Maxi-Peel bridges frontliners and their loved in new video

With the many challenges we face everyday–especially now that there is a global health pandemic going on–a call for encouragement and a message of gratitude can go a long, long way.

Even though nothing can ever beat the comfort of being at home with their families, we can help boost the morale of our brave frontliners by continuously expressing our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices.

Maxi-Peel has taken the initiative to become the bridge between our modern heroes and their loved ones who they might not have seen over the past weeks or maybe even months. Through the online video Gaganda Muli Ang Bukas, individuals whose moms, dads, relatives, and even friends are able to reach out to their loved ones who are continuously fighting for a better tomorrow.

The video offered an opportunity for these people to send our modern day heroes messages and reminders to take a rest when they can, to also look out for themselves, and to express how much they are missed.

Moreover, through a short speech, these loved ones were able to share the pride and happiness of knowing that their family member is able to help a significant amount of those who are in need.

Hope has always been something that Maxi-Peel believed in, and just like our brave frontliners and their families who remain strong as they keep fighting, Maxi-Peel also urges everyone to not give up with the hashtag #WagMongIsukoAngLaban.

The brand’s encouraging message of hope has always stood as an inspiration for women across the Philippines even before the pandemic happened. By bringing hope to consumers who may have felt bullied or dejected in the past because they lack the confidence to face the world, have found a partner in Maxi-Peel to give them a brighter outlook.

Now, Maxi-Peel is doing the same for the entire country as it pushes for encouragement in these trying times.

Watch the full video of Gaganda Muli Ang Bukas below:

The Body Shop joins Planet CORA for coastal cleanup

The Body Shop Philippines has always been at the forefront of sustainability. Not only in the development and production of its products, the company also constantly seeks for new projects to help make the world a much better place.

All over the world, piles of mismanaged wastes wind up on our shores. Non-biodegradable wastes–especially single-used plastics such as straws, bottles and bags–are big contributors to pollution. When left in the ocean, these wastes can end up killing marine life, which will inadvertently affect human life as well.

Because of this sad reality, The Body Shop Philippines partnered with Planet CORA, a non-profit organization dedicated in protecting the planet, in gathering almost 200 volunteers for a Coastal Cleanup in Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

Planet CORA was founded by actress-singer, environmentalist, and mental health advocate Antoinette Taus a while back. She named the organization after her late mother Corazon, which also stands for Communities Organized for Resource Allocation.

The cleanup drive held earlier this year helped in physically reducing wastes as well as creating awareness and inspiration for the volunteers to instill change in their lifestyles. Joining Antoinette and The Body Shop team are other celebrity advocates such as Yassi Pressman and Joey Mead-King.

A total of 2.29 tons of waste were collected in just a span of two hours. Majority of the collected wastes were plastic bottles.

The Ocean Cleanup with Planet CORA is just one of the many advocacies of The Body Shop Philippines. The company is also active in livelihood projects and supporting the marginalized sectors.

Guided by its brand expression “Beauty with Heart,” the company continues to be focused on five core values: Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and Protect The Planet.

All of its products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

Marikina Teacher wins Foton van from Gabay Guro Foundation

Mary Jean Libot, a 26-year-old teacher from Marikina City is the proud new owner of an 8-seater Foton Gratour Van. She won the vehicle as a raffle prize from Gabay Guro’s Grand Gathering on September 22, 2019.

The PLDT-Smart Foundation’s flagship advocacy program for teachers, last year celebrated its 12th anniversary with a prize-filled and all-star Grand Gathering, along with the launch of the Gabay Guro app at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The event gathered over 20,000 teachers from all over the country to experience a historical Teachers’ Tribute, which was headlined by the country’s biggest stars such as Aegis, Angeline Quinto, Christian Bautista, Ian Veneracion, Jaya, Jed Madela, Kyla, Kuh Ledesma, Martin Nievera, Moira dela Torre, Ogie Alcasid, Piolo Pascual, Pops Fernandez, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Gabby Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta, who were reunited by a performance on-stage after a very long time.

