3 things to consider before buying your first family home

Friday, June 14, 2024

Owning a home is a significant milestone, especially for families looking to build a secure future and create lasting memories. For those embarking on the journey of buying their first family home, the process can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are numerous factors to consider, and making the right choice requires careful planning and research.

Condominiums are a great choice for a first family home because of their convenient locations, amenities, and security features. MIRA by RLC Residences, located in Quezon City, is a family-centric community that offers more ways to connect, bond, and flourish with your loved ones.

Here are essential considerations when buying your first family home:

Location and accessibility

Location is vital for family convenience. Proximity to schools, offices, healthcare facilities, and recreational areas can significantly impact your daily life.

MIRA’s prime location in Cubao, Quezon City, ensures that everything your family needs is within reach. It’s near central business districts like Eastwood and Ortigas, commercial establishments such as Gateway, Ali Mall and Farmer’s Market, educational institutions including Ateneo De Manila Grade School, UP Integrated School, and medical facilities like St. Luke’s Medical Center QC. MIRA’s central position reduces commute time, allowing you more opportunities to bond with your family. Nearby transportation hubs such as LRT Line 2 can bring you and your loved ones to destinations outside Quezon City with ease and convenience.

Features and amenities

Finding a central space in the city that can provide family-oriented activities can be challenging. That’s why condo living can be appealing for starting families. Reputable developers bring together top-notch amenities that greatly enhance your lifestyle and overall quality of life.

MIRA offers a wide range of family-friendly amenities designed to support a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle. The Outdoor Play Area is a safe and fun space for children to play and interact with their peers. MIRA’s swimming pools and glamping nooks are perfect for families who want to create lasting memories. Moms and dads don’t need to worry about their kids’ health and well-being, as an onsite clinic will soon provide medical assistance. All these amenities bring convenience and a sense of community, making MIRA an ideal place for families to thrive.

Budgeting and financial planning

One of the first steps in purchasing your first family home is setting a realistic budget. Calculating the total costs involved, including the mortgage, maintenance, insurance, and utilities, is crucial. The good thing is that financing options and flexible payment terms can make homeownership more accessible for starting families. MIRA offers various payment plans to ease the financial burden and make your dream home a reality.

MIRA RLC Residences

MIRA reflects RLC Residences’ philosophy of Raise, Live, Connect. The award-winning developer raises the standards of its residential projects with beautiful and well-designed homes with residents’ needs in mind. Karen Cesario, Head of Marketing at RLC Residences, shares, “Choosing a first-family home is a major decision, and we’re committed to providing a nurturing environment that fosters family bonds and enhances the quality of life. MIRA is designed with the modern family in mind, offering a perfect blend of comfort, convenience, and community.”

Interested families looking to start their first home at MIRA may connect with a Property Specialist through rlcresidences.com

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Innovative Filipino Climate Enterprises win at Impact Pioneers Network Climate Catalyst Pitch Competition

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Impact Pioneers Network, a first-of-its-kind impact investing network in the country, recently underscored the urgent need to grow Filipino climate startups through impact investing to combat climate change.


Climate startups Hive Energy Philippines, Sinaya Corp., and Rezbin Waste Technology Inc. won Impact Pioneers Network’s Climate Catalyst Startup Pitch Competition held on June 5, 2024, at Mess Hall, Makati City. [L-R: AC Dy, Head of Incubation and Venture Support of Villgro Philippines; Diane Estepahine Bagui Program Officer of Forest Foundation Philippines; John Altomonte, Corporates for a Better Planet Program (CBPI) Lead of WWF-Philippines; Audrey Tangonan, CEO and Founder of Sinaya Cup; Joseph Amiel Camingal CEO and Founder of Hive Energy Philippines; Mari Martirez, CEO and Co-founder of Rezbin Waste Technology Inc.; James Soriano, Vice President of Investments of Pasudeco; Greg Moral-Perez, Director - Investments of Impact Pioneers Network and Director of xchange, and; Priya Thachadi, co-founder, Impact Pioneers Network and CEO, Villgro Philippines]


Impact investing is gaining traction as a tool for driving social and environmental change alongside financial returns. During the Network’s startup showcase event Climate Catalyst: Accelerating Investments in Climate Startups, Priya Thachadi, CEO of Villgro Philippines and co-founder of Impact Pioneers Network explained that supporting climate startups can accelerate innovation that directly contributes to building resilient and sustainable communities. 

“Impact investing channels much-needed risk capital to entrepreneurs who are addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change. Unlike traditional investments that primarily focus on financial returns, impact investing aims to generate financial, social, and environmental benefits alongside financial returns. It catalyzes solutions that can create sustainable change and push us forward to net zero,” she added. 

In response to this opportunity, Impact Pioneers Network hosted the Climate Catalyst Startup Pitch Competition, where nine early-stage startups presented their climate innovations, namely: Hive Energy Philippines, Sinaya Corp., Dewaste Solutions, Rezbin Waste Technology Inc., LITHOS Manufacturing, Galansiyang Inc., FiveDOL Upcycling Corp. (LimaDOL), The Aquaculture Group, and Young Farmers Club of Zambales Inc. The competition culminated in awarding Hive Energy Philippines with a grand prize of PHP 100,000, technical assistance, business mentoring, and investment readiness assistance. Sinaya Corp. placed 2nd and won PHP50,000, in technical assistance and business mentoring, while Rezbin Waste Technology Inc. ended in 3rd, winning technical assistance and business mentoring from the Network. 

“The award will be used to support our continuing research and development that would make renewable energy more accessible to everyone which is in line with our mission: providing energy empowerment for all,” said grand prize winner Joseph Amiel Camingal, President of Hive Energy Philippines.

The pitch competition reaffirmed the Network’s commitment to accelerating investments into climate action in the Philippines. 

Supporting Filipino Climate Startups

The event also featured a panel discussion with Filipino climate startup leaders from Agro-Digital PH, Magnus Renewables Tech Corp., and Suds Sustainable Pods who talked about their challenges and risks, including limited access to funding, regulatory hurdles, and the need for specialized knowledge and mentorship. All three startups have received investments through the Impact Pioneers Network to grow their models and increase their impact footprint. 

“Filipino climate startups often face difficulties in securing early-stage and growth capital due to a smaller pool of local investors focused on climate innovation versus our counterparts in other countries,” said Andy Coscolluela, Strategic Projects Manager of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.

Amidst the challenges, these climate startups shared that they seek more opportunities to develop innovative solutions tailored to both local and global climate needs. Their work in areas like renewable energy, sustainable personal hygiene, and agro-entrepreneurship not only addresses immediate environmental issues but also serves as scalable models for other regions facing similar problems.

“We are expecting impact investing in the Philippines to grow more over the next decade. We are currently the second-largest impact investing market in Southeast Asia in terms of number of deals,” said Greg Perez, Director of xchange, one of the Network’s co-managers. “Increased awareness of environmental issues as well as the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, along with a growing ecosystem of socially conscious entrepreneurs, are likely to drive sustained growth.”

Impact Pioneers Network addresses headwinds by providing financial support, comprehensive mentorship programs, and access to a vast network of industry experts and investors. 

The Network also recently announced three new investment deals facilitated through their Working Capital Facility to provide financial support to three local impact enterprises Magnus Renewable Tech Corp., Agro-Digital PH, and Suds Sustainable Pods to scale their operations. 

The Working Capital Facility provides collateral-free, short-term loans of PHP 250,000 and upwards to early-stage ventures tackling social and climate challenges. This aims to bridge the critical funding gap that many Filipino entrepreneurs face, ensuring they have the resources needed to scale their impact. 

By investing in enterprises that prioritize social and environmental outcomes, Impact Pioneers Network not only drives innovation but also cultivates a more inclusive and sustainable economic landscape.
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Sun Life and Boehringer Ingelheim Renew Partnership to Tackle Chronic Kidney Disease in the Philippines

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. have recently renewed their partnership at the Sun Life Centre in Bonifacio Global City. This collaboration, aimed at improving health outcomes for Filipinos, now includes comprehensive programs to raise awareness about chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Addressing a Critical Health Issue

CKD affects over 7 million Filipinos and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country. Given the prevalence and severity of CKD, strategic partnerships like the one between Sun Life and Boehringer Ingelheim are crucial for creating significant health impacts. Sun Life is a trusted name in financial security, while Boehringer Ingelheim is renowned for its global innovations in healthcare. Together, they aim to combat CKD through effective awareness and education campaigns.

A Unified Goal

Ermel Teodoro, Interim General Manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Philippines, emphasized the importance of this collaboration: “We collaborate with partners who share our goal of making a real difference and a lasting impact on the lives of Filipinos in patient advocacy and disease awareness now, and for generations to come.”

Sun Life Philippines Country Head and CEO Benedict Sison echoed this sentiment, stating, “Since the beginning of our partnership in 2022, Sun Life and Boehringer Ingelheim have remained steadfast in driving towards our shared goal of empowering Filipinos to live healthier, fuller lives.”

Comprehensive Health Programs

The partnership between Sun Life and Boehringer Ingelheim extends beyond CKD. It includes disease awareness campaigns on common respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as rare respiratory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung diseases. Additionally, they address non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which are major contributors to CKD.

Expanding Impact

“This renewed tie-up allows us to go beyond providing financial products,” adds Sison. “By working together with Boehringer Ingelheim, we can empower the nation to take a more proactive approach in protecting their overall health.”

Teodoro also highlighted the risks posed by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. “40% of Filipinos are suffering from obesity. Sedentary lifestyles, – one with limited movements or activities, can lead you to obesity and therefore, chronic kidney disease."

Raising CKD Awareness

With the expanded focus on CKD, Boehringer Ingelheim aims to reach more Filipinos and increase awareness about the disease. According to Teodoro, CKD symptoms often appear only in the late stages, making early detection through regular testing crucial. The recommended preventive measures include two simple tests: the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) blood test and the urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) test.

Encouraging Proactive Health Measures

While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential, factors such as family history and aging are inevitable. Therefore, regular testing remains the best defense against CKD. Teodoro urges everyone to inform their dependents, friends, and family about the dangers of CKD and to seek medical advice promptly. “Let your dependents, friends, and family know about the silent killer that is CKD. Reach out to your doctor as soon as possible and bring a loved one or two,” he advises.

Through this renewed partnership, Sun Life and Boehringer Ingelheim are committed to making a meaningful difference in the health and lives of Filipinos, striving towards a future where CKD and other chronic diseases are better understood, managed, and prevented.
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vivo partners with UA&P Men's Futsal Team to launch 2024 Inter-Collegiate Futsal League

Global smartphone leader, vivo, has proudly partnered with the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Physical Education (PE) Department and Men's Futsal Varsity Team on June 3, 2024, underscoring its commitment to health, fitness, and community engagement.

As a prestigious partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and UEFA Euro 2024, vivo extends its support to the local level by sponsoring UA&P's Inter-Collegiate Futsal Tournament and High 5 Men's Open Tournament.

The upcoming event, named the UA&P - vivo PH Inter-Collegiate Futsal League 2024, will run from August to December 2024.

Futsal or futbol sala, an indoor version of football, continues to grow in popularity, and vivo’s sponsorship aims to further boost its visibility and participation.

The official contract signing ceremony saw UA&P represented by Tournament Director and UA&P Team Manager Angelica Ysabelle Ang, Tournament Chair and PE Department Head Christian Dominguez, and Team Manager Kassandra Benipayo. vivo Philippines was represented by Brand Marketing Department Head Liu Lu. 

In a symbolic gesture of partnership, both organizations exchanged Little V and Uappy the Dragon dolls.

Liu Lu expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "We at vivo are thrilled to support the UA&P Men's Futsal Varsity Team. This collaboration is a testament to our dedication to fostering sportsmanship and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this tournament will have on the community."

Several futsal players attended the event, enjoying the opportunity to test out vivo’s latest smartphone models, further highlighting the brand’s innovative and community-oriented approach.

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Discover the Urban Lifestyle at Citadines Roces Quezon City

Citadines Roces

Through its latest Citadines property in Quezon City, The Ascott Limited invites guests to an unparalleled urban lifestyle experience. Situated in a thriving business district, this property is the ideal pick for those seeking to fully engage in the dynamic and vibrant essence of city life, thanks to its prime location and outstanding amenities.

Standing as a premiere Citadines property, Citadines Roces Quezon City sets the standard for upscale accommodations and event facilities in the area. At the heart of its allure lies its exceptional banquet facilities, carefully designed to cater to a diverse range of events, parties, and gatherings.

What sets Citadines Roces Quezon City apart is its commitment to providing a seamless and stress-free hospitality experience. By offering banquet facilities alongside its accommodation packages, the property ensures convenience and comfort for both hosts and guests. This unique provision lets event organizers effortlessly coordinate every aspect of their gatherings, from booking venues to arranging accommodations, all under one roof. Guests, in turn, benefit from the convenience of attending events and retreating to the comfort of their rooms without ever having to leave the premises.

The property's strategic location offers easy access to a multitude of corporate offices, entertainment options, dining establishments, and bustling shopping centers, like SM North EDSA and Ayala Malls Trinoma. Whether guests seek cultural immersion, culinary delights, or simply wish to explore the vibrant city streets, Citadines Roces Quezon City serves as the ideal starting point for every urban adventure.

"We are excited to introduce Citadines Roces Quezon City as the epitome of city living. With our prime location and exceptional amenities, we aim to provide our guests with a truly immersive experience in the heart of Quezon City," said Thea Peregrino, Citadines Roces Quezon City’s Assistant Residence Manager. "Our mission is to create a vibrant and dynamic environment where guests can feel at home while enjoying everything this bustling city offers."

Citadines Roces Quezon City features a variety of well-designed apartments, including spacious studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. Each apartment is thoughtfully furnished with modern amenities, ensuring every guest's comfortable and enjoyable stay. The property also offers a range of facilities, including a fitness center, swimming pool, residents' lounge, and round-the-clock reception and concierge services, providing a seamless and hassle-free living experience.

For those seeking the perfect blend of work and play, Citadines Roces Quezon City offers a social lounge equipped with modern facilities, services, and equipment to accommodate all the needs a professional may have, from working spaces to socializing stations.

Citadines Roces Quezon City invites guests to embrace the vibrant city lifestyle and discover the hidden gems of Quezon City. Whether for a short-term stay or an extended visit, Citadines Roces is committed to providing a home away from home that captures the essence of city living.

Citadines Roces Quezon City opened its doors to the public in January 2024. For advanced bookings, reservations, and updates, visit Citadines Roces Quezon City’s official website and its social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.
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Ashoka Philippines is looking for innovators creating systems change

Ashoka Philippines

Founded in 1980, Ashoka has created the first and largest professional network that supports leading social entrepreneurs around the world, with nearly 4,000 Ashoka Fellows from 93 countries.

Fellows are best described by the impactful actions that they take whether that means getting the government to pass beneficial laws, creating new ways to conduct businesses, or shifting the mindset of society around a social issue. Most importantly, their efforts are aimed towards the good of everyone, not just their personal interests.

In short, Ashoka Fellows are pragmatic visionaries who create systems change.

Systems change entails long-term and deep impact. One framework envisions achieving it in three ways: 

Scaling Up: changing policy or impacting laws, to change institutional rules
Scaling Out: replicating a particular social innovation in different communities to reach greater numbers of people
Scaling Deep: changing the deeper values, cultural beliefs, meanings and practices of people, and the qualities of their relationships 

In the Philippines, Ashoka Fellows who pioneer systems change come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds. Initially, many of them didn’t think of their work as systems change, entrepreneurship or innovation. They generally started their work to solve a problem or close a gap that made them angry, worried them, or affected their community in a negative way. There are currently 17 in the Philippines. Here are a few examples: 

Ryan Gersava is the youngest of eleven and spent his childhood in Sultan Kudarat. Despite living in abject poverty, his parents always put great importance on their children’s education and Ryan and his siblings were always at the top of their class. It was during his first year in college that Ryan discovered he was positive for Hepatitis B. Despite graduating with impressive marks, he failed to secure a job due to his diagnosis. 

In 2015, he co-founded Virtualahan with his siblings to make employment accessible to marginalized sectors, including people with disabilities, solo parents, persons deprived of liberty, etc. Virtualahan has created a program to train students on in-demand skills. This is combined with other equally important elements, namely, wellbeing sessions, coaching, and partnering with companies to make their hiring more inclusive. This approach seeks to address the employment issue holistically. Externally, trainees are set up for success as they are better matched with appropriate jobs. At the same time, trainees also experience a deep internal transformation; Virtualahan nurtures their self-confidence and self-worth so that they advocate for themselves. The company also reports a 60% employment rate for over a thousand graduates. 

Tina Liamzon was an activist all throughout her school years. As a young professional, she immersed herself in civil society organizations, especially those from rural areas. In 1990, she eventually moved to Italy where her husband had accepted a position. She met many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Europe and learned of their challenges. Interconnected problems such as difficulty integrating with foreign cultures, the inaccessiblity of financial literacy, and the scarcity of well-paying professional jobs in the Philippines created systems that trapped OFWs in difficult, demeaning, and dangerous jobs.

It was in middle age when she identified the right combination of elements to activate the agency of OFWs. With her husband, she founded ALSE OF-LIFE (Ateneo Overseas Filipinos’ Leadership, Innovation, Financial Literacy, and Social Entrepreneurship) to equip Filipino migrants with skills and mindsets for self-sufficiency. The program has reached 26 countries globally and has 4500 alumni, many of whom give back to society as volunteers.

Bai Rohaniza “Honey” Sumdad-Usman was born into an inter-faith family. Her father is a Maranao Muslim, while her mother is a Christian who converted to Islam. When she was two years old, her family relocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and she was seven years old during the outbreak of the Gulf War. She vividly remembers explosions, missiles, and the daily routine of preparing for a possible chemical attack. 

When Honey returned to the Philippines, she heard similar stories from her countrymen and envisioned peace as a way of life for all Filipinos. She recognized the influence the youth have on society and founded the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM). TPBPM teaches children to aspire to be peace advocates through formal and non-formal Peace Education which includes music, arts, games, sports and community service. At the time of its founding, TPBPM was the only peace program in the Philippines for elementary-aged children in both conflict and non-conflict areas. Focusing on a young demographic follows Honey’s belief and experience that prejudice and discrimination are the foundation of conflict and ultimately normalize violent views within children. 

Achieving systems change is beyond challenging. Though it can feel lonely, no one person can reach it alone. Every changemaker in history was successful because they had a support system or dream team to help them out. 

To support pioneers of systems change who have impact at a national or even continental level, Ashoka offers them a lifelong Fellowship since changing systems is a long-term commitment and solutions must evolve with ever-changing problems. Rather than going through the typical application processes of other fellowships, Fellows are scouted, nominated by people like you. 

Do you know of anyone who is solving an important social issue or problem with an eye towards systems-change and could use support? Ashoka would like to learn more about them!

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Emirates Appoints Jassem Al Mulla as New Cargo Manager in the Philippines

Jassem Al Mulla

Emirates has recently announced the appointment of Jassem Al Mulla as the new Cargo Manager in the Philippines. In this pivotal role, Jassem will oversee Emirates’ cargo operations within the country, contributing significantly to the local economy by fostering the development of the cargo sector. His primary focus will be on the burgeoning micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sectors, which are critical to the Philippines' economic growth.

Jassem Al Mulla’s Expertise and Experience

Jassem Al Mulla brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having held several key positions across Emirates' operations. He joined Emirates in 2009 as part of the UAE National program in IT, marking the beginning of a distinguished career within the company. One of his notable achievements was his involvement in the development of the Emirates Group Safety application, a tool that has significantly streamlined the company's security strategy across its extensive network.

Before his current appointment, Jassem served as Cargo Manager in both Morocco and Jordan. His tenure in these roles underscores Emirates' commitment to nurturing talent from within the organization and promoting individuals who demonstrate excellence and leadership.

Driving Growth in the Philippines

Commenting on his new role, Jassem expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunities ahead:

"It is an exciting time for cargo in the Philippines. With the country’s ongoing investment in improving logistics infrastructure and the growing demand for local exports, we are seeing increased demand for specialized air cargo services and connectivity to key markets. I look forward to working with the local team to ensure Emirates SkyCargo helps maintain the country’s momentum post-pandemic, supporting local businesses in exporting their goods across the globe."

Under Jassem's leadership, Emirates SkyCargo aims to enhance its support for the local economy, particularly by aiding MSMEs. These enterprises are pivotal in driving economic activity and job creation in the Philippines. By leveraging Emirates SkyCargo’s extensive network and specialized services, Jassem plans to facilitate the efficient movement of goods, helping local businesses reach international markets.

Strategic Importance of the Philippines

The Philippines represents a crucial market within Emirates SkyCargo’s global network. The country is a significant exporter of commodities such as fresh fruits and vegetables, with a growing demand for garments and electronics. By providing reliable and efficient cargo services, Emirates SkyCargo plays a vital role in uplifting these key commodities, ensuring they reach global markets swiftly and in optimal condition.

The appointment of Jassem Al Mulla as the new Cargo Manager in the Philippines signifies Emirates’ ongoing commitment to excellence and leadership in the cargo sector. His extensive experience and strategic vision are set to drive the growth of Emirates SkyCargo in the region, benefiting the local economy and supporting MSMEs in their quest for global reach.

For more information about Emirates SkyCargo and its services, visit Emirates SkyCargo.
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