Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jollibee and Philippine Rugby Football Union MOA Signing…


Jollibee, the country’s  leading fast food household brand is relentlessly engaging its market not only among kids but more so with the sports. With its countless endorsements and sponsorships in athletic events, it made sure that the brand’s support will always include a room for one more group to the team.


This time, Jollibee support goes to Rugby Football, a contact team sport that is starting to gain popularity among Filipinos. More than a decade ago, this sport has struggled to gain traction among Filipino athletes which generally has smaller built, compared to its European counterparts, who are originator of the game.

(Fr. L- R) Mr. Jake letts, Mr. William Baily, Mr. Francis Flores, Ms. Arline Adeva

But I guess this notion was proven otherwise with many members who happen to have Australian decents which made their built fit for Rugby.  Now, the sport is becoming known to several regions which formed Rugby teams and is holding tournaments all over. With its popularity on the rise, the youth sector is becoming curious to try it out.

Ms. Cat the Emcee... 

Recently, Jollibee and the Philippine Rugby Football Union, Inc. (PRFU), authorized by the World Rugby as the official governing body of the game of Rugby Union in the country, has forged a partnership agreement with the country’s leading fast food chain, Jollibee Foods Corporation, in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on April 10, 2017.


The MOA signing was witnessed by members of the media and some Jollibee executives. Representing the partnership are Treasurer Mr. William Bailey of the PRFU and Mr. Francis Flores, Jollibee Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer. Among the entourage are PRFU National Teams Head, Mr. Jake Letts and Jollibee Philippine Brand Communications and PR Director Ms. Arline Adeva. 


With PRFU prime goal which is to promote Rugby among younger generations, which made the group hold numerous Rugby Clinics in schools, and communities all over the country. With this as their primary program, the support of Jollibee extends to the participating youths as well,  and Rugby as very strainious full-contact sport, Burgers and Chicken joy are expected to flood every Rugby game in the plyaing field.   

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cordlife’s One Blood: A Fight Against Leukemia

The condition of my son James, who has cerebral palsy, is a story that we always share with others, hoping to bring hope and joy to people who are experiencing the same journey. As much as we believe that God has allowed this to happen in order to minister not only to us but also to other people, there’s always a moment that my wife and I thought of other possible ways that we can still improve James’ way of life, even though doctors have already told us that there is nothing much to be done anymore in order for him to be normal again. 


Over the years, after James’ ordeal, we are amazed how medical technology has developed to improve the condition of children with irreversible life conditions and life threatening diseases such as leukemia. One breakthrough is the development of Stem Cell treatment which became a controversial issue in the US and in some countries. 





Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) or simply STEM CELLS are known as ‘precursor’ cells’, as they have the ability to differentiate into the different types of blood found in the body, namely: Red Blood Cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen; White Blood Cells which are responsible in producing anti-bodies and fighting infections; and Platelets which assist in blood clotting. The Cord Blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after birth and it contains the healthiest Stem Cells that can replenish blood, regenerate damaged bone marrow, treat blood cancers, and correct genetic defects. 


This medical breakthrough is now being offered in the country through Cordlife Philippines. It is the country’s first and only private cord blood processing and cryopreservation facility aimed to give Filipinos the chance to benefit from the advantages of having a readily available supply of cord blood. 



Cordlife is the only stem cell banking facility in the Philippines that provides total Stem Cell Banking Solution for the family’s complete protection against diseases which are genetically acquired such as Retinoblastoma which is cancer of the Retina (Eye) that is commonly passed on from mother to womb, Leukemia, Hereditary Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome, Inherited Red Cell and Platelet abnormalities, Inherited Disorders of the Immune System, and other Metabolic Disorders. 


The success rate of Stem Cell treatment in other countries is remarkable when using the patients’ own harvested stem cells. However, clinical trials are still in progress for patients being treated with other people’s stem cell. Currently, there are reports of promising results for Cerebral Palsy patients who underwent Stem Cell treatment in other countries using stem cells of other patients. Another clinical trials which Cordlife is pursuing is the treatment of other illnesses such as Kidney Transplant, Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack), Ovarian cancer, Traumatic Brain Injury, Hearing loss, HIV, and others. 



With all these developments and innovations in medical science, it’s hard not to wonder if such technology was already present at the time when James was born. I can’t help but imagine all the things he can do, now that he is already 19 years old. As of now, we can only wish and pray that someday, new innovations and developments may arise so that more miracles can come to the lives of people who are inflicted with unfortunate conditions. 




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

RAPOO LAUNCHES MOST ADVANCED GAMING PERIPHERALS

“E-sports.” The first time I heard this word was when I attended the launching RAPOO's latest gaming peripherals that would suppose to increase the “athleticism” of any e-gamer. For my non-egamer reader out there, gaming peripherals are the tools of trade or hardware that comes along with PC. This are the key boards, mouse and head sets. As much as this blog site caters to the outdoor sports and fitness which are my passion, I think I can squeeze this one in for the spirit of sportsmanship.


 As one e-sport expert would say, just like a basketball player would need a well-designed pair of shoes, and a golfer needs a good set of clubs, the e-sport gamers would likewise search for the most awesome gears to be more effective in their craft as e-gamers. These special peripherals are designed differently from the normal office peripherals. The construction and materials designed to withstand long ours of pounding in an e-game battle. The receptiveness of these tools are of the top of the line, because for a gamer, the slightest lag can spell the difference between victory and getting fragged to oblivion. 


“Gaming has gotten a lot more serious these past few years, and there are already a lot Filipino pro-gamers who are making a name for themselves in eSports tournaments all over the world. We want to nurture the passion and talent the Filipinos have by letting them experience the gaming gear used by the top cyberAthletes in the world,” says Kyle Guo, Rapoo R&D Director.

"Today, we are launching the newest range of gaming products from VPRO, which will help them take their gaming to the next levels,” Guo adds. 


For those people who used to say that computer games are for kids and grown ups who still play them have serious issues of immaturity and lack of serious direction in life, well, according to statistics complied by esportsearning.com, the total prize money of gaming competitions in 2016 alone, reached a staggering amount of 94,445,235.87 USD. Not to mention the sponsorship of brands that comes along with it.  It seems that this “child’s play” some people used to think can be a lucrative career after all. At an average, there are about close to 4,000 cyber-tournaments are being staged every year and these are participated by more than 13,000 cyberAthletes around the world. 


VPRO is the sub-brand of RAPOO which specifically caters to serious and pro-gamers. VPRO product lines are designed to match the standards of professional egamers. That is why it only employs the highest quality components needed in a high intensity multi-function operations of any games. 



VPRO top of the line Keyboard, head-set and mouse:

VPRO V810 (Priced at Php 6,730.00)

•    Backlit Mechanical gaming keyboard
•    Colors: Balck
•    Full Mechanical Keys with high speed response
•    Cherry Mechanical key switches, durable and reliable with non-conflict design for 108 keys
•    Programmable keys, on board memory (save &play)
•    Detachable magnetic wrist rest



VPRO V310 (Priced at PhP 2,190.00)

•    Mid-level laser gaming mouse
•    Colors: black and white
•    On-board memory (save & play)
•    Adjustable real time DPI button
•    Image processing rate: 12000 FPS
•    Tracking speed: 150 inches
•    Up to 1000Hz USB report rate


VH600 (Priced at PhP 2,945.00)

•    Virtual 7.1 gaming headset
•    Colors: Black, white
•    16-million-color breathing light
•    Virtual 7.1 sound effects and intelligent VIB vibration unit
•    Active dual noise-canceling microphones
•    Noise isolation



The first line of VPRO gadgets in the Philippines will be available in stores and third party retailers beginning this May 2017.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

World Vision @ 60: Launches the Campaign to Stop Online Sexual Abuse of Children in the Philippines

The online sexual abuse of children in the country is a societal problem that has crept its way into the lives of innocent youngsters from poor communities for more than a decade. While the present government concentrates all its efforts and tax payers’ resources in the so called “war on drugs” by killing everyone involved (mostly poor people), other issues like poverty and high unemployment rate remained untouched and unsolved.  

Serving the organization was one of the best nine years of my life...
The brave heart of Ofelia:
I was part of World Vision Philippines for nine years and personally witnessed how real these online sexual exploitations happen even in the some of the organization’s assisted communities. Back then, I was in charge of mass fundraising where I train and supervise WV staff on how to encourage others to sponsor poor children. In many instances, my department hired former sponsored children themselves as WV field reps, as they have proven to be a very effective in persuading people to donate because their testimonies are proofs that the program really works. 

A WV Child Sponsorship display...
Among the dozens of field reps I supervised, there was a particular girl who was very memorable and remarkable at the same time. Ofelia (not her real name) was from one of WV’s project communities in Roxas, Palawan. She was hired as a field rep and was assigned to one of the malls in Metro Manila. As front liners of WV, there were many occasions where we get to go to other places to promote Child Sponsorship.  Little did we know that Ofelia had another reason why she applied for work at WV. 

WV Child sponsorship Field Reps in CDO mall.
On one occasion, our team went to Clark Field Pampangga and spent a few days there for an event. During night time, she would ask permission to visit a friend who’s living in the city, which was kind of odd and so coincidental for someone who is from Roxas, Palawan and having a close friend who lives in Clark. When I realized she was not telling the whole truth and after a confrontation, we discovered her plans. 

WV Field Reps...
Ofelia's primary reason in volunteering to come with us to Clark was primarily to rescue her close friend who was trafficked from their hometown and forced to work in an “Internet Café.” She also revealed to us the true nature of her friend’s work there and that the so called internet café was just a front of a white slavery cyber-sex den. Upon learning this, I immediately sounded the alarm to the organization and, soon after, World Vision convened for an emergency meeting and organized a rescue committee composed of representatives from WV, DSWD, International Justice Mission, and the Philippine National Police. 

Symbolic gesture of alliance of different organizations for the campaign against Online Sex Exploitation of Children...
The operation was carried out immediately and there were several girls, some of whom were minors, were rescued. These girls underwent psych debriefing carried out by family counselor Dr. Violeta Bautista, who was a board member of World Vision at the time. Later, the girls were sent back to their homes and families. Ofelia, on the other hand, was given recognition for her bravery and compassion in her desire to help her friend. 


"Good morning sir! Would you care to sponsor a child?"
Thankfully, despite being poor, Ofelia did not fall into the same fate as her friend. But sadly, this social problem that has been festering in the lives of innocent children still prevails in many poor communities in our country today. What’s even worse, some parents condone such evil practices in exchange of a brand new tricycle or a videoke machine. 

It will take the world to stop online sex exploitation:

Recently, World Vision celebrates its 60th Anniversary in the Philippines. Over the years, this non-government organization, started by Dr. Robert "Bob" Pierce after the Second World War, grew form a merely funding organization for orphanages in the Philippines to one of the biggest Christian relief and development organizations rendering support to more than 90 countries all over the world through community development and other capacities.

Dr. Pierce holding an orphaned Korean Infant during the Korean War...
As much as there are other places in the world that are more in need of help than the Philippines in terms of poverty alleviation, World Vision recognizes the online sex exploitation problem in our country, which poses serious threat in destroying the lives of young children in many poor communities. In fact, our country ranks 10th in the world when it comes to sexual exploitation of children and it so serious, that one organization like World Vision is not enough in putting a stop to this societal menace that is eating away the brighter futures of young people. 

Online Sex Exploitation of Children is like a silent plague that is slowly eating away the lives of children in poor communities..
That is why, in this campaign, WV forged an alliance with several child-focused international organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Compassion International, Plan International, International Justice Mission, Child Fund, and other national agencies like DSWD to find and pursue a lasting solution to this global problem. 

With Ms. Marilee Pierce-Dunker, daughter of World Vision founder, Dr. Robert Pierce
Pausing to Celebrate and to face new missions:

Sixty years in serving the poorest of the poor is one great achievement for the organization and indeed, merits a celebration. As part of its commemoration, World Vision gathered some of the early WV kids during the 50’s when Dr. Bob Pierce went to the Philippines to help the Good Shepherd Fold Orphanage which was the first recipient of World Vision in 1957 in Guimaras Island. Adding to its nostalgia, the daughter of Dr. Pierce, Ms. Marilee Pierce-Dunker, who is an ambassador for WV, visited the place and spent one whole day of fellowship and worship with some of the first Good Shepherd Fold Orphans.

Bishop Leo Alcongga, one of the early sponsored children of World Vision in Good Shepherd Fold Orphanage
As the organization breaks into a short pause to celebrate of God’s faithfulness in the lives of more than 1.5 million children who have benefited from WV programs, it is also taking a bolder step forward to embrace a new challenge God has entrusted, which is to put a stop to Online Sex Exploitation of children. 

Ms. Marilee Pierce-Dunker with a fellow book author and counselor Merlyn Guillermo, a former WV Sponsored child
If you want to know more regarding this three-year campaign of World Vision and how else you can help and be a part of WV programs, please visit their website: www.worldvision.org.ph, like @wvphilippines on Facebook, or call their hotline numbers: +632 372 7777 and  +632 374 76 18 to 20.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Robinsons Supermarket invites everyone to “Explore Wellness”

Two years ago, there was an iconic hashtag statement that became popular among people who wish to achieve fitness, and that is #BalikAlindog tagline (English: Back-to-Body Beautiful). Netizens has been posting their physiques along with this hashtags statement telling everyone about their #BalikAlindog regimen all over the social media. After months and years of their #BalikAlindog adventures, some really made a big difference, but sadly, many weren’t able to go “back” to the ideal body they wish to gain back. Maybe because there weren’t any “Ideal-Body” or “Alindog-body” to go back to, since “plus-sizes” has been their physique all their lives. 

Ms. Angela Totanes, Marketing Manager, Robinson's Supermaret
 Maybe the #BalikAlinidog statement is not working for many, and now summer is already here, its time for a new hashtag. Welcome, #FitnessGoals! 

Ms. Ruth Floresca, of Write Breath Live blog, A life style and fitness blogger
 I think this make sense because realistically, the #BalikAlindog is a long-shot goal and the #FitnessGoals is more achievable target for those who want to be fit. Just a small reminder though, for those who are all fired-up hitting the gyms, it is important to check your health conditions and most importantly the lifestyle that brought you to the un-healthy state you’re in to begin with. So, here’s another hashtag for you - #DetoxifyThySelf. 

Ms. Angela Tatones with Dr. Raul lapitan of Phil. Heart Association, Coach Jim and Toni Saret, Explore Wellness fitness ambasadors
Setting a #FitnessGoal is easy, but actually doing it will take a lot of work and eating the right kinds of food makes the difference. To make sure your getting the right ones, Robinson’s Supermarket is placing a yellow-tag as guide for the food products that promotes healthy lifestyle. Every year, Robinsons Supermarket celebrates “Explore Wellness” season. From the month of March to April, Robinsons and its food and beverage wellness partners stage and roll-out a campaign to promote and guide people to explore the wellness side of fitness. 

Explore Wellness Campaign partners...
 As an incentive, Robinsons Supermarket allows everyone to avail a wellness passport which gives him or her a chance to receive discounts and freebies when you come across to an Explore to Wellness event at any Robinson’s Supermarket campaign pavilion. The passport entitles you to participate in their wellness activities where shoppers can avail healthy food products courtesy of Robinson’s wellness partners. 
Freebies from Explore Wellness Campaign partners
A customer can get a 3-style bag for free for a minimum single purchase of P3,000 inclusive of P500 worth of participating products from Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Kojie San, Belo, Nestle, Selecta, CDO Foodspehre, Splash Corporation, Unilab and Cosmetic Asia. The 3-style bag can be used as shoulder bag, back-pack and cross-bag. It is also available in five colors: Pink, Gray, Purple, Army green and dark gray. Promo period is from March 1 to April 30, 2017. 
 
Fun and exciting activities at their Wellness pavilion
And as you journey to achieving your personal #FitnessGoals, bringing yourself to wellness state and a healthy body will guide you to a culmination of your effort. April 23, 2017 marks the Robinson’s Fit & Fab Wellness Run 2017, where every fitness enthusiasts are invited to participate to run either in a 3k, 5k or 10k buddy run category. This fun run is a sort of a fitness measurement to know where you are in your #FitnessGoals. 

Ms. Angela Tatones with Explore Wellness' Partner representatives...
But you’re the fitness adventure should not stop there. It’s a life long commitment to sustain the new healthy lifestyle you are in. And One #FitnessGoal achieved brings you to another fitness level target to be conquered.

To learn more about the Robinsons Supermarket “Rout to Wellness” Campaign, visit their FB page and their official website: www.robinsons-supermarket.com.ph. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Paradise Dynasty: Home of the World-Famous Xiao Long Bao

FYI, foodies! A Chinese inspired cuisine dining haven that offers not just the best Chinese food but some of Asia’s delectable popular dishes is now in the Philippines! Paradise Dynasty is a Singapore original brand that serves quality Asian dishes in surprisingly very affordable prices. 


Visiting Paradise Dynasty at S Maison at Conrad Manila the other week was just the right time before I started to be in training mode for the NatGeo Earth Day Run 2017, where I will be running my second marathon for this year. I was amazed that the prices in the menu were lower than I expected given the location and the posh interior of the place. Certainly, diners will be tempted to order extras for their affordability.


One special dish in the menu is the Xiao Long Bao -- a dimsum with a special treat inside. However, one signature version of this that you can only find at Paradise Dynasty is the eight colored Xiao Long Bao. This dish is served inside a steam basket in different colors that represent flavorful fillings such as garlic, Ginseng, crab roe, cheese, truffle, Szechuan, and foie grass. 


Paradise Dynasty serves a variety of Asian fusion cuisine where something familiar is given a twist to make a new and flavorful dish. One appetizer, for instance, that makes a simple radish taste so delicious is the Radish Pastry. This cocktail delight is nothing but radish and fused with Asian spice. Even the wrap is made out of radish, which until now, makes me puzzled how they make them. 


Another choice of appetizer is the Steamed Glutinous Rice Stuffed in Red Dates. Personally, I’m not a fan of the fruit, but this dish is certainly an exception. I’m really quite curious how they mixed the rice and the fruit together. It’s a little bit sweet but it’s so nutritious and delicious as well. 


At first glance, the Steamed Egg White with Fish and Conpoy looks like porridge with raw egg on top. But, the white stuff is actually (dried) scallops which are full of protein. I think this is best as an post run meal to make the leg muscles heal and recover faster. This dish is also very filling and heavy on the belly. 


The next on the menu is the Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken. If you still crave for rice, this one goes well with it because for Pinoys, hot and spicy food is best taken with rice. The chicken is not so spicy but if you’re up to a more hotness, you can eat the chillies mixed with it. If you're not a fan of spicy food, go for the Stir Fried Beef with Kai Lan or Scallion made with thin slices of striploin beef that's stir fried with green scallion stalks. This one goes well with rice, too.  


Another delicacy that every Asian country seem to have its own version of are noodle dishes. Paradise Dynasty's Stir-fried La Mian with shredded pork and black fungus is really delicious. It’s a Chinese original added with a Singaporean touch. 


For dessert, there's Glutinous Rice Balls top with Grated Nuts, which is a close version to the Pinoy Buchi. But, instead of sesame seeds, these are rolled in grated peanuts. They are good in wrapping up a very gastronomical dinning experience. As to beverages, Paradise Dynasty offers a variety of fruit juices and soda drinks, but I highly recommend their Water Chestnut Drink. This is ideal in balancing all the hotness of the chili and the spiciness of the meal we ate. It also has a detoxifying ingredient that equalizes the digestive system.


Experience the nice ambiance and good food of Paradise Dynasty located at the 2nd floor of S Maison at the new Conrad Manila. Watch out for their upcoming exciting dishes and promos by liking their Facebook page. 


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Converse Chuck Taylor Face-off

One of the most iconic shoe brands that has withstood the test of time is the Converse Chuck Taylor or simply “Chucks”. Designed by an All American Basketball League star player, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Taylor, these sneakers have pioneered the foundation of athletic shoes, worn not only for basketball but also for almost all sports disciplines in the Olympics during his time. Through the years, the immortal brand that would soon celebrate its centennial birthday in 2032 has expanded its use from outside sports right into the everyday lives of people all over the world.


Mr. Charles "Chuck" H. Taylor, Converse brand ambassador and Sales man
The classic design -- hard canvas body on zero-drop heel to toe differential of tough rubber sole with white toe-cap -- has never gone out of fashion and had been embraced by multiple cultures of people worldwide for almost 100 years. It is simply the most acceptable fashion statement that can be matched with practically any apparel for almost all occasions. The Chucks will always look cool and awesome with any clothes you can think of. 

1917 Converse Athletic shoes - The first of its kind


1921 Converse All Star Basketball Shoes
1936 Converse All Star Basketball Shoes. The first Converse that bares the name Chuck Taylor on the side patch logo

Recently, Inquirer Lifestyle partnered with Converse Philippines to showcase some of the country’s top fashion designers at a fashion show event held at the Atrium of Shangri-La Mall. Dubbed Face/Off OOTD, the event featured clothing designs from all ends of the spectrum, ranging from formal gowns to the most casual attire worn by everyday people.


Many of the designs were matched with various styles and colors of Chucks worn by top models and a few celebrities like Julie Ann San Jose, Benjamin Alves, beauty queen Maxine Medina, and the always vibrant Tessa Prieto-Valdes. Also present were popular personalities who have made significant contributions to our society like Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags-to-Riches. 

Ms. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags-to-Riches
Apart from featuring versatile fashion that matches with Converse Chuck Taylor, the show also highlighted how these sneakers are bridging gaps in all social classes. Imagine, the Chucks worn by a CEO in a suit and the Chucks worn by an ordinary college student in worn-out jeans, both have the same price tag! How cool is that?!

All Black (low-cut) Converse Chucks redefines elegance

I remember buying my first Converse Chucks using my first paycheck while working in McDonald’s as a service crew back in the 80’s. While everyone went crazy getting the hottest Topsider shoes, I wore Chucks, not just because it’s the only brand of sneakers I can afford under my meager income as a fast food busboy, but because it had a stronger traction to my taste and style.

Another day at school or in the office, Chucks blends in whatever attire

Converse Chucks, for me, is a footwear befitting a character that signifies humility and simplicity. People who wear Chucks offer a statement that says, “I may not have a lot of money but I have more to offer in my heart and in my head” kind of thing.

Converse One-Star Pro-leather (white)
Over the years, with more than a dozens chucks that have already come and gone, my sense of sneaker fashion was somehow passed on to my sons, who are now also Converse sneakerheads. I don't recall telling them to like what I like but, somehow, they found their own way in liking and wearing the brand – it's a self discovery, I guess.

Converse All Star Chucks in black Canvas and brown gum-sole...

My Chucks and I have definitely come a long way. If only they could speak, some pairs will have a lot stories to tell about places I’ve been to such as during the Yolanda typhoon in the streets of Tacloban during relief operations, strolling the flooded alleys of Manila during monsoon season, and even those times I went to posh places where I was denied entry because I was wearing sneakers. All of these experiences of wearing Chucks taught me valuable life lessons and maybe that’s the kind of legacy I want to leave my kids with: that wearing a pair of Chucks is more of an expression than an impression.

Me on Converse Jack Purcell Leather. Taken at Converse PH Office...
And as we walk to whatever life’s journey we are still destined to tread, I know Chucks would continue to provide foot comfort and, at the same time, remind us to keep ourselves closer to Earth and keep our feet grounded. After all, that’s what Converse Chucks is all about -- it’s an expression of one's humility, simplicity, and freedom.


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