MANILA, January 22, 2005 (STAR) Sen. Manny Villar, president of the Nacionalista Party, is one of the key guest speakers during the business forum at the Third Global Filipino Networking Convention that will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Casino and Hotel today. Villar, who will speak about various opportunities as an entrepreneur, is an accomplished entrepreneur himself – his guiding principles being sipag at tiyaga (hard work and perseverance). Among the advocates that Villar espouses is the promotion of the entrepreneur spirit among Filipinos.

"I believe that our country would better prosper if our people would strive to be business owners or entrepreneurs. I also think that they would have more comfortable lives if they will not be resigned into being employees all their lives. They can invest their hard-earned money into business ventures. They don’t have to start big, they can start with small but profitable livelihood opportunities for instance," cites Villar.

Villar encourages even overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be entrepreneurs as well. He filed the Overseas Filipino Investment Bill in the Senate that seeks to promote the reintegration of overseas Filipinos in Philippine society by helping them save, invest and engage in business ventures that would channel their hard-earned money into economic gains for the country.

"I know that most OFWs are dreaming of putting up their own businesses but do not know how to begin. We can do them a favor by helping them in this area. The billions of dollar worth of remittances of our OFWs are already doing wonders to our economy. I am sure their business investments would boost their economic contributions," adds Villar.

Perceptions Marks 18th Anniversary

Perceptions, Inc. marks its 18th anniversary this month as one of the country’s accomplished PR agencies with a diverse clientele that includes some of the world’s leading organizations such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Turner (CNN and Cartoon Network), Airbus, Cisco Systems, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), which it has had as a client for the last 17 years.

Established in January 1987 by Rene Nieva, chairman and president, the 100 percent Filipino company has grown since then into a full-service marketing communications firm offering a wide range of services, including PR counseling, publicity, editorial and graphic design, project and events management, and crisis management, among others. Assisting Nieva in running Perceptions is a young and dynamic team of executives led by Noel Nieva, executive vice president.

Perceptions has been the recipient of numerous international and local PR awards including the Golden World Awards from the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and the Anvil Awards of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (including the top award, the Grand Anvil, which it won in 2003 for its ‘Read to Lead’ reading advocacy campaign for Visine). It has also received three Best of BSA Global PR/Marketing Awards in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Night Of Ethnic Dances, Tribal Musicale

At The Circle Quezon Memorial Circle parkgoers will be treated to a night of ethnic dances and tribal musicale by the Hiyas ng Maynilad Dance Company and Rondalia of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila tomorrow, Jan. 23 at the Liwasang Aurora, from 6 to 7 p.m.

The dance company made its maiden debut performance during the University’s anniversary celebration in 1982. Several notable performances followed thereafter before local, national and international audiences, among them for delegates to the Film Festival in 1983, Puerta Real Evenings, concerts at the Philtrade Center, Philippine International Convention Center, LawAsia conference, Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, television appearances, World Meeting of Families at Rizal Park, Paco Park concerts, Concert at the Park, Wow Philippines in Intramuros, Sunday Evenings at the QC Circle, Araw ng Maynila Outstanding Manilans Awards Night, the Ship for Southeast Asia Youth Program sponsored by the Japanese government, and notable performances in nearby provinces and cities for fund-raising projects. The dance troupe also won the championship trophy in the cultural competition sponsored by the Association of Local Colleges and Universities. In 1990, the dance company and rondalla represented Manila in the cultural dance festival held in Tokyo, Japan, and in 1996 again represented Manila in the Asian Week ’96 held in Pusan, Korea.

Through the years, on its 20th year of existence, the PLM Hiyas ng Maynila Dance Company and PLM Rondalla members have not lost their keen interest and enthusiasm for their art. The student-performers have kept-up with the grueling pace of their cultural extracurricular activities, balanced their academic studies with membership in the two cultural groups while some of them graduated with honors. Through their roles as ambassadors of goodwill, they have brought honor and prestige to the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, their alma mater.

