Category Archives: Print

Hiroshi Tamura and the Nissan GT-R: the Man and the Evolution of the Machine

2016 banners an important milestone for Nissan Philippines Inc (NPI), as it saw the introduction of the carmaker’s iconic GT-R super sports car in the country. No less than its Chief Product Specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, flew in to launch it at the recent 6th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS).

“I designed this car with an eye towards the ultimate driving pleasure,” Tamura stated.

“The car is the body, you are the commander. It is this kind of connection that is not just about the link between the steering and your hand. It is like a mobile surge that lets your brain grab the road,” he said.

With the Skyline 33 as his starting GT-R project, Tamura went on to develop the succeeding GT-R versions since 1997 until the present 2017 iteration.

“We upgraded everything. Sometimes, people focus on the horsepower, but it’s not just the only purpose. The purpose is the body connection, its more sporty but also projects a more mature image.”


Designing for Both Speed and Comfort

The newest GT-R   marries the concept of comfort of “GT” with the “R”  or racing idea of delivering exhilarating high performance that is found in its race car technology. 

“This automobile is not a dot chaser,” Tamura said.“It is not all about reaching peak dots on a graph — like most energy and even most G forces. It’s extra three-dimensional as a result of what we people are.”

The 2017 Nissan GT-R is a buff beast that wears its power underneath a more luxurious, sophisticated suit.  Powered with a 3.8-liter 24-valve, twin turbocharged V6  pumping out a prodigious 570 PS and equally immense 637 NM of torque, the Nissan GT-R is redesigned with  a more rigid body structure and a new suspension to ensure a smoother ride upon hitting the throttle.

Yet this strength is tempered by the changes implemented both in its exterior and interior.  Aerodynamically styled, its larger grille openings enhance cooling to key components, without increasing drag. The C-pillar was slightly redesigned to stop the formation of a vortex that could slow the GT-R down.

Inside, luxury and efficiency goes hand in hand with the choices of reengineering the cabin layout and materials used.  With features such as a dash cover that uses aniline leather, simplified cockpit with fewer controls and next-generation Multi-Function Display, relocated and redesigned paddle shifters, down to retuned acoustics that reduces unwanted noise while allowing the signature pure sound of the GT-R engine, all combine to elevate the driving experience to a new thrilling level like never before.

“You can concentrate more on your driving.  You can discuss more with your car more easier,” he said. 


The Philosophy of Being a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Tamura likened the Nissan GT-R as a wolf in sheep’s skin, “a sleeper”, he called it.

“Behavior is like a sheep, but the outside is a tiger, or a wolf. The GT-R is like a sedan, but with a racing engine,” he said, explaining the duality of the super race car’s character.  With the award-winning VR38DETT engine as the heart of the beast, each  unit is handcrafted and overseen by a Takumi master technician.  Such is the high level of craftsmanship and expertise that goes into each GT-R, that  each engine proudly bears a plaque that is stamped with the name of the Takumi that handbuilt it.  

When all elements come together, the Nissan GT-R provides a “smooth, sophisticated riding concept, but with feeling,” Tamura said.  

As a flagship vehicle, the Nissan GT-R has also shared its philosophy across other Nissan vehicles.

“How to grab the road, how the car is in contact with the road, all that is in the technology like VDC, traction control, ABS, this philosophy came from GT-R”, he notes in terms of the halo effect on other Nissan vehicles.  “Like the Navara. Heavy-duty use, combined with ease and reliability, these concepts come from the GT-R philosophy of reliability and robustness.”

The Nissan 2017 GT-R is exclusively available at the Nissan High Performance Center in Quezon Avenue in Katsura Orange, Vibrant Red, Pearl Black, Ultimate Silver, Gun Metallic, Pearl White, and Pearl Blue, with an SRP of P7.350M. For more details, visit

Nissan Navara Named Truck of the Year Philippines by Car Awards Group

Truck of the Year winners. (L-R) Robby Consunji, President, Car Awards Group, Inc.; Dax Avenido, PR and Product Planning Manager, Nissan Philippines, Inc.; SJ Huh, General Manager for Marketing, Nissan Philippines, Inc.; Therese Sarmiento, PR & Communications officer, Nissan Philippines, Inc.; and Subir Lohani, Managing Director, Carmudi Philippines.

Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) continues to set the standard for the local truck segment as the NP300 Navara was named Truck of the Year Philippines (TOTY-P) 2015 by the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI), the country’s premier automotive award giving body.

The TOTY-P, along with the Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P) award, is an annual recognition given by the CAGI for the top vehicle of its class. The award is given after all contending vehicles undergo a rigorous screening process, touching on points such as price, comfort, features, and performance on the technical tests. This is in line with CAGI’s goal of providing the automotive consumer with the best information available regarding the many excellent products available on the automotive market.

“Earlier this year, Nissan declared the beginning of the ‘Truck Wars’ by launching the NP300 Navara” said Antonio Zara, NPI President and Managing Director, “It has been a very exciting time for the pick-up truck segment, and we are proud to say that we have emerged victorious in this battle. Thank you to the CAGI members for this recognition.”

The NP300 Navara bested other manufacturers by being the first and only vehicle in its segment to deliver unmatched riding comfort from its multi-link suspension system. In addition, the NP300 Navara also features NASA-inspired Zero gravity seats for better ergonomic support to reduce driving fatigue. This system ensures a smoother ride, bringing a car-like level of comfort to the pick-up segment.

Adding to the driving pleasure of the NP300 Navara are the reduced turning radius, highlighting dynamic agility and maneuverability in all kinds of terrain, an improved fuel efficiency over its predecessor, and a selection of electronic driving aids that provide a welcome boost in safety and control. These include technical driving tools such as Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Traction Control, and Vehicle Dynamics Stability Control.

In addition to winning Truck of the Year Philippines 2015, Nissan Navara was also declared the Best 4×2 Pick-up during the ceremony. Adding to Nissan’s triumph was the Nissan Juke winning the Best Subcompact Crossover SUV category for the Nissan Juke. The new Nissan Juke was introduced to the local market during the company’s second anniversary celebration last month, capturing the attention of the motoring public with its bold new design as well as sub-million peso price tag.

Tough and Smart, the All-New Nissan NP300 Navara Conquers Ilocos Norte

Class-leading features of the NP300 Navara put to the test

Truck Wars. Antonio Zara, President and Managing Director of Nissan Philippines, Inc. (right) and SJ Huh, General Manager for Marketing of Nissan Philippines, Inc. beside the All-New NP300 Navara at the La Paz Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte


Manila, Philippines (February 24, 2015) – The Nissan Navara has always been synonymous with power and performance. It is well renowned for setting itself to a higher standard and leading the way for other pick-ups to follow. With the resounding success of its launch early this month, the 12th generation Navara is poised to raise the bar yet again.

After the long wait, Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) proudly puts this tough and smart pick-up truck to the test by inviting 70 media guests to an exciting Navara Ride and Drive in Ilocos Norte so that they all see, feel and experience the class-leading features of the All-New NP300 Navara.


Nissan prides itself in having the best lineup of engines and the YD25 certainly lives up to it. This new generation 2.5L DOHC in-line four-cylinder Variable Geometry System (VGS) diesel engine has the highest power output per displacement in its segment. The 4×4 variant puts out 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque while the 4×2 variant offers 163 PS and 403 Nm of torque.

A segment-exclusive feature on the NP300 Navara is the 7-speed automatic gearbox with manual mode. Used as well by the Nissan 370Z sports coupe among others, it offers a wider range of speed with an expanded gear ratio while providing better acceleration, smoother shifting and reduced fuel consumption even at low speeds.

A 6-speed manual gearbox is also available for more transmission control and increased fuel efficiency.

This powertrain combination gives the NP300 Navara the class leading fuel efficiency and emission ratings.


Ready to take on the most demanding challenge, the NP300 Navara was designed and developed to carry heavy loads while keeping up with today’s active lifestyle.

Using a full-length fully boxed ladder frame that adds torsional stiffness and a Rigid 5-Link Coil Suspension armed with stabilizer bars, passengers are assured of utmost durability without sacrificing comfort even in the most unforgiving terrain.

Slightly longer than the previous model, the NP300 Navara managed to reduce the wheelbase by 50mm to enhance agility and maneuverability whether in off-road situations or simple city driving.

Never hesitate to take on the roughest terrain with the NP300 Navara’s electric shift-on-the-fly 4×4 system allowing you to engage it even while in motion.

