Friday, August 30, 2019

New health trends and exercise programs can lead to longer, more productive lives.

“Health is wealth,” the saying goes, but many people often overlook this gem of a concept because of many factors. For one, on top of the demands of a busy lifestyle, workout routines and healthy regimens become boring and uninteresting after a while – or simply get too hard to stick to.

You can get back on track towards wellness by trying out new health routines and practices. AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurers, shares these new wellness trends to revive your interest in a healthier lifestyle:

Online workout subscriptions. If you cannot go to the gym, a few clicks on your computer can lead you to online fitness programs that will help you get fit in the comfort of your own home. One of various exercise routines offered by workout websites may suit your needs and budget. Subscriptions cost only about ₱500 to ₱1,000 per month.

Sound bath. Despite its name, sound baths do not involve water and soap. It is an alternative healing practice that uses sounds and sonic waves to calm the body and mind. As you lie on your back and close your eyes, sound bath healers will produce relaxing music using Himalayan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, chimes, Biosonic tuning forks, shamanic drumming, and other percussion instruments. People now use this auditory approach for deep relaxation and meditation, as the sounds slowly allow them to relax fully and explore the inner self.

Sleep technologies. It is recommended that adults aged 18 to 64 should get seven to nine hours of sleep per day. Not getting enough sleep can weaken the immune system, affect bodily functions,and even increase the risk of future respiratory diseases and cardio-cerebral vascular illnesses. Several companies have developed state-of-the-art devices that can enhance natural sleep and ultimately improve a person's lifestyle: wristbands and smartwatches, temperature regulators, bedside monitors, and smart beds and mattresses to help you get a good night’s rest.

Digital detox. Technology has caused unnecessary stress and emotional strain to many so a growing number of people are trying to “disconnect to reconnect.” Digital detoxification can effectively reduce stress, improve emotional state, increase work productivity and boost social interaction. You will be surprised at how logging off from social media and limiting use of electronic devices can improve your physical and mental wellness.

Intuitive eating. This is perfect for those who find it difficult to follow a strict diet. This no-diet approach is all about eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Intuitive eating encourages people to have a healthy attitude toward food and body image, and to honor their hunger by finding ways to satisfy it in a healthy way. It also helps people cope with stress and other extreme emotions without using food as a coping mechanism. Intuitive eating does not only focus on losing weight, but highlights the need to feel energized, strong and alive.

As poor health choices can lead to critical illnesses that can affect anyone at any age, it is important to protect yourself from the financial repercussions of getting sick. AXA Philippines has several health plans that suit your need and budget, no matter what life stage you are in. For more information, visit

Tina Colayco, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and Mr. Deng Jun, Country Head of Bank of China Manila

Since 2002, Bank of China Manila has been working towards boosting bilateral cooperation in the economic, financial, and trade fields between China and the Philippines. From efforts like the SME Cross-Border Trade and Investment conference, where Filipino businesses were matched with Chinese investors, to the facilitation of two panda bond issuances, the bank has been steadfast in pursuing its mission of bridging the Philippine and Chinese markets.

That mission goes beyond business, as Bank of China Manila extends its efforts to bridging people. "Our two countries have been friends for a long time. We share many similarities, but we also share many differences. Through this exchange of cultures, we hope to enhance the understanding between the peoples of Philippines and China," said Mr. Deng Jun, Country Head of Bank of China Manila.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET), the Chinese Culture and Art Association, and China Daily Mail, Bank of China is launching an international arts and cultural exchange program between China and the Philippines. The project brings together five Filipino artists and five Chinese artists to participate in a brief residency in historically and culturally significant locations that will juxtapose similarities and nuances of people, place, and nature. It will culminate in two group exhibitions in both countries with corresponding public programs.

A shared advocacy

In its aim to bridge cultures, Bank of China is endeavoring to unpack and highlight the similarities between the Philippines and China. For both countries, rapid growth has at times led observers to disregard the negative impact of economic activity on the environment. But environmental protection has now become a common goal for both nations to preserve their vast natural resources.

It is this kinship with the living environment that inspired the theme for the cultural exchange. Dubbed “In Harmony with Nature”, the program seeks to present the issue of climate change and mankind’s stewardship of the natural environment, from an artist's perspective.

This kind of advocacy is something Bank of China is no stranger to. "We care deeply about the environment, and that extends to our business as well. We implement a strict Green Financing policy where we only finance projects that do not damage the environment," said Mr. Deng.

An exchange of art and culture

Deng Jun, Country Head of Bank of China Manila (first from left), Celeste Diokno, Managing Director of Bank of China Manila (first from right), and Tina Colayco, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (second from right), flank Filipino artists (from L-R) Rico Lascano, Phyllis Zaballero, Norberto Carating, and Manuel Baldemor. Together with Jonahmar Salvosa (not in photo), they will be participating in an upcoming culture and art exchange program that seeks to generate awareness for environmental harmony.

For this project, ten renowned Filipino and Chinese artists have been chosen for the caliber of their work, the strength of their practice, and potential synergy with their counterparts. They are some of the most distinguished in their respective countries, and are able to convey complex non-art concepts through their artistic lenses.

First, the participants will undergo a brief residency in Palawan before returning to Manila to exhibit their work at the MET. This initial leg will be punctuated with a collaborative/interactive painting that will be held during the exhibit’s opening day. After the art exhibition in the Philippines, a counterpart art exhibition will be held in China. It will then be the Filipino artists’ turn to visit China for a similar residency and collaborative painting activity.

The participating artists from the Philippines are Manuel Baldemor, Rico Lascano, Phyllis Zaballero, Norberto Carating, and Jonahmar Salvosa. Their Chinese counterparts are Kuku Chai Bukuk, Cai Zhixin, Ding Jie, Hao Ping, and Liu She.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Imagine being able to secure loans with some of the lowest interest rates in the banking industry. Or conveniently transferring funds from one bank account to another, or perhaps, experiencing the best possible customer banking service around.

To get all these and other “perks”, most financial institutions would require one to become their preferred client. But in today’s digital technology and in the global banking industry, getting access to all these benefits is simply a matter of banking customers securely sharing their data with other financial institutions. This is the beauty of open banking.

Open banking enables financial services customers such as companies, entrepreneurs and ordinary depositors and borrowers, to have access to various products and services from competing banks and other financial institutions by allowing the latter to digitally and securely access their financial information. Customers can compare product offerings and avail of the best ones that suit their needs and fit their capabilities, thereby helping them earn more from bigger savings interest rates, avail of loans more easily, and pay more conveniently, towards managing and improving their finances.

With the concept of open banking, financial institutions such as banks—big and small—fintech companies, and other players, can share their respective clients’ data through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). These APIs enable customers or the data subjects to share only data pertinent to the product or service they are looking to avail and not the account credentials.

The European Union (EU) initiated PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive) as an emerging Open Banking standard. This is a game-changer in the industry as banks’ monopoly on their customer account details will soon disappear. This required European banks to provide Open APIs which does not need additional customized developments. It reduces barriers to innovation and limits the big banks’ “walled gardens.” In fact, even the Philippines’ data privacy law was influenced by EU’s stringent data protection regulation, including the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Open banking can enable banks and other financial institutions to have access to data that will enable them to process loan applications quicker or better advise their clients on their finances. This encourages banks to be more competitive, leading to more affordable products, faster services, better customer relations, and investing in digital technologies, to the benefit of customers.

This is what Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) hopes to spearhead in the industry as it recently became the first local bank to advocate and implement open banking, affirming its position as a digital trailblazer in the financial industry.

But more than encouraging competition among banks, RCBC aims to lead the way to open banking in the country to become the Filipinos’ prime financial inclusion partner.

With open banking, we can power the transactions of rural banks, cooperatives, micro-financial institutions and other small players, giving their customers access to a wide array of financial services using RCBC Open APIs,” said Lito Villanueva, RCBC Chief Innovation and Inclusion Officer.

Already, RCBC has beefed up its open banking capabilities by establishing API partnerships with leading fintech companies; local payment networks PESONet and Instapay; and IBM Blockchain World Wire remittance.

Through open banking, RCBC aims to serve the global financial services needs of more than 30 million customers of fintechs, rural banks, cooperatives, and micro-financial institutions all over the country.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Ayala Foundation, the social development arm of the Ayala Group of Companies, continues its commitment to rekindling Filipino pride through its new National Anthem video. The video launch was held on Aug. 26, National Heroes Day, in the historic city of Manila.

