My Observations: Barangay BF Homes Assembly updated by Captain and Kagawads

This past Sunday, a general meeting of the Barangay BF Homes Assembly took place at the 2nd floor of the barangay hall along Elsie Gatches street, Parañaque City. Barangay chairman Paolo Marquez, who has been serving since the middle of 2018, led the reporting of achievements and discussion of recent developments. The general meeting was done in compliance with the order of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

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Seated at left were Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Sheryll Ortonio-Gonzales, Chairman Paolo Marquez, Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Tumang and Kagawad Cielo Lazatin.

On the topics of health and emergency response, Marquez announced that a total of 427 ambulance services were rendered over a 3-month period while basic services rendered were at around two thousand transactions handling over one thousand and five hundred recipients. The barangay currently has two ambulances – one of which is a modern vehicle made possible by the office of then District II Representative Gus Tambunting – and the captain announced that the local residents’ access to use an ambulance has improved lately.

On general barangay transactions, Barangay BF Homes handled over sixty thousand transactions and processed over 13,400 cedulas (community tax certificates) since January this year. Such transactions were processed by a team in a small office at the ground floor of the barangay hall.

The captain also announced the issuance of a new ID card for barangay residents that will not only identify them properly but also be accepted by the local banks. The barangay launched a new system that records significant information of the residents like their names, addresses, contact numbers, social security numbers and more. The new ID card uses new technology that can be read by scanners and make electronic verification happen.

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The barangay captain shows the new ID card for residents.

On the topic of gender, it was announced that the barangay caught forty children or minors who violated the existing curfew laws. What Marquez and his team noticed was that there were several children, who came from depressed communities, who deliberately violated the curfew to get apprehended and take advantage of the cooler interiors of barangay hall which they found more comfortable to sleep in even for just a few hours. In response to this trend, the captain announced that the barangay has coordinated with the local Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to take curfew-violating minors into their own facility.

When it comes to crime, there were four cases of gambling and theft, twenty-two cases of physical injury, one case of rape and one case of the use of a minor as a drug courier.

On the topic of violence against women and children there were thirty cases of physical violence recorded plus three cases of psychological abuse and nine cases of economic abuse.

What struck people during the meeting was Marquez’s announcement that after carefully examining the physical evidence of a pregnant woman who got abused by a man she was involved with, he had the man arrested. The barangay captain stressed that his administration is aware of the delicate condition women experience when they are at least four months pregnant and they strongly oppose any form of physical abuse that affect them.

On the environment, Marquez said that the barangay has personnel working in coordination with the City Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) on declogging waterways and creeks, including those located near Presidents Avenue and Pergola Mall.

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Parañaque District II Representative Joy Tambunting (left) took time out from her busy schedule to appear in the general meeting and delivered some updates to the constituents.

On the topic of dengue, it was announced that Barangay BF Homes has one hundred and eighty cases recorded. The barangay captain said that his team will continue to perform fumigation by means of fogging which involves the use of a motor-powered machine that generates smoke (sourced from a specific chemical targeting mosquitoes). The use of misting or liquid spray, Marquez stressed, is not too effective on public places due to the rainy season. Such spray is effective only inside the household. Dengue is spread by mosquitoes (carrying the dengue virus) by means of biting a person’s skin. Barangay BF Homes is taking the dengue problem very seriously and, as I wrote before, they took action ever since. It is notable that in Parañaque City as a whole, dengue cases increased a lot this year with 1,702 cases (January 1 to September 14) recorded versus the 1,174 of the same period a year before. Paranaque is also the 4th highest ranking city in the National Capital Region (NCR) with dengue cases recorded.

Interestingly, Marquez explained that there are four strains of dengue virus and among them are two strains that can affect a person only once respectively (as the person becomes immune to the two strains after infection).

When it comes to stray dogs, the barangay now has a dog pound and already they turned over to the Parañaque City Veterinary Department ten dogs. Loose dogs are a long-time problem in the community, even inside BF Homes subdivision. Many times before, I encountered such dogs while traveling along Aguirre Avenue. It’s nice that the barangay has a facility and the personnel to get rid of the loose dogs to make the streets safer for both motorists and pedestrians.

On barangay zoning, Marquez reiterated that due to the reform under Republic Act Number 11032, the barangay no longer has the responsibility to issue business clearances and all business owners will have to go straight to city hall to apply for their respective business permits. In the old days, business owners had to apply for a business clearance at the barangay and once they receive it, only they could they go to the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) at the city government for the biz permit. This reform from the top is clearly a relief to the barangay which previously had to set up several computer units and printers to process all the applications of the many, many businesses of Barangay BF Homes each time the businesses are due to secure new permits.

More on zoning, it was announced that there were 126 construction permits issued and 84 permits for renovation and 24 permits for demolishing.

Regarding barangay livelihood, a total of seventy-four students have enrolled for cooking, caregiving and food-and-beverage courses. Future courses about carpentry and basic electrical work will be held very soon. Captain Marquez stressed the importance of carpentry as there is a good demand for carpenters and higher-than-average daily wages await them. As such, he encouraged manual laborers and other job seekers to take enroll in the carpentry course.

The birthing and lying-in center of the barangay will be renovated very soon with expansion in mind. The physical work on the center will take place sometime in 2020. On urban poor matters, the barangay organized off-site activities serving 2,368 residents and they organized feeding activities that served 4,750 people.

The barangay lupon reported that it has a total of 98 crime cases and 68 civil cases. A total of fourteen cases were dismissed while sixty-six were settled.

The Others

Early during the meeting, Parañaque District II Representative Joy Tambunting visited and announced that her office is working closely with the barangay and together they have new infrastructure projects in development. The working relationship between the barangay and the office of the congresswoman was described as harmonious.

Later, barangay kagawad Sheryll Ortonio-Gonzales announced that the gender committee successfully organized events they planned such as the “Bida ka Mars” activity and a seminar for violence against women and children. Barangay kagawad Cielo Lazatin reported that a donation drive of the barangay is ongoing and the committee on nutrition made a lot of progress. For her part, Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang said her team just accomplished successfully a youth camp in Laguna province that very weekend. She also highlighted the accomplished events that attracted community youth in great numbers such as the Linggo ng Kabataan event (which attracted more than 300 participants), the Mutya ng BF Homes pageant (which drew a large audience and helped the BFSK’s Facebook page likes double), the Waste Wise for Rice drive and varied seminars.

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Barangay BF Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang gave the assembly updates. On the foreground was SK Kagawad Alma Galindo.

The general meeting ended with Marquez’s closing remarks stressing that the barangay and its teams of personnel need the cooperation of the stakeholders – the businesses, the residents and community organizations – to realize continued services and make progressive change happen. Subsequently the members of the assembly and guests were served with catered food.

Under the leadership of captain Paolo Marquez, Barangay BF Homes is taking its public service seriously. What will happen in the next several months going into the year of  twenty-twenty should be interesting.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries

After worshiping the Lord at church this past Sunday in Las Piñas City, I proceeded straight to Madison Galeries in Barangay Cupang, Alabang, Muntinlupa City to attend their special event of the day called Village Food Fair 2.

Months ago, out of curiosity, I attended the first Village Food Fair held at that same open-air shopping mall and I had fun looking around and enjoying some food and beverages. The pleasurable experience I back had then made me wish that the mall would organize another food fair and, as what happened this Sunday, they delivered!

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The food vendors outside the Madison Events Place.
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High-quality beef sold for shawarma.

At Village Food Fair 2, I visited first the food stalls at the 3rd floor just outside of the Madison Events Place (which is a large, air-conditioned hall) where food products like shawarma, rice meals and freshly cooked meat were served. I noticed beef wagyu offered in both packed and in cooked form.

Inside the Madison Events Place was a whole lot of vendors that offered a great variety of beverages and food to choose from. There were packaged sushi rolls, coffee (in powdered form, in beans and in brewed form), organic pasta, noodles, dumplings, pies, nuts, beans, sandwiches, carrot cakes and the like. On keeping the atmosphere lively, the mall operators hired a lady to play the guitar and sing on the spot.

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A customer waiting to be served.
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This lady sang nicely during the food fair.

There was a whole lot to choose from Village Food Fair 2 and I am very glad that Madison Galeries organized this. As a coffee enthusiast, I ordered black coffee mixed with condensed milk. That coffee was prepared for me with the utmost care as two containers were used to pour and mix the coffee and condensed milk together before serving it on a cup. I liked the taste.

I went outside Madison Events Place to try a chicken shawarma. The chicken was really well cooked and the vegetables and pita used made each bite a delight. I got my money’s worth as a result. Before going home, I bought Barako coffee powder from one of the vendors inside Madisons Events Place.

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This looks yummy!
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Coffee, honey, chocolate and other nice stuff for sale.
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Organic pasta for sale. 

In conclusion, I should say that my experience with Village Food Fair 2 was even more pleasurable than the previous time. It sure was nice to see a wide selection of food and beverage products of nice quality along with several customers making transactions with the sellers. I sincerely hope for another Village Food Fair to be organize there at Madison Galeries which is clearly the best open-air shopping mall to be at in South Metro Manila. For Ayala Alabang residents and BF Homes residents (as well as those living in related communities like Tahanan Village) reading this, to visit Madison Galeries without having to travel along the West Service Road from Parañaque, I highly recommend securing a non-resident, passing thru vehicular sticker from Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) so that your access will be better.

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Sushi rolls being sold.
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The other sellers inside the Madison Events Place.
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This one really smelled good as the cooking went on.

My thanks to Madison Galeries and the concessionaires who made Village Food Fair 2 happen. I would love to attend another edition of it in the near future. Village Food Fair is easily a standout among all food fairs in South Metro Manila.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Muntinlupa City to Implement New Traffic Scheme No Later than October 13

Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.

And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.

The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.

As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.

The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.

This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.

Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.

Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.

Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.

The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.

As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.

The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.

As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.

Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.

My Observations: National Campus Press Freedom Day Signed Into Law Making July 25 A Declared Date Of Observation

July 25 of every year will mark the observation of National Campus Press Freedom Day in all educational institutions.

This is the result of Republic Act Number 11440 (National Campus Press Freedom Day Act) that was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 28 and it was only yesterday (September 10) that a copy of the document (which includes signatures of Senate President Tito Sotto and then Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was released to the media.

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote, protect, and safeguard the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, speech, and of the press,” the law read.

“As part of media, the campus press is an important institution in promoting and protecting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression. As a testament to its remarkable contribution in the continued advancement of these freedoms, the State shall, as a matter of policy, promote the observance of July 25 of every year as ‘National Campus Press Freedom Day’,” it added.

Under RA 11440, educational institutions are mandated to provide full support and assistance to the preparation of the annual program of activities and events to be conducted by students in observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day.

It remains to be seen, however, if the campus press (specifically the news publishing divisions) of academic institutions nationwide would warmly embrace RA 11440.

Another thing to point out is whether or not National Campus Press Freedom Day will add anything at all on inspiring student writers to learn better and improve their craft before graduating and searching for writing-related jobs.

On face value, the campus press is supposed to help students develop their skills in writing news, features and opinions, as well as verifying the facts. Such orientation is supposed to help these future professional writers find the right companies (that offer writing posts) for jobs from the national-level press right down to the local communities.

If you – the reader – are one of those aspiring to work professionally as writers in the near future, be aware that there are some local community publications around that prefer to publish propaganda (self-serving and promotional in nature) instead of practicing real journalism. The good news here is that there are lots of writing-related jobs offered by companies (including those founded by foreign investors) here in the Philippines that focus more on marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), client-specific documentation and other types of writing jobs that are different from journalism and propaganda.

You really want to work as a professional writer with a competitive salary and attractive benefits? Search for jobs in the corporate sector and the national-level media outlets.

In today’s world of social media and widespread wireless access to the Internet (with multiple Wi-Fi spots present nationwide combined with more Filipinos acquiring smartphones), accessing news online is gradually becoming the more preferred way for people looking for news. Going back to National Campus Press Freedom Day, we will find out soon enough if it will help improve the standards of students aspiring to be writers and news searchers.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: The UJT Burger from Union Jack Tavern

Burgers have long been popular here in the Philippines and they can be bought from several makers like the fast food joints which are quite numerous.

At the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Union Jack Tavern has been selling and serving burgers to customers. Just open the menu when you visit them and then you will find the UJT Burger.

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The UJT Burger served to me in open sandwich fashion.

Sold for less than P300 as of this writing, the UJT Burger comes with a large plate filled with fries (which are thicker and less greasy compared to the fries sold by others) and the open sandwich with one half of the bun with the vegetables on top and the other half with the onions and beef covered with melted cheese.

In my recent stop at Union Jack Tavern, I had the UJT Burger and I started first with the fries which are quite filling and I like the fact that they are not too greasy to handle.

With the burger itself, considering the size, I took me a little effort to put the two buns (with their respective toppings) on top of each other to form the burger.

Then I took a bite on what parts are suitable for biting because this one is not the usual burger. The burger patty itself is quite thick and certainly not flat. After biting down the bread with the vegetables, I finally got to bite the cheese-covered burger patty. The result? The burger patty was quite tasty on its own and definitely worth going for. Then there is also that nice taste when biting the bread, the burger patty, the cheese and the vegetables altogether.

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The UJT Burger in its full form.

It may not be too visible for those who like burgers but failed to check Union Jack Tavern’s menu, but there is no doubt that the UJT Burger is a delicious and filling burger meal just waiting to be discovered.

The UJT Burger is highly recommended and I encourage you visit Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Time to Help Dengue Sufferers Using Papaya Leaf Juice

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Papaya leaf juice. (photo credit: DailyHunt.in)

On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.

Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.

The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.

Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.

To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.

Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.

How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.

For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.

To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.

Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”

According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.

While there are some people who remain skeptical about the effectiveness of papaya leaf juice on curing dengue, a move to turn the herbal remedy into a pill was reported in 2018 thanks to groundbreaking research by scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus (UNMC).

A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.

Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves

For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.

Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!

As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.

The time to act is now!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night

The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night

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Varied executives and professionals interact during the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night on July 29, 2019.

Let me share to you all that I had a grand time meeting with varied business people and professionals. On the evening of July 29 at Manila Elks Club in Makati City, I attended the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night organized by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The result was a lot of enlightenment on my part and satisfaction now that I have brand new connections with many professionals.

I also had a grand experience learning about the strengthening ties between the Philippines and Israel. Since a miracle happened to me last year, I moved forward personally, socially and professionally. Along the way, I gained tremendous interest on Israel which I hope to visit someday.

As a nation, Israel is highly significant. It is one of the most innovative nations in the whole world as confirmed by a recent study. In addition to establishing ties with other professionals, my passion for Israel was a key factor behind my participation in the Networking Night event.

During the event, there was a program with a nice presentation to the members and the guests. Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad warmly welcomed us with his remarks followed by a short speech delivered by Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov who is the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel.

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Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad. (photo credit: Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)
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Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov of the Embassy of Israel gave useful updates about Philippines-Israel relations.

The Deputy Chief of Mission confirmed that bilateral ties between the Philippines and Israel are indeed getting stronger.

“The job that Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has been doing is very much appreciated by the embassy. It is a great contribution to our bilateral relations,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov. “I am very pleased to mention that we have very positive developments in the relations between Israel and the Philippines recently.”

While emphasizing the positive developments, she mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Israel in 2018 which is a milestone as it marked the first time a Philippine President visited the country. Duterte had a big delegation with him to Israel and a lot of agreements were signed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Duterte.

The Deputy Chief of Mission mentioned that one of the signed agreements was related to the employment of caregivers and that fees on them would be reduced. Already there are 35,000 Filipino caregivers working in Israel who contributed a lot to the local society. The other agreement mentioned was about the employment of Filipino workers in the tourism industry of Israel. As a nation, Israel has a population of nine million and attracts four million tourists yearly. The Philippines was the first nation approached by Israel for its tourism needs.

After the update about Philippines-Israel relations, networking followed and it was during this time I met with varied professionals and business executives. We introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards and talked business. Along the way, I learned a lot from the professionals I met whose expertise include marketing, logistics, tax law, travel, sales, the airline industry, business solution development, events organizing, fruit processing, career development, real estate, etc.

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Guests smile during the networking. (photo credit: Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)
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That’s me on the foreground talking with Bayani Liwanag, Jr., the sales manager of Salton Travel and Tours. (photo credit: Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines)

As the event went on, some prizes were raffled off to very lucky winners (including myself).

By the end of the Networking Night, I went home very enlightened, delighted and satisfied. There is nothing like making a whole lot of connections with varied professionals in just a few hours’ time. In the world of business, having connections is essential and they can add a lot to your business performance as well as its development.

Lastly, I should say that during my previous career as a community newspaper reporter, I attended and reported about the activities of the Parañaque City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI). Privately I also attended some conferences that attracted varied industry professionals. The Chamber’s Networking Night is the most significant corporate event I attended yet. Now that I’m working in industry and attended this memorable July 29 event, I certainly will watch out for the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ next event and eventually learn more about Israel and its ties with the Philippines.

What is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines?

You must be wondering – what exactly is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and how significant are they? Let me explain.

The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines was established with a purpose to foster, enable, facilitate and ensure the success of its members’ businesses while promoting business-to-business networking between Israel and the Philippines. The Chamber aims to collaborate with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business and community leaders in dealing with important and critical issues affecting business and industries in both countries, while contributing to their civic, social and economic development.

With regards to the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines represents and further the interests of each member. Through General Membership meetings, Business Forums and other events, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines members receive assistance in promoting their companies and individual interests, keeping them abreast and ahead of business trends both in the country and in Israel.

The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has a well established network with varied foreign and local chambers. They have ties with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), other industry group-focused trade and business organizations as well. The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines constantly strives to be the premiere comprehensive resource and vehicle for the achievement of a strong and meaningful bilateral trade relationship between Israel and the Philippines that would be mutually beneficial to both countries.

The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is currently open for local businesses who wish to join them as a member.

If you wish to learn more about the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit their website at ICCP.ph and follow their official Facebook page.


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