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Fan experience to change profoundly amid COVID-19 pandemic

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dayton Moore remembers so clearly the vast sections of empty seats inside Kauffman Stadium when he took over as general manager of the Kansas City Royals, and he remembers just as vividly — nearly a decade later — how those seats filled and fans roared as the long-suffering club won the World Series. Those dueling memories make the thought of playing games in empty stadiums hard for Moore to fathom. “I know how much strength all players draw from the fans and environment,” he said, when asked about plans to play a shortened season without crowds, “and you need that support to get through an entire Major League Baseball schedule.” As lockdowns are lifted and restrictions eased, sports are finally starting to emerge in the coronavirus pandemic. But in virtually every situation, fans are not yet being allowed to attend and the only consensus for now is that there could be a long period of empty or nearly empty seating. Some U.S. universities are modeling for 25% capacity for the upcoming football season or maybe half-full arenas for the ensuing basketball season. “I think for most sports, a reduced crowd wouldn't negatively impact the overall experience, especially in a situation like baseball or even the NFL,” said Katy Lucy, a digital marketing agent from Atlanta whose fandom is split between all things Georgia Bulldogs and the Washington Capitals. “But it would be different for sure for those who attend in person." Count her family among those who would pause before heading to the ballpark. “For me personally, I’m not sure I would feel comfortable attending a live sporting event until there is a known treatment or widely available vaccine,” Lucy said. “I trust the institutions to put the proper measures in place; however, making sure that they are enforced is another matter.” Many college and pro sports teams already were dealing with declining ticket sales. Watching at home or streaming games are factors, as is the changing social makeup of fan bases. Dynamic pricing, increases in parking and concession prices, and a push toward luxury seating have exacerbated the problem. Major League Baseball attendance has declined six of the past seven seasons. In college football, 13 of the 130 schools that played in the Football Bowl Subdivision reported average crowd sizes of 50% or less last season. Even the NFL has seen an increase in empty seats despite its generally rock-solid popularity. So as coronavirus concerns linger, how are teams going to lure fans back when stadiums do reopen? Loyalty and engagement apps, widespread around the major leagues and colleges even before the pandemic, will become even more common and interactive as teams try to recapture lost revenue. There also will be more behind-the-scenes content and enhancements available via smartphones that will only be available to those in the stadium or arena, offering fans something unique over fans watching at home. “Fans want that experience to be top-notch, period. That's why teams are thinking about this,” said Britton Stackhouse Miller, senior vice president at Fortress U.S., a developer of engagement and integration systems with clients in European soccer, baseball, the NBA, NFL and NHL. Temperature checks, hand sanitizer distribution stations and touchless vending will become the norm for a while. Even concessions will change, though one big difference — gulp — could lead to a lot of grumbling. “If you don't sell beer the number of visits to the bathroom drops dramatically,” said Marc Ganis, the director of sports consulting firm Sportscorp. “So for a time we may have to think about not selling beer.” It won't just be the vast oceans of bench seats left open, either. Many experts believe those hardy fans will be the first to return. It's the corporate suites from which many colleges and pro franchises derive so much of their gameday revenue that may end up being empty until long after games have resumed. Economic woes may last for some time. For fans who stay home, leagues are looking for ways to keep them engaged, too. When Germany's top soccer league returned without fans, broadcaster Sky knew it had a problem with silence coming through the TV. Engineers created “carpet audio” from previous games between the same teams, then teased out roars for specific events such as goals and red cards, giving those watching at home the option of a more realistic experience. “This was the only idea that we thought could be most respectful to the fans,” said Alessandro Reitano, vice president of sports production for Sky Deutschland. “To be honest, it's a major success.” Old crowd noise is a bit like an old game, though. It lacks a certain authenticity. So along came ChampTrack, which created an app that utilizes the microphones of fans. It captures their every roar and groan and sends the audio to its server, which then aggregates the noise into a single stream. That stream is then returned to the viewer using proprietary algorithms to provide the broadcast with real-time sound, which is then immediately erased to ensure personal privacy. “Once they press play on our web app, they can hear what everyone else is cheering about and their own cheer,” said ChampTrack chief executive Elias Anderson, adding the system could soon handle as many as 150,000 fans for each game. Sound is one element of the fan experience. Optics is another. “When it was clear there would be no audience this season, the fans had the idea of bringing their images to the stadium,” said Lubbo Popken, deputy press secretary for German soccer club Borussia Monchengladbach, which affixed fan likenesses to their seats. “We were surprised how many people wanted to be part of this idea and have their images in the stadium. It really changed the atmosphere in the empty stadium.” Of course, none of that is the same as having real fans creating real noise......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 8th, 2020

Manny Pacquiao issues statement on self-quarantine mandate

Eight-division boxing world champion and incumbent Philippine senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao has issued a statement regarding the village-issued mandate for himself and his family to undergo self-quarantine after interacting with a person who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.  Viral photos of Pacquiao and Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III surfaced after it was reported that Pimentel had tested postive for the highly-contagious virus that is spreading all over the world.  As a result, Pacquiao and the rest of his family are now considered persons under monitoring, and were instructed to undergo self-quarantine by their village of residence.  In response, Pacquiao said that he has been in self-quarantine even days before the letter was issued.  "Mga kababayan, nais ko pong linawin na bago ko pa man natanggap ang sulat mula kay Barangay Captain Rosanna Hwang, nakapagdesisyon na po akong mag-home quarantine," Pacquiao said in an official statement. "Pagkatapos po ng Special Session sa Senado noong Lunes, March 23, ay hindi na po ako lumabas ng aming bahay." Pacquiao also expressed disappointment that he would not be able to turn over the 57,600 COVID-19 test kits donated by Chinese businessman Jack Ma through the Manny Pacquiao Foundation.  "Excited pa naman sana ako sa turn-over ng 57,600 Test Kits mula sa aking kaibigan na si Jack Ma para sa Manny Pacquiao Foundation ngunit minabuti kong manatili sa bahay."  (READ ALSO: Manny Pacquiao urges Pinoys to stay strong and pray amid COVID-19 pandemic) Pacquiao also stated that because he has come into contact with a number of colleagues who have tested positive for COVID-19, he understands that he is considered a Person Under Monitoring.  "Nalulungkot po ako na may mga kasamahan ako sa Senado na positibo sa Covid-19. Dahil nakasalamuha ko sila, alam ko na ako ay considered as Person Under Monitoring o PUM." "Huwag po kayong mag-alala. May natanggap po akong Rapid Testing Kits mula sa aking mga kaibigan sa South Korea. Gamit ang rapid test kit na approved sa Korea, ako po ay nag-negatibo. Hindi pa approved ng FDA dito pero yon po ang ginagamit sa Korea," Pacquiao added.  The Filipino boxing legend also said that while he has been invited to be tested at the RITM, he did not feel the need to do so, as he is asymptomatic. Should that change, Pacquiao said that he is more than willing to undergo the necessary testing.  "Matagal na po akong hinihikayat na magpa-test sa RITM ngunit nais ko pong ipaalam na wala po akong nararamdaman na anumang sintomas. Ibang usapan na po kung meron akong kakaibang nararamdaman sa aking katawan. Once I experience symptoms, I am willing to undergo the swab testing for the sake of my family and my country, but I will go through the regular procedure. Naniniwala po kasi ako na marami tayong Persons Under Investigation o PUI na dapat unahin pagdating sa testing." Pacquiao maintains that even under self-quarantine, he will continue to find ways to work and help in the fight against COVID-19.  "Kahit naka-home quarantine, patuloy po akong maghahanap ng paraan upang makatulong sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa ating mga magigiting na frontliners. Marami pa pong test kits at medical supplies na darating na magagamit ng ating mga health workers sa buong bansa. Magkakaroon din po ng allocation ang DOH Regional Centers sa Visayas at Mindanao." "Hinihikayat ko ang lahat na makipagtulungan sa ating pamahalaan. Gawin po natin ang nararapat. Patuloy din po tayong magdasal at manalig sa Panginoon. Sa kanya po tayo humugot ng lakas at pag-asa. Malalampasan natin itong pagsubok, mga kababayan. Tiwala lang," Pacquiao concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 28th, 2020

Alex Gonzaga, her parents, and fiancé Mikee recover from Covid-19

Despite plans that have been cancelled, the actress is still grateful for many things Earlier today, Alex Gonzaga shared an intimate and very personal documentary video of how life was the past three weeks since they found out that she and her parents, fiancé Mikee, and one household help Sophie, were infected with Covid-19.  She was contemplating if she should share how life was when Covid-19 hit them, and decided that she should, “so you can learn from our mistakes and to give you hope so that you know you can get better.” She started off by revealing that the virus infected their family because a member went out to buy food. The first one who got infected was her mom Pinty, and thankfully, both parents were asymptomatic.  It was her and Mikee who had it worse, and Alex was able to document how she felt on a daily basis and put it out in her vlog. She started with day three where one can see her crying, “My plans were ruined. I wanted to get married with my family and a few friends, so I needed to change my plans. I also have a new show, but I couldn’t attend. For the next two weeks, I’ll be staying here at home.” On the fourth day, she admitted that she was emotional because so many of her plans didn’t push through, including attending the birthday of her one and only nephew Seve. “Right now, no one leaves the house,” she added that it’s also important to take lots of rest, drink fluids, and take Vitamin C. She also shared the symptoms she was experiencing that time such as feeling weak, slight fever (37.7C), sore throat, loss of appetite, clogged nose, and loss of taste. They also taped a sheet of plastic over on each of the rooms so that they would not leave their rooms. Both her parents are also staying in different rooms. Thankfully, her sister Toni and family, along with her friends, tested negative.  On the fifth day, she didn’t have the appetite to eat and her mom suggested that she should go to the hospital but Mikee recommended to stay at home since things might worsen if she went to the hospital. She also started taking Melatonin, so that she can sleep better and get her much needed rest. True enough, on the sixth day, she woke up at around 10a.m. For the next few days, she added other ways to boost her immunity by eating more protein, opening the curtains and taking in the sun and savoring its warmth. She also kept an oxygenator by her side so she could check her oxygen level. On the eighth day, she was slightly back to normal except that she got tired more often. On the tenth day, she started getting emotional again, but felt very blessed. “God healed us, and my parents didn’t experience any symptoms, even if they’re senior citizens,” she continues. “And it just dawned on me that we survived Covid-19.” They had everyone, including the whole house staff, tested on the 15th day for Covid-19, with the negative results for everyone, even Mikee. It’s been three weeks and she shares in her vlog that she’s happy to be back and happy that they survived Covid-19 as a family. “You can survive Covid-19. Don’t panic. Consult with your doctor and really take care of your body. Boost your immune system. Drink your vitamins. Gargle with salt and water, and take lots of rest,” she reminds her viewers. “We should stop thinking about ourselves, we should really start thinking about others. It’s not about you, but the people around you. So that we can avoid infecting people during this pandemic.”.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Gilas Pilipinas to also have bubble experience in FIBA Qualifiers

Announced by FIBA on Friday, qualifiers for FIBA's Continental Cups for 2021 to be held on November and February next year will be conducted in "bubbles" amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 19th, 2020

P181.9-B in proposed 2021 budget to address effects of climate change

"The COVID-19 pandemic impacted not only our economy and our people but also our environment. This experience has opened our eyes to the reality that everything has its limit," the president said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 7th, 2020

PSC vows no job layoffs despite financial woes amid pandemic

While unemployment has risen to an alarming rate amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission assured its employees that there will no layoffs in the agency. Appearing on Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said that despite a meager budget with nothing more to spare, the PSC will continue to carry out its day-to-day operations. Even under these very difficult times, the PSC puts priority on the welfare of its workers Ramirez stressed.   “Even before COVID, we have communicated with Malacanang that we will let go of some contractual employees,” said Ramirez, adding that it would have taken effect on Aug. 31. But the global pandemic made the PSC change its mind. “We in the PSC board made a collective decision that it will not happen. We will not remove anyone from the PSC unless there is cause. We are in very difficult times,” said Ramirez. The PSC has 250 regular employees and more than 250 contractuals. “Sa kahirapan ngayon, ano ang kakainin nila?” said Ramirez, currently staying with his wife at the athletes’ quarters at the PhilSports Complex (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City. The agency months ago implemented belt-tightening measures, including a 50 percent ‘equity reduction’ on the allowances of the national athletes and coaches. But despite the financial difficulties, athletes and coaches continue to receive their allowances, and can expect to get their regular stipends once the situation improves or when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) resumes its monthly remittances of close to P100 million to the PSC. Ramirez also added government sports agency is thinking beyond sports, and talked about “fortitude and sacrifice" during the Forum presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Milo, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner. At the height of the lockdown, the national government channeled P1 billion of PSC money for COVID-19 purposes. The PSC has also allowed the use of its facilities like the Rizal Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the fight against the deadly virus. The PSC has also donated 350 beds and close to 500 laptops that were used during last year’s Southeast East Asian Games to various government offices during the pandemic. “The PSC is not only focused on sports now. We are adapting to the new environment,” said Ramirez......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2020

Solons to gov’t: Heed the plea of medical workers

Lawmakers expressed all-out support on Sunday (August 2) to the appeal made by Philippine College of Physicians and the Philippine Medical Associationto shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), even as they sought a change in leadership in the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies handling the country’s response against COVID-19. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, Anakalusugan partylist Rep. Michael Defensor, Bayan Muna partylist Rep.  Carlos Isagani Zarate, and Quezon City  2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo called on the government to heed the plea of the medical experts and frontliners for more stringent health protocols in critical areas. “While both the health and economic crisis wrought by  the still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic must be both effectively addressed, the relief and recovery of the people’s health must be prioritized. Lives lost are forfeited forever but businesses lost can be redeemed,” Lagman said in a statement.“We must learn from the bitter lesson experienced by other countries like Japan which prematurely reopened economic, leisure and domestic travel activities only to be besieged later by a resurgence of the viral contagion,” he stressed.  Defensor, chairperson of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said, “If our leading doctors are prescribing it, then as good patients, we are all for Mega Manila’s brief return to an ECQ.” “Our sense is, our public health system is on the verge of collapse, and the momentary return to an ECQ will buy everybody more time to gird for a longer battle against the coronavirus disease,” he said. He said once the government gives in to the appeal, the COVID-19 National Task Force should take that opportunity to fix the lack of hospital staff due to doctors, nurses and other personnel getting infected and still recovering, or undergoing routine seclusion after possible exposure; expand the bed capacities of makeshift hospitals and quarantine facilities; and improve case-finding and the isolation of suspected cases. Defensor said the government should also step up contact-tracing and quarantining; upgrade public transportation options and safety; strengthen workplace protection; build up enforcement of and public compliance with self-protective measures such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, handwashing as well as social and physical distancing; and increase financial and livelihood support to distressed households. Zarate said they are one with our frontliners in demanding a reprieve from the overwhelming cases of COVID-19, particularly in the National Capital Region. “Reverting back to ECQ or whatever level of lockdown is useless or will be for naught if the primary recommendation of frontliners like free mass testing, pro-active contact tracing, isolation and treatment will not be seriously implemented by the government,” he said in a statement. For her part, Castelo said, “Let us listen to them. They are the ones on the frontline. Indeed, after five months of fighting this pandemic, they are exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally.” She laments that several doctors and nurses have died and many others have fallen sick while battling COVID-19. “Our medical workers are asking for a short time to recuperate. Let us give it to them,” she said. In a radio interview, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the government should strike a balance between the economy and health of the Filipinos, but it should be tilted somehow, in favor of health amid the appeal made by physicians to shift Mega Manila back to a 15-day ECQ. He asked the DOH to come up with “a system, a policy, or even perhaps a strategy” to reinforce the country’s health system by augmenting the medical force.  In a separate statement, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said the Inter Agency Task Force for COVID-19 should be headed by medical experts instead of generals who have done nothing but to impose military solutions to combat a public health crisis.  “Our frontliners are already pleading to the Duterte administration to implement a comprehensive medical plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The government needs to listen and take concrete actions with the demands of our healthcare workers,” she said.   “It is high time that medical experts lead in the fight against COVID-19 instead of military generals. Medical experts who will not twist data and try to sanitize the numbers. We need medical experts who use science and not allow an entire population to be used as guinea pigs in a failed response and inadequate policies for public health safety.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

WTTC issues insurance guidelines for travel industry

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has released “new normal” insurance guidelines for the travel and tourism sector globally.WTTC is a private global forum composed of over 200 heads of world’s leading travel and tourism companies, such as aviation, hotels, and cruise.In a statement, WTTC said the guidelines are designed to drive the return of safe, healthy and responsible travel, noting that insurance will provide peace of mind and risk mitigation to consumers, suppliers, and organizations across all the stakeholders in the sector.The new guidelines were compiled based on input from leading companies, many of which have partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments to support safe, healthy, and responsible travels.It also aims to promote consistent standards across all relevant functions with an increased focus on health and safety, in line with what travelers need and expect.“We have worked closely with key players across the travel insurance industry to make recommendations to ensure individual travelers, groups and organizations can feel safe and confident enough to travel, sure in the knowledge they have the protection they need,” WTTC President and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Gloria Guevara said.WTTC divided the new normal guidelines into four pillars, including operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.Among the recommendations announced include:• All organizations to provide risk management plans, including how they aim to combat COVID-19 to insurers• Organizations to make sure their plans are thorough, practical, and simple to follow• All staff to be informed of protective measures being taken, which include insurance products that will cover them• Insurers to ensure audits identify and plug gaps in and source the right partners and providers to ensure appropriate coverage• Insurers to create blanket insurance and crisis management coverage to give comfort to customers• Ensure there is enhanced awareness of the terms and conditions, restrictions, and coverage limits of insurance products/policies• Insurers to provide a minimum base of mandatory coverage for risks posed by COVID-19• Educate travelers who are unfamiliar with the risk they could be exposed to and what coverage to look for.To recall, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has expressed her confidence in rebuilding the country’s local tourism industry with the help of WTTC, whose primary initiative is the recovery of the global tourism industry amid the unprecedented crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

What’s in style? Safe shopping.

Rustan’s goes all out with safety measures, including the latest in disinfection and sanitation. THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. Rustan’s utilizes Spanish technology Sanivir, which contains active ingredients proven to kill bacteria, molds, and coronavirus These extraordinary times have completely shifted the definition of so many ordinary words. Take, for example, “weekends.” What does a weekend even mean, when everyone is living their weekends day in, day out? People cooped up inside their homes, Netflix and chilling (or pacing, depending on current anxiety levels), wearing their Natori Fortuna Mandarin all day, as governments all over the world caution to shelter in place.  Or “homecooked.” Everything’s veritably homecooked now—whether it’s cooked in your home, by you, or cooked in somebody else’s home, by an upstart baker you support because she’s your niece, or by your favorite chef, who is left with no choice but to create his oeuvres from his home kitchen.  Or “luxury.” Let’s be honest. Luxury—its BC (before Covid) definition—contained overused keywords like glamour, opulence, indulgence, lavishness. But times, they’ve changed.  Fancy things now seem so unnecessary, so excessive, so out of touch, so…pointless—in a world that has hastily pivoted back to the basics. Sipping tea from a Royal Albert 1980 Roseblush cup doesn’t seem as luxurious as being able to score some actual, hard-to-acquire Gold Yen Zhen tea from TWG, even if you have to gulp it from those ubiquitous bamboo cups.  The pandemic has changed what luxury meant. Now, luxury is the feeling of being safely ensconced in our cocoons, safe from the virus, safe from the madding crowds. Safety is luxury. To be more accurate: Luxury is being safe, while experiencing as few inconveniences as possible. One Home, One HopeMarketers and entrepreneurs are now realizing, after putting in all necessary work to convince their clients to come back, that a sense of safety is beyond physical, it is psychological. It’s Plexiglass with perception, masks coupled with marketing.  Brands, to successfully ride out these challenging times, need to do more than just tick off government checklists—they need to bank on their legacies, their ethos, their abiding sense of connection to loyal clientele.  AT YOUR SERVICE. Rustan’s opened up a Sanivir desk to allow its customers to avail of its method In the travel industry, as it is in the retail industry, it’s about leveraging on your loyal clientele’s sense of home. “Home” is no longer just their place of residence, but their familiar zones. It’s about “feeling at home.” As people start to nervously and grudgingly go out, they will only want to stay and explore sacred spaces where they’ve “felt at home.” Luxury retailer Rustan’s understands this well. “Our goal for the past 70 years has always been to serve the community with great service and to provide a safe environment that feels like home,” Nedy Tantoco, chairman of Rustan Commercial Corporation, says. “In this new chapter, we are committed to the idea of ‘One Home, One Hope.’ As an establishment that has been a second home for many shoppers, we will stay dedicated in implementing thorough safety protocols to ensure that our employees and shoppers are protected and can visit us with ease of mind.” And this is why higher-end businesses like Rustan’s will flourish, despite the financial challenges Covid-19 brings. They have the space, and they obviously can very well afford to put stringent safety measures in place. Precise precautions are in their DNA. These are establishments that cater to the VVIPs, whose exacting standards they’ve always tried to meet.  And it’s not just loyal clients who will seek out these private spaces—the occasional and habitual shopper will gravitate toward businesses that offer them this hushed environment. Going inside cramped little boutiques have lost their novelty, and many will shirk away from places that tend to be crowd favorites.  At Rustan’s, shoppers have always counted on the intimacy of the shopping experience. Unobtrusive but alert sales personnel have always kept their distance as you scan the racks, and there’s always a sense of quiet order—a serene retail floor space, backed by an efficient team who anticipate your needs and who move with the fluidity of a well-directed orchestra.  This efficiency will be in full display when you visit the store again—that is if you still haven’t since it reopened in June.   Opened after three months of closure, the luxury retailer has implemented, in compliance with government regulations, security measures like foot baths, thermal scans, hand sanitation, and mandatory wearing of masks. You’ll also see staff repeatedly disinfecting touchpoints like escalator rails and elevator buttons, and alcohol dispensers are going to be ubiquitous.   RETAIL WONDER. Sanivir is perfect for retail spac-es as smoke is dry and won’t stick to clothing Managers, sales associates, security personnel, and cleaners are all wearing masks, face shields, and goggles. But it’s the little touches that will remind you how they’ve set the bar high—sanitation boxes are placed in fitting rooms for clothes that are not purchased, fitting rooms are sanitized after every use, and store personnel are required to steam the clothes before putting them back on display.  At the payment counter, all credit cards will be sanitized, and packages will be disinfected before being handed to the customer. At the store’s East Café, tables are separated with plastic shields, and so are the wash basins in the restrooms, which will each have a sanitary officer, whose only job is it to disinfect the toilet after every use.  And that’s just the stage. Backstage, it’s just as—if not more—exacting. Introducing Sanivir, the latest in disinfection technology “Even in our employees’ canteens we have placed plastic shields to protect each of our employees while they are having their lunch break,” Nedy says. The company has required all returning employees to be tested for Covid-19.  Rustan’s is also continually disinfected using Sanivir, a technology introduced in the Philippines by chemist Pinky Tobiano of KPP Powers Commodities, who is also CEO of Qualibet Testing Services. “Sanivir is a smoke disinfectant from Spain, which contains glutaraldehyde and orthopenyl phenol—two active ingredients have been tested that can kill bacteria, molds, and viruses that have been proven against coronavirus by laboratories in EU.” PINKY’S PROMISE. Pinky Pe Tobiano, the chemistwho brought the technology to the Philippines “It was great timing and serendipitous that we found the product right before the pandemic escalated to the level it is now,” Pinky tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Sanivir was both an innovative and unique product that addresses the problem we currently have—it is easy to use, cost-friendly, effective, and safe.” It is a perfect disinfectant for a retail space—it only utilizes smoke, is dry, and won’t stick to clothing. “When Pinky introduced to me her disinfection program, I immediately asked her to do my father’s house and my own house,” Nedy shares. “I was so satisfied with the service that I asked her if she could open a service desk at Rustan’s to allow our customers the chance to avail of this disinfecting method. It’s so easy. Any housewife can do it. It allows us the ease of disinfecting without a fuss. It also works for our cars. The service desk has been open for two weeks at Rustan’s Ayala Avenue. And I am happy to say that it has met full acceptance with quite a number of Rustan’s customers.” Its ease of use is an advantage. “Just open the can, remove the plastic cover of the wick, set on a flat surface, light the wick, and leave for the next six to eight hours. The smoking process lasts for only one to two minutes, then disinfection takes place for the next six to eight hours,” Pinky says. “That’s good for 14 days.” And the cost? Surprisingly very minimal.  “One can of Sanivir of 25 grams is P1,750 and it’s good for 14 days for a room of 30 to 50 square meters,” Pinky says. “The cost per day is only a P125 investment. If you have five people in the room, the investment per person per day is only P25.”    But for those who are not in the mood to shop in-store, Rustan’s online service has amped up its service. Apart from its website, fortuitously launched a year ago, you can also tap the Personal Shoppers on Call Service, where sales associates respond to you on Viber, after which you can have your items delivered to you, or picked up by the curbside. Nedy shares, “And very soon, we will launch our Rustan’s Concierge Service, where customers can call a single number, and will be immediately assigned a personal shopper to attend to their needs.”  Now, many ways words and concepts are redefined in these troubled times—but having your own personal shopper, one who’ll do your shopping for you as you leisurely read the latest Kevin Kwan Sex and Vanity book in the comfort of your home?  We’re guessing that that’s a definition of luxury that won’t likely ever change—unprecedented crisis or not.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Minority bloc vows to oppose Charter change

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Sunday Charter change should be locked down as he vowed that the minority will block any fresh attempts to push it in Congress amid the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 19th, 2020

Davao garden resort turns to farming amid COVID-19 economic blow

One agri-ecotourism resort in Davao City used to provide nature escapes to local and foreign visitors with its world-class hospitality experience offering from dining, accommodation, recreation to wellness activities before the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 18th, 2020

Kat Tolentino: How she ended up as a Lady Eagle

Suffering an injury is a dreadful experience for any athlete. What more if it’s a career-threatening one? Kat Tolentino went through three harrowing knee injuries in a span of three years – two of those she suffered while in Canada. But those misfortunes played a big role in convincing Tolentino to fly to the Philippines and eventually become one of the most recognized names in collegiate volleyball. The Ateneo de Manila University volleyball star in an interview on So She Did podcast shared how she ended up in the Lady Eagles' nest.   “It was actually a long story but basically, when I was in Grade 11, my brother was out there in the Philippines already, he was playing basketball for Ateneo and I was just visiting him for vacation,” said Kat, sister of former Blue Eagle Vince. The Ateneo volleyball management that time already knew who the 6-foot-2 spiker was and she was invited to train with the then Roger Gorayeb-mentored Lady Eagles. “I actually don’t even have the shoes at that time or any like knee pads,” she recalled. “So I have to borrow from my cousin and then I borrowed knee pads from the men’s team.” She played with the team but it didn’t convince her to follow the footsteps of her brother, living alone in a tropical country that is thousand of miles away from home. “For me I was in Grade 11 at that time and I didn’t really think like, ‘Oh I want to go to the Philippines’. In fact, I was kind of confused why my brother moved there,” said Tolentino, who is currently back in Canada after the cancellation of the UAAP Season 82 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “I think, it’s just crazy because at that time, I was getting mad at my mom because I was like, ‘Why are you making me move to the Philippines?’ I was only like Grade 11,” she added. Tolentino that time wasn’t ready to get out of her comfort zone. Naturally, she chose to stay in the Great White North. Tolentino was in University of Canada when she suffered her second left anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2014, a year after her first.    “I went to University in Canada for one year and I don’t know if you know that I had three ACL injuries. So the second ACL injury, I was in University in Canada but I just decided after I got the second one in Canada, I needed change and I wanted to experience something different,” she said. Tolentino thought a new environment might change her fortune. Luckily, the Lady Eagles’ door remained open. “Ateneo contacted me when they heard I got injured again,” she said. “They said that they’re still willing to help me and wanted to help me with my rehab and therapy and they had a very good surgeon. So yeah, they just called up and I ended up there.” The hype was high for the Fil-Canadian when she finally got the chance to don the blue and white when the then two-time UAAP champion Ateneo joined the now defunct Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference in July 2015. But the injury bug followed her to the Philippines and once again bit Tolentino hard. The hitter suffered a right ACL injury while warming up and had to undergo another operation and months of rehabilitation. She was forced to miss UAAP Season 78 and watched helplessly from the sidelines as archrival De La Salle University dethroned the Lady Eagles. After months of therapy, Tolentino finally made her official debut in the UAAP in Season 79 in 2017 – a victorious welcome over University of Sto. Tomas. Ateneo fell short in the Finals that year. The following season, the Lady Eagles missed the championship entirely for the first time in six years. In Season 81, Tolentino helped Ateneo capture its third title. She announced after winning the crown that she’s leaving the team but decided to make a return for a swan song this year. Unfortunately, the league cancelled the tournament after just four playdates. Asked if she’ll be back for another tour of duty if given the chance, Tolentino admitted that she’s still thinking about it. “I think for me it’s not something I can decide now,” she said. “I would be thankful if they would allow me to go back but I can’t say anything right now.” Looking back, Tolentino would like to think that her second ACL injury brought her to Ateneo. It wasn’t the best of situation to be in to make a life-changing decision but it in the end it turned out just fine.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2020

BPO firm invests in upskilling employees during ECQ

The Enhanced Community Quarantine and the current COVID-19 pandemic have had a tremendous impact on the business community. However, for leading global customer experience provider Sitel, the sudden change in business operations and protocols did not mean a shift in priorities when it came to Learning and Development programs. “At Sitel, we believe in investing […] The post BPO firm invests in upskilling employees during ECQ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 27th, 2020

Improper and unseemly Cha-cha amid COVID-19

The last thing that the Department of Interior and Local Government should be doing at this time when the entire nation is preoccupied with coping with the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping itself busy gathering two million signatures in support of Charter change that would shift from a unitary to a federal system of government......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

House panel bucks Cha-Cha push: Not at this time

The chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments on Thursday said the leadership might put to the back burner proposals to amend the Constitution as Charter change advocates push for Cha-cha amid the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

Cha-cha won’t fly amid pandemic — House

The chairman of the House panel in charge of consolidating bills seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution wants Charter change (Cha-cha) shelved so the House of Representatives can focus on measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who leads the committee on constitutional amendments, said he would recommend to […] The post Cha-cha won’t fly amid pandemic — House appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

Drilon: Cha-cha amid COVID-19?

This time should not be spent pushing Charter change amid the coronavirus pandemic, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon tells the Department of the Interior and Local Government......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

Telco firms face revenue hit amid COVID

The country’s telecommunications firms PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc. are forecasted to experience slow revenue growth in the next 18 months as operating cash flows lag behind investment outlays due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In its latest report, Fitch Ratings said the industry revenue will “remain relatively flat” this year from […] The post Telco firms face revenue hit amid COVID appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2020

ICTSI urges rethinking of supply chain

The country should rethink and change its supply chains amid the disruptions brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic, according to Terminal Services Inc. executive vice president Christian Gonzalez......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

UAAP football stars express sadness, disappointment over Season 82 cancellation

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly affected the Philippines, among the rest of the world, many of the country’s sporting leagues have been left with no choice but to postpone or cancel their tournaments. For the University Athletic Association of the Philippines or the UAAP, the decision to cancel their 82nd season completely came after the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon was extended until April 30th. For a lot of the second-semester sport athletes, it meant an abrupt end to a tournament that they’ve been preparing for for months, which is the case for the participants of the UAAP football tournaments. Already delayed two weeks due to an initial COVID-19 scare, the UAAP football tournaments lasted a total of three playdates. (READ ALSO: UAAP volleyball players react to Season 82 cancellation) “As a team we're all devastated of course, that this is how our season had to end. Months of preparation and sacrifice for the UAAP season and we weren't able to play it out,” said AJ Arcilla, goalkeeper for the defending champion Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles. “It's heartbreaking honestly, knowing that we won't be able to play the sport that we all love.” Arcilla added that he was fortunate enough to be able to fly home to his family in California before travel bans and lockdowns were put in motion. With that, he sees a silver lining to the otherwise difficult situation. “Personally, I was able to go home to my family in California and spend time with them, which is something I don’t get to do very often so I’m very grateful for that. I just hope and pray that everyone is able to spend time at home and stay healthy and safe despite the current situation.” For Adamson University sophomore Rey Poncardas, what stings the fact that the months of preparation have been all for naught. “Siyempre nasasayangan ako, kasi almost one year yugn pag-hihirap namin sa training, araw-araw gumigising ng maaga.” Poncardas admits however that he saw the cancellation coming because of the rising number of cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country. “Expect ko din na maca-cancel yung season kasi palala ng palala yung virus eh.” Now, with an extended off season in front of him, the second-year midfielder plans to work on improving himself for the coming season. “Para sa akin, sakripisyo lang sa training and stay focused lang po palagi, disiplina sa sarili.” While Ateneo’s Arcilla and Adamson’s Poncardas still have some playing years left on their UAAP careers, there are others who might be looking at the end of their days as collegiate athletes. “Personally, I was quite disappointed when I heard the season won’t push through because I really wanted to leave the team with good results,” said senior University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons forward JB Borlongan. “But with what is going on right now, our number one priority is the safety of everyone so I just have to accept everything that’s happening.” Borlongan was instrumental in UP’s last two title reigns in UAAP Season 78 and UAAP Season 80. If this is indeed this is the end of the line for Borlongan in his college career, the two-time UAAP champion says he can hold his head high and be proud what he was able to achieve. “Personally, I’m happy with what the team and I achieved during those 5 years. My most memorable moments with the team were Season 78 and 80 because I think those were the seasons were we played really well as a team and every game, we were really hungry to play,” Borlongan concluded. Far Eastern University Tamaraws right back Martin Salilig was expecting for the season to be cancelled, but admits that the news hit him differently once his expectations became reality. “I was in my workout yesterday when I found out about the cancellation of UAAP season 82. I was shocked and disappointed. Disappointed because of the situation and not because of the decision of the board,” Salilig explained. “Actually, I’m expecting that to happen, pero iba pala pag official cancelled na talaga. Sobrang sakit.” It was all the more difficult for Salilig who had hoped his final year could have played out differently. “It’s all about hard work, dedication and sacrifice, me and whole team gave it our all to show our best shot this season. I was not able to continue my workout because of sadness, naupo na lng ako sa sala, reminiscing all the memories I had with UAAP and with FEU.” “Knowing it’s my last playing, it broke my heart so much because I know inside of me, I want to do more, I want to play more. It never came to my mind that I will end my UAAP this way. I don’t know what’s next but still hoping for a positive outcome. We still want to play,” Salilig continued. Like Salilig, De La Salle University Green Archers team captain Jed Diamante was expecting for the worst, but actually hearing it happen was a different story. “From the time the games were postponed due to the pandemic, you can’t avoid thinking about all the possible scenarios the tournament could take, and the cancellation was honestly one of those being considered.” “However, mentally preparing ourselves for the decision of the board may not have been enough to prepare us from hearing the news because honestly it took us, especially the seniors, by surprise,” he continued. “I believe everyone has their own reasons for how they reacted to the news because we are all going through different situations amidst this global crisis.” “Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamante continued. Diamante hopes that fate would allow him to return to the pitch for one more season. If not, then he’s nothing but grateful for the opportunity and the experience. “Hopefully it's not [my last year yet] but if it were, then what I can say is I enjoyed every second of [my UAAP career]. By being able to wear the Green and White alone opened so many opportunities for me to grow as a student-athlete and as a person.” “I’ll also keep close to my heart the connections that were built throughout the years with my family on the field - my teammates and coaches. I'm profoundly blessed to have experienced all the challenges and victories with this group of respectable and genuine men,” he added. Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamanted concluded. Because of his transfer to National University, Bulldogs striker Rico Andes had to sit UAAP Season 81 out due to residency. In Season 82, he was supposed to be one of the focal points of a revamped NU side. “Nanghihinayang ako lalo na’t last playing year ko na sa UAAP, at gusto ko rin sanang suklian yung NU sa binigay nila sa akin na opportunity,” Andes said. “Pero wala namang may gustong mangyari ito. Lahat ng teams naman ang nag-handa ng ilang months at may gustong maabot this season, pero ngayon po, ang pinaka-importante ay ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng lahat.” “Nakakapang-hinayang man pero alam kong ito ang ika-bubuti ng lahat,” he added. Because of the year off, Andes says that having the season end this way hurts a little more. “[Sobrang sakit po]. Naghintay ako ng mahigit isang taon para bumawi at makabalik sa UAAP tapos ito pa nangyari,” he stated. Andes may not have been able to taste UAAP glory, but the speedy scorer says he’s grateful for the experiences he was able to go though during his five-year UAAP career, if this is indeed the end. “Hindi man ako nakaranas na maka-kuha ng championship, pero sa limang taon ko sa UAAP, sobrang grateful ko sa tiwalang ipinadama ng mga coaches, teammates, friends, at familiy ko, especially sa nanay ko. Sobrang thankful ako sa FEU na nag-bukas sa akin ng football opportunity at naging tahanan ko ng ilang taon.” “Sobrang pasasalamat ko din sa NU na nag-bigay sa akin ng pangalawang tahanan. Walang kapantay na saya. Napaka-raming maliit at malalaking bagay ang natutunan ko sa UAAP career ko,” Andes concluded.      “Sa totoo lang, talagang nasayangan ako nung nag-cancel na yung UAAP ng mga natitirang games, kasi unang-una, sayang yung one year o higit pa na preparation para lang dun,” shared University of the East goalkeeper Franklin Rieza, who could also be on his way out. “Sakin kasi, parang last ko na din, kaya sayang talaga.” If given the chance to return next year, Rieza added the he wouldn’t hesistate, especially if the team still needs him by then. “Depende na, kasi graduation na lang hinihintay ko for this year eh, pero kung kakailanganin pa ako sa team, bakit hindi?” Following their forgettable UAAP Season 81 campaign, senior University of Santo Tomas striker Conrado Dimacali was hoping that Season 82 would be a bounce-back season for himself and the Growling Tigers. “Siyempre una po nalulungkot ako kasi last year na namin nila [Aljireh] Fuchigami, AJ Pasion, Jayson Rafol, at Ralph Logornio. Kaming mga graduating, gusto namin bumawi dahil nung last year na nangyari sa amin na hindi kami naka-pasok sa top-4, kaso yun lang nga, dahil sa nangyayari ngayon, wala din kami magagawa, pero masakit talaga,” Dimacali expressed. “Sobrang nakakalungko talaga, hindi nami ine-expect na magiging ganito yung last year namin.” While the future remains unclear for seniors like Dimacali, he’s hoping for the best and hoping for another chance to don the blue and gold of Espanya. Whatever happens, it was still quite the memorable collegiate run for the Growling Tigers scorer. “Yung pinaka-memorable sa akin yung Season 80 kasi yun yung nasa Finals kami, kaso hindi lang talaga para sa amin yun. Yung natutunan ko bilang college player ay maging strong sa loob ng football field at i-command yung mga teammates ko ng maayos sa loob at labas ng football field.”  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

This really is my last playing year -- Tolentino on cancelled Season 82

It was not the exit Ateneo de Manila University senior Kat Tolentino wanted but the Lady Eagles star knew that the decision of the UAAP Board to cancel Season 82 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was for the best. The UAAP on Tuesday decided to end the season following the government’s declaration to extend the enhanced community quarantine to April 30 as the number of COVID-positive cases continue to rise and with the virus claiming more than a hundred lives.       It was a disappointing end for Tolentino’s collegiate career as she hoped to help the Lady Eagles retain the women’s volleyball crown. “It’s sad, of course. I am sure all the athletes will be disappointed,” Tolentino, who averaged 10.5 points per game in Ateneo’s two outings, told ABS-CBN Sports through her management Virtual Playground. The opposite spiker, who announced that she’ll forego her final year after leading Ateneo to its third overall title in Season 81, decided to return for one last ride for the blue and white. Aside from Tolentino, who is currently in Vancouver, Canada, seniors Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria also came back to play their last year for the Lady Eagles.    Ateneo this season was considered to be one of the teams to beat with the experience and veteran presence of Tolentino and other returning players complementing Ateneo’s young bloods led by rookie Faith Nisperos.       “[It’s sad] especially since I decided to comeback and this really is my last playing year na,” said the 25-year old Fil-Canadian. “Also, sad just because I was really looking forward to playing with this new team of Ateneo.” “But I understand these are very difficult circumstances,” she added. “It’s been difficult not being able to train as a team or in our normal environment.” Tolentino said that with the current situation of the contagion, it is best to cancel the season.   “If the UAAP is going to rush and put the athletes/community at risk it may not be worth continuing the season” said Tolentino.         View this post on Instagram                   Thanks for the memories???? Stay safe everyone ???? A post shared by Katrina Tolentino (@katrinamaetolentino) on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:23pm PDT “In the end, it will be frustrating, heartbreaking and it will disappoint so many people, but I will be understanding in whatever decision is made,” she added. The Lady Eagles won against University of the Philippines in their first match before bowing down to archrival De La Salle University where Tolentino was limited to only six points.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020