Monday, February 28, 2022

Top 7 Security Tips to Protect Your Mobile Banking Account

When it comes to online and mobile banking, Filipino consumers have one big fear: cyber attacks that can wipe their life-long savings within seconds.

However, while it’s true that there are threats to the security of your bank accounts online, there are also plenty of ways to protect yourself. Here are some tips to ensure that your online and mobile banking experience is as safe as can be:

Watch Out for Suspicious Links

If you ever receive any links that lead to an unfamiliar website or ask you to download an app, don’t click them. They’re most likely designed to capture your personal information and get into accounts. Do note that these exist not just for banking, but also for social media, e-commerce, and even gaming accounts.

That said, to protect your hard-earned money, make sure that you’re visiting legitimate mobile banking Philippines’ sites and downloading official apps. For websites in particular, check the address bar to see if there’s a padlock icon, indicating that it’s protected by a security protocol.

Know What Phishing and SMiShing Look Like

Phishing is a method in which cybercriminals pretend to be reputable companies in an attempt to acquire your personal information. This is usually done through email, and the entities usually imitated are banks, lenders, government offices, and retail establishments. Often, phishing emails will tell you that you have to update your account or that you’ve won something.

The same method is now being replicated using SMS, which is referred to as SMiShing. Instead of emails, hackers will send text messages and often follow it up with a call. 

To avoid getting victimized, it’s important to be aware of an email or text you receive is phishing or a SMiShing attempt. Fortunately, it’s easy enough. Banks and other reputable institutions will never ask you for information like your password so if you encounter anything like this, don’t proceed.

You should also inspect the email address and the name of the sender to make sure that it’s really your bank. Check wrong spellings, numbers replacing letters or overlong addresses. Most importantly, when in doubt, just delete the email or text and call your bank’s hotline.

Always Update Your Phone’s OS

Your phone’s manufacturer will release periodic updates to their mobile operating system (OS), usually every two months or so. These updates are designed to fix bugs that prevent some apps and features from working properly, as well as optimize your phone’s overall performance. OS updates also improve your phone’s security.

This simply means that you HAVE to install these updates once they become available. This is especially important if you conduct banking transactions using your phone. If you don’t install the OS updates ASAP, your phone and personal details may be open to cyber attacks.

Always Update to the Latest Version of Your Banking App

Just like how phone manufacturers update their OS, your bank also regularly updates its app. Sometimes, they only update the user interface and add some new features; however, there are also times that they provide significant overhauls to the system. In fact, you may even get prompted to uninstall the old app and get the new version that has newer stronger security features. 

Same as your phone’s OS, make sure to update or download the latest version of your banking app to receive all the necessary security features.

Activate 2FA

Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a process that requires you to input a code—a one-time password or OTP—to approve a transaction. This is regardless of whether you’ve already logged in successfully to use a website or app. This additional layer of security prevents fraudulent transactions, in case your account gets compromised.

Usually, you will receive the OTP via text or email. Don’t share this OTP with anyone; if you receive an OTP even if you aren’t conducting any transactions, report it to your bank immediately.

Stop Using Unsecured WiFi Connections

When you’re out and about, it’s tempting to use a public WiFi connection to save on mobile data. However, unsecured wireless connections are quite vulnerable to hackers. In fact, skilled hackers can take only 10 minutes or so to get into an unprotected WiFi network. Then, they can easily reveal the passwords and other sensitive information of those who used the connection.

This is why you need to stop using unsecured wireless networks. If you really need to perform a banking transaction, it’s better to either use your own mobile data or visit the nearest bank branch.

Limit the Devices You Use to Access Your Accounts

To protect your mobile banking accounts, it’s best to use only one or two devices to access them. Ideally, you should use your personal phone to download the official banking app and then your personal computer at home to access the bank’s website. This way, there are fewer ways and opportunities for hackers to “get in” and steal your information. (Of course, make sure that your phone and computer are also properly protected.)

Finally, be observant. Besides the above-mentioned tips, this is the best way you can protect your mobile banking account.

Stay safe! 

Friday, February 25, 2022

DITO Telecommunity expands to Zamboanga City, widens presence in Luzon provinces in February

This February 25, DITO Telecommunity continues to expand its coverage in the country, with Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur in Mindanao as the newest area open for commercial operations.


Earlier this month, DITO Telecommunity also widened its reach in several Luzon municipalities—Bayombong, in Nueva Vizcaya; Mabini, Pangasinan, and Pozorrubio, Pangasinan.

Until March 31, 2022, all purchased DITO starter packs will entitle subscribers with an extra 2GB of high-speed data once activated (on top of the DITO Starter Pack’s 3GB of data). The DITO Starter Pack must be activated within the promo period of January 27 to March 31, 2022.

The DITO Starter Pack is perfect for those who are looking to move to DITO. Available in all DITO sales channels (DITO APP, MyDITO site, DITO Experience Stores, and DITO retail partner stores, etc.) for only P49, the Starter Pack includes the DITO SIM and 3GB of high-speed, open data, unlimited texts to all networks, unlimited DITO-to-DITO calls, and 100 minutes of calls to other networks. 

For more information on the points of sale, data offers, and other details, please visit the official Facebook page of DITO at www.facebook.com/DITOphofficial or the website at www.dito.ph

Greenwich Lets Entire Barkada Discover its new Seafood Offerings

Discover the star of the SEAson! Greenwich is introducing two new savory seafood offerings to its menu starting February 25 (in Luzon) and March 1 (in Visayas and Mindanao), but for a limited time only! 

Featuring its Cajun Shrimp Overload Pizza and Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti, Greenwich is putting its own spin on its pizza and pasta favorites with fresh seafood flavors. 

“Greenwich aims to continuously elevate the experience of every Filipino barkada and famkada, by introducing exciting offerings that respond to their meticulous cravings. We know that they will enjoy our new ultimate seafood discoveries that are simply overloaded in deliciousness and perfect for every bonding moment,” said Pam Reyes, Greenwich’s head of marketing. 

One cannot go wrong with the Cajun Shrimp Overload Pizza which has an interestingly unique flavor. Its crust is topped with flavorful cajun sauce and is loaded with a generous sprinkle of seasoned shrimps, mushrooms, green bell peppers, sauteed onions, and three types of cheese. A 9-inch double-size pizza is priced at P319 only, whenever a pizza craving calls or when just spending quality time together.


Then there’s the Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti that you shouldn’t miss out on. The medley of pasta and the creamy aligue-flavored sauce with shrimps and mushrooms give off a fresh yet familiar taste. It is topped with grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley to further accentuate the hearty flavors. A solo serving of this mouthwatering dish is priced at P109 only, while a shareable pan good for 3, best enjoyed with one’s family or friends, is priced at P240 only. 

These non-meat, seafood-based offerings are every seafood lover’s dream, giving you feelings of comfort in every bite! 

Greenwich’s newest pizza and pasta flavors will be available in www.greenwichdelivery.com, via #5-55-55 hotline, Greenwich Barkada Messenger, GrabFood, Foodpanda, take-out, or for dine-in in any of our stores found here: https://stores.jfc.com.ph/greenwich.html.  

Coco Martin Supports New Partylist Advocating for Livelihood and the Transport Sector

Coco Martin, famously known as Cardo Dalisay on-screen, is making rounds all over as he debuts his endorsement not of the party list with the same name as his show, but of a new party-list – AP Partylist #AkoyPilipino on Friday, February 25.

“Anuman ang hirap na ating pinagdadaanan, may kakampi na tayo…” Martin introduced his new party-list group with first nominee Rep. Ronnie Ong in-action in the background in the partylist’s video now circulating online. He continues, “Ang AP Partylist ang tutulong magbigay ng trabaho at kabuhayan sa mga manggagawang Pilipino.”

Rep. Ronnie Ong is Coco Martin’s long-time friend and is nicknamed by PeopleAsia as the “frontline Congressman.” Ong is known for his various out-of-the-box COVID-19 Bayanihan projects since the first lockdown, such as his #LibrengSakay program for health workers, #LibrengGulay program for community kitchens, #LibrengTablets and E-skwela Hub e-learning centers for students and teachers.

Before the pandemic, Ong also supported senior citizens looking for employment through his Tulong Pangkabuhayan program, deploying various able-bodied and willing-to-work seniors at airports, public universities, and government agencies. During the pandemic, he also helped out-of-work transport workers such as UV Express or FX drivers by employing them as #LibrengSakay drivers, as well as some laid-off ABS-CBN employees who found alternative work as contact tracers. 

More than just Coco Martin, the all-star cast of Ang Probinsyano forming the famed “Task Force Agila,” has also expressed their support for AP Partylist on their social media pages, sharing the various advocacies of AP Partylist closest to them. “Mula po noong umpisa nakasama na namin si Cong. Ronnie, at kita namin na nagtrabaho talaga siya, naglingkod talaga siya. Kaya ngayon, ang #164 AP Partylist na kasama siya ang sinusuportahan na namin. Sana po ay suportahan niyo rin,” Coco Martin said. 

Aside from the endorsement video, AP Partylist also collaborated with OPM artists Bassilyo, Sisa and Smugglaz with their “Ako’y Pilipino,” anthem that sings of the pride, perseverance, and hardwork of Filipinos. They sing, “Ikaw ay magtiwala, magtiwalang may magagawa. Ito na ang panahon, ang tamang pagkakataon, sa bawat daing mo’y magtutugon. Ako’y Pilipinong lumalaban, tumatapang, lalo kung nasusugatan, anumang pagsubok ang daanan, haharapin nang may kagitingan. Itaas mo ang noo, isigaw mo sa buong mundo, ako’y Pilipino.” Both videos are available on Youtube and on AP Party-list’s official social media pages.

Coco Martin calls on the audience to join him on his new journey with his new partylist, “Dito na tayo sa biyaheng aasenso ang lahat ng Pilipino… AP Partylist #AkoyPilipino, number 164 sa balota.”

Complete Your Wedding Journey at the Shopee Wedding Expo

Getting ready for the big day? Planning weddings can be daunting and exciting for all those involved, made even more complicated by the changing safety protocols in the last two years. If you’re recently engaged and don’t know where to begin, or if you’re one of the trusted friends and family tasked to make things happen, why not try sourcing all your wedding needs on Shopee? Brides and grooms-to-be can enjoy big discounts, coins cashback, and more at the Shopee Wedding Expo happening from February 26-27. 

Shopee offers a very unique shopping experience, especially for couples looking to DIY their weddings and stylists who have to source their materials for the festivities. The Shopee Wedding Expo is packed with awesome deals from a wide assortment of wedding must-haves that’ll cover the preparations before the ceremony all the way to the reception. Be inspired by the stories of our Shopee Fam, newlywed couple George and T-Ann, and renowned event stylist Teddy Manuel, who prove that Shopee is indeed a gold mine for wedding essentials. 

Before getting married earlier this month, George and T-Ann faced difficulties canvassing materials for their wedding. The couple, who had been together five years, turned to Shopee to purchase almost everything they needed for their celebration. Although both were busy with their respective schedules (George running their family business and T-Ann just finishing her residency as a physician), they were able to contact and secure a few suppliers for their decorations. Still, they had a lot on their checklist which weren’t readily available. 

With shopping malls and Divisoria being crowded and risky to visit, they opted to buy on Shopee the remaining materials for their arches, scented candles and table toppers, and even their souvenirs for more than 100 guests. Not only did the couple cut down significantly on expenses, but they also enjoyed the process of making the decorations. “Don’t be afraid to DIY. It adds a personal touch to the wedding. Our relatives all came together to help create some of our big decorations. These became priceless moments we’ll treasure together forever.” 


For couples also considering a  DIY wedding, George and T-Ann advise them to focus on affordable, quality raw materials that look premium and professionally put together. The couple also suggests buying a sample first to check the quality before ordering in bulk. Want a fairytale-like wedding? The couple recommends these fairy and geometric lights that spruced up their venue and these personalized scented candles that served as giveaways to the guests. “Shopee really played a big part in our wedding preparations, as most items were already available there at very affordable prices. It was so convenient for us since we didn’t have to worry about spending money on parking and gas and going to crowded places.”


Teddy Manuel is a popular event stylist who has been making waves in the industry for almost two decades. Widely regarded as one of the pioneers in his craft, Teddy puts in a lot of time and effort in making his clients’ weddings aesthetically pleasing — from entrance decors for the entourage to the backdrop and ceiling works at the reception. When the pandemic hit, he had to adapt accordingly as sourcing materials internationally became a challenge due to stricter protocols and logistical delays. Teddy’s resourcefulness led him to try Shopee as his new go-to supplier.

With more couples opting for intimate weddings, Teddy focuses on the smallest details that can create a big impact at the wedding venue. He shares his most important tip for wedding planning: always be cohesive. “It’s important that everything ties together. Stick to a color scheme and work your way from there. Check Shopee for the specific products that you need and you’ll surely find a lot of options.” Among Teddy’s favorite Shopee finds are these hanging silk flowers and these white parasols, both of which add lush elegance to any event space. He also looks to Shopee for tableware such as this beautifully-crafted, gold-rimmed ceramic Nordic plate for the perfect finishing touch to his set-up. 

“When you’re ordering online, it’s crucial that you read the description and contact the seller to get further information about the product. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten affordable and high-quality products on Shopee — and  since all I have to do is add them to my cart, it’s easier for me to manage other tasks and responsibilities for the wedding too.”

Here are some of the best deals to watch out for in the Shopee Wedding Expo, perfect for the ceremony proper or the reception that follows: a stylish but budget-friendly men’s formal suit, artificial flowers for venue decors, hook drop earrings to glam you up, and thick bottom sandals to complete your outfit.

The Shopee Wedding Expo will happen from February 26 to 27, 2022. You can also enjoy 10% off (minimum spend of ₱1,000, capped at ₱500) on select products and get a more rewarding shopping experience when you checkout using ShopeePay’s free shipping vouchers. Check out a bunch of wedding preparation deals for as low as ₱1 when you pay via ShopeePay at partner merchants such as Resorts World Manila and FlowerStore.ph. After the expo, you can proceed with shopping for more wedding needs by maximizing ShopeePay's free transfers feature and sending payments to suppliers that only accept bank transfers as a mode of payment.

Don’t let the stressful wedding preparations ruin the romantic getaway with your better half. You deserve to relax and recharge on your honeymoon. With ShopeePay, you can get great promos at some of the country’s luxurious hotels to make the experience even more special. Get 20% cashback when you book your hotel bookings, including Estacio Uno Boracay, Mithi Resort and Spa Bohol, and White Breeze Palawan on Shopee and pay with ShopeePay.

To know more about the Shopee Wedding Expo, visit https://shopee.ph/m/wedding-expo.  

Level Up Your Shopee Loyalty Tier and Enjoy Unli Free Shipping!

Are you a true Shopee-holic? If you’re waiting for a sign to check out those items in your cart, look no further as Gold and Platinum Shopee Loyalty Tier members can avail of unlimited Free Shipping vouchers. Make it a habit to claim those hard-earned vouchers, because you definitely deserve them!

Shopee Loyalty is an in-app program where shoppers can claim exciting rewards every month. The membership is free and consists of four levels: Classic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum -- each with its own minimum order requirement and a corresponding set of exclusive vouchers, discounts, and perks. You can access Shopee Loyalty with a single tap on the Shopee home page and do the following:

Track your Shopee Loyalty tier progress 

Discover various tier milestones and rewards available 

Redeem eligible vouchers that are refreshed monthly, including free shipping vouchers, exclusive brand and partner vouchers, and special birthday vouchers

Shoppers can unlock higher tiers and maintain their current standing by completing a certain number of orders every six months before progress is refreshed. Remember, the higher your Shopee Loyalty tier, the bigger the rewards.  


Already a Gold or Platinum member? Here’s how to claim your monthly free shipping vouchers:

Claiming via the Shopee Loyalty Page

Enter the Shopee Loyalty Page through the “Me” Tab.

Click on the Tier Member badge or “Shopee Loyalty” button.

All Gold & Platinum members can find the free shipping vouchers under “Voucher Benefits” and claim them weekly after each refresh.

Claiming via the Homesquare Page

Enter the Loyalty Educational Page through the Shopee Loyalty button.

All Gold & Platinum members can find the free shipping vouchers and claim them weekly after each refresh.

Here’s a pro-tip on how to reach Gold and Platinum tiers in no time. Activate your ShopeePay account to enjoy more rewarding shopping perks. Consumers are in for a treat this coming February 28 PayDay Sale with free shipping vouchers at ₱0 minimum spend and 10% off vouchers from your favorite brands. This month-end blowout, it’s your chance to level up your loyalty tier and unlock more rewards. Take advantage of ShopeePay’s free transfers feature when sending money to any bank and any Shopee user. Now is the time to try sending money because ShopeePay is offering free ₱100 on your first transfer until Mar 3.  

Look forward to more promos from ShopeePay such as 50% off on load across all networks and up to 50% cashback on bills. ₱1 deals from ShopeePay’s partner merchants such as Potato Corner, Puregold, National Bookstore, The Generics Pharmacy, Bonchon, Wendy's, Metroil, and SEAOIL are also available for purchase via “ShopeePay Near Me” on the Shopee app.

To know more about the Shopee Loyalty Program and its benefits, visit https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-loyalty-education. 

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

 

How to "STILL" Survive the Pandemic

Masks on. Stay two meters apart. Wash your hands often. Even if we are already two years into a pandemic, we still cringe when we hear someone sneeze or cough in public, more so when it’s someone near us. We have never been this cautious about our health, or as interested in knowing the latest updates on cases and variants. We even know the ideal daily dosage of Vitamin C.


But before you stock up on those fruit juices, hear this out. In the season-ender of SUPERHUMAN, host Wil Dasovich and his finale guest, Dr. Dex Macalintal, a registered nutritionist and lifestyle medicine physician, talk about the nuances of our immunity and how to best double down on our health. Here are the best takeaways from the episode, to help you stay in the best of health during the pandemic.

Nutrition is key.

The best time to address sickness is before you get sick. The risks related to the top non-communicable diseases in the Philippines, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, can be greatly reduced by reducing salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats from our diets. 

Keep it simple. Read the labels when choosing what food to buy for your weekly grocery run. The shorter the ingredient list, the better; if you can go for the non-processed food item, even better. If you are unsure about the ideal mix of food on your plate, you can ask your doctor or a nutritionist. 

Just move.

Begin the day with exercise. Raising your heart rate releases endorphins. Moreover, it improves your metabolism, which allows your body to burn more calories in its resting state and process nutrients better.

If you can’t get your sweat on earlier in the day, exercise at a time most sustainable for you. What matters is not the time of day, but the long-term viability of your lifestyle change.

Community helps you stay healthy.

The mental stress and anguish caused by long periods of isolation can impact your immunity. The pandemic limited many of our in-person interactions. However, physical distancing does not have to mean social distancing. Community and meaningful interactions with other people are crucial to our mental and physical health. Connect with your loved ones as much as you can (while still following minimum health safety protocols, of course).

A medical consult is just a button away.

Given the constraints of mobility and the recommendation to avoid risky areas, people have been visiting the doctor’s office online. Telemedicine and the applications that enable it are now available to many. With more healthcare professionals joining networks, the medical expert you need can easily be recommended by the one you initially consulted. 

AIA Philippines, the country’s premier life insurance company, recently introduced Total Health Solution, an ecosystem accessible through a single touchpoint platform that can help you live better so you are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, protect better so you have peace of mind that you are prepared for life’s uncertainties, and get better, giving you access to healthcare needs should you find yourself unwell.

With Total Health Solution, you have the support you need anytime, anywhere. Healthcare needs such as teleconsulting, medicine purchase via delivery, vaccine administration, and discounted laboratory procedures are easily accessible. Within the ecosystem, you can view your policies and make changes. You can also be reminded when premiums are due.

For the full season finale and more podcast episodes on ordinary people doing extraordinary things, tune in to SUPERHUMAN with Wil Dasovich on Spotify. You can also visit the YouTube page of Dr. Dex Macalintal to get your weekly dose of nutrition information.

Click here for more information about AIA Philippines’ Total Health Solution, or here to visit the AIA Philippines Facebook page, email customerservice.ph@aia.com or call (02) 8528-2000 to know more.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

My One Year Financial Goal Plan

I am tired of just making ends meet. Though I am grateful that I am able to provide and help my husband, pay the rent, have food on our table, and send our son to a good school, I want more. 

I want to have a hefty emergency fund. 

I want to have a nest egg.

I want to have enough for a downpayment for a house. 

I want to have a newer car. 

I want change. 


They said that if you want change, you need to make changes within yourself. So here is my plan to make this happen. 

1. Put money on a weekly basis inside my piggy bank. 

2. Any amount that comes into my GCash which is normally my side hustle will go directly to the bank.

3. Any extra amount that Mark makes goes to our joint account. 

4. If we have a GC to use for our groceries, the money allotted for the groceries will be split into savings and splurging on take-out. This way, we get to save and use that extra budget to eat out or take out which is one of our family vices. 

5. Continue to keep track of all spending so that it's easier to see where we need to cut down and save. 

This is the financial part. Now, here are my plans to make more money. 

1. Put out a video on YouTube 5x a week. 

2. Repurpose old content. I'm thinking download relevant videos on Tiktok and upload to IG reel. I can also download YT videos and post on my FB page as well as cut down some videos into bite-size and post on my wall and LinkedIn. 

