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Friday, November 27, 2015

2015 National Consciousness Day to End Violence Against Women



NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS DAY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
25 November 2015
(Republic Act 10398)


“End Violence Against Women Now! It’s Our Duty! Gains and Ways Forward”


The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report says that one out of five women aged 15-49 suffered from physical violence in the Philippines. Six percent of them experienced sexual violence.  Four percent reported violence even during pregnancy.  Yet, only 30% sought assistance to stop the violence.

The police, health professionals, social workers, and prosecutors, however, continue to handle an increasing number of cases of violence against women showing that more women are getting the courage to break their silence. About 80% of all barangays have Violence Against Women (VAW) desks; around 2,493 police stations have women and children protections desks (WCPDs) nationwide; 73 hospitals have women and children protection units (WCPUs); and abused women and children can find refuge at 25 shelters run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and 13 by local government units (LGUs).

As we commemorate the National Consciousness Day to End Violence Against Women today, we recognize the duty-bearers and advocates, who have conscientiously paved the way to develop, strengthen and implement policies and programs in curbing cases of gender-based violence in the country.

Now is a time for us to pause and appreciate what we have accomplished thus far, particularly our efforts in eradicating the underlying structures of patriarchy and gender inequalities that block the realization of women’s human rights.

While this observance allows us to celebrate the gains of our hard work, a lot remains to be done in enlightening more women to know their rights, seek help and report abuses.   More men need to be organized to oppose violence and respect women and girls.  Mutli-sectoral response systems need to be strengthened at the local levels.

Let us re-ignite our passion by remembering our vision – a Filipino community where women and girls are free from violence and discrimination. Let us renew our commitment to do our share in reaching that vision.

Now is the time for us to unite – government, civil society organizations, academe, media and the private sector working together towards reaching the common vision of a VAW-free society. Ending violence is everyone’s duty! Let us raise our our strong hands to end the cycle of violence and put  violence against women and girls to a full stop!



2015 18-Day Campaign To End Violence Against Women
25 November to 12 December
(Proclamation No. 1172 s. 2006)


http://www.pcw.gov.ph/article/pcw-statement-2015-national-consciousness-day-end-violence-against-women


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Blackberry Priv in the Philippines


Blackberry Priv is coming to the Philippines this December. The most secure phone in the market. An andriod phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. Plus a secure messsaging service exclusive to Blackberry. This can be a great wishlist for Blackberry fan.



BlackBerry PRIV specs:

5.43-inch dual curve Quad HD display
2560x1440 resolution (540ppi)
Plastic AMOLED
Corning Gorilla Glass 4

Camera:
18MP Schneider-Kreuznach-certified rear camera
ƒ/2.2, optical image stabilization, dual-LED dual-color flash, BSI sensor
4K 30fps and 1080p 60fps video
2MP ƒ/2.8 front-facing camera

Battery:
3410mAh fixed battery
Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
Qi and Powermat wireless charging

Chips:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core 64-bit processor
2x1.8GHz Cortex-A57 cores + 4x1.44Ghz Cortex-A53 cores
600MHz Adreno 418 GPU
3GB RAM
32GB internal storage
microSD storage expansion slot

Software:
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
DTEK by BlackBerry security suite
BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Calendar

Keyboard:
Physical 35-key 4-row sliding keyboard
Contextual auto-correct, word prediction, and learning engine
Touch-sensitive gesture control






Learn more about Blackberry Priv click here 

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Double the surprise with Red Ribbon’s new Double Deck Dedication Cake



Cakes have been integral in every Filipino celebration, more particularly during birthdays. This time, Red Ribbon—one of the leading bakeshops in the country—is offering a double treat to your loved ones with its new Double Deck Dedication Cake.

This two-layer cake offers more layers of chocolate goodness to make your child’s party an even happier birthday. With its layers of bursting chocolatey flavor, your child’s guests will surely line up for more slices.

According to Zinnia Rivera, general manager of Red Ribbon, the new Double Deck Dedication Cake is a rich chocolate cake with fudgy chocolate icing topped with colorful sugar confetti, dots & stars. This can be personalized with one’s special message.

“Mothers always want the best for their children. They are constantly finding new ways to recreate how their child will cherish their special day,” Rivera said.

 “With the new two-layer Dedication Cake, mothers can now make their children’s party two times grander without going beyond their budget.”

Before, special two-layer cakes are only present during birthdays, debuts, weddings and graduation. Now, Red Ribbon makes it possible for families to make any day a bigger celebration while allowing more budget for other expenditures.

While saving on budget, you can also share the slices of the cake with 26 people because it has a base layer of 8x12 inches and a top layer of 6x8 inches. This cake is now available in all Red Ribbon stores nationwide.

“Now that there’s a double deck cake in place, there’s a bigger cake with a taste of premium for all the guests,” Rivera said. “Truly, Red Ribbon complements every Filipino table with its delightful treats, making every moment more worth-remembering.”

As the company explores new product offerings to make every day worth celebrating for, Red Ribbon now offers its gold standard for birthday cakes in the form of its new Double Deck Dedication Cake.

Rivera concluded, “Cakes are known staples for every Filipino table whenever there’s a celebration, may it be as grand as your son’s 7th birthday or as simple as your daughter’s achievement in class. Coupling the cake with a dedication as sweet as its taste is what makes the occasion more memorable.”

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Where to get SAP Business One in the Philippines?