Your safety is Nissan’s number one priority, that’s why it also comes with highly advanced features like VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), ABLS (Active Brake Limited Slip), HSA (Hill Start Assist), HDC (Hill Descent Control) and Traction Control System (TCS).


The NP300 Navara showcases a sportier style while staying true to Nissan’s design philosophy. With a more pronounced beltline and a first-in-its-class boomerang-shaped LED Daytime Running Headlamps that complement the “V-motion” motif that flows from the grille to the hood, the new Navara gets a distinct, attention-grabbing look that sets it apart from all other trucks.

The macho look of the Navara belies the subtle changes that has reduced its drag coefficient to 0.37 Cd, a great number for a vehicle this size. The dynamic convex and concave surfaces found on the doors along with the rear spoiler all contribute to its enhanced aerodynamics.

Inside, the NP300 Navara is as well endowed. Seats are finished with premium fabric and come with NASA-inspired Zero Gravity Seats technology that reduces fatigue by evenly distributing body pressure on the seating surface.

The Instrument Cluster Panel comes with Fine vision technology so that vehicle information, in whatever lighting condition, will be easy to read.

It comes with a 6-speaker infotainment system that doubles as the monitor for the backup camera. It has CD, MP3 and iPod compatibility along with Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone. For ease of use, access any of these services along with Cruise Control using buttons found on the steering wheel.

Another segment-first is the Push Button Ignition proving that Nissan will do what it takes to provide its customers with unparalleled convenience.

Easily accessible functional trays and storage spaces are ergonomically placed for personal belongings and electronic devices.

“Nissan pickups are not just vehicles, they are the lifeblood of communities, and we are catering to that need by improving the much-loved pick-up. With 80 years of heritage, providing technologies comes as natural as possible. Nissan lives on the promise of providing innovation that excites and that’s what we have been doing,” said Antonio Zara, NPI President and Managing Director.

It set the bar before, now it’s doing it again. The next generation pick-up is finally here, the All-New Nissan NP300 Navara.


The All-New NP300 is available in Savanna Orange, Galaxy Black, Brilliant Silver and Alpine White.

Introductory price set at:
PhP 1,490,000 4×4 VL 7-Speed
Php 1,421,000 4×4 VL 6-speed M/T
Php 1,256,000 4×4 EL 6-speed M/T
Php 1,108,000 4×2 EL 7-speed A/T Calibre
Php 1,038,000 4×2 EL 6-speed M/T Calibre
Php 938,000 4×2 6-speed M/T Calibre
Php 898,000 4×2 6-Speed M/T

Visit your nearest Nissan dealership and get to experience the All-New NP300 Navara. For more information on our products and services, visit our website, at

Nissan Recognizes Top Performers in 2014 NISTEC and NISAC Competition

Manila, Philippines (October 3, 2014) – In line with its commitment to deliver topnotch service, the recently unified Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) held its first Nissan Service Technician Excellence Competency Award (NISTEC) and Nissan Service Advisor Excellence Competency Award (NISAC) National Competition last September 27, 2014 at the Nissan Training and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

After being recognized by JD Power Asia Pacific’s 2014 Philippine Customer Service Index (CSI) study by garnering top marks in Customer Satisfaction with Aftersales Service among new vehicle owners, NPI continues to develop and carryout programs that increase the service reliability and competency of its Aftersales workforce.

With the aim to showcase the technical know-how and hands-on ability of Nissan Technicians and the customer relations management of Service Advisors, the 2014 NISTEC and NISAC National Competition aims to lift up the quality of service delivery standards of the whole Aftersales team for the benefit of Nissan customers.

“NISTEC-NISAC is a competition done globally in all countries where Nissan operates. It has been Nissan Motor Co. Limited’s program for more than 20 years,” said Mr. Antonio Zara, President and Managing Director of NPI. “Part of the JD Power criteria involves the competences of the Service Technicians and Service Advisors in achieving the over-all satisfaction of the customers. With this competition, we at NPI, aim to further improve the skills and capabilities of our Service Technicians and Service Advisors. We also want to encourage them to give the best kind of service our Nissan customers deserve,” Mr. Zara added.

Nissan now has a total of 217 Service Technicians and 59 Service Advisors nationwide. Through a series of rigorous sets of examinations in the pre-qualifying round, 12 finalists emerged as the strong contenders for the final competition. The six Service Technician and six Service advisor finalists were certified by Nissan Sales Technician Education Program (N-STEP) Nissan Sales Advisor Education Program (N-SAP) respectively.

In order to assess their skills, the NISTEC finalists underwent three rounds of practical exercises: Engine Diagnosis, Electrical Diagnosis and Repair, and Chassis Maintenance and Trouble Shooting; while the NISAC finalists were tested through a series of role plays for Receiving Process, Repair Authorization, and Delivery Process.

In photo: (From left) Nissan Philippines, Inc.(NPI) Parts and Logistics Officer, Mr. Vincent Alejaga, NISTEC Champion, Mr. Ariel Lobrido of Nissan Bacolod, NISAC Champion, Mr. Aldrin Mendez of Nissan North EDSA, NPI General Manager for Aftersales, Mr. Abner Berdos, NPI National Service Manager, Mr. Fritz Jingco

Mr. Ariel Lobrido of Nissan Bacolod proved that he is the Service Technician with the highest level of technical knowledge bagging the title of the Top Performer for NISTEC category. Mr. Lobrido started out as an on-the-job trainee in 2003 and has been with Nissan Bacolod ever since. “I am very happy with Nissan and I am thankful to always have the support of our management. I am also grateful for Nissan have provided me with helpful trainings and seminars to enhance our technical knowledge and skills required in our field,” said Mr. Lobrido.

Meanwhile, Nissan North EDSA’s Aldrin Mendez catered the best service experience, making him the top Service Advisor. Mr. Mendez has been with Nissan for 11 years, working with three service centers including Nissan Middle East for two years. “Being a service advisor is a challenging task but I found my passion in what I do. In Nissan, this is where I experienced growth and where my career flourished and I am very thankful for that,” Mr. Mendez added.


About Nissan Philippines, Inc.
Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) is the sole national sales company of Nissan in the Philippines which started operations in 2014. NPI is responsible for strengthening brand, marketing and sales strategy, and dealer operations in the Filipino market.

Nissan ranked the highest in customer satisfaction with aftersales service among new vehicle owners according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Philippines Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

For more information on our products and services, visit our website at

Home 101: Don’t Get Burned

One firefighter lists the do’s and don’ts to fire safety
originally published in Good Housekeeping, April 2004, page 112

When it comes to fires, this year got off to a blazing start: the first 15 days of 2004 saw Metro Manila suffering a succession of fires, mostly in residential areas.

Most fires are caused by negligence, such as leaving burning candles or plugged-in appliances unattended. Prevention, says Chuck Chua, president and fire chief of the San Andres Volunteer Fire brigade, is still key. He offers advice on staying fire-free.

  1. Have a fire exit. When designing and building your home, make sure it conforms to fire and building codes. Is there a fire escape or a window exit? your window may be barred but make sure the grills have an access point with the padlock key hung nearby.
  2. Have a plan. Establish an escape route, a meeting point, and a roll call or buddy system. To remain effective, conduct a fire drill to familiarize your family on the fastest and safest ways out.
  3. Prepare an emergency bag. Keep important documents (like passports, land titles, bank papers, etc.) in a yellow or orange carry-all. If you must evacuate, the bright-colored bag can be easily spotted and carried out.
  4. Regularly check and maintain electrical wirings, as well as LPG tanks, stoves and stove valves — the last three in order to prevent gas leaks.
  5. Post emergency numbers beside each of your telephones at home to make it easy to report a blaze. When calling in, give the exact location of the fire, your complete address and the nearest corner or any landmarks.

Of course, a fire could still break out despite your best precautions. What should you do if you get caught in one?
Don’t panic is Chua’s first rule. Just calmly follow the procedure you and your family have agreed on. More valuable tips from Chua:

  • Evacuate immediately. Make sure to alert everybody by shouting “Fire!”
  • Watch where you go. Before opening a door, check for heat using the back of your palm. If the knob is cool enough to touch, it’s safe to open. If the corridor is starting to fill with smoke, crawl out to the nearest exit. The space between the floor and the smoke offers some breathable air. Use a piece of cloth to cover your nose and mouth to keep you from inhaling the smoke.
  • If the door is hot to the touch, do not open it — the fire may already be on the other side. use a wet towel or blanket to block the base of the door and bar any smoke. Stay near the windows and scream or do whatever it takes to call the attention of firefighters and rescuers.
  • Just leave your things. When you have successfully escaped a burning house, do not return for anything. Lives are top priority, not material things.
  • Do a head count. In case a family member is missing, inform the firefighters as soon as they arrive, explain in detail the ins and outs of your house, and let the firefighters do their job.

