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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums is a worthy goal in and of itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent tooth decay, gum dsiease and bad breath, —and can help you keep your teeth as you get older. 

Did you know that plastic toothbrushes represent 1% of the wastes in our oceans. We're used to change them every 3-4 months, so every year we throw away more than 4.5 billion plastic toothbrushes.

The Homemaker Store created the 𝙋𝘼𝙏𝙍𝙊𝙉𝙐𝙎, the Latin word for "protect" that aims not only to protect our oral health  but our environment as well. The bamboo toothbrush is BPA-free, has carbonized finished handle, an eco-friendly and biodegardable alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes. They believe that a simple act in sustanability can make a big impact. Each one of us has the capability to produce change in this world. In addition, THS commits to donate a part of their costumer's purchase to environmental groups like World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Haribon Foundation.

Homemaker store ph follow a healthy, eco-friendly and natural lifestyle, taking care of people, animals and the environment. 💛