In addition to all the artists that entertained the teachers during the event, Department of Education secretary Leonor Briones also graced the evening with her presence. Many prizes were given away to the attendees, including the Foton Gratour van won by Teacher Mary Jean of Mother Divine Providence School, and Teacher Maricel Bustillo of Las Pinas City National Senior High School – CAA Campus who won a brand new house and lot.

The launch of the Innovations pillar

Aside from entertainment, Gabay Guro’s Grand Gathering 2019 was also used a platform to launch of the Gabay Guro App. This move is the foundation’s “seventh pillar” of activities, which include classroom donation, scholarships, teachers’ training, livelihood programs, connectivity and computerization, and the Teachers’ Tribute.

The new Digital Innovations Pillar of Gabay Guro aims to reinforce the digital transformation for Filipino teachers, school leaders, and stakeholders by equipping them with new modes of teaching and the latest technology that will enable them to create, grow, and evolve their craft for the benefit of their students.

Backed by this new learning pillar, Gabay Guro introduces an application for teachers that will provide e-learning content and interactive technology and ready-to-use online tools that are aligned with the DepEd and CHED curriculum. This will provide teachers with the latest and easily accessible educational resources right at their fingertips. The new Gabay Guro app will be launched before the end of the year.

“Gabay Guro continues to develop innovative programs for our teachers and our partners in nation-building,” Gabay Guro Chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla said. “Every year, it is our great honor to be able to give back to our teachers through a grand tribute and we always look forward to continuing this mission and empower them through Gabay Guro’s previously six and now seven core pillars of learning.” 

For more information and updates about Gabay Guro, visit gabayguro.com, like and follow the official Gabay Guro Facebook account, Twitter and Instagram at @PLDTGabayGuro.

Stay strong, Vanessa Bryant

The news of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s sudden and tragic passing shocked the world on January 26, 2020 (US Time). For a basketball-loving country like the Philippines, we are all affected by it regardless if we are fans of Kobe and the game or not.

I, for one, am not a fan of Kobe’s nor am I big follower of basketball or the NBA. I would only cheer for teams and players that my husband are also rooting for. Yet, I can feel the sadness that envelopes my friends who are big fans of Kobe. My heart is bleeding for them because I could only imagine how it must feel to know that the person you’ve always looked up to is now gone.

I can feel the sadness of everyone who knew and admired Kobe, but my heart is breaking the most for his wife of 18 years, Vanessa Bryant.

Losing a husband is a great ordeal. When two people fall in love and marry, they become like a single person. You live together, you think together, you make dreams together, you work on making those dreams happen together, you go through problems together, you raise a family together, and you commit to love each other forever. You’re like two parts of a machine that won’t work without the other.

Then, suddenly, you lose that other half of you and you struggle to figure out your next move. You wonder without a single clue how to move forward on your own. You grapple with the reality that for the rest of your life you will never get to wake up next to that person again, see him smile, talk to him when you have problems, talk to him when you are happy, listen to him laugh, feel his warm embrace and kisses, and watch him become the man that he was always meant to be.

You are left alone, without a partner, without the person you were meant to share life with, without the person you promised to love and love you back. You carry a heavy burden on your own, but in the history of widows, we have seen a great deal of women move on and rise above the situation. Sure, the wounds take time to heal, but in the right time, they find happiness again.

However, what makes this story even more heartbreaking is that Vanessa also lost her 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant in the same tragic helicopter crash that took her husband’s life. I could not even begin to imagine how hearing about the tragedy must’ve felt for her.

Losing a daughter, a child, a baby you carried in your body and in your heart is absolutely and utterly… devastating. Honestly, that last word is not even enough to describe the horror that you wouldn’t wish to happen to anyone, even your worst enemy.

