December 31, 2016

Jollibee’s First Canadian Branch Warms Up Winnipeg

Jollibee opened its first store in Winnipeg, Canada, home to over 70,000 Filipinos last December 15. The inagural location was chosen because Winnipeg is home away from home for a lot of our countrymen, with Tagalog being the second-most common mother tongue language spoken. 

In typical Jollibee fashion, the store was welcomed by long cues with people lining up as early as 10:30 PM the night before. The crowd braved the -25 celsius weather to get a chance to taste a bit of home with Jollibee favorites Jolly Crispy Chicken, Peach Mango Pie, and Jolly Spaghetti. The store is the beginning of Jollibee’s aggressive North American expansion plans that is lined up until 2018. The store also created over 100 jobs for the people of Manitoba.

Jollibee executives and special guests gather around a giant bucket of fried chicken for the Jolly Crispy Chicken toast. Seen here are JFC Group President for North America and Foreign Franchise Brands Jose Miñana, VP and General Manager of Jollibee North America Maribeth dela Cruz, Honorary Consul Ronald Opina, Member of the Legislative Assembly for St. Norbert Jon Reyes, President of Sysco Winnipeg Blair Schmidt, Trevor Skinner, and other special guests.

Winnipeg City Mayor Brian Bowman (middle), and City Councilor Scott Gillingham of St. James ward (right) share hearty laughter with Jose Miñana (left) and the Jollibee mascot as they receive exclusive Jollibee dolls to commemorate the occasion.

Throngs of fans braved the cold to camp out before first Canadian store opening

“We are very encouraged by the turnout and excitement at the grand opening of Canada’s first Jollibee,” said Jose Miñana, Jollibee Foods Corporation’s Group President for North America and Foreign Franchise Brands. “It brings us great joy that we are able to bring a taste of home to Filipinos and a new culinary experience to Canadians.”

Social media exploded with posts describing just how happy the Filipino community was over the arrival of a childhood icon. An eight year old resident even said, “I’ve been in Canada for eight years and it feels like a touch of home has arrived with Jollibee opening in our neighborhood.”

This marks the first Jollibee store opening in Canada and the 35th in North America. In 2017, Jollibee plans to open three more stores in Canada, including one in Winnipeg.

December 30, 2016

Coca-Cola says ‘thank you’ to our Tagahatid Pasko

The holiday season is often marked with its trademark rush – people hustling through their shopping lists trying to complete it before Christmas Eve and passengers crowding bus stations, airports, and other terminals to get home in time for noche buena. But it’s not the same for everyone, as every Christmas season, thousands of people work tirelessly just to make sure that everyone else can celebrate and feel the yuletide spirit.

This year, Coca-Cola paid tribute to people more popularly known as “Tagahatid Pasko”, highlighting how their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice has made it possible for everyone to have the merriest celebrations this season. All throughout December, the Company gave gifts and surprises to over 15,000 Tagahatid Pasko around the country as their way of thanking the various unsung heroes of Christmas who tirelessly work to bring a merry season for everyone else.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, several Tagahatid Pasko were surprised by Christmas carolers and associates with ice-cold bottles of Coca-Cola at their workplaces. Over 15,000 Santa packs filled with food items and special gifts greeted the unsung heroes of Christmas who were still in their workplaces.

“This is our way of expressing our gratitude to the people who help us make Christmas happen in our own homes – be it the grocery clerk who makes sure the shelves are well-stocked, or the gift-wrapping teams who work until midnight at department stores, or the toll booth operator who works overtime just so everyone can come home in time for Christmas. To all of you, thank you!” said Stephan Czypionka, Coca-Cola Philippines Vice President for Marketing.

One of the Tagahatid Pasko is Carla Dominique Diego, who works in the gift-wrapping section of a leading department store. Since the onset of the Christmas season, she has been working longer hours in order to accommodate all the customers. “Pag Christmas season, napakarami po talagang nagpapagift-wrap. Nakakalungkot lang isipin na hindi ko manlang naaasikaso yung mga regalo para sa family ko dahil busy ako sa pagbabalot ng mga regalo ng ibang tao,” she said.

Wait staff are also one of those who tirelessly work overtime during the Christmas season to allow others to celebrate the festivities with their loved-ones and friends. Jerico Gonzales, who works the night-shift at a restaurant, says that the holiday rush makes its more challenging for them. “May mga guests ako na bumabalik-balik, at naiisip ko, ang saya nila, sana ganyan din nararanasan ko ngayon. Paskong-pasko, di ko manlang nakakasama ang pamilya ko,” he said.

24-year-old Red Cross volunteer and Tagahatid Pasko Brenda Paule recalls joining her team in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda to bring the spirit of Christmas to typhoon survivors and other relief workers.

“Sharing the joy of Christmas is more than gifts; it’s about being there for others. There is no joy like seeing the smile on the face of others because of something that you have done. And that for me is the priceless reward of what we do,” a misty-eyed Paule said.

For the past four years, Paule has spent her noche buena in the streets, ready to respond to any untoward incident that may arise.

Even on Christmas Eve and at work, a doctor at the hospital finds time to share a smile with patients and enjoy a bottle of Coca-Cola, too. Like many other medical practitioners who are on duty during Christmas, they are one of the Tagahatid Pasko.
The Coca-Cola Christmas campaign did not stop with giving out Santa sacks, celebrities also joined the celebration by being this year's Tagahatid Pasko during the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 Parade by giving out ice-cold bottles of Coca-Cola. While a Christmas Concert, top-billed by the country’s best musicians and most popular love-teams, together with Coca-Cola Ambassadors James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Enchong Dee, Ylona Garcia and Bailey May, serenaded and performed for over 300 unsung heroes of Christmas from partner companies earlier this month.

Together with Coca-Cola in thanking all our Tagahatid Pasko this year are partner organizations Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Rotary Club Philippines, Shakey’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Grab, iFlix, Robinsons Mall, Jollibee, Zomato, 5by20 Women Artisans of Tondo, 7-Eleven, Shell, Select, Mini Stop, Metro Manila Development Authority, Djarn Manpower, Sentinel, Tropical Hut Pasay City, the Philippine National Police, and VXI.

To see how Coca-Cola paid tribute to our #TagaHatidPasko, 
check out the video
on their official Facebook page.

December 29, 2016

Paolo Ballesteros wins 42nd MMFF Best Actor, Best Picture is Sunday Beauty Queen

Here are the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016  Awardees

Sunday Beauty Queen

Paolo Ballesteros
Die Beautiful

Irma Adlawan

MMFF My Most Favorite Film
Die Beautiful

Erik Matti

Die Beautiful

Christian Bables
Die Beautiful


Sunday Beauty Queen


Rhed Bustamante


FPJ Memorial Award For Excellence

Best Production Design:

Dominus Miserere  Seklusyon

Saving Sally

Childrens Choice Award
Saving Sally
Sunday Beauty Queen
Vince And Kath And James



Ronnie Alonte

HOOQ Female Celebrity of the Night
Rhian Ramos

Sunday Beauty Queen

Short Film – Best Screenplay: Mitatang
Short Film – Special Jury Prize: Manila Scream
Short Film – Best Picture: EJK


Discovering the gems of the Philippines

Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Asia Pacific 2016 participants from across the world had the opportunity to experience the many wonders of the Philippines as part of the full-packed itinerary prepared for the world’s largest annual gathering of travel bloggers, writers, content media creators and industry professionals.

Presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the tours provided not only an exciting visit to the world-famous white-sand beaches of Boracay and Palawan, but also a unique experience of Filipino culture, people, food and nightlife through equally tantalizing destinations from north to the south of the country. 

They got to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites including the historic town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras in Ifugao. Their itinerary also included Pampanga, Batanes and Tagaytay.

The participants had a glimpse of the country’s rich history with a tour of Intramuros and Corregidor Island. A pubcrawl was also prepared for them to promote Manila’s nightlife, which is considered one of the best in Asia.

They also visited the historical Magellan’s Cross and Basilica de Santo Niño in Cebu and travelled to Siquijor – a province that is famous for its folk healing, myths of sorcery, and the supernatural.

The participants sampled adventure while traversing the rural land trail towards Mayon Volcano in Legazpi on ATVs, Kayak along the Bulusan Lake in Sorsogon, and white-water rafting and river trekking in the rapids of Cagayan de Oro. Taking a leisurely getaway, they were also given an A-list treatment in the picturesque towns of Siargao and Davao.

TBEX 2016 was made possible with the support of Philippine Airlines, Globe Telecom, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and Duty Free Philippines. Other sponsors included Amorita Resort, The Lind Boracay, Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel, Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Primer Group of Companies, The Funny Lion Palawan, Merrell Philippines, Lakan, Banana Peel, Le Spa at Sofitel, Park Inn by Radisson, Hotel Luna, Bluewater Maribago Resort and Spa, Sonya’s Garden, Museo Orlina, and Grab Philippines. 

The event was also made possible through the participation of volunteers from the University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, University of Santo Tomas, and Philippine Women’s University. 

By hosting international events such as TBEX in the country, the Philippines is eventually becoming one of the most sought-after destinations among travel experts and industry professionals.

December 28, 2016

"Food Hero" Chef Anton Amoncio's Home Cooked Asia: Philippines on Asian Food Channel Premieres December 29

Winning the Food Hero Asia tilt held in Singapore a few months ago spelled a lot of difference on the life of young chef Anton Amoncio. For one, he gets to host his own cooking show, which for him is a "dream come true." 

Home Cooked Asia: Philippines airs 9 am on December 29, Thursday over Asian Food Channel. It will feature Chef Anton cooking traditional Filipino recipes to serve as introductory journey for people who want to know about Filipino food. 

Two, 30-minute each, episodes will air back-to-back for the so-called Chef for the Millennials, providing an hour-long spectacle of passioned cooking, with replays at 2 and 10 pm of the same day. In a way it is a sumptuous throwback Thursday as he deals with dishes he "grew up with." 

"Winning the Food Hero competition was big already. But having your own show is short of miraculous. This show serves as a window to my soul and I thank everyone who helped me along the way," he shared during a short talk with the press. 

Chef Anton is managed by Asian Artists Agency helmed by King of Talk Boy Abunda. He is one to let his cooking do more the talking, especially after his Tinola and Fried Chicken Adobo sa Gata made him as a Food Hero finalist and his Cheesy Lamb Rack Kaldereta bested other finalists from the South East Asian region. 

He said, "I hope my bit of Home Cooked creates awareness of what Filipino food is about. I want people outside the Philippines to ask questions about the way we cook and the passion we have for it." 

He added, "For Filipinos I made sure to make the dishes easy-to-make and accessible so they can try doing it themselves." 

Chef Anton is also featured in the Chef Series where selected masters were asked to come out with their own recipes. He was chosen prior to winning the Food Hero challenge; his Tinola with watermelon and Chocolate Binagoongan serving as indicators of how he fits the bill. 

Just recently launched, the Chef Series carries his recipes, along those of veteran chefs, to be made available in selected Fresh Options retail stores. 

Asked to name his favorite Filipino dishes, he quickly named three: adobo, tinola, and kare-kare. His grandmother used to give him Tinola when he's feeling sick while he finds Kare-Kare best for festivities. Adobo is a no-brainer. 

"For me Filipino food is the next big thing and I hope the show will be appreciated by people everywhere," he added.

For more information visit the Asian Artists Agency official Facebook page or email

A Mom's Unbreakable Bond With Her Child

The relationship of mother and child remains indescribable, strongest and unbreakable bond on Earth. 

Seeing your body change, hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling the first kick from your insides—these are the moments that build the invisible but irrevocable connection between a mother and her child. 

Because of this growing connection, you feel most responsible for your baby, so it is all but inevitable for anxieties to spring up left and right. 

You worry if you are giving enough nourishment. You worry if your baby is developing normally. You worry if your baby will get diseases passed down from your family. 

“I’m always thinking about my baby 24/7. I worry about his life so much so that besides adjusting my lifestyle for him, I also do a lot of research online. I ask advice from my friends and family about how I can take better care of my baby because I can never be truly 100% sure about his well being all the time.”  
                                                                              – Lea, 30, first-time mom

Like mommy Lea, maybe it has dawned on you that you cannot protect your baby for the rest of your lives, but what if we can alter that reality. What if there is a way to help secure your child’s life from several life-threatening diseases by preserving that one-of-a-kind connection between you and your baby? 

The umbilical cord is your child’s lifeline inside your womb. It is through this physical connection that you are able to give your child the gift of life. But after childbirth, this life giving cord is simply thrown away, not realizing the worth of the blood inside it.

Throwing the umbilical cord is like throwing life away. Cord blood contains the youngest and inherently valuable stem cells that may help save your baby from leukemia and other blood cancers, solid tumors, immunodeficiency and metabolic disorders.

With Cordlife, you can now make that one choice to take that one chance to protect your child’s life. Being the 1st and only registered Cord Blood Bank in the Philippines and part of the largest stem cell banking network in Asia, Cordlife gives you the chance to save your family by banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood. 

By storing your cord blood that is painlessly extracted from your umbilical cord right after giving birth, you can give your child a fighting chance to survive life-threatening diseases. 

Cord blood banking can provide the stem cells needed to replace and regenerate damaged bone marrow, treat blood cancers, correct genetic defects, and be a potential source for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine. 

By preserving the visible connection between you and your baby, you can have your much-needed peace of mind when it comes to doing everything you can to secure your baby’s life.

Don’t throw life away. 
Save your baby’s cord blood. 
Save your baby’s life.

To know more about cord-blood banking, call (02) 332 1888 or visit

December 27, 2016

Coca-Cola Agos Program brings water to 16 communities with hydraulic ram pump

The Philippines is known for its water resource – seas that are abundant with fish and other marine ecosystems, rivers and lakes that host freshwater flora and fauna, and springs that are considered to be one of the cleanest. However, there are communities that still do not have access to water.

For generations, upland communities have lived lives that required them to wake up early to draw water from distant sources; a life where children would spend more time drawing water for household use than playing outdoors; a life where mothers juggle between providing water for their families and finding the time to care and nurture.

Residents of a village near Mt. Kanlaon easily get water for their daily use from a common tap stand.
In line with its global thrust of returning the same amount of water used in the production of its beverages to nature and communities, Coca-Cola Philippines installed 13 hydraulic ram pumps this September and October through the Coca-Cola Agos Program. In 2015 alone, 1,984 million liters of water have been returned to nature and communities through the project’s water ram pump installations.
A section of the Coca-Cola Agos ram pump sits at the edge of a rice field in the foothills of Mt. Kanlaon, the highest peak and an active volcano in Negros Island.

The interiors of the Agos ram pump show that it is made of materials that are easily accessible at a local hardware store. The pump was designed in such a way that once turned over to the villagers, they can easily maintain and repair it on their own.
“We believe that water is an integral resource in ensuring the sustainability of communities. Through the ram pump’s simple and sustainable mechanism, we are able to bring water to people who need it most. More than the water, it is giving these communities a fresh start, an opportunity to create a more sustainable future,” said Diego Granizo, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.

The red tap stand is like an oasis in a desert – a source of refreshment for most villagers that are benefitting from the Agos ram pump. Most villages installed with an Agos ram pump are dotted with the red tap stand where they can draw clean water without having to travel directly to the source.

In the last two months, the villages of Ebag in Barugo, Templanza and Luwan in Matalom, all in Leyte, together with the villages of Libtong, Villa Caneja, Cabunga-an, Caray-Caray, and sitios Puro, Mocal Bocal, and Baras, and the village proper of Barangay Catmon in Naval, Biliran will be receiving the Coca-Cola Agos ram pumps. Completing the list of recipients are Sitio Sadsadan in Barangay Balbalan, Sitio Bullalayao in Barangay Pantikian, both in Kalinga Province, and two areas in Barangay Camias, including Sitio Pasbul, and Barangay Inararo in Porac, Pampanga.

After the Coca-Cola Agos Program ram pump was installed in Lake Lahit, residents started getting water from tap stands near their homes. Gone are the days when they have to trek for hours to get water for their daily needs.

Fetching water downhill was the way of life Todena Fadon was born into. She is more than thankful that the Coca-Cola Agos Program allows her to spend more time caring for her children and nurturing their future.

In partnership with the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI), Coca-Cola Philippines has been bringing the ram pump technology to various upland communities who do not have access to water. The ram pump technology allows the elevation of water from a remote source to upland areas without the need for complex machinery and electricity. The ram pump used in the Coca-Cola Agos Project relies on gravity-assisted hydraulic force to propel water into reservoirs which brings water to conduits near clustered households.

Since its introduction in 2011, there are already 30,817 households that have benefitted from 129 water pump installations made by the Coca-Cola Agos Project, 118 of which are ram pumps while the 11 are gravity installations. 

December 26, 2016

Amaia Scapes North Luzon treats guests to soothing ‘acoustic evenings’

Soothing acoustic music, good company, and the chilly breeze of a “ber” month—all these under a starlit sky. Such was the mesmerizing scenario when Amaia Scapes projects North of Manila held their acoustic evenings last October 8, 15 and 21. 

Amaia Land held “acoustic evenings” at Amaia Scapes Bulacan, San Fernando, Capas, Tarlac, Urdaneta and Cabanatuan for residents and guests. . 

To let prospective homeowners experience firsthand the comfortable, relaxed, and homey lifestyle that Amaia Scapes offers, acoustic nights were held at Amaia Scapes in Bulacan; San Fernando City, Pampanga; Capas, Tarlac; Urdaneta, Pangasinan and Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. 

Ching Higino, North Luzon’s regional sales head, warmly welcomed all guests at the events. According to her, Amaia Land wanted to provide clients with “a more pleasurable buying experience” by treating them to acoustic performances, which is seldom held in the provinces. 
“Unlike other Amaia events that are usually held during the day, we thought of having acoustic evenings to give clients a taste of the fun and convivial environment of Amaia Scapes,” she said. 

The acoustic evenings entertained guests and their families—all from nearby towns—and showed how Amaia Land cares for ordinary Filipinos, even before they become Amaia residents. 

This aligns with Amaia Land’s desire to accomplish its vision of providing affordable and high-quality residential homes to the average Filipino—teachers, small business owners, government employees, and start-up families. And Amaia Scapes properties are the fulfillment of this vision. 

As they empower people to attain their dream of having homes of their own, Amaia Scapes touts the convenience and ease of being located near transportation and commercial hubs. 

Amaia Scapes Bulacan enjoys a strategic location at the heart of Sta. Maria, Bulacan, placing the property close to commercial establishments and transport hubs. 
All residential units in Amaia Scapes are smartly designed, spacious and well-built, and feature one-of-a-kind community concepts tailored for Filipino families. Amaia homes are affrded provisions for expansion to adjust to the various lifestyles of growing families. Home owners may build additional space at the ground floor or heighten up by adding an upper floor.

To ensure safety and security in all Amaia Scapes projects, the properties are managed by Ayala Property Management Corp. (APMC). 

Lastly, Amaia Land places your dream Amaia Scapes home within reach with its easy-on-the-pocket and flexible payment options.

Amaia Scapes Urdaneta, offering innovative residential units with an array of amenities, is set in Urdaneta City in Pangasinan, with 849 house-and-lot units spread acros 14.8 hectares of land. 

All aspiring homeowners are free to join Amaia Scapes events and witness firsthand the promise of a better living experience. For inquiries, check out Amaia booths in provincial malls and sales offices. 

You may also get in touch with Amaia via, or call 0977-842-AMAIA.

Celebrating Awe-Inspiring Talents

i-Shine Talent Camp mentors, grand winners, and host Dimples Romana, are all-smiles as they culminate the successful fifth season of the first and biggest online talent search in the country

Watching your child learn and develop new skills is nothing short of rewarding. But as you do, it’s sometimes hard to remember that your child’s love and excitement for discovery is what’s behind all his or her new accomplishments. 

Young minds seek stimulation—and when your little one continues to show eagerness to learn, it’s important that you let support them him/her to foster creativity, growth, and a love for learning they that can nurtured through adulthood. 

i-Shine 5 Music Camp, Stage Camp, and Art Camp grand winners Seth Salada, Sean Bermudez, and Alliyah Umandal, through the support of their parents and mentors in nurturing their gifts, celebrate their well-deserved victory

This is precisely why PROMIL PRE-SCHOOL continues to aid parents in achieving their children’s potential by providing them with the unique combination of brain & body building nutrients which help support learning during the crucial window of talent development. Simultaneously, PROMIL PRE-SCHOOL continues to create platforms such as the I-SHINE Talent Camp, which gives kids an opportunity to hone their inherent talents to their maximum potential. 

Already on its fifth year, this year’s I-SHINE Talent Camp gave children a lot to work on, together with high caliber mentors meant to draw out their talents across various genres. Divided into three camps, each one features an expert in the field to help kids nurture their gifts to the highest potential. Teacher Georcelle Dapat-Sy and Rico Blanco team up to be mentors for the Stage Camp, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab shares his mastery of music among members of the Music Camp, and Robert Alejandro imparts his artistic vision to the creative minds being nurtured in the Art Camp. 

i-Shine 5 Art Camp mentor Robert Alejandro, together with the finalists, wave to the audience during the Talent Camp finale opening number

i-Shine 5 mentors Robert Alejandro, Ryan Cayabyab, Georcelle Dapat-Sy, and Rico Blanco watch the finalists with awe as their previous students showcase their inspiring talents

The grand culmination of this year’s I-SHINE Talent Camp was celebrated with the mentors, parents, and of course the children, who displayed everything they have learned at the Huseng Batute theater at the CCP. This year, Sean Hayden Bermudez won the top prize for Stage Camp after displaying exceptional moves and stage presence; Alliyah Umandal’s puppet art wowed judges who awarded her as the Grand Art Camp i-Shiner; and Seth Levi Salada, displayed his mastery of rhythm and took home the grand prize for Music Camp. 

“How you support your kids and nurture their brain and body are some of the best things the best investment you can make as a parent. I-SHINE serves as a way for PROMIL PRE-SCHOOL to give parents more opportunities to create unique experiences that can develop and foster potential in their child,” ends Yvette Villegas, Product Manager, Wyeth Nutrition Philippines. 

December 25, 2016

BGC Bus Now Accepts beep™ cards

BGC Bus and AF Payments Inc. have announced that BGC Buses are now using the beep™ card system on limited public trial. Commuters who have a beep™ card may already use them to pay for their BGC Bus rides. Fare remains at P12 per ride.

“We are pleased to partner with BGC Bus as this will move us closer to our goal of making the beep™ card an all-in-one card for commuters in Metro Manila. BGC Buses serve thousands of commuters daily and our goal is to be able to provide them with a reliable and efficient payment system, especially those who hop from the MRT or the LRT to the bus,” said Peter Maher, CEO and President of AF Payments Inc.

“BGC Bus commuters can conveniently purchase and load their beep™ cards in the Ayala and Market Market Terminal. This is in addition to selected Bayad Center, Tambunting, Villarica and SM Bills Payment Counter locations, which also offer re-loading services for beep™ cards. There are also plans to add more loading locations in the coming months, including leading convenience stores,” added Maher.

“We are excited to announce this integration because this gives our BGCitizen commuters more convenience in their daily commute,” said Mr. Jun Galvez, GM of Bonifacio Transport Corporation.

The BGC Bus line connects BGC to EDSA and Ayala Center. It has a Euro-5 compliant fleet and operates 24/7 to serve thousands of commuters, mostly employees who work in BGC and Makati. BGC Bus also takes pride in its information systems, whereby waiting time for the next bus can be accessed using the BGC app, and are also shown in most bus stops within BGC.

BGC is a financial and lifestyle district in Taguig City. It is home to contemporary office blocks, storied high streets, and parks. It has grown into an urban oasis of unique selections for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

The beep™ card replaced the old Tap BGC stored value card. It can be purchased and reloaded at the BGC Bus Ayala and Market Market terminals as well as all LRT and MRT stations. It is reloadable and is valid for four years. More information about beep™ is available at and on Facebook (beep card) and Twitter (@beep_card).

About AF Payments Inc.

AF Payments Inc. is a consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp. that provides contactless payment solutions in the Philippines through its integrated product and service offerings, thereby enhancing the transaction experience of every Filipino.

Its tap and go payment system, or the beep™ card, is available for use in all three elevated railways (LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3).

Website and Social Media

December 24, 2016

Akita Epson Completes New Printhead Factory - New Plant to Triple Inkjet Printhead Production Capacity

Akita Epson Corporation, a group company of Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, "Epson"), has held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of a new factory. Epson invested approximately 3.4 billion yen on the construction of the plant, which will triple Akita Epson's current printhead production capacity. Construction began in October 2015 and the new plant went online earlier this month.

Epson provides printers and services based on original Micro Piezo inkjet technology to customers in the home, office, commercial, and industrial markets. The printheads produced at the new Akita Epson factory will be the core devices to be used in Epson's high-capacity ink tank printers and business inkjet printers.

Epson’s high-capacity ink tank printers meet the needs of customers for low-cost prints with genuine Epson print quality. Initially launched in October 2010, sales of these products had reached as many as 15 million units worldwide as of June 2016. The office market is also seeing annual growth in demand for high-speed business inkjet printers that produce outstanding image quality at a lower cost per print and lower energy consumption than laser printers.

"Akita Epson is an important domestic production site with advanced technological capability and a close working relationship with Epson's corporate R&D function," said Takashi Mitsui, president of Akita Epson. "We make a significant contribution to the manufacturing capability of the entire Epson Group, sharing with Epson's overseas manufacturing plants the technical expertise we have gained from manufacturing core devices. By using Epson's original production equipment and automating and rationalizing production lines, the new plant will further raise our production capability."

Epson is committed to advancing its original technologies and to delighting customers by exceeding their expectations with products and services based on original core devices.

Inkjet printer printheads

Micro Piezo printheads eject droplets of ink via mechanical pressure. This mechanical pressure is created when piezoelectric elements in the print heads contract in response to an applied voltage. Two main characteristics set Epson's technology apart from other inkjet printing systems. The first is that Micro Piezo printing systems do not use heat to eject the ink droplets. The second is that they precisely control the volume of ink contained in each ink droplet.

For more information about Epson's technologies, please visit the following web site:

Okay na si Lolo: Coca-Cola Agos Program brings renewed hope to war survivor

Agos Gravity-Fed Systems bring water from natural springs on higher grounds down to reservoirs near beneficiary communities like Barangay del Pilar in Baao, Camarines Sur.
Japanese airplanes were dropping bombs across Pili, Camarines Sur. People in the city fled the plains and went to different areas to save themselves, to save their families. Some ran to the fields, while the others decided to settle and create homes near or at the mountains. However, the safety of one’s life had a price to pay: there was no water.

Barangay Del Pilar is one of the communities that cradled the families who escaped the horrors of those bombings. Located at the upper section of the mountain in Baao, Camarines Sur, it is divided into three zones. As of 2014, it has become home to a total of 75 households, with a population of 384.
Lolo Cenederio Lopez, 74, spent most of his younger years hiking five kilometers away from his home to fetch water. Now that he no longer has the same strength and endurance to carry containers on his shoulders, Lolo Cenederio is more than thankful to have easily accessible water in his community. 

Among the residents is Cenederio Lopez. He is 74 years old, lives alone, and has never left Del Pilar since he was born. More than knowing the barangay like the back of an old friend’s hand, he never imagined in his lifetime that water would someday become easily available to them.

“It was really a sacrifice just to fetch water,” Lolo Cenederio shares. He recalls that it was a daily dilemma for most of his life, rooting back to when he was still a child. Whenever his family would run out of water, his father and older brothers would be up before the crack of dawn to fetch water with their containers and a carabao. Years later, it was still a problem, and it became part of the routine that Lolo Cenderio became accustomed to. 

Because of his old age, he could no longer hike the way he did when he was younger. What he would do is to buy a water container worth PhP20 from his neighbors, however, this exchange came with a price, he still needed to do an hour’s worth of walking. The situation was simple: he either walked and carried the containers on his shoulders, or there would be no water at all. 

The trip down from del Pilar was difficult since it would require roughly nine kilometers to the city proper of Baao and back, or a 5-kilometer hike on stiffer, more slippery and underdeveloped roads. Many times, safety was compromised in order to get water for taking a bath or for drinking. If none of the options were available, the community would wait and pray for the clouds to get dark and for rain to fall down on grateful residents. The longest time that the barangay went without any rain was about five months.

But finally, after centuries of depending on distant water sources, the dangerous and taxing travel was reduced from hours to just a few minutes away. Through the efforts of the community and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines in partnership with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, they paved the way for getting water without compromising the safety of the people.

Coca-Cola Philippines, through the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, and its partners have established the Agos Program to provide sustainable water access to water-deprived communities. Through Agos, residents of Barangay del Pilar in Baao, Camarines Sur became recipients of an Agos Gravity-Fed System, which brings water from natural springs on higher grounds down to a reservoir near the beneficiary community.

“I am extremely thankful to God, our barangay captain, and Coca-Cola Foundation for producing a project like this. Without them, we would not have water to drink,” Lolo Cenederio said. He added that instead of paying PhP20 per container, it has been reduced to just PhP2. It is a blessing that he no longer needs to hike or pay a large amount just to get water. 

For some, the project of Coca-Cola may just be a simple relocation of a resource, but Barangay del Pilar residents, it only proves that there is hope, there is love, and there is happiness.

The Company is also engaged in sustainability projects that aim to help economically empower women, and nourish the youth of today to build better and stronger communities of tomorrow.

Okay na si Lolo:  Coca-Cola Agos Program brings renewed hope to war survivor
by Ma. Teriz S. Castro,
University of Sto. Tomas Journalism Society

About The Coca-Cola Company:
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. Our billion-dollar brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at, follow us on Twitter at, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at or find us on LinkedIn at

This Holiday Gift Idea : The Limited Edition Scraper Mixer Pro™ in Cranberry

Create your own holiday goodies cakes, biscuits, bread and pastries truly scrumptious and overwhelmingly satisfying by preparing it professionally in the comforts of your own home kitchen or even at your bread shop. The Scraper Mixer Pro™ (BEM800) from Breville, Australia’s top kitchen brand, has come out with a limited edition Cranberry color. 

Guaranteed to add excitement to your kitchen the new Scraper Mixer Pro™ Cranberry has the same powerful and effective efficiency. Engage the “Planetary” Mixing Action in its 4.7-liter mixing bowl with handle to replicate the mixing action used in patisseries and bakeries and get evenly-mixed batter, creamy icing and pliable dough. 

You can also adjust its 12 pre-programmed settings from slow kneading to rapid whipping and aerating, and use the count up and down kitchen timer with pause function to achieve that precise mixing result. 

The Scraper Mixer Pro™ Cranberry with its die-cast metal mixer body and stainless steel bowl also comes with extra wide attachments, such as the standard flat beater, wire whisk, dough hook and Breville’s innovation—the Scraper Beater, all for P27,000. 

The product is available online through Breville’s webstore (THE WOW STORE) and on display at selected outlets within Metro Manila. Purchase the Scraper Mixer Pro™ until December 31 and get a FREE 5Q extra bowl. This Christmas promo is available for cash & straight card transactions. 

For more about Breville products, visit or on brevillephilippines


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