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Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Philam Group has pooled Php31M to finance Philam Paaralan

Many companies adhere to a sense of corporate social responsibility through educational and social programs that benefit a marginalized sector of the population or the society at large. One of these is the Philam Group of companies, which has been a staunch advocate of the importance of giving back to the community. This year, they pledged to do more by institutionalizing its annual donation to intensify its CSR efforts.

In a recent briefing with the press titled, “Doing Good While Doing Well,” Philam Life Chief Executive Officer Aibee Cantos said, “For the past 69 years of philanthropic success, we have been actively enriching the lives of Filipino families through our various CSR programs. This year, we want to do more by pledging a portion of our annual income to ensure our CSR programs continue to expand its reach and enable us to serve more communities.”

One of the notable projects of Philam Foundation, Philam Group’s CSR arm, is the Philam Paaralan, which aims to build classrooms in calamity-stricken areas around the country, in coordination with the Department of Education. To date, the program has constructed 101 classrooms for the past four years.

(From Left) Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI) CEO Ferdinand Berba, BPI-Philam incoming CEO Surendra Menon, Philam Life CEO Ariel Cantos, Philam Foundation President Maximillan Ventura, Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc

The Philam Paaralan classrooms are typhoon-resilient, fully-furnished and complete with water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities that are essential in providing schoolchildren a healthy environment conducive for learning.

The Philam Group, composed of Philam Life, BPI-Philam, and Philam Asset Management Inc., (PAMI), has pooled their combined annual donation amounting to Php31 million, which will be used to finance more Philam Paaralan classrooms and other noteworthy projects. A ceremonial check turnover from the Philam Group to Philam Foundation was held during the event.

Also present during the event were AIA Regional CEO Gordon Watson, Philam Foundation President Max Ventura, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, and Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc.

In his speech, Commissioner Dooc commended the Philam Group’s selfless act of institutionalizing its annual donation that would benefit more marginalized sectors of society.

DepEd Secretary Luistro also gave a short message, thanking the Philam Group for being a forerunner in providing support to the education sector. The DepEd has been working closely with the Foundation in identifying schools that are most in need of new classrooms.

In closing, Cantos said, “Given Philam Group’s strong financial position, we want to be able to ‘do good while doing well,’ and we are happy to create a sustainable contribution to the community through the Philam Paaralanprogramme. In line with our thrust to empower more Filipinos to live longer, healthier and better lives, we want to build more classrooms and give more children a healthy education and a better life for the future.”

For more information on Philam Life and Philam Foundation, please visit

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Home to Mt. Binahon Agro Forest Farm in Bukidnon

After a hearty organic sumptuous lunch at Jaya's Secret Garden, we traveled to Lantapan in Bukidnon to visit the 4th farm, the Binahon Agro-Forest Farm.

The Binahon Agro-Forest Farm was located at the foot of  Mt Dulang Dulang, dubbed by Filipino mountaineers as "D2", it is one of the high elevation peaks in the Kitanglad Mountain Range, in Bukidnon.

It was a long walk as we had to leave the van some 2km away because of the muddy terrain leading to the farm.

Some of our fellow bloggers walked uphill but I was lucky enough to hop into Sir Henry's pick up car to get into the farm. He told us that during the rainy season, the road is not passable except to a pick up van or truck.

It was raining hard the afternoon we reached the farm and we were really looking forward to a hot bowl of soup and a warm bed,

The girl manning the Binahon Agro-Forest Farm led us to our room with 8 to 10 bunk beds inside, complete with clean towels and blankets set aside in each bed. She informed us to proceed to the training room for a short discussion and dinner right after.

 I immediately took a bath even if the water was icy cold. I quickly changed and went to the training room right after.

We met with Sir Henry Binahon, the owner of the eight-hectare Binahon Agro-Forest Farm. He formally introduced himself to us, and told us about  his advocacy in farming. He explained how he started with the farm business together with his wife Perla.

In 1992 the couple, bought a 2.75-hectare land in the sitio of Bol-ogan. Initially living in a small hut on their piece of land, the couple started immersing themselves with the different farming practices used by local farmers as well as participating in several Agro forestry trainings. From the knowledge that they gained from experience and through self-study, they slowly worked their way into developing their land. Some years after, they expanded their property by purchasing nearby lands. They also expanded the farm with a resource center and training facilities.

