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June 26, 2017

Fresh Options : Celebrations made easy

Celebrations, Parties, Reunions ....Whenever summer rolls in, families and friends always seem to find a reason to get together and rekindle old ties. Whether it’s a simple, impromptu family reunion, a visit to lolo and lola in the province, the town fiesta, a barkada summer outing, the neighborhood basketball league competition or celebrating your daughter’s Reyna Elena rank in the Santa Cruzan, Filipinos just love to gather around and celebrate both big and small milestones. 

Social gatherings or salo-salos are so common that they’re practically a way of life. That doesn’t mean that preparing for salo-salos are a breeze. Planning, organizing and setting up a party can be overwhelming especially if you’re pressed for time. 

Here are some tips on how you can make celebrations easy:

Let everyone in on the fun. 

Organizing a get-together can be quite overwhelming especially if the schedule is a bit tight. Ask your family and friends to help out in the preparations. Get their ideas on the theme, the type of party setting and their preferred entertainment for the big day. Let your loved ones know that you value their help and are counting on them to pitch in to make sure the celebration is a success. 

The more hands the merrier.

Celebrations that would draw a big crowd like family reunions, fiestas or the celebratory require a lot of hands on deck. Ask your loved ones to help out before, during and after the get-together. Group your friends and relatives into teams that will handle specific roles such as food, venue and entertainment. 

Eats matter. 

Of course, the highlight of every salo-salo is the food. Start your menu planning by keeping your family and guests’ food preferences and allergies in mind. To make your event preparations less challenging, choose delicious yet easy-to-prepare meals like Fresh Options’ Crispy Pata, Pork Humba, Beef Kare-Kare or Chicken Galantina De Manille. For outdoor or more casual celebrations, you can also try Fresh Options’ Garlic Chicken, Ilocos Bagnet, Pork Sisig, and Bopis. 

With the special activities that families have this summer, get-togethers can be fun as long as it is planned out step by step. It is made extra special with Fresh Options’ assorted value-added meat. Preparing for the celebration is now made easy! All you have to do is microwave or pan fry the Fresh Options’ value-added meat you want to enjoy. 

Fresh Options value-added product lines are yummy and easy to prepare. They're available at outlets and supermarkets nationwide.

Fresh Options Meat Shop is proudly Filipino owned and operated and is based in Pampanga, taking pride in providing customers with fresh and safe meats. Expert veterinarians and technical personnel develop farm feeds, take care of the animals’ health and nutrition, and is certified “AA” by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). Fresh Options Meat Shops can be found in Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

June 25, 2017

Coca-Cola plants a greener future in Hinatuan

Along the rocky terrain of Mindanao’s eastern coast, in the town of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, is a lush 10-hectare community farm that has been cited as one of the model farms by various government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture (DA). Despite the unpredictable weather, which includes month-long monsoon rains and even longer dry spells, the farm has yielded fruits and vegetables beyond what the land and its surrounding areas has ever seen.

Arsocena Cabiling, farmer and mother, holds up harvested corn in their fields in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

This verdant bounty and pockets of rain forests belies the fact that most of Hinatuan lies on limestone bedrock. The constant salty winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean, alongside the lack of access to fresh water has contributed to the less than ideal environment for agricultural cultivation and has restricted most farming activities to coconut and corn production. The lack of water source also discounts the possibility of livestock-raising.

“In 2012, we decided to farm better with the assistance from various stakeholders. We made sure that every help we received would be maximized,” said Arsolino Cabilin, chairman of the Tagasaka Coconut Farmers Association (TACOFA).

In that same year, TACOFA became a recipient of the Coca-Cola Agos Program in partnership with Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI). Through this project, the community was able to effectively shift to a more sustainable farming system – organic farming.

The Coca-Cola Agos Program installed a modified version of a simple technology called ram pump that allows lowland water to be brought to elevated areas without the need for electricity.

Making barren landscapes lush with the Coca-Cola Agos Program

“The unpredictable weather made it difficult for us to veer away from planting only coconuts and corn. There were times when it would suddenly have three weeks of no rain, sometimes it would stretch for two and a half months. Vegetables could not hold it out that long without rain,” said Dina Bayarcal, a TACOFA member and former treasurer. “We would fetch water from the river and manually bring it to the farm and water the plants. That’s the only thing we would do the whole day during a dry spell,” Bayarcal added.

Dina Bayarcal shows off her soybeans in her portion of the 10-hectare TACOFA demo farm. With water easily accessible with the ram pump, Bayarcal and her group are rotating crops, from soybeans to cantaloupe to corn.
With the availability of water through the ram pumps, TACOFA was able to diversify its crops that now include cantaloupes, watermelons, soybeans, corn, coconuts, and other vegetables that are grown throughout the year. The association is even putting up a coco fiber rope and coir (coconut fiber) production facility.

Large tracts of land are now watered in more efficient ways with the help of the ram pumps that draw water from the river.

Today, TACOFA membership has grown to over 100 farmer members tilling and developing the 10-hectare land, tapping its water source from the Coca-Cola Agos Program. The organization even plans on leasing some of the neighboring farms in order for them to expand their production.

“With a secure source of water, through the Coca-Cola Agos ram pumps, we were able to think of ways on how to better improve the way we farm. Access to water opened us to an endless possibility of options on what we can plant and raise,” said Cabilin. “We are also looking at ways on how we can further add value to our products.”

This year, the association has completed its coco coir production facility that would enable them to produce ropes, fiber mats, and coir logs – natural and biodegradable ways of preventing soil erosion, and contour farming. Tagasaka’s coconut nurseries have even boosted its contribution to the Department of Agriculture’s continuing effort to rehabilitate the ageing coconut industry, with seedling mortality rates now reduced from 55 to 20 percent.

Colorful murals are painted on the exterior walls of the water reservoir of Coca-Cola Agos Program.

Coca-Cola Agos Program: A gift to the next generation

TACOFA serves as the association for managing the Coca-Cola Agos Program after the ram pumps were turned over to the community. As the recipient organization and on behalf of the whole community, they are responsible for the maintenance and assurance that the ram pumps will continue to serve its purpose. Prior to the turn-over, TACOFA underwent workshops and orientations conducted by AIDFI on how to maintain and manage the ram pump as well as their natural environment. Two members of the organization also underwent hands-on mechanical training and have been certified by AIDFI to maintain the ram pumps for the community.

The organization serves as the unifying body for all household and farm recipients of the Coca-Cola Agos Program. They work hand-in-hand in taking care of the gift of water brought about by the installation of ram pumps for their community. They envision the project to serve the water needs of now and preserved for the next generations of TACOFA members.

“The Coca-Cola Agos ram pump is a gift to us, and it will be our gift to the next generation. Today, we will show the people the many ways one can farm; we will show those who have given much to us that we are grateful for their gift,” said Cabilin. “And we will show the next generation that with hard work, perseverance, and unceasing faith, things can and will be better.” 

June 24, 2017

Long Weekend Staycation at Seda Vertis North

Spend your long weekend holiday at Seda Vertis North, the largest and newest hotel in Quezon City. Enjoy the introductory rate of P3,888++ with buffet breakfast for two at Misto, complimentary Wi-fi, use of e-lounge, gym and pool. 

Booking period is until June 30, 2017. Stay date is until December 15,2017. For reservations, email or call 739-8888. Seda Vertis North is located at Astra cor. Lux Drives, Vertis North, Quezon City.

Beat the traffic with ANGKAS ! Mobile Motorbike Hailing Platform provides access to Fast, safe and affordable motorbike transportation

Picture this: you’re seated inside a cab, jeepney or bus – the clock is ticking and you’re going to be late for that office presentation, final exam, or anniversary date. Your heart is beating fast, your legs moving up and down, you’re shaking your head and clicking your tongue. You’re practically bartering with god to make the traffic move faster. 

If you’ve ever commuted around Manila, you’ve definitely experienced this. You’ve prayed, cried, sworn and wished for a way to teleport across the city that, according to the 2015 global survey conducted by a popular travel app, has the worst traffic in the world.

Now, imagine breezing through that traffic congestion, finding alternative streets that no 4-wheeled vehicle could pass through, and arriving at your destination in a fraction of time. With Angkas, you don’t need to stop at imagining! 

Available on both iOS and Android, Angkas is a mobile on-demand motorcycle hailing platform that connects riders to a rigorously-trained, professional motorcycle driver. Angkas provides convenient, safe, and affordable motorbike transportation that will get you to where you need to go faster! 

Simply download the app, add your destination, and, with the tap of a button, your biker will arrive shortly to bring you where you need to go.

Safety is the top priority for Angkas: all bikers go through rigorous background checks, skills assessment, and safety training. Rides come with a quality helmet and personal accident insurance. Raincoats are provided to passengers in case of rain, and face masks and hair caps are issued for hygiene.

Starting June 19, new users can book their first ride for FREE (up to PHP 80) with the promo code ANGKAS to make travel around the metro more convenient than ever. Say goodbye to the trains’ long queues, the hours of sitting in traffic in a packed jeepney, and the steep fare of cabs. Take back all the time you lose from the traffic with a tap on your phone, and conveniently hitch a ride with Angkas.

For more information and latest promos visit

June 23, 2017

Boost your earnings online!

Nowadays, traveling to the office to clock in eight hours of work just isn’t ideal anymore. Precious time that should be spent with loved ones is wasted being stuck in traffic during commute.

This is why more and more Filipinos are venturing into online freelancing. Aside from freedom from the grueling commute, freelancing also offers opportunities to earn more while getting control of your time. But, how do you really standout from others? Here are some tips to help you win more e-gigs.

1. Update your profile constantly. Your profile page is your resume. Make sure to put your best foot forward. Properly list your credentials, education background and updated work experience. Also, take time to curate your work for the portfolio section.
2. Bid for projects that suit your skills and interest. Take advantage of your work experience and skills. Whether you are into writing, graphic designing, programming, or working as a virtual assistant, make sure that you put the relevant details of your past jobs to show that you are the best for the project.
“Before submitting a bid, freelancers should carefully read the project description. That way you can properly assess the timeline and provide details that are relevant to the projects. Don’t send generic bids because employers are more impressed with freelancers who prove they clearly understood what the employer wants out of the project,” said Monica Martinez of
3. Communicate with your client and make sure everything's clear. Once you get the job, make sure that you are on the same page with your client. Update your client regularly and be disciplined with your time to meet the deadlines. In this way, you will earn good reviews that will be instrumental for you to get more projects in the future.
4. Join freelancer groups and online communities. There are many other useful tips you can get by just joining freelancer groups and online communities. You can also learn from experts like Genesis Reonico, the founder of, a website that helps people to get started on freelancing.
Genesis has been spreading the word about freelancing in the country for years now. “My primary motivation in pushing online work and digital career here in the country is to let others have the opportunity to also experience what I had experienced as an online worker; the flexibility of time, being location independent to do the work and the amount of money you can possibly earn,” he shared.
5. Link your Paypal account to an e-money account that doesn’t charge withdrawal fees. Powered by UnionBank, EON doesn’t charge anything on top of the minimal fees charged by Paypal. To link EON to your PayPal account, enter Union Bank of the Philippines as your bank, enter 010419995 as the bank code and your EON Account number.

You can easily grab an EON Starter Kit at the counter in 7-Eleven stores or have it delivered in packs of 2s to 5s through Lazada. But before you do, check out EON's many cool innovations on, Facebook /eonbankph, or Twitter @eonbankph.

“UnionBank’s EON has been a part of [the lives of] many online freelancers for years now. With the release of the new EON and the features it has to offer, using EON will be a much more enjoyable way of doing financial transactions,” said Genesis.

Remember that just like traditional jobs, online freelancing requires focus, professionalism, and efficient time management. You can contact Monica at and Genesis at for more tips on getting more projects online.


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