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Cool Smashers barge into PVL finals

April 4, 2022 12:44 p.m.

ITS will and character tested, Creamline took Choco Mucho’s challenge to heart, battling back from a set down and pounding out a 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-15 victory to clinch the first championship berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference in Pasay Sunday.

The big crowd were back at the MOA Arena and so were the Cool Smashers in the finals as the 2018-19 champions came away with two decisive scoring runs in the last two sets, the first shattering a 15-all count with a six-point roll and the other breaking a 7-all game with a seven-point binge for a pair of breakaway romps.

Creamline, which failed to make it three-in-a-row in the league’s centerpiece event after losing to Chery Tiggo in Ilocos Norte last August, awaits the winner in the other semifinal duel pitting Cignal HD and Petro Gazz.

Game One of the Finals will start Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena.

A victory by Petro Gazz will set a knockout match for the other finals berth today (Monday).
Creamline also subdued Choco Mucho in four, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, in Game One at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan last Friday.

While the Flying Titans surprised the Cool Smashers with their solid net defense in the opening set that saw them produce seven blocks against their rivals’ one, the latter went to their vaunted power game, raining Choco Mucho with 62 attacks points, 26 more than their sister team.

“We’re thankful that we were able to recover from our first set loss. We came up short but the team’s maturity and chemistry are there. We only have to play our game,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses.

And play they did.

The high-flying, jump-serving Tots Carlos stood at the forefront of Creamline’s offense with 23 points, including 19 attacks, while Jema Galanza unloaded 16 attacks and finished with 18 points and skipper Alyssa Valdez backed them up with a solid 17-hit effort.

Pangs Panaga added 10 points, making her presence felt at the end of the fourth set where she pumped in back-to-back attacks that likewise exposed the Flying Titans’ inability to respond to the Cool Smashers’ quick plays.

“We really trained hard and studied Choco Mucho’s play,” said Galanza, named the best player of the game that actually produced a lot of heroes for the Cool Smashers, who drew inspiration from and lived through the roars of the crowd all game to mark their return to the Open finals for the fourth straight year.

It was a sorry setback for the young Flying Titans, who had appeared headed to extending the series with an impressive win in the opening set. But they slowed down in net defense in the next two, scoring just two in the second and had zero blocks in the third.

Kat Tolentino finished with 14 points while Des Cheng scored 13 points, the last two kept the team in the hunt at 14-20 and 15-22. But the Cool Smashers pulled away again on those Panaga’s hits and Valdez did what she does best, closing out their rivals with a power hit that pierced through Bea de Leon’s stretched-out arms.

De Leon made nine points in a three-set stint while Aduke Ogunsanya and Cherry Nunag added six points apiece for the Flying Titans, who scored 23 points off the Cool Smashers’ unforced errors but yielded 10 aces.Stung by the Flying Titans’ strong start, the Cool Smashers drew level with an imposing win in the second set then broke away from a tight game midway in the third frame.

Fully regaining their confidence, not to mention the momentum, the crowd favorites squandered an early 6-1 lead in the fourth but like in the previous set, they broke a 7-all count with a decisive seven-point run on their way to completing a sweep of the Flying Titans.

Choco Mucho also had a fair share of the cheers and screams, particularly when the Flying Titans stymied the dreaded Creamline attacking game with solid blocking in the opening set and in the fourth when they rallied from 7-14 down to within 12-14 on a five-point roll capped by Isa Molde’s back-to-back hits.

But the heavy-handed Cool Smashers came out of the huddle an organized lot, firing away hits after hits behind Carlos, Valdez and Galanza on their way to posting another 21-14 cushion that proved to be too big a deficit for the Flying Titans to overcome.


Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities

March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.

STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).

The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.

He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.

It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.

“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”

“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.

The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.

“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”

The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.

“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.

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ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH

March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.

Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.

The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac. 

Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and  iPad, or on their Mac or PC.

Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer  ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand  access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”

For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit or

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Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!

March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.

Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country. 

Join the Future of Women Global Summit

SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls. 

Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena

Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte

Support your local Womenpreneurs

Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion! 

Wednesdays are for women!

Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!

A beautiful treat of wellness all for you

Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.

And more deals online!

Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required! 

Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!

Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.

Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas

Photo courtesy of SM City Manila

Celebrate Women Power on IG!

Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!

We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.

Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting and following @smsupermalls on social media. 

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