Featured App,

How to Cope Up with Homesickness?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments

 5 Ways to Cope with Homesickness
And other tips for loneliness

Roses, hearts, and googly eyes everywhere this month of love, but to an OFW, this is just an ordinary month. Thanks to modern technology, we can stay connected to our loved ones 24/7, but when bouts of homesickness kicks in, video calls sometimes just don’t cut it anymore.

When these happens, tips on coping with loneliness are a welcome treat. 
Here’s how:

Explore and Make Friends.

Get to know the city. Visit popular sites, new attractions, and try local cuisine. Think of it as a long vacation. Be intentional in understanding the country’s culture and history. Feel good about the place and soon enough new friends will find you.
Feel Good and Be Happy 
Feeling good starts with yourself. A simple walk to the MRT can release endorphins that will make you feel better. Jog around the block, or look for studios that offer dance classes. The key is to do what you like to feel better. Remember, just because you are alone right now doesn’t mean that this won’t ever change.
Unplugged it!

We get it, reading posts and liking photos on social media are a great tool to keep track of what everybody else is doing, but this may actually add on to your homesickness. Seeing how people are moving on with their lives without you back home may not be the best for now. Take a break from social media or limit your scrolling time. Instead of looking at what everyone else is doing, go outside and enjoy the scenery. Be a tourist and post pictures of your new environment or join a local sporting league to show it to friends and family – for sure they are dying to know more about you.
Make someone happy, Surprise them with a gift.

Websites and apps are crawling with online shops where you can easily buy gifts and trinkets that are neatly wrapped to surprise your loved ones. Did you know that you can also purchase flowers online and have them delivered anywhere in the world? Neat right? Just be mindful that you are dealing with legit sellers who won’t just take your hard-earned cash. For everything else, there’s always MoneyGram. Filipinos abroad can take advantage of its global network of approximately 350,000 locations in 200 countries and territories worldwide while receivers will have the convenience of receiving these from more than 12,000 locations across the Philippines. Did you know that you can also send money online or in person to any bank account via cash or credit? Doing money matters has never been this easy. MoneyGram’s network allows people to send and receive cash anytime from anywhere in the world hassle-free.


If all else fails... Book it! 
Be on the lookout for travel fairs and seat sales to score a flight back home. Scour the internet and other apps for the cheapest and most convenient ticket. Nothing beats the rush of finally being able to touch your loved one.

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Featured App,

foodpanda Chief Promises to Deliver

Saturday, February 18, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments

Since its launch in the Philippines last 2014, foodpanda has been steadily working their numbers up and its leadership vowed to do whatever it takes to keep their delivery game strong.

Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, foodpanda is an online food delivery marketplace that caters to both businesses and direct consumers. For partner restaurants, foodpanda brings brands closer to their audience via online and mobile technology intending to increase demand and boost sales while for customers, it offers convenient food ordering system from a variety of choices right at their fingertips. It caters more specifically to emerging markets like those of at Southeast Asia. “We’re growing faster than ever before, gaining more and more market share. I am very excited with Southeast Asia where we are growing in a very steady, stable position,” says Ralf Wenzel, Global Chief Executive Officer.


Wenzel further added that the online food delivery market presents a 50 billion dollar opportunity and is currently being utilized at just 1 to 2% of the total food delivery industry. “The vast majority of opportunity is still ahead of us. Food delivery is bigger than fashion and even travel. This could be the next big thing in internet,” he explained.

Ralf Wenzel, CEO foodpanda Global
                                                                                               

foodpanda is continuously working to arm countries where they are present with not only operational requirements but also with competent, high spirited individuals to carry out the goals and objectives of the brand. All eyes are now on Philippines who is gradually gaining significant numbers for the organization. September of last year, Iacopo Rovere was appointed Chief Executive Officer of foodpanda Philippines. Rovere used to be the Global Operations Manager of foodpanda HQ in Germany before coming here.

Being an Italian native, Iacopo likes eating pizza. But he also cannot refuse the guilty pleasure that is Crispy Pata especially if it is from Tipsy Pig Gastro Pub.



