For Shakey’s Philippines, 2021 will be a bounce-back year

It has been almost fifty years since Shakey’s first opened here in the Philippines and went on to become one of the most defining restaurants that families visit for very delicious meals, especially when it comes to pizza. Shakey’s has over 200 stores (both franchised and owned by the company) nationwide according to details posted in the Shakey’s Philippines website. Its strong presence in the Philippines was confirmed in 2015 when Euromonitor published a report showing that Shakey’s is the market leader in the categories of chained pizza full-service restaurants and in chained full-service restaurants. The results for both categories were 26.7% and 57.7% market shares.

Along the way, Shakey’s Philippines has a sibling business called Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken which has a growing number of outlets. Inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, the Shakey’s branch along Aguirre Avenue has a Peri-Peri outlet right beside it.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected businesses and societies in 2020. It was so severe, the Philippine economy shrank by a record 9.5%. As of this writing, a whole lot of people around the nation remain unemployed and more people fell under poverty.

The year 2021, however, will be different as far as Shakey’s Philippines is concerned. The company just announced that they will open fifteen new Shakey’s branches as well as fifteen new Peri-Peri outlets this year. These are parts of their plan to restart a store network expansion strategy that was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. Below is an excerpt from Shakey’s press release published on Philippine News Agency (PNA).

“For Shakey’s, we are looking to further strengthen the brand’s visibility and awareness, especially in underpenetrated second and third-tier cities outside of Metro Manila. For Peri, there are still a number of unserved markets which don’t have access to the brand’s great-tasting products,” Shakey’s president and chief executive officer Vicente Gregorio said.

Last 2020, the company ended with 245 Shakey’s restaurants, three of which were located abroad, and 34 Peri outlets all located in the Philippines.

It also launched a number of new offerings in select outlets including the ability for guests to ‘Park & Dine’, ‘Park & Order’, eat outdoors, and order R&B milk tea -one of the leading milk tea brands in Singapore.

“With evolving consumer habits brought about by the pandemic, our network expansion strategy has likewise adapted to ensure we maximize both our in-store and out-of-store presence. Our new openings this year will cater not only to our guests’ dine-in preference, but also their increasing need for more convenient and flexible out-of-store options,” Gregorio said.

He said Shakey’s will be unveiling a number of so-called ghost kitchens or kitchen extensions “to further strengthen our presence in delivery” at a time when off-premise channels are gaining prominence.

In the last few months, the company has been piloting a ‘31 Minute Delivery, If It’s Late, It’s Free’ guarantee in select areas in Metro Manila.

Gregorio added the company’s planned expansion this year “will come hand in hand with other exciting new business innovations that will maximize our existing asset base.”

“2021 will definitely be an exciting ‘bounce-back’ year,” he said.

As you can see in the above details, Shakey’s Philippines continues to push forward with their business and strategies even during this COVID-19 crisis. This is indeed encouraging not only for the business-minded people but also to Shakey’s many loyal customers as well as other food enthusiasts who love pizza, pasta and other meals served by the company.

In my experience, Shakey’s always serve very delicious fried chicken, mojos and spaghetti.

As Shakey’s president and CEO Gregorio stated, their company is taking steps on keeping up with the changing consumer habits and, more notably, they are making their business accessible to the consumers. In short, Shakey’s Philippines won’t allow itself to be a victim of change but rather be a part of it and keep on feeding the customers. That being said, 2021 is for them a bounce-back year.

Now that you have read this, I’d like to ask when was the last time you eat inside a Shakey’s? Have you ordered food from them lately? What is the first type of food that comes to your mind when you hear their brand?

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

March 1, 2021 a special holiday in Muntinlupa City

The City Government of Muntinlupa announced yesterday that March 1, 2021 (Monday) is a special non-working holiday in the city in accordance to Republic Act Number 9191 (RA 9191).

Formally approved on February 2003 by then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, RA 9191 is titled “An Act Declaring the First Day of March of Every Year as a Special Nonworking Holiday in the City of Muntinlupa to be Known as The Muntinlupa City Charter Day.”

