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Sunday, November 10, 2019 Vol. 15 No. 31

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EARTHQUAKES STRING OF TREMORS DOWN SOUTH ARE EYE OPENERS FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IF THE INEVITABLE STRIKES

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By Manuel T. Cayon

ITHIN a span of only two weeks in October, three strong earthquakes shook most of the central, eastern and northern sections of Mindanao, with tremors that could reach intensity 7. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) described it as probably the most destructive string of quakes to jolt the South in recent history. And indeed it was. A quarter of a million residents, or 254,474, were rattled, dazed and traumatized, and 39,128 persons opted to sleep and find refuge in tents and makeshift structures than get trapped on the next unpredictable ground-shaking. Twenty-two persons died, 417 injured and two were reported missing in four regions. The temblor has so far rendered inhabitable, or dangerously standing, some 34,583 houses, which comprised 95.99 percent of all damaged infrastructure in five regions. Response, while quick in coming from even among the affected, may not be totally comforting and assuring. With aftershocks coming in streams, with periodic magnitudes of over 4—while in the category of moderate ground shaking —may further trigger more de-

struction of weakened structures, especially when the quake occurs from shallow depths.

Not yet in the recovery phase

SECRETARY Emmanuel F. Piñol, chief of the government’s socioeconomic planning unit for Mindanao, said the responses were not yet at the level of recovery for the hardhit areas. Although areas like M’lang, and the epicenter town of Tulunan in North Cotabato, and Digos City and the towns of Bansalan and battered Magsaysay towns of Davao del Sur may be able to recover immediately, he said the entire affected regions could not proceed with serious recovery and rehabilitation efforts. “We are not even near the recovery stage yet because of the uncertainties and fear that there could be more tremors,” Piñol told Continued on A2

In this October 31, 2019, file photo, Eva’s Hotel stands damaged after a strong earthquake in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. The third strong earthquake this month jolted the southern Philippines on Thursday morning, further damaging structures already weakened by the earlier shaking. AP/WILLIAMOR MAGBANUA

Will America be safe from Russian hackers in 2020 election?

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By James Stavridis | Bloomberg Opinion

It doesn’t look like it. For example, Microsoft recently reported an attack by Iranian hackers on the e-mails of current and former US government officials, journalists covering political campaigns, and accounts associated with a presidential campaign. There is reason to believe that the attack, which consisted of more than 2,700 attempts on targeted

e-mail accounts, was backed by the Iranian government. According to security researchers and intelligence officials, hackers from Russia and North Korea have also begun targeting organizations that work closely with 2020 presidential candidates. Foreign enemies continue to see US elections as an opportunity to subvert the will of the American

PESO EXCHANGE RATES n US 50.5500

SANGOIRI | DREAMSTIME.COM

HE US is now just a year from the 2020 presidential election. In 2016, we saw foreign interests influence the outcome of a presidential race when Russian hackers infiltrated the computer networks of officials in both parties, and then selectively disseminated the e-mails of Democrats. Is the nation in better shape to counter such threats this time around?

people and exert control over our governance at the highest level. This most recent Iranian attack is a reminder that both political organizations and private enterprises face significant cybersecurity risks. Unfortunately, the legacy electoral systems most voters and organizations rely on do not offer sufficient protection in the modern digital landscape. When facing nation-state adversaries with billions in funding and information resources to rival the US National Security Agency, Americans have to think beyond the popular twofactor authentication protocols. We need to protect not only the voting systems themselves, but the e-mail, file-sharing and other communication systems of ancillary campaign groups, local officials and plenty more. What can we do to defend ourselves better? In my military and cyber experience, the operating principle is that the sophisticated Continued on A2

n JAPAN 0.4626 n UK 64.7849 n HK 6.4590 n CHINA 7.2434 n SINGAPORE 37.2540 n AUSTRALIA 34.8744 n EU 55.8476 n SAUDI ARABIA 13.4797

Source: BSP (November 8, 2019 )


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Life after Mindanao’s earthquakes Continued from A1

the BusinessMirror in an exchange of mobile-phone text messages on Thursday. “The areas are still awaiting the Phivolcs [Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology] assessment on the danger zones.” In its situation report as of Thursday, and in its October 29 primer on the day the second, 6.6-magnitude quake occurred, the Phivolcs said “small- to moderate-magnitude earthquakes [are expected] to occur in the epicentral area which may continue for several days to weeks, some of which may be felt.” “Although the occurrence of another earthquake higher than [magnitude 6.6] cannot be discounted, the possibility of it coming from the same source area is low,” the agency said. Even if no succeeding ground shaking were felt, Piñol said other hard-hit areas were expected to be on a slow road to recovery. These would be the towns of Magpet, Kidapawan and Makilala, all to the northeast of Tulunan town, from where the three strong quakes occurred at shallow depth of focus: 9 kilometers (of the October 16, magnitude 6.3), 7 km (of the October 29, magnitude 6.6) and 8 km (of the October 31 magnitude 6.5). The United States Geological

Survey (USGS) said temblors of magnitude 6.3 and over are considered strong quakes, and could generate high intensity at shallow depths. The Phivolcs said a destructive intensity 7 was felt in these towns where damage was enormous, including the collapse of Eva’s Hotel in Kidapawan City, and the gymnasium in Barangay Batasan in Makilala town, both on October 31. One evacuee was killed in the latter, where many other families were seeking refuge after the October 29 quake. Landslides in mountain areas also occurred and families were evacuated. Piñol said several urban areas in Magpet, Kidapawan and Makilala were also declared no-go zones and families were evacuated. The MinDA has already established a disaster command center to centralize and coordinate all relief efforts, to avoid untoward incidents, such as a food-poisoning incident when 18 evacuees in a center in Barangay Malabuan, Makilala, were treated in a hospital after private donors distributed food. Several individuals in a pickup van were mobbed by hungry evacuees in Barangay Malasila in Makilala, though authorities said no one was hurt, according to a report by the Davao City-based Mindanews, which witnessed the incident.

Piñol, however, appeared to be apprehensive though, with the unpreparedness of certain areas to cope with a disaster of such magnitude.

Unpreparedness, psychological tension

“THE disaster showed that many local government units, in spite of their huge calamity funds, are ill-prepared for emergency situations,” he said, and cited Kidapawan City as a case. Piñol said the city “prides itself as the city of highland springs but had to ask for water support from other areas when its water pipes were busted by the earthquake.” “There should have been a pre-identified backup water source based on a worst-case scenario. This calls for the upgrading of disaster preparedness for LGUs, especially those located in high-risk areas like earthquake faults,” he added. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the Metro Kidapawan Water District reported, as of Thursday, that only 26.5 percent of the total consumers of the city, including its other service areas of Makilala City, Makilala and Magpet, have water supply. It has set up water rationing centers, along with the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Red Cross. A resident of Kidapawan said many other residents who have

RESCUE workers assess the damage to a residential condominium building that partially collapsed after a strong earthquake in Davao City on October 31, 2019. The third strong earthquake this month jolted the southern Philippines on Thursday morning, further damaging structures already weakened by the earlier shaking. AP

access to water have offered their water connections. “People come in droves, bringing 5-liter gallons and other containers,” she told a relative in Davao City. Piñol said there must be a ground commander to coordinate all efforts, especially since efforts to maintain relief operations, relocate the communities and rebuild lives would have to start. “What should also be given focus [are] the psychosocial and sanitation interventions,” he added. Accounts from many residents in Kidapawan City and Makilala, and in Magsaysay town of Davao del Sur, said “people take a bath with clothes on, and they make sure that doors are open when they sleep.” “No one is sleeping in their rooms anymore. Everyone, family members, neighbors, sleep in tents, or in the sala or in the terrace, where they can run,” a former local news reporter said. Everyone would be sharing about “a queer but funny feeling that there seems to be an earthquake. People would suddenly stop, eyes gazing and try to figure out if the ground was really shaking. Funny, that most often, it’s our knees that are occasionally shaking,” the former scribe said. “We don’t know what’s really happening. There might have been

an aftershock after all,” a city hall officer in Davao City said.

Setback, forecast

ADRIAN TAMAYO, an economist and former sociopolitical analyst before he worked with the MinDA, told the BusinessMirror that the gross domestic regional product would be directly affected as consumption pattern and spending change, and industries could not operate. But the impact is not seen to be widespread enough as to affect the entire island of Mindanao. Even in the affected areas, “it’s just good that the incident happened during the last quarter when industries and corporations have already prepositioned their forecast, mostly on expansion plans.” “The expansion plan may have to be waived, but with prepositioned stocks, relief goods have been easily available and have been mostly the source of the immediate relief supply for the affected areas,” Tamayo said. Thus, he said, “this reduced panic to buy and hoard, that could hyper-inflate the local economies. All other things constant, they actually are helping normalize the already difficult and chaotic situation.” “Had it happened during the lean months, like between April and June, the lack of supply and diffi-

culty to purchase or access the goods would likely have inflationary impact, as local suppliers would jack up prices, and prices prevailing would be already high,” Tamayo said. The immediate and adverse impact was expected to be absorbed by the real-estate sector because of the magnitude of infrastructure damage, and the prepurchases made by contractors and developers. “Between now and December, the concentration would be on relief operation and damage assessment activities,” he added. But by the second quarter of next year, the construction sector would retake its position as the driver of the local economies as the construction frenzy to rebuild or repair damaged houses and buildings gets under way. “By then, what people lost in jobs and livelihood because of the earthquake would have the opportunity to be offset by the jobs to be needed in construction alone,” he said. “With construction and the repair of roads, bridges, government buildings and other infrastructure, business and industries are expected to come back and resume normal operation,” he said. “It would also demonstrate how resilient our people are,” Tamayo said.

Will America be safe from Russian hackers in 2020 election? Continued from A1

attacker will eventually find a way through any perimeter defense. As supreme allied commander of Nato in the late 2000s, I pushed to strengthen the alliance’s nascent Cyber Defense Center in Tallinn, Estonia—but saw firsthand how easily Russian hackers penetrated our digital perimeter. Protections must be designed so that even if the attacker succeeds in getting to the target, the target remains safe. To do so, we need to think in terms of four core principles for secure communication systems that will be resilient to the inevitable breach. First, systems must employ end-to-end encryption. (Disclosure: I serve on the board of an information-security firm, Preveil Llc.) If we assume that attackers will be able to exploit vulnerabilities in server software or the defense mechanisms that guard it, then the only way to keep information secure is to make sure that it’s never exposed, even while on the server. With end-to-end encryption, data is only accessible to the sender and the recipient—it isn’t accessible en route to the server or on the server. Even if the server is compromised, the data is not. Think of this as the difference between working in an Ebola environment in a body suit, which will eventually weaken at the seams, and being vaccinated against the disease. The perimeter defense is far from worthless, but the vac-

cine—the internal protection—is vastly better. A second concern is the vulnerability of anything in the system that becomes a juicy target. While end-to-end encryption eliminates the server as a single entity that can be compromised, if the system has administrators with global access, a high-yield single target for attackers remains. To solve this problem, access to large amounts of sensitive user data should be granted only after being approved by several trusted individuals. Similar to the systems used for nuclear-launch codes, encryption cryptography can break up individual user keys into fragments that are distributed among multiple people. Therefore, administrative access to users’ accounts is achieved only when all key shards are present, so there is no single administrator who attackers can compromise to gain access. Third, it’s time to do away with passwords. According to the report of the 2019 Verizon data breach investigations, 80 percent of hacking-related breaches involve compromised and weak credentials. Rather than depending on fallible passwords, secure communication systems should now grant account access using a private encryption key. A 256-bit encryption key has a lot of different possible combinations of characters—nearly 10 to the 78th power, the same as the number of atoms in the universe— and is not crackable with existing computational power. Because the

key is stored only on the user’s physical device, remote access isn’t possible. Finally, it is important to protect the most sensitive communications from socially engineered phishing and spoofing attacks. Traditional digital communications provide an opening for impostors to trick users into clicking on dangerous links or leaking information. When only known users are able to communicate with each other about an organization’s most confidential information, that risk of “lookalike” accounts is eliminated. The strongest security systems don’t depend on users to be perfect, or to always exercise good judgment. They make sure that data is safe even when humans are flawed. Getting at this “insider threat” is crucial. Security is a serious matter for organizations of all types, not just political parties during an election season. Organizations should rethink their security preparedness with a deeper understanding of the adversaries’ capabilities. They need to make the shift to secure systems modeled around these four core principles—including adopting ready-to-use encrypted communications systems for e-mail and filesharing. Between now and November 3, 2020, there should be few higher priorities than improving security to stop hackers and foreign powers from threatening American democracy itself.


