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5:28 AM

Start the holiday craze with McDonald’s Holiday Treats!

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 Start the holiday craze with McDonald’s Holiday Treats!

From its McCrispy Hamonado Sandwich to Speculoos Cookie McFlurry, 

celebrate the holidays with McDonald’s!

Few things give as much excitement as when the holiday season starts to lurk. From out-of-town trips, planning extravagant get-togethers with friends you haven’t seen already, to the oh-so-wonderful break from work, Christmas marks the end of the year that we all like to celebrate with a bang. But we’re missing the best part of the holidays, aren’t we?

It’s All. In. The. Food. And lots of it.

That’s why at McDonald’s, enjoy all-new holiday treats available now! With their McCrispy Hamonado Sandwich*, Coffee Caramel McFlurry, Speculoos Cookie McFlurry, and Speculoos Cookie Frappe, you’ll never want to spend the holidays anywhere else! Think it’s a Christmas trick? Trust us, nobody takes Christmas more seriously than McDonald’s!

Enjoy your everyday McCrispy sandwich now with a special Christmas twist with the McCrispy Hamonado Sandwich that sees your favorite McDonald’s Chicken fillet not only paired with a savory slice of Canadian bacon and hamonado glaze, but also topped with honey dressing to make every bite more scrumptious!

Don’t stop now, because McDonald’s has upped the ante with its sweet dessert options, too! Looking for the best of both worlds? Why not give the Coffee Caramel McFlurry a shot – it’s bound to make you feel cozy in an instant! 

And for those who can’t get enough of cookie butter, you’re in absolute luck: McDonald’s offers not one, but two versions of the treat with the Speculoos Cookie McFlurry – and, available in McDonald’s branches with McCafé, the Speculoos Cookie Frappe!

At McDonald’s, there is more than enough to share with each of your loved ones – or even all by yourself! Share the light this Christmas with their holiday offerings, now available at your nearest McDonald’s branch via Dine-In, Take-Out, Drive-Thru, and McDelivery!

*In other branches of McDonald’s, this is available as a Honey Glazed McCrispy Sandwich!

5:57 PM


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The first community-led socialized housing project in Carcar City mobilized by

Kalambuan sa Dakbayan (KD) Foundation, Inc. will benefit ninety-five families of

informal settlers located on a 6,000 sqm property in Barangay Ocaña, now called

Panaghiusa Village. Construction formally kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony

on November 24, 2022, Thursday.

"The entire 6,000 sqm lot could have been developed for commercial purposes. But the

KD Foundation has chosen to align with the commitment of its partners in providing

affordable housing units and well-planned communities for underprivileged Filipinos,"

KD Foundation President Atty. Jose Daluz III shared, mentioning various other

non-housing grassroots projects that the foundation has accomplished.

Under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) turn-key modality of the Social

Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), which is particularly created for informal settlers,

beneficiaries will enjoy community ownership of Panaghiusa Village. The land title will

be transferred to the Sun Communities 1 Homeowners Association, Inc. once the social

housing project is completed, in preparation for property deed transfer to beneficiary


Each family beneficiary will be turned over with a 32 sqm two-story rowhouse unit, in

compliance with the standards of Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 220 on the development of

economic and socialized housing projects. In the last quarter of 2023, the first 30 units

will be turned over to identified beneficiaries, with the next 30 units following in 2024

and the remaining 35 units in 2025. Total mortgage payment per family amounts to

580,000 pesos, with a ten-year graduated amortization schedule and a 2% interest rate

payable up to 35 years.

Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Area Coordinator Argelito Guiritan

said that when informal settlers are left unaided by social housing programs, their

immediate future is faced with two options: whether they like it or not, the time will come

for landowners to use their property, leading to demolition; or they will be asked to

purchase land beyond their financial capacity.

This is why, for their part, PCUP has been pushing for the accreditation of identified

informal settler homeowner associations, as part of their social preparation and

transition to socialized housing. PCUP is also mandated to encourage developers to

participate in socialized housing projects.

"It's just a matter of empowering the people. Tungod kay ang ilang problema ang ilang

pagpuyo, among giintroduce ang SHFC, ug among giistorya ang Department of Human

Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD)," Guiritan said, highlighting steps they

have taken together with KD Foundation and government agencies to capacitate

beneficiaries of the upcoming Panaghiusa Village. He added that because it is a

community-driven project, capacity-building trainings and interventions are expected to

sustain the community.

PCUP Commissioner Paolo Guanco reinforced this commitment to providing livelihood

programs and opportunities in the area and congratulated the 95 family beneficiaries

present during the groundbreaking ceremony.

These named beneficiaries of Panaghiusa Village are now formally recognized by the

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) as the Sun

Communities 1 Homeowners Association, Inc., in compliance with the DHSUD mandate

for all homeowner associations to be duly registered. They now have the legal capacity

to enter into contracts with government and non-government agencies.

"On behalf of Sun Communities 1 Homeowners Association, Inc., mangayo kamig dako

kaayong pasalamat kaninyo nga diin anaa kamo nigiya, nitabang kanamo aron

pagbarug sa among gipangandoy nga diin kami makakoan og panimalay," Association

President John Roy Ardon addressed the developer and cocnerned agencies,

expressing their gratitude for bringing to life a solution to their housing needs.

To streamline further socialized housing projects in Carcar, city mayor Mario Patricio

Barcenas announced that an office at the second floor of their city hall will be formally established to the urban poor

Best regards,

We will triumph with the help of God who will trample down all our foes.(Psalm 108:14)

Follow me on my social media

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2:10 AM


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The Philippines’ only pure-play high-speed fixed broadband operator, Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc. (PSE: CNVRG) (“Converge”) ended September 2022 with 1,845,162 residential subscribers, a 16% increase from the same month last year. The Company deployed 411,320 new fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) ports during 3Q2022, increasing Converge’s nationwide network reach to more than 14.3 million homes passed as of September 30, 2022. With more than 6.7 million fiber ports throughout the country, Converge has the largest fiber infrastructure network in the Philippines. In line with the Company’s mission to bring affordable high speed fiber broadband connectivity to the unserved and underserved in the country, Converge achieved a 53.0% nationwide household coverage, on track to reach the Company’s accelerated target to cover approximately 55.0% of households in the Philippines by 2023.


Industry-leading Trifecta with 30.0% YoY Revenue Growth from 9M2021 to 9M2022, 59.0% EBITDA Margin and 16.6% ROIC


Residential Business Continues Growth

Consolidated revenues grew by 30.0% from P18,831 million in 9M2021 to P24,481 million in 9M2022 in line with management’s revised full-year annual guidance of 25-30% YoY revenue growth for FY2022. Revenues from our residential business grew by 30.5% from P16,374 million to P21,362 million during the same period, driven by a 16% YoY growth in our subscriber base. The monthly Average Revenue per User (“ARPU”) of the residential segment remained stable at P1,261 in 3Q2022. Enterprise revenue growth continued to accelerate, growing by 26.9% YoY, from P2,457 million to P3,119 million during the same period, with solid growth across all enterprise segments such as small and medium enterprise (“SME”), large enterprises, and wholesale.


Converge ended September 30, 2022 with 1,845,162 residential subscribers. Gross additions in Visayas and Mindanao (collectively referred to as “VisMin”) improved significantly as the Company continues its expansion in these key regions. In 3Q2022, 15.8% of gross adds came from VisMin, compared to only 5.0% in 2Q2021. This remains a key region for growth as the Company continues to expand its network into new cities and municipalities across VisMin.


Converge has reinstated advance payment requirements for new residential subscribers starting June 2022 in efforts to better manage churn. With this, average monthly churn has significantly improved from last quarter – down from 2.5% to 2.0%. The Company expects monthly churn rates to gradually trend back to around 1.5%levels. With improved churn and focus on subscriber growth, net residential subscriber additions in 3Q2022 more than doubled from last quarter to more than 28,000.


As the economy of the Philippines continues to recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic, revenues from our enterprise business continued its growth momentum at 29% YoY, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of accelerated quarterly revenue growth rates. The SME business continues to grow with a 68% increase in revenue in 3Q2022 on the back of a growing customer base.  Compared to September 30, 2021, SME customers grew by 77%, reaching more than 31,000 customers as of September 30, 2022. Large enterprise segment also grew significantly during the first half of the year with 17% revenue growth on the back of additional key customer wins across multiple industries. Similarly, the Company’s wholesale segment grew by 52% as we increasingly monetize capacity on our vast domestic fiber network and our international cables, with wholesale customers such as telecommunication carrier clients and international over-the-top media services (“OTTs”).


Expanded Profitability in 9M2022 driven by Increased Scale and Prudent Cost Management

Converge achieved an EBITDA          of P14,445 million in 9M2022, 39% higher from the previous year. As a result, Converge’s consolidated EBITDA margin reached 59.0% in the first nine months of the year, higher than the 55.1% in 9M2021. The Company achieved slightly elevated EBITDA margin of 62.4% during 3Q2022, which was driven by enterprise revenue growth, reduced cost to serve and install, manpower cost improvements, one-off effect of personnel benefit adjustments, and foreign exchange gains.


Network materials and supplies costs declined in 9M2022 compared to 9M2021, reducing the account’s cost margin from 8% to 4% of consolidated revenues. This was driven by a combination of fewer installations compared to 9M2021 and lower unit costs of our network materials and supplies as we continue to optimize our last mile roll-out cost. This was offset by increases in Repairs and maintenance, Outside services, Promotions, and Personnel Costs (G&A). Repairs and maintenance increased due to increase in headcount for operations and maintenance to support subscriber line repairs and maintenance of our expanded network base. Costs of Outside services, on the other hand, increased as the Company boosted the number of contact agents to improve responsiveness. Promotions were intensified during the first nine months of the year as the Company relating to brand enhancement activities in new areas across Visayas and Mindanao. Lastly, Personnel Costs (G&A) grew due to the increase in headcount to support the growing business and compensation expense related to share option benefits.


Net income after tax grew from P5,198 million in 9M2021 to P6,107 million in 9M2022, resulting in Net Income margins of 25%. As expected, depreciation and amortization increased by 71% year-on-year due to the aggressive expansion of the Company’s fiber network infrastructure in the previous years. Depreciation and amortization margins grew from 14% to 19% from 9M2021 to 9M2022. Finance cost margins also grew from 2% to 5% due to bank drawdowns and the P10 billion bond issued during 2Q2022 – mainly used for the aforementioned infrastructure expansion.


Return on Invested Capital (“ROIC”) remained high with 16.6% for the first nine months of 2022. Our high ROIC continues to be at industry-leading levels as a result of Converge’s disciplined approach in deploying capital to expand its fiber network and tracking key capital efficiency indicators such as our port utilization ratios. Converge’s blended port utilization ratio as of September 30, 2022 was at 24.1%. Of the 9M2022 FTTH ports deployed, around 24% were rolled out in Visayas and Mindanao (“VisMin”) – from 20% last quarter, as we are actively expanding into these new markets, while continuously deepening our presence in Luzon.


Strong Balance Sheet, FX Management, and Cash Flows


Equipped with strong balance sheet to navigate through a challenging macro-economic environment, Converge continues to have ample liquidity and gearing comfortably within bank covenants. The Company’s net debt position (as measured by total financial debt less cash and cash equivalents) was P26,881 million as of September 30, 2022. The Company did not draw any bank debt in 3Q2022 since liquidity is adequate for operational and capital expenditures paid for during the quarter. All outstanding bank debts have limited inflationary exposure since these are Philippine peso denominated and are long-term fixed lines.


Overall, the Company’s disciplined foreign exchange management has limited our negative exposure to peso depreciation. Converge has P7.7 billion worth of USD currency cash reserves as of September 2022 to fund the foreign-denominated capital expenditures, allowing the Company to minimize any foreign exchange losses from currency depreciation.


With no additional debt and strong profitability growth, the Company’s leverage ratios improved during the quarter. Net debt to LTM EBITDA declined from 1.5x in 1H2022 to 1.4x in 9M2022. Debt service coverage ratio (“DSCR”) was at 4.0x in 9M2022, well within our strictest DSCR covenant of 1.2x.


Our weighted average cost of debt from outstanding debt facilities (bank loans and bonds) remains unchanged from previous quarter of 5.0% as of September 2022, with average debt maturity of almost five years. This is significantly lower than the 5-year BVAL benchmark rate of 6.3% as of September 2022, highlighting the strength of our balance sheet in a market environment with rising interest rates.

Boosting Speeds of Residential Plans


Beyond being the largest fiber network in the Philippines, Converge is committed to offer the fastest high-speed internet connectivity services in the country. On November 11, 2022, Converge will be permanently increasing the speeds for its residential base plans for free. The FiberX Plan 1500 will have speeds of up to 200Mbps, double of its current capacity. Similarly, existing and potential subscribers of higher priced plans will also experience speed boosts. (1) A new FiberX Plan 2000 will be introduced to offer 400Mbps, (2) FiberX Plan 2500’s speeds will also double from 300Mbps to 600Mbps, (3) FiberX Plan 3500 will maintain its 800Mbps speeds, and (4) finally, a 1Gbps plan will be introduced as FiberX Plan 7499.


As Converge has designed its network with significant built-in capacity, the announced speed-increases come without any need for incremental capital expenditures for the Company.


According to Ookla, the Philippine’s fixed broadband download speed registered at 78.69 Mbps in September 2022, ranking fifth behind Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.


Sustained Growth Trajectory of Enterprise Business


The Company’s Enterprise business continued to accelerate revenue growth, with a 27% YoY growth from 9M2021 to 9M2022, exceeding management guidance of 20% YoY growth for FY2022. The small-medium enterprise segment (“SME”) remained a significant growth contributor amid the reopening of the economy. In 3Q2022, revenues from SME grew by 68% compared to 3Q2021. Also, the segment represented 22% of enterprise revenues compared to only 17% during the same comparable periods. SME customers reached 31,442 as of September 2022, 77% higher compared to September 2021.


Wholesale segment also contributed significant growth at 52% YoY from 3Q2021 to 3Q2022. Large Enterprises and Corporates segment remains to be the largest contributor at PHP758 million, representing 66% of enterprise revenues for the quarter. The segment grew steadily at 17% YoY as the Company secured key contracts in multiple industries, including financial services, logistics, and health services.


Elevating Customer Service through Digital Transformation and Accelerating Service Restoration After Natural Disasters


Streamlined Customer-Facing Processes

The Company remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that subscribers are provided with the best service with or without a calamity. One of the Company’s large-scale digitalization project aims to improve back-end efficiency through automation. Benefits include streamlining product and promotions management and customer-journey digitalization. New products and promotions can be easily created with reduced back-end manual intervention. This would allow the Company to be constantly flexible amid the evolving needs of the customers. Also, the customer’s full journey from application, to installation, billing, and after-sales can be better managed digitally.


Accelerated Service Recovery

Aside from our infrastructure redundancy projects, the Company has been implementing disaster preparedness activities given the number of typhoons that have and are still expected to hit the country. This aims to limit the impact of calamities on the Company’s infrastructure to ensure minimal service disruption. Generator sets were mobilized and fuel stocks were prepared in business centers and operation sites where these disasters are anticipated to hit. This allowed the Company to continue operations and provide relief services, such as charging stations and free WiFi in business centers. Also, the Company has repair and maintenance personnel ready to attend to network restoration if needed.


With these measures in place, restoration efforts were immediate when both Super Typhoon Karding (Noru) and Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae) devastated multiple provinces throughout the country. More than 75% of residential subscribers affected by Super Typhoon Karding (Noru) were reconnected within 2 weeks, the remainder of which were reconnected after due to lack of commercial power. All of affected enterprise customers were reconnected within 1 week. Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae) had less impact on the Company’s infrastructure but restoration efforts were still fast. More than 80% of residential subscribers have been reconnected within one week and 100% of enterprise customers have been reconnected within 3 days. These were vast improvements on our restoration efforts after Super Typhoon Odette (Rai) where approximately 60% of affected residential customers were only reconnected after two months and enterprise customers were only restored fully after one month.


The Company will continue to improve its disaster preparedness and recovery programs to ensure service interruption is minimal on the event of a calamity, including network infrastructure redundancy. Converge is also employing natural catastrophe and climate modelling to better understand potential risks and impacts of natural disasters and climate change, and how best to prepare for them.


Best regards,

We will triumph with the help of God who will trample down all our foes.(Psalm 108:14)

Follow me on my social media

#convergeictsolution #technologu #pandemic #covid19 #mommyblogger #cebublogger

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