Sunday, June 26, 2022

Aboitiz turns over the rehabilitated Boracay Wetland Park to DENR and Boracay communities

6:42:00 AM


The Aboitiz Group handed over the rehabilitated Wetland No. 4 now known as the Balabag Wetland Park to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during a turnover ceremony held on June 16, 2022. As a testament to its commitment to the preservation of biodiversity and environmental protection in the Boracay islands, the one-hectare lagoon area in Barangay Balabag has been transformed into a linear urban park in partnership with the key national government  agencies led by the DENR Region VI, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Tourism Infrastructure and Entertprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Department of Tourism (DOT). 

The event was attended by DENR Secretary Jim O. Sampulna, former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu,; DENR Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo Jr., EMB Executive Director Natividad Y. Bernardino, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, DOJ Assistant Secretary Margaret Castillo-Padilla, TIEZA COO Mark Lapid, and representatives from partners. 

Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz emphasized how central partnerships such as this are to the Aboitiz Group's Transformation journey. "The Aboitiz Group's contribution to Boracay's rehabilitation is part of our commitment to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. As we journey sustainability through our Great Transformation into the Philippines' first 'techglomerate', we will continue to identify and do our part to uplift and bring focus on environmentally and socially impactful initiatives fro all our stakeholders. We are proud to have partnered with DENR, DPWH, TIEZA, DOT, and the LGU of Boracay to build the Balabag Wetland Park, a space that we hope continues to promote education for the immediate community on the protection. conservation, enhancement, and rehabilitation of Boracay's natural ecosystems," said the Aboitiz chief. 

For his part, DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna said, "The Balabag Wetland Park, formerly Wetland no. 4, is another testament to the successful wetland rehabilitation of Boracay island. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Aboitiz Equity Ventures for being our partner in the rehabilitation and transformation of Wetland No. 4 into an urban linear park, which now serves as the center of the wetland ecotourism circuit of Boracay. May the Balabag Wetland Park serve as a success story as we capitalize on nature-based solutions such as wetland conservation and rehabilitation in our localities for a greener, more sustainable, and resilient approach to building back better."

Director Natividad Y. Bernardino, OIC Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau, expressed thanks for the partnership that made the rehabilitation project possible. "The DENR and the BIATF (Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force) are grateful to the Aboitiz Group for rehabilitating Wetland No. 4 under BMB's Adopt-A-Wetland' program. From being a 'waste receptacle,' Wetland No. 4 has now been transformed into a lagoon with a linear park, attracting tourists and locals right in the middle of Boracay's commercial area," said Director Bernardino. 

Since the beginning of the rehabilitation project in 2018, the Aboitiz Group has always made it its aim to conceptualize and deploy nature-based solutions to create a functional public space out of the wetland area. By using low-impact eco-tourism designs, the Balabag Wetland Park has become not only a recreational space, but also an educational and experiential space by generating awareness about the importance of wetlands and creating opportunities for collaboration and partnerships among the local community, students, and even tourists. 

Several improvements have been made to the wetland area throughout its rehabilitation. Aerators have been installed to maintain the water quality of the lagoon, while endemic trees and plants have been planted along the lagoon's perimeter boardwalk to help rebuild the biodiversity in the area. An accompanying plaza was also constructed that serves as both a flood management measure and an attraction site for tourists and locals alike. The Balabag Wetland Park also features an activity area for community events, and educational signages have been placed around the Park to add to the experience. 

The completion of the Balabag Wetland Park's plaza officially capped its development phase. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

6:04:00 PM


The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change. Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak. That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on. Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature. Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development.

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said.

Disaster risk reduction

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting in damages to properties and loss of life. Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality. The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Biodiversity conservation

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide. This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species.

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna. Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity. There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project. Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area.

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

Green buildings development

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices. For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function. Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

Sustainable living

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment. As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea.

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite. It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community.

Ben&Ben wades through a bad breakup on angsty rock anthem “Langyang Pag-ibig”

6:04:00 PM


News in the music industry! For all Ben&Ben fans!

Ben&Ben chronicles the inevitable disintegration of a romantic relationship on “Langyang Pag-ibig,” their latest single under Sony Music Philippines.

Witnessing how a burning love ultimately ends up in a disaster, the nine-piece Filipino collective writes a song that wades through a bad breakup with the stinging anger of someone struggling to put their life back on track.

Arranged with classic rock bigness and percussive elements, the song packs a devastating punch with a chorus that articulates one’s feelings of being betrayed. “It's the song where we flexed our musicality the most,” says the acclaimed band. “It's three songs in one song, but it still sounds like one song.”

“Langyang Pag-ibig” is recorded at Spryta Studios, the same place where Ben&Ben recorded the entirety of their multi-platinum debut album, Limasawa Street. It was produced by Ben&Ben and Jean Paul Verona, mixed by Sam Marquez and Verona, and mastered by Leon Zervos.

“We’ve always wanted to make a song with this vibe, and we think the songwriting in itself begged for it,” shares the chart-topping folk-pop group in a statement. “It helped that Jean Paul and Sam were very familiar with the vibe we were going for and that helped create the general mood and sound we wanted for Langyang Pag-ibig.”

According to the band, “Langyang Pag-ibig” was approached in the familiar way their songs were recorded. They jammed it first a couple of times, and arranged it together slowly as if building a house of cards. “We also balanced elements and see how high we could take the themes,” adds the band.

Ben&Ben’s “Langyang Pag-ibig” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

Collaboration: A key in creating sustainable agri-enterprises

1:15:00 PM


Limited market information and market access are two major obstacles to increased smallholder farmers’ income. According to studies, farmers in grassroot communities often lack access to profitable, value-added markets. In the absence of critical supporting functions, such as infrastructure and service provision – farmers struggle to transform their traditional subsistence farms into a feasible commercially oriented production. Buyers, on the other hand, such as wholesalers, find it difficult to get the quantity and quality of produce that they need for processing on a timely basis.

Because of this challenge, SM Foundation collaborated with various government agencies, and engaged various SM business units such as the SM Development Corp. (SMDC), SM Supermalls and SM Markets to ensure that local farmers under the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program have venues where they can sell their produce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

From training KSK participants in practicing sustainable farming technologies via technology transfer and product development, SMFI, together with various SM business units used the power of collaboration to create farm-market linkage - which intends to create a powerful driver of rural poverty reduction.

Team social good
The Good Guys Market is a weekend market set up in SMDC properties to connect small-scale farmers directly with consumers—condo residents. This initiative links around 26,000 small-scale farmers directly with consumers.

Together with SM Supermalls, SMFI launched the Green Lane initiative. Led by the wives of the KSK farmers, the social enterprise offers a wide variety of quality yet affordable indoor and landscape plants which cater to every enthusiast’s preference. In addition, the team also launched the KSK Farmers’ Market Day to provide farmers with market exposure in select SM Malls nationwide.

Meanwhile, SMFI also partnered with SM Markets in creating market for onion farmers. Through the partnership, SMFI was able to establish specialized onion pop-up booths creating a stable market for small scale onion farmers.

Millions of smallholder farmers are seeking ways to improve the productivity of their farms and to improve their market performance. Modern farming technologies, paired with market linkage, such as the SM KSK, plays a vital role in improving the livelihood of small-scale farmers and their families.

SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) is SMFI’s Social Good program on sustainable agriculture that intends to uplift the lives of Filipinos in grassroot communities through sustainable agriculture via technology transfer, product development and farm-market linkage. To date, the program has trained more than 28,500 farmers from more than 900 cities/municipalities nationwide.

Working together to serve more communities for a sustainable future

11:31:00 AM



Solar rooftop at SM City North EDSA

Climate change is one of the most pressing and defining global issues today. It has become imperative for both the public and private sectors to continue to band together to primarily, safeguard the welfare of the people and to step up to strengthen the resilience of the nation.

The Philippines currently ranks third globally when it comes to climate change vulnerability. In relation to its geographical location, it is more exposed to altering intensities of climate change manifested through erratic weather systems and natural calamities.

The private sector is called upon now more than ever to align with the principles of sustainable development and to take on the same firm stance on environmentally sound practices in its operations. 

“I constantly encourage the private sector to work closely with the government. This way, we can be more cohesive in our efforts to make more meaningful progress towards a better and sustainable future. As a private enterprise, SM Prime will continue to do its share in addressing climate change for the benefit of communities,” said Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Water conservation

Sustainability at SM Prime is at the core of its corporate identity. SM Prime has spearheaded sustainable practices as well as set records in pioneering programs to consciously protect the environment and strongly focus on resilience in its developments.

For one, the property conglomerate embarked on a campaign to substantially reduce its water consumption. It pioneered the installation of sewage treatment plants even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.

Today, its sewage treatment plants recycle 8.7 million cubic meters of water, lessening its dependence on fresh water sources for air conditioning operations, gardening, water closet flushing and other non-potable uses. SM Prime’s water catchment basins across 20 SM malls can also catch and store almost 79 million liters of water in total every time it rains, or as much as 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

By controlling the flow of flood water, surrounding communities have been provided more protection against the devastating effects of floods, alleviating what communities would normally fear when the rains come.

Renewable energy

SM Prime continues to explore ways to promote environmental consciousness in its operations and developments to minimize environmental impact.

In 2014, SM Prime achieved an important milestone in the country with SM City North EDSA becoming then the world’s largest solar-powered mall. Today, SM Prime is adding eleven more malls with solar roof decks.

Showing its firm resolve to advance its sustainability agenda, the company is committed to increase the use of renewable energy by 50% in 2022 across its various business segments, ahead of the national goals to be 35% renewable by 2030.

Through these efforts, SM Prime is committed to provide affordable and clean energy to its tenant-partners, minimizing the carbon footprint emission in its operations.

Collaboration toward resilience

As a key figure in the private sector, Mr. Sy and his dedication to environmental protection continues to serve as a testament to how Philippine businesses can usher positive change toward disaster resilience and risk reduction management in the country.

In 2012, Mr. Sy joined the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) for Disaster Reduction. In 2015, he was also inducted as the first and only Filipino member UNDRR ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) International Board. He currently serves as co-chair in the ARISE-Philippines network and National Resilience Council (NRC) of the Philippines, representing the private sector. He continues to help develop multi-sectoral partnerships in the country to strengthen the ability of corporations, including MSMEs, to prepare and respond to disasters brought about by natural hazards such as earthquake.

“Climate change is looming over our Mother Earth. If we can contribute no matter how little and if I can get everybody to be aware of it, I think we will make an impact. It’s never too late,” said Mr. Sy in a video interview for the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative.

Expanding Its Presence, Shopee Conducts a series of onboarding initiatives in Mindanao and the establishment of new hubs

10:01:00 AM


Shopee is expanding its presence all over the country and reaches more in Mindanao. 

As part of its continuous efforts to bring a fun and seamless online shopping experience to more Filipinos across the country, Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, expands its serviceable areas through the establishment of new Shopee Xpress hubs across Mindanao. Through these new hubs in Davao City, Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, and other areas, local sellers are provided with greater opportunities to expand their business through e-commerce and compete at a national level. For Davao to Davao purchases, both shoppers and sellers can now enjoy shorter delivery times.

Shopee also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to hold its first Shopee University Roadshow in Davao City. The masterclass educated Davao-based sellers on how to grow their businesses with e-commerce and onboarded new sellers to improve the overall online selling experience for Filipinos. Shopee also held another live seller engagement event in Davao City, Shopee Kumustahan, wherein representatives from the platform held roundtable discussions with local Shopee sellers to know more about their experience and get insights on what can help drive their business forward.

Shopee Philippines Seller Communications and Education Lead Mia Mendoza, SY Glow Cosmetics shop owner Lou Putian, and Cacao Culture shop owner Sheila Lao at the Shopee Kumustahan event in Davao City

“Here at Shopee, we are always driven by our objective to make e-commerce accessible to everyone. Through the Mindanao hub expansions and conducting educational workshops, our goal is to equip local sellers and business owners with the necessary knowledge and tools to make the most out of their e-commerce journey with Shopee,” shared Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines.

If you want to grow your business online and enjoy the numerous benefits of e-commerce, start your online selling journey with Shopee today. Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

The Boracay Wetland No. 4, Balabag Wetland Park

9:50:00 AM


Committed to living out its #OneAboitizSustainability Framework, the Aboitiz Group completed its efforts in the wetland protection and rehabilitation of Boracay Wetland No. 4. This is a joint project with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). 

As a linear urban park, the Balabag Wetland Park will feature recreational activities using low-impact eco-tourism designs; educational advocacies by generating awareness of the importance of wetlands; and experiential opportunities by allowing the local community, students, and even tourists to participate in safeguarding its sustainability through clean up drives, regular maintenance, and protection initiatives. 

Aboitiz strongly advocates for the rehabilitation of the country's wetlands as a means of protecting and preserving Philippine biodiversity. 

"The Aboitiz Group fully supports the mission of the DENR and the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force to rehabilitate the island, in order to ensure its sustainability and prevent further degradation of its rich ecosystem. With the government's support, the Boracay that we are co-creating and leaving to our children is a community that is safe, empowered, and sustainable," said by Sabin M. Aboitiz, President and CEO of Aboitiz Group. 

Since the Balabag Wetland Park's adoption by Aboitiz in 2018, several improvements have already been made: aerators have been installed to improve water quality; 3D signages were constructed for tourists and locals to use as social media post backdrops; a community centre has been completed which serves as an open activity area; perimeter landscaping and pavements have been completed, allowing for leisurely walks in nature; and a parking area is made available for visitors who which to go to the park. 

SM: Creating shared value through tech-voc education

9:50:00 AM


One of the flagship programs of SM Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the SM group, is its scholarship program. Aside from the college education offerings, the program also provides venues for students who would like to pursue a career in the skilled labor industry.

The gradual reopening of economy not just in the country, but around the world, brings hope to more job opportunities for Filipinos who lost their jobs because of the health crisis. Indeed, the support for individuals eyeing to be part of the skilled industry is needed now more than ever.

It was in this light when SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), together with SM Foundation (SMFI), Don Bosco One TVET Phils. Inc., and the city government of Pasay partnered to give educational support to 20 deserving youth coming from Pasay. To date, SMFI has already produced more than 4,500 tech-voc graduates who are now gainfully employed.

A dream to be fulfilled
One of the current SM tech-voc scholars from Pasay is Stephen Parina. His dream is to put up his own automotive shop since aside from his interest in cars and motorcycles, he intends to uplift the economic status of his family. Both of his parents are temporary employees at the Pasay City Hall.

“Nakita ko sa Facebook post ng SM Foundation na nandun ang aking gustong course kaya dali-dali akong pumunta sa city hall ng Pasay para alamin ang mga detalye nito at kinabukasan ay nagpasa na ako agad ng mga requirements,” said Stephen, who is now studying Automotive Mechanic course at the Don Bosco Makati.

“Gusto kong matuto kung paano mag ayos ng mga sasakyan at makatapos ng pag-aaral dahil hirap kami sa aming pamumuhay. Alam ko na makakatulong ang edukasyon, kagaya ng techvoc upang matupad ang aking pangarap na makapagpatayo ng sarili kong automotive shop. Magiging susi ito upang mai-angat ko ang antas ng pamumuhay ng aking pamilya” he added.

“Taos pusong pasasalamat sa SM at sa Sy family dahil nabigyan nyo ako ng pagkakataon na makabalik muli sa pag aaral. Hinding hindi ko ito malilimutan. Dadalhin ko ito hanggang sa aking pag tanda,” Stephen said.

Ticket to success
Another current tech-voc scholar is Jeorge Angelo Madrid. He is also studying Automotive Mechanic course at the Don Bosco Makati. His father works as a painter of houses and buildings while his mother works at the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Jeorge is the youngest and most of his five siblings already have their own families.

According to Jeorge, he sees this opportunity of going back to school as his ticket towards achieving his dreams: “Nag-apply ako sa SM Foundation kasi wla po akong kakayahan na makapag aral at makapagtapos. Wala po akong pagkukuhanan ng pang tuition para maipang bayad sa eskwelahan.”

Jeorge is adamant to find a gainful employment right after he finish his studies. “Salamat po sa SM Foundation. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, hindi madaragdagan ang kaalaman ko tungkol sa automotive. Magagamit ko ito sa aking paghahanap ng trabaho at kinalaunan, masuportahan ang aking sarili, mga pamangkin at ang aking mga magulang,” Jeorge further shared.

Reaping the fruits of his efforts
Anthony Andales, an SM tech-voc scholar alumnus, also took the time to share his inspiring story. He graduated from the Dualtech Training Center in 2019 and is now employed as a staff technician in a known company which manufactures various electronic products for home and office use.

“Bago ako mag-training sa Dualtech, nagtrabaho muna ako bilang isang helper sa isang refilling station. Ang aking arawang sweldo ay P220 lamang. Akala ko dati, wala na akong mararating sa buhay at hindi na makapagtatapos ng pag-aaral,” Anthony recalled.

“But God gave me the privilege to be chosen as one of the SM Foundation scholars para makapag-aral ako nang walang binayaran kahit piso. Ang tanging puhunan ko lang ay ang aking lakas ng loob at ang aking mga pangarap sa buhay na balang araw, makatutulong ako sa aking pamilya upang kahit papano ay makaahon sa buhay,” he further added.

Right after his on-the-job training, he was absorbed by the program’s OJT- partner company and was given a job as a staff technician because of his skills and work ethics.

“Napagawa na namin ang bahay kahit papaano, hindi man bato pero at least maayos at safe kapag may bagyo. Hindi po kagaya dati na pag umuulan ay may pa-shower kami kasi butas-butas na ang bubong at tagpi-tagpi ang dingding ng aming tahanan. Walang imposible kapag ikaw ay may pangarap at determinasyon upang maabot ito sapagkat maraming tao at institusyon na handang tumulong. Kaya sobrang thankful po talaga ako sa mga taong tumulong sa akin para magkaroon ng maliwanag na kinabukasan.” Anthony concluded.

SM Foundation, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The importance of Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

1:14:00 AM


A person's safety during calamities is mainly dependent on their community's disaster preparedness. No matter how ready they are for all possible catastrophic scenarios, every bit of preparation can go down the drain if their community cannot respond effectively to such events.   

It is why a community-based disaster risk reduction and management plan (CBDRRMP) is essential. It places the responsibility of being prepared for calamities and other emergencies on the community as a whole, ensuring that organizations, households and individuals can work together in making their community more resilient in the face of disaster.  

CBDRRMP is important, especially for countries highly vulnerable to disasters, such as the Philippines. Situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire and typhoon belt, the Philippines is frequented by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and typhoons respectively. The country ranked 9th in the world in terms of vulnerability to calamities in the 2020 World Risk Index. 

  One of the most common events experienced by the Philippines is flooding, which underscores the importance of effective floodwater management. There are many ways that local government units are doing this. Efforts range from structural measures such as sizeable underground drainage systems, floodways, pumping stations, flood warning systems, and urban greening to non-structural measures such as minimizing plastic waste, a primary culprit in urban flooding.  

With the country situated on five active fault lines, Filipinos must also prepare for earthquakes. It is why many buildings are equipped with earthquake-resistance features. Taking earthquake resilience in the country further are the periodic earthquake drills implemented at the national and organizational levels.  

These are good examples of effective CBDRR, where both the authorities and the citizens work together to ensure the safety of life and property in their communities.  

SM City Masinag has a rainwater collection tank that can store 17,681 cubic meters of water.

As a trusted and responsible developer of integrated properties, SM has always been committed to promoting Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in its communities, which is evident in many of its malls that employ infrastructure design centered on disaster resilience. SM allocates 10% of its capital expenditures to incorporate disaster-resilient features, of which installing water management design features is one of them.           

              Artist's illustration of SM's rainwater collection facility in 22 SM Malls nationwide.  

A few examples of these are SM City Marikina, elevated by several rows of concrete stilts to protect tenants and mall-goers during extreme floods. SM Mall of Asia was built with a storm surge barrier for added protection during storm surges, and several malls employ catchment tanks for recycling rainwater.

Across the country, there are 22 SM Malls that have rainwater collection tanks under the mall. All these malls combined can catch and store 79,880 cubic meters of rainwater, equivalent to 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools. 

“Wherever SM is, we try to help our communities become resilient to changing weather patterns,” explains Arch. Fides Garcia-Hsu, Vice President of SM Engineering, Design and Development. “Nationwide, we have 22 malls equipped with rainwater catchment facilities that help rain water management to avoid flash floods for surrounding communities.”  
SM City Olongapo Central's rainwater collection tank can hold up to 14,580 cubic meters of water.   

Supporting these are several initiatives focused capacity-building for its stakeholders. It includes workshops & learning sessions on Disaster Risk Resilience Management and regular participation in the quarterly national simultaneous earthquake drills for its employees, and the annual Emergency Preparedness Forum for persons with disabilities and the elderly, two of the most vulnerable sectors of society during disasters.  

Similarly, in line with its multi-stakeholder approach, SM Prime has also continuously built long-term partnerships with organizations that advocate for a disaster-resilient Philippines. It includes collaborations with ARISE-Philippines, the National Resilience Council, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Bureau of Fire Protection, to name a few.

SM City San Mateo's rainwater collection tank can collect 10,800 cubic meters of potential floodwater.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Royce Hotel let you Celebrate Father's Day with their Fun Treats #OnlyAtRoyce

9:43:00 AM


This happens only at Royce, Father's Day celebrates and honors the men who have embraced the essential role of fatherhood. On this day, we also thank fathers and father figures for the sacrifices they make, for embracing the responsibility of nurturing and raising children, and for devotion to their family. 

Here are some of the ways to celebrate Father's Day, making it extra special with the family #OnlyAtRoyce. 

  • Amusement Treat. Enjoy a stay at Royce with passes to Dinosaurs Island Clark. 
  • Splashing Fun Day. Enjoy a stay at Royce with passes to Aqua Planet. 
  • Indulge: Stay and Dine. Book a stay and enjoy P2,000 dining credits from Amare by Chef Chris or Choi Garden. 
  • Sweet Thoughts. The #Lounge's limited edition cake Choco-peanut butter medley. 

For more of their offerings and updates visit their Facebook page and Instagram @royceclarkph. 

ASAP NATIN 'TO' Honors Dads with a Special Performance This Sunday

9:17:00 AM


Treat your dads to an all-star concert experience featuring a big-time Father's Day tribute from the brightest OPM idols, plus treats from upcoming Kapamilya shows this Sunday (June 19) on "ASAP Natin 'To" on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, and TV5.

Celebrate their special day with a heartwarming musical tribute from ASAP icons Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Erik Santos, Angeline Quinto, Ogie Alcasid, and Regine Velasquez, together with Anji Salvacion, Alexa Ilacad, KZ, Darren, Jason Dy, Nyoy Volante, Klarisse de Guzman, Jeremy G, Elha Nympha, JM Yosures, Sheena Belarmino, Janine Berdin, Lara Maigue, Reiven Umali, Sam Mangubat, Angela Ken, Fana, Janella Salvador, JM de Guzman, and Gigi de Lana.

Get ready for a sizzling welcome to the cast of "A Family Affair" featuring the hottest leading men Gerald Anderson, Sam Milby, Jake Ejercito, Jameson Blake, and online superstar Ivana Alawi together with Gigi de Lana and the GG Vibes Band. Plus, hold on to your seats for a fierce solo performance from "Flower of Evil" star Lovi Poe, with a special appearance from the ultimate heartthrob himself, Piolo Pascual.


The exciting part is here as the stars of "The Broken Marriage Vow" Jodi Sta. Maria, Zanjoe Marudo, Sue Ramirez, Zaijian Jaranilla, Bianca Manalo, Ketchup Eusebio, Jake Ejercito, and Jane Oineza grace the ASAP stage for a grand finale treat with a musical act from Gigi de Lana, Fana, and Angeline Quinto. 

Nostalgia is in the air with a '90s pop idols performance from Alexa Ilacad, Anji Salvacion, Maymay Entrata, Donny Pangilinan, KZ, Darren, Gary V., Zsa Zsa, Ogie, Regine, and the whole "ASAP Natin 'To" family.

Turn up the volume for a rocking collab from Bamboo and Kyle Echarri and a showstopping duet from Regine Velasquez and the Concert King himself, Martin Nievera.

Groove to a fun song-and-dance showdown from AC Bonifacio and Maymay Entrata alongside ASAP dance hotties Jeremy G, Jameson Blake, Joao Constancia, and Jin Macapagal.

The music continues with a scintillating musical act from The Company with KZ and Klarisse de Guzman, plus a new single treat from the one and only Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano.

It's a Father's Day extravaganza you don't want to miss from the country's longest-running musical variety show, "ASAP Natin 'To," this Sunday, 12 NN on local TV via Kapamilya Channel, Jeepney TV, A2Z, and TV5, online through Kapamilya Online Live and iWantTFC, and worldwide via TFC.

Viewers who use any digital TV box at home, such as the TVplus box, only need to rescan their device to watch "ASAP Natin 'To" on TV5 and A2Z.

For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

News Now, Shopee expands hubs in Visayas to deliver a better shopping experience to Filipinos

11:28:00 PM


For many Filipinos, online shopping has become an integral part of their daily lives, as they continue to enjoy the numerous benefits of e-commerce. Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, recently launched a slew of initiatives with the aim of bringing a fun and seamless online shopping experience to even more Filipinos across the country. Part of Shopee’s efforts includes the continued expansion of its Shopee Xpress hubs across the Visayas region. By establishing more hubs in Cebu City, Bogo, Moalboal, and other areas in Visayas, Shopee has expanded its serviceable areas, allowing Visayan shoppers to enjoy a wider product assortment, as well as faster and cheaper delivery.

Through this expansion, Shopee was also able to introduce Visayas Barato Deals—special offers, shipping discounts, and more promos exclusively for Bisaya shoppers, in line with the launch of its 6.6-7.7 Mid-Year Sale. “We have always believed in the transformative power of technology to connect buyers and sellers within the community, no matter where they are. By expanding our serviceable areas within the Visayas region, we aim to give our Visayan shoppers a seamless online shopping experience at Shopee, as we go through every step of this exciting e-commerce journey together,” shared Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines.

In line with these efforts to improve the overall online shopping experience for Filipinos across the country, four Cebuano shoppers shared about the benefits they’ve enjoyed throughout their e-commerce journey with Shopee.

A rewarding shopping experience that offers great value for money
Grashelle, 35, became an online shopper when she found out she was pregnant. As an expectant mother, online shopping made things more convenient, and with Shopee, she was able to get the best deals. “Cebuanos like myself generally look for products that offer the best value for money. With its lower shipping fees, cheaper prices, and wide variety of products, Shopee has become my e-commerce platform of choice. Compared to when I first started shopping on Shopee, I noticed that shipping in Cebu has gotten faster, and that makes everything even more convenient.”

Online shopping made easy and fun
With his tight schedule as a physical therapist, Vincent, 27, needed an easier way to shop, and that’s when he discovered Shopee. “Once I got the hang of using the Shopee app, everything else followed. Apart from shopping, I got hooked on the games, especially Shopee Bubble and Shopee Candy. Shopee not only gives me a convenient way to shop, it’s also a fun in-app experience with all the games, flash deals, and more.”

Patricia, 26, started shopping online in 2017 after hearing about all its benefits from her friends, and she has been a Shopee user ever since. From pet care needs to fashion finds, she always has a great time shopping on Shopee. “My favorite part about Shopee is the excitement you get when you’re waiting for your parcel. I check the status of my order every day because I love the feeling of anticipation when waiting for my Shopee parcel to arrive. It’s also fun to window shop online, and add items to my cart that I can’t wait to check out.”


Bigger discounts and better deals on Double Day sales
As an enthusiast of custom PC building, Ernest, 19, purchases all his PC parts and tech needs on Shopee. Since most of his orders are electronics, he often shops during the Double Day sales so he can get bigger discounts and exclusive vouchers. “With the upcoming 7.7 Mid-Year Sale, I’m looking forward to the lower shipping fees in Visayas, since it used to be more expensive in Cebu. I’ve always been a big Shopee fan and with my experience through the years, I’ve been able to find everything I need and save more with Shopee’s deals and offers.”

Don’t miss exclusive shipping discounts, 10% off vouchers, ₱66 and ₱77 deals, and more at Shopee’s 6.6-7.7 Mid-Year Sale!

Just Music Night, A Soothing Sound on a Friday Night

11:15:00 PM


After more than two years, it was my first Friday night experience again. It feels like the first time I spent a fun Friday night listening to a band. It sure brings back memories of my younger years in this JUST MUSIC NIGHT, a night filled with beats and emotions where TJ Monterde released his latest single, "Walong Bilyon," together with the other singer-songwriters, Kenji, Patrick Quirros, and NKD.

Just Music is a sub-label of CS Music that caters to different talented singer-songwriters. And these four performers are just a few of the many talents of Just Music.

If you're one of those fans, who enjoy hearing different kinds of masterpieces, especially those with full of emotions and sincerity. The releases from Just Music are what will soothe your ears, and mine too.

Fans, friends, and relatives of these singer-songwriters are present during the event, showing their love and support to their favorite artists. Imagine seeing them perform face to face and live, put the entire crowd into cheer and roar.

Among the four performers, I and other bloggers got a chance to hear three of them sing and present their latest release. Two of them were interviewed. So, better catch the interview on my Youtube. And ironically, Kenji and TJ's releases are somewhat opposite or ying and yang. For Kenji, his songs are more of heart aches like the Liham, while TJ Monterde's "Walong Bilyon" is about his unending appreciation of the impossibility that came true, his love for his wife, KZ Tandingan.

Well, the night ends well with a smile on my face and the rhythm on my ear. I just hope that it is the start of more concerts and performances of different artists in the industry. 

To know more about the latest releases, catch the news on CornerStone Music and Just Music's FB pages.

A Beacon in the City of Stars: Why Glam Residences Is Quezon City’s Brightest Investment

10:38:00 PM


Today, we will be sharing a story or rather a press release from SMDC about its Glam Residences. It is said that the residence is a beacon in the City of Stars, Quezon City's brightest investment. So, read more about the story to know why it is considered as the city's brightest investment.

A rosy outlook is seen in the real estate sector as the Philippine economy enters a period of more robust level of activity. While the pandemic inevitably reshaped the real estate landscape in terms of new buyer considerations and product formats, it remains the most reliable store of value for those looking to protect and grow their money.

Opportunities certainly come plenty with the economic rebound, improved business and consumer confidence, and increasing overseas Filipino workers’ remittances. For the residential sector, particularly for the Metro Manila market, none can deliver a more reliable value proposition like SM Development Corporation (SMDC)’s Glam Residences. Yet what makes this dazzling high-rise development one of the brightest stars in Quezon City, and why is it the wisest choice for those looking to place their money in real estate?

The center of all action
Quezon City is not just dubbed as the “City of Stars” because of the many disciples of art and players in the entertainment and media industry it houses. It’s Metro Manila’s biggest city in terms of landmass, and the country’s most distinguished metropolis in terms of earnings.


Such a distinction serves as a clear reflection of the city’s bustling commercial and industrial hubs. With Glam Residences being strategically placed along EDSA and at the city’s illustrious Triangle Park – a central business district the World Bank refers to as “the center of gravity of commercial developments in Metro Manila in the coming years” – residents will be able to enjoy the most luxurious conveniences Quezon City can provide. From a wide selection of shopping malls, restaurants, parks, and hotels, to renowned medical centers, to essential government offices, and strategic transport hubs – everything one can ask for will always be within reach at Glam Residences. The development has its own built-in commercial complex too, which makes your day-to-day all the more convenient.

Of course, benefits that come with such a prime location will not just be enjoyed by residents, but astute investors who see today as the most opportune time to maximize potential. With soon-to-be-completed infrastructure projects such as the MRT Line 7, the North Triangle Common Station, and the Mega Manila Subway enhancing not just connectivity but also property values, maximum returns, without a doubt, await you at Glam Residences.

Tres chic living
More than just unparalleled accessibility, the key element behind the luster Glam Residences emits is the high life it offers. Apart from the champagne gold hues and a beautiful minimalist design this T-shaped tower holds, Glam Residences carries a breadth of glamorous amenities within.

Lounges, a fitness gym, a lap pool, a jacuzzi, and a breathtaking view of the Metro Manila skyline at the rooftop sunset bar on the 45th floor make it the place to be for career-driven professionals who wish to enjoy life’s best indulgences. The children’s pool and outdoor playspace, on the other hand, make it ideal for young, cosmopolitan families seeking a home to establish their roots in.

Whoever you are, whatever your aspirations may be, a Glam Residences address is a celebration of the greater and grander things you have yet to accomplish in your life.


A glimmer that lasts
With all the bells and whistles Glam Residences comes with, asking yourself whether it’s future-ready and future-proof is a fair question. For those who are curious, the answers may be more interesting than you expect.

A recent Santos Knight Frank (SKF) study revealed that the city remains ideal for homebuyers who prefer to be at the center of everything. With the coveted low-carbon footprint lifestyle made affordable at SMDC, you not only get to minimize your environmental impact, but also ensure your family’s health stays in its prime.

SMDC has, time and time, proven themselves resolute in their commitment to take care of their communities. The reigning back-to-back PropertyGuru Property Philippines Awards “Best Developer” has been building complete, well-integrated communities, long before the pandemic put a premium on convenience and accessibility.

An investment at SMDC helps you attain financial stability. End-to-end property management and leasing management services come together to keep your property’s value growing in more ways than one.

With a future-forward approach like that of SMDC, and an exceptionally livable cityscape like Quezon City’s, you’re assured that the glimmer Glam Residences has is one that’s here to last.

To learn more about SMDC’s Glam Residences, follow SMDC on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.


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