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Explore Bohol hassle-free: Sulong Turismo and GCash offer cashless travel delights

Cebu Sun.Star - Fri, 2023-07-28 11:00
THE picturesque province of Bohol is poised to elevate its tourism landscape with the unwavering support of GCash, one of the leading mobile wallets in the country.

Through a range of innovative digital solutions, GCash aims to bolster the livelihoods of local government units (LGUs) and over 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while enhancing the overall travel experience for visitors.

From seamless cashless transactions with Scan-To-Pay to accessible micro-loans through GLoan and comprehensive insurance coverage with GInsure, GCash's pioneering initiatives create a unified effort to boost Bohol's tourism and propel the province towards a thriving future.

These innovations aim to revitalize the local tourism industry in the province by integrating digital payment solutions into local tourism campaigns, ushering in a new era of cashless travel experiences.

'Sulong Turismo' is set to empower LGUs with famed tourist spots to adopt convenient cashless payments for various tourism-related transactions, such as travel bookings, accommodations, and retail shopping.

By leveraging digital tools and showcasing their wide-ranging benefits, the campaign aspires to enhance customer satisfaction, drive repeat visits, and invigorate the overall tourist experience throughout the region.

“We are proud to be a part of the Sulong Turismo initiative. Financial inclusion toward economic growth has always been the main goal of GCash. And we believe that this can be achieved through partnerships with both the public and private sectors, so that together we can present opportunities to business owners as well as consumers, for a safer, secure, convenient, and profitable payment solution that can boost the domestic tourism industry,” said GCash Chief Marketing Officer, Neil Trinidad.

The official inauguration of 'Sulong Turismo' commenced with a dynamic seminar and dialogue, where the advantages of a digitalized tourism industry were extensively discussed, focusing on LGUs boasting prominent tourist destinations.Driver of tourismThe Department of Tourism (DOT) unveiled exciting plans for infrastructure development, a dedicated tourism website, and a cutting-edge tourism app, all aimed at incentivizing tourism-related businesses to embrace digital payments and pave the way for growth in the sector.

Distinguished guests at the event included Bohol Governor Erico Aristotle Aumentado; Department of Tourism Chief Tourism Officer for Central Visayas, Dr. Gelena Asis-Dimpas; Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Regional Head of Economic Affairs, Greg Baccay; Philippine Information Agency Head, Rey Anthony Chiu; Panglao City Vice Mayor Noel Hormachuelos; Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap; and GCash Chief Marketing Officer, Neil Trinidad.

Their presence underscored the importance of this initiative and highlighted the collective effort to drive the tourism industry forward.

During the event, the concept of a tourism circuit was unveiled, presenting a strategic route or itinerary that connects multiple tourist attractions within a specific region.

This structured approach aims to promote the region's diverse offerings and entice tourists to spend more time exploring unique destinations.

“The active participation of local businesses, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), market vendors, and transport groups, further exemplified the strong collaboration between the public and private sectors in propelling the region's tourism industry. We are very happy to be the first municipality to have pioneered this initiative and we are hoping that other municipalities would follow our lead,” said Governor Aumentado.Cashless digital tourismThe GCash app, available for free on Google Play and App Store, plays a central role in facilitating cashless transactions during travel.

Its user-friendly interface and secure payment features make it an ideal tool for tourists and businesses to embrace the digital revolution in the tourism industry.

'GCash Scan-To-Pay enables seamless payments and smoother business operations. It allows entrepreneurs and businesses to offer cashless transactions through a generated QR Code,' Cathlyn Pavia of GCash explained.

'This feature allows business owners to receive payments through cashless transactions. Merchants receive real-time texts on their smartphones when payments are made, enabling them to monitor transactions in their merchant portal, accept unlimited transactions daily, and even offer GGives and GCredit to their customers. These features facilitate more efficient day-to-day operations and open doors to potential increases in sales.'

To further support the aspirations of budding entrepreneurs, GCash offers GLoan, a hassle-free borrowing platform accessible through the GCash app.

With GLoan, eligible business owners can access instant cash of up to P125K without the burden of additional documents or collateral.

The loan amount is determined based on the individual's GScore—a reflection of their activity and usage of GCash's products and features.

'GLoan lets you enjoy low-interest rates starting at 1.59 percent per month, and you can pay your installments in 5, 6, 9, or 12 months. Once approved, the loan will be sent to your GCash wallet within minutes, so you can immediately use it,' Pavia said.

