Thursday, May 31, 2018

Microsoft and Frost & Sullivan Study reveals that:
• A large-sized organization in the Philippines can possibly incur an economic loss of US$7.5million, more than 200 times the average economic loss for a mid-sized organization
• Cybersecurity attacks have led to job losses inseven in ten (72%) organizations over the last year
• Cybersecurity concerns delay Digital Transformation plans
• Organizations are increasingly leveraging Artificial Intelligence to enhance their cybersecurity strategy

Sullivan study commissioned by Microsoft revealed that the potentialeconomic loss in the Philippines due to cybersecurity incidents can hit a staggeringUS$3.5 billion. This is 1.1 percent of the Philippines’ total GDP of US$305 billion.

The study, titled “Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in Asia Pacific: Securing the Modern Enterprise in a Digital World”, aims to provide business and IT decision makers with insights on the economic cost of cybersecurity breaches in the region and identify the gaps in organizations’ cybersecurity strategies. The study involved a survey of 1,300 business and IT decision makers ranging from mid-sized organizations (250 to 499 employees) to large-sized organizations (>than 500 employees).

The study reveals that more than half of the organizationssurveyed in the Philippines have either experienced a cybersecurity incident (18%) or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper forensics or data breach assessment (34%).

“As companies embrace the opportunities presented by cloud and mobile computing to connect with customers and optimize operations, they take on new risks,” said Hans Bayaborda, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines.“With traditional IT boundaries disappearing the adversariesnow have many new targets to attack. Companies face the risk of significant financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation — as has been made all too clear by recent high-profile breaches.”

The True Cost of Cybersecurity Incidents – Economic, Opportunity and Job Losses

The study revealed that:

• A large-sized organization in the Philippines can possibly incur an economic loss of US$7.5 million, more than 200 times higher than the average economic loss for a mid-sized organization(US$35,000); and
• Cybersecurity attacks have resulted in job losses across different functions in seven in ten (72%) organizations that have experienced an incident over the last 12 months.

To calculate the cost of cybercrime, Frost & Sullivan has created an economic loss model based on macro-economic data and insights shared by the survey respondents. This model factors in three kinds of losses which could be incurred due to a cybersecurity breach:

• Direct: Financial losses associated with acybersecurity incident - this includes loss of productivity, fines, remediation cost, etc;
• Indirect: The opportunity cost to the organizationsuch as customer churn due to reputation loss; and
• Induced: The impact of cyber breach to the broader ecosystem and economy, such as the decrease in consumer and enterprise spending.

“Although the direct losses from cybersecurity breaches are most visible, they are but just the tip of the iceberg,” said Edison Yu, Vice President and Asia Pacific Head of Enterprise for Frost & Sullivan. “There are many other hidden losses that we have to consider from both the indirect and induced perspectives, and the economic loss for organizations suffering from cybersecurity attacks can be often underestimated.”

In addition to financial losses, cybersecurity incidents are also undermining the Philippines organizations’ ability to capture future opportunities in today’s digital economy, with more than half (57%) respondents stating that their enterprise has put off digital transformation efforts due to the fear of cyber-risks.

Key Cyberthreats and Gaps in the PhilippinesOrganizations’ Cybersecurity Strategies

Although high-profile cyberattacks, such as ransomware, have been garnering a lot of attention from enterprises, the study found that for organizations in the Philippines that have encountered cybersecurity incidents, data exfiltrationand data corruption are the biggest concern as they have the highest impact with the slowest recovery time.

Besides external threats, the research also revealed key gaps in organizations’ cybersecurity approach to protect their digital estate:

• Security an afterthought: Only 44% oforganizations consider cybersecurity before the start of a digital transformation project. Majority of respondents (56%) either think about cybersecurity only after they start on the project or do not consider it at all. This limits their ability to conceptualize and deliver a “secure-by-design” project, potentially leading to insecure products going out into the market;

• Creating a Complex Environment: Negating the popular belief that deploying a large portfolio of cybersecurity solutions will render stronger protection, the survey revealed that 17% of respondents with more than 50 cybersecurity solutions could recover from cyberattacks within an hour. In contrast, more than twice as manyrespondents (38%) with fewer than 10 cybersecurity solutions responded that they can recover from cyberattacks within an hour; and

• Lacking cybersecurity strategy: While more and more organizations are considering digital transformation to gain competitive advantage, the study has shown that 46% of respondents see cybersecurity strategy only as a means to safeguard the organization against cyberattacks rather than a strategic business enabler. A mere 25% of organizations see cybersecurity strategy as a digital transformation enabler.

“The ever-changing threat environment is challenging, but there are ways to be more effective using the right blend of modern technology, strategy, and expertise,” added Hans. “Microsoft is empowering businesses in the Philippines to take advantage of digital transformation by enabling them to embrace the technology that’s available to them, securelythrough its secure platform of products and services, combined with unique intelligence and broad industry partnerships.”

Artifical Intelligence (AI) is the Next Frontier in Cybersecurity Defense

In a digital world where cyberthreats are constantly evolving and attack surface is rapidly expanding, AI is becoming a potent opponent against cyberattacks as it can detect and act on threat vectors based on data insights. The study reveals that more than almost four in five (79%)organizations in the Philippines have either adopted or are looking to adopt an AI approach towards boosting cybersecurity.

AI’s ability to rapidly analyze and respond to unprecedented quantities of data is becoming indispensable in a world where cyberattacks’ frequency, scale and sophistication continue to increase.

An AI-driven cybersecurity architecture will be more intelligent and be equipped with predictive abilities to allow organizations to fix or strengthen their security posture before problems emerge. It will also grant companies with the capabilities to accomplish tasks, such as identifying cyberattacks, removal of persistent threats and fixing bugs, faster than any human could, making it an increasingly vital element of any organizations’ cybersecurity strategy.

Recommendations for securing the modern enterprise in a digital world

AI is but one of the many aspects that organizations need to incorporate or adhere to in order to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture. For a cybersecurity practice to be successful, organizations need to consider People, Process and Technology, and how each of these contributes to the overall security posture of the organization.

To help organizations better withstand and respond to cyberattacks and malware infections, here are five best practices that they can consider in improving their defense against cybersecurity threats:

• Position cybersecurity as a digital transformation enabler: Disconnect between cybersecurity practices and digital transformation effort creates a lot of frustration for the employees. Cybersecurity is a requirement for digital transformation to guide and keep the company safe through its journey. Conversely, digital transformation presents an opportunity for cybersecurity practices to abandon aging practices to embrace new methods of addressing today’s risks;

• Continue to invest in strengthening your security fundamentals: Over 90% of cyber incidents can be averted by maintaining the most basic best practices. Maintaining strong passwords, conditional use of multi-factor authentication against suspicious authentications, keeping device operating systems, software and anti-malware protection up-to-date and genuine can rapidly raise the bar against cyberattacks. This should include not just tool-sets but also training and policies to support a stronger fundamental;

• Maximize skills and tools by leveraging integrated best-of-suite tools. The best tools are useless in the hands of the amateur. Reduce the number of tools and the complexity of your security operations to allow your operators to hone their proficiency with the available tools. Prioritizing best-of-suite tools is a great way to maximize your risk coverage without the risk of introducing too many tools and complexity to the environment. This is especially true if tools within the suite are well-integrated to take advantage of their counterparts;

• Assessment, review and continuous compliance: The organization should be in a continuous state of compliance. Assessments and reviews should be conducted regularly to test for potential gaps that may occur as the organization is rapidly transforming and address these gaps. The board should keep tab on not just compliance to industry regulations but also how the organization is progressing against security best practices; and

• Leverage AI and automation to increase capabilities and capacity: With security capabilities in short supply, organizations need to look to automation and AI to improve the capabilities and capacity of their security operations. Current advancements in AI has shown a lot of promise, not just in raising detections that would otherwise be missed but also in reasoning over how the various data signals should be interpreted with recommended actions. Such systems have seen great success in cloud implementations where huge volumes of data can be processed rapidly. Ultimately, leveraging automation and AI can free up cybersecurity talents to focus on higher-level activities.

For more information on the study, please visit:

To better understand the cyberthreats happening globally and in Asia Pacific, please download the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 23 here:


About the “Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in Asia Pacific: Securing the Modern Enterprise in a Digital World” Study

This study involved a survey conducted with 1,300 respondents from 13 markets - Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

All respondents are business and IT decision-makers involved in shaping their organizations’ cybersecurity strategies. 44% of them being business decision-makers, including CEOs, COOs and Directors, while 56% are IT decision-makers, including CIOs, CISO and IT Directors. 29% of participants are from mid-sized organizations (250 to 499 staff); and 71% are from large-sized organizations (more than 500 staff)

Las Piñas City – In today’s digital revolution, Artificial Intelligence (AI) opened opportunities for companies and states to develop machines that highly integrated a human’s imagination and problem-solving skills. Efficient logistics for production, cure for challenging diseases and self-driving vehicles are some of the visions that turned into reality through AI. This technological advancement is rapidly shaping the future and the way people live. Recognizing the shift, Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) has widened the scope of their Information Technology (IT) course through the launch of its AI and Mobile applications courses strengthened by their partnership with one of the world’s top ICT companies, Acer.

Students of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology can now opt to major in AI or mobile applications. The field of mobile applications for undergraduates can hone their skills in designing and hosting applications for gaming, entertainment and productivity.  On the other hand, students majoring in AI will tackle real-world projects that can provide solutions to today’s challenges. From handwriting/speech recognition to stock trading with neural networks, AI students will learn the skills that will be beneficial to organizations and to society.

“Southville IT degree holders will be equipped with the knowledge and confidence that will help them transform an organization into a more innovative, efficient and sustainable one,” said Dr. Aris Ignacio, Dean of the College of Information Technology.

Aside from adding tracks to its IT course, SISC has also intensified its faculty. Providing the students with quality AI skills and training is Professor Rex Wallen Tan, the sole holder of an AI masters degree in the Philippines.  Professor Tan finished his Master in Artificial Intelligence as Summa Cum Laude in Imperial College of London, one of the top universities in the world.

As a result of its strengthed partnership with Acer Philippines, SISC also has access to trainings for its educators to be up to date with the current industry trends. “As a global ICT company, we believe in paving the way for students to discover a future in the world of IT. Creating Acer Academy is our way of providing our products and services to schools and universities where they can utilize our expertise and resources in preparing future professionals in their careers,” shared Carren Garcia, Acer Philippines Senior Manager for Commercial Sales.

As a school that is strongly committed in preparing learners to be leaders and movers in the digital society, Southville also pioneered a technology-driven curriculum where students are taught with e-learning methodologies through an interactive software. SISC’s tie-up and accreditation with Microsoft Imagine Academy allows students and teachers to access course materials and obtain certifications online. Coupled with the software is Southville’s newly upgraded computer laboratory, powered by Acer desktops with high-end specifications. These devices allow students to process heavy data and applications to produce real-life end products.

To know more about the courses and programs offered by Southville International School and Colleges, visit its website at and/or call telephone numbers (02) 820-8702 or (02) 825-6374.

Southville’s Faculty of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT).
[L-R]: Lisandro Adamos and Floramae Aguilos, BSIT Faculty; Dr. Aris Ignacio, Dean of the College of Information Technology; Claudine Lumactud and Fulgencio Ducut, BSIT Faculty.

Southville’s newly upgraded computer laboratory, powered by Acer desktops with high-end specifications.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

This June, young kids can have more fun while learning new things and doing school work as they go through enjoyable adventures with Jollibee and friends—their Jollibee School Pals.

Available with every Jolly Kiddie Meal, the Jollibee School Pals is a set of back-to-school toys, each with different functions, that enable kids to be more creative at home and inside the classroom.

Young students can use the Jollibee Sharpener to keep their pencils from getting dull as they watch Jollibee spin around. With the Hetty Tape Dispenser, they can make Hetty turn as they pull strips of adhesive tape for their school projects.

With the Popo Stamper, kids can watch Popo dribble the ball while they creatively decorate their projects. They can also use the Twirlie Notepadto write messages to their classmates by simply opening the base to get the notepad. After, they can pull the lever at the back to see Twirlie’s hands move with excitement.

Drawing lines and shapes is more fun with the Yum Multi-Tools. Kids just need to poke the opening at the bottom of the base to get the ruler, stencil and paper clips. They can also turn the gear to watch Yum spin around.

Assemble your kid’s Jollibee School Pals in time for the opening of classes with every purchase of a Jolly Kiddie Meal: Yum Burger Meal at P97, Jolly Spaghetti Meal at P100 or 1-piece Chickenjoy Meal at P127, each with its own Jolly Joy Box.  

Hurry, complete the entire Jollibee School Pals set, available until June 30. Head over to the nearest Jollibee branch to collect all five toys that can help make school more fun for kids!


SM launched its 60th Anniversary celebrations by lighting up the iconic Mall of Asia globe, and with it, starting off a series of exciting 60 themed visual attractions, fun experiences, and interactive activities for its customers from May to October in SM malls nationwide.

Photo 1
The iconic globe at the SM Mall of Asia lights up with the anniversary to launch SM's 60th Anniversary celebrations. SM, which was established as a shoe store by Henry Sy, Sr. in downtown Manila 1958, has since grown to become part of the lives of millions of Filipinos through its retail stores, malls, residential condominiums, hotels and convention centres, and banks.

            The SM story began in 1958 when founder Henry Sy, Sr. opened the first Shoemart store in downtown Manila, introducing exciting new merchandising and retailing concepts.  At that time, Mr. Sy, who has been honored as the Father of Philippine Retail by the Philippine Retailers Association, thought that if he could sell a pair of shoes to every Filipino, he could be a successful man.

            In the 1960s, Shoemart expanded its shoe store chain and became one of the pioneers in the new urban centers in Makati and Cubao.

            In the seventies, Shoemart evolved into a department store, becoming SM, which has been synonymous with one-stop shopping excitement. SM positioned itself for growth in the 1980s, expanding its department store chain and venturing in the supermarket and appliance business.

            1985 saw the opening of the first SM shopping center, SM City North EDSA.  It was a time of a major political and economic crisis, but the mall was an instant success, paving way for the so-called malling phenomenon in the Philippines.  Malls became part of the Filipino lifestyle, places where families and friends could shop together, dine together, and have fun together in world class surroundings.
At the ceremonial toast of SM’s 60th Anniversary launch. From left SM Chairman for Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, SM Retail Vice Chair Herbert Sy, SM Investments Vice Chair Tessie Sy Coson, and SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. President Elizabeth Sy.

Today, SM has close to a thousand retail stores, and 70 malls in the Philippines, and 7 malls in China.

            Through its property arm, SM Prime Holdings, SM has also become a leading developer of residential condominiums in Metro Manila, where residents could live like a star at affordable prices.

            Mr. Sy always believed in tourism as a catalyst, and with that, built destination malls like the SM Mall of Asia.  Through SM Hotels and Conventions, the company now owns and operates world class hotels, a state of the art arena, convention and exhibition centers, and premier beach and mountain resorts.

            In the finance area, the acquisition of Banco de Oro in the 1980s enabled SM to provide better cash management services to its suppliers and retail banking services to its customers.  Today, as the country’s largest bank in terms of resources, deposits, and loans, BDO has made finance inclusive for millions of Filipinos.

            Through SM Foundation, SM reaches out to communities with its educational, health, and livelihood training programs aimed at making farmers self-sufficient. Through SM Cares, SM has undertaken environmental programs by building green spaces in its malls, as well as sustainability efforts, trash to cash recycling, and disaster risk reduction programs.  It has also make going around the malls easier for those with difficulties through PWD program.

            Marking the 60th Anniversary of SM in the province of Bulacan, SM Malls in Baliwag, Marilao, Pulilan, and San Jose del Monte celebrates the occasion with exciting activities and fantastic treats for its patrons. Shoppers can indulge in shopping fun and sumptuous meals as 60% discount or pay less Php 60 promos are applied to selected items with #AweSM Deals. Dazzling entertainment will also thrill the shoppers with #AweSMDance.

            SM City Baliwag will also stir up the milestone happenings with the Iconic 60 live painting of Guhit Pinas, Bulacan on May 25. Spot the hidden freebies and discounts from partner stores using the WallaMe App and win exciting prizes at SM City San Jose del Monte.

Monday, May 28, 2018

In celebration of Pride Month, we uncover how CASTRO Communications, 
from being a startup PR firm to becoming one of the most gender-progressive companies 
in the industry, has found its ultimate cause.

Manila, Philippines – Representing the PR in Pride—that's what CASTRO Communications has shaped up to be. From a hopeful start-up to a full-fledged communications agency that represents one of the most remarkable gender movements of today, CASTRO is both known for impeccable PR partnerships and its role in pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda in the Philippines. 


The brainchild of Martin Castañeda, who spent his early professional years in the Corporate Communications arm of L'Oreal Philippines, CASTRO recognized the opportunity to penetrate the lifestyle PR market as more and more brands clamored for non-traditional and creative ways to communicate with the media and the public. As Managing Director, Martin knew that growing the business wasn't a task he could do alone, so he sought out the services of long-time friend Janlee Dungca, formerly an events professional. Together with the rest of the team, CASTRO slowly built its lifestyle and luxury portfolio, partnering with companies such as Branded Lifestyle Inc., distributor of Ray-Ban and most luxury eyewear brands in the country, and the L'Oreal Philippines flagship, with its lineup of hugely successful brands such as L'Oreal Paris, Kerastase, L'Oreal Professionnel, NYX Cosmetics and Kiehl's. Other well-known brands include Nivea, Levi’s, Guess, SM and Celeteque.

In 2014, Martin and Janlee (the latter named as CASTRO's PR Director) welcomed frequent collaborator Lui Castañeda into the agency fulltime as CASTRO's Accounts Director. This move proved to be a truly auspicious step for the agency, as from there CASTRO grew both in terms of clientele and employee size—two telltale signs of highly competitive and successful startups. Currently, CASTRO has expanded its client portfolio to include household FMCG brands such as Toblerone, Cadbury, Cheez Whiz, Eden Cheese, Oreo, Belvita, Tang and Berocca, and has partnered with the most successful celebrities and content creators in their campaigns and events. The depth of PR services it provides is executed by CASTRO's solid team of hardworking employees, a creative group of individuals who have become both colleagues and friends.

As the Martin-Janlee-Lui trifecta developed CASTRO's commercial success, they also started to be recognized as one of the most progressive, pro-LGBTQ+ companies in the country. The name CASTRO itself was inspired by Castro District in San Francisco, where the yearly LGBTQ+ Pride Parade found its early beginnings. Individually, CASTRO's founders are LGBTQ+ members and advocates themselves, who actively contribute to the cause apart from their full time responsibilities in the agency. Janlee is a member of LoveYourself, a non-profit organization that aims to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS prevention, testing and treatment, especially towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. Martin and Lui also continually push forward the Pride advocacy in their various interviews and features.

But as proud LGBTQ+ individuals, Martin, Janlee and Lui's staunchest act in showing their support for the agenda is choosing to work with and collaborate with members of their community. Throughout CASTRO's seven years in the industry, they have continually hired employees, commissioned suppliers and worked with LGBTQ+ groups and individuals, and consider it as their way of changing the stigma against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in society. Locally, one of CASTRO’s most valued members is Niko Pedro, a proud gay man who does consultancy work for the company and also works as a consultant for a local news network. Outside the Philippines, CASTRO has expanded in Singapore, with an office headed by happily married gay couple Alvin Miranda and Jappy Reyes, both established marketing professionals.

In an interview she did last 2016, Janlee defined CASTRO’S practices as ways of "debunking myths about LGBTQ+ people perceived to always be parloristas or sex workers." As CASTRO built its corporate brand, the trio realized that their pro-LGBTQ+ stand has become an essential part of the company's identity—in fact, it's become the introductory line in their client pitches. The CASTRO directors consider this brand DNA both a privilege and a responsibility, for they now recognize their role as frontliners in the cause to raise awareness on gender equality in the workplace, both locally and internationally. 

As Martin works on expanding and starting an office in the US, he explains: "We founded CASTRO in the hopes of introducing a new lifeblood to the Philippine PR and branding industry, which I built with transgender women I trusted for their talents and work ethics. I did not expect that our personal identities would affect and inspire the LGBTQ+ movement both in and outside the country. Now, as CASTRO fully imbibes this spirit in our DNA, I only look forward to how the company can continue to push the Pride agenda through our unique place in the PR industry."

Sunday, May 27, 2018

SM Supermalls scored two awards in The International Visual Merchandising (VM) Awards by Retail Design Expo for SM Aura Premier’s A Christmas Under the Sea, winning in two categories – ‘Most Outstanding Feature or Prop’ and ‘Shopping Centres, Town Centres, and Airports’ – at the awarding ceremonies last May 3, in Olympia, London.

SM is the sole shopping mall brand to receive a VM Award, while completing the shortlist for the ‘Shopping Centres, Town Centres, and Airports’ category were SM South Luzon’s Dinos in the Mall and The Podium's Wintery Christmas.

“These global accomplishments continue to drive our passion for innovation as we develop exciting and meaningful visual display exhibits and executions to elevate customer experiences in SM malls,” said Jonjon San Agustin, SM Supermalls senior vice president for marketing.

Retail Design Expo’s International VM Awards recognize the most outstanding visual merchandising executions and examples of point-of-purchase, window dressing, and displays across all seasons and sectors. On its second year, the Awards garnered over 140 entries worldwide.

In 2017, SM Supermalls won in the VM Christmas Awards for the 2016 SM Malls of Asia Christmas Wonderland mall display, under the ‘Shopping Centres, Town Centres and Airports’ category. SM is the only Philippine shopping mall brand to receive a VM Christmas Award, and was the only Philippine brand shortlisted in the categories, along with Selfridges, QIC Grand Central and Victoria Garden.


For exclusive news about SM Supermalls, visit or follow SM’s official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through SM’s Viber Public Chat. Tweet your thoughts, upload and share your photos about your fun memorable moments at SM, then use its official hashtag #EverythingsHereAtSM.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


A stratospheric high took over everyone as Game of Drones: 2nd Flight, the country’s biggest and only drone competition, took off on May 26, 2018.
High-flying teams came together at The Bike Playground at the Circulo Verde, the city’s newest entertainment and lifestyle destination that has become a haven for those who love one-of-a-kind adventures.
Game of Drones: 2nd Flight is one such event, which provided FPV (First-Person View) pilots and drone enthusiasts an opportunity to show off their flying skills without having to wander far from the city, thanks to The Bike Playground’s wide open spaces which is ideal for those who love to fly drones.
The contest covered three categories – Time Trial, the Rotorcross finals, and Drone Photography, all of which allowed participants to battle in various contests for supremacy of the skies.
 Time Trial is a spec/open class category, where competitors raced to fly their drone across the 300-meter track for one lap. With up to four pilots per race, the winner Jerico Taleon, flew his drone within the shortest time took home a cash prize of P30,000. Runners-up were Marlon Caras and Mark Cometa.
 Rotocross is a spec class game. For this, participants were again grouped into batches of four for the elimination round. They flew their drones through a marked course, and the racers who finished first per batch moved up the ladder of eliminations. In the evening, the finals were held to determine the Rotocross Champion. Repeat winner Jerico Taleon received a P20,000, a trophy, plus items from sponsors. Runners-up were Danny Formentera and Axlsoy Godinez.
Drone Photography is an opportunity for photography enthusiasts to take breathtaking aerial shots within the Circulo Verde vicinity. The top ten submitted entries were shown at the venue for judging, and the winner who took home P5,000 was Lawrence Samaco.
On ground, there was as much excitement as that in the skies. Treats were available for everyone thanks to food stalls and sponsors’ booths that have ensured that everyone was revved up for a whole day of fun.

Drone hobbyists, enthusiasts, novice racers, and those who just want a taste of some outdoor fun were present to experience and watch as the drones battled for supremacy of the skies.
The Bike Playground is located within Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Quezon City, a 10-hectare master-planned mixed-use community envisioned by its developers, Ortigas & Co., to become an active lifestyle destination.
For more information, check out the Game of Drones social media pages:

Calling red as a head-turner is an understatement. No color has the same impact as red. Red represents a myriad of emotions and occasions from both ends of the spectrum. But global smartphone brand Vivo owns the color byhighlighting its elegance that transcends trends.

Vivo has released its flagship smartphone, the V9, in Velvet Red.

The Vivo V9 in Velvet Red has the same power as its previously released Pearl Black and Gold colors. It has a 24-megapixel AI selfie camera, 16MP+5MP dual rear camera, and a 6.3-inch FullView™ Display with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio—only in a more eye-catching finish.

With its standout color, the Vivo V9 in Velvet Red is as good as any glitzy fashion accessory. Pair it up with a monochromatic outfit, the smartphone can add a pop of color to your look. It will also go best with your outfits in green, blue, yellow, orange,and earthy hues. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can wear any color you wish with your Velvet Red in hand.

Vivo Philippines Vice President for Sales Hazel Bascon explained that the Velvet Red represents the youthful vibe of the global smartphone brand.

“Red is for the bold, for the adventurous, for the youthful, for the fashion-forward, for the energetic. Our ardent users are mostly young, hip, and spirited and the Vivo V9 in Velvet Red is a fitting nod to them,” she said.

The Vivo V9 Velvet Red is also retailed at Php17,990 at authorized shops nationwide.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Proudly Philippine-made rum Tanduay is capturing palates of the world’s connoisseurs as it recently gathers prestigious international awards. 
The major recognitions the brand received for its various products included: a gold award under the category Gold Rum Premium for Tanduay Rum Gold from the Rum & Cachaça Masters 2018; a double gold medal and best white rum citation for Tanduay Rum Silver from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018; a silver award for the Tanduay Rum Gold also from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018; another gold and silver awards from Tastings of the Chicago-based Beverage Testing Institute also for the Tanduay Rum Silver and Gold; and a Category Winner for Column Still Rum from the World Rum Awards once again for Tanduay Rum Silver and Gold. These award-giving bodies are among the most prestigious spirits competitions in the world and recognized internationally as most influential in the spirits industry. 
All these achievements are borne from Tanduay’s commitment to excellence and industry innovations under the leadership of its Chairman, Dr. Lucio Tan. Only the finest ingredients make it into each bottle of Tanduay rum and there is attention to detail at the manufacturing stages, where stringent quality control is meticulously applied at every step of the production process
Since the acquisition of the Tanduay brand by the Lucio Tan group 30 years ago, plant modernization and expansion projects tremendously increased the distillery’s production capacity. With an unmatched ageing facility that houses not less than 200,000 barrels of aged reserves, Tanduay continues to produce one of the world’s finest rums.
Through the leadership of Tan’s son and Tanduay president, Lucio “Bong” Tan, Jr., the company made a historic expansion in the world arena. Tanduay made a strategic alliance with companies in the United States to expand its distributioncapacity. The company likewise backed up its marketing efforts striking a two-year partnership deal with 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. 
“We are proud to be recognized by the world’s tastemakers and placed at par with international brands. We share these achievements for Tanduay with our Filipino consumers, because it is through their constant support for the brand that we have continued to reach new heights over the past 30 years, Bong Tan shares. He adds that as Tanduay ensures the excellent quality of its flagship products, it is producing more craft spirits,with the vision to grow the business in the international market, strengthening their claim in the spirits categories all over the world.        
Tanduay Distillers Inc. is a member of the LT Group of Companies. Tanduay is the Philippines’ top rhum maker, which is also distributed in Asia and the United States, among other countries in the world. Likewise, the company produces spirits, wines, brandies, gins, and vodka. We are a registered company in the Philippine stock exchange as a subsidiary of Tanduay Holdings Inc.

Blue Ant Entertainment, the exclusive pay TV broadcaster of Siren across multiple territories in Asia, is set to make a splash with new shows and blockbuster movies this June!

All hands on deck as Blue Ant Entertainment brings out mermaids and pirates with American drama Siren premiering on 4 June, and the four classic Pirates of the Caribbean movies as part of a new weekly movie block in the same month.

From depths unknown

Legend has it that coastal town Bristol Cove on the Pacific Northwest was once home to mermaids. Folklore proves more than fiction when a mysterious young woman who calls herself Ryn (Eline Powell) suddenly appears one night. The strange visitor soon catches the interests of local marine biologist Ben Pownell (Alex Roe). Together, along with Ben’s fellow marine biologist Maddie Bishop (Fola Evans-Akingbola), deep-sea fisherman Xander McClure (Ian Verdun), town eccentric and folklore expert Helen Hawkins (Rena Owen), and another mysterious woman who calls herself Donna (Sibongile Mlambo) unravel tensions between the denizens of land and sea as predatory mermaids seek to claim their birthright. Catch the two-hour special premiere of Siren on Monday, 4 June, at 9:45 P.M.(8:45 P.M. JKT/BKK) first and exclusive on Blue Ant Entertainment.

© Freeform
Siren has reached over 4 million views since its premiere in the U.S. alone, and has been well received by audience and critics alike. American digital media and entertainment company for women, Refinery29, describes Siren as “gripping and original,”while one of Florida’s largest newspapers, Tampa Bay Times, says that the show is “worth the deep dive in.” Cinemablend, the Internet’s go-to source of entertainment news, praises Powell as “a standout as Ryn,” and television news source website TV Fanatic says that “Siren is what television has been missing.”

Shiver me timbers

© Disney/ Jerry Bruckheimer

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise follows the adventures of the eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) involving magical treasures, supernatural creatures, former lovers, and even pirate mutiny. In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), has been captured by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Jack’s traitorous former first mate who captains the cursed Black Pearl. Together with Elizabeth’s lover, William Turner (Orlando Bloom), Jack sets sail to save the damsel in distress and reclaim what the mutinous Barbossa has stolen from him.

The first four movies of the franchise (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; andPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) will air all Thursdays of June on Blue Ant Entertainment.

Love and the big screen

FIRST DATES © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

There’s a lot more to look forward to this summer on Blue Ant Entertainment. Romance is in the air as complete strangers meet for the first time over lovely dinner on reality show First Datesevery Tuesday at 8:50 P.M. (7:50 P.M. JKT/BKK). First Dateshas instantly become a hit in the Philippines two weeks from its launch and has doubled Blue Ant Entertainment’s weekday 8:50P.M. time slot average compared to the previous two weeks. This is based on data released by Kantar Media.

The big screen is also coming to the network’s international channels, Blue Ant Entertainment and Blue Ant Extreme. The channels will soon carry box office classics from NBCUniversal and Disney to cater to a wider audience in the region.

To learn more about Blue Ant Entertainment’s exciting programsand movie lineup, follow the channel at, @BlueAntEnt on Twitter, and @BlueAntEntertainment on Instagram.


After watching a great movie last week, a couple of friends and I tried this Tex-Mex resto in Resorts World. Tex-Mex is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of Tejanos or more popularly known as the Spanish settlers in Texas. Best nachos in town they say. The name packs a lot of heat.. Fiery style Southwestern Flaming Grill. Apparently, it's their fourth branch, the first one is located at the Mall of Asia.


I must say the ambiance sets the right mood for conversations over a hearty meal. Rustic theme can be observed throughout the place from its chairs, tables, ceiling, and down to its floor accompanied by dimmed lights that makes it relaxing. On one side is a brick wall and Western style wheel chandeliers which hang from above giving you a feel of the old west.

The scent of food from other diners got my attention, teased my olfactory senses and my grumbling tummy. Their staff were attentive and immediately showed us to our tables with a smile on their faces. They were dressed in character donning hats and Mexican attire. Too bad, the band was not playing the time we arrived since they play on schedule and particularly at dinner time. I heard Ben & Ben was set to perform that week along with other popular acts.


I preferred to start off with their Flaming Taco Good salad presented in a crispy Tortilla basket mixed with Onions, Cucumber, Peppers, and on top are Corn, Avocado and Tomato.and since I couldn't wait any longer, I decided to take on the most talked about item on their menu.

I'm not a fan of nachos but the Fiery's Nachos might just change my mind. The way the food was presented builds excitement as it is concealed with a hollow cylindrical metal cover. Talk about presentations! As the cover is raised up, a tower of nachos smothered with cheese sauce on top and generously dressed with guacamole, mayonnaise, Jalapenos (my favorite!), sour cream, and tomato salsa IN EACH LAYER and all that ingredients that makes you salivate, was revealed in front of us hungry visitors. Sure enough their nachos was a hit thanks to the crispy shells and fresh ingredients not to forget the big servings. The best part is, you decide on the choices of fillings.

We ordered their the Rump steak too named as Steak Ala Familia. Forget everything on their menu but this. It's one kilo of steak partnered with their signature gravy. It was a unanimous positive reaction. A single bite is all it takes for you to savour and appreciate this meat. Don't forget about the gravy coz the smoky flavor takes it up one notch higher. It's like a party in your mouth!

Lord of the Wings deserves its name as these twenty-four pieces of chicken wings seems as if to be served to royalty. They were delightful to look at as they're served in skewers hanging side by side from a metal rack and in different varieties: Texan-style barbecue, spicy, Bacon, and Nacho cheese. Barbecue flavor got my vote.

Fiery's Cheesy Quesadillas were great even without the four dips available. It was oozing with cheese. I thought the fillings would ruin the Fiery's Cheesy Quesadillas but they complemented the taste. Choices varies from lettuce, Guacamole, Sour cream and Salsa.

Fiery style also has Terrific Tacos which was a great appetizer. Only the crispiest tacos and freshest ingredients will do for me since I easily get disappointed if I'm not satisfied with the shell alone. It was as Mexican as it gets. Simply put, it has authentic taste. Tacos come in wheat or corn tortilla. Shredded Lettuce, Refried Beans, Mexican cheese, Salsa and Sour Cream are inside this Mexican dish.

I don't think I've ever tried Burrito and I have no idea how it should taste so I can't compare it with anything yet. So far, it wasn't my cup of tea which was contrary to my friends' opinions. Their Nachos and Steak are still at the top of my list. In it were rice, sweetcorn, beans, and peppers. Louisiana style sauce, cheese and Sour Cream should spice up the flavor. It is in itself a complete meal.

Fiery's version of Crispy Pata topped with Chicken Skin appealed to me as food that's only for the brave. The towering sight was to behold. Just looking at it seems to raise my blood pressure. I got two words for it..Sinfully. Delicious. Meanwhile, Chicken bombers are the bomb! My companions couldn't take the chili while I enjoyed it.

I saved the best for last, which is my mantra when it comes to food. Galleon Grill carried a smorgasbord of choices: BBQ Ribs, Pork Hammers, Beef Ribs, and Chicken Wings. To complete the setup, coleslaw, Fiery rice, and Texan-style BBQ sauce are all for the taking. Meat is served medium rare to preserve the juice and bring out the goodness. Cooked at the right temperature to maintain its texture and consistency, and the strong aroma would hit your nostrils to provide a preview of the awesomeness that's about to hit your taste buds.

A sweet ending it is as I devoured the Chili Chocolate Fudge which literally has Chili pepper on top. Up to this day I still wonder how that red hot piece of capsicum adds up to the whole package. I am not one who backs out when it comes to food but this time I chose not to eat it. I did not want to spoil the terrific combination of fudge and chocolate. If memory serves me right, none of us actually dared to try but I hope to get back for it.

Sadly, I can only look at the cocktails. I simply am not for alcohol. Tempting as it was, I let others sip away and enjoy its gloriousness.


Looking at their menu will tell you that their food is relatively cheap. They focus on quality which means you spend money wisely. For instance, the Rump steak is one kilo of meat. A single order is not just for a single person, although since this one is my personal choice as well as everybody else then it means a steak connoisseur will clean the plate with a swift single sweep and will ask for more. Nachos with the same amount of serving is at least Php 500 from other restos but theirs is more affordably priced.

They have just recently opened and the place had many guests that time and since word of mouth is the most effective way of advertising then it wouldn't take long before they will have more loyal patrons like me, after all it isn't the only branch in the metro and customers will be thrilled to know they're in Resort's World too. Their food were presented creatively and enticingly and that's a plus. As they say, the eyes eat before the mouth. I'll definitely go back for their Chili Chocolate Fudge and Steak.

After having a good time in Resorts World and if you're up for a Tex-Mex cuisine, Fiery Style is a recommended option for dining any time of day or night. They're open daily, located at the 2nd floor El Calle Newport mall, Resorts World in Pasay City.


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