The Sunday Evenings at the Circle is a brainchild of Quezon City Parks and Development Foundation president Charito Planas, assisted by park administrator Lolita Amores, which aims to provide worthwhile recreational leisure hours at the park on weekend nights from November to May.

Serendra: A Perfect Home For Balikbayans

As the excitement of the holiday season starts to wind down, Serendra, the innovative residential community development of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and Community Innovations Inc. (CII) at the Bonifacio Global City, remains upbeat with the emergence of a new and promising market - the balikbayan Filipinos.

According to ALI senior division manager Kate Ilagan, Serendra is perfect not just for local Filipinos but also for the balikbayan, who has grown accustomed with city life but at the same time, longs for the suburban lifestyle he grew up with. They will find that the unique concept of Serendra ends the compromise for those who long for serene, natural surroundings while still being part of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Serendra achieves this by being the only low-density residential development that features clusters of low- to mid-rise condominium buildings and devotes about 65 percent of its 12-hectare land to lush, spacious gardens. Balikbayans who long for a spacious suburban lifestyle will find that Serendra is a perfect embodiment of this atmosphere, as evidenced by several themed gardens located all over the development.

Serendra is also the only residential development that has a full range of amenities similar to those found in country clubs, such as swimming pools, badminton and basketball courts, jogging pathways, and spacious lawns, along with the privileged use of function rooms and lounges.

Serendra truly recognizes the need of balikbayans for a home right at the heart of the city. With this in mind, Ayala Land, Inc is offering a special promo to them. The first 100 balikbayans who will visit the Serendra pavilion will get a free Mind and Body Harmony massage at The Suriya Spa. Units are also currently available in attractive installment schemes at very low interest rates.

For inquiries, call 8485000 or 8490551, e-mail, or visit Model units are available for viewing at the Serendra Pavilion, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, everyday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lung Center Turns 23

The Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) will turn 23 years old tomorrow, Sunday, nurturing high hope that the hospital will be completely restored this year despite the hard times and dwindling government subsidy.

LCP will observe its 23rd founding anniversary with modest but meaningful activities relevant to the health needs of indigent Filipinos.

Its weeklong activities include several scientific lectures and exhibits, free nutritional consultation, blood letting and a free clinic for respiratory diseases at the out-patient department.

The free clinic includes free X-ray, sputum exam and pulmonary function test for the first 20 patients everyday between Jan. 19 to 21 and on the 24th.

LCP executive director Juanito Rubio expressed optimism that the administration of President Arroyo and both houses of Congress will recognize the need to sustain the operations of Lung Center and support its complete restoration within 2005.

After six years since it was burned in May 1998, the Lung Center has yet to be completed into its original structure and its facilities as a tertiary hospital are still far from adequate.

Rubio explained that the hospital was hardly functional when he took over in 2003, and he had to implement drastic revenue-generating programs and cost-containment measures in order to complement the usual source of income and reduce routine expenditures.

Income generating areas like the Radiology and Pathology according to Rubio, were given priority in the gradual reconstruction and tie ups on the acquisition of equipment were resorted to.

"With the continued support of President Arroyo’s administration and growing public patronage, we will be able to put up a Radiotherapy Center this year," Rubio added.

This year’s anniversary celebration will be capped with a "Recognition Ceremony" and the launching of the LCP Respiratory Institute on Monday, Jan. 24.

SLMC Accepts Fellowship Training

Applicants The Institute of Digestive Diseases of St. Luke’s Medical Center is now accepting applicants for its fellowship training in Clinical Gastroenterology and Endoscopy. The program is designed to provide fellows with world-class technical and practical training in the prevention, diagnosis and management of liver diseases under the tutelage of the hospital’s top gastroenterologists, radiologists, surgeons, oncologists and pathologists. A month-long pre-fellowship program is scheduled Feb. 1-28, 2005 before the fellowship commences on March 1, 2005. The two-year program ends Feb. 28, 2007.

For inquiries, call the Institute of Digestive Diseases at tel. nos. 7230101 ext. 5424/4118.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved