Joshua Garcia celebrates Christmas Magic as the new face of GCash for the holidays

There are still several days until Christmas, yet the season is already very much alive everywhere in the country. While the last few years may have been a little less jolly, GCash, the country’s leading e-wallet app, is bringing back the magic to the holidays with a little help from Philippine entertainment’s new leading man. 

Joshua Garcia has been heating up televisions across the country with his starring role as Brian Robles in “Mars Ravelo’s Darna” and an upcoming landmark deal for Dreamscape production’s “Unbreak My Heart”.  Adding to his already impressive list of milestones is his new role as the face of GCash to celebrate a Merry G Christmas and uphold what truly warms his heart – traditions with his family and friends. 

“The family tradition I look forward to every Christmas is our family reunion wherein my family spends Christmas together,” he said. “We take advantage of the time we can have our bonding during this season when we are not too busy with work with some games and a simple feast for the whole family.” 

Christmas Magic Lives On

Just like many Filipinos, Christmas for Joshua becomes truly magical when spent with the right people. 

“My most magical Christmas experience was when I was living in the province and I went caroling in our neighborhood with my friends. Afterwards, we attended the Simbang Gabi with our family. I’m really glad that I got to experience Christmas that way,” he said.  

Of course, part of any Christmas celebration is hunting for the perfect gifts for your loved ones. But despite his high-profile stature, Joshua stays humble and opts for meaningful gifts and thoughtful spending. 

“To find the most meaningful Christmas gifts for my loved ones, I always think about what they really need at that time so the gifts are useful and that, through those gifts, they will also remember me somehow,” Joshua said. “I don’t really give very expensive gifts. As long as they make them happy, then I am, too.” 

Gift-giving, the Joshua way

With the long list of celebrations lined up for Joshua this Christmas, looking for these useful items will be a big task. His secret? He does his shopping with GCash. 

According to the actor: “One of my favorite GCash services is GLife because there are lots of merchants to choose from. It is a one-stop shop for a quick purchase of my favorite products and services. It is very timely since Christmas season is almost here, I can definitely use it for my Christmas shopping to buy gifts for my loved ones.” 

Thanks to GCash, Christmas shopping can be a magical experience in itself, especially when you get cashbacks and discounts from the GCash Online Bazaar from Nov. 28 to January 5, 2023. You can conveniently pay through your GCash wallet, pay later through GCredit, or pay in installment with GGives. 

Though many Filipinos will celebrate with their families this year, there are still some who wouldn’t be able to enjoy family reunions like Joshua and might spend time apart during the holidays. Despite the distance, GCash makes sure that everyone can send Christmas cheer wherever your loved ones may be. 

You can send pamasko to anyone anywhere through Send Money for other GCash users, Bank Transfer or GCash Padala for non-GCash users, or Send with a Clip to attach a special message to your Aguinaldo. If actual presents are your thing, you can also shop online with GLife and pay for your gifts on GCash. 

And because GCash wants everyone’s Christmas to be truly magical, every gift given through GCash becomes a gift for yourself, too. 

For every PHP 100 spent using GCash services or when using GLoan, GGives, and GCredit, users can earn parols and enter the Merry GCash raffle. Raffle draws will be done on December 5 and December 19 where GCash will be giving away five iPhone 14 phones, five Macbook Air M1 laptops and five Sony PS5 Playstations. Sixty-five lucky winners will also take home P10,000 worth of e-fuel cards from Petron, P10,000 worth of Mercury Drugstore gift certificates, P20,000 worth of IKEA gift cards and P30,000 worth of SM Appliances gift cards. 

With so many ways to hunt and shop for gifts, Joshua leaves his fans with just one piece of advice: “To be honest, I think for me what’s more important is that every time I give my loved ones gifts, they are pleased with what they received, whether they may be simple or otherwise.” 

Whether you opt for grand gifts or small tokens, make every spend count when you use your GCash for every transaction. No GCash yet? Download the GCash App on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Huawei App Gallery! Register and get verified today, and discover how you can have a Merry GCash celebration!

How to Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree | AllHome.com.ph

It’s time to bring out your Christmas trees and decorate! Learn how to clean your artificial Christmas trees before decorating them this upcoming holiday season!

Preparing and cleaning an artificial Christmas tree is simple, but can also be time-consuming.  With just a few household tools and cleaning supplies, your artificial Christmas tree can be clean and fresh  in no time. Remember: it’s important to clean your artificial Christmas tree before use to remove layers of dust that may accumulate when you’ve stored them after celebrating the merry days.

AllHome
Six Feet Vinyl Christmas Tree from AllHome

How To Clean Your Artificial Christmas Tree Before Decorating

  • First, carefully remove your tree from its box or storage bag. Then, start wiping the tree with a soft, dry cloth or a fiber duster starting from the top, from its branches, trunk, then down to its base. 
  • You can also use a vacuum with a bristle brush used for upholstery or a hand vacuum. Make sure to test a section at the base of the tree first to see if  the vacuum can safely clean the dirt off the branches and not damage the tree. 
  • For pre-lit Christmas trees, clean its branches with a vacuum before wiping each lightbulb with soft, dry cloth carefully.

How To Clean Your Artificial Christmas Tree Before Storage

  • For your safety, make sure to unplug Christmas lights before taking them off and all decorations from your tree. 
  • Give it a quick sweep with a vacuum or a clean, dry cloth.
  • Dismantle the tree according to instructions. 
  • Compress all branches carefully and ensure that there are no unnecessary strains on the branches and lights.
  • For pre-lit Christmas trees, wipe branches with a clean, dry cloth. Start from the top and gently work your way around the light bulbs.
AllHome
White Christmas Tree from AllHome

How To Care For And Clean A White Christmas Tree

Compared to regular Christmas trees, dust and dirt are easily visible on a white Christmas tree. Keep your white tree spotless by cleaning and storing it properly after every holiday season.

  • Same with a regular Christmas tree, follow the general care tips on how to clean it as mentioned above.
  • After cleaning, wrap your tree in clean white paper before storing, then place it inside its storage container. 
  • Avoid using water and other cleaning agents on your tree as these may change or destroy its material, and may invalidate the product warranty.

How To Care For And Clean Frosted Christmas Trees

Frosted Christmas trees require a different kind of care compared to a traditional Christmas tree as there’s no need to dust your frosted tree, since this could very well damage its flocking material which makes it look frosted with snow.

  • First, set up your tree in a cool, dry place and away from humidity and direct heat.
  • Since frosted trees tend to shed, avoid making unnecessary contact against the branches and tips to prevent excess shedding. 
  • Gently compress the branches of your tree, then place it in a secure storage bag to keep the flocking material intact and lessen contact from anything that may cause it to shed.

We know that you and your artificial Christmas tree are ready now and waiting to start on the decorating. We hope this guide from AllHome has given you helpful tips on how to clean and care for your artificial Christmas tree so you can enjoy its beauty for many holidays to come!

To shop for more Christmas decorations, visit AllHome for its wide selection of home homeware, kitchenware, appliances, and more. You may also visit AllHome’s website, https://www.allhome.com.ph, or follow AllHome’s official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/allhomeofficial   

Visit any All Home branches to check out great finds. We offer DIY Hardware, Construction Materials, Flooring, Furniture and Appliances, Homewares, Linens, Sanitary Ware, and more! 

You may also visit our website and enjoy the hassle-free experience of shopping online through AllHome.com.ph today! 

