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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

MOST PINOYS BELIEVE IN 'FOREVER' - SWS


FEBRUARY 13 -Forever sealed Hundreds of couples kiss after saying “I do’s” during the mass wedding sponsored by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada Friday. Photo by Rene H. Dilan Seven out of 10 Filipino adults believe in “forever,” while nearly seven of 10 believe in “long distance relationships.”  The nationwide survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and released two days before Valentine’s Day showed that 73 percent of those polled believe in “forever (magpakailanman),” while 16 percent do not. The December 2015 survey also found that 51 percent of Filipinos consider themselves happy with their love lives. However, 38 percent said they could be “happier.” The loveless account for 10 percent of the respondents. These figures show a slight improvement from the 2014 results, which showed that 49 percent were very happy with their love lives, 40 percent said they could be happier, and 11 percent admitted they had no love life to speak of. The SWS started its survey on happiness over one’s love life in 2002, when 58 percent responded with “very happy.” The 2015 survey found that married people strongly believe in “forever” (+67), compared with the singles (+36). The SWS also said net belief in “forever” was very strong among both men and women, at +59 and +56, respectively. The pollster interviewed 1,200 respondents using face-to-face interviews. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percent. THE FULL REPORT -RELATED, Why Millennials don’t believe in #forever...

ALSO: VALENTINE’S DAY 2016 ‘Singles Awareness Day’? More like ‘Singles Appreciation Day’


FEBRUARY 14 -So, single ka ngayong Valentine’s Day. Dahil wala kang ka-date, mamamatay ka sa inggit dahil ang news feed mo sa Facebook, puro mga photo ng mga kaibigan mong nagyayakapan, nagpapalitan ng mga dedication sa isa’t isa, at mga pangakong “Forever tayo, walang titibag.” At dahil “lonely” ka, magpo-post ka ng mga hugot line at mga banat na pa-bitter. “Maghihiwalay din kayo” ang bukambibig mo sa araw na ito. Pagbukas mo ng TV, puro mga cheesy love story naman ang mapapanood mo, kasi nga Valentine’s. Tila parang nakakahawang sakit para sa iyo ang konsepto ng pagkakaroon ng “relasyon” dahil kalat ito saan ka man pumunta. Ayaw mo ring tumungo sa park (lalo na sa Luneta), kasi lalo ka lang maiinis sa mga taong nakakita na ng forever na naka-HHWW (holding hands while walking). Mapapasigaw ka na lang sa kaloob-looban mo, “Lord, ano ba’ng nagawa ko at single pa rin ako hanggang ngayon?” Pero sandali lang. Hindi naman siguro ganoon kasama ang pagiging single na maituturing mo itong parusa. Hindi rin naman ito kasalanan na dapat mong katakutan at kamuhian. Kaya kung ako ang tatanungin, bagama't pabiro ang tawag sa Araw ng mga Puso bilang "Single Awareness Day," pangit ang nagiging dating nito. At may tatlo akong dahilan kung bakit kahit "for hugot purposes" lang ang pagiging bitter sa kalagayang ito, hinding hindi dapat maging pabigat sa iyo ang "singlehood."
Hindi lang puro romansa ang relasyon, may mga responsibilidad itong kaakibat. Akala mo ba puro halikan, yakapan, at holding hands while walking lang ang pagkakaroon ng relasyon? Hindi po. Sabi nga nila, ang pagkakaroon ng boyfriend o girlfriend ay parang pagsasanay na sa buhay-mag-asawa; maglalaan ka na ng bahagi ng budget at buhay mo para kay "bae." May mga panahon ding hindi kayo magkakaintindihan, at minsan, mag-aaway pa. "Cliche" man ang dating, pero may dahilan pa rin kung bakit mahilig magtanong ang mga magulang sa mga anak nilang may karelasyon: "Kaya ka ba niyang buhayin?" READ MORE...

ALSO: VALENTINE’S DAY 2016 Can you afford to be in love? The cost of being in a relationship


FEBRUARY 13 -A sales lady in a shop at Dangwa Market, Manila's flower center, arranges stargazers a day before Valentine's Day 2016. —Danny Pata
When you find someone you like, you probably don’t go: “If it takes P2,720 a month to go out once a week, how long can my salary support my feelings?”  It seems almost rude to talk about the finances of dating and investment advocate Aya Laraya says that this is the reason why people end up being in financial fixes in the first place. “Filipinos do not have a healthy relationship with money,” Laraya laments, “We don’t understand it. That’s why the SSS is a mess.”  If you want a future together, he advised couples to start talking about salary and debt. He goes on to say that you should at least be able to sustain yourself—unless you want to be a burden to someone and you’re totally into being a parasite. Your personal expenses don’t magically disappear when you change status, so if you’re struggling as a single person, you’ll feel the strain when you’re dating, and if you find yourself in a more committed relationship, you might stress your partner out, too. If you’re at that point in your life where trips mean everything, you’ll run into some trouble if your partner views your travel expenses as frivolous. Laraya doesn’t give concrete numbers on how much it takes to be in a relationship, because it could range anywhere between the cost of rent money/food to hemorrhaging money to support a materialistic lifestyle (an observation, not a judgement). Financial compatibility should be added to your list of dating deal-breakers. It’s not a matter of what the person earns, but what he does with it and if you’re cool with that. Here are some red flags that might indicate some incompatibilities: READ MORE...plus LIFESTYLE STORY, For new travels, digital is the way to go...

ALSO: Valentine’s advice to Aquino - Don’t say it with flowers


FEBRUARY 14 -Sen. Ralph Recto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE Better than flowers. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has called on President Benigno Aquino III to show some love to government workers this Valentine’s Day by signing an executive order that would increase the wages of 1.3 public office employees. READ: Recto: Aquino order could effect gov’t workers’ pay hike in lieu of SSL “If he doesn’t have a date yet on Feb. 14, then perhaps he can schedule a quiet signing of the EO on SSL (Salary Standardization Law) IV. It can be his way of showing his love for his fellow government workers. That’s better than flowers,” Recto said in a statement. Recto said the executive order should include a provision protecting the Magna Carta benefits that a broad range of government workers currently enjoy. “Specifically, this provision must be included: ‘Nothing in this act shall be interpreted to reduce, diminish or alter benefits provided for in existing laws on Magna Carta benefits,’” he said. “Mr. President, those are 22 words of saying ‘I love you’ to government workers,” he said. READ MORE...FROM INQUIRER LIFESTYLE, Japanese women fight for V-Day sweets for their men...

ALSO: Loveless Filipinos turn to dating apps (online) for action


FEBRUARY 14 -CONFIDENTLY POSING, WITH A HEART Young women strike a wacky pose under a heart-shaped arch made of roses set up at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig in time for Valentine’s Day. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
Thanks to social media, the Internet and various dating apps, the love life of Filipino singles remains a lively but complex landscape filled with possibilities, dashed hopes, terrible dates and illicit relationships, as well as a constant search for committed relationships. Inquirer’s series of interviews with singles revealed that because of hectic work schedules, young singles turn to Tinder, Happn, Grindr, Bumble, OKCupid, Filipino Cupid, Badoo and other dating apps, which also allow them to get into several relationships at the same time. Just to make sure one pans out, one single explained. In these more enlightened times, single men think nothing of aggressively trawling the net for female partners, while transgenders are as bold about putting themselves out there, the Inquirer found out.
But men, it seems, still hold the cards. “The smarter the woman gets, the more difficult it is to find the perfect man,” rued one single in her 30s. “I’d like to date, but I think no one wants to,” said Maria Clara, a 30-something doctor from Manila who has never been in a relationship.Circumstances can get particularly desperate for single older women, the interviews indicated. With her male friends either married, engaged or gay, she has braced herself to settling for whatever comes, said Min, a 34-year-old from Taguig who works as an administrator. “In these times, it’s hard to be choosy,” she said. Awkward: Min, who caught her boyfriend cheating, had tried using Tinder to start dating anew, but found it awkward. “You see some of your friends or your officemates in it,” she said. But good dates—one characterized by a lot of talking—are possible as well. “I really adore guys who can carry a good conversation,” said Guy’s Grace, a 34-year-old corporate counselor from Manila. And that’s why Dick Dickens, 24, a marketing associate from Manila, finds dating difficult. Describing himself as “shy and introverted,” he finds starting conversations “painfully awkward,” he said. Though he thinks he shouldn’t be dating right now, as his work demands too much of his time and attention, Dick said he is “open to a relationship” should he meet the right person and find a way “to balance work and personal life.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Sex expert gives tips to spice up Valentine's Day


FEBRUARY 14 -Sex and relationship expert Dr. Lulu Marquez.
Are you looking to spice up your Valentine's Day but have no idea how to? A sex expert gives us tip on how to add heat on this special day with your special someone.
With Valentine's Day upon us again, here are some etiquette tips for married couples from sex and relationship expert Dr. Lulu Marquez. Marquez stressed that foreplay does not just happen in the bedroom. It can start from the moment the two of you are enjoying the lavish dinner. Utilize the five senses to get your partner in the right mood of love-making. One should, of course, appeal pleasant to eyes of his or her partner. Dr. Marquez said that maintaining proper hygiene is a must. Also, remember not to eat food with aftertaste. Heat up the moment right and everything will follow next the way you fantasize it. Find a way to please your partner. You have to attract and seduce him or her. Touching plays a vital role in setting the mood. Giving your partner a relaxing massage can be a great idea. Dr. Marquez suggested that some men like their hair pulled during sex. She added that one should never blow the ears of his or her partner. Just kiss or whisper. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Most Pinoys believe in ‘forever’ – SWS


Forever sealed Hundreds of couples kiss after saying “I do’s” during the mass wedding sponsored by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada Friday. Photo by Rene H. Dilan

MANILA, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) by CATHERINE S. VALENTE, Reporter - Seven out of 10 Filipino adults believe in “forever,” while nearly seven of 10 believe in “long distance relationships.”

The nationwide survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and released two days before Valentine’s Day showed that 73 percent of those polled believe in “forever (magpakailanman),” while 16 percent do not.

The December 2015 survey also found that 51 percent of Filipinos consider themselves happy with their love lives.
However, 38 percent said they could be “happier.” The loveless account for 10 percent of the respondents.

These figures show a slight improvement from the 2014 results, which showed that 49 percent were very happy with their love lives, 40 percent said they could be happier, and 11 percent admitted they had no love life to speak of.

The SWS started its survey on happiness over one’s love life in 2002, when 58 percent responded with “very happy.”

