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Smart calls for partners to bring digital learning to schools without electricity

Eleven-year-old Sheran Bueramo walks through hills and forests to go to school in Tanay Rizal in pursuit of his dream to be an engineer someday. Bueramo, however, hopes to succeed…

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Eleven-year-old Sheran Bueramo walks through hills and forests to go to school in Tanay Rizal in pursuit of his dream to be an engineer someday. Bueramo, however, hopes to succeed in a technology-driven world studying in a school without electricity.

Rawang Elementary School is just one of over 3,000 schools in the Philippines – which serves more than 1 million students – with no electricity. Many of its students have not seen, much more used, a television, computer, or tablet that could help enhance their learning.

This is why Smart Communications launched the School-in-a-Bag. This is a backpack containing a solar panel for electricity, a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, pocket WiFi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules. Smart targets to donate School-in-a-Bag units to 10 schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao this year, and hopes to get people and groups to add to this number via sponsorships.

Forging partnerships

“We don’t want children in remote areas to be left behind. We want to help them gain access to the wealth of knowledge out there through digital learning tools. But we cannot do this alone,” said Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino.

Each School-in-a-Bag costs P100,000. This already includes the devices, learning modules aligned with the K-12 curriculum, training for the teachers, and delivery of the unit. Each bag will benefit hundreds of students in its projected working life span of five years.

“We encourage companies, alumni associations, rotary clubs, local government units, and individuals to pitch in to give children in remote communities a fighting chance for a better future,” Orlino said. She said interested parties can send an email to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more details.

SMART School-in-a-bag

SCHOOL-IN-A-BAG. (From left) Smart public affairs supervisor Deivid Rioferio, Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino, Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto, Rawang Elementary School’s former principal Arlene Catampatan, Rawang Elementary school student Sheran Bueramo, Department of Education Rizal Division’s Nico Aquino, DepEd Tanay district supervisor Imelda Asuncion, and DepEd external partnerships service director Dr. Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros.

Discovering a new world

When Smart donated a School-in-a-Bag to Rawang Elementary School last July, Bueramo said he and his classmates were both happy and excited.

“Malaki ang naitulong ng School-in-a-Bag sa amin. Kahit kami ay nasa kabundukan, kahit paano ay naibsan ang kawalan namin ng malay. Nakakakita na kami ng ibang dimensyon bukod sa puno at bato (The School-in-a-Bag helped us a lot. Even though we are in the mountains, somehow our lack of knowledge has lessened. We can now see other dimensions of this world aside from the trees and rocks that we are used to),” he said.

Maria Asuncion Tongohan, a kinder and grade one teacher, observed that the School-in-a-Bag gave students a deeper understanding of the lessons. “We can discuss the subjects more thoroughly with them because there’s a visual component in the lecture. Instead of us just talking or drawing on the blackboard, the videos make it more interesting for them — especially for the little kids who want to see colorful visuals.”

Former principal Arlene Catampatan said, “Our students are not just interested in learning, they are also more behaved because they are attentive when they see these new gadgets.” She said student attendance has also improved.

Bag of hope

Dr. Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros, external partnerships service director at the Department of Education, described the School-in-a-Bag as a “bag of hope.”

“It is a bag for the future of our Filipino kids. Kids in provinces need more than kalinga (care); they also need opportunities to escape poverty. We thank Smart for paving the way,” she said.

Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto said the School-in-a-Bag program is part of the company’s overall efforts to use technology for development. “We try to see how technology can be put in the service of different areas of social and economic development, like education, livelihood, health, and disaster preparedness and response.” (Press Release)

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PLDT Gabay Guro gathers 20,000 teachers in festival to honor country’s educators

ON the eve of #TeacherFest2016, teacher Chita Mejia was told by her husband, “don’t go home without the key to that house they are giving away.” On Sunday, Mejia won…

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ON the eve of #TeacherFest2016, teacher Chita Mejia was told by her husband, “don’t go home without the key to that house they are giving away.” On Sunday, Mejia won the grand prize of a house and lot.

The Mejias do not own a house. Mejia, who teaches at the Carlos L. Albert High School in Quezon City, was emotional when she told her story and thanked the PLDT Gabay Guro for organizing the event, which was held to honor the country’s educators.

TeacherFest is an annual event hosted by PLDT Gabay Guro and its partners to honor teachers through performances by the country’s top artists and a raffle of huge prizes — laptops and pocket Wi Fi; a round trip package to Hong Kong that includes air fare, accommodation and pocket money; cash prizes of P10,000; P20,000; P50,000, P100,000; a Foton van, and the house and lot.

PLDT Gabay Guro TeacherFest

GRAND PRIZE. Teacher Chita Mejia thanks organizers upon being handed a ceremonial key after winning a house and lot during the #TeacherFest2016 in MOA Arena. With her are PLDT Gabay Guro chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla and Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. (MyCebu photo: Max Limpag)

Make teachers feel important

The extravaganza for teachers, said PLDT Gabay Guro chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla, is meant to show that they are important and loved.

The annual event started with just a gathering of 200 teachers at the activity center of the Mall of Asia. It grew to 800 teachers and to several thousand. On Sunday, 20,000 were gathered at the MOA Arena.

PLDT Gabay Guro was organized 9 years ago by employees of the company who wanted to help out their community. Cabal-Revilla is the chief financial officer of Smart.

“And the best way to do that was to help out the teachers. There is a multiplier effect. You help one teacher you help everybody, their family and their kids and the kids that they teach, year in year out,” Cabal-Revilla said in an interview after the event.

PLDT Gabay Guro TeacherFest

BIGGEST STARS. Regine Velasquez performs with some of the country’s top stars during the event. #TeacherFest2016 gathered stars from ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV 5.

Education great equalizer

“Education is a great equalizer,” she said, that has a wide impact “if you wanted to do something for national development and to help the country.”

Sunday’s event was able to gather some of the country’s biggest artists from ABS-CBN, GMA 7, and TV 5. Among those who performed or were present were Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Leah Salong, Gary Valenciano, Gab Velenciano, Jaya, Martin Nievera, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, Pops Fernandez, Maine Mendoza and other Eat Bulaga stars, among many others.

Cabal-Revilla cited Wurtzbach as having arranged her schedule to be present at the gathering. She said this shows the importance of their advocacy, “You will never be able to bring them together unless you have an advocacy as good as this.”

Cabal-Revilla also said that the gathering was run by a team made up purely of Gabay Guro volunteers.

PLDT Gabay Guro TeachersFest

TEACHERS’ PLEDGE. Leah Salonga, PLDT Gabay Guro chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla, and Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach lead teachers in reciting their pledge. (MyCebu.ph photo: Max Limpag)

PLDT Gabay Guro programs

During the event, PLDT Gabay Guro paid tribute to teachers Annie Lee Masongsong and Cristelle. Masongsong was featured in a GMA 7 documentary that showed the challenges of her assignment to teach a Mangyan community: she has to walk for 4 hours, cross 16 rivers, and scale 2 mountains. They were given laptops and a pocket WiFi.

Apart from the #TeacherFest, Gabay Guro’s programs are focused on training, scholarship and providing equipment to schools.

Through PLDT Gabay Guro’s help, 600 of their scholars have graduated from education-related courses and are now teaching.

PLDT GabayGuro TeacherFest

ON THEIR FEET. Teachers cheer and dance to Gary Valenciano’s performance. (MyCebu.ph photo: Max Limpag)

Scholarship for teachers

Cabal-Revilla said they thought of offering scholarships because for a time, “nobody wanted to become teachers” because of the low pay.

“Apart from scholarships, we give them livelihood programs to supplement their income,” Cabal-Revilla said.

PLDT Gabay Guro worked with 51Talk to arrange for the teachers to give Enbglish language training for Chinese and Koreans online as a way for them to earn extra. Connectivity is then provided by PLDT and Smart.

PLDT Gabay Guro has also trained close to 40,000 teachers nationwide in various modules. They also provide a Gabay Guro Tribute Card that they can use to pay for movies, LRT and bus trips and offers discounts with partner retailers.

PLDT Gabay Guro TeacherFest

MR. PURE ENERGY. Gary Valenciano gives an inspired performance along with the other stars. (MyCebu.ph photo: Max Limpag)

Grassroots campaign vs. drugs

This year, Cabal-Revilla said, they also started a grassroots campaign against drugs that is being led by teachers.

PLDT Gabay Guro also works to distribute computer equipment and set up computer labs in various schools. Earlier this month, PLDT Gabay Guro, Asian Carriers Conference, and Huawei gave away laptops, tablets and pocket Wi Fi to 4 schools in Cebu.

“We want them to feel loved that when you’re a teacher you are a hero. That’s one of the things that push us year in and year out,” Cabal-Revilla said about the drive for volunteerism in their group.

GMA News story on teacher Annie Lee Masongsong

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PLDT Gabay Guro continues to soar higher heights

Nine years ago, a small group of like-minded PLDT executives banded together over coffee for an advocacy for teachers. With a common dream of being a catalyst of change in…

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Nine years ago, a small group of like-minded PLDT executives banded together over coffee for an advocacy for teachers. With a common dream of being a catalyst of change in the lives of teachers, Gabay Guro was born and became the CSR arm under the PLDT-Smart Foundation.

What transpired after that day revolutionized education-based advocacy efforts in many levels giving birth to a holistic approach that is anchored on the Gabay Guro pillars – Scholarships, Trainings, Housing and Educational Facilities, Livelihood Programs, Broadbanding and Computerization, and Teachers’ Tribute.

Champion excellence

Gabay Guro has championed excellence and paid tribute to teachers all over the country (and even nearby countries) by bringing attention to their heroic deeds and at the same time, providing them with the necessary tools to contribute to the change in the lives of their students and their families.

To this day, Gabay Guro managed to thrive on volunteerism – mostly among the ranks of the executives from PLDT and Smart.

Gabay Guro has over 1,100 scholars in various state colleges and universities nationwide. There are over 300 LET passers, 496 active scholars as of August, 2016 and a projected 167 graduates in 2017. Gabay Guro also celebrates the fact that 137 scholars graduated with honors – 112 cum laudes and 25 magna cum laudes. Gabay Guro has also partnered with local government units to further teacher education.

PLDT Gabay Guro

Training for teachers

The foundation has conducted trainings for over 16,000 teachers in the course of its nine years. Today, it runs eight training programs for teachers around the country namely: Teacher’s Treasure Chest; English Proficiency Training; Computer Literacy; Emotional Intelligence; Teacher’s Armor; Leadership Training; IT Sustainability and Literacy; and Unleashing Creativity in Teaching. At the same time, Gabay Guro answers to the needs of the times by doing grassroots anti-drugs trainings in schools.

Gabay Guro’s initiative on Broadband and Computerization has had great impact nationwide. All partner-schools were recipients of either computers/laptop or internet connections from PLDT or Smart.

Educational facilities

Knowing that shortage of educational facilities is a major problem area in the Philippine education system, Gabay Guro has taken the cudgels in the construction of classrooms in the provinces, mostly those that have been hit by debilitating calamities. There are over 40 classrooms constructed and donated already in the following provinces: Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Capiz.

Gabay Guro has grown to be the force that it is today. Whereas in the beginning, there were only a couple of thousand member-teachers under its stable. In 2016, it has 20,000-strong membership (and growing!) at its helm and has easily taken over the leadership, the one that sets the bar of service, in all education-related NGOs around the nation.

Nation builders

Ms. Chaye Revilla and the Gabay Guro team of visionaries with her in the foundation, were propelled by this belief: “our nation’s children depend on our nation’s teachers to lead them to the future. And this teachers’ month, Gabay Guro gives tribute to those who teach the next generation of nation-builders.”

The pinnacle of Gabay Guro’s celebration is embodied in the tribute event held every year at the MOA Arena. Year after year, the organizers leave no stone unturned ensuring that it is in Gabay Guro where teachers get to be treated like royalty. Generosity at its finest, raffle prizes have grown to be the staggering house and lot and vehicle showcases and livelihood opportunities that they are today in every Gabay Guro tribute event.

The Gabay Guro’s 9th Teacher’s Tribute this year, the biggest gathering of the country’s celebrities, will be held on Sept. 25 at the MOA Arena. Stellar names set to give the teachers the time of their lives are Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Pops Fernandez, James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Lea Salonga and megastar Sharon Cuneta and more surprise guests on the big day.

Entertainment, raffles

This is the day when teachers get to let their hair loose, meet the biggest celebrities, be treated to a whole day of entertainment and huge raffle prizes that include a house and lot and vehicles., to remind them of their invaluable presence in our lives.

This year’s event is made possible through the help of the following sponsors: Perry’s Group of Companies (for the house and lot), Foton for the (Gratour Van), Intel, Devant, Motorlandia (for the Honda and Suzuki motorcyles), Ropali, Penshoppe, National Bookstore, Enchanted Kingdom, Splash, Tempra, Flanax, Bonamine, Vivalyte, Mundipharma, Gardenia, Bic, Art Attack, Microsoft, Smart Bro, Ultera, Talk N Text and 51 Talk.

The PLDT Gabay Guro grand tribute event is exclusive to teachers. Admission is free. Follow Gabay Guro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @PLDTGabayGuro or visit the Gabay Guro official website gabayguro.com for more details. (Press release)

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4 Cebu schools get tablets, gadgets, connectivity under PLDT, ACC program

Four public schools in Cebu Province benefitted from the recent holding of the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) 2016 in Lapu-Lapu City, having been picked as recipients of 20 tablets and…

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Four public schools in Cebu Province benefitted from the recent holding of the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) 2016 in Lapu-Lapu City, having been picked as recipients of 20 tablets and 20 laptops plus free Internet connectivity under the ACC, Inc. education program.

PLDT provided the tablets and free six months of DSL connection while Huawei gave the laptops to the Carmen National High School, Cordova National High School, Argao National High School, and Babag II High School, said PLDT head of operations for Cebu, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte Elmer “Bong” Lintag.

The turnover ceremony for ACC’s corporate social responsibility program “Daogmaon: Winning Children’s Future Against Illiteracy” was held on September 9, 2016, the last day of the conference.

ACC Daogmaon

ACC PROGRAM. Alejandro Caeg, PLDT SVP International and Carrier Business, talks about the donation of gadgets and connectivity to 4 Cebu schools as part of the education program of the Asian Carriers Conference.

Better connected world

Fedellina Entero, Carmen National High School principal, said the donation will serve to improve education and benefit their students as it will allow them to learn at their own pace. Students enrolled at the Special Education (SPED) class can also make use of the gadgets and laptops.

“Your support is instrumental in helping DepEd (Department of Education) turn its mission and vision into reality,” she added.

Huawei said in a statement that introducing students to ICT early is important to sustain the requirement for more qualified workers in the industry.

Gao Kexin, Huawei Philippines chief executive, added in the statement that the donation serves as the company’s support to PLDT and ACC and gift to public school students in Cebu. According to him, one of the company’s objectives is “to provide technology-aided education for the youth at the earliest time” in line with its long-term vision to build “a better connected world.”

ACC CSR PLDT, Huawei

Daogmaon program. Officials of PLDT, Huawei, ACC and Gabay Guro pose with teachers from 4 Cebu schools that are recipients of tablets, gadgets, and connectivity under the education program.

PLDT connectivity

Carmen, which also hosts a night high school, will be provided a container van that PLDT will convert into a computer laboratory

Lintag said he personally vetted the four schools, picking those who needed the donation the most. He added that PLDT undertakes regular assistance under Gabay Guro, an education-related CSR program, which has scholarship, teacher training, livelihood, computers, classrooms, and connectivity as its six pillars.

The 20 gadgets and 20 laptops, which make up the set that each school will receive, would be useless on their own without connectivity, he pointed out. This is why PLDT will also provide free DSL connection to the four schools for the first six months. The schools will also receive pocket Wi-Fi devices from Smart Communications, Inc.

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Teachers attend Smart-run technopreneurship training program in Cebu

Tagbilaran City in Bohol is gateway to such top tourism attractions as the Chocolate Hills and the white sand beaches of Panglao, but it is difficult and expensive to get…

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Tagbilaran City in Bohol is gateway to such top tourism attractions as the Chocolate Hills and the white sand beaches of Panglao, but it is difficult and expensive to get around using the tricycles that are the most common means of transport.

Three faculty members of Holy Name University in Tagbilaran proposed an innovative solution to this mobility challenge – a localized booking system for tricycles – during the three-day SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training for Teachers initiated by mobile leader Smart Communications.

The training, the third leg of which was recently held at the University of Cebu Banilad Campus, aims to inspire teachers to promote technology entrepreneurship among their students so the latter could use their academic learnings to solve problems in their communities.

The previous sessions were held in Cabanatuan and Davao. SWEEP is the longest-running collaboration between Smart and the academe which aims to raise the standards of engineering and IT education in the country.

Technopreneurship skills

The SWEEPx training taught participants the process of identifying a problem and solving it from a user’s perspective, and connected these skills with such entrepreneurship values as getting funding for and marketing their product.

“Technopreneurship is not just about learning how to do business to make a profit. It is also understanding the needs of the market. From the training, I learned practical business skills and strategic applications that I can impart to my students,” said Eduardo P. Mendoza Jr. of the University of San Carlos IT Department.

Several universities in Cebu and one each in the cities of Bacolod and Tagbilaran were represented in the technopreneurship seminar by faculty from their respective IT, Engineering, or Business Administration departments.

SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training Cebu

TECHNOPRENEURSHIP TRAINING. Teachers from Cebu, Tagbilaran, and Bacolod complete a 3-day SWEEPx: Technopreneurship Training for Teachers initiated by mobile leader Smart Communications in Cebu. The training was held at the University of Cebu Banilad Campus. (Photo: Smart Communications)

Pitching workshop

SWEEPx participants underwent a pitching workshop handled by Tudlo Innovations Solutions, Inc. managing director Vince Loremia. He said his technology business that grew out of the need for emergency and disaster response solutions “started with what you had two days ago — an idea.”

From his pitching experience with investors, Loremia said he learned it is always best to start with a story than to present figures. He added that they should also be aware of the most common things that tech startup founders miss out on when talking to investors, such as demonstrating an understanding of the market, clearly presenting revenue projections, and showing a plan to mitigate big risks.

User experience

University of Cebu – Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Campus faculty member Teodoro A. Avergonzad Jr. said one important thing he learned from the training was understanding the user experience or UX process and its role in creating great products.

Phil Smithson, On Off Group director, handled the training on the use of the UX process and its role in the creation of great products and having these tested with the people who will use them. The Dream Project founder Prim Paypon talked about how to identify social pains and problems.

For more information on SWEEP, please visit www.smartsweep.ph. (Press Release)

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Smart makes Fortune magazine’s ‘Change the World’ list

Top international business magazine Fortune included Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications in its list of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact.” Smart placed 36th in…

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Top international business magazine Fortune included Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications in its list of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact.”

Smart placed 36th in Fortune’s second “Change the World” list, joining the ranks of global business giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Unilever. Smart is the only Philippine company and the only telco on the list.

The annual rankings aim to showcase the power of companies to improve the human condition by making an important social or environmental impact through their business strategy and operations.

Address social problems

“The best businesses, of course, have always put purpose at the center of their strategies. But members of this new group realize that restoring public trust is essential to their long-term success. Increasingly, they are building intentional efforts to address social problems into the core of their business plans. It is these efforts that we highlight in our second annual Change the World list,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray.

Smart SWEEP

HANDS-ON TRAINING. Smart has been partnering with schools to provide hands-on training to engineering and IT students, helping them get ready for the ‘real world.’

Smart was particularly cited for its Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), under which the company partners with colleges and universities to improve engineering and information technology education in the country. The program, which was launched in 2003, also aims to help schools produce industry-ready graduates and future technology entrepreneurs.

“We are honored to be included in this prestigious global list, and are happy that Fortune recognizes Filipinos’ efforts to use technology for development. We thank our partner-schools for working hand in hand with us to provide quality engineering and IT education to Filipino students. We hope that by doing so, we are encouraging and equipping them to create innovations that will improve the lives of our countrymen,” said Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Improve IT, engineering education

Under SWEEP, Smart provides schools with up-to-date telecommunications equipment, as well as hands-on trainings, seminars, and internships. Smart also sits in annual curriculum reviews to provide inputs on industry trends, helping schools ensure that their course offerings are relevant.

To date, more than 30,000 teachers and students from all over the Philippines have directly benefitted from trainings organized by Smart. About 1,000 students from partner-schools have been hired into Smart’s technology group.

Smart SWEEP

Through the SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, Smart encourages students to develop innovations that will help solve common problems.

Innovations platform for students

In 2004, Smart launched the SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, a competition encouraging students to create mobile and digital innovations that will help solve common problems. Student teams whose entries are deemed to have market potential are offered seed funding, mentoring, and the runway to convert their school projects into actual commercial products. Schools of teams that make it to the finals, in turn, receive grants that they use to set up Innovations Centers.

So far, Smart has received more than 1,000 entries from schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Some of these student projects have been turned into actual commercial products. An example is TimeFree, a finalist in the 2010 SWEEP Awards, which is now a startup offering a virtual queuing solution to businesses and government agencies.

The Fortune citation is not the first time for SWEEP to be recognized by an international organization. In December 2012, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, published a case study citing SWEEP as an example of how operators could help address barriers in education.

Investment in education

“SWEEP has lasted for nine years,” the GSMA said then, “because it adds real value to both Smart and the partner schools, mainly through the investment in the continuing education program.”

It added, “Young people have many new ideas ranging from simple yet practical to holistic and elegant. The key to harnessing them is to provide a ‘playground’ where they can express and develop their ideas freely, working as partners to come up with tangible and viable applications or solutions.”

More information on SWEEP and on Smart’s other corporate social responsibility programs can be found in the Smart Communities Facebook page.

Business strategy with social impact

In assembling the “Change the World” list, Fortune partnered with consulting firm FSG, global organization platform Shared Value Initiative, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to solicit and assess nominations.

A team of journalists from Fortune then conducted an investigation of each candidate. The final 50 were selected and ranked by Fortune editors.

The nominees were vetted and judged based on the following criteria – measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation. (Press release)

 

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Power Mac Center partners with University of Visayas New School of Art & Design

Premium Apple reseller Power Mac Center recently signed a partnership with the University of Visayas New School of Art & Design (UVNS) to strengthen the position of its Apple Authorized…

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Premium Apple reseller Power Mac Center recently signed a partnership with the University of Visayas New School of Art & Design (UVNS) to strengthen the position of its Apple Authorized Training Center (AATC) in Cebu within the creative market. UVNS’ Customized Education was recently named an Apple Distinguished Program.

Offering certificate courses in Visual Communication Design, 2D/3D Animation, Graphic Design, Photography, and Filmmaking, UVNS provides creatives an avenue to hone their talent and passion within a dynamic program tailored for artists. This output-based education model is the first of its kind in Cebu and the entire Philippines.

For the partnership, Power Mac Center’s Apple certified trainers will teach Final Cut Pro X, initially to UVNS students. This is in line with the school’s goal of producing creative professionals with skills marketable in the real world.

Power Mac Center-UVNS agreement

PARTNERSHIP. Power Mac Center training head Maleng Raysag, UVNS school director Genesis Raña, and Power Mac Center CEO Lawrence Sison formalize the partnership to produce more Apple-certified creative professionals.

 

Apple certification

Power Mac Center AATC Head Maleng Raysag said, “We look forward to having more Apple certified professionals on Final Cut Pro X in Cebu and nearby areas. As you know, an Apple certification is a globally recognized level of accreditation. This way, we can ensure that UVNS graduates will be able to compete even in the world stage.”

While elated about having been given an Apple distinction after starting operations a mere three years ago, UVNS School Director Genesis Raña is looking to accomplish a lot more with Power Mac Center. He is planning to implement a One to One iPad Program for his students and pioneer lifestyle enhancement programs using Apple technology.

“I’m a Steve Jobs fanatic and a follower of his vision and the way he does things. At one point, I told some of my students in class that I want to be the Steve Jobs of education. What he did to technology, I want to do it to education,” Raña said. “I believe that education should not be limited to the classroom. It should be for everyone.”

Partnerships

Raña said he is both humbled and challenged by the Apple recognition for it meant that the spotlight is on UVNS. He acknowledged the fact that the school has to innovate further since the award expires in 2017.

“I’m confident that we can do it now that it opened up to partnerships with Power Mac Center and other entities. But what I want from my partners, to be candid about it, is to really push it. Ideas are easy but execution is a different story,” Raña said. “My personality is very driven. It would be good to have partners like that.”

UVNS currently has a student population of about 25-35 at a time, with some coming from as far as Davao. Graduates attest to the effectiveness of the school’s instruction model, which is a mixture of technical training and real-life exposure for a holistic learning experience. The school administration is planning to expand to cater to its growing stature as a premier design school.

UVNS Apple Distinguished Program

RECOGNITION. The University of Visayas New School of Art & Design is recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2016-2017.

 

World-class talent

Power Mac Center has also expressed support for institutions in the VisMin region that also want to produce Apple certified professionals.

“We recognize Filipino talents especially in the VisMin region. We know that Filipinos are world class. Having strong partnerships will hopefully open up opportunities to hone young talents and produce the best generation of creatives,” Raysag said.

Power Mac Center’s AATC is the first to offer Professional Track Certification Training and Prometric Exams for IT and creative professionals in Mac OS X in the Philippines. (Press Release)

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Smart’s mobile digital lab for preschoolers wins award in Singapore

Smart TechnoCart – a mobile digital laboratory donated to public schools to develop literacy among kindergarten students – won the Social Contribution Award at the prestigious Asia Communication Awards (ACA)…

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Smart TechnoCart – a mobile digital laboratory donated to public schools to develop literacy among kindergarten students – won the Social Contribution Award at the prestigious Asia Communication Awards (ACA) ceremony held recently in Singapore.

Organized annually by London-based industry publication Total Telecom, the ACA recognizes outstanding performance by Asian carriers, multimedia content providers, vendors, and other communication service providers.

The TechnoCart, developed by Philippine mobile leader and PLDT unit Smart Communications, is a 2ft x 2ft cart containing 20 student tablets and a laptop, projector, and mobile WiFi for the teacher. The tablets are preloaded with the Batibot mobile application, the first educational app for kids in Filipino which is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Smart TechnoCart

Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino receives the Social Contribution Award for Smart TechnoCart.

Digital learning

In just a year, 29 public schools from as far as Pangasinan in the North and Tawi-Tawi in the South have received a Smart TechnoCart. Fifteen of these were donated by Smart, while the rest were sponsored by individuals and organizations who wanted to help spread the benefits of digital learning to more public schools.

Because the TechnoCart can be easily wheeled from one classroom to the next, each unit can reach up to 20 kindergarten classes or 250 students per day.

“The Smart TechnoCart introduces public school kindergarten classes to the benefits offered by tablets and relevant digital content. It is one of Smart’s many initiatives to use technology for the development of various sectors of society,” said Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino.

Positive feedback

“Since we launched the program last year, we have received a lot of positive feedback from teachers. They say their students’ skills have significantly improved, and that they have become more eager to learn,” she added.

Preschool teacher Violeta Bellen of Bacacay East Central School in Albay, one of the recipients of the Smart TechnoCart, shared: “Absenteeism has declined. One time, classes were suspended because of heavy rains. But a lot of the students still went to school. They asked me, ‘Teacher, aren’t we using the tablets today?’ I had to tell them to go home.”

“During our first grading lecture, my children were not really interested in reading letters and they didn’t even participate in our daily activities. Only a few of them could identify the letters or the numbers. But when the TechnoCart arrived they improved a lot. They really enjoy tracing letters using the Batibot app, and I am surprised they can now easily identify the letters,” said kindergarten teacher Hja. Shaiha A. Irahani of Datu Halun Laboratory School in Tawi-Tawi.

Smart Technocart

The Batibot app, downloadble for free on Google Play, has fun features that teach kids the alphabet and basic skills like grouping similar objects. It also features stories that highlight values.

Awards

Aside from winning in the ACA, the year-old Smart TechnoCart program has also received a Gold Anvil from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, and a Quill Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippine chapter.

Those interested in sponsoring Smart TechnoCarts may get more information at www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart.

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OLX, PPCRV partner to promote responsible voting

As part of its commitment to promote responsible voting among Filipinos, OLX partnered with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the citizen arm that helps monitor the country’s…

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As part of its commitment to promote responsible voting among Filipinos, OLX partnered with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the citizen arm that helps monitor the country’s elections.

