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Vic Vic Bautista

Food

Breville names a Filipino barista champion as their brand ambassador


Breville Philippines Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, Breville Philippines Ambassadress Vanessa Maclang Caceres, and IAJWC President Ma. Cristina S. Llamo

Even though the Philippines is located in the “Bean Belt,” an equatorial region made up of the world’s largest coffee-growing nations, it is still lagging behind the rise of a revolutionary movement that is redefining the Filipino people’s relationship to a cup of coffee.

However, there is still time for this country to solidly establish its own coffee culture, in which the vast majority of people, if not all of them, have a general understanding and appreciation of this beloved beverage in addition to their strong familiarity with, exposure to, and use of the available technologies in the market to make a cup of coffee.

With this in mind, IAJ Wellness Corporation (IAJWC), the exclusive distributor of Breville in the Philippines, has officially signed up multi-awarded barista and famed content creator Vanessa Maclang Caceres as the country’s ambassadress of the leading small kitchen appliances brand from Australia.

Impressed by the rich and mature coffee culture of various countries, IAJWC President Cris Llamo dreams of replicating such trends locally, where Filipinos do not merely drink coffee but dive deep into the art and appreciation of its unique flavors and origins.

“Hence, our partnership is aimed at raising more awareness on coffee culture and appreciation in the country,” she said during their contract signing held recently in Makati City.

“We want to be in the forefront of educating the people about Third Wave Coffee. That’s why we really want Vanessa to become our ambassadress because her vast knowledge of the industry will be of big help to elevate the peoples’ understanding of specialty coffee,” added Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, Food & Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager at Breville Philippines.

Being an ambassadress, Ms. V (her online monicker) or Mamita (as fondly called by her colleagues) will mainly help promote the brand’s coffee category, plus other kitchen appliances through her social media contents. With her new role, she will also work closely with the brand in equipping the frontliners, which include promo merchandisers, with the most up-to-date knowledge about specialty coffee in order for them to effectively sell Breville products to customers.

“Transfer of knowledge should not go wrong. We want to make sure that our people who interact with the customers are saying the right things about coffee and how best to enjoy it using Breville products. So it’s important to have somebody like Ms. Vanessa, who’s been in the industry for a long time—19 years to be exact. There’s a wealth of information and experience that we can learn from her,” Llamo said.

“Through her hands-on training, we also believe that we will be able to foster a deeper appreciation for Breville products, especially the espresso machine category,” Flores added.

Elated by their confidence, Caceres is very thankful of their partnership. She quipped: “I’m happy that they trust me with this partnership. I’m really grateful to train their frontliners and share my knowledge on Third Wave Coffee to other people.”


Breville Philippines’ PR Agency Partner CatPR Head Nadine Tan, Breville Philippines Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, Breville Philippines Ambassadress Vanessa Maclang Caceres, and IAJWC President Ma. Cristina S. Llamo

Breville Philippines started to tap her in March 2023 for Women’s Month using the Breville Bambino Plus. Little did she know that her first encounter with this small espresso machine would make her a firm believer and, eventually, ambassadress of the brand. She said: “It’s not like other similar products, wherein everyone can pull a shot of espresso. No one can do steamed milk that is much better than Breville.”

Caceres adores the company because of its vast assortment of inventive goods that not only solve the difficulties involved in brewing coffee, but also handle issues related to the entire kitchen. Their functionalities and designs complement one another, meeting the needs of every customer.

Despite Breville’s premium brand positioning, the endless possibilities it offers purchasers make it well worth the expense. It seems sense that Vanessa now always has it in the kitchen.

“It’s really a part of my daily life. Once you have it in your kitchen, you cannot stop using it. That’s why you really get your money’s worth,” she stressed.

Food, Lifestyle

The Jollibee Group Backs the Waste Recovery Campaign of LLDA


Partnership for the Planet. The Jollibee Group has pledged support to the LLDA’s waste recovery program to help mitigate the adverse effects of plastic waste on Laguna de Bay. Photo by LLDA.

By sponsoring environmentally conscious initiatives like the Laguna Lake Development Authority’s (LLDA) “Abot-Kamay Para sa Laguna de Bay: Mission in Action–Solid Waste Recovery,” the Jollibee Group is demonstrating its continued commitment to environmental stewardship.

In observance of Earth Day 2024, the LLDA carried out a solid waste collection operation in Barangay Sucat, Muntinlupa City, on April 30, 2024. This year’s Earth Day, with the theme “Planet vs. Plastics,” called for more worldwide awareness and initiatives to cut plastic manufacturing by 60%. The LLDA has continuously backed these kinds of environmental projects and concentrated on reducing the negative impacts that plastic waste has on Laguna de Bay and the ecosystems that surround it.

“The Abot-Kamay campaign not only exemplifies a localized response to a global crisis but also serves as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a cleaner and healthier Laguna de Bay for future generations,” said LLDA Acting General Manager Atty. Senando Santiago.

The Jollibee Group sent employee-volunteers from select stores of Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, and Burger King to participate in the said waste recovery activity. In addition, the Company also provided meals to all 200 volunteers from different organizations.

