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PhilPop goes global with #MusicBreakingBorders

Tuesday, June 30, 2020





PhilPop has always been a reliable and trusted platform in fostering appreciation for quality and original compositions that reflect Filipino culture, experience, and identity. This year, the country’s premier songwriting competition plans to continue its mission of promoting homegrown music on a scale that’s never been done before: by going global and forging regional ties.

With #MusicBreakingBorders as its newest tagline, PhilPop is committed to celebrating and showcasing the diverse appeal of Filipino music through its Songwriting Festival.

This also serves as an opportunity to empower underrated music talents from the Philippines to harness their potential in the international music arena, and give them the necessary support to widen their reach and adapt to various challenges and trends in the industry.

Music Breaking Borders







National Artist and PhilPop Music Fest Foundation Board Member and Bootcamp Master Ryan Cayabyab puts into perspective the fascinating story and direction for original Pilipino music for which PhilPop dares to achieve. “Filipino music and songs become more meaningful, more colorful and more diverse when we tear down the barriers that separate us. The color that each language brings, the unique stories that each music creator conjures or creates, and the diversity of possible creations to choose from makes for a more exciting direction for Philippine popular music to take. Hence, we in Philpop has adopted the theme, Music Breaking Borders to achieve what we have set out. The other facet of Philpop’s #MusicBreakingBorders is, you probably have guessed – the task of Philippine pop music to break barriers in the international scene,” Cayabyab shares in a statement.

PhilPop Boot Camp coach and folk icon Noel Cabangon also emphasizes the importance of giving voice to new, original Filipino pop songs from different parts of the country, and that an overwhelming number of aspiring songwriters outside Metropolitan Manila, have produced and written material that deserves to be heard on the mainstage. “The idea of breaking borders is to somehow break the “monopoly’ of music emanating from the National Capital Region (NCR).”

Cabangon explains, “We have to admit that there is a diverse musical sound of diverse influences from the regions. Music has been one of the popular art forms that expresses the culture and way of life of the people from the region. I’m not just talking about indigenous sound and ideas but distinct people’s character and sensibility. #MusicBreakingBorders is also not just an accommodation of music from the other parts of the country, but the idea being inclusive, in the sense of original Filipino music. We somehow want to break the wall of confinement in the center and allow/open the arena, and create a broader stream. Somehow this broader stream can lead all of us to the sea and to the ocean, where borders are opening up to new ideas.”

Overwhelming response






The 2020 PhilPop Music Festival started accepting entries last April 25, 2020 from all over the country in 5 different clusters: Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, the National Capital Region.

More than a thousand entries have already been submitted, with original and unpublished compositions not restricted to any genre, and written in various languages—from English to Filipino, from Bicolano to Ilocano, from Cebuano to Waray, and more.

Submission of entries is still ongoing until July 4, 2020. For more details on how to join, feel free to register online via their official website.

To date, PhilPop has produced some of the biggest songs of the last two decades, including massive streaming and radio hits performed, composed and written by Ben&Ben, Thyro and Yumi, The Itchyworms, Sam Concepcion, Johnoy Danao, Kyla, and Joey Ayala—to name a few.

The respected music institution has also created a world-class and sustainable curriculum for its annual workshops and seminars, facilitated only by the best in the Philippine music industry.

This year alone, PhilPop conducted several talks and performances online through its banner showcase, Q&A + Kwentuhan Songwriting and PhilPop Live, which can be streamed on its Facebook page.



According to PhilPop 2020 President Ricky Vargas, the country’s biggest songwriting competition aims to strengthen its presence by “coming up with digital initiatives and strategies to engage future music industry professionals with different approaches in songwriting, production, and other modes of creative expression that are at par with international standards.” He adds, “Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we remain as a stabilizing force in discovering world-class songwriters and composers, and making sure that their work stands out in terms of innovation, cultural pride, and global appeal.




Advice to aspiring composers


When asked about his advice to new and upcoming composers and songwriters, Ryan Cayabyab shares a few important reminders to achieve their goals of making it to the international stage. “The balance to be original and to be universal all at the same time is the key that anyone aspiring for global recognition needs to achieve. It also means that a careful balance between science and art should be the direction to take. This will entail a lot of observation and experimentation and a lot of creative spirit and practice to get to that point where one is ready to take flight! Like all types of experiments, there will be a lot of failures along the way, so we need to be prepared for the long haul: prepared physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Noel Cabangon encourages everyone to focus on honing the talent and turning the process into a habit. “Get inspired, keep on writing, open your ears and eyes to new ideas and transform and them your own.”