“Ayala Foundation remains strongly committed to nation-building. This new National Anthem video is our way of honoring the people and communities whom we continue to serve in both modest and big ways. We are all under one flag—united as one Filipino country, one Filipino people who desire a better future for our children and better lives for all,” said Ruel Maranan, president of Ayala Foundation.

The new video features everyday Filipino heroes, those who work hard for themselves, their families, and the country day-to-day while, at the same time, showcasing the country’s accelerated growth and prosperity.

Volunteers from Ayala companies likewise appeared in the video, showcasing their kagitingan and demonstrating Ayala’s commitment to building the nation. They were joined by volunteers from Ayala’s partner communities and institutions.

“As Ayala celebrates its 185th anniversary, we would like to highlight the spirit of collaboration, partnership, and volunteerism that is embedded in Ayala’s corporate culture. This new National Anthem video is just one way for us to show how Ayala’s 45,000-strong workforce is committed to serving the nation,” said John Philip Orbeta, group head for corporate resources at Ayala Corporation.

The new National Anthem video adheres to the Ayala Foundation’s ongoing Maging Magiting campaign, which promotes love of country and recognizing the extraordinary virtues of ordinary Filipinos. It was developed and produced by Ayala Foundation, with the support of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and will be shown in all Ayala Cinemas starting September 2019. Officers and representatives from Ayala Corporation, Ayala Land, Ayala Cinemas, the
NHCP, and the City Government of Manila joined the Ayala Foundation during the launch.

The event ended with a wreath-laying activity at the foot of the Andres Bonifacio monument at the Tutuban Center grounds.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Today's TeenGen is a lot more vocal and expressive with what they're going through or what's on their minds. Whether it be a kilig moment with crush, heartbreak, getting recognized in school, or a cause they strongly support, teens of these days can teach us a thing or two about having no holds barred.

It has been a year since our Homecoming to Teen Love, this year, Coke Studio brings us its 3rd Season: MyFeels. Indeed, no one does it better than Coke when it comes to launches with the Coke Studio Music Festival that commenced the Coke Studio Season 3: MyFeels last August 23 at the Circuit Makati with our hosts from the Summer Concert Ylona Garcia and Justin Quirino.

Headlined by Coke Studio Season 3 artists, we welcomed the rainy season with rush of water and stream of feelings ranging from love, freedom, independence, and moving forward.

We moved to the groove with Iñigo Pascual, Ron Henley, Al James, Lola Amour, This Band, and Miss Sarah Geronimo while Janine Teñoso, Clara Benin, Bea Lorenzo, Silent Sanctuary, Brisom, St. Wolf, Just Hush, UDD, and Morisette serenaded us with their solo performances. Also giving us surprise numbers were Coke Studio Seasons 1 and 2 alums Ben & Ben, December Avenue, and IV of Spades.

We used to be shy about sharing what we feel, no matter what it is, to people around us even the ones we trust. Coke Studio: MyFeels is here to turn the tables, its time to celebrate our feels and make it known that no one can dictate the validity of our feelings.

Just when we thought 2019 is going too fast and time is running out for us, Coke Studio came to the rescue with its 3rd Season and made us realize to celebrate every single thing no matter how little they are, look out for the possibilities that learning from triumphs and slumps can give us, and keep in touch with the feels of people around us and ourselves.

Catch them every Saturday starting September 14, at 10am on ABS-CBN.

SAN JOSE DEL MONTE – SM Supermalls takes pride in giving its customers meaningful opportunities to bond not just with family and friends, but also with the whole community as SM is currently having its art fair called Art for Everyone – a selling exhibit that serves as a fun venue for artists to showcase and sell their artworks and masterpieces.


Located at the Upper Ground Level of SM City San Jose del Monte, the mall-based art fair, ‘Art For Everyone’ aims to further promote the local art scene and support the next generation of Filipino artists and bring their artworks closer to the public.

SM City San Jose del Monte was one of the 18 malls across the country which showcased the different works of art. Professional artists and students, as well as parents and art enthusiasts were united altogether in bringing this year’s Art for Everyoneexhibition in San Jose del Monte a success, which also aims to further promote the local art scene and support the next generation of Filipino artists.