The San Andres Manila Volunteer Fire Brigade is a member of the Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters of the  Philippines, Inc. Their hotline, open 24/7, is 16-0-16.

Market Yourself for an International Career

published in Girlfriend magazine, August 2008, pp.32-35

Here’s how to tailor your resume for international headhunters – and how to see through scams.

Whether you’re a fresh grad or an old-timer in the workforce looking for greener pastures, there’s a big chance that you’ll scan the classifieds and online job postings, only to sigh over the slim pickings. What now? Why not train your eyes abroad – go overseas!

“The advantage of the international job market is that they are not as restrictive as local hiring when it comes to, say, gender or age”, according to Vanessa dela Cruz, an HR officer in the finance sector. “As long as the applicant have the competencies and skills for the job, hiring managers would consider the candidate as a potential hire.”

But given the highly competitive jobmarket, how can one’s resume would be noticed amidst the sea of equally-qualified applications?


For one, study the job you’re applying for. “Highlight your ‘job fit’ to the position you’re applying for. Tailor your resume in such a way that your skills will closely match the requirements of the job vacancy”, dela Cruz advised.

In his book “The Elements of Resume Style”, professional career coach Scott Bennet advises applicants to streamline their resumes to catch and keep a hiring manager’s attention. “…the most effective communicators…create brief resumes. The ability to communicate effectively is prized by every employer. Show employers you possess this skill by ‘writing short’. Candidates who ‘write long’ reveal (1) an inability to organize and convey complex information quickly and (2) disrespect for the reader’s time.” A maximum of two pages is all it should take. “As a hiring officer, short but concise is preferred”, as dela Cruz puts it.

What should go in a resume? Opening it is the header: your full name, your address, your contact details such as land line number, mobile number and email address. When drafting your resume for an overseas employer, remember the following:

    • Omit academic degrees (eg., MBA, MD, MFA, PhD) from your name on the resume. Your identity and training a two different things. Plus, this kind of information is more appropriate under the ‘Education’ section; avoid duplication.
    • Make sure you have an appropriate email address. Really now, do you think your application would be taken seriously if your email address is something like “”?
    • Make sure that your phone numbers include the correct area code. For Manila, add the prefix +632. Those in the provinces can look up their area code from their local telephone service provider.

The best way to sell your skills and experience is to draft your resume in an easy-to-read yet professional format. Your resume can broken down into sections: Education, Work Experience, Software Skills, Language Skills.
For a new graduate, or have recently completed graduate school, and you have little relevant work experience, the Education section comes first. Those who finished an MBA, masteral or doctoral degree are required to indicate his grade point average (GPA) on the resume.

Under Work Experience, indicate the starting month and year and the ending month and year of each work entry. Exclude bullets; instead, write three to six action statements in a paragraph as a position description or blurb per position.
The Software Skills section conveys your ability to use and navigate computer systems. List the operating systems you use (e.g., Windows, MAC OS, Linux), office applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, Firefox) and programming languages (e.g., C++, Java, HTML) when applicable.

Fluency in a language other than English and Filipino is another plus. List down the languages you can read, speak and write and specify your degree of fluency in each.

Include the Memberships section only if your membership helps you build skills relevant to an employer, or it effectively showcases your marketable skills.

For the Personal Information section, in the U.S., listing one’s age, height and weight (unless applying for an acting, modeling, physical education or law enforcement job), hobbies, interests, health and marital or parental status on a resume is generally a waste of the reader’s time, and may be seen – depending on the organization’s culture – as inappropriate, irrelevant, silly or of no interest. Your resume is not an autobiography.

The References statement can be excluded, as employers will ask for this separately.


To ensure that you set the right tone for your document, use the proper elements to showcase it with.

Paper – plain white paper is the way to go. It conveys both professionalism and credibility. Bookpaper 120gms. is good for starters.

