Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana Lhuillier, Western Union and LBC. However, sending at least P1,000 can set you back by at last P20.

But with the launch of UnionBank's Project i2i in Davao City which makes use of the Blockchain technology, sending money through the participating rural banks will now cost only P1 regardless of the amount sent, at least during the pilot stage.

The full implementation and commercialization of the blockchain platform for rural banks is expected not only to reduce money remittance fees but make the whole process faster and more efficient.

“The blockchain initiative aims to  provide a real-time, cost-effective and secure retail payment system in the blockchain,” UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz said.

                               UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz

Ortiz, who also chairs the Blockchain Association of the Philippines, said they might have finally cracked the hole of financial inclusivity with the project which aims to bring the over 30 million unbanked Filipinos to the financial system.

UnionBank Fintech Business Group head Arvie de Vera said the cost of sending money which used to be from P50 to P150 will be reduced to only P1. 

Sending money through the bank used to require up to 26 steps following manual recon and verification compared to the only five steps following automatic recon and verification using the Blockchain technology.

Processing time is also reduced from five days to only five minutes, utilizing five departments to only one department now and from five persons involved in the process to only one to two persons.

Through UnionBank, rural banks now have access to the main banking network which allows them to perform important banking functions that universal banks can also do.

Ortiz said most rural banks in the country are not members of the Philippine Clearing House and the SWIFT Network. These banks lack Information Technology systems so the processes are very manual and paper-based.

UnionBank eyes the use of the Blockchain technology to make the whole ecosystem more efficient. The technology will be piloted in the following rural banks: Cantilan Bank, PR Savings Bank, City Savings Bank, FairBank and Progressive Bank

Sunday, March 25, 2018

22-year old Mauricio Mendez conquers 1st Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao

Mauricio Mendez, the 22-year old triathlete from Mexico, won the first Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao Sunday (March 25) after finishing the race in 3:50:32, besting 1,800 entries from 39 countries. The race kicked off at 6:10 a.m. with the 1.9-kilometer swim course followed by a 90-kilometer bike and 21-kilometer run.

Mauricio Mendez (photo courtesy of Asia Ironman)

Mendez, who finished 2nd in the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 held in Cebu, also have other Ironman titles including the 2017 Ironman 70.3 Texas, 2017 Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos and 2016 Ironman 70.3 Cozumel. He also has several Xterra titles including a World Championship in the 2016 Xterra, 2016 Xterra Sweden, 2016 Xterra Denmark, 2016 Xterra Italy and 2013 Xterra World Championships.

Herbalife GM Rosalio Valenzuela, Sunrise Events
GM Princess Galura and Mauricio Mendez

“I am very strong in running, with only around an hour for a 21-kilometer run,” Mendez said when interviewed by datelinedavao two-days before the race. The triathlete admits he is a coffee lover.

The other top winners are Australians Tim van Berkel (third) and Tim Reed (second) who is a three-time champion of the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu. 

“It’s my first time here in Davao and I tried biking, if you really get away from the city it is very good for biking especially the weather,” Australian Eric Watson said. He said his strength is in swimming but is a bit slow in biking.

Maurice Mendez, Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao Champion and Eric Watson

Sunrise Events GM Princess Galura said they only targetted 1,000 for Ironman Davao but it was sold out in just five days so they opened it to more participants. Out of the total number of participants, 30% are foreigners.

Galura said they have 56 countries participating in Ironman Cebu but it took them 17 years to do this for Cebu so she is very excited about the future of Ironman in Davao.

Finishers of the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao received very special medals called “Duyan ng Magiting” or Cradle of the Brave. The medal, which was designed by artist Kublai Milan who is also from Davao, features an Agung, a percussion instrument surrounded by the symbols of the swim, bike and run events. The T’boli community helped Mr. Milan craft all the medals.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ground breaking of 18-storey condominium and hotel by Santos Land Development Corp.

There's a new kid in town and it's going to help change the landscape of J.P. Laurel Avenue.

A P1-billion 18-storey condominium development with a hotel component, owned by homegrown real estate developer Santos Land Development Corporation, broke ground at J.P Laurel Avenue Friday.

"This is our first foray into the vertical development and hotel industry business," Santos Land Development Corporation President Antonio Santos Domingo said in an interview after the groundbreaking rites.

The Corporation's new investment is in line with the exponential growth of the city and the advent of national and international players and investors in Davao's real estate market.

"This is our biggest project since our corporation used to focus on housing development projects," he said.

The Ivory Residences is an 18-storey condominium tower with 330 units of various sizes. It boasts of 120 parking units spread over three floors. Among its amenities are a swimming pool, a two-storey clubhouse and an outdoor park that connects the condominium to the third floor of the hotel.

The Obsidian Suites, on the other hand, is a 10-storey business hotel with a roof deck. The hotel will feature 90 rooms ranging from superior, deluxe, junior and executive suites and themed suites.

There will also be different sized meeting rooms as well as two 50-seater function rooms that can convert into a mid-sized ballroom. There will be two restaurant outlets, one on the ground floor and on the roof deck.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Davao Promos: Waterfront Insular Hotel Price-Off Deals

Waterfront Insular Hotel is one of Davao City's oldest hotels but while it has been renovated it still has that old charm that has made it a favorite among those who want to stay in a place far from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Any true-blue Dabawenyo can attest to the luxuries offered by the resort-hotel even before the new high-rises came in. It offers the amenities of a classy hotel and yet it provides you with that perfect countryside atmosphere.

If you want to experience Waterfront Insular Hotel then the best time to do that is now as the hotel offers mind-boggling deals that are true good to be true.

Check this out!


Friday, May 26, 2017

UNIQLO opens today with a bang, and a bag

UNIQLO, a Japanese brand considered to be one of the hottest retailers in New York, will open its doors to Dabawenyos today. The store conducted a special store tour and buying spree for special guests a day earlier and they did that not only with a bang, but also with a bag.

This denim bag is made of scrap materials from the free alterations offered by UNIQLO for store-bought jeans.

We’re talking about the denim bags made of scrap materials which UNIQLO distributed to its VIP guests earlier. 

“Do you like the bag?,” asked UNIQLO Chief Operations Officer Katsumi Kubota when he saw us fiddling with the bag. According to him, the bag is so special because it is made of scrap materials collected daily as a result of the alterations being offered fo free for store-bought jeans.

The bag is, however, more than just a recycling story. It is actually UNIQLO’s way of empowering a community of women in Calauan, Laguna. The company’s partnership with ABS-CBS Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. paved the way for the Upcycling Project. 

UNIQLO originally just donated used clothing to the foundation but it has innovated later on, from the idea of just giving these womenfolk fish, to teaching them how to fish. Today, UNIQLO donated not only pieces of scrap fabrics to these communities in Laguna, but also sewing machines to allow the women to sew the scraps into fashionable bags. The company then buys the finished products and attaches its world-recognized brand to the denim scrap bags.

Kubota said the Laguna women have made 300 of these denim scrap bags. The target is to come up with 1,000 upcycled denim bags which the company has commissioned to buy.

UNIQLO’s grand opening at SM Lanang Premier will be special since the first 50 customers to line up outside the store will be able to join the meet and greet with Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

UNIQLO is located at the Ground Floor of SM Lanang Premier

Thursday, May 25, 2017

UNIQLO invades Davao

Nothing can stop these people from joining UNIQLO's private opening event at SM Premier in Lanang.

It’s the day after the declaration of martial law. And yet, people flocked to  SM Premier in Lanang to have a taste of what Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO has to offer.

Uniqlo opened its first store in Mindanao at SM Premier, Lanang Wednesday (May 24). However, only the store’s guests were allowed entry and given the opportunity to shop as the official opening to the public would happen on Friday, May 26. This is the brand’s 37th store in Mindanao. It will open its 38th store at SM City Davao Annex at Ecoland on June 2.

Uniqlo started as Men’s Shop Ogori Shoji in Yamaguch Prefecture in 1949.  Uniqlo’s first location opened in Hiroshima in 1984.

“Davao is the largest city in Mindanao and we are thrilled to open our first two stores here,” Uniqlo Philippines Chief Operating Office Katsumi Kubota. But why Mindanao and why Davao? 

UNIQLO Philippines Chief Operating Office Katsumi Kubota gamely answered all the questions thrown his way about the Japanese brand's decision to invest not only in Davao but in Mindanao.

Apparently, the company recognized Mindanao’s economic growth and has high expectations in Mindanao.

This is Uniqlo’s 5th year in the country and they appropriately marked this with a big bang because by August this year, the company will open its 40th store in the Philippines. The company is set to open another store at SM Cagayan de Oro next month and then another store in Subic this year.

Uniqlo’s opening coincided with the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. However, the number of people in attendance, including several city councilors and the business sector negated fears that the declaration would have a negative impact in the city’s business climate.

The people behind the successful launch of UNIQLO's first store in Davao, at SM Lanang

Prix Banzon of PNA and Apol Legario, PR Officer of SM Ecoland checking out the latest in fashion at UNIQLO

Moms will definitely have a hard time choosing from the latest clothing style for kids of all ages, only at UNIQLO

Shopping is easy and convenient at UNIQLO

The UNIQLO store at SM Premier in Lanang has changed the shopping landscape in the city

Monday, May 8, 2017

Vina, Shaina In Davao For Opening Of Ystilo Abreeza

Celebrity sisters Vina and Shaina Magdayao, popular nowadays for her role as Camille in the afternoon television series "The Better Half",  were in Davao City Sunday to grace the opening of Ystilo Salon at Abreeza Mall.

This is the 28th company-owned Ystilo Salon in the country and the only one in Mindanao. Vina said there are several more Ystilo Salons in the country under franchise. Shaina, however, hinted there will be another Ystilo Salon in Mindanao soon but they declined to reveal more details as it is still under negotiation.

"The reason why we have grown over the years is because we offer quality services," Vina said.

Fans of the celebrity sisters crowded in front of the Ystilo Salon early so as not to miss their idol. Both Vina and Shaina took some time to accommodate their fans' requests for selfies and group pictures.

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana ...