available and accessible to customers. 

For their casual dining brands, the executive shared that they conceptualized a service where they bring a complete dining experience in the comforts of their customers’ homes. They launched delivery services for an in-home yakiniku and hotpot feast through their Mitasu Grill-to-Go and Nabe On-the-Go set. 

“Our dining brands are very experienced-focused and we wanted to make sure that we bring the full dining experience to the homes of our customers,” Ong added. 

Despite the extraordinary times, Macao Imperial Tea upholds its unbreakable commitment to serve its customers with an enriching café experience through every cup they serve. 

The pandemic may have caused difficulties to the business, but what’s certain is they will keep seeking ways to bring their best-tasting drinks to customers through innovation and digital technology. 

Watch Macao Imperial Tea’s interview here.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

9 Items to Help You Prosper this Year of the Water Tiger

The Lunar New Year gives us another shot at a fresh start. With the hope and excitement that the Year of the Water Tiger brings, it could be the year of transformation we all need. For those born in the Year of the Tiger, it’s a year for making big changes, risk-taking, and new adventures. Whatever your zodiac sign is and whether you can expect good fortune in love, health, or wealth, equip yourself with these items on Shopee to boost your abundance and prosperity:

Luck in Love: Year of the Snake, Sheep, and Rabbit 


For those born in the Year of the Snake, Sheep, and Rabbit, prepare to make strides in your love life! This year has opportunities for you to meet the right one or make your current relationship flourish. 

If you’re single, it’s time to put yourself out there and meet new people. Turn heads with your youthful glow by trying Olay’s Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream + White Radiance Essence Dropper. This power duo formulation has Carob fruit extract and amino-peptide complex to give you plump and radiant skin. For those already in love, make your significant other fall for you even more with a Mikana 18k Rose Gold Plated Bangle Bracelet. The piece is a perfect gift for any occasion, even for spontaneous surprises for when your partner least expects it. 

Flaunt your couple status with matching INSPI Oversized Shirts, which come in a variety of sizes and colors. These closet staples aren’t just versatile, but also extremely comfy.

Good Health: Year of the Dragon, Dog, Rat, and Ox


Those whose sign falls on the Year of the Dragon, Dog, Rat, and Ox can thrive this new year while making strides in their overall health and wellness. Achieving a sound mind and body starts with the commitment to your daily fitness goals and ample rest and relaxation.

Start each day with Vicks Immune Defense Multivitamins, packed with Vitamin C to boost the immune system, Vitamin D3 to fight against infections, and Zinc to protect against cell damage. Focus on keeping your body in tip-top shape with the Kemilng M7 PLUS Electric Treadmill Foldable Machine

This is a must-have for your home workouts, which you should squeeze into your day no matter how busy it gets. When you need to unwind and de-stress, soothe your muscles using the HAN RIVER Massage Gun. Spend a few minutes with this to relieve tension, improve blood circulation, and boost your overall mood.

Success in Business and Career: Year of the Horse, Monkey, Rooster, Pig, and Tiger


Despite the optimistic fortune for those in the Year of the Horse, Monkey, Rooster, Pig, and Tiger, it won’t hurt to be extra careful in making big financial decisions and career moves. Hard workers can look forward to fruitful career milestones, along with growth and investment opportunities if things fall into place this Year of the Water Tiger.

Maximize your productivity and efficiency with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, an on-the-go device that lets you stay on top of your work, side hustles, and money matters. Track all your to-do lists and jot down all your business ideas and important notes on the simple and straightforward The Everyday Classic Planner. Have the best of both worlds by enjoying the functionality of a gadget and the memory retention of classic notetaking. Lastly, stay comfortable through the long working hours by getting a home office essential like the Headrest Tiltable Mesh Home Office Chair

No matter what zodiac sign, you can have a seamless, rewarding online experience this Year of the Water Tiger with ShopeePay, Shopee’s all-in-one e-wallet. Score exclusive deals and discounts when you buy load, pay bills, and scan to pay at thousands of merchants nationwide. Get up to 10% off on load across all networks and up to 25% cashback on your monthly bills from over 60 billers. For food and essentials, get big savings when you avail of ₱1 Deals via “ShopeePay Near Me” and redeem your discounts when you pay via ShopeePay at their physical stores.

Say goodbye to sneaky transaction fees, and enjoy free transfers to any bank and any Shopee user with ShopeePay! Withdraw money to your bank account, or send money to your friends and family to their ShopeePay wallet or bank account. Transferring money with ShopeePay is instant and available 24/7. You can also get up to ₱25 cashback on your transfer fee when you cash into ShopeePay via InstaPay; on your InstaPay fee. Enjoy these exclusive deals and more when you activate your ShopeePay, for a rewarding and cashless experience.

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

Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken

To sweet beginnings and savory dishes. Panda Express®—the world’s largest American Chinese dining concept— is welcoming the New Year with a new entrée: Honey Sesame Chicken.

Available for a limited time only, Panda’s Honey Sesame Chicken is made with thin, crispy strips of all-white meat chicken raised without antibiotics and tossed with fresh-cut string beans, and crisp red bell peppers. It is coated in a delicious honey sauce and topped off with sesame seeds.

