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greenurban

There is a looming waste management crisis in Metro Manila and if we do not do something about it now, one day when we wake up, we will find trash rotting at our doorsteps.

The best action is of course to reduce the production of waste. When that cannot be done, the next approach is to reuse or recycle the materials that we do not need any more. Many residents in the Fort are environmental conscious, but lack the information about the places that support recycling.

This blog is prepared by the Green Urban Network, a residents' group based in Bonifacio Global City, as a resource page for residents in the Fort who care about the environment.

Places to Recycle

In most buildings in the Fort, there is no proper garbage separation facilities. Thus, materials that, if kept clean and dry, could have been recycled are instead being transported to the landfills. Luckily, there are places in the Fort that we can bring our used items to, so that less goes into the landfill.

Plastics and Paper

1. SM Aura Premier

Materials to recycle: cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, metallic cookware

Collection point: "Trash for Cash" project, basement 1 of SM Aura Premier, first Friday and Saturday of each month during mall hours (not 8am to 2pm as shown in the banner). 

They pay a small amount for the materials accepted for recycling, such as 5 pesos per kilogram of plastic water bottles, 2 pesos for each kg of cardboard and so on.

They also collect Eco-Bricks, which are plastic bottles stuffed with shredded plastic wrappers and packaging that will be used as construction materials.

Next collections:

November 1 and 2, December 6 and 7, and subsequent first Friday and Saturday of each month.


2. R.O.X.

Materials to recycle: plastic wrappers and packaging materials. They need to be stuffed into used plastic bottles for use as Eco-bricks.


R.O.X. has a collection box for Eco-Bricks. SM Aura Premier Mall also collects Eco-Bricks on the first Friday and Saturday of each month. 


Clothes recycling

2. H&M store at Uptown Mall

Matierials accepted: H&M Foundation accepts clothings of all makes, not just their own.

Collection point: H&M at ground floor, Uptown Mall.


Printer cartridge


3. Canon at 4th floor of SM Aura accepts empty ink cartridges of their own brand.

4. Brother at Marajo Tower, 26th Street, BGC, takes back empty toner and other printer consumables from their printers.


Tetrapak recycling

5. Collection point is in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's Bistro at 26th Street. See featured photo.


General Household items

6. Segunda Mana at 2nd floor of Market!Market! mall.

Segunda Mana accepts the following items:

– OLD ITEMS that can still be used

– USED ITEMS that still have value

– NEW ITEMS

– OLD STOCKS and NON-MOVING INVENTORIES

They will resell the items and then use the proceeds to fund their charitable projects.

For inquiries and scheduling of pick up of the items you want to donate, you may call them at (632) 564-0205 to 562-0020 to 25 or email them at segunda_mana@yahoo.com.


Schools that facilitate recycling

Many schools in the Fort have set up mechanisms for students to practice recycling.

For example, Chinese International School Manila at McKinley Hill accepts clean and empty tetrapaks, plastic bottles, and cardboards. Plastics will go to Plastic Flamingo and Unilever. Paper and metal wastes will be given to Tsu Chi for recycling.

British School Manila has a Green Team After School Club. They collect and sort clean plastic for shredding, melting, sanding and these are made into new products. Email: communications@britishschoolmanila.org if you want to give them cleaned plastics.

If you have friends whose kids go to such schools, you may be able to give them your clean and dry empty tetrapaks, plastic bottles, paper and cardboards.


Visit the Facebook page of the Green Urban Network to participate in the discussion or work for a green environment.




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Memorable Events
newbie

I blogged about my encounter with the author of Nas Daily (Nuseir Yassin) two and a half years ago, after I accidentally attended his meetup with fans in Bonifacio High Street. Read it here.

This time, I was invited to meet with him as one of the media people at the press con held just before his latest Philippine meetup at SM Aura Premier Mall's spacious Samsung Hall.


Photo above: James Deakin was the host and Alyne Tamir tossed out mini pillows to work up the crowd

In fact, there were so many people who wanted to attend the meet up that the organizer decided to split the two-hour meetup into two sessions, each for a group of about six hundred people.

Photo above: Nas received a portrait of himself from a fan

Same

Same as two and a half years ago, Nas was friendly, straight-talking and humble. Many questions asked were also the same as those asked before, and the answers mostly remained the same, like when did he start Nas Daily (2015), where he got his inspirations (from the people he meets).


Different

Two and a half years ago, he had 3 million followers on the social media. This time, he has 13 million. More people went to his meet up.

Last time, he was the only speaker. This time, his two travel companions, Agon Hare and Alyne Tamir (Nas' girl friend), also answered questions and interacted with the crowd.