  1. Ink – print your resume in black; any other color, and you risk not being taken seriously by employers.
  2. Margins – set all margins (left, right, top and bottom) to one inch. This will make your paper look neater, and make it stand out of the stack.
  3. Font – for better response, choose a serif font (such as Times New Roman); according to research done by advertising experts, these types of fonts are easier for readers to understand and thus generate more responses than sans serif or flat fonts (such as Arial).
    • To maintain a crisp, organized look, use no more than two font sizes. Use one size for your name (14 to 18 point), and another for the rest (11 to 12 point).
    • Boldface, italics, all caps, underlining – use boldface only on your name and the section headings. Italics can be applied to Latin honors (eg., cum laude) and other foreign phrases, and to names of publications, such as your school paper.
  4. Never use all caps, as many readers could construe this as rude (ie., the written equivalent of shouting), as well as underlining, as this could distract the reader from other parts of your resume.

Finally, before sending off your resume, make sure to proofread it and clean up any typos you find. Don’t rely on the built-in spell-checker of your program, as it is not an editor.

Dela Cruz reminds applicants, “An impressive comrehensive resume is one tool to land at least an interview; but in this growing job market, its really difficult to send just one application to one company. Better to send to all vacancies you feel you have the capacity to perform at your best..parang raffle, the more entries, the more chances of winning!”


A resume is not a curriculum vitae (CV). A CV is generally used by academics and is longer than a resume. It includes detailed chronologies of presentations, publications, monographs/journals, field, teaching, and research experiences, and can run many pages. The sheer length and detail of a CV makes it inappropriate for a resume.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), workers’ qualifications must now include knowledge and appreciation of cultural values of the destination countries aside from language proficiency. The overseas labor market is becoming complex as it is now requiring specialized competencies for certain occupations. Depending on the position and the destination country, some of these qualifications include cultural adaptability, skills training, computer training, elderly and pet care, and a basic knowledge of the local culture, laws and racial sensitivities.

To maximize your job search, it pays to broaden the parameters of the hunt. In today’s fast-paced, wired world, going online can pay off with more leads than by limiting your search in the classifieds of the broadsheets. Some of the popular job search engines include:

    1. – sign up for a free account, then tailor your search by the country of your choice. Countries supported include those in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong,
    2. – also offers a free account, as well as access to job listings abroad such as Southeast Asian countries.
    3. – It is an overseas job portal that is also a Philippine manpower pooling site for the top recruitment agencies in the Philippines accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).


Working abroad involves a series of procedures to follow. You have to secure a passport and work visa, prepare application forms and other documents to support your application describing the employment, your reason for travel, and your financial status, undergo a medical examination by a Department of Health-accredited clinic or hospital and participate in a pre-departure orientation seminar.
Given how costly and time-consuming the process is, some applicants wishing to fast-track their application turn to immigration consultants that promise immediate departure. Unfortunately, most of the applicants just end up being victimized by illegal recruiters. To avoid becoming victims, here are additional information and tips from the POEA:


    • Immediately asks for a placement fee or any corresponding payment without issuing a receipt
    • Promises a speedy departure to another country
    • Requires immediate medical examination or training even if there is still no ready employer or contract
    • Transacts business with applicants at public places like restaurants, malls, etc. and not at the office of a licensed agency
    • Conducts house-to-house recruitment of applicants
    • Does not give enough information about the job being applied for
    • Claims that there is a direct employer and the applicants do not have to pass through POEA
    • Promises a speedy departure of the applicant using a tourist or visit visa
    • Does not have any employment contract or work visa to present
    • Introduces self to be an employee of a licensed recruitment agency but does not have any ID
    • Introduces self to be connected to a travel agency or training center
    • Encourages applicants to gather more applicants to speed up departure
    • Does not give enough correct information about himself such as complete name or address
    • Promises to send documents to POEA for processing (especially in the case of EPS-Korea)
    • Encourages you by saying that he has sent one or more applicants already using a tourist visa


    • Escort Services – Undocumented workers are escorted at the airport or any international exit to evade checkpoints set to check on the documents of workers.
    • Tourist/Worker Scheme – Workers leave the country purportedly as tourists but in reality is being deployed as workers abroad.
    • Assumed Identity – Workers particularly minors are deployed abroad under an assumed identity.
    • Direct Hiring – Workers are hired by foreign employers without the intervention of licensed recruitment agencies and are deployed undocumented and without protection.
    • Trainee Worker Scheme – Hired workers are deployed allegedly not for employment but for training purposes only and will return to sending company after training.
    • Backdoor Points Scheme – Workers are sent abroad not through regular exit channels like airports but are deployed usually through cargo ships.
    • Tie-Up System – Unlicensed recruiters with foreign principals who are usually in the blacklist use the name and offices of licensed recruiters in their illegal activity.
    • Visa Assistance/Consultancy Scheme – Firms that offer services including the pairing of workers with foreign employers and promising applicants immigrant visas but are in reality engaged in the recruitment business.
    • Blind Ads Scheme – Workers are enticed to apply and send cash payments addressed to a Postal Office Box without the worker having the opportunity to communicate personally with the recruiter.


    • Do not apply at recruitment agencies not licensed by POEA.
    • Do not deal with licensed agencies without job orders.
    • Do not deal with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
    • Do not transact business outside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority.
    • Do not pay more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs.
    • Do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt.
    • Do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to a post office (P. O.) box, and to enclose payment for processing of papers.
    • Do not deal with training centers and travel agencies, which promise overseas employment.
    • Do not accept a tourist visa.
    • Do not deal with fixers.


For violations of recruitment laws and rules and regulations by any recruitment agency such as overcharging of placement fee, premature collection of placement fee, misrepresentation, withholding of travel documents, failure to deploy without valid reason, failure to reimburse documentation expenses when deployment did not take place without the worker’s fault, and substitution and alteration of employment contract, you may file administrative cases at: the Legal Assistance Division, Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, 4th Floor, POEA Building. You may also file your complaints at the nearest POEA/DOLE regional office and NBI/PNP headquarters in your area.

Pretty Young Thing

cover story for Girlfriend magazine, August 2008, pp.56-59

Jodi Sta. Maria-Lacson is among the new generation of cool young moms, juggling work, life, play and family like a pro and looking damn good while she’s at it.

She beguiled us as Lia Buenavista in “Pangako sa ‘yo”, caught our eye in her portrayal of George in “Tabing Ilog”, and showcased her charm and dramatic flair in films such as “Jologs,” “Bagong Buwan”, “Birhen ng Manaoag” and “Noon at Ngayon”. Yet behind the doe-eye beauty lies a practical, no-nonsense air that is refreshing for its honesty and directness. Meet Jodi Chrissie Sta.Maria-Lacson, actress from the Star Magic stable of ABS-CBN.


This writer arrived at the venue exactly on time, yet was still beaten from the early-bird award by the actress herself. Already seated before the make-up artist, she exudes a serene air amidst the bustle of pre-shoot preparations. Her son, Thirdy, romped about, under the watchful eye of his mom and yaya.

When asked for shopping tips, she exclaimed “Shopping?!?!” before breaking out into peals of laughter. “Naku, I’m not into shopping talaga. Di ako mahilig dun.”

But when prodded, she admitted ”I buy what I need for work, but for porma, I always wear pants, blouse, slippers. Kasi i have a hard time putting on (clothes), kung anong fashionable or stylish, kasi I’m used to jeans.”

“What I do, I bring all my clothes sa set then they mix and match and they tell me ‘O, you wear this and ganyan.’ Pero yung ako lang mag-isa, effort ito for me”, she said. “Besides, I get my clothes from my sponsors.”

But when it comes to comfort, this lady has specific likes. “Sa sandals, basta wala lang straps sa likod, walang masakit.”

When it comes to her son, “pag nasa mall ako, asahan mo, you’ll see me in the baby section. Clothes, toys ‘di masyado ‘coz ang dami na rin kasi e. Yung first birthday niya, I asked for diapers and milk lang for my kid.”


Her easy, practical ways is also mirrored in her minimalist beauty routine. “I buy lang what I need; kung hindi naman kailangan, I really don’t spend. Favorite brands ko? MAC, Shu Uemura, The Body Shop. Nice yung brushes ng Body Shop, kasi they’re not too expensive pero super-soft ang bristles nila”, she explained.

“There’s also this product I’m endorsing, it’s called Hype. It’s a local brand. Yung soap niya, yun ang ginagamit ko pang lather sa face, then I use exfoliating gloves every other day. Sa skin care, Hype lotion. For shampoo, Pantene.”

