Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Essential Nutrients of Blueberries Plus No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe


No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake


Our family’s medical history is one of the reasons why I keep an eye on our lifestyle. I take extra measures to help reduce the risk of cancer and this involves daily exercise and a balanced diet.

 

I choose foods that are high in antioxidants like fruits and veggies because they protect our body from free radicals. These nasty free radicals can damage our cells and contribute to aging and diseases, such as cancer.

 

One of the fruits with the highest levels of antioxidants is the yummy blueberry. Though miniature in size, they are also proof that, when it comes to nutrition, good things do come in small packages.

 

These are the four essential nutrients of blueberries:

 

1. Blueberries contain Vitamin C

In just one serving, you can get about 15% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps support the immune system and promotes wound healing.

 

2. Blueberries are a good source of dietary fiber.

A handful of blueberries can help you meet your daily fiber requirement. Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet, which may help you feel full faster.

 

3. Blueberries are high in Manganese.

Manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.

 

4. Blueberries are rich in Vitamin K.

Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.

Blueberries are low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup and contain a category of phytonutrients called polyphenols. This group includes anthocyanins, which are compounds that give blueberries their blue color. Anthocyanins are a class of compounds with antioxidant effects.

I’m so thankful that blueberries are available in the Philippines throughout the year. We can enjoy fresh blueberries from the U.S. from April to September. Meanwhile, frozen blueberries from the U.S. are in stores year-round.

Farmers Best Frozen Highbush Blueberries


I recently prepared a No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake for the family. Check out the quick and simple recipe below:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups crushed graham crackers

½ cup melted butter

1 pack all-purpose cream 250ml

1 cup cream cheese

½ cup condensed milk

Farmers Best Frozen Highbush Blueberries

 

Directions:

1. Combine graham crackers and butter. Mix well. Set aside.

2. Beat all-purpose cream, cream cheese and, condensed milk until smooth and fully incorporated.

3. In a container, layer graham crackers, cream mixture, and blueberries alternately

4. Keep in the refrigerator to keep cold. Serve chilled.

 

I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s an easy-peasy recipe. You can make this blueberry cheesecake in half an hour. It’s delicious, too! It has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It’s so creamy good!

 

One important thing to note, though, is that frozen blueberries are as healthy as fresh blueberries. They’re frozen straight from the farm, with all the good stuff locked in - nutrients, freshness, and flavor. An advantage it has from fresh blueberries is that it has a longer shelf-life and can stay in the freezer for months. You just need to thaw them before use, or not at all when you want to make cold blueberry smoothies or fruit shakes.

 

Interested in frozen blueberries from the U.S.? You can find Farmers Best Frozen Highbush Blueberries in the frozen aisle of supermarkets. Exclusive to Rustan's Supermarket outlets are brands offering frozen U.S. blueberries like Essential Everyday and Sunny Select.

 

I’ll feature my Blueberry Pistachio Parfait on my next blog. Please stay tuned!

 

Blueberry Pistachio Parfait 


Want to win packs of frozen blueberries from U.S. Blueberries-Philippines? I gotcha! 

 

Just prepare your favorite dish, snack or beverage using U.S. blueberries and share a photo of your finished product and the recipe on your personal FB or IG.

 

Make sure to follow and tag me and U.S. Blueberries-Philippines on FB and IG. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #MITMxUSBlueberriesPHL, #MommyBloggersPH and #USBlueberriesPHL.

 

Hurry! Three (3) winners will be chosen. You can post your entries until December 9, 2020. Winners will be announced on my FB and IG on December 11, 2020. 


 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

‘Be Still’ Gospel Album now streaming on YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud





A song that was created for someone who was going through a difficult time in life has now evolved into something that anyone who has been through tough times can relate to. Whenever we encounter problems or hardships, the tendency is to either fight or fly. This song however tells us to do the opposite: Be Still.

Be Still is a praise album created by Maria Chew along with some of her closest friends. It differs from other praise albums in the sense that each song has its own story to tell and is aged through time.


