November 25, 2020

110 Years For the Filipino: Lessons of hope, courage, and overcoming the pandemic  Eleven decades and one would think, you’ve seen them all. But each of these periods is unique unto themselves; they are different from each other with their own distinctive highlights.   What is certain is that Insular Life (InLife), has been for the Filipino all these 110 years.  And these past eleven decades presented interesting experiences of their own: the first half is of growth and expansion, its second a series of great years and some costly lessons. There were periods of unprecedented growth as well as intervals of tempered expectations.  Today InLife attains another high point, becoming one of very few Filipino companies surpassing 110 years of success and continued service and operation since 1910. But as the company celebrates this milestone, the world is gripped yet again, by a most crippling crisis – a deadly battle against the unseen.  Medical frontliners receive PPEs from Bryan’s group at the height of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic may be the worst crisis of this generation, because all at once it became a global health, humanitarian and economic crisis. This is exacerbated by the fact that there are no manuals for solutions, no past lessons from which to learn. For InLife, we view these uncertainties as opportunities to serve and to fulfill a promise to be with the Filipino at all times, even in the worst of times.  From her car, Patty Vazquez drove the streets of Sta. Rosa, Laguna to distribute goods to the elderly to help them cope with the lockdown. Lifting up others  Such is the case for InLife employees Bryan De Matta and Patty Vasquez. During the early weeks of the pandemic, Bryan and his two other high school friends, noticed that in their hometown in Binan, Laguna, doctors treating COVID patients were also getting infected.  “One reason bakit nahahawa ang mga doctors is because of direct contact with patients during a process called intubation,” he said.  Bryan explained that doctors put a tube into the windpipe of severe Covid patients to help them breathe. But this direct contact procedure increased the risk of getting infected.  “We launched a project called ‘Pledge a Box’ over social media to solicit  donations so we can buy aerosol boxes for hospitals,” he said.  These aerosol boxes are made of transparent acrylic material and placed over the head of the patient. The box created a separation between the doctor and the patient.  From March to April, Bryan’s group distributed 45 aerosol boxes to 16 hospitals in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, and Ilocos.  For 25-yearold employee and entrepreneur Patty Vasquez, it was seeing the elderly struggle during the pandemic that made her decide to do something to help.  “I started my branded shoe business ( in 2019,” shared Patty. “I do it online so that I can still be fully employed at Insular Life,” she confessed.  “Yung business ko kapag kumikita ng malaki tumutulong kami sa iba. Lalo na ngayong pandemic, kailangan tumulong sa kapwa,” she said.  Patty explained that shoes and heels are not essential goods. “What our people need are food, water, and medicine,” she said.  “During the lockdown nag sale ako online and I called it ‘Shop For a Cause’. I promoted it on my FB and on my IG. All the proceeds of my April sales were donated to the most vulnerable families in Sta. Rosa (Laguna) and to frontliners like policemen and Barangay workers. Kasi sila yung mga nasa labas,” she said.  With proceeds from ‘Shop for a Cause’ and her personal money from her mid-year bonus, Patty was able to buy stocks of noodles, canned goods, biscuits, rice, water, and medicines for 200 senior citizens and frontline workers.   Pledge to Protect After the success of ‘Pledge a Box’, Bryan and his group launched another project called ‘Pledge to Protect’.  “Medical workers were pleading for personal protective equipment (PPEs). That became our next project.” Bryan shared.  Through sustained social media drive, solicitations, and family contributions, Bryan’s group collected P175,000 which they used to buy 450 PPEs, disposable shoes, and caps for hospitals in Laguna.  Asked why millennials like them embarked on a selfless act for others, both Bryan and Patty credit the example they witnessed at work.   “We are part of the bigger community. We must be aware. Not only sa ganitong situation dahil ang mga Filipino ay laging handang tumulong,” Bryan said. Patty added: “Na-inspire ako lalo noong nag volunteer ako sa Insular Foundation. It is about giving back. Iyong humanitarian heart ni InLife is aligned with my goals as a person.” Both Bryan and Patty are volunteer-employees of Insular Foundation.  Ida Jacob helps her agents cope with the new normal. Ida’s story  While Bryan and Patty took care of senior citizens and frontline workers during the pandemic, another InLifer took on the care of the people under her.  Ida Jacob, who started her insurance career as an InLife employee in 1988, turned out to become one of InLife’s most successful agency leaders.  Graduating Summa Cum Laude at the Colegio de Sta. Isabel (now Universidad de Sta. Isabel) in Naga City, Ida first ventured into the world of the academe. But her father, at that time already a seasoned and successful insurance agent, urged her to try InLife. After years of prodding from her father, she relented. “I was hired as a trainer. Later I was transferred to sales. After about four years, I was promoted as district manager and later on as agency leader,” Ida recalled with fondness.  Ida said she that from that time on, she has devoted her time, energy and talent to honing the skills of financial advisors, especially more so, during this period of the pandemic. “I want all my agents to be able to adopt, all my leaders, all my advisors dapat lahat sila makasabay. I need to sustain their morale, their motivation, monthly, weekly, kung pwede, kahit daily,” she said.  Ida admitted that caring for her agents is a role she takes to heart. “I don’t control the minds of my agents, but hopefully by my actions and example, I can inspire them.” It is what she hopes to achieve for her Company, InLife. “It’s Filipino! InLife is invested in our own country because we do not repatriate income to a mother company abroad. If they should get insured, it should first be by a Filipino,” she said. For more inspiring stories on resiliency, hope, and overcoming the pandemic, please visit:

Coca-Cola Partners with Unilever to Protect Communities from Covid-19

November 24, 2020

MANILA, NOVEMBER 20, 2020 – Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—and consumer goods manufacturer Unilever Philippines have teamed up to promote proper handwashing in communities across the Philippines, with the goal of strengthening the country’s collective campaign to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  CCBPI and Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines (CCFPI) will be installing 37 handwashing stations across the Philippines, specifically in high-traffic locations such as public markets and terminals. Half of the total funding was drawn from proceeds from the 2019 Coca-Cola Charity Golf Classic, where Coca-Cola had raised over Php 3 million from sponsor pledges.  “Supporting local communities has always been an integral part of our operations,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to the efforts to protect communities from COVID-19, particularly through creating safer and healthier spaces for Filipinos. We are proud to have found a partner in Unilever who share the same goal." Unilever Philippines will be providing Lifebuoy soap for one year and will help develop information and education campaigns to promote proper hygiene through handwashing—which remains one of the simplest and most effective lines of defense against the coronavirus. “We remain focused on helping Filipino families rebuild communities and livelihoods across the country. We thank Coca-Cola and all the local government units involved for this opportunity to show our Malasakit culture of Sama-Sama, Tulong-Tulong as we continue the call to make proper hand hygiene commonplace for all Filipinos through Lifebuoy,” shares Benjie Yap, Chairman and CEO of Unilever Philippines.  The first batch of handwashing stations to be completed this 2020 covers ten public areas in Luzon, six in the Visayas, and four in Mindanao—including public markets, transportation terminals, and plazas. Coca-Cola targets to complete all installations by early 2021.  A collective effort toward safer public spaces CCBPI has also pledged to ensure the project’s sustainability by covering the maintenance costs of the stations for a year. Stakeholders in local government, meanwhile, are tasked to monitor the security, cleanliness, and proper disposal of water outflow through existing drainage systems. “We are steadfast in our promise to foster stronger partnerships with our local partners and stakeholders, especially during these difficult times,” said Cecile Alcantara, CCFPI President. “With all our partners’ active participation in promoting proper handwashing and equipping communities with multiple handwashing stations, we are able to work together towards a more impactful approach in creating better and safer environments for our communities.”  Importance of handwashing in preventing spread of COVID-19 CCBPI and Unilever strengthens the initiative through the implementation of an information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign to emphasize the importance of proper handwashing, co-developed with Unilever through its top global hygiene brand Lifebuoy for local government units. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the importance of proper handwashing, which contributes greatly to the prevention of health risks via contact transmission of the virus. In the country, about 3.3 million households or 14.7 million Filipinos may not be able to comply with proper hand hygiene guidelines due to the absence of handwashing areas or lack of soap and usable water. Given this, the two-pronged approach of educating people on the importance of proper handwashing and the installment of necessary facilities is crucial to keeping communities safer.  CCBPI's partnership with Unilever is one of the initiatives undertaken by the bottling company to provide its stakeholders with much-needed support during the pandemic. Earlier in 2020, Coca-Cola in the Philippines pledged Php150M toward COVID-19 efforts—through this, the Company was able to provide over 2 million liters of Wilkins water to frontliners and communities, as well as PPEs to medical workers. More recently, the Balik Pinas Program launched in September seeks to provide returning OFWs with business opportunities to help them rebuild and restart.  This partnership aligns fully with Unilever’s Malasakit for All, a program to support employees, partners, and communities – rapidly launched in March 2020. Among the initiatives included are provision of more than P100M worth of Unilever hygiene relief packs, PPEs, RT-PCR test kits, and medical ventilators to hospitals, NGOs, and affected groups nationwide. Lastly, the company also repurposed local manufacturing lines to produce Lifebuoy hand sanitizers to help Filipino communities in preventing the spread of diseases through proper hand hygiene.  Amid this global crisis, CCBPI and Unilever remain committed to exhibit purpose in action by creating meaningful initiatives for its people and for Filipinos nationwide. About Coca-Cola in the Philippines Coca-Cola has been refreshing Filipinos and making a difference in the Philippines for 108 years. The Philippines was Coca-Cola’s first market in Asia to begin local bottling operations. Today, the Coca-Cola system in the Philippines has evolved into a total beverage company, offering 19 brands in its beverage portfolio and employing over 10,000 Filipinos in over 19 manufacturing facilities and more than 60 distribution centers nationwide. As part of its long-standing commitment to the country, Coca-Cola continues to #GOBEYONDGOOD as a business by continuously supporting safe water access programs in over 200 communities, empowering over 200,000 women entrepreneurs through training and peer mentoring, and accelerating packaging collection and recycling under its global World Without Waste initiative. About Unilever Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. Over half of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has around 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Axe, Breeze, Dove, Knorr, Lady’s Choice, Magnum, Rexona, Selecta, Sunsilk, and Surf.  Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business.    

The Merriment Continues with foodpanda’s Merriest Deals Promo

November 21, 2020

Get on full holiday spirit (and appetite) with plenty of discounts this month There’s no such thing as celebrating too early or having too much holiday spirit. As part of foodpanda’s kumukutikuti-TAP Christmas weekly surprises, the merriment continues with 20% off and more on food you love. Celebrate the holidays with the country’s on-demand delivery service as they give you their Merriest Deals-- no minimum order, no code needed, delivered in 25 minutes or less. Enjoy whatever you feel like having with thousands of featured restaurants, all complete with offerings available at discounted rates. Whether it’s your favorite breakfast combo of chicken and waffles or afternoon milk tea fix, and even late-night ramen craving, this month-long promo is a great opportunity to give yourself and loved ones a holiday treat. “Christmas in the Philippines is not complete without delicious and sumptuous meals. We, at foodpanda, want to ease the hassle and deliver your favorites straight to your door with 20% off and more through Merry Deals of the kumukutikuti-TAP Christmas weekly surprises,” says Daniel Marogy, foodpanda Philippines Managing Director. “We still have lots more up our sleeves in the coming weeks to make this year’s Christmas festive and enjoyable with bountiful selections of your favorite meals available on the best deals.” As an additional gift this Christmas, foodpanda is on free delivery on thousands of select restaurants when you use the code PANDAMORNING from 7AM-10AM, just in time for breakfast. Customers can also get P77 off when they use the code PANDA77 for a minimum order of P299 from 7pm to 7am, perfect for dinner and  midnight snack cravings. For more information and updates about foodpanda's Merry Deals and the kumukutikuti-TAP Christmas campaign , visit foodpanda’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@foodpanda_ph) account or look out for the pink tags on the foodpanda app. About foodpanda: foodpanda is dedicated to bringing food lovers their favorite meals from curated local restaurants in the Philippines. Since its creation, the on-demand food delivery service has grown to more than 170,000 partner restaurants in more than 325 cities across 13 Asian and Central Europe foodpanda Philippines currently operates more than 50 cities across the Philippines anc continuously expanding. foodpanda is a subsidiary under Delivery Hero, a worldwide leader of the food delivery industry. For more information visit

foodpanda celebrates 1st Anniversary in CDO: Hooray for Free Delivery and up to 20% Discounts!

November 19, 2020

In celebration of foodpanda’s 1st anniversary in Cagayan De Oro and the holiday season in full swing, there’s no better time than now to have everything you need from food to goods delivered to you all in one go.  That’s why this week, foodpanda invites you to experience the best of both worlds with free delivery starting this November 19 to 21, and up to 20% off on all orders in selected restaurants. No code and no minimum order required. Available in Cagayan De Oro from November 19 to 21. “We are truly grateful for the participation of CDO’s finest brands. Aside from value-for-money offerings curated for them, the free delivery promo is valid for both restaurants and shops, just in time for the holidays” says foodpanda Philippines Managing Director Daniel Marogy.   Following a decade of unrestrained growth, foodpanda continuously aims to add more partners so you don’t have to run to the restaurant for a bite of your favorite dishes or step out of the house just to purchase your groceries on time. Find comfort at home today as you sit and wait for all your orders--- download the app now for food and more delivered at your door.  About foodpanda: foodpanda is dedicated to bringing food lovers their favorite meals from curated local restaurants in the Philippines. Since its creation, the on-demand food delivery service has grown to more than 170,000 partner restaurants in more than 325 cities across 13 Asian and Central Europe foodpanda Philippines currently operates more than 50 cities across the Philippines anc continuously expanding. foodpanda is a subsidiary under Delivery Hero, a worldwide leader of the food delivery industry. For more information visit How it works: Through the foodpanda website or via the new iOS and Android apps, customers can enter their address and view a curated list of restaurants and shops serving their neighborhood. Once they have found their choice, they can place an order in the comfort of their home or office, paying online through foodpanda’s secure platform or via cash-on-delivery The order is then carefully prepared by the restaurant or shop, picked up by the foodpanda rider and delivered straight to their doorstep. Follow us on: Facebook: foodpandaphilippines Twitter: foodpanda_ph Instagram: foodpanda_ph  

J&T Express encourages support for local products on Double-day sales

November 16, 2020

CERTIFIED LOKALISTA: NO REGION TOO FAR-FLUNG, NO SELLER TOO OUT OF REACH   Courier service J&T Express Philippines, known for efficiently delivering parcels even to far-flung and hard-to-reach locations in the country, showcased its Certified Lokalista Campaign in a webinar during its highly anticipated double-day sale on Nov. 11. The campaign, which started on Oct. 16, 2020 and will run up to January 14, 2021 encourages people to ‘buy local’, patronize, and support small-to-medium-sized entrepreneurs, and thus promote regional products to a larger national audience.  J&T’s Certified Lokalista campaign has been attracting entrepreneurs from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, many of whom are promoting and distributing their wares in other islands and regions outside their own for the very first time. Officer-in-Charge Executive Director Nelly T. Dillera of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center (DTI-PTTC) pointed out one distinct factor that set this new e-commerce explosion apart from similar trends. She said:  “Culture is the basis of how we can and should develop products, from food to wearables. What is important is preserving them while adapting to the new global economy. E-logistics has made it possible for local products and crafts to be brought to the homes of the people.” With 75,000 online entrepreneurs now active on digital marketplaces, DTI itself, which is focused on exports, “did a backward integration on helping people to start their own business and onboard e-commerce,” Director Dillera continued. One support that the DTI-PTTC will be providing these new entrepreneurs is training in vital areas like the digitization of their processes; business finance and operations; business marketing; business human resources and organization; and working in the logistics and supply chain. According to Zoe Chi, Vice President of J&T Express Philippines, the Certified Lokalista campaign celebrates the hard work, creativity, and nationalism of the online sellers. She said, “Filipino entrepreneurs, especially those who went above and beyond amid the mobility restrictions brought about by the pandemic, deserve to be supported and recognized for their creativity and tenacity.” Panel moderator Amor Maclang, the Co-founder of GeiserMaclang Communications Inc., enthused that the increasingly popular digital double-day sales, launched on the same day of the same month by different online marketplaces, can be a long-overdue opportunity where shoppers can support regional entrepreneurs. She said, “It is because of these men and women that our local products are finally getting the recognition they deserve! Generations-old family recipes, regional specialties, and other proudly Filipino wares are becoming stars on these e-commerce platforms.” The Certified Lokalista campaign kickstarted in 2020 by awarding Filipino entrepreneurs with a Certified Lokalista badge that will recognize them as J&T trusted sellers. These Certified Lokalistas, whose inspiring work has paved the way for the promotion of Filipino goods,  will be awarded P20,000 worth of free shipping by J&T Express. These citations are also designed to influence more sellers to represent their own regional products online. Ms. Chi described how the challenges brought about by the coronavirus crisis and its lockdowns became instead an opportunity for businesses to discover the advantages of e-commerce and e-logistics. She looked back, saying, “After the pandemic greatly reduced mobility, both old and new entrepreneurs without any previous e-commerce interest or experience joined the platform in droves. It was a matter of survival because people were staying away from brick-and-mortar stores and were doing a lot of their shopping online. But what these sellers may or may not realize is that by joining e-commerce, they aren’t just boosting online sales--they are becoming ambassadors of their own heritage.”  Four Certified Lokalistas who represented the three major islands of the Philippines spoke about and showed their own homegrown products and produce which gave their respective regions their unique edge. Maria Todi, founder of the School of Living Tradition, based in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, emphasized the intricacy and beauty with which native artisans design and weaveT’boli shirts, bracelets, necklaces, and rugs, among other heirlooms. Because the handicrafts are a collective effort, Todi said that buying from the T’boli means “not just helping one weaver or organization, but helping a community.” Meanwhile, Katherine Jordan, the Marketing Head of the Leyte-based online food store Mary’s Abuyog Special Toskolyet Moron, atp., named the following delicacies that have become popular outside the region:  pili nuts, chocolate moron, binagol, sagmani, and suman latik.  Rica Dakudao-Buenaflor, who relocated from Davao to Bicol in 2002, founded Que Rica to manufacture, promote, and deliver the latter’s best cuisine to other parts of the archipelago. She maintained that Bicol should be known as the “land of Keto” because of its nutritious food:  “We produce the healthiest recipes when it comes to heart-healthy fats. Coconut milk is high in fat and with no carbohydrates.  The pili nut contains the highest healthy-fat content, and 95% of the overall production of pili nut comes from Bicol.” Finally, Bulacan-based culinary whiz Rheeza Santiago-Hernandez said it is about time that the normally reticent Bulaqueños start promoting the dishes that they are known for. One example is the hamon bulaqueña which has a rich place in Philippine history. Santiago-Hernandez said, “It is historical. It was served during the liberation of Bulacan in 1898 during the time of General Gregorio del Pilar, who was then a lieutenant colonel. Other national heroes who have dined on it are Jose Rizal and Apolinario Mabini.” As celebrity host Robi Domingo put it, the work of these regional entrepreneurs I “making local the new premium.” Ms. Chi emphasized that J&T Express Philippines is passionate about supporting Filipino entrepreneurs and the whole local e-commerce landscape considering the wide reach of their courier service. She said, “Community can be vital in the promotion and expansion of entrepreneurship as we have heard from our guests. Lokalistas or local entrepreneurs are the best ones to reach out to their fellow entrepreneurs, and J&T will support them in that endeavour.” “As the logistics company with the fastest and farthest-reaching operations, no region is too far-flung and no seller is too out-of-reach. With a safe and trustworthy partner like J&T Express, e-commerce can continue to boom and fuel our economy while acting as a platform for Filipino entrepreneurs,” Ms. Chi added. ###

Emperador’s global presence continues to expand across North America, Europe and China

October 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines - Emperador Inc. – the world’s largest brandy company owning the iconic Emperador Brandy and Fundador Spanish Brandy de Jerez – continues its aggressive growth across North America and Europe during the first nine months of the year even as the global pandemic adversely hit most countries in these continents.       Fundador, Tres Cepas, and Emperador brands have been growing consistently, particularly in the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Greater China. In Spain, brands owned and produced under Grupo Emperador España S.A. continue to dominate the brandy market with 40% market share.      Fundador has been particularly showing spectacular performance even in North America. In the United States alone, Fundador achieved 23% growth during the first nine months of the year. In Canada, sales have also tripled during the first nine months as Fundador Light has been made available in Alberta, Canada as a new expression this year. The new Fundador Double Light was also rolled out across the US.       Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Fundador grew 185% during the first nine months, while in Italy, it recorded 15% growth during the same period. Emperador’s brandy performance, on the other hand, achieved 8% growth in Mexico during this period.      “We are glad that the company was able to deliver solid performance in the first nine months of 2020 on the strength of its international business that we have developed in the past five years.  The highest international growth comes from China, which is expected to more than double from last year, which will be driven by the premium single malt brands and brandy.  We are confident that this will pave the way for further growth in the future for Emperador,” says Glenn Manlapaz, chief executive officer, Emperador International.      As international sales of its brandy and whisky products in various markets around the world, Emperador recorded 11% growth in its net income to P5.9-billion during the first nine months of the year while third quarter earnings achieved 26% record growth to P2.5-billion as overseas demand for its products surged amid the global pandemic.       “The success of our international expansion boosted company earnings, bringing stability and growth at a time when the Philippines wrestles with the impact of the coronavirus.  Emperador’s global business saw double-digit growth as it adapted well to new consumption trends,” says Winston Co, president, Emperador Inc.      Emperador Inc., which owns Emperador Distillers, Inc., Scotch whisky maker Whyte and Mackay Group, and Bodegas Fundador in Spain, has brandy and whisky brands that are available in more than 100 countries around the world.


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