Friday, September 29, 2023

The ripple effect of the water crisis has reached every part of the globe. According to the World Wildlife Fund, some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. Worst, two-thirds of the global population may face water shortages by 2025 and ecosystems will suffer.

As the gravity of these issues becomes increasingly apparent, several countries have taken significant steps to forge a more sustainable future for the Earth. Noteworthy examples include Singapore's water management plan and The Netherlands' intricate conservation practices.

Singapore’s Desalination Plant


The Delta Works in The Netherlands was built by Rijkswaterstaat to protect the country against flooding from the North Sea.


Inspiration for the Philippines

In the Philippines, a multifaceted approach has also been embraced by the public and private sectors in safeguarding and managing water resources. SM Supermalls are at the forefront of the conservation and management of water resources in its mall facilities. Its endeavors form the foundation of a more sustainable and water-secure future that the company has been long been advocating.

SM's Vision: Greening the Future

SM has been recycling water since the 1990s, treating an average of 1 billion gallons of water annually in recent years, equivalent to 1,600 Olympic sized swimming pools. In line with the SM Green Movement, SM has been continuously working towards responsible consumption and water conservation in its properties.

To illustrate, the SM Supermalls’ comfort rooms have smart fixtures to manage water flow. There are also signages in the mall that advocate wise water use. Wastewater is channeled to the malls’ sewage treatment plants that recycle an estimated total of 4 million cubic meters of water, lessening their dependence on freshwater sources for non-potable uses. SM did this even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.

SM Mall of Asia has been involved in various sustainability and environmental initiatives, including water recycling among others.

SM Supermalls utilizes recycled wastewater from the mall for irrigating its gardens.

SM Malls have “Save Water” signages typically aim to create awareness about water conservation and inspire people to take simple actions to reduce their water consumption

Recently, SM took a step further in resource management by launching the first-ever water filtration system in a Philippine mall at SM City Baguio. This facility can turn collected rainwater into potable water for mall tenant use such as washing and cooking as well as dishwashing and handwashing, allowing the mall to further lessen its dependence on the freshwater supply of the Baguio community.

The Rainwater Treatment Facility at SM City Baguio Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (right) sample the potable water from the SM Baguio rainwater treatment facility with SM SVP for Marketing Joaquin San Agustin (left) and SM VP for Corporate Compliance Engr. Liza Silerio.(center)

SM's dedication aligns with the world’s environmental sustainability and climate action goals. Rainwater catchment basins in flood-prone areas and the rainwater filtration in SM Baguio further exemplify this commitment. These significant efforts underscore the ongoing need for sustainable practices and policies.

A Brighter Future Ahead

The journey towards sustainable water management is ongoing. SM Supermalls, through its initiatives, paves the way for a greener, more secure future.
Learn more at SM Cares or follow SM Supermalls on social media.

(Left to right): SM Supermalls Vice President Liza Silerio, SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, GUUN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda, GUUN Philippine Branch Senior Managing Director and General Manager Takeshi Konishi

Leading real estate developer in Southeast Asia, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s GUUN Co. Ltd. to explore a potential partnership to implement waste management solutions by recycling waste paper and plastics as an alternative source of energy called ‘fluff fuel’.

Fluff Fuels are one type of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) that are produced from shredded and compressed plastics, papers, and fibers. These are used as fuels in cement manufacturing, paper mill companies, or power companies in Japan.

SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy is positive that a partnership with GUUN will contribute to the waste reduction goals of the country. “Today, Japan’s waste management and recycling technology is among the most advanced in the world,” he said. “There is no better partner for SM because we do not just talk about being big, we make sure we do it; we do not talk about being environment friendly but we do take bold steps to save the environment. I am looking forward to growing with GUUN as among leaders in solving environmental issues in the Philippines.”


GUUN Co., Ltd., founded in March 2001 and headquartered in Yokohama City, Japan, piloted the production of fluff fuel from plastic waste in Inayawan, Cebu in 2014 and recently inaugurated its P200-million, 2,400-square meter waste recycling plant in Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu. 

Since then, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has adopted GUUN’s waste-to-fuel technology as a model for advanced low-carbon technology innovation for further deployment in developing countries.

“This will be a milestone partnership for us,” GUNN Chief Executive Officer Shinji Fujieda said after the signing ceremony. “I understand very much how important waste management is for SM and for the Philippines and we look forward to more projects we can do with the properties of SM Prime.”

SM Prime’s initiatives for waste management include waste reduction and effective waste collection and segregation. Over the years, it has implemented programs such as Trash to Cash, Plastic Waste Collection, and E-Waste Collection that have contributed to reducing the total solid waste generation across its real estate portfolio. 

Through its pioneering Trash to Cash recycling market, SM Prime has collected and recycled 1.4M kg of plastics, paper, metals, and others in 2022. “We have saved 16,766 trees from the 986,222 kg of paper recycled,” SM Prime disclosed in its 2022 Integrated Report to shareholders.

Meanwhile, SM’s Plastic Waste Collection program, a partnership with the Plastic Credit Exchange that was launched in February 2021, has accumulated 42,541kg of plastic waste from 14 mall sites. Also present in all its 83 SM Supermalls is the E-Waste Collection program for the responsible disposal of WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment). This drive has helped process close to 7,000 kilograms of e-waste.


Jollibee Group President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong (rightmost) welcomes employees back to Jollibee Group’s Main Office in Ortigas, Pasig. Jollibee Group’s return-to-office campaign, dubbed Back with Joy, was recognized as a Global Finalist in the Gartner Marketing and Communications Awards.

