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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Miss World Philippines 2022 Candidate Gwendolyne Fourniol is Living Proof of the Power of Education

Education is a right, not a privilege. Miss World Philippines - Negros Occidental Gwendolyne Bolivar Fourniol says more Filipino children should be given opportunities to finish their studies, as this can uplift the lives not only of their families but also their communities. 

Gwen (as she is fondly called) is an example of the power of education to change lives, as her mother was a former beneficiary of the ERDA (Educational Research and Development AssistanceFoundation, which sends underprivileged children to school. She shares, “my motherSimgrew up in poverty in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental. There were seven children in the family and only one sibling was given the opportunity to study. Losing hope for her future, she found her way to Manila to stay with a cousin and it was there that she met Fr. Pierre T. Tritz, SJ, who founded ERDA in 1974 to give underprivileged but deserving children the opportunity to study.”

With Fr. Pierre’s support, Sim Bolivar obtained a degree in Psychology from the Philippine Women’s University, and was able to work as an au pair (foreign household helper) for a family in Luxembourg where she met Thierry Fourniol at a park. “If it were not for ERDA, I wouldn’t exist, and my mother would still be living in poverty in Negros,” Gwen adds. Her mother is currently working as a nurse in London, while her father is working as a senior analyst in Belgium.

Before joining her first Miss World Philippines pageant last year, Gwen was pursuing an Economics degree at Oxford Brooks in London in the UK. She hopes to join an internshipprogram with JP Morgan after graduation, and is also looking towards launching a French tutorial service in the Philippines.

She is using her platform to support ERDA, which has already helped some 800,000 Filipino children receive an education, and is calling for equality in education rights. “There is a misconception that women should be the ones to stay home and keep house and raise the children, and are therefore given less opportunities to study. My mother, because of the opportunity that was opened to her by the ERDA Foundation, was able to send her 6 siblings to schoolThis says so much about the power of women to uplift their families out of poverty. We should push equal rights for education regardless of gender.” She says that Miss World, with its platform of ‘Beauty With a Purpose’, resonates with her advocacies.

Gwen placed in the top 15th of last year’s Miss World Philippines competition and she talks about her pageant journey so far. “I grew up in France and pageants are not as big there as they are in the Philippines. I did not have that dream of becoming a beauty queen growing upit was my mother who encouraged me to go for a screening.  The first time around, I was very alone because was very new.” 

She recalls that in her first stint, they called her a baby of pageantry. “I didn’t know how to style myself and didn’t know how to do makeup. Now, with the support of ProMedia, I feel more confident. I am stronger physically and because of this I am also stronger mentally, because when you exercise and treat your body right, it also goes a long way towards your mental health.”

ProMedia is a project management group that is passionate about wholistic beauty (body, beauty, and brains).  At its helm is CEO Paul Izon Reyes, ably assisted by Jam Aquino, director for operations. Aquino is also the CEO of The Belle Salon.   We, at ProMedia, stage beauty pageants and body-building competitions. We also train beauty  pageant athletes, so called because they are required to train like athletes,explains Paul.  We see the true beauty in Gwen.  She has a striking face, inner strength, wit and confidence.  Furthermore, she is passionate about her advocacy, shares Paul.  Essentially, she represents beauty with purpose.

Gwen hopes that with the Miss World crown, this #ExceptionallyEmpoweredFilipina can empower people through education which is the greatest equalizerI want to reach out to humanity and continue the legacy of Fr. Tritz. If one person can transform 800,000 lives in this country, imagine what so many people can do to help millions more in the Philippines and around the world.”

The stunning beauty was one of the Top 5 in this years recently held Talent Competition.

Watch the Miss World Philippines 2022 Beauty PageantFinals on June 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Gwendolyne Fourniol is candidate No. 25.

Cebu Pacific’s third A330neo is the greenest aircraft in the industry

Cebu Pacific (CEB) has used green fuel to power its brand-new Airbus A33NEO on its delivery flight from Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France, to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, becoming the first low-cost carrier in Asia to incorporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into its operations. 

The historic flight, with the Airbus330neo aircraft, departed Toulouse, France and was powered by a blended mixture of SAF and conventional fuel, before arriving today, May 20, at the NAIA at 9:04am local time. 

The new aircraft is CEB’s third A330neo and is the greenest aircraft in the industry given its fuel efficiency and carrying capacity. CEB’s A330neo is configured with 459 seats in a single-class layout and is fuel efficient, achieving 25% less fuel burn than previous-generation aircraft. 

CEB intends to use SAF for the delivery of two more A33neo aircraft later this year. 

“This move to use SAF is a pillar of Cebu Pacific’s sustainable journey. SAF will be used for aircraft delivery and is a major component of our fleet modernization. This strengthens our drive to achieve our green goal of being carbon neutral by 2050,” said Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer at Cebu Pacific.  

SAF is a “drop-in” replacement for fossil fuels, produced from renewable resources. The use of SAF results in an up to 85% reduction in carbon emissions across the SAF lifecycle. The chemical and physical characteristics of SAF are almost identical to those of conventional jet fuel and these can be safely mixed with regular jet fuel to varying degrees. SAF does not require any adaptations to the aircraft or engines, and does not have any negative impact on performance or maintenance. 

The airline’s sustainability goal is aligned with global aviation’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

To respond to this challenge, CEB invested in appropriate technologies and is practicing fuel-saving and emission reduction strategies.  

The airline’s three major pillars on its sustainable journey are fleet modernization which aims, among others, having an all-Neo fleet by 2027; resource optimization, which includes pushing for fuel efficiency best practices; and utilizing SAF by launching green routes by 2025 and using SAF for its entire network by 2030. 


Equicom Group and JE Holdings of the Gokongwei family partner to reinvent healthcare through Maxicare

The Equicom Group, the company behind Maxicare, the leading HMO company in the Philippines, and JE Holdings, Inc., announced a strategic partnership that will allow Maxicare to revolutionize its mission of helping Filipinos live their best lives.  

JE Holdings, a privately-held investment company of the Gokongwei family, will become a co-equal shareholder of Maxicare alongside the Equicom Group. The partnership agreement, approved by the Insurance Commission on May 5, 2022, will result in a bigger and stronger Maxicare due to the synergies to be derived from the partnership. 

The Equicom Group, the company behind Maxicare, the leading HMO company in the Philippines, and JE Holdings, Inc., announced a strategic partnership that will allow Maxicare to revolutionize its mission of helping Filipinos live their best lives.

The Equicom Group, led by Chairman Antonio Go, is a diversified conglomerate engaged in the areas of healthcare, information technology, banking, and financial services.   

According to Mr. Go, the agreement entered with JE Holdings is a partnership of equals that will give Maxicare a stronger foothold in the country’s healthcare industry. “Maxicare is already the top HMO provider in the Philippines; this partnership will only strengthen our lead in the healthcare sector and will help us deliver industry-defining services that will benefit Filipino consumers,” Go said. 

For his part, JE Holdings Chairman Lance Gokongwei said the company is very excited to work with the Equicom Group on this noble undertaking that will further democratize the delivery of essential healthcare services to our countrymen.

“We share Maxicare’s vision for the future of healthcare in the Philippines.  As their partner, we commit our support as they continue to innovate to help bring a better and comprehensive healthcare system in our country. We have high hopes that the synergy from this partnership will provide unparalleled customer experience,” Gokongwei said.

Maxicare CEO Sean Argos shared that the partnership between Equicom Group and JE Holdings will create new opportunities that will elevate healthcare services in the country.  

“We imagine a future where healthcare services in the country will be further enhanced through a new industry-leading healthcare ecosystem that will benefit Maxicare’s medical provider partners and provide Maxicare members better customer experience, affordability, and availability,” said Argos.  

He also shared Maxicare’s plans to expand into new products and services in order to reach and serve more Filipinos, details of which will be announced in the coming months. By leveraging the combined Equicomand Gokongwei ecosystem, Maxicare will now have access to more than 36 million customers, he said. 


Established in 1987 by an esteemed group of doctors and businessmen with the vision to deliver a better healthcare system, Maxicare Healthcare Corporation is one of the pioneers in the health maintenance organization (HMO) industry in the Philippines. 

As the largest HMO provider in the country, Maxicarecontinuously provides Filipinos comprehensive healthcare programs via its wide network of medical providers fortified by a strong customer support system. Currently, it services the largest number of HMO customers across the country from corporate segment, small and medium-sized enterprises to families and individuals via its more than 24,000 affiliated doctors and specialists, 1,400 hospitals and clinics, 1,000 dental clinics, 180 rehabilitation, dialysis, and eye centers. 


Discovery Shores Boracay steps into the Roblox metaverse with “Bogart & Friends”

One of the first luxury resorts to open along the famous white beach of Boracay, Discovery Shores Boracay (DSB) once again pioneers in the travel and tourism industry.


Guest can now experience the Discovery Resorts in the virtual space as its flagship property, DSB steps into the Robloxmetaverse with World of Discovery’s first game episode called “Bogart & Friends."  Kids and kids-at-heart can delve into this new, fun and exciting world where they can complete challenges and redeem special treats.


The main objective of the game is to find DSB's beloved mascot, Bogart the Bear. Players can collect items by completing tasks such as crossing the swimming pool, getting out of quicksand, or experiencing iconic DSB moments such as pool butler service and Boodle Fight. Prizes include coins for in-game items and badges that can be claimed to get actual prizes at the property for in-house guests.


Guests can play by themselvesmeet fellow guests or make it a fun activity for friends and family.Discovery Hospitality Corporation (DHC) through The World of Discovery, follows in the footsteps of pioneering companies like Nike and Chipotle in creating a virtual experience to connect with their customers. The game, “Bogart & Friends” is an interactive way to promote brand love by providing out-of-the box channels to entertain andengage with guests of various ages.As travel and leisure evolve through the tailend of the pandemic, DHC has taken the initiative to showcase its leadership through the design and development of new and exciting ways to showcase its hotels and restaurants.


So whether in Boracay or not, guests can enjoy a visit to DSB virtually by playing Bogart & Friends. “It’s a new experience to take on, we invite everyone to download the Roblox app and search for “World of Discovery” so they can have a blast as we offer a virtual space in an iconic tourist destination in the country – the first of its kind in the Philippine hospitality industry,” shares Erwin Lopez, Hotel Manager of Discovery Shores Boracay.

Westlife is back with “The Wild Dreams Tour”

WESTLIFE is coming back and will be bringing ‘The Wild Dreams Tour' to Manila! Supporting their latest album, Wild Dreams, and celebrating their greatest hits, the band will be performing in MANILA on February 20, 2023 at the Araneta Coliseum.


Following their record-breaking 2019 reunion tour ‘The Twenty Tour’ which saw Shane, Nicky, Mark and Kian play over 600,000 fans across 27 countries. The new tour will see the global pop kings perform songs from the new album plus all their well-loved hits including ‘Swear It Again’, ‘Flying Without Wings’, ‘If I Let You Go’, ‘My Love’, ‘Uptown Girl’, ‘A World Of Our Own’, ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Mandy’, and ‘You Raised Me Up’.


Westlife have sold over 55 million records worldwide, and are the only band to have their first 7 singles enter the UK chart at No.1. They also have the most singles of any artist to debut at No.1 in the UK. Overall the band has had an incredible 14 No.1 singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They have had 33 No.1 albums worldwide and as a live act have sold 5 million concert tickets worldwide.


Presented by Wilbros Live. Tickets to WESTLIFE: The Wild Dreams Tour in MANILA will be on-sale beginning June 4 at 10AM via and at all TicketNet outlets nationwide.


FB, Twitter, IG: @WilbrosLive


Miss World Philippines 2022 Candidate Gwendolyne Fourniol is Living Proof of the Power of Education

Education is a right, not a privilege. Miss World Philippines - Negros Occidental  Gwendolyne Bolivar Fourniol  says more Filipino children ...