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Philippines Guide Books – The Best

Finding the Philippines guide books – the best – is a must now that the travel industry has discovered the delights of the Philippines. For a long while the Philippines has been one of the best kept secrets to those in the know. Fantastic people, great cities, beautiful scenery and beaches – it has it all. But how do you research a visit to the Philippines to get the best out of your time there? The best Philippines Guide Books, of course.
We have selected two guide books out of the not so many that are available for the Philippines. Whatever your reason for going there, either of these books are widely available and comprehensively cover the country from all angles.  You can easily buy them from Amazon here.white boat on tropical bantayan island in philippines

There is a massive amount of information available for travel planning these days. So we suggest first considering what your specific needs are before jumping into your research and planning. Start with a few general questions:
• Are you interested mostly in weather information, and information on health issues, visas, hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities?
• Do you need historical and cultural background information for your travel?
• Perhaps you are looking for detailed guides to museums, art, and architecture?
• Looking for the best resorts and beaches?
• Or, do you simply need a general overview of the country you are about to visit?
Some guidebooks are good for planning your trip but not necessarily for carrying around because of their weight.
The two we would recommend are Lonely Planet and The Rough Guides.

Lonely Planet Guides

They not only offer the best guidebooks, but they literally “cover the planet”. Ask any travellers to southeast Asia and they’ll tell you that Lonely Planet is their bible. Lonely Planet guides are packed with information, they’re compact and easy to carry, and they are updated regularly. Be sure you get the most current edition, though, if possible. You can also access the many of the Lonely Planet Guides’ e-book version through Amazon Prime. With a Kindle version you can download any number of these guides and have them handy on the road.

Lonely Planet guides cover general history and give good detail about the places to visit. The ‘Getting There and Away’ sections are always good for the border crossings. Plenty of simple maps to give you an idea of where you are, and of course they always hunt out the cheapo cafes with the best mango drinks.
Use the prices as a reference point only, as some of the guides can be a few years old, and a lot can change overnight. Some Lonely Planet recommendations might even have closed down.
Some people consider they may have lost a little of their buzz but Lonely Planet are still concise and informative even if they are no way near as up-to-date as you would like. They’ve also recently updated their Philippines editions. Whatever you say about Lonely Planet you cannot deny that they are still the number one choice for many casual travellers thanks to their range of titles, easy-to-understand info and details of all the best spots for backpackers to hang out.

Rough Guides

Rough Guides were started by Mark Ellingham in 1981. While traveling in Greece he met Martin Dunford, who was in Greece teaching English at the time, and on their return to the UK Mark, Martin and a small group of writers created their own guidebook series that aimed to combine a journalistic approach to description with a practical approach to travellers’ needs. The series was initially aimed at low-budget backpackers but have since evolved to recommend off-the-beaten path suggestions for travellers on all budgets.

Rough Guides may be not so good on the map score, but I found the music section and other cultural snippets more worthwhile than some of the opinionated comments in Lonely Planet.
They’ve earnt their reputation as backpacker’s choice thanks to their focus on budget selections. Rough Guides also offer maps and phrase books in addition to their guidebooks.



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Franchise Asia Philippines 2018


Franchise Asia Philippines 2018

Now on its 26th edition, the event has become the largest franchise show in Asia in terms of number of exhibitors and number of trade visitors. With the Philippine economy continuing to be one of the fastest growing economy in the world and the steady influx of international brands, PFA is currently positioning Franchise Asia Philippines as an international franchise expo offering investment opportunities to domestic and international visitors.

This year, the International Expo of Franchise Asia Philippines 2018 will feature 700 booths in all the 4 halls of the first floor as well as 2 function rooms on the second floor of SMX Convention Center – Manila. Among the highlights of the Expo are:
• International area featuring top international franchise brands
• Franchise investment opportunities in food, retail and service
• Food park featuring emerging food concepts
See you there!


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Contact Islands 2018 “Leading with CX in a Digital World”

Contact Islands Conference

We are pleased to announce Contact Islands 2018 “Leading with CX in a Digital World” on July 25 – 26, 2018 at Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu Philippines.

The Philippines continues to lead in Customer Experience in the contact center space and remains focused in making the customer the center of all its endeavors. The country remains prepared to take on this challenge as it brings out the best in the Filipino BPO worker.

It is excited with what these challenges are poised to bring: new business models, new service delivery locations, and new jobs that will be created in the new digital economy.

Contact Islands 2018 is a continuation of our conversation on issues that matter most to our industry in the digital age: empowered customers, hybrid workforce, jobs of the future, new service delivery models and more.

contact islands 2018

The conference is organised by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

Registration details can be found here.

Conference Schedule Summary

Full schedule details can be found here
Upgrading Delivery Models
CX Journey Maps in the Digital Future

With customers having more touch points than ever to engage brands, effectively mapping customer journeys becomes critical. This session looks at learning from leading enterprises and highlights best practices for creating and leveraging customer journey maps in order to deliver impactful digital customer experiences
Right for the Job: Harvesting the Right Talent

With evolving skill set requirements for agents of the future, companies need to plan appropriately with long term strategies for recruitment to people with higher skills, targeted demographics, and through new recruitment channels and building compelling employer brands. Join leading voices from the industry talk about their experiences in scaling up, trying new skill sets, and their vision for hiring from the source talent pool of the future

Implementing Digital Contact Center Technologies:

Practioners Perspectives

Service providers’ role is evolving from simple customer service delivery to that of taking the lead in technology driven transformation. Service Providers are increasingly asked to support clients in adopting technology and targeting it’s impact for the desired CX outcomes. This session focuses on Philippines-based SPs making tech adoption more impactful for their operations and for their clients’ business

Networking Dinner


Jobs of the Future: Will We Pivot on Time?

With changing consumer and client expectations, skill competencies and job requirements in contact centers are significantly changing . This session provides an overview of the soft and technical skills of the future. We’ll begin with a global view of how the talent model is evolving followed by a deep-dive on the Philippines, with a special focus on how roles are evolving to reflect emerging competencies growing in demand.

Opening Proceedings
The Empowered Customer in the Age of Digital Care

Industries across the globe are facing profound paradigm shifts driven by new business models, supported by innovative, disruptive innovations. Amidst the changing business landscape, the focus on customers has become even more critical than ever before. This session aims to build a better understanding of the “new-age” customer and their expectations, focusing on both existing customer segments as well as millennials. The session reinforces the importance of staying focused on customers while in the midst of adopting new models and undergoing transformation.
Coffee Break
Gearing Up for the Hybrid Workforce: Humans + Machines

Next gen technologies such as AI, automation, and advanced analytics is changing the way companies operates. As humans and machines work more closely and collaborate, processes can become more fluid and adaptive and help organizations become more innovative and profitable. This session brings in the views of the leading industry voices on how they are getting ready for this shift and the kind of the steps they are taking, including the changes coming to the overall CX approach. Further, it explores how the collaborative Human + Machine service delivery model will enhance outcomes and result in more impact than ever before.

Personalization is the New Differentiation

This session will focus on the role played by analytics (predictive, sentiment, speech analytics etc.), automation and AI in delivering a customized customer experience. It will also detail the implementation steps involved and agents training needed to enable this capability. The panel brings together technology solution providers with business service providers who work together to deliver targeted experiences for different customer categories
Driving Greater Workforce Engagement

The role of agent workforce in the success of industry is more pronounced than ever before with the increasing requirements for new-age technical and soft skills, and increasing interaction between a multi-generational workforce. Leading industry players have been able to successfully engage workforce to drive better customer experience. This session looks at measures and means employed to engage workforce, the challenges faced and key outcomes/benefits derived
Why Our Current Score Card Won’t Work

Given the high-focus on transformation and change, maintaining oversight of service delivery metrics and measuring expectations is becoming even more challenging. Providers and enterprises need to balance the focus on traditional impacts (e.g., productivity enhancement, efficiency) and new areas of impact (improved CX, automation, new channel adoption etc.). This session explores trends around how to evolve performance metrics to more closely align with business outcomes.

Achieving Seamless and Consistent Omni-Channel Delivery

Rapidly increasing scale of non-voice services and next-generation technology-enabled solutions make it important to focus on delivering a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience. Speakers talk about the current levels of omni-channel implementation, the challenges, and the vision forward
Customer Centric Culture: The Soul of CX

How is the work environment, company culture, trainings, and appraisal mechanisms tuned to make agents better oriented for customer centricity? This session brings insights from leaders who have driven the change to a more “customer centric” organization and explores on how they orient their teams to follow this vision
Off the Grid: Expanding in the Countryside

With companies increasing delivery presence outside Manila and Cebu, this session is focused on talent availability, quality, and key factors to consider when leveraging the next-wave cities. Special focus on type and breadth of work which is possible from these centers, how they match up to delivery performance from Manila, and investments needed in training and set-up.

Closing Networking Dinner

Adapting to the Change: Targeted Strategies and Recommendations

The closing session for the conference brings together leaders of the Philippines-based companies reviewing and summarizing the discussion across plenary and breakout sessions over the past two days. Further, the session takes forward the discussion around the changes impacting the industry, calls for audience to share their own perspectives on the industry trends, and concludes with panelists highlighting some actionable recommendations for the Philippines contact center industry

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Enhanced Economic Cooperation between the United Kingdom and the Philippines

Joint Statement of Intent:

Enhanced Economic Cooperation between the United Kingdom and the Philippines

As we celebrate more than 70 years of formal ties between the United Kingdom and the Philippines and building on the UK-Philippines Joint Action Plan, this is a time to commit to even closer economic ties, trade and investment between the two countries.

An identification of focal sectors for enhanced UK-Philippine economic cooperation has been considered against the backdrop of priority areas outlined in President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda and recent directives to revisit restrictive legislation on foreign participation in the domestic market.

Through stakeholder consultations and industry-mapping conducted by the British Embassy, three sectors with potential for mutually beneficial economic gains have been identified:

(1) infrastructure;

(2) social development (education and health); and

(3) digital economy.

In addition, the Philippines identified the following topics for wider economic policy exchanges and possible economic initiatives:

(1) capital markets development;

(2) micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) development; and

(3) global value chain integration to support manufacturing and an inclusive, innovation-led industrial policy. These sectors hold significant potential to further boost growing trade and investment relations between the UK and the Philippines.

Mutual economic benefits in the abovementioned sectors can be enabled by a conducive business environment, possibly supported by a bilateral economic development work programme. Initiatives related to trade policy and market access implemented over the last year include:

(a) improving the regulatory environment and ease of doing business;

(b) supporting an effective competition regime; and

(c) reducing red tape and corruption.

These efforts have already aided significant developments, including key inputs to legislation and policies, as well as knowledge-sharing and high-level exchanges on best practices. The UK remains a close, reliable and trusted partner of the Philippines, and would like to do more in this vein.

Next steps should involve even closer collaboration between UK and Philippine officials on economic reform, including in the identified sectors. Part of this could usefully include bi-annual discussions between Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines and high-level economic officials of the Philippines, on top of technical level coordination on reform objectives and economic policy exchanges. Such talks should allow both countries the opportunity to maximise economic opportunities as they arise, assess challenges and risks, and maintain open lines of communication among relevant stakeholders.

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