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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Enjoy Zero Sugar Drinks for a Healthier You

Drinking soda has always been a part of our daily lives. To say it directly --- I admit I can't live without softdrinks. It seems that there is something missing in a good meal if we don't have one. 

However, maintaining good health and shifting to a healthier lifestyle have always been key goals for many Filipinos including us. Val and I promised that aside from eating nutritious meals and getting more exercise, we'd also look for better dietary options that allow us to enjoy our favorite meals without compromising flavor.

This is why I am happy to learn that Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) has brought zero sugar beverages for customers to enjoy. These include Gatorade No Sugar, Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, 7Up Zero Sugar, and the new Pepsi Zero Sugar Lime. 

“PCPPI recognizes the need for healthier beverage options. Our zero sugar drinks help customers make more mindful choices, especially with the food and drinks they consume. By taking these small steps, we are optimistic that customers in the Philippines will be able to enjoy refreshing, delicious drinks without compromising their health,” said PCPPI Chief Commercial Officer Lyndon Cuadra.

For those with active lifestyle, Gatorade No Sugar is definitely the go-to beverage. Aside from being sugar-free, it also has zero calories. Bringing a bottle of Gatorade No Sugar a day may keep one properly hydrated especially in the humid Philippine weather.

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar brings out a familiar bold taste with a kick in every sip. It has the same exhilarating charge and bold spirit of adventure as the original Mountain Dew without the sugar. 

Giving the same natural lemon lime flavor loved across generations, 7Up Zero Sugar is the perfect drink to partner with meals. 

Quench your thirst with these refreshing and energizing zero sugar drinks, which are available in stores nationwide! 

Thank you, PCPPI in supporting the journey of Filipinos in achieving healthier versions of themselves. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Getting Secondhand Car Financing at M Lhuillier is easy as 1-2-3

Did you know that more than 85% of the households in the Philippines do not have their own cars? 

According to a 2022 survey published in, about 11% of the households or only 2 out 20 Filipinos own either a car, jeep, or van.  So yes, despite the traffic and the number of vehicles we see on the roads everyday, there is still a huge gap since only a number of Filipinos actually have their own cars. The cars that we see on the road are owned by the same households who are privileged to have multiple vehicles. 

Why? Is it difficult to buy a car in the Philippines?

Many Filipinos do not have their own cars for various reasons. However, it is said that it is no longer difficult to buy a car nowadays. In fact, the car industry has been very generous to provide a lot of promotions such as low downpayment and monthly fees in order to make it affordable and accessible for the average Filipino. 

Financial services have tremendously improved too. Aside from banks, there are also many financial institutions who now offer car loans, providing Filipinos more options in getting their dream car. 

For example, M Lhuillier, who is available not just in commercial areas but also in relatively low-key communities, and far-flung barangays provides opportunities for all Filipinos to get their dream car through their ML Quick Car Loan service. 

Can you tell me more ML Quick Car Loan?

ML Quick Car Loan service is the solution to your cash problems by providing a straightforward process in getting a car loan. It is known for its flexibility in loan terms and competitive interest rates.

This service can be used to: 

  • Buy a second-hand car

  • Refinance your existing vehicle/ use it as a collateral to get a loan  

Wow! That’s amazing. Can you tell me more about buying a second-hand car?  

More and more customers are opting to buy second-hand cars for different reasons. The most common one is practicality since second-hand cars are more affordable and cheaper given that the bulk of depreciation already occurred. Insurance rates are also lower compared to brand new units. 

This is something that M Lhuillier understands since not all banks offer second-hand car financing. Through ML Quick Car Loan, you can now apply for car financing for units with year/model 2013 and up. 

** Please note that the unit/ year should not exceed 10 years upon maturity of the loan.  

Who is qualified to get a loan? 

This is available for those who are locally employed, OFWs, pensioners and self-employed individuals with proof of income, or a pensioner with proof of pension payments. 

What are the financing terms?  

Client will pay the dealer 30% of the appraised value and the remaining 70% of the appraised value, M Lhuillier will pay to the dealer.

The maximum term is 3-4 years. Chattel fee and Comprehensive insurance are required. 

How do I apply for a ML Quick Car Loan? 

The application is as easy as 1-2-3. 

1.  Check if you are qualified for ML QCL Pre-owned Car Financing. 

2.  Pick a second-hand car from a legit dealer. Units from Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Ford, Suzuki, and Nissan are accepted. Once you have chosen a vehicle, Pay 30% of the cost as downpayment. 

3. Then, bring the OR/CR of the car and other ML Quick Car Loan requirements to any M Lhuillier branch to get financing help with the rest of the 70% payment or you can also apply online for a car loan!