Funny and awkward moments

One fan asked Nas when he was going to get married. He said probably never, in the full presence of his girl friend. Then the fan asked them to 'kiss'. Alyne thought the fan said 'kids', and jokingly replied, 'there is so much work just handling friends like you guys..'. They eventually did a peck in the cheek. 

Another fan complimented Nas: "I really liked your video on Iran." Nas looked puzzled. "I never went to Iran." The other fans suggested that he meant North Korea.


Photo above: Nas' tongue needs air after too many interviews. He actually has updated his T-shirt. Last time he was here, the shirt says 32%. Quiz: Since the number has increased by 4% in 2.5 year, what his life expectancy is?

Serious moments

Nas explained why he came back to the Philippines. He was invited by the Department of Tourism to do another video on the Philippines. He decided to do one about efforts being made to reverse the environment damage done to the Philippines so that it will become cleaner and more beautiful. As he mentioned in his first visit, he does not see himself as a travel blogger.

A fan asked Nas whether he would consider slowing down. Nas answered that he told himself that he would probably only live to 40 years old, and this thought made him determined to get a lot done every day. He replied that the fan should consider picking up the pace of his life instead.


Will Nas visit the Philippines again?

I do not recall any one asking him that question. He will start his company in Singapore, this means he will not be living far from the Philippines.


I don't usually attend meetups, but Nas is not the usual celebrity. Nor is he a travel vlogger that just takes beautiful videos. He uses videos to give messages about social issues, so that people start thinking or discussing about those issues. 

Since I noticed that many of his fans were young people, some of them were not even teenagers, after attending the meetup, I started watching some of his videos with our pre-teen daughter, in the hope that she will spend less time watching slapstick/funny/prankster videos. If that happens, this meetup with Nas would be the most well-spent time I had with a celebrity.

A special thanks to SM Aura Premier Mall for inviting me to the event, and informing us of the many efforts that it has put into supporting environmental sustainability. We did not know that it is the first mall to accept eco-bricks, but we have seen the herb garden that it maintains.



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Food
chiu

Yesterday morning, when driving to Venice Piazza for lunch, we saw a lot of banners promoting Asia Town in McKinley West. So we turned our car around and went there instead.

We parked our car at the open parking at McKinley West, and walked about 5 minutes to get to this place called Asia Town.


It is a small open space wedged between two office buildings located along La Grande Avenue, one of which is called Intelenet. The open space is decorated by a lot of greenery, and has three food truck-type stalls. The most eye-catching feature of this space is a series of four golden buddha that are scattered around the area.


One food truck is Madrone, a place that sells kebab and sandwiches, and it has a two-storey open structure with tables and chairs for customers. Another is Banh Mi Kitchen, a stall that sells Vietnamese style sandwiches.


Surrounding the open space are food establishments that are supposed to support the "Asia Town" theme. Some of them do, such as a Taiwanese milk tea and snack bar called Black Sugar, a Japanese/Korean restaurant called Kisoya, a Singaporean herbal pork rib soup place called Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh, a Korean barbecue restaurant, and a Chinese restaurant is under construction.

Photo above: Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh has a soft opening Buy-1-Get-1 free promo for selected items.

On the other hand, there are also two western coffee specialty shops, a Starbucks and a Malongo.

If you work in the McKinley West area, this is probably a nice and convenient place to chill. The developer of McKinley West is constructing a couple of footbridges to make it easier for people from the other side of La Grande Avenue to get there as well. So maybe in a few months' time, Asia Town will be a really bustling place in the evening.


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Community Events
newbie

Weekend mornings are usually a time for people to meet with friends and families for relaxation and fun. Then why are these residents out there in the heat picking up trash?

My friend Marianna is a member of a residents' group called EQUIP@BGC. The group's members have made Bonifacio Global City their home, and they are upset that their neighborhood is tainted by trash, garbage disposed by people who have no care for public cleanliness.

Instead of just complaining, Marianna and her friends decided to do something about it by themselves. They started organizing trash-collecting walks, called Trashtag Challenge Walks, since June this year. Last Sunday, August 11, Marianna and her EQUIP@BGC friends did the third Trashtag Challenge Walk. They started at 7am from Serendra Piazza. Below is her account of the event:

Surprisingly, last Sunday morning, August 11th, dawned bright and clear for our Trashtag Challenge #3! Pauline, Akiko, Mila, George, and I ventured into territory we hadn’t covered before that seriously needed attention! We have only one  before and after pic from that day because everyone kept filling up their bags all along the way to Pauline’s suggested focus which was outside the Department of Energy property across the street from Kidzania. It was wet and full of mosquitoes and somewhat difficult to get at but I’m happy to say we did a good job. The “after” photo might not look pristine but what was left was stuff we couldn’t get at.


Akiko was kind enough to threaten mosquitoes before they got to me, many thanks Akiko! Big thank you to JSA Barracks who again lent George their steel tongs for us and Mrs Bambi Harper who provided us with the garbage bags.

Bravo to Marianna, Pauline, George, Akiko and Mila for risking their health with getting dengue fever to make a silent but active protest about the bad behavior of the litterbugs.

If, you, like them, want to show others that their littering is not welcomed, and would like to join them for the next Trashtag Walk, please contact Marianna Price at 09178433001.

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cywong

There are household items that we need to replenish all the time, like cooking oil, clean agents and so on. Every time we replenish, we have to buy new bottles containing the stuff that we really need, and dispose of the old containers, many of which are made of plastic.

We know we need to reduce the use of plastic for environmental reason, but we often do not have a lot of choices. Until now. 

A producer and distributor of sauces and condiments in the Philippines, NutriAsia, has taken an initiative to give us the option to refill containers for cooking oil, and vinegar. Their pop-up store is in front of The Mind Museum, and is called "BYOB", as in Bring Your Own Bottle.


I have been looking for a facility like this for a while, so I was determined to give it my support by becoming its customer. This morning, the second day of its opening, I visited the pop-up store, bringing two empty bottles with me. I read their requirements for bottles the day before (it must be clean and dry, and previously contained food only and so on), so I was well prepared.

When I got there, the door was closed, because there was a media interview going on. Since I am a sort-of blogger, I asked to be allowed in as well. So I got in after their interview with GMA was done.

Lucky for me, NutriAsia's Corporate Marketing and Communications Head, Mr. James Lim, was at hand to guide me through the process of refilling. Not that it was complicated.


First the employees checked my bottles to make sure they are clean and so on. Then I had to sign a waiver on a digital device which basically says that they would not be responsible for problems caused by the containers.

Next they weighed my empty bottles to record the weight of the bottles. We should not have to pay for the weight of the bottles.

Then I chose the products to be put into the bottles. The price list was simple enough. Price per gram of weight ranges from P0.014 for vinegar, to P0.162 for corn oil. Currently, they only have 7 products to refill (vinegar, soy sauce, banana ketchup, palm oil, canola oil, soy oil and corn oil).

They filled each bottle according to my order, and then weighed them. My small bottle of vinegar came to 6 pesos, my soy sauce of about 750cc came to about P25, and my one liter of canola oil was P120. They were about 20% cheaper than if I purchase the items from a supermarket. 

Photo above : store worker filling up my bottle with vinegar. Inset is a poster on their plastics repurposing project.

Saving the environment while saving money! Actually, since they were doing a media promotion, they did not accept my money. But my positive view of this facility has nothing to do with their freebies to me.

Apart from refilling bottles, the pop-up store has another pro-environment function. It also serves as a drop-off point for plastic materials for repurposing. The BYOB store is made from eco-bricks produced from Arca South Eco Hub using plastic discards.

According to James Lim, all proceeds from BYOB, along with the plastic materials donated, will be used to produce upcycled furnishings for their beneficiary, GAT Andres Bonifacio High School.

BYOB is set to run only until September 12. It opens 7 days a week, 12 noon to 8PM, in front of the Mind Museum, Rizal Drive, Fort Bonifacio. I asked James if NutriAsia will open a permanent refilling store, and he was hesitant to reply. Perhaps NutriAsia is assessing the response from this store before making a decision. If so, we need to show our support for this initiative by buying from it as often as possible.

Photo above: I clicked the bottle counter. Inset is James Lim, NutriAsia's Corporate Marketing and Communications Head

Each time a bottle is refilled, the customer gets to press a button, and this will activate the counter outside the store that shows how many bottles have been saved.  When I finished my refill, I pressed it three times, and the number went up by 3 to 73. Let us show them we want the store to be permanent, by maxing out the counter!

Photo above: the counter for the number of bottles refilled. Let us max it out! Only 99,927 bottles to go!




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tiffanyl

What happens if you’re stuck in the Fort with hours to kill? I encountered this dilemma when my flight was delayed by 5 hours and had nothing to do. Luckily, however, I was stuck in one of the busiest cities in Manila with plenty of activities to do. 



For my first stop, I decided to spend my time catching up on the new movies in Central Square cinema. Always updated with the newest showings, this cinema is one of the best in the city, with affordable prices and delicious vendors and snacks for the movie. This was one of the most efficient ways of killing time without having to do much, as the movie took around 2 hours.

