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Friday, March 31, 2023

Earth Hour 2023 unites more than 60 NGOs, NGAs and LGUs to give the biggest hour for Earth

The celebration of Earth Hour 2023 in the Philippines was a success, with iconic landmarks, local governments, and businesses across the country participating in the switch-off.

Earth Hour is an annual event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) that encourages people to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet. This global movement aims to raise awareness about climate change and the need for urgent action to mitigate its impacts. The event also seeks to highlight the value of nature as climate’s secret ally and the halting of biodiversity loss as one of the organization’s critical advocacies

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) measured a total nationwide drop in electricity grid load of 62.68 megawatts (MW) during Earth Hour. Luzon saw the most significant drop with 33.28 MW, while Visayas and Mindanao saw load drops of 20.5 MW and 8.9 MW, respectively. To put this into perspective, a small household can consume around 150 to 250 kilowatts in a month, making the energy saved during Earth Hour equivalent to 250 to 418 small households not consuming electricity for a whole month.

“We see how much Filipinos care about the planet because of their consistent annual participation in Earth Hour. Each person’s contribution adds up to the bigger goal of reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels,” Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay said.

“Now that Filipinos have taken the first step of switching off their lights, it’s time to keep going by going beyond the hour. We need more people to support environmental efforts whether it is in reducing plastic waste, promoting renewable energy, and eating and living sustainably,” she added.

Atty. Ibay explained that switching off the lights for one hour is just a small act for one person, but when millions of people do it, it adds up to significant savings in terms of energy usage. She said that the switch-off is simply the first step to becoming more aware of our individual roles in protecting the environment.

This year’s Earth Hour was held on March 25 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle and was attended by an estimated 1,200 people, according to the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety. The event was marked by a series of activities, including a sustainability fair, a symbolic run for the Earth, and musical entertainment by local artists.

"It only takes 60 minutes to do good for our future, 60 minutes to take notice and commit to saving Mother Nature, to be united and take action because together nothing is impossible,” the President said in a video statement. "Let's switch off and give Mother Nature 60 minutes to breathe," he added.

In the previous year’s Earth Hour celebration, the total load drop measured was 65.32 MW for the entire country with the largest savings of 35.26 MW from Luzon, followed by 15.3 MW for Mindanao, and 14.76 MW for Visayas.

Since the first Earth Hour in 2007 in Australia, millions of people participate every year in Earth Hour from various sectors, groups, and parts of the world, making it an authentic movement of humanity for the environment. The Philippines joined the global movement in 2008. The yearly global switching off of lights is observed from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, where over 190 countries around the world joined in as part of this one-of-a-kind global grassroots movement for nature.

Earth Hour 2023 is co-presented by Quezon City Government, together with our Official Communications and PR Partner, COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises; media partners The Philippine Star, GMA, Radyo Veritas, and Globaltronics; promotional partners Creator and Influencer Council of the Philippines, Leo Burnett, and GCash; marketing partners Salad Stop, Coca-Cola, SSI Group, Inc., Epson Philippines, Sun Life Foundation, Booths & Partners, Ayala Malls, and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls; and community partners Save the Children, Oxfam Pilipinas, World Vision, United Nations Development Programme, International Organization for Migration, Association of Young Environmental Journalists, The Asia Foundation, De La Salle University and Philippine Scouts.

The following government offices support this event: the Department of Energy, Climate Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, League of Cities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, Department of Agriculture, Court of Appeals, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Parks Development Committee, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Governance, Laguna Lake Development Authority.

The success of the Earth Hour event in the Philippines serves as an inspiration to other countries in the region and around the world. It shows that by working together, we can make a difference in our planet's future.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Pans Up Home Cooks! You #GataLoveJolly’s Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk

Are you a big fan of gata-based dishes? If you’re someone who loves using the magic of coconut milk in your favorite recipes, then you’re probably familiar with how challenging it is to handle sometimes. Not because it is hard to cook with, but because of the preparation process when using it as an ingredient.

For example, if you are someone who prefers using freshly squeezed gata, then you might need to do the tedious task of squeezing your own coconut milk. If you’re lucky enough to get an already squeezed version from your suki at the market, however, then you usually need to use it as soon as possible to keep it from spoiling.

This can be a little challenging because it means that you always have to plan to cook your favorite gata dishes. But what if your loved ones want to have a taste of them stat and you don’t have time to run to the market anymore?

As a homemaker, cooking our family’s favorite dishes is one of the best ways that we show and express our love. There’s nothing more heartwarming than the thought of creating something that they can enjoy anytime when they want it. Jolly, the leading brand of packed fruits, vegetables and condiments, aims to answer common kitchen challenges by providing freshly packed ingredients straight to the pantries of homemakers without sacrificing quality. In the case of coconut-based dishes, the brand has two standouts that can finally give moms the chance to cook their family’s gata favorites anytime— Jolly Coconut Milk and Jolly Coconut Cream.

Both ingredients are made with 100 percent real coconuts and are packed with the creamy goodness of fresh gata that is as good and flavorful as the ones you get from the market. Coconut Cream or Kakang Gata has a thicker and richer consistency because it is made from pressing four parts shredded coconut in one part warm water while Coconut Milk (Gata) has a more liquid consistency (similar to cow’s milk) that is made from pressing one part shredded coconut in one part water.

Gata, regardless if it is in cream or milk form, is very versatile on its own. Whether you and your family are craving savory or sweet dishes, there is definitely a recipe where you can use this wonder ingredient. Coconut cream is perfect for savory dishes because its consistency provides a creamier and richer texture common in curries,. Use it for standout Pinoy favorites like Ginataang Isda, Chicken Curry, Ginataang Gulay, Bicol Express, and Laing. Check out our very own recipe for Bicol Express using Jolly Coconut Cream below.

Bicol Express

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 can Jolly Whole Mushrooms 400g, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 kilo pork belly, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 250mL Jolly Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-5 pieces siling labuyo, sliced

  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat then sauté garlic, onion, ginger, and Jolly Mushrooms.
  2. Add cubed pork belly and cook until the pork turns brown. Add shrimp paste.
  3. Add Jolly Coconut Cream and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add water if the sauce becomes too thick.
  4. Add chopped siling labuyo. Remove from heat and serve with hot steaming rice.
  5. Coconut milk, on the other hand, has a unique taste and texture that can give your desserts and beverages a distinct flavor. Crack open a can of it if you’re craving sweet goodies like Maja Blanca, Bibingka, Ginataang Bilo Bilo, Biko, and Ginataang Mais. Here’s our very own recipe for Maja Blanca using Jolly Coconut Milk.

Maja Blanca

  • 2 cans Jolly Coconut Milk 400ml
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh milk
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup latik
  • 1 can Jolly Whole Corn Kernels 425g, drained
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (for topping)
  1. Combine Jolly Coconut Milk, fresh milk, cornstarch, sugar, cheese and Jolly Whole Corn Kernels in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
  2. Place in a large saucepan and cook while stirring constantly over low heat until thick.
  3. Pour into small mold containers. Cool, then refrigerate until firm.
  4. Top with grated cheese or latik.
As a brand that has always been dedicated to providing high-quality ingredients to Filipino households, Jolly allows homemakers to show their care to their families through hearty, memorable dishes that they can cook anytime. Jolly Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk, in particular, are a true testament to this brand promise because they come in easy-open cans that can be easily stocked in our pantries for times when we want to cook our favorite gata dishes. Not only are they high-quality because they are made from one hundred percent real coconuts, they are also irresistibly creamy so you can expect to enjoy the same goodness from the ones you get from the market. You #GataLoveJolly for that, don’t you think?

Jolly products are available in leading supermarkets, groceries and public markets nationwide. You can also order Jolly Coconut Milk and Jolly Coconut Cream online on and Fly Ace Corporation’s stores on Lazada and Shopee. Need more recipe inspirations that can make you and your family scream #YanAngJollyLove? Follow Jolly’s official Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok accounts now for more ideas.

