Monday, May 10, 2021

Megaworld Dominates Iloilo Office Market With 70% Market Share

Megaworld, the largest office lessor in the country, reports that it is now dominating the office leasing market in Iloilo City, with a remarkable 70% market share based on an internal study conducted in April.

As of end-April this year, the company has a total leasable office portfolio of 100,000 square meters in its nine (9) completed office towers inside the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park, the company’s premier township development in the city.

These office towers include One Techno Place, Two Techno Place, Three Techno Place, One Global Center, Two Global Center, Festive Walk 1B, Richmonde Tower, One Fintech Place, and Two Fintech Place.

To date, all office towers are 100% occupied by mostly Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, which Megaworld helped bring to Iloilo for the first time.

“In the middle of the strict lockdowns last year, we have received inquiries for available office spaces in Iloilo Business Park. Quite a number of our existing clients in Metro Manila have had strong interests about expanding in Iloilo. And they were very particular about being inside Iloilo Business Park,” reveals Roland Tiongson, first vice president, Megaworld Premier Offices.

Currently, offices at Iloilo Business Park host BPO companies that cater to healthcare, insurance and finance, security, and customer service, among others.

Last year alone, Megaworld closed lease deals with seven (7) companies that are either first-time locators or existing locators looking for expansion spaces in Iloilo, totaling to almost 28,000 square meters of office spaces.

“Iloilo Business Park covered around 20% of our total office lease transactions in 2020. This is now the brightest spot in our office leasing business, and we are very happy that our Iloilo township has been an attractive location to many multinational companies,” adds Tiongson.

The company is currently constructing its 10
th office development in Iloilo Business Park, the 12-storey Enterprise One, which will be the tallest office tower in the township once completed by 2023.

Built on the historic spot of the Old Iloilo Airport, Iloilo Business Park is the biggest master-planned and integrated urban township in the entire Iloilo City that is home to several residential condominiums, shopping mall and commercial centers, hotels, office towers, museum, leisure parks, transport terminal, and even the region’s largest convention center. It has been recognized as the country’s ‘Best Township Development’ during the 2018 Philippines Property Awards.

Megaworld ended 2020 with rental revenues reaching P10.4-billion, and a total leasable office inventory of 1.4 million square meters, excluding office spaces for sale.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Megaworld sets aside P36-B for capital spending this year

Township developer Megaworld is allocating P36-billion for capital spending this year, as it realigns project developments with the restrictions brought about by the strict quarantine measures that affect construction movements as well as demand for residential properties especially in Metro Manila.

This year’s capital expenditure (CAPEX) is 29% higher than the P27.9-billion actual spending last year. Around 76% will be allocated for real estate developments, particularly on the construction of new residential properties, while the remaining 24% will be for investment properties. No amount has been allocated for landbanking initiatives.

“We remain cautious and prudent with our spending as we are still observing how the vaccination program will progress and where this pandemic will be leading us in the next few months. This is a very targeted CAPEX program aimed at optimizing the use of our available cash during this time,” says Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.

This year, the company is launching four (4) residential projects, particularly in its key provincial townships at Maple Grove in Cavite, Capital Town in Pampanga, Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City, and The Upper East in Bacolod City.

These new residential projects are expected to generate around P8.3-billion in sales.

During the year, the company is also turning over almost 4,000 units and lots from its completed residential developments across the country with a total value of around P60-billion.

These residential projects for turnover are in Uptown Bonifacio, McKinley Hill, McKinley West, Eastwood City, Westside City, Capital Town Pampanga, Iloilo Business Park, and Makati City.

“We look forward to eased restrictions by second half of the year. It’s still wait and see as of this time, but we are optimistic that the domestic economy will bounce back fast once all of these strict quarantine measures are lifted,” adds Tan.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ride the Flavors of the Red Riding Food Truck

There is a new street food gourmet at the Molo Mansion and it’s on a truck!

Inspired by food trucks from the United States, wherein people get to enjoy quality and gourmet food anytime, anywhere with the use of a food truck, Red Riding Food Truck‘s invasion ensures delivery of food that are best tasting, mouth-watering, and at the same time, friendly to the pocket.

