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Marco Polo Cebu marks Chinese New Year 2018 with traditional ceremony, food fest

Celebrating the Chinese New Year is tradition in Cebu, and no one does it better than Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. The hotel welcomed CNY 2018, the Year of the Earth…

AI to boost revenues, create more jobs: Accenture report

Rather than displace human workers, artificial intelligence or AI will create more jobs and boost company revenues, according to a report by Accenture. If businesses invest in AI and human-machine…

New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to…

Vivant Foundation pioneers solar power curriculum in Bantayan, donates equipment

Through photos and imagination. That was how Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) students of Bantayan National High School learned some of their lessons, said Grade 12 student Mc Jemart Martinez….

SM2SM Run 2018 adds age categories, offers bigger prizes

The SM2SM Run returns for the eighth straight year with a new route, bigger prizes, open and age categories, and newer shirt and medal designs. Race organizer Joel Baring said…

Air Juan to start flights soon from seaplane terminal in SRP, Cebu City

Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the…

Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018: One-stop-shop for travel

Whether you’re planning a local trip or going to any country in the world, get great deals in airfare and tour packages to your chosen destination during the Cebu Travel…

TAGA Your Origin shirts make fun, quirky Sinulog 2018 #OOTDs

Show pride of place in your Sinulog Festival 2018 street fashion by wearing customizable shirts that celebrate your origin courtesy of new online shop TAGA. Taga asa ka? Taga Opon?…

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu cooks up Sugbusog feast for Sinulog 2018

Cebu’s Sinulog Festival deserves a feast just as grand and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu obliges with the culinary experience “Sugbusog 2018: Gikan sa Bukid ug Dagat” at Cafe Marco. Up…

Islands Souvenirs highlights tribal fusion in Cut & Style Sinulog 2018 designs

Tribal fusion characterized by feathers and gems is this year’s theme for the Islands Souvenirs Cut & Style campaign as it returns for the sixth year with a new lineup…

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop highlights Filipino creativity in arts, craft

Handmade shoes and bags, beautiful art pillows, novelty fabric, fashion accessories, and home accents curated by renowned Cebuano fashion designer Philip Rodriguez are available in the NEST Home and Fabrique…

Handmade shoes and bags, beautiful art pillows, novelty fabric, fashion accessories, and home accents curated by renowned Cebuano fashion designer Philip Rodriguez are available in the NEST Home and Fabrique Shop.

The shop, which opened yesterday, is located on 38 Gorordo Avenue, beside Ramen Kamekichi.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

Door stoppers

“NEST is the ideal shopping destination or distinct gift items. It is a special collaboration of innovative artist-entrepreneurs where fashion meets home ware,” the company said in a statement.

In curating products for the shop, Rodriguez said he is on the lookout for “anything Filipino but very contemporary.”

Among the items sold in the shop are beautifully crafted furniture made of denim and driftwood and done by a group of women in northern Cebu.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

Beautiful art pillows

“We want more artisan crafts,” Rodriguez said, “to preserve our heritage.”

Also available in the store are accessories made of sea glass. “These are broken glass that you see it in the shoreline and they polish it and with the help of the Dutch government they train the women to turn it into jewelry accessories,” he said.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

OPENING. (From left) Patrice Uytengsu, Selina Romualdez, Vanessa Gaston, and Philip Rodriguez during the opening of NEST Home and Fabrique Shop.

The items, along with the artworks that are displayed, will be regularly updated.

“We will be regularly changing the theme. Every season there will be new personalities coming in whom we will highlight,” he said.

“NEST takes pride in promoting the integrity of Filipino creativity and supporting the advocacy of the Filipino artist by providing an accessible and fitting venue to showcase their works of art,” the company said.

NEST is open 11 am to 7 pm on Mondays to Saturdays. For more information, you can contact the shop at +6332 231 2590.

More photos of NEST Home and Fabrique Shop opening

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

SEA GLASS. This necklace is made from polished broken glass weathered by the sea and found on the shore.

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

LOCATION. NEST Home and Fabrique Shop is located on 38 Gorordo Avenue, beside Ramen Kamekichi.

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Golden Prince Hotel and Suites relaunches Q Cafe with new look, more menu offerings

Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites strengthens existing recipes and adds more choices, as it refreshes the brand look with a miniature cup of coffee infused with a…

Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites strengthens existing recipes and adds more choices, as it refreshes the brand look with a miniature cup of coffee infused with a golden aroma.

“Relaunching the Q Cafe is part of efforts to step up our game through constant improvement of our services and amenities, especially now that Golden Prince Hotel has been awarded a 4-star status,” said Vice President for Corporate Communications Aaron Que.

Q Cafe Golden Prince Hotel

New menu offerings

Positioned as a trendy neighborhood cafe outlet, Q Cafe now serves meals in addition to the regular offerings of pastries, sandwiches, pasta and beverages like frapponillas and fresh fruit shakes. Other new additions to the menu include assorted cupcakes and various pies.

Under pasta, Q Cafe already carries bolognese, carbonara, and aglio olio.

Q Cafe, which is open 24 hours from Monday to Sunday, also now offers breakfast items and has brought back that well-loved Filipino specialty pochero in the menu.

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel

RELAUNCH. Vice President for Corporate Communications Aaron Que talks about the relaunching of Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites.

Q Cafe bestsellers

All-time favorites like the ube and cheese ensaimada, whole cakes or slices, and the five seasons halo-halo have been retained. Que said the five seasons stand for the top five halo-halo ingredients: ube, leche flan, nangka, mango, and buko.

The new and improved menu retains as well the signature specialty coffee.

According to Que, Q Cafe’s new brand look signifies their dedication to creating the perfect coffee shop experience for customers.

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel

Pochero

Season offerings

Perfect for home and office parties are the Christmas party-to-go packages that offer such selections as beef salpicao, fish fillet in sweet and sour, crispy fried chicken, beef caldereta, special bam-i, orange country ribs, chow pat chin, spaghetti bolognese, aglio olio, fried rice, and fruit salad.

At the end of every weekday, Q Cafe celebrates with Frapponilla Friday, when the espresso-based ice blended drinks only cost P100 per order.

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

On Frapponilla Friday, the espresso-based ice blended drinks only cost P100 per order.

Another sweet offering: You get a free cup of freshly brewed coffee for every purchase of a slice of cake priced at only P120.

Q Cafe is located at the ground floor of Golden Prince Hotel (Tower 2) at Acacia Street corner Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City.

More photos of QCafe relaunch

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

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Axis Entertainment Avenue lines up fun activities for holiday season

Axis Entertainment Avenue transforms into a Christmas Candy Land and celebrates the festive season with live bands, holiday bazaar, and weekend farmers’ market. Ian Martin Borromeo of Vibo Place said…

Axis Entertainment Avenue transforms into a Christmas Candy Land and celebrates the festive season with live bands, holiday bazaar, and weekend farmers’ market.

Ian Martin Borromeo of Vibo Place said they have lined up several fun activities in time for the holiday celebration because they want the best experiences in the best surroundings for their customers.

Axis Entertainment Avenue is part of the two-hectare development along Escario St. that was rebranded to Vibo Place from its old name of Cebu Capitol Commercial Complex Corp. The area also hosts Cebu Grand Hotel, The Apartelle, and and CAIAA Center.

Axis Vibo Place Christmas

LAUNCHING. Ian Martin Borromeo (left) and Allen Andre B. Suarez during the launching of Christmas Candy Land at the Axis Entertainment Venue.

