Monthly Archives

February 2024


Go-kart racing course reopens at Enchanted Kingdom releases children’s cadet karts

Together with the entire group, experience the exhilarating Fun Kart!

L-R: EK President and CEO Mario O. Mamon, international race car driver Marlon Stockinger, EK’s Princess Victoria and Eldar the Wizard, and father and son racing champions Carlos Anton and Iñigo Anton during the reopening ceremony of the EK Fun Kart.

The 800-meter go-kart racetrack at Enchanted Kingdom, the first and only top-tier amusement park in the Philippines, has reopened with brand-new karts suitable for both children and adults.

Mario O. Mamon, President and CEO of EK, and Vivienne Cruz, Vice President of Yokohama Tires Philippines, conducted the reopening ceremony on February 25. At the EK Fun Kart, world race car driver Marlon Stockinger and father-and-son racing champions Carlos and Iñigo Anton demonstrated their driving prowess. Alonzo Anton, Carlos’ eight-year-old son, tested the cadet kart intended for drivers aged eight to twelve.

“To make the ride more inclusive, EK added four cadet karts for the younger members of the family to enjoy,” Mr. Mamon shared. “We also have 12 brand new single seaters and five two-seater karts. EK also added a new lap-timing system for more fun and friendly competition,” he added.

International race car driver Marlon Stockinger shared that he was here when EK Fun Kart first opened in 2003. “It gave me a lot of experiences, a lot of good teachings towards my racing career. I think it’s a good place to hone your skills as a driver. So, whether you want to enjoy or bring your family – or if you want to take racing seriously eventually – this is a great training ground,” he said.

The Fun Kart which closed for five months due to the renovation period boasts an enhanced building and new paint markings. It also features new tire barriers in partnership with world-class quality tires company Yokohama Tires Philippines.

“We are glad to partner with Yokohama Tires Philippines who are aligned with EK’s priority to ensure the safety of our guests to deliver a seamless and magical experience here at the park,” Mr. Mamon added.

Alonzo Anton, eight-year-old son of champion car racer Carlos Anton, drove the newly launched EK Fun Kart cadet kart for eight to 12-year-old drivers.

Wednesday through Sunday from 12 PM till the park closes is when the Fun Kart is open. Karts with one seat cost Php 800, those with two seats cost Php 950, and cadet carts cost Php 650.

Visit and EK’s official social media sites for Facebook and Tiktok, and @ek_philippines for Twitter and Instagram for additional details regarding the Fun Kart and forthcoming events at the EK.

Lifestyle, News

With a strong barcode system, GS1 Philippines introduces “GS1 Activate” to accelerate digital transformation in the retail industry

Aims to introduce to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024

The photo features representatives from GS1 Philippines present during the organization’s Annual Conference and General Membership Meeting (from left to right): Public Relations Officer Teodoro Padilla, representing the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines; Corporate Secretary Anna Marie Anastacio, representing the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines; Trustee Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., representing the Philippines Exporters Confederation; President/CEO Roberto Claudio, representing the Philippine Retailers Association; Chairman Atty. Pablo Gancayco, representing the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Vice President Comm. Joseph Ross Jocson, representing the Packaging Institute of the Philippines; Carlos Cabochan, representing the Philippines Consumer Centric Association; and Trustee Antonio Sayo, representing the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization.

The premier organization for local barcode standards, GS1 Philippines, recently unveiled GS1 Activate, a web-based tool designed to make barcode generation and symbol creation easier for companies and transform the retail supply chain through digitalization.

GS1 Activate was introduced on January 30, 2024, during the GS1 Philippines Annual Conference and General Membership Meeting. It simplifies the process for businesses to generate barcode numbers and symbols, digitizing product data and identification and enhancing the visibility and efficiency of supply and demand chains both internationally and across sectors.

By adhering to GS1 standards and services, GS1 Activate enables businesses to achieve accurate product identification with global trade item numbers (GTINs) and seamless data sharing, enhancing customer service and operational efficiency. With GS1 Activate, businesses can easily obtain barcode numbers for their products, allowing for their global distribution. Additionally, the service provides expert guidance on printing and placing barcode symbols to ensure optimal scanning performance. By leveraging GS1 Activate to share product data, companies can expand their reach to retailers and marketplaces worldwide, enhancing the visibility and accessibility of their products on a global scale.

