Saturday, December 16, 2017

– All-Star Game Team Rosters, Chosen by Starter with Most Fan Votes in Each Conference, Revealed Jan. 25 on TNT –

– Fan Voting Across All Platforms Launches on Christmas Day and Now Includes
Amazon Alexa and Five “2-for-1 Days” When Votes Count Twice –

NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2017 – NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m. ET before five Christmas Day matchups across ESPN, ABC and TNT.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31Jan. 4Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China.  All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader at 6 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.  The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.  

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.  The 67th All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TNT.   

Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, the team rosters will be chosen by two captains from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves.  The captains, who will select the teams before TNT televises the results, will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.   

For the second consecutive year, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the All-Star Game starters.  Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each. 

Throughout the voting period, fans may submit one full ballot each day through the NBA App and, post 10 total votes on Facebook, Google Search, Twitter and Amazon Alexa, as well as 10 total votes via Sina Weibo and Tencent.  All current NBA players will be available for selection via all platforms.  

Players and media will be able to complete one full ballot, featuring three frontcourt players and two guards each from both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.  Players may vote for their teammates or themselves. 

Fan voting updates will be shared on Thursday, Jan. 4 and Thursday, Jan. 11.  Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

How to vote:
  • voting page at Fill out one full ballot per day (per day is defined as once every 24 hours) on from a desktop or mobile browser.   Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.  During the five “2-for-1 Days,”votes through this channel will be counted twice.

  • NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS.  Fans can fill out one full ballot per day, and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.  During the five “2-for-1 Days,” votes through this channel will be counted twice.

Citi - Set sail on the Mariner of the Seas with Citi Credit Cards

Go on a holiday cruise onboard the Mariner of the Seas and
enjoy up to $100 onboard credits with Citi PayLite installment plan

Royal Caribbean International cordially invites Citi credit cardholders to come aboard its luxurious voyager class ship, the Mariner of the Seas!

This is your chance to gear up for an unforgettable holiday cruise that departs from Singapore and brings you to the sublime shores of the Asian continent. Awarded as the best cruise line for years by the international magazine Travel Weekly and considered a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand in Asia, Royal Caribbean International has made its name by providing the best, most innovative ships, features, destinations and personalized services to its guests. Part of its 21-strong fleet, Mariner of the Seas can accommodate up to 3,114 guests on double occupancy.

According to David Stoughton, Citi Philippines Credit Payments Director, “this is only one of many irresistible travel offers available on our PayLite ‘Bucket List’ campaign.  For the coming months, our clients will be spoilt for choice with one-of-a-kind discounted travel experiences available on easy on the pocket payment options.”

Itching to go around the whole continent? Go on the 9Nights Exotic Asia Cruise, which takes you through Shanghai, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh and Singapore for as low as $288. Longing for an escapade but only have a week to spare? Not to worry—the 7Nights Exotic Asia Cruise brings you to bustling Singapore, scenic Penang and breath taking Phuket. 

The Mariner of the Seas also brings to wayfarers the best of Melaccan culture through the 3Nights Best of Penang Cruise that go around Singapore and Penang, and the 3Nights Weekend in Port Klang Cruise that takes you to the cosmopolitan cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur—all available at $246 onwards. 

For those eager to explore the Indochina pavilion of Southeast Asia, take your pick from the 4Nights Penang and Phuket Cruise, the 4Nights Penang and Langkawi Cruise, and the 7Nights Vietnam and Thailand Cruise.

Each Royal Caribbean journey, besides taking you to amazing destinations, allows you to enjoy an unforgettable onboard experience that includes delectable dining options, exciting activities, and amazing entertainment. What’s more, enjoy up to $100 onboard credits when you avail of this generous offer using Citi PayLite  up to January 31, 2018.

Open to all Citi cardholders, the Citi PayLite installment plan lets you enjoy 0% interest or affordable converted monthly factor rates at participating establishments and network partners nationwide. It allows light and easy installments for up to 3 months when purchasing travel packages, gadgets, apparel, appliances, and a whole lot more.

So what are you waiting for? Level up your vacation plans with Citi and Royal Caribbean International! Call its local office, Arpan Air Inc., at (02) 892-2701 to 03, or send an email to or to make your booking today.

For more information about this exciting promotion and to know more about privileges exclusive only to Citi account holders, log on to

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


                                                    – Logo Pays Tribute to NBA and NBA 2K Logos –

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2017 – The NBA 2K League unveiled its official logo today.

·         The NBA 2K League logo incorporates the colors and shape of the NBA logo and the font of the NBA 2K logo.
·         Absent is a human silhouette, which speaks to the inclusive nature of the league and the opportunity for any type of player to try out – young or old, male or female, based domestically or abroad.
·         A basketball was selected as the centerpiece of the design as it represents the common thread between all NBA 2K players.
·         All 17 teams will unveil their logos later this week.
·         The logos were designed by branding agency RARE Design of Hattiesburg, Miss.
·         Click here to view a video about the NBA 2K League logo.

The NBA 2K League is a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO).  Launching in 2018, the league will feature the best NBA 2K players in the world.  Each of the league’s 17 teams will draft gamers to compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs.  The league will host tryouts in early 2018, followed by a draft in March and the season tip-off in May.  For more information about the NBA 2K League, visit

Media Contact: Kelly Barnes, 646-565-8019 or

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UNDP and Citi Foundation Launch Regional Program to Accelerate Youth Entrepreneurship for Social Change

Youth Co:Lab will drive social innovation and entrepreneurship to address the unemployment challenges faced by young people in the region

A regional program that targets social challenges and unemployment by harnessing youth leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation was launched by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Citi Foundation.

The global youth unemployment rate is currently over 13 percent*, that is about 71 million young people, aged 15 to 24, are unemployed worldwide and about half of these live in Asia Pacific.

In addition, the Global Youth Survey 2017: Economic Prospects & Expectations study commissioned by Citi Foundation found that of the 7,000 respondents polled, 69% had dreams of starting their own business but only 44% were trying to do so, citing a lack of education and skills and concerns of failure.

The survey polled respondents across 45 cities worldwide. A majority of 78% also agreed that apprenticeships and internships were critical to future success but 60% did not feel that there were enough of such opportunities in their cities.

Targeted at helping young people overcome some of these challenges, the Youth Co:Lab program will convene a series of National Dialogues and Social Innovation Challenges across Asia-Pacific that will culminate in a Regional Summit to be held in Bangkok in March 2018.

The National Dialogues serve as platforms for young people to directly engage policy makers, private sector partners including incubators, youth-led organizations, NGOs and academia, on how to develop and accelerate youth-led entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Alongside the National Dialogues, the Social Innovation Challenges, akin to start-up
hackathons, enable participating youth to showcase their proposed ideas and solutions to tackle some of the world’s biggest social challenges.

Through these platforms, young entrepreneurs will connect with governments, mentors, incubators, and investors who will help equip them with entrepreneurial capabilities and skills. This includes mentoring and networking opportunities as well as support to start and accelerate their social enterprises.

UNDP and Citi Foundation launch their partnership during the Youth Co:Lab National
Dialogue: Inspiring Innovators, Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Actors for Development (i2 LEAD), held at Makati City. The two-day Dialogue brings together some 100 delegates including government officials, private sector participants, academia and youth representatives to identify challenges and solutions to improve the support and ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in the Philippines.

Speaking at the launch, Jim McCue, Citi Shared Services Asia Pacific/Japan Head and Risk Shared Services Manila Head said, “We are proud to be partnering with UNDP to empower young people to take control of their future. Youth Co:Lab is part of Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress** initiative to prepare urban youth to thrive in today's economy. We are doing our part by collaborating with municipal and community leaders in cities around the world to tackle youth unemployment. In addition, I firmly believe that empowering young people to lead through entrepreneurship and social innovation is a critical part of the solution.”

Statistics show many Asia Pacific countries are experiencing a “youth bulge” with adolescents and young adults making up a third of the population. In the Philippines, the median age of its population is 24.2 years and 32% of the 103.5 million population is under 15. It has the third youngest population in the ASEAN after Laos and Cambodia.

“The youth of the Philippines’ not only have a stake in the country’s development trajectory but can also play a critical role in shaping that trajectory. The challenge is to harness the creativity and dynamism of the young and align these to tackling some of the country’s most significant development challenges. UNDP is delighted to work with Citi Foundation in providing a platform to enable youth-led social enterprises to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs in the Philippines,” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said

“We hope to catalyse youth innovations, provide young entrepreneurs with better access to market information and business skills, and with government, provide a better enabling environment for youth-led enterprises. With Citi Foundation, we hope to inspire young innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs to become influential and successful actors for development.”
UNDP and Citi Foundation, alongside local network partners, are pioneering the National Dialogue & Social Innovation Challenge in various countries in Asia Pacific. In its inaugural year, key countries including Thailand, Philippines and China are being piloted and plans are already underway to scale up the Youth Co:Lab program across the region next year.

For updates, follow #YouthCoLab on social media, and visit the Youth Co:Lab Facebook. 

LPG Industry Association buys back illegally refilled LPG cylinders

In an effort to protect consumers against dangerous and unauthorized LPG tanks, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry Association (LPGIA) is now conducting a buy-bank campaign of illegally refilled LPG tanks to ensure that they will no longer be circulated in the market.

The LPGIA explains that while law enforcement agents can confiscate the illegally-filled LPG tanks, the association is implementing the buy-back initiative program to alleviate the financial implications for retailers who have been misled by the refillers, allowing them to partially recover the amount paid for the tank.

The association emphasizes they will be relentless in their campaign to eliminate fake and dangerous LPG tanks. The LPGIA warns consumers to be careful of retailers selling “fake” LPG products which are illegally refilled and carry brands of prominent LPG companies. Consumers can identify an illegal LPG retailer by asking for the Standard Compliance Certificate issued by the Department of Energy. The certificate must be prominently displayed by the retailer at a strategic and appropriate location so it can easily be seen by the customers or the public.  Failure to do so would indicate that the retailer is selling illegally refilled products

LPG tanks must be well-maintained, meaning good condition – not rusty, free of dents and holes, and carry the mandatory markings such as the Bureau of Philippine

Standards (BPS), embossed tank weight, and the brand of the company. The cylinder date should not exceed the requalification date painted on the body, which indicates that the cylinder should no longer be used and should be returned to the appropriate distributors and retailers.

With consumer safety as a top priority, the LPGIA encourages everyone verify the authenticity of their LPG tanks. To verify, contact your LPG brand’s customer hotline.

Quid Pro Quo emerges as the victor of the Asia Pacific Predator League 2018 North Luzon Qualifiers


6 December 2017, Philippines – The third qualifier of Asia Pacific Predator League 2018, the region’s biggest world-class gaming tournament, ends as Quid Pro Quo emerges as the victor taking home PHP 30,000.00. Held in TNC San Fernando, La Union, a total for 35 teams competed, with SG Dragons and Jhazchloe coming in at 2nd and 3rd place.

The brainchild of gaming giant Predator Gaming, the Asia Pacific Predator League 2018 is a brand new DOTA:2 league and the most anticipated eSports competition. The Philippines joins the action together with 6 other countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, where the final round will be held.

Quid Pro Quo, the victor of the recently concluded North Luzon Leg in the Philippines, was formed only in September 2017 when the team’s current manager decided to take players from other existing gaming teams to form an all-new team. A previous winner of the TNC Cup Marikina Branch Qualifier, Quid Pro Quo is currently in Muntinlupa for its bootcamp.

The North Luzon Regional Qualifiers is one of 4 Regional Qualifiers in the Philippines, which will last for approximately 3 months until January 2018. Each with a prize pool of PHP 30,000.00, the Regional Qualifiers are held in various areas of the country, namely Mindanao (Bukidnon), Visayas (Bacolod), North Luzon (La Union), and NCR (Marikina). Winners of these qualifiers will move on to compete at the National Finals. The victor of the National Finals will then represent the Philippines in the Predator League final round, and will compete against the national winners of the other APAC countries for the total prize pool of $150,000.00.

In the Philippines, the Predator League 2018 eliminations are done with THENET.COM (TNC), the gaming company’s regular e-Sports partner. Asia Pacific Predator League 2018 is also supported by the Philippine DotA pride, TNC Pro Team – DotA 2.

For further information about Asia Pacific Predator League 2018 campaign, visit

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Long list of Ideas to Celebrate Christmas at Marriott Manila

The festive season at Marriott Manila this year is nothing like you have ever seen or tasted before. Expect bizarre indulgences to be out of the ordinary. ‘Tis the time to tickle your imaginations and appetites as Marriott takes the Yuletide cheers to a world of fantasy.

Let it Snow Sweets & Treats

Are you dreaming of a chocolatey, sweet and nutty Christmas? Marriott CafĂ© Bakery glistens with a bunch of decadent chocolates, cakes and more. Much loved holiday goodies get a retro-futuristic twist, inspired by the steampunk culture, that are available starting November 6. 

Freshly baked pastries come in an assortment to go with the cold BER months: Marriott’s signature Banana Loaf with walnuts (Php200), Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Php200), and traditional Fruit Cake infused with Harvey Bristol Cream Sherry wine (Php550). Travel through taste with delicacies from other countries such as the Scottish Dundee Fruit Cake (Php300), the German Stollen Bread (Php500), and French Madeleines (Php 300/6 pcs).

Every sweet tooth will be in for a treat over the luscious bundles of Macarons (Php1,200/24pcs, Php700/12 pcs, Php370/6pcs) and Chocolate-coated Marshmallows in vanilla, strawberry and pistachio flavors (Php 350/6pcs). Gingerbreads get funkier with red velvet flavoring; enjoy either a stylish 60-gram Gingerbread man (Php65) or 715-gram Gingerbread Chalet (Php 780).

Best news of the season is how Marriott makes chocolates for everyone. From Vegan Bars (Php350) to healthy bars like Coconut and Mango Bars (Php 320) and nut-load Mendiants (Php 350/6pcs), there’s definitely an excuse to devour chocolates. Using the finest Swiss chocolates, these holiday characters are hard to resist: Santa on Sleigh (Php350), Big Belly Santa (Php330) and Snowman (Php430).

Adding more sparkle to their collection are their round and log cakes with unique flavors. Included in their decadent list are Earl Grey Charlotte (Php 1,200), a cake made for royalty with earl grey tea and orange twist; Red Orange Hazelnut (Php 1,200), inspired by Santa Claus bursting with orange hazelnut and salted caramel; Quella Chocolate Mousse (Php 800), a layer of hazelnut meringue covered with luscious chocolate; and Mango Passion Vanilla Roll (Php 800), is white Christmas dream made of vanilla inside and out.

Be Your Own Santa

Marriott Manila makes gift-giving this season easier and fancier. Prepare that nice list, and think twice, because these Marriott hampers are creatively designed to covet this season. It comes in two sizes.

Premium Hamper for Php 3,988 is overflowing with spiced walnuts, mango chocolate bars, chocolate santa, gingerbread man, banana load walnuts, assorted cookies, parmesan cheese, Dilmah tea bags, signature spice from Cru Steakhouse, and a bottle of Canyon Road red wine.

Deluxe Hamper for Php 2,500 is packed with cookies, red velvet gingerbread man, chocolate santa, madeleines, cinnamon raisin bread, coconut chocolate bar, pickled lady chili finger dip, and Dilmah tea box.

 Feast to Impress

It’s the season of endless festivities and parties, at home and at work. Skip the preparation hassle and bring magic easily to your tables with gourmet foods to-go that are complete with appetizers and desserts. All you have to do is pick from either Smoked Bone-in Ham or Whole Roasted Turkey.

The 7-kg Smoked Bone-in Ham worth Php 5,500 comes with a kilo of thyme roasted baby potatoes, medley of organic vegetables (young corn, green beans, carrots and cauliflower), baked potato provencal, duo of creamy potato salad, and sauce options of mushroom gravy or pineapple. Plus, two delectable apple and pumpkin pies.

Meanwhile, the 6-kg Whole Roasted Turkey for Php 6,500 includes a kilo of buttery whipped potatoes, medley of organic vegetables, Brussel sprouts with bacon, wild mushroom and pine nut rice pilaf, duo of penne and sundried tomato salad.  It comes with pecan and pumpkin pies, and cranberry and mushroom gravy sauces. This is how you host a stylish feast the Marriott way.

On Christmas Day

Holidays are meant to be spent with loved ones.  The merriment begins with a sumptuous dinner buffet on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, for Php 2,950. Indulge on a hearty brunch on all Sundays of December for Php 2,600 (11:30am to 3pm). Wake up to a worry-free Christmas Day by bringing your celebrations at Marriott Manila as well. Have an exceptional Christmas Eve dinner buffet for Php 2,950 (6pm to 10:30pm) and Noche Buena Buffet for Php 1,650 (11:30pm to 1:00am).

Your Home for the Holidays

Embrace the spirit of Christmas by spending priceless time with family and friends while basking on Marriott’s 5-star facilities. Starting December 9 to 30, you may already avail of their Holiday Room Package for Php 12,888++ inclusive of overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, breakfast buffet for 2 persons and Php 3,000 dining credits that can be used in any of their outlet or purchase goodies from their Christmas Train. Upgrade your room to their new Premium Room at the West Wing for only Php 1,000 or Premium with balcony for Php 2,000.

For more information on Marriott’s Christmas offers please call 988 9999 or visit To join ongoing conversations, like, follow @marriottmanila on Twitter and @manilamarriott on Instagram.