Monthly Archives

October 2021


In the New Normal, saving money is a must


Did you guys know that only 53% of the adult population saves, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey? This outcome is as frightening as it sounds. As a result, the significance of saving money should be highlighted more frequently.

In our zoom meeting, luckily, I was invited, I am so delighted to learn and have insightful knowledge about saving. There it gives us ideas on how we can save and how important saving is. Things that I learned during the session is that we have a lot of things that need to prioritize and that we must also include savings as a priority. Also, I realized that I have to control my impulses to do my saving act well. Little by little we can make a change and have better security for ourselves. At my age right now saving money is also a form of investment because at the end of the day I can use this with all my future needs and endeavors.

World Savings Day is a day set aside for financial institutions, both governmental and commercial, as well as financial activists, to come together to promote saving mobilization. The concept is simple: saving is for all Juans!

Here are some more reasons to learn how to save money:

To achieve financial freedom

The ultimate goal for people who are financially knowledgeable is to achieve total financial independence, where you will never have to worry about your finances again. This is only possible if you manage your finances well.

To be ready in the event of an emergency

Unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, job loss, or family medical issues, necessitate the establishment of an emergency fund. Your savings may be sufficient to meet the amount required for the unforeseen expenses, ensuring that you do not go into debt.

To achieve a financial and/or personal goal

Saving money allows you to fulfill all of your financial and personal objectives. You can never buy and invest in a house and lot or a start-up business without appropriate savings. You’ll need to save money in order to afford a larger down payment on a home. A new car or a trip overseas are examples of personal milestones.

Not to miss out on a chance

Life presents us with opportunities that may or may not be financially rewarding. A seat sale to your favorite location, a pre-sale house and lot within your budget, a new stock in the IPO stage, or even a new company idea are all examples of opportunities. Your money could be used as a start-up fund. Keep in mind that the more money you have, the more possibilities you’ll have.

Especially in all the crises that we’re facing there’s a lot more reasons why people must save. As we face difficulties and unforeseen circumstances, we can’t predict what will happen in the future. We might lose our jobs and or face a financial crisis or health related issues and as for that we can lean on the amount we kept from our savings.

One of the most essential financial lessons we’ve learned from the current pandemic crisis is the need to save money. Emergencies do occur, and those who have not budgeted for them will find themselves worried about how to make ends meet. The pandemic also provided people with newfound leisure to pursue their side hustles for extra cash. People are becoming bakers, internet sellers, and vloggers, and firms in the health supply industry, such as masks, are expanding. When you undertake a general home cleaning, this is also a good time to sell any unused stuff you have. Finally, for individuals who work in an office, the shift to online school implies further savings for lunch and transportation.

How much you can save is mostly determined by your salary. Perhaps you’re considering a savings target that’s higher than what you’re getting paid. If you want to save more money, you should raise your salary and look for alternative ways to supplement your income. The more money you earn, the more money you should save, not the other way around. Consider it a never-ending wealth loop.

Saving is much more convenient thanks to Cebuana Lhuillier. As they changed their 24k Micro Savings Card to a normal Savings Card with all the perks of an ATM, minus the exorbitant startup deposit and daily maintenance balance requirements, which may deter most wage-earners like me.

According to Ms Lorna Z Teczon, Cebuana Lhuillier Bank’s Head of Digital Banking and Strategic Alliances, “This is as easy as depositing a minimum of P50 to open an account or P1 to reactivate a dormant account, and you can, with a minimal or zero fees, send, receive, save money with interest and withdraw from nearby Cebuana Lhuillier branches and BancNet ATMs.”

Saving is introduced to regular people, freelancers, and youngsters by making banking accessible not only to wage earners, but also to those who don’t, can’t, or haven’t experienced opening a bank account due to prohibitive restrictions.

This convenience is enough to persuade people to start saving without worry of becoming caught in bureaucracy or being turned off by commercial banking jargon.

So, what are you waiting for to make a better future and secure a means for yourself by saving money. As we commemorate World Savings Day it gives us an idea on how it is really important to us.























