StreetBy won at the APEC Forum in Malaysia to represent Philippines in 2019 APEC O2O Summit in Taiwan

April 18, 2019

StreetBy, the Mindanaoan super app based in Cagayan de Oro just made another milestone as it represented the entire Philippines at the APEC Online-to-Offline (O2O) Forum in Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Entitled “Empowering SMEs to Go Global through Digital Transformation”, the forum aspires to bolster digital transformation and identify issues of SMEs in the APEC region, create advanced and effective strategies and impart comprehensive methods in developing a digital transformation for SMEs in the region. Out of the startups in the Philippines, StreetBy was handpicked by Department of Trade and Industry and QBO Philippines to represent the startup community and the entire country. There were 5 other delegates from other  Asian countries who joined a pitching and mentoring session but StreetBy stood out from the rest and won a ticket to 2019 APEC O2O Summit. StreetBy will again represent the Philippines and compete in Taiwan. Beaming with pride and startup passion, the StreetBy’s Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer Miss Cherryanne Lee Angoy, proudly represented and wowed the audience with her presentation. “We are the first Filipino-made, total lifestyle app, you can call us a super app or mega app if you want but ultimately our goal is to support the SME sector. A sector that fuels our economy with 5M job creation every year and a 40% GDP contribution. When you support StreetBy, you are not just supporting our company but the millions of Filipinos who rely on the micro, small medium business. I invite all of my fellow Mindanaoan, to download the application and start using StreetBy.” as said by Chief Strategy Officer during her presentation. StreetBy is a product of hard work and dedication of 7 founders who stand firm in their goal to be a business solution provider for SMEs. Data shows that 80% of SMEs fail every year and factors include: customer and marketing insights, ineffective promotional strategies and lack of access to innovative technology. StreetBy serves as a tool for SMEs to increase their sales through a wide marketing mileage and access to a mobile application. To build a website and mobile application would cost a fortune for most of the SMEs, hence, StreetBy merchant sign up is for free. Listed here are the some of the many solutions StreetBy provides to its partner merchants: Multi Channel to Omni Channel for our Food Merchant Partners, Cashless Payment, CRM, Delivery Platform. It serves as a marketplace where consumers can search and transact goods and services to its partner merchants conveniently. As per DTI, SME sector contributes to the economy providing about 5M jobs every year. The challenge is if we can help reduce the number of SMEs that fail yearly, then that would mean we can boost the employment rate –this is what drove StreetBy to be up in the market despite the growing pains of startup and strong competition in the digital technology.   

Feast of the World by The Primer Group of Companies

April 17, 2019

I recently joined the Fete de la Monde Annual Primer event, which means 'Feast of the World' just last March 6, 2019 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel. Big thanks to the invitation of Ms. Norgelyn Bihag, the Cluster Head of Mindanao Primer.  I have also met the Philippine Sales and Operations Head of Primer Group of Companies from Manila Ms. Marisel Sunga Sy who was very warm and articulate, and of course the natural talented dancer during their program presentations Sir Edgar M. Rabino, the Regional Head, Sir Neil Fernandez, another Cluster Head in some areas in Mindanao and the rest. I have also personally met so far the brand managers of several brands from Manila namely; Ms. Ruth Carmina Sanchez of Fitlop, Sir PJ Chua of Native, Sir Llander Simon Cham of DC Shoes, and Sir Paulo Santos of Herschel Supply Co.  Having met them individually, I have observed that they are such a big united family that effectively draw different good outcomes through their positions. I have seen and felt that when they work, they really work hard even with happy smiles on their faces and when they play, they do really enjoy to have fun and play hard.   As I was marveling by myself how this great company was formed, I find out more of the good dynamics and foundation they have built over the years. So we ask, exactly what makes up a big, effective and strong company? I looked back at the history of this dynamic yet humble great family. I learned that the Primer Group of Companies was founded in the Philippines in 1985. In 1992, the company Primer Group ventured into apparel licensing of Disney and Warner Bros. Later the same year, Uniglobe Travelware Co., Inc. was established, opening the Primer Group's first retail concept store specializing in luggage - The Travel Club. Five years later, the first Bratpack store was launched; a unique lifestyle concept store for the young, hip and bold generation of today. It has been long standing for over 30 years now! This model company must be highly commended as a role model for any  They say when a company strived to reach 10 years old, it could be considered established yet the Primer Group of Company stood by and exceeded this with its own smooth transitions. The company believes in 'E.P.I.T.S.' which is the five primary values namely: Entrepreneurial Spirit, Passion for Success, Integrity, Teamwork, and Self-Discipline. From this alone, we start to learn of its core values and upholding the utmost importance of maintaining the high quality and standards as far as merchandising is concerned.  Primer Group of Companies is a Philippine company engaged in the retail sale and distribution of consumer brands and products. The company carries international brands mostly lifestyle products. The Primer Group also operates its own lifestyle boutique which includes Res/Toe/Run, The Travel Club, Ladybag, Flight001, Bratpack, GRND, General and R.O.X .In addition to the retail and distribution, The Primer Group recently opened its first retail and merchandising academy - APEX The company continued to grow in the year 2000s. From a retail and distribution company in the Philippines, Primer Group expanded business to its neighboring regions in Asia and to date, the company distributes to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand with 100 free-standing concept stores and 600 consignment deals in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Just wow, right?! The consumer brands carried by the Primer Group include DC, Hedgren, Herschel, Quicksilver, Volcom, Roxy, Fitflop, Kickers, KruZin, Native, Olukai, Sanuk, Sledgers, Tretorn, Ace, Eagle Creek, Delsey, Design Go, Mendoza, Tumi, Victorinox, World Traveller, Boxfresh, Eastpack, Ellesse, Gaiam, Hedgren, High Sierra, Jansport, Kangol, Slenderstone, Timbuk2, Tough Jeansmith, Outdoor Gear, Coghlans, Columbia, Mountain Hardware, Nalgene, Nathan, Salomon, Salvas, Sea to Summit and The North Face, ETC. Amongst all these, the company also has industrial products.  Now, we can just sigh and imagine how successful this company truly is! Of course, big things come from small things and before all these came to realize, everyone behind the success of Primer company exerted endless sacrifice, hardwork, hard-earned lessons, tried and tested systems, and all the necessary efforts and factors any thriving and flourishing company is equipped to have. Big kudos to all individuals responsible for its consistent growth behind the Primer Group of Companies! Celebrate your natural inner beauty!  Follow your passion  Be a Passionista!

Babu Kwan champions Moro Filipino Culture thru Halal Cuisine

April 17, 2019

The first Moro-themed and inspired restaurant in Cagayan de Oro is now on its soft opening at the ground floor of Saavedra Building (Vines Pension House), Yacapin corner Aguinaldo Streets, Barangay 32, Cagayan de Oro City, just across Wilshire Inn and 110 meters from Masjid Oro Jama-ah along Aguinaldo Street.   Babu Kwan is named after the common term for “beloved auntie” in Lanao, Sulu and Maguindanao (babu) and kwan is a common Filipino term for something intangible.   As described in the press statement shared with visitors during the ribbon cutting held last April 15, “Babu Kwan is everyone’s auntie. She represents the auntie who cooks for the whole clan. You see her at every gathering – bringing a smile to your face with her pots full of comfort food. She’s the one you can always turn to for advice, while enjoying a cup of coffee she brews for you along with her recipe for chicken BBQ. She makes you feel loved, while spoiling you with her dishes.”   Babu Kwan was introduced as a Moro Muslim born and raised in Southern Philippines. She is an essential part of the community, because she brings so much to the table. She is single, unmarried except to her cooking. She has much to share with the world, and she will make the whole world feel loved with her home-cooked meals. She is everyone’s auntie.   As the years passed, Babu Kwan traveled to nearby countries and realized how much we have in common with our Asian neighbors. Hence, she has infused the taste of Asia to her culinary flairs.   Two inspirations   Owned by couple Abdelnur (Abde) and Khal Campong, both former government employees, the new venture is their Great Leap Forward aimed at restoring the Maranao Culture and Lifestyle shattered by the Marawi Siege, and introducing Halal foods to people everywhere as mandated in the Holy Koran.   An Electronics Engineer from MSU Marawi and former ICT Chief of the defunct ARMM, Abde said they had two personal sources of inspiration for Babu Kwan.    “The Marawi siege destroyed our Maranao way of life, culture and heritage, not only in ground zero but also in surrounding towns. Cultural practices of IDPs were displaced when they moved elsewhere where ingredients for their traditional foods were unavailable. Even artisans in far off places like Tugaya, Lanao Sur lost their markets since no one comes to Marawi anymore,” Abde shared in his welcome remarks.   “This inspired us to do something to preserve our Maranao and Moro Muslim culture and cultural practices. Food is one of the best ways to understand the culture of the people. Through the food we serve, people will learn to identify our culture as Maranaos from Lanao or Muslims from Mindanao.”   Second, Abde said Babu Kwan was inspired by this particular passage from the Holy Koran: Mohsin Khan: O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is to you an open enemy.       “This is where Halal come in. Halal means what is acceptable, what is prescribed by religion. In one of our trainings in Malaysia, we were told they are promoting Halal foods not because they only want to serve the Muslims, but to open Halal food to all peoples of the earth. By opening Babu Kwan, we are complying with that directive.”   As of this writing, Ms. Khal said Babu Kwan’s Halal certification is  still under process, (Halal is different from Halal Certified) and they were in fact expecting auditors to visit this week but assured us all their ingredients are Halal, processes, kitchen and facilities are clean and abide by Halal principles.   Soft Opening   According to event coordinator Karen Kay Jagape, Babu Kwan will be on its soft opening from April 16 (Tue) to April 23 (Tue) then will reopen after Ramadan starts. Operating hours are Monday to Saturday 11am-2pm for lunch, then 5-9pm for dinner.   The kitchen is in the good hands of Chef Hasanah Sani Macapaar, an outstanding graduate of Monster Kitchen Academy, as related to us by our fellow CDO Blogger Karren Kaye Tulang-Mambuay who invited us to the soft opening.   I actually met Chef Has 3 years ago when she and team mate Chef Vahnja Babia won the Bronze Medal for finishing 2nd runner up in the prestigious Chef Wars at the 10th National Food Showdown held October 2016 in Baguio City.   Earlier, Chef Has won the right to represent the city in the national competition when she and team mates Ivy Ann P. Duldulao and Jade Charmaine P. Mangao won Silver, the highest award in the Chef Wars, 20th Kumbira, the longest running and biggest culinary event outside Metro Manila  in August 2016.   While Babu Kwan will eventually serve Halal Moro, Filipino and other Asian cuisines, for the week-long soft opening, the menu will be limited to the following:  Beef Randang, Chicken Piyaparan, Pizazati, Sambal Mussels, Chicken BBQ, Tiyula Itum, Daral and Garlic Prawns.   But for the first day of the ribbon cutting, we were treated with spicy peanuts, Sambal Mussels and Pizazati for appetizers, followed by the main courses Beef Randang, Carabao Randang, Chicken Piyaparan, Chicken Pyanggang, Kyuning Rice and Balolon for dessert.   “In Lanao del Sur, Randang is traditionally made with carabao beef (carabeef),” explained Ms. Khal, who will initially manage Babu Kwan.  “Beef and Carabeef Randang have different sauces.  Carabeef Randang sauce is stronger, with sambal and tomato paste, toasted, grated coconut meat and lemon grass (tanglad).”   Babu Kwan will also serve Tiyula Itum (Tausug for ‘black stew) and  Piyanggang manok, Tausug favorites from Sulu.   Tiyula Itum is a braised beef  or goat soup dish originating with a characteristic black color due to the use of charred coconut meat.   Tiyula Itum is prepared by rubbing and marinating chunks of beef in a pounded mixture of spices (pamapa) and powdered burnt coconut meat. It is then fried with garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger, and galangal or Siamese/Thai ginger (lengkuas) .   Once the meat is lightly browned, water is added along with additional ingredients like black pepper, lemongrass, and shallots  and allowed to simmer until cooked. Coconut milk is sometimes added to thicken the broth. Other ingredients like tomatoes and siling haba chilis are also sometimes added, but are not traditional. Tiyula itum is traditionally served with white rice or tamu rice cakes.   Tiyula itum is culturally important among the Tausug and is also known as Food for the Royalty since is usually served during special occasions like weddings and Hari Raya festivities.   Piyanggang manok, (or pyanggang manok), is chicken braised in turmeric, onions, lemongrass, ginger, siling haba chilis, garlic, coconut milk, and ground burnt coconut and rather looks like tiyula itum, since both use burnt coconut. It is likewise black in color, and the chicken may also be grilled before adding the marinade.   Maranao Mamis Desserts   Not to forget the Filipino’s penchant for sugary delights, Babu Kwan will also serve classic Maranao Mamis for dessert. Unfortunately, our favorites Dodol and Tiyat’g were unavailable for the first day due to a brownout in Lanao which precluded suppliers from preparing the raw materials. Fortunately, we were served Balolon,  pandan crepe stuffed with sweet grated and toasted coconut meat and muscovado sugar.   Pagana Maranaw   Aside from the menu, Babu Kwan also aims to promote Maranao arts through its interior decoration and culture through its unique Japanese inspired circular dining tables.   “In our special gatherings in Lanao called Pagana Maranaw, we serve food on the floor where the guests squat. Food is served in ornate aluminum ware called tabak, and this is known as the ultimate dining experience in Lanao,” Ms. Khal explained.   “However, it’s difficult to eat with this arrangement so we thought of these Japanese inspired circular dining areas with wood carved tabled inlaid with mother-of-pearl hand crafted in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur. This is not common, but we decided to showcase these as well, to help our fellow Maranao artisans continue their craft by promoting it in Babu Kwan. It is still Asian and very comfortable for diners.”

Phinma’s research arm holds seminar for Normin planning practitioners

April 13, 2019

ICI Asia, the research consulting arm of conglomerate Phinma, conducted a seminar Thursday (April 11) here in Cagayan de Oro City to 90 participants on the importance of research for the growth and development of an organization. ICI Asia chief executive officer Eric Barro said that the participants of the seminar held at Mallberry Business Suites were all administrators and planning officers of national government agencies based here in Region 10 including those belonging to the various local government units (LGUs) here. ICI Asia prides itself as among the pioneers in competitive intelligence. “We have developed these business tools and integrated with development research and strategic engagement best practices to form integrated competitive intelligence,” Barro said. Today, ICI Asia provides research and consulting support to the following sectors: environment, markets, health, governance and education. In the environment front, ICI Asia promotes sustainable development by empowering their clients with the data they need and provide them with enabling insights to take action about the pressing environmental issues they face such as sustainability assessment, climate change adaptation and natural resource management. End-to-end services include evaluation, policy development, communications, planning, project development and capacity building. Similar programs are offered in the other fields as well.

Bloggers in Mindanao join "Blogcon2019" in Cagayan de Oro

April 11, 2019

Cagayan de Oro - Hundreds of bloggers, vloggers and media influencers in Mindanao will be attending a three-day conference at Limketkai Rotonda, starting today (April 11,2019). Dubbed as "BlogCon 2019," the conference will be from April 11-13,2019, and will be guested by most respected bloggers in the Philipines. One of the most notable guest speakers will be former actor Chuckie Dreyfuss. He will be joined also by other guest speakers who will talk about new developments and tips in blogging and vlogging. KC Curay of Explorers Channel in Cagayan de Oro and other notable blogging personalities in the city joined city councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, who represented  mayor Oscar Moreno during the ribbon cutting this morning which officially signalled the start of the 3-day convention. Nacaya in his speech before the jampacked crowd of bloggers all over Mindanao said he saw the importance of social media in this new millennnium but also caution them about their active role and responsibilities especially in the posting of their contents online.  He said since election is fast approaching, many politicians are also using social media to malign their opponents. He cited the presence of trolls who actually hide their real identities and destroy their bosses opponents in the upcoming local and national elections.  He said bloggers and other residents must be responsible enough in posting their respective information, especially today that election fever is hot and most critics make use of the social media as a platform for mudslinging and trolling.  Curay, for her part, said that organizing this blogcon will make the participants aware of their responsibilities in maintaining their respective blogs for a good and responsible manners, mindful of the good etiquettes of professional and resposible bloggers, vloggers and media influencers. During the 3-day convention proper, speakers are assigned on very important topics on blogging and business related niches which are also part of continues development in the industry for what bloggers' claimed the new media in the new millennium.  In the convention, there will be a Brand workshop for the latest Vivo phones who now has DSLR capability, wherein the speaker himself is a Photography awardee, a well-known travel photographer, sports photographer and the current Vivo phones product specialist, Mr.Clement Dampal. There will be also a workshop on Vlogging, video content and story development for Vloggers and YouTubers which will be tackled by by a very famous videographer/photographer Mr.Richard Paglicawan and Mr.Atoy Martinez. The activity will wind up on Saturday(April 13) with a Bloggers' Awards Night which will be held also at the same venue. Winners of daily actual blogging and vlogging contests will be recognized and awarded.###  

Oro stude wins gold in int'l math tilt

April 9, 2019

AN elementary student from St. Mary’s School in Cagayan de Oro City won a gold medal in the just concluded Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad 2019 held last April 5 to 8 in Phuket. Denn Ethan Josh Castro ranked sixth out of 7,500 participants in the event from 21 participating countries. He brought with him 13 more elementary medalists from Cagayan de Oro City from four other schools. It was learned that Ethan only had two weeks of preparation for the event and for this, his parents expressed their gratitude to Dr. Exquil Bryan Aron, team leader of Team Philippines, and to MTG Iligan for all the support and mentoring and coaches Kier Damian, Ron and Joseph as well as St. Mary’s School for imparting the knowledge and mathematical skills to the contestant. Thailand International Mathematical Olympiad is an annual mathematical competition organized by the Thailand Mathematics Society. It is open to foreigners, thus the elementary graders from Cagayan de Oro City were able to participate in the event.


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