If you are seeking inspiration in creating a home filled with Christmas spirit, look no further than AllHome’s 2022 Christmas Catalogue, available now in physical copies and for digital download! Shop now at your nearest AllHome branch or online at www.allhome.com.ph!

Shopping for Christmas gifts? Visit AllHome today and find amazing discounts at AllHome’s Merrier Christmas Bundles! 

From Gifts You’ll Love under PHP1,000, PHP3,000, and up to PHP20,000, bundled items priced for one, and more discounted items on AllHome’s wide selections of homeware, furniture, appliances, and construction materials! Shop now at any AllHome branch nationwide or through its e-commerce website, www.allhome.com.ph

Merrier Christmas Bundles promo will run until December 31, 2022. 

AllHome online store has a shopping site that offers fast delivery, cash on delivery, and easy payment terms. You may also follow AllHome on their official Facebook page and Instagram account for more updates.

Sleep in cool comfort with Uratex Foam Senso Memory Frost

For 54 years, Filipino brand Uratex has stayed true to its mission of providing the best sleep experience through high quality mattresses, foams, pillows and other sleeping solutions.

As the company continuously flourished, Uratex ensured to deliver a commitment to reaching a goal, “We will not stop until we give every Filipino a comfortable and affordable mattress to lie on,” said Uratex Founder Robert G. Cheng.

The tropical Philippines is now enjoying the cool amihan season, and Uratex hopes to extend this perfect sleepy weather with the grand launch of the Senso Memory Frost Collection at the Matrix Creative Events in Quezon City last November 25.

URATEX - Magic Liwanag A-144

Dubbed as Deep Slumber in a Dreamland of Ice, the visually compelling and immersive ice party featured a unique showroom experience where guests saw and felt firsthand the magic of Uratex’s latest innovation.

There was also an Aromatherapy Bed Linen Spray Workshop where attendees created and customized their own room and linen spray to get the best sleeping experience with a fresh pillow and mattress. 

Have a Better Sleep, Better U

Consumers will feel cooler and have zero night sweats as the Senso Memory Frost is up to 5 degrees cooler than Uratex’s previous Memory Foam Mattress.

URATEX - Magic Liwanag B-56

The collection is infused with DuoFrost Technology. It consists of Senso Memory foam coated with cooling technology which also adapts to the body’s contour and a cool-to-touch fabric for an instant cooling sensation.

Key Features

The Senso Memory Frost collection includes a Mattress, Mattress Topper and Pillow. 

Each product highlights the DuoFrost Technology.  It’s up to 5 degrees cooler than ordinary memory foam and prevents heat build-up for sustained coolness and thermal comfort.

The products are covered with Cool-to-Touch Fabric, a premium knit fabric for an instant cooling sensation.

URATEX - Jessica Dungo-161

It also consists of a Senso Memory Foam – coated with cooling technology, which also adapts to the body’s contour providing superior comfort and relieves pressure points.

The products are also sanitized to effectively prevent bacteria, odor, mildew, and dust mites, keeping the mattress clean and hypoallergenic.

Uratex stands out in terms of durability, and proving it is Senso Memory Frost Mattress’ Vital Foam, a durable foam that provides outstanding support to withstand a heavier load.

Both Senso Memory Frost Mattress and Topper are Quality-Guaranteed and offer 10 years of warranty.

Christmas Deals

As a Christmas gift to Filipinos, Uratex is offering discounts from November 25 to December 31, 2022, where buyers can get less 30% on Uratex Senso Memory Frost Mattress, less 15% on Senso Frost Mattress Topper, and less 20% on Senso Frost Traditional Pillow.

URATEX - Magic Liwanag A-6

You can also get 1 Senso Frost Pillow with every purchase of Senso Frost Mattress from December 1 to 31.

ITEM DESCRIPTIONSRPPROMO SRPDISCOUNT
Senso Frost Mattress Topper 2 x 36 x 75″8,999.757,649.7915%
Uratex Senso Memory® Frost Mattress 10x36x75″21,499.7515,049.8330%
Senso Frost Traditional Pillow 16 x 26″2,399.751,919.8020%

For more information, follow Uratex Philippines on Facebook or visit Uratex’s official website and official stores in Shopee and Lazada.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Ease those pesky aches and pains with Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment

I have accepted it: at this stage in my life, a few ouchies here and there are to be expected.

Being in my forties, I know I’m not as young as I used (or wish) to be and there are limits to what my my body can withstand.

However, with a full plate of roles and responsibilities at home and at work, I simply can’t afford to be bogged down by aches and pains.

Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment

Pain, pain, go away!

No longer am I the koboy girl who gamely powers through those discomforts to get the job done. Nope, I just have to take a pause and do something to ease those pangs and twinges. After all, at this stage in my life, I feel it’s time to stop abusing my body, especially now that I have earned whatever creature comforts I can enjoy, wouldn’t you agree?

One of these comforts is the ability to swiftly and effectively ease those minor aches and pains, the ones that get in the way of accomplishing my tasks or stop me from enjoying a well-deserved rest.

These discomforts include:

  • Stiff neck and shoulder pain. Pain shooting up my neck and shoulders when I try to move my head due to adopting a wrong sleeping position the night before is not the way I want to greet a new day.
  • Joint and muscle pains. Do you know what can derail my efforts to live a healthier and more physically active lifestyle? Those aching joints and sore muscles that come after strenuous activity, that’s what!
  • Back pains. Being female, pain in the lower back caused by hormonal fluctuations is par for the course. Those feminine discomforts used to be dismissed by most but they can range from merely distracting to quite debilitating.
  • Headaches. Having so many roles to play and responsibilities to accomplish can really be stressful. When this happens, those tension headaches and migraines are never too far away.
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment

Given all those physical and psychological toll associated with pain that I have to contend with, you could imagine my relief now that Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir is available on the market!

Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment

This liniment oil is carefully formulated to not only ease those pesky aches and pains, but also bring back my usual equanimity and get me to that place of Zen.

Its active ingredients include:

  • Guduchi Extract which helps reduce pain and inflammation of muscles and joints
  • Magnesium which enhances tissue recovery, reduces pain and eases muscle cramps and spasms by improving tendon and ligament flexibility and breaking down inflammation
  • Menthol which provides a cooling sensation that brings fast relief from pain and inflammation
  • Camphor which helps in treating mild to moderate muscle, nerve and joint pain
  • Rosehip Oil which boosts the skin’s collagen production while keeping it hydrated and moisturized
  • Tea Tree which detoxifies and disinfects the body, soothes inflammation and relieves pain from minor burns, sores, bites and cuts
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment
Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment

When I get an attack of the ouchies, I just clean the affected area and apply a sufficient amount of Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment with gentle massaging motions until the liniment is absorbed into the skin. It is best to apply it three times daily to ensure quick pain relief.

So if you find yourself getting bogged down by aches and pains, reach for Miraclenz Heavenly Elixir Liniment. Grab a 30ml bottle for just Php679 from the Miraclenz Official Store at Shopee.

