Experience the magic of Christmas with traditional Belen lighting

A week after the successful lighting of its iconic 100-ft Christmas tree, Araneta City keeps its celebration more solemn with the lighting of its giant Belen held recently.

Located at Gen. MacArthur Avenue, the City of Firsts unveiled its traditional Belen, which depicts the nativity of Jesus Christ with Mary, Joseph, and the three kings. It is a tradition observed by Araneta City since Christmas of 1991.

Rev. Father Ronnie Santos, parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brgy. Socorro, and Father Diogo D’Souza led the blessing of the Belen. It was followed by a peaceful offering of prayers led by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, Brgy. Socorro Chairman Doc Ted Santos, Araneta Group VP for Leasing Lorna Fabian, Araneta Group SVP for Operations Antonio Mardo, and Araneta Group Chief of Staff Noel Leonor.

During the solemnity of the Belen lighting, stringent social distancing measures and health protocols were enforced to secure the safety of the attendees.

This traditional Belen lighting kicks off a number of special Christmas events and activities in Araneta City under the theme “Believe in the Magic of Christmas”. Just across the Belen display is the Parolan Christmas bazaar where one can find quality and affordable Christmas decors. It is open until December 31 from 4 am to 9 pm.

Visit the Times Square Park where one can buy from a wide variety of food stalls and dine outdoors with the Giant Christmas tree on sight from 1 pm to 11 pm daily. Hunt for more food choices at the Manhattan Row from 1 pm to 11 pm daily, or spend time at the New Frontier Theater (NFT) the Second from 10 am to 9 pm for an alternative dining experience.

Get serenaded by JC Laborte at the Times Square Food Park from 5 pm to 10 pm, and by Duke at the Green Gate of Smart Araneta Coliseum from 6 pm to 9 pm. For kids and kids at heart, have a chance to meet Santa Claus every Sunday, starting November 28, from 3 pm to 7 pm. And, catch the Grand Fireworks Display every Saturday from November 27 to January 1.

Believe in the magic of Christmas and experience the joy of the holidays only at the City of Firsts!

#AranetaCity #giantBelen #Christmas #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph



“Pagkakaibigan at Bayanihan” Bersong EuroPinoy Goes to Manila

The charm and romance of the European and Filipino languages continue as “Bersong Euro-Pinoy” goes to Manila on 28 May 2021 at 5 pm via facebook.com/EUDelegationToThePhilippines.

Together with the Embassies of Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and Instituto Cervantes Manila, France, the Philippine-Italian Association, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Finland, and the De La Salle University Manila, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines is mounting Bersong Euro-Pinoy,  “Pagkakaibigan at Bayanihan”, Verses Versus the Virus, in Manila.

European Union Ambassador Luc Véron said that the poetry recital aims to bring hope, inspiration, and avenues for cultural dialogue to both Europeans and Filipinos.

A brainchild of Instituto Cervantes, it used to be held under the framework of “Dia del Libro” gathering all diplomats and literary enthusiasts from among the members of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, EU member states’ embassies, and cultural institutes. The festival will be hosted by journalist and EHEF goodwill ambassadors Dr. Danie Laurel and  Erasmus+ scholar Kate Ramil.

 EU in partnership with the Green Archer

 This time, literary luminaries mobilized by the De La Salle University Manila will join European poets and readers.  Poems to be recited adhere to the theme of “Pagkakaibigan and Bayanihan”.

Dr. Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles is the author of 20 books of and about poetry, most recently Atra: Mga Tula 1999 – 2019 (Balangay Books, 2020) and Three Books (Broken Sleep Books UK, 2020), with translations by Kristine Ong Muslim and illustrations by Erika M. Carreon. He works as a book editor and translator, and teaches literature and creative writing at  DLSU.  He will read “Kasama” (“Comrade”).

Mesandel Virtusio Arguelles

Dr. John Iremil Teodoro teaches literature, creative writing, and art appreciation at the Literature Department of  DLSU where he is also the Associate for Regional Literature at the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center.

A multilingual writer, he has published more than 15 books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in Kinaray-a, Filipino, Hiligaynon, and English. He is currently the secretary-general of Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or the Writers Union of the Philippines. He will recite “Sa Hardin sang Ginuo: Isa Ka Pangamuyo sa Tiempo sang Pandemya” (Hiligaynon) / “In the Garden of the Lord: A Prayer During the Time of the Pandemic.”

John Iremil Teodoro

Carmie Ortego is a teacher for senior high school at National University and a creative writing graduate student of  DLSU. She has earned fellowships from the 13th Iyas and 20th Iligan national writing workshops for her poetry in Cebuano and the Pasidungog Eduardo Makabenta Sr. Para han Siday for her poetry in Waray.  Her piece is “Paglakát mo nag-lipstick ako hin pula (When you left I put on red lipstick)”.

Dr. Genevieve L. Asenjo is a professor of Literature and Creative Writing and Chair of the Department of Literature, De La Salle University, Manila.  She is included in the 2018 Cultural Center of the Philippines Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (Literature) for her works in Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, and Filipino.

Dr. Genevieve L. Asenjo

Dr. Johann Espiritu, Vice-Chair of the Literature Department, will provide a special song number.

Poets and Readers from the EU

  • Carl Norac, Belgium’s fourth National Poet and a prize-winning poet and author of many widely acclaimed and best-selling children’s books, will recite his original works: “Pour Marcel Moreau” – For Marcel Moreau, his friend who is a Belgian writer too and who has unfortunately recently passed away and  “Pour Mustafa, pour Mustafa Kör” (For Mustafa, for Mustafa Kör), a poem dedicated to Mustafa Kör who will in fact succeed him in January 2022 as a National Poet.


  • Dora Šedivá, daughter of Ambassador Jana Šedivá  (Czech Embassy) is back with her friend, Marika Štěpková, daughter of Deputy Ambassador Jana Peterková, (Czech Embassy)  will read Fortune (Štěstí) by Adolf Heyduk, both in Czech and in English.


  • Hans Christian Andersen´s philosophy and favourite phrase was “Det er Liv et Reise” or “To Travel is to Live” by Hans Christian Andersen, which will be read by Danish Ambassador Grete Sillasen.


  • German actress Luisa Katharina Davids will recite the German translation of  “Mi Ultimo Adios“ as 2021 is the year when the German Embassy also unveils an exhibition with José Rizal’s former furniture from Heidelberg, Germany, and an official marker with the German translation of “Mi Ultimo Adios“ at the Museo ni José Rizal in Intramuros. (For more information about the artist, please visitluisakatharinadavids.de)


  • Famous and multi-awarded poet, narrator, essayist, and director of Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Mr. Luis Garcia Montero, will recite his original work “Magallanes” for Bersong Euro-Pinoy. Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is the General Director of the Instituto Cervantes since 2018.


  • The famous poem “Amis, Un Dernier Mot” (Friends, one last word) by Victor Hugo will be read by French actress Anne Gauther Das Neves. The poem was translated by Martin Macalintal, audio-visual attache French Embassy and Jean – Pierre Dumont, Director, Alliance Francaise de Manille.


  • Barátim vagytok”, You are my friends” by Sándor Petőfi,  will be read by Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Titanilla Tóth.


  • Rima LII”, a sonnet on friendship by Dante Alighieri, will be read by Alessandro Milani, General Manager of the Philippine-Italian Association.  This is in celebration of Dante Alighieri’s 700th death anniversary. The Philippine-Italian Association will feature a sonnet written by Dante to his best friend, Guido Cavalcanti.


  • What makes this poetry edition more exciting is that it will bring back the   Italian poetry festival “La punta della lingua”. Luigi Socci is the featured poet with Lorenzo Raponi and Stefano Teodori as filmmakers participating in this festival. La Punta della Lingua” is an international festival, based in Ancona, Italy, dedicated to “TOTAL POETRY”.


  • The popular Austrian poem “Love” by Erich Fried will be read by Tajna Platzer of the Embassy of Austria.


  • “Labirynt” or “Labyrinth” by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wisława Szymborska will be rendered by Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Poland Jaroslaw Roman Szczepankiewicz.


  • Nocturne, Finnish poem by Eino Leino and translated by Keith Bosley will be read by Finnish Ambassador  Juha Pyykkö.

#BersongEuroPinoyGoestoManila  #VersesVersustheVirus #EU #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph


Treasure MOMents together this Mother’s Day

Megaworld Hotels, the country’s biggest and growing homegrown hospitality chain in the country, invites everyone to join in a free virtual serenade as we give tribute to an extraordinary woman in our lives we all call our mothers. The virtual concert is slated on the universal day of celebration, March 9, 2021, 5:30 PM onward and will be available via the Megaworld Hotels’ official Facebook fan page.

As the majority of the nation stays safe indoors and continues to battle the challenges by the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, tune in and be inspired as Group General Manager of Megaworld Hotels, Ms. Cleofe Albiso, and Department of Tourism Secretary, Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat share words of encouragement that will ignite hope in the hearts of every mom and child from every walk of life.

Settling into the afternoon, enjoy the view of a golden sunset amidst the majestic Taal Volcano juxtaposed the Twin Lakes Hotel Tagaytay with live accompaniment of songs played by celebrated orchestra ensemble, Bernie Pasamba & the Music Masters and the vocals of Ms. Opalhene Barba.

Switch to a party mode while they whisk you off to the exclusive shores of Boracay Newcoast where Belmont and Savoy Hotel Boracay lights up the screen with the performance of a 5 gold medalist in the 2015 World Championships of Performing Arts in Long Beach California, Ms. Julia Serald of the Resorts World’s The Love Project.

Hosting the event is Vanessa Rodrigo-Reyes, known to many as Mommy Vanna, a long-running celebrated host for both social and corporate events and an advocate of healthy living, women empowerment, and mom entrepreneurs.

Win exciting prizes online! Participate all throughout the program’s interactive games.  You may just bag any of the following items:  1 Grand Prize winner of a Boracay Holiday package (2-night stay at Belmont Hotel Boracay and 2-night stay at Savoy Hotel Boracay with roundtrip tickets for 2 from AirSWIFT); 16 winners of Room Accommodation GCs from the different Megaworld Hotels; dining and SPA GCs from our special partners, PLUS, standby for details on our special LYKA giveaway promo for a chance to win a total of 30,000 worth of LYKA gems to be given away!

“In a moment when times are uncertain and our paths unclear, we turn to our mothers for guidance,” shares Ms. Cleofe Albiso. As a daughter and a mom of 4 children herself, she adds that “showing our appreciation to the women who radiates light into our homes is the least that we can do especially on their special day.”  This event also aims to rally and give hope and inspiration to the members of the tourism industry who may be at a loss due to the present unfavorable circumstances.

Together, representing an industry known for its genuine service, nurturing care, and homegrown hospitality, join them in honoring that special woman who has taught the value of Treasuring MOMents in your lives.

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/megaworldhotels

Featured photos: Group General Manager of Megaworld Hotels, Ms. Cleofe Albiso, event layout, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

#MomsDay #virtualserenade #TreasuringMOMents #megaworldhotels #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a special time of year when you get to celebrate the first person you always turn to for pieces of advice, your superhero, confidant, best friend, and biggest supporter! On her special day tell her how much she means to you. Here are some gift ideas you can surprise her with on May 9.

  • Omo! White for that Korean-like, glowing skin

OMO! White is the first skincare brand in the Philippines that offers customized skincare to your specific skin type. In Korean slang, the term “OMO!” means “Oh my goodness!” After trying out their alcohol-free soap and toner, wait and see, and you’ll definitely scream “OMO!” while looking at your Korean-like, glowing skin.

You can choose from their list of products to suit your mom’s skin type:

(1) WonderClear Toner is now AcneClear Toner (for Oily and Acne-Prone skin), is an alcohol-free toner for oily and acne-prone skin. Scientifically mixed with powerful ingredients such as Glycolic acid, Niacinamide, and Lactic acid, that can help improve your skin’s appearance;

(2) HyperCleanse Toner is now IntenseCleanse Toner (for Normal to Combination skin), is an alcohol-free toner that gives maximum hydration with a quick swipe. Scientifically mixed with powerful ingredients such as Activated Charcoal, Allantoin, and Alpha Arbutin, soften and re-energize your skin. A must-have step to any skincare regimen, this toner mildly exfoliates to achieve that radiant and unforgettable White Glow;

(3) UltraLight Toner is now Ooh-la-Light Toner (for Normal skin), is a fast-absorbent lightweight formula that gives maximum hydration and mildly exfoliates to give you youthful, glowing skin. It is supercharged with Glutathione, Lactic Acid, and Alpha Arbutin.

There’s nothing like ending a stressful day cleaning your skin and feeling fresh and radiant after. Let your mom try Omo! products and experience having Korean-like, glowing, and radiant skin.

  •  SweetBlooms Rose Candy Pastillas

Surprise your mom with the most unique gifts that will make her feel appreciated and loved by giving her SweetBlooms Rose Candy Pastillas.

SweetBlooms are perfect gift ideas for Mom’s Day! These edible flower pastillas are made of quality and fresh ingredients, affordable, presentable, a yummy treat, and blooming with candy pastillas. Choose from an array of product choices you can find on their FB page. Visit the link: https://www.facebook.com/Sweetblooms.

Say it with #SweetBlooms. Share the bloom in all seasons! To order, contact: 09175073997, 09175139300, (02) 83520051, (02) 75020497.

  • SM Home essential items

With most members of the family spending more time at home, keeping it clean and bright is a challenge for Mom. Surprise her with exciting innovations from SM Home that will make her home-works a breeze and give her more time for herself.

This May, get discounts and online coupons on select home essential items and furniture from SM Home. Shop for your mom and place your order online through the SM Store’s Call to Deliver (#143SM) and ShopSM app. For more info and updates, follow SM Home at the SM Store on Instagram or visit thesmstore.com website.

Eufy HomeVac H11 is a mini vacuum that offers practical solutions to your home’s cleaning needs.
Save time from washing the dishes and keep your dinnerware germ-free with Hanabishi Dishwasher with UV Sterilizer.
  • Top picks from Hanabishi’s practical gift ideas are quality and affordable home products for busy homemakers, such as the following:
Hanabishi Hotpot BBQ Griller.


Hanabishi Hand Mixer.

#MothersDay2021 #giftideas #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Experience a different way to enjoy deep-fried dishes minus the guilt

The recent virtual event, “Hey, Home Fryer!” featured some of the industry’s renowned chefs, together with the latest kitchen partners that ultimately changed the way anyone enjoys fried dishes.

Admit it. Regardless of how health-conscious we are, all of us have that special, secret place in our hearts reserved for fried food. We all know that deep-fried treats may not always be the smartest choices when it comes to our overall diet, but we also cannot deny that they are so good it is worth dedicating a cheat day for them here and there.

Did you know, though, that there is a way you can enjoy your favorite deep-fried dishes minus the guilt of consuming something that can get your healthy eating habits off track? That was exactly what Breville Philippines proved during its virtual event, “Hey, Home Fryer!” The event featured some of the industry’s renowned chefs, together with the latest kitchen partners that ultimately changed the way anyone enjoys fried dishes.

The international premium kitchen-label brand invited culinary luminaries Chef Waya Araos-Wijanco of Gourmet Gypsy Art Café, and Chef Gem Tee of Salta Ristorante, who both shared heritage and modern recipes that anyone can add to their culinary traditions, using some of the most advanced kitchen technologies that can elevate the way you enjoy your food.

The online event placed the spotlight on Breville’s newest kitchen must-have, the Smart Oven® Air Fryer, the third and most innovative version of its best-selling Pro ovens.

The online event placed the spotlight on Breville’s newest kitchen must-have, the Smart Oven® Air Fryer, the third and most innovative version of its best-selling Pro ovens. Unlike its predecessors, this newest offering from Breville’s roster just #GotSmarter as it married both oven and air-frying options in one powerful product so that you can experience different ways of enjoying your tabletop favorites.

The Smart Oven® Air Fryer is every home cook’s answer to their fried food dilemma thanks to its healthier way of deep-frying that uses advanced super convection technology. Now, you can sink your teeth on crispy, golden, air-fried food minus the oil and the guilt. Want other ways to enjoy your food? You can even choose from ten different cooking functions like slow cook, grill, bake, and roast. And as if that is not enough, anyone can perfect recipes using the Smart Oven Air Fryer® regardless of their experience in the kitchen, thanks to its smart algorithm that helps provide the best cooking temperature for whatever it is you want to cook.