‘WATERWALK RECORDS’ is a new Christian label launched by Sony Music Philippines

WATERWALK RECORDS, a music label focusing on providing contemporary Christian music to a new, streaming audience, was launched today by Sony Music Philippines. The label will include faith-based entertainment artists from all around the country who depict the finest of Christian music while also incorporating their own distinct styles. I’m so glad to discover this new launch of Sony Music Philippines because they will cater to a taste of music that surely a lot of people will love. In their zoom conference I got excited as I learned about the details and plans for ‘Waterwalk Records’ and the artist that will embody the visions using their unique styles of singing.

According to Roslyn Pineda, General Manager, Sony Music Philippines, “In the Philippines, Christian music emerges from daily life and is a reflection of the country’s rich culture.Pop music inspired by Christian melodies has arguably created some of the most interesting music in recent years. It’s a diverse genre full of talented artists who use faith as a regular way of connecting with people. WATERWALK RECORDS has huge opportunities to grow as we work with talented artists such as Morissette, Gloryfall and Hazel Faith and others to bring their music to fans all across Asia”.

 “The Philippines is a musically rich country, well known for showcasing the best of Christian music in Southeast Asia,” said Ariel Fung, EVP, Sony Music Southeast Asia“With WATERWALK RECORDS, our vision is to create a hub for Christian music in Asia that serves artists and writers who are creating ground-breaking music and impacting the lives of millions. Our stellar line up of artists we’re working with is just the start of helping us achieve that vision, representing the very best of local and regional talent.”

During the Zoom meeting

The artist, Morissette, popularly referred to as “Asia’s Phoenix”, will release the label’s first single, Waterwalk” on 28 October. Mapayapa” — a collaboration between Christian worship band Gloryfall and singer/songwriter Hazel Faith– will be released on 30 October.

“I am thrilled to be taking part in Sony Music‘s new Christian label and get to share, and sing, of the word of God and all His great works,“ added Morissette. “ It’s only been a couple of years since I’ve made the decision to really follow Jesus and one thing I can really attest to is that we just need to trust Him in everything. I’ve been through some very challenging times too especially during this season, but it’s His grace that saves me and keeps me going, His love that comforts and protects me, and His promise that I will always keep in my heart. The track “Waterwalk” portrays all of that, and a reminder that what He has done for His people then, He will also do for His people now, we need only to anchor on to Him.”

Rapper/actor Jericho Arceo and Stell of SB19, will also release a joint singleArceo is well known for creating viral videos on social media and being a member of the cast for the show The World Between Us, while Stell who is a part of SB19, one of the most popular P-pop groups in the Philippines, is embarking on his first solo venture through this collaboration.

In another first, Nathan Huang from the band ‘of Mercury’ (formerly known as Nathan & Mercury) will also have his first solo venture through the label and will collaborate with Darla Baltazar, who was recently featured as one of the 16 Artists to Watch on the international website The Gospel Coalition.

Janine Danielle, a worship leader from Favor Church, will be singing a track penned and produced by one of Spotify’s most followed Filipino artists Moira Dela Torre, and Moira’s frequent collaborator and husband, Jason Hernandez. The lineup also includes singles from beloved worship leaders from various churches in the Philippines: Lee Simon Brown (from Victory Worship), Cola Cabalcar, Kent Charcos, Cherise Katrieland Sam&Steff.

WATERWALK RECORDS will also bring out a new single from Ariel Tsai, a famous Taiwanese singer/songwriter, pianist, and YouTuber signed to Sony Music Taiwan, to highlight the region’s diversity. WATERWALK RECORDS’ 12 tracks are slated to be released later this year.

Please follow to stay up to date with new music, artists, and future events: Waterwalk Records: Facebook | Instagram










Mega Sardines celebrated their newest Ambassador Judy Ann Santos Agoncillo as they hold the Sarap, Sustansya at Saya fan meeting

Primetime Superstar Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo is now the newest Mega Sardines ambassador, representing a brand well-loved by the Filipino community and is a household staple food for most.

Prime Superstar Judy Ann ‘Juday’ Santos-Agoncillo (JSA) has been appointed as the newest Mega Sardines ambassador, giving her followers and admirers a new reason to rejoice. With her excellent enthusiasm and attributes, the award-winning actress, restaurateur, and super mom now promotes the country’s number one sardine brand and remains one of the most well-loved Filipino celebrities.

