Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Knorr's "Sarap ng #LutongNanay" Movement brings easy cooking back to homes

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My Mom was a hands-on, stay-at-home Mom who knew how to cook and bake, sew, draw, play the piano, embroider, amd do oh so many things. Now that she has passed on, I remember her for all the things that she did for us as kids. And one of the things I truly remember (and miss a lot) is her home-cooked dishes.

When I went off to grad school in the States, the one thing she made sure I had with me was a box of her recipes so that I would not go hungry. That was typical Mom.  Memories of Mom washed over me during the Knorr #LutongNanay event I attended recently because everything about the event reminded me of things she used to do for us as kids. I listened to celebrity Moms talk about how some of them only learned to cook when they got married but that they now draw pleasure from cooking for their families.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Moms, think #WeAreBeautiful so your daughters will think so too

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Moms, your influence on your daughters is greater than you think.

We've heard it said that more important than what we say to our kids is what we do because even as small kids they watch and imitate us. We may not know it but as mothers, we also communicate fears and impressions of ourselves onto our daughters. If we are not careful, they will grow up mirroring our thoughts and actions.

How many times have we said aloud "I don't like my (fill in the body part)"? This self-deprecation rubs off on our daughters who grow up being self-critical or lose their sense of self-acceptance or self worth.

Dove, in its previous #IAmBeautiful campaign, found out that only 7% of Filipina women saw themselves as beautiful. That is a staggering 93% who don't think they are. In another locally-commissioned study by Dove, the results showed that 2 out of 3 girls feel pressured to look beautiful and this external pressure comes from peers and friends. The redeeming factor? 81% of them still consider their mom as their role model, much higher than the global average of 55%.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Register for the Digital Business Summit: Empowering Success Online

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Are you a start-up owner or a small- to medium-sized business owner? You probably spend a lot of time focused on your business operations. You may have some online presence, maybe a website or a social media account on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. But are you maximizing that online presence?

It is usually hard to find the time to catch up and learn about how to maximize your online engagement. But you need to be active online. As more and more people go online for different reasons, including online shopping and online searches before making a purchase, it is important that you meet your customers where they are -- on cyberspace -- and engage them.

Now there is a way for all of you, entrepreneurs and businessmen! The Digital Business Summit 2014 (DBS), with the theme "Empowering Success Online", is a series of online conferences from November 18 to 27, 2014 through different webinars covering the following topics:
  • Social media marketing 
  • Search marketing 
  • Mobile marketing 
  • E-Commerce 
  • Content marketing 
  • Online advertising

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Townships: Cities within Cities

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Living in Metro Manila and other metro cities in the Philippines, with poor transport system and horrendous traffic, can make the average commuter go through hours of just being on the road. And commuters do not just mean employees who sometimes have to commute from one end of Manila to another. It also includes students whose places of residence are often far from their schools.

In the United States, decades ago, I already appreciated the concept of suburbs. They were self-contained communities that included small businesses, entertainment places, restaurants, schools and even churches and hospitals. But suburbs were located outside the city proper. Employees who lived in the suburbs still commuted to the business district (of course, their transport systems were often very good so there was no great inconvenience).

In recent years, we have seen the concept of suburbs taken to a higher level in the form of urban townships. And this time, the townships are located within city proper.

Concept of Township

A township revolves around several key components: Live, Work, Play, Learn, Eat (and should I add, Pray?). Designed by master urban planners, townships' vision usually revolve around self-contained living and working environments where residents would not have to go far. This concept has been supported also by the mushrooming growth of IT-BPOs which locate within such townships. In addition, accreditation by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) of such cyberparks make the business of townships not just good business but convenient for residents.

One of the earliest townships I have seen is Eastwood City which is roughly 18.5 hectares. Located in Libis, it continues to evolve and expand as new buildings and shopping areas sprout.

Eastwood City Vicinity Map (taken from Eastwood City website)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Stories of Hope in the time of Typhoon Yolanda

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In times of disasters, there is often no end to news of destruction and loss of lives. Oftentimes it is so hard to find the positive in the face of utter despair. This was what so many went through when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines exactly one year ago on Nov. 8, 2013. It is estimated that damage to the areas affected reached over 35 billion pesos.

But there is HOPE.

And over lunch with some people from Procter & Gamble (P&G), I heard some of these stories and how P&G, together with other partners, are some of the private sector organizations that are bringing hope back to people and places

Next to the devastating loss of loved ones, one thing that greatly affected those in Yolanda's destructive path was the loss of a source of livelihood for thousands. Looting became rampant in the aftermath of the super typhoon and store owners stood helpless as looters took their goods and food items even in their presence. It is actually a tribute to many store owners who later said that they allowed the looters to get everything as they understood the desperate situation they were all in.

Dranix East, P&G's distributor in the area, was also badly hit by Yolanda. But it quickly sprung into action together with P&G to start the rebuilding of lives. Calling their effort "Hope Stores", P&G had prefab sari-sari store stands, painted orange (Tide color, I immediately thought), made. The only requirement in the selection process was that the recipients of the Hope stores should have been previous store owners. This was because sustainability could only happen if the beneficiary already had previous store experience. For each orange Hope Store, P&G stocked it with PhP 1,000 worth of their popular, fast-moving products (Safeguard, Whisper, Joy, etc) to jumpstart the livelihood of the recipients.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Huggies Dry Pants: the easiest way to change baby

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It's been a while (uhhh…no…a long, long time) since I've changed nappies. And although I ended up using disposable diapers, I actually started with cloth diapers for my kids, complete with those pins that pricked me if I was not careful changing my babies.

But guess what came recently for me to try….Huggies Dry Pants -- the latest in diapers that even do away with those resealable side stickers. This time, Huggies Dry Pants look exactly like underwear that you just slip on left, slip on right, pull up, and you're done!

To make me experience it for myself, the creative people behind Huggies sent me a baby-sized doll that just wouldn't stop crying! But watch what happens when I change her nappies to the Huggies Dry Pants.

Monday, November 3, 2014

1780 by SariSari: heritage Philippine products in one site

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The sari-sari stores that we know have been a part of Philippine life for decades. It's everywhere -- those houses in our neighborhood that use whatever little frontage they have to sell canned goods, bread, chichirya (chips), softdrinks, cigarettes, and whatever else. We even have a sari-sari just two houses away from my home!

The physical sari-sari stores are what I call the earliest form of the 7-11 convenience stores. They are the run-to places when you find yourself craving for something to eat when stores are closed. Or the place you buy eggs from when you suddenly run out and it's just not worth a trip to the grocery. Or even the saving grace when a holiday shuts down all stores and you need to buy a few things.

This was what SimpleSoft CEO Ernell DyLim had in mind when he named his online site, SariSariStore.com after our iconic Filipino one-stop-shop. DyLim realized that there are consumers looking for certain products and merchants selling these products but there was no central place where they could meet. And oftentimes, cost was a big factor for the merchants to bring their goods to market. Thus, his site was born out of this need.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The 2015 Starbucks planners, Christmas Starbucks cards and Christmas merchandise are here!

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It's that time of the year again when Starbucks goes all out for the Christmas season and the new year!!! (Note: This will be a looooong post with lots of Starbucks goodness inside.)

The much awaited 2015 Starbucks Planners

It's here!!! I know you are all waiting with bated breath to find out what the 2015 Starbucks planners look like. This is the 12th edition of the planners since it began. You're getting first dibs before it comes out next week. Take your first glimpse!

Presenting the 2015 Starbucks planners with matching Starbucks double-sided pens!