BBM and wife Liza’s cordial meeting with friends at his headquarters 


By Crispina M. Belen 

BBM and wife Liza’s cordial meeting with friends at his headquarters 


The phenomenal victory that catapulted Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to the presidency and which made history with the largest electoral votes ever garnered by any presidential candidate could not have come as a surprise. It is a gift from the Filipino people. Because for one of many reasons, BBM is one personality who treats everybody fair and square. 

This was also one admirable trait of the late strongman President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., his father, his namesake. This endeared the late President Marcos, Sr. to his people, and so too with his son, the incoming President, BBM. These characteristics of fairness and prudence were passed on to BBM. To recall, the late Marcos Sr. served the country for 20 years. 

It could be prophetic to say that in 1979 at age 22, 2nd Lieutenant Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr graduated from the Philippine Constabulary Special Forces Operation Course, would be the 17th elected president of the country. His father would have been very proud to have another head of the state in the family. 

Recently, despite the hectic campaign and election sorties he went through, BBM still managed to exchange pleasantries and listen to stories from old friends of his late father, the older Marcos at the BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong.


Friends of Atty. Liza from left to right: Mely Ancheta, Annie Almiranez, Atty. Liza, Carmen Paet and Mely Quimosing

The group was composed of Atty. Liza Marcos’ former classmates and faithful friends from Don Jose Heights, Quezon City. BBM and wife, Atty. Liza, even extended to them invitations to have  lunch at their home in Forbes Park. 


Group of supporters of Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos composed of former classmates and friends

Aside from the friends of Atty. Liza, those invited included Annie Almiranez, Claribel David (former classmate of Atty. Liza ), Mely Ancheta, Carmen Paet, Mely Quimosing and Manuel de Guzman, among many others. This Ilocano group was also avid followers and supporters of the late President Marcos, Sr. in his time. They were thankful and grateful for the invitation given by the gracious couple. 

With that friendly encounter with BBM, the friends of Atty. Liza for BBM were one in saying that with unity and support of the Filipino people, this beautiful country of ours can truly become one great nation with BBM as the leader. 



Legarda vows to combat the crippling consequences of the pandemic 


By Crispina M. Belen 

Legarda vows to combat the crippling consequences of the pandemic 

Sen Loren LegardaFor the fourth time, Loren Legarda is inaugurated as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, capping a career in public service that spans more than two decades.  

“Today marks my 22nd year as your lawmaker. I stand honored and proud before you to accept my mandate once again, to be your Senator for the 4th time,” Legarda said in her inaugural speech.

The fourth-term Senator recently ended her term as Congresswoman of the Lone District of Antique, having “served Antique precisely when the world was stricken by a global health crisis that exacted an enormous economic toll on humanity.”

Despite the crippling consequences of the pandemic, the Senator reported that “the past three years have also been the best years in Antique, where countless jobs were created and people were cared for in every respect, something never experienced in a very long time.”

Legarda will serve as Senator of the 19th Congress, determined for the country to recover from the afflictions of the last few years, the twin crises of climate change and the pandemic.  

“Trabaho at kabuhayan. Ito ang dapat nating patuloy na isulong lalo na’t hindi pa tapos ang ating laban sa kasalukuyang pandemya at sa krisis ng klima. Kasama rin sa ating isusulong ay ang pagpasa ng One Tablet, One Student Act na makatutulong sa ating mga mag-aaral na harapin ang pandemya ngayon, at ang isang batas hinggil sa kabuhayan na naglalayong i-institutionalize ang lahat ng mga programa ng gobyerno na nagsusulong ng livelihood,” Legarda said.

She noted that there is the need to translate laws, programs, and policies into tangible benefits for the nation, extending government assistance to the farthest reaches: the countryside; the grassroots; the poorest of the poor; and the most vulnerable.  

The Senator has authored numerous laws aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos, including the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Law (RA 9501), the Philippine Innovation Act (RA 11293), the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (RA  10931), and the Universal Healthcare Act (RA 10606).  She is a globally recognized environmental champion, having authored and sponsored laws such as the Clean Air Act (RA 8749), the Clean Water Act (RA 9275), the Environmental Awareness Education Act (RA 9512), the Renewable Energy Act (RA 9513), the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003), the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121), the Climate Change Act (RA 9729) and its amendatory law (RA 10174), which provides for the creation of the People’s Survival Fund (RA 10174), and the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas (ENIPAS) Law (RA 11038).

In terms of livelihood, the Senator is committed to ensure that the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which account for 99.51% of our nation’s businesses, fully benefit from the MSME Act. “I have witnessed the untapped possibilities of millions of Filipinos: weavers, entrepreneurs, indigenous communities, and cultural creatives. 

There is so much potential for growth in our rural areas. We need to expand our reach to include local entrepreneurs and indigenous communities and ensure that everyone benefits from government programs such as the MSME Law.”  The Senator would also like to promote green jobs and green skills in the country, encouraging people to engage in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, information technology, creative industries, and other careers that contribute to environmental and cultural preservation.  

With regard to health, Senator Legarda lamented the inequity of the health system, declaring: “We need the full implementation of the Universal Health Care Act. The Law was passed in 2019 and yet Filipinos are still desperately trying to gain access to the assistance intended for them.“  

More importantly, the Senator highlighted the need for “a more proactive and integrated approach to fight epidemics and climate change.” Legarda urges both Houses of Congress to ensure that the national budget is not only a pandemic recovery budget, but one that is attuned to the climate pathway.  

“Nature-based solutions will be the new currency as the world works towards resilience. The key is involving local communities and other stakeholder groups in both the design and implementation of plans,” Legarda said.

Legarda topped previous senatorial elections twice, first in 1998 and second in 2007, and got the second highest votes in 2013. She was also the only female senator who served as senate majority leader.  In this year’s elections, the Senator was elected by an overwhelming 24,264,969 Filipinos, garnering the second highest number of votes.

“I am humbled by the overwhelming mandate I have received from more than 24.2 million people, and I am overflowing with gratitude. Like the past twenty-four years, I will carry and keep ablaze the torch of unity, reform, and good governance alongside the new leadership,” Legarda concluded.



National artists for film and broadcast arts for year 2022 proclaimed, hailed


By Crispina M. Belen

National artists for film and broadcast arts for year 2022 proclaimed, hailed

Hereunder is the official statement of the Film Development of the Philippines (FDCP) on the conferment of our new National Artists for Film and Broadcast Arts:

“The Presidential Proclamation of National Artists for 2022 serves as a victory for Philippine Cinema and gave us a number of firsts. Three artists from the film sector were conferred the great honor of being inducted into the Order of the National Artists of the Philippines, the highest national recognition bestowed upon Filipinos who have made distinct contributions to the development and promotion of the country’s art and culture. 

“As the national film agency, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) congratulates the new National Artists for Film and Broadcast Arts – Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Nora Aunor, and Ricky Lee. Indeed, many milestones have been reached with them as the first female film director, the first film actress, and the first screenwriter hailed as respective National Artists. Director Diaz-Abaya and Ms  Aunor’s conferment symbolize a win, not just for the film industry, but also for the women who have, through the decades, enriched and empowered Philippine Cinema by finding their voices and taking their rightful place at the table. 

“On behalf of the film industry, the FDCP would like to express its sincerest thanks to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) who jointly administer the Order conferred by the Office of the President of the Philippines.”

FDCP Chairperson and CEO Undersecretary Liza Dino extends her exhilaration at the news of the proclamation, saying “This is such inspiring news for all of us in the industry. Though we all work hard here for the love of the craft, for the upliftment of film workers in the Philippines, or just to have a means of livelihood—this affirmation is a boost to the morale of the film sector who has been recovering not just from the economic ravages of the pandemic, but also from the years of neglect. We, as a sector, are being seen.”

“I had the privilege of being able to personally work and be acquainted with these three legends. Ate Guy has always been a staunch supporter of the FDCP programs. It was under Direk Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s tutelage that I finished my basic and advanced filmmaking course. And Sir Ricky Lee, of course, has been FDCP’s Camera Obscura Excellence Award recipient last 2019. During the celebration of Sine Sandaan, all of them were hailed as Sine Sandaan’s icons. Simply for this fact of knowing them, their work ethic, and their passion for the craft—I am deeply honored and inspired,” she added.

National Artist Nora Aunor, Nora Cabaltera Villamayor in real life,  has been a part of national consciousness for many decades, from her breakthrough performance as a young singer, to teen movie star, toward her maturity as a consummate actress whose name has become synonymous to an unparalleled level of craftsmanship in the field of the performing arts. As a multi-awarded actress, Ms. Nora Aunor has been exemplary in her depiction of Filipinos’ everyday realities and aspirations in some of the most important Filipino films such as “Himala,” “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo,” “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” and “The Flor Contemplacion Story.”

National Artist Marilou Diaz-Abaya is one of the pioneers of the country’s “Second Golden Age of Cinema” and is seen as a feminist filmmaker because of her films that reflect women’s aspirations and sentiments which depicts strong, nuanced women characters. She used her platform to interrogate the exploitative and diluted image of women in cinema. She directed several critically-acclaimed films such as “Brutal,” “Moral,” “Karnal,” and later, the acclaimed “Muro-Ami” and the biographical film “Jose Rizal.”

A man of many talents, National Artist Ricardo “Ricky” Lee is also a playwright, a fictionist, a journalist, and an educator, aside from being an award-winning screenwriter for film and television. He has written over a hundred Filipino films such as classics “The Flor Contemplacion Story,” “Anak,” “Himala,” “Moral,” “Karnal,” “Sa Kuko ng Agila,” and many more unforgettable titles. As one of the most prolific writers in the Philippines, he generously extends his many gifts to the hundreds of students he has mentored over the years in his writing workshops.

The FDCP also extends its congratulations to our new National Artists Antonio “Tony” Mabesa (Theater), Fides Cuyugan (Music),  Gimeno Abad (Literature), Agnes Locsin (Dance), and Salvacion Lim-Higgins (Fashion). “May they all ever be beacons of hope, truth, and inspiration to the arts and the country.”

“Mabuhay ang ating mga bagong Pambansang Alagad ng Sining!”


Philippine Constabulary pioneer feted on his 150th birth anniversary this 2022


By Crispina M. Belen

Philippine Constabulary pioneer feted on his 150th birth anniversary this 2022

img_3207General Mateo Noriel Luga, a Katipunero and veteran of the Philam war and one of the pioneer officers of the First Philippine Constabulary, will be feted on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary in August 2022. General Luga was born in 1872 and died on April 9, 1935.

Understandably very proud of her great-grandfather’s achievements, Mala Jean Luga visited last May 26, 2022 the Ortigas Heritage and Filipinas Heritage and Library Museum where an exhibit commemorating  the highlights of the life of General Luga was held in 2017.


Ms Mala Jean Luga holding LO QUE ELLAS DICEN written by her paternal side grandaunther ,the late Mrs. Ma. Luga-Ferrer

Ms. Luga, whose late father Col. Mateo Luga was the youngest grandson of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, was warmly welcomed by the museum personnel who showed her the collection of the rich history of the Philippine National Police especially the Philippine Constabulary of which her great-grandfather was a pioneer.

On her part, Mala Jean donated some  memorabilia of General Luga to the PNP Museum, a repository of the rich history and traditions of the PNP. With her donation was a short video of her great-grandfather during his time as a Jungle Patroller and an article about his accomplishments as a PC officer. This new collection will remind our police officers of the courage and sacrifices of General Luga in the pursuit of peace and security of the country.

Among others, General Luga was assigned as a jungle police officer in the Central Visayas Command in the early years of the police force in the Philippines.General Luga was the only Ibanag-Isabelino in the Visayan revolutionary forces.

Mala Jean is equally proud of the Spanish book “Lo Que Ellas Dicen,” which she located at the Heritage Library’s Filipiniana Archives Collection. The book was  written by Mala Jean’s grand-aunt Ma. Luga Ferrer who was born in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo but was raised in Manila. She was a stenographer at the Manila Supreme Court where she met her husband, the late Judge Pedro Ferrer of Escalante, Negros Occidental. Mrs. Ferrer later became a columnist of La Vanguardia newspaper, then a leading Spanish daily. Her mother, the late Ruperta Valdes Luga was an opera artist performing in zarzuelas and other shows.

Mrs. Ferrer wrote “Lo Que Ellas Dicen,” detailing stories about prominent Filipino women during the American regime. The book was dedicated to Mrs. Ferrer’s father, General Mateo Noriel Luga, known as the Ibanag Revolutionary Hero, who was killed by the Japanese Forces during World War 11.


Legarda lauds new economic team


By Crispina M. Belen

Legarda lauds new economic team

Photo lifted from @iamlorenlegarda

On May 30, 2022, Senator-elect Loren Legarda today welcomed the new economic team of President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. led by Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno as Secretary of Finance. The others include BSP Monetary Board Member Felipe Medalla as Central Bank Chief, former Budget Undersecretary Amenah Pangandaman as Secretary of Budget and Management, Arsenio Balisacan as Secretary of the National Economic Development Authority and former University of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual as Secretary of Trade and Industry.

“The president has chosen the best team to steer the economy through its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Legarda said.

She stressed that apart from being experts in their respective fields, members of the incoming economic team are known for their integrity and proven track record. “They are also widely respected by the business community both here and abroad,” she added. 

Legarda personally attested to the excellence of Finance Secretary Diokno and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, both of whom she worked with closely as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Diokno was her adviser for many years while Pangandaman was Chief of Staff for budget for  Sen. Legarda in the Senate.

“Secretary Diokno’s vast experience, here and abroad, his integrity and wisdom as head of the economic team will surely augur well as we face the twin crises of pandemic recovery, and climate change,” said the four-term Senator Loren Legarda.

“Secretary-designate Pangandaman brings to the table a deep knowledge of the budget and legislative process. She is a dedicated government worker, with an exceptional work ethic. She will be an invaluable asset to the new administration in rebuilding our economy,” she concluded. 


Why Loren Legarda is leading in various surveys


By Crispina M. Belen

Why Loren Legarda is leading in various surveys


In the Senatorial Preferences Survey held April 4-15, senatorial candidate Loren Legarda led with 60%, with Chiz Escudero coming second, with 58%. Following are: Alan Peter Cayetano, 53%; Migz Zubiri, 50%: Mark Villar, 47%; and Raffy Tulfo, 47%.

In the Pulse Asia Survey held April 16-21, Loren Legarda (49%) came second to Raffy Tulfo (50.4%). Following are; Robin Padilla (42.7); Alan Peter Cayetano (42.3%); Chiz Escudero (38.6%); and Win Gatchalian (37.0%).

It’s truly working in her favor, the fact that in her three terms as senator, Loren Legarda, now congresswoman of the lone district of Antique, was chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance under the Duterte Administration during which she accomplished the following:

  1. Free College Education (SLL as co-author and co-sponsor) – allocated P8.3 billion under Commission on Higher Education (CHED) budget for FY 2017 to provide free tuition in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for Academic Year 2017-2018 prior to the enactment of RA 10931 in August 2017. – allocated 40 billion for the full implementation of RA 10931, the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, and additional P250 million to fund the free tuition for medical students in SUCs under 2018 GAA 
  2. Universal Health Care Law (SLL as co-sponsor) – Allocated P3 billion for Philhealth under the 2017 GAA and 2018 GAA to ensure coverage for all Filipinos, prior to the enactment of RA 11223 in February 2019 – Realigned P18 billion under 2019 GAA to provide for the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Law – Restored of P15 Billion for Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) for the improvement of health facilities (2019) – Allocated P4.797 Billion for Human Resource for Health Development (2019) 
  3. Free Irrigation Act (SLL as co-author) – Provided P2 billion-subsidy of irrigation service fees through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) under 2017 GAA and P2.6 billion under GAA 2018, prior to the approval of RA 10969, the Free Irrigation Service Act, on February 2,  2018 
  4. Increasing the base pay of Military and Uniformed Personnel (SLL as co-sponsor) – Provided P62.8 billion under 2018 GAA, prior to the approval of Joint Resolution No. 1 on January 1, 2018 
  5. Support for small businesses and MSMEs (Sponsor of budget amendment, as Chair of Finance Committee) – 1 Billion for the Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation to provide no-collateral loans at minimal interest to MSMEs (2018) 
  6. Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Sponsor, as Chair of Foreign Relations Committee) – Sponsored the concurrence in the Ratification of the Paris Agreement by the Philippine Government, which was signed by PRRD on April 25, 2016, with the Senate voting unanimously on March 14, 2017 
  7. Philippine Innovation Act (PIA) (Principal Author) – Republic Act No. 11293 was enacted into law on April 17, 2019 to foster innovation as a vital component of national development and sustainable economic growth


PascualLab extends the love to less fortunate children via World Vision’s CHOSEN


By Crispina M. Belen

PascualLab extends the love to less fortunate children via World Vision’s CHOSEN

The World Vision team accords the PascualLab with a One For Children Seal to thank the company and its employees for the valuable support.

After marking its 75th anniversary with the theme #PascualLove, and manifesting it via the company’s CSR initiatives, PascualLab renews its ties with charitable donations organization World Vision to help less fortunate children in Malabon.   A virtual MOA signing was mounted last week to seal the partnership. 

Through the World Vision program CHOSEN, which enables children in select communities to choose their sponsors, PascualLab and its employees were able to help over 75 children in 2021, via the sponsorship of over 140 PascualLab employees. 

To continue sharing the #PascualLove and helping these children, one of the Philippines’ most well-loved pharmaceutical companies and its employees once again joined hands with World Vision.  

This year, most employees are renewing their sponsorships, to help children in need of educational support and health essentials. 

According to VP for Corporate HROD and DSCC Mia Pascual Cenzon: “Corporate Social Responsibility has always been part of PascualLab’s thrust.  In realizing this, it has always been our goal to pursue initiatives that are long-term rather than “one-offs”. Through this partnership with World Vision, we hope to see these children graduate to the next level and help enable them to achieve their dreams through education and health.” 

Aside from Cenzon, present at the MOA signing were LAC President and CEO Antonio “Tony” Causing, PascualLab Supply Group’s Senior Vice President and Chief Manufacturing Officer Higinio “Jun” Porte, Senior Vice President for Finance Accounting, ICTD Rowena “Weng” Punsalan, and Internal Audit and Risk Management Head Rodney Doromal. The event was hosted by Lara Dela Cruz, PascualLab’s Senior Manager for Design Services and Corporate Communications together with World Vision’s Donor Care Manager Precious Hope Basco. 

National Director Rommel Fuerte led the World Vision team.  Joining him were Strategy Management and Quality Assurance Director Vanessa Retuerama, Resource Development Director Jun Godornes, New Sponsor Engagement Specialist El Joy Beneza, Contact Center Officer Marc Klauzen Perez, and Acquisitions Manager Cherry Valencia. 

To thank PascualLab for the second year of partnership, the World Vision Team accorded the company and its employees a “Project Salute,” led by  Retuerama. 

Retuerma shared: “With hundreds of children supported through the years, this partnership is one that we are very proud of, and always eager to share with others.” She added: “That said, we are pleased to award this World Vision “One for Children” Seal as a symbol of our unending gratitude and appreciation for PascualLab’s loyalty towards World Vision and the children we support.” 

The seal, made by a former World Vision beneficiary, artist, and owner of Papelemento Design Kit Gresos, is symbolic of how philanthropy can bring great opportunities for children, tenfold. 

To take its partnership with World Vision and support for the kids further,PascualLab employees hope to meet their sponsored children once the current situation becomes more favorable health-wise. Meanwhile, PascualLab continues to support the World Vision-assisted community in Malabon and even beyond through its family-friendly and quality health and wellness products.




mWell wins Best Initiative in Innovation from ESG Corporate Awards Singapore


By Crispina M. Belen

mWell wins Best Initiative in Innovation from ESG Corporate Awards Singapore

mWell PH by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (PSE: MPI), although barely a year old,  has made its mark in the international stage. The fastest-growing health app which provides doctor consultations and serves as a wellness guide, has won Best Initiative in Technological Innovation in The Asset ESG Corporate Awards in Singapore. 

The Asset ESG Corporate Awards is one of the world’s leading and longest-running honors in the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) space. The award recognizes excellence in corporate sustainability. 

As the Best Initiative in Technological Innovation winner, mWell has proven to have launched a first-to-market technological initiative that has taken the company to the next level.  The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) served as the framework for its entry.       

received_3228469233257484872826326701467395Manny V  Pangilinan, MPIC President, Chairman and CEO, fully supports MPIC group’s newest foray in digital healthcare. He says, “Through a collaboration with trusted health experts, mWell brings integrated digital healthcare closer to every Filipino. We are committed to empowering our countrymen to be in control of their health through innovative services.”


Chaye Cabal-Revilla, Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, says of the award: “We are deeply honored. This shall serve as an inspiration as we continue to deliver a responsive, highly convenient healthcare platform. As a globally recognized fully integrated ecosystem, we shall be the digital healthcare ally Filipinos can rely on, in every step of their wellness journey.” 

Cabal-Revilla recently became part of the Prince of Wales’ Global CFO Leadership Network and is the only Filipino and only woman to join the founding members of the A4S Asia Pacific Chapter. Supporting her in the mWell leadership team are Gary Dujali, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer and Dr. Michael Muin, Chief Technical Officer. 

24/7 Online Doctor Consultation

mWell makes sure that everyone can receive the healthcare that they need in the safety of their homes. For as low as P250 and a minimal booking fee, mWell users can talk to a doctor on call 24/7 or book an appointment at their most convenient time. A wide range of Primary Care and Specialized doctors are just a tap away—Internal Medicine Specialists, Obstetrician and Gynecologists, Pediatricians, Ophthalmologists, and more. 

Healthcare industry leaders

To provide a seamless integrated experience, mWell has partnered with leading names in healthcare, wellness, and tech industries, including CareSpan, Aktivo, Active8me, Highly Succeed and runs on fast secure payments via PayMaya.

It is backed by Primary Care and Specialized Doctors from top hospitals such as Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, De Los Santos Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, and Marikina Valley Medical Center. It has also teamed up with PhilCare to increase the number of partner-doctors nationwide. 

mWellness Score: Another PH first and exclusive 

Developed in partnership with an award-winning team of doctors and data scientists from Aktivo, the mWellness Score offers users a guide to developing a healthy physical lifestyle for long-term health, without having to spend on extra gadgets or wearables! mWell users can easily generate their daily mWellness Score by simply clicking on the mWellness Score icon on the app.

Once activated, the mWellness Score measures physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep daily, using data-driven methods. No need for a drastic lifestyle change. All it takes to improve one’s score are a few tweaks to make space for physical activity and adequate sleep regularly. 

mWell continuously strives towards becoming the integrated health and wellness platform of choice. Users simply need to download PH’s fastest-growing health app to fully enjoy its innovative features.  

As part of the MPIC Group, mWell is committed to work towards the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being. It also supports the MVP Group’s Gabay Kalusugan advocacy focusing on quality and affordable healthcare.

Download the mWell PH app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Follow mWell on Facebook and mwellph on Instagram for more updates. 

mWell, is the health technology platform developed by Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation that offers telemedicine, health and wellness programs, e-commerce, among others, in an integrated, tech-based healthcare digital ecosystem. Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, the leading infrastructure investment company in the Philippines with investments in various infrastructure assets including healthcare.


On election day, keep in mind #50 is fabulous – Boy Abunda!


By Crispina M. Belen

On election day, keep in mind #50 is fabulous – Boy Abunda!

Ang Probinsiyano 2

If “King of Talk” Boy Abunda is happily out and about these days, it’s because he is eager to support a cause he had long wanted to pursue on a larger scale.

The pride of Borongan, Eastern Samar—where he was born and raised—Kuya Boy has always been dependable in helping his beloved hometown and neighboring communities in any way he can towards development. But of course, he could only do so much on his own.

Back in 2019, a party-list by the name of “Ang Probinsyano” caught Kuya Boy’s attention for advocating comprehensive development in rural areas, especially the most far-flung locations across the country.

Quietly, he kept checking on the work this party-list achieved in the last three years, wanting to make sure that “Ang Probinsyano” stood up to its name.

Kuya Boy wasn’t disappointed, what with proof the party-list determinedly braved the pandemic to bring health essentials to the most isolated communities, all while continuing to author bills in Congress to raise the quality and accessibility of every Filipino to education; provide more infrastructure and social services to better the lives of rural dwellers; and even provide opportunities toward financial aid for farmers, fisherfolk, local artisans and other small businesses with the goal of self-sufficiency.

A probinsyano through and through, Kuya Boy had no qualms in accepting the party-list’s request to step in as an adviser and valuable volunteer in bringing more attention to the often ignored sectors of society.

“Nung nakilala ko na finally si Congressman Alfred delos Santos, ang first nominee ng ‘Ang Probinsyano,’ na-recognize ko agad ang pagkakamukha ng aming mga pangarap para sa ating mga probinsya. Kaya sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Apid, I’m impressed with what ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has done for our fellow promdis around the country in so short a time, and with the pandemic complicating everything. So here I am—ready and willing to help ‘Ang Probinsyano’ carry on its  promise toward better provinces across the country, ergo, a better Philippines.” 

What worries Kuya Boy these days, however, is how confusing the party-list electoral process has become, with at least 165 groups vying to make it to Congress.

“Sa dami nila, nakakalito talaga para sa ating mga kababayan kung alin ang pipiliin nila, lalo na’t ini-raffle na din ang numero ng bawat isa sa balota,” the revered showbiz pillar and philanthropist explained.

“Kaya ako, umiikot talaga ako ngayon para siguraduhin na alam ng mga tao na No. 50 ang ‘Ang Probinsyano’ sa balota. Wag silang malilito, lalo na sa mga grupong katunog lang din o para bang ginagaya lang ang pangalan natin.” 

Otherwise, Kuya Boy warned that Congress would lose a very important and hard working party-list that remains true, honest and passionate in its advocacy.

“Masasayang lamang ang napakagandang nasimulan ng ‘Ang Probinsyano’ kung mamamali lang tayo sa pagboto,” he added. “Kaya ito na lang ang ating tandaan sa araw ng eleksyon—doon na tayo sa #50 ang fabulous!” 

Relentless in campaigning for “Ang Probinsyano Party-list (APPL),” Kuya Boy is grateful to see that many other celebrities–who like him have embraced the provincial life over the pandemic—have also volunteered to help spread the word about choosing “#50 Ang Probinsyano” on election day.

“Kasama na namin si Piolo (Pascual) na ang laging sabi naman ay, ‘Huwag nang mag-50-50 sa party-list dahil #50 is it!’,” Kuya Boy chuckled.

“Siyempre nandyan din si JM de Guzman, isang napakabait na bata at napakagaling na aktor at ang bagong bagong volunteer ng grupo na social media sensation, si Donnalyn Bartolome. 

“Sila ang mga ka-50 namin ni Piolo kahit iba-iba kami ng edad kasi parepareho naman ang aming pagmamahal sa para ating mga probinsya,” Kuya Boy finally said.


Legarda calls for support for Marikina shoemakers and MSMEs


By Crispina M. Belen

Legarda calls for support for Marikina shoemakers and MSMEs

Loren Legarda 3Antique Congresswoman and Senatorial Candidate Loren Legarda today called for greater promotion of and more assistance for the local shoe industry and other small businesses in Marikina City, stressing that funding and technical support should be provided to give the industry much-needed boost to recoup losses after businesses were affected by the pandemic.

“The shoes made in Marikina are of excellent quality, but without adequate support, especially by way of patronizing and marketing the products, and due to the effects of the pandemic, the industry has been struggling to sustain operations,” Legarda said.  

A known champion of local MSMEs,  Legarda authored Republic Act No. 9501 or the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Act and funded government programs such as DOLE Pangkabuhayan, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and DTI Shared Service Facilities that provide financial capital, resources, and facilities to MSMEs and other sectors that would want to start their livelihood to generate more income.

“We need to have programs that would help revive the industry. Support from both the national and local governments is needed. We can invite more Filipinos and foreigners to visit the shoe museum in Marikina and organize trade fairs to showcase their products while observing the minimum health protocols. We should also enhance our information dissemination and introduce to our shoemakers and MSMEs the available government programs and assistance they are entitled to avail,” she added.

To strengthen her support to the people of Marikina city, especially the displaced workers and unemployed, Legarda provided job opportunities to Marikeños through the DOLE Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program to supplement the lack of income of the residents in order to sustain the daily needs of their families amid the prevailing crisis.

“Nakilala ang Marikina, bilang shoe capital ng Pilipinas hindi lamang dahil nandito ang karamihan sa gumagawa ng sapatos, ngunit dahil sa dito ginagawa ang matitibay, magaganda at de-kalidad na sapatos, gawang Pilipino na nararapat lang maipagmalaki sa buong mundo.  Nasubukan ko na din pong mag-suot ng gawang-Marikina at bilib ako sa galing ng ating mga shoemakers. That’s why we have to do something to keep the industry alive. We need to boost our local industries, such as shoe-making, because these local industries do not only provide employment and livelihood opportunities, but also serve as part of our Filipino identity,” Legarda, great grand niece of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevara, the founder and father of the shoe industry in Marikina, concluded.