Warming up on the topic, Jodi reveals her preference for Art Deco makeup remover. “I wash my face with soap and water, then Hype facial cream. Kasi to begin with, ‘di oily yung face ko.” The make-up artist concurred, “maganda yung skin niya”.

As for an exercise regimen, she confesses to having none. “Di ako nag gi-gym. I guess its because I’m blessed with good genes. Pero pang-karpintero ako pag kumain, makanin ako at ‘di ma-ulam”, she giggled.


A peek inside Jodi’s bag reveals a clutch of daily neccesities she considers she cannot do without. “Number one is my cellphone, as its my way to communicate with my son and husband, and sa mga angels sa house. And then, my lip balm, ‘coz lagi, every single day of my life, dry ang lips ko. Lagi siyang nagka-crack, so must-have ko yan sa bag, ‘di pwedeng wala. Wallet. I have a novena, a small prayer book given to me by Jomari Yllana. Nagpapalit-palit man ako ng bag, laging kasama yang prayer book na yan. And I find time to pray with it, kahit minsan sa car ko, or while waiting for my turn to tape”, she said.

A PSP player also makes an occasional appearance, for those times she needs to while away the hours in between takes.


Outside of work, Jodi says she likes to live an unfettered lifestyle, without typical celebrity trappings of a wild and reckless nightlife. ” “Sa house lang ako, kasi hindi ako mahilig pumunta ng mall para mag-shopping, dahil unang una, hindi ako mahilig mag-shopping”, she reiterated. “Ang relaxation ko lang is yung my time with my son, when we go to the zoo or sa mall, that’s it.”

Currently, the family is enjoying bonding time with her latest purchase: a karaoke machine. “Ay, everybody loves singing! My favorite song? ‘Bring Me to Life’ by Evanescence, as well as any song by the Carpenters”, she laughingly said.

When their house was being constructed, Jodi was in charge of furnishing it, “from the big appliances down to the kubyertos, ako ang personal na namili (ng gamit).”

“I looked for a trusted name when I made my purchases. Ang hirap pa minsan, sa sobra ating makatipid, minsan, yung quality naman ang nagsa-suffer. So I don’t want that naman na, mura nga, tapos, bili ka ng bili. Example, for my cooktop, bibili ako ng brand na kilala for cooktops. I ask around, I do research. At saka, may budget ako. I have to find a cooktop na maganda yug quality pero durable siya, maganda yung performance niya, and within the budget”, she explained.


Jodi today is a far cry from the Jodi of yesteryears. Prior to her marriage to Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr., she admitted to being a party girl. “I used to go out a lot talaga. Kahit every week or every other day yung party, present. May bagong bukas na bar, bagong bukas na club, expect me there, present.”

But motherhood bought about a 360-degree change. “When I had my son, wala, nag-iba na, I’m not into those na. I’d rather go home; now, parang nai-ingayan na ako, unlike before. Now, deretso uwi, minsan I’d think, ‘shucks, sana matapos na taping, I miss my son, I wanna be with my family na.”

As a first time mother, Jodi shares a couple of tips that she found invaluable. “Number one is patience. Kasi, di mo maituturo kung anong dapat mong gawin. Walang manual ang babies; when it comes to raising your child, pakiramdaman lang, kasi what may work for one may not work for this baby.”

“And, enjoy your kid while they’re still young. Yun ang turo sa akin ng mother ko, kasi pag lumaki na yan, may kanya-kanyang barkada, diyan mo mami-miss. Yung parang, ‘sana humahabol ka pa sa akin, yung laging naka-dikit sa akin’, ganun.”


Currently, Jodi is slated to come out in “Sisa”, an independent film. “I’m also doing a soap, a teleserye with ABS-CBN, pero we’ll start taping pa lang in July. And there are two movies lined-up, so, medyo busy”, she revealed.

Make-up over, Jodi pauses to pick up her son, hugging him close as he babbles on about the camera. He asks his mother for her wedding ring; she hands it over to the excited child, tenderly warning him, ‘o, take care not to throw it, or else lagot tayo kay daddy.”

Wife, mother, actress, and more. In her own distinctive way, Jodi Sta.Maria-Lacson may very well personify the new face of the modern Filipino woman.