Friday, September 30, 2011

McDonald's Philippines turns 30 with a new look

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Today, September 30, 2011, McDonald's Philippines turns a big 30!

The first McDonald's in the Philippines opened in 1981 in Morayta. Today, there are about 325 McDonald's branches all over the country.

To celebrate three decades of serving burgers, fries, sundaes, chicken and more to young and old alike, 4 Anniversary Stores (Makati Cinema Square, Greenhills, Quezon Ave. and North Ave.) underwent a major renovation to give McDonald's a brand new look.

This new design concept can actually be seen already in McDonald's stores in other parts of the world. Some of the features include comfortable, spacious dining areas, vivid color splashes, dynamic graphics and architectural accents. Common to every branch are some features. A red blade (vertical external posts that distinctly mark every McDonald's store), a white ribbon (horizontal lines that go around the external part of the store), and a pylon (the familiar McDo yellow arch), and TidyMan (a caricature that marks the spot in each branch where people can dispose of garbage).

Modern graphics 
Tidy Man

Men's room

Ladies' room

Despite some common features, the anniversary stores do not look the same. The profile of the type of people who frequent each branch was studied so that every branch layout projects the lifestyle and habits of its clientele.


The theme here is FORM. Instead of bright colors, this branch is done up in subdued brown considering that most of those who come here are urban dwellers. Following the red blade design outside, a red ribbon runs around the ceiling of the branch. Stylized text and modern graphics line the walls.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Netphone: Smart's affordable smartphone

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While smartphone prices have already been on the decline, making it affordable to more and more people, there is still a great majority of Filipinos whose mobiles are not internet-capable. This is true despite the Philippines being recognized not only as the texting capital of the world but also the world's online social networking champ. Almost everyone I've asked has a Facebook account. A friend of mine even has a yaya (nanny) who's got a Facebook account.

Recognizing these patterns, Smart designed its own brand of an internet-ready phone and tailor-fitted its features and apps to the Pinoy's lifestyle and preferences. At a media launch recently, I was introduced to the Netphone, Smart's offering for those who are budget-conscious but love to get on the internet and engage on social media.

By September 10, the public will be formally introduced to Smart's very own brand of internet-capable phones via Netphone 701 (which I hear is a ZTE model). It is only the first model to come out, with other higher-end models being planned in the coming months.

Netphone 701 is an Android-powered phone, running on Froyo (ver. 2.2). This was my first time to play around with an Android handset but I noted that the initial apps loaded on it were pretty good. An FM radio, a Bible app, and even my favorite Docs To Go app was loaded in it. It's got 2 cameras. The back camera is 3.2MP while the front cam is a VGA one. It was pretty light, something I'd always appreciate in a phone. Colors were quite vivid. This handset also allows you to turn your phone into a hotspot and it supports Flash 10.1. It has a 3.5" touchscreen and runs on a 600MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Not being familiar with the menus, I was trying to find out if the phone had wifi or ran on 3G only. Yup, the Netphone is good for both wifi and 3G. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vote for the best Unilab Ideas Positive video and help make an idea a reality

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Have you ever had an idea that would improve the quality of life and health of communities but you didn't know how to make it a reality?

Unilab is trying to do just that. Now on its second year, Unilab once again sponsored a contest among university students that encourages them to come up with innovative ideas to address community concerns related to hygiene and sanitation, nutrition, disease prevention and intervention, and environment care and protection. From over 60 entries, the list was whittled down to 11 semi-finalists. This will be shortlisted again down to 3 finalists with the grand winner taking home a prize of PhP250,000 which will then serve as seed money for the winner's project.

You can help one of these bright ideas take form and become a reality. By doing so, you are helping a health-related project grow and hopefully, bear fruit in the community where it will be implemented.

All you need to do is vote for the project of your choice. Your votes count towards one of the criteria for judging the winner - impact. Voting is done using your Facebook account. All you will need to do is authorize the Unilab app to recognize your account.

To learn all about Ideas Positive, click HERE.

To view the videos and vote, click HERE.

The 11 semi-finalists are the following:

1. The Cloud ++ Project - an integrated ecological waste management system sustained by water supply augmentation from its rainwater catching feature.
2. End Malnutrition: Be Healthy for You and Me - a feeding project directed at Bagong Silangan Elementary School where there are 2,600 malnourished kids.
3. Ecobiz Inc. for Sustainability - Baseco Compound project that aims to improve living conditions via garbage segregation, composting, greenhouse, medical and herbal plants, business incubator, entrepreneurial seminar
4. Maboteng Bahay, Mabuting Bahay - a project for Sitio Sto. Nino, Brgy. San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal involving the creation of a greenhouse made of plastic bottles
5. Hawak Kamay Sabay-Sabay 3B Laban sa TB - aims to fight TB in the GK-Ateneo Payatas Site in Quezon
6. Hitong Buhay, Hitong Buhay - aims to build a community fish pond in Brgy. Ibayo Tipas which will raise African catfish (hito)
7. Juan Community Uniting Values Realizing Hopes - a Payatas project that aims to empower the community through a rag doll making livelihood
8. KKK: Kalat, Kapaligiran, Kalusugan, Rebolusyon sa Malinis at Malusog na Kinabukasan - Philhealth sponsorship by letting Brgy 668 pay for their Philhealth through segregated waste
9. Deofer Solution (animal manure deodorizer & fertilizer in one) - for Batangas piggeries and poultry
10. Balsang Bulaklakan - Brgy. Sto. Rosario Kanluran in Pateros - use of water lilies tied together to provide place for holding soil and eventually, a planting area.
11. Pradyek Pa-sibol - a clean-up project for Sitio F. Carlos

Please do take some time out to vote for one of these videos. It takes very little time but can do a lot for a community in need.