You can also shop for other self-care essentials such as:

  • Miraclenz Scalp Care Shampoo (Php699) for treatment of psoriasis, dandruff, and itchy scalp
  • Miraclenz Cleansing Bar Soap (Php549) and Miraclenz Cleansing Cream (Php649) for treatment of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
  • Miraclenz Bath Bundle (Php1,249) (Cleansing Bar Soap and Scalp Care Shampoo)
  • Miraclenz Skin Care Bundle (Php1,198) (Cleansing Bar Soap and Cleansing Cream)
  • Miraclenz Soothing Bundle (Php1,897) (Cleansing Bar Soap, Scalp Care Shampoo and Cleansing Cream)

Use my code MIRAGEL10 to get 10% off your purchases storewide!

Know more about Miraclenz by following it on Instagram and TikTok.

Disclosure: Product sample was provided to facilitate this feature.

AIA Philippines empowers PH businesses with comprehensive health benefits

Employees are the backbone of any organization and as such, companies must take good care of them. Happy employees mean a motivated workforce with higher productivity, and lower turnover, which can be very expensive in the long run. 

Businesses who don’t prioritize employee welfare may end up losing over $1 trillion because of high employee turnover rates. And with the benefits package one of the most critical elements considered by employees when deciding to stay in their current jobs, it’s an important aspect of human resource management. 

AIA Philippines Comprehensive Health Benefits

For those who are not aware of the ideal basic benefits they should receive, these should include group life insurance, total and permanent disability compensation, accidental hospital reimbursement, hospital income benefit, and critical illness benefits. These benefits are provided to employees and some even extend it to their families as well. 

Investing in these protection and health-related benefits for employees is a must, and companies must find an insurance provider with the strength and stability to deliver on its promises. Fortunately, AIA Philippines, the country’s premier life insurance company, has all these protection and health benefits covered—and more!—to empower more businesses in providing the most important benefits to their people. 

AIA Philippines recognizes that the growing small to medium enterprise business owners are eager to keep their employees satisfied and cared for, which is why it developed packaged yet flexible solutions to cater to organizations’ specific needs, with comprehensive solutions against death and sickness.

Moreover, AIA Philippines is equipped with ready rates for ease of premium computation, as well as mental and social wellness programs as added value offerings on top of the packaged solutions offered. The life insurer is even extending these healthcare benefits to employees who travel across southeast Asia. 

AIA Philippines Comprehensive Health Benefits

The Regional Passport is a program that connects beneficiaries to select quality providers in key healthcare hubs within the ASEAN region for easy cashless access to treatment. This program’s benefits include elective in-patient hospitalization, preferential rates on medical services, and seamless coordination with healthcare providers. 

AIA Philippines’ benefits go beyond the physical wellness of its customers. It supports organizations’ efforts to care for their people holistically through the Think Well program. This initiative grants employees access to benefits for behavioral health, emotional support, and legal guidance. By availing of this premium service, employers can safeguard the entire workforce’s well-being. 

To help employees make better financial decisions, AIA Philippines has partnered with the Praxis Company through a comprehensive program called Financial Literacy Gameplay. This premium benefit educates employees on responsible finances through fun games. By signing up to this benefit, more employees can make better financial decisions to attain their goals and help them live better. 

“An organization is only as strong as its employees, and that’s why we at AIA Philippines are empowering more companies to provide its people with the most holistic benefits,” Andy Rubio AIA Philippines Associate Director for Corporate Solutions Sales said. “By developing flexible protection and wellness solutions to our corporate partners, we are able to make protection and quality healthcare more accessible to more Filipinos, allowing us to bring to life our purpose of helping them live healthier, longer, better lives.”
Click here for more information about AIA Philippines, or here to visit the AIA Philippines Facebook page, email customerservice.ph@aia.com or call (02) 8528-2000 to know more.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Bigger rewards and deals abound during GCash’s birthday week

It’s that time of the year again when GCash showers its users with deals and rewards as it celebrates its birthday week. From October 17 to 23, GCash has been giving away up to Php240 million of vouchers and freebies, all day, everyday.

So, GCash users, be sure to download the latest version of the app and make the most of its convenient features to make the most our of its #ReadySetGBirthday offers, such as:

Services
  • Citibank. Apply for a Citibank Credit Card and enjoy no annual fees forever plus get Php 1,000 GCash eGC via giftaway, redeemable within 60 days! Plus, applicants who avail a Citi Personal Loan can get as much as Php 5,000 GCash eGC via giftaway during GCash Birthday week!
  • DHL. Get a 20% discount when you pay via GCash Pay QR using the code GCASH20 on your next DHL delivery!
  • Entrego. Users are entitled to Entrego Vouchers when they pay via Gcash QR! Receive vouchers worth Php 50, Php 30, or Php 20 throughout Birthday week. 
GCash Birthday Week 2022
GCash Birthday Week 2022
Shopping
  • Zing. Get 100 Zing Points with a minimum spend worth Php1,000 on your first transaction during Birthday week. For succeeding transactions, get 10 Zing Points for every minimum spend of Php1,000 when you pay with GCash. Plus, get Ayala Mall GC worth 100 pesos, with a minimum spend of Php1,000 when you check out with GCash on ZingMall.
  • Zalora. Get 25% on your Zalora purchases when you pay online via GCash with a minimum spend of Php2,000.
  • Charles & Keith. Get PHP 350 off with a minimum spend of Php 3,500 in all Charles & Keith stores when you pay with GCash! Applicable on all regular, sale, and promo bundle items.
  • Puregold. Shop at Puregold and buy Php1,500 worth of participating items and Scan to Pay via GCash to receive a Php50 Puregold exclusive discount voucher on your GCash app! Or you can buy from Puregold in the GLife app and get a Php100 discount voucher with a minimum purchase worth Php2,800 of participating items. 
GCash Birthday Week 2022
GCash Birthday Week 2022
Food
  • Pancake House. Buy One, Get One on 2pcs. Classic Pancakes at Pancake House when you pay using GCash. Available for dine in, takeout and curbside pick-up transactions only.
  • Bo’s Coffee. Enjoy FREE Drip Coffee when you Buy 1 any Large Espresso or Froccino Beverage from Bo’s Coffee and pay via GCash QR code/
  • Auntie Anne’s. Awesome food deals are also available throughout GCash Birthday week! Order from Auntie Anne’s on GLife to avail a Buy 1 Take 1 promo on the Chocnut Pretzel Twist! Those who Scan to Pay in any Auntie Anne’s store can also get a Free Chocnut Pretzel Twist with minimum spend of Php250.
  • Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken & Sauce Bar. Scan to Pay when you dine in or order takeout from Peri-Peri and receive a free Cheese Quesadilla for a minimum purchase worth Php 500!
GCash Birthday Week 2022
GCash Birthday Week
Tech
  • Cherry Mobile. Get a chance to win freebies from Cherry when you purchase select items! A LoveMarie Powerbank 5k mAh, LoveMarie Powerbank 10k mAh, and free Car Ionizer Filter are all available as freebies with specific purchases of Cherry gadgets and items!  
A+ Rewards
  • Claim a variety of exciting freebies on A+ Rewards on the GCash app! Some exclusive Birthday week deals to look forward to include discount vouchers on your next Agoda booking, 2 months free Apple Music subscription, and 1 month free subscription to Google One!
  • You can also claim discount vouchers on A+ Rewards and enjoy the following exciting discounts: Php 40 off on your next FoodPanda delivery, Php 40 off on Google Play Store, Php 20 off from iHerb, Php 20 off from IQIYI, Php 20 off from Shein, Php 20 off from SmileOne, Php 20 off from Spotify, or Php 20 off from Steam! 
GCash Birthday Week 2022
GCash Birthday Week 2022

This GCash Birthday, you can claim free vouchers on the GCash Birthday landing page found easily on your GCash Home Page. Scroll through the landing page to claim the various vouchers available. Remember to read all its terms and conditions before redeeming any voucher!

To claim these exciting perks, simply tap the GCash Birthday banner on your GCash app’s home page and scroll through the available vouchers. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions before redeeming your vouchers.

You can also claim and use vouchers to redeem discounts on GCash Pay QR transactions. To use your vouchers, open the GCash app and select ‘Pay QR’ and ‘Scan QR Code,’ or simply swipe left on the home page. Align your phone’s camera over the merchant’s GCash QR code to scan, and then enter the non-discounted amount for the goods you bought in the Payment screen.

Confirm the total and choose whether to pay with GCash or GCredit. To select and use a voucher, tap the arrow in the Discount row. After selecting the voucher, you will be able to see the discount that will be applied as well as your new total amount. You can also see all of your claimed vouchers in your Voucher Pocket, which is accessible through your profile.

GCash Birthday Week 2022
GCash Birthday Week 2022

View all the exciting offers this GCash Birthday celebration from October 17 – 23 by visiting the GCash website. Download the GCash app today on the AppStore or Google Play Store. 

GCash (G-Xchange, Inc.) is the #1 Finance App in the Philippines. Through the GCash App, 69M registered users can easily purchase prepaid airtime; pay bills at over 1,600 partner billers nationwide; send and receive money anywhere in the Philippines, even to other bank accounts; purchase from over 5.2M partner merchants and social sellers; and get access to savings, credit, loans, insurance and invest money, and so much more, all at the convenience of their smartphones. GCash is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mynt (Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc.), the first and only duacorn in the Philippines.

5 signs it’s time to consider buying your own home

For most of us, home ownership is a major milestone.

It is not just the hallmark of the ability to make a significant long-term financial commitment, it is also the start of putting down roots. It involves creating a home and establishing your presence in a community for a long period of time, perhaps even permanently. When you own a home, your family has a place to grow up in, and you have a legacy to pass on to your children.

Home ownership also demands some sacrifice: aside from the major financial investment involved, you also need to maintain the home, keeping it clean and in good condition and ensuring that its facilities – from its furnishings and appliances to its fixtures – are working well.

Lumina Homes

With all of these important considerations, how can you know if you’re ready to own a home?

Here are some signs:

  • You have a stable income. Paying off your home mortgage will take a significant portion of your budget over many years. You need to be able to count on a steady job or other revenue streams such as investments or side hustles to afford your monthly mortgage payments.
  • You have saved – a lot! – for a rainy day. Should an emergency occur while you are making those monthly house payments, you need to be able to handle both without putting yourself in a sticky financial predicament. A good rule of thumb is to have money equivalent to six months of your monthly house payments set aside as savings prior to signing the deed.
Lumina Homes
  • You have good credit. How you handle small debts – such as credit card payments – can be a strong indicator of how you will handle major financial responsibilities such as house payments.
  • You are comfortable with managing and maintaining a home. Aside from making your monthly payments, home ownership also comes with many responsibilities such as maintaining the property, making repairs and remodeling when needed.
  • Your life is aligned with home ownership. If you are at a time when you want more space to raise a family, pursue hobbies and interests, or to put down roots in an area you love, then it may be time to set up a home of your own.
Lumina Homes

So if you think you’re ready to dive into home ownership, be sure to check out your nearest Lumina Homes project!

These projects are available in over 50 key cities and municipalities in the Philippines such as in Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, Isabela, Bataan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Albay, Sorsogon, Iloilo, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Agusan del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato and Davao del Norte.

Each is strategically located close to major thoroughfares, transport hubs, schools, hospitals, and business and leisure centers.

Inside these communities are well-designed and constructed house models for one that will suit your needs from single-story starter home rowhouses to two-storey townhomes and detached units, all built with living and dining areas, provision for bedrooms, service areas, as well as toilet and bath.

Aside from having an affordable yet comfortable abode, living at a Lumina Homes community also affords you with amenities that are conducive to enjoyable times spent out of doors.

These include a basketball court, children’s playground, function hall, and mini gardens enclosed in a perimeter fence with 24/7 security, plus free shuttle service to and from town.

Lumina Rosario

Getting your own Lumina dream home is made even easier, thanks to various financing options, such as:

  • Pag-Ibig Financing which offers the lowest possible interest rate with a 14-month downpayment term and a 30-year maximum loan term
  • Bank Financing which has faster loan processing with a 16-month downpayment term and a 20-year maximum loan term
  • Deferred Financing which involves straight payment of total contract price over 24 month at 0% interest
  • Spot Cash which involves full payment of total contract price applying a 6% discount if made within 30 days from payment of reservation fee, 8% if made within the reservation month, and 10% if made within 10 days of reservation date
Lumina Homes

Here’s how to get Php500 off when reserve your own Lumina home online:

  1. Visit Lumina Homes’ website.
  2. Click “E-Services” and “Reserve Online” then fill out your details.
  3. Fill out the project name, phase, block and lot of your preferred Lumina project.
  4. Proceed to payment and use my code JLBLMN500. Payments via GCash or debit/credit cards are accepted.

Prima Casa Land & Houses, Inc., known through its “LUMINA” brand, has evolved to be the practical choice of everyone in realizing their dream of home ownership. Lumina is the leading mass housing developer in the country with its roster of value-priced homes in affordable and self-sustaining communities.

For more information and announcements, follow @luminahomesofficial on Facebook or visit Lumina Homes’ official website at www.lumina.com.ph.

Why you should design your bedroom with a Scandi aesthetic

The Scandinavian aesthetic – which originated from Nordic countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland – has stayed in prominence among design styles preferred by home owners for quite some time.

Characterized by clean lines, light spaces and the absence of clutter – hallmarks of Nordic minimalism – this design theme has the surprising ability to imbue the look and feel of warmth and welcome into a space, as well as having a strong visual appeal.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle

Basic Principles

Scandinavian design is guided by the principles of balance and harmony with one’s environment using well-crafted and high-quality items while remaining unencumbered by excess clutter.

This design philosophy uses a minimalist and well-considered approach which seeks to combine beauty and functionality, resulting in a sleek and modern decor that still feels warm and inviting.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle

Scandinavian design principles for the bedroom

It’s not surprising then that Scandi themes translate quite well in bedrooms.

The bedroom is space within the home dedicated to resting and restoring oneself – where one shakes off the concerns from the outside world at the end of the day, and then prepares for the challenges of a new day.

Within this space, one should be able to take a restful slumber, do relaxing activities like reading or meditation, or just enjoy one’s solitude.

The bedroom should definitely be a welcoming place, somewhere to let loose and relax. Applying Scandi design principles to one’s bedroom helps to bring about these desired effects.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle

Here are rules of thumb that will help you design a tasteful Scandi bedroom:

Keep it simple.

Prioritize simplicity and functionality by keeping the bedroom free of clutter and unessential elements. Use sleek, clean-lined modern furniture, while implementing proper arrangement and storage of the room’s elements. Doing so will help to declutter your mind, resulting into a more relaxing space.

Use muted colors.

Scandi design uses quite a lot whites, grays and tans, and complements this neutral and nature-based palette with accents of blue and other bright colors. These contribute to less unwanted visual stimulation and gives the room a more soothing atmosphere.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle

Maximize natural light.

Artificial sources of illumination may increase risks for migraines and eye strain so it follows that making the most of natural light will help in minimizing these risks, and has the bonus benefit of improving one’s sleep cycle.

Painting the walls white as well as making minimal use of window treatments help to optimize the natural light the enters the bedroom.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
Ikea Pasay

Bring the outside in.

Nature plays a big role in Scandi design, attributable to the natural beauty of Scandinavian countries, as well as their long winter season which led to the desire to incorporate natural elements into interior spaces.

This can be achieved through the use of plants and flowers that add pops of color to the minimalist design, as well as through the use of light woods such as beech, ash and pine which inject warmth into the space.

Design for hygge.

Scandinavian design embraces the concept of hygge – the quality of coziness and comfort that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being – which would definitely suit the bedroom.

Adding elements that add joy or the feeling of living well such as cool and silky bed sheets, a comfy comforter, or tasteful artwork will not only personalize your bedroom but also create a space you would look forward to escaping to.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
Ikea Pasay
Ikea Pasay

Thinking of applying a Scandi aesthetic to your bedroom? It might be time to hie yourself over to IKEA for great ideas and exciting finds.

About IKEA

In 1951, the IKEA began operating as a mail-order catalogue business based in Almhult, a small, forested village in the Swedish countryside. Its founder, Ingvar Kamprad decided to sell good-quality furniture at low prices.

Since 2008, IKEA has been recognized as the largest furniture retailer in the world, with presence in Europe, Middle East, North Africa, East Asia, India, Southeast Asia, Oceania and North America.

In 2021, opened its largest store in the world right in our home turf, a 65,000 square meter outlet located in the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City which houses over 8,000 items.

IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle
IKEA Lifestyle

You can visit IKEA Pasay at the MOA Square, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Barangay 76 Zone 10, CBP-IA, 1300 Pasay City, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

You may also order online through its website.

To stay updated on its promos and offers, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Header Image by Freepik | Other photos taken during store visit to IKEA Pasay.

Check out my previous posts about IKEA:

Travel with your furry friends with Airbnb this festive season

This week marks World Animal Day, an international day celebrating all animals and promoting a better future for animals all over the world. As the festive season rapidly approaches, there’s no better time to start planning a getaway for your loved ones – with fur kids in tow.

Around the world, Airbnb Hosts have welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests and their beloved pets. As the pandemic pet boom continues and travel resumes, guests are increasingly looking for domestic stays that allow them to bring their furry friends along, with ample outdoor space for all to roam around.

More than 3 million pets have checked into Airbnb since last November. As of June 2022, pet-friendly stays make up almost one-fifth of all Philippines listings on Airbnb, a 44% increase compared to June 20192. The top ten destinations for pet-friendly travel in the Philippines in Q2 2022 are:

  • Manila, Metro Manila
  • Baguio, Cordillera
  • Calabarzon
  • Quezon City, Metro Manila
  • Taguig, Calabarzon
  • Cebu City, Central Visayas
  • Olongapo, Central Luzon
  • Nasugbu, Calabarzon
  • San Fernando, Ilocos
  • Calamba, Calabarzon

Amanpreet Singh Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan said that when it comes to pet-friendly Airbnb stays, owners are seeking stays with additional space for their furry friends, often in locations outside capital cities.

“If you’re an avid pet lover, you’ll know that no holiday is quite complete without taking your family pet along. We have something for even the fussiest four-legged family members, and certainly, homes with spacious yards and deck areas are always among the most popular for guests with pets,” Bajaj added.

In the Philippines, over 15,000 guests have traveled with their pets on Airbnb3. To inspire more fur moms and dads planning to bring their pet friends on their next getaways, here are some amazing pet-friendly listings in the Philippines —  from spacious homes with huge backyards for your pets to roam to stays co-hosted by equally hospitable pooches! 

Spacious farms for the zoomies

If you’re itching for a quick weekend away from the 9-to-5 routine, these farm stays that are drivable from Manila can certainly give you and your fur baby that relaxing getaway you both deserved.

Pet Friendly Airbnb
The Alperi Farm is a newly built private farmhouse in Amadeo sitting on an expansive 2,000 sqm — perfect for non-stop fetch and the occasional zoomies. Offering guests plenty of opportunities to unplug and bond with loved ones (pets included!), the farmhouse comes with entertainment and activity options including a playhouse, bird sanctuary, a gym, and even a theater and arcade room.
Pet Friendly Airbnb
Another farmstay south of the metro is Campo Canueza, which provides the best of both mountain views and beach access. It has a two-storey air-conditioned bahay kubo, a private pool, and an expansive space where you can freely walk your pets. At night, you can pitch a tent outside and enjoy uninterrupted views of the night sky.

Beachfront homes for the water-loving breeds

While some will just dip a toe, other dogs are born for the water — and will be truly delighted to hit the beach. Head on to these beachfront stays if you and your canine companion are dreaming of sands in your toes and paws.

Pet Friendly Airbnb
Saya Nest is one of the seven nests hosted by proud fur-mom and Airbnb Host, Tamara. Located in the rainforest of Subic Bay, it lies just a few minutes from the beaches and falls. There is a fenced-in patio so your pets can run off-leash, a bathtub overlooking the forest, an outdoor table and grill, and a hammock by the porch. If you’re lucky, you might even be welcomed by Tamara’s own fur babies!
Pet Friendly Airbnb
If you and your pet are up for a little island adventure — check out this Beachfront Loft in Palawan. It is located in a 2-hectare beachfront community in Aborlan just south of Puerto Princesa, and sits right by the sandy beach. Go boating with your pet by day and warm up around the bonfire at night while listening to the calming waves.

Breathtaking views for your best bud

Looking for vacation rentals with picturesque views where you can bring your fur babies? Search no further! These homes are not only pet-friendly — they make you want to bask in the scenery and stay for longer.

Pet Friendly Airbnb
Anto House is a secluded farm nestled in the highlands of Antipolo, offering a 360-degree view overlooking the distant Metro Manila skyline, Angono hills and ridges, and the Laguna de Bay. Featuring two beautiful bamboo casitas that can accommodate up to 14 guests, it’s perfect for family gatherings and even reunions. There are also animals on the property like goats and sheep that both kids and fur kids can interact with.
Pet Friendly Airbnb
How about calling an entire island your home for the weekend? This rustic, tiny island is right in the middle of Lumot Lake, with astounding views of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. If your fur bud’s love language is quality time, you can set up a mini obstacle course, go swimming at the lake, or simply just watch the world go by.

1 Based on Airbnb internal data from June 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022 

2 Based on Airbnb internal data from June 30, 2019 to June 30, 2022

3 Based on Airbnb internal data from November 11, 2019 to June 30, 2022

Note: All stays referenced are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse specific stay or experience listings on the Airbnb platform.

About Airbnb

Airbnb was born in 2007 when two Hosts welcomed three guests to their San Francisco home and has since grown to 4 million Hosts who have welcomed more than 1 billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Every day, Hosts offer unique stays and one-of-a-kind activities that make it possible for guests to experience the world in a more authentic, connected way.

Header Image by Lifestylememory on Freepik

Sustainability redefined with Vine Residences, SMDC’s master-planned development in Novaliches

Sustainability has taken a whole new shape in today’s world. The recent health crisis has put health, safety, and well-being in the center of the discussion, and climate change has placed disaster risk reduction and resilience front and center.

SM Development Corporation (SMDC), “Developer of the Year” at the DOT Property Philippines Awards 2022, remains resolute in building sustainable communities across the country that address the safety, security, and evolving needs of Filipino homebuyers.

Vine Residences - Central Park_Night shot
A sprawling oasis in the heart of the city, Vine Residences demonstrates SMDC’s unique ability to create holistic ecosystems of sustainable communities. The development sits right within the SM City Novaliches complex, offering a premium integrated lifestyle.

It’s more than just being green

Now more than ever, developers are being assessed against Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards — how they’re able to provide safe and secure environments, improve health, well-being, and overall quality of life, all while addressing the environmental impacts of real estate development.

One of the master-planned communities that encapsulates this trifecta is SMDC’s Vine Residences. This gated vertical community has dedicated 52 percent of its total land area to open spaces, which has rightfully earned Vine Residences the title, “Best Landscape Architectural Design,” from PropertyGuru Philippines in 2021. Its expansive amenity area brings the joys of the outdoors right to your very own backyard.

A slew of resort-style amenities await residents at the Central Park — intricately-designed swimming pools, an engaging children’s play zone, and lush sunken gardens that flaunt an exquisite use of space and foliage. If adventure is what you’re after, discover the beauty of nature at the Camp Hill Site. Go searching for treasure as you trek along the Eco Trail, or enjoy a competitive game of basketball or volleyball at the covered court.

What truly rounds up SMDC’s commitment to sustainability, however, are their upgrades or practices that, all in all, enhance each development’s resilience and overall efficiency while promoting environmental stewardship. For instance, Vine Residences has been raised from the ground by approximately three meters, not only to preserve the trees and vegetation in the area, but also to strengthen the community’s defense against flooding. It’s also equipped with a detention tank that controls and mitigates water discharge in cases of heavy rains. A rainwater collection system, on the other hand, enables rainwater to be recycled and used to water its landscape.

Vine Residences - Vine Nature Park_Night Shot
Sustainability is ingrained in each SMDC community. With its Nature Park, Vine Residences, a ready-for-occupancy (RFO) development, promotes green and healthy living in all aspects.

Couple these with the way the hotel-like lobbies and right-sized units at Vine Residences are designed to maximize the use of natural light and ventilation, and the walkability that a home right within the SM City Novaliches complex provides, and you are granted a sustainable lifestyle in a disaster-resilient property.

Novaliches as a hyper-connected economic corridor

Shaping today’s property sector along with sustainability is infrastructure. Given real estate’s confounding implications on both the economy and the environment, these two go hand in hand in uplifting quality of life — sustainability practices future-proofing homes and prioritizing health and wellness, and infrastructure developments triggering economic opportunities and paving the way for hyper-connectedness inter- and intra-cities.

Novaliches, in particular, is in a particularly exciting position when it comes to reaping the benefits of sustainable infrastructure. The soon-to-be-completed MRT Line 7 will connect the area to the planned North Triangle Common Station, where transfers can be made to other train lines. The west of the metro will soon be easily reachable via LRT Line 1, and the MRT Line 3, together with the future Mega Manila Subway, will enable ease of travel down south.

This not only signifies utmost convenience in getting in and around Metro Manila. It also solidifies Novaliches as a key economic corridor, and marks it as a real estate investment hotbed to look out for.

Real estate as the golden ticket to sustainable investments

When it comes to sustainable investments, financial experts agree that real estate is the safest, most practical choice. Real estate assets are not only income-generating, but inflation-hedging as well. 

It is a must-have in one’s investment portfolio, primarily because real estate is bound to appreciate in value over time. It stays ahead of inflation, protecting your hard-earned money and even growing it in leaps and bounds in a 10 to 20-year horizon. For immediate yet steady returns, you can always choose to rent out your unit.

Vine Residences - Lobby
As part of their continued push towards making the luxurious attainable, SMDC curates an affluent lifestyle for their residents. Opulently-designed lobbies and a dedicated front desk team not only make sure you get treated to a VIP experience every day, but are given more time and energy for the things that truly matter.

The secret lies in choosing the right developer. SMDC’s distinct formula of sustainable developments in progressive locations has, time and time, proven itself rewarding for both end-users and investors. Add to that the integrated mall lifestyle they’ve pioneered, and the human-centric approach to property management and leasing services they carry.

Steadfast in building an affluent nation of homeowners, the trailblazing developer has recently launched their Move In Now Campaign, which essentially enables more Filipinos to own and immediately move into luxurious and masterfully-designed, sustainable homes. The program allows prospective buyers to enjoy as much as 10 percent discount upon reservation on select SMDC RFO developments nationwide. It also lets them in on the opportunity to move in right away with a five percent spot cash  payment. On top of that, SMDC gives prospective buyers a housewarming present with a premium furniture item from Our Home.

More than just an after-thought, sustainable homes are a necessity, and they are now made attainable to many, thanks to SMDC. Start living sustainably and holistically with SMDC, and move in now to Vine Residences.

To know more about the promotions you can avail of under the Move In Now Campaign, follow SMDC on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tiktok, or visit the SMDC website.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Drag Playhouse PH honors Beyonce’s Renaissance with culture-defining themed show

Drag Playhouse Philippines recently celebrated the music of Beyoncé through a thematic show that further highlights the megastar’s enormous contribution to queer pop culture.

Aptly titled HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, the event provided an outlet for the queens of Drag Playhouse Philippines to express themselves freely without judgment, while sashaying to Beyoncé’s club-thumping 2022 album, Renaissance, and classic hits.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Aside from high-profile Drag Performances of OV Cunt, Marina Summers, Prince, and Eva Le Queen—three of them currently getting valuable airtime at Drag Race Philippines, the drag show also hosted friendly battles in several categories namely Drag Face, where contestants showcase exceptional makeup skills by serving mug on the runway; Drag Runway, where contestants exhibit head-to-toe fierceness during their runway walk; and Lip Sync Challenge,  where they pull their most creative tricks in synchronizing their lips to a prerecorded track.

A special drag performance featuring Viñas DeLuxe added more star power to an already eventful night as she performed a medley of Beyoncé’s hits, with House OfMizrahi Philippines, a local chapter of the Voguing community, joining in some of the performances. A purely Beyoncé-themed DJ set tucked in between the program segments also hyped the crowd, prompting them to sing and dance along to the Homecoming Queen’s iconic bops from the late ‘90s to the present.

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Marina Summers, a fan-favorite and frontrunner at this year’s Drag Race Philippines, expressed how Beyoncé shaped her youth. “Her work has been an inspiration for a lot of queer artists, and personally, I’ve always loved performing to her songs. And ever since the Renaissancealbum came out, just like Queen B herself, my creative path has been challenged to be more innovative and unique.”

Another Drag Race Philippines favorite and drag icon, Eva Le Queen, spoke adoration for Beyonce, pointing out how her music is a gift to the world. “Beyonce has always been an icon and inspiration to the community. Her strong and alpha energy resonated so much to a lot of us Drag Queens who are essentially the face and frontliners of the equality movement for the community. Her music, her soul, her POWER has allowed me to live my life in my own terms and take Eva Le Queen to greater heights. Being a female, POC and be THE QUEEN B is a permission for all of us to be the best that we can be.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Like Summers and Eva Le Queen, fellow Drag Race Philippines contestant and queen extraordinaire PRINCE, considers Beyoncé as an important figure in influencing her drag persona. She also considers Renaissance as an envelope-pushing record that deserves its place in the pantheon of pop music greats. “It’s totally different from her past records. Most songs were sampled from classic disco hits but somehow Beyoncé made it sound fresh and that’s what makes it great.”

OV CUNT, another royalty in the contemporary drag scene, also showered Beyonce praises, particularly her new album Renaissance, for empowering listeners to be unapologetically, themselves. “It has awoken parts of the colorful history of our community, whether it’s intentional or not. It gave the world possibly new names of icons that may or might not be forgotten by the past. The mention of houses from ball culture, the use of Moi Renee’s Miss Honey in the Pure/Honey—it gives you every opportunity to reference every icon that contributed to our community today.”

Drag Playhouse Beyonce Renaissance Ball

Watch the video for the roundup of HOUSE 628 LIVE: THE RENAISSANCE BALL, Category is: A Night of a Thousand Beyoncé.

Listen to This Is Beyoncé playlist here.

Details and images provided in a recent press release.

Know how intentional cable-cutting disrupts your life

Intentional cable cutting and theft have been a rampant issue nationwide affecting thousands of Filipino households, depriving them of internet service, cable TV connection, , and at times, power supply.

With households affected from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, this malicious crime has been a major concern of telco and power utilities providers and the LGUs, that jeopardize customers’ access to news, information and entertainment crucial for their day-to-day activities.

Among its effects is how it disrupts the steady and seamless internet connection very much needed by professionals with remote set-up or online business owners. With disruptions affecting their connection, productivity halts, and attending to urgent tasks and clientele are disturbed.

Kontra Putol

Apart from the adverse impact to work, disruptions caused by illegal cable cutting can take a toll on the academic performance of students in hybrid learning set-up as they rely heavily on stable and reliable internet connectivity for timely submission of school work, taking online quizzes and examinations, and attending day-to-day classes. When the disruptions continue due to these illegal acts, this may lead to students having poor performance in school.

Kontra Putol

Intentional cable cuts also disrupt TV reception, which is still vital in getting the latest news and information, and providing quality bonding moments for the whole family in watching entertaining shows and movies in the comfort of their homes.

Kontra Putol

Aside from TV and internet disruption, illegal cable cutting puts the safety of individuals and the environment at risk. There have been reports that perpetrators have been electrocuted trying to cut live wirings that also resulted in fire in the neighborhood. Sometimes perpetrators also burn the non-profitable stolen wires producing harmful gas that pollute the environment and affects the health of individuals when inhaled.

In an effort to address these malicious acts and hold violators accountable by legal action, SKY partnered with other telcos and cable operators, power utilities providers, and more local government units in the country to strengthen its Oplan Kontra Putol initiative.

Oplan Kontra Putol takes prompt action to restore affected lines, to continuously monitor the situation by working closely with local authorities, and to observe the strict implementation of RA 10515, also known as the Cable Theft Law.

Those found guilty of violating the Cable Theft Law may face imprisonment from two to five years or pay hefty fines imposed by the court.

With the help of corresponding telco partners, barangay units, and local officials, SKY has filed legal charges against various perpetrators involved.

Through Oplan Kontra Putol, SKY continues to heed the call for immediate action and urges the public to join the nationwide initiative by being more alert as well as reporting related incidents to SKY’s official hotlines and their respective local authorities.

Concerned citizens can report suspected illegal cable cutting activities through http://www.mysky.com.ph/kontraputol, via Security Hotline number 34499111 (for Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan only), or by messaging SKY’s 24/7 messaging platform KYLA on Viber, Facebook Messenger, and SKY’s official website.

For updates regarding SKY’s efforts to restore services in areas affected by cable cutting, subscribers can check mysky.com.ph/help-service-advisories. They may also follow SKY’s social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its initiatives to improve services to its subscribers.

Power Mac Center’s ‘Portraits’ fete eco-conservation, Filipino drag culture

Apple Premium Reseller Power Mac Center (PMC) is no stranger to celebrating communities with unique stories waiting to be shared. This was the inspiration for “Portraits,” a special visual storytelling series created in collaboration with Filipino photographers showcasing the camera prowess of the iPhone. 

“Power Mac Center recognizes the power of the platform we are given, using the technology that we have, to put the spotlight on communities with important advocacies. We put this series together not only to lend a face and voice to our subjects, but to inspire our audience to use their talents, pursue their passions, and make their mark, with the help of their favorite Apple devices,” said Joey Alvarez, PMC Director of Product Management and Marketing.

The communities

The episodes of Portraits juxtapose two extremes — the quiet calm of Masungi Georeserve’s eco-conservationists against the unapologetically flamboyant drag queens of Butterboy Bakehouse. The contrast deliberately showcases the lengths to which iPhone photography stretches, effectively catering to every subject in between.

Featuring the fabulous drag queens Naia, Drag Race Philippines contestant Precious Paula Nicole, and Pura Luka Vega, the latest episode was shot on iPhone by photographer Cru Camara who has worked with international publications and global brands. It was set against the backdrop of Butterboy Bakehouse, which offers both delectable homemade croissants and entertaining performances during daylight drag or what they call as “drag brunch” and “meriendrag.”

IFA-Portraits-Drag-PRPhotos2
CELEBRATING IDENTITY, INDIVIDUALITY, AND CREATIVITY. Naia, Precious, and Pura Luka Vega use drag as an avenue to tell their stories and an artistic expression of their statements on issues that matter, especially to the LGBTQIA+ community. Shot on iPhone by Cru Camara.

Earlier, PMC tapped conservation photographer and filmmaker Noel Guevara to take the iPhone on a hike, along with the rangers of Masungi Georeserve and three city-based hikers who find sanctuary in nature. Scaling the verdant trails of the protected forest, they shared stories of their memorable climbs, confessed to what (or who) inspired their first hike, and reflected on the fulfillment they find in hiking.

IFA-Portraits-Hikers-PRPhotos2
GETTING IN TUNE WITH THE SELF. Hiking helps Sarah, Felicia, and John rediscover themselves and reach their goals. Shot on iPhone by Noel Guevara.

Shot on iPhone

Conservation photographer Guevara made sure to capture every significant moment of the climb. Through stunning photos and videos shot on iPhone, he gave justice to the Masungi staff’s decades-long conservation efforts and hard work to achieve a balanced coexistence of man and nature in this little piece of paradise.

In this project, Cru—who is known for their photographs that express creative play of colors, contrast, and shadow—examines identity and the way femininity and masculinity co-exist.Armed with their iPhone, they were able to capture the vibrant drag scene as the queens transformed into larger-than-life characters, aimed at making drag mainstream in Philippine culture.

Both photographers’ expert grasp of the environment and the lenses’ inner workings exuded their visual storytelling talents, highlighting key iPhone camera features. To see the photos and watch the full stories of Portraits unfold, visit https://bit.ly/3S53a3M and subscribe to PMC on YouTube.

iPhone 14 Philippine launch

Portraits is part of Power Mac Center’s iPhone for All campaign, which aims to bring the iPhone closer to more Filipinos. By extending exciting offers, and creating great shopping experiences, PMC makes it easier for all to finally upgrade to an iPhone.

Customers looking to get the much-anticipated iPhone 14 series are encouraged to fill out the survey form at https://bit.ly/3S17ocN to be notified when the devices hit local shores. Meanwhile, other iPhone series are available for purchase at all Power Mac Center or The Loop branches, Viber Store, Lazada, and Shopee.

To be updated on news and promotions, follow Power Mac Center’s official Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts.

Details provided in a recent press release.

The best gift ideas for heat-addicted chili heads

We all know one person who absolutely adores spicy foods, constantly pushing themselves to see how they can challenge their spice tolerance. For these people, you likely can get them a gift related to food or spiciness and they will be overjoyed. So what can you give a chili-head that is both unique and useful at the same time? Here are some of the best gift ideas for heat-addicted chili-heads. 

Hot Sauce

The most obvious gift to give to a chili-head is a bottle of high-quality hot sauce. Hot sauce is a mainstay in the diets of chili-heads, as they use it to add spice to just about every dish. Obviously, since they’re chili-heads they’re going to have a high spice tolerance, so you’ll likely want to get them something extremely spicy. Thankfully, there are plenty of high-quality spicy hot sauces to choose from. Be sure to blow them away with something they’ve never tried before and challenge their spice tolerance. If they like it a lot, they can incorporate your gift into just about any dish.

Pepper Jelly

Another great condiment to get a chili-head is pepper jelly. Pepper jelly is similar to everyday jelly you would use, but it has a little bit of spice to it. With pepper jelly, spice lovers can add some heat to a variety of dishes you usually can’t. For example, pepper jelly gives your morning toast a little bit of a kick as well as spices up the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have for lunch. If you want a really unique and creative gift to a spice-lover, buy pepper jelly online and gift your friend an amazing gift.

Aerogarden

A very unique gift idea for a chili-head is an aerogarden. An aerogarden is used to grow plants indoors, allowing the recipient to easily grow fruits and vegetables. Additionally, an aerogarden allows for year-round plant growth. With the aerogarden you give them, your favorite chili-head should be able to plant their own peppers, meaning they can use fresh ingredients in their recipes. Fresh ingredients are spicier than the packaged and frozen variety, meaning spice lovers will surely love and appreciate the fresh food. 

Cookbook

A cookbook is a perfect gift for a spice-lover. Many cookbooks are themed around spicy food, catering to those that are fond of spicy foods. These cookbooks cover an array of different spicy dishes, allowing your chili-head to expand their horizons and try new spicy foods. Additionally, learning how to cook the dishes and successfully following the recipe is a satisfying experience that only enhances the enjoyment of the amazing cooked food. If you want a safe yet versatile gift option, this is a great choice. 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mondelez invites you to bring your plastic waste to the mall

Snacks company Mondelēz International in the Philippines is continuing its partnership with social enterprise The Plastic Flamingo (PLAF) for plastic waste collection and recycling. Started in 2020, the growth of the partnership shows the potential of the recycling industry in the Philippines and how it can support waste management to avoid marine litter. This 2022, Mondelēz International and PLAF are working with Megaworld Corporation for plastic collection initiatives in five of its malls to provide avenues for communities to practice proper waste collection and disposal. 

Not many people know what happens to plastic waste after it is thrown in the waste bin. Ideally, when you throw it in the bin, plastic waste should end up in the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) of your barangay for segregation – if not already segregated at home or by your waste collectors. After segregation, the plastic is recycled depending on its type, whether it is a bottle or sachet. In the Philippines, plastic recycling companies and organizations already exist and are growing; providing ways for waste to be reused. However, not all waste follows this ideal journey, plastic or not. The unfortunate reality is that waste whether plastic, metal, or paper ends up as litter when it is not disposed of properly in bins, or if they are collected but illegally dumped in open land or in bodies of water. 

Mondelez
L to R: Erica Reyes, The Plastic Flamingo Chief Operating Officer, Atty. Joseph Fabul, Mondelēz International Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs, Aleli Arcilla, Mondelēz International, VP and Managing Director and Denisse Malong, General Manager for Eastwood City

Providing Ways for Plastic to be Recycled 

Contrary to the misconception that plastic is waste, the PLAF is demonstrating that it can be reused to make new things that we need. “We want to become part of the solution, and not the pollution,” shares PLAF Chief Operating Officer Erica Reyes. “Our work at PLAF consists of collecting, segregating, transforming and designing plastic for reuse. We make practical construction materials out of plastic, like eco-lumber and eco-boards. This ensures that we are able to recycle plastic and at the same time help reduce the use of precious resources like wood or minerals to make furniture or even shelters.” Currently, the PLAF can make and sell eco-lumber and eco-boards which can be used to make outdoor furniture, bike racks, benches, tables and others. 

Strengthening the Circular Economy 

“We support circular economy organizations like the PLAF,” explains Mondelēz International Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs, Atty. Joseph Fabul. “The Circular Economy is one where plastic remains in the economy by being reused and recycled; and stays out of the environment. Our goal is to make snacks with better packaging, to make it easier to recycle; to use less packaging by optimizing our pack sizes; and supporting improved systems through the collection of as much plastic as we put into the environment. We call this focus sustainable snacking, where people and planet thrive.” 

He continues, “We have worked with the PLAF since 2020 to collect post-consumer plastic for reuse and recycling. Since then, the plastic we have collected has been turned into outdoor furniture which were donated to the City of Paranaque and into eco-boards which are sold by the PLAF to fund further collection activities.” 

From 2020 to 2021, Mondelez International and PLAF have collected 43,000 kilos of post-consumer plastic which were repurposed into upcycled products. For this year, the company continues to strengthen its partnership with the social enterprise to collect and recycle another 20,000 kilos and turn it into usable eco-boards.

This year, Mondelēz International is also supporting PLAF’s partnership for a year-long waste collection drive in five Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, namely Eastwood Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, McKinley Hill, Uptown Bonifacio and Arcovia City. The collection drive begins on August 15 in Eastwood Mall, and for three launch days in each mall, consumers who bring in their plastic waste can get Mondelēz International treats as thanks for helping support proper waste management.

“Sustainability is in one of our core thrusts as a company, we are always open to collaborating with organizations which promote the same values. I want to thank Mondelēz International and PLAF for working with us in this milestone project,” says Megaworld Lifestyle Malls Head, Graham Coates. “We are glad that our malls have become avenues where people can practice a greener lifestyle. At Megaworld, we are committed to a culture of environmental consciousness and we continuously look for ways to practice and incorporate it in our township and lifestyle properties.”

For more details about this program, click here or click to learn more about the PLAF

About Mondelēz International 

Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2021 net revenues of approximately $29 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; SourPatchKids candy and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.  

About Mondelez Philippines 

Mondelēz Philippines Inc. has been providing consumers with delicious snack products for the past 59 years – since 1963. Its product portfolio includes Tang powdered beverages, Eden cheese, mayonnaise and sandwich spread, Cheez Whiz spread, Oreo cookies, Tiger energy biscuits, as well as Toblerone and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates. The company employs about 450 people in the Philippines, with a manufacturing facility in Parañaque City. Visit https://ph.mondelezinternational.com/home

About The Plastic Flamingo

The Plastic Flamingo, also known as The Plaf, is a social enterprise with a pilot project in the Philippines (Manila). Its core mission is to tackle marine plastic pollution by collecting and recycling ocean-bound plastic waste in emerging countries with maximum social impact. The Plaf collects all types of plastic, compensate for plastic footprint, educate communities and individuals, and transform plastics into upcycled products such as eco-lumbers, eco-boards, furniture and recycled pellets!

Details and images provided in a recent press release.