Thursday, June 20, 2024

Project Eight Initiative's Jasser June Cruz Attends GoNegosyo Tourism Summit 2024: Fostering Livelihood Advocacy and Community Growth

Jasser June Cruz, a major Project Lead for the Project Eight Initiative's Livelihood program, attended the much-anticipated GoNegosyo Tourism Summit 2024. The conference brought together industry experts, legislators, and entrepreneurs to explore the future of tourism and its impact on community development and economic progress.
Throughout the event, Cruz actively participated in various sessions and discussions, gaining valuable insights into the latest trends and strategies in tourism that could be harnessed to enhance livelihood opportunities within communities. One of his major takeaways was the critical role of sustainable tourism practices in driving long-term economic benefits while preserving cultural and environmental heritage. He emphasized the importance of integrating these practices into local livelihood programs to ensure both profitability and sustainability.
Cruz also highlighted the potential of leveraging digital platforms and technology to promote local tourism. By utilizing social media, online marketplaces, and virtual tours, communities can reach a broader audience, attract more visitors, and increase revenue streams. He expressed enthusiasm for incorporating these digital tools into the Project Eight Initiative's Livelihood advocacy efforts, aiming to empower local entrepreneurs and boost their visibility in the competitive tourism market.
Networking was another significant aspect of Cruz's participation in the summit. He connected with several potential partners, including representatives from eco-tourism organizations, digital marketing firms, and government agencies focused on community development. These connections promise to open new avenues for collaboration, resource sharing, and support, enhancing the reach and impact of the Livelihood advocacy program.
One promising partnership emerged with an eco-tourism organization that specializes in sustainable travel experiences. This collaboration is expected to bring new training programs and resources to local communities, helping them develop and market eco-friendly tourism ventures. Additionally, discussions with digital marketing experts are set to provide local entrepreneurs with the skills and tools needed to effectively promote their businesses online.
Cruz's attendance at the GoNegosyo Tourism Summit 2024 underscored the Project Eight Initiative's commitment to fostering community growth and economic empowerment through innovative and sustainable livelihood programs. By integrating the latest tourism trends and forging strategic partnerships, the initiative aims to create lasting positive change in the communities it serves.

Ready to join the movement and make a difference? 

Visit The Project Eight’s Facebook page at to learn more and get involved! 

Together, let’s empower tomorrow, today.

Race to raise young athletes at Vermosa Green Run

“We are committed to providing these aspiring athletes with the training, support and opportunities they need to achieve their dreams and represent our community on a national level.” ~Chrissy Roa, Group Head of Marketing and Communications for Ayala Land Estates

The Green Run at Vermosa has taken its popular multi-category run to the next level this year.

Aside from providing an opportunity for recreational runners, running enthusiasts, serious runners, and elite athletes to hit the trails for recreation and training, this year's run is dedicated to assisting young runners from Cavite who want to pursue their dreams of becoming national track athletes.

On June 14, Ayala Land Estates, Inc. welcomed Takbo Kabitenyo, a Cavite-based organization dedicated to developing the talents of aspiring athletes with the ambition and potential to compete at the national level. Ayala Land, through its Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, welcomed Cavite's aspiring runners.

Ayala Land representatives, led by Chrissy Roa, Group Head of Marketing and Communications for Ayala Land Estates, donated 30 Green Run race kits and products from Merrell, a running brand, to the Cavite running organization in Vermosa. The Takbo Kabitenyo group will also receive freebies and gifts from all Vermosa Green Run sponsors during the Run, which will begin on Sunday, June 30. 

The Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub, envisioned to be the preferred venue for national and international sports events in the Philippines, will be a perfect training camp for the young Cavite athletes.

Noel Diaz, Takbo Kabitenyo President, expressed his gratitude for the support.

”We are deeply grateful to Ayala Land Estates Inc.and Vermosa  for choosing Takbo Kabitenyo as one of the beneficiaries of the 2024 The Green Run. The exposure to this prestigious event will hopefully inspire our young runners to elevate their aspirations and work even harder towards excellence in their chosen sports.” ~Noel Diaz, Takbo Kabitenyo President

Ayala Land Estates has launched another running initiative alongside The Green Run this year called the Ayala Vermosa Running Club. It has weekly activities for its members and classes conducted by Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub coaches. The environment-themed run is also supporting the Pawssion Project and Haribon Foundation on its third year.

Fueled by its 2024 theme of “Go Greener, Get Leaner, Give Back: Run Towards a Brighter Future”, The Green Run 2024 is supported by Avida Sentria Storeys, Kremil-S, Diatabs, Merrell, Pocari Sweat, Park Access, Chris Sports, Fitbar, Naturals, Healthway Medical Network, Fuwa Fuwa, Nutrition Depot, and Oishi.

Those interested to join any of the Green Run categories – 3K, 5K, 10K, the half-marathon 21K and the 1K Dog Run – may register at

The Sports Hub is a cutting-edge, professionally managed sports facility featuring a 400-meter IAAF standard track oval that serves as a premier training ground for amateur and professional athletes. It also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool that meets FINA standards, as well as an indoor training facility with a sports science lab.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Jollibee Group brings together local and global suppliers to foster collaboration for innovation and adaptability

“Our suppliers have been one of our greatest resources, playing a crucial role in helping us meet our operational and sustainable business goals. As partners in our growth, we aim to keep them informed of our directions and initiatives, and to communicate our commitments to quality, consistency, and excellence. The Supplier Awards Night is a celebration of excellence and shared commitments. It also highlights how powerful collaborations truly accelerate growth. We hope that these recognitions will boost the trust and motivation of our suppliers, as well as reinforce the strength of our partnerships as we expand the business with our common goal: To serve great-tasting food and bring the joy of eating to everyone.” ~Ernesto Tanmantiong, Jollibee Group President and Chief Executive Officer
Partners for Growth. The Jollibee Group has gathered 600 local and global suppliers for a Supplier Summit to unveil the company's business practices, directions, and innovations. The summit culminated by recognizing the strong supplier partnerships that has fueled Jollibee Group's success and growth.

Based on its long-term goal of developing a resilient supply chain to ensure better service and quality products in the future, the Jollibee Group has gathered 600 key global and country suppliers to foster a more robust and effective partnership by aligning with them the company's business priorities and innovations in the coming years.

Business outlook. Jollibee Group chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong shared insights on the Company’s business performance and future strategies.

With the theme "Accelerating Growth Through Partnership," the recently concluded event highlighted Jollibee Group's pivotal steps in improving customer experience and maintaining the highest food safety and quality standards in collaboration with its suppliers. It also reaffirmed Jollibee Group's commitment to sustainable business practices, as embodied in its 'Joy for Tomorrow' global sustainability agenda. As a company that partners with reputable suppliers who share its principles of serving food people trust, helping improve people’s lives, and treating the planet responsibly. 

CSR at the forefront. Jollibee Group Foundation Chairperson Grace Tan Caktiong (first row: seated, third from left) and Jollibee Group Foundation president Gisela Tiongson (first row: seated, second from left) led the recognition of FEP partners for their dedication and unwavering commitment at the Supplier Awards Night. 

Tanmantiong was followed by William Tan Untiong, Jollibee Group's Chief Business Support Office, and other Jollibee Group executives, who each delivered business presentations aimed at empowering suppliers with new knowledge as they continue to work with Jollibee Group to provide great tasting food that people can trust.  

Recognition of Quality and Reliability
Culminating the summit is Jollibee Group's first-ever Supplier Awards Night, which honored its suppliers' outstanding performances in reaching elevated supplier targets and metrics as well as  suppliers' innovation, and sustainability efforts.

The top recognition known as the Champion Partner of Joy award was presented to Kerry Manufacturing (Philippines), Inc. for embodying the highest standards of quality, innovation, sustainability, and partnership, as well as a sustained high-level performance in the Procurement Value Matrix and supplier scorecards.

Arla Foods Corporation received the Special Award for Innovation for providing creative solutions, products, or processes that have notably enhanced their operations or customer experience. They also received the notable Special Award for Sustainability for demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility and contributing to a more sustainable future for communities and the planet.  

Meanwhile, Alaska Milk Corporation and Nueva Ecija-based farmer group KALASAG Multipurpose Cooperative, along with two other companies, were given the Special Award for Quality for exhibiting exceptional standards in delivering products or services that consistently meet or exceed the company’s stringent quality standards. Finally, marketing services suppliers DDB Philippines and Widescope Advertising Agency were given the Special Citation for Quality.

To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit

About Jollibee Group 
Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC, also known as Jollibee Group) is one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world. Its mission is to serve great-tasting food and bring the joy of eating to everyone through its 18 brands with over 6,800 stores across 33 countries. 
The Jollibee Group has eight wholly owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger); four franchised brands (Burger King, Panda Express, and Yoshinoya in the Philippines, and Tim Ho Wan in certain territories in China); 80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf; 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee; and 51% ownership of Milksha, a popular Taiwanese bubble tea brand. JFC also has a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless for Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.
The Jollibee Group, through its subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) owns 92% participating interest in Titan Dining LP, a private equity fund that owns the Tim Ho Wan brand. The Jollibee Group has a joint venture with the THW Group to open and operate THW restaurants in Mainland China. The Company also established a joint venture company that will own and operate Tiong Bahru Bakery and Common Man Coffee Roasters in the Philippines. Recently, the Jollibee Group signed agreements to own 10% ownership in Botrista, a leader in the beverage technology space.  The Company also owns a 90% participating interest in Titan Dining Partners II Ltd to further grow Asia Pacific food service brands and/or bring strong global food service brands to Asia Pacific.
The Jollibee Group has launched its global sustainability agenda dubbed Joy for Tomorrow, which aims to strengthen the Company’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The agenda centers on the key pillars of Food, People, and Planet, and consists of 10 focus areas namely: food safety, food quality, nutrition & transparency, employee welfare, farmers livelihood, community support, good governance, packaging & recycling, waste reduction, and energy & water efficiency. Each focus area sets goals and initiatives that contribute and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
The Jollibee Group was named the Philippines' Most Admired Company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for ten years. It was also honored as one of Asia's Fab 50 Companies and among the World's Best Employers and World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies by Forbes. The Company is also a three-time recipient of Gallup’s Exceptional Workplace Award and was recently cited in TIME’s List of the World’s Best Companies.  
To learn more about Jollibee Group, visit

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

U.P. SAMASKOM KICKS OFF LIVE A.I.D.S: HYSTERICAL REVISIONISM Tatlumpu’t Apat na Taon ng Makasaysayang Tawanan, Sayawan at Kimmy-nism

“What started as a mere applicants’ batch project in 1983 is now one of the most awaited events in the Diliman Republic. Each year, Live AIDS always surpasses its previous record number of fans who watch the show.” ~Venice Atienza, Live A.I.D.S Hysterical Revisionism Production Management Mentor

After five (5) years away from the theater scene due to pandemic restrictions, the longest-running comedy variety show on the UP Diliman campus has returned!

The 34th edition of Live A.I.D.S. (Ang Istoryang Dinebelop ng SAMASKOM), or Acts, Improvisations, Dances, and Songs, an annual musical-comedy series produced by the talented student organization UP SAMASKOM, will take place from July 5 to 7 at UP's Ignacio B. Jimenez - KAL Theater.

LIVE A.I.D.S.: HYSTERICAL REVISIONISM: “Tatlumpu’t Apat na Taon ng Makasaysayang Tawanan, Sayawan at Kimmy-nism” will put a funny but sharp spin and witty commentary on Philippine society while also adding a comic touch to trending topics and viral content. It promises to make audiences laugh and enjoy themselves like never before, with dances and dazzling production numbers interspersed throughout. 

Venice Atienza is a former University of the Philippines student. SAMASKOM has worked in the show's production and creative departments for many years. 

SAMASKOM alumni rule the local entertainment scene, whether in front of or behind the camera. LiveAIDS has launched the careers of Kuya Kim Atienza, Giselle Sanchez, RS Francisco, Raymond Lauchengco, Wency Cornejo, Ate Glow, Michelle O'Bombshell, Tuesday Vargas, Mrs. Tan, and KaladKaren, among others. 

ABS-CBN's head of TV production, Laurenti (Loren) Dyogi, and ABS-CBN Global Head of Creative Services, Ned Legaspi, are both SAMASKOM alumni.

Live AIDS continues to draw devoted fans and viewers, including well-known figures like Bianca Gonzales, Ricky Lee, Quark Henares, John Lapus, Rajo Laurel, Jigs Mayuga, Tim Yap, and Vice Ganda.

“Live A.I.D.S. and the UP SAMASKOM are platforms where students and alumni members alike are given the opportunity to nurture their talents and skill sets, and essentially nurture them to face the real world.” ~Mrs. Tan, Filipino Drag Artista, seasoned dancer and performer of the show

“This show bolsters one’s talent, skills, and self-confidence. It’s evident in our alumni members.” ~Kaldkaren, UP SAMASKOM Alumna and a seasoned performer, veteran writer, production member, and former resident officer

“With the issues and concerns of the Philippines at present and history distortion as well, it is time to continue the UP SAMASKOM tradition of amusing audiences and making them aware of political and social matters. This year, through the Live AIDS legacy, everyone will hear what Samaskom will say about the current times. This is a show that finds humor on the right side of history. There is pressure to outdo ourselves every show. This is our comeback show - we want to reawaken our audience as we give them the best show they will ever see. It is terrifying but it is a welcome challenge. UP SAMASKOM is passionate in creating a show that speaks out and entertains at the same time. ~Bill Barrinuevo, Live AIDS Hysterical Revisionism Director

Tickets now on sale at

Tickets to Live AIDS Hysterical Revisionism can be bought at For more information, follow on X Twitter and  Instagram, and on Facebook at

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Doing it right, doing it twice: Dragon Edge Group gets Best Place to Work winning streak

“We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve our customers and work alongside amazing teams. This award belongs to the DEGsters, who are passionate, hardworking individuals committed to our mission in spreading joy, excellence, and positivity through our products. This is just the beginning. We have set the standard with our Best Place to Work awards, and it is now up to us to uphold and surpass it. ~Dennis Balajadia, Dragon Edge Group Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dragon Edge Group wins Best Place to Work again! Founders Dennis and Emily Balajadia and the edgy, hardworking DEGsters.celebrating their back-to-back Best Place to Work win.

Dragon Edge Group (DEG), the company behind the popular Beach Hut Sunscreen and Cycles Laundry Detergent, once again received the Best Place to Work award for the second year in a row, recognizing its excellence in the workplace, making it one of the top companies in the Philippines.

This award, presented by the world-renowned Best Places to Work in collaboration with the Best Companies Group, recognizes companies that have achieved the highest levels of excellence in human resource (HR) practices and employee experience. The organization evaluates employee culture and treatment in companies around the world, taking into account employee conditions, compensation and benefits, motivation, relationships, training, well-being, career development, leadership, and culture.

Dragon Edge Group’s fearless husband-and-wife founders Emily and Dennis Balajadia receive their second Best Place to Work award from Yones Candra, Best Places to Work Customer Success Manager.

Excellence in leadership and employee culture

Dragon Edge Group has been creating remarkable brands that make people's lives better ever since 2005. Behind the company's success is a passionate team led by equally passionate leaders who ensure that only the highest-quality products reach stores and consumers' homes.

Aside from its products for customers, DEG promotes a positive work environment and a distinct company culture that encourages new ideas and innovative thinking among employees. This has become a cornerstone of success within the company as DEG employees and leadership, also known as "DEGsters," As a result, "DEGsters" develop their creativity and grow their potential in line with their core values of working with integrity and excellence, practicing tamang diskarte and making sure things are done on time, taking care of customers, and to be humble.

DEG offers leadership programs and initiatives for employees to help them grow into strong leaders within the company. DEG students can also pursue master's degrees from prestigious universities such as the Ateneo Graduate School of Business and the Wharton School.

Open communication with employees is also critical to DEG's success. By speaking with employees and receiving constructive feedback, the company was able to improve certain aspects of their company culture, such as adding a retirement package to its benefits for DEGsters approaching this stage of life.

“We listen to our employees and we take note of feedback that would help us improve as a company, as long as it’s aligned with our values.” ~Emily Balajadia, Dragon Edge Group Co-founder and Mother of Marketing.

Producing remarkable brands and innovations

Dragon Edge’s first product was a bottle of Beach Hut Sunblock in 2006, which was the first and only local spray-on sunblock at the time. This innovation pushed them to create other brands that challenged the status quo, and became the pioneers of many products, such as the first baby detergent Cycles and the first natural baby bottle and nipple cleanser, Cradle.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, DEG quickly responded by creating and distributing COV-X alcohol in just 11 days to help communities to stay safe and healthy.

The top priority is letting DEGsters’ express their creativity. Founders Dennis and Emily Balajadia believe that the best ideas come from “relaxed, informal settings.” This encourages the team to think outside the box to come up with attention-grabbing campaigns for their brands. This has led to some of the wildest ideas, like Beach Hut becoming the first sunblock to fly to space in 2017, which was crafted during a company drinking session.

The company has also expanded nationwide and has been selling products in Indonesia since 2006. Not only did this allow DEG to expand further, but it also created numerous opportunities for employees to contribute to the company's growth while also growing internally.

Dragon Edge Group founders Dennis and Emily Balajadia talk about what they’ve done to improve employees’ wellbeing, and how DEGsters were key in their decision-making process.

Doing good work for the community

DEG’s fearless approach allows the company to tackle challenges head-on through innovative solutions that elevate customer experience. As part of Beach Hut’s brand initiatives, the brand opened Beach Hut Bar in Boracay in 2012. It gave vacationers a spot to enjoy the beach vibe with good music and signature cocktails, while protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays. Beach Hut also introduced the first sunscreen vending machine in Caticlan Airport and Boracay to keep tourists protected from the sun.

The company also takes a creative approach in implementing CSR initiatives for communities. Running for five years, Beach Hut Sunscreen is on a mission to support and develop grassroots women’s football, empowering young girls to follow their dreams both on and off the field. 

This year, the brand hosted the first-ever Women's Beach Football Festival, showcasing the brand's dedication to empowering Filipina athletes.

DEG is also leading the way in sustainability with the thrust of saving the earth for the younger generation with the launch of eco-friendly packaging, recycling bins, and Cycles and Cradle refilling stations.

Dragon Edge Group goes beyond creating game-changing products. Being recognized as a two-time Best Place to Work awardee emphasizes how they prioritize a culture of joy and celebration, translating into a passionate team that thrives on achieving and spreading positivity. This ultimately creates a ripple effect into DEG's employee benefits, CSR initiatives, and how they push to improve the quality of life of their customers and communities. 

For more information about Dragon Edge Group and its brands, visit their official website.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Beyond Boundaries: Your Child's Journey to a US Education

Come and unlock a world of possibilities!

Union Catholic High School, a private school in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, is well-known for its rigorous academic programs, faith-based values, and commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment. ranked the school as "#4 in Best Private High Schools in Union County," and Filipinos will be able to get a glimpse of the school's programs and offerings at a special "roadshow" this June.

Aptly named "Beyond Boundaries: Your Child's Path to a U.S. Education!", the landmark roadshow will have two "legs." The first will take place on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the U.P. Activity Area. The first will be held at Town Center in Quezon City, and the second will take place on June 19 from 12pm to 8pm at The Mind Museum in Taguig City.

Join us at any (or both) of the Roadshow "Legs"!

To know more about Union Catholic High School visit or on Facebook Page, and Instagram.

From Passion to Profession: iAcademy Alumni Take Non-Traditional Career Paths to Global Stages

"Being a game changer is about not limiting yourself to what you know but always evolving and making space to learn. I want to be that representation in the creative industry." ~Joshua Villena, iAcademy Graduate of BS Animation Batch 2020
iAcademy Gamechangers

When it comes to establishing a career, following one's passion is often not the obvious option. Many people feel compelled to pursue traditional professions based on cultural and societal expectations because they are perceived to provide greater stability and financial security. Because of a lack of awareness or understanding of the potential opportunities and growth within the creative industry, most people perceive non-traditional career paths as riskier than other more common options.  Some people, on the other hand, are willing to take risks in order to pursue their passions, and as a result, they become game changers. 

Forging Unconventional Career Paths

Joshua Villena, iAcademy graduate of BS Animation batch 2020

In a society where passion and profession are frequently perceived as opposing forces, Joshua Villena demonstrates that they can coexist. Joshua, who now works as an artist and designer in New York, received his Animation degree from iAcademy. Initially working for various animation studios, he eventually pursued a non-traditional career path based on his passion, showcasing his art in exhibitions in the Philippines, Italy, Paris, and New York.

Joshua Villena demonstrates that passion and career can coexist in a society where they are frequently perceived to be opposing paths. Joshua worked as an artist and designer in New York after graduating from iAcademy with a degree in animation. He began by working for various animation studios before embarking on a non-traditional career path and exhibiting his work in shows in the Philippines, Italy, Paris, and New York.

Joshua Villena at his The Arrival of Yeshua” solo exhibition in New York

Joshua Villena with his own streetwear merchandise “YESHUA”

In April, Joshua debuted his first solo exhibition, "The Arrival of Yeshua" featuring ten original artworks and a new streetwear line called Yeshua. This milestone not only highlights his individual success but also sets the stage for Filipino creatives on the global scene.

Sabrina Maybituin, iAcademy Graduate of BS Animation Batch 2012

Sabrina Maybituin also took a non-traditional career path on her way to success. Starting as a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Animation, she quickly rose through the ranks to become Head of Client Relations at Top Draw Animation Inc. 

“My interest was really illustration, but being exposed to the production and opportunities to work with global creators such as Nickelodeon, it really sparked my love and passion for animation.” ~Sabrina Maybituin, iAcademy Graduate of BS Animation Batch 2012

Her career began with the critically acclaimed first season of Jimmy’s Got Tentacles and progressed to iconic projects like The Tom & Jerry Show and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Netflix.

Ruka Azuma, iAcademy Graduate of AB Multimedia Arts and Design Batch 2022

Ruka Azuma’s career is a perfect blend of artistic vision and strategic thinking. As a former student leader, Ruka's leadership skills and creativity were evident early on. As a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker, Ruka operates his own studio, creating compelling short films while serving as a Senior Creative Strategy Officer at Eventscape Manila. His diverse career portfolio illustrates the various roles and industries one can take when pursuing a non-traditional career path.

Nuke Dumayas, iAcademy graduate of BS Animation batch 2021

Reinventing Education for the Future

Joshua, Sabrina, Ruka, and Nuke's success stories demonstrate that pursuing a career path based on passion is not only possible, but can lead to exceptional success. These stories serve as a reminder that following one's passion, with the right environment and resources, can lead to a viable and rewarding career path. Institutions like iAcademy, which is dedicated to reinventing education to meet the ever-changing needs of industries, produce game changers with expertise in design, technology, and business excellence. By embracing non-traditional career paths, iAcademy exemplifies how a forward-thinking education fosters creativity, innovation, and leadership, allowing students to excel in their fields.

Start your journey to becoming a part of the next generation of game changers who will shape the future. For more information, visit

About iAcademy
Established in 2002, iACADEMY continues to pave the way and reinvent education by offering degree programs that are highly specialized in Computing, Business, and Design following an Output Based Education approach that allow students to learn through hands-on experience and from industry experts.