Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

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Posts Tagged ‘Philippine Bloggers Network

Hya Tara Leonardo and Her Disney Princess I Dare to Dream Adventure

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Hya Tara Leonardo, who is fondly known as Hya, is the eldest of six contestants of Lea Salonga’s Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream concert happening on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, to be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The other five contestants Sirach Catipay, Stephanie Jordan, Jaden Narvios, Liana San Diego, and Alexi Tan.

Hya, who is 16 years of age, is the breadwinner of her family; she stopped schooling to financially support her grandmonther and special-needs brother. To do that, Hya sings and dances at clubs, private parties, weddings and such to make ends meet. Her mother abandoned them while her father passed away.

She was even the day’s winner in the Tawag Ng Tanghalan Kids competition last year In February 24, 2016.

Hya wants to be a Broadway actress and singer, just like her idol Lea Salonga. She says, “I want to be rich like people who have iPhones.” Hya has always dreamt of performing in front of a large audience. On March 22nd, one of her dreams will come true.

Globe Live is presenting this musical celebration of Disney Princess movies with the competition of the six young girls mentioned above, all vying for a chance to be featured in Disney’s online video series: Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream. The main celebrity coach and peformer for this concert is Lea Salonga, with performances coming from Aicelle Santos, Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, Janina Vela, Julie Anne San Jose, KC Concepcion, Morissette, Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos.



Get 50 percent discount on every “Disney Princess: I Dare To Dream Concert” ticket by simply using the Promo Code = Pbnet143 via or over-the-counter.

The maximum single transaction using the Promo Code is buying six (6) tickets.

The Promo Code is available starting today until concert time on March 22, 2017, courtesy of the partnership between Globe Telecom and the Philippine Bloggers Network (PBNet).

Press release from @pbnetworkph #pbnetworkph #pbnet #GlobeTelecom #idaretodream #createbigdreams


Best Travel Photographer Contest Launched by AirAsia and Nikon

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AirAsia in cooperation with ThinkDharma Inc., the exclusive distributor of Nikon cameras, got together to launch the first AirAsia Travel Photographer for 2015. Four newbie photographers and office workers will be coached and assisted by multi-awarded photographers from the Philippines and Malaysia as they all travel across Asia for one week starting July 21, 2015.

AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros was present during Thursday’s event held at the function rooms of ActiveFun in Bonifacio Global City. She introduced the four mentors and coaches of the contest, namely:

George Tapan – a self-taught photographer, Tapan served as director of photography of Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Magazine for eight years, won the ASEAN Tourism Association Award in 1999, won the gold prize for Pacific Asia Tourism Association twice, and first place in the Places Category for the National Geographic Photo Contest in 2011.

Christian Raymond Cruz – a graphic designer and one of the pioneers of landscape photography in the Philippines, also a self-taught photographer who spent the last seven years traveling the country and the world to capture the best nature scenery, and spends time sharing his knowledge and experience under the Redefining Vision Landscape Photography Workshops.

Philip Anthonie (Parc) Cruz – started as a hobbyist photographer in 2005, Cruz spent a lot of time tagging along with other photographers until he found his niche – portraits and cinematic shots. He is a privileged part of Nikon’s pool of endorsers and has since traveled around the Philippines and the world while imparting and encouraging other photo hobbyists to develop their creativity through visual images.

Adam Lee – an award-winning portrait and travel photographer who was trained in Los Angeles, he spent the last seven years assisting organizations to use photography as a means to tell stories and build communities. Lee is AirAsia’s resident photographer who contributes a large portion of his work to the airline’s in-flight magazine, marketing and communications, social media and brand management. Lee has won three silver awards and two honorable mentions in the Prix de la Photographie Paris 2014 competition and awarded the 27th ASEANTA Award of Excellence for Best Asean Tourism Photo in 2013.

The selected newbie photographers who will partner with these four photography masters are:

Marie Velvet Lagman-Macasaet – Marie is 36-year old an Executive Assistant to the SVP and Country Manager of VXI Global Solutions and mom to a 5-year old boy named Paco. She recently finished a half-marathon and bathing in an onsen (Japanese hot spring) while backpacking in Tokyo. She enjoys hiking, trekking and scuba diving. She is partnered with Coach Adam Lee.

Sarah T. Garcia – Sarah is a Front Office Agent at the Lancaster Hotel n Madaluyong City and loves to eat, love everything extraordinary and loves art. She is partnered with Coach George Tapan.

Paul Vincent Delfin – Paul is a Barista of Starbucks at the Greenbelt 3 branch. He’s into Indie music, loves football and loves long trips. He is an eager photography enthusiast as a form of art. He is partnered with Coach Parc Cruz.

Antonio Nepomuceno III – a marketing professional of Toyota in Taytay, Rizal, he is definitely a car enthusiast who is outgoing and loves the company of people, a necessity for his type of job. He is partnered with Coach Raymond Cruz.

Each team will be traveling around some exotic places in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to help everyone capture their best entries in categories that include landscape, food, portrait, architecture and travel. Winners will be awarded with over 200,000 BIG Points, AirAsia’s global loyalty program, or its equivalent free flights to any of AirAsia’s 100 destinations.

Online voting through will be opened to the public starting August 20, 2015 with Nikon cameras and BIG Points to be given away to lucky voters. The grand winner will be announced on September 11, 2015.

During the launch, AirAsia and Nikon drew lots to pick four lucky bloggers who will accompany each team in their respective trips to Asian destinations. My colleague in the Philippine Bloggers Network or PBNet Edel Santiago of The Kitchen Goddess blog won a spot among the four chosen bloggers.

Source: Press release – Manila, 16 July 2015

All photos by @raffypekson


Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 23, 2015 at 12:01 am

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Food & Beverage, Incentives & Promotions, News & Articles, People, Planes, Transportation, Travel & Tourism

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MiniPhilippines Introduces the New MINI by MINI Philippines

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Now, that’s a lot of minis!

Friends in the digital media world kid me aside that I should sell my MiniPhilippines domain name to MINI Philippines, even just for an entry-level MINI which costs only P2.1 million. I quipped I’d be happy with that. Who knows?

But that’s not the story here. It’s about MINI Cooper, the car.

Driving in a MINI Cooper S to the MINI Global City showroom

Driving to the MINI showroom

The Philippine Bloggers Network was invited to an early announcement of “The New MINI.” But there was no fan fair, no bells and whistles, no glitz and glamour, and no celebrity hosts. It was just cocktails and dinner with good food at Vyne, Hyve’s boutique restaurant and gastropub in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, light banter with the management team of MINI Philippines (Owee Cruz, Mae Valdez, Richard Alarcon, Ryan Watson, Willy Tee Ten and Mike Chua), a few photo ops and a quick drive to MINI Philippines’ BGC showroom in a Cooper S (or was it a Paceman?) That was Monday.

The hush-hush secret before today (and today is Wednesday) is the unveiling of the new generation MINI. Okay, I know some of you (like most of us) only know the MINI because of its popularity in “The Italian Job.” I only know the MINI because of Charlize Therone. Okay, now I’m kidding. But yes, Mark Wahlberg and his Ocean’s six team all drove MINI Coopers (actually, only the red MINI was a Cooper S; the others were Coopers) in that remake heist film which was also the highest-grossing film produced by Paramount in 2003. The classic MINI made a cameo appearance driven by Charlize. Ayayay!

Raffy Pekson inside one of the MINI Cooper at the MINI Global City showroom

At the showroom showing off in a MINI Cooper


Mini (styled MINI) is both the name of a subsidiary of BMW, and a car produced by that subsidiary since 2001. The car is marketed as a “retro” redesign of the original Mini, and manufactured in Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, in what was historically the Morris car plant.

The MINI (yes, that name stays all-caps for the official styled branding) is now a subsidiary of BMW and the car is marketed as a retro design of the original Mini and manufactured in the old Morris car plant. Morris and Austin were the two manufacturers of the first Mini cars. For the curious history buff, BMW actually made a curious decision to buy Britain’s beleaguered Rover Group in 1994. Things didn’t pan out that well and in 2000 BMW decided to dump all of the Rover’s brands except one: Mini. The rest is history.

MINI Cooper cabin showing off the front panel from the passenger's view

The new design of the spacious interior of a MINI Cooper

Going back to MINI Philippines, the new kid in town is the souped up version of the popular old version of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, to wit:

  • MINI Twin Power turbo technology engine
  • BMW patented Valvetronic variable valve control system
  • Better driving performance
  • Improved fuel consumption and reduced emission levels as much as 27 percent from predecessor versions
  • Enhanced six-speed dynamics
  • New automatic engine start/stop function – now this is something to reckon for!
  • Optimized weight and aerodynamic drag
  • Brake energy recuperation
  • Energy-efficient electromechanical power steering
  • Active cooling air flaps
  • Extensive underbody trim
  • Optimized suspension technology
  • New driving modes in mid, sport or green mode
  • Better ambient lighting
  • Improved LED center displays
  • Debut of Dynamic Damper Control
  • Bigger exterior proportions for better agility and ride comfort
  • Innovative driver assistance systems like the new MINI Heads-Up-Display
  • Camera-based cruise control and distance control function
  • Collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function

The Philippine Bloggers Network with the management team of MINI Philippines

There is a host underlying detailed descriptions and adjacent addenda to each of items I listed above. Each one of us have our own pet peeves when it comes to cars, much less this retro-styled subcompact car that’s better than your average subcompact. The United States automobile ranking system scores the 2014 MINI Cooper as:

  • Affordable Small Cars (#17)
  • Affordable Subcompact Cars (#8)
  • Hatchbacks (#17)
  • Affordable Convertibles (#4 but it hasn’t been introduced in the Philippines… yet!)

The all-new 2014 MINI Cooper is said to have a good nimble handling that makes it a lot of fun to drive. The cabin is as classy as a BMW in a subcompact environment.



Standard Features:

Servotronic, 15” light alloy wheels Heli Spoke silver, Roof and mirror caps white,  Floor Mats in Velour,  Warning Triangle, Height adjustment for front passenger speed, Storage compartment package,  Colour Line Carbon Black, Interior Surfaces Hazy Grey, MINI Excitement Package, Fog lights, Rain Sensor, Automatic Airconditioning, Speedometer with kilometer reading, On board computer,  Lights package, Rear Fog light,  Bluetooth Handsfree Interface,  White Turn Indicators, Pepper Package, Cloth Firework upholstery.

Retail Price (incl. VAT): Php 2,100,000


Standard Features:

Servotronic, Multifunction for Steering Wheel, 17” light alloy wheels Tentacle spoke Silver, Sport Automatic transmission, Performance Control, Leather steering Wheel, Bonnet stripes, Floor mats in Velour, Warning Triangle, Height adjustment for front passenger seat, Sport seats for driver and passenger, Storage compartment Package, Color Line Carbon Black, Interior Surfaces Black Checkered, MINI Excitement Package, MINI Driving modes, Rain Sensor, Automatic Air conditioning, Cruise Control with breaking function, Speedometer with Kilometer reading, On board computer, Lights Package, LED Fog lights, LED Headlights, Rear Fog light, Radio MINI Visual Boost, MINI Connected, White Turn Indicators, Chilli Package, Cloth/Leather combination Diamond.

Retail Price (incl. VAT): P2,600,000

Note the following terms and conditions:

  • Warranty coverage: 2 years unlimited mileage.
  • Price is subject to confirmation upon order.
  • Does not include LTO registration (Php 15,000) and motor vehicle insurance.
  • Price and specifications are subject to change without prior notice

So, is it a good deal or what? Come by the MINI Philippines showroom at the corner of 5th Avenue and 26th Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City now and experience the pleasure of driving home a great subcompact yet very stylish car.

And who says it’s only got to be an Italian Job?

British United Automobiles, Inc.
5th Ave. and 26th St., Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City 1634

Photos by MINI Philippines | Ted Claudio | @raffypekson


Written by Raffy Pekson II

June 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Transportation

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Professional Bloggers Taking it to the Next Level

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Below is an excerpt from about the announcement and press release communication piece of the Philippine Bloggers Network.

Manila, Philippines. June 7, 2014.  The Internet and mobile landscape is developing in such a rapid pace, it’s like melted mercury that is absorbed in every country in the planet. In this digital age, internet and social media users increase in number every second, thus making online publishing and digital marketing a very effective communication tool for an individual, company and organization. The publicity is immediate, viral, and the reach is unlimited.

Online publishers and bloggers have been cropping up over the past decade, and many of them are presently great influencers or endorsers of products and brands. These top bloggers have a great following, boasting of a worldwide audience.

The Birth of Philippine Bloggers Network #PBNet

A group of fifteen (15) Filipino online publishers came together as one force to form Philippine Bloggers Network (“PBNet”), an organization that aims to professionalize the blogging industry. Taking blogs or online publishing to the next level, PBNet is a solid mass marketing group to any business and clientele, who are seeking premium and professional online communication services.

Read the entire announcement at

Photo from source.


Back in Bacolod City for the Business Marketing and Social Media Summit

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The last time I was in Bacolod was August last year when I was privileged to speak at the first Social Media Summit held at Avenue Suites. Before that, I was last here in 2006 when I helped set up one of the first medium-sized call centers, iSolutions Outsource Asia Inc. or I/O Asia for short, long before TeleTech and Teleperformance went live.

It’s good to be back.

JMB Events Management, owned and operated by Bing Montinola, is spearheading this unique public seminar which will be held tomorrow, January 18, 2014, at Metro Inn hotel. Speaking with me are Myra Sandico of PMCM Events Management, Australian entrepreneur and online marketer Khoa Bui and the country’s most prominent e-commerce and online marketing advocate, Janette Toral.

In last years first social media summit, I spoke about redefining and preparing yourself before engaging the digital world, particularly in social media. Half of my presentation was about my experience in using social media and blogging as a means to pursue both for-profit ventures and even charity endeavors.

For tomorrow, I’ll touch upon a few slides from last year but this time providing a not-so-secret strategy to pursue ditigal marketing for business in the Philippines. I’ll show proof that the Filipino has already been social media fanatics yet most organizations still think quite the opposite. The assumption is already so untrue that not many know the Philippines is now hailed as the “social media capital of the world.” So, why in the world do many businesses still think social media is a waste of time and resources?


Metro Inn Hotel in Bacolod City, the site of the second Social Media Summit.

But while in Bacolod City, I’ll be talking to Bing of JMB Events Management to plan the upcoming Bacolod event of November’s successful public seminar, “Work At Home ‘Pinas, The Seminar,” which was organized by the Philippine Bloggers Network (PB Network or PBNet). This seminar is an advocacy of PBNet which it aims to educate people of all ages seriously thinking of working from home but have no idea how to do it. Last November, PBNet held it in Quezon City. On February this year, it is going run one in the City of Las Piñas of southern Metro Manila. March would be a good month to hold it in Bacolod City. The rest of the next six months will be held in the northern and southern provinces of Luzon island.

Here’s to a successful summit tomorrow.

Photo of Metro Inn and GT Hotel from respective Facebook accounts.

Other photos and images by PMCM Events, JMB Events and @raffypekson.