Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gerry’s @ 20

Almost 20 years ago, I got my first real job in the corporate rat-race as a medical representative. My first assignment was in Manila where I used to cover and visit doctors on a daily basis. During the early 90’s, being a medical representative at that time was among the most lucrative careers in the sales industry because of its perks, commissions and, of course, the company car which we were also allowed to use for most of our personal agendas. 


Gerry's new logo and Name...
Being young with substantial cash to spend, my colleagues and I were frequent visitors of the “grill hubs," an emerging food and booze favorites for medreps. Among the most popular was Gerry’s Grill along Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City. I can still remember the place as an open space diner where Grilled Pusit, Tuna-panga, the Sizzling Sisig and buckets of SanMig lights were the common staple foods during Friday nights… Those were the days!

The First Gerry's at Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City
20 years after, look how Gerry’s has evolved into now!

The Gerry’s that we used to know with the ‘tambayan-beer garden vibe' has transformed into a more casual family-oriented feel. That single branch in Tomas Morato has now grown into more than 80 branches, not just here in the Philippines, but in other countries as well. Recently, it also franchised several popular Asian restaurants that likewise captured Pinoys' food preferences.

Beef Kare-kare. One of Gerry's best seller...
With its continuous adaptation to change, Gerry’s also underwent several transformations in terms of look, its logo, staff uniforms, and menu. Recently, Gerry’s held a cook-off among its branches' chefs and the winning entries became part of their current menu line-up. Among those are: Salt and Pepper Squid, Chicharon Liempo, Kalderetang Kambing, and Spanish Style Bangus. New desserts are: Sweet Suman, Crunchy Camote Chips, Turion Con Yema, and Sweet Potato Ala Mode.

Sir Francis Villaluz, Gerry's Sr. Marketing Manager with the College of Saint Benilde lady Blazers
Through the years, Gerry’s hard work has paid off with its numerous recognitions for its excellent dishes. Among them: Spot.ph with its Bangus Sisig Award for the year 2012. The Choice, People’s Favorite Restaurant for Office party Award for 2015, and the People’s favorite Sisig Award for 2015 and 2016. From these citations, Gerry’s have certainly gone a long way in serving the Pinoy’s comfort food. 

The First Gerry's Uniforms
Gearing up to its 20th year, more are expected to come at Gerry’s, not just its superb Filipino dishes served by their cheerful and efficient staff members, but also the number of places where you can find Gerry’s around the archipelago in the first quarter of 2017. These will be in SM San Pablo, SM Iloilo, Festival Mall Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Bacolod City, and Mactan Cebu. But, by the end of 2016, three branches will already be opened in Robinson’s Place in Calasiao, Pangasinan, Matalino Street, Quezon City, and South Park in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. 

Sir Francis with the Philippine Volcanoes...
 For 20 years, Filipinos have patronized the iconic grilled-food restaurant and by that, Gerry’s have reached great achievements. As a way of giving back, Gerry’s has extended its services to provide sponsorship to Filipino athletes such as the UST Growling Tigers, UP Maroons, University of Perpetual Help, and Arellano University in the NCAA. This year, in addition to their roster of sports teams, Gerry's included sponsoring food provisions for the current NCAA Women’s Volleyball Champion, the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers and the Philippine Volcanoes.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Generika Drugstore Receives DOH Award for Public Health Advocacy

PRESS RELEASE:
Recognizing the rise of anti-microbial resistant (AMR) bacteria as a global public health threat, Generika Drugstore embarked on a long-term, comprehensive campaign against it since June 2014. Enabled by Administrative Order 42 (2014) under the Aquino Administration, they have achieved notable in-roads in curbing the rise of AMR in the country – a health threat caused by the excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotic medications. To honor these efforts, the Department of Health (DOH) rewarded Generika Drugstore with a first-place award in AMR Warriors 2016: Best Practices to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance – Industry Setting category. Generika was the only drugstore contender in a category dominated by multinational manufacturing companies.


Generika Corporate Pharmacist and Regulatory Head, Ms. Mary Rose Ulit (left) is accompanied by Generika Pharmacist, Ms. Mariciris Aquino (right) to receive the award on behalf of Generika Drugstore at the Philippine Antibiotic Awareness Week ceremony held at Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel last November 22, 2016.
Through Generika’s efforts, their customers no longer treat antibiotics as cure-alls. Sustained educational talks during community activities and in-store patient consultations helped decrease unnecessary consumption of antibiotics such as amoxicillin by over 50% in 2015 alone. Now more Filipinos understand that these medications must only be used when prescribed by the doctor. The Gamot Guide, a printed-out sheet containing key medicine information and dosage details, are among the tools that help Generika educate the public about AMR and the proper use of antibiotic medicines.  


To learn more about Generika Drugstore and their public health advocacies, simply visit http://www.generika.com.ph/ or like its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Generika.com.ph. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nuvali’s Camp N Launches its Incubator Bike Hub

When three of my sons were small, as soon as they began to walk and run, I made sure that they learned one skill they will enjoy doing in the future, which is riding a bicycle. Being boys, I knew it will be hard for them when they grow a little older if they don’t know how to ride a bike. I mean, it is like the foundation of learning how to drive. I believe that when one learns how to ride a bike, everything else will follow.

taken 10 years ago
these boys are now taller than I am!
While there were safety risks involved in learning such as getting bruises in the process, it allowed my children to learn how to already face small challenges early on. Eventually, I believed those simple bike lessons taught them more about life, how to take calculated risks, how to have courage in finding balance, and taking on their own personal adversities as they grow up.

Seasoned riders having a pit-stop at Camp N...
A week ago, my wife and I were invited at Camp N in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna to experience some of its adventure rides and rope works. A new activity they are promoting now is the Incubator Bike Clinic for those who wish to learn how to ride a bicycle or find safe trails to ride. Those who already know how to ride could also take lessons in learning how to ride the camp's bike trails around Nuvali, which is an opportunity to take another level of adventure instead of just having the skills to ride on regular roads.

Ruth's first official bike lessons...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Daiso Japan at Cosplay Mania 2016

For two consecutive years, Daiso Japan, the widest line of thrift commodities in the country sponsored the biggest gathering of Cosplayers at the recently concluded Cosplay Mania 2016 at SMX Convention Center, in Pasay City. The event was supported by the Philippine’s popular cosplayers in their most elaborate costumes, hobbyist, artist and performers in a series of showdowns, costume building contest and exciting team battles. 

Spidermen in various forms and attitudes...
Daiso Japan, which has more then a dozen branches all over the country has been supporting projects such as the Cosplay Mania which promotes Japanese arts and culture. As the major sponsor of the event, Daiso offered some of their best selling hot items in heavily discount prices in the exhibit area. Products such as delicious Japanese snacks, make up essentials, and other fashion accessories and other paraphernalia that will add to the creative look of a cosplayer. 

The youngest and the cutest Sailormoon ever. You can never be too young to be a cosplayer
Part of Daiso Japan’s display is a Cherry Blossom tree where everyone was invited to do their most creative post for a photo opportunity, which will be eventually be posted in Daiso’s FB page. Daiso Japan is the No. 1 supplier of living ware goods, more popularly know for their 100 Yen store in Japan. But as part of their continuous innovation, Daiso Japan started to develop items that offer more variety and quality to costumers at 200 Yen, 1,000 Yen and so on. 

The Cherry Blossom Tree made the difference

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#KIDSONHOOQ: Get More Cartoons, Family-Friendly Content on HOOQ

PRESS RELEASE:
Philippines, October 21, 2016

It’s a lot more fun for #KIDSONHOOQ as Asia’s pioneering video on demand service showcased its massive collection of family-friendly titles and animated series at the third HOOQ Hangouts.



The “SP-HOOQ-tacular” event gathered young movie buffs in their spookiest costumes as they watched Monster House, an Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature horror-comedy produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis.



The pre-Halloween treat was the highlight of the third HOOQ HANGOUTS, the biggest outdoor cinema event series held October 21, 2016 at the Globe Iconic Store in Bonifacio Global City.
HOOQ Hangouts, in cooperation with Samsung, and Globe Live, turns the BGC Amphitheater into a free outdoor cinema venue with massive LED screens, beanbags, blankets and cushions to fully enjoy the show. 



Friday, November 4, 2016

All Aboard at the New Tutuban Center Main Station…

My earliest memories of Tutuban goes back to my elementary days during summer when our family regularly visited our relatives in Bicol. At the time, buses were already in transit, but the PNR was far more economical although the trip was relatively longer because of several stops at stations in between. But, for a young kid like me, the train is much fun to ride because we get to stroll from one cabin to another all the way to the engine car. Sadly, during the last two decades, the trains have steadiliy detriorated and faster buses with their airconditioned coaches have overtaken the PNR trains which led to shutting down transport services to the Bicol region.

All aboard! Let's shop at Tutuban!

Bicol Express! (Photo credit to Gapyear.com)
Tutuban Center was built in the mid 1800s and it was originaly the first railway station in the Philippines that connects Manila to the North, particularly the Pangasinan province. Today, Tutuban is no longer the terminal landmark everyone is familiar with when people travel to outside Metro Manila. It has now become an iconic bargain shopping center for those who wish to hunt for commodities at rock-bottom prices. 

