Press Release

UnionBank Hosts The First Ever U:HAC!

Union Bank of the Philippines recently organized its first ever U:HAC or UnionBank Hackathon and Convention at Cebu City during the weekend of August 6 & 7, 2016.

Some of the participants of U:HAC listening to the pitches
Welcome to U:HAC Cebu Leg

Held at A Space Cebu, Kasambangan, Cebu City, many of the participants who have already registered trooped to the venue to join the hackathon as they showcased their innovative digital solutions to UnionBank executives and officers who served as judges and mentors at the event.

More than a hundred of mostly students and professionals were present at U:HAC Cebu. The event was opened by UnionBank executives Senior EVP for Retail and Corporate Banking and CitySavings Bank Chairman Eugene Acevedo and SVP and Head of Digital Transformation Group Paolo Baltao with SVP and HR Director Michelle Rubio welcoming the participants.

Mr. Paolo Baltao, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Transformation Group, UnionBank of the Philippines
Ms. Michelle Rubio, Senior Vice President, Human Resource Group, UnionBank of the Philippines

There were a total of 30 teams at the event with some group members meeting for the first time at the venue. Nevertheless, all were full of enthusiasm and excitement in bringing up the most creative solutions to the 10 wicked challenges presented to them by the organizers.

The challenges ranged on coming up with potential solutions on problems centered on education, unemployment, banking in the future, pollution, climate change, healthcare, poverty, community building, disaster resilience and building sustainability.

The teams selected the challenge they were interested to resolve. With just their laptops and creative juices and a very resilient and strong internet connection, they did an all-nighter to develop their digital solutions and coding to the challenges.

The next day, all 30 teams pitched their projects to the UBP judges and mentors. Based on the criteria of novelty, product creativity, functionality and impact to customers, the top 10 were selected. These top 10 teams again presented their projects. And from that select group, the champion was crowned.

Preliminary Pitching

The judges listening attentively to the pitches

The project LAURELEYE developed by Team LaurelEye composed of students from University of San Carlos was declared first placer for developing an Uber-type web-based platform for tutorials. The project helps individuals find other individuals who are willing to educate them in various topics that both interests them such as arts, culture, academic subjects, etc. The team received P50,000, a trophy and cloud credit from IPC.

Team LaurelEye is composed of Cris Militante, Gabriel Pineda, Patrick Woogue, Ian Escoton and Anthony Mondoy
Awarding the P50,000 cash by the UnionBank’s Human Resource Group

The project CITYSIREN developed by the group HatchITSolutions also won a special prize. Their web application uses data mining and data analytics to inform LGU and businesses on the issues that the public are facing day-to-day. The team received a cash prize of P30,000.

The judges together with the members of HatchIT Solutions composed of , Charles Yu, Arjay Osma, Pete Matthew Revales, Clifford Lawas and Matthew Rapes
The organizing team of U:HAC 2016

The event gave the participants the knowledge that UnionBank welcomes and supports digital innovations to further embrace Digital Banking. They saw that UnionBank has its own brand of providing unique customer experience through the integration of digital solutions in its operations as it transforms itself in becoming the leading Digital Bank in the Philippines.

U:HAC Cebu was organized in partnership with A Space Cebu, PLDT Innolab and IPC.

U:HAC’s next leg will be held on August 27-28, 2016 at the Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall. For more details, you may check www.uhacph.com or like them on facebook.com/UHac2016/.

IRONMAN 70.3 Fever Heats up at The Mactan Newtown

LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU, August 4, 2016 – Spectators and participants of the Iron Man 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship are sure to find plenty of reasons to stop by The Mactan Newtown as the grandest triathlon event in the Philippines kicks off this August 7 in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

The Mactan Newtown, Megaworld’s 30-hectare township development featuring its own beachfront, has rolled out exciting events, attractions and activities as it looked to indulge tourists and participants in an authentic Cebuano cultural experience.

Beginning August 5, The Mactan Newtown will hold an all-day live roasting of Cebu’s culinary pride, the Lechon, in its newly launched Lechon Pit located at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco, a Singaporean inspired, hawker-style food strip that houses Cebu’s most popular restaurants.

No less than Cebu’s top lechon-makers and Mactan Alfresco mainstays Ayers Lechon, Cebu Lechon Belly, Ana’s Lechon, will be preparing and roasting their signature lechon dishes in the Lechon Pit, allowing tourists and guests to witness live lechon roasting before enjoying a serving of the world’s best pork dish.

Guests at Mactan Alfresco can experience a slice of the famed Cebuano culture with live cultural performances from 6PM to 8PM.

Spectators can also witness the race at various viewpoints as it makes its way around the township during Race Day on August 7. Moreover, supporters of the triathletes can also watch all the action at the special Race Day coverage at Mactan Alfresco from 5AM to 6PM. A sumptuous food exhibit will also greet hungry race fans at Mactan Alfresco’s beachfront area from 6AM to 3PM.

Guests can also enjoy free shuttle service going to and coming from The Mactan Newtown, with pickup/drop-off points located at Shangri-La Mactan, Movenpick and Be Resorts. ###

Mactan Alfresco is located near the main entrance of The Mactan Newtown, the country’s first “Live-Work-Play-Learn” lifestyle township with its own beachfront located in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu. For more information, visit www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com or like Mactan Alfresco on Facebook (facebook.com/MactanNewtown) or follow @mactannewtown_ on Instagram and Twitter.

Megaworld Maps Out ‘Visayas BPO Triangle’

MANILA, Philippines, August 4, 2016 – Megaworld, the country’s largest developer and lessor of office spaces, is mapping out the so-called ‘Visayas BPO triangle’ with its three huge township developments in Iloilo, Cebu and Bacolod.

“We are targeting around 175,000 square meters of office spaces for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in these three key cities in the next three years to form the so-called ‘Visayas BPO Triangle.’ By 2020, our target is to bring it up to 225,000 square meters depending on market demand. So far, the demand goes up, so we see this as a big possibility,” reveals Jericho Go, senior vice president, Megaworld, who is at the helm of the company’s office property business.

Once completed, Megaworld expects to generate around 50,000 full-time direct jobs in the BPO sector in these Visayan cities.

“If we talk about direct and indirect jobs, we see around 300,000 for Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod by end-2019. These include jobs that can be generated within our townships such as those from transport and retail,” explains Go.

In its ongoing 30-hectare development in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu called The Mactan Newtown, inventory of office spaces will be around 80,000 square meters by next year as the company is set to open two more office towers. These two new office towers are Tower One Plaza Magellan (to be completed this year) and Pacific World Tower (to be completed in 2017), offering an additional 34,000 square meters of fresh office spaces in The Mactan Newtown. Other towers that have been previously launched are One World Center, Manulife Center and 8 Newtown Boulevard.

“In Cebu, there is a growing preference for BPO locators to be in Mactan Island because of the traffic problem and congestion in Cebu City. We see Lapu-Lapu City as a big alternative location for BPOs in Central Visayas especially that the new and bigger Mactan-Cebu International Airport will be completed soon. The Mactan Newtown is only 15 minutes away from the airport while going to Cebu City takes you around 1 ½ hours in today’s traffic condition,” says Go.

In the company’s 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township, inventory of office spaces will reach around 33,000 square meters by the end of this year with the expected completion of one more office tower, Three Techno Place, offering around 8,700 square meters of fresh office spaces. The first four office towers, namely Richmonde Tower (5,800 sqm), One Global Center (9,400 sqm), Two Global Center (9,100 sqm) hand One Techno Place (8,700 sqm) have already been fully leased.

Two more office towers are up for completion next year up to 2018. These are Two Techno Place (10,000 sqm) and Festive Walk Office Tower (12,000 sqm).

“By end-2018, we will have around 65,000 square meters of office spaces in Iloilo Business Park and we will have more first time locators lined up for Iloilo,” reveals Go.

In Bacolod, the company plans to build office towers in its 34-hectare The Upper East township with an initial inventory of 30,000 square meters. To date, the company has already started the land development of the area, which was formerly the site of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC).

Unionbank Hackathon and Convention (U:HAC)

The Unionbank Hackathon and Convention (U:HAC) is UnionBank’s latest project to look for the most creative and innovative solutions in the digital arena that can be developed during the event.

Unionbank Hackathon and Convention

U:HAC will first be held in Cebu on August 6 & 7, 2016 with about 200 participants consisting of college students and professionals. A Space Cebu will be the venue partner for the 24-hour coding marathon or hackathon.

The second leg will be held on August 27 & 28, 2016 at the Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

UnionBank has been at the forefront of the digital revolution being experienced in the local banking sector. It is one of the first Banks in the country that embraced digital early on in its operations given its goal of becoming a fully digitized Bank that provides SmartBanking to all of its customers.

Innovation is a key component of the Bank’s business as it is continuously searching for solutions to challenge convetions.

Unionbank Hackathon and Convention

“We want to discover talented individuals, be it college students or professionals, that have superior knowledge on information technology, and software applications, who can contribute in making the digital arena more progressive and advanced based on their digital solutions,” UnionBank Senior Vice President and Human Resource Director Michelle Rubio emphasized.

Registration for those interested to join (Junior and Senior College Students, Professionals) is still open. Just visit the UHAC website or check its Facebook page for updates. You may also contact Econnext Ideas and Media at 0917-9048777 or 0920-9734926.

The U:HAC Cebu is organized in partnership with A Space Cebu, PLDT Innolab and IPC.

A Refinery Celebrates its Anniversary Sizzling at One!

July 12 2016, Castle Peak Hotel, Cebu—A. Refinery is proud to celebrate its first year of existence in Ayala Cebu Center through pre event media conference at as one of the most innovative and newest companies in audio and lifestyle industry.

A Refinery was founded by group of friends with same passion in music in 2015, as a concept store features products under the slogan Lifestyle – Music – Technology serving as an experience hub for premium audio and lifestyle. A. Refienry celebrates an official event anniversary on Saturday, July 16, 2016.

In one year, their passion and dedication to produce high quality products among customers is really imperative competency making its users be in the moment with their music experience and the innovation to create immersive forward thinking of home entertainment, HIFI concepts and portable media. Offering complete showcased products and services as well the creative setting for customers, bringing central misison to life in a new way.

A refinery is truly the home of the iconic and world – class such as longtime German headphone powerhouse Beyerdynamic, and two of Britain’s leading audio innovators Chord Electronics Ltd. and Q Acoustics. The store will also be an ideal setting for non-audio brands such as Booq Cases & fashionable bags, Lineaflux Hyperchargers, as well as one of the newest innovations of the 21st Century – Home Automation by Control 4.

To kick off the Anniversary celebration, A. Refinery will host a pre-event media conference and a cocktail event. The products of A. Refinery will be used and displayed throughout these events to feature the brands’ newest innovations and quality products to a wider network and thanks all media partners who join their sizzling existense in one year both offline and online community. Aside the PR and presentation of new SKU’s; dignitaries and partners are giving away of gift packs and gift certificate during the said conference.

For further details, please visit www.facebook.com/ARefineryPH and connect with us at instagram @arefineryph and twitter @arefineryPH or reach the official organizers A. Refinery Marketing Officer Mark Frias Embino and Jhunnie de Guzman at marketing@beyondinnov.com

HEAD OFFICE:

Refinery UP Town Center

B338 2nd Level UP Town Center, Brgy., UP Campus,
Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, 1105 Quezon City, Philippines
Contact No: +63 (02) 718 5135

BRANCHES:

Refinery Ayala Center Cebu
Level 3, Ayala Center, Cebu Center Park, Barrio Luz,
Cebu City, Philippines 6000
Contact No: +63 (32) 987 0172

Refinery Abreeza Mall Davao – Abreeza, Ayala Mall
Space 2114, 2nd Floor, Abreeza, Ayala Mall, JP Laurel Avenue Davao City
Contact No: +63 (82) 296 7849

McDonald’s Welcome Change Day

Mark your calendar: July 4 is McDonald’s Welcome Change Day, celebrate with free Burger McDo in select stores

Welcome Change Day photo

Every day is an opportunity to embrace change, experience new things, and explore new grounds.

Anyone who is ready to welcome change is invited to enjoy Burger McDo on Monday, July 4, from 2:30 to 3:30pm at select McDonald’s stores nationwide, for free! Coined as McDonald’s ‘Welcome Change Day,’ you can bite into change and savor the new and improved Burger McDo. It’s one delicious hour that you definitely do not want to miss!

Burger McDo is now made with a beefier and juicier patty, tastier and sweeter sauce, all sandwiched in the same soft bun.

As an added treat, you can also get limited edition stickers that will surely motivate and inspire you to welcome change everyday. So mark your calendar and welcome change with the new Burger McDo at McDonald’s on July 4!

Share your photos enjoying the new Burger McDo via facebook.com/mcdo.ph or tag @McDo_PH on
Twitter or Instagram with #WelcomeChange.

For the complete list of participating stores, visit facebook.com/mcdo.ph

Megaworld’s GERI spending P10-B to complete five hotels by 2019

Megaworld’s GERI spending P10-B to complete five hotels by 2019. New hotels seen to further boost tourism in Boracay, Tagaytay

MANILA, Philippines, June 30, 2016 – Tourism and leisure township developer Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI), a subsidiary brand of property giant Megaworld, is expected to complete five hotels in its townships in Boracay and Alfonso, Batangas near Tagaytay in the next three years. Four of these hotels are within Boracay Newcoast, a 150-hectare integrated tourism and leisure township in Boracay Island, while the other one will be in Twin Lakes, a 1,200-hectare development near Tagaytay.

The company is spending around P10-billion to build the five hotels, which will offer a total of 1,850 rooms including multi-level retail spaces.

In Boracay Newcoast, these hotels include Fairways and Bluewater, which has been completed and now fully-operational; Savoy Hotel Boracay, which will be completed by the end of this year; Belmont Hotel Boracay, to be completed in 2018; and Chancellor Hotel Boracay, to be completed in 2019. The Twin Lakes Hotel in Tagaytay, on the other hand, will be completed next year, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the Taal Lake and a real vineyard surrounding the development.

“One of GERI’s forefront roles in nation-building is to support the country’s tourism industry. We will strive to maintain our leadership in integrated tourism and leisure estates as Boracay Newcoast and Twin Lakes mature and become fully operational. With our new hotels, we hope to accommodate at least 700,000 tourists yearly in Boracay and Tagaytay,” says Monica Salomon, president, Global-Estate Resorts, Inc.

A report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed that foreign tourist arrivals this year would hit 5.5 million with an annual growth of 6.6%. This means that by 2026, foreign tourist arrivals will reach 9.19 million. This is on top of the 40 million domestic tourists who spend more on travel and leisure in the last five years.

“In Boracay alone, we hope to capture around 20-30 percent of the tourism market when our hotels become fully operational. Our vast Boracay Newcoast township will set the bar of a world-class island destination that Filipinos will be proud of, as far as facilities and infrastructure are concerned,” reveals Salomon.

This year, GERI expects to maintain its 30% target of annual growth in net income as new projects are expected to be launched in Boracay Newcoast and Twin Lakes.

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