This is a very joyful occasion, as Juday, who is regarded as one of the country’s household names, joins forces with Mega Sardines, a Filipino household staple adored by Filipinos all across the country. Juday, after all, embodies Mega Sardines’ fervor and malasakit. I acquired a lot from the newest ambassador as I joined their virtual meeting. She is very kind and entertaining. I enjoyed the event, especially because they prepared exciting games that make it more lively and astounding.

In celebration of this new milestone, JSA, in collaboration with Mega Sardines, hosted a virtual fan meeting with the media and her loyal fans on October 21. Aside from the opportunity to interact, hangout, and get updates from their idol, the fans also enjoyed an event packed with games, activities and raffle prizes exclusive for them.

The attendees were also given new information about Mega Sardines’ Sarap, Sustansya at Saya campaign, which emphasised the nutritional benefits that a can of Mega Sardines can provide to Filipino families, as well as the delicacy that it can provide to ensure that everyone in the family likes it.





Health and Wellness

Keep an eye on your back: What may appear to be ordinary back pain could actually be Axial Spondyloarthritis.

A puzzling backache could indicate a variety of issues. It could be the result of overuse or a minor injury, or it could be a symptom of Axial Spondyloarthritis.

Axial Spondyloarthritis is an inflammatory condition of the axial skeleton that, if left untreated, can cause severe discomfort and, in some cases, full disability. It’s also a highly heritable condition, so those who come from a family with a history of arthritis are more likely to get it.

Axial Spondyloarthritis usually develops in early adulthood, and it’s been dubbed “the disease of the young” by some. Most patients have a 7-year diagnosis delay, according to research, owing to the fact that Axial Spondyloarthritis only manifests itself as persistent pain in the lower back during the first few years. However, by this time, the disease would have advanced to the point of permanent damage.

For this reason, Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. (J&J) has teamed up with the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Rheumatology Association (PRA), and the Axial Spondyloarthritis Association of the Philippines (ASAPh) to raise awareness about Axial Spondyloarthritis and encourage patients with symptoms to seek medical treatment.

The significance of catching the disease at an early stage

The lack of awareness among the public and the lack of familiarity with the disease among primary care providers have resulted in fewer referrals to specialists and delay in diagnosis of patients.

Together with DOH, PRA, ASAPh, and J&J, we conducted a lay forum last July 22 entitled Inflammatory Back Pain: Ating Suriin, Ating Alamin! to educate more Filipinos about chronic and debilitating conditions such as Axial Spondyloarthritis. We frequently distribute reference materials too, so that more people would become aware of the complications that follow this chronic, inflammatory rheumatic disease if not acted upon immediately. It is also PRA and ASAPh’s plea to make medications more accessible to patients in need,” added Dr. Reyes.

“Axial Spondyloarthritis is fairly common and so are its symptoms,” said Dr. Bernadette Manapat-Reyes, chair of the Philippine Rheumatology Association for Spondyloarthritis. “The most common symptom is prolonged pain in the lower back. Some people also experience pain in the hips, swelling of joints, episodes of eye inflammation, and even weight loss.”

“We know Axial Spondyloarthritis has an early onset, but life doesn’t have to stop when it happens,” said Dr. Erwin Benedicto, head of Medical Affairs at Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. “If you have been experiencing symptoms of Axial Spondyloarthritis, it is very important that you see a specialist immediately. You shouldn’t delay this because the disease can be crippling if left unchecked.”

“Axial Spondyloarthritis is a lifelong condition that may affect you differently at different times. Creating a treatment plan with your rheumatologist can greatly help in dealing with the challenges that come with living with Axial Spondyloarthritis.”

“While there is no permanent cure for Axial Spondyloarthritis, its symptoms can be managed and the speed of its progression can be reduced with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”

Axial Spondyloarthritis can be controlled with regular exercise and physical treatment in the best-case scenario. In addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and injectable biologics, patients can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and injectable biologics.


About Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc.
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science, and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. Learn more at Follow us at @JNJNews.
Health and Wellness, Lifestyle

QURE has arrived: Filipinos created a teleconsultation and wellness website for Filipinos

During the QURE press launch

Today, October 20, a teleconsult website that claims to make medical consultations simple and convenient for many Filipinos was launched. As I attended the virtual event that they conducted, I learned so much from their vision to help and give knowledge to other people. Giving also this convenient consultation it aims to reach more the unserved and be guided properly., a website created entirely by Filipinos, offers a platform for online video consultations, connects doctors and patients for convenient appointment booking, and provides a directory of pharmacies and other health and wellness services. In response to the growing demand for virtual consultations, provides a free platform for doctors who want to expand their services via teleconsult.

“We created this platform with the Filipino patient in mind. It’s a simple website and it does not complicate the teleconsultation process. Even those not comfortable with technology will find these consultations easy to do. This is our new normal and QURE is here to help you navigate the future of healthcare,” said Gary Libby, QURE Chief Technology Officer.

A trip to the hospital may also be burdensome these days, as the COVID pandemic persists. QURE will help Filipinos find their way through this public health crisis while keeping their health in check.

“This will definitely benefit doctors and patients. No more overbooking for doctors, and no more long lines for patients waiting for their turn at clinics. Whether via teleconsult or face-to-face check-ups, the scheduling system of QURE helps both patients and doctors,” Libby added.

Andrea Trinidad

Andrea Trinidad, Chief Executive Officer of QURE, said the idea of the teleconsult platform started last year when the lockdowns extended and it became difficult for patients to see their doctors.

Trinidad, who has a life-long disorder called hemophilia and is the president Hemophilia Advocates-Philippines, said the pandemic really affected patients.

“When I was approached by my friends last year and they shared with me their idea of a telemedicine platform, I told them it was brilliant.  We envision QURE to be an e-mall of health services where you can book consults, buy medicines, book laboratory appointments and even book a consult with the veterinarian for your fur babies,” she added.

More to know about QURE:

1.The platform is data-safe, both for patients and doctors. Registering is FREE for patients and doctors. Consultation fees range from P500 to P1,500, depending on doctor’s specialization. But for its introductory price, QURE is offering a 50 percent discount for consultations.

2.Registered users can look for doctors for their tele-consult. Specialists have expertise on:

Cardiology; General Surgery; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Integrative General Medicine; Internal Medicine, Dermatology; Otolaryngology (ENT); ENT Specialist Head & Neck Surgery; Psychiatry-Adult; Physical Medicine/Rehab; Pediatrics; Allergy & Asthma, Immunologist; Urology; Sleep Medicine/Insomnia; Ophthalmology; Family & Occupational Medicine; Cardiology; Pediatrics-Pulmonology; Family Medicine; Lifestyle Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery and Hematology/Oncology.

Also in QURE’s pool of experts: Nutritionist Dietician; General Dentistry/Orthodontics; Dentistry/Prosthetic and Esthetic;

3.The website lets you know who is online.

Is the doctor in? No need to guess or call the doctor’s secretary. Through the QURE website, you can easily see if the doctor is available to take consultations.

4.Find doctors in your area or teleconsult with a specialist anywhere in the Philippines

QURE has a growing number of specialists from all over the country. The drop-down menu on the website shows that many doctors have already signed up. Many more are joining QURE in the following weeks.

5.It’s a growing health and wellness community. 

In the coming months, expect more health and wellness features. You will also soon see reviews of doctors done by patients themselves.

Contact us at [email protected] or 0991.398.8781 for more information about QURE. Visit to see our list of specialists.




Rise Against Hunger PH launches a mobile kitchen to serve households in the National Capital Region

A project by Rise Against Hunger Philippines (RAHP), the mobile kitchen jeepney has a fully-functioning kitchen working to feed 500 individuals everyday

In partnership of the private sector program Kain Tayo Pilipinas, international aid organization Rise Against Hunger Philippines established a mobile kitchen jeepney, mobilizing additional resources to reduce hunger in the Philippines. Take Action Against Hunger PH and Kain Tayo Pilipinas join together to change how businesses and organizations may help communities in need by developing a model that can be readily replicated and sustained. The mobile kitchen is equipped with a fully functional kitchen that can serve up to 6,000 meals each month as a step toward eliminating hunger and malnutrition. Architect Deo Alam designed the mobile kitchen in the shape of a jeepney, which contains a modern rendition of the Filipino mythical bird Sarimanok, whose beak corresponds to giving food to the people.

