Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Groundbreaking Marketing University Upskills NutriAsia’s Organization


In line with its commitment to invest in and further hone the people driving its success, NutriAsia, the Philippines’ leading manufacturer and distributor of condiments and sauces, has launched its first Marketing master course, the NutriAsia Marketing University (NMU).

Anchored on NutriAsia’s core value of excellence, the NMU is a bespoke program developed in partnership with business development firm Acumen Strategy Consultants. It is designed to hone its participants to become exceptional, world-class marketers that consistently deliver results through strategic brand building & business fluency.

The NMU officially began its pre-scheduled classes last 24 August 2021. It is structured to function as an actual university, with classes, case studies, homework, and group work to be accomplished by its students. Courses will be facilitated by industry-renowned marketing experts and practitioners who will share their knowledge and expertise on effectively and efficiently navigating the grinding parts of the business.

The pioneer batch of NMU is composed of the NutriAsia Marketing team members together with select, high performing internal stakeholders from other departments such as Food Service, Demand Management Team, Finance, and New Business Development. The company firmly believes that its people are its most important asset, which is why NutriAsia is giving them the opportunity to enhance their skillsets and broaden their knowledge, equipping them with better capabilities to respond effectively to consumer needs, especially in today’s dynamic and volatile market landscape.

“At NutriAsia, we put much value on our people,” said NutriAsia’s Chief Marketing Officer Ampy Rio. “This is why we want to further the growth of our people as exemplary leaders, renowned in the industry for their commitment and dedication to excellence through the NutriAsia Marketing University.”

With the valuable training its employees will receive, NutriAsia guarantees that the future generations of business leaders and movers will maintain the company’s high quality of products and, in turn, continue to provide Filipinos with the Masarap, Masaya moments they’ve come to love from the brand.

NutriAsia is the Philippines’ leading producer, marketer & distributor of high-quality sauces and condiments. It is also home to iconic Filipino brands like UFC, Mang Tomas, Golden Fiesta, Papa, Mafran, and Jufran. Follow NutriAsia on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Nacional Chapels and Crematory Unfolds a Dignified Venue to Celebrate The Life of Our Dearly Departed

The institution has been around since 1900 but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at its newly-built building. 

Nacional, one of the pioneering names in the Philippines’ memorial services industry, has opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art building on its old location along Araneta Avenue in Quezon City. 

Along with it a change in name from Nacional Memorial Homes to Nacional Chapels and Crematory.

The multi-million peso center sets new industry standards and redefines memorial services with a contemporary aesthetic usually seen only in hotels and condominiums and rarely, if ever, in memorial homes. 


The new Nacional was designed to give the Filipino families of today a place where they can spend their final days with their departed loved ones in utmost comfort, convenience, and sophistication,” says Annette Estacion, Managing Director of Nacional Chapels and Crematory.

We wanted to give them a unique space to celebrate the life of their dearly beloved while, at the same time, making new memories with relatives and friends. All told, the new Nacional Chapels and Crematory is more about those who have been left behind even as it gives those who have passed on the fitting and dignified venue for the celebration of life,” she adds.

The new Nacional Chapels and Crematory is five floors of warm and contemporary chic guaranteed to please modern sensibilities as well as classic tastes. It houses 15 well-appointed chapels with various designs and several sizes to suit different family preferences and to satisfy varying accommodation needs.  

Nine of these chapels have family rooms with their own bedroom, dining area, and toilet and bath. Exuding a warm ambiance, these rooms provide families an extra space for rest and other important activities away from their guests.  

In the new Nacional, families who wish to be with their dearly departed every step of the way for a complete final journey together may do so in amply spaced viewing rooms for preparatory activities, cremation, and other services. 

For these important undertakings, the new Nacional has been fitted with modern technology through a suite of new state-of-the-art equipment that adheres to world-class standards and provides better and faster services. 

There are also cozy lounges with comfy sofas, chairs, and coffee tables in strategic areas in the building that provide guests and visitors more options to relax, remember, and cherish their memories with their loved ones.


Incense Room

And for those who may want to have meaningful silence in private, several non-denominational incense rooms are available for personal devotional activities. 


The Nacional redevelopment project is one of the biggest undertakings in the memorial services industry in the last ten years. It started in 2018 and took three years to complete.

Careful planning and robust investment came into achieving our goal of giving Filipino families a modern facility they can enjoy for their memorial needs without putting a strain on their financial resources,” notes Lia Enriquez, President of Rosehills Memorial Management Phils. Inc., which now manages Nacional Chapels and Crematory.

Rosehills is the firm that has made The Heritage Park one of the premier memorial parks in the country. The new Nacional brings the same industry-best practices and top-quality services to more Filipinos at more reasonable prices.

The full menu of services makes managing memorials as easy and worry-free, so families can focus on the truly important aspects of their final few days with their departed loved ones.

For more information about Nacional Chapels and Crematory by The Chapels at Heritage Park, visit or contact 8713-5231 or 09178693771


Saturday, September 18, 2021

BEAR BRAND® Fortified recognizes the strength of Filipino students through the Batang Matibay Awards

The importance of education is ingrained in many of us at an early age. Many parents consider it as a ticket to a better life and more opportunities for their children. “‘Yan lang ang maipapamana namin sa inyo,” they would say. In turn, Filipino students are seen to have a strong sense of determination when it comes to finishing their education and becoming the people they aspire to be for their family and their community.

For S.Y. 2020-2021, there were around 25 million enrolled students in the Philippines, but not all of them share the same journey towards reaching their dreams. Due to various social challenges that disrupt learning, some kids have it far more difficult than others. You have probably heard stories of students who don’t have access to learning materials, students who walk for miles just to attend their classes, students who do their homework under lamp posts, and other similar tales of hardships.

Despite the obstacles in their way, they have shown incredible TIBAY that can help them succeed in life with the right support and guidance. Through its Batang Matibay Awards, BEAR BRAND® Fortified celebrates these students who exemplify the strength to continue their education and to pursue their goals in life.


What does it take to be a Batang Matibay?

There have been a total of 30 Batang Matibay Awardees since BEAR BRAND® Fortified launched the program in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2018. Each of these awardees has a unique story of TIBAY that can inspire other students who might be going through the same struggles.

BEAR BRAND® Fortified and DepEd start the process of selecting a new batch of awardees by gathering nominations from public schools all over the Philippines. Teachers can nominate their students from the 5th and 6th grades by providing testaments and personal accounts of how they embody tibay when it comes to pursuing their education and in the face of physical, emotional, and social challenges. They must detail not only the academic achievements and extracurricular activities of the students, but more importantly the determination, optimism, and grit that enable them to accomplish these amidst life's adversities.

From these nominations, a panel of judges composed of representatives from Nestlé Philippines and DepEd carefully deliberates to name the top ten Batang Matibay awardees of the year who will be honored in a recognition ceremony.

Each awardee is presented with a plaque of recognition, BEAR BRAND® Fortified gift packs, a cash prize, and most importantly, a college scholarship grant that can help them finish their education and secure themselves a better future. Likewise, their respective schools also receive plaques of recognition, BEAR BRAND® Fortified gift packs, and laptop computers

2021 Batang Matibay Awards

Last September 4, ten students coming from different regions in the country were recognized as this year’s batch of Batang Matibay awardees. Due to the constraints of the pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually via Facebook Live.

One of the awardees is Mark Angelo Sunio, a grade 5 student from Caloocan City. At a young age, Mark has displayed an astounding amount of strength in his battle with bone cancer, which has led to him losing his left arm. Despite this challenge, the 11-year old is still full of hope and drive to continue with his studies and win in life. His teachers describe him as a consistent academic achiever and someone who's always willing to offer his help to those who might need it.

"Naging matapang po ako kasi kailangang maging matapang sa sakit na cancer... Mag-aaral po ako nang mabuti para matupad ko ang anumang gusto ko sa buhay o pangarap ko." Mark said.

Aside from their day-to-day expenses, Mark’s parents are working hard to cover the costs of their son’s treatments. Fortunately, the incentives that he will receive as a Batang Matibay awardee will not only help support his education but also their family’s needs.

Over the years, the inspiring stories of Batang Matibay awardees like Suhel, Pauline, and Myco have touched the hearts of the public. You can watch their stories of TIBAY on BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink’s Facebook Page.

BEAR BRAND® Fortified recognizes the importance of equipping this generation with Tibay ngayon, tulong para sa mas matibay na bukas.

Make sure to check out BEAR BRAND® Fortified’s social media pages to know when nominations start for S.Y. 2021-2022 and how you can nominate. Who knows? The next Batang Matibay just might be from your community!

Friday, September 17, 2021

When should you start talking to your kids about money?


Start them young: Yes, you can have money talks with your preschoolers

If you are hesitant about discussing money matters with your child, relax. Experts say that letting your kids participate in these discussions--and even in decision-making--is beneficial to them. As your child learns about proper money management, you are saving their future from the consequences of not having learned essential financial skills.

But the question is: at what age should you start discussing money matters with your kids? According to financial expert Fitz Villafuerte, you can introduce basic financial concepts to your child as early as 3 years old!

Kids already know about spending money because they see their parents do it. Some even learn to order products online just by watching their parents. This leads to some funny to distressing surprises when the delivery man arrives!

Yes, money discussions should be a usual activity at home, but make sure to time it right. For example, when you use an ATM and your child happens to see you do that, explain to them what an ATM is, where the money comes from, and why is a bank account important.

Whenever you go out shopping, buying groceries, or even ordering online, make that a takeoff point for discussing what a budget is. Explain the difference between needs and wants and why we prioritize spending on our needs first.

In other words, whenever you, as a parent, are using money or making money-related transactions (even paying tuition for example), these are learning moments for your child. They see that money is not an abstract mystery but a real part of your lives. More importantly, kids learn that there is a correct and incorrect way of using money and that spending and saving are in your control.

You can also discuss money matters in the form of games and stories. For example, the board game Monopoly is a way to teach kids about financial basics. There are also storybooks and picture books for kids that teach them about money. Another way to engage your child is through the use of digital content and mobile games that are now widely available. 

Of course, you should level up from your discussions to the actual application of these skills. After all, kids learn best by doing. One basic step is to help them open their own savings account. This is one of the best ways for them to apply the discussions you’ve had.

BDO makes it easy to open a Junior Savers Account with an initial deposit of as low as P100--an amount that is piggy bank-friendly! Don’t stress over the requirements and just visit the BDO branch near you.

You can also set up a Junior Savers Plan that allows you to add to your child’s initial fund by scheduling regular deposits using your BDO Online Banking account. Just set the amount and frequency for the transfer—all done conveniently online—and you are all set!

Learning about money can be easy, fun, and fulfilling for you and your kids. And the best thing about it is, you are helping them achieve a financially secure future.

VSmart Launches New Features for SY 2021-2022

VSmart recently launched three new features that make VSmart, the company’s flagship product for education and technology, more relevant and responsive to the needs of school managers, teachers, and students in the new now of education. These new features—VSmart Digital Library, VSmart Analytics, VSmart Games—are solutions that further help schools to succeed in this era of flexible and hybrid learning.

VSmart Digital Library is an online library where students and teachers can access e-books, learning resources, and lesson supplements. Students and teachers can simply log in and indulge in reading class modules, textbooks, children’s storybooks, and reference materials. VSmart Digital Library also allows teachers to teach students how to search, analyze, and utilize digital resources which is a crucial skill for 21st-century learning.

VSmart Analytics helps users access and analyze data in a snap. School administrators can now view and analyze engagements between teachers and students in different subject areas. Teachers can now measure students’ progress per available competencies. Teachers can view overall screen time and activity logs of students, and track the overall class performance and learning progress. Students and parents can now monitor their learning progress.

VSmart Games takes VSmart users to a new level of gamified learning. Each game is age-appropriate to their intended players, and is anchored to the pedagogical skills that hone mastery in different subjects the game is linked to.

These new features will be available this school year 2021-2022 to all users of VSmart. Interested schools may email for a VSmart presentation and training.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Visa and Tanghalang Pilipino promote financial literacy with the launch of “Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog” web series

Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments and Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the multi-awarded resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)​, are launching a new version of their financial literacy themed play “Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog” (LLBB). The five-episode web series will be free for streaming starting this September.

Launched in 2017 as an interactive musical that is supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), LLBB features the story of teenager Gwyneth as she struggles to handle her finances and learns the value of proper financial management with help from her family and friends, and some Filipino heroes brought to life.

“It’s important to teach young Filipinos how to make smart financial decisions and the Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog theater performance has been extremely successful in helping us achieve this objective. This year, we wanted to create new stories that are relevant in the new normal, while making the play educational and entertaining. We are excited to partner again with our trusted allies in financial education such as Tanghalang Pilipino and Teach for the Philippines to introduce the web series, to expand our outreach to more Filipino children and young people in the country,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam.

Written by Eljay Castro Deldoc and directed by Avic Ilagan, the new LLBB stories feature five web episodes that focus on various financial topics such as the concept of promotional sales, value of saving, basics of credit, earning additional income, and scam awareness and prevention.

The protagonist is Gwyneth, a teenage girl who will embark on a journey to financial literacy with guidance from characters like Lolo Sally and best friend Jing-Jing. The new web series also introduces new roles such as Gwyneth’s mother Blessie and friend-turned-admirer Aaron, with special appearances from Philippine national heroes and cultural icons.

Well-known financial literacy experts Salve Duplito and Rose Fres Fausto are also featured in the after-show interviews with Lolo Sally to enlighten the audience by providing financial education tips. Through their helpful insights and easy-to-apply tips, viewers will gain a deeper understanding of financial literacy concepts and gain better money management skills.

With Filipinos relying heavily on digital platforms to access media and entertainment, the web series is accessible through the social media sites of Tanghalang Pilipino (Facebook, YouTube) and its other non-profit organization partner for children’s education, Teach for the Philippines ( It will also be showcased on Visa’s Facebook channel.

To reach remote parts of the country with limited access to the internet, LLBB also adapted this web series into a radio play which will air in local radio stations nationwide via the radio networks of Manila Broadcasting Company and Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“We are thankful to partner again with Visa for the new LLBB stories. The success we had with the live performances of LLBB in theaters and on campuses showed how impactful theater is when it comes to education. The new LLBB web series will further prove that theater as a medium remains relevant and versatile to help not only the youths but viewers of all ages to become better in managing their finances,” said Carmela Millado-Manuel, Tanghalang Pilipino Company Manager.

Since its debut four years ago, LLBB has reached over 37,000 students and educators across the Philippines. Fans of the show can watch the original story again via Tanghalang Pilipino’s YouTube page. For more information about Visa and LLBB, visit

Check out these behind-the-scenes photos of this highly of the popular play:

Philippine cultural icons like the Katmon Tree (in white costume) will help Gywneth (in pink) in her journey in the new LLBB web series

Philippine heroes like Josefa Llanes Escoda (in terno) will make their appearance in the web series to guide the characters in their financial journey.

From the stage to the screen, Tanghalang Pilipino will showcase Filipino theater talent in the new LLBB web series

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit


Monday, September 13, 2021

Voice for Change : New Safe and Secure Social Networking App for Children in the Philippines

The internet is a wonderful place for information, entertainment, and social networking for kids and adults alike. But with the proliferation of fake news, explicit content, and cyberbullying, it’s not a very safe space, even for adults. 

The web is an even more dangerous place for children in low-income countries like the Philippines where access to low-cost internet and mobile devices is widespread and parental control and adult supervision is lax due to various socio-economic factors.

In fact, the country is considered one of the world’s top hot spots for online child sexual exploitation among 10-14 year-olds. 

This is the situation that has prompted Terre de Hommes-Netherlands, an international non-governmental organization advocating and working for the prevention of child exploitation in 17 countries including the Philippines, to develop a revolutionary new digital app that’s totally safe and secure for young users including children.

Called Voice for Change, the app was co-created with victims of child sexual exploitation and those vulnerable to abuse together with children advocates. Research and development took over one year, from March 2020 to June 2021, to ensure that the platform is truly responsive to the needs of children for support and assistance as well as to carry out the advocacy against sexual exploitation.

Voice for Change has features that are similar to those in popular social networking apps. Users can post status updates, connect to other users and engage in discussions, and get access to online resources for information. 

The main difference is in the app’s strict security and privacy provisions. Sign up requires approval by the Voice for Change administration and goes through a screening process. 

Logging in requires a mobile number and a one-time password sent via SMS. To provide further protection, no personally identifiable information including photos is shared among users. 

In VFC, users can find relevant and verified information about different issues relevant to children's advocacies. They can also genuinely voice opinions and engage in healthy discussions without fear of toxic perspectives and language.

It is a truly safe space that comes with a directory of organizations and agencies that users can contact to report concerns and even actual cases of child exploitation and abuse. 


Here’s a closer look at the Voice for Change features.


Share your thoughts

Got a high grade in school or achieved a personal goal? Freely share your thoughts privately and securely.

Engage in discussions

Start a conversation with like-minded people about concerns relevant to the protection of children and similar issues. Or chime in on other topics that interest you.

Get Help

Feeling down, need guidance, or just want to talk to someone? Reach out to individuals and organizations that can offer professional help.

Verified information

No one wants to read or share fake news. Get only verified information on relevant topics.

Report an Incident

Have you or someone you know experienced child abuse and similar issues? Report the incident safely.

Secure and Private

Sign up requests go through a screening process. Log in with a mobile number and a one-time password will be sent to you by SMS. No personally identifiable information is shared.

The Voice for Change app may be downloaded in the Google Play store.

iPhone and Google Chrome users can use the web-based app instead.

More information about Voice for Change can be viewed at

Saturday, September 11, 2021

BDO broadens digitization efforts with BDO Pay

BDO UNIBANK has broadened its roster of digital banking channels with the introduction of a mobile payment app that links directly to the client’s BDO account and credit card—making banking even more convenient, safer and responsive to its clients’ needs.

Called BDO Pay, this app will enable clients to use their savings account or credit card to do contactless payments for bills, to online sellers and various stores nationwide.

With this newest initiative, BDO clients need not move in and out of different apps just to transfer money from one account to another. Moreover, having a mobile payment app linked directly to a client’s bank account allows the former to save from paying cash-in fees repeatedly.

BDO clients with existing online banking account can easily use BDO Pay by just downloading the mobile app from Google Play, App Store, or Huawei AppGallery. Existing clients with no online banking account, are encouraged to sign-up first via and enroll. Once the online banking account is activated, clients can already download the BDO Pay app and start using it.

Meanwhile, non-BDO clients are invited to open a BDO account to experience the features of the said mobile payment app.

Digital upgrades to a better customer journey

BDO, which currently operates the most number of branches and ATMs in the country, has been enhancing its technology and security infrastructure to deliver its products and services in a faster, simpler, and more secure way for the clients.

“The digital initiatives do not only revolve around technology infrastructure but also the revamp of operational processes and the engagement of experts to enable the Bank to be more agile and responsive to its clients’ needs,” said BDO.

During the height of the pandemic, the Bank saw a substantial increase in usage of its BDO Online Banking and Mobile Banking channels as they provide BDO clients instant and easy access to all their BDO accounts, namely, credit cards, deposits, loans, and investments.

The widespread adoption of mobile and online banking habits is rising rapidly around the world largely due to COVID-19. This has propelled the banks to embrace the advantages of digital banking and give their clients the ability and control to do bank transactions and payments without the need to visit a branch.

In the Philippines, Filipinos are becoming more and more comfortable with cashless payments and doing online banking transactions in the new normal. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) targets to bring 70% of adult Filipinos into the banked population by 2023 and hopes that 50% of transactions—in terms of volume and value—are done digitally.

About BDO Unibank, Inc.

BDO is a full-service universal bank that provides a wide range of corporate and retail banking services, such as traditional loan and deposit products, treasury, trust banking, investment banking, private banking, rural banking, cash management, leasing and finance, remittance, insurance, retail cash cards, credit cards, and online and non-online brokerage services.   

BDO has the country’s largest distribution network, with over 1,400 consolidated operating branches and more than 4,400 ATMs nationwide. It also has 16 international offices (including full-service branches in Hong Kong and Singapore) in Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. 

The Bank also offers digital banking solutions to make banking easier, faster, and more secure for its clients.  

BDO ranked as the largest bank in terms of total assets, loans, deposits, and trust funds under management based on published statements of condition as of March 31, 2021. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Naturally Good Australian Navel Oranges are back in season

Keeping ourselves healthy in mind and body has been a vital part of the past 18 months, which is why every bit of help counts. One way of ensuring that our bodies are strong is by fuelling them with rich nutrient fruits. Luckily for us, striking a happy balance between nutritious and delectable is easy with Australian Navel Oranges.

Notable as a natural immunity booster, oranges are high in Vitamin C and contain natural flu-fighting properties that aid in fending off cough and colds. These fruits also help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and a healthy heart to boot.

Australia is once again bringing in its high-quality Navel Oranges straight from Australia’s pristine southeast regions for Filipinos to enjoy. 

To mark another productive harvest season, Hort Innovation hosted an online launch event under the Taste Australia banner last Friday, August 27, 2021, which featured Celebrity Chef, Luigi Muhlach, who demonstrated the versatility of oranges as a tasty flavoring in a savory dish, as well as Bento Mommas, who carefully demonstrated a delightful way of packing oranges for meal preps.

Easy-Peasy Orange Fox Sandwich Bento

It's a great source of Vitamin C, and it's an immunity booster especially during this time, so it has been a great ingredient for our bento boxes. That's why we go into bento making, to make sure that our kids get a balanced meal every time, either on a plate or in a box,” said Monet Aquino of Bento Mommas. 

Chef Luigi Muhlach

As for our special guest chef of the event, Chef Luigi said “It's very easy to use, in terms of cooking and in making drinks, it's seedless, pulpy, and sweet,” he adds “it's packed with Vitamin C and it's very healthy. It's good to use at home because you can incorporate something delicious and healthy at the same time.”

Picked fresh from only the highest quality crops, Australian oranges are in peak season until October and Taste Australia strongly encourages consumers to take advantage of this harvest season and indulge in this sweet, delectable, and nutritious fruit. 

"Australian citrus arguably has the best kind of flavour and sweetness of any citrus in the world, there's no disputing that. And it's purely our unique climate that gives us that advantage,” said David Daniels, General Manager, Citrus Australia.

The Taste Australia program is designed to support our customers to learn more about Australia's amazing horticultural produce and the advantages of quality, safe and healthy Australian horticulture products," said Brei Montgomery, Head of International Trade, Hort Innovation.

Taste Australia allows consumers to take advantage of these much-loved seasonal sensations, with products branded or promoted under its banner guaranteed to be perfectly ripe, fresh, and sweet. We “see these promotions as a good way to promote Australia within the Philippines and it falls in line with all the programs as we celebrate 75 years of Philippines-Australia relations.” said Christopher Lim, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade. 

This season’s pickings are available in Rustan’s Supermarket, Shopwise, Marketplace by Rustan’s, Robinsons Supermarket, and S&R, and through e-Commerce partners like AlwaysFresh, Dizon Farms, Baytown’s Produce, and Crate2plate. Consumers can also view trending recipes, learn helpful tips and tricks, or be involved in the latest conversations by following Taste Australia - Philippines on Facebook and @TasteAustraliaPH on Instagram.

Australian Navel Orange Factsheet

Did you know?

The first Australian citrus trees were planted in the late 1700s. Today, 2000 growers annually produce 600,000 tonnes of high-quality citrus fruit with oranges being the most produced citrus variety (76%).

The main variety of orange is the Navel, which is usually seedless, with easy-to-peel skin, very sweet juicy flesh, and a small protrusion at one end that resembles a human navel — hence the name of this variety.

Australia’s diverse climate and pristine natural environment provide the quality conditions needed to produce high-quality oranges. South-east Australia is the major growing region – the Murray Valley of Victoria, the Riverina of New South Wales, and the Riverland of South Australia. 

An orange tree grafted onto rootstock may take three years to begin producing fruit, whilst a tree grown from seed can take up to 15 years! Initially, a Navel Orange tree may produce as little as 9 kilograms of fruit, however, when it is mature, this may increase to 180 kilograms per tree.

Australian Navel Oranges are available and in season from June to October each year.

Application and recipes

Australian oranges are incredibly versatile, making them the perfect anytime snack or addition to sweet or savory dishes. Oranges are a great alternative to a quick fix sugary drink or a chocolate bar as they contain carbohydrates and B vitamins.

Must-try recipes can be found at 

Health benefits

Australian oranges are famous for their high vitamin C content and natural flu-fighting properties. They are also high in antioxidants, fiber, folate, and potassium. Australian oranges have numerous health and nutritional benefits including:

Nutrient density, which is great for weight control

Good source of folate, which is perfect for pregnant women (may help prevent spina bifida) and the rest of the family (helps the immune system and heart)

Great for blood pressure control with high potassium and low salt

Rich in antioxidants which helps keep you fit and healthy throughout the year.

Selection and storage at home

Make sure to select fruit that has bright orange skin, is firm, and feels heavy for its size (avoid dry, wrinkled, or softer-looking oranges as they do not ripen further after harvest.).

Oranges can be stored for up to two weeks at room temperature, and longer when refrigerated. 

Store oranges unwashed as moisture on the skin can lead to mold. 

Either peel or wash oranges in cool water before slicing. If cutting, use a clean cutting board to prevent cross-contamination.

Do not freeze oranges or store them below 3°C.

This project is being funded by Hort Innovation using the citrus industry levy. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.

Monday, August 30, 2021

7 Ways you can do to cope up with boredom during the pandemic

Mama, I'm bored! 

Who isn't? Pandemic breeds boredom for many. As parents, we should think of ways and activities to keep boredom at bay.

I will share with you some of the activities we did to keep ourselves (especially the kids) from being bored. These activities kept them entertained and taught them a thing or two.
Ways to cope up with boredom

1. Learn to do manicure/pedicure- this is part of my hygiene and I want to impart this to my kids. Aside from that, I love cleaning my nails. Btw, Nailpolish used is hypoallergenic so it's safe for the kiddos.

Ways to cope up with boredom

2. Let the kids make snacks -  we accomplished one of Lady's Choice #DoItTogether Co-creation activities ~ Egg Mayo Sandwich Relay Challenge. This is a fun Go Grow Glow sandwich-making activity for 2-4 members of the family that teaches values such as positivity and teamwork.

3. Play board games - imaginative play. Children receive creative stimulation by making their designs with blocks. This is also one of the great ways to bond with family. 

4. Movie nights - Family movie night has benefits beyond the simple bonding that takes place between family members. Children who co-watch movies and television with their parents gain valuable insight into what’s wrong and right in the world, too. Of course, as responsible parents, we screen the movies we plan to watch! :)
Ways to cope up with boredom
Teen Titans, a popular superhero group from DC, they're cool! Free. No ads. Very simple yet enjoyable game and this will keep you thinking about your next strategy.

Ways to cope up with boredom
Teen Titans Go Slash of Justice Game Online - sounds like an R-rated game? Nope! I instantly got hooked on this one! Anyone from the family will enjoy this one. 

5. Gadgets at home. From computers to gaming consoles to tablets to mobile phones, we may not have all of these but we at least have some of them. Apart from social media, we normally use these gadgets to play online games. I stumbled upon this free online video games at .No need to download it. And yes, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear online games is in-game or in-app purchases. Well, here's the thing - you don't need to pay for anything! Yup! You PLAY FOR FREE! You won't need to pay to win, you just play to your heart's content. Play for fun! Play to learn! Yes, the games here are also games that will stimulate your mind. These games will help you think, analyze and most especially keep you entertained and excited! Really handy during these lockdown times.
Ways to cope up with boredom

6. Encourage to do exercise - By exercising together, you're encouraging teamwork and working together to achieve a common goal. Not only does this help strengthen family bonds and ties, but it also helps teach the importance of goal setting and accomplishment both as an individual and a team.

7. Let them help you. If you're cooking or cleaning, let them assist you. Give them a task they can handle. For young kids, that might be setting the table or packing away their toys. For older kids, that might be slicing vegetables, sweeping the house, or baking. 

Keeping our kids occupied is tough, but trying new activities for kids will somehow get them through this pandemic. 

Stay safe and healthy! Stay home. đź’›

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Vibal Foundation Marks Rizal Anniversaries with Launch of El Filibusterismo Critical Edition and E. San Juan’s Sisa’s Vengeance

In commemoration of Dr. JosĂ© Rizal’s 160th birthday and his 125th death anniversary this year, Vibal Foundation recently announced the launch of Isaac Donoso’s critical edition of Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo and E. San Juan Jr.’s Sisa’s Revenge: JosĂ© Rizal’s Sexual Politics and Cultural Revolution. 

El Filbusterismo

JosĂ© Rizal’s El Filibusterismo serves as the thrilling denouement to his first social novel, Noli Me Tángere, which exposed the ills of a decaying Filipino society enfeebled by colonialism. In the book sequel, Rizal tantalizingly employs two divergent paths of the social disease’s inevitable and natural progression—either a slow, debilitating cancerous spread or the body’s sudden collapse into a violent paroxysm of anarchy and terrorism.

This bilingual quincentennial edition, the latest addition in Vibal Foundation’s Filipiniana Clasica imprint, is a faithful reproduction of the edicion principe published in Ghent in 1891 and includes a comparative annotation of Rizal’s corrections, emendations as well as deletions from the original manuscript and the final printed text, making this the first-ever critical edition. With this volume, Rizal’s textual versions are recovered through a modern philological parsing, which spans 3,065 explanatory notes, thus unlocking the novel’s many enigmas for a new generation of readers.

The original Spanish text has been printed in parallel with Charles Derbyshire’s classic English translation. This collector’s edition also contains the novel’s extensive bibliography, tracing the history of its manifold translations and editions. Floro Quibuyen’s foreword sheds new light on the radical Rizal as well as the novel’s final conundrum, while National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario examines Rizal’s work as the ultimate in-joke much heavily influenced by French and German Enlightenment thought. 

Isaac Donoso’s edition of El Filibusterismo and his companion critical edition of Noli Me Tángere serve as the definitive editions of these two foundational novels that launched an entire nation into being. The striking cover design by artist Toti Cerda adds a contemporary spin to the novel, foregrounding the more sinister aspect of the novel’s protagonist.  

Sisa’s Vengeance: Jose Rizal’s Sexual Politics and Cultural Revolution

In the sixth re-edition of Sisa’s Vengeance, its respected author, Prof. E. San Juan Jr., addresses the question, “who is the real and true Rizal?”  The book invites readers to look past the popular image of Rizal to understand his ideas as portrayed in his work, and how these ideas and beliefs were shaped by the events and circumstances of his life. It is a re-evaluation of the significance of Rizal's discourse on freedom, human rights, and national liberation, centering on the liberation of women and its ramifications in the total emancipation of a nation. The latter chapters also reveal Rizal’s principled beliefs and advocacy for women’s rights.

This latest addition to Vibal Foundation’s Academic Filipina collection critically assesses how scholarship of Rizal, including prominent biographies, have shown speculative or biased tendencies, or have formed an image of Rizal to suit an author’s ends. Moreover, the author uses the perspective of historical materialism to consider the totality of Rizal’s milieu, his ideas as well as his practice. 

The novel’s characters like Simoun, Padre Florentino, and others all reflect particular aspects of its depiction of society. It would be difficult to point to a single character as the mouthpiece embodying the entirety of Rizal’s beliefs. 

The author puts clear emphasis that Rizal recognized gender equality as a key component of national liberation, and that his criticism of colonial society can be seen in the tribulations facing the women in his fictional works. Passivity, obedience, and silence seem to be the cause of tragedy for Rizal's women characters. Thus, gender justice, as part of a counter-hegemonic revolution, would be Sisa's revenge.

About Vibal Foundation

Founded in 2007, Vibal Foundation is Vibal Group’s philanthropic arm. Its vision is to engage Filipinos in intellectual discussion of Philippine history, culture, and arts by providing beautiful and insightful print and digital materials.

Its institutional partners are the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; National Museum of the Philippines; Philippine Departments of Labor and Education; San AgustĂ­n Museum; UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum; Ateneo Art Gallery; Biblioteca Historica, Universidad Complutense, Madrid; International Rice Research Institute; Galleria Duemila; Gallery Genesis; and Premio ZĂłbel.

Filipiniana Clasica is the Vibal Foundation’s collection that upholds the continuity of the Filipino reading canon through the unceasing publication of lavishly illustrated and expanded new editions of cultural and educational books. Among its titles are JosĂ© Rizal’s Noli Me Tángere, Carlos Quirino’s Philippine Cartography 4th Edition and Old Manila 2nd Edition, Antonio M. Abad’s La Oveja de Nathán, Lolo Jose An Intimate and Illustrated Portrait of JosĂ© Rizal, Manuel Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, and Occupation 1942-45

Academica Filipina is the interdisciplinary series that pushes the boundaries of scholarly publishing with smart, literate, and thought-provoking works exploring the Philippine past, present, and future. Among its titles is Boxer Codex: A Spanish Transcription and Translation of 16th Century Exploration Accounts, The World of the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, More Hispanic Than We Admit Volumes 1 to 3, More Tsinoy Than We Admit, More Islamic Than We Admit, More American Than We Admit, More Pinay Than We Admit, More Tomboy More Bakla Than We Admit, The World of the Manila-Acapulco Galleons, El Periodismo Filipino, Santo Niño de Cebu, PĂşgot: Head Taking Ritual, Cannibalism, and Human Sacrifice in the Philippines. 

Vibal books are available for online purchase at and Shopee

1253 G. Araneta Avenue cor. Maria Clara Street, Quezon City

Tels. +63 (2) 8580.7400 | 1-800-1000-VIBAL (84225)

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Zinbee: The Secret to Enhanced Immunity


Your immune system is your body’s defense against disease-causing agents, like bacteria, parasites, and viruses. This is the reason you need a strong immune system, so it can function optimally and keep you from getting sick. An immune system boost is particularly important nowadays with new, more contagious viruses just waiting to make you ill at the most inopportune of times.

Popular immune system enhancers include citrus fruits, such as oranges and apples, and vegetables, like broccoli and red bell peppers, as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. But to further enhance a healthy immune system, a study says our body will need the mineral zinc, which is more than just a remedy for cold symptoms. It is vital for a variety of reasons, including strengthening the immune system.  Aside from these natural, citrus fruits, you may get zinc from Zinbee, a pioneering zinc supplement that contains zinc gluconate, which the body may absorb more easily than the other forms of zinc.

Available in chewable tablet and syrup forms, Zinbee enhances your body’s defenses by increasing the production of immune cells which circulate your body and are always ready to strike the harmful microorganisms. More of these immune cells, therefore, mean more protection for you and better immunity from disease-causing germs.

With this, we see the importance of a zinc-enhanced immune system in this pandemic—and even in post-pandemic times. A recent study found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low levels of zinc exhibited more serious symptoms as compared to those with sufficient levels of zinc. These findings underscore the results of a 2010 study, which showed that zinc helps keep SARS-CoV, an earlier type of coronavirus, from being active and replicating.

Zinc, in short, is one of the key components to having a strong immune system. A healthy, optimally functioning immune system, in turn, is vital not only in keeping you away from illness but also in ensuring your overall wellness. So, start making Zinbee a part of your lifestyle to give your immune system the boost it needs to protect you today and in the future. You may get it online at

Download BDO Apps only from official App Stores

BDO Unibank is advising its clients to download its mobile apps only from official app store platforms to ensure the security of data. 

The Bank’s mobile apps, namely, BDO Digital Banking, BDO Pay, BDO Deals, BDO Securities Mobile App, BDO Checkout, BDO Merchant, and BDO Unibank SG, can be downloaded for free from:

Google Play Store: 

Apple App Store: 

Huawei AppGallery: 

Meanwhile, clients who are unable to download mobile apps are encouraged to use the web version. 

BDO advises against downloading its mobile apps from unofficial app stores and other websites, which may offer outdated versions of these apps or worse, including malicious software or malware. 

Scammers use malware to gather confidential information that may be saved in mobile devices, such as online banking username and password, debit or credit card information, and other personal data. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Four Parenting Hacks You Should Try in the New Normal


Try these tips for better parenting in the new normal

Whether we’re ready for it or not, parenting changed during the pandemic. As everyone has to work or take classes at home for their health and safety, the needs of a parent have evolved.

If you’ve been struggling a little to match the demands of parenting in the new normal, worry not—here are a few tips to help you adapt to these times.

Set a schedule

Make a plan for yourself and help your kids plan their day. First, organize your day so you can focus better on your necessary tasks. Then, help your kids organize their day so that the important things during their online classes are prioritized. This will allow them to look forward to relaxing and unwinding after all the schoolwork is done. When kids know they have some rest and recreation time to look forward to, they’ll be able to participate better in their remote learning.

Encourage healthy routines in the household

Maintaining a proper and healthy lifestyle is considered to be one of the most important things you can do to achieve good physical, mental, and social well-being — especially in the new normal. A fun activity you can do with your kids is exercising regularly. To make it more interesting, instead of the usual exercises, try exploring games that’ll make them break a sweat such as DIY obstacle courses, treasure hunts, and many more. Be creative!

Take a midday shower

One good way to refresh your kids and keep them going is to have them take a quick shower in the middle of the day, preferably after lunch. You can do it too! It gets rid of the midday fatigue that’s built up from staring at a screen all morning, and it will energize them (and you) for the rest of the day.

Bond over activities and food

There are many moments in this pandemic where your kids will need you to be there for them. You need to set aside time in the day to give them your complete and undivided attention. Try playing fun activities and games with your kids and see how much stress can be lifted every day. Bond over mealtimes with food that will make them happy, such as Jollibee’s Jolly Spaghetti! The meatiest, cheesiest, and sweet-sarap na walang katulad taste of Jolly Spaghetti will make these moments truly memorable! It’s always better to put a smile on their face with their favorite food while spending time at home.

Get the Jolly Spaghetti from your nearest Jollibee store for only PHP 50.00 solo, and PHP 200.00 for a Family Pan! Have them safely delivered to you via the Jollibee Delivery App,, #87000, GrabFood, and foodpanda! Also available in Drive-Thru and Take Out!

For more info and updates on Jollibee products, like Jollibee on Facebook, subscribe to Jollibee Philippines on YouTube, and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.

5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Trip to a Spa


Why Everyone Needs a Trip to a Spa

When thinking about spas, the same imagery comes up for most people: soothing music, warm steam, soft towels, and face masks.  Decadent pampering has one purpose: helping us unwind and reset to feeling comfortable and happy again. But, unfortunately, spas have fallen out of popularity in recent years. Instead, people try to self-pamper at home but end up just sitting with face masks while watching television or scrolling through social media.

Everyone deserves better than that.

Here are the top reasons everyone needs a trip to a spa within the next year.

Pampering Yourself is Good for Your Self Esteem

We're all told that we shouldn't be too proud at a young age, but it's okay to appreciate yourself and see your value.  By pampering yourself, you're showing yourself that you deserve good in life and that you have intrinsic value.  This boost to your self-esteem could make you next in line for a promotion or able to snag the romantic partner you were interested in.  Don't be shy!

Treatments Can Soften your Skin and Hair

Why not enjoy the perks that come from the treatments for what they are?  Mud baths, clay masks, steaming, all of these are fantastic for your skin.  Although a spa might be a small stop while you're looking at real estate for sale in Whistler, it's a big step for your skin and complexion.  Steam can open your pores, and a clay mask will help draw out imperfections and clean away any excess oil.  Hair treatments, pedicures, manicures, and dozens of other beauty options are available at most spas; take advantage of them and enjoy how gorgeous you are afterward!

Treating Yourself Helps With Mood

Have you noticed you’re quicker to anger lately?  Do people seem to step lightly around you?  If so, it might be time to get some stress relief.  A spa can help change what you're thinking or what your line of thought is. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a negative idea here or there in your daily life, but it can affect how you feel day in and out if it's becoming a pattern.  A spa will ease that stress and let you look at life more evenly.

Massages Release Tension From Daily Life

Nobody is stress-free these days.  Whether a promotion you want has been put off for ages, or your kids are becoming teenagers and don't want to listen to you, there are clear issues that weigh on us all.  Most spas offer massages and hot saunas that allow that tension to drip away.  Stress-related pressure can cause medical issues like TMJ disorder, anxiety, or joint problems if we don't handle it correctly.  Spas help erase those issues.

A Chance To Be Selfish

There aren’t many reasons to be selfish in modern life.  We have to devote our time to our job; many have to monetize their hobbies to make any sizable income, which is on top of raising kids or maintaining a home life.  A spa gives people the chance to let go and think about only themselves for a little while.  Being selfish is good for our confidence and allows us to see the value in others as well.

BDO and partner schools: Finding ways to make it through the pandemic


We were already experiencing a global learning crisis, as many students were in school, but were not learning the fundamental skills needed for life

It’s not only entrepreneurs who have been struggling through the pandemic—schools have also been doing their best to survive and continue operations for the sake of students and teachers. One example of how a school has heroically met the challenge of the pandemic is Manuel S. Enverga University (MSEUF) in Lucena, Quezon Province. 

Manuel S. Enverga University (MSEUF) in Lucena, Quezon Province

Founded in 1947, the university has provided many generations the hope of learning and a brighter future. When the pandemic struck, the university had to adjust its administrative operations to assure the safety of its teachers and students while continuing to provide quality education. 

MSEUF had to shift to a combination of online learning and asynchronous modular learning for their students, as the community quarantine prohibited face-to-face classes.

The school also had to adjust its administrative processes to allow most staff to work from home. This meant shifting to an online platform to process vital transactions such as disbursement and collection of payments, including tuition. For this, the university sought help from its bank, BDO. 

Carlito Rodriguez, 
MSEUF Treasury Office Head

“One big solution BDO provided is their SME Online Banking facility. Before, we had to manually check with parents the name of the student and the amount paid for us to be able to monitor their payments. We had to update passbooks every day to make sure we monitored the payments properly,” said Carl Rodriguez, head of the university’s Treasury Office. 

“Furthermore, BDO SME Online Banking gave parents more options for payments.  They could pay through BDO online channels, Mobile Banking or Online Banking, simply by transferring money from their BDO account to our BDO account. They also have the option to pay at any BDO branch in Lucena or other areas. All of these made operations easier for us despite the pandemic. It also proved to be the most efficient as many parents are also BDO account holders” 

Apart from the collection of tuition fees, the university also processes its employee payroll with the help of BDO. “BDO was processing our payroll even during the lockdown when it was so hard to go from place to place because of travel restrictions. They found ways to keep our payroll process running smoothly without disruptions,” Rodriguez said. 

MSEUF can operate despite the challenges of the pandemic through the dedication and strategic thinking of its university officials, and with the help of its banking partner as well.  For more information on BDO’s Cash Management System, call (632) 88407500; email; or visit