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Showing posts with label business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business. Show all posts

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Puerto Princesa: Cruising to be a Top MICE Enclave

The after-effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic which crippled the tourism industry can still be felt in the Philippines. However, Puerto Princesa, the “Heart of the Best Island in the World,” harnesses its vast potential not only as a destination of choice but also as a preferred center of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and events) to forge ahead and move forward.

Paradise in Profile

Puerto Princesa is the center of trade and commerce, education, communications, and public administration of Palawan. Its strategic location is within the growth corridor of the BIMP East ASEAN Growth Area.

Known for its UNESCO World Heritage site Underground River, it shares 50 percent of the tourist arrivals in Palawan and in the region, making it the biggest contributor to its economic growth. In 2020, Palawan logged a partial number of 157,051 tourist arrivals, 71,889 of which were visits to PPC.

A tropical paradise with a bustling urban center perfect for business-with-leisure trips, PP is blessed with lush rainforests and white-sand beaches hours away from the city proper, where a banking and commercial boom has made life easier for workaholics and busybodies.

Puerto Princesa is a relatively young settlement, having been established as a city only in 1970. The first settlers arrived on March 4, 1872; a date celebrated every year as the foundation day of the city.

As part of the Philippines’ last frontier, the city is rich in natural resources. It is the country’s largest city with a land area of 253,982 hectares. A chain of mountain ranges runs through the entire length of the city, dividing it into two distinct areas – the East Coast and the West Coast.

A significant portion of the city retains its indigenous vegetation, rainforest, mangroves, and coastal ecosystem, all of which support an amazing array of wildlife. In terms of species biodiversity and its wide range of ecosystems, Puerto Princesa is of national significance.

The famous and must-visit Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which was formerly known as Saint Paul’s Subterranean River National Park, covering a protected area of 22,202 hectares is a haven to endemic flora and fauna. UNESCO has inscribed the park as a World’s Heritage Site on December 4, 1999.

Calendar of Events

With a tropical climate and the warm welcome of its people, foreign and Filipino tourists can bask in Puerto Princesa’s embrace all-year round. In January is the Chinoy Festival, which celebrates the new year with ground firecrackers at the Chinatown Center, and with dragon dances and lion dances in major malls and hotels. Every February 14 is the Love Affair with Nature, which is marked by a mass wedding as well as letting citizens express their love for Mother Nature through participating in mangrove tree planting activities.

In March is the Balayong Festival, which commemorates the founding anniversary of Puerto Princesa highlighted by street dancing, float parade and planting of Palawan Cherry Blossoms. In April is the Pangalipay sa Baybay, a summer extravaganza at the baywalk. Activities kick off with parade and fireworks display, dance competition, cheerdancing and boat race.

In June is the “Pista y ang Cagueban,” a time when citizens celebrate the Feast of the Forest and plant thousands of different tree species.

September is Tourism Month, which is celebrated with great performances, exotic cuisines and a showcase of various talents and services in the local tourism industry. Every third Sunday of September is Coastal Cleanup Day, an international activity whose objective is to preserve and safeguard Mother Earth’s resources along the shorelines.

November is the Subaraw Festival, which is a fun-and-activity-filled celebration of Puerto Princesa’s very rich biodiversity. December celebrates Light a Tree, a merry event where a giant Christmas tree is lit up to start the Yuletide Season. This comes with Christmas carols, dances, and music.

Mighty MICE

The Department of Tourism sees the huge potential of Puerto Princesa, a city known for its remarkable attributes in MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), as a preferred location for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE).

In May, Regional Director Zeny Pallugna of DOT MIMAROPA in a discussion with City Tourism Department (CTD) chief Demetrio Alvior Jr. Said they are pushing for Puerto Princesa as a MICE destination, where tourists can be enticed to stay longer to enjoy the city’s attractions.

During the “Amos Ta Ren sa Puerto Princesa” radio show, Pallugna said that the city is well on its way into becoming a MICE location because of it is capable of hosting events such as Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa and an international dragon boat competition.

“Aside from that, maybe in the future we can conduct a 101 on MICE. We can do that, and then identify the different function facilities for the MICE market,” Pallugna said, as quoted by Palawan News, so the regional tourism office can start promoting the city at the end of the year, or next year.

Another goal for Palawan, Pallugna emphasized, is to train more community tour guides, and recalibrate their skills continuously, so they could help promote and showcase the “Filipino brand of service” globally.

“The second thing is—MIMAROPA is, whether they like it or not, we are the cruise capital of the Philippines. Imagine it, we have 139 cruise calls in the Philippines, 22 of them is in Puerto Princesa; 41 total within the MIMAROPA Region,” Pallugna pointed out.

