The highly anticipated show marks GNN Pop’s debut offering for 2023
The royalty of Filipino music KYLA and JAY R are preparing for their eagerly awaited comeback to the main stage!
Back In Time: Kyla and Jay R The Reunion Concert, the reunion performance of the King and Queen of Filipino R&B, will take place on September 2, 2023 (Saturday), at the New Frontier Theatre in Cubao, Quezon City.
Kyla and Jay R are prepared to take listeners on a musical trip that has influenced pop culture broadly from the early 2000s to the present. The duo is celebrating 20 years of a generation-spanning partnership that opened the way for local R&B/soul/hip-hop to flourish in the mainstream music industry in the Philippines.
“I’m excited to work with Kyla again,” acclaimed producer/singer-songwriter Jay R said. “Aside from the undeniable chemistry that we’ve developed through years of working together, this concert means a lot to me for sentimental reasons. There’s magic every time Kyla and I go on stage. We don’t perform just to impress, but also to lift each other up and bring out the best versions of ourselves.”
“Jay R and I have always been soulmates in music,” award-winning songstress Kyla explained. “I immediately said yes to this concert because this is my own little way of thanking our fans for being supportive of the creative partnership. We owe it big time to them for protecting this legacy of ours, and for ensuring that it will be preserved for the next generation to cherish.”
The much awaited Kyla x Jay R performance is presented and produced by GNN Pop, a division of Manila-based GNN Entertainment Productions, which also handles events, public relations, and multimedia. This marks the local production’s 2023 debut release and makes a commitment to its fans to provide top-tier pop-leaning performances at festivals, concerts, and shows. One of the top Philippine companies for multimedia entertainment, Cornerstone Entertainment, is also a co-presenter of the event.
On June 30 at 12:00, tickets go on sale through Ticketnet Online.You could also call Tel. (02) 8588 – 4000 loc. 4066 for additional details.
Closeup shows why no love should be hidden by blurs, crops, or pixels.
Did you notice the mural of a large heart at Market? Market! the 9th and 10th of June last weekend?
The enormous heart-shaped installation has a fuzzy image that seems to have been filtered out of view. It turns out that it is a part of Closeup’s newest promotion for Pride Month in 2023, and more sites for its appearance will be announced soon.
If you look closely, you can see that each “pixel” is a little photo of a loving LGBTQIA+ couple. The entire piece turns out to be a compilation of fascinating and lovely local stories. The installation shows a celebration of love through the images, which would typically be downplayed or even suppressed in mainstream media, whether it be lovers kissing, holding hands, or simply becoming closer.
closeup is known to always celebrate love all year round; so it’s no surprise that their #FreeToLove Pride campaign honors different couples from the LGBTQIA+ community while encouraging more people to be more open to seeing all types of love.
A QR code on the installation also directs people to a link featuring the stories of couples who got closer with pride. Watch their stories here.
The installation features a more visible representation of love as it also offers a selfie opportunity for those passing by. Couples are encouraged to take a selfie together using the mirror and share it online in support of the LGBTQIA+ community and closeup’s campaign.
closeup also partnered with Colourette Cosmetics a local beauty brand that also believes that everyone is #FreeToLoveInAllWays. Both brands give people the confidence to get closer with their romantic interests and this is why closeup and Colourette Cosmetics launched a bundle promo available on Unilever’s official Shopee and Lazada.
Everybody is entitled to acceptance and affection for who they are. Due to closeup’s Antibacterial Zinc, which destroys 99.9% of bacteria, they highlight how getting closer is simpler when you have all-day AMA-ZINC fresh breath. This is because closeup is an ally brand and thinks that everyone should be #FreeToLove.
On June 16–17, stop by closeup’s #FreeToLove heart installation at the Fort Strip in BGC, and on June 24, join Metro Manila Pride March to support the LGBTQIA+ community and their right to visibility.
McDonald’s Philippines and PLDT telecom unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have expanded the SIM Registration of Smart and TNT subscribers in a few McDonald’s locations across the nation to support the nation’s efforts to preserve data privacy.