“We are grateful for the unwavering commitment of our partner organizations who continuously supported us to address the root of the nation’s concern on involuntary hunger including: challenges on food production, food distribution and accessibility. We hope through mobilizing the first mobile jeepney kitchen, we can encourage more organizations to provide aid to more Filipinos especially during this time of crises.” said Rise Against Hunger Philippines Executive Director, Jomar Fleras.

Together with representatives from both organizations, and in collaboration with the Local Council of Women, the mobile kitchen officially rolls out its operations at Barangay Rosario, Pasig City where it will be serving lunch-time meals. Throughout the course of the project, mobile kitchens and food banks will be stationed in different barangays across cities of Pasig, Taguig, and Manila thrice a week every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The program aims to prepare 500 meals for every individual everyday with its mission to address the nutritionally at risk Filipinos.

The mobile kitchen was launched at Pasig Elementary School on September 30, with 100 of the city’s jeepney drivers and their families invited as guests. Apart from the food from the kitchen, they also received free vaccinations through a donation from San Miguel Foundation.

Together with the other private sector organizations, Rise Against Hunger Philippines appeals to the Filipino communities, organizations to join the program to provide more mobile jeepney kitchens to be made available to reach more communities in the country.

The private sector, in collaboration with non-government organizations (NGOs) and government partners, launched Kain Tayo Pilipinas, the flagship program of Pilipinas Kontra Gutom, a multi sectoral movement behind Task Force Zero Hunger which aims to eradicate hunger in the country. Kain Tayo Pilipinas is an initiative that invites everyone including the public to help feed more Filipino children and equip families with nutrition information to help alleviate malnutrition especially amongst children 5 years and below.

The three-fold approach of feeding, education and collaboration guides the program in being able to holistically address the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the country. The feeding programs of the various organizations will be complemented by an education program to ensure that families are equipped to sustainably provide nutritious meals for everyone in the household.

Contact us at [email protected] if your company or group wants to help eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines.

Check out Rise Against Hunger’s official website at and follow them on Facebook at @RiseAgainstHungerPhil for more information. Follow Kain Tayo Pilipinas on and on Facebook at @PilipinasKainTayo for additional information.








Converge awarded as the Technology Company of the Year Award

Converge is awarded as the Straive Technology Company of the Year Award in the 12th Asia CEO Awards recognizing the company’s excellence across the areas of technical expertise, financial growth, company reputation, and social responsibility – reflecting a well-rounded and holistic growth.

The country’s leading fiber broadband provider, Converge ICT Solutions Inc., continues to gain national prominence as it was recently awarded as the Straive Technology Company of the Year Award in the 12th Asia CEO Awards, besting seven other Philippine ICT companies for the coveted award. The Asia CEO Awards is the largest business awards event in the Philippines and one of the largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.  Its purpose is to promote the Philippines as the premier business destination for global enterprises.

With the recent win in the annual Asia CEO Awards Converge continues its winning streak in both the international and national stage for its demonstrated innovation and technological prowess. According to the national award-giving body, nominees of the Straive Technology Company of the Year award are judged according to: management achievement, financial contribution, recognition, pioneering achievements, and social commitment.

Thus, the category recognizes Converge’s excellence across the areas of technical expertise, financial growth, company reputation, and social responsibility – reflecting a well-rounded and holistic growth.

“With the increasing demand for reliable and consistent internet, we at Converge knew we needed to be more innovative and progressive in coming up with more solutions designed with our customers’ needs in mind. We are dedicated to deliver better online experiences by building the right technology and infrastructure to empower people, businesses, and the nation,” said Converge Chief Operations Officer Jesus Romero as he thanked the Asia CEO Awards for the recognition.

Leveraging its all-fiber network and its modern, future-proof network infrastructure, Converge innovatively created a suite of broadband products customized to Filipinos’ needs, unlike any plan offered by other players in the market. Among its innovations is the FiberX Time of Day plans which allows customers to choose which period of the day to double their bandwidth.

Another innovation is the Direct Internet Access Upload (DIA Upload) a cloud connectivity solution that allows asymmetric download and upload bandwidth allocation. In this way, business can get the same quality of the premium internet service with two times upload speed, best for outbound traffic intensive business operation.

With innovation-led products such as these, Converge captured 47% of fixed broadband net adds amongst the three largest broadband operators in the Philippines in the second quarter of 2021.

Converge’s meteoric rise in the ICT space saw a major boost in 2020 as the pent-up demand for high capacity and high speed internet further shot up amid the pandemic. With its twin expansion strategy – Go Deep and Go National – already in place before the pandemic struck, Converge was in the best position to cater to the urgent need of the people for fast and reliable fixed broadband connectivity that can only be delivered by fiber technology.

Since 2020, Converge has gone from strength to strength, expanding nationwide coverage to 32.5% of households in the country, passing 8.3 million homes, going nationwide in service, and recording industry-leading revenue growth.

In the fourth quarter of the year, the fiber broadband provider is showing no signs of slowing as it will begin to service the Visayas and Mindanao islands more widely.


By the first edition of its songwriting festival, AmiananPop supports North Luzon pop music


AmiananPop Music Inc. is organizing the first edition of its songwriting festival, which will take place online on December 4, 2021, in order to promote a greater knowledge of North Luzon culture and identity through current music. The most awaited event was told during our webinar, it amazes and excites me the most as an Ilocana to know that there will be an upcoming event that will be held in my province in Ilocos. As I learn so much from the webinar, they will truly commemorate the festivity of music and its art.

Taking a leaf from its contemporaries, the Visayan Pop Music Festival (Vispop) and the Mindanao Popular Music Festival (MinPop), the newly formed institution highlights a new generation of composers, interpreters, musicians, and producers from the Ilocos, Cordillera, and Cagayan regions, as well as some non-Tagalog speaking areas in Central Luzon.

Taken during the AmiananPop webinar

Through AmiananPop Songwriting Festival 2021, artists from the North are encouraged to write, record, and produce songs in their own language as a way to present one’s individuality and debunk misconceptions about non-Manileño Filipino cultures. “Every language and/or dialect is unique, and so are the stories and nuances that come with it, and that is why this is the ultimate goal of the movement, to create a community of storytellers that will represent the NOW generation of Northern singer/songwriters,” says AmiananPop Co-Founder and Chairman Davey Langit.

The annual competition is committed to bringing modern regional pop music at the forefront of mainstream consciousness by making sure that the songs are well-produced and could compete on a global level. As Ebe Dancel, Co-Founder and President of AmiananPop sums it up, “All the finalists have excellently-written and arranged songs, and the melodies are great. How do we bridge the gap? We make sure that the songs are well-produced, so that when people not familiar with the language hear them, they will be encouraged to look for the translation of all songs.”

Going all out on its debut edition, AmiananPop aims to secure its place on the Philippine music map with its insistence to subvert old practices and embrace new forms of music-making that is at par with the professional level in highly urbanized areas such as Metro Manila. Using the tagline Sikamimet!, which is an Ilocano word for ‘it’s our turn,” the regional songwriting event is keen on igniting a new music movement from North Luzon that turns the resounding battle cry into a marker of an evolving and dynamically growing scene.

“We have to bring it to the fore and show the people that we have an evolving culture, particularly, in music,” Co-Founder and Board Member Noel Cabangon explains the basis behind AmiananPop’s vision. “The songs that we know are already traditional songs. What about the stories and song of the new generation? That’s how important cultural evolution is. Dapat kasabay ng pag-evolve ng panahon ang kultura.”

This year’s finalists have shown promise in making generation-defining anthems that not only assert cultural identity in a compelling way, but also reflect the social conditions of their immediate environment and the community that shaped their individuality. The North Luzon artists that impressed the adjudicators in the preliminary rounds include:

Angelic Mateo, SUNGBAT

Harold Lumandaz, URAYEN KA

Jomabel Trapse, BISIKLETA

Fernan Castro Estrada (Composer) & Melchor Orpilla (Lyricicst), LAINËNG ONAN ARO

Ryan Madrid (Composer) & Kimberly Collado (Lyricist), PUDNO NGA AYAT

Ruth Lee Resuello, AGKA MAPAGA


Rivah-Anne Singson & Remedios Singson, NAPACURUG NGA AYA

Red Gumayagay, ARAPAAP

Patrick Visto, LAB STORY

The selection went through rigorous process of adjudication led by Chairman Davey Langit, President Ebe Dancel, as well as Foundation Board Members Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Noel Cabangon, Gary Granada, Ma. Cristina Joy Balajadia, Melvin Morallos, Christopher Donaal, and Agat Morallos.

