Netizens Call Sofitel Manila on Boycott Statement as “Arrogant and Illogical”, Demand Public Apology

After more than 24 hours that the hashtags #NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH enjoyed Twitter primetime slots under Philippine Trends, Sofitel Manila finally issued a statement around 3PM (Philippine time) amidst public clamor for the posh hotel to explain itself for delisting local Philippine Public Service Channel UNTV in its hotel channel listing.

For two days, the No to Sofitel campaign raised awareness about the posh hotel’s discrimination of UNTV station and poor people in favor of foreign guests.

But netizens quickly pointed out the illogical and airy arrogance of the official statement that the Manila office of Sofitel Plaza Hotel posted on Twitter.

Update: UNTV seems bent on pursuing its campaign for the rest of the week as it issued, #NoToSofitelDay3 and #BoycottSofitelPHDay3 as of 10:30PM Tuesday (7/15/2014). At 11:42PM, the hashtag #NoToSofitelDay3 debuted at No. 5 of Philippine Trends.

Official Sofitel Manila Statement over Boycott Campaign

Greeting its Twitter followers with “Bonjour!”, the @SofitelManila account continued with: In line with the ongoing campaign to boycott Sofitel Manila, we would like to share with you all the official statement of the management.”

It continued:

“We do not discriminate against any local or international broadcasting television channel. While we supply several television channels for our guests, the channels we air in the hotel are system-limited, and regularly changed based on several factors, including guest feedback and demand.”

“We are happy to hear the public’s concerns, and will consider to re-instate the UNTV Channel if this is a request from our hotel guests.”

To summarize Sofitel’s Statement, it impliedly revealed that it did removed UNTV based on guest requests and feedbacks.

“Illogical Excuse”, Netizens Demand Apology

As soon as Sofitel posted their statement, netizens bombarded them with tweets and comments. Some chastised the posh hotel for posting comment that was demeaningly insulting of Filipinos.

Bro. Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan radio-television program posted a series of tweets on his Twitter account @BroEliSoriano, expressing his sentiments over the controversial delisting of UNTV by Sofitel.

The International Evangelist pointed out that it is only Sofitel’s illogical excuse to think of hotel guests to be demanding the delisting of UNTV.

In another @BroEliSoriano tweet, the preacher noted that Sofitel must be wrong in thinking that Filipinos are stupid, saying there are sensible Filipinos who think. Unless guests belong to a religion bearing “three colors”, no guests will demand to delete channels.

Online boycotters flooded Twitter streams, decrying the suspicious removal of UNTV in its channel listing:

Fan support for #NoToSofitel campaign

Fan signs from supporters of #NoToSofitel #BoycottSofitelPH cause.

Netizens believe an influential group, the staunchest detractor of Bro. Eli and Ang Dating Daan whose programs are widely carried by UNTV, was behind Sofitel’s move to delist UNTV.

The Iglesia ni Cristo group who will celebrate its 100 years has already trumpeted the arrival of its members from abroad and whom the online citizens gathered would be staying at Sofitel.

From Where #BoycottSofitelPH started

UNTV’s Daniel Razon tells audience of his morning show Good Morning Kuya why the station waged a campaign to boycott Sofitel Manila.

Early Monday morning (7/14/2014) during the morning magazine show Good Morning Kuya, UNTV-BMPI CEO and Chairman Daniel Razon called on his viewers to boycott the Manila branch of the French luxury hotel for removing UNTV in its lineup of channels it served hotel guests.

Immediately, hashtags boycotting the hotel started snowballing with users demanding Sofitel Manila to issue a statement.

Around 2PM (PHT), the #NoToSofitel jumped up the No. 1 spot of Philippines Trends of Twitter, accompanied by #BoycottSofitelPH.

Both hashtags sustained its power until the following day, July 15, as online citizens unceasingly tweet and retweet, asking and demanding Sofitel to explain its reasons and clarify reports about the alleged involvement of the Iglesia ni Cristo for singling out UNTV as the channel to remove.

#NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH made landmark trending list for two consecutive days.

#NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH made landmark impact for trending under Philippine topics for more than 24 hours, from July 14 to July 15.

UNTV Supporters from abroad  joined the call to boycott the controversial removal by Sofitel Manila of UNTV. UNTV has presence virtually all over the world, with programming that reaches the whole of Asia, Europe, Africa, South and Central Americas, North America and Canada, and Australia through satellite and live video streaming.

Daniel Razon Decries Sofitel Manila Bias vs UNTV, #NoToSofitel Trends

UNTV-BMPI Chairman and CEO Daniel Razon earlier (7/14/2014) called on viewers of his morning magazine program, Good Morning Kuya, to boycott the biased move by Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila (formerly Westin Philippine Plaza).

The hotel intentionally removed in its hotel TV programming UNTV, the only Philippine channel with focus on charities and public service.

As soon as the call was made by Razon, netizens took to Twitter to vent their sentiments to @sofitelmanila, instantly pulling the hashtag #NoToSofitel up the Philippines Trends ladder.

#NoToSofitel landed at No. 1 Philippine Trends spot as of 2 PM while #BoycottSofitelPH earned the No. 5 spot.

The incessant tweets from netizens, expressing their disappointments, frustrations and outcries were magnified instantly as #NoToSofitel peaked at No. 6 trending topic under Philippines before 12 noon. As of 1:30 PM, Philippine time, the hashtag is up at No. 3.

UPDATE: Since Monday morning (7/14/2014), the hashtag #NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH has sustained its place under Philippines Trends. Since Tuesday noon, more than 100,000 tweets were registered by the #NoToSofitel hashtag. 

Observers note such move is against the station’s freedom of expression rights, an absurdity in a democratic nation like the Philippines. Netizens, however, viewed the action as an utter shaming of UNTV in spite of its kid-friendly shows, public service projects for the poor, marginalized and the neglected in the society.

Another Scandal for Sofitel

Sofitel figured in another scandal when the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported about its denial to a senior citizen the government mandated 20% discount for the elderly.

Macalintal sues Sofitel execs for denying him 20% senior citizen discount

UNTV, Netizen Sentiments

At the UNTV Fan Page, the station posted its reason for the boycott campaign.

UNTV Statement vs SofitelManila

UNTV Facebook Statement on @sofitelmanila biased move vs UNTV

Here are some tweets culled from Twitter:

Among the supporters of UNTV, the Ang Dating Daan group is the biggest with a strong followings in the Philippines and across different countries abroad.

UNTV is Focused on Public Service

UNTV is a child-friendly station, garnering multiple Anak TV Seal awards for years. It is also home for different public service projects, including the daily medical, dental, and legal services, free legal consultation, free bus rides, free transient housing, and more.

UNTV conducts a monthly People’s Day event, a medical mission for poor urban and rural barangays and barrios.

 

UNTV Cup 2 Finals: #UNTVCup2Championship Trends at No. 1

As of 4:20 PM (PHT), the hashtag #UNTVCup2Championship has peaked to No. 1 of Philippines Trends, even before PNP Responders and AFP Cavaliers collide one last time this evening for the UNTV Cup Finals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

UNTV announced the news over its Twitter and Facebook account. The hashtag debuted at No. 5, then gradually climbing up to No. 3 and No. 2 until hitting No. 1 at 4:20 PM (PHT time).

UNTVCup2Championship Trends

Philippine Trends shows #UNTVCup2Championship at No. 1 as of 4:20 PM.

Game 3: AFP v PNP

The winner will emerge as season two’s champion, taking home P1.5 million cash to be donated to the chariatable institution of choice of the victorious team. The second placer will get P650,000, which was an increase from P500,000 prize that was originally announced.

PNP held Game 1 while AFP took Game 2, which led to this decider game of the best-of-three series.

AFP v PNP over UNTV Cup 2 Title

Team PNP Responders and Team AFP Cavaliers will battle it out for the title of UNTV Cup 2 Finals tonight. (Photo: UNTVweb.com

Before the match between the PNP and AFP, a curtain raiser exhibition game will be held between the Legislatives and Executives.

Other Winners

During Game 2 last July 1, the other winners were already announced. Former UNTV Cup champ Team Judiciary only managed to scoop third place with P250,000 for their chosen charity.

Fourth placer, MMDA received P150,000 for their chosen charity.

UNTV Cup is a project by UNTV-BMPI Chairman and CEO Daniel Razon, whose goal is to encourage government offices and departments to play basketball for charity.

An additional P500,000 was donated by Bro. Eli Soriano of the Ang Dating Daan group, which eventually increased the championship pot from P1-Million to P1.5-Million.

UNTV Marks 10th Year with “Caring for Elderly” Advocacy

Knowing UNTV as the local station with a heart and focus for the often neglected and marginalized sectors of the nation, the Public Service Channel under the helm of veteran broadcaster Daniel Razon will this time celebrate its 10th anniversary by paying tribute to our beloved seniors.

#UNTVBig10 Theme of UNTV Anniversary

UNTV celebrates its Big 10 anniversary on June 25-26, 2014 with key activities geared for the senior citizens.

Much more than that, video pluggings being aired by the station show what it has become over the years: “Big 10: Bigger. Better. Broader”. In its ten years of operation, Filipinos following this humble station already saw UNTV as one whose focus has always been about delivering cause-oriented shows, public service and advocacies aimed at uplifting the global Filpino’s welfare and supporting nation-building initiatives.

Caring for the Elderly

A campaign that won for the station its KBP Golden Dove Awards for Public Service Announcement, Kuya Daniel wants more than awareness to be raised about caring for the beloved elderlies. The CEO and Chairman of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), content provider for UNTV, wants the campaign to become a regular part of the public service offerings of UNTV.

“Most of the time, when one is old, the pervasive notion is that the elderlies are already useless, as if only waiting to die,” said the broadcast journalist. Kuya Daniel believes similar programs like giving priority lanes and senior citizen discounts to elderlies could help increase awareness to finally give attention to the significant roles of the elders.

“When one is already old, little attention to their needs is provided for; there is [often] no realization that those who are old now were the ones providing the needs of those who were also once young. These elders need care and concern now,” said Kuya Daniel  in an interview with reporters.

Empowering the elders is one of the main concerns that Kuya Daniel wants to address, starting with the “UNTV Big 10 Elderpowerment Expo Services,” stressing that this is one way to help make the elders “become active” through significant projects that would make them busy.

“We can also tap organizations for senior citizens that will trace their concerns and increase awareness about this caring for the elderly campaign,” added Kuya Daniel. “Our concern is how we can help make them become active part of our society and be recognized for their contributions, considering the experience and wisdom they have acquired through the years.”

Elderpowerment Expo 2014

Elderpowerment Expo 2014 of UNTV

Elderpowerment Expo 2014 is UNTV’s 10th Anniversary culminating activity on June 25-26, 2014.

UNTV dedicates two days to accommodate all the activities it lined up for the Elderpowerment Expo, from June 25 to 26, 2014, at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) at the Sen. Gil Puyat ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Among the services that will be offered during the Expo are as follows:

  1. Senior Citizens ID application (OSCA) assistance.
  2. Assistance in obtaining Voter’s ID (Comelec), Police and NBI Clearance (PNP and NBI), Philhealth (Philhealth), NSO Personal Documents (NSO).
  3. Driver’s License renewal (LTO),
  4. Pag-ibig Fund general inquiry, status verification and loan application
  5. SSS change status, membership, disability claims, status verification, retirement pension, maternity form, loan application and general inquiry.
  6. GSIS membership concerns, disability claims, status verification, retirement pension concerns, loan application, Pabahay Project and general inquiry (Government Service Insurance System).
  7. Philippine Veterans Affairs Office services for veterans.
  8. Passport renewal, Visa application forms, change status or name service and consultation with Office of Consular Affairs (Department of Foreign Affairs)
  9. Application for Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (Philippine Retirement Authority)
  10. Land registration and other concerns (Land Registration Authority)
  11. Assistance for Martial Law Victims (CHR and Martial Law Victims Claims Board)
  12. Assistance for women and children (PNP-Women and Children Protection Center)
  13. Legal Assistance and Consultation (Department of Justice, Judiciary and Law Center ni Kuya)
  14. Assistance for OFWs (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration at Overseas Workers Welfare Administration)

Public services that will be offered are as follows:

  1. Free medical and dental services:
    • General Medicine Consultation and Check up
    • Ophthalmology & Cataract Consultations
    • Minor Surgery
    • Diagnostic at laboratory tests
  2. Special services
    • Dermatology service
    • Massage
    • Foot Spa
    • Reflexology and others
  3. Job Fair featuring the following companies and agencies:
    • Teletech Inc.
    • ETE Employment Services
    • Pioneer Manpower Services & Placement Agency
    • Royal Employment Agency
    • SM Malls thru SM Cares Program
  4. Livelihood Seminars
    • Ultima Entrepinoy Forum Center
    • Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship
  5. Health seminars
    • Managing Diabetes in Geriatric Age
    • Defy Aging Through Proper Nutrition
    • Weight Management Problems of the Elderly
    • Managing Urinary Incontinence & Other Related Problems
    • Moods Swings by the Bay: Dealing with Old-Age Tantrums
    • Oral Care for the Oldies
  6. Medical, Financial, Educational Assistance at Jobs Referral (Local Government Unit, House of Representatives at Senate)
  7. Referrals for Office for Senior Citizen Affairs and answer inquiries on Senior Citizen discounts, Social Pension and Pantawid Pamilya program (Department of Social Welfare and Development)

Congratulations to UNTV on your 10th year.

Bro. Eliseo Soriano, Ang Dating Daan Big Winners at Dangal ng Bayan Awards 2014

The Dangal ng Bayan Awards has paid tribute to Ang Dating Daan by awarding it as the country’s “Best Longest Running Religious Program”.

The award-giving body organized by the National Consumers Affairs Foundation (NCAF) also bestowed to Bro. Eliseo Soriano the “Best Bible-Based TV/Radio Evangelist” award.

Ang Dating Daan Turns 33

Ang Dating Daan and its hosts, Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano and Kuya Daniel Razon. Photo Credit: MCGI.org

The station where Ang Dating Daan and Bro. Eli’s programs are being aired, UNTV was also awarded the “No. 1 TV Station Committed to Truth an Genuine Public Service” during the awards night held at the AFP Theater in Quezon City on February 27, 2014.

Other big winners from UNTV include Kaagapay for Best Public Service-Oriented TV Program and Rodel Flordeliz as Outstanding TV and Event Host.

To God be the glory!

#UNTVRepaso2013: UNTV Year-end Coverage Highlights ‘Tulong Muna Bago Balita’ Advocacy

#UNTVRepaso2013

UNTV year-end coverage highlights giving rescue response to emergency cases. This has been the practice of the Public Service Channel as part of its ‘Tulong Muna Bago Balita’ advocacy launched by Daniel Razon.

Year-end coverage by media networks usually focus on news of the revelry and countdown to welcome a new year, as well as reports of deadly aftermath of stray bullet firings, fires, and emergencies.

But it is saving lives through emergency and rescue response that UNTV has long injected in its year-end coverages.

Tonight at 10 p.m. (Manila time), UNTV delivers its #UNTVRepaso2013 in the same beat.

The Philippine Public Service Channel has long shifted gears in bridging public service through rescue delivery and news reporting by way of ‘Tulong Muna Bago Balita’ (Rescue First, News Later) advocacy.

The network’s CEO Daniel Razon is the brain behind this one-of-a-kind journalism brand and possibly the first such practice in global news reporting. Do More Awards has recognized this brainchild by Razon through UNTV.

As in Repaso 2012, Repaso 2013 will be kicked off by UNTV’s special presentation to review the headline-grabbing news of 2013, the good and bad news, and stories of heroism and advocacies, while waiting for the clock to strike 12.

Repaso 2013 will also feature human-interest stories about the outlook of the indigents, homeless and poor people as the new year enters. Last year, Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano of Ang Dating Daan even took advantage of the event to sponsor and dole out grocery packs to the homeless people that UNTV visited.

There will be simulcast of Repaso 2013 at UNTV Radyo La Verdad.

Congratulations! Miss Philippines is Newly-Crowned Miss International 2013

Miss Philippines Bea Rose Santiago is now the new Miss International 2013.

Ms Philippines is Miss International 2013

Miss Philippines is the new Miss International 2013. Screen-grabbed photo from Youtube as Miss Bea Rose Santiago delivered her speech.

Ms. Santiago is only the fifth from the Philippines to have won the title.

Other Filipinas who were crowned the title were: Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964), Aurora Pijuan (1970), Melanie Marquez (1979) and Precious Lara Quigaman (2005).

The winning speech by Ms. Santiago.

Transcript:

The whole world saw how my country, the Philippines, suffered. The agony of our people was felt. But one by one, country to country helped. I would like to thank every nation who have helped my country. In our darkest hours, you have opened my eyes and my heart how important it is to help each other. If I become Miss International, I will uphold international camaraderie to instill the spirit of sympathy and continually share the spirit of hope. I believe whatever calamity would come to us, as long as we have each other, there will be hope.

Congratulations and thank you for bringing new hope to our countrymen, Ms. Bea Rose Santiago.