Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to Cope Up with Homesickness?

 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 kick in, video calls sometimes just don’t cut it anymore.

When these happen, 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.
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

foodpanda Chief Promises to Deliver

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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10 Foolproof ways to a Healthier Lifestyle

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!

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PAMI Brings Together Economic Experts in Cebu


 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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Monday, February 06, 2017

Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students Beyond Brushstrokes Part2


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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Friday, February 03, 2017

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


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 

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


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 are 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 Basilica 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-drama 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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