Sunday, June 30, 2024

Converge and partners Win TM Forum Moonshot Catalyst Award for AI-Driven Customer Experience Innovation

Converge beat out other Catalyst teams, composed of global technology leaders and industry giants. 

Converge ICT Solutions Inc., a leading fiber broadband provider, has been recognized for its groundbreaking AI-powered solution that optimizes customer journeys and drives significant business growth. The company, alongside partners Telecom Argentina, Vodafone GmbH, and Vodafone Group, secured the coveted Moonshot Catalyst Award at TM Forum's DTW'24 - Ignite & Innovate Asia 2024 event in Copenhagen.

Their winning project, "AI-driven EBITDA Mastery: Revolutionizing Customer Journeys," showcases a cutting-edge AI architecture that leverages generative AI to personalize customer interactions and streamline service delivery. The solution, built using technology from Aria, AWS, Calvi, Nespon Solutions, and Salesforce, tackles real-world scenarios, such as billing inquiries and technical installation issues.

"This Catalyst program perfectly showcases Converge's innovative approach to resolving customer issues and enhancing customer-facing processes," said Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy.  "We see this as more than just a theoretical exercise; it's a framework we aim to implement to improve customer experience using AI."

The TM Forum’s AI Challenge presented a significant opportunity for communications service providers to explore and harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence.

The AI solution delivers a range of benefits:

- Faster resolution times:  AI-powered troubleshooting and recommendations streamline problem-solving for both customers and field technicians.

- Personalized customer interactions:  Data analysis enables tailored interactions, including upselling opportunities.

- Increased productivity and revenue:  Improved efficiency and customer satisfaction lead to a projected EBITDA increase of 31-57%, primarily through optimized customer service operations.

The solution leverages TM Forum's Open Digital Architecture (ODA) to enable seamless access for AI models, allowing them to process dynamic data and drive efficient problem-solving. This win underscores Converge's commitment to leveraging AI to transform the customer experience and drive sustainable business growth.

TM Forum, a global alliance of telco and tech companies, fosters innovation through its Catalyst program, bringing together industry leaders to co-create solutions that leverage Open APIs, ODA, AI, and automation to drive industry change. Converge's award-winning project exemplifies the power of collaboration and the potential of AI to revolutionize customer service and drive significant business impact.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Grab Advance Booking: Stress-Free Airport Transfers in the Philippines

Traveling can be stressful, especially when it comes to navigating airport logistics.  From packing to paperwork, the last thing you want is to worry about getting to the airport on time.  Grab, recognizing the need for reliable airport transportation, has launched its latest service: Advance Booking.

Guaranteed On-Time Rides: 

Grab Advance Booking offers guaranteed on-time rides to the airport using the GrabAirport fleet. This eliminates the anxiety of missing your flight due to transportation delays.  EJ Dela Vega, Head of Mobility at Grab Philippines, explains, "We understand the need for reliable airport transportation, and Advance Booking provides travelers the peace of mind they deserve. It's more than just an airport transfer; it's a guarantee that you'll arrive at the airport on time, every time."

Benefits of Grab Advance Booking:

- Plan Ahead: Book your ride up to 7 days in advance or as late as 2 hours before your scheduled departure.

- On-Time Assurance:  Driver-partners are guaranteed to be on time, and in case of service disruptions, a replacement driver is quickly assigned.

- Courtesy Credit:  If a driver is late, passengers receive a Php-100 courtesy credit.

- Grace Period:  A 15-minute grace period allows for minor delays or unforeseen circumstances.

- Easy Booking:  Select "Advance Booking" on the Grab transport page, enter your details, and receive regular updates about your ride.

- Driver Communication:  45 minutes before your pick-up, you can chat with your assigned driver in-app.

Safety and Convenience:

Advance Booking rides can accommodate up to three passengers with three pieces of luggage.  Grab prioritizes safety and convenience, ensuring a comfortable and secure journey.

Protecting Driver-Partners:

To safeguard driver-partner income, Grab has implemented measures to address last-minute cancellations.  Passengers who cancel less than an hour before the scheduled pick-up time will be charged the full fare.

Expansion and Availability:

Currently, Grab Advance Booking is available for trips to Metro Manila airports using the GrabAirport fleet.  The service is expected to expand to other cities and regions in the second half of 2024.

Grab Advance Booking offers a worry-free airport transfer solution for Filipino travelers.  With guaranteed on-time rides, convenient booking, and a focus on safety, Grab is making airport travel less stressful and more enjoyable.

For more information, visit the Grab Help Center.

Maya Backs BSP's PalengQR Initiative in Batanes

Batanes embraces digital payments (L-R): Atty. Noel Neil Malimban, BSP Regional Director for North Luzon; Provincial Governor Hon. Marilou Horlina Cayco; Dir. Pinky Jimenez, Regional Director, DICT

Maya, the leading digital bank in the Philippines and an early adopter of QR Ph, proudly stands behind the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) PalengQR initiative, recently introduced in Batanes.

In partnership with the Batanes Provincial Government, BSP, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), this innovative "digi-palengke" program aims to modernize financial transactions in public markets and local transportation. Utilizing the standardized QR Ph system, vendors can effortlessly accept digital payments from various e-wallet providers or banks.

The event also marked the introduction of the Free Public Wi-Fi Park and other initiatives aimed at empowering businesses and consumers with secure, efficient cashless transactions.

Governor Hon. Marilou Horlina Cayco signs the Pledge of Commitment of the adoption of the PalengQR Ph Plus in the province of Batanes.

Maya's dedication to supporting QR Ph and PalengQR highlights its commitment to establishing an interconnected financial ecosystem. This initiative plays a pivotal role in transforming the financial landscape in the Philippines, fostering inclusivity and accessibility in financial services for all Filipinos. 

Back-to-School Gadget Shopping: Research First, Shop Smart

The back-to-school season is a time for upgrades, especially when it comes to student gadgets.  As academic demands increase, students need reliable laptops, tablets, and smartphones to keep up. With so many options available, it can feel overwhelming to choose the right gadget for your student while staying within budget.  Fortunately, thorough research can make all the difference.

Here's why taking the time to research before you buy is crucial, according to Home Credit, a leading consumer finance company in the Philippines:

1. Matching Specifications to Needs:

Every gadget comes with unique specifications and features.  Without research, it's hard to understand how these features impact performance.  By researching, you can ensure the chosen gadget meets your student's needs, whether it's for basic tasks like web browsing or more demanding activities like video editing.

2. Leveraging Product Reviews and Ratings:

Online product reviews and ratings offer valuable insights from real customers.  These reviews can highlight the pros and cons of each gadget, helping you make a more informed decision.

3. Narrowing Down Options: 

Once you understand the features, you can start narrowing down options that fit your student's requirements.  This helps avoid feeling overwhelmed by the sheer variety of devices on the market.  You can then compare prices and choose the best value within your budget.

4. Discovering the Best Deals:

Research allows you to find the best deals available, including flexible payment plans, 0% interest installment offers, and discounts.  Taking advantage of these offers can save you money and keep your budget in check.

5. Your One-Stop Shop:

For back-to-school gadget research, Home Credit's is a great resource.  This online platform offers a wide range of products, from smartphones and laptops to home appliances, from top brands. features filters, a search field, and category shortcuts to help you easily find the best installment deals for your student's needs.  With over 190,000 store deals and 20,000 installment deals, you won't run out of options.

The platform also includes an auto-calculator to estimate monthly installments and a store locator to find products near you.  You can apply for product installments and get pre-approved in minutes for a fast transaction.

This back-to-school season, take advantage of the resources available to you.  Research thoroughly, explore, and find the perfect gadget for your student without breaking the bank.

For more information about Home Credit Philippines, visit their website at or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.  Download the My Home Credit App on Google Play to stay updated on the latest promos and offers.

Home Credit Philippines is a financing company duly licensed and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Exciting Deals Await at SM Bulacan Malls' End-of-Season Sale


As we approach the end of the first half of 2024, SM malls in Marilao, Baliwag, and Pulilan are gearing up for a spectacular Mid-year End of Season Sale from June 28 to July 7.

Get ready to snag incredible discounts of up to 70% off on a wide range of items throughout the malls.

Update your wardrobe with the latest fashion trends from the SM Store and Surplus, and enjoy special markdowns at select beauty and wellness stores like Watsons and Miniso.

Revamp your living space with discounted items from SM Home and Ace Hardware, or explore modern home appliances at SM Appliance Center for your DIY projects.

Don't miss out on the Mid-year End of Season Sale at SM City Marilao, SM City Baliwag, and SM Center Pulilan. Stay tuned to the malls' official social media pages for event details and updates.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

SM City Marilao Foodcourt: A Culinary Journey for Every Craving

SM City Marilao is not just a shopping destination, it's a culinary adventure! The recently revamped SM Foodcourt offers a diverse and elevated dining experience, catering to every taste bud and preference.

A World of Flavors:
From authentic Japanese cuisine at Takoyadon and Kyushu Curry House to Filipino comfort food at S.A.L.O, Baliwag Lechon Manok, and Pares Retiro, the foodcourt boasts a wide array of options. International flavors are also represented, with Mr. Kimbob and Turk’s Shawarma offering a taste of Korea and the Middle East.

Classic Favorites and Street Food Delights:
Indulge in familiar favorites like Lugaw Republic, Master Siomai, and Potdog, or explore the exciting world of Asian street food with Mr. Tentacles’ Baby Octopus Takoyaki, Korea Hotteok, and Tokyo Tempura.
Sweet Treats and Refreshing Drinks:
After your meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with Gugu Manju Korean mini cakes, Lil Orbits Mini Donuts, or a classic Pinoy Ice Scramble ni Momshie Sarah. Quench your thirst with refreshing and all-natural beverages from Juice Avenue and Coco Circle.
A Commitment to Cleanliness:
SM Foodcourt at SM City Marilao prioritizes a clean and comfortable dining environment. The "Clean as you go" (CLAYGO) system encourages customers to return their trays and utensils to designated stations, promoting responsible dining.  Conveniently labeled trash bins for recyclable, disposable, compostable, and liquid waste ensure a seamless and eco-friendly experience.
Located on the ground level of the mall, SM Foodcourt at SM City Marilao is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family. Stay updated on the latest offerings and promotions by following SM City Marilao's official Facebook page.

Kabayan Tuesday ng BDO nagpasaya ng Anak ng Overseas Filipino


Shopping spree with Piolo. Masayang sinamahan ni BDO Remit brand ambassador Piolo Pascual si Dolores Castaneda at pamangkin nyang si Jhared Magtabog sa surprise free shopping spree sa SM City Caloocan sa ilalim ng programang Kabayan Tuesday.

GAANO ba kahirap ang maging anak ng isang overseas Filipino? Para kay Jhared Magtabog—anak ng isang domestic worker sa Japan—puno ito ng lungkot at pangungulila, lalo na dahil minsan lang sa isang taon nakakauwi sa Pilipinas ang kanyang ina. Pero sa tulong ng kanyang matatag na pananaw at ng BDO Unibank, nabawasan ang kanyang lungkot at napalitan ng saya at pagpapahalaga.

Kamakailan ay napili ng BDO at SM ang pamilya Magtabog sa pangunguna nina Jhared at kanyang tiyahin na si Dolores Castaned bilang recipient ng surprise free shopping spree sa formal launch ng Kabayan Tuesday sa SM City Caloocan.

"Napakabait po at napaka-generous. Grabe po dahil pina-experience nila ang ganito sa amin. Napakalaking tulong din po kasi talagang malungkot kami sa bahay, at dahil sa free shopping spree, nakalimutan ko ang lungkot sa buhay. Nagulat po kami doon, bigla na lang kaming pinaakyat ni Piolo Pascual," ani Jhared. "Grabe po yung experience, napakasaya po. Sobrang grateful po kami." 

Kabayan Tuesday para sa overseas Filipinos

Ang Kabayan Tuesday ay programa ng BDO bilang pasasalamat sa mga overseas Filipinos sa kanilang patuloy na tiwala sa bangko. Sa ilalim nito, tuwing unang Martes ng kada-buwan, makakukuha ng hanggang 10% discount ang mga holder ng Kabayan Savings ATM card, passbook, o BDO remittance payment slip sa mga SM stores tulad ng The SM Store, SM Appliance, Watsons, Miniso, Toy Kingdom, Surplus, Baby Company, Sports Central, ACE Hardware, SM Cinema, SM Game Park, SM Bowling, at SM Skating sa kahit saang SM branch.

Sa pamamagitan ng Kabayan Tuesday, hindi lang nakakabili ang mga overseas Filipino families ng kanilang mga pang araw-araw na pangangailangan tulad ng gamot at kagamitan sa bahay, nakakatipid pa sila dahil sa diskwentong nabibigay nito.

Nagsimula ang Kabayan Tuesday noong January 2 at pormal na inilunsad sa pamamagitan ng Kabayan Tuesday Mall Show noong June 4 sa kabubukas pa lang na SM City Caloocan, na pinangunahan ni BDO Remit brand ambassador Piolo Pascual. Tampok din dito ang free shopping spree para sa napiling Kabayan Savings account holder.

Bago matapos ang programa, ginulat ni Piolo ang pamilya Magtabog ng tawagin niya sa stage sina Jhared at Dolores. Matapos kantahan, inimbitahan sila ni Piolo sa isang shopping spree sa SM Store at iba pang partner-stores na kasama sa Kabayan Tuesday. Nasa Japan pa ang nanay ni Jhared na si Maritess noong panahon na yun kaya hindi ito nakasama.

Payo sa mga anak ng Overseas Filipino

Nagbigay din ng payo si Jhared sa kapwa niya anak ng overseas Filipino na maging matatag at laging alalahanin ang mga sakripisyo ng mga magulang nila sa ibang bansa. "Stay strong kasi magiging magkasama din naman kayong lahat. There's no time to be sad. Ang tanging magagawa mo lang para mapasaya mo rin ang magulang mo is to be grateful to them. Mama, Papa salamat tinutulungan nyo kami. Lahat binibigay nyo kahit hirap na hirap na kayo. There's no time to get mad at them kasi they're doing their best. Kung nagagalit man sila sayo, kung pinagbabawalan ka it's because they care."

Laking pasasalamat din ni Jhared sa BDO dahil hindi naantala ang padalang remittance sa kanya para sa school tuition at iba pang gastusin sa bahay. "Napakalaking salamat po sa BDO kasi napakabilis po ng response ng BDO kapag magpapadala sila (magulang ni Jhared) ng pera. Parang inabot lang sayo yung pera, napakabilis. Sobrang laking tulong ng BDO sa amin," ayon kay Jhared. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Jollibee Cheesy Yumburger: Now Comes in Double

It’s official! Jollibee’s Cheesy Yumburger has once again taken the fast-food scene by storm, now championed by the rising P-Pop group, BINI. 

Dubbed as the cheesiest, beefiest, and best-tasting cheeseburger by the trending OPM sensation, it's not just about flavor; it’s about a lifestyle choice that keeps up with today's generation, one that never settles for less than the best. It's about being at the top of their game, something that Jollibee and BINI always strive to be.

Double the Patty, Double the Joy

The Cheesy Yumburger isn't your average cheeseburger. Its secret? A perfectly seasoned beef patty paired with a creamy slice of cheese, hugged by soft and fresh buns. 

It’s this simple yet timeless combination that makes the Cheesy Yumburger a standout—a cheeseburger that’s all about hitting the right notes of taste and satisfaction.

Best of all, Jollibee is now introducing the Double Cheesy Yumburger, the same Cheesy Yumburger you know and love, but double the patties, double the cheese and of course, double its signature dressing.

BINI’s Beat: Singing Praises for the Best

"Wala talagang tatalo sa Cheesy Yumburger, ever since bata pa kami, special talaga ito para sa’min," shares BINI Maloi, one of the electrifying voices of BINI. "It’s like finding the perfect beat to our song—it just clicks. As performers, sa mga recording, live performances or even during the song-writing process, nakakatulong talaga kung may masarap na meal to fuel the creative process. The Cheesy Yumburger is just the perfect meal for that. This isn’t just any cheeseburger; it’s a taste of what being young and joyful is all about."

“And ngayon, may Double Cheesy Yumburger na! For sure, dahil diyan, mas magiging ganado kami gumawa ng bagong songs and dance moves para sa mga Blooms!” added BINI Sheena.

Join the Cheesy Yumburger Movement

This is not just about enjoying a meal; it's about being part of a movement that celebrates top-tier quality and the joy of living in the moment. The Cheesy Yumburger invites everyone to be part of this delicious revolution, where every bite is a statement of choosing only the best.

"So tara na, mga Blooms! Enjoy natin yung Cheesy Yumburger, the best cheeseburger out there," invites BINI Mikha. "It’s more than just eating; it’s about the full experience, it's about celebrating what tastes right and feels right."

Available nationwide, the Cheesy Yumburger is ready to cater to your cravings whether you’re dining in, taking out, or ordering from your favorite delivery app. You can enjoy the Cheesy Yumburger Solo for only P65 and the Double Cheesy Yumburger Solo for only P124 . Don't miss out on the cheesiest, beefiest, best-tasting burger in town—find out why it's still undeniably the food sensation everyone is talking about! 

Join the conversation and keep up with the latest from Jollibee on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Get ready to be part of something big—taste the burger that’s still the #1 standard in flavor! 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Easy Back-to-School Preps: Home Credit PH's Sulit-Skwela Tips for Moms 2024

As the back-to-school season approaches, moms everywhere are gearing up to ensure their children have everything they need for a successful school year. With the Department of Education (DepEd) mandating the start of the next academic year for preschool through senior high school on July 29, and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) yet to announce the opening of classes for college, it's crucial to begin preparations early. From purchasing school supplies and uniforms to updating gadgets and creating an organized study space, there’s a lot to be done to prepare for the opening of the school year. So, where do you start planning?

Here are some wais tips, as listed by Home Credit Philippines, the country’s leading consumer finance company, to help moms get a head start on back-to-school preparations:

Create a back-to-school checklist. Before diving into shopping, make a comprehensive list of everything your child will need. This includes school supplies, uniforms, gadgets, and even snacks. A well-organized checklist will ensure you don't miss out on any essentials and can help you budget effectively.

Prepare a budget. Now that you have your checklist, it's crucial to set a budget to manage your expenses this back-to-school season. This will help you prioritize the most important items and avoid overspending so you won't strain your finances.

Upgrade student’s study space. Since the pandemic and the changing weather conditions, schools have implemented remote learning arrangements where students can study at home. With these arrangements, a dedicated study area becomes vital for their learning. To upgrade this study space, choose a quiet, well-lit corner of your home and equip it with necessary supplies such as a comfortable chair, desk, and adequate lighting. Personalized touches like motivational posters or a calendar can also boost a student’s enthusiasm for learning.

Update Gadgets and Tech. In today’s digital age, having the right gadgets is crucial for a seamless learning experience. While you may have purchased devices to meet your kids’ remote learning needs a few years ago, it's now time to consider upgrading these gadgets to keep up with advancing technology and ensure that they have the best tools for their education.

Fortunately, Home Credit Philippines is here to support moms with its Back-to-School (BTS) promo! Running from June 17 to September 30, 2024, this promo is designed to help families, especially moms, manage the financial demands of the back-to-school season. The company offers a range of installment plans to make purchasing school gadgets more manageable, whether you need a new laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The application process is easy and hassle-free, ensuring you can get the support you need quickly. With flexible and zero-percent installment deals, Home Credit makes it easier to budget for back-to-school necessities, helping Filipino households manage their cash flow better. 

With the recent shift in school opening schedules this year and evolving educational needs, Home Credit’s financing solutions are here to help you meet the needs of every student in your household—be it a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Keep an eye out for Home Credit’s Sulit-Skwela offers this back-to-school season so you can provide the best education for your young ones without breaking the bank.

To know more about the latest updates from Home Credit Philippines, visit its official website, . You may also follow its official Facebook, Instagram, and  TikTok  accounts. Customers are also encouraged to download the My Home Credit App on Google Play to learn more about the latest promos and see what’s new in the Marketplace. 

Home Credit Philippines is a financing company duly licensed and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP

SM's Weather-Resistant Footwear Collection

Getting caught in a sudden downpour right after putting together the perfect sunny-day outfit can be a major fashion dilemma. The ever-changing weather can easily throw off our style game, but fear not - there's a stylish solution: jelly shoes.

That's right - jelly shoes are back in the spotlight! This iconic footwear trend from the 80s and 90s is making a triumphant return in 2024. With a modern twist on the classic colorful designs, these jelly shoes are the ideal match for contemporary outfits. SM Malls in Grand Central, Sangandaan, and Valenzuela have curated a range of weatherproof footwear options to keep you looking fashionable and feeling comfortable, rain or shine.

Step out in style with the lightweight white jelly sneakers from Simply Shoes at SM Center Sangandaan or the vibrant jelly sandals from Trusole at The SM Store in SM City Valenzuela. These versatile pairs can effortlessly complement dresses, shorts, or pants, making them a perfect choice for city life or weekend getaways.

Looking to make a fashion statement? Give the trendy platforms from Zaxy at The SM Store in SM City Grand Central a try. These shoes not only enhance your style in any weather but also provide ultimate comfort with their cushioned soles, ensuring a smooth stride, especially on rainy days.

For those on-the-go, investing in waterproof shoes that are suitable for both work and school is a wise decision. The sleek black ballerina flats from Melissa Clube at SM City Grand Central are a perfect option. The comfortable jelly material pampers your feet, making them ideal for long days at the mall, the office, or school.

From high-fashion runways to everyday streetwear, jelly shoes are proving that their lively and unique charm has an enduring appeal. Discover these fashionable must-haves at SM City Grand Central, SM Center Sangandaan, and SM City Valenzuela. Stay in the loop with all the latest updates by following SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Get ready to embrace style and functionality with the fabulous jelly shoes from SM!

Converge Partners with Pride PH as Official Live Streamer for Pride Festival 2024

Converge employees who are members of the LGTBQIA+ community pose in front of the Pride Wall installed in the company headquarters in Pasig. 

Leading fiber broadband and technology provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc., in partnership with Pride PH, is fiber powering Pride Festival 2024, the biggest gathering of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, on June 22 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. 

Converge, as the official live streaming partner of Pride Festival 2024, will connect the exciting on-ground events to the much wider online community members, supporters, and allies via various social media platforms.

“Converge’s vision is all about empowering people – our customers, our employees, and our business partners. As an organization that constantly strives for greater equity, inclusion and acceptance, we are delighted to celebrate Pride with the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Chief Sustainability Officer  Benjamin Azada. 

“The corporate practices and culture that we have at Converge reflect our commitment to fostering inclusion and leveraging differences for competitive advantage. We uphold the principles of equality and equity within the organization, as outlined in our Code of Business Ethics, Human Rights Policy, and Board Diversity Policy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pride PH National Convener and Pride Night Director Rod Singh, Show Director and National Convener, captures the spirit of the festival: “ We are grateful for our partners like Converge for helping us realize our dreams. How we fight is, we dream. We are all dreamers. Each dream is a fight against marginalization and discrimination.It is not passive,they are battles we wage in our hearts fiercely and with love. Love Laban 2 Everyone is a testament to the indomitable spirit of a community that dares to dream. Join us on June 22 at the Quezon Memorial Circle for a day of love, dreams, and pride.”

In 2023, Love Laban 2 Everyone, led and organized by PridePH, gathered more than 150,000 individuals, making it the biggest gathering of allies and members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Southeast Asia. It is an event led by the LGBQTIA+ community for the community. 

Pride PH is the largest National Pride Network of Philippine LGBTQIA+ Organizations and Individuals, organizing the Love Laban Pride Festival for three years in partnership with Quezon City Government.

This year, the group is aiming to make history once again by topping last year’s crowd count and attracting a bigger audience through the live streamed program at the QCMC. 

Converge, on its own, is gathering employee-volunteers for Pride Festival 2024 and will be setting up a tent and a photo booth during the event. Two LGBTQIA+ Converge employees are also set to deliver a message in solidarity with the wider community during the festival. 