Easy right? So, what are you waiting for? Here’s your chance to get your dream car today.  

For more details, visit 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 Your One-Stop Shop for Secure & Easy Online PSA Certificates in 2024

The first 2 months of the year is almost done! January was a bit dragging. Many felt it was so long and slow. February, on the other hand, was really fast and surprised many of us that now, it's about to end in just a few days. 

So, we're wondering... How are you with your goals for 2024? 

Whether you are planning to invest in real estate, travel with your family and you simply just want to get all your affairs in order. It is best to start working on it now. 

You can begin by making sure that you have all the documents available when you need it. 

In case you are not aware, CENOMAR or Cerificate of No Marriage is now required by some real estate companies if you are planning to buy a house and lot. 

Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificates (if applicable) if you are applying for a passport. 

Now, the best part is that you can now get these documents online through is a user-friendly online channel, simplifying the process of acquiring essential PSA certificates, including birth, marriage, death, and Certificate of No Marriage or CENOMAR. The website is easily accessible through desktops, tablets, or mobile phones, and offers a convenient and secure solution for Filipinos seeking a straightforward and efficient way to obtain vital civil registry documents wherever they are in the country.

Since 2000, has swiftly addressed the need for hassle-free ordering and delivery of PSA certificates. In an effort to provide better services, it has undergone remarkable enhancements, offering seamless and efficient features over the year.

1. Easy, Fast, and Secure Ordering Process

PSAHelpline provides an uncomplicated ordering process, allowing users to easily request copies of their PSA certificates, all from the comfort of their homes or offices, ensuring that individuals across the country can benefit from its streamlined and efficient services.

To order, follow these easy steps:

  • Log on to and fill out and submit the online order form. A reference number will be assigned to the application.
  • Pay for the order through any of the online payment channels available, or over the counter at payment center hubs.
  • Wait for the PSA certificate to be delivered.

2. Cost-Efficient Shipping for Multiple Copies

When it comes to ordering multiple copies of the same PSA certificate, PSAHelpline provides users with a friendly advantage that puts money back in their pockets. Implemented in January 2021, it is a cost-effective approach where the service ensures that the applicant only incurs a single shipping fee, no matter how many copies of the same PSA certificate is ordered to be delivered to one address.

3. Diverse Payment Options for Convenience and Safety

Recognizing the importance of convenience and safety in transactions, provides a variety of payment options. Whether online or over the counter, applicants can choose the method that best suits their preferences and needs, ensuring a secure and reliable payment process. Applicants may conveniently pay online immediately after submitting their orders.

Online payments are made available for the following: Visa or Mastercard credit cards
  • GCash
  • Maya
  • Bayad Online
Over the counter payments:
  • 7-Eleven
  • Bayad
  • Palawan Pawnshops
Other payment channels available:
  • BancNet ATMs
  • Dragonpay
4. Flexible Delivery Options, Including National Book Store Outlets caters to users’ needs with flexible delivery options. Users can choose to have their PSA certificates dropped off at select National Book Store outlets, providing a secure alternative for those unable to receive their documents personally.

Opting for this delivery method provides individuals with the freedom to collect their PSA certificate at a time that aligns with their schedules, offering a convenient alternative for those constantly on the move or with unpredictable work commitments.

The National Book Store pick-up option prioritizes security and privacy. The certificate will only be released to the certificate owner or an authorized requester, and this handover is contingent upon presenting a valid government-issued ID.

As of now, this delivery method is available for orders within Metro Manila and select National Book Store branches. PSAHelpline is actively working to expand this service to include more provincial branches, ensuring that the convenience of the National Book Store pick-up option becomes accessible to a broader audience across the country.

5. Convenient Order Tracking takes transparency seriously by allowing users to track the status of their orders easily. With a simple click on the “Check Status” button on the homepage and the input of the Order Reference Number, applicants can stay informed about the progress of their request, offering peace of mind and assurance.

6. Reliable Customer Support

Experience personalized assistance with through the dedicated customer support hotline, available Monday to Saturday, from 8AM to 5PM (excluding holidays). Users can speak directly with a live agent to personally follow up on their orders or clarify any questions about the services. Alternatively, users can reach out through email at, and the email support agents will promptly address their concerns.

PSAHelpline stands as a steadfast ally for those seeking convenient online access to PSA certificates. With over two decades of commitment, PSAHelpline not only ensures efficiency but also prioritizes the safety and security of the applicants’ personal information. Serving as a reliable and user-friendly platform, it remains dedicated to simplifying the process of obtaining vital documents, embodying a legacy of trust that has stood the test of time. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Book Feature: Mula sa Kilometer Zero (“From the Kilometer Zero”) + Exclusive Author Interview with Josue Mapagdalita

Have you wondered what makes a book a great read?  

Does it have something to do with the number of pages, or the complexity of the author's choice of words? 

Is it about the storyline, the plot, the twists and all the surprises in between? 

or is it about being relatable, one that brings back memories, something that makes us understand ourselves more? 

If answered the last one, then we just have the book for you! 

“Mula sa Kilometer Zero” (from the Kilometer Zero) is a collection of 38 Filipino flash fiction written by Josue Mapagdalita. All the fictional stories included in the collection are set in Metro Manila and are guaranteed to stir your emotions. It speaks the realities of an ordinary person - the same challenges, heartbreaks and truths that we also have where we can find both comfort, inspiration and a fresh prespective of life. 

These stories are written in Filipino/ Taglish which makes it very relatable. One thing we like about the book is that the author deliberately included the locality of the places mentioned so, by reading, you also get learn something about these stops (places) from Kilometer Zero. 

It was written by Josue Mapagdalita, a young author who holds a degree in political science and a cum laude from the University of the Philippines. He currently works as a product manager at one of the top fintech companies in the Philippines. Author Josue also once served as an innovation manager of a California-based treatment facility for substance use disorders (SUDs) and co-occurring mental disorders.

Today, we are grateful to have this opportunity to have this exclusive interview with him.

1. Can you share with us something about the book that isn't in the blurb?

The stories of “Mula sa Kilometer Zero” are stories of the ordinary people and are expected to hit close to home. All characters have no names and genders. All stories are set in Metro Manila and have the titles of streets within Metro Manila.

“Mula sa Kilometer Zero” relies on romance to allow readers to explore the human condition. It also tackles poverty, burnout, complicated grief, generational trauma, the complexity of relationships, memory, and nostalgia.

2. What inspired the idea for your latest book?

I am a very clumsy person. One day, I was taking photos of the surrounding areas of Luneta Park when I accidentally bumped the Kilometer Zero marker. (I even got a lump on my forehead!) That’s where the first story, “Roxas”, was conceptualized. I realized also that all streets are connected to the Kilometer Zero one way or another (like intestines), so I walked on the other streets, remarkable or not, to write the other 37 stories, with the last one written in 2023.

3. How long did it take you to write this book?

My life as a corporate slave led to creative slumps, so it took me 6 years to finish the book.

4. What part of the book was most challenging to write and why?

The most challenging part is the book’s overarching theme, ambiguity. In “Mula sa Kilometer Zero”, the characters have no names and even gender. At the start, I had difficulty writing the stories because of the difficulty to identify the characters. But just like in any experiment, I still found ways to make it work.

The experiment is a success as my readers so far can enter not only the scenes but the characters as well regardless of their gender and upbringing.

5. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

The book emphasizes that we have our own battles and stories but all of us are connected by an invisible thread. So, I hope that through the book, my readers will realize that whatever they are going through, they are not alone.

6. If you’re planning a sequel or write the next book, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

The book is intended to become a series. Currently, I am writing its two sequels, namely "Mula sa Kilometer Zero, Hanggang sa Dulo ng Mundo: Thailand" and "Mula sa Kilometer Zero, Hanggang sa Dulo ng Mundo: Japan". (I know the titles are too long but I'm still working on them!)

As the titles suggest, the settings of books two and three are Thailand and Japan respectively. I went to these countries to write the stories and to finish the entire books, I need to return to them.

7. Where can we buy your books?

Signed copies can be bought on TikTokShop, Shopee, and Lazada:

It is also available via 8letters Bookstore, Mt. Cloud Bookshop and now in Fully Booked (Boni High Street branch) too. 

8. Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

You can also follow me through in FB, through my personal account and the book's page, 


Thank you, Author Josue for agreeing to this interview. We are happy to know more about your book and we are excited for the upcoming sequel. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Read

Are you on a reading slump?

Do you lack the motivation to read your books?

Is your TBR list piling up? 

If you answered yes, then you are not alone. At one point or another, many readers go through this phase where it's just hard to get inspired to read. You have no interest or you lack the energy to do so. Sometimes you simply just feel lazy. However do not fret because we're sharing with you the 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Read

Set Clear Goals: Establish specific reading goals, whether it's a certain number of pages or books per week, exploring a particular genre, or learning about a specific topic. Having a clear target gives you something to work towards and can keep you motivated to pick up a book.

Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be high. Small goals count too! 

Create a Reading Routine: Incorporate reading into your daily or weekly schedule by setting aside dedicated time for it. Whether it's in the morning with your coffee, during your lunch break, or before bed, having a consistent reading routine helps make it a habit. 