Participated by 63 artists from the city, including visual artist Napoleon Pacheco, student cardboard artist Sebastian Cacho – who was featured in different television shows because of his passion in turning trash cardboards into robots, and the FCPC Filustrados – a group of student art enthusiasts in the city, the art fair and exhibit in SM City San Jose del Monte was able to produced 94 different artworks.
SMSJ Art for Everyone Photo_2
A life-size robot made of used cardboards is likewise exhibited at the ‘Art for Everyone’ in SM City San Jose del Monte – a work of a student cardboard artist, Sebastian Cacho.

Art for Everyone selling exhibit in SM City San Jose del Monte started last August 19 and will run until August 31.

For more details and updates, like and follow SM City San Jose del Monte’s official Facebook Page

Monday, August 26, 2019

(Manila, PH August 25, 2019) -- TCL, top two global television brand and leading consumer electronics company, has officially launched new television (TV) and whitelines (WL) models for the Philippine market. By offering the P8 TV Series, the W Series Inverter Window Air-Conditioner, the AeroPure Air Purifiers, and PortaCool Air-Conditioner in these segments, TCL aims to solidify its standing amidst increasing year-on-year growth of the TV and WL market, both here and abroad.

The P8 TV Series comprises three models: P8, P8M, and P8S. These models come with the latest Android TV OS 9.0 and supports Google Assistant, the user-friendly built-in virtual assistant that can connect with modern devices for the best smart home experience. They also have 4K Ultra High Definition screen resolution, HDR 10 support, built-in Chromecast capability, Micro Dimming function, and Dolby Audio integration. The high-end model P8S further sports Wide Color Gamut that enhances color reproduction, with up to 90% NTSC color accuracy, and HDR10+ that provides dynamic contrast for better picture quality. The P8S also exclusively sports a full-screen design, delivering a more immersive experience to those watching it.

In a first for TCL Philippines, the AeroPure Air Purifiers was introduced amidst increasing market demand for affordable and high-quality air purifiers in the country. With four models under its belt, the AeroPure Air Purifiers are equipped with carbon compound and HEPA filters that clean the air, with a dust removal rate of up to 99.5% and bacterial removal rate of 99.9%1. These air purifiers also have several operation modes, ranging from auto mode that instantly detects the best settings to sleep mode that adjusts the fan speed to provide a good night’s sleep without sacrificing air quality.

TCL’s offerings of W Series Inverter Window Air-Conditioner and PortaCool Air-Conditioner are new, flexible models that gives consumers more choices when it comes to their cooling needs. The W Series aims to be the affordable option for people who want to enjoy comfortable cooling without the strain of electricity bills by using TCL’s own inverter motor technology. For the most flexible cooling choice, the PortaCool Air-Conditioner was designed with portability in mind. Equipped with casters and removable window kit and exhaust, the PortaCool can be used in any room of the house without the need for expensive drilling and tiring installations of air-conditioners. This also comes with dual fan motors for quicker cooling of the area and dual condenser technology that eliminates the need for water draining.

With TCL Philippines’ continuous growth and development, consumers are assured of the latest technological features and high-quality products TCL has always been known for

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019 has so far been the year everyone was being encouraged to do their part in saving the planet from pollution and waste.

While there are many new and trendy ways to save the planet, one tried and true practice any eco-noob can start with is shifting to eco-friendly shopping—and this doesn’t just mean bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery.

It starts with what you buy 

So let’s say you’re on your way to being an environment-friendly shopper, how do you know which products will complement your new lifestyle? After all, what you put in your grocery cart matters and where it came from matters just as much.

One easy choice would be products with packaging that produce less waste, can be recycled, and took less energy and resource to make or re-use.

Groceries in glass packaging could be number one on your list because glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over endlessly without compromising its quality. Another great thing about glass is when it’s recycled, it doesn’t cost manufacturers much resources or energy to re-use it, all they have to do is wash and reload and they’re good to go!

Sharing glass packaging’s endlessly-recyclable quality is aluminum cans—hailed as the most sustainable beverage container and valuable package even when thrown away. Apart from also being 100% recyclable, the lightweight aluminum packaging of your favorite sodas are easy to stack and transport, limiting overall transportation carbon emissions.

Apart from these, products in recycled carton packaging and high-value plastic are great choices too. Now before you completely write off plastic from your life, you have to know that not all plastic packaging are created equal. Despite being a mouthful to say, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a really good, highly-recyclable type of plastic prized for its strength, stability even when heated, and transparency. PETs can be recycled back into its bottle form and can be upcycled into lots of stable resilient stuff like furniture and even walling.

And to double down on PET’s high value, manufacturers like Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) have started “lightweighting” their PET bottles, which diverts solid waste from ending up in landfills by using less material to make each bottle. This results in “lighter” PETs that feel thinner yet still sturdy, not compromising the quality of the product it houses, to date Pepsi’s local bottling firm has reduced plastic resin in its packaging by 863.4 metric tons (MT).

In fact, PCPPI has effectively lightweighted its other packaging materials for beverages like glass—available at sari-sari stores and carinderias—and carton, effectively reducing material for glass by 6,467.5 MT and carton by 921.35 MT which make them doubly environmentally-friendly.

Where did they come from? 

Another criteria you can use to choose your products could be knowing where they were made.

Compared to swanky imported products, locally made and manufactured goods spell G-O-O-D not just for local producers but for the environment as well.

Local businesses utilize resources within their reach from sourcing to manufacturing and production. Aside from benefitting local farmers and workers, businesses close to your neighborhood will produce less carbon emissions when it comes to transporting their goods, and this doesn’t just apply to small businesses.

Even big businesses, with their recent pledges to save the environment, emit less pollution with their deliveries by opening manufacturing hubs nationwide while maximizing delivery routes to transport their goods. Less trips, mean less fuel consumption and less carbon emissions. PCPPI is also contributing to this cause by getting the most done in their deliveries by getting bigger trucks that use less fuel to transport more products to any partner outlet and sari-sari store close to any of their 13 plants nationwide.

With these easy considerations, supporting the environmental movement doesn’t need to be complicated to do. The environment will need all the help it can get and there’s definitely more work to be done, but these small steps can help build sustainable habits for everyone until we can all start pitching in big. Not only that, these simple choices also help support and encourage companies like PCPPI to continue their sustainable efforts. Anyone can pick up better-packaged products in the grocery, and with manufacturers like PCPPI improving on their packaging, switching up your shopping won’t be hard at all.

The country’s favorite young artist and model Nadine Lustre is the new face of the Philippines’ leading mobile wallet, GCash.

The multi-awarded actress headlines GCash’s “What Can’t You Do?” campaign to power the dreams of young adults who constantly want to do more, to expand possibilities, and to achieve beyond their own expectations.
“Nadine is the perfect fit for GCash because she represents the true aspirations of young adults and is at that point in her life where taking charge of your finances is becoming more important. She shows how young adults can be independent and take charge of their own lives, and with the help of GCash, “What Can’t You Do?” means so much more,” Chris Manguera, Chief Marketing Officer at Mynt, which runs GCash, said.

After starting out as a singer in a pop band, Lustre evolved to become a much-sought-after actress on TV, with her primetime hits "On The Wings of Love" (2015) and "Till I Met You" (2016).

The 25-year-old actress has fared as well on the big screen, winning the Best Actress awards from Young Critics Circle, FAMAS Awards and the Gawad Urian Awards in 2019 for  hit movie, “Never Not Love You.” Her latest film, “Indak,” a dance musical movie, shows Lustre’s flexibility as an actress.  

Early this year, one of world’s biggest fast fashion brands, H&M, launched Lustre as its first Filipino ambassador. The actress, named by a top magazine as Sexiest Woman in 2017, has her own line of swimwear with H&M. 

“She has built her brand and can create the image of a lifestyle that everyone will want to follow. We hope for that to happen with GCash as well,” Manguera said. “We also want to activate her big fan base to help spread the word of financial inclusion and empowerment.”

Lustre, who was voted Artist of the Year and Favorite Female Artist at the Myx Music Awards 2019, is a social media savant who has 6.8 million followers on Instagram.

GCash’s “What Can’t You Do?” campaign pushes the limits of what mobile phones can do for young adults with its innovative financial services accessible through mobile. With over 50,000 partner merchants and 20 million users, GCash remains the country’s leading mobile wallet.

Like Lustre, who has won over the entire country  and has kept everyone’s attention throughout the years by relentlessly adapting to change, GCash continues to evolve not just as digital platform but as a lifestyle brand.   

Friday, August 23, 2019

Pertinent issues facing the coconut industry, such as best farming practices, supply and value chain, takes centerstage in the World Coconut Congress organized by the United Coconut Association of the Philippines.