The 2015 survey found that married people strongly believe in “forever” (+67), compared with the singles (+36).

The SWS also said net belief in “forever” was very strong among both men and women, at +59 and +56, respectively.

The pollster interviewed 1,200 respondents using face-to-face interviews. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percent.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Why Millennials don’t believe in #forever SNARK WITH HEART By Cate De Leon (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 13, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Master of None’s Dev and Rachel ended up flying to different continents to pursue separate dreams.

A week ago, I was watching Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman for the first time. I found myself glued to the blossoming love between a rich, eligible bachelor and the golden-hearted hooker he had hired. How it worked so well when it was just between the two of them, but bringing it out into the world posed dreadful consequences.

In real life, I had watched a rich friend eventually shake his head with finality at an on-again-off-again girlfriend who had been born to his family’s help. She had bagged herself a career and a degree from a reputable university. I had witnessed her transform from being a doormat to us, her friends, to finally knowing how to accommodate us — no longer as someone who felt she had to please, but as the girlfriend — the possible future queen and gracious hostess.

But in the end, it wasn’t enough. “When you marry someone, you also marry their family,” my friend said in earnest. He told me they had values he had taken as red flags. I’ve interviewed an assortment of society figures, and have heard the phrase “As long as he/she comes from a good family,” thrown about casually. There are real, practical concerns attached to this statement, true. But it doesn’t change the fact that it automatically legitimizes and dooms people from the day they were born.

If we were to be realistic, Edward Lewis and Vivian Ward had a real problem on their hands. I was very interested to find out how they would resolve it. But the movie copped out and gave us a fairy-tale ending. The writers might as well have said, “Basta they ended up together, cause we know that’s what the audience wants. Never mind the loopholes.” He chased her down in a car, they kissed, and that was it.


“She lost him… But she found herself. And somehow that was everything,” the last lines of Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods music video read.


The first season of The STAR's millennial series Single/Single ended with a painful, drunken friendzoning.


In Begin Again, Greta won her ex-boyfriend Dave’s heart back. But by that time she was no longer the same person.

It is for this reason that I never learned to look forward to onscreen romances. “Basta they ended up together,” I’d correctly assume, and pass.

Growing separately I don’t know if it’s just the shows I’ve been watching, but lately there seems to be a trend towards the opposite. More and more storylines are ending with couples going separate ways and growing into better versions of themselves as individuals.

In Begin Again, Greta won her rockstar ex-boyfriend Dave’s heart back. This after he left to pursue the spark he felt for a new woman. But by the time Dave wanted her back, Greta had grown. She had been making her own music, had played all over the city, found a new group of friends, been offered a record deal that she powerfully turned down in favor of self-distributing online.

She was no longer the person she was when she was Dave’s girlfriend and partner in music making. Thus, with a few silent tears down her cheek, she walked away as he sang the song she had written for him before a roaring crowd.

In Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, we were led to believe Dev was following his ex-girlfriend, Rachel on her dream/now-or-never move Japan. He had packed, arrived at the airport, and in the airplane he sat silently next to an Asian woman. It turned out they were on a flight to Italy, where Dev would be developing his love for cooking pasta.

Locally, we had Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual’s Starting Over Again and Matteo Guidicelli and Shaina Magdayao’s Single/Single.

In music, there was Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods music video, which despite its high levels of cringe followed the same theme. “She lost him… But she found herself. And somehow that was everything,” the final lines on the black screen read.

Autonomy and individualism

The premium once placed on actually ending up with somebody glossed over a lot of problems and incompatibilities that eventually arose between two people. There is a growing awareness in media of how we’re all essentially individuals who aren’t necessarily headed the same way, or fall in love or ripen at the same time. We’re also constantly bombarded with knowledge of how big the world is, with travel and moving abroad to cure one’s jaded heart as one of this generation’s rising trends. We’re aware of how simultaneously light and powerful autonomy is. Unlike our parents, we never really had to worry about survival, so we’re heady on freedom.

Thus, the actual price two people pay in order to stay together is highlighted. That and how we can always choose to opt out, go our separate ways, let our heartbreak mold us into better people, and still have our whole lives before us.

I’m not sure what to think about this. On one hand, independence has started to lose its appeal. I’ve always done my own thing. Indeed, I wonder how much longer society plans to patronizingly celebrate the fact that I have my own career, or the growing number of times I have found a new self (hindi ba dapat naman talaga?).

Settling into someone and making it work is what appears to be the new frontier, and something I honestly want as well. But I tend to doubt that whenever I hear my mom and dad argue and am made privy to the sometimes painful compromises that are made. Do I really want someone getting in the way of my life?

“Na-realize ko baka hindi ako marunong mag-mahal,” a guy in my improv theater class said last night. We were each tasked to perform an activity of our choice on stage, and somehow create a scene with a partner who was also doing his own on-the-spot thing — even if the two actions weren’t logically linked. The struggle between staying committed to our individual ideas and calibrating to meet someone else was real. A prestigious university professor who was off to China for a one-year teaching job realized he didn’t calibrate much in real life.

And there lies the millennial struggle. For all our cool and sophistication, we want the exact same things — the sappy fairy tales we grew up watching — except at the moment, many of us are ill-equipped to actually pay for it.

* * *

Tweet the author @catedeleon.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

VALENTINE’S DAY 2016 ‘Singles Awareness Day’? More like ‘Singles Appreciation Day’! Published February 14, 2016 3:32pm By RAFFY CABRISTANTE, GMA News

So, single ka ngayong Valentine’s Day.

Dahil wala kang ka-date, mamamatay ka sa inggit dahil ang news feed mo sa Facebook, puro mga photo ng mga kaibigan mong nagyayakapan, nagpapalitan ng mga dedication sa isa’t isa, at mga pangakong “Forever tayo, walang titibag.” At dahil “lonely” ka, magpo-post ka ng mga hugot line at mga banat na pa-bitter. “Maghihiwalay din kayo” ang bukambibig mo sa araw na ito.

Pagbukas mo ng TV, puro mga cheesy love story naman ang mapapanood mo, kasi nga Valentine’s. Tila parang nakakahawang sakit para sa iyo ang konsepto ng pagkakaroon ng “relasyon” dahil kalat ito saan ka man pumunta. Ayaw mo ring tumungo sa park (lalo na sa Luneta), kasi lalo ka lang maiinis sa mga taong nakakita na ng forever na naka-HHWW (holding hands while walking).

Mapapasigaw ka na lang sa kaloob-looban mo, “Lord, ano ba’ng nagawa ko at single pa rin ako hanggang ngayon?”

Pero sandali lang. Hindi naman siguro ganoon kasama ang pagiging single na maituturing mo itong parusa. Hindi rin naman ito kasalanan na dapat mong katakutan at kamuhian. Kaya kung ako ang tatanungin, bagama't pabiro ang tawag sa Araw ng mga Puso bilang "Single Awareness Day," pangit ang nagiging dating nito. At may tatlo akong dahilan kung bakit kahit "for hugot purposes" lang ang pagiging bitter sa kalagayang ito, hinding hindi dapat maging pabigat sa iyo ang "singlehood."

Hindi lang puro romansa ang relasyon, may mga responsibilidad itong kaakibat. Akala mo ba puro halikan, yakapan, at holding hands while walking lang ang pagkakaroon ng relasyon? Hindi po. Sabi nga nila, ang pagkakaroon ng boyfriend o girlfriend ay parang pagsasanay na sa buhay-mag-asawa; maglalaan ka na ng bahagi ng budget at buhay mo para kay "bae." May mga panahon ding hindi kayo magkakaintindihan, at minsan, mag-aaway pa. "Cliche" man ang dating, pero may dahilan pa rin kung bakit mahilig magtanong ang mga magulang sa mga anak nilang may karelasyon: "Kaya ka ba niyang buhayin?"

READ MORE...

Hindi ka pa handa. Sino ba sa atin ang hindi maiinis sa mga viral post sa Facebook ng mga batang naglalambingan o 'di kaya'y nagpo-propose?

I had my first relationship almost four years ago, at hindi pa iyon seryoso. 'Yung tipong nagkakilala lang, nagkaibigan, tapos nagpalitan na ng "I love you" matapos ang ilang buwang magkakilala. A month into the relationship ko lang napagtanto na hindi pala ako "in love" sa kaniya, at gusto ko na nga maging single ulit—kasi na-realize ko ring masaya rin pala ang pagiging single. Ang sakit ng mga sumunod na yugto.

Ganito na lang ang isipin mo: Sige, may Valentine ka nga ngayong araw, pero ang tanong, masaya ka ba sa piling niya kahit hindi February 14? Ano ba ang motibo mo kung bakit gusto mong magkaroon ng karelasyon? Nais mo ba talagang magkaroon ng kasama, o gusto mo lang bang may mai-post ka sa Facebook na may kayakap ka para magkaroon ka ng maraming likes?

Kung puro hindi ang mga sagot mo sa mga tanong na ito, iisa lang ang ibig sabihin niyan: Hindi pa ito ang tamang panahon.

Maraming paraan para maging makabuluhan ang buhay mo, hindi lang love life. Paborito kong halimbawa rito si Diane Warren, ang American songwriter na sumulat sa mga kantang malamang ay kabilang sa "hugot playlist" mo: "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" ng Aerosmith at "How Do I Live" ni LeAnn Rimes. Totoong maganda ang mga kanta niya, pero alam n'yo bang single pa rin siya hanggang ngayon? "I don’t know anything about love, really. It’s not from personal experience. I just like to write emotional songs," sabi niya sa isang interview.

Subukan mong isipin nang mabuti kung ano-ano ang mga bagay na magpapaligaya sa iyo bukod sa pagkakaroon ng love life. Paminsan-minsan, subukan mong umalis sa social media at iwasang manood ng mga cheesy rom-com film; "go do something else more meaningful," 'ika nga. Sumali ka sa isang civic organization, o NGO, o kaya'y magtrabaho. Ang daming puwedeng gawin sa buhay mo, huy! At karamihan sa mga ito, magagawa mo kahit wala kang "bae" o "honey."

Kaibigan, hindi sumpa ang pagiging single. Isa man ang Valentine's Day sa mga araw na magpapaalala sa iyo sa estado ng iyong buhay pag-ibig, pero isa rin itong araw na mapagtatanto mo kung gaano kaganda ang buhay single: Walang inaalala, maraming oras, maraming mga makabuluhang bagay na puwedeng gawin—"the sky is the limit," sabi nga.

Kaya sa araw na ito, babatiin kita ng "Happy Singles Appreciation Day!" — BM, GMA


INQUIRER

VALENTINE’S DAY 2016 Can you afford to be in love? The cost of being in a relationship Published February 13, 2016 11:58am By AYA TANTIANGCO, GMA News


A sales lady in a shop at Dangwa Market, Manila's flower center, arranges stargazers a day before Valentine's Day 2016. —Danny Pata

When you find someone you like, you probably don’t go: “If it takes P2,720 a month to go out once a week, how long can my salary support my feelings?”

It seems almost rude to talk about the finances of dating and investment advocate Aya Laraya says that this is the reason why people end up being in financial fixes in the first place.

“Filipinos do not have a healthy relationship with money,” Laraya laments, “We don’t understand it. That’s why the SSS is a mess.”

If you want a future together, he advised couples to start talking about salary and debt. He goes on to say that you should at least be able to sustain yourself—unless you want to be a burden to someone and you’re totally into being a parasite.

Your personal expenses don’t magically disappear when you change status, so if you’re struggling as a single person, you’ll feel the strain when you’re dating, and if you find yourself in a more committed relationship, you might stress your partner out, too.

If you’re at that point in your life where trips mean everything, you’ll run into some trouble if your partner views your travel expenses as frivolous. Laraya doesn’t give concrete numbers on how much it takes to be in a relationship, because it could range anywhere between the cost of rent money/food to hemorrhaging money to support a materialistic lifestyle (an observation, not a judgement).

Financial compatibility should be added to your list of dating deal-breakers. It’s not a matter of what the person earns, but what he does with it and if you’re cool with that. Here are some red flags that might indicate some incompatibilities:

RED FLAGS TO WATCH FOR

-----------------------------

LIFESTYLE FROM PHILSTAR

For new travels, digital is the way to go By John A. Magsaysay (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 14, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Social sojourns: The My Travel Kit feature of the new Waytogo website, a convenient sidebar on Cebu Pacific’s home-page, allows users to save their travel goals, checklists and insider tips for a handier way to share with friends and family or easier access when visiting a new destination.

MANILA, Philippines – The word “travel” holds different meanings for different people.

There are some who go on regular business trips, while there are those who jet-set on holidays. There’s the budget traveler, the backpacker, and the “million mile” members who only fly in and out in the lap of luxury. And then there’s the worldly shopper, the global gourmand, the culture vulture, the local adventurer, or the international nomad. While travelers may come in various shapes, sizes, and seductions, one travel mag has perfectly captured the heart and imagination of the Filipino voyager for over a decade now. And it now launches us into newer frontiers.

“Filipinos are very curious travelers,” notes Smile magazine’s editor in chief, Tara FT Sering. “There are a lot of travelers who want to be there first. I wouldn’t say we’re competitive, but there’s a strong sense of curiosity, pride, and adventure with the way we travel.” The aptly named glossy is found in all Cebu Pacific domestic and international flights, carrying on the carrier’s brand image by making travel more fun on its pages. “Cebu Pacific has done a lot in terms of making air travel more democratic, available to a larger number of people, and for Smile, we’re there to catch them and influence their tastes, in terms of developing a certain travel mindset and worldview,” adds Sering. “We’re showing them what’s out there and what they can do, and also in terms of representing ourselves as traveling Filipinos. When we go out, it’s a way of telling people who we are when we travel. We’re very diverse travelers.”

But while the magazine may partly be responsible for growing the Cebu Pacific fleet from 12 aircraft a decade ago to 56 to date, expanding to destinations such as Sydney and Guam, for Sering, the mandate is not really to boost ticket sales. “We see Smile magazine not only as an in-flight magazine, but a travel and lifestyle magazine for everybody. More than anything, Smile tries to represent and market the Philippines to all these people who are interested in coming to our shores, and we are at the forefront of that. Also, opening up the world to many Filipinos at the same time. So, we are empowered by this two-pronged vision of travel: the Filipinos to the world, and the world to the Philippines,” she notes.

This Smile manages to do with the help of Sering’s like-minded editorial staff from Ink Publishing — one of the world’s key resources for in-flight literature — featuring everything from luxurious resorts, cross-country itineraries, socio-cultural features, and even travel bits as simple (yet smart) as local peer recommendations. And now that the magazine’s destinations are fast growing, and its disciplines more evolving, Smile magazine thought the next best stop would be the worldwide web.

Unveiling its digital presence recently with Smile magazine’s Waytogo website, a convenient sidebar on Cebu Pacific’s homepage, Sering aims to make travel content more accessible for the increasingly mobile generation. “We’re at a time when digital products complement what you see in print. So you see something that inspires you in our pages, you go online and get more information, and then you can go and book that trip. It’s now become a round-trip experience,” she notes.

Yet more than your usual travel tips and curated encounters, Waytogo elevates the user experience a notch higher by tapping the Internet’s more personal pulse: social media. With its “My Travel Kit” feature, the Waytogo website encourages travelers to build private travel goals complete with hotel and restaurant information, site and tour suggestions, and tourist tips and tricks that can be accessed in a swipe of your smart phone. “Just key in your own name and a password, and you get to create a kind of pin board of travel inspiration that is just yours. It can be like a bucket list of your travels that you can share with friends. And your friends can also pin travel ideas and suggestions for you,” Sering says of the engaging app that could prove rewarding when you find yourself lost in a new city or dreaming of a new destination.

