Thursday, December 7, 2023

FSSI supports social entrepreneurs to grow local communities


Press Release:

The British Council, supported by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, reported that social enterprises in the country have struggled to balance their environmental and financial goals to achieve business stability and effectively measure their overall impact. FSSI addresses this challenge through its triple bottom line (3BL) approach, which measures People, Planet, and Profit as the main indicators. Through this approach, FSSI has benefited over 280 local social enterprises, resulting in deeper support to the communities they belong to, more paths to sustainability, and more profitable businesses – all at the same time.

“Social enterprises aim to create social and environmental impact, while maintaining a viable business at the same time,” said Sixto Donato C. Macasaet, Executive Director at FSSI. “In order to achieve their goals, we and our partners from national civil society organizations and international organizations help them address their challenges through our needs-based services that include loans, developmental deposits, seed capital, and equity investment.”

Boost socio-economic impact

Women-led enterprise Mallig FST Multi-Purpose Cooperative is engaged in lending, savings deposits, agricultural inputs trading and mechanization services, and rice milling. In 2022, the cooperative expanded and opened a gas station in Mallig, Isabela to create jobs for their immediate community.

The cooperative also started the construction of a multi-purpose building which will be used as the cooperative’s office, convenience store, agricultural trading store for bulk purchase of agricultural supplies, and other stalls for rent. Through FSSI’s Investing in Women project, they are able to augment their working capital for agricultural inputs trading and thus, offer agricultural inputs to farmer members at a lower price. They also give them technical advice for better yield per cropping.

“We are now able to establish a one-stop-shop that will cater to the various needs of farmer members and non-members alike in Mallig,” said Marilyn Binag, Manager at Mallig FST Multi-Purpose Cooperative. She added that this will also be an opportunity for the cooperative to grow beyond its 642 members—234 of whom are women—by helping them realize their potential economic contributions through helping more communities even outside of Isabela.

Empower local communities

Nueva Ecija-based women-led social enterprise Kilusang Lima para sa Lahat Multi-Purpose Cooperative (K5 MPC) already began partnering with FSSI through a loan program in 2006 to sustain its financial support to its members who are farmers and owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Our members' need for capital for various purposes outweighs the share capital contributed by investing members,” said Guillermo Bacsa, General Manager at K5 MPC. Guided by the 3BL approach, in 2006, FSSI offered K5 MPC a credit line to support their members and to empower the communities they serve and contribute to local economic development.

FSSI joined the inauguration of K5 MPC's Peaks and Waves Bed and Breakfast at Dingalan, Aurora. (L-R: Nikki Natan, FSSI Knowledge Management, Advocacy, and Communications Officer, Leah Embuido, FSSI Financial Services Manager, Mark Tañedo, FSSI Credit Officer, Evelyn Roxas, Sherlyn Alcantara, and Ma. Loida Dela Cruz, K5 MPC Board Directors)

In 2022, K5 MPC worked with FSSI, under a renewed partnership, to expand its services to nearby province, Aurora, and launched its first lodging business, “Peaks and Waves Bed and Breakfast.” FSSI supported the construction of the lodging house which now contributes to the local economy of the town of Dingalan through tourism, employment generation, and environmental protection by segregating, composting, and recycling wastes, and reusing containers to reduce plastic usage.

“Our members’ trust is a vital part of community development,” Bacsa said. “By empowering them and providing them solutions that fit their needs, our capital grew from PHP 60,000 to PHP 40 million to date.”

Founded on the principles of People, Planet, and Profit, FSSI offers customizable services that empower social enterprises to ensure they thrive in their respective sector and foster holistic community development.

To discover more about how FSSI supports local social enterprises, visit or go to their Facebook page at

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Celebrate the Holiday Season at The Manila Hotel


Press Release:

This festive season, The Manila Hotel presents a gastronomic celebration like no other. With an unwavering commitment to providing memorable experiences, the Grand Dame invites guests to partake in a feast of flavors and revel in the joyous spirit of the holidays.