Additionally, GCash's commitment to comprehensive financial protection is evident through GInsure, an all-encompassing insurance marketplace within the app. Travelers, whether exploring locally or abroad, can find peace of mind with insurance policies ranging from travel, life, health, and more, offering coverage of up to P2.5Mn. With GInsure, individuals no longer need to fret about lost baggage, emergencies, or unforeseen inconveniences during their journeys.

With 'Sulong Turismo' paving the way for cashless digital tourism, Bohol is set to become a shining example of how technology and strategic partnerships can transform and elevate the travel experience.

As the campaign gains momentum, Bohol's picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality are now more accessible than ever, promising an unforgettable journey for travelers seeking to explore the wonders of this province.

For more information on 'Sulong Turismo' and the GCash app, visit (SPONSORED CONTENT)
Categories: Philippines News

Limpag: The longest hour in PH football history

Cebu Sun.Star - 34 min 4 sec ago
Officially, it takes an hour after the first half whistle for a football match to end, including the 15-minute break. But that hour between the whistles ending the first half and full-time against New Zealand seemed like an eternity.

An hour or so before the match, I went with some office mates as they lit candles at the Santiago Apostle Church in Badian, which was celebrating its fiesta. I thought of lighting one, too, but decided against it.

I may not be religious, but when it comes to sports—especially the national football teams—I am certainly superstitious and one of my superstitions is you never involve The Guy above.

Minutes before the match, a fellow writer whom I was planning to catch the final Filipinas game against Norway with said he couldn’t make it. I didn’t reply nor acknowledge his message for an hour before he sent it, I also informed a staff member of Jeff Cheng—who was assisting us to get to New Zealand—that I couldn’t make it. I thought it was a lucky coincidence.

After New Zealand had us backpedaling early, Sarina Bolden had her moment.

First attempt. 1-0 Philippines. It was magical. Her shout was for us all—the guys and gals in the stadium, the folks on press row, those in watch parties and those who couldn’t shout while stuck in offices following the game on mobile.

Then the second half happened. New Zealand upped the pressure but the ladies were up to it, especially Olivia McDaniel. There was that sequence when the home team seemed to be zeroing in, getting free headers, including one from a corner kick played to the middle.

How quick the Ferns were in the second half. After Sara Eggesvik lost the ball near the New Zealand box, McDaniel was forced to come out of her box to stop an attack.

We’ve had our bad luck as a sporting nation, the Robbery in Atlanta 96 involving Mansueto Velasco against Daniel Petrov being one of them. But on July 25, 2023 Lady Luck was on our side.

In the 65th, Jacqui Hand hit the post with rebound going straight to McDaniel and two minutes later Hannah Wilkinson’s header sailed past McDaniel only to be disallowed because of an earlier offside, thanks to VAR.

I’ve long ceased trying to understand offside VAR calls but at that moment, I whispered a message of thanks. There were some comical moments, too. Carleigh Frilles, a late sub, collected an errant goal kick but her harried shot went nowhere and minutes later, she failed to see the offside flag and played on.

But the second half belonged to McDaniel. You know the saying that your life flashes before you just before you die? I think the football life of Filipino fans flashed before them when the fourth official showed there were five added minutes.

I had visions of all sorts of headlines, thankfully our No. 1 was there. A reflex save on Grace Jale’s shot kept us ahead, a save that reminded me of Gordon Banks against Pele and of Emiliano Martinez’s save against France. Considering the circumstances and moment, that was the greatest save by a Filipino keeper, ever.

And I think it was fitting that our longest hour ended with McDaniel kicking the ball high in the air.
Categories: Philippines News

Nest Workspaces-2013 routs Harley Davidson-2014

Cebu Sun.Star - 36 min 4 sec ago
THE Nest Workspaces-2013 demolished the Harley Davidson-2014, 84-61, in Division C of the 26th Sacred Heart Ateneo Alumni Basketball Athletic Association basketball tournament on July 26, 2023 at the Magis Eagles Arena in Mandaue City.

Batch 2013 took control of the game in the second canto, where they unleashed a 23-10 salvo to turn the tide firmly in their favor. Batch 2013 was so dominant they pushed their lead to a high of 27 at 84-57 not long before the final buzzer sounded.

Batch 2013’s guards had their way with Batch 2014’s defense as Rendell Senining and Arc Gabriel Araw-Araw had 18 points apiece, the former adding nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Fletcher Galvez and Emman Malazarte added 12 markers apiece as Batch 2013 remained undefeated in this competition.

