Huwebes, Abril 28, 2022

ITDI’s Biodiesel Antifreeze to Ensure Foreign Sale


With the DOE 2017-2040 Philippine Energy Plan targeting to maintain a B2 biodiesel blending, as shown in its long term (2020-2040) Biofuels Roadmap, local processors are having difficulty finding an antifreeze that would ensure their biodiesel gets a slice of the foreign market.

Cleotilde A. Bulan, head of the Industrial Chemical Section at the Industrial Technology Development Institute  (DOST-ITDI), stressed the need for local processors for a locally-produced antifreeze agent that would complement the Philippine biodiesel from coconut. The biodiesel industry sector needs “this” to ensure that the coconut methyl ester (CME) or coco biodiesel can compete in the world market.

GlobeNewsWire has reported that the global biodiesel market is currently standing at the size of USD23,290 million and is expected to reach USD25,880 million by the end of 2026 (CAGR of 1.5% during 2021-2026).

Bulan explains further what antifreeze does. Also known as a coolant, it lowers a liquid’s freezing point, which is why it is added to vehicles’ radiators. In foreign localities, antifreeze allows cars to operate in a variety of temperatures, from frigidly cold to scorchingly hot.

By adding a mixture of chemicals and water, antifreeze helps ensure that the liquid in radiators does not freeze over during winter or boil up during summer, thus overheating the engine.

But, how does an antifreeze exactly work? How does it protect engines?

Bulan said that the key lies in coolants’ boiling and freezing points. Pure water has a boiling point of 212°F (100°C) and a freezing point of 32°F (0°C). However, by using a 50/50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol, the M boiling point rises to 223°F (106°C), and the freezing point lowers to -35°F (-37°C).

By taking it a step further, using a 30/70 mixture of water and ethylene glycol, the boiling point rises to 235°F (113°C), and the freezing point lowers to -67°F (-55°C).

However, Bulan’s team is working on a different antifreeze agent — the synthesis of glycerol (a naturally occurring alcohol) acetals. Here, glycerol acts to prevent freezing damage, such as ice crystal formation.

Foreign research studies show that at lower glycerol concentrations like 10-20%, the frozen stock will be fairly solid at -80°C, while at higher concentrations (30-50%), it may remain partially liquid.

Bulan’s team has since applied for a patent for the glycerol acetal and biodiesel samples. 
(amguevarra\\ ITDI S&T Media Service)


The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is revitalizing its bilateral relations with Australian research institutions and universities through a Scientific Visit of DOST officials to the country held from 17 to 23 April 2022.
Led by Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, the delegation aims to strengthen existing ties of DOST with research institutions including the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). These include identifying areas for common interest where resources and expertise of DOST and partners can advance more research and capacity building programs. Several concrete collaborations, including a scholarship program with ACIAR, were discussed during the meetings and will be formalized through an agreement to be signed by DOST with these research institutions.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Australian Center for International Agricultural Research

During the Mission, DOST also reinvigorate the implementation of the existing Memorandum of Understanding with Swinburne University of Technology (SUT), which include, among others, scholarships and sandwich programs in the field of biomedical engineering where the University has distinct advantage.

Swinburne University of Technology

As well, the scientific visit saw DOST forging new partnership with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Scientific Cooperation. Specific areas and modes of cooperation identified in scholarship programs and joint research activities in the fields of Food Technologies and Innovation and Digital Health.

The DOST delegation also discussed opportunities to operationalize its existing MOU with James Cook University. During the meeting, the delegation agreed to work in the following areas, namely: emerging diseases and tropical diseases, Internet of Things (IoT), agriculture and food security, and marine science. The possible collaboration also included scholarship programs for clinicians.


The visit also gave opportunity to the delegation to learn about the important work and innovation on coral reef restoration of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the country’s tropical marine research agency.
Other universities which the delegation visited include the Queensland University of Technology, the Southern Cross University; Griffith University, and University of Queensland, all of which agreed to formalize the Department’s institutional partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding that will outline the parties’ areas of common interest as well as its mode of cooperation.




Also joining the delegation were Dr. Leah J. Buendia, DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation; Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, Executive Director of the DOST - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development; Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development; Engr.

Ninaliza H. Escorial, Deputy Director at the DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technologies Research and Development; and Dr. Josette T. Biyo, Director of the DOST Science Education Institute (SEI).


The delegation began their mission in Canberra where they paid courtesy to Her Excellency Hellen De la Vega, Philippine Ambassador to Australia. The delegation’s visit also served as an opportunity for the Department to promote among Filipino scientists and researchers in Australia DOST’s Balik Scientist Program that encourages Filipinos to come back to the Philippines and contribute to the advancement of STI in the country. Organized by the Philippine Embassy in Australia, the webinar gathered over 25 Filipino scientists and researchers who have distinguished themselves in their specific areas of work.


