Thursday, September 29, 2016

Microsoft Philippines transformations the workplace with Office 365 E5

With  53% Active Internet Penetration (as of September 2016), data security and control issues in the complex data-driven enterprises becomes a paramount concern.

Microsoft Philippines recognizes the importance of quality and secure communication, collaboration, and data analytics in this digital age that it brings office technology to a new level as it launches the latest enhancement in its productivity tool, Office 365 E5.

Last September 22, 2016, Microsoft Philippines invited the media to get first dibs on how E5 makes digital transformation of the workplace fast and easy.

Office 365 E5’s advanced features on security, analytics, and real-time communication is now merged into a single suite, making it unique from previous Office 365 Suites.

Office 365 E5 in a nutshell, is like opting for the highest-specification model when venturing into a car dealership, and then adding up a pile of options. It literally offers a menu of options sold to customers. The “premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite” by E5 replaced the old E4 plan.

Office 365 is in a state of constant evolution. Microsoft’s top-of-the-range Office 365 plan includes every piece of functionality available in the service with some features that have been around for a while, some brand new ones, plus future add-ons are not yet available. E5 encompasses the core value of the modern productivity and collaboration capabilities which address:

Real-time Communications: Cloud PBX, PSTN Conferencing, Skype Meeting Broadcast and PSTN Calling as an add-on based on availability

Analytics: End User Analytics with Power BI and Organizational Analytics with Delve Organizational Analytics

Advanced Security: Predictive eDiscovery, Data Loss Protection (DLP), Secure Attachments and Safe URLs with Advanced Threat Protection, and Access Control with Customer Lockbox

Softwares that Microsoft can currently deliver in Office 365, attempts to capture some of that work in a new plan. Additions to the E5 plan include: Advance threat protection, Cloud PBX, PSTN Calling and Conferencing, Data Analytics, and Power BI Pro.

Collaboration anytime and anywhere

Microsoft takes communication and connection into account as it deems it crucial in any organization.  Hence,  E5’s real-time communication makes it easy to  manage calls, conferences, and online meetings from within Office 365 E5. Online meetings can now be hosted for as many as 10,000 people, from anywhere in the world, while creating an interactive discussion through E5's built-in real-time polling, sentiment tracking and Yammer messaging.

Not only do users can join in meetings wherever they are, they can also do so using whatever device they prefer – be it a PC, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.  Opportunities for sharing ideas, knowing and addressing issues, and collaborating with people within or outside the team then becomes a seamless synergy.

Easier control and security

Office 365 E5’s added features on analytics, managing and analyzing large amounts of data are simpler with live dashboards and interactive reports for efficiency and understating.

Office 365 E5’s improved security system are built to better safeguards information. By providing easier access control, E5 reduces cost and inherent risks in data security.

Log on to for more info on Microsoft Office 365 E5.

The Craft Central opens at Greenbelt 5

Like any craft shops, the Craft Central was introduced as a supplies partner in 2014 that offered a line of products for calligraphy students. It was known for its own house- branded inks, brushes, pads and its fan-favorite hobby starter kits.

What was once a virtual shop  inspiring afficionados  to create beautiful crafts, had finally opened its pilot physical store in Greenbelt 5, Makati City.

Guests and friends were given a chance to spend a creative afternoon at The Craft Central store last September 22, 2016.  The opening day was filled with fun D.I.Y. activities such as Hand-stamping tote bags (by Sqooid) and Create-your-own Bath bombs (by Soak Artisan Soap).

I had fun designing my tote bag!  They have a multitude of ready stamps and ink pads for everyone  to enjoy this crafty activity.

There are so many different ways to use the stamping materials, and you can customize them by using different color combinations of leaves, flowers and whatever symbol you want on your tote.

Other stations around the store were also present to hand guests with different kinds of giveaways like personalized notebooks (by Ink Scribbler), travel-sized perfume (fromOils and Petals), hand-sculpted earrings (from Pink Opium) and customized bracelets (by Bedazzled).

I find metal stramping and DIY-stamped bracelet awesome!  These bracelets make great gifts as you can stamp your name, initials or an important date on it.  You can also turn these into friendship bracelets that would be a great gift for a friend’s birthday, or even when the holidays start to roll around.

 Watch out as The Craft Central celebrates its Grand Opening Weekend to the public happening this October 1 to 2, 2016. The weekend will be filled with fun activities with different craft stations,  workshops and demos from The Craft Central partner artists.

Follow The Craft Central on Instagram ( or on Facebook ( to get updates on events, offers and promotions. If you wish to buy craft supplies and hand-made products online, you may shop all you want at

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice returns with a first-time performance at the Mall of Asia Arena

Disney on Ice will  no longer be held at Araneta Coliseum this year.  Disney on Ice debuts on new stage at Mall of Asia Arena , where a holistic family experience awaits patrons with new SM – Feld Entertainment Inc. partnership.
Take your kids on a colorful journey with their favorite Disney characters as SM celebrates the coming of Disney On Ice on December 25, 2016 to January 4, 2017.

Guests of all ages will enjoy the show’s brand new stories coupled with our favorite Disney classics. Audiences will dive deep into the East Australian Current with everyone’s favorite school of fish from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory when Dory, Nemo and Marlin set off on an adventure to discover the true meaning of family. Reach for your dreams with Rapunzel, as her determination illuminates her inner strength. Anna, Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf from Disney’s Frozen show how powerful the love between sisters can be.

Experience the beauty of Walt Disney’s first animated feature film, as Snow White creates her own happily ever after with the help of seven new friends. Buzz and Woody will have you jumping out of your seat in a foot-stomping hoedown; Simba, Timon and Pumbaa prowl the Pride Lands of Africa; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie show how friendship is fearless; and your favorite Disney Princesses take to the ice to showcase the courage and determination that led them to achieve their dreams. Disney favorites Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy walk down memory lane and reawaken Disney moments that span generations. The Mall of Asia Arena provides a location where families will have access to new amenities such as enhanced seating options, convenient parking and, within close proximity, patrons have access to dining and shopping.

“We invite families to create lasting memories together through our newest venture, Disney on Ice.” says Edgar Tejerero, President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated. “Promising a complete entertainment experience, families can easily extend the fun from this spectacular show to the different lifestyle and entertainment hubs that SM has for them—giving families endless ways to celebrate each moment together this Christmas season.” “We are very excited to be partnering with MOA to present The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice,” said Robert McHugh, Sr. Vice President of International Sales and Business Operations for Feld Entertainment Inc.

“Having had the opportunity to feature previous Feld Entertainment shows at this venue, we feel that we can provide an enhanced entertainment experience to the people of the Philippines, which is always our first priority when we consider the venue for our productions.” End the year by creating lasting moments for you and your family.

Catch the Wonderful World of Disney on Ice this coming December 25, 2016 to January 4, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena! Tickets are available at or in SM cinema ticket booths nationwide.

Watch out for more of SM’s exciting activities leading up to the big season by following @smtickets and  on Facebook (

Monday, September 26, 2016

Philam Asset Management Inc. bags six awards from PIFA

Philam Asset Management Inc., (PAMI), the asset management arm of Philam Life, once again received acclaim as one of the country’s leading fund management companies after bagging six awards at the Philippine Investment Fund Association (PIFA) 10th Annual Awards Night.

The country’s mutual fund industry association, PIFA, in its annual awards recognizes the top performing mutual funds in terms of returns for one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year periods.

The PAMI Horizon Fund, Inc. won first place in the 10-year return, peso-denominated balanced fund category. PAMI’s other peso-denominated balanced fund, the Philam Fund, Inc., won second place under the 10-year return in the same asset-class category.

The Philam Managed Income Fund, Inc. won 2nd Place in both the 3-year and 5-year return under the Money Market Fund Category.

Meanwhile, under the dollar-denominated Bond Fund category, the Philam Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. won third place in the 1-year return and second place in the 10-year return.

Philam Life and PAMI receive citations from The Asset

In addition to its awards from PIFA, Philam Life/ Philam Asset Management Inc., was cited as among the Top 5 Investment Houses for 2016 by The Asset, earning the recognition for three years now. This reflects the company’s investments expertise and sound management of its financial assets.

“We are proud to have sustained our place in the local financial markets as a credible and prudent institutional investor supporting market liquidity while upholding ethical standards in securities trading,” said Arleen May Guevara, Philam Life Chief Investment Officer.

Kathrina J. Dizon
Two Philam fund managers were also recognized as among the Most Astute Investors in Asian Local Currency Bonds from the Philippines for 2016: Kathrina Dizon, Philam Life deputy head of fixed income securities trading office, ranked # 3 in the top 10 ranking, while Katherine Castelo, Philam Asset Management Inc. head of fixed income portfolio management, was recognized as among the Highly Commended.

Both have been recognized by The Asset as top ranked for more than three consecutive years. The ranking for the Most Astute Investors in Asian Local Currency Bonds is based on nominations received from nearly 500 top-rated individuals including analysts, economists and strategists, salespeople and traders in Asian local currency bonds.

Katherine R. Castelo
The nominations were based on their knowledge of the credits and markets, trading skill and acumen in making investment decisions. Based on the nominations received, the top ten Astute Investors with the highest weighted score are ranked by geographic location. The next ten names are considered in the ‘Highly Commended’ category.

The ranking for the top five investment houses in Asian local currency bonds is based on the number of votes received from the top-rated analysts, economist and strategists, salespeople and traders, for investors in these institutions. Around 280 different institutions across the region including asset managers, insurance companies, banks and securities firms were evaluated to create the 2016 ranking.

The recognition is given by the Asset Publishing and Research Ltd., an integrated multi-media company serving the elite community of leading corporate and financial decision makers in Asia.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pioneer Insurance and FILSCAP launches #MoveOnLang Songwriting Competition for College Students

Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP), the sole and official music copyright society in the Philippines, together with Pioneer, one of the top life and non-life insurance companies in the country, officially launched the FILSCAP Campus Caravan this 2016 in a media event last September 19 at The Hard Rock Café in Makati City.

FILSCAP Chairman, Mr. Arturo Lui Pio, FILSCAP President and Singer-Songwriter, Rico Blanco, joined Pioneer Insurance President Mr. Lorenzo Chan, Jr. and Pioneer FVP for Marketing, Ms Len Pozon during the launch. The said activity opened with alternative rock band Sandwich entertaining guests with its live performances.

Dubbed as #MoveOnLang, the FILSCAP Songwriting Competition aims to guide aspiring musicians in the different aspects of songwriting. FILSCAP and local music icons will arrange a campus tour to host songwriting workshops in different universities around Metro Manila in support of this competition.

The FILSCAP Campus Caravan is set to visit De La Salle University-Manila, San Beda College Alabang, UP Diliman, University of Santo Tomas and University of Makati during its run. Each visit is set to have a songwriting talk to be conducted by FILSCAP, a face-to-face session with a well-known Filipino songwriter, and introduce the collaboration’s second event – the #MoveOnLang Songwriting Competition.

The #MoveOnLang Songwriting Competition aims to give musically–inclined college students a venue to showcase their songwriting skills on the Filipino trait of resiliency – bouncing back from setbacks. Interested applicants can visit to register and submit their entry.

Over P 260,000 in cash will be given away, with P 100,000 being the grand prize. Winners will also receive insurance coverage from Pioneer, while a special prize will also be awarded to the Online Favorite.

The Pioneer Group has been a staunch supporter of the arts. Hence, it constantly finds fresh ways to reach out to the Filipino with insurance that covers what they value most. Through finding inspiration in media such as visual arts, film, music, and theater, Pioneer gives back by sponsoring, covering, and promoting these events.

Interested applicants can visit to register and submit their entry.

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