The finalists are chosen based on musicality, lyrics, inventiveness, and new sound, as per the Co-Founder Noel Cabangon. “We judge entries based on how creatively made the songs are, not on their winnability,” the award-winning and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter says.

AmiananPop Songwriting Festival 2021 is the first project of AmiananPop Music Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the splendor and variety of modern pop music in North Luzon and its surrounding areas. PhilPop, FILSCAP, NLEX-SCREX, PotenCee, Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros, Office of Cong. Kristine Singson, Office of Cong. Christopher de Venecia, Mansho, and Island Living are among the festival’s official partners and sponsors this year.











Lifestyle, News

SM Supermalls opens its doors for promising Filipino entrepreneurs as they launched the SM StartUp Package

The SM brand is one of the true entrepreneurial success stories in the country and because of this, the conglomerate recently launched the SM Startup Package to help enterprising Pinoys realize their potential of being successful entrepreneurs themselves by setting up shop in any of the prime SM mall locations, within 13 regional and premier malls, around the Philippines. The SM Startup Package offers friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; marketing assistance is provided to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside the malls; financial assistance with BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.

New opportunities will be given by SM Supermalls as they discuss their plans and ideas to us during our webinar event. I was astonished at how they work hard to help our aspiring entrepreneurs continue their endeavors even during these hard times. It’s been over two years since the pandemic halted life and many livelihoods in the Philippines. During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, 70.6 percent of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs were forced to temporarily close, with 66.2 percent reporting temporary workforce layoffs, according to a 2020 Asian Development Bank (ADB) research.

Taken during SM StartUo Package Webinar

Despite these numbers and the challenges posed by the changing landscape, the industrious Filipino discovered many chances in online enterprises, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recording over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations by the end of 2020. By 2022, the number of e-commerce businesses is expected to reach a million (from 500,000 in 2020). MSME owners have become unsung heroes of the economy by utilizing the online arena, all while providing for their family and realizing their business aspirations.

SM Supermalls very well understands the potential of each Filipino to be successful business owners because of their founder, the late Mr. Henry Sy’s own inspiring story. Sy, fondly called “Tatang” in SM, started out as a small business owner with his first footwear shop ShoeMart.

It is said that because of this, it is in SM’s DNA to enable and inspire small businesses like the one it once was. This October 15, not coincidentally Tatang’s birthday, SM launched The SM StartUp Package, which aims to provide small online businesses the valuable support they need so they can set up their own shop in an SM mall.  This is available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have a shop inside SM or any other physical store in general.

The package offers features such as start-up friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; marketing assistance to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls; financial assistance with BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.

The Start Up Markets, as they will be called, will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.

We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year. Very much true to the spirit of Henry Sy, who always said he worked harder during bad times,  many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products — even from their own homes. We want to give them a chance to further grow their businesses and brands, and enable them to start their own SM shops which they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder once did.,” said SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan.

Following Tatang’s legacy

The late founder Mr. Henry Sy is also proof of an entrepreneur’s resilience and hard work. After arriving in the Philippines at just 12 years old from China, he helped sell products in his father’s retail store. When he saved enough money, he was able to open his first business in 1958: a footwear shop called ShoeMart, which would later become the foundation for today’s 77 SM Supermalls.

The success of the mall didn’t come without challenges. A notable one was when Mr. Sy opened SM Megamall in Edsa in 1985 during a turbulent time in the Philippines. Instead of letting the political and economic climate discourage him, it pushed him to work harder to overcome the crisis. This disposition would carry over in the next few decades and would inspire a new generation of MSME owners to look for opportunities even during adversity.

This is evident in the stories of entrepreneurs like Chizmozza founder Hannah Ramos, who sold her own mozzarella recipe online before opening her food cart at SM, Ian Darcy, who started his namesake fragrance brand after being forced to resign from his marketing job; and Oishii Maki chef Ramon Molina, who started a sushi and maki business at SM after working as an Overseas Filipino as a Japanese Chef in 5-star hotels.

Starting with just one humble ChizMozza cart in SM North Edsa in 2016, the small business has steadily grown and now has a total of 21 branches, situated in various SM malls, nationwide. Seen in the photo is ChizMozza founder, Hannah Ramos – a true believer in the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos, as well as how SM continues to help entrepreneurs like her become even more successful with the recent launch of its SM Startup Package.

“I took a chance to grow Chizmozza from an online store to having one humble food cart in SM North Edsa back in 2016. Now Chizmozza has 21 SM branches. They saw the potential of our unique cheese products and through our mutual hard work and perseverance, we grew, even through the pandemic.” Hannah shared

These are just some of the stories behind successful MSME owners and how they were able to succeed, when empowered with the right resources. The SM StartUp Package will allow more people to level up their online start-up, inspiring them to follow in the footsteps of “Tatang” so they can take more confident steps even during these uncertain times.

SM Supermalls President Mr. Steven Tan was attended by three young successful MSMEs, Nina Cabrera from Colourette, Patty Ang from Patton, and Jerald Sze from 365 Designs Retailing, during the virtual launch of the SM StartUp Package hosted by Sam Yg last Oct 15, who talked about how their businesses started online and how they successfully grew them at SM Supermalls.

Other notable guests during the launch included Ms. Jean Pacheco, Assistant Secretary of DTI, and the SM Super Team composed of BDO Network Bank’s SVP and MSME Business Head Karen Cua, BDO Acquiring FVP Merchant Partnerships and Retail Sales Head Bob Tolentino, SM Supermalls VP for Corporate Marketing, Grace F. Magno, and AVP for Leasing Strategy and Operations, Gina T. Katigbak, who discussed details of the SM StartUp Package.

For more information on how to join up for The SM StartUp Package, go to or follow @smsupermalls on all social media sites.

About SM Supermalls
Starting as a humble shoe store in Manila established by its founder Henry Sy Sr. in 1958, SM has grown into the Philippines’ biggest chain of shopping malls. With its 74 malls in the Philippines, and 7 in China, SM Supermalls is now home to over 20,000 tenants, most of which carry the world’s best loved brands. It is the retail destination for family fun experiences and events.
SM Supermalls is owned by SM Prime Holdings, Inc., a publicly-listed company and is one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia.

Celebrate with McDonald’s all month long with their Monsters and Mysteries Halloween!

McDonald’s Monsters & Mysteries Front Counter

Who loves extra-treats? The spooky season is here again, and McDonald’s is here to celebrate Halloween, all month long! Starting October 8 until October 28, get a FREE surprise treat with every purchase of a McDonald’s Happy Meal via Dine-in, Drive-Thru, Take-out, or Delivery. Every Happy Meal can elicit nervous giggles or fits of laughter!

If the little ones have a knack for thrilling mysteries, the Mystery Monster Boxes will surely pique their curiosity. Experience the excitement of the Mystery Monster Box in person when you stop in for a spell and drop by on your brooms via Dine-in and Ride-Thru!

The Halloween surprises won’t end there — a spooktacular Halloween is incomplete without trick-or-treating. McDonald’s is here to help kids get into the Halloween spirit while staying safe through the Monsters and Mysteries Ride-Thru! Let the kids have a fang-tastic celebration by giving them a chance to go trick-or-treating safely.

Drive-Thru at McDonald’s from October 29-31 to get an exciting Halloween item from the Mystery Monster Box for a minimum purchase of Php 250. To remember the ghoul old times, feel free to capture and immortalize the special family moment by taking a picture with the Monsters and Mysteries Photo Frame.

McDonald’s Monsters & Mysteries Drive-Thru dress-up for select stores

Want to feel the Halloween hype even more? Enjoy the Halloween decorations in select branches that will be “dressing-up” their Drive-Thru lanes!

No tricks—only treats await this Halloween season at McDonald’s! Delve into the unknown and claim surprise treats to fully experience the spooktacular Halloween spirit.

Just visit McDonald’s Philippines Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages for more information and updates on this offering.