Thursday, December 8, 2022

With better economic growth forecasts from the World pegged at 7.2 percent at the end of the year, investors may well ride the waves of a recovering tide of investment and consumption.

As startups pop up in different industries, one after the other, so do angel investors. An angel investor is a high net-worth individual who provides capital for startups, usually in exchange for equity in the company.

Seeing the business take shape and grow into a real revenue contributor, was an exhilarating experience,” Alfonso “Chito” Zulueta, angel investor and chief executive officer of CZ Ventures, a venture capital firm, relates his first attempt in angel investing.

Certainly, angel investing is no easy feat. It is a combination of business acumen, willingness to take risks, and networking.

Fret not, however, because here are four tips to help you start your angel investing journey from certified angel investors:

  1. New ideas are worth the bet

A seven-time serial entrepreneur, engineer, architect, and philanthropist, Claus Karthe, chief executive officer and founder of German Entrepreneurship Asia, says “A startup is more likely to achieve success if he/she is willing to listen, learn, adapt, and act on advice from those who have either succeeded or failed in the market they are venturing in.

Similarly, an angel investor who is open to listening to new ideas and building on them, and at the same time able to manage risks through proper due diligence, has high chances of success.”

Rapid changes in business and technology means that angel investors have to be adaptable and not so ossified with rigid ways of doing business.

  1. The business has to make sense to you

With a 25-year career in banking in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Carl Bautista, who has now ventured into specialty coffee and human resource technology, relates that “I choose a business that I can understand, and which I believe I can assist in some form.”

Apart from providing funding for startups, angel investors share their business expertise to contribute to startups’ growth. While new ideas are great, an angel investor has to understand them for them to work.

  1. So you understand the startup, can you trust the founders too?

Engaged in the recruitment industry for more than 25 years, Manila-based James Gundry relates that “The most important quality of a successful startup lies in their people. You can have the most groundbreaking idea in the world but without the right people with the right mindset driving the business, they won't work as planned.”

Apart from a strong business model, a startup has to have a leadership team who can execute and get things done,” Zulueta said.

The business model is but a machine run by motivated individuals with success as a goal in mind. It is people, in the end, that maintain the business.

The founding team needs to be good at so many things,” Bautista added.

Adjacent to the founders’ drive for success, Lara Lorenzana with a 20-year experience in investment banking and structured finance in Manila and New York says that “The startup must demonstrate to the investor that the money entrusted to the founder is used wisely and as promised.”

Having a keen eye for people, successful angel investors do not simply look for profitable business models, but people who they can trust with their money.

  1. Find your tribe—join an investment network!

A single angel investor can only do so much. There are so many risks involved, especially if you are a neophyte in angel investing.

To mitigate the risks, investors can join an investment network that pools capital together, screens startup applications, and provides investment training and support. Among notable networks in the Philippines is the Manila Angel Investors Network (MAIN) a, group of private investors that is actively supporting several startups.

Angel investing is less daunting when you do it with a group that shares the same due diligence as you,” Karthe said.

Passionate in helping startups grow, Karthe relates that “MAIN has a very experienced group of people as angel investors. I firmly believe that an active angel investor network is necessary for the country to develop its nascent startup ecosystem that is growing rapidly.”

Seeking to bank on the Philippines’ expected growth, Lorenzana said that she and her husband, a seasoned investor from New York, returned home from the United States to invest in what she describes as “Our generation’s land of opportunity. With MAIN as our guide, we hope to apply what we learned and observed in the U.S. to the Philippines.”

I joined MAIN because of a desire to be close to the startup scene, to listen to new ideas, be around optimists who dream of a better world and are actually doing something about it, and to contribute in whatever way to help them achieve those goals,” Bautista said.

If you want to get to know more about MAIN, Gundry has some advice for you: “Attend MAIN’s pitch night where you can listen to a few startup pitches. Get a sense of what is on offer because startup investing is different from investing in traditional, mature businesses.”

