Friday, April 29, 2022

Charo Santos-Concio Finds a Partner in Health

Charo Santos-Concio

"The whole idea that someone you dearly love is not well at the time of COVID-19 is really scary." --Ms. Charo Santos-Concio

This was what Charo Santos-Concio had to say about her pandemic experience thus far. In the past year, she underwent one of the most trying challenges in her life because her husband, Cesar Rafael Concio, Jr. needed constant medical attention due to an existing health concern.

“I went through a roller coaster ride because my husband’s condition required us to make frequent hospital visits,” she recalls. “You really feel the anxiety, the worry, and the fear that you might get infected. However, it also strengthened my resolve to face these fears because my husband needs me.”

Charo further shared that, despite the stresses, it was important to accept the circumstances, remain calm, and keep up with the flow. “Life goes on. We must all learn to adjust to the new normal. We cannot be paralyzed by our fears,” she says. “Kailangan nating harapin ‘yan. Tingnan natin nang mata samata. Hindi tayo puwedeng magpatalo.”

The experience also highlighted the importance of securing her and her family’s health. “We must never take health for granted,” Charo reiterates. “We must all live an active life and take very good care of ourselves. It is equally important to look after our mental well-being as part of living healthier.”

And there’s also the importance of protecting one’s finances. Charo recognizes the importance of having a health protection plan to be financially secure should an illness strike. “Importante sa akin ang sense of security. Importante sa akin that whatever happens to me, I will not be a burden to my loved ones,” she says.

This was a lesson learned after the demise of her father, where the proceeds from his insurance policy allowed the family to financially cope after his passing. This experience taught her to be pragmatic and to embrace the value of security and peace of mind that an insurance policy brings to the family.

Ayaw mong iwanan ang mga mahal mo sa buhay with uncertainty about their future,” Charo shares. “As we work hard for ourselves and our loved ones, we should also put our money to good use by investing it in insurance, health protection, and mutual funds.”

Today, Charo looks forward to living a full life with her loved ones. And while she has retired, she continues to take on interesting projects every now and then. With Sun Life as her partner in health, she is assured that no matter what happens, she and her loved ones are financially protected from life’s unexpected twists and turns. “Having a partner in health can indeed help you lead a brighter life,” she 

Just like Charo, you too can secure your future and be financially protected should an illness strike. Know more about Sun Life’s Partner in Health campaign by visiting

Monday, April 25, 2022


 Sun Life CEO & Country Head Benedict Sison and Chief Client Experience and Marketing Officer Carla Gonzalez-Chong were on hand to receive the award from Reader’s Digest Asia Pacific Advertising Sales and Retail Director Sheron White.

For the 4th year in a row, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. was once again bestowed the
highest honor in the Trusted Brand Awards, bagging the Platinum Award in the Life Insurance

The awarding ceremony was held last April 8 at the EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Sun Life CEO & Country Head Benedict Sison and Chief Client Experience and Marketing Officer Carla Gonzalez-Chong were on hand to receive the award from Reader’s Digest Asia Pacific Advertising Sales and Retail Director Sheron White.

Presented by international publication Reader’s Digest, the Trusted Brand Awards is fully based on consumer voting, where over 8,000 individuals in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan rated 50 categories of products and services according to trustworthiness and credibility, quality, value, understanding of customer needs, innovation, and social responsibility.

“We are grateful to be honored once again, especially at a time when Sun Life is pursuing its
transformation journey. This affirms that amid all the innovation and digitalization, we have
remained consistent in delivering the service our clients expect from us as their trusted financial partner,” Sison said.

This recognition follows the Insurance Commission’s report that Sun Life remains to be the No. 1 life insurance company in the Philippines, after topping the industry in terms of total premium income in 2021. Sun Life’s consistent performance in the industry metrics of New Business Annual Premium Earnings, Assets, Net Income, and Net Worth over the years demonstrates its strength, stability, and resilience amidst uncertain times.

“All these will further inspire us in the continued pursuit of our purpose, especially as we mark
our 127th anniversary this year,” Sison said. “Sun Life is committed to honoring its commitments to clients. We will continue to be here for every Filipino who dreams of achieving lifetime financial security and living healthier lives.”


UBP 1Q2022 Net Income at Php2.6 Bn


UnionBank recorded a net income of Php2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022. This translated to a return on equity of 9.2%. The Bank’s recurring income grew 21% vs. the same period last year as net interest income increased by 12% to Php8.1 billion and fee-based income more than doubled to Php1.4 billion. Net Income, however, was lower by 45% due to extraordinary trading gains recorded in 1Q2021.

The year-on-year (YoY) growth in recurring income was attributable to the following: 1) Net interest margin improved by 6bps to 4.6% brought about by higher yields in earning assets, coupled by lower cost of funds from the expansion of our CASA deposits; and 2) Fee-based income came from the growth of InstaPay charges and interchange fees. Higher foreign exchange income (up 53% YoY to Php369.5 million) also boosted our topline revenues.

Versus 4Q2021, net income grew 40% mainly due to lower provisions for credit losses. As of end-March 2022, total assets were at Php844.4 billion, 13% higher than the same period last year. Total loans and receivables were at Php351.8 billion, up 2% YoY. Total deposits were higher by 15% to Php577.2 billion primarily driven by the sustained growth of CASA deposits at 28% toPhp356.5 billion.

 “The optimism generated by the reopening of the economy is palpable and if the pandemic is behind us, we are hopeful that the economic gains since 2021 are sustainable. While the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict could adversely affect investor and consumer sentiment, we think that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong enough to weather the challenges ahead. We, therefore, remain optimistic that improving credit appetite and spending patterns will allow us to sustain momentum in our recurring income for the rest of 2022,” said Jose Emmanuel U. Hilado,

Treasurer and Corporate Planning Services Head. “I am happy to report that we are on track to achieve the strategic milestones that we have set for the year. For the acquisition of Citi’s consumer business, we have already obtained approvals from the Philippine Competition Commission and Insurance Commission. Our Stock Rights Offering, which will fund the acquisition, is already in motion and expected to conclude in May 2022. We remain confident to become the legal owner of the consumer portfolio by July 2022. Moreover, our digital bank UnionDigital, is also on-track to launch by the 2nd half of the year. We are closely working with the regulators to complete key requirements for the start of our operations,” said Edwin R. Bautista, President and CEO.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Get the Xiaomi 12 Series at the flagship phone's open sale!


Living your best life means having the right tools to help you embrace all your passions. Today’s young and dynamic achievers know with their minds, hearts and guts that it’s no longer a choice between these experiences and interests. They are all within reach as long as one has mastered the digital lifestyle.

Enable your digital and ever upwardly mobile life with the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro, and grab yours today at the ongoing #Xiaomi12Series open sale. Shop now on Lazada and Shopee, or at any authorized Xiaomi store nationwide. 

Designed to masterfully capture perfect moments 

The Xiaomi 12’s camera possesses a ProFocus feature that allows it to learn and track the algorithm of the subject allowing for clear capture of a moving subject. Moreover, the Great Portrait Mode and Ultra Night Video make it a snap to capture spectacular images even in low-light conditions, as it automatically brightens the scene and details in the photo or video. These features make the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro among the best camera phones in the market today. 

The QUAD speakers with SOUND BY Harman Kardon give the crispest, cleanest sound, while the WQHD+ dynamic 120HZ AMOLED display delivers spectacularly clear colors and visuals, providing an incomparable entertainment experience.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Fuel up your business acumen with your own set of ingredients towards success from Mekeni


The Philippines is a country of resourceful and resilient people. Despite the loss of livelihood
and business closures during the lockdowns, the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos never
seemed to falter.

Mekeni Food Corporation, one of the leading food manufacturing companies in the country,
embodies the unfaltering entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos. It started as a backyard business of a simple Kapampangan family, but through hard work and dedication, it became a homegrown food brand that offers products here and abroad.