“I think it’s a great way to get peer referrals. So it’s not just limited to a certain group, but people like you, people who love to travel, people with the same persuasions and taste. It’s not a very strict way of thinking, unlike with traditional media that tells you how to travel and what to do. Now, it’s an entire world of people giving their own opinions and firsthand experiences,” Sering adds of the new travel resource.

And to stir the user’s curiosity even more, Sering admits to exploring something her previous medium hasn’t done before. “We will have videos, 30-second to 1-minute videos that we take when we travel, so it’s live and it goes behind the scenes, to acquaint you with people and experiences,” she reveals. Yet all these come with a simple interface that will encourage anyone to pick a place, plan an itinerary, and ultimately realize it with a click of a widget that sends you straight to the Cebu Pacific booking website. “The way we process information makes it more convenient and faster,” she assures.

“To access it, you are already in a travel frame of mind, because it appears on the Cebu Pacific website. This is just a tipping point to inspire you and give you that nudge to take that trip. I think it will actually spur people’s wanderlust even more,” Sering says.

The new resource may do wonders for the country’s increasingly influential low-cost carrier, but above all, it helps liberate our travel experiences towards a growingly global outlook.

But for Sering and the rest at Smile, the main joys of travel will always remain the same. “It’s meeting people more than anything, being amazed at how different they are. I like experiencing cultures that are very different from ours; that’s very enriching,” she says. And there really is no better reason why we travel.

1234 Tap for travel: Waytogo’s Get Inspired section spotlights the endless reasons to travel, according to users’ persuasions, with a diverse list of topics ranging from “Beach Bumming” to “Traveling with Kids.”

* * *

To access Cebu Pacific and Smile Magazine’s new Waytogo website, visit www.waytogo.cebupacificair.com


INQUIRER

Valentine’s advice to Aquino: Don’t say it with flowers SHARES: 728 VIEW COMMENTS
By: Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:59 AM February 14th, 2016


Sen. Ralph Recto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Better than flowers.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has called on President Benigno Aquino III to show some love to government workers this Valentine’s Day by signing an executive order that would increase the wages of 1.3 public office employees.

READ: Recto: Aquino order could effect gov’t workers’ pay hike in lieu of SSL

“If he doesn’t have a date yet on Feb. 14, then perhaps he can schedule a quiet signing of the EO on SSL (Salary Standardization Law) IV. It can be his way of showing his love for his fellow government workers. That’s better than flowers,” Recto said in a statement.

Recto said the executive order should include a provision protecting the Magna Carta benefits that a broad range of government workers currently enjoy.

“Specifically, this provision must be included: ‘Nothing in this act shall be interpreted to reduce, diminish or alter benefits provided for in existing laws on Magna Carta benefits,’” he said.

“Mr. President, those are 22 words of saying ‘I love you’ to government workers,” he said.

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The provision should ease fears of public school teachers, scientists, nurses, doctors and social workers as it would do away with ambiguities in the measure that could be interpreted as a pay cut.

Senate President Franklin Drilon earlier made a similar call after Congress was stuck in a deadlock on the approval of the proposed SSL IV because of a dispute on whether to include the indexation of the pension benefits of retired police and military officers.

Indexation would require an increase in the pensions for the retired police and military officials along with the increase in the basic pay of those in active service.

But funds for the increase in the pensions from indexation were not provided for in the 2016 budget. Only funds for the salary increase, worth P58 billion, were included in this year’s general appropriations act.

Magna Carta benefits differ for each sector of the government.

Public school teachers assigned in hardship stations get a hazard pay equivalent to at least 25 percent of their monthly pay, among other benefits.

Public health workers get “on call” pay, night shift differential, subsistence allowance, remote assignment and hazard allowance.

Government scientists and researchers get hazard pay, longevity pay and royalties from their inventions.

Frontline Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel get “on call,” hazard, and overtime pay as well as subsistence and transportation allowance. TVJ

RELATED STORIES

Aquino to receive DBM recommendation for gov’t workers’ pay hike—Drilon

Aquino vetoes increase in SSS pension

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FROM THE INQUIRER

Japanese women fight for V-Day sweets for their men @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse
03:52 AM February 14th, 2016


THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART Japanese women brought stores in Tokyo to a standstill on Tuesday as they elbowed each other out at the chocolate counter stocking up on Valentine chocolates for the men in their lives.
AFP

TOKYO—Elbowing each other in the stampede to buy Valentine’s Day chocolate for the men in their lives, Japanese women brought stores to a standstill on Saturday.

In Japan, the menfolk do sweet nothing on Feb. 14 while the women do battle in heaving aisles, loading up on confectionery treats for the object of their desire.

If they are lucky, the guys will reciprocate on White Day in March, when traditionally they give a white gift, from sweets to lingerie.

“My feet hurt, my arms hurt and my head hurts!” winced Kana Shimizu, clutching two dainty bags of Belgian chocolate that cost more than 10,000 yen ($90) at a plush store in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

“This one is for my boyfriend, the other one is for me. I don’t want him having all the fun.” Having splurged on honmei (true love) chocolate, the 27-year-old hair stylist raced off to find somewhere less upmarket to buy giri (obligation) treats for her male work colleagues.

“They can make do with cheap chocolate,” she laughed. “No, seriously. It’s such a pain every year.”

Entire floors of Japan’s cavernous department stores are dedicated to Valentine’s Day, showcases brimming with heart-shaped goodies by international chocolatiers.

“I’m here with my wife,” said 42-year-old architect Riki Taniguchi. “I’ve got my eye on the Belgian chocolate but I’m not sure she thinks I deserve it.”

Valentine’s Day first appeared in Japan in the late 1950s as the economy picked up steam after the devastation of World War II and Western products were highly prized as the country acquired a taste for sophistication and luxury.

Currency of romance

At the time, a firm called Mary Chocolate advertised Feb. 14 as “the only day of the year a woman professes her love through presenting chocolate”—establishing it as Japan’s currency of romance, to the chagrin of florists, jewellers and makers of skimpy lingerie.

Chocolate has been available in Japan since the late 18th century, when Dutch traders—the only Europeans allowed a foothold in an otherwise closed country—gave it to prostitutes as a form of payment.

These days, it seems, almost anything goes and couples can share a bowl of chocolate-drizzled ramen noodles, tuck into McDonald’s chocolate fries or even hop into a chocolate hot spring bath courtesy of some of the most bizarre recent marketing gimmicks.

Half of Japan’s $11-billion chocolate business, Asia’s biggest, is spent in February, retailers say.

It is not hard to see why: A department store in Osaka recently unveiled a chocolate cake topped with 125 diamonds that will set you back an eye-watering $125,000.

In Tokyo, chocolates released by British rockers The Rolling Stones decorated with the tongue-flapping Mick Jagger logo, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their first Japan tour in 1990, were selling out fast.

“I rushed over on my lunch break to buy some, but they had sold out,” said 45-year-old fan Mariko Imai. “No satisfaction,” she deadpanned.

Proving that, even in Japan, and even on Valentine’s Day, you can’t always get what you want.
TVJ


INQUIRER

Loveless Filipinos turn to dating apps for action SHARES: 1162 VIEW COMMENTS By: Pam Pastor @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:48 AM February 14th, 2016


CONFIDENTLY POSING, WITH A HEART Young women strike a wacky pose under a heart-shaped arch made of roses set up at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig in time for Valentine’s Day. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Thanks to social media, the Internet and various dating apps, the love life of Filipino singles remains a lively but complex landscape filled with possibilities, dashed hopes, terrible dates and illicit relationships, as well as a constant search for committed relationships.

Inquirer’s series of interviews with singles revealed that because of hectic work schedules, young singles turn to Tinder, Happn, Grindr, Bumble, OKCupid, Filipino Cupid, Badoo and other dating apps, which also allow them to get into several relationships at the same time. Just to make sure one pans out, one single explained.

In these more enlightened times, single men think nothing of aggressively trawling the net for female partners, while transgenders are as bold about putting themselves out there, the Inquirer found out.

But men, it seems, still hold the cards. “The smarter the woman gets, the more difficult it is to find the perfect man,” rued one single in her 30s.

“I’d like to date, but I think no one wants to,” said Maria Clara, a 30-something doctor from Manila who has never been in a relationship.

Circumstances can get particularly desperate for single older women, the interviews indicated. With her male friends either married, engaged or gay, she has braced herself to settling for whatever comes, said Min, a 34-year-old from Taguig who works as an administrator. “In these times, it’s hard to be choosy,” she said.

Awkward
Min, who caught her boyfriend cheating, had tried using Tinder to start dating anew, but found it awkward. “You see some of your friends or your officemates in it,” she said.

But good dates—one characterized by a lot of talking—are possible as well. “I really adore guys who can carry a good conversation,” said Guy’s Grace, a 34-year-old corporate counselor from Manila.

And that’s why Dick Dickens, 24, a marketing associate from Manila, finds dating difficult. Describing himself as “shy and introverted,” he finds starting conversations “painfully awkward,” he said.

Though he thinks he shouldn’t be dating right now, as his work demands too much of his time and attention, Dick said he is “open to a relationship” should he meet the right person and find a way “to balance work and personal life.”

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Sarah, a 31-year-old public relations professional from Makati, recalled the best date she’d gone on recently: A full-day affair that started with breakfast at Salcedo Market, lunch and a massage in Tagaytay, and dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Makati.

After ending a five-year relationship with a boyfriend who was “always noncommittal about marriage,” Sarah has been dating men introduced by friends or those she met through Tinder and Happn. But “no casual hookups for me,” she said, adding that she wants something long-term.

Bad dates

She’s had a lot of bad dates, the worst being with “an arrogant guy, 6 feet tall, who was so proud of his height.

“When he saw me, the first thing he said was, ‘You don’t look 5’5”. He then insisted on dining al fresco so he could smoke, without even asking me if I was fine with that. I said I wasn’t, primarily because it was sweltering, but he insisted. As I was about to leave, he commented that my clothes were a little loose and I should wear something tight-fitting next time. I was surprised when he asked for a second date. ‘With you, I’m sure my kids will be beautiful and smart,’ he explained. Ano ako, palahian? (So now I’m a breeding sow?)”

But bad dates haven’t deterred her, said Sarah. “I still believe in finding love, even in places like Tinder. Or maybe I’m just stupid.”

Sab, 28, an ER nurse from Quezon City, doesn’t believe in using apps but relies on Facebook messages and friends to meet potential dates. That has not spared her from her share of bad dates, though.

One guy asked for a loan in the middle of their date, she recounted. “He seemed ideal—smart, well-educated, articulate, successful, driven and well-traveled. But on the second date, he borrowed money from me because he said he ran out of cash for gas, parking, etc. I was caught off-guard and was a bit embarrassed for him. He said his ATM card got damaged and he had left his credit cards somewhere. He promised to pay me back the next banking day, but he didn’t. Maybe he thought he was such a good catch he didn’t need to try to impress me. So wrong.”

Casual sex

TransJans, a 26-year-old transgender, has her own set of challenges. “It’s not very easy to find men who will date transwomen openly,” she said. Dating sites and apps are “really more convenient” given her busy schedule, so now she lives by her philosophy: “Collect and collect then select!”

Jay, 25, from Davao, also uses Grindr to find guys who become either interesting dates or “casual sexual encounters.”

He added: “I multitask and people should do the same. I’ve had enough of closing my doors to other guys just because I’m dating one. What if it doesn’t work out? It’s nice to have options and it’s a waste of time to play hard to get. I won’t just sit here and wait for Prince Charming to get me.”

He thinks the same way, said 33-year-old Merlion, an IT employee in Singapore, who usually meets women at social events and through dating apps. “It’s hard to date just one person at a time because things might not work out—people get busy, one of you goes on a long trip, the girl gets flaky…”

His app of choice? 'Coffee Meets Bagel'. "I found its pool of users interesting, a lot of professionals with impressive educational backgrounds, careers and stints living abroad.”

Francesca, 29, a marketing manager from Pasig, has met dates through common friends and Tinder since her relationship of six years ended in 2013. But though she’d like to start being active in the dating scene again (“I’m not getting any younger!”), she rarely uses Tinder anymore, she said. “Most guys there are looking for people to hook up with. I’m looking for a serious relationship.”

Maintaining their standards has left some women single and lonely, among them T, a 35-year-old entrepreneur and single mom from Quezon City. “It’s just so hard to picture myself as a kept woman. I don’t want to be labeled a home-wrecker,” she said of her relationship with a married guy. “For now I am keeping my doors open. I say the smarter the woman gets, the more difficult it is to find the perfect man.”

More aggressive

Sharon Ann Pereira, a 37-year-old single mom and restaurant supervisor based in Vancouver, also ended her relationship with a guy when she found out about his wife and kid back home. “I’m not dating right now because I’m not ready. My children are my priority,” she said.

For Missyvie, 39, age matters. “The playing field is no longer to my advantage. Guys are out chasing younger girls. (But) I have an account at Filipino Cupid because my friends said I’d be more attractive to foreigners, whatever that means.”

Lee, 22, a freelance consultant from Quezon City, said he has become more aggressive and dates several people at the same time. “Waiting for someone to come in a signed box is a losing game,” he said.

Though he’s “too scared” to fess up, he makes sure they’d feel “we’re not exclusive yet,” Lee said of “past friends, friends of friends, or those he met through Tinder … because it’s so juicy there.”

He added of a guy he’s talking to right now: “He’s great. It’s just too bad we started off with infidelity. He’s not entirely single. But we have a great time. Thanks, Internet!”

PR manager Sari, 31, said she ended a two-year relationship with her boyfriend because “he said he couldn’t keep up with me and couldn’t see me in his future.”

She’s not currently dating, she said. “I believe that light attracts light. Right now, I am dating myself and mastering self-love. I recently learned that it’s possible to be alone and not be lonely at all,” Sari said.


ABS-CBN

Sex expert gives tips to spice up Valentine's Day ABS-CBN News Posted at 02/14/16 6:52 PM | Updated as of 02/14/16 7:07 PM


Sex and relationship expert Dr. Lulu Marquez.

MANILA -- Are you looking to spice up your Valentine's Day but have no idea how to? A sex expert gives us tip on how to add heat on this special day with your special someone.

With Valentine's Day upon us again, here are some etiquette tips for married couples from sex and relationship expert Dr. Lulu Marquez.

Marquez stressed that foreplay does not just happen in the bedroom. It can start from the moment the two of you are enjoying the lavish dinner. Utilize the five senses to get your partner in the right mood of love-making.

One should, of course, appeal pleasant to eyes of his or her partner. Dr. Marquez said that maintaining proper hygiene is a must. Also, remember not to eat food with aftertaste. Heat up the moment right and everything will follow next the way you fantasize it.

Find a way to please your partner. You have to attract and seduce him or her. Touching plays a vital role in setting the mood. Giving your partner a relaxing massage can be a great idea. Dr. Marquez suggested that some men like their hair pulled during sex. She added that one should never blow the ears of his or her partner. Just kiss or whisper.

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Marquez said the sex-life of a couple, however, is not always problem-free.

She noted that older couples may suffer from some sexual dysfunction. On the other hand, she said some men in young married couples can be suffering from premature ejaculation.

She said what's important is for couples to talks about these problems and address them.

As we all know, there are potential risks that come with the pleasure sex can provide. Lovers have to keep in mind the consequences of unsafe sex, especially for unmarried and young partners.

"Sex is dangerous, you can have someone pregnant, or ikaw naman ang mabuntis. Or magkaroon ka ng HIV, or STD," Dr. Marquez said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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