The significance of the return of Megarahe Sale inside Alabang Hills Village

This past weekend, the annual Megarahe Sale of Alabang Hills Village resumed – fully titled as “Megarahe Sale & Kids Bazaar, Ukay-Okay!” – with the local community center as the venue. I visited the Megarahe Sale twice last weekend and I can confirm that it was a lively event as it attracted a lot of sellers who displayed a wide variety of items, and several buyers arrived and searched. There were also some really nice bargains on display. Take note that this is the first Megarahe Sale to be held in the last few years as the COVID-19 pandemic set everyone back.

A lot of sellers, customers and products during the Megarahe Sale in Alabang Hills this past weekend.
Some products on display.

For the newcomers reading this, the Megarahe Sale is Alabang Hills’ special community event held annually giving the local residents opportunities to sell goods to customers (including visitors who are able to enter the village with valid car stickers issued by the Alabang Hills Village Association) with a single, wide, and comfortable venue that can accommodate a lot of people.

As the name Megarahe shows, it is in concept a collective garage sale with the community in mind. More on the garage sale aspect, AHVA’s annual event spares local residents from having to go through all the trouble of organizing garage sales in their respective homes.

As I mentioned before, the return of Megarahe Sale is a very welcome development in line with the gradual normalization of life. Slowly but surely, people, communities, churches and businesses are recovering from the tremendous setback of COVID-19. At the same time, people nowadays are more educated about COVID-19, they got vaccinated or boosted for improved protection from COVID-19, and the national government already declared the optional use of face masks outdoors. Of course, lots of people have gotten sick and tired of spending so much time at home since the first COVID-19 lockdown started more than two years ago and this in turn fueled their desire to move out, go around and do their activities freely. In my opinion, the Megarahe Sale’s return is a blessing and the AHVA should be commended.

Customers checking out the items for sale.
Missing out on community events like this means missing out on bargains.

Megarahe Sale this year could inspire other residential communities and commercial joints in South Metro Manila to host or organize more community events as the Christmas season gets closer. I have fond memories attending in 2019 the BF HomeSarap food fair in BF Homes (specifically BF NorthWest), the Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries, and Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 also at Madison Galeries. Also a few years ago, I attended a pre-Christmas bazaar inside Alabang Hills Village before the pandemic happened, and I wonder if the AHVA will be organizing a new one this year.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you were able to visit the Megarahe Sale in Alabang Hills this past weekend, what do you think about the event? Were you able to find and buy something? Did you take advantage of the bargains? Do you hope to see the Alabang Hills Village Association organize a pre-Christmas bazaar this November or December for your Christmas shopping needs?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

For inquiries about Alabang Hills Village, visit https://alabanghillsvillage.com/ or call their association at 88508254. You can visit their office at 1 Don Jesus Boulevard inside Alabang Hills Village from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM. Always remember to follow their rules and speed limits whenever you are in the village. Be aware also of the recent in-village traffic adjustments.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

Panda Express now serving customers in Alabang

A few months ago, Panda Express Philippines made its presence in Muntinlupa City felt when they opened a branch at the Shell gas station on the southbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Very recently, their presence got felt again as they opened a new branch in Alabang area and already they are attracting a lot of customers.

Panda Express’ newest branch is located at the corner of the Alabang-Zapote Road and Madrigal Avenue. The said branch is located right beside Jollibee and are part of the Molito Complex. The commercial space occupied by Panda Express Alabang (also referred to as Panda Express Madrigal) was a Chowking branch.

Panda Express in Alabang at the corner of Alabang-Zapote Road and Madrigal Avenue.

For the newcomers reading this, Panda Express started in Glendale, California in the United States in 1983 and expanded worldwide with over two thousand branches. Within South Metro Manila, Panda Express has a branch at Doña Soledad Avenue in Parañaque City and also one at the basement level of SM Southmall in Las Piñas City.