A promising young talent, Gianna, or Gigi as she was fondly called, was only beginning to carve out her path as a female basketball superstar. She had just entered her teenage years–the period in a girl’s life when her mom gets to take on a new hat as a life mentor, a role model for what a woman should be, and a best friend whom she can share her thoughts with.

I could only assume how much Vanessa was looking forward to take her daughter’s hand as she goes through puberty, gossip about the cute boys in school, give her fashion and beauty advice, give her a taste of her first cocktail, help her pick out her prom dress, see her off for her first date, and many other wonderful things. Now all that is gone and even though she has two other young daughters to share those things with, it won’t be the same as doing them with Gigi.

When a woman loses her husband, she becomes a widow, but when she loses a child, there is nothing to call her. Having to outlive your child is such and indescribable anomaly that none of the world’s greatest minds in all the centuries of human civilization have been able to come up with a single word to call it. Like the thought of it alone is too sickening to even think about.

While I have so much thoughts and feelings about this, the only thing we can all do at this point is to pray for Vanessa Bryant. Pray that she finds the strength and will to go on for herself and her three other daughters, that she finds a solid support system to help her go through all of this, that she finds peace and healing, and that she keeps her faith especially at this trying time.

May the souls of Kobe and Gianna and the seven others who perished in the crash rest in peace. And to Vanessa, from one wife and mother to another, my heart goes out to you. Stay strong.

All photos grabbed from Kobe Bryant’s Instagram @kobebryant

Project Kalinga, a day care inside UP Diliman, gets fresh reno

Ang taong ‘di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay ‘di makakarating sa paroroonan.” We’ve all heard our parents, grandparents, and even teachers deliver this age-old saying at least once in our lives. Even though it may sound dated, it still remains true to this day.

As parents, we all wish for our kids to grow up as good people. We want them to embody basic values while they reach their dreams. I’m pretty sure the parents of the senior students from the University of the Philippines’ BS Interior Design Program are very proud of their children right now. For their capstone course ID 179: Special Project in Interior Design, the graduating batch has taken the opporunity to give back to their beloved university.

Their thesis, titled “Project Kalinga: Nurturing Spaces for the Future,” aims to redesign the UP Kalinga Day Care Center (KDCC), a humble institution within the university that looks after the children of UP employees while their parents are at work. Also known as the “Pink House in Area 1,” the non-formal and non-structured alternative learning institution caters to children aged 1.6 to 5.5 years old. It is supervised by the Center for UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, KDCC aims to meet the developmental needs of children in a gender-fair and peaceful environment, as well as promote positive self-concept in children.

The project’s advocacy is to promote holistic development in children through encouraging and nurturing environments. They believe it is necessary to highlight the attention given to children of this age because this is where their cognitive and social aspects begin to develop. They also saw choosing KDCC as a means of giving back to the university that they stayed in.

Under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Pamela Aquino and with their Project Head, Dana Sangalang, the group is comprised of Mikee Arevalo (CAD Operator and Procurement), Catherine Asejo and Erielle Ekong (Quality Control and Site Coordinators), Clement Ignacio (Design Head), Gaille Marquez (Secretariat & Procurement), Rizza Tabios (Procurement and Quality Control), Sophia Teaño and Angela Titular (Externals & Publicity Co-heads), and Steffi Yuquimpo (Design Co-head and Finance).

Together they worked to renovate KDCC’s main shared spaces, including the Reception Area, Teachers’ Room, Recreation Area, Kitchen, Storage Room, and Restroom. They also introduced a Breastfeeding Area and a Dining Area in the renovated daycare.

In the process of choosing a beneficiary, the class conducted visits to various institutions that may need their services. Once they are decided, they assess the space to see which areas need the most attention and what problems can be improved through interior design. They also look for contractors for the project. The class then proceeds to conceptualize what design will fit the space.