Like the other farms we visited, Binahon is into organic farming rather than the conventional. He believes that you can produce healthy crops and trees without the harmful effect of fertilizers. He is dedicated to sustainable farming practices that preserve the soil.  (His farm is a great example of how to diversify, add value to farm products, and hook up with the nearby community)

He imposed farming in Mindanao and accept training among farmers, students or those who are interested in organic farming. His farm offered group tours, thus he has for rent bunk beds for guests to stay overnight.

Binahon has the same weather as Baguio so I was glad I brought 1 denim jacket, a sweatshirt and 1 cover up.

After a restful night, We woke up at 6am and proceeded to the farm tour headed by Sir Henry.
As we walked on every trees and plants along the way. He told that he practices sustainable ecological agriculture, applies different farming systems for the purpose of production as well as conservation. The greens was relaxing and comforting. This was communing with nature at its best. We chanced upon a tree bearing red leaves, he still has to google what's the name of the tree as it was similar to Japanese Cherry Blossom. He also grew Chinese lemons, among others.

After 2 hours of touring, we had a hearty breakfast and packed our things to get ready for the last farm tour at Kitanglad.

My realization is that if you have a passion for plants and crops. You can grow your own trees and fruits and can make a living out it.

It was  journey worth remembering.  Thank you ATI  Agricultural Training Institute of the Philippine Department of Agriculture and fellow blogger Ruth Floresca for the  educational organic farm tour.

For more info on BAFF Tour

Binahon Agroforestry Farm
Bol-ogan, Songco
Lantapan, Bukidnon
+63 (0)9059071771 or
+63 (0)9106143237

ATI LeAD Center for Agriculture and Fisheries
ATI Central Office
ATI Bldg. Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

USANA launches Proglucamune and Batch 3 of Team USANA Pilipinas

I have been taking USANA supplements 4 years ago. I have been buying it from a friend who highly recommended the products to me due to my line of work. I was a part of the BPO industry then. Five years of taking it simultaneously with another supplements, and Ive never been sick except for the occasional cough and colds. That's why USANA is the best supplements so far, even if I have to spend thousands for a bottle.

Third batch of Team USANA Pilipinas

I was glad that USANA Health Sciences Philippines launches another high-quality supplements, immune system boosting optimizer with Proglucamune together with the third batch of Team USANA Pilipinas last June 24 at Peking Garden, Greenbelt 5, Makati.

 The team is comprised of Filipino athletes from various sports who rely on USANA to keep themselves healthy and fit for competition locally and internationally. At the same time, they serve as inspiration among Filipinos to achieve success by living a healthy lifestyle.

Consistency is very important for us, especially in advocating for good health in our country,” explains USANA Regional Manager for the Philippines and Indonesia Aurora “Duday” Gaston. “This is why we are ensuring that we regularly roll out high-quality products and foster this group of individuals who can help us promote fitness and wellness among our Filipino countrymen.”

The team is composed of Team USANA Pilipinas regulars Abe Avena (golf), Alyssa Valdez (volleyball), Gaby Dela Merced (motor sports), P.J. Tierro (tennis), Tin Patrimonio (tennis), Janice Lagman-Lizardo (Poomsae), Japoy Lizardo (taekwondo), Bing Amit (billiards), Sid Isidro (rowing), Chieffy Caligdong (football), Misagh Bahadoran (football), Biboy Rivera (bowling), Michelle Cojuangco Barrera (equestrian), PJ Simon (basketball), Rachel Anne Daquis (volleyball), Marian Capadocia (tennis), Gab Moreno (archery), and L.A. Tenorio (basketball). Aside from the old favorites, the third batch of Team USANA Pilipinas will now include new members such as Marella Salamat (cycling), Jessey De Leon (volleyball), Tes Bitbit (cycling and adventure racing), Simon Greatwich (football), and the brothers tandem of JC Intal (basketball) and Rex Intal (volleyball).

Team USANA Pilipinas has become a family over the years. Like my dad, he inspired a lot of people so he has become my role model,” shares the Venus of Tennis Tin Patrimonio. “I try my best to be like my dad in inspiring people and being a part of Team USANA Pilipinas helps in making this happen.”

Aside from Team USANA Pilipinas, USANA Philippines has also tapped former beauty queen and entrepreneur Patty Betita, motivational speaker Francis J. Kong, and The Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut for its current roster of brand ambassadors.

Stronger Immune System for Everyone

Meanwhile, with its focus strongly hinged on its products, USANA Philippines also announced today the availability of its new product Proglucamune to the Philippine market.

Carefully and scientifically developed to strengthen one’s immune system, USANA Proglucamune is packed with four immune-boosting ingredients, namely Shitake Mushroom, Reishi Mushroom, Baker’s Yeast, and Zinc. Proglucamune combines ancient wisdom with modern science to help immune cells work faster and more efficiently. It is a powerful immune supplement, specifically created to strengthen the overall effectiveness of the immune system.

“We live in a fast-paced world where multitasking has become the norm, not to mention that we are constantly exposed to several environmental factors that can easily make us sick,” Gaston elaborates. “And with the acknowledgement of this reality, we at USANA developed and rolled out a new reliable partner in the form of Proglucamune to keep us strong to live a well-rounded and well-balanced life.”  

Get updates from Team USANA Pilipinas on Facebook ( For more information on USANA, visit and follow USANA’s social media portals on Facebook (, Twitter (@usana_ph), and Instagram (usanapilipinas). 

Dairy Queen unveils Blizzard of the Month

Love the gooey, rich and luscious taste of Nutella? So do 10,000 fans of Dairy Queen!

In response to the clamor for this favorite chocolate spread to be its next featured ice cream flavor, Dairy Queen, the world’s most favorite ice cream chain, unveils its newest Blizzard of the Month – the Nutella Blizzard.

Nutella Brownie

Nutella Cheesecake

The exciting flavor is being introduced after Dairy Queen, as part of its 10th year anniversary celebration, asked its fans on Facebook which brand of chocolate they would like to be the next Blizzard of the Month. From a choice of six top choco favorites, over 10,000 fans voted for Nutella!

Dairy Queen’s Fan’s Choice Blizzard of the Month is available in two incredible flavors: Nutella Brownie, a combination of Nutella and chewy baked brownies melded with Dairy Queen’s soft serve; and Nutella Cheesecake, perfect for those who love the sweetness of Nutella and the tanginess of cheesecake. You can enjoy it in a mini size Blizzard cup at P59 and biggest size at P119.

Dairy Queen reveals Fan’s Choice Blizzard of the Month..

Aside from the introduction of Fan’s Choice Blizzard of the Month, Dairy Queen is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the Philippines with a series of activities that include is doing monthly charity activities with the Binibining Pilipinas winners and its #10on10th campaign, where customers can buy the One Ball Ice Cream Cone for only P10 on every 10th of the month. Dairy Queen has also released special Blizzard cups to celebrate this milestone.

For more information, visit or like Dairy Queen Philippines Official Facebook page.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Giordano launches Finding Dory Collection for the whole family

Thirteen years ago we were all introduced to Dory, the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish in the extraordinary underwater world of Finding Nemo. Now the lovable character takes the lead and embarks on an exciting journey to reunite with her family in the much-anticipated movie follow-up, Finding Dory.

Following the success of the movie tie-up campaigns like Monsters University and Inside Out, Giordano Philippines launches yet another collection featuring the new Disney Pixar animated film that gives importance to the value of family.

Finding Dory brings out the significance of family. The movie represents the values that Giordano wants to push forward this year,” said Giordano Philippines Vice President for Merchandising Rochelle Tan.

‘Finding Dory Collection by Giordano’ features premium pieces perfect for the whole family. It comprises of high-quality fabrics, printed with typography and graphics reminiscent of the moving underwater story, for the male, female and junior lines.

The collection, like the movie, advocates marine life conservation through infographic tees. The tees promote the three R’s of marine conservation namely, Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release.

“Aside from promoting family values, this movie also promotes the importance of marine life and how we should take necessary actions to conserve it. As a conservation advocate, Giordano, with its infographic shirts, raises awareness on this subject,” said Tan.

Also included in the collection conveying same message are a set of statement shirts featuring quotes from the movie in creative typography; a Finding Dory Icing tee set featuring quirky pocket designs; and a Hoodie set with an all-over print on the inner hood and pocket designs.

For more information about the collection, please visit

Philam Life appoints Mr. Ariel Cantos as its New CEO

Philam Life is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Ariel G. Cantos as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective June 24, 2016.  Mr. Cantos succeeds Mr. Axel Bromley, who has decided to relocate to the United States for personal reasons.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Cantos held the role of CEO of BPI-Philam, the bancassurance joint venture of Philam Life and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the leading bancassurance operation in the Philippines.

Gordon Watson, Regional Chief Executive, AIA Group, said, “I am delighted that Aibee is assuming the role of CEO of Philam Life. Aibee has spent his entire career with Philam and has successfully held a range of senior leadership positions over the course of his long career. I am confident that Aibee will help lead Philam Life to new levels of growth and success. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Axel Bromley, who helped to lay the foundation for Philam Life’s transformation journey. We wish Axel and his family all the best in their next chapter of life back in the United States.”

Mr. Cantos,known among peers as “Aibee,” joined Philam Life as a management trainee and over a career spanning almost 30 years,subsequentlyheld a number of senior roles, including Profit Center Head of Accident & Health Products, Sales Director of Manila Agencies, and Sales Director of Provincial Agencies. His most recent position at Philam Life was Senior Vice President and Chief Agency Officer, where he led over 450 agency leaders and 6,000 advisors, before joining BPI-Philam in 2013.

As CEO of Philam Life, Mr. Cantos will lead a team that is united in its commitment to achievePhilam Life’s Vision to become the undisputed leader in life insurance and wealth management in the Philippines.

Mr. Cantos said, “I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to lead Philam Life. The outlook for our Company is extremely bright, as we continue to strengthen our distribution channels by advancing our Premier Agency strategy as well as driving bancassurance growth and expanding our portfolio of corporate clients. We will also continue to invest in new technologies and modern facilities to ensure that our advisors are well equipped to provide the best possible experienceto our large customer base as we help them to lead longer, healthier, and better lives.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jaya Secret Garden grows Blue Ternate Flower (Butterfly Pea Flower)

We woke up to the chirping of the birds and the soothing sounds of nature and everyone was excited for our third destination-- Jaya Secret Garden at Malaybalay.

Jaya Secret Garden is smack right in the city of Malaybalay Bukidnon, but you'll never know that there is a secret backyard farm unless you have the owners to tour you around.


Before the tour we first had our sumptuous healthy lunch first at Jaya Secret Garden. They prepared steamed blue ternate rice, fried adobo duck, fried tilapia, tinolang manok, stewed vegetables, fresh fruits like papaya, balimbing, guava and organic fruit juices.

Fried Organic Tilapia

Yes you read that right. Not brown, or red but BLUE RICE..

It was my first time to see and eat blue ternate organic rice. They told us that the blue ternate flower or Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea) is rich with antioxidants. It has anti-aging as well as anti-inflammatory properties, good for your vision and if you are trying to conceive, the ternate rice is said to help women become more fertile. 

Blue Ternate Rice or Butterfly Pea Flower

Being quite adventurous, I tried to chew one of the flowers. It tasted flat but slightly sweet and it left a blue ink-like color on my tongue. I thought if I ate enough of the flower I might just transform into X-Men's Mystique. 

Stewed vegetables

Organic vinegar with chili, onions, ginger

Fresh Crunchy Papaya

Blue Ternate Flower, Balimbing and Guava

They grow Ternate Blue flower in their backyard and it is a sight to behold, I love the blue color with pop of green leaves.

After our lunch, Mr Juna, with the help of his daughter Jaya took us around their backyard farm. Mr. Juna and Jaya talked about the produce they grow and the organic tilapia in their fish pond. They also raise ducks and chickens as well.

Jaya Bayag
Jaya Secret Garden was named after their 11-year -old daughter Jaya, (Jayashree Harsha A. Bayag) a Grade 6 student from Malaybalay. Her dad proudly told us that she had a green thumb for organic gardening. She markets their products to those who want to eat organic delicious and healthy produce.

Mr. Juna Bayag

Mr Juna Bayag is a high school teacher teaching Agriculture in TLE subject.  With the help and trainings from Agriculture Training Institute, he was able to put up his own backyard farm. 

Aside from cabbage, lettuce, papaya, gourd, romaine, blue ternate flower. They also grow choco chili and world's hottest pepper Carolina reaper.

Mr. Juna Bayag helps stop global warming by by recycling organic waste or composting it into his garden.  He advised to buy locally grown and produced foods. He is an advocate of sustainable living by practicing it into his backyard farm, he makes use of recycled tires and plastic pots  in the vegetable garden. 

To know more about the farm,  Jaya Secret Garden is located at Comisio St., Brgy. 1, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon Philippines. For farm tour schedule

Please contact:
Ms. Hazel Fe A. Bayag(Garden Business Manager)
Mobile number: 0917-7933309/0917-795444
Email: Facebook: Jaya Secret Garden

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