3. Create a monthly content plan that should be followed. 

4. Promote. Promote, Promote. 

I'll be doing a regular update on this financial goal that I have from time to time and I'll let you guys know what worked, what made me cray cray, and what didn't work. 

Got tips? I'd love to hear it. 

UnionBank, CANVAS.PH team up to help artists, collectors explore NFT art space

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is leveraging its expertise in blockchain technology in a partnership with the non-profit organization Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS.PH) to help artists and collectors navigate the emerging non-fungible token (NFT) art space. 

The partnership was made official through a virtual signing event last February 17 between Cathy Casas, UnionBank's Head of Blockchain Center of Excellence (BCOE), Digital Assets Markets Unit and API Marketplace; and Gigo Alampay, Executive Director, CANVAS.PH. They were joined by former Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Popo Lotilla, who introduced CANVAS.PH to UnionBank, who has set his eyes recently on the transformative potential of blockchain technology especially here in the Philippines.


“Art has always been a powerful tool in creating positive change, and the advent of NFT technology potentially opens up more opportunities for artists to positively impact society through their work,” said Lotilla. “Together with the leading expertise of UnionBank in blockchain, we believe that this partnership will help CANVAS.PH uplift more lives through its advocacy.”

"Through this partnership, we want the public to know that UnionBank supports NFT art and intends to be involved in this emerging space. Primarily, the goal is to empower and educate artists and collectors to mint their own NFT. We also aim to draw attention to CANVAS.PH's advocacy and artworks so that they may also attract interested buyers and supporters. We are proud of our Filipino artists. Their pursuit of NFT as a new medium is a true example of innovation in action," said Henry Aguda, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer, UnionBank.


"These are all part of the Bank's initiative towards exploring new use cases for blockchain technology, and is in line with our 'Tech-Up Pilipinas' advocacy and our mission to continuously enhance the Bank’s capabilities and equip our workforce to continuously serve the customers of today and of the future," Cathy Casas added. "We hope this event signifies one of many partnerships and ventures that the Bank will have in exploring NFT technology and the evolving metaverse economy."

Under the partnership, UnionBank, through its BCOE, and CANVAS.PH will jointly facilitate an educational program focused on NFTs for artists and collections. This program consists of a series of webinars and a sale and auction of Filipino NFT artworks curated by CANVAS.PH, the proceeds of which will be for the benefit of the latter’s mission to work "with the creative community to promote children's literacy, explore national identity, and deepen public appreciation for Philippine art, culture, and the environment.”

Founded in 2005, CANVAS collaborates with some of the country’s best artists and writers to publish and give away pictures and activity books for children. To date, the organization has provided more than 400,000 books to poor and disadvantaged communities and public schools all over the Philippines. Each year, it also mounts art exhibitions and public art events to encourage debate and discussion on socially relevant themes such as human rights, climate change, and internet safety for children.

To help minimize the environmental impact that will result from these efforts, specifically the use of the blockchain network Ethereum, UnionBank will augment its already existing tree-planting activities, including in Ibaan, Batangas at the site of CANVAS’ planned children’s museum of Philippine art, pledging to plant even more trees to offset the potential carbon footprint. 

The Bank hopes that all of the efforts under the partnership will empower stakeholders in the Philippine art space, enabling them to eventually navigate the NFT space on their own, while helping remove the stigma surrounding NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and other blockchain-based technologies.

SHEIN welcomes the summer season with an exclusive Spring-Summer Collection sale

In celebration of the highly-anticipated summer season, SHEIN is thrilled to announce the launch of their latest Spring-Summer Sale collection this March. The exclusive series will be a part of the upcoming 3.3 sales that will feature discounts up to 85% off on select items from a wide selection of stylish designs.

With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to plan those fun activities like road trips, a day on the beach playing with the sand between your toes, and maybe even an outdoor adventure in the wilderness with friends and family. Regardless of which adventure you choose to go on, global online fashion retailer SHEIN will have you ready in style.

Comfort For The Road


When choosing your outfit for a long road trip, it is important that you feel comfortable all throughout. Pair a puff-sleeve top with lace-patterned shorts to make sure you stay stylish and comfortable no matter the length or distance of your summer outing with friends.

Be One with Nature


There's nothing like exploring the beauty of the outdoors and reconnecting with nature. Make sure you enjoy this experience to the fullest with a chiffon crop top with puff sleeves, featuring a simple yet comfortable texture, perfect for an outdoor picnic. Not to mention a floral print design that will help you feel more connected to nature. 

Soak in the Sun Oceanside in Style


A summer getaway isn’t complete without a visit to the beach. Look your absolute best for those stunning beach photos with a floral-patterned summer midi dress in an eye-catching, flowing design that complements the beauty of the ocean and achieves a perfect, carefree look.   

Don’t Miss SHEIN’s Exclusive Spring Day Collection Sale

To make things even more exciting, SHEIN will be doing a live stream on March 3, 2022, Thursday, hosted by Janeena Chan and Mika Reyes where they will give everyone a glimpse of all the amazing clothing options to spruce up your wardrobe this summer season. 


\333 lucky viewers who place and complete their orders on the same day will stand a chance to get their orders completely free of charge.

Fill up your shopping carts and make the most out of this sale with these exciting offers from February 28-March 7,2022:

Up to 85% off on selected items under the Fashion Kick-off Sale

Buy 3, Get 1 99% off on all Beach-Ready essentials (Swimsuits, Tote Bags, Sandals)

2 for ₱799 on Dresses and Co-ords 

Free Shipping on all orders made on March 3, 2022.

Free Gift on all orders above ₱1,200

For more information and updates, check out SHEIN’s official website (https://ph.shein.com/).

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Carousell sees Dynamic Growth in Online Property and Classified Ads Business for 2022

With the pandemic crisis accelerating the expansion of the e-commerce and online classified ads landscape, Carousell Philippines looks forward to 2022 with an optimistic and bullish perspective. 

The fast-growing online buy-and-sell platform which closed 2021 with a USD 100M  investment from STIC Investments, a leading Korean private equity that invests across Asia, and the acquisition of Ox Street, one of the leading end-to-end marketplaces for authenticated sneakers and streetwear in Southeast Asia, is all set to create innovations to strengthen Carousell Philippines’ proposition for 2022. 

“The pandemic has provided customers with access to a significant variety of products from the convenience and safety of their homes. We see this shift as an opportunity and inspiration not only to make Carousell even better but most importantly, to serve Filipino customers better,” said  Carousell Philippines’ new General Manager Djon Nacario, who discussed the upcoming plans, innovations, business prospects, and directions of Carousell for the year in a recent media event. 

The pandemic scenario

During the pandemic, Carousell served as a helpline for a number of Filipinos when users set up community pantries funded by items sold on the Carousell app to aid those left most vulnerable by the crisis. 

During the recent Typhoon Odette, sellers have also initiated a donation drive by selling secondhand items and donating the proceeds to families and communities that were heavily affected by the typhoon. Listing views and monthly active users have also increased in 2021 as more users turn to Carousell to buy medical supplies and secondhand clothing while some users have also started selling on Carousell to supplement their income. 

“We are very heartened at some of the grassroot initiatives that our users have started on the Carousell platform which shows the true spirit of Filipino resilience and bayanihan, especially in times of crisis. Carousell supports these humble initiatives by our users to extend help to the most vulnerable and to ensure that people can continue on with their lives amid the pandemic,” Djon said.

Property 24 to merge with Carousell 

A highlight development for 2022 is the merging of Property24 with Carousell which is set to happen on March 8, 2022. According to Djon, this will provide an effective online platform for leading real estate developers, agencies, and brokers to help them showcase their property listings to a wider audience of qualified prospective buyers including the 4.62 million monthly visitors on Carousell. In line with this, Carousell is also working on initiatives to improve the user's experience on its platform to ensure that customers are able to find every kind of home for every kind of family.

“This is something that we’ve been planning forever since OLX merged with Carousell Philippines. We have taken in various feedbacks from our partners, developers, and users to make our property category even better,” Djon added.

Recognition of excellence in the property industry

For the first time ever, Carousell will also bring together the country’s most recognizable real estate developers and their finest developments in the Carousell Property Awards to be launched in March 2022. Among the nominees are some of the most celebrated real estate brands in the Philippines including Suntrust, Camella, Crown Asia, and Lumina, among other leading developers.   

Trust and assurance in Carousell Autos

With over 6,000 cars listed on the platform as of February 2022,  Djon also expounded on Carousell’s recent tie-up with Premium Warranty Services Philippines, Inc. (PWSPI), the premier provider of used vehicle inspection and warranty services in the country, to launch the Carousell Autos Inspected and Warranty program which is designed to provide buyers of second-hand cars confidence and peace of mind when searching for vehicles in the Carousell platform.

“We recognize that knowing the real condition of the car is a legitimate concern for most buyers. Our partnership with PWSPI is a reflection of our commitment to promote quality listings on our platform. Carousell Autos Inspected and Warranty program will boost buyer’s trust in secondhand cars and will give them the assurance that the items listed on the platform are safe from hidden faults or defects,” Djon said.

Recognition for Pinoy entrepreneurs

Finally, since many Carousell users are micro-, small- and medium-size entrepreneurs, the company is also set to launch the Caroupreneur Awards that will recognize the outstanding achievements of Filipino entrepreneurs over the past year. This will range from entrepreneurs who started or scaled their businesses online, to brick-and-mortar SMEs who digitalized their businesses, and everyday Filipinos who gave away good quality preloved items for free. 

To celebrate Carousell’s decade of sustainability, Caroupreneur Awards will also have sustainability-themed categories such as Heroes of Green, and other categories including Best in Carousell – Autos (Used Cars), Autos Workshop and Services, Property, Home Services, and many more. Winners will be announced later in the year. 

A most receptive Recommerce market

The event also highlighted the overview and insights from the Recommerce Index 2021 Report, which is Carousell’s Green initiative to highlight the importance of sustainability and recommerce in the Greater Southeast Asia region.

According to the report,  the Philippines is the most receptive Southeast Asian market for recommerce, or the practice of buying and selling brand new and previously owned items. The report also shows how consumer behaviors have changed especially during the pandemic. Hence, Carousell Recommerce Index is a timely 'report card' on where consumers are now, and how we can make secondhand the first choice in our effort to practice a more sustainable lifestyle and support a circular economy. The report also covers findings from four Carousell Group brands namely Carousell, Chợ Tốt, Mudah.my, and OneKyat, across eight markets - Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam, involving over 3,000 buyers and sellers. 

Over 2,400 teachers certified to provide financial education lessons in primary schools

Pru Life UK, together with its community investment arm in Asia and Africa, Prudence Foundation, and Junior Achievement (JA) Philippines, have certified over 2,400 teachers to teach financial education under the 2022 Cha-Ching Curriculum Financial Accreditation (CCFA) program for the school year 2021-2022.

Cha-Ching was introduced back in 2011 as an online, interactive platform to promote and teach children about the four money-smart concepts - Earn, Save, Spend and Donate. In 2016, Pru Life UK partnered with JA Philippines to have the Cha-Ching Curriculum, using the already successful Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids materials, integrated in the Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Values Formation) subject of Grade 4 students, in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd). 

The objective is to provide an organized approach and structured lesson plans for teachers to ensure good learning outcomes for the students. It is also meant to adopt timely and proactive measures to intensify the integration of financial literacy in the K to 12 basic education system curriculum in the country.

In order to supplement the financial education curriculum implementation, the CCFA, an online assessment tool, was created. This tool is to accredit and recognize the hardworking teachers for their mastery in teaching the money-smart lessons of the Cha-Ching Curriculum. 

“The idea of earning money, having to save, having to have a budget, having expenses, and understanding what are expenses versus savings - these are issues that affect all of us. By the age of seven (7), basic concepts related to financial behavior will have already been formulated or developed,” said Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation.

“Our goal is to reach even more Filipino students and teachers in this continuing commitment for financial education and inclusion. It is our fervent hope that the Financial Education Policy will usher greater momentum for Cha-Ching to bring smiles to more Filipino children and their families, and help them get the most out of life,” shared Atty. Emeren Vallente, SVP and Chief Legal and Government Relations Officer of Pru Life UK, in her opening remarks during the virtual recognition program. 

“We at JA are in the business of empowering young people and what better way to do this than recognizing outstanding teachers and outstanding teaching. The CCFA program has been developed to inspire excellence and to recognize these special educators that have made such a strong positive impact on financial literacy,” said Maziar Sabet, President, and CEO of JA Asia Pacific. 

As the highlight of the celebration, various top and special awards were handed over to Cha-Ching teachers and institutions who have shown exemplary commitment, dedication, and brilliance in teaching Filipino youth the value of financial literacy. About 40 CCFA exam top notchers from the Philippines were chosen to attend the first-ever regionwide Cha-Ching Financial Literacy Conference, sponsored by the Prudence Foundation in partnership with JA Asia Pacific, held on February 18-19, 2022.

Going forward, Cha-Ching will continue in its drive to foster financially literate youth, alongside teachers and partners in the education sector, through ceaseless improvements and innovations, toward expanding its reach beyond the current 170,000 student beneficiaries this year.

Between the years 2016 to 2021, Cha-Ching was able to connect with close to 500,000 Filipino students. Additionally, just in 2021, Cha-Ching was able to garner 6,747 educators to teach the Cha-Ching Curriculum in participating schools in the Philippines, bringing the cumulative number to 11,910 teachers from 2016 to 2021.

For more information about Cha-Ching, please contact coordinator2@japionline.org or visit https://chaching.cartoonnetworkasia.com/en/. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

6 Ways to Enhance Your Music-Listening Experience

If you love music, then you’re most likely willing to invest time and money to improve your listening experience. A good first step here is to invest in great headphones. Philippines’ tech retailers have a lot of good selections that can give that impactful, concert-level quality of sound.

 


Besides getting top-notch headphones, here are other ways you can enhance the way you listen to your favorite songs and musical pieces:

Get Good Speakers

When you want to enjoy your music in private or while on the go, headphones are your best companion. On the other hand, if you want a more immersive experience when listening at home, it’s best if you have a stellar speaker system. With the right setup, you can fill your home with dynamic audio and elevate the way you listen to music.

Some of the things you need to consider when getting speakers include the components, the size of the units, and proper positioning. The components of a home speaker system usually include the loudspeakers themselves, subwoofers, amplifiers, and tweeters. Depending on the size of the room, you might need more than two loudspeakers and subwoofers.

