Thursday, August 28, 2014

Top Digital Influencers Speak at DIMS 2014

Grace Nicolas, together with fellow bloggers Jennifer Gana and Ben Fran-
cia, will discuss how online journalists can become digital influencers in
the 3rd Digital Influencers Marketing Summit.
Hundreds of online media personalities will once again grace the third edition of the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Speakers from various facet of online media will make talks about the latest trends in the cyberspace.

In the first session, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Junie Del Mundo of EON The Stakeholders Firm will discuss about how the ASEAN integration can still favor the digital influencers.

Afterward, DIMS organizer Janette Toral and's Jojy Azurin will teach CEO's on how to become a digital thought leader.

Later on, Jonji Gonzales of TenMinutes.PH and digital marketer Apple Perez will look at the advantages of promoting travel, tourism, and culture online.

Meanwhile, ProFriends, a leading real estate firm, will have a talk on online real estate brokerage.

On the other hand, Hashtag Digital's Mannix Pabalan, Dominguez Marketing's Mel Dominguez, and Saddleback's Boris Joaquin will instruct the audience how to increase digital influence in search, e-mail, and social media.

Later in the day, Vanilla Digital's Lace Llanora, Elance's Ron Cirujano, entrepreneur Rosario Juan, and digital marketer Jeoff Salas will also do an instructional guide to building sustainable communities.

Finally, bloggers Grace Nicolas, Jennifer Gana, and Ben Francia will look at bloggers and even online journalists being digital influencers.

Toral lauded Nicolas, Gana, and Francia for doing the talk on bloggers.

She said, “Bloggers who step up and speak their minds are few and rare. They will not be able to please everyone but will definitely find a niche where their skills suit best.

To know more about the summit and to register, go to this website:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FYI coming to Asia in fall 2014

On October 6, Bio Channel will rebrand to FYI, a contemporary lifestyle network reflecting how people live their lives today, across Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.

The announcement was made today by Alan Hodges, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, A+E Networks.

BIO was also rebranded to FYI in the US on July 8th. 

For your inspiration, for your imagination or for your innovation, FYI will be a personalized experience for each viewer. The network embraces the way audiences really live their lives–proudly-hyphenated and not constrained by one passion or interest. Never an instruction manual and always an inspiration engine, FYI offers viewers a more adventurous, personalized and non-prescriptive approach to programming with a range of stories that reflect how people actually live their lives today, not defined by just one passion or interest.  

“FYI’s mission is to inspire personal creativity that emphasizes improvised living, while reflecting our authentic slate of programming,” says Michele Schofield, Senior VP, Programming & Marketing at A+E Networks Asia. “And with its rich mix of inspirational content, the new channel’s Asian premiere is sure to bring its viewers a season of quality entertainment.”

FYI will feature over 300 hours of original content each year across four programming genres--taste, space, look, and journey. FYI will include locally-commissioned productions and local acquisitions. 

FYI’s primetime premiere line-up in Asia includes: 

In Tiny House Nation, renovation experts and hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin travel across America to show off ingenious small spaces and the inventive people who live in them. They also help families design, construct, and prepare to downsize into their own mini-dream homes no larger than 300 square feet! 

Rowhouse Showdown features renovation expert Carter Oosterhouse as he leads three teams who battle it out to transform dilapidated homes. The team that increases the appeal of their home the most, wins the grand prize of $50,000. 

Destination Flavor: Japan-From the frozen ponds of Hokkaido in the north to the southern multicultural island of Okinawa, we savor the cuisine from local legends and master chefs while watching Adam Liaw immerse himself in a vibrant food culture that embraces innovation and cherishes tradition. 

Destination Flavor: Down Under-Host Adam Liaw continues to unearth hidden flavors, this time those nestled in the Australian and New Zealand landscapes. 

Travels with the Bondi Vet features Dr. Chris Brown, a charismatic vet who leaves his practice in Sydney to begin his exploration of the world’s most beautiful and bizarre places, cultures, and animals!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Christopher Cross Concert Caps Busy Zoomanity Pre-Christmas Schedule

A two-night concert by Christopher Cross will culminate a busy two-month
promotional schedule by Zoomanity.
Zoomanity Group, the leading company behind the Zoobic Safari, Residence Inn in Tagaytay, Paradizoo in Mendez, Cavite, Zoocolate Thrills in Bohol, Zoocobia in Clark, and Z Planet in Star City, has lined up its pre-Christmas activites.

