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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines pandemic exit strategy coming

It has been over two years since the entire Philippines first got setback economically and socially by the COVID-19 crisis. Until now, people, private organizations and businesses are still struggling to fully recover from the varied effects that come with government-imposed restrictions, limitations on business-related activities, and the public’s complacency towards COVID-19. It is bad enough that the Philippines now has a core of anti-vaccine fanatics who are misinforming and scaring people while offering no real solutions to the problems.

Speaking of solutions, a pandemic exit strategy is brewing high up in the government and it should be sent to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., soon, according to a recent report by the Manila Bulletin.

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

A Cabinet member has committed that the proposed pandemic exit strategy crafted by a panel of medical experts will be endorsed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Former presidential adviser and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos will endorse the proposal which the government can adopt to help the country transition from pandemic to normalcy.

In a statement, Concepcion said “Abalos said he will endorse the presentation of the proposals to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Abalos also said that he “will organize a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) to initiate more vaccinations at the community level.”

Abalos also agreed on the importance of raising booster vaccination rates to 70 percent of the eligible population which is included in the pandemic exit proposal.

“Kailangan ng isa pa. Isa pa para sa mga pamilya, isa pa para sa komunidad (We need one more One more for our families, one more for our community),” Abalos said.

With this, Concepcion also renewed his call to push for one more massive effort for vaccination.

Complacency is really the problem. There is no sense of urgency because people don’t see what might happen if our wall of immunity starts to weaken,” he said.

Concepcion explained that re-infections are quite possible, and that cases of long Covid have grave consequences on productivity, and ultimately, the economy.

He echoed Abalos’ statement that “we need to convince people that they need boosters.”

The DILG Chief recently met with Concepcion and members of the Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), a group of medical doctors, scientists and academics comprising the country’s foremost authorities on public health, molecular biology, disaster resilience, data insight and analysis, and economics.

The group’s proposal outlined parameters to ease the country into normalcy and encourage economic activity without risking the public’s health. It has been met with approval from the private sector, including several industry groups and businessmen.

Abalos further expressed optimism as the proposal was an initiative of the private sector, and that it puts emphasis on the importance of achieving high booster vaccination rates.

As you can see in the above news excerpt, national government officials, private sector members and other stakeholders have been brainstorming and discussing ways with the exit strategy in mind to truly lift the nation further from the COVID-19 crisis. Former presidential adviser Joey Concepcion is absolutely right when he pointed to complacency which is an enduring problem on the part of the public when it comes to how they perceived COVID-19, vaccination and health. I am certain that a lot of people got fooled by the anti-vaccine fanatics who keep on spreading misinformation and fear.

On the aspect of vaccination, I do agree that a major renewal of COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot rollouts should happen soon. I’m talking about reopening the closed vaccination sites, deploying a lot of health workers with lots of supplies of vaccines prepared, and making sure that each vaccination hub is well organized (note: we don’t want a repeat of the very embarrassing Parañaque Pfizer vaccine launch of May 2021). In addition, the national authorities should come up with ways to make economic recovery more achievable for businesses and employees. On the topic of new infections caused by Omicron and its subvariants, our nation should serious consider acquiring more Sputnik vaccines as those have proven to be very effective against Omicron. Whatever the details they are discussing, the pandemic exit strategy for the Philippines something that everyone should watch out for.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Do you think that the national authorities and other stakeholders will be able come up with a pandemic exit strategy that will work? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will ramp up their misinformation campaign and fearmongering now that they know a national pandemic exit strategy is being developed? Do you think President Marcos will spend sufficient time to review the pandemic exit strategy before issuing his response?

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

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/

I Love Israel: Philippines sends off initial batch of hotel workers to Israel

Over sixty Filipino hotel workers have departed for Israel in relation to the opening of its hospitality sector to foreign workers, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) dated May 31, 2022. That’s not all. There will be hundreds more who will be deployed there in accordance to the agreements between Israel and the Philippines.

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

The Philippine government is set to send off 61 Filipino hotel workers to Israel, the first deployment of its kind since the latter opened its hospitality sector to foreign workers.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said a total of 500 are set to depart Manila, with the first 61 leaving on June 1, 2022.

Until now the hotel industry was closed, this is the first time that the hotel industry was able to invite foreign labor so for Israel this is very important For the Philippines, I believe it’s also important because until now the only Filipinos who were allowed to work in Israel are caregivers,” Fluss said during a send-off ceremony at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday.

“We’re just exiting the pandemic, I believe there is room for growth for the tourism industry so we’re starting with the 61 tomorrow up to 500,” he added.

Fluss assured that overseas Filipino workers would enjoy the same treatment as domestic employees in Israel.

The rights of the employees are very clear and there is no difference in this aspect between foreign workers and Israeli workers,” he said.

Asked if there are other industries interested in hiring Filipinos, Fluss said none yet at this point.

Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Abdullah D. Mama-o, meanwhile, described the latest deployment as proof that Filipinos are “quality workers”.

I’m glad that Israel recognized the competence of our Filipino workers. The first batch that we are sending will serve also as an example of the workers that we have in the hotel industry,” he said.

To make things clear, both Israel and the Philippines are gradually emerging from the economic and social damages of the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses that are connected to tourism or travel such as hotels, restaurants and retailers require quality workers who have proven to be dedicated and hard working. As such, the news about sending off hundreds of Filipino hotel workers to Israel to help them revive their industry is very pleasing and encouraging. So far, 2022 is looking like the year of big revival of international tourism and the ties between the Philippines and Israel continue to prosper! Truly this is something we should be thankful to the Lord 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 plus Philippine news 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/

Over 500,000 foreign tourists counted since the borders were reopened

If you are looking for encouraging news about our country and its struggle to rise up from the COVID-19 crisis, be aware that more than half a million foreign visitors have been counted since the Philippines reopened its borders months ago, according to a recent news report by BusinessWorld.

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

FOREIGN VISITORS have totaled 517,516 as of May 25, since the reopening of borders with minimal quarantine requirements in February, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).

The DoT said in a statement that the US was the top source of arrivals between Feb. 10 and May 25 with 104,589, followed by South Korea with 28,474 arrivals, and Canada 24,337.

Australian nationals, British, and Japanese were next on the list with 23,286; 20,846; and 13,373 respectively,” the DoT said. 

“Other foreign visitors during the early months of the year include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French,” it added.

On Feb. 10, the Philippines started accepting nationals that do not require visas to enter the country. Since April 1, borders have been opened to all nationals

“The DoT is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Starting May 30, the DoT said fully vaccinated and boostered inbound foreign visitors will no longer be required to have a pre-departure test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The looser entry rules are authorized by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 168.

However, the DoT said arriving passengers are still encouraged to obtain travel insurance. All types of vaccination certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted.

“Based on the resolution, the visitor must be at least 18 years old and must have received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and at least one booster shot,” the DoT said.

For the newcomers reading this, more tourists from overseas means better opportunities for local businesses to make more money and recover whatever losses they had as a result of lockdowns and quarantine-related business restrictions. Tourism-related businesses like hotels, resorts and connected transportation and food-and-beverage services badly need the spending of foreign visitors.

In relation to this tourism industry development, be aware that there were foreign participants in the recent Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) which was a big sports even that attracted hundreds of participants on May 1 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Speaking of the said location, I personally saw lots of hotels, restaurants (note: read my feature articles about Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso), stores and other leisure facilities that operated as if the country is back in the pre-pandemic days. The more foreign tourists coming in plus the more local tourists engage in holidays, special events and travel in the country, the better it will be for local businesses to recover (plus pay their fees, taxes and keeping their hard-working employees longer) and the nation as a whole. I believe that the Philippines will continue to rise socially and economically from the pandemic.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this tourism-related development? Do you believe the Philippines will be able to attract 2 million foreign tourists by the end of 2022? Do you run a business that catered to foreign tourists?

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 athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

I Love Israel: People of Israel are welcome to visit the Philippines without a visa

As the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines continues to be at low risk (note: low numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported daily), the nation is not only recovering gradually but also growing with regards to the national economy and tourism. More on tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed recently that the Philippines is opening its borders to travelers from Israel without a visa, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

The Philippines is now opening its doors to Israelis without a visa, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday, April 25.

We are delighted to once again welcome our Israeli friends to our country, just in time for the summer!” Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog S. Alberto said.

“Aside from the breathtaking natural beauty, colorful culture, and endless adventures that await Israelis in the Philippines, it is the warm hospitality and genuine friendship of Filipinos that truly make the travel meaningful and unforgettable,” Alberto added.

Since April 1, the country started opening its doors for Israelis without a visa. They only need to be fully vaccinated, undergo RT-PCR test within 48 hours or a laboratory-based antigen test within 24 hours pre-flight, and have a travel insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 35,000 which covers Covid-19 treatment.

The DFA assured visitors that they will feel safe while in the country as almost 100 percent of Philippine tourism workers are fully vaccinated and tourism establishments are complying with local health guidelines.

Aside from islands such as Boracay, El Nido, and Cebu, which are constantly listed as the world’s top beach destinations, the Philippines also boast of destinations that appeal to the adventure-loving Israeli traveler. These include swimming with whale sharks in Oslob and Donsol, snorkeling with sea turtles in Apo Island, scuba diving in Anilao, surfing in Siargao, volcano trekking in Bicol, diving shipwrecks in Coron, and exploring Puerto Princesa’s Underground River.

The above article ended stating that travelers from Israel may check the official website of the Department of Tourism (DOT) (click https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/) and they can get in touch with the Tourism Promotion Section of the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv, or send an e-mail to telaviv.pe@dfa.gov.ph.

It is indeed a blessing from the Lord that the Philippines has gotten safer during this COVID-19 pandemic as over 70 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose followed by around 70 million people fully vaccinated (2 doses) and more than 10 million patients boosted (3 doses). The Philippines is safe enough for foreigners to visit and the people of Israel are very welcome to come in without needing a visa. It should be recalled that the Philippines learned from Israel’s experts on how to deal with COVID-19 (for references, click here, here, here, here and here). Truly God is good and He is always watching us and we should be thankful to Him as both the Philippines and Israel are progressing and recovering better from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

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/

Looking for a new home or investment opportunities? Watch out for South 2 Residences in Las Piñas City

There is no doubt that the Philippines is socially and economically recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. Business and economic readings of the nation in 2021 showed improvements over 2020. Apart from rising business confidence, there is also growing confidence in real estate and investments. That being said, SM Development Corporation (SMDC) is making a bullish bet at the Southmall complex in Las Piñas City with their project South 2 Residences, according to a business article published by Manila Bulletin. To the potential investors and searchers of new homes reading this post, I urge you to pay close attention.

Artistic image of the project as published through the Manila Bulletin.

To put things in perspective, posted below are selected excerpts from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

South 2 Residences is a master-planned developments that unlocks so much more than just ease and comfort, having everything within reach, in a strategic location where all key destinations are made accessible. This gated vertical community in Las Pinas city is poised to give investors and future residents wide-ranging rewards that cover it all.

Integrated living keeps destinations close and health risks at bay – Owning a home surrounded by essential establishments has proven itself vital during this time of a global pandemic. There is a massive and even potentially life-saving difference between having to ride in a car to go places, and simply taking a few steps for a grocery run or your bank errands.

Located in the Southmall Complex in Las Pinas City, SMDC’s South 2 Residences is orbited by several key lifestyle, commercial, and office destinations. This includes retail shops, leisure and entertainment stations, and a plethora of dining options at SM Southmall. There are also banking establishments such as BDO and Chinabank, health institutions such as The Medical City Clinic, and office spaces at the SM South Tower.

“It is much more important now to have easy and fast access to essential facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, drug stores, supermarkets, and places of worship,” writes Andrew Frondozo, Head of Project Management at Santos Knight Frank, in the real estate expert’s Global Buyer Survey 2021: The Philippine Edition. “This increased realization is no longer for the middle-aged or the elderly, but younger people even.”

Living in a 15-minute city like South 2 Residences, where important destinations are all within walking distance, also means your car can stay parked, helping you save money as oil prices shoot up.

Artistic view of the South 2 Residences amenities as published through the Manila Bulletin.

Accessibility, well-appointed spaces, and more – SMDC’s South 2 Residences is accessible to all parts of the metro through convenient road networks such as the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Emilio Aguinaldo Hi-way, and the Metro Manila Skyway. It is also close to the Skyway Extension, LRT-1 Cavite extension, and C-5 Southlink.

Upon reaching the property, one can immediately get a sense of grandeur from South 2 Residences’ imposing presence in the neighborhood. The impression only gets stronger as you enter the hotel-like lobby, adorned with impeccable design and décor.

South 2 Residences, likewise, presents a full range of resort-style amenities, including landscaped swimming pools, children’s play areas, pocket gardens, a gym, and high-speed elevators.

If you are eager to learn more details and check out the showroom gallery of South 2 Residences, you should visit https://smdc.com/properties/south-2-residences/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are  a resident of Las Piñas City, what do you think about South 2 Residences? If you are an investor or if you have the means to buy a unit where you and your family can live in, are the declared amenities and accessibility to SM Southmall ideal to you? Does the idea of living in a new community in close proximity to Alabang-Zapote Road sound like a turn-off to you?

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

Las Piñas City’s 25th Cityhood Anniversary and 115th Founding Anniversary commemorated

This past weekend, Las Piñas City had a dual commemoration of its legacy and its people. With a series of commemorative events, the Las Piñas had its 25th cityhood anniversary on March 26 followed by its 115th founding anniversary on March 27.

To put things in perspective, posted below are key details related to the dual commemoration as posted by the City Government on its official Facebook page in recent times. Some parts in boldface…

The City Government has reached 91% of its first dose COVID-19 vaccination of the total city population as well as having boosted almost 200,000 local residents as of March 24. As it continues its usual vaccination operations, the City Health Office (CHO) teams are conducting house-to-house vaccination specifically for the first dose, second dose and booster shots. The local vaccination program for students was launched.

The City Government is offering up to P30,000 hospitalization support to residents related to the issuance of “green cards” under its health program. Mayor Aguilar emphasized that the green card initiatives can be used in five accredited hospitals including Las Piñas Doctors Hospital, Las Piñas Medical Hospital, Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Piñas, Philippine General Hospital and S John de Dios Hospital.

A local job fair conducted by the City Government through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) resulted in the on-the-spot hiring of 182 applicants.

On March 25 at City Hall, a painting exhibition took place specifically at the lobby. The exhibition showcased the city’s renovation and development.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are  a resident of Las Piñas City, are you happy about the quality of life within the city? Are you satisfied with the public services rendered by the City Government? Do you believe that Las Piñas will emerge as one of the most prosperous cities of the entire Philippines?

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

31st SEA Games official slogan is “For a stronger Southeast Asia”

The highly anticipated 31st Southeast Asian Games (also referred to as 31st SEA Games or Hanoi 2021) is about 45 days away from formally opening in the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. Originally scheduled for 2021, the SEA Games this May will be significant not only because it will be the first time the regional sports gathering will be held during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will test the resolve of the Southeast Asian members with regards to sports events organizing, location control and, of course, handling the participation of the many athletes from the member nations who will take part in a wide variety of sports competitions. The determination and focus on proceeding with the biggest sports event of the region (scheduled for May 12 to 23, 2022 although there will be some events taking place before the opening ceremony happens) is already being reflected with the newly unveiled official 31st SEA Games slogan called “For a stronger Southeast Asia”, as well with the official event song titled ‘Hay toa sang’ (Let’s shine), as reported by VietnamPlus.vn.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the report of VietnamPlus.VN. Some parts in boldface…

Communications for the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) have been bolstered as the region’s biggest sports event is approaching.

The official song for the Games ‘Hay toa sang’ (Let’s shine), composed by renown composer Huy Tuan, has been unveiled, showing the pride on the culture and people of Vietnam, and highlighting sportsmanship as well as efforts to achieve the best results, with lyrics in Vietnamese language and chorus in English.


The song also sends a message of development, solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and international friends.

Deputy Director of the Vietnam Sports Administration Le Thi Hoang Yen said the song’s lyric is simple and easy to learn. It is hoped to encourage athletes and be favoured by sports fans at home and abroad.

The event’s slogan “For a stronger Southeast Asia” is to convey a message of solidarity to build a thriving ASEAN Community and further promote its role in the international arena.

Earlier, the regional sport events’ official logo and mascot have been introduced, with the logo symbolising a flying bird and a V-shaped hand and the mascot based on the saola – a rare animal listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of Endangered Species.

The saola, scientifically known as Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, is dubbed the Asian Unicorn because it is so rarely seen, looks like an antelope in appearance, and is recognised by its two parallel horns with sharp ends which can reach up to 50 cm in length.

The species was first discovered in May 1992 by a joint team from the MARD and the World Wide Fund for Nature during a trip surveying Vu Quang National Park in the central province of Ha Tinh, near Vietnam’s border with Laos.

For the newcomers reading this, the delayed 31st SEA Games is indeed pushing through as planned with the opening set for May 12 and closing on May 23. While the daily reports about Vietnam having over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases recorded looks intimidating, the SEA Games organizers are still laser-focused on proceeding with the competitions and Vietnam itself reopened its borders to foreign visitors and dropped COVID-19 restrictions on the said visitors. Already COVID-19 prevention and control measures specific to the SEA Games have been implemented.

The 31st SEA Games will be huge as it will take place in Hanoi and in the eleven neighboring localities. There will be forty specific sports and more than five hundred events. About 10,000 participants are expected to join in. A lot of preparations are being done by both Vietnam and the SEA Games members (and their respective athletes who qualified). The 31st SEA Games is something that should not be missed.

For additional insight about the 31st SEA Games and Vietnam, watch the videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the official slogan of the 31st SEA Games? Do you believe that even as Vietnam is struggling with very high COVID-19 cases, the SEA Games will be done orderly and successfully this May? Would you happen to know if someone in your local community qualified to represent your country in the SEA Games in Vietnam?

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/

I Love Israel: Israel and the Philippines agree to speed up deployment of Filipino hotel workers

The essential ties between Israel and the Philippines continue to create positive results once again as the two nations formally agreed to speed up the deployment of Filipino hotel workers to Israel which recently reopened its borders to international visitors (including the unvaccinated), according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report in reference to an official announcement by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

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

Israel and the Philippines are working to fast-track the deployment of some 500 Filipino hotel workers as Israel reopens its tourism industry, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

The agency said Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog Alberto met the officials of the Israel Hotel Association (IHA) last March 14 in hopes to expedite the OFWs’ deployment by April 2022.

As Israel reopens its tourism industry, allows the entry of both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, and eases its travel and health restrictions, its hotel sector will require a full workforce to cater to the expected influx of tourists to the Holy Land,” the DFA said.

“The Philippines and Israel are thus working together to fast-track the arrival of the initial batch of 500 Filipino hotel workers in the first week of April, ahead of Passover and Holy Week, both peak holidays and tourist-draws for the country,” it added.

The project is under the 2018 Philippines-Israel labor agreement for a government-to-government arrangement for Filipino hotel workers in Israel.

During the March 14 meeting, IHA said its members may require up to 10,000 laborers and expressed readiness to hire 800 Filipino hotel workers, which will then be increased to 2,000 at the earliest opportunity.

IHA also praised the Filipino workers’ professionalism, English proficiency, and work.

Alberto, meanwhile, assured the association that the Embassy is working closely with the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, as well as with Israeli labor and immigration authorities for the deployment.

It is indeed a blessing from the Lord that the essential ties and established agreements between Israel and the Philippines created many job opportunities for Filipino hotel workers as they are already needed to fill the labor needs of Israel’s tourism industry as lots of foreign travelers are already arriving there. Do not forget that here in the Philippines, a lot of Christians are eager to visit Israel to tour the Holy Land as pilgrims and already Behold Israel has scheduled Bible Experience Tours for June, September, November and December this year! Truly God is good, He is always watching us and we should be thankful to Him as both the Philippines and Israel are recovering from COVID-19 crisis.

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/