Meet SM Iloilo’s Little Stars Jenesis and Maxwell

By: Kathy Villalon

NOW on its 12th year, SM Little Stars aims to foster child development through various activities such as the talent and interview portions, workshops and fun activities at the mall.

Each mall has its own search and the winners represent the city in the regional finals. SM City Iloilo’s winners are Jenesis Rain Simpson and Maxwell Jesse Figueroa who also represented the Visayas region in the SM Little Stars 2017 grand finals held in SM Aura last Aug 6, 2017.

Jenesis won third runner-up. She enthralled the audience with her prowess in gymnastics. She is seven year, homeschooled and the daughter of Joseph and Brittany Simpson. Her other hobbies are dancing, singing, reading, coloring and playing with her stuffed toy Tiger.

Rhemaya, Jenesis’ sister also joined the competition as the representative of SM Bacolod and she made it to the regional finals.

“Rhemaya and I practiced every day. It was hard at first but we got better. I’m so happy that we both joined. I was happy to share the light of God through gymnastics during the talent competition,” said Jenesis.

Equally charming is six-year-old Maxwell who captivated the audience when he sang “New York” during the grand finals. He is a grade 2 student at SPED-ISEC and the son of Francie Joy and Judel Figueroa. His hobbies are singing, dancing, reading, playing games and riding a bike.



It was not all competition for the contestants. Apart from gaining friends and confidence and developing their talents, Jenesis and Maxwell said they had so much fun during the search. They went bowling, baked Krispy Kreme doughnuts and watched a movie, among others.



Jenesis and Maxwell expressed thanks to their parents for loving and supporting them. Indeed, behind every successful kid are supportive parents who never fail to impart their wisdom.

Jenesis’s father, Joseph shared that he and his wife have always encouraged their children that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength. (Philippians 4:13.)

“We always remind them to enjoy their journey and learn from it. We teach them the value of prayer and to hold on to the promises of Jesus through His Holy Word. We remind them to always give God the glory for all the success and learn from their failures,” Joseph said.

It was Joseph who trained Jenesis Rain and Rhemaya to become skilled gymnasts. Joseph is a gymnast who was a member of their high school gymnastics team in the United States.

In fact, the family joined the Pilipinas Got Talent competition in 2016.

“Our technique for raising talented kids is, first of all, imparting in them the vision that their gifts, skills, and talents are all part of God’s greater plan for their lives. According to Jeremiah 29:11, God has a good plan for us, a plan of good and not of evil and a plan for a better future. By putting God first in their lives, as well as trying hard and learning the joy of discipline and hard work, they will see the harvest of their labor. We teach our children to be serious and at the same time enjoy the process of training, for when no one really sees and when it is time to perform or minister, it will be excellent. We also teach them to never give up, even if at times they may have not succeed, to learn from their mistake and make a change for the better. In short, we as parents rely on the grace and favor of the Holy Spirit, but at the same time, teaching them the discipline of hard work and training,” he added.



Francie shared that when she discovered Maxwell’s singing potential, she started to train him “I was so amazed on how he confidently performed onstage.”


“I raised a talented kid by giving him words of encouragement and I let him explore and discover new things. I praise his effort in all the things that he does. I also make sure that there is a balance, so he gets to enjoy every experience and have fun. I always tell him that he is God’s best creation and he can do great things,” she explained.



They also have aspirations on what they want to be when they grow up. Jenesis said that she wants to become a dentist. “I want to help people have a better smile,” she explained. Maxwell wants to be an engineer like his father when he grows up and also to be a commercial model if given a chance, said Francie Joy.

With their talents, support of their family, solid foundation and opportunities given to them such as joining SM Little Stars, there’s no question on Jenesis and Maxwell achieving their dreams.

To Jenesis, Maxwell and their families, congratulations!



Isuzu PHL reveals eco-friendly  ‘Blue Power’ at 20th Anniversary

ISUZU Philippines Corporation (IPC), celebrated their 20 strong years in the local automotive industry by unveiling their latest offering: “Blue Power Technology.”

Last September 27, IPC executives led by President Hajime Koso, together with Isuzu Motors Ltd. Japan, President and CEO Masanori Katayama;Mitsubishi Corporation Japan Executive Vice President and Group CEO, Machinery Kazushi Okawa, MMDA General Manager & concurrent Usec. of Dept. of Transportation Thomas Orbos,Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan ManilaTakehiro Kano, along with dignitaries and members of the Philippine motoring media, spearheaded the anniversary rites.

Koso expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Philippines, where the IPC broke ground some two decades ago. He also thanked their partners who helped them grow towards their current business standing.

“This country has become our second home and gave us the wings to soar higher than what we were 20 years back. We are looking forward to 20 years and more. To our loyal partners, may you continue to put your trust on us and we promise that we will be finding more ways to meet your expectations,” Koso said.

Shortly after the anniversary ceremonies, the IPC executives proudly announced the launching of their new product: Isuzu’s Blue Power Technology.

In an era where technology needs to benefit nature, Isuzu developed Blue Power: an eco-friendly diesel engine designed to promote green technology.

The Blue Technology on Isuzu engines—which will be present on all vehicles in the Isuzu lineup—is said to provide maximum engine output, cleaner emissions, superb fuel economy, as well as engine durability.

The 4JJ1-TCX engine found on the D-MAX and mu-X is said to provide 177 PS and a maximum torque of 380 Nm. The engine is also designed to comply with EURO 4 standards.

The new facelifted mu-X model, is now mated to a six-speed transmission, for both manual and automatic variants. Aside from that, the mu-X now comes with Auto-Headlight Leveling, Hill Descent Control and 8-inch screen entertainment system with USB  link and tex-to-speech navigation.

The latest D-MAX offering now comes with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. It is also fitted with multiple USB ports to suffice the passengers’ need on the continuous use of their mobile gadgets.

Undergoing a full-model change is the All-New Isuzu N-Series light-duty trucks which not only received a fresh face but the also Blue Power EURO 4 engines, namely: the 4JH1-TC (NLR77 model), 4JJ1-TC (NLR85, NMR85 & NPR85 models) and 4HK1-TCN (NQR75 model).

Further, their   medium-duty truck lineup, F-Series, also sports the new Blue Power Technology. The 4HK1-TC (FRR); 6HK1-TCN (FSR and FVR) and the 6HK1-TCS (FVM) engines give these trucks more power and efficiencywhile complying with stringent EURO IV standards making these trucks more effective workhorses.

Their C & E Series line-up has made the monumental leap towards cleaner emissions: the 6WG1-TGR is now EURO compliant, meaning the engine has higher torque at low speed area due to the modified turbocharger and increasing engine displacement.

Koso said that they are confident that the new modifications to their full lineup will further affect sales positively across the board. “We are hoping yet we are confident that the Philippines will continue to patronize the brand with these substantial changes that we have introduced,” Koso noted.“We believe that these game changers are surely to hit it big in the local automotive industry,” he added.

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