 

While watching a movie was efficient, it was a little too ordinary so I tried out Breakout in Serendra. Breakout is a unique experience where you and a group of friends work together to escape a room. The room and experience are themed depending on the one you choose. Luckily I was traveling with my friends and we took on the challenge to break out. This was a fun and thrilling experience but it wasn’t as efficient since the maximum time given was 45 minutes. Going with friends also has an advantage because, on Fridays to Sundays and Holidays, the price per person decreases as the number of people increases. However, the experience is more affordable on Mondays to Thursdays, when the price is fixed.




To finish, I visited one of the busiest areas in BGC with the best food, Mercato Centrale. Mercato Centrale is located on 25th St. and is a giant food market with tons of vendors serving delicious food. Open from 4pm to 2am on Thursdays and Fridays, it was the perfect place to grab some food before leaving. I was able to have a unique experience while tasting a variety of cuisines and food for an affordable price. 


Although it wasn’t available this week, another good option to kill time with is Gourmand Market in Central Square. Similar to Mercato Centrale, it’s a food market with numerous vendors and delicious food. However, the market isn't as regular as Mercato Centrale and only pops up occasionally.


While a long delay is normally terrible, I surprisingly had a pleasant experience. So maybe being stuck in a city for 5 hours isn’t as bad as it seems, especially if you’re lucky and stuck in the Fort where there’s plenty of activities to do and try.   

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Food
tiffanyl

Most people living in Metro Manila and especially the Fort have heard of or tried Wild Flour Cafe & Bakery. Famous for its fresh bread and pastries and delicious food and drinks, it’s a popular choice all over Manila. While the group has opened many branches and Little Flour, they recently added a new branch with a twist, Wild Flour Italian. The restaurant is located on the ground floor in The Finance Centre here in BGC. 


The interior is styled with the classic Wild Flour features, with their wooden furniture and tile flooring. Yet this restaurant has a more modern ambience with an Italian touch with its brick walls and black accents. Staying true to Italian cooking, the restaurant also has a built-in pizza oven straight from Italy, ensuring its authenticity.


While their old restaurants also served some pasta dishes, customers can have the same handmade pasta and more, along with Italian appetizers, pizza, mains, and desserts. With this menu, customers will surely get a taste of Italy. 



But what's good food without good drinks? The restaurant has that covered with a fully stocked bar and an extensive drink menu with drinks that are the perfect pairing for their delicious food.  



To start, servers offer customers a grissini, or breadstick, which like all other Wild Flour bread was delightful. This was the perfect bread to excite customers for the rest of their food because I surely was. I personally tried their crostini to start and their rigatoni as a main. The crostini was a nice twist on the traditional Wild Flour bread with rich and fresh toppings. The pasta was cooked to the perfect al dente with a sauce and toppings that complimented the pasta without overpowering it. With this balance, customers can truly appreciate the star of the dish, the handmade pasta. Unfortunately, I was unable to try their pizza this time, but I’m determined to return to see whether with their Italian oven they can compete with other pizzerias in BGC. 



If you're looking for a new restaurant to try or a new edition of Wild Flour, I definitely recommend this place. While they only have one menu served during lunch and dinner, they are releasing a new brunch menu soon so stay tuned!


Wild Flour Italian is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 3pm for lunch and 4pm to 11pm for dinner. 

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Food
newbie

A new place has opened at 5th Avenue on the ground floor of One Bonifacio High Street mall to serve you coffee. But it is not a coffee shop. It is a coffee pick up point that looks like a shop, and occupies possibly the most expensive retail space in Fort Bonifacio.


It is a pick up point because you are supposed to order the coffee online from its mobile app, and then go to the shop to just pick it up. 

There are simple tables and chairs, but no power outlet. You are not supposed to linger.

Your payment online is cashless, and so is the payment if you buy at the shop. Either credit card or mobile payment app like Paymaya or GCash. No old school here.

Since the parent company is an apparel shop, do not expect everything to make ordinary sense. It makes style. So please, do not ask why the door is placed at an angle. 

Nor question the need for an enclosed tall plant in the middle of the shop. It is not a canteen that needs to squeeze as many tables inside as possible.

What about its raison d'être, the reason to exist, coffee? You can customize it any way you want, more than you can do so with the McDo ordering machines. Except you can not make it more sweet. Or less hot.


Apart from the usual espresso drinks, you can order a brown sugar latte!! Any drink with brown sugar pre-mixed nowadays will instantly put you in the hip crowd. Ordinary people have to scoop brown sugar with a spoon, put it in the cup and stir it by themselves in the old, uncool way.


The brown sugar latte was good, and it was made by a barista with latte art. See, not everything there is automated! so you are not really buying coffee from inside a giant vending machine.

I guess this is the coffee version of iPhone. "We give you a quality product with minimalist design, served our way."


Because Coffee opens Mon to Fri 7am to 8pm, Sat to Sun 9am to 8pm at GF of One Bonifacio High Street mall.