Fresh from being hailed as the Philippines’ Best Municipal Festival at the recently held 2018 Pearl Awards, the highly anticipated 14th Banaag Festival in Anilao, Iloilo drew excited tourists from all over the country who came to witness the much talked about Festival of Lights and the spectacular culminating program that set the night ablaze with beautiful dancing flames last October 31.
Following the symbolic lighting of the torch, which was lead by Iloilo 4th District Congressman Ferjenel “Dok Ferj” Biron, along with Anilao Mayor Lee Ann Debuque and Anilao Vice Mayor Matet Debuque, this year’s Banaag Festival presented fierce and more enchanting cultural presentations of eight competing tribes vying for the coveted Banaag Festival Dance Drama Competition Championship.
Lighting of Torch with Senator Cynthia Villa and Iloilo 4th District Congressman Ferjenel “Dok Ferj” Biron, along with Anilao Mayor Lee Ann Debuque and Anilao Vice Mayor Matet Debuque
Banaag Festival is a cultural tradition in Anilao, Iloilo which was inspired by local sentinels during the Spanish era who guarded bamboo watchtowers and warned residents of incoming pirates by lighting the torch as a signal to flee. Thus, the torch became a precious symbol of unity for the Anilaonons, and this beautiful burning light has become the source of pride and inspiration for the people throughout the years.
In the recently concluded 19th Pearl Awards of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Phippines – Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT) held in Cagayan De Oro earlier this month, Banaag Festival bagged the First Place as Best Tourism Festival (Festival Category, Municipal Level), earning for this Anilaonon tradition its much deserved title as the Philippines’ Best Municipal Festival.
A quick media press conference with Iloilo 4th District Congressman Ferjenel “Dok Ferj” Biron, along with Anilao Mayor Lee Ann Debuque and Anilao Vice Mayor Matet Debuque
“The Philippines’ Best Tourism Municipal Festival” – More people are expected to flock to the charming town of Anilao, Iloilo this month to witness for themselves the much-awaited and talked about festivities of what has been officially proclaimed as the Best Tourism Municipal Festival in the country — the Anilaonon’s very own Banaag Festival.
Also known as the Festival of Lights, the Banaag Festival is a cultural tradition in Anilao, Iloilo which was inspired by local sentinels during the Spanish era who guarded bamboo watchtowers and warned residents of incoming pirates by lighting the torch as a signal to flee. Thus, the torch became a precious symbol of unity for the Anilaonons, and this beautiful burning light has become the source of pride and inspiration for the people throughout the years.
In line with Anilao’s 79th Foundation Anniversary this year, the 14th Banaag Festival brings in more reasons to celebrate after being recently proclaimed as the Grand Winner of Best Tourism Event (Festival Category, Municipal Level) in the 19th Pearl Awards of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines-Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT) held in Cagayan De Oro earlier this month.
Fresh from this win, the 2018 Banaag Festival boasts of fiercer and more spectacular performances as the week-long festivities culminate in the Dance Drama Competition among eight competing tribes who will vie for the championship with their own unique stage interpretation of the town’s rich history. How these tribes will use the symbolic torch light in their colorful performances is definitely worth waiting for.
Gracing this year’s Banaag Festival to lead the symbolic lighting of the torch on October 31 is Iloilo 4th District Congressman Ferjenel “Dok Ferj” Biron, who joins the Anilaonons’ celebration and commits to giving national awareness to this great victory among the people in his district. He will be joined by Anilao Mayor Lee Ann Debuque and Barotac Nuevo Mayor Braeden John Biron in igniting an even brighter and culturally enriching future for Anilao and for the whole province of Iloilo as well.
Here are the remaining activities and schedule for this year’s Banaag Festival: Opening Program and Banaag sa Langit (October 29, 7:00 p.m., Anilao Municipal Centennial Park), Balik-Anilao and JAD Excellence Awards (October 30, 7:00 p.m., Anilao Municipal Centennial Park), Dance Drama Competition (October 31, 6:00 p.m., Anilao Covered Gym)), and Thanksgiving Mass (November 1, 2:00 p.m., St. Rita of Cascia Parish).
ACCORDING to the the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation in 2016, diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death among Filipinos based on the 2013 Philippine Health Statistics, noting that over 6 million Filipinos are diagnosed with diabetes.
As part of its commitment of bringing “patient partnership” closer to the Ilonggo community, TMC Iloilo recently launched the “Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” campaign.
The Medical City Iloilo provides free health and diabetes assessment to the pensioners Philippine Veterans Bank Iloilo.
