Nissan Philippines Inc (NPI) recently launched the second season of the GT Academy in the Philippines at the Main Atrium of SM Mall of Asia.
“We had a very successful start last year when the Philippine team competed against other racers in GTA Asia at Silverstone UK, and we bested them by producing the first-ever Filipino GT Academy Asia champion,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, NPI President and Managing Director.“We hope that this year, we can call on more Filipino talents to enter the competition and make the country the breeding ground for outstanding racing drivers.”
Joining Narasimhan in the opening ceremony was 2008 GT Academy winner Lucas Ordoñez.He recounted, “Back then, I was just studying for my MBA. When I saw an ad for a new competition called ‘GT Academy’, I knew I had to join and take this shot to be the racing driver I dreamed to be. Now, here I am racing on every possible tournament. It felt great to have taken that move. I hope Filipinos will grab this opportunity too.”Ordoñez completed a podium finish in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Nissan GT Academy is slated to run its recruitment session nationwide, with the following scheduled Live Events and their venues: July 8 – 10 atthe Mass area of SM The Block, and at the Activity Center of Centrio Mall in Cagayan;July 14 – 20 at the GL Concourse of SM Southmall;July 17 – 23at Activity Center of SM Bacolod;July 19 – 25 at the Atrium of SM Ecoland Davao; July 28 – August 3 at SM Sta. Rosa; and August 12 – 14 at the Atrium of SM Pampanga.
Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) continues to set the standard for the local truck segment as the NP300 Navara was named Truck of the Year Philippines (TOTY-P) 2015 by the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI), the country’s premier automotive award giving body. The TOTY-P, along with the Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) award, is an annual recognition given by the CAGI for the top vehicle of its class. The award is given after all contending vehicles undergo a rigorous screening process, touching on points such as price, comfort, features, and performance on the technical tests. This is in line with CAGI’s goal of providing the automotive consumer with the best information available regarding the many excellent products available on the automotive market.
“Earlier this year, Nissan declared the beginning of the ‘Truck Wars’ by launching the NP300 Navara” said Antonio Zara, NPI President and Managing Director, “It has been a very exciting time for the pick-up truck segment, and we are proud to say that we have emerged victorious in this battle. Thank you to the CAGI members for this recognition.”
The NP300 Navara bested other manufacturers by being the first and only vehicle in its segment to deliver unmatched riding comfort from its multi-link suspension system. In addition, the NP300 Navara also features NASA-inspired Zero gravity seats for better ergonomic support to reduce driving fatigue. This system ensures a smoother ride, bringing a car-like level of comfort to the pick-up segment.
Adding to the driving pleasure of the NP300 Navara are the reduced turning radius, highlighting dynamic agility and maneuverability in all kinds of terrain, an improved fuel efficiency over its predecessor, and a selection of electronic driving aids that provide a welcome boost in safety and control. These include technical driving tools such as Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, and Vehicle Dynamics Stability Control.
In addition to winning Truck of the Year Philippines 2015, Nissan Navara was also declared the Best 4×2 Pick-up during the ceremony. Adding to Nissan’s triumph was the Nissan Juke winning the Best Subcompact Crossover SUV category for the Nissan Juke. The new Nissan Juke was introduced to the local market during the company’s second anniversary celebration last month, capturing the attention of the motoring public with its bold new design as well as sub-million peso price tag.
Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) saw a 52% uptick in its sales during the second quarter of this year, as compared to the same time frame last year.
“This has been the best sales result for the first half of the year since 2001,” NPI President Antonio Zara said.
Figures released by NPI showed 5,185 units sold for the first half of the current year, as compared to the 3,664 units were sold for the first six months of 2014. This represents a 42% total sales growth year-on-year (YOY).
Zara credits NPI’s growth to the success of two of its flagship vehicles, the NP300 Navara pickup and the recently launched all-new NV350 Urvan. “We see these two diverse vehicle types to appeal to specific market types, and we expect them to be volume contributors to their market segments,” Zara said.
NPI’s sales growth reflects the automotive industry’s growing performance for the year. A recent report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed sales in the first half of the year hit 21%, with the passenger cars (PC) rising to 30% YOY and commercial vehicles (CV) revving by 15%.