By converting 35 specific McDonald’s locations with vacant party areas into temporary SIM Registration stations, McDonald’s and Smart played a crucial part in assisting the initial run of the nationwide SIM Registration.
McDonald’s Philippines makes more Filipinos accessible and convenient, especially mobile users who might require help registering their SIMs, by making its stores places for SIM Registration for Smart and TNT subscribers. Over 10,000 Smart and TNT members have successfully enrolled their SIMs in a few McDonald’s locations since the temporary sites’ April launch.
Participating McDonald’s Stores
As the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has extended the SIM Registration until July 25, 2023, to ensure that Filipinos will have more chances to prevent SIM deactivation, McDonald’s and Smart will continue assisting customers in participating McDonald’s Stores:
On July 3, 5, 10: Mart One, Capas, Calapan Roxas Drive, Calapan, Pili CamSur, Marymart Iloilo, Pavia, Kabankalan City, Robinson’s Place Iloilo, Pison Avenue, Cadiz, San Carlos, Araneta Bacolod, Tagum Highway, Limketkai, Valencia, Downtown Butuan, San Franz, Butuan Gaisano, and Gaisano Capital Surigao
On July 3, 5, 10, 12: Colon Osmena, Escario, Lapu Lapu City, South Coast, Carcar, Toledo, BQ MALL, Ozamis Highway, Koronadal, Guiwan, Gensan Highway, Cotabato, and Lagao Gensan.
On July 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24: Naga City Plaza and W Mall Bay City.
All Smart and TNT subscribers only need to bring a valid government ID to register at the nearest McDonald’s participating stores. Registration is free for all walk-in customers.
To further encourage SIM Registration, individuals who register in McDonald’s stores have a chance to win McDonald’s treats.
“With our continued commitment to nation-building, McDonald’s Philippines supports the government’s push for SIM registration by making it accessible to more Filipino communities. Just like how we turned our party areas into study halls (McClassroom) during the pandemic, we continue to maximize the use of our stores to cater to the evolving needs of the communities we’re in,”Oliver Rabatan, McDonald’s Philippines Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
Customers of Smart Prepaid and TNT, both new and old, may also go to PLDT and Smart Stores or use Smart’s SIM Registration page at https://www.smart.com.ph/simreg to register their SIM cards. In the meanwhile, Smart postpaid subscribers are regarded as registered under the SIM Registration Act using their current account information.
Do you run a new bakery and need advice on how to advance it? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to open one but don’t know how. The good news is that URC Flour’s YouTube Channel has all the knowledge you require! Here, professional bakers give helpful advice on product costing, batching calculations, various baking techniques (and their benefits and drawbacks), flour science, and a variety of delectable recipes!
You can add the following five recipes from URC Flour’s YouTube channel to the menu of your bakery or culinary establishment:
Chocolate Chip Muffins
This moist and fluffy treat is a must on any bakery’s menu! You can have them for breakfast, merienda, baon, or dessert. Plus, they go well with almost any beverage—from coffee, milk, juice, or chocolate milk. They’re also an ideal pastry for customers looking for a snack to take out thanks to their munchable size.
You don’t need to fly to France to enjoy a fresh batch of cream puffs. Explore ways of making a pate a choux or cabbage paste, which serves as foundation for several pastries. Know the importance of bringing ingredients to a boil, using the right flour, and cooking the dough thoroughly at the right heat level.
Super buttery and small enough to fit inside take-out boxes, Bento Cakes make great gifts to give loved ones on their special day, especially if they can’t finish one whole cake! This recipe will teach you two ways of baking a Yellow Layer Bento Cake.
Level up your favorite morning bread with a couple more ingredients and a lesson in yeast variation. Educate yourself about the difference between using active dry yeast and instant dry yeast. How does it affect the bread volume, crust color, and crumb structure?
Healthy food options are in high demand right now, so how about including healthy bread in your menu? Mix in your favorite berries and nuts for a healthy, fiber-filled bread. Plus, you’ll even learn about two types of ovens and how they affect the quality of the baked goods you produce.