The said campaign primarily aims to educate the public on the possible risks of diabetes and ways on how to prevent it.
“Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” campaign had its first leg in Oton, Iloilo on September 11. It was attended by over 100 participants from the said municipality.
The participants were able to attend a talk about diabetes given by TMC Iloilo Diabetes and Metabolism Program Head Dr. Genevieve Sia. They also got to enjoy fun activities and received some freebies. Yet, the event’s highlight is the free diabetes assessment and counseling which made them better understood their risks of diabetes.
Members of the Philippines Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) pose at The Medical City Iloilo’s “Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” structure.
Meanwhile, the second leg of the “Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” campaign was held in the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Iloilo on September 15.
In partnership with the Veterans Bank Iloilo, the event was attended by the said bank’s pensioners who received free medical check-up and diabetes assessment from TMC Iloilo.
Employees of Oton, Iloilo LGU enjoy the different physical activities held as part of The Medical City Iloilo’s “Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” Health Fair.
“Sweet Pa Rin Ba?” was also brought to different malls around Iloilo City to reach out to more people. These include Festive Walk Iloilo Mall on September 20-27; Robinsons Place Iloilo on October 2-8; and at GT Town Center Pavia on October 9-19.
Diabetes and Metabolism Program is one of the flagship programs of TMC Iloilo which helps diabetes patient understand their condition better, especially that this disease can cause serious complications such as stroke, heart attack, end-stage kidney disease and diabetic retinopathy among others.
Dr. Genevieve Sia-Majewski, Head of Diabetes and Metabolism Program of The Medical City Iloilo give a talk on the risks of the diabetes and ways on how to prevent it to the employees of Oton, Iloilo LGU.
For more details about TMC Iloilo’s Diabetes and Metabolism Program, visit TMC Iloilo at Esplanade 2, Molo, Iloilo City or call (033) 500-1000. (By Raymart Escopel/TMCI)
The Medical City Iloilo provides free health and diabetes assessment to the pensioners Philippine Veterans Bank Iloilo.
Seventy year-old Catalina Balgos of Roxas City didn’t know that she has a heart condition until she was admitted in the hospital after feeling unbearable intermittent chest pains.
Balgos is the first patient partner of The Medical City (TMC) Iloilo granted with PhilHealth’s Z-Benefit Package for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG).
Her daughter Emily narrated that her mother was first diagnosed with a coronary artery disease last May when they decided to bring her to the hospital after feeling discomfort in her chest.
“She started to feel chest pains last March. It became worst last June,” Emily recounted.
“Every three months, she has her regular check-up. However, her heart health was disregarded.
We only checked her cholesterol and blood sugar levels but we forgot her heart condition,” she added.
Before they were discharged to the hospital, their doctor advised them to go to Manila to seek for a second opinion. However, they were uncertain about it as they don’t have relatives there.
Apparently, a friend mentioned about TMC Iloilo offering CABG. They immediately inquired about the said service and upon confirmation, they directly went to the recommended doctor.
“We were advised by Dr. Catoto to undergo an angiogram. He said that we have to undergo CABG. However, we were worried about our finances because it was quite costly. Good thing we were recommended to apply for PhilHealth Z-Benefit Package which has become a big help to us financially,” Emily noted.
Under PhilHealth Z-Benefit for CABG, the patient is entitled to a package rate of P550,000 for the entire course of treatment.
The P550,000 benefit package is the second highest benefit package being paid for by PhilHealth which covers drugs and medicines, operating room and professional fees, including mandatory and other services under PhilHealth’s ‘Z-Benefit’ – or those illnesses perceived to be financially and medically catastrophic.
With TMC Iloilo as a Z-Benefit provider for CABG, patient partners are mandatorily provided with services such as pre-operative laboratory tests, medications, blood support, open heart surgery and continuing post-operative care, among others.
TMC Iloilo is the first hospital in Western Visayas to be accredited by PhilHealth for its Z-Benefit Package for CABG.
“We are very thankful to TMC Iloilo for making my mom the first beneficiary of the Z-Ben CABG Package,” Emily noted. (By Raymart Escopel/TMCI)
Catalina Balgos is the first patient of The Medical City Iloilo to avail The Medical City Iloilo to avail PhilHealth Z-Benefit Package.
#DokFerj – the man behind landmark bills in Congress – is all set to implement policies that will transform Iloilo into an economically competitive province with the development of economic zones that will generate employment, provide greater opportunities for business, build more infrastructure, and improve access to health care and better education.