Getting the correct size of speakers is also important. If you get ones that are too big, you might get noise instead of music. Finally, positioning is crucial. If you want to get that surround-sound audio quality, it’s best to place the speakers in the corners of the room. This way, the sound waves will converge towards the center.

Go Lossless


If you use a smartphone or a digital to play music, each track’s format is likely .mp3. This is ideal for compressing the file so that you can save as many songs as possible. However, in the process of making the file smaller, much of the detail is lost. Thus, while a .mp3 music file sounds pretty decent, it doesn’t have the nuance of studio recordings.

To experience ultimate sound quality, you need to veer away from the .mp3 format and find FLAC music instead. FLAC stands for “free lossless audio codec,” which is similar to the format used by artists when they’re recording their songs. If you have an Apple device, the file format you’re looking for is ALAC (the first A stands for Apple).

Do note that FLAC and ALAC files are bigger than standard mp3’s. One FLAC file is about 5MB per minute on average, so a 3-minute song can be 15MB or more. Thus, be prepared to expand your storage or have limited songs in your database.

The built-in speakers and digital preamp of your smartphone or tablet may also not be able to “translate” all the details of the song. Thus, you’re going to need the previously mentioned studio-quality headphones or speaker system to appreciate the music better. You can still play FLAC or ALAC songs without these audio accessories but you’ll likely miss out on the changes.

Equalize

Even if you have top-tier headphones and speakers, you can still improve your listening experience by learning how to equalize. This is the process of adjusting the frequencies of sound until you get the “blend” you want.

Some headphones or speakers may have been built to focus on providing better bass output, for example, but the songs you listen to have more treble. Through the help of an equalizer, you can mix the frequencies and fine-tune your music to your preferences anytime. What’s even better is that there are many quality equalizer apps that you can download for free!

Organize Your Music

Everyone has different music tastes and that’s perfectly fine! However, no matter how eclectic your musical preferences are, it’s best to organize your library so it’s easier for you to find the tracks you want. You can categorize songs per artist, genre, or even by mood, for example. Remember that there’s no single right way of arranging your music; the most important thing is to have a system!

Make Time to Truly Listen

Most of the time, when we listen to music, it’s a background activity. You may be doing some chores, for example, or perhaps exercising. In short, you aren’t able to really focus on the music and really appreciate every single note. As such, if you want to elevate your music-listening experience, prioritize it. Sit back and relax, literally! Let the music flow and really listen.

Go Analog

One of the best things about listening to music through digital formats is convenience. However, there’s something truly unique about playing music the traditional way—that is, using a vinyl record and a gramophone.

This isn’t absolutely necessary, of course, but you have to admit that it’s a different sensorial experience. From sliding the record out of its sleeve to placing down the needle, this method of listening to music is truly incomparable.

Happy listening! 

Lunch with the South Gals

It has been a long time since the three of us met up and had lunch, one where we all just sat down and caught up with each other's lives. Yesterday, it finally happened. 


Kimi, the one on the left, has been my friend since 2014. She's put up with my overly dramatic stage, my crazy demands, and all the trauma of my love life. 

Jen, the one on my right, is my Godmother for our civil wedding. She's the same age as my Mom and I look to her for guidance on the things that I need to improve on and how to handle marriage matters. 

We've been through a lot of tough times and have remained a constant in each other's lives. I'm glad that I have these two with me and that they both live in the South which makes it easier to hang out, especially with the pandemic. 

I've realized that having friends who are honest with you is really important. They help you grow to become a better person and they accept you for who you really are. 

Do you have someone like them in your life?


Monday, February 21, 2022

6 Tips to Ace Social Media for Your Online Business Growth

Starting your online business can be a tricky affair in these trying times. One factor that contributes largely to the success of a business in today’s world is the right use of various Social Media tools. These tools translate branding into sales which eventually will generate revenue for your business.

This month, we have listed down top tips that can be applied to churn out a successful business online.

Product Knowledge should be at the back of your hand

As a business owner, you need to start off by listing the Features, Benefits, and Real Advantages of your products to identify how to properly draw your communication and marketing plan. These three facets are essential for customizing branding and helping your product and/ or service stand out amidst a sea of online sellers breaking from the clutter and eventually converting leads to effective sales.

Identify your Target Audience

As an entrepreneur, you have to walk in your customers’ shoes and identify correctly what their concerns, needs, and pain points are. Having figured out your business audience, you can come up with an effective marketing, content, and communication plan to reach out to your target audience.

Identify your price points

As an online seller, it is important to identify accurate price points of your offerings which are generally based on factors like your target audience, their consumption habit, the market competition as well the value for money the product offers. An estimated price point lets you benchmark your position and helps you customize your communication plans for promoting your offerings and engaging well on social media without overdoing it. If gauged well, a well-thought price point can scale up a business to a great extent.  

Craft a content strategy

An essential way to maximize social media reach for your business is to have a content strategy calendar in place and choose appropriate tools which if properly utilized can prove advantageous for most brands or businesses.

Showcase your products with multiple images

While shopping online you would want to vet a product and inspect its details quite minutely before making a purchase, similarly, it is essential that your customer gets to view different angles of the product you are cataloging on your website. Always make sure that you upload multiple images that are shot well, backed by suitable lighting conditions and backgrounds, for your audience to fully appreciate it.

Leverage FB’s pinned post option

You can highlight the product and/or service that you want to feature with this option. It could also be an FAQ, ways to order, and modes of payment in order for your customers to easily navigate their way and understand your offerings.

Use the auto-response feature

Using an auto-response feature is the best way to engage your customers, while you’re away. You can earn loyal and new customers depending on reliable and satisfactory customer service. With this auto feature, you can assist customers, answer their queries in real-time without having to log into your account every single time.

You may also resort to messenger chatbots like Many Chat that are easy-to-use and support well with longer responses and photo attachments features. 

Use the FB Live selling feature

Part of your content strategy must include FB Live sessions to further engage your online audience. With this feature, you can directly engage with your audience in an instant while also offering your product and services. However, the Live sessions must be planned well in advance and spaced out adequately to build a sense of anticipation amongst your audience. Do not rush into these sessions, Live Selling is a terrific opportunity and if leveraged well, it can have a high positive impact for your brand and business.

Find a bankable supplier to tend to your overall business needs

Apart from a considerable social media presence, as a seller, you should have access to the best available space to procure your regular supplies. Always make sure that your supplier is a legitimate source of products with trusted sellers and offers dedicated customer service. You may opt to use Zilingo Trade as a hub where you can source from varied categories at wholesale prices with multiple shipping options to sellers along with custom offers on credit and available discounts. With fashion, lifestyle, and beauty, the Zilingo Trade platform offers great options for existing as well as growing businesses.

Your creative materials are your most essential tools

Presenting a fetching catalog of product photos is no easy task. It takes a good amount of creativity and adequate skills to make your product stand out from the clutter of online sellers. There are various options to curate highly engaging content online as per your business taste and needs.

Use Canva

“For starters, you may use Canva to create your layout. This is an easy-to-use platform where you can use templates to layout your product photos, plus it is free. You just have to be consistent with the colors and template style of your photos to have an effective brand recall and brand association,” shares Janelle.

Use an Affordable Marketing service

If you have a small budget and not enough time to invest or find it difficult to use Canva or Photoshop, you may opt for Zilingo’s MAAS service that lets online businesses have professionally shot photos for as low as 110 Php per layout. The set of MAAS offerings also includes Videography and Layouting services as per requirements.

Using social media to get positive leads and generate revenue doesn’t need a big budget. As an entrepreneur, you need the right attitude, a positive and go-getter mindset, and the ability to tap into free online tools which are at your disposal to unlock social media’s prowess and strive towards a successful online business venture.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Panda Express® opens new store in Downtown Manila

A Panda sighting to welcome the Year of the Tiger! Panda Express®, the world’s largest American Chinese dining concept, is ringing in Lunar New Year with a new store scheduled to open on Feb. 19 at Level 1, Pedro Gil Wing, Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the Lunar New Year with another milestone. Opening a new store in the country’s capital city Manila means giving us the opportunity for us to serve the local community with Panda’s freshly made and wok-tossed American Chinese dishes with our guests,” said Ned Bandojo, Business Development Head, Foreign Franchises Brands of the Jollibee Group.

The new store will be the sixth Panda Express in the whole Metro Manila area, since opening its first location at SM Megamall in Ortigas, Pasig City in late 2019. 

The continuous expansion of Panda Express is a response to the clamor and cravings of Filipinos for delicious American Chinese cuisine, particularly, Panda’s world-famous entrée, The Original Orange Chicken®, a crispy chicken dish wok-tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce; or Panda’s award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, a mouth-watering entrée made with premium crispy shrimp wok-tossed in a honey sauce and topped with glazed walnuts. 

Delightful Offerings

As part of celebrating Lunar New Year, Panda Express is offering its Family Feast in special carriers. Families can customize their entrees and sides with all their Panda favorites in a Family Feast.

For health-conscious foodies, Panda’s Wok Smart® entrees offer dishes with at least eight grams of protein and 300 or fewer calories, such as Panda’s Black Pepper Chicken, a flavorful stir-fry with marinated chicken, celery, and onion, coated in a bold black pepper sauce; or Kung Pao Chicken, a Sichuan-inspired dish made with chicken, fresh vegetables, crunchy peanuts and dried chilis for a slight kick; and the classic Broccoli Beef, a tender beef entrée with fresh broccoli wok-tossed in a savory ginger soy sauce. 

Panda Express also offers plant-based options on its menu. A fan-favorite entrée, Eggplant Tofu, is the ultimate comfort food made with lightly browned tender tofu that is crispy on the outside, simmered in a sweet and spicy sauce with eggplant and red bell peppers and pairs well with White Steamed Rice, Mixed Vegetables, and some Veggie Spring Rolls.

“Panda Express invites Filipinos to enjoy authentic American Chinese cuisine, prepared fresh and made in small batches. We’re thrilled to bring our world-famous entrees made with quality ingredients to the community through our sustained expansion plans and store openings throughout the country,” said Bandojo. 

Panda Express Robinsons Place Manila will be open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery through order.pandaexpress.com.ph, GrabFood, or foodpanda. Delivery locations include select areas in Manila, Pasay, and Makati City.

To get more information on Panda Express, you may visit www.facebook.com/PandaExpressPH/ and @PandaExpressPH (Instagram).

GrabFood is a trademark owned by Grabtaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd.  foodpanda is a trademark owned by Emerging Markets Online Food Delivery Holding S.a.r.l. 

Health experts call for more vaccine options on pediatric COVID vaccination

Health experts called for more options on pediatric COVID vaccination to meet the goal of 39 million COVID-vaccinated kids and achieve herd immunity.

In today's Kapihan ng Samahang Plaridel with the theme: “Kids Kontra COVID: Urgent Need for Safe Options in Children's Vaccination", Vaccine Solidarity Movement (VSM) founders Dr. Lulu Bravo, Executive Director of the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) and Dr. Benny Atienza, president of the Philippine Medical Association, stressed the need for pediatric COVID vaccination and allayed fears of parents amid the continued proliferation of misinformation and fake news regarding vaccination. 



Dr. Bravo explained why vaccination for minors is necessary: “Getting COVID-19 carries a risk that children may become very unwell. There is also a potential to develop post-COVID-19 symptoms and/or severe complications such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Naturally infected children can also spread the virus to others. Vaccination can significantly reduce the risk and protect children from developing COVID-19 in a safe and controlled way. It can also reduce the chance of spreading the virus to others. “

Another factor that can accelerate vaccination, including the pediatric kind, is the presence of more vaccine options in the country. To date, only two have been approved for child immunization by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While only one brand is currently being used in the inoculation of kids 5 to 11 years of age, Dr. Bravo said that "Clinical trials are still ongoing for other brands such as Sinovac, a Korean vaccine, and [another] Chinese vaccine.” Sinovac is, in fact, being used already in pediatric COVID vaccinations in other countries such as Indonesia. 

Dr. Bravo also stressed the importance of avoiding vaccine fallacies by listening only to doctors and public health experts. She said, "Claims such as excess deaths, behavioral changes in kids, that these vaccines are experimental, that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits---all of these claims are not based on science and should therefore not be entertained." 

Dr. Benny Atienza, President of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), one of the oldest public health organizations in the Philippines, disclosed "that so far there have been 54 sites used for jabbing the 5- to 11-year-old demographics. Then from February 7 to 11, there have been a total of 69,800 children who have been vaccinated." He also noted that the country is expecting some 15M additional vaccine doses to arrive this month to help the government achieve its target coverage by May.

During the pediatric vaccination roll-out, 40 hospitals have participated including the Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, Manila Zoo, SM North Edsa (Skydome), and the Fil Oil Gym in San Juan City. Dr. Atienza said that 

the Philippine government is targeting to vaccinate more than 39.41 million children aged zero to 17 years old, of which 12.74 million are aged 12 to 17 years old, 15.56 million are 5 to 11 years old, and 11.11 million are 4 years old and below.

Dr. Bravo further added that other pediatric COVID vaccines may be available in the near future as "they are already in advanced clinical trials and therefore should be rolled out soon. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Babangon Ka Sa Flu at Iba’t Ibang Sakit Ngayong Flu Season!

While the country has officially gone past the flu season—which usually takes place in the chilliest months of the year—one can never be too complacent. With summer fast approaching, we still have to watch out for symptoms associated with having the flu: sniffles, sneezes, headaches, and fevers, plus a few body aches here and there. And because the flu shares many symptoms with COVID-19, catching the former also means that the average Pinoy will have a little less peace of mind.

In short, flu symptoms aren’t just more common these days—they’re also a lot heavier to deal with. 

That’s why it’s generally a good idea to get tested for COVID-19 in case one experiences flu symptoms. In the event that it’s confirmed to be COVID-19, one can start practicing the necessary isolation and treatment protocols. 

On the other hand, if that cough turns out to be a symptom of the flu, it isn’t enough to stop at the negative COVID-19 results. Flu symptoms still need to be treated ASAP, as they may lead to more serious health complications. 

When a cold or flu creates a blockage in the sinuses, for example, this can trap bacteria and viruses inside through the mucus. A bad enough infection can lead to sinusitis, which in turn causes severe headaches, fever, facial pain. 