Visit the URC Flour YouTube Channel to find additional recipes to try when you’re ready to bake!
The goal of URC Flour’s Youtube channel is to equip home bakers and pastry chefs with practical recipes, methods, and knowledge of baking science. It also discusses how to maximize the benefits of the consistently superior flour products offered by URC.
This year, URC Flour will also be releasing brand-new episodes, so tune in and don’t miss your chance to grow as a player!
The Filipino band is also set to debut the electronic-leaning track live in their upcoming 5-city international tour
With the release of “CouldBeSomething” on June 30, Friday at midnight, the Filipino nine-piece collective Ben&Ben ushers in a new era after attracting more than 60,000 spectators for their homecoming concert last year and receiving praise for their performance at Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival 2023. As we attended the press conference for Ben & Ben, we had the chance to meet and interact with them personally. They are so generous in sharing their ideas and plans, and they are so accommodating. We really enjoyed everything that they shared with us, and we look forward to seeing them achieve their endeavors. I also greatly liked their new album, “Could be Something.” Everything is beautifully written, and it will surely hook many of their avid listeners.
Ben&Ben’s first single of 2023 is a significant advancement that ushers in a new phase of musical development and evolution. This time, the multiple award-winning group incorporates elements of city pop, tropicalia beats, and dazzling production touches into their guitar-driven folk/pop-rock foundations to create a more electronic-leaning composition. They gave Ben&Ben’s sound a fresh perspective along with co-producers Timothy Run and Sam Marquez. “We wanted the instrumentation and production to capture a more mature kind of hope, so we used slightly darker chords, coupled with tight rhythms, to bring out a unique kind of catharsis for the listener, for our Liwanag,” Ben&Ben explained in a group statement. The soundscapes were created by the co-producers and myself to reflect the band’s luxurious, yet tighter-than-ever sound.
According to the Pagtingin hitmakers, “Could Be Something” delves into the often-overlooked phase before taking a leap of faith. It candidly addresses moments of overthinking and overprocessing, providing a relatable narrative for all.
“Could Be Something is a song about turning doubt into belief,” Ben&Ben shares. “It’s the revival of hope after being caught in a very cynical place. It’s the feeling you get after meeting someone who unexplainably makes you believe in love again, or finding a new passion that sparks life in you.”
The nine-piece act reveals that, beyond being a love song, their new single doubles as an anthem for people grappling with doubt. “It offers a reminder to believe, surrender, and let go during challenging times,” the acclaimed Filipino group adds.The band worked together with Ben&Ben Music Production, the management team behind the band’s entire operations, music production and marketing efforts, to embark on this new journey. Since the pandemic, the band has been self-managed by a tightly knit, yet efficient team of people that the band believes in, and trusts wholeheartedly.
As the headliners of their cross-country tour, Ben&Ben intends to present a live version of “Could Be Something” in the upcoming months. Additionally, they will be introducing the song to an international audience for the first time ever with an international tour that begins in London and continues through Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, and Dubai. This is done in association with the 1MX Music Festival and ABS-CBN Global. Through their social media pages and official website, more information will be made available in the upcoming weeks.
On June 30, 2023, Sony Music Entertainment will release Ben&Ben’s “Could Be Something” on all digital music platforms across the world.
A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed by the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), the company’s social development arm. The agreement aims to strengthen both parties’ work on enhancing smallholder producers’ entrepreneurial capacity and connecting them to agriculture value chains.
“This partnership is an important milestone for farmer entrepreneurs. PCAARRD’s expertise in research and development in agriculture will surely help create access to more technologies that can enhance farmers’ livelihood to become more profitable,” said Gisela Tiongson, executive director of JGF.
Through the exchange of technology, access to knowledge, and the provision of tools to increase productivity, the partnership between DOST-PCAARRD and JGF seeks to support the advancement of sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, it seeks to enhance R&D initiatives in order to provide scientific and technology-based solutions for agri-aqua businesses. For the purpose of ensuring the success of agro-enterprises, the program also incorporates networking and market links.