Owing to the fact that, what people need in the current situation is for food to come to their doorsteps, the prime movers of this unique resto thought of a concept that would help alleviate people’s cravings without sacrificing quality and affordability.

With restrictions and limitations to mobility since last year due to the pandemic, the Red Riding Truck’s built-in kitchen and storage with its own generator assures quality and hot food for its customers.

Offering a new street vibe in dining, wherein people can simply enjoy a warm cozy afternoon while enjoying unique and delectable goodies, the truck’s signature dish is called the Big Bad Wolf, a delectable Hungarian sausage on a soft and tasty bun topped with its specialty coleslaw, overloaded fries on top, plus more crispy and hot fries on the sides with sauces to choose from. The real filling specialty is a must-try along with its other treats like nachos with a sausage twist, and other gourmet products on the go.

The picturesque view as well as the vibe that lets the past meet the present is the factor why the owners chose the Molo Mansion as the suitable venue for their business--customers have a nice and relaxing atmosphere in a historic landmark. People get to feel an aura of a modern classic, where history and contemporary vibe meets and creates a perfect combination of nostalgia. The vibe goes perfectly well with the food, that is.

Thankful for the opportunity to showcase their unique concept, the proprietors of this business relays that the management is kind enough to assist them in their concerns, as well as helping them in social media which resulted to reaching more customers online. They added that despite the pandemic, they were given an opportunity to continue doing business safely in an organized environment.

Molo Mansion itself attracts sightseers and people from all walks of life, who love to bask along the historic area. What better way to let them enjoy a warm afternoon than to grab a bite of a light snack or a gourmet sausage and a cold drink while contemplating on the beauty and rich history of the Ilonggo culture.

Safety protocols are not a concern as staff have been trained to clean and disinfect all equipment. Chairs and tables are arranged beforehand, so as not to impede with social distancing guidelines and to make sure the area is ready when customers arrive.

The balance of serving good food and abiding with safety protocols, to avoid people from crowding or huddling together is paramount, while food is cooked as ordered to ensure freshness, quality, and most of all safety towards the staff and customers.

Open 2:00pm -9:00pm from Mondays to Wednesdays and from 9:00am-10:00pm on Thursdays to Sundays, customers can contact or send a message to the Red Riding Food Facebook page or call or text the truck’s number 09457456235.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

JobStreet goes hyperlocal, launches microsites and virtual career fairs in several regions

Living up to its commitment to provide jobs that matter across the country, leading online job portal JobStreet is going hyperlocal as it launches its dedicated microsite for Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao as well as its upcoming virtual career fair with the selected Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Offices in time for the upcoming Labor Day.

The initiatives also help boost the job market in provinces as the public is encouraged to decongest Metro Manila following the on-going pandemic.

Jobseekers from Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao can now browse thousands of jobs available in their locality through the respective microsites. Candidates can also learn from work-life guides and advice from JobStreet’s career hub which will be written in their local dialect.

“Many Filipinos recently returned to their provinces because of layoffs or the new work from home arrangements and this caused a shift in the labor market. We’ve also observed that candidates from major provinces have increased their activities in terms of platform website visits, which is why we really targeted to promote local employment and provide them valuable support in their career through their own dialect,” said JobStreet Philippines Country Manager Philip Gioca.

Hyperlocal microsites

The microsite for Cebu offers opportunities from the top industries namely Call Center/IT-Enabled Services/BPO (12.5%), Manufacturing/Production (7.6%), Healthcare/ Medical (6.5%), Education (5.5%), and Construction/Building/Engineering (5.2%). The average salary reported in Cebu is Php 31,487.

Candidates from Davao can apply for jobs with an average salary of Php 28,500 as top industries continue hiring such as Call Center/IT-Enabled Services/BPO (8.7%), Healthcare/Medical (7.8%), Education (7.2%), Food & Beverage/Catering/Restaurant (5.6%), and Retail/Merchandise (5.3%).

Meanwhile, thousands of jobs are also found in Iloilo microsite with an average salary of Php 27,370. Top industries include Healthcare/Medical (13.6%), Call Center/IT-Enabled Services/BPO (9.2%), Education (8.3%), Construction/Building/Engineering (5.6%), and Food & Beverage/Catering/Restaurant (5.3%).

