eleanornewmedia.com launched using LightBright theme

Notice: eleanornewmedia.wordpress.com evolves as eleanornewmedia.com using WordPress’ Elegant theme, like the LightBright theme. The beta test was done two days prior to its casual launch on June 18. The author, Maria Eleanor, invites you to visit eleanornewmedia.com. She is very grateful that you have been following her these past six months.###

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#LiveGrand2015

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros

caption: An article on Grand Residences Cebu’s groundbreaking that this blogger penned featuring its president Ryan Bernard Go.

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES —  Ten months after breaking ground, North Towers A and B of a five-towered Grand Residences Cebu (Banilad) have topped off. Ryan Bernard Go, president of Grand Land Inc., underscored that this is the company’s commitment: to make sure that two months after launch, project construction could get started and in less than a year after the groundbreaking ceremony, subject on drawing board becomes visible and tangible. “That’s our way of showing to the community how serious we are in our commitment in and outside of Cebu. We are one of the youngest real estate players, and one of the most dynamic, driven by the earnest desire to change Cebu’s real estate landscape with our brand of service. In 2015, we work with “#LiveGrand” at the core of that commitment.”

 

On how swift supposedly is turnover of units to homeowners

While it is good to provide solutions to varying needs for housing and shelter forms, there should be no shortcuts.

 

That retail industry and real estate are complementary

We can always put up a mall beside a housing development, or within, vice versa. The two industries are not actually separate, as every commercial center or mall has a real estate component in it. Everything should boil down to convenience these days. Parents who are already both working seek to live at the vicinity where they can work with less hassles, shop and dine and send their children to school away from the worsening traffic jams.

The aura of being hushed – never rushed!

“That’s because I work with the right team, good people, and I’m willing to learn,” Go beams. “I’m just so blessed to be working with the right people, excellent consultants, and I get to enjoy the very thing I love doing. Like you, di ba, writing is never taxing if you enjoy it. It’s the same thing with management – with overseeing this type of business. It’s more play than work if you get to love it. No amount of pressure can pull your spirit down. Yes, having national consultants is much costly but we don’t have to go through a long way with learning and we have also avoided the more expensive trial-and-error approach.

Work is love made visible (to point out a Kahlil Gibran wisdom)

I am very passionate about buildings. While I grew up exposed to the shipping industry, I was able to shape my passion for buildings. And as we are confident with our project, being a very good project because of its location primarily, the mother company (Gaisano Grand Group) is willing to shell out.

 

Hierarchical structure still works for you or would you rather go lateral, as is the trend in corporate settings today?

I still believe that there has to be one on top of the game. But I keep an open mind. Open-door policy, that has always been my leadership style. Even a janitor can voice out such a beautiful mind if given the chance. So I listen. For as long as one has a brilliant idea to share that would lead us to where we’re supposed to be headed, then I listen. In the process, I also grow in knowledge. I learn to deal with challenges one after the other. At the end of the day, we try to achieve happiness and harmony as is our corporate tagline.

#grandlivingcebu, #grandlifecebu, so is the Grand Corporate Tower

Structure-wise, this is to complement our brand positioning. We get to touch and tap other business entities. We are sensitive to the needs of startups that don’t need a big overhead. They can settle with an office table first. But this is not the so-ho type, I would emphasize. For as long as the Internet connections are powered for optimum use, which is really the top concern, I know they will be fine. As today, we can’t really be up and about without a helping of the Internet. So we adapt. Even in our marketing strategies, we have adapted to today’s standards. What worked 20 years ago won’t work anymore today, even with a team of professionals. We compel ourselves to catch up with technology, to always be active and knowledgeable of the trends. You might want to use the newspaper industry as an example at how we have to catch up with the next thing. Yesterday, we were compelled to pick up a paper and browse the news. Today, there’s just too much info, literally on hand, in the digital format, very accessible at our fingertips. All you have to bear in mind is to just be discerning about who or what to read.

 

Age of Collaboration, or still stuck with Age of Competition?

Well, at the end of the day, you would really want to watch over competition. It’s not really that hardcore competition though, because I discourage my team from engaging in loose talks about competing products. But I also make sure that even though we are a young player in the industry we are at par with those banking on the “most experienced” peg. Basta ang importante lang, we move in a complementary manner. Because it is important to have more players here; that encourages more creativity, dynamism, diversity, quality.

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Grand Residences Cebu (Banilad) is the flagship project of Grand Land, Inc. of the Gaisano Grand Group. Two of the five towers are set to be turned over to homeowners by 2015. Started in 2012, GLI is one of the youngest real estate players in Cebu but already prides in its Amani Residences (Mactan) and City Homes (Mactan, Mandaue and Minglanilla) projects.

Sun Life marks Financial Independence Month with wealth, health campaign

caption: Sun Life Assets Management Company, Inc. president Valerie “Rei” Pama

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Survey says: Visayans least likely to make an expensive purchase but also least prepared for health needs.

There are a few Visayans planning to make an expensive purchase in the next two years compared to the rest of the country.

This is according to a Social Weather Station Survey commissioned by Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. which showed that only 38 percent of Visayans intend to make an expensive purchase, while it was at 47% for Luzon, 48% for National Capital Region, and 62 % for Mindanao.

The study also shows that many Visayans are unprepared to handle costs related to a grave illness. Fifty-seven percent say they are not at all prepared to fund expenses that an expensive medical treatment may require. Visayas ranks high in this category, followed by NCR – 46 %, then Luzon and Mindanao – both 38%.

The good news, however, is that with P5,000 one can start investing on financial preparedness, complementing one’s own investment horizon, and continue with a low P1,000 monthly. This according to Valerie “Reina” Pama, president of Sun Life Assets Management Company, Inc.

Confirms Pama that this is Sun Life’s move to embrace the C and D market. “Blue collar jobs can invest through this scheme. They can trust us with our 15 years performance in the Philippines, a 150-year-old mother company in Canada, over 100 licensed fund advisors here in Cebu alone.”

One can sit down with a licensed fund advisor at Sun Life, 3rd floor of Innove Plaza at the Cebu Business Park/Cebu Business District.

June is dubbed “Financial Independence Month,” that’s why Sun Life launches a campaign that urges Filipinos to prioritize financial preparedness for their health needs and employ more appropriate ways of preparing financially for their other needs.

Online portals: brighterlife.ph; sunlifefunds.com.ph; @sunlifeph on FB, Twitter, IG.###

‘Tara Na’ to pilot June 21 over TV5-Cebu

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — An events and travel show is set to air every Sunday from 7:30 to 8:30 am over at TV5 Cebu beginning June 21.

In a recent presscon, it was announced that “Tara Na!” is to provide viewers up-to-date info on recent events and travel destinations as well as the many places and happenings to look forward to in the Visayas region.

Tara Na will be hosted by Cordova Vice Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy Cho, Gino Galicia, and TV5 Artista Academy graduate Benjoe Leoncio. Artista Academy is a talent search staged by TV5 Manila.

The production crew looks at 13 episodes for the first season. According to director/producer Cris Damo, the filming material is of premium quality already. “Ikapasigarbo gyud ni nato ang quality sa production. Thanks to technology.”

(“We certainly can take pride of this show production-wise”).

When asked if she’s ready on forms of media picking on the show as, sort of, ‘prosthetics’ to several controversies hounding Cordova, Sitoy-Cho said that she is ready for such. “We will not be talking about politics. I won’t be answering issues through this program. But I can’t veer away from negative comments that may arise once the show goes on air.”

“What we hope is that the public may know the real Cordova. We start with Gilutongan, our marine sanctuary. It offers the real story of our people, fishing as livelihood.”

Cordova, in recent years, figured on banner stories in various media platforms because of cybersex. But in another incident, Cordova has been a victim too of environmental crime when oil spill caused by a collision of a passenger ship and a cargo ship devastated significant patches of mangrove forests.

The title of the show, by the way, embraces all Visayans – Warays and Ilonggos. The medium is a variety of English, Taglish (Tagalog-English) and Bisglish (Binisaya-English) to make it all-embracing.###

Philippines internal conflict costs P20B annually; P7B up for Bangsamoro

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Economic costs of the Mindanao conflict have already reached P640 billion from 1970 to 2001, or an estimated P20 billion per year.

This information was relayed via press conference on the salient points of the Bangsamoro Basic Law here recently with the presence of peace panel chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

The P640-B economic loss is in terms of damages to business and properties, potential investments and businesses in the region had there been better security (no war).

Studies by Edgardo Barandiaran (2002), Salvatore and Judd Mary Schiavo-Campo (2005) and the United Nations Development Program (2005) pointed out that the all-out war policy in 2000 alone cost us 1.3 billion. From 1970-1996 war with the Moro National Liberation Front, government spent 73 billion in combat expenses.

The studies are entitled “Economic costs of the Mindanao conflict” for World Bank-Manila; “The Mindanao conflict in the Philippines: Roots, Costs and Potential Peace Dividend,” and “Social development papers (conflict prevention and reconstruction) Paper No. 24 for Washington-World Bank; and “Philippine Human Development Report” for Manila-Human Development Network, respectively.

As for social welfare, a DSWD 2012 Yearend Report noted of nearly 120,000 people killed between 1970-1996. In a pie chart, the human casualties were distributed as follows: 20 percent civilians, 50 percent MNLF, and 30 percent Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Social welfare disruption includes internally displaced persons placed at 982,000 in the 2000 all-out-war while 600,000 in 2008; cycle of violence and injustice; disruption of development efforts (multigenerational setbacks), destruction of the environment, and poor sense of wellbeing and security.

When asked if there is also a breakdown on how much the state, or the taxpayers will be losing again, should the BBL fail to push through, Coronel said there is no such detailed info similar to published collaterals, but that the country has to think about the value of peace. “Think of development and education opportunities not only in Central Mindanao but of its neighboring regions. Right now we can’t have specific valuation for the benefits. But if we just think peace, who could ever go wrong with that?”

However, Facebook-er Henz HP does not believe in the process. “We are being made to believe there is no substate (independent Islamic state). But provisions point to the creation of a substate. What government would be so keen in dealing with terrorists using taxpayers money?”

When Coronel was asked if P7 billion for Bangsamoro will all be from the government coffers, she clarified that P17 million is allocated for the rehabilitation in five years; P10 million of which will be downloaded on the first year as Official Development Assistance, while the rest will be World Bank-funded development programs.

The media briefing was held at the AFP Central Command in Camp Lapulapu, Barangay Lahug.###

World’s 2nd largest winery gives back

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (May 28, 2015) — The understanding that proper stewardship of the environment is the foundation for all great vineyards inspired the Gallo family to create “50/50 Give Back Plan.”

In a Winery Tour event here today, it was learned that Ernest and Julio Gallo of Gallo Winery decided that for every acre of vineyard they developed, at least one acre would be left in natural habitat.

In Sonoma County in the US, 50 percent of Gallo’s acreage which is managed as undisturbed natural environment, consist of greenbelts, watersheds and wildlife habitats.

These lands provide beauty, natural water sources and homes for deer, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, raptors, water fowl and other birds.

Further, it was learned, that lakes and reservoirs also have been created or maintained which deliver irrigation benefits while providing a habitat for geese, bass and other fish.

E & J Gallo Winery is acclaimed second largest winery in the world in terms of volume and by itself, Gallo International would be the 11th largest, selling millions of cases of wines in 93 countries: from table wines to sparkling wines.

Headquarted in Modesto, California, Gallo Winery reaches out to the Philippine market through Emperador Distillers.

Its products include Gallo Family Varietals for economy wines; Barefoot, Canyon Road, and Turning Leaf for popular wines; and Starborough Sauvignon Blanc and Red Rock Merlot for premium wines.

In a wine tasting event, this writer gives two thumbs-up to White Zinfandel of the Gallo Family Varietals. This combines crisp refreshment with bright fruit. I got a sip of fresh strawberry with hints of sweet, white peach. Alcohol content is 8.5 percent.

For its kicking strength, Starborough is a delight. It delivers hints of honeydew melon, passion fruit and peach over a refreshing citrus background. It has a lively acidity that characterizes Marlborough wines. It features a crisp, approachable wine style that epitomizes the character of New Zealand itself. Alcohol content is 13 percent per 750 ml.###

Peace panel chief: Bangsamoro ‘constitutional’

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (May 28, 2015) — Peace process chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer reiterates today here at the AFP Central Command in Lahug that the creation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law has no legal impediments.

Why is the Bangsamoro constitutional? Ferrer, through a presentation, pointed out that the creation of the Bangsamoro is provided for in the Philippine Constitution. She cited Article 10, Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stating that “there shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.”

The creation of the Bangsamoro will follow a legislative process with the enactment of an organic act and its ratification in the core territory, this was the second point.

The third reason why Bangsamoro does not leap beyond legal parameters is that it follows the Constitution’s provision on legislative powers of an autonomous region while upholding national sovereignty of the Philippines.

“There is no substate. In fact, mahirap i-define kung ano talaga ang substate,” Ferrer stressed. “What Bangsamoro is is similar to the creation of ARMM only that we are granting to Moros their right to self-determination but still they are under one Philippines.

“Hindi naman buong Mindanao ‘to. The framework is actually for Central Mindanao. We recognize also the division among Moro groups, and that it takes two provinces to form an autonomous region. The salient points of the draft provide for a Bangsamoro government that is parliamentary and democratic. It will never be a separate state. It will remain under Philippine sovereignty.”

She cited Article 10 of Section 20 of the 1987 Constitution that “within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the organic act of autonomous region shall provide for the legislative powers over: administrative organization; creation of sources of revenues; ancestral domain and natural resources; personal, family, and property relations; regional urban and rural planning development; economic, social, and tourism development; educational policies; preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and such other matters as may be authorizd by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.”

Further, a ministerial form of government in the Bangsamoro is allowed under the Philippine Constitution. Based on Art. 10 of Sec. 15 “the organic act shall define the basic structure of government for the region consisting of executive department and legislative assembly, both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units.”

“The Bangsamoro is a secular government, not an Islamic state,” Ferrer added. “We should give peace a chance. We should allow Bangsamoro to demonstrate its sincerity, more than a process of decommissioning of arms; allow them to prove they have respect for the basic rights of all.”###

Serenitea unveils ‘more moments’

caption: BLOGGERS sample tea goodness and new products for snacks in Serenitea’s second anniversary.

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (May 28, 2015) — Serenitea Cebu marks its second anniversary by launching new drinks, merchandise, and snacks plus the annual “Jumbo Cup” Promo through a lovely tea party today here at Calyx Centre in IT Park.

Snacks include chicken chops, French fries, hash browns, peppered corn, potato rounds, shrimp balls, squid balls, and squid rolls. Merchandising items feature Hokkaido and Okinawa tea goodness injected in candies and chocolate bars with Matcha Marble, white chocolate with taro, Hokkaido milk chocolate, milk chocolate with Assam flavors or black tea.

All of these will be available to the market on June 8, this year.

The Jumbo Cup Promo will have been first served by May 29. Customers who order their favorite Serenitea drink in a large cup will get a special treat because their drinks will be converted to a jumbo cup, says marketing officer Tara Merced.

Says Innoland Retail consultant Bruce Cortes Bollozos that the rebranding of Serenitea on its second year in the market means “immaculate white and apple green” interiors. Frames hung on the walls take a transition in content – from just the tea-related quotes to inspirational quotes.

Some of these interesting quotes are on travel, on being creative, on life’s challenges to take a stand, decide, and take the risk.

For Serenitea’s second birthday, Innoland staff hosted a tea party so guests can sample great snack items and drinks highlighting Cebu’s very own mango. The drinks take on a twist such as Mango slush with matcha tea, Mango overload with ice cream, aside from the bestselling mango tango.###

First Yakimix branch in Cebu opens

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Spacious, conducive to conversation, an average of 150 dishes including beverages and dessert items worth indulging are the best features of Yakimix Restaurant on Escario, Capitol Site here.

Birthdays also become exciting and memorable because promotions cover free treat to the celebrator, along with three members of the family or friends.

Robert Chua, manager, whose main line is into distribution of fruits and vegetables, sees to it that special occasions become worth celebrating all the more, for the price of none. “We start with some noise we will sustain the bang with a tribute to birthday celebrants. They can choose to celebrate it seven days before their birthday, or seven days after, that is if they can’t be available on the very day of their birth anniversary. Just to make things convenient,” he explained.

Regional manager Chito Manlapaz pointed out that diners will sure be very excited about Yakimix’ cooking features because they have brought in the smokeless grill that their 10 Manila branches are famous for.

“Guests can enjoy very minimal smoke emanating from items cooked on our built-in smokeless grill on every table. They will get to know what it’s like to experience grilling their own food, grill all they can, grill all they want – as we have a selection of marinated meat and seafood. And with our Cantonese chefs Tony Lau and Ken Diao, we assure that every hot dish is cooked and served just right,” Manlapaz added.

Says print media practitioner Que Bajenting: “I’m glad to know Yakimix is already in Cebu. Judging from the rates, it seems a lot better here in Cebu, and you still get to enjoy close to 200 dishes that the restaurant has been known for.”

Lunch is at 499Php while dinner is at 599Php, Monday to Friday. On weekends and holidays, lunch and dinner rates are at 599Php. Children below three feet can dine for free, while children below four feet are to pay 299Php only.

Yakimix, which began operations last year, already claims top spot in being the best smokeless grill restaurant in the Philippines. FB/Yakimix and Tweet @Yakimixo_o.

Yaki means grilled, broiled or pan-fried. Mix means “to put together.”

It offers a fusion of Asian cuisine, mainly Japanese, Korean and Chinese or a cornucopia of the best dishes in these regions.

The facility can seat a maximum of 140 pax.###

Nautilus, dugong highly endangered in Tanon Strait

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU, PHILIPPINES (May 27, 2015) — Overfishing, pollution and climate change, lack of enforcement and accountability in the management of Tanon Strait put the chambered nautilus as most critically endangered along with 14 species of cetaceans in danger of extinction.

Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo, DENR-7 regional director, in delivering his State of Tanon Strait Address today here in Badian, southwestern coastal town of Cebu Province, mentioned that only a few nautilus species have survived to date as this unusual resident of Tanon Strait is highly prized for its shell. Its population is believed to have been overfished since the 70s.

With the assistance of non-government organization Oceana (Protecting the World’s Oceans), it was learned that decline in population of important marine species is traced to illegal commercial fishing, destructive fishing, juvenile fish catch, lack of enforcement and accountability, pollution and climate change.

Montejo said that sea mammals, accounting to 14 species of 27 found in the country, like spinner dolphins, dwarf sperm whales, dugongs, whale sharks, among others, suffer from indiscriminate fishing as well as lack of a reliable enforcement of existing laws that govern sustainable economy along with development.

On the occasion of the 17th anniversary today of Presidential Proclamation 1234 creating the Tanon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS), Montejo and Oceana led the inauguration of a TSPS office in Barangay Malhiao, Badian. This was witnessed by over 60 stakeholders from various government agencies, local leaders, community partners, fisherfolk, print media, and bloggers.

The office placed at the “center of Tanon Strait” serves to link the gap in data gathering, and facilitate solutions to “save Tanon from illegal commercial fishing, destructive fishing and pollution.”

“Tanon is a migration corridor to sea mammals. It has 18,830 hectares of coral reefs and an estimated area of patches of mangroves, 26 species, reaching around 5,000 hectares. But all of these are threatened by industrial waste, being a natural catchment,” Montejo further explained.

Thus, the need for strong leadership, effective enforcement of Fisheries Code, special protections within the seascape and accountability when transiting a protected seascape. As cited by Oceana in its journal, Tanon Strait “needs strong leadership at all levels in the conservation efforts.”

“The Protected Area Management Board has a clear mandate to responsibly manage fisheries, including establishing a comprehensive plan for protection.”

“Effective enforcement of the Fisheries Code will require increased monitoring of fishing activity at sea and in port, increased resources for interception, and strengthening the judicial process.”

“Urgently needed is a management plan which includes regulations specific to the unique needs of the seascape.”

“Although commercial fishing is banned in Tanon Strait, commercial vessels transit through the Strait regularly. When commercial fishing vessels come to port in Tanon Strait, they must be held accountable for the origin and legality of their catches.”

Moreover, environmental lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos said that tools, with improved technology, could help monitor these commercial vessels. “I know of drones, image-capturing satellites, web systems that can help monitor activities at sea. If we have this technology on Tanon seascape, and continue to build on this effort, then it would be a lot easier to facilitate stewardship, address critical concerns in protecting our coral reefs, our fisherfolk, our future.”

TSPS is the largest marine protected area in the Philippines, and the third largest park, nearly as extensive as the two largest terrestrial natural parks in the Northern Sierra Madre and Samar Island which protect the Philippine eagle and other wonders. Tanon Strait is their marine counterpart, with an area of 5,182 km squared, more than three times the area of the Tubbataha National Park.

Oceana went on to report that the Strait is extremely narrow (27 kilometers), 160 km long and 500 meters deep. At its widest, the Strait is only 27 km., and narrowest near the south at a mere five km.

The deep waters which attract dolphins, whales, sharks and manta rays extend down from the surface a distance roughly half a kilometer. Oceana pointed out that in Cebu City, this is equivalent to a jeepney ride between the Basilica del Santo Nino and Fort San Pedro. In Dumaguete, this is equivalent to a walk between the Dumaguete Cathedral and Silliman University. Tanon Strait has a coastline of 450 kms.

Tanon Strait is that body of water between Cebu and Negros Island.###