In a media conference held on the day he filed his certificate of candidacy for Iloilo’s 2019 gubernatorial elections, Congressman Ferjenel Biron shared how his four terms as Iloilo 4th District Representative shaped his vision for the overall development of the province.
A self-made man who rose from the pits of poverty to finish his degree in medicine and put up his own pharmaceutical business, #DokFerj Biron is known as the “working congressman” who authored significant bills such as the Cheaper Medicine Act of 2008, Food and Drug Administration Act, Gift Check Act, Ease of Doing Business Act, among many others.
According to #DokFerj, it was a privilege for him to serve in Congress for four consecutive terms but he feels that he can better implement his plans and policies for Iloilo’s development as its provincial governor. “My learnings in Congress gave me the wisdom which will eventually become the cornerstone of our future programs for the province of Iloilo, most especially with regards to public health. We have seen the deplorable conditions of our overcrowded provincial hospitals. Aside from access to cheaper medicine, we need to address the lack of proper medical facilities in these hospitals,” he explained.
In terms of ushering a financially stable future for the province, #DokFerj identified key points in economic development that are geared towards poverty alleviation. “In Iloilo, we have so much human resource but we start losing them because there are hardly any opportunities for them here… We need to maximize our human resource by making our province attractive so that we can entice local and foreign stakeholders to invest in business infrastructures. This is exactly what we did in Congress to promote our district’s economic zones, most especially Dumanggas, Passi City, and the town of Barotac Nuevo. We are working on the improvement and expansion of the Dumanggas port as a functional international seaport that serves as the gateway to our economic zones.”
With his notable track record as a four-term Iloilo 4th District congressman, #DokFerj has shown his capability and competency in transforming Iloilo into an economically self-sustaining province that can truly live up to its status as the heart of the Visayas.
“We live life by example and give opportunities for people to educate and empower themselves. I myself came from a family that lived with very limited means, and I know how it is like to tackle the countless challenges of poverty to achieve the life I dreamed for myself and my family. But it’s possible to rise from the throes of poverty, given the right opportunities. I believe this is the right time for me to give back with these right opportunities, and I wish to enlist the support of the Ilonggos so that we can all win the future for Iloilo as a progressive and economically empowered province,” said #DokFerj.
As part of its commitment of bringing “patient partnership” to the Ilonggo community, The Medical City – TMC Iloilo has inaugurated its Sacristy on August 16.
La Musica Embajadores set the mood at the Sacristy with their solemn repertoire.
Located at the 6th floor of the said hospital, Sacristy was materialized through the kindness of Dr. Douglas Budok who donated the said chapel to the hospital and has also been supportive to TMC Iloilo towards achieving its mission of “patient partnership”.
TMC Iloilo Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eugene Ramos happily receives the key of Sacristy from the donor Dr. Douglas Budok during the turnover ceremony.
Sacristy was built to give patient partners a place where they can have quiet time for reflection with the aim or bringing holistic health.
“When you look at health, it doesn’t only mean physical, it also needs to be spiritual and emotional because if we do not have that kind of attitude, we will not completely get better,” TMC Iloilo Chief Executive Officer Eugene Ramos noted.
(From left to right) TMC Iloilo Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eugene Ramos, patient partner Wilfredo Napatang, Sacristy donor Dr. Douglas Budok and TMC Iloilo Chief Medical Officer Dr. Felix Ray Villa lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“As physicians, our role is to cure sometimes, to provide relief most of the time, but always to provide comfort all the time. We need to have the time for reflection because that is the only way we can discover our strengths”, he added.
On his part, Sacristy donor Dr. Douglas Budok said that the chapel is a sanctuary where patient partners and their loved ones can have peace of mind, serenity, clarity and acceptance.
The VIPs of the event share their thoughts on the importance of Sacristy in achieving holistic health and fulfilling TMC Iloilo’s commitment of “patient partnership”.
Conceptualized by Dr. Budok himself, Sacristy’s interiors are adorned with wood carving designs of a tree which represent life and eternity.
The event was highlighted by a turnover ceremony of Sacristy from Dr. Budok to TMC Iloilo and a holy mass officiated by Fr. Ramon Fruto and Fr. Domingo Alimajen.
TMC Iloilo Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eugene Ramos with some patient partners.
It was graced by the presence of some patient partners who also shared their thoughts on how Sacristy would benefit them towards achieving holistic wellness, highlighting that TMC Iloilo is a patient-centered hospital.
Also present during the event were the TMC Iloilo executive committee, employees and doctors.
ILOILO – Sun Life FUNday July 22, 2018 at DOVA Brunch Café for a fun and informative talk on financial literacy and investment. This event was tailored to meet the needs of millennials on their journey as they earn their first salary. As they say, the early we invest rightly, the bigger the return in the future. #SunLifeFUNday
Targeting a younger market, DOVA Brunch Café is a great place to create the vibes and the feels for millennials. Every young Filipino has to know their current financial status in order to create a good plan to achieve financial independence and stability.
Sun Life FUNday: Financial Journey and Learning by Ms. Katrina Loring
The first part of Sun Life FUNday was talked out by Miss Katrina Loring about her journey as a young entrepreneur. She shared her previous businesses and how she managed to earn from them. She shared how she came to realize that by aging older, she had to distinguish really the needs from the wants.
Miss Katrina pointed out some lessons she learned by herself in her journey as a young person. She mentioned having zero savings, over spending and credit abuse. She also discussed some solution to be practically made. That is to pay the debts accordingly, pay bills on time, manage expenses through having a record and to become an auto saver. This is beyond piggy banks, shall I say.
Sun Life FUNday: Money Regrets and Growth by Mr. Michael Gustilo
The second part of Sun Life FUNday was taken over by Mr. Michael Gustilo, Visayas Regional Sales Manager of Sun Life Financial. He discussed more in depth the mistakes on financial journey of people under 30s. These are what he called “Money Regrets”. Most have gone through these: spending so much on wants, starting late personally on financial management and being dependent on salary as the only source of income. Who wants to be employed at the age of 60, he asked. Compelling, right?
Also, Mr. Michael shared insights about investments on any form. There are three major factors to consider on investing: time, money and interest. Time, the best time to start investing which should be yesterday (not today) in order to have a return today. Money, save as much as you can. Interest, find better inflation rates today. This is where financial advisors fit in the picture.
Indeed, finances matter and how we save and/or spend it matters even more. It’s not the earning habits but the spending habits that define someone’s wealth. Learn how to make your money work for your dream and achieve financial independence. Income sources, frugality, knowledge, and investment will be the best formula to attain financial security in the future!
Relationships are built on promises: the promise to love, to care, to secure, to protect, and to provide. This is something that Piolo Pascual knows all too well, committed as he is to the promises he has made to his family as a son, a sibling, and a father.
But when financial troubles arise, bringing such promises to life becomes a challenge.
“Like any other person, I want to give my family the best life possible. I am a man of my word, that’s why I work hard and seize every opportunity that comes my way,” Piolo said. “But more than just earning money, it’s how you manage your finances that makes a difference. Fortunately, I have the guidance and help of one very special lady: my very own sister, Chiqui Pascual-Gonzales, who also happens to be my Sun Life Advisor.”
According to Piolo, Chiqui has been instrumental in ensuring that his dreams for his family will all come true. “It’s a partnership through and through. With her help, I’ve been able to make it all happen while still pursuing my own passions and advocacies,” he said.
Piolo and Chiqui’s story is but one of many in Sun Life Financial, where lifetime partnerships are developed and nurtured through the years. In fact, this has inspired Sun Life’s latest campaign, at the forefront of which is a new TV commercial highlighting Sun Life’s presence in a client’s life throughout the different stages of her life. It represents the many promises that Sun Life has helped bring into fruition for the past 123 years of its existence.
Sun Life hopes that the campaign, as well as Piolo’s own story, will inspire more people to take the same path in their financial journey. “As the longest-standing life insurance company in the Philippines, we have witnessed many promises being fulfilled throughout the years and have served generations of clients. It is an honor for us to serve all our clients and help them secure their future and those of their loved ones” Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa said.
“The promises we make to our loved ones are sacred, and Sun Life knows this. That’s why it’s committed to helping its clients achieve their goals, no matter what happens,” Piolo said. “You can’t ask for a better lifetime partner than that!”
In the heart of Capiz, ePerformax officially celebrates the grand opening of their newest facility in the country. Located at the Pueblo de Panay TechnoPark in Roxas City, this new site is further proof of the company’s continued commitment to growing and developing the Philippines as one of the leading BPO service providers in the world.
First opening their doors here on our shores back in 2002, ePerformax Contact Centers & BPO was one of the first contact centers in the Philippines. The company has primarily focused its operations on providing the highest levels of BPO and customer service to a select group of Fortune 500 companies. ePerformax provides support for their English-speaking customers in locations around the globe.
ePerformax Concierge at The Hub
The company utilizes voice, email, chat, messaging, and social media to handle customer interactions that include customer service, inbound sales and order entry, billing/account support, technical support, product/service support, website navigation support, and travel reservations, along with non-voice BPO activities to support clients’ comprehensive outsourcing requirements.
Support Team Area at The Hub
Teresa Hartsaw, President and CEO of ePerformax, looks forward to the company becoming a long-term partner in growing and developing Roxas City. “We want to be more than mere employers here. We want to become stakeholders in this vibrant community as well,” she points out, “ePerformax will provide long-term growth and career opportunities for all employees while ensuring that there is adequate work-life balance and integration. In today’s work environment, there has to be a partnership between the employee and the company and the community to really be successful. We are very excited about being part of Roxas City and Pueblo de Panay TechnoPark and creating a family environment and looking out for the well-being of everyone involved.”
ePerformax Amphitheater at The Hub
Fortunately, Pueblo de Panay TechnoPark is the perfect partner for ePerformax’s goal to create a holistic working environment for their employees. Bub Ong, Pueblo de Panay President and CEO, considers ePerformax a flagship partner in the TechnoPark. “We share the same values,” he says, “our drive to create a welcoming environment here in Pueblo de Panay, a place where people from different walks of life can come together, fits hand-in-hand with their commitment to the local community.”
ePerformax Computer Stations at The Hub
The new facility will also house an ePerformax Global Communications & Management Academy. “The GCMA is part of our continuing strategy to invest in our people so they are ready for the evolution in BPO services,” says Mike Tanner, ePerformax Roxas VP and General Manager. “Our industry is becoming more sophisticated and requires a higher level of professional skills. We are invested in developing our employees to grow in their careers and maximize their potential. We feel fortunate to be here in Roxas and to find such a great community of people to work with.”
Several multinational companies have come to trust and depend on ePerformax. One such client is PayPal. “ePerformax and PayPal have a mutual desire to deliver the best quality service as fast as possible,” explains David Reedy, Director of PayPal, “We are very pleased to be the first company to occupy the beautiful new building in Roxas City! We are already seeing the teammates deliver a better customer experience and look forward to continued growth.” With the level of service and care that ePerformax provides, it’s plain to see why the company has continued to prosper with their client-partners.
ePerformax GCMA Area
Enjoy this look back at the grand opening of ePerformax’s newest facility in the Philippines! On June 15 ePerformax executives and team members, local government officials, Pueblo de Panay partners, as well as friends from the media all gathered at the new ePERFORMAX Center in Pueblo de Panay TechnoPark in Roxas City as a show of celebration, partnership, and support. This new site aims to provide long-term growth and career opportunities for all employees, serving as further proof of the company’s continued commitment to growing and developing the Philippines as the leading BPO service provider in the world.
For more info, follow ePerformax on their socials!
The Medical City Iloilo (TMCI) and the PhilHealth Health Insurance Corporation Region VI (PhilHealth VI) inked a partnership for the Z-Benefit Package for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG) last Friday, June 1.
The event was graced by PhilHealth representatives from the Central Office headed by Regional Vice President Lourdes Diocson, and Medical Officer and HCDMD Chief Dr. Bernadette Reynes. TMCI Executive Committee Members and Dr. Jared Billena as well as Councilor Candice Tupas were also present during the event.
“The alarming rise of death rate attributed to cardiovascular disease has prompted PhilHealth to partner with The Medical City Iloilo to provide Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery,” said PhilHealth-VI Regional Vice President Lourdes F. Diocson, Regional Vice President.
Under PhilHealth’s Z-Benefit for CABG, the patient is entitled to a package rate of Php 550,000 for the entire course of treatment.
The Php 550,000 benefit package is the second highest benefit package being paid for by PhilHealth which covers drugs and medicines, operating room and professional fees, including mandatory and other services under PhilHealth’s ‘Z-Benefit’ – or those illnesses perceived to be financially and medically catastrophic.
“PhilHealth is confident that with the right management, competent multi-disciplinary team and cutting edge medical technology, The Medical City Iloilo is the key to the improvement of the heart conditions of our patients,” Diocson added.
With TMCI as a Z-Benefit Provider for CABG, patient-members are mandatorily provided with services such as pre-operative laboratory tests, medications, blood support, open heart surgery and continuing post-operative care, among others.
“This is a welcome development for us. With the increasing population affected by heart disease who die each year because of inaccessible and unaffordable treatment, it’s really time for us to help address this challenge,” said TMCI CEO Dr. Eugene Ramos.
He added that TMCI’s provision of Z-Benefit Package for CABG, the first in Western Visayas, is still part of their commitment of making health services accessible and available for the Ilonggos centered on their ‘patient partnership’ philosophy.