Pepot Miñana Jr., Jollibee Group Chief Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer, underscored the importance of the Company’s active participation in these initiatives as a manifestation of its global sustainability agenda called Joy for Tomorrow: “As stewards of our environment, we recognize that our commitment to sustainability extends beyond the confines of our facilities, and requires collective action from all stakeholders. Participating in lake clean-up drives is a tangible expression of our dedication to preserving natural resources and safeguarding the communities we serve. This collaboration with local organizations and the government amplifies our impact and cultivates a shared sense of responsibility for our planet.”


Jollibee Group Employee Volunteers. Some 100 employee-volunteers from Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, and Burger King joined the clean-up of Laguna de Bay in Sucat, Muntinlupa City. The Jollibee Group also provided meals for all the 200 volunteers from different organizations.
 

Employee volunteers for the planet

Fostering a behavior of shared responsibility for the environment is an essential part of Jollibee Group’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Since 2023, the Jollibee Group, through its corporate development arm the Jollibee Group Foundation, Inc., has implemented a mangrove reforestation program with a string of tree-planting activities held in several coastal provinces.

In Lemery, Batangas, and along the coastlines of Alaminos, Pangasinan, and Carmen, Cebu, more than 200 employee-volunteers from the company’s operations, manufacturing, and logistics divisions—which include the brands Jollibee, Greenwich, and Red Ribbon—planted 2,250 mangrove propagules and 1,700 mangrove seedlings.

Employees of the Jollibee Group and local JGF implementation partners planted about 1,400 mangrove propagules at the Bued Mangrove Ecopark in Alaminos, Pangasinan, on May 9, 2024.


Beyond Spreading Joy. Jollibee Group employee-volunteers signed their pledge of dedication in support of LLDA’s solid waste recovery program. Many employees of the Jollibee Group are active ambassadors of the planet, actively participating in various initiatives that help protect the environment.

The Jollibee Group will keep encouraging staff volunteerism to assist different environmental preservation and protection programs and activities in the future.

“We hope that through employee volunteerism and engagement, we can inspire more partners and customers worldwide to embrace environmental stewardship and create changes that will positively impact the people and the planet,” Miñana added.

To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit www.jollibeegroup.com

Entertainment, Lifestyle

At Ortigas Malls, Independence Day honors Filipino musicians, culture, and heroes

Araw ng Kalayaan, or Independence Day, honors the heroes of the past and present who have battled for the freedom of the Filipino people. Ortigas Malls has planned a number of events and activities that celebrate our rich cultural heritage and history as we approach the yearly vacation.

Shoppers shouldn’t miss the amazing Independence Day activities that GH Mall, Tiendesitas, and Estancia will be kicking off on June 12:

Greenhills

Starting at 10am, GH Mall will hold a Pagtaas ng Watawat (flag-raising ceremony) at the East Wing Atrium of GH Mall. A Marching Band will also energize shoppers at 12pm.

From 3pm to 6pm, there will be an entertaining and educational Likhang Sining at Kalayaan presentation by the Tanghalang Tula, Kundiman at Katutubong Sayaw. This wonderful display of talent will highlight our beloved Filipino culture through different facets of art.

Shoppers can also marvel at the extraordinary Philippine flag display at GH Mall made out of 1,400 origami flowers courtesy of Origami Philippines. The origami flowers symbolize the enduring bonds and deep-rooted friendships that define Filipino culture. Feel free to take photos in front of the display and share it on social media!

Tiendesitas

Known for being a home of local goods and handicrafts, Tiendesitas is celebrating Independence Day with a whole day of musical performances. Start the day off with a heart-thumping Marching Band performance at Level 1, Food Village from 10am to 11:30am. Musika’t Kalayaan at Level 2, Food Village will delight shoppers with Filipino tunes from 3pm to 9pm.

Estancia

Estancia Mall will also showcase local music for its Independence Day celebration. From 10am to 7pm, shoppers can sing and dance to their favorite P-pop songs at the P-Pop Music Fest: Hiraya at 2/F East Wing. They can also catch the Independence Day Marching Band performance on the ground floor of the East Wing from 11am to 12pm. 

See these lively and patriotic celebrations if you want to spend your Independence Day at Ortigas Malls. Make sure to use the Ortigas Malls app to register for the Ortigas Community Card in order to have first access to incredible offers, savings, and benefits.

Make sure to like and visit the Greenhills Mall, Estancia Mall, and Tiendesitas official Facebook sites for additional details and updates on the activities held by Ortigas Malls.

Entertainment

Timeless, Meghan Trainor’s sixth album is released – LISTEN HERE TIMELESS TOUR KICKS OFF THIS FALL TICKETS HERE

On the new album, Meghan shares, “Timeless is finally yours and I still can’t believe it!! This album means so much to me! I got to work with so many incredible people to bring this album to life, and I’m so grateful for all of them and all the fans for showing so much excitement over it. I can’t wait to play these songs for you on the Timeless Tour! I’ll try not to cry every night with happy tears.”

