Thursday, October 30, 2014

Smart offers iPhone 6 starting Nov. 14!

Wireless services leader and the country’s biggest network Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) today announced it will offer iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, beginning on Friday, November 14, 2014. Customers can pre-order iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beginning on Friday, November 7, 2014 at www.smart.com.ph/iPhone. For more information on Smart Communications, please visit: www.smart.com.ph. For more information on iPhone, please visit: www.apple.com/iphone.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween brews and booze at Days Hotel Iloilo

Halloween is just a few days away but at Days Hotel Iloilo, it is starting to feel like All Hallows’ Eve. A month-long Halloween celebration, The Promenade brings out popular cocktails, mixed drinks and brews with a twist.
Witch's Potion
With 14 various drinks to choose from, half non-alcoholic and the other half concocted to make you tipsy a bit, there's one that will surely capture your taste.

The Witch's Potion, Gremlin's Brew, Goblin Mimosa and Dracula’s Booze will create quite a stir as they headline the alcoholic offering line up. These concoctions have rhum, vodka, brandy, tequila and kahlua mixed with different juices and coffee, spiced up with cinnamon and a lot more.
Completing this dizzying list are Muddy Cappuccino, Citrus Champagne Tonic and Bloody Morgue-ritas.
Goblin Mimosa
But if you're no fan of alcohol or find it too early to booze up, check out the non-alcoholic line which is as exciting as well.

How about some Vampire's Kiss, Bloody Red Punch, Scary Sangria or Ghostly Glycol Punch?
You'll still have the Halloween spirit with these without being tipsy as they are assorted mixes of sodas, juices and coffee jazzed-up with vanilla, nutmeg and more.

Also try the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Spiced Hot Apple Cider and Pumpkin Pie Frappuccinno.
Dracul'as Booze
The Promenade's Halloween celebration culminates on the last 5 days of October with the Haunted Halloween Feast weekday lunch buffet. Enjoy an International Lunch Buffet with different cooking stations daily from Oct 27-31, 2014.

Indeed, Halloween is not just for kids at The Promenade. “No tricks, all treats” - only at Days Hotel Iloilo!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu students learn leadership skills at Kool Adventure Camp training

More than 300 high school students from the Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu underwent a personal leadership training facilitated by Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc - Kool Adventure Camp (RAFI-KAC), with the last batch finishing theirs last October 21 to 23. 

The program aimed to develop the participants’ leadership and decision-making skills. 
KAC Youth Instructor Gabriel Lamparas (background, sixth from left) facilitates the introduction of camp names to participants of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu personal leadership training.
The first two batches of students underwent the program last August and September, respectively, while the third and final batch did so this October. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

STARTEK formally opens at the Iloilo Business Park



STARTEK, a leading provider of business process outsourcing services opened a new center located in Iloilo City in the Philippines with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local area business leaders and STARTEK management and employees on Friday, October 24, 2014. 

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog (in light polo) with STARTEK big wigs during the openign ceremony

STARTEK has been operating in temporary space since earlier this year as they waited for the new state-of-the-art building to be completed. The company will be located on three floors in the new building.


"The addition of the Iloilo location is the fourth site for us in the Philippines," said Chad Carlson, STARTEK's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Iloilo City's provincial location is ideal for our expansion in the Philippines."

 "We place a high value on providing a great environment for our employees and look forward to becoming involved in the community," said Carlson. "Giving back to the communities where our employees live and work is an integral part of the STARTEK philosophy and one of our core processes."


The new STARTEK contact center is part of the new Iloilo Business Park which features new hotels and a new convention center currently under construction. Megaworld, the developer for the area called the Iloilo Business Park which when completed is slated to be'the next central business district' in Iloilo City.

More photos of the inauguration and facilities.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Megaworld, Iloilo City join forces to hold Bike Festival in Iloilo Business Park in the next 10 years

There is so much excitement coming up in the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park (IBP) as it becomes the official home of the annual Bike Festival until 2024.  This, after Megaworld and the Iloilo government signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the partnership.
The partnership between Megaworld and Iloilo, signed by senior vice president Jericho P. Go and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, will promote a healthy lifestyle, road-sharing as bike lanes emerge and public safety practices in Iloilo.  
The 1st Iloilo Bike Festival held last March at the Iloilo Business Park
"The partnership solidifies the very purpose of this festival, which is to gather the Ilonggo community and show its commitment to healthy and sustainable living. We fully support Iloilo's bid to become the bike capital of the Philippines as we also build our own bike lanes in Iloilo Business Park," says Go.

Environment-friendly township

Future residents, BPO workers, mall-goers and visitors of the Iloilo Business Park will see it rising to become an eco-friendly, sustainable township.

"The very essence of township living is allowing convenient access to everyone to walk from one place to another or use bikes around the township, lessening carbon footprint," adds Go.
The Palladium is set to become the region''s most luxurious and tallest condominium
Soon to rise in the township is The Palladium, a 22-storey residential tower with green features of multi-level sky gardens -- the first in Western Visayas. This tower is also envisioned to be the region's tallest residential condominium once completed. 
We are very excited about The Palladium because our residents will be able to experience sky garden living that allows them to commune with nature without going out of the building," says Jennifer Palmares-Fong, head of marketing, Iloilo Business Park.

Iloilo Business Park as a business and tourism hub

The Iloilo Business Park is poised to be the Western Visayas’ biggest business and tourism hub located at the site of the old airport in Mandurriao district. 
Richmonde Hotel and Two Global Centre (Startek) building at the Iloilo Business Park
Megaworld has allotted P35 billion for the development of the township in the next 10 years, making it the company’s biggest single investment outside Metro Manila. The Iloilo Business Park will be home to luxury residential condominiums, state-of-the-art business process outsourcing (BPO) office towers, a Megaworld Center Mall, a 1.1-kilometer Festive Walk commercial and retail strip, open parks, transport hub, first-class hotels such as the Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo, and the much-anticipated 3,700-seating Iloilo Convention Center.

The Iloilo Business Park is expected to bring Megaworld’s pioneering ‘LIVE-WORK-PLAY-LEARN’ township to Western Visayas, following the success of other townships such as the 18.5-hectare Eastwood City, known to be the Philippines' first IT park; the 50-hectare McKinley Hill, 34.5-hectare McKinley West in Fort Bonifacio; the 15.4-hectare Uptown Bonifacio and the five-hectare Forbes Town Center in Bonifacio Global City; the 25-hectare Newport City in Pasay City, home of the famous Resorts World Manila; the 12.3-hectare Woodside City in Pasig City; the 11-hectare Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City; and the 28.8-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Mangroves, My Life: Megaworld supports drive to protect the Iloilo River

As part of its commitment in developing sustainable townships, Megaworld, the country’s leading real estate developer, partnered with the Iloilo city government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Iloilo City Agriculture Office, McDonald’s, and PGA Green Global company, to lead an environmental initiative dubbed “My Mangroves, My Life,” where around 100 volunteers from Megaworld, local residents, students from University of San Agustin, planted nursed mangrove seedlings at a 2,500 sq. m. coastal area of Brgy. Sooc, Villa de Arevalo, Iloilo City. 
(L-R) Harold Geronimo, head of public relations and communications, Megaworld; Romulo Pangantihon, agricultural technologist, Iloilo City Agriculture Office; Janica Ella Hondrade, Ms. Philippines-Earth finalist and Ms. Paraw Regatta Queen 2014; Ninfa Adolfo, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau; Norlito Bautista, administrator, Iloilo City; Ricardo Tugado, barangay captain, Brgy. Sooc; Geraldine Hautea, department head city agriculturist, Iloilo City Agriculture Office; and Jennifer Palmares-Fong, head of marketing, Iloilo Business Park.

The property giant initiated this step in giving back to the community as support to the local government’s unity drive to preserve and protect the Iloilo River which meets the gateway to Iloilo Business Park.
Iloilo Business Park

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Smart sustains efforts to rehabilitate Guimaras marine life

GUIMARAS—Eight years have passed since the M/T Solar 1 sank off the coast of Guimaras and Negros Islands causing, what is considered, the worst oil spill in the country.

The oil tanker, carrying more than 2 million liters of bunker fuel, sank during a violent storm in August 2006, and adversely affected marine sanctuaries and mangrove reserves in three out of five municipalities in the island of Guimaras.  The area was once a rich fishing ground.

Since then, the local government has stepped up efforts to conserve and protect the marine environment.

Environment advocate Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) was among the private institutions that immediately responded to the call for assistance in the long-term rehabilitation of the area, particularly in sustaining the mangrove plantation of the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve in barangays La Paz and San Roque in Nueva Valencia.  
Smart joins hands with community stakeholders in sustaining the mangrove plantation at the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve in Guimaras.
 “Smart has been proactively supporting initiatives all over the country that help protect and conserve the environment, and we are happy to be part of this effort to rehabilitate this mangrove natural reserve not only to help mitigate the impact of climate change, but also to help protect coastal communities from storm surges,” said Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, Smart senior manager, and head of Public Affairs for Visayas and Mindanao.

In partnership with Japanese telco NTT Docomo and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-PENRO), Smart committed to support the rehabilitation of the mangrove plantation in Taklong Island over the next three years.

A Smart volunteer plants a mangrove propagule as part of efforts to sustain the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve in Guimaras.
About 50 volunteers, including 25 Smart employees and representatives of the La Paz Fisherfolks and Aquatic Resources Mangrove Management Association (LAFARMA), and San Roque Coastal Environment Program Association (SARCEPA), planted a total of 1,111 mangrove seedlings in the marine reserve.

“We urge our stakeholders, especially the members of LAFARMA and SARCEPA that are residing near the protected area to help in the rehabilitation and preservation efforts, like our regular mangrove planting activity.  In doing this, we not only help protect our marine sanctuaries, we also protect ourselves from possible storm surges and floods,” said Franklin Magno, park superintendent of the Taklong Island marine reserve.

Smart has made it a part of its corporate social responsibility to help in sustaining the environment, and has supported initiatives over the years in support of this advocacy.  It has been planting mangrove propagules in coastal communities in Cebu, and other parts of the country.  With risks related to flooding, Smart has also adopted upland watersheds for reforestation to help save lives. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Emperador grows the most modern vineyard in Spain

World-renowned Emperador Brandy will soon be produced on the most modern vineyard in Spain, also considered the largest vineyard in Europe dedicated to brandy production. According to Universidad Politécnica de Madrid professor José Ramón Lissarrague, who has over three decades of agricultural engineering expertise, the vineyard employs the most advanced technology in Spain.

“With its modern and technologically advanced design, Emperador’s vineyard in Toledo is expected to yield approximately 30,000 kilos of grapes per hectare.  This is equivalent to five times the average yield of a typical Spanish vineyard,” said Lissarrague.  The professor is part of a team tapped to develop the best implementation strategies for the vineyard.  He has worked for many years with González Byass, one of the largest sherry, wine and brandy producers in Spain.


Unlike traditional Spanish vineyards, Emperador’s Toledo vineyard features state-of-the-art technology called Precision Viticulture, which is focused on promoting the high production of grapes while reducing production cost per kilogram.  

Precision Viticulture analyzes the sides of the plots and the length of the rows in the vineyard.  The orientation of the rows and the distance between vines and rows have both been specifically designed and implemented using Global Positioning System, or GPS.  This is to help reduce the investment cost while taking advantage of the terrain, making the cultivation more cost-efficient.  A highly mechanized pruning method is likewise utilized, with strict adherence to a specific vine length.   

“With Precision Viticulture, everything is considered—including when to turn off machinery in order to save on production costs,” said Jorge B. Domecq, managing director of GrupoEmperador Spain, S.A.

Economies of scale are essential to Precision Viticulture, which means large quantities of land and water are required.  Emperador’s vineyard is approximately 500 hectares in size.
The water necessary to the vineyard is amply supplied by the Tajo River, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula stretching across Spain all the way to Portugal.  

The vineyard uses a specially designed automated irrigation and monitoring system.  Advanced sensors are spread throughout the vineyard, which constantly monitor the state of the soil, atmosphere and agricultural crops.

Continuous monitoring allows important decisions to be made regarding irrigation and fertilization.  Irrigation, filtration of the water and fertilization are automated, and can be controlled remotely from any place in the world using information technology.

During harvest season, the design of the rows once again allow for increased efficiency, as these have been adapted for mechanical harvest procedures.   

Aside from advanced technology, location plays a vital part in the success of the vineyard.  Toledo, the medieval capital of Spain, is located in La Mancha, the biggest wine-producing region in the world.  Its weather conditions are ideal, with the hot and dry climate helping ensure plant vigor. 

According to Domecq: “Emperador’s vineyard in Toledo is superior to other vineyards in La Mancha because its location does not experience frost during spring time.  Frost could seriously affect the harvest.”

With the most modern vineyard in Spain, Emperador expects to generate a 500 percent higher yield than average Spanish vineyards.

Since 2013, Emperador has acquired over a thousand hectares of prime vineyard land in Spain.

Emperador is part of the Alliance Global Group of Companies, a major global conglomerate engaged in real estate development, tourism entertainment and gaming, food and beverage, and quick service restaurants.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Megaworld to build Western Visayas’ tallest residential tower in Iloilo Business Park

ILOILO CITY, Philippines, September 30, 2014— Megaworld, the country’s leading real estate developer and pioneer of townships, introduces another modern luxury residential condominium that is poised to be the tallest building in the region. Standing 80 meters high at 22 storeys, The Palladium will also be Western Visayas’ first residential tower with its own skygardens in various floors overlooking the spectacular views of the booming city.  
The Palladium will feature skygardens, infinity pool and loft units
“Since last year, we have been experiencing consistent growth in the demand for residential towers in Iloilo Business Park. Everyday, we get inquiries about new projects and everyone wants the best views and amenities from the condominiums that they look for. That is why selling the four towers of our first two residential projects, One Madison Place and Lafayette Park Square, was very easy. And now, we are on our fifth tower which will be offering another set of unique, first-of-its-kind amenities and features that Ilonggos can boast of,” says Jennifer Palmares-Fong, head of marketing, Iloilo Business Park.  
Named after one of the earth’s rarest precious elements, The Palladium will be built as a stylish urban oasis with four skygardens where residents can relax and enjoy serene moments with nature.  

A total of 482 units ranging from studio (from 29.50 square meters), executive studio (from 39.50 square meters), one-bedroom (from 49.50 square meters) to two-bedrooms (from 83.50 square meters) will be available at The Palladium which will be divided into North Wing and South Wing. At the topmost floor of the tower, there will be exclusive loft units ranging from 76 square meters to 115 square meters.

Residents of The Palladium will also get to enjoy the state-of-the-art amenities that the tower offers. These include an infinity pool, a children’s pool, outdoor and indoor fitness center, day care center, lawn area for events, and a function hall.  

From the outside, the first two levels of The Palladium will be allocated for commercial and retail shops. 

“We are offering a unique living experience at The Palladium. Our loft units will be first-of-its-kind in Iloilo City and the entire Western Visayas, and our amenities will raise the bar of this city’s lifestyle for our future residents,” adds Palmares-Fong.

Iloilo Business Park is a 72-hectare township development, which is poised to be the Western Visayas’ biggest business and tourism hub located at the site of the old airport in Mandurriao district.

Megaworld has allotted P35-billion for the development of the township in the next 10 years, making it the company’s biggest single investment outside Metro Manila. Iloilo Business Park will be home to luxury residential condominiums, state-of-the-art Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) office towers, a Megaworld Center Mall, a 1.1-kilometer Festive Walk commercial and retail strip, open parks, transport hub, first-class hotels such as Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo, and the much-anticipated 3,700-seating Iloilo Convention Center.
The Iloilo Business Park is expected to bring Megaworld’s pioneering ‘LIVE-WORK-PLAY-LEARN’ township to Western Visayas, following the success of other townships such as the 18.5-hectare Eastwood City, known to be the Philippines' first IT park; the 50-hectare McKinley Hill, 34.5-hectare McKinley West in Fort Bonifacio; the 15.4-hectare Uptown Bonifacio and the five-hectare Forbes Town Center in Bonifacio Global City; the 25-hectare Newport City in Pasay City, home of the famous Resorts World Manila; the 12.3-hectare Woodside City in Pasig City; the 11-hectare Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City; and the 28.8-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

GMA Network launches newest reality talent search Bet ng Bayan

This October 5 (Sunday), the search for the Performing Artist Extraordinaire begins via GMA Network’s newest reality talent search Bet ng Bayan. Hosted by no less than the Asia’s Songbird Ms. Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Kapuso Prime leading man Alden Richards, Bet ng Bayan showcases exceptional Filipino talents—dancing, singing, and extraordinary performances.

BNB is a nationwide musical festival fostering the Filipino’s faith in the Filipino talent as the performer that is broad in orientation and scope. Since July, BNB has welcomed all hopefuls from all over the Philippines who are to show off the best of what they’ve got. The show encourages viewers to personally and passionately root for a specific local Filipino talent into becoming the nation’s best. 

It’s the first talent show that I’ll be hosting na hindi lang singing. This one is different kasi may kakaibang talento at sayawan. And what we’re doing in Bet ng Bayan is that each category will have a winner—Bet na Singer/s, Bet na Dancer/s, at Bet na Kakaibang Talento. I’m very much excited to be part of the nationwide auditions. We’re going to look for representatives from each region, so everyone can support their fellow kababayan,” shares Regine. 
Esteemed panel of judges for Bet ng Bayan, Ms. Kuh Ledesma, Mr. Jim Paredes,
and Kapuso primetime king, Mr. Dingdong Dantes.
Meanwhile, Alden also expresses his excitement to be part of the show, “Sobrang blessed ako to be part of this show lalo na at makakasama ko pa si Ms. Regine. I am very much looking forward to witness kung gaano kagaling ang mga Pinoy. This show will definitely be inspiring knowing that thousand of aspirants are ready to take a chance on fulfilling a lifetime dream.

Directed by Mark Reyes, Bet ng Bayan will air every Sunday (9:40-10:40pm) plus updates from Monday to Friday (10:05-10:20pm).

Bet ng Bayan will definitely bring a new level of entertainment to Filipino viewers as it premieres this October 5 on GMA. 

Moonwalk 2014 : A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness

It is October so let us color the town pink!  

Join the 11th Moonwalk: A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness on October 11, Saturday, from Fuente Osmeña Rotunda to Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.

Assembly time at Fuente Osmeña is 5 p.m., with a pre-walk program at 5:30 p.m.  The program at Plaza Independencia, which would immediately follow after the walk, would feature testimonies of various cancer survivors.

Among other guests, Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale would grace the occasion.

Moonwalk: A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness is a unique collective advocacy campaign focused on early screening and detection of breast cancer through monthly breast self-examination and mammography.

With records of 657 deaths out of the 1,349 cases in 2003-2007, the Cebu population-based Cancer Registry of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (RAFI-EJACC) identifies breast cancer as the leading cause of death among Cebuano women.
For this reason, the fight against
the disease, which affects the lives of Cebuano women and their families, continues through this annual advocacy walk, which is held every full moon of October in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
 
The event is organized by RAFI-EJACC in partnership with the Cebu City Government and Task Force Cancer of Cebu City, Department of Health 7, Destiny Medical Fund Inc., and Goldilocks.  It is also supported by the Cebu Cancer Fight Inc., I CAN SERVE Foundation, and CAN with GOD. 

RAFI-EJACC once again calls on the public to take part in this massive awareness campaign. Participants are encouraged to wear pink.  

To join or inquire about Moonwalk and EJACC and its services, please contact 256-3287 or 254-6351 and look for Gina Mariquit, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph, or follow @rafi.org.ph on Twitter.

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