Of this, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora said, “We believe that this partnership for agro-entrepreneurship will strengthen PCAARRD’s efforts in addressing technology gaps to improve quality and productivity, as well as in building the capacities of farmer groups and partner LGUs to provide opportunities to tap institutional markets. We are also certain that this will pave the way to strengthen the implementation of projects and activities with the end goal of achieving JGF’s mission and PCAARRD’s mandates.”
Additionally, this program supports JGF’s Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which empowers smallholder farmers and aids them in developing their technical and business acumen as well as their capacity for forming partnerships. FEP works with farmer cooperatives that supply the Jollibee Group and other markets using the Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach.
More than 9,000 metric tons of veggies, worth more than P360 million in total sales, are provided to the company by 18 farmer organizations authorized by the Jollibee Group to date.
Store Openings that Break Records. The Jollibee Group established 23 Burger King locations in 2022, setting a Philippine record for the company’s restaurant openings in a calendar year.
As part of its growth strategies, the Jollibee Group is concentrating on improving the performance of its internationally franchised businesses in the Philippines.
“We aim to become the leading market developer of foreign restaurants brands in the country. By leveraging our brand portfolio to provide diverse offerings for various market segments at different price points, and strategically expanding our store network, Burger King, Yoshinoya, and Panda Express are expected to continuously contribute to the sustainable growth of our domestic business,” said Joseph Tanbuntiong, Jollibee Group Country Head for Philippine Business.
Burger King opened 23 outlets in 2022 as part of the firm’s expansion plans, which is a record for the company for the year. Additionally, it debuted its 125th landmark location in 2022, as well as five Bike ‘n Dine locations on Visayas Avenue and Shaw Wack-Wack in San Juan. Alabang-West in Muntinlupa; Vermosa in Imus, Cavite; Carmona Cavite; and Quezon City.
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In 2022, the Jollibee Group also relaunched Japan’s world-famous Beef Bowl Chain, Yoshinoya. This is its first ever Japanese food chain, making it a strong addition to the foreign franchised brands currently operated by the company. Yoshinoya serves a beefed-up menu in a newly redesigned contemporary and casual Japanese space headlined by their world-famous gyudon or beef bowl.
Successful Relaunch. The Jollibee Group successfully relaunched Yoshinoya in the Philippines with a refreshed store design and menu offering.
Last year, Yoshinoya opened four stores and renovated three existing stores. The Jollibee Group formed a 50-50 joint venture with YIPI—the Philippine subsidiary of Asia Yoshinoya International Sdn. Bhd. and Yoshinoya Holdings Co. Ltd. in June 2021. The said partnership established Yoshinoya Jollibee Foods, Inc., which operates the Yoshinoya stores in the country and plans to expand Yoshinoya’s store network to 50 stores in the long term.
Meanwhile, Panda Express opened ten stores last year, five of which were the first in its host cities—Robinsons Place Ermita in Manila, SM Southmall in Las Piñas, Betterliving in Parañaque, Shell SLT in Muntinlupa, and Greenhills in San Juan. In February 2023, Panda Express opened its first drive-thru restaurant in Asia with the launch of its Sumulong Highway branch. This new location in Marikina City also marks Panda Restaurant Group’s 100th international restaurant. Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. (PRG) and the Jollibee Group formed JBPX Foods, Inc., a joint venture in 2019 to bring the world’s largest American Chinese dining concept in the Philippines.
Milestone Opening. The first drive-thru store of Panda Express in Asia was opened by the Jollibee Group in Marikina City. This also marks the brand’s 100thinternational branch.
Exciting Product Offerings
The Jollibee Group’s thrust with its foreign franchised brands is to bring the authentic experience to Filipinos. Apart from this, the Jollibee Group also provides menu offerings that are either unique to Philippine market or among the best performing for these franchised brands in the region and the world.
On top of its iconic entree, the Original Orange Chicken®, Panda Express introduced Kung Pao Fish last year for the season of Lent. Its Beef Broccoli and Honey Walnut Shrimp are also among the best-selling dishes in the region. Meanwhile, Yoshinoya—with its signature beef bowl—also offered dishes that Filipino foodies can enjoy such as Tempura, Karaage, and desserts like Mochi Matcha Ice Cream and Coffee Jelly.
Burger King Philippines was also acknowledged as having one of the best-in-class launches in Asia for its new product Chicken King. Other exciting new products that guests enjoyed for a limited time last year were Cheese Bites, Plant-Based X-tra Long Chicken, Spicy Chicken King, Spicy Chicken Nuggets, and Truffle Whopper.
The Jollibee Group plans to add more Burger King, Yoshinoya, and Panda Express locations this year. The company’s objective to rank among the top five restaurant corporations in the globe includes these new shop openings.
“Our thrust is to bring the original experience of these popular brands to the Filipino people. I am confident that with the success of our foreign franchised brands, and with the continued support of their fans, Jollibee Group will succeed in achieving its long-term growth plans,” Tanbuntiong added.
Our forthcoming event, “The Magic of EKquality,” which strives to inspire acceptance and serve as a forum for promoting unity, equality, and honoring the dynamic LGBTQIA community, will take place during Pride Month, which is currently in full gear.
The “Magic of EKquality” promises to be an evening full of star-studded performances and enthralling entertainment on July 2, 2023 at the Spaceport Grounds of Enchanted Kingdom. We cordially welcome everyone to join us for this amazing celebration of diversity and equality.
The concert will feature an impressive lineup of talented artists, including the upcoming IWant TCS, DRAG & ME’s actors Precious Paula Nicole (Drag Race PH winner), Lance Carr, Amy Nobles, JC Alcantara, and Andrea Brillantes. Joining them on stage are Vivacious dance crew, Tanya Jose Evans, Loura Mercy, Tiffany, Lady Gagita and Anton Diva, all set to bring their energy and charisma to captivate the audience.
In the spirit of inclusivity, we invite all park guests to participate in the SaGAYlahan segment, which allows individuals to showcase their creativity and individuality through their best PRIDE outfits. Attendees who arrive in their most fabulous pride costumes will have the opportunity to register for the SaGAYlahan segment and take part in the catwalk, competing for the highly coveted title of “Sagaylahan Queen.” Participants will also have a chance to win cash prizes, making this segment an exhilarating experience for all.
We are excited to provide the “Magic of EKquality” EK Online Store promotion (EKOS) to prolong the celebration. From June 28 to July 2, travelers can get a Regular Day Pass for just P935 during a special discount period. Additionally, to sweeten the festive ambiance, the first 2,000 customers to take advantage of the promotion will receive a FREE Magnolia ice cream scoop, which can be redeemed at Amazon Grill or Diggers.
The purpose of the event is to encourage people from every walk of life—as well as the LGBTQIA community—to embrace diversity, equality, and inclusivity. We can create a stronger, more welcoming society by cooperating and embracing our diversity.
This Saturday, July 1, 2023, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) Vios Cup returns for another exhilarating season.
This weekend, the first of the three rounds of the TGR Vios Cup, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP)’s longest-running top one-make-race series, will be held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga. To allow the general public access to the thrilling racing action and TGR events throughout the day, gates open at 9 a.m. Admission is free.
The official Facebook page for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Philippines will also broadcast the event live online.
The traditional Circuit Championship is back for the TGR Vios Cup this year, but with a significant season change. Since the Vios Cup began in 2014, the third leg will involve endurance racing, giving the Toyota Vios racers a chance to put their endurance to the test. Leading racers and racing teams from across the nation are expected to raise the stakes of the events this season.
Future racers are joining Vios Cup veterans to provide new hands on the wheel. Actor Enzo Pineda, a former Toyota Vios Cup Autocross competitor who has been promoted to the Circuit Promotional Class, is the newest member to Team TOYOTA GAZOO Racing PH’s lineup of Circuit Championship racers this year. Troy Montero, a former Vios Cup racer, is currently competing in the Super Sporting Class at the speedway. To complete the trio, a third celebrity will compete in the circuit race.
The popular Autocross Challenge, which features social media stars from various backgrounds, will return in conjunction with the racing event. This year’s class will include online celebrities Macoy Dubs, Genesis Redido, cyclist Ezra Domingo, and sportscaster Apple David. Reph Bangsil and model Arianne Bautista, who previously competed in the Vios Cup Autocross, are returning this year. The returnee Carla Lizardo and the newbie Megan Young, both beauty queens, will display their grace and beauty on the track as they join the Autocross lineup.
Migy Romulo, the Autocross champion from the previous season, as well as crowd favorites from the 2022 season Benedict Cua, Bianca Yao, and Lexi Mendiola round out the field of Season 2023 Autocross competitors.
In addition to watching the races from the grandstand, racegoers can fully immerse themselves in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing experience by visiting a display of various Toyota GR vehicles, testing out the TGR GT Cup racing rigs, and engaging in activities that give them the chance to win prizes from sponsors TMP and TGR Vios Cup.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Vios Cup is run in conjunction with Petron and Bridgestone. Denso, 3M, AVT, ROTA, OMP, Tuason Racing, myTOYOTA Wallet, and Kinto One are other sponsors.
Visit toyota.com.ph/gazoo/vios-cup for more details on the TGR Vios Cup. For updates, join the Toyota PH viber group, follow TOYOTA GAZOO Racing on Facebook, and the Toyota Motor Philippines official pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (ToyotaMotorPH).
Global General Counsel & Ethics Head and Compliance Officer for The Jollibee Group Atty. The 19th Annual Southeast Asia Law Awards presented by Asian Legal Business (ALB) honored Valerie Feria Amante the In-House Attorney of the Year in 2023. Amante is this year’s lone recipient from the Philippines.
The ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2023 honor the outstanding achievements of private practitioners and in-house counsel in SE Asia and are assessed by a panel of senior and knowledgeable legal industry experts from diverse sectors around the region.
“I am honored to have been recognized as In-House Lawyer of the Year for Southeast Asia. I have always believed that Filipinos can stand proud alongside the best in the world, and I am happy to be one of many examples showing this to be true,” said Amante.
Amante oversees a group of 19 attorneys and 10 paralegals from the Philippines, China, Vietnam, USA, Singapore, and Ireland as the Global General Counsel & Ethics Head and Compliance Officer for the Jollibee Group.
“This award represents the work of the great team of lawyers and paralegals across our offices in six countries that comprise the Legal organization in the Jollibee Group, as well as the collaboration of colleagues from different functions and businesses,” she expounded.
Rewarding in-house legal career
Amante has been with the Jollibee Group for over 16 years now and has led the development of the legal, ethics, and compliance functions as integral components in Jollibee Group’s growth and expansion over the years.
“Building an effective multinational legal organization to ensure our businesses everywhere have access to quality support; setting standards, policies and processes to facilitate legal consistency and alignment globally, balanced with agility and flexibility locally; creating and disseminating tools to empower people and manage legal risks at scale; and providing our team’s perspective in conversations at all levels to enable legally-informed business decisions — all contribute to making legal, ethics and compliance integral to the Jollibee Group’s way of doing business,” Amante added.
Amante graduated as Salutatorian of the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2000, and placed 7thin the Philippine Bar Examinations of the same year. After starting her career in a large law firm and in another publicly listed company, she joined JFC in 2007. In 2016, she was awarded the ALB Philippine In-House Lawyer of the Year. This time, she won the In-House Lawyer of the Year award covering the SE Asia region.
“My inclusion is a direct result of the meaningful, high-impact, and interesting work that I have had the opportunity to do in the Jollibee Group, and the support that JFC has given me to continuously grow and elevate the function,” Amante said.
Inclusive legal organization
“We are committed to equal opportunities and hiring based on merit. Over 70% of the legal organization in the Jollibee Group are women, and two lawyers, including myself, are Persons with Disability (PWD),” Amante said.
When asked for her best piece of advise for aspiring attorneys, Amante responded, “Anchor yourself on quality and honesty. Recognize your values and priorities and act on them. Be respectful to everyone, including yourself. Additionally, a sense of humor is helpful!”