Lifestyle Asia Inside
By: Tessa Prieto-Valdez

Lifestyle Asia magazine celebrated its 28th anniversary recently with a musical that transformed Valkyrie at The Palace in Uptown Bonifacio into a glamorous grand ballroom.

The Lifestyle Asia Musical Gala laid out the red carpet to welcome guests as they arrived at the scene, being regaled by musicians. In line with the event’s theme, Cravings Catering and Events fired up their grills and assembled their courteous staff to provide a spectacular culinary feast inspired by timeless and popular Broadway musicals. Joe Chan, son of celebrated composer and OPM legend Jose Mari Chan, serenaded the guests with the official Lifestyle Asia jingle Living in my Best Life, which he composed in collaboration with Anna. The theatrical music set started with a beautiful overture of Broadway songs by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga. Highlighting the world-class excellence of Filipinos, Lifestyle Asia invited some of the most brilliant artists in the country to perform show-stopping numbers that enthralled the audience. Outstanding performers included Joanna Ampil, Nicole Asensio, Cris Villonco, Bea Tantoco and The Company.

Steering the event towards a better cause, Lifestyle Asia honored the efforts of Caritas Manila for their efforts in helping the calamity survivors through their Damayan Movement during Typhoon Lando. One Mega Group Chairman Jerry Tiu, Founder and CEO Sari V. Yap, Lifestyle Asia Editor-at-Large Cheryl Tiu, Editor-in-Chief Anna Sobrepeña, Associate Publisher Franco Laurel, and Caritas Manila’s Social Marketing Division Head May Tiangco all joined together on stage for a grand photo-op.

GT Foundation Inc. and Metrobank Foundation Inc.
give P4Million to Caritas DAMAYAN LandoPH

GT Foundation Inc. (GTFI) and Metrobank Foundation Inc. (MBFI) donated P4Million to Caritas DAMAYAN, Caritas Manila’s disaster relief and rehabilitation program.

Dr. George SK Ty, Metrobank Group Chairman and Founder, immediately activated the calamity assistance thrust of Metrobank Group to address the needs of the families affected by the recent calamity. This donation will be used for the relief operations on the Lando affected areas such as the Dioceses of Malolos, Ilagan, Cabanatuan and San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and Archdioceses of Tuguegarao and Lingayen.

In photos during the check turnover L-R: Aniceto Sobrepeña (President, MBFI), Fabian Dee (Metrobank President), Anjie T. Dy Buncio (Senior Vice President, Metrobank Foundation), Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual (Executive Director, Caritas Manila) and Dr. Antonio Abacan, Jr. (Vice Chairman, Metrobank Group).

Empowering the Poor through Social Enterprise

In its effort to strengthen the social enterprise program for the marginalized communities, Caritas Manila and Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) entered into a partnership agreement of “Creating Livelihood through Quality Food Product Development”.

With a project grant of P500,000.00, the project’s primary objective is to provide alternative livelihood programs for the chosen communities of Caritas Manila in Tondo through food production and processing.

Mr. Jay Bertram Lacsamana, Executive Director of FSSI, and Caritas Manila’s Executive Director Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual signed the grant agreement last October 12, 2015 for a one-year project. Mr. Lacsamana enthused, “With our partnership with Caritas Manila, we hope to develop high quality food products that will contribute to the sustainable livelihood of the chosen communities.”

Envisioned as the Social Brand to help end poverty, Caritas Margins opens market opportunities to micro-entrepreneurs and likewise provides skills training to the urban poor communities and marginalized sector. To date, Caritas Margins supports over 900 micro-entrepreneurs nationwide.

To inquire about Caritas Margins, visit or call 562-0020 to 25 locals 26 and 42.

Birthday for a cause

Ms. Zeny V. Garcia celebrated her 70th birthday by sharing her blessings to Caritas Manila.

In lieu of gifts, Ms. Garcia asked her family and friends to donate to Caritas Manila. Love gifts amounted to P11,500.00 will help support Caritas Manila’s flagship program, Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP).

MicroMissions Donated to Caritas Manila's Restorative Justice Program

In commemoration of the International Women's Day, MicroMissions partnered with Caritas Manila's Restorative Justice Ministry and donated P59,030.

MicroSoucing volunteers visited the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong to remember those who were serving their time in prison. Volunteers conducted a 1-hour workshop on ‘Building Confidence' and visited the prison's livelihood program center where women are given skills training such as tailoring, craftmaking and more. Volunteers bought a range of handmade products that were sold in four MicroSourcing sites: Picadilly, MOA, Eastwood, and Ortigas.

428 employees of MicroSourcing helped through the purchase of the handmade products made by the inmates. "One of our core values as an organization is One Family - and MicroSourcing is grateful for the immeasurable support we receive from our employees who are committed to the inclusive advancement of all members of our society," Ms. Ida Mandinyenya, MicroSourcing's Corporate Social Responsibility Officer said.

Through the generosity of MicroSourcing employees, funds raised will help sustain the Restorative Justice Ministry program, one of the social developmental programs of Caritas Manila which aims to develop the correctional communities based on the principles of restoring justice.


Smart Communications, Inc. turned over P1Million worth of donations to Caritas Manila's flagship program, Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP). The donation came from Smart, Talk ‘N Text, Sun Cellular subscribers who opted to convert their Smart Rewards Points earned from using Smart mobile phone services to donate to Caritas Manila. This donation will help send underprivileged youth in Mindanao to college.

Caritas Manila collaborated with Smart Communications for accessibility in donating by giving reward points earned by Smart, Talk ‘N Text, Sun Cellular and Smart Infinity subscribers. “We are grateful to Smart and Sun for this partnership. This makes sharing of one's blessings easy and accessible. With Smart and Sun's network of millions of subscribers, the rewards points earned and donated to Caritas Manila will enable us to help more poor communities especially in this Year of the Poor.” said Caritas Manila‘s Executive Director Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual.

To convert Smart Rewards, subscribers just have to send REDEEM CARITAS<amount> to 9800. 100 points can be converted to a P1 donation. Denominations are P5, P10, P20, P50, P100 and P500.

L-R John von Gramatzki (Senior Advisor for Customer Loyalty Program, Wireless Consumer Business, Smart), Napoleon Nazareno (President and CEO, Smart), Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual (Executive Director, Caritas Manila) and May Tiangco (Social Marketing Head, Caritas Manila)

To know more about Smart Rewards, visit SMART Rewards.


Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings through Metrobank Foundation and GT-Metro Foundation held a “Bags of Blessing” (BOB) gift giving last February 19 and 21 at Manila, Pasay and Makati. Caritas Manila was one of the chosen beneficiaries of the event. Metrobank’s BOB contained food items (rice, sugar, canned goods, noodles, coffee) and hygiene kits.

Metrobank founder and Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty initiated the project to share prosperity at the start of Chinese New Year. This year’s Bags of Blessings serves as the group’s response to Pope Francis’ call for mercy and compassion in his pastoral visit last January.

Michelle Apoya, one of the beneficiaries from Caritas Manila expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the people behind the Bags of Blessings gift giving. “Maraming maraming salamat sa Metrobank Group na pinangungunahan ni Dr. Ty sa kanilang binigay na Bags of Blessing sa amin. Malaking tulong ito sa aming pamilya at masayang masaya kami na pinili niyo kaming makasama sa inyong pag-celebrate ng Chinese New Year.”

A total of 10,000 families from 20 sites nationwide were given “Bags of Blessings”, 300 of them are from Caritas Manila.

Make giving your greatest reward with Smart, Sun Cellular, Talk 'N Text, Infinity and Caritas Manila

Smart, Sun Cellular, Talk 'N Text and Infinity subscribers can now share their blessings this Christmas using their rewards points to beneficiaries of Caritas Manila,
the lead Catholic non-profit organization in the Philippines.

In a partnership agreement, Smart Communications, Inc. and Smart Broadband, Inc. (Smart, Talk 'N Text and Infinity) and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. (Sun Cellular), are offering a digital donation channel to Caritas Manila for subscribers enrolled with the Smart Rewards, Sun Choice Rewards, Talk 'N Text Panalo Rewards and Infinity Privileges programs.

Through these customer loyalty programs, subscribers can easily convert their points that they have been earning from using their mobile services into a donation to Caritas by just sending an SMS. The donations will go to the foundation's recovery and rehabilitation programs for areas that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

Read more: SMART Rewards Press Release

L-R Ramon R. Isberto (PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Group head), Jan von Gramatzki (senior advisor for customer loyalty programs, Wireless Consumer Division at Smart), Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual (Executive Director, Caritas Manila), May Tiangco (Social Marketing Division Head, Caritas Manila)

To know more about SMART rewards conversion, just visit SMART Rewards

PLDT Check Turnover to Caritas Manila

Caritas Manila received P1million from PLDT as one of the beneficiaries of “Last Home Stand”event held last July 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone) has been very active in supporting Caritas Manila’s programs for the poor.
The check turnover held last November 4, 2014 was led by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT and Board Member of Caritas Manila, along with Ms. Esther Santos, PLDT-Smart Foundation President and Mr. Ariel Fermin, PLDT Executive Vice President and Head of Home Business.
Another P1million was donated by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan to Caritas Manila as part of its project: RISE! Rebuilding from the Ruins, a benefit concert which rebuilt chapels in Samar and Leyte ruined by super typhoon Yolanda last November 2013.

L-R May Tiangco (Social Marketing Division Head, Caritas Manila), Fr. Anton CT Pascual (Executive Director, Caritas Manila), Manny V. Pangilinan (Board Member, Caritas Manila), Esther Santos (President, Smart-PLDT Foundation)

To know more about PLDT, just visit

Pan Pacific Hotel Donates Linens to Caritas Manila

Caritas Manila received donation of used linens, bed accessories and covers from Pan Pacific Manila last August 8, 2014. This is the second time the five-star hotel donated the said items to Caritas.
According to Pan Pacific’s Reservations’ Service Leader and Chairman of Community and Earth Care - Ms. Glessie Basa, “One of Pan Pacific Manila's initiatives is to help the people in the community from children to the elderly to the less fortunate. We aim to help ease social problems through cooperative volunteerism and donations.”
It also facilitates skills training like hotel housekeeping to help the less fortunate such as out of school youths in Malate. “And hopefully, maybe, we can grow and reach out to your (adopted) community”, Ms. Basa adds.
Pan Pacific’s representatives pledge to continue this fruitful partnership from here on out.

In the picture L-R: Mr. Kevin Monteagudo- Pan Pacific’s Community and Earth Care PRO, Ms. Edna Al Sharhan- Pan Pacific’s HCD Director, Ms. Gilda Cortez- Caritas Manila’s Resource Development Officer, Ms. Glessie Basa- Pan Pacific’s Chairman Community and Earth Care, Mr. Val Zapanta-Pan Pacific’s Community and Earth Care PRO

To know more about Pan Pacific Manila:


Anna Salcedo and her family visited their relatives in the Philippines last July 2013. Here, she saw the vast difference of her life in stark contrast to the typical Filipino living condition. That fateful trip inspired the 8th grader to encourage her fellow classmates in St. Monica’s Catholic School in Dallas, Texas USA to launch a community service project “Project Lend a Hand”.
Together they collected 600 pounds of women and children’s apparel -- shirts, pants, shorts and shoes along with $2,000.
When Yolanda, the strongest typhoon ever recorded hit the country, the girls decided to hold a bake sale in December last year. They sold gluten-free cookies, pies, cakes, and popcorn which eventually raised more than $3,000 and gave it to Caritas Manila.
Caritas Manila used the donation for its Damayan sa Haiyan emergency and relief operations to respond to the immediate needs of typhoon victims. -
Read more:


April 3, 2014 – Star Cruises Philippine Operations, led by their VP for ROHQ (Regional Operating Headquarters) Philippine Operations and AVP HR ROHQ, dropped by Caritas Manila to donate six (6) boxes of clothes, linens and other dry goods that they collected from the donations of their crew members over the last few months for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda. The relief supplies were contributed by Star Cruises’ crew members coming from different nationalities. Some of the Filipino crew members have families and relatives that were victims of the typhoon.

Last year, right after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, Genting Hong Kong’s subsidiary Star Cruises and its associates, Norwegian Cruise Line and Resorts World Manila, immediately responded to help Yolanda victims through Caritas Manila. They coordinated a series of fundraising activities and volunteered in future Caritas relief efforts.

With the six boxes of donations coming from the different ships, Star Cruises Philippine Operations directly endorsed these donations to Caritas Manila and are now looking into supporting current and future charitable efforts of the Catholic Charity Institution as part of their regular/local employee welfare and CSR activities.

For more information on Genting Hong Kong and Star Cruises, please visit or

About Genting Hong Kong Limited (“Genting Hong Kong”)

Genting Hong Kong Limited is the leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality corporation. A primary business activity of the company is cruise and cruise related operations under the brands of Star Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. Star Cruises, together with Norwegian Cruise Line, is the third largest cruise operator in the world that owns a combined fleet of 20 ships visiting over 130 destinations in the world, offering approximately 42,000 lower berths.

Genting Hong Kong’s first foray in a land-based attraction, Resorts World Manila, opened its doors to the public in August 2009. Resorts World Manila is one of the premier leisure brands under the Genting Group and the Philippines’ first one-stop, nonstop vacation spot for topnotch entertainment and world-class leisure alternatives, featuring 3 hotels including a six star all-suite Maxims Hotel, an iconic shopping mall, 4 high-end cinemas and a multi-purpose performing arts theatre.

Another Fil-Ausie Respond’s to Oztin’s Coins

Remember Oztin Baluyot? (see story below) the 5-year old Filipino-Australian from Adelaide, South Australia who upon watching on TV the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan to the Philippines, immediately sought his beloved bottle of coins and donated it to Caritas Manila for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Now another Filipino-Australian responds to multiply the blessing from Oztin’s bottle of coins. His name is Ian Capito from Sydney, Australia. He has been volunteering his time and talent in Caritas Manila as an IT consultant. Upon hearing young Oztin’s story, Ian offered to replace Oztin’s coins and not just replace but more than triple the value. Oztin and Ian’s donation has been included in the over P 120 M relief and rehabilitation assistance extended by Caritas Manila to victims of Yolanda in the Visayan islands and Palawan.

Asked what he would do with the coins, Mr. Capito shared that he most definitely will “put it to good use.” Ian Capito still regularly travels to Sydney because of his business ventures.

Ian Capito is the Digital Director at Capito Digital. He is an IT professional with over 10 years experience. Started in infrastructure, then applications and now the overall management of IT operations. He is the winner for Knowledge Management Award by a Large Business, Western Sydney Industry Awards, in 2005, recognised for excellent management of data, systems and process knowledge.

Founder of Caritas Brisbane is asking people to open hearts and send help to the Philippines

The founder of Caritas Brisbane is asking people to open their hearts and their cupboards to fill a container with goods for the Philippines.

Australian Imelda Spoljarevic is organising a container of goods to send to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

After being bombarded with images of destruction in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, a Robertson woman decided she had to act. Within days, Imelda Spoljarevic had received a commitment from Ascot-based company EPL Group to ­donate a container and send it to the country free of charge.

Now the 73-year-old is filling it and she is asking for the community's help.

"We are sending it to (charity) Caritas Manila and the co-ordinator told me they need tents, blankets, clothes, food and anything else they can get their hands on," Ms Spoljarevic said.

"It doesn't have to be new stuff. As long as it is in good condition it's fine.

"Food must be non-perishable and they also need ­toiletries."

As soon as the container is full it will be sent, Ms Spoljarevic said.

"These people really do need this stuff and the container takes 12 days to get there, so the quicker we can fill it, the quicker we can help these people," she said.

Ms Spoljarevic is no stranger to organising donations, having sent 23 containers around the world, many to war-torn Croatia in the nineties.

"If we sit on our backsides and do nothing it's not going to help those people," she said.

"Somebody needs to take the initiative."

Ms Spoljarevic asked that anyone donating soap powder or soap to first wrap it in aluminium foil so it did not spoil other dry goods such as sugar and flour.

Goods can be dropped at 3 Bonutto Crt, Robertson.

Phone 3344 3543 for more information.