“Honey Sesame Chicken is inspired by a Cantonese dish that is traditionally made from a whole chicken with honey marinade and brushed with honey sauce when it’s fresh out of the fryer. It offers a richer flavor profile with toasty sesame seeds in each bite,” explained Chef Jimmy Wang, Head of Culinary Innovation at Panda Express.

Starting January 29, 2022, Honey Sesame Chicken will be available across all Panda Express stores for dine-in, take-out, and delivery through order.pandaexpress.com.ph, GrabFood, and Foodpanda.

What are you waiting for? Try the new Honey Sesame Chicken while supplies last. Available at SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, DD Meridian Park Pasay and SM Grand Central in Caloocan.

To get more information about Panda Express, visit www.facebook.com/PandaExpressPH/ (Facebook) and @PandaExpressPH (Instagram).

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

7 Must-Have Items in Your New Home When You Move In

For young adults, moving out of their family home is one of the most crucial steps to embrace independence and responsibilities. Whether they move into an apartment, condo, or house, it is important to foster a space that suits their needs and personality.

While moving out is a goal many young adults want to achieve, it is challenging to equip a bare space with the right appliances and furniture sets. Besides costing money, young adults getting started in the professional realm still need to learn how to manage their finances to cover other necessities.

But that doesn’t mean they have to live in an empty home before they start loving their space! These are some of the basic items one should have in their new home once they move in:

Bed

Your bed is perhaps the most essential item you need in your apartment unit. It will help you sleep better at night, energizing you for your everyday work. It is also comfy enough to do other activities, such as reading, meditating, watching your favorite shows, scrolling through social media feeds and working from home.

Beds are also versatile. If your apartment for rent in Iloilo City has low ceilings, go for a futon-style bed. Decorate your bedroom with a modern Oriental style to complement the legless status of your bed. For more spacious homes such as some townhouses for sale, single or double beds are must-have items for future homeowners to be more comfortable and restful.

Coffee Maker

A fresh cup of coffee is essential for some to work productively and efficiently. That said, one of the essential kitchen devices you should have in your kitchen is a coffee maker. You want to have fresh mugs of coffee to fuel you with the sugar and caffeine pumps you need to stay energetic. Brewing coffee at home is more cost-effective than buying coffee at your nearest coffee shop.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one appliance, you can look for 3-in-1 breakfast-making machines. These include a coffee maker, toaster, and fryer—the perfect gadget for a complete breakfast.

Microwave Oven

If you don’t have a stove yet, having a microwave oven in your kitchen will be helpful. Supermarkets and grocery stores sell ready-made meals and instant food that you can prepare in your microwave. Your takeaway leftovers will also be fresh again once you reheat them in your magical microwave oven.

In addition, you can also use your microwave oven to make scrambled eggs, a mug cake, mac and cheese, and other simple meals.

Refrigerator

Let’s say you ordered a lot of your favorite meals to celebrate your promotion at work. Having a refrigerator or mini-fridge helps keep your leftovers fresh and ready for reheating the next day. Although some food items don’t require being placed in the fridge, the smell of food gone bad creates an unpleasant ambiance in your home. Have a fridge in your new home when you move in to keep your food items fresh and make them last longer.

A refrigerator also comes in handy when you make packed meals for the week that only need reheating. Just pop them in the microwave and you have your breakfast, lunch, or dinner ready without the hassle of preparing meals every now and then.

Steam Iron

Need to have crisp and wrinkle-free blazers and dress shirts for your meetings? A steam iron will be your best friend. This portable device lets you iron your clothes without using a bulky and heavy ironing board. 

Hang your clothes on a rack or hook and run your steam iron on the wrinkles, folds, and creases. You’ll have crisp-looking clothes for your job interviews and virtual meetings.

Seating


Add more comfort and cushioning to your space by adding some seating. Choose couches, bean bags, tatami chairs, or bar stools for your seating. You’ll have something comfortable to sit on while you work, use your phone, or read your book. Having bean bags or even tatami chairs is perfect if you’re hosting small get-togethers and movie nights. 

Coffee Table

Aside from seating, a coffee table is an important piece of furniture in your new home. It is stylish and suitable for eating, working, doing crafts, and setting your favorite dinks on. Your coffee table also provides ample surface area for snacks and drinks for when you have guests over.

Moving into your own place can be liberating and somehow terrifying. You’ll learn to be independent and responsible while gradually building a home that caters to your needs and personality. Take these seven things with you once you move into your new home to be more comfortable and well sustained.

 

Moose Gear Baby Diaper

Moms are always on the lookout for a diaper that's affordable but at the same time, won't give rashes to their babies. We also look for diapers that can last for more than 8 hours so that there would be fewer changes in between nap and playtime. 


It's a good thing that Moose Gear launched their diaper line. The Moose Gear Baby Diapers

Catch the grand launch of the newest baby diapers, Moose Gear Baby Diapers, launching on Shopee this January 26! Save more and stock on your baby diapers with the newest Ultra Thin Technology. 

For a reliable and durable diaper that is sure to be perfect for your baby, Moose Gear Baby Diapers is the way to go! Taking care of your baby is always a priority for moms. These diapers give your baby the ultra protection they need for a good morning walk and good sleep. 


Some of the features of the Moose Gear Baby Diapers are: 

• Added chamomile extract to prevent rashes and foul odors

• Super Absorbent Core

• Extra soft and lightweight for maximum comfort

• Breathable material promotes air circulation by releasing humidity

• Up to 12 hours double leak protection

• Wetness indicator 

• No added fragrance or harmful chemicals

• Colorful and unique new design

Score this newest baby diaper at a discounted price and save on your baby essentials with Moose Gear Baby this Jan 26! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ring in the Year of the Water Tiger with prosperity at Araneta City

This February, we are welcoming the dawn of another year in the lunar calendar with the Water-Tiger. With water symbolizing wealth, this Chinese sign promises a year that is defined by abundance, prosperity, and varying levels of transformation in our lives. 

To start off the year of the Water Tiger, Araneta City – the City of Firsts – has prepared activities that will help attract good luck this year!

Attract prosperity and learn your fortune.


Embrace the Chinese New Year by snapping a pic at Gateway Mall’s Tunnel of Chinese Lanterns. Decked out in various decorations in red and yellow to symbolize good luck and good energy, it’s the perfect spot to take a selfie! Check it out starting January 26.

There’s also a horoscope exhibit where you can learn your fortune this 2022. Check out the horoscope exhibit at the Ali Mall and Farmers Plaza activity areas today until February 6. 

Also, Lion and Dragon Dancers will bring in good fortune and abundance to everyone they meet on February 1. Catch them at the activity areas of Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza starting 10:30am.

Shop the most delectable treats and the most wonderful trinkets. 

Chinese New Year celebrations will be incomplete without favorite treats like tikoy, hopia, dumplings, and other Chinese delicacies that have come to make every Lunar New Year festivity special. Also, lucky charms are always a hit for those looking to attract prosperity in the coming new year.

To help bring all your celebration needs in one place, Araneta City is holding a special Chinese New Year fair complete with various stalls selling items like delectable Chinese treats and charms. The fair will open starting January 27 at the activity areas of Gateway Mall and Farmers Plaza.

Try out your luck with some special promos. 

Get lucky with the City of Firsts’ Lucky Snaps promo! Take a selfie or groupie in Araneta City mall centerpieces or Chinese New Year decorations and upload your photo on your Instagram account. Don't forget to tag Araneta City and use the hashtag #LuckySnapsAtTheCityofFirsts. Two lucky winners will get to take home buffet gift certificates from Novotel Manila Araneta City. 

For shoppers, get a chance to take home exciting prizes like Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air! Present a ₱2,000 single-receipt purchase from any Araneta City establishment for a chance to draw a lucky Ang Pao at any Araneta City mall concierge. Promo runs from January 24 to February 1.

Can’t go out on Chinese New Year? Araneta City’s Ask Ara personal shopper service got you covered! Buy any item online at any Araneta City store on February 1 through the Ask Ara Facebook page (https://bit.ly/3xsGWhL) and enjoy FREE DELIVERY. Promo will run from 10AM to 5:30PM and is applicable within Metro Manila only.

For diners, get one can of Coca-Cola drink for free for every ₱200 single or accumulated receipt upon ordering at any Araneta City mall food court or Dampa in Farmers Market. Catch this mouth-watering promo from February 1 to 20.

The safety of shoppers and diners always comes first as the City of Firsts continues to implement strict health protocols. Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza have received the Safety Seal certification from the Quezon City local government as a testament to its adherence to health and safety guidelines.

Customers are also required to present a valid ID and COVID vaccination card. 

Celebrate a safe and rewarding Chinese New Year at the City of Firsts!

How to Avoid Becoming a Money Mule Accidentally

With all the fraud and cybercrime unfortunately happening today, one harmless-looking act is transferring money between bank accounts for someone else. While it seems like such a transaction doesn’t break any rules, if you participate in it, you may unwittingly become an illegal money mule for cybercriminals and fraudsters. 


A money mule is someone who moves illegally acquired money on behalf of other people, in exchange for a small commission or fee. This is actually a crime prohibited by Republic Act 9160, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. If you get caught being a money mule, you can get up to seven years of jail time and a fine of up to P3 million—all for receiving and transferring money in your bank account!

“Many people don’t know what they’re getting into when someone asks them if they can make random bank transfers using their account. Nobody ever thinks that there is actually a crime associated with simply transferring money,” says Joey A. Regala, Chief Information Security Officer at EastWest.

As the possibility of inadvertently getting involved in a crime can cause fear among everyone, here are a few tips to help fight against fraud and money mules, so you can reclaim some peace of mind:

Be careful of strangers, or even acquaintances, contacting you

Money muling requests often come from strangers, so whatever you do, don’t entertain people you don’t know or trust. Also be wary of friends and acquaintances you don’t regularly talk to, especially if they make a seemingly random request.

Never give away your bank account details

All fraudsters need are your bank account number and name to make the deposit, so never give these details away.

When the offer is too good to be true, it usually is

Getting a small fee in exchange for a seemingly innocent fund transfer between two different accounts? That easy money should already be a red flag. “Anyone can transfer money between two accounts easily nowadays, so having it go through a third party should already seem suspicious,” says Regala.

Now that you know what to look out for, it’s absolutely easy to avoid becoming a money mule and accidentally committing a crime.

EastWest’s advocacy against money mules and money laundering is part of its commitment to the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines’ (BMAP) #FightFraudTogether campaign, which aims to raise consumer awareness and vigilance against general cybercrime and fraud. Through this campaign, BMAP recognizes that fighting fraud is a shared responsibility among institutions, customers, regulators, and associations.

Monday, January 24, 2022

5 Shopping Tips When Buying New Appliances

Even with prior experience, picking the best appliance for your home can be daunting—especially large-sized, big-ticket pieces like fridges and washing machines. You’ll need to think about the price tag, delivery options, and even how the new appliance will be installed in your home. 

Fortunately, there are many stores in the Philippines that can make appliance shopping a lot easier. Some offer online purchasing options, while others like the Savers Appliances free installation service help to ensure that your new appliance is set up correctly. This makes shopping for new appliances a more convenient and safer experience, so you can simply focus on choosing the best appliance for your needs.

Since well-built appliances can last a long time, it may have been years since you last bought a major appliance. You might find the new technologies and trends confusing or intimidating, so to make sure you get the best deal for your budget, here are some appliance shopping tips you need to take note of.

Assess What You Need

You might be tempted to simply get the latest model or purchase something that has a multitude of features. However, it may not be exactly what you need. To avoid overspending on unnecessary features and being disappointed with your purchase, you need to first identify what your needs and priorities are. This will help you determine if a certain model is right for you. For example, if you plan to get a new refrigerator that you can use to stock an entire month’s worth of food, you may need a design with a larger cubic area or a spacious freezer. Otherwise, getting a refrigerator with WiFi capabilities won’t matter if you can’t store all the food you want.

To help you stay the course, create a list of your non-negotiables that are distinct from the nice-to-have features. It can include qualities like energy efficiency, quiet operation, or even a particular design that matches your home’s aesthetic. Then consider your budget alongside these requirements. Having a set amount in mind can help you decide if the price is right for the features you need.

Take Measurements


Sometimes, your dream appliance may turn out to be too big for your house. So it’s best to take measurements of the space where you intend to place the appliance before you start shopping. When you find an appliance with the features you want, compare its size to the measurements you took. Pay attention to dimensions such as height, width, and depth. You also need to consider other factors in the area that will affect the appliance’s operations, such as having enough space to ensure proper airflow and access to electrical outlets.

Additionally, measure the path leading to where you want to place the appliance, including the entryway and hallway. It’s also important to take note of the corners, staircases, or any other parts of your home that can get in the way of moving the appliance. The delivery staff will be limited by the space in your home so providing this information will help them determine how to maneuver when bringing in and installing your appliance.

Pay Attention to Feedback

Whether you know someone who owns something similar or have found an online review of the appliance you are eyeing, remember to make a mental note of them. If you can, ask people about their experiences with the appliance, including the things they like and don’t like. When referring to user reviews online, head to reputable sites to avoid being misled by fake reviews.

Although reviews can provide valuable information, you need to remember that satisfied customers are less likely to leave feedback. You might encounter a lot of negative comments so take them with a grain of salt. But if you consistently find the same complaints about a specific aspect of the product, then this is likely a red flag that you should take seriously.  

Visit an Appliance Store

Reviews and customer feedback are wonderful resources when it comes to insights about a particular product. However, there is value in seeing the appliance in person. By inspecting the appliance up close, you can take note of its qualities that can affect its usage. It also allows you to examine other features that are important to you such as aesthetics and size. More importantly, checking out the appliance can help you ensure you are making the right investment. 

Also, many large appliances are frequently touched, like refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines. So it’s worthwhile to feel the appliances with your own hands and see how comfortable you will be when grasping or operating them. Some of the things you may want to check to include how smoothly the doors open, how the handles feel in your grasp, and how easily you can access the control panels.

Check Appliance Warranties

Before you buy an appliance, you need to be aware of the warranties. Make sure to check what is and what’s not covered under the manufacturer and retailer warranty. Typically, the coverage is one year for parts and labor. Once a year has passed, replacement products are often covered for up to five years but you’ll need to pay for labor and service. 

Warranties vary depending on the brand so you can find other appliances with shorter or longer warranty coverage. In some cases, appliance stores can direct you to authorized service providers. Ask about nearby service centers and if there are any challenges in getting replacement parts. Depending on where the appliance is manufactured, some brands have replacement parts on hand while others need to be ordered from another country—which can delay repairs. Consider this if the appliance is something you’ll need to use every day.

Shopping for new appliances can be intimidating even for the seasoned buyer. The good news is a lot of appliance stores today have an array of services that make it easier for their customers to purchase an appliance. Even so, you need to be ready before buying anything—especially if it is a huge investment. So, take your time to go through the tips mentioned above. This way, you can get an appliance that perfectly suits your needs, budget, and preferences.   

Sunday, January 23, 2022

BingoPlus, One Race For Filipino Services aid seniors, families in Odette-stricken Bohol and Cebu

BingoPlus, an online entertainment platform of the Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LWRC) mobilized its workforce in the Visayas to bring aid and provide shelter to the most affected sectors in Typhoon Odette-stricken Cebu and Bohol provinces.

Working with One Race For Filipino Services, Inc., a non-profit organization that specializes in rapid response to communities and individuals in need of urgent assistance, BingoPlus volunteers in Cebu embarked on a mission to Sitio Mar Beach, Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City in early January to deliver care packages to families that had not yet received aid or relief since the storm.

Rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, milk, water, vitamins, noodles, and pasta sauce, as well as notebooks and crayons for children, were delivered to over 800 families in Lapu-Lapu City. BingoPlus also supported One Race For Filipinos in distributing goods and building shelters for communities that still had no electricity or running water in Ubay, Bohol.

One Race For Filipino Services, Inc., which prioritizes assistance towards PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women, and single mothers, singled out senior citizens in the areas by providing them with building materials and helping them put up viable shelters for the coming days.

The group is raising more funds to increase the number of beneficiaries in the area. 

Rebisco Continues to Grow Its Volleyball Family with Retooled Titan Team

Rebisco shows once again its all-out commitment to the sport of volleyball as they enter 2022 with a renewed focus and goal of getting its indoor professional teams in the Premier Volleyball League to a better finish. 

Entering its third season in the PVL, head coach Oliver Almadro’s team aims to build on its first two stints as they aim for a podium finish this time around and raise the level of competition in the Philippines’ first professional volleyball league higher than ever. 

After adding experienced and skilled veterans in setter Jem Ferrer and middle Cherry Nunag back in November, Choco Mucho signed four key players that will strengthen the team’s championship drive this season.  They are Desiree Cheng, Isa Molde, Aduke Ogunsanya and Thang Ponce.

Cheng and Molde will provide the much-needed scoring in the wings while Ogunsanya and Nunag will join the defensive middle blocking composed of Bea De Leon and Shannen Palec. Ponce meanwhile, will support Denden Lazaro on floor defense. 



“Choco Mucho is a team we consider to still be a work in progress. We are confident our new talented players will address the needs of the Titans and further strengthen what has already been built by the team,” says Rollie Delfino, Choco Mucho Flying Titans Team Manager. 

With all PVL teams preparing heavily for another action-packed tournament, the Choco Mucho Flying Titans v 3.0 are ready to bring their A-game on the court this season.

“The competitive spirit, the passion, the pride, and the willingness to do more together with faith is what I see this team being all about,” added head coach Oliver Almadro.

 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

ePLDT, Microsoft continue empowering PWDs through inclusive workplaces

ePLDT recently marked its first year as a Microsoft employer-partner for the Microsoft Enabler Program. This seeks to empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the workplace by fostering inclusivity and helping them increase their employability through training and mentorship.

As a Microsoft employer-partner, ePLDT accommodated two students from its accessibility partner Virtualahan to take their internship under the group and acquire the necessary digital skills to help them secure gainful employment. 

Rowell Navarro and Alfrey Redd Umali are aspiring graphic artists who have hard-of-hearing conditions. They were trained under ePLDT’s People Experience & Communications Team to hone and contribute their skills in developing creative visuals for the company’s awareness campaign on social sustainability. 

“My internship has given me the opportunity to learn more about the company and essentials in Graphic Designing. The team [PWM – People Experience & Communication] gave me advice that was indeed helpful for me to accomplish my tasks more creatively and efficiently,” Navarro shared.

Likewise, Umali expressed his gratitude to ePLDT for the invaluable learning experience he attained as a graphic artist intern, and for the opportunity to support the group in producing short videos and other publicity materials.

“Working with the People Experience & Communication team has been a pleasure as I have gained much practical knowledge about graphic designing and video editing… Thank you again for making my internship a rewarding experience,” Umali said. 

ePLDT reflects Microsoft’s commitment to giving utmost importance to building accessibility and a culture of inclusion at work. 

The team that assisted Navarro and Umali was encouraged to use a meeting platform with closed-caption capabilities, to convey instructional procedures in text form, and to also attend a sensitivity training organized by Virtualahan to fully equip them towards inclusivity.

“The ePLDT Group is steadfast in its commitment to foster an inclusive working environment that provides opportunities for growth to persons with disabilities. We look forward to assisting more talented individuals through this engagement program with Microsoft,” said Fe Arlene Villanueva-Bassig, ePLDT Group Head for Workplace Management.

Meanwhile, during the launch of the APAC Microsoft Enabler Virtual Hackathon, PLDT Enterprise AVP & Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances Fay Ocampo said that as a Microsoft partner, ePLDT’s main goal is to expand their initiatives that foster disability-inclusive workplace within the group. 

“Our hearts are full when we on-boarded two Virtualahan interns, Alfrey and Rowell who provided digital creative inputs in ePLDT’s company announcement under the wing and the guidance of People Experience & Communications Team,” Ocampo said.

“Now that we move to the next chapter, we carry on our purpose for having an ever-evolving culture of inclusion which starts by expanding our talent pipeline and connecting job-seeking PWDs in having ICT roles within ePLDT,” she added. 

For more information, visit epldt.com. #

Friday, January 21, 2022

The SM Store launches Share Your Extras for the benefit of Typhoon Odette communities

 Let’s make the start of the year more meaningful by donating new or gently used clothes via The SM Store and SM Foundation’s Share Your Extras. Donations pooled this year will be for the benefit of communities impacted by Typhoon Odette.

Shoppers can drop off their pre-loved clothes or purchase new ones for donation at any of The SM Store branches from January 15 to February 15 in Metro Manila, and February 1 to 28 at the rest of the branches nationwide. 

For every donated item, shoppers will receive a P100 discount coupon voucher courtesy of The SM Store. This can be redeemed at their next single-receipt purchase of a minimum of P1,000-worth of select items in-store or via Call To Deliver.

What are the DOs and DON’Ts?

Donate clothes in good condition. The clothes should be gently used and in good, wearable condition, without holes or damage.

Donate practical clothes only. Remember that your donations will go to communities that have lost access to basic needs. Please donate tops and bottoms for everyday wear that can be used comfortably by infants or adults. Avoid donating suits, gowns, uniforms, and costumes.

Wash the clothes first. For the safety of the people handling and receiving your donations, clean the clothes first and try to remove spots or stains. Skip donating used undergarments and bathing suits. 

Check the pockets. Double and triple check to make sure there are no valuables or pieces of trash, such as used tissue or candy wrappers, left in the pockets.

Share Your Extras is an annual initiative of The SM Store and SM Foundation aimed at helping communities in need, such as those impacted by calamities. In 2018, we provided personal hygiene items for families in Marawi, and in 2020, we donated packed relief items for the communities in Isabela impacted by Typhoon Ulysses. This year, Share Your Extras will benefit families affected by Typhoon Odette, which has displaced millions of individuals in Mimaropa, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Other The SM Store campaigns like Share Shoes, Donate A Book, and Share A Toy have received overwhelming support from customers.

For more updates and ways to donate, visit www.thesmstore.com and follow its social media pages @thesmstore on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Increase your Business Profitability this 2022 with solutions from Zilingo

As the saying goes, New Year calls for a new start. And if one of your goals this 2022 is to start your own business and become an entrepreneur, now, is the right time to begin

It is critical to consider the new normal. In the past two years, consumers have changed the ways in consuming and accessing products and services. While it was ideal to have a physical store and restaurants back then. Given the current situation and much stricter protocols and border lockdowns, you might want to reconsider thoughts until you see how the coming years play out.

Nowadays, with the upward trend of online services and businesses in the country, many are finding it opportune to take the leap into entrepreneurship, with platforms and services offered to help these businesses thrive, flourish, and achieve their goals this 2022.

One of these platforms is Zilingo.  Zilingo is a technology platform powering the global supply chain. It was founded in 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor with a vision to use technology to put responsible and efficient businesses within everyone’s reach. It is committed to aiding partners in scaling up their businesses efficiently. Using its B2B (Business to Business) solutions, the company plans to empower, innovate and diversify the Philippines’ business industry by providing greater access to suppliers and manufacturers to produce materials at competitive pricing, and services to achieve growth and profitability

“Zilingo is reimagining the entire supply chain and aggregating all parties within the same platform by offering services and software that can help businesses do better. This has been the brand’s focus since Day 1,” says Shiela Mauricio, Country Manager, Zilingo Philippines.

As a one-stop business solution provider, Zilingo makes the necessary tools and services for sourcing, working capital, software implementation, and marketing easily accessible,” Mauricio added.

With these services, business owners here and abroad can improve their product quality, turnover and secure better pricing models, allowing them to remain competitive in the global market.

Get to know the services that Zilingo offers to help your business grow further this 2022. 

Zilingo Trade

Zilingo Trade is a  B2B marketplace for wholesale buyers and sellers in categories including fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and lifestyle to trade effortlessly online. It delivers a seamless sourcing experience to distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. It also has order, inventory, and invoice management systems. 

Video link 

Zilingo Marketing As A Service 

Zilingo Marketing Service offers a one-stop marketing solution for a brand to scale and reach new potential customers through proper brand awareness, high traffic, conversion rates, and low marketing costs. Our Marketing Services include Cataloguing, Graphic Design, and Digital Marketing. Bringing the speed, clout, and quality of a global production house, Zilingo Marketing Service offers end-to-end marketing & content production solutions for manufacturers, merchants, private labels & brands.

Video link  

Zilingo Fintech

Zilingo Financial Services offers an efficient and transparent platform with customized credit terms at minimal processing fees for SMEs and Manufacturers. Zilingo’s Financial Services such as Buy Now Pay Later, Advance Payout facilitates scaling up your business from the comfort of your mobile/computer screens.  

Zilingo Connect

Zilingo Connect is a multi-channel seller platform that enables sellers to seamlessly sell across marketplaces in Southeast Asia with more efficiency and lesser costs. Zilingo Connect helps sellers seamlessly sync inventory, centrally manage product pricing and discounts, easily process orders, and access real-time data of sales across marketplaces. 

Video Link

UnionBank at 40: Future Forward, a leap to enduring greatness

Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is widely-known to have been trailblazing many firsts in the country since it began operations forty years ago. UnionBank has always been among the first to embrace technological innovations to empower its customers into the future of banking. The Bank’s 40-year journey began with a simple vision: to become one of the top three universal banks in the country with respect to market capitalization, profits, and customer coverage.

UnionBank began building the foundations for its operations in 1981, and in just a year, became a commercial bank on January 19, 1982. A decade after, in 1992, the Bank debuted at the Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges in June of that year and was granted a Universal Banking License the month after.

In 1994, UnionBank acquired the International Corporate Bank, which marked the first of a series of acquisitions that would strengthen UnionBank's capabilities to deliver banking services tailored to the unique needs of Filipino customers.

In 2006, UnionBank purchased 98 percent of one of the top 20 largest banks in the country International Exchange Bank (iBank), making it the 7th largest private domestic commercial bank in the Philippines.

In 2013, in line with a renewed thrust to enable financial inclusion in the country, UnionBank acquired thrift bank City Savings Bank. The acquisition enabled the Bank to expand its customer franchise and achieve its goal of financial inclusion that is also driven by sustainability.

In its thrust to promote sustainable financial inclusion, the Bank entered into its first venture into rural banking and micro-financing by acquiring a majority stake in the Cebu-based First-Agro Industrial Bank (FairBank) in 2016.

In the same year, UnionBank embarked on its radical digital transformation journey, favoring expansion through digital channels over the traditional opening of more branches, while reinforcing its commitment to deliver superior customer experience and making a promise that ‘no one gets left behind to promote inclusive prosperity in the Philippines.

The rest, as they say, is history as UnionBank went full throttle on its journey and continued to achieve numerous industry-firsts, gaining the reputation as the country's most innovative bank even before the Filipino mass adoption of the internet. 

UnionBank was the first Philippine bank to introduce mobile banking through wireless application protocol-enabled cellphones, the first Philippine Bank to launch a banking website, first to use an online payment card through EON, first to use a chatbot (Talk to Rafa), first to launch its own stable coin (PHX), first to introduce mobile check deposit through its award-winning app UnionBank Online, opened The ARK—the first fully digital bank branch in the country, launched UBX—the Bank’s fintech and corporate venture capital arm, leveraging ecosystems and data to explore new possibilities to make financial services more instinctive and accessible, the first Philippine bank to go fully on the cloud, and launched UnionDigital becoming the first publicly listed Philippine bank with a digital banking license.

Capping off the year 2021, UnionBank surprised the country with the announcement of a game-changing deal to acquire the consumer banking business of American banking giant Citi in the Philippines.  Seen as the largest transaction in the local banking community in recent years, UnionBank Chairman Erramon Isidro M. Aboitiz said, “This acquisition further cements our position as a leading bank in the Philippines, as well as fast-tracks our growth aspirations in the retail banking segment.”

Today as it ushers in its 40th year, UnionBank is globally-recognized by International Banker magazine as “already an unequivocal digital trailblazer in both the Philippines and Southeast Asia”, named ‘Asia Trailblazer Institution of the Year’ by Retail Banker International, and ‘Best Bank for Customer Experience in Southeast Asia’ from Global Brands Magazine, among many other international recognitions.

“Our success today has been a product of looking ahead into the future and preparing for the evolution of banking. We will continue to help ‘tech up’ customers, partners, institutions in line with our ‘Tech Up, Pilipinas’ aspiration, empowering all of us to weather this pandemic and emerge more resilient than ever. Together, we can be future forward and leap to being a bank of enduring greatness,” said UnionBank President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.

Working Together towards a more effective and Efficient Foster Care System

Every child has the right to grow up in a family. But while Filipinos are known to have strong family ties, poverty and difficult living conditions have forced thousands of children to grow up without a home or a family of their own.

Kaisahang Buhay Foundation Incorporated (KBF), a private, non- profit Child and Family Welfare organization, with its mission to raise awareness on the impact and benefits of foster care in the country, recently held a Virtual Blogger Event with a theme "FosterCarePH: Working Together towards a more effective and Efficient Foster Care System".

The event was in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Norfil Foundation Inc., and Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines (ACCAP, and the Advisory Committee on Foster Care (ACFC). 

“Today is a special day, a milestone for many families and children in the Philippines. It marks the first time that we, at the Advisory Committee on Foster Care (ACFC), is undertaking a public event to deliver a very important message– an urgent call for potential foster care families to welcome abandoned children into their homes,” said Gil Velez, KBF Strategy Planning Consultant, in his opening remarks. 

Through the event, KBF hopes to share and spread awareness about their initiatives to increase the number of foster parents who are willing to provide abandoned and neglected, and other disadvantaged Filipino children with temporary parental care.  

Velez, who is also an adoptive parent, echoed the call for more Filipinos to consider adoption or becoming foster parents, “There are hundreds of children waiting to be adopted, waiting to find temporary homes. I am not a social worker, but I am an adoptive parent and I have seen first-hand, many children in orphanages waiting to find temporary and eventually permanent homes in families where they will be loved and cared for unconditionally.”

The Virtual Blogger Event is the first of three events this year, spearheaded by KBF and PR Agency, Red Havas Manila, to promote awareness on foster care programs in the Philippines and encourage more Filipino families to become foster parents. 

Awareness of Foster Care in PH

During the event, Miramel Garcia-Laxa, Division Chief, Sectoral Programs DivisionProgram Management BureauDSWD Central Office walked the audience through the highlights of the KBF and DSWD Awareness Survey on Foster Care in the Philippines. 

The survey, which ran from May 12 to June 2, 2021, was initiated by the Advisory Committee on Foster Care (ACFC) through Kaisahang Buhay Foundation Inc., (KBF) in partnership with DSWD was conducted to:

Assess awareness of the public on foster care as a concept

Describe the interest of the public in learning more about foster care; and

Collect contact details of individuals willing to participate in the foster care program

The highlights of the survey showed 53% of respondents saying they are familiar with foster care while 93% indicated an interest in learning more about it. Among these interested respondents, 68% prefer to get more information about foster care on Facebook. 

“This is why we are gathered today, to amplify the call for more awareness. With your help and your platforms, we inform and encourage more Filipinos to be a part of our foster care programs,” said Laxa. 

The Joys of Foster Care

During the discussions, the program invited 2 guests in person of Leticia Solana, a foster parent who has cared for more than 50 foster kids, and Randy Sinay, a former foster child who is now a Jail Officer with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. 

Randy, who was left for adoption in an orphanage by his biological mom, became a foster child at age 2.  

“When I was young, I used to be teased as “ampon” but my foster parents always defended me. They always introduce me as their “bunso” even if I was only their foster child and they always made me feel like I was a part of their family,” Randy shared. 

Meanwhile, Mommy Letty, who has been a foster mom since 1988, decided to foster children after her children moved out and started their own lives. 

“I’ve had 56 foster children already, but I still find it heartbreaking when they’re taken away from me. Despite them being stubborn and hard to care for sometimes, I treat each child as my own,” shared Mommy Letty.

Randy shared how despite reconnecting with his biological family, he still has a deeper connection with his foster family. 

“Even when I met my biological parents, the connection I’ve had with my foster family remained strong. After I graduated, I still went home to them. The care and love they have shown me remains strong up to this day,” Randy added.

Despite the challenges, Mommy Letty shares how being a foster mom gives her a sense of fulfilment, “I’m happy even if they get adopted and taken away from me. At first, it’s hard to let go but I find comfort in knowing that they will finally have a permanent home. 

Randy called for foster children to not think that they are alone, even if they are foster or adopted children. “Reciprocate the love and care you get with respect and love,” he added. He also appealed for people to consider fostering because he knows how much-abandoned children need a loving home. 

Mommy Letty made the same appeal saying, “there are a lot of children that need us, they need more of us to provide them with a loving home and care for them,” she appealed. 

Foster Care in PH

In the question and answer portion of the event, Program Management Bureau, DSWD Central Office, Director Wilma D. Naviamos and Director Glady Quindoza-Bunao, Executive Director Kaisahang Buhay Foundation Inc., and Vice-President Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines (ACCAP), expounded on the challenges of the foster care system in the Philippines. 

“Pre-pandemic, we’ve had challenges in recruiting foster parents. The pandemic made this even more difficult. One challenge is changing perception, especially the attachment of foster parents because most people think it will be very difficult to let go of a child once they are adopted,” Director Glady shared. 

“From the government side, while we have an information drive to raise awareness on foster care, we were also impacted by the pandemic. A grassroots approach is needed, we have to bring the program down to the barangay level. We also are expanding the support needed by foster parents,” added Director Wima. 

Both also shared how the government and partner foster care NGOs also provide financial subsidies for foster parents. Under the foster care program, there are volunteer foster parents, parents who are financially capable to provide and care for foster children, and subsidized foster parents who are financially supported by the government and its partner NGOs depending on their financial standing. 

A big challenge is also ensuring only qualified and capable families are able to foster. There are requirements and standards put in place to ensure that the foster families can sustainably care for the children to protect the child and make sure the families who will care for them are of good character. 

“We want to ensure that the child is safe and will get the care they need. We also make sure that the families are ready and committed because fostering is a big endeavor that requires time, commitment and resources,” added Director Glady. 

“We have also streamlined the documentary requirement to make it easier for more Filipinos to apply. What’s important is for us to ensure the level of commitment of our applicants. Because of the pandemic, we have also offered online application options to make the process more convenient,” added Director Wilma. 

DSWD works closely with NGOs to make sure that the process is made easier and to provide support for all foster families before, during, and even after their involvement in the foster care program. 

Be a foster parent 

Foster care has been around for a long time; however, a lot of Filipinos still do not know how and where to start their fostering journey. 

Ma. Teresa Nuqui, Executive Director, NORFIL Foundation Inc., called for the public to join the mission of providing foster homes to more abandoned children. 

“Our foster care programs allow abandoned, in need, and displaced Filipino children to believe that there is hope; that there are caring and loving families who will give them homes to call their own. The number of abandoned children in the Philippines is increasing, we need to reach out and encourage more people to provide foster homes to these children and provide them with a chance for a better future,” called Director Teresa.

To learn more about fostering and #FosterCarePH, visit https://adoption.dswd.gov.ph/ and https://www.kbf.ph/