Singapore Tourism Board kicks off second wave of Passion Made Possible campaign with the SINGapore Karaoke Booth

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) reinforces its passion-driven campaign as it rolls out the SINGapore Karaoke booth — tapping into Filipinos’ innate love for singing; particularly karaoke. The KTV booth, which allows participants to score a trip to Singapore simply by singing their hearts out, runs from October 19 to 21 at the Cortes De Las Palmas in Alabang Town Center.

Tapping on the Filipinos’ well-known passion for music, the SINGapore Karaoke booth is rolled out in the Philippines first, before popping up in other markets around the world. Over the next few days, Pinoy music-lovers will come together to enjoy a weekend full of entertainment, prizes, and surprises.
The SINGapore Karaoke is the first of many upcoming consumer activities targeting the Philippine market, as STB unveils the second wave of its “Passion Made Possible” brand campaign in the country. The campaign was first launched in Singapore in August 2017, positioning Singapore as a bustling haven where its visitors can discover new possibilities and pursue their passions. Four passion tribes were introduced, namely: Foodie, Explorer, Collector and Progressor. Please see Annex for more information on these tribes.

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For its second wave, the campaign is shining the spotlight on the Socialiser, Action Seeker, and Culture Shaper passion tribes. And the specially-designed SINGapore Karaoke Booth is its springboard for the launch of the Socialiser tribe, focusing on those who enjoy the energy of the nightlife and entertainment scene, and build meaningful connections through music and entertainment.

At the SINGapore Karaoke booth, visitors sing their hearts out to songs from both local and international artistes who have performed or will be performing in Singapore, to earn raffle entries for the grand prize – a free trip for two to the Lion City. A surprise bonus prize is also up for grabs: a pair of concert tickets to the 2019 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, which has become the place to catch the world’s top music performers over the years. Past entertainment acts at the world’s first night race include Coldplay, Bon Jovi, Dua Lipa, The Chainsmokers, and Pharrell Williams, to name a few.

Local multi-talented performers like Up Dharma Down, Donny and Hannah Pangilinan, Dane Hipolito and Kali Vidanes, will also visit the three-day SINGapore Karaoke booth. Each of them will have a go at the Karaoke booth and serenade fans with their own songs.

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The SINGapore Karaoke is designed to offer Filipinos a glimpse of Singapore’s exciting world-class music and live entertainment scene, and will give a lucky winner the chance to experience these first-hand in the Lion City. “From the coolest indie gigs and the biggest international concerts, to eclectic music festivals, raves and jazz nights, Singapore has a diverse and vibrant music and entertainment scene that caters to every music lover. Fundamentally, music connects people, and I think Filipinos, being amongst the most social people, know this well. We therefore would like to invite our Filipino visitors to come make new friends or re-connect with old ones through the myriad of nightlife and entertainment offerings in Singapore,” said Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive of Marketing Group at the Singapore Tourism Board.

While concert-goers, festival folks and ravers are sure to have the time of their lives with the range of different events to choose from, musicians themselves can also deepen their passions and be inspired by the local artistes and fellow Filipino talents who have also stepped on Singapore stages.
The Lion City will end a stellar year full of amazing music acts and awesome upcoming events, with the Neon Lights Festival in November and concerts from the world’s biggest names like Charlie Puth, Khalid, Mariah Carey and The Weeknd from November to December.

About the Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions. For more information, visit www.stb.gov.sg or www.visitsingapore.com or follow us on Twitter @STB_sg (https://twitter.com/stb_sg).

The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can bolster economic and social development, new UNFPA report shows

The global trend towards smaller families is a reflection of people making reproductive choices. “The historic transition to lower fertility has emerged through people claiming their right to make choices about their reproductive lives, and to have as few, or as many, children as they want, when they want,” according to The State of World Population 2018, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.

Family size is closely linked with reproductive rights, which, in turn, are tied to many other rights, including the right to adequate health, education, and jobs. Where people can exercise their rights, they tend to thrive. Where these rights are stifled, people often fail to achieve their full potential, impeding economic and social progress, according to the new report, entitled, “The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition.”

When a woman has the power and means to prevent or delay a pregnancy, for example, she has more control over her health and can enter or stay in the paid labour force and realize her full economic potential.
The report found that there is no country that can claim that all of its citizens enjoy reproductive rights at all times. Most couples cannot have the number of children that they want because they either lack economic and social support to achieve their preferred family size, or the means to 17 October 2018

United Nations Population Fund 15/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan cor United
Sts., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
philippines.unfpa.org Tel.: +63 2 902 9131 Email: phl.co@unfpa.org
control their fertility. The unmet need for modern contraception prevents hundreds of millions of women in the world from choosing smaller families.

The Philippines is the second largest country among the 10 ASEAN members, and its population is fast growing with the highest total fertility rate in the ASEAN. Over half of Filipinos are 24 years of age or below. “For this youthful country to reap a demographic dividend, there is an imminent need to invest more in health, education and employability of young people and on gender equality,” said Iori Kato, UNFPA Country Representative in the Philippines. However, many Filipino adolescents and youth have been left behind. Challenges include that 49 per cent of unmarried, sexually active women and 17 per cent of married women have an unmet need for family planning, as the 2017 National Demographic and Health survey revealed. And one in five girls age 19 is either pregnant or has given birth.

“Millions of Filipinos would benefit from having the power to choose whether and when to have children, and how many children to have,” said Kato. “If you can plan your family, you can plan your life,” he added.

Choice can be a reality everywhere

The report classifies all countries in the world by the current dynamics of their populations’ fertility. It makes specific recommendations for policies and programs that would help each country increase reproductive choices.

In the Philippines, UNFPA looks forward to continued partnership with the government and all stakeholders through the newly approved 8th Country Programme for 2019-2023, in ensuring that all Filipinos, especially those furthest behind, have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and thereby make choices on some of the most significant and intimate aspects of their lives.

The UNFPA Country Programme will continue to support the acceleration of universal access to quality reproductive health care, particularly modern contraceptives, as well as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in accordance with international standards. Technical assistance will also be

United Nations Population Fund 15/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan cor United
Sts., Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550 Philippines
philippines.unfpa.org Tel.: +63 2 902 9131 Email: phl.co@unfpa.org
provided towards dismantling those barriers—whether economic, social or institutional—that inhibit free and informed choice.

***

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories, including the Philippines.
For more information, please contact:
Mario Villamor: Tel.: +63 917 302 6699; villamor@unfpa.org
You can access the report at https://www.unfpa.org/swop
Follow UNFPA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Pan-Asian insurer FWD and non-profit Humanity & Inclusion to help hundreds of young people with disabilities in Asia find employment

FWD Life Insurance, the most exciting insurance brand in the country, together with its partner Humanity & Inclusion (formerly known as Handicap International, an independent international aid organization), celebrated the beginning of the Forward Together project, helping young people with disabilities find employment opportunities in the Philippines and beyond.

Through the regional partnership initially announced by the insurer in the first half of 2018, both
organizations will work towards advocating equal opportunities and empowering people with
disabilities in Asia. With FWD Group investing USD 1million, the Forward Together project will train
at least 380 youth with disabilities in the Philippines and Indonesia and help them secure sustainable
employment or business opportunities.

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“FWD Life Philippines aims to end the stigma that disability corresponds to inability,” FWD Life
Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said. “Through our partnership with
Humanity & Inclusion, we hope to provide a platform for people with disabilities to showcase their
strengths and abilities. We want to encourage everyone to help create a future with a difference for
people with disabilities with opportunities to become valuable and equal contributors to the
community.”

“Developing countries are encouraged to invest in youth, but unfortunately, young people with
disabilities are usually overlooked in employment and entrepreneurship opportunities,” said Bryan
Andrew Marsalis, Humanity & Inclusion Regional Operation Coordinator. “That is why we are very
delighted to have such strong support from FWD Group in our advocacy of improving the lives of
youth with disabilities. Through this project, we will work with selected employers – including FWD
Group – across the two target countries to improve their capacity to employ youth with disabilities.”
“At FWD, we are committed to promoting social inclusion and active participation of persons with
disabilities, and are very excited to kick start our work with Humanity & Inclusion,” said FWD Life
Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care Country Lead Roche Vandenberghe. “With the
Forward Together project, we are enabling businesses and organizations such as ours to become
catalysts for quality job creation.”

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FWD Life Philippines and Humanity & Inclusion celebrated the beginning of its Forward Together
project with a media event, an interactive visual language activity, and escape room challenge
participated by volunteers from both organizations as well as members of the media, held on
October 17, 2018 at Century City Mall in Makati City.

About FWD Philippines

FWD Life Insurance Corporation (“FWD Life”) is the first life insurance company licensed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines under the new Insurance Code. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014. By March 2017, FWD Life is the highest-capitalized life insurer in the Philippines with PhP 2.3 billion in paid-up capitalization.1 Base on premium income data published by the Insurance Commission2, FWD Life now ranks 10th in the insurance industry in
terms of weighted new business premiums.3 FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance, and employee benefits across a number of its markets. Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group. In the Philippines, FWD has 12 business hubs located in key cities nationwide with its headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.
For more information, please visit fwd.com.ph
1 www.insurance.gov.ph> Statistics > 2017 > Based on Paid-Up Capital
2 www.insurance.gov.ph> Statistics > 2017 > Based on Premium Income
3 Weighted New Business Premium Income: 100% of first-year premium on regular-pay plans + 10% of single-pay premiums

About Humanity & Inclusion

Founded in 1982 in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity &
Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International) is an independent and impartial organization working in situations of
poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.

We work alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, taking action and bearing witness in order to
respond to their essential needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental
rights.

Outraged by the injustice faced by people with disabilities and vulnerable populations, we aspire to a world of solidarity
and inclusion, enriched by our differences, where everyone can live in dignity.

At present, Humanity & Inclusion works in 59 countries globally, with additional offices in 8 high-income countries.
For more information, please visit www.handicapinternational.ph.

Caritas Manila Holds Celebrity Bazaar on October 18

Caritas Manila will hold its second Celebrity Bazaar on October 18, Thursday from 1-10pm on the 2nd level of the Mega Atrium of SM Megamall. Entrance fee is P500 per person.

The bazaar will feature pre-loved luxury items up for sale from generous celebrity donors Heart Evangelista, Alden Richards, Ruffa Gutierrez, Dr. Vicki Bello, Scarlet Snow Belo, Cristalle Bello, Bang Pineda, Teacher Georcelle, Toni Gonzaga, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Vice Ganda, Iza Calzado, Divine Lee, Jinkee Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao and premier designers Michael Cinco and Cary Santiago. Heart Evangelista is this year’s Event Ambassador.

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Proceeds from this year’s bazaar will benefit the Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) of Caritas Manila. The program sends and supports less fortunate but deserving students nationwide to their college or university of choice.

The first Caritas Manila Celebrity Bazaar was held 2 years ago with former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach as Event Ambassador. The bazaar earned enough funds to support 5,000 YSLEP Scholars. At any given time, there are between 3,000 to 5,000 YSLEP scholars nationwide. Figures show that providing a youth a college or vocational degree gives him a 98 per cent chance of helping his family overcome poverty.

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“We at Caritas Manila are so grateful for the generosity and enthusiasm of these celebrities to help YSLEP scholars,” comments Fr. Anton CT Pascual, Caritas Manila Executive Director. Their assistance will go a long way in proving education and support can help realize the potentials of our future leaders coming from the ranks of the poor.”

“To date, more than 10,000 YSLEP scholars have graduated from college and vocational schools nationwide especially from the poorest provinces.”

Caritas Manila is one of the biggest non-profit organizations in the country led by its chairman, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

For more information, visit Caritas Manila at 2002 Jesus Street, Pandacan, Manila or call 562-0020 to 25, email caritas_manila@yahoo.com, or log on to www.caritasmanila.org.ph.

Hamilo Coast & WWF: Nurturing a Sustainable Partnership

The Philippines ranks third in plastic pollution in terms of dumping plastic into our oceans. This is largely caused by inefficient waste disposal in the country and poor awareness of the problem. Because of this, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, has been closely involved in coastal cleanups and other initiatives around the country to instill the importance of tackling this issue.

On its 11th landmark year, Hamilo Coast and WWF-Philippines’ partnership now stands firmly on environmental programs aimed at not just ending plastic pollution but also at preserving its surrounding nature. Hamilo Coast, with the help of WWF-Philippines, has gone way beyond annual coastal cleanups and has carefully planted sustainability within its day to day operations.

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Warriors of the Waters

Acknowledging that everything that happens on the ridge has a direct effect on the reef, WWF-Philippines and Hamilo Coast continue to implement programs for its Ridge to Reef Management. This includes the declaration of Hamilo Coast’s three coves into Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – Pico de Loro and Etayo coves, and Hamilo Coast’s main marine sanctuary, Santelmo Cove, where giant clams are being cultivated and a vibrant marine life thrive. Ongoing projects to protect coastal and terrestrial resources include mangrove reforestation, pawikan conservation, marine mammal rescue, and reef monitoring.

From Solid Waste to Zero Waste

With efforts to keep the property and surroundings clean and green, WWF-Philippines developed a solid waste management plan for Pico de Loro Cove at Hamilo Coast, including a vermicomposting site aimed at attaining zero green wastes to be sent to landfill.

Early this 2018, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club and Pico Sands Hotel shifted a few of its operations to become more environmental friendly. The use of plastics have been replaced with paper straws and cups, good grade stirrers, and takeaway packs, which will eradicate the dumping of non-biodegradable waste of 180,000 plastic straws and 27,000 plastic stirrers annually.

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The Club and Hotel also partnered with WWF-Philippines in implementing a food waste management system, an initiative aimed at urging staff, members, and guests to be more conscious about food resources and waste. With leftover rice noted as one of the highest food waste contributor in the property, the restaurants’ menus now offer rice separately, also considering diners who are non-rice eaters. A campaign to encourage guests to only get the food they can consume in a buffet was also launched in the middle of the year.

Keeping a resort development clean involves maximum effort. Water quality is regularly tested and monitored while waste water from the different locators within Pico de Loro Cove at Hamilo Coast are processed and recycled to keep the lush landscapes clean and green.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Green building strategies were carefully considered in Pico de Loro Cove’s latest luxury beach condominium development, Freia. This mid-rise contemporary tropical condominium building, which offers a spectacular panorama of the sea and verdant mountains, takes pride in its features that allow sustainable green living and consider cost-efficient operations. For instance, natural lighting and ventilation was considered in the building design and solar energy will be used for certain common areas. An efficient waste management system will also ensure reduced carbon footprints on the part of the residential community, thus promising a lifestyle that is not just close to nature but is one with its surrounding environmental bounties.

Through the years, Hamilo Coast continues to champion sustainable practices through luxury seaside living at par with environmental awareness. Achievements and recognitions, such as its Bronze Benchmark Status from Earth Check in 2015 and 2017, and its exemplary practice on solid waste management given by the Department of Natural Resource’s Annual Environmental Summit in 2017, proves Hamilo Coast is not just a destination, but is also becoming a premier sustainable beach resort community.

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Hamilo Coast is the SM Group’s premier beach resort town in Nasugbu, Batangas, approximately 90 minutes from Manila via Cavitex and the new Ternate-Nasugbu Road. Its maiden development, Pico de Loro Cove is home to the Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, an exclusive membership club with a plethora of land- and sea-based recreational facilities, and the Pico Sands Hotel, a seven storey, 154-room hotel offering spacious rooms with modern amenities and captivating views of the lush mountains and tranquil lagoon. For inquiries, call (632) 945-8000, or visit www.hamilocoast.com.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines has been successfully implementing various conservation projects since 1997 to help protect some of the most biologically-significant ecosystems in Asia. For more information, visit wwf.org.ph.

Pico de Loro Cove is one of several marine protected areas in Hamilo Coast where marine life is preserved and enhanced in partnership with WWF-Philippines since 2007

Together We Ride Stronger: Shell Solidifies Support for Local Biking Community

Kicking off at Baguio City last July, Shell Bike Fair wraps up this year’s festivities with a bang this Saturday, September 22 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.

The biker community in the Philippines has grown exponentially as more and more riders consider two-wheeled vehicles as a more practical and convenient mode of transport. Based on the latest statistics from LTO, the number of registered motor vehicles in the Philippines has grown to 10.5 million as of 2017.

Pilipinas Shell, a reliable partner of the biker community, in making their rides better celebrates the courage and resilience of bikers as they take their daily journeys despite the difficulties that they face in weaving through obstacles on the road.

“This day is really to express how grateful we are for the support that we received from the Filipino biking community,” said Shell V-Power Brand Manager, Mark Malabanan. “As our theme says, together we ride stronger. We are honored to be chosen as their partner on the road, being there with them through the years. And, as we have for more than a hundred years, Pilipinas Shell continues to strive to make life’s journeys better for all motorists.”

Participants were treated to special offers from Shell and event sponsors as well as exciting games and booth activities. Performances by Rico Blanco, Rocksteddy, and other local acts also rocked the event alongside celebrity guests Daiana Menezes, Yam Concepcion, and Phoebe Walker.

Five winners each brought home scooters or motorcycles that were raffled off as major prizes: Honda CBR150, Yamaha Mio i125, and Suzuki Raider J115. The biker community was also given the chance to express their creativity through the Modified Bike and Helmet Design contests.

The highlight of the day was the announcement of the big winner of Shell Outriders: the nationwide search for the best bike club.

A total of 17 finalists representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were picked out through careful screening of hundreds of entries received over the past two months. The chosen clubs set up creative displays at the convention hall to showcase their love for riding and how they exhibit personal and social courage. The champions received a cash prize of PHP 100,000.00 and fuel vouchers worth PHP 50,000.00.

“We put up this search because we want to recognize bike clubs who exemplify the brand values and ideals of Shell. We were amazed to see how passionate they are for what they do and how they push to continue to outride anything.” said Shell Advance Brand Manager, Lorrie Ramirez.

This year’s Shell Bike Fair was made possible by Shell Advance and Shell V-Power, led by their passion to be the most reliable partners on the road. As a global leader in power and energy, Shell continually works to deliver smarter products and cleaner energy solutions.

Shell Advance motorcycle & scooter oils and Shell V-Power premium fuels work together in providing complete engine protection and world-class performance and efficiency on the road. With these, riders are empowered to outride the challenges that they encounter on the road.

For more information, visit www.shell.com.ph.

Steph Curry in Manila this Septmber 2018

Finally, the wait is over. 3x NBA Champ, 2x MVP, the one and only Stephen Curry is coming to Manila, Philippines on September 7, 2018!

Want to see him LIVE?

Here are some ways to do it:

1. Get 2 LOWER BOX Tickets and the chance to see Curry Live, when you either purchase a pair of Curry 5 or Curry 5 Tour shoes at bit.ly/CURRY5PH

2. Get 2 UPPER BOX Tickets when you purchase Php5,000 worth of items at the select Under Armour stores and other participating outlets.

Terms & Conditions apply.

For more details, please check out www.facebook.com/UnderArmourSouthEastAsia

Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day is Back

The Biggest Annual Shopping Event in Southeast Asia and TaiwanUsers can look forward to a super series of non-stop deals over 11 consecutive super themeddays, and massive giveaways worth over 15 million to be₱ wonShopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, kicks off its biggestannual regional shopping event, Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day. After last year’s successful9.9 event which saw a three-fold uplift in orders and a five-time increase in traffic, Shopee isupping the ante this year with a 11-day mega shopping event from 30 August to 9 September.With over 500,000 sellers, around 800 brands and more than 60 partners onboard, users canexpect up to 99% off from the largest collection of deals and massive giveaways worth over 15₱Million.

“Shopee has grown tremendously in the past year. We now boast around 160 million usersacross the region, including over 16 million in the Philippines. At the same time, the number ofsellers on Shopee has more than doubled to over 500,000 in less than a year, showing how weare quickly becoming the online shopping destination of choice for both shoppers and sellers inthe region. To thank all our users for their continued support, we extended this year’s Shopee9.9 Super Shopping Day to feature almost two weeks of non-stop promotions across all productcategories. We have also continued to strengthen our ties with leading brands and partners tobring our users even more exclusive deals and promotions on Shopee,” said Terence Pang,Chief Operating Officer of Shopee.

Super savings on super themed daysStarting 30 August, users can participate in a 11-day shopping marathon, featuring differentback-to-back themed days every 24 hours in the lead up to the peak of Shopee 9.9 SuperShopping Day on 9 September. Users can also look forward to free shipping with loweredminimum spend every day during this period. Key highlights include Super Flash Sale Day onAugust 30 featuring flash deals as low as ₱99 happening nine times over the course of the day;and Super Vouchers Day on 3 September with a total of over 900,000₱ worth of vouchers tobe redeemed.On 5 September, Shopee will also be teaming up with hundreds of leading brands includinggiants P&G, Maybelline, Samsung, Vivo, Colgate – Palmolive, Oppo, Asus, and more tolaunch the first-ever

Super Brand Festival, comprising the largest collection of deals frommajor brands on Shopee Mall. Users will get first-hand access to thousands of products sold bytheir favourite brands across all product categories including Electronics, Mobile and Gadgets,and Health and Beauty.Shopee Shake, the highly popular in-app game that has since clocked over 70 million plays by users across the region, is making a comeback, this time with a new group mode where users can invite others to play at the same time to earn bonus coins, and a supersized coins pool of over 9 million Shopee Coins up for grabs. On Super Shopee Shake Day and Super Shopping Day on 8 and 9 September respectively, users can play up to 18 times in 48 hours for a chance to win Shopee coins, vouchers and prizes.

Take part in the nationwide Shopee Dance competition to win super giveawaysIn line with Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping day, Shopee will also be launching a nationwideShopee Dance competition called Shopee Dance to Win with prizes including an Ace 50” TVand up to 100,000 in cash to be won. The dance is featured in Shopee’s second television₱commercial starring Shopee Philippines’ brand ambassador, Anne Curtis.To qualify, users will need to post a video of themselves doing the Shopee Dance on Facebookor Instagram with the hashtag #ShopeeDancePH. The competition will run from 31 August tillthe end of Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day. Winners will be announced on Shopee’s socialmedia pages on 9 September.

Mental Health Matters

With successive incidents of suicide among notable celebrities here and abroad, there is now a strong call to promote good mental health among people suffering from various mental health disorders. Now, it is not just enough to provide emotional support, belongingness, understanding and compassion. There is also a strong need to spread enough information, how to know if one is suffering from mental issues, especially those undergoing various amounts of physical and emotional stress that can be too hard to handle, much more ignore.

To stress further the need to spread more information about mental health issues, Mental Health Matters (MHM) recently celebrated its 1st anniversary through its “Mental Health Matters Fair.” The event, which was held at the Crown Spaces in Makati City and opened to the public, was organized by the group and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, herself an advocate of good mental health and who once underwent bouts with depression.

The fair featured several inspirational talks from guest speakers from the medical profession and the legislative sector, free psychiatric consultations, art exhibits, live performances, and interactive and imaginative booths and was open to the public. Priority access, however, was provided to the MHM Support Group and the Anxiety and Disorder Support Philippines (ADSP).

The whole-day affair started with psychiatrists from the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPS) and Talang Dalisay, a nongovernmental organization, who jointly provided professional psychiatric advice for free to select attendees. Both are partners of MHM.

The afternoon started with a talk by Senator Risa Hontiveros, author and principal sponsor of the bill that became Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte recently. She said mental health struggles among Filipinos are very complex. “Today and every day, you are not alone,” she assures those present.

She said the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is now being developed under the Department of Health, particularly on seeking increase in access to services up to the community level, a progressive “referral” system, on-campus anti-discrimination and anti-stigma program, and inclusion of non-medical interventions to health and healing.

Verzosa, a strong advocate of mental health since her reign, said she organized the event for the benefit of everyone who has been struggling and who has survived. She also called on people undergoing depression to not be afraid to seek help. “Get help by talking to someone. Let’s speak up about mental health before it’s too late.” Dr. Gia Sison, a breast cancer survivor and a Youth for Mental Health Coalition national adviser, meanwhile, provided invaluable advice, particularly on developing mental strength to help overcome failures.

There were also other speakers who shared their mental health advocacies. UST student Reymark Simbulan, a member of the LGBTQ community who also suffered from depression, shared many important things about finding one’s anchors, not giving up because it will get better, and knowing that God will make us stronger. He also noted that “members of the LGBTQ community are almost three times likely to experience mental health problems like depression,” he said.

Diet coach Nadine Tengco, meanwhile, said food has a profound effect in addressing one’s mental health while Mariella Tung, a pastry chef, shared her story of resilience and recovery. “I finally came out to people about depression and became strong because of my son, my anchor. Every day, I remind myself of that one person.” Kates Ante, head of operations at ADSP, explained how “laughter yoga” works, and said the art pieces in the exhibit were masterpieces of people with mental health problems. Rachelle Jardin, a former media researcher, filmmaker and poet, meanwhile, said her team is working on an idea of a social enterprise for mental health.

Mental Health Matters is an online support group established for people experiencing various forms of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders. The group also offers seminars to spread awareness about mental health in many universities nationwide. For more information about the group, go to www.Facebook.com/mentalhealthmattersbykylieverzosa.

Game On, Southeast Asia: The Ultimate 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament Makes Its Return

Building on its success from last year, UA 3X3 came back to offer young passionate ballers the chance to compete while testing their team’s skills, teamwork, and their will to own the court. This year, the competition began in Malaysia, followed by Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. The last leg held in the Philippines happened last August 11 at the Xavier School Gym in San Juan, accommodating 68 teams which competed for the top spots in both under-18 girls and boys division.

Two-time NCAA Champion of the San Beda University Red Lions and UA ambassador Robert Bolick was present in the event to join a 3-point shoot out exhibition held during a quick afternoon break. “Play as a team, go hard and play your best,” was what Bolick said when asked for a quick tip he could give the players.

In the boys division, Dragon Den triumphed against 56 other teams. The team consisted of students from the Traill International School namely Kobe Francisco, John Peters, Cian Villaflor and Gershom Montes. Hijas Pilipinas’ roster of Caila Galamiton, Princess Fabruada, Karl Ann Pingol and Angel Surada, coming from the National University and Chiang Kai Shek College, bested 10 other competitors in the girls division. Each winning team received Php 35,000 Under Armour voucher and will represent the country in the regional final competition to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in September 7.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with FIBA and take the Under Armour 3×3 Southeast Asia Tournament to the next level,” said Michael Binger, CEO of Triple Pte Ltd, exclusive distributor of Under Armour in Southeast Asia.