The revitalized Tutuban Center Main Station. As if it was just built yesterday. (Photo Credit: wikipedia)
Tutuban Train Station circa 1800's (Photo credit: flickriver.com)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Torque Launches the EGO Series Smartphones…

I remember when I had my first ever GSM cellular phone 20 years ago, which the company I worked with issued to me and it was the Nokia 5110. At that time we got the fleet / bulk purchase price for P11,000 each! A heavily discounted rate I should say, considering that a retail of which will cost about P15,000 each. 

The new Torque EGO Series...
Over the years, as the cellular phone technology improved by the minute, and many manufacturers are sprouting up, trying to get a piece of the growing market, the prices of these telco gadgets significantly becomes  lower and lower.  Today, price tags of phones with basic call/text capability will go around P400 to P600 only. Imagine, from P15,000 twenty years ago to P400 today. 

Torque's top of the line, EGO Zoom 4G tagged at P3,499...

Friday, October 28, 2016

PLIA Marks ‘Life Insurance Consciousness Week’ with Financial Literacy Initiatives

Six years ago, my wife and I decided get life insurance policies from Sun Life. From then on, we enthusiastically attended various financial literacy seminars that opened up our consciousness to be wary of the future and manage our meager income so we can secure our family’s well being in the days to come. We’re glad that we are now more conscious about personal finances and know that saving money in banks is the least possible way of growing it. The only regret we had is that we were not able to pursue these kinds of opportunities when we were younger. Thanks to the learning Sun Life events taught us over the years, we are now more confident to invest in various financial tools available and suitable for us.

FALIA-PLIA Partnership...
When our eldest son started working in the BPO industry a year ago, we took notice of his spending habits. Being young and having the novelty of independence, the temptation to buy a lot of stuff for himself during pay days was strong. We called his attention about it and spent time thoroughly discussing it with him.

our eldest son, a working professional at age 22
Thankfully, he came to the realization that he needs to save for his future and was comfortable with our suggestion to put aside a portion of his earnings for a VUL Insurance. Not only that, he even extended his good gesture by getting a policy for his younger brother. The idea is to pay for its premiums until our second son would have the capacity to pay for them himself. Then, it will be a “pay-it-forward” scheme by getting another life insurance policy for another brother, our youngest son.

The FALIA-PLIA Partnership promotes finance and insurance consciousness 
among the young professionals in the BPO industry... (Photo Credit: Inquirer.net)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Buffalo Wild Wings in Twelve Amazingly Wild Sauces...

In the past days, I visited and dined with a couple fine dining restaurants which serve awesome cuisine covering international menus. These are the places where proper dining protocols and etiquette are observed and followed. As much as these events are fun to experiences once in a while, my food cravings are much satisfied on simple food pleasures where you can dig in with your hands and lick the fingers afterwards. Who says you need fork and knife to eat chicken wings? If there is a proper dining "etiquette" in eating wings is the use of your bare hands. 

Visit Buffalo Wild Wings Estancia Mall at Capitol Commons
Pictures of Sports legends...
My wife and I often visit restaurants that offers chicken wing specialties and it never failed to satisfy our appetite. But recently, another Chicken wings hub is getting a lot of attention to many foodies I know and it’s called Buffalo Wild Wings. I got the chance to visit one of their newest branch in Estancia Mall at Capitol Commons, Pasig City and tried to experience their popular rubs and flavors. 

With or without the carrot sticks, the wings are awesome...


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Terra Verde: A Diversified Organic Farm and More...

After building an academic empire with more than 12,000 students in 10 campuses all over Cavite and Metro Manila, the Atanacio family already created a legacy that is significantly making a positive impact in society, especially among the underprivileged youth. Mr. Emerson Atanacio, a 2013 TOYM Awardee in the field of education devotes his skills and God given talents in the academic scene. But, little did he know that less time was being spent for his own well-being.

OA Bloggers Coordinator, Ruth Floresca, ATI Region 4A Information Officer III, 
Sir Olan Maningas with Brothers Emer and Erick Atanacio
After being diagnosed with a thyroid condition along with mild depression, Emer's attending physician prescribed him to engage in other endeavors such as farming to relieve himself of the stressful demands of being a school president. With practically zero-background on agriculture, Emer, with the loving support of his brothers Eric and Erwin and the rest of the family, ventured out into a farming project.

Organic Agriculture (OA) Bloggers,  ATI Staff and with the Atanacios...
Starting with a hectare of land they acquired in Maragondon Cavite, the brothers sought the help of other farmers and experts from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) to teach them about appropriate vegetation for planting. A big part of their awakening in organic farming is an experience with a farmer who grew vegetables where those for human consumption are different from the one he sells commercially. That’s when they learned that majority of the vegetables being sold in the market are drenched with toxic fertilizers and pesticides. From then on, they decided to pursue organic agriculture and called their farm Terra Verde or Green Earth.

All the vegetables mentioned in "Bahay Kubo", they have it...
Pepper...Just a few of Terra Verde's Organic produce

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