On September 4-7, Zoomanity will be at the Food Franchising 2014 and at the Philippine Travel Mart at the World Trade Center and the SMX Convention Center respectively, both in Pasay City.

The following week, Zoomanity will return to WTC for the Asia Food Expo before participating at the HoReCa Makati Festival at the Glorietta Activity Center.

To end the month, Zoomanity will grace three events simultaneously happening at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the Philippine Solar Summit, the Water Technology Philippines, and the Hotel Suppliers Show.

In October, Zoomanity will bring another American music legend in as Christopher Cross, the hitmaker behind “Sailing and Arthurs Theme”, will come to the Philippines for a two-night concert series.

Tickets are available at the Zoomanity office or at the Zoomanity theme parks.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kinder Zoo Opens Inside Manila Zoo

A young turtle is one of the animals inside the new Kinder Zoo at the Manila
Zoo complex. Manila Bulletin
Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle, a private zoological and theme park inside the facility of Manila Zoo along Adriatico Street corner Quirino Avenue in the City of Manila opened its doors again to the media. KZAJ highlighted two of its famous residents, the tortoise and the hyacinth macaw.

At Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle, the 50-year-old “Mr. T” (Sulcata tortoise) is a land dwelling turtle. The sulcata can live over 100 years old, and its shell will grow to over one meter in length and weigh over 40 kilos.

These tortoises eat grass, plants, and cactus. Unlike turtles, these tortoises are not shy and actually look forward to being with humans.

You can feed a sulcata in Kinder Zoo. Watch how he easily breaks a carrot in two. Just be careful of his sharp beak, but he will not bite on purpose. Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle is successful in breeding these tortoises.

Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle is proud to conserve seven hyacinth macaw or hyacinthine macaw. These macaws are the largest macaw breed or largest flying parrot in the world. It is a parrot native to Brazil.

These parrots are considered endangered numbering approximately 4000 in the wild. Hyacinth macaws are known as the clowns of the parrot family due to its yellow skin that looks like they are constantly smiling and their natural disposition of being inquisitive and playful.

Visit these gigantic creatures in their aviary and watch how they will fly to you as you stand by their cage. You can experience feeding these wonderful creatures. Just be careful of their beak. They are so powerful with a crushing strength of 3000 lbs. per inch. Your finger will be like a matchstick to them.

These seven macaws have been in a big aviary for the past five years to make them grow and mature. Sometime this year, Kinder Zoo will no longer display the macaws who have paired up and will set them up for breeding it its new breeding facility. Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle's advocacy is to breed these endangered animals.

Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle is an interactive zoological facility. Most of the exotic animals on site can be fed or held.

It is a rewarding experience where visitors go home with a greater appreciation for endangered animals. Group and educational tours may be accommodated. There is also a facility for birthday parties and special events.

Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle is located inside the compound of the Manila Zoo, M. Adriatico St. cor. Pres. Quirino Ave., Manila City. Visitors will have to enter Manila Zoo to be able to purchase an entrance ticket to Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Be a Hero on Heroes' Day with Zero to Hero Boot Camp

Be a hero on National Heroes Day, August 25, and spend it with Fellow Heroes by going to Zero to Hero: A Hero Sharing Boot Camp at Commune Cafe in Makati City from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Hero of D Day (HODD), a non-profit social media organization that believes there is a hero in all of us, will lead this unique event.

Founded by a group of passionate individuals wanting to affect positive social change, HODD visions that people will recognize the hero within and become everyday heroes themselves – mindful of the abounding good around them, grateful for these, and inspired to pay it forward.

To do its part, HODD collects stories of heroism and publishes them online. The group also partners with organizations involved in social advocacies, community development, and nation building.

HODD also launches programs meant for personality and skills enhancement as well like the HODD Huddle, the HODD community meeting.

In HODD Huddle, participants have the opportunity to learn more about the organization, attend workshops, and meet other individuals dedicated to the cause.

At the upcoming HODD Huddle Zero to Hero: A Hero Sharing Boot Camp, talks and activities await Fellow Heroes.

Andy Samaniego, a commercial lifestyle photographer and visual artist, will be giving tips on taking artful photos using a smart phone.

Karen Galarpe, the City Editor for GMA News Online, will present social media writing tactics.

Eric Melendez, a writer and researcher for non-profit organizations, a contributor for Esquire Philippines, and a renowned fictionist, will be speaking about writing for social causes and how to creatively tell a story. HODD Correspondents will also share their experiences on finding heroes in their daily lives as well.

Get tickets today at Give P100 at the door for a Hero Of D Day kit and a certificate.

For more information on Hero Of D Day, visit Like them on and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @heroofdday. For inquiries, email

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blogapalooza Returns

The biggest online media gathering is back! Bloggers, online reporters, businesses, and even people from the other media platforms come together once again in Blogapalooza 2014.

Blogapalooza, brought to you by When in Manila and Our Awesome Planet, will happen on September 20 at the SMX Convention Center of SM Aura in Taguig City.

Businesses and media practitioners will network with each other as they will boost their respective marketing.

Special guests will also grace the event to speak about the latest in the social media scene.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Easy Taxi, Waze Partners for Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign

You can now use Easy Taxi with your Waze app.
Easy Taxi and Waze announced a partnership aiming at facilitating mobility and responsible driving.

The campaign, which starts initially in the Philippines, Singapore, and Brazil, has common objectives of raising the awareness about the most important problems related to city transportation.

Telling the motorists, “Don’t drink and drive,” the campaign targets one of the growing social problems in the Philippines and comes just two months after the new strict law that prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol was introduced by the DOTC.

To additionally motivate the passengers to take a safe taxi instead of driving under risky conditions, Easy Taxi introduced a zero booking fee to accompany the campaign.

Waze wants to assure all users are familiar about the "Share Drive" functionality, which allows users to send a direct message or email to inform their friends and family about the arrival and eventual lateness.

While all Easy Taxi drivers are verified and tracked in real time, sharing the ride with family or friends introduces additional layer of safety, which is within the best intention of both partners.

In case of any potential delay noticed with Waze's "Share Drive", worried parents or friends, can further request information from Easy Taxi about taxi location and driver details.

“We have a lot in common with Waze, but most importantly we share a mission of reducing the traffic and increasing safety of the transportation industry. The partnership will help us assure an unprecedented quality of the passenger service to the roads of Manila and Cebu," said Mario Berta, Easy Taxi’s regional managing director.

"With the help of SMART Communications we already enabled drivers to use Waze and Easy Taxi with no barriers through zero data plans. It’s now time to bring full synergies to the table,” he added.

“Safety is the utmost priority for Waze. Waze was the first navigation app to block drivers from texting and driving. The entire navigation experience, even reporting an accident, can be done by voice command," said Julie Mossler, Waze's senior director of communications. 

She added, "Waze warns you about accidents and hazards on the road, thereby keeping drivers out of the most dangerous segments of road. Similarly, our partnership with Easy Taxi allows us to continue to strive for safety."

Mossler concluded, "By working with Easy Taxi, we’re able to offer our users the safest way to get home, while under the influence, and still enjoy the benefits of Waze since their drivers use Waze, too.”

The social responsibility campaign between Waze and Easy Taxi could become a beginning of cooperation on a bigger scale between both tech giants.

On-boarding Easy Taxi on Waze app could allow the latter to use it to recruit more drivers.

Easy Taxi's CMO, Paul Malicki, sees it as a big step in company's efforts to expand user acquisition to new channels.

He said, “Waze is possibly the most complimentary product to Easy Taxi due to its embedded ability to help taxi drivers challenge the traffic, while it also reaches heavy commuters in the world’s biggest metropolis."

Malicki added "Today we run marketing on more than dozen different marketing platforms but with Waze for the first time we will be able to target passengers and drivers with unusual efficiency. We saw a very positive feedback from the drivers after adding Waze deeplink into the Easy Taxi app. There are so many possibilities to work together and we are looking forward to explore them.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

Philippine delegates to IROC get great sendoff

Kimberly Gamboa and Isabelle Chua headline the Philippine team going to
Beijing for the IROC 2015. Rence Chan
The Philippine team to the 2014 International Robotics Olympiad was revealed and given a grand sendoff along with the media at the Oakwood Hotel in Pasig City.

Kimberly Gamboa and Ana Isabelle Chua of Grace Christian College will head the Philippine delegation to the said competition in Beijing, China.

The Philippine team eyes to at least equal the two gold, six silver, and five bronze medals the team which participated in last year's edition in Denver, USA hauled.

Also unveiled during the press conference was a mini-exhibit where the latest robotic and technological products were presented.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Leadership is About Influence by Grace Nicolas

Boris Joaquin. Jamyl Cruz (file photo)
Just recently, one of the top-ranked motivational speakers and trainers in the Philippines had a talk about leadership at the Elabram office in Makati City with 30 engineers as attendees.

Boris Joaquin shared valuable information on how to gain respect & goals to achieve success in terms of leading the team. Joaquin mentioned that leadership is defined by two behavioral approaches, role and relationship.

Role is a task-oriented approach where the leader is focus in delivering the task to meet the certain goal or achieve a certain performance standard.

The leader here is into key performance indicator (KPI) or output of the team. Its advantage is deadlines are met and jobs are completed. 

Under relationship leadership, the leader is focused on the satisfaction and motivation like internal marketing and general well-being of the team members.

Over all, this is to influence the team members or the associates according to these approach. This leader prioritize the well being of the team.

Also, a mindset of having a good environment means having a good relationship with the subordinates where individuals feel driven.

The team members here are more empowered to take risk because they know that their leader will provide support when needed. 

Joaquin also described also that the one with influence like a child asking for a toy if the parents will agree is the one who is the leader and with influence for negotiating and encouraging the parents to say yes.

The capacity to have an effect in the character, development, or behavior of someone or something can be determined if the leader is truly effective, if the team follows or even imitates the influencer whether it is by way of dressing up, if it follows the rules implemented, or if it follows a simple instruction. 

Elabram Systems Group in the Philippines once again had an occasional empowerment talk for the team members to help in the decision making, to improve the mindset towards positivity, and to just enjoy the beauty of sharing and be motivated by the different popular and best speakers in the Philippines. 

Elabram Systems Group currently has a "Fuel Up Your Career" recruitment campaign in social media, and it asks all empowered job seekers to join this company with services like network planning and optimization (NPO), talent acquisition and deployment (TAD), business process outsourcing (BPO), and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) with offices in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

For more info, contact for partnership or for employment.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Take an Easy Selfie with Easy Taxi

Calling all WeChat users! Take a selfie with your Easy Taxi driver and get a chance to win exciting prices from our partner brands!

What are the mechanics, you ask?

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Follow us on WeChat: EasyTaxi_PH
2. Take a selfie in an Easy Taxi cab with your driver
3. Send us your picture on our WeChat account

The 3 most unique selfies will win PHP8,000 worth of Gift Certificates from our partner brands! 

It’s that easy!

This is brought to you by Easy Taxi, your taxi one touch away!

Be Like Smooth Lee, Win Trip to Hong Kong

Be like Smooth Lee and get a chance to go to Hong Kong or Macau.
Join Schick razor’s newest craze Smooth Lee Adventure promo where participants will be asked to create their own Schick television commercial using the Smooth Lee Adventure mobile application. 

Participants joining the promo will be asked to download the “Smooth Lee Adventure” mobile application in IOS Apple and Android. Those downloading and playing with the app can now star in their own Schick TV commercial. 

“We wanted the consumers to experience Schick Exacta 2’s refreshing, liberating, and stress-free shaving as Exacta 2 offers one-push cleaning button that helps remove hair easily. Exacta 2 likewise aims to precisely target hair in hard to reach areas leaving a smooth shave," Claire Guevarra, Schick Senior Brand Manager said.

We want to connect Schick with the consumers and in today’s growing number of smart phones in the market, we chose to do an app and a digital promo to make it more exciting and fun for the consumers,” she added

The videos created will then be converted to Youtube and the contestants will be prompted to “share” and/or “join” the promo. Those who opted to join the promo will have to register and submit their entries at the Schick website (

Once entries are registered and approved by Schick Philippines, the videos will already be made public on Youtube. Qualified entries will be posted on Schick’s official Facebook page and will be raffled off to determine the winners. 

A trip to Hongkong and Macau for two awaits the grand prize winners while an Apple I-Pad Air will be given to second prize winner.

The third prize winner will receive Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. There will also be 50 consolation prizes of Schick gift packs.  

The promo runs from August 1 to September 30, 2014.

“Through this promo, we will pursue our goal of not only encouraging the public’s creativity with the use of the App that we developed for them, but more importantly the importance of good grooming and self confidence that we packaged in a fun and interactive way via the Smooth Lee app,” said MJ Tiquia, Schick’s product manager.  

For more information on the latest promo from Schick Philipines, visit and like Schick's Facebook page at Schick Philippines can also be followed through Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Per DTI-FTEN SPD Permit No. 0043 Series of 2014.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Solaire Announces "The Theatre" Opening

Solaire Resort and Casino announced the opening of The Theatre at Solaire this November; a new state-of-the-art, certified lyric theater in the heart of Entertainment City. This majestic performance venue boasts of an astronomical line-up of performance artists and events; both local and international, in the months to come.

The Theatre at Solaire opens its doors for the holidays with the first international Broadway show Chicago from December 2 to 21, 2014. This spectacular opening and amazing entertainment line-up for The Theatre signifies the continuance of Solaire’s contribution to the flourishing arts and performance scene in the Entertainment City.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stephen Bishop Performs at Resorts World Manila

American music legend Stephen Bishop and Misono Restau-
rant owner Robert Yupangco met during the singer's exclusive
dinner at the said venue. Grace Nicolas
Stephen Bishop will serenade us with his timeless classics as he will perform at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila on August 13.

Part of his "Timeless Hits Tour" concert series, the Philippine leg will also be graced by J. Michaels and Joyce Pring.

The two-time Grammy Awards nominee gave his fans and the media a glimpse of what to expect in his concert during an exclusive dinner at Misono Restaurant in Makati City.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Flowers in the Attic Review

I got a chance to watch the made-for-TV movie "Flowers in the Attic" (FITA) before everyone in Asia gets its first glimpse. I made it to the advanced screening of the Lifetime TV movie at the Glorietta Cinema 3.

FITA, a remake of the 1987 cinematic of the same title, is a story of a four children who moved to their grandmother's home after their father died and how they would bear their always mad grandma and eventually their mom's abandonment.

What I liked about the movie was the early plot twists, like the mother's (Heather Graham) admission that her husband, the children's father, is her uncle and the surprise kisses of the older siblings (Mason Dye and Kiernan Shipka). It made me more eager to finish the dramatic movie, although I'm not really not that into dramas.

I also like the development of the story--from how the grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) introduced herself to how the children eventually found out that their mom want them dead so that she can solely get her inheritance. I got intrigued at how a mother would kill her children just for money, and she even forgot that she once loved her un... er... husband!

Speaking of which, I really got intrigued about the theme of the movie--incest. Unlike the 1987 flick, which was set in the modern-day, the 2014 adaptation of the 1979 novel by V.C. Andrews was set during the late 50's, in which at that time, Christian families were really strict about the rules. Great move there by Lifetime to set the movie at that time since it's consistent to that of the novel.

Back to the incest theme, I got curious at how incest almost ruined the lead characters and how a new case of incest brought them together till the end. When the movie started, I thought, "What's R-16 about this movie?" (the MTRCB rated FITA R-16 for its sensitivity, but the start would make you think this is OK for teens below 16).

Eventually, though, the middle parts of the TV flick introduced me to the sensitive parts, like the admission that the parents are, in a way, blood-related, how the mom slowly abandoned her kids and eventually eloped with her lawyer (Bruce Dylan) as per the storyline of its sequel, and how the characters of Dye and Shipka as Chris and Cathy respectively developed an affair of their own. Definitely not safe for kids!

For me, however, while the development of the story was splendid, how the actors portrayed it out was not that great. Maybe I really don't have a knack for drama, but I did not feel the impact of the acting. I think Dye and Shipka's acting were raw. Well, the US initially showed FITA in January 19 (Philippine time), so I presume the production was made last year. I believe they improved in their acting now.

Graham's portrayal of Corrine the mother was not that splendid. She stood out a bit, but it did not appeal me much. What stood out for me, however, was Burstyn's performance as Olivia the grandmother. I felt how brutal she was to her grandchildren for her religious beliefs. No wonder grandma rules! Also, take note of the fact that Burstyn was an Oscar winner and her portrayal of Olivia earned her an Emmy nomination.

Ellen Burstyn's epic acting, however, did little to lift her TV movie to the top. I liked the story and her acting, but the other actors' not-so-good performance brought the movie down. I give FITA the UP-standard passing grade, a six out of ten (60% gives a UP student a grade of 3).

PS: I also did not like the cuts. I needed to see the cut scenes in full just for me to judge the movie.
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