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PH boxers shift focus on SEA Games, Women’s World Championships

April 10, 2022 4:35 p.m.

The Philippine national boxing team seeks to fine-tune its game as it goes into the final stage of its rigorous preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games as well as the 2022 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships next month.

This after a victorious campaign in the recently-concluded 2022 Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament held at the luxurious Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort Hotel where 14 Filipino pugilists joined, with five of them clinching podium finishes.

Rogen Ladon (men’s flyweight), Riza Pasuit (women’s light) and Hergie Bacyadan (women’s middle) snared gold medals while Ian Clark Bautista (men’s feather) and Aira Villegas (women’s fly) seized silvers, resulting in the country’s best finish in the prestigious tournament organized by the Thailand Boxing Association headed by its president and concurrent Asian Boxing Confederation chief Pichai Chunhavajira.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Marcus Manalo said the Thailand Open tested the Pinoy boxers’ current mettle and that gave them a clearer view of what to work on after a two-week pre-competition training camp in Muak Lek, just outside Bangkok.

“There’s some catching up to do particularly on the conditioning side. What happened here in this Thailand Open is really a feedback for us. Whether we won or we came up short, it’s feedback,” said Manalo, who led the Philippine delegation along with ABAP president Ed Picson and veteran boxing official Karina Picson.

“‘Yung mga early losses natin it’s an indication lang na some of the boxers are not yet there in terms of their peak performance, which is fine. The reason why we joined here is to know where we are right now,” added Manalo, a mental performance coach and a graduate of sport and exercise psychology from Texas Tech University.

The morning after the Thailand Open, the national pugs immediately went back to Muak Lek where they would resume their training for four to five weeks before flying straight to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi for the SEA Games scheduled on May 12 to 23.

Meanwhile, Villegas flew back to the Philippines along with coach Reynaldo Galido to arrange visa requirements for the Women’s World Championships on May 6 to 21 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Head coach Don Abnett said the athletes’ base fitness is fine and they will make the most out of their limited time to bring them back to tip-top shape.

“They’ve done general training before they got here so the base fitness is okay. Next week we’re gonna get into the boxing specifics. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks,” said the Australian tactician, who is getting a lot of help from coaches Roel Velasco, Ronald Chavez, Mitchel Martinez and Galido.

“Would’ve liked to have it (training camp) four or five weeks longer. But we’ll do what we can with the time that we have,” he added.

Manalo lauded the Thailand Boxing Association for hosting the training camp as well as the Thailand Open that drew 14 boxing federations across Asia, Europe and Oceania, including the Philippines’ Southeast Asian rivals in Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, besides host nation Thailand.

“Good thing our friends from the Thailand Boxing Association offered this opportunity to train in Muak Lek. That really provides us with the best challenge that can push our boxers to be at their best pagdating ng SEA Games and also the Women’s World Championships,” said Manalo.


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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