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September 22, 2017

PayMaya and Facebook Launch Payment Tools in Messenger

MANILA — September 22, 2017 — PayMaya, a pioneer and leader in mobile money and digital financial services in the country, in partnership with Facebook, is excited to announce a safe and effective new way for people in the Philippines to send money to friends, pay bills, and buy mobile load and data using Messenger.

PayMaya is a leader in transforming the mobile phone into a virtual wallet and is continually looking for ways to expand its services. PayMaya recognizes that Facebook Messenger's community offers a unique opportunity to make PayMaya services available and accessible to even more users.

“This integration with Messenger represents an exciting new way to reach the unserved and underserved people and communities in the country by making payments available via social,” said Paolo Azzola, Chief Operating Officer of PayMaya Philippines. “Our mission is to make cashless payments available for all and this new channel via Messenger will help us enable more people.”

“We’re excited to work with PayMaya to give people in the Philippines new tools to access their money using Messenger,” said Facebook Product Manager Ginger Baker. “Our goal is to amplify the reach and impact of providers like PayMaya by enabling tools that allow them to connect people with the services and friends they care about.”

Consumers in the Philippines regularly connect with friends and family to send money and pay bills. However, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 86% of Filipino households don't have a deposit account. As one of the most popular messaging apps in the Philippines, Messenger offers a much easier way for people to create a new account for daily financial transactions.

Through PayMaya's partnership with Facebook, Filipinos will have an easier option for sending money and paying bills on Messenger, whether they have a bank or a mobile money mobile account or not.

Using PayMaya in Messenger is simple. A customer just needs to search for @PayMayaOfficial on Messenger on an Android device to start a transaction. The chatbot will guide the user on the available menu options. New PayMaya users can create their account using Messenger while those who already have the PayMaya app installed on their Android phones can link their wallet to Messenger.

Once in Messenger, they can inquire about their PayMaya wallet balance, pay bills and send money to other Messenger users, regardless if they are already on PayMaya or not. People can also buy mobile load on their phone with a substantial discount anytime, anywhere, directly in Messenger.

Aside from accessing PayMaya in Messenger, PayMaya also comes with a physical card that can be linked to the mobile wallet.  This physical card can be ordered through free of delivery charges and can be used at any Bancnet ATM nationwide, and anywhere VISA and Mastercard are accepted. PayMaya users can link up to three PayMaya physical cards to their app.

PayMaya holds the largest network of reloading touchpoints with over 15,000 top up stations nationwide, which include SM Business Centers, Robinsons Department Stores, 7-Eleven with Cliqq Kiosks, Petron stations along NLEX and Ministop outlets with Touchpay Kiosks, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go outlets, Smart Padala centers, Palawan Pawnshop branches, UnionBank ATMs, Gaisano Malls, and online banking via BDO and UnionBank.

PayMaya is both an app-first and a card-first prepaid payment service. Users can opt to have the card first and connect it to their app later on for a shared wallet experience, and vice versa. PayMaya is telco-agnostic which makes it easy for anyone to create an account regardless of the network provider.

PayMaya is a regulated e-Money Issuer by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Stay healthy during cough season with these five practical tips

Actor Ian Veneracion makes sure that he gets soothing relief from cough during the rainy season with the natural, safe, and effective Ascof Forte Menthol, his cough remedy of choice.

For many of us, the rainy season offers relief from the long spell of oppressive heat and humidity we’ve just endured in the past months. While it’s true that wet weather banishes much of the discomforts wrought by a tropical summer, it also brings with it common ailments like colds and cough. 

It doesn’t help that intermittent rains and sudden changes in temperature render us more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. The inconveniences—flooding, heavy traffic, longer commutes—add to the stress of daily living, which, in turn, could weaken our immune systems.

While we can’t do much about the weather, we can help our bodies prevent cough or soothingly relieve it once it sets in by observing healthful practices even at the comfort of our own home, and when needed, taking a natural remedy like Ascof Forte Menthol (Vitex negundo L. Lagundi Leaf). 

