TOP PICKS: 3 Smartphones to Level-up Your Mobile Photography

There’s no denying how important the smartphone has become in our daily lives, but the role it plays has most certainly gone beyond just utility. In an age where online aesthetic is actually an extension of one’s personality, and Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are the tools of the trade, a smartphone with good photography features isn’t just an extravagance anymore—it’s a necessity.

3 Smartphones to Level-up Your Mobile Photography
Photo Credit: Instagram/Samsung Mobile,  Youtube/Apple and Instagram/Huawei Mobile 
This holiday season, it’s time to up your social media game with a smartphone that easily gives you flawless travel photos, OOTD shots, and, of course, selfies—no #vsco needed.

Here are three smartphones that we think should definitely belong on your holiday wishlist:

1. The iPhone 7
iPhone 7 camera
Photo Credit: Screengrab from Apple Youtube video
The iPhone has been a long-time contender in smartphone photography, and the iPhone 7 boasts a faster 12 megapixel lens with an aperture of f/1.8. It also offers optical image stabilization, which when combined with the faster lens, gives you clear pictures in low light—perfect for capturing moments from concerts or spontaneous midnight road trips.

Apple’s claims of improved battery life in the iPhone 7 versus the iPhone 6 isn’t as noticeable, but with the inclusion of the A10 Fusion Chip, the iPhone 7 is lightning fast—meaning you can take pictures and navigate between your social media apps with ease. Also, it charges relatively quickly.

The iPhone 7 is available in 4.7 inch models, and comes in Apple’s signature silver, gold, and rose gold, as well as a stunning, new black matte finish.

Apple’s after-sales service is generally well-recommended. Although taking units to Apple’s service centers may require a bit of your time, they go so far as giving you temporary units while yours gets fixed. For more information, you can call their customer support hotline at 1-800-1441-0234 or 1-800-8908-8277.

The iPhone starts retailing at P 37, 990.

2. The Huawei P9
Huawei P9
Photo Credit: Instagram/Huawei Mobile
Huawei’s collaboration with Leica makes its latest smartphone, the Huawei P9, an exciting choice for smartphone photography enthusiasts. Its 12 MP, high-powered dual lens, each for RGB and monochrome, with a f/2.2 aperture, combine to give your photos a professional touch—not to mention, you can choose to shoot in full DSLR mode. The Huawei P9 is known for its defined bokeh feature and crisp monochrome setting. Likewise, its focus and capacity for flare effects make it a good camera for vivid color representation and low-light shooting.

The Huawei P9 doesn’t do anything differently battery-wise, but it does offer fast charging support, and fares well in battery-heavy tasks such as video streaming and gaming.

Smaller than the iPhone 7, the Huawei P9 comes in classic metallic colors—haze gold, ceramic white, and titanium grey.

Huawei’s after-sales service challenges the norm by offering courier services. Calling the customer service hotline at 1800-1853-5353, 1800-8739-5227, or +63923-0990468 entitles you to a free pick-up and delivery of your Huawei device, a painless process that saves you the trouble of going to service centers or troubleshooting online by yourself.

The Huawei P9 is sold at P 23,999.

3. The Samsung S7
Samsung S7
Photo Credit: Instagram/Samsung Mobile
Samsung, a well-loved smartphone giant here in the Philippines, offers its best technology in its latest model, the Samsung S7.

Without the usual graininess produced in photos taken by smartphones, the Samsung S7 camera takes impressive low-light shots with its 12 MP camera. It is one of the few smartphones with f/1.7 aperture and dual pixel technology, as well as one of the best autofocus settings on a smartphone camera—good for taking action shots regardless of light.

The S7’s battery life is a significant improvement upon the S6, with power saving mode and ultra power saving mode settings extending the life to up to twice your usual usage. Aside from fast charging capabilities, it also offers a wireless charging feature.
The S7 comes in four basic colors—black, white, silver, and gold—and is sized at 5.1 inches.

Samsung’s stores offer service centers, which is convenient as there are Samsung stores everywhere. Customer service agents can assist you with simple repairs such as upgrading software, as well as more technical troubleshooting. You can also contact them through their hotline at 1-800-10-7267864, 1-800-8-7267864, or +63 (2) 422-2111.

The Samsung S7 is officially priced at P 34, 999.

All things said, each smartphone has its individual strengths and weaknesses, but there is sure to be a specific make that is unique to your tastes and lifestyle. Not sure which phone suits you? Take this quiz to better help you decide:

Treat yourself to a hot new smartphone and be on your way to making your holidays a whole lot merrier—noche buena foodstagrams and all.

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LOOK: Netizen saves more than P70,000 through the P50 52-week money saving challenge

MANILA, Philippines - Are you still not convinced that the viral kuripot or money saving challenge does work? Several netizens have claimed to have successfully completed the challenge that involves saving a certain amount per week throughout the year.

Netizen saves more than P70,000 though the P50 52-week money saving challenge

Take for instance the case of VM Bocs who was able to save P71,500 through her so-called P50 52-week money saving challenge. In Bocs’ method, she saved P50 during the first week of the challenge. For the weeks that followed, she added an increment of P50 in her weekly savings.

She wrote in her post on Facebook, “Sa first week ng January 50 pesos.. Pwede ka mamili kung 50 ka magstart o 20 o 10 o kaya 100(medyo mabigat ang 100)
Tapos sa 2nd week add ng same amount..
So 50 -100-150-200-250-300 and so on..”

Like most people who took on the challenge, Bocs said that she found the challenge easy during the first few weeks. However, she eventually felt the difficulty of the challenge during the second half of the year, where she had to save bigger amounts per week.

“Madali sya sa umpisa pero sa 2nd half na ng taon medyo mabigat bigat na kaya super kuripot ka na nun!”

In a separate Facebook post, Bocs gave a few tips for people willing to try the challenge.

According to Bocs, the challenger must pick a coin bank that is hard to open. The challenger, upon receiving his or her salary, must put savings in the coin bank first before spending the money on other things. Bocs also urged challengers to be disciplined, thrifty and avoid unnecessary expenses like eating out in fancy restaurants. At the same time, Bocs encouraged challengers to look for ways to earn extra income.

Earlier in 2016, Rhea Mocorro released the “Kuripot Pinay Version” of the 52-week money saving challenge. A certain JB Dionisio attested to have saved P69,000 by from the challenge.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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New Year Countdown to 2017: Top 17 Places, Events in Metro Manila

MANILA, Philippines - Celebrate New Year 2017 with a bang!

New Year Countdown to 2017: Top 17 Places, Events in Metro Manila

Beyond the traditional new year's eve (NYE) celebration are the countdown and special events happening around Metro Manila. On December 31 (Saturday), several establishments and companies will showcase their grandest welcome to 2017 and the Year of the Red Fire Rooster through Countdown to 2017 festivities.

Plan the big night out for NYE as we provide a guide on the Top 17 places and events to celebrate new year's eve in the metro.

Countdown to 2017 is definitely the best and meaningful event this year - full of fireworks, bountiful banquet, music and loud revelry in epic proportions to usher in the New Year.

The Summit Express has the lowdown on the best places to jump high and countdown the New Year around the metro. Take a look on this list:

1. Philippine Arena New Year's Eve Countdown 2017 | December 30-31, 2016 Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan

Philippine Arena New Year's Eve Countdown 2017

Guests and families will be able to enjoy a vast array of the most fun activities and attractions on site. Carnival Rides, Arcade Games, Bazaars, Parades and a loaded 2-day concert awaits!

The NYE Countdown to 2017 features the performance of SUD, 70s Superband, Bella Padilla, Meg Imperial, Kim Molina, Andrew E., Sam YG and Juan dela Cruz.

Tickets of P300, valid for 2 days, are available at Central, Tierra Commercial Center, Philippine Arena and on the event day.

2. Eastwood - Quezon City New Year Countdown to 2017 | December 31, 2015 6:00 p.m. at Eastwood Mall Open Park

Eastwood - Quezon City New Year Countdown to 2017

#EastwoodNYE2017 features American singer-songwriter Phoebe Ryan, and local performers Rachelle Ann Go, Darren Espanto, Up Dharma Down, Quest, Autotelic, Sud, Maude, and Lenses.

Plus catch the Grand Fireworks Display and Dazzling Star Drop at 12 midnight!

3. Lipad sa 2017: The GMA Kapuso New Year Coundown | December 31, 2015 10:00 p.m at the Seaside Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Lipad sa 2017: The GMA Kapuso New Year Coundown

The Kapuso Network welcomes the new year with explosive performances and a fireworks display.

Dubbed as “Lipad sa Bagong Taon,” GMA-7 is set to showcase what is in store for 2017 from their biggest and brightest stars.

It will be hosted by Julie Anne San Jose, Andrea Torres, Betong Sumaya, and Alden Richards.

Among the artists who will perform are One Up, Aicelle Santos, Rita Daniela, Derrick Monasterio, Hannah Precillas, Jeric Gonzales, James Wright, Rocco Nacino, Jak Roberto, Jay Arcilla, Arra San Agustin, Andrea Torres, Sanya Lopez, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Addy Raj, Ivan Dorschner and GMA Artist Center stars Bianca Umali, Joyce Ching, Gabbi Garcia, and Ruru Madrid.

Kapuso's Primetime King Dingdong Dantes will lead the final hour of celebration gearing to the new year. The event will be broadcasted live from 10 pm to 12:30 am.

4. "Game Tayo sa 2017" TV5 New Year Countdown | December 31 9:00 p.m. at Quezon Memorial Circle

"Game Tayo sa 2017" TV5 New Year Countdown

Party with top bands and K-pop groups including Rrivermaya, Spongecola, Pentagon, and Offroad apart from witnessing a grand fireworks display at TV5's grand countdown party. For more information, visit TV5′s Facebook page.

5. Resorts Wold Manila: The Grand Countdown to 2017 | December 31 at 6:00 p.m. in Newport Boulevard, Pasay City

Resorts Wold Manila: The Grand Countdown to 2017

Now on second year! Witness the new tradition of Grand Countdown to ring in 2017.

This year, the celebration takes on a magical sheen as The Grand Countdown to 2017 brings a spellbinding feast for the senses that the whole family will enjoy.

The revelry starts with a celebration of Holy Mass, and will be followed by a world-class entertainment headlined by Lea Salonga, Bamboo, and Jon Santos. More information on their website.

6. City of Dreams: Let’s Ring in 2017 | December 31 6:00 p.m at Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, ParaΓ±aque

City of Dreams: Let’s Ring in 2017

Welcome the year 2017 with world-class entertainment featuring festive activities, exciting prizes & surprises with 12 hours of non-stop performances from premier artists.

Learn more about their New Year Countdown celebration here.

Chaos’ Candyland 2017 Countdown Party

Chaos’ Candyland 2017 Countdown Party

Be part of the “candyland-themed” countdown pary featuring Chaos resident DJs Supmerman, MVRXX and Marc Marasigan, and MC Ronthug.

A cover charge of P1,000 inclusive of one drink is required. For VIP table reservations, call (0917) 886-3678 or e-mail

7. Shangri-La at the Fort NYE Countdown to 2017 | December 31 9:00 p.m. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Shangri-La at the Fort NYE Countdown to 2017

For reservation, Call (02) 820 0888 or visit their Facebook page @shangrilafort.

8. Armada Hotel Manila: Supernova Countdown to 2017 | December 31 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Armada Hotel Manila: Supernova Countdown to 2017

Enjoy live Music with BOBBY SKYZ MADUBIKE-Eat Bulaga's Mr. Foreignoy Grand Winner 2015. Ticket price is at P1500/head inclusive of cocktail dinner buffet;1 botle of beer, noisemakers and a Christmas goodie pack.

