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Reasons to #LoveChristmas at Century City Mall

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00 Published in Life Style

Century City Mall serves up a host of treats to make your Holiday celebration a truly special and memorable one. Head on to the Mall of Modern Makati at the corner of Salamanca Street and Kalayaan Avenue and experience the best shopping and dining destinations in the area that will give you more reasons to #LoveChristmas!
For starters, get the chance to meet Kris Kringle himself as he roams the five-level mall every Sunday of November and December. Santa will be giving away gifts from Century City Mall’s generous tenants. Random shoppers will receive Holiday treats as Santa spreads the Christmas cheer from floor to floor. Joining him is a special helper-a “reindeer dog,” which will be accepting donations in behalf of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
On the 4th level al fresco area a giant Snow Globe awaits. Take photos with the Winter Wonderland backdrop and have it printed to take home! Also at the 4th level is Century City Mall’s #LoveChristmas tree all adorned with elegant decor. Enjoy this wonderful sight as well as the mall’s daily fountain show at 12 noon, 6 and 8 p.m.
Christmas carols as performed by non-profit organizations Handog ng Pagmamahal and Sheavers Associations are at basement 1 every Sunday until the last Sunday of December.
Century City Mall also holds a regular Sunday Mass at 11 a.m. at its Event Center at the 5th level.

A different thrill
Shoppers are encouraged to unleash their creativity in taking a selfie underneath the mistletoes found inside the mall. They should then post their entries on Instagram type #KissandTell and #LoveChristmReasons to #LoveChristmas at Century City Mallas and tag Century City Mall (@centurymallph) to enter the contest. Five winners will be chosen every week for six weeks. Each will receive 10 free cinema tickets! All winners will be posted on the “Kiss and Tell” photo wall within the mall and may claim their printed photos for free!
That’s not all. Century City Mall’s spirit of giving continues through the “Shopaholic Holiday” promo. Two thousand shoppers will get the chance to receive P2,000 worth of Century City Mall vouchers for every PhP10,000 worth of accumulated purchase at Century City Mall’s stores. The vouchers come in P1,000 worth that can be used for food and dining and another P1,000 worth that can be used for shopping at Century City Mall. The “Shopaholic Holiday” promo will run on the weekend dates of Nov. 29 to 30 and Dec. 13 to 14.

Aspen's Ace

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00 Published in Life Style


A pharma company's rapid rise in the industry  is an example of how to succeed in business

Marcelina "Ace" Itchon, who founded Aspen Philippines Inc. and is also its CEO and president, wanted it to be a robust company built from the collective experience of its team, with her serving as the role model.
This was no easy task as Aspen Philippines Inc. was launched uniquely as the first South African pharmaceutical company in the country. Its mother company, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd., holds a proud legacy of over 160 years, providing quality and affordable medicines through its global presence in over 100 countries (as of 2012) in terms of products, offices, and manufacturing sites.
Yet Aspen Philippines' Ace was persistent.
Having started her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Medical Representative and rising from the ranks through dedication, hard work and passion, Itchon had gained tremendous experience in both Sales and Marketing in all therapeutic areas: Sales Force Effectiveness, Operational Excellence, Training, Succession Planning, Talent Management and Organizational Development. The hallmark of her management style is empowering the individual — maximizing the potential of each employee while championing women's issues. All these were instrumental in making Aspen Philippines the "big-and-has-a-heart company" it is today.
The crowning glory of Aspen's success was Itchon's recent prestigious nomination at the Asia CEO Awards. Asia CEO Awards, presented by PLDT Alpha Enterprise, represents a wide reaching alliance of local and international business people to promote the Philippines on the world stage. As one of the largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, it is considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in Southeast Asia.
This honorable body bestows 10 awards to some of the most accomplished leadership teams and individuals currently operating in the Philippines and the region. The awards recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated outstanding achievement for their organizations and contributions to others.
Aspen Philippines has been operating in the Philippines for almost three years. Its growth is considered an inspiration, as proven by its recent nomination in an international industry awards. In less than three years, Aspen Philippines' work force grew from one to 150. The initial 12 brands expanded to 37 brands both locally acquired and in partnership with other companies. Expenses were also managed well, resulting to lower actual values versus forecast. Its sales grew from 64 million to a phenomenal 1.2 billion Philippine pesos. Cash balance at the end of June 2012 was higher by P14M or 147 percent versus target. This is reflected in its swift entrance to the IMS 100 top companies, rising from 36th ranked in September 2012 to 30th in June 2014.

Taking a different strategy
Itchon was placed at the helm of a fledgling company, seemingly green among the big multinational companies already settled in the country. But building from the ground up and establishing a strong management team have made the company grow tremendously.
"Being chosen to develop Aspen Philippines has been a personal honor, privilege and an enormous responsibility," Itchon says.
Aspen Philippines took an innovative approach in doing business by reinvigorating heritage brands and locally acquired other mature brands from GlaxoSmithKline) and Merck, Sharp and Dohme just before starting operations. It also partnered with multinational companies of which the scope was never before seen.
The company also takes pride in strictly adhering to a high standard of ethics. More than just lip service, Aspen Philippines Inc. formed Assurance, Compliance and Collaboration for Excellence, a team of young subordinates empowered to challenge their superiors' non-compliance to company policies, as well as to find more efficient ways of doing things.
Every day new scientific findings are published in the field of health and medicine. Aspen Philippines, Inc. is a big believer in continuous learning. The company has partnered with medical practitioners to promote continuous medical education and has been recognized by doctors as trailblazing through its MedQuiz, a coaching contest for its medical representatives to hone their detailing skills.
The success of Aspen Philippines Inc. is an inspiration to those who believe in hard work, values and innovation. A maverick in the field, it chose to take the less beaten path in a field that already had many established players — this perspective proved to be its strength, proving that there are always new ways of scaling the heights in a well-trodden business landscape.
Itchon has stewarded Aspen Philippines well.

For more information, contact 632 792-8000/88-ASPEN (88-27736) Fax no.: 63 2 7928095 or visit


Their secrets to success

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00 Published in Life Style

The role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippine economy has become more apparent over the years, due to its immense contribution to the creation of jobs and the growth of the country's gross domestic products (GDP). Based on data provided by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), SMEs account for 99.6 percent of total registered enterprises in the country and contribute to 35 percent of our GDP.

To further promote SMEs and the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Philippines, PLDT SME Nation, together with Smart Enterprise, Sun Business and in partnership with Go Negosyo, has been conducting the Bossing Awards, since 2010, recognizing deserving Filipino businessmen who have served as models of skill, creativity and the right Bossing attitude.
Hoping to inspire and guide aspiring Filipino entrepreneurs, PLDT SME Nation asked some of its Bossings about their tips on how they have made their businesses successful over the years, and what it takes to truly be a Bossing.

Silverworks managing director Louie Gutierrez:
Be relevant
Silverworks is currently the leading retailer of silver jewelry in the Philippines, which started as a single kiosk in Makati in 1991 and has grown to more than 60 outlets and 400 employees in major malls around the country. Louie Gutierrez shares, "Having been around for 23 years in the industry, you have to be relevant, so that there will always be curiosity among your customers." He adds that it is not just following the current fad, but "creating your own trends to be followed by others." In sticking to his strategy, Gutierrez also keeps up with developments in technology, relying on PLDT SME Nation's internet services to keep his company's IT processes monitored.

Toby's Sports co-founder Bobby Claudio: Take challenges head-on
"Toby's has been engaged in sports distribution and retail for 36 years. With 55 stores nationwide and 800 employees, we have become the forefront of sports business." The secret behind their success? Bobby Claudio shares: "Get your feet wet, get your hands on (the business). There will always be challenges and difficulties, but a good business owner always has to take them head on." He also adds that a good bossing will always "expose himself to opportunities and is always aware of favorable business prospects, so he should never be afraid." To help Claudio keep stores in check, PLDT SME Nation provides Toby's Sports with data management systems that monitor the sales and stocks of all their branches.

Baliwag Lechon's Sarabeth Salcedo-Soriano:
Genuine concern
Having been in the food retail business for 30 years and with over 200 branches, Baliwag has established itself as a food institution in the Philippines. In achieving this, Sarabeth Salcedo-Soriano shares that their success has all been through "non-complacency and innovation" and keeping up with developments in technology. Since much of her business relies on tracking information, PLDT SME Nation has been providing her company with the necessary tools to monitor their operations. She also shares that as a bossing, it has been important for her to be "genuinely concerned with the people she works with" to effectively achieve goals that she has set for her company.

Lifeline managing director Michael Deakin: Believe
"Lifeline is into the business of saving lives", says Michael Deakin. Being the country's only dedicated Emergency Quick Response (EQR) service, Lifeline has been around for 19 years and already saved over a 100,000 lives. In achieving this level of success, Deakin has kept his philosophy simple: "Believe in what you do, believe in yourself. You need to dig deep and get rid of doubts." PLDT SME Nation also tries to keep it simple for Lifeline, by providing them with the necessary communication technology, to help their customers.
Seaoil president and CEO Glenn Yu:
Hard work and focus
Seaoil is the Philippines' largest independent oil company which started from one gasoline service station to over 250 stations today. But this was not achieved overnight by Glenn Yu, who shares, "Don't think about how you will acquire your wealth, and don't take shortcuts. You should focus on opportunities, integrity and being transparent. If you do this, customers will reward you and your co-workers will work harder." Helping Yu and Seaoil manage the business better, PLDT SME Nation provides them with quality products that let them monitor the company's daily operations.

Automatic Center and Blims' Samie Lim:
Follow the four As
What started out as Automatic Center, a one stop appliance chain, has evolved into a complete home furnishing store with Blims Fine Furniture. In the 36 years that Bossing Samie Lim has been in the industry, he follows four guiding principles in his work: have the heart to honor your past; train the mind to visualize the future; develop the skill to excel; and, always have the willingness to serve. And his tips for entrepreneurs? Follow the four A's: "Have the right aptitude for the business that you want; the correct attitude learned from your peers; the necessary abilities by developing skills; and you will get astonishing results." And in getting these astonishing results, PLDT SME Nation works with Automatic Center and Blims to ensure that all the information for their daily operations are in place.

To know more about the Bossings and the 2014 MVP Bossing Awards, visit the PLDT SME Nation Web site at



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