More Pride March events are also being organized outside of Metro Manila in celebration of the international Pride Month.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

BINI Joins Jollibee as New Faces for Cheesy Yumburger

The event has concluded, but the excitement continues to linger as Jollibee, the leading name in Filipino fast food, proudly introduces BINI, the 8-member girl group and rising P-Pop sensation, as its newest brand ambassadors. With their electrifying energy and authentic representation of today's generation, BINI is all set to infuse a fresh charm into Jollibee as the new faces behind the Cheesy Yumburger.

BINI: Bringing P-Pop to Jollibee’s Cheesy Yumburger

Since their explosive debut, BINI has captured hearts and playlists with their infectious tunes, viral dances, and empowering messages. Now, they are ready to tantalize taste buds at Jollibee, adding their signature style to the fast-food giant. Their mission? To share their love for Jollibee's cheesiest, beefiest, and most delicious Cheesy Yumburger, a must-try for all craving a delightful blend of cheese and beef flavors.

It’s All About the Vibe

"Na-excite talaga kami when we found out the good news. Teaming up with Jollibee feels like a dream. It’s a brand that’s just as much fun and as vibrant as we are. Also, being a proud Filipina group, we’re so happy that we get to be part of the Jollibee fam," says BINI Jhoanna, expressing the group's excitement.

"The Cheesy Yumburger is 'The Best' for us; it’s a vibe. It’s about feeling good, having fun, and enjoying the moment, which is what our music is all about too."

Jollibee’s Cheesy Yumburger, known for its high quality and delicious flavors that resonate with the Filipino taste and lifestyle, aligns perfectly with the entertainment and style of BINI, appealing to today’s generation and endearing both brands to their fans.

With this exciting collaboration, Filipinos can anticipate more thrilling experiences ahead, with engaging promos and initiatives that mirror the spirited performances of BINI.

Catch the Wave of Excitement

This partnership transcends a typical endorsement; it is a fusion of food, fun, and fandom. Jollibee and BINI kick off this collaboration with a robust lineup of campaigns and promotions that invite fans to join in on the excitement. From special appearances to exclusive content, surprises await everyone.

“We’re sharing our love for Jollibee and its fan-favorites, but we’re also sharing a part of our journey," shares BINI Aiah. "We invite everyone to join us as we embark on this adventure with Jollibee. This is a perfect platform to spread more good vibes, positivity, and joy through both food and music. It's going to be epic!"

So, what are you waiting for? Immerse yourself in the delectable world of Jollibee with BINI and discover why the Cheesy Yumburger continues to be the talk of the town.

Stay tuned to Jollibee’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for the latest updates, promotions, and more fun with BINI and the Cheesy Yumburger.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Sunrise Trail Hike at Masungi Georeserve: An Empowering and Meaningful Birthday Celebration

Since I was a child, as soon as June approaches, I feel thrilled because it's my birth month. I don't eagerly anticipate gifts, but rather the greetings from family and friends. It brings me joy. I am easily pleased. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Whenever I am asked what I want for my birthday, my usual response is "nothing" or "I don't know; I can't think of anything I want or need." I am not materialistic. I am happy. I am healthy. I am blessed with family and true friends. Feeling ko nasa akin na ang lahat and I prefer inner peace. Fancy that! Haha. I find more joy in giving, whether to family, friends, or even strangers.

But this time, I said, "Lord, can I give myself a gift this time?" Since a retreat in Batulao is not possible yet, I scheduled a day for myself for a pampering session at the mall. I want to have a massage, facial, manicure/pedicure. I simply wish to unwind and disconnect from the online world for an entire day.

Then, someone sent a message in the CORA Volunteers group chat about the Sunrise Trail Hike and Environment Forum at the breathtaking Masungi Georeserve. Without reading everything, I immediately registered (despite my Ophidiophobia), and  quickly paid because slots were limited. Ewan ko kung ano ang pumasok sa isip ko that time basta na lang ako sumagot sa Google form😅. This is the joy of having your own money and not always relying on the head of the household or your parents. After paying and reading more, I informed my partner that this is what I want for my birthday. This will bring me pure bliss and make my birthday celebration unique. Wow! It's the first time I've expressed my desire! I want to tick off items on my bucket list before I get older and stop feeling young, hehe. ✌️ He quickly agreed. (He can't do anything because I've already paid, though. Lol). Besides Mommy, our Dada knows me well. He knows I find joy in nature. He knows I want to live in a simple house surrounded by trees (minus the snakes, okay?)

I have been looking for a group that cares for and loves the environment for quite some time. Yes, I may be fussy and playful, but my heart is happy when, in my own small way, I can show love and gratitude to our mother earth. That's when I found CORA (Communities Organized for Resources Allocation) , a nonprofit organization that fosters sustainable development through inclusive programs led by women, youth, local communities, and volunteers to help build a more just and resilient future for people and the planet. CORA was founded by Antoinette Taus, UN Environment Programme (@UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador, actress, and singer. 

I joined CORA Volunteers earlier this year. I remained quiet in the group because I couldn't attend past activities. My family and friends are also unaware that I had joined the group. ☺️ Now they know. 

After paying the joining fee and informing the family that I joined, the "nakatatandang" advice came to mind: "Don't go out of the house when your birthday is near because accidents might happen." I felt nervous. Scared. But I told myself, "Am I going to be scared again?" "Am I going to live in fear again?" If something happens, it will happen because it's meant to be. I fought against fear and prayed. But I hugged and kissed my children a lot, hehe. Morbid, noh? 😅. But there's nothing wrong with being prepared. And we should always make our loved ones feel loved.

Two days before the hike, I prepared everything to make sure I wouldn't forget anything. The day before, I prepared the food and things the kids needed for the next day. It's really difficult for mothers to just leave the house, everything should be prepared for the family. Oh ,well, sabi nga nila hindi lahat ng Nanay ganito. 🫢

As expected, I couldn't sleep. The kids massaged me. I took sleeping pills. Still couldn't sleep. According to my watch, I only slept for 48 minutes. The email said, "Get ample rest." Lol. Maybe I was just excited? Or maybe the fear of being far away for the first time and doing something alone without my family kept me awake.

I didn't force myself to sleep. I just ate again and waited for the time. I got ready and went to the meeting place.

We arrived at Masungi Georeserve while it was still dark. It felt joyful, especially sensing the scent of trees and the cool breeze. As the day slowly brightened, the fog thickened. It was delightful! 

Our group with our park ranger, Kuya KD

The trail began. I am grateful to Kuya KD, our park ranger, who explained things, took care of us, and reminded us of the do's and don'ts during the hike.  He was kind and always smiling. And most importantly, he was great at taking videos and pictures. 

There, I started feeling the trembling in my thighs. I wasn't properly prepared, and it was my first time. We were going up 600 meters above sea level. But when I reached the top, I felt like crying not because of exhaustion or the pain in my arms and legs, but because of the breathtaking beauty around me. The Lord's creation was stunning. The view was breathtaking. All I could say was, "Thank you, Lord!"

I can't explain the happiness I felt when I was at the top. I refrained from crying because there were other people present. It would be embarrassing. I just savored every moment because I couldn't stay long as the next group was arriving soon. But of course, before going down, we needed to document, take pictures, and take selfies first. It's a must. Picture or it never happened.

My group mates! 🤍
(L-R Me, Mary Miranda, Nick Pataueg, April Maligayo, Aisha Kunting, and Sheila Lopez)

The pleasure with my group mates added to the experience. They were total strangers, seemingly half my age , I presume. But to me, they were like peers, or my children (?) lol. Obedient and friendly individuals. When it was announced that the next activity was a meditation walk, there was complete silence. The only sounds were the birds, insects, and other living creatures, and the sound of our footsteps during the 10-15 minute walk. It warmed my heart. While walking, I was talking to God, thanking Him for everything. I dunno, I'm just thankful the whole time. This is what I missed. In the city, it's all concrete, with few trees. The sound of cars is loud. It's polluted. But our house is next to a large lot filled with trees, so sometimes we hear chirping birds. But Masungi is different. I hope you can visit too.

Thanks to those who take care of Masungi Georeserve, I didn't see any trash.  They love and care for the place so much. I hope more people learn about and visit this place. Plus, their light refreshments were delicious. And the frozen towel... Ahhh, refreshing! Superb!

I urge you, to visit Masungi Georeserve as well, to truly appreciate the place. Words alone are not enough. The experience is unique, I can't put it into words. And let's help preserve the place. Many want to take advantage for their own benefit. Aside from illegal logging, there were other challenges faced by Masungi such as pag-uuling (charcoal making), and big-time land grabbers or professional squatters. Let us help #SaveMasungi.

I went home happy, my heart is full! All I could say to my partner and children was thank you! Thank you to them for allowing me to experience Masungi and be connected with nature.  I hope next time I can bring them along.

Grateful to Planet Cora and Rockwell Run Club for this #GenerationRestoration collaboration. 

Best birthday ever! Empowering, meaningful, and fulfilling. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life. For giving me strength until now despite what happened back in 2013.

Where to next? What to tick off my bucket list next? Tree planting? Feeding program, maybe? Yes?! I'm looking forward to it because I heard CORA has another event. 🙏 

I am a planeteer. I will help as much as I can to #ProtectThePlanet for my children and the next generations. 🤍

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Celebrating the Modern Dad: A Father's Day Gift Guide at SM Supermalls in the East

This Father's Day, honor the versatile modern dad who excels in balancing work, family, hobbies, and style. Explore this gift guide filled with thoughtful ideas to express your gratitude for all that Dad does, featuring essential finds available at the East's premier shopping destinations – SM City East Ortigas, SM City Taytay, and SM Center Angono.

Fits for the Modern Man:

Athleisure Chic: Dads on the go need comfortable yet stylish clothes. Think performance fabrics in joggers, polos, and zip-up hoodies available at Surplus shop.

Tech-Savvy Dads: Consider tech-integrated clothing with hidden pockets for phones or earbuds, or a water-resistant parka available at Uniqlo SM City East Ortigas.

Time is of the essence: watches with colored dials that suits Dads fits are perfect.  Get Seiko watches at The SM Store SM City Taytay and SM City East Ortigas.

Visit Regatta SM City Taytay and SM City East Ortigas for that cool and comfy fits perfect for active and stylish Dads

Gadgets Dads Will Love:

Functional Must-Haves: A noise-cancelling headset for focused work calls, a portable charger for on-the-go dads, or a smart fitness tracker to keep him on top of his health goals from Mi store at SM City East Ortigas.

Keeping Dad's Ride in Top Shape:

Car Care Essentials: A detailing kit for a professional-looking finish, a portable jump starter for unexpected situations, or a wireless car charger for a clutter-free console.

Sneaker Trends for Dad:

Dad Sneakers: chunky, retro-inspired sneakers are both comfortable and trendy.

Performance Running Shoes: For the dad who loves to jog or hit the gym, a good pair of running shoes is essential. Grab these at Toby’s SM Center Angono.

Let Dad move with ease with these Adidas trainers available at SM City East Ortigas and SM City Taytay SM Store and Toby’s SM Center Angono

Self-care for Dads:

Skin essentials: Pampering the skin are also for Dads.  Cleanse, tone and moisturize with basic skin care for Men from Y.O.U. available at Watsons.

Lift dad’s spirit and lift his skin care game with Y.O.U. available at Watsons SM City East Ortigas, SM City Taytay and SM Center Angono

Finding His Rhythm:

Musical Muse: For the musically inclined dad, reignite his passion with a new instrument or some music accessories. Whether it's a sleek electric guitar, a portable keyboard for composing on the go, or a high-quality pair of headphones to truly immerse himself in music, a gift that caters to his creativity will be sure to resonate.

Make music with Dad and let him enjoy this electronic drum kit from Lazer at SM City Taytay.

Gaming for Grown-Ups:

Immersive Adventures: Virtual Reality games offer a whole new world of gaming experiences.

Competitive Spirit: Online multiplayer games provide opportunities for Dad to bond with friends and family, even if they're miles apart.

Best Gift is Quality Time:

Treat your Super Dads with the best meal for your Father’s Day quality time.  Treat him to his fave Filipino cuisine at SM Center Angono’s Kuya J’s or to his Italian taste at SM City Taytay’s La Casetta de Britt.  Satisfy his Japanese palette at SM City East Ortigas’ Botejyu.  Don’t forget to download SM Malls Online app to discover more Father’s Day deals and exclusive offers from participating restaurants.

Bonus Tip: Personalize your gift! Add a custom inscription to a gadget, create a framed photo collage of father-child memories, or write a heartfelt card expressing your appreciation.

With this guide and a little creativity, you're sure to find the perfect gift to celebrate the Super Dads!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Home Credit's Top Home Appliances for a Cozy and Dry Rainy Season

Prepare for the rainy season with essential home appliances that offer comfort and convenience, all available through 0% interest deals with Home Credit.

As the rainy season sets in, bringing cooler temperatures and frequent showers, staying indoors becomes a priority. Managing daily tasks like laundry and entertainment can be challenging during this time, but with the right appliances, you can create a cozy and enjoyable atmosphere within your home. Home Credit presents a range of home appliances to help you navigate the rainy season with ease.

Home Credit, the leading consumer finance company in the Philippines, is currently offering limited-time 0% interest installment deals until June 16, 2024, for those looking to purchase home appliances to enhance their comfort during the wet season.

Here are some of the must-have home appliances you can acquire this rainy season through Home Credit:

1. Keep Your Clothes Fresh and Dry with Efficient Washing Machines:

- Panasonic 8.5kg Inverter Fully Automatic Washing Machine, model NA-FD85X1HRM: This energy-efficient washing machine with a Spin Dry feature ensures quick and thorough drying of clothes.

- LG 12.0kg Twin Tub Washing Machine, model PT1200R: Ideal for large families, this washing machine features a Wind Jet Dry function for moisture-free clothes ready for ironing.

- Samsung 11.0kg Top Load Washing Machine, model WA11CG5745BDTC: Offering energy-efficient operation and quick washing cycles, this washing machine is equipped with EcoBubble Technology for effective cleaning.

2. Stay Entertained with Immersive Televisions:

- TCL 55" 4K HDR TV, model 55P635: Experience detailed visuals and striking colors with this 4K HDR television that supports Google TV and Dolby Audio technology.

- LG 55" UHD 4K Smart TV, model 55UR7550PSC: Enjoy optimized brightness and stunning colors with HDR10 Pro feature and WebOS 23 interface for seamless navigation.

- Samsung 55" 4K UHD Smart TV with Bixby, model UA55CU8080GXXP: Experience crystal-clear resolution and realistic colors with Crystal Processor 4K and Dynamic Crystal Color technology.

3. Level Up Convenience with Reliable Kitchen Essentials:

- Samsung Microwave Oven 23L, Black, model MS23K3515AS/TC: Cook your favorite dishes with ease using this microwave oven with preprogrammed local recipes and quick cooking capabilities.

- Hanabishi Smokeless Infrared Griller, model HLRV-INFGRILL725: Enjoy grilled foods indoors with this smokeless griller featuring efficient heating and easy cleaning.

- Instant Pot 6qt 7-in-1 Multicooker (5.7L) Duo Deluxe with Silicone Mini Mitts: Accelerate cooking times and simplify meal preparation with this multicooker offering 14 one-touch Smart Programs.

Make the most of the rainy season by creating a cozy and enjoyable environment at home with these essential home appliances from Home Credit. Visit any Home Credit partner store or check to avail of the 0% interest installment deals before June 16, 2024. For more information and updates, visit Home Credit Philippines' official website and social media accounts. 

Additionally, protect your appliances from damages and extend their warranty with Home Credit Protect Appliance Protection for added peace of mind. Home Credit Philippines is a trusted financing company regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), ensuring reliable and secure financial services for customers.

Surf2Sawa: Empowering a Batangas Sales Head to Excel in Career and Family

Jenny Ann Balayan, a single mother and career-driven woman, values a job that not only provides for her family's needs but also allows her to dedicate time to her son, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in childhood.

Her journey took a positive turn when she discovered an opportunity to work for Surf2Sawa (S2S), the prepaid fiber brand of Converge. S2S offers affordable fixed-broadband internet plans with flexible top-up options, catering to budget-conscious customers in need of reliable connectivity.

Joining S2S as a leader coordinator, Jen's exceptional skills and unique leadership style propelled her to the position of area sales head for Batangas and Mindoro. In this role, she supports S2S community distributors, ensuring that households in the area have access to high-speed internet through their community partners.

Recognizing the importance of internet connectivity in today's world, Jen emphasizes the impact of Surf2Sawa in providing accessible internet solutions to households in Batangas. Her dedication to her work is fueled by her love for her son, motivating her to excel while balancing her responsibilities as a mother.

With the flexibility to work from home, Jen can prioritize her son's needs, especially as he undergoes occupational therapy. She emphasizes the importance of time management in balancing work and family, underscoring the significance of being present for her child.

Through Surf2Sawa's initiative to bring connectivity to underserved households, Jen's success story reflects the positive outcomes of supportive employment. Witnessing the growth of community partners' businesses with Surf2Sawa brings fulfillment to Jen, highlighting the mutual benefit of their partnership.

Jen's journey with Surf2Sawa exemplifies how supportive employment can empower individuals to achieve success in both their career and family life, showcasing the transformative impact of accessible connectivity solutions.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

SM Little Stars 2024 Shines a Spotlight on Young Talent and Cultivates a Promising Future

Seize the chance to be a part of the SM family and be like SM Little Stars alumni. In the photo are Nhikzy Calma, Lance Lucido, Haley Magtoto, Esang de Torres, Jourdanne Baldonido, Aljon Christoff Banaira, Eduardo Joson II, Chun Sa Angela Jung, Haley Magtoto, Gaea Salipot, Sheena Bentoy, and Aleynah Redillas – all of whom are welcomed home at SM. 

Prepare yourselves, kids and parents! SM Little Stars 2024 has arrived, bigger and brighter than ever! It's an opportunity for your child to sparkle on a national platform and potentially change their lives. Through SM Little Stars, children can showcase their talents in the performing arts, fostering young potential and enriching our communities. If your child is aged between 4 and 7 and possesses a talent that can captivate the world, SM Supermalls is searching for YOU!

This isn't just any talent showcase – it's the largest mall-based children's talent hunt in the Philippines, conducted annually across SM malls, including SM City Marilao, SM City Baliwag, and SM Center Pulilan. Celebrating its 15th year, SM Little Stars has become a cherished tradition, uniting communities to present their finest talents. In 2023 alone, an impressive 33,722 participants auditioned across 70 malls! This year, SM is extending the talent spectacle to its 71 participating malls for Preliminary Screenings, and we are eager to witness the exceptional talents you'll bring to the stage!

"Originating from its modest beginnings in SM China malls, thanks to my father, Mr. Hans Sy, in 2003, this journey has brought joy, inspiration, and numerous opportunities to our young participants," stated Carinna Sy, SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President for Marketing and SM Little Stars Project Head.

Registration for the Preliminary Screenings is available through the SM Malls Online app. At SM Center Pulilan, 197 talented kids participated in the Preliminary Screening on June 8 and will continue on June 22. The SM City Baliwag leg is scheduled for June 16 and July 14, while SM City Marilao's dates are July 6 and 13. The competition journey comprises Preliminary Screenings, Regional Finals, and the Grand Finals. Save the date for the Grand Finals on September 7 at SM Mall of Asia, where 28 grand finalists will shine brightly on the grand stage.

And the prizes? They’re out of this world! The grand winners will receive:

• Php 100,000 worth of cash and SM gift certificates

• Php 30,000 worth of Toy Kingdom gift cards

• A Brand-New Suzuki Dzire GL MT

• 100% scholarship on tuition and miscellaneous fees at National University

• A one-year talent management contract from Sparkle – GMA Artist Center

• A trip to South Korea for two people for five days and four nights

• An annual pass certificate for unlimited bowling and skating at SM malls

• 30 regular ride tickets at SM by the BAY Amusement Park / Sky Ranch

• Gift vouchers for a two-night stay at Radisson Blu Cebu

Past participants have achieved remarkable feats! The 2014 Girl Grand Winner, Chun Sa Angela Jung, has graced both the big and small screens. The 2013 Boy Grand Winner, Nhikzy Calma, went on to become the 2017 Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World. The 2016 Grand Winners, Marcus Cabais and Sheena Bentoy, joined the Manila production of the musical "The Lion King," while many others have excelled in showbiz, modeling, singing, and dancing. Once part of the SM family, the opportunities are limitless!

Scan the QR code for more information on registration and audition dates for SM Little Stars 2024!

Every talented child aged 4 to 7 is welcome to join. Whether you sing, dance, act, play an instrument, perform acrobatics, or possess a unique talent, we want to see it! Each contestant will have one minute to impress the judges during the Preliminary Screening. Bring your best performance!

For further details and updates, visit or follow SM Bulacan malls on Facebook. Don't miss the chance to be a part of SM Little Stars 2024 – where young talents shine the brightest! Let's make this year the most thrilling yet! See you at the auditions!

Breville Taps Renowned Filipina Barista Champion as Brand Ambassador

(L-R) Breville Philippines Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, Breville Philippines Ambassadress Vanessa Maclang Caceres, and IAJWC President Ma. Cristina S. Llamo

The Philippines, situated in the esteemed "Bean Belt" known for major coffee-producing nations, is witnessing a transformative shift in its coffee culture. Despite lagging behind in this global movement, there is a growing opportunity for the nation to cultivate a robust coffee culture where the populace embraces and appreciates the nuances of this beloved beverage while leveraging modern technologies to craft the perfect cup.

IAJ Wellness Corporation (IAJWC), the exclusive distributor of Breville in the Philippines, has recently appointed Vanessa Maclang Caceres, a highly acclaimed barista and prominent content creator, as the brand ambassador for Breville, a leading Australian small kitchen appliances brand. This strategic partnership aims to elevate awareness and appreciation for coffee culture in the country, drawing inspiration from the rich coffee traditions observed in various countries worldwide.

Cris Llamo, President of IAJWC, envisions replicating the sophisticated coffee trends locally, encouraging Filipinos not only to consume coffee but to delve deep into the art and essence of its diverse flavors and origins. The collaboration with Vanessa, renowned for her extensive industry knowledge, is poised to enhance public understanding of specialty coffee and promote the concept of Third Wave Coffee in the Philippines.

Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, the Food & Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager at Breville Philippines, emphasized the importance of Vanessa's role in educating and equipping frontline staff with the requisite expertise on specialty coffee to effectively showcase Breville products to customers. Vanessa, affectionately known as Ms. V or Mamita, will leverage her social media presence to endorse Breville's coffee range and other kitchen appliances while providing hands-on training to enhance product knowledge among frontline personnel.

(L-R) Breville Philippines' PR Agency Partner CatPR Head Nadine Tan, Breville Philippines Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Unit Manager Elijah Marie Cortez-Flores, Breville Philippines Ambassadress Vanessa Maclang Caceres, and IAJWC President Ma. Cristina S. Llamo

Expressing gratitude for the partnership, Vanessa highlighted the significance of imparting her expertise in Third Wave Coffee to a broader audience. She underscored the value of knowledge transfer to ensure that frontline staff accurately convey the essence of coffee and demonstrate the optimal utilization of Breville products to customers.

Breville's decision to engage Vanessa as its brand ambassador stemmed from her positive experience with the Breville Bambino Plus during Women's Month in March 2023. Impressed by the product's performance and innovative features, Vanessa became a staunch advocate for Breville, particularly praising its user-friendly design and versatility in simplifying coffee-making processes.

Founded in Sydney in 1932, Breville has evolved into a renowned global brand known for its innovative kitchen products that enhance consumers' culinary experiences. Since its introduction in the Philippines in 2010 under the exclusive distribution of IAJ Wellness Corporation, Breville has established a presence in over 100 retail outlets nationwide, offering a diverse range of premium kitchen appliances tailored to meet the evolving needs of customers. Vanessa's endorsement of Breville underscores the brand's commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that elevate the kitchen experience and empower consumers to explore new culinary horizons.