GS1 Philippines targets to introduce GS1 Activate to over 30,000 retailers nationwide by the end of 2024. They are currently serving over 5,000 retailers.

“In an economy where the Philippines’ e-commerce market is estimated to reach $24 billion (approx. Php 1.3 trillion) through 2025, GS1 Activate is a game-changer. This new service revolutionizes business barcode generation, reducing the time required compared to traditional product identification methods and eliminating common errors, saving costs on label reprinting and minimizing the need for extensive personnel training. By dramatically simplifying the process, GS1 Activate also enhances efficient data sharing, crucial for strengthening both local and global trade. This launch is a testament to our dedication to advancing digital integration within the Philippines’ supply chain ecosystem, reinforcing our role in the global economy,” GS1 Philippines, and Philippine Retailers Association President Bobby Claudio said.

Aligning with the annual gathering’s theme, “Unified Unlocked: Activating Integrated Digitalization,” GS1 Philippines’ conference marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the barcode system and highlighted GS1’s focus on shifting to the 2D migration of barcodes to QR codes while calling for global retail Point of Sale (POS) scanners to be capable of processing 2D barcodes by 2027.

In his remark, GS1 Philippines Chairman Atty. Pablo Gancayo shared, “We are now focused on evolving the barcode into the next level we call the 2D migration, which is expected to revolutionize further commerce. GS1 will guide the industry towards 2D migration, which it hopes to achieve and implement comprehensively by the year 2027.”

The annual gathering hosted insightful discussions, networking, and collaboration opportunities among key government figures, industry players, and GS1 members. Among those present was Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Mary Jean T. Pacheco, who emphasized GS1 standards’ pivotal role in enhancing supply chain efficiency and visibility for Philippine industries competing globally. During her talk, she discussed the government agency’s three-year food logistics action agenda aimed to revolutionize the food distribution system by addressing critical supply chain gaps and integrating ICT to enhance logistics performance. Undersecretary Pacheco expressed eagerness for collaborations with GS1 Philippines to achieve these goals.

Other government leaders and industry experts also shared their perspectives on the impact of global standards in the digital age, including Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Enrile Uy; De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Environment and Design faculty member and packaging designer and consultant Prof. Ana Maria Veronica Solano; and CLASSchool Founder and Nutraways Manufacturing Corporation General Manager Love Emmanuel Agudo.

GS1 Global Office President and CEO Renaud De Barbuat, GS1 Philippines Trustee and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., and GS1 Global Office GS1 Registry Platform Global Deployment Lead Joe Horwood were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (PHILFOODEX), the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), the Philippine Consumer Centric Traders Association (PCCTA), the Packaging Institute of the Philippines (PIP), the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), the Soap and Detergent Association of the Philippines (SDAP), and the Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines were among the notable industry groups in attendance at the conference.



United City Football Club is excited to begin its strategic cooperation with Blocksport, a forward-thinking Swiss company created in 2019, following the success of the launch of its dedicated Fan App. United City FC has reached a major milestone with this partnership, which harnesses the potential of Web3 and blockchain technology to boost fan engagement and open up new revenue streams.

About Blocksport: Unlocking Limitless Revenue Streams with Web3

Leading sports teams in Europe and Africa, including OH Leuven, Empoli FC, Partizan BC, Kaizer Chiefs FC, Salford Red Devils Rugby Club, and Belgium Cycling, have worked with Blocksport, a leader in the sports technology space. The business focuses in assisting professional sports organizations in developing digital infrastructure, which in turn produces effective community centers and makes use of Web3 and blockchain technologies to increase revenue and fan interaction.

“At Blocksport, we are committed to empowering sports clubs with innovative solutions that transcend traditional boundaries. Our collaboration with United City FC signifies a bold step towards the future of fan engagement. Furthermore, my trip to Manila a few months ago to participate in the Business of Football conference confirmed to us that the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region, including Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, are markets with huge potential; hence this partnership marks the start of the Blocksport footprint in this part of the world. By combining the power of Web3 and blockchain, we aim to create a digital ecosystem that meets and exceeds the expectations of the modern fan. Together with United City FC, we are paving the way for a new era in sports technology not just in the Philippines but beyond.” – Samir Ceric, COO of Blocksport.

The partnership between United City FC and Blocksport opens the door to various fan engagement activities, including but not limited to:

– NFT Games, Fan Points Booster, Digital Memberships, Premium Content, online ticketing, Exclusive Club content, Digital Collectibles, E-commerce, community chats, news updates, predictor games, live streaming, and much more.

Why Web3?

Gen Z Engagement: The next generation of fans, Gen Z, demands high digital and Web3 engagement levels from their favorite clubs. Embracing these technologies is crucial in attracting and retaining this tech-savvy audience.

Absolute Ownership: In Web3, fans have the exclusive ability to own, trade, and monetize their digital assets, fostering a sense of absolute ownership and connection with the club.

Transparency: Web3 technology ensures transparency in all transactions and relationships between clubs and fans. This transparency is essential for building trust and accountability within the fan community.

Security: Recognizing the value of fan data, Blocksport employs blockchain technology to uphold the highest security standards. This approach safeguards the privacy and integrity of fan data, treating it as the club’s most valuable asset.

“We are excited about the endless possibilities our partnership with Blocksport brings. As we step into Web3 and blockchain, we are not just transforming the fan experience; we are revolutionizing how clubs interact with their supporters. This is a game-changer not only for United City FC but also for Philippine Football, and we are proud to lead the way in embracing the future of sports technology.” – Eric Gottschalk, President of United City Football Club

Blocksport and United City FC are thrilled about the relationship’s potential to change the sports and technology industries. Together, we will develop a state-of-the-art fan experience and put the team at the forefront of these changes.

UCFC social media:


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Lifestyle, News

Fujifilm Increases Presence in Cebu City with New Office

L-R_ FUJIFILM BI PH Hideaki Kato and FFPH President Masahiro Uehara at the ribbon cutting ceremony

FUJIFILM Philippines Inc. (FFPH) and FUJIFILM Business Innovation Philippines Corp. (FUJIFILM BI PH) have announced that they would be moving to a larger location in Cebu City due to the increased demand for their goods and services.

For the world’s leading innovators, the new office, which is ideally located at Mercedes Benz Tower, Mindanao Ave. Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, represents a major step. With this growth, Fujifilm hopes to solidify its position in the area and improve customer satisfaction by better serving the local market.

L-R_FFPH President Masahiro Uehara, Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, and FUJIFILM BI PH Hideaki Kato, at the ribbon cutting ceremony

The Cebu City office will serve as a hub for after-sales support, featuring a local repair center for digital cameras and endoscopy products. Additionally, it will host a showroom showcasing advanced cameras, cutting-edge printing machines, and business software solutions, offering customers an interactive experience with Fujifilm’s latest innovations in imaging and document management technology.

Mr. Masahiro Uehara, President of FFPH, expressed confidence in the strategic move, stating, “This relocation reinforces our commitment to swiftly expand our local operations, making our products and services more accessible to the southern part of the country.”

Adding his perspective, Mr. Hideaki Kato, President of FUJIFILM BI PH, mentioned FUJIFILM BI PH has almost 60-years’ experience in the Philippines and continuously provides document process innovation for Cebu customers. He also highlighted the synergy between the two entities, stating, “We are proud to unveil this new office, bringing us closer to our customers in Cebu and emphasizing the collaboration between FUJIFILM Business Innovation Philippines and FUJIFILM Philippines.”

Fujifilm, known for its unwavering commitment to technological innovation and customer-focused solutions, uses its knowledge of the photographic industry to propel growth in the fields of materials science, healthcare, and business innovation. “Giving our world more smiles,” the company’s new group purpose, highlights its dedication to building a more promising future for society.

Go to & for additional details.

Food, Lifestyle

The world’s second-fastest-growing restaurant brand is Jollibee

Expertise in Building Brands. Jollibee’s 51% brand value growth is a testament to the Jollibee Group’s expertise in building brands that can be scaled across markets globally.

The world’s premier independent brand valuation firm, Brand Finance, has released its annual brand ranking study, which ranks Jollibee as the second fastest-growing restaurant brand globally. In the current year’s Global Restaurant Rankings, Jollibee jumped from position 20 to rank 17, demonstrating an incredible 51% increase in brand value to USD 2.3 billion.

By placing fifth in the strongest restaurant brand category, the brand significantly strengthened its position and increased its grade from AA- to AAA. Furthermore, Jollibee is the only Philippine brand that appears in the Top 10 Strongest Restaurant Brands and the Top 25 Most Valuable Restaurant Brands for 2024.

“We thank our loyal customers for their love for Jollibee, allowing us to grow the brand further and reach more people in various parts of the world,” said Jollibee Group President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong. “Being ranked as the second fastest growing brand in the world validates the effective work of all the leaders and teams of Jollibee—past and present—whose commitment to the brand and its customers has helped drive the brand’s sustained growth over the years.”

Confidence in Jollibee’s Strategic Direction

Jollibee, the flagship global brand within the Jollibee Group’s extensive portfolio of 18 brands, originated in the Philippines in 1978. The brand has since grown to encompass 1,668 locations across 17 countries as of January 2024.

Richard Shin, Chief Financial Officer of Jollibee Group, expressed confidence in the brand’s strategic direction, stating, “This valuation from Brand Finance gives us confidence that we are on the right track in our strategic goals for the brand. Jollibee’s ability to resonate with consumers across diverse markets and cultures opens opportunities for further expansion and growth, enhancing the potential for better shareholder value to investors and franchisees.”

Global Appeal.
Jollibee continues to captivate global audiences with its great-tasting products at affordable fare, supported by a cohesive restaurant system that positions the brand for success across markets.

Jollibee’s Growth Momentum

Brand Finance’s latest report attributes Jollibee’s remarkable financial performance and sustained momentum to its robust expansion initiatives, particularly in international markets. Emphasizing a diverse menu of exceptionally tasty, high-quality, and affordable fare, the brand continues to captivate global audiences.

The Chief Marketing Officer of Jollibee Group, David Beal, emphasized, “Jollibee’s impressive brand value growth is a testament to the Jollibee Group’s expertise in building brands that are craved globally. Our growth is underpinned by delicious offerings, a compelling brand proposition, and a cohesive restaurant system that positions us for success across markets.”

To sustain its growth momentum, Jollibee remains steadfast in expanding its store network in key markets such as the United States and the Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia (EMEAA) region, while sustaining market leadership in the Philippines.

Sustained Growth. Jollibee is now present in 17 countries with 1,668 store locations – and counting. The recent milestone opening in Canada is the brand’s 100th store in North America and is part of the Jollibee Group’s aggressive growth plans for 2024.

Strong Brand Love for Jollibee

The brand has recently marked a significant milestone by inaugurating its 100th store in North America, with the first customer lining up for 20 hours before the store opening.

Massive crowds have been waiting in line for extended periods of time—some camping out the night before or enduring freezing temperatures—to be the first to sample Jollibee’s famous crispy and juicy fried chicken, known as Jolly Crispy Chicken in North America and Chickenjoy in the Philippines and other markets. This fervent display of brand love has been consistent across store openings in new markets. In markets around Asia, Europe, and North America, this best-selling product has been chosen as a fan favorite.

Brand Love Across Geographies and Generations. The support of loyal customers across generations and locations has solidified Jollibee’s position as a well-loved global restaurant brand.

Other best-sellers that win over people to Jollibee’s faithful following are the Peach Mango Pie, which is constructed with peaches and Philippine mangoes nestled in a warm, crispy crust, and the Chicken Sandwich, which is a crispy, juicy chicken breast fillet with umami mayo in a toasted brioche bun.

News, Sports

Esti Lestari Named United City FC’s Chairman

With immediate effect, United City FC (UCFC) is pleased to announce Esti Puji Lestari’s appointment as the club’s chairman. As the UCFC begins an exciting new chapter in its history, Esti’s confirmation of her commitment in the club is an important milestone.

Esti Puji Lestari, an Indonesian native, brings a plethora of experience and knowledge to her new position at United City FC (UCFC). Throughout her distinguished career in the sports sector, Esti has occupied pivotal leadership roles—including majority ownership—in her capacities as CEO of QD Red Lions China and president of Persijap Jepara. In these capacities, she has contributed significantly to the expansion and prosperity of her organizations.

“Reviving United City FC is my mission. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of a club with such a great tradition and long history, and my aim is to match the outstanding achievements of the past with similar ones in the future.

I feel I have unfinished business in football, and as an esports owner, I intend to add value to the club off the field as well as on it.

I am grateful for this opportunity and know that the Philippines football landscape is very supportive of not only the men’s game but also the women’s with their participation in the recent World Cup.

In the spirit of ASEAN cooperation, I would also like this to be a pathway for both men and women from Indonesia as well as Philippines to gain valuable experience and benefit from the synergy between two nations.” states Esti Lestari.

In Indonesia, as the only female owner of a Football Club that has a 63-year history, Esti led strategic initiatives to enhance the club’s brand visibility, optimize revenue streams, and foster community engagement, solidifying its position as a sustainable football club in Indonesia that continues to exist. Additionally, she has been a prominent advocate for women’s football, championing initiatives to support and develop women’s football at all levels.

In China, as Red Lions’ CEO, Esti brought her dynamic leadership and strategic acumen to oversee the club’s administration and development. Her visionary approach and dedication contributed to the growth and success of QD Red Lions during her tenure.

“We are privileged and proud to have such an esteemed investor and seasoned football expert join our Club to catapult the development of UCFC forward. Esti has been a long-time personal friend, and I am pleased to work alongside her as I know what she will bring to the Club. Our project and mission of UCFC have never changed, even when we took a break from football in 2023, but now we are back, and with Esti’s support, we will continue the legacy of the club and raise the bar once again for the gold standard of Philippines football.” – Eric Gottschalk, President of United City FC.

As UCFC enters this new era under Esti’s leadership, the club reaffirms its commitment to excellence both on and off the field. UCFC’s goals include:

  1. Achieving Sporting Success: United City FC aims to compete at the highest level of Philippine football, striving for championships and representing the country internationally.

2. Community Engagement: United City FC is dedicated to fostering strong connections with its fans and the local community, organizing outreach programs and initiatives to promote the growth of football at the grassroots level.

3. Youth Development: United City FC recognizes the importance of nurturing young talent and providing opportunities for aspiring footballers to develop their skills within a professional environment.

4. Commercial Growth: United City FC seeks to maximize commercial opportunities, leveraging Esti’s expertise to enhance revenue streams, attract sponsors, and expand the club’s global brand presence.

5. Women’s Team Establishment: United City FC is committed to promoting women’s football by establishing a dedicated team, providing opportunities for female athletes to compete at the highest level, and inspiring the next generation of women footballers.

With Esti Puji Lestari’s appointment, UCFC enters an exciting new chapter in its history. The team is eager to use her experience and vision to reach new heights of success on and off the field.


Allianz Liga Eskwela Kaagapay: Using Futsal to Teach Technical Skills and Financial Literacy

Allianz PNB Life’s Grace Dar Santos, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR Lead; Jesus Dennis Montealto, Henry V. Moran Foundation, Program Coordinator; Gino Riola, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Sustainability, Allianz PNB Life; Kevin Goco, Philippine Football Federation and Fang Siong Chong, Chief Financial Officer, Allianz PNB Life

Recently, the Henry V. Moran Foundation (Moran Foundation) and Allianz PNB Life Insurance Inc. (Allianz) launched the Allianz Liga Eskwela Kaagapay futsal for development program. This grassroots initiative uses futsal to teach technical skills and foster financial literacy in Department of Education (DepEd) public schools.

“The program innovatively uses futsal, an indoor small-sided version of football, widely played in Philippine grassroots communities. Allianz Liga Eskwela Kaagapay aims to teach public school children technical skills in football as well as basic financial literacy through capacity building trainings for teachers, training sessions with students, and competitions,” said Gino Riola, Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Sustainability in Allianz. “Teachers who attend the training receive balls to be used in their schools, and also have the chance to be seconded to further coaching and official development programs under the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).”

Danny Moran, Chairman, The Henry V. Moran Foundation

“Since 2008, the Moran Foundation has been supporting football for development programs in public schools, orphanages, and NGOs across the country,” said Danny Moran, Chairman of the Moran Foundation. “But we realized that a major difficulty in promoting field football in most Filipino communities and schools is the lack of access to pitches. However, all these schools have access to covered basketball courts so it was natural to use futsal (indoor 5-aside football) for the kids as it is a game that has been proven to be an excellent formator of one’s technique, skill, and game awareness.”

Because of the Moran Foundation’s strong connections to the PFF and its relationship with DepEd, the Liga Eskwela Kaagapay Program fosters the growth of futsal. The Moran Foundation, in partnership with the PFF, organizes futsal competitions to complement the program’s training for PE instructors, which teaches them the fundamentals of futsal coaching, refereeing, and tournament organization. As of 2024, the program is operational in 12 school divisions/cities within DepEd Region 7 and all 16 school divisions/cities within the DepEd National Capital Region. Mindanao will soon adopt the program as well.

Along with teaching public school instructors how to use futsal skills and games to teach public school students basic financial literacy concepts like goal setting, saving, and budgeting, the program also highlights the use of futsal for the development of financial values. In 2023, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas released a report indicating that the Philippines’ financial literacy rank is third from last in ASEAN, with only 25% of the population possessing this knowledge.

For the win: Pasig U18 celebrate their U18 championship win

“Football and futsal in schools are fun for both the teachers and the students. Thus, through our partnership with the Moran Foundation, Allianz PNB Life hopes to address the financial literacy gap in the Philippines by using an attractive medium like futsal to get basic concepts across to public school teachers and students,” added Riola. “Liga Eskwela Kaagapay helps achieves Allianz PNB Life’s sustainability agenda in the country since it directly helps us address the UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 – Better Education.”

 Game time: U18 girls defending champion Valenzuela (maroon) vs Manila

Liga Eskwela Kaagapay aims to work with at least 100 public school teachers to reach 10,000 public school children in collaboration with DepEd Regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The winners of the one-day Liga Eskwela Futsal Festival 2024 in La Salle Greenhills last Jan. 21 are as follows:

● 12U Boys: Champion – Mandaluyong; 2nd Place – Caloocan; 3rd Place – Valenzuela.

● 12U Girls: Champion – Manila; 2nd Place – Muntinlupa; 3rd Place – Valenzuela.

● 16U Boys: Champion – Pasig; 2nd Place – Caloocan; 3rd Place – Valenzuela.

● 16U Girls: Champion – Malabon; 2nd Place – Muntinlupa; 3rd Place – Parañaque.

● 18U Boys: Champion – Pasig; 2nd Place – Manila; 3rd Place – Quezon City.

● 18U Girls: Champion – Valenzuela; 2nd Place – Pasig; and 3rd Place – Caloocan.

Lifestyle, News

Wealth-Building Product’s Availability Extended by Allianz PNB Life, Step Up 7

With the state of the nation’s economy right now, protecting and growing money are two crucial factors to take into account. To be prepared for their future demands, Filipinos should increase their savings and make sure that their assets grow.

With its STEP UP 7 financial product, Allianz PNB Life (AZPNBL) is still dedicated to its goal of guaranteeing the financial future of more Filipinos by assisting them in accumulating wealth for their families and as a means of protection. The acronym for the Short-Term Endowment Plan with Uniform Payouts is STEP UP 7. It is a seven-year-maturing, single-pay, non-participating endowment life insurance plan. Stable income stream

Stable income stream

The STEP UP 7 is ideal for individuals who want to add another stable and guaranteed stream of income to boost their savings while enjoying the benefits of insurance coverage. The plan offers guaranteed protection, maturity benefits, and an additional annual payout of 3.25% for 7 years.

Since its launch in 2019, it has garnered the attention of customers becoming one of the most availed products of AZPNBL. Its popularity among customers led to the roll-out of the product’s third tranche with an allocation of 2 billion pesos.

AZPNBL opened the third tranche in May 2023 with an adjusted coupon rate to adapt to current market trends and prevailing yield rates. It garnered even faster sales due to the attractive coupon rate offered to both new and repeat customers.

Opportunity to build a legacy

Given its success, AZPNBL has decided to extend the STEP UP 7 offer starting January 15, 2024, until supplies last. This extension allows more customers to avail of this plan and take advantage of its benefits of boosting their savings.

Allianz PNB Life Chief Product Provider Officer Leo Tan, Jr. says, “I am immensely proud and excited to reintroduce our special proposition, STEP UP 7. It is tailored specifically to the unique financial needs and preferences of Filipinos and is designed to provide guaranteed savings and protection for those seeking medium to long-term financial solutions.