“We have live bands performing at the Axis Courtyard several times a week, a farmers’ market during the weekends, and holiday market where aspiring entrepreneurs get to display their wares,” he added during the Christmas Candy Land launch last November 30, 2017.

Christmas activities

The Christmas activities at Vibo Place are geared towards simple but joyful and meaningful celebrations, said marketing and leasing head Allen Andre B. Suarez.

He added that they were excited to offer more to customers, citing that new office spaces will be opened in Vibo Place and at a company-owned property just across the road in early 2018. Another plan for next year was to open residential spaces along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

Axis Vibo Place

This Christmas, guests can see large candy canes, giant lollipops, and peppermint candies spread throughout the place.

Axis Entertainment Avenue brims with good tidings for the Christmas season and guests can see over 50 large candy canes, giant lollipops, and peppermint candies spread throughout the place. The centerpiece decoration is the Gingerbread House, which is perfect for photos with families and friends.

As one of Cebu’s top dining and entertainment destinations, Axis Entertainment Avenue houses 22 tenants ranging from world-renowned brands to homegrown restaurants distributed among six clusters centered around the Axis Courtyard.

Axis Holiday Market

The Axis Holiday Market during the holiday season provides aspiring entrepreneurs and business-savvy professionals a venue to display their wares.

Axis Holiday Market

The Axis Holiday Market during the holiday season provides aspiring entrepreneurs and business-savvy professionals a venue to display their wares.

Axis has opened 24 slots, 13 of which have already been filled, for all manners of merchandise. Goods can range from clothes, perfumes, and accessories to various take-away dishes from all over the world.

A market slot with an area of 1.5 x 2m per costs only P2,000 per week and is open every Thursday-Sunday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Those interested in joining may reach out through the Axis Instagram and Facebook accounts, email axis@viboplace.com, or call (032) 412-2316.

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Rustan’s, HSBC offer exciting prizes in Christmas promo

Round-trip business class tickets for 2 to destinations such as London, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York, and Sydney are among the exclusive prizes offered by the Rustan’s Extraordinary…

Round-trip business class tickets for 2 to destinations such as London, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York, and Sydney are among the exclusive prizes offered by the Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas Promo.

The promos are a partnership between Rustan Group of Companies (RGOC) and Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). It offer 165 exciting prizes.

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas promo

Samsonite Luggage Set

Those who wanderlust will rejoice, as travel tickets from Philippine Airlines are up for grabs. Six lucky winners will be chosen to receive Business Class Tickets for two to the most amazing destinations:

  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to London
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Auckland, New Zealand
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Kuala Lumpur
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Bangkok
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to New York (exclusive to HSBC Cardholders)
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Sydney (exclusive to HSBC Cardholders)

Aside from the grand prizes, 165 luxurious picks and gifts are up for grabs when you shop from fragrances to jewels, luggage and pampering treatments from across the RGOC stores.

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas promo

Sentry Safe

Win exciting items from Samsonite, Ascot Chang, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Hermès Fragrances, Bergamo, Sentry Safe, Jewelmer, Tumi, Lego, Dooney & Bourke, Rayban and Kipling. Not forgetting gift sets from Rustan’s the Beauty Source, La Prairie, Estee Lauder, Burt’s Bees, Rustan’s Home, Rustan’s Children and Royal Duty Free, and vouchers from Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Rustan’s Flower Shop, Sta. Elena Properties and Starbucks Coffee.

Grocery partners such as Rustan’s Supermarket and Shopwise are also giving away impressive shopping sprees. For the top prizes, look forward becoming one of five winners of P65,000 shopping sprees from Rustan’s Department Store, while one winner will be credited P65,000 on their HSBC Credit Card.

For the first time ever, Rustan’s features an online/electronic system for customers to enter raffle entries for the whole RGOC group. Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas promo is open to all customers shopping at any of the participating RGOC stores.

Burt’s Bees Gift Set

Joining the raffle is simple! Earn e-raffle codes and enter the raffle entries online through www.rustanspromo.com. One e-raffle code is given for every P3,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Department Stores, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Adora and participating brands from Stores Specialists, Inc., while one e-raffle code is given for every P1,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, TWG, Oliviers & Co., SaladStop!, Royal Duty Free Subic, and Rustan’s Flower Shop. To triple chances of winning, use an HSBC credit card to earn x3 raffle codes.

Shop until Christmas Eve (December 24) and upload the codes until December 31, 2017, end of day at 12MN. Winners will be drawn via Electronic Raffle Draw on January 10, 2018, and will be notified via registered mail.

Rustans, HSBC Christmas Promo

Stay at The Guesthouse in Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate.

Another exciting upgrade this Christmas, Rustan’s opens its Christmas Registry, making the gifting season the best – and the most convenient – one yet.

From Christmas to every special occasion throughout the year, give and receive the most heartfelt and desired gifts through the Rustan’s Gift Registry. Make important events and occasions even more memorable with the help of the most preferred consultants from the Rustan’s Christmas Registry.

For more information, visit www.rustans.com.ph or follow @RustansPH on Instagram and /RustansPH on Facebook. (Press Release)

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas Promo

Swarovski

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Cebu Link Joint Venture issued Notice of Award for Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project…

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project that will connect Cebu City to the Municipality of Cordova in the island of Mactan.

CLJV is a joint venture of Spain-based Acciona Construccion S. A., and Philippine-based First Balfour Inc. and D. M. Consunji Inc., all of which have proven track records in major infrastructure projects.

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) issued the Notice of Award to CLJV on November 23, 2017 at an agreed contract amount of P22.6 billion.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities.

CCLEC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly-listed infrastructure holding company. MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines that has now expanded its business in other Asean countries namely, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. The CCLEX is the first of MPTC’s envisioned toll road expansion projects in Visayas and Mindanao.

Acciona’s Ruben Camba, representing the CLJV, said: “We are delighted to be part of this landmark project. We have put together a very experienced team, and are looking forward to working closely together with the customer to deliver a new toll bridge that will benefit both local communities and the Philippines.”

“We are very confident that we can deliver a quality state-of-the-art bridge that will provide not just travel efficiency but also drive economic growth and productivity in the entire Visayas region, and improve the overall welfare of the Cebuanos,” said CCLEC President and General Manager Allan Alfon.

“We are happy to be given this opportunity to bring to Cebu and share with the Cebuanos and the people in the Visayas in general, our company’s expertise in building and operating world-class highways and bridges to create more opportunities and spur economic growth,” MPTC President Rodrigo Franco said.

The CCLEX will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

CCLEC will build, operate and maintain the toll bridge through a joint venture agreement with the local governments of Cebu City and Cordova Municipality.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities. The span of the bridge allows for shipping traffic and the link is expected to serve at least 40,000 vehicles daily. It will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the groundbreaking for the project in Cordova, Cebu last March 2, 2017. (Press Release)

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Robotics Cup builds foundation for future tech workers

“Failure in our school is not an option,” said Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano. “It is a necessity.” Quijano is the founder and managing director of Compass Education, which promotes STEAM education…

“Failure in our school is not an option,” said Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano. “It is a necessity.”

Quijano is the founder and managing director of Compass Education, which promotes STEAM education and 21st century learning skills built on creativity, innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

“Failure in a STEAM classroom is a necessity because we’re trying to inculcate in our kids, as young as they are, that sometimes the most profound lessons they will learn are actually in their mistakes,” Quijano said during the media briefing for the 3rd Robotics Cup at the Accenture office in eBloc 2 at the Asiatown IT Park.

Accenture, Compass Robotics Cup

MEDIA BRIEFING. (From left) Accenture managing director Arvin Yason, Compass Education managing director Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano, and engineer Tristan Abando of DOST 7 during the media briefing on the 3rd Robotics Cup held last month.