Café Ilang-Ilang Festive Buffet

Enjoy different cuisines from around the world at the famed Café Ilang-Ilang, where an opulent festive buffet awaits discerning diners. Whether celebrating Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or welcoming the New Year – guests can enjoy special rates while savoring a delectable array of dishes. Rates start at P4,500 per person.

A Christmas party well “dasurved” by everyone


Taiwan Excellence believes that Filipinos are among those who throw the best parties during the Christmas season, where the holiday season is celebrated at its longest in this part of the world.
And Taiwan Excellence, which honors the most innovative and value-added products produced by leading companies in Taiwan, believes that every Christmas party in the Philippines deserve to be thrown in the best and most excellent manner to make it truly memorable.
To celebrate this, Taiwan Excellence introduces a holiday contest called “A Dasurved Christmas Party,” where Filipinos can win a Christmas Party package worth P10,000 so they can celebrate all day long.
“A Dasurved Christmas Party” is open to various groups of Filipinos such as families, blood relatives, office mates, close friends, or even groups of individuals that possess a strong bond with each other.
To join “A Dasurved Christmas Party,” simply “Like” and “Follow” Taiwan Excellence’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
In order to win the Christmas Party Package, simply answer the question “Why do you deserve a holiday celebration worth Php 10,000?” and explain why your group deserves to win the Christmas Party Package and have some Christmas fun. Your comment will serve as your entry to the contest.
More importantly, do not forget to include the correct contest hashtags #ADasurvedChristmasParty#TheBestMadeInTaiwan, and #TaiwanExcellencePH in your comment. Comments with incorrect hashtags will be declared invalid and will not be counted.
The contest is open for posting of entries until December 7, 2023. A total of Three (3) winners will be chosen to win the Christmas Party Package.
For more details, check out the link to the official post here:

Tuesday, December 5, 2023



Celebrate the most joyous season with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra as they hold the fourth concert of their 39th Concert Season: Switch on December 8, 2023, 7:30pm, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater.   

Dubbed Ode to Joy, the Concert IV program features Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 in D minor, under the baton of PPO music director and principal conductor Maestro Grzegorz Nowak. 

Renowned pianist and former CCP president Raul Sunico takes center stage as he performs Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, a dazzling and virtuosic piece that highlights the composer’s inventive approach to the piano and his ability to integrate solo and orchestral parts fluidly. 

Hailed for his “unusual gifts of lyricism and poetry,” Sunico has an illustrious international career as a concert pianist, orchestral soloist, and composer-arranger of Philippine music. A TOYM Awardee for Music in 1986, Sunico’s impact extends beyond performance. He is a music education advocate, textbook author, and former dean of the UST Conservatory

of Music. With unique distinction like performing all four Rachmaninoff pianos concertos in a single evening, Sunic continues to contribute significantly to the world of classical music. 

Experience the grandeur of Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 in D minor, with guest performers baritone Byeong-In Park, mezzo soprano Krissan Manikan-Tan, soprano Rachelle Gerodias, and tenor Arthur Espiritu. 

The Beethoven piece has been known for its innovative use of a vocal quartet and a choir in the last movement, which includes the well-loved “Ode to Joy.” The PPO’s rendition features a 120-voice choir composed of singers from the CMU Consortium of Voices, Eastern Chamber Singers, Ateneo Chamber Singers, Novo Concertante Manila, and Kammerchor Manila, with chorus master and CCP trustee Jonathan Velasco. 

A much-sought after choral conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Velasco and his choirs have won first prizes in major European choral competitions. He regularly adjudicates choral competitions in Europe and Asia, gives choral conducting workshops and coral clinics worldwide. In 2008, he was elected the first president of the Philippine Choral Directors Association. He currently conducts the Ateneo Chamber Singers. He represents the Philippines to the Interkultur World Choir Council.  

Celebrating its 50th founding anniversary, the PPO is the country’s leading orchestra and is widely regarded as one of the top musical ensembles in the Asia-Pacific region. The PPO has premiered Filipino compositions and has featured works by foreign composers not yet performed in the Philippines. It continues to promote music appreciation through outreach concerts in schools, parishes, government agencies, and underserved communities in Metro Manila and different regions of the country.