Eastern Communications and partners champion women empowerment in the digital age

Premier telecommunications company Eastern Communications continues to demonstrate its dedication to empowering women professionals and leaders in the digital age as it celebrates National Women's Month with the help of its partner associations.

With the strong message to #EvolveEveryday and advocating for fair treatment and equity in the workplace, Eastern Communications collaborates with the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), and the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP) to support women.

In time for the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023, these initiatives aim to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender equity and equality in the workplace.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Report 2021, the Philippines ranked 17th among 156 nations in closing gender inequality. Women and girls around the world also are not able to maximize their potential as economic, social, and sustainable development change agents remain untapped, said United Nations (UN). Through a line-up of events, the telco strives to create a better world and is committed to doing more to support and empower women.

Embracing Equity and a Gender-equal World

In collaboration with AICI, Eastern Communications promotes the narrative to #EmbraceEquity to cultivate an affirming, inclusive, and equitable standard of living for women. The forum involved Dr. Lewena Bayer, CEO of Civility Experts Inc., who shared how diverse workplaces have become more innovative and how it achieves a greater success when it comes to problem solving and collaboration.

The #EmbraceEquity event tackled the need to empower female professionals and celebrate how their achievements have evolved their respective industries and communities.

“My expert opinion is that while we recognize ‘gender’ as a hot topic and that there are inequities related to gender, we should encourage all people to promote equity - fairness, for all people. I believe it is damaging to focus on labels and categories of people such as categories of gender or age or race,” said Dr. Bayer.

Women Rising

Equality between women and men in the workplace has seen some promising developments, but according to Dr. Bayer, we are only one-third of the way to gender equity, and closing the gender gaps still requires collective effort.

To help address these gaps in different industries, Eastern Communications supports the ECCP as a partner in its event entitled "Women Rising: Bridging the Gender Gap and Promoting Inclusive Growth." The forum aims to help raise awareness and gather more support for women in business. It likewise seeks to promote gender equity and to create, accept, and adopt policies and norms that enable women, especially in the workplace.

Ensuring efforts to understand how women from the healthcare and information management sector can thrive, Eastern Communications also partners with HIMAP as it mounts the “International Women’s Month Celebration: Recognition of Empowered and Inspiring Women in the HIMS Industry” event. This initiative will highlight trailblazing women in healthcare and empower all women to create and lead the change in the health sector.

The battle for gender equality is far from over, but Eastern believes that through its initiatives and the efforts of fellow organizations and enterprises, women will be able to advance as agents of change.

To learn more about Eastern Communications’ events and initiatives, visit or follow @easterncommph on Facebook. 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

NEW HONOR X8a with 100MP Ultra-Clear Camera to arrive in PH on March 14

A new member of HONOR’s X Series line-up, the HONOR X8a is a new reliable all-round device available to consumers for a very affordable price that will be unveiled on March 14, 2023. Delivering eXtra upgrades in design, display and photography capabilities, this smartphone is set to meet users’ demand for style and quality.

“As promised to our HONOR fans, we will continuously give the smartest and most affordable solutions to our consumers’ needs. With the new HONOR X8a, users can take more breath-taking photos in high quality with its 100MP Ultra-Clear Camera and enjoy a premium edgeless display,” teased by HONOR Philippines Vice President for Marketing, Stephen Cheng.

Available in three elegant colors; Midnight Black, Titanium Silver, and Cyan Lake, the HONOR X8a will help any users stand out from the crowd. The HONOR X8a boasts a rear 100MP triple camera system, the highest megapixel counts ever on the X Series, to deliver an exceptional photography experience. Paired with the Super Resolution AI technology, the HONOR X8a also enables users to take stunning, high-definition photos with greater ease and convenience than ever before.