With the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) should already be prepared to compete and cooperate not only locally but throughout the ASEAN as well.  One way of making them prepared is by utilizing the power of SAP Business One but where do you get SAP Business One in the Philippines?

Mustard Seed Systems Corporation, a business solutions provider company for Small and Medium Businesses, is one of the major partners of SAP in the Philippines.  Just recently the company receives the “SAP Business One Top Partner for Small Enterprise in the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ)” and “SAP® APJ Partner Excellence Award 2015 in the Category Small Business Solution Innovation.

Mr. Osler Fajardo, Managing Director of Mustard Seed Systems Corporation receiving the SAP® APJ Partner Excellence Award 2015 in the Category Small Business Solution Innovation.
SAP Business One is a very efficient business integration software that will truly help SMEs particularly in the ASEAN Economic Community (ASEAN integration) stating this 2015.  This is the reason why Mustard Seed is among the few providers of SAP Business One Philippines that offers a very affordable offer for those who would want to implement the system.

What makes Mustard Seed different from other SAP Business One providers?  Osler Fajardo, Managing Director of Mustard Seed sums up the very simple and out-of-the box way of implementing SAP Business One in two steps:

1. Making the implementation as simple as possible; and
2. Making the selling cycle as short as possible.

SAP Business One has a robust array of features.  Businesses may not be needing the whole full pack features of SAP Business One in practice.  Thus, by being open to the clients as to what can be delivered and what the limitations of the implementation are, the whole process can be streamlined and a direct implementation pattern can be made.


Jheng Talan and Regie Soteco of Mustard Seed Systems received the SAP Top Partner Award during the SAP Business One Innovation Summit in Singapore.
Mustard Seed Systems is also gearing towards becoming a one-stop shop for business in the Philippines, hence, they can also provide businesses with other solutions which they would need.

As part of their commitment to SMBs, they will be present at the Asia Food Expo (AFEX) 2015 at the World Trade Center Manila from September 9-12, 2015.  For more information you can visit their website at www.mseedsystems.com, contact them at +63(2)535-SEED / 63(2)535-7333 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mseedsys.


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"Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" Promo


1.       This promo is open to all JackTV followers on Facebook

2.       Promo period will run from September 5 - September 7 12PM. JackTV Participants may send their entries on the said period only.

3.       Here’s how to join:

a. Answer the question “Who plays the character of Thomas in Maze Runner: The Socrch Trials?” 

4.      Only entries within the said duration shall qualify.

5.    Participants must be following the official Facebook Page of JackTV.

6.      Spammers will be disqualified. Users who answer the same, multiple times, are considered spammers.

7.     10 winners will be randomly chosen at Solar Entertainment Corporation, 3/F Worldwide Corporate Center, Shaw Blvd. cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City 1552.

8.    Each winner will receive:

        Two (2) – Advance Screening tickets of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials on September 8, 2015, 730PM at Glorietta 4 Cinema 1.

9.    Participant may only win once during the promo.

9.    The winners will be announced on September 7 at 2PM and will be notified through Facebook comment on JackTV’s post.

10.   Winners must reply via Facebook message until September 8 at 10AM only with the contact details below:

-          Full Name

-          Email Address

-          Mobile Number

11.   The winners will be given FULL and SPECFIC instructions on how to claim their prize.

12.   Claiming of prizes will be on September 8, 2015, at Glorietta 4 Cinema 1 from 530PM-630PM only.

13.   Disqualification Clause:

a.     Persons who are employed by, or are agents of, the promo organizers, sponsor or advertiser, their affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, and other related companies, including their media partners, promotions and advertising agencies, as well as said persons’ family members within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, are not eligible to join the promo.

b.    Persons reporting regularly to the promoter, sponsor or advertiser under a contract or service and who, by the nature of the service they render may have a direct and personal knowledge of the promotion.

c.  Spammers will be disqualified. This is when a user posts the same answer more than once on the page

source : http://solarentertainmentcorp.com/channel/article/jacktv/Maze-Runner-The-Scorch-Trials-Promo-Mechanics-1441374161


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Monday, August 10, 2015

Life Yoga



There's a new concept establishment in Bonifacio Global City which creates a harmonious relationship between yoga, food and music and it was named - LIFE. 

Life is focused on celebrating life as it happens. The team behind it is focused on the holistic nature of yoga and believes that the practice of it should travel from mat to every facet of one's lifestyle.  




Here are the types of yoga that LIFE has to offer:





You can enjoy these classes in very affordable rates.

Classes Rates and Packages as follows:




LIFE Yoga is located at 2/F Eight Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

For more information about LIFE you may visit them on the following links:

Facebook: Lifeyogafoodmusic
Instagram: @life.yoga 

Namaste and see you around!




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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lazada advocates effortless online shopping to consumers across Southeast Asia



●      Lazada reveals customer satisfaction survey results
●      Ecommerce leader promotes effortless online shopping with integrated campaign
●      Campaign kicks off with The Effortless Shopping Sale happening on July 21-23 on Desktop and Mobile and on July 24-26 exclusively on Mobile App 

PHILIPPINES, July 18 2015 – Lazada, Southeast Asia’s leading online shopping and selling destination, kicks off its Effortless Shopping campaign(http://www.lazada.com.ph/effortless-shopping/) in the Philippines from 21-26 July highlighting the benefits of effortless online shopping to Filipino consumers.

“We are committed to providing an effortless online shopping experience to approximately 550 million consumers in the Southeast Asian region. While our customer satisfaction survey reveals that respondents are satisfied with their online shopping experience, there is an untapped opportunity to reach out to non-online shoppers by highlighting the benefits of online shopping and thus changing their perceptions,” said InancBalci, CEO of Lazada Philippines.

As an eCommerce leader in the Philippines, Lazada provides consumers with an effortless shopping experience with its user-friendly sites and mobile apps accessible at their fingertips anytime, any day. It offers a wide selection of international, local and exclusive products; and multiple secure payment options including cash-on-delivery.

Consumers can shop with peace of mind on Lazada as all items purchased are covered by Lazada's Buyer Protection Program. This provides a guarantee that products are genuine, new and not defective; and for customers to return the items within seven days for a full refund, otherwise. Consumers can also shop with assurance knowing that they can reach out to Lazada’s customer service seven days a week by phone and email.

What Lazada Philippines Customer Say
As a customer-focused company, Lazada Philippines constantly reviews customer satisfaction levels. In Q1 2015, the company polled 28,429 respondents in the Philippines to learn more about their online shopping experience.

Products: 75% were happy with the range of products offered on Lazada Philippines, while 72% of respondents were satisfied with the quality of products offered

Website: 77% found the Lazada.com.ph website easy to use

Delivery: 73% found communication regarding delivery clear

Customer Care: 73% are pleased with the assistance provided by the Customer Care team

While the survey reveals that majority of respondents are satisfied, a Google Shopper Study published in June 2014 shows that product quality and security are the biggest barriers to online shopping in The Philippines. The study shows that 45% are worried about the security of their financial details in online transactions, while 36% of non-online shoppers are unsure about the warranty process of the items they purchase online.

“There is a clear disconnect between the perceptions of non-online shoppers and what our customers experience, highlighting the need to gain consumers’ trust to dispel the barriers to online shopping. As a market leader, we are taking the first step towards highlighting the benefits of online shopping to all consumers through an integrated Effortless Shopping campaign,” said InancBalci, CEO of Lazada Philippines.

The Effortless Shopping Integrated Campaign
Lazada’s Effortless Shopping campaign integrates television (TV) commercials, website and consumer activation touch-points such as a customer newsletter and social media channels.

The campaign leads with two TV commercials highlighting how shopping at Lazada is safe, convenient and reliable and how the Android and IOS mobile applications (app) allow consumers to shop anything, anytime, anywhere.

Accessible via mobile and desktop, the Effortless Shopping campaign (http://www.lazada.com.ph/effortless-shopping/) site highlights Lazada’s key differentiators such as the widest product range, best-in-class mobile app experience, Buyer Protection as well as secure payment options including cash-on-delivery.

Lazada also curated online shopping tips on topics such as secure shopping, smart savings and category specific advice for parents, tech enthusiasts and fashionistas. These tips from Lazada’s own experts are designed to help consumers become savvier and more confident online shoppers.
         
The Effortless Shopping Sale
Consumers can experience the benefits of online shopping during The Effortless Shopping Sale on Lazada Philippines from July 21 to 26.

PRESS RELEASE

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Better light for you from CD-R King

CFL or LED? Which is the better light for you


With lots of attributes to consider, which is really better for you? Let’s scale it down.

CFL

CFL also known as compact fluorescent is your mini version of a standard fluorescent light bulb.

CFL gives lighting efficiency and has been used for decades now and it has graced our homes as it fits perfectly in an ordinary socket without using an adaptor.

CFLs normally takes a few moments to warm up and reach its full brightness.

However, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury which normally does not cause any hazard but if the bulb breaks accidentally, that’s where the problem comes in. Mercury has been banned in the medical field due to its harmful effect on human health.

Regular CFL bulbs lasts up to 6000 hours

Average energy use per year: 767 KWh/yr

Average cost in the Philippines: Php 125 to 300

LED

LED or Light Emitting Diodes was introduce several years back with the promise of lowering your electric bill.

According to the study made by Lighting Research Center, LED light bulbs work by bringing together currents with a positive and negative charge to create energy released in the form of light. The result of this is a fast source of light that is reliable and instantaneous.

LED bulbs also fits an ordinary socket without the need of an adaptor and it bright up as soon as you switch it on.

LED bulbs is considered good for the environment and are endorsed by green movements.

LED bulbs generally cost more to buy although manufacturing technologies are lowering these prices as we move along.

Regular LED lasts anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours.

Average energy use per year: 329 KWh/yr

Average cost in the Philippines: Php300 to 800


Equal Factor

Both serves your lighting needs efficiently. Both fits in sockets of your lamps and fixtures. Meaning, if you don’t consider the chances of your bulb breaking then you would likely choose CFL over LED because of the price difference.

Points to Ponder:

CFL might cost less but it requires you to buy more bulbs over time whereas LED lights last longer, so even though you’re paying more at purchase, you buy fewer bulbs in the long run.

Considering the humid weather in the Philippines, we should also consider that CFL bulb emits more heat than LED bulb, thus, by choosing wisely, you can reduce the heat index in your home.

Moreover, if you care for the environment, Lower energy consumption decreases carbon dioxide emissions, sulfur oxide, and high-level nuclear waste.

CD-R Kings makes it easier for you to decide

CD-R King, your one-stop media provider gives you the ease of choosing by taking away the drawback of price difference by making LED bulb available to the General public at a more affordable price.

This is effort compliments their advocacy in encouraging people to care for the environment during their California e-bike campaign early this year.

It is also noted that CD-R King offers several choices of LED bulbs with different price range both for personal and industrial use.

Below are some of the choices for regular household use.


For other variants, you may visit CD-R king branches or check out their website at www.cdrking.com.

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Haley Joel Osment Is Teaching 'Sex Ed'



The student is now a teacher.

With his first major Hollywood appearance back in 1994, in a scene where he was waiting for his school bus, Haley Joel Osment was Forrest Junior, Tom Hank’s son in “Forrest Gump”. He was just five. And best known for his role as the freaky "I see dead people" kid in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 thriller “The Sixth Sense”, Osment is returning to the big screen ... awkwardly that is. 
In “Sex Ed”, the 27-year-old plays a guy named Eddie who lands his first teaching gig at an inner-city middle school. He soon finds that his highly pubescent pupils are receiving no form of sexual education. And though he isn't really equipped to teach them, he's takes on the challenge of explaining “the birds and the bees”, much to the chagrin of their parents. Also a problem: The teach just happens to be a virgin.


Osment isn't the only familiar face you'll spot in this indie comedy. There’s Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno, Hemlock Grove), Glen Powell (Expendables 3, The Dark Knight Rises), Laura Harring (Gossip Girl), Abby Elliott (Saturday Night Live), Retta (Parks and Recreation), George Eads (CSI), Matt Walsh (Veep), and Lamorne Morris (The New Girl). 





Sex Ed”, uncut and in all its glory, will be hitting theaters on July 22, 2015, released through Solar Pictures.


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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TREK Iloilo #PharmatonPH #LifeChangers






Panay Bukidnon or Tumandok or Suludnon is the only culturally indigenous group of Visayan language-speakers in the Western Visayas. They are known for their epic chants, the longest in Asia; their Binanog Dance or “The Way of the Hawk," a ritual which mimics the flight of the mighty bird; and their detailed form of embroidery known as the Panubok. This is also the tribe of the "binukot", considered a princess among them who is chosen to live her life in seclusion.



On August 29, our group, TRails to Empower Kids or TREK will be reaching out to the Panay Bukidnon tribe of Calinog, Iloilo.




For almost eight years now, our group has been conducting outreach programs for the benefit of our little brothers and sisters in indigenous people (IP) communities. We have provided assistance to the Dumagats of Aurora; the Hanunuo Mangyans of Mindoro; the Kankanais of Benguet; the Ilongots of Quirino Province; the Kalinga people; the Aetas of Zambales and others.



TREK Iloilo will be our first time to conduct a mission outside Luzon



Our aim is to help the tribe preserve their culture through its three schools of living traditions (SLT) located in the mountains of Calinog, which are Masaroy SLT, GAMABA Learning Center and Agcalagan SLT.



For more information about our group, please log on to www.trailstoempowerkids.com.


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Monday, June 15, 2015

Hotel Rembrant: Relieve the art of the master


Located at the heart of Quezon City Philippines situated a unique boutique hotel that combines the essence of 17th Century European grandeur with the luxuries of the modern life. Hotel Rembrant under Artsream Hospitality Management Group Incorporated (AHMGI) is just one of 5 hotels conceptualized to relish the zest of life.

Rooms

Hotel Rembrant has 71 newly appointed guest rooms with contemporary furnishings and amenities. Each rooms are equipped with Internet access, hotel electronic key lock facility, IDD/NDD telephone facility, multi lingual cable television, minibar, hot and cold shower.

According to Ritchie Lagunilla during his guesting under "Let's Talk About Career" Radio Show at DZME 1530 with host Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas, " ..because of the patrons, AHMGI is hiring more staff and expanding. Our hotels are inspired by different artists and we're offering the ultimate luxury and convenience with a range of facilities to satisfy every guest's requirements."

Spa

Upon check in, the friendly staffs of the hotel will give the guest's coupons for the complimentary 15 minute back massage and for welcome drinks. An effort to show the tremendous services they are offering since the hotel have "VidaVerde Spa" for dermatology, cosmetic, laser, varicose veins treatment and massages.

Dining

For a nice dining experience, Hotel Rembrandt offers a hearty buffet for miryenda (snacks), dinner and breakfast at "The Lobby" to satisfy your craving for a Filipino classic dishes and a la carte choices plus match it with a wide range of drinks from cocktails to fresh juices. Opens from 6AM to 1AM. Right now because of the Summer heat, a "Halo Halo" buffet is available for only Php 150.00.

Overall, the experience was overwhelming from the efficient and friendly staff's, relaxing and big rooms, delicious food to therapeutic massages. The guests will surely try the different hotels from AHMGI; Le Monet Hotel Baguio, Hotel Rembrandt QC, Vitalis Resort & Spa Santiago, Ilocos Sur, Hotel Luna Vigan and  Stay Lite Candon, Ilocos Sur.

For more information, contact Hotel Rembrandt at their email address, Sales@hotelrembrandt@ahmgi.com or Telephone # +6323733333 Loc 201-204 or call TAG Media and PR to 09166299381.

Address: 26 Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Metro Manila 1104, Philippines

Press Release

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Energizer Night Race Manila 2015 to benefit the children of Bantay Bata 163

Energizer is set to launch its first open run on June 27, 2015 where over 3,000 runners are expected to light up the streets of Filinvest City in Alabang. This is part of Energizer’s ongoing commitment to share positivenergy with the children of Bantay Bata 163.

According to Claire Guevarra, senior brand manager of Energizer, the company’s partnership with Bantay Bata 163 allowed them to further their thrust in giving back to the community.