For ticket inquiries, group discounts, and subscriptions contact the CCP Box Office at 0931 033 0880 or email at You can purchase tickets at TicketWorld (09175506997 / 09999545922) at

Visit the CCP website ( or follow the official social media accounts on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok for the latest updates.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Add more color to your holidays with DQ's latest Blizzard of the Month offer featuring M&M's


This holiday season, DQ is adding more color to your celebrations with a new collection of cold treats featuring one of the most iconic sweets of all time—M&Ms!

Join the M&Ms Spokescandies as they liven up the holidays with their fun and vibrant personalities with the new DQ x M&Ms Collection, DQ's latest Blizzard of the Month offer, which comes in six different creations!

First are three new Blizzards made with DQs creamy vanilla soft serve mixed with M&Ms candy pieces: the Nutty Blizzard, a dreamy dessert elevated by the interplay of chewy and crunchy; the Choco Fudge Blizzard, for those who seek the ultimate chocolatey treat; and the Caramel Brownie Blizzard, made with bite-sized brownies and caramel topping to satisfy any sweet tooth. Joining these limited-edition Blizzards is the new M&Ms Parfait, made with layers of soft serve and chocolate topping and then topped with whipped cream and M&Ms. 

UNICEF Ambassador Gary V invites everyone to help children through UNICEF Cards


Gary Valenciano, UNICEF 

2023—UNICEF National Ambassador Gary Valenciano invites everyone to join hands in helping to create a better future for vulnerable children this Christmas season through UNICEF Cards, featuring iconic works by renowned artist, Mauro “Malang” Santos. "A lot of children both globally and in the Philippines are facing different forms of crisis. Let's come together this Christmas, share the joy, and make a lasting impact on their lives. With every UNICEF Card, we're one step closer to ensuring every child gets the protection and support they need to live life to the fullest,” Gary said.

The UNICEF Cards feature two of Malang’s masterful works from his family’s private collection: Family in Barrio (1967) and Vendors (1998). Malang is a celebrated Filipino cartoonist, illustrator, and painter known for his colorful depictions of Filipino life.

Worthy holiday gift: vivo Y17s now priced at Php 5,999


Press Release:

This festive season, vivo is thrilled to announce a merry surprise for all tech enthusiasts and budget-savvy consumers. The vivo Y17s with packed features is now adorned with a more budget-friendly price tag of only Php 5,999. 

Get ready to indulge in the joy of giving, as this incredible offer ensures that the vivo Y17s becomes the perfect holiday gift for yourself or your loved ones.

Embrace the holiday spirit with the vivo Y17s, featuring a spectacular 50MP rear camera equipped with Night Algorithm technology. Say goodbye to blurry memories and hello to vivid, lifelike snapshots that encapsulate the magic of the festive season.

With 128GB internal storage, the vivo Y17s ensures that every special moment is safeguarded. You can expand it up to 1TB using a micro SD card, guaranteeing that cherished memories are stored and ready to be revisited for years to come.

Keep the holiday celebrations going without interruption, thanks to the powerful 5000mAh battery of the vivo Y17s. Enjoy uninterrupted calls, endless entertainment, and seamless browsing – all within a single device.

Worthy holiday gift

Priced at Php 5,999, the vivo Y17s at 4GB + 128GB symbolizes affordability without compromise. This holiday season, share the gift of cutting-edge technology, stunning photography, and ample storage with yourself or your loved ones.

In the spirit of Christmas, vivo invites all Filipinos to make this holiday truly unforgettable with the Y17s - available in Glitter Purple and Forest Green. Hurry to your nearest vivo store or add to card through official website, Shopee, Lazada, TikTok and seize this incredible deal before stocks vanish like holiday magic.

Stay updated with the latest offerings, news, and announcements from vivo Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, X, and TikTok

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Manila Hotel decks the halls with boughs of Golden Ilang-Ilang Blooms


The Manila Hotel proudly offers this year's holiday theme, Paskong Sariling Atin, in a beautiful combination of time-honored customs and the famed warmth of Filipino hospitality. The joyful event promises to take guests to a realm of beauty and enchantment, engulfed in the bright glow of the Grand Dame's national flower, golden Ilang-Ilang flowers.

The magnificent 20-foot Christmas tree nestled between the iconic Doric columns is at the heart of the celebration, an awe-inspiring spectacle embellished with ornaments in a blend of gold, natural hues, and vibrant red, and the signature golden Ilang-Ilang flower garlands that also adorn the chandeliers throughout The Manila Hotel's lobby.

Understanding Emetophobia: Signs, Symmptoms and Coping Strategies


Emetophobia, or intense and excessive fear of vomiting, is estimated to impact around 1.7-3.1% of adults. For those living with this phobia, feelings of anxiety around sources of nausea can be extremely limiting and disruptive to daily functioning. By understanding the common signs, symptoms, and helpful coping techniques, it may be possible to better manage symptoms.

Defining Emetophobia

The key feature of emetophobia is an intense dread regarding vomit and vomiting that far exceeds a “normal” disgust response. Those struggling feel anxious not only about the possibility of vomiting themselves, but also seeing or hearing others get sick. The fear is driven by a worry about lack of control, embarrassment and criticism by others.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Avoidance of potential triggers like amusement park rides, pregnancy, alcohol, restaurants
 Distress when thinking about or witnessing another’s illness
 Anxiety about one’s own nausea, even mild symptoms
 Repeatedly seeking reassurance about the likelihood of getting sick
 Insomnia centred around nausea worries
 Panic attacks when confronting a feared situation
 Engaging in “safety behaviours” meant to prevent illness like compulsively washing hands

The Impact of Comorbid Conditions

Research indicates that emetophobia commonly cooccurs with other mental health disorders like generalised anxiety, social anxiety, OCD and major depressive disorder. When combined with another condition, impairment may be greater compared to emetophobia alone. This can further complicate treatment efforts.

Helpful Coping Strategies and Techniques

While quite distressing, there are ways those living with emetophobia can attempt to better manage their symptoms:

Exposure Therapy

A comprehensive guide to treatment for emetophobia often mentions exposure therapy, which carefully and gradually confronts feared stimuli. This allows emotional learning that vomiting may not be as dangerous as thought. With support from a therapist, activities slowly progress from imagining nausea to directly observing others get sick.

Mindfulness Training

Paying purposeful, non-judgmental attention to the present moment can help reduce fixation on future-oriented vomiting worries. This might involve meditation, yoga, or simply focusing fully on a current activity. Regular practice is key for lasting benefits.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Vibe to a whole new beat with Pizza Hut's all-new Mega Crunch Pizza


If there's one thing about food that really gives us the tinglies, it would be the ~crunch~. You know, tfw you hear that glorious sound and you become one with the universe for like, idk, two seconds?

Oh, you know what we’re on about! And so does Pizza Hut, which is why it has cooked up a pizza creation that's built different but still has that swag that we all know and love! It's time to vibe with The Hut in a new way with the Mega Crunch Pizza, made with a thin and crispy crust that's loaded with your favorite toppings, smothered with 100% mozzarella cheese, and seasoned with parmesan and oregano for a new pizza experience that slaps just as hard!

Thursday, November 30, 2023



The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Kaisa Sa Sining (KSS) Visayas Network announces the recipients of the 2nd KSSLAP (Kaisa Ini sa Sining, Lunsay nga Artistang Pilipino) Awards.  The awarding ceremony will be on December 14, 2023, at the Luce Auditorium at Silliman University, Dumaguete City.

The eight awardees are Jose R. Gullas (Cebu/music & cultural work/posthumous), Marianito Luspo Bohol/cultural work), Ramon B. Ramirez (Iloilo/cultural research), Rodolfo Reveche (Murcia, Negros Occ./cultural work), Cristina S. Taniguchi (Dumaguete /visual arts), Alma Taldo (Bohol/music), Dr. Vicente Villan (Sigma-Capiz/cultural research), and Mariant E. Villegas (Dumaguete/dance).

Launched in 2014, the Kaisa sa Sining Regional Arts Centers is a partnership program of the CCP, through its Cultural Exchange Department (CED), which aims to strengthen further the CCP’s linkages and cooperation with regional educational institutions, non-government organizations, and local government units in order to broaden public participation in the arts, promote and showcase artistic excellence and facilitate a vibrant collaboration between and among communities.  In the past nine years, the cooperation and exchanges between and among CCP and the KSS network have become more dynamic.  To date, the KSS network has grown to a total of 67 organizations:  26 in Luzon, 19 in Visayas, and 22 in Mindanao.

The KSSLAP Awards, a recognition for outstanding artists, cultural workers, and organizations, is one of the action plans and projects that the KSS Visayas agreed to implement during a KSS regional forum held in Roxas City last 2018. In fulfillment of this plan, the CCP CED facilitated the conceptualization, planning, and implementation of the project. In the last quarter of 2019, a five-member technical working committee (TWC) was formed composed of key representatives from four KSS Visayas organizations with CED as the lead facilitator.  In 2021, the first set of awards was conferred to thirteen honorees virtually and on-site because of the pandemic.

The KSSLAP Awards aim to give recognition to deserving Visayan individuals and/or organizations who have exemplified commendable work and services in cultural and artistic endeavors and have been at the forefront of the research, development, preservation, education, and promotion of arts and culture in Visayas for at least ten (10) years or more.  The general criteria indicate that an awardee must have made exceptional accomplishments in creative work, leadership, resource management, education, artist support, audience development, community service, solidarity, and partnership.

The 19 members of CCP KSS Visayas network are: the Province of Capiz, the City of Calbayog, the City of Ormoc, the City of Bago, the City of Himamaylan, the Municipality of Murcia, the Municipality of Cuartero-Capiz, the Municipality of Sta. Barbara-Iloilo, University of Antique,  Central Phil. University-Iloilo City, University of St. La Salle-Bacolod City, Silliman University-Dumaguete City, Holy Name University-Tagbilaran City,  University of Eastern Phils.-Catarman Samar, Leyte Normal University-Tacloban City, St. Joseph College-Maasin Leyte, Arts Council of Cebu, Negros Cultural Foundation, and the Sigmahanon Foundation for Culture and Arts.

For more information, contact the CCP CED at


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Best laptop deals for your loved ones this Yuletide season


The holiday season is not just about parols and endless gatherings, it's also the perfect time to give something special to yourself and loved ones. And one of the many things you can wrap and place under the Christmas tree is a shiny new laptop! 


Thanks to Home Credit, the country’s leading consumer finance company, you can cop best-selling laptops with its incredible 0% interest offer on various installment options for up to 18 months. Surely, you can make your holiday dreams come true without breaking the bank through a laptop loan


Check out these top laptop models that can match your lifestyle:  


Apple Macbook Air 13.3 inch 

The Apple Macbook Air 13.3 inch sets a new standard for mobility and power, redefining the on-the-go computing experience. Packed with remarkable features, this ultra-portable laptop boasts an impressive battery life of up to 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback and 15 hours of wireless web browsing, thanks to its 52.6W lithium-polymer battery. 


The inclusion of the M2 with 8-core GPU enhances its capabilities, accompanied by a 30W USB-C power adapter for convenient and speedy recharging. With the added convenience of a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable and fast-charge capabilities using a 70W USB-C power adapter, the 13-inch model stands out as a beacon for on-the-go efficiency. Driven by the M2 chip, the Macbook Air delivers supercharged performance, ensuring blazing-fast operations within its sleek and compact design. 


ASUS VivoBook 14 

For those who want a perfect blend of performance and affordability, the ASUS VivoBook 14 is a stellar choice. The ASUS VivoBook 14, inspired by innovation and designed for versatility, is a remarkable addition to ASUS's lineup of cutting-edge laptops. 


Crafted with precision and powered by the 12th gen Intel processors, this laptop embodies the perfect blend of style and performance. Its 14-inch NanoEdge display with slim bezels provides an immersive viewing experience, making work and play more captivating than ever. The VivoBook 14's compact and lightweight design ensures that you can carry your creativity wherever you go. The ErgoLift hinge not only adds a touch of elegance but also tilts the keyboard for a comfortable typing experience.  

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