Mandaue Chamber of Commerce project finalist in Italy world congress

caption: Editha Bonghanoy found P600 among trash at the Umapad dumpsite in Mandaue City. The amount enabled her to start a food business.

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Women in Need, Now Entrepreneurs and Rolemodels or WINNERS made it as a finalist to the 9th World Chambers Congress in Torino, Italy picked from 79 applications of 39 countries.

In an electronic correspondence, Alexandra Jercaianu, project officer of International Chambers of Commerce – World Chambers Federation in Paris, France congratulated the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry as WINNERS has been “selected as a finalist in the Best Non-Conventional Project category.”

A record number of 79 applications from 39 countries were received for the 2015 World Chambers Competition and that the full list of finalists in the said category are: Stavanger Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Norway), Chamber of Commerce of Zaragoza (Spain), Calgary Chamber of Commerce (Canada), and Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Philippines).

According to WINNERS project chairperson Ms. Carmel de Pio-Salvador, the chamber will be joining other finalists in front of WCF’s panel of international judges for a live presentation at the 9th World Chambers Congress from June 10 to 12, 2015 whereby a Q&A session will tackle the innovative nature of the project, the impact of the project on the chamber and or the business community; measurable outcomes (financial, business and job creation, participation rates, membership recruitment, people involvement); the relevance of the program in the target category, as well as potential for the project to be successfully adopted by other chambers of commerce throughout the world.

The “Search for WINNERS” was launched on July 26, 2011 at the Benedicto College Campus in Mandaue City. Now on its fifth season, the project is MCCI’s quest for model women micro-entrepreneurs from Mandaue City who are supporting their families and are struggling to rise from abject poverty through their business ventures. Their stories of perseverance and creativity, integrity and strength of character are to inspire other women to be empowered, says de Pio-Salvador.

Community development leaders validate the competence of these micro-entrepreneurs to represent barangays of Mandaue City. The finalists go through Basic Entrepreneurial Skills Training, Basic Banking, Formulation or Structuring of Business Plans, Personality Development, as well as Sponsors Tour wherein they gather more insights and perspectives in other traders’ business ventures.

“It is our goal to make the program a national advocacy. Women entrepreneurs today make up more than 50 percent of the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises, thus they should be given a place in national development,” de Pio-Salvador shared.

Editha Bonghanoy, for example, is scavenger turned entrepreneur.

Bonghanoy, a vendor from Barangay Umapad, lives near the city’s dumpsite. She used to survive on segregating trash that can be sold at junkshops, a way of life she, sort of, inherited from her mother. One day, while performing the backbreaking task of scavenging, she pulled out of the dump an envelop containing P600 (six hundred pesos) or roughly 14 US dollars (based on US$1 = P43 exchange), as of this writing.

Bonghanoy decided to leave scavenging behind by investing the money in a startup business. She started frying chicken parts like neck and feet which became a hit in the neighborhood. The crispy chicken business provided for her family decent meals, an opportunity to send her grandchildren to school, thereby nurturing hope that the blessing breaks the cycle of poverty in her family.###

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Studio eyes social enterprise thru yoga

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, newmedia specialist

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (January 8, 2015) — Yoga is not just poses. It is a life.

Former computer programmer Anne Dala formed September of last year Studio 108 along with fellow active yoga practitioner Nathan Archival to share life-changing choices that anchor on plant-based healthy eating, exercise and meditation. The duo hopes to develop Studio 108 Wellness and Fitness Center as a social enterprise that would support creation of urban community gardens as sources of organic fruits and vegetables, and the development of mud houses to promote indigenous architecture, ecologically sound and sustainable houses.

In a media orientation today at the studio on the second floor of Paseo Arcenas in Banawa, Dala and Archival along with Kenneth Materum of Bacolod (Negros Occidental) shared that a 340-square meter lot has already been identified for a community garden where a homestay program will help generate income for urban informal settlers. The lot is located near Good Shepherd, an upland community of Banawa.

Mud houses, inspired by the science of biomimicry, can be built for as low as P1,500 per square meter, one-storey bungalow type, since building skeleton will utilize bamboo. Soil content in the area will be assessed to study percentage of clay and loam. According to Materum, sand will be introduced depending on the density of clay.

Dala, as a sickly person, embraced vegetarianism after refusing to go under the knife. She pointed out she suffered from various ailments affecting her ovary. “I turned away from a toxic life. I later realized why God through the Bible directed us to eat leafy things, nuts, legumes. With fruits and vegetables you can never go wrong. You just have to observe eating these properly, like eating fruits as fruits and vegetables as is. You can’t mix pineapple with celery. You can’t mix celery with cucumber because of people’s certain reactions to their components,” she pointed out. “And you cannot just mix starchy vegetables with some fruits.”

“Bottom line is you have to respect the nature of the food. You have to understand why certain plants are given the color red, some yellow, some orange. Some are bitter, some pungent, some sour. There is a purpose to everything. It supports the balance in our systems,” Dala further disclosed.

The only setback among vegan wannabees is the lack of community, Archival, on the other hand, shared.

“Lifestyle change should be a culture. However, you have to create an environment for lifestyle change first. It would be hard to practice at home where you are surrounded by meat-eaters. You also have the tendency to consume what’s available on the table for lack of choice,” he explained.

So aside from social enterprise, Studio 108 is bent on creating a community where yoga enthusiasts can gather and practice soundly the principles and be able to encourage each other to sustain even after undertaking programs.

These are yoga classes: ashtanga, vinyasa, cardio, with weights, for flexibility, suspension. Fitness classes cover aikido, tai chi, belly dancing, hula hoop, and total body workout.

Studio 108 comes with a Detox Bar. Walk-ins are highly encouraged. A three-day detox package pure juicing program at P3,600 includes supply of six detox juices, colon cleanse, supplements for potassium, CoQ10 and probiotics; as well as wellness coaching. For inquiries: (32) 511.3642/513.4088.

The orientation was capped by a meal of interesting dishes like a Little Blue Boy-inspired “bloodless dinuguan.” The traditional pork entrails stew uses pork blood as thickening agent. However, in the vegan sense, coconut meat was used and black beans. Along with other spices, these were pureed in a blender. The sumptuous dish proved to have tasted closely to the native “dinuguan” or “dugu-dugo,” minus the guilt. Other menu items to look forward to: quinoa salad, honeyed sweet potato with muesli, red rice with peas and carrots, among other green, leafy stuff.#