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Everything’s looking up in the South

Despite all of its accolades, real estate prices in Iloilo continue to be relatively lower than nearby provincial cities, which are also on the path of economic growth and modernization.

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Façade of WV Towers 1 & 2 / Photographs courtesy of B&P property group

With the new normal happening and work from home setup in place for some, Filipinos are looking for a location that they could consider as a better place to live. Here comes a refreshing and exciting prospect: city living in a provincial setting. Iloilo City fits the bill, with less congestion, less high-cost living expenses, and a more laid-back and stress-free way of life. Dubbed as “the most liveable city” in 2014, Iloilo City is high on the list when it comes to viable areas to relocate.

In 2018, Iloilo City was recognized as the number one city in terms of governance and ranked the 11th safest city in Southeast Asia. In the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Iloilo City is praised for its swift and effective measures to lower the spread of COVID-19 in the province. One of the first cities to go on strict lockdown, Iloilo City has long implemented mass testing in the city and was able to organize localized efforts to provide for its citizens during the lockdown.

Despite all of its accolades, real estate prices in Iloilo continue to be relatively lower than nearby provincial cities, which are also in the path of economic growth and modernization. With all of Iloilo’s achievements in recent years, Iloilo City now becomes truly an ideal location to reside during the new normal.

B&P Property Group (www.bandppropertygroup.com) opens the WV Towers 1 and 2, located in master-planned Mandurriao Garden Residences in Iloilo City as the newest option for safe and better living. Like other B&P developments, WV Towers has fashioned itself around the new normal, implementing amenities, features, and services that are targeted against the spread of sicknesses and viral infections, and are well-suited for the new normal.

Iloilo’s 1st Suspended Infinity Pool: Even common amenities are design for proper distancing, relaxation and entertainment.

“The reality is, real estate developments have a responsibility to adapt to the new normal. We now live in an era of staying home and staying safe,” Mr. William Bantigue, chairman of B&P Property Group said. “The concept of “home” is becoming ever more important: with this new way of life, the home is not just a place to live, but also a place to work, study, exercise, and entertain. Our developments have been more than ready in accommodating this new lifestyle. It is now not only our privilege but our duty to build homes for people where they will feel secure.”

#TheBetterPlace
WV Towers is a low-density development, with only a few units available per area space. This ensures privacy and social distancing between residents, effectively lowering community transmission. Each unit is fitted with at least one balcony to ensure proper ventilation, and compared to many condominiums, units in WV Towers are sized bigger than the average to give family members ample space.

As the new normal discourages us to spend too much time in public places, WV Towers are designed to become a haven for working — and playing — from home. All homes are internet connection ready for maximum productivity and entertainment, and amenities are designed to encourage safe enjoyment close to home: leisure amenities are well-designed to keep residents entertained, while condo and subdivision development gardens and open common areas allow for fresh air and freedom of movement.

Finally, WV Towers are also built against a background of safety for all: the property management strictly implements hygiene, sanitation and security protocols, and for emergencies and essential needs, the development is strategically-located near essential services and establishments such as hospitals, government offices, schools and churches.

#TheBetterPlace, soon to rise.

According to Corazon Nenita Pangan, B&P Property Group Director: “With WV Towers, we hope to provide what we call #TheBetterPlace: homes for Filipinos where not only will they be protected, but also where they can enjoy and love the warmth and comfort of home, despite the challenges of the new normal.”

WV Tower 1 in Iloilo is ready for turnover in February 2021, while WV Tower 2 is ready for turnover in March 2022. The B&P Group’s developments include the WV Towers 1 & 2 in Mandurriao Garden Residences Iloilo, Palm Glades Residences in Capiz, and Prosperity Heights and One Mariposa in Quezon City.

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A charming way to enjoy life

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With all the frenzy of Metro Manila, it’s no surprise that more people are looking for home solutions that will allow them to enjoy a less stressful and a higher quality of life. The urban challenges everyone has to face every day have sparked among many home buyers interest in properties immediately outside the Metro.

Major real estate developers are now rushing to develop properties in the east. Many hectares of land are being transformed into townships or mixed-use developments. With BPO companies moving closer to residential areas, more and more developments are moving toward this fast-rising real estate star.

One of the most popular alternatives now is Cainta, Rizal. It sits on the border of vibrant Pasig City. It is one of the most accessible municipalities, with major highways — Marcos Highway, Ortigas Avenue, C5 and other major roads — linking the area to Metro Manila cities. With the opening of the Laguna Lake Highway (formerly C6), traveling from Bicutan takes no more than 20 minutes nowadays.

The completion of the LRT-2 East Extension Project will be a welcome development. Expected to be inaugurated before the end of 2020, LRT-2 will be easily accessible to the residents and businesses in the area; this will further open up the east side to the rest of the metro. Other significant government infrastructure projects set to pave the way for more residential opportunities are the MRT-4 project, which is expected to be completed in 2025, and the Mega Manila Subway, the first phase of which is slated to be operational by 2022, and the succeeding phase in 2025.

With all these in place, Cainta is on its way to becoming the ultimate haven for people who want to stay away from the busy and congested streets of the Metro yet still be close to where the action is.

A charmed investment

One of the most sought-after developments now is Charm Residences, SM Development Corporation’s first project in the east. The project is located very close to major business districts — bustling Ortigas, happening Eastwood City and university-lined Katipunan. Major schools and universities, malls and commercial centers and top-tier businesses surround Charm Residences.

Investing in this property is sure to be very rewarding, whether it is rented out or used as a home for young professionals or a growing family. Charm Residences has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 13% since its launching in 2017.

Set to be partially turned over in 2022, Charm Residences is ideal for those who are looking for an attainable and smart investment, in an area that is already showing a lot of real estate potential. For a reservation fee of only P15,000, one can avail himself of a flexible stretched payment term of up to 55 months.

A charming community, inside and out

Charm Residences is a residential condominium project that promotes modern living in a very relaxed, resort-like way. One can expect the conveniences of condominium dwelling
— including professional property management — and at the same time enjoy the wide open spaces and well-appointed amenities for play and relaxation that are found in gated subdivisions.
Charm Residences’ seven 10-level, mid-rise towers offer six landscaped swimming pools for all ages, pocket gardens, children’s play area, a covered basketball court, a wellness nook and SMDC’s trademark hotel-like lobbies. They feature two-bedroom units with layouts that will surely suit the modern homeowner’s needs for practicality and functionality. The mall that will be constructed right within the complex will provide its residents and their guests with ultimate convenience.

As charming and as luxurious as it is, Charm Residences is also one of the safest communities. It has 24/7 security, a central security system with CCTV cameras placed in strategic locations, high-speed elevators and 100 percent back-up power in all common areas.
This home will provide quality living in the most charming way.

For more information on Charm Residences, visit https://smdc.com/properties/charm-residences/

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Renter, time to get insurance

Francine M. Marquez

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MALAYAN’S insurance coverage is ideal for people renting or subletting a single-family home, apartment, duplex, condominium, studio, loft or townhouse who want insurance for varying periods of time. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF grovemade/UNSPLASH

Used to be, when it came to safety and insurance, home and condo renters would think of securing health insurance for themselves. But not for non-life because the presumption is they don’t own the property anyway.

And when one reflects on it, the furnishings, artworks and equipment one brought in, the important documents one keeps are all worthy of insurance in case — heaven forbid — natural disasters and accidents damage our hard-earned personal belongings and worse, our lives.

This year and especially due to the global pandemic, lifestyles and the function of dwelling areas have impacted the insurance industry and moved companies to be more agile and adaptable in offering products that would really be essential now more than ever.

securing one’s future by investing in both life and non-life insurance could lessen the stress of “what ifs.”
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF minh pham/UNSPLASH

Insurance for tenants
Malayan Insurance Co. Inc, one of the country’s top non-life insurance firms, has just introduced a new product called Renter’s Protect, which provides insurance coverage of up to P1 million for the lives of renters and their personal belongings.

The product is designed for co-living space renters and condominium/apartment lessees and is available for a period of three, six or 12 months. Insurance buyers may opt for the short-term, mid-term or the annual-term premium plan.

At least, that’s one less worry for non-homeowners who want to feel financially secure in the midst of the economic shock and struggles everyone is going through at various levels. The product is ideal for those renting or subletting a single-family home, apartment, duplex, condominium, studio, loft or townhouse who want insurance for varying periods of time.

Nadia Forte, Renter’s Protect product manager, in an interview with Daily Tribune, explained the importance of getting insurance during this uncertain time: “Since there is a health crisis, people should be aware that they should have an insurance.”

“Although we are not offering health insurance, at least you are covered by personal accident of P1 million. At least they are insured, by offering them personal accident insurance with medical reimbursement, burial expense, murder and unprovoked assault, due to death or disability.”

“Another reason is that Malayan Insurance created this kind of insurance for those people who can’t afford a one-year coverage. It is as needed. We created a product, that based on our current scenario or the pandemic, most people don’t have a fixed or regular income, so we created a fixed short-term cover.”

 

function of dwelling areas have impacted the insurance industry and moved companies to be more agile and adaptable in offering essential products.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ANDREA DAVIS/UNSPLASH

Package cost
In consideration of the ongoing financial difficulties and because the coverage doesn’t really cover the entire property itself, the price of Renter’s Protection is reasonable.

Plan 500, a short-term premium plan (three months coverage), costs only P525, which translates to P175 per month or just P5 per day. For the mid-term premium plan (six months), the cost is only P785. This translates to P130 per month or P4 a day. For the annual-term premium plan (12 months), policy buyers need only to shell out P1,045. This translates to P87 per month or P3 a day.

For Plan 1 Million: Short-term premium plan is at P995; mid-term premium plan is at P1,500; and annual-term premium plan is at P1,990.

Cash assistance
Renter’s Protect provides fire cash assistance, personal accident (PA) coverage, comprehensive personal liability (CPL), murder and unprovoked assault coverage, as well as burglary and housebreaking assistance to policyholders.

The fire cash assistance protects the renter’s belongings and personal effects in case of fire in the property being leased. The personal accident, meanwhile, covers the assured against accidents or unforeseen events that lead to fatalities, injury, disability or dismemberment.

It’s surely a big help to homeowners, condo and apartment dwellers especially since standard building fire insurance don’t really cover the personal belongings of renters. With pandemic conditions still volatile, securing one’s future by investing in both life and non-life insurance could lessen the stress of “what ifs” and give homeowners and renters something tangible to hang on to after a loss.

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Ethical fashion

Pauline Songco

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After years of appeals from animal rights activists, PVH Corporation (formerly known as the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation), the mother company of fashion brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, has lobbied to ban exotic animal leather on its products as the industry slowly moves to make fashion more forward.

In a statement addressed to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Hilfiger said: “At Tommy Hilfiger, we’re committed to creating a better fashion industry by creating fashion that ‘Wastes Nothing and Welcomes All.’ We have always and will always take the environment, human rights, our community and related matters very seriously, which is why we don’t use fur or exotic skins in any of our collections. Together, we can drive fashion forward.”

PVH now joins other fashion brands Chanel, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers, Victoria Beckham, Jil Sander, Diane von Furstenberg and Vivienne Westwood which have banned the use of exotic animal fur in its clothing products.

TRAINING dogs to sniff out COVID-19 samples.
SCREENGRAB FROM ANNA HIELM-BJÖRKMAN

COVID-19 sniffers
Dogs involved in a research program conducted by professor AnnaHielm-Bjorkman of the University of Helsinki in Finland have already started working to detect COVID-19 at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport last week. Four dogs are currently working out of the 10 being trained under the program, the university said.

Instead of dogs personally sniffing the passengers, they are to smell the beakers containing wipes the passengers had rubbed unto their skin. The dogs then will react if it detects the coronavirus by either pawing, lying down or yelping. But the passengers will still be asked to take a free nasal swab test to verify results.

This undertaking marks the first in Europe as the Dubai International Airport was the first to have done trials for COVID-19 dog sniffing for last month. While these trials show promising signs, I should say that further research should be done to prove its efficacy.

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Weekend market inspires community spirit

Vernon Velasco

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Necessity and, of course, a lot of creative thinking are what allow social enterprises to thrive in a local community. At Primehomes, Capitol Hills, the challenge is simple: In a pandemic, where everybody is encouraged to stay home, how would it keep its residents safe and its community closer?
The property has spaces, and so its officers asked, “What can we build here?”

A weekend neighborhood market is basic — and timely. In lean times, especially the ones that compel people to be very skeptical about the people they rub elbows with, shoppers don’t just pinch pennies when making a run to superstores and wet markets. They now proceed with a copious degree of caution, say, when buying a jar of hummus somewhere within a convenient driving distance or, because one can’t wait for the pandemic to end, when driving across town to try a new roast beef sandwich.

The rationale is basic: A weekend market that moves its 257 residents of reasons to stay home, that becomes meaningful when it acquaints people in a community and adds a dash of flavor to the neighborhood.

Larossa’s neighborhood market is on a space the size of a premium parking area. Its 14 vendors and owners of independent businesses — all of them Larossa unit owners — deck their shelves with well-curated basic and essential choices.

Products at the Larossa weekend market awaiting neighborhood patronage aren’t remiss in telling their sustainability-minded brand story.

 

Kape Cordi, for instance, simply dreams of offering better coffee options other than the instant ones.

“We’re reselling some of the products from the Baguio, where we’re from, specifically coffee. Baguio coffee is underrated, which is why we resell to inform our customers in Larossa so that they shift from instant to brewed coffee, especially now that everybody has the time,” Che Grabador said. “Before, this was an online thing that we made during the enhanced community quarantine, and we’re thankful to Larossa because we’re not just able to earn more, we’re also able to make people support local especially on things they can do on our own, like coffee.”

Another vendor, Anikka Palaganas, said that, through the Larossa weekend market, they’re able to bring to the fore Pangasinan’s lesser-known, but best-in-the-world atchara or papaya relish.

“We take pride in the fact that they’re healthy. We noticed that there’s a lack of authentic Pangasinan food here so we wanted to bring the delicacies from Pangasinan to Quezon City,” she said.

 

Noriza Sadie, who owns a farm in Pampanga and the farm-to-table business venture Farmiza, said her business model fits Primehomes community-supported initiative, saying that Farmiza, like the Larossa weekend market, capitalizes on the time-honored connection between the consumer and the grower. Farmiza added that this paves the way for better customer service and helps in not just giving the neighbor/customers fresh local produce, but insights into their processes as well.

 

Sadie said putting up a store in the Larossa weekend market doesn’t require a participation fee, and thus it helps them find another source of income.

“I’m really grateful to Primehomes because they’re not just very patient understanding the situation of their unit owners, they also gave us a means of income,” Maritess Sagaran, a Batangas fresh-eggs supplier, said. “We are able to secure a community of customers and market built on connection and trust.

“We follow guidelines when it comes to the setup, such as sanitation installations and registrations. In other weekend markets they have the participant fee. Here, it’s free because we encourage ‘community,’” head of Primehomes Property Management Department, Architect Juris Valencia said. “All our vendors’ products are premium and local. We support local because, who else, in this pandemic, would?”

To inquire about Primehomes, Capitol Hills, visit www.primehomes.com.ph.

The Larossa weekend market that divests its residents reasons to go out also acquaints people in the community and adds to it a dash of flavor.
PHOTOGRAPH BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

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Century to finish 2,000 condos by early 2021

Raffy Ayeng

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Century Properties Group is geared to build around 500 units at The Residences at Commonwealth in Quezon City. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CENTURY PROPERTIES GROUP

Since construction firms were given the greenlight to resume operations after six months of lockdown, listed Century Properties Group (CPG) has announced the ramping up of construction activities, targeting to complete about 2,101 condo units by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

In a statement, CPG said they are geared to build around 500 units at The Residences at Commonwealth in Quezon City by the end of 2020, assuming that Metro Manila lockdowns will continue to ease in the coming weeks.

The units set to be completed are in Quirino East and West Towers, the sixth and seventh buildings respectively, in the eight-tower residential community.

The first five towers (Osmena West, Roxas East, Quezon North, Osmena East, Roxas West) are complete, while the Clubhouse has been fully operational since April 2019, while the lap pool, kiddie pool and outdoor play area for kids were completed in the first quarter of 2020.

The CPG is also targeting the completion of 1,600 more units by in batches from February 2021 to April 2021 in Bali and Monaco towers at the Residences at Azure North in San Fernando, Pampanga.

 

AMENITIES, such as the Club House and the Wave Pool, are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.

While its amenities, such as the Club House and the Wave Pool, are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021,” the statement read.

According to CPG president and CEO Marco Antonio, CPG is increasing this progressively as it observes strict safety protocols in its project sites and manage completion timelines to deliver the units to buyers, while the current construction pace and number of workers are less than pre-quarantine levels.

Meanwhile, at the mixed-use development Century Spire at Century City in Makati, Antonio said construction has reached top off levels and façade glass installation has reached the 29th floor.

“The office and condominium tower, designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is being installed with 33,594 square meters of unitized and semi-unitized curtain wall system with insulated glass units, and a storefront curtain wall system with glass canopies at the ground floor,” said Antonio.

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A steam a day keeps the virus away

Louise Lizan

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF LAZADA AND PHILIPS.COM

It’s safe to assume that the ongoing health crisis has heightened everyone’s concerns on keeping their belongings extra clean and sanitized — from doorknobs, countertops, to (online purchases that are yet to arrive) and everything in-between. Most people have gotten their hands on various disinfecting materials and gone through different cleaning solutions to kill a virus that can live on surfaces for 48 hours and reduce the spread of the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, most viruses can be killed in temperatures between 140°F to 150°F — this is how putting food in boiling water or sterilizing utensils after cleaning or steaming clothes and fabrics as a way of disinfecting comes in, given that the temperature is hot enough that the virus couldn’t thrive.

Typically, as said in an article in sylvane.com, steaming can disinfect and kill 99 percent of germs, viruses and bacteria, given that it’s under three minutes of contact at a temperature between 175°F to 212°F. Especially on clothes, which touches surfaces frequented by a lot of people, steaming can be the next best alternative, after washing it with detergent and soap, to make sure they’re 100 percent virus-free.

Two-in-one
For double efficiency, the Steam II Q Iron has the power of a hot-plate iron and a steamer in its possession. It works not only to eliminate germs and bacteria on clothes but also pillows, bed linens and curtains. It’s easy to navigate with its freestyle steaming function, allowing the consumers to move freely in any direction and position.

The Steam II Q Iron is available for an affordable price of P1,495 at www.lazada.com.ph/products/steam-q-ii-iron-i349458237-s788826360.html?spm=a2o4l.searchlist.list.3.688743901CoaQ6&search=1.

Hang and steam
It’s as simple as hang and steam with the Philips EasyTouch Plus, especially with its integrated adjustable pole and special garment hanger that easily holds shirts, dresses, whatever piece of clothing ready for steaming, usually used in malls and boutiques. It comes with five steaming levels for every fabric, equipped with a 25 percent larger steam plate for wider coverage, compared to those of preceding models — all this for P12,495.

The Philips EasyTouch Plus is available at www.philips.com.ph/c-p/GC524_69/easytouch-plus-garment-steamer.

Philips Steam&Go.

Simple touch
To avoid the hassle of whipping up an ironing board, handheld garment steamers save people from all the work. For the quickest removal of creases with continuous steaming, the Philips Steam&Go is the solution to all woes on the crease on clothes after wash. It’s safe to use on all garments, including delicate fabrics such as silk, coming with a brush accessory that can penetrate through thicker fabrics.

Only for P5,495, the Philips Steam&Go is readily up for grabs at www.philips.com.ph/c-p/GC320_05/steam-go-handheld-garment-steamer.

Philips EasyTouch Plus.

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Revamp your urban sanctuary

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Designed for lively dinnertime conversation and post-meal lingering, Crate&Barrel’s Ofelia dining chair indulges with comfy cushioning and plush velvet upholstery. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF CRATE AND BARREL

Just because health is the priority in fighting the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make your home beautiful. With clunky disinfection spaces as the now normal, staying at home to keep safe has no doubt inspired home buyers to reflect on how to make one’s dwelling space even more comfortable and enticing to stay put in for, who knows, maybe another six months of quarantine.

Leading premium home furnishings specialty retailer Crate&Barrel recently launched its Fall collection highlighting new styles that inspire self-expression among home owners:

Modern PrairieAn update on the aesthetic of the Prairie School of Architects. Be at home with nature, embrace every crafted detail, earthy texture and wooded view in this homage to American craftsmanship. Warm woods and natural materials showcase exquisite quality and craft in this collection.

Urban Retreat Poetic and serene, create an urban retreat where luxury is in the details. You’ll appreciate its soft textures, colored washed hues, sustainable materials and warm silhouettes. Balanced, personal and blissfully relaxed.

 

Brayton Metal Hurricane Lamps are inspired by a fallen birch tree, create intriguing shadows and a gleaming glow.

New Deco Bold and glam, every piece in this collection is a statement piece.

Trove Energizing colors and striking silhouettes give the modern space a Danish touch. Pieces are flexible, modular and maximize style and function in small or impermanent spaces.

Make your modern quarters an inspired space — not just safe and functional — with Crate and Barrel’s new collections, available at their stores located at SM Aura Premier, SM Makati and SM Megamall. For contactless shopping, order by phone: SM Aura Premier at 09178895667; SM Makati at 09175833573; SM Megamall, 09178704796.

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Pampering pets during grooming time

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GIVE the same love and care to your beloved furbabies through proper grooming.

For fur parents, the love and fondness they have for their fur babies go beyond the latter’s looks and distinct smell. So besides spoiling them with treats and teaching them new tricks, owners practice responsible pet parenting by keeping their furry friends safe and cared for.

One of the ways they prioritize their pets’ welfare is by ensuring the latter are always well-groomed. Although certain limitations are barring people from visiting pet grooming salons, there are ways in which they can keep their pets looking sharp and smelling great, even if they’re just staying at home.

Here are some tips dog owners can do to keep their furry friends well-groomed:

Determine their breed. Understand the level of grooming pets would need to help them feel better. According to TopBreed ambassador Dr. Nielsen Donato there are long-haired breeds that need more frequent grooming. There are also dogs with long ears that need more frequent ear cleaning compared to those with erect ears. Ask a vet to know more details.

Practice healthy dog bathing habits. Since the Philippines is a tropical country, the heat can sometimes get really harsh. This can lead to dogs’ glands secreting too much oil, which causes them to feel icky and uncomfortable. To check up on this, one can stroke their dog’s fur and see if there is dust clinging onto it. If such is the case, bathing them once a week with warm water can do the trick. If your dog is of a bigger breed and is prone to heatstroke, bathe them with cooler water instead.

According to Dr. Nielsen Donato, the ideal time to bathe your dogs is during the morning at around 9 to 10 a.m. Regular baths should last for about 15 to 20 minutes starting from the shoulders, then slowly moving on to the back. For the head, it is good to use a wet towel or a sponge. Dogs with erect ears may feel irritated when water gets inside their ears. Apply dog shampoo with slow, gentle strokes, making sure to keep shampoo from getting into pets’ eyes.

Let your pets get used to being groomed by their fur parents. They can try giving them treats when they follow through the bathing area, but if the nervousness of pets persists, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or a trusted pet groomer.

Choose the right shampoo. There are multiple ways owners can keep their dog’s fur shiny and healthy. This can be achieved by keeping them stress-free, maintaining their good hygiene, giving them fish oil for essential fatty acids, and using a shampoo suitable for them. One important tip when choosing a pet shampoo is to veer away from those with strong scents.

TopBreed’s ShamPooch has a mild citrus lavender scent that pets will surely love. Made from organic ingredients friendly for dogs, ShamPooch has madre de cacao and neem extracts, which have antibacterial and antiparasitic properties, and Organic Glycerin that helps moisturize and nourish their skin. It also has Organic Keratin, which revives and protects the smoothness of the dog coat.

Get expert assistance. While it can be exciting to unlock a new skill and learn how to groom a pet on their own, pet owners might find some parts of the grooming routine daunting. When in doubt, entrust complex tasks such as nail trimming and oral grooming to the experts to ensure safety. A pet’s physical well-being can affect their emotional stability. So, fur parents, ensure that your fur babies stay well-groomed and happy!

TopBreed is a pet care brand from Universal Robina Corporation’s (URC) Robina Agri Partners. Aside from ShamPooch, TopBreed also offers dog and puppy meals. To learn more about URC and TopBreed, visit its Facebook pages, @URCPhilippines and @TopBreedDogMeal.

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Luxury quarantine

Pauline Songco

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RICHMONDE Hotel in Eastwood. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF RICHMONDE HOTELS

To further curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the government designated hotel properties as safe temporary quarantine facilities for returning travelers and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). If hotels were often booked for leisure, times have changed as they now serve medical frontliners and returning travelers.

All returning travelers and OFW who are required to attend a briefing upon arriving at the Philippines will be asked to proceed to a Department of Tourism (DoT) and Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) approved hotel for their mandatory 14-day quarantine. These accredited facilities are classified into two types, a stringent quarantine facility (required for all passengers coming from a ‘high-risk’ area or high-risk vessel as identified by the WHO) and mandatory quarantine facility (for all other arriving passengers).

These accredited covered accommodation establishments (CAE), as stated in the Administrative Order 2020-001-B, shall operate only to provide basic accommodation services to guests. For this purpose, room service shall not be allowed, daily housekeeping shall not be implemented (cleaning and sanitation of rooms shall be conducted only as necessary), only a skeleton workforce or a number of personnel as may be required to provide basic services to guests shall be retained; and ancillary establishments within the premises, such as restaurants, cafés, bars, gaming areas and the like shall not be allowed to operate; provided that CAE may prepare and distribute packed meals for guests who opt for the same.

 

HOLIDAY Inn Express Manila in Newport City.

Some of the hotels appointed by the DoT and BoQ as mandatory quarantine facilities are Ascott (BGC), Century Park Hotel Manila and Richmonde Hotel (Eastwood). Appointed facilities for stringent quarantine are Manila Hotel, Rizal Park Hotel, The Bayleaf Intramuros, Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Belmont Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Conrad Manila, Sheraton Manila, Diamond Hotel and Ascott Makati.

There are also some hotels that reopened for dine-in services only. Some of them are Grand Hyatt Manila, Manila Peninsula, Shangri-La, The Fort and Raffles Makati. In their operations, these covered accommodation establishments shall ensure that social distancing measures under the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated 13 March are observed. Meanwhile, Sofitel Manila’s Spiral restaurant will reopen in October.

The hotels are strongly encouraged to provide the lowest possible rates to guests, especially to OFW and employees from neighboring basic establishments. Some of these spaces include COVID-19 tests in its rates like hotels in Resorts World Manila and Richmonde in Iloilo.

BELMONT Hotel Manila.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF RWM

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