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SMC sees LNG plant operational in 2 years

Food-to-infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is boosting its power generation efforts as it targets to start operations of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Batangas in two years......»»

Category: financeSource: philstar philstarOct 30th, 2020

Ariana Grande drops sultry new album, backs Biden

Pop superstar Ariana Grande had the twitterati abuzz Friday after dropping her third album in three years, a pandemic-era meld of juicy pop and soulful R&B that sees the superstar’s soaring vocals turn increasingly carnal......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 1st, 2020

Biden knocks Trump as rivals barnstorm heartland in election finale

Joe Biden intensified his attacks Friday on President Donald Trump as they battled over the American Midwest, chasing every last vote with four days to go in a region that propelled the Republican to victory in 2016. RUS President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Rochester International Airport October 30, 2020 in Rochester, Minnesota. With Election Day only four days away, Trump is campaigning in Minnesota despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the state. In accordance with state orders, only 250 people will be able to attend the rally with Trump while thousands of others will gather outside the airport to watch on a large television screen. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP) Trump and Biden barnstormed three heartland states each — with a resurgent coronavirus passing the milestone of nine million cases as they hit the stump — highlighting their differences in a race overshadowed by the pandemic. Trump, heralded a “big day” of campaigning as he left the White House, then held a rally in Michigan before heading to Wisconsin and Minnesota, all states battling climbing numbers of virus cases. “We just want normal,” Trump told supporters — many of them unmasked — at an outdoor rally near Detroit as he pushed states to relax public health restrictions and resume daily life. He again bucked his own administration’s health experts as he downplayed the Covid-19 threat, saying “if you get it, you’re going to get better, and then you’re going to be immune.” Covid-19 has killed nearly 230,000 people in the US, which is experiencing surges in most states as the winter flu season looms. The outbreak has ravaged the economy, and while there have been signs of recovery, millions remain jobless. Biden was also stumping in Wisconsin and in Minnesota, where he sharpened his attacks on the president on everything from Trump seeking to dismantle Obama-era health care protections and keep his taxes secret to climate change and trade policy with China. “We can not afford four more years of Donald Trump,” the 77-year-old Democrat said at a socially distanced drive-in rally in St. Paul, Minnesota. “So honk your horn if you want America to lead again!” he said, embracing the awkward pandemic-era campaign trend of rallying supporters in their vehicles. “Honk your horn if you want to have civility again, and honk your horn if you want America to be united again!” Earlier in Iowa he attacker Trump over his handling of the pandemic. “Donald Trump has given up (and) waved the white flag,” Biden told a drive-in rally with more than 300 cars in Des Moines. – ‘Less divided’ – Trump flipped Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Democrats to clinch his shock victory four years ago.  Now polls show Biden leading in all three, albeit narrowly in Iowa. It was Biden’s first visit to Iowa since his inauspicious campaign start in February, when he placed a dismal fourth in the opening Democratic nominating contest. So can Biden win over enough voters to prevail in the Hawkeye State? “I wouldn’t put money on it,” Iowa attorney Sara Riley, 61, said at Biden’s event, although she was more confident about him clinching the White House. “I think Americans, even Trump supporters, want to get to a place where the country is less divided,” Riley said. With voters concerned about the health hazards of crowded polling stations on November 3, a record 86 million have already cast early ballots by mail or in person. Even as the US hit a grim new high in daily Covid-19 infections Thursday, Trump has stuck to his guns, downplaying the dangers and branding Democrats as rampaging “socialists” intent on shuttering the country. And while Trump has touted the economic successes of his presidency, including positive GDP figures Thursday, US stocks closed out their worst week since March, highlighting concerns about a shaky recovery. – ‘Turn Texas blue?’ – After a campaign largely muted by the pandemic, Biden is on the offensive, pushing Trump onto the back foot in unexpected battlegrounds like Texas, a large, traditionally conservative bastion now rated a toss-up by multiple analysts. On Friday the state reported that a staggering nine million residents had already voted, surpassing its entire 2016 total. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris visited Texas Friday in a bid to turn the state Democratic for the first time since president Jimmy Carter in 1976. “We have a chance to turn Texas blue,” the 96-year-old Carter said in a fundraising email. Biden winning there would be a dagger to Trump, but the president dismissed the notion, saying: “Texas, we’re doing very well.” Trump and Biden are focusing their greatest efforts on traditional battlegrounds that will decide the election — such as Florida, where both campaigned on Thursday. On Saturday Biden returns to the Midwest bringing with him perhaps his strongest surrogate: ex-president Barack Obama, making his first joint in-person campaign appearance of the year with his former VP. Motown music legend Stevie Wonder will join them, the Biden campaign said. Trump will spend the day campaigning in the critical state of Pennsylvania, where he narrowly trails Biden in polls. Biden will follow suit there both Sunday and Monday in a clear sign that his campaign sees the Keystone State as absolutely crucial to his victory......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Coke PH expands Balik Pinas program for repatriated OFWs

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale to reach more repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and help them start their own business at home. Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.” With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that as of September 2020, over 190,000 overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated. Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller. Balik Pinas is a journey that the company and new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand. According to Carlos Rivera, CCBPI Territory Sales Team in Naga City, the Balik Pinas Program started as a small-scale initiative in Naga City to help former OFWs. Just a couple of months after returning home, Carlos Manzano and his family was able to set up their business as Coca-Cola distributor through the Balik Pinas Program, which Carlos said has reshaped his life and outlook forever. IN PHOTO: Carlos and their family’s multi-cab routing unit with the Coca-Cola Naga Sales team. When the program’s pilot rollout started, the Manzanos—brothers Carlos and Jazz, and their father Lito—were among the pioneer members. Carlos and Jazz had both been working for several years in Qatar until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of their career and, consequently, the well-being of their families. Together with their father, Lito, who also used to be an overseas worker, they set up a beverage distribution business in their hometown Naga City. Their optimism, as with any new business venture, was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially with the considerable challenge of launching during such tenuous times until Rivera offered them membership to the Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola. Now, the Manzanos are running a profitable business as Coca-Cola distributors. “Even when I had to leave Qatar suddenly because of the lay-offs, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there when things settle. But with Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas, I have a livelihood that doesn’t take me away from my family as being an OFW had,” said Carlos.  Lito can still remember his first order of 60 cases of Coke products. Now, the Manzano  family business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started—a feat magnified for it being in the middle of a pandemic and strict quarantine measures. The Manzanos have also since invested in routing units to augment their business’s capabilities—a multicab and a tricycle. Since starting his business in 2019, Billy Belleza (left), is now one of the prominent Coca-Cola distributors in his area and has added another mini truck to serve more routes and deliveries. Billy is one of the pioneers of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program. Another Balik Pinas program pioneer member is Billy Belleza who decided to return to the country after working for 20 years in Brunei. “I am really thankful that Coca-Cola reached out to me to be a part of this. They have never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program. My sales actually soared this year,” said Belleza, who is also based in Naga City. According to Rivera, Balik Pinas Program was really designed for returning OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and run a viable business at home. “With their success and in light of current events, this program was expanded to operate on a national scale, so the company can lend assistance to repatriated OFWs and their families as they weather through new challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Rivera said. Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.  To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Cooperation, not competition

SPEAKING OUT Ignacio R. Bunye The Ayala Group is widely recognized in the Philippines and in Asia as a pioneer in ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) with its formal adoption of the Ayala Sustainability Framework. In a recent webcast conversation with ATR Asset Management’s Julian Tarrobago, Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (JAZA), Chairman and CEO of Ayala, explained the genesis of this corporate philosophy. In a nutshell, this is about using the economic engine and for-profit discipline of enterprises to address social issues – not as a philanthropy but as an integral part of doing business. This is a new philosophy designed to foster an environment where there is inclusive growth. This is achieved by engaging disenfranchised sectors and going beyond just the financials. This is reflected in how Ayala purposively evolved over the years and how it has operated during the crisis. This explains how and why Ayala Land continues to make urban centers more livable and more friendly, why Ayala Land projects aim to become carbon-neutral a few years down the road, why AC Energy continues to improve its mix of energy sources, consistently increasing reliance on renewables, why Ayala has ventured into health and into education, and why BPI has dramatically upsized its microfinance. This explains why during the crisis, Ayala’s first concern was to ensure both the physical and financial well-being of its stakeholders. This includes Ayala’s employees and those of the various eco-systems (read that as 250,000 SMEs) which support Ayala. This meant P10 billion, to date, of foregone revenue, to help in their recovery and fostering sustainable growth beyond the crisis. Finally, JAZA explains why “this is a time for us to learn to cooperate rather than be at odds with each other. Our modern capitalist system is massively integrated in a way that it wasn’t in the past. And because we have an integrated system, we are tied to each other in ways that we either all succeed together, or not. If one component of that system is allowed to fail, then you start to break up what makes modern capitalism so strong. The supply chain, the integration, the way we work off each other, each person providing their own component of the system. If we don’t help each other, particularly in the public-private sector to reenergize and restart that great engine, then we will fail. Perhaps, this is a period in time where cooperation is being demanded more from all of us both in the private sector alone and in the private-public interaction, to see how we can all work together to address the many pain points that we will face as a nation if we are to get out of this pandemic.” Change your passwords often Even prior to the pandemic, incidents of unauthorized ATM withdrawals by third parties have been reported on the rise. It is perhaps opportune to issue this reminder. Essentially, it is about keeping our User IDs and passwords safe. One normally reads this reminder on our bank’s website. This is what the bank usually tells us. The bank will never ask you to provide your User IDs or Passwords through e-mail or SMS so don’t fall for unsolicited messages that your account has been temporarily disconnected and that you have to change your password. Never click on links from suspicious e-mails and SMS. Hackers can gain access to your account, plant malware, and steal your identity. Monitor your accounts regularly and immediately report any discrepancies. If I may just add, don’t ask anybody to withdraw money from the ATM for you. For added protection, you may want to use Code Red, an RFID and NFC Anti-Scanning Card. It is a smart card that provides protection from identity theft by manipulating the radio signals using E-field technology. Simply put it inside your wallet and it will make your personal data invisible to electronic thieves and hackers. (Thanks BPI EVP Mon Jocson for this last tip.) Note: You may wish to share the foregoing article via Facebook, Twitter and/or Linked-In......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

PH not benefiting Taiwan’s southbound policy – Yujuico

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business organization in the country, has urged Taiwan to invest more in the Philippines, stressing the country has not benefitted from its “New Southbound Policy”. PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico raised this during a recent meeting with Taiwan Ambassador Michael Peiyung Hsu. Yujuico noted that only 3 percent of Taiwan’s outbound investments have been directed to the Philippines as Taiwanese investors prefer locating in Vietnam and Indonesia. Aside from investments, Yujuico also called Taiwan’s attention on the balance of trade between the two countries, which is heavily tilting in favor of Taiwan. As such, the PCCI leader has urged the ambassador to improve the balance of trade between the Philippines and Taiwan. In 2019, Philippines imports from Taiwan reached $4.7 billion while exports were valued at less than half of imports or $2.2 billion only.  Philippine exports to Taiwan consist mainly of semiconductor and electronic products, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment and other manufactures. He urged Taiwan to reconsider and allow the entry of Philippine fresh fruits, initially young coconuts and mangoes. “We had the good opportunity to talk to Ambassador Hsu where we elevated our concerns on the current ban of our fruit exports to Taiwan because of sanitary and phytosanitary standards,” Yujuico said. The Philippines exported young coconuts and mangoes to Taiwan 40 years ago.  These were banned after some time because of the kadang-kadang infestation on young coconuts and fruit flies on mangoes.  However, Roberto Amores, Director for Agriculture of PCCI said, “The necessary measures have been addressed by the Philippine government – kadang-kadang infestation is now confined in a few regions.  Young coconuts produced in kadang-kadang free regions are in fact now exported to Japan, South Korea and China, among others.” Earlier this year, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), citing information from Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) Council of Agriculture of Taiwan, wrote PCCI that the ban on Philippine young coconuts and fresh mangoes was apparently due to the failure of Philippine government to submit the pest risk analysis (PRA) results on these two commodities since 2010. The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) however claimed it had communicated through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) the status of mangoes as an export commodity to Taiwan and requested for additional information for the PRA on coconut.   Yujuico and Amores said PCCI will continue to pursue this matter with the BPI and MECO to be more proactive in responding to the requirements of the BAPHIQ. Meanwhile, Yujuico welcomed the offer by the Taiwan government for modern technology exchanges for the agriculture sector and scholarship grants for undergraduate and graduate courses......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Government clears First Gen s natural gas venture

The plant is seen operational by the third quarter of 2022......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 25th, 2020

PFA sees golden years ahead for franchising industry

The Philippine Franchise Association sees 2021 to 2025 as the golden years of the franchise industry......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 25th, 2020

Behind the Scenes: The Heroes of ABS-CBN Sports

While the general public sees or hears the finished product on-air or online, most do not witness or appreciate those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at ABS-CBN Sports. There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took almost exactly that to make ABS-CBN Sports work. As we commemorate National Heroes Day in the country on the final day of ABS-CBN Sports, it is only fitting to acknowledge and thank those behind-the-scenes heroes who have been part of the amazing journey (DISCLAIMER: I may have left out some names, but it is purely unintentional so my apologies). Thank you, first and foremost, to our Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, whose passion and love for sports led to the initiative that is ABS-CBN Sports. Thank you to our former President and CEO, Charo Santos-Concio, our current President and CEO, Carlo Katigbak, a true tennis fan, and our Chairman Mark Lopez, who showed us composure, class and grace as leaders.  Thank you to our beloved COO, Cory Vidanes, who allowed ABS-CBN Sports to reach a broader audience when it aired special events on Channel 2 as well as feature athletes and sports personalities on entertainment programs.   Thank you to the voice of ABS-CBN and former ABS-CBN Sports head, Peter Musngi, for leading the division during its early years. Thank you to Narrowcast head, Antonio “March” Ventosa, as well as his executive assistant, Trina Magallanes, for helping us navigate during the transtition period of ABS-CBN Sports.   Thank you to the captain of our ship, ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head, Dino Laurena, who inspired us to work harder and better to serve our audience.  Thank you to Sir Dino’s gatekeeper, his executive assistant, Donna Seat, who was our bridge whenever we needed to reach out to the boss. Thank you to S+A channel head and production head, Vince Rodriguez, LIGA channel head, Jojo Neri-Estacio and Business Unit Head, Jun Martinez. They were our constant guides who enabled us to provide quality content on broadcast despite immense internal and external pressure.  Thank you to the people who made sure we never went beyond our budget and reached our targets – our Finance team made up of Berg Capiz, Jem Castro and Lorna Gendrano. Thank you to our S+A On-Air team of Rommel Noviza, Janice Rulloda, Princess Basye, Biboy Diga, Mark Marinay, Arnold Saclolo, Borge Raval and Hans Espiritu as well as our Liga Channel team of  Anna Santos, Francis Patawaran, Aprille Signo and Joramie Roque, for ensuring everything airs on time.  Thank you to our Digital Head, Mico Halili, for his innovative and fresh ideas on the digitial space.   Thank you to the men and women who made our broadcast coverage as close to flawless – our Production Manager, Jennifer Jimenez, our directors, which include THE Abet Ramos, Al Neri, Raul de Ocampo and Rommel Pedrealba, and our technical directors made up of Elmond Salvahan, Jhonnald Garcia, Marvin Chavez, Bingbong Pangan, Arnold Bulaong and Joseph Vega. Thank you to the men and women who made sure our partner properties were happy with our coverage, and that everything was in place for each and every game or show we put out there – our Executive and Associate Producers Vic Caridad, Malou Neri, Ada Bayuga, Diana Sayson, Oxy del Rosario, Mae Mañalac, Aries Galot, Apples Dela Vega, Kristina Manzana, Roy Briones, Ledz Cahinhinan, JC Gonzales, Gab Gonzales and Manny Gabutina.  Thank you to those who crafted and produced memorable segments – our segment producers Eva Evangelista, Carlo Grajo, Cha Lucero, Mark Morados, Jeff Sta. Maria, Jet Montebon, Sharon Muli, Alex Brocoy, Mika Barrios, Bill Barrinuevo and Volta delos Santos as well as our video editors Pido Cruz and Fonz Fajatin. Thank you to those who put the right words into play – our writers Monica Magpantay, Paul Loyola, Jigs Guardiano, Adrian Dy, Sheiden Dela Cruz, Ken Natividad, Syjin Reyes and Migs Gomez. Thank you to those who gave the right cues to our anchors, analysts and courtside reporters – our panel director Larry "Care Mo Naman" Deang, our floor directors Miky "Gandara" Mirabueno, Lyanne Ocampo-Tan and Fritz Dizon. Thank you to the people who made sure that the right moments were captured – our Camera Control Unit made up of George Austria, Joel Supremo and Edgar Guarte, our Cameramen Lloyd Villamor, Rovic Pacis, Gerald "Superman" Fermin, Ron Fermin, Ronald Mangcoy, Michael Pico, Emman Andes, Butch Pineda and Mark Nicolas. Thank you to those who made sure we heard the sounds and voices loud and clear – our audio engineers Elias Javier, Ramil Ciruano, Albert Agbay, Jancel Abobo as well as our audiomen Joseph Nicolas and Ameng Atienza. Thank you to the guys who allowed us to get another look at the action – our EVS/Slomo Operators Joejay Abarquez, Raymond Biojon and Dido Batallion and VTR men Christian Abarquez, Kenneth Abarquez and Oliver Sañez. Thank you to the people responsible for making things more visible on our screens –our Electrician/Lighting Directors Alvin Saavedra and Jorge Paraon and our lightman Calvin Liong. Thank you to those who create those cool graphics and effects that catch our attention during games and shows - our Graphic Artists/Operators Jam Memdoza, Denice Ylagan, Erol Corpuz, Sara Concepcion, Jeff Jugueta and Kevin Camero. Thank you to the team who put the little things in order – our set-up assistants Jerald Testor, Ivan Castillo, Ferdie Mangaong, Remus Taniengra, Daniel Dimaculangan, Eduardo Dacumos, Ryan Ancheta, Allan Porsioncula, Laurence Sosa, Illac Alvarez, Benjo Asiatico, Manny Cajayon, Lepoldo Bofill, Victor Taniegra, Caleb Bautista, Jeremiah Mallari and Bennett Cabus. Thank you to the guys who provided the correct statistics and graphics – our panel scorers/GFX feeders Rico Bayuga, Ronaldo Serrano, Arvin Estabillo and Gilbert Serrano. Thank you to those who made our on-cam talents look good – our makeup artists Mylyn Concepcion, Nina Concepcion, Estrella Besabe, Norma Calubaquib and Nizel Reduta and our stylist Lyle Foz. Thank you to those who were always ready to lend a helping hand – our production assistants, Lian Salango, Pau Hiwatig, Helen Trinidad, Riri Gayoma, Jade Asuncion and Lovely Dela Cruz. Thank you for the imagination and artistry of our Creative Communications Management (CCM) team composed of Elirose Borja, Jerome Clavio, Djoanna San Jose, Lara Mae Allardo, Robin Lorete, Cristy Linga, Christopher Eli Sabat, Archimedes Asis (the voice of S+A), Jan Dormyl Espinosa, Aila Onagan and Nyro Mendoza. They say that advertising is the lifeblood of media and that we wouldn’t be able to deliver high-quality content if not for advertisers brought in our by our Sports Sales team, so thank you to our Sports Sales Heads Jojo Garcia, Nicole Moro and Ken Ti, along with our account executives Tin Saw, Annalyn Herrera, Trina Vallarta, Joey Tang, Karlo Miguel, Paul Sembrana, Mike Tan, Ray Del Castillo, and Jason Gaffud. Thank you to those who constantly pitched ideas and presented to clients on our behalf, our Business Development Executive, Tonyo Silva, and our Sports Marketing team made up of Thirdy Aquino, Maui Tang, Jason Roberto, Danica Jose, Lala Cruz and Hanz Trajano. Thank you to the people who looked out for the wellfare and concerns of our division members – our Human Resources squad made up of Arvin Crisol, James Lee, Anika Gregorio and Donna Yabut. Social media has been a game changer and enabled people to relive key moments in sports events, so thank you to our social media team made up of Jon Rodriguez, Alvin Laqui, Danine Cruz, Aia del Mundo, Melvin Rodas, Clev Mayuga, Migs Flores and Lloydie Moreno. We would also like to give special thanks to our former bosses and colleagues who have moved on from this world, Rolly V. Cruz, Danilo A. Bernardo, George G. Padolina, Marco Franco, Gerald Gicana, Rhodora "Dhanda" Panganiban, Vernie Calimlim and Erwin Evangelista.  Lastly, I personally want to thank the website content team made up of sub-section editors Santino Honasan, Mark “Mr. Volleyball” Escarlote, Norman Benjamin Lee Riego (Yes, it has to be his complete name) and Paul Lintag, former sub-section editor Milan Ordonez, former writer Philip Matel, videographers Nigel Velasquez, Rocio Avelino and Steph Toben, photographers Arvin Lim, Richard Esguerra and Joshua Albelda, former NBA Philippines website managing editor Adrian Dy, contributing writers Anton Roxas, Marco Benitez, “Doc Volleyball” AJ Pareja, Migs Bustos, Mikee “Diliman Legend” Reyes and Ceej Tantengco. While our journey in telling these stories with ABS-CBN Sports will abruptly come to a halt, it has been an honor and a pleasure serving the Filipino sports fans worldwide. We may no longer be around as an organization, but the great athletes will keep playing and inspiring and the games will continue. And so, with a sense of immense gratitude, we say: Maraming Salamat Kapamilya! Hanggang sa muli! --- Lorenzo Z. Manguiat has been the Editor-in-Chief of sports.abs-cbn.com since 2014 and Sports News Desk Head since 2015. He started as game writer for ABS-CBN Sports in 2000 and served in various other capacities within ABS-CBN. He is among the thousands of employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Always About the People

“Solid!” That was the only reaction, or lack thereof, that I could muster after that first breakaway slam of Kiefer Ravena’s UAAP collegiate basketball career over the outstretched arms of UST’s foreign center, Karim Abdul. Moments before, you could see Kiefer was going to go hard, as it was a one-on-one breakaway and he had the speed advantage over Abdul, who was hot on his heels. Little did I know that he was going to go for that highlight that would announce his entry into college basketball. That reaction, that loss for words, can pretty much sum up my past 10 years of covering college basketball for ABS-CBN Sports.  They first asked me to write about my most memorable UAAP game coverage; but I must confess, I was never really good at remembering exact details of games, unlike some of my fellow sportscasters, or even coaches I know, who remember almost detail for detail, or play by play. My memories come in highlights, or sometimes even just flashes of good or memorable plays.  I remember a 6’8”, 18-year old Ben Mbala, whom we first saw a glimpse of while Anton Roxas and I were covering the CESAFI league in the hot and humid Cebu Coliseum, sometime around 2012. He was playing for the Southwestern University Cobras, wasn’t as built and polished as when he was with DLSU, but you could already see the raw talent and athleticism. Fast forward a few years, I remember well how he took the UAAP by storm, with his monster dunks, and how he piloted La Salle to a championship while winning league MVP in Season 79.  I remember the heralded rookie season of Kiefer Ravena in the men’s division, after a storied juniors career. Kiefer won Rookie of the Year honors and helped lead Ateneo to two more titles to round up their 5-peat, before it was Jeron Teng’s turn to lead the Green Archers to a championship over his elder brother Jeric and the UST Growling Tigers.  I remember Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and his back-to-back MVP seasons. He was arguably the most complete college player during that time. It was painful to see his team fall short especially during his second MVP year. The Bulldogs made history the year after though, with Alfred Aroga, Troy Rosario, and Gelo Alolino now at the helm, winning the school’s first ever championship after more than forty years. I would argue that the past decade saw some of the brightest UAAP college basketball stars, both local and foreign, take to the hard court. It would almost be unfair to start naming them because I’ll surely end up leaving some names worthy enough to be mentioned. But we all remember Greg Slaughter, Ryan Buenafe, RR Garcia, Terence Romeo, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Roi Sumang, Charles Mamie, Alex Nuyles, Jericho Cruz, Papi Sarr, Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Aljun Melecio, Kiefer and Thirdy, Bobby Ray, Alfred Aroga, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abul, Jeric Teng, Ange Kuoame, Matt and Mike Nieto, Paul Desiderio, Juan GDL, and the list goes on and on… all of them making their mark in the UAAP the past ten years. Aside from the highlights, there were the more mundane, behind-the-scenes memories, especially covering out-of-town games when we used to do the CESAFI and the PCCL. That was basketball coverage at its purest. There was a time we traveled to Lanao Del Sur to cover the Mindanao regional selection of the PCCL. Lanao was about another two to three hour drive from Cagayan de Oro along a dark highway with trees and mountains all around; and where there was only one mall in the entire town. Or when we traveled by van to La Union to cover the north regional selection of the PCCL… or even staying a whole week at the Cebu Grand Hotel, for the VisMin regional selection. Coverages then were bare bones: no real-time stats or live graphics, and I would even sometimes have to tally the points and rebounds of each player in-game on my notebook just so that I’d have some semblance of stats to mention on the coverage. Still, those games were so much fun because the players, getting their first shot at national TV coverage, would leave everything out on the floor.  In a year or so, both the UAAP and the NCAA will announce their respective new homes, and new broadcast teams will have the privilege of covering the best collegiate basketball players in the country. That’s how the ball bounces. I’m a firm believer that in life there are seasons, and a perfect time for everything. I’m just thankful for the opportunities thrown my way. If you were to ask me why the coverage of the UAAP helped build the league into what it is today, my answer would be simple: it was always about the people. At the end of the day, what makes the UAAP and its coverage great are the stories of the people that play, coach, officiate, cover, and run the games. It’s not really about the championships or the awards, but rather the challenges, hardships, and journeys of each of the individuals that brought them there.  And it is also about the directors, producers, cameramen, reporters and make-up artists that make sure that the audience sees what is supposed to be seen – the winning basket, a fan’s priceless reaction, the agony in defeat, and the glory of victory. It’s what Boom Gonzalez or Mico Halili would always say, that our job as anchors and analysts is to tell the people watching at home the story of what is happening in the game in the best way possible.  I just want to tip my hat to all the people that allowed us to do our jobs the best way possible. From our directors, producers, cameramen, floor directors, fellow panelists, courtside reporters, league officials, statisticians, make-up artists, and all those people behind the scenes whom we worked with, know that we were able to give our best because of you; and the UAAP coverage will not be what it is if not for all of your hard work and dedication.  It was, is, and will always be about the people. Marco Benitez was the team captain for the Ateneo Blue Eagles when they won the UAAP Season 65 men's seniors basketball title in 2002. Marco eventually covered collegiate basketball as analyst for ABS-CBN Sports starting in 2010. He is presently the President of the Philippine Women's University (PWU)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2020

P51-B airport railway launched

Project to generate 38,000 jobs The country’s first airport railway express service soon starts construction after the government and proponents signed the P50.8-billion contract packages for PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) segment of the P777.5-billion North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) virtually over the weekend  (August 1, 2020). The construction is expected to generate 38,000 new local jobs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade led the virtual signing of the contracts, marking the start of civil works for the 53-km extension that will bring passengers from Makati City in Metro Manila to Clark International Airport in Pampanga in just under one  hour. The first signing was for the P32.7-billion Contract Package N-04, which covers the civil engineering and building works  6.3 kilometers of the main line and 1.6 kilometers of the depot’s access line with an underground station serving Clark International Airport. They also signed the P18.1-billion Contract Package N-05, which covers the civil engineering and building works for the Clark Railway Depot.  The depot covers an overall area of approximately 33 hectares.  The contract covers the construction of the Operations Control Center, stabling yard, workshops, training center and other ancillary buildings in Mabalacat, Pampanga. This proves that flagship projects under the government’s BUILD, BUILD, BUILD program continue despite challenges posed by the pandemic, Tugade underscored. The PNR Clark Phase 2 paves the way for the country’s first-ever airport railway express service, he reiterated. “Since the NSCR will feature the country’s first airport express train service allowing travelers to get from Makati to Clark Airport in under one hour, we can consider it as a trail-blazing project, ” the DOTr Secretary  elaborated. “To achieve this, trains will run at 160 kilometers per hour, making it one of the fastest modes of land public transportation.”  The signing of contracts is likewise timely, noted Asian Development Bank (ADB) Southeast Asia Director General Ramesh Subramaniam. “The civil works contracts will help kickstart the economic revival of the Philippines over the next 12 months as the country faces the pandemic ” he pointed out. Under the railway project, we estimate that 24,000 local construction jobs will be directly created during the next three years.  And another at least 14,000 jobs needed for operating the railway system,” according to Subramaniam. The signing of contracts is a major milestone for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project as well as for the Philippine transport sector, he added. Once partially operational by 2022, PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark), a 53-km rail line segment, will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport, will cut down travel time to 30-35 minutes, from the original 1 hour and 30 minutes. The DOTr signed contract Package N-04 was virtually signed with Acciona Construction Philippines, through Director Ruben Eugenio Garcia and Chief Financial Officer Angel Fernandez de la Pradilla, and EEI Corporation, through President and CEO Roberto Jose Castillo. Contract Package N-05 was virtually signed with POSCO Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd., through Executive Vice President Dong Ho Kim and POSCO E&C Vice President Sung Wook Chung......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Is it easy to switch to a plant-based diet

I decided to ditch eating meat four years ago after developing a close bond with my pet dog. I was eating chicken for lunch in our office pantry one day and for some odd reason, the smell of the co.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

Bishops caution vs. revival of Bataan nuclear power plant

Diocese of Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has expressed concern over the planned revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as part of the government’s intention to use nuclear energy as an additional source of power supply. Bishop Ruperto Santos (CBCP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) “We welcome and accept that there is a need for a study, but we want the government to be transparent and for its assessment to be open to the public. The plan must also be for the common good and must benefit public interest,” Santos said over Church-run Radio Veritas. “Let us remember that Russia conducted a study on the BNPP and found the power plant to be absolutely outdated.  The use of nuclear energy will be dangerous for Bataan and for the country as a whole,” he added. The Church leader called on authorities to focus its attention and the country’s resources, instead, on the worsening coronavirus disease situation in the country. “The number of cases of coronavirus in the country has gone really high, but we do not have the capability to address it. We lack hospitals, medicines, and support for our health care workers. The government must pour its resources on the health crisis, which should be given priority,” Santos stressed. San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Commission on Social Action Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA), earlier, expressed alarm over the Department of Energy’s intention to use nuclear energy as an alternative source of power. A study by the Department of Energy (DoE), the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), and the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) said, the country will need to spend more than $1 billion in a span of four years to revive the 631-megawatt BNPP which was built in 1984......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

After 30 years, a farmer now owns three gardens and provides jobs amid crisis, part 2

In part 1, Mary Ann Cogollo, a farmer from Iloilo, shares about how her 30-year gardening story began and evolved. Here, she talks about the hurdles she had to face that molded her for who she is today.   Trials behind the triumphs At the back of her success is an unsteady, challenging voyage that she had to endure. “It’s 30 years in the making and looking back to what I’ve been through and endured, my heart is full,” said Cogollo. Growing up, Camille, her eldest daughter, saw how she fell and risen many times, she says, “I witnessed how she carried the pails from our wells to water her plants, pull the weeds every day, carried potted plants to hide them because of the heavy storms, how she failed and endured everything, how she learned from her experiences, and how she managed to be a farmer, a gardener, and a mother to us.” A throwback photo of Cogollo taken in 1994 with her 5-year old daughter. Before the birth of the gardens, Cogollo had been gardening alone for 10 years. She did the propagation, watering, and application of fertilizers. It was a challenge for this gardener to find suppliers and to travel the plants from the city to their place, but the hardest to deal with is the weather. “Typhoons and extreme summer are two of the most difficult situations to handle as well as dealing with plant diseases and pests. I failed a lot, some of my plants weren’t a success, but I learned from them,” Cogollo added. Blooming profits The price for the plants in the flower farm ranges from P25 to P10,000 and up. On normal days, they get to sell hundreds of plants every month that differ based on the demand. Most of it is purchased by co-gardeners too. Cogollo said that this season has the highest sales so far to the point that they travel some plants to the other garden to fill the demand. When they opened last month, they were able to dispose of 3000 to 5000 pots, which allowed them to generate a minimum of 50k per day from all the gardens. A mother, farmer, and businesswoman As a mother of two, she lets her children participate in farmwork and immerse themselves in nature at a young age. As per Camille, Cogollo taught her how to plant when she was four and let her have her mini garden at home. Their youngest also helps in raising livestock since he was in grade six. “They let us oversee the farm the same way that my lolo did before. She’s taught me how to plant and to marcot, how to fertilize and water correctly, and educated me what plants can grow from cuttings and what plants need to be in full sun or in shade,” Camille added. Despite the crisis, Cogollo added that God still made a way to provide for her family and their farm workers. She finds herself staring at the sky and thanking God for not leaving her family and the families working for them after two months of farm closure. When many people began growing plants to improve lifestyle amid the crisis, her children told her, “Nay your dream is coming true, farming and gardening are taking its shape, gakatabo na nay (it’s finally happening).” Cogollo only hopes for the public to continue appreciating nature and to start growing plants.   Farming has been her life ever since. The life she chose is the same life lived by her parents and grandparents and according to her, to be able to help others while pursuing your passion is a blessing.  Current situation As the government implemented enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to halt the spread of COVID-19, they had to close their gardens for two months. Since they only allow walk-ins and do not offer delivery services, they had no income from the garden. For Cogollo, those two months were the hardest; there were no landscaping projects but they had to give salaries to the employees every weekend. They thought of stopping their daily farm operations, but their musings brought them back to their primary goal, which is to provide the workers’ livelihood. They hired five more people who lost their jobs during those two months and didn’t stop propagating and maintaining the gardens. All smiles on her farm – As per Cogollo, the crisis allowed them to pause and see what they can do better. Living on a farm is an advantage because it’s COVID-free and their staff live nearby so they carry on with their daily work in the gardens and farm. Fortunately, after two months, a sudden increase in demand for plants began. The crisis has become as she calls it, “a ‘plantdemic’ for Ilonggos.” Their gardens re-opened for visitors when Iloilo was placed under GCQ (general community quarantine). From then on, the farm was amplified by different networks through social media and word of mouth. Despite their location, they were shocked that people kept visiting or asking about their gardens’ location. At some point, they were afraid due to the increasing numbers of visitors and of the risks it can entail that might harm their whole community. However, it was all worth it because according to Cogollo, “We know our dream is coming true. Farming/Gardening is taking shape.” They were also supposed to put up a garden café and park last May but due to these circumstances, things didn’t go as planned. In the future, they see the garden as a haven where people can stroll and appreciate and realize the beauty of nature. Photos from Dafalongs Flower Farm. For more information, visit the Dafalongs Flower Farms......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2020

50-MW power plant set

ACE Energy Philippines Inc. and unit ACE Endevor Inc, signed yesterday a shareholders’ agreement with Axia Power Holdings Philippines Corp., a subsidiary of Marubeni Corp, for the development, construction and operation of the 150 megawatt (MW) diesel power plant project in Pililla, Rizal, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2021. […] The post 50-MW power plant set appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2020

DoTA 2 star N0tail sees eSports thriving in new normal

With physical distancing being enforced and mass gatherings being prohibited during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all major sports have taken big blows.  While most professional sports are slowly getting back on their feet, it might take a while - if ever - for the live sports experience to return to normal.  For eSports, an industry that really doesn’t require physical interaction or mass gatherings, surviving and thriving in the new normal should not be an issue, and DoTA star Johan “N0tail” Sundstien is confident that will be the case.  Speaking to a handful of Filipino media before his 1 on 1 DoTA 2 battle with Filipino gamer Zedrik “Jeff” Dizon, N0tail spoke about how the eSports industry can survive, how it has grown since he began playing, and what Jeff’s 2020 Red Bull r1v1r Runes Championship can do for the Filipino eSports scene.  For the 26-year old native of Denmark, eSports should have little to no problems getting back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Yeah, I think eSports is in way better shape than other physical sports, for sure. Physical sports, sports in general, have probably made more of a business and they’ve been used to offline events and monetizing fans coming into stadiums, so obviously they’re having a much harder time than we would be,” N0tail explained.  Prior to eSports exploding and becoming a live attraction, tournaments were done mainly online, and N0tail believes that this is one of the industry’s advantages especially in the ’new normal’.  “We come from a place where we used to have online tournaments, we used to do these things online purely, and when [the COVID-19 virus pandemic] happened, I think all streaming and all online entertainment platforms had this opportunity to thrive and to exist. It’s a good time to be playing video games and not doing live music or something like that.”  “The Coronavirus] hit a lot of people pretty hard, but we have a good chance,” he added.  Speaking of the explosion of eSports, N0tail recalls the industry’s humble beginnings and how far it has come now.  “When I started, it was nowhere near what it is today. Today, obviously, we travel the world, have all these tournaments, have so many more viewers than we’ve ever had,” N0tail said. “Humanity really likes games, obviously, chess, sports, any kind of game for entertainment, and we’ve come a very long way. We’re way more professional, and financially, way more stable.”  The prizes now have also come a long, long way from what they used to be, N0tail shared.  “Ten years ago, we were playing for headsets and a couple hundred dollars, and now it’s way, way bigger, for millions. It keeps going up, it keeps getting more traction and attention, and I like to see that trend, I hope it keeps going.”  The Philippines has slowly emerged as a hotbed for eSports talent, and Ateneo’s Zedrik  “Jeff” Dizon could be on his way to becoming a top star following his 2020 Red Bull R1v1r Runes Championship victory.  Apart from the win, Jeff also had the opportunity to go one-on-one with N0tail, Team Captain of the 2-time The Internationals champions Team OG.  For an established name and veteran like N0tail, being able to compete against people from all over the world is always a sign of progress for eSports.  “DoTA connects people, and whenever somebody from one region that might be weaker plays against another region that might be stronger, or even if they’re both strong or equally [matched], DoTA is a game of ideas and experience, so whenever there’s this cross-country or cross-region game happening, I think there’s always progress. It’s the same when we shape a metagame, when those events were happening, all these teams came together, you quickly saw ideas transfer and a meta being formed between regions and, SC might be doing something one way and it might take something that Europe or NA might be doing, so everytime that it happens, I think it’s a postive thing.”  “It makes the ideas evolve and they evolve into something better,” he added.  Jeff came up big against N0tail in their one-on-one match, winning 2-1. Catch the replay HERE.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2020

Jotun Philippines awarded ISO certifications

Jotun Philippines Inc., a local subsidiary of Jotun A/S, one of the world's top producers of paints and coatings based in Norway, has recently been awarded ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications for the following - 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems, 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems, a major feat made in just two years after the inauguration of its modern manufacturing plant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 13th, 2020

Mikey Garcia confident he can give Manny Pacquiao problems inside the ring

Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia is confident that he can give Filipino boxing star and eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao problems inside the ring, if they do get matched up.  Garcia has long been a name linked to Pacquiao as a possible opponent, and while the American top contender understands the magnitude of a possible Pacquiao versus Terence Crawford bout, he still would like to have the opportunity to share the ring with Pinoy boxing icon.  Garcia is coming off a decision win over former world champion Jessie Vargas, bouncing back from his first and only career loss to IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. back in March of 2019.  The 32-year old sees a potential Pacquiao bout as a better matchup for him, given physical differences compared to Spence.  "He doesn’t have the height and reach advantage like Errol, so I think that makes it a better fight for me,” Garcia told Fox Sports (via BoxingScene.com). “I know he’s going to engage and I know he’s going to fight hard. He’s a great fighter. He's a living legend, and I would love to add that to my resume.” Much like most fighters today, Garcia sees facing the legendary Pacquiao as a way to boost their legacy, apart from the challenge of course.  “Fighting the great Manny Pacquiao would be tremendous for my legacy," said Garcia.  At 41 years old, it’s hard to claim that Pacquiao is still in his peak, but what he did prove was that he was still one of the best in the world, as evidenced by his performances against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in 2019.  Those two wins, especially the one against Thurman, has made Pacquiao a coveted bout for the welterweight division’s best.  Garcia, who’s undoubtedly one of the division’s top contenders, believes that he can defeat Pacquiao, who’s the reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion.  "If I'm capable of securing a victory over him and that definitely adds to what I want to accomplish with my legacy and those big triumphs. I’m excited if we can get that fight, that would be the best fight,” Garcia stated.  “I know there are other opportunities for him, there's other options that you mentioned like Keith Thurman, maybe Errol Spence or Danny Garcia. I'm sure all of these are big fights for Manny, but I would love the opportunity as well. It's a great fight, the fanbase would love that. I have a lot of fans and he’s obviously the biggest draw,” Garcia added.  While Pacquiao is among those seriously being discussed for Crawford’s return later this year, a bout against Garcia still isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and Garcia says that if he does get the fight, he won’t squander the opportunity to do something big.  "So I think it would be a great fight. If I get that, I’m definitely taking care of business and I'm not gonna let this pass me by. I hope we secure that and look forward to it,” Garcia said, even comparing himself to a former Pacquiao rival in Juan Manuel Marquez. “I can fight really well. I feel that my boxing style can complicate things a lot for him similar to the way Marquez complicated things for Manny in all those fights." .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

Phoenix Starts Operation of Asphalt Facility

Phoenix Asphalt Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of Phoenix Petroleum, has completed the first phase of construction of its own asphalt plant in Calaca, Batangas, and is now fully operational to supply quality bitumen products to contractors in the country. The asphalt storage facility features two vertical storage tanks that can accommodate 6,200 metric tons of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

France pulls plug on country’s oldest nuclear plant

France’s oldest nuclear power plant will shut down on Tuesday after four decades in operation, to the delight of environmental activists who have long warned of contamination risks, but stoking worry for the local economy. The Fessenheim plant, opened in 1977 and already three years over its projected 40-year life span, became a target for […] The post France pulls plug on country’s oldest nuclear plant appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 28th, 2020