Thursday, September 17, 2020

BDO Network Bank brings its exemplary community service online

BDO Network Bank (BDONB) has been more than just a business in the communities that it serves. The rural bank has become a valuable member of each community, responding to their financial needs and even beyond.

SAMA-SAMA TAYO. Despite the ongoing pandemic and the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine, BDO Network Bank continues to serve its clients, especially small businesses urgently in need of a financial boost during these tough times

However, the various lockdowns have put many businesses on hold. As a result, business owners and their employees find themselves struggling to maintain their livelihoods.

A loan as a lifeline

As sales dwindle for many businesses due to the lack of customers, loans from banks and financial institutions are necessary to keep them afloat and tide them over until the economy recovers.

This was true for a 51-year old seamstress in Davao City, who was struggling to sustain her sewing and apparel business. She was lucky enough to receive a huge order for washable face masks but she still had a problem. Due to slow business in previous months, she didn’t have enough capital to buy raw materials to produce what her customer ordered. 

The seamstress approached several banks and lending institutions, but her loan application was denied, as they were not granting loans during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Feeling hopeless, she thought that she was going to lose the big order from the customer and the earnings that she badly needed.

Fortunately, she was approached by BDONB’s MSME Matina Team. Said team has been proactively calling up entrepreneurs to find out how the Bank could help, knowing that businesses urgently needed a financial boost during these times.

After talking to the seamstress, BDONB assured her that it can grant her a loan even during ECQ, taking away her distress and despair. As a result, she was able to fulfill her buyer’s order and provide income not only for herself but for her workers and their families. The masks she made also helped the community at large by providing them protection from the pandemic.

The loan had a ripple effect as it made it possible for the seamstress to buy from her cloth supplier and benefit his business as well.

Walking the extra mile: onsite and online

BDONB employees are known in their communities as reliable partners during times of need, often going the extra mile to make transactions and life, in general, easier for bank clients. For instance, it’s not unusual for BDONB employees to meet up with clients at the checkpoints to process much-needed transactions if travel restrictions prevent clients from going to the bank.

However, as the pandemic continues to disrupt the way of life, the face-to-face, physical contact, and reassuring personal touch with the community that BDONB employees are accustomed to will have to be put on hold.

The solution that BDONB now offers to its clients, who are used to the warm, assuring community outreach of the bank’s employees, is to create its own social media community. This community will be gathered in the official BDONB Facebook Page, which was recently launched by the rural bank.

"BDO Network Bank has been looking forward to an official Facebook page. And for us, this is the best time, as the team is geared up and more forearmed to support an online community. After a year from our rebrand, we deem this is the best follow through to continuously propagate brand awareness and improve our customer engagement,” BDO Network Bank president J.Antonio S. Itchon said.

"More importantly, we are a proponent of driving inclusive economic growth through our relevant financial products and services. We support our clients' aspirations and business needs, especially in unserved and underserved communities. By launching our own FB page, we envision to exponentially grow the number of lives that we can change and prosper,” he added.

BDO Network Bank’s Facebook page will serve as its alternative channel in reaching out to the communities it serves. The platform will complement its on-ground services such as answering to product inquiries, conducting financial wellness roadshows, and getting customer feedback. All these can be done on its official Facebook page without the need for face-to-face engagement or visiting BDO Network Bank branches.

Visit BDO Network Bank’s Official Facebook Page here:

Monday, September 14, 2020

Bayanihan spirit abounds this pandemic :An overseas Filipino finds time to help fellow OFs survive COVIDchallenge


ONE   of   the   worst   effects   of   the   COVID-19 pandemic is the   increase in unemployment  rate   worldwide. As social distancing and   community lockdowns have   been strictly enforced to limit the spread   of   the   virus, businesses had to either contend with a diminished customer base, suspend operations for a couple of months, or close shop altogether. 

The results were staggering. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the   country's unemployment rate increased to   17.7 percent in April, the highest in   15 years, as the lockdown forced   the closure of thousands of businesses. This is equivalent to an   estimated 7.3 million Filipinos losing jobs.

For those who lost their jobs, their next thought process is understandably how to fend for themselves and their families. But there are those who still found the   time and grit to care for others, their   own troubles not with standing. Such was the case with Ms. Feby Baguisa. She used to work in ARY Speedremit, a former remittance tie-up of BDO, and who now lives in Muraqqabat Deira, United Arab Emirates. Like thousands others, Baguisa wasan economic casualty of the pandemic, rendering her unemployed.

 Despite her predicament, Baguisa still took the initiative of distributing dailymeals to her fellow overseas   Filipinos (OFs) who likewise lost   their jobs because of the effects of the COVID-19.

 Her efforts started at the onset of the pandemic-induced lockdown. Initially, she relied on the income   from her husband for the preparation   and distribution of meals which many unemployed OFs had come to expect as they queue up for the relief aid. The food donation became such a hit that even other nationalities lined up  and became recipients of the free   daily meals.

"These individuals are   displaced,   laid-on or   even   on   a   'no   work   no   pay'arrangement," she said. "The meals somehow alleviate the plight of the day-to-day subsistence of our Kabayan in UAE."

Eventually, outside help came in.

BDO Unibank took notice of her humanitarian efforts—dubbed as  Project Ayuda—and supported her   cause, as well as encouraged BDO   Remitrepresentatives in UAE to   participate in the distribution of   food packs to overseas Filipinos.   Even non-Filipino companies joined   the campaign and provided donation, including Alansari Group, Emirates Lotto, Khaled Alameriand West Zone Supermarket. 

Baguisa's food donation has already   benefited some 400 individuals,composed mostly of OFs who were either laid-off, out of work or on a “nowork, no pay” status. 

"They are still trying and persisting to somehow find jobs and maximize all the opportunities available that   would come their way," she said. "The success of the campaign has exceeded our expectations."

Baguisa also expressed gratitude to BDO’s participation in the campaign.

BDO is now encouraging its representatives from other regions to replicate Project Ayuda.

"Despite the adverse effects of the pandemic, we still want our Kabayans to enjoy Christmas. We hope to   achieve that through the   continuation and extension of Project Ayuda,” said BDO senior vice president and head of Remittance Geneva T. Gloria.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

POCO X3 NFC - The true mid-range champion arrives in The Philippines

Top-of-the-line screen, battery and performance from the beloved brand

POCO, the industry-redefining smartphone brand, brought its latest device to The Philippines: POCO X3 NFC.

Tailored for young tech and gaming enthusiasts, it adopts a unique finish-line design that screams power. The device puts performance above all else, offering only the most useful high-end specs with no frills at a fraction of the usual price.

Priced starting at PHP 10,990 and available for purchase from September 9. The Philippines is among the first batch of markets to introduce the POCO X3 NFC and will be available from September 9.

Debuting Qualcomm’s newest and most powerful 700-series 4G processorSnapdragonTM 732G – POCO X3 NFC boasts incredible performance that lasts up to two days on one charge, thanks to the handset’s large 5,160mAh battery. Meanwhile, the phone’s 120Hz+240Hz display creates an incredibly smooth and responsive experience superior to most flagships on the market. 

Commenting on the launch of POCO X3 NFC in The Philippines, Mark Li, Country Manager of The Philippines, Xiaomi, said, “POCO X3 NFC continues the legendary tradition of POCO as it is the perfect daily driver with incredible everyday use and an optimized gaming experience. We are proud of the fact that POCO X3 NFC is the world’s first smartphone to be powered by Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 732G. This is a testament to our commitment to provide the latest technology at honest prices. We hope the launch of POCO X3 NFC will continue to delight POCO enthusiasts in The Philippines and welcome new users to the enduring legacy of the POCO series.”

Exactly the performance you need with the brand-new Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 732G platform

Running on Qualcomm’s most powerful 4G processor to date, the Snapdragon™ 732G, POCO X3 NFC offers sustained peak performance and AI capabilities that will impress even the most demanding gamers thanks to its architecture based on the KryoTM 470 octa-core CPU and Adreno™ 618 Elite Gaming series GPU.

To ensure steady operation and frictionless user experience, the device embeds LiquidCool Technology 1.0 Plus, combining an enlarged copper heat pipe with multiple layers of graphite that work together to reduce the heat of the phone’s processor by up to 6 degrees.

The phone’s incredible performance can be further optimized for gaming thanks to the latest iteration of Game Turbo 3.0, the utility that tunes the phone in accordance with game requirements, that ensures users get the most out of the handset’s powerful hardware. Additionally, the phone’s Z-axis linear motor ensures superb haptic feedback with over 150 vibration modes for different scenarios.

Exactly the immersion you need with 120Hz + 240Hz display and stereo speakers

In line with POCO’s original goal of making innovation available to everyone, POCO X3 NFC sports a stunning edge-to-edge 6.67” FHD+ DotDisplay with a staggering combination of a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate.

POCO X3 NFC boasts one of the smoothest screens in its price category. The DynamicSwitch function allows the phone to save power by automatically switching between 50, 60, 90 and 120Hz depending on the use case and the format of content displayed on the screen. This allows the phone's refresh rate to go up for use cases like gaming and down for lighter operations like reading – thereby optimizing power usage

The 240hz touch sampling rate further reinforces the phone’s extraordinary display capabilities, allowing it to beat most competition hollow. POCO X3 NFC boasts 33% faster response than most flagships currently on the market, providing for an exceptionally satisfying user experience as well as giving users a noticeable competitive advantage even in the most sophisticated games.

To ensure utmost immersion, the device also packs a pair of flagship-grade stereo speakers. The 4cc-equivalent upper speaker, 1cc-equivalent lower speaker, and up to 0.5mm vibration amplitude provide for crystal clear stereo sound and an absorbing gaming experience. Meanwhile, the speakers’ ability to self-clean ensures unmuffled audio in the long run.

Exactly the photos you need with 64MP AI quad-camera system

POCO X3 NFC sports a top-notch rear quad-camera system consisting of a 64MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide angle camera, 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor.

The phone's main camera is a flagship Sony IMX 682 sensor featuring an ƒ/1.89 aperture and 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel that produces detailed and ultra-clear pictures. The 13MP ultra-wide angle camera boasts a 119° field of view propped up by ƒ/2.2 aperture and a 1.0μm pixel size, while the 2MP macro camera and depth sensor complete the setup offering extra functionality and reinforcing the main lens’ capabilities.

On the front, the device sports a 20MP camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture and 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, ideal for taking unblemished selfies.

For those trying to stand out from the crowd, POCO X3 NFC packs a slew of creative features including six kaleidoscope options, Gold vibes mode, Cyberpunk mode, numerous new photo filters,as well as AI Skyscaping 3.0, presenting new creative ways to brighten up users’ social media feed.

Video enthusiasts can make use of the device’s 4K video recording as well as features including smooth video zoom, focus peaking and AE/AF lock. The included LOG/RAW format support and Vlog mode not only ensure that users can capture their most important moments in utmost quality, but also turn the phone into a semi- professional workstation for video content production.

Exactly the battery life you need with 5,160mAh and 33W fast charging

Top level specs are no use without a battery that lasts. To guarantee that users can enjoy all of its amazing features, POCO X3 NFC is equipped with a large 5,160 mAh(typ) battery that lasts over two days under moderate usage. The handset supports 33W fast charging which not only means that the device can be charged to 100% in only 65 minutes, but also that a mere 30 minutes will fill it up to 62%

The increased charging speed is achieved through Middle Middle Tab (MMT) technology. In conventional batteries, the electric current is coming from the bottom of the module, filling it upwards, thus resulting in considerably slower charging speed. Middle Middle Tab (MMT) technology is based on an innovative method in which the battery receives the electric current from the middle and spreads it simultaneously to the top and bottom of the module. This allows for faster and more consistent charging speed, while also ensuring battery longevity, compared to traditional layouts.

Prices and availability

Starting from September 9, POCO X3 NFC’s 6GB+64GB variant will be available at PHP 10,990, and 6GB+128GB at PHP 12,990. The device will be available in two colors – Shadow Gray and Cobalt Blue.

As part of the first sale in The Philippines, a 48-hour deal for the 6GB+64GB variant will be available exclusively on Shopee on September 9 and 10 at an early bird price of PHP 9,990, a PHP 1,000 price drop from its recommended retail price. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary POCO mousepad and a BlackShark Fun Cooler. As for the 6GB+128GB variant, it will be sold at an early bird price of PHP 11,990, a price drop of PHP 1,000 from PHP 12,990, and customers will receive a free POCO digital pouch and a BlackShark Fun Cooler Pro.

The device will be available in online and offline channels including Lazada and Authorized Mi Stores soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Distance Learning, Are we ready?

Experts and education officials say that learning must not stop and must only evolve. 

Prepared with TANG: Get ready for Distance Learning

Some schools have already started classes while some will be starting in October following the government’s recent announcement. No matter when classes will start, there is no denying that being cast into these uncertain times because of COVID-19 has caused an undue amount of pressure on the parents who now need to act as surrogate teachers, and caused stress for the students who cannot see or study with their classmates. Adding to that is the concern of how effective they will be as co-educators at home, playing a more active role in their children’s education. 

Am I ready? Are my kids ready? I really don't know but I must admit with my current health conditions I'm really scared since I've been seeing my friends' social media posts that they are having a hard time. But there's nothing we can do, we need to start accepting that this is the new normal. 

TANG recognizes these struggles, that's why they recently launched Prepared with TANG: Get ready for Distance Learning in partnership with With the help of, the largest online platform empowering Filipino youth from education to career, the live session of Prepared with TANG: Get ready for Distance Learning was held to equip moms with actionable insights and tips on distance learning with the help of homeschooling and industry experts.

Good thing that I attended TANG's live stream with homeschool advocates Tina Rodriguez and Mikaela Martinez, and guest speaker Ian Sta. Maria to see how you can make distance learning effective and refreshing for your kids. 

Here are my essential takeaways: 

1. Set up a designated study area

Students have their own desks in school, and in recreating a similar setup, they should also have their own study area at home. Space should be conducive to learning-- well-lit and ventilated, clean and organized. If possible, school supplies should be within reach. Try setting them up in organizing shelves, drawers, or bins labeled accordingly. 

2. Set and follow a schedule complete with break times

Students are accustomed to a schedule when it comes to attending classes. Setting up a schedule even when studying at home helps condition their mind and body to the task ahead. This also helps develop discipline by sticking to a schedule and finishing work within a given period.

3. Make time for physical activities

Physical exercise is important since it helps keep children healthy and primed for learning. Just like in school, incorporate this in your child’s schedule and try to diversify the activities-- it can be in the form of dance, sports, or just pure exercise. 

4. Get creative

The distance learning setup is a great time to explore more extracurricular activities since there is no limit as opposed to a regular school setup. This is where moms can get creative in introducing different activities to their kids. To start on their creative journey, it is best to have art supplies nearby such as crayons, colored pens, and paper. It’s a refreshing activity that stimulates the imagination of kids. There’s no right or wrong so just let them explore and have fun!

5. Prepare fun merienda breaks

Break time is every student’s favorite subject. It’s an important part of the day because it allows kids to recharge. The key is to give them their favorite snacks and pair it with a glass of TANG! TANG is made up of 100% Vitamin C and real fruit which is perfect for a quick refreshing break. To make it more exciting, moms can spruce the merienda menu with special treats when kids do well in their classes and mix it with healthy food like fruits. Add in a game or two to double up the fun!

Distance learning is a unique experience for each and every mom and child pairing. There will be struggles to get the groove, but the fun lies in how it is a more personalized and engaging experience. TANG, in partnership with, is here to keep moms company on their distance learning journey. 

For moms who missed out on the live session of Prepared with TANG: Get ready for Distance Learning, you can still check it out here:

And for more tips and insights to make distance learning more fun and exciting with TANG, visit

Prepared with TANG: Get ready for Distance Learning

Sunday, August 30, 2020

BDO and subsidiaries earn top FinanceAsia Awards

Banking excellence. BDO Unibank was awarded Best Bank in the Philippines while its subsidiaries, BDO Private Bank and BDO Capital received the Best Private Bank in the Philippines and the Best Equity Capital Market (ECM) House in the Philippines awards, respectively.

FinanceAsia presented BDO Unibank, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries with top honors during its annual Country Awards, which recognizes the best banks, brokers, and law firms across Asia.

BDO was named Best Bank in the Philippines for the 13th straight year. BDO Private Bank, on the other hand, was recognized as the Best Private Bank in the Philippines—a prestigious title it has held since 2008. Meanwhile, BDO Capital & Investment Corporation was awarded the Best Equity Capital Market (ECM) House in the Philippines, which it also got in 2017

“The competition is always fierce, but this year it also took place against an unprecedented global backdrop thanks to COVID-19. What stood out was the banks’ resilience and their ability to adapt to fast-changing conditions, not least in enabling most of their employees to successfully work from home,” said FinanceAsia about this year’s winners.

Best Bank
FinanceAsia attributed BDO’s over-a-decade hold of the Best Bank in the Philippines Award to its continued efforts to uphold financial inclusion and enhance consumer and mid-market lending.

The bank reported a 35% increase in its year-end income amounting to P44.2 billion for 2019. Most recently, it logged P4.3 billion representing half-year earnings for 2020.

Amid the pandemic, BDO keeps its products and services within reach through its expansive nationwide network of branches. The financial institution however, encourages its clients to use online banking instead to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Best Private Bank
BDO Private Bank had an impressive 2019, more than doubling its net profits to P878 milliona t the end of 2019 from P301 million in 2018.

FinanceAsia identified the local government’s move to reduce death duties on estates from2 0% to 6% as an income driver for the bank’s inheritance and tax planning business. Another driver, according to the publication, was the changing mix of foreign and domesticn investments, which expanded the bank’s offerings and shifted its clients’ ratio of peso and
foreign currency holdings.

While physical events are on hold, BDO Private Bank has turned to digital by frequentlyh osting webinars to engage with its clientele.

Best ECM House
FinanceAsia called BDO Capital a “runaway winner” for the Best ECM House in the Philippines award. “It was a year when equity capital markets were quiet, but BDO was the only bank that was active across all the main categories,” it said.

In 2019, BDO Capital mounted three landmark projects. One was the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of fruit and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas, which resulted in P896.55 million. Another was the delisting of Travellers International Hotel Group worth P6 billion.

Most prominent of the three was its work for Cemex Holdings worth P12.8 billion, which was not only BDO Capital’s biggest equity deal but also the market’s largest for the year.

Friday, August 28, 2020

BDO Network Bank ATMs now accept VISA and KFTC Int’l cards

BDO Network Bank, the rural banking arm of BDO Unibank, has announced that its network of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) now accepts VISA and KFTC (Korea Financial Intermediaries and Clearing Institute) International cards, allowing the bank to serve the cash requirements of more ATM cardholders with internationally-issued cards.

VISA and KFTC cardholders can already withdraw and inquire their account balance from any BDO Network Bank ATM nationwide. The rural bank has over 250 strategically located ATMs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

BDO Network Bank President J. Antonio S. Itchon said this development can benefit foreigners who frequent major tourist spots where BDO Network Bank is also present. The enhancement of KFTC International Card acceptance, he added, will also benefit Korean nationals visiting and residing in the country. Koreans account for the country’s top foreign arrivals since 2010. In 2018, around 1.62 million Koreans visited the Philippines, besting Chinese and Americans tourists who came in only second and third, respectively. The Philippines is also home to more than 100,000 Korean migrants.

Founded in 1986, KFTC is a payment settlement institution that establishes and manages interbank payment networks in Korea. Its members include the Bank of Korea, Korea Development Bank, Woori Bank, Hana Bank, Kookmin Bank, Korean Exchange Bank, Standard Chartered Korea and Citibank Korea.

VISA, on the other hand, is also a global payments technology company with presence in 200 countries and territories worldwide. Established in 1958, it has an extensive network with 3.3 billion cards in use, connecting people through payments all around the world.

BancNet, one of the country's leading electronic banking network, has interconnection with KFTC and VISA, allowing KFTC and VISA cardholders to check their balances and withdraw cash through any BancNet enabled ATMs.

“The widening variety of ATM acceptance complements our continuous expansion, which in turn is part of our thrust to reach more unserved and underserved markets,” Itchon said. BDO Network Bank targets to double its number of branches in the next four years as it intensifies its lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

Apart from VISA and KFTC, BDO Network Bank ATMs also accept Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus and Bancnet cardholders.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

SM Distributes Kalinga Packs to Displaced Drivers in Rizal, Marikina and Pasig

The public transport sector is one of the hardest hit by the economic crisis due to the pandemic. This sector’s operations have been put into a halt for several months since March 2020. As the government eased restrictions gradually even for public transport, some are still left behind.  
SM Foundation, Inc. with SM Supermalls and SM Markets team up to extend assistance thru Kalinga Packs to displaced drivers in the country. These Kalinga Packs include 5 kilos of rice and groceries to aid the daily needs of drivers and their family. SM Supermalls in Rizal, Marikina and Pasig reach out to selected local public transport associations servicing the communities surrounding each mall through the Operation Tulong Express. 

SM City East Ortigas Mall Manager Tyrone Tan turns over Kalinga Packs to Kagawad Girlie Cruz for the residents of Morales Compound of Bgy. Sta Lucia, Pasig City

For SM City Taytay, Golden City TODA, SBM TODA, SMTT Blue Cab drivers receives 250 Kalinga packs handed over by SM Regional Operations Manager, Central 3, Mr. Cid Victoria and SM City Taytay Asst. Mall Manager Paolo Gunao. 144 drivers of SM East Ortigas TODA, Cubaro Jeepney Association and St. Joseph TODA in Cainta receive Kalinga Packs from SM City East Ortigas headed by Mall Manager Tyrone Tan. SM Center Angono with its Assistant Mall Manager Aimee Ramirez and Building Admin Manager Vennice Atun turns over 425 Kalinga Packs to drivers and operators of Biyaheng Turismo Transport Cooperative, ACACJODAI, ANG UNOTODA, COTODA and BITODA.
On the other side of the East, SM City Marikina with Mall Manager Francis Cruz turns over 280 Kalinga Packs to members of Kalumpang TODA tricycle riders and jeepney drivers of Antipolo – Crossing Transport Service. SM City San Mateo with Assistant Mall Manager Sean Arroyo distributes 487 packs to jeepney drivers of MSMMJODAI, tricycle drivers of ATODA and UV Operators and drivers of SILATAI. 
SM Cherry Antipolo Mall Manager Joey Tanyag and Building Admin Officer hands over Kalinga Packs to MMTSOCTODAI president Samson Villanueva

250 Kalinga Packs are received by tricycle drivers MMTSOCTODA from SM Cherry Antipolo headed by Mall Manager Joey Tanyag. SM City Masinag with Mall OIC Raymond Bonifacio and Assistant Mall Manager Matthew De Guzman also reached out to 470 affected drivers and operators of Pilillia Lakeshore Transport, PACCOCUDAI and MMTSOCTODA.  
Aside from transport groups, SM Operations Tulong Express distributes 2000 Kalinga Packs to more communities in the East. Among them are Sitios Tibagan and Unirock in Antipolo City, Sitios Tinapahan and Minahang Bato in Angono, Sitio Broadway in San Mateo, Sitio Bilucao in Brgy. Dolores, Taytay, Sitios Tambuli, Tambangan, Kalantiao, Justia in Brgy Kalumpang, Marikina City and Morales Compound in Bgy. Sta. Lucia, Pasig City
SM Operation Tulong Express is an immediate response activated to extend assistance to communities in form of basic needs during calamities.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Classic Beef Caldereta with U.S. Russets

Leveling up our all-time family fave with U.S. potato goodness

Classic Beef Caldereta with U.S. Russets

The humble potato is a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world's food supply.

This includes our household. Oh how we love potatoes! Almost all of our meals at home have potatoes in them. Our family is a sucker for fries, too!

It’s an awesome extender for our “ulam” and goes well with just about anything. I love serving them at home because potatoes are highly nutritious, too. A serving of about 5.3 oz has 620mg of Potassium. That’s a higher Potassium content than a medium-sized banana. It’s perfect for our Dada’s diet.

Potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Protein, Fiber, and Iron. They are also free of sodium, cholesterol, gluten and fat. These are all beneficial for a healthier heart.

I must admit, I used to think potatoes only come in one form, which is fresh, the usual ones we find in stores. Until I came across the many products marketed by Potatoes USA. It’s the first time I heard of frozen and dehydrated potatoes. Though different in form, they deliver the same nutrients as fresh potatoes.

I am still familiarizing myself with U.S. frozen and U.S. dehy. So I decided to use fresh potatoes for the recipe I am sharing with you in this post. It’s the Classic Beef Caldereta. It is such a blockbuster recipe that my entire family enjoys!

Classic Beef Caldereta with U.S. Russets

Below is the easy-peasy recipe that is good for a family of five. But a word of caution…. It is so good that you may want to double the ingredients. 😊 

2 large U.S. Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 kilo beef spare ribs, or top blade steak
4 cloves garlic, pounded
1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
1 large tomato, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into rings
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
green olives
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place beef in a pot and cover with water. Boil meat over medium heat until tender. Remove, and reserve stock.
2. In a preheated pot with oil, sauté garlic, onion, and tomato
3. Add beef, tomato sauce, soy sauce, reserved stock, Russet potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Simmer until potatoes and carrots are cooked. Add green olives.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Where to buy U.S. Potatoes?

📌 U.S. table-stock/fresh potatoes - seasonal, produce section of supermarkets in Metro Manila and Cebu.

📌 U.S. frozen potatoes - can be found at the frozen aisle of grocery stores nationwide. 

📌 U.S. dehydrated potatoes - baking supply stores or message Potatoes USA-Philippines on FB and IG for more info.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Nourishing Teenager's Well-Being in the New Normal of Learning | Mapúa University

Excellence comes to mind whenever I hear Mapúa when I was in College. We used to have neighbors and friends who studied there and they were great students. When people find out that you're studying at Mapúa, they will look up to you because people know that Mapúa University gives high quality education.

Recently, I'm privileged to be invited to better understand our kids online learning journey through its “Nourishing Your Teenager's Well-Being in the New Normal of Learning” webinar.  Mapúa understands the need for parents to be there for their children now that the new normal compels everyone to adapt to new ways of learning.

The University invited four speakers from its academe to help the parents play a bigger and better role during their children’s online learning journey. They discussed topics ranging from assessing Filipino students’ readiness for online learning, mental and emotional challenges during online learning, nourishing the students’ well-being to adapt to the new normal of learning, as well as Mapúa’s Center for Guidance and Counseling (CGC) programs in enhancing the well-being of students.

Dr. Edward Jay M. Quinto, Associate professor at the Mapúa’s School of Social Sciences and Education

Every student is unique. 

Dr. Edward Jay M. Quinto, an associate professor at the Mapúa’s School of Social Sciences and Education, talked about self-regulation and self-regulated learning, and how these are connected to students’ behavior and performance in online education.

He explained that self-regulated learning is multicomponent and that these components include goal setting, environmental structuring, time management, task strategies, help seeking, and self-evaluation.

As we usher students in online learning, they bring with them varying levels of readiness, but we ensure that no one is left behind,” Quinto said.

Dr. Jonathan V. Macayan
Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education

Humanized intervention

Dr. Jonathan V. Macayan, the dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education, shared the results of a compassion survey conducted among students, assessing the impact of pandemic on students’ mental and emotional state and provided insights on intervention techniques that can be used both by parents and educators in their engagement with young individuals.

He pointed out that the responsibilities of the school in addressing the mental and emotional well-being of students include the design and implementation of academic and school policies that are sensitive to and supportive of the mental health and well-being of students, the development of a school–parent collaboration system that will aim to monitor and ensure students’ well-being in online learning, as well as the development and implementation of necessary student support services.

It’s more than just simply a strategy; it has to be genuine. Your intention to humanize your interventions with students must be genuine,” Macayan said.

Prof. Jasmine Nadja J. Pinugu
 Chair for Behavioral and Human Science

Encourage resilience

The third speaker is the University’s program chair for Behavioral and Human Science, Prof. Jasmine Nadja J. Pinugu, who points out that fostering resilience is critical to a teenager’s well-being during difficult times.

She said that the key to nourishing students’ well-being is by fostering resilience, and one can do this by maintaining a positive self-regard for themselves, teaching them life skills such as positive coping and problem-solving skills, enabling them to have a sense of purpose and agency, maintaining positive social connections, as well as emotional regulation.

At this time of pandemic, there should be stronger collaboration between the students, parents, and the teachers,” Pinugu said.

Arlene V. Clarete-Macatuggal
Mapúa’s director for student advising and counseling

Care. Give. Concern.

Arlene V. Clarete-Macatuggal, Mapúa’s director for student advising and counseling, shared how the University has been responding to the needs of its students while learning in an online environment.

She explained that Mapúa CGC offers various services for its students to help them cope with the new normal. These services include counseling, coordinating, appraising, and consulting services.

We just don’t wait for students to come to us, but we schedule them for counseling through Blackboard or [Facebook Messenger] to help them with their needs,” Macatuggal said.

An open and lively discussion was held for the mommy bloggers in attendance after each topic, wherein their burning questions and concerns were readily addressed by the four speakers.

Through the webinar, Mapúa University aims to best equip parents with the tools needed to help their children have a productive, engaging, and safe learning experience remotely. It is imperative that parents, students, and the academe work together to provide a seamless academic experience for children via the online learning journey.

Mapua University is the Philippines’ premier engineering and technological university. It envisions itself to be among the best universities in the world, unceasingly fostering its long tradition of leading-edge excellence in various fields of studies and providing students a learning environment that will make them globally competitive.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Inspiring Pinoys to #StayStrong with Century Tuna Superbods 2020

Alden Richards and Nadine Lustre with the Century Tuna Superbods 2020 finalists

The road to Century Tuna Superbods 2020 was all set: launched earlier this year by showbiz royalties Nadine Lustre and Alden Richards with the message “Every day is a chance to be a better you", the annual fitness competition had all 34 finalists lined up. But when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the competition pivoted to become a   platform with an inspiring message for all.

Times are tough but Century Tuna, the country’s leading canned tuna, proved that Pinoys are tougher as it relaunched Century Tuna Everybod Superbod 2020 with a more inclusive and relevant theme: Stay strong, Pilipinas!

Streamed on the Century Superbods Facebook page, the launch featured celebrity Superbods Nadine and Alden, together with the 34 Century Tuna Superbods finalists enjoining everyone to witness the strength of the Superbods spirit to continue pursuing their passion and dreams of a healthier future that begins with proper diet and exercise.   

“Now more than ever, we need to encourage everyone to stay physically and mentally strong, and we feel that that can be achieved by eating right, moving our bodies every day and practicing proper hygiene to protect ourselves from the ongoing virus,” said Century Pacific Food Inc EVP and COO Greg Banzon.

To further reinforce the importance of staying strong, Century Tuna released a rousing video (  that signalled the resumption of the highly-anticipated Century Tuna Everybod Superbod 2020 competition, following the same objectives: The candidate must be a “Difference Maker,” someone who can make a stand and empower Filipinos to be the best they can be.

Of course, this year’s unstoppable finalists were ready to show off their hot and fit bods to make a difference and inspire everyone to Stay Strong.  In the female category, the 18 fit and sexy finalists are Katrina Arceta (@pasteledpawbykat), Grace del Rosario (@gracedelrosario_makeup), Sherlyn Doloriel (@sherlyndoloriel), Zai Ebido (@zaiebido), Shirley Garcia (@shirleygarcia3797), Lynn Gonzales (@lynnrgonzales), Astrid Hernandez (@astridhernandezph), Renzel Jose (@renzel.mae), Liz Kuczera (@lizkuczera), Karla Lasquite, Samantha Lo (@samantha_ashley_lo), Ines Lorenzo (@tack.n.tanlines), Kai Ochosa (@kaiochsa), Kathleen Paton (@kathleen_paton), Christine Picardal (@tinedoesfitness), Samantha Purvor (@istmesamanthap), Candice Ramos (@candiceramos), and Key Trajano (@keytrajano).

The 16 hot and healthy male finalists are Sam Ajdani (@samajdani), Nelson Banzuela (@nelsonbanzuela25), Kirk Bondad (@Kirk_bondad), Enzo Bonoan (@enzobonoan24), Hans Braga (@hansbraga_), Nicholas Chua (@fat.kid.inside), Robert Hamilton (@roberthamilton_official), Albert Lorenzo (@alberttiongson), Philippe Magalona (@philippemagalona), Erie Matic (@eriematic), Malcolm Mostoles (@malc_mostoles), Gianpaolo Paparo (@gianpaolo.paparo), Julian Roxas (@julsfitph), Gian Ruiz (@makeupmusclesnme), Jason Senga (@oh_jizz_on), and Jojo Urquico (@jojourquico).

Each candidate’s journey to becoming the Century Tuna Everybod Superbod 2020 grand winners will consist of various digital challenges that will be posted on the Century Tuna Superbods Facebook page and can be searched using #StayStrongPilipinas, #CenturyTunaSuperbods, #EverybodCanBeASuperbod.  These challenges will lead up to the finals night happening on September 19, 2020 where over Php 2,000,000 worth of prizes is at stake and where one male and one female grand winners will be selected.

To know more about “Century Tuna’s Everybod Superbod 2020,” visit and follow Century Tuna’s Facebook page, @centurytuna or Instagram @centurytunasuperbods.