“Besides the fact that I was pleasantly surprised with how jam-packed Okada was to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary, what made it special was the communal experience – the guests had a clear understanding of what the brand was all about,” Managing Director of Porsche Design Manila, Washington and Adrenaline Group of Companies, Hans Yao, shared.
Okada Manila was brimming with energy, passion, and enthusiasm as Porsche Design celebrated heritage and the birth of modernity. Founded by Ferdinand Alexander (F.A.) Porsche back in 1972, always emphasized that “good design must be honest. If you analyze the function of the object, the form becomes obvious.” The company arms and treats each item they make with the same engineering they apply to Porsche cars. In short, the general experience of riding a Porsche car is replicated throughout all their products with the philosophy focused on form and function.
The 50th-anniversary campaign is called “It’s About Time,” inspired by Porsche Design’s first products launched in 1972. “The Porsche Design’s chronograph watches are inspired by Porsche cars’ dashboard. These watches are going to be re-launched this year to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary,” Mr. Yao shared with excitement.
The Okada Manila Porsche Design 50Y exhibit displayed the following cars: a 1956 356 Speedster, a 2016 991 GT3RS, a 2020 911 Speedster, a 2013 Carrera S, a 718 Cayman GT4, and a 1963 993 C2 Coupe with a mural artwork rendered by Filipino visual artist/sculptor Ramon Orlina.
Hosted by television personality and Porsche Design ambassador Migs Bustos, he kick-started the program with an introduction to Porsche Design’s history. Mr. Roland Helier, Chief Design Officer of Porsche Lifestyle Group, sent a personalized message from Studio F.A. Porsche in Zell-Am-See, Austria, to talk about how the brand evolved throughout the five decades. The event also welcomed Mr. Yao, Managing Director of Porsche Design, and Director for Porsche Design in Asia-Pacific, Nina Razali, who flew in for this occasion.
The celebration marked the continuation of the brand’s legacy: passion, design, and icons — all of which the roster of young ambassadors embodied.
The introduction of Porsche Design’s young ambassadors began with Olympian Pole Vaulter, E.J. Obiena, who immersed the guests into Porsche Design’s history through a pre-recorded video inside the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The other ambassadors include racing enthusiasts Brian Poe-Llamanzares, Second Skin Industries owner Archie Chiang, Import Hookup owner Keith Bryan Haw, and CSB Blazers Coach and CNN Philippines Sports Analyst Charles Tiu.
“The entire event didn’t simply celebrate the brand’s heritage but also communicated a communal experience of freshness. All our ambassadors are passionate about what they do. They embody what Porsche Design is all about – engineered passion,” Yao shared. High energy radiated all over Okada Manila, a success from the Porsche Design Manila team’s four months of hard work, collaboration, and ingenuity to make their 50th anniversary memorable.
“The brand will continue to endure and progress, given its rich heritage and continued focus on product design,” Yao assured.
Porsche Design Manila has four boutiques throughout the metro, located at Resorts World Newport Mall, Shangri-La Mall, Rockwell Power Plant, and Okada Manila.
For more information, visit their website at www.porsche-design.com.ph, follow them on Instagram and Facebook at @PorscheDesign.Manila or email them at email@example.com or call 09175287317 for your queries.
Featured photo: The Gentlemen Ambassadors of Porsche Design (left to right): Archie Chiang, Keith Bryan Haw, Charles Tiu, Hans Yao (Porsche Design Manila Managing Director) Brian Poe-Lamanzares, and Migs Bustos.
The Lam siblings remember their childhood as a busy one. “During the holidays, our friends would leave town, and we’d be working. Truth be told, back then, there was resentment. Why did we have to work?” recalled Aimee. What the trio didn’t realize was that they were part of a family legacy. Their parents are Joey and Herminia Lam,the husband-wife power duo who founded Fighter Lock Philippines Corporation (FLPC) in 1986, one of the country’s leading distributors of hardware, construction, and electrical materials. While their peers were enjoying the simple joys of childhood, Alvin, Aimee, and Alrich were training to take on the keys of the family kingdom.
The journey wasn’t easy. Unlike other COOs (Children of Owner), their parents strongly believed that their children needed to start from the bottom. As early as grade school, the siblings were asked to man the stores, make deliveries, and learn the behind-the-scenes nature of their homegrown company. Alvin, the firstborn, was the first to find his footing within FLPC. “He was a bit of a wild child,” Aimee shared with a laugh. As a way to deal with his rowdiness, Alvin was sent to China to learn Mandarin. It wasn’t long before he was homesick. The eldest son begged his parents to let him come back to the Philippines, promising that he would finally shape up. He kept his word and soon began running the business’ daily operations.
Aimee had a similar journey. She went to Canada to study, as a way of escaping the dullness of a daily routine. Although she was looking to do something entirely different, she realized her heart belonged back at home. “They told us time and time again, that this was our bread and butter. They frequently told us their rags to riches story. I felt that it was such a waste to throw this opportunity away if we didn’t continue it.” She moved back home, ultimately taking her place as the company’s head of finance.
Their youngest sibling, Alrich, also felt a sense of resentment as a child because he was asked to work early on. Growing up around his older siblings (Aimee is 4 years older, while Alvin is 10) and seeing them contribute to the company’s success, he came on board after college, handling the FLPC’s marketing department. “I realized, all the experiences we had mattered because they helped us become who we are today,” Alrich says.
Another important lesson instilled into them by their parents is that they are all equal. While many traditional Chinese families believe that the eldest should be the most respected, the Lams reject that dogma. Because of this, they can challenge each other’s perspectives, which have been an instrument in the company’s continuous growth.
As a trio, Alvin, Aimee, and Alrich have been able to bring FLPC into the modern age. The three put their minds together to build a professional image, as well as streamline operations, that propelled the company from a small family business to a thriving corporation. Under their watch, FLPC has expanded from being more than a distributor, but also a creator of their own brands: LAMCO (plumbing needs), Aimee (locks and keys), and Kantt (LED lighting).
Although their success was born from resentment, the Lam siblings are certain that they are where they’re supposed to be. “We can do anything when we’re together,” Aimee shared. As they continue to construct their empire, the Lams have embraced their destiny with open minds and a smile.
Sun Moon Lake provides visitors with different charms in all seasons. But my favorite is in early spring around February, and the place is embraced by cherry blossoms in full bloom. Sun Moon Lake – a stunning landscape and a romantic paradise rolled into one.
Discovering new places of interest adds excitement to any traveler who visits the destination for the first time. On our third day in Taiwan, we went to the Jiji Township, still in Nantou County, where the Jiji and Checheng Railway Stations, the Toushe Basin, and Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area can be found.
Jiji and Checheng Railway Stations
Jiji is a lovely small town surrounded by beautiful mountains and streams. Even today, the town has retained its rustic style and precious ecological resources. Tourism has been actively developed here, revealing the town’s charm to visitors.
When you pay a visit to Jiji, make sure to take photos in front of Jiji Station. It is Taiwan’s most well-known Japanese-style terminal station and has been around for more than 80 years now. It was destroyed in the 1999 earthquake but later reconstructed and restored to its original look. Since then it became a must-visit tourism destination in Jiji.
Checheng is the final destination on the Jiji line and is often referred to as “The Last Train Station.” Full of beautiful and amazing scenery, the Jiji Line is like a gallery that provides both sightseeing and educational enlightenment.
The next stop was at the Toushe Basin, where an old “Bed and Breakfast” (worth 25 million in Taiwan dollars) was located. But, because of the storm, the land became soft and wasn’t cultivated well. The structures turned crooked and appeared to be like a “leaning tower of Pisa.”
Sun Moon Lake
The last location we toured for the day was Sun Moon Lake – the alpine lake with serene beauty and tranquility. It is located in the middle of Taiwan, with an elevation of 748 meters above sea level, the only natural big lake in Taiwan.
The southern part of Lalu Island is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is shaped like a sun; for this reason, it was named Sun Moon Lake. Visitors are often captivated by the refreshingly beautiful and elegant landscapes in this location. It’s like a Manila Bay cruise if you compared it to Manila.
Here, you can also enjoy a fascinating ecological tour. Sun Moon Lake provides visitors with different charms in all seasons. But my favorite is in early spring around February, and the place is embraced by cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Visitors can also appreciate the view of the lake by cycling around. It’s a must to experience the biking trails during your stay to better understand the different sides of Sun Moon Lake – a stunning landscape and a romantic paradise rolled into one.
In this installment, I will take you to Taichung, Taiwan, where you can enjoy the tourist attractions such as Rainbow Military Village, Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House, Miyahara, Fengjia Night Market, and Red Dot Hotel.
Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories and discover new places of interest. For six days, we had the opportunity to explore the culture, beauty, historical landmarks, scenic tourist spots, and culinary offerings in Taiwan. Because this trip gave me a new way of looking at things and having new eyes – that no matter where you had been, whether the experience was good or bad – you take with you the memories and made you realize that life truly is a journey.
On our first day, the schedules were already jam-packed. We went to the Taichung side of Taiwan and visited the Rainbow Military Village. Rainbow Village is a military housing facility. This was painted by a military soldier and was supposed to be demolished but then students petitioned for it to be retained. They decorated it by putting various beautiful works of art until it became a tourist attraction. Around 3,000 supporters are maintaining this housing project.
Then, we proceeded to Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House for our sumptuous dinner. The tea house is known for its bubble tea, hotpots, meal sets, traditional noodles, and delicious side orders like dim sums, bean curds, dry noodles, etc.
The next stop was at Miyahara, a red-brick architecture built by Miyahara Takeo, a Japanese ophthalmology doctor in 1927. At present, Dawn Cake, a pastry company renowned for its pineapple cakes, acquired the building and preserved Miyahara’s original red-brick walls and archway. The interior decor was redesigned like Hogwarts in the movie Harry Potter. Visitors to Miyahara are not only recommended to appreciate the details of the historic architecture but also try Dawn Cake’s signature ice cream, bubble tea, and pastries wrapped in nostalgic packings. We loved this place!
One of the most famous night markets in Taichung is Fengjia Night Market. Here, you can buy a lot of things like food, apparel, cosmetics, and other surprising pieces of stuff. It’s famous for its “cheap and yet massive quantity” of foods, luring people from all over the world. Recommended delicacies here are: Chinese sausage wrapped in glutinous rice, brown sugar tapioca milk, Chow mien (fried noodles) stuffed bread, octopus balls (takoyaki), humongous stinky tofu, and huangjinzei (aromatic rice stuffed in cuttlefish).
We stayed at Red Dot Hotel for the night. The boutique hotel was attractive with its quirky fun and functional design. It has a big slide which you can use from the hotel’s second floor to the lobby – perfect to enjoy for the young and young-at-heart! Some of our group had tried the iconic hotel slide. I stayed in one of their spacious double rooms and quickly slumbered into dreamland. I woke up the next day energized and ready for the tour itinerary.
The atmosphere of quiet lushness from the mountain made our stay a whole new experience in getting closer to nature.
Traveling through this side of Taiwan on our second day, makes you appreciate the beauty of the countryside. In this installment, I will take you to Nantou County, where you can take a glimpse of magnificent views of the outdoors and cold weather at Monster Village and Sun-Link-Sea Forest and Nature Resort.
Monster Village is one of the most popular attractions in Nantou County. You will like it here because of its captivating scenery and cold weather, which is comparable to our very own Tagaytay City. The place is situated 1,100 meters above sea level – the reason for its cool climate – and you can almost see the mountains and the clouds covering the mountain top. There are all kinds of strange monster statues and the villagers are dressed in Japanese style.
It’s not just a tourist attraction, but a one-stop shop for the guests. Whenever you get hungry, you can choose from one of the restaurants here which served best-selling Taiwan and Chinese dishes.
Interestingly, there’s a particular bread that caught our attention during our visit – the Stinging Nettle bread also known as “Biting Cat” in Chinese. The itchy part is the leaf and locals made it into bread but the inside is very savory and soft, it contains some cheese or some kind of meat as filling. But the highlight of the bread is the stinging nettle leaf on top of the bread.
Our group indulged in the set menu for lunch at Monster Village Theme restaurant. The food arrived in big servings. It was truly a mouthful of dishes served before our very eyes. We enjoyed the food, the company, and the ambiance.
You can also find some souvenir shops for your trip mementos. and a hotel within the village for long-staying guests.
We also visited Sun-Link-Sea Forest and Nature Resort. The place has an annual average temperature of about 20 degrees Celcius and is 1600 meters above sea level. The climate is perfect like Baguio City. Here, you can enjoy a different side of Taiwan, far from the city.
You won’t feel perspired and get tired while walking; most of all, you get to enjoy being surrounded by nature. You will enjoy the atmosphere near the waterfalls, the environment surrounded by trees, and a Flower Center, which exhibited some 30 flower species, such as peony, color cabbage, hydrangea, tulip, and Taiwan cherry, fuchsia, etc.
Our accommodation at Sun-Link-Sea Hotel, an elegant building characterized by modern and neo-classical architecture, provided a total relaxation. The atmosphere of quiet lushness from the mountain made our stay a whole new experience in getting closer to nature.
Bangkok first-timers chart a memorable weekend experience.
Creating an authentic travel experience in Bangkok is a must. Well-known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, it isn’t surprising why Thailand’s capital is a favorite destination for many foreign tourists.
Its attractions are endless: dazzling temples, thrilling tuk-tuk rides, boats to the floating market or just to cross the Chao Phraya River, shopping sprees at chic emporiums, and tasting culinary delights with their fresh and unforgettable flavors, savored at either fine dining restaurants or street-side stall. It is an amazing place with something for everyone.
If you are a first-timer here, exploring the city without a guide is part of the challenge.
How many charming and unforgettable locations will you find without losing your way? It’s fun to make your way around in a foreign country and return safely to the comfort of your hotel at the end of the day. That is truly an accomplishment.
This is what we discovered on a trip to the City of Angels, in partnership with the Erawan Group, ibis, and Mercure Thailand. True enough, a fun-filled getaway here is accessible at almost every street corner.
A must for any shopaholic is the Chatuchak weekend market. It has everything you can ever want from all over Thailand. And yes, you have to haggle to get a bargain.
Easily accessible by BTS Skytrain, it is best to designate a meeting place near the market’s entrance where you can all gather after exploring the market’s many alleys. For almost half a day, we discovered outstanding finds that we all wanted to bring home.
If you are going there, wear light and comfortable clothing and shoes. Protect yourself against the sun by wearing sunglasses and a hat, and use sunscreen liberally. Bring enough cash. Most vendors do not accept credit cards. Beware of pickpockets, and watch your belongings.
Any tour of Bangkok’s temples should start at Wat Pho. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city and is famous for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 meters long and is covered in gold leaf.
The Grand Palace is one of the most visited places and is probably the most stunning attraction in the city. It was built in 1782 and served as the home of Thai kings and the royal court for 150 years. It now welcomes millions of visitors each year coming from all parts of the world. Wat Phra Kaew, the temple inside the Grand Palace, is where you will find the Phra Kaew Morakot, or the Emerald Buddha, a sacred image carved from a single block of emerald.
Since our hotel is located by the river, the trip would be incomplete without experiencing the magnificent Chao Phraya River at least once. We spent a relaxing evening at the riverside after touring the city.
Comfort at the Best Price
Our home in Bangkok was the ibis Bangkok Riverside, one of the economy brands of AccorHotels, which promises modernity, comfort, and service at the best price.
Located by the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it offers outstanding value and beautiful river views. Situated close to the BTS Sky Train, which will whisk you into the heart of the city in minutes, it is also a short ferry ride from the riverfront lifestyle shopping and dining venue, Asiatique, and close to many other cultural highlights including the glittering Grand Palace.
ibis Bangkok Riverside has 266 cozy, contemporary rooms with double or twin beds, a desk, LCD TV with international channels, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities, personal safe, and hairdryer for a comfortable stay. The hotel also has a revolutionary bedding concept called Sweet Bed by ibis. It also has three spacious function rooms for up to 100 persons.
Taste, its all-day dining venue, reinvents tapas with new flavors and authentic local dishes. The Lobby Bar serves a wide selection of snacks and refreshments, while room service is available 24 hours a day. A highlight of the hotel is a fabulous riverfront swimming pool set in a beautiful garden and a petanque field for fun with the family.
Created in 1974, the ibis hotel chain is now the European leader in economy brands and the fourth largest chain in its category worldwide, with over 1,060 hotels and 135,000 rooms in 64 countries.
The Mercure Bangkok Siam, the seventh midscale Mercure property in Thailand, and ibis Bangkok Siam, the ninth economy ibis in the country, two hotels located in the central Siam area, provide guests with convenient access to all of the city’s top shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
Mercure Bangkok Siam has 189 rooms with a contemporary design, fully equipped facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, three meeting rooms for up to 126 delegates, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and the Sky Bar. Privilege rooms come with a coffee machine, a variety of local teas, additional bathrobes and amenities, and an iPod dock. Guests also enjoy exclusive access to the Executive Club with its all-day refreshments, business center facilities, and an outdoor terrace.
Mercure’s signature restaurant, The Eight, is named after its location, and services guests from both hotels. This all-day dining outlet features an extensive menu of local and international cuisines with indoor and outdoor terrace dining.
On the other hand, ibis Bangkok Siam has 189 modern rooms equipped with LCD TV, a fridge, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. All rooms also offer newly upgraded beds that are supremely comfortable. The hotel’s Quick Bite restaurant is open day and night, offering round-the-clock light meals. Guests also have access to the swimming pool and fitness center facilities at no extra charge.
AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, is present in 95 countries with more than 4,000 hotels and 240,000 employees. Its portfolio comprises internationally acclaimed luxury brands including Raffles, Sofitel Legend, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, Fairmont, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman, and Swissôtel; the popular midscale and boutique brands of 25hours, Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter, and Adagio; the much-prized economy brands including JO&JOE, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget; and the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel, and hotelF1.
With so many places to see and so many hotels to stay in, only one thing is certain: a return to Bangkok is needed to discover more of its many attractions.
(Re-posted from Experience Travel and Living magazine
Bring your kids when you plan a vacation to this awesome family destination. The hotel has child-friendly features they will surely enjoy to the extreme. Remember, kids, are the star guests here. Enjoy it, explore it, experience it. Don’t hold back.
Traveling with my family is a memorable adventure filled with laughter, fun, and new experiences that last a lifetime. It is true that traveling in the company of those we love is like “home in motion.”
As we planned our international trip to LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort just recently, we were excited to try the various offerings at the resort, and our bonding time as a family. At this point in our family life that my daughter is already grown-up, it’s much easier to travel as much as we can, and when time allows for us to go all together. From NAIA Terminal 2, we had a layover in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, then an almost two-hour drive by private van to reach our long weekend destination at LEGOLAND® Hotel Malaysia. The holidays we had been waiting for were almost here!
Picture this: The spectacular lobby features a LEGO® castle and a LEGO® pirate ship that transcends into the sky. You can see children all agog with their LEGO® bricks inspiring their imaginations to create their own LEGO® models. As first-time guests of this hotel, you would think that there was pandemonium because the welcome ambiance wasn’t your usual of a hotel lobby. However, after you have settled down you get to imbibe the uniqueness and charm of LEGOLAND® Hotel, which is sure to make your stay unforgettable.
Primarily, it caters to families with children, for the young and young-at-heart. Make sure to bring your kids when you plan a vacation to this awesome family destination. LEGOLAND® Hotel is located at the heart of LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort.
Interestingly, as we toured the lobby area upon check-in, our eyes were caught with LEGO® mini-figures on display behind the check-in desk (it has around 12,528 mini-figures). The hotel is full of child-friendly features such as children’s play area with LEGO® bricks and Xbox 360 Kinect, interactive LEGO® features, swimming pool, themed lifts, low level viewing portholes, merchandise store, buffet restaurant with its organized LEGO® chaos, themed rooms, and of course, there are activities for children every day.
All 263 rooms are themed to give guests the choice of playing pirate, commanding a kingdom, embarking on an adventure, or living like a true ninja. All rooms include a king-sized bed for grown-ups plus a separate semi-private sleeping area for up to three children, complete with a bunk bed, pull-out trundle bed, and entertainment unit. LEGO® features are found throughout the hotel as well as in the themed rooms, play areas, restaurants, and even the elevators.
As we went up to our assigned kingdom-themed room, we found ourselves entertained by a themed lift with dance music. It was a fun experience for my family. We were like dancing until we hit the assigned floor.
LEGO® Themed Hotel Bedrooms
Children are the star guests at LEGOLAND® Hotel. With a choice of themed rooms to suit every visitor, you can spur imagination and enter a world of daring pirates, brave knights, or powerful pharaohs. Guests can choose from these themed rooms:
Pirate: Step into your very own pirate cabin decked out with pirate bedding, curtains, wallpaper, and even Polly, a LEGO® parrot.
Adventure: Embark on the ultimate adventure and hunt for hidden treasure amongst tarantulas, scorpions, lizards, and other jungle animals.
Kingdom: Enter a kingdom fit for a Prince or Princess. Bunting, shields, and flags all meet the royal standards.
Ninjago: Enter the LEGO® Ninjago universe to master the elements, relax in your lavish room and sleep like a victorious
All in all, LEGOLAND® Hotel consists of 234 themed rooms and premium themed rooms, 7 pirate deluxe rooms, 8 kingdom suites, 13 premium Ninjago themed, 1 Ninjago kai suite. This year, the hotel has added more Ninjago rooms to ensure more people to be part of the Ninjago universe. When guests open their door, they step directly into a ninja cave and are greeted by famous Ninjago heroes. In the corner is an eagle keeping a watchful eye, and on the bunk beds are puzzles that can only be solved by true ninjas.
As for our family, we loved our kingdom-themed room! It was beautifully decorated and we felt the Royal welcome! We had quality and sound sleep, too!
Exciting Dining Options
Throughout the duration of our stay, we have enjoyed the breakfast offerings at Bricks Family Restaurant, an all-day dining serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a buffet-style concept restaurant and has a variety of cuisine catering to every taste bud of adults and children. The menu is just as exciting as families enjoy a meal together while sharing and relating their day’s adventure. It has a capacity of 465 guests. Open daily: 7:00am-10:30am & 6:30pm – 10:00pm.
Kai’s Sushi Bar is a brand new Japanese restaurant at the hotel. Hosted by the hero of LEGO NINJAGO himself, the restaurant offers a delightful variety of authentic Japanese food such as sashimi, tempura, donburi, noodles, and more. Also available are sake, shochu, and Japanese beer while children can have their pick from a selection of cool Japanese mocktails. all of which are meticulously prepared by Kai’s talented chefs. Open Daily: 12:00pm-3:00pm.
If you’re looking for a la carte style restaurant while at the hotel, head to Di Mattoni Restaurant, the perfect place to enjoy delicious pizza and pasta, soups, and desserts. After a long day, delight yourself with specially-created cocktails while the children have a blast with fruity beverages. It has a capacity of 50 guests. Open daily: 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm.
Meanwhile, Coffee@Bricks is an upscale deli specializing in cold sandwiches, grab-and-go style, or dine-in from freshly made salads to a choice of macaroons plus the chef creations of the day.
We also checked out the inviting swimming pool located on the 5th floor of the hotel. Space was perfect for family and children to enjoy their moments together amidst the view of towering structures of Iskandar Puteri, Johor.
Indeed, it was an unforgettable trip! The wanderlust got us!
Featured photo courtesy of Legoland
Special thanks to Ms. Stephanie Lee, marketing manager of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort and to Sing Ying, public relations executive of LEGOLAND, the management and staff for the warm accommodation:)
On his 10th death anniversary, I thought of sharing my #throwback exclusive interview with the late King of Comedy, Rodolfo Vera Quizon or “Dolphy” to many of his adoring fans. He was truly Daddy Dolphy with a big heart for his children off and on-screen.
He was one of my dream interviewees, and I was truly delighted that I was able to fulfill this conversation with him before he passed away at the age of 83 due to multiple organ failure. Here is an excerpt from the feature article which appeared in the old issue of Mirror Weekly Magazine:
He may have been less than ideal as a “husband,” given the long list of relationships in the open book that’s been Dolphy’s life. But as a father who sired all of 18 children by several women, the “King of Comedy” is tops, by his children’s own account.
His real-life children attest to his goodness and greatness of heart, which, they say, more than compensates for his unusual route to fatherhood several times over. And even on-screen, Dolphy has played father roles depicting a truly admirable dad, one quite deserving of the affection and admiration of his brood despite his unconventional ways.
As in the long-running TV sitcom John en Marsha where he played bumbling but devoted dad to young Maricel Soriano and other budding stars. “I must admit that my being a father has not been normal. The mere fact that you’re in showbiz, the more that it becomes atypical,” he intimates. But in his own way, however, he has tried to make up for the lack of normalcy, he says. “With all my children, I would say that I have been fair to them. Whenever I’m here, I make it up to them; I give all my time to them.”
A loving father
He delves into his life as a father with gusto, appearing to enjoy talking about his numerous children. Being a father has not been easy because it entails a lot of responsibility and discipline. “What’s important for now is to see my children bonding together, instead of quarreling with each other. You’ll be surprised that they have different characters when they came from only one person,” he jokes.
Dolphy admits he finds more pleasure in his children when they’re still in their infancy. “Pero kapag malalaki na, ang sarap pagsasakalin,” he smiles. Although he claims he allows no favoritism to cloud his love for his kids. But he treasures his girls. “Minsan napapansin ng iba na mas malapit ako sa mga babae, kasi nga iba ang karinyo nila,” he tells.
His children have only good words for the loving father. “He is very different from everyone because he’s the kind of person who has a big heart. He’s very loving and friendly. We always talk and we go out. We’re like brothers. Happy Father’s Day! I’ll always be here for you. I love you so much,” intimates Vandolph. “He always has time for us. He’s a nice, loving, and generous person,” said Nicole and Zia.
His priority has always been his family. “Pero siyempre, una ang trabaho ko bago sila. Kung naiintindihan nila iyon, sila ‘yon. As a father, you have to provide something for your family, and that’s my role.”
He adds: “Even when I was just starting in showbiz, I frequently went abroad. I was the first one to become a Japayuki (that was in 1951). Most of the time, I would stay there for six months and my family would miss me. Then I would go back and stay for a month, then, I would leave again. And when I was here, I would accept engagements, especially during Christmas Day and New Year’s Day because the pay was triple. So, I had to work doubly hard because I wasn’t moneyed at that time, and of course, my children were growing.”
It’s both a joy and a pain to have so many children. “Mahirap talaga dahil kailangan mo silang pagbigyan lahat,” he says. “They always come to me if they need something or they want my advice, maski hatinggabi na. But most of the time, we go out, especially on Sundays.”
Dolphy has no regrets for all the things he has done in his life, like having children out of many relationships. “Hindi ko naman ginustong magkaroon ng anak na marami,” intimates Dolphy, a quiet and reflective thinker who admits to praying twice a day, morning and night. “Kapag nahiwalay ka sa asawa mo ang tendency mag-aasawa ka uli. I just tell my children not to do what I have done. It’s righteous to have only one wife and you have an anniversary to look forward to. That’s what I don’t have.”
And how would he like to be remembered? “As a good person. I want them to mention my name with a smile. That’s what my mission in life is, to make people happy.”
“Whatever I do in life, I always look at the consequences of my actions. Regardless of being a representative, a teacher, a lawyer, or anything, I always want to be a ripple of change,” shares Atty. Nograles.
“People are always telling me that I’m the girl with no rest,” said Atty. Margarita Ignacia “Migs” Nograles with a cheeky grin. Earlier that day, she took her House of Representatives Oath, officially making her a representative of the PBA Party-list in Congress on July 1. Between her oath-taking, Nograles was a busy bee. She began the morning with her usual fitness ritual (meditation and a daily run), before answering e-mails, attending meetings, managing associates at her law firm, and doing her duties as a public servant.
It doesn’t stop there. Nograles finished shooting a new episode of Paano ba Attorney?, a TV program where she gives free legal advice to anyone who needs it. On the weekends, she works as a law professor, preparing her students for The Bar through review classes. Atty. Migs is also continuing her Master’s Degree in law, after taking a few short courses at Harvard Kennedy School and passing her Arbitration Accreditation courses. Could she be bionic? Probably not—but she’s certainly a Superwoman.
The Lady Boss
As a #LadyBoss who wears many hats, it’s very impressive to learn that Atty. Migs is only 31 years old. “[I love my job] because I get to help people,” she says with an ardent smile.
Her Davao-based firm NICAD (Nograles, Ilagan, Cayco, Aban, and Dabi Law) is committed to helping the general public find solutions in a cost-efficient and a highly-sustainable way. She and her partners participate in a lot of Pro bono work and free legal advice. “The practice of law is really to use your knowledge to help your client’s concern. We just had our anniversary on the first. We’ve already been operating for a year, and we’re still surviving. Even with free legal advice, we’re managing to stay afloat.” The firm is already looking to expand with an office in Manila sometime this year.
The Pro bono cases the firm accepts vary on different issues that each partner is passionate about. Atty. Migs, in particular, has a strong stance against domestic abuse, emotional abuse, and all forms of bullying. Not just for women and children, but men and the LGBTQI community, as well. “While growing up, I was a victim of bullying,” she says. “When I got older, I realized that a lot of friends had also been victims of violence. It is something very dear to me, and something I want to protect now.” While she was in office, Nograles had to take a small step back. She had to take a leave from the firm but still makes an effort to oversee her associates daily.
Paano ba Attorney?
Although she can’t physically appear in courtrooms at the moment, Nograles continues to use her skills through different avenues. For instance, in her show Paano ba Attorney? offers free legal advice to their viewers. Originally conceived as a short Facebook Live show during the pandemic, it has grown in popularity. The fourth season (which is currently in production) will be broadcasted on local television.
Nograles shares that their team receives 300 to 400 videos/messages a day from people seeking out her expertise. “It keeps me on my toes,” she shares. “It keeps me updated with the newest laws, and makes me feel fulfilled being able to answer questions on the spot. Also, [it’s great] to be able to help people with [nothing in return] but a simple thank you.”
It runs in the blood
You can say that public service runs through Atty. Migs’ blood. Her father is late Speaker Prospero C. Nograles, and her brothers, Karlo and Jericho, both hold positions in government. Watching them do their work (particularly their role in giving free education to thousands of youths), inspired her to be in politics.
Just a few months shy of her 32nd birthday, she will be entering the House of Representatives as a newly minted congresswoman, under the PBA Partylist. Even without having officially begun, the passionate attorney is already working on bills she is eager to pass. “What I plan to submit as a bill is the Domestic Abuse Law Bill. I’m working on it already. Another one is the expansion of the Solo Parents Act. In the law, solo parents don’t have additional support for education, which they need,” she states with assured vigor.
Supporting youths and athletes
As a former athlete, Nograles also wants to ensure that homegrown talents are given proper funding. She is advocating for sports legislation, sports protection, and grass-root support for local athletes.
Through the Party List, she hopes that she can establish standard and retirement benefits for emerging sportspersons. Her family’s work through the Nograles Scholars Program (which supported youths and athletes) truly inspired the young woman to help emerging Filipino talents.
She remembers boxer Nesthly Petecio (an Olympic Silver medalist) as one of the athletes they helped through the program. “Just look at her now,” she says with a proud smile. “Athletes should focus on training and shouldn’t worry about [the resources to do it]. Small issues like this are what I want to push in terms of legislation.”
While Migs Nograles is just beginning her career as a congresswoman, she has already done so much to help those around her. Her desire to build a better Philippines reflects on her already flourishing career. It’s exciting to be in the audience and see the climb of this political superstar. “When I was a part of the Ateneo Student Leaders Assembly, they taught us to be a ripple of change,” she remembers. “Whatever I do in life, I always look at the consequences of my actions. Regardless of being a representative, a teacher, a lawyer, or anything, I always want to be a ripple of change.”
With such passion in her voice, it’s easy to believe her. However, to reach real “change,” one is afforded very little rest. Luckily for us, Nograles never does.
To mark the occasion and help visitors enjoy the benefits of playing together, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is launching a brand-new exclusive LEGO® experience: “Play Your Way.”
Johor Bahru – The LEGO Group is marking its 90th anniversary by celebrating the creativity of fans and the power of play as the new LEGO® Play Well Study shows play is fundamental to the wellbeing and happiness of the whole family. To mark the occasion and help visitors enjoy the benefits of playing together, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is launching a brand-new exclusive LEGO® experience: “Play Your Way”.
From 16 June to 10 August 2022, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort visitors will be invited to discover their official Play Type and take on fun LEGO® build challenges to start their journey toward play mastery.
Guests will receive an exclusive, limited edition lanyard upon entry from our friendly staff and a limited edition pop badge for each Play Type build challenge they complete while exploring the park while stocks last. Visitors will be challenged to explore the different activities and find out which suits their play personality best:
Are you a Designer? Aware of problems, these builders are focused and get ideas from asking questions. Their LEGO® creations solve problems and playtime is thoughtful.
Are you a Maker? Aware of objects, these builders are energetic and get ideas from trial and error. Their LEGO® creations are detailed and playtime is experimental.
Are you an Explorer? Aware of the environment, these builders are curious and get ideas from new discoveries. Their LEGO® creations are bold and playtime is adventurous.
Are you a Storyteller? Aware of others, these builders are dramatic and ideas come from fantasy. Their LEGO® creations are used to entertain and playtime is theatrical.
Are you a Dreamer? Aware of possibilities, these builders are imaginative and ideas come from daydreaming. Their LEGO® creations are artistic and playtime is magical.
The ‘Play Your Way’ LEGO® build challenges encourage creativity for each play type, with prompts to spark different types of play. For example, Designers will be challenged to design a secret treehouse or the ultimate dragon. Makers are more experiential, so will be challenged to make a boat fly or a bus for the moon. The adventurous Explorers will love creating a magical lion, whilst Storytellers will have more theatrical build challenges, creating a castle in the sky or an underwater kingdom. For Dreamers, their creativity will be encouraged through magical build ideas from rainbows and flowers, to spaceships and treasure chests.
Within the park, Master Players (who have mastered all five play types) will roam the park in colorful costumes to surprise and delight guests with magic tricks and storytelling.
The new “Play Your Way” experience adds to the rides, shows, and attractions all geared to families with children ages 2-12 years old at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort. The Play Your Way event will be included in Park admission along with everything that LEGOLAND® has to offer, and is hosted in the Rebuild the World area.
As part of the celebration, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort partners with LEGO for a special Imagination Playground roadshow, where visitors can enjoy a FREE RM150 F&B voucher with the purchase of four Triple-Park Pass while stocks last. The ongoing roadshow at the ground floor of Centre Court, Midvalley Megamall Kuala Lumpur, will end on 12 June 2022, before moving to its next stop from 20 July to 31 July 2022 at Midvalley Southkey Johor.
“LEGOLAND® is excited to celebrate the 90 Years of Play with the LEGO® Group – we know that play has huge benefits for the whole family, so what better way to celebrate than through playing together? Our new event allows guests the chance to uncover their play type and rediscover the joy of creating together with LEGO® bricks,” said CS Lim, Divisional Director at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.
Play is an important part of everyday life and the LEGO® Play Well Study 2022 shows that play is fundamental to the well-being and happiness of the whole family. The LEGO Group polled more than 55,000 parents and children in over 30 countries and found that almost all parents think children strengthen their creativity (93%), communication (92%), problem-solving skills (92%), and confidence (91%) while they play. When children play, they develop skills that help them thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Referred to as ‘CHOSE,’ Chari and Rose have successfully launched some of the country’s most innovative and fastest-growing retail brands in the pandemic.
COVID-19 paved the way for a new normal. Streets were quiet, malls closed, with people afraid of leaving their homes prompting the boom in online shopping. The indoors provided solace and its interface are digital. This was the formula that kickstarted Rose and Chari’s ventures.
“The pandemic was the great equalizer. It gave new opportunities to those whose eyes are constantly seeking,” said the company’s leading Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rose Tolentino. While many slowed down, the duo went the opposite direction and launched not just one but multiple brands from personal and men’s care to food.
“2020 was the year. We felt the consumerist landscape was changing so to adapt was imperative for survival,” said Rose. “We were fueled to see the opportunity lying ahead so we did our best, and have been continuing to do so. We felt it would be an injustice to God not to do well. That was our motivation and push,” said Chari.
OMO! White, the company’s first successful brand scaled when it closed a partnership with the country’s biggest household cosmetic company, Ever Bilena Cosmetics Inc (EBCI). What once was a Korean-inspired product line is now manufactured in Korea. “The best of Korean technology with the Filipino skin in mind,” Creative Chief Officer (CCO) Chari Trinidad-Mendoza, says. OMO! White is now in nearly 2,000 doors nationwide in all leading beauty & department stores.
Building a team that runs 100% online, the duo found the system worked to the advantage of their millennial team. No longer bound by the regular ‘8-5’ office demands meant clockwork capacity for their members’ optimum hours. “You know creativity can spring at 3 A.M. I guess you can call it ‘structured flow,’ says Rose.
Oh Crop! Is an Adlai brand to serve the ballooning health-conscious consumer market. It is an alternative to the Filipino staple white rice, packed with nutrients, low in glycemic index (GI), and high in fiber. Partnering with celebrity restaurateur Marvin Agustin, the company has hectares of personally-owned and contracted land whilst pioneering the first Adlai-financing system with UBX and multiple LGUs to further encourage sustainable livelihood for their partner farmers. The brand is currently available at The Marketplace under the Robinsons Retail Group.
Halal-certified with a core philosophy of ‘beauty is kindness,’ Rosie Posie is a 4-step skincare kit made specifically for Filipino women in Visayas and Mindanao. it is a brand promoting gentle and natural ingredients that aims to take care of you, while you take care of the Earth. The brand is available in Rose Pharmacy in Cebu, Iloilo, and Bacolod.
Aside from their products in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) category, the ladies own the media company Alike Media. Similar to OMO! White Alike was founded before the pandemic but its pivotal year was 2020. An originally digital media company, expanded into an omni-channel that now has both digital and print. They were ranked as part of the top 10 digital media companies in the country.
Best friends since they were 10 the two are now in their 30s. Two decades of friendship have evolved and formed them, but never separated. The pandemic taught them simplicity, grit, but above all – what truly is ‘essential.’
Get to know these Filipina entrepreneurs who are transforming lives with their awesome beauty products!
With the pandemic entering the world last 2020, a lot of lives were challenged. People had to live with the new normal, skipping some of the things that were usually so accessible in exchange for safety from the virus. Aside from that, livelihoods and businesses were also drastically affected because of the overall impact that the virus had on the lifestyles of people. One such industry is the beauty industry because now, people had limited access to its services and products, as well as a smaller budget.
In the case of these two local beauty brands, we see proof that despite the challenges the businesses might face, a brand can still make it through with hard work, the right intentions, and maybe, a little bit of luck.
Dear Face: Affordable and available for everyone
One such brand is Dear Face. Launched in November 2020, the brand started small with only two skincare sets, a facial wash, and a serum. During the height of the pandemic, its CEO and founder, Ma. Jonalyn Sison-Ramos identified two major problems that people were faced with: (1) lack of source of income due to the economic effects of the global lockdown and (2) lack of self-care due to isolation and quarantine. These are the main reasons whyDear Facewas born as well as the driving force of its mission and purpose. The company is dedicated to empowering people by providing a main source of income through its distributorship program. It also aims to give people a form of self-care with its wide range of effective supplements and skin care products that are affordable and available to everyone.
Since its inception, the brand has gained impressive momentum, with over 1500 local and international distributors in countries like the United States of America, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, United Kingdom, etc. Some of you may know their TikTok famous product — the Drunk Skin,which has sold more than 250,000 bottles to date. With the rate things are going for Dear Face, there’s no denying that this young brand’s current success is only the beginning!
Skinpotions’ magical touch
Another brand with a magical touch is Skinpotions. It was founded in 2013 by sisters Ma. Jonalyn Sison-Ramos, a registered nurse by profession, and Ma. Aileen Sison-Pacheco, a former international flight attendant. Interestingly, their interest started because Jonalyn struggled with teenage acne and her journey to finding products that worked on her skin. Apart from this, both share a common passion for helping people transform their lives and feel better about themselves through skincare and makeup.
Skinpotions started reaching its consumers through online selling platforms. It introduced cost-effective products in varieties of soap, lotion, face cream, and serum, then eventually expanded its selection, adding makeup and cosmetics to its product line. Only two years later, the brand grew to have more than 100 local distributors and also some from countries abroad such as the USA, Italy, Japan, UAE, and Australia. The company has also joined several shopping bazaars and collaboration stores to reach more consumers.
With the demand for products rapidly increasing around the country, especially in provinces, Skinpotions partnered with Francorp Philippines and opened its doors to franchising. The brand then became a duly member of the Philippine Franchise Association and was able to open several franchise stores, expanding its scope in Luzon and Visayas. Spreading its wings even further, its CEO, Ma. Jonalyn Sison-Ramos won the 2018 Nextgen in Franchising of the International Franchise Association in Phoenix, Arizona USA.
The following year, Skinpotions collaborated with The Walt Disney Co. Philippines to launch a selection of makeup products for Disney’s live-action remake of the movie, Aladdin. Like in the movie theme song – A Whole New World, this move was truly a shining, shimmering, and splendid one for the brand. Its block screening, attended by known influencers and vloggers in the country, was one of the many achievements this venture brought the company.
Skinpotions currently has over a hundred and seventy-eight thousand followers on Facebook, a reflection of its rising popularity as well as the lives it has changed through its products.
It’s inspiring to see these young Filipina entrepreneurs thrive while transforming the lives of their products’ users as well as their business partners. If you’re looking for a new beauty product to try, why not check these brands out?
Featured photo: Ma. Aileen Sison-Pacheco and Ma. Jonalyn Sison-Ramos
The long wait is over and we are excited to share that Savoy Hotel Boracay is reopening this June 1, 2022. They can’t wait to welcome you back, so here are exciting treats to color your experience once again!
Reopening Room Treat!
The plan that perfect beach day to the Boracay you know and love, and avail of our hotel room vouchers for Php 3,150 per night good for two (2) people. Amazing surprises and complimentary treats await so start booking your stays and purchase these special reopening vouchers until May 31, 2022. These are valid until December 31, 2022. To book, visit our official website at https://booking.savoyhotelboracay.com.ph/4.31/ or avail of your vouchers at https://onlineshopping.savoyhotelboracay.com.ph/.
Reopening Food Trip!
As a special treat on our opening day, join us for an evening packed with live acoustic entertainment by the Chambery Pool Bar and sumptuous Filipino buffet selections at Savoy Café for Php 1,650 per person. Complimentary shuttle services to and from D’Mall, Station 2 is available for guests and walk-ins.
For those looking for adventure, we’ve got complimentary activities like kayaking and paddle-boarding. Plus, enjoy the sun and the sand with other options for leisure activities and watersports. Set off on a bike ride to the infamous Boracay Keyhole or sunrise cruise amidst a picturesque island view.
Finally, if you are looking to simply relax away from the crowded beach stations, then this is where you want to stay. Savoy Hotel Boracay is nestled in Boracay Newcoast, a tourist destination on its own where you can enjoy a peaceful, serene stay.
All these and more await you at Savoy Hotel Boracay… where you want to be, soon!
Savoy Hotel Boracay is located at the Newcoast Drive, Boracay Newcoast, Brgy. Yapak, Boracay Island, 5608, Malay, Aklan. To find out more about the hotel’s ongoing promotions and offerings, visit their website at www.savoyhotelboracay.com.ph or call them at +63 (36) 286 2800 or +63 (917) 821 0282. Like us on Facebook at Savoy Hotel Boracay and follow us on Instagram at @savoyboracay.
Managed by Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, the largest hospitality chain in the country having nearly 4,000 room keys across 11 home-grown brands. With a growing portfolio of hotels strategically located in key townships, it caters to the various needs of today’s savvy travelers by providing quality products, enriching experiences, and heartfelt service that is uniquely and proudly Filipino.
Shenzhen, China — Huawei kicked off its 19th annual Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen. Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Ken Hu said that the company will continue to boost investment in innovation to build new products and enhance and accelerate new technologies.
“At Huawei, when we talk about innovation, the first thing we think is people. We hope to attract world-class talent with world-class challenges, and work together to push the limits of science and technology,” said Hu, referring to the Top Minds recruitment program that the company launched on its website.
“We don’t care where you’re from, where you graduated, or what you studied,” he continued. “As long as you have a dream for the future and believe you can make it happen, we want you to come and join us. We provide world-class challenges, a powerful platform, and all the resources you need to explore the unknown.”
Huawei is taking active steps to boost its business resilience and ensure steady development. “We have to keep the ball rolling through nonstop innovation, creating value for customers and society,” said Ken Hu. “We look forward to working more closely with our customers and partners to build a greener intelligent world.”
Dr. Zhou Hong, President of Huawei’s Institute of Strategic Research, said that “everything we imagine today is very likely to be too conservative – too little – for tomorrow. We have to meet the future with bold hypotheses and a bold vision, and throw caution to the wind as we push to break through bottlenecks in theory and technology. This is the only way forward.” He outlined ten challenges that Huawei hopes to address moving forward.
Two scientific questions:
How do machines perceive the world, and can we build models that teach machines how to understand the world?
How can we better understand the physiological mechanisms of the human body, including how the eight systems of the bodywork, as well as human intent and intelligence?
Eight tech challenges:
New sensing and control capabilities, e.g., brain-computer interfaces, muscle-computer interfaces, 3D displays, virtual touch, virtual smell, and virtual taste
Real-time, unobtrusive blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart monitoring, and strong AI-assisted discoveries in chemical pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, and vaccines
Application-centric, efficient, automated, and intelligent software for greater value and a better experience
Reaching and circumventing Shannon’s limit to enable efficient, high-performance connectivity both regionally and globally
Adaptive and efficient computing models, non-Von Neumann architectures, unconventional components, and explainable and debuggable AI
Inventing new molecules, catalysts, and components with intelligent computing
Developing new processes that surpass CMOS, cost less, and are more efficient
Safe, efficient energy conversion and storage, as well as on-demand services
Huawei said, most Asia Pacific countries have very clear and forward-looking digital strategies. As the Asia Pacific region goes digital, a skilled ICT workforce will be critical. The region has a unique advantage in this area because it has a younger population than the US or Europe. Accelerating the development of ICT talent in the region will require concerted efforts from governments, businesses, and people from all walks of life.
In the Philippines, Huawei also had several programs for cultivating the local ICT talents, such as ICT Academy, and Seeds for the Future, which covered the Philippines for years, and benefited over 9000 ICT students, according to Daniel Guo, the Vice President of Huawei Philippines.
The student that the Sintang Paaralan has guided has now become its leader – and he intends to do a great job at it. As the University President, Manuel has several plans that he wishes to implement to ensure that everybody is given the same chance as he was, decades ago.
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) has been home to students from all walks of life, hence why it is dubbed the “Sintang Paaralan.” It was a haven for people who wished to continue learning despite obstacles and hindrances that may come their way. This is the exact environment that nurtures people into becoming something much bigger than themselves – something that Manuel Muhi has been on the receiving end of. Now that he’s back in the halls of the fabled university, the student that the Sintang Paaralan has guided has now become its leader– and he intends to do a great job at it.
Manuel Mengorio Muhi was just a seemingly ordinary student when he first entered PUP as a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering freshman. Life has been rather hard on him, as he did not come from a wealthy family. He was taught the painful and harsh realities of life early on.
“My learning journey in PUP required me to be humble to succeed, to make ends meet, to become more resourceful, and to appreciate the privilege of being a part of the university to further my education,” he shares.
Looking back, the time he spent as a student in PUP taught Manuel a life lesson in humility. “Kasi kapag PUPian ka, sanay ka sa hirap. Magtatrabaho sa gabi, mag-aaral sa araw. Minsan hindi sumasapat ang baon, pero dapat handa ka. Kaya matututo kang makibagay at magpasalamat sa mga taong makakasalamuha mo dahil sila ang tutulong sayo,” he elaborates.
Being a student at PUP has given him a chance to improve himself to unlock his highest potential, and Manuel was more than grateful for it when he received his diploma from the university in 1988.
The education that the university has provided him has given him the urge to reach for greater heights in the academe. “As a PUPian, hindi tayo tumitigil matuto dahil mataas ang pangarap natin.” Manuel says.
True to his word, he entered graduate school and earned a Master’s degree in Engineering, specializing in Transport and Road Engineering from the prestigious Technical University of Delft-International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulics and Environment Engineering – the Netherlands in 2000. He then chose to pursue a Doctoral degree in Technology at TUP Manila in 2008.
Armed with these huge achievements, he knew that he could look for greater opportunities elsewhere, but he chose to follow his true calling and that is to serve his beloved alma mater.
“The university helped me finish my education and gave me numerous opportunities to serve both inside and outside of the country,” he narrates. He knew that PUP could make it big – and he wanted to be a part of the movement that is going to make this vision a reality.
Back to Sintang Paaralan
Manuel felt that going back to PUP and serving the university is the best way to give back to the same home that has willingly accepted him – back when he was still a mere freshman student, lost in the university’s expanse. This time, he wandered through the classrooms as a professor, and later on, he became the Dean of the College of Engineering from 2006 to 2013.
“Magagaling ang ating mga estudyante. These are deserving youth and they need the university’s assistance,” he shares. As someone who benefited from the university before, he wishes to do the same for others by being someone that can give them the opportunities that he once had.
He also served as the Executive Vice President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Research, Extension, Planning, and Development from 2012 to 2016. After being appointed as the University President, Manuel knew that this position should not be taken lightly.
“Isa din sa mga inspirasyon ko ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Nakita ko kung gaano nila ka-gustong makapagtapos ng pag-aaral,” Manuel expounds. “[PUP] has the potential to meet a wide range of needs in the surrounding communities, and I recognized that potential. It gave me hope that I could be a part of an institution that could have a significant impact on the lives of many people.”
The life of a leader
Being the University President is a huge responsibility that comes with all sorts of challenges. For Manuel, the position required him to be on his toes at all times.
“We cannot let our position get into our heads. What matters is the kind of leadership you demonstrate,” he shares. Manuel wants to be the kind of leader who knows and sees everyone– including their struggles, hardships, and eventually their successes. “Kaya mula sa pinakaibaba, mga estudyante, janitors, security guards, empleyado, hanggang sa mga middle managers, directors and executive officials, pinupuntahan po natin sila, inaabot, kinakausap, pinakikinggan.”
With this kind of leadership, he has also drafted plans for the university’s improvement, geared towards technological advancement and infrastructure improvement. As an engineer himself, his plan was more focused on improving the technology and facilities. “Over time, we are seeing improvements, from our comfort rooms to our sports facilities, student centers, and newly constructed research and laboratory facilities, we are working tirelessly to achieve our goals,” he states.
He also plans to make PUP a smart campus, focusing on improvements in technology, and student services, mitigating compliance mistakes, automating workflows, reducing wait times, and conserving energy and resources, among other things. Just like any other institution, PUP must keep up with the times and the increasing demands for quality education.
However, the pandemic posed a significant challenge to his administration and hampered most of his plans for the university. As the University President, it was his job to ensure that everything is covered. “We were caught off guard and unprepared because we needed to come up with a solution right away to make things work,” he narrates. With his brand of leadership, he wanted to ensure that with whatever policy he implemented, no one will be left behind.
The pandemic’s awful hit
During these unpredictable times, the main concern of the university lies in three aspects: the studentry, the quality of the education they’ll receive, and the technological advancements needed to further their learning. With these in mind, the Flexible Technology Learning (FlexTel) is an alternative learning framework, which improved gradually through time.
FlexTel accommodates the needs of various learners, including their learning circumstances and their ability to access learning tools and gadgets. In this mode, the professors can also follow a curated teaching load that considers their flexibility as well. “Its implementation may have been hampered by birth pains, but it has opened the doors to learning for all PUPians across the country,” he adds.
With the mixed reactions from the studentry, Manuel recognizes that the FlexTel also needs improvement, and just like any other policy, it is open for criticisms and amendments. “PUP continues to work with various sectors to improve FlexTel implementation in the coming years so that it is more inclusive, accessible, and fully coherent,” he says, as he ensures that their concerns will be duly noted.
Moreover, he also launched the PUP Education on Wheels, a project that caters to the educational needs of the out-of-school youth in various places. This project aims to give more learning opportunities for everyone and to ensure that more people get access to education, regardless of their background. “Ito naman po ang matagal nang vision natin sa Sintang Paaralan, to make education accessible and of quality. The EOW is ongoing at napapakinabangan na ng maraming kabataan sa Smokey Mountain,” he proudly shares.
The Education on Wheels also seeks to expand nationwide, seeking out underprivileged youths – truly living up to PUP’s reputation of giving people, regardless of their stature, a chance at a quality education.
“The goal is straightforward: to bring education to those who cannot afford it, right at their doorstep. This would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our donors, all of whom shared the same vision of educating the next generation,” Manuel explains.
Currently, Education on Wheels has 65 students under the Bachelor of Science in Office Administration. Their courses are TESDA inclined, which guarantees them a job after two years of education.
PUP has come a long way as it is now regarded as the top choice for employers, according to JobStreet. It is now known as the number one producer of professionals in different fields.
The university continues to raise its proud colors as it always claims its spot as one of the country’s top-performing schools. Board top-notchers also hail from various courses such as engineering, accounting, law, nutrition and dieticians, psychometrician, and education, among others.
On criticisms and challenges
Since he sat in the highest position in the university, he has been faced with criticisms and various side comments from various sectors. Being in such a vulnerable post means that Manuel needs to have the right mindset to deal with them professionally.
“I was also once a student of PUP and alam ko po ang mga kailangang baguhin sa Sintang Paaralan, and this is their assurance that someone understands them at hindi natin hahayaan na mahihirapan ang ating mga estudyante,” he shares. He knows that no leadership is perfect, but for it to work, he has to listen to his constituents.
Manuel is aware that PUPians have valid concerns and that they only want what’s best for the entire student population-–a sentiment that Manuel shared back when he was still a student. This kind of connection, as he says, brings him closer to the calls of the studentry and makes him more adept at their needs and concerns.
“We always hear our students, sila ang priority. We always make sure that their frustrations are validated and heard. We understand them and make sure we address their concerns right away,” Manuel adds.
PUP is one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, but Manuel knows it has so much potential to be more, unlock more doors, and open up new opportunities for students and employees alike. The university has always been in the service of the Filipino people, which also educates them about the realities of life and how the world essentially works. While this resiliency is commonly romanticized, Manuel sees it as undeniably patriotic.
“Lagi’t lagi naming binabanggit, ‘Mula sa ‘yo para sa bayan.’ Ito po ang identity ng isang PUPian. Buong husay na maglilingkod at magsisilbi para sa bayan. Nandyan ang Sintang Paaralan na kaisa sa pagtataguyod ng maunlad na bansa,” he expounds. “PUPians know that in everything they do, it must be for the country’s sake and for the masses.”
For Manuel, this is what makes PUP different from the other universities. “PUP taught me to accept where I am and honor where I am. Accepting where you are and realizing how far you still have to go and learn is another aspect of humility,” he explains.
The university has taught him life lessons that he carries up to this day, making him more grounded and humbled tirelessly. As the University President, Manuel has several plans that he wishes to implement to ensure that everybody is given the same chance as he was, decades ago.
The current PUP administration is now focusing on reaching the elusive National Polytechnic University status, which will eventually raise the university’s status and open more doors for the students.
“In the coming years, we would like to continue utilizing these by building better infrastructure, as well as higher educational standards. Several plans have been developed for PUP, and these plans will serve to demonstrate that the university is truly concerned with the interests of its stakeholders, particularly our students,” Manuel elaborates.
PUP has been a safe place for Manuel as a student, and as he sits as the University President, he also seeks to make students and employees feel at home within its walls. The university has been through various ups and downs during his administration, but one thing is for sure – he ensures that PUP will stay true to its nature of being a beacon of hope, critical thinking, and quality education for everyone. There is so much to look forward to, and Manuel is determined to do a great job at helping these plans become a reality.
(Ruby’s Precious Moments 3rd anniversary Special Feature)
K-drama fans are rejoicing as the legendary couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin finally got married at the Aston House of the Grand Walkerhill Seoul Hotel on Thursday, March 31. The couple has been popular since the success of their drama ‘Crash Landing On You,’ which has hit Korea by storm, also garnering tons of viewers internationally. For the netizens, the wedding was truly a certified K-drama fairytale ending.
The wedding itself was a private and solemn event, limited to only 300 guests alongside the couple’s families. Earlier that day, the actors’ agencies, VAST Entertainment and MSTeam released a statement regarding the wedding. “Actors Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin are holding their wedding ceremony today, taking their first step as a married couple. The ceremony will be private in consideration of the situation with COVID-19, so we ask for your generous understanding. We are sharing the news with their wedding photos instead,” they said.
Furthermore, the agencies acknowledged the fans’ excitement for the so-called wedding of the century. “We express deep gratitude for the many blessings and warm support sent for their new beginning. Actors Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin along with their agencies will continue to put in full effort to give back for the love received,” they added.
With several celebrities in tow, the ceremony started at 4 PM, followed by the reception. It was a star-studded event as the couple has numerous friends inside and outside the industry. Among the attendees are Gong Hyo-jin, Lee Min-jung, Uhm Ji-won, Oh Yoon-ah, Jung Hae-in, Ahn Sung-ki, Park Joong-hoon, and Ha Ji-won. Korean singer Gummy also sang the ‘Crash Landing On You’ theme, ‘Give You My Heart’, originally sung by IU.
Hyun Bin looked positively dashing in a cream-hued suit and a white button-down top, while Son Ye Jin wore a stunning wedding dress from Vera Wang’s Spring 2020 Bridal collection. Another photo featured Hyun Bin in a cream blazer partnered with a high-waisted pair of black trousers and a bowtie, and Son Ye Jin captured hearts with her Elie Saab gown from the brand’s Spring 2022 Bridal collection. The couple exchanged vows on an altar adorned with pastel-toned flowers.
Aside from their hit drama, the BinJin couple has also co-starred in the 2018 film ‘The Negotiation’. When they came together again to shoot ‘Crash Landing On You’, their chemistry bounced off the screen as the K-drama fans went crazy with their sweet scenes and the pure love the duo showed on screen. Their relationship went from reel-to-real in January 2021, when they confirmed their relationship, much to the delight of the netizens. The couple’s engagement last February 10 has been icing on the cake.
When Ye Jin announced her engagement, she was certain that he was the one for her. “I thought long and hard about how to share this story because it’s an important one. I found someone to spend the rest of my life with. Yes… it’s him,” she said in an Instagram post.
Hyun Bin also felt the same way as he also shared his thoughts on Instagram. “I made an important decision to get married, and I’m going to carefully step into the second phase of my life,” he said. The couple is certainly in touch with their fans and is certain of their love for each other.
The #TheBinJinWedding also trended in the Philippines, with fans showering them with their best regards and congratulating them on their wedding. Having seen the couple’s undeniable chemistry, it was like a fairytale to see them get married for real.
We wish the BinJin couple a happy and wonderful marriage. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Huawei released its 2021 Annual Report on March 28th, revealing that the company had maintained solid operations throughout the past year. As per the report, Huawei achieved CNY636.8 billion in revenue in 2021, and CNY113.7 billion in net profits, an increase of 75.9% year on year. The company’s R&D expenditure reached CNY142.7 billion in 2021, representing 22.4% of its total revenue, and bringing its total R&D expenditure over the past 10 years to over CNY845 billion. Moving forward, the company also plans to continuously increase investment in R&D.
Huawei said, the performance was overall in line with forecast, its carrier business remained stable, enterprise business experienced steady growth, and consumer business quickly expanded into new domains. In addition, the company embarked on a fast track of ecosystem development.”
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, spoke at the event, “Despite a revenue decline in 2021, our ability to make a profit and generate cash flows is increasing, and we are more capable of dealing with uncertainty.” Thanks to the enhanced profitability of its major businesses, the company’s cash flow from operating activities dramatically increased in 2021, amounting to CNY59.7 billion. Its liability ratio also dropped to 57.8%, and its overall financial structure has become more resilient and flexible.
In 2021, Huawei’s carrier business generated CNY281.5 billion in revenue and helped carriers around the world deploy leading 5G networks. Third-party test results have found that 5G networks built by Huawei for customers in 13 countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, provide the best user experience. Huawei has signed more than 3,000 commercial contracts for industrial 5G applications by working with carriers and partners. These kinds of 5G applications are currently seeing large-scale commercial use in sectors like manufacturing, mines, iron & steel plants, ports, and hospitals.
Thanks to continuing digital transformation trends, Huawei’s enterprise business also grew rapidly, generating CNY102.4 billion in revenue in 2021. In the past year, Huawei launched 11 scenario-based solutions for key sectors such as government, transportation, finance, energy, and manufacturing. The company also established multiple dedicated teams, including a Coal Mine Team, a Smart Road Team, and a Customs & Port Team, to combine resources to more efficiently serve the needs of its customers.
Over 700 cities and 267 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner and Huawei now works with more than 6,000 service and operation partners around the world. In the Philippines, benefited from a new system consisting of mobile devices and AI, forest rangers can receive real-time alerts of sound to identify rainforest destruction Via a mobile App, so they can take action quickly, according to Jun Zhang, the Director of Huawei Asia Pacific Public Relations Department.
Huawei’s consumer business zeroed in on consumer wants and needs, further building out the global ecosystem for a smart, all-connected era, as part of the company’s Seamless AI Life strategy for consumers around the world. This business generated CNY243.4 billion in revenue in 2021 and continued to see steady sales growth in smart wearables, smart screens, true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). In particular, the smart wearable and smart screen segments both saw 30%+ year-on-year growth. HarmonyOS was used in over 220 million Huawei devices as of 2021, becoming the world’s fastest-growing mobile device operating system.
During the past year, Huawei also focused on building out its openEuler, MindSpore, and HarmonyOS ecosystems based on the principles of open collaboration and shared growth. Over eight million developers are currently using Huawei’s open platforms, open-source software, and development tools to explore new business scenarios and business models.
Simon Lin, the President of Huawei Asia Pacific stated, with a stable workforce, financial and business fundamentals, the highest net profit in history, and our continued efforts to globalize under pressure and increase R&D investment, Huawei’s unwavering business strategy, focused on connectivity and computing and rapidly developing new businesses including digital power and cloud, is perfectly aligned to drive the digital economy in the Asia Pacific.
The company will advance its journey of digitalization, intelligent transformation, and low carbon. Relying on talent, scientific research, and an innovative spirit, Huawei said will continuously increase investment to reshape the paradigms for fundamental theories, architecture, and software, and build our long-term competitiveness.
Featured photo: Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, speaking at the press conference
As we approach the end of March, women’s month may come to an end but the fight for women’s rights and women empowerment continues. These notable women have been successful and prominent in their respective fields, making a name for themselves in their chosen careers. Here are their thoughts on how women’s empowerment has changed their lives and how it revolutionized their careers.
Sustaining a culinary endeavor through strength and consistency
Evelyn Wise has been busy in the kitchen, not just by cooking sumptuous dishes but by also proving that women can also thrive in various careers. For her, women’s empowerment relies heavily on strength and consistency.
At the age of 69, Evelyn splendidly manages Tia Belle’s as its owner and chef, ensuring that women can also build, sustain, and innovate businesses in any industry. She relies on her inner strength to get things done and on her consistency to keep her business afloat. “Never go back, keep going despite the ups and downs,” she advises young women.
As she works in a hectic environment, Evelyn also views that women’s empowerment is also as vital as gender equality. “We must learn to work with both men and women,” she says.
Being a part of the culinary sector, Evelyn sees to it that her employees are judged based on their skills and merit and not by their sex or gender. Furthermore, her patience helps her greatly in managing her employees. “Be determined to motivate your people,” she says because noting their efforts will also contribute to the overall success of Tia Belle’s.
On creative freedom, empowering herself and other people
The Filipino local art community is a flourishing sector that seeks to cement its contributions to the innovation of homegrown art in our country. Bambina Aseron is an artist that has made a name for herself in the art scene, both as an artist and an art consultant.
For her, the local art scene accepted her despite her flaws, which helped her feel empowered and strong. “Art and the local Filipino art community always remind me to have the courage to accept myself for who I am even though I know I’m not perfect,” Bambina elaborates. It can be said that art also centers on self-expression, and Bambina has taken into account the creative freedom and power given to her through her art, and she tends to use it to empower other people.
Bambina also emphasizes that women empowerment is also about women’s agency or their ability and freedom to make their own choices for themselves. It can be hard to find one’s voice in this society that imposes judgment way too quickly and in a country where discrimination is rampant.
Bambina considers herself empowered through her art, for it gives her the keys to her voice. “Women empowerment to me is knowing that I always have the power to exercise my creativity and that I have the power of choice in all aspects of my life,” she expounds.
Even though Bambina dabbles in a lot of roles within the art community, she still considers herself an art person wholly. Her passion for art is what drives her to take up space in this society as a woman and as an artist.
While art empowers her to make such fine pieces and to flourish in this industry, she also views art as a medium wherein others can also find comfort and power as well. Being in control of one’s piece and creative power is such a wonderful thing, and for Bambina, she’s lucky enough to experience and witness it at the same time.
Women are meant to shatter glass ceilings and exceed expectations, and they need to be duly recognized for their worthy contributions to our society. However, as women’s month ends, our fight for women’s rights and women’s empowerment must not stop here, it must continue. Women deserve to be celebrated every day for who they are, what they do, and what they can be.
Summer is fast approaching and we can’t simply wait to dip our toes in the beach and lie down in the lush sand. It’s what summer is for– having the utmost fun while sightseeing and unwinding as well. These underrated spots are just the right destination for your next summer getaway!
Cabagnow Cave Pool in Bohol
While Bohol is largely known for its famous Chocolate hills, it is also home to beautiful caverns and caves. One of the most breathtaking cave pools in Anda, Bohol is the Cabagnow Cave Pool, locally known as “Kabagno,” which is a spot fit for swimming enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.
Cabagnow Cave Pool is home to crystal clear waters filtering from limestones that have been a cornerstone of the pond’s features for several years now. Due to the soft nature of the rock, aided by the consistent movement of water and other geologic processes, caves were formed in several parts of Bohol.
Located at Sitio Fatima, Bacong Anda, Bohol, the Cabagnow Cave Pool is 20-25 feet deep, and if you like cliff diving, it has an estimated height of 15-18 feet that’s satisfying for adrenaline seekers. However, if you’re on the safe side, the caretakers have also installed an iron ladder which tourists can use to go down slowly into the pool or to ease themselves into the feeling of the cold water. Ring buoys are also available, especially for amateur swimmers or those who want to ensure their safety.
Danjugan Island in Negros Occidental
Danjugan Island is located three kilometers off the coast of Brgy. Bulata, Cauayan, and Negros Occidental are surrounded by a marine sanctuary. This 43-hectare island, 1.5 kilometers long and a half kilometer wide, is rich in natural wonders that remained protected and treasured by the locals.
The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, conserved this particular beauty. Aside from being starstruck by the wonderful view and magnificent waters, the Danjugan Island also helps educate tourists about environmentalism and conservation of Philippine precious jewels such as this.
With its incredible features, Danjugan Island makes people feel soulfully present. It has five lagoons, a bamboo bridge, an amazing sunset view deck, all alongside several beaches. Several activities are perfect for individuals or big families, such as trekking, bird watching, kayaking, snorkeling, skin diving, and parasailing, among others. If you want to take a breather, you can also check out their nature walks and fabulous massage packages.
The “Pink Beach” or Sila Island in Northern Samar
Just by its name, the Pink Beach or the Sila Island is uniquely beautiful in itself. It is called pink beach due to its reddish sand, almost suiting the shade of pink. This underrated destination has been San Vicente’s best-kept secret, which has saved it from over-commercialization.
The pink sand comes from the natural color of the coral and shell fragments. Through the years, these tiny materials have mixed with the beach’s original white sand. When the sun is bright during midday, it also turns to a shade of saturated red. In this lush paradise, tourists can swim, snorkel, and even go scuba diving. Moreover, camping out is also a popular activity here, as long as the claygo rule is followed.
Casa Mendoza Garden Resort in Pansol, Laguna
For those looking for a resort with accommodation, all in one– Casa Mendoza has it all! Located in Pansol, Laguna, Casa Mendoza aims to give people the relaxation and the high-quality service they deserve.
Casa Mendoza unveils its main feature, the Hot Spring kiddie, and adult pools, which are perfect for families and big groups looking for a soothing bath to calm their nerves. It also has other amenities suitable for family outings. It has an entertainment area that contains a videoke and a television with cable; a sports area which has a dartboard, chess boards, and a badminton set. For kids, it has a garden play area that can keep them safe and excited.
Moreover, Casa Mendoza has a variety of air-conditioned rooms that are suitable for up to 16 persons, and even a conference hall for company events. When convenience and pleasure collide, Casa Mendoza is truly the place to be!
This summer, make sure that you’re refreshed and rested by booking your next getaway in these exhilarating summer destinations. Have a well-deserved fun vacation!
Now that graduation is drawing near, everything feels like a hazy blur. All the plans and requirements that need to be completed before the actual rites can be stressful at some point. With all these things in mind, planning a memorable graduation celebration can be a challenge. Don’t panic – we know just the right place!
Tia Belle’s is Tagaytay’s best-kept secret – a haven of great food partnered with a wonderful ambiance, all within a few hours’ drive away from Manila. It features a variety of Filipino cuisine that will surely make your mouth water and your heart swell with pride. True to its word, Tia Belle’s Tagaytay will surely give you a taste of home.
Evelyn Wise, the person behind Tia Belle’s, is deeply committed to paying homage to the diverse culinary history of the Philippines. As a Nueva Ecija native, she has been exposed early on to the dynamic nature of cooking. For Evelyn, cooking is both an art and a skill. “Every time I am in the kitchen, cooking and concocting sauces, I feel like dancing — dancing with my wok,” she playfully narrates. Her love for cooking is honed with her burning passion and dedication.
She had her share of travel as she also spent 20 years living in Europe, basking in the shores of international cuisine until Evelyn felt that there is no place like home – the very words that established Tia Belle’s to the culinary beacon it stands today. With each year, it grows and expands to being one of the best-rated restaurants in the South.
Each dish served in Tia Belle’s is intricately cooked to perfection, with its ingredients and methods stemming from genuine Filipino cuisine. Among her best sellers are the flavor-rich Pancit Malabon and cheesy Pichi-pichi. Travelers from all over the country also come for Tia Belle’s lomi assortments, the ever-so-fantastic Bulalo lomi, and Mucho lomi.
Of course, Tia Belle’s also pays attention to homegrown recipes. This sumptuous lineup includes the classic nilagang baka Tagalog (Bulalo), lumpiang bukid and the crunchy lumpiang Laguna, and of course, the piping hot crispy pata that makes everyone’s mouth water. These dishes are perfect for families looking for a traditional home-cooked meal while celebrating a lifetime achievement.
Tia Belle’s has always valued Filipino values more than anything, which is why its hospitality is like no other. “We want to be of service to our fellow countrymen while keeping and incorporating the important values and traditions of what being Filipino is all about,” Evelyn proudly shares. She wants Tia Belle’s to feel like a home wherein everybody can dine and share stories, all while keeping the Filipino culture and spirit alive.
As you enter Tia Belle’s, a warm welcome from the staff, and even Tia Belle herself will envelop customers with pride and happiness. Of course, they love taking part in their customers’ milestones too – which is why Tia Belle’s is the go-to restaurant for family occasions and celebrations.
Aside from its variety of scrumptious dishes, dining at Tia Belle’s feels like traveling back in time as they play Kundimans while the customers enjoy their meals. Their interior design has so much to say as well – the native Filipino trimmings and antique setup give off the ancestral home vibe.
Tia Belle’s also offers dine-in, take-out, and delivery options. They also accept advance orders and pick-ups. Health protocols are also strictly observed on the premises. To complete Tia Belle’s dining experience, customers can also visit the gift shop, Tia’s Aromatherapy Essential Oil and Cleopatra from Canada. They sell souvenirs and pasalubong to bring home to your loved ones.
For your graduation celebration, Tia Belle’s got you – it will surely reward your hardships with a glorious Filipino feast!
Tia Belle’s can be found at Putingkahoy, Silang Cavite, along Tagaytay – Sta. Rosa Rd. To learn more, you may contact them through these phone numbers: (049) 576 4155; 0939 3868 648; 0927 7133 558; 0929 1852 084; and 09554985998.
Since countries have opened their borders and entertained visitors, people have been traveling and living their lives in the realm of adventure and wanderlust. Traveling can indeed heal and eventually lead us to places we didn’t know existed. But now that restrictions are relatively relaxed, where do we go? You might want to consider adding these places to your bucket list!
Dubai, Arab Emirates
Dubai is known worldwide for its exhilarating tourist spots. It stands proud of its Burg Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, reaching up to 2,716 feet tall. Dubai also takes great importance in its diverse culture, which is evident in its Dubai Museum.
It is famously located at the Al-Fahidi Fort, which was built way back in 1787 to defend the Dubai Creek, which is also the home to gold, textile, and spice souks (marketplace). If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you may want to check out the hot air balloon over the desert dunes, or the IMG Worlds of Adventure speed rides. Dubai will take your breath away– both literally and figuratively!
London, United Kingdom
Who wouldn’t want to explore the streets where Harry Potter came to life, and the roads where Sherlock Holmes walked on? London is definitely on the bucket list of pure-blooded literary fangirls.
Aside from its regal royalty, London is famous for its London Eye, which is a giant Ferris wheel that offers a majestic view of the city–and it shines extra brightly at night. If you’re craving for the nightlife, Soho is the place to be, welcoming you with its bars and classy restaurants. Of course, the trip won’t be complete for film enthusiasts without visiting the British Film Institute. It shows different films every day, from recent blockbusters to cult classics. London will surely feed your pop culture knowledge!
Looking for a sunny, beach party vibe for your next trip? The ever-so-tropical Cancun is just the right place for you! Check out the fancy hotels located at their very own Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone), which also offers the wild nightlife and parties by the beach down at the Kulkukan Boulevard.
For the real Cancun food experience, drive down to the Avenida Tulum, which features their all-time favorite– authentic Mexican tacos! Diving and swimming is also something that Cancun offers through its numerous spots in the Ruta De Cenotes (Cenote Route), which are natural pools formed within limestone caves. It’s true– Cancun wakes the fun within you!
Famous for the serenity and soul it brings to its tourists, Bali continues enticing people to rest in its lush spots. Also known as the ‘Island of the Gods,’ Bali provides people the rest they need with its seas and beaches.
It is also a haven for surfers, which the waves of Kuta Beach readily welcome. Bali is also famous for its intricate temples, such as the Ulun Danu Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess of the lakes. You may also seek enlightenment and relaxation in Yoga Barn’s famous retreats, each a more freeing session than the other. Or maybe you feel like flying– jetpacking in Tanjung Benoa must be on your list. Whether it’s for fun or relaxation, Bali has it all for you!
The birthplace of the Olympian Gods, Crete offers a tapestry of culture, lore, and adventure. One of the most historical places in Europe, the Heraklion Archeological Museum should be your first stop to acquaint yourself with the rich culture of Crete.
Explore history through the cobblestone streets of Rethymno Old Town, the best-preserved town on the island. You might also want to visit Lake Voulismeni, famous for being seemingly bottomless– reaching down as far as 64 meters. If you’re a mythology buff, the caves of Mt. Ida might just interest you, the birthplace of Zeus himself! Crete dabbles between the past and the future, so let it be your present destination!
Traveling can be such a hassle, but the majestic destination often makes up for all the trouble. Hurry now and book your next trip–have fun and safe skies, traveler!
By Princess Friel Lontoc
Featured photo: Bali, Indonesia courtesy of Hotels.com
My eight-year-old tablet has shown some malfunctions lately, perhaps due to many years of frequent use. I would surmise that it will just conk out in the coming days.
It came as a relief when I was introduced to this newly released Nokia T20. It brings awesome holiday cheer! I checked it out and study the features.
The package includes Nokia T20, cable, charger, and quick start guide. The manual is very easy to follow, and in no time, I was able to switch the tablet on and display an ocean view screen. It has easy access to the Google apps you use most as well.
Here are some salient features of the Nokia T20:
The Nokia T20 tablet brings the classic quality people expect from a Nokia phone to the big screen. With our various online work and moments of relaxation, the crystal clear 2K resolution screen lets you see work presentations and movie marathons in stunning detail.
Immersed in sound
Hear and be heard clearly with its enhanced stereo speakers and dual microphones with AI noise reduction, and OZO playback.
Power through your day with an 8200mAh battery and fast charging.
This means you can take part in up to seven hours of conference calls, enjoy your favorite show, or work and play throughout the day with its long-lasting battery.
Secure for longer
Like all Nokia devices, the T20 has three years of monthly security updates and two years of OS upgrades allowing the device to run smoother for a longer time. It is reliable and future-proof.
Better for kids
Google Kids Space is designed to nurture your kid’s curiosity and creativity, inspiring them to explore their interests through recommended apps, books, and videos. Google Kids Space is designed for kids and works with your child’s Google Account that parents can help manage with Family Link parental controls4.
Whether you’re playing games or multitasking across apps, the Nokia T20 has an octa-core chipset, ensuring a fast and reliable user experience.
Sharing here the key specifications of the Nokia T20 for your guide:
Operating system: Android 11TM | Two years of OS upgrades
Dimensions: Size: 247.6 x 157.5 x 7.8mm | Weight: 470g, Wifi only 465g
Security: Face unlock | Three years of monthly security updates
Other: Google Kids Space | Google Entertainment Space
Designed, built, and tested with the same passion as all Nokia phones, Nokia T20 brings that trusted quality so you have one less thing to worry about when you purchase the unit as a holiday present to your loved ones.
1 Nokia T20 offers 10 hours of video streaming time, 15 hours of web surfing time, or 7 hours of video calling time based on our real-life usage test. More info at https://www.nokia.com/tablets/nokia-T20. Actual results may vary due to changes in connectivity, environmental conditions, or other variables.
2 From global product launch.
3Nokia T20 supports 15W fast charging.
4Google Kids Space requires a Google Account for your child. Parental controls require the Family Link app on a supported Android, Chromebook, or iOS device. Books and video content are not available in all regions. Video content is subject to the availability of the YouTube Kids app. Books content requires the Play Books app. Availability of apps, books, and video content may change without notice. Google Assistant is not available in Google Kids Space.
5All specifications, features, and other product information provided are subject to change without notice.
6Battery has limited recharge cycles and battery capacity reduces over time. Eventually, the battery may need to be replaced.
7Pre-installed system software and apps use a significant part of memory space. HMD Global Oy is the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones & tablets.
Nokia is a registered trademark of Nokia Corporation. Android, Google, and other related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. Variations on offering may apply. Check local availability.
There’s been a lot of buzzes lately around singer and actor Seo In Guk, and we can see why. The South Korean superstar recently gave fans a treat with his newest album – LOVE&LOVE – his first solo release in five years!
The first song on the single album is My Love, a heartfelt R&B track that features singer-songwriter and rapper Ravi. The song evokes feelings of longing and caring deeply for another person. In Guk shared that he made the song to deliver a message of cheering up someone who’s going through a tough time. “I felt that with the track, I could deliver a small cheer up [even] in a sad way. [It’s my way of] trying to touch their hearts,” he said.
Capturing Filipino hearts
If anything, In Guk, has touched the hearts of countless Filipino fans. This includes local actress and singer Kristel Fulgar. She recently got the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with In Guk, and even got to converse with him in Korean!
“I got to interview Seo In Guk, the person who got me into Korean culture and inspired me to learn hangul [the Korean alphabet]. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m thankful to NYMA and Warner for this,” she said. Kristel even posted about the interview on social media. The interview was also recently launched on KrisTells Vlogs. (WATCH HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks9XKNxvA5k )
Other fans who wanted to know their idol more also had the chance to ask questions through Warner Music Philippines. Here are some of them, along with In Guk’s answers:
Tere: How are you feeling now that you’re back as a singer with a physical album and also a new drama? I waited for your new song! We can’t wait to hear you sing it live in a fan meet.
In Guk: I’m so happy to have the album and the drama come out together, and I’m seeing a lot of positive feedback from the fans about the album and the drama so I feel like I’m flying in the sky right now. If I ever get the opportunity to do a fan meeting in the Philippines, I’ll definitely join. I can’t wait to meet all of you over there!
Maiker: Congratulations on your successful comeback. How are you feeling these days? Do you feel like writing more songs for a full-length album?
In Guk: I can’t wait to get the opportunity to release a full album. I’ve produced a lot of tracks for it, but because of the timing and all the [different] situations, I’m trying to see the best timing [for its release]. And yes, I would love to have a full album out.
Aili: Will you consider covering/singing a Tagalog song? And will there be a chance for you to have a fan meeting in the Philippines?
In Guk: I would love to try to cover a Tagalog song. And yes, I will try my best to get the opportunity to do a fan meeting in the Philippines as well.
In Guk’s plans for the future
If there’s one thing that In Guk clearly expressed, it’s how grateful he is for his fans. He even shared how he didn’t expect so many people to be waiting for his album release, and the realization makes him want to work harder. He also talked about not being able to choose between acting and singing, which means fans can expect him to be doing more of both!
As for whether or not he’s looking to visit the country any time soon, he has a hopeful answer for all his Filipino fans.
“I would love to have a fan meeting with the Filipino fans. And also, I would love to visit the Philippines and take a vacation over there,” he said.
For now, you can catch In Guk in his ongoing K-drama “Cafe Minamdang,” sing along to his album “LOVE&LOVE,” and wait in anticipation for his upcoming movie “Project Wolf Hunting.”
Fall in love with Seo In Guk’s newest songs by listening here!
Online transactions are now more rewarding as ShopeePay gives you more reasons to send money, buy load, and shop online! From August 6 to 8, ShopeePay is hosting three days of giveaways with over ₱2M in prizes. Users can further rejoice as exciting prizes and rewards are up for grabs at the 8.8 ShopeePay Festival!
If you’re not yet a ShopeePay user, now’s the perfect time to set up your own account and join the celebration. Here’s what you need to do using Shopee’s mobile wallet to win big this August:
1. Send money for free and you could win up to ₱1 million
It’s not every day that you get a chance to turn your ₱50 into ₱1 million. ShopeePay is giving away prizes to two raffle winners a day from August 6 to 8, with cash prizes increasing up to ₱1 million each day until 8.8. To qualify, simply send at least ₱50 to any ShopeePay user during the duration of the promo.
To join, follow these steps:
Activate and verify your ShopeePay account.
From August 6 to 8, send at least ₱50 to any ShopeePay user.
Play the lucky draw after sending money to qualify for the raffle draw.
Winners will be announced on social media so make sure to follow ShopeePay’s Facebook andand Instagram
Just think of how much you can do with ₱1 million: travel fund, tuition fee, household expenses, or perhaps a new car—all it takes is a few taps on your phone and you’re one step closer to being a millionaire. The best thing is that it takes less than a minute to send money with ShopeePay. Plus, there are no hidden fees!
2. Tune in to your TV for a chance to win up to ₱100,000
Spending your days at home while lounging in front of the TV isn’t so bad when you’re off to win cash prizes. Sounds exciting? You can be among the lucky winners of ₱100,000 via ShopeePay when you join the Shopee Shake segments at your favorite programs: It’s Showtime on August 6 and 8, All Out Sundays on August 7, and 24 Oras on August 8. Shopee Shake is one of the app’s popular features that allows you to win prizes as you shake your mobile phone.
Set your alarms and catch some of the country’s popular personalities, Iya Villania, Gabbi Garcia, Andre Paras, Jugs Jugueta, Teddy Corpuz, and more, as they hype up the 8.8 ShopeePay Festival. Watch out for the Shopee Shake segment and, when prompted by the TV hosts, log in to your Shopee app, click the blue Shopee Prizes icon on the homepage, and start doing the Shopee Shake to win.
3. Verify your ShopeePay to get free ₱500 and receive exclusive deals
Getting rewards doesn’t get any easier than this. On August 8, receive free ₱500 when you register on the app, verify your ShopeePay account, and send money for the first time. As a verified user, you’ll also gain access to more rewarding perks when you do your transactions. This 8.8, you can get ShopeePay’s 1GB for ₱1 data offer, available for all major networks. Don’t miss deals on Shopee and keep up with the latest trends in fashion, beauty, tech, home & living, and more when you check out with free shipping discounts exclusive to ShopeePay users.
Don’t miss these exclusive promos and have a safe and enjoyable online experience at this 8.8 ShopeePay Festival. Reach out to Shopee Cares PH for the best customer care on all things Shopee. Follow @ShopeeCaresPH on Twitter and Facebook, where you and the rest of the Shopee Fam can find answers to your concerns and get the support you need.
Book your flight to Bangkok and get ready to immerse yourself in the warm and welcoming surroundings of the charming city and good food!
To celebrate the twin pleasures of travel and gastronomy in Bangkok, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse offers “Earn, Eat, Enjoy”, a rewarding new promotion that gives international travelers the chance to take a vacation in Bangkok, Thailand with every stay including daily breakfast and hotel credit!
Earn, Eat, Enjoy package is inclusive of
1 Night accommodation
Daily breakfast for two people
Up to THB 1,000 of hotel daily credit for dining, drinks, spa, upgrade, and more!
Up to 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points
Situated in one of Bangkok’s heritage areas, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse provides you plenty of opportunities to explore local’s cultural attractions, as well as shopping experiences and boat trips along the Chao Praya River – all only a few minutes away from the hotel.
The hotel offers flexible accommodations by combining spacious guestrooms catering to both business and leisure travelers, as well as residential suites suited for longer stays which come complete with kitchenettes and up to three bedrooms for larger groups and families. Leisure facilities include the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool overlooking the city skyline and Marriott’s signature spa, Quan Spa.
Guest can top up the day with authentic Thai cuisine at Praya Kitchen or savor Cantonese cuisine at Yào Restaurant with a stunning view of Bangkok and end the day with cocktails while watching the sunset from Yào Rooftop Bar, the city’s first Chinese influenced Rooftop Bar. With the glittering high-rise skyline on one side and the historic Old Town landscape on the other, this is creating the perfect evening!
“Earn, Eat, Enjoy” is valid for bookings made from now until 30 September 2022, and for stays taken before 31 December 2022. To learn more and book your gastronomic getaway in Thailand with Marriott Bonvoy, please visit https://bit.ly/3j5B21H.
One great thing that came about with the new normal is the convenience of shopping for our groceries online. Here are some tips so you can maximize your budget and time on your next digital shopping journey with MetroMart – the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines.
Make a list
Just like a physical trip to the store, go into the shopping platform with a plan, and stick to it. Try writing down all your meals for the coming week so you know all the ingredients you’ll need. If you come across something you like but can’t buy yet, don’t worry, just click the heart or like button and you can add it to your wishlist for later!
Save through sales
Try to schedule your checkout time when there’s a sale. These are usually during payday periods like the 15th and end of every month. Check out featured items on sale in MetroMart’s “Payday Specials” to score a big bargain. In this way, you not just save with your online shopping by foregoing the gasoline and transportation expenses, but you also get more savings on your groceries and essentials.
Buy in bulk
Take advantage of the wholesale and retail prices of supermarkets such as UltraMega, that’s now also available on MetroMart! Re-stocking for your home pantry or your sari-sari store is now 1, 2, easy, and just a few taps on your phone. Especially with the wide selection of items with budget- and retailer-friendly prices from UltraMega Supermarket. You can also avail of FREE Delivery for orders with a minimum spend of ₱1,000 until August 2.
Pay and get more discounts
All customers of MetroMart have a wide selection of modes of payment for their online shopping. These include Cash on Delivery, via e-wallet through GCash, or via Debit/Credit cards with leading banks nationwide. Even more promos and discounts will be available through the different modes of payment availed by the customer.
Buy for your special someone
Did you know that you can order your groceries with MetroMart and then get them delivered to another address, even when you’re out of town or abroad? This would be especially helpful if you want to get fresh vegetables and food for your family, but they’re in a different location. What’s really cool too is that MetroMart has expanded to new locations throughout the Philippines like in Davao, Bicol, Cabanatuan, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Palawan, and Pangasinan. The big convenience of online grocery shopping is definitely for every Pinoy!
Try new things, love local
Sometimes, you just never know what kind of food you may want to try or what you’ll suddenly need for your home. Never fear, just go straight into your MetroMart app and order right away! Apart from the leading supermarkets, MetroMart has other specialty stores in different categories like hardware, toys, novelty items, pet care, food products, furniture, and medicine. It’s a great way to check out and support new brands by awesome Pinoy entrepreneurs, all in the comfort of your home and on your smartphone.
Stay tuned for lots of upcoming promos, discounts, and sales events at MetroMart this 2022. Carpe diem and carpe discounts, happy shopping!
MetroMart is the #1 online grocery delivery service in the Philippines. Its grocery partners include Robinsons Supermarket, S&R (with or no membership card required), Landmark, The Marketplace, Shopwise, All Day Supermarket, Merrymart, and over 500+ specialty store retailers like Pet Express, Baby Company, Toy Kingdom, Toys R Us, National Book Store, Office Warehouse, Southstar Drug, and AllDay Rx. Customers can order from their favorite stores on the MetroMart app and have it delivered to their door in less than 2 hours! For more updates on MetroMart, like and follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/MetroMartPH. Order groceries online or download the app via https://bit.ly/DownloadNowMM
A hidden gem surrounded by the crystalline Sulu Sea, mesmerizing marine life, and radiant coral reefs, Banwa Private Island enthralls travelers seeking exclusive and unique adventures in a private sanctuary.
With the arrival of world-class Iguana Commuter, Banwa Private Island has expanded the island escape experience. The Commuter model, being the most exclusive in the range of yachts from Iguana, is the first of its kind in Asia. Adding a new dimension to immersive local activities, the sustainable, amphibious boat opens up access to new idyllic spots of North-eastern Palawan’s coastline to discover while enjoying the sheer thrill of the ride, seamlessly transferring between land and water.
Head to nearby sandbanks or unspoiled islands to access the Barbacan River’s mangrove forest and venture to the untouched reef of Araceli Island, a known site for swimming with manta rays. Make that luxurious and memorable journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park on this limousine tender.
Banwa Private Island chose the Iguana Commuter boat for its diversity, go-anywhere capabilities, and low ecological impact. The environmental footprint of the adventure watercraft is lower than a typical boat, with minimal logistics, materials, and infrastructure requisites. Iguana Commuters are highly respectful to the coast, the sea, and the beach by being versatile and stealthy, limiting water, air, noise, and visual pollution. With its durable hi-tech build, the amphibious Iguana offers a safe, exhilarating ride experience for guests of Banwa Private Island.
Accelerate your Island getaway and experience the Iguana Commuter for exceptional local discoveries. For more information and inquiries, please contact the Reservations team through mobile/WhatsApp: +639178882864, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.banwaprivateisland.com.
Of all the things the pandemic taught me, what struck me the most is how we focusonthe obstacles insteadofthejourney.
Two years have gone by, and I still wonder how things would have been if the pandemic did not happen.
I regretted the last day before the start of the two-year lockdown. I did not go to campus that day since our professors advised me they will be collating the final exams therefore, all classes were canceled, and it is not required to come to school.
However, we were finishing up our class yearbook project and our leader asked me to come by the campus after they were done shooting the last batch of people to proofread the yearbook since I was working on the layout of the second half back at home.
I came after our regular class schedule so most of my classmates and friends have gone home. Little did I know that was the last time I couldhave met them.
Now, my friends and I have jobs and had to plan to go out to match each other’s schedules. Unlike before the pandemic when we can set a gala almost anytime.
Ironically though, I consider the pandemic a blessing in disguise despite having a tough college life. The first few months of being locked up at home caused me cabin fever and after some time, I realized physically going to school is impossible – at least not yet.
Most of my days were spent on social media where I talked with them until I had digital burnout. I no longer felt connected with them, and my body was rejecting digital consumption.
Rediscovering my old hobbies and trying out new ones and creating a schedule of my daily activities helped a ton to bring my mental health back on track. I also tried calisthenics for a few months which gave me a goal for my body.
Freshman year was also something to look forward to, but then I had to work as my father reached the retirement age and that meant no one would support my studies. I earned a job as a customer service representative at a call center company all the while studying at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) – Manila Campus.
Although it was a struggle waiting for the instructional manuals, still, I consider it a blessing that the university had a correspondence mode of learning, allowing me to work full-time while studying.
Attending online class discussions is recommended of course, but it was hard when professors required students, even those under correspondence, to be present and refused to acknowledge that some people such as myself had to work as well.
I can still recall an instructor we had who asked us to choose between working or studying. Nevertheless, I did my best to submit everything on time. Managing tasks was, and is still, very challenging because I had very limited time to do my schoolwork during workdays.
Creating a timetable of classwork and deadlines – like what I did before, helped me become productive.
Maintaining a tight schedule or routine can cause burnout too. So, I learned to take a break from time to time and prioritize my well-being. I also gained a scholarship from our province which granted five thousand pesos once every semester, enough to help with other expenses.
Somehow, the line that separates school and work seems to have blurred in my college life so far. I just hope distance learning will still be an option for working students as educational institutions transition to face-to-face classes.
Over the past two years, despite my regret for that day, I realized things happened for a reason. And even though my friends and I grew our separate ways in terms of career or school, we still support and communicate with each other.
Of all the things the pandemic taught me, what struck me the most is how we focus on the obstacles instead of the journey.
By Kenneth E. Teston
Featured photo courtesy of Edward Jenner/pexels.com