MyCebu.ph: Cebu News & Features

Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Category: Community

RDRRMC lauds Smart efforts during Cebu earthquake drill

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Central Visayas recently recognized Smart Communications (Smart) for its services and efforts instrumental to the successful conduct of the Nationwide Simultaneous…

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Central Visayas recently recognized Smart Communications (Smart) for its services and efforts instrumental to the successful conduct of the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill in Cebu.

During the drill, Smart deployed its multi-equipment on wheels and free calls assistance via satellite phones; provided connectivity via LTE SIM cards to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Wi-Fi courtesy of PLDT to the Cebu Provincial Capitol; and disseminated preparedness and safety tips via LED ads within the city.

SMART earthquake drill

The photo shows Smart Public Affairs Visayas-Mindanao Head Atty. Maria Jane Paredes and Public Affairs Manager NN Navarro (second and third from left) receiving the plaque from Department of Science and Technology VII Regional Director Ed Paradela (left) and Office of Civil Defense-Central Visayas RD Connie Ornopia, during the National Disaster Resilience Month culmination and awarding rites held in Cebu City.

Through its #SafePH advocacy, Smart has been supporting various government initiatives aimed at cultivating a culture of preparedness among Filipinos.

No Comments on RDRRMC lauds Smart efforts during Cebu earthquake drill

Healthcare gets boost from award-winning Smart innovation

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients…

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients who had to wait for their files to be retrieved before seeing a doctor. It also posed a risk of paper records being damaged during disasters, and of handwriting being misread.

Now, the Samboan RHU and selected public health facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, and Quezon City can retrieve files with a few clicks on a laptop, and can thus serve more patients. They can also refer patients to better-equipped health facilities electronically, and remind patients of appointments and medication via SMS. Furthermore, they can submit relevant patient information to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for faster processing of claims and health statistics.

All this and more are made possible by SHINE OS+ (Secured Health Information Network and Exchange), an electronic medical record and referral system run by Smart Communications and the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center.

Launched in 2011, SHINE OS+ is now being used by a network of 86 RHUs, 44 private hospitals, and 32 public hospitals. It primarily targets RHUs, which use the system for free, as these are mostly situated hours away from tertiary hospitals, which have specialists and more advanced equipment. Paid plug-ins and extensions are also available to private clinics and hospitals.

Recognized here and abroad

SHINE OS+ has been recognized by three local and international awards programs this year alone. It won a Silver Anvil at the Anvil Awards, given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines; and a Merit Award at the Philippine Quill Awards, organized by the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippines.

More recently, SHINE OS+ was announced as winner in the healthcare category of the Golden World Awards, organized by the International Public Relations Association.

“SHINE OS+ revolutionized how patient health information can be recorded, retrieved, reported to various health agencies, and used for e-referrals to higher health institutions. With just a click of a button, one can search which patients have particular conditions, or check disease burden. Samboan, a town about four hours away from Cebu City, can now send advanced notice to hospitals and other SHINE OS+ users that patients are coming their way,” said Dr. Ianne Jireh Cañizares of Samboan RHU.

Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart public affairs center head, said the digitization of health records could also help policy makers develop more appropriate health programs.

“Because health information is more organized and can be accessed faster, authorities can identify the most common cases in a particular area and can craft health programs accordingly,” she said.

Continuous improvements

Being an open-source platform, SHINE OS+ allows developers from anywhere in the country and the world to create additional features that can fill more gaps in the health sector. It does this while keeping patient records private.

Among the relatively new features created are an electronic prescription module, a disease-tracking and monitoring plug-in, an offline version of the program for those with limited internet access, and Android and iOS+ apps for use of health workers on the field.

Health facilities interested in using SHINE OS+ may send an email to inquiry@shine.ph. (Press release)

No Comments on Healthcare gets boost from award-winning Smart innovation

Tutelage Learning Center brings progressive education to south Cebu

With its small class sizes, individualized program for regular and special education students, child-centered curriculum, Tutelage Learning Center is every parent’s dream school. What’s even better for preschool and elementary…

With its small class sizes, individualized program for regular and special education students, child-centered curriculum, Tutelage Learning Center is every parent’s dream school.

What’s even better for preschool and elementary kids, Tutelage Learning Center (TLC) will start classes on August 1, 2017 in a second and bigger branch in Pakigne, Minglanilla.

Ava Kristine Rosello, vice president for administration, said they offer all levels of instruction from playgroups to sixth grade as well as early interaction programs for children with special needs.

Tutelage Cebu started out in 2006 with tutorial programs to aid schoolchildren and added classes gradually until they were able to offer the complete primary education levels. Its first school is located on Edros Road, Cebu City.

Tutelage Learning Center

PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. Officials of the Tutelage Learning Center talk about their school in a press conference. TLC will start classes on August 1, 2017 in a second and bigger branch in Pakigne, Minglanilla.

John Dewey philosophy

TLC espouses the John Dewey method of instruction, which follows the progressive rather than the traditional way of teaching, explained senior curriculum advisor Lanore V. Suico.

She added that aside from the fewer students in Tutelage classrooms, they are also active participants, problem solvers, and planners in classes.

“John Dewey believed that kids learn best if they are doing the activities firsthand. At Tutelage, children express their thoughts and ask questions,” Suico also said.

Curriculum adviser Yollymar Lemente said that aside from the learning they get from academic lessons, kids are also taught such competencies as finance and life skills.

Teacher-student ratio

Riza Sorbito, TLC director, said their ratio per teacher is six to eight kids for the playgroup and nursery levels and 12 for the graders.

She said Tutelage is K-12 ready and has accreditation from the Department of Education (DepEd).

The school, she assured, has zero tolerance for bullying but teachers promote positive discipline.

Tutelage Learning Center decided to open in Pakigne, Minglanilla to cater to residents of the town as well as those in Talisay and Naga.

No Comments on Tutelage Learning Center brings progressive education to south Cebu

Volunteers get boost from Smart-initiated Operation Smile app

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just…

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just not confident enough to seek treatment due to their physical appearance.

An initiative by PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, however, seeks to address this problem. The Operation Smile patient-mapping mobile application, which was conceptualized by Smart for Operation Smile Philippines (OSP), was deployed during a recent medical mission in Bacolod City.

“Most patients are in the provinces. The challenge is how to find them. Another challenge is that when you have a facial deformity, you don’t go out,” said Wiggy Fontanilla, OSP president. “This mapping and tracking system changes the whole endeavor by coming up with a heat map of patients.”

Better access, monitoring

At the Bacolod medical mission, volunteers have recorded cleft patients’ details using the app, as Operation Smile aims to store patient information on the Web for better access and monitoring.

Arleen Antolo, 24, a speech teacher at Hope Foundation and volunteer for Operation Smile, travels for at least two hours from Bacolod to far-flung rural health units and barangay health centers in Negros Occidental to meet with other volunteers and cleft patients for possible inclusion in succeeding medical missions.

Antolo, who has been a volunteer for three years now, said her love for teaching and for children were what drove her to help in Operation Smile. “It feels good to help cleft patients, and see them smile. Being treated will definitely help them have a better future,” she said.

Operation Smile app

Operation Smile volunteer Arleen Antolo (left) takes a photo of a 7-month-old cleft patient using the Operation Smile app in Barangay Bago, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental.

Lessen paperwork

She expressed appreciation for the app, which she used to record patient details during the Bacolod mission. “This will help lessen paperwork—we won’t need to carry folders of patient records, which may get lost or even get wet when the rain comes,” Antolo said.

The Operation Smile app is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices. Anyone can download and use the app—just open an account and follow the instructions on uploading patient information.

Patient details gathered through the app will be uploaded to the central server of Operation Smile, which will use the information to monitor patients’ treatment and plan for the locations of succeeding medical missions.

Closer to communities

“In our efforts to use technology for good, we partner with institutions such as Operation Smile, which seeks to bring healthcare closer to communities. We support Operation Smile as it aims to eradicate the backlog of cleft conditions worldwide,” said Ramon R. Isberto, public affairs group head for PLDT and Smart.

For its part, Operation Smile has expressed its appreciation for Smart’s efforts. “We sincerely appreciate all that [Smart has] done to help us give people with cleft conditions new smiles,” the global Operation Smile unit said on its Twitter account. (Press release)

To support Operation Smile, Smart subscribers may also donate by texting SMILE (space) (amount) to 4483.

No Comments on Volunteers get boost from Smart-initiated Operation Smile app

Batibot now on App Store

Educational app develops essential thinking skills among children Parents using iOS-powered smartphones and tablets can now download for free the Batibot mobile application, an interactive version of the beloved TV…

Educational app develops essential thinking skills among children

Parents using iOS-powered smartphones and tablets can now download for free the Batibot mobile application, an interactive version of the beloved TV show that helps enhance learning among children.

Earlier launched on the Android platform, the app features fun games that teach kids basic learning concepts like matching, sorting, and grouping. The app also lets children practice tracing letters with the proper strokes, and helps them identify shapes, colors, numbers, and letter sounds.

The Batibot app is the first educational app in Filipino that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Aligned with curriculum

The app’s “Awiting Batibot” feature enables kids to sing along to Batibot songs, while “Kuwentong Batibot” contains local stories that promote good values.

What makes the Batibot app stand out from other educational apps is that it is the only app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

The Batibot app is the product of a collaboration among Smart Communications, Community of Learners Foundation, and developer startup OrangeFix. The app jumpstarted Smart’s efforts to work with various communities and organizations to create literacy apps in local languages.

Batibot app

The app features local stories that promote Filipino values.

Filipino language, values

Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto said that since the Batibot app was launched on the Android platform, a lot of parents had inquired as to when it would be downloadable on iOS devices.

“Many parents based here and abroad said their kids had grown up speaking English, and that they wanted their children to be proficient in the Filipino language too. The Batibot app will certainly help them brush up on Filipino in a fun, interactive way,” he said.

“When you search for educational content online, you’ll find that most of them are in English. There is a need for digital learning content that promotes the Filipino language as well as Filipino values. The Batibot app addresses that need,” Isberto added.

Kids can now have the fun Batibot experience that their parents had, through the Batibot app.

Technocart, School-in-a-Bag

To bring the Batibot app to remote, underserved communities, Smart installs the app in the tablets it donates to public schools under the TechnoCart and School-in-a-Bag programs.

Smart TechnoCart, which is donated to public schools with electricity, is a 2×2 ft mobile laboratory containing 20 tablets for students, as well as a laptop, projector, and mobile Wi-Fi with starter load for the teacher. The School-in-a-Bag, which is meant for remote public schools without electricity, is a backpack containing a solar panel, a laptop, five tablets, a mobile phone, a pocket Wi-Fi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules.

Smart as well as individual and corporate sponsors have so far donated TechnoCarts to 40 schools, and School-in-a-Bag units to 18 schools all over the Philippines.

Teachers of the recipient schools are given training on tablet basics and on child and curriculum development.

Powerful learning tools

“Combined with guidance from elders, mobile devices and the internet can be powerful tools in enhancing learning among children,” Isberto said.

“Batibot helped shape a generation of Filipinos, many of whom are now parents and teachers. They now have an opportunity to share the Batibot learning experience with their children and students through the Batibot app,” he added.

To know more about Smart’s initiatives to use technology for the development of different social sectors like education, please follow the Smart Communities page on Facebook. Those interested to sponsor Smart TechnoCarts or School-in-a-Bag units may send an email to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information. (Press release)

No Comments on Batibot now on App Store

Globe sets up 41 libreng tawag and charging stations in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol

Globe Telecom has put up 41 Libreng Tawag and Charging stations across the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Bohol to assist victims of the recent earthquake with their communication needs….

Globe Telecom has put up 41 Libreng Tawag and Charging stations across the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Bohol to assist victims of the recent earthquake with their communication needs.

Due to the damage sustained by electric power stations, there is still no electricity in the areas, leaving residents with limited means to charge their mobile phones and make calls.

The Libreng Tawag and Charging stations are open from 9 am – 5 pm and are located in the following areas:

LEYTE (9 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Ormoc City – Brgy Cogon near Jollibee
2. Ormoc City – Quadrangle
3. Baybay City – Plaza Rizal
4. Hilongos – SF Commercial, Hilongos
5. Tacloban City – Sonny John Store, Brgy Manlurip along highway infornt of Sunnyville
6. Tacloban City – Marcab Store, Tacloban City new bus terminal
7. Tacloban City – Sacay Store, San Salvador St. Brgy. Puri Palo, Leyte
8. Tacloban City – Rose Tan Store, Don Gorgonia St. V&G Tacloban
9. Kananga – In front of Liz Barbecue, Real st. corner Larrazabal St.

Globe Libreng Tawag

Newly-activated libreng tawag and libreng charging station in Kananga, Leyte

SOUTHERN LEYTE (2 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Maasin City – Andoks, in front of Mang Tinapay
2. Sogod – Plaza Rizal

SAMAR (5 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Calbayog City – Nijaga Park, Gomez St
2. Catbalogan City – Color Print Store, Allen Avenue
3. Catarman – Catarman Park Near City Hall
4. Borongan – Borongan North, Siongco st.
5. Guian – Near Tourism office

BOHOL (25 LIBRENG CHARGE STATIONS)

1. Barangay Sta Cruz, Calape
2. Barangay Danao, Panglao
3. Barangay Tayong, Loay
4. Barangay Tabajan, Guindulman
5. Barangay Guinacot, Guindulman
6. Barangay Poblacion, Anda
7. Barangay La Union, Candijay
8. Barangay Poblacion, Alicia
9. Barangay Buenavista, Carmen
10. Barangay Poblacion, Carmen
11. Barangay Tejero, Jagna
12. Barangay Larapan, Jagna
13. Barangay Poblacion, Jagna
14. Barangay Poblacion, Duero
15. Barangay Panghagban, Buenavista
16. Barangay Luyo, Dimiao
17. Barangay Poblacion, Buenavista
18. Barangay Poblacion, Getafe
19. Barangay San Jose, Talibon
20. Barangay Poblacion, Bien Unido
21. Barangay San Roque, Mabini
22. Barangay Rosario, Inabanga
23. Barangay Luyo, Inabanga
24. Barangay Lapacan, Inabanga
25. Barangay Poblacion, Pitogo island

No Comments on Globe sets up 41 libreng tawag and charging stations in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol

Smart provides more free charging services in quake-affected areas

With the extended power outage in the earthquake-affected provinces of Eastern Visayas, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications is expanding its Libreng Charging efforts to allow more subscribers to stay connected….

With the extended power outage in the earthquake-affected provinces of Eastern Visayas, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications is expanding its Libreng Charging efforts to allow more subscribers to stay connected.

Smart has extended communications assistance to residents and disaster response units following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that recently hit Jaro, Leyte, and affected nearby cities, municipalities and provinces.

Mobile network not damaged

According to Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head: “Even as some areas are hampered by the power loss, our mobile network was not damaged by the quake. Our subscribers in the area have sufficient load because our dealer network remains intact. We are addressing the need of our subscribers to recharge their devices.”

Power outages were experienced in Leyte, Bohol and the Samar provinces after the quake, prompting the telco to open up a number of its cell sites, offices and retail stores in the region as free charging and free calling stations for affected residents.

Smart Libreng Charging

Residents charge their mobile devices at a Libreng Charging station at the Smart cell site in Barangay Linao, Ormoc.

Communication support was also provided to Leyte’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, for easier coordination in the province’s three worst-hit localities—Ormoc City, Kananga and Jaro.

Free charging, free calls

Smart has also partnered with local government units, and its distributor network in the region to set up more Libreng Charging and Libreng Tawag centers in strategic areas such as the local gymnasium and the provincial loading stations.

Recognizing communications as an important form of relief, Smart has been consistent in immediately providing communication as aid in the form of free calls and charging services, and emergency communication links during disasters, to help government and humanitarian agencies coordinate and deliver more effective relief efforts to affected communities.

The list of Smart’s free calling and charging centers is updated regularly through its community partnerships Facebook account, facebook.com/SmartCommunities. (Press release)

No Comments on Smart provides more free charging services in quake-affected areas

10 provincial schools get tech packages from Smart to boost education

Ten public schools in Lanao del Norte, La Union, Benguet, Capiz, and Leyte are getting digital technology packages that can help enhance the education of their kindergarten students. Smart Communications…

Ten public schools in Lanao del Norte, La Union, Benguet, Capiz, and Leyte are getting digital technology packages that can help enhance the education of their kindergarten students.

Smart Communications is donating units of the Smart TechnoCart, a 2×2 ft mobile laboratory that contains 20 tablets for students, as well as a laptop, projector, and mobile Wi-Fi for the teacher. Each tablet is preloaded with Batibot, the first mobile application in Filipino that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Training

Teachers of the recipient-schools recently received training on tablet basics, as well as on child and curriculum development provided by the Community of Learners Foundation (COLF).

In the photo are (from left) Milwida Guevara of program partner Synergeia Foundation; Mayor Ignacio Rivera of Tuba, Benguet; Mayor Mildred Joy Que of Dulag, Leyte; Feny de los Angeles of COLF; and Smart community partnerships head Darwin Flores.

Since the program was launched in June 2015, Smart and sponsors have donated TechnoCarts to 40 public schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These schools serve about 10,000 kindergarten students. Individuals and organizations wanting to help spread the benefits of digital learning to more public schools may email TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information. (Press release)

No Comments on 10 provincial schools get tech packages from Smart to boost education

Smart deploys digital tech to improve delivery of public health services

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs). Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record…

Smart Communications is harnessing technology to help improve the productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers assigned in rural health units (RHUs).

Smart has been actively deploying its electronic medical record platform named SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Innovation Network Exchange (Open Source) in RHUs mostly in the Visayas where many Filipinos don’t have access to quality healthcare.

Raise productivity, efficiency

The digitization of patient records using SHINE has helped raise the productivity and efficiency of 35 local health facilities since RHU personnel spend less time looking for the records of patients coming in for a consult. This also makes it easier for the RHU to refer patients seeking more intensive treatment to tertiary hospitals elsewhere in the province.

Since 2015, Smart’s SHINE OS+ has been able to digitize close to 177,700 patient records from 25 RHUs covering 23 municipalities in Cebu; four RHUs from Iloilo; three from Rizal in Metro Manila; and one each for Bohol, Kalibo, and Masbate.

SHINE OS+ Samboan

SHINE TRAINING. Members of the Samboan rural health units undergo a training on how to use the electronic medical record platform SHINE OS+.

With the validation of SHINE OS+ by the Philippine Health Information Exchange, patient records in the 35 RHUs will now be automatically transmitted to the eRecords of the Philippine Health Corp. or PhilHealth. This allows for faster processing of incentives for RHU personnel in exchange for services rendered as provided for by the Primary Care Benefit Package of Philhealth. Once claims are released, the municipal health officer can utilize the funds for RHU enhancement, while the remaining amount will be shared among the health workers as extra payment for services rendered.

Prompt, efficient delivery of healthcare

“We have here a situation where everyone is happy because of SHINE OS+–the patients for prompt and efficient delivery of healthcare services; the government for the improved delivery of healthcare; PhilHealth for the digitization of patient records; and local health personnel for additional income earned from rendering services to the patients,” said Atty. Maria C. Jane Paredes, head of Public Affairs, VisMin, at Smart.

“Smart enables the provision of quality healthcare to more Filipinos, particularly those in underserved areas. We have been working with like-minded institutions like Ateneo to make technology work for development, in this case, making a responsive and quality healthcare a reality for more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

The Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center, which developed the SHINE OS+ also developed SHINE OS+ Mobile to make the platform and its functionalities accessible to health professionals anytime, anywhere; and MySHINE, which was designed as a companion app for patients whose healthcare records are stored in the network.

SHINE OS+ runs on an open source platform, allowing developers to design modules and plugins to customize it according to the needs of beneficiary communities. (Press release)

No Comments on Smart deploys digital tech to improve delivery of public health services

Oakridge Business Park’s Mother’s Day celebration gathers moms of children with special needs

In celebration of this year’s Mother’s Day, Oakridge Business Park held a SUPER MOMMIES Movie Day Out last May 14, at the Oakridge Pavilion, an event that gave mothers and…

In celebration of this year’s Mother’s Day, Oakridge Business Park held a SUPER MOMMIES Movie Day Out last May 14, at the Oakridge Pavilion, an event that gave mothers and kids and opportunity to bond over movie.

The afternoon activity, which gathered close to 90 moms and their kids, was a tribute for mothers of children with special needs including kids with cancer, autism, and wheelchair-dependent, among other physical disabilities. The activity aims to celebrate the strength, tenacity and resourcefulness of the mothers for having raised these children.

Oakridge with its partner organizations — Kythe Foundation; Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS), particularly the disabled-people’s organization Kapunongan Alang sa May Kabilinggan sa Cordova; and Saint Martin de Porres Special School — treated these “super moms” and their kids to free popcorn, ice cream, hotdogs, and refreshments, all while watching the animated film, Brave.

Oakridge Mother's Day

MOVIE TREAT. Oakridge and its partners treated mothers of children with special needs to free popcorn, ice cream, hotdogs, and refreshments, all while watching the animated film, Brave.

Uplifting message

The movie has an uplifting message about improving communication between mothers and daughters.

Fely Tano, lead SPED teacher at Saint Martin de Porres Special School, expressed her gratitude saying the event was a great time for mothers to “enjoy and have fun” with their children.

“This will be a Mother’s Day that the moms here will never forget. Because their time is mostly consumed with taking care of their child’s needs, they often forget to relax so this event is a welcome treat for them,” Tano said.

Family-oriented activities

Oakridge is gearing up for more family-centered activities this quarter. As an inclusive community, the business park is not only family-friendly, it is also PWD- accessible.

Oakridge Business Park is a distinct business address along A.S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City.

Oakridge Business Park is a masterfully planned dynamic park fusing business and pleasure in thoughtfully planned spaces and structures from a mix of office, event and lifestyle spaces.

Oakridge Mother's Day

HAVING FUN. Fely Tano, lead SPED teacher at Saint Martin de Porres Special School, said the event at Oakridge was a great time for mothers to “enjoy and have fun” with their children.

Balanced work-play environment

It currently houses Oakridge IT Center 1; Block Eighty Eight; the Oakridge Pavilion, an air-conditioned tent event venue; and Oakridge Horizons, a 400-seater grand ballroom for formal functions.

Oakridge Business Park adds to its growing commercial property inventory with the construction of a new 12-storey PEZA-registered building – Oakridge I.T. Center 2.

Once completed, the Oakridge expansion aims to reinforce the company’s commitment to create a well-balanced work-play environment for its BPO and office clients, while preparing to bring in more retail brands, dining choices, and entertainment and wellness facilities. (Press Release)

No Comments on Oakridge Business Park’s Mother’s Day celebration gathers moms of children with special needs

Smart holds festival, rekindles love for local stories

Centuries ago, a girl named Maria lived in what is now known as Conalum, a mountainous area in the town of Argao which is about two hours away from Cebu…

Centuries ago, a girl named Maria lived in what is now known as Conalum, a mountainous area in the town of Argao which is about two hours away from Cebu City. People called her Maria Cacao, as she owned a cacao plantation from which they sourced the beans they used to create tablea. To this day, residents of Argao produce these chocolate tablets.

Town Mayor Stanley Caminero shared this legend with a rapt audience of children and adults at the culmination of the three-day “Istorya Mo, Nagpaabot Ako: Kwentuhang Batibot Caravan and Story Festival.” Organized by Smart Communications in cooperation with the local government, the caravan sought to rekindle people’s love for storytelling, especially the sharing of local tales.

Preservation of local heritage, culture

Caminero said the story of Maria Cacao could not be found in any book; it is a story that has been orally passed by Argao locals from generation to generation.

“If you think about it, the oldest heritage is stories,” he said, adding that storytelling is important not just for the preservation of local heritage and culture, but for the education of children as well.

Argao Storytelling

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero shares the Legend of Maria Cacao with school children.

Aside from Caminero, the festival’s featured storytellers included Rey Bufi of The Storytelling Project, Argao college students and elementary pupils, a parent, a teacher, and Sun.Star Superbalita editors and writers.

The festival also included trainings on storytelling and story writing for Education students of the Cebu Technological University (CTU)-Argao campus.

Make lessons fun

CTU student Chariss Ampoon said that from the trainings given by Bufi and children’s book writer Michael Jude Tumamac, she picked up tips on how to manage a classroom and give life to tales.

Maria Elena Bajo, who teaches second grade in Argao’s Binlod Elementary School, said stories make lessons fun, and can be integrated in a lot of subjects, even Math.

Aside from holding storytelling festivals, Smart also promotes the Batibot app as a way to encourage love for stories among children. Created by Smart in partnership with the Community of Learners Foundation and developer OrangeFix, the app has a feature called “Kuwentong Batibot.”

The Batibot app is the first educational app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education. It can be downloaded for free on Android devices.

The Batibot app promotes love for storytelling among kids through its Kuwentong Batibot feature.

Modern tools

Through games in the app, such as the Batibot classic “Alin ang Naiba?”, children in their formative years can also learn basic concepts like matching, sorting, and grouping. They are shown how to identify shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet, and letter sounds. The children can also practice tracing letters with the proper strokes.

Teacher Mira Vissa L. Padron of Argao Central Elementary School said the use of 21st century tools to promote the culture of storytelling would be a big help to them in the classroom. (Press Release)

No Comments on Smart holds festival, rekindles love for local stories

Coca-Cola sari-sari store program empowers micro-entrepreneurs

Investing in women leads to the betterment of the family and the community, and Coca-Cola aims to empower as many as it can with its Sari-Sari Store Training and Access…

Investing in women leads to the betterment of the family and the community, and Coca-Cola aims to empower as many as it can with its Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program.

Under this campaign, women micro-entrepreneurs join a 12-week program where they are taught entrepreneurship skills, financial literacy, merchandising, and gender sensitivity among other things, said Atty. Adel A. Tamano, Coca-Cola vice president for public affairs and communications.

He added that studies conducted by Coca-Cola worldwide showed that if women handle the budget in the households, the money primarily goes to food and education.

“When you want to help communities, it makes sense to invest in women,” Tamano pointed out.

Coca-Cola Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources

HELPING COMMUNITIES. Atty. Adel A. Tamano, Coca-Cola vice president for public affairs and communications, says studies conducted by Coca-Cola worldwide showed that if women handle the budget in the households, the money primarily goes to food and education.

Multi-awarded program

Coca-Cola’s multi-awarded STAR program has trained more than 83,000 mostly women sari-sari storeowners in the Philippines over the course of five years, according to Tamano.

He said it makes sense for Coca-Cola to partner with women micro-entrepreneurs since over half of company earnings come from the sari-sari stores in the country that now number one million.

Since it was launched in 2011 as part of the 5by20 global initiative of The Coca-Cola Company to economically empower five million people within its value chain by 2020, the program has evolved and undergone improvements.

Tamano said Coca-Cola partners with local governments, micro-finance and other groups, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to reach as many women as possible. Other partners include Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Alay sa Kaunlaran, Inc., First Community Cooperative (FICCO), Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., ASA Philippines, and the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).

STAR program recruitment

On Sunday, May 7, Coca-Cola gathered over 1,000 women entrepreneurs in Danao City, Cebu as part of a massive recruitment campaign to the STAR program. Tamano said a similar recruitment activity was first done in Davao City.

The training will happen every Saturday or Sunday of the week for 12 weeks. “We used to do the training all in one week but the dropout rate was high. We now do it in a way that works with their schedule. The sari-sari stores are also the women’s homes and they can’t be away for one week,” he said.

Women who join also receive additional benefits: they get connected to Coca-Cola’s bottling partners and learn to take advantage of promos and discounts and have access to microfinance programs.

The STAR program, which now has 390 accredited facilitators to teach and train women retailers, is being implemented in over 47 locations throughout the Philippines.

No Comments on Coca-Cola sari-sari store program empowers micro-entrepreneurs

Earth Day Cebu to feature bazaars, food booths, organic produce

Local arts and crafts, bazaars, an e-bike parade, organic farmers’ market, food booths, and live music will mark the holding of the Earth Day celebration in Cebu from April 21-22,…

Local arts and crafts, bazaars, an e-bike parade, organic farmers’ market, food booths, and live music will mark the holding of the Earth Day celebration in Cebu from April 21-22, 2017 at the University of the Philippines Cebu Campus.

This will be the third year that Earth Day is celebrated in Cebu, and it carries the theme “Pag-amuma sa Inahang Kalikopan,” said Japamala Arnaldo of Art Cebu.

Art Cebu is one of the organizers of Earth Day Cebu, which advocates for a healthy lifestyle and greener environment. The goal of the event is to build a community that has a high awareness of climate change and other environmental threats to the planet.

Arnaldo calls on Cebuanos to join the celebration and enjoy the activities they’ve lined up for the two days.

Earth Day Cebu 2017

EARTH DAY CEBU. (From left) Roza Javier and Anne Dala of Cebu Food Revolution, Japamala Arnaldo of Art Cebu, and Ma. Rowena Clara Ebdani of Cebu Farmers Market lead the Earth day celebration in Cebu.​

Earth Day highlights

A panel discussion by various climate speakers, including Prof. Henry Espiritu of PCAP, Jakki Lucero of Climate Reality Project, Dada Dharmavedananda of PROUT and Ecology, JCI Cebu Sinulo, and Francis Sollano of Youth for Livable Cebu at UP Cebu’s AS Conference Hall, will happen on the first day, April 21. It will run from 1:30-4:00 p.m. and end with a fellowship meal in the form of a vegetarian boodle fight.

One of the highlights of Earth Day will be the Cebu Farmers Market (CFM) on the second day, April 22.

On that day, according to Ma. Rowena Clara Ebdani of CFM, Cebu’s organic farmers will sell naturally grown local produce at the UP Cebu Campus grounds.

CFM already holds a regular market for farmer members every Wednesday at Streetscape in Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Park and Saturday at Axis Entertainment along Escario St., but they will be at UP Cebu during the week of the Earth Day celebration.

Healthy lifestyle

The second day of the festival will also feature a bazaar for selling or bartering pre-loved items, family cookout fair, picnic and play area, education booths, and vegetarian food stalls, said Anne Dala of the Cebu Food Revolution.

She added that Earth Day Cebu organizers “want to reach out to others so that together we can do something to protect our planet.”

Roza Javier, also of the Cebu Food Revolution, said they want to encourage a healthy lifestyle among families by stressing the importance of home cooking and sharing what they know about preparing tasty vegetarian dishes.

CFM and Cebu Food Revolution are co-organizers of the celebration.

Earth Day festivities will happen from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on the second day, and guests will only need to pay an entrance fee of P20. Earth Day Cebu is part of a global series of events in celebration of Earth Day 2017.

Event partners

Other Earth Day partners include:

  • University of the Philippines Gender and Development Studies
  • JCI Cebu Sinulog
  • PCAP
  • YogaSugbo
  • Cebu Local Government
  • International Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Handuraw Pizza
  • Persian Palate
  • Uniao Capoiera
  • Healthy Yu
  • Planet Veggies
  • Winnia Products International
  • Ananda Marga Natural Living
  • Ananda Marga Yoga Studio
  • The Detox Bar
No Comments on Earth Day Cebu to feature bazaars, food booths, organic produce

AboitizLand hosts Kiddie Earth Heroes caravan for Earth Hour 2017

Enjoining the kids in its commitment to nurture the environment, AboitizLand conducted an information and education campaign called the Kiddie Earth Heroes Caravan in celebration of Earth Hour 2017. Kiddie…

Enjoining the kids in its commitment to nurture the environment, AboitizLand conducted an information and education campaign called the Kiddie Earth Heroes Caravan in celebration of Earth Hour 2017.

Kiddie Earth Heroes were steered by employees of AboitizLand and Mactan Economic Zone II locators at the Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu City, Basak, Marigondon and Suba Masulog Elementary Schools in Lapu-lapu City and the residential communities Ajoya and Kishanta.

AboitizLand Earth Hour

RECYCLING. Stressing the urgent need for everyone to make lifestyle adjustments in order to meaningfully participate in climate action, students of various schools showcased their best creations out of factory scrap and household trash at the Earth Hour 2017 event held at The Outlets at Pueblo Verde.

A total of 300 children participated in the campaign, which featured lectures and discussions on the causes and effects of climate change and ways dealing with it. At the end of the hour-long sessions, each child-participant wrote his personal pledge of contributing to the reduction of the impact of climate change.

AboitizLand observes Earth Hour annually, engaging its residential, commercial and industrial partners in its commitment towards environmental sustainability.

Earth Hour activities were held at Kishanta, Ajoya, The Persimmon Plus, The Outlets at Pueblo Verde, and Mactan Economic Zone II. An estimated 1,000 adults and children celebrated the Earth Hour event with fire dances, drum beating and acoustic band performances. Kishanta and Ajoya vecinos gathered for a community boodle fight while kiddie vecinos rendered environment-themed dance numbers.

At MEZ II and The Outlets at Pueblo Verde, locators and school representatives took to the spotlight with their vibrant recycled costumes from factory scrap and household trash. They also joined a host of competitions such as the Earth Hour production contest, recycled bag making contest, and solid waste management sustainability contest during the lights-off event. (Press Release)

No Comments on AboitizLand hosts Kiddie Earth Heroes caravan for Earth Hour 2017

Run to support ERUF by joining Marco Polo Plaza Cebu fun run

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu will once again hold a run to support the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation or ERUF. The Run for ERUF Year 2 will be held on April…

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu will once again hold a run to support the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation or ERUF.

The Run for ERUF Year 2 will be held on April 30 and will have the following distances: 1K, 3K, 6K, and 12K.

Registration fees are P200 for 1K, P400 for 3K, P500 for 6K. amd P600 for 12K. The 1K distance is made available for families who would want to join with their kids or grandparents.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Run For ERUF

Support ERUF services

All proceeds of the run will go to ERUF. Last year’s successful Run for ERUF gathered 900 runners and raised P130,000 to support ERUF’s continuous services to the community.

Assembly time for the run is 4 a.m. at the hotel tennis court located near the parking lot. Gun start will be at 5 a.m. Each participant will get a race kit, which includes a singlet, race bib and refreshments which they can claim after the run.

The first 100 finishers in the 12K category will get a finisher’s medal. After the race, awarding will follow with special prizes and cash prizes for the top winners of each category.

ERUF has always assisted the hotel in various events, promoting safety and security to Marco Polo Plaza’s guests and associates.

Run for ERUF 2

SUPPORTING ERUF. Last year’s successful Run for ERUF gathered 900 runners and raised P130,000 to support ERUF’s continuous services to the community.

Registration

“They value life, encourage volunteerism and because they serve so others might live, we are showing them how we value their efforts for the community through this run,” the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu press statement said.

Registration will be at Marco Polo Plaza Hospitality Desk. You can call (63 2) 253-1111 local 8249 or email runforeruf@marcopolocebu.com. From April 16 to 29, you can also register at the 2nd Floor of Ayala Center Cebu Active Zone.

This run is made possible through a partnership with Federal Land, Fluor Daniel Inc. Philippines, Ayala Center Cebu, Graphic Star, Pyroworks, Nature’s Spring, Pocari Sweat, The Freeman and Cebu Daily News.

For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu.

No Comments on Run to support ERUF by joining Marco Polo Plaza Cebu fun run

‘Road sharing’ as radical fix for climate change pushed in new Oposa book

Life-long lessons in appreciating the Earth’s gifts and how to do battle to conserve the sea, air and land come together in a different kind of book by environment lawyer…

Life-long lessons in appreciating the Earth’s gifts and how to do battle to conserve the sea, air and land come together in a different kind of book by environment lawyer Tony Oposa.

“Shooting Stars and Dancing Fish” was written as a picture-and-story book with young persons and decision-makers in mind. Climate change, according to Oposa, isn’t real to many people despite its disastrous impact seen in more intense storms, wacky weather patterns and sea-level rise. The crisis gets lost in jargon and the notion that this is someone else’s problem to fix.

Mind shift

“I’m just a storyteller more than a legal brawler,” he likes to say with his fourth book.

Oposa tackles the problem with essays and poetry, full-color photos, paintings and fun illustrations.

He also calls for a mind shift from wasteful consumption to “CPR Economics” that fosters Conservation, Protection and Restoration. At the end of the book, he invites readers to “paint the future” they want to see.

The 262-page book is published by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and designed by Cebu creative studio Happy Garaje. The soft-cover book is reader-friendly with its handy square size, eye-catching visuals and prose that makes complex concepts simple.

Shooting Stars and Dancing Fish” was written as a picture-and-story book with young persons and decision-makers in mind.

Launch, book signing

The launch and book signing is set at 4 p.m. of March 17, Friday, at Casino Español in Cebu City. Retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. and Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development in Washington D.C., will grace the event with COO Dominica Chua representing RAFI.

Earlier at 2 p.m., at the same venue, the Office of the Ombudsman and Department of Environment and Natural Resources will launch “Pasalamat sa Katauhan”, a nationwide program to recognize individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to a “balanced and healthful ecology.” Oposa helped set up the program in his role as Special Counsel to the Office of the Environmental Ombudsman.

Some highlights of the book:

  • Why developed nations are “OC” or Over-Consuming countries that should not be admired or copied
  • Road sharing or “Bayanihan sa Daan” to solve traffic congestion
  • Why the car is a “metal monster” feeding global warming
  • Stories of CPR Economics or models around the world
  • Personal notes on Oposa’s legal battles over illegal logging, the Manila Bay reclamation, fishponds in Laguna Lake, Bantayan beach encroachment, and other disputes
  • How youths and ordinary citizens can support the International Climate Justice Movement

Oposa is the 2009 recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his pioneer work in environmental law.

No Comments on ‘Road sharing’ as radical fix for climate change pushed in new Oposa book

Smart’s Batibot app nominated for global award

The Batibot mobile application co-developed by Smart Communications has been shortlisted for the Best Mobile Innovation for Education or Learning citation of the prestigious Global Mobile Awards. The digital version…

The Batibot mobile application co-developed by Smart Communications has been shortlisted for the Best Mobile Innovation for Education or Learning citation of the prestigious Global Mobile Awards.

The digital version of the beloved Filipino children’s show is the first app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education. It was designed to develop literacy among children aged 2 to 6 through fun games and interactive features. The app can be downloaded for free on Android devices.

Smart Batibot app

Teachers find the Batibot a useful classroom tool, as it is aligned with DepEd’s kindergarten curriculum.

Driving innovation

The Global Mobile Awards is organized by the GSMA, an international association of mobile operators, to recognize companies and individuals that are driving innovation in the rapidly evolving mobile industry. Entries are judged by world-leading independent experts, analysts, journalists, and academics. Winners will be named in a series of awarding ceremonies to be held in Barcelona, Spain in February.

Developed in collaboration with the Community of Learners Foundation and OrangeFix, the Batibot app features games like “Alin ang Naiba,” where children are presented with a group of objects and are asked to identify the item that does not belong to the group.

Kids can also practice tracing letters on their device, sing along to Batibot songs via the app’s videoke feature, and watch stories in Filipino.

Preloaded

The app also teaches other basic concepts like matching, sorting, shapes, colors, and numbers.

The Batibot app is preloaded in tablets donated by Smart to public schools all over the country, as part of digital learning packages called the Smart TechnoCart and School-in-a-Bag. These are among Smart’s efforts to use technology to develop different sectors in society.

Since its launch in August 2015, the Batibot app has had close to 400,000 installations.

Smart Batibot

Kindergarten students can use the Batibot app to learn basic concepts like the alphabet.

Feedback from teachers, parents, and an independent evaluator showed that the app improved students’ academic performance, increased their interest in learning, and decreased absenteeism.

The Batibot app also lessens the need for teachers to tap into their personal funds to create audio-visual aids for their classes.

For more information on Smart’s initiatives to use technology to enhance learning, please visit www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart. (Press release)

No Comments on Smart’s Batibot app nominated for global award

More than a sports league: Season 17 of Cesafi brain wars opens

AFTER the athletic and physical contests, it’s now time for a contest of different skills sets as the 2016-2017 season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc.Academic and Cultural contest…

AFTER the athletic and physical contests, it’s now time for a contest of different skills sets as the 2016-2017 season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc.Academic and Cultural contest kicks off at the University of Southern Philippines Foundation on Jan. 9.

Known primarily as a sports league, the Cesafi is more than that and unlike the UAAP, NCAA of Manila, and even its predecessor, the CAAA, the association has held academic and cultural contests through the years.

No Comments on More than a sports league: Season 17 of Cesafi brain wars opens

Smart innovation improves delivery of rural health services

Digitizing healthcare with SHINE OS+ Dr. Mimi Bondoc, municipal health officer of Zarraga, Iloilo, has worked in public health service for the past 26 years, and has witnessed how technology…

Digitizing healthcare with SHINE OS+

Dr. Mimi Bondoc, municipal health officer of Zarraga, Iloilo, has worked in public health service for the past 26 years, and has witnessed how technology has helped in improving the delivery of healthcare to Filipinos, particularly those in underserved areas.

Technology, she says, helped address one of the biggest constraints of public healthcare facilities—lack of manpower.

She recalls how patients would line up for hours for a consult with a health worker. Many of them would go home displeased by the poor quality of public health services. Undermanned, she and her team need to work longer hours so all patients for the day are served.

Shine OS Smart

Digitize patients’ records

Then in 2011, Smart Communications chose Zarraga as one of the pilot sites for its innovation Secured Health Innovation Network Exchange or SHINE, an electronic medical record (EMR) platform that digitizes patients’ records.

With this breakthrough, patients’ records are accessible unlike before when everything is done manually and the health center staff had to spend more time looking for the records of patients.

“We owe the improvement in the public health system to technology. The breakthrough in EMR made our workload lighter and helped address the lack in manpower. We’ve been using this Smart innovation for more than five years,” says Bondoc.

“With a single click of a button, the patient’s record is already there so we get to serve more patients, and they go home satisfied with the services,” she adds.

Open source platform

This story is common for many rural health centers in the Province of Iloilo, where the EMR was piloted in 2011. It has since evolved to become SHINE OS+, an open source platform that allows developers to design modules and plugins to customize it based on the needs of target communities.

To familiarize existing and new users of the new features of SHINE OS+, Smart organized a two-day training workshop in Zarraga last September.

Health workers including doctors, nurses and midwives who represent the municipalities of Zarraga, Leganes, Maasin, Janiuay, Barotac Nuevo, Banate, Calinog, and Carles attended the training. Apart from Zarraga, other existing users are the rural health units (RHUs) of Leganes and Maasin.

The training was conducted by Dr. Reena Estuar, executive director of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC), which developed the open-source platform. The training includes introduction on the functionalities of SHINE OS+, and encoding a health record. The Data Privacy Act of 2012 was also discussed to underscore responsible data keeping among the health workers.

Relevant to community

“Developing the SHINE OS+ was in line with the vision of Smart to digitize healthcare down to the patient level. We allow the public to customize the platform to address the specific need of the end-user, making it relevant to a community,” says Estuar.

AJWCC has also developed the SHINE OS+ Mobile to make the platform and its functionalities accessible to health professionals anytime, anywhere, and MySHINE, which was designed as a companion app for patients whose healthcare records are stored in the network.

“We have been optimizing use of technology to make lives better for more Filipinos. SHINE OS+ will help make quality healthcare accessible to underserved, and isolated areas, and at the same time, make it easier for our health workers to deliver quality healthcare,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart. (Press release)

No Comments on Smart innovation improves delivery of rural health services

Do you want to build Android apps? Learn how through TESDA-Smart online course

Aspiring developers can now learn how to build Android mobile applications at no cost, via an online course available on the website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority…

Aspiring developers can now learn how to build Android mobile applications at no cost, via an online course available on the website of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The course, developed by mobile leader Smart Communications, can be found on e-tesda.gov.ph.

Enrolling is fast and simple. Users only need to create an account on the website, then type the code SWAD in the search bar. This will lead them to the course titled Smart Android Mobile Apps Development for Beginners.

SMART Tesda Android course

VIDEO TUTORIAL. Smart’s Ron Ramos discusses how to set up the Android development environment in one of the many video modules that form part of Smart’s online course on building Android apps in the TESDA website.

Video modules

The course is comprised of 11 video modules, each running for 10 to 24 minutes. The lectures are delivered by a member of Smart’s IT team.

Users can learn at their own pace. They can replay videos, and even pause a video and come back to it at a more convenient time.

Nearly a thousand people have enrolled in the course, some of whom have given positive feedback.

Improve IT education

“This online course is a great opportunity especially for people like us who work and don’t have time to attend some classes due to schedule conflicts. This really helps me a lot. Just by sitting in front of my laptop for one to two hours, I gain more knowledge,” said Marrian Vedua.

The free apps development course is part of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program or SWEEP. This is a long-running program aimed at improving engineering and IT education in the country. Because of SWEEP, Smart was recently cited by international magazine Fortune as one of 50 companies that have “changed the world.”

More information on Smart’s corporate social responsibility programs can be found on the Smart Communities Facebook page. (Press Release)

No Comments on Do you want to build Android apps? Learn how through TESDA-Smart online course

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search