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Sabado, Marso 28, 2020

Boosting Immunity through Nutrition to fight Coronavirus or COVID-19

Coronavirus or COVID-19, has taken the world by surprise with its highly infectious nature and mortality rate. Nutrition is no substitute for an effective drug, and it won’t prevent you from contracting COVID-19 or other diseases. Maintaining a strong immune system, though, is something all healthy people can do. What’s most concerning is that while we know that COVID-19 is part of a large family of viruses that include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), there are many traits of this virus that we have yet to uncover, such as the dynamics of transmission. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it could take up to 18 months for the first COVID-19 vaccines to be made publicly available.

There are two categories of immune functions in everyone’s body – the innate immunity which prevents diseases from entering the body and adaptive immunity which eliminates or prevents the growth of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, in our body.

However, increasing the body’s immunity is not as straightforward as it sounds. There remains much about the immune system that researchers are still working to understand, but what we do know is the tangible connection between the immune system and nutrition. 

  • How nutrition impacts the body’s immune system

To understand how nutrition and diet affect an individual’s immune system, we need to delve deeper into the role of epigenetics – the study of biological mechanisms that switch our genes on and off. 

While the idea of epigenetics might seem complex, consider the example of honeybees. Despite having the same DNA sequence, honeybees produce three different organisms – workers, drones, and queens – and this is dependent on the diet that the larvae are fed. This demonstrates that while all worker bees are born with the genetic ability to become queens, the workers’ diet ultimately affects how their genes are expressed and manifest physically.

In the same vein, while all humans are 99.9% genetically identical, epigenetics makes us unique by the different combinations of genes that turn on and off – which explains why some of us have red hair and others black, or why some of us have darker or lighter skin, for instance. 

What we eat, where we live, how much we sleep, how we exercise, and even who we live with, all causes chemical reactions that can alter our health status. Added to the mix is our microbiome, which are the microorganisms we depend on to protect us against germs, break down food for energy, produce vital vitamins and bolster our immune system.

The largest part of the immune system - approximately 70% of it – is located near the intestines, which monitors the intake of food and how the body uses it. This makes it critical for us to consume a balanced diet with the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This requires more than just changing the intake of one or two nutrients but involves balancing the entire diet to ensure that there is optimal nutrition intake at a cellular level.

Four essential groups of nutrients to help individuals strengthen their immune system

1. Protein
Also known as the basic building blocks of the body, protein allows the body to manufacture antibodies that it requires to defend against invading viruses and bacteria. To ensure that we have sufficient levels of protein in our diet, we can eat more healthy protein foods such as fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods, and low-fat dairy products. 

2. Vitamins and phytonutrients
Vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients, are key players in immune system health. As one of the biggest immune system boosters, Vitamin C encourages our body to produce antibodies that fight diseases. It is essential to maintain a daily intake of vitamin C as the body does not produce or store it. Vitamin A supports the health of our skin, tissues of our digestive tract and respiratory system. 

Phytonutrients, which are found in vegetables and fruits, reduce our body’s oxidative stress, which may weaken its ability to fight off illnesses. A number of phytonutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, fight inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and boost the overall health of our immunity system.

3. Probiotics and prebiotics
The digestive system plays a central role in supporting immune function. The intestinal tract is the main route of contact with the external environment and is a pathway that contains microbiomes that aids digestion as well as the absorption of nutrients. Having the right gut bacteria has been associated with benefits such as weight loss, improved digestion, healthier skin, and most importantly enhanced immune function, although research in these areas is not conclusive or universally applicable. 

Studies have shown that probiotics, which are ‘good bacteria’, are useful in maintaining the digestive system, and prebiotics, types of fiber that the human body cannot digest, serve as food for these probiotics. 

4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, are healthy and essential types of fat that can be found in food such as chia seeds and supplements such as fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the functions of immune cells, which plays a large role in both the innate and adaptive system that responds to infections. 

Only an approved drug can treat or cure, or prevent the transmission of, COVID-19 and other diseases. In the absence of any vaccine to date, we are left with practical prevention measures, such as maintaining proper hygiene, wearing a mask when necessary, or maintaining social distancing.  It may also be useful to keep our bodies strong so that our immune systems function well. After all, our immune system is one of the most effective forms of defense against viral infections. 

For more information, please visit

About Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.
Herbalife Nutrition is a global a company that has been changing people's lives with great nutrition products and a proven business opportunity for its independent members since 1980. The Company offers high-quality, science-backed products, sold in over 90 countries by entrepreneurial members who provide one-on-one coaching and a supportive community that inspires their customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. Through the Company’s global campaign to eradicate hunger, Herbalife Nutrition is also committed to bringing nutrition and education to communities around the world.

Herbalife Nutrition also encourages investors to visit its investor relations website at as financial and other information is updated and new information is posted.

Biyernes, Marso 27, 2020

Ortigas Malls' Operating Schedule and Services Enjoy Your Favorites at Home

Select Ortigas Malls’ restaurants are still open for delivery during this quarantine period. In light of the enhanced community quarantine and as we stay at home and spend time with our loved ones, we are bringing you your favorite restaurants for delivery so you can enjoy them at the comfort of your own homes. If you're running out of ideas in the kitchen or working hard from home, treat yourself with this wide selection of options. Check out these well-loved restaurants from Estancia, Greenhills and Tiendesitas that are open for home deliveries.

Sharing a list of restaurants at Ortigas Malls that offer home deliveries for you and your entire family.

For more information, you may check their official Facebook Pages:

McDonald’s is committing 50,000 meals to be served through ‘McDo Kindness Kitchen’

“We continue to reinforce our commitment to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos by providing aid to Filipinos in need during this very challenging time. We also want to thank our partner companies, such as the ABS-CBN Foundation, Coca- Cola, and Angkas for providing transportation to distribute the meals” ~Marie Angeles, RMHC Executive Director

Recognizing the selfless efforts of frontliners and the support needed by marginalized communities, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), the charity of choice of McDonald’s Philippines opens the McDo Kindness Kitchen. For this program, McDonald’s Philippines pledges 50,000 meals to be served for medical health workers, police, LGU volunteers, government agencies and local communities. 

Through McDo Kindness Kitchen, select restaurants of the QSR giant, dedicate the operations of their kitchens to prepare the meals of beneficiaries. 

McDo Kindness Kitchen ABS-CBN Team
Each McDo Kindness Kitchen produces 1,500 meals a day, prepared by restaurant crew and managers, and employee volunteers. Partner companies and institutions support the charity program in the mobilization and distribution of meals. 

RMHC now accepts cash donations from individual and corporate donors who wish to support McDo Kindness Kitchen. By donating, one can cover costs for a meal worth 50 pesos per person; these meals are offered at cost.

McDo Kindness Kitchen with law enforcers in Las Pinas
McDonald’s ABS-CBN was activated as the first McDo Kindness Kitchen last March 20 for ABS-CBN Foundation’ Pantawid ng Pag-ibig program. Together, over 17,000 meals have already been served to different communities. There are three other McDo Kindness Kitchen operating in Las Pinas, Cebu Escario and Makati. 

McDo Kindness Kitchen with healthcare staff of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
Since the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine, McDonald’s Philippines and RMHC have started supporting healthcare workers and other frontliners. Since March 15, more than 30,000 meals have been distributed to 40 hospitals and beneficiaries of local government offices within Metro Manila and Mindanao. Continuous support is being provided through the efforts of the company and its charity of choice as the distribution of meals is also extended to various communities that lack access to food. 

Help provide meals for more frontliners and families in need. Donate now via online or bank deposit. Details at

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Philippines is the charity of choice of McDonald’s Philippines. Established in 1995, the organization is driven to make a difference in the lives of Filipino children in education, shelter and happiness. Its flagship programs include the Ronald McDonald Read to Learn program in partnership with the Department of Education, Ronald McDonald Bahay Bulilit in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units, and Ronald McDonald Bigay Tulong.

Shopee launches Shopee Bayanihan, an initiative focused on providing support for medical front liners and Filipinos in need

“In the spirit of bayanihan, we need to come together and draw strength from one another as we tide through this COVID-19 outbreak as one community. We launched Shopee Bayanihan to provide Filipinos a platform to step forward and help those in need. The funds raised will channel much-needed resources to vulnerable individuals and families to help them cope with the situation. We urge everyone to stand together with us and help one another stay strong during this period.” ~Ruoshan Tao, Head of Marketing of Shopee Philippines

In a true bayanihan spirit, Shopee partners with various humanitarian organizations like Red Cross, Kaya Natin and World Vision to raise funds to support different communities most affected by COVID-19 outbreak. Among those in need are hospitals faced with limited medical equipment and low-income households who face difficulties in securing daily necessities. Under Shopee Bayanihan, users can make a direct donation to these organizations via Shopee from 26 March onwards. Additionally, Shopee donates 2,800 KFN4 respiratory masks to support the health workers in the Philippine Lung Center in their combat against the virus.

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches Shopee Bayanihan, an initiative focused on providing support for medical front liners and Filipinos in need. Shopee donates 2,800 KFN4 respiratory masks to the Philippine Lung Center to help medical front liners fight COVID-19.

All Filipinos can make a donation to their partner organizations of choice in amounts of P50, P100, P500, and P1,000 via Shopee Bayanihan. Here’s how:

On March 31, users can tune in to Shopee Live to watch a special program on “Shopee Bayanihan Day”. During the program, popular local celebrities will put up a special performance to help raise funds under Shopee Bayanihan. Users can also find more information on what the partner organizations are doing to support the community. 

All proceeds made through Shopee Bayanihan will go straight to their partner organizations. For more information, please visit:

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

About Shopee
Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It was launched in 7 markets in 2015 to connect consumers, sellers, and businesses in the region.
Shopee offers an easy, secure, and engaging experience that is enjoyed by millions of people daily. It offers a wide product assortment, supported by integrated payments and logistics, as well as popular entertainment features tailored for each market. Shopee is also a key contributor to the region’s digital economy with a firm commitment to helping brands and entrepreneurs succeed in e-commerce.
Shopee is a part of Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), a leading global consumer internet company. In addition to Shopee, Sea’s other core businesses include its digital entertainment arm, Garena, and digital financial services arm, SeaMoney. Sea’s mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology.

Huwebes, Marso 26, 2020

Five Exercises to Keep You Healthy While Social Distancing

Gyms and workout studios are closing across the nation, and people are being asked to stay at home in order to slow the further spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 (coronavirus). And for good reason-- the gym is a well-known and populated place where germs can be easily spread. A new study has shown that the coronavirus can live on surfaces—those popular free weights, cable machines, treadmills, and floor mats-- for up to three days, so your sweat towel is not going to do the job. 

And between all of the excessive hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial purchasing, fears of contracting the virus have many people on edge-- the combination of breaking news and misinformation on social media is enough to put anyone in a state of panic, stress and or depression. Thankfully, many are taking the government’s requests to practice social distancing very seriously, and while the unknown and a drastic change in lifestyle can be quite stressful, I propose this: while we continue to be vigilant to not spread this disease further, use this time at home for more self-care and focus on (or adopt) a fitness routine. 

Reps: Perform 10-12 of each exercise. Repeat the exercises 4 times for a complete routine. 
Time to Complete: About 20 minutes.

1. Triceps dip with reach
This exercise targets the backs of the arms and shoulders.
  • Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent.
  • Place your hands behind you with your fingers facing your body.
  • Lift your butt up off the floor so that you are supported by your arms and feet.
  • Bend your arms at the elbow until your butt touches the floor then push back up to the starting position.
  • If you want an extra challenge as you push uplift your left leg and reach forward with your right arm.

2. Push ups
This is a total-body exercise as it requires the use of lots of muscle groups. 
  • Lay face down on the floor and Position your hands palms-down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart and near your shoulders.
  • The balls of your feet should touch the ground and feet just slightly apart.
  • Raise yourself using your arms. 
  • Make a straight line from your head to your heels and contract your abdominals to keep your hips from sagging. This position is the beginning and the end position of a single push-up. Lower your chest toward the floor by bending your elbows hold for a second then return to the start.

3. Hands and knees balance with crunch
This exercise challenges your balance and works your abdominal muscles.
  • Get onto the floor on all fours. Hands directly under the shoulders, knees under your hips. Keep your back flat. Raise your right arm forward and your left leg back behind you. Bring your knee toward your chest at the same time as brining your elbow to meet your knee. 
  • Do these 10 times then switch legs.

4. Squat
This is a functional exercise that works the largest muscle group in the body-- your butt and legs.
  • Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Start by getting into a position as If you are going to sit in a chair. While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine. 
  • The best squats are the deepest ones your mobility allows. Optimal squat depth would be your hips sinking below the knees.
  • Engage core and, with bodyweight in the heels, push back up to standing, driving through heels. 

5. Reverse Lunge with knee lift. 
This exercise targets the front and back of your legs.
  • With your chest lifted, chin up and abs contracted, take a big step backward with your left foot. Sink straight down so that your back knee points down toward the floor. You are on your back, left toe. Your front foot is firm on the floor, as you push back to the starting position lift your knee up in front of you hold for a second then repeat and switch legs.

