Latest offers on goods and services, business advice, tips, resources and trending stories brought to you by Filipino Live

Rotary Club of Makati West and Rotary Club of Manila hold 2nd joint meeting in 2020

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez (3rd from left) is joined at the presidential table by RCMW President Eric B. Tensuan (center), RCM President Jackie Rodriguez (3rd from left); as well as (L-R) RCMW Secretary Franco del Rosario; RCMW Past District Governor Tony Rufino; RCMW Past President Junvee Vital, and Rotarian Cons Robertz.

The Rotary Club of Makati West (RCMW) and the Rotary Club of Manila (RCM) held Thursday its second joint meeting for the year with no other than Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III as guest of honor and speaker. The joint meeting held at the Philamlife Tower in Makati was jampacked with RCMW President Eric B. Tensuan and RCM President Jackie Rodriguez leading the roster of attendees from the two distinguished rotary clubs.
A fellow Rotarian, Sec. Dominguez presented the “Status of Tax Reform and its Impact on Both Small and Large Domestic and International Businesses.” He expressed confidence that the Congress could pass this year the remaining packages of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP), which he considers a “foundational plank” of the government’s socioeconomic agenda, and an indispensable element in bankrolling its priority programs.
Package 2 of the CTRP – the proposed Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) – aims to gradually lower the corporate income tax to 20% from the current 30%, as well as rationalize the fiscal incentives system to create a level playing field especially for new businesses.
“The sooner Congress passes the bill, the quicker potential investors will discard their wait-and-see attitude and bring more business to the country. This will have incalculable benefits for our economic growth,” Dominguez said.
The two rotary clubs held their first joint meeting for 2020 on 9 January with BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno as their guest of honor and speaker.

A devoted mother, a compassionate leader

‘Mompreneur’ Monica San Gabriel on making smart decisions and choices in life

In an interview with BusinessWorld, Bag Tag Inc. President, Founder and Product Developer Monica San Gabriel was asked how she’s been handling stress given all the tasks on her shoulders. “Count one to 10,” she replied in jest. After a short pause, she blithely added: “I just drink, because if you keep complaining, it will attract negativity.”
From the way she answers a serious question and turns each conversation in a very casual tone, one can already figure out how Ms. San Gabriel is taking life lightheartedly. For whatever roles she plays — from taking good care of her family to managing a bag tag empire — this ‘mompreneur’ manages to enjoy what life has to offer by coming up with smart decisions and choices.
A HUMBLE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEYIt was in 2001 when Ms. San Gabriel, together with her husband, started a luggage label empire. They merely started selling PVC bag tags in bazaars until a local airport offered them some retail space, which paved the way for shopping giants to notice their humble business.
For Ms. San Gabriel, venturing into a bag tag business is a smart choice since it caters to a broad spectrum of market. “We really saw its potential since everybody has a bag that you have to mark as yours. So, it’s not just for traveling, it’s also for school, work or gym,” she said.
At present, Bag Tag has nine stores located in shopping malls across Metro Manila, including SM Megamall where it has two branches. Its product offerings expanded to embroidered and leather bag tags, urban straps, luggage wraps and traveling accessories, among others.

According to Ms. San Gabriel, the success of Bag Tag has helped them fund their children’s education and meet some of the expenses of the family at home.
LEADING WITH A NOBLE HEARTMs. San Gabriel actually comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her family has been involved in different ventures including dermcare, hair care, and F&B. In fact, she considered her interest in running a business as something she acquired from her dad.
“My dad molded us to be an entrepreneur. So he started with restaurants, and then he got into skin care and hair care. From there, he taught us lot of things in business,” she said. “Up to now, we consult him for business decisions or plans.”
Even her sympathetic approach in leadership, particularly in managing a team of 20 people scattered all across production, marketing and sales, is something she obtained from her dad.
“I don’t get mad. Si daddy kasi malumanay lang (My dad is soft-spoken),” she said. “Positive vibes only, chill. I don’t allow myself to be stressed.”
LIVING A WELL-BALANCED LIFEAside from Ms. San Gabriel’s carefree demeanor, what’s fascinating about her is how she attains work-life balance in the form of pastimes that enrich her and keep her fulfilled.
Reading and drinking alcoholic beverages are some of her guilty pleasures, as she shared. She even professed to having a 25-book target by year’s end. When she’s not out drinking with her friends, on the other hand, she just stays on her balcony and enjoys a bottle or two at night – a moment that she considers as her “me time.”
Despite juggling tasks between being an entrepreneur and a mom-of-three, Ms. San Gabriel is still able to take leisure seriously. She still finds her way to simply sit back and watch her favorite shows on Netflix and HBO, as well as share time with her family over dinner. From time to time, she also joins her husband in biking around the country. And just recently, she took the responsibility of being a judge secretary in the girl’s gymnastics division in the recent Southeast Asian Games, an obvious consideration given her experience judging meets in the past.
MAKING A SWITCHConsidering all the duties and responsibilities that her roles demand, it is truly essential for Ms. San Gabriel to take good care of her wellbeing by embracing some lifestyle shifts that allows her the habitual pleasure she craves with less of the harm it usually brings. Her choice to adopt a smoke-free nicotine alternative, coupled with the way she gave priority to herself first, brought her closer to the proper mindset needed to face the duties her roles demand and to pursue interests that let her live her life to the fullest.
“I switched to IQOS in 2017. My friend introduced me to this heated tobacco alternative. When I went to Japan, I bought three right away-one for me, one for my brother, and one for my friend. I’ve been smoking since college and I’ve only ever quit when I’m pregnant.”
Three years later and she still feels grateful for switching to IQOS. “I no longer get smoker’s cough in the morning. There’s no more phlegm, no more smell. When I wake up I no longer feel like I have to catch my breath.”
When asked for advice to smokers, she has this to say: “Cold turkey, for me, is still the best play. It worked with my brothers as they have successfully curbed their smoking habit. But for those who can’t quit like me, it’s nice that we have less harmful alternatives available.”
Monica San Gabriel is part of a new breed of women who defy preconceived notions of who a mother or a lady boss should be. But don’t get it wrong, Monica still goes to work during the day, she makes it a point to gather her family for dinner at night, and once a month, she takes them out on trips. It’s just the way she keeps her social life buzzing, her interests nurtured, and her physical endeavors actively pursued that, all in all, makes her distinctly inspiring.

Manila Water

Government-authored new water concession agreements have not yet hit Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. Last Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte offered water companies Maynilad and Manila Water new concession agreements that do not contain provisions that are allegedly detrimental to the government and the public. In the event that Maynilad and Manila Water refuse to accept new agreements, Duterte will order the cancelation of their current water


The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) plans to build a multi-million dollar airport within the free port region itself in a bid to draw more investors and establish a so-called “Asian Crypto Valley.” In 2017, the CEZA unveiled its “Crypto Valley of Asia” project in an attempt to provide blockchain developers and cryptocurrency exchange operators with a stable and safe area to house their back-office support infrastructure. The free port

Higher Grab

Ride-hailing service Grab is likely to charge cheaper fares in February due to the expected decrease in demand after the holiday season, said its president on Thursday. Advertisement Grab Philippines President Brian Cu said that an explosion of passengers booking on their app was observed in December 2019, which contributed to a recent surge in their fare. The higher the number of people booking the spike went up. If the


Senator Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Saturday to impose tougher penalties on Grab Philippines for its alleged repeated infringements of the country’s competition rules since Uber’s departure in 2018. Announcement Previously, the PCC penalized Grab for violating the price and quality of service agreements for more than a year. After Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations in 2018, Grab was fined by the PCC for

water companies

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it is using all the necessary means with Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. to develop a new 15-year concession contract to 2037. The DOJ plans to finalize its new concession agreements with Manila Water and Maynilad by the end of December. Earlier this month, in the 1997 government concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water, the Department of

foreign investors

The Duterte administration is looking for foreign investors who care about social responsibility, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on the heels of Vice President Leni Robredo’s statement that the study of water concession deals by the government could scare off foreign investors. Robredo called for a careful review of the government’s concession deals with Maynilad and Manila Water on Sunday to protect the economy from “collateral damage.” The Vice President

Bangko Sentral

On Tuesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas launched the P20 coin to replace the currency’s banknote form. On the front side, the P20 coin holds the image of former President Manuel L. Quezon, and on the flip side, the BSP logo and the Malacañang Palace. On December 17, 2019, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas unveils newly minted 20-Piso coins (NGC) at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Executive Business Center

pilot motorcycle

Commuter groups blasted the recommendation of the Technical Working Group (TWG) Department of Transportation (DOTr) to open the expanded pilot run of motorcycle taxis to new players, saying they had not been consulted beforehand. The latest pilot run involving Angkas from DBDOYC Inc. ends on 26 December. The DOTr said it heard proposals on November 20, 2019, from motorcycle taxi companies Citimuber, JoyRide, MoveIt, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo. The ride-hailing