Dec 172017

The Philippines’ shines once again on the Asian entertainment stage.

Filipino dance crew DMX Comvalenoz finished runner-up in this year’s edition of Asia’s Got Talent.

During the grand finals held in Singapore, Indonesian illusionist The Sacred Riana won the public vote and walked away with a US$100,000 prize (Dh367,000).

DMX Comvalenoz, a 10-member group, was a judges’ favourite throughout the competition. “Personally, I hope you guys win,” Korean-American musician Jay Park told them before the results were announced.

Producer David Foster added: “You’re my guys and you’re my dolls. All three of us are fans of you guys and we are so proud of what you’ve accomplished on this show.” The panel also featured Indonesian singer Anggun.

Filipino beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes finished in third place on Asia’s Got Talent. Courtesy AXN

DJ and beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes, another contestant from the Philippines, finished in third place.

Foster told him, “You said that this (beatboxing) is your medicine. It’s the best medicine. It’s unbelievable. I think people need to vote for you. You killed it.”

The reality talent programme follows the format of the global Got Talent franchise, which currently has 70 local versions produced around the world.

The first season of Asia’s Got Talent, which aired in 2015, was won by the Filipino shadow playgroup El Gamma Penumbra.

Nov 262017

The Philippines’ most famous fast-food chain is expanding its footprint across Asia with plans for expansion in Singapore and Indonesia. Dennis Flores, Jollibee president and head of international business in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia, confirmed that 15 more outlets will be opened in Singapore in the next five years. Jollibee already has five stores in Singapore: two at Lucky Plaza, and one each in Paya Lebar, Changi, and Novena. The sixth store will open in Jurong East in April next year (2018). He said the growing number of Singaporean patrons is proof that “Jollibee’s offerings have greatly appealed to the taste buds of the locals.” In 2013, in a simple blind taste test conducted by Yahoo! Singapore, Jollibee’s chicken joy was found to be the best among several other brands in Singapore. The blind taste test involved a panel of six–Singaporeans, Malaysians, a Filipino and an Indonesian–who were asked to assess chicken dishes from Jollibee, KFC, Popeyes, Texas Chicken and 4Fingers. Jollibee’s chicken joy got three out of six votes, the highest given to any other fried chicken in the taste test. Jollibee’s chicken was found to have the juiciest meat, and the skin was said to be thin and crispy. Mr Flores said Jollibee is also looking into entering the 260-million-strong Indonesian market in 2019. “It’s a market we can’t ignore. It’s a chicken market. If you’re familiar with Indonesia, everyone there loves chicken. The big players are all ‘chicken players’. We believe with our superior products, Read More …

Nov 162017
Philippine economy sizzles in Q3 growing 6.9%, one of Asia’s best

The Philippine economy grew by 6.9% from July to September 2017, beating analysts expectations and overtaking China in growth again. The country’s Q3 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed the midyear growth rate of 6.5 percent, and the Nomura Securities projection for a 6.7% growth rate. The national statistics agency credited manufacturing, trade, and real estate, renting and business activities as the main drivers of growth for the quarter. Among the major economic sectors, Industry recorded the fastest growth of 7.5 percent followed by Services with 7.1 percent growth. Meanwhile, Agriculture slowed down by 2.5 percent from 3.0 percent growth in the previous year, the report stated. Net Primary Income from the Rest of the World (NPI) grew by 5.7 percent compared with the 4.1 percent growth recorded in the same quarter of the previous year. As a result, Gross National Income (GNI) posted a growth of 6.7 percent. With the country’s projected population reaching 104.9 million in the third quarter of 2017, per capita GDP grew by 5.4 percent. Meanwhile per capita GNI and per capita Household Final Consumption Expenditure grew by 5.2 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, reported the office of Undersecretary Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales. In a briefing, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government is optimistic it will meet its economic growth target of 6.5-7.5 percent for this year. “We are likely to rank second in Asia, next only to Vietnam at 7.5 percent, and ahead of China’s 6.8 percent and Indonesia’s 5.1 percent,” Pernia Read More …

Oct 222017
4 Philippine Airports in Asia’s 25 Best List

Four Philippine international airports are recommended by travelers in the 2017 Top 25 Best Airports in Asia published by Sleeping in Airports in October. The country’s international airports in Iloilo, Mactan-Cebu, Davao, and Clark are listed among the Best Airports for Overall Experience in the annual survey of traveler feedback on the following criteria: Comfort (Gate seating & availability of rest zones) Services, facilities & things to do Food options Immigration/Security Customer service Cleanliness Navigation and ease of transit Sleepability (for airport stays by choice or due to layover or weather delays) READ RELATED STORY Kalibo, Davao airports named among world’s most efficient By George Parrilla – originally posted to Flickr as Iloilo Airport, CC BY 2.0, THE 4 BEST PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS: #12th Iloilo International Airport, Philippines (ILO) Iloilo International Airport kept its 2016 survey rank at 12th in the annual listing for Asia’s Best Airports. “Iloilo International Airport (ILO) is, at the moment, probably the best-looking and most efficient airport in the Philippines. – datrekker” goes the featured comment on the Sleeping in Airports site. The airport review site also describes ILO as “A small, aesthetically-pleasing and modern airport… with beautiful gardens and water features interwoven throughout. Enjoy beautiful views of the countryside while you wait for your flight!” READ RELATED STORY Banaue Rice Terraces access now faster via Clark #13th Mactan–Cebu International Airport, Philippines (CEB) (2016, 14th) Mactan–Cebu International Airport (CEB) currently at 13th improved by one notch its 2016 ranking at 14th. The site description Read More …

Oct 062017
Philippine stock market surges to new all-time high this week

The Philippines is one of the best performing stock markets in Asia, after breaking new record highs two times this week. On Tuesday, the PSEi finished at a fresh record high of 8,312.93. On Wednesday, the benchmark index scaled new heights surpassing the previous day’s high to close at 8,344.05. The investor euphoria continued throughout the week as the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index soared to an intra-day record above the 8,400 mark on Friday but at end of the trading day closed at 8,310.88. Philippine stocks are rising due to several factors – investors are taking their cue from upbeat US economic data and record highs on Wall Street. Investors continue to remain bullish about the prospects of the Philippine economy, expectations of a tax overhaul and government’s plan to liberalize foreign ownership restrictions in highly regulated industries is further bringing good tidings to the market. The local stock barometer gained by another 31.12 points, surpassing Tuesday’s record high of 8,312.93. The proposed tax reform measures include expanding the value-added tax base, raising excise taxes on fuel and automobiles, and slap levies on sugar-sweetened beverages will add billions of pesos into the government’s coffers. On growth, the government has set a full year growth target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for 2017. The local economy accelerated 6.5 percent in the second quarter, mainly due to higher government spending, strong domestic demand, and increased farm output. Local stocks are being led by financial, industrial, services, holding companies and mining Read More …

Aug 202017
PHL economy growth pace quickens to 6.5% in the 2nd qtr

The Philippine economy grew at a sizzling pace in the second quarter, topping expectations due to a government-led construction boom and an extended rebound in the farm sector. Construction of new buildings [by Romeo Ranoco (REUTERS) via Daily News] The Southeast Asian nation is the second-fastest growing economy in Asia after China. Gross domestic product rose 6.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the national statistics agency said, picking up from the 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, and above the 6.2 percent forecast in a Reuters poll. Quarter-on-quarter growth at 1.7 percent also topped the 1.6 percent pace projected in a Reuters poll, and faster than the previous quarter’s upwardly revised 1.3 percent. Like its regional neighbors, the Philippines has benefited from an improvement in global demand, with exports up nearly 14 percent in the six months to June. Household consumption grew at slightly faster annual pace of 5.9 percent in the second quarter compared with 5.8 percent in the first, while government spending jumped 7.1 percent in a dramatic rise from the revised 0.1 percent gain in the March quarter. “The sequential increase implies that the economy is gaining momentum,” said ANZ economist Eugenia Fabon Victorino in a note to clients.   The post PHL economy growth pace quickens to 6.5% in the 2nd qtr appeared first on Good News Pilipinas. Related posts: PHL is Asia’s fastest growing economy in 1st Qtr 2016 Philippine economy grew faster than China in 2016 Japan’s Nomura upgrades Read More …

Aug 062017
PHL wins 1st Pony Girls Softball World Series

Team Manila-Philippines has won the 2017 Pony International 18-U Girls Softball World Series held in California, the first Pony championship title for the country and for Asia. Team Manila Softball [via Facebook] Team Manila-Philippines dominated the 18U Pony International Softball series against 2016 defending champion Central Helmet Xplozion, winning 7-1. The World Series crown brought home by Team Manila-Philippines is the first for the country and for Asia in the Pony World Series, declared Pony Philippines founder Rodolfo Tingzon Sr. in a report by Arsenic Lacson. Sixteen-year- old pitcher Alma Tauli of Bulacan gave a command performance with five strike outs and six no-run innings that set back the defending champions. The Big City Softbelles’ centerfielder Christine Bautista and designated player Shaina Camacho completed a two-run hit play at the top of the first inning. Eighteen-year- old veteran Nichole Pasadas of Adamson gave the team its 3rd homerun at the top of the second inning. A 3-run hit play by right fielder Krisha Cantor completed by Bautista, Camacho and 3rd baseman Madaelene Dumaog gave the girls team a commanding 6-0 lead in the fourth inning. Team Manila–Philippines’ short stop Nichole Padasa [by Norman Macasaet via Facebook] Tauli led the Manila team in dousing the comeback of the defending champions, finally wrapping up the series with the title. “The girls deserve the win because we were able to keep our composure and were not intimidated by the defending champions so our errors were limited,” said head coach Ana Santiago in the Read More …

Aug 022017
Lilia de Lima, PETA group are Asia’s Nobel Prize awardees

Former Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) Director-General Lilia B. de Lima and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) have been given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for transformative leadership in Asia. De Lima was cited by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation for “Harnessing sustained, non-stop and credible public service.” The first PEZA chief who led the agency for 21 years – from 1995 until her retirement in 2016 – is credited for turning the organization into “a showcase of successful regulatory reform, a model institution of honest and committed public service, and a key contributor to the nation’s economic growth.” The Director-General was charged with promoting and regulating foreign investments in the country’s economic zones. During her term, PEZA’s accomplishments include: the number of PEZA ecozones increased by 2,000%, from the initial 16 she inherited to 343 by 2016; the number of registered enterprises rose from 331 to 3,756; investments reached PhP 3 trillion; and ecozone exports totaled US$ 629 billion. In electing Lilia B. de Lima to receive the 2017 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes “her unstinting, sustained leadership in building a credible and efficient PEZA, proving that the honest, competent and dedicated work of public servants can, indeed, redound to real economic benefits to millions of Filipinos.” Reflecting on her career, she says: “I cannot solve the problems of the world but if in my own little area I can make a difference, then I must make that difference.” Words that according to RMAF, should be, “For all workers Read More …

Jul 252017
Esquire Mag lists 17 ancestral homes now historical spots

Seventeen ancestral homes from all over the Philippines have been conserved by their owners and turned into historical spots to be enjoyed by the public. Ancestral houses [via Esquire Philippines] Esquire magazine listed the 17 heritage houses that have been saved for their historical value and repurposed into hotels, museums, restaurants, and the likes, to be profitable. La Casita Mercedes, Makati City Pre-war residence repurposed into a bed and breakfast Dycaico Ancestral House, Angeles City, Pampanga Now the home to Chef Sau’s 25 Seeds Restaurant, a multi-purpose hall with a rural bank and tutorial center Cafe Apolonio, Bustos, Bulacan Formerly the Casa Apolonio of the 1850s, the café serves Filipino and Spanish cuisine Camalig Restaurant, Angeles, Pampanga Grain depot for 100 years before being repurposed into a restaurant that offers the classic family recipe of Armando’s Pizza 1335 Mabini, Mabini, Ermita, Manila Originally the Casa Tesoro vacation house that is now a contemporary art gallery Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio 1900s Boutique Hotel, one of the oldest, and main tourist attractions with a restaurant, cinematheque, spa, and bookshop The Henry Hotel, Manila Formerly a compound of over five houses that used to be the home to a Filipino-Chinese business owner and his family in the 1940s, is now home to a hotel, the Avella Art Gallery, and fashion design house of Jojie Lloren Limbaga 77, Quezon City A former 1940s-style home is now a restaurant on Timog Paradores del Castillo, Taal, Batangas Spanish-American home built in 1900s now turned Read More …

Jul 072017
Dutch banking giant ING bullish on the PHL economy

Netherlands-based global financial giant ING has projected a positive growth rate for the Philippines under the 6-year term of the Duterte administration. Philippine Stock Exchange [via Business World Online] ING Philippines economist Joey Cuyegkeng in a client briefing said he foresees a 6.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate until the year 2022 even if the country is placed on “autopilot.” The senior economist said in a forum that “A 6- to 6.5-percent growth rate is feasible even without any new reforms,” according to an Inquirer report by Doris Dumlao-Abadilla. Cuyegkeng is also reported by Manila Standard as saying the positive GDP rate is driven by investments, higher fiscal spending, and robust domestic demand. The Philippine economy is in a “sweet spot of relatively fast growth and low to moderate inflation” with growth drivers now expanding to include agriculture and industry services. The ING experts also project growth by 8.1 percent for the industrial sector, and 3 percent for the farm sector. The service sector is seen to keep its growth rate at the 6.6 percent.   The post Dutch banking giant ING bullish on the PHL economy appeared first on Good News Pilipinas. Related posts: Makati Business Club remains bullish on PH economy PHL posts strongest economic growth in Asia at 7.1% PHL is Asia’s fastest growing economy in 1st Qtr 2016 Japan’s Nomura upgrades PHL economic growth