Sunday, July 29, 2012

21st National Retail Conference (NRCE) and Stores Asia Expo.

Converging with the campaign "why Its More Fun in the Philippines", the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) slated the country's biggest retail industry event on August 9 &10, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. In the PRA tradition, the National Retail Conference (NRCE) also mounts its twin event, the Stores Asia Expo, the country's premier exhibition of retail suppliers and service providers.

The Philippine Retailers Association first came into being as the Chamber of Philippine Department Stores and Retailers, Inc. (CPDSRI)in 1976.  In 1991, after winning the bid to host the 6th Asian Retailers Conference and Expo, the bi-annual event of the Federation of Asian Retail Associations (FARA), the Chamber changed its name into Philippine Retailers Association and adopted the now famous shopping bag logo.

This gathering will be top-billed by the Tourism Secretary himself, Ramon Jimenez to speak on the campaign's synergy with retail industry growth and more fun shopping experiences.  In addition, Coca Cola's President and CEO William Schultz will also be there to deliver the keynote speech on the opening day of the conference.  Coca Cola which celebrates its centennial year this 2012 is among the well-loved brands in the Philippines.  Coca Cola's participation in this year's NRCE is expected to further elevate the "fun" aspect of the conference as the brand celebrates "100 Year of Happiness."

Each year, NRCE invites experts from the retail industry and other related sectors to cover relevant aspects of retailing.  Chief among the bevy of topics at this year's NRCE are strategies for driving growth and customer engagement. It is expected that there will be around 800 retail owners, suppliers, CEOs and top level executives to attend the 2-day gathering.

I assumed therefore that it will be such an exciting series of events with the retail conference and expo merged into one such huge gathering which will surely set fire among avid enthusiasts. With the primary aim of elevating customer experience and to make a difference, "why its more fun in the Philippines."

Participants will also gain more insights on the competitive edge of socially responsible businesses and the retailers role in advocating a sustainable lifestyle.

Each day's program will feature two round-table discussions. The morning topic will be all about "digital marketing and online commerce;" afternoon session on the other hand is about "competitiveness and success of local brands."  On the second day, there will be discussions on retail entertainment, which is all about "creating a new level of customer experience." The last topic will dwell on the "new turks of retailing."

I wish they can take time to tackle as well, all about "consumer protection".  Retailing should not be limited with brand promotions and making an edge.  These entrepreneurs should also look on the other side. 

Also that they should take note on "how to keep customers happy and loyal, such they will always keep coming back and therefore equates to good business. I myself had experiences of good product to buy but the company's employee's attitude is one consideration that hampers me from coming back.  My tendency is just to find a substitute product because I don't want to go through the same bad experience again.  It is but important that retailers/entrepreneurs take extra effort on more than attracting new customers, is how to keep them. The end result, the customer himself will naturally spread about the business, indirectly helping it to grow.

To register for this event, you can download the registration form here. Full details of the conference program can be found here.

The 21st NRCE is proudly presented by PLDT Alpha Enterprise, SM Department Store, Hewlett Packard, Robinsons Malls, Araneta Center, Ayala Malls, Meralco, IBM Philippines, DHL Supply Chain Phils., Inc., Festival Supermall, Wilcon Depot, Celine, The Philippine Star, Business World, ABS-CBN, Schutzen, Mobext., Inc. Crossover 105.1, Entrepreneur, Focalcast, Q Creatives, Cylix Technologies, Mediamagnet, Catalyst Media, Infinite Grafix, Travel Club , APL Logistics, Avolution, Live Media, Starmall and Bayantel.

Fore more information about the 21st NRCE visit their website at  or contact the Philippine Retailers Association at (02)687-4180 to 81 or email or

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

eRizal: The Aim to Revolutionalize Public Education

I was one of the bloggers who was invited by our very own Laguna 2nd District Board Member Neil Andrew Nocon, for a night of revolution, with the introduction of e-Rizal.

photo courtesy of Larawan@Kape
Laguna aims to revolutionize public education with e-Rizal.

"The idea is to give away the devices in much as the same way books are given to students at the beginning of every school term.  But this time, a tablet will be given to them preloaded with books and other learning materials."

Prototype of the e-Rizal tablet
The Provincial Government of Laguna has built a tablet PC from scratch that it envisions to distribute to public high school students in the province in lieu of books, called the eRizal tablet.

"Call it the local version of the Ipad, the Samsung Galaxy or the Blackberry playbook and other popular tablet devices in the market today, but the local tablet is meant to be Laguna's pride."

Why eRizal as the name of the project?

This is a first-time ever experimental project in Laguna.  As you know, Laguna is the home province of our national hero.  Character formation, that is, what we are trying to draw inspiration from Dr. Jose Rizal, in his diligence in study and let the students emulate his examples in excelling in his studies, thus to contribute his earned knowledge in nation-building. Also call it Revolution.  The project also aims to effect change from the traditional methods in education.

The idea began in Laguna.  According to Laguna Governor George "ER" Ejercito, Laguna could start the "revolution" in "education".  He wanted to light the fire for intellectual excellence of Laguna students.  Besides, the province being the ideal place to inculcate this idea, being both urban and rural. There are industrial complexes and rural farming communities. What's more, the significance of UP Los Banos, organizations like the International Rice Research Institute, SEARCA, APEC TRaining Center for SMEs.  There is full abundance of faculty and the resource - teachers.

Is DepEd in sync with this idea?

"Secretary Luistro has been caught on TV talking about the e-Education when he was asked about K-12.  He knows the awesome potentials of using IT-based methods in changing the landscape of our education sector.  I believe he is "in" with us ont hsi project.  BUT of course, the eRizal project is being piloted in Laguna with the DepEd fully on board."

The Department of Education is fully supporting the project, the Provincial Government of Laguna.  UPLB has also lend its best minds for guidance in the project implementation.  AusAid, in terms of substance and procedurals. From the private sector, Ionics-EMS, one of the locators in Laguna technoparks, will support with the provision of the eRizal tablet.

For more information, visit or contact
or Hon. Neil Andrew N. Nocon,
    Board Member, 2nd District Laguna
    Chairman, Committee on Education
    mobile no. +63922-8773318/19

Celebrating "Femme Power" with Couleurs La Femme

Some weeks ago, Couleurs La Femme and its healthcare partners and media came together to celebrate its product line that offers Filipino women choices for the lives they desire. It was grandeously celebrated with lights, color and creative expressions.  Actually it was my first time to attend an event like this one.

Held at One Esplanade, with its chic, contemporary interiors and breathtaking views of the Manila Bay sunset, Couleurs La Femme made a bold statement that a new Filipina is on the rise - and, with it, the desire to design her life according to her terms and the choices she wants to make.

According to Ms. Ludy Geraldez, Marketing Representative for Couleurs La Femme, "We created Couleurs La Femme with the modern Filipina in mind, knowing that more Filipinas these days want to savor the very best that life can offer while balancing the demands of their families and careers.  Couleurs La Femme is for the woman who doesn't just have a life, but has a lifestyle". 

Distributed by Cynosure, an all-Filipino pharmaceutical company that focuses on women's health and wellness, Couleurs La Femme is a line of oral contraceptive pills that is specially formulated to help women achieve beauty, balance, vitality and freedom.

Geraldez adds, "What we are celebrating is more than just options for women today, we are celebrating the rise of the Filipina - a woman who can take on the world with equal amounts of determination, vivaciousness, and joie de vivre".

Underscoring Couleurs La Femme's bold statement were bright splashes of color and movement from a fashion show, performances by Airdance and The Bloom Brothers, and stylishly-curated lifestyle hubs.  Guests were also treated to a sumptuous cocktail spread, free-flowing drinks, and a raffle of luxury fragrances and jewelry.

Geraldez concludes, "Tonight is all about celebrating beauty, balance, vitality, and freedom - about raising our glass to the Filipina who wants to have it all, simply she can."

Couleurs  La Femme  is  available  in  Mercury Drug  and  Watsonbranches and  selected  drugstores.  It  is recommended that women see their gynecologist or healthcare provider for more information.

DOS LAHID: A One-Man Show by Palmes

LAHID, as in the smearing of paint that upshots sullies on canvas, be it intentional or not, suggest more to its literality as stroked by artist Dante C. Palmes. Exhibited at Dos Lahid are his recent paddlings in the dualism and dichotomy of the figurative and the abstract, areas that he long delved in since obtaining a Fine Arts degree from the Philippine Women's University in 1992.

His latest figurative works flaunt his yet another hurdle in style amid the places he has been to; his natural discernment or "paglahid" of the specificity of the changing society.  Those familiar to his art will find no surprise to his paintings of vibrantly colored mud-brick dwellings  in an agrarian village in the Middle East, of veiled women, and of strolling monks in Thailand.  Also were his stints on farm-life subjects that are firmly predictive of his latest linkage to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

However, "lahid" would be his continuous fondness to strokes or "pahid" by a palette knife. The present textures, ostensibly as analytical as from a post-expressionist work, confirm his progressing faculty of the style.  His choice of colors is as special as how he prevail it: "I like my works to be colorful".

The art works that are featured on the exhibit.

Also present during the occasion were Laguna Board Member (2nd District) Hon. Andrew Neil Nocon, Laguna First Lady and Pagsanjan Mayor Hon. Maita Ejercito, and Mr. Ral Arrogante, Head of the Society of Philippine Sculptors.

His paddles are far from resting on its laurel, and DOS LAHID may favorably reveal which dichotomy of the arts he will incite more.  Such move will be pretty exciting to see.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Win This Bag Giveaway! Last Week

Welcome to Week #4 of
Win This Bag
sponsored by HipSwap
“Win This Bag” is a 6-week event that will feature 6 weekly giveaways.There will be one designer handbag given away every week! Each bag will be an authentic, recognizable designer brand such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Fendi.Our 6th week will feature a highly coveted designer handbag and you will have the option to claim bonus entries for each of the 5 weekly “Win This Bag” giveaways you entered leading up to this grand finale!So, enter each weekly giveaway to increase your odds of winning!
Here’s what really separates this event from any other handbag giveaway you may have seen before… some of these handbags will come to you directly from a celebrity’s closet! That’s right –

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Laguna Local Artist: Dante Palmes

It was an afternoon getting to know one of Laguna's local based multi-skill artist, Mr. Dante Palmes.  The event was held at the Boston Cafe, Grove, Los Banos, Laguna.

Mr. Palmes has a degree in BS Fine Arts, major in Advertising from the Philippine Women's University. After graduation in 1992 he worked overseas at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a Graphic Artist/Specialist.  While working abroad, he still was able to pursue his love for art having held three (3) solo art exhibit with the support of his american employer.  He was also one among the only two (2) Asians selected to create a mural painting presented to the King of Saudi Arabia on the event of their 75th anniversary celebration. He already held five (5) solo art exhibitions and participated in 67 group art exhibits locally and abroad.  His works are included in many art publications and he had won many art competitions such as the GSIS Art Competition in 2011, Shell National Student Art Festival.

Mr. Palmes together with the Laguna Blogging Summit Core Group

He recently won the Grand Prize for the Pagsanjan (Laguna) "Bangkero" Festival National Painting Competition in March 2012. 

In November 2011, he won 2nd Place Mentor Category in the "Fernando Amorsolo Mentor and Apprentice National Art Competition.

One of his artworks was also bought by the International Rice Research Institute, an international organization based in Los Banos, Laguna and was featured as cover in their publication Rice Today.

He is also among a group of Laguna local artists' MakiSining: The Makiling Art Group,  that has an on-going art exhibition at the Sining Makiling Art Gallery located at the basement of the D.L. Umali Hall (UPLB Auditorium).  Entitled REBELASYON, is a realization of the group's need in mounting an art exhibition, which limits border, the infinity.  It aims to uncover the imaginative side of its artists, cracking out the usual gallery set-up.  It serves to expose, disclose, leak and unearth the artists' delineation of his/her art, empathy of space, investigation of one's psyche and consciousness, or just comic relief.

The exhibition runs from 26 June to 19 July 2012 - 18 days excluding Saturdays and Sundays.  The gallery is open on weekdays from 8:00AM to 5:00 pm.

On 23 July 2012, Dante Palmes will going to have his 6th Solo Art Exhibition entitled "Dos Lahid" to be held also at the Sining Makiling Art Gallery.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Supports Emerging Filipino Online Talents

Having your own website will give you immediate exposure to over 6 Billion Internet users all over the world. Filipino Talents deserve to be shown and shared with others world wide that’s why, the first ever Do-It-Yourself Website Builder in the Philippines will be sponsoring one lucky soon-to-be online icon every month!

Whether it’s related to acting, singing, blogging, writing, cooking, or any kind of talent, you’re in! is in full support for emerging Pinoy Online Talents. Every month, will sponsor one lucky soon-to-be online icon to receive a 1 year website hosting with domain and email all for free!

Take control of the things you want to put on your own page with a very user friendly drag and drop interface – there’s absolutely no HTML knowledge or hands-on experience required! Designing your very own website is as easy as 1,2,3! Plus, get your own email by your own domain name.

Being in the industry for more than 16 years,, an sister company and a trade name of Tridel Technologies Inc., aims to improve lives of people through technology.

For interested parties, send your full name, email address, contact number, what you will be promoting online, and your online exposures (fanpages, blogs, twitter, website, etc. with number of fans, viewers, and followers) to or call (02) 904 5557 for more details.

Tridel Technologies Inc. is located at 7F Hanston Bldg. F. Ortigas Jr. Rd. Pasig City. Visit’s Facebook Fanpage for weekly updates.


Krispy Kreme Celebrates 75 Years of Melt-In Your-Mouth Joy

As Krispy Kreme turns 75 flavorful years this 2012, the world-famous doughnut and coffee brand continues to tap the taste buds and heartstrings of more and more people while sharing and celebrating delicious tastes and fond memories.

Spanning more than 690 shops in 21 countries, Krispy Kreme has been exciting the world with distinct confectionery experience brought by its delectable variety of doughnuts, baked goods, and coffee.  Hence, it wasn't a surprise to witness how the brand touched the hearts and tickled the palates of Filipinos when it arrived in the Philippines six years ago.  And as it continues to successfully expand in the country, Krispy Kreme is bringing everyone more reasons to smile - not only with its mouth-watering delights but also with projects that resonate with the lives of their valued customers.

Furthering its Heritage of Sharing

How exactly does Krispy Kreme aim to do this? One, by helping its 12 partner charities - 12 organizations that care for the environment: ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. - Bantay Kalikasan and Philippine Native Plants Conservations Society Inc.; creativity: Cultural Center of the Philippines, Visual Arts and Museum Division; lives: Caritas Manila Inc., Philippine Red Cross, and ICanServe Foundation Inc.; our animal friends: Philippine Animal Welfare Society; and of course, kids: Operation Smile Philippines, Kythe Inc., Development and Accessibility Fund for the Deaf Inc., Autism Society Philippines, and Friends of Hope Inc.

Being a remarkable doughnut and coffee brand that humbly upholds the value of 'sharing', Krispy Kreme extends this good deed by calling everyone to work hand-in-hand towards change.  With every purchase of the brand's 75th Birthday Tin Can, P20 goes to these partner charities, which translates every purchase to doing good, bringing smiles, creating change and spreading joy in the most enjoyable and delightful way possible.

Bringing Everyone More Reasons to Smile

Keeping up with its 75th birthday celebration, Krispy Kreme will also be rolling out fresh products, bringing more options and reasons for its customers to delight in the one-of-a-kind goodness brought by doughnuts and coffee.

From July 11 to August 19, the brand will be launching its birthday treats for everyone - the Krispy Kreme Birthday Doughnuts and the Krispy Kreme Birthday Chiller.  Infused with such melt-in-your-mouth joy, the While Chocolate Iced Glazed, Dark Chocolate Iced Glazed, and Strawberry Iced Glazed Doughnuts are iced glazed rings with rainbow sprinkles and generous dollop of white cream finished with a cherry.  Meanwhile, blended with refreshing goodness, the Birthday Chiller is an iced chocolate drink with sprinkles made even more special with Hersheys Dark chocolate.

To further the celebration, from July 11 to August 8, anyone who purchases a Dozen Assorted with any of the Birthday Doughnuts, then coupled with one Birthday Chiller of any size in a single transaction will be entitled to one raffle coupon. This raffle coupon, which will be drawn with all the others on August 10, gives a customer a chance to win 12 VIP tickets to watch Saltimbanco by Cirque du Soleil at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on August 17. In addition, Cirque du Soleil will be giving discounts for tickets acquired at Krispy Kreme stores upon purchase of a Dozen Assorted coupled with a Birthday Doughnut.

And because Krispy Kreme cannot get enough of sharing the gift of joy and bringing people more reasons to smile, from July 13 to 31, everyone will be able to grab a special bundle of an Original Glazed Doughnut and an 8 oz. cup of Signature Coffee for only P75!

Also, if you're 18 and above, Krispy Kreme's iconic paper hat could be your ticket to a globetrotting fun! Get a chance to win a trip for two to any Krispy Kreme location in the world simply by taking a photo of yourself wearig our paper hat and then submitting your entry to  Just drop by any of our Krispy Kreme stores to get a paper hat or visit our website to download one and see the official contest rules and regulations.

The birthday blowout doesn't end here, because Krispy Kreme's birthday treats are set to go beyond just bites and sips, as it will also be rolling out 75th Birthday merchandise, which includes caps. mugs, white shirts, stainless tumblers, ECO bags, and of course, the 75th Birthday Tin Cans.

How are all of these for more and more reasons to smile? As it continues to uphold its name and etch its flavors in our hearts, Krispy Kreme is on the move to make it easier for everyone to experience melt-in-your-mouth joy with such fresh offerings and new stores - continuing to expand its reach to satisfy the tastes of doughnut and coffee enthusiasts across the country.

Serving world-class doughnuts and coffees since 1937, Krispy Kreme made its way to the hearts of Filipinos when it opened its first branch in the country back in 2006.  Today, Krispy kreme has outlets in 33 different locations nationwide, with hotlight stores in SM Mall of Asia, Greenhills Shopping Center, Festival Supermall Alabang, Bonifacio High Street and Cebu IT Park.  To get more information and updates about the brand and its products, you may become a friend of Krispy Kreme by visiting or by liking Chloe at

This is a Press Release

1LaBS Meet-up at Black Canyon

The 1LaBS Core Group had its 4th meet-up to the newly-opened Black Canyon Coffee at SM Southmall.  Since there will be members coming from the metro and those of us coming from Laguna, we agreed to meet half-way.  Black Canyon Coffee is a coffee shop and a full service casual dining restaurant with about 200 branches all over Thailand. Only some weeks ago that it finally opened its doors for the Filipinos.  We are therefore, one of those who would like to be firsts as well.

Black Canyon has a wide selection of food  and beverage items. Here's some of our food orders.

Stawberry Shortcake - P100/slice; Double Decker Chocolate Mousse - P120/slice;
Blueberry Cheese Cake - P110/slice

Thai Style Fried Crispy Wonton with Prawns - P142.00
Thai Style Fried Noodles with Prawns (Pad Thai) - P168.00

Pad Thai is one of their highly recommended item on the menu. Accordingly, it won in the 2009 World Pad Thai Championship.  It is a sweet and tangy-stir fried noodles with tamarind, lemon juice and fish sauce.  The combination of noodles, eggs, beansprouts and peanuts made it more interesting and sumptuous.

Spicy Glass Noodles and Grilled Salmon Salad - P188.00
Cranberry Frappe - P125.00

Spicy Salad Combination - P144.00

Honey Lime Frappe - P85.00

New Orleans Chicken - P138.00
Since majority of the food items are Thai cuisine, expect more of the spicy taste.   I am not really fond of spicy cuisine but I think Black Canyon will be some kind of food adventure, with a new and varied taste that will surely be loved by foodies. A trip to the south is something that will be worthwhile for you.

Thanks to our sponsor, Mr. Tony Ahn.

Black Canyon Coffee
Upper Ground Floor Food Street,  SM Southmall
Alabang-Zapote National Road
Las Pinas City, Metro Manila

Join the First Laguna Blogging Summit on August 9 - 10, 2012 at the Laguna Provincial Cultural Center in Sta.Cruz, Laguna.  Register now and be part of this great event.