The partnership was forged by the shared vision of OLX and PPCRV of a free, fair, and fraud-free elections in the Philippines.

OLX - PPCRV

PARTNERSHIP. (From lefT) Hans Adrian Lagman, Brand Marketing Officer, OLX; Carlo Rosales, Senior Brand Marketing Officer, OLX; Ana De Villa Singson, National Communications and Media Director, PPCRV; Jean Magboo, Brand Marketing Manager, OLX; Reiman John Santos, Senior Brand Marketing Officer, OLX; Timmy del Agua, Marketing Officer, OLX. (Photo: OLX.ph)

Donations

OLX donated cash and merchandise to support volunteers working numerous shifts at the PPCRV Command Center in Paco, Manila. OLX’s donation helped run the PPCRV Command Center, which hosted hundreds of volunteers, some as young as eight years old, who all hope to make a difference in the Philippines.

“We are glad to have found like-minded partners who share the mission of helping Filipinos understand the importance and impact of an individual vote. OLX’s ‘Ibenta mo na ang gamit mo, ‘wag lang boto mo’ campaign resonated well with the thousands of volunteers throughout the country working on educating voters against vote buying and vote selling,” said Ana De Villa Singson, PPCRV national communications and media director.

Win Together Fist Bump

Voter education campaign

Last April, OLX empowered Filipinos with their voter education campaign “Ibenta mo na ang gamit mo, ‘wag lang boto mo” to encourage voting responsibly. Its aim was to cultivate an informed and responsible electorate for the 2016 national elections for May 9. This campaign educated Filipinos on the value of voting and encouraged them to take part in spreading this message through online content and on-ground initiatives.

“As enablers of win-win exchanges that improve the lives of Filipinos, we at OLX feel a responsibility for helping remind Filipinos about the importance of understanding the impact of each individual in shaping the nation. Like PPCRV, OLX believes that only through an informed, responsible electorate can we achieve true democracy and win together as a nation,” said Jean Magboo, Brand Marketing Manager of OLX. (Press Release)

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Carmudi Philippines picks son of fisherman and vendor as first scholar

Carmudi Philippines, the leading online vehicle platform in the country, has selected the son of a fisherman and a vendor as the first sole recipient of its scholarship program. Aljohn Torreta, a senior student from the University of the Philippines Visayas taking up a BA in Communications and Media Studies, was chosen from a highly competitive batch of Cum Laude standing students from different universities who participated nationwide.

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Carmudi Philippines, the leading online vehicle platform in the country, has selected the son of a fisherman and a vendor as the first sole recipient of its scholarship program. Aljohn Torreta, a senior student from the University of the Philippines Visayas taking up a BA in Communications and Media Studies, was chosen from a highly competitive batch of Cum Laude standing students from different universities nationwide.

In his application letter Aljohn wrote, “I took the initiative to apply for this scholarship grant as a way of helping my parents through our financial crisis. We are six in the family and my parents do not have stable jobs to fulfil all of our financial needs. My father is a local fisherman while my mother is a low-scale fish vendor. I am the only one who is currently enrolled because my parents cannot afford to send all of us to school. I can really feel the pain in their struggle and that keeps my fire burning. I am inspired to at least perform well at university.”

Carmudi Philippines first scholar

FIRST SCHOLAR. Prof. Ruben M. Gamala, director of the Office of Student Affairs of the University of the Philippines Visayas, hands over the certificate to Aljohn T. Torreta, the first recipient of the Carmudi Philippines Scholarship Program. (Contributed photo)

Carmudi Philippines’ first scholar

Aljohn was chosen as Carmudi Philippines’ first ever scholar as his diligent and compassionate nature was evident from his good grades and attitude towards his circumstances.

Carmudi’s Scholarship Program was open to senior students who are academically excellent but poor financially and cannot finish their studies without sufficient aid or support from an external donor.

Subir Lohani, Carmudi Philippines Managing Director said, “Building people is the heart of our culture as an organization. Giving financial support and career opportunities to these deserving students is one way for us to extend our helping hand outside our company.”

The benefits of the scholarship program include P18,000 for a semester, an opportunity to be mentored by the Managing Director of Camudi Philippines for one week and a guaranteed job interview after graduation.

Carmudi, which was launched in October 2013, is a part of the Rocket Internet portfolio which is also behind other online sites such as Lazada and Zalora. (Press Release)

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Jpark Island Resort lights up tree, brings joy to disadvantaged kids

This Christmas, Cebu beach resort Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark has a simple wish and that is to to lighten and brighten lives. As the resort marked the start of the Christmas season by lighting up its tree last Friday, December 4, it treated disadvantaged kids from the Home Care Foundation in Lapu-Lapu City to a day of fun and treats.

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This Christmas, Cebu beach resort Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark has a simple wish and that is to to lighten and brighten lives.

As the resort marked the start of the Christmas season by lighting up its tree last Friday, December 4, it treated 30 disadvantaged kids from the Home Care Foundation in Lapu-Lapu City to a day of fun and treats.

“This year marks a good year as business is doing well. And it brings us a smile to be able to give back and share our blessings,” said Jpark chief executive officer Jason Uy.

JPark Island Christmas

USHERING CHRISTMAS. The tree at the Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark lobby is adorned with aquamarine, blue, and gold decorations.

 

Family resort

He added that the resort, especially the Waterpark, is a haven for children but not every kid has had a chance to experience the Jpark fun.

Uy said he was very happy to welcome to kids from the Home Care Foundation to Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark.

Aside from a day of fun at the Waterpark, the kids received Christmas gifts from the resort during the tree-lighting ceremony.

JPark Island Christmas

GIVING BACK. Jpark chief executive officer Jason Uy (right) says the resort marked a good business year and they wanted to give back and share their blessings. Uy is shown with the Angelicum Children’s Choir.

 

Memorable Christmas

Providing entertainment during the event were the soulful voices of the Angelicum Children’s Choir as they sang popular Christmas songs and performances by the dance group Amigos.

“I hope you enjoyed your day with us. We hope we have made your Christmas memorable. And thank you for you have already fulfilled our Christmas wish. I know you will agree with me if I say that Christmas is meaningful when you are able to make other people happy,” he added.

Home Care Foundation kids presented a surprise number and relayed their thanks for an unforgettable day through a song.

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CIC-Cebu to stage Sound of Music

After giving a taste of Chinese in its The Flower Drum Song last December 2014, the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion (CIC)–Cebu this time will wow Cebuanos with another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: The Sound of Music.

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After giving a taste of Chinese in its The Flower Drum Song last December 2014, the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion (CIC)–Cebu this time will wow Cebuanos with another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: The Sound of Music.

Directed by Benjie Diola, “The Sound of Music: The Most Loved Musical of All Time” will be on stage from December 10 to 13, 2015 at the auditorium of CIC-Cebu, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

A cast composed of CIC-Cebu students, faculty members, alumni, parents, and CIC friends will give life to Maria and the Von Trapp family in this ageless musicale.

CIC-Cebu Sound of Music event poster

The event poster

Sound of Music cast

Fr. Jun Agravante and Michael Lao will play Captain Von Trapp while alumnae Kathlene Ann Adolfo and Shane Reseroni will take the role of Maria. The Von Trapp children will be portrayed by Kiara Lynne Torralba and Amity Grace Rosell as Liesel; and Gerald Lauron and CIC-Cebu faculty member Benedict Diola as Rolf.

Daughter of Charity Sr. Martha Gamolo, DC and alumna Joan Malgapo will perform the role of Mother Abbess; Dr. Shawn Espina and Johnie Lim as Max Detweiler; and alumnae Atty. Anika Apalisok-Fernandez and Tricia Rivera-Gullas as Baroness Elsa Schraeder.

The matinee shows are at 3 p.m. on December 10 to 12 while the gala shows are at 7 p.m. on December 10 to 13, 2015.

CIC-Cebu outreach program

Tickets are available at CIC-Cebu. For inquiries, please call telephone numbers (032) 2329780 or (032) 2329787 (tap on numbers to call on your phone).

The Sound of Music was last presented at the CIC-Cebu auditorium in 1981, or 34 years ago, as one of the highlights of the school’s centennial celebration.

Proceeds of the musical will go to CIC-Cebu’s Community Outreach Services (CES) program, which gives tutorials to pupils of adopted schools; conducts community feeding, medical missions, and home visitations; and provides aid to victims of calamities and scholarships to deserving students, among other activities.

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DepEd integrates Smart video materials into disaster preparedness education

“Maging Laging Handa,” a series of disaster-readiness videos developed by Smart Communications (Smart), has been distributed to public elementary schools nationwide in support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) initiative to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the education curriculum.

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“Maging Laging Handa,” a series of disaster-readiness videos developed by Smart Communications (Smart), has been distributed to public elementary schools nationwide in support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) initiative to integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the education curriculum.

Developed in partnership with PAGASA, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the video series was launched recently at the disaster risk reduction and resilience in education forum of DepEd which was attended by the disaster coordinators from all regions. The videos, which promote Smart’s advocacy for a safer Philippines, are especially designed for children who are most vulnerable during disasters.

Localized content, verified by experts

“The Maging Laging Handa videos of Smart are very valuable addition to our DRR curriculum for elementary students. In addition to being a fun educational material which improves memory retention, the content is localized and verified by experts,” said Ms. Ronilda Co, Director IV of the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service. “I’m sure our students will enjoy watching the videos while learning at the same time,” Co added.

The video materials cover precautionary measures and safety tips for various calamities such as typhoons, floods, tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes, and landslides. The videos simplify disaster-related concepts like the typhoon signals, rainfall warning signals, and the differences between a storm surge and a tsunami.

A teacher’s guide as to how these videos can be integrated in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) curriculum was also unveiled during the forum.

Smart Maging Laging Handa

DISASTER-READY. Participants of DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in Education Forum try their hand at puppeteering the three characters featured in the Maging Laging Handa video series developed by Smart. The preparedness videos are integrated into the DRR curriculum of elementary students.

 

Extend awareness to families

“The good thing about starting disaster preparedness with children is that these children are able to extend awareness to their families. And when families are aware, it’s easier to get them to participate in the preparedness efforts in their barangay, municipality or provinces,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon Isberto. “This is one way to mobilize communities and really start that culture of preparedness among Filipinos,” Isberto added.

Smart as an organization has embraced preparedness, and has been aggressively promoting the culture of preparedness among its partner organizations under its #SafePH program.

The “Maging Laging Handa” videos feature television personality, Tonipet Gabba, as well as three puppets namely Inay Lena, a mother hen; Brownie, a dog; and Kali, a carabao. The videos also include all-original Tagalog songs aimed at making the learning journey richer and more exciting.

The videos, which can be viewed at www.smart.com.ph/SafePH, will now form part of Smart’s regular disaster preparedness caravans in various parts of the country to help strengthen disaster management capacities of local government units and their constituents.

To aid in disaster communications and response, Smart has also developed mobile apps and technology solutions such as the Batingaw and Project Noah apps, and the Smart Infocast. The telco has also been consistent in providing immediate libreng tawag services to areas affected by disasters using its satellite services. (Press Release)

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Eats Meets West showcases the best of Midwest Cebu towns

Crabs simmered humba style, skewered squid cubes turned golden brown on a clay grill, and native chicken cooked in fermented coconut juice as five towns in midwestern Cebu prepared their entries for the Eats Meets West culinary competition held in Tabuelan.

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Crabs simmered humba style, skewered squid cubes turned golden brown on a clay grill, and native chicken cooked in fermented coconut juice as five towns in midwestern Cebu prepared their entries for the Eats Meets West culinary competition held in Tabuelan.

It was a flurry of mincing and slicing, grilling and frying, and food arrangements on long tables turned makeshift kitchens and set up in the open grounds of the Durhans White Beach Resort last November 13.

Eats Meets West is one component of the community-based ecotourism workshops organized for Midwest Cebu towns by Boboi Costas of Grassroots Travel. Costas initiated the culinary competition, with the support of Smart Communications, in the third leg of the workshops as a way of teaching business planning and operations.

Westy Minty Lemonade of Balamban

ALL ORGANIC. The Westy Minty Lemonade of Balamban is a refreshing all-organic drink of kalamansi puree, mint leaves, ginger extract, and lemon blended together.

 

Talema juice Tabuelan

BEST WELCOME DRINK. Talema Juice is named after the main ingredients tanglad (lemongrass), lemonsito concentrate, and mango. It won for Tabuelan the Best Welcome Drink.

 

“Food is an important component in travel and an integral part of local tourism initiatives. When the food is good, the vacation is good,“ he said.

According to Costas, another objective of the activity is to discover, develop, and enhance local cuisine. One criteria of the food competition was for Alegria, Aloguinsan, Balamban, Asturias, and the host town of Tabuelan to put a new twist to local dishes.

Alimangong humba Eats Meets West

ALIMANGONG HUMBA is a new twist to cooking crabs, preparing it ala humba, a popular Cebuano braised pork dish. It was prepared by a high school student from Tabuelan using a recipe handed down by his grandmother. The dish was picked Best Main Course during Eats Meets West earlier this month.

 

New twist to local food

There were some excellent turnouts but Tabuelan outdid itself and swept all contended dish categories except for Best Dessert, which went to Aloguinsan.

Tabuelan’s alimangong humba or crabs cooked in the manner of the popular Cebuano braised pork dish was picked Best Main Course, Talema Juice named after the main ingredients tanglad (lemongrass), lemonsito concentrate, and mango was Best Welcome Drink, Korntik Cookies made out of finely ground corn came out as Best Food Pasalubong, with Best Packaging thrown in for good measure.

Other noteworthy submissions were grilled dishes: skewered squid cubes by Aloguinsan and Balamban’s deboned chicken pieces accompanied by sauce made out of basil and pesto.

Another Tabuelan recipe called the Tubisnok, though not an entry, was well received by the judges. The Tubisnok is native chicken cooked in fermented coconut juice locally known as tuba.

Balamban deboned chicken

BALAMBAN CHICKEN. Balamban prepared deboned chicken pieces with sauce made out of basil and pesto.

 

Eats Meets West Aloguinsan

SQUID KEBAB. Aloguinsan submitted as main course entry this tasty diamondback squid kebab. The diamondback squid, locally known as dalupapa, is a large squid that could grow up to 7 kilos, community members said. At left of the photo are taro balls, a dessert made of gabing tuod and served in a thick syrup of coconut milk and sugar. The taro balls were chosen as Best Dessert.

 

Drinks and desserts

From Alegria’s moringa bibingka and Balamban’s kamote krispies to Tabuelan’s budbud cassava with choco, there were exceptional entries for desserts as well.

Aloguinsan ruled this category, however, with its taro balls served in thick syrup of coconut milk and sugar. The taro balls are made from an abundant town plant known as gabing tuod.

Moringa bibingka from Alegria

MORINGA BIBINGKA is Alegria’s new and healthy take on the native rice cake.

 

Korntik Cookies Tabuelan

KORNTIK COOKIES from Tabuelan was picked as Best Food Pasalubong. It’s made from finely ground corn.

 

Balamban Kamote Krispies

KAMOTE KRISPIES from Balamban for the desserts category.

 

Showing a lot of promise are the welcome drinks by Balamban and Aloguinsan. The Westy Minty Lemonade of Balamban is a refreshing all-organic drink of kalamansi puree, mint leaves, ginger extract and lemon blended together.

Aloguinsan extracted juice from kamote leaves boiled for 10 minutes and flavored this with kalamansi and sugar for its Kamote Juice. Alegria used the same process on a local medicinal flower to come up with the Butterfly Pea Drink.

Tubisnok native chicken in tuba

TUBISNOK is native chicken cooked in tuba or coconut wine. The dish, which was well received by the judges, was prepared by Tabuelan but not submitted as an official entry.

 

Cebu ecotourism initiative

Aloguinsan also garnered the non-food awards, including Best Table Setting with its dining implements made from a native vine as well as Best Welcome and Take Home Souvenirs.

Eats Meets West

CULINARY CONTEST. Community members from Aloguinsan prepare their dishes for the Eats Meets West culinary competition.

 

Eats Meets West Tabuelan

TEAM TABUELAN. The team from host town Tabuelan won most of the categories in the Eats Meets West cooking contest.

 

Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart Communications, Inc. public affairs senior manager, said the competition was timely because companies are looking for local products as Christmas giveaways.

For souvenirs, the towns presented handcrafted home accessories, necklaces, and bracelets made out of local wood, shell, or plant fiber.

She lauded the initial output of the ecotourism initiative in the food and souvenir products that came out of the Eats Meets West culinary event.

Eats Meets West Aloguinsan

RECYCLED PLASTIC. Aloguinsan presents decors made from recycled or “upcycled” plastic wrappers of junk food.

 

Costas said the activity seeks to discover signature food and drinks and local products that the towns can showcase when they collaborate to come up with tour circuits next year. The goal is to offer two-night, three-day tour packages that showcase the best of Midwest Cebu towns and begin these in March 2016.

Eats Meets West Cebu

VENUE. The Eats Meets West culinary competition and workshop was held in Durhans White Beach Resort and the nearby La Familia resort (shown above).

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Smart promotes preparedness lifestyle to children

As part of its advocacy to promote a culture of preparedness, mobile leader Smart Communications (Smart) unveiled a series of disaster-readiness educational videos especially designed for children who are most vulnerable during disasters.

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As part of its advocacy to promote a culture of preparedness, mobile leader Smart Communications (Smart) unveiled a series of disaster-readiness educational videos especially designed for children who are most vulnerable during disasters.

The video series, entitled Maging Laging Handa, covers precautionary measures and safety tips for various calamities such as typhoons, floods, tsunamis, storm surges, earthquakes, and landslides.

Reviewed and approved by PAGASA, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the video materials will be used by DepEd as additional resources for the disaster risk reduction education of elementary students. A teacher’s guide as to how these videos can be integrated in the curriculum has already been developed by DepEd.

“We are very happy to collaborate with our government partners on this project. It’s good to include the children, as early as now, in the entire preparedness exercise as we try to become a nation that is more capable and ready for any type of disasters,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon Isberto.

The video features Tonipet Gabba as online instructor; three puppets namely Inay Lena, a mother hen; Brownie, a dog; and Kali, a carabao; and all-original Tagalog songs aimed at making the learning journey richer and more exciting.

The videos were able to simplify disaster-related concepts like the typhoon signals, rainfall warning signals, and the differences between a storm surge and a tsunami.

The Maging Laging Handa videos are available online via the #SafePH website at www.smart.com.ph/SafePH.

Smart as an organization has embraced preparedness, and has been aggressively promoting the culture of preparedness among its partner organizations under its #SafePH program.

The telco has been holding caravans all over the country for household preparedness, and supporting different government agencies to help strengthen disaster management capacities of the LGUs.

To aid in disaster communications and response, Smart has developed mobile apps and technology solutions such as the Batingaw and Project Noah apps, and the Smart Infocast. The telco has also been consistent in providing immediate libreng tawag services to areas affected by disasters using its satellite services.

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DepEd recognizes Smart as valued partner in education

The Department of Education (DepEd) recently recognized mobile leader Smart Communications for its efforts to help improve education in the country. Smart is one of DepEd’s corporate partners under the Adopt-a-School program, whose goal is to enhance the quality of public education through technology support and training, among others.

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The Department of Education (DepEd) recently recognized mobile leader Smart Communications for its efforts to help improve education in the country. Smart is one of DepEd’s corporate partners under the Adopt-a-School program, whose goal is to enhance the quality of public education through technology support and training, among others.

smart-deped

In the photo are (from left to right) DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino, and DepEd Undersecretary for partnerships and external linkages Mario Deriquito.

Smart’s various education initiatives include the rollout of the Smart Technocart, a mobile digital laboratory donated to public schools to provide teachers and kindergartners with modern learning tools.

Each Smart TechnoCart contains 20 tablets that come preloaded with Batibot, an Android application designed to help children develop essential thinking skills through fun-filled games. The facility also features a laptop and projector for the use of the teacher; a Smart Bro pocket WiFi with prepaid load for connectivity; and the Smart One Campus, a learning management system that helps administrators and teachers track and measure their students’ academic performance.

Smart has so far donated 15 Smart Technocarts, but interested individuals and institutions may still give donations. For more information, please visit www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart. (Press Release)

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Smart, WWF encourage students to adopt eco-friendly lifestyle

While young, it is important that students start to embrace their role as stewards of the environment. It is for this reason that wireless leader Smart Communications (Smart) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) started a project called Project Connect.

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While young, it is important that students start to embrace their role as stewards of the environment. It is for this reason that wireless leader Smart Communications (Smart) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) started a project called Project Connect.

A three-hour interactive and fun learning session, Project Connect aims to raise awareness among students from grade school up to college on pressing environment issues, specifically on climate change.

“In rolling out this awareness campaign, we want to promote the habit of caring for the environment among students and encourage them to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Caring for the environment is a shared responsibility, everyone must contribute to that effort in any way we can,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart Public Affairs Group Head.

Young stewards

“Through our partnership with Smart for Project Connect, WWF-Philippines hopes to develop a strong base of young environmental stewards. The environment and development issues confronting us today are scaling up. Together with Smart, we are committed to educate today’s youth to build a future where people and nature thrive,” said WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma.