MAIN conducts various activities geared towards promoting knowledge and expertise sharing among angel investors, new and old, and even for startups. For updates on their activities and if you are interested in angel investing, reach out to and become part of the Philippines’ largest and most active angel network.

MANILA, Philippines — LeapOut proudly claimed three trophies at the 2022 Marketing Excellence Awards held last December 1st, New Coast Hotel, Manila.

The awards are for Excellence in Data-Driven and Consumer Insights (Silver), Excellence in B2B Marketing (Bronze), and Excellence in E-commerce Marketing (Bronze). LeapOut achieved these in partnership with their clients, Malayan Insurance, Integrated Computer Systems, and Kultura (SM Retail).

A David-vs.-Goliath Win

Although small compared to giant agencies and brands in the industry, and considered a newbie in the advertising and marketing contest scene, the digital marketing agency has undoubtedly made an impression strong enough for the expert panel of judges to recognize its outstanding and promising work in the marketing industry.

“Great win, team! I couldn't be more proud. We may not have the most significant budget in our campaigns, but I'm glad you have driven far better results for our clients,” Mr. Marvin Ortiz, LeapOut’s Founder and Managing Partner, shared when asked about his comment on his agency’s first-ever win.
Mr. Ortiz also mentioned his overwhelming appreciation to the agency’s clients throughout the years. “To our clients, you rock and thank you so much for trusting us.”

The Marketing Excellence Awards celebrates, recognizes, and rewards the Philippines’ outstanding marketing campaigns. It is the premier platform for marketers to showcase their creative excellence, successful strategies, and effective delivery.

The champions for 2022 were chosen by an independent judging panel of high-caliber, senior industry experts from reputable brands.

Check out the complete list of winners here.

For more information about LeapOut’s latest win, click here.

This is truly a remarkable and significant leap for the agency and a testament to what its team can do, and we are all looking forward to more that LeapOut can achieve in the future.

“Cheers to the judges and organizers of this year's event. Congratulations to all the winners, and see you next year!” Mr. Ortiz ended.

Don’t fret thinking about your Christmas gift for a loved one this Yuletide season anymore. Taiwan Excellence has got a complete range of excellent lifestyle products you can choose from for that all-important present you can give in this most important and joyous season.

Take Acer, for example. One of Taiwan’s best IT brands that completely took the world by storm, Acer makes unboxing during the holidays a truly exceptional experience with the whole family.

Just buy any participating Acer products and be ready to get a free Digital SM Gift Pass worth up to P8,000. Promo runs until December 31, 2022.

Shop Acer products now to get up to P8,000 worth of Digital SM Gift Pass

Ready to give the gift of beauty this season of giving? Try giving away Annie’s Way products from Taiwan through their “Buy 5, Take 1” promo. You can buy any five of their popular Jelly Masks such as their Honey + Lecithin, Arbutin Hyaluronic Acid, Lavender, Aloe + Seaweed, Anti-Aging, Calendula + Chamomile, Charcoal + Vita-C Pore, Snail Secretion Repairing and get another one absolutely free! Now how about that for Christmas beauty?

Learn more about the Annie’s Way Buy 5 Take 1 in Jelly Masks promo here

Here's another one of Taiwan’s outstanding products on information technology devices. ASUS has its “ASUS/ROG Share 2022” promo, where you can receive up to P11,000 worth of wonderful freebies through the purchase of participating ASUS products. ASUS made it even sweeter where the freebie you’ll get depends on the price range of the ASUS product you will buy. Of course, the higher priced products get a premium freebie, which is logical. But then again, just get whatever ASUS product your heart desires because every ASUS product is marked with excellence.

The ASUS/ROG Share 2022 Promo also offers limited-time exclusive bundle packages and discounts for select ASUS and ROG products such as laptops, mobile phones and others.

Better hurry since the “ASUS/ROG Share 2022” is only up to December 31, 2022. Learn more here.

Worried about your loved one’s thinning hair up there? Give the gift of Aromase and its Anti-Hair Loss Set to give your man—or woman—that extra boost in confidence. With Aromase’s Juniper Scalp Purifying Liquid Shampoo, it softens and removes unnecessary sebum on the scalp and regulates the health of the scalp ecosystem for hair growth, moisturizes scalp, and effectively relieves scalp itchiness.

On the other hand, the Aromase Anti-Hair Loss Essential Shampoo for Hair Loss helps strengthen the protective mechanism of the scalp and maintains hair visibility and makes it even stronger.

With the Aromase Anti-Hair Loss Kit as your Christmas gift, you can never go wrong.

Looking to upgrade your computer hardware this season? Give yourself that gift of Transcend solid state drives, the leading brand in digital storage and multimedia products. The Transcend SSD225S, for example, is a 2.5-inch solid state drive that’s designed for both desktops or laptops. Enjoy fast application processing times to greatly enhance your computer’s performance. Plus, with up to 2TB of storage capacity, saving your music, documents, movies and photos will be such a breeze, a better choice than the usual hard disk drives.

Meanwhile, the Transcend MTE250S SSD features the 3D NAND flash, an 8-channel controller, and DRAM cache that delivers sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,200/6,500 MB/s (R/W) and ample capacity of up to 2TB. Its ultra-thin graphene heatsink guarantees stable performance despite working non-stop, with proven performance that gamers, content creators, and software developers will surely love and enjoy no matter what their game is.

Another award-winning Taiwanese IT product is MSI that you can consider giving as a Christmas gift for an exceptional family member or friend. Get full joy with MSI’s “Joy-Full Christmas Sale” where you get special discounts and freebies worth up to P28,500. Whether for gaming or business productivity needs, trust MSI to give your computing this Christmas a big boost. And you only have until December 31, 2022 to avail of the MSI “Joy-Full Christmas” Sale so hurry up!

Avail the MSI “Joy-Full Christmas Sale” here.

So, forget about buying products that can be like a box of chocolates where you wouldn’t know what you’re going to get. When buying Taiwan Excellence products, you have no doubt that what you get is quality and excellence.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

After more than two years of being on lockdown, we’re thankfully moving on to the new normal. With this, more intimate parties and celebrations at home are happening. As long as we follow basic safety protocols, we can now happily hold parties and get-togethers at home.

Whether you’re expecting a big crowd or simply preparing for a small gathering at your home, proper planning and having the right kitchen appliances are a great help during gatherings. Just because you’re hosting the party doesn’t mean you won’t get to enjoy it. So what are the essentials when holding a party at home? Here are some pointers to help you become the best party host from Midea (pronounced mai-dia), the world-renowned appliance brand recognized by Euromonitor International in Consumer Appliances in 2021 as the world’s no.1 in air coolers, air treatment, cooling fans, small cooking appliances, and rice cookers brand.

Prep ahead

Know how many guests you will have and prepare enough food for them. This is where having a chest freezer can be a game-changer. Just like hotels and restaurants, you want to have extra food just in case surprise guests arrive. The Midea 7 cu. ft. Chest Freezer has enough space to store extra food that can be frozen and then popped in the microwave for a few minutes, so they taste like they’re freshly cooked. This chest freezer also has an adjustable Min-to Max temperature control to ensure keeps foods perfectly frozen, and fresh for longer. Maintenance and cleaning of this chest freezer are easier too – thanks to its built-in waterline and drain system which makes for quick and efficient routine upkeep, while mitigating food loss or waste during cleaning or maintenance. You can also add the Midea U 3.5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer which works just as efficiently and surprisingly friendly while maximizing the space you need for your cravings – also perfect for small homes and small parties with close friends, or for family gatherings.

Midea 7 cu. ft. Chest Freezer and Midea U 3.5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer

Keep everything on hand.

Even if it’s a small celebration, you’d want an appliance that can save you from scrambling at the last minute for your meal prep. This is where the Midea 3.3 cu. ft Mini Bar Refrigerator can come in handy. It has a chiller compartment, adjustable shelves, a 2L bottle rack, and an inverter function – letting you have more room to neatly store party essentials while saving on electricity. With its sleek look and adjustable leg, it will look great placed at one side of the bar, so your appetizers, desserts and cold dishes stay freshly chilled and you just take them out, then serve them!

Midea 3.3 cu. ft Mini Bar Refrigerator

Have the perfect bubbly

What’s a celebration without perfectly chilled wine and drinks? Good friends, good music, and good food – they all become better with great wine! With the Midea 3.3 cu. ft Wine Cooler which has a 34-bottle capacity and comes in a simple and sleek design, your guests are guaranteed perfectly chilled wine throughout the celebration. This cooler has a Double Layer Tempered Glass Door with Anti Dew and Anti UV Light, and Digital Temperature Control that ensures the ideal conditions for your wines. This feature also keeps them at the precise temperature and humidity that your wines need, so you can enjoy your favorite wines and booze at the peak of their flavor. By adding special touches like these, you’ll be the toast of the party!
Midea 3.3 cu. ft Wine Cooler

So, really, no need to make a big fuss when organizing a get together at home. Just plan ahead, make sure the pica-pica and food are enough and ready, the wine is properly chilled and give your whole family and friends a fun and special celebration.

Monday, December 5, 2022



Ten projects by 8 Filipino designers and architects have been shortlisted as finalists in this year’s World Architects Festival (WAF), one of the world’s most prestigious annual festival and awards ceremony in the architecture and development industry. Not only is this the most typologically diverse showing for the Philippines yet, it is also the most number of Filipino designs that have been selected for WAF, topping the previous record.


GROHE, a founding partner of WAF and leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, supports the local designers, some of whom are veterans and previous winners of WAF, namely previous winner BAAD Studio, last year’s WAFX special prize winner WTA Architecture and Design Studio, Highly Commended recipient BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+DesignJorge Yulo Architects and Associates, and HANDS Design Studio. In addition, three design firms also make their WAF shortlist debut this year: Studio FuerzoDST Design+Build, and Davao-based BERSABARC Design Studio.


This year's WAF theme is “Together” in order to consider how architecture is responding to the renewal of collective life post-pandemic and committing to combating climate change. In line with the theme, it has also been three years since the global community of architects and designers have been able to meet in-person at WAF. It will be an opportunity for speakers and panels to discuss issues and conditions which relate to the collective use of architecture and public space in a variety of settings, including changes as a result of health considerations and how domestic life, workplace culture, and social engagement is operating in our new world.


“The pandemic has changed how we live at home and at work. Each year, climate change is also becoming a more pressing issue and an important consideration in building homes and office buildings. With these in mind, GROHE looks forward to WAF where the talent of Filipino designers and architects will be on full display for the world to see. GROHE is proud to support local architects and designers and their designs that are unique to the Pinoy perspective of what we’ve experienced of the pandemic and climate change in our country,” said Hermie Limbo, LIXIL country general manager.


WAF award categories are Completed Buildings, Future Projects, and Landscape. Aside from the WAF awards, there will also be special prizes, such as the WAFX Award, among others. The WAFX Award celebrates cutting-edge design approaches to address major world issues, such as the climate emergency.


Looking back on the online Crit sessions at the WAF last year, Jorge Yulo, who is also a finalist this year, said, “They look for your narrative and the social and environmental responsibilities you addressed. Aesthetics takes a back seat after the shortlisting.”


Vying for the Completed Buildings award, under the House & Villa, Urban/Suburban category, are Jorge Yulo Architects and Associates with their entry, “Equilateral House,” and BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design with “Pandemic House.” For the House & Villa, Rural/Coastal category, BAAD Studio submitted, “The Mendoza Farmhouse.” For the New and Old category, Studio Fuerzo’s entry is the “New Provincialate House,” while under the Hotel and Leisure category, HANDS Design Studio’s entry is “Casa Tropica.


In the Future Projects award shortlist, under the Civic and Community category is BAAD Studio’s “Pilgrim’s Shelter.” For Competition Entries, there are BERSABARC’s “Hexarion Martian Colony” and WTA Architecture and Design Studio’s “BSP Security Plant Complex.” WTA Architecture and Design Studio also submitted “Batangas Forest City” for the Masterplanning category. Rounding out the finalists is DST Design + Build’s “The Tree House Project” in the House category.

Speaking of his WAF experience last year, William Ti, who is also a finalist this year with WTA, said, “I remember a comment about how there seems to be something going on in Philippine architecture with many more projects getting in to WAF. This makes me feel proud about how far we’ve come and look forward to the time when Filipino architecture can be recognized globally.” 


The Filipino finalists will join the other shortlisted international contestants for WAF in Lisbon, Portugal from November 30 to December 2.  As part of the competition, they will take part in Live Crit Rooms, which are unique live-judged awards programs. The Live Crit Rooms are also opportunities for them to discover inside knowledge of the most outstanding projects in the world and gain invaluable insights from a panel of expert judges, who are world-renowned architects from leading practices.


Launched in 2008, the World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest annual international architectural event and includes panel discussions and talks by leading global architectural thinkers and industry personalities.   

To know more about the Filipino designers, follow GROHE’s official Facebook page, To know more about the World Architecture Festival, visit

Some of the best cities in the world to live in are rated based on their beauty, walkability, community spirit, and activities, such as dining, arts, and culture. In the Philippines, leading real estate developer Filinvest Alabang, Inc. envisions just that for Filinvest City, a township development that is designed to provide modern conveniences amid lush, green landscapes in a modern central business district. And now, Filipinos have a go-to leisure destination right here in the country with the opening of Central Park in Filinvest City.

Central Park is the newest development in the crown jewel of Filinvest City, the Spectrum District. The park is an approximately 1-hectare property that offers a public gathering place for a diverse community – office workers, families, and tourists alike, and is made up of the sprawling Great Lawn and lush Botanical Garden where people from all walks of life can take in the great outdoors this holiday and all year round.

Even before the pandemic, this impressive green belt park system connecting the entire city has always been a part of the master plan for a future-ready garden city. And soon at the center of Filinvest City, an iconic mixed-use development will rise creating a seamless connection to the Central Park– blurring the lines between private buildings and public parks for the community to converge and enjoy.

On top of that, Filinvest City’s annual holiday tradition is making a much-anticipated return. With the theme, “Come Together For Christmas”, families and friends can spend time with one another, create lasting memories, and rekindle their sense of childlike wonder this holiday season and beyond.

As the Christmas destination in the Metro South, Filinvest City offers a series of fun and exciting Christmas festivities at Central Park. Families and friends can catch the Fireworks Display every Friday at 8 PM until December 16, 2022, and groove to the melodious sounds of renowned OPM bands including Ebe Dancel, Rivermaya, Lola Amour (December 2, 2022), The Itchyworms (December 9, 2022), and Franco and Urbandub (December 16, 2022).

Of course, Filipino Christmas is not complete without delectable dishes to truly enjoy the holiday festivities. Thankfully, Eats by the Park is open from Friday to Sunday from 4 PM to 9 PM where diners can select from a wide variety of food concessionaires and eat al fresco. And if they’re lucky, some might even catch and take a picture with Christmas characters at the park every Sunday until December 18, 2022.

On the journey in or out of Central Park, visitors will be greeted by glittering lights and Christmas installations from 6 PM to 9 PM until January 6, 2023. Residents and visitors can also create their own holiday photo cards by taking snapshots with the larger-than-life Christmas tree, Christmas vignettes, the beautifully decorated Filinvest City Christmas Standee, or the life-sized Belen. They can also opt to take curated shots of the Dome with Stars or the Christmas Tunnel.

For a meaningful celebration, guests can also attend Simbang Gabi at the Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, situated along the gardens of Filinvest City’s River Park near Festival Mall starting on December 15-23, 2022 at 7:30 PM.

Beyond the holidays, Central Park has been offering various amenities for the residents and employees in the area. At the park, they can avail of a bike repair station, a children and adult play area, a wireless charging station, and Moovr, an app-enabled e-scooter sharing service. As they partake in any of these activities or more, they can also take in or take photos of the road art that surrounds the park. Central Park will also offer more amenities for the community to enjoy soon.

“We always make it a point to make every year a most meaningful one, and this year’s Christmas celebration has been taken up a notch. I’m glad that we can celebrate as one big community together again and that we’re doing it here at the newest gathering spot, our Central Park. We’re excited to create more community activities here at the newest convergence space in the south–from concerts, festivals, sports, to other related open-air events,” Don Ubaldo, first vice president for Townships, shares. After the pandemic and lockdowns, Filipinos can look forward to coming together for the holidays and all year round to soak in lush greenery, fresh air, and special Filipino touches at Central Park and more must-see spots at Filinvest City.

To know more about this thriving community, visit For more updates, follow them on Facebook @FilinvestCityOFFICIAL and Instagram @filinvest_city.

Friday, December 2, 2022

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is set to welcome new female linecrew as part of its continuing efforts to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Thirty-four (34) aspirants, including 13 women, have completed the six-month Meralco Linecrew Training Program (MLTP) that started last May. They will be endorsed for further assessment and possible hiring and deployment.

The MLTP is a comprehensive training course open to both men and women that involves a series of lectures, thorough physical conditioning, critical assessments, and on-the-job training (OJT) program geared towards Meralco’s efforts to continuously develop a pool of skilled linecrew.

“All of the new MLTP trainees are equipped with the necessary training and tools so that they can safely perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. I am confident that the latest batch of MLTP graduates will use their new learnings to help deliver excellent service to Meralco’s customers,” MLTP Manager Roman Leandro Manlapaz said.

Traditionally operating in a male-dominated industry, Meralco pioneered the training and hiring of female linecrew in Southeast Asia back in 2013. A total of 11 women from the first batch are still working in the company in various capacities, helping deliver stable and reliable electricity service to Meralco customers.

This year’s relaunch of the MLTP forms part of the power distributor’s goal to increase women representation in the workforce to nearly half or 40% by 2030.

Zuzette Castro, a 32-year-old overseas Filipino worker who is part of the newest batch of MLTP graduates, said the MLTP gave her an opportunity to return to the Philippines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to raise her one-year-old son.

“Being a linecrew is hard but what motivates me is the thought that this job will allow me to provide for my family and be of service to the public,” she said in Filipino.

From working as a gasoline station cashier in Dubai, Castro is now equipped to climb utility poles to ensure a steady power supply. During her OJT, Castro was among those who helped restore power in Rizal province following the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng.

Like Castro, John Dexter Alonte also joined the MLTP in hopes of finding a stable job so that he can better provide for his family.

The 27-year-old, who worked as a contractual hardware salesman for three years, takes inspiration from his fellow female linecrew trainees for their dedication to the craft.

“Seeing women take on jobs that are typically done by men motivates me to excel in my work since I can see them all striving to do well,” Alonte said in Filipino, adding: “When I feel discouraged or tired, I tell myself that if women can do it, so can I.”

The inclusion of female linecrew aspirants in the MLTP is part of #MBrace – Meralco’s overarching diversity and inclusion program aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 5 on Gender Equality and UN SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities.

Meralco also partnered with Don Bosco College-Canlubang for a technician scholarship program for the benefit of 15 aspiring female electrical technicians. The program covers the tuition and allowances of students undergoing the Technical Vocational Education Training Program for the dual NC II Program on Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Mechatronics that started in August.


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