Apart from the said Republic Act, March 1 itself is a very notable date in the history of Muntinlupa. It was on March 1, 1995 when Muntinlupa formally became a highly urbanized city of the Philippines as a result of the approval of Republic Act Number 7926 (title: An Act Converting the Municipality of Muntinlupa into a Highly Urbanized City to be Known as the City of Muntinlupa). RA 7926 was signed into law by then President Fidel V. Ramos.

In addition, below are some selected sections of RA 7926 for everyone’s reference.

Section 3 (The City of Muntinlupa) states: The Municipality of Muntinlupa shall be converted into a highly urbanized city to be known as the City of Muntinlupa, hereinafter referred to as the City, which shall comprise the present territory of the Municipality of Muntinlupa in Metropolitan Manila Area, over which it has jurisdiction, bounded by the municipalities of Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas, all of Metro Manila and the Municipality of San Pedro, Laguna.

Section 8 (The Officials of the City of Muntinlupa) states: (a) There shall be in the City of Muntinlupa a city mayor, a vice-mayor, sangguniang panlungsod members, a secretary to the sangguniang panlungsod, a city treasurer and an assistant city treasurer, a city assessor and an assistant city assessor, a city accountant, a city budget officer, a city planning and development coordinator, a city engineer and building official, a city health officer, a city civil registrar, a city administrator, a city legal officer, a city veterinarian, a city social welfare and development officer, a city general services officer, a city information officer, and a city prosecutor.

(b)    In addition thereto, the city mayor may point a city architect, a city population officer, a city environment and natural resources officer, a city cooperatives officer, a city international relations officer, a city fire marshall, a city international relations officer, a city fire marshall, a city jail warden, a city register of deeds, and a city land transportation officer.

(c)    The City of Muntinlupa may:

(1)    Maintain existing offices not mentioned in subsections (a) and (b) hereof;

(2)    Create such other offices as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the City; or

(3)    Consolidate the functions of any office with those of another in the interest of efficiency and economy.

(d)    Unless otherwise provided herein, all appointive city officials of the City shall be appointed by the city mayor with the concurrence of the majority of all the sangguniang panlungsod members, subject to the civil service law, rules and regulations.  The sangguniang panlungsod shall act on the appointment within fifteen (15) days from the date of its admission, otherwise the same shall be deemed confirmed.

Section 62 (Legislative Districts) states: The creation for separate districts for Muntinlupa and Las Piñas and the first election for the two (2) legislative districts shall be made effective in 1998.

With the creation of the City of Muntinlupa, the congressional district for purposes of the 1995 elections shall remain the same.

Enjoy the holiday in Muntinlupa next week.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Majority of Metro Manila Mayors support shift to MGCQ status by March 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a big decision to make that will affect millions of residents and businesses in Metro Manila as a majority of the mayors voted to shift the metropolis from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March 1, 2021, as based on a news release on Philippine News Agency (PNA) that got published just last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the PNA report:

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of Metro Manila mayors and national government officials, has voted to support the proposed shift to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila.

“Ang karamihan po ng alkalde ng kalakhang maynila ay bumoto na MGCQ na po ang magiging posisyon nila pagdating sa Metro Manila (Most of the mayors in Metro Manila voted for having MGCQ as their position in Metro Manila),” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said in a press conference on Thursday.

This, he said, will be sent to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and to President Rodrigo R. Duterte who will make the final decision on whether to implement eased quarantine restrictions by March 1.

He declined to provide the actual number of votes the proposal received but said that all Metro Manila mayors will support the decision.

Indeed, Abalos did not reveal the number of Yes and No votes but the Manila Bulletin reported that the score among Metro Manila mayors was 9-8 in favor of MGCQ.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila still has yet to adjust to MGCQ status. Metro Manila is the hot spot of multiple cities where a lot of residents as well as business entities of varied sizes are located at. Right now, the nation needs a major boost to its economy even as there is still the need to be vigilant to avoid new COVID-19 infections. Lots of people in the metropolis remain unemployed and badly need income, and having Metro Manila shift to MGCQ status will help revive other businesses and pave the way for more people to get back to work.

It would be nice to see the Metro Manila Council research more and observe closely how other cities and provinces are doing while maintaining MGCQ statuses for months already.

On a grander scale, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the recommendation to have the entire nation placed under MGCQ status by March. The said recommendation was made by Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in recent times. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report:

“It is about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday. “Lockdown was supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing and ‘Trace-Test-Treat’.”

Since June 2020, the National Capital Region (NCR) has not graduated from GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.

It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases during that period.

“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.

NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).

But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the Covid-19 statistics.

As pointed out by Trade secretary Lopez, Metro Manila is lagging behind in terms of recovery from the pandemic. Apart from joblessness and lack of income, poverty in the National Capital Region is an important problem to solve. The more people fall under poverty, the more local government units (LGUs) need to exert and spend their limited resources to support them.

Right now, the Metro Manila Council’s approval of shifting to MGCQ status will soon be dealt with by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and President Duterte.

In ending this, here are some videos about combatting the China virus.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

House of Lasagna to open new branch in BF Homes this March!

Are you fond of delicious lasagna and dining along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes Subdivision, Parañaque City with your friends or family members? Well, you will be happy to learn that popular lasagna maker and restaurant chain House of Lasagana announced recently via social media that it will open a brand new branch in BF Homes this coming March!

The big announcement from the Facebook page of House of Lasagna.

Their Facebook announcement goes as follows: To our House of Lasagna family in the south, we heard you!!! We are finally opening a branch near you all to serve you better! We are beyond excited to bring fresher and hotter lasagnas into every home in the south! Delivery is way faster too! We can’t wait for opening day when we can all welcome you into our HOUSE in the SOUTH. We are located along Aguirre Ave. BF Homes Paranaque. See you all very soon!

For the newcomers reading this, House of Lasagna is an Italian inspired restaurant chain that first started in 2009 in the City of San Juan, established by Chef Erick Congmon. Since then, House of Lasagana expanded around Metro Manila and I personally enjoyed a delicious meal at their SM MOA branch back in 2018.

Back to the south, opening a restaurant in BF Homes brings House of Lasagna closer to the residents and food enthusiasts of South Metro Manila given the fact that the subdivision itself is connected with not only Parañaque but also with the cities of Muntinlupa and Las Piñas. Imagine how many people living in the varied villages of Alabang, BF Resort, Barangay BF Homes and other nearby populated zones would come into BF Homes for House of Lasagna which has already established its credibility of serving very delicious food that are well cooked.

In line with its business name, House of Lasagna has a fine selection of lasagnas that customers can choose from based on their taste such as beef lasagna, chicken lasagna, three-cheese lasagna, vegetable lasagna, pesto lasagna and others.

I personally recommend their beef lasagna which is of top-notch quality! Last Christmas, a friend of mine gifted me and my family with one whole beef lasagna of House of Lasagna delivered by motorcycle. I can share to you all reading this that each bite I had of the beef lasagna really tasted good and the pasta used is smooth yet firm to chew on. It was so tasty, condiments were not necessary anymore.

This is the beef lasagna of House of Lasagna that was delivered to our home last Christmas thanks to a very generous friend of mine.
A close look at my first serving of House of Lasagna’s beef lasagna.

Other than lasagna, they also sell southern-style fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, creamy pesto and chicken wings to name some. As if that was not enough, House of Lasagna also offers cakes and pastries!

Now that you know the news about House of Lasagna BF Homes branch, I encourage you to share this article and details to other food enthusiasts you know. On my end, once House of Lasagna announces the exact date as to when their BF Homes branch will open, I will update you all.

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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. 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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Gold Delight’s Coffee Crumble and Cocoflan ice cream

Like anyone else, I enjoy consuming ice cream especially when it is very well prepared, finely formulated, has a great mix of ingredients and delivers a really great taste. Here in the Philippines, there are these three major brands of ice cream that are often available around through the groceries, the convenience stores, the community store and the like. Frankly speaking, I have grown tired of the ice cream products of those three major brands.

Fortunately and thanks to the Lord, a great alternative was realized in October 2016 when Ice Cream House opened its branch along Presidents Avenue, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City. On my first-ever visit at Ice Cream House, I easily noticed their wide selection of ice cream products and frozen delights under the brand called Gold Delight. Subsequently, I revisited Ice Cream House BF Homes branch again and again taking home pints or half-gallons of their ice cream which are all delicious. Members of our household as well as some friends and guests all found Gold Delight ice cream tasty and nice.

The BF Homes branch of Ice Cream House unfortunately shut down as a result of the pandemic and the community quarantine that followed which brought down the economy. The same thing happened also to the Ice Cream House branch along CAA Road in Las Piñas City. Fortunately for ice cream enthusiasts of South Metro Manila, there is one vendor selling Gold Delight ice cream and frozen delights in Las Piñas City (call 0915-4606505) located across a certain college there. And here is the real deal on acquiring Gold Delight ice cream products – the Ice Cream House company is accepting orders online and they actually deliver the products to the customers! Visit their Facebook page to see the steps and details.

This brings me to the topic of this article. Thanks to the Ice Cream House company for fulfilling my orders and successfully delivering all the way from Quezon City to Alabang, my family enjoyed the Gold Delight ice cream in HGs and pints. For this article, the spotlight is on two notable flavors of Gold Delight ice cream – Coffee Crumble and Cocoflan.

Coffee Crumble

Coffee is very popular here in the Philippines, specifically in its hot form. Coffee also made its way into ice cream locally although there is not much variety of it. There is one particular major ice cream brand that has offered coffee crumble ice cream for a long time and I personally got tired of that. That being said, Gold Delight’s coffee crumble ice cream is so much better than that of the major brand!

Firstly, the coffee blended by Gold Delight alone has stronger flavor compared to that of the major brand. Secondly, there is a sufficient amount of chocolate chips which not only add to the already good coffee flavor, but also ensures crunches for each bite. In other words, the chocolate chips really add to the crumble factor of Gold Delight’s coffee crumble ice cream! Thirdly, the sweetness of it all is pretty satisfying to my taste. Gold Delight’s coffee crumble ice cream is very delicious and I highly recommend it!

Cocoflan

What is Cocoflan? Literally speaking, it is the combination coconut milk and the Philippine delicacy of leche flan. This is, in my opinion, the most unique ice cream ever made by the Ice Cream House company and the good news here is that it is very delicious.

For one thing, there is not enough ice cream products here in the Philippines that make good use of coconut milk. Coconut milk is unique with the way it is sourced and prepared, and has nutritional benefits. That being said, coconut milk gives Cocoflan a unique and nice flavor. Adding more flavor in the same ice cream are pieces of leche flan which are spread randomly from the top to the bottom. Cocoflan is not only very delicious, but also has a very unique taste that really makes it stand out among all ice cream being sold here in the Philippines. As such, it is highly recommended.

Conclusion

If you love ice cream with the taste of coffee or coconut milk or leche flan, or if you simply love very delicious ice cream regardless of brand, you should go for Gold Delight’s Coffee Crumble and its signature Cocoflan. Take note that these are just a few of the many flavors of ice cream that the Ice Cream House company is offering

If you are curious for more or if you really want to order Gold Delight ice cream from Ice Cream House, contact them at mobile phone number 09190091543 or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/icecreamhouseph

Be aware that they are accepting orders through their Facebook page via FB Messenger and you can avail of their order form for you to fill up. Payments can be done by GCash, Pay Maya or bank transfer through BPI, BDO or PNB. Orders successfully processed can be delivered to you within 1 or 2 days.

If anyone of you reading this love ice cream, let me ask you the following key questions: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream right now? What do you look for in ice cream? When was the last time you switched from a major ice cream brand to a lesser-known ice cream brand? You may answer in the comments section below.

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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. 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

A Look Back at X-Men #25 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

As an X-Men fan, 1993 was a memorable year for me during my time of collecting comic books and enjoying what was believed to be the modernization of superhero comics in America. Gimmick covers of comic books, the post-event effects of the Death of Superman, the launch of the Ultraverse and then there was the 30th anniversary celebration of the X-Men which was wild.

To put things in perspective, Marvel Comics organized the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Spider-Man releasing lots of merchandise and, most notably, special issues of comic books that came with covers with holograms, more pages for content and a cover price that was more than double than what was normal (note: read my review of one of them). Such comic books were hot stuff for not only Spider-Man fans but also comic collectors who were often hunting for the next great collector’s item that would ensure them great wealth.

Marvel had the same business approach with the 30th anniversary of the X-Men, and there were multiple X-Men-related monthly series of comic book back then. X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, Uncanny X-Men #304, Wolverine #75 and Excalibur #71 all were released with covers with hologram cards on the front, more pages of content and inflated cover prices.

The one 30th anniversary celebration comic book of the X-Men that was most memorable to me was X-Men #25 (Volume 2) and to this day, its plot remains very memorable for its shock value. I bought my copy of this comic book at a store in BF Homes. With the history lesson over, he is my retro review of X-Men #25, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Andy Kubert.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the United Nations Security Council’s approval to initiate the alpha and beta parameters of the Magneto Protocols which literally sent waves from the White House to the Kremlin. A short time later, several satellites orbiting the Earth activate and linked with each other to form a protective mesh of electro-magnetic fire. This provokes Magneto (accompanied by Acolytes and Exodus at Avalon) to react by generating a massive pulse wave that affects the entire world. Even the Fantastic Four and Excalibur were not spared.

At the School of Gifted Children, Charles Xavier organizes an urgent meeting with the X-Men. Together they discussed the impact of Magneto’s pulse wave which not only rendered world’s mechanical and technological resources useless but also caused trouble (plane crashes, medical equipment failure, etc.) and deaths. For Xavier, the mere fact their team survived (aided by Shi’ar technology) is a mistake on the part of Magneto considering his capability to wipe out life around the world.

In response to Wolverine’s question, Xavier stated, “We do not have the luxury of time, nor the occasion for nobility…at this point, we are not fighting for the philosophy of a cause, a hope, or a dream, we are fighting for our very survival and if we do not win this fight, this planet will be irrevocably lost to us!”

Quality

The X-Men during their daring mission.

I can clearly declare that when it comes to the combined works done by Fabian Nicieza and Andy Kubert with the X-Men, this particularly story was not only the most ambitious collaboration of theirs but also their most compelling and finest work at the time of publishing. Very strong writing (top-notch characterization, plotting and pacing) and great art really defined this comic book!

Characterization is spot-on! Wolverine is arrogant and gritty as usual, Gambit is still the smooth-talker, Cyclops is the focused leader serving under Xavier, etc.

Without spoiling the major details, I can say that the shocking moments executed were greatly done not for the mere intention of shocking but to break new ground with regards to the characters of Wolverine and Charles Xavier. The first time I read this comic book back in 1993, I was really stunned with those particular scenes and I started to question Wolverine’s durability as well as Xavier’s sanity. And then there was the state of Magneto at the end of the story. The thing about the shocking moments was that there was an adequate amount of build-up leading to them and the pay-off was excellently done.

Conclusion

The immense power of Magneto.

There is no doubt in my mind that X-Men #25 (1993) is the true gem of the entire X-Men 30th anniversary celebration. The creative team led by Nicieza and Kubert really outdid themselves and what happened in this comic book had consequences that lasted for a good number of years. The creative team took big risks and pulled them off nicely as the impact of the story was eventually felt in the years that followed. Lastly, unlike Uncanny X-Men #304 (supposed to be the highlight of X-Men’s 30th anniversary celebration), this comic book is more focused and really had no creative baggage nor filler that got in the way of the storytelling.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men #25 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $50 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition is priced at $150. The near-mint copies of the signed-and-numbered edition and the gold edition cost $210 and $368 respectively.

Overall, X-Men #25 (1993) is highly recommended!

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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. 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

Soft Opening of Skyway Stage 3 this December, Northbound Extension on track for Year-end Completion

Hey fellow South Metro Manila residents and motorists! Do you plan to go to other parts of Metro Manila and further north soon?

Be confident because Skyway Stage 3 (AKA Skyway 3) is set for a soft opening this December and as of this writing the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is at 70% completed and it should reach 100% by the end of this year. This is not to be confused with Skyway Stage 3’s completion which was in reference to the linking of the northern and southern parts of Luzon. Right now, the people behind the project are working to finish the northbound section for the soft opening. The exact December date for the soft opening still has yet to be revealed.

A portion of the northbound extension of the Skyway within Muntinlupa City. (source – Ramon S. Ang Facebook page)

“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” said San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang in a press statement.

To put things in perspective, SMC fully funded the project with P10 billion and it is designed to extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and provide direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) will get connected to the Skyway at Susana Heights which will bypass Alabang and should result seamless and shorter travel from south to north via the Skyway system.

“Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang further elaborated.

In addition, motorists coming from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will be able to bypass Alabang which should also ease traffic in Muntinlupa as well as along Alabang-Zapote road.

At this point of time, things are really looking very good as far as Luzon highways and Metro Manila travel are concerned. Being able to travel from Alabang to north of Metro Manila and back with much faster speed and much less stress is something I have always dreamed of. That old dream will soon be realized! Keep an eye on the Skyway and the completion of the extension.

In ending this article, watch and enjoy this very recent Skyway update video.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Skyway 3 project completed

It is all out in the news here in the Philippines and it is the best piece of infrastructure and travel-related news for travelers, business stakeholders and other concern parties specifically here in Metro Manila and the communities outside its boundaries – San Miguel Corporation (SMC)’s president and chief operation officer (COO) Ramon S. Ang announced the completion of the Skyway 3 project (AKA Skyway Stage 3) which is almost eighteen kilometers long. Right now, they are working on completing the finishing touches before formally opening it to the public.

Personally, I am happy for their achievement!

A great view of a portion of Skyway Stage 3. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

For the newcomers reading this, the Skyway 3 project is composed of a 17.93 kilometer stretch that links the norther and southern parts of Luzon by means of a modern highway. More specifically, once the newly completed project finally opens, travel from the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will take only twenty minutes which will be a major improvement from the average of 2-3 hours (without Skyway 3). It should be noted that the project was completed way before the October 31, 2020 target of completion.

“I’m happy to announce that the whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete. With this, Skyway 2 in Buendia is now officially extended all the way to the North Luzon Expressway. After many challenges, this project faced in previous years, the dream of connecting north and south and providing an alternative to Edsa is now a reality,” Ang said in a press statement released on October 13.

As mentioned earlier, I am happy for the completion of Skyway 3 and soon it will finally be opened to public motorists (who can afford to pay the eventual toll fees). Each year for the past several years, I travel from Alabang to Clark and Subic Bay to attend important events. During those times, it was a struggle to move from south to north and back WITHOUT Skyway 3. The traffic along EDSA (which passes through different Metro Manila cities and on the maze of roads within the City of Manila were often bad, time-consuming and unpredictable.

Another stretch of Skyway Stage 3 over water. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

With Skyway Stage 3, travel between SLEX and NLEX will be much faster. It is stated in the press statement that travel from Magallanes to Balintawak will only take about 15 minutes, Balintawak to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) also only 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati in just 10 minutes. As for people from the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque and even further south from Laguna province who need to travel to Subic Bay faster in the near future, imagine going north using the SLEX, then the Skyway (in the south) moving through the metropolis in quick fashion to reach the NLEX thanks to Skyway 3’s stretch and then take the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to get to Subic Bay faster than ever before. Travelers from Cavite province will also benefit from the improved access and travel too since their province has highways that connect to the SLEX. Really, a lot of people, especially families business people who need to travel within Metro Manila and those who want to go further north or south will really benefit from the eventual operation of Skyway 3 not for just a year but in the years to come.

From this point on, watch out for SMC’s announcement of the formal opening of Skyway 3. Congratulations to SMC and their strategic partners for their accomplishment! Thank the Lord in Heaven also for making big dreams a reality!

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

My Observations: Lola Nena’s in BF Homes, Parañaque…and their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts

Inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, Aguirre Avenue is famous mainly for being the kilometers-long stretch of commercial joints, especially restaurants, cafes and bars. Some people referred to it as the Food Strip given the many places of food joints there are plus the wide variety of meals, drinks and other food items they offer collectively. More established brands like Shakey’s and Starbucks are present.

Due to the pandemic and community quarantine, a major economic downturn hit the entire Philippines which severely affected many businesses along Aguirre Avenue, reaching the point of having no choice but to shut down and layoff their employees. One of the food joints I featured before closed down sadly and left their Aguirre Avenue commercial space.

Subsequently a new food joint opened up in that very same commercial space which turned out to be the local branch of an existing business called Lola Nena’s. A few days ago, their BF Homes branch had its soft opening and quickly attracted several customers. Just yesterday, out of curiosity, I took the opportunity to visit them and take home something.

The counter at the Lola Nena’s BF Homes branch.

So what is Lola Nena’s? According to their history, they are a food joint that started in the year 2012 as a result of their founders who were inspired to recreate the famous Pichi Pichi of their family. What was a small starter on selling Pichi Pichi quickly grew in terms of popularity eventually compelling them to cook the said food in batches so that demand can be met. Today, Lola Nena’s sell Pichi Pichi by the bilao for those who want to buy a lot of it!

As the years passed by, Lola Nena’s (which heavily uses the color red) started offering more snack items and pastries. They also went on to offer pancit (noodle meals) and food products in bottles. In 2017, they launched their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts which went on to become a commercial hit. This year, they launched their Triple Cheese Donuts which caught a lot of attention on social media.

So there I was at the BF Homes Lola Nena’s branch. There was no line of customers but a few ones standing a few feet apart from each other. I noticed the place lacked indicators (marks or signs) as to where exactly should people stand to line up heading towards the counter for ordering and picking up products.

As I waited in line, I overheard some details between the customers and the Lola Nena’s personnel in front of me. Certain meals, a customer was told, will take forty-five minutes to be prepared and released due to high demand (many orders taken already) and the effort to prepare them properly. Customers were politely asked if they were willing to wait.

And then it was my turn. Out of curiosity, I decided to order one box of their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts to bring home for my family. As it turned out, there were already boxes filled with the said donuts waiting to be released. Right after I ordered, the lady at the counter pulled one box and properly prepared it for me. Then I paid for it and got the receipt I requested which was quickly done. It was a painless and quick transaction.

Once I got in the car, I decided to open the box (note: the boxes at Lola Nena’s counter were taped closed already) to see exactly what’s inside. After viewing, I deliberately avoided touching the doughnuts, closed it, and go back home.

The box from Lola Nena’s. There are some instructions written inside on preparing the doughnuts.
The eight Classic Old Fashioned Donuts I paid for. These last for up to 48 hours in room temperature. As such, you should be mindful about when to consume these at your home.

Finally, after arriving home, I shared the doughnuts to our household members. They all enjoyed it.

Each of the Classic Old Fashioned Donuts of Lola Nena’s were coated with sugar, had some sweet substance on the surface and even had small portions of cheese inside. These doughnuts, by the way, do not resemble the round doughnuts people know. Lola Nena’s doughnut are thick, were not really round and had no openings in the middle. Regardless, I personally found it to be delicious and enjoyable.

The Lola Nena’s doughnut up close.

For a box containing of eight of their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts, you do get good value and taste in return for the current price of P120. What you need to watch out for is your blood sugar level since these doughnuts were made with lots of sugar.

You will get to see a huge Lola Nena’s sign along Aguirre Avenue.

If you are planning to visit Lola Nena’s in BF Homes, head on to 287 Aguirre Avenue. In closing this, posted below is my video of the food joint.

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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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Comic Quest announces closure!

Comic Quest, a notable retailer of comic books and geek stuff (including premium products like action figures) here in the Philippines, announced yesterday that it will be closing its 35-year-old business due to the tremendous economic difficulties related to, unsurprisingly, the ongoing pandemic and also the disrupted state of the international distribution of comic books. Before the end comes, however, a Farewell Sale at their SM Megamall branch in Mandaluyong City has launched and will last until sometime in October. The said sale will have all items discounted at least 50%.

In my experience of the past decade, as a resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa, I often bought new comic books (especially Wonder Woman) at the Festival Mall Alabang branch of Comic Quest. It was also at the same store located a short walk away from the cinemas where I also ordered and received hardback editions of EC Comics Archives. Comic Quest Alabang was a favorite weekend destination of mine for many years. Even before I became a collector of comic books (specifically superhero comics), I first heard about Comic Quest way back in 1990 in the classroom where I had a few classmates who bought comic books from them. Back in the 1990s, Comic Quest had a branch in Makati and it was there where I bought Web of Spider-Man #100 in 1993.

As time passed by, my personal interest in comic books waned and I actually stopped buying comic books (both new and old) shortly before the lockdown here in the Philippines was implemented. The pandemic and related lockdown brought entire economies down worldwide and the Philippines was not spared. It is also depressing to learn that many people lost their jobs as well as their income. No disposable income, no more demand for entertainment products like comic books, theatrical showing of movies, shows and the like. The priority now of people living during the pandemic goes to the essentials.

Yesterday, hours after Comic Quest’s closure announcement, I took the opportunity to visit and see their Festival Mall branch in Alabang. It is gone!

The commercial space in the middle used to be occupied by Comic Quest inside Festival Mall. This picture was taken hours after the closure announcement.

Comic Quest’s decision to close down is understandable and acceptable. They did the best they could to survive and prevent their employees from becoming unemployed until the pandemic-related depression overwhelmed them (as well as the many other businesses of different types and sizes).

Just a few years ago, another comic book specialty retailer had to close down their Alabang Town Center branch. It’s clear that comic books as a business continues to fail especially now that people are often online and find their kind of stuff through digital services/retailers.

In closing this, posted below for your reference is the complete closure announcement of Comic Quest. The retailer will be missed!

This is a special announcement for all our valued customers. We hope you ‘re doing well and staying safe during this difficult time.

We just want to let you know that because of the combined pressure of the pandemic, as well as the disruption of the global distribution of comic books, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to begin the process of closing down Comic Quest. It is and has been an extremely challenging time for us, and we feel that this is our best option moving forward.

It has been a long and amazing road, from our earliest days in our first branch at BF Homes in Alabang, to Greenhills to Makati to multiple branches as far away as SM Cebu. But now the time has come to say goodbye, and let all of you know how much we appreciate being given the chance to be part of the comic book industry.

We want to thank each and every one of you for being one of our valuable loyal customers and a very important member of the Comic Quest family. We wouldn’t have reached 35 wonderful years in business without loyal customers like you. Our sincerest and most heartfelt thanks for being with us through all these years.

In line with our decision, we’re holding a special FAREWELL SALE from September 16th and into October, at our SM Megamall branch. During this time we will be selling ALL items from at least 50% off and up.

Please help us spread the word and share this message with other friends and collectors whom you think might be interested.

While our time in this wonderful industry comes to an end, we’re wishing you many more years of happy collecting! And in the words of the great Stan Lee- Excelsior!

Best wishes,

Comic Quest

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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. 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