“"It is important to put self-improvement as your daily goal in life, but stretching your arms to further help others is one of the best indicators that we have lived fully. With our partnership with Bantay Bata 163, we were able to realize this, and we will continue to engage ourselves in a partnership that nurtures both the brand and the beneficiaries it embraces." said Guevarra.

As an open run, the participants are encouraged to keep going and run as far as they can within the 2 hours given time.  For every 3k loop that the runners will run, P100 will be donated to Bantay Bata 163 as part of its operation and medical treatment funds. With the expected runners, the Energizer Night Race Manila 2015 aims to raise P1,000,000.00 with the help of the participants who will run within the 2 hours given time.

According to Vincent Lizo, Energizer Philippines’ business director, the first open run bears truth that no competition is needed if we want to help improve the lives of children.

"Being generous is all about benefiting others more than yourself”, Lizo said. “For its part, Energizer, as a company, will recognize every runner of this event as a winner since no medal nor any form of special recognitions are needed to fulfill our responsibilities to the community," added Lizo.

Meanwhile, MJ Tiquia, Energizer brand activations manager, shared that the company will offer a different running experience to its loyal participants. This year’s race kit is priced at 700 pesos covering any distance, which includes a race singlet, race bib, Energizer headlight,  Energizer cap, and Schick Xtreme 3 Razor. It will also provide access to pre and post race activities, which will feature different bands to provide fun and entertainment.

“"The runners’ time will be monitored through the radio frequency identification (RFID), which tracks every 3k loop a runner makes. Kilometer markers in the race route are available to serve as the runners’ references,"” Tiquia said. “"For this event, runners will have to run as many loops as they can to keep on going for positivenergy."

A battery meter will light up every time a runner finishes a three-kilometer un. This battery meter will compile all the three kilometer runs every runner makes until it reaches a one million target. This will be put on view through an LED-display onstage, and in the start and finish arc.

“"We would like this year’s night race to be the participants’ source of fulfillment since they are able to radiate positivenergy to the people involved," Tiquia said.

She added, “"Truly, this will not only be a venue of fun and excitement, but more importantly, a source of hope for the children of Bantay Bata 163."

“"We are inviting everyone to come and join us in this event. This is a good venue to bond with families and friends through a healthy activity, and at the same time help in the common cause for the children of Bantay Bata 163," Guevarra concluded.

Registration includes both online and through official registration sites Reebok Filinvest, Trinoma and Megamall, RUNNR BGC and Royal Sporting House Glorietta.  Online registration and details of event are through Energizer’s official website at www.energizer.com.ph,  www.Facebook.com/EnergizerPH, and race partner www.pepsquadevents.com.


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Giving Hope to the PAGASA of the Nation: The PAGASA Modernization Act

In one sentence, this bill is about giving hope to PAGASA.

Whether we live in a place that sizzles in May or is submerged in water in July, we rely on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services to give us the heads up so we can have a head start on what to do.

But PAGASA is not just a foul-weather friend. Its mandate goes beyond issuing hourly bulletins during typhoons.

On ordinary days, it provides information, which, though boring, is basic for society to function and for the economy to run.

Tides help guide ships to ports, pla nes plot their flights on when the sun will rise or set. And both fishermen and feng shui-believing Taipans consult the lunar calendar for good fortune.

PAGASA tells us when and where it would rain, and by how much, so that the man behind the carabao in Mindoro will know when to plow the field and the man behind the wheel in Malabon will know when to plod through flooded streets.

All these data come from PAGASA.

And so do the time, the temperature, and weather icons on our cellphone screen.

But PAGASA is more than just the nation's timekeeper or thermometer.

It is becoming an increasingly needed app for a country which has to cope with an increasingly changing climate.

We don't need historical weather data to tell us that storms are getting frequent, fickle and ferocious.

Each of us has been a victim of at least one in the past nine years. So we don't just read about typhoons, we reel from them.

There was the triple whammy of Milenyo-Reming-Seniang in 2006.

Frank laid waste to Panay in 2008, but, thankfully, there was another Frank who helped it back on its feet.

Ondoy marinated large swaths of Manila the following year. And it was also in 2009 that Pepeng temporarily transformed that flatland from Bulacan to Pangasinan into the Central Lake of Luzon.

And like a sickle, Pablo in 2012 hacked its way in the most unexpected place and time, December, in Mindanao, catching many by surprise as it came outside the typhoon belt and calendar.

A couple of storms since then had barreled across Mindanao, blowing away its idyllic status of being typhoon-free.

And of course, there was Yolanda, the most powerful typhoon in recorded human history.

But even if you take Yolanda out of the tally, the resulting figure would still show that typhoons from 2004 to 2014 claimed the most lives and wrought the greatest damage to property than in any decade in our history.

From 2004 to 2014, this parade of cyclones left 14,150 dead, 46,691 injured and 4,169 missing.

It affected almost 100 million persons, damaged 4.5 million houses, and destroyed P338 billion worth of public and private property.

If you count the missing as dead, the typhoon death toll in the Philippines is higher than the civilian lives lost in Afghanistan during the same period.

But our experiences in 2012, 2013 and 2014 prove that you don't need a typhoon to trigger heavy rains.

Because they're not baptized in the meteorological tradition, we have given this massive annual flooding phenomenon in Mega Manila a generic name - Habagat.

The problem with Habagat is what it lacks in wind, it compensates with water, lots of it.

But having too much water is as harmful as having too little of it.

The other end of the climatic pendulum swing are droughts - and we have come to know that a dam without water is more frightening than one that is about to overflow.

This year alone, mere dry spells in 54 provinces have altered the rice production outlook and led us to scout for sources abroad, in case the dry spell graduates into drought.

That search for a safety net is not without basis nor precedents.

An El Nino episode in 1997 to 1998 parched 600,000 hectares of land and racked up P9 billion in farm losses.

The new normal in an era marked by weather extremes is that our crops are vulnerable to death by drought or by drowning.

But even without the spectre of climate change, our geographical location and topographical makeup expose us to natural disasters.

We are perched atop the Ring of Fire. We serve as the tollgate to a typhoon passageway, being the first landmass which greets typhoons born in the Pacific.

At least 20 typhoons hit us each year, some brushing the fringes of our archipelago, others hitting our cities bull's eye.

Sadly, a marriage of natural mishaps and, yes, man-made missteps, like our infatuation with erecting homes on waterways and our love affair with cutting trees, have made us the second most disaster-prone country in the world.

One study even tagged us as the country which absorbed the most number of disasters since the 1900.

And our being a doormat to typhoons which crams more people per square kilometre than China aggravates the threat of climate change.

Scientists have come up with dire predictions on the fate, if not reversed, that awaits us.

By 2100, annual mean temperature will rise by 4.8 degrees Celsius from the 1990 average, and sea level by 70 centimeters, which means senators who will sit in the 44th Congress of the Philippines, like Chiz Escudero V or Sonny Angara IV, if the Senate will still be here, will ride rubber boats, and on the hottest of days wear rubber boots to work.

On agriculture, the forecasts say, that sans mitigating measures, rice yield will plummet by 75 percent.

This is based on the calculus that every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature decreases rice harvest by 10 percent. Goodbye, unli rice.

Though this is still far away, we have been given a preview of things to come.

This summer, mercury rose to "38 degrees but feels like hell" levels. And as I've mentioned before, in the past years, more and stronger storms dump more rain for longer periods.

Against this backdrop, a lot of climate change-adaptation and disaster risk-mitigation measures have been proposed and adopted.

The Philippines has passed a raft of laws which comply with global trends and best practices.

Even the budget now contains mandatory earmarks for climate change resiliency.

There is, however, one measure that needs to be passed, and it is this bill, because there can be no climate change adaptation without weather bureau modernization.

Cutting emissions might be a tall order, but by passing this bill, government can no longer be accused that when it comes to modernizing PAGASA it has so far been spewing hot air.

But climate change or not, a modern and efficient weather agency is public service for which there is no substitute.

This is because human activities depend on the weather: planting intentions, holiday plans, construction schedules, travel timetables.

When you march down the aisle, you look up to God for blessings and to the sky to see if rains will mar your wedding.

When you plan a family picnic, you want to be assured that the date chosen is not actually an appointment with a typhoon.

If human activities are weather-dependent, then we need a dependable weather service.

One which can spot a speck of low pressure area thousands of miles away, project if it would develop into a typhoon, and when it does, plot its track with precision, like where it will make landfall.

In short, an agency that will tell a storm, "I've got my eye on you."

One which can forecast local weather, especially in Metro Manila, where the economic cost of vehicular traffic is already P2.4 billion on an uneventful day and possibly twice that amount on bad weather nights.

One which can offer a full package of services that could predict and profile weather and climate events and prescribe measures that will protect life, property and livelihood from these.

One which will tell us of our weaknesses, like villages prone to landslides, storm surges, or those areas which can rapidly turn into a Waterworld.

At present, among PAGASA's mandate is to provide up-to-date, timely and reliable information on atmospheric, astronomical and other weather-related phenomena.

It is tasked to help the government and the people prepare and respond to typhoons, floods, landslides, storm surges, extreme climatic events, El Nino, and climate change.

It is also required to provide inputs on disaster-risk reduction, climate change adaption, and integrated-water resources management.

Another mandate is to ensure that the country's international commitments are met, because if typhoons respect no boundaries, so must meteorological work span borders.

There are seven components of PAGASA's modernization.

First is equipment modernization.

On this, PAGASA sent a shopping list costing a little less than P3.9 billion. Expensive? Not really, if compared to the P172 billion in combined damages to agriculture, property and infrastructure which four typhoons - Ondoy, Pepeng in 2009, Yolanda in 2013 and Glenda last year - caused.

Second is Research and Development (R&D) enhancement.

Third is the establishment of the PAGASA data center.

This is to centralize technical outputs in one data bank.

Fourth is expanding the reach of PAGASA.

PAGASA must go local. Localized weather forecasting is the way forward. The benefits of Doppler radars must be replicated. This requires expanding its network of weather data capturing stations.

Fifth is empowering it to disseminate its information further and faster.

Information not disseminated is information wasted. Much of PAGASA's data is perishable. Storm notices, for example, have a quick shelf life. Because timely information saves lives, PAGASA must go retail in communicating its findings. If flooding is imminent, PAGASA must send of a flood of tweets and texts.

Sixth is boosting its cooperation linkages and joint venture programs, both domestic and international.

For example, local non-government weather outfits, if tapped, are effective force extenders. Tapping this network and harvesting their data will cut both time and expenses. The same openness by which it forges bilateral and multilateral relations abroad must also animate its dealings toward local stakeholders.

Seventh is building up its human resources.

It has been reported that more and more PAGASA personnel leave the Philippine area of responsibility yearly.

This alsa-balutan has inspired the rewording of a popular ballad, which, thankfully, I should only recite and not sing, if we don't want to rain tonight:

Walang tigil ang ulan
At nasaan ka, araw
Wala na bang nananatili sa PAGASA
Nakapagtataka, saan sila napunta?

We must stop this exodus of talent while we train and develop more of them.

This bill instructs the creation of a pay scale for PAGASA employees, which has long been authorized by the Magna Carta for Science and Technology Personnel. This has been pending for 17 years now.

In addition, it calls for a personnel retention incentive, not exceeding 20 percent of the basic salary of qualified personnel.

It also creates a scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate degrees in Meteorology and related fields. More training programs will also be offered.

Ideally, adjusting the public sector pay should be bureaucracy-wide. Revenues have been on the rise since the present government salary rates were authorized in 2009.

When it comes to salaries, I have always believed that a rising tide must raise all ships. But I will settle for a situation where rising floodwaters will, in the meantime, raise just one boat.

In all, the total cost to modernize PAGASA is capital outlay of P3.9 billion, P45 million annually to fund the compensation adjustments and P70 million for training and scholarships.

To finance these, as well as future needs, your Senate bill taps both budgetary and "off-budget" sources.

Included in the latter is a proposed P3 billion from the net income of PAGCOR, to be taken from the 50 percent share of the national government, which, by the way, was P14 billion in 2014.

If we need to get it from gaming revenues, so be it. We need the money so we don't have to roll the dice--or read the cards-- in predicting if it will rain tomorrow.

Another revenue source we are eyeing is income from PAGASA's specialized products and services, as well as cost recovery programs.

There is actually a market for customized weather data. For example, it is common practice for aviation and maritime companies to pay for these.

While some services to private firms will come with a price, there shall be no fee charged on the issuance of regular and special forecasts and warnings that affect safety and such other material for the public good.

Other sources are grants, bequests, donations, ODA, budgetary surpluses, and income from the PAGASA Modernization Trust Fund.

The modernized PAGASA will be led by an Administrator with the rank of Undersecretary. He will be assisted by three deputies.

The Administrator will join the Secretaries of Science and Technology, Budget and Management, and NEDA in implementing the modernization program, the timetable and contents of which will be spelled out in the IRR which shall be issued 90 days after the enactment of this bill.

To ensure that this law will not end up as yet another unfunded mandate, the annual cost of modernization shall be included in the General Appropriations Act

Whatever the amount, I am confident that investments in PAGASA will dwarf the damages caused by typhoons in this climate change era when they're coming in from unexpected places, with unexpected strengths, and at unexpected times.

Mr. President, my dear colleagues:

As we chart PAGASA's future, let me take you back to its past.

PAGASA traces its beginnings to January 1865, when two Jesuits started recording daily weather data in the Observatorio Meteorologico of the Ateneo Municipal in Intramuros.

The observatory soon became a public institution through a Spanish royal decree.

So this year is PAGASA's 150th founding anniversary.

But we must approve this bill not because we want it to be our birthday gift to this agency. We must pass it because this is what our people, our country, and our future need.

As the dark clouds of climate change hover on the horizon, we can however look forward to the future with hope if PAGASA is given one.

Press Release : http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2015/0610_recto1.asp

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

XyXon’s HeartCore® at Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015



"For a company, a website is an integral marketing platform. HeartCore does more, however, than provide a simple website creation tool - in addition to supporting businesses, sites, and business scenes of all shapes and sizes and making it much more efficient to operate the websites that represent your company to the market, HeartCore can serve as the foundation of your marketing activities." This is according to the company's website. XyXon’s HeartCore® is the Asia’s leading Web Content & Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform partners with Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015 with Lewis Hong as one of the speakers who will be coming from Singapore to share his expertise.

XyXon and HeartCore provides enterprise clients with a powerful Web Content Management (WCM) system that makes it easy for Corporate Management to implement/construct functions for developing, editing, updating, analyzing, searching, and controlling access to content. HeartCore is currently used by over 3,000 companies in Asia, including Apple, Casio, Hitachi, Japan Airlines (JAL) and J-Stream. XyXon Heartcore is headquartered in Tokyo, and maintains locations in Okinawa, Philippines and Singapore.

At Asia Digital Marketing Expo 2015, different top executives will join together to share the future of Online Marketing in the Philippines and in Asia Pacific region with the following points:

• The digital economy of the Philippines

• Positioning the Philippines as a gateway from East to West and West to East

• Is the Philippines ready to be a cashless society?

• Disrupting tradition and embracing innovation

• Technology and Entrepreneurship driving inclusive growth

• Micro - multinationals E-commerce connecting SMEs to ASEAN and beyond



Partial list of speakers are as follows;

Constantin Roberts - Managing Director, Zalora Philippines

Earl Valencia - Head Corporate Development/Innovations, Smart Communications

Kristian Melquiades - General Manager, Viber Philippines

Richard Upton - President, John Robert Powers Asia

Donald Lim - Chief Digital Officer, ABS CBN

Janette Toral - E Commerce Advocate, Digital Club Filipino

Robert Yupangco - President, Yupangco Group of Companies

Chinkee Tan - Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker, Radio Host and Wealth & Wellness Coach

Rebecca Bustamante Mills - CEO, Chalre Associates & President, Asia CEO Awards

Mikel Yaw - CEO, Elabram Systems Group

Carlos Celdran - Brand Ambassador, Tour Guide

Maria Camille Montejo - CEO, NWSteel Technologies & Tree Top Adventure Inc.

Pocholo Gonzales - CEO, Creative Voices Productions

Tanya Llana - Marketing & Sales Director, Victoria Court & General Manager, Hotel La Corona De Lipa

James Jimenez - Director, Commission On Elections

Lloyd Luna - CEO, Lloyd Luna Corporation

Jonathan Luzuriaga - President, Philippine Software Industry Association

Donald Felbaum - Managing Director, Optel

Lewis Hong - Web Consultant, Xyxon Singapore

Kim Bernardo Lokin - Managing Editor, Business Class Magazine



For more information, you may visit www.asiadigitalmarketing.ph. For partnership and sponsorship, you may contact TAG Media & PR at 09166299381 or at grace@asiadigitalmarketing.ph




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Friday, April 3, 2015

Pro Earth Run 2015

 
“The future of humanity is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we never get tired of telling people that Earth Day must be everyday, everywhere, for everyone,” said Earth Day Network Philippines Chairman, Dr. Metodio Palaypay. 

Palaypay underscored the critical role of media in bringing out the message of earth care to the public when he addressed the press and bloggers last 31 March 2015 at Merrell Concept Store, Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City in a media briefing for Pro Earth Run 2015. In the end, he entreated the members of the press, “Into your hands, I commit Mother Earth.”

Meanwhile, DENR Director for Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service Jesus Enrico Moises Salazar commended Earth Day Network Philippines for the environmental work it has been doing over the years. “While the result of your labor may not always be immediately felt, it will eventually yield something good for the country.”

Earth Day Network Philippines is at the forefront of the annual worldwide April 22nd Earth Day Celebration. It actively engages the participation of people from government, corporate, religious, and academic institutions to rally together behind environmental protection, preservation, and promotion.

Now on its second year, Earth Day Network Philippines stages Pro Earth Run 2015 to encourage people to take active lead in protecting, respecting, and overseeing Earth care by running the race for Mother Earth. 

Happening on 25 April 2015, Saturday, 4:30AM, at the Mall Of Asia MOA Grounds in Pasay City, proceeds of the 3K/5K/10K advocacy run will fund the continuing projects and programs of Earth Day Network Philippines such as Watershed Restoration and Forest Conservation, Re-Charge Tacloban, Zero Basura Olympics, and Mini Carbon Olympics.

Pro Earth Run 2015 tickets are available at SM Ticket counters nationwide until April 19 and at Merrell Concept Stores in SM North Edsa Annex, Trinoma, Festival Mall, and Market! Market! until April 15. Registration is until April 20 via www.earthdayphilippines.org.

Presented by Earth Day Network Philippines, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), United Parcel Services (UPS), and SM Cares, the Pro Earth Run 2015 is supported by Xend, Official Courier Partner; The Medical City, Official Medical Partner; Greenlite Banner (The Reusable Banner), Official Printing Partner; Merrell, Official Shoe Sponsor; Maynilad, Official Hydration Partner; Canon; Timex, Official Timing Partner; Slimmers World, Official Fitness Partner; Gerry’s Grill and Uncle Cheffy, Food Sponsors; Kabayan Hotel, Air Asia, Rudy Project, and Integrated Waste Management Inc.

Pro Earth Run 2015 is also supported by GMA7, GMA News TV, 97.9 Home Radio,106.7 Energy FM, 99.5 Play FM, Business Mirror, Malaya Business Insight, and out-of-home-media specialist, United Neon.


Details on Pro Earth Run 2015 are posted on www.facebook.com/ProEarthRunPH.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Update for Typhoon #ChedengPH



UPDATE ON TYPHOON MAYSAK (‪#‎ChedengPH‬)
April 2, 2015



As of 04:00PM, April 2, 2015, Typhoon CHEDENG (Maysak) slowed down as it moved from 19 kph West-Northwest to 15 kph Northwest but maintained its strength of 175 kph maximum sustained winds and gustiness of up to 210 kph. It was estimated based on all available data at 970 km East Southeast of Virac, Catanduanes (13.0˚N, 133.2˚E).


Due to this development, PAGASA will be raising Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) #1 later this evening instead of this afternoon over Bicol provinces. Once PSWS #1 is hoisted, sea travel over these areas will be suspended.
TY CHEDENG is expected to weaken further as it moves slowly towards the eastern seaboard of Luzon.

It is estimated to make landfall over the eastern coast of Aurora - Isabela area by Sunday late morning (April 5) and exit PAR over Ilocos Sur area by Monday afternoon (April 6).

Moderate to Heavy rainfall is expected within 150-200 km radius of the typhoon.
Storm surges and sea surface waves of less than 3 meters are possible over the eastern coasts of Quezon, Aurora and Isabela.

It is advised to refrain from outdoor activities particularly along beaches of eastern Luzon starting Saturday.

What to expect during Holy Week (April 2– 5, 2015)
Thursday – Friday (April 2-3):
• Eastern Luzon will experience good weather today and tomorrow.
• Basically fair weather (warm and humid) with the possibility of isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms is expected over the central and western sections of the country until Friday.

Saturday & Sunday (April 4 - 5):
• Rains and gusty winds will be experienced over eastern coast of Luzon and stormy weather is expected over Central-Northern Luzon by Sunday.
• Greater Metro Manila Area will have occasional rains and gusty winds while the rest of the country will have warm and humid condition.
• Rough to very rough sea conditions will prevail over the eastern seaboard of Luzon, hence dangerous to all sea vessels.

This outlook will be updated when significant changes in the weather pattern occurs.




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