9. New Year's Eve at Sofitel Plaza Manila: Midnight in Paris | Pasay City

New Year's Eve at Sofitel Plaza Manila: Midnight in Paris

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila takes you to picturesque Paris, France as we ring in the New Year in a grand celebration nonpareil.

In a festive gathering that transports you to a magnifique Parisian soiree, enjoy gastronomic offerings, its scenic backdrops and the nightlife’s pulse-racing entertainment with Sofitel’s Midnight in Paris.

Dress to the nines as you count down to 2017 and get a chance to win Sofitel’s Grand Raffle of a holiday in Paris, France featuring roundtrip flights, accommodations for a 3-night stay for 2 and an exclusive tour of the Nicolas Feuillatte Winery in Champagne. Punctuate the evening’s festivities with the evening sky bursting in vibrant colors with Sofitel’s annual fireworks and bask in the wondrous resonance and timeless elegance of Midnight in Paris.

Rate is set at Php4,850 nett per person. To make an online reservation or inquiry, visit this page.

10. Countdown Party at Manila Hotel | December 31 6:00 p.m. at the Grand Lobby, Manila Hotel

Countdown Party at Manila Hotel

Celebrate the last day of 2016 with a sumptuous authentic Chinese cuisine at the Mabuhay Palace. Ticket price starts at Php 2,188 NET per person. For more information, call (+632) 527-0011 local 1176-1179.

11. Crimson Hotel’s Great Gatsby Countdown to 2017 | December 31, Filinvest City Manila

Crimson Hotel’s Great Gatsby Countdown to 2017

All guests availing of their New Year’s Countdown activities: Great Gatsby Countdown or Buffet Dinner at Cafe Eight will have a chance to win amazing prizes like an overnight stay at the Presidential Suite with breakfast buffet!

Call 09178390313 or 09154888537 for tickets and details!

12. Dusit Thani Manila’s New Year’s Eve Black Tie Party | The Club Lounge

Dusit Thani Manila’s New Year’s Eve Black Tie Party

Join with actress Karel Marquez in the Black Party countdown event at Dusit Thani.

Revel in a succulent feast of four-course menu with a glass of champagne upon arrival, and with wine pairing for every course at PHP5,880 for 2 persons. For reservations, call 238 8888 loc 8830, 8838.

13. F1 Hotel's Light Up 2017: New Year Countdown Party | December 31 9:30 p.m.

F1 Hotel's Light Up 2017: New Year Countdown Party

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with all the works. Light up your night and party all the way to 2017 as you enjoy a delectable selection of festive fares, unlimited booze and great music from our featured DJ’s. In partnership with the No. 1 tequila in the world, hop on to the most lit New Year Party in the Metro!

Php 1,888 nett per person inclusive of unlimited drinks from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM. VIP Tables are also available.

For tickets and inquiries, please call (02) 908-7888.

14. Conrad Manila's New Year's Eve Countdown at C Lounge | Pasay City

Conrad Manila's New Year's Eve Countdown at C Lounge

Enjoy front row seats by the bay as the evening skies come alive at midnight to cap off 2016.

Welcome the new year in style and revel in year-end euphoria with live entertainment and a cocktail buffet perfectly paired with amazing views of the Manila Bay.

For reservation and inquiries, please call +63 2 683 3914 or email Learn more here.

15. Ring in New Year at Discovery Primea | December 31 10:00 p.m., Makati City

Ring in New Year at Discovery Primea

Enjoy the unlimited Spanish tapas and drinks from the open bar while being serenaded by an acoustic band at this New Year’s eve event. For more information, visit Discovery Primea’s Facebook page.

16. New Year's Eve Ball at Valkyrie at The Palace | Bonifacio Global City

New Year's Eve Ball at Valkyrie at The Palace

A party that will be a fitting culmination of the year that was and a spectacular start of a new and even better one! For inquiries and reservations, call 0917 680 8888. Door charge of php1200. Doors open 11PM.

17. Countdown to 2017 at the Oz Bar | Palm Drive, Makati City

Countdown to 2017 at the Oz Bar

Celebrate the start of a brand new year with a memorable party at the Oz Bar. Enjoy free-flowing pica-picas, local beers, house wine and selected cocktails as you listen to music mixed by our featured DJ. Come by and relish a flute of sparkling wine for toasting during the countdown!

Tickets are priced at Php2,000++ for adults and Php750++ for kids aged 7 to 12. Children below 6 are free of charge. Buy your tickets today. Please call +632 909 0888 or email


1. Salubong 2017: The ABS-CBN New Year's Eve Countdown on December 31 will cover all the New Year's Eve Festivities around the Metro.

2. Photos and information above are from official Facebook pages and websites of different establishments or companies with New Year Countdown to 2017. compiled the top 17 places and events for the benefit of its readers.

3. There's no updates about local new year countdown in Makati and Manila cities.

Share now this post if you find this informative. Happy New Year, our dearest Express readers!

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Buying a Phone? Here are 4 Clever Ways to Avoid Big Cashouts

The holiday season is still around the corner.

When it comes to gift-giving, nothing beats the gift of communication, especially if you live far from your loved ones. The best way to stay in touch with them is through call, text, instant messaging, video call, and staying updated about them through social media. To do this, you may need a new smartphone. Or maybe, you just had a great year and deserve an upgrade from your previous handset.

Buying a Phone? Here are 4 clever ways to avoid big cashouts

If you’re still out there for some last-minute holiday shopping and you’re in search of the best smartphone deals, here are the best promos from Home Credit.

1. Phonetastic Zer0%

Phonetastic Zer0%
  • Offer: Mobile phones, Tablets, and Phone accessories
  • *Brands Acer, Asus, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, My Phone, Nokia, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Starmobile (*subject to change without prior notice)
  • Loan Term: 6 months
  • Promo Period: October 27, 2016 – January 31, 2017
  • Availability: This special offer is currently available in selected MemoXpress stores.
  • Cash-out: Upon approval of application -> down payment (at least 20%* of goods price) + origination fee (3% of financed amount)

Monthly: installment amount specified in the contract
*For loans up to PhP 5,000 financed amount, at least 10% of goods price

2. Get OPPO F1S at 0% Interest

Get OPPO F1S at 0% Interest
  • Offer: Exclusive for OPPO F1S only
  • Loan Term: 6 months
  • Promo Period: November 1 – January 31, 2017
  • Availability: This special offer is currently available in selected Oppo Concept Stores and participating branches of the following Home Credit partners
  • Cash-out: Upon approval of application -> down payment (at least 20%* of goods price) + origination fee (3% of financed amount)

Monthly: installment amount specified in the contract
*For loans up to PhP 5,000 financed amount, at least 10% of goods price
With these promos, choose the smartphone you like best and get it on manageable monthly payment terms at 0% interest! Visit Home Credit for more information or the nearest participating Home Credit partners and SM Mall near you!
  • SM BF
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3. Samsung ZERO% DUO
Samsung ZERO% DUO
  • Offer: Available for Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) and Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime units only
  • Loan Term: 6 months
  • Promo Period: November 18 – December 18, 2016
  • Promo extended until December 31, 2016
  • Availability: This special offer is currently available in selected Samsung mobile concept stores and partner retailers
  • Cash-out: Upon approval of application -> down payment (at least *20% of goods price) + origination fee (3% of financed amount).

Monthly: installment amount specified in the contract
*For loans up to PhP 5,000 financed amount, at least 10% of goods price

4. Huawei for All

Huawei for All Home Credit promo
  • Offer: Exclusive for Huawei GR5, Huawei P9 Lite, Huawei Y6 II and Huawei T1 7 plus units only
  • Loan Term: 6 months
  • Promo Period: November 29, 2016 – January 31, 2017
  • Availability: This special offer is currently available in selected Huawei concept stores and participating branches of the following Home Credit partners.
  • Cash-out: Upon approval of application -> down payment (at least 20%* of goods price) + origination fee (3% of financed amount). 

Monthly: installment amount specified in the contract*For loans up to PhP 5,000 financed amount, at least 10% of goods price

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Manny Castaneda under fire for his controversial MMFF comment

MANILA, Philippines - Actor-director Manny Castaneda has earned the ire of netizens after giving a controversial remark about the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

Manny Castaneda under fire for his controversial MMFF comment
PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Manny Castaneda
In his viral post on Facebook, Castaneda said that the “not so impressive” box office performance of indie films in this year’s MMFF “should put the arrogance of some indie fanatics in check.”

SM Cinema pulled off some MMFF 2016 entries to prioritize Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto’s films?

Castaneda supported Lily Monteverde’s claim that the MMFF is not the proper venue for indie films. Last month, Monteverde got herself into hot water for saying that Christmas season is no time for indie films.

“Though some of the entries were beautifully crafted, still there is a time and place for avant-garde, socially relevant and art films. The MMFF is definitely not one of them,” Castaneda wrote.

In his post, Castaneda said that the proponents of indie films must learn to identify the audience at a particular time.

“They should carefully choose their own battle. It is unwise to just barge into a territory that does not belong to them. A gate crasher always has a very negative repercussion,” Castaneda added.

Castaneda also advised Mercedes Cabral, an indie actress who earlier called Monteverde an idiot for her controversial comment, to look at herself in the mirror to see what a real idiot looks like.

MMFF 2016: Cabral, Matti slam Mother Lily on indie films controversial remarks

Netizens were quick to give their opinion on Castaneda’s contentious remark about the MMFF. Many lambasted Castaneda for putting down indie films, insulting Cabral and giving a misinformed and offensive opinion in his post.

“These are the sweat and tears of hardworking actors, directors, writers, etc. we're talking about. These are people who bleed for their art. You're an actor and director so you should know better. And your opinion sucks.” a certain Lars Arboleda commented.

Netizen Jehaycee Carlos wrote: “Thanks for sharing your thoughts, sir Manny. I respect your opinion and may our film producers realize too na hindi porket may "Festival" sa MMFF ay bibigyan kami ng pelikulang pang-peryahan lang ang kalidad. Happy holidays and Godbless."

“Instead of praising brilliance and artistic integrity, this IDIOT believes in maintaining the status quo and just revel in sheer mediocrity. Look, I watched Super Parental Guardians and actually enjoyed it. Honestly, I had a good laugh and it deserves the Millions of Pesos it has earned HOWEVER the film itself does not qualify to be part of a LEGIT FILM FEST,” Drew Weigel Sarmiento commented.

Manny Castaneda post

Seklusyon bags most MMFF awards

While the documentary film Sunday Beauty Queen won best Picture, Erik Matti’s “Seklusyon” bagged the most number of awards in the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night on Thursday, December 29 at the Kia Theater.

Check out the full list of winners here.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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YEAR IN REVIEW: The 10 Biggest PH News Stories of 2016

Business mogul Donald Trump’s victory in the recent US presidential elections certainly dominated the headlines worldwide in 2016. In the Philippines, several personalities including politicians, alleged drug personalities, an athlete and a beauty queen garnered the most interest this year.

10 Biggest PH News Stories of 2016

As we wrap the year that was, let’s take a look at the biggest stories in the Philippines this 2016.

10. Pia Wurtzbach takes home Miss Universe crown

After a 42-year-long drought, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach took home the Miss Universe 2015 crown on December 21, 2015. Wurtzbach, a former actress and model from Cagayan de Oro, is the third Filipina to take home the highly coveted title. Although the Filipina beauty technically won last year, news about her plagued Filipinos throughout 2016.

9. Pinay weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins 2016 Rio Olympics silver

Two decades after Filipino boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco won silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz clinched another silver medal in the 53 kilogram class of the weightlifting event at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. The 25-year-old athlete from Zamboanga City is the first Filipina to ever win an Olympic medal for the Philippines.

8. Miriam Defensor-Santiago dies

Known as the Iron lady of Asia for her strong campaign against corruption in the government, former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago passed away on September 29 at the age of 71. Finishing last in the May 9 presidential race, the three-term Senator spent her entire career in public service.

7. PH wins arbitration case vs China over West PH sea dispute

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines in its landmark case against China over the West Philippine Sea. The ruling which “concluded that, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the '9-dash line’", came after a 3-year process pursued by Manila. While China refused to recognize the ruling, President Rodrigo Duterte renewed ties with the country months after the historic ruling.

6. Duterte calls for separation of foreign policy from the US

Following his controversial comments against the United States and US President Barack Obama, President Duterte advocated for a separation of foreign policy from the United States but emphasized that he would not sever ties with the country.

5. Duterte reveals top-tier drug lords in the Philippines

Shortly after naming five police generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs, Duterte fearlessly identified three top drug lords in the country namely Peter Lim, Peter Co and Herbert Colango in July. Duterte later released a drug matrix tagging Senator Leila De Lima and her former driver-bodyguard and lover Ronnie Dayan as well as other high-ranking officials as protectors of drug lords.

4. Senator Leila De Lima named by drug lords as their protector

Duterte’s accusation against the former Secretary of Justice was supported by drug lords Kerwin Espinosa, Herbert Colanggo and Jaybee Sebastian in their testimonies in Senate Hearings. Ronnie Dayan, who had a 7-year relationship with De Lima, also admitted receiving drug money from Bilibid inmates for the senator’s campaign in 2016 after he was captured by authorities in La Union. Despite numerous allegations, De Lima insists that these are part of the president’s massive demolition job against her.

3. Killing of alleged drug personalities

Based on latest police records, almost 6000 suspected drug personalities were killed across the Philippines since the President took office on June 30. About 2,841 suspects were killed during police operations, while another 3,841 were killed by unknown gunmen.

2. Marcos laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

Despite opposition from human rights groups and martial law victim, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was given a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 27 years after his death. His controversial burial, which triggered rallies and demonstrations in various parts of the country, was part of Duterte’s campaign promise.

1. Duterte wins Presidency

The former mayor of Davao City won the May 9 presidential election by a landslide against other four prominent and higher ranking officials. With his promise of “genuine change” and anti-drug platform, Duterte amassed over 16 million votes. Leni Roberdo, former Camarines Sur Rep. and widow of former DILG secretary Jesse Robredo, won the won the neck-and-neck race against Sen. Bongbong Marcos with over 14 million votes.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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The Best Huawei and Samsung Smartphone Deals

Whether you’re looking for Huawei or Samsung smartphones, we’ll help you find the best deals in town!

 The Best Huawei and Samsung Deals this Christmas

Amazing Phones with 0% Interest Installment Plans at Huawei for All

Huawei For All promo

This offer is exclusively available for Huawei GR5, Huawei P9 Lite, Huawei Y6 II and Huawei T1 7 plus units only.

It is currently available in selected Huawei concept stores and participating branches of the following Home Credit partners.

Promo period is from November 29, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Read more about the promo, here.

Huawei with Metrobank Promo

Huawei with Metrobank Promo

Get exclusive giveaways for every purchase of a Huawei P9 or P9 Plus at 0% for 24 months with your Metrobank Card!

More details about the promo, here.

More with Huawei

More with Huawei

Get this Christmas bundle FREE with Huawei! Visit the participating Huawei Concept Store Branches NATIONWIDE!

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Best Smartphone Deals from Samsung Christmas Giveaways

Samsung Christmas Giveaways

Samsung is hosting one of the best smartphone deals this Christmas. Aptly called “Samsung Christmas Giveaway,” they are providing gift bundles and price off on select devices. The gift bundles will be available from November 18 to December 31, 2016. Meanwhile, price off will be permanent starting November 14, 2016.

Some of the deals include:

Samsung deals Christmas

Products included are Galaxy S7 edge, S7, A7(2016), J7 Prime, J7 (2016), On7, J1 (2016), and Galaxy Tab A (2016). Check out here for more details.

Participating dealers include:

Samsung Christmas Giveaways dealers

Own a Samsung at 0% interest via BDO and local Citibank credit cards

Another great Samsung promo will allow you to own a Samsung product at easy installment plans with 0% interest when you use a BDO or local Citibank credit card.

Samsung at BDO and Citi Credit Card

Mechanics is as follows:

1. Customer buys a Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note 5 at any participating Samsung Experience Store or participating Abenson Stores from April 1 to June 30, 2016).

2. Customer may avail up to 0% installment offers with BDO or Local Citibank Credit Cards.

Thinking of What Phone to Get?

If you haven’t decided yet what phone to buy, check this video of the World War Phone debate. Here, you will have an idea about the phone brands so you make the best choice of smartphone.

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COMPLETE LIST: Winners, MMFF 2016 awards night

MANILA, Philippines - The 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) executive committe announced the complete list of winners at the 2016 awards night (Gabi ng Parangal) held on Thursday, December 29 at the Kia Theatre, Araneta Center in Quezon City.

COMPLETE LIST: Winners, MMFF 2016 awards night

The magic eight entries for the full-feature and new wave categories of the 2016 MMFF battled for the top acting awards and best picture.

Official entries for the refreshed season of MMFF are "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough," "Die Beautiful," "Kabisera," "Oro," "Saving Sally," "Seklusyon," "Sunday Beauty Queen" and "Vince & Kath & James."

For the short films, entries include "Birds," "EJK," "Manila Scream," "Mga Bitoon sa Siudad," "Mitatang, "Momo," "Passage of Life" and "Sitsiritsit."

Paolo Ballesteros (Die Beautiful) and Irma Adlawan (Oro) won the MMFF 2016 Best Actor and Actress awards, respectively.

Meanwhile, Erik Matti for "Seklusyon" bagged the Best Director award. "Sunday Beauty Queen" was named Best Picture of the festival.

Here's the complete list of winners for the 2016 MMFF:

Major Awards Winners
Best Picture Sunday Beauty Queen
Best Actress Irma Adlawan, Oro
Best Actor Paolo Ballesteros, Die Beautiful
Best Director Erik Matti, Seklusyon
Best Supporting Actress Phoebe Walker, Seklusyon
Best Supporting Actor Christian Bables, Die Beautiful
Best Ensemble Cast Oro
Best Screenplay Seklusyon
Best Editing Sunday Beauty Queen
Best Cinematography Seklusyon
Best Production Design Seklusyon
Best Sound Design Seklusyon
Best Musical Score Saving Sally
Best Theme Song Dominus Miserere by Francis de Veyra,Seklusyon

Special Awards Winners
Gat Puno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award Sunday Beauty Queen
FPJ Memorial Award for Excellence Oro
Male Celebrity of the Night Ronnie Alonte
Female Celebrity of the Night Rhian Ramos
Best Float Award Die Beautiful
42nd MMFF My Most Favorite Film Die Beautiful
Children's Choice Vince & Kath & James
Saving Sally
Sunday Beauty Queen
Special Jury Prize Rhed Bustamante, Seklusyon

Short Films Category Awards Winners
Best Picture EJK
Special Jury Prize Manila Scream
Best Screenplay Mitatang

The television coverage of the awards night was produced by Viva Entertainment and was shown via delayed basis on IBC-13.

On a mission to celebrate the Filipino’s artistic excellence, and to champion the sustainability of the Philippine film industry, the MMFF pronounced a cinematic revolution - refitted its board of directors and has implemented new selection criteria for submitting filmmakers.

The festival kicked off with the "simpler" Parade of Stars on December 23. All 8 movies hit theaters on Sunday, December 25, with Eugene Domingo's "Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank 2," Paolo Ballesteros' "Die Beautiful," Dominic Roque's "Seklusyon" and Julia Barretto's "Vince and Kath and James" leading the box office in terms of earnings.

Nationwide screening is set until January 3, 2017 or four days shorter than the run of the last 16 editions of the film festival.

By virtue of Metro Manila Commission Executive Order No. 86-09, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1459, 1485, 1533, 1533-A and 1647, the MMFF is held during the Christmas Season in recognition of the role of the film industry in providing artistic depictions of both this country's stories and history.

The 2016 MMFF is the first edition under the leadership of MMDA General Manager and MMFF Overall Chairman Thomas Orbos.

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From BPO to Divisoria: My Personal Odyssey

MANILA, Philippines – “If Odysseus has his own odyssey, I also have one, just like every one of us.”

Read the inspirational and success story of Karlo Angelo Alamares, who did not quit on reaching his dreams amid the struggles in life.

Karlo Angelo Alamares of MyDivisoriaPH
Karlo Angelo Alamares with his family – his reason for striving hard, the WHO and WHY of his life.
I am Karlo Angelo Alamares, co-founder of MyDivisoria PH, a local social commerce company whose dream is to decentralize e-commerce and help our fellow Filipinos to become micro entrepreneurs by using social media. This blog is written not to promote our company or service but to promote life lessons I have learned during this journey of mine.

I graduated Political Science from a state university in Bicol. A student leader, parliamentarian and active on local and national issues; my parents, professors and friends see me as a high calibre lawyer in the future. After graduation, I married my college sweetheart and worked in a Manila based BPO company to meet our familial needs. Back then, when you are in a supervisory position at a BPO company – you are earning well, both financially and respect from your co-employees, family and friends.

After four years, my wife and I got separated, I was sent to jail by my ex-wife, our daughter was taken away from me and my father died. As the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” It was the lowest point of my life. But life goes on... Even if you way over depressed, it still goes on.

I continued working for two years and started law school. Thanks to my new found love, Jane (who is now my wife), for helping me out financially; during this time I am financially drained as 80% of my income (that is before taxes) goes to child support. I decided to call it quits and went home to Bicol to try my luck. I continued law school, but being employed is hard. Companies either ignore me or tell me I am over qualified. Having rotten luck in the province brought me back to Manila and tried to go back to my old BPO Company. Sad to say, my position is already filled up. Just imagine my frustration, restlessness and anxiety during those times.

Until I met online freelancing (via my sister who works online), I borrowed an old laptop from a cousin and voila – after two weeks of applying I was accepted for two jobs; Jane followed suit and if we can make it why not create an agency out of it. Zerolinx Virtual Solutions started, with it I have created an online portfolio and expanded my business network. Armed with new skills and online connections, we went home again to Bicol and started to build my own real company, as my way of saying thank you to all the companies who snubbed me. Equinox Virtual Solutions was born. I was a CEO at age 27! A local start up rock star and living the life! It started with only ten seats until it reached 300+ seats after three years. By the third year it was acquired by a North American company. I was retained as a consultant with a very high salary.

Imagine the earnings I have back then. So I diversified and invested my money on other businesses focusing on this, focusing on that. Until by November 2014, the company shut down. The US management team have other plans and I am not a part of it. Boom! Reality sets in, hundreds of employees lost their job and what’s worse? They blame me for it.

My dream house, the cars and other “assets” where all loaned from the bank. I lost them all! All that remained are the debts I acquired! It was the end of times for me. The end of my world! During those dark moments, I have not thought about Jane and my two little darling daughters – I have not lost everything! They are still with me! They are everything to me!

We relocated back to Manila to find greener pasture. We sold any property that can be sold to survive. One day as I was in Divisoria looking for not so expensive items for the family, a light bulb ignited in my head! How about an online Divisoria?

Upon getting home, I created a page and started MyDivisoria PH. The following day I took some pictures of items that can be sold online, posted them and got some orders. From that moment forward I go to Divisoria every day to learn, network with suppliers, look for new products, and know the system; after a year MyDivisoria PH have grown to 9,000+ resellers with P3M+ gross sales. I honestly started it with no financial capital. I started it by having an idea, trying it out, polishing it further and continue learning.

In this journey of mine, the number one lesson I have learned is that, don’t you ever quit! A very simple dictum but full of meaning... I did not quit because I know my “why” and my “who.” As Robert Kiyosaki said - “I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t hard either. But without a strong reason or purpose, anything in life is hard.”

Have a happy new year everybody and wherever you are in your own personal odyssey as of now – just continue, never ever think of quitting on your dreams.

About the author:

MyDivisoria PH

Has successfully exited on their first venture Equinox Virtual Solutionslast July 2014. A BPO company that started with 10 seats that expanded to 300 + employees in its first year of operation. It was later acquired by a North American Company. With his internet marketing, e-commerce, web and app development experience and his passion towards social enterprises, he has since then created MyDivisoria PH last November 2015.

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#Paasa? Youth Groups blast Duterte for false promise of free education

Budget increase not enough to ensure free quality education for all, groups say

Youth Groups blast Duterte for false promise of free education
Photo Credit: Philstar
MANILA, Philippines - Student groups from across the country slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for his statements reversing the previous pronouncements ensuring free tuition for all in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

"Limiting free tuition for 'poor and qualified' students put undue burden on the part of students in exercising their right to education," said Rara Ada of Sanlakas Youth, a national organization of student activists upholding the democratic rights of the youth.

Free tuition not available to all undergraduate students of SUCs

"Distorting the recently passed law ensuring free tuition in SUCs through its implementing rules betrays the promose of free tertiary education flaunted by the Duterte administration and its allies in the Congress," she added.

Ada cited the experience of some SUCs, most notably the University of the Philippines, in classifying students by 'brackets,' saying that such bracketing systems led to increasing tuition and other fees and a drastic decrease in the number of impoverished students enrolling.

"What is being flaunted as a progressive step in ensuring tertiary education as a right to be accessed by those who choose to is really just a deceptive mechanism in justifying the increase of tuition and other fees, as those who were considered unqualified for free tuition are deemed rich enough to cope with higher fees," she explained.

"Rather than providing motivation for impoverished students to pursue tertiary education in SUCs, it actually burdens them with an adversarial process where they are deemed rich until they proven poor enough to qualify for free tuition," Ada said.

Scholar-activists also pointed out that the increased allocation for education is still not enough to meet the international standards set for education spending in developing countries by the United Nations.

"The present budgeting process speaks volumes about where education stands in the national government's priority," said Zaira Baniaga, Chairperson of KAISA-UP. "While we are automatically appropriating a large sum of our budget to paying for our foreign debts, the budget for education has never significantly exceeded 3% of our Gross National Product (GNP), a far cry from the UNESCO standard of 6% from the GNP, set as far back as 2008," she added.

Baniaga said that a legislation ensuring the automatic appropriation of 6% GNP, dubbed as the SixWillFix Bill, will ensure that free education in all levels will not suffer in its quality and accessibility, ensure just wages for teachers and workers in the education sector, as well as quality facilities needed by students in all levels.

"If the President is serious in his promise of delivering change, he must do so by prioritizing the SixWillFix Bill as urgent, ensuring that free quality education will not suffer from arbitrary changes, nor be subjected to annual competition with other parts of the national budget," said Baniaga.

"The right to education in all levels by all citizens is not up for debate," Baniaga said. "If the President believes in investing in the country's future, he must not be among those who stand in the way of free education," she concluded.

The SixWillFix Bill has already been lobbied by KAISA-UP in both Houses of the Congress.

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10 household items you should stop using ASAP

Unknown to many, these household items, which many use on a regular basis, pose a threat to the environment. Many of these items are beginning to get banned worldwide.

10 household items you should stop using ASAP

Get to know the everyday products you need to stop using immediately.

1. Plastic bags

Considered as one of the most damaging sources of everyday pollution, non-biodegradable plastic bags clog landfill sites, break down in waterways and release toxic chemicals when burned.

2. Disposable batteries

Containing lead, cadmium and mercury that leak out into the soil and waterways, disposable batteries cause dangerous pollution. Instead of using disposable ones, opt to purchase rechargeable batteries.

3. Coffee pods

According to the National Coffee Association, 29% of US households use coffee pod machines because of its low cost and high convenience. However, billions of plastic and aluminium pods end up in landfill each year.

4. Toothpastes with plastic microbeads

The plastic microbead content of some toothpastes is considered a top contributor to the tons of plastic that enter the ocean every year. Microbeads don’t biodegrade, are too small to be collected, and attract toxic chemicals.

5. Wooden chopsticks

In order to produce 57 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year, four million trees have to be sacrificed. Moreover, these utensils are treated with chemical that may cause respiratory disorders. To make matters worse, Amnesty International revealed that chopsticks are sometimes produced in labor camps.

6. Wet wipes

Unlike toilet papers, wet wipes contain plastic and don’t easily break down. They usually cause blockage in sewers and end up in high volumes on beaches.

7. Plastic tea bags

This type of tea bag supposedly give a higher quality brew. However, it was discovered that plastic tea bags are resistant to composting. It is also believed to release dangerous toxins.

8. Hand soap with triclosan

The chemical triclosan has been linked to a number of health conditions and has been proven to cause cancer in mice. Triclosan can survive water treatment allowing it to end up in the ocean. As a result, it destroys bacteria that form the base of the food chain.

9. Styrofoam

Commonly used in disposable packaging, styrofoams are non-biodegradable and are difficult to recycle. When ingested, styrofoam poisons small animals.

10. Disposable razors

In the US alone, two billion razors are discarded. Its carbon-intensive production of steel and plastic and link to high water use make it an impractical choice compared to electric and straight razors.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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LOOK: PNP’s list of legal and illegal firecrackers

MANILA, Philippines- Are you planning to celebrate the New Year with firecrackers? The Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP) has released a list of legal firecrackers and pyrotechnics that the public may use for holiday revelry.

PNP’s list of legal and illegal firecrackers
According to a report by GMA News, the PNP will confiscate any product exceeding 0.2 grams or approximately 1.3 of a tablespoon of gun powder in the firecracker. Moreover, the firecrackers’ fuses are required to last not longer than six seconds and not shorter than three seconds.

Super Lolo and Whistlebomb, which are imported and oversized fireworks, are strictly prohibited.

Meanwhile, legal firecrackers include Bawang, Baby Rocket, El Diablo, Pulling of Strings, Kwitis, Paper Caps, Judas Belt, Small Triangulo and other firecrackers with similar amounts of explosive content. Allowed pyrotechnic devices include Fountain, Roman Candle, Luces, Butterfly, Sparklers, Mabuhay, Whistle, Trimpillo and other similar devices.

According to Bulacan PNP Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., the PNP would be stricter in inspecting firework stalls this year to prevent deaths caused by explosion of firework factories. In addition, the PNP would also carry out the work stoppage order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for establishments connected with the manufacture and sale of firecrackers.

Caramat emphasized that business establishments selling fireworks must secure certifications from the PNP and the Bureau of Fire Protection and attend a mandatory seminar.

As of November, only 16 out of 35 manufacturers in Bulacan have public safety marks.

President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier expressed his intention to implement a nationwide firecracker ban in 2017. During his stint as the mayor of Davao City, Duterte banned the use of firecrackers in the city.

“At this time, I’d like to put on notice everybody that I am seriously considering making the entire Philippines like Davao. We observe the Christmas time with solemnity,” Duterte said.

However, the President revealed that it would be too late to impose a firecracker ban this year as the industry have already invested for the materials used in producing and distributing firecrackers and pyrotechnic products.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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iPhone 7, Samsung S7 or Huawei P9: What to get these Holidays?

MANILA, Philippines – What are you going to reward yourself with these Christmas holidays? Are you torn among the latest gadgets? Well, don’t look farther than the bestsellers namely, iPhone 7, Samsung S7 and Huawei P9.

iPhone 7, Samsung S7 or Huawei P9: What to get for the Holidays?

But if their price tags are making you a little nervous, there’s a way to get them below P2,000 a month.

Globe Telecom is offering affordable postpaid plans which can make owning an iPhone 7 or a Samsung S7 or a Huawei P9 easier on the pocket. To help you find out which plan you should get, here’s a quick comparison.

Call and text credits

unlimited calls and texts to Globe/TM unlimited calls and texts to Globe/TM unlimited calls and texts to Globe/TM
10 GB data allowance 6 GB data allowance 6 GB data allowance
299 texts to all networks
P202 consumable

Free digital content

1-month access to Netflix 1 GB of Spotify Premium or HOOQ 6-month premium subscription to Netflix
3-month access to Spotify Premium 1 GB Spotify Premium or HOOQ
3-month access to HOOQ
6-month access to Disney Channel apps
6-month access to NBA League Pass

Other freebies

n/a n/a Huawei VIP card (This gets customers one year one-to-one exchange, free door-to-door pickup or delivery service, free LCD replacement within three months from purchase, and priority service at selected customer service centers.)
Navigation Pack (Waze, Grab, Google Maps, MMDA, AccuWeather, PAGASA Mobile, IMReady), Explore Pack (Agoda, TripAdvisor, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, looloo, Zomato, Rakuten Travel) or Fitness Pack (MyFitnessPal, 7-Minute Workout, RunKeeper, Strava Running, Cycling GPS, Fitocracy, Pact) Navigation Pack (Waze, Grab, Google Maps, MMDA, AccuWeather, PAGASA Mobile, IMReady), Explore Pack (Agoda, TripAdvisor, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, looloo, Zomato, Rakuten Travel) or Fitness Pack (MyFitnessPal, 7-Minute Workout, RunKeeper, Strava Running, Cycling GPS, Fitocracy, Pact) Navigation Pack (Waze, Grab, Google Maps, MMDA, AccuWeather, PAGASA Mobile, IMReady), Explore Pack (Agoda, TripAdvisor, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, looloo, Zomato, Rakuten Travel) or Fitness Pack (MyFitnessPal, 7-Minute Workout, RunKeeper, Strava Running, Cycling GPS, Fitocracy, Pact)
Gadget Care Gadget Care Gadget Care
1 GB Globe Cloud 1 GB Globe Cloud 1 GB Globe Cloud
shipping shipping shipping

Total investment

Each device has a lock-in period of 24 months. But as the table shows, the Huawei P9 plan requires the lowest investment overall.

CASH-OUT P600/month P500/month 0
TOTAL CASH-OUT IN 24 MONTHS P14,400 P12,000 0
TOTAL COST PER MONTH (cash-out + price of plan) P2,599 P1,999 P1,499
TOTAL COST IN 24 MONTHS P62,376 P47,976 P35,976

Samsung S7, iPhone 7 and Huawei P9 are the bestselling smartphones now worldwide, according to the latest report by International Data Corporation. Aside from advanced features, they all have exceptional camera functions, which are, by the way, the second most important factor smartphone buyers consider, says a consumer insight firm. You’ll also love to have a great camera phone to use for your holiday escapades, won’t you?

So, which device will you get yourself for Christmas? Which plan fits your budget well? Is it iPhone 7 at P1,999 a month with a lot of free digital content, where you can enjoy guilt-free music and movie streaming? How about the Samsung S7 plan that’s competitive at just P1,499? At the same price, did the Huawei P9 plan with free premium access to Netflix and Huawei VIP perks grab your attention the most?

All plans selected for this comparison include devices with the smallest memory size, allowing you to afford a bestselling smartphone for only less than P2,000 a month. Globe is offering these affordable offers up to Dec. 31, 2016 only.

If you still can’t decide, check out the World War Phone debate here:

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