Monday, October 24, 2016

Open Collaboration With East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) is a convention occurring every two years in the Philippines which gathers leaders from different domains “to connect, discover new ideas, and shape a more creative and innovative future together”.

According to Micaela Beltran, the Executive Director of OCEAN 16, the biennial gathering was initiated back in 2014 when the World Economic Forum held its Southeast Asia conference in the Philippines for the first time. “At that time, we discussed how the Philippines is no longer the 'Sick Man of Asia' and economic progress is finally coming", said Beltran. Further, she mentioned that the main question in the minds of the Filipino leaders of the World Economic Forum is “How can we ensure that Economic Prosperity becomes inclusive?”. 

One of the people behind making these aspirations into reality is Winston Damarillo. He has been the core driver and convener of OCEAN since it was just an idea.

The mission of OCEAN is to become a convener of global leaders and shapers that will serve as catalysts for innovation in the Philippines. This year, OCEAN is taking a step further by leading several initiatives that will live beyond the conference. The summit is geared towards harnessing technological advancements with the talents and resources of entrepreneurs and creative leaders. In a nutshell, OCEAN 16 is preparing the creative genius in the country to pursue ASEAN success in the upcoming 4th industrial revolution.

One of their initiatives is building a more “Digital Bohol”. The organization has been working to build a digital central for entrepreneurs and creative leaders, and to strengthen resilience against disaster through mesh chat networks like FireChat. Consequently, they bring together community organizers, particularly the youth, who can sustain these programs after the summit in November.

The Provincial Government of Bohol and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry sign a memorandum of agreement with OCEAN 16 on August 15, as part of a joint initiative for the development of smart cities in the Philippines, starting with Tagbilaran City in Bohol as the pilot and model city.
The three-day summit was organized by young and entrepreneurial go-getters; Katrina Bayog, Media & Program Lead; Rexy Josh Dorado, Kaya Collaborative; Angelica Misa, Media Strategy Consultant; Micaela Beltran, Executive Director; and Winston Damarillo, Chief Organizer and Co-Chair.  With the help of OCEAN Co-Chairs; Analisa Balares, Sen. Bam Aquino, Richard Dacalos, and Karen Davila, and WEF communities in the Philippines; KAYA Collaborative, World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders, World Economic Forum Global Shapers, and Amihan Global Strategies.

For more information regarding the upcoming summit, visit, email or call 0947-813-6401. You may also participate in online discussions by following OCEAN 16 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @WEFPHOCEAN.

Photo credits to OCEAN

OCEAN's backstory and advocacy in the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Filipino art scene has been evolving and flourishing in recent years. Our artists are getting rave reviews in auctions and exhibitions abroad, while local art events like Art in the Park and Art Fair Philippines are staged with resounding success. This signals not only a renewed appreciation for Filipino art by locals and foreigners alike, but also the eager interest and growing population of art enthusiasts in the country. It is within this context that the idea of Curious Curator was formed by a pair of art enthusiasts. 

Curious Curator was conceptualized in order to help budding and potential artists from outside Metro Manila, especially from the Visayas and Mindanao, penetrate the mainstream art scene. Keeping the welfare of the artist front and center, Curious Curator manages the financial, marketing and sales aspect of the collaboration so that the artist can focus on the creation process. Curated and conceptual art exhibitions are held in non-traditional venues to reach a wider audience.  This enables the startup to promote the evolving Filipino artistry while diversifying and simplifying ways that budding art collectors can secure original but affordable art pieces.

To officially launch Curious Curator, two Ilonggo artists will be featured as the first curated artists in an exhibition entitled, “Ang Maugdang nga Kusog sang Babaye.”  Showing contrasting perspectives on the “quiet strength of a woman,” the exhibit will feature two entirely different artists who are both lovers of the silhouette of a woman. One is a man; the other, a woman. One is a sculptor; the other, a painter. One is seasoned; the other, budding.

For Harry Mark Gonzales, “How I carve shapes and movement is how I appreciate and celebrate the beauty and strength of a woman.” The 34-year old effortlessly manipulates cold-cast marble into stunning silhouettes of women. His love affair with marble started after his “A Protest Over Guimaras Oil Spill” terra cotta sculpture bagged the grand prize at the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) Awards in 2007.  A self-taught artist, his material mastery was honed by years of experience under the influence of respected artist Ed Defensor, allowing him to create some of Iloilo City’s most important landmarks.

Inspired by poet and artist Akiane Kramarik, 21-year-old Kat Malazarte pursues spirituality as the main theme in her body of work, recognizing this as the core of a woman’s strength.  “A woman’s quiet strength is her resilience. That no matter the storms that rage at her life… she, in the end, rises.” This is beautifully captured in strokes that convey the depth and mystical quality of the woman, strokes that have been meticulously guided by the late Norce Salazar. A Vision Petron National 
Student Art Competition Grand Prize winner for the video-making category in 2015 for her entry, “Tingnan Nang Malapitan, Damhin Nang Malaliman,” Kat is the first cum laude graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program of the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City.

The 18-piece collection of eight oil paintings and ten cold-cast marble sculptures creates a visual feast that pays homage to the strength that allows women to endure.

The exhibit runs from September 30, 2016, 6:00pm to October 2, 2016, 6:00pm at _GALLERY at A SPACE, 5th floor, 110 Legazpi St, Makati City and is staged by Curious Curator with their partners A SPACE, Nipa Brew and 034 creatives. An Artists’ Talk is scheduled on October 1, 2016 at 2:00pm with the two featured artists to share their thoughts on the theme as well as their creative process. For more information, you may contact Curious Curator at 09178828299, or email them at or visit or

Curious Curator launches with art exhibition on “The Quiet Strength of a Woman” featuring two Ilonggo artists

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In recent years the word sustainable has walked into the territory of watered-down buzzwords. It has risen to become a main topic of discussion in numerous conferences, multilateral talks, political agendas, etc. But what does it even mean? Am I being sustainable if I recycle? Sustainable has replaced boring, buttoned-up words such as profitable, green or ‘long-term’. It is the new sexy, in danger of losing its avant-garde status by being the apple of everyone’s eye.

So what has prompted the theme of sustainability to be so mainstream? I am inclined to say that on a global scale, growing recognition of continuing down this current path has brought about fears of leaving a future where our descendants are worse off. The need for an alternative to how the world advances has brought about hope and innovation. Business has been the single-biggest creator of value that mankind knows. And what other way is there for the human race to leverage and move forward with?

In the past, sustainability may have been described as ‘hippie-talk’ or unrealistic, unfit for the current state of the world. This is now gaining increasing influence on the global political and economic agenda as evidenced by high-powered meetings such as the COP21 meeting. One can point to rapid industrialization as the culprit to our woes. The earth is continuously being destroyed by the footprint that mankind leaves behind to serve our “needs”, rapidly depleting and polluting natural resources.

Agriculture is not an exception to the rule. Farming is big business as everyone needs food to survive. Agriculture has allowed our species to evolve from hunter-gatherers to establishing civilizations. The industrialization of agriculture has wreaked havoc on the environment, killing forests, soils and bodies of water.

With a rapidly growing population, food production must increase with it. The population is expected to increase to 9.5 billion people by 2050, with most of them living in cities. This growth necessitates a 60% increase in food production based on current demand. This is a staggering number because, as it stands, agriculture accounts for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and uses two-thirds of the world’s freshwater resources.

Industrial farming kicked-off post World War II where bomb-making factories switched to the manufacturing of fertilizers to serve a population devastated by war. These initiatives were further pushed by the Green Revolution of the 1970’s promoting industrial agriculture as the solution to global hunger with the use of chemical inputs. Has it been successful? In a way, certainly. These methods have helped produce more food than we can consume. However, this feat does not come without a cost.

Industrial farming relies heavily on chemical inputs, oil, GMOs, and unnecessary transport of food across the planet. Interestingly, it is the small-scale farmers that are responsible for 70% of the food we consume globally, and not the large-scale industrial farms.

Here are some more astounding numbers. Out of 7 billion people, 795 million go hungry everyday while we waste one-third of the food that is produced. The world produces enough food for everyone but it does not get to all of those in need.

Solving food security is not as easy promoting more small-scale farmers. Industrial agribusiness will not simply disappear. We need to find ways to make their practices more effective through partnership and prevent the colonization of food production and distribution. In order for small-scale farmers to be at the forefront of the transformation in agriculture, granting access to support is necessary to overcome the challenges they face.

Sustainable farming practices call for the increase in soil carbon content, the optimal use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, international trade reform, land management for crop and livestock production, the reduction of food waste, a change in dietary patterns, to name a few. Only then can agriculture be less resource-hungry in an increasingly scarce world, work to regenerate lands, natural resources and ensure proper health and nutrition for mankind.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration for East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Sustainability at the Heart of Business: How to Innovate Responsibly. To know more and participate, go to

"Sustainability: A Farmer's Perspective" by Enzo Pinga

It was Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business school, that coined the term disruptive innovation. Since then, it has become one of the most commonly used ideas in the tech startup community, to the point that it has entered the mainstream.

Disruption or disruptive innovation, Christensen proposed in his case studies, was what happened when small startup companies developed new innovative solutions or discovered unserved or underserved markets that allowed them to topple their bigger, more established rivals. (Check out: The Innovator’s Dilemma 1997, Seeing What’s Next 2004)

One great example of this would be between Amazon and Borders. Amazon, which started as an online bookstore in 1994, is today one of the world’s most valuable companies, selling all sorts of goods (not just books) to consumers. In 2015 it surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States based on market capitalization, and today its revenues surpass a hundred billion dollars. On the other hand, Borders, which was established in 1971, had at its peak almost 20,000 employees and more than 1,300 stores around the world, but in 2011 filed for bankruptcy.

You might wonder: How did Amazon beat a rival with a 20-year headstart?

Many would refer back to Christensen’s thesis and say that Borders was disrupted - that Amazon had learned how to develop and offer a better solution - e-commerce, a better business model; online payments and customer fulfillment; and even access to more customers and new markets.

Yet, as enticing as disruption is as an idea and management theory, it’s just one of many theories and frameworks out there.

In an article published in The New Yorker, entitled, “The Disruption Machine”, author Jill Yore offers a great rebuttal (and overview of such arguments) against Christensen’s thesis of disruption.

She makes three main points. The first point implicitly stated is that there are other theories and frameworks such as Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage. To add, I would also put forward his other theory of The 5 Forces.

Michael Porter’s 5 Forces

Competitive advantage, put simply, is where a company succeeds and beats its competitors either by being the cheapest and having the lowest costs, or by being the most different/differentiated. The 5 Forces, meanwhile, attests to the role of external factors - like suppliers, new entrants, substitutes, buyers, and industry rivals - and the degree of influence or ability of a company to manage these factors in order to survive.

Arguably, both theories also fit the Amazon and Borders example. Amazon was an innovative business model - but at the end of the day, it might have boiled down to the competitive advantage of being cheaper and differentiated compared to borders. And who is to say Borders just couldn’t manage against external forces better than Amazon? After all, theories wouldn’t be theories if they weren’t widely applicable.

The second point Yore makes is that within the many examples or cases that Christensen identifies to prove his theory, there are many inconsistencies as well.

“...Seagate Technology was not felled by disruption. Between 1989 and 1990, its sales doubled, reaching $2.4 billion, “more than all of its U.S. competitors combined,” according to an industry report. In 1997, the year Christensen published “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Seagate was the largest company in the disk-drive industry, reporting revenues of nine billion dollars. Last year [2013], Seagate shipped its two-billionth disk drive. Most of the entrant firms celebrated by Christensen as triumphant disrupters, on the other hand, no longer exist, their success having been in some cases brief and in others illusory. [emphasis mine] (The fleeting nature of their success is, of course, perfectly consistent with his model.) “

The last point Yore makes in her article is simple yet poignant. While many wish to use as a means to predict the next big thing, Christensen’s framework stands better as an explanation of the ultimate success or failure of companies. At best, it is a pattern seen in retrospect and not a predictor of the future.

Instead of looking at disruption as the “end all and be all” for companies in this age of technology and information, I think what’s most important is to consider what is at the essence and heart of these concepts. That…

  • Today the world is changing faster than it has ever been before. With this rapid change comes change in the business conditions and the needs of customers;
  • That the challenges faced by companies is to adapt and keep pace with these changes while solving their customer's problems most effectively and efficiently.

With everything said, the aforementioned theories and cases lead to one fundamental point: He/she who makes the most customers happiest, fastest and in the most efficient way possible wins the day. And, ultimately, all businesses or business owners should already know this.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on The Disruption of Industries: The next decade in digital transformation.. To know more and participate, go to

"Is Disruption All It's Cracked Up To Be?" by Lionel Belen

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Young Global Leaders and Shapers recognized by the World Economic Forum are getting together and gearing up for the Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) 2016 Summit from November 24 to 26 at the Be Grand Hotel in Bohol.

Chief Organizer Winston Damarillo, a WEF Young Global Leader said, “This year in Davos, we talked about the 4th Industrial Revolution – how high technology will promote rapid industrialization and how digital can impact lives for the better. We want to make sure that all emerging countries don’t miss out. We don’t want to miss out.”

“Our goal for OCEAN 16 is to take the whole concept of the 4th Industrial Revolution beyond the think tanks and the people talking theories in Davos. We want to bring it to emerging countries like the Philippines at the grassroots level,” he added.

Started in 2014 by Damarillo with fellow WEF Young Global Leaders, Karen Davila and Senator Bam Aquino, OCEAN aims to encourage local and global leaders to work together and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation, technology and creativity in the Philippines.

OCEAN 14 brought together over 200 changemakers from all over the world to Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island in Cebu. Panel discussions covered Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Social Initiatives, Environment in the Next Decade, the Creative Economy, and Igniting Private & Public Partnerships. Attendees included Tony Meloto, Maria Ressa, Manny Osmeña, Geena Rocero, Jeffrey Tarayao, Cherrie Atilano, Carlo Delantar, Lynn Pinugu and Anna Oposa.

Notable outcomes from OCEAN 14 include the Start-Up Business Bill, a proposed legislation to provide tax exemptions to young companies; the Hope Now Foundation, which activates mobile hospitals in response to natural disasters; and a bamboo school that facilitates active learning for the youth in Bohol.

What’s going to Bohol?

For this year’s OCEAN Summit, the WEF communities, led by Young Global Leaders and Shapers, are bringing discussions from Davos to Bohol. They will confer on the applications of technology in driving inclusive and sustainable growth in the region.

OCEAN 16 will focus on the question, “How can the Philippines – and other emerging countries – harness new technologies to accelerate economic development and social progress?”

The three-day summit will feature keynote addresses from government, business, and civil society leaders; plenary sessions on entrepreneurship, innovation, the Philippines, and the global community; interactive brainstorming sessions centered on how to scale emerging, youth-led social solutions; demos of cutting-edge new technologies including drones, 3D applications; and a maker market of goods from local artisans and entrepreneurs.

The Summit will also introduce and feed into a roadmap for “Digital Bohol” – a plan for holistic digital inclusion in Bohol that aims to set the standard for how local leaders can collaborate to harness technology to empower business, government and civil society.

Bohol was selected to pilot the smart city movement because of its strong public and private partnerships, and its vast work building its ICT infrastructure towards becoming a tech hub. It is also set to become a global destination with the opening of the Panglao International Airport in 2018.

OCEAN 16 signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Bohol and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry last August 15, as part of a joint initiative for the development of smart cities in the Philippines, starting with Tagbilaran City in Bohol as the pilot and model city.

“Technology plays an important role in society and we’re very excited to be one of the first LGUs to start utilizing it to develop smart cities, enable disaster preparedness, promote inclusive economic development, boost tourism and ensure the safety of our citizens,” says Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto.

Top Filipino experts from Silicon Valley talk about social impact of tech

Top Filipino executives from Silicon Valley will be coming to share the best practices in world technology at OCEAN 16 – Mark Damarillo, Apple Lead Engineer for iDevices, will be talking about wearable technology and its potential to enhance lives; and Pepe Torres, AirBnB Regional Brand Marketing Manager, will talk about the impact of Sharing Economy in the Philippines.

“Bohol will be a whole new experience. It’s a microcosm of what we want to achieve for the theme of this year’s OCEAN,” says Damarillo. “We want to share the lessons from the World Economic Forum to local leaders and benefit communities in the Philippines.”

“For improving the state of the world, we want to talk to the people whose conditions we can improve using technology. Bohol is a good place to see the social impact of this new digital revolution,” he added.

Summit interactions will tackle the following topics:

  • The Future of Talent: Cultivating a new generation of leadership
  • The Disruption of Industries: The next decade in digital transformation
  • Powering Small Business: MSMEs in the digital economy
  • The New Oil: Harnessing the power of data
  • Sustainability at the Heart of Business: How to innovate responsibly
  • Collaborative Governance: Solving problems beyond private and public
  • Innovation for All: Democratizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • The Next Economic Power: Navigating the ASEAN collaboration
  • Preparing for the Digital Future: Where we are and what’s next

OCEAN 16 is co-organized by the WEF communities in the Philippines; Amihan Global Strategies, a digital transformation consultancy; and Kaya Collaborative, an international nonprofit that connects the global Filipino community to entrepreneurship, impact, and innovation in the Philippines.

For more information, visit, email or call 0947-813-6401. You may also participate in online discussions by following OCEAN 16 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @WEFPHOCEAN.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Carissa Villacorta / Pauline Mangosing
Mobile: +63917-595-5480 / +63998-867-2088
E-mail: /

TOP TECH EXPERTS AND CHANGEMAKERS TO CONVENE IN BOHOL FOR OCEAN 2016 SUMMIT: Summit readies region for next industrial revolution

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Best Western Plus Antel Hotel offers more convenient accommodation during rainy days. By June, most of us will go to our offices and classes and may anticipate cooler days brought by rains. So avoid the hassle of commuting and instead stay where you have quick access to malls, grocery stores, restaurants and more that’s near your offices and schools in Makati.

Comfortably enjoy your own suite that’s equipped with kitchenette that allows you to bring food inside your room. Want indoor activities? We have indoor pool, 2 fitness centers, or enjoy discounts from our Toccare Spa that features a sauna, Jacuzzi and charmed crystal themed VIP rooms. Dine-in to our restos and avail discounts from Granvia Cafe by Paladin where you can enjoy Barkada Meals like Buy - Take 1 of 12 inches pizza in scrumptious Pepperoni and Hawaiian flavours; or Azzurro Restaurante Mediterraneo and feast on their famous Paella Valenciana, Gambas or enjoy the KTV with your friends in the pool bar.

For the months of June until August, avail Rainy day Promo that gives you golf umbrella! Your suite comes with buffet breakfast for two and full access to our amenities with discounts to restos and spa.

Starting at PhP4888 nett, you book direct with no other hidden charges. Best part of staying with us is your immediate access to our nearby attractions: A.Venue Mall, HOTT Asia (open parking midnight market), Century City Mall and enjoy amazing deals from our various partner establishments!

This is your cosmopolitan community and we try our best to help you have more fun and stay with

Book direct call: (+63 2) 773-3000 / 662-3300 / 403-0888 / 403-0808, e-mail, visit at

Stay and Enjoy at Best Western Plus Antel Hotel – Rain or Shine!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bacolod City's world famous Chicken Inasal.
The Philippines has just been included as one of the New Gastronomic 8 (G-8) emerging markets of influence in world cuisine by the Hongkong-based marketing and communications agency, Catch On, in their new report entitled The Future of Food.

The report states that there is a new food order with an appetite for cuisine that defies conventional classification, and where dishes are inflected by mismatched ingredients or prepared in ways that question traditional techniques. The report further states that cross border migrations and population melting-pots have produced a generation of “third culture chefs” that innovate their culinary traditions and are mixing ingredients and techniques in unimaginable ways.

This is where the Philippines has come in as a member of the New G-8 countries. Food is an important part of Philippine culture and Filipinos take their culture of food seriously. The cross-pollination of culinary influences in Philippine cuisine mirrors the country’s colourful historical influences and these influences are amplified and interpreted gastronomically for the world by a young breed of bold and tech-savvy Filipino chefs. As more Filipinos travel overseas, they bring with them their culture of food. Philippine ingredients and the country’s signature dishes like adobo, kinilaw, and sisig are slowly making their way into international kitchens.

“Overseas, the Philippines’ colorful influence can be found in restaurants like Jeepney and Pig & Khao in New York, or Filipino-born, Austin-based Paul Qui’s eponymous restaurant,” according to The Future of Food report.

“There’s a growing movement to preserve and document culinary artisanal traditions that have survived generations simply because they came out of family kitchens. We’re seeing more self-trained chefs launching restaurants, more men cooking at home, the continued move away from any notion of fine dining, the growing influence of street food, and the popularity of culinary tourism. This is the new culture of food,” the report adds.

Aside from the Philippines, other countries included in the New G-8 are China, Iran, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.

“We are most pleased to announce that as a result of the recently-concluded global culinary events here such as Madrid Fusion Manila and World Street Food Congress, the Philippines is now gaining more recognition as an emerging country, whose indigenous ingredients and culinary excellence are increasingly finding their way into world cuisine. The fact that the organizers of the prestigious Madrid Fusion decided to hold the first and only Asian edition in the Philippines signalled to the rest of the world the growing influence and importance of Philippine cuisine and the Filipino talent. As more travellers are starting to choose their travel destinations and plan their itineraries based on the food culture of a place, this is definitely an added boost to Philippine tourism,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. enthused.

—From the Department of Tourism

Related Posts :

Discovering "Millionaire's Row" In Bacolod City

Wander in the part of Bacolod City which is not usually written about in tourist guidebooks or travel blogs and discover the charm of Old Negros Island.  ....Read More

Philippines Earns Recognition As A New Gastronomic-8 Country

Friday, April 1, 2016

BIG POLITICAL SURPRISE. Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr., who is unopposed on his last term as top Capitol executive, pulled the biggest political surprise in local politics when he endorsed the re-election bid of Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella and his congressional candidate, former Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, at the sidelines of the COMELEC-organized signing of peace covenant and Forum on Women and Election-Related Violence at the Bacolod Pavillon Hotel.

Related News:

Bacolod City Will Be First In Using Hummers as Jeepneys

Hummer Jeepney : Ready for rollout in Bacolod City by end of the year.

The Filipino Jeepney has for many years been a symbol of Filipino ingenuity being the most popular means of public transportation in the country.  Often known for their kitsch decorations, which have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art, jeepneys are now ready for a new image in Bacolod City.  Read More...

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr., Endorses Mayor Monico In Re-Election Bid

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Senatorial Candidate Rafael ALUNAN (#3) shares his thoughts on developing Philippine Tourism.

Unknown to many millennials, Rafael "Raffy" Alunan III is no newbie to government service.  Raffy Alunan served the Cory administration  as tourism secretary, and the Ramos administration, as interior chief. 

  • Tourism commences from the time a foreigner boards a plane to his destination - Philippines until he embarks on a plane going home. Therefore it does not only involve hotels, sights, adventures but also the long lines, too many forms to fill out, the delayed flights and the bad service these foreigners encounter at the MIAA/NAIA.
  • There should be a better service at our airports to encourage tourists from coming back. Better service would mean choosing the best managers/administrators for our airports including personnel and staff.
  • We need to encourage agri-tourism[1]. There is a total of 32 agri-tourism sites, including 27 protected areas consisting of strawberry and organic vegetable farms in Benguet, as well as pineapple and coffee plantations in Bukidnon.
  • A well-developed agri-tourism can even ensure food security.
  • In the past there was a task force that is supposed to craft a new type of visa for medical  tourism—DOH and DOT/BI were involved. It fizzled out. This move was identified as one that will help boost medical tourism in the country. A study should be made of this sector and why remained at a stand still.

        "I love my country. I love the Filipino people and I am here to serve them." Alunan said.

[1] Sen Cynthia Villar filed a bill providing incentives to farmers and encourages the development of agri business.

Senatorial Candidate Rafael ALUNAN shares his thoughts on developing Philippine Tourism

Monday, March 21, 2016

Independent Visayan Senatorial Candidates Rafael Alunan III (#3) and Edu Manzano (#30) were seen in Cebu about the time of the presidential debates.

Both independent candidates were busy campaigning.  Unknown to many millennials, Rafael "Raffy" Alunan III is no newbie to government service.  Raffy Alunan served the Cory administration  as tourism secretary, and the Ramos administration, as interior chief.

"I love my country. I love the Filipino people and I am here to serve them." Alunan said.

Visayan Senatoriables #3 and #30 Spotted In Cebu

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spaghetti in Basil Peanut Pesto (Php 50), with grilled shrimps, eggplant, kalobay and tomatoes.

Peanut Curry (Php 50) with chicken, vegetables (squash, jackfruit, eggplant, okra) and brown rice.

Italian Wrap (Php 50) with shrimps, eggplant, tomatoes, homemade pesto and lettuce.

How could this be when all of the food at this cafe is organically grown?  Photographer Andreo Bongco explains this unique find in Negros Island, the Sweet Spot of the Philippines.Some of my favorite outtakes from a recent pro-bono shoot with Welcome Home Foundation's Natural Garden Cafe in Bacolod.

All of the food at this cafe is organically grown, prepared and cooked by the deaf-mute, but probably the best thing about this cafe is that THE MOST EXPENSIVE DISH COSTS JUST 50 PESOS. Weird right? Let me explain.

As I've mentioned before, one of my advocacies as a photographer is to provide pro-bono (free) imaging work to organizations which strive towards the common good. By taking pictures and writing about their efforts, it is my little way of helping them market what they believe in.

Natural Garden Cafe is one such organization I've come to help because it recruits, trains and employs the deaf-mute of Bacolod at their cafe. The deaf and mute are given dignified jobs with fair salaries and are trained excellently in HRM and the culinary arts.

Aside from this, the cafe takes on a farm to table approach in its dining. All the vegetables and meat are grown on the restaurant's grounds either in pesticide free vegetable beds, or in aquaponic fish tanks to raise awareness for a more natural diet free of GMOs and preservatives. 

Now you may ask, why all of this for JUST 50 pesos? (Don't believe me yet? I posted the menu here just in case) The cafe prices their meals this low because their aim is not make a profit, rather it is to allow everyone (most especially low income workers) an alternative to cheap GMO and preservative laden food that people are so used to eating nowadays.

If you're interested in seeing what this bold yet well meaning cafe has to offer, drop by their alfresco cafe anywhere from 10AM to 5PM from Monday to Friday. (Better to go there during lunch because most of their food is sold out come 2PM).

They are located on the right side of the road entering Villa Valderrama Subdivision along Lacson Street going to the North of Bacolod past CountryMart.

I swear, you will not regret visiting it. Neither will your wallet, your tummy or your lymph nodes.

Photos and words by
Andreo Resurreccion Bongco.

The Most Expensive Dish In This Cafe is PhP50! Find out where it is!

Learn to make your own BB8 Droid.  A 17 year old Filipino shows us how.

Build A Homemade BB8 Droid
Watch how this 17 year old kid, build a fully-functional BB8 droid with just some household materials! (No CNCs, no 3D Printers & No Milling Machines)
Posted by TechBuilder on Friday, January 22, 2016

17-year-old Filipino shows us how to make a BB8 Droid

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