With regards to food, Panda Express’ most notable food is its Orange Chicken (note: chicken nuggets with a unique texture and taste). They also offer Black Pepper Steak, Mongolian Pork, Kung Pao Chicken, Beijing Beef, Broccoli Beef, Eggplant Tofu, Fried Rice, Chow Mein and Mixed Vegetables to name some.

The food for customers’ to choose from inside Panda Express.

If you will be visiting a Panda Express for the first time ever, you will have to adjust yourselves to the restaurant’s use of terms such as entrées and sides when you select the meals you want to eat. Don’t feel intimidated as the restaurant has personnel who will explain things to you and guide you.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are you excited to try out the food served by Panda Express now that they have a branch in Alabang? If you are an Alabang resident, do you think Panda Express has what it takes to compete and survive given the fact that the Alabang commercial areas are filled with lots of restaurants already? If you were able to eat at a Panda Express restaurant before, which particular meal did you enjoy the most from them?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

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

I Love Israel: Israel to engage more with the Philippines on agriculture, cyber security and other matters

Following the news about the Israel-produced fast-attack interdiction craft-missiles (FAIC-Ms) boosting the Philippine Navy’s ability to protect the nation’s littoral zones, Israel announced that it wants to cooperate more with the Philippines specifically on agriculture, cyber security and more, according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the article of the PNA. Some parts in boldface…

Israel wants to increase cooperation with the Philippines on agriculture, cybersecurity, and other areas of mutual interest after the two countries cap their 12th Joint Commission Meeting this week.

The political dialogue, held in Manila on Sept. 5, was led by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Alfonso Ver and Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Rafael Harpaz.

The Israeli delegation emphasized building bridges of innovations between the two countries in the areas of agritech, watertech, cybersecurity, ICT and connectivity, and more. Also included in the agenda is the topic of counterterrorism and the expansion of the defense cooperation between Israel with the Philippines,” the Israel Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

The delegations also discussed regional and international developments, particularly in the Middle East, Iran, and the West Philippine Sea.

On agriculture, Israel Ambassador Ilan Fluss said Israel would share with the Philippines its expertise as the two sides discussed solar-powered irrigation, increasing dairy output, as well as Israel’s agriculture internship for Filipinos.

“We are happy to share our expertise in the field of agriculture with the Philippines to address productivity and food security,” he said, citing a recent meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who sought to enhance agriculture cooperation with Israel.

Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow stronger. Israel’s willingness to engage with the Philippines on agriculture and cyber security is essential. More than ever, Philippine agriculture needs to improve dramatically not just to keep up with the world but also to ensure a huge and stable supply of food for the people. Enhancing cyber security will make the Philippines more secure and also become a more attractive and safer place for technology developers, foreign investors and the like. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations rise high strongly and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed on opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

P220 million worth of hoarded sugar seized in three raids

The Philippines has a big problem with regards to sugar which unsurprisingly sparked a wave of news. The three leading softdrinks makers made a joint statement about the declining supply of sugar in the country while stores and local food joints claimed they are affected by the sugar shortage. The local bakers have been affected as well.

There is, however, good news here. Recently agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) conducted raids which resulted in the seizure of several sacks of hoarded sugar estimated to be worth more than P200 million, according to a BusinessWorld report. Make no mistake, the government is working to solve the sugar problem.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the BusinessWorld news report. Some parts in boldface…

CUSTOMS agents seized 44,000 sacks of hoarded sugar worth P220 million in separate raids north of Manila, the capital on Wednesday and Thursday as part of a crackdown amid rising sugar prices and tight supply.

The agents and police raided two warehouses in Bulacan province and another in Pampanga on orders of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who is also Agriculture secretary, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) said in a statement.

“The BoC’s Pampanga sugar warehouse raid may very well serve as a warning to unscrupulous traders who are currently hoarding their stocks of sugar in order to profit from the current artificial sugar shortage situation,” Executive Secretary Victor D. Rodriguez said in a separate statement.

The government might visit more warehouses in the coming days, Press Secretary Trixie-Cruz Angeles told a news briefing.