Project Kalinga’s outcome came from the idea of a “Treehouse”, as the space is imaginative and results from the collaboration between a child’s imagination and an adult’s guidance. They saw this as parallel to the function of a day care center.

Throughout one semester (over 5 months), the class handled all the needs of the design, from the technical plans and detail drawings, the procurement of furniture, and the coordination with the contractor in executing the design. They also looked for sponsors, handled marketing and publicity, and conducted various events to raise funds for the total cost of the project.

Through Project Kalinga, Batch 2020 students were able to grasp better their roles as future professionals in the field and the value of their services, especially for the underserved. To learn more about the project, you may visit their Facebook page, UP BS Interior Design Class of 2020.

Project Kalinga is co-presented by Hulma Manila Fabrication, Inc., Global Visions Events & Marketing, Inc., Saxum Et Sal, Inc., in cooperation with Kuysen Enterprises, Inc. and is also brought to you by Creamline Ice Cream, Universal Robina Corporation, Splash Corporation, Aztec Secret Health & Beauty, San Miguel PureFoods, Republic Biscuit Corporation, and Del Monte Foods, Inc.

Jollibee Chickenjoy reminds us why Christmas is best spent with family

Christmas is in the air again and that means families that have been apart from each other for many reasons—whether it’s work in other countries, school in distant cities, or relatives from all over—are starting to plan to come home, reunite, and spend the holidays together once more.

Jollibee’s new online video features the heart-tugging stories of parents from various walks of life, preparing for the return of their children for the holidays with the help of the crispylicious and juicylicious Jollibee Chickenjoy.

The video reminds us that the greatest joy of parents during Christmas is the time spent with their children which is highlighted by the campaign message: “Ikaw ang joy nila ngayong Pasko. Ang sarap kapag nandito ka.

Having all your loved ones back home together with buckets of irresistibly crispy, mouthwateringly juicy, and delicious Chickenjoy completes the family’s memorable Christmas celebration.

Get the family together and bond over a bucket of Chickenjoy, the country’s #1 fried chicken, this Christmas, available through dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru in all Jollibee stores nationwide.

For more info and updates on Jollibee, don’t forget to like Jollibee Philippines on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JollibeePhilippines/), subscribe to Jollibee Studios on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyk1UBhROhDTgFzh6Ls-jRA), and follow @jollibee on Twitter and Instagram.

Give back this Christmas through LazadaForGood

Christmas is a time for giving and while we are busy shopping for our gifts for our loved ones, Lazada is making things easy for us to shop for gifts for those in need, too.

Aside from its upcoming 12.12 Grand Year End Sale, Lazada formally introduced the first-ever Digital Giving platform by an eCommerce player in the Philippines.

This is part of a wider #LazadaForGood program where shoppers can “heart-to-cart” as they shop online and support local communities and causes in need through direct donations on the Lazada platform.

The platform was built to benefit 11 local and international advocacy partners: Habitat for Humanity, Young Focus, Caritas Manila, MovEd, UNHCR, Hero Foundation Inc., UNICEF, WWF, Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, HOPE, and CCEF. Shoppers can support causes close to their hearts, from alleviating poverty to saving the environment to putting a roof over someone’s head.

“Christmas is the season for giving, and we want to empower our customers to do just that and empower our advocacy partners in their various causes. Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale is not only about making our wishes or our loved ones’ wishes come true, but also to make the wishes of many others in the community come true,” said Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines’ chief executive officer.

“This is the first Digital Giving platform by an eCommerce company in the Philippines. We are truly honored to partner with great organizations who share the same values, and going forward, hope to sustain this initiative by onboarding more. We believe that everyone can contribute in their own way, big or small, and we would like to do our part by providing our advocacy partners a platform to champion their causes, raise awareness, funds and resources.”

“At Lazada, we are a platform that takes meaningful partnerships seriously online and offline. As the leading online lifestyle destination in the country, it is our duty and responsibility to empower and demonstrate real human connection and meaningful shared experiences. This Christmas season, we want our customers to add their heart-to-cart and shop for good.”, said Neil Trinidad, Lazada’s chief marketing officer.

Here’s how you can access LazadaForGood on your Lazada app:

Check out for Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale

This coming December 12, enjoy discounts of up to 90% off on more than 12 million deals from your favorite local and international brands and sellers. At Lazada’s 12.12 Grand Year End Sale, make yours and other people’s wishlists come true by adding your Heart-to-Cart.

This year will bring even bigger Brand Mega Offers from partners such as Xiaomi, Olay, FitFlop, Pampers, Hydro Flask, Wyeth, LEGO, Apple, Jansport, Coocaa, Tefal, and Reebok.

Don’t forget to set your alarms at 12 midnight as the biggest discounts will come your way from 12mn-2am and 12pm-2pm. Most importantly, don’t forget to donate to a good cause!

To know more about Lazada’s Digital Giving platform, visit http://bit.ly/LazadaDigitalGiving.

To know more about Lazada 12.12, visit Lazada.com.ph, facebook.com/LazadaPhilippines and Instagram.com/lazadaPH.

Avon fights gender-based violence with #SpeakOutListenUp

Avon Philippines is taking up the color orange as its official campaign symbol to spark conversations about violence against women and girls. Launching the campaign #SpeakOutListenUp, Avon Philippines is rallying behind the UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign encourages victims and survivors to speak out, share their stories, and urge everyone to listen up.

For 16 days, the color orange will symbolize a brighter future where women won’t fear violence out in the streets, in school, in the workplace, in their own homes, and even online. Avon is going orange across its social media platforms from November 25 (UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10 (Human Rights Day).

As part of its efforts for the 16-day activism, Avon partnered with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to ensure more women and girls are able to identify gender-based violence and identify resources to safely seek help. The partnership launches new training and awareness programs for Avon Representatives and girl scout in the Philippines, as well as Argentina and South Africa.

For over 130 years, Avon has been steadfast in its mission to empower women everywhere and the first step is to make sure that women live happy, healthy lives. This cannot be achieved without ensuring their safety that is why Avon has a strong legacy of championing programs that help in the promise of putting an end to violence angainst women and girls by contributing more than $65 million globally to women-centered organizations like Malala Fund and Vital Voices.

Here in the Philippines, where a rape occurs every 72 minutes, Avon has been constantly collaborating with and making donations to Women’s Care Center, Inc. in Manila, Inang Makabayan Aksyon Foundation in Pampanga, Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE) in Dumaguete, and Luna Legal Resource Center for Women in Davao to further the cause.

Seven Awesome Ways to Empower Young Girls

For 20 years, The Powerpuff Girls have been on a mission to prove that girls rule. Now Cartoon Network is launching #Empowerpuff in the Philippines, an initiative that hopes to make a difference in the life of every Pinay.

Through #Empowerpuff, Cartoon Network will premiere a series of on-ground activities, local partnerships as well as online content to inspire Pinays to build their very own ‘ka-pow’ legacy and transform their communities. But before it officially kicks off, you can empower other young ladies in your community with these easy steps:

Encourage them to express their creativity

Creativity is meant to be expressed because it is a gift that is ever evolving. If you know someone who has a talent in creating things or making beautiful drawings, encourage them to hone their craft!

Say no to bullying!

Whether online or offline, bullying should not be tolerated. Lift each other up by saying good things that will help them become more driven and motivated.

 Always be ready to help out 

Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup may have their differences and fights, but they’re always there for their sisters. Whether with a big or small gesture, support goes a long way when it comes to empowering others. Watch out for the #Empowerpuff themed shirts by Merch By, so you can empower other girls one shirt at a time!

Spark up conversations

Another way to empower one another is to encourage conversation. Let your gal-pals know that they are remembered by perking up your group chats and sending them cool #Empowerpuff-themed Viber stickers starting this September 19.

