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MILO champions share stories of hard work that led to their lifelong success

September 27, 2022 2:00 p.m.

MILO® Philippines has extended its partnership with Jamie Lim, Coach Rio de la Cruz, and Japoy Lizardo. Adding another chapter to their years-long relationship, the beloved nutritious beverage brand is excited to tell each Champion’s unique story of pagpupursige that will inspire the next generation of young athletes to persevere in their own Champion journeys.

Breaking stereotypes
Being the daughter of a professional basketball legend and growing up in a family of athletes, it seemed destined for Jamie to become a star karateka. However, from an early age, both her father and mother – who is also a seasoned lawyer – taught Jamie the importance of choosing her own path and instilled in her the belief that she can always be more than your stereotypical jock. 

Choosing to not limit herself, Jamie decided to pursue goals in both sports and academics. The journey was not without its challenges as she had to learn how to balance the many responsibilities she had as a student while keeping up with the discipline of an athlete.

“I remember, in my preparation for the SEA Games back in 2019, I only had 5 months of real training as I was already in the last months of my senior year. On top of that, I was out of Karate for 4 years so training was twice as rigorous. Although it was difficult, I was able to power through it because I knew that the stakes were also high,” shared Jamie.

With her family’s continuous support, she was inspired to break past the mold and prove that she can indeed excel on and off the mat. Still one of her proudest achievements was winning both a gold medal in Karate during the 2019 SEA Games and graduating Summa Cum Laude in UP Diliman with a degree in BS Mathematics. Today she is focused on furthering her studies in London while awaiting for the start of training for the next SEA Games in 2023.

“Coming from being a part of MILO® AAK and now with my extended partnership with the MILO® family, I hope to inspire kids who are faced by the same barriers as mine to be brave in breaking out of those stereotypes and in paving their own paths. Their time to prove themselves will come,” added Jaime.

Running through life’s obstacles
Before Coach Rio became an international marathoner and one of the top running coaches in the country, his road to success was paved from humble beginnings. Coming from a big family that struggled in putting food on the table, Coach Rio sorely lacked the financial support that most young runners his age needed to pursue a professional career. 

At times, all young Rio had was an unwavering pagpupursige and discipline – and that was enough. He never once missed training, even on the days he had no running gear or equipment, and learned early on that he needed to work thrice as hard to achieve his one clear goal: be a successful athlete to provide for his family.

“One time when I was in elementary school, there was a trial race that I really wanted to join. Ang kaso sabi ng coach ko noon, hindi ka pa ready – pero makulit ako. I still showed up during the competition day and patiently waited. Buti na lang, one athlete didn’t show up so my coach gave me a chance. I proved to him that I deserved it by winning it all,” shared Coach Rio. That win opened the doors for Coach Rio’s future success in the sport.

“Time management and determination were key for me. Even when I was young, my life was all about school and training. I knew what I wanted and I was focused on my goal despite knowing that it would come with a lot of sacrifices,” emphasized Coach Rio. 

For Coach Rio, being a part of the MILO® Philippines family has played a huge part in his grit journey. From joining the MILO® Marathons and using his winnings to support himself in school, to now being the main organizer for all their events nationwide and a familiar face in the new MILO® TV commercial, it has come full circle. He continues to help pave the way for aspiring young athletes who are hoping to succeed in sports the same way he did. 

Molding the next generation of athletes
Japoy started his journey in sports at a MILO® Sports Program. At just 12 years old and being known as the teenage heartthrob whose face was on every MILO® pack, Japoy recognized the responsibility he had as thousands of other kids were aspiring to be just like him. This became an important driving factor for Japoy to pursige in succeeding in Taekwondo.

Since he wasn’t as tall or built as other athletes his age, he struggled to put on the required weight for his category but he persevered and worked twice as hard in developing his techniques. He turned his height and weight into an advantage that allowed him to create his signature “Spinning Kick” move that earned him the nickname “The Spinning Kick of Asia”.

Now at 36 and a professional coach himself, Japoy uses this experience in shaping the next generation of strong-willed athletes and giving them a platform to become an inspiration for the generation after them. In this extension of his partnership with MILO®, Japoy also aims to share this with more kids nationwide. “Although not all athletes are born gifted in a sport, they are molded through the years with experience and the right pagpupursige to succeed. That’s how strong athletes are created,” said Japoy.

The MILO® Champions have come together to inspire kids as they continue on their own Champion journeys. Their unique stories of pagpupursige also show that the values learned from sports can also lead to success. 

“We’re very happy to be extending this partnership with Jamie Lim, Coach Rio, and Japoy Lizardo. We believe that they each have personal stories that will serve as inspiration for many young athletes today to pursige in achieving lifelong success just like they did. As one MILO® family, we are proud to give them a platform that allows them to do just that,” said Veronica Cruz, MILO Business Executive Officer, Senior Vice President, Nestle Philippines, Inc.

Together, MILO® Philippines calls on moms to join the MILO® Champions in building pagpupursige within their children through sports. To know more about MILO® sports programs, please visit the official MILO® Philippines website.

Shown here are (from left) Veronica Cruz, MILO Business Executive Officer, Senior Vice President, Nestle Philippines, Inc.; coach Rio dela Cruz, karate champion Jamie Lim and Milo Sports Executive Carlo Sampan. Taekwondo champion Japoy Lizardo (center) joined the four virtually.

NEWS

URCC 81: Decades of Success happens Dec. 6 in Okada

November 27, 2022 7:22 p.m.

THE Universal Reality Combat Championship will celebrate two decades of greatness titled the “Decades of Success” in a fight night on December 6, featuring the country’s best mixed martial artists at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City. 

Three years since the last time they held their last main event, URCC founding president Alvin Aguilar announced the coming URCC 81 will definitely be a night to remember with events like the 3 Versus 3, MMA fight and the bare-knuckle bouts.

“Our first main event in three years will definitely be an unforgettable night in mixed martial arts. We have a lot of good fighters and everyone is very excited,” Aguilar said. 

The last time URCC held a main event — Retribution— was in November 2019, at the same venue. Despite the pandemic, URCC didn’t stop as it held three fight nights when the government finally allowed contact sports. 

In celebrating URCC’s main event return, Aguilar will be having Team Philippines of Sugar Ray “Mammoth” Estroso, Caloy “Bad Boy” Baduria and Boss Bullet Manliclic taking up against South Koreans Jeong Minhun, Choi Wontae and Jeon Youngjun in an exciting 3 versus 3 event.

“We have to go up against other Asian countries before we start expanding. So we meet Korea then later on China again and then we will invite people from Russia and the USA. This is the fourth time we will be holding this 3 versus 3 fight,” Aguilar said, who also expects the other events to live up to the hype.

A URCC welterweight interim championship is also set between Filipino Arvin Chan and American Will Chope as the other highlight of the main event presented by Okada Manila and sponsored by Winzir.

URCC Global Chairman Arnold Vegafria said the promotions have been evolving since 2002, becoming a household name in the local mixed martial arts industry, where it discovered great MMA fighters and promoted quality fights abroad. 

For inquiries about tickets sale, go to www.urcc.online and download app https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top which is available for iOS and Google.

Other MMA undercard bouts feature Dunlee Stewart facing John Tirona in a 170 lbs bout, followed by Gester Maglaque meeting Mariano Jones in an 185 lbs bout; Kimbert Alintozon battling Junie Kimayong (125 lbs); Rhyle Lugo clashing against Alex Aballe (145 lbs) and Eros Baluyot taking on MJ Abrillo (125 lbs). 

For the thrilling bare-knuckle competitions, Damsa Abrenica collides with Joseph “King Pinoy” Cabral, while Dondon Serrano squares off with Sherwin Niro and Denzel Dimaguila fights Mark Jalaron.  

Details of the fight and future fight cards are available to download at https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top, which is available for iOS and Google.

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NEWS

BingoPlus Foundation’s FutureSmart Scholarship Program 2022 funds 10 IT scholars

Nov. 21, 2022 12:51 p.m.

BingoPlus Foundation Inc., the corporate arm of leisure entertainment brand BingoPlus, has made education one of its causes to support with a PhP6 million scholarship granted to iACADEMY under its FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program. 

Officers of the Foundation signed an agreement with representatives of iACADEMY to sponsor ten students last November 2 at the head office of Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) at Tektite Building in Pasig. 

With its specialization in the field of information technology, iACADEMY was seen as the perfect partner school for BP Foundation as it aligns well with the Foundation’s vision to create IT-competent professionals in the future. BingoPlus Foundation firmly believes that education and technology are important components of nation-building and has thus prioritized the FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program as one of its top Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of the year. 

Through the scholarship, the Foundation aims to address some challenges faced by the education sector to provide more and better educational opportunities to the younger generation and thus leave its footprint in the building of a better society. 

LRWC President Andy Tsui said, “We wish to inspire the younger generation and make their dreams come true.” 

“We are truly honored to welcome iACADEMY as a new partner, and we’re grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to keeping students on the path towards a brighter future,” said Jasper Vicencio, President of BingoPlus and Trustee of BingoPlus Foundation Inc.

The FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program will be launched in the current school year of iACADEMY. 

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NEWS

Game on! SM Christmas Village is back—and bigger than ever

November 17, 2022 3:50 p.m.

We’re calling it: Christmas 2022 is going to be one for the books. 

The past two years saw Filipinos dialing down on the holiday celebrations as we exercised caution against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It’s no easy feat, too, given that our Pasko is easily the biggest event of the year. The good—no, aweSM—news? This 2022, SM is set to give you a Christmas comeback like no other with the return of the SM Christmas Village, now on its second year!

In case you didn’t know: SM Supermalls is the very first mall in the Philippines to venture into the metaverse, giving you the first mobile brand rewards app that provides customers with fun and exciting ways to score amazing deals, earn free shopping money, and win wow-worthy prizes—anytime, anywhere!

And here’s proof of just how amazing it is: The pilot run of the ChristmaSaya Village in 2021 recently won four accolades at this year’s Vega Awards, earning nods for outstanding innovation in the digital and virtual realm. Wowza!

Enter the Mall-tiverse
Here’s how it works: To join, a user simply has to register for an account online via smmetaverse.world. Once registered, you gain access to the virtual SM Christmas Village, where you can explore different zones, interact with other players, and collect virtual coins to unlock exclusive shopping vouchers and earn raffle entries. And just like at SM Supermalls nationwide, #YoureAlwaysWelcomeHere

Excited for supercharged virtual fun? Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for you this year:

  • Bigger rewards, bigger prizes 

If you loved last year’s vouchers, you’re in for even better rewards this time. SM has partnered with more of your favorite brands to give you exclusive shopping discounts and deals (a total of ₱2M worth of vouchers are up for grabs!) and is set to give away a whopping ₱1M worth of raffle prizes. Plus, one lucky winner will drive home the ultimate Christmas gift: a brand new Suzuki S-Presso!

  • An expansive game world awaits
    Your gaming experience gets a level up with improved game designs and an exciting game world featuring new areas to explore—from shopping and dining zones to entertainment zones—like you’re really at an SM Supermall! Experience augmented reality malling, e-meet friends, and play fun games to earn virtual coins. Before that, have fun customizing your own avatar down to the hair, outfit, and accessories (shopping bag, included), so you can create a character that’s uniquely you. 
  • Enjoy fresh in-game features
    Get your family members in on the Christmas fever with the multiplayer option and stay connected while you play with the new chat and video-calling features. (Looking at you, social butterflies!) Be on the lookout for pop-ups, too, featuring special brand deets and surprise deals with every visit.
  • Earn shopping money every day

The more virtual coins you collect in-app, the more “shopping money” you get, which you can use to redeem vouchers from your favorite brands. Once you’ve claimed your vouchers virtually, you can use them at participating SM Mall branches nationwide—to pay for your Christmas shopping, dining, and more! You can also use your coins to unlock raffle entries and win one of the 20 major prizes at the end of the year. 

Some tips! 

  • Visit the village every day to earn more coins faster.
  • Excited to shop? You can spend your coins as soon as you earn them, but it pays to be patient, too. By accumulating your coins first, you’ll be able to redeem bigger rewards later on!
  • Make sure to explore all the zones and keep an eye out for hidden treasures and bonuses. 

A Christmas to remember

With restrictions easing up and COVID-19 vaccination rates at an encouraging high, this year’s holiday season surely is shaping up to be one to look forward to. If you’re jonesing for some real-life Christmas fun, though, you won’t be disappointed when you take a break from the metaverse and make your way to your favorite SM Supermalls instead! From the light shows and holiday centerpieces to all sorts of Christmas attractions, all things merry and bright await you and the whole family—and it all starts now! Check out all the holiday happenings here and have a #HappyChristmasAtSM!

The #SMChristmasVillage2022 will run from October 28, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Voucher redemption will be until January 31, 2023.

To stay updated on all things SM, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers convenient shopping options via the SM Malls Online app, The SM Store, and ShopSM. (You can read more here.) For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, click here

Hop into our mall-tiverse and score ₱3M worth of vouchers and prizes!
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