The Creation


The sound of each song is an expression of how unique God’s creativity flows through every individual. Some chords are unpredictable, some will surprise you, and the creators mostly used 7th & 9 chords in their music. Paired with the unique arrangements by Eric Pablo, this resulted in ensuring that every song is a different experience.

Creating this album for Maria has been a lifelong dream but as with anything worth doing, there were hardships and challenges, the main one being that of scheduling. In God’s perfect time, despite the fact that the creator, singers, and arranger live in different countries, things started to fall into place and in one day, the singers, the recording studio, the sound engineer and everyone’s schedule all matched.

The Singers


The singer for “Be Still” which is the song cover is Jenny Pagalilauan. Maria and Jenny used to be bandmates but lost track of each other and then reunited with the help of Facebook. Jenny was the perfect choice because she has a strong solid mature voice, especially when reaching high notes. She sings 3 more songs in the album: “Fullness of Joy,” “Wonderful Savior”, and “Lord of My Life”.

Faith Purificacion sings “Touch My Heart” which is a creation of Pastor Eric as well as “He Restores My Soul” which is a collaboration between Maria and her eldest daughter.

The only male singer in this album is Zaldy Reblora. He is from the music ministry of the church that Maria used to attend to and his voice is perfect for duets as well as “I Pray in Jesus’ Name” which is a song that was composed 20 years ago.

The Cover Song


“Be Still,” is very applicable in today’s predicament, and in any situation people may have. When we are stressed, when we have no peace, when we don’t know what to do, just be still, and seek God. He will give us peace that passes all understanding. Trust in Him because He cares for you. And even when we are happy, be still and meditate on the goodness of God in your life.

This is why the song was chosen. In this day and age where everyone is in a hurry to post, like, share, comment, and just get on with things, it is important to remember that we need to be still and stay still. This is the only way we can communicate with God and hear His message for us. Be still.

Listen to the song “Be Still” through SoundCloud, You Tube, Amazon Music, Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, and also on other digital stores worldwide.

To listen to the song, click the link here:

Be Still (Track #5 of the album "Be Still") - YouTube

Friday, November 27, 2020

More Than You Expect: POCO Launches the All-New Entertainment Beast POCO M3

 



POCO establishes its global independence as it unveils its latest budget smartphone, featuring a powerful camera, 6,000 mAh battery and FHD+ display


Building on its renowned smartphone lineup, POCO Global today announced its independence, as well as its brand-new entry-level smartphone, POCO M3. Boasting a 48MP triple camera setup, 6,000 mAh battery, a beautiful FHD+ smartphone display, and a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 662 chipset, POCO M3 is the next “it” device for young entertainment-on-the-move enthusiasts. 

 

POCO M3 marks the debut of POCO Global’s M-series: the brand’s foray into an entirely new category. The new product line builds on POCO Global’s success competing with top-of-the line flagships with its F-series, as well as the impact of its X series in the mid-range category, opening the brand up to a new set of global tech lovers. 

 

POCO Brand Independence

With this latest launch, POCO Global is ushering in a new era as an independent brand. This significant milestone was enabled by the overwhelming support of its global fan base, which helped the brand accomplish several notable achievements since its initial POCO F1 device debuted in 2018

 

·        The brand entered more than 35 global markets within three years; 

·        POCO F1 reached over 2.2 million shipments*; 

·        Overall, the brand has sold over 6 million* POCO phones globally.

 

“These tremendous results underscore consumers’ overwhelming endorsement of POCO’s brand philosophy – ‘everything you need, nothing you don’t – and we remain focused on bringing innovative technology to consumers without all the unnecessary frills.” said Kevin Qiu, Head of POCO Global.

 

“The POCO philosophy embodies an attitude we all strive for - to be different and confident. As a newly-established independent brand, we’re looking forward to continuing to deliver technology that matters in an ever-evolving world.”

POCO M3 - More than you expect

Superb battery life without compromises 

Equipped with the largest battery capacity in its class, POCO M3 guarantees even the most avid gamers will be fully powered to browse, connect, and stream throughout the day with its mighty 6,000mAh high charge cycle battery. The phone is expected to last over 5 days under light usage, and slightly below 3 days under moderate usage. It takes roughly 1.5 days** for the battery to be fully drained under heavy usage. Meanwhile, POCO M3 packs a punch with its specially-designed battery, built to withstand high temperatures and nearly 2.5 years** of usage without notable degradation, ensuring a long-lasting experience.  

In addition to its durability, POCO M3 provides a faster and more consistent charging speed for users on the go with its MIUI ultra battery saving mode and 18W fast charge. The device comes with a 22.5W in-box charger and supports reverse wired charging, offering enhanced convenience. 

 

“POCO M3 brings a truly elevated experience to our users, offering one of the largest batteries in the industry for long-lasting security,” said Angus Ng, Head of Product Marketing, POCO Global. “This massive battery allows you to spend more time doing the things you love, including streaming, listening to music, and recording videos using the triple camera setup. We’re flipping the device category on its head with POCO M3, providing more than you expect at every level.”

 

Stunning display for endless entertainment

A true entertainment beast, POCO M3 sports a 6.53” FHD+ Dot Drop display with 2340x1080 high resolution, along with an impressive 1,500:1 contrast ratio and 19.5:9 aspect ratio for a dazzling edge-to-edge viewing experience. Its Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 front screen offers ample protection against drops and scratches, while its anti-fingerprint textured back cover provides a secure grip and superior light-weight feel. POCO M3 is equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that enables a minimalistic front screen design without compromising user accessibility. 

 

POCO M3 is easy on the eyes in more ways than one – it’s TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certified, meaning users can watch hours of content with minimal eye strain. Boasting a dual speaker system with dust blaster, POCO M3 provides superior sound with powerful bass for an immersive indoor entertainment experience. 

 

48MP triple camera set-up with bonus photography features 

Ready to take your photography skills to the next level, POCO M3 flaunts an attractively priced  48MP triple camera on the smartphone market, supported by a 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth sensor. Meanwhile, your selfie game is sure to stay strong thanks to the device’s 8MP selfie camera.

And the fun only continues with POCO M3’s creative new software offerings. Movie frame gives photos a cinematic flavor, while Time-lapse leverages various speed values to capture different scenes. Night Mode enhances photos taken in dark environments by boosting the color contrast, while Color focus can make specific tones pop so you can stand out like a stud. Capturing killer moments and upping your social game has never been easier! 

 

Delivering brilliant mobile performance without breaking the bank 

Featuring a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 662 processor, POCO M3 delivers a brilliant experience never seen before in this price tier. With Qualcomm® Adreno™ 610 GPU, you’ll get a smooth gaming and video experience – and the opportunity to store high-quality photos at half the size. POCO M3’s 11nm processor delivers higher performance, less heat production and lower power consumption, making it a must-have device in its category. With its UFS storage promising higher performance, speed, and multitasking, you will edge out the competition when it comes to opening apps and games quicker than your opponent. 

Experience effortless entertainment from the palm of your hand with the smooth operating system. The MIUI Game Booster allows you to track CPU and GPU usage in real time, while the voice changer brings a little spice to your gaming experience. What’s more is you can cast your screen onto an external monitor, making sure your friends can join in on the fun.

 

Distinguish yourself from the others with a unique design

 

At less than 200g, POCO M3 delivers a stylish design that won’t weigh you down. The device comes in Cool Blue, POCO Yellow, and Power Black, and in a material that ensures you won’t lose your grip. The redesigned side-mounted fingerprint scanner is easily accessible allowing you to unlock your phone in a jiffy, and includes a smaller groove and rounded corners to minimize sharp edges. POCO M3 also offers 20% more battery life with its 6,000 mAh battery weighing less than competitors.


Pricing and Availability

 

POCO M3 will be available in The Philippines in two variants – 4GB+64GB and 4GB+128GB, in Cool Blue, POCO Yellow and Power Black. From November 27, both variants will be available for purchase online exclusively on Xiaomi Official Store Global on Lazada at a price of PHP 6,990 and PHP 7,990 respectively. 

