Saturday, November 5, 2016

Upstart Your Game

Last October 15, 2016, a new proudly Pinoy-made board game launched on Kickstarter.UPSTART, a table-top role playing game (RPG) by Richard Dacalos and Lorena Flores, was created to empower entrepreneurs and to transform how people experience starting and sustaining a business without the financial risks involved

UPSTART  simulates the UPS and DOWNS of setting up and sustaining a business. It equips players with the tools and  insights to take their business to the next level.  It allows players to step out of their comfort zones  and do things they are not comfortable doing in the “real world.”  And players also learn lifelong lessons in an environment of fun, collaboration and play.

I joined in an UPSTART gaming event with bloggers last week, wherein Ina Flores showed us how to play the board game. I played the RPG in tandem with with another blogger.

To start off, we were asked to choose our profile based on real-life or one chararcted that is closer to what we hope to achieve in the future.  Since both of us in the group were working full time and had no business background, we agreed on choosing the full time working character.  Each team were  given hours and "cc" currency based on the profile we have selected in UPSTART.

You then roll and navigate through the board and make choices or deal with chance. Chance is dictated by various cards like life, breakdowns and breaks (opportunities). The actions simulate real life : (1) Life and general actions, (2) General business conditions, (3) Revenue generation and (4) followers and reputation.   background is full-time entrepreneur. One round depicts weekly decisions and goals in real life.

After playing a few rounds, it became clear to me  that life is about taking chances.  If  I  have lots of money, I need to do something with it and not hold onto it. allows you to take risks in a safe environment.  We need to raising money and make the time  to leverage it as much as possible without putting the toll on family time and health (vitality).

We were so focused on building our personal bank  while playing the game, that we missed out on opportunities to set up business earlier on.  They more we  focus on skipping the 'negative' spaces and decisions we I didn't want, the more we kept landing on those spaces often.  We learned that we should focus on our goals and not on what may go wrong.

“You can’t grow a business in a silo so there’s bound to be failure, and it’s from failure that the best entrepreneurs learn to be successful.” adds Flores , a senior marketing strategist and head of creatives for UPSTART. “One reason we created UPSTART was to practice failure… without really failing. We wanted a safe and fun environment where we can uncover our blind spots, our decision-making biases, our strengths and weaknesses.”

The UPSTART was initially a private board game played among colleagues, but it began getting noticed when players had success applying lessons they learned in the game to real life.
Dacalos and Flores hope to empower entrepreneurs all over the world to beat the status quo, and shorten their business learning curve.

After two years of testing and product development, seven major game iterations, and more than four hundred players from different backgrounds – from aspiring entrepreneurs to business mavens, from students to corporate professionals, from the Philippines to South Africa – the game is ready to be shared with the world.

“The Kickstarter campaign will give us the ability to scale-up our production and ship worldwide,” says Dacalos. They need to raise $35,000 though. Based on their calculations and conversations with the multiple suppliers, this is the bare minimum needed to mass produce the game and deliver worldwide.

As early adopters and backers, those who pledge through Kickstarter will get to own the game before its commercial release and below retail price.  Preorder UPSTART today.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Connected Community lauds Photographers for Capturing the dynamic Filipino-Chinese Culture

The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII ), in cooperation with the Camera Club of the Philippines (CCP) launched an online photography competition dubbed as "Connected Community" that aims to capture images that reflect how Chinese traditions and Filipino culture have been intertwined over the years.

Three hundred entries from photographers nationwide were received in the said competition that ran from August 8 to October 16, 2016. FFCCCII shortlisted 10 photographers from the professional category and another 10 from the amateur category. And last November 3, 2016, the top 3 winners in each category were feted by the FFCCCII in an awarding ceremony held at the Manila Hotel with Madame He Xiangqi, Charge D'Affaires of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China as guest of honor.

Froilan Rivera bested all the other professional photographers and took home the P 70,000 prize. Emerson Catindoy and Dante Peralta were announced as 2nd and 3rd place winners, and were awarded P 40,000 and P 20,000 cash prizes respectively. All finalists in the professional category were given Chinese tea sets and plaques.

Mary Grace Anne Batalla, who came in close at 5th place, was awarded a special prize of P 5,000 and a plaque for her photo entry "The Rockstar Treatment", which had the most likes and shares on Facebook.

"We were amazed at the talent and artistry of the winners in capturing the theme, Connected Community. Through this competition, the Filipino-Chinese ties really stood out. The photographers went beyondvthe obvious Chinese elements. Each photo that made into the finals really had a compelling story to tell," said FFCCCII President Angel Ngu.

On the other hand, Catherine Aragoncillo secured the top spot in the amateur category, taking home P 40,000 in cash. Ysabel Victoriano emerged victorious in 2nd place with P 20,000 cash prize, while Bernard Recirdo II was announced as 3rd place winner, bringing home P 15,000 cash prize. And just like in the professional category, all finalists brought home Chinese tea sets and plaques.

"We were amazed at the talent and artistry of the winners in capturing the theme, Connected Community. Through this competition, the Filipino-Chinese ties really stood out. The photographers went beyondvthe obvious Chinese elements. Each photo that made into the finals really had a compelling story to tell," said FFCCCII President Angel Ngu.

"The entries are all works of art. They serve as a testament to the special bond between the Filipino and Chinese people. Each image showed how deeply interwoven Filipino-Chinese culture is, and will continue to be, in the generations to come," according to CCP President Philip Clayton Yu. Check put to see the winning images.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Bigger Lazada 11.11 Online Back!

Earlier today, Lazada held a press conference at the Ascott Bonifacio Global City to launch its latest online shopping event in Southeast Asia. Lazada’s 5th Online Revolution guarantees the biggest online sale this November 11 with more than 12,500 local and international brands, and 6,000 merchants participating in the event.

The upcoming Lazada’s 11.11 Online Revolution features well-curated offers, jaw-dropping discounts and exclusive pocket sales on branded items through the its ecommerce site with the theme “Brands for All”.
Lazada will offer everything customers love – from huge discounts to flash sales and exclusive bundles. P 11 deals featuring a Virtual Reality Box, LED light bulb rotating lamp and a Genius gaming mouse among many others, are up for grabs. Limited-time flash deals on a 32’ Slim LED TV for P 5,499, a Fujidenzo 20L microwave oven for P1,999, a Star Mobile 4.5’ smart phone for P999, an HP desk jet printer for P 888, and a L’Oreal lip and cheek palette set for P 399 are only some of the many highlights during this mega shopping day. Perfect value indeed for all the Christmas gift-seekers out there.

With guaranteed lowest price on a lot of smartphone brands and other brands, customers will surely delight on spotlight deals that come on top of the wide and growing assortment on Lazada. To date, Lazada boasts an unmatched catalogue of close to 30 million products for consumers across six Southeast Asian countries. In the Philippines, the assortment grew 4x more than in 2015.

The deals extend to over 17 products categories including Fashion, Health and Beauty, Home and Living, and Electronics. Lazada is focusing deep into its customers’ interests with weekly specials – a curation of items for beauty fans, supermoms and families, techies and fashionistas.

On top of these, Lazada will also launch games to make Christmas online shopping more fun. Shoppers can look forward to winning vouchers, as well as brand giveaways from Samsung, MommyPoko, Unilever, JBL, Lenovo and much more.

“Online Revolution was launched in 2012 so more consumers could experience the ease and benefits of online shopping. Since then, Online Revolution has become the biggest shopping event in Southeast Asia, where consumers can find amazing deals from the mot popular brands conveniently from their smartphones or laptops,” said Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Inanc Balci. “This year, we have secured commitments from big brand partners for more than one mllion deals to make Christmas shopping more exciting and effortless for Filipinos. The best of the world is truly at everyone’s fingertips now, more than ever.”

Lazada has also partnered with top brands to make shopping more rewarding. Mastercard holders can get an additional 12% off on top of already discounted prices. And if you’re feeling lucky, Isuzu Philippines is giving away a brand new pick-up for more out of town road trips, and Turkish airways is raffling air tickets to fly you off to your dream vacation.

Visit or download the Lazada mobile app for free to join the biggest online shopping event of the year. Sale runs from November 11 to December 12, 2016.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Herbalife supports Active Lifestyles for Millennials at Work

Filipino Millennials are keen on adapting a healthy, active lifestyle but most believe that their current workplace environment prevents them from doing so based on recent survey conducted by Herbalife Nutrition.

The survey findings revealed that:
• Seven (7) out of 10 millennials strive to live healthy, active lives
• However, the majority of millennials find it challenging to maintain an active lifestyle at work – eight (8) out of 10 millennials spend 6 to 13
hours at their work desk each day, and 64% of millennials get less than 30 minutes of physical activity - including standing, stretching and walking at work on an average work day.
• Additionally, 64% of millennials cited the “lack of time” as the key obstacle to engaging in physical activity at work.

With the millennial generation expected to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, ensuring the wellbeing of millennials will be important to improving workplace productivity. “There are about 35 million millennials now in the Philippines, which is about one-third of the country’s entire population. Five years from now, millennials will be dominating the labor force. While most millennials want to lead healthy lives, they face real obstacles at work in doing so,” said Rosalio Valenzuela, Herbalife Philippines General Manager. “At Herbalife Nutrition, we provide our employees with nutrition products at work, subsidize gym memberships, hold regular wellness programs related to nutrition and well-being, and encourage participation in outdoor activities and sports competitions.”

To provide tips on how millennials and their employers can integrate positive nutrition and life style habits at their workplaces, Herbalife Nutrition has organized a sixth Asia Pacific Wellness Tour, which builds upon the successes of the past five tours that welcomed over 100, 000 participants.

Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, visited Manila for the Asia Pacific Wellness Tour last October 27, 2016. And he shared expert advice on how millennials can adopt simple positive nutrition and lifestyle habits at work to improve their overall well-being in the long run.

Some of the tips to help foster a healthier millennial workforce include:

• Nutrition

o Dedicate a healthy eating day each week and get colleagues involved in making healthy choices for lunch on this day.
o Boost water intake to help the body digest food, rid the body of toxins, and help deliver nutrients to the cells. Drink at least eight (8) glasses or two (2) liters of water a day.
o Have a protein shake combined with non-fat milk and healthy fruit for breakfast. With 20-30 grams of protein and low-fat contents, it can provide the body with all the nutrition it needs to power through the day.

• Active Living

o Create a playlist that incorporates upbeat music and play with hourly intervals.
o Use Running Apps to keep energized and on-pace during regular runs.
o Set a goal to join running competitions to motivate self to sustain an active lifestyle.

1Herbalife’s Millennials At Work Survey was conducted in 2016, with 5,500 respondents aged 18 and above, from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sigekiya Ramen

Sigekiya Ramen is the place to go when you're in a hunt for authentic ramen.

The ramen shop was founded in Yokohama, Japan six years ago by Ramen Master Mamoru Sugizaki. Miguel Illescas, a Filipino, who became friends with Sugizaki-san while working in Yokohama, franchised Sigekiya and brought it to the Philippines.

They opened the local flagship ramen store at Commercenter Alabang last April 5. I got to taste their Sigekiya signature ramen during a ZomatoPH foodie meetup weeks ago.

Sigekiya means “something spicy”.  I am not fond of spicy food so I was relieved knowing that they allow guests to customize one's ramen bowl. First, you can choose the serving size of your ramen or tsukumen--- small (P290) regular (P360) and medium P400). Second, you can tweak spiciness level acording to your preference.

. Second, you can tweak spiciness level acording to your preference.

Level   1 - You just like having black pepper in your soup
Level   2 - Spicy but just fine
Level   5 - You like spicy dishes
Level 10 - You really like it hot

You still can spice your level up to 20 for free but taking it beyond Level 20 comes with additional charge. They offer up to Level 100 spiciness on the menu.

I chose a regular bowl with Level 5 spiciness.
My order came in shortly after the appetizers were served.

The noodles were a bigger in diameter than the usual commercial ramen. The thick noodles that they do inhouse remain bouncy even if it's been soaked in the broth for some time. The noodle consistency remained the same even as my bowl turned cold. The brothlike.thick, well seasoned and had that savoury taste I like.  I love everything about my Sigekiya Ramen!

Sigekiya Ramen comes with grilled chashu,  (grilled pork) which perks up its flavor.The pork belly slices were generous and adds the umami taste to the ramen. And you can  order the poached onsen tamago (egg) for a minimal charge.

I also got to sample their Tsukemen Gyokai which  uses the same broth as the  Sigekiya Ramen  with the additional fish flavour into it.   Tsukemen, is also referred to as the dipping ramen since you dip the cold noodles into the  hot soup.

We were told  that Sigekiya Ramen makes its own noodles on site, similar to how it is prepared in Japan. They source their ingredients from Japan  excluding pork  and vegetables to maintain the taste of Sigekiya Japan.  And Sigekiya gives you more reasons to upscale your Ramen experience with  side dishes that  are a perfect complement to your favorite ramen bowls. Sigeliya Ramen and Tsukemen Gyokai were simply amazing! They have great side dishes too.

Their pan-fried Pork Gyoza (dumplings filled with meat and veggies) were so good!

They offer Karaage for crunchy Japanese chicken treat. Though it was savoury, I find it a little salty to taste.

I'd say they have a great Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake filled with cabbage). This is one of the most delicious Japanese cuisine we Filipinos all love.

To cap our meal, we were served frozen Jelly Ace for dessert. Do visit and have your fill of authentic tastes of Japan.

Sigekiya Ramen
The Commerce Center, Filinvest Avenue
Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa

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