Friday, March 24, 2023

A Pairing Like No Other: Get the TV of Your Dreams, Plus the Best Soundbar to match it with!


Good things always come in pairs. Whether it’s enjoying a well-loved pastime with your favorite
snacks, getting pampered while getting some online shopping in, or catching a great film on
your very own TV while having a great sound system to amp that fantastic viewing experience…
The best things in life come in twos.

When it comes to the TV of your dreams, it’s a great idea to match it with the best sound system
to complement it. With this comes the best pairing of the season with Samsung’s One True Pair
Promo. Grab a chance to level up your lifestyle and finally buy your dream Lifestyle TV and
Soundbar together, and save up to P34,999.

This is your chance to take home the most coveted The Serif or The Frame TV with the ultra-
chic and sleek Lifestyle Soundbar, all at a special bundled price when you purchase it via
straight card or cash payment at any participating Samsung Authorized Dealer.

There’s simply no better duo than Samsung’s One True Pair. Pairing The Frame or The Serif
with the Lifestyle Soundbar is seamless and allows you to experience the absolute best of both
devices through the Q-Symphony feature which allows both the TV and Soundbar speakers to
synergize together and provide a greater and more immersive sound experience. Both devices
have aesthetically delightful designs that adorn each other and elevate every room they are
placed in, creating truly inspiring spaces. Most of all, the top-notch highlight of these two
products combined will be the QLED technology meeting Dolby Atmos, giving you beautiful
picture quality and exceptional cinematic sound.

Hurry, Samsung’s One True Pair Promo is runs until March 31, 2023. Get your fill of exciting
promo updates on Samsung TVs, log on to, and follow Samsung on their
official Facebook and Instagram pages. 

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies.
The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital
appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI and LED solutions. For the latest news,
please visit the Samsung Newsroom at

GrabFood teams up with Riot Games for VALORANT Champions Tour Pacific League 2023

GrabFood teams up with Riot Games for VALORANT Champions Tour Pacific League 2023

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 22 March 2023 – GrabFood partners with Riot Games for VALORANT Champions Tour Pacific League 2023, making it the official Online Food Delivery Partner of the esports event in the Philippines. 

The highlight of the partnership is the GrabUnlimited (GU) Unli-Buhat Challenge, where four lucky players and their chosen companions get the experience of a lifetime: a trip to Seoul, South Korea to witness the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Pacific League 2023 during the finals week happening in May.

Grand winners of the challenge are going to receive round-trip tickets for two, accommodation allowance, and exclusive backstage and event passes. To get started, participants can visit the “Challenges” icon on the Grab app and select “Unli-Buhat to VCT Seoul.” Once the details have been reviewed, they can click the “Accept Challenge” button and start ordering on GrabFood for a chance to win a spot on the special trip.

GrabUnlimited gives gamers the ultimate sulit hack – offering an everyday free delivery fee as well as exclusive food deals. Depending on their gaming and food cravings, they can pursue the Unli-Buhat challenge and make the most out of their GrabFood experience. The Unli-Buhat Challenge is open to all GU subscribers until 15 April 2023. 

Grab Philippines Director for Deliveries Greg Camacho shares:

“We are happy to partner with Riot Games for VCT Pacific League 2023 as we offer GrabUnlimited – our ultimate sulit delivery hack – to all gamers who depend on reliable delivery services. With GU, VAL players and all other esports athletes can focus on winning and leveling up – no more pausing the game to prep food cravings. So to all up-and-coming esports champs, just keep your head in the game and let GU cover all your food delivery needs. Make the most of your gaming experience with GrabUnlimited.

Participants of the GrabUnlimited Unli-Buhat Challenge can also win surprise VALORANT in-game items like sprays, gun buddies, and player cards. In-game items will be awarded on March 31, while the grand prize winners will be announced on April 22. Winners will be notified via email and the Grab App message inbox. 



Grab is a leading superapp in Southeast Asia, operating across the deliveries, mobility and digital financial services sectors. Serving over 500 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries - Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - Grab enables millions of people everyday to order food or groceries, send packages, hail a ride or taxi, pay for online purchases or access services such as lending and insurance, all through a single app. Grab was founded in 2012 with the mission to drive Southeast Asia forward by creating economic empowerment for everyone, and strives to serve a triple bottom line: to simultaneously deliver financial sustainability and have a positive social and environmental impact in Southeast Asia

SM Scholar-Alumna takes the Road less Travelled

Rosalie Macaspac (left) interprets the contents of the program for her students.

Teaching surpasses the realms of jobs or professions–it encompasses service, vocation, and life mission. 

Proving this day and night are millions of Filipino teachers who stand as second mothers to students. One of them is Rosalie Macaspac, an SM scholar alumna who chose to pursue a career in Special Education (SPED).

Life’s work

Choosing to teach, especially pursue SPED, is a path less travelled. Out of over 800,000 public school teachers, only about 4,000 are in SPED, and Rosalie is one of the few who took the path. For 21 years now, the SM scholar alumna has dedicated her life to teaching SPED students. She wanted to empower and give special children a voice by advocating the welfare of deaf learners.

With much dedication and determination to have the right skills for her students, she pursued graduate studies in special education and Filipino sign language at the Philippine National University and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, respectively. 

She currently teaches at the Philippine School for the Deaf in Pasay, the only government-owned institution for the deaf in the country. Here, she spearheaded the numeracy skills training program for deaf learners.

Embedding grit, greatness

Her journey to becoming an educator was not easy. Her parents separated when she was three years old, and her mother became the breadwinner. 

“In the early years of my life as a three year old, awareness of how hard life is became a part of my growing up. I grew up with a mindset that whatever happens, I will not abandon my studies. Sensing my determination, my mother earned a living by washing and ironing clothes of our neighbors. I came to realize my mom had to wash and press thousands and thousands of clothes so I could finish my studies. But I did not pity myself. Instead, I kept a strong determination to battle on and promised my mother that she will not grow old and die as a laundry woman,” she said.

The weight on their shoulder became heavier when her mother became bedridden for half a year. Instead of slowing her down, it did the opposite. She continued her studies with much determination. With the help of her uncle, the Missionaries of Charity, and the puto bigas she sold, they could get by. 

She finished primary school with good grades, and was a consistent honor student in high school, despite having one centavo allowance and rice and coffee as meals. With good standing, she had her mind set on her next goal: going to college.

“Giving up or surrendering wasn’t in my vocabulary. The strong heart of my mother was passed on to me as she was my inspiration to strive to get us out of the predicament we were in,” she stressed.

“When I was in fourth year high school, I was deep in thought of what to do to support my college education.  Then, God in all His goodness, stepped in again. The Guidance Office in our school announced that the SM Foundation was offering scholarships for qualified students. I knew at that very moment that He was with me. All I had to do is to apply for the scholarship,” she recalled.

Rosalie (fifth from left) and her fellow scholar alumni take a photo with SMIC Executive Director Harley Sy (third from left)

She vividly remembers sending her SM College Scholarship program application at the Customer Service of the SM in Quiapo and how she learned on May 9, 1995 that she would be interviewed for the scholarship in room 214 of the MSE Bldg. The three-digit number has since become unforgettable for her. By June 1995, Macaspac was among the SM scholars who had started their college education under the scholarship program.

According to her, the scholarship helped her become a well-rounded individual. It was the key to the realization of her dreams and paved the way to success. The activities provided by SM Foundation, such as the scholars’ assembly, the orientation, leadership training, sports fest and annual retreat, were very memorable for her.

“Looking back, the retreats, monthly meetings and being able to work in SM as an employee, followed up by our project director boosted my self-esteem and opened my world to service,” she said.

Rosalie at the Philippine School for the Deaf

Before teaching, she first worked as a Merchandise and Planning Control-Clerk at the SM Head Office, which was then located in Calle Echague, Manila. She was hired immediately after college.

Working in DepEd has always been her dream, and she is proud of where she is today: “Since day one of my college days, I aimed to be a public-school teacher. I am happy with my work now as a High School Teacher for Deaf learners. I am so privileged that I am in this community and my heart is entwined with my students.”  

“I am not ashamed to tell my colleagues that I had a humble beginning and I thank SM Foundation for putting me where I am now. I owe these blessings to SM, Henry “Tatang” Sy, SM Foundation, Ma’am Nilda Bernaldez, and my fellow SM-Scholars, most especially, my mother. They are all the instruments to why I chose to give back to a special community and dedicate my life to being an effective SPED teacher.”

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Economic Optimism is Driving Asia’s Consumers Back In Stores

20 March 2023, SINGAPOREWGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, has published its annual “Asia Shopper Forecast 2023” report highlighting the Asian consumer preferences and profiles that will impact consumer decision making in 2023 and beyond.

The forecast is meant to help brands, businesses, and marketers to strategize and create meaningful experiences catered to the consumers of tomorrow. 

“As we enter 2023, the effects of a global economic crisis will manifest and always-rising consumer expectations will force businesses in the region to find new drivers of growth. Just as mobility in Asia-Pacific (APAC) returns to pre-pandemic levels, Asian shoppers will continue to prioritize travel and look to heading out In-Real-Life (IRL), while retailers will need to offer powerful counterpoints to digital fatigue. At the same time, the uptake of digital technologies that commenced during the pandemic, will continue to enable consumers to move seamlessly between online and offline channels.  We will also begin to see a growing desire among Asian consumers to make the most out of the present by finding respite in a variety of experiences despite the global economic slowdown,” said Jess Tang, Senior Consultant of APAC, WGSN.

A region with a changing consumer behavior

In the Philippines where much of the pandemic restrictions are already lifted, major mall developers are reporting that consumer traffic has reached up to 95% of pre-COVID levels in the third quarter of 2022, according to a 2023 retail property market outlook report by real estate company Colliers Philippines.

The same report saw more foreign and local retailers opening physical stores in malls due to the rising consumer traffic and anticipated increase in purchasing power. Colliers expects the food and beverage segment to account for 50% of upcoming mall retailers while fashion, accessories, beauty, and health will account for 27%.

This shows that consumers in the Philippines and in the region are now coming back to physical stores with many craving IRL, sensory, and engaging experiences. Savvier decision makers will also emerge with more conscious buying decisions and mobile will be key to reaching consumers with convenience and speed.

The key Asia shopper behavioral trends to watch for 2023 and beyond are: 

  • Sensory adventurers – IRL experiences are now a key motivator for APAC consumers to head out and shop. After increased time spent online, sensory adventurers are getting out and about in 2023, seeking in-person experiences that foster creativity, excitement and tactile moments.

  • Phygital (physical + digital) connectors – During the pandemic, retailers looked to shift online to connect with many first-time digital shoppers. Now as consumers are gradually venturing out, phygital connectors are still looking to the convenience of technology, and want the best of both online and offline shopping.

  • Thrifty indulgers – While APAC consumers feel uncertain and anxious about their future and the economy, thrifty indulgers will spend effort on hunting for products and services that create micro moments of indulgence and bring them joy on a limited budget.

  • Present hedonists – The shocks of Covid-19 and global political and economic uncertainty have given way to the emergence of ‘live for now’ values. This cohort of present hedonists is now prioritising their present wants to enjoy life to its fullest post-pandemic.

  • The conversationalists – Evolving from last year’s Social explorers, the social-driven conversationalists are now deepening their relationships with brands by forging hyper-personal connections and building conversations and trust via private messaging. 

  • Inclusivity advocates – The social justice movement that gathered momentum in 2020 has had a meaningful impact on consumer values. Moving ahead, the inclusivity advocates will spend more based on their social values, supporting minority-owned brands and investing in underrepresented communities.

  • Mindful re-assessors – A growing cohort of younger shoppers in Asia are reassessing what post-pandemic living means and accepting there will be no return to ‘normal’. The pandemic has impacted their perspective on what is considered important in life, and mindful re-assessors are looking to change the way they live and work.

Developed using its proprietary methodology to identify the signals of change and evaluate, verify and forecast trends, WGSN works with over 440 industry experts globally to map influencers, disruptors and changemakers to deliver clear and specific action points. WGSN’s consumer sentiments are selected using WGSN’s unique STEPIC framework: examining changes in society, technology, the environment, politics, industry and creativity to identify the macro forces that will drive the emotional sentiments in the years to come.

A copy of the sample report can be found here: link



WGSN is the global authority on consumer, lifestyle and product design trends, helping brands around the world create the right products at the right time for tomorrow’s consumer. 

WGSN’s trusted forecasts power outstanding product design, enabling our customers to create a better future. Our services cover consumer insights, beauty, consumer tech, fashion, food and drink, and interiors forecasting, data analytics and expert advisory.

WGSN is an Ascential company. Visit


Ascential delivers specialist information, analytics and ecommerce optimization platforms to the world’s leading consumer brands and their ecosystems.

Our world-class businesses improve performance and solve problems for our customers by delivering immediately actionable information combined with visionary longer-term thinking across Digital Commerce, Product Design and Marketing. We also serve customers across Retail & Financial Services.

With more than 2,000 employees across five continents, we combine local expertise with a global footprint for clients in over 120 countries. Ascential is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Panda Express® Expands Outside NCR with First Store in South Luzon


MANILA, Philippines. March 23, 2023. –  Panda Express® is finally bringing its signature dish The Original Orange Chicken® outside Metro Manila. The world’s largest American Chinese dining concept has made its way to the Land of the Brave and is opening its first store in Tanza, Cavite on March 24 —marking its first location in South Luzon

Panda Express invites all hungry Caviteños and Caviteñas to visit its maiden branch in the province located at SM City Tanza, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, to experience the mouth-watering bold flavors of its wok-cooked dishes with Chinese and Sichuan influences. 

“We are thrilled to open our first restaurant in Cavite and in South Luzon as we continue to expand in the Philippines to make it more convenient for our guests to enjoy Panda Express’ world-famous American Chinese dishes,” said Doug Stalgren, Vice President of Panda Express International Business Development. “We can’t wait to welcome our fans on the opening day.”

From entrees to appetizers to sides, Panda Express offers a variety of scrumptious menu choices cooked with fresh, quality ingredients every day that leave its guests wanting for more. Among them is Panda’s  top seller, The Original Orange Chicken, which is prepared with crispy boneless chicken bites wok-tossed in its signature sweet and spicy Orange Sauce. 

In time for Lent, the new branch also offers meat-free options for Christians and Catholics choosing to abstain from eating meat during this period. Some of their meatless options include: 

  • Honey Walnut Shrimp: One of its award-winning entrées, this dish is made with large tempura-battered shrimp wok-tossed in a honey sauce and topped with glazed walnuts.

  • Savory Shrimp: Another beloved shrimp recipe, this dish is inspired by the flavors of Hunan cuisine. It features premium, juicy shrimp, stir-fried with onions, green beans and bell peppers in a savory sauce that adds a beautiful burst of color, textures, and flavors

  • Kung Pao Fish: This Sichuan-inspired dish is a close cousin of another classic American Chinese staple, Kung Pao Chicken. It’s a divine combination lightly breaded, crispy boneless fish,a variety of freshly-cut vegetables and peanuts, all tossed in a savory sauce. 

  • Eggplant Tofu: A good source of protein, this entrée is made with lightly browned tofu, eggplant, and red bell peppers tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce.

Deals and treats await Panda Express guests with the first 30 customers in line during the opening day able to receive free Panda Bears. Exciting freebies also await those who will visit the Cavite branch via dine-in or take out from March 24 to 26.

Panda Express SM City Tanza is also available for long distance delivery via GrabFood, foodpanda, and

Panda Express is also going full speed ahead with its expansion this year with a new drive-thru branch in the pipeline, which is expected to open in Pacita, San Pedro, Laguna next month. This will become the first Panda Express store to have a drive-thru lane in South Luzon. 

For more information about Panda Express®, visit (Facebook) and @PandaExpressPH (Instagram).


In time for the season of Lent
, Panda Express got your meat-free menu covered with its Savory Shrimp, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Kung Pao Fish, and Eggplant Tofu. 

# # #

About Panda Express® 


On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express® is the largest Asian dining concept in the world. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known as a trailblazer for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller The Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each entrée at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients, and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,500 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to twelve international countries. Visit (Facebook) and @PandaExpressPH (Instagram) for more information.

Daughter of former Flower Farmers Lives a Vibrant Life through the SM Scholarship Grant

Jonnah Sacamay serves as a Senior Accounting Manager at the SM Store in Cebu.

Stability is the foundation of a well-lived life. With basic needs fulfilled, people have the opportunity to develop themselves, explore various facets of life, and contribute to the welfare of the community.

When aspiring youth, especially those from low-income households, are given the chance to stand on solid ground, they readily take the chance. They utilize it as a seedbed where they can cultivate their dreams and aspirations.

One testament to this is SM scholar alumna Jonnah Jane Sacamay, who grew up in a family where stability seemed like an uncharted territory. Years back, Jonnah’s family’s main source of living was flower farming. This made them walk on a thin line as the demand for flowers was seasonal, and they were also often affected by unpredictable weather disturbances. 

But while they had journeyed through life with uncertainty, they had always planted in her mind the power of education.

“Given that the nature of farming is very seasonal, our income is not stable. Aside from augmenting our daily needs, we also had to ensure that my education is secured,” Jonnah recalled. 

Holding on to the power of education

And so, to help her family, she studied hard in grade school as soon as she learned about others who had the opportunity to pursue college through the SM College Scholarship Program. With her whole heart dedicated to learning and her eyes set on the SM scholarship, she finished high school as the class valedictorian. Once the forms were available, she immediately processed her application at the SM Store in Cebu.

“I was informed that I got accepted as an SM Scholar. From then on, a huge weight was lifted off my parents' shoulders. I could pursue my chosen degree in my chosen university,” she added.

Through the scholarship offered by the SM group through SM Foundation, she was able to focus on the development of her skills and knowledge not only in accountancy but especially in life. She became a Magna Cum Laude graduate of BS Accountancy at the University of San Carlos.

Jonnah (center) with her parents during her graduation

“The SM Scholarship helped me reach my dream of becoming a CPA, and this opened doors for me, enabling me to land a job that empowered me to help my family,” she said. 

“My experience in retail has given me wide knowledge in different areas. With this, I always make sure that my family makes informed decisions in all aspects of life. One thing that has become a tradition among SM Cebu scholars during my time was to have an outreach program. In our own way, we were able to pay forward the help that we received from SM. It was a fulfilling experience that we could share our blessings in our own little way,” she added.

Jonnah currently serves as a Senior Accounting Manager at the SM Store, Cebu. Aside from financial security, she currently takes care of her parents’ medical expenses and lets them enjoy vibrant life experiences after retiring as flower farmers.

“Having a degree enabled me and my family to experience more in life. It paved the way for me to secure a stable job, which allowed me to travel, treat my family to a nice meal, take them shopping on special occasions, and most importantly, support my parents and their medical expenses. Aside from providing me with a scholarship grant, working in SM has provided a sense of security for me and my family,” she shared.

Opening doors to more

SM Foundation made it its goal to help create an environment where low-income families can thrive and achieve stability, just like how the SM College Scholarship Program paved ways for Jonnah and her family.

For the school year 2023-2024, the application period is open from February 1-March 31, 2023. The selected scholars may specialize in accounting, information technology, engineering, and education with full tuition and monthly allowance, including enrichment programs and activities. 

For more information about the SM College Scholarship program, visit

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