The regional director of the DOT also mentioned that they plan to introduce the national program called “Philippine Experience” to the city, which includes the well-received Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo, which the local tourism body plans to replicate.

Alvior, meanwhile, said that Puerto Princesa’s main focus is on the MICE industry. As such, City Mayor Lucilo Bayron actively encourages investors and venture capitalists to build convention centers in strategic areas such as Quito and the environmental estate in Barangay Sta. Lucia.

“Actually, we were discussing tourism activities, and the mayor suggested that we should expand the Quito area. There is a focus on MICE, so we are working on establishing convention centers,” Alvior was quoted by Palawan News.

Cruise Capital

This November, Puerto Princesa City enjoyed a surge in tourist arrivals with the celebration of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival, which drew international participants, and the scheduled arrivals of more cruise ships as Christmas approaches.

During the opening ceremny of the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival, Mayor Lucilo Bayron said that the aim of the city to make the event international is once again gaining momentum after being adversely impacted by the pandemic. In recent years.

“We need to add more international events to attract more tourists from other countries. And this year, we have incorporated international events in the celebration – wild bird photography race, Ironman 70.3 challenge, and international dragon boat race. Our Miss Subaraw is already a national event with the winner coming from Angeles, Pampanga, and this year, we already have 10 foreign candidates,” Mayor Bayron said, as quoted by Palawan News.

Meanwhile, a luxury ocean liner called MS Silver Whisper dropped anchor in the city in early November, indicating greater opportunities for the local tourism industry to prosper.

Touted as a cruise ship for the rich and famous, the MS Silver Whisper brought 382 vacationers and a crew of around 300. Registered in Nassau, Bahamas, the 610-foot, 10-storey vessel is operated by Monaco-headquartered Silversea Cruises.

The MS Silver Whisper is the first of six cruise ships that will be visiting Puerto Princesa’s shores this November, the City Tourism Department excitedly announced.

CTD chief Demetrio Alvior, Jr. said that guests aboard the ship will tour several key attractions in Puerto Princesa, with the underground river in Barangay Cabayugan on top of the list. The ship will then sail off to their next port of call in Coron, also in Palawan.

The city anticipates heightened tourism and overall economic activity with upcoming cruise ship arrivals scheduled on November 4, 8, 16, 18 and 28, Alvior shared.

Five more massive vessels are scheduled to arrive in November and December will welcome the MV Norwegian Jewel and the MV Aida Bella. The MV Norwegian Jewel will bring in about 2,500 people; the MS Westerdam, 1,964 individuals; and the MS Star Breeze, around 327 passengers.

Alvior noted that unlike in the past when international tourists arrived mainly by airplane, the city’s expanded tourism program has paved the way for more visitors to arrive by sea.

The city official said that stakeholders in the tourism sector are being encouraged to provide exemplary service that will showcase the renowned Filipino hospitality to solidify Puerto Princesa’s place as a tourism center and give the local economy a much-needed boost.

Alvior also encouraged Puerto Princesa’s tourism frontliners to treat all visitors with the highest level of care and to exemplify the unique Filipino standard of service.

“The influx of tourists will keep us on our toes, but it's a bustling pace we look forward to," Alvior told Palawan News.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Citadines Bacolod City: Unlocking Potential in Panay Region’s Hospitality Sector

The Ascott Limited, a leading international hospitality company, will be redefining the industry once again with Citadines Bacolod City, the newest addition to its roster of properties. Located in the heart of Bacolod.  The premier-serviced residence, which marks Ascott's maiden entry into the city, is positioning itself as a game-changer in the local hospitality scene.

Bacolod City, known as the "City of Smiles" is a vibrant and progressive urban center located in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. It is the capital city of the province and serves as its economic, cultural, and administrative hub. The city’s rapid urbanization has had a significant impact on its tourism and hospitality sector, transforming it into a thriving destination that attracts both domestic and international travelers.

Gearing up for 2024, Citadine’s targeted venture is Bacolod’s well-celebrated Masskara festival, which attracts tourists from all over the world. A part of their preparation was the exclusive VIP Night last October 19, which welcomed special guests Mr. Jose Franco Soberano, COO of Cebu Landmasters, Mr. Mathias Bergundthal, Director of SLI Hotels and Resorts, and Mr. Alec Lsutre, President of Capitaine Inc. The event gave a peek into the fun and excitement Citadines has planned for the upcoming year, featuring Masskara performers all night long - drummers, dancers, and singers - giving Bacolod a taste of what’s to come. 

The VIP Night also explored “How Citadines will Change the Hospitality Landscape in Bacolod” with Ascott General Manager Philip Barnes, opening with an optimistic eye for the upcoming opening.

The Citadines brand is committed to providing a seamless blend of convenience, comfort, and connectivity to cater to the diverse needs of both business and leisure travelers. Each Citadines property exudes a distinct style and character, reflecting the local culture and community, while maintaining a consistent philosophy of “bringing you to the city, and the city to you”. 

Looking forward to its opening in 2024, A property viewing was also integrated to boast the array of world-class amenities designed to elevate the guest experience. Showcasing the infinity pool, which offers stunning views of Bacolod's skyline, and the fully equipped fitness center to cater to health and wellness enthusiasts. Citadines excites everyone with a teaser of their several restaurants. For those wanting to try out local cuisines and regional specialties, stop by Citadines’ Negrense, your one-stop destination for all the delicacies Negros Occidental. The property’s team of chefs will collaborate with local cooks to deliver flavors unique to each city in the region. 

Viennoiserie and Italian, Citadines Bacolod City’s lobby cafĂ© and bakery, will treat guests with an irresistible blend of aromatic coffee experiences through its collaboration with Coffee Culture, a popular and innovative artisan coffee roaster of local and imported beans. Aligning with the property’s brand signature, “for the love of coffee”, guests can choose from a menu inspired by the local coffee culture and leisurely enjoy food and beverages in an ambiance that radiates comfort and sophistication. Viennoiserie and Italian’s skilled baristas are devoted to transforming each cup of coffee into a journey of flavors, using carefully sourced beans that reflect the essence of the region's coffee heritage.

The property also boasts a selection of versatile event spaces, thoughtfully designed to accommodate a wide range of gatherings and occasions, such as a grand ballroom. This part of the property provides a spacious and versatile venue, making it an ideal Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) destination in the region. With its state-of-the-art facilities and adaptable layout, this pillarless marvel is poised to be a true game-changer in the MICE industry in the area, setting new standards for elegance, flexibility, and sophistication in event spaces.

"As a property managed by The Ascott Limited, Citadines Bacolod City exemplifies our commitment to providing a seamless blend of comfort, convenience, and top-notch service," said Philip Barnes, the Ascott Limited’s Country General Manager. "We are delighted to bring this exceptional brand to Bacolod City and offer travelers a sophisticated stay experience."

The property’s strategic location puts it in close proximity to several of the city’s key amenities and facilities. This includes some of Bacolod City’s top universities, shopping malls, central business districts, and restaurants. Citadines Bacolod City’s central location makes it an attractive choice for business and leisure travelers seeking a well-connected base to explore the city's vibrant offerings.

Along with Bacolod’s rapid urban growth, Citadines Bacolod City’s establishment in the city can help pave the way for further economic boon for the area as a whole. The property’s capacity to become a MICE destination leader in the region can significantly contribute to the city’s revenue generation, business opportunities, and diversification of income. It can also help maintain the region’s occupancy levels, especially during special cultural events like the Masskara Festival, and promote the Ascott brand to the Visayas region.

In terms of future growth, Ascott believes Citadines Bacolod City presents a steep growth potential in the coming years. With Bacolod's popularity as a travel and business hub continuing to soar, the property is well-equipped to cater to the increasing demand for sophisticated accommodations and events facilities. Through its establishment in Bacolod, Ascott aims to strengthen its brand presence in the Panay area by exploring opportunities for expansion and enhancing guest experiences in other key cities within the region.

As Citadines Bacolod City opens its doors to the public, the property invites guests to indulge in a world-class stay experience, backed by Ascott's legacy of exceptional service and unparalleled hospitality. Guests can reserve and advance and look out for updates by visiting the property’s official website and the following social media pages, Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

5 Common Business Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Did you know that 90% of businesses online fail in just 4 months? 

Yes, you read that right! It's sad but it's true. 

So, if you are a business owner or if you are aspiring to be one, then let us share with you the Top 5 Common Business Mistakes and Tips on How to Fix Them: 

1. Unable to Establish a Niche or FocusThe online world can be overwhelming. With the endless possibilities and opportunities, one may also fall into the trap of being all over the place which in return, makes the brand easily lose its identity.  

It is important for brands to establish a niche or identify their area of focus in that way, people can easily remember and recall the brand when doing significant consumer decisions. 

TIP: When starting a business, ask the big questions because your answers can help you identify your niche.  

  • What is the purpose of my business?
  • What problems am I trying to solve?
  • What gaps in the market am I trying to fill in? 

2. Targeting a Broad and Large Market - As great as it sounds, targeting a broad and large market might not be the most efficient way to spend your time and your marketing budget. We have to understand that not everyone can be our customers. The market is so diverse with varying needs, interests, and purchasing power.    

TIP: Know your target audience. Identify consumers who are likely to buy your products and services, and customize your digital marketing strategies to use to engage them.  Do not over-stretch your budget just because you want to reach everyone. 

3. Failing to Establish Online Presence - Whether we admit it or not, digital and online marketing is the way to go. According to a recent study by GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research first before making a purchase.

Thus, by failing to establish your online presence, you set your business NOT being considered in a consumer purchasing decision. 

TIP: Maximize the use of social media platforms like Facebook, IG, Tiktok, Linkedin, etc. 

4. Not Having a Blog - Many businesses build their company websites but miss out on the huge opportunity and benefits of including a blog. As business owners, we have to keep in mind that the goal is not simply to put up a business but rather to become an industry leader. 

By keeping an updated blog and publishing relevant articles, you market yourself and your brand as an expert in your industry. Not to mention your blog posts can get indexed which also helps in the SEO of your website. 

5. Unable to Maximize Online Resources - We just talked about creating a blog and yes, we know that content creation may be a bit challenging for some. However, it is not a sufficient excuse that you don't do it. 

If you don't have a blog because writing is not your forte, or you tend to avoid social media because you don't know how to create posters or edit videos, then you are making the biggest mistake in running your business. There are so many available online resources available now that can help you with your content writing or graphic design needs. 

There is even a database of all the popular tools for digital marketing that you can use so, you don't have to search all over. These tools are user-friendly making it possible even for non-tech-savvy individuals to harness the benefits of using these online resources. 

Indeed, running a business is not easy however, by avoiding these simple mistakes we can increase our chance of success by being focused, creative and resourceful. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Kiray, Arron, Stephan, and Pash agree -- Pinoys deserve excellent products

What do social media influencers Kiray Celis, Stephan Estopia, and Pash Pacia have in common?

They all have a passion for excellence in whatever they do, the food they eat, the places they go, and the products they wear or use in their everyday lives. No, they’re not discriminating; they just want to be discerning and refined. More importantly, they want to make the smart choice in the products they buy.

Each one desires nothing less than reliable quality, going out of their way to discover excellence, and luckily, they found it in Taiwan.

For actress, host, and influencer Kiray Celis (,, she loves to travel and use products that can give her the best of what she wants. When it comes to cooking, she discovered the Tatung rice cooker from Taiwan that is best both for cooking rice and steaming her favorite veggies. And just recently, she herself went to Taiwan, one of the countries on her travel bucket list, and experienced the best places in Taiwan that she can only dream of back then (

Just  a  chill  park  day  with  Kiray  at  Liberty  Square

Admired by many, versatile actor Arron Villaflor (, needs to be stylishly camera ready at all times. Keen on the latest trends in fashion and modern ingenuity, he appreciates the excellent standard Taiwan has modeled globally. For Arron, style goes the best with practicality, finding the perfect water-proof flash drive by TeamGroup and the reusable Dacian face mask. Arron looks forward to frequenting Taiwan and discovering more of its amazing products.

An avid gamer and certified digital junkie, Taiwan Excellence products such as noise-canceling wireless gaming earphones from ROG, and a gaming mouse from Asus, appeal to influencer Stephan Estopia (, This in-demand gamer and live streamer knows the demands of his passion, which is why he uses only the best digital products and accessories that can withstand intense gameplay (

On-the-go Stephan is always ready to be in-game anytime anywhere      

Finally, Pash Pacia (, is one who exudes body positivity. Pash is one who inspires many forms of beauty. She has a fondness for gastronomic delights and advocates for sustainable products. That is why she loves O’Right, which she discovered when she went to Taiwan. With O’Right, Pash is not only assured of pearly white teeth, but she also knows mother nature approves of her choice (

Pash has the power to work and travel in a sophisticated style

Each of these friends loved their discoveries in Taiwan, products recognized by Taiwan Excellence, an initiative of the Bureau of Foreign Trade in Taiwan for products that offer innovative value. Kiray, Arron, Stephan, and Pash hopes these products be made available in the Philippines so Pinoys can experience how these products bring excellence to their everyday life.

If you’re interested to offer Taiwan Excellence brands in the Philippines, you may fill out this form (

To learn more about Taiwan Excellence, visit

Friday, May 19, 2023

How to Land Your Dream Job with a Winning Resume

Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced applicant, the hiring process always starts with submitting an essential document—a resume. While job interviews get you hired, a resume determines the success of your job hunting from the get-go.

Leading online job portal JobStreet by SEEK believes that crafting a winning resume will give you an edge in landing your next big career move. Especially with the graduation season around the corner, fresh graduates have to step up and present themselves to the best of their abilities.

According to a study by JobStreet, an average HR person takes only 30 seconds to browse each resume, and about 70% of these do not even reach hiring managers. 

In line with this, JobStreet fortifies its dedication to empowering jobseekers through its recent webinar entitled Creating a Winning Resume featuring thought leaders—Jheric Delos Angeles, Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at BUKAS; Myke Celis, Multi-awarded Global Master Coach, and International Best-selling Author; and Kim Viray, Head of Marketing at JobStreet Philippines.

Resume is a storytelling document

There’s no real formula for creating a very good resume. Although it has the same parts and structure, each one is unique depending on personal experiences and background, and this is where your advantage comes in. To get hired with a standout resume, take the time to ponder and ask yourself: What makes you unique? What makes you you? Instead of listing your daily tasks, include the details that will allow the reader to get at least a glimpse of what you have contributed to your previous employer. On the other hand, fresh graduates may include extra-curricular activities and volunteer work.

“Finding a company that matches your values starts with storytelling. When you allow them to get to know you and see where you’re coming from, you will finally get hired,” said Jheric Delos Angeles.

Tailor your resume to the job

While trying to convey your story, ensure that all added information is relevant to the role and the company you are applying for. Substance over form, quality over quantity. A hiring manager is always looking for people who can add value to the company, which is why it is necessary to do your research, know their preferences, and customize your resume and cover letter accordingly.

As much as necessary, highlight your experience and skills that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. It pays to leave an impression that your job application is a conscious decision and that you are well aware of the role. Lastly, avoid mass sending similar copies.

“What could get you hired is how you think - how you think about the entire process, this application, yourself, your strategy, what you are doing to make yourself the most hirable candidate, your attitude, and how you face acceptance and defeat. That is what would get you hired. The resume is just the beginning,” Myke Celis shared.

Keep your resume professional

A resume, being the first thing a hirer would see from you, is critical. Therefore, be cautious and pay attention to every detail. Professionalism is a big factor in the corporate world, as it shows reliability and credibility, which are basic requirements in all companies. Use a formal photograph, avoid code names in email addresses by using your first and last name, check grammar and spelling, use a neat font, and be consistent and factual.

“Just like creating a winning resume, this is just the beginning of success. We have lined up a series of events for the rest of the year to fulfill our team’s mission which is to provide support and jobs to every Filipino," said Kim Viray, JobStreet Philippines Head of Marketing.

“We will ensure that there will be less friction when it comes to your overall job search process in the JobStreet platform,” he added. For more insights and career advice, visit

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Woman Farmer Leader Sparks Hope in Agriculture

Bernadeth Carandang is the farmer leader at the Magallanes-Samahang Magsasaka ng Kay-apas at Medina Agriculture Cooperative (MAG-SAMAKAME) in Cavite. Growing up in a farming family, she understood the difficulties faced by farmers.

“Utang, benta, at bayad kami noon. Uutang para sa kapital, magbebenta ng ani, at ipambabayad sa utang yung kita. Tapos uulit lang. Halos wala nang naiiwan sa amin (Borrow money, sell, and pay off debts was our practice. We would loan our capital, sell our harvest, and pay off debts with our earnings. It was a cycle. We almost had nothing left),” she said.
Bernadeth and her fellow farmers wondered how they could increase their income since farming is the only livelihood they knew.

Becoming agro-entrepreneurs

In 2018, the local government unit (LGU) of Magallanes joined Jollibee Group Foundation’s (JGF) Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which helps farmers increase their income by directly supplying institutional markets.

Through the partnership, MAG-SAMAKAME was trained on the eight-step Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach, which culminates in their delivery to Jollibee Group as an accredited supplier. Bernadeth also participated in the course “Agro-entrepreneurship for Inclusive Value Chains,” where she further honed her business and leadership skills. The course was co-developed by the Jollibee Group Foundation with Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.

In 2022, MAG-SAMAKAME started its regular deliveries of tomato to Jollibee Group. Bernadeth recalled she was very anxious during their first delivery to the depot, thinking something might go wrong. It was not until she held the delivery receipt that she messaged the farmers who were eagerly waiting from their homes, “This is it!”

“’Yung isa sa kanila napapikit talaga at sabi, ‘Ang sarap sa pakiramdam!’ (One of them closed his eyes and said, ‘This feels so good!’,” Bernadeth shared.

Since then, they have delivered a monthly average of 2,500 kgs of fresh tomatoes, which are used in Jollibee’s Champ burgers.

A woman farmer leader

As cooperative secretary, Bernadeth is also a leader who empowers farmers, especially women. MAG-SAMAKAME was formed in 2003 with 16 pioneering members. It has since grown fivefold to 84, wherein 57% or 48 members are females.

“Sabi nila kapag magsasaka, dapat lalaki. Ngayon, dumarami na rin ang mga babae (They said that farmers should be males. Now, we’re seeing that more women are becoming farmers), observed Bernadeth.

As a woman, Bernadeth finds her greatest strength is patience, which she uses not only in tending to her crops, but also in encouraging farmer members to join the cluster that supplies to Jollibee. “Dati ayaw nila sumali, hindi daw nila kaya magcommit. Sabi ko ‘wag tayong matakot sumubok (Before, the farmers refused to join, saying they can’t commit. I told them to not be afraid to try),” she said.

By teaching them how to think and act like entrepreneurs, Bernadeth found that the farmers have become more cooperative. Now, they are already thinking of how to grow their business further by planting other vegetables like bell pepper and seeking other institutional buyers.

“We aim to expand our vegetable deliveries so that we can also help other farmers in Magallanes, through our coordination with the LGU,” Bernadeth said in Filipino.
Sowing seeds of hope

With her unending passion for learning, Bernadeth took up Education while remaining committed to farming. She passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2022 and now teaches Technology and Livelihood Education to secondary students.

“Tinanong ko ang students ko kung anong gusto nilang maging. Walang may gustong magsaka. Ituturo ko sa kanila na farming is a business, at ang kaalaman ko sa agriculture at agro-enterprise. (I asked my students what they want to be in the future. Nobody wants to farm. I will teach them that farming is a business, as well as my knowledge in agriculture and agro-enterprise),” she said. “After all, farming is a profession of hope.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

JobStreet shows the realities of hiring on social media in video series, urges employers to hire real talent

JobStreet by SEEK continues its initiative to empower companies in seeking better candidates in 2023 through a series of videos in line with their latest campaign, “Hire Real Talent,” baring the realities of hiring on social media.

Social networking channels are proven to be an effective way of communication, but using them for seeking talents may be more inefficient than hirers think—and this video series depicts a witty take on real-life scenarios and challenges among employers that use social media for posting their job vacancies.

Aside from encouraging hirers to utilize legitimate job platforms in their recruitment process, JobStreet’s video series attempts to show the truth behind social media recruiting: when you hire through social media, chances are you have no idea who you're interviewing.

The first video depicts an applicant who resembles the avatar of a newly set-up social media account, illustrating anonymity, a lack of character, or a genuine identity. Likewise, the second video demonstrates the difficulty of recognizing the true applicant whose profile photo is a family portrait. Finally, in the last video, JobStreet displays an applicant with experience working somewhere fictitious, portraying a lack of professionalism and accurate information.

As users are not required to authenticate their identities or credentials on most social media sites, it is challenging to discern between legitimate and fraudulent accounts. In addition, most social media users do not present themselves professionally and have little to no work experience information, which limits the hirers’ opportunity to fully scrutinize their applicants based on their criteria.

“While social media is a convenient tool to share information, we want to let hirers know that not everyone in your following or likes is looking for jobs—and the best and most appropriate way to recruit active jobseekers is to reach out to where they are searching for opportunities, and that is through official job platforms,” said Kim Viray, JobStreet Philippines Head of Marketing.

“In today's competitive and fast-changing world, we recognize the challenges that come with the hiring process, which is why we continuously empower hirers and provide them solutions that they need on top of offering a platform with millions of quality and qualified candidates,” he added.

JobStreet aims to make hiring more convenient and efficient for employers, particularly for SMEs. Through its free job ad postings, businesses are entitled to a 30-day free job posting credit upon registration on JobStreet, giving seamless access to over 14 million registered candidates with free use of powerful candidate management tools, easy-to-use job ad writing tools, inclusion in job recommendations, accessibility on multiple channels, and many other benefits, allowing hirers to focus on selecting the best candidate.

Its beneficial features assure targeted job posting to relevant potential applicants, and it may save time by using screening tools to check and match skills and credentials with the role.

To watch the video series, visit the following links:

Friday, April 14, 2023

When a Single Source Income is No Longer Enough: We Find Ways

"Juan is a loyal employee and he lost his job during the pandemic."
"Anna is a businesswoman and her business closed permanently because of the lockdowns."
"Carlos is an investor and the value of his investments dropped significantly."
"Jeremy is a rental property owner and many of his tenants left because they can now work from home."
"Emily is a supplier for the airline industry and many of her clients stopped ordering because they are temporarily non-operational." 

The sad part -- they are all breadwinners and their entire family is dependent on them. 

Sounds familiar? 

These are some of the common stories that you'll hear in the past 2 years during the pandemic and it has been an eye-opener for many of us. Personally, I realized that there is no security in being employed or simply having a business. There are a lot of things that could happen and having a single source of income is a risky way to live.  Now, I understand why financial gurus have been telling us that it is important to have multiple income streams.

Because it is important to have a BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP source of income in case one of them fails. 

However, the biggest question is... Is having multiple income streams possible for ordinary Filipinos? What if you are not from a rich family? 

The answer is YES! Even if we are not born with a silver spoon, Filipinos are "madiskarte" and WE ALWAYS FIND WAYS. Thus, having multiple income streams is still possible. 

Sharing with you three (3) ways how you add another income stream.


Starting a business is easier said than done. First, you need to come up with a business idea. If you still don't have one, start with what are you passionate about and see if can potentially solve a problem/ gap. 

Once you have that business idea. Determine if it is feasible by creating a business plan. This is also the best time to check if have available suppliers (in case you go into retail or manufacturing) and if you have a market for it. 

If you find your business idea feasible then you'll need the capital to get started. 
So, what if you don't have the money? Well, that shouldn't stop you from pursuing this endeavor. Here are some ways how you can generate capital for your business.
  • Launch a crowdfunding campaign. There have been a lot of crowdfunding success stories and you can be one of them too. You just need to have a good product and the right pitch. 
  • Raise capital from family and friends who would be interested to invest in your business. Make sure to determine exactly how much funds you need and the equity that you are willing to give away. 
  • Apply for a loan. There are a lot of SME Loans available in the market. Banco de Oro (BDO) for instance offers funding options tailored for SMEs ranging from 1-50 million. They even have the SME Ready Check which works like a revolving fund that is ideal for buying inventory or supplies to address seasonal or bulk orders. You can also use it as a working capital to address operational requirements. 
The best part? You can even apply for a loan online: 


Did you know that for as low as Php 10,000 you can invest in Bonds, Money Market Funds, or even the Stock Market? 

Well, I am also surprised to find out that you don't really need a huge amount to start investing. Different trust and investment products suited to your different needs and risk appetite are readily available. The opportunity to invest is now possible even for ordinary Filipinos. It's easy and accessible. 

One of my favorite investment products is the Peso Money Market Fund of BDO, it earns relatively higher than your savings and time deposit accounts yet it doesn't even have a minimum holding period. This means that you have full access and control over your funds in case of emergencies. (Please note though that experts advise staying invested for at least 6 months to maximize earning potential.) 


Upwork, Freeup, and Fiverr are just one of the many freelancing marketplaces available today and it wouldn't hurt to have an online side gig that we can offer to international clients. 

If you have skills in content writing, graphic design, or video editing, then you can work on fixed projects during your free time. I have been doing this for years already and there is really no competition here. Your target clientele is global and there are so many foreign clients who are eager to hire Filipinos for their talent, hard work, and skills. 

Receiving payments is not even a concern because our trusted banks accept international remittances so, your clients can pay you directly through bank deposits. You can even open a US Dollar Savings Account for as low as a $200 initial deposit in BDO. 

Indeed, through innovation and technology, we can definitely make things happen for us where having multiple income streams is no longer just wishful thinking but a reality for ordinary Filipino families. Thanks to our partners like BDO who have been there making ways for every Filipino family since 1968. 

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

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Intellectual Property Law Enforcement, Student Academic Groups, Publishers Sign Statement of Cooperation Against Content Piracy

Rex Education hosted a press conference recently, bringing together key organizations committed to educating people about piracy and stopping the illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted content.

Present at the event were leaders and representatives from the Philippine Association of Law Schools, the Association of Law Students of the Philippines, the Legal Education Board, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, the National Book Development Board, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation, Association of Administrators in Hospitality Hotel and Restaurant Management Educational Institution, the Philippine Librarians Association, the Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business, the Philippine Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, Philippine Association for Teachers and Educators, Professional Criminologists Association of the Philippines, Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities and the Philippine Educational Measurement and Evaluation Association. 

Piracy is defined as the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted content, including but not limited to books, movies, music, and the like. In the Philippines, anti-piracy legislation is strengthened by Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines which protects and secures the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations.

