Science Discovery Center excites Dabawenyo kids, teachers


Another first in Davao City is this Science Discovery Center.  The interactive galleries are interesting to explore just like what I experienced abroad.  Surely, both the mature and the young ones are interested to have a personal experience at the SDC. I personally am happy that SM chose Davao over other cities to put up their second Science Discovery Center here.  Based on my interview with an officer of SM, a theme park is also being worked out and I am equally excited to have that here too. Meantime, here’s my story of the newly opened Science Discovery Center …

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 2 (PNA) — Students and teachers of the Davao City schools here were excited with the opening on Tuesday of the Science Discovery Center (SDC) at SM Lanang Premier.

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Head of the high school department Luz Josol of the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School (PNJKIS) here, said “the SDC is very relevant because it does not only provide entertainment but better understanding of the things around us. It will really be of great help for our students to better understand their lessons especially on their Science subjects.”

She said the trip to the Science Discovery Center will now be part of their school’s yearly activity and this early we already incorporated this to our school calendar of activities for 2014.

The opening ceremony was graced by Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Art Boncato, Davao City Tourism Officer Lisette Marques, Museum Dabawenyo director Orly Escarilla, Department of Education, education program supervisor for Science, Marilyn Madrazo, SM”s Family Entertainment Center, Inc. senior vice president Manuel Atacador, SM’s vice president for Mindanao operation Debby A. Go, representatives from Universities and Colleges of Davao City, other officers from government and private offices and the public.

Josol together with some PNJKIS students and teachers were among those who witnessed the opening of the Science Discovery Center here.

“As we do exposure trip for our students this facility is very accessible and timely with ultra modern and latest state of the art technology,” she said.

SM”s Family Entertainment Center, Inc. senior operations manager Arturo C. Carballo said the center that occupies 2,000 square meter also houses the eighty-seater full dome Digital Planetarium that is powered by the world’s most sophisticated and advanced planetarium projector system, the Digistar 5.

He said Davao’s Planetarium has the highest set of projector ever even as he said that the Planetarium alone costs about 700,000 dollars.

The center features 10 interactive galleries which allow guests to learn about Geology, Biology, the Climate, the Body, Energy, Transportation, Technology, and Engineering, and the Future in the most enjoyable and entertaining way.

He said the country’s first interactive science center has always been at the forefront of edu-tainment (education plus entertainment).

He said the owners of SM are firm believers that meaningful experiences and learning occurs when one provides children with an enjoyable atmosphere in an encouraging and interactive environment.

Neizzy Mainit, Grade 7 of PNJKIS and her classmates said they were happy with the opening of SDC in Davao City saying their experience with the interactive galleries are entertaining, exciting, enjoyable and they said they will ask their parents to bring them back to the SDC together with their siblings aside from the scheduled trip that their school will arrange for them.

The Science Discovery Center in Davao is the second that SM built in the country after the first was established at the Mall of Asia in 2007 said Carballero.

He said hey will build their 3rd Science Discovery Center in Jinjiang, China although he said they will also be building a smaller science center in Cebu City.

“Operating a science discovery center is also a form of their corporate social responsibility in line with SM’s dedication to spread world-class “edutainment” for families not only in Davao but the whole of Mindanao,” he said. (PNA)
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Manila real property developer launches 8 Spatial in Davao City


Real estate project still is the top driver in Davao City’s investments. Another medium rise building  (MRB) by Filinvest Land Inc. has been launched here with target market the middle income earners.  Here’s my story …

DAVAO CITY, Sept. 23 (PNA) — Some P2 billion investment for the new development here, the Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) is building six medium rise buildings in a 3.8 hectare prime property along Julian Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue or known to many as the Maa Road.

The project was formally launched during the contract signing on Monday at Marco Polo Davao between FLI headed by the executive vice president and vice chairman Andrew Gotianum, Jr and the CVA & Sons represented by Atty. Antonio VA. Llamas and Maria Loreto VA Abella Lopez.

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According to Tristan las Marias, FLI first vice president for Visayas and Mindanao, once this is fully developed total investment is pegged at P4 billion. This project he said is apart from the already 13 ongoing MRB projects around the country.

Las Marias said the 8 Spatial offers the best of its design at an affordable price.

However, he said they are offering this to the middle income group, to young professionals and also to couples whose combined income is pegged within the bracket of P30,000 to P40,000 monthly.

“The monthly amortization of P6,000 is an easy package that we offer to a buyer,” he said.

Las Marias also emphasized that they offer a product with more spaces as they do away with beams and columns plus the inclusion of green design making use of natural light and ventilation.

The project covers a 3.8 hectare property where it is FLI’s third joint venture with CVA & Sons, the family corporation of the prominent Carlos Villa Abrille clan of Davao City.

The two other projects are Fuente de Villa-Abrille along Tulip Drive in Matina and Le Jardin de Villa-Abrille, along Julian Rodriguez Sr. Avenue and facing 8 Spatial.

He said because it is located within a developing commercial area they will develop the first level of the 6-storey building for commercial area where businesses like coffee shops, laundry services and others may locate as this will also benefit the residents.

Geraldine de Gorostiza, area development manager said 8 Spatial features 8 buildings with 6 floors each where the units are larger and are designed for functionally and efficiency. It will feature spaces with buildings’ footprint occupying only 30 percent of the total land area giving residents spacious sanctuary amidst the urban sprawl.

She said it is within walking distance to NCCC Mall, S&R Membership Shopping and other commercial establishments.

It is also very near educational institutions like University of Mindanao Matina Campus, Ateneo de Davao University Matina Campus and the Philippine Women’s College of Davao.

Meanwhile, Las Marias believes that with their target market for 8 Spatial, the buyers are end-users as they also target those families from neighboring cities and provinces who would want to send their children to the prestigious schools of Davao City.

He also said that the recent construction methodology they adopt are also based on the study they conducted even as he said that this design is in response to what the buyers consider in acquiring a unit with more spaces and also its accessibility to transportation and major establishments, schools and others.

He also said that aside from developing residential subdivisions, they develop MRBs where they offer a much better living environment due to its low-density and wide open spaces.Image

The MRB he said is the best alternative for the urban Filipino family. (PNA)
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Puregold opens three stores in three Davao key areas


The more the merrier so they say … you name it we have them here … not only that  … more will be opened  … and many says it’s a welcome development …  the economy is growing … and they said they believe in the vibrant economy of the city …  I would say investors are welcome  here too …. sharing you this story ….

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DAVAO CITY, Sept. 13 (PNA) –Puregold Price Club Inc. opens three st ores in the cities of Davao, Tagum in Davao del Norte and Digos in Davao del Sur in a span of four months this year.

In an interview with the company’s vice president for operations, Tonio delos Santos, during the opening of the Davao City store on Thursday, said it was the first venture in Mindanao even as he said the island has been a primary consideration.

The Davao City store is their 191st store. The other stores here are in Tagum City that opened last June while the Digos city store was opened in July.

He said in the fourth quarter of this year, Puregold stores will open in Butuan City and in Cagayan de Oro City making a total of five stores operating in Mindanao by the end of 2013.

He said, since they opened the first Puregold in 1998 in Shaw Boulevard, their Luzon branches to date already totaled to some 188 stores.

The company will open their first store in the Visayas on September 18 in Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, he said.

“Our concept is a of hypermarket shopping for the loyal customers to experience as we are pleased to offer Dabawenyos a one-stop shopping experience,” he said.

He said Dabawenyos can now avail of their consumer-based programs through the Tindahan ni Aling Puring (TNAP) where it provides not only quality products and services but also profitable business opportunities.

He said TNAP is designed specifically for small and medium scale entrepreneurs, which include sari-sari store owners, carinderia/canteen owners, caterers, and other kinds of resellers.

Although, he did not give details, he said more new stores will open in 2014 around the country including the island of Mindanao. (PNA) PDS/ASA/PRIX DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

smaller cars are in …


In the Philippines, the car industry targets to sell 200,000 units this year after some 180,000 new cars were sold in 2012.  The figures signal positive growth as far as the business side is concern.  There could be other factors that you may think about with more cars or other transportation moving around.  But the good thing about Filipinos now is that they go for small cars as ….    

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Small cars in to Filipino car buyers

DAVAO CITY, Sept. 5 (PNA) — Owning small cars have become a trend now among Filipino buyers, according to Felipe Carlos, vice president, Auto Loan Head of BPI Family Savings Bank.

In a press conference Thursday, Carlos said they noticed the trend among their auto loan borrowers lately saying that these type of cars are easy to amortize and very affordable.

Carlos was in Davao City for their auto-loan event showcasing their 2nd Online Auto Madness at Abreeza Mall Activity Center in Davao City from Sept 5 to 8, 2013.

He said interested applicants may go to bpiautomadness.com to fill up and submit applications.

Accessing on line will run from Sept 5 to 27.

The promo he said features special low loan rates, free insurance with acts of nature coverage, and the convenience of shopping for a car online 24/7 with the use of a very comprehensive digital Car Buyers Guide.

Carlos said there is positive growth of the car industry in the South saving that the growth of the car industry is of upward direction.

He said industry figure showed about 180,000 units were sold last year and this year’s target is placed at 200,000.

Meanwhile, he said BPI’s outstanding account for car loans accounted to P35 billion with the National Capital Region cornering the biggest share of the pie.

Mindanao share would be a small portion of about 10 percent but we see a positive growth here.

Carlos also said that of those who availed of their auto loans, 95 per cent of them completed amortizing the unit for five years with only five percent on default.

He also said that they are banking on young professionals whose salary ranges from P30,000 and up and this sector prefers cars within the P400,000 to P500,000 price ceiling.

BPI partners with top six companies for their auto madness promo here, namely, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Honda, Isuzu and Ford. (PNA)
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Coconut …


Known as the tree of life … Davao corners the biggest area planted to coconut. Coconut is a tree where all it parts can be of use … from the trunk, the leaves and more especially the fruit.  And lately, foreign personalities go crazy about “buko” juice and based on personal experience taking this juice makes me more active.  In an article published by Digital Running Club on coco water it said it could replenish electrolyte in the body after a though workout as it contains all five essential electrolytes, namely, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, and calcium.  A lot can be done about coconut and this Davao businessman explored into producing coco syrup which became popular in other foreign markets … here’s my story …

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Davao businessman finds new foreign markets for coco syrup

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 17 (PNA) — A Davao businessman has found new foreign markets for coco syrup in Germany and Australia.

Benjamin Lao, president of Lao Integrated Farms Inc. (LIFI), said their company as one of the major players in the coconut industry in the Davao Region, had initially exported some 1,200 liters of coco syrup to Germany and another 900 liters to Australia in July this year.

“That volume is just our initial export since we just began last month. There’s a growing demand for coco syrup in the global market,” Lao said.

He also said local coconut producers in the region will find another boost in terms of income since negotiation is ongoing between them and the new global markets to allow the entry of coconut products, including coco sugar, syrup and seasoning in Japan and Canada.

Lao said 80 percent of the total production of their coco syrup is exported to global markets while only 20 percent distributed locally.

He said the United States and European countries remain as LIFI’s top international markets.

Lao said they have been exporting to these international markets since 2009 of about 8,000 liters of coco syrup and about a ton of coco sugar a month.

Lao said his firm produces 350 kilograms of coco sugar and 600 liters of coco syrup a day. These products, derived from the coco sap.

He also assured local coconut producers that exporting coco syrup will not wipe out the copra business in the country.

“The production of these products will not affect the copra, since the coconut sap comprises only 2 to 10 percent of the coconut tree,” Lao said.

In order to increase production of coco sap, he recommended planting two dwarf varieties of coconut — the Mawa and Aromatic — that can produce an average of four litres day. (PNA) Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp/utb

Kadayawan sa Dabaw features Filipino dishes, holds Durianfest and agri-trade fair


August is festival month for Davao City and Dabawenyos are one in this celebration of prosperity and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest of both the land and sea. Foreign and domestic visitors flock to this prime city in the South because of the Kadayawan  Festival.  When you come … you will bring home a warm, friendly, happy and rich experience.  Come visit the place and enjoy both island to highland tourism sites and the colorful festivities.  Madayaw !  … this story tells you what you’ll get when you come to our Davao City this August.

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DAVAO CITY, Aug. 5 (PNA) — Choices of Filipino dishes will be featured this August in time for the Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival where most of the restaurants and hotels in the city showcase all about Kadayawan festivities for a celebration of nature’s bountiful harvest of the land and sea.

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Offering an array of sumptuous and delicious Filipino fare, like the case of “The White House” where it treats diners that would make one want for more of its Kadayawan sa Dabaw Feast offering.

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The White House co-owner Cathy Binag said diners could delightfully sink their teeth into the wonderful taste of the “Real Kare-Kare” made with sauteed roasted rice, Ox tail, Ox tripe with separate peanut sauce and steamed vegetables.”It is home-cooked and made from scratch,” she said.

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There is also the “Twiced-Cooked Adobo ala TBF” which consists of Pork Pata Front with Pork Belly and Mashed Liver. And the Tuna Kinilaw that Davao is known for but the Kinilaw here comes with a twist and aromatic kick known as “The White House Kinilaw”, she added.

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During the Kadayawan this August, she said they offer the “All Veggie Fried Lumpia in Pinakurat Vinegar”, “Daing Na Bangus Belly with Salted Egg”, and the “Classic Binagoongang Baboy”.

Binag said all the ingredients, the vegetables, meat and fishes are all sourced out here that are produced locally in Davao.

Meanwhile, a ten-day Durian Festival will take place at SM Lanang Premier with 10 durian growers participating.

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Candelario Micolob, president of the Davao Durian Council said the festival will be from August 10 to 25, 2013.

Micolob said the event will showcase different varieties of the fruit with its inherent characteristics.

There will also be farm tour for those interested and learn more about Durian.

He said the festival is their initial step of a series of marketing activities that the industry is going to undertake.

At the festival, visitors could feast on Durian at affordable prices with initial price that ranges between P30 to P35 per kilo.

At SM City Davao in Ecoland, the agri-trade fair is set up where different flowers are on display.

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The month long agri-trade fair is one of the most-anticipated events of the Kadayawan festival for both Dabawenyos and those coming from other places.

Davao City’s best agricultural products including fruit seedlings, ornamental flowers are among those on display for sale.

This is where the city’s best flowers, ornamentals, fruit seedlings, and herbs are displayed and orchid enthusiasts will get the best and the newest of varieties. (PNA)
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PageSnapp Davao goes to Silicon Valley


Anywhere in the world, you can find Pinoy talents … and they don’t stop coming and this time with this group of young professionals who emerged winner in the AngelHack Manila Competition 2013 that entitles them to compete globally this September in Silicon Valley. They will compete with 250 other developers coming from the different countries around the world. Good luck to these Pinoy guys.  Since I got the chance to interview them … here’s my story …

DAVAO CITY (PNA) — After getting the grand prize winner in the competition at AngelHack Manila 2013, the developers of PageSnapp are preparing for their trip to Silicon Valley, California this September.

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(Courtesy Photo)

PageSnapp team is composed of Rolly Rulete, Marvin Consuegra, Raymond Delfin, Miro Galang and Jay Albano.

The group in an interview after the Kapehan sa Davao at SM City recently, said their main objective of developing the application is to help the business community of Davao and those from other parts of the world.

Four members of the team are employed with a startup company, Life Bit, whose owner was also a winner in an AngelHack competition years back. The other team member is from Pampanga.

But they said their employer at Life Bit did not prevented them from exploring thus they improved on their skills on program development and graphic works and competed in the event that was joined by 250 developers and gave them the opportunity to present their product to the global market. During the competition they were given 24 hours to do the coding and make the software work.

PageSnapp will join 31 other winners of the AngelHack Spring Global Challenge conducted in various cities in Asia Pacific, North America, South America, and Europe.

Davao ICT chair Eriberto Barriga, Jr. said PageSnapp together with the other winning teams will present their startups to investors and other related sectors during th Global Demo Day in Silicon Valley this September.

He said of the competing developers, 10 will be picked and be given booths at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco from September 7 to 11, 2013.

“We are optimistic our Davao-Pampanga team will make it,” he said.

Barriga said “their project could help a lot of small businesses and we are proud we have top notch developers who can compete globally”.

He said they are looking at the 16 million local business pages worldwide and get a share of the pie, build their network and later go into commercializing their product.

He said AngelHack will introduce them to incubators and investors to help run their idea into a start-up which is part of their 5,000-dollar travel grant to Silicon Valley. (PNA)
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