Here, Ascof shares five easy and practical steps on how to avoid and relieve cough this rainy season: 

Eat nutritious food

A healthy and balanced diet provides nutrients, such as anti-oxidants, that help fortify the body against stress. Eating fruits and vegetables improves the body’s defense against cough-causing infections as these boost the immune system. 

Drink plenty of liquids

One of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve cough is to drink plenty of clean water, at least 8 to 10 glasses a day. This helps ensure proper hydration and expel wastes from the body. Water also helps soothe an irritated throat by thinning out the mucus in the post-nasal drip and keeping the mucus membranes moist. Gargling warm salt water if you have a sore throat and drinking natural fruit juices also help.

Get enough rest, sleep, and exercise

Getting enough rest and sleep is an effortless way of strengthening your immune system. A good night’s sleep helps regenerate your body and recharge it after a stressful workday, helping you resist infections that cause cough. Also, don’t give up on your exercise, even indoors, because it does not only make you feel good about yourself but also helps boost your immune system. 

Maintain good hygiene

Some viruses and bacteria spread faster during the wet and cold season, thus making infections and common diseases like cough and colds easily transmissible. That is why even if you are staying indoors, it is of utmost importance to practice good personal hygiene habits such as washing your hands frequently to help prevent the spread of diseases and minimize your risk of infection.

Keep your surroundings clean

One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses is to maintain a clean environment—keep your house neat and tidy at all times, change sheets regularly, avoid leaving stagnant water, clean your waterways, and dispose waste properly. When sneezing or coughing, always remember to cover your nose and mouth with tissue or clean cloth to prevent germs from spreading through the air.

Coupled with the regular observance of healthful practices, Ian Veneracion takes Ascof Forte Menthol for a “hagod-menthol” soothing effect for his irritated throat when cough already sets in.

When cough already sets in, take Ascof Forte Mentol for a safe and natural remedy that provides a “hagod-mentol” soothing effect to your irritated throat. Ascof is made from 100 percent organically grown lagundi leaves, making it a natural, safe, and effective remedy for cough and bronchial asthma.

Pascual Laboratories, the manufacturer of Ascof, has its own lagundi farm in Nueva Ecija that uses a GMP-certified production process to cultivate the traditional herbal plants. Ascof Forte Menthol is a product of scientific research and clinical studies.

For inquiries and more details about Ascof Forte Menthol, visit their official Facebook page at or their official website at

If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

September 20, 2017

16th Franchise & Business Expo stays in tune with ASEAN agenda! “7Ms Towards Shared Prosperity in ASEAN”

One of the country's longest running tradeshow to date and one of the country’s biggest business and franchising events - the AFFI Franchise & Business Expo is staying true to the seven-point strategy for MSME growth set by the ASEAN MSME Development Summit earlier this year.

The seven-point strategy, known as the “7Ms Towards Shared Prosperity in ASEAN”, includes: 
  • mindset
  • mastery
  • mentoring
  • markets
  • money
  • machines
  • models
All of which are essential in the advancement of MSMEs towards the core of the ASEAN economic agenda.

This tactical approach to small enterprise development -- with focus on mentoring, markets and money -- will steer this year’s Franchise and Business Expo, set on September 29 to October 1 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

Under the theme AFFI@20: One with ASEAN, the expo will continue to empower entrepreneurs primarily thru informative seminars and on-the-day mentoring sessions from industry experts and successful business owners.

Backbone of the region’s economy

As the prime trade organization of small and medium entrepreneurs in the country, expo organizer Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. has expressed staunch support for MSMEs to be appointed as key drivers of shared prosperity for the region.

“These enterprises account for over 90 percent of businesses all over ASEAN. That number, in itself, already proves the sector’s role in achieving the desired growth for the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community),” said AFFI President John Chung.

Chung, who is also the founder and CEO of homegrown perfume brand Acquasuisse, specifically pointed out the significant impact of MSMEs on employment generation.

John Chung, AFFI President 

“Small and medium businesses provide more jobs for the common people than any other sector in our society today,” asserted Chung. “For example, AFFI’s member corporations alone have already created over 200,000 jobs as of June 2017.

Hence, it has been AFFI’s main concern to put forward the welfare of these small enterprises ever since it was first founded in 1997. The association is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the industry this year.

“For 20 years, AFFI has been a constant champion of Filipino SMEs. The founders, who are now pillars themselves in the business and franchising community, envisioned the association to be the voice of entrepreneurs in this country. We want to continue fulfilling that vision in the coming decades,” Chung added.

The yearly event that empowers this vision, The Franchise and Business Expo, AFFI will showcase hundreds of brands to thousands of visitors ranging from professionals, established and budding entrepreneurs, students from top universities, and consumers. The expo will offer fresh ideas, trends and solutions through a series of informative seminars, interactive activities, and mentoring sessions provided by partner organizations, government agencies, celebrity entrepreneurs and seasoned businessmen. 

The 16th Franchise & Business Expo is co-presented by SEAOIL Philippines and the Department of Trade and Industry. 

For inquiries, please visit or contact the AFFI Secretariat at (02) 501 5449, 0949.8890758 or email us at

September 19, 2017

WWF-Philippines holds benefit dinner to promote sustainable food for a sustainable future

The changing climate and the uncontrolled and wasteful consumption have resulted in concerns on how to continue feeding the planet today and in the future.

This is why the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, with the mission of “Transforming Lives,” has gathered food connoisseurs and environmental advocates to support Sustainable Food Sustainable Future, a benefit dinner created to educate Filipinos on the importance of sustainable consumption and supporting our local farmers and fishermen by eating local.

WWF officials with Myrza Sison, Andrej Wisniewski, Margaux Salcedo,
Patti Javier and Pepper Teehankee

Proceeds of the Sustainable Food, Sustainable Future dinner will go to WWF-Philippines’ campaigns and efforts to secure food sources of the future, aid the livelihood of local farmers and fishermen, and promote eco-friendly means of food production and consumption.

Sustainable food consumption and production involves looking at how resources are used in growing food and taking into account their impact on the environment and the community. This not only results in environmental benefits but also social and economic support such as increased competitiveness of local products, increased employment, and consequently reduced poverty. For consumers, it can mean fresher food with less chemicals and improved health.

WWF Ambassadors with Joel Palma and Gigi Montinola

WWF’s Hand Line Yellowfin Tuna initiatives in Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Sur and Albay are examples of WWF’s work in this area. Hand line fishing initiatives provide an avenue to supply selectively-caught yellow fin tuna to market actors, environmentally conscious consumers and give local fisher folk a source of livelihood.

WWF President Joel Palma

WWF President and CEO Joel Palma shared how food consumption affects not only the environment but the welfare and livelihood of the people and communities who work on food production, like farmers and fisher folk.
“We would like to emphasize that the footprint of the produce not only contributes to climate change and threaten our planet's future but can also negatively affect the future of those who grow or produce our food. We want to make sure resources are protected and sustained so that they can continue to be the source of livelihood for generations to come.”

Meanwhile, Chef Nicco Santos of Hey Handsome talked about how he partnered up with local fishermen and farmers who inspired his restaurant’s menu. “One of the biggest reasons why I shifted my cooking style is because of sustainability. For me, personally, I find it more meaningful and more fulfilling if I know who’s growing the ingredients. Aside from it tasting better because it’s direct from the source, it’s fresher,” Santos stated. 

“Aside from us feeling better about ourselves, it’s more fulfilling that it’s not about us. It’s always about someone else’s lives that we’re helping out. It’s fulfilling when you find that your truest purpose is to really help someone else to make a difference.”

Chef Margarita Forés

As Chefs are the primary influencers of food cultures and diets, their participation in developing sustainable food habits and produce consumption is a huge help on promoting food security.

“I think apart from just cooking for people as a profession, chefs of today really need to advocate the science of sustainability and using ingredients that help keep the planet sustainable and the environment clean because in the end, whatever we do is dependent on the produce,” quipped Chef Margarita Forés emphasizing on the role of chefs and restaurateurs in the campaign to help the environment.

Held at the Rizal Ballroom A of Makati Shangri-La, Manila on September 6, 2017, the benefit dinner featured delicious dishes from eight of the country’s top chefs. Chef Eric Weidmann (Sage), Chef Nicco Santos (Hey Handsome), Chef Chele Gonzalez (Gallery Vask), Chef Patrick Go (Black Sheep), Chef Sunshine Puey (Gourmandise), Chef Miko Aspiras (The Workshop), Chef Josh Boutwood (The Test Kitchen) and, Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016 Margarita Forés (Grace Park), came together to show diners how local produce can result in flavorful creations that can help communities and the environment. 

Northern Guimas Strait Blue Crab and Lemongrass Salad

Northern Guimas Strait Blue Crab

Four glorious pass around canapés paired kicked off the cocktails while the five-course dinner was started off with Weidmann’s Northern Guimaras Strait Blue Crab with Smoked Tanigue Tartare. This was followed by Santos’ Northern Guimaras Strait Blue Crab and Lemongrass Salad on Coconut-fermented Santol Crab Cracker, Gonzalez’and Go’s Yellowfin Tuna Belly with Szechuan and Adlai, Etag, Seaweed and Shiitake Congee, and Forés’and Boutwood’s Aleli’s Pork Loin, Headcheese, Sweet Potato, Humba Pineapple Glaze and Guava Gel, which is an homage to Daila Farm’s Aleli Crespo who sposored the night’s black pigs. The delectable dinner was perfectly capped off by Puey’s and Aspiras’ 64% Davao Dark Chocolate and Over-ripened Mangoes with Auro providing the chocolates used. Wines that complemented the courses were courtesy of one of the event co-presenters, Bacchus. 

Makati Shangri-La Manila, another co-presenter, has showed its all-out support for this WWF-Philippines fundraiser as it very much aligned with the Shangri-La group’s “Rooted in Nature” philosophy and corporate social responsibility for a sustainable future in the Philippines, which is a manifestation of the group’s commitment to promoting greater traceability and transparency of food sources by working with local and sustainable providers. By 2020, the group’s goal is to serve 75 per cent more sustainably sourced food on their menus and through the “Rooted in Nature” dining experience, guests are enjoined in embracing and celebrating the benefits that sustainable food brings.

Tote-ally Awesome Goldilocks Tote Bag

For countless Filipinos, Goldilocks is synonymous with bringing joy and happiness to people’s hearts. Through their delicious cakes, savory meals, or must-have treats and goodies, the country’s number one bakeshop always hits the mark when it comes to delighting consumers. Indeed, five decades of being at the top is earned through knowing exactly what Filipinos want and need. 

With students back to school, the rainy season upon us, and Christmas just around the corner, what better accessory to have than a super cute and handy tote bag? The Goldilocks Happy Tote Bag is as fun and functional as it is versatile. Featuring three eye-catching designs, the tote bag is sure to add an element of style whenever you shop, do the groceries, or need to carry an assortment of items. 

Buy any 6 of the Goldilocks Snack Cakes in a single purchase receipt and add P60 in order to get your Happy Tote. Moreover, for every purchase of the Goldilocks Happy Tote Bag, a percentage of the sales go to the Goldilocks Foundation, which aids in feeding, educational, environment, and disaster relief programs. The tote itself is made from flour bags from manufacturing plants, and canvas margins from small bakeries.

Head down to your nearest Goldilocks today and grab a tote while you can! Promo period is until September 30, 2017. 

For more information, visit or like their Facebook or Twitter page @GoldilocksPH 


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