As of 2021, JobStreet earned a 13% growth in average platform visits from Cebu, 56% from Davao, and 44% in Iloilo. Moreover, hirers from the said provinces are gradually picking up. Based on JobStreet Database as of March 2021, job offerings based in Central Visayas grew by 9% from a sharp decline in 2020. Western Visayas recently jumped to 44% increase in job openings, while Davao Region is also recovering with 26% job postings this year. 

Ensuring that the initiative will be advantageous for both local hirers and candidates, JobStreet is also establishing a local team in each province to accommodate queries.

Labor Day Virtual Career Fair

JobStreet continues to support the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in providing livelihood among Filipinos during this period. Following the success of the recent Virtual Career Fair, JobStreet partners with selected DOLE regions to launch another Virtual Career Fair on May 1 to 3.

Over 100 companies from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have participated in the upcoming Virtual Career Fair, offering thousands of jobs nationwide. Candidates from different regions will also have a chance to experience engaging features such as live chats, on-the-spot interviews with HR representatives, and companies’ virtual booths. In addition, DOLE Regional Offices will accommodate concerns and questions from candidates via chat in the platform.

Jobseekers can join the online raffle as JobStreet goes live on its official Facebook Page on the first day of the Virtual Career Fair on May 1 at 5:00PM.

“We appreciate DOLE and the participating regions for trusting to partner with JobStreet in this initiative. We’re hoping that the Virtual Career Fair would be able to reach out to more jobseekers across the country who are looking for opportunities at this time,” shared Gioca.

The Virtual Career Fair is now open for pre-registration through

About JobStreet 

JobStreet is a leading online job board presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. JobStreet currently services over 230,000 corporate hirers and over 15 million jobseekers in its database.

Over 150,000 people in the Philippines acquire digital skills during COVID-19

Microsoft Corp. recently announced it has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories gain access to digital skills, of which over 150,000 are from the Philippines. This tops its initial goal of 25 million last June. Microsoft Corp. is also extending its commitment to help 250,000 companies globally make a skills-based hire in 2021.

From laid-off factory workers to retail associates and truck drivers, millions of people turned to online learning courses from GitHub, LinkedIn and Microsoft during the pandemic to help prepare for and secure the most in-demand roles, including customer service, project management and data analysis. The announcement, detailed on the Official Microsoft Blog, builds on the company’s efforts to help people by extending through 2021 free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs. The next stage of the initiative sets a new foundation for a skills-based economy through a suite of new tools and platforms designed to connect skilled job seekers with employers.

“Skills will be the new currency in the post-pandemic world. Over the past year, we’ve seen the pandemic affect people all across the world, including those who could bear it the least,” said Microsoft Asia President Ahmed Mazhari. “For us to emerge stronger from the pandemic, reskilling needs to be at the center of our economic reset. Together with LinkedIn, we are doubling down our efforts to re-design work in the region by supporting the development of a more inclusive skills-based labor market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect people more readily with new job opportunities.”

LinkedIn plans to help 250,000 companies globally make skills-based hires this year through new and existing hiring products. The company will provide both new ways for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and new tools for employers to connect to candidates based on their skill proficiencies including:

  • The pilot of LinkedIn Skills Path, a new way to help companies hire for skills. Skills Path brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates in a more equitable way — based on their proven skills. LinkedIn is piloting Skills Path with various companies, including BlackRock, Gap Inc. and TaskRabbit, committed to broadening their hiring practices to better include candidates with diverse experiences. 

  • New expressive and personalized LinkedIn profile features will help people share more about themselves, their career and goals in a more authentic and engaging way. This includes a video Cover Story that allows job seekers to demonstrate their soft skills to recruiters and hiring managers. Seventy-five percent of hiring managers believe a standard resume is insufficient in evaluating a candidate’s soft skills, and almost 80% believe video has become more important when evaluating candidates.*

  • Expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph will help create a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions and government agencies to help improve workforce planning, hiring and development programs.

Microsoft is bringing together every part of the company to supplement LinkedIn’s work to promote far-reaching digital skills opportunities, including Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn that provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Career Coach offers educational institutions a unified career solution for students to help them discover their goals, interests and skills using an AI-based skills identifier and LinkedIn integration that aligns a student’s comprehensive profile with job market trends and helps them grow real-world skills and connect with mentors and peers all in one place.

Olivier Legrand, Managing Director & Vice-President, Asia Pacific & China, LinkedIn said, “More and more, we are seeing skills-based hiring becoming critical in our world of work. We’ve seen people across the globe express a desire to learn and build their skills, and organizations too, are hiring based on skills instead of traditional qualifications. LinkedIn, together with Microsoft, are committed to helping everyone shift towards a skills-based economy. In 2021, we will continue our efforts to equip jobseekers with the right resources to pick up new skills, and connect them to opportunities, as well as aim to help 250,000 organizations make a skills-based hire.”

As part of the initiative, Microsoft has worked closely with its nonprofit partners to help provide wrap-around support with coaching, mentoring and networking to nearly 6 million learners worldwide. Microsoft will apply these lessons more broadly and is announcing a new online service, Career Connector, that will provide 50,000 job seekers worldwide with the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years. It will focus on learners who have built skills via Microsoft’s nonprofit and learning partners, with an emphasis on women and underrepresented minorities in technology.

Translating this global skilling effort in the Philippines is a strategic imperative within Microsoft’s nation-building plan for the country. Known as its Para sa Bayan program, the plan ultimately aims to positively impact 25 million Filipinos over the next three years by stimulating digital transformation, building coalitions for responsible innovation, closing the skills gap and enhancing employability, and creating sustainable societal impact. Within this greater effort are strategic programs and partnerships aimed towards students, government agencies, private organizations, communities, and associations.

Education is a key focus area for Microsoft, and its close collaborations with the Department of Education (DEPED) aims to transform the education sector with technology. Before COVID-19, Microsoft and DEPED embarked on a project to provide free Microsoft 365 accounts to over 20 million public school students and 900,000 teachers in 48,000 schools all over the country. To date, over 400,000 teachers have been trained in Office 365, Teams, and other digital teaching tools. Microsoft is continuously working with the DEPED in other projects to ensure that Filipino teachers and students gain relevant digital skills.

Microsoft is also partnering with the national government to upskill up to 800,000 government employees and 5 million students for economic development and inclusive growth.

In addition, programs in partnership with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, ABS-CBN, Philippine Airlines, IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines, Grab Philippines, and CloudSwyft are underway to ensure to close the skills gap of Filipino workers and enhance employability. 

“COVID-19 has increased the need for digital skills, and we are committed to meeting that need however we can—paving the way for a more resilient Philippines and allowing all sectors of society to contribute to the country’s economic recovery. We will continue to partner with the government, the private sector, non-profits, and NGOs to have a whole nation approach,” said Andres Ortola, General Manger-Microsoft Philippines.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

3 Things that Make FOXTM Shock Absorbers a Great Off-road Driving Partner

When it comes to choosing a pickup truck, buyers usually look at versatility, utility and capability as the top factors in making their purchase decisions.

The Ford Ranger, for instance, is a pickup designed to handle the toughest jobs for its owners – whether carrying and moving load at work or tackling a mountain trail. For those who are looking to push beyond the every day, Ford has invested heavily in boosting the off-road capabilities of the Ranger via FOXTM shock absorbers, which are the heart of suspension systems of the Ranger Raptor and the all-new Ranger FX4 MAX.

By using performance-oriented FOXTM shock absorbers, Ford has given the Ranger Raptor and FX4 MAX the ability to drive across rough terrain at high speeds with control, stability and comfort. This same off-road performance translates perfectly on the road, where the Ranger Raptor and FX4 MAX are just as comfortable and controlled as they are off-road.

The Ford Ranger is a 4x4 truck engineered to take the ups with the downs, and the FOX shock absorbers and clever tuning by Ford give the Ranger Raptor and FX4 MAX the next-level driving experience.

Here are three (3) things that make the FOXTM shock absorbers a great off-road driving partner:

1. It’s built to conquer rough terrain

FOXTM performance-ready suspension on the Ranger Raptor delivers up to 30% more wheel travel than regular shock absorbers. Wheel travel is the distance designed in for a wheel to travel at either the bottom or top of the movement. The FOXTM shock absorbers on Ranger Raptor and FX4 MAX have been designed to deal with a combination of high- and slow-speed driving and load carrying.

2. It offers comfort on and off-road

FOXTM shock absorbers have been designed with on- and off-road comfort in mind, allowing owners to transition from rough to smooth roads easily.

The FX4 MAX’s suspension brings an off-road stance and capability through its 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorbers front and rear. The rear shocks feature a remote reservoir enabling rapid recovery from extensive, prolonged off-road use. They’re teamed with tuned coil-springs at the front, and a staggered shock arrangement at the rear to manage loads.

The Ranger Raptor’s race-bred suspension has been specifically crafted to tackle undulating terrain at high speed while remaining in complete control and comfort. The Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers (dampers) provide higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable better off-road capabilities, and lower damping forces in the mid-travel zone for a class-leading plush ride during on-road trips.

3. FOX Racing ShoxTM are among the best in off-road driving

For more than three decades, FOX has been an industry leader in the design and development of high-performance shock absorbers and racing suspension products for snowmobiles, mountain bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, 4X4 off-road cars, trucks, and SUVs. Ford uses FOX shocks across a range of performance pick-up vehicles with Ford engineers tuning these vehicles to perform at their best.

The Ranger FX4 MAX is available in all Ford dealerships nationwide at a launch pricing of P1,698,000*. Meanwhile, customers purchasing the Ranger Raptor can still avail of the Ranger Raptor Premium Care Package, inclusive of a free 5-Year Scheduled Service Plan, 5-Year Warranty (from 3 years), and free 5-Year Roadside Assistance.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford trucks, utility vehicles, and cars – increasingly including electrified versions – and Lincoln luxury vehicles; provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company; and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected vehicle services.  Ford employs approximately 186,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

Monday, April 19, 2021

Cebu Landmasters breaks ground on mixed-use complex in Cebu’s heritage trail, reveals new 182-room international hotel

Leading developer in VisMin Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) announced today the groundbreaking of a new mixed-use development offering 21,000 sqm. of gross floor area and incorporating a 182-room international hotel at the heart of downtown Cebu City’s heritage trail.

Named after the historic Catholic recreation center that heavily influenced young professionals in the ‘50s, Patria de Cebu’s redevelopment will offer 4,320 sqm of food, dining and entertainment spaces and 4,400 sqm of offices. The balance will be taken up by Mercure Cebu Downtown set to open in 2024 to be operated by French multinational chain Accor, a world-leading hospitality group.

A collaboration between Cebu Landmasters and the Archdiocese of Cebu, the mixed-use complex was master-planned to revitalize this historic center of Cebu dominated by the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral established centuries ago. Located in front of the cathedral with baroque influences, the new Patria de Cebu was envisioned by architect Jose Pedro Recio to “visually bridge the old and the new,” with the approval of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

“The final design of Patria de Cebu is a result of a collaboration between the Archdiocese of Cebu, CLI and key stakeholders. It is a celebration of Cebuano history and culture in today’s setting,” CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III highlighted.

With the approval of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to retain the main Patria building in its final design, CLI and the Archdiocese of Cebu commit to preserve the historic edifice of Patria de Cebu–not just its frontage–thereby keeping its rich heritage intact.

New practical structure will be integrated while preserving the heritage of the main Patria building that will have dining, entertainment and office hub while showcasing a large central interior plaza for cultural and other gatherings. Its rooftop will also be a venue for al fresco events.

Mercure Cebu Downtown’s ballroom and meeting rooms will also host social and business gatherings. It will also have a restaurant, executive floor lounge, swimming pool and rooftop bar. It will be operated by Accor, the largest hospitality company in Europe and CLI’s partner in another landmark project at the Cebu Business Park, the five-star Sofitel Cebu City revealed earlier this year.

CLI’s collaboration with the Archdiocese of Cebu covers the development and operation of the mixed-use project for 40 years. The groundbreaking of the complex was timed to also celebrate the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines.