Saturday, November 27, 2010

BUYanihan's Lucky 7 winners of gift certs

Seven participants in the just held two-day e-Commerce Summit 2010 won gift certificates from in a raffle draw held on the last day of the summit.
They were:
· Reggie Bundang of (a gift service portal)
· Alvin Gale Tan of SVI Software Services (e-services outsourcing provider)
·  Micci Lopez of cashsense (facilitator of cash-based transactions online and offline)
·  Fritzie Ann Revilla of 701 Search Inc. (online classified ads service)
·  Bernardo Mitra (chairman of many companies, among them ChilLine Attitude Corporation which develops destinations that cater to a high-end client base)
· Alexandra Lopez of Ayannah (provider of solutions that enable secure transactions over online and mobile communication networks)
· Mel Co of Global Competitiveness (business and training consultancy)

Each won P300 worth of GCs of Sodexo, Krispy Kreme and Red Mango that raffled off after the announcement of the category winners in the 4th DigitalFilipino SPI top 100 Web Awards.

Some of them are members of the Club founded in 2003 by Janette Toral who is acknowledged as the ‘Mother of  the e-Commerce Law (RA8792)’.  The Club is composed of more than 100 members who meet regularly to share their experiences on e-commerce, social media, SEO marketing, blogging and e-lancing (freelancing over the Internet). founder Eddie Lee was a speaker on the first day where he discussed the growth potential in the Philippines of group buying websites by harnessing the Filipinos’  collective bargaining power and their innate social networking skills.

By 2012, Eddie foresees this market to grow to P9 billion with about 20 strong players each featuring 3,000 discount deals a year.

For a group buying site to successfully promote and sell 3,000 deals, he said the company needs to have 300 staff to handle 1-million transactions a year and have the infrastructure to send out one (1) billion emails to its customers (database) who have a spending power of P300 per month.

Launched in August 2 this year, is the Philippines’ first group buying site. Since then, the site has featured 20 deals on food and drinks, beauty and skin care, themed parks, travel, hotel, kiddies fun and fun run.
Posted in Buyanihan Always!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Simplify your Christmas shopping

For the festive crowd planning their Christmas shopping list and itinerary, the blog below is worth sharing. Irrespective of whether you're on a budget or intent on shopping like crazy.

A brilliant way to save on Christmas purchases

The countdown to Christmas has begun. It is two months away.
Mixed feelings from the young and grown-ups.
Great expectations for the perfect gift from the young. Meanwhile, the not-so-young are already saving and planning what to give.
Ah, the joy in Christmas shopping. When you don’t leave it to the last minute. And especially when you shop online, a burgeoning trend worldwide, because it can be done from your home and your office desk. No need to jostle with the Christmas crowd on the malls and in Divisoria.
Be among the world’s savvy shoppers and bargain hunters in cyberspace.  Make your Christmas shopping destination.
We can make your shopping experience simple, easy and painless this Christmas. We’ll take care of looking for that ‘something’ that gives long-lasting value. We’ll get that  ‘something’ at big markdown prices to help your Christmas budget go further.
What do we have, what will you choose and who will you surprise?
The kids, the other relatives, the boss, the BFFs, the neighbors, the customers, the companies down the hall that have always given your company a basket of Christmas goodies.
Check our site every day because we offer loads of fabulous bargains on popular products and unique Christmas gift ideas that suit any budget (including those with deep pockets).
Fine/casual dining, booze, mouth-watering festive food, theme parks, wellness and spas, body-beautiful treatments (yes!) and other must-have Christmas gifts for friends and business customers.
It’s simple to buy from us.
Sign up as member, fill up the information boxes, click buy on the Home Deal page, choose your payment method and complete the checkout process. Voila! We will email you the printable coupon which you can take to the store to redeem your purchase within its validity period.
To the best we can, we arrange with retailers between three and six months expiry dates.

So bring your Christmas spending on gifts and company giveaways ahead of the holidays.
See, no stress.
Happy holidays!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let's go Buyanihan

Patterned after the popular group buying websites in the US and Europe, is the Philippines’ first collective-buying site where real bargains on different goods and services are featured every week. It’s a low-cost Internet business tool that local businesses can use to pull in new customers.

If Buyanihan sounds familiar especially to Filipinos, it is a play on the word “bayanihan” which in English describes the Filipinos’ kindred spirit (collaboration, if you like) with one another.

Note the bold emphasis on the word “real" in the lead sentence. The emphasis is deliberate because the discounts are not your usual ‘10 to 30 percent less’ the normal prices.

The time-limited discount offers can go anywhere from not less than 50 percent and up, depending on negotiations between and the retailer.

So what will be the deals?

Hotel and restaurant meals, popular consumer items, tickets to themed parks and concerts, adventure tours, spas and other wellness services, flying or horseback lessons, you name it.

This new business model poses a new revenue stream opportunity for commercial establishments in that they can monetize their inventories especially during off-peak hours or their lean months when there's not too much demand for the items (or services).

The caveat is the deal gets the green light if the agreed minimum number of people sign up before the run-time (1 to 5 days) expires. And this is where the power of viral promotion comes into play. If consumers see the deal as a shared interest, they will feel compelled to pass on the information to their friends using traditional and social media - - word-of-mouth, email, Twitter, Facebook. Because if there are not enough buyers, sorry guys, the deal is off.

And the companies? They should be prepared at all times to welcome new customers at their doors. is only available in Metro Manila but by the second half of 2011, it will expand to Cebu and Davao.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The LGBT Vote

Around 10 percent of  the more than 50-million registered voters for the general elections just two months away are LGBTs, according to Ang Ladlad which is seeking representation in the Philippine Congress.

Ang Ladlad defines its constituency as “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" persons.

Although it has been included in the ballot list, the Supreme Court has yet to decide on the merits of Ang Ladlad’s accreditation as a party list group. This means if the SC does not accredit the group, votes for Ang Ladlad will not be counted.

If it wins, Ang Ladlad will push for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination bill which seeks to punish persons, agencies, offices and establishments that discriminate against Filipino LGBTs.

“It has been 10 years now since the filing of the bill. There must be a law that protects and allows us to choose our school, apply for work, enter establishments without prejudice. We have worked out our priorities already,” Ang Ladlad’s first nominee Bemz Benedito (representing transgenders) said.

It will support the bill repealing the Anti-Vagrancy Law which emboldens the police to arrest gays and transsexuals who walk at night without identification cards, set up micro-finance and livelihood projects for poor and handicapped LGBTs, create drop-in centers for “Golden Gays” or old and abandoned LGBTs and young ones driven out of their homes by parents or guardians. The centers will have counselors and hotlines for those seeking advice on LGBT issues and reproductive health.

I’m crossing my fingers. This demographic is a key driver in our economic growth.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let take you to e-commerce wonderland

This is for the small and medium entrepreneur with limited funds but who wants to be his/her own boss and make lots of money.

Information sharing and delivery reigns supreme in today’s social media milieu, making customers more informed and selective over what they want and where to get it. The market is here and everywhere, waiting to be tapped and cajoled into buying your product and services.

The challenge, or better yet, the golden opportunity facing the micro-entrepreneur is to put a business on the Internet where he immediately engages with the global marketplace without even leaving the Philippines. However, taking the e-commerce path can be formidable especially if one is used to bricks and mortar, is unfamiliar with the platform that successful online businesses here and abroad use.

The quickest route, industry experts say, to earning extra income lies in running a virtual store because tangible products are sold to consumers who want them. This is where e-commerce can help the self-starting capitalist on his way to becoming a netpreneur.

Setting up an e-shop can be outsourced to companies whose e-commerce expertise is beyond reproach. Phils.Inc., an e-commerce company barely seven months old in the Philippines, is making waves in the local IT industry. When it began operations in July last year, the company immediately launched its fourth generation e-commerce solution called meant to help capitalists take their B2B and B2C operations online.

Fourth generation means social commerce or networking/multi-level marketing in the digital space. software has a cross-selling e-trading engine – a first in the Philippines - that facilitates webstore owners to sell not only their own but also the products of other online merchants in the global market. The e-retailers earn commissions from their cross-selling.

The e-commerce software comes complete with the basic components of an e-retailing platform: easy set up and design e-store system, proactive fraud monitoring, relationship management system, automated logistics and payment processing (in 18 different currencies). In less than 24 hours, can build a robust and secure 24x7 webstore.

Three business packs are offered – Lite Pack, Full Pack and Enterprise Pack - at a cost almost equivalent to having one, two or three Frapuccinos a day, depending on which is selected. Again, depending on the pack one has subscribed to, value-adds are thrown in like support in advertisements and digital promotions, system upgrade up to two years, business analysis report and training courses. Training in webstore design can be enjoyable and can be done in one’s own time because the tutorial is accessible on YouTube.

There are now 150 merchants who are part of a growing online mall hosted by (, selling almost 2,000 items that customers all over the world can view on their computer screens.  Product viewing and comparison is made easy through the site links on the e-mall. Clicking a product takes you to the website of the store owner.

At their July launch, company executives announced their vision is to help the Philippine e-commerce industry rise from ground zero and to bridge the e-commerce divide in the country. The industry, they said, recorded only about PhP5 billion (US$100 million) e-commerce transactions in 2009.  If they begin now, budding Filipino online store owners will be part of  the e-trading revolution, because by 2012, the size of the Philippine e-commerce industry is projected to reach PhP20 billion.

So, when a buyer from...let's say, Davao, Shanghai, California or any part of the world clicks and pays, the lucky webstore owner is on his way to becoming his own boss and earning more than he’d ever dreamt.

And, which led their current merchant-partners to the Net economy, is barely seven months old.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Transpinays: "Accept us for who we are"

Before, they used to hide their gender identities from everyone, including their fathers, fearing ridicule and avoiding corporal punishment. Most of them, at an early age (5 yo), felt they were girls.

In the November 30 (last year) episode of  GMA 7’s public affairs TV show I-Witness, Kristine Madrigal - a transsexual - was featured where she openly talked about the difficulties she faced from childhood. Homophobia/transphobia, discrimination in the workplace, all resulting from society's deep-seated prejudice against those who are not “straight” and the flawed judgements of some people in Government.

Interviewed (but) briefly in the program was clinical psychologist Brenda R. Alegre who expressed her frustration over the lack of job opportunities for transsexuals despite their talents and academic qualifications. She deplored the fact that because of this, many transsexuals end up as entertainers and go to Japan and Thailand.

Brenda, who is finishing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, authored the first graduate study on transgenderism because she wanted the public to understand a gender that has always been misunderstood and misrepresented.

Her study, “Psychological Perspectives and Development of the Transsexual Woman: A Phenomenological Case Study on Male to Female Filipino Transsexuals”, is about Filipino transsexual women (or Transpinays) and the difference between them and gays. Brenda is a Transpinay.

Completed in 2005, she is using her thesis as the cornerstone for working up her advocacy in making this society learn to accept them and be given equal treatment like everyone else. Backing her up is STRAP (Society of Transsexual Women in the Philippines), a transgender rights information and support group for male to female (M2F) transsexuals.

The Transpinays are seeking cooperation from all sectors in eliminating discrimination against them, which Brenda says is achievable if:

-    School authorities include transgenderism in the curriculum in primary and secondary levels
-    Health and medical sciences develop standardized measures on gender identity (femininity vs. masculinity vs. androgyny) and recommend healthy management procedures on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), genital reassignment surgery and facial feminization surgery (FFS)
-    Social workers provide the right counseling and job placements for them
-    Government creates gender fair and compassionate laws that will include transsexuals

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Commission on Elections to recognize Ang Ladlad as a party-list group. Last November, the Comelec denied Ang Ladlad’s petition to be accredited as a party-list group to run in the May (2010)  national elections on “moral grounds”. Ang Ladlad represents the LGBT community.

It is hoped that the SC directive is a step forward towards respecting transgenders.  It may not have occurred yet to some government officials that the way to bring about positive change is toss our prejudices in the dustbin.

Hooray, Transpinays and LGBTs.

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