The event was also a perfect opportunity for all home cooks and food lovers in general to know more about valuable kitchen hacks and cooking tips from the pros. Viewers, meanwhile, got first dibs on Chef Waya’s and Chef Tee’s insights. The two outstanding chefs both opened up on all the most important things they’ve picked up over the years when it comes to working in their kitchens.

The “Hey, Home Fryer!” online event was opened to everyone who tuned in to Breville Philippines’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brevillephilippines) last April 24 and got front-row seats on one of the most exciting things to ever happen in the world of food.


Stay tuned by following Breville Philippines’s official Facebook page at (https://www.facebook.com/brevillephilippines) and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/breville_phils/ for more updates. Want to know more about the brand’s products? Visit https://www.breville.com.ph/  for more information.

#Breville #virtualevent #kitchenmusthaves #smartovenairfryer #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

LIVE! Matters 2021 Announces Full Program

Featuring 35+ speakers from the world’s most innovative entertainment organizations, sponsors, and technologies as the world go back to live.

Singapore  – Branded, the producers of All That Matters, presents LIVE! MATTERS 2021, an online series designed for anyone interested in the evolution of live sports, music, gaming, and entertainment.

LIVE! MATTERS featuring over 30 speakers representing the region’s biggest names in live events and experiences, alongside world-class business leaders, artists, and technologies.

CEO of organizer Branded, Jasper Donat says, “The event world has been virtual for 12 months and is starting to go back to physical in real-life concerts, festivals, conferences, and large meetings. Some markets and some industries are more advanced than others so we’re bringing everyone together and allowing them to peer over each other’s fences to share learnings and hopefully prepare for a global bounceback”.

What will LIVE look like: Virtual? In Real Life? Hybrid? The Asian event industry is creeping back and where some cities are partying the night away others are starting to gingerly look and see if it’s safe to go out again. From online conferences and concerts to streamed music festivals and mega online eSports events everyone is doing something “live” but who’s getting it right and how? What have the pandemic pioneers achieved and how will they lead the industry forward — and how do they avoid Zoom lag?

From 27-30 April, Live Matters 2021 will deliver a content-rich online discussion series featuring brands, venues, promoters, rights holders, media, and tech companies.

Sessions will cover:

  • The future of live music, sports, and gaming
  • New technologies at online and physical events
  • Sponsorship in a new hybrid world
  • Insurance, health, and safe distancing measures

See the full program here: https://www.allthatmatters.asia/livematters

LIVE! MATTERS 2021 is the only conference convening Asia’s live sports, gaming, music, media, and entertainment events sectors.

REGISTER NOW and listen to those who are bringing the fun back into live, hear how they did and what they plan to do next.

#LIVE!MATTERS 2021 #onlineseries #onlineevent #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Filipino Food Month: On preserving Filipino culinary tradition and sustainability practices

Our culinary heritage and food culture deserve to be highlighted, and ultimately, will help in the sustainability of our farmers.

April is Filipino Food Month.

“This year, Filipino Food Month focuses on food security and sustainability practices gearing towards our mindful purchase of naturally grown products,” discloses Chef Jam Melchor, Founder of Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, one of the proponents of Filipino Food Month along with the Department of Agriculture – Philippines, and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

He adds:  “We have a lot of capability building workshops that encourage the public to continue practicing natural farming techniques or growing their own food in general and the importance of making a stand in buying locally made products – we show that homegrown supplies are just as good as—if not better than— imported ones.”

The month-long celebration as per Presidential Proclamation 469 takes place “to promote, preserve, and ensure the transmission of vast Filipino culinary traditions to the present and future generations, as well as to provide support to farmers, fisherfolks, and to the rest of the agricultural and aquacultural communities.”

“I just want to encourage everyone to support and celebrate Filipino Food Month. Just like other forms of national celebration, our culinary heritage and food culture deserve to be highlighted. When we support fair trade products from our local farmers, we increase the demand for these products and help in the sustainability of our farmers,” Chef Jam stresses.

Featuring here three interesting and mouth-watering Filipino dishes from Filipino Food Month Official Facebook page:

  • Okoy

Ókoy (or úkoy) is a Filipino dish that is fried and made from a mixture of flour, shrimp, togue, and other vegetables and is usually dipped or soaked in vinegar before eating. It’s also called ′′crispy shrimp fritter ′′ out of the country. This is popular as a snack but is also used as a dish for lunch and dinner.

Okoy. Captured photo from the video. Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

When preparing okoy, the shrimp head is not removed. A piece of okoy can contain two to four shrimp, depending on size. It’s round shape, piping like a biscuit, and there’s a boiled chicken that fights the cooking of a chip.

Vinegar balances the oily dish. Because it’s easy to squeeze the sauce, the vinegar gives the okoy a sweet, sour, and spicy taste. Because of the amount of content, it is heavy on the stomach.  {Source: Culture Emblem 2: Nature and Environment (2015)}

  • Inubarang Manok

It is a dish that’s popular in Visayan regions like Iloilo, Aklan, and Negros. The star of this stew is the ubad, which is the pith of a banana tree.

Inubarang Manok. Captured photo from the video. Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

This is not to be confused with ubod, which is its coconut counterpart. Chicken and ubad is a usual pairing, and it lends the dish a unique flavor and texture.

  • KBL

Kadyos, baboy, kag lanka, commonly shortened to KBL, is a Filipino pork soup or stew originating from the Hiligaynon people of the Western Visayas islands.

The name of the dish means “pigeon peas, pork, and jackfruit” — the three main ingredients. The soup is also traditionally soured with batuan fruits (Garcinia binucao). Other souring agents like tamarind can also be used.

Kadyos, baboy, kag lanka, (KBL). Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

Other ingredients include leafy greens (like young sweet potato leaves, cabbage, or bokchoi), lemongrass, fish sauce, onions, and siling haba peppers. The pork cut used is typically the hock (pata). The dish is characteristically purple in color due to the use of pigeon peas.

It is similar to another Hiligaynon dish known as kadyos, manok, kag ubad which uses chicken and banana pith instead.

To know more about their line-up of activities, visit https://www.facebook.com/FilipinoFoodMonthOfficial

#PreserveFilipinoFood #FilipinoFoodMonth #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Featured photos courtesy of Filipino Food Month Official FB Page


First-ever Digital PR Congress Opens with Reality Check on PR, Business and Media Landscapes

The Congress theme is about moving forward to create a better normal for all.

 Manila, Philippines, 17 February 2021 — The 27th National Public Relations Congress kicks off its three-day run today with plenaries looking into the new realities for Philippine PR and the business and media sectors. Presented by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the country’s premier organization for public relations and communication practitioners, this year’s conference is the first time the National PR Congress is being held online in its 27 years and the first time it will run for three days instead of the usual two.

From February 17 to 19, 2021, PR and communication practitioners from all over the nation – and the world — will come together to examine the current PR landscape and find ways to move forward as one industry. Local and international experts from different fields will share their insights with more than 1,400 registrants for the three-day conference.

The first day, which sets the context and tone for the congress, will tackle the shifts in the PR industry as it is impacted and bounces back from the challenges of the past year, foremost of them being the pandemic. The sessions will look into the state of PR in the country and outside, the role of PR in the new dynamic, Filipinos’ post-pandemic profile, changes in the business terrain and how companies are adjusting, and the challenges for the media and PR in the perspective of the Philippine media.

With the theme “Transcend,” the annual event aims to inspire PR and communication practitioners to break through traditional boundaries, rise above themselves, and focus on the bigger issues the nation is facing. The congress hinges on the PRSP’s theme of “PR for Good” to put a spotlight on serving the community better and making a lasting impact through PR.

The first day of the 27th National PR Congress opens discussions on PR in the new normal.

Each day of the congress is designed to highlight a specific topic of focus. On the first day, participants will deep dive into the state of Philippine PR. The second day will focus on the power of technology and how it is reshaping the practice of PR and communication. Finally, the third day will encourage conversations on critical issues that are shaping business and communication narratives today.

Opening the discussion on the state of Philippine PR is Managing Director of Grupo Agatep and PRSP President Norman Agatep, APR, followed by May Lwin, chair and professor at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information and director of the University Scholars Programme at the Nanyang Technological University Singapore, who will talk about the state of PR in Asia. Nitin Mantri, group CEO of Avian WE and president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), will then provide an overview of world PR.

Ron Jabal, APR, CEO of PageOne Group, will shed some light on the role PR plays in the new dynamic, followed by John Januszczak, president and CEO of UBX, the fintech venture studio created by UnionBank of the Philippines, who will talk about how the pandemic has changed the consumer behavior of Filipinos. Tommaso Di Giovanni, VP for global communications of Philip Morris International and recognized by PRovoke Media as one of the 20 Global Rising Stars in PR and Communications for 2020, will share about business agility, grit, and community commitment.

A panel of veteran journalists will close the first day of the congress, providing insights on ensuring accurate and truthful communication. Joining the conversation are Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist John Nery, Board of Trustees of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility member Vergel Santos and TV5 journalist Ed Lingao.

“It is important that as we forge ahead and adjust to the new normal, we do not lose sight of what PR is all about. This is what we want to remind practitioners through this Congress: that we also serve the community even as we work with brands and organizations in sharing their messages to the public,” said Agatep.

The congress gathers together participants from industry organizations, SMEs and large corporations, government agencies, NGOs, LGUs, and the academe all over the Philippines.

Congress Chair Ana Pista shared, “With Transcend as our theme for this Congress, we hope to enjoin PR and communication practitioners and all delegates to rethink our role and responsibility and in our work contribute to the solution instead of the problem. This Congress theme is about moving forward to create a better normal for all.”

For more information about the 27th National Public Relations Congress, visit the event website or Facebook page or contact Lessa Azcarraga at lessa.azcarraga@ardent.com.ph.

#27thNationalPRCongress #Transcend2021 #preciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Leadership and Communication: Upcoming PR Congress Explores Role of Leaders

With the theme Transcend, the Congress will address pressing issues in the PR industry and the country and inspire PR and communication practitioners to make a lasting impact. This will be the first time the National PR Congress will be held online and the first time it will run for three days.

COVID-19 is not just a health crisis. While wreaking havoc around the world and causing so many losses, the pandemic also raises many other crucial issues, foremost of which is leadership.

Governments, businesses, and organizations continue to struggle, all caught off guard by the pandemic and had to think on the fly. More than a year after the first COVID-19 case in the country was confirmed and without a cure in sight, many are still scrambling to get back on their feet, with industries contracting and companies losing people and revenue. In many cases, what spells the difference between success and failure in these trying times is leadership.

Some countries are able to contain the spread of the virus and cushion the impact on their economy much better than others. Some businesses and companies continued to operate, even achieve some level of growth, even as entire industries slowed down. Others are still figuring out the next step. With COVID-19 cases still rising and new variants emerging, these leaders are even more hard-pressed to address present concerns – buttress the economy or business, control cases, protect stakeholders – at the same time layout plans for the future.

Leaders are defined by the crisis the same way they are shaped by opportunities, and there is no bigger crisis at present than COVID-19. How are the leaders of today faring?

 Good leaders communicate their vision

Both New Zealand and Taiwan were well-prepared for the crisis and the resulting changes. Even before the pandemic hit, New Zealand already had a standard pandemic flu action plan, which the country used to fight the new virus. Meanwhile, Taiwan had a plan in place for years involving quarantine, contact tracing, and the wide availability of masks.

A few days after recording its first COVID-19 case, New Zealand wasted no time and closed its borders, mandating anyone coming from overseas to quarantine themselves for 14 days. The government had a clear vision from the very beginning – to eliminate any trace of the virus – and communicated this clearly to its citizens.

Similarly, the Taiwan government acknowledged the importance of early action, with health officials developing a careful advance warning system for diseases around the world after being hit by SARS in 2003. This was used to alert citizens on the status of COVID-19 in the country.

 New Zealand became COVID-19-free four months after its first reported COVID-19 case. Taiwan has been able to keep the spread of the virus under control. Many countries hope to achieve the same feat, but how?

Resilient organizations are built on trust

With COVID-19, businesses and organizations now know that while long-term plans are valuable, these will not save them during a pandemic. It is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to evolve as one organization that will be vital.

A resilient organization is able to learn, develop and grow from problems that come its way, and a strong leader is at the forefront of this process. Resilient organizations are able to withstand challenges because there is a culture of trust that allows its people to work together in harmony to overcome difficulties. Leaders who are transparent and able to effectively communicate their plans inspire others to share in their vision and thereby create unity in the organization. So when a crisis does come, there is no conflict in regard to how the organization will respond to the situation.

Join the discussion on how today’s leaders can adapt and be agile in the face of constant challenges to move their organization forward at the 27th National PR Congress happening from February 17 to 19, 2021. The annual conference will also discuss how leaders can communicate better to engage their stakeholders in a more efficient and productive manner.

With the theme Transcend, the Congress will address pressing issues in the PR industry and the country and inspire PR and communication practitioners to make a lasting impact. This will be the first time the National PR Congress will be held online and the first time it will run for three days.

For more information about the 27th National Public Relations Congress, visit the event website or Facebook page or contact Lessa Azcarraga at lessa.azcarraga@ardent.com.ph.

About the Public Relations Society of the Philippines

The Public Relations Society of the Philippines is the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals with dedicated programs in professional development and continued learning, PR excellence, student PR education, social outreach, and partnerships with institutions. Annually, it confers the Anvil Awards, the Oscar of PR in the country, and holds the National PR Congress in September, the National PR Month.

#27thPRCongress #PRSP #Transcend #PRindustry #preciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Santa Rosa Laguna Celebrates 22nd Sikhayan Festival and 229th Founding Anniversary

Every January 18, the City celebrates its Sikhayan Festival in conjunction with its Founding Anniversary. With more progress anticipated to come in the near future, the Sikyahan this year signals the birth of a modern city.

 Sikhayan, which stands for Pagsisikap sa Kabuhayan, is an annual event celebrating the Rosenians’ (residence and sectors of Santa Rosa Laguna) spirit of enterprise that has, through the decades, fueled the city’s economic growth. Under the “new normal” the event is highlighted by the annual street dance competition participated by students from the different local public schools.

Sikhayan recognizes the contributions made by Santa Rosa’s sectors, from farmers, fisherfolks, artisans, workers, and entrepreneurs big and small, to the city’s continuing progress.

Coinciding with the city’s founding as a separate and independent town in the Province of Laguna, the Sikhayan Festival showcases the Roseñians perseverance and determination to improve their lives and that of their communities.

It is a festival that pays tribute to the people’s unrelenting and resolute effort, to their profound sense of community, to their deeply rooted cultural heritage, and to their enterprising spirit. As proven by its history, the Roseñians have worked hard and the Sikhayan Festival is the people’s way of giving thanks and looking forward to a much better future.

From last year’s Sikhayan celebration: Mayor Arlene Arcillas with celebrity guest Alden Richards. Courtesy: Sikhayan Festival FB page

This year’s Sikhayan Festival marks another milestone in the city’s history. It is a symbolic pledge made by Roseñians towards a promising future carved through effort and hard work. With more progress anticipated to come in the near future, the Sikyahan this year signals the birth of a modern city.

The annual street dance competition participated by students from the different local public schools. Courtesy: Sikhayan Festival FB Page

Sikhayan Festival Enchanted Kingdom Promo

In line with the Sikhayan Festival 2021, Enchanted Kingdom is calling all Laguna residents and employees to join the celebration and get Php229 off on its Regular Day Pass rate, now for only Php671.00. The promo period is until January 31, 2021.

Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/enchantedkingdom.ph

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • The promo is open to ALL walk-in GUESTS upon presentation of valid proof of employment OR residency in Laguna.
  • Guests must be within the recommended 15-65 age group in accordance with the government’s precautionary measures and operational guidelines. Those who are 15 to 17 years old must be ACCOMPANIED during their visit by his/her parent (s), guardian, &/or an adult companion (18 years old & above) with a signed written permission/authorization letter from the minor’s parent &/or guardian.
  • Promo can be availed at the Group Sales Office or Front Gate Ticket Booths in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
  • All guests are required to wear a face mask and face shield inside the Park
  • Promo tickets are not valid for rebooking.
  • Cannot be availed in conjunction with any other promo, as well as on Junior, Senior Citizen, PWD, and other special rates.

#SikhayanFestival #SantaRosaLaguna #FoundingAnniversary #preciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Source: https://santarosacity.gov.ph/visit-santa-rosa/festivities/

https://www.facebook.com/sikhayanfestival; https://www.facebook.com/enchantedkingdom.ph

Featured photo: Courtesy of Sikhayan Festival FB page