Iacopo Rovere, CEO foodpanda Philippines
“I love the sunny weather and the vivid colors of the countryside, but what I mostly enjoy here is the positive and enthusiastic attitude of the Filipinos,” shares Iacopo. When asked about his leadership style, Rovere said that while formalities and processes are relevant, he is 100% target driven. Results and talent are what count for him the most. He motivates his team by setting a good example and always striving for excellence. He is also very hands on and doesn’t mind working shoulder to shoulder with every employee regardless of their role.

With the competition getting stiffer year on year, foodpanda Philippines will exhaust all efforts to stay relevant and viable to retain their market dominance. “Main thrust at the moment is to switch the offline customers to online and introduce platforms to them on where and how they can have their food delivered,” says Iacopo. foodpanda envisions itself to be the most convenient and fastest online food delivery service in the Philippines. “We target to deliver 99% of orders under 40 minutes by end-of-year, and expand to key cities over the following months,” he added. foodpanda increased its total orders from the first to second quarter this year by over 30%. Their customer satisfaction rating also improved and is now over 90%.

Talking about the group’s strong suit, Iacopo is confident that foodpanda’s established number of restaurant partners nationwide, powerhouse ensemble of delivery operations cast, and perpetually increasing customer satisfaction rating will lead the brand to more successes in the coming years. Brand’s efforts also include forging partnerships with major institutions from different industries to raise awareness like banks, clothing and lifestyle, telecommunications, and various media outfits. “We are only at the beginning of our adventure here in the Philippines. As the awareness and relevance of our brand expands, recognition from the biggest players in the industry also starts to pour, like Jollibee which we recently launched on our platform. We must have been doing something right and this is very rewarding after all the effort our teams puts into our mission,” says the 28 year old CEO. 

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Health and Wellness

10 Foolproof ways to a Healthier Lifestyle

Saturday, February 18, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments

As we enter the New Year, many of us promised to commit to a healthier lifestyle as part of our New Year’s Resolutions. Sticking to a resolution is easier said than done, but as long as we have a plan to fall back on, it shouldn’t be as daunting or as difficult as it seems. To help us out, here are 10 foolproof ways to ensure that we live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

1.    Eat more fruits and vegetables.
-       The health benefits of eating a diet with generous servings of fruits and vegetables are endless. Not only are they dense sources of a variety of essential minerals and nutrients, they are generally high in fiber which will keep your digestive system happy and smooth-running. Pro-tip: fruits and veggies have unique antioxidant properties depending on their color. Eat the rainbow!

2.  Go for regular check-ups.
-       Don’t leave your body to take care of itself. We all need a little help sometimes, and your doctor’s job is to ensure that everything is in tip-top condition and to provide solutions when needed.

3.   Stay stress-free.
-       While diet and exercise are very important in leading a healthy lifestyle, your mindset and attitude may be sabotaging their benefits. Stress can affect your sleep, your tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, and your productivity. Ensure that your lifestyle is as stress-free as possible by organizing your financial and work life; create a long-term financial plan to alleviate financial pressures and increase your financial security.

4.   Avoid foods high in saturated fat and simple sugars.
-       Swap out your white bread for wholegrain, and use canola or olive oil instead of butter in your cooking. Complex carbohydrates give you slow-release energy which will keep you energized throughout the day, and unsaturated fats will promote healthy cholesterol levels, keeping you trim and combating fatigue.

5.   Find an exercise program you enjoy.
-       It is no secret that exercise gives you more energy, helps keep your head clear, and keeps you in shape. Find what you enjoy and stick to it! If you hate jogging, try dancing. If you don’t like exercising alone, look to join a basketball or frisbee team.

6.   Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
-       Give your body a well-deserved break, so that it can re-energize and prepare itself for a happy and productive day.

7.   Ditch your unhealthy vices.
-    Smoking, drinking, or consuming too much caffeine is toxic to our bodies. Replace your unhealthy habits with healthier ones, such as exercise. If you are struggling to give up smoking, join a program that offers support and guidance.

8.   Make time for friends and family.
-     Social interaction is essential to human well-being. Appreciate the supportive people in your life and invest in the meaningful connections that will ultimately lead you to a happier lifestyle. 

9.   Stay hydrated.
-    The common recommendation for water intake is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Drinking a sufficient amount of water promotes healthy skin and will prevent headaches and other symptoms of dehydration. Additionally, for those of us trying to lose weight, a common sign of dehydration is the feeling of hunger despite having eaten adequately. Drink up!

10.   Set and track fitness goals by using apps and devices.
-     Having fitness goals is a sure-fire way of ensuring happiness; overcoming hurdles, whether small or big, can increase your confidence. One fitness app that helps you track your progress and remind you to hit some benchmarks is Philam Vitality Active, a free mobile app that allows you to enjoy immediate and free rewards such as free cinema ticket, free game of bowling to name a few, upon completion of your weekly goals. To experience a whole new journey to being fit and healthy, you may download the Philam Vitality Active app now available in Apple Store Phils or Google Play and sign-up using the promo code “live active”.


Following these simple steps will ensure that you can make the most of 2017 towards a healthier and happier you.




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Business

PAMI Brings Together Economic Experts in Cebu

Saturday, February 18, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments


 Left to right: PAMI Head of Investments-Junie Banaag, AIA Group Chief Economist- Brian Murray, PAMI President and CEO- Eric Lustre, Rampver Strategic Advisors Managing Director and Founder- Rex Mendoza, PAMI Head of Retail Sales- Zedric Matubis, Philam Life Head of Fixed Income and Corporate Finance- Vince Daffon.

Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI) flies in economic experts to Visayas for the third leg of their Economic Outlook series entitled “2017 Unboxed: Unleash the Market’s Potential”. The event was held in the grand ballroom of The Mariott Hotel, in Cebu City.

The event was also in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Thematic to the holiday, PAMI opened the show with a dragon and lion dance performed by the Cebu Traditional Wushu dancers. Shortly after that, PAMI called on stage the panel speakers, Rex Mendoza of Rampver Strategic Advisors, Brian Murray of AIA, and Junie Banaag of PAMI and Vince Daffon both of Philam Life.

Left to right : PAMI President and CEO- Eric Lustre and Philam Life Zone Head for Visayas and Mindanao- Rolan Enriquez welcome prosperity and good luck after a performance by the Cebu Wushu dancers.

Specialists Sit Down
The panel was opened with a discussion on the global economic overview by Brian Murray. Murray presented his views on the US and China economic situation. For the US, talks of a proposed border tax implementation is causing worry among countries involved in US trade. This proposition plans to place a 20% tax on imports in order to lower the US corporate tax from 35% to 20% although many view this move to hit US supply chains and raise inflation. Meanwhile China manages to continue its soft landing. Services growth continues to outpace industrial growth and fiscal and monetary policy remain accommodative. External finances remain strong with $3 trillion in reserves, 20 months of import over, and a current account surplus of over $250 billion. However, resolution of the past credit boom remains an issue. Monetary conditions remain tight, but there is a reluctance to cut interest rates as it complicates the resolution of the past credit boom.

Rex Mendoza shared his insight on the local economic outlook. He mentions that the factors that brought us the high growth rate over the past years are going to be the same factors that can carry us on and give us the growth 2017 and the years beyond. He presented 5 factors that will affect Philippine growth. The very first pillar being the demographic window. The Philippine age distribution, based on a study done in 2014, projects a productive and financially capable majority. Mendoza says that this incoming population will fuel resilient domestic consumption. The next pillars discussed how Business Process Outsourcings (BPOs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) show year on year growth and increased remittances. Following this was his presentation on the estimated increase in tourism. He shows an estimated growth rate of 3.24% from 2015 to 2016 in visitor receipts and a 12.2% increase in international arrivals. For the final pillar, Mendoza discussed the planned government expenditure of Php 3.350 Trillion prioritizing public infrastructure.


To discuss the equity market, Eduardo “Junie” Banaag addressed key themes to which investors are uncertain about. One point mentioned was that the change in leadership will not affect the country’s credit ratings. “Our credit ratings will remain the same”. The tax policy will change in the next 5 years and it will be for the better.” Vince Daffon explained the outlook for the local fixed income market in 2017, with the 10-year Philippine government bond yield expected to increase to 4.80% by December from 4.65% at end-2016. However, yields have gone down in January due mainly to prevailing uncertainty over the execution of economic policies planned both in the US and the Philippines.  

2016 left many uncertain and despite the rhetoric all four speakers say that now is the best time to invest. Forecasts show many opportunities working in the favour for the Philippines and that Filipinos should take action and maximize that potential.

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FoodPress

Team Hugot or Team Kilig? Say it with Red Ribbon Valentine Mamon

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments



"Team Hugot" Red Ribbon Valentines Mamon & "Team Kilig" Red Ribbon Valentines Mamon


Say it with Red Ribbon Valentine Mamon Red Ribbon launches the sweetest treat for Valentine’s Day Love is one of the hardest emotions to express. That is why, oftentimes, it is hard to either show or say it.

But, what if you can do both ways for your loved ones this Valentines? This February, Red Ribbon, one of the most loved bakeshop chains in the Philippines, joins its customers in celebrating Valentine’s Day with its new limited edition “Team Kilig” and “Team Hugot” Valentine Mamons that are guaranteed to make this Love Month more memorable. 

The Red Ribbon Valentine Mamons are made with moist white chiffon Mamon topped with Valentine-themed designs. Comes in two variants, the “Team Kilig” and “Team Hugot.” 

The “Team Kilig” Mamons are for those who want to give their special someone with Valentine messages that will surely make them feel the warmth of love. On the other hand, the “Team Hugot” Mamons, which are decorated with witty “hugot” lines, are perfect for those who choose to happily celebrate the occasion even without a special someone. 

“We know how important Valentine's Day is to our loyal customers whether they are single or not. These two new Valentine Mamons are our way of making the day for them more memorable and sweeter,” said Ned Bandojo, Head of Marketing of Red Ribbon. Both Team Kilig and Team Hugot Valentine Mamons are topped with unique designs and are packaged in a Valentine’s Day gift box of threes. It is available in all Red Ribbon stores nationwide for P100 per box only.

As one of the fastest growing bakeshop chains in the country, Red Ribbon is dedicated to making every celebration more special by offering new, exciting, and a delicious lineup of cakes, bread, and pastries. 


To know more about Red Ribbon’s many delights, visit www.redribbonbakeshop.com.ph.

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Events,

Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students Beyond Brushstrokes Part2

Monday, February 06, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments


Not so long ago, I was part of an artwork shop facilitated by the Chan Lim Family of Artists & Students and SM North Edsa. Where I learned some of the basic strokes in watercolor arts the Chinese style. As easy at it may seem to be, drawing or painting single bamboo plant takes talent, and a certain flick of the wrist and joint effort of the mind and yes, as I was saying it is Talent,  the skill I want to learn and achieve in the future.


Watch this short video from Brushstrokes Part 1
Read my post about the Chan Lim Beyond Brushstrokes Part 1 here

Liked it too? Actually, Art classes are also offered by the Chan Lim Family at their gallery somewhere in Pasig priced at Php6,000.00 for 10 sessions. Interested? Feel free to inquire via email and know more about its details at chanlim@yahoo.com




Still, in line for celebrating the Chinese New Year this 2017, the Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students prepared more than 300 artworks done in porcelain plates, scroll & oil paintings.  

Watch our tour with Mr. Alex here 
as he toured us to their fascinating works.

The exhibit is participated by 43 talented artists and will be on display until February 12
At The Block Atrium of SM City North EDSA.
Website:  www.chanlim.com | Facebook: /ChanLimFamilyof Artists

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Beauty

This 2017, Look Gorgeous with The New Ever Bilena & Careline Products

Friday, February 03, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments


For a  more gorgeous, more beautiful you, Start the year right and get prettified with Ever Bilena, the country’s leading cosmetics brand that's letting your eyes shine brighter, your lips become more kissable and your skin softer and smoother. And now, Ever Bilena is up to introduce a new makeup and skincare products to help you look your best the whole new year. 

Start off with the EB Advance Uncover 12-Color Eyeshadow Palette, featuring 12 rosy neutral shades that come in both matte and shimmery finishes. Adding a fresh spin to neutral tones, let its mix-and-match layout take you from a formal business meeting during the day to a night out with friends in a snap!

EB Advance Silky Eye Liners, Careline Hello Beautiful Eye Shadow Palette, 
Careline Hello Sweetie compact paletteLTD Liquid Lipstick, and Ever Bilena Paddle Brush 

For the fun and bubbly female who isn’t afraid to experiment, try Careline’s new Hello Beautiful! eye shadow palette. Its 12 shades allow you to achieve different looks through mixing and matching.
 
Frame your eyes with the EB Advance Silky Brow and Silky Eye Liners, which give high definition to your peepers in just a few strokes. Top off the look with high-impact, lusciously long and well-defined lashes from EB Advance Lash Define Waterproof Mascara. Thanks to its built-in top-to-bottom lash applicator and its waterproof formula, the overall effect is polished and smudge-free.

Want a complete all-in-one look without weighing your bag down? The new Hello Sweetie! eye shadow and blush compact by Careline gives you two sets of colors and a world of options.

Whether you prefer a sultry pout or a sweet bow, LTD Liquid Lipstick has got you covered. Experience a velvety soft liquid lipstick that delivers buildable and long-lasting lip color with a matte finish. Formulated with moisturizers, it helps keep your lips smooth and supple. This limited edition range comes in 12 highly pigmented shades that range from soft, mauve-hued nudes to deep, vampy reds.

EB Naturals Sunflower Oil and Kleopatra Magic Lipstick
You can also choose between the rich semi-satin finish of Ever Bilena Luxe Lipstick and the creamy, waterproof Ultra Matte Lipstick. Both lipstick lines are enriched with moisturizers to keep the lips soft, smooth, and supple. Those going for a bold yet feminine look can rejoice over Kleopatra Magic Lipstick. With long-lasting lip color that comes in different fruity scents, it changes in shade once applied on the lips.

Keep your face smooth and flawless with Evera Face Powder, a sleek compact powder that sets and evens out skin color. It leaves a lightweight feel on the face while creating a smooth matte finish.

For easy application of your foundation, powder, and bronzer, Ever Bilena offers two kinds of paddle brushes: Advance Multi-task Paddle Brush and Advance Essentials Paddle Brush.

EB Naturals Hand Creams and Evera Compact Powd\er
Because care for the skin is also important, EB Naturals offers two new products inspired by garden favorites. Its Sunflower Oil has sunflower extract to minimize dark spots and revitalize dry skin. Its Hand Cream, which comes in Sweet Rose and Femme Floral scents, is enriched with moisturizer to help soothe dry hands.

So if you’re looking to present your most gorgeous self this year, complete your beauty regimen with the newest cosmetics and skin care products only from Ever Bilena and Careline!

Get the latest updates about Ever Bilena and Careline. 
For quick updates, follow them on Facebook  

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Festivals,

Fiesta Republica 2017 - The Other Independence Day You Might Not Know Exist.

Friday, February 03, 2017 Aci Girl 0 Comments


The forgotten tale of the PH’s “other” Independence Day.

There’s another date in history, known only by very few Filipinos as our “other” Independence Day, that could very well alter our perception about the idea of the Philippines ‘as free and independent nation.


While we’re used to celebrating our “Araw ng Kaalayaan” every June, facts suggest that it was only on the 23rd of January 1899 when we were able to establish a true, Filipino-led government – otherwise known as the “Malolos Republic” – to earn ourselves a distinction as the Asia’s First Democratic Republic.  However, the question that now stands in front of us is this:  have we really paid attention to the significance of January 23rd in our lives as Filipinos?

For a few Filipinos, January 23 will always be remembered as the day the Philippines was catapulted to global prominence.  Unfortunately, it seemed like a huge chunk of the population – even a good portion of Malolenyos themselves – have completely written off the story behind this historic and very significant milestone.

Reawakening Love for Flag and Country

One of the most ardent advocates of reintroducing the national significance of the January 23rd celebrations is none other than the proudest son of the historic Malolos City himself, Hon. Mayor Atty. Christian Natividad.


Driven by the passion to reignite the Filipinos’ love for flag and country, Natividad introduced the vibrant Fiesta Republica in 2010 to raise awareness and a greater appreciation for what he calls as the most important date in Philippine history.


“We were the first one to establish a Constitution in Asia – the Malolos constitution – and it was a milestone we all achieved as a nation,” he says.  “It was where our all the other fundamental rights and privileges that we enjoy today – our gill of rights and the freedom of the press, for example – emanated, so why are we not giving this date the same reverence that we’re giving to June 12 or the Araw ng Kagitingin (The Day of Valor)?”

To illustrate his point further, Natividad revealed the fact that not many remember why the Barasoain Church is historically significant.  Apart from being a temporary residence of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the church also became the site of the three most decisive events that led to the Philippine Independence:  the convening of the First Philippine Congress, the drafting of the Malolos Constitution, and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic.


“We have fiestas and festivals for nearly every religious and cultural significance, but why aren’t we celebrating the very first Philippine Republic, which was founded here in Malolos?” Natividad noted.

In 2013, the city’s initiative led to a Presidential Proclamation that declared January 23 as “Araw ng Republikang Filipino 1889.” This, in turn, promoted the Fiesta Republica on a national scale.  From the yearly ceremonial event, the city’s government of the Malolos Republic has since become a month-long festivity that culminates on January 23.


“For us here in Malolos, Fiesta Republica stands as the ultimate celebration of Philippine democracy, Filipino history, and homegrown art and culture,” Natividad explains.  “It started out as a tourism program for Malolos in 2011 highlighted by events and activities that aim to educate Filipinos about Malolos “historic” role and commemorate the gallantry and wisdom of the forefathers of Philippine revolution.


Celebrating true Filipino Identity

Aside from its history, key events happening throughout Fiesta Republica 2017 highlight the rich culture and heritage that make Malolos a vibrant, multi-faceted city.  There’s Kalutong Malolos, which showcases the rich variety of its cuisine through a culinary contest, while Hataw sa Sining aims to surface the prowess of Malolenyos in performance arts with dance and music competitions.  As part of the promotion of sports tourism in the city, cyclist and bike enthusiast are also invited to the Malolos Bike Festival.


The historic date itself will kick off with the Parade ng Republika from the Malolos Basillica Minore to the Malolos Sports & Convention Center, to be joined by Mayor Natividad himself.  Other events set to make the day exciting include, among many others, the Dulansangan, a street dance-dram competition to promote local history among the youth, and the Pasiklaban ng mga Banda competition, which showcases the unique brass band tradition of Malolos.

Some of the Happenings at the Fiesta Republica. 
(Marching Band - Dunglasan -  Float Parade)

More than simply celebrating the vibrancy of the city of Malolos, Mayor Natividad has a bigger dream for everyone who will join in on this meaningful occasion.



“The one thing I’d like every Malolenyo and every Filipino – from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – to take away from this celebration is that, we all must learn to love our flag, our country, first and foremost,” Natividad explained.  “Let’s all remember and celebrate our very roots for us to have a deeper understanding of how we can best move forward towards a progressive future.”

Know more about the City of Malolos is reigniting Filipinos’ sense of pride and love for flag and country via Fiesta Republica 2017 by visiting https://www.facebook.com/fiestarepublica

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