Mr. Rodriguez earlier said the government was investigating reports that certain traders were pushing the imports of 300,000 metric tons of sugar so they could use it as a cover to release hoarded sugar, which they have not sold for fear of lowering prices.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration had authorized the imports, which Mr. Marcos later rejected. Three of the officials who signed the order have quit their jobs.

“Reports reaching the Office of the Executive Secretary said such massive importation of sugar could result in windfall profits for the traders of at least P300 million with a portion of the amount earmarked as lobby money,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

The Customs bureau is investigating reports that the Pampanga warehouse had long been smuggling sugar from Thailand, repacking and then selling it as local sugar, the presidential palace said.

Like the Pampanga warehouse, the two warehouses in Bulacan were also suspected of storing smuggled goods.

The agents also found imported corn starch from China, sacks of imported flour, plastic products, oil in plastic barrels, motorcycle parts and wheels of different brands, helmets, LED TVs and paints inside the Pampanga warehouse.

Authorities have given the warehouse owners 15 days to present import documents, the palace said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Is your household or your business somehow affected by the ongoing sugar problem? How much did you pay for a kilogram of sugar recently compared to six months ago? Did you notice any sugar-related products like softdrinks, candy, ice cream and coffee lacking in supply in the local groceries and convenience stores? Was there a local coffee shop that failed to serve you a specific drink or food item because of a lack of sugar?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

The new normal for bread from the local bakeries?

Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? In my experience, I love the pandesal of Mang Pandesal located along Tropical Avenue, BF International in Las Piñas City.  When I first visited them in 2019, they sold pieces of pandesal at P2 each. That is no longer the case anymore. Two days ago, I visited Mang Pandesal ang bought 20 pieces of pandesal at P2.50 each. That’s a total of P50.

Do the math, P2.50 is a notable increase of 25% over the previous price of P2 per pandesal which lasted for years at Mang Pandesal. While I still will buy pandesal from Mang Pandesal (note: they’re still the best in the BF Homes community), I am more conscious about how many pieces to buy each time I visit them.

Even as our country continues to struggle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis socially and economically, we have no choice but to face the new normal of bread from the local bakeries…a new normal of higher prices and/or smaller sizes of bread. There are both internal and external economic forces that have been affecting the many local bakeries around the Philippines. High fuel prices are just the tip of the iceberg, literally.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

Expect local bread to get smaller but become more expensive at the same time.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda made this rather depressing prediction as wheat, eggs, and sugar–all vital ingredients to breadmaking–have all shot up in price.

Salceda even has a clever word for it: “shrinkflation”.

“Bread will probably be the hardest hit by shrinkflation. Wheat prices have increased by 165 percent. At that point, breadmakers will probably both increase prices and shrink sizes,” the economist-solon said in a statement Sunday night, July 17.

Last March, Salceda warned of higher bread prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which affected the trade of wheat.

Egg prices are also threatening to go out of control. Sugar supply is already problematic, noted the Bicolano.

“What we are likely to see us shrinkflation. Goods getting smaller instead of higher prices,” he noted.

Salceda said that while the government continues to try to control price hikes and resolve supply issues, manufacturers and millers can “fortify their products with vitamins and minerals”.

“Nutrition should be part of Science for Change, which is the DOST’s (Department of Science and Technology) flagship program. This should be one of the most relevant and immediate applications.

“Secretary [Fortunato] dela Pena also asked millers and breadmakers to consider other alternatives and additives to maintain nutritional value without increasing prices or reducing sizes significantly…So, in the meantime, while we solve the structural issues affecting price and supply, we can adapt,” the lawmaker said.

Pieces of pandesal.

Meanwhile, the Malaya Business Insight recently published an article about the struggle of community bakers. Posted below is an excerpt of their article with some parts in boldface…

Community bakers have lost 20 percent of their members due to the twin effects of the pandemic and rising raw material prices.

Princess Lunar, director of the Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino, told the Balitaan sa Maynila yesterday, the fair price of pandesal should be P4 per piece to maintain its quality but bakers continue to sell at P2 to P2.50  but the size has considerably shrank to 18 grams.

Lunar said at P4, pandesal size can be restored to 30 g.

While pandesal is not a regulated commodity, community bakers cannot increase their prices because of competition among themselves as well as with commercial and industrial bakers which have economies of scale.

She said the group plans to come up with variants of pandesal at a much  bigger size  enhanced with more nutritious ingredients from agricultural crops like potato, cassava and other starches. The group plans to sell this at P8 to P10 per piece.

The value-added product can help elevate the stature of the pandesal which Lunar has termed as the “pambansang tinapay.”

She appealed to government to assist the group in conducting trainings to improve further the quality of their breads especially pandesal and ensure its sustainability.

Lunar said prior to the pandemic, about 40 percent of the flour requirements for bread go to community bakers. This has since shrank to 19 percent.

Lunar said from P785 per bag, the price of flour has gone up to P1,000. Since January when the Russia-Ukraine crisis started, the price of flour has gone up by P100 to P150 per bag.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? Does each pandesal piece look smaller in terms of size and content in relation to what you paid for? Are you willing to pay P4 per piece of pandesal? Are there any bakeries in your local community that shut down recently? Apart from pandesal, what other types of bread do you buy from your local community bakery?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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 as well as making a donation to support my publishing.. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

Alabang Hills Village Saturday Market (AHV Saturday Market) has returned

This past Saturday, I took the opportunity to visit Alabang Hills Village for the return of the AHV Saturday Market which was held at the Sports Pavilion. The Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) announced the Saturday market return on July 15 or just the day before it happened. Take note that the association also said that the AHV Saturday Market will be held every Saturday (from July 16 onwards unless otherwise advised) from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

The Sports Pavilion inside Alabang Hills where the AHV Saturday Market was held at on July 16, 2022.

There, I saw two sellers catering to some customers who were carefully choosing from the variety of fresh vegetables, meat, seafood and fish on display. To support the vegetable seller, I bought green tomatoes. Those who missed out on last Saturday’s AHV Saturday Market, there will be another one this Saturday and so on.

Fresh vegetables on display.
Some fresh meat, chicken, seafood and fish on display.

In their official announcement, the AHVA stated that local residents may also join in to feature their home-cooked meals, fresh produce, novelty products and other items.

Residents who might be interested to join the AHV Saturday Market, to sell goods and make some additional money while also connecting with customers, are encouraged to call the AHVA’s administration office at landline numbers 88509631 or 88508254 local 106 and ask for Mark Granada. They can also visit the administration office from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM, and Saturday from 8AM to 12PM.

Meanwhile, the AHVA is accepting and processing applications from non-resident motorists for their brand new vehicular stickers. Also, the new 2-year AHVA vehicular stickers for non-resident motorists are available and I finally got my 2-year AHVA sticker last week. In case you are wondering, the 2-year AHVA sticker for non-resident motorists is priced at P3,600.

For further inquiries, visit https://alabanghillsvillage.com/. To all the non-resident motorists who enter Alabang Hills Village, always remember to follow their rules and speed limits wherever you go. Be respectful to the village and the AHVA.

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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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

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

Panda Express Muntinlupa City branch set for July 1, 2022 opening

If you are fond of American Chinese meals with the fast food touch, then you might be interested to know that Panda Express is about to open its Muntinlupa City branch at one of the gasoline stations along the southbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) on July 1, 2022, according to a report by Malaya.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Malaya news report. Some parts in boldface…

The south area of the metro is attracting some good fortune. Panda Express—the world’s largest American Chinese dining concept—is set to open another store in the south on July 1, with its Shell SLT branch, the first location in Muntinlupa and along the South Luzon expressway.

The new branch will be the 10th Panda Express branch in Metro Manila since it set foot in the country in 2019.

“This back-to-back store openings in the south is all attributable to the heartwarming support that Panda Express has received from Filipino customers since 2019. Guests from Muntinlupa and nearby areas, as well as city travelers heading south can now stop over at our new location to satisfy their craving for savory, wok-cooked American Chinese dishes,” said Ned Bandojo, Business Development Head of Jollibee Group Foreign Franchised Brands.

The Panda Express menu includes a variety of entrées with regional Chinese influences—from its bestselling The Original Orange Chicken, a wok-tossed crispy chicken coated in sweet tangy sauce to other must-try entrees like Broccoli Beef, Savory Shrimp and Black Pepper Steak.

For the newcomers reading this, Panda Express started in Glendale, California in the United States in 1983 and expanded worldwide with over two thousand branches. In the South Metro Manila area, they have branches in Parañaque City and Las Piñas City.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are you willing to take the trip south the SLEX just to eat at the Shell gas station branch of Panda Express? When was the last time you ate at an American Chinese restaurant? Do you wish that Panda Express would someday open a new branch within the Alabang area of Muntinlupa?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

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

I Love Israel: Joint Economic Commission (JEC) established by Israel and the Philippines

Trade between Israel and the Philippines could improve and help develop each other economically in the years to come as the two nations strengthened their ties further by establishing the Joint Economic Commission (JEC), according to a recent report by BusinessWorld.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the BusinessWorld report. Some parts in boldface…

THE Philippines and Israel said they formed a Joint Economic Commission (JEC) that will explore pathways to improving trade.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbivai in Jerusalem on June 7 that created the JEC.

The MoU seeks the establishment of a bilateral consultative mechanism that will develop and strengthen trade, enhance investments, and advance economic ties between the Philippines and Israel,” the DTI said.

“In establishing a JEC, the two countries agree to exchange information on economic issues, identify and implement cooperative projects, organize consultations, missions, and official visits and enhance cooperation and linkages with their respective private sector,” it added.

The DTI said the MoU will seek to explore industries where the two countries can collaborate with a view towards diversifying trade and investments.

He added that priority sectors for promotion include agribusiness/agriculture production, energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy, infrastructure and public-private partnership (PPP) projects in infrastructure, real estate development, logistics, artificial intelligence, information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) including shared services, electronics manufacturing, and digital infrastructure.

Mr. Lopez told reporters via Viber that the initial investments from the investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) between the Philippines and Israel could bring around $150 million in investment in 2022.

“Early harvest could be around $150 million this year,” Mr. Lopez said.

Also signed on June 7, the IPPA provides the framework for a closer investment relationship between Israel and Philippines. It also specifies investment protection elements such as national treatment, most favored nation treatment, free transfers, rules-based expropriation and compensation, and investor-state dispute settlement.

The DTI also recently signed an MoU seeking to strengthen cooperation with the Israel Innovation Authority.

This newest development is undoubtedly critical as both the Philippines and Israel share the same goal of recovering from the damage of the COVID-19 crisis and emerging stronger economically and socially. The JEC between the two nations is something we must be thankful to God for.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Search for the five best restaurants of Las Piñas City is ongoing

Recently, a special search for the best restaurants in the city was launched by the City Government of Las Piñas which involves the Nutrition Office and the Tourism Office, the Manila Bulletin reported. This ongoing search emphasizes local restaurants, nutrition and even tourism.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Las Piñas city government launched the search for the five best restaurants in the city that serve the best delicacies that will help promote the city as a culinary destination.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the search for the five best restaurants is a project of the Nutrition Office under the leadership of Dr. Julio Javier and the Tourism Office under Paul San Miguel.

Aguilar said the search is also in preparation for the celebration of Nutrition Month in July where the winners will receive special tokens of appreciation from the City Nutrition Office.

She said the Tourism Office will promote the city’s best delicacies to both local and foreign tourists.

She added that the winners will be featured in the city’s official Facebook page and Nutrition Office.

The above article ended with Mayor Aguilar stating that the winners of the special search will be featured in the official Facebook page of the City Government and that of the Nutrition Office. Watch out for updates about this search at https://www.facebook.com/cityoflaspinasofficial and also at https://m.facebook.com/MayorImeldaAguilar/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Is there any particular local restaurant that you had visited time and time again? Did that particular local restaurant consistently produce delicious meals each time you ordered? What kinds of meals do you enjoy whenever you eat in a local restaurant?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

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

My return to Xtremely Xpresso Café in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

During my most recent visit at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I took the opportunity to revisit key places around as it has been more than two years since my previous visit. On the afternoon of April 30 (just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon happened), I took time out to revisit Xtremely Xpresso Café (social media here, here and here) located at Dewey Street corner Sta. Rita Road.

Xtremely Xpresso Café is more than just a place to enjoy good coffee. It is also a restaurant that sells to its customers a good variety of tasty meals from pizza to pasta, rice meals and others. The very first time I visited the food joint was in the early 2000s. Through the years I had coffee there during my solo visits and there were also times that I was with the family enjoying pizza and their meals. Xtremely Xpresso’s pizzas were always delicious and filling to enjoy with friends or family.

Xtremely Xpresso Subic Bay Freeport branch on the day I returned.

Going back to my April 30 afternoon visit, I easily recognized Xtremely Xpresso upon arrival. What I found interesting was that the place was bustling with customers both indoors (where it is air conditioned) and outdoors as if life was back to normal (note: Alert Level 1 status was in effect on the Subic Bay Freeport Zone back then). I saw some groups of people, couples and individual customers enjoying their meals and drinks on the outdoor area (note: lots of seats and tables with shade) and the simmering heat of the day did not seem to bother them at all.

Then I entered and saw the ever familiar-looking interior. Almost all the seats and tables were filled up by customers who mostly came in groups or pairs. Everywhere I looked, I saw people really enjoying their food and drinks, and having quality time together. As such, I decided to order a drink and dessert and have the waiter serve them to me at a seat outdoors.

I took sat at a place where there was enough shade to protect me from the sun. While the heat was obvious, there were moments I felt some relief in the form of coolness from the occasional wind coming from the sea water several meters away. After about ten minutes waiting, the waiter served to me the cheesecake slice and the Shockwave Xtreme Frappe’ that I ordered.

The cheesecake I ordered at Xtremely Xpresso.
A close look at a portion of the cheesecake.

As I was seated outdoors, I did not want to let the sun and the summer heat ruin the cheesecake so I started consuming it portion by portion. Each bite of it was smooth and in terms of taste, it had a mild sweetness to it. More notably, it tasted like any cheesecake. In terms of content, it is thick and long enough for me. As such, Xtremely Xpresso’s cheesecake slice is good enough.

Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave frappe was cold coffee with some chocolate to its taste with a creamy aesthetic. In my experience sipping it moderately, the Shockwave had a moderate sweetness to it and I felt a creamy coffee and chocolate taste. It was during the remaining small amount I sipped when I suddenly felt a sweetened taste. Then the drink ran out. Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave is a frappe that is completely different from what other coffee shops here in the Philippines offered. I can say it is a good drink to have at Xtremely Xpresso.

The Shockwave frappe was mildly sweet and had a coffee and chocolate taste.

So my recent visit at Xtremely Xpresso in Subic Bay was good one. I would not hesitate to return there and next time, I would definitely order a meal, a different drink and something else. In my previous dining experiences there with my family, I enjoyed the taste of their Big Ben pizza, the Seafood Pesto pizza, the Creamy Cheese Penne and their Spinach Omelette. All of those and a lot more are still being offered to customers.

While securing an indoor seat and table is challenging, be assured that there are a lot more tables and seats outside. In fact, having breakfast and coffee outdoors is a fresh and comfortable experience as the sun is not too intense in the morning.

For those of you reading this, if you are planning to visit Subic Bay and you want good food and drinks to enjoy, I encourage you to visit Xtremely Xpresso.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMPC)

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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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/