Sunday, February 28, 2016

Digital wallets surge in popularity in APAC

One in five smart phone users in Asia Pacific now shopping with a digital wallet

MasterCard’s latest Mobile Shopping Survey reveals that consumers in Asia Pacific are embracing new mobile technologies with one in five or (19.5 percent) using digital wallets, a two-fold increase from two years ago (9.7 percent).

Emerging markets are leading the way with smart phone users in China (45.0 percent), India (36.7 percent) and Singapore (23.3 percent) the region’s biggest adopters of digital wallets. The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2015with 8,500 people aged 18-64 across 14 markets in Asia Pacific.

While mobile banking apps (31.8 percent) are still the most widely used among other new mobile technologies such as in-app shopping and mobile NFC payments, digital wallets have seen the fastest uptake over the last two years.

In addition, consumers continue to embrace mobile shopping with half in Asia Pacific having made a purchase using their smart phone in the three months. Unsurprisingly, the markets that have seen strong uptake of digital wallets are also where the majority of people are using their mobiles to shop.

Overall, close to half of respondents (48.5 percent) across the region have made a purchase using their smart phone in the past three months, led by those in India (76.4 percent), China (76.1 percent), South Korea (62.0 percent) and Thailand (61.1 percent).

India also tops the region in growth rates, with the number of people shopping on smart phones rising by 29.3 percent from two years ago, followed by Vietnam (17.7 percent) and Singapore (17.1 percent).

Australians (23.7 percent) and New Zealanders (16.2 percent) are the least likely to shop online via their mobile phones.

More than half of the respondents across Asia Pacific (53.9 percent) cited convenience as the key driver for shopping on their smart phone. Other motivating factors include the ability to shop on the go (42.9 percent) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (41.4 percent).

Clothing and accessories (35 percent), personal care and beauty products (20.9 percent) and movie tickets (20.4 percent) are the top mobile shopping purchases amongst Asia Pacific consumers. Close to half of consumers in China (46.4 percent), India (42.5 percent) and Korea (42.1 percent) shop for clothing and accessories on their smart phone.

In the Philippines, an increase in mobile shopping was also noted, with 40.9 percent purchasing an item via smart phone in the past three months. Similar to their counterparts in Asia Pacific, Filipinos’ top mobile shopping purchases are 31.5 percent clothes and other fashion accessories, 21.7 percent personal care and beauty products, and 18.3 percent home appliances.  Filipinos point to being able to shop on the go and convenience as primary reasons for mobile shopping.

When it comes to new mobile technologies for business and online shopping, 33.5% of Filipinos are more familiar and likely to use mobile banking apps.  Digital wallets come second at 17 percent, which has risen from 10.3 percent in the past years. 

Raj Dhamodharan, Group Head, Digital Payments, Asia Pacific, MasterCard commented “New forms of mobile payment technology, such as MasterCard’s digital wallet MasterPass, are making transactions easier and safer, online, in-app and in-store.  As more and more merchant apps provide shopping and services, consumers need a digital wallet that provides the best balance between security and convenience. We are already seeing that demand in many markets in Asia Pacific from India to Singapore to Australia. In Singapore for example consumers are using their MasterPass wallet to pay their bills and book taxis. In each of these cases we worked with merchants to enable safe and simple in app payments using MasterPass."

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contacts
Georgette Tan, MasterCard,, +65 6390 5971
Georgina Mallory, Weber Shandwick,, +65 6825 8026
Samantha Yong, Weber Shandwick,, +65 6825 8053

Saturday, February 27, 2016

20th BEST Center Women’s Volleyball League Spikes Off

L-R: Milo Sports executive Robbie De Vera, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.

president Jose Romasanta, BEST Center founder Nic Jorge and

WVL Commissioner Florentino ‘Kid’ Santos in the ceremonial toss.
The 20th season of Best Center Women’s Volleyball League (WVL), one of the country’s longest-running and biggest volleyball tournaments for girls in the 13-and-under and 17-and-under divisions, has officially started. Organized by the Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training (BEST) Center and sponsored by Milo, the annual interschool tournament welcomed 60 teams from top-ranked schools in the National Capital Region.

This year, St. Paul College of Makati will defend its title against 12 other teams in the 13 Under Developmental Division while Colegio de San Agustin Makati will battle against 5 teams to retain its crown in the 13 Under Competitive Division.

In the 17 Under Developmental Division, Hope Christian High School will try to retain its title against 20 other teams while La Salle College Antipolo will try to thwart 19 other teams aiming for championship  victory in the 17 Under Competitive Division.

Making WVL more exciting and competitive this season is the participation of new teams from St. Dominic Savio College, Young Achiever’s School of Caloocan, Inc., Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School, Inc. and San Pedro Relocation National High School.

Welcoming the participants at the opening ceremony at Xavier High School Courts were BEST Center founder Nic Jorge, Milo Sports executive Robbie De Vera and WVL commissioner Florentino “Kid” Santos. The event was also graced by Jose Romasanta, president of Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) and the spokesperson of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

“We’re very excited to host another season of the WVL. This is a great avenue for young girls to showcase their volleyball skills and test their abilities in a major competition. With this tournament, we hope to train and produce more promising volleyball players who will dominate the game in the big leagues someday,” said Jorge.

“WVL has greatly contributed to the development of Philippine volleyball. Aside from building future champions, it also promotes sports and physical fitness to young girls. I won’t be surprised if WVL becomes a permanent fixture in the schools’ sports calendar someday and that future volleyball stars will make it from these ranks,” said De Vera.

Romasanta, on the other hand, commended BEST Center for supporting sports development in the country. “BEST Center has been bringing sports closer to Filipino children and has greatly contributed to the overall development of sports in the country,” he said.

For 20 years, WVL serves as a breeding ground for young girls to showcase their talent and passion for volleyball. BEST Center is confident that the sport will continue to grow in both popularity and equality.

For more information about the BEST Center Women’s Volleyball League and BEST Center’s volleyball clinics and tournaments, call 411-6260, 3723066 and 372-3065, email or follow its official Facebook page at

Vista Cinemas opens first and only MX4D Motion EFX Theater in the country at Evia Lifestyle Center

Mall-goers of the Metro South can now experience the best cinema experience available in the world.

After the successful opening of its first movie theaters in Taguig, Vista Cinemas has opened to the public its second location at Evia Lifestyle Center in Vista City, Daang Hari. The four new movie theaters equipped with unique top-of-the-linefeatures are now ready to to redefine the movie-watching experience in the Southern Metro.

Three of the four newly opened cinemas are fitted with the latest and the best in audio technology--Dolby Atmos -- which allows movie-goers to feel like they're part of every scene. Sound produced by the Atmos System is projected from every direction in the cinema and moves with the action on-screen – creating a one-of-a-kind movie experience.

Apart from this world-class sound system, all four theaters of the Vista Cinemas are equipped with luxury seating from the FIGUERAS and LUXOS brands available only in selectlocations around the world.
Figueras is a Spanish brand that specializes in crafting high-end seating for public spaces. Their seats can be found in places such as The White House and the Philharmonie de Paris. Luxos is a specialized line developed by the Japanese furniture brand Okamura. 
Luxos is a new and original concept of a lounge chair with a lower, reclining seating posture that provides added comfort through its active back structure and smart operation.

Couples living and working in the area can now also get to experience world-class movie dates. Vista Cinema 2 at Evia Lifestyle Center has thirty-one customizedlove seats that take the romantic movie experience to a whole new level of comfort and coziness.

Best of all, Vista Cinema now brings the first and only MX4D Motion EFX Theater in the country to Southern Metro Manila. This latest evolution in 4D cinema technology features MX4D theater seats that move in-sync with the action on-screen, while special EFX generators inside the cinema make viewers feel every jolt, poke, tilt, plus timed wind and mist atomizers.

 Vista Cinema's MX4D theater lets residents in the south enjoy the latest cinema innovations without them needing to go too far from home, avoiding the stress and traffic of the busy Central Metro.

The two top-of-the-line movie theaters opened this month are only the first phase of growth for Vista Cinemas. With more Vista Cinema locations all over the country set to open within the year, more Filipinos can look forward to a new era of premier movie viewing, right by their doorstep.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Meranti Hotel Tour

How would you like to see and experienced of  having to stay and dined with a Hotel that is governed by one the most famous food chain in the Philippines . Its The Meranti Hotel and it is the first hotel put up by Max's Group Inc.

The Meranti Hotel is located in Scout Castor in Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. The area is both commercial and residential so you get the best of both worlds from occasionally quiet streets to bustling roads filled with restaurants, the very first Max’s Restaurant included.

Style & Service:
The word “Meranti” is of Malay origin and roughly translates to mahogany, and such, the whole aesthetic of Meranti Hotel is of wood and nature. Designer Budji Layug and architect Royal Pineda worked on the architecture and interior design of the hotel using trees as inspiration. The moment you enter the hotel, you can see the lush earth tone colors from the chandeliers to the comfortable couches you sit on while waiting to be checked in. The staff’s beige/tan uniforms also follow suit as well as their wooden name tags. Even the hotel’s logo, which resembles a heartbeat, is called the “rhythm of nature.”

The hotel staff is courteous and provides personal service from serving up drinks while you check in to asking you how you like your eggs during breakfast.

Other services they hope to provide by the time of their grand opening (April 2016) include babysitting and pabili service (where you can ask the staff to buy food or groceries from nearby shops as long as they can be carried by one person).


There are spacious facilities that are ready like the conference hall that would fit in till 50 people capacity which is on  the roof deck which has its infinity pool. You will get a stunning view of the city and a nice place to relax outside of your room. Their infinity pool is also special because the water is salt treated instead of chlorine treated. You don’t get that chemical smell after and it has a refreshing feel post swim.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Brillante Mendoza's Film Workshop

Having trained or coached by one of the best with regards to any kind of field is quite inevitable and prominently the most rewarding one. With Director Brillante who gained respect and awards till this very day and time in the Filmmakers industry worldwide it was just right and justified that if you desire to be in the respective industry that you would like to join and be a part of  Brillante Ma. Mendoza  Film Workshop.

Like him in Instagram @BrillanteMendoza

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cohen kicks off 2016 with a Healthy Start

Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre welcomed the year with a media briefing on the health trends of 2016, which are geared toward preventing obesity and other non-communicable diseases. Ms. Barbara Young, chief executive officer of Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre (rightmost), was present to reaffirm the importance of eating right and the power of food as medicine. Also present were Cohen’s Lifestyle Program graduates (L-R):  Allan Elgar, Carmela Tanjangco, Eric Valera, Sheryll Chua, Jam Padilla, Tasha Santos, and David Kahn.

The Cohen’s Lifestyle Program is a rapid weight loss and wellness program that is individually prescribed based on a person’s unique blood profile and uses food to correct the imbalance of hormones that cause weight gain. 

To learn more about the Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre and its personalized weight-loss and wellness program, visit its website at, its official Facebook page at, and its official Instagram account at

Enjoy exclusive 20% off tickets to Chris Botti concert with Citi Credit Cards

Watch award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti and musical legend Sting using your Citi card to buy “Together, Up Close and Personal” tickets at 20% off.

Citi cardholders can grab an exclusive 20% discount on ticket prices to the highly-anticipated concert “Chris Botti and Sting, Together Up Close and Personal” when they purchase from now until March 3, 2016.

The concert, slated on March 3, 2016 at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Resorts World Manila, features jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, whose 2012 album “Impressions” won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. The multi-awarded Botti has performed alongside legendary musicians such as lead singer Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, composer David Foster, tenor Josh Groban and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others.

Botti will perform on stage together with iconic musician Sting, a multi-instrumentalist and lead singer of the popular British rock band “The Police” who gained fame for hits such as "Don't Stand So Close to Me", “Every Breath You Take”, and "Message in a Bottle." Sting will sing a number of his greatest hits during the concert.

Prepare to listen to a night of world-class jazz and rock music from these legendary artists. Use your Citi credit or your Citi debit card to get your discounted tickets to “Chris Botti and Sting, Together Up Close and Personal” at all TicketWorld outlets or through today!

Learn more about exclusive concert privileges and other promotions available only from Citi cards at, or call the 24-hour CitiPhone Hotline at 995 9999.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sustainable Seafood is On the Menu at Marriott Manila

When the source of food harms the environment, it shouldn’t be business as usual. Studies reveal that if mass fishing continues, only half of the ocean’s seafood will be available by 2050. However, if sustainable fishing is applied, 90 million people will be fed by 2050.  