PhilPop Songwriting Festival 2020 is an initiative of the PhilPop Music Foundation, chaired by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan. This year's PhilPop is co-presented by SMART, MERALCO, and MAYNILAD.





Invest in global ‘emerging themes’ to ‘future proof’ portfolio, says BPI AMTC





The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t entirely prove a downward trend for investors who wish to diversify their portfolios on a global scale. There are still opportunities for investing, such as in global “emerging themes,” to future-proof one’s portfolio. 

This is according to Allen Martin Dee, Head of Investment Solutions at BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation (BPI AMTC) in a recently held BPI AMTC webinar


“The Bull, The Bear and The Virus – The Anatomy of Resilient Investment Plans.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic will change the way consumers behave, and we're already seeing it now. This is the perfect time to future proof your portfolio by investing in emerging themes such as healthcare, technology, innovation, and sustainability,” explained Dee.

“These themes are going to do very well in the coming years and we encourage you to diversify your portfolio so that you can take advantage of this opportunity,” he added.Diversification is important because every year, there are winners and losers in the market, Dee said. “There was a time when the S&P 500, the main US index of stocks, was the best performing in the past 12 years. But there are also times when Emerging Markets did better.” He continued, “there were times when gold did better, and a year when cash was the best performing asset class. It's very difficult to pick winners, and there is a different winner almost every single year. But if you have a balanced portfolio, then you can take advantage of whoever wins in that year.” BPI AMTC also noticed that there is a common misconception on investing in global assets, as some investors think that this is riskier. But this is not always the case, said Dee. “The fact is, over a ten-year period, the numbers show that global equities gave better returns with less volatility compared to local equities. While the Philippines continued to grow at a rapid pace and obtained its investment grade credit rating along the way, other parts of the world are advancing more significantly. Dramatic progress in the varied fields of technology and healthcare spurs new innovative ideas, giving investors a glimpse of the future and a chance to participate in potentially more profitable ventures. A balance of domestic and offshore investments keeps your portfolio diversified and resilient over the long term.” Investing in the time of COVID-19 The webinar also featured Bank of the Philippine Islands and BPI AMTC Independent Director Ignacio Bunye who shared his experience as a seasoned investor. 

Bunye’s investment journey with BPI AMTC, which spans over two decades, has weathered several market declines including the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 

To navigate investments amidst COVID-19, he shared some insights on how to build one’s savings and how to effectively invest in the long term. “As the saying goes, every threat has a corresponding opportunity. Under these extraordinary times, it is prudent for you to set aside a cash buffer to meet your basic expenses for a certain period of time and for any unforeseen circumstances. Having done this, just stay calm and stay invested. Keep your eyes wide open for the evolving risks while simultaneously looking out for investment opportunities.” Mr Bunye also emphasized the importance of working with fund managers who are better equipped to weather the turbulence in the financial markets brought by crises such as COVID-19. 

“A doctor does not operate on himself but gets another doctor to do so. But the more practical reason is the lack of time I can devote to managing the investment. It is almost impossible to have an ordinary day job and still be as in touch with the financial markets as much as a fund manager can. Because of hands-on, day-to-day interaction, a fund manager is also better positioned to make timely investment decisions.” 
The webinar was attended by over 600 clients and bank frontliners. 

BPI AMTC holds regular webinars on the financial markets, featuring its diverse pool of investment experts in the Philippines, and foreign fund managers from Hong Kong, and Singapore. To learn more about these webinars, email bpiamtcbrand@bpi.com.ph.

BPI employees and clients raise P12.7M for disaster, pandemic facility






Photo shows (from left): BPI Head of Sales and Service Channels Angelie King, BPI Head of Corporate Affairs and BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen L. Cammayo, BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) President Rene “Butch” Meily, BPI Southern Metro Manila Division Head Olga Ang, and PDRF Executive Director Veronica Gabaldon.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), through BPI Foundation recently turned over P12.7 million to the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) for the construction of a two-storey 506 square-meter safe shelter for people burdened by disasters and pandemics.
The funds came from the collaborative efforts of BPI employees, clients, and the BPI Foundation through the Bank’s fundraising initiative called #TaaLove: Sa Puso Magmumula ang Kanilang Pagbangon.

“As an institution, we are committed to continue playing a constructive and meaningful role in nation-building. We are grateful for the generosity of our dear clients and employees who took part in this initiative to help our fellow Filipinos in need,” BPI President and CEO Cezar Consing said.
Early this year, BPI called on its employees to heed the call for help by people affected by the Taal Volcano eruption. After initially raising P2.7 million from employees and a matching amount by the BPI Foundation, the program was eventually opened to the general public through the BPI branches from February 14 to March 13, 2020. An additional P10 million was raised from clients.

The multi-purpose facility was initially intended to support those severely affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and to prepare for future disasters. In light of the ongoing pandemic, the design will be modified so that it can also function as an alternative health care facility.
The facility will be built to withstand hazards in the locality and will accommodate approximately 300 people. Livelihood activities will also be held there when there are no disasters and pandemics to deal with. The construction will start in August once the ideal location is identified and the new design is approved.

To know more about BPI’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, visit:
http://www.bpifoundation.org.

BPI: Clients adopt savings mindset, deposits grow during ECQ








The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) noted a marked reversal in customer behavior as people started saving more money in their deposit accounts. This follows a temporary increase in ATM withdrawals in the early days of the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), as people rushed to ensure that they had enough funds on hand during the lockdown.




BPI Head of Deposits Carmina Marquez noted that the impacts of the pandemic on the economy and incomes have made people more conscious about their savings and the need to have an emergency fund as seen in the increase in both its deposit volume and new deposit account openings during the height of the ECQ, a behavior that could benefit Filipinos in the long run.




“Saving enough money for a rainy day – or in this case a prolonged storm – takes discipline, but it must be done, and people are seeing that very clearly now. The pandemic made many realize the importance of building an emergency fund to tide us over unexpected circumstances that could drain one’s finances. Let this be a learning that will change the way we manage our money. One can start small and set aside 20 percent of your monthly income. This allows you to have 2.5 months’ worth of salary set aside each year. Before you know it, in five years’ time, you would have saved a years’ worth of your salary.” she said.




Ms. Marquez also said that digitalization helped increase deposit levels as the ecosystem allowed funds to be moved from one account to the other, without the money leaving the banking system. This allows for efficient utilization of funds for lending by banks to spur economic activity.




“We saw a 15% growth in deposit account openings during the ECQ, despite most of our branches being closed. Many were depositors in other banks who either completely transferred to BPI or decided to spread out their deposits among different banks,” she said, noting that most BPI branches are now open under the more relaxed general community quarantine.



She said that the preference for liquidity, combined with fewer avenues for spending given the closure of non-essential establishments, and the suspension of bills and loan payments allowed clients to keep their money in their bank accounts. BPI’s deposit volumes during the ECQ period increased by 5 percent compared to pre-ECQ levels.




“When there is more than enough liquidity in the market, deposit market rates will decline. We have also noted that depositors prefer to hold on to their cash and thus, have moved their funds from longer tenor time deposit to regular savings. Depositors have traded earning higher rates for liquidity. As the country moves into GCQ and the mandatory moratorium on bills payments and taxes are lifted, we expect deposit levels to adjust down temporarily but will most likely move back as businesses resume and preference to be liquid will remain. It would be very interesting to see how deposit levels will look after quarantine, under the new normal,” she said.




Keeping a significant amount of money saved in deposit accounts could prove to be a challenge for many Filipinos, with only 34.5% of the adult population in the Philippines having formal bank accounts. The government, through the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) plans to double the number of Filipinos with formal bank accounts (70%) by 2023 through financial inclusion programs.




Ms. Marquez said BPI has deposit products that provide clients with liquidity while allowing them to optimize their savings by giving clients additional interest earnings or insurance coverage.




“It would be a good time to re-assess and determine how we can recalibrate our finances. We encourage clients to learn about their options. We have products that allow them to earn a higher interest if they don’t withdraw from their account for at least a month such as Maxi-Saver or to be covered with a life insurance protection with our Pamana,” she said.




BPI offers free, personalized financial advisory services to all clients to help them meet their financial goals.

From information to interaction, here’s how Twitter can help you in your daily life




Social media brings people together in an easier way, but more importantly, it helps people get the information they want faster and simpler through a tap of a button. It also paved the way for business growth and for people to discover more of what the world has to offer. Because of its undeniably life-changing impact, people all over the world regard June 30 as the #SocialMediaDay since 2010.

According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report, there’s a total of 73 million active social media users in the Philippines, and people aged 16 to 64 spend an average of 3 hours and 53 minutes on social media sites daily. Social media plays a pivotal role in their daily life, so it is best to make sure their time is well spent and can also positively contribute in real life.

As the go to platform for #WhatsHappening in the world, Twitter is also one in celebrating the positive impact of social media in connecting people from all walks of life. Twitter itself is a platform that allows people to spark conversations, interact with one another, and discover what’s being talked about for the day. This #SocialMediaDay, know more on how Twitter can be your go-to platform to help you in your everyday life.


1. Stay updated with the latest news daily

With our rather busy and digital lifestyle, not all people have the luxury to sit down and read newspapers or even a whole online news article. In addition, news also comes and even changes in a flash, so it is important to get the information in real-time.

Through Twitter, people can easily discover real-time information about a topic, and even discover which topics are trending among users. Verified journalists and news outfits are using the platform and are tweeting real-time to share news through threads for developing news. You can be easily informed about #WhatsHappening just by simply following their accounts or you can also create a List to organize your news sources. For example, this Twitter list features Tweets from agencies working towards crisis and disaster relief in the Philippines.



2. Find and join active communities

As we delve into #WhatsHappening daily, we are exposed to a variety of topics and conversations that can spark our interest and allow us to learn more about it. From sports, arts to cooking and gaming, you can find and interact with people sharing your same interests on Twitter.

Start a conversation or share your talent; you are never alone on Twitter. For example, people can use the #artph to see a community of talented Filipino artists. People are also Tweeting about their cooking recipes or newfound hobbies through #QuarantineCooking and #Quaranthings. If you are into entertainment, supporting your favorite artist is always fun when you do it with your fellow fans. There are a lot of fandoms on Twitter that you can follow that share hashtags or updates about their favorite artists.






3. Get help or extend a helping hand online

Twitter is not just a place for entertainment or leisure. With complex issues that surround our everyday lives, Twitter is also taking actions to make the platform a better space for its users. For example, there was a lot of misinformation during the early stages of the pandemic. To combat this, Twitter launched a dedicated search prompt so that users can easily find reliable and authoritative information on COVID-19. With this section of collated verified accounts and trusted sources, Filipinos are provided with real-time updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

There was also a recent surge in gender-based violence, and because people are stuck at home, it can be difficult to spot or report such cases. To help people in its fight against the shadow pandemic, Twitter also partnered with the Philippine Commission On Women (@PCWgovph) and Women’s Care Center to launch a dedicated gender-based violence, where people can find hotlines to report such incidents. There are also dedicated notification services on mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, and child sexual exploitation.



Social media makes it possible for people to help each other out despite the distance, so If you need or know someone who might need help, Twitter can provide easier access to helpful resources that you can share to your friends, family, or communities.


4. Explore and save something new everyday

Aside from being the place for fresh updates, people can also easily discover, follow, and even save Tweets or topics on Twitter. Whether you need tips for your work, online classes, and other Tweets that you find useful, the Explore tab conveniently houses trends on various topics. All you have to do is to visit the tab and scroll away to see the latest news and information.

Do you encounter a Tweet, but do not have time to read or react as of the moment? You can easily save and revisit that Tweet using the Bookmark feature. For example, you can save videos to watch, Threads to read later, or just simply bookmark an insightful Tweet that might come in handy next time! Here’s a user who used the Bookmark feature to save her favorite KathNiel Twitterseryes.




Here are the steps to use Bookmark feature using mobile:
From a Tweet, tap the share icon and select Add Tweet to Bookmarks.
To view your saved Tweets, tap Bookmarks from your profile icon menu.
To remove a saved bookmark, tap the share icon from the Tweet within your bookmark timeline and select Remove Tweet from bookmarks.
Additionally, you can tap the more icon at the top of your bookmark timeline to remove all of your bookmarks at once.

Being on social media can also bring productivity in our daily lives. There are plenty of ways where people can find entertaining, educational, or even-life changing information online. Most importantly, social media helps us express ourselves, so do not be afraid to spark a conversation on Twitter today!

LBC Amps Up Digital Services for Filipino Businesses on the Move with LBC Online

Monday, June 29, 2020






Logistics and delivery services have become the lifeline for many households and businesses especially with the stringent lockdown and those who have limited access to physical shopping spaces. The growing reliance of the general population on online delivery and services inspired LBC Express, Inc. to continue to fuel Filipino businesses by providing digital solutions to online sellers as a way to move their passions and dreams.

With the steady rise of online businesses over the last few months, LBC has launched a platform dedicated to sellers in the social sphere, LBC Online. The platform fast-tracks the business transactions by giving social sellers a tracking service for their packages and flexible collection options. LBC enables sellers through its services and with this new platform, aims to help them succeed as they continue to move their businesses forward.

Miguel Angel A. Camahort, president of LBC, said, “LBC has always been the stronghold of generations of Filipinos when it comes to cargo and courier services and we are always ready to gear up for their changing needs. As we recover our normalcy and recuperate completely from the challenges that have forced us to rethink our normal, LBC will reinvent its way of moving, its service to bridge the distance between Filipino to Filipino. We start by introducing a safe, convenient way for Filipino online sellers to manage their business.”

By signing up for an LBC Online account, sellers get to pre-process transactions online and enjoy a number of benefits including their own dashboard that allows them to track and trace their deliveries, faster transaction for a smoother branch experience, and more flexibility in payment options that lets you collect your funds at your own convenience.

Shipments can also be processed online to make your branch drop-off transactions easier and more convenient. Those who need transaction reports can rely on the platform’s dashboard — simply filter your transactions by date and download your reports to save time for more important matters.

“We hope that through LBC Online, we are in a way, lifting up Filipino online sellers with a platform that helps them manage their business at the comforts of their own homes,” adds Camahort.

To sign up for LBC Online, just visit https://lbconline.lbcexpress.com/signup.



LBC introduces more digital services
As the demand for door-to-door delivery increases, the country’s leading courier is also cutting the steps of sending parcels to any point in the country with LBC Pickup, an online booking system that allows LBC staff to get the packages directly at the home of the sender.

To also minimize the need to go to-and-fro in their local branches, LBC is enabling sending remittances from home through Instant Peso Padala (IPP) Online. With IPP Online, anyone can send money through their phones and computers, and have it claimed through thousands of LBC’s physical stores or remittance partners: Cebuana Lhuillier, MLhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop. This service is free of transaction charges until July 5, 2020.

In view of the current situation, LBC is firm in strengthening country’s collective effort to bring the local economy off the ground. Needless to say, LBC is pioneering the next wave of services needed by the modern Filipino retailer and consumer.

For more information on LBC’s newest services, visit www.lbcexpress.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/LBCExpress/.

PLDT-Smart Foundation partners with DSWD, UP Diliman to support communities in Quezon City


In photo are, from left: DSWD Disaster Response Management Bureau Director Jam Karess Bazon, Yakan Tribe President Bidal Addang and PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos.






MANILA, Philippines, June 29, 2020 – PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) recently turned over food pack donations to 300 families from the Yakan Tribe, a Muslim community located in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. The foundation also provided relief assistance to 600 displaced construction workers located in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The donations were from PLDT and Smart’s Kapit Kapatid which is an employee-initiated fundraising campaign for frontliners as well as communities severely impacted by the pandemic.


In photo are the Yakan Tribe during the turn over of food pack donations.




This was done in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), University of the Philippines Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development and Your 200 Pesos which is a project that aims to feed families affected by the pandemic. The Your 200 Pesos is led by TV personality and beauty queen Michele Gumabao who also joined the recent relief efforts.




“During these uncertain times, the PLDT-Smart Foundation aims to provide assurance that help and support are given to underprivileged families and communities affected by the pandemic. We hope that these simple donations will sustain them, especially during this difficult time,” said PSF President Esther Santos.

“Through this joint effort of DSWD, the PLDT-Smart Foundation, the Office of the UP Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development and Your 200 Pesos project by Ms. Michele Gumabao, we were able to reach out to those who are affected by this pandemic. DSWD is fervent in engaging public-private sector partnerships to ensure that relief goods are delivered to the affected people during this health crisis,” said Disaster Response Management Bureau Director Jam Karess Banzon.


600 displaced construction workers are given food packs by the PLDT-Smart Foundation in partnership with DSWD and UP Diliman.









The PSF has been a certified agency of the DSWD for the foundation’s regular programs, especially for disaster response and has been a registered Social Welfare Development Agency since 2014.

To know more about the efforts of the PLDT Group in beating the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit http://beta.pldt.com/covid19/.

SAVOR THE FOOD ONCE AGAIN AT CENTURY PARK HOTEL MANILA




One of the Finest Hotels in the Metro to Reopen Its Doors for Dine-in

The COVID-19 pandemic has put everything at a standstill, including being restricted to dining options such as cooking and eating at home, takeout or delivery.   With the government’s recent approval for restaurants to open for dine-in, the long wait for all Century Park Hotel patrons and diners will be over on July 1, 2020.

The food adventure continues with the reopening of the Atrium Lounge. Families and friends can share delightful moments once again in this award-winning dining outlet over their culinary favorites from the hotel’s Café in the Park and Tsukiji Restaurant.

Explore a wide selection of Filipino dishes and international cuisines. For your seafood cravings, try our Grilled Prawns, Pan-fried Salmon Fillet and Blue Marlin Supreme which will definitely reintroduce your palate to the sumptuous and luscious taste – the true mark of Century Park dining experience. Reuniting with your loved ones after several months of staying home will be more heartwarming and filling when spent with our savory platters of meat such as Grilled Lamb Chops, Sirloin Steak Café de Paris and Country Crispy Chicken, among others.
Have an oishi good time with our Japanese gustatory classics from the Century Tsukiji Restaurant. Make your own bento from our scrumptious menu of appetizers, rice meals, grilled and fried dishes. Our yummy special maki and other sushi selections will also satisfy your cravings.

Food gets all the better with the hotel’s elegant setup and homey atmosphere. While reveling in our culinary pleasures, behold the magnificent view of the Grand Staircase and fountain where you can also take some selfies or ‘groufies’.

The Atrium Lounge will be open daily from 9:00AM to 6:00PM.

Prior to reopening, Century Park Hotel ensured that all diners will get to enjoy dining-in again while maintaining peace of mind.  During the months of lockdown, every corner of the property was thoroughly disinfected, adhering to our commitment to keep our guests safe based on the World Health Organization’s standards.  The hotel is more than prepared to give you a gustatory treat that is both fancy and sanitary.  Health and safety protocols such as contact tracing, social distancing and wearing of masks will also be enforced.


The tables are all set for this much-awaited day. We cannot wait to serve your orders again and witness delightful moments take shape. Come and dine at Century Park Hotel!

Post-Quarantine: Where Do You Want To Go?

Saturday, June 27, 2020



Tanauan, Batangas—June 27, 2020 - Looking at the brighter side, we are all yearning for this pandemic to end so we can go out and experience fun with friends and family. 

Travelling has truly changed beyond recognition since the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of the implementation of quarantine. And as many experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) predict, this virus will be with us for a long time. 

While the quarantine period suggests that mobility will remain limited until a later time, it does not mean that travel is banned. And when travel restrictions loosen up, road trips would become the norm, since flights, ferries, and other public transportation would not be as safe and convenient as it used to.

Even though the pandemic may have put a dent on foreign travel, domestic tourism may perhaps be the new normal for people who still want to see the bigger world.

So, if you plan a road trip, why not travel on light vehicle without too much to spend to.  Riding a motorcycle solo conveniently meets the need for physical distancing, something that is going to be the new normal for all.

So, if you think the pandemic has scrapped any travel plans you made, perhaps you may want to consider these destinations instead. And to see these places, all you will need is a trustworthy motorcycle to experience a different kind of adventure. Here are some suggestions:

  1. La Union and Baler — If you love beaches and surfing, it only takes about a 4-5 hour motorcycle ride from Manila to these two places. You can get to enjoy the beach sunset, live the surfer life, and have amazing food trips.
  2. Baguio — “The City of Pines” is always a popular destination for vacations and weekend trips because of its proximity to Manila and cooler climate, great food options, and all the interesting tourist destinations you can visit.
  3. Bicol — The Bicol Region is composed of six provinces, four of which are on the mainland on the southeastern end of Luzon: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon. Here you can enjoy amazing sceneries like Mayon Volcano and Bulusan Lake, and enjoy activities in CamSur Watersports.
  4. Ilocos Norte and Sur — Ilocos is also a large province you can visit and needs about 10-12 hours ride. It may be a grind but the culture of Vigan, the sceneries of the tourist spots, and the amazing sights of the wind turbines will make it all worth it.
  5. Samar — Samar is the third largest island in the country, where you can already visit all three of its provinces and even Leyte through the scenic San Juanico Bridge. A beautiful uncommercialized island with gems like Calbiga Cave, Lulugayan Falls, Mapanas Rock Formations, Borongan, Guian, Calicoan, and Marabut.
  6. Bohol — Enjoy all of the eco-friendly activities that this island is famous for like the fantastic diving spots in Tagbilaran or enjoy the company of Tarsiers and butterflies in its reservations. The scenic view of Chocolate Hills will also make the motorcycle ride worth the take.
  7. Cebu — The province consists of Cebu Island, as well as 167 smaller islands, including Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands, are known for their beaches and dive sites. Enjoy areas like Osmena Peak, Kawasan Falls, Moalboal, and other historical locations on the island.
  8. Palawan — Palawan consistently ranks in travel articles as one of the world’s best islands. It’s home to the famed Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palawan has lots of laid-back beach towns as well as top tourist hubs with nightlife and dining options. There’s no traffic whatsoever in the main highway making it safe to ride around.
  9. Siargao — Another great beach and surfing location. The island’s coastline is marked by a succession of reefs and white sandy beaches. The neighboring islands and islets have similar landforms and contain the largest mangrove forest reserves in Mindanao at Del Carmen. The island has also established the use of motorcycles for the full travel experience.

There’s no better way to take motorcycle road trips but to use the best motorcycles around. Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI), the No. 1 motorcycle manufacturer in the Philippines, provides riders the best and safe riding experience through their cutting-edge motorcycles.


Joniel Onting, a Honda Click Rider and proud member of the Click Squad Cebu Inc., shares his ride with his Honda Click to travel to different places in Cebu and beats the everyday traffic to work. The farthest he has ridden using the Honda Click is 91.5km from Cebu City to San Remigio which is almost a 2 and a half-hour ride.

“My favorite part when going for long travels is that I get to see all the beautiful and historical places here in Cebu. Mas enjoy namin ng girlfriend ko ang oras at lugar. We are creating good memories.Thanks to my Honda Click,” he said.




HPI’s wide array of cutting edge motorcycles from Automatic, Cub, Sports, and Big Bikes are perfect for the great long road trip adventure anyone can ask for.

This signifies how the company remains true to its “ONE DREAM” campaign, which is helping fulfill people’s dreams by allowing Filipino riders experience the joy of mobility. And in today’s reality, provide them with a memorable travel experience while keeping them safe.

But still, it is important for everyone’s cooperation so we can flatten the curve and make things normal again and finally go out to discover the world around us.

There is a lot more to explore from Honda’s wide array of motorcycles. For more details about Honda products and promos, visit our website www.hondaph.com and follow our Facebook page, Honda Philippines, Inc. and Instagram, @hondaph_mc.

Curious about what to consider as your solo ride? Watch out for our next article about what makes a perfect and practical ride during this pandemic.

SM AND LGU HELP PUJ, TRIKE DRIVERS IN BULACAN



SM Center Pulilan in partnership with the Municipal Government launched Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go delivery service aiming to help at least 1,000 authorized  jeep and tricycle drivers in the community. In the future, 50% of Pulilan’s 4000 drivers are targeted to join the program. Recently, SM City Baliwag and its LGU provided alternative livelihood to at least 80 tricycle drivers mostly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Under Bulacan 3 Wheels On-the-Go program, tricycle drivers benefitted from the bulk orders generated from SM City Baliwag. Each rider gets P100.00 for every transaction.

SM Malls in Baliwag and Pulilan in partnership with the respective Municipal Governments,  worked together to support and help create alternative livelihood to jeep and tricycle drivers in the community, amid the challenges brought in by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Just recently, SM Center Pulilan and the Municipal Government launched Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go, a collaborative project that gives local jeep and tricycle drivers the opportunity to become town's partner delivery riders. Jeep and tricycle riders get service fee for every transaction following standard rate assigned by their respective associations.

Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go let customers call designated delivery services hotlines to place an order. Each customers will be given assigned partner delivery rider to purchase orders at chosen stores at SM Malls in Baliwag and Pulilan. Orders will be delivered right at the doorstep. Payments are made through Cash on Delivery. 

The said project aims to help transportation community while allowing residents to buy food without the need to leave their homes, as part of the new normal.

Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go in Pulilan has around 1,000 authorized riders which caters all establishments in the town. In the future, 50% of Pulilan’s 4000 drivers are targeted to join the program.
With the aim to help, support and create alternative income for jeep and tricycle drivers in the community amid COVID-19 crisis, SM Center Pulilan in partnership with the Municipal Government launched a delivery service dubbed as Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go. Present on the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) are Pulilan ABC President Hon. Dennis M. Cruz (left) with SM Center Pulilan Asst. Mall Manager Alvin De Galicia (right).

“We at SM continue to finds ways to support the community. With Bulacan Wheels On-the-Go project, we are glad to be of help to the transportation sector while we keep up with the new norm,” says SM Center Pulilan Assistant Mall Manager Alvin De Galicia.


Prior to this, SM City Baliwag together with the Municipal Government were able to provide alternative income to some 80 tricycle drivers turned delivery riders under the program Bulacan 3 Wheels On-the-Go. Among the benefits given to riders are good and flexible working hours, protective gears as well as uniforms.

Because of the growing demand for food delivery, tricycle drivers benefitted from the bulk orders generated from SM City Baliwag. Each tricycle drivers gets P100.00 for every delivery service transactions.

Baliwag Delivery Services hotlines- Cluster 1 (0977-246-5137); Cluster 2 (0977-246-5135); Cluster 3 (0977-246-5136). Delivery service is open from 8am-8pm, and orders must be made one day before delivery date. Purchase allowed are minimum of P300.00 and maximum of P2, 000.00.

Meanwhile, Pulilan residents may visit Pulilan Pabili System Facebook page for the directory and details on how to place order. Delivery service is open as early as 8am-6pm.

Also check SM City Baliwag and SM Center Pulilan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional information as well as link for open stores and menu guide.


Doña Elena Tower Adds Life to Manila’s Thriving Property Market

Friday, June 26, 2020


The City of Manila has definitely had a resurgence under the leadership of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. When Mayor Isko removed unlawful obstructions and cleared illegal vendors off of Manila’s streets and sidewalks, he effectively changed how the city looked and how it moved. By cleaning up the city and bringing order to chaos, the determined mayor gave the City of Manila a fresh new feel that continues to inspire business confidence and draw consumer interest. And this hasn’t changed despite the COVID pandemic.

According to Lobien Realty Group (LRG), the City of Manila has a total of 99,874.29 square meters (sqm) of gross leasable office space and only 5,650.63 square meters (sqm) are currently vacant. LRG pointed out that this translates to a single digit vacancy rate of 6%, which is very low and signifies that in Manila, there is demand for office spaces and what is supplied in the market is being taken up.
One of the most highly anticipated real estate developments in Manila is the Doña Elena Tower, a mixed-use building developed by Happy Coral Way Realty Corporation. This 11-storey building will soon rise in the busy district of Sta. Mesa Manila near the boundary of Mandaluyong City.

The Doña Elena Tower, which has LRG as its sole leasing agent, will provide Manila with 19,051 sqm of gross leasable area.  Built at an accessible location that’s surrounded by a wide variety of businesses and essential institutions, the Doña Elena Tower offers its tenants the chance to work in a community where most of what they may want or need is readily available.  Situated close to the entry and exit ramps of the  on-going Skyway Stage 3 project and within the public transport system that connects EDSA through Shaw, LRG says Doña Elena Tower gives the added benefit of having quick access to Mandaluyong’s  burgeoning business and residential areas, without having to deal with the hustle and bustle of the already crowded central business districts of Makati, BGC or Ortigas.

LRG believes that the office space market is a good barometer for the state of the economy because when office spaces are in demand and supply is being taken up, it means that businesses are expanding, jobs are being generated and money is being spent. Based on the high demand for office spaces in Manila, LRG expects that finding tenants to occupy Doña Elena Tower will not be difficult. Judging by LRG’s optimism, it can be said that Happy Coral Way Realty Corporation made an excellent decision to build the Doña Elena Tower in the City of Manila.