To create a stylish look and feel, the HONOR X8a features a flat-edge design with smooth rounded corners. The sharp, clean lines not only add a touch of attitude to the design, but also give the device a comfortable and secure grip, demonstrating a subtle balance between form and function.

HONOR X8a will be officially launched on March 14, 2023 and will be streamed live on Facebook: For more information and announcements, you may visit HONOR’s website or social media platforms: Facebook (, Instagram ( and TikTok: (

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

JobStreet Advocates for Fair Hiring to Eliminate Exploitative Recruitment Practices

Leading online job portal JobStreet intends to enhance its commitment to eradicating unfair hiring practices by cracking down on the exploitation of Filipino workers across the nation. Its parent company, SEEK, is focused on Fair Hiring with the intention to improve working lives by putting an end to exploitative recruitment and modern slavery. This initiative advances as modern slavery continues to rise significantly.

The Philippines faces its own unique risks, according to the 2022 Trafficking in Person Report: Philippines by the US Department of State. The report showed that the local government recorded 1,802 victims, in which traffickers exploited 535 in sex trafficking, 501 in forced labor, and 766 in unspecified exploitations.

Moreover, Filipino workers are disproportionately at risk of falling victim to exploitative recruitment practices due to the export of approximately a quarter of workers to work overseas. The hidden nature of domestic work set within private spheres of employers’ households and the informality of arrangements typically practiced enable the exploitation of vulnerable OFWs and in some cases, forced labor and trafficking.

According to Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), it is estimated that in 2023, 1.5 million Filipinos are expected to enter the labor force, which is more than double the 600,000 before the pandemic.

In response to the high volume of jobseekers, JobStreet has continued its ongoing endeavor to develop the platform to best meet the needs of those helping to be employed through well-suited career opportunities and valuable support including the vetting of safe recruitment. One of the first steps JobStreet has taken to implement safer practices was the hiring of Scott Stiles, Special Advisor of Fair Hiring in Asia.

As far as what Fair Hiring means to JobStreet, Stiles explains that “Recruitment is one of the high-risk activities that can lead to modern slavery, therefore the purpose of the Fair Hiring Program is to improve working lives by eliminating exploitative recruitment.”

For years, JobStreet has had teams focused on spotting concerning job advertisements thus making the company one of the most trusted employment marketplaces within most markets.

Led by Stiles, JobStreet along with parent company SEEK, enacts these processes top-down with the understanding that it needs to “walk the walk’ for itself, thus prompting the rolling out of companywide discussions for customer-facing staff in order to make sure that everyone at the company feels the importance of its purpose and it engaged in keeping the platforms safe.

Trusted by around 30,000 employers in the Philippines and more than 12 million candidates, the platform’s commitment is also demonstrated through its dedicated online security team which regularly surveys the site for evidence of suspicious job ads and advertisers so that they can be removed immediately. The platform’s Terms and Conditions act as a means to ensure that all job ads on the site are for legitimate job opportunities.

Furthermore, JobStreet continuously educates the workforce on spotting potential job scams and actively screens exploitative recruitment schemes.

As far as the role that JobStreet can play in advancing Fair Hiring, Stiles explains,“ most forced labor situations start with recruitment, whether it happens through a recruiter, family member, or on social media. Connecting people to safe jobs is the best way to eliminate situations of forced labor and modern slavery. JobStreet has teams dedicated to ensuring JobStreet is the most trusted platform for candidates and hirers.”

Stiles believes that the platform should serve both employers and candidates which is reflected in its approach to screening for potential partners. “Many companies claim a social purpose. But truly impactful companies align their social purpose with the core competencies of the business. The ones that are most successful can do this in such a way that benefits their clients, employees, and ultimately shareholders—making our marketplaces safe benefits candidates and hirers alike,” says Stiles.

JobStreet’s vision has always been to connect businesses with talent and improve lives through better careers. By leveraging world-class products to match talented job seekers with reputable employers across South East Asia, both parties can expect efficient and safe matching on the platform.

To find safer recruitment opportunities in 2023, visit