Benefits of Exercise
The body’s natural release of endorphins is enhanced during bouts of physical activity, and this surge in happy hormones can boost your mood, your confidence and help reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.

Along with what we eat, where we live, how much we sleep, and even who we live with—exercise also causes chemical reactions that can alter our health status. Regular exercise has been linked to improved heart health, improved bone density, improved joint mobility, improved cognition, improved mood, enhanced metabolic function, an increase in muscular mass, tone, and strength. The list goes on, but during stressful times, one of the greatest benefits of performing regular exercise is its ability to make the activities of everyday life feel easier. 

It’s About Balance
“Exercise stress”, when managed well, is healthy stress that over time pushes your body to adapt and become stronger and more efficient. Some studies suggest exercising on a regular basis is beneficial for immunological health, as it can have a positive effect on your body’s ability to remain well and fight off common illness. Other studies have found that during flu season, the temporary rise in body temperature can discourage certain bacterial growth and the stress relief benefits of exercise help to keep you feeling at your best.

If you do choose to work out when you’re sick, you need your immune system to be firing on all cylinders, so you must carefully manage the duration, intensity level and overall volume of your exercise routines. Managing your exercise routine, consuming a healthy diet and getting enough rest are just a few great ways you can strive toward getting the best physical and emotional results, and avoid overexertion while sick.

Working out at Home
The good news-- being stuck at home doesn't mean you should stop working out—in fact, working out will likely help you keep a feeling of normalcy and protect your psyche while you’re cooped up in your house. Exercise will help you maintain a centered and more rational mindset.  You can work out anywhere no matter how much space you have. All you need is your own body weight and exercises where minimal equipment is required.

In short, use this downtime to practice self-care, and to make time to take care of your body. Don’t let yourself miss out on all of the wonderful health benefits associated with exercise. But remember, if you are sick and choose to work out, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard with your exercise routine, or you can risk a temporary decline in immunological function.

You can do a quick full-body exercise routine at any time to stretch and strengthen your body. Here are five exercises to do at home.  If you’re interested in finding some more routines to do in the comfort of your home, you can access a free fitness portal at For more information, please visit

Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of sport and health science8(3), 201–217.

Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Frontiers in immunology9, 648.

About Herbalife Nutrition Ltd.
Herbalife Nutrition is a global company that has been changing people's lives with great nutrition products and a proven business opportunity for its independent members since 1980. The Company offers high-quality, science-backed products, sold in over 90 countries by entrepreneurial members who provide one-on-one coaching and a supportive community that inspires their customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. Through the Company’s global campaign to eradicate hunger, Herbalife Nutrition is also committed to bringing nutrition and education to communities around the world.

Herbalife Nutrition also encourages investors to visit its investor relations website at as financial and other information is updated and new information is posted.

Lito Adiwang Is Following in the Footsteps of His Hero Manny Pacquiao

“I was born the youngest in a family of seven children. Life was tough and we had to get through a lot of trials. My parents used to plant crops in an open lot so we would have food to eat, but it wasn’t enough. It really taught me a lot about overcoming adversity in life. I wanted to help my family, but I felt powerless. Then I lost my fourth sibling in a mining accident. My parents separated when I was a teenager. I just felt hopeless. Growing up watching the rise of Manny Pacquiao, I was motivated to become a boxer just like him. I wanted to represent my country and make my people proud too. I wanted to help bring my family out of hardship and poverty. There used to be an old church on the streets where I grew up, where I initially started to learn how to box. I was 12 years old at the time. I would shadowbox and imagine I was Manny Pacquiao, fighting against legends like Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. I loved his relentless style. His opponents couldn’t handle him. To be even considered in the same breath as Manny, it’s such an honor. If I can accomplish even a fraction of what he has in his career, I can consider my career a success. Right now I’m just focused on being the best that I can be. I really want to prove myself against the best opponents, and I feel I am ready.~Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, Filipino rising star

Filipino rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang is one of the most explosive action heroes on the ONE Championship roster today. A ONE Warrior Series top product, Adiwang has captivated audiences each time he’s stepped through the ropes or entered the Circle.

The 26-year-old stalwart brings with him a unique adrenaline rush with his fan-friendly style, whenever he comes to compete. Under the guidance of legendary Filipino martial artist Mark Sangiao, and his brothers-in-arms at the famed Team Lakay, Adiwang is blazing a trail through ONE Championship’s strawweight division. 

But he wasn’t always a martial arts action hero. Growing up in Baguio City, Adiwang had a rough upbringing. Just when things were progressively getting tougher for the young Adiwang, he found hope in a Philippine sporting icon.

Like many children growing up in the Philippines, Adiwang was captivated by legendary boxer, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. The young “Thunder Kid” drew strength and inspiration from Pacquiao’s incredible career.

Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, is arguably the greatest boxer of his generation. He’s captured multiple world titles, defeated legends, and achieved worldwide fame and fortune. It soon became Adiwang’s dream to be just like his idol.

Today, there are similarities in Adiwang’s dynamite-laden strikes and Pacquiao’s ferociousness. Just like Pacquiao, Adiwang features a relentless attack. He throws punches with no caution, and everything he comes forward with is packed with bout-ending power. The results have been absolutely stunning.

Adiwang is thus far unbeaten in his ONE Championship stint. Gaining his start on the uber-popular ONE Warrior Series, Adiwang’s star has truly shined. He won his first three bouts under the watchful eye of mixed martial arts legend Rich Franklin.

Not long after, the 26-year-old earned a six-figure contract with ONE Championship, after Franklin saw immediate potential. He then strung together two incredible finishes as part of ONE’s main roster.

“I knew Lito [Adiwang] was something special the moment I saw him train, and eventually compete. He just has that finishing instinct that not everyone has. With some polish, I knew Lito would make a huge impact in ONE Championship. He’s a phenomenal athlete and I just see him powering through the division. He still has much to learn, but he’s also developing at such a rapid pace. I’m really proud of what he’s accomplished so far and very excited about what the future holds for him.~Franklin, ONE Warrior Series CEO

It’s still early in his career and the possibilities are endless. Whether Adiwang goes down the path of his idol, Manny Pacquiao, remains to be seen. But there’s no denying the “Thunder Kid” is traversing a similar road.

6 Best Tips You Can Do To Keep Your Smartphone Sanitized

“We touch our smartphones more than anything especially now that we try to stay connected to our loved ones who are away from us and keep updated on the latest news. But it can pose a health risk especially that dirt gets easily transferred into our phones. So, in light of the current COVID-19 situation, we strongly encourage our consumers to practice proper smartphone sanitation in order to protect themselves from contracting the virus.” ~Zen Han,  OPPO Philippines’ VP of National Sales

Given the common habit of always having our smartphones on hand, it is crucial now more than ever to make sure that we keep our hands and our smartphones clean and to be vigilant in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With that, here are a few simple and efficient ways on how you can prevent the spread of germs by sanitizing your smartphone. Make it a habit to sanitize the one thing you always have on hand

There’s no better time than now to be extra careful in keeping your smartphone clean, especially since this is our everyday driver that we can rely on that ends up getting a lot of exposure. Make sure to do your part in staying safe!

According to a study published in February 2020 under the Journal of Hospital Infection, viruses such as the COVID-19 are capable of surviving up to nine days on smooth surfaces, and that includes a smartphone screen. 

Sanitation is key in keeping clean and safe, making it particularly relevant for Filipinos who are very active smartphone users. Aside from constantly washing your hands with soap and water as advised by the World Health Organization, make sure to practice these tips on properly and safely cleaning your phone, highly recommended by OPPO Philippines:

  1. Wash or sanitize your hands. To avoid transferring any harmful bacteria, make sure to sanitize your hands before and after you clean your phone.
  2. Ready a soft, lint-free or microfiber cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths such as towels and paper towels. Using such may damage the surface of your screen. 
  3. Use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. Isopropyl Alcohol is a highly effective disinfectant against viruses particularly the ones with 70% concentration. Anything beyond it may evaporate too quickly. When cleaning your phone with alcohol, make sure to use cotton balls or felt-tips swabs when cleaning harder to reach areas like ports and mics and to avoid liquid spilling on such parts that may cause damage to internal components. 
  4. Use liquid hand soaps with alcohol content. If Isopropyl Alcohol is not readily available, you may use hand soaps with alcohol content. Add a few drops on the screen and gently wipe the whole phone with a microfiber cloth. Make sure to avoid getting moisture in any openings. Wipe off the soap with a damp microfiber cloth afterward, and then dry your phone off with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
  5. Avoid using harsh home cleaning products. Window and household cleaners with strong chemical components like ammonia or hydrogen peroxide may damage your smartphone screen.
  6. Use UV light sanitation. UV-C light, in particular, also used in hospital-grade disinfecting procedures serves as a potent solution that targets certain bacteria. UV devices can be used as well to sanitize your smartphone.  

These simple ways have been proven to significantly cut down the number of bacteria found on a smartphone’s surface, as demonstrated by Dr. Lena Ciric, a microbiologist from University College London in this study

Stay smart in making sure you’re doing your part in keeping safe, and always make it a habit to sanitize your phones! 

Miyerkules, Marso 25, 2020

Millennials poised to drive the Philippine home loan market Nook

“There is a strong interest in property among financially savvy millennials in the Philippines, a dynamic market that has shown a desire to save money on things like home loans to enjoy more of what life offers. Females, in particular, are keen on real estate, mirroring their investment aptitude and financial strength. The average loan amount being reviewed by millennials using Nook is in fact, above P3 million. We offer borrowers the one place in the Philippines to compare banks side-by-side to find the right home loan option for them. We then help them every step of the way to get their home loan approved. ~Chris Elder, Nook CEO

Millennials emerged as the fastest-growing generation to contribute to the growth of the home loan landscape in the country, according to PH’s first online mortgage brokering platform, Nook. As the platform disrupts the home loan process in the Philippines, millennials are seen to lead the industry as they express keen interest to invest in real estate properties.

The millennials or Generation Y are often lumped into somewhat narrow categories of traits and characteristics and are stigmatized for being self-absorbed and narcissistic according to a research article by Grubbs et al in 2019. While millennials are seen to prioritize other leisure activities, data shows that millennials, in fact, are generally good financial planners. Based on an article by Forbes in 2019, millennials are taking advantage of finding new alternative investments and securing stability to settle down for their future. The millennial generation is both captive to and captivated by growing their money over time, investing in various social and environmental causes.

In the US, millennials have also shown an increase in their home buying purchase power, assuming the largest chunk of shares for new home loans, according to

In the Philippines, as disposable incomes grow, more Filipinos aged 40 and below are purchasing property – a trend that industry observers correlate with the country’s strong economic fundamentals, and mirrors global trends.

According to the data gathered by Nook, almost 44% of loans from its platform are being acquired by millennials. Interestingly, 69% of those applicants are female and 65% are single. 

Almost half of the applicants prefer house and lots while a third acquire condominiums, reflecting the diversity of preferences among buyers. 

The preponderance of property options now available in the market has spurred strong interest among millennials. Over the past few years, the country’s largest developers have been offering a wide range of homes and condominiums across the country to fit various budgets and style preferences. The quick appreciation of property values has also been seen as a reason behind the strong uptake of real estate among millennials, who see themselves gaining not just a home, but an investment vehicle as well.

Recognizing that home buyers need assistance as they go through the loan application process in the Philippines, mortgage broker Nook launched its online platform that tech-savvy millennials have no trouble navigating. Nook enables users to do a loan comparison from many banks and experience a seamless loan application process online with the support of their loan consultants.

Mr. Elder notes that many prospective applicants, especially millennials taking out their first loans, are intimidated by the complicated loan application process. Moreover, they do not know what housing loan terms work best for their purposes and circumstances. Nook simplifies the entire process, by helping users to evaluate the most optimal loan terms to acquire their target properties.

Nook has partnered with the top banking institutions in the Philippines, providing home buyers with a wide range of financing options to match their needs. A buyer can compare what each bank offers, making the decision-making process easier. Nook also provides a preview of the amount of monthly repayments they have to make, including fees and other requirements.

With Nook’s digital innovations, more Filipino millennials would be empowered to invest in real estate.

For more details and updates, visit Nook’s official website at

Linggo, Marso 22, 2020

Lazada Stands with the Philippines to Combat COVID-19

“We are grateful that our advocacy partners have placed their trust in Lazada. We stand together, committed to serve and empower the Filipino community in all the ways that we can. The only way to truly fight this pandemic is through our collective efforts, and as one country.” ~Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines’ Chief Executive Officer

Four new advocacy partners join LazadaForGood to facilitate donations in support of front liners and those in need.

With a strong call to combat COVID-19, Lazada onboards four new advocacy partners onto LazadaForGood, Lazada's digital giving platform, to help our fellow countrymen in the frontlines and those in need of aid. They are Philippine Red Cross, Kaya Natin, Virlanie Foundation, Inc. and 2KK Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid, joining the list of existing partners like Caritas Manila and UNICEF Philippines, bringing the total to 15.

Over the week, our partner agencies have raised more than PHP 2,000,000 through Lazada's digital giving platform to support our front liners and provide relief to the people affected by the virus. Through the platform, consumers can support local communities and causes in need through direct donations where they are assured of secure online payments.

The four new advocacy partners:
  1. Philippine Red Cross - a long-standing and esteemed humanitarian organization providing social welfare services and volunteerism;
  2. Kaya Natin - an organization promoting good governance and ethical leadership;
  3. Virlanie Foundation, Inc. - caters to marginalized children and communities; and
  4. 2KK Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid - empowers underprivileged youth through education.

Proceeds of all donations will help supply different forms of support for these organizations. Philippine Red Cross and UNICEF donations are for medical staff supplies - PPEs and hygiene kits. Donations for Caritas Manila supplies safety kits to be distributed to families and communities in need. Kaya Natin Movement supports food and personal care packages, as well as personal protective equipment (PPEs) for our medical front liners. Likewise, Virlanie Foundation and 2KK Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid are donating food and personal care packages for street children. Red Cross will also provide support through community engagement activities like psychosocial support and access to education for out-of-school children.

How to access direct donations to LazadaForGood through the platform? Click on this link to access the page:

On the Lazada website:
  • Open the Lazada website
  • Click ‘Load & eStore’
  • Once the page opens, click on the ‘Donations’
  • Select an advocacy partner of choice and ‘Add to cart’ to donate*

On the Lazada App:
  • Launch the Lazada app
  • Click on ‘Load, Bills, and Coupon’
  • Tap on ‘Donation’
  • Select an advocacy partner of choice and ‘Add to cart’ to donate*

*All proceeds go directly to your chosen advocacy partner. Lazada does not benefit from any of the remittances made on the LazadaforGood Platform.

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About LazadaForGood
LazadaForGood is Lazada's ongoing efforts to drive long term social impact to fulfill our core mission of accelerating progress in Southeast Asia through technology and commerce. We envision progress can be achieved through digital giving; community building; empowering entrepreneurship; promoting gender equality in our workplace and on our platform; and applying innovation to environmental sustainability challenges. LazadaForGood aims to achieve these goals together with all our stakeholders as we do our part for a better world.

About Lazada Group
Founded in 2012, Lazada Group is the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia. We are accelerating progress in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam through commerce and technology. With the largest logistics and payment networks in the region, Lazada is a part of our consumers’ daily lives in the region and we aim to serve 300 million shoppers by 2030. Since 2016, Lazada is the Southeast Asia flagship platform of the Alibaba Group powered by its cutting-edge technology infrastructure.

Ben&Ben launches online event to raise funds for COVID-19 relief

“As artists, we believe that in a crisis like this we are called to do what we can to help—may it be by sending messages of hope, making efforts in raising funds for this crisis, or others.” ~Ben&Ben

Ben&Ben is set to hold a massive fundraising online showcase entitled, “Puhon: A Ben&Ben FB Live Event for the COVID-19 Efforts.”

The nine-piece collective will be performing some of their biggest hits for a one-hour live stream show while staying in their respective homes.

The platform will also provide an opportunity for people to contribute to the ongoing efforts in helping the frontliners and urban poor community affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

All proceeds from this project are to raise funds for COVID19 test kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and nutrition support for frontline healthcare workers, and relief goods for daily wage earners.

The upcoming online concert is in partnership with YSEALI, Limitless Lab, and the Asian Institute of Management - Team Energy Center For Bridging Leadership.

The Facebook Live Jam will happen on March 27, 2020 (Friday) at 7:00 PM. It will serve as a launchpad for the band’s community-initiative website,, which aims to inspire, uplift and boost the collective morale of all the key stakeholders of the COVID-19 the response through uplifting stories, music, art, and more.

Biyernes, Marso 20, 2020

Making the Philippines a friendlier place for people with Down Syndrome

Everyone is welcome in SM, and we have always made a conscious effort in ensuring that accessibility and inclusion are in the heart of everything we do. We believe that every member of our community should experience the same fun and leisure whenever they are in SM. SM is a Mall for all, and we strive to support communities and create a barrier-free and disability-inclusive environment for every Filipino, especially for our customers with diverse needs.” ~Engr. Bien Mateo, SVP Operations and Program Director of SM Cares Program on PWDs

A parent’s love knows no bounds. This is especially true of those of persons who are born with Down syndrome. The nurturing that their parents provide is the equalizer that will allow them to thrive and do great things, regardless of their condition. It is the key factor that will enable these individuals with special needs to live fulfilled lives.

Being active members of their respective organizations, all mothers know how crucial inclusion is, in enabling a society where persons with Down syndrome and other disabilities can feel secure and cared for. They believe that it is the collective responsibility of individuals, communities, and corporations to work together and create an environment that is free from discrimination and prejudice.
“Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all, or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is usually associated with increased risks of health conditions, physical growth delays, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and characteristic facial and physical features.” ~Suzanna Yuzon, Founder of Miss Philippines Foundation
Suzanna Yuzon, is the founder of the Miss Possibilities Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that advocates for the differently-abled, including those with Down syndrome, by offering free therapy sessions, medical missions, and activities that are set to enrich their lives—particularly a pageant where girls with special needs can show the world their beauty and individuality.

Among the Miss Possibilities Foundation’s numerous contributions to the upliftment of lives of people with special needs is the creation of the first Bill for Down syndrome that has had its first reading in Congress, and the group is currently lobbying and hoping for more support from members of Congress. 

Suzanna Yuzon, founder of Miss Philippines Foundation, together with her family.
Wanting to use their personal experience to help other families, all three mothers each have made it personal advocacy to help raise awareness about Down syndrome and other disabilities and promote inclusion for those who have it in the country.
“More than that, I think children and adults with Down syndrome face the challenge of not being included. Many times, they are left out due to laws not being implemented properly, or worse yet cultural stigma that inhibits them from even being counted. It is imperative. It is their right. Children with Down Syndrome have the right to be included in schools, in social situations, and fully integrated into society where they can contribute and earn a proper wage through gainful employment. Kids and adults with Down syndrome are completely capable of achieving the same milestones as a typical child or adult, it just might take them a little longer.” ~Michelle Aventajado, Executive Director at Best Buddies Philippines
Michelle Aventajado is the Executive Director of Best Buddies Philippines, the local arm of international non-profit Best Buddies, which is “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”

The organization has, among numerous initiatives: a Friendship Program that matches persons with IDD with non-IDD individuals according to their age, interests, and gender, with the aim of fostering friendships; a Leadership Program that involves identifying leaders within the community, giving them speech coaching lessons, and teaching them how to self-advocate; and, a Jobs Program that actively looks for companies who are ready to partner to help facilitate an inclusive work environment for persons with Down syndrome, by offering integrated employment for individuals with IDD.

Michelle Aventajado, Executive Director at Best Buddies Philippines, together with her family
SM’s support for these and similar organizations align with the countless programs that the company has introduced in its various developments over the years—programs that address the needs of customers with special needs and celebrate their abilities over their disabilities, earning a reputation as being the most PWD-friendly developer in the country.
There are also challenges associated with development, wherein individuals will experience certain delays in that regard, as well as behavioral issues. These equally require great care and attention. ~Agnes Lapena, of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines 
Agnes Lapena is a member of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc. (DSAPI), a non-profit organization that aims to offer support to families that have members with Down syndrome. Some of the many programs of DSAPI include Happy Walk, an annual walking event for Down syndrome that gathers thousands of families and advocates from different parts of the country; the annual golf tournament Tee-Up for Down, a fund-raising campaign that supports various Down syndrome initiatives; and the Early Intervention seminar, which offers counseling and clinical consultation for parents of children with Down syndrome.

Agnes Lapena of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines together with her family.
In addition, DSAPI has a partnership with Shakey’s Philippines wherein people with Down syndrome are given opportunities to work.

As a responsible corporate citizen, and as a program partner that supports the advocacy on inclusion for persons with Down syndrome, SM Supermalls, through SM Cares, its Corporate Social Responsibility group, fully understands the importance of inclusion for PWDs in their business environments. This is why the Mall giant has been actively supporting non-profit organizations like DSAPI, Miss Possibilities Foundation, and Best Buddies Philippines, amongst others, as the company has always supported causes for persons with disabilities (PWDs). 

Mothers Agnes Lapena, Suzanna Yuzon, and Michelle Aventajado are living embodiments of this kind of parental love. As mothers of persons with Down syndrome themselves, they know firsthand the challenges that living with a family member who has Down syndrome entails.

Help DSAPI, Miss Possibilities Foundation, and Best Buddies Philippines make a difference by attending their events and supporting all their projects. Visit their websites and social media sites for more information:
To learn more about DSAPI

To learn more about the Miss Possibilities Foundation

To learn more about Best Buddies Philippines

Learn more about SM Cares and their Various Community Programs

Attendees of Best Buddies Philippines, Go Skating 2020 pose for the camera during a day of fun on the ice at the SM Mall of Asia.