www.businessmirror.com.ph ž Editor: Angel R. Calso

World

BusinessMirror

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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Bloomberg opens door to ’20 Democratic run for president

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ASHINGTON— Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is illequipped to defeat President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins. The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign and the rise of liberal Sen. Massa-

chusetts Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions. In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state’s Friday filing deadline. In a news statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Trump “represents an unprecedented threat to our nation” and must be defeated. “But Mike is increasingly con-

Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, speaks at a discussion during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington, D.C., US, on April 19, 2018. The IMF said this week the world’s debt load has ballooned to a record $164 trillion, a trend that could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

cerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Wolfson said. Bloomberg’s moves come as the Democratic race enters a crucial phase. Biden’s front-runner

status has been vigorously challenged by Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are flush with cash from small-dollar donors. But both are viewed by some Democrats as too liberal to

win in a general election face-off with Trump. Despite a historically large field, some Democrats anxious about defeating Trump have been looking for other options. Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have quietly had conversations with supporters urging them to consider a run, but neither appears likely to get in the race. Bloomberg, a Republicanturned-independent who registered as a Democrat last year, has flirted with a presidential run before but ultimately backed down, including in 2016. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in that race and, in a speech at the Democratic Party convention, pummeled Trump as a con who has oversold his business successes. Bloomberg plunged his efforts—and his money—into gun control advocacy and climatechange initiatives. He again looked seriously at a presidential bid earlier this year, traveling to early voting states and conducting extensive polling, but decided not to run

in part because of Biden’s perceived strength. Biden did not address Bloomberg’s potential candidacy at a fundraiser Thursday night in Boston. With immense personal wealth, Bloomberg could quickly build out a robust campaign operation across the country. Still, his advisers acknowledge that his late entry to the race could make competing in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been blanketed by candidates for nearly a year, difficult. Instead, they previewed a strategy that would focus more heavily on the March 3 “Super Tuesday” contests, including in delegate-rich California. AP


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Sunday, November 10, 2019

www.businessmirror.com.ph ž Editor: Vittorio V. Vitug A3

PHL seeks to expand agri products export list to US

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By Recto Mercene

he country continues to push for access for the country’s agricultural products to the United States, which remains the biggest market for food and agriculture.

Agricultural attaché to the US Josyline Javelosa said the Philippines has several pending requests with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) after getting the green light for the export of bananas, mangoes and fresh

young coconut. She said, the Department of Agriculture in Manila has a pending request for okra exports to the US. Javelosa, during a luncheon discussion with visiting Filipino

journalists said, “We continue to engage the USDA on market access regulations for agricultural product exports from the Philippines.” “This will go through a long process like for bananas and mangoes it took several years…but we should be ready so when it is opened up then we have the supply to export to the US,” she added. Javelosa explained the Philippines could be the beneficiary after Thailand lost its eligibility under a US trade preference program through the general system of preference (GSP) for several products, including okra. Likewise, the agriculture attaché said the DA has also asked the USDA to waive the pre-inspection requirement for mangoes. “We are trying to do away with the pre-waiver inspection for mangoes because it entails more costs

making our mango less competitive especially compared to mangoes coming from the nearby Mexico,” she said. Javelosa said the Philippines has also asked the US to expand the point of entry for Philippine pineapple that is currently limited to Guam, Northern Marianas Island and the North Atlantic region. “Hopefully we could improve the exports of Philippine products to the US,” she added. Latest data from the US Trade Representative Office showed the US remains the top single country market for Philippine food and agricultural products, reaching $1.1 billion last year. Major food and agricultural exports to the US include tropical oils with $535 million, processed fruits and vegetables with $168 million, tree nuts with $113 million, fruits

and vegetable juices with $75 million, as well as raw beet and cane sugar with $61 million. On the other hand, the Philippines remains the 11th-largest agricultural export market of the US reaching $3 billion in 2018. Washington remains the major source of soybean meal worth $888 million, wheat with $628 million, dairy products with $248 million, pork with $116 million, as well as poultry meat with $110 million. Javelosa said the Philippines has also asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to facilitate information sessions for Philippine exporters when it comes to seafood or food establishment inspections or feedbacks on refusals so that corrective actions could be undertaken. Last September, USDA Under-

secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney visited Manila and held discussions with Agriculture Secretary William Dar. In terms of investments, Javelosa said, modern renewable firm Green Bison Co. is looking at the production of biomass fuel pellets from banana leaves, sugar cane bagasse and other fibers in the Philippines. The company, she added, is also looking at establishing a facility for advanced bio-composites structural panels out of shell, coconut fiber and potentially industrial hemp. Javelosa said another American company has also expressed interest in putting up over 20 refineries to produce coco biodiesel, as well as other interests in the coconut industry value chain.

ePLDT launches major disaster recovery facility By Ashley Manabat

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Correspondent

LARK FREEPORT—Leading industry enabler of digital solutions ePLDT Inc., together with PLDT Clarktel, officially launched what is probably the biggest disaster recovery facility in Asia here on Wednesday. The VITRO Clark DR Site was launched as the first stand-alone disaster recovery (DR) facility in North Luzon to service Philippine enterprises. Strategically located beside the VITRO Clark Data Center along Gil Puyat Avenue here, the site is the country’s largest DR facility and probably in Asia, boasting of an expansive 6,909-squaremeter floor area, according to PLDT Clarktel Chief Operating Officer Lito Mercado. With Clark composed of several business and transit hubs, such as the Clark Special Economic Zone, Clark Freeport Zone, and the Clark International Airport, it continues to rise as a premier business and tourist destination—attracting both local and foreign investors alike. Clark is also among the cities cited by the government as a recovery site in the national contingency plan—making it an ideal location for the DR site. Through this world-class facility, the ePLDT Group promised to support the business continuity efforts of enterprises in the country—offering services such as data backup and alternative office spaces. Enterprises interested in fortifying their disaster-recovery plans can choose from the facility’s dedicated or shared seats—with the former providing companies with an office space that mirrors their current headquarters, and the latter providing a more cost-efficient space, shared with other tenants. While the site can initially house 246 DR

seats, it is set to expand to over 2,300 throughout its continued development, with the mission of becoming the top-of-mind backup facility for enterprises. It also boasts of the same features that are a signature of ePLDT’s VITRO Data Centers—being seismic zone 4-compliant, making it able to withstand earthquakes of up to intensity 8; having a N+1 Genset Configuration meant to ensure operational continuity in the event of power failures; and 24/7 physical security and customer support. “We at ePLDT recognize that disaster recovery is a top priority for our customers, which is why we are fortifying our capabilities to ensure that we provide them with the means to safeguard their operations at all costs,” said ePLDT President and CEO Jovy Hernandez. “With the launch of our VITRO DR Site in Clark, we make it easier for our customers to enable their business continuity and resiliency plans. This is in line with our mission of simplifying the complex for our customers,” he added. ePLDT Chairman of the Board Al Panlilio said the launch of the DR Site embodies the PLDT group’s mission of nation-building. “We have always believed that our business goes beyond ICT and digital services. We’re providing our customers with solutions that will improve their operations and in turn, allow them to better serve their customers and our society as a whole,” he said. “This initiative is but a testament to that commitment—allowing us to provide true endto-end support for our customers, no matter the circumstance,” Panlilio added. Among other key investments in Clark Freeport are the VITRO Data Center facility along Ninoy Aquino Avenue here, the first of its kind in Central Luzon, and the deployment of the country’s first 5G network launched at Clark Marriott Hotel in November last year.

ePLDT President and CEO Jovy Hernandez (third from left) leads other PLDT executives to a toast to formally launch the VITRO Clark DR Site as the first stand-alone disaster recovery (DR) facility in North Luzon to service Philippine enterprises on Wednesday. With him are BCDA Vice President Joana Capones, PLDT Clarktel Chief Executive Officer Boy Castaneda and PLDT Clarktel Chief Operating Officer Lito Mercado.

Photo shows the proclamation of the incoming new set of officers of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) led by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson (middle) was elected to the top position unopposed during the LMP National Directorate Organizational Meeting and Election of the National Executive Committee at the New World Hotel in Makati City on Wednesday. ROY DOMINGO

Who’s not afraid of Chavit Singson? Former Ilocos gov clinches LMP top post unopposed By Roderick L. Abad Contributor

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N support of the Duterte administration’s goal to decentralize the economic activities from “imperial” Metro Manila to the countryside, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is aligning with the government and its initiatives for inclusive growth, security and rural development. Newly elected LMP President Luis “Chavit” Singson vowed on Wednesday to strengthen the league’s relationship with the Office of the President, as well as the Senate and Congress, in order to make their programs at synch with the national level. He also made a commitment to back up the Chief Executive’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda and other notable efforts, including local governance reforms, achieving lasting peace in Mindanao and the fight against corruption, crimes and illegal drugs. “[We] will work as one team to achieve our goals,” Singson said during the LMP National Directorate Meeting at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

Quality service

FOR the first time in LMP history, the mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, has made an unprecedented record being a candidate for the top position that faced no challenger from the 81

provincial chapter presidents representing the country’s more than 1,400 municipal mayors. Elated by this rare show of unity among his colleagues that led to his unopposed election, Singson dedicated an honest-to-goodness leadership to all members of the league. “[The] overwhelming trust and confidence of my fellow mayors...will all the more spur me to deliver the best services to all our municipalities all over the country,” he said upon taking his oath of office. “So expect transparency, accountability and legality in my service.” Vision veering away from the traditional way of governance, especially in rural areas, the LMP president shared his vision to make the municipal local government units (LGUs) “innovative and enterprising.” He advised the town executives not to be “too dependent” on their internal revenue allotments (IRA) to bankroll their development projects in their respective jurisdictions. To do so, they “have to learn how to harness the corporate powers and abilities of our LGUs in the delivery of basic services,” according to him.

Connecting Filipinos with govt

WITH his intention to bring the government closer to the people, the mayor revealed several priority projects that he wants to accomplish during his

three-year term of leading the league, foremost of which is a state-of-the-art connectivity linking all municipalities through public Wi-fi that his company would provide for free. The Luis Chavit Singson (LCS) Group comprises a diverse array of companies, one of which is Gracia Telecom that caters to customers in his stronghold in Ilocos Sur. “This way, even far-flung towns will have direct connection with national government agencies and easy access to information and data from all over the world,” Singson said of his firm that banded together with Mindanao-based Internet provider TierOne Communications in an attempt to be the third-biggest telecommunications firm in the country. Such ambitious project, he bared, will immediately start initially in the areas of all the provincial chapter presidents. “Then, they will help us later on to mobilize this to other municipalities nationwide until all will have a free Wi-fi,” he told reporters in mixed Filipino and English after their meeting and election of a new set of league officers. The former Ilocos Sur governor, likewise, asked further assistance from the municipal mayors to recommend ideal sites for the common telco towers that the government is eyeing to put up for use of all the telco players.

Other plans, initiatives

BRINGING with him his experience in leading the Philippine Councilors League (PCL), Singson intends to enhance his colleague’s masteral of local governance with continuous education. As regards to their environmental thrust, Singson said he will push for a waste-to-energy program to help the town executives to manage their garbage problems in an ecological and sustainable manner. Through the help of his renewableenergy company, he offered to provide their solutions to several places in the provinces to convert the collected garbages into a clean source of power. The Narvacan mayor also showed his concern to the safety of his counterparts given the recent spate of killings victimizing some local executives. “Probably in our upcoming meetings, we will call our lawenforcement agencies, not only the police but also the military, to get their recommendations on how to solve this issue,” he said. “To avoid such crimes committed against our mayors, we need a continuous policing, especially on crowded places. The most important thing to do is intelligence.” Singson rises to the LMP presidency as a seasoned political leader with more than 30 years of experience in various capacities as Ilocos Sur governor, first district congressman, Vigan City councilor and Narvacan municipal councilor.


Faith www.businessmirror.com.ph • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: ‘Luke 19:1-10’

Our resurrection and the sense of modesty Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez SUNDAY GOSPEL IN OUR LIFE

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e have just been through two special days in the Church, when we commemorated all our deceased brothers in the faith (All Souls’ Day) and those among them who are already in heaven (All Saints’ Day). It is, therefore, very appropriate that the gospel of today talks about the future resurrection of all men. When faced with the thought, or even the proximate possibility of death, the Christian should not fall into a dark pessimism, as if death were the end of everything that he strove for all his life. Death is a ver y impor tant event, but it is not the end. We a l l have an immor ta l sou l; and besides, at the end of the world, we sha l l a l l r ise again w ith our bodies. The resurrection at the end of the world is a truth of our faith. Hu m a n rea son a lone c a nnot discover this future event. We firmly believe that it will happen because God Himself has told us so. And in today’s gospel, Jesus Christ Himself brilliantly answers the objections of the pilosopos of His time. Yes, as the liturg y says, “Life is never ta ken away, it is only changed.” Life is changed from a struggle and meriting, to a life of eter na l reward or punishment. A l l men w il l r ise again,

but some w il l r ise to glor y and happiness while others will rise to damnation and sor row. We can draw some practical conclusions from the truth of the future resurrection of our bodies. In the first place, instead of being frightened to inaction and paralysis at the thought of death, we should be spurred on by that idea, to earn the eternal reward of heaven and our glorious resurrection. The sickness and suffering that we all undergo in this life will be surpassed by the eternal state of glory and happiness that we all hope to achieve. In the second place, we must be imbued with a deep reverence for our bodies and the bodies of other people. Christianity has never considered the body as something bad. On the contrar y, although the body has to be disciplined because of the effects of original sin, it has to be respected and, out of respect, it has to be treated with dignity and not just as an instrument of pleasure or exploitation. This reverence for the body is manifested, among other things, by the virtue of modesty. Modesty is not something of the past. Modesty is a safeguard for human dignity and for the respect we owe ourselves and other people.

Sunday

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World Day of the Poor

Catholics urged to open arms for the poor

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n the Third World Day of the Poor (3WDP), Catholics are called to open their arms for people living in poverty, the Church’s social action arm said. Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, head of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa), hoped that the day will spur greater attention to the needs of the least and the marginalized. Suggested by Nassa, here are some ways the dioceses and parishes can celebrate the special day “as our expression of solidarity, love and services to the poor:” Eucharistic celebration with special promotion/acknowledgment of the WDP on November 17 in all churches at 8 a.m. After the Mass on November 17 or on November 18 an activity for the poor shall be organized. Recommended activities could be at least one of the following: n Visit to poor communities with distribution of gifts; n Visit to prisoners with distribution of gifts; n Conduct a medical mission

or hospital visit with distribution of gifts; n Conduct feeding session; n Conduct a forum or dialogue on social justice for the poor; n Or anything feasible that can be done by the parish. On Sunday before the 3WDP, or on November 17, churchgoers are requested to offer during Masses offertory packages for the poor, which may contain the following: n Hygiene Kit (bath and laundry soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, alcohol, face towel) good for one family or more; n Food pack (rice, canned goods, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, bread) good for one family or more; n Kids pack (biscuits, candies, pad paper, pens/pencils, crayons) n Medicine/supplemental pack (paracetamol for kids and adults, vitamin C, cough syrup/capsule, medicine for diarrhea, etc.); and

This is the English cover of Pope Francis’s message for World Day of the Poor, which will be marked on November 17. In the message, the pope called for Christians to understand the importance of embracing and assisting the poor, oppressed and outcast. CNS/PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING NEW EVANGELIZATION

n Money (this is also an option to support medical mission). Tirona said that the giving or sharing of offertory packages is a small gesture to restore hope for the poor. “Genuine love, concern and service to the poor go beyond initiatives of assistance,” he said. In 2017, Pope Fra nc is desig n ated t he 33rd Su nd ay of

Ord ina r y Time eac h yea r a s World Day of t he Poor. This year the celebration will fall on November 17, with the theme taken from the Psalms: “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever.” The pope is inviting not just the Church but also all the people around the world of other faiths to do good deeds for the poor. CBCP News

Growth of Muslims in US creates need for religious scholars D

E A R B O R N H E IG H T S , M ic h ig a n—I m a m Mo hammad Qazwini‘s deep understanding of Islam and his formal training at a seminary in the holy city of Qom, Iran, draws students to this suburban Detroit classroom just off the large prayer room of a mosque. But there’s another attraction. The Quran, Islam’s holy book, is written in classical Arabic, but many of the students aren’t wellversed in the language. Qazwini navigates its intricacies effortlessly—in the everyday English they use, opening a door for many of the students. An increasing number of US Muslims want guidance from religious instructors who they can understand linguistically and culturally. For mosques around the country, the need to produce US-trained religious leaders is increasing. Traditional imams and scholars who once came from the Middle East or were educated in schools there are having more difficulty entering the US. T he Trump administration imposed a travel ban in January 2017, on people from several Muslim majority countries, and the government has made it harder to enter the US entirely, with more rigorous interviews and background checks. “In many other states there are mosques with no...functional imam, who can assume the responsibilities of the religious leader or even speak,” said Islamic Institute of America leader Imam Hassan Qazwini, who started the seminary with his son. “I thought maybe a long-term solution for facing this shortage is to have our own Shiite Islamic seminary in the US, instead of waiting for imams to come.” Al-Hujjah Seminary is the newest of several seminaries focused on the Shiite branch of Islam in the

Shaykh Amir Mukhtar Faezi, founder of Ahl al-Bayt Islamic Seminary, sits in the prayer area of the mosque in Streamwood, Illinois, on October 30. The US-based seminary is focused on the Shiite tradition. Faezi founded it in 2014, offering a five-year graduate program. AP/Noreen Nasir

US and Canada working to address a shortage of leaders. The seminary started in fall 2017 with about 35 registered students. Now it has nearly 400, with some attending in-person, others watching live and still more watching recorded videos online. In addition to the Qazwinis, there are four other instructors. Although there are students in 25 countries the emphasis is on North America because of the desire to deepen the bench of US-trained imams, scholars and speakers, according to the elder Qazwini, a native of Iraq. In a class on a recent evening, the younger Qazwini led an intense session on faith, proposing case studies, playing devil’s advocate and prompting a philosophical back-and-forth with his students. His execution is informal but authoritative. The students understand him. “I need to make sure he speaks the language, he’s knowledgeable, he’s respectful, he’s truly caring and he’s trying to adapt to the country we live in,” said Alia Bazzi, 32, a graphic designer and seminary student. “Why would my imam speak Arabic if we live in America and the main language

we speak is English?.... I want to know he’s up to date, he knows what’s going on.” About an hour’s drive south, in Toledo, Ohio, the Ahlul Bayt Center mosque has been running for about four years without a fulltime imam. Imam Mohammad Qazwini and other clerics travel there for services and special events. Dr. Ali Nawras, a board member of the Toledo mosque, said the arrangement works for day-to-day needs because of its proximity to the Detroit area—a longtime hub for Islam in America. But the center seeks a permanent imam to meet its broader, long-term objectives: Having a strong understanding of challenges within their own community, particularly among youth, and forging stronger bonds between the Muslim and non-Muslim populations. “On one hand, you can find an imam who is very knowledgeable, very strong background in theology, but that person might not speak English or might have lived most of his life outside the country,” Nawras said. “On the other hand, you might find someone who is born here and educated here, but they don’t have a good or strong theology background.”

“To have a combination of both, that is where the challenge comes,” he added. Qazwini wants to expand the curriculum, faculty and enrollment at Al-Hujjah but another important step for the seminary is pursuing accreditation so it can award official degrees rather than completion certificates. In the meantime, he has spoken with other established schools offering Islamic studies about collaborating on accreditation. The Ahl al-Bayt Islamic Seminary, located near Chicago, is another US-based seminary focused on the Shiite tradition. Shaykh Amir Mukhtar Faezi founded it in 2014, offering a five-year graduate program. Ten students graduated earlier this year. Faezi, a Pakistan native who also studied in Iran, said the program is on hold while they seek more resources, but it plans to accept students in 2020. Traditionally as a minority, Shiite communities are more dependent on having trained and accredited scholars leading their mosques, but as the community has grown in the US, so too has the need for these trained scholars. Faezi said in

the 1980s, Shiite communities bega n i nv it i ng sc hol a rs a nd imams from places like India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or Lebanon to fulfill the need. But many scholars were unable to get visas, especially as relations between the US and some of the countries soured. “Those who were able to get the visa and they came here, they were also not very effective, because their mind-set was very different than the people who had migrated here...not to mention the communication barrier,” Faezi said. Jawad Bayat, 31, comes from a Shiite background and is part of the changing face of faith here. While in college, he began to explore his spiritual journey and considered going abroad to attend a seminary. Instead he enrolled at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, a nondenominational graduate school for religious and theological studies. Bayat graduated in 2015, and now serves as an imam and Muslim chaplain at an academic medical center in Cleveland, Ohio. “There is a shortage of Muslim leaders as a whole in the US, whether it’s in Sunni or Shiite communities,” Bayat said, adding the focus on applied spirituality that allows him to connect with the Cleveland Muslims he serves now may not have been covered in a more traditional seminary overseas. Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, was founded in 2009 and is the first accredited US-based Muslim college, but it focuses on the Sunni branch of Islam. Overall, Sunni is the largest sect of Islam, with Shiite the second-largest. The schism between them stems from the early days of Islam and arguments over the Prophet Muhammad’s successors as the spiritual and temporal leader. There are nearly two dozen other institutions across the United States offering varying levels of

post-secondary degrees in Islamic scholarship. Most are also Sunnibased and are in the process of seeking accreditation. For Ali Ghazala, 22, the purpose of attending the Michigan seminary is to gain a greater understanding of his faith so he can better represent it around those who don’t practice or understand it. “It is vital that if you are a Muslim growing up in the West interacting with non-Muslims that you present to them the correct religion,” he said. “I have to be the one who is certain before I can go to other people and explain to them why I am the way I am or why we are the way we are.” AP

Christians, Muslims, Jews unite against assisted suicide

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ATICAN CITY—Leaders from three of the world’s major religions have joined forces against assisted suicide and euthanasia, in a declaration issued at the Vatican. The declaration, backed by leaders of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, states that no health-care provider should be “coerced or pressured” into providing assisted suicide or any form of euthanasia. That should be the case even if local legal systems permit such acts, according to the declaration a copy of which the Vatican released recently. The document adds that when death is imminent despite the medical treatments and technologies used, “it is justified to make the decision to withhold certain forms of medical treatment that would only prolong a precarious life of suffering.” AP


Science

A6 Sunday, November 10, 2019

BusinessMirror

Sunday

Scientists: Earth needs fewer people to beat the climate crisis

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orty years ago, scientists from 50 nations converged on Geneva to discuss what was then called the “CO2-climate problem.” At the time, with reliance on fossil fuels having helped trigger the 1979 oil crisis, they predicted global warming would eventually become a  major environmental challenge. The scientists got to work, building  a strategy  on how to attack the problem  and laying the groundwork for the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s preeminent body of climate scientists. Their goal was to get ahead of the problem before it was too late. But after a fast start, the fossil fuel industry, politics and the prioritization of economic growth over planetary health slowed them down.  Now, four decades later, a larger group of scientists is sounding another, much more urgent alarm. More than  11,000 experts  from around the world are calling for a critical addition to the main strategy of dumping fossil

fuels for renewable energy: there needs to be far fewer humans on the planet. “We declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” the scientists wrote in  a stark warning published last week in the journal BioScience. While warnings about the consequences of unchecked climate change have become so commonplace as to inure the average news consumer, this latest communiqué is exceptionally significant given the data that accompanies it. When absorbed in sequence, the charts lay out a devastating trend for planetary health. From

Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing, it is located in front of the Shibuya Station Hachiko exit. Shibuya Station and surroundings will be undergoing major redevelopment over the coming years. Tokyu Toyoko Line Shibuya Station will be relocated underground and will join the Fukutoshin Line in March 2013. Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

meat consumption, greenhousegas emissions and ice loss to sealevel rise and extreme weather events, they lay out a grim portrait of 40 years of squandered opportunities. The scientists make specific calls for policy-makers to quickly implement systemic change to energy, food and economic policies. But they go one step further, into the politically fraught territory of population control. It “must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity,” they write. The problem is enormous, yet the signatories still manage to

strike an upbeat tone. For all the lost chances, progress is being made, they contend. “We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern,” the letter states. “Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change, and many countries, states and provinces, cities, and businesses are responding.” The report, however, comes one day after US President Donald Trump began the formal procedure of withdrawing America from the Paris climate accord. Bloomberg News

Human and planetary healthy diet unaffordable for 1.58B people

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health outcomes, as well as the health of the planet—the Commission deliberately did not take its cost into account,” said senior author Masters, an economist at the Friedman. The research team also found that the EAT-Lancet diet was 64 percent more costly than the lowest-cost combination of foods that would provide a balanced mix of 20 essential nutrients. The EAT-Lancet diet has higher quantities of animal-source foods and fruits and vegetables than the minimum required for nutrient adequacy, and much higher quantities than are now consumed in lowincome countries. “We found that the global median of the proposed diet would cost $2.84 per day [based on 2011 prices]. In low-income countries, that amounts to 89.1 percent of a household’s daily per-capita income, which is more than people can actually spend on food. In high-income countries, we found that the EAT-Lancet reference diet would cost 6.1 percent of per-capita income, which is often less than what people now spend on food,” said Hirvonen, the lead author and development economist in Ethiopia at IFPRI. In Africa south of Sahara, nearly 57 percent of people earn less than the local cost of the EAT-Lancet diet, in South Asia

38.4 percent, Middle East and North Africa 19.4 percent, East Asia and Pacific 15 percent, Latin America and Caribbean 11.6 percent, Europe and Central Asia 1.7 percent; and North America 1.2 percent. The EAT-Lancet Commission diet consists of a large amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grain, legumes, nuts and unsaturated oils, some seafood and poultry, and little to no red meat, processed meat, added sugar, refined grains, and starchy vegetables. Fruits, vegetables, and animal-source foods are often the most expensive components of a healthy diet, but prices vary widely around the world, the researchers reported. To compute the affordability of an EATLancet diet in each country, the researchers drew on retail prices for standardized items obtained through the International Comparison Program, a collaboration between the World Bank and country statistical agencies. They used prices for 744 food items in 159 countries, from which they could identify the lowest-cost combination of items in each country to meet EAT-Lancet criteria. They then did the same for nutrient requirements and compared the cost of food in each country to survey data on household expenditure and income per capita from the

World Bank’s PovcalNet system. “Although 1.58 billion is a lot of people, it is actually a conservative lower limit on the total number who cannot afford the diet recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission. The cost of food preparation and of nonfood necessities ensure that an even larger number of people cannot afford that kind of healthy diet,” Masters said. “Even if many poor consumers were to aspire to consume healthier and more environmentally sustainable foods, income and price constraints frequently render this diet unaffordable. Increased earnings and safety-net transfers, as well as systemic changes to lower food prices, are needed to bring healthy and sustainable diets within reach of the world’s poor,” Hirvonen said. Limitations to the study include that the models count only the least expensive items in each country, so other research would be needed to address the additional costs and barriers to food use imposed by time constraints, tastes and preferences. Additionally, the study used 2011 prices and nationally aggregated data, so next steps include research on variation within countries, as well as over time. There is also uncertainty regarding the nutritional content of the foods whose prices were used in the study’s models.

Are we breathing clean air in Metro Manila? T

Management Bureau, the agency responsible for the implementation and enforcement of Republic Act 8749, or as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, some microscopic particles in the air can be breathed into the lungs causing increased respiratory disease and lung damage. RA 8749 also aims to raise awareness about pollution prevention through programs, such as “Linis/Ligtas Hangin,” together with “Bantay Tambutso, Bantay Tsimnea” and “Bantay Sunog.” It imposes regulatory standards to sources of pollution, such as factories and power plants. The DOST, together with DENR, the Departments of Transportation and Communications, Trade and Industry, and the Energy, and others help in implementing the RA 8749.

Characterization by Elemental and Isotopic Fingerprinting of Organic and Inorganic Pollution Sources and Possible Mitigation Measures by Electron Beam Technology.” In simple terms, it provides basic data for better air quality management and the environmental authorities and policy-makers with key information necessary for implementation and review of the effectiveness of policy-level changes intended to air pollution reduction initiative of the government. In her research, she conducted source apportionment studies in critical areas, such as in highly industrialized areas (North Harbor and Valenzuela City) and in a prime tourist spot (Boracay Island). This is an effort to provide science-based information on local air particulate pollution problem in these sites.

ASHINGTON, D.C./BOSTON—A diet meant to improve both human and planetary health would be unaffordable for at least 1.58 billion people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, estimates a new study from researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute  (IFPRI) and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Earlier this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health published recommendations for a universal diet that addresses both human and planetary health. The commission suggested that adherence to this diet could ensure that our future food systems can sustainably and nutritiously feed the estimated population of 10 billion people in 2050. The study, “Affordability of the EAT– Lancet reference diet: A global analysis,” published today in The Lancet Global Health—from William Masters and Yan Bai at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, and Kalle Hirvonen and Derek Headey at the  International Food Policy Research Institute  (IFPRI)—sought to address what many felt was one of the main components lacking in the creation of the recommended diet, namely, affordability. “When formulating this pioneering benchmark diet—addressing individual

his was the question raised by Dr. Preciosa Corazon Pabroa, a member of the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP), when she presented her study during the recent National Research and Development Conference. In her answer to the question, Pabroa said: “The air quality in Metro Manila is bad.” This was based on the application of Nuclear Analytical Techniques (NATs) and receptor modeling. But she said we can still breathe clean air if everyone does his or her own share by participating in the pollution prevention programs of the government. To emphasize the importance of clean air, Pabroa added that humans could survive three weeks without food, three days without water, but only three minutes without air. Air particulate pollution affects health— respiratory and cardiovascular functions— environment and contributes to climate change. The big problem is, air pollutants can come from natural or anthropogenic or man-made

sources. One thing is sure—transportation vehicles are major sources of air pollution in Metro Manila. The mix-up in the air of the variety of air pollution sources, however, makes it impossible to simply collect and weigh the air particulates.

Importance of air

Particulate matter (PM) is any type of solid particles in the air in the form of smoke, dust and vapors which are produced by many sources, including burning of diesel fuels by vehicles, fossil fuels, mixing and application of fertilizers and pesticides, road construction, industrial processes and operation of woodstoves. PM10, or coarse particles, are of less concern but they can irritate a person’s eyes, nose and throat. Dust and smoke are visible examples of PM10. On the other hand, PM2.5, or fine particles, pose the greatest health risk. These fine particles can get deep into lungs and some may even get into the bloodstream and can only be seen underneath a microscope. According to the DENR-Environment

Make way for NATs

Pabroa of the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute that conducts air-pollution source apportionment activities, studied how NATs generate multi-element data for use in receptor modeling to unravel the real score of air particulate pollution in the air we breathe. NATs are well-suited for airborne particulate matter research providing the multi-element data for use in air pollution, while the source apportionment studies (receptor modeling) enables better understanding of the sources of particulate pollution in critical cities or areas. Pabroa’s study is titled, “Air Particulate Matter:

Policy forum

For policy-makers to better appreciate the science-based information generated by the project, the DOST-NRCP will conduct a policy forum to come up with efficient policy recommendations. The Luzon Policy Forum with the theme “Unraveling Air Particulate Pollution Effects in the Air we Breathe” will be held on November 11, at the DOST-PNRI, Diliman, Quezon City. The forum participants include representatives from various departments of the government and local government units.

www.businessmirror.com.ph • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

Gatchalian eyes think tank creation for energy security, sustainability By Butch Fernandez

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h e S e n at e C om m it t e e on Energ y is poised to endorse to Congress the passage of a legislation creating the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) in a bid to “ fulfill energ y security and sustainability.” I n f i l i ng Sen ate Bi l l 172, Senate Committee on Energ y  Chairman Sen. Sher win Gatchalian cited the urgent need for a “world-class and independent energ y research and policy institute to address research and policy gaps” in the energ y sector to carry out reforms directly benefiting consumers. Stressing the need for early enactment of the remedial legislation, the senator explained the “ fundamental logic why we are pushing this bill is really to come up with an independent research institute that will be, I describe it as a sparring partner for the government so that it can complement or at least provide check and balance in policies and the end goal, someday, becoming energ y independent for our constituents.”  Gatc h a l i a n’s SB 172 m a ndates the establishment of the PERPI at the University of the Philippines and w ill be composed of scholars and energ y sector professionals. It will be tasked to conduct

mu lt id isc ipl i n a r y energ y re search, incubate and develop cutting-edge technologies, and serve as the sparring partner for the government in the energ y policy-making process. The bill provides that the UP president will have the authority to appoint the executive director based on the recommendation of the advisor y council. The bill appropriates P200 million for the initial funding of the think tank. Gatcha lian noted that the countr y can copy the US and Singapore experiences, where the major it y of their energ y research institutes are under reputable universities, such as Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the National University of Singapore. At a Senate hear ing on the bil l, UP Vice President for Academic A ffairs Mar ia Cy nthia Baut ist a told t he comm ittee that the state universit y has a pool of ex per ts that can prov ide their ex per tise in prov iding and crafting independent research policies. “UP is a public-ser vice institution. Its mandate is not just a research or graduate university—it’s also a public ser vice university. As a national university, we have to ser ve our countr y. That is the kind of ser vice we can offer,” Bautista said.

Prepare to win: Tsunami awareness and preparedness

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By Asako Okai

NITED NATIONS—Once considered rare in their occurrence, in the last 10 years tsunamis have struck nearly every year: from Samoa to Chile, and from Iceland to New Zealand. Usually triggered by a massive earthquake, which is impossible to predict, there is often very little time to respond to a tsunami warning. Yet, if the warning is clear and people know what to do, thousands of lives can be saved. As World Tsunami Awareness Day was marked on November 5, I’d like to express my appreciation to the government of Japan for supporting the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in raising tsunami awareness among schoolchildren in disasterprone countries in Asia and the Pacific. In Japan, every schoolchild knows what a tsunami is, and how to respond to it. Now, through this initiative, Japan’s good practice and experience is helping schoolchildren in the region learn and improve their preparedness. Under the three-year partnership until mid-2020, at least 10 to 12 schools each in 23 tsunami prone countries would have updated their preparedness plans and tested them through drills. To date, we have already trained over 100,000 students and teachers from about 250 schools in 19 countries. Preparedness plans have been updated, school committees have been set up, evacuation routes have been identified—and in some instances newly built—and safe evacuation zones have been designated. What started off as strengthening school preparedness has gone beyond expectations in many countries. I’d like to elaborate by sharing four country examples. In Indonesia, one of the most tsunamiprone countries in the world, we held our very first drills under this initiative. The drill was in a school in Bali, right in the middle of a highly urbanized locality. Since the latest risk assessment had shown that the school premises would get inundated in the event of a tsunami, students were made to evacuate and move to higher ground—in this case to the roof of a six-story hotel. The drill resulted in creating awareness on the need for providing a safe evacuation area and led eight hotels in the locality

to sign agreements with the local government offering their space for safety to the local schoolchildren and neighboring communities. In the Pacific Ocean, the terrain in Gizo, Solomon Islands looks quite different from Bali, with the sea on one side and steep hills on the other. Fifty two children and adults had lost their lives in the 2007 tsunami that had hit the island. The school drills exposed the lack of preparedness and new evacuation routes were constructed to help students safely escape to higher ground. The National Disaster Management Organisation is now committed to scaling up drills in other vulnerable islands. The reality in the Maldives is yet again unique. The 2004 tsunami swept over nearly all the atolls. Unlike other countries, there were no waves, rather it was as if the lowlying islands were sinking. Survivors do not wish to recall the devastating memories and most of the young people have little or no knowledge of a tsunami. The safest evacuation is by boat and by moving to higher ground—in this case a building that may not be higher than two-stories. Most islands have only one school, so our preparedness initiative helped to educate the entire community. Typhoons and storm surges hit the Philippines, often creating tsunami like waves with very little warning. While earthquake drills are regularly conducted, our tsunami preparedness initiative has spurred the government to combine earthquake with tsunami drills. Together with government agencies and local partners, we’ve held several drills in disaster-prone provinces reaching 60,000 students and teachers in the country. Based on the positive feedback of the preparedness initiative from students, teachers and communities in various countries and our own experiences, we have developed a regional guide for schools to help them to be prepared so that we can scale up awareness and preparedness in more at risk schools. With new students entering school every year, strengthening school preparedness helps us to build resilient generations. IPS Asako Okai is UN assistant secretary general and director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau.


Tourism&Entertainment BusinessMirror

Editor: Carla Mortel-Baricaua

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A7

Food, farm tourism complement local destinations

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By Gelyka Ruth R. Dumaraos Photos from Department of Tourism

he Department of Tourism (DOT) is putting a priority on food and farm tourism, which not only popularizes the country’s unique flavors, but also serves as an avenue to further boost destinations. Ostrich Caldereta

Various farms from different regions showcase their agricultural products.

Part of DOT’s food and farm tourism campaign is the culinary festival “Kain Na! [Let’s Eat!]” Showcasing a gastronomic extravaganza that kicked off in September at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay. Straight from last year’s successful pilot run, the food fest continued to uphold distinct Filipino dishes from various regions. This year, the event gathered the dishes from Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Bacolod, Eastern Visayas, Cagayan de Oro and Davao region. “What we have seen is that over the last few years, there’s been a slow but steady effort to feature local specialties,” Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito C. Bengzon Jr. said. “[We are] no longer confined to destinations. Especially among millennials, I see the trend that they spend on food and travel. It’s a good sign because each one complements the other.” He added that in DOT’s marketing campaigns, food items are now tagged based on the source, citing examples, such as mangoes from Guimaras, Malagos chocolates of

Davao, and heirloom rice in the Cordilleras. “It’s a good strategy because you not only promote the product but you also promote the destination,” he added. “For a lot of travelers, sometimes, it becomes a major motivation to go and try these food products.” Bengzon noted that there is a trend among travelers who seek for experiences apart from sightseeing activities. “I think it also shows maturity. It shows sophistication on the part of the modern day traveler. You don’t only go for the destinations, [rather] you’re looking for something experiential.” The three-day event also featured seven regional chefs who showed off their best local delectable dishes. From Luzon, the chef list includes: Ian Q. Jocson (Region 3), expert in Kapampangan cuisine and specialties in Mediterranean, Korean and American cooking; Andre Perdigon Vocalan (Region 4A), known for his penchant in local dishes, such as like Pansit-

Wild Fern Salad from Region 5

Kain Na! culinary festival kicks off at Ayala Malls Manila Bay

pusit, Minanok na  maruya, Sinaing na tulingan, Minaluto, and Hardinera; Rechie “Aya Medel” Hayakawa (Region 5), actress turnedmulti-awarded international chef whose or ig ina ls includes the Mayon 360, Pinatos  na  bangkuli, Ensaladang pako buda baluko, and many more. Representing the Visayas are: Chef Nico Millanes (Region 6), internationally trained chef for Chef Patro of Terrasse Bistro and Banquets, Portiko Café, Lounge, and Catch of the Day whose specialties include, Bacolod favorite Kadyos, Baboy and Lanka; and Chef Sabino Resos (Region 8) who takes pride for his Tahong Salad with Pomelo in Chili Sour Dressing, and Tahong in Wok-fried Flat Noodles with egg

and vegetables. For Mindanao, the chefs are: Chiko Arvin Cacanindin (Region 10), a multi-awarded young chef known for dishes, such as native chicken surol, beef rendang and sinuglaw; and Darence Patrick Co, a 23-year-old Davao-based chef and restaurateur.

B2B food, farm tourism exchange

The food fest, now on its second year, gathers exhibitors, including regional farm tourism associations, farm owners and operators, as well as regional tour operators who are selling various culinary and farm tourism packages.  The fest is supported by partner agency, the Department of Agriculture.

Chef Sabino Resos’s Tahong in Wok-fried Flat Noodles

The fair highlights suppliers of Filipino heritage cuisines and delicacies, and local farms with their fresh agricultural products. It also serves as an avenue for business-to-business (B2B) meetings for food and farm tourism stakeholders. Regional culinary

and farm tourism sellers will have a chance to meet with Manila-based buyers and tour operators invited by the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, the Philippine Tour Operators Association and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association. Kain Na! was held at the Alabang Town Center Muntinlupa City on October 4 to 6, with the participation of Regions 7 (Central Visayas) and 4B (Mimaropa); on at the Ayala Technohub-Baguio on October 11 to 13, with Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the Cordillera Administrative Region in participation. On November 22 to 24, the next leg of the fair will be held at Ayala Malls Centrio, Cagayan de Oro, featuring Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region 10 (Northern Mindanao), Region 12 (Soccsksargen), and Region 13 (Caraga); and on December 6 to 8 at Ayala Malls, The Strip, Iloilo City, featuring Region 6 (Western Visayas).

Seda Residences Makati The Best Place To Experience A Multicultural Lifestyle AirAsia

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eing the financial capital and largest business district of the Philippines, Makati is known for its multicultural lifestyle best lived and experienced from the city’s newest serviced residence catering to overnight, as well as long-term stay guests. The 293-room Seda Residences Makati is in the northern end of Ayala Avenue walking distance to the array of offices, embassies, restaurants, weekend markets and cultural offerings of Salcedo and Legaspi Villages but also easily accessible through the Makati Walkway system to all the major hotels, and the Glorietta and Greenbelt malls on the southern end of Ayala Avenue. In addition to its strategic location, the 35-story tower is also the best place to live in Makati whether one is on a business or leisure trip or a staycation because of the conveniences it offers. All of its units come with fully furnished kitchenettes, dining facilities, HDTV and access to laundry facilities. Moreover, guests have a choice from 31-square meter to 43-sq m studios to 50-sq m to 57-sq m onebedroom, to 93-sq m to 108-sq m two-bedrooms suites. The free breakfast at Misto, the all-day dining facility at the 35th floor, offers a range of choices, as well as stunning views of the financial center. At lunch it entices guests with a hearty buffet for only P599 per person and a la carte choices for the rest of the day.

Seda Residences Makati one-bedroom living area

Sunset is also a special occasion at Straight Up, Seda Residences Makati’s roofdeck bar at the 35th floor. Views of the setting sun from Manila Bay are served with international pica-pica, wines, spirits and cocktails, and made even more special with chill out music. For the staycationing family, the swimming pool on the 19th floor presents a resort feel contrasted with views of Makati’s high-rise office towers. Marc Cerqueda, Seda Residences Makati general manager, observes, “We are high enough to make guests

Seda Residences Makati one bedroom suite

feel detached from the intense activity at street level but low enough for you to feel you are within easy reach of restaurants, banking and other services.” A play area for kids up to five years old, a game room for older youngsters, and a gym for fitness enthusiasts are added attractions. The hotel tower is part of the Ayala North Exchange retail hub offering a range of food choices— from Asian specialties to Filipino and Western favorites—just an elevator ride and short stroll away from the residences. “We expect at least 45 percent of our guests to stay long term including expats doing consultancy work for the multinational firms and BPO offices within Ayala North Exchange. Because we are right next to Makati Medical Center, Seda Residences Makati is also convenient for guests seeking medical procedures, such as cosmetic surgery and their families,” says Cerqueda. Following its success in nine other locations throughout the country, the AyalaLand hospitality brand decided to venture into the lucrative serviced residences segment. Cerqueda notes, “Our high guest repeat rate of 42 percent is evidence that our service standards are widely appreciated and that we have a loyal following. We are confident we will offer the same standard of delightful service to guests seeking accommodations in serviced residences.”

wraps 2019 with Big Sale

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ith only two months left in 2019, AirAsia is sending off the year with one final Big Sale and 6 million promotional seats up for grabs. Enjoy promotional all-in AirAsia Big Member fares from as low as P290 for flights from Clark, P327 for flights from Cagayan de Oro, P490 for flights from Cebu, and P790 for flights from Manila. The last AirAsia Big Sale of the year will not only see flights on sale but also hotels, activity deals, holiday packages and everything else you need, all on airasia.com. Enjoy more comfort and up to 20-percent savings with Value Pack, our popular bundle that includes meal and seat selections, insurance and 20-kilogram baggage. Need to carry more things on your travels? Now you can upgrade to 25-kg baggage or more at a special discount. Value Pack and baggage promo are available for purchase during flight bookings only. Book on airasia.com or the AirAsia mobile app on November 10, 2019, (2400 GMT +8) for travel between April 27, 2020, and March 1, 2021. AirAsia Group Chief Commercial Officer Karen Chan said, “We are pleased to announce our final BIG Sale for 2019, giving guests one last opportunity to book a trip for next year up until early 2021. As a travel and lifestyle company, we have expanded our offering for this sale beyond just flights to include exclusive deals on selected hotels, activities and holiday packages. We’re confident that guests will be sure to find everything they need at airasia.com.” Guests who wish to make changes to their booking or purchase additional add-ons, such as prebooked Santan meals may do so via the My Bookings page in just three simple steps—Enter, Select and Pay!


A8 Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sports BusinessMirror

Editor: Jun Lomibao | mirror_sports@yahoo.com.ph

END OF AN ERA AT DOPING BODY BECKIE Scott is a Canadian cross-country skier whose own moment of Olympic glory is diminished by dopers. AP

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By Eddie Pells

The Associated Press

ATOWICE, Poland—The only reason Beckie Scott’s going-away speech to the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) wasn’t her finest moment was because of all that led up to it. Bruised, berated and criticized by some colleagues over a six-year tenure at the worldwide drug-fighting agency, the head of the Wada athlete’s committee left on her own terms. “I’m going to remind you for one last time,” she said at Thursday’s board meeting. “You have thousands upon thousands of athletes counting on you to do right by them. Not by any other stakeholder, but by them.” Scott is a Canadian cross-country skier whose own moment of Olympic glory was diminished by dopers. She finished third in the 5K pursuit but eventually ended up with a gold medal from the Salt Lake City Olympics. She didn’t get it until 2004—after cases were completed involving two

Russians who were found to have been doping. She received the medal in an art gallery in Vancouver. It wasn’t the last time Russians would make a lasting imprint on her life. Her experience in Salt Lake City, and many more that others like her had endured, led her to seek a spot representing athletes at Wada. One of her proudest accomplishments was getting an athlete charter of rights approved for entry into the Wada archives. That happened Thursday, the last day of her term as chair. “My hope is that going forward, voices that challenge or dissent will be heard and taken into consideration rather than undermined or dismissed,” Scott said. “And my hope is that going forward, balance and independence will be restored to these tables, so that all interests and priorities here are aligned with equality of opportunity and fairness, rather than the business of sport.”

She received applause at the end of that speech. That has not been the norm. She has been under near-constant pressure inside the halls of Wada—largely dismissed, talked over and ignored through the years, especially as her voice grew louder in dissent of Wada’s actions in the Russian doping scandal that has rocked the agency over the past five years. Last year, Scott resigned her position from the agency’s compliance committee, disgusted with its decision to reinstate Russia’s banned anti-doping committee in exchange for a promise of receiving data from its Moscow lab. That data, received past a deadline Wada set and under conditions the agency had originally deemed unacceptable, has been tampered with; next week, the same committee Scott resigned from will deliver another recommendation about Russia’s fate. But, Scott said, she stayed on in the athlete-

representative role, “because I thought it was a cause worth fighting for.” It is not easy. Roles in these worldwide sports organizations are accompanied by perks, new friends and expectations that don’t always align with the priorities of the people, especially athletes, who elect their representatives. But once members are inside the circle, if they don’t toe the line, they receive messages—some obvious, others more subtle—that their recalcitrance is not appreciated. It happened a lot to Scott over six years. “You’re certainly treated very well, but I think with that comes expectations that you’re a member of the club,” Scott said in an interview after her speech. “For me, I felt that I was here as a representative of the athletes. And they’re not part of this club.” The athlete’s group Global Athlete put out a statement lauding Scott for standing up “to represent the voice of the majority—the clean athletes of the world.” “That took courage and it took fortitude, but thankfully the clean athlete community had a flag-bearer in Beckie,” the statement said. After the meeting was adjourned, Scott smiled and breathed deeply, maybe for the first time in a long time. She had considered not giving the speech, but once she got inside the room, she realized it was her time. What she really wanted to do, she said while standing outside the meeting room, was to “remind them of what they’re here for and who they’re supposed to be making decisions on behalf of.” “That’s been lost for years,” Scott said. “Geopolitics and the business of sports have trumped athletes for too long, and it’s time to get back to representing athletes. And if that’s not happening here, then what’s the point?”

More than 1 million Olympic tickets up in latest Japan lottery

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OKYO— Frustrated residents of Japan will get another shot at attending next year’s Tokyo Olympics when organizers on Friday put more than 1 million tickets into the latest lottery. Tokyo has generated unprecedented ticket demand inside and outside Japan. Organizers say 3.57 million tickets have already been awarded to Japan residents in two lotteries. Organizers have repeatedly declined to say how many tickets have been sought. But demand is believed to be at least 10 times over supply—probably more—with widespread complaints about the scarcity. The demand has driven up hotel prices and created concerns about how Tokyo’s efficient train system will handle the July 24 to August 9 games. Organizers say 7.8 million tickets are available for next year’s games. They say at least 70 percent will go to the general Japanese public, which would be about 5.5 million. The rest are sold outside Japan, or allotted to sponsors, national Olympic committees, or international sports federations. This is the last exclusive chance for residents of Japan. Another ticket offering in the spring will be open to Japan and non-Japan residents on a first-come, first-served basis. This is the first time tickets for boxing are included in the Japan lottery.

The International Olympic Committee stripped the boxing body AIBA of the right to organize the tournament, citing corruption in finance, refereeing and judging. The IOC is now organizing the tournament after a long delay. Tickets will be unavailable for the marathons. The IOC, citing Tokyo’s summer heat, is moving that event to the northern city of Sapporo against the wishes of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike. It’s unclear where the marathons will be run in Sapporo, and if people who bought tickets to see the finish inside Tokyo’s new national stadium will get refunds.

The latest lottery opens next Wednesday, November 13, and runs until November 26, with results announced in mid-December. Organizers hope to raise about $800 million in ticket sales. This revenue makes up a large part of the privately funded operating budget of $5.6 billion. A national government audit report last year said Tokyo would spend about $25 billion to organize the Olympics, all of which is public money except for the operating budget funding. Organizers dispute the figure and say it’s half that much, part of a debate about what are— and are not—Olympic expenses. AP

NFL RIDES WAVE OF SPORTS BETTING L

uckily, the black cat making its primetime debut at MetLife Stadium didn’t seem to be an omen. The cat not only found the end zone but found a way to escape Monday night, which is more than most members of the Giants can do before their season is mercifully over. That’s life midway through the National Football League’s (NFL) 100th season, where a cat is more entertaining than both New York teams and the race for the bottom is a fight for future

draft picks instead of the Lombardi trophy. Things are even worse in Cincinnati, where the Bengals can’t sniff a win and can’t draw any fans. If parity is the goal in the NFL, the Bengals are among the perennially underperforming teams that have yet to get the memo. Winning, the legendary Vince Lombardi so famously said, isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. But that’s not always true these days in the NFL, where the money is huge for both owners and players whether they’re chasing a

A BLACK cat runs on the field during the second quarter of the game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys in East Rutherford, New Jersey. AP

Super Bowl or the basement of their division. Increasingly, that’s also true these days for fans. They can play daily fantasy or make bets in an increasing number of states that are more predicated on different spreads and statistical outcomes than they are on the idea of their team winning. And that might be the biggest change in a season where the NFL has not only embraced its former nemesis—sports betting—but joined in promoting the fact its games are more fun to watch when there’s a point spread involved. “Not everybody bets but everybody is interested in whether or not their team is a favorite or a dog and by how much,” former longtime NFL broadcaster Brent Musburger said. “It’s helped fuel the league and it’s only getting bigger and bigger now.” That can be seen in Las Vegas, where the betting handle keeps going up despite sports betting spreading to a dozen other states. It certainly can be seen in New Jersey, where fans sitting in the Meadowlands for the Monday night game were free to use their phones to bet on either the Giants or Cowboys—though not on the black cat scoring again. And it will likely be seen in the television dollars that are the backbone of everything the NFL does. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones predicted on the eve of the season that legal sports betting will help the league increase its lucrative television contracts by 50 percent when they are up for renegotiation in 2022. AP


The method to the shopping madness


The method to the shopping madness By Pauline Joy M. Gutierrez

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-commerce titan Alibaba and its founder, Jack Ma, changed November 11 forever. The de facto holiday started in the early 1990s in Chinese college campuses as a celebration for single people. 11.11, according to urban culture, resembles four solitary bare sticks that each represent an individual—uncoupled, single. The movement ultimately made its way into wider society and into the marketing blueprint of Alibaba, which repackaged the date into a global shopping phenomenon. Years later, the numbers from all the online transactions under 11.11 have been mind-boggling. Last year, Alibaba sold $1 billion worth of products in the first 85 seconds of the annual event. It also hauled an estimated global turnover of more than $30.8 billion in a span of 24 hours. In a CNBC article, titled “Is retail dying,” industry analyst Tiffany Lung of Hong Kong-based research and tech firm Tofugear credited part of the 11.11 success to the engaging strategies employed by Chinese retailers. “America runs on such a price-driven concept in retail, which is what ultimately upholds the whole concept of Black Friday sales,” she said, adding that in contrast, “China celebrates ‘Singles Day’ with a fun and social experience through games and entertainment,” such as countdown events. Shopback Philippines Country Head Prashant Kala said in an interview with the BusinessMirror that the strategies’ goal is to generate buzz among users. He

added that online companies target three things with 11.11 sales: One, to drive overall sales; two, to increase additional market share; and three, to capture new audience who have yet to try online shopping. “To achieve these goals, platforms and sellers try to reach different market segments with a buildup of various kinds of sales, from free shipping to lowest cost deals to flash sales,” the executive of the cashback rewards program said. The creative gimmicks have translated to massive sales in the Philippines. Top e-commerce players have enjoyed up to a seven-fold jump in revenue in recent years. According to online shopping expert Charlene Mitra, she prefers to shop during promotional periods simply because of the

price drops. “That means I can get twice as many items once I check-out,” she said. In 2018, digital payments provider PayPal cited in a study that Filipinos are increasing their online spend because of convenience, the breadth of online platforms, and expectations of a faster shipping process. A BusinessMirror report, titled “Centennials: Consumers of the future and their online buying behavior” also revealed that centennials—also known as Generation Zers—are “excited about futuristic shopping technology, such as virtual reality,” with the majority “happy to share data with web sites if it makes recommendations from them more relevant.”

Klook rolls out its biggest 24-hour sale

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ith the holidays fast approaching, now is the perfect time to finalize those vacation plans. Score tickets to your dream destination with Klook, a world-leading travel activities booking platform, which is set to hold its biggest 24-hour flash sale tomorrow, November 11. Whether you’re planning on jetsetting around Asia, going on that much-awaited Eurotrip, or exploring the Philippines, turn that dream into reality as Klook gives away up to 50-percent off on travel bookings. There are also 11 Hot Deals lined up for popular activities in Taiwan, Japan, Singa-

pore, Korea, and Hong Kong. As an added treat, watch out for the special All You Can Klook Deal. Just select up to 11 handpicked tours and activities and enjoy 50-percent off on the entire cart. The 11.11 thrills don’t stop there as Klook is also giving travelers exciting giveaways, including one year worth of Klook activities and one of 11 free round-trip flights. Catch more travel deals and surprises by tuning in to Klook’s Facebook Live tonight, November 10 at 10 p.m., with Alex Gonzaga and Luis Manzano. For more details, visit https://www.klook.com/promo/ ph-allyoucanklook.

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November 10, 2019

Kala said that locally, online shopping is more skewed toward females, but the margin between them and males is not that huge. “Basically, there is no restriction to the demographics e-commerce apps and online shopping apps are targeting; as long as you are old enough to purchase the product, you are sure to find a great deal.” Fashion has surfaced as the top category for cross-border shopping in the country, while consumer electronics is the next most-shopped category, along with cosmetics and beauty products. Khaye Cortez, a graphic artist in a nonprofit organization, noticed these items usually sell out fast, which is why she makes sure to add these products to her virtual cart first. Financial advisor Kate Patrimonio agrees, but stresses the importance of comparing prices to get the best value on purchases. She recommends checking out reviews for credibility, including the location of the seller. “One time,” she said, “I ordered from an overseas shop and there was an issue with the product, but we couldn’t understand each other so I just kept the item, despite my concerns.” Other shoppers, meanwhile, are more carefree in their approach. Public relations associate Hillary Medalla said she doesn’t have a budget plan when she shops online, while Bea Faicol, a writer for a local digital media company, admitted she’s “not into 11/11 sales,” but would still prepare her cart before any big sales. Regardless of their approach, the shoppers agreed that what keeps them on the lookout for the best online deals, especially on 11.11, are the allures of free shipping, cash-on-delivery (COD) payment method, and quick delivery time. With hours to go before the madness starts, how’s your virtual cart shaping up?


BusinessMirror

YOUR MUSIC OUR BUSINESS

Art by Jimbo Albano

ACROSS HIS UNIVERSE It’s Rico Blanco’s world, we all just live in it

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By Edwin P. Sallan

N a recent interview with fellow songwriter Trina Belamide for her ongoing series of songwriting tips videos, enigmatic rocker Rico Blanco admits that he continuously write songs as a hobby. For someone who considers songwriting as a mere hobby, what Rico has accomplished not just for himself, but for the local music

industry as a whole is nothing short of remarkable either on his own or with Rivermaya, the band he co-founded and wrote most of the

music for for 23 years. “I’ve been writing for more than half of my life. Wrote my first song when I was 13. By 18, I was writing stuff like ‘214’ and by 20, I was writing songs like ‘Awit ng Kabataan’ and ‘Himala’,” he revealed to Belamide in the same video interview. Explaining the songwriting process that gave birth to more enduring classics like “Elesi,” “Ulan,” “Hinahanap-Hanap Kita,” “Kisapmata,” “Nerbyoso,” “Umaaraw, Umuulan,” “Liwanag sa Dilim,”

“Posible”, and many more with Rivermaya alone, Rico said he just takes note of whatever comes to his mind, even in the most unexpected moments. “I can play music in my head that’s totally something new and not anyone else’s song. Even when I’m thinking of, or working on something else, I hear instruments or a beat at the back of my head. That’s my radio, that’s my Spotify,” he further shared with Trina. Continued on page 6


Sound BusinessMirror

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YOUR MUS

LEARNING FROM PRACTITIONERS SCHOOLS THAT ROCK PART 2

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By Mony Romana

F one wanted to learn about the music business, they would have to get into in the business, and learn from watching accomplished executives carry out their work with what they know intuitively through years of experience. To facilitate the transfer of knowledge from music business professionals to students, these institutions recruited industry practitioners to be part of their faculty. Patrick Frias, De La Salle College of St. Benilde’s chair of the Music Production Department of the School of Design and Arts cites the benefits from getting active practitioners in the industry into their faculty roster. “Most of the faculty members are industry practitioners and experts in their field. Students benefit from their professors giving them the opportunity to learn from them, each of whom has his or her own production style and preferences. This makes for

a more well-rounded education and lays the platform for them to develop their own unique production style.” The effort put into recruiting music industry professionals was a big factor in accepting the Music Business Management program chair post at MINT College “The idea that the faculty of MINT is composed of industry professionals was a big factor that attracted me to accept the invitation from MINT to head the MBM department, simply because

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YOUR MUSIC OUR BUSINESS

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SOUNDSTRIP is published and distributed free every Sunday by the Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing Inc. as a project of the BusinessMirror The Philippine Business Mirror Publishing, Inc., with offices on the 3rd Floor of Dominga Building III 2113 Chino Roces Avenue corner Dela Rosa Street, Makati City, Philippines. Tel. Nos. (Editorial) 817-9467; 813-0725. Fax line: 813-7025 Advertising Sales: 893-2019; 817-1351, 817-2807. Circulation: 893-1662; 814-0134 to 36.

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Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino president Jong Cuenco speaks during De La Salle-College of St. Benilde’s Music Business Week

it offered the opportunity for me to mentor the future movers of the industry and help shape its future. It was not difficult for me to recruit more like-minded practitioners to join our team.” One such recruit was erstwhile leader of the legendary 90’s band The Youth Robert Javier. Javier squeezes in teaching duties at MINT College between producing for some of the best local acts like Orange and Lemons, Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikazee and more; and working as musical director and producer for Eat Bulaga. Javier relishes the opportunity to develop a new breed of creative music industry professionals. “Industry practitioners are basically split: the ones who are motivated with result-driven revenues; the ones who remind students to be mindful about being ‘mindless’ in a sea of possible, fulfilling creativeness.” Cheenee Gonzalez, an independent musician currently beginning to make her mark in the industry, has this to say about her experience as a Music Business Management graduate. “I would have to say my education has helped me by knowing the value of discipline and learning-- especially from those who are far more experienced than I am and have tried and tested different methods and theories. There’s no single formula for one to be successful, but at least you gained both knowledge and wisdom for you to take with you on your journey. That’s much better than going on a

journey unprepared and hoping you pick up things along the way.”

Industry Linkages

INTEGRAL to MINT College’s music business program is the wellestablished industry linkages. With the help of their faculty they have been able to provide opportunities for the students to interact with industry practitioners and leaders. Talks, seminars and workshops have been a staples throughout the semester, with business leaders and artists alike getting to share their knowledge and experiences. Aside from their own initiatives, MINT has hosted such events for industry associations like the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mangaawit (OPM), Filipino Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP), Philippine Association of the Recording Industry (PARI), among others. The Music Production program of the College of St. Benilde’s School of Design and Arts has established strong industry ties owing to their faculty roster of accomplished professionals as well, and has hosted numerous events, including their annual Music Week and Music Business Week. These interactions with both local and global industry leaders have led to students being able to realize opportunities even while in school, and will prove valuable as they step out of these institutions and become full-time music business professionals.


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SIC OUR BUSINESS

A CULTURAL DISCOURSE | CHINESE FOOTBALL TAKES MANILA BY STORM By Rick Olivares

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HINESE Football vocalist and guitarist Xu Bo sat outside by the tables in Mow’s. He was checking his messages from back home. Home is Wuhan, China. Xu and his bandmates – bassist Li Lixin, guitarist Wang Bo, and drummer Zheng Zili -- are on their first trip outside their native China and Japan. Manila is the final stop of their Southeast Asian Tour and it's fortuitous that it's Halloween Night. As the following day is a holiday in the Philippines, Mow’s, that unlikely rock club in the basement underneath a decadesold Chinese restaurant, is packed. One of the air-conditioning units isn’t working properly and it’s almost like a sauna inside. “In China, it’s approaching winter now and it’s cold,” Xu says in halting English. “Here, it is very hot.” Bo smiled. Humid or not, Chinese Football are happy to be here. He is equally surprised to see the band has a lot of listeners and fans in their stops in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and now, the Philippines (thanks to Sleeping Boy Collective). He explains in the days when the internet wasn’t what it is today, about discovering American Football that laid the foundation for his band. “That band,” he said, “changed my life.” The bespectacled Bo is a shy kid from Wuhan who found something outside the punk rock scene that Wuhan is known for. “We don’t know if we go out of Wuhan, but here we are seeing the world,” he enthused while shaking his head. He gropes for the right words.

Chinese Football

“Surreal,” I fill in the blanks.

Imagine what it was like opening for his heroes, American Football, last July 30 at the gorgeous Omni Space that has turned the quiet residential Tianqiao district into a cultural mecca that has supplanted Gulao as Beijing’s music epicenter. While still in dreamland, the band, along with their American heroes, made the 12-plus hour train ride to Shanghai for another show; this time at the Mao Livehouse. “Two of the best days of my life,” Xu underscored with a toothy grin. No doubt, the memories remain vivid like it was only yesterday. Like American Football that embarked on a Southeast Asian sojourn after that, Chinese Football have followed suit. The tour has been fun and eye-opening. “We learn from new cultures,” he put in. Chinese Football is the sum of American Football, indie music, video games, Japanese anime and manga, and a love for soccer. The name of the band wasn’t merely an homage, but also pokes some fun at their national football team. While some fans have criticized Chinese Football for ripping off their American idols, Xu insists that

is far from the truth. “I was the only one who knew of Mike Kinsella’s (American Football’s vocalist and chief songwriter) outfit,” Xu said. “My other bandmates listen to other music that isn’t even like American Football. But it isn’t like we listen to a lot of bands. We are simple people.”

Simple. And unobtrusive.

IT’S easy for Xu to get lost in the crowd. Sporting a shirt of New Jersey, USA emo band, Saves the Day, a baseball cap with “Kawasaki city” on it and jeans, he’s just like one of the many fans who trooped on a rainy Thursday night to Mow’s. During their set at Mow’s that lasted well over an hour, Xu admitted to be surprised about the local fans singing along to their songs even if it was in Chinese. When he apologized for his poor English, the fans encouraged him on. By the final song of their long set, the fans chanted, “Please come back.” After the show – featuring songs from their self-titled full length debut and three other extended play albums -- ended, the fans gave the band an extended ovation. While gathering his

gear, Xu and his bandmates were pleasantly surprised to see many fans come over for autographs and selfies. The band obliged while some of their countrymen who attended the show proudly watched on. “I know there are some Chinese fans in the crowd, but to see the Filipino fans enjoy and have a good time… that was amazing,” summed up Xu. “You can add this Southeast Asian Tour to one of the best days of my life.”


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Sound trip BusinessMirror

YOUR MUSIC OUR BUSINESS

ANNIEWHEREWEGO By Annie S. Alejo

How Jaya like that?

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n a small sea of dour looks, colored hair, funky outfits, and a general “be seen” attitude, there were only a few things that truly thrilled me at the recent Awit Awards held at the New Frontier Theater. It’s not that the show was bad – it’s mainly that I’ve learned to lower my expectations. That night, it was enough hearing the amazing voice of Ice Seguerra. Also, seeing the sublime Gary V onstage completely redeemed the night, slow song notwithstanding. And then there was star of the night Moira, who had a thing or two to say about mental health and depression in her acceptance speech – good on her. But it was hanging out at the lobby that turned out to be a doozy. For one, you could tell which among the artists were truly grateful for

Across...

from page 3

On his own, the very prolific Rico has released three studio albums since leaving Rivermaya: Your Universe (2008), Galaktik Fiestamatik (2012), which he put together all by his lonesome, and Dating Gawi (2015). Today, Rico continues to release new music, mostly in collaboration with other artists, even as some of his older, more familiar songs are covered by other artists. Early this year, Rico collaborated with funk rock sensations IV of Spades and released his “comeback” single literally titled “Nagbabalik.” The official music video of the epic rocker that partly recalls the Fiesto Bandido persona that he unleashed with Galaktik Fiestamatik has to date generated over 1.3 million views since it was uploaded only last July. “Isang Gabi,” a haunting ballad with a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” vibe that he wrote, produced and recorded with singer-actress Julie Anne San Jose debuted at number 1 on iTunes Philippines all-genre

being acknowledged. One of these artists was Jaya. Coming back to Manila in the mid-‘90s, Jaya wowed Filipino audiences who’re not just intrigued by her growing up abroad but also impressed by her talent. That was three decades ago; and things have shaken the recording industry quite a bit. That night, seeing her just genuinely enjoying herself and being delighted for her Best Ballad Recording trophy just made me cheer for her. chart. Describing Rico as one of the greats in the industry, Julie Anne said she was just excited to work with him on the song. “Abot Langit,” a bossa-nova flavored acoustic collaboration with rising actress-singer Maris Racal has also netted over 308,000 views on YouTube as of this writing while the synth-heavy “Baka Sakali” which sees him joining forces with Joyce Pring is also doing well. Former Moonstar88 lead singerAcel, now a successful solo artist on her own right, recently covered Rico’s “Your Universe” for the romantic-comedy film, “Between Maybes”. To date, the official lyric video of Acel’s piano-driven rendition of the well-loved ballad has earned over 279,000 views. Another popular Rivermaya ballad, “You’ll Be Safe Here” was recently covered by the promising band St. Wolf, known for their smooth sound they dubbed as “swabecore.” “You’ll Be Safe Here” was the theme song of the hit ABSCBN thriller series, “Sprits” in 2005.

When I got the chance, I asked her what it means for her to win an award. “After all these years, (it’s like) you get complacent just singing... that it’s okay not to receive recognition and all that... it’s becomes less important. But tonight I thought, ‘My God, I still got nominated after 30 something years, am I still relevant?’ And I was just like, it doesn’t matter what I think, I just feel like God really wants me to still do this. So I feel there’s so much more to do... to create... It’s like At Spotify, Rico remains a formidable presence as he currently commands over 475,000 monthly listeners in the popular streaming channel. And as if to further underscore the extent of Rico’s influence and legacy, 9 Works Theatrical recently teased what appears to be an upcoming jukebox musical based on his greatest hits. In a report by Bandwagon Asia, Rico has confirmed that the equally

I’m starting over,” she said. Perhaps relevance can be attributed to a good song – her winning track, “Hanggang Dito Na Lang,” is featured on the Koreanovela “I Have A Lover” on ABS-CBN. When Jaya burst into the recording scene years ago, K-pop wasn’t even a thing yet. “I think we’re still headed towards recording, not just for (release) here but globally. And we’re crossing our fingers on that,” she said of her plans. After staging her 30th anniversary concert in April this year, “God willing, I’m thinking of doing one for next year.” Asked about doing another big show, like she once did at the Araneta Coliseum, she joked, “It’s why I never did it again, it’s scary – the venue was huge! I’m an intimate person. But maybe (I’ll do it) again one day if the Lord says, ‘Try a big one again’... hmmm, we’ll see.” Ever the grateful soul, she said, “For me, that was one of those achievements that, if I never get to do it again, I was very happy I was able to do it once before.” So how do you like your relevance? For me, it is better to connect with audiences beyond musical fads. And in this, I’ll always be rooting for the likes of Jaya. formidable theater company is now working on the story and which songs to include. For someone who is now considered by most millennials as one of the more senior statesmen in the local music scene, Rico Blanco’s music is still very much everywhere as he continues to cast a large shadow in the scheme of things. We can only expect bigger things from him in the days to come.

RICO BLANCO (Photo from his Facebook page)


Inspired and prepared to lead the charge By Rizal Raoul S. Reyes

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hand Daryanani faces a tall task. As the young marketing director of Canadian Manufacturing, the leading manufacturer of high-quality bed linens and towels in the country, he is expected to lead the decades-old family business into the new era. But Daryanani is up for the challenge. The 31-year-old has prepared his whole life to take on the role, inspired by his grandparents who established the business from the ground up in 1959. “My grandfather had to endure lots of hardship in building the business,” Daryanani said. “He moved to the Philippines with only $2 in his pocket. He somehow made a living out of that, which is why we say that we started from very humble beginnings.” The lesson is passed on Daryanani when he took on the reins of the business after working as a manager for another company. Like his father before him, he had to work his way to the top of the company, starting as a checker and a salesperson until he was promoted to his current position of sales and marketing director. Under Daryanani’s lead, Canadian Manufacturing recently launched its 2019

Chand Daryanani, marketing director of Canadian Manufacturing collection to show the company’s resilience and ability to evolve with the market and the industry. The new collection also serves as a show of appreciation to the consumers, as well as to the retail and institution partners who were with them over the years. Canadian Manufacturing has established relationships with international brands and licenses, while developing other quality brands. Its collections now consist of Hello Dolly, Little Wishes, Canadian Beddings, Lifestyle Beddings, Boutique Bed Linens, and Modern Linen and Dream Home lines. Daryanani said the expansion of collections is the fulfillment of the business’s original goal of being the leading bed and bath manufacturer for home linens and textiles.

In 1972, Canadian Manufacturing ventured into infants and children’s wear, catering to both global and domestic markets and becoming the leading manufacturers of infants wear in the country. In 1996, the company acquired several international licenses, including Disney, which paved the way to developing strong relationships with more global brands, such as Warner Bros., NBA, Hot Wheels, Barbie, Marvel, Justice League and Sanrio. Canadian Manufacturing kept growing from that point on. But as with any business, Daryanani said their company had its fair share of challenges. “My father and grandfather went through a multitude of issues throughout the years to be able to get the business to where it is today,” he said.

With the resolution of one problem, however, inevitably—naturally—comes another. Today, Daryanani’s challenges revolve around achieving economies of scale and foreseeing market trends and demands. The company manages to pull through, and has even expanded to cater to customer needs in other markets. “We have been blessed to be able to expand our production facilities and open three satellite offices in Cebu, Davao and Boracay to better serve our customer base,” Daryanani said. The marketing director believes Canadian Manufacturing continues to thrive on the strength of its unwavering dedication to provide quality products to their customers. He said the company has been able to move with the times by paying attention to the constant evolution of market trends and designs, without losing sight of delivering quality products and total customer experience. “This is what has enabled us to secure our niche in the market,” he said. Daryanani maintained that despite the success of the company, their long-term plans have not changed. They remain firm in their goal of being the market leader in bed and bath manufacturing in the country. Canadian Manufacturing also aims to optimize the many technological advancements for its distribution services through increased presence in e-commerce platforms, while continuing to grow its traditional retail channels. “The goal is to deliver Canadian Manufacturing’s products globally with ease,” Daryanani said. As for the growing competition in the industry, the young leader said the company is more concerned with its clients, not its competitors. “That is the primary focus of our research and daily goals—providing premium products and service to our customers.”

D.O.H. CALABARZON CONDUCTS FACE PAINTING WORKSHOP TO PROMOTE STRESS RELIEF

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o relieve stress and keep the mind strong and healthy, the Department of Health (DOH)-Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) conducted a recent four-day “Face Painting Workshop” at Ciudad Christhia Resort in San Mateo, Rizal. The participants were employees from the regional office and various provincial health offices in the region. Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo said that the objective of the workshop is to promote stress relief among the employees, develop creativity, bolster emotional growth, stimulate an optimistic attitude and foster camaraderie. “At least 45 minutes of creative activity significantly reduces stresses in the body, regardless of artistic talent or experience,” he said. “Finding an emotional release from a rigorous work like painting allows the mind to relax and liberate it from all the troubles that provide high level of stress. Kapag mas mababa ang stress level ng isang tao, mas masaya at healthier ang lifestyle niya. Mas maiimprove rin ang overall mental health niya.” Face painting is the application of cosmetic paint to a person’s face for

The first batch of DOH-Calabarzon employees show their painted faces during a group photo shoot at the end of the two-day “Face Painting Workshop” at Ciudad Christhia in San Mateo, Rizal, on November 6, 2019.

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November 10, 2019

entertainment, theatrical or symbolic purpose. In some parts of the world, it is a common cultural practice and used primarily to identify important individuals like tribal chiefs, shamans and witch doctors to denote different genders and social classes. According to Regional Mental Health Coordinator Paulina A. Calo, safety comes first, even in face painting. “Dirty painting tools like sponge and brushes and contaminated materials due to lack of sterilization can cause allergic reaction to the skin and eyes,” she said. “Before applying any paint, you should first check if the person is allergic to the material by applying a small amount to the skin, preferably at the back of hand.” Participants were introduced to various types of face painting styles, such as cake face paints, liquid makeup, crayons, dry glitter, glitter gels and basic prosthetic makeup. Proper application of cosmetic paint was also taught, including the use of sponge and various brushes, along with the techniques in creating designs, such as tribal art, animal faces and scary faces.


For the next, stylish generation

Secrets of a A Black Friday shopper By Courtney Jespersen

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NerdWallet

y husband and I have a Thanksgiving routine. Before the family arrives or the turkey is carved, we gather in the living room. As Christmas music plays in the background, he turns on his laptop, and I mine. That’s when the deal hunt begins. Some people cringe at the thought of shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but I revel in it. Maybe it’s because I love a good bargain, or because I write about how to save money. Whatever the reason, I know a lot about Black Friday. And I’d like to share some secrets with you.

SHOPPING EARLY IS A RISK Technically, Black Friday is November 29 this year. But as far as the deals go, it’s already here. Retailers no longer wait for the day after Thanksgiving to start sales. Black Friday isn’t a day anymore. It’s a season, according to Jennifer Burton, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Tampa. “The season seems to get longer and longer every year,” Burton says. Retailers take the liberty to brand all sorts of promotions during the year as Black Friday sales. “Black Friday has become synonymous with ‘special sale,’” says Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University. While there’s no best single day to buy everything on your holiday shopping list, experts agree big savings happen throughout the season from late October through Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). So Burton says it’s important to track prices on items you want. You can snag savings throughout November, but despite early deals, retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy reserve some of their best bargains for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. So shopping sales midNovember can be risky. But in at least one instance, it’s smart to shop ahead—if a seller announces an early start to a deal from its Black Friday ad. Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy

people wait in line to buy televisions as they shop during an early Black Friday sale at a Best Buy store on Thanksgiving Day last year in Overland Park, Kan. Black Friday is November 29, 2019, but it might as well be the whole month of November. AP

and Kohl’s have done this in the past.

SHOPPING UNPREPARED CAN COST YOU Don’t you wish you knew what was coming on Black Friday so you could figure out when to shop and what to buy? It’s actually easy to guess. If a store hasn’t announced its 2019 deals yet, look up last year’s Black Friday ad online. Retailers tend to not get too creative from one year to another. In 2017, the front of Target’s Black Friday ad included deals on a 55-inch TV, Google Home Mini and Beats earphones. The same three types of products graced the ad again in 2018. “Retailers pretty much run the same things year after year, so for good insight, go look at what Walmart did last year on Black Friday,” Thomas says. “What did Target do? Did they run televisions? Was it Legos?” Black Friday is a solid bet for deals on small electronics, apparel and Christmas decorations, Thomas adds. Another tip? I search my archived emails for the words “Black Friday.” I can usually find prior Black Friday promotions that detail exactly what products the store discounted, and at what price.

SHOPPING IN-STORE IS A MISTAKE

Last year I spent Thanksgiving morning on the couch—coffee in one hand, iPhone in the other and laptop in front of me. I placed online or-

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der after order, crossing gifts off my Christmas list. Years prior, I stood in a two-hour line at Best Buy to purchase a single TV. Lesson learned. For many, camping outside a store on Black Friday is a tradition, Burton points out. Thomas agrees. In Black Friday research with coauthor Cara Peters, she found that for some consumers, bonding and community are just as important as the deals. But for the convenience-minded, online shopping is king. And prices are often the same as they are at the store. If you decide to park yourself on the couch, here are three proven strategies: n PRE-SHOP Thomas recommends making an online account with your retailers of choice beforehand and adding the products you want to your favorites list. This will make the checkout process smoother. n DIVIDE AND CONQUER Select the best deals and stick to those items. Burton says free shipping is standard now. You should be able to place small orders at each retailer without needing to meet a shipping minimum. n TRY, TRY AGAIN Web sites crash on Black Friday. Pages load slowly. Carts magically empty when you’re about to check out. If you encounter technical difficulties, keep trying. Go to a retailer’s web site and app simultaneously to see which is faster. I know what I’ll be doing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. Do you? AP November 10, 2019

merican lifestyle brand Cole Haan opened recently its GrandShøp in the Philippines that is set to offer a new collection designed for the next generation. Located at SM Aura Premier in BGC, the Cole Haan GrandShøp features innovative technologies within the ZERØGRAND lifestyle, a product line with reimagined year-round essentials rooted in functionality, versatility and style across all categories. The new store, along with the new collection, appeals to young urban professionals seeking form and functionality in every part of the day. “Cole Haan first launched officially in our shores in the year 2000,” said Angelo Serrano, Cole Haan Philippines general manager. “For almost 20 years, Cole Haan Philippines has served three generations. But today, we are passing on the heritage and cutting across to the next generation, the Gen Z.” The qualities and products of Cole Haan Generation ZERØGRAND are represented by two young athletes as brand ambassadors, Rex Intal and Maddie Madayag. During the launch, Intal said that Cole Haan has been a staple Christmas gift among his brothers for years, as the brand delivers comfort and versatility. “When I go out of the house, I have trainings, meetings and events, so I don’t have the leisure to go back and change,” the 25-year-old volleyball player said. “I look for something versatile and functional, which makes the Generation ZERØGR AND footwear perfect for me because I can wear it with almost everything.” According to Adrian Santos, senior vice president, International at Cole Haan, the first GrandShøp with Beawmont Distributions Inc. in the Philippines is the brand’s sixth concept store globally. “The country is more than ready for concept stores like The GrandShøp,” added Richmond S. Lim, managing director for Beawmont Distributions Inc. “Our team is confident that this will definitely create a unique experience for any shopper and further elevate the retail industry.” For more information about Cole Haan Philippines, follow Cole Haan Philippines on Facebook and @colehaanph on Instagram, or visit www.colehaan.com.

The Cole Haan GrandShøp in the Philippines is located at SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City.

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BusinessMirror November 10, 2019  

BusinessMirror November 10, 2019  

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