The fluid buildup from the flu can also cause bacteria or viruses to infect the space behind the eardrums, leading to a painful ear infection. In people with asthma, flu symptoms can trigger asthmatic attacks, or cause difficulty breathing among people without asthma. 

Flu symptoms could also make it more difficult to sleep. Studies have found that a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the immune system, making someone more vulnerable to different illnesses. 

Given how important it is to immediately treat flu symptoms, medication for these symptoms is a must- have during the country’s flu season. For many Filipinos, the ideal fix is to have a multi-benefit solution like Phenylephrine HCl Chlorphenamine Maleate Paracetamol (BIOFLU) at home. 


Unlike other medications that address only one or two flu symptoms, Phenylephrine HCl Chlorphenamine Maleate Paracetamol (BIOFLU) is specially formulated to provide relief for all common flu symptoms. It helps relieve fever, colds, clogged noses, sneezing, headaches, body aches, joint pain, chills, sore throat, and cough due to post-nasal drip. It can also help reduce itching in the eyes and treat a runny nose. 

Its formula was also created to treat the symptoms of other ailments like allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, making it a valuable multi-purpose medication for every household. At just PHP7.50 SRP per tablet, it’s also one of the most sulit solutions available to Pinoys. The medication provides relief for multiple illnesses and prevents complications from their symptoms at a cost cheaper than a cup of coffee.

And because a lot of the symptoms that it treats are also common side effects from COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, the medication has also proven to be helpful for people who need to get back to work soon after getting their shots. 

With flu season in full swing and a pandemic still hitting Pinoys where it hurts, it’s always good to keep medication handy that can help people bounce back more easily from the symptoms. When it’s a multi- benefit solution, it’s more than just helpful—it’s sulit.

 

GCash powers up Filipinos’ finances with new money lending options

Technology has been developing by leaps and bounds to offer convenient solutions for users. In the financial technology (fintech) space, one of the recent developments is GGives, a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option recently introduced by GCash, the no.1 e-wallet app in the Philippines. This feature allows e-wallet users to buy big-ticket items and pay for them in easy ‘gives’ or installments.


GGives is the newest feature on the GCash app where users can shop from their favorite brands, treat themselves or buy gifts for their loved ones, and pay for them later through twice-monthly payments. With GGives, Filipinos can upgrade their lifestyle while managing their expenses as it allows qualified users to pay for big-ticket items valued up to PHP30,000 in up to 24 installments or ‘gives’ for as long as 12 months.

“GCash’s new lending features, such as GLoan and GGives, are tailor-made for Filipinos’ purchasing behaviors, such as installment pay or hulugan. This is because it allows them to have enough freedom to maximize their money while still getting to enjoy what they want and need. With GLoan and GGives, Filipinos now have access to safe and efficient credit services that offer fair and transparent interest rates, to help them cope with these challenging times,” explained GCash president and CEO Martha Sazon.

Another feature introduced by GCash to e-wallet users is GLoan, a financial service that allows eligible users to borrow funds for various purposes that will help improve their lifestyles. With GLoan, they can instantly borrow up to PHP25,000 and get it in the form of actual cash in their GCash wallet. They can use the money for anything — whether for emergencies, travel, a small business, home renovation, gadget upgrade, or to pursue their passion! Approved users have the option to pay in nine to 12 months.

These GCash features come after the successful launch of its lending financial service products like GCredit, which reached a milestone of one million borrowers as of the end of 2021. GLoan also disbursed a total of PHP1 billion.

GGives is available to users with a high GScore on the GCash app. For qualified users, you may activate your GGives in just a few easy steps: Tap “view all services” on the GCash app then select GGives. Next, simply verify and complete your information on GGives and upon approval, you’re all set to avail of GGives!

To apply for a GLoan, qualified users can tap “View all GCash Services” on the GCash app then select GLoan. Once on the loan selection page, select your terms, and once approved, you’ll instantly receive the funds in your GCash account.

Eligible users can enjoy GGives in over 27,000 stores via Scan QR with more branches and options for users soon. On the GCash app, shoppers can buy from Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, The SM Store, Ministop, S&R Supermarket, Nike, Mercury Drug, Southstar Drug, Power Mac Center, MemoXpress, Datablitz, and many more!

Aside from this new service, users can also enjoy GSave, an online savings bank; GInvest, an easy investment feature; GInsure for insurance for medical emergencies; and GLife, the e-commerce feature, all on the GCash app. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A ‘Sting’ that brings more energy to fulfill dreams

There is no doubt that young Filipinos are dreamers. Taking the word “hataw” (doing your best) by heart, they remain committed to their dreams and life goals despite several roadblocks they experience.

Take the case of 19-year old Raphael Santiago, a multimedia arts student. Together with his friends, they recently founded a clothing brand, ROLEMODEL. 


It is the time of a pandemic; a phase in their lives when the world is almost discouraging for the younger generation. Yet, this “boredom” is what drove Santiago to persevere. “I think my boredom is slowly transforming into a career,” he said. 

“I realized that life is short. I wanted to start living my life to the fullest by achieving my goals and making my dreams come true. Luckily, my friends also had the idea of starting a clothing brand,” he added. 

They pursued their love for style and life through an online business. It does not only serve as a source of income but also a source of inspiration for young Filipinos. ROLEMODEL conveys messages of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.

Energy for life

As they continue to face the challenges of the new normal and prepare for the future, young Filipinos are determined to be more energetic than ever. To keep them active and focused all throughout the day, they need a drink that is hataw sa energy and hataw sa sarap.


“We recognize the role of the youth in our society and we hope to help them succeed through the energy and delicious taste of Sting. Their determination is truly admirable. It inspires us to continue producing beverages that help Filipinos to be stronger and more energized,” said Frederick D. Ong, president and Chief Executive Officer of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI).

A product of PCPPI, the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country, Sting is the perfect partner to sharpen the mind and body of every young Filipino. It is powered with B Vitamins, Taurine, and Ginseng Extract. Sting comes in a strawberry flavor in both 300ml and 330ml PET bottles. 

Sting is available in supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, and sari-sari stores nationwide. 

PCPPI is also the exclusive manufacturer of well-known beverage brands in the Philippines including Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Mirinda, Gatorade, Tropicana, Lipton, Mug, Premier, Milkis, and Aquafina.

3 Small Ways to Save Money

Saving money is hard. I know this because I have been through it. The good news is that even though it's hard, it's not impossible. You just really need to find small ways to be able to save money and so I would like to share a few ways that I do it. 

1. Save every Php200 bill you come across. It's not usual to get Php200 so every time that I come across a Php200 bill, I feed it to the piggybank. 

At the end of the year, I will split whatever will be inside the piggybank into our joint account, B's account, and Khali's account. 

2. When you feel the desire to eat out or order in, drink 2 glasses of water and then do something else. Usually, this would be enough to drive away from the desire. Cutting down on take-out and deliveries is one of the biggest ways that you can save money. When you successfully do this, put Php200 in the piggy bank. 

If you had enough money to eat out or order food, you can put away that Php200 without problems. 

3. List all your expenses for a week. Start with a week and then move on the next week. After a month, add up all the unnecessary and small expenses. I'm sure you will be shocked and appalled at how much money you spent on things that you didn't really need. This will help you be more mindful of your spending next time. 

How do you save money?