“We are happy with the way our sales are doing,” Zara said. “However, we don’t intend to rest on our laurels; expect more good things to come from us in the near future, as we intend to show that, yes, Nissan is back.”
About Nissan Philippines, Inc.
Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) is the sole national sales company of Nissan in the Philippines which started its operations in 2014. NPI is responsible for strengthening brand, marketing and sales strategy, and dealer operations in the Filipino market.
Nissan ranked the highest in customer satisfaction with after-sales service among new vehicle owners according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.
For more information on our products and services, visit our website at www.nissan.ph.
Manila, Philippines (October 3, 2014) – In line with its commitment to deliver topnotch service, the recently unified Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) held its first Nissan Service Technician Excellence Competency Award (NISTEC) and Nissan Service Advisor Excellence Competency Award (NISAC) National Competition last September 27, 2014 at the Nissan Training and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
After being recognized by JD Power Asia Pacific’s 2014 Philippine Customer Service Index (CSI) study by garnering top marks in Customer Satisfaction with Aftersales Service among new vehicle owners, NPI continues to develop and carryout programs that increase the service reliability and competency of its Aftersales workforce.
With the aim to showcase the technical know-how and hands-on ability of Nissan Technicians and the customer relations management of Service Advisors, the 2014 NISTEC and NISAC National Competition aims to lift up the quality of service delivery standards of the whole Aftersales team for the benefit of Nissan customers.
“NISTEC-NISAC is a competition done globally in all countries where Nissan operates. It has been Nissan Motor Co. Limited’s program for more than 20 years,” said Mr. Antonio Zara, President and Managing Director of NPI. “Part of the JD Power criteria involves the competences of the Service Technicians and Service Advisors in achieving the over-all satisfaction of the customers. With this competition, we at NPI, aim to further improve the skills and capabilities of our Service Technicians and Service Advisors. We also want to encourage them to give the best kind of service our Nissan customers deserve,” Mr. Zara added.
Nissan now has a total of 217 Service Technicians and 59 Service Advisors nationwide. Through a series of rigorous sets of examinations in the pre-qualifying round, 12 finalists emerged as the strong contenders for the final competition. The six Service Technician and six Service advisor finalists were certified by Nissan Sales Technician Education Program (N-STEP) Nissan Sales Advisor Education Program (N-SAP) respectively.
In order to assess their skills, the NISTEC finalists underwent three rounds of practical exercises: Engine Diagnosis, Electrical Diagnosis and Repair, and Chassis Maintenance and Trouble Shooting; while the NISAC finalists were tested through a series of role plays for Receiving Process, Repair Authorization, and Delivery Process.
Mr. Ariel Lobrido of Nissan Bacolod proved that he is the Service Technician with the highest level of technical knowledge bagging the title of the Top Performer for NISTEC category. Mr. Lobrido started out as an on-the-job trainee in 2003 and has been with Nissan Bacolod ever since. “I am very happy with Nissan and I am thankful to always have the support of our management. I am also grateful for Nissan have provided me with helpful trainings and seminars to enhance our technical knowledge and skills required in our field,” said Mr. Lobrido.
Meanwhile, Nissan North EDSA’s Aldrin Mendez catered the best service experience, making him the top Service Advisor. Mr. Mendez has been with Nissan for 11 years, working with three service centers including Nissan Middle East for two years. “Being a service advisor is a challenging task but I found my passion in what I do. In Nissan, this is where I experienced growth and where my career flourished and I am very thankful for that,” Mr. Mendez added.
About Nissan Philippines, Inc. Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) is the sole national sales company of Nissan in the Philippines which started operations in 2014. NPI is responsible for strengthening brand, marketing and sales strategy, and dealer operations in the Filipino market.
Nissan ranked the highest in customer satisfaction with aftersales service among new vehicle owners according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.
For more information on our products and services, visit our website at www.nissan.ph.
At one point in your life, you surely have indulged (out of craving or curiosity) in that quintessential Filipino street food treat, the ‘mangga-at-bagoong‘ combo. Simply imagining the crisp crunch of the green mango, complemented by the salty umami of the bagoong (native condiment made of fermented fish/shrimp and salt) can make anyone salivate for a bite.
As a snack item, not much can get any simpler or cheaper than that; however, how can one enjoy it without experiencing the setbacks of the odoriferous after-effects of indulging in it?
Jessie Cutillas, Chief Executive Officer of Mango-ong recounts how he and his business partners launched this best-selling street food into a mall staple by hurdling the crucial smell factor.
“With the help of a good friend, I listened to his suggestion on how to get rid of the smell of bagoong. Just by doing that, we were able to enter the malls after persuading the operators that our products won’t smell or attract flies,” Cutillas recounted. By upgrading the humble product into a ‘sosyal’ snack, the upscale mall market started to embrace it, so much so that by early 2014, the company was able to open five more branches in different malls in quick succession.
Identifying key failure points
But why franchise with Mango-ong? Cutillas cites the business’ proven track record, having one of the lowest cash-out business opportunities and continuous support to franchisees via training in sales and marketing.
“We offer reasonable packages, plus we conduct free monthly meetings and consultations,” he said. From there, he relates how he learned the hard way what it’s like to run and fail a business. Cutillas cites the following key failure points for most neophyte businesspeople:
• Failure to pay close attention to business procedures: one incurs higher operating costs when he does not follow established steps in putting up a business.
• Failure to monitor the staff: losses can be incurred by acts of pilferage, stock waste, and so on. • Failure to do the math: a basic understanding of how to compute for business returns can help the entrepreneur plan his business better. • Failure to take the initiative in improving the business: never rely solely on the franchisor to do everything for you.
Tips for success
To make it easy for the first-time entrepreneur, Cutillas gave the following pointers for success. First, put God above all.
Second, be open-minded and at the same time, be a good listener. “Attend seminars, trainings. Find time and make the effort to learn how to further improve your business,” he emphasized. He reminded that it was by listening that he found the secret to making Mango-ong stink-free and therefore, acceptable to majority of the mall market.
Third, be a positive thinker. “But remember to always ground yourself in reality,” he said. Then, find a good supplier/contractor, who will play a big factor in making your business succeed. Lastly, remember that monitoring is important. “Write down your dreams and aspirations, and make a road map of what you want. Then go back to it to redirect your path, but never lose sight of your goal,” he advises.
For franchise inquiries, check out the online directory listing of Mango-onghere.
The first time I visited Baguio, I was already in college. I qualified for the university paper, and as part of our training, we were sent to the City of Pines to undergo a writing workshop.
It wasn’t hard to fall for Baguio’s charms. In between re-learning about the inverted triangle of news reporting, how to decipher proofreader’s marks, how to proofread, what are the different newspaper style guides, and so on, my fellow student journalists and I checked out the tourist traps and the rustic restaurants. Session Road was then not yet jam-packed with traffic, and taxis roamed sans air conditioning. Over all these, the scent of pine served as an olfactory reminder of the memories we were busily creating of those moments.
But sadly, in the two decades that I’ve been away from the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio has slowly been eaten up by development under the guise of creeping urbanization. The Baguio of yore is disappearing under the onslaught of tourist kitsch and crass commercialism, save for the memories of those who live there and those who have made it their getaway home.
Before this backdrop of Baguio’s seeming fall from tourism grace comes “The Baguio We Know”, a collection of essays of Baguio’s residents, habitués, and lovers, all who write about a strong attachment to the once lofty city, a place where one takes in a different kind of rejuvenation of the soul. These essays show a Baguio “that is much more than the handmaiden to tourism that some may falsely believe is the answer to this city’s ultimate salvation,” noted by the book’s editor, Grace Celeste Subido.
Readers will be struck by the different recollections recounted by the contributing writers. From roadside restaurants frequented by writers, to tiny cafés whose walls hold the thousands of stories exchanged by strangers and friends alike, down to casual chess competitions in Burnham Park to taking slow afternoon walks up and down Session Road, there seems to be a place and a story of every activity and a chance of everyone to do what they want.
And food! Cecile Afable, the late media doyenne and editor of the Baguio Midland Courier, shared recipes for tapuey and pinoneg (among others); these served as the palate’s memory-keeper for those who are lucky enough to have partaken of this drink and dish that is flavored with a distinctly northern taste.
And there are those places whose mention conjures the sights, sounds and flavors of Baguio: Star Café. The Mile-Hi in John Hay. Café by the Ruins. Rose Bowl. Café Amapola. One can take a gustatory trip around the world just by walking around and checking out the restaurants.
Those who make the pilgrimage every summer, or move to plant new roots in this upland capital will find the magic that lends Baguio its ethereal, eternal charm. Coming home to Baguio can be as simple as watching storeowners unload the day’s vegetables onto a cart and into their market stall. Home is a fire roaring in the fireplace, the smoke mingling with the redolence of pine wafting through your room’s windows. Home is the courteous Baguio cabbies who return the change. Home is the fog that rolls in, regular as clockwork, in the afternoon, changing your breath into puffs of visible air in the chill weather.
Stay long enough, and you will soon realize that, yes, Baguio is home.
*** This article originally appeared in now
defunct ManilaSpeak.com ***
During my brief stint as a college teacher, one of the subjects I handled was Philippine Literature. In an effort to show that our regions are rich in stories, one of the places I looked to was Mindanao. Having visited the islands before, I wanted my students to go beyond the vistas, the durian and the kris, and see who the Muslim Filipino is. The story I assigned for discussion was “Blue Blood of the Big Astana” by Ibrahim Jubaira, whose story is the most frequently included in anthologies.
As I recall, the discussion went well in one class; however, I was struck by a student’s comment that he wished there were more stories of Muslim Filipinos, as he apparently had distant relations in Mindanao. I can still remember how he wistful he looked, his eyes eloquent with the unexpressed questions in his search for family and identity.
One of the books that could have helped him was released by Anvil Publishing, Inc.. Titled “The Many Ways of Being Muslim: Fiction by Muslim Filipinos” and edited by Coeli Barry, this landmark collection brings together a range of short fiction written by Muslim Filipinos over nearly seven decades, beginning in the 1940s. As these stories reflect, Muslims in the predominantly Catholic Philippines have helped define the contemporary Filipino identity and intellectual life in rich and varied ways.
These 22 stories provide the reader with glimpses of various facets of the Muslim Filipino. From the ironic yet humorous twist in Jubaira’s tale of “Bird in a Cage”, the tragic reality that usually winds up as headline fodder of Elin Anisha Guro’s “The Homecoming”, to the clash of tradition with modern times in “Panggud” by Calbu Asain, this collection of tales show how political conflict, uneven economic development and socio-cultural and religious movements underscore the forces that shaped the development of fiction writing from this region.
As to how ‘Muslim’ this collection of writing is, Barry notes in her Introduction: “The ways in which Muslim identities are revealed in this volume is related to the complex ways members of this minority have assimilated themselves or been kept apart from dominant cultural and political life in the Philippines. Muslim Filipino identities are not uncontested, least of all by those who embrace them, nor are they fixed across time. The writers of this anthology demonstrate the diversity of meanings being Muslim Filipino can have.”
***This article originally appeared in now defunct ManilaSpeak.com***
Nanay, mom, mama, nay, inay, mommy, mudra. Many are the names used to call the woman who carried us for nine months, and nurtured us for the rest of our lives until her very last breath. And she is the subject of the book “Motherhood Statements” from Anvil Publishing.
Edited by Rica Bolipata-Santos and Cyan Abad-Jugo, this collection of essays from 30 writers paid homage to the first lady of their lives. Some recollections discussed the dynamics between the writers and their mothers, such as Gilda Cordero-Fernando’s making sense of her relationship with her mom (who is seen as playing the bad guy in her eyes). Others talked about being mothered by others, such as the poignant essay of Shakira Andrea Sison’s “The Santol Tree”; or the intellectual yet funny observations of Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta in relation to her son and his yaya in “Mothers and Other Bilingual Animals”. Even non- traditional families, like a two-mommy household, is discussed in April Timbol Yap’s “Not One But Two”.
Even sons got into the act, with their varied remembrances tinged with exasperated fondness, heroine-worship, and the understanding acceptance of moms as all- too-human women. It was a treat to read the likes of Gemino Abada, Charlson Ong, Ambeth Ocampo, and Ian Rosales Casocot talk about their mothers through the prism of love.
But it was Mari Jina Andaya’s “Living With Mom” and FH Batacan’s “To A Friend Who is Losing Her Mother” that struck a nerve too close to home for me. Andaya’s piece is reminiscent of wry remembrances of wishing our mothers would tone down their incessant observations/reminders/outright nagging from their breaking-the-sound-barrier level. After Andaya recalls a particular high-decibel lecture, she writes, “Where in the world can you find an alarm clock that sounds like that? AND IT COMES WITH A BUILT-IN MOTHER!” But alas, the alarm clock that is her mother soon disappeared with the advent of Alzheimer’s disease, which consumed not only her memory, but also her feistiness and her lust for life. Andaya’s essay was a moving remembrance to her mother’s memory.
Batacan, on the other hand, writes an epistle to a friend, answering a lot of questions that most children will eventually have to face when it comes to their aging parents. Amidst the advice about health care and dealing with the unexpected, there are also words on things to tell one’s mother as the days speed by, even words about the seemingly unimportant. The most important thing, writes Batacan, is just “to tell her.”
In the end, however, “Motherhood Statements” celebrates the full spectrum of mothers and mothering. As the book’s introduction put it, “At the heart of the universe is the truth that all things come through a mother. That truth colors all our ideas of mothering and being mothered, or, in some cases, smothered.”
***This article originally appeared in now defunct ManilaSpeak.com***
After the devastation wrought by Yolanda, I sometimes wonder if we ever learn our lessons in preparing for these yearly disasters. True, man can only hope of controlling Mother Nature the same way King Canute dreamed of holding back the waves. But given the regular visits of these catastrophes, it is truly a puzzlement why we’ve yet to become proactive instead of being reactive in these times of disasters. That is why even after four years, I find After the Storm: Stories on Ondoy by Anvil Publishing still relevant in today’s times.
Edited by Elbert Or, the essays in this compilation were mostly written in the midst of and immediately after the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009. In his Introduction, Or writes, “All of these essays are collected here to serve as a written record to remind everyone that Ondoy happened. That if we are not careful to learn from our experiences, then another disaster may find us unprepared yet again.”
Seeing how these were written during, before, or immediately in the aftermath of the storms, the quality of the essays wasn’t even. Oh, there were gems amidst the collection, starting off with poetic “The Last” by Ruel S. De Vera. Reading how a former favorite volume rose in the floodwaters to float off, in the company of the writer’s other books, triggered in me a similar memory so painful that it was almost a visceral blow. My entire library of 16 years drowned in the torrent of Talayan Creek water in less than 30 minutes. I never thought I’d see the day where hardbound books would be doing the butterfly stroke in the flood, or that a lesbian literary classic would freestyle its way to the bottom of the swollen creek.
But if this writer thought that opening salvo was painful, it was the recounting of MVX Ong of his family’s ordeal in”Nakapanlulumo” that made me want to weep in the face of his remembered fear, rage, helplessness and a maelstrom of other emotions during those perilous hours. Written in Filipino, his essay captured the gritty reality of trying to fight back against the fury of the relentless rain and the rising flood–and the determination to succeed.
Luis Buenaventura II tackles a diametrically opposite viewpoint in his “An Unpopular Opinion on Volunteerism”. In his short piece, he logically argues his point on how help could be better done by staying where one is, and donating his earnings for the day directly to the aid effort instead of spending his man-hours’ potential income bagging food and clothes. Or, in other words, maximizing one’s resources that are immediately on hand.
Other contributors of the book include Cathy Babao Guballa, Ramil Digal Gulle, Rene B. Javellana, SJ, Jim Paredes, Mar Roxas, MRR Arcega, Tania Arpa, Javier Bengzon, benignO, Arvin de Leon, Zarah Gagatiga, Norman Clarence T. Lasam, Gabriella Lee, Stefan Saurez, Fidelis Tan, Martin Villanueva, and Lawrence Ipil.
After the Storm: Stories on Ondoy is available at National Bookstore.
***This article originally appeared in now defunct ManilaSpeak.com***
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