Filipinos in UK to celebrate for the Royal Wedding

Filipinos in the United Kingdom are eagerly anticipating what has been dubbed as the “wedding of the decade” this Friday when Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. Emmanuel Guzman, third secretary and vice consul of the Philippine embassy in London, said there would be individual celebrations by Filipino groups all over England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which compose the United Kingdom. Filipino groups, composed mostly of nurses and health-care providers, will be holding barbecue parties, not only to celebrate the royal wedding but also to have the chance to get together and enjoy another day off from work. Guzman added the embassy would not lead any of the celebrations, although their office would be closed as the day was declared a holiday to encourage people to witness the royal event.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Meanwhile, the British embassy in Manila announced that the royal wedding tomorrow would be a national holiday and day of celebration across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The embassy said the 5.5 million British citizens who live overseas, including the estimated 15,000 who live in the Philippines, are expected to watch the wedding via live television broadcast from Westminster Abbey in London. The event will be a great opportunity to celebrate the friendship and strong relations between the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

The wedding is to take place in the historic Westminster Abbey, the venue of 14 royal weddings and 38 coronations, as well as the final resting place of 17 monarchs.

The royal wedding, the embassy said, will mark the start of a tremendously exciting period for the UK, when the world will be watching and celebrating with them.

Maasai Girls Escaping Circumcision from Kenya, a Film Subject of a Filipina Photojournalist

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Filipino native, now US resident Marvi Lacar a photojournalist and a short film maker receives her international spotlight after her 28-minute documentary, titled:  Escape: Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage in Kenya, that depicts the struggling life specifically the early marriage and female circumcision of young girls, from indigenous community of Kenya.

To see the Escape Video Trailer, Click Here.

The film of Marvi Lacar just had caught the attention of NY1 News, Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour news channel in New York City and several writers and bloggers across the US.

The video also shows the rescue work of Tasaru Rescue Center of a teenage girl Naanyu Sekut, who is about to go on her wedding ceremony with a 45-year old man. Tasaru Rescue Center, offers girls an alternative rite of passage to the deep-rooted cultural practice, also known as FGM. Mary Walker, and FGM, Global Relief Resources raises funds in order to offer Scholarships and Grants for women and girls who are ending Female Genital Mutilation in Africa.

From GMA News Online, Lacar said she made the film on Kenyan women “not only to bring awareness to the plight of these girls but to get viewers invested enough in their future and help them through donations, outreach, education, etc.”

Screenshot from http://www.photobetty.com/marvilacar

Screenshot from www.photobetty.com/marvilacar

To see the rest of photos taken by Marvi Lacar, Click Here.

From Marvi Lacar’s page, she wrote, This project documents the progress of some Maasai people’s battle against female circumcision and early marriage through rescue, rehabilitation and tribal outreach programs. This work is part of a larger photo documentary on “Women in Poverty”, quoted as she emphasizes this word.

According to Marvi and her husband from their 1 month interaction to Maasai Tribe of Kenya, girls from 8 to 15 years of age undergo to genital circumcision and prerequisite this rite to marriage, which brings in a significant dowry to the girl’s family. Once married, girls quit school and attend to their wifely duties of keeping house and raising children as what wife does. At the age of 18-20 some of these girls have several children.

What’s up Azkals?

BY KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Phil and James Younghusband

Phil and James Younghusband

The Good Deeds

Football face of the crowds’ James and Phil Younghusband (brothers) have already ado to take a visit Lanao del Norte this coming July, 2011 as part of their promotional tour of football sport here in the Philippines.

Aiming to nurture and develop the next generation of Filipino football players is the TYFA or The Younghusband Football Academy envisions, which the Younghusband brother created for Sports teacher and students in public schools to teach them the basics of football, without any charge. The brothers have already conducted clinics in towns of Tarlac City and Paniqui in Tarlac, Puerto Princesa in Palawan and Taguig City, Manila.

The Next Battle

It is now so official!

Yesterday (Thursday), President of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), Mariano “Nonong” Araneta and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Ricardo Garcia confirmed that Philippines will be holding the July 3 World Cup qualifying match of Philippine Azkals against Team Sri Lanka, here at the Rizal Memorial Footbal Stadium. This face-off between Sri Lankan Team and Philippines’ Askals will surely boosts excitement once again of their Filipino crowd; fans and supporters as well as game enthusiasts and team critics.

Photo from spot.ph

McDonald’s BF-GF Commercial made a Controversy

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

The world’s largest food chain has pulled out its latest 30 second TV advertisement having a boy and a girl (minor kids) in a BF-GF theme, after Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reacted on the message of the TVC’s storyline perspective.

The CBCP officials sought the McDo TVC is misleading its message to youngsters. In the commercial situation, the girl asks the boy if she could be his girlfriend, but the boy quickly answered that he doesn’t want to. Claiming that girlfriends now are too demanding, but story ended, that the girl only wants to have a Mcdo fries amounting to only P25.

Via Radio Veritas, McDonald’s Philippines Vice President for Marketing Margot Torres told that they have pulled out the ad because they respect the call of Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and will be releasing different McDonald’s commercial this week.

TVC received a feedback from Fr. Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said that the commercial is very shallow and it cheapens human relationships, from Inquirer.net., “If the TV ad attempted to teach commitment, it failed because it was too superficial to point to a packet of French fries as the basis of a relationship. At a very, very young age, thеѕе kids ѕhουƖԁ instead be taught the value of loving thеіr parents, thеіr country, environment аnԁ God, nοt аbουt a relationship it is nοt уеt appropriate for thеіr age, Fr. Castro added.

Another issue regarding Mcdonald’s, is about the fast-food restaurant fry showdown between Wendy’s natural-cut fries with sea salt and McDo’s shoestring potatoes, as Wendy’s claims that most of US customers liked their fries based on US national taste test as they got 56 percent from the consumers along with 39 percent only of competitor(McDo), released this week.

Wendy’s food chain are now striving to be identified after re-engineering their recipe for fries that is now made from Russet potatoes and sea salt, launched last year.

Filipina, Angeli Flores part of Pan-Asian Girl Group “BLUSH”

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

BLUSH

BLUSH

Hong Kong based Far-West Entertainment teamed up with British songwriter and record producer Eliot Kennedy who is known for his work songs for groups such as Spice Girls, S Club 7 and Five, to create “a pan-Asian, English-singing group composing of 5 beautiful, intelligent and talented young Asian women from Japan, Korea, China, India and the Philippines age ranges from 18-25 called “Project Lotus”.

Project Lotus aims to bring the next girl group band to the world. Part of the group is a Filipina singer Angeli Flores from Philippines, picked by FarWest Entertainment to become part of the 1st Pan-Asian girl group Blush, after its long wait from live auditions in Mumbai, Manila, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong, down to 25 Finalist to reality TV series intense training in Hong Kong to the elimination process and down to the selection of the Final Five.

To watch the elimination and selection process, Click Here!

Flores will be performing together with Victoria Chan (China), Alisha Budhrani (India), Natsuko Danjo (Japan) and Ji-Hae Lee (Korea). BLUSH after its successful launch in Asia, is all set and geared up to launch globally as they already started to record “Holding On To A Dream” which the girls recorded in Hong Kong with nine time Grammy Award winning producer / engineer Tal Herzberg and with their first single called “Undivided”.

Angeli Mae Flores from the Philippines (center)

Angeli Mae Flores (at the center) from the Philippines

To see the rehearsals of the Final Five, Click Here!

Lea Salonga, was one among the judges in the search for the Next Asian Girl Group, and said the newly-formed group “exciting” and the possibilities for it “endless“, “I don’t believe that a Pan-Asian girl group has ever been formed. There is such diversity in the group that was formed, not only in their features, but also in their personalities,” Lea added.

This Pan-Asian Girls experienced a development academy with some of the industry’s biggest names, record music, DVD’s and a TV special and a Film documentary of their journey in this reality search in English across the Asia this April-May.

Angeli Mae Flores, native of Marikina City is a face of Talent Search here in the Philippines. She competed in the talent show Star for a Night, hosted by Songbird Regine Velasquez in which Sarah Geronimo won as Grand Winner, together with Mau Marcelo (Grand Winner, Philippine Idol) participated. Flores, together with Star for a Night Finalists, released an album under Viva Records and recorded, “Sabi mo lang pala.”

Flores also joined the Search for the 1st Pinoy Idol which aired on GMA Network but she just made it to the top 11 spot.

Charice to film a Hollywood Action-Comedy Movie, Here Comes the Boom

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

The proud ever International teen singing sensation Charice Pempengco is said to be doing another Holywood movie, Here Comes the Boom, starring Frida actress, Salma Hayek which is set to release next summer, July 27 0f 2012.

Photo from Flickr user chayocampo

Photo from Flickr user chayocampo

This will be the second movie appearance of the Most Talented Girl in the World after her successful debut in the 2009 movie Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, as herself.

According to IMDb.com, Charice is set to play the role of a girl called Malia, together with stars; Kevin James who is also one of the producers, Henry Winkler, Joe Rogan (host Fear Factor), Alexandra Bussell, Germaine De Leon, Buss Rutten and Shelly Desai, this will be directed by New Yorker, Frank Coraci, the maker of highest worldwide grossing Adam Sandler film to date and the 2007 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie, Click.

From beantownbloggery.com, Here Comes The Boom stars a high school physics teacher (to be played by Kevin James) whose school is facing drastic budget cuts, so he decides to moonlight as a mixed martial arts fighter to win prize money to save his best friend’s job and the music program that his students hold dear. He ultimately winds up doing battle in the UFC.

On another note according to Charicemania.com, Sunshine Corazon is expected to return to the screen on “Glee” on April 19, after so many series of false dawns. However, credible sources have pointed to “A Night of Neglect” as the episode of her long-awaited return.

Three Proud Filipinas walked the Runway of NY Levi’s Fashion Show

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Danica Magpantay the Ford Supermodel of the World 2011 winner together with her runners-up Charlene Almavarez and Charo Ronquillo were three of the 24 ladies who were chosen to walk for the Fashion Show a Levi’s line of Fall/Winter Collection in New York last week.

Danica Magpantay, Charlene Almarvez and Charo Ronquillo

Danica Magpantay, Charlene Almarvez and Charo Ronquillo

The three ladies do not expected that they will be picked for the said event all at the same time after they auditioned for a go-see casting call of Levi’s Jeans.

This Levi’s Fall Collections is very special for the Supermodels, because this is the very first time that they did a fashion show together.

Behind the glamorous world of fashion industry, full of hard work, sweats, and tears, are exerted especially during Fashion Week where in we have to attend 15 castings a day around different parts of the NYC for casting, according to three supermodels.

ABS-CBN News quoted Levi’s Jeans publicist Melissa Ladines: “I think most brands are going global. We sell Levi’s all over the world so we want to cast all models from different kinds of ethnicities just so we have a lot of representation.”

Albee Franson, head makeup artist for the Levi’s preview that so happen is a Filipino-American citizen shared to ABS-CBN News that he was “in awe” when he found out that three of the models were Filipinos. “I actually had to come up and ask them, ‘What are you?’ because I didn’t believe they were Filipinos. I love that they bring a different kind of look to the set. So pretty.”

Charo Ronquillo, Charlene Almarvez and Danica Magpantay. Photo by Philip Angert, courtesy of Levi's

Levi's Preview Photo by Philip Angert, courtesy of Levi's.

To see the the rest of the Photos by Philip Angert, CLICK HERE!

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News. Photos of the Levi’s Preview by Philip Angert, courtesy of Levi’s.

Business Incorporation in the Philippines: How to Incorporate Legally.

by: Austin Shi

Date published: 4/4/2011

From Doing Business in the Philippines Blog

In starting and incorporating a new business in the Philippines, a foreign company faces a number of bureaucratic and legal hurdles that make the entire process both complicated and tedious. However, if armed with the right information, the company will be able to overcome these initial difficulties, and incorporate the business successfully in the Philippines. A number of things must be taken into consideration in incorporating a business in the Philippines. The company must first determine the best investment vehicle for setting up operations in the country, and register the business with the relevant government agencies, including the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

According to Business Consultant Gregory Kittelson of Philippines consulting firm Kittelson & Carpo Consulting,

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

“Incorporating a business in the Philippines is a long and somewhat complicated process for foreign owned companies and could become problematic down the line, even if the company is 100% compliant from the very beginning.  It is imperative to either know the exact incorporation steps yourself and ensure they are implemented on time or find a company or individual who specializes in Philippine business registration to assist you.”

Moreover, special income tax holidays and regimes are also available to foreign companies interested in setting up and incorporating a business here in the Philippines. In order to become eligible for these benefits, companies must first comply with a list of government-issued requirements, including business registration with government agencies like PEZA and BOI. There are four possible options in setting up and incorporating a business in the Philippines. A company may choose to set up a fully-foreign owned branch office, a fully-foreign owned representative office, a fully-foreign owned domestic corporation or a 60/40 subsidiary. Each of these options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and a foreign company must incorporate the business according to what is most beneficial.

In incorporating a business in the Philippines, the following steps must be followed: Procedures may vary according to the type of company being registered, but the general procedure is essentially the same.

  • Determine the Availability and Reserve a Company Name with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • This can be done through the SEC’s online verification system, free of charge.
    • Once approved by the SEC, reserving a company name costs about Php 40.00 a month for the first 30 days.
    • Company names can be reserved for a maximum period of 90 days (or three months), for an average fee of Php 120. This can still be renewed upon expiration.
  • Depositing a Paid-up Capital to the Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) in order to obtain a Certificate of Deposit
    • A company is required to deposit a paid-up capital amounting to at least 6.25% of the corporation’s authorized capital stock.
    • This paid-up capital must not be less than Php 5,000.
  • Notarizing the company’s Articles of Incorporation and Treasurer’s Affidavit
    • A company’s articles of incorporation must be notarized in any notary public, before filing with the SEC.
  • Registering a company with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • A company can register online, but payment must be done in person.
    • The following documents will be needed, in registering your business:
      • Company name verification slip
      • Notarized articles of incorporation and by-laws
      • Notarized Treasurer’s Affidavit
      • Statement of Assets and Liabilities
      • Certificate of Deposit on the Paid-in Capital
      • Bank authorization to verify the account
      • Company Data Sheet
      • Written and Notarized undertaking to comply with all SEC requirements
      • Written and Notarized undertaking to change company name.
  • Upon registering with the SEC, companies must pay the Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) for the original issuance of shares for domestic corporations or subdsidiaries.
    • The DST must be paid on or before the 5th day of the following month, from the date of the company’s registration with the SEC.
  • Obtaining a Community Tax Certificate (CTC) from the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO)
    • The company is assessed a basic and an additional community tax. The basic community tax rate is dependent on the type of corporation registered, while the additional community tax is pegged on the assessed value of the property a company owns in the Philippines.
  • Obtaining a Barangay Clearance
    • A barangay clearance is required to obtain a business permit from the city or municipality
    • The barangay charges a fee to the company, which is fixed in each barangay. This fee may vary for barangays in the Metro-Manila area.
    • A minimum of Php 500 is charged, with an additional Php 300 for the barangay clearance plate.
  • Obtaining a License to Operate at the Licensing Section of the City Mayor’s Office
    • For businesses setting up operations in the City of Manila, a company must first submit a business transaction form (BTF) containing all of the information for the application, before obtaining a business permit. This document can be obtained at the Manila City Business Center (MCBC).
    • In addition to the BTF, the following documents must also be submitted:
      • Barangay Clearance
      • SEC Registration
      • Occupancy Permit of the Building/Unit Leased
      • Public Liability Insurance (for restaurants, malls, etc.)
      • Authorization Letter from the Owner (with ID)
      • Lease Contract/Tax Declaration
      • Community Tax Certificate

The zoning, engineering, and fire safety departments must also inspect the office space leased by the company. Upon inspection, strict compliance must be observed in complying with the additional requirements that may be imposed by these offices.

  • Registering for Taxes at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
    • To register with the BIR, the company must first accomplish BIR form 1903 together with the required documentation and submit it to the Revenue District Office.
    • The newly registered company is required to first pay the Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) on the originally issued shares (for domestic or subsidiary companies), as well as the DST on the lease contract (if the office space used by the company is being leased). The payment for the Documentary Stamp Tax on the originally issued shares for domestic or subsidiary companies is due on the 5th day of the following month from the notarization of the document.
    • An additional requirement for business registration is BIR form 1906 or the authority to print receipts.
    • Companies are assessed through various taxes, including but not limited to a value added tax (VAT), a community tax, a local tax and an income tax.
    • Generally, companies are expected to comply with the periodic reporting and payment of income tax, Value-Added Tax (VAT), Expanded Withholding Tax and Withholding Tax on Compensation. Additional taxes or exemptions to taxes, based on company type, should be properly registered or reported to the BIR.
  • Initial Registration with the Social Security System (SSS)
    • To be considered an employer, the company must have at least (1) employee.
    • An employer is required to register with the SSS, using the employer registration form (R-1), the employment report (R1-A) and the specimen signature card (L-501). The employer is also required to submit an employer registration form (R1) and an employment report (R1-A) to the offices of the Philippine Health Insurance Company.
    • The SSS issues the company an employer number, together with the employer’s copy of a processed BR-1, an employer identification card or an SSS registration plate, and a list of employer obligations and post-registration requirements. The SSS registration plate is a mandatory requirement for registration and companies are required to pay a fee of Php 165.00 for it. The plate is released 6 months after the application and payment.
  • Completing Registration with the SSS and the Philippines Health Insurance Company (PhilHealth)
    • The company must submit the following documents to the SSS within 30 days from the issuance of an employer number:
      • Employment Report (form R-1A)
      • Specimen Signature Card (form L-501)
      • Sketch of Business Address
      • Validated Miscellaneous Payment Return Form (Form R-6)
    • The company must also submit the following documents to PhilHealth:
      • Member registration forms for each employee and the required documentation.
  • Registration with the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or the Pag-Ibig Fund
    • Registration with the HDMF is dependent on the company’s SSS registration. Only employees duly registered with the SSS are qualified to be registered with the HDMF.
    • In registering with the HDMF, the company is required to submit the following documentation:
      • Employer Data Form (EDF)
      • Membership Registration/Remittance Form (form M1-1)
  • Payment of the Initial monthly contribution of the employees, which will serve as a proof of registration for the company.
  • Maria Continues to Soar Up High

    BY: KRIS JOHN E. ENCOMIENDA

    YouTube sensation Fil-Canadian wonder Maria Aragon now also known as Baby Gaga, is still soaring up in clouds as she still continuing to ride her dreams after her “Born this way” duet with her discoverer Lady Gaga.

    Maria Aragon is non-stop, besides her guest appearances in radio stations in Canada and a number of covers post on YouTube that from time to time is collecting thousands of likes and comments, also had the time meeting her idol, a Tony Winner, and a Filipino pride Lea Salonga at The Inn at the Forks last March 17, who is so much excited to express her big impression with Maria’s acapella rendition of Lady Gaga’s hit that merited million likes and recognition all over the world.

    Young girl Maria is also seen at the hunk actor Piolo Pascual’s first solo concert at Toronto, Canada.

    “Now that I’m gonna be singing with Piolo Pascual and I have his signature on this hat. This hat is really very special. I have a lot of family there. I can see he’s really very nice,” she said in an interview aired on “Bandila,” March 29.

    Aragon, who was born and raised in Canada, hopes to visit the Philippines soon. The Aragons have not visited the country since they migrated to Canada in 1997.

    “I’m kind of giving it a thought, too. We have a lot of family there,” Aragon said. (from mb.com.ph)

    The young Maria express her gratitude, long thank you and love you message to Lady Gaga, as the singer celebrated her 25th birthday, March 28, by singing her own version of the pop superstar’s hit “Born This Way.” Having this lyrics:

    “Your mama told you when you were young you were born as superstar, coz you’re beautiful on your way coz god makes no mistake, you’re on the right track baby you were born on this day, mother must say you were born on this day, …ohh there ain’t no other day, gaga you were born this day, gaga you were born this day,(born this day), ohh there ain’t no other day, gaga you were born this day, ‘right track baby you were born on this day. Your mama told you when you were young you were born as superstar,”posted also that day.

    to see the video CLICK HERE!

    “Happy birthday Lady Gaga and I hope you enjoyed my little fixed version of ‘Born This Way’ a little bit of happy birthday. I hope you enjoy your 25th birthday and I hope that you have more than 25 years to come. I just really love you for the way you are. I hope you really stay Gaga and hopefully I get to see you again. And I wanna wish you more luck, more support and I just wanna say thank you because without you I would be nothing here playing my piano. I wouldn’t have been wearing this shirt or I wouldn’t get this hat. I wouldn’t post this video up. Just thank you and I love you and happy birthday,” as she added after singing.

    Also, Prime Minister Stephen Harper with his wife Laureen also had a surprise visit at the Aragons to sing with the eleven-year-old uprising celebrity. The PM performed John Lennon’s “Imagine” on the piano together with Maria Aragon.

    source: http://mariaaragon.cahttp://www.mb.com.ph

    VP Binay: named as the Most Trusted Government Official

    BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

    In the latest trust and approval survey conducted by PulseAsia, revealed that the most appreciated and well-trusted government official is Vice President Jejomar Binay overtaking President Noynoy Aquino, having 83% trust rate from the 78% registered last October as compared to Pnoy’s rate of 74% as of this month, decreased from the 78% registered last October, according to ABS-CBN.

    The survey is conducted February 24 to March 6, 2011 were: the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Taiwan over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China; the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution; and the evacuation of Filipinos in Libya amidst the ongoing civil unrest in the country; the execution of three convicted Filipino for drug trafficking in China that is supposed to happen on February 20 and 21 but is put on hold because of Binay’ humanitarian visit to Beijing, China.

    Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said the Pulse Asia survey encourages the vice-president to work even harder.

    “VP Binay is grateful for the people’s support. It encourages him to work harder for our people. The VP knows that our country is facing so many challenges and he asks that we all work together to face these challenges and help President Noynoy move our country forward,” he said.

    Other developing stories at the time the survey was a total of 1,200 representative adults participated in the survey. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

    source: GMANews, ABS-CBNnews