Press Release


Banaag Festival 2018 ignites with more spectacular performances

Banaag Festival

“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).

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TMC Iloilo educates public about diabetes thru ‘Sweet Pa Rin Ba?’ campaign

Diabetes Campaign

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.

Diabetes 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.

Diabetes Campaign

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.

Diabetes Campaign

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.

Diabetes Campaign

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)

Diabetes Campaign

The Medical City Iloilo provides free health and diabetes assessment to the pensioners Philippine Veterans Bank Iloilo.

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Z-Benefit CABG beneficiary thanks TMC Iloilo, PhilHealth

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)

Z-Benefit CABG The Medical City Iloilo

Catalina Balgos is the first patient of The Medical City Iloilo to avail The Medical City Iloilo to avail PhilHealth Z-Benefit Package.

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Megaworld To Bring Belmont Hotel in Iloilo Business Park

Belmont Hotel

Belmont Hotel Iloilo – Fourth hotel under Megaworld’s homegrown Belmont brand to add 405 hotel rooms in Iloilo City 

ILOILO CITY, Philippines, October 16, 2018 – Property giant Megaworld is building its fourth Belmont Hotel inside its 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Belmont Hotel Iloilo will have 405 suites, composed of a mix of Twin Suites, Queen Suites, Junior Suites, Executive Suites and Specially-Abled Suites for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

The 12-storey hotel, which is the third in the entire township, will be located along the stretch of the 1.1-kilometer long Festive Walk Parade, just a walking distance to the iconic Iloilo Convention Center and the Festive Walk Mall.

Belmont Hotel - Executive suite

Belmont Hotel – Executive suite

It will have its own swimming pool with in-pool lounge, landscaped deck with pool bar and outdoor lounge, fitness center with sauna, function room, and an all-day dining restaurant.

“We have seen the huge potential of Iloilo as a tourism destination. With the Iloilo Convention Center as a main facility for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), there is no doubt that Iloilo City needs another world-class hotel. And we are bringing another Megaworld homegrown hotel brand, which has gained popularity among business travelers since Belmont Hotel Manila opened in 2015,” says Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Iloilo.

Belmont Hotel - Junior suite

Belmont Hotel – Junior suite

Belmont Hotel Manila, Megaworld’s first Belmont Hotel that opened in Newport City, was awarded this year’s Best Airport Hotel in the 2018 Travel and Hospitality Awards. The second Belmont Hotel is set to open in Boracay Newcoast next year, while the third one will be at The Mactan Newtown, the company’s 30-hectare township in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

In Iloilo Business Park, Megaworld opened its third Richmonde Hotel in 2014 and its sister company Travelers International Hotels Group, Inc., owner and operator of Resorts World Manila, opened the Courtyard by Marriott early this year.

According to the Iloilo City Tourism Office, tourist arrivals in the city have remarkably increased during the past five years. In 2017, around 1.08 million local and foreign tourists visited Iloilo City. Most foreign visitors came from South Korea, US, Canada, Mexico and Australia.

Tourism receipts, on the other hand, reached P19.8-billion in 2017 as registration for tourism-related establishments such as hotels rose by 55% to 1,605 last year compared to those posted in 2013.

Belmont Hotel - Artist's Perspective

Belmont Hotel – Artist’s Perspective

“Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park itself is a tourist destination. Visitors come to the township to visit the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), shop and dine in Festive Walk Mall, chill in Festive Walk Parade, attend events in the Iloilo Convention Center, or stay in our world-class hotels. We expect more tourists to come to our township as more establishments and attractions open in the coming months,” explains Palmares-Fong.

Belmont Hotel Iloilo is scheduled to open in 2023.



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#DokFerj Biron Reveals Plans for Iloilo

#DokFerj Featured Image

#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.

#DokFerj ImageA 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.

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TMC Iloilo inaugurates Sacristy

TMC Iloilo

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.

TMC Iloilo

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

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.

TMC Iloilo

(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.

TMC Iloilo

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

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.

*PR post by Raymart Escopel

More photos below:

For more events, click here.

TMC Iloilo

TMC Iloilo partner doctors

TMC Iloilo

Sacristy donor Dr. Douglas Budok with the members of TMC Iloilo executive committee.

TMC Iloilo

TMC Iloilo employees with TMC Iloilo Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eugene Ramos and Sacristy donor Dr. Douglas Budok.

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Sun Life Piolo Pascual: Keeping His Promises

Sun Life Piolo Pascual

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.

Sun Life Piolo Pascual

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.”

Sun Life Piolo Pascual

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 Piolo Pascual

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.

Sun Life Piolo Pascual

“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!”

For more events, click here.

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Investing in a Shared Tomorrow: ePerformax launches new site in Roxas City

ePerformax Concierge at The Hub

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

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

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

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.”

ePerformax Meditation Area at The Hub

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

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!



For more events, click this link.

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Nature Park in Iloilo by Pro Friends

Pro friends Denise Nature Park Iloilo

Property Company of Friends, Inc. (PRO-FRIENDS), the developer of Parc Regency Residences and Monticello Villas is set to bring a whole new kind of experience to Ilonggo families with its soon-to-launch nature park.

Pro friends Denise Nature Park Iloilo

Surrounded by century old trees, different varieties of plants, stunning flowers and green sceneries, the said nature park will serve as a relaxing haven for Ilonggo families.

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Chef Donita Rose Brings Heart-Healthy Flavors at Iloilo’s Festival w/ Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil

Donita Rose

Chef Donita Rose in Iloilo, January 2018 – Ilonggo cuisine is perhaps one of the biggest draws of this southern part of the Panay Island. Whether you’re thinking of a comfort food fix, downing yourself with some freshest seafood catch, or satisfying your big sweet tooth, Iloilo City’s endless list of amazing flavors surely won’t disappoint.

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