Jollibee Group’s return to office campaign “Back with Joy” was among the finalists at this year’s Gartner Marketing and Communications Awards, a global program recognizing initiatives that push the marketing and communications function forward.

The Back with Joy campaign was shortlisted for Excellence in Change Communications, competing against international companies such as Cisco and Southwest Airlines. Jollibee Group is the only Philippine-based company in the category.

“Back with Joy’s recognition at the Gartner Marketing and Communication Awards affirms our efforts to build a safe and collaborative environment for our employees as we continue to thrive in the hybrid work model,” shared Arsenio Sabado, Chief Human Resources Officer of Jollibee Group. “This recognition is timely as we celebrate our first year of our hybrid work model, with its success made possible by our JFC Team who embraced our joyful return to the office.”

The Excellence in Change Communications category recognizes campaigns that supported leaders and managers in creating clear and compelling change communication and helped drive employee understanding of the change and capability in taking supportive action, among others.

Jollibee Group’s main office employees were treated to a meaningful and celebratory return-to-office experience, with the entire Jollitown greeting them on their first day.

Back with Joy

Anchored on a human-centric approach to redesigning new employee’s work-life balance, Jollibee Group’s Back with Joy focused on health and well-being, enhanced collaboration, and social connection. The campaign equipped JFC teams and managers with tools and frameworks to thrive in the hybrid environment and also involved a one-month pilot phase to survey what went well and what could be improved in the back-to-office setup.

Jollibee Group’s participation in the Gartner Marketing and Communications Awards reflects its continuing commitment to its people, as well as its goal of providing a safer and more encouraging work environment for its employees.

This recent achievement joins the list of recognitions the company has received this year. In March, Jollibee Group took home two Silver Anvil Awards at the 58th Anvil Awards conferred by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. Silver Anvil Awards were given to the Jollibee Times Square New York Campaign and the JFC Annual Report.

Jollibee Group was the only Philippine company to make the finalist list, which includes other multinationals such as Cisco and Southwest Airlines.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Jollibee Group’s Beth Dela Cruz joins Bobby Lopez, Loida Lewis, and other accomplished Filipinos for PH TimeIsNow on October 25. Virtual access to the event is also available through

Jollibee Group President for North America Asian Brands Beth Dela Cruz (in photo) joins a prestigious panel of accomplished Filipinos for the PHTimeIsNow Event at the Harvard Club, New York on October 28, 2023.

MANILA, Philippines. – Global Filipino trailblazers will take centerstage in New York on October 28, when PHTimeIsNow: A Time and Place to Connect with Fellow Filipino Trailblazers will be held at the Harvard Club of New York City, with Jollibee Group’s Beth Dela Cruz among its speakers.

“I am honored to share our Jollibee Group story at the historic Harvard Club NYC for the PHTimeIsNow forum,” shared Beth Dela Cruz, President for Jollibee Group North America Asian Brands (Jollibee, Chowking, and Red Ribbon). “Being on stage with accomplished Filipinos like Bobby Lopez and Loida Lewis inspires us to work even harder to share Filipino pride here in the United States and around the world.”

Dela Cruz joins the ranks of renowned trailblazers such as Bobby Lopez, Double EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony) award-winning composer for Frozen, Coco, Avenue Q, and Book of Mormon, and Loida Lewis, philanthropist, businesswoman, and author of “Why Should Guys Have All the Fun?”.

Lopez was born in Manhattan to a Filipino-American family and attended Yale University before writing songs for local theatres. Lopez received his first EGOT in 2013, at the age 39, making him the youngest individual to win all four awards and the first Asian to do so. Lopez received his second Oscar in 2018, becoming the only person in history to obtain a double EGOT, making him a legend in the fields of television, music, film, and theater.

Jollibee Group’s Beth Dela Cruz joins Bobby Lopez, Loida Lewis, and other accomplished Filipinos for PH TimeIsNow on October 25. Virtual access to the event is also available through

Lewis, a practicing attorney in both the Philippines and New York, was the first Asian and Filipino woman to pass the New York bar without having studied law in the United States. She also served 10 years as General Attorney in the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (currently U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) and won her discrimination action against INS in 1979.

Headlining the full-day summit is Karen Davila, one of the Philippines’ most celebrated news anchors who has been recognized globally and locally for her achievements in journalism as well as her contributions to various advocacies and charities.

PHTimeIsNow was launched in June 2018 to create a platform for Global Filipino Trailblazers, Mentors, and Changemakers to share their personal stories of learning, success, and growth in hopes of helping the next generation to reach greater heights in their personal and professional lives.

#PHTimeIsNow2023 is supported by Jollibee Foods Corporation. To learn more about the event and the participating Global Filipino Trailblazers, Mentors, and Changemakers, visit or follow PHTimeIsNow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Here’s the deal! This payday, the leading pizza chain in the country is offering a Buy 1, Get 75% Off promo for their bestselling pizza flavors.

Greenwich is giving its customers all the right reasons to make every day a pizza day with their limited-time only deal. From September 29 to October 1, get a 9” Hawaiian Overload® Pizza and 9” Ham and Cheese Classic Pizza for only P325—you’ll save a total of P175*!

The Hawaiian Overload® Pizza is Greenwich’s bestseller, featuring sweet pineapples, ham, bacon, mozzarella, and cheddar. Meanwhile, their Ham and Cheese Pizza is also a standout with its classic, all-time favorite flavor.

“Greenwich is always looking for ways to give barkadas the best food trip during payday. It’s the perfect time to serve them with our great-tasting pizza favorites, after a hard day’s work,” said Ali De Torres, the head of marketing of Greenwich.