Ride on to adventure

To empower others, you need to believe in yourself too. By stepping out of your comfort zone, going on adventures and meeting other people, you gain experiences that can make an impact on others. Visit different places and take advantage of every opportunity.

Teach each other things

Sharing is caring and it doesn’t only apply to material things like your baon.Talent, skills and knowledge are also valuable things that you can share and teach others. You never know; they might be encouraged to pay it forward.

Mingle with others

Empowered women never limit themselves. They go out of their comfort zone and mingle with others with whom they share the same passion. Events like It’s A Girl Thing (IAGT) are designed to empower girls and celebrate uniqueness. And, as Cartoon Network partners with IAGT on November 10, girls like you are surely going to have fun as you meet your fave women who wowed the world!

In addition to international personalities like the Merrel twins, there will also be guest appearances from local celebrity trailblazers like Anne Curtis, Yassi Pressman, Karylle, Jessy Mendiola and Megan Young.

Be empowered with #Empowerpuff! Stay tuned as Cartoon Network has a lot of surprises, cool prizes, and activities in store for you! For more information about #Empowerpuff and other Cartoon Network-related news and updates, log on towww.cartoonnetworkasia.comor followFacebook.com/CartoonNetworkAsia.

5 Ways to Teach Kids the Value of Saving

In this day and age when shopping is at one’s fingertips, it’s easy to lose control and end up with an ugly spending habit and a huge debt hole that can wipe out hard-earned savings. It becomes vital now more than ever that children are taught important money lessons so they can navigate through the lures of consumerism and make wise financial decisions later in life.

Here are five ways you can teach children how to have good fiscal habits:

  1. Highlight the importance of waiting

That princess dress that your kid badly wants may be cute on her, but don’t give in too easily. Instead, explain to your child that it costs money to be able to have it, and that she can use her hard-earned allowance to pay for it. Also, talk your child into waiting until tomorrow so she can make a more sensible financial decision. Emphasize the need to save now so you can spend later, like for a family trip or music lessons. This gives you an opportunity to impart lessons on impulse buying and instant gratification.

  1. Use a clear money jar to save

Children tend to be visual so they’d get the idea of money multiplying better if they see clearly what they put inside. While piggy banks will still get the message across, clear money jars are far more effective. You can have three jars—one labeled “spending” for small purchases like sweet treats, one for “saving” and one for “giving” or charity.

  1. Open a bank account

This is where all the cash from the savings money jar goes. Let your children join you when you open a bank account and deposit what they saved from the money jar. Or, if this is too tedious, as it often is, open a digital savings account instead. Mobile wallet GCash has a feature called GSave, which allows you to open and maintain a bank account with CIMB (a top international bank) straight from the GCash app. This is a simpler alternative that offers interest rate at 3% annually, much higher than in traditional banks. It also doesn’t require a minimum initial deposit to open an account or a maintaining balance to start growing your savings. Kids now are more tech-savvy than ever, so introducing them to the concept of mobile wallets and digital savings early on may be easier than you think. This will also set the tone for their financial skills and jumpstart the habit of saving larger amounts of money. 

  1. Give commissions or allowances for chores

To clearly illustrate that money is earned and doesn’t grow on trees, give allowances or commissions for household chores accomplished. This will also teach children early on the value of hard work and spending wisely. But it’s important to note that such pays should be modest, not extravagant—just enough to incentivize children to perform their weekly duties. In this way, they also understand that basic chores require no payment and are part of family life.

  1. Set an example

Children are observant and they copy what adults do. To impart important financial lessons, model good spending habits which they will likely pick up when they grow older. The grocery store is a fertile ground for teaching the value of money. For instance, when making a purchase, compare prices and show them how they can save by buying the cheaper but quality products. Be prudent also when using the credit card as they might get the idea that there’s free unlimited money in there.