With three classic songs— “Been Like This” featuring T-Pain, “To The Moon,” and most recently, “I Wanna Thank Me” feat.—Meghan gave fans a sneak peek at Timeless. Niecy Nash. From the bass-infused grandeur of “To The Moon” to the doo-wop-inspired (and immensely catchy) hymn “Been Like This,” Meghan’s production and songwriting skills are evident throughout. Meghan is performing on the TODAY Show Citi Concert Series to start off release week. On June 11 and June 12, she will be seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, respectively.

Meghan’s vulnerability shines through on powerful tracks like “Forget How To Love,” where she condemns those who lack empathy as a choir echoes her sentiment. Meanwhile, playfully biting track “Whoops” proves that Meghan is talented enough to nail a breakup song even though she and husband Daryl Sabara are couple goals. Title track “Timeless” beautifully encapsulates the sentiments of the record as it comes to a close, with Meghan vowing that even though life doesn’t last forever, her love will never fade.

Along with the new album, Meghan has released a brand-new crewneck that’s perfect for celebrating the Timeless era. Fans can purchase select music products and apparel on Meghan-Trainor.com, including the Timeless Transparent Light Blue Vinyl, with exclusive variants available at select retailers including a Timeless Sapphire Vinyl exclusively on Meghan’s TikTok Shop, a Timeless Amazon Exclusive Vinyl, a Target Exclusive Timeless CD (with bonus track “Bite Me”), and a Walmart Exclusive Timeless CD with an alternate cover.

This fall, Meghan will also be making her long-awaited return to stages for the Timeless Tour. Produced by Live Nation and kicking off September 4 at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH, the 24-show tour includes stops at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. Fellow pop powerhouse Natasha Bedingfield will be joining Meghan as direct support for her NYC, Denver, and Los Angeles dates, and “Lil Boo Thing” crooner, Paul Russell will be direct support for the entirety of the tour. Best friend Chris Olsen and older brother Ryan Trainor will also be joining the tour as special guests, bringing their signature charisma and humor to the stage. Fans will have the opportunity to hear tracks from Timeless along with plenty of classics from her chart-topping catalog. Tickets are available at Meghan-Trainor.com.

TIMELESS TRACKLIST

1. To The Moon

2. Been Like This with T-Pain

3. Crowded Room

4. Whoops

5. Crushin’ ft. Lawrence

6. I Wanna Thank Me ft. Niecy Nash

7. Love On Hold ft. T-Pain

8. Forget How To Love

9. Rollin’

10. Maybe

11. I Get It

12. Sleepin’ On Me

13. Hate it Here

14. Bestie

15. Doin’ It All For You

16. Timeless

TOUR DATES:

*WITH NATASHA BEDINGFIELD | ^WITH PAUL RUSSELL | #WITH CHRIS OLSEN | +WITH RYAN TRAINOR

Wed Sep 04 | Cincinnati, OH | Riverbend Music Center^#

Fri Sep 06 | Pittsburgh, PA | Petersen Events Center#

Sat Sep 07 | Philadelphia, PA | TD Pavilion at The Mann^#

Tue Sep 10 | Franklin, TN | FirstBank Amphitheater^+

Thu Sep 12 | Raleigh, NC | Red Hat Amphitheater^#

Fri Sep 13 | Alpharetta, GA | Ameris Bank Amphitheatre^#

Sun Sep 15 | Charlotte, NC | PNC Music Pavilion^#

Tue Sep 17 | Bristow, VA | Jiffy Lube Live^#

Fri Sep 20 | Mansfield, MA | Xfinity Center^#

Sat Sep 21 | Uncasville, CT | Mohegan Sun Arena^#

Wed Sep 25 | New York, NY | Madison Square Garden*^#~

Fri Sep 27 | Cuyahoga Falls, OH | Blossom Music Center^+

Sat Sep 28 | Toronto, ON | Budweiser Stage^+~

Mon Sep 30 | Sterling Heights, MI | Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill^+

Wed Oct 02 | Maryland Heights, MO | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre^+

Fri Oct 04 | Noblesville, IN | Ruoff Music Center^+

Sat Oct 05 | Rosemont, IL | Allstate Arena^#

Tue Oct 08 | Morrison, CO | Red Rocks Amphitheatre*^#

Thu Oct 10 | Rogers, AR | Walmart AMP^#

Sat Oct 12 | Irving, TX | The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory^#

Sun Oct 13 | The Woodlands, TX | The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman^#

Wed Oct 16 | Phoenix, AZ | Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre^#

Fri Oct 18 | Mountain View, CA | Shoreline Amphitheatre^#

Sat Oct 19 | Inglewood, CA | Kia Forum*^#


Photo Credit: Lauren Dunn

Website / TikTok  / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Lifestyle, News

A NEW “FACTORY SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS” APPROACH FROM TETRA PAK TO ASSIST IN REDUCING ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION

The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ solution from Tetra Pak is a new factory-wide strategy for optimizing water, energy, and cleaning-in-place (CIP).

The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ business is a recent addition to Tetra Pak’s wider sustainability offering. It provides food and beverage (F&B) producers with a customized combination of cutting-edge technologies and industry-leading plant integration capabilities. In order to assist clients in achieving their sustainability goals and cutting expenses associated with operations, it aims to assist food and beverage businesses in optimizing their use of energy and resources.

Food and beverage companies, who have historically relied on fossil fuels and energy-intensive procedures, are facing mounting pressure to maximize resources and boost energy production from renewable sources. This occurs at a time when operating costs are going up because of increased raw material costs, new CO2 levies, and water waste fines. It will be crucial to find answers to these problems, as companies seek to their manufacturing and supply chains for assistance in cutting costs.

Complementing its resource-efficient equipment and services portfolio, Tetra Pak’s ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ embodies a systematic, factory-wide approach. Solutions can be integrated at any stage to recover and reduce the consumption of resources, such as energy, water, and chemicals. Optimized resource consumption reduces long-term operational costs and related greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting compliance against ever-tightening sustainability standards.

The Tetra Pak Factory Sustainable Solutions team will support customers by finding the right technologies and integration solutions for their needs, advising them on the best practice set-up for their line or facility. This results in a tailored pipes and installation diagram that optimizes water, energy, and CIP according to the specific needs of the customer’s operations.

The ‘Factory Sustainable Solutions’ offering boasts state-of-the-art technologies, such as:

  • Nanofiltration, developed by Tetra Pak, reclaims caustic cleaning liquid used for CIP. This technology allows for the recovery of clean chemicals and water for future reuse, enabling up to 90% recovery of the total spent liquid.
  • Reverse Osmosis, developed by Tetra Pak, uses proprietary membrane filtration technology to improve resource efficiency across multiple applications, including milk separation and water reuse.

Tetra Pak is also collaborating with innovative technology partners to offer additional solutions, including:

  • HighLift™ heat pump technology, in collaboration with Olvondo Technology A/S, can be integrated into operations to facilitate the reuse of waste heat to produce steam across plant equipment, including the Tetra Pak Direct UHT unit, at pressures up to 10 bar. 
  • High-temperature heat pumps, in collaboration with Johnson Controls, which up-cycles processed waste heat to use elsewhere in the factory.
  • Solar thermal collectors, in collaboration with Absolicon, utilize the sun as an unlimited source of clean and renewable energy to power hot water and steam delivery – at temperatures above 150°C – making it suitable for UHT applications.

Stefano Vittor, CEO at Olvondo Technology A/S, says, “By incorporating our HighLift heat pump technology into its Factory Sustainable Solutions business, Tetra Pak is offering an impactful solution to reduce carbon emissions across the food and beverage industry. We’re delighted to be part of this collaboration and play a role in the change Tetra Pak is driving.”

Fredrik Norrbom, Director, Sweden at Johnson Controls System and Service AB, added, “Approximately two-thirds of industrial energy use is driven by heat demand, derived largely from fossil fuels. Heat pumps are vital for increasing energy efficiency and delivering net zero heating when combined with renewable electricity. We are proud to collaborate with Tetra Pak on smart building solutions to help customers achieve sustainability targets while helping the industry make critical progress on emissions reduction.” 

Nicole Uvenbeck, Director of Factory Sustainable Solutions and OEM Components at Tetra Pak, says, “This launch is an incredibly exciting and significant milestone for us at Tetra Pak – especially our team who have been working hard to push the boundaries of the impact and value such an approach can bring for our customers.

To date, we have mainly focused on machine and line optimization, and we have realized the overwhelming benefit of replicating this at a factory level, providing a more holistic optimization approach. Factory Sustainable Solutions is an evolution of our expertise, spanning water, energy, and CIP recovery. This will redefine how we support our customers in achieving their sustainability ambitions while reducing operational costs.”

Fiona Liebehenz, Vice President of Key Components, Plant Solutions and Channel Management at Tetra Pak, says, “I’m extremely proud of the team. Our customers are under more pressure than ever to operate as efficiently as possible regarding resource usage. This is, for many, an existential challenge to secure the future of their operations. Through working with them and understanding their individual needs and objectives, we’re providing them  fit-for-purpose equipment enriched with our holistic food & beverages application knowledge to address that challenge, delivering tangible improvements in a financially advantageous way.”

Tetra Pak’s Factory Sustainable Solutions expertise and guidance are available worldwide as the firm begins today. Tetra Pak wants to keep growing and improving its product line in order to meet the constantly changing needs of its clients in every market.

More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapak.com.  

  youtube.com/user/tetrapak 

  @tetrapak 

https://www.linkedin.com/company/tetra-pak/

Lifestyle, News

Putting money into public health


The birthing facility in Brgy. Irawan, Palawan was given a new lease on life with the improvements done by SM Foundation, enabling the facility to secure necessary licenses to resume operations.

Given the difficult lessons learned from the most recent pandemic, investing in healthcare has never been more crucial.

During the peak of COVID-19, one of these lessons exposed the fragility of health institutions collapsing under the weight of enormous medical demands. The need for the public and private sectors to step up was evident, but the need to plan forward rather than just react to potential health crises is even more pressing.

This highlights the significance of accessibility and the efforts made by the private sector to narrow the socioeconomic divide in healthcare. Better community access to high-quality primary healthcare in collaboration with national and local governments is what this implies for SM and its foundations.

Mission NOT impossible

Medical missions allow access, especially of remote or economically disadvantaged communities, to medical care, education and support.  SM Foundation’s (SMFI) medical missions provide free consultations, basic laboratory tests, dental check-ups and proper dosage of appropriate medicine. SM Foundation reached an important milestone by conducting more than 1,600 medical missions, benefiting nearly 1.3 million patients year-to-date.

“Patients who once endured long queues at crowded healthcare facilities now find relief as we bring healthcare services to remote barangays or provide them conveniently at our malls and properties,” Connie Angeles, SM Foundation Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs said.

And more than just a structure

While health facilities offer a venue for the conduct of medical services, fixing it up through thoughtful and meaningful design could do more for the community than just provide space. Rural health centers are considered as lifelines, offering a comprehensive range of health services at a minimal cost or even free to the most vulnerable.

“These opportunities to rebuild health centers do more for human well-being. The refurbishment of public healthcare facilities not only enhance their capabilities by way of improvements and new equipment but also make these facilities more responsive and conducive to the health needs and recovery of those they serve,” Ms. Angeles said.

Furthermore, the renovation allows public health centers to meet PhilHealth Accreditation standards, resulting in an increase in PhilHealth utilization and helping decongest city hospitals and minimizing the spread of communicable diseases.

Through these accredited health centers, patients could avail themselves of PhilHealth benefits such as primary care, maternity care and pharmacy needs at the barangay level. These efforts also result in increased capitalization for local governments.   

Many sectors also benefit from these renovations including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, terminally ill patients and women and children to name a few.

SM Foundation’s 200th rural health center in Laguna is a classic example. “Marami kaming programa na hindi namin malagyan ng lugar kasi kulang ang space kaya’t naghahagilap kami kung saan ito ipu-pwesto,” said Dr. Elmira Montesa who leads the Santa Cruz Rural Health Unit (SCRHU). [We have many programs that we can’t accommodate because there is not enough space and we are scrambling for places for these.]

Following the Department of Health’s (DOH) guidelines, SM Foundation elevated the

SCRHU. The rehabilitation transformed the center into a welcoming space, featuring comfortable waiting areas, a reception area for health workers and designated facilities for breastfeeding mothers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. It has a mobile play cabinet for children coping with illnesses. SM also included a rainwater catchment system to the renovated facility to contribute to water conservation.

In 2023, SM Foundation breathed new life into UP-PGH’s post-COVID & PulmoCare hub.

Prior to the rehabilitation, UP-PGH Division of Pulmonary Medicine chief Dr. Lenora Fernandez recalled that the facility struggled to expand its services to meet the growing needs of the community.

“PGH does have many donors but they have so many competing priorities, too. Those patients who continued to suffer from debilitating shortness of breath in silence still lacked essential services such as pulmonary rehabilitation equipment,” Dr. Fernandez said.

The newly refurbished facility now has a new lobby to receive patients and spacious rooms with dedicated areas for rehabilitation, ultrasound, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and virtual consultation. Dr. Fernandez expressed optimism about the future of the hub and sees the number of patients served growing every year.

In Brgy. Irawan, Puerto Princesa, a community birthing facility’ serving thousands of residents and indigenous people, had to halt operations in 2018 as it was unable to meet government health requirements.

“Kahit ilang kilometro ang layo nito sa mga kapwa ko katutubo, ito ang pinakamalapit na birthing facility dito sa aming lugar. Kaya malapit ang loob ng komunidad sa facility, lalo na ng mga kapwa ko katutubo. Noong kami ay nahinto, may mga pagkakataon na may nanganganak na sa loob ng sasakyan,” midwife Narcisa Jagmis, a member of the Tagbanua tribe, and who leads the birthing facility said.

[Even though it is several kilometers away from my fellow natives, this is the closest birthing facility here in our area. When we were stopped, there were times when someone was giving birth inside the car.]

SM Foundation supported the community by revamping the birthing facility in 2023, enabling it to obtain the required licenses to resume operations. Dedicated rooms and spaces for storage, scrub-up, breastfeeding, consultations, birthing, clean-up and sterilization, as well as labor and recovery wards were added. It also introduced a rainwater harvesting system and installed energy-efficient lighting fixtures and appliances.

Another SM affiliate, BDO Foundation, also achieved a major milestone as it rehabilitated its 160th rural health unit (RHU) in 2023. This involved renovating exteriors, layout and interior design, lobbies and waiting areas, offices, birthing clinics, consultation rooms, treatment rooms and pharmacies as well as installing breastfeeding stations for nursing mothers, play areas for children, and waiting lounges for senior citizens.

BDO Foundation also installed new signages, furniture, and fixtures to help health workers accommodate more patients in environments conducive to good health and well-being. The improvement of facilities empowers doctors, nurses, and midwives to provide quality primary healthcare services more often and more efficiently to their constituents. The initiative also benefits mothers, infants and children, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and indigenous peoples living in remote areas.

Officers from BDO Unibank and BDO Network Bank also suggested health centers that required support. The DOH, local government representatives, and health authorities supported the project by offering advice on RHU renovations. The BDO Foundation assisted health centers in obtaining accreditation from PhilHealth and favorable DOH assessment ratings in healthcare delivery through the rehabilitation program. One of the objectives of the Philippine Health Agenda is to enhance the healthcare delivery system.

A total of 364 health centers and medical facilities have been constructed or renovated by the combined efforts of the SM Foundation and BDO Foundation.

By continuously granting fair access to high-quality basic services, the organization hopes to effectively contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health & Wellbeing) and pave the way for a brighter and healthier future.

For more information, please visit www.sminvestments.com

For inquiries, please contact: [email protected] 

Entertainment, Tech

LOOK: The Cutest Collaboration Merch Is Being Released by POP Boy Group Alamat and DITO Telecommunity!

DITO surprised the Magiliw to an exclusive fan meet and greet event with Alamat and launched the perfect merchandise that highlights Filipino talent!


Exclusive DITO x Alamat Fan Meet and Merchandise Launch Event stickers and posters

There must be a buzz in the air because Ppop songs and artists are taking the world by storm! With yet another thrilling campaign, the distinctively Filipino POP group Alamat is also extending and fortifying their partnership with DITO Telecommunity! As part of the #GalingDITO 2024 campaign, the boy band has officially revealed their newest special gear in collaboration with the telecom firm.

The fan meet was accompanied by a unique online giveaway that was only available to DITO subscribers—especially those who like Alamat. The DITO x Alamat partnership has received an immense amount of love and support from Alamat’s supporters, known as the Magiliw, since the #GalingDITO 2024 campaign was introduced on February 12 of last year. In order to rally the fan base in support of the campaign, the Magiliw coordinated online events and trending hashtag campaigns.

From May 6 to 22, 2024, active DITO Mobile Subscribers registered online for a chance to be one of the 300 lucky Magiliw attendees at the Alamat Fan Meet. Thousands of entries from fans and everyone alike who were excited to see the boy group in person were received online!


DITO x Alamat Fan Meet and Merchandise Launch Event Key Visual

Ms. Evelyn Jimenez, DITO Chief Revenue Officer for Consumer Business, said that the merch collaboration with Alamat is something that came from the organic support of the Magiliw for the PPop boy group ever since they were launched as the main talents of the #GalingDITO 2024 campaign. “When we launched #GalingDITO 2024 last February, Alamat performed the official song and music video because with their multi-ethnic and multi-lingual musical artistry, they embody the campaign’s goals of highlighting Filipino talent from across the Philippine regions. We did not expect such huge support from Alamat’s fans, the Magiliw, as well as PPop fans. Thank you so much to all the Magiliw for the big wins and the big love that you give us at DITO Telecommunity and of course, Alamat. We can only give back with these collaborations between DITO and Alamat as we continue to uplift Filipino talent.”

#DITOTayoMagiliw Fan Meet

The merch collaboration was launched in a fan meet and greet event held this May 26 at SM Megamall. Hundreds of lucky Magiliw were the very first ones to get their hands on the special merchandise of ​​ten (10) photocards consisting of six (6) member solo photos, two (2) subunit photos, and two (2) group photos! Up for grabs also were exclusive items that were not for sale to the public such as stickers, posters, and button pins, some of which were designed by a talented Magiliw, Gelai Manabat!


DITO x Alamat Event Displays

The Magiliw who joined the event enjoyed special performances from Alamat, including a thrilling live version of “Ang Galing DITO”, their collaboration song with DITO Telecommunity and the main theme of the #GalingDITO 2024 campaign.

Truly showcasing their “galing”, Alamat’s talents shone through with lively performances of hit songs  “Maharani”, “Day and Night”, and “Dayang”.

Passionate Magiliw got the chance to meet their favorite 6inoos (ginoo) Taneo, Mo, Tomas, R-ji, Alas, and Jao, all while enjoying their interactions with the boys and having their DITO x Alamat merchandise signed.


Alamat performing “Ang Galing DITO”, the collaboration song with DITO Telecommunity

The group expressed their gratitude for the continued collaboration with DITO and the company’s support for their music and said that, “Being part of the #GalingDITO campaign this year has helped us a lot as artists because one of Alamat’s mission is to promote Filipino culture, and it perfectly aligns with DITO’s goals. The campaign further amplified what we want to do as Alamat so thank you so much to DITO Telecommunity for welcoming us into your family. We feel like they’re one of the first big brands who really trusted us so we’re so grateful for them and we promise that we won’t let you down.”


Alamat and the Magiliw enjoyed interacting with each other in the photo and merch signing opportunity
 

Alamat also conveyed their heartfelt appreciation to all their Magiliw who are supporting them and their campaign with DITO. “Thank you is not enough, really, because from the very start you all have been there and we see more Magiliw joining us. We hope there will be more Magiliw, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you and we love you,” said Alamat during the Fan Meet interview.

Get your own #DITOxAlamat Merchandise

Don’t worry because even if you missed this fan event, you still have the chance to get your own DITO x Alamat Exclusive Merchandise, coming soon! The DITO x Alamat photocards are exclusively bundled with the DITO Level-Up SIM Bundles or the DITO Level-Up Socials promo so just purchase these great deals to get the exclusive merchandise!

Available soon on-ground at DITO Experience Stores when you purchase the DITO Level-Up Socials promo, and online at the DITO eShop, and DITO’s official stores in Lazada, Shopee and, TikTok when you purchase the DITO Level-Up SIM Bundles – collect all photocards of Alamat and your favorite 6inoos:

  • Get one (1) Solo Photocard of your choice or get up to ten (10) Photocards inclusive of six (6) Solos + Two (2) Group photos + Two (2) Subunits depending on the DITO Level-Up promo you will purchase
  • Get exclusive bonus merch when you purchase the DITO Level-Up Socials promo in-store or at on-ground events

You can also select the photocard you will receive when you purchase the DITO Level-Up Socials at the DITO Experience stores or at upcoming DITO events, in addition to receiving additional merchandise! Customers who purchase the DITO Level-Up SIM bundles online will receive random photo cards because there cannot be a choice.

Be cautious and don’t pass up the opportunity to finish the exclusive DITO x Alamat photocards when you buy these affordable telecom promotions from DITO!

Visit https://dito.ph/ or follow @DITOphofficial on Facebook and Instagram for additional details and updates.

DITO Telecommunity Links:  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DITOphofficial 

Instagram: @ditophofficial

Twitter: @DITOphofficial  

Tiktok: @ditophofficial

Viber: @ditophofficial

Food, Lifestyle

All Four of the Jollibee Group’s Manufacturing Locations Have Completed Clean Energy Integration


Moving forward with clean energy. Leaders from the Jollibee Group and First Gen Corporation have culminated the four-site solar project at the Jollibee Worldwide Services-Logistics plant last May 6. In attendance were (L-R)  Michael Ong, Jollibee Group’s Vice President and Head of Supply Chain; Joseph Tanbuntiong, Jollibee Group’s Chief Business Officer; Hon. Eric Olivarez, Mayor of Parañaque City; Hon. Maria Kristine Esplana, District 2 City Councilor; Vincent Martin Villegas, First Gen Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Pi Energy’s Chief Operating Officer; Atty. Voltaire dela Cruz, City Administrator; and Ashley Antonio, Jollibee Group’s Vice President and Head of Logistics.

The Jollibee Group has installed almost 16,800 solar panels at its four primary manufacturing locations in the Philippines, demonstrating how serious it is about using renewable energy.

This solar energy project, which the Jollibee Group and First Gen Corporation collaborated on, was completed on May 6 with a switch-on ceremony at the Jollibee Group’s logistics center in Parañaque City.


The Jollibee Group partnered with First Gen Corporation to install over 16,800 solar panels that generate over 9 megawatts of solar power at four of its key supply chain facilities. The fourth and final site (in photo) was completed last May 6 at the Jollibee Group’s C3 facility in Laguna.

“This is a significant milestone in our sustainability journey at the Jollibee Group. These initiatives are more than just technological advancement, but more importantly a shared commitment to preserving our planet and furthering our collective responsibility to create a more sustainable future,” said Michael Ong, Jollibee Group Vice President and Head of Supply Chain.

The shift to renewable energy for supply chain first materialized in November 2023 with the powering up of the Jollibee Group’s Zen3 facility in Canlubang, Laguna. Continuing its commitment, the Jollibee Group then added clean energy options to its largest manufacturing site, the Canlubang Baking Facility (CBF). The two solar projects have combined capacity of 5.05 Megawatts.

Rounding out the list are two newly solar-energized sites: Jollibee Worldwide Services-Logistics (JWS-L) in Parañaque and the C3 manufacturing site in Laguna, which have a combined energy capacity of 4.05 megawatts.


Jollibee Group’s state of the art JWS-L site in Parañaque City is the third plant to incorporate solar power as one of its energy sources this year with the installation of 2,100 solar panels.

All four manufacturing facilities can reduce their power consumption from the grid with a combined average of approximately 15 percent a year, a significant step towards a greener future. 

The use of renewable energy in Jollibee Group’s manufacturing sites are part of the Company’s global sustainability agenda called, Joy for Tomorrow. This sustainability agenda, which serves as the Jollibee Group’s strategic framework, treats the planet responsibly and builds a sustainable future in response to the United Nation’s urgent call to action. Under this agenda is a focus on Planet, of which energy efficiency is a priority area.

“We are pleased to have partnered with the Jollibee Group on their sustainability journey, helping them develop their capacity to generate solar energy. We look forward to continuing our partnership to help the Jollibee Group bring not just the joy of eating to consumers, but also a sustainable and regenerative future,” said Vincent Martin Villegas, First Gen Corporation senior vice president and concurrent chief operating officer of Pi Energy.

With the greatest portfolio of clean and renewable energy-powered power plants is First Gen Corporation, a division of the Lopez-led conglomerate First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH).

In addition to renewable energy, the Jollibee Group continues to focus on packaging sustainability and waste reduction for all of its businesses.

Entertainment, Lifestyle, News

BingoPlus completes its first cleanup effort along the coasts of Anilao

In support of the 1st Saksi Ngayon Bouyanihan and Coastal Clean-up Drive, BingoPlus, your go-to entertainment platform in the nation and provider of your favorite online tongits, bingo, and perya games, searched the shores of Villa Estelita’s beachfront in Anilao, Batangas alongside a number of organizations.

The event organizer, Saksi Ngayon, came up with the Bouyanihan event name to unite people in the shared spirit of environmental stewardship and support. The word “bouya,” which is the Filipino word for buoy, is combined with the word “bayanihan” to refer to the clean-up drive. BingoPlus, Saksi Ngayon, Hotel Sogo, the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, independent professional divers, and community members came together for this event.

BingoPlus began cleanup mid-morning, meeting up with other participants at the beachfront. Several trash bags were gathered at the meet-up area by the one-hour mark, where attendees meticulously decided on which was the oddest item in the pile. During the cleanup, BingoPlus also gave out merchandise to event-goers who were taking a break from the summer sun.

Once the shores of Villa Estelita were cleaned up, BingoPlus and Hotel Sogo were invited to take a speedboat out into the waters where buoys with their respective brand logos were going to be set up by professional divers. These buoys are meant to provide boats with a place to moor as an alternative to using anchors that have a possibility of destroying corals and disturbing the local aquatic life.

Saksi Ngayon recognized BingoPlus’ support and participation at the end of the cleanup with certificates of participation and acknowledgement, thanking the brand for its partnership.

Despite its reputation as an advocate for Philippine amusement and leisure, BingoPlus makes sure to uphold its environmental and community obligations. The brand’s investment in culture also encompasses the flora and fauna that contribute to the distinctive and internationally renowned biodiversity of the Philippines. BingoPlus viewed the clean-up campaign as a chance to demonstrate environmental responsibility and community cooperation.

Digiplus Interactive Corp.’s core brands, BingoPlus and ArenaPlus, firmly establish the company as the nation’s leading provider of gaming and entertainment. Visit www.bingoplus.com and www.arenaplus.net for additional updates, or get the apps right now from Google Play and the App Store.

Entertainment, Sports

ArenaPlus unstoppably turns to deliver an exciting and enjoyable Kaogma Festival in 2024

Your go-to sports betting app, ArenaPlus, presented a fantastic week-long celebration for the Kaogma Festival 2024, giving the Bicolanos an exciting and genuinely engaging festival experience. The Kaogma Festival, which takes place from May 23 to May 28, commemorates the anniversary of Camarines Sur’s foundation with a variety of online and offline operations events. Despite the bad weather, ArenaPlus, the event’s main sponsor, made sure there was a more thrilling festival by bringing in activities with premium prizes and fun performances by local and well-known musicians. The festival this year had sporting events, singing and dance competitions, and concerts that were all very exciting. A more exhilarating and adventurous experience was provided by ArenaPlus with its array of sporting events, which included the mud race, bike race, 3×3 basketball, triathlon competition, and mixed martial arts battles between Korea and Philippines.

Thousands of Bicolanos also enjoyed the 5-day music festival with the special presence of well-known artists such as James Reid, Yassi Pressman, and Enrique Gil, as well as performances by country’s best singers such as Ely Buendia, KZ Tandingan, and Adie; bands like Apo Hiking Society, Mayonnaise, and This Band; and rappers such as Flow G, Skusta Clee, and rap icon Gloc 9. ArenaPlus added fun and entertainment as Gloc 9 sang the ArenaPlus jingle “Halina sa Arena,” grooved by ArenaPlus Astig Boys, with the brand’s newest song, “Tara na Tropa sa Arena.”

All activities were enjoyed with the games and merchandise given away for free and magic ticket prizes claimed in the ArenaPlus NBA-themed booth installed the whole week. ArenaPlus’ sponsorship of Kaogma Festival 2024 is a testament to the brand’s growing commitment to making any sports events and entertainment scene in the country truly enjoyable while keeping it fun.

The company is well aware of how important it is to bring domestic and foreign sporting and entertainment events closer to Filipinos’ homes while expanding their options to have fun and win prizes at any time or location. Take advantage of ArenaPLUS to enhance your NBA playoff experience.

Visit the ArenaPlus website at www.arenaplus.net and its social media pages to learn more about the NBA Magic Ticket. The nation’s fastest-growing provider of digital entertainment is DigiPlus. With more to come, it runs the top digital platforms in the nation, including BingoPlus, ArenaPlus, PeryaGame, Tongits+, and BingoPlus Poker.

ArenaPlus is the top sports betting app in the Philippines, offering live streaming of a wide range of sports and acting as the country’s primary source for sports entertainment for Filipinos. To learn more, go to www.arenaplus.net.