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Lingap building to be launched next year — Go

A P25-million Lingap Building is likely to be inaugurated this year, according to Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. The President’s special assistant said that the four-story building — which will be constructed within the compound of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) — will house all the government agencies offering […].....»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneSep 26th, 2018

The Next Big Thing: SM CDO Downtown Tower Launched

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), one of the leading integrated property companies in Southeast Asia, inaugurated its latest offering, the SM CDO Downtown Premier Tower, last October 17, with a media launch and preview at the site of the 12-story building along Osmeña Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City. The office tower is part of the P80 billion earmarked by SM Prime this year to support the growth of its key businesses in the country. The capital expenditure is being allocated to key regional centers which have demonstrated promising economic progress and for the expansion of the Company’s other businesses......»»

Category: newsSource:  kagay_anRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

Champ Camp and Barangay Liga Launched

MILO Philippines' champion building takes another step forward. Actually, two steps. Targetting grassroots development, MILO Philippines will launch a couple of projects over the next two years. The MILO Champ Camp will be in partnership with the Department of Education, focusing on the development of elementary school students through the help of skilled youth coaches. Sports like basketball, volleyball, and football will be the focus however, sports nutrition and health will also be tackled. It's MILO, of course. The Champ Camp is set to officially start in the next school year. "Learning continues outside the classroom, and we want to reach out to both parents and kids by providing an interactive glimpse into popular sports," MILO Consumer Marketing Activations Executive Kevin Mauricio said. "We want to introduce the basics of popular ball sports by offering a hands-on experience to elementary students, and give importance to sports in the child's development," he added. As second, more ambitious project is the Barangay Liga, where MILO is set to work hand-in-hand with select barangays to elevate their exisiting commuity-based leagues. For the pilot year, MILO has partnered with 100 barangays taken from pre-existing partnerships. There are plans to expand over the next couple of years. In this project, barangay courts will be refurbished and modernized to make sure there are facilities more than capable enough to support sports endevours, most of which happen during the summer. "It's a program that helps bring sports closer to the grassroots level," MILO Sports Marketing Executive Lester Castillo said of the Barangay Liga. "Through the Barangay MILO Liga, we will partner with barangays nationwide, we will refurbish their existing barangay courts in preparation for their existing barangay leagues. Yun na-indetify kasi namin na barriers from parents for getting their children into sports, kulang kasi ng mga safe places to play. So by refurbishing the courts, ma-encourage nila yung mga anak nila to join sports," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

National Book Store group ventures into education as it opens QC college

By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato, Reporter THE National Book Store Group is venturing into the education sector, as it officially launched its college in Quezon City on Tuesday. NBS College, located in the same building as the National Book Store Quezon Avenue branch, will begin its academic year in August, with about 500 students. In […] The post National Book Store group ventures into education as it opens QC college appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 20th, 2018

Tel Aviv toy towers over world record

Municipality workers and volunteers in Israel's coastal city of Tel Aviv have built a 36-meter (118-foot) tower of Lego bricks designed to set a new world record. It was constructed from more than half a million of the brightly coloured plastic bricks donated by the city's residents. The project was launched just over a year ago by teachers of eight-year-old Omer Sayag who died of cancer in 2014, and who used to build Lego towers during his illness. The tower was raised in sections opposite the Tel Aviv municipality building in Rabin Square. According to Guinness World Records, the previous record was set in 2015 when the Italian subsidiary of Lego built a 35.05-meter (11...Keep on reading: Tel Aviv toy towers over world record.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Measles outbreak death toll hits 136

The Department of Health has launched an infomercial featuring boxing champion and Sen. Manny Pacquiao to reduce the number of measles cases after the disease claimed the lives of 136 children from January to Feb. 16 this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News5 hr. 0 min. ago

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

2019 NBA All-Star Diary: Day 1

5:20 A.M. – For some reason, I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm on my cellphone was scheduled to ring. Maybe it was jetlag. Maybe it was excitement. It didn’t matter, I had to get up from bed to prepare for the 2 hour and 30 minute drive from Durham to Charlotte. Me and my colleague, TJ Manotoc had taken a detour from our planned schedule to visit Duke University. Now, that we were done with that, it was time to revert back to our primary task of covering the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. During our drive back to Charlotte, I looked out the window to the sight of clear skies telling me that it was going to be a good day. 8:50 A.M. – The first task for journalists covering the NBA’s mid-season event is to secure a media pass. This is basically an ID that gives one clearance to all events that are happening throughout All-Star Weekend. After parking our rented car and walking to the designated hotel for the media credentials pick-up, we were ready to head to our first activity of the day. 9:35 A.M. – Hosting the best young players in the league was the Bojangles Coliseum where the first media availability session was about to take place. The Mountain Dew Rising Stars is first major event of All-Star weekend and we were given the opportunity to see the players from Team U.S. and Team World up-close to field in questions. Rookie sensation Luka Dončić drew the biggest crowd of reporters from all over the world. Because it would be tough for me to ask the Slovenian a question, I decided to go to another podium where this year’s number on overall pick, Deandre Ayton was sitting. “Deandre! Who’s the toughest center you’ve played against so far in your rookie season?” I asked. “Uuuhhh… nobody. Not yet. All the centers I’ve played against so far haven’t really went at me yet. I think they were just playing though the rhythm and not really going at me,” replied Deandre. I saw another player drawing a huge crowd and realized it was Ben Simmons, who is currently my second favorite NBA player behind Blake Griffin. After waiting for a little while, I pounced on the opportunity to field in a question. “Ben, with the current Sixers lineup, what do you think are the weaknesses that you guys need to improve on so that you can win the championship this year?” The 6’10” point guard from Australia looked right at me and said, “Offense. Defense.” Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed because I was expecting a more thorough answer but I guess that’s how it is sometimes. These athletes are asked a million questions and it might be a struggle for them to stay consistent with regards to being accommodating to people. Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and LA Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma were two other players I visited. With so many players on both rosters, it would be extremely difficult to get to converse with all. But, seeing them right in front of you and having an opportunity to talk to them was an amazing experience. 11:00 A.M. – All media had been requested by the organizers to clear the court so we could witness Team World practice for the night’s event. Even though I got a very short answer from Simmons, I still observed him. Watching him dribble the ball up the floor and make long strides to the basket for dunks was a sight to behold. He could even knock down three-pointers. 11:45 A.M. – It was now the turn of Team U.S. to take the floor for practice. Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum looked like they could be the best players on the squad but I was particularly looking at Young and his ability to shoot the ball and handle it exceptionally well. Kuzma was also taking every drill seriously. Just like he would the Rising Stars. 1:06 P.M. – After gathering content, TJ and I decided to have a late lunch at Denny’s. We looked at the schedule and realized that our next activity would not be happening until nine in the evening. More time to sleep, I thought. 2:23 P.M. – TJ dropped me and our luggage off at Springhill Suites, our hotel for the next three days. He left me there to check-in while he returned the rental car to the airport. But, as I went to the counter, I was told by the front desk that our room would not be available until 3:00 P.M.. That’s when I decided to look around. 2:45 P.M. – I went to the Hornets Fan Shop to look at the NBA All-Star merchandise and saw an interesting selection of hats, jerseys and all kinds of memorabilia. And then, I noticed a man carrying a box which contained a pair of Nike Adapt BBs, the shoes I tested last month in New York. I asked him where he got them and told me to check out the “Jordan pop-up shop” across the Spectrum Center. 2:55 P.M. – While walking on the street, I saw a long line outside a building. It turns out, this was where that man got his Nike Adapt BBs. It was a Foot Locker – House of Hoops pop-up shop which sold various sneakers that were scheduled to be released specifically during the NBA All-Star weekend. Because of my unforgettable experience in Manhattan, I decided to join the line for a chance to get my own pair of the most futuristic basketball shoes Nike has ever made. Thankfully, I was given a wristband with a number, allowing me to leave the line to check into the hotel. 3:15 P.M. – I checked into our hotel room and felt thankful that it had such a great location. Springhill Suites was right across the Spectrum Center, the venue of NBA All-Star weekend and of course, just down the block from the pop-up shop. As soon as TJ arrived, I left to resume my quest to buy the shoes. 4:46 P.M. – Finally, I was a proud owner of my very own Nike Adapt BB. I felt like my trip to the New York was given more meaning now. Also, I felt like this was one of the reasons my journey has taken me to Charlotte. But, there was still more work to be done. 8:30 P.M. – Less than an hour before tip-off of the Rising Stars game, TJ and I did a Facebook Live discussion right outside the Spectrum Center to update fans back at home about what has happened so far at the All-Star event and what we should look forward to. 8:55 P.M. – We couldn’t believe it. Our assigned seats were located high up in the bleachers. On the very last row. I was breathing heavily after making the climb up the arena. All of a sudden, the players looked more like ants compared to the giants that they were during our morning sessions with them. 10:54 P.M. – Team U.S. defeated Team World behind the 35 points and 6 rebounds of Kuzma, who was named MVP of the Rising Stars. Kuzma was also one of the easiest players to talk to among his peers. 11:05 P.M. – Just when I thought we were given a lot of access to the players, we were given more. There was another media session which commenced right after the game! 12:11 A.M. – Another thing the NBA is very generous with is food. TJ and I ended our long day at a restaurant and bar that the league booked for us international journalists. As we chomped down our food, we talked about how the NBA All-Star weekend would take a lot of our time from us, including our sleeping hours. TJ has been covering this annual event since 2011. He’s used to the grueling schedule. Me, I’m just soaking it all in. I have a few hours left before I have to get up and work again. As always, I’m going to try to have as much fun as possible. After all, it’s the NBA All-Star. It’s supposed to be fun......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

Tiffany hosts first event of the year

  Mario Katigbak is known for building good relationships, whether with friends or clients. His graciousness and fine taste foster loyalty---where he goes, clients follow.   In his first event for Tiffany & Co. at Rustan's Makati last Saturday, even with little fanfare, friends turned out to support Katigbak as the brand's new country manager---and a good number of them broke out the plastic, we learned. There were also some walk-in clients, couples shopping for engagement rings and wedding bands.   The pre-Valentine event was not the relaunch of Tiffany here---not yet. That will be sometime in June, when it unveils its flagship boutique in Greenbelt...Keep on reading: Tiffany hosts first event of the year.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

IN PHOTOS: Commuters get surprise from PNP on Valentine s Day

MANILA, Philippines – For this year's Valentine's Day , the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched its own operation to win the hearts of Filipinos. At the Cubao station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, cops from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) surprised commuters with roses and offers to dance, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2019

PlayStation counts ‘bigger, fewer games’ among E3 skip reasoning

"Bigger, fewer games," the ability to reach fans, retailers and press at other times, and a lack of big announcements this June are among reasons for Shawn Layden, chairman of Worldwide Studios at Sony Interactive Entertainment, to have PlayStation skip E3 2019. At the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Sony's console brand PlayStation focused on an unusually narrow band of four games: "Marvel's Spider-Man", "God of War", "The Last of Us Part II" and "Ghost of Tsushima". Two of those were launched toward the end of the year, leaving "The Last of Us Part II" and "Ghost of Tsushima" in the hopper, though with release dates still unannounced. Nintendo had already reconfigured ...Keep on reading: PlayStation counts ‘bigger, fewer games’ among E3 skip reasoning.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2019

Opposition: May elections a referendum on Duterte

The midterm elections will shape up to be a referendum not only on President Rodrigo Duterte's three-year administration but also on the people's capacity to vote wisely, according to members of the opposition Otso Diretso slate. Sounding a message of resistance to the President's populist policies, the Liberal Party (LP)-led coalition launched its nationwide door-to-door campaign in Caloocan City on the first day of the election season on Tuesday. "We are the alternative candidates," civil society leader Samira Gutoc said at a press conference attended by all members of the team, except former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who opted to kick off his campaign in his hometown...Keep on reading: Opposition: May elections a referendum on Duterte.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2019

McDonald s Philippines hiring nearly 20,000 new employees in 2019

This is a press release from McDonald's Philippines. Coming from a year of bullish growth and expansion, Golden Arches Development Corporation (McDonald's Philippines) continues to open its doors for young Filipinos to join the company with "Go Hire Day." Launched last year, "Go Hire Day" transforms select McDonald's restaurants across the country ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

Hungary’s Orban vows defense of ‘Christian’ Europe

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban launched his European elections campaign Sundaycalling for voters to defend "Christian" nations against immigration, which he said led to the "virus of terrorism". He also announced a seven-point package of tax breaks and subsidies to encourage families to raise more children, a move he called "Hungary's answer" to its falling population instead of increasing immigration. May's elections for the European Parliament were a "historic crossroads" for Europe, said Orban, in this year's state of the nation speech in Budapest before an invited audience. He framed the vote as a choice between the "new internationalism" of p...Keep on reading: Hungary’s Orban vows defense of ‘Christian’ Europe.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

PHLPost launches Pada-LOVE project for Valentine s Day

This is a press release from the Philippine Postal Corporation. In celebration of Valentine's Day this year, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) Mega Manila area launched the "Pada-LOVE! Magpadala, Kiligin, Ma-in love," a project not just for Filipino lovers but also for the promotion of the Domestic Express Mail Service which will ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

Toyota expects sales jump for relaunched RAV4 SUV

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC) targets to sell 1,000 to 1,200 units of the newly launched RAV4 crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) this year......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2019

Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear

BANGKOK — Thailand on Friday launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks. Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its […] The post Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as US urges allies to bar Chinese gear appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

Anchor Land bullish on Binondo

ANCHOR LAND Holdings, Inc. (ALHI) is bullish on the Binondo area this year, where it plans to build an office building and an “alternative accommodation” project to take advantage of the high purchasing power of residents in the country’s first business district......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

Japanese tractor maker Yanmar seeking partners in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK -- Japan’s Yanmar Agribusiness Co Ltd. said on Tuesday that it plans to expand its business in South and Southeast Asia beginning this year with its newly launched tractors......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2019

Building collapses in Syria’s Aleppo killing 11

DAMASCUS, Syria --- A building damaged during years of war in the Syrian northern city of Aleppo collapsed Saturday, killing 11 people, including four children, said Syria's state news agency SANA. SANA said the five-story building collapsed early Saturday, killing most of those who were inside and only one person was rescued alive. The report said the building is in the eastern Salahuddin neighborhood, once held by rebels. Aleppo had been divided for four years, starting in the summer of 2012, between a government-held west and a rebel-held east. In 2016, the Syrian army launched a months-long offensive that eventually brought the whole city under government control. Syr...Keep on reading: Building collapses in Syria’s Aleppo killing 11.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2019

Boeing Bullish on 2019 Despite US-China Tensions

Boeing reported a strong fourth quarter on Wednesday and offered a bullish 2019 outlook as executives expressed measured confidence in the prospects for a US-China trade agreement. The US aerospace giant, which has been boosted by a multi-year plane building boom amid surging global air travel demand, reported fourth-quarter profits of $3.4 billion, up 3.1 percent from the same period a year ago. Revenues were $28.3 billion, up 14.4 percent. Several of the company's financial figures were company records, including annual revenues topping $100 billion for the first time at $101.1 billion.   Shares rallied on the report and 2019 forecast, which anticipates much higher ...Keep on reading: Boeing Bullish on 2019 Despite US-China Tensions.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2019