Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas 2020: How we made it a little more special this year

Merry Christmas, Everyone! Time flies so fast! Without knowing it, Christmas Day has passed and the months of preparation and planning all paid off. If you have been following my blog, you would know how much I love Christmas and why it's my favorite time of my year (yes, I love Christmas more than my own birthday) 

Anyway, with the pandemic and all, we are to celebrate this year a little different. Different does not really mean it's a bad thing or something negative.  

To be honest, I found this year's celebration more meaningful and memorable, and here's how we did it.

1. Christmas Lighting Event -  The Christmas tree has been the centerpiece of the festive season as early as the 16th century where families brought trees into their homes and decorated them.  This is something that I also look forward to as a kid and adult. 

When the "BER-months" started this 2020. I read in one of the mommy groups that one member said she doesn't feel like putting up a Christmas tree this year because of all the problems that are happening and a response to her post struck me the most. "This is actually the best time to put up the Christmas decorations at home. Because of these challenges and problems, the more we need some holiday cheer."

And I agree with that. Thus, we decided to put up the best Christmas tree that we could have and since we miss Disneyland, it's just right to have a Disney-themed one. 

To make it more special, we had a Christmas tree lighting (home-edition) last December 8 where we celebrated it with food and music. 


2. Simbang Gabi - It is a Filipino tradition where one attends a nine-day series of masses in anticipation of Christmas. The mass is celebrated early in the morning and it is believed that if you complete all nine days of Simbang Gabi then your wish or special prayer will be granted.

In our case, we attended the 4:30 AM mass of The Manila Cathedral via live streaming. This is actually my first time to complete all nine days and this is one of the things I am truly grateful for in the new normal. In the new normal, we don't have to go to the office so, I don't really mind waking up so early or not getting enough sleep since we're just at home. 


3. Virtual Noche Buena - I grew up celebrating Christmas at my grandparent's house where my grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts are all present. It was such a big celebration and we look forward to my grandma's cooking. Gifts were overflowing that we ran out of table space. 

Unfortunately, when we grew up and started having families of our own, we no longer got together as we celebrated Christmas in our own homes. Some have moved to another city and are not home during the holidays. 

Thus, this year was a little special since we all got together again via Google Meet. My family from the different parts of the country and abroad were present during our virtual Noche Buena.  

We some special Christmas presentations and games while we waited for midnight.

As you can see, this year's Christmas may be different that we even have to skip some of our traditions. However, this doesn't mean that we can't make new ones. 

So whatever you are going through right now, we hope that you were able to have a Merry Christmas, and wishing you a brighter and better new year. 

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Time to Gas Up! 50% off on Petron fuels tomorrow, December 22

December 22 is a special day for Petron! 

This holiday season starting December 14, Petron is treating their Petron Value Cardholders through the 12 Days of Merry promo where they have the chance to win a one-year supply of fuel, scooters, laptops, motorcycles, and other gadgets. Each day, a new promotion and prize/ reward is up for grabs. 

However, Day 9 (December 22) is quite special since Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang is extending the special promo even to non-PVC cardholders. Customers can enjoy 50% off on all Petron fuels when they gas up on December 22, 2020, between 11AM to 1PM, at over 1,100 participating Petron stations nationwide!


** Please note that this does not apply to P.O., Bulk, or Fleet accounts. 

What a perfect Christmas gift for all! So, be sure to gas up tomorrow as this may be the last fuel sale of the year. 


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Sun Life Concludes 125th Anniversary with an Online Christmas Concert

Christmas this year may be different but the celebration continues because the true essence of the season is the birth of Jesus Christ. We celebrate it by honoring the people that we love and value. We celebrate it with utmost gratitude to God who is the giver of everything that we have. We also say thank you to everyone who loves and supports us. 

No wonder Sun Life Philippines chose the theme, HIMIG NG PASASALAMAT as they concluded its 125th anniversary. They brought together two of the most talented musical groups in the country, Ben&Ben and The Company, in a virtual OPM Christmas concert especially for clients, advisors, and employees. 




The event was held on December 18, 2020, at 8pm hosted by Sam Oh. Sun Life’s brand ambassadors Piolo Pascual, Matteo Guidicelli, Enchong Dee, Inigo Pascual, and Charo Santos-Concio also made an appearance. 






The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir also performed a special number. 


The event is exclusive for Sun Life clients who registered for the concert where they have access to a virtual venue that will simulate a live setting, making the experience more interactive. Raffles prizes such as Sun Life Prosperity Card, loaded with P5,000 credits which can be invested in any of the Sun Life Prosperity Mutual Funds, an overnight stay for two in a Seda Hotel of choice, gift certificates, and P50,000 worth of investment credits were also given away. 

Now, here's the best part? 

A replay of the concert will be shown to the public on December 28, 2020 via Sun Life’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SunLifePH. So, in case you are not able to attend and register or if you are not yet a Sunlife client, you can watch this beautiful concert. 

According to Sun Life Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer Gilbert Simpao,  “For us at Sun Life, this is an opportunity to thank our clients, advisors, employees, and partners for their continued trust and support throughout our 125 years in the Philippines. More than that, this is also a chance for us to pay tribute to those at the frontlines in our battle against the pandemic and various calamities. We look forward to bringing some yuletide cheer into everyone’s homes. The year may have been a challenging one, but there is still reason for us to be thankful and celebrate Christmas.”

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Looking for a bank that fits the Japanese standards?

When Japanese entrepreneur Mr. Hayato Yazaki came to the Philippines to set up his business, he looked for a bank that fits the Japanese standards for a good partner. Mr. Yazaki runs Izumi Global, an education company that provides after-school learning using the Nippon Math method for children ages 3-11 years old. It also provides licensing and has more than 10 branches. 


Mr. Yazaki asked from among the Japanese community in Makati about the local banks, so he could choose one that fits his needs. After picking out one Philippine bank, he started his relationship with it by opening a personal bank account. This was so he could experience for himself whether or not the bank lives up to its reputation. 

Trust and reliability, he said, are very important. These values are part of the Japanese mindset and are considered crucial when engaging in a long-term commitment. Mr. Yazaki, however, added he goes beyond these considerations, as he also looks into speed, overall performance, even the personality and attitude of the people he deals with. 

The bank he chose was BDO. Mr. Yazaki said that he appreciates BDO customer service in the Philippines. “Ms. Lyn Lazona and Ms. Hiromi Shimoda of the Japan Help Desk are always a message away. If we have questions or asked for a meeting, they are always quick and willing to oblige. I think being under the Japan Help Desk really made the service speedy and convenient for us since they know Japanese expectations and requirements.” 

A reliable partner during the lockdown 

When the pandemic struck and the quarantines and lockdowns were imposed, Izumi Global faced a lot of challenges. They had to quickly convert to online classes as children are not allowed to go out. The company also had to consider their licensees/franchisees, whose income also depends on their support. 

To answer the needs of both their students and franchisees, Izumi Global had to secure a shipment of educational materials. Mr. Yazaki didn’t think this was still possible due to the constraints brought about by lockdown but to his surprise, BDO’s Ms. Lyn went out of her way to help him secure the shipment. “We were expecting that the documents would be delivered through courier. Instead, Ms. Lyn went through that extra effort that meant a lot to us. If no one assisted us with the requirements, the shipment will be abandoned and we cannot get our study materials. We almost had to cancel the online program for the students.” 

According to Mr. Yazaki, his bank made sure that even during the lockdown, their transactions proceeded at a nearly normal pace. While some transactions were a bit slower, they made up for it with convenience by shifting the processes online. For him, the confidence he places on BDO and their relationship is well-deserved and meets his exacting ideals as a Japanese client. 

For more information on how BDO can help your business in good times and bad times, visit www.bdo.com.ph/keepbusinessmoving.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Crisis or not: Cash Management Services help business thrive during pandemic

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) serve as the lifeblood of the economy. Thus, support for these enterprises is essential to keep the economy going.

One of these businesses is that of Alex Ong, who operates Transorient Container Terminal Services (TCTS), a customs bonded warehouse, and trucking service. Essentially, TCTS acts as an extension of port storage services outside of the ports themselves.

Mr. Alex Ong, who owns Transorient Container Terminal Services (TCTS), said BDO’s cash management services allowed his company to continue its operations despite quarantines. 

Knowing how valuable it is to ensure smooth and speedy operations, Alex applied for BDO Unibank’s Cash Management Services’ (CMS) suite of offerings, including SME Business Online Banking.  This helped TCTS run smoothly and continue operations despite the disruptions caused by movement restrictions and social distancing regulations, resulting from the pandemic.


Essential business partners


Ong points out that during a crisis, like what happened when the pandemic hit and the government was forced to declare an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), it is vital for essential businesses to work together.   In the case of TCTS, the help it got from BDO allowed the company to continue its operations.

Ong said that he was very concerned about their messengers who still had to go to banks and other premises to collect or deliver checks so he instructed his staff to shift to online transactions.

Employees of TCTS observe healthy and safety protocols to ease the spread of COVID-19. 

His next dilemma was how to continue operating as close to normal as possible. According to Ong, BDO’s cash management services allowed him to resolve both the issue of safety and business continuity, as his company was able to make payments to shipping lines, port management companies, suppliers, and other billers using BDO's e-payment facility.


TCTS warehouse in Sta. Ana, Manila

"ICTSI made it mandatory for clients to pay online. So it's good that we already have the SME Business Online Banking facility of BDO," Ong explained. Soon, he hopes to activate the online collection facility so that TCTS would be able to collect payments online as well, from their consignees.


Relying on CMS

Cash Management Services involves managing the flow of funds in an organization or business. Every business has collection and payment needs which if not managed may cause funds to be misplaced, lost, or untracked.

A CMS provider becomes a key partner in terms of assistance in the management, tracking, and reporting of funds so he can focus on running the business.

In the case of Alex Ong, it was easier for them to adapt to BDO’s cash management services because they were already transacting online with the port management companies. TCTS is a good example of how openness to change, new technologies, and new processes can benefit a business.  It also shows that having the right bank partner helped them thrive during a crisis. 


For more information on BDO’s Cash Management System, call (632) 88407500; email cms-sme@bdo.com.ph; or visit www.bdo.com.ph

Thursday, December 17, 2020

FEATURED STORY: Pampanga's Best owner on how to balance life and work during these challenging times

The new normal posed even more challenges to people we rely on: parents and bosses. Denise Alelis, third-generation owner of Pampanga’s Best can relate.


Helping mommies balance life and work during challenging times

Denise Alelis helps run a family business that’s a half-century old: Pampanga’s Best, arguably the most recognized brand when it comes to tocino (salty-sweet cured meat), a favorite Filipino dish. While running and sustaining a business has become quite difficult during the pandemic with all the community quarantines, times are especially challenging for mom-entrepreneurs like Denise.

According to her, months of living in the so-called new normal have been stressful because of multiple challenges and concerns that she has to face daily.

Her greatest challenge during the pandemic is the community quarantine. For 53 years, their business depended on transacting with various dealers in cities and provinces all over the Philippines and nearly all of these transactions were done face-to-face, with payments made in cash.  Their customers would also go to supermarkets to buy their favorite tocino. 

The lockdowns and quarantines, however, made it very difficult for their sales agents to travel to dealers. Even customers were unable to go to the supermarket to buy Pampanga’s Best products. Dealers had difficulty making payments in cash because of travel restrictions.

The obvious solution was to shift as many transactions as possible to online but it was not that easy. “There were dealers who did not welcome this shift right away, like our dealers in the palengke.  They were saying that they didn’t have any mobile banking or that they didn’t know how to use it. We were able to solve that by giving them training. There was a learning curve that we had to hurdle.”

Online selling meant that payments would have to be made online as well.  This meant shifting more of these transactions to mobile banking.

“We had an incident during the start of the ECQ where one of our sales agents was unable to trace a cash payment made by one of our dealers. Hindi namin mahanap yung deposit slip ng payment. So, after that we decided to shift all payments online through mobile banking because they can be monitored and tracked more easily,” she said.

Shifting transactions online began as a response to pandemic restrictions but it turned into an opportunity, eventually.

“It was actually during ECQ that we posted our highest sales. By going through these online channels and transactions, we were able to sell more products,” she said.

According to Denise, she and her team have become more dependent on the mobile banking services by BDO.  For their employees, they now get their salaries through cash debit cards.

“Before the pandemic, I had to go to the office to release our employees’ salaries. Now everything is released through their cash debit cards. Going cashless limits face-to-face contact so that helps prevent transmission of disease: we’re not holding on to cash that could be contaminated and we’re preventing close-in physical contact as well.”

Denise has been with her branch for years. She opened her first savings account when she worked at her first job (before she joined the family business). She appreciates how her bank is helping her cope with the challenges of the pandemic because it spares her from a lot of stress and anxiety. 

“Even though we’re in the middle of a public health crisis, my bank has always been there for me; very reliable and dependable during these challenging times,” she said.

BDO continues to provide products and services that help mompreneurs like Denise get the relief, ease, and convenience they deserve so that they more easily attain work-life balance. For more information on how BDO can help keep your business running in good or bad times, visit www.bdo.com.ph/keepbusinessmoving

You may check the different BDO products and services that have helped mompreneurs like Denise.

BDO Cash Card – https://www.bdo.com.ph/accounts/cash-card BDO Credit Cards – https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/credit-cards BDO SME Loan – https://www.bdo.com.ph/loans/sme-loan BDO Digital Banking - https://www.bdo.com.ph/mobile/personal/ebanking BDO Savings or Checking Accounts - https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts Cash Management Services - https://www.bdo.com.ph/business/cash-management-services

Do you have your own story to share on how you were able to find ways in these challenging times? Click here to share your own story. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Redeem a Noche Buena Gift Pack for only 50 Globe Rewards Points on December 11

Do you have available Globe rewards points? If yes then you might want to check out this special deal that Globe Rewards is offering today, December 11. 


For only 50 Rewards points, you can redeem a Noche Buena gift box one for you and one to share. The other box will be sent to a displaced family in Albay affected by the recent typhoon through the Ayala Foundation. 

All you need to do is download the Globe Rewards App to redeem. Then, expect to receive a voucher that you can use to redeem your Christmas Gift Box within 3 days. According to the terms and conditions, it includes a free delivery voucher as well.

Comment below if you were able to redeem one. 

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

We can now do bank transactions on a weekend as BDO Mall-based branches open on Saturdays

Given that not all bank transactions can be done online, banking on weekends has been very important for us since this is the only time we can actually visit our branch. This also a common predicament of those who have an 8-5 job Mondays to Fridays since most banks are all already closed by the time they get off from work. 

I remember that there were some instances where I had to skip lunch just to go to my old bank. Thus, we are happy to share that the mall-based branches of BDO are now open on Saturdays. 

This is in line with the bank's move to open all branches nationwide to aid in the gradual economic recovery. BDO Unibank Inc. has re-opened its mall-based branches for Saturday banking until 4:00pm, since December 5. 

In the photo is the BDO branch inside SM Mall of Asia A. 


About BDO Unibank, Inc.

BDO is a full-service universal bank, which provides a wide range of corporate and retail banking services.  These services include traditional loan and deposit products, as well as treasury, trust banking, investment banking, private banking, rural banking, cash management, leasing and finance, remittance, insurance, retail cash cards and credit card services.  

BDO has the country’s largest distribution network, with over 1,400 consolidated operating branches and more than 4,400 ATMs nationwide.  It also has full-service branches in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as 15 overseas remittance and representative offices in Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

BDO ranked as the largest bank in terms of total assets, loans, deposits, and trust funds under management based on published statements of condition as of March 31, 2020. For more information, please visit www.bdo.com.ph

Gift Your Loved Ones this Holiday Season with UNIQLO’s 12.12 Special Offers

Can't help but excited after learning that our favorite brand, UNIQLO is geared up to treat shoppers with 12.12 special offers, providing a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts for the whole family. Shoppers can find the best present for themselves or for their loved ones LifeWear items, designed to fit anyone's everyday clothing needs.

Shoppers can enjoy the following deals online or in all stores nationwide. So, if you are just like me who's still doesn't want to go out to shop, shopping online is your best option as it is very convenient and easy. We were able to order twice already and had no problems at all. 

So, without further ado, here are some special 12.12 deals you shouldn't miss: 

  • Women’s Wireless Bra - The Women’s Wireless Bra lineup features a molding cup design that contours and fits any shape and size of a woman’s body comfortably. The padding provides support and lays flat to the body creating a beautiful bust line. It is also constructed seamlessly making the bra invisible under the clothes. 



Offer: Php 990 from Php 1,290, exclusively available at UNIQLO Online Store from December 11 to 13.
  • Kid’s and Girl’s Easy Shorts - Made with 100% cotton material, the Kid’s and Girl’s Easy Shorts give a cool and sleek feel. It also has an elastic waistband to make it comfortable and easy to move around when doing daily activities. 

 

Offer: Php 390 from Php 590, exclusively available at UNIQLO Online Store from December 11 to 13.
  • Women’s Joy of Printed (JOP) Lounge Set - The Women’s Printed Lounge Set’s top is made out of breathable cotton material and its bottoms are made out of stretch jersey material. The geometric patterns make it wearable indoors and even outdoors. 


Offer: Php 790 from Php 990, exclusively available at UNIQLO Online Store from December 11 to 13.

  • Men’s DRY-EX Designed Polo Shirt - The Men’s DRY-EX Designed Polo Shirt is made with DRY EX fabric that dries sweat or moisture quickly. It also features anti-microbial and anti-odor technology for a cool and fresh feel.


Offer: Php 790 from Php 990, exclusively available at UNIQLO Online Store from December 11 to 13.

As an additional treat, shoppers can also get a free medium-sized Eco-Friendly Bag when they shop online from December 11-13, either by using the Click and Collection delivery option or by purchasing a minimum spend of P5,000 (single receipt). 


For more updates, please visit UNIQLO Philippines’ website at www.uniqlo.com/ph and the UNIQLO App. You may download the UNIQLO App via Google Play Store or Apple Store. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Existing BPI Kaya Savings Account will be automatically converted to a Regular Savings Account

Do you have a BPI savings account with no maintaining balance? 

If yes, then more likely that's a Kaya Savings Account, and here's an important update for you. 

Effective January 15, 2021,  all existing Kaya Savings Accounts will be converted to Regular Savings Accounts. This means that you now need to have a maintaining balance of Php 3,000 or else you get a Monthly Service Charge of Php 300 for Falling Below Required ADB.


On the bright side, this means that your savings account is eligible to earn interest if you maintain an ADB of at least Php 5,000 plus, you won't be charged Php 5 per transaction anymore. 

Please note that there will be no new card will be issued upon conversion. Your existing card remains valid and effective. 

You may read the full details here: https://www.bpi.com.ph/announcements/kaya-savings

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