As part of the first sale in The Philippines, a 48-hour deal for both variants will be available on November 27 and 28 at early bird prices of PHP 5,990 (4GB+64GB) and PHP 6,990 (4GB+128GB), a PHP 1,000 price drop from their recommended retail prices.

 

In addition, those who purchase POCO M3 on November 27 from 00:00 to 02:00 will receive a free gift, Mi In-Ear Headphones Basic Piston Earphone, while stocks last.

 

POCO M3 Quick Specs:

Battery & Charging

6,000mAh (typ) battery

18W fast charge

In-box 22.5W charger

USB-C

Reverse wired charging

(No reverse wired charging cable included in the box)

Display

6.53" FHD+ Dot Drop display

Contrast ratio: 1500:1

Brightness: 400 nits (typ)

Color temperature adjustment

Sunlight mode, standard mode, reading mode 2.0

TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification

L1 Widevine certified

Color

Cool Blue, POCO Yellow, Power Black

Dimensions & Weight

162.3mm x 77.3mm x 9.6mm, 198g

Processor

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 662

11nm energy-efficient manufacturing process

Qualcomm® Kryo™ 260, Octa-core CPU, up to 2.0GHz

Qualcomm® Adreno™ 610 GPU

3rd gen Qualcomm® AI Engine

Storage

LPDDR4X RAM + UFS 2.1/2.2 storage

4GB+64GB, 4GB+128GB

(UFS 2.2 is only available on 4GB+128GB variant)

Rear Camera

48MP+2MP+2MP AI triple rear camera

48MP main camera

      1/2" sensor size

1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, 0.8μm pixel size

f/1.79, 6P lens, AF

2MP macro camera

1.75μm pixel size, f/2.4, FF

2MP depth sensor

1.75μm pixel size, f/2.4

Night mode, Movie frame, Time-lapse, 120fps slow motion video

Front Camera

8MP front camera

1.12μm pixel size, f/2.05

Connection

Dual SIM slots + 1 microSD

Expandable storage up to 512GB

2.4GHz/5GHz WIFI

Bluetooth 5.0

IR Blaster

FM radio (with headphones)

Security

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor

AI Face Unlock

Audio

Dual speakers

Hi-Res Audio certified

3.5mm headphone jack

System

MIUI 12 for POCO, based on Android 10    

 

*Data from Canalys and internal sales team   

**All data regarding charging and battery are obtained from the lab. Results may vary based on individual conditions.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Give your family the added protection with Rani-C

 


Limited edition Rani-C defense kit available now


Since January this year, the Department of Health (DOH) continuously appealed to the public to frequently wash hands, observe proper hygiene, hydrate, eat nutritious food, and wear protective gears like face masks and face shields as preventive part of measures against COVID-19.

 

With La Niña well on its way, creating erratic and extreme weather patterns, many Filipinos are now even more susceptible to various infections that may weaken one’s immune system. And as the threat of the coronavirus continues to loom, any form of additional protection has never been as crucial.

 

This is usually in the form of vitamin supplements, especially Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can decrease inflammation, boost one’s immune system, and promote wound healing. While Vitamin C can easily be found in many fruits including oranges, melons, and vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli, some people might not be getting the recommended dosage of the vitamin.

 

In comes Sodium Ascorbate Rani-C, a non-acidic Vitamin C supplement specifically manufactured to provide Filipinos the added daily dosage they need at an affordable price and without the discomfort many get when they take the acidic counterparts available in the market. 

 

At only ₱4.00 per capsule, Rani-C is one of the most affordable supplements available in the market. This ensures that Filipinos can safeguard their and their family’s immune health without hurting their wallets, especially during the pandemic.

 

To further assist Filipinos’ from the threats of the virus and other infections, Rani-C is offering a limited edition Rani-C Defense kit.

 

Available until supplies last, you may now get the Rani-C Defense Kit, which includes one Rani-C box with 100 capsules and a free 500ml Sure-Guard 75% Ethyl Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Gel for only ₱400.00.

 

Head out to any Watsons and Mercury Drug nationwide, or check out Watsons Online, and give your family the added protection they need with Rani-C.

 

To know more about Rani-C, follow https://www.facebook.com/watch/RaniC.SodiumAscorbate/ on Facebook.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

SM Supermalls Virtual Magical Christmas Centerpiece Launch

 


Christmas is almost here! Not even the pandemic can take away the beloved tradition of Filipino families to celebrate this joyous season at SM. Let the wonderful, magical and truly merry Christmas at SM drive away the blues! Sama sama tayo sa Pasko sa SM!


All throughout November and December, come and be dazzled by these exciting Holiday surprises that await you at SM:


Christmas Launches. On November 6, SM Supermalls treats everyone to a virtual, magical feast! Twelve different SM malls will light up their magnificent Christmas displays — from SM Mall of Asia and SM Megamall to SM Seaside City Cebu and SM CDO Downtown Premier! SM truly brings the magic of Christmas online through fireworks, orchestra, and whimsical characters! All the SM malls nationwide follow suit with their own magical Christmas light up on November 7 and 8. Mallgoers will be delighted with a special lighting ceremony for hope and inspiration amid the pandemic, as well as singing flash mobs, cute Christmas characters, and surprise gifts.


To watch the full program, click this link:
https://www.facebook.com/smsupermalls/videos/1677351422442215/


Christmas Chorale. What’s Christmas without some music? Feel the merriments of the season by watching Holiday choir performances at select SM malls this December. Meet up with your family and friends at SM and enjoy some Holiday tunes! It will surely be an awesome experience! No need to worry because strict safety protocols are in place at SM malls, so you can just focus on the magic of the celebration.


Christmas Markets. It’s the season of giving! Help MSMEs bounce back from the negative impact of the pandemic by buying your Holiday essentials and gifts at SM’s nationwide Christmas Markets from November 9 to January 3. As part of the Kasama Ng SM campaign and DTI’s Buy Local, Support Local, the Christmas Markets will feature unique local products and goods so shoppers can buy from small businesses and help them bounce forward and recover.


Selfie with Santa. Don't fret - SM has made sure you won't miss your annual selfie with Santa this year! You can pose with a virtual Santa Claus safely and via augmented reality at SM. Wanna give it a try? Simply scan the AR markers located in select areas in SM malls and have a photo with virtual Santa. Don’t forget to share your Holiday snaps online to your family and friends!


SM Bears of Joy. Starting November 4 until Christmas Day, SM Supermalls is giving back through its annual Bears of Joy campaign. This time around, shoppers can collect special medical frontliner Bears of Joy. Throughout the Christmas season, you can buy a pair of bears for P200.00 – one bear for you to keep and the other for charity.


TikTok Fam Contest. Have fun with your family and spread some Christmas joy by joining the TikTok Fam Contest. Simply showcase your dance moves to your favorite Christmas song in your favorite SM mall and you can get a chance to win exciting prizes!

For more information, visit www.smsupermalls.com or follow @smsupermalls on all social media platforms.



#SamaSamaTayoSaPaskoAtSM


Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween @ Home: Recreate the Chills and Thrills with Globe At Home


Watch it live on Globe At Home’s Facebook page on October 31, 10 AM

Any ideas on how you will celebrate Halloween, especially for the kids who got used to Trick or Treat? We really can't take the kids out just yet, but we set up some decors for Halloween and are going to push thru with trick or treat at home.


To make this year's Halloween more fun for the family, join Globe At Home’s Halloween @ Home, a virtual event thru Facebook Live on October 31. Catch everyone’s favorite celebrity family, the Arellanos with Drew, Iya, and their kids, as they take over Globe At Home’s Facebook page to share their fun Halloween traditions at home! The livestream program will start at 10 AM and will be open to the public. Save the date: glbe.co/GlobeHalloweenAtHome

 

At the same time, Globe At Home customers get exclusive access to the games, freebies, and chances to win raffle prizes on that day from 10 AM to 5 PM.

 

Take a selfie and make it wacky with frames and stickers at the Photo Fun Area. Mini-games and prizes also await you when you hover your mouse on the Mystery Manila, Ayala Malls, and GCash booths. Finally, attendees can check the latest offerings of Globe At Home by clicking on the information and product Booths. Visit glbe.co/GlobeHalloweenAtHome to know how you can be a part of this virtual celebration.

 

Enjoy new and upgraded experiences with your whole family with a fast and reliable internet connection with Globe At Home visit https://shop.globe.com.ph/broadband-plans.

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Bust a move and win P50,000 with the Solane Dance Challenge!


Bust out your dance moves and get a chance to win P50,000



Get your bodies moving, bust out your winning dance moves and get a chance to win P50,000 by joining the Solane Dance Challenge social media contest!

Participants may check out the Solane Dance Challenge, set to the new brand jingle, which is already uploaded on leading LPG provider Solane’s official Facebook page (https://web.facebook.com/solane.ph). 


How to join?

Joining is easy! Participants who want to join the contest must form a dance crew and produce their own dance video following the exact choreography of the Solane Dance Challenge which was created by the dance crew Live, Love, Party. Each group must consist of 2-5 members only aged 12 years old and above and could be made up of friends, officemates or family members, making it the perfect opportunity for bonding moments amid the pandemic!

All entries must be submitted before November 27, 2020 and uploaded on the Facebook account of the team’s representative with the caption, “Hi! We are (participants’ names or team name) from (participants’ city or town) and this is our #SolaneDanceChallengeOfficialEntry. Please like/love and share! Thank you! #SolaneDanceChallenge”

Aside from uploading the video on Facebook, the representative must also fill up the registration form via https://www.solandancechallenge.com and upload it on the said website to qualify. The video must be in MP4 format.

All entries will be judged based on the following criteria: 10% number of Facebook likes/reactions, 40% choreography (synchronization, skill, mastery), 30% creativity, and 20% overall impact for a total of 100%.

The team in the first place will take home Php50,000 plus one (1) year free supply of 11kg of high-quality and safe Solane LPG and Solane freebies. The dance crew in second place will win Php30,000 plus six (6) months free supply of 11kg Solang LPG and Solane freebies, while the team in third place will take home Php10,000 plus six (6) months free supply of 11kg Solang LPG and Solane freebies. Other dance crews will also receive consolation prizes of Php 2,000 and Solane freebies per team.

Participants who wish to join purely for fun are free to post the dance challenge on any of these social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok using the hashtag, #SolaneDanceChallenge.

Don’t miss out on this chance to have fun with family and friends and show off your dance moves and creativity with the Solane Dance Challenge. To know more, visit https://www.solanedancechallenge.com/ or Solane’s official Facebook page https://web.facebook.com/solane.ph.

  

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gardenia Philippines Laging Kasama Virtual concert


“Break Bread, Make Music Together”


Gardenia Philippines taps into the community spirit once again with the “Laging Kasama” free virtual concert.

The idea of Bayanihan is something that is deeply embedded in our culture. Regardless of how little or how much we have, it is wired in our DNA to always help, share, and support others, especially during times of crisis.

This selflessness is what Gardenia Philippines successfully captured on its “Laging Kasama” concert, a free virtual concert that was held to celebrate Happy Bread Day. The event, which happened on October 24, 2020 via Facebook Live, gathered some of the best musical acts in the country who entertained everyone with their catchy tunes.

The musical gathering invited renowned and rising stage performers like Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles (Rak of Aegis, Jowable, and Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap), Gloc 9, Ebe Dancel, and Keiko Necesario. In addition to the good music, the free event also raffled off free Gardenia bread packs to lucky winners.

The campaign is the household brand’s latest effort to share happiness with everyone. The leading provider of fresh and quality bread to Filipinos, Gardenia’s mission has always been unshakeable in the two decades of its operation: to be every family’s partner when it comes to sharing moments of joy—a goal that it has always fulfilled from the quality of its bread to the wide variety of products that it offers.

The brand has also been active in helping out in its own way for the past couple of months. It has continuously provided supplies of fresh and quality bread to Filipino homes even with the hurdles of the times, for one. Moreover, it has also provided bread to those who are in need—an initiative that it has been consistently doing even before the start of the community quarantine.

Gardenia has always been very proactive in its social campaigns even before the crisis hit the country. In the many years of its operation in the industry, the bread manufacturer has participated in numerous lifestyle-enhancing health and nutrition counseling programs, too. It has also consistently kept true to being a table staple with its effective entertaining campaigns for different consumers that includes home tips, recipe videos, and many others.

The “Laging Kasama” event is a timely addition to this slew of efforts. Much like how Gardenia’s bread is always there to be shared by families anytime, music can also connect everyone regardless of the distance. It can almost be perfectly likened to the expression of “breaking bread together,” which is to share what you can with those you want to connect with the most.

True enough, Gardenia has always been there to help make family moments complete. It is more than just a tabletop regular; it is a brand with a true Filipino heart.

Watch the #GardeniaLagingKasama free virtual concert here

Visit Gardenia’s official FB page https://www.facebook.com/gardeniaph to keep up with its updates!


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Landers helps the community bounce back with Member Support Program

 




Landers Superstore, the country’s fastest growing membership shopping store continues to give back to local communities. From the partnerships with the Philippine Army, local hospitals, and local governments in distributing donations and food to those in need, and now in supporting small local businesses to bring livelihood and jobs back to our communities. Landers Superstore understands that in order for businesses which started in their homes, selling homemade food products, clothes, and other goods to sustain its growth they need new platforms to showcase the many great products that has shown its resilience during this time of the pandemic.

 

To help and support these small business owners, Landers Superstore has launched Landers Member Support Program, a livelihood program designed to support small entrepreneurs – from moms who have established a home-based business to online sellers and small business owners, among  others – by allowing them to sell and showcase their products in Landers branches in Balintawak QC, Daang Hari Alabang, Otis Manila, Arcovia Pasig, and in Cebu.

 

The Landers Member Support Program is part of its Share the Hope campaign which was launched during the pandemic to bring back hope, joy, and comfort to those who have been affected by the pandemic. Through the program,  Landers members who run small businesses will be provided with the support and retail space to help them overcome the challenges they face. In the same way, the program also entices existing Landers members to support fellow members in their small businesses.

To join, members can apply at http://bit.ly/landersmsp where they will need to fill out a form with necessary information and upload photos of their products. Applicants will be required to present their company profile and other relevant business documents. Members can also apply in-store by simply going to the Landers Member Support Program booth where they will have to scan a QR code that will lead them to the application site. Once requirements are met, qualified members will then be given the opportunity and the support they need to sell their products at Landers for one month at no cost. 

 

For more information, visit www.landers.ph or follow @LandersPH on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Bouncing back with Cash Agad


Both entrepreneurs and workers in MSMEs are the hardest-hit by the economic disruption resulting from the pandemic. There are nearly 1 million MSMEs in the country and data from the Department of Trade and Industry indicated that more than 50% of this number or around 525,000 have closed their businesses. This has left millions of Filipinos unemployed.

On the macro level, the Asian Development Bank said the Philippine economy had bottomed out in May or June and that for the rest of the year, economic contraction is projected at 7.3% by end of 2020. Recovery is expected to happen by 2021 when the pandemic is hoped to be contained and the economy is expected to bounce back by 6.5%.

Cash Agad Partner Agent

Even with the prevailing economic slowdown, the country has been observing signs of gradual recovery especially in some of the MSMEs.

 
One of them is Krystal Bantic of Quirino province in the Cagayan Valley region. Krystal runs a grocery store in her town and she became a Cash Agad partner agent last year.

Cash Agad is a service provided by BDO to far-flung and unbanked communities where residents have little to no access to bank services. Many faraway places in the country do not have banks or ATMs where residents may conveniently get cash. This is due to several reasons.

It could be that communities are located in distant islands where motorized boats are the only means of transportation. Some towns and barrios are located in mountainous or hilly areas with rocky and uneven terrain. Others are separated by sheer hundreds of kilometers from urban areas and have no concrete roads nor highways. All of these factors and more prevent banks from building and maintaining physical branch offices in these faraway towns.

The Cash Agad service provides a simple, elegant, and practical solution to all that. By partnering with stores and shops already established in the community, BDO turns them into community-based ATM terminals. The shop owner receives a POS terminal for use in transacting locally-issued ATM cards, whether debit or prepaid and facilitates basic transactions like cash withdrawals and balance inquiries.

Best of all, Cash Agad accepts transactions using ATM cards from different local banks and non-bank financial institutions in the Philippines, not only those from BDO. It's really a service that benefits entire communities.

According to Krystal, she actually had few customers availing of Cash Agad in her grocery store in the year before the pandemic struck. This was because at that time, people were used to traveling all the way to Candon City in Ilocos Sur province, which is more than four hours away from Quirino, in order to go to banks and ATMs, enjoy fast food restaurants, and buy essential goods.

"People would make the trip to Candon even though it's quite far because it was a mix of both business and leisure for them. Also, goods are priced lower in Candon because over here in Quirino our shops are simply getting our goods from there as well," said Krystal.

The trip to Candon is quite far and the transport available are passenger vans. It takes more than four hours across 289 kilometers. The fare costs at least 200 pesos and even more if a person was also loading some baggage in the van for the trip. When going to Candon, residents of Quirino would have to allot an entire day and at least four hundred pesos for a two-way trip. They would spend more if they included food expenses.

From lockdown to opportunity

The pandemic caused subsequent lockdowns and quarantines which prevented people from leaving Quirino as they were used to. This meant that their usual access to cash (banks and ATMs) and goods in Candon was closed off. But fortunately, Krystal and her Cash Agad kiosk at her grocery store was available.

"Grabe po, noong nagka-lockdown dito sa amin. None of us could leave. The local government ordered all transportation to stop. No one was allowed to go out. People had nowhere else to go to get needed cash to spend for food and other basic needs. So more and more people come to my store not only to withdraw cash but also to buy essential goods," said Krystal.

 

Krystal Bantic, owner of Ivee’s Sari Sari Store and a Cash Agad partner agent in Quirino, Cagayan Valley facilitang a withdrawal transaction.


Krystal faced her own challenges as a Cash Agad partner agent. She was also covered by the travel ban so she could not easily replenish the cash reserves meant for Cash Agad withdrawals. She was able to solve this by either renting a private vehicle to go to the BDO branch in Candon to get cash or she would get the help of the local government to provide transportation to Candon. After all, Krystal had become a frontliner and essential worker since she was the only source of cash for the residents in her town.

Soon enough, practically everyone in the communities around Krystal's store became her customers. Teachers, government workers, policemen, and even farmers and construction workers all depend on her store and its Cash Agad service to get their salaries. Her store also became the official channel for the government cash assistance given to 4Ps beneficiaries. This was done with the help of the local government.

It's not just Krystal's store that benefits from Cash Agad. Other business owners in the area, from other sari-sari stores to eateries, to hardware shops, and even stalls for vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish at the wet market--all of them thanked her for being able to provide cash to the community. This is because the amount of local spending had become greater than ever. People were spending their cash on local businesses instead of those in faraway Candon City.

"Krystal's experience really shows how the Cash Agad service expands financial inclusion in far-flung, hard-to-reach areas in the country. The result is a boost to the local economy. Established businesses earn more. More businesses are set up. The engine of local economic activity is revved up and eventually, there's improved quality of life for the residents.

"If the country's economy is ever going to bounce back from the pandemic, it will take all of us--big businesses, MSMEs, and both urban and rural communities and their local governments--to help each other and do our part. There's a certain inspiration, a beautiful sort of hope when you see communities working together to rise up and recover from a crisis. BDO is doing its part in helping communities recover economically through the Cash Agad network," said Mr. Jim Nasol, Head of Agency Banking, BDO Unibank.

For more information about Cash Agad, go to www.bdo.com.ph/cash-agad or send an email to cashagad@bdo.com.ph  for inquiries. ###

Krystal Bantic, owner of Ivee’s Sari Sari Store and a Cash Agad partner agent in Quirino, Cagayan Valley facilitang a withdrawal transaction.