Find Enjoyable Material: Choose books that genuinely interest you and align with your passions or curiosity. When you're excited about the content, you'll naturally feel more motivated to read and explore further.

It doesn't have to be popular or trending. So, do away with booktoks if it is really not your genre. There is no point of forcing yourself to read something that you do not even enjoy. 

Join a Reading Community: Participate in book clubs, online forums, or social media groups where you can discuss literature with others. Engaging with like-minded readers can provide encouragement, recommendations, and accountability, making the reading experience more enjoyable and motivating.

Feel free to join Book Philippines if you are looking for a book community. You are also welcome to suggest activities that you wish to find in the group. 

Reward Yourself: Establish a reward system to celebrate your reading milestones. Treat yourself to something you enjoy after completing a book or reaching a specific reading goal. These rewards can serve as incentives to stay motivated and continue making progress with your reading habits.

Little rewards like a cup of coffee or chocolates is a good way to reward oneself. You can also buy a new book and continue growing your collection. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Philippine Ballet Threat Ablaze with Passion

The Philippine Ballet Theatre’s triumph over daunting obstacles and hardships is a celebration of the company; resolute spirit that continues the revolutionary fighting spirit of its founders. Bold, Brave, and Beautiful, the company, and all the people behind it, continue to dream and fight, striving to see their dreams come to reality.

In 2023, the Company celebrated its dramatic emergence from the pandemic. With the revolutionary fighting spirit of the Company and the solid vision of Artistic Director Ronilo Jaynario, the company proved that they have stayed at the forefront of the industry. They closed the season with a warmly embraced full Filipino ballet “Ibalon”, an electric tour in the United States of America and their crowd favorite, “The Nutcracker”. This 2024, their journey continues as they prepare to take flight.

The Philippine Ballet Theatre proudly announces its vibrant 38th season. This season, PBT embraces the theme “Ablaze”. They begin the season with another brand new Filipino ballet “Sarimanok”. This ballet is ready to soar unveiling the beautiful tapestry of our culture.

“Sarimanok” is a dance of culture and myth. “Sarimanok” is a bird in Filipino Mindanao mythology. The magical bird with its majestic colors is the center of a love story between a mortal and a moon goddess.

This mythical creature, renowned for its vibrant feathers and captivating presence, takes center stage in a ballet that transcends the boundaries of time and culture. The ballet will be choreographed by the same creative team of “Ibalon”. Artistic Director Ronilo Jaynario will be choreographing the ballet with the music of Paulo Zarate. It is slated to premiere in early July.

“Music in Motion”, PBT’s second offering will be a mixed bill program of neoclassical works by artistic director Ronilo Jaynario with the music of maestro Raul Sunico. It will be a blend of familiar Filipino music brought to life through Philippine Ballet Theatre’s exquisite dancing. A flurry of emotions and diverse movement all packed in one show. In a dinner and dance format, this season offering is set to be performed sometime in September.

PBT will end their season with their crowd pleaser. “Nutcracker” is a tradition that is hard to resist. It not only serves as a ballet that ushers in the holiday spirit, it also serves as PBT’s advocacy project. With a cast of 100 dancers, it is able to educate young dancers from different schools regarding the remarkable discipline of ballet.

With a renewed passion for their advocacy, PBT will try to keep their fire burning for their advocacies. As of date they are scheduled to go on a local tour including Legaspi, Bicol, and Bacolod. The number of tour dates are increasing in number as we speak. The Company is also scheduled to go on an international tour this coming October to select cities in the United States of America.

Much has been accomplished but more is to be achieved. PBT is excited to engage with a wider range of audiences this 2024. A RESIDENT COMPANY OF THE CULTURAL CENTER OFTHE PHILIPPINES

CONTACT : (02) 632 8848 | (0912) 945 5151 | (0949) 325 2545 | (0995) 158 0538 |

Monday, February 12, 2024

Call for Nominations: 8th National Children's Book Awards

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) are proud to announce the return of the National Children's Book Awards (NCBA). 

This prestigious award is held every two years where the NCBA celebrates the finest achievements in Philippine children's and young adult literature. The award recognizes works of fiction, nonfiction, picture books, graphic novels, and comic books expressly labeled for children. 

If you have a book that you wish to nominate, then you can simply please fill out the form here:

Here are some reminders before you submit that nomination: 
  1. Only books published in the Philippines by an NBDB-registered publisher within 2022 and 2023 are eligible for nomination
  2. It must be written in English or Filipino. 
  3. The deadline for submission is on February 28, 2024, at 2:00 PM.

The full submission guidelines can be accessed at

For more details: please contact Addie Pobre or Catherine Orda at