Our proposition includes a guaranteed payout feature that allows customers to save up over time with the additional payout every year, while providing a level of protection with insurance coverage. This ensures that Filipinos can achieve financial stability and security while they work towards their financial goals. We understand the importance of financial security for Filipinos, and we have designed the STEP UP 7 propositions with this in mind. We take into account the long-term outlook and affinity of Filipinos towards financial planning, ensuring that our proposition aligns perfectly with their needs.”

Customers of PNB get exclusive access to the STEP UP 7 product. Visit the closest PNB branch to learn more about the product through AZPNBL Life Changers.


SZA drops a five-track soundtrack pack for “Saturn”

SZA, a four-time Grammy Award winner signed to Top Dawg Entertainment/RCA Records, releases a five-track audio bundle for “Saturn.”   

The bundle comprises the main, sped up, a cappella, and instrumental versions of “Saturn,” which was originally heard live at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards in a breathtaking performance from Mastercard’s GRAMMY House.

So far, SZA’s new track has received excellent feedback. The track is described by Billboard  as a “enchanting” new single that finds “the superstar disappointed with the world around her and wonders if life would be better if she could start over on Saturn.” Variety praised the track for its dreamy and hazy qualities, noting that it’s “SZA in classic SZA form, singing of the despair and helplessness plaguing the world at large and setting it against rich, enveloping production.”

The main version of “Saturn” was written and produced by SZA, Carter Lang, Rob Bisel, Solomonophonic and Monsune. 

 Next month, SZA will set sail overseas for several festival dates, including Lollapalooza Argentina on March 16, Festival Estéreo Picnic 2024 on March 22, and more.  For all upcoming tour stops, please visit

Links to “Saturn”

Continue to listen to SOS:

 Download hi-res publicity photos:  

Follow SZA:

For more information, please contact:

[email protected]

Saturn by SZA is currently available on all digital music platforms worldwide through RCA Records, Top Dawg Entertainment, and Sony Music Entertainment.

Lifestyle, News

We can’t get enough of the LGBTQIA+ couples in Quezon City who are “preposing” to each other with Right to Care Cards

Although conventional rings can be used by any couple to express their commitment to one another, the LGBTQIA+ community is not influenced by this since marriage equality is not yet legalized in the Philippines.

Nevertheless, a few same-sex couples in Quezon City are making a difference and are genuinely taking the next step forward by “preposing” to their partners using a Right to Care Card!

Similar to typical prenuptial videos, each couple has shared videos on social media demonstrating how they proposed to their partners using a Right to Care Card, which formally enables LGBTQIA+ partners to make decisions for their partners in the event that they are hospitalized or require medical attention. Previously, this right was only available to heterosexual married couples, if they were not their immediate family.

Rea Leen shared the preposal video of her long-term partner via Facebook post, thanking Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte for giving them an opportunity like this. “For [those] outside Quezon City, I hope your city will have this too soon, and maybe in entire Philippines. Let’s spread love and enjoy!”, she shares.

Watch Rea’s Preposal here: []

Winch, who also shared their preposal to their partner, Anne, also expressed similar sentiments while thanking the Quezon City government for this initiative. “Isa itong malaking step para sa lahat ng LGBT couples na magkaroon ng karapatang legal na maalagaan ang aming mga partners,” they said through the caption posted.

Watch Winch’s Preposal here: []

Both couples also attended the fourth iteration of Quezon City’s commitment ceremony, with over 200 LGBTQIA+ couples participating. Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterated during the ceremony that this is a way to fulfill the city’s promises since it passed the Gender-Fair Ordinance a decade ago.

Fifteen couples received their Right to Care Cards during the event, marking the first time they had done so since registering a year ago. More information will be dispersed shortly, according to the Gender and Development Office in Quezon City. In the meanwhile, individuals who have not yet received their card can provide a copy of their Special Power of Attorney contracts at hospitals.

Being the first city in Asia to do so, Quezon City created a stir when it introduced the project during Pride month in 2023. Over 700 LGBTQIA+ couples had registered for the Right to Care Card as of February 2024. You can register for the card online or at the Quezon City Gender and Development Council office.

More proposal videos:

For Additional reference and postings: