Category Archives: The News.

Can’t stop Christmas with Shopee’s Big Christmas Sale

Christmas lights everywhere, check. Christmas carols, check. A mild, chill breeze, check. A Gift List that gets longer as the days get shorter, check.

gift

Yes – it is officially Christmas in the Philippines. And while I love the Spirit of the Season and the gift giving the goes with it – there’s one thing that I hated with a passion during this time of the year: shopping. 

I hated going to the malls and shopping during the Christmas season automatically turns me into the Grinch. Consider this ordeal: elbow to elbow with majority of the population, the long lines at the cashier, the ordeal of getting to the mall and trying to get home, an dealing with the traffic.

That’s why I am thankful that I get to discover online shopping – I loved the convenience of buying things for myself at the comfort of my own bedroom, and the wide payment options for my purchases. A lot of my purchases this year came from online shopping, including a last-minute purchase comprised of a children’s luggage, which I bought from Shopee, roughly a week before we leave for a family trip. I was apprehensive but–lo and behold — Shopee and the merchant came through and my niece has her Disney princess luggage.

That’s why I was elated to know that  Shopee will have an upcoming  upcoming Christmas sale, kicking off with the much-awaited “11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale,” coinciding with the introduction of their latest brand ambassador, Mr. Jose Mari Chan.

JMC

JMC + SHOPEE = CHRISTMAS 

If you’re born and raised in the Philippines, you would know that highly-respected balladeer Mr. Jose Mari Chan is the official face (and sound) of Christmas for the locals. The Christmas celebration in the Philippines officially begins as soon as his well-loved song “Christmas in our Hearts” starts dominating in the airwaves – yes, even if it’s still October.  So, it’s really a genius move by Shopee to bring in JMC to usher in Christmas and their biggest Christmas sale this year.

Terence Pang, Chief Operating Officer at Shopee, said, “Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the Philippines, and Filipino shoppers are known to start their holiday shopping earlier. In line with this, we are once again bringing back Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, this time with an even bigger lineup of promotions. We are also honored to have Jose Mari Chan, a household name in the Philippines, join us as our first official Christmas ambassador. Jose Mari Chan embodies the Christmas spirit, and his positive and cheery personality reflects Shopee’s commitment to bringing more joy to shoppers this year-end season.”

“Christmas is a time for us to come together and celebrate. I am thrilled to be joining the Shopee family to spread cheer to all Filipinos this festive season, and to be part of Shopee’s first ever Christmas television commercial. I welcome everyone to join Shopee and I in kickstarting the Christmas season with Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, and look forward to collaborating with Shopee to deliver a series of surprises this Christmas,” said Jose Mari Chan.

Shopee Head of Business Intelligence, Martin Yu with Jose Mari Chan
Shopee head of business intelligence Martin Yu and much-respected balladeer Jose Mari Chan

In line with the appointment of Jose Mari Chan as Shopee’s Christmas Ambassador is the launch of the Jose Mari Chan Road to Christmas campaign, which will take place from October 26 to December 12. With this, Jose Mari Chan fans can look forward to a series of exciting Shopee activations with him in the weeks ahead, including once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as the opportunity to sing a duet with him, receive a special dedicated song from him, or to meet and spend time with him on his Shopee Wish Bus tour.

The debut of Jose Mari Chan as Shopee’s Christmas ambassador marks the official start of Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. The first wave of promotions started last October 26 leading up to the 11.11 Big Christmas Sale happening on 11 November. Users can look forward to discounts of up to 99% off all categories, daily free shipping promotions, and an upsized coins pool of over 11 million Shopee Coins to be won from Shopee Shake.

 

SHOPPING GALORE

To ensure that its clients will get the best deals leading to Christmas, Shopee sweetened the deal even further by partnering with leading local and international brands including Maybelline, P&G, Mossimo, Unilever, Wyeth, Platinum Karaoke, ASUS, and Unisilver Time, and many more; shoppers can also look forward to additional perks, presented in collaboration with Shopee’s exclusive 11.11 partners.

“With tons of unbeatable promotions and exciting features launched in response to users’ feedback and demands, Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale is a showcase of Shopee’s continued commitment to delivering the best online shopping experience to consumers in the region, especially during this festive holiday season. We invite everyone to shop together on Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale,” closed Pang.

 

COINS MADNESS 

Shopee is bringing back its iconic in-app game, Shopee Shake, this time with an upsized pool of over 11 million Shopee Coins up for grabs. As a special treat this Christmas season, users will also stand a chance to win surprise Shopee Shake prizes, including roundtrip tickets to Australia, Malaysia, and Japan sponsored by Cebu Pacific. Shopee Shake will be happening twice daily, and nine times on 11.11 Shopee Shake Day on November 3 and 11.11 Big Christmas Sale on November 11.

I would probably do the bulk of my Christmas shopping at Shopee, given that I really do not have the time nor the patience to go the malls. Am starting the shopping madness on the 11th, along with the bulk of the population who have no chill when it comes to the gift giving season.

 

For more information on the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, visit https://shopee.ph/11-11

For more information on the upcoming activations with Jose Mari Chan, visit https://shopee.ph/m/jmc-road-to-christmas

Download the Shopee app for free on the App Store or Google Play Store.

 

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PR: Ali Mall celebrates its fourth decade, honors the “Greatest of All Time” 

Ali Mall recently commemorated the passing of Muhammad Ali with an exhibit of rare photos and memorabilia billed ‘Forever the Greatest: Remembering Muhammad Ali’

June 30, 1976 will forever be known as the day of the “Thrilla in Manila” where two of boxing’s greatest, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, battled it out for boxing supremacy in a sold-out, highly awaited slugfest held inside the The Araneta Center. 

With Ali’s deciding win against Joe Frazier comes the birth of Ali Mall, the country’s first-ever fully enclosed shopping mall. Four decades after, Araneta Center celebrates Ali Mall’s birthday by honoring the life and times of the man who inspired its name. 

Named after the late legendary world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Ali Mall was inaugurated on June 30, 1976 with Ali himself in attendance. Ali fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines after his win against Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila” the year before and was the guest of honor at the event attended by VIPs, government officials, Araneta Center executives, and members of the Araneta family.

To celebrate four decades of being part of the Filipino lifestyle, Ali Mall is currently holding its special sale and promotions on the weekend of its anniversary, from June 30 to July 3.

Though the concept of a mall has since evolved, Ali Mall was the first to house a Cineplex and to introduce the concept of a food court, located at the top most level beside the cinemas. Ali Mall also pioneered the integration of entertainment to the shopping experience with Skatetown, the largest indoor skating rink in its time. Another unique feature was a five-level car park connected to each floor of the shopping area. With its offerings and design features, Ali Mall changed the shopping experience by putting a premium on customer comfort and convenience and in the process melding itself to the lifestyle of its patrons with its choices of shopping, services, dining, and entertainment.

Four decades later, the mall still operates with the same guiding principle – to be a part of its guest’s lifestyle. As the mall evolved, it introduced, among others, the first digital cinemas in the country. Today, aside from offering a comfortable destination of value-for-money shopping options, Ali Mall also offers a wide array of dining choices fit for families and friends. The mall also features the convenience of the Government and Banking Center, a one-stop, full service venue that holds 10 government satellite outlets – including a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) branch that handles passport and document processing and soon, a Land Transportation Office (LTO) branch and four full-service bank branches.

The shopping concept that Ali Mall pioneered has since become a blueprint for many other malls to emulate and build upon. Like its namesake, it carries a legacy that has touched the lives of many, and will continue to do so for years to come.  

As Araneta Center continues its redevelopment as a retail, office, entertainment, hospitality, and residential district, many new concepts are expected. Although Ali Mall will retain its standing as the country’s first mall, its claim will not solely be just being the first, it will continue to evolve, as it has done in the past to meet the needs of the lifestyle of its community.

The Plight of the Pawikans: Aboitiz leads campaign for pawikan sanctuary

Have you seen a mass of Pawikan eggs hatch?

It’s a glimpse on the beauty and power of nature — tiny, fragile eggs embedded in the ocean; the sand slowly pulsing with life until little heads poke out, followed by a mass of wriggling bodies, slowly but surely climbing out the hole. Like magic, the tiny hatch-lings are lured by the ocean; a mass of tiny bodies, wriggling against the sand, beckoned by the waves until one-by-one they are reunited with the surging waves. In time and with God’s blessings, the once little hatch-lings will return to the same place where they were born. This time as adult pawikans, ready to do their share to continue the circle of life. 

Beautiful, isn’t it?

But if not given enough protection or attention, the hatching of the young pawikans will be nothing but an entry in a book or in a blog or in a YouTube video amassing Likes in cyber space; never to be witnessed by the children of tomorrow.

  

The Aboitiz Foundation, one of the country’s dynamic names in philanthropy is making sure that the Pawikans will continue to vast Philippine waters with the launch of a campaign that aims to raise funds for the protection and preservation of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, locally known as pawikan. Situated in Punta Dumalag, Davao City is one of the last few remaining natural habitats for species of its kind, the result of Aboitiz Foundation’s continuing advocacy for the endangered variety . Entitled “#BetterWorld for the Pawikans”, the fundraising drive will not only secure the sanctuary for the hawksbill turtles but also spread greater public awareness on how everyone can help to ensure its survival amid climate change and environmental degradation.

Punta Dumalag is a chosen breeding ground of the elusive pawikan turtles, as well the other 66 other species of trees, birds, and fishes.  Aboitiz helps preserve this sanctuary through the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, an eight-hectare outdoor biodiversity center that protects the pawikan while paving the way for a new model of urban-based habitat conservation and biodiversity management.

 “We want to include more people from all walks of life to share our advocacy for the pawikans. Their presence in Davao testifies to the rich biodiversity God has given our country. Building a BetterWorld for the pawikans is not just our responsibility but also our gift to the next generation,” said Erramon I. Aboitiz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.

 To date, the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park was able to release 1,876 hatchlings as of December 2015. These baby turtles are expected to go back to the same spot where they were hatched so they can lay eggs. This is the reason why it is important to preserve their natural habitat to increase the chances of reversing the decline of their species.

 To take part in creating a BetterWorld for the pawikans, visit aboitizfoundation.org and click the ‘Donate’ button. Use #BetterWorld in your social media posts to show your support for the cause.

Get 88% off when you shop at Lazada’s Chinese New Year Kick Off Sale 

  
The country’s top online shopping website sets to embark on another successful year as they launch the Chinese New Year Sale, the first big sale for 2016. A wide assortment of unique finds for the year of the fire monkey and discounts as high as 88% across 15 categories will be up for grabs from January 26 to February 8.
Prosperity shops will take over the Lazada website, where customers could avail of Lucky 88 and Lucky 888 deals. Items on sale for only P88 items include Casio Beside Men’s Silver Stainless Steel Strap Watch, Diva Designs Swarovski Crystal Heart Studs, while items like the Oli Casual Mstyle Low Cut Sneakers, Nankai-02 20000mAh Power Bank with free Mini Power Bank Mini Foldable Monopod will be sold for only P888. 

Aside from the very attractive prices, Lazada will also offer vouchers and special deals from the wheel of fortune onsite game will allow customers to push their luck and win additional discounts.

Start shopping NOW!  

 

The Chinese New Year campaign will only be the first in a series of campaigns to be launched by the fastest-growing online market in the country. 

Buy your own hover boards here at discounted prices.

  

Health care should be for all: PhilCare’s prepaid emergency health cards fill a gap.

The nature of my job and the industry I am in allows me to see a face of health care in the Philippines that is not visible to common Filipinos. Because of my job, I am aware that only 4% of Filipinos have access to efficient health care in the country. This usually means the top hospitals and clinics in the country, helmed by some of the best doctors and most efficient nurses and with access to some of the best technology in the industry.

But what about the rest?

Unfortunately, doing PR within the health care industry means I come across depressing statistics: for example, did you know that six out of 10 Filipinos die without seeing a doctor? While government hospitals are there, we do know that long lines, the sheer density and number of patients and the long wait usually turn off any potential patients. A common (but unfortunate) joke that usually goes around when visiting a local government hospital is that you have to be a step, jump and skip away from death before the dedicated (but overworked) doctors can assist to you due to the number of patients they also see.

Would it be possible for Filipinos to have access to emergency health care at a more affordable cost?

PRESS RELEASE

PhilCare ER Vantage Cards
PhilCare ER Vantage Cards

PhilCare, one of the pioneers in the Philippines’ HMO industry, has recently launched its ERVantage products, a line of prepaid emergency health cards that provide easy and immediate access to any of the company’s many affiliated hospitals nationwide during emergency situations.

PhilCare Health Vantage
PhilCare Health Vantage

These prepaid health cards have the following variants:
* ER Vantage (Emergency Care and Hospitalization) for coverage of hospital emergency care leading to hospitalization, including the ERV40 (P900 for one-time coverage per year up to P40,000 health benefits), ERV60 (P1,100 for one-time coverage per year up to P60,000 health benefits), and ERV80 (P1,300 for one-time coverage per year up to P80,000 health benefits) variants

* ER Shield (ERS) for out-patient hospital emergency room coverage for one-time coverage per year, available for P800 with up to P50,000 in health benefits

* Smart Check-Up (SCB) for annual physical examination or pre-employment package available for P499 that includes tests such as Medical History Taking, Physical Examination, Chest X-Ray, Complete Blood Count, Urinalysis, and Fecalysis

Both the ER Vantage and ER Shield cards are inclusive of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, nationwide access to more than 400 designated PhilCare affiliated hospitals, Go!Mobile app access, as well as PhilCare 360 participation. The SCB card, meanwhile, may be used at any PhilCare Clinics and Hi-Precision branches in Metro Manila.

For as low as PHP800, any one can have the opportunity to receive premium and immediate emergency medical attention to any of PhilCare’s affiliated designated hospitals in the country. What’s PHP800? That’s just a quick round of burgers and fries for a group of three in any of the high-end burger places in Makati. PHP800 is a prepaid cellphone load good for a month; it’s also a pair of jeans from Forever21 or H&M.

My point is, we Filipinos often times find a way to buy the latest gadgets and even the latest phone accessories for our Smart Phones. Don’t you think it’s also wise to invest a small amount to take care of your self? After all, at the end of the day, you’re not just buying a card promising you prepaid emergency health plan — you are buying yourself peace of mind and the comfort of knowing that you will be taken cared of during times of emergency.

For more information or to purchase, go to www.philcare.com.ph

Finding Reprieve Right in the Middle of Summer

If you are from the Philippines, chances are you are one of the many individuals who are bemoaning everyday the intense heat of the Summer afternoon sun.

Recent reports from local TV channels and as vetted by the local weather bureau, the heat index is expected to reach to as high as 40 degrees on Friday, May 22. For many sun-worshipers and beach goers, the warm weather provides the perfect opportunity to get their much-desired tan while lounging in many of the country’s beautiful beaches. In my younger years, I would fall asleep on shore right in the middle of the afternoon. I would usually emerge, burned to a crisp, (literally) smoking hot but happy to add depth from my usual pale skin tone.

But growing old usually comes with tons of neuroses. One of my usual paranoia is suddenly dropping dead due to heat stroke. The worsening heat this summer of 2015 is not doing my paranoid mind any good.

The weather until this weekend. Screenshot from Panahon TV
The weather until this weekend. Screenshot from Panahon TV

Temperature is expected to soar to 36 degrees Celsius, with the heat index reaching to as high as 40 (SOURCE: here and here).

Aside from the discomfort that the hot weather brings, the number of illnesses related to the heat is a threat to everyone, especially to the elderly who is more susceptible to it. I am lucky that my work starts at 9AM which means that by the time the sun reaches its hottest in the afternoon, I am safely ensconced inside one of Makati’s many offices, basking in free air-conditioning.

Stay healthy even when it's summer!
Stay healthy even when it’s summer!

During weekdays where I have to bear the summer heat at home where I have no free AC, I swear by these things to keep me sane and alive:

1. Drink lots of water – I always try to drink as much as eight to nine glasses of water a day. Usually, from the moment I wake up, I automatically drink up to three glasses already. Basically, this is my way to wake up my internal organs, not to mention that I tend to wake up really parched from sleeping. Through out the day, I keep a tall water bottle which I usually refill up to 3 times. It keeps me hydrated even during the middle of the day. Invest in a good water bottle. There are a lot of local brands in the supermarket for as low as PHP200 for a sturdy one. As much as possible, limit drinking coffee, sodas and alcohol.

2. If you can help it, stay indoors. If you need to go out, bring an umbrella, cap to protect your head from the sun, and yes — also your water bottle. During weekends, I tend to hibernate like a bear inside the room. To lessen the heat, I usually open the windows to let the summer breeze come in, I switch off the lights (saves energy too!) and chill with the fan on full blast.

While on the cab yesterday, the radio reporters announced that the stiffling heat is expected to last until the end of this month. God knows if Manila will be finally blessed with a cooler weather.

A Speck in the Vast Universe

Today is not a good day for us. There are things that are still not perfect in this life, and while we are okay with it — today is the kind of day when depression decides to pay us a visit. It’s there, like a spectre sitting on my shoulder, it’s claws digging deep, slowly creeping in as I walk home and battle with thoughts and problems and regrets.

Today, while on Reddit, I realized just how inconsequential my tiny worries were compared to the grand scheme of things.

Andromeda_Galaxy

Above is the most high resolution photo of the Andromeda Galaxy, as captured by the Hubble Telescope

“The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping bird’s-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disc.” (SOURCE: Astronomy Now)

For a more surreal (and spine-chilling) experience, travel the galaxy through this video

The video above served as a wake up call that we should not beat ourselves too much with life’s little worries. After all, when compared to the vastness of the universe, our troubles (and yes, our existence) was smaller than that of a speck of dust.

Hard as it maybe, we will try to look at the big picture. Focus on the positives. Focus on what’s important.