In addition, the visit delegation, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met with State Level Officials from Australia’s Northern Territory, Victoria, and Queensland to apprise each other of their work and possible alignment with DOST’s STI initiatives.

Miyerkules, Abril 27, 2022

KAINGIN: An Earth Month Art Installation by Jinggoy Buensuceso


Curated by Junyee as a continuation of Angud from April 30, 2022 to May 30, 2022

For Earth Month 2022, visual artist Jinggoy Buensuceso transforms the CCP Front Lawn into a burnt forest with over a thousand contemporary bululs made of molded fibreglass infused with burnt debris, soil, and dust, collected from areas in the Philippines that encounter the most serious environmental struggles. These new sculptures, and their state at every phase of the exhibit, represent the forests that are synonymous with humanity, as their fates are intertwined. If forests die, we die. 

KAINGIN, a devastated forest of bululs frontlines the exhibit as a symbol of nature’s destruction by the fire of people’s desires - logging, mining, and misinformed, self-serving acts. As one proceeds inside the CCP Main Theater Building into the 4th floor Atrium, they will come across Huling Hapunan, the final hours of bululs helplessly trapped and wallowing in their slow death by fire, with its red flames serving as their last supper. Entierro presents a proper burial for the forest, an observance of the necessary rest, responsible action, and respect, for nature to recover and return to the cycle of life. And lastly, there is Ritwal, a prayer for forgiveness and redemption through the baptism of fire. The 4th floor installations also include pre-recorded performances by the artist, asking for life and the spirit of nature to be showered upon the bululs as they embark on their journey of renewal. KAINGIN is a dramatic assembly of humans and nature, a wake-up call to make a stand for our land, to challenge the current ways, and to push for solutions that will sustain humanity without collateral damage.

Jinggoy Buensuceso (b. 1982, Samal, Bataan) is a visual artist and sculptor working at the new frontier of art and design to create a synesthetic creative language that fuses the natural and artificial worlds. Buensuceso's art is informed by a deep knowledge of materials and processes, both ancient and modern. The artist feels his way through the connective tissues between humanity and nature, envisioning lines that create the contours of the physical and metaphysical. Each installation and sculpture is influenced by these linear movements. The dichotomy of existence, with its eternal and opposing forces of chaos and order, nurtures his iconoclastic convictions of the divine pairings that feature in his work. True to his anarchic style, he has embraced the color black as an ambiguous muse: black is everything and nothing; it is sensuous and solemn; it is the color of the void that births manifold universes. Buensuceso is a graduate of Visual Communications from the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He has been recognized and featured in Maison & Objet Paris, Wallpaper Magazine, The Artling, Design Anthology, and Manila FAME, and has presented solo exhibitions in Galleria Duemila, Galerie Astra, Manifesto Gallery, and Galerie Joaquin, in Manila, and in John Erdos Art in Singapore and in the Philippine Center in New York.

Join us tomorrow in launching the Earth Day installation at the CCP Front Lawn at 5:00 PM. 

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. For safety concerns, the public is reminded to wear their face masks, bring their vaccination cards, and observe the CCP New Normal Health Guidelines ( upon visiting from April 30, 2022 to May 30, 2022.

Biyernes, Abril 22, 2022

World Travel & Tourism Council Reveals Massive Increase in Global International Inbound Travel

Flight bookings suggest a hot summer ahead for key destinations across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the America

Manila, Philippines: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its knowledge partner ForwardKeys, forecast a major increase in global international flights bookings as international travel takes off.

The booking bounce back was revealed at WTTC’s prestigious 21st Global Summit, taking place this year in Manila, as the world continues to reopen from the pandemic.

News of the strong recovery highlights a promising prospect ahead for summer holiday travel, with sun and sea destinations, such as the Caribbean and Latin America, leading the international inbound bookings.

According to ForwardKeys, leading travel and analytics company, the country’s leading the ranking of top 20 best performing destinations for the summer are Costa Rica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, all of which rely heavily upon international travel.

These destinations lead the pack with bookings already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Last year, the industry’s gradual recovery was significantly slowed by the surge in Omicron cases. However, the future is looking brighter for 2022 with positive booking data worldwide.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “WTTC 2022 booking data from ForwardKeys is a firm signal of the strong recovery of the global Travel & Tourism sector.

“Travel to the Asia-Pacific region shows impressive signs of improvement as destinations gradually reopen their borders to visitors, in line with customer demand.”

Olivier Ponti, ForwardKeys Vice President Insights, said: “It is very encouraging that Asia has finally begun re-opening, which is driving the return of both travel to Asia and within the region, both of which are clearly going to be instrumental in driving the global economic recovery.”

According to the data, Q1 and Q2 figures for this year are showing triple-digit growth for inbound flight bookings around the world, compared to last year, including the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Travellers are eager to spend more on travel following the loosening of restrictions, with heightened demand for premium cabin classes in 2022. Other trends seen include stronger last-minute bookings.

Further evidence of the resurgence in travel is shown in arrivals in Europe, with a massive 350% surge in international arrivals for Q1 in 2022 compared to last year.

Asia-Pacific countries also saw an increase in arrivals for Q1 of this year compared to 2021, with bookings for the region up 275%.

In Q2 we see further acceleration of the continuing recovery with a significant rise in international bookings, which have soared by 264% on the year before.

This acceleration is particularly notable in Asia where travel restrictions are being removed. Host to the WTTC Global Summit, the Philippines is the fastest growing single destination in South East Asia, 29% up in Q2 this year compared to Q1.

The summer travel outlook is led by the resurgence of travel to the Caribbean and Latin America, which includes seven out of the top 10 travel destinations.

India and Pakistan are also highly popular, thanks to travel mainly for visits to family and friends.

Meanwhile in Europe, destinations such as Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and France are showing a strong resurgence with travel bookings just slightly behind pre-pandemic levels.

Africa and the Middle East also feature in the top 20 list with Tanzania, Qatar and Egypt also reaching close to pre-pandemic levels of travel.

The continued recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region looks set to accelerate as destinations gradually reopen throughout 2022

WTTC Launches New Cyber Resilience Report for the Global Travel & Tourism Sector


Report outlines pillars to strengthen cyber security for businesses around the world

London, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a major new report at its Global Summit in Manila today, to help the sector’s stakeholders understand how cyber resilience is shaping the Travel & Tourism sector and plan for a safer and more robust future.

The report, ‘Codes to resilience’, in joint efforts with Microsoft, draws on comprehensive research and in-depth interviews with cyber security experts in leading Travel & Tourism organisations such as Mastercard, JTB, and Carnival Corporation, among others.

The report shows that whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the world and the sector into a more digital future, with the opportunities provided by digitalisation, new challenges have emerged, especially in cybercrime.

The inaugural report focuses on three key areas considered critical for the sector: cyber resilience, key issues and six best practices based on the lessons learnt prior to and during the pandemic.

The report goes on to show how digitalisation has become a strong enabler of business within Travel & Tourism, and given the international nature of the sector, it looks at the role of legislation around individual data protection.

According to the report, more than seven out of 10 (72%)SMEs in the UK, the U.S., and Europe, have fallen victim to at least one cyberattack, and with SMEs representing 80% of all Travel & Tourism businesses, mitigating cyber risk must remain a priority for the sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Technology and digitalisation play a key role in making the whole travel experience more seamless, from booking a holiday, to checking in for a flight or embarking on a cruise.

“But the impact of cyberattacks carries enormous financial, reputational and regulatory risk.”

This critical report reveals four key issues to address in order to improve cyber protection and enhance resilience: securing identity data, securing business operations, understanding the impact of COVID-19 and managing global legislation.

According to the report, certain actions can help businesses better prepare to repel an attack, while laying the foundation to support long-term cyber resilience. Educating and training all staff, expanding risk security beyond the physical workplace, employing a zero-trust approach to cyber security, and transparency, among others, have been recommended by industry experts as good practices.

Cyber resilience is a crucial element to the future of Travel & Tourism, as cyber systems continue to facilitate and enhance activities between the sector’s stakeholders.

During a panel session at the tourism body’s Global Summit event being held in Manila today, industry leaders heard that cybercrime has cost the global economy U.S.$1 trillion and could reach a staggering U.S. $90 trillion by 2030.

According to the WTTC Economic Impact Report, in 2019, before the pandemic stopped travel in its tracks, the Travel & Tourism sector generated more than U.S. $9.6 trillion to the global economy.

However, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete standstill, causing a massive 50% drop, representing a severe loss of nearly U.S. $4.5 trillion.

Digitisation has played and will continue to play a pivotal role in Travel & Tourism’s growth and recovery from COVID-19. It is therefore essential for the sector to integrate cyber security and cyber resilience to continue its recovery from the pandemic while supporting its growth in the future.

To read the report in full, please click h

WTTC Global Summit closes in Manila and Announces Saudi Arabia As Next Gost Destination in November this Year


Manila, Philippines: At the closing session of its Global Summit in Manila today, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced that its 22nd event will take place in Riyadh, capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from 29th November to 2nd December this year.

In Manila, more than a thousand delegates, including the world’s foremost business leaders, government ministers and key decision-makers from across the global Travel & Tourism sector gathered together, to discuss how to build upon the continuing recovery.

In her farewell address Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “It has been a privilege to bring together so many leaders from across the global Travel & Tourism sector to the beautiful city of Manila.

“This Summit is living proof that nothing beats getting together, sharing ideas, debating the challenges, and finding consensus.

“We still have a lot of work to do to bring down post-pandemic barriers, open economies and harmonise health data for seamless travel. But the future looks bright, and the next decade is there for the taking.

“We look forward to our 22nd Global Summit later this year in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to mark the next chapter in the sector’s ongoing recovery.”

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said "We are excited to welcome the world to experience the excitement and the energy of Saudi. We promise you that the next summit will be fresh, inspiring, and rewarding."

Under the theme of ‘Rediscovering Travel’, tourism ministers and Travel & Tourism leaders from around the world reinforced their determination towards greater cooperation and alignment between the public and private sectors.

At WTTC’s Global Leaders Dialogue session they explored how the sector will continue to adapt to COVID-19 and emerge resiliently from the pandemic.

WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report also revealed the Travel & Tourism sector was expected to create nearly 126 million new jobs within the next decade and Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP could reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

WTTC’s major ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ sustainability initiative was launched at its Global Summit, providing a starting point to drive sustainability throughout the hospitality sector to power the momentum toward responsible Travel & Tourism.

The global body also launched its new cyber resilience report, ‘Codes to resilience’, with Microsoft, for the global Travel & Tourism sector, which outlined pillars to strengthen cyber security for businesses around the world.

British adventurer Bear Grylls was the conference keynote, alongside other major speakers, including American film producer Lawrence Bender, Singapore-born American novelist and writer of satirical novels Kevin Kwan and Indonesian/Dutch environmental activist Melati Wijse

Julia Simpson’s Opening Speech at WTTC Global Summit 2022



It’s incredible to think of what we have been through since we gathered for WTTC’s last Summit. But we are here in Manila to Rediscover Travel… together.

Dear Members, Excellencies, WTTC Friends. I am honoured to address you at our 21st Global Summit and my first as President & CEO.

In times of crisis we have seen the true grit and resilience of the Travel & Tourism sector. During the COVID pandemic our airlines transported vaccines and PPE; our airports became vaccination centres; and our cruise liners used their connections to help repatriate people. Hotels opened their doors to the homeless and today are giving shelter to 1000s of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. 

The pandemic rewrote the rule book on how we live and how we travel. It showed how totally inter-reliant we are. Businesses and governments need each other to make travel happen. And our whole sector relies on the communities who host us.

For over 30 years WTTC’s mission has been to highlight our sector’s economic and social value. But, it took a pandemic for leaders to really understand our worth.For almost a decade our sector’s growth outstripped that of the global economy. COVID changed all that.

Now, recovery is in our sights. It is not uniform, it is faltering, but it IS recovery. Here in Asia-Pacific the reopening is just beginning. I congratulate the Philippines, a nation that has shown determination and courage to reignite travel. But the great powerhouse that is China, is still closed.

So, I call on governments to look at the science and reopen their borders - open their economies and get travel and tourism and the millions of people who earn their livelihood from it - back to work.

Today, WTTC is announcing its latest Economic Impact Research which measures the value of Travel & Tourism to the global economy. This shows that over the next 10 years to 2032 Travel & Tourism is poised to have an average annual growth rate of 5.8%.

Our sector’s growth will again outstrip the global GDP. And with it comes employment - 126 million new jobs will be created over the decade. That is the prize. In 2019 our sector contributed $9.6 trillion dollars to the global economy. That’s over 10% of global GDP.

And everyone here knows, as Arnold said, how we were hit. A massive 50% loss in value in 2020 along with 62 million jobs. 2021 was a stuttering recovery, regaining 22% globally and getting back to A $5.8 trillion global business.

This year, we are regaining ground. Our data shows that by the end of 2022 we will have recovered to $8.35 trillion. We are getting there and our customers are Rediscovering Travel.

They say Necessity is the Mother of Invention. During the crisis we have seen e-commerce cement its position as the DNA of businesses. In travel, digital technology has leapfrogged some of the old analogue and manual systems.

But the problem's been, digital solutions to COVID have been uncoordinated as nations made up their own rules to tackle the pandemic. And despite global leaders like the Saudis calling for harmonisation, we have a patchwork of systems that hit customer confidence with costly tests and changing rules.

If we are to survive another pandemic we need to fully integrate a traveller’s health status into their digital travel documents. A good example is the EU green travel pass that has now been adopted by 62 countries. Let us find a single system for the world.

It's not just a human virus that threatens us. As we accelerate our digital transformation the threat from cybercrime has accelerated too. It's estimated that Cybercrime will grow by 15% a year to cost the world US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Our new report on cyber resilience is a must read and a great tool that we have created with the support of Microsoft.

These strange times have given us cause to pause and reevaluate. There will be opportunities for those with capital who can act agilely. But the future has to be sustainable. Which is why I want to thank JLL who have created a template for sustainable tourism in cities. 

We are facing a triple planetary crisis of climate, nature and pollution. Our carbon challenges are all different -whether you are a hotel, a cruise line or an airline.So, for the first time ever, our sector has a single, clear roadmap to deliver net zero by 2050. And today we want to show our support for small and medium-sized hotels. We want to help them achieve the first step on the sustainability ladder.

With the help of Radisson, for the first time ever, we are launching a globally recognised set of sustainability indicators. Developed by the industry for the industry. Our HOTEL SUSTAINABILITY BASICS brings the best science down to the grassroots. 

Just think the tiniest phytoplankton is smaller than a human red blood cell. But together, phytoplankton produce more than half of the oxygen we breathe on Earth and most of the carbon ocean animals need to survive. Like the phytoplankton, if we all work together, we can support all life on this planet.

As we Rediscover Travel through this Summit, we will take you on a journey. We will hear from global leaders in Travel & Tourism; film producer Lawrence Bender of Pulp Fiction fame, Crazy Rich Asians author, Kevin Kwan; and we have the great honour to hear from former United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

We will also hear from the inspiring environmental activist Melati Wijsen who, at age 12, set out to change the world one plastic bottle at a time.

Thank you to President Duterte for hosting us.

And thank you ALL for being here to help us shape the narrative as we rediscover travel and re-open the world.

Thank you!

Bear Grylls British Adventurer named as keynote at WTTC Global Summit in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) unveils its keynote – British adventurer Bear Grylls – alongside further major speakers, Lawrence Bender and Kevin Kwan for its upcoming Global Summit in Manila.

Taking place in Manila, Philippines from 20-22 April, the global tourism body's highly anticipated 21st Global Summit is the most influential Travel & Tourism event in the calendar.

Industry leaders will gather with more than 20 government representatives in Manila, to continue aligning efforts to support the sector’s recovery and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future.

British adventurer, writer, television presenter and businessman Bear Grylls, will address delegates virtually and will follow with an audience Q&A.

American film producer Lawrence Bender and critically acclaimed novelist Kevin Kwan will take to the stage in Manila on the opening day of the Global Summit (21 April).

During his career, Lawrence Bender received a staggering 36 Academy Award nominations, resulting in eight wins for blockbuster movies such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting.

He is a passionate social and political activist and is on the Advisory Board for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is also a member of the Global Zero campaign.

Kevin Kwan is a Singapore-born American novelist and writer of satirical novels, who in 2018 was made Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people.

In 2013, Kwan published Crazy Rich Asians, and in the same year, Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson secured the film rights which was released in the U.S. in 2018.

Other speakers taking part in the Global Summit include Indonesian/Dutch activist Melati Wijsen, who will be there in person, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will address the audience virtually, as well as Ministers from around the globe, and business leaders from many of the world’s largest Travel & Tourism companies.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are thrilled to have Bear, Lawrence and Kevin join us and add to our already impressive list of speakers at our 21st Global Summit in Manila.

“As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, our event will bring together many of the world’s most powerful people in Travel & Tourism to discuss and secure its long-term future, which is critical to economies and employment around the world.”

Other notable speakers taking to the stage during the Global Summit will be international business leaders such as Arnold Donald, President & CEO Carnival Corporation and WTTC Chair; Greg O’Hara, Founder and Senior Managing Director Certares and Vice Chairman at WTTC; Craig Smith, Group President International Division Marriott International; Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, COO Tourism Promotion Board Philippines; Federico Gonzalez, CEO Radisson; and Nelson Boyce, Head of Travel for the Americas at Google Inc.

A hybrid event, WTTC’s Global Summit will also feature Kelly Craighead, President & CEO CLIA; Jane Sun, CEO, Ariane Gorin, President Expedia for Business; and Darrell Wade, Chairman Intrepid Group; amongst others.

The WTTC Global Summit in Manila is sponsored by Resorts World Manila, Global Rescue, Okada Manila, Turkish Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Etihad Airways, Philippine Airlines, Tourism Promotion Board Philippines, Hilton Manila, UBE Express, Inc., Tieza, Nissan Philippines, Inc., Press Reader, SSI Group, Xpansiv.

The 21st Global Summit is taking place in Manila, Philippines from 20-22 April 2022. To register for the virtual event, please click here.

Mentor Me On Wheels Returns


It has been almost a week since our first in-person Mentor Me On Wheels event, and I must say, it still gladdens me to recall the enthusiasm with which the veteran businessmen-mentors and the aspiring entrepreneurs, who came to learn from them, participated in the event.

The one-on-one mentoring format gives small business owners access to technical knowledge and practical know-how on entrepreneurship in a setting that is accessible and convenient.

The Mentor Me On Wheels event last April 9 was put together with the intent of expressing confidence. Confidence that the vaccines will protect all attendees—even us, the organizers—from severe illness, and confidence in the role of MSMEs in reviving the economy.

The biggest bonus, however, was the palpable confidence among the attendees that the Philippines can and will triumph over the challenges of the pandemic, and that MSMEs will be at the tip of the spear, fighting on and leading the way toward our economic recovery.

It was particularly humbling to hear the stories of the aspiring entrepreneurs who made the effort to attend the event.

There was Rodrigo Ibantog who runs his own patahian in Baguio. He does all the sewing himself and sells his products online via Facebook. Rodrigo told us that he spent some P1,200 in bus fare to attend the event and waited from 12 midnight at the Pasay City bus terminal that Saturday morning so he could be at Ayala Malls Manila Bay at 9 a.m. He was one of the lucky winners of our raffle and went home with P8,000.

But more than the cash prize, he received advice from David Charlton, owner of David’s Salon who mentored him not just about running the business, but also how to balance growing his business with his obligations as a solo parent.

We also had people walk in from the nearby tiangges. One of them makes bags using upcycled material from upholstery. He said he had heard of Go Negosyo’s mentoring program before. As fate would have it, he saw the event being set up as he tended to his store outside the event area. He said he didn’t think twice about signing up for mentoring. He told my staff that his mentor gave him specific pointers on how he can go about setting up his business, and that next week, after the Holy Week break, he would go straight to DTI and do the necessary paperwork. But the most important lesson he learned from his mentor is that even good products need marketing. The P8,000 he won as seed capital is a bonus, he said; the mentoring he received is priceless.

I personally mentored Josh Mojica, an impressive 17-year-old who started Kangkong Chips Original last year with only P3,000 in capital. Seeing the potential of his aunt’s kangkong chips recipe, he decided to package it, brand it, and sell it online. His business is a rousing success, but he’s not stopping.

He attended the Mentor Me On Wheels event to find out how he can get a loan to expand his business. I coached him about how to run his business now that things are getting serious, and what he should do next: the paperwork,
proper packaging, upscaling his sales. Josh understood the place of mentoring in his journey as an entrepreneur.

He knows that there are people who can and will answer his questions, and he appreciates how he can benefit from the real-world, first-hand experience of people who have gone through what he is going through right now. I am amazed that he is doing extremely well; people like Josh are those we have to help.

On the other side of the equation are our mentors. They are generous people; they chose to spend their weekend that day, volunteering their time, and in some cases—devoting resources—to come and share their knowledge with complete strangers.

Their presence sends a message to aspiring entrepreneurs: there are people who are willing to help you.

Pepot Miñana of Jollibee Foods Corp., who served as one of our mentors, remarked on how much better face-to-face mentoring can be. He told us that talking to the mentees face-to-face has a different energy.

I understand completely. It’s the subtle cues, the dynamism of the interaction, the simple joy of seeing how you’ve enriched a person’s life just by talking to him.

Some of the mentors said that the questions and level of experience of the mentees was wide-ranging. Some asked very basic questions, such as what business would be ideal right now, or very specific questions about the cost of capital. Some came prepared with business plans and presented them for review by the mentors.

Seeing the number of attendees at the event was a sign that people are more confident now to return to normal life. Face masks were still being worn, Ayala Malls provided us with a venue that was spacious and well-ventilated, and everywhere, people were conscientious about keeping interactions safe.

I think we’re ready, but I think we should be more vigilant than ever. It took a long time to get to where we are—25 months for Mentor Me On Wheels; we should not waste it. Get fully vaccinated, take your booster when it’s time, and keep wearing your face masks.

It was a triumphant return for Mentor Me On Wheels, and I look forward to having more of our mentoring events conducted in person

DOST-ITDI Develops Stabilizer from Okra


The Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) has developed a stabilizer from a new source - okra.

Most stabilizers or natural hydrocolloids come from plant (pectin, carrageenan, cellulose gum, locust bean gum), animal (gelatin), or microbial (xanthan gum, gellan gum) sources.

Hydrocolloids are water-loving and are used as functional ingredients to increase product consistency, improve the gelling effect, and control the microstructure, texture, flavor, and shelf life of food or non-food products

Oliver C. Evangelista, team leader of the project on sourcing hydrocolloids from okra, said, "local markets have a daily oversupply of okra, including an excess volume of off-specs and material rejects."  He added that this excess volume of off-specs makes okra an ideal source of natural hydrocolloid because this new demand will not be competing with current uses for it.

Evangelista is thus encouraging food manufacturers and processors to utilize their okra or other by-products and generate additional income by creating value-added and innovative products

"Interested parties can visit ITDI to explore the development of new products from their waste materials. Our Modular Multi-Industry Innovation Center or InnoHub sa Pinas is equipped with multi-functional modular equipment that can be retrofitted to suit every manufacturing line," he explained.

Results of several studies on the viscosity or thickness of spray-dried okra fluid have resulted in two new products. These include banaba milk tea and toothpaste with calamansi seed oil. 

ITDI has partnered with Greenstar Produce Philippines Inc. to produce these new products. Established in 2007 as a group company of Watari Co., Ltd. in Kanagawa, Greenstar processes fresh okra varieties and exports these to Japan.  (AMGuevarra\\ITDI S&T Media Service)

Linggo, Abril 10, 2022

DOST Launches I-CRADLE Program to Boost MSME Performance in the Country


April 5, 2022 - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) held the official launch of Industry-level Collaborative R&D to Leverage Philippine Economy (I-CRADLE) Program, expanding the role of government in supporting industry-academe collaborations in solving problems of Filipino companies, most specially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). 

I-CRADLE upgrades the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) Program that supports industry-academe innovation activities, from individual firms to specific industry sector with at least 5  collaborating firms, and increasing the maximum amount of the grant from Five Million Pesos (P5,000,000.00) to Twenty Five Million Pesos (P25,000,000.00) per project.  

The launch was held during the first CRADLE Conference entitled "The CRADLE Journey: Witnessing innovative breakthroughs through collaborative R&D".  The event featured success stories of DOST-CRADLE beneficiaries and highlighted successful projects involving women scientists leading innovation projects. 

During the CRADLE Symposium, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said: “DOST’s support to industry-academe partnerships through the CRADLE program has been very evident in our ranking in the annual Global Innovation Index on university-industry research collaboration.  In 2014, the Philippines reached the 56th place among 130 countries.  Our 2020 rank improved to 27th place, proving that the Philippines, even with the budget of a developing nation, can compete in the innovation race with every country in the world.”

The Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation. It is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, in partnership with Cornell University, INSEAD, and other organizations and institutions. 

“In just five years, the DOST CRADLE program successfully engaged 76 industry partners with 36 academic institutions in 10 regions in the country,” said DOST Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.  “There was a clear need for innovation and CRADLE answered the needs of industry through R&D. And this program reached every corner of our archipelago to support the growth and competitiveness of Filipino companies.  It is high time that government support should also change and evolve to the growing needs of industry.” 

Under the I-CRADLE program, industry-wide needs and problems shall be identified and the partner university shall undertake R&D.  This program will also target each level of the technology transfer process – from the pursuit of industry-driven basic research, academe-industry joint research, and product development stage to technology promotion/transfer and adoption.  

Both I-CRADLE and CRADLE programs fall under the DOST-Science for Change Program (S4CP),  created to accelerate STI in the country in order to keep up with the developments in our time wherein technology and innovation are game changers.  Other sub-programs of S4CP include the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program where qualified Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the regions are provided with grants so they can undertake quality research directed at promoting regional development with their existing capabilities and resources.  Another capacity-building program is the RDLead Program which aims to help develop and strengthen further the research capabilities of the academe, RDIs, and other government line agencies nationwide. RDLeaders who are local S&T experts with strong leadership and innovative policy proficiencies are engaged to train, and direct and support the R&D goals of their host institute. The Business Innovation through S&T (BIST) for Industry Program aims to provide financial assistance to Filipino private companies for the acquisition of strategic and relevant technologies so that they can undertake  R&D. The financial assistance, which may only be used to purchase R&D equipment or to secure technology licensing and/or patent rights, will be refunded to DOST at zero percent interest.

For companies who wish to avail of the I-CRADLE program, you may contact the DOST-Science for Change Project Management Office at 2/F ADMATEL Bldg., DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City, with telephone numbers (02) 8837-2943/ 8837-2930.  You may also send an email to 

ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 Launching Event “Adapt, Upskill, Excel: Building ASEAN SMEs’ Resilience with ASEAN SME Academy 2.0”

ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 is an upgraded version from the existing online learning platform which already been operated since 2016. It is an online learning platform intended for the ASEAN SMEs with the objective to leverage their capability especially for digital skills. The upgrade aims of improving a learning experience through more centralized, user-friendly, and inclusive resources for SMEs. The upgrade will feature content in multiple regional languages, new visual designs, mobile accessibility, self-certifications, and various resources for SMEs to access.

The ASEAN SME Academy (the Academy) is an online learning platform which was built in 2016 as a joint initiative between US-ABC, USAID, and the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME). It is an official ASEAN platform, co- administered by US-ABC, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry under Bureau of  Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED - DTI) and the Philippine Trade and Training Centre (PTTC). The platform provides online learning courses and resources to help ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing their business.

Since its establishment, the Academy has grown significantly, and now offers more than 90 courses and 375 additional online resources for SMEs. The Academy has also reached over 460,000 unique visitors and more than 9,600 active users regularly accessing new knowledge and skills training resources. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the world’s economies, especially affecting small businesses. Seeing massive changes brought by the world’s pandemic, there is a necessity in synergizing ongoing efforts and platforms to support SMEs adapt to the constantly evolving ways of doing business brought by digitalisation, leading to the revamp of the Academy initiated in 2021 and led by US-ABC and U.S. Government under the USAID in consultation with the BSMED – DTI as the ACCMSME Country Lead. 

The ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 aims to serve as a world-class, attractive, user-friendly, and inclusive MSME learning platform. It would feature localized courses on a variety of topics of interest to MSMEs and would include multilanguage support, new visual, mobile-friendly interface, top online resource for MSMEs, and self-certification. 

In line with Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2022’s key theme of “Addressing Challenge Together” by building a harmonious ASEAN Community that is peaceful, stable, and prosperous, the US-ABC and the U.S. Government aim to strengthen the capacity of SMEs as one of ASEAN’s economic pillars, thus empower ASEAN SMEs to become more competitive in domestic markets and better integrate into both regional and global value chains.

The ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 was launched April 8 at PTTC Manila

This launch event aims to generating public awareness and publicity among the target users and stakeholders of the ASEAN SME Academy 2.0, which includes ACCMSME members, related ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and ASEAN member states institutions, as well as ASEAN MSMEs and other businesses, business associations in ASEAN and ASEAN member states.

The launch will be accessible via three channels:
1. The main launch to be organized physically in PTTC Office, Manila, the Philippines;
2. The rest of AMS to participate through Zoom Webinar platform, accessible by members of the ACCMSME, related ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, MSMEs and business 
associations in AMS, and the U.S. Government stakeholders.
3. Live stream for the wider stakeholders via the following social media channels:
     a. ASEAN Secretariat (youtube) 
     b. ASEAN SME Academy 

Huwebes, Abril 7, 2022

47th Asia Pacific Convention of Kiwanis International Celebrates with Mernels

The annual celebration of Kiwanis International Asia Pacific Convention was held in Manila and  hosted by the Philippine Luzon District headed by Governor Mario Marasigan with ASPAC Convention Chair Past Governor Raymund Yap recently in Alabang who oversee all the preparations to make sure that the 3 activities will be the best. 

According to Yap when interviewed before the event, “A more exciting 2022 Kiwanis ASPAC eConvention which is 2 days and after a long vacation of social gathering, it’s time to celebrate with fellow Kiwanians from other Districts. It is an honor to be the 2022 Kiwanis ASPAC Convention Chair ,  a big challenge to my committee/ team in making this event a success , a short preparation of another eConvention , that only last January we decided to have it on Virtual for the safety of the delegates, we recommended this platform because of the rising cases of Covid 19 after the holiday season though went down, we will still continue it but with a face to face “Fellowship” celebration on the night of April 2. 

Mernels CEO attended the event to receive the plaque for their exceptional help during pandemic especially sharing their blessings through Kiwanis. Merle and Carmela Balicao joined by their managers were bimming with joy when on stage for the award with SMEs CSR Company of the year. They send some cakes also for the attendees to promote their famous chocolate cake. 

Grace Bondad Nicolas, being the events queen,  on the other hand is the one in charge in the program of 3 activities from the two days online convention up to the fellowship night. She added that, it’s fabulous, it became the place to be since the Philippines now is opening the economy. 

“Time to meet once again not just for the members from different clubs which are from different industries but also to level up more the help for the children via Kiwanis activities. As per what I heard, the 3 activities under the 47th Kiwanis Asia Pacific Convention since we tapped also the team under Tag Media Group, is exceptional, flawless and organized. Our objective actually, for everyone to enjoy and at the same time to be with this Kiwanis family again in online and face to face.” - Grace Bondad Nicolas 

Dr. Elton See Tan, the Fellowship Chairman made sure that the guests had a good time. 

More or less 250 paid registrants from all over the Philippines with some guests from outside the country. There were also exhibitors who promoted their local products and services, entertainment and a short program to celebrate the Asia Pacific Convention in Manila. There were also leaders presented with the plaques from Governor Raymund Yap for their exemplary deeds. 

Kiwanis ASPAC consists of Kiwanis Districts, Provisional Districts and non-districted Nations in the Asia-Pacific Region.  


Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand-South Pacific (New Zealand, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Vanuatu), Philippine Luzon, Philippine South, Taiwan, together with non-districted Kiwanis Nations  Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Shanghai and Thailand work to grow Kiwanis in Asia Pacific.

Membership in a Kiwanis club will give you the chance to meet people from all walks of life, including local business people and community leaders. It will also give you the opportunity to contribute to improving your community.