In the other Division C game, the reigning champions Heritage Supreme Land Developer-2012 got their first win of the season after beating Batch 2020, 76-64. Rev-Rev Diputado had 20 points while Maverick Suarez and Dave Wilson Yu tallied 11 markers apiece. (JNP)
Categories: Philippines News

Marco Polo introduces ‘Sedap’ weekend buffet

Cebu Sun.Star - 39 min 4 sec ago

WIDELY acclaimed for quality weekend buffets, Cafe Marco introduces a new Indo-Malay section to spice up its popular weekend offering, with flavors heating up from the kitchens of Indonesia and Malaysia.

The buffet’s new Asian section is a collaboration between native Malaysian chef Kenny Yong and Amina Bint Ahmad Alonto, who comes from years of experience in Jakarta learning Indonesia’s culinary tradition.

The result is “Sedap!” (Malay for delicious) a flavorful Indo-Malay experience blending a tableau of flavors and spices from the Middle East and India, and nuances of Chinese influence.

Think sambal, satays, curries, beef rendang, laksa, baku teh, Malay-style Hainanese chicken rice and more.

The Indo-Malay fare is a welcome addition to the hotel’s international weekend buffets, from Friday lunch to Sunday brunch until Aug. 13, 2023.

On Fridays, lunch and dinner groups enjoy the 4+1 Foodie Friday offer, where every four full-paying guests entitle the fifth person to dine free. Children under 12 years receive a 50 percent discount. Reservations are highly recommended. (PR)
Categories: Philippines News

‘Red Bull Dance Your Style’ ignites passion, celebrates creativity in Cebu’s 1st qualifiers

Cebu Sun.Star - 42 min 4 sec ago
CEBU’S dance scene reached a fever pitch of excitement as “Red Bull Dance Your Style” made its debut in Metro Cebu with an electrifying qualifier event, Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Trademark Cebu.

The energy was palpable as 16 exceptional dancers took to the stage showcasing their unique styles and unrestrained creativity. “Red Bull Dance Your Style,” renowned for celebrating individuality and diversity in dance, proved to be a perfect platform for dancers to unleash their improvisational skills and freestyle moves, allowing their passion for dance to shine.

In an awe-inspiring display of talent, Shihan Maui, affectionately known as Baby Titan, emerged as the champion of the regional qualifier. His performance left the audience in awe, combining precision, artistic expression, and a distinct style that captivated everyone in attendance.

In an interview, Maui expressed his elation, stating that winning the “Red Bull Dance Your Style” regional tournament fulfilled a lifelong dream. He reminisced about his childhood fascination with the power of dance and the thrill of competition, emphasizing that this victory symbolized the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in his abilities.

The competition in Cebu was fierce, with three other standout performers earning their places in the top 4. JPY, Taw and Nemesis showcased exceptional talent, securing their spots as they left an indelible mark on the dance floor. Notably, Nemesis stood out as the sole female finalist, breaking barriers and demonstrating that dance knows no gender boundaries.

The regional qualifiers in the country’s capital, Manila, took place July 22 at URBN QC. Cebu’s representatives will join the winners of that event in the National Finals in September. The Top 4 finalists from each regional qualifier will compete for the ultimate prize—a coveted spot in the “Red Bull Dance Your Style” World Finals, which will take place in Frankfurt, Germany in November.

“Red Bull Dance Your Style” has undoubtedly ignited a wave of enthusiasm among dancers and dance enthusiasts across the country. Its unique approach to celebrating individuality, creativity and diverse dance styles has invigorated the dance community, uniting performers from different regions in their shared passion for dance.

As the competition continues to unfold, it remains a testament to the power of dance in transcending boundaries, inspiring dreams and uniting people from all walks of life.

Red Bull’s commitment to supporting sports, culture and high-energy events has once again demonstrated that dance is a force that can empower and uplift, creating unforgettable moments that resonate far beyond the dance floor.
Categories: Philippines News

Thailand’s Parliament prepares to hold fresh PM vote on Aug 4

Straits Times Asian News - 49 min 4 sec ago
July 27, 2023 8:19 PM

The Pheu Thai party is expected to make the next bid for the prime ministership.

Categories: Asian News

‘Barbenheimer’ upon us: Pop culture domination, reviving the magic of cinema

Cebu Sun.Star - 52 min 4 sec ago
It is one of the rare instances in pop culture when two starkly different films are being shown on the same day. People are on the edge of their seats to see which one will emerge triumphant at the Box Office.

This is the case of “Barbenheimer,” an internet phrase succinctly coined for two of recent cinema’s highly anticipated films, vying for a place in pop culture history.

Needless to say, the “Barbenheimer” fever was felt all over. Whether you’re a casual online surfer or an ordinary citizen looking for a good time on the big screen, the impalpable frenzy by those who were more than eager to watch either one of the films—or both—is unmissable.

“Barbie” (directed by Academy Award-nominated director Greta Gerwig) and “Oppenheimer” (directed by multiple Academy Award-winner Christopher Nolan) were both released in Philippine theaters on July 19, 2023, and the rest of the world caught up as the two films finally showed in the United States two days later.

It is not uncommon for studios to release two or more films of different genres on the same date. For example, “The Dark Knight” and “Mamma Mia!” were both released on the same date, July 18, 2008, and both movies went on to become sensational blockbuster hits.

However, with the rise of social media, “Barbenheimer” has become an unprecedented offline and online phenomenon. Memes spurted left and right weeks before their scheduled release (showcasing the famous “Barbie” all-pink fantasy and the “Oppenheimer” dark subject about the creation of the first atomic bomb). The anticipation of both films gradually built and revived the magic of cinema as people streamed from their homes to their local theaters to not only watch but also experience this phenomenon themselves.

Both films tackle completely different subjects. The showing of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” is indeed a cinematic rivalry that the world hasn’t seen for more than a decade. However, rivalry or no rivalry, and regardless of how the world is making this out to be, both movies are masterpieces in their own right.

From Nolan’s impeccable visualization and complex but compelling storytelling of one of history’s most important scientific figures to Gerwig’s lighthearted and humor-injected approach to retelling the story of the world-famous Barbie doll, it is a clear indication that audiences are beyond eager to see more diverse subjects from esteemed directors.

Nolan and Gerwig, without a doubt, are breathing life into a faltering industry in the era of digital streaming plus the possibility of a terrifying takeover of artificial intelligence. Other than being a phenomenon that the world hasn’t seen in a while, “Barbenheimer” serves as a reminder of how cinema should be—an experience that should engulf your mind, heart, body and soul.
Categories: Philippines News

WeChat tells Australian lawmakers China has never asked to spy on users, access private messages

SCMP Asian News - 56 min 23 sec ago
Representatives of WeChat told an Australian inquiry into foreign interference that Beijing did not have access to its platform, which was based in Singapore and bound by the city state’s laws.
Categories: Asian News

China offers military drills with the Philippines amid sea tensions

Straits Times Asian News - 58 min 4 sec ago
July 27, 2023 8:10 PM

The joint drills will not be held in the disputed South China Sea if it pushes through.

Categories: Asian News

Malilong: Can COA make government pay on time?

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 4 sec ago
They were all saying that Europe was wrapped in a heat wave. Nobody told me about London. The morning after our arrival, we ventured out for a walk at the nearby Kensington Gardens, clad only in shorts and our Walk and Talk exercise shirt. The moment we stepped out, I was ready to run back to the hotel for shelter. It was cold. Fifteen degrees cold.

Pride kept me going, shivering and all especially when the wind blew under an overcast sky. After about 30 minutes, my body began to adjust and for a while I tried to act like a local to whom 15 degrees was mild just like 30 degrees was mild to us at the Cebu City Sports Center.

But then very fine drops of rain fell from the frowning sky and the wind began to blow again even if so gently. I did not run for cover, however. I just shivered again. I am a visitor, unused to outdoor temperatures below 28 degrees, but a proud one.

Earlier that morning I read about the Commission on Audit (COA) being on a roll, picking on local government units whose officials they found to be less careful (note that I didn’t say negligent, away from home I am at my Christian best) with public money.

I applaud the COA. Local officials grumble about the commission being good at nothing except at finding fault. But that is precisely an audit’s reason for being: to find faults or exceptions. Ask any auditor in government or in private practice.

They’re not there poring over financial books and records of transactions to determine who is/are deserving of a trophy for the most compliant with government spending rules and regulations. If public officials want a pat on the back for hurdling an audit “with flying colors,” they have to seek it elsewhere.

Be that as it may, there is an area that the COA should look into for balance. As far as I can remember, the agency has not even once called out a government office for failing to pay suppliers, contractors and non-tenured workers on time. Why? Is it ideal government spending practice to renege in the payment of just and legitimate obligations?

In Cebu City, I don’t think there is any administration that can claim to have always paid their job order employees promptly. In many instances, these workers had to wait for six months before they were finally paid. By then, they were already buried in debt. What have they done to deserve maltreatment?

Promoting social justice may not be an express COA mandate under the constitution but ensuring good governance is, and if the two should meet, if the COA should make them meet, it would be beautiful.

As for contractors and suppliers, in many instances the government appears so intent in driving them bankrupt, you’d think it is an official policy. I used to run a small shop that made sports uniforms in the late seventies. One summer, City Hall ordered basketball and other uniforms. We finished them in time for their tournament but we were not paid for so long, I decided to close shop.

The failure to pay obligations promptly is what drives businessmen to charge the government more than they do other customers. They have to recover the cost of money. Many others go even farther: they refuse to do business with the government.

What is concerning about this is that it opens opportunities for corruption. The cost of money that drives overpricing may be made to include commissions to employees or officials to assure faster payment. It also narrows down the field of contractors to those who have deeper pockets although with inferior competence or experience.

All that we’re asking is for the COA to categorically declare that the practice of not paying government’s debts on time is as criminal, anomalous and irregular as incurring them without observing procurement protocols. After that, let the appropriate government agencies, on their own or by a complaint, take over.

Maybe in the next audit cycle, please?
Categories: Philippines News

Asian Insider: China’s new old foreign minister | Terror threats in Asia

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 7 min ago
July 27, 2023 8:00 PM

Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents and commentators.

Categories: Asian News

Anwar unveils plan to raise wages, boost Malaysia’s economy, ahead of state elections

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 8 min ago
July 27, 2023 8:00 PM

Ten million people are expected to benefit from government handout of RM100 (S$29.20) in e-wallet credits.

Categories: Asian News

G20 must lead way on energy transition plans at COP28, new leader urges

SCMP Asian News - 1 hour 17 min ago
COP28’s incoming president Sultan al-Jaber and the UN’s climate chief Simon Stiell, jointly said the G20 should lay ‘the path to a strong and credible outcome’, after the group failed on to reach a consensus on phasing down fossil fuels.
Categories: Asian News

Japanese man who spent nearly $20,000 on dog costume shares video of his fun outing

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 23 min ago
July 27, 2023 7:45 PM

He was taken for a walk and made some human and canine friends along the way.

Categories: Asian News

Couples thankful for Mandaue’s mass wedding program

Cebu Sun.Star - 1 hour 39 min ago
RICO and Giove May Cortina have been together for almost 25 years now but never got the chance to get married.

In an interview Thursday, July 27, 2023, the couple said they never got a chance to have a wedding ceremony since they prioritize their children's studies and needs.

Rico and Giove May were among the 54 couples who availed themselves of the Mandaue City Government’s mass wedding program on July 27, 2023.

They said they met when they were teens. Giove May was 16 years old then, while Rico was 20.

Asked about their secret for a long lasting relationship, the couple said “understanding each other” is what helped them survive their relationship.

“Mosabot ra siya sa akong kamaldita (He understands my bad attitude),” said Giove May.

Another couple, Jail Officer 1 Mave Ledesma Sarabosing, 25, and Patrolman Arnel Sarabosing, 29, said they were happy to finally get the chance to have a wedding ceremony.

They thanked Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes for spearheading the “Kasalan ng Bayan” of the City Government.

Ledesma and Sarabosing said they met during their board exams and they have been together for three years now.

Cortes, members of the Mandaue City Council and department heads of City Hall led Thursday’s mass wedding.

Cortes advised the newlyweds to always love each other even in difficult times. 'A happy wife, a happy life,' he said.

The couples were also given wedding cakes and rings, among others.

Cortes said he will make sure that there will be a mass wedding every year. (Cherry Ann Virador, Benedicto College intern)
Categories: Philippines News

Singapore’s K. Shanmugam, Vivian Balakrishnan demand apology from Lee Hsien Yang for ‘defaming’ them over rental saga

SCMP Asian News - 1 hour 51 min ago
PM Lee’s brother, currently in self-exile overseas, had made comments on Facebook about a saga surrounding the rental of colonia-era bungalows by the ministers.
Categories: Asian News

At least 23 dead, 6 missing as boat capsizes near Philippine capital

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 55 min ago
July 27, 2023 7:13 PM

Passengers panicked after a sudden gust of wind, ran to the left side and the boat capsized.

Categories: Asian News

Headless corpse in Hokkaido hotel: Doctor and his daughter bought saw, suitcase

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 58 min ago
July 27, 2023 7:10 PM

The police discovered some trouble between the victim and one of the suspects.

Categories: Asian News

France’s Macron warns against new ‘imperialism’ in the Pacific

Straits Times Asian News - 1 hour 59 min ago
July 27, 2023 7:09 PM

The US and its allies are seeking to counter China’s growing influence among Pacific island nations.

Categories: Asian News

Bawaal: Jewish group criticises Holocaust scenes in India film

BBC Asia News - 2 hours 3 min ago
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has asked Amazon Prime to remove Bollywood film Bawaal from its platform.
Categories: Asian News


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