Today's Top Stories

  • BREAKING: 2 dead in gun battle in Libertad town checkpoint

    BREAKING: 2 dead in gun battle in Libertad town checkpoint

    LIBERTAD, Misamis Oriental - Two people were killed on the spot Monday evening at around 8pm (February 17) during a sudden exchange of bullets at a checkpoint in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental, between police operatives manning the checkpoint and five armed suspects on board a gray Mitsubishi vehicle. During initial investigation conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), two dead bodies were found at the crime scene, shoes, illegal drugs, wallet and identification cards, a gray Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle owned by the suspects, and 48 empty shells of high-caliber pistols. Those who died from the police side after the gun battle was identified as Ssgt Ronald Caayupan, while the other dead person from the suspect's side was unknown at press time. Board member Dexter Yasay in an interview with a local radio station said Sgt Caayupan flagged down a gray Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle but instead of stopping the vehicle, the suspects opened fire at the policemen manning the checkpoint which resulted in several minutes of gun battle. Afterwhich, four suspects fled from the crime scene and jumped off at the bridge and eluded arrest from responding police operatives. Those who were wounded during the skirmishes were identified as Police officer Fernando Maestrado and Gemma Patlunag. They were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. It was also learned that there were civilians who were hit by stray bullets.   Misamis Oriental Governor Vincente Yevgeny (Bambi) Emano also told reporters the Provincial Government will extend some help to the immediate families of the police who died, as well as those wounded policemen taken to the hospitals for treatment.  Meanwhile, a team of police operatives are now pursuing the suspects believed still in the town of Libertad but were only hiding.

    February 18, 2020

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  • Cops nab limping suspect in checkpoint gun battle 

    Cops nab limping suspect in checkpoint gun battle 

    LIBERTAD, Misamis Oriental - Police operatives of Libertad Municipal Police Station arrested Tuesday morning (February 18) a limping suspect who only hide a few meters away at a bridge they jump off after several minutes of running gunbattle yesterday evening with the police manning the checkpoint. Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) check the white Mitsubishi vehicle used by the suspects. - Photo credit to iFM The four suspects would have thought there was body of water under the bridge at around 9pm yesterday amid total darkness to which they jumped off to elude arrest from pursuing police operatives.  Libertad Police Captain Ram Camelotes identified the arrested suspect as one Richard Soltseris, 31, a temporary resident of Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental. He was seen by a resident of the area and immediately reported to the police. Early morning today, a team of heavily-armed police force from Libertad police station went down under the bridge after they received reports about traces of blood were found by concerned residents and a limping suspect was seen a few meters under the bridge. Alex Ugsod, a resident of Purok 4, Libertad town told Magnum Radio he saw the suspect who undressed his shirt at the hilly portion a few meters from under the bridge. Ugsod said he asked the suspect already limping and the suspect replied he was only a resident of the place. "Ako siyang gipangutana, "Taga asa man ka bay?" pero ingon nya taga Dreamland lang siya ug naghulat sa iyang asawa. Dreamland is a small resort in Purok 4. Sensing he was among those who jumped off from the bridge last night, Ugsod said, he immediately reported the suspect's presence to police operatives, after which at around 6am this morning, a hot pursuit was again made which resulted to the arrest of the limping suspect.  Earlier last night, two people were killed on the spot during a sudden exchange of bullets at a checkpoint in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental, between police operatives manning the checkpoint and five armed suspects on board a white Mitsubishi vehicle. During initial investigation conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), two dead bodies were found at the crime scene, shoes, illegal drugs, wallet and identification cards, a white Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle owned by the suspects, 48 empty shells of high-caliber pistols, 4 pieces of caliber 45, and 1 piece of KG9 rifle. Those who died from the police side after the gun battle was identified as Ssgt Ronald Caayupan, while the other dead person from the suspect's side was unknown at press time. Board member Dexter Yasay in an interview with a local radio station said Sgt Caayupan flagged down a white Mitsubishi Mirage vehicle but instead of stopping the vehicle, the suspects opened fire at the policemen manning the checkpoint which resulted in several minutes of gun battle. Afterwhich, four suspects fled from the crime scene and jumped off at the bridge and eluded arrest from responding police operatives. Those who were wounded during the skirmishes were identified as Police officer Fernando Maestrado and Gemma Patlunag. They were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. It was also learned that there were civilians who were hit by stray bullets.   Misamis Oriental Governor Vincente Yevgeny (Bambi) Emano also told reporters the Provincial Government will extend some help to the immediate families of the police who died, as well as those wounded policemen taken to the hospitals for treatment.  Meanwhile, a team of police operatives are now pursuing the suspects believed still in the town of Libertad but were only hiding.  

    February 18, 2020

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  • WHO chief sees need to counter "infodemic" and "fake news"

    WHO chief sees need to counter "infodemic" and "fake news"

    The World Health Organization chief, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Saturday cautioned against "fake news" and "infodemic," saying they are equally dangerous as with Covid-19. Speaking before hundreds of security and foreign policy experts during the Munich Security Conference, Director Tedros said there is now a need to counter the spread of "fake news" as it only caused panic among all people all over the world. Tedros said there is a need to "push back against the "infodemic," saying fake news spread faster and more easily than the Covid-19. The WHO chief also called on governments, companies and news organizations to work with WHO to sound the appropriate level of alarm, without fanning the flames of hysteria. "We have a choice. Can we come together to face a common and dangerous enemy? Or will we allow fear, suspicion and irrationality to distract and divide  us?" Tedros asked. He said "this is a time for facts, not fear. This is a time for rationality, not rumours. This is a time for solidarity, not stigma," The WHO chief said.   How to protect us from the virus? (Q&A)     Meanwhile, even the most powerful country of the world is not spared by the attack of the deadly virus which originated from Wuhan City in China, and has already claimed 1,523 lives as of February 14. Covid-19, the official name of the virus, based on recent updates of the World Health Organization (WHO), has not spared industrialized countries of the world like Korea, Japan, Singapore, Germany, and France, among other countries. The 15 cases of corona virus (covid-19 in the US territory is confirmed on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The latest victim of the virus was in San Antonio,Texas, more specifically at the JBSA-Lackland military base. This is where 91 evacuees from Wuhan City were recorded. Wuhan City, China, was the epicenter of the corona virus that spread like wild fires in Australia. The evacuees are now under quarantine period of 14 days although they don't show the so-called symptoms of the 2019.      

    February 17, 2020

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  • Initao police honors single mothers during Valentine's Day

    Initao police honors single mothers during Valentine's Day

    INITAO, Misamis Oriental--Police here serenaded on Friday (February 14) employees of the local government unit (LGU) who are 'singles' or not in a relationship and solo parents or unmarried mothers to honor them on Valentine's Day. After singing a song entitled Valentine, popularized by Jim Brickman and Martina Bride, a police officer threw 'hugot' lines and gave flowers to a woman they intended to honor. Captain Dino Magno, chief of Initao Municipal Police Station, said his office came up with the idea of honoring single mothers to lighten up their Valentine's Day. "Many of them did not have partners who will give them flowers or chocolates perhaps for several years. Atleast they will go home not empty handed," Magno said. Jessie Acut, a staff at the municipal mayor's office, said she was delighted to have been serenaded and have received flowers on Valentine's Day. "This is my first time in three years that I received flowers on Valentine's Day," Acut, mother of five, who have been separated from her husband for 17 years, said. Amee Bagares, officer-in-charge of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development, who has been single mother for 14 years. She was smiling as he received flowers from a police who threw her a hugot line. But the highlight of their giving of Valentine presents is to surprise Vivian Magno, the wife of Senior Master Sergeant Jason Magno, the police officer who died after covering a grenade with his body, shielding a crowd from its explosion at the Initao College on November last year. Jason, the younger brother of Dino, was awarded by President Duterte medal of valor. Vivian celebrates her 41st birthday on February 14 for the first time without Jason. On February 15, Jason will also celebrates his 47th birthday. Vivian did not able to contain her tears when colleagues of her late husband started singing to her birthday song when she arrived at the police station around 10:00 o'clock in the morning on Friday. She went to the police station to get the police clearance her eldest son applied as requirement for his entry to the Philippine National Police Academy (PNP). "I am surprised and at the same time I am happy that Jason's former colleagues did not forget my birthday. This reminds me of Jason's attitude that he would never spend for his birthday because he would prefer spending for others' like mine or his children than his," Vivian said crying. Jason was known by his colleagues as thoughful and kind who did not let special occasions like Valentine's Day passed without giving something to his colleagues and close to him according to Dino. "This is some sort of remembering him," Dino said of his younger brother who was considered hero for saving the lives of several students in exchange of his.

    February 17, 2020

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Grand Cars Inc. launches Geely brand in Cagayan de Oro

February 13, 2020

Motoring

By: PR, Geely is set to get the show on the road in Mindanao following Grand Cars Incorporated’s launching of Geely Cagayan de Oro on February 10, 2020. Grand Cars Inc. is one of the partner dealers of Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP). Present in the brand launch were the SGAP and Grand Cars officials and Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno. During the event, 3 Coolray variants, which were eventually released to its new owners, were showcased – Sport, Premium, and Comfort.   “The formal launch of the Coolray is the preview of bigger things to come. And the step in the right direction in presenting our strong commitment in serving customers as well as strengthening our bonds with Sojitz.”, Grand Cars Inc. President Jan Andrew Po said.   SGAP President Mikihisa Takayama warmly welcomed Grand Cars to the Geely family and underscored the importance of their partnership. “Our alliance is a vital component as Geely drives its way to make it big in the Philippine automotive market. In this regard, I would like to thank you for trusting Sojitz G Auto Philippines Corporation to be your partner in this endeavor.”, Takayama said.   “Geely is poised to be one of the major automotive players in the Philippines following the future introduction of its global models which benefits from synergies from auto brands it acquired such as Volvo.  We are confident that these future Geely global vehicles are far better in terms of specification, equipment, technology, value for money — and not short changing the buyer.”, Takayama added.   Northern Mindanao, where Cagayan de Oro is situated, is one of the leading regions in Mindanao. According to Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, “land travel is the name of the game in Mindanao especially now that the government is on a Build, Build, Build strategy. Opening up new highways, new doors, opportunities in Mindanao…this is a good investment decision. Your (Geely’s) entry here in Cagayan de Oro is quite strategic…thank you for your confidence in Mindanao.”   This 2020, Geely starts to expand its nationwide dealership network. 15 outlets are already slated to be built this year, to include Geely Cagayan de Oro. With the rise of Geely in Cagayan de Oro, SGAP expressed its confidence that with Grand Cars’ decades-long proven credibility as one of the top-performing dealership networks in the country, their partnership can build a strong brand reputation and a business that is here to stay.

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Suzuki Philippines boosts strong performance in 2 quarters; introduces New Vitara 

November 4, 2019

Motoring

By: , MANILA, Philippines – Consistent with its strong performance for the first two quarters of the year, pioneer compact car distributor Suzuki Philippines (SPH) finishes the third quarter with positive growth yet again, enabling the company to post 19 percent sales growth for the first nine months of the year over the same period in 2018. The continued sales increase is the result of the brand’s strategic marketing efforts, which emphasize numerous promotions and interactive events and are aimed at boosting product visibility. SPH hopes to ride on this strong market and brand momentum to further strengthen its position in the market through the remaining months of 2019. “Suzuki’s current standing in the Philippine automotive industry is a significant milestone for the brand. After securing the 4th spot in the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) ranking – the highest rank in the brand’s history – and climbing to the 5th spot in the local automotive industry roster last quarter, we at Suzuki Philippines can definitely say that 2019 has been a monumental year for the brand,” shared SPH Director and General Manager for Automobile Division Keiichi Suzuki. “These back-to-back achievements further fuel our drive to deliver on the brand’s promise of quality driving experience with every Suzuki vehicle,” he added. Top sales drivers: Ertiga, Swift, Celerio The Ertiga, Swift and Celerio continue to excite and stimulate the market as Suzuki’s best-selling vehicles. The three award-winning models combined accounted for 56 percent of total sales from January to September this year. The well-loved family vehicle Ertiga still dominates the Suzuki auto sales chart with a 34 percent share. This 7-seater vehicle fortified its position as the top-favorite Suzuki vehicle with the release of the Ertiga Black interior version, which drove sales up even further. Aside from its fuel efficiency and spacious interior that complement the body’s elegance and modern style, the Ertiga demonstrates good engine performance that is powerful and cost-efficient, making it an ideal vehicle for practical Filipino families. Swift kept its position as the second top-selling Suzuki model with an 11.4 percent share of total sales. This hatchback remains the millennials’ top choice among Suzuki vehicles. With its sleek and stylish design that is very recognizable on the road, millennials can definitely identify with this fun and compact Suzuki hatchback. Accounting for 11 percent share of sales, the Celerio ranks third among Suzuki’s top-selling vehicles. This hatchback, known for its space and roomy dimension, can accommodate up to 254-liters worth of cargo with an uncompromised 5-seater capacity. Alongside its remarkable fuel efficiency that ups the ante for its category.  SPH debuts New Vitara to Philippine driving arena Another vehicle from Suzuki Philippines that stunned the market this year and won the 2019-2020 Auto Focus Media’s Choice Awards’ Compact SUV of the Year: Best Value for Money award is the Suzuki Vitara. Committed to continue its legacy and stand firm to its promise to provide value-packed and affordable products to more Filipinos, Suzuki proudly debuts the improved and upgraded New Vitara. This CBU Unit from Magyar Suzuki Corporation (MSC HUNGARY) is available in GL+, 6 speed Automatic Transmission and GLX, 6 speed Automatic Transmission variants.  Suzuki has made several improvements and upgrades in both the exterior and interior of the New Vitara. It is now equipped with newly designed grills, lower bumpers and new rear combination lamps, all of which create an expressive exterior. The new stylish suede front and rear seats, cluster meter and premium-feel cabin create a comfortable yet stylish interior vibe. “The New Vitara will surely appeal to car enthusiasts looking for an improved version of the classic Suzuki vehicle. It is our pleasure to bring another modified Suzuki vehicle to the Philippines. The New Vitara will certainly deliver an exceptional driving experience to Filipinos – the Suzuki way,” shared Keiichi Suzuki.For more information about Suzuki Philippines and its automobiles, please visit www.suzuki.com.ph and like them on www.facebook.com/SuzukiAutoPH.     About Suzuki Philippines Incorporated Suzuki Philippine Incorporated is a wholly-owned Japanese multinational firm highly recognized in the automotive industry. The company specializes in the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and distribution of compact vehicles and outboard motors. Suzuki has established its reputation worldwide for quality, versatility and innovation, and has created a heritage of trust and reliability. www.suzuki.com.ph

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Taiwan Excellence Returns at Taiwan Expo 2019

October 23, 2019

Motoring

By: , With Technology and Smart City Concept  The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion is creating a major buzz during the Taiwan Expo 2019, held in Davao for the first time, as visitors are treated to some sterling products and hi-tech gadgets. The overwhelming response received during the first edition of the Expo urged the participation of Taiwan Excellence this year as well. The two-day expo on the 8th and 9th of November will showcase products from more than 15 brands in the field of AI Robot, Unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAV), and smart city solutions.  Taiwan Excellence is the highest mark of distinction bestowed upon the best of Taiwanese innovations since 1993 and has honored many innovators over the past 27 years. The aim of the award is to encourage continual innovation in product quality, design and image; and winners of the coveted title are selected on multiple strict criteria including their R&D, design, product quality, and marketing model. In recent years, Taiwan Excellence has made itself known in the Philippines through various activities such as Taiwan Excellence 3x3 Hoop Challenge, exhibitions in shopping malls and leading trade shows. These hands-on interactions are a hit with Filipinos and have helped to extend the reach to businesses and consumers. Taiwanese technology has always been well regarded internationally and Taipei City was even ranked by Business Insider as Asia’s most high-tech city for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018. Taiwan’s solid R&D, excellent design track record and production capabilities are instrumental in its success and Taiwan Excellence recognizes the best of the best. During the two-day event, the Taiwan Excellence pavilion will prove to be a major highlight as it showcases a range of tech products that define the innovation of Taiwan. Coming to Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, visitors will have a chance to individually interact with a series of breakthrough technologies, which span across various categories, including information and communication technology (ICT), home appliances, leisure & health care and smart building solutions. These state-to-the-art technologies are invented to bring a more convenient life and satisfy Philippine consumers. Sharing Smart City Solutions In conjunction with the exiting products on display, the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion organized a smart city seminar, Transform Cities with Technological Solutions from Taiwan, to share Taiwanese experience in this area with Philippine counterparts. Davao has become a well-developed tourist destination in the Philippines and one of the most booming tourist destinations that tourist want to visit. Besides, the government is gearing up to improve its competitiveness in tourism by investing more and more resources for tourism-related service and facilities. During Taiwan Excellence smart city seminar, there will be companies, such as GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology providing smart agriculture solutions with Unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAV) and Cal-Comp Technology offering AI smart robots for SM Group and 7-Eleven in the Philippines, to share their technological solutions for the smart city. We anticipate to provide different ideas for city planning or city transformation and give people better living or touristic experience by innovative technology and eco-friendly solution from Taiwan.   About Taiwan Excellence The symbol of Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan’s most innovative products that provide tremendous value to users worldwide. All products carrying this symbol have been selected for specific Taiwan Excellence Awards based on their excellence in design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D and manufacturing. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is recognized by 100 countries. About Taiwan Excellence Mark  The Taiwan Excellence logo is inspired by the pursue of “perfection” and the six interwoven arcs represent the close ties Taiwan has with the global economic system and the interconnectivity of today’s industries while the red color represents the vitality of Taiwanese companies. The six arcs are independent on their own but yet come together to form a strong collective image to represent the way Taiwanese industries complement each other to form a whole. The Taiwan Excellence logo has been registered in 102 countries to date.

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IPC Signs MOA with JZGMSAT

October 14, 2019

Motoring

By: , Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) and the Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial School of Arts and Trade (JZGMSAT) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last September.      This was the second MOA signing between IPC and JZGMSAT. The first was on July 3, 2017, wherein IPC donated three mock-up/cutaway engines, and implemented its Diesel Engine Technology Training Program to JZGMSAT students enrolled in the Automotive Servicing course.      In the September 3 MOA signing, IPC turned over two Automotive Lifters, another mock-up Isuzu engine, and five computers. The addition of the Lifters are seen to help the students accomplish their NC3 Automotive Servicing accreditation. After the signing, JZGMSAT trainees performed a demonstration of their servicing skills. Alumni of the JZGMSAT Automotive Servicing course were also on hand to convey their special message during the formal signing ceremonies.      IPC President Hajime Koso remarked during his speech before students and guests at the signing ceremony that, as IPC has remained true to its mantra of being “Your Responsible Partner”, it has always prioritized efforts to contribute “to the progress of society.”      “Without a progressive society, no business will grow. IPC’s goal, then, is to help create a knowledge-sharing culture in the Philippines. That is why, we invest on knowledge. Knowledge inspires innovation. Innovation, on the other hand, is the key to a progressive, healthy economy,” Mr. Koso said.      IPC first trained 12 CALABARZON-TESDA Automotive Trainers on Diesel Engine Technology at the IPC Plant in June 2017, in preparation for the first MOA between IPC and JZGMSAT. The full implementation of the training program for the initial batch of 114 JZGMSAT students was held July 2017 to May 2018.      The training program covered topics such as: Direct and Indirect Fuel Injection; Valve trains; Carbon Dioxide Reduction Technology; Common Rail Fuel Injection, and; Engine Management System.      The new MOA will add the Isuzu PUV Modernized Jeepney Model Product Review to the training program scheduled for 2020. This includes topics on the main features and specifications of the modernized Isuzu PUVs, and a familiarization of their drivetrain and under chassis components.      Under the new MOA, IPC will also provide an opportunity to qualified JZGMSAT students for possible employment in Isuzu dealerships that need technicians. The MOA signing was witnessed by representatives of IPC, JZGMSAT, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Signing the MOA were IPC President Hajime Koso, JZGMSAT Vocational School Administrator III Benito Reyes, and TESDA Regional Director Florencio Sunico, Jr.

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Mactan-Cebu International Airport sales mission promotes new flights and services in Cagayan de Oro

February 8, 2020

Corporate

By: , GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and partner airlines met with travel and tour operators in Cagayan de Oro today to promote new flights and services out of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as part of its annual domestic sales mission. “The sales mission is already in its third year, and it is one of the ways GMCAC connects with travel and tourism stakeholders across the Philippines. Our focus is route development, particularly to key destinations in Visayas and Mindanao, as part of our goal to establish MCIA as the hub for flights in the southern Philippines,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development. Dubbed as the gateway to Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro is one of the top regional destinations contributing to MCIA’s domestic passenger traffic. According to Librodo, MCIA recorded a 22% increase in passenger traffic from-to Cagayan de Oro in 2019 with more than 420,000 domestic passengers and a total of 53 flights per week. “The Cagayan de Oro market is strong, and we want to further develop this connection,” she said. GMCAC kicked off this year’s sales mission in Davao City last January 28. GMCAC will visit Bacolod, Iloilo, and Tacloban on February 11, 12, and 18, respectively. Partner airlines taking part in this year’s domestic sales mission are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific, and China Eastern Airlines. With its central location in the Philippines, MCIA is the ideal transfer hub for passengers connecting from Visayas and Mindanao with most domestic destinations reachable in less than an hour’s flight time. MCIA is connected to 25 domestic destinations and 25 international destinations with 6 domestic partner airlines and 20 international partner airlines. ### About GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation On November 2014, Filipino-led developer GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) took over development of all landside facilities of the MCIA under a 25-year Public-Private Partnership concession agreement with the Philippine Government. It opened the new international Terminal, Terminal 2, in July 2018 and completed the full renovation of Terminal 1 in December 2019. GMCAC is a joint venture company comprised of Filipino engineering and infrastructure company Megawide Construction Corporation and Indian infrastructure developer GMR.

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SM Prime Holdings grabs Best Environmental CSR in 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards

December 27, 2019

Corporate

By: Mark Francisco, SM Prime Holdings – which has made the presence of two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City – bagged the Best Environmental CSR during the recently held 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards in Cagayan de Oro City. The two shopping malls in Cagayan de Oro City under SM Prime Holdings are SM City Cagayan de Oro and SM CDO Downtown Premier. Opened in 2002, SM City Cagayan de Oro is the first SM Supermall in Northern Mindanao. Located in the uptown part of the city, the mall features major and minor anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, Cyberzone, SM Appliance Center, ACE Hardware, Toy Kingdom and SM Cinemas. It has service centers, specialty stores and restaurants, indoor and outdoor parking spaces and its carpark building now houses apparel stores on the first level. Meanwhile, SM CDO Downtown Premier is being branded as a lifestyle mall and opened in 2017 along CM Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City. The five-level mall features anchors such as SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Bowling and SM Cinemas with seven theaters including two Director’s Club cinemas and a Megascreen cinema. It also has several specialty shops and homegrown restaurants. Accompanying the mall is the CDO Downtown Tower which is a 12-storey building and eight levels of office space for BPO companies with helipad on the roofdeck. SM Prime Holdings has been chosen by the jurors of the 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards – which is organized by Mindanao Daily News and BusinessWeek Mindanao led by publisher Dante Sudaria and awards director Allan Mediante – largely due to its record of environmental sustainability through the decades that it has operated not only here in Mindanao but throughout the whole country. Considering its rapidly growing operations, SM Prime Holdings recognizes the impact it has on the environment. The company has taken measures to prioritize the efficient management of its resources. SM religiously tracks its use of energy and water as well as its waste and emissions. SM implements mitigation measures to ensure that these aspects are managed at optimal levels. Other projects include the Green Retail Agenda, greenhouse gas emissions management, energy efficiency, solid waste management, water treatment and recycling, air quality management and solar power investments. While the company continues to expand and conquer new markets, it stays steadfast to uphold their mission as environmental stewards of the natural resources of the country. In fact, it is noteworthy to mention that SM CDO Downtown Premier has its own rainwater catchment basin measuring 75x40 meters floor area and as high as six meters which can hold up to 13,540 cubic meters of water to reduce the risk of flooding. SM Prime Holdings has also introduced a recycling activity called the Trash to Cash program which promotes the reduce-reuse-recycle practice. The company has been inviting the community to implement proper waste disposal and management at the household level. Through the Trash to Cash program, SP Prime was able to inform its stakeholders of the available solutions in solving solid waste issues and concerns. SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation Inc., is the group that handles the corporate social responsibility programs of SM Prime Holdings. It organizes the sustainability efforts into a comprehensive program that tackles a wide range of initiatives: from giving a voice to the underrepresented sectors of our society to preserving the environment and to creating innovative but sustainable avenues of growth. SM Cares works with various organizations, shareholders and people from the community in coming up with innovative solutions that pave way to living more sustainable lives. As a responsible mall developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as catalyst for positive change for the community it serves. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepeneurs Awards gives honor to various Mindanao business leaders and entrepreneurs, serving as catalyst for their continued and concerted effort to seek greater heights and strive for success in the noble mission of propelling Mindanao and its people towards full economic growth and sustainable development. The judges were chaired by Cagayan de Oro Press Club past president Ruffy Magbanua with the following as members: BusinessWeek Mindanao editor-in-chief Nelson Constantino, BusinessWeek Mindanao vice president for administration Joe Felicilda, Mindanao Daily editor-in-chief Allan Mediante, Mindanao Daily executive editor Cris Diaz, freelance journalist Tessi Baluyos and Mindanao Daily managing editor Ruel Pelone. Guests of honor who gave inspirational speeches during the event which was held December 13 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel were Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Undersecretary Orlando Ravanera. The 8th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards is also being presented by Veterans Bank, Ayala, BPI BanKo, Cooperative Development Authority, provincial government of Misamis Oriental, CORDS 10 and PCOO, Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Pepsi, Washington, Angela Soriano Fashion Design Studio, SELRAHCO PR, Dessert Boss, Pie Square Photo Booth, AVPro and Marzel Digital Studio.

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Cebu Landmasters’ posts record high 9-month earnings, up by 77 percent to P1.6 billion

November 15, 2019

Corporate

By: , Cebu Landmasters (CLI) continues its leadership in the VisMin region, with consolidated net income rising by 59 percent from Php 1.2 billion to Php 1.9 billion year-on-year. Net income attributable to parent meanwhile grew significantly by 77 percent from Php 932.7 million to Php 1.65 million driven by substantial increase of revenue from CLI projects. The leading housing developer in the Visayas-Mindanao region declared revenues of Php 5.9 billion from the previous year’s record of Php 3.7 billion. CLI attributed the outstanding results to the strong performance of its mid-market residential segment, which accounted for 36 percent of the total revenue pie. Casa Mira, the company’s economic residential brand, and high-end segment contributed 32 percent and 29 percent, respectively. CLI Chief Executive Officer Jose Soberano III says: “Our fast-selling projects give us confidence that we will achieve our topline and net income growth targets for the end of the year. The numbers reflect our operational excellence and commitment to responsible development.” CLI launched nine major developments in 2019: Davao Global Township – Phase 1 (Davao); One Paragon Place (Davao), Citadines Paragon Davao (Davao); Citadines Bacolod City (Bacolod); MesaVirre Garden Residences C (Bacolod); Casa Mira Bacolod (Bacolod); Velmiro Plains Bacolod (Bacolod); Casa Mira Towers CDO (CDO); and Mivela Garden Residences (Cebu). CLI said the Mivela project set new records with 80 percent of the project sold in just three weeks from launch date. Projects in the company’s headquarters in Cebu made up 58 percent of the period’s revenue contributors, followed by developments in Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro with 13% and 12% earnings input, respectively. In Q3 2018, revenue contributors after Cebu (with 61% revenue contribution) were Cagayan de Oro with 19 percent and Davao with 14 percent. CLI’s leasing portfolio grew by 29 percent to Php 46.72 million from Php 36.20 million year-on-year. This is attributed to the increase in Gross Leasable Area (GLA) following the recent turnover of Base Line Retail and HQ and Casa Mira Towers Labangon. Aggregate GLA for the period now reached 13,806 square meters while occupancy rate rises to 84%. Management fees on the other hand, more than doubled from 11.2 million to 26.9 million due to the increase of the number of developments managed by CLIPM, the property management arm of CLI. The said firm now oversees 17 projects, eight of which are house and lot subdivisions while the rest are offices and residential condominiums. The third quarter also marked the operations of CLI’s first hotel representing a new revenue stream. As scheduled, Citadines Cebu City, a 180-room condotel opened in September. It is operated and managed by Ascott Limited, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. As an indicator of future revenue growth, the nine-month reservation sales take-up rose by 29% year on year to P9.24 billion. About 3,472 units were taken up at an average price of Php 2.7million. Meanwhile, CLI continues to expand its landbank to support its expansion program. To date, CLI holds a total of 1,245,276 sqm of land in 10 key VisMin cities. Part of its recent acquisitions is an existing resort in Mactan, Cebu with a land area of 18,000 sqm. The resort will be re-developed to also integrate a residential component.   CLI purchased a 9.4-hectare property in Ormoc and 28 hectares in Davao that will be developed into residential projects. The company also acquired 11,000 sqm of land in Bacolod City, adjacent to its existing three-tower condo project, the MesaVirre Garden Residences. During the year, CLI also signed a strategic partnership with AboitizLand, the real estate arm of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, to develop a mid- market, mixed-use, multi-tower condominium project in Mandaue City. During the 7th Annual Property Guru Philippines Property Awards last July, Cebu Landmasters was awarded as the Best Developer. Other honors were also given to the company’s projects—38 Park Avenue development, named Best High-End Condominium Development (Cebu); Casa Mira Towers Labangon as Highly Commended for Best Affordable Condominium Development (Cebu); and MesaTierra Garden Residences as Best Condominium Development (Davao)and special recognition for Corporate Social Responsibility.

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Magic Cracker surprises CDO with Magic Moments

November 8, 2019

Corporate

By: , Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers continues to surprise and give joy to the snack-loving Filipinos.   This time, through a retro arcade-themed Magic Moments event in Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro last October 12, 2019.   Magic Moments brought people back in time with its retro-themed photo booth and fun arcade activities.  Mall-goers enjoyed the Magic Hoops: a basketball free-throw game, Onion Chives Surprise: an old school arcade attraction, and Apat Dapat booth: a slot machine-inspired game.    The best part was how participants were able to take home their favorite Magic Flakes products as prizes. Participants were also treated to a surprising Magic Moment when all four lightning icons of the Apat Dapat booth matched.    First, loads of Magic Flakes products came out of the Apat Dapat booth as prize. Then, an energetic dance flash mob by the Magic Squad surprised and entertained the audience.    Three lucky participants experienced this Magic Moment and won special prizes. Those who were present during the Magic Moment also went home with big smiles as they also received Magic Crackers giveaways after the flash mob dance.   Check out Magic Crackers’ Facebook account (@MagicCracker) to see how the Kagayanons experienced this Magic Moment. Watch out for more surprises from Jack ’n Jill Magic Crackers. You never know… the next Magic Moments might just come to your neighborhood!  Universal Robina Corporation’s (URC) Jack ‘n Jill Magic Crackers has been delighting Filipinos with its different cracker formats - Magic Flakes in plain, cheese and onion chive flavors; Magic Creams in butter, chocolate, peanut butter and condensada flavors; Magic Juniors in plain, chocolate, butter & berry and condensada flavors; and Magic Chips in cheese and barbecue small and big packs, as well as sour cream ‘n onion in small packs.

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FDA orders retailers and sellers to stop sale of astringent brand

February 14, 2020

Money Matters

By: , THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has directed drug stores, department stores, supermarkets and other establishments to stop the sale of an astringent formula which  continues to be sold commercially in Davao, CDO, Cebu and other parts of the country. The FDA says merchants who ignore the warning and continue to sell the product shall face regulatory actions and sanctions.   In the latest FDA Advisory No. 2020-061, the said brand has been found to be positive for the presence of HYDROQUINONE and TRETINOIN, ingredients that are NOT allowed to be part of a cosmetic. As per Administrative Order No. 13 s. 1999, the FDA says Hydroquinone and/or Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) shall be classified as home remedy, over-the-counter, or prescription drug depending on the amount present. The products in question that are contained in the advisory constitute Lot/Batch No. AOH01 with a manufacturing date of August 2019 and expiry date of August 2021; and Lot/Batch No. 1041905 with a manufacturing date of April 2019 and expiry date of April 2021. In the label, the products were alleged to be manufactured in Apas, Cebu City.   Accordingly, because it failed to comply with these standards, the FDA says they are classifying the said brand as an adulterated cosmetics product which poses potential hazards to the consuming public.  Using the product may result in adverse reactions including skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and even, organ failure.     For more information, please click on the following FDA advisory: https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/647685/FDA%20Advisory%20No.%202020-061.pdf   This is the second time in less than a year that this particular brand  failed to comply with the regulations of the FDA. Last year, the FDA also issued an advisory against the use and sale of this particular astringent after it was found that they were using Hydroquinone and Tretinoin beyond the levels  allowed for a cosmetic product.                                                                                                        To report any sale or distribution of the said brand, the online reporting facility eReport can be accessed at www.fda.gov.ph/ereport.

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More than 400,000 Northern Mindanaoans travel via Mactan in 2019

February 4, 2020

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, AROUND 420,000 persons from Northern Mindanao traveled via Mactan-Cebu International Airport last year.   In a press conference here, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation promotions head Aines Librodo reported that the number constituted a 22 percent increase in passenger traffic from Cagayan de Oro City and nearby areas.   That translates to 53 flights a week.   GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation operates Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second largest airport in the country.   The company conducted a roadshow here in Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday (February 4) as a gesture of gratitude to its Northern Mindanao patrons.   Despite the current coronavirus scare hitting the airline industry bad, airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, EVA Airways, Cathay Pacific and China Eastern Airlines were still bullish in introducing their latest routes.   In particular, Librado is optimistic that once this crisis blows over, there will be a surge in air travel.   Librodo recalled that by the end of the SARS crisis in 2002, people were hurrying to go on holidays everywhere. She is hopeful that a similar scenario will occur in this era of the novel coronavirus.   Mactan-Cebu International Airport has a lot of stake in its hands - China (Ground Zero of the virus) is its second largest market for both incoming and outbound flights.   It indeed will be a long journey ahead. Meanwhile as of presstime, Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in a state of emergency and airlines have momentarily suspended its China-bound flights except for Cathay Pacific which caters mostly to connecting flights.

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FOPANORMIN launches Big Brother Small Brother concept

December 3, 2019

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, TRUE to its thrust to help fledgling food businesses among its members, the Food Producers' Association of Northern Mindanao (FOPANORMIN) launched over the weekend its Big Brother Small Brother program.   FOPANORMIN president Nenita Tan explained that under the scheme, the organization will partner with bigger stakeholders in the industry to assist its relatively smaller startups.   "We are looking for big players which are willing to provide guidance to our selected MSME members in terms of technical assistance, proper managrment of logistics, accounting, marketing, products processing, etc.," Tan said.   These so-called big players may be multinational companies, academe, government units, foundations or financial institutions.   In return, the selected micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must be committed to apply what they have learned during the corporate tutelage, according to Tan.   Tan said this program is part of FOPANORMIN's thrusts to provide food processors in this part of Mindanao to generate assistance both from government and private stakeholders.   Big Brother Small Brother concept is expected to be adopted next year.   Friday's launch coincided with the opening of the group's Christmas showcase at Limketkai Mall rotunda in Cagayan de Oro City.   "Whether it be as an association or as individual companies, we were able to share inputs with each other our own business experiences simply to be a catalyst for growth for each other within and outside the association," Tan said.   For almost 20 years now, FOPANORMIN has been instrumental in leading innovations to constantly upgrade and sustain the food processing industry in Region 10, partnering with such agencies as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), among others.   It has a total of 32 industries as active members.   "We will continue to develop our products not just for membership upliftment but to showcase the best that Northern Mindanao can offer," Tan said.

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PH releases Premyo bonds

November 28, 2019

Money Matters

By: Mark Francisco, THE Philippine government through the Bureau of Treasury has released a public offering of so-called Premyo Bonds which started last November 25 and will end until December 13 this year. In a public forum held last Wednesday at Seda Centrio in Cagayan de Oro City, Bureau of Treasury director Eduardo Anthony Mariño III reported that the minimum investment for the Premyo Bonds is P500 and in multiples of P500 thereafter. With an issue date of December 18 this year, the maturity date of each bond will be on December 18, 2020 with an interest rate of three percent that is paid quarterly. Mariño further said that a maximum acquired bond of 20,000 units or P10 million is eligible for inclusion in each cash rewards draw with one winner of P10 million, one winner of house and lot each from Hotel 101, Lessandra by Vista Land and Megaworld, ten winners of P100,000 and 50 winners of P20,000. Draws will be held quarterly within the period before maturity. The Premyo Bonds can be acquired by individuals, trust entities, employee retirement funds, provident funds, cooperatives and associations. It is initiated by the Bureau of Treasury to make government securities available to small retail investors, according to Mariño.

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FDA WARNS PUBLIC AGAINST USING ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA FOR SAFETY REASONS

February 5, 2020

Billboard

By: , Despite warnings from The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA continues to be sold commercially in Davao.   The FDA Regional Office in Davao City has received reports from concerned citizens that several drug stores and supermarkets continue to sell THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA despite the health risks it poses.   In FDA Advisory No. 2019-119, THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA has been found to be positive for the presence of HYDROQUINONE and TRETINOIN, ingredients that are not allowed to be part of a cosmetic. As per Administrative Order No. 13 s. 1999, the FDA says Hydroquinone and/or Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid) shall be classified as home remedy, over-the-counter, or prescription drug depending on the amount present.   Accordingly, because THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA has not complied with these standards, the FDA says consumers who use these products as a cosmetic are risking their health and safety. Using the product may result in adverse reactions including skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and even, organ failure.   Along with FDA’s strong advise to the public not to purchase THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA comes the warning for establishments not to distribute this product until they have already been covered by the appropriate cosmetic notification.  Merchants who ignore the warning shall face regulatory actions and sanctions.   The FDA also called on All Local Government Units (LGUs) and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to ensure that the THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA is not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.   Apart from THE ORIGINAL PORCELANA® ASTRINGENT IMPROVED FORMULA, Porcelana also sells facial wash, day and night creams whitening body lotion, soaps and sunblock.

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Julie Anne San Jose is fashion-forward, ready to inspire new trends with Lee Jeans

January 22, 2020

Billboard

By: , Lee Jeans unveils latest female ambassador Julie Anne San Jose              You name it: acting, performing, songwriting, hosting, she has done and conquered them all. Now, Asia’s Pop Diva and Kapuso multitalented performer Julie Anne San Jose is ready to take on the world of fashion with her influential sense of style as Lee Jeans’ newest female ambassador. Being used to the glitz and glamour of showbiz, Julie has graced red carpets one after the other with much confidence. What a lot don’t know about her is that off-cam, she prefers to rock denim outfits as it combines comfort and chic at the same time. Like most of us, Julie’s chosen go-to jeans through the years is Lee. It has become a staple in her wardrobe because of its practicality and for being a durable work-wear maker which makes the brand perfect for her lifestyle as a celebrity.      The 25-year-old Kapuso artist embodies the brand with her unapologetic attitude of living life to the fullest—all while having fun. Being one of the Clash Masters of GMA’s all-original Filipino singing competition ‘The Clash’ and a mainstay performer in the weekend variety show ‘Sunday PinaSaya,’ Julie approaches the spotlight with her uncompromising personality. Lee Jeans has been a cult-favorite over the decades, creating the world’s most iconic signatures of quality, innovation and denim craftsmanship.  The trend-setting fashion giant is set to release a collection under their new line ‘Lee 101 Plus,’ headlined by Julie, which includes well-structured, fashionable yet versatile pieces that everyone can wear to a casual date or even a night out. In celebration of Lee Jeans’ 130th anniversary, they will bring collectibles and exclusive anniversary merchandise for the consumers via a pop-up store tour that will kick off in Manila, Philippines and make its way through China, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. To make it more remarkable, they brought Julie to General Santos to visit her fans in a ‘Meet and Greet’ Mall Show at KCC GenSan last November 29.  The event, which featured a pop-up exhibit with fun-filled D.I.Y. activities, was well-attended despite the weather, having hundreds of fans from different areas in the country flew over to GenSan to see and groove with Lee Jeans’ newest female ambassador.  As the new face of the brand, Julie devotes to resonate Lee Jeans’ undying passion for innovation through fashion-forward OOTDs, inspiring her fans and the Filipinos to look their best and elevate their personal style. (30) Lee – Over 130 years of Denim Craftsmanship since 1889 Lee is one of the world’s most iconic signatures of quality, innovation and denim craftsmanship. Following the establishment of the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company by Henry David Lee in Kansas, U.S., in 1889, Lee starts on its journey to becoming a legendary denim brand. Over the years, Lee has made history with its many product innovations such as the world’s first-ever zip fly jeans – the 101Z in 1926, the iconic Hair-on- hide leather label and the Lazy S back pocket stitching. From the launch of the 1st Lee bib overalls to the 13oz 101 cowboy jeans, Lee has demonstrated an undying passion for innovation, and has transformed itself from a practical and durable work-wear maker to a contemporary and trend setting fashion giant.

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4ID Golden Founding Anniversary celebrations kick-off with Barrio PEACE-TA Opening

January 15, 2020

Billboard

By: 4th INFANTRY DIVISION PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE, The peace-loving people of Cagayayan de Oro city joined the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division during the kick-off ceremony of its 50th Founding Anniversary with the opening of the “Barrio PEACE-TA sa Kampo 2020” earlier this morning January 15, 2020 at Headquarters 4ID, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City. The ceremony was attended by Hon. Oscar Moreno, City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro and currently the Northern Mindanao RPOC chairperson, MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander of 4ID, tourism officers headed by Dir. Marie Elaine Unchuan of DOT-X, MSAB members headed by the Vice-Chairperson Dir. Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, NEDA-X, unit commanders, other officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, dependents and visitors who came to the opening of the Barrio PEACE-TA. Mayor Moreno said, “I am honored and happy to be here to witness the result of the convergence of the military and the civilian sector. This is essential in our pursuit of peace and development for there’s no team military and team civilian; we are all members of one team with one goal, PEACE.” Barrio PEACE-TA is a three-week open-street merriment from January 15 to February 5, 2020 which is open from 8:00 o'clock in the morning to 10:00 o’clock in the evening where all soldiers, dependents, partner stakeholders and other civilians can enjoy, relax and take part in the celebration of the Golden Anniversary of 4ID. MGen Gacal also said, “The Barrio PEACE-TA sa Kampo 2020 is a way of giving back to our partner stakeholders and local communities for their continued support and trust to 4ID. It is a one-stop-venue with booths of 4ID units promoting the local products and tourist destinations of Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region in coordination with the local tourism office." "The 4ID invites everyone to join us as we celebrate our Golden Founding Anniversary. You will be able to have fun together with our troops, you will be able to experience and reminisce 'bayle' and you will see and buy the different local products within our area,” Gacal added The 4ID Barrio PEACE-TA has numerous “tiangge” booths manned by dependents and civilian stakeholders with various products and food for sale.  Also, every night there will be a “Night Café” with live band from 6:00 o’clock to 10:00 o’clock in the evening to entertain the soldiers, dependents and civilian visitors. One of the highlights of the Barrio PEACE-TA is the “baylehan” or benefit dance every Saturdays, to enliven and add color to the fiesta celebration.

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‘YOU’RE WELCOME’ AS ANYTIME FITNESS REVEALS ITS ULTIMATE PURPLE CHAMPION DURING THE ANNUAL BATTLE OF THE PURPLE WARRIORS

December 13, 2019

Billboard

By: , PASAY, PHILIPPINES – To end an almost 3-mo campaign, the world’s largest and fastest growing gym franchise, Anytime Fitness, throws their biggest Battle of the Purple Warriors event to date. Held last December 07, 2019 at the Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia, the annual Battle of the Purple Warriors gathered six contending teams from different Anytime Fitness branches across the country.  Battle of the Purple Warriors An inter-club competition facilitated by Anytime Fitness, Battle of the Purple Warriors is a one-day event dedicated for the toughest members and coaches vying for the top honor. This year, six qualifying teams from AF Ecoland, AF Santa Rosa, AF Bacoor, AF Shaw Boulevard, AF Maginhawa, AF Cubao, battled it out in an exciting series of challenges and obstacles ending in a bittersweet final round.   Search for the Purple Champion As the “fastest-growing fitness franchise of all time” on a global scale, Anytime Fitness always stays true to its brand values – to provide a safe space where everyone can be themselves without any judgments, intimidation, or discrimination. With over 4,000 gyms spanning six continents and well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment, the fitness behemoth has recently launched ‘The Search for the Purple Champion,’ a movement that aims to spark inspiration through fitness stories from Anytime Fitness’ club members. During the event, Anytime Fitness revealed their ultimate Purple Champion alongside the winning team for this year’s Battle of the Purple Warriors.  Anytime Fitness Asia’s Chairman, Maurice Levine, who was also present during the event mentioned how important it is for the brand to cultivate this kind of culture. “Truly, teamwork makes the dream work. Our customers are our top priority, and same goes for our staff and members. I hope that the annual Battle of the Purple Warriors continue to inspire our club members and coaches. You are our backbone! Let’s continue to make Anytime Fitness a fun and friendly environment for everyone,” adds Maurice.  The Battle of the Purple Warriors and Search for the Purple Champion was presented by My Daily Collagen, in cooperation with Huawei, Hoka One One, The Finix Corporation, Lightwater, and Red Planet Hotels.  For more details, visit www.anytimefitness.ph and Anytime Fitness Philippines on Facebook.       Maurice Levine Profile  Chairman Anytime Fitness Asia Maurice Levine is a subject matter expert on franchising and entrepreneurship who has been living, operating, and leading in various countries and executive positions in Australasia for over three decades. He opened his first Anytime Fitness gym in October 2013 and began franchising in February 2014. In less than three years, he has grown the franchise across six countries and over 150 territories. Under his helm, Anytime Fitness has become the number one gym operator by number of outlets in Asia, and is also the first and only US fitness franchise licensed in China. The brand is recognized in the region with an unprecedented Franchise of the Year and International Franchise of the Year two years in a row, as well as fastest-growing SME and a People’s Choice award. Globally, Anytime Fitness has been ranked the Number One Global Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine two years in a row, beating franchise icons such as McDonald’s 7-Eleven, KFC, and Pizza Hut. Prior to Anytime Fitness, Maurice was the CEO and founder of Gold Buyers, where he established and built a retail brand with over 60 stores across Asia in just five years. A native New Yorker, he is a Westinghouse Science Award recipient and a New York University alumnus. Just recently, he won the JLL Expatriate Executive of the Year and the Circle of Excellence Award at the Asia CEO Awards 2019.

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