Mekeni's story continues to inspire and drive other businesses to aspire for something greater.
Through the years, and the ups and downs that the company experienced, it has developed its
own timpla of service and care. To fire up every Pinoy’s entrepreneurial spirit, Mekeni shares
their recipe for success, which Filipinos can replicate to fit their goals.

Score the best deals this summer at Home Credit’s Great 0% Festival


Just when we thought summer couldn’t get any more exciting this year, the country’s leading buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Home Credit Philippines offers Filipino shoppers 0% interest installments from its wide selection of over 5,000 items at its first-ever Great 0% Festival.


Starting April 11 until May 31, customers who wish to purchase their summer budol may get to avail of their chosen items through an affordable installment plan with Home Credit. For up to 3 different items in one loan contract, customers may choose a flexible payment of 6, 12, 15, and 18 months at 0% interest at all participating stores nationwide. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Emirates rolls out special Easter menus


Emirates rolls our special Easter menu

Emirates is introducing seasonal treats to celebrate Easter on board and in select airport lounges worldwide, as part of its commitment to delight customers with unique and seasonal experiences that reflect its global clientele and footprint.

The Easter menu  is available to customers in all cabin classes from April 16 to 18 when traveling from Dubai to destinations in Europe, Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines.

Emirates will also observe Orthodox Easter with special menus for customers traveling on flights from Dubai to Cyprus and Greece from April 23 to 25. On board, customers can look forward to Emirates’ signature hot cross buns or raisin brioche for breakfast on select sectors. Those flying in premium classes will be able to choose from Easter- inspired desserts such as Easter egg cake, which consists of chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce filling garnished with berries and dark chocolate crumbs; and children will be thrilled with desserts featuring an Easter egg in all classes. This seasonal offering is in addition to the regionally-inspired cuisine served on all Emirates flights.


A Call to Action: Review the trifocal education system in the Philippines


The main purpose of higher education in the Philippines is to enable individuals to develop their capabilities for effective participation in the workforce, for constructive contributions to society, and for personal growth and fulfillment; to advance knowledge and understanding, and aid to the application of knowledge. Have you ever wondered what is wrong with the Philippine educational system? It is unfortunate that there is a need for Filipinos to review the trifocal system of education in the country. There is also a clamor for technical vocational instructors in the Philippines for mastery and expertise--that qualified instructors with enough experience and skilled professionals would be the ones who handle the tech-voc classes and training to be able to produce globally-competitive graduates. In fact, technical vocational education must be professionally accredited and issue proper licensing. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Visita Iglesia and Easter Activity at The Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel revives pre-pandemic traditions in observance of Lent and to celebrate Easter. With an array of activities for its staycation, dining, and walk-in guests, and even those staying at home, the iconic hotel gives city folk and those who prefer to stay in Metro Manila options for the coming week.

Visita Iglesia 2022

Lenten tradition of Visita Iglesia is a time to commemorate and solemnly celebrate Christ’s passion in prayer and sacrifice. With a stay at the hotel on April 13 and 14, 2022 for a minimum deluxe room rate of only P7,000 nett and suite room rate of only P10,000 nett, guests can register 2 adults and 2 children 12 years old and below to join the Visita Iglesia tour. Walk-in rate for adults is P1,500 nett and 50% off on walk-in rate for children 5 to 12 years old.

Stopping at seven churches, namely Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Pope Pius XII Church, St. Pancratius Church, Malate Catholic Church and the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guidance, the tour includes round-trip shuttle service, in-vehicle guides, bottled water, and a scheduled snack stop at Marcelino Street Café at The Manila Prince Hotel.  

Registration for the Visita Iglesia guided tour is coursed through the hotel’s Front Desk/Reception upon room booking or for walk-in guests. For inquiries and reservation please call 85270011 or email

Wednesday, April 6, 2022



The importance of mental health has come to the fore in this pandemic, as Filipinos struggled to cope with various challenges, such as isolation from family and friends, new work landscapes, and disruptions in relationships.


As an advocate of holistic health, Sun Life Philippines aims to help address the situation. The company has collaborated with the Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc. (PMHA) for a free webinar series entitled Safe Space. The series will feature experts discussing issues that Filipinos are facing in the present, as well as practical ways to cope with the triggers that affect their mental health.

Describing the Indescribable with Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar


Coke Zero

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar launches its latest global campaign called #ZeroWords designed to challenge and inspire centennials, or the Generation Z fans — for whom social media is their go-to source of entertainment — to interpret the effervescent or fizzy taste of Coca-Cola Zero® without using any words, across their own social platforms using a unique collection of dynamic digital stickers and gifs.  


Cesar Gangoso, Coca-Cola Marketing Director for Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, said: “We’re excited to have the Gen Zs try out the great taste of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and have them interpret how its taste is too good for words. We are looking forward to the creative visual interpretations that these young people will come up with in this latest #ZeroWords campaign.”   

Globally, Coca-Cola has gathered inspirational non-verbal creators to interpret its indescribable taste, without using words, in a series of visually dynamic films, to be launched on their social platforms. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Union Bank of the Philippines Enters the Metaverse with the Ark of Dreams



Recognizing the explosive growth of blockchain, NFTs, and cryptocurrency globally, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), the country’s digital innovation pioneer, has embarked on a journey to become the first Philippine bank in the Metaverse, in partnership with Filipino Blockchain startup Ark of Dreams. 

UnionBank has always been at the forefront of technological innovations to empower consumers and make them future ready. It was the first Philippine bank to introduce the following that have been game-changers in the way we do banking: (1) mobile banking through wireless application protocol-enabled cellphones; (2) launch a banking website; (3) use an online payment card through EON; (4) use a chat bot (“Talk to Rafa”); (5) launch its own stablecoin (PHX); (6) introduce mobile check deposit through its award-winning app UnionBank Online; (7) opened the first fully digital bank branch in the country, The ARK; and, most recently (8) the first Philippine bank to go fully on the cloud.

Today, UnionBank blazes the innovation trail anew by being the first local bank to enter the Metaverse. “This collaboration with Ark of Dreams gives us yet another opportunity to forge forward in our pursuit of tech-ing up the Philippines and reinforcing our commitment to deliver superior customer experience across channels; and now, even the Metaverse! We are excited to be the leader in this revolution as the digital asset space keeps maturing and consumer demand for it grows exponentially,” said Henry R. Aguda, Chief Technology & Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer at UnionBank.

Monday, April 4, 2022


Sun Life Centre

Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. is the No. 1 life insurance company in the Philippines, after garnering Php 45.46 billion in Total Premium in 2021.


This is according to a report released by the Insurance Commission based on submitted unaudited Quarterly Reports on Selected Financial Statistics.


This is Sun Life’s 11th consecutive year to be the industry leader, an achievement it attributes to its clients’ trust and support. 


“The past year was marked by various challenges, as the pandemic heightened and a typhoon devastated our country. Knowing that our clients rely on us to help build their brighter future helped us focus on what matters most,” Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. President Alex Narciso said. “We thank our advisors and employees for staying faithful to our purpose.”


With the pandemic situation slowly improving, Sun Life is eager to build on the Filipinos’ heightened interest in financial planning and health protection. Adapting to the clients’ evolving priorities and expectations, the company has opened new branches nationwide and upskilled its advisors. Sun Life also continues to be innovative, launching new products and tools to enhance client experience.


Meanwhile, its efforts to serve the greater community also continue. The Sun Life Financial-Philippines Foundation, Inc. recently welcomed the third batch of participants for Sun Pera-Aralan, its behavioral design financial management program for public school teachers. It has also partnered with Health Futures Foundation, Inc. to set up Sun Life Barangay Health Stations in remote areas in Batangas, providing residents with much needed access to basic healthcare.   


“As we mark our 127th anniversary this year, we remain faithful to our purpose. We are fully committed to fulfill our promises to the generations of clients that we have been granted the honor to serve. We are ready to be their partner for life,” Sun Life CEO & Country Head Benedict Sison said. “Being Number 1 means that we are Number 1 in the hearts and minds of the people we serve. This, for us, is the most important measure of success, and we will always strive to let them feel that the confidence they give us is worth it.” 

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