 Sustainable Seafood Week
Seafood is diminishing the world over and Marriott Hotel Manila vows never to be part of its further decline. As one of the select participants in the country of the Sustainable Seafood Week on February 15-21, 2016, the hotel shows its commitment to improve the health of the oceans by pursuing responsible business practice in sourcing seafood products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Its awareness of the status and challenges of seafood in the country has made local seafood part of its menu since the hotel’s inception in 2009. With the Sustainable Seafood Week, it reinforced Marriott’s promise to ensure that only fresh, sustainable seafood will be available for the customers to enjoy. Likewise, diners will be conscious of the seafood they are eating. 
February Feasts of Sustainable Seafood
To highlight the hotel’s support to this worthy advocacy, the Sustainable Seafood Promotion is on the menu this February. 
Freshly-harvested sustainable seafood are added to its various buffet stations at Marriott Café. This includes Fish and Chips made of whole, line caught mahi-mahi. A fresh seafood basket will surely be an inviting sight for diners who are free to choose fishes, crustaceans, and other seafood then have the chefs grill, bake, or wok fry it for them, along with signature sauces made by Executive Chef Law Wui Wing. Every morsel will surely make diners taste the ocean of difference from the usual seafood fare! Enjoy “Nemo”, the drink of the month for only P500, and bring home a souvenir stuffed toy fish. 
At Cru Steakhouse, the sustainable harvest continues! It only costs P480 to have an appetizing Flash cured and confit Wahoo Mackerel cherry tomato confit with garlic puree, grilled onion, and potato crisp. The main course consists of Seared Sustainable Tuna, organic corn puree, and farm salad with spiced butter sauce for P788, or Baked Mahi-Mahi Fillet crusted almond, asparagus and cherry tomato, golden potato and vegetable salad with cilantro emulsion for P728. These will surely complement your choice of wine at the hotel’s prime steakhouse. Book a table and imagine the sea of possibilities when you eat these with your loved one or to seal the deal with a promising business partner. 
You may not be chilling on an island but having delightful drinks at night at the Great Room is just as relaxing! “Black Sea” made with Jagermeister and Malibu is P375, “Aqua Potion” made with Midori and Malibu is P350, and “Mind Wave” made with Jack Daniels and Absinthe is P325 are eco-focused concoctions complemented by sustainable seafood sandwiches: Mahi-Mahi Sliders for P450, Yellowfin Tuna Melt for P490, and Shrimp Tacos for P560. Sip, savor, and enjoy the music from Recap Acoustic and Mic and Meryl bands.

At the Marriott Café Bakery, Wahoo Mackerel with fresh herbs and spices from Marriott’s organic farm are available in bottles. The fresh batches of Wahoo Mackerel are supplied by the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Tunahan Sablayan. For only P990, you get to take home this bottle of goodness and announce your support to the advocacy with the I Support Sustainable Seafood shirt.   

Who says sustainable can’t be enjoyable? Be part of this sea of bounty this February at Marriott Hotel Manila!

Breathe new life into meetings, milestones and events at the Marriott Grand Balloom. For inquiries and bookings call (02)9889999 or visit To join ongoing conversations, like, follow @marriottmanila on Twitter and @manilamarriott on Instagram.

About Marriott Hotel Manila:
Marriott Hotel Manila stands as a centerpiece of the dynamic and exciting mixed-use development of Resorts World Manila, located directly opposite Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. A destination in itself, this 5 star property is poised to become the Philippines’ most unique and comprehensive destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.

The hotel currently offers 342 spacious guestrooms and suites and will open the West Wing in early 2016 adding an additional 228 luxuriously appointed rooms. Thoughtfully designed around the needs of today’s modern traveler, each guestroom incorporates the latest technology and design. Premium Wi-Fi capability, I-Pod docks and over-sized bathrooms appeal to most discerning guests. Mobile check-in and check -out, the finest linens and Thann Amenities add to the experience. Stunning views of Villamor Golf Course, the skylines of Makati, Fort Bonifacio and sweeping views of the airport showcase our prime location.