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Philippines holds S.O.S. Travel Sale to support pandemic-hit tourism industry By the good newS PiliPinaS TEaM


he PhiliPPines’ tourism sector has announced the holding of the s.O.s. Travel sale this september to support the pandemic-hit industry. The sOs 2021 is the new edition of last year’s travel sale which became successful despite the tourism industry being one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Philippine Tourism secretary Bernadette RomuloPuyat revealed that last year, 4.8 million workers in the tourism industry either lost their jobs or got their salaries cut. To help revive tourism and encourage Filipinos to rediscover local destinations, the hotel sales and Marketing Association (hsMA) decided to bring back last year’s s.O.s. or september Online sale. sOs 2021 is an online sale of various hotel vacation and food & beverage packages that the public can access by visiting the hsMA

Following last year’s successful run, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s (HSMA) September Online Sale is back with bigger promotions and discounts for local destinations. website via the link hsma. from september 15 to October 15, 2021. The discounted packages are sold in the form of e-vouchers that can be used in a span of a year from the

date of purchase and may be extended upon request. eighty (80) hotels and resorts across the country will be participating in this year’s sOs, putting up deals and discounts at as much

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as 70% off. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural sOs, hsMA is looking forward to making this year more meaningful for both hoteliers and travelers. “From a 15-day event, we’ve planned a monthlong travel mart. We are also including the ancillary services of the properties such as restaurants, bars, banquet packages, spa, gym and pool, and other facilities of the hotel, making this year’s campaign more thrilling and inviting,” said Benjie Martinez, hsMA President and Area Director of sales & Marketing for Bayleaf hotels. The inaugural sOs held last year was one of the many projects initiated by the local hotel association in response to the COViD crisis. The event sold almost 2,000 vouchers, which brought in much-needed revenue for the participating hotels and resorts’ operations and upkeep, keeping millions of Filipinos employed in the sector.

An investment of hope

The hsMA believes that sOs will empower Filipinos to make an investment of hope—not just in their future travels, but in the future of the industry and the Turn to page 8

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ursuant to section 1, CoMELEC resolution no. 10709, CoMELEC-office for overseas Voting (CoMELECoFoV) has been authorized to receive and process the following applications / transactions online from overseas Filipino who have existing voters’ registration records with complete biometric data in the Commission’s voter record database, such as the following:

• Certification as an oversea voter • Reinstatement of names inadvertently omitted from the national registry of overseas Voters (nroV) • Correction of entries in the overseas Voter's registration record (oVrr), specifically on the following data fields: • Request to withdraw the application for registration • Request to cancell oVrr • Reactivation of overseas voter records that were deactivated due to causes listed section 14 of the overseas Voting act of 2013 • Updating of mailing or postal addresses and other contact information of registered overseas voters • Transfer of registration records between different Posts or Countries • Transfers of registration records from overseas /

Post to a Philippine city / municipality, but only insofar as the cancellation of the overseas voters' names from the Certified List of overseas Voters (CLoV) and the removal of their overseas voter's registration from the Book of Voters are concerned • Applications for issuance of certified true copy of overseas Voters' registration record, and other oFoV-related activities

Interested registrants / applicants can file their requests through any of the following; • By using the iRehistro System on the CoMELEC Website through this link. • By email at • By Facebook Messenger through this link. Applications requiring the live capture of the voters’ biometric data such as their photographs, signatures, and fingerprints, are not covered by the aforementioned resolution. the public is reminded that the deadline for overseas voter registration is 30 september 2021.


hE DEPartMEnt of Foreign Affairs – Overseas Voting secretariat (DFa- oVs) reminds all overseas Filipinos, that this EC who will be abroad from 10 April – 09 May 2022 are encouraged to register as overseas voters before the 30 september 2021 registration deadline. Due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos who are experiencing difficulties travelling to the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for voter registration/ voter record concerns may avail of the CoMELEC-office for overseas Voting’s (oFoV) Virtual Frontline services (VFs). the VFs, however, pertains only to transactions where the applicant has existing voter registration records with complete biometric data such as:

• Certification as an overseas voter (this pertains to those who have existing voter records in the Philippines and are now applying to vote abroad); • Reactivation of Overseas Voter Registration records (oVrrs); • Updating of addresses and contact information; and • Transfer of voting records between different international locations and from overseas back to the

Interested VFs applicants can fill up their application form (oVF-1) by using the i-rehistro system on CoMELEC’s website ph/irehistro/ovf1 and submit the scanned copy of their duly accomplished oVF-1 to CoMELEC-oFoV:

• by sending an email to; • by Facebook Messenger via overseasvotingph

upon receipt of the application, CoMELECoFoV will schedule a videoconference with the applicant for identity verification and oath taking. however, new registrants as overseas voters and those whose biometric data have yet to be captured are required to set an appointment and personally appear at their nearest Embassy or Consulate. Filipinos in the uK and Ireland may refer to this guide for more information on overseas voter registration in the region. Let’s continue to strengthen our democracy. It’s our right and duty. rEGIstEr anD VotE! n


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4 Filipino start-ups land in Forbes Asia’s inaugural ‘100 to Watch’ list By margo hannah dE guzMan quadRa


our Filipino startup companies have landed on Forbes Asia’s inaugural “100 to Watch” list, which comprises notable small companies and startups in the Asia-pacific. The prestigious list, released on August 10, 2021, features a diverse range of companies on the rise across the region, spanning industries from biotechnology and healthcare to education and recruitment for the August issue of Forbes Asia. “Companies on the 100 to Watch list are making remarkable progress and impact in spite of the challenging climate brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their inclusion on the list comes in part from addressing significant problems with innovative solutions,” says Justin Doebele, Editor of Forbes Asia. The Filipino companies in 2021’s top 100 were selected from over 900 submissions. To qualify for consideration, companies had to be headquartered in the Asiapacific, be at least one year old, privately owned, forprofit, and have no more than $20 million in its lat-

est annual revenue or total funding through August 1. Here is the list of philippine startups listed under Forbes Asia’s 100 to Watch list:


Filipino-owned e-commerce business ChatGenie, founded in 2020, combines online platforms and Grab’s delivery into Facebook Messenger to allow customers to shop by direct message.


philippines-based cloud kitchen, CloudEats, launched in June 2019 and is building the largest online food group in Southeast Asia. its secret sauce is its cost efficiency, operating 60 restaurant brands out of versatile “cloud kitchens.” CloudEats says it has raised $1.8 million in funding off its lightning-fast scaling, with another round scheduled to close this year.

These Philippine startups made it to Forbes Asia’s inaugural “100 to Watch” list. Photos are official brand logos.


Ai-powered recruitment company Kalibrr, founded in 2013, serves 5 million job seekers in indonesia and the philippines. Kalibrr is looking to make the hiring process simpler, faster, and better for companies and applicants. According to the company, it has raised $7.5 million from omidyar network, Wavemaker, and Kickstart Ventures. it was the first Filipino company to be accepted by Y Combinator.

PayMongo Philippines

payMongo is a financial

technology company established in 2019 that allows businesses in the philippines to accept payments of all types in a matter of minutes. payMongo philippines serves around 7,000 mostly micro, small and midsized companies moving beyond brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. it is backed by Y Combinator and says it has raised $14.7 million in funding. Forbes Asia named three Filipino business innovators in the 2019 edition of the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 list. n

Philippines holds S.O.S. Travel Sale to support... From page 2

country as well. “This is our chance to extend a helping hand to the travel sector, so that they may regain their footing and continue serving the Filipino people through essential quarantine accommodations and leisure services. This is also a kind of victory over the pandemic, that we are seizing the opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the beauty of our country,” said Mar-

gie Munsayac, HSMA Board Chair and Vice president of Sales & Marketing for Bluewater resorts. This circles back to the call for “Bayanihan to Heal as one”—ratified as republic Act no. 1146 in March 2020—which manifests not just through the initiatives of the private and public sectors, but also through the individual contribution of each Filipino. “This pandemic brought out the best and the inner

hero in each of us. Through the spirit of Bayanihan, we are able to stand behind and support each other to survive. We have demonstrated what Filipinos can do. Together, we can look forward to traveling again and experiencing the philippines soon,” said Michael Albaña, HSMA Director for programs and Commercial Director for Conrad Manila.

Have a safe trip, Pinas!

True to the call of the

Department of Tourism’s (DoT) new campaign, “Have a Safe Trip, pinas,” SoS hopes to contribute to the momentum of local tourism recovery by boosting public confidence and driving anticipation for travel. inoculation of the philippine public and workers from the country’s key tourism destinations is the first step to strengthen this drive. At least fourteen million (14M) Filipinos are already Turn to page 18



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Intramuros, Luneta

to reopen while NCR is under Alert Level 4 By aLexandria denniSe Sanj juan


ark-goers can now visit three popular sites in the historic Walled city of Intramuros and rizal Park in Manila starting sept. 16, as they reopen their doors to the public but at a limited capacity and shortened operating hours.

Fort Santiago, Intramuros (Photo from Department of Tourism) Department of Tourism secretary Bernadette romulo-Puyat made the announcement on Wednesday, sept. 15 after the government’s pandemic task force has allowed outdoor tourism attractions under a new coVID-19 alert level system in Metro Manila. rizal Park will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. with a maximum capacity of 500 visitors at any given time. The DoT advised visitors to download the staysafe app for faster entry into the park premises, while manual contact tracing forms will still be available at entrances for those without access to mobile phones. Three sites in Intramuros will also resume operations namely Fort santiago, which will accommodate only 150 visitors; Baluarte De san Diego with a capacity of 80 visitors; and Plaza san Luis. Here is the operating schedule of the Intramuros spots that will reopen beginning Wednesday:

• Fort santiago — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday-Friday), 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (saturday and sunday) • Baluarte de san Diego — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; P75 entrance fee for regular visitors, P50 for seniors, students, and PWDs • Plaza san Luis — 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily as the national capital region (ncr) will be placed under alert Level 4 or the second highest classification in the new lockdown scheme from sept. 16 to 30, Puyat said those below 18 and above 65 of age will still not be allowed to visit cultural and historical sites. “The reopening of Fort santiago, Baluarte san Diego, and Plaza san Luis will allow visitors to again experience 2020’s asia and World’s leading tourist attraction as recognized by the World Travel awards,” Puyat said “But we continuously urge our tourists to strictly adhere to the health and Turn to page 18


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These 7 Destination Beaches Await Your Return to the Philippines


he PhiliPPines is blessed with many pristine beaches, including Boracay island and Palawan island. The beauty of these islands has already captured the world. Palawan island was named as one of the 30 Best Beaches in the World by Conde nast Traveler in 2020. Meanwhile, Boracay has been recognized by international travel magazine, Travel + leisure, as the Best island in the World in 2012; and several times by Conde nast Traveler, including Best island in the World in 2014, Top 10 destinations to watch in 2016, and World’s Best island Beaches in the 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Bantayan Island, Cebu Philippines Department of Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says the country has been hard at work, developing tour packages and circuits together with the various local government units. “Once international travel resumes, we are ready to welcome visitors again to our famous beach destinations like Boracay, and showcase our undiscovered gems and other improved tourists attractions that are just as beautiful and relaxing.” included in the list of undiscovered gems are new destinations, such as these secluded beaches that offer the ultimate escape from the feeling of confinement, with wide open spaces and friendly smiles from the locals.

Bantayan Island, Cebu With more than 7,000 islands in a beautiful archipelago, definitely more fun awaits visitors for their next beach escape to these pristine and quiet little pieces of paradise.

kayaking, and even skydiving. One can soak in the local culture by approaching locals who engage in fishing and production of savory dried fish as their main source of livelihood.

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte

The waters surrounding this long stretch of beach are crystal clear, with a white powdery sandbar that is perfect for a long solitary

Bantayan Island, Cebu

located at the northernmost tip of Cebu, Bantayan island boasts of stunning white sand beaches and eco-tourism sites. From the Mactan Cebu international Airport, the island is easily accessible by boarding a bus at the Cebu north Bus Terminal. The journey will take you on a scenic ride to the northern tip of Cebu including a short ferry to the island. Activities in Bantayan include swimming, cliff diving, island-hopping,

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte (c/o Laizananica Ormoc)

Turn to page 20


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Intramuros, Luneta to reopen on... From page 10

safety protocols to sustain the resumption of tourism in the country,” the tourism chief noted. To encourage more NCR residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the DOT through the Intramuros Administration will set up an express lane for fully vaccinated individuals who wish to visit Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego. By using the express lane, fully vaccinated visitors are allowed to accom-

plish the mandatory contact tracing form when inside the sites and will only need to present it to security personnel before exit. Meanwhile, regardless of vaccination status, all visitors shall undergo mandatory temperature checks at the sites’ entrance and are required to strictly follow minimum health standards such as wearing masks and face shields, proper physical distancing, and frequent washing or disinfection of hands. The DOT has also been

promoting the use of its tourist sites to speed up the government’s vaccination efforts such as its partnership with the City of Manila to establish a drive-thru vaccination facility at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. As an added assurance to visitors, the DOT prioritized the vaccination of tourism workers and have so far fully vaccinated 99 percent of workers in the Intramuros Administration including outsourced security and janitorial workers, while 96 percent of

all Rizal Park personnel have completed their shots. “We are reminding everyone to strictly follow the health and safety protocols when visiting Rizal Park, Intramuros, and other tourist sites and destinations that have reopened, and get vaccinated when the opportunity comes,” Puyat said. “By doing so, not only can you protect yourself, but you are also keeping the workers who rely on tourism safe from the virus, too,” she added. n

Philippines holds S.O.S. Travel Sale to support... From page 8

fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine doses are also being sent to areas identified by the government as highly dense tourist destinations such as NCR, Boracay, Bohol, Metro Cebu, and Palawan. In the interest of every Filipino’s health and safety, the DoT is working with hotels and resorts to implement strict protocols and precautionary measures set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make travel safe for both guests and employees. “Inoculating our tourism front-liners all over the country will be a key factor in reopening the industry, as well as restoring the public’s confidence to travel, translating to higher socio-economic activities and boosting our recovery prospects. I call for public and private entities to practice the Bayanihan spirit in furthering the vaccination of our tourism workers,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.

Rediscovering the Philippines

Available during the SOS

travel sale are more than a hundred packages and up to 70% off in discounts from key destinations within Metro Manila and throughout the country, including: Manila, Pasay, Parañaque, Ortigas, Pasig, Quezon City, Makati, BGC, Alabang, Cavite, Laguna, Bataan, Clark, Ilocos, Baguio, Boracay, Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, and Davao. For a quick weekend

getaway without having to venture far, hotels within the greater Metro Manila area have come together to offer an urban sanctuary in the middle of the metro: The Peninsula Manila is welcoming back families and couples with an overnight package inclusive of breakfast and complimentary late check-out starting at P6,000 nett. Travelers can also enjoy a complimentary room

upgrade and buffet breakfast on an overnight stay at Conrad Manila, or get up to 3,000 pesos off on an overnight stay at a 3-bedroom suite at The Linden Suites. Other participating NCR properties with staycation deals, F&B credits, and other exciting offers include: Acacia Hotel Manila, Astoria Plaza,Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Discovery Primea, Dusit Thani Manila, Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, New World Makati Hotel, Oxford Suites Makati, Seda Residences Makati, Grand Hyatt, Seda BGC, Shangri-La at The Fort, The Bellevue Manila, Bayview Park Hotel, Diamond Hotel Philippines, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, Sheraton Manila Bay, The Bayleaf Intramuros, Winford Manila Resort and Casino, JEN Manila by Shangri-La, Manila Marriott Hotel, Okada Manila, Kingsford Hotel Manila, Microtel Wyndham Mall of Asia, Edsa Shangri-La, Joy~Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Discovery Suites, Ace Hotel and Suites, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, B Hotel Quezon City, and Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa. Turn to page 22



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These 7 Destination Beaches Await Your... Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Occidental

This aptly-named beach in the sweet province of Negros Occidental is a destination that is known mostly to locals as Langub Beach. Locals love to spend their lazy summer afternoons swimming in

its azure waters. Here, one can catch a beautiful sunset while listening to the waves and relaxing on the warm brown sand. Among the activities to try are snorkeling and paddle boarding, or simply taking a refreshing dip in the cooling blue waters.

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte From page 12

stroll and for taking lots of photos. Kalanggaman is derived from the word “langgam,” which means bird in the local dialect, as the two ends of the island seem to flap like bird’s wings when viewed from above. There are no big resorts on Kalanggaman Island and crowds are kept at bay with the Municipality of Palompon putting a cap on the number of tourists that can visit per day. Those who want to spend the night can stay at native cottages or set up camp along the strip of beach and watch the stars put on a show against a gorgeous velvet sky.

Secret Beach, El Nido

Secret Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Framed by towering cliffs and turquoise-hued waters, Secret Beach in El Nido is a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered by travelers who want to experience the thrill of finding a treasure from Mother Nature. The beach is accessible only by swimming through a crevice among the limestone rocks that’s just above the water.

Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Sugar Beach in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Mantigue Island, Camiguin Province

A 20-minute scenic boat trip from the eastern side of the alluring Camiguin Island brings travelers to this gleaming white sand island framed by lush greenery. Mantigue Island is a four-hectare slice of tropical wonderland famous among divers because of the endangered hawksbill turtle frequently sighted in its clear waters. This island

is indeed a diver’s dream because it is teeming with colorful and rare marine creatures such as colorful clownfish, nudibranchs, frog fish, sharks, and dense schools of fish with a backdrop of amazing gardens of




Mantigue Island corals and seascapes. To complete your experience, you can admire the local wildlife of its mini tropical jungle, frolic among the waves, laze on the powdery sand, or you can grab a bite of the sea urchin (uni) offered by the locals on the beach right out of the ocean! There are no big crowds on the island as it is only open for day tours and the number of visitors are limited to help preserve its natural beauty.

Daku Island (c/o Paco Guerrero)

Guyam Island

Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island, Surigao del Norte

Siargao is fast becoming a favorite surfing destination for local and foreign enthusiasts, but for those who want to experience the more idyllic side of the province, they can book a boat tour that will take them island hopping for a whole day

Naked Island (c/o Jake Verzosa)

of enjoyment among small secluded sandbars. Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island are destinations for those who want to feel what it is like to live on a tiny remote island. Guyam is a small circular island with swaying coconut trees and beach huts, while Naked Island, as its name implies, is a bare beach with deep waters suited for scuba diving. Daku, which means ‘big’ in the local dialect, is large enough to be home to a small and friendly fishing community.




Philippines holds S.O.S. Travel Sale to... From page 18

Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte (c/o John Harvey Perez)

Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

The white sand and blue seawater of Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte has become a popular destination among local beach lovers who want to experience a quick getaway from urban life. Among the activities available for travelers aside from swimming and catching unobstructed sunrise and sunset views are heading to the neighboring Tinaga island to trek on its rolling hills.

Travel safely to the Philippine shores

The Tourism Department, which has been awarded a SafeTravels Stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of its adoption of “health and hygiene global standardized protocols” that will ensure safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, conducts thorough inspection and assessment to ensure that only those who are

accredited are allowed to open and receive guests. To ensure that travel to these beautiful beaches will be a safe, the Tourism Department is enhancing its health and hygiene protocols, with tourism workers undergoing constant training and tourism establishments implementing standardized safeguards in their premises to protect their guests and employees. The Philippine government through its InterAgency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is constantly updating its protocols to safeguard Filipinos and foreign nationals who are traveling to the Philippines. To know the latest updates and travel advisories about the Philippines visit and https://www.philippines. travel/safetrip, or download the Visit Philippines travel app at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. n

Beyond Metro Manila, the September Online Sale features attractive vacation deals in popular destinations in North and South Luzon such as Baguio, Ifugao Province, Ilocos, Bataan, Clark Pampanga, Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. There’s Marriott Hotel Clark’s special rates for Quan Spa and complimentary access to the fitness center and pool, or Quest Hotel Tagaytay’s rest and relax package inclusive of an overnight stay with kawa bath and massage, while The Bayleaf Cavite’s Buy-one, Get-one room package comes with complimentary breakfast and pool use. Other participating resorts and hotels within Luzon include: Quest Plus Conference Center Clark, Grand Sierra Pines Hotel in Baguio, Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel in Ifugao, Vitalis Villas in Ilocos Sur, Rancho Bernardo Luxury Resort in Bagac, Bataan, Acuatico Beach Resort and Hotel, Acuaverde Beach Resort in Batangas, Seda Nuvali in Sta Rosa Laguna, and Summit Ridge Tagaytay, and Twin Lakes Hotel in Tagaytay. Those longing for sand, sea, and sun will have so much to discover across the Visayas region. Experience ultimate luxury at great prices at Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan, which comes with complimentary P2,000 in F&B credits and 40% off AUM Spa services. Don’t miss the chance to book an overnight stay at Bluewater Maribago at over 60% off, or grab the super affordable day tour promo at The Bellevue Resort Bohol, inclusive of pool and beach access, aqua sports facilities, and F&B credits. Other featured promotions during the 30-day sale will come from these member resorts and hotels located in Cebu and Bohol: Best Western Plus; The Ivywall Resort-Panglao; Mithi Resort and Spa; Shangri-La Mactan; Marco Polo Plaza Cebu; BE Resort Mactan; Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu; Savoy Hotel Mactan; Waterfront Cebu City; and Waterfront Airport Mactan. In the past years, Palawan has taken the ‘Best Island in the World’ title—and for good reason. Let Astoria Palawan take you to the most beautiful islands and rock formations, as you take advantage of their overnight room promotion of three (3) nights for the price of two. You can also grab the lowest rates from Club Paradise Palawan or enjoy 20% off spa services at Bacau Bay Resort Coron. Other properties in Palawan and Davao offering good deals and discounts include: Miniloc Island Resort; Dusit D2 Davao; Dusit Lubi Plantation; and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao. For the ultimate dream vacation, come back to the crystal-clear waters and stunning white sand of the newly rehabilitated Boracay. Enjoy amazing discounts with longer stays at Crimson Boracay and Astoria Current, both offering a 3-night accommodation package


LondonEdition Edition London

for the price of two. For a family getaway, overnight packages at Hue Hotels and Resorts and Movenpick Resort & Spa include complimentary transfers, F&B credits, restaurant and spa discounts, and special activities. Rediscover the beauty of Boracay and neighboring Iloilo through these participating properties: Alta Vista de Boracay; Astoria Current; Belmont Hotel Boracay; Feliz Hotel Boracay; Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel; Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center; Patio Pacific Boracay; Richmonde Hotel Iloilo; Discovery Shores Boracay; and Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa. HSMA’s SOS is presented in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Atlantis, Isentia, with Cebu Pacific as airline partner. Together, these groups are not just making travel possible again for Filipinos who deserve a break from the pandemic, but also creating an avenue for resorts and hotels across the country to survive the challenging months to come. “HSMA has always been at the forefront of helping the hotel industry and with SOS, we will continue to strive and ensure that marketing efforts for our hotels are still happening despite the current very challenging situation. We hope the SOS will be that spark to bring the hotel industry back to life,” said Carmela Bocanegra, HSMA Director of Public Relations and Vice President for Sales and Marketing of Chroma Hospitality. n


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t An event hosted by Megaworld International on the 8th of September at Bintang restaurant in Camden, digital programme and non-profit organisation Juan Eu Konek announced that they have received a second round of funding from the national Lottery Community Fund to support its work in providing information, education, inspiration, and to better connect with the Filipino communities in the UK and beyond as they continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. the new grant will allow them to continue to deliver their signature public service project Kontra Corona for the next eighteen months. the national Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by national Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK (funding projects in communities across England, Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland), are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the event, Juan Eu Konek heads and core pre-

Juan Eu Konek announces new National Lottery grant at event hosted by Megaworld senters Rose Eclarinal, Gene Alcantara, Crystal Dias and Jay Montelibano-McLeod also received their individual MEGA (Megaworld Exemplary Global Achievers) awards in recognition of their outstanding service to overseas Filipinos from Ethel Lim, Megaworld’s First Vice president of Sales for Europe 2. Megaworld International, which recently celebrated 21 years of enriching the lives of Filipinos around the world, have been recognising individuals, who have il-

lustrated excellence, significant impact and outstanding service in various fields through their yearly MEGA awards. It was attended by London-based British-Filipino media, bloggers and vloggers and representatives from Philippine Embassy United Kingdom; Consul General Arlene Gonzales Macaisa, Vice-Consul Stacy Alcantara Garcia and Labor Attaché Amy Reyes from Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

“Juan Eu Konek, you bring the Filipino community together in the UK, with the information you bring to everyone. thank you, mabuhay,” said Macaisa. “thank you, Juan Eu Konek for being a partner in bringing out the best amongst us Filipinos, and for continuously helping each other,” said Reyes. “With the second round of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we are excited for this new chapter in our journey to continue to tell the stories of our kababayans in England and Europe,” said Rose Eclarinal, executive producer of Juan Eu Konek. Juan Eu Konek, which will commence with a new project dubbed as Kontra Corona Unlockdown, will be announcing further details of their project in the coming months. their digital content is available via Facebook and Youtube @ JuanEuKonek. n #NationalLottery #JuanEuKonek #Megaworld (For more information contact Jay MontelibanoMcLeod: or 07760963667)




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The Philippine Pavilion’s exhibit of the Gawad Kalinga farm village library titled “Structures of Mutual Support” won the country’s first award in the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale. Photos from Venice Architecture Biennale, Andrea Avezzu.

GK community library wins Philippines’ 1st Venice Architecture Biennale award By margo hannah dE guzMan quadRa


he Filipino community library of the Gawad Kalinga enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan won the philippines’ first-ever award in the Venice Architecture Biennale in italy.

The farm village library exhibited as “Structures of Mutual Support”, the philippine pavilion’s official entry to the prestigious international art event, bagged the Special Mention as national participation honor during the awards ceremony held in Ca’ Giustinian in Venice, italy on August 30, 2021. The philippine installation was given the special award, alongside Russia in the world architecture showcase, and was recognized for being an “exemplary community project that creates a

rich archive and experience of collaborative construction practices.” The international jury was composed of Kazuyo Sejima (Japan), head Juror and members Sandra Barclay (peru), lamia Joreige (lebanon), lesley lokko (Ghana-Scotland), and luca Molinari (italy). The theme of the project revolves around the concept of “Bayanihan” or the Filipino term for mutual support and the community spirit. “Thank you so much. We really want to thank the jury;

the Biennale, Mr. hashim – for really recognizing that Bayanihan and dugnad can be real alternatives to how we can live together. The way we build is really the way we live. So this is really important to us,” Alexander eriksson Furunes, one of the curators of the philippine pavilion said in his acceptance speech. Curated by Framework Collaborative, “Structures of Mutual Support” is a community library built by architects Alexander eriksson Furunes and Sudarshan Khadka, Jr. together with members of the Gawad Kalinga enchanted Farm Community in Angat, Bulacan. The Bayanihan-themed wooden structure sprang from the community’s de-

sire to have its own library in the village. The volunteer residents of the Gawad Kalinga enchanted Farm were involved in the design and construction of the structure that best reflects their shared needs, desires, and values as a community. The community library is now on display together with its collection of stories and experiences of mutual support in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale which runs until november 21, 2021. This year, the philippines’ Clark international Airport’s (CiA) new terminal building has been chosen to be a finalist in the 2021 World Selection of the prestigious prix Versailles Architecture and Design Awards. n





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