The press conference is a part of REX’s anti-piracy campaign, which was launched last September 16, 2022 at the Manila International Book Fair. The primary objective of the campaign is to curb, if not eradicate, content piracy by educating, communicating, and instilling among our colleagues, families, and children a true appreciation of the value of one’s own work. REX’s efforts in this direction are also in recognition and support of the relentless hard work of intellectual property law enforcement agencies in the country.

“We should continue to educate, communicate, and instill among our colleagues, families, and children a true appreciation of the value of one’s own work. In this sense, we are all duty-bearers. But above that, we are Filipinos,” said Atty. Dominador Buhain, chairman of Rex Education. “ Aside from our laws, what also binds us are our values, our sense of pakikipagkapwa, of pagpapakatao, our pride in our own work, and our respect for each other and of each other’s work.”

Over the past year, the campaign has gained the attention of various organizations with similar sentiments. Stakeholders from the education sector, along with consumers and learners, have all come together to express their support for the movement. Above all, there is a call to protect creators and all their intellectual property in all its forms.

“Throughout our rich history, we recognize and respect one truth about what we do: We are able to accomplish so much because of our people. REX has immense pride for the talented and hardworking individuals who pour their creativity, knowledge, and skills in the development of our learning materials, and these are not limited to books,” said Atty. Dominador Buhain, chairman of Rex Education.

For more information regarding REX’s efforts, feel free to watch the “Proud Ako” anti-piracy campaign video that was launched at MIBF 2022. Visit to support Rex Education in its endeavor of protecting the publishing industry.

Friday, January 27, 2023

How I Made Money Because of My Love for Books

"Make Your Passion Your Profession" is one of the most popular quotes we hear today. It inspires us to pursue our passion as a career because of the notion that if we are already doing the things we love, then it should be easy, effortless, and fulfilling.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Many still struggle to find this sweet spot for a number of reasons. Some do not know the "how" while others are even uncertain about what they are passionate about. 'Making your Passion your Profession' won't come easy but it is very much POSSIBLE AND ATTAINABLE. 

With our current economy where inflation rates continue to go up, everyone could make use of some extra money. So, this made me think - what I am passionate about and how can I get paid because of it? 

Here's what I realized:

  • I am a certified bibliophile.
  • I collect and love books.
  • I fell in love with reading when I was 13 and more than 20 years after, I still find joy in reading. 
So, maybe it is just right that I find a way to start earning doing something that I love. 

And GUESS WHAT? The past 2 years during the pandemic allowed me to find ways to make money because of my love for books. 

Here are four (4) Ways How I Made Money Because of My Love for Books

1. Be a Book Reviewer -  One of the most common jobs in the publishing industry is a book reviewer. Though it is ideal to have a degree in literature, people who don't have one but enjoy reading and have strong writing skills can still become book reviewers. 

There are many sites that offer jobs/ gigs for book reviewers. Some examples are Kirkus Media, Upwork, OnlineBookClub, and Reedsy Discovery. You can also reach out to publishers directly and apply to be one. 

2. Book Blogger/ Vlogger - If you don't want to work for an agency or publisher, you can also start working on your own by starting your blog or social media channel to share your book reviews. Many bloggers/ vloggers earn through ads or sponsored content. 

3. Be an Affiliate MarketerGet paid by recommending other books to fellow bookworms. Affiliate marketing involves referring a product or service by sharing it on a blog, social media, or website where the affiliate earns a commission when someone makes a purchase through a unique link. 

Amazon and Kobo have affiliate programs and if you are in the Philippines, popular e-commerce sites such as Lazada and Shopee have affiliate programs too that you can join. 

4. Be an Online Seller - One of the advantages of being a reader when selling books is that you understand the market. You personally know what books appeal to you and your peers. You are updated with the latest releases and other things that only true bookworms know. 

There are many platforms available online where you can sell. You don't even need to have a big investment to start. You can initially purchase just a few titles and just manage your earnings properly.

Based on my personal experience, we opened our little bookstore in October 2021 with less than 15 titles. I sold them online through my FB groups and we just saved whatever profit we made so, we can buy more stocks. Then, when it got sold out again, we bought a new batch of books and just had to repeat the cycle over and over again. 

This experience thought us the power of compounding savings in growing a business. If you want to estimate savings or get a better picture of your savings goal, you can check out, which allows you to create a growth table of savings over time.

Fast forward to today - our bookstore grew and now we have over 500 titles on hand. We have sold thousands of books in 2022. This is all because we knew how to save and ofcourse because we love books. 

So, if you are a bookworm like me and currently looking for ways how to earn extra money, then we hope you find this post helpful.