Doing my part to promote local businesses


Could we collectively agree to not add a year to our ages, since our 2020 birthdays are not fully maximized? Better yet, can we get a restart to the year, but this time with all the needed vaccines and immunology treatments so that we are prepared for the pandemic?

Starting the second half of the year with a continuation of the anxiety, fear and confusion of the first half is a challenge. I am looking into how to find my new purpose and fulfillment given all the uncertainty. Now that my schedule is no longer busy, and life’s other distractions have been cleared away, I can refocus on the journey ahead.

As they say, when one door shuts, another will open! Last week, we piloted our first live, online show, “Business As Usual with Tessa,” together with DigistarPH and Go Negosyo. DigistarPH is a digital marketing company that houses top online personalities in Philippines, like Regine Velasquez, Vern and Verniece Enciso, Richard Juan, Lauren Reid and many others.

With our main objective to help local businesses, “Business As Usual” is aired live every Friday at 5 p.m. on the Go Negosyo Facebook page. We tackle everything about business and share insights from guests from different industries. Viewers of the show will also be given a chance to ask questions. Through our segment “Tessa recommends,” we promote a local business that is truly world-class Pinoy!

For our first episode, we invited Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, who mainly shared the “Go Negosyo Project ARK,” and the incredible support the private sector is giving to fight this pandemic. Project ARK’s next action is to focus on Cebu City, as it is emerging as a likely hot spot of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Wilcon Depot founder William Belo was one among many who attended the virtual meeting to support Project ARK and bring more rapid tests to Cebu. As of today, Project ARK is in 40 cities and 13 provinces.

60th store

Wilcon Depot, the Philippines’ leading home improvement and construction supply retailer, successfully opened its 60th retail store nationwide in Calumpit town, Bulacan province, last week.

I am so impressed with this company as it continues to grow even during these trying times. Wilcon now has 60 stores nationwide, 16 branches of which are in Metro Manila, with 44 stores in key cities and municipalities around Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. As the company seeks to grow its network, Wilcon is projected to expand its footprint by having 100 operational stores by 2025 with its #FlyingHighTo100 store expansion campaign.

Serving as a provider of the most extensive product selection of trusted local and international brands with high-grade features and superior quality, Wilcon carries a wide array of products ranging from tiles, sanitary wares, plumbing, furniture, home interiors and building materials, to hardware, electrical, appliances and other DIY (do-it-yourself) items.

Wilcon Depot president and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan and COO Rosemarie B. Ong, together with the government officials of Bulacan, Gov. Daniel Fernando, Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus and Vice Mayor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, were present during the store opening.

Wilcon also started its online shopping with Browse, Call, and Collect/Deliver feature. This new shopping option allows customers to shop for their home improvement and building needs through browsing online in Wilcon’s website or online shop to find the products they want to purchase. Wilcon offers different online payment channels like bank transfers, GCash, PayMaya, Instapay, PesoNet, WeChat and Alipay for customers’ convenience.

Like most retailers, Wilcon continuously implements necessary precautionary measures in all of its stores, including temperature-screening protocol upon entry, provision of sanitizing shoe baths, strict implementation of no-mask-no-entry policy, and provision of hand sanitizers and alcohol throughout their stores. Maintaining proper social distancing is also observed. Wilcon stores also undergo additional precautionary measures through regular cleaning and sanitation, provision of gloves and face shields to employees and installation of safety partitions in face-to-face transaction areas.

Mind and body

Apart from being the first day of the second half of each year, July 1 is extra special to me because it is also the birthday of my hubby Dennis. The year 2020 has been a busy and exciting year as he started working for Alphaland just before the quarantine.

Dennis tells me that he is focused on the Aegle Wellness Center, which is a medical facility that looks at health for both mind and body in a holistic way that combines Western medical practices and more alternative procedures. Aegle has come up with a Serenity Series, combining mind plus body in a three-day, two-night experience at their facility on Balesin Island.

The first Serenity Series weekend combines Tai Chi, that traditional Chinese practice that improves strength, flexibility and balance, with Aegle’s more well known IV Immune Boosts, which help us combat viruses and other body malaise. Tai Chi instructor Jo Anonas starts off on July 17 to 19. (Those interested simply need to email or call 87370077.)

I am particularly interested in the second Serenity Series weekend on July 31 to Aug. 2, as the resource person for that one is my good friend Rosan Cruz, who will do a Kundalini Yoga plus Aegle treatments combination. For that weekend, I have invited our #tropAfrica gang with eventologist Tim Yap and restaurateur Malu Gamboa to all join Rosan for a wellness weekend in Balesin Island.

This early, Dennis and I are planning to do a scuba dive around the island and then try out Aegle’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, which will infuse oxygen under high pressure into our tissues, thus purging the residual nitrogen from the dive. It’s the best way to get back to 100 percent after a cold scuba dive!

Joey Concepcion, Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, Henry Lim Bon Liong and William Belo
“Business As Usual” on Go Negosyo Facebook page
Stephen and Ronna Sieh, Dennis and Tessa Valdes, Roberto Ongpin, Julian Ongpin, Michelle and Frank Callaghan
Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, TV host Bianca Gonzalez, Dr. Vicki Belo-Kho, Sea Princess, Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat, Georgina Wilson-Burnand, Glenda Victorio and Alice Eduardo at Women of Style & Substance last February
(From left) Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus, Wilcon Depot president and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando, Wilcon Depot SEVP-COO Rosemarie Bosch-Ong and Calumpit Vice Mayor Victor de Belen during the ribbon-cutting for Wilcon’s newest store in Barangay Pio Cruzcosa, Calumpit town, Bulacan province
Beautiful sunset at Balesin Island Club

Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram.

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