At the second World Coconut Congress, industry players here and abroad come together to tackle issues that are shaping the landscape — one of which is best practices in coconut farming and product development that local players, like ProSource International Inc. (ProSource), are focusing on.

Organized by the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP), the conference centralizes on coconut supply and value chain. Covering wide-ranging topics — from coconut solutions for health and environment, coconut biodiesel, to the latest on coconut oil health research — the said event seeks to promote Philippine coconut products globally.

At present, there is an observed paradigm shift in worldwide market behavior on choosing healthier and sustainable alternatives known as ‘Conscientious Consumerism’, as defined by the Network of Business Sustainability. With this, more and more consumers are seen to be promoting local industries, patronizing cruelty-free cosmetics, reducing plastic use, and generally, turning to healthier and more ethical diets.

To the key players in the Philippine coco industry, the eminence of the coconut trade stems from the significant shift in consumer values towards healthful living. For them, it is but an exciting opportunity to strike on now that the concept of “going green”, or lessening our environmental impact by way of creating more informed choices, is deliberately finding its way into Filipino sensibilities.

“The concept of ethical consumerism is already established in people's behavior, and as practitioners in this field, we see strong opportunities in penetrating this market,” said ProSource’s CEO Ricky E. Santos, who, as a key producer from the coconut industry, believes that businesses like them should also start adapting to the conscientious commerce trend.

“There has been an increase in veganism over the past decade even in meat-heavy countries like the Philippines. Through this thriving lifestyle, we believe that coconut production is one huge market that we all should keep an eye on,” he added.

ProSource, for one, started innovating with the Coconut. They have introduced to the market the likes of coconut calming oil, organic coconut wraps, coconut crunch, and its classic hero product, the Virgin Coconut Oil, among others. This is foreseen to be a springboard for other players to also start getting creative with the fruit with its promise of a warm reception from the market.

“We are one of those who put our strong faith in the ‘tree of life’. It is indeed that, as the fruit can be broken down into a wide range of by-products — from food, medicines, supplements, beauty products, and even personal care commodities,” said Santos.

Worldwide values of coconut products have developed steadily since 2014, and in 2017, with the Philippines reportedly exporting coconut oil at over $1.46 billion in total returns, putting the country amongst the world’s top coconut producers.

With the significant shift in consumer values towards healthful living, and the local industry players’ ingenuity to toil on this worldwide demand, the Philippines is once again set to be in the forefront of the global stage — with its competitive edge of the mastery of the miracle fruit.

Fans of Darren Espanto, Vern Enciso, Verniece Enciso, Chie Filomeno, and Julie Anne San Jose are in for a treat!

The young showbiz personalities are so excited with the upcoming launch of the stylish Vivo S1 smartphone that they are giving their Instagram followers a chance to get their hands on the first-ever handset in Vivo’s latest S series.

From August 26 to September 8, interested participants should post their own OOTD (outfit of the day) that mirrors the Skyline Blue or Diamond Black color schemes of the new S1 phone. To qualify, they must tag their favorite celebrities and Vivo in their OOTD posts.

The celebrities will then choose from the creative IG posts to determine which of their fans will receive the new S1 smartphone.

The Vivo S1 has a 6.38" Full HD SuperAMOLED screen that houses an in-display fingerprint sensor. It packs a 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM which are powered by a fast-charging 4500mAh battery.

The mid-tier smartphone has a 32MP AI selfie camera and an AI triple lens set—16MP main, 8MP secondary, and 2MP wide-angle camera—for amazing photos and videos.

But the feature that will definitely catch everyone’s attention is the S1’s sleek back cover design which showcases a gradient glossy finish on the Skyline Blue variant and a diamond cut design on the Diamond Black variant.

With its cutting-edge features and superb finish, the Vivo S1 is clearly not just a smartphone, it’s a fashion statement!

So, what are you waiting for? Put on your best OOTD that reflects the Vivo S1’s Skyline Blue or Diamond Black theme and get ready to impress your celebrity idol!

UNICEF, The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Future Faces benefit from the sale

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, partnered with Unilever, the leading beauty and personal care company in the Philippines, for the #BeautyThatCares sale in August. The campaign was a big success as it leveraged e-commerce to increase awareness for UNICEF, The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Future Faces.

Martin Yu, Associate Director, Shopee Philippines, said, “We are very proud to partner with Unilever for this philanthropic cause. This partnership has given us the opportunity to empower our users to support causes they believe in. Through the #BeautyThatCares sale, participating advocacy groups are able to reach a wider audience. Aside from our post-sale donation, we hope the continued support from our users will go a long way for these groups."

At the same time, Dorothy Dee-Ching, Unilever Philippines’ Vice President for Beauty and Personal Care says, “The #BeautyThatCares philosophy is grounded in purpose: to care for the people, the society, and the planet. Each brand under the Unilever Beauty and Personal Care category has its own thrust, acting as a compass for all its campaigns and innovations. It's not just about what products we put out, but also why we develop them at all. We want Filipinos to feel that they are being cared for by the brands they love. We are grateful for our partnership with Shopee—they have allowed us to reach more people online and raise the visibility of our purpose.”

The sale, which ran from August 7 to 9, gave Shopee users the opportunity to show their support for causes they believe in by buying Unilever products on the shopping platform. 20% of the proceeds from the sale went to the three partner organizations of Unilever.

Benefitting from the sale are:

  • UNICEF - champions the rights of children everywhere in the world so they can reach their full potential.

  • The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce - advocates for safe workplaces that promote equality.

  • Future Faces - a group of young adults that use repurposed plastics to provide nutritious meals to children in impoverished areas.

Shop Unilever personal care products on its official store on Shopee at

Visit the Shopee website at and download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

More than 700,000 GCash users have joined the movement to plant trees through GCash Forest, an important carbon tracking feature of GCash, to help save the watershed that supplies water to Metro Manila. 

Ney Villaseñor, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Mynt, which runs the country’s leading mobile wallet, said 756,370 people have signed up to collect green energy through GCash Forest as of August 19. That translates to almost 400,000 people using the new feature every month since its launch on June 25. 

GCash Forest is a personal carbon account that tracks how much emission people have avoided by living more consciously. “Green” activities—such as walking, bringing eco-bags and own utensils, going cashless, reducing paper use—earn users energy points. When they have enough points, they get to plant a virtual tree in GCash Forest, which GCash will match with a real, native tree planted at the Ipo watershed. 

“GCash Forest is the easiest way to help the environment; you don’t even have to go out of the city or to make time outside of work/school to plant a tree. You simply need to make daily choices that will lessen your carbon footprint, such as going cashless when you send money, buy load or pay bills, or walking instead of taking your car. GCash will turn these actions into reforestation efforts,” Villaseñor said. 

GCash, in partnership with WWF Philippines, has adopted 300 hectares for rehabilitation and reforestation inside the Ipo watershed. WWF will monitor and report the growth of trees sponsored by GCash for three years, which is usually how long it takes to see any changes in a reforestation or rehabilitation site. 

The 7,236-ha Ipo watershed, which spans the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, is part of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watershed system that supplies 98% of Metro Manila’s water. It has been declared a protected area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources but forest cover in the watershed is now only at 40%, a drastic drop from 85% several years ago.

“Planting a tree not only helps with carbon reduction but also results in water security and biodiversity conservation. Every decision we make has an impact, whether positive or negative. In helping GCash users to adopt a more environment-conscious lifestyle, we are raising a generation of green heroes,” Villaseñor said.  

Friday, August 16, 2019

CIMB Bank Philippines (CIMB Bank PH) today announced that it has garnered 500,000 customers, approximately six months after opening its doors for business in the Philippines. The milestone was reached anchored on a strong proposition of co-creation and partnership between CIMB Bank and GCash.

The all-digital, mobile-first CIMB Bank PH, was launched in early 2019 with a goal of bringing a unique and differentiated banking proposition to Filipinos. Anchored on a DNA of strong strategic partnerships and solving customer pain points digitally, CIMB Bank PH had forged a partnership with GCash, to allow GCash’s customers direct, paperless and seamless access to savings account services, a product termed GSave. GCash is an epayments platform owned by Mynt, the revolutionary fintech startup of Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial, an affiliate of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group.

Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group, who was in Manila to celebrate this milestone said, “CIMB Bank PH is surely the fastest growing bank in ASEAN, a wonderful achievement, and a strong testament of things that can be achieved in the regime of digital-only banks. We are motivated by this and will continue to innovate for our customers. Well done to the teams.”

In line with this, CIMB Bank PH and GCash also announced that the GSave bank account will be exclusively offered only on the GCash platform. The companies also said they will be working together to make added suites of financial services products available to GCash customers in the future. These services will be announced in due course.

Zafrul added, “The partnership with GCash was central to us achieving this milestone. It is a live case study of bank-tech partnerships, a combination of banking expertise and technology platform plays, and the opportunities it allows both parties to access. I look forward to developing more propositions with GCash to further establish our mobile banking presence in the Philippines.”

Anthony Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer of GCash affirmed its shared mission with CIMB Bank to increase accessibility of financial products and services for all Filipinos. “The acquisition of 500,000 users is a clear testament that the partnership between GCash and CIMB Bank through GSave is a success. We welcome this achievement and the deepening of our collaboration with CIMB Bank, and assure our users that we will continue to provide more innovative services to address the banking and financial needs of Filipinos who aspire for financially better lives for their families.”

The 500,000 GSave users are now enjoying the benefits of CIMB’s savings account, which is available as the Save Money feature on the GCash app. GSave offers an interest rate of 3 percent per annum, which is more than ten times higher than those interest rates offered by most Philippine banks.

Additionally, GSave does not require an initial deposit or maintaining balance, nor does it impose service charges for transactions—greatly reducing the barriers for ordinary Filipinos to open and maintain a savings account.

Over the last couple of years, the Philippines has been experiencing an alarming decrease in forest area. Due to rampant illegal logging and the lack of funds to better secure protected areas, the countries forests are going nude. 

Each year, based on data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), around 47,000 hectares of forest cover is lost, which is equivalent to approximately 1.2 million hectares of deforested land in a hundred years. This translates to about 24 percent in deforestation rate, one of the fastest in the world. 

These figures may sound too statistical, but they are a constant and stark reminder for Filipinos of the state of Philippine forests. This is also a wakeup call for everyone that while the government pursues efforts to create a greener country, a great amount of work is still up ahead, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Without strategic measures to combat this, Philippine forests will cease to exist in the next two decades -- leaving the next generation without clean air to breath, fresh and lush sceneries to enjoy, and endemic flora and fauna will only exist in picture books,” WWF Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma said. 

The severity of the situation calls for a pursuit of collaboration among all stakeholders -- the state, organizations, companies, and even the common Filipino. For many, participating in drives for the environment may seem to measly an idea due to the gravity of work to be done, but even the slightest act can create a chain of events that could help the country bring its forests back to full life. 

“We need to act now, and we need to act fast. We are at a critical time that loudly calls for action and the participation of everyone. Our fight for a greener Philippines is not won by one group alone. It needs to be a collaborative effort,” Palma added. 

GCash, operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), recognizes the power of its platform to create a huge impact for the environment. Placing itself at the forefront of developing financial sustainability mechanisms that aim to strengthen forest conservation efforts within its growing user base of 20 million, GCash recently introduced GCash for Good. 

Acting as its corporate social responsibility arm, GCash for Good has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Forest Foundation Philippines, Bantay Kalikasan, as well as Haribon Foundation to pursue their shared vision of establishing a greener Philippines.

“Through these collaborations with non-government organizations, international organizations, and various merchants, we look forward to fulfilling our vision of greening the Philippines through our platform, as this initiative shall create a significant impact not only to the environment but also in the daily lives of each Filipino,” Mynt President Anthony Thomas said.

With GCash for Good, Filipinos from all walks of life, especially the youth sector, now have the power to create a positive change for the environment and stay socially relevant. Through GCash for Good, GCash has made it possible for registered GCash users to conveniently send donations to their chosen organization. 

The platform enables Filipinos to reach out further while also creating better opportunities for the society, as it eliminates the hassle of having to endure long processes of donating through banks and institutions and allows people to focus more on what truly matters to them.

Various research has shown that there is a growing trend in crowdfunding as well as micro-donations. Such kind of initiative, while it may generate a minimal amount at a given period, would still go a long way and make a significant impact once it gets added up.

“For every person who would like to make a difference, it’s also important to recognize that working together, aiming for the common goal hand-in-hand, can result in an even greater impact. With GCash for Good, doing something for a cause becomes accessible and easier for all Filipinos,” Thomas said.


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