Lifestyle

What to wear to the beach this summer

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2017)TEXT and PHOTO BY Vern Enciso

Summer will be saying hello anytime soon! The late Ber breeze is slowly making an exit and in just a few days, we can store our jackets and bring out our bikinis and summer dresses!

And what’s the best way to welcome it? By making a trip to the beach! May it be just a day trip to a near-by one and or the vacation you’ve been looking forward to for so long.

We just came back from our short weekend in Discovery Shores Boracay and we thought of giving a whole new set of tips on how to dress for summer 2017!

1. Go #Twinning with you bestfriend, sister or even mom! We’re very sure you won’t be making that trip alone and have fun with planning your outfits by going all out twinning with them! 🙂 Not only will it be fun but your photos will look so cute when you do post them on social media! 🙂 Wear the same color, the same item, wear the same style of MELISSA slippers or style them differently or just wear a similar piece like these #Twinning maxi dresses.

2. For all you simple girls out there, the one-piece + denim shorts + MELISSA slippers combination will never fail you. It’s a classic for a reason!

3. Use your denim jackets as a cover up. Okay, I admit that I was telling Verniece that she looked so weird when she first stepped out of our room wearing a denim blazer by the beach but when I saw the outcome of that plus her MELISSA slippers, I just had to take all my teasing back! Doesn’t it look so cute?

4. Invest in a cute pair of slippers! Long gone are the days where the slippers we wear to the beach are your normal solid colored ones. There are so much brands available in the Philippine market that those pairs will just look boring and plain. Our favorite jelly brand would be MELISSA because they can be worn even after your trip to the beach. It’s very important to be frugal nowadays that it’s a necessity to buy pieces you can use over and over again. You can get a pair of slippers with little trinkets as design or if you have this thing like Verniece who just hates open toed shoes in general, you can get a pair of flats like the one she’s wearing above and not look weird to wear it to the beach because of it’s material!

If you tried any of our tips above, please do post it on your social media accounts and don’t forget to tag us! If you do happen to try the #Twinning outfits, please do the #VVPose and tag us as well! Can’t wait to see them 🙂

Visit http://www.melissaphilippines.com/ for more designs and follow them on these accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

SOURCE: www.vernvernice.com

Vietnam releases code of conduct for tourists

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2017)BY Philippine News Agency

Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has issued a code of conduct for international and domestic tourists, tour operators and locals at tourism spots.

The code of conduct includes rules that tourists should obey such as standing in line and respecting local customs and culture.

On January 5, 2017, the Department of Tourism of Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City also released a code of conduct for domestic and foreign tourists in an effort to improve the reputation of the city.

Last year, similar rules were released in several other localities, including central Da Nang and south central Nha Trang, capital Hanoi and ancient Hoi An cities.

According to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office, in the first two months of 2017, Vietnam received over 2.2 million international visitors, up 33 percent year-on-year.

The country is expected to receive 11.5 million foreign visitors and 66 million domestic travelers, generating 460 trillion Vietnamese dong (20.3 billion U.S. dollars) this year.

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Dayaw Features Wooden Sculptures, Stone-Built Structures

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2017)Wood and stone will be the main feature in the third episode of Dayaw season 3.

The third episode, “Inukit, Hinulma” (Enduring Wood, Immortal Stone), looks into how wood and stone were employed by builders and craftsmen from all over the archipelago, to build structures and objects dedicated to agriculture, exploration, to the community, to noble ideas like nationhood and spirituality.

Senator Loren Legarda invites everyone to watch Dayaw on Thursday, March 16, 6:30 pm, on the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), with livestreaming on abs-cbnnews.com/live and on ANC’s Facebook page.

“In this episode, we will see how wooden furniture and stone-built structures all over the Philippines including Batanes, Ifugao, Pampanga and Manila particularly old churches, resting places and traditional homes play a huge role in defining the distinctive character of our nation,” said Legarda.

“Wood and stone have helped shape the most indelible images of communities, of explorers and farmers, of evangelizers, of builders from the wooden boats of the Ivatan to the speedy, sturdy vessels of the Sama,” she added.

Dayaw, conceptualized and hosted by Senator Legarda, and produced by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and ANC, is a six-part, 30-minute weekly documentary series that focuses on the preservation of the country’s culture and heritage.

It is shown every Thursday, 6:30pm on ANC and ANC HD, with livestreaming on abs-cbnnews.com/live and on ANC’s Facebook page, and simultaneously on The Filipino Channel (TFC). Replays on Thursday 10:30pm, Friday 1:30am and 2:30pm, Saturday 3:00am and 8:30am, Sunday 11:30am, Tuesday 1:30pm, and Wednesday 11:30pm.

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DOH-MMIMAROPA launches 24/7 air ambulance

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2017)The Department of Health – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) on March 15, formally launched its air ambulance to provide transport of patients from the scene of an emergency to the nearest healthcare facility.

“This is the most effective and quickest response in saving a patient’s life, especially those who reside in remote and hard to reach areas.

Critical patients and emergency cases needing immediate care can be transported right away to the nearest health facility without difficulty”, Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated during the launching ceremony held at the Puerto Princesa City Airport in Palawan.

“Most of the places in MIMAROPA are not accessible to regular ambulance services due of its geographically situated island provinces.

Some of these areas are remotely located and can’t be reached quickly by health workers, medical personnel, and regular ambulance services.

Patients can only be acquired through air transport,” he emphasized.

The air ambulance will be provided by the Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services, Incorporated (PAMAS) through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DOH-MIMAROPA with the objective of transporting patients by air from an area with a limited medical facility to an area where an adequate medical care is available.

It is equipped with first aid medical equipment and manned by a paramedic to provide immediate care.

PAMAS is a faith-based, volunteer-driven organization that spreads the Gospel to the Philippines through the use of an aviation and medical ministry. PAMAS is a non-stock, non-profit, SEC registered Corporation in the Philippines.

Two (2) aircraft will serve as an air ambulance to cater patients namely, a Cessna 206 (six seater) and a Robinson R44 Helicopter (4 seaters).

“It can accommodate non-ambulatory and ambulatory patients. “If needed, transport of patients from MIMAROPA provinces will be transported to DOH tertiary hospitals in Metro Manila which will take approximately 1 ½ hour or less. The air ambulance service will cater to indigent patients and indigenous communities,” he added.

“Time is vital in saving a life. Even a fraction of a second delay may cost a patient’s life. And this is one of the advantages of an air transport because it includes providing a higher level of care from the scene of trauma to community hospitals”, he emphasized.

There will be Off-site Landing Zones (LZ) in every province designated for emergency medical evacuation for identified hospitals. Ground ambulance transfer to and from the LZ from the originating hospital to the destination tertiary hospitals will be duly coordinated as well.

A 24/7 emergency unit will be established in every DOH provincial office. For Palawan, emergency numbers that can be contacted are (0998) 5492585 for Smart and (0917) 533-1651 for Globe.

“Slowly and surely we will be providing the essential and necessary equipment and medical services to the heart of the Philippines – that is MIMAROPA. These are the health needs of the people and we will not fail the more than three million citizens who are constantly anticipating for progress and development in their health care delivery system.” Janairo concluded. (PIA/DOH)

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Culinary extravaganza

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(Last Updated On: March 16, 2017)

 

There’s no better time than this summer to visit Hong Kong and one of its most celebrated and iconic attractions. Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is letting us in on an exciting new experience that showcases the beauty and essence of Hong Kong’s south side from the theme park that has been educating and entertaining kids and kids at heart for over 40 years.

As part of Ocean Park’s ongoing 40th anniversary celebrations, they announced the launch of the all-new dining festival, Chill Out @ The South title sponsored by Prudential Hong Kong Limited. The festival will be held on 19 evenings, beginning tomorrow until April 17, at the Park’s Waterfront

Guests can enter the Park after 5 p.m. on selected dates to unwind beside the park’s beautiful lagoon, while enjoying the mesmerizing fountain, live music, a wide selection of fine wines and international food, as well as a variety of spectacular entertainment, including Ocean Park’s signature show “Symbio!,” a special effects-laden extravaganza.

Chill Out @ The South will be showcased under three themes —All About Sake, Pop & Rock Beer Fest, and In Taste of Excellence. Guests will enjoy a whole multi-sensory dining and entertainment experience, which also includes mini concerts, street and cultural shows, and themed workshops.

Leo Kung, chairman of Ocean Park, said, “With the opening of the new MTR South Island Line, Ocean Park sees the opportunity to open up the Park to locals and overseas guests who are looking to try something new, chic, and fun. Chill Out @ The South is a key milestone for us, and will position Ocean Park as the entertainment and dining hub of the Southern District.”

Anthony Shaw, chief officer, marketing and customer service of Prudential, said, “Prudential is very pleased to again work with Ocean Park, promoting and supporting a unique, new theme park experience.

Together with Ocean Park, we welcome visitors from Hong Kong and overseas to taste the finest selection of food and drinks and enjoy an exciting lineup of entertainment.”

During All About Sake, guests can choose from a vast range of delicious sake, from the renowned Juyondai 14th Generation to delicious, fine and rare brands from Japan and Taiwan that will be introduced in Hong Kong for the first time. Guests can also savor a range of traditional Japanese delicacies, including luxurious Wagyu beef imported from different regions of Japan, as well as signature dishes from Tsukiji Yamataka Seafood Market Hong Kong, one of the city’s hippest dining spots. Traditional Japanese cultural performances, with the highlight being a Taiko drum stage show, will complete the Japanese experience.

The Pop & Rock Beer Fest is a dedicated event for beer and music lovers. Guests can choose from myriad unique craft beers from around the world, including a comprehensive collection of local labels, brewed by the city’s most fashionable brands, including Mak’s, Nine Dragons, Moonzen, and Young Master Ale —all served alongside a wide selection of international street food.

Two mini concerts featuring some of the city’s hottest singers and bands, including Lil’ Ashes, Jason Chan, Kimman Wong, Bondy Chiu, Dear Jane, Shiga Lin, Thor Lok, Nowhere Boys, Supper Moment, AGA, Robynn & Kendy, New Youth Barbershop, RubberBand, Alan Po x Hey Joe Trio, Danny Summer, Danson Tang, and Eddie Ng who will take turns to spice up each event night.

The finale of Chill Out @ The South, In Taste of Excellence, will immerse guests in the ultimate celebration of fine wine and food. Gourmands will revel in exquisite international cuisine presented by award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs, while watching cooking demonstrations and taking part in wine pairing lessons by celebrity chefs.

Throughout the five-week festival, the Park will also set up a special botanic garden. Inside, guests can purchase organic and natural products and handcrafted goods and take part in handicraft workshops. For even more privileges, guests can purchase a VIP ticket to enjoy a host of exclusive activities that will make their evenings even more unforgettable.

These include access to the VIP lounge located in front of the giant viewing panel of The Grand Aquarium, where they can enjoy free flow of hors d’oeuvres, red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, beer, and soft drinks, as well as guaranteed access to Applause Pavilion for the Taiko drum stage show or one of the two mini concerts on the night of visit.

Tickets are on sale now. Guests can visit the Ocean Park website for more details, www.oceanpark.com.hk. discoverHongKong.com/best.

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Investors Flocking to PH for EV Industry

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2017)
The Philippines is now the “it” country for investments in Asia. After becoming the second fastest growing economy in the world next only to economic giant China, all eyes are now on the Philippines as an investment haven.

With the unfavorable interest rate now being experienced by Japan, Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said that it is more beneficial for Japanese businessmen to invest their money in business rather than to keep it in a bank.

“They have thus put the Philippines on top of their list for possible investments ahead of Thailand and Vietnam. And the electric vehicle industry is one sunrise industry they have set their eyes on,” said Juan.
He said Japanese EV companies Bemac, Prozza Hirose, and GMS have all set up shop in the Philippines.
“Taiwanese conglomerate Teco has partnered with Ropali and has set up Roteco to locally assemble electric jeepneys and tricycles,” he added.

Juan said that the Philippines now has the perfect environment for investment in the EV industry citing the following reasons, among others:

Huge domestic population

The Philippines now has a population of over 100 million people with the bulk of it at the productive working age of 22 years old. This means that there is a large consumer base that can be tapped to use the electric vehicle transport systems that will be set in place.

Inefficient Public Transport

The country probably has the most backward transport industry with inefficient public utility service anchored on buses, jeepneys and tricycles with drivers picking up and dropping off passengers anywhere they please.

And these vehicles are mostly dilapidated, antiquated smoke-belching jeepneys and tricycles with an average age of over 15 years.
Electric vehicles are the perfect alternative to replace these old vehicles as they offer an eco-friendly, quiet and comfortable ride.
And with the new EVs, Juan said we can implement the proper driver discipline and implement designated stops for these public transport vehicles.”

Huge population of Public Transport Vehicles to be Replaced
There are 370,000 registered public utility Jeepneys and 1.2 million registered tricycles. It can be assumed that there are a lot more unregistered ones (colorum).

This is a huge market in a country where it just experienced a record total auto industry sales of 310,000 units for 2015.
The EV sector can focus on the domestic market and then go for export to neighboring countries making the Philippines the EV manufacturing hub for Asia.

Government Support

The Board of Investments (BOI) is always open to assist foreign investors if they want to enter the Philippine market. Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives are now being proposed through legislation for EV players.

Many Capable Local Companies Ready for Foreign Tie Up

There are many local companies who have facilities for local EV production complete with all the government requirements.

They are EVAP members and foreign companies may just choose from any of them. Thus, foreign investors need not worry about entering the market by themselves.

Juan concluded that with all these factors in mind, the Philippines is on the perfect sweet spot for EV investments.

“EVAP will highlight the different domestic EV companies and their products in the upcoming Philippine EV Summit at the Meralco Multipurpose Hall on April 14-15, 2016. We invite all foreign players to come and have a look-see at the various opportunities available in the local EV industry. Finding a local partner would be a good way to jumpstart their entry and EVAP members would be more than willing to discuss business prospects with them,” he said.

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Statement of French President François Hollande at the Launch of the Manila Call to Action

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2017)

 

The appeal has been launched and please allow me to thank the Senator, as well as the French actress Marion Cotillard, for reading it.

We are here together, political leaders, representatives of major NGOs, academics, cultural figures, to convince the world to mobilize the public opinion. And please allow me to thank Nicolas Hulot for taking this initiative because if we want to succeed in December, the diplomats must be at their best, of course they are. We will also lead the UN bodies to support that process, and they are ready to do so.

We will also need to have the necessary discussions with the world leaders so that commitments are made, but we will also, and before all, need the public opinion to mobilize and this is the purpose of this appeal – an appeal being launched here in Manila.

In the eyes of the world, Manila is a symbol of suffering and hope. Suffering is that which unfortunately was the suffering of the victims of typhoons, tsunamis, disasters, earthquakes – hundreds and thousands of Filipinos were displaced. The suffering is also that threatening us in the case of the rise of the sea level given the intensity and the number of storms as well. Nonetheless, there is hope here in Manila. The hope of a people which is resisting, fighting, and which is rising given the challenge in getting organized.

And this is why we wanted to do it in Manila. We wanted the appeal to be launched here.

What is its purpose? Its meaning? It is thought that in Paris, on the occasion of that climate conference, we can reach a comprehensive and binding agreement. Country by country, in order to make sure that the world will not face global warming that would lead to even worse disasters than the ones we’ve been facing.

And we needed a voice like yours, President Aquino, the voice I heard on the occasion of international summits, in the UN when you said that we could all do something, play our role, do our part. We needed other voices as well, multiple voices, those we’re hearing here. We needed the voice of France because France, of course it is both a duty and an honor, France knows when it is necessary to do so, face up to its responsibilities, as we’ve shown in other circumstances, facing other challenges.

So what is now the purpose of this appeal? It is an appeal for justice. The Manila appeal is for the world to be more firm between developed countries and fragile ones, between rich countries and poor ones, between generations as well. Those who had all their time to extract resources from the planet and who now have a duty – the duty to act so that their children, their grandchildren as well, can simply live on this planet.

Justice is also to make sure that the progress of science, the economy, the technology, everything is at the service of the protection, prevention, everything rather than the destruction of our planet. This is the reason that an alliance must be found between all the forces that are the states, as well as economic forces, that of NGOs, cultural forces, so that we can make this appeal live.

This appeal is also that of imagination, and through the Green Fund and the innovating financing, everything that we can do to mobilize resources and allocate them, put them at the service of development. The Manila appeal is an appeal for invention because climate change means that we have a duty, but it is also an opportunity because it will allow us to invent a new form of growth, a green growth.

We will be better. Better, because we have no alternative. Better for renewable energies, better at storing energy, better to organize our cities or transport, better at imagining carbon free technology, organizing our taxes, better as well at organizing competition between companies or businesses with a carbon price. And this is the purpose of the agenda of solutions that will translate our inventions.

Lastly, the appeal of Manila is for a new world because what is at stake is a new form of development, more firm, more respectful, a world where we can say to ourselves that what we are doing is useful, a world where each and every country will face up to its responsibilities depending on its capacities, a world with a new form of solidarity between wealthy and emerging countries.

Many at some point in their political approach have considered a new world, but they did not necessarily build a better world, and what we have in mind is a world where we can live that is human, and it is on this that we can agree.

As Levi Strauss was saying, the rainbow of human cultures will end up sinking in the vacuum generated by our fury. So we have to put an end to this fury and put in the sky the rainbow of human cultures. This new world, we can shape it over the next 300 days before we meet in Paris, and I’m calling upon all the heads of state and governments to do their utmost so that an agreement can be found. I’m launching an appeal for the citizens, for the youth, as well as the economic stakeholders, as well as academics, artists everyone to commit themselves, to get organized, so that we can rise to the challenge to defend this cause on which we can all agree.

There’s those who watch history happen, and those who are making it. And today, we have to write history. This is what we will be doing in Paris in 300 days.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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Petron Doubles 2015 Income Amid Weak Oil Prices

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(Last Updated On: January 6, 2017)

 Despite the slump in global oil prices, the Philippines’ leading oil refining and marketing company Petron Corporation reported a consolidated net income of P6.3 billion in 2015, more than double the previous year’s earnings of P3 billion.

According to Petron, the increase was driven by a surge in sales volumes, better refining margins, and effective risk management.

All business segments in Petron’s Philippine and Malaysian operations contributed to volume growth as combined sales volumes reached 98 million barrels in 2015, a 13 percent growth from 2014’s 86.5 million.

In its home market, Petron increased sales with strong demand coming from Reseller, Industrial, and LPG segments.

Volumes from service station sales grew by 11 percent while LPG grew another 16 percent over the period compared to 2014.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, the Company’s rebranding and upgrading program reaped dividends. Retail gasoline volumes, for instance, grew by 11 percent.

Even with robust volume growth, 2015 registered lower sales revenue of P360.2 billion, a 25 percent decrease from P482.5 billion the previous year due to a near 50 percent drop in oil prices.

Benchmark Dubai crude averaged US$51 per barrel last year from US$97 the previous year. Dubai is currently averaging around US$30 per barrel.  The Company’s performance was bolstered by proactive risk management to mitigate the impact of inventory losses and currency depreciation.

Despite weak oil prices in 2015, the differential between crude and finished products remained strong and the mix of higher value products improved, supporting refining margins.

As a result, Petron’s operating income reached P18.1 billion last year, a 138 percent increase from only P7.6 billion in 2014.

“Petron beat expectations and posted solid results last year. Low domestic prices and continued growth in the Philippine and Malaysian economies, coupled with our strategic investments, enabled us to reach record-breaking sales volumes,” Petron President Ramon S. Ang said.

 “We are right where we want to be as we continued to grow our business profitably and sustainably,” Mr. Ang added.

Petron’s sales performance in the Philippines was supported by the initial test run and commissioning of its US$2-billion refinery upgrade project in 2015.

In preparation for full operations this year, Petron’s refinery has hit a utilization rate of nearly 90 percent with an average run of nearly 160,000 barrels per day in the first two months of 2016.

The Company also continues to aggressively expand its service station network in both countries to push more profitable domestic sales.  As of end 2015, there are over 2,200 stations in the Philippines and another 570 in Malaysia.

“We are definitely on track to deliver better results this year as we reap the benefits of our expansion and upgrading projects. We are well-positioned to take advantage of business opportunities in the downstream oil industry and sustain our growth momentum,” Ang said.

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Manila call to action on climate change

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2017)

President Benigno Aquino 3rd and visiting French President Francois Hollande called on the rest of the world to act on climate change as they launched the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change following their bilateral meeting in Malacañang.

“Our Manila Call to Action on Climate Change represents solidarity in action. We are hopeful that this joint call will help us gain momentum for a truly global initiative to address climate change,” Aquino said.

“This statement, thus, is a welcome call to action: No longer can we be paralyzed by debates over the obligations of individual countries; all of us must do everything we can, in the quickest and most impactful way possible,” he added.

He said nations can unite to overcome the problem or together reap the consequences of apathy.

Aquino lamented that the Philippines has found itself at the forefront of climate change as he cited the destructive typhoons in recent years such as Yolanda.

He said the Philippines intends to attend and utilize every forum to voice the sentiments of those who are at the receiving end of global climate change.

“We will try to strive a consensus with every entity so that they can contribute the most at the quickest possible time,” he said.

Hollande sought Aquino’s support on the issue of climate change in light of preparations being made for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties, or COP21, to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change in December this year.

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