Hands-on learning

The 3rd Robotics Cup was held last November 11 and 12 at the SM Seaside City.

Winners of the event included student teams that offered solutions to such issues as trash, transportation, weather monitoring and health. (See photos below)

Quijano stressed the need for students to learn in a hands-on environment.

“When you just let your kids sit down and memorize, you waste their brains. We believe in hands-on learning. Children are hungry for that,” she said. “We can’t sit down the whole day listening to facts. I don’t get that.”

The Robotics Cup was supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Accenture.

Better understanding

“We believe in Accenture that there is a need to bolster efforts to create a better understanding of these technologies,” said Grace Cuenca, Media and Analyst Relations Lead of Accenture in the Philippines, during the press briefing.

The partnership to support the event “is growing,” said engineer Tristan Abando of DOST 7.

“We are very happy because it’s really the private industry that’s spearheading to introduce this to our young kids. Robotics is one of the areas where the DOST is a delving into, especially for our research and development,” Abando said.

Accenture managing director Arvin Yason said the partnership for the event does not just lead to students understanding technologies like artificial intelligence or AI but to actually “build skills for AI.”

Accenture AI

FACIAL RECOGNITION. A demo of a system built by an Accenture employee that is able to scan a crowd and deduce demographic data such as age and moods. Among potential applications are for use by retail establishments or even a quick survey of people’s responses.

Opportunities on AI

Yason said Accenture defines AI as any system that can, on its own, sense, comprehend, act, and learn.

“Three of these core components of AI are already part of the kits that the participants are using,” Yason said. “What differentiates true AI is the learning portion.”

He said AI is an important technology because it can increase profitability of companies. “We’re looking at AI doubling the profitability in the next 10 to 20 years,” he said.

Yason said AI can also boost productivity.

He said Accenture has identified 4 imperatives that industries, organizations, and even nations need to focus on to maximize opportunities in AI.

“I’ll focus on the first one: preparing the next generation for artificial intelligence. There is a need to consciously focus actions and ensure that the upcoming generation of people not just developers but also artists etc. are prepared to maximize the AI potential,” Yason said.

He said Accenture is doing this through various initiatives internally and externally. Supporting events like the Robotics Cup, he said, is among the key initiatives.

Robotics Cup winners

PULSO. Krisha Suico, Gwyneth Seciban, John Hora of the Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built Pulso, an Arduino-based pulse rate monitoring device. It alerts registered guardians via SMS and contacts the nearest hospital whenever the user’s pulse rate reaches a critical limit. The team won 1st place in Everyday Solutions.

 

Robotics Cup Accenture

WEATHER MONITORING. Gregory William Liu, Charis Philip Palacio, and TG Giles Geonzon of Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built ARAW or the Arduino-Powered Assistive Weather Monitoring Device. The system seeks to provide accurate and real-time information on “health influencing weather parameters.” They won 1st place in Growing City Solutions category.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu

RECYCLING. Hyeonseo “Rose” Kim, Clarice Alexandria Asero, and Chelsea Megan Sim of SAGE Prepschool House built a model of a recycling facility with a claw machine that picks up and segregates trash for cleaning and recycling. They won 1st place in the Loving Our Planet category.

 

Robotics Cebu

MONORAIL. Cowan Noel Adlawan, Andre Paramide, and Sean Lerin of Blessed Trinity Achiever’s Academy built this model of a monorail. “If people ride it, there will be less cars on the road. It is similar to a train but it will be helpful to our environment because it will not run on fossil fuels,” they said. They won 1st place in Traffic Solutions.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu

GripAID. The Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus team of John Burtland Allosada, James Gabriel Casia, and Cleo Agustein Sevilla created GridAID as a way to help people with grip disabilities by providing them additional grip strength. The team said GripAID is lightweight and low-cost and can be powered by a consumer power banks such as those used for phones and other portable gadgets. They got an Accenture Innovation Prize.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu, Accenture

SAFETY FOR BIKERS. The team of Mike Payo, John Burtland Allosada, and Jojemar Janea of the Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built Safemo, a proximity-sensing device with GPS tracker for bikers. The Safemo alerts the biker whenever a vehicle is near. The team also won an Accenture Innovation Prize.

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Marco Polo Plaza marks season of giving with Christmas Tree of Hope

Amid joyful songs and graceful dances, Marco Polo Plaza lights up one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Cebu to mark the beginning of the festive season. But this…

Amid joyful songs and graceful dances, Marco Polo Plaza lights up one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Cebu to mark the beginning of the festive season.

But this isn’t just any ordinary holiday decoration; it is the Christmas Tree of Hope.

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

CHRISTMAS POEM. Marco Polo Plaza general manager Brian Connelly reads a Christmas poem to mark the lighting of the hotel’s Tree of Hope.

During this season of giving, the Tree of Hope accepts donations for underprivileged Filipinos through hotel partner GMA Kapuso Foundation.

Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly said during the lighting of the Christmas Tree of Hope last November 25, 2017 that it has given more than a million pesos to aid in such projects as Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan, Give a Gift Project, and Operation Bayanihan.

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

One of the performances during the event.

Christmas Tree of Hope donations

Becoming part of this exemplary enterprise is easy. All you need to do is buy a Christmas ball for 200 pesos each and you get to hang it on the Tree of Hope with your good wishes, said Marco Polo Plaza Communications Manager Manna Alcazar.

The hotel has partnered with one of the world’s top airlines, Cathay Pacific, for Christmas 2017 so donors get a chance to win something for themselves when they donate to the Christmas Tree of Hope.

Those who buy two or more Christmas balls get a raffle ticket and a chance at the round trip flight to Hong Kong prize care of Cathay Pacific.

Performances by the Children’s Paradise Montessori Choir, Cebu Centre for Dance, Dreamcatchers, and GMA’s Migo Adecer entertained guests during the tree-lighting ceremony.

Tree of Hope

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

GMA 7 Cebu station manager Ann Marie Tan.

 

Connie Cimafranca of Cathay Pacific.

 

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

DONATION. Buy a Christmas ball for 200 pesos each and you get to hang it on the Tree of Hope with your good wishes. If you buy 2 or more, you get a raffle ticket and a chance at the round-trip flight to Hong Kong prize care of Cathay Pacific.

 

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

The beautiful Tree of Hope dominates the Marco Polo Plaza lobby.

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Waze now offers motorcycle as vehicle type

Waze has added motorcycle as new vehicle type in the traffic app “to ensure that all motorcyclists are able to navigate through roads more safely.” In addition to enjoying the…

Waze has added motorcycle as new vehicle type in the traffic app “to ensure that all motorcyclists are able to navigate through roads more safely.”

In addition to enjoying the standard suite of Waze benefits, including alerts on police, speed-camera and speed traps, road closures, restrictions and more – motorcycle drivers will also enjoy:

  • Improved routes based on information from fellow motorcyclists
  • Better arrival time estimations that may vary from automobile ETAs
  • Routing on narrow roads where cars are not permitted
  • New motorcycle cursor for vehicle type; new motorcycle moods available to all Wazers
  • Easy navigation without touching the phone – to ensure a safe ride, all motorcyclists can utilize voice commands so they don’t need to touch the phone while docked/they’re driving.

Waze Motorcycle

To turn on routing for motorcycles, visit Settings > Vehicle type and tap “Motorcycles”.

Drive times, routes and roads vary between automobiles and motorcycles. By including a new vehicle type, Waze expands its support to include a driving experience unique to motorcycle navigation.

Motorcyclists play an important role in mobility, the world over.

Due to their size and agility, motorcycles are an efficient and economical solution for many living in busy urban centers. They are becoming more useful in European cities, where automobiles are barred from accessing narrow roads. In Asia Pacific countries, motorcycles are a primary mode of transportation.

The new feature answers a call made by countless Waze fans the world over.

By adding a distinction within vehicle types, and adding motorcycles to the group – data collection will increase in accuracy. All drivers, regardless of car type, will also will benefit.

(Note: All Wazers are encouraged to enter their destination as they are stationary in a safe spot before following directions to an end destination.) (Press Release)

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Detox Bar health drinks, food now in TONIQ Juice Bar

Health drinks, cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies, and whole foods by the Detox Bar will be available in TONIQ Juice Bar. The Detox Bar and TONIQ Juice Bar not only want…

Health drinks, cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies, and whole foods by the Detox Bar will be available in TONIQ Juice Bar.

The Detox Bar and TONIQ Juice Bar not only want to offer better food choices but also help educate and promote lifestyle change as a way to wellness and environmental well-being.

TONIQ Juice Bar is located at the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu and at the upper ground floor of SM City Cebu. Orders may also be made at online delivery service via Food Panda.

Detox Bar Cebu TONIQ

TONIQ Juice Bar is located at the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu and at the upper ground floor of SM City Cebu. Orders may also be made at online delivery service via Food Panda.

“Partnering with TONIQ team provides better opportunity for me to realize my vision of the company in extending opportunities to the farmers and everyone in the company to the local community. This is my commitment that in every product and service that we offer resonates my uncompromising advocacy towards health and the environment,” said Anne Dala, the founder and owner of The Detox Bar.

Through the partnership, TONIQ will soon become an all naturally-farmed and locally produced health and wellness place that will serve a unique variety of crafted health drinks and plant-based food which will be affordable and accessible to everyone, the company said.

TONIQ will offer The Detox Bar’s comprehensive healthy menu from breakfast to dinner such as Superbowl Breakfast, Oats Champorado with Cacao Nibs, various Rice Bowl options, organic salads, pasta, pizza, soup, wraps and sandwiches, and desserts.

Detox Bar Cebu

HEALTH DRINKS. The Detox Bar’s products are now available at TONIQ.

Starting November 25, aside from The Detox Bar’s signature plant-based meals and brewed health drinks, its flagship product “3-day Detox Program” for natural healing and weight-loss will be also available in TONIQ Outlets.

“These products are 100% all-natural which is guaranteed safe and healthy for people of all ages. Even kids would love our detox juices and meals. Aside from that, I conduct wellness coaching and cooking demos with my clients for me to be able to help them assess their health needs too,” Dala said.

Dala shares her knowledge in integrative nutrition through Food Revolution, an international movement that aims to combat malnutrition and obesity. She also expanded her services by providing customized diet-plan packed meals through her Real-food Delivery for busy people who have no time in preparing good food.

Anne Dala Detox Bar Cebu

ADVOCACY. The Detox Bar owner and founder Anne Dala says their products “are 100% all-natural which is guaranteed safe and healthy for people of all ages.”

“God intended to create fruits and vegetables for our consumption and this isn’t only limited to filling and satisfying our tummies but more than anything, to heal us naturally as well,” Anne remarked.

To learn more, Like Detox Bar-Cebu and TONIQPH on Facebook. You may also contact them at (6332) 2547864, 09985893356, or 09171580984 or info.thedetoxbar@gmail.com.

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GCash launches Scan to Pay QR code payments in Ayala Center Cebu

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app. The digital and cashless Scan To Code…

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app.

The digital and cashless Scan To Code payment system was launched yesterday afternoon by Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu, who bought coffee and pastries in Abaca Baking Company by scanning a QR or quick response code near the cash register area.

Among the 50 stores that can accept payments via QR code scanning are Bo’s Coffee, Chika-an, Casa Verde, and Rose Pharmacy. By the end of the year, more than 100 stores will be able to use this payment option, the company said.

GCash scan to pay

SCAN TO PAY. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu scans a QR code with his GCash app to pay for the coffee and pastries he bought from the Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu.

Easy to set up

Officials said it is easy for vendors to integrate the payment system since all they need is the QR code.

“The people who have used it are amazed at the speed, amazed at the convenience of it,” Cu said in an interview during the launch. He flew into Cebu from Davao, where they also launched the system by partnering with the NCCC supermarket chain.

To pay using the system in partner stores, customers just need to open the GCash app then tap Pay QR, then choose Scan QR and then point the camera at the QR Code near the cash register then tap Pay.

“It is high time that our customers at Ayala Center Cebu experience the convenience of cashless transactions and offer scan to pay with GCash. This way, more people will have hassle-free options in making their transactions as they shop or dine at the mall,” said Ayala Center Cebu general manager Bong Dy.

Before the launch, Globe gave journalists and bloggers a preview on how to set up GCash and use the app to buy cellphone load. GCash allows its users to shop online, pay bills, and send money through the app.

GCash Scan to Pay

LAUNCHING. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu answer questions of Cebu reporters during the launch of GCash Scan To Pay in Ayala Center Cebu.

Digital payments convenience

Cu highlighted the convenience of digital payments, saying cash “is a real burden for both the merchant and the buyer.”

“I heard a chain of 70 stores in the food business saying they accumulate 2 million pesos worth of coins before Christmas because they are afraid to run out. That’s a problem we need to solve,” he said.

Cu said he is “very confident” people will eventually adopt digital payments “because it solves a problem.”

“I personally have been using GCash for 4 years now. We started in the Globe tower. There was resistance in the beginning but then people used it and there was 99 percent satisfaction rating among employees,” he said.

Analytics for vendors

For merchants, satisfaction is even higher, said Cu.

“When merchants start the day, they just open up. There’s no need to prepare the cash register. And they get analytics, when is your heaviest transaction time? We can finetune the way we curate the vendors or the partners inside our food hall. Alam namin kung sinong malakas kung sinong mahina. Alam namin kung sinong malakas at the certain time of the day. We can do those analytics for them,” he said. “Which guy buys the most from you? Who are your repeat customers? You wanna do a campaign for them? Pwede rin. So many things we can do.”

He said digital payments create opportunities, especially for small business. “When I say small, I mean really small, kasi remember the GCash payment can be enabled for even your balut vendor, your cigarette vendor, your mais vendor. Kasi it requires no POS, just that particular QR code. That’s all you need,” Cu said.

He said the important challenge is to solve problems on cashing in. He said a key funder of GCash accounts are the more than 300,000 employees who receive their pay via the system.

GCash Scan to Pay QR Code

GCASH APP. You can Scan To Pay via the GCash mobile app.

Financial inclusion

Another key challenge is to raise awareness, he said.

“But we will hit the inflection point and it becomes the de facto standard of payment. I mean it happened in China, there was acceleration. It happened in India. Smartphones are coming with lower prices. A P3,000 gets you a decent Android now, which can make this happen,” Cu said.

He said the system is also a way to increase financial inclusion.

“As we gain records of your financial transactions, we are now able to give you a credit score. Together with your telco transactions, we can loan money in micro amounts, automatically. And say because of your transaction record you’re eligible for a loan of X pesos. You can also pay back through GCash. That way you don’t even have to enter a bank,” Cu said.

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Ashima: A simplified, flexible payroll system on cloud

Whether you are to file, track, and manage your leaves or get paid for an overtime and view your payslip, all these can now be done online and even on…

Whether you are to file, track, and manage your leaves or get paid for an overtime and view your payslip, all these can now be done online and even on mobile with the newly released payroll system called Ashima.

Ashima integrates Human Resource (HR) processes from employee onboarding to payroll management, that is government compliant, and in a user-friendly platform. It is highly flexible to suit company’s needs.

Joe Mercado, the CEO of Cebu-based IT company Konsum Technologies Inc., said that the strength of Ashima is its ability to customize. “Ashima means ‘limitless’. Everything here is parameterized. You can make employees’ passwords expire or not. Everything depends on you.”

Transparency is another thing. With Konsum’s payroll system, employees who go on field are able to clock in.

Mercado said there are three ways to logged in the app and these are via kiosk, desktop, and mobile.

“If you use mobile, it automatically takes your GPS and snaps a selfie of you. It’s transparency,” he added. “When you file an adjustment and its pending and your supervisor doesn’t act on it, his or her head will know.”

Ashima Konsum

MOBILE. Screenshots of the Ashima app.

App features

Aside from the leave and overtime application online, Ashima is also able to accommodate change schedule requests, give real-time count of available leaves, view work schedules, access payroll history and many more.

The payroll system is highly configurable, easy to setup and can even carry more than one company.

“It sits on cloud, hence no security issues. All data are encrypted so nobody can see it. The communication is also secure via ssl,” said Mercado.

He added that Ashima can handle all pay scenarios from weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.

For the side of the HR department, it becomes easier to consolidate employee data as Ashima captures information real time and goes on a cloud storage.

With all the features mentioned, Ashima is reasonably priced starting at P50 per employee per month for a minimum of 25 employees.

Ashima payroll

Konsum Technologies Inc. CEO Joe Mercado (third from left) talks about the features of their newly released payroll system Ashima.

First clients

Mercado meantime shared that it took his company almost three years to develop Ashima.

“Very late last year, we started offering the system to Cebu companies. Most of our first clients are from the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry. They are adaptive to technology. Then we had Construction companies,” he said, adding that they are now offering Ashima to Manila.

To learn more about Ashima, visit its website at www.ashima.ph or get in touch with their Sales Team at email address sales@konsum.ph, telephone number +63.32.4127888 or mobile number +63.9176258603.

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Shangri-La’s Mactan lines up festive events in Yuletide Bliss

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu transforms into a whimsical oasis as it celebrates the Christmas holidays with a generous bundle of five-star dining experiences and exhilarating recreational fun in…

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu transforms into a whimsical oasis as it celebrates the Christmas holidays with a generous bundle of five-star dining experiences and exhilarating recreational fun in “Yuletide Bliss.”

The seaside resort brightens up for the festive season with adornments of blue and gold, seen nowhere more clearly than in the cluster of magical Christmas trees and hot air balloon decor in the lobby area.

Memorable moments await all guests, who are encouraged to share their holiday stories with the #AlwaysMerryHere tag.

Christmas is also the season of giving and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa pays it forward with a generous donation to the completion of the Sustainable Garden of Children’s Haven Orphanage.

The resort also contributed to the orphanage in behalf of media guests who attended the tree-lighting ceremony held last November 24, 2017.

Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa Christmas

CHRISTMAS LIGHTING. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle listen to Christmas carols during a performance held to mark the lighting of the resort’s Christmas Tree.

Christmas dinners

No celebration is ever complete without a feast, and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa has lined up a variety of options for guests at its world class restaurants.

Tides will serve a world of flavors in a Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet at P2,650++ per person and a Christmas Day Dinner Buffet at P2,450++ per person. It includes free-flowing red, white, and sparkling wine, plus a meaningful serenade by a Christmas choir.

Italian restaurant Acqua and seafood al fresco Cowrie Cove will both have Christmas Eve set dinners available at P2,250++per person and P2,650++ per person, respectively. Both are four-course set menus inclusive of a celebratory glass of Prosecco.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu tree lighting

#AlwaysMerryHere. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu general manager Rene Egle welcomes guests to the resort’s tree lighting. The resort encouraged guests to share their holiday stories with the #AlwaysMerryHere tag.

Wine Bar offers a breezy seaside nightcap with Flair Tending Shows by its very own bar talents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Christmas Day in a tropical wonderland is all about fun and even Santa gets in on the action. Instead of a sleigh, Santa Claus will come at 11 a.m. on Christmas Day in a thrilling parasail ride to the beachfront. He will visit the Adventure Zone gardens and Tides to greet guests.

CELEBRATION. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza.

New Year feasts

The coming of the New Year brings with it its own tantalizing celebrations. Shangri-La’s Mactan welcomes 2018 with a combination of scrumptious food, free-flowing wine, and marvelous entertainment.

At Tides, there will be a New Year’s Eve Dinner Buffet at P2,650++ per person and New Year’s Day Sparkling Dinner Buffet at P2,250++ per person. Both come with free-flowing wine and marvelous performances by a Flash Mob and Strolling Band.

As midnight draws near, guests may enjoy the night away in glamor and wonder at the Under the Stars Countdown Party. The event starts at 11 p.m. at The Marquee with door charge of P2,500 net per person. A spectacular fireworks follows at the beachfront.

Shangri-La's Mactan Yuletide Bliss

Festive activities

Early on January 1, the resort arranges a refreshing start for 2018 with the New Year’s Day Yoga from 7 a.m. at the beachfront. A fit and fabulous day continues in the afternoon through the New Year’s Day Aqua Aerobics at 4:30 p.m. at the Main Pool.

Other activities lined up for the festive season: holiday wellness package at CHI, The Spa; arts and crafts at Adventure Zone; Movie Under the Stars on Christmas Day; and 12 Days of Christmas Instagram contest for resort guests.

For inquiries and reservations, guests may call (63 32) 231 0288 or send an email to fbreservations.mac@shangri-la.com.

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Cebu Parklane goes green, gives hope, saves lives this Christmas

Cebu Parklane International Hotel gives more meaning to a traditional Christmas celebration by lighting a beautiful tree made purely out of recycled materials and starting a fundraising campaign for kids…

Cebu Parklane International Hotel gives more meaning to a traditional Christmas celebration by lighting a beautiful tree made purely out of recycled materials and starting a fundraising campaign for kids with leukemia.

The celebration of Christmas is about giving life and hope, and the hotel aims to do both this festive season, said Parklane general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

Christmas Tree lighting Parklane

LIGHTING THE TREE. Cebu Parklane International Hotel officials led by general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan (3rd from left), former Department of Tourism 7 director Dawnie Roa (center), and Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale toast the lighting of the Christmas tree at the lobby.

“For past five years, Parklane has embarked on a campaign to go green. We have used water bottles and other trash we’ve collected to make beautiful things,” she added.

Parklane lights up a towering tree made out of Coca-Cola tin cans last November 14, also as a way of showcasing its partnership with the beverage company.

Coca-Cola will donate a chemotherapy vial for sick children helped by the Cancer Warriors Foundation for every trinket sold through the hotel’s “I can go green, I can save lives, I can because of a can” Christmas 2017 campaign.

Cebu Parklane International Hotel Christmas lighting

HELPING THE KIDS. Cebu Parklane International Hotel officials hand over a mock check to signify its donation of funds to help the treatment of children with cancer through the Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc.

Manguilimotan said kids with leukemia have the highest chances of surviving the cancer.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale was among the hotel’s tree-lighting guests. The hotel served a delicious spread of its unique take on favorite Cebuano food, including pungko-pungko and street food fare like fishball and squidball, during the well-attended event.

More photos during the Christmas Tree lighting at Cebu Parklane International Hotel

Christmas tree lighting

TREE LIGHTING. Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale speaks during the lighting of the Christmas tree.

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

Parklane general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bestselling YA authors Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga sign books for Cebu fans

Young Adult (YA) author Jennifer Smith was at a queue in a convenience store when the inspiration for her latest book Windfall came in the form of a man with…

Young Adult (YA) author Jennifer Smith was at a queue in a convenience store when the inspiration for her latest book Windfall came in the form of a man with stocks of lottery tickets in his hand.

“I’ve always been interested in moments of change, that exact time when someone’s life changes. There’s not a better example of that than through winning the lottery,” she explained in an interview shortly before a book signing event at Ayala Center Cebu.

National Book Store brought another two bestselling authors, Smith and Jasmine Warga, to the Philippines. NBS hosted the book signing events for Smith and Warga last November 11 in Cebu and on November 12 at SM Aura Premier in Taguig.

Smith authored several bestselling young adult novels, including “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight,” “This Is What Happy Looks Like,” and “The Geography of You and Me.” Warga wrote such books as “My Heart and Other Black Holes” and “Here We Are Now.”

Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga

BOOK SIGNING. Jasmine Warga (left) and Jennifer Smith talk to Cebu journalists before their book signing session with fans in Ayala Center Cebu.

Young Adult book themes

Windfall, which was published in May 2017, revolves around a young woman, Alice, who buys a lottery ticket for her best friend Teddy. It ends up winning him the $140 million but the money soon creates a gap between them.

Warga’s new book Here We Are Now tackles the life of Taliah, who recently meets her biological father Julian. He asks her to go to Indiana with him to meet her dying grandfather. Taliah goes on a journey with her father, and soon learns he wasn’t the father she hoped for all these years.

Her other book My Heart and Other Black Holes touches on such topics as teen romance, mental health, suicide and has been translated into over 20 languages.

Warga said music, though she has no aptitude for it in the way that musicians have, is a common theme of her book because she considers it the closest thing to magic in this world.

Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga

IN CEBU. Jennifer Smith and Jasmine Warga sign books for fans during an event in Cebu.

Writing inspirations

Smith and Warga talked about how they became writers, their writing process, inspiration for their books, and favorite authors.

The two said they had a great experience and already tasted a variety of Filipino food. What they haven’t done yet but wanted to do was try the local Jollibee branch.

All of Smith’s and Warga’s books are available at several National Book Store branches in the Philippines.

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Ford Philippines trains Cebu drivers on safe, smart driving

You are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt, Cebu drivers and traffic enforcers were told during the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) of Ford Philippines…

You are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt, Cebu drivers and traffic enforcers were told during the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) of Ford Philippines in SM City Cebu earlier today.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in an accident by 50% for front seat passengers and up to 75% for rear passengers, the instructor told the packed room. Everyone has to wear seatbelts because those who don’t are usually thrown off their seats during accidents and can injure or even kill those who buckled up, he said.

Ford Philippines driving skills for life

DON’T USE PHONES, GADGETS WHILE DRIVING. Ford Philippines AVP for Communications EJ Francisco taks about the #ParkYourPhone social media campaign to remind people not to use phones and other gadgets while driving.

Philippine situation

The DSFL “is a global program aimed at teaching drivers the necessary skills for safe and smart driving beyond what is learned in standard driver education programs,” said Ford Philippines AVP for Communications EJ Francisco.

Many Filipino drivers and even enforcers do not know existing traffic laws, fail to practice basic road courtesy, and disobey traffic signs, leading to accidents and traffic congestion, Francisco said.

Although the DSFL is a global program, it is customized to the driving environment and road condition of the Philippines. It’s long-time partner in the country is the Tuason Racing School.

Ford Philippines Driving Skills For Life

BLURRED VISION. A volunteer struggles to walk straight while wearing beer googles, which simulates the effect of drinking 4 bottles of beer, during a demonstration to show the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Dangers of distracted driving

The DSFL has classroom sessions and actual driving time to teach attendees safe and fuel-efficient driving. This year, the program added modules on the danger of distracted driving. This is partly to support the implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law in the country, Francisco said.

Ford Philippines is also doing a #ParkYourPhone social media campaign to remind people not to use phones and other gadgets while driving.

“At Ford, we want drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times because nothing is worth losing that special connection for,” the company said.

Since its launch in 2008, more than 20,000 Filipinos have joined DSFL sessions, Francisco said.

Ford Philippines

WHEN TO CHANGE TIRES. Driving Skills for Life Instructors show how to spot indicators on when to change your tires.

2017 program targets

For 2017, Ford Philippines is targeting to cover at least 1,500 participants with specific focus on public utility drivers like those for buses, jeepneys, taxis, and transport network vehicle services, “recognising their critical role as motorists in ensuring that roads and passenger journeys are safe.”

The program is also expanding to more areas outside Manila.

“We have always valued road safety at Ford, so we’re happy to bring our DSFL program to Cebu, mindful of the fact that there is a growing need to install to drivers the importance of safe driving,” Francisco said. “We are hopeful that through this program, drivers will be able to understand the critical role they play in ensuring that our roads are safe.”

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Voyager brings biggest online deals to Pinoys for Singles’ Day

Huge discounts are ahead for Pinoy online shoppers as they pick out their Singles’ Day purchases with the help of various digital apps and platforms from Voyager Innovations and its…

Huge discounts are ahead for Pinoy online shoppers as they pick out their Singles’ Day purchases with the help of various digital apps and platforms from Voyager Innovations and its business arms, including PayMaya Philippines, FINTQnologies, Inc. (FINTQ), hatch, and Takatack Technologies.

To kick things off this November, PayMaya is giving its users an exclusive 11% rebate from all their purchases on November 11, also known as Singles’ Day. Originating from China, Singles’ Day was established as a way for Chinese to celebrate being single. It turned into one of the biggest annual e-Commerce events the world over.

PayMaya users can use their Visa cards, Smart Mastercards, and in-app virtual cards to qualify for the 11% rebate whenever they make purchases in-store or online, whether they’re in the Philippines or abroad.

Biggest online shopping discounts

Aside from the Singles’ Day rebate promo, PayMaya is also giving all its users a massive 20% discount for the entire November in three of the country’s biggest online shopping destinations – Lazada, Zalora and Takatack.

For Lazada, shoppers only have to key in the promo code PYMYNOV upon checkout to get an extra 20% discount for a minimum purchase of only P500, valid for use multiple times with a maximum discount of P400 per transaction. This will come handy during Lazada’s Online Revolution shopping event, when Filipinos stand a chance to get big discounts on their favorite items and wish lists.

For Zalora, all they have to do is key in PAYMAYAHOLIDAY when they make purchases worth at least P1,000 to get 20% off upon checkout. They can use the code multiple times for the whole month of November to help them complete their OOTDs.

Shoppers can also get a huge 30% discount across all items when they shop at Takatack, the largest online discovery platform of Voyager, from November 9 to 11. They can get a maximum discount of P2,000 for purchases, with free shipping for purchases above P2,000.

But when shoppers use their PayMaya card to shop at Takatack this November, they can get an additional 20% off (maximum P500 discount) their purchase by entering the code 11+[First four digits of their PayMaya card] (ex. 114404)! This means they can get as much as 50% discount on items for Singles’ Day weekend, from November 9-11.

To complete the experience, when they register for an account on FINTQ’s digital lending platform Lendr.com.ph, users will also automatically get a P150 discount voucher which they can also use for Lazada, as well as a promo code for an 11% discount which they can use to shop at Takatack.

Shop without data charges

To make Filipinos’ online shopping experience convenient and hassle-free, free Internet platform freenet has partnered with Lazada to give free data access to their app for Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers.

All they have to do is download the freenet app on their Android or iOS device, register with their mobile number, and click the sidebar menu to turn on the Free Access toggle to begin setup. Once done, they can proceed to the Lazada app to enjoy a worry-free shopping experience without data charges.

And to spice things up more this shopping season, freenet is rewarding shoppers with free MB credits whenever they download or access various Voyager platforms starting November 11. Simply download the PayMaya and Takatack apps or access the Lendr website under the “Missions” tab within the freenet app to get an instant 100MB credit, which they can use to purchase data packages from the freenet Shop.

“This is our way of giving back to all our customers and partners. As we see adoption to our platforms grow, we hope more Filipinos get to enjoy the digital life and more businesses also get to benefit from the opportunities presented by digital. As the whole ecosystem grows, everyone grows too,” said Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO at Voyager Innovations.

Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart, has been leading the way in enabling consumers and enterprises to access the digital life with its unique and comprehensive suite of platforms in the areas of financial services, eCommerce, and marketing technologies.

Download PayMaya now:
iOS – https://goo.gl/T012hs
Android – https://goo.gl/9XYTsb

Get freenet:
iOS – http://frnt.ph/ios
Android – http://frnt.ph/android

Visit Takatack: www.takatack.com
Sign up for Lendr: www.lendr.com.ph

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Hit Bisrock musical Gugmang Giatay to be staged in Cebu on Friday

The runaway theatrical hit Gugmang Giatay The Musical is back and will be holding limited shows in Cebu and Manila this month. Gugmang Giatay will have a one-night-only staging at…

The runaway theatrical hit Gugmang Giatay The Musical is back and will be holding limited shows in Cebu and Manila this month.

Gugmang Giatay will have a one-night-only staging at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 10, at the Teatro Casino of Casino Filipino, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Later this month, Manila will get its chance to enjoy the popular Bisaya production. It will be staged on Sunday, November 26, at 4 p.m., during BGC Passionfest, and again from Tuesday, November 28 until Thursday, November 30, 8 p.m. All Manila performances will be at the Globe Auditorium of the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Taguig.

Gugmang Giatay

Written by award-winning songwriter Jude Gitamondoc and internet sensation Rowell “Medyo Maldito” Ucat, Gugmang Giatay is your (a)typical romantic comedy, with a good dose of maoy moments, hugot lines, and acerbic Bisaya humor. The musical features landmark Bisaya hit songs, both contemporary and classic, written by such icons as Max Surban, Cattski Espina, Insoy Niñal, Jude Gitamondoc, Medyo Maldito, and Junior Kilat, among others.

The Manila staging of Gugmang Giatay will feature award-winning actor Bong Cabrera in the role of Ben. Cabrera is known for his role in the 2011 film Sa Ilalim ng Tulay, for which he won the award for Best Actor in the Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival. He also won Best Supporting Actor for the 2013 film The Guerilla is a Poet in the CineFilipino Film Festival.

Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, the producer of Gugmang Giatay, said she backed the stage musical because she believes it has the power to touch lives. “I had fun reading the first draft to the final uncensored book,” she said. “I could not let go of it! I love it so much and I believe that Filipinos deserve to see it on stage. It has the potential to transform the theater scene here in Cebu and hopefully make Cebuanos a more supportive and engaging audience.”

Gugmang Giatay

GUGMANG GIATAY. Written by award-winning songwriter Jude Gitamondoc and internet sensation Rowell “Medyo Maldito” Ucat, Gugmang Giatay is your (a)typical romantic comedy, with a good dose of maoy moments, hugot lines, and acerbic Bisaya humor.

Genuinely funny and entertaining, Gugmang Giatay also aims to elevate local pop culture to the musical stage. The musical, in its entirety, is a tribute to anything and everything Bisaya, said Enclona-Henderson.

Tickets to the November 10 Cebu staging are available online through 2tincans.yapsody.com, or by visiting Casino Filipino at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Ticketing arrangements may also be made by contacting the 2TinCans office through +63933 188 0999. Tickets for the Manila shows on November 26, and 28 to 30 may be purchased through www.ticketworld.com.ph.

Gugmang Giatay is produced by 2TinCans Philippines in partnership with the BGC Arts Center and Casino Filipino, in cooperation with Offbeat Concepts Production House. For more information, visit 2TinCans Philippines on Facebook at facebook.com/2tincansphils and Instagram at @2tincansph. Like Gugmang Giatay on Facebook at facebook.com/gugmanggmusical. (Press Release)

Gugmang Giatay Cast

Gugmang Giatay

 

Gugmang Giatay

 

Gugmang Giatay

 

 

 

Gugmang Giatay

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Japanese brand Miniso opens 1st store in Cebu

Quality products for a “very affordable price,” that’s what Miniso offers in its store, a company official said during the opening of its first branch in Cebu. Miniso opened in…

Quality products for a “very affordable price,” that’s what Miniso offers in its store, a company official said during the opening of its first branch in Cebu.

Miniso opened in SM City Cebu on November 3. The store has been packed with shoppers since then.

Filipinos have taken to the store brand and response has been very good, said Miniso Philippines Inc. president Michael Hong in an interview during the opening.

Miniso Cebu

ELECTRONICS like these headphones are a popular category in Miniso.

Miniso branches in Philippines

Hong said Filipinos are amazed with their product offerings. “Wow. A lot of wows. A lot of suprises,” he said.

The SM City Cebu branched is the 36th in the country. They opened in the Philippine in June 2016, said Hong. Miniso will be opening 10 more by yearend, he said.

Miniso Cebu

OPENING. Miniso and SM officials lead the opening of the store.

He said they’ve always wanted to open in Cebu, being a major city, but had to wait for space to be available. They will soon open in SM Consolacion and SM Seaside City.

Hong said they are also considering a store in Ayala Center Cebu.

Miniso Cebu

NOW IN CEBU. Miniso has opened in SM City Cebu. It will soon be in SM Consolacion and SM Seaside City.

Wide range of products

Miniso sells a wide range of items from gadgets, stationery, kitchenware, toys, bags, cosmetics, among its many categories.

“What’s important is the value for money. We offer good quality but at a very affordable price. It’s not cheap – it’s really the value for the money,” said Hong.

Miniso Cebu

MINISO pens.

He said Miniso is a Japanese brand and the Japanese take pride in quality control, he said.

“Good quality, unique style, trendy, reliable and low price. These are the features of Miniso’s products,” the company said in its website.

More photos of Miniso’s opening in Cebu

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

 

Miniso Cebu

Our stash of Miniso notebooks.

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Blu Bar and Grill pairs great food, fantastic wines in Moonlit Wine Dinner

Seafood on ice, it said on the menu. It doesn’t quite describe the delight of an appetizer that formally started our Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill…

Seafood on ice, it said on the menu. It doesn’t quite describe the delight of an appetizer that formally started our Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Smoke enveloped the dish as it was brought to the table over exclamations of amazement, a pair each of fresh shrimps, mussels, scallops served atop a block of ice shaped like a bowl.

Marco Polo Moonlit Wine Dinner

MAIN COURSE. Marco Polo chefs slice roast tenderloin for serving to those who joined the Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill.

It came with the perfect complements: half a slice of lemon wrapped in a dainty net to trap the seeds when squeezed, spicy tomato-based dip, and a glass of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Chardonnay from Chile.

Our wine-pairing dinner just started, but it was easy to see we were in for a treat.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

SEAFOOD ON ICE. Smoke enveloped the dish as it was brought to the table over exclamations of amazement, a pair each of fresh shrimps, mussels, scallops served atop a block of ice shaped like a bowl.

Culinary creations

We savored the foie gras paté with a glass of carmenere in between conversations that hopped from good food to family and reminisces of travel, in particular Taiwan, because we happened to be seated near a Taiwanese working for a Japanese IT company in Cebu.

The main course was Churrasco, and it included freshly roasted tenderloin slices and lamb cubes, sausages, pork belly, and fish fillets. We enjoyed the meat selections from both land and sea with another glass of red wine, this time poured from a bottle of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MAIN COURSE. The main course was Churrasco, and it included freshly roasted tenderloin slices and lamb cubes, sausages, pork belly, and fish fillets. This was paired with a bottle of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Moonlit Wine Dinner combined creations by the culinary geniuses of the Blu Bar and Grill and wines from Chile distributed by Titania Wine Cellar, Inc., said General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly.

“It’s not just the fact that the food and wine are both great, but the way we put them together to complement each other,” Mr. Connelly told dinner guests shortly before the start of the dinner.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

PISTACHIO ice cream on warm choco lava topped with vanilla sauce, paired with a glass of merlot.

Dinner with moonshine

Manna Alcaraz, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, said the wine-pairing dinner was intentionally scheduled last October 27, 2017 when it was waxing towards a full moon.

She added that the initial plan is to hold it one night every month when there is a lot of moonshine but they would probably start with quarterly Moonlit Wine Dinner events for now.

The first Moonlit dinner introduced wines manufactured under the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild brand and distributed in the Philippines by Titania Wines.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

ROAST PORK. One of the many highlights of a great evening: delicious food, good wines, and great company.

Fine wine selections

Mr. Connelly said the wines that accompanied the food, from the chardonnay and escudo rojo to cabernet sauvignon, include some very fine selections from Chile.

From a full main course, we feasted on a selection of cheeses washed down with the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dinner ended on a sweet note with pistachio ice cream on warm choco lava topped with vanilla sauce, made all the sweeter by a glass of merlot.

Interested in this incredible extravaganza of food and wine? Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at +6332 253 1111 for the next wine pairing dinner schedule.

More photos of Moonlit Wine Dinner

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

GOOD FOOD, GREAT COMPANY. Our table with Manna Alcaraz (raising wine glass), Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, writer Dr. Nestor Alonso (standing) and staff of Titania Wines.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

CHEESES. This plate was paired with Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

FOIE GRAS PATE paired with a glass of carmenere.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

MAIN COURSE. Meat selections.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

FOOD, WINE PAIRING. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly watches fireworks after opening Moonlit Wine Dinner. “It’s not just the fact that the food and wine are both great, but the way we put them together to complement each other,” he says.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MARCO POLO CHEFS get a much-deserved applause from the dinner guests.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner

MOONLIT WINE DINNER combined creations by the culinary geniuses of the Blu Bar and Grill and wines from Chile distributed by Titania Wine Cellar, Inc.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MEAT SELECTIONS.

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Cebu company builds platform for emergency response, management

Helping relatives in Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda wrought its devastation four years ago this month made IT professional Cloyd Dedicatoria realize how woefully unprepared the country was for dealing with…

Helping relatives in Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda wrought its devastation four years ago this month made IT professional Cloyd Dedicatoria realize how woefully unprepared the country was for dealing with widescale devastation and emergencies.

Dedicatoria, founder and chief executive officer of Sugbotek, drove to Leyte with a family member to bring food, water and other supplies needed by relatives. He said government response shocked him. There was disorder to the point looting “became normal.” Relief goods were not immediately distributed because of problems in managing distribution, he said.

A response team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority arrived seven days after Yolanda hit and just as Dedicatoria was heading back to Cebu. The team was delayed after getting stranded.

Response coordination

“I think the problem is the coordination. How we can set up a communication system nga ma usa ta ni, ma integrate ta ni,” Dedicatoria said in an interview on Monday.

What he saw in the response to Yolanda made him think about setting up a system that will integrate disaster response and management, he said.

When the officials of 7core Communications Inc., the hardware and connectivity company that he is a part of, were planning company initiatives for 2014, he proposed spinning off a software unit to build, among other things, a system for emergency response and management.

During the Kadaugan sa Mactan in April of 2014, Dedicatoria and his team set up a command center to manage and monitor peace and order during the annual festival. In Sinulog 2015, they created a friend finder app.

Guardian Cloyd Bere Dedicatoria

EMERGENCY RESPONSE. Cloyd Bere Dedicatoria, founder and CEO of Sugbotek, talks about the Guardian app and system that seeks to be a platform for emergency response and management.

Emergency response, management

In the coming weeks, Dedicatoria and his team will test the deployment of an emergency response and management system informed by his Yolanda experience. The Guardian app and system will be deployed in an initial group of four Cebu City barangays – Apas, Tisa, Sto. Niño, and Poblacion Pardo.

Guardian is more than just an app – it is a system that links citizens, government agencies that deal with emergencies, first responders, and volunteers.

Guardian has two versions of its app, one for responders and another for volunteers. The team is still working on the apps and will be making these available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Report incidents

Through the app, citizens can report incidents such as a fire, crime, or medical emergency with just one tap on the app. That report will be received and processed by a Guardian command center. Using technology and algorithms, the command center will then forward the report to the appropriate agency.

Using internet connectivity, algorithms, and other tech, Guardian makes emergency reporting and response simple, Dedicatoria said.

The Guardian ecosystem also simplifies volunteering and the deployment of volunteers. This, he said during the interview, was added because of what they observed during the Yolanda response – many wanted to volunteer but there wasn’t a system that facilitated sign-ups and managed deployment.

Strict vetting of volunteers

Dedicatoria said volunteers will be added into the system after a strict vetting that includes clearance from the barangay and other government units, submission of identification papers, and personal appearance. Once added into the system, volunteers can be deployed to help deal with an emergency.

When asked about vulnerability of the system to prank reports – a frequent problem of phone-based systems as reported by police, Dedicatoria said this wasn’t an issue. They get a lot of information from reports – including location and the machine identification of phones – that they can trace those who use the app to send prank reports.

The Guardian team is already looking ahead and beyond the current capabilities being deployed. Dedicatoria said they are working on a system that will use TV white space to make sure there is still connectivity even if the telecommunications infrastructure is down. This is another lesson he learned from Yolanda.

Deployment for LGUs

The Guardian team and the four barangays are still awaiting donated computer units from a utility company before the initial deployment will start. Barangays, Dedicatoria said, will serve as incident centers that will receive the initial report. The barangay unit can be as minimal as just two manned computers, one to serve as call taker, the other as dispatcher.

Guardian is talking to several local government units, including the Cebu Provincial Government, for a possible province-wide deployment of the system.

The system is free to deploy – the LGU, however, will need to spend for equipment that will be used for it. If a barangay is interested to use Guardian, Dedicatoria said, they can just sign up and if they already have computer units with internet connectivity, they can immediately tap the system.

Barangays without computers and internet connectivity can just sign up for a monthly subscription that will come with computer units, connectivity and enable them to tap Guardian, Dedicatoria said.

The system, he added, is extensible and can be deployed not only for government agencies but as an enterprise solution for companies like utilities. This, he said, will be a paid service that can help support the free deployment in barangays and other government units.

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Marco Polo Cebu marks Chinese New Year 2018 with traditional ceremony, food fest

This Valentine’s Day, have a gastronomic love affair at The Pig & Palm

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