This Buy 1, Get 75% Off Payday Deal will be available in all Greenwich branches nationwide for dine-in, take-out, pick up, and #5-55-55. You may also order via GrabFood and foodpanda.

To get updates and more information about Greenwich bundles, dial #5-55-55 or message Greenwich Barkada on Facebook Messenger.

*Price varies

Leading global smart device brand OPPO, has introduced the new OPPO A38, the latest addition to its powerful A Series lineup that delivers style, function, and performance tailored for your everyday use and at a value-friendly price.

The device features 33W SUPERVOOC fast charging, 5000mAh large battery, and comes with a MediaTek Helio G85 chipset. Additionally, the new OPPO A38 also offers exceptional user experience and immersive entertainment with a 50MP AI Camera, 90Hz Sunlight Display, and Ultra Volume Mode.

Stylish and Iconic Ultra Retro Design

The OPPO A38 boasts a sleek and trendy design that not only feels great in your hand but also makes a stylish statement. Its ultra-slim retro design, flat-edged middle frame, and a premium build quality set it apart from the competition. It has two exciting colors - Glowing Gold, which combines warm orange-yellow hues, and Glowing Black, that creates a mesmerizing style that reflects an outer space-like design. The OPPO A38 also inherits the OPPO Glow design which gives the back cover a shimmering and trendy appearance.

Dynamic Camera System for Ultra-Clear Photography

You can now capture your best moments with OPPO A38's versatile camera system that has a 50MP Al Main camera and 2MP Bokeh Camera which allows you to take clear, natural and stunning photos in various scenarios. Both front and rear cameras of OPPO A38 also support the portrait retouching feature that allow users to adjust and customize the beautification level of their photos.

Immersive Viewing Experience and Boundless Daily Entertainment

The OPPO A38 has a captivating 6.5-inch 90Hz Sunlight Display with an 89.8% screen-to-body ratio that brings your content to life with vibrant colors and realistic details. The new A Series smartphone is also equipped with Ultra Volume Mode to deliver an incredible audio experience whether you're watching your favorite series, gaming, or browsing the web. Additionally, the screen can reach up to 720 nits of brightness in high brightness, allowing users to effortlessly read or view on-screen content. OPPO A38 also has an All-Day AI Eye comfort feature which helps minimize eye strain and makes viewing comfortable regardless of screen time.

Long Lasting Battery

Stay connected all day with the impressive battery life of A38 as the device is equipped with a 500mAh large battery that can be charged to 100% in 75 minutes using 33W SUPERVOOC™ fast charging. It is also fitted with All-day Charging and All-Day AI Power Saving Protection features to enhance charging safety and battery reliability.

Always Smooth with Outstanding Performance

OPPO A38 is powered by MediaTek Helio G85 platform, a high-performance processor and ample RAM which gives smooth multitasking and lightning-fast app launches. It comes with a 4GB RAM+128GB ROM configuration, and RAM Expansion technology, allowing it to convert free ROM space into up to 4GB of RAM to keep the phone running smoothly and enjoy lag-free performance for all your tasks.

Don’t miss out and buy an OPPO A38 today!

Time to get yourself a device built to meet your everyday needs. The new OPPO A98 retails for Php 7,999 at OPPO stores nationwide. You can also avail the new OPPO A38 through Lazada today and on Shopee and TikTok Shop starting October 6.

To know more about OPPO’s A Series, check out or OPPO Philippines’ official social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.

Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI), the No.1 motorcycle manufacturer in the country, is celebrating 50 years of providing high-quality, innovative, and reliable motorcycles to bring the joy of mobility and comfort to every Filipino.

Launched on September 23 at Market! Market! The All-New BeAT is designed to give a new meaning to style and performance as it showcases a seamless fusion of impressive looks, optimum performance, and unmatched fuel efficiency.

In the photo (L-R) Mr. Tawatchai Kasetwetin, BeAT Large Project Leader of Product Engineering Division, Honda R&D Southeast Asia Co., Ltd. (HRST), Mr. Makoto Dohi, Asia-Oceania Regional Large Project Leader of ASEAN Product Strategy Division (HRST), Mr. Jomel Jerezo, Vice President of Motorcycle Sales & Supply Chain Management (HPI), Mr. Kohei Yamamoto, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing (HPI), Ms. Sayaka Arai, President (HPI), Ms. Maria Fe Quijano, Assistant Vice President of Finance & IT (HPI), Mr. Juan Gerry Datario, Assistant Vice President of Business Admin (HPI) and Mr. Yasunori Miyamoto, Vice President of Finance (HPI)

Modern Style Elements

The All-New BeAT had elevated its new body and color design, advanced features, and performance that everyone knows and loves. The result is a striking youthful look that takes its new design style a step further. It is also available in three variants, the Playful, Premium, and the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, differentiated by stunning colors and stand-out design elements. These factors give riders the chance to match their individual sense of style.


New Body Design with 3D Emblem

The Playful variant comes in eye-catching colors, Fighting Red, Pearl Sylvestris Gray, Pearl Nightfall Blue, and Clipper Yellow colors. These colors when combined with its unique decals make it ideal for individuals with different personas like guys with a sporty personality, artistic flair, or a gamer’s sensibility. Even fashion-conscious individuals will love it! On the other hand, the Premium comes with a new 3D emblem and gold color cast wheel available in Pearl Arctic White—perfect for riders with a sophisticated style, and Matte Axis Gray – ideal for those who prefer a dashing yet understated look. And its new Semi-Digital Meter Panel design is not only easy to read but visually striking.

Unrivalled performance

But it’s more than just style. The All-New BeAT delivers exciting performance with its 110cc ESP engine capable of producing 6.63kW of maximum power @7,500rpm and 9.30Nm of maximum torque @6,000rpm. This engine works in tandem with the bike’s Combined Braking System for complete handling control. What’s more, this engine is equipped with PGM-FI technology, the advanced fuel injection system engineered to give the bike an impressive 58.2 Km/L fuel efficiency. This factor when combined with its large 4.2L capacity gas tank lets you take the bike on long, worry-free adventures.

New ACC Power Socket

The All-New BeAT is equipped with new and advanced features – LED headlights offering outstanding visibility at night or during bad weather, a new ACC power socket that can work with most adaptors for easy and convenient smartphone charging. So, no matter what type of mobile phone you have, charging will not be a problem. It also features a new Integrated Seat Opener and a larger 12L U-Box capacity for greater storage capacity. Moreover, the bike’s Side Stand Switch, and Secured Key Shutter provides safety and security.

To celebrate the company’s 50th Anniversary, HPI rolled out a unique motorcyle, The All-New BeAT Limited Edition to mark the occasion. This unique variant features a Pearl Arctic White color, new accents, and a front position 50th Anniversary logo to enable riders to experience a sense of exclusivity, fun, and stand-out style.

Changing the game: The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

In addition, HPI launched the ultimate game changer: The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. This 50th Anniversary bike features the signature Honda Tri-color accents highlighted by brand new decals and more refined front and body details. When combined with its special edition Pearl Arctic White color, Sports-Style muffler, and Matte Grizzly Brown color cast wheels, you get a bike that’s both sleek and stylish. And its 18-liter luggage box delivers loads of practicality that suit any lifestyle.

“2023 is a significant year for HPI since we are celebrating our 50th anniversary as manufacturing company in the Philippines. As committed, we always bring the joy of mobility to every Filipinos and Honda never stops in creating and providing top quality products especially to the young market. We are proud to announce that these new models are locally manufactured here in Honda factory in Batangas to further cater the increasing demand of Filipino customers and strengthen the brand position of Honda as the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the country”, says Sayaka Arai HPI President.

These new and exciting bikes are well within the reach of Filipinos who want only the best. The All-New BeAT variants are priced as follows: Php71,400.00 for the Playful, Php72,400.00 for the Premium and P74,400.00 for the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. On the other hand, The CLICK125 50th Anniversary Limited Edition can be yours for Php83,900.00. These new models will be available to all Honda 3S dealerships nationwide this September 2023.

  • The Cha-Ching Program has been awarded for its excellence in promoting prudent financial habits (Earn, Save, Spend & Donate) and nurturing financial responsibility among children.

[L-R] Maziar Zabeth, JA Asia Pacific President and CEO (1st from left); Gilbert Sadsad, Department of Education Regional Director - Region 5 (2nd from left); Marc Fancy, Prudence Foundation Executive Director (3rd from left), Rose Fausto (4th from left) , JA Philippines Krishna Alejandrino (5th from left), Pia Warburton, Prudence Foundation Group Manager( 5th from right), Gizelle Camua, Pru Life UK Vice President - Community Investment and Advocacy ( 4th from right) and Atty. Emeren Vallente, Pru Life UK Senior Vice President and Chief ESG, Legal and Government Relations Officer ( 3rd from right).

Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm in Asia and Africa of Prudential plc, Pru Life UK’s parent company, in partnership with JA Philippines, are thrilled to announce the official relaunch of its financial literacy education program that aims to reshape the future of young kids. With an unwavering commitment to empower the youth, we proudly present "One Student to a Million: Cha-Ching Shaping a Financially Literate Generation."

Celebrating Cha-Ching Milestones

In 2016, Prudence Foundation with JA Asia Pacific and JA Philippines, introduced the Cha-Ching curriculum. Cha-Ching was co-funded by Prudence Foundation and Pru Life UK in the Philippines, a leading life insurance company that provides financial and health solutions. As these organisations continue to expand, it remains committed to extending its outreach by introducing additional initiatives within the Cha-Ching curriculum aimed at educating students on financial principles and financial matters.

As a testament to its success and commitment to involvement, the Cha-Ching program has now been integrated in the school curriculum of Grade 4 students. At such a young age, students are now exposed to matters involving money and finances and different investment modules. As the majority of key decisions in our daily lives involve money, Cha-Ching gives students the freedom and confidence to know and learn more about organising their finances, no matter how big or small.

Today, Cha-Ching is hailed as the most renowned financial literacy program for youth in the Philippines as it also received the Silver Asia-Pacific Stevie® Award in the Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications Category in 2021 and the Money Awareness and Inclusion Awards in 2022.

This year, the renewed Cha-Ching program sets an ambitious goal: to reach 1,000,000 students and 28,000 teachers nationwide. This goal reinforces Prudence Foundation, Pru Life UK, JA Asia Pacific and JA Philippines’s commitment to becoming trailblazers in financial literacy education for the youth.

“Together with Prudence Foundation, I am very excited that the Philippines will be the first country where the Cha-Ching Curriculum will have reached 1 million students by school year 2023-2024. Truly, an amazing achievement reflecting our purpose as partners for every life, and protectors for every future,” shared Eng Teng Wong, President and CEO of Pru Life UK.

Prudence Foundation Executive Director, Marc Fancy, announcing the foundation’s goal to reach 1,000,000 students and 28,000 teachers nationwide through the Cha-Ching Program.

Getting to Know Cha-Ching Curriculum

Last year, Prudence Foundation successfully launched their one of a kind financial literacy online game, Cha-Ching Money Adventures (CCMA), globally. CCMA is an interactive online game and a dynamic learning platform designed to equip students and teachers alike with vital money management skills while making learning an enjoyable experience.

Aside from the interactive gaming design and interface, CCMA also reaches out to the typical student by playing through 4 different distinctive modules: “Hometown” for Earn, “Mallsville” for Save, “Las Races” for Spend and “Rockability Rivers” for Donate. These modules engage students in the fundamental Cha-Ching concepts: Earn, Save, Spend, Donate, all while earning points, learning, and having fun.

The launch of Cha-Ching Money Adventures and Investment Modules.

Making a Difference through Cha-Ching

Through curriculum integration and CCMA, Cha-Ching continues to revolutionise financial education, making it enjoyable, comprehensive, and accessible. It fosters a positive attitude toward money, empowering students to make sound financial decisions for a brighter future.

"Teaching kids financial literacy at an early age is not just important; it's absolutely vital. It’s like giving them a compass for life, giving them proper reference as they navigate real life. By instilling these skills early, we anchor them with the knowledge needed to navigate the complex financial world confidently," said Jed Velarde, Stock Market Investment Advocate and the Head of Partnerships at COL Financial Group, Inc., during the launch event.

Cha-Ching continues to change the narrative that only adults can handle money and shifts it to the belief that students can also make financially sound decisions for today and the years to come.

"I desire to become an educator not just to fulfill a dream but also to be a blessing to the next generation."

These inspiring words come from 18-year-old Princess Eunice Motel, an SM scholar currently pursuing her education at the Philippine Normal University. She is one of two children of Hildajane, an on-call factory re-packer, and Richard, a set man, hailing from Caloocan City.

Princess' dream of becoming a teacher has been a lifelong aspiration, deeply rooted in her heart and mind since her childhood. This calling became even more pronounced when she embraced her Christian faith.

                                  SM Scholar and aspiring educator Princess Eunice Motel

"My unwavering commitment to becoming a teacher is directly inspired by the Kidz Life Ministry, a cherished initiative of our church dedicated to teaching children about God's word. I aspire to be a vessel for sharing knowledge, instilling hope, and nurturing a brighter future for the next generation," she said.

To pursue her dreams, Princess has chosen to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education at the Philippine Normal University, her dream institution. "PNU is renowned for its ability to nurture exceptional teachers," she remarked. "As I aspire to become an educator, I also strive for greatness and excellence, and there's no better place to achieve that than at PNU."

Following in her mother's footsteps, Jhona Bolinas is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education with English as her major. Born in Baliuag, Bulacan, she passed entrance exams at other universities but opted to enroll at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela due to its proximity to her family.

Despite considering other career paths, Jhona opted education, drawing inspiration from her mother, who is also an educator. "Watching, observing, and listening to her, I learned the basics," she shared. Driven by her love for reading and writing, she also chose to specialize in English.

When asked if she plans to work abroad after graduation, Jhona keeps her options open, recognizing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "But right now, I want to ensure that my mother enjoys a good life before making such a significant decision," she explained.

Another aspiring educator is Krissa May Oquindo. Her father, a cable technician, is the family's sole breadwinner while her mother dedicates her time to caring for the family. Krissa completed her senior high school education at the Universidad de Manila. She applied to four State universities and ultimately chose to enroll at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), known for producing graduates highly sought after by employers, as per a recent survey.

  SM scholar Krissa May Oquindo (right) aspires to be a teacher for her family and community.

When asked about her motivation to become a teacher, Krissa responded, "Being an educator has always been my passion. From the moment I set foot on a school campus, the idea of standing in front of students and sharing knowledge excites me." She has selected Science as her major to deepen her understanding of the subject and to enlighten others about it.

Krissa has no plans to teach abroad. She believes that while there is demand for teachers overseas, the same holds true in the Philippines: "My passion for teaching is rooted in caring for the next generation, especially for the youth of our country."

Through the years, the SM college scholarship program has empowered 3,791 graduates who have enrolled in over 120 partner colleges and universities across the nation. These scholars enjoy full tuition benefits, monthly allowances, part-time work opportunities during semestral and Christmas breaks, job offers from the SM Group upon graduation, and engaging activities and enrichment programs.

Additionally, SM's tech-voc scholarship program has produced 4,669 graduates, further contributing to the development of skilled professionals in various fields.

In time for the school year opening, SM Prime through SM Foundation turned over a fully furnished two-storey building to the President Manuel Roxas Memorial Integrated School-South in Roxas City, Western Visayas.

The 104th school building made through the collaboration is built in accordance with specifications set by the Department of Education (DepEd). It holds four classrooms, each furnished with desks, chairs for left-handed students, toilets per classroom, including a special toilet for PWDs on the ground floor.

It also includes concave blackboards, electric fans, and LED lighting. Emergency lights were installed in the stairways for emergency-preparedness.

Supporting DepEd’s commitment to ensure that learners have access to water for hygiene and sanitation, SM Foundation installed a handwashing facility along with liquid soap for the community’s use.

To further assist, the SM group will help with the maintenance and upkeep of the said school.

Social Good

It was earlier announced by DepEd that roughly 21 million students enrolled this school year 2023-2024. Amidst this, the agency reported that only over 100,000 out of the more than 300,000 school buildings are in good condition.

Believing in the power of education in uplifting communities, SM Foundation has been an active member of DepEd’s Adopt-a-School Program since 2002, turning over more than 100 school buildings to grassroots communities nationwide. The said program intends to address overcrowding in schools and provide an environment conducive for learning.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Over a hundred donors from SM Malls in Grand Central and Sangandaan in Caloocan and Valenzuela took part in the annual bloodletting event to mark the onset of the gift-giving season.

Dubbed “Dugong Bigay, Dugtong Buhay”, the activity was in support of the Voluntary Blood Donation Program spearheaded by the Department of Health’s Philippine Blood Center (PBC) in collaboration with SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) and SM’s Medical Services Division.

A total of 100 units of blood were collected from successful donors in SM City Grand Central, SM Center Sangandaan, and SM City Valenzuela during the one-day donation drive held at the mall.

SM City Grand Central’s nurse, Mary Grace Batoon, said that prior to the blood extraction, volunteers underwent a medical interview, a physical check-up, and blood tests to qualify as donors. A lecture on blood awareness, its function, and the health benefits of donating blood followed.

The blood donation drives at SM were aligned with Republic Act No. 7719, the National Blood Services Act of 1994, which encourages voluntary blood donation to ensure sufficient supply of safe blood.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Make every day extraordinary with American Standard

Thoughtfully designed bathroom technologies help make every day moments at home feel special. And with American Standard’s “Make every day extraordinary” promotion, it’s easier to make these special moments happen as the world-renowned brand offers free installation or price off offers on select American Standard products in all American Standard dealers nationwide until September 30, 2023.

These products are specifically designed to address many of our home concerns so that we can have the best moments with our loved ones:

For Comfort

From robust, yet gentle pressure-boosting showers to multi-purpose hygiene-spray for comfortable personal cleaning, these technologies were developed with the customer’s daily issues and comfort in mind. For example, American Standard’s hand showers are equipped with Petal Pressure, PressurePlus and Jet Spray technologies for invigorating cleaning or showers that are gentle on the skin.

For Convenience

American Standard’s toilets and washbasins are designed for our convenience. Its technologies like the Easy Push makes personal hygiene through handwashing easier with just one push of a button. The Touchless Flushing technology provides a censor in toilets so users can flush with a simple wave.

For Safety

At American Standard, its customers’ safety is the priority. For a comfortable showering experience and to protect us, especially the young and elderly, its shower technologies are equipped with Thermosafe which ensures the water temperature remains constant to prevent accidental scalding. Meanwhile, the Coolshield technology ensures that the exposed faucet body is designed to stay cool at all times.

For Hygiene

American Standard products are also designed for our ultimate hygiene in the bathroom. Its toilets feature technologies such as Aqua Ceramic, SiphonMax, Power Rim, ComfortClean and Dual Nozzle Cleansing for bidet washers for minimal touching of toilet surface but maximum hygiene

With the “Make every day extraordinary!” promo, customers who purchase American Standard products can avail of a free installation gift voucher with every single purchase of E.ssential Shower Toilet, E-lite Shower Toilet, Aerozen G2, Acacia E Shower Toilet, and EasySET Exposed ATM. To claim the voucher, customers must contact the LIXIL after-sales hotline at +632 88933113 local 506 or +63 9173205717 or email to arrange schedule pre-inspection and installation date.

They can also enjoy American Standard product collections at discounted rates including Acacia E, Supasleek, Signature, Flexio, New Codie II, Neo Modern Collection, Yoka and many more.

For a list of participating stores or for more updates, follow American Standard on Facebook (@AmericanStandardPH) and Instagram (@americanstandard_ph).

Filipinos understand that insurance products are valuable – most just find them expensive.

In 2021, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that only half of the Filipino population had some form of insurance. Of those who do not have insurance, 56% said it was not a priority at present due to inadequate funds, while 7% said they have not found the right product for them.

In partnership with trusted insurance companies, GCash hopes to provide affordable and credible financial protection for different needs such as health, income protection, travel, lifestyle, business, vehicle, and lifestyle, through GInsure, a one-stop shop for all insurance needs inside the GCash app.

“A lot of Filipinos are already working hard to meet their everyday needs as is, and we want to provide them with one less thing to worry about,” said Winsley Bangit, VP, Head of New Businesses of GCash. “With GInsure, making the most out of the present while thinking ahead for the future is made possible with insurance offerings that are not heavy on the wallet and easy to accomplish.”

Health and personal protection

A study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies found that the country’s National Health Insurance Program covers only 40% of total hospital costs on average. This means that some may still have to shoulder out-of-pocket payments, leaving a dent in their everyday household or personal budget.

To help cover medical costs, GCash offers health protection in partnership with Singlife Philippines. For as low as PHP 79 per month and in under three steps, insured users can get PHP 250,000 worth of coverage in cases of COVID-19, dengue, and accidents.

In partnership with Cebuana Lhuillier, Sun Life, Singlife, Pru Life, Pioneer Insurance and Generali, GInsure also offers personal insurance that will ensure regular monthly income for beneficiaries in case of disability or death. Personal insurance on GInsure costs as low as P10 and only takes three steps to complete, providing a safety net for breadwinners and family heads.

“Filipinos are known to be family-oriented, with most taking on breadwinner roles. Through our selection of health and personal insurance, we want users to never have to worry about securing their family’s future when they’re covered against loss of income and medical expenses,” Bangit said.

Worry-free travels

With revenge travel in full swing, travel disruptions have also increased. While travel insurance is not considered mandatory in several destinations, Filipinos can largely benefit from the protection from unexpected travel expenses resulting from trip delays and cancellations, loss and damage to baggage, accidents, and illnesses.

Powered by Standard Insurance and Malayan Insurance, travel protection premiums on GInsure start at PHP 103 pesos and can be accomplished in under three minutes.

Peace of mind for business

Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises make up 99% of the total establishments in the Philippines. However, their limited resources make it difficult for them to recover from the impacts of natural and human-induced hazards.

GCash has partnered with Malayan Insurance and Igloo to offer Negosyo Insure, a product designed to protect small business owners with physical stores. With a premium as low as PHP 160 per month, the insurance product offers up to PHP 50,000 coverage for the owner’s personal accidents, damage, or loss of property due to fire, burglary, and housebreaking.

“A lot of effort, time, and money goes into starting and growing a business, and we want entrepreneurs to not have to worry about their hard work going to waste because their business is protected,” Bangit said.

Protection on the road

In Metro Manila alone, an average of 157 car crashes were recorded last year, with the average cost of minor injuries resulting from a road crash amounting to PHP 71,000. As road mishaps remain common despite careful driving, GCash has collaborated with trusted partners to provide car owners with affordable vehicle insurance they can purchase within minutes.

For car owners looking for alternative insurance deals outside dealer options and second-hand car owners looking for insurance, GInsure offers both mandatory CTPL (compulsory third-party liability) and comprehensive insurance. GCash partnered with Standard Insurance,, FPG Insurance, and BPIMS Insurance to offer CPTL insurance that covers up to PHP 100,000 of possible liability, and with Standard Insurance and to offer Comprehensive Insurance, which covers possible own damage and theft to vehicles.

Users may access GInsure on the GCash dashboard or find it under “Grow.” No GCash yet? Download the GCash App on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Huawei App Gallery. Kaya mo, i-GCash mo! Terms & Conditions apply.

Friday, September 22, 2023

SM City Grand Central and SM City Valenzuela are set to be the epicenter of fan excitement as the malls host back-to-back fandom events this weekend.

Fans of Seventeen, known as Carats, are invited this Saturday, September 23, 2023, at SM City Valenzuela for the much-anticipated fandom event, “CHEERS TO CARATS”. The Event Center of SM City Valenzuela will be transformed into a haven for all #Seventeen fans. In partnership with Carat Land Philippines, attendees can look forward to an array of #AweSM activities and prizes that await them. The event will feature live performances, abundant freebies, a thrilling play dance, engaging games, and much more. The best part? Admission is absolutely free, and the event is open to all Carats, whether you are a long-time fan or a newbie.

Following this, SM City Grand Central will be hosting the Armys Fandom event on Sunday, September 24, 2023, starting at 1:00 pm. The Mall Atrium will serve as the perfect backdrop for this exhilarating gathering, presented in collaboration with ARMY YAH PH. This event promises an unforgettable day filled with an exciting lineup of activities, captivating music, breathtaking visuals, and an abundance of love for BTS. Attendees are encouraged to let their true purple ARMY spirit shine and create lasting memories with fellow fans.

Both electrifying fandom events are set to bring together the K-pop community in a celebration of music, camaraderie, and shared passion. Attendees are advised to come early to secure their spots and make the most of this remarkable experience.

The Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) signs partnership with The Pod Network (TPN) for the PRSP Education Committee Breaking Down the Buzz, a 12-episode PR Students and Young Professionals Congress Podcast Series. Previously a students’ congress, it has evolved into a podcast for academe and young professionals for this year. The partnership includes the development of evergreen and topic-based content for students and young practitioners to have access to continuous and experience-based learnings via easy access to a platform favored by its target audience. This is a pioneer event in the PR industry and for allied industries in using craft and technology for innovative and sustainable activations.

The agreement was signed by officers of PRSP Education Committee & The Pod Network (seated L-R): PRSP Trustee Joe Zaldarriaga of Meralco, PRSP Trustee & Education Committee Chair Aye Ubaldo, PRSP President Harold Geronimo of Megaworld, The Pod Network CEO & Co-Founder Alan Fontanilla and TPN CFO John Philip Co. Also present were committee members (standing L-R): Abigail Mendoza of Meralco, Judy Villaroman-Aguilar of Evident Communications, Rudy Villar of TOG Integrated, Riza Myfel Del Rosario, Podcast Manager of TPN and Joselle Jamison, Head of Data of TPN.

Online food and grocery platform foodpanda and software company TabSquare are joining hands to empower restaurants with artificial intelligence (AI)-powered in-restaurant solutions.

The collaboration is part of a region-wide partnership including other Asian markets like Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan to help restaurant partners digitize their ordering, payment, and customer engagement-related processes.

In the Philippines, the announcement was made during foodpanda’s recent partner vendors summit, entitled "CRAVE: Creating Relationships and Advancing Vendor Experiences”. At the event, partner vendor attendees were provided a firsthand end-to-end experience using TabSquare, showcasing its convenience, seamless operations, and efficiency.

With TabSquare’s Smart QR solution, foodpanda’s vendor partners can automate tasks, including order processing and payments, while ensuring enhanced profitability. It also contributes to labor savings by minimizing order errors and reducing staff workload.

According to foodpanda Philippines Commercial Director Luis Antonio Yanga, “By offering digital menus through QR codes, we enable customers to place orders and make payments via TabSquare's platform effortlessly. This enhances the dining experience by seamlessly bridging the offline-to-online gap and provides efficient solutions for our thousands of partner vendors and merchants."

Delivering convenience to diners and restos alike

With foodpanda and TabSquare's combined data and predictive technologies, restaurant partners can enhance customer engagement and retention.

Restaurant owners can review the transactions via TabSquare’s analytics, which provides valuable insights to support partners in improving menu items, pricing, and promotions, among other things. “This enables restaurant owners to identify trends, and personalize subsequent experiences based on customers' purchasing history,” Yanga said.

Moreover, digital menus offer numerous advantages, including reduced reliance on wait staff, minimized employee turnover, decreased losses on food and finances due to human error, and more efficient menu changes without costly reprints.

According to foodpanda and TabSquare’s data, restaurants using this digital solution can see up to 10% higher bill sizes, up to 50% reduction in staff costs, and better customer satisfaction. At the same time, restaurants on foodpanda see an average of at least a 10% uplift in business performance since joining the platform.

In the dining service, there has been a massive shift in digitally-led solutions and services which TabSquare believes will further enhance the appeal of their services. "With foodpanda, we will be bringing many new innovative features to the industry. For example, restaurants working with TabSquare can now promote themselves to foodpanda's large customer base and attract new customers," told Anshul Gupta, co-founder of TabSquare.

Growing demand for QR codes in dine-in

Dine-in is offered through foodpanda’s pandapro subscription program with exclusive discounts and deals for app users.

Yanga shared that to further boost this segment and cater to the growing demand for QR Code payments, foodpanda introduced TabSquare's enhanced QR Code scanning process for dine-in orders. This strategic move comes as a response to the rising demand for QR Code payments, evident by the country's QR Code transactions totaling P 32.7 billion in Q1 2023.

Recently, dine-in has also become available to all foodpanda app users in Cebu with new features like in-app payment. With "Redeem & Pay," the process becomes effortless as users can pay directly through the app, saving time and enhancing the overall dining experience.

The simple things in life are oftentimes taken for granted. To some people, tangible objects like clothes, bags, or shoes are normal commodities that they can easily buy and eventually dispose of at will. Meanwhile, millions of people around the world, specifically children, walk barefoot as they lack financial resources to avail themselves of decent footwear.

According to a 2017 article by William Blischke, an American Sociology professor at the California State University Dominguez Hills, 14% of the earth’s inhabitants lack shoes or have inadequate footwear. He adds that in some developing countries, shoeless children cannot attend school because they may communicate and contract diseases from their foot sores. This is why some international non-profit organizations claim that shoes, or the lack thereof, are one of the most visible signs of poverty.

In the Philippines, there is no available academic study that justifies Filipino children’s actual lack of shoes. However, this phenomenon can be substantiated by the 2023 report of the Department of Education, which states that one of the most pressing issues in the basic education system is the lack of access to resources. Since school shoes are an integral part of a student’s uniform even in public schools, it will be difficult for less-privileged families to purchase them. Thus, leaving children with no choice but to either use their old and ill-fitting shoes, or worse, walk barefoot – just to complete their education.

This is the challenge that the SM Store intends to address through the Share Shoes campaign – to provide school shoes to the poverty-stricken students of the Philippines. In line with the celebration of SM’s 65th founding anniversary and through the help of its dedicated customers and partner-organizations, SM Store aims to donate more than sixteen thousand (16,000+) pairs of shoes to the last-mile schools and communities in the country. With a minimum of Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000) single-receipt-spend at any SM Store, a customer is entitled to donate a pair of shoes, which originally retails for P299, for only Sixty-Five Pesos (P65.00) and shall be considered as a Share Shoes Champion.

In a statement, Mr. Dhinno S Tiu, Executive Vice President of SM Store, exemplifies the value and symbolism of shoes for both SM and its advocacy to support the community:

“Shoes have been the core of our business for over 65 years. Thus, giving out thousands of shoes to the Filipino children who need them the most through the generosity of our customers, is a symbolic gesture of our commitment to continue to live the legacy of sharing and giving back to our partner communities.”

More than a material donation, SM Store hopes that these pairs of shoes would help the children’s journey towards a better life. Through a simple act of giving, these underprivileged children will be able to learn, play, and flourish in school. And by protecting their young feet, time will come when they can confidently step, walk, run, and even leap towards their individual goals and dreams.

Shop at your favorite SM Store at SM malls in Baliwag and Marilao until November 15, 2023 to support a child in need. For only P65, you can help transform a life by being a Share Shoes Champion! Help us put shoes on a child’s feet and together, let us witness how they walk through life with smiles on their faces. (Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-172377, Series of 2023)

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Welcome treats and exclusive Blacklist merch await kabarkadas who will register and purchase at 

Heads up, kabarkadas! Greenwich just launched their new delivery website !

It features an easy-to-use interface, with a straightforward design and a more streamlined ordering process to ensure a hassle-free ordering experience. Plus, it also offers the best deals, prices, and even FREE delivery!Order Greenwich Delivery Website

Greenwich x Blacklist International

As a welcome treat, new users who will sign up at and purchase a minimum order of P300, will get to enjoy a FREE Pizzawrap Ham & Cheese on their next order using a specialized unique code.

Additionally, those new users who’ll purchase P300 and up will also get one raffle entry to win a Blacklist International Exclusive Merchandise!

Customers can earn multiple raffle entries for each qualified purchase made during the promo period. There’ll be a weekly raffle draw so the more purchases they make, the more chances to win! Greenwich Blacklist Giveaway Treat

“We are promoting here not only our best-selling products and other Greenwich favorites, but also the easy-to-use interface of the website, emphasizing its simplicity and hassle-free ordering process. Plus, we’ve partnered up with our kabarkadas from Blacklist International to give out exclusive merch!” Ali De Torres, the head of marketing of Greenwich.

So what are you waiting for? Register and log-in to experience the new now, kabarkada!For more information, visit Greenwich’s official Facebook page, Greenwich Barkada, or message Greenwich Barkada on Facebook Messenge


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