Launched in 2010, Project Connect was piloted in Peñablanca East Central School in Cagayan, Camarines Sur National High School, and Palawan State University. Last year, it was rolled out in Ateneo de Davao High School in Davao City and Dubinan Elementary School in Cauayan, Isabela. Recently, students from Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte benefited from the project and learned about energy efficiency and conservation, as well as renewable energy.

Best environmental practices

Project Connect is being done as a follow-through activity for the schools that won the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools (NSSES), a nationwide competition that recognizes the schools with the best environmental practices. Launched in 2009, NSSES is also supported by Smart in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau.

A staunch advocate for the environment, Smart has been implementing various initiatives that can help mitigate the effects of climate change. It has also integrated into its business sound environmental practices for which it has won numerous international and local awards. These include the Green Merchandising, which uses stone paper for outdoor merchandising materials.

Smart has also been planting trees in key upland watershed and coastal areas nationwide, and is the lead proponent for efforts to reforest, protect, and rehabilitate the Upper Marikina Water Basin under the Marikina Watershed Initiative. (Press Release)

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Samboan taps SHINE OS+ to digitize residents’ health records

Samboan municipal health officer Dr. Ianne Jireh Ramos suspected hypertension to be the prevalent case among townsfolk who availed themselves of the municipal government’s health programs. Ramos, however, couldn’t say for certain. She just had a hunch based on anecdotal information.

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Samboan municipal health officer Dr. Ianne Jireh Ramos suspected hypertension to be the prevalent case among townsfolk who availed themselves of the municipal government’s health programs. Ramos, however, couldn’t say for certain. She just had a hunch based on anecdotal information.

When she took over as Samboan municipal health officer last January, Ramos found medical records-keeping rudimentary. What was readily available to physicians was vital physical information written on one-fourth pad paper, the type used by high school students for short, mid-week quizzes. These pieces of paper were then dumped into boxes and when medical workers needed to check for medical history, they would have to rummage through the disorganized pile.

SHINE OS+ launch in Samboan

ENHANCE HEALTH SERVICES. Samboan Mayor Raymond Joseph Calderon says using SHINE OS+ will enhance the delivery of health services to town residents.

 

MAKE IT EASIER. Smart public affairs senior manager Maria Jane C. Paredes says that in deploying SHINE OS+, the goal of the partners was to make health services easier.

MAKE IT EASIER. Smart public affairs senior manager Maria Jane C. Paredes says that in deploying SHINE OS+, the goal of the partners was to make health services easier.

 

Medical history

Ramos said it was a challenge for doctors to look into a patient’s medical history and some were taking medication for years with no records to show for the reason for the prescription or the progress in the treatment of the ailment.

But when the town started using SHINE OS+, Ramos said, her hunch was immediately proven correct. Even with just the data of 60 patients that have been encoded so far, the system showed hypertension was indeed the most common case among their patients. Such medical insights, Ramos said in an interview, can help inform policy-makers craft more effective health programs.

SHINE or the Secured Health Information Network and Exchange is a project by Smart Communications, Inc. launched in 2011. Two years later, Smart signed an agreement with the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) in the Ateneo de Manila University for expansion of the system’s capability and its release as an open source program. That newer and expanded version is called Shine OS+.

SHINE OS+ Samboan launch

EXPANDED. SHINE OS+ project lead Dr. Ma. Regina Estuar of the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center says the new version of SHINE has taken on more capabilities and will be released as an open source program.

 

SHINE OS+ Samboan training

TRAINING. The SHINE OS+ team trains Samboan health workers on how to use the system.

 

Enhance health services

During Samboan’s town fiesta last Wednesday, Sept. 30, the municipal government, Smart and AJWCC launched SHINE OS+ in its historic town center, near the landing of Jacob’s Ladder and beside the watchtower that offers a panoramic, albeit hazy at that time, view of Negros Island.

Samboan Mayor Raymond Joseph Calderon said during the launch that he considered the town lucky to be able to use SHINE OS+ to enhance the delivery of health services. Smart public affairs senior manager Maria Jane C. Paredes said that in deploying SHINE OS+, the goal of the partners was to make health services easier. Paredes said she hoped other towns in Cebu and throughout the country will soon avail themselves of the system.

At the core of the SHINE OS+ is the so-called 4 Rs for recording of patient data, reminding via SMS or email of appointments and medication, referring of services and prescriptions and reporting of required data submissions to government agencies.

SHINE OS+

SHINE OS+ DASHBOARD. The SHINE OS+ dashboard that is displayed when a doctor logs into the system. The system is free to use and will be released as an open source project to allow those interested to modify and improve the code.

 

SHINE OS+ reports

REPORTING. SHINE OS+ simplifies submission of required reports to government agencies.

 

Enhanced capabilities

The system has taken on more “Rs,” said project lead Dr. Ma. Regina Estuar of the AJWCC. One is RN for the nurses, said Estuar. She said when the system was designed, they only did so from the points of view of the doctor and patient, but they realized the importance of nurses during the rollout. Another R, Estuar said, is RX for prescriptions – the system will soon generate prescriptions that can be accessed by pharmacists via scanning a QR or quick response codes.

Yet another R is for response for emergency situations. The ability to store data on the cloud makes sure that these are still accessible even if computers or paper documents are destroyed in a disaster. Estuar said this ability to access records also helps emergency responders identify fatalities or help casualties.

Free for doctors

Estuar said another R is for “reuse” of the code to extend it to other platforms and to release it as an open source project. By making SHINE OS+ open source, its maintainers will be able to accept contributions and fixes from anyone interested to help improve the system. She said the OS in the name stands for open source, open service and open standards.

The basic Shine system is free for doctors to sign up with to handle their clinics’ medical records. Estuar said they will soon make available for download an installer for the program to allow anyone to run the system.

Estuar said the system deployed in Samboan works offline, storing data locally and then synchronizing with the server once the computer is connected to the Internet.

Ramos said they aim to digitize patient records of 5,000 people and have started training Samboan health workers in encoding the data. She said they would tap students, via the NSTP or National Service Training Program, for the encoding of existing paper records into the system.

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ACC brings digital learning to schools in Lapu-Lapu via Smart Technocart

Four public schools in Lapu-Lapu City are the latest recipients of mobile digital laboratories called Smart Technocarts, which are intended to boost kindergarten learning using technology tools and solutions.

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Four public schools in Lapu-Lapu City are the latest recipients of mobile digital laboratories called Smart Technocarts, which are intended to boost kindergarten learning using technology tools and solutions.

The cart, an initiative of mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc., can be easily wheeled from one classroom to the next and contains 20 seven-inch tablets, a laptop, a projector, and a Smart BRO pocket WiFi that comes with an initial load for Internet connectivity.

Representatives from Pusok Elementary School, Marigondon Elementary School, City Central School, and Pajo Elementary School led by Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Marcelita Solon-Dignos received their technology carts during the opening of the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) 2015 last September 1 in Lapu-Lapu City.

The Smart Technocarts for the four schools were sponsored by the ACC, said Smart education program head Stephanie Velasco-Orlino, adding that each digital laboratory package is worth P200,000.

Fun learning

ACC president Edgar Antonio, who is also the PLDT head of carrier marketing and product development, said the conference allows telecommunications companies to do business with each other and give back to the community at the same time.

“We’re very happy to be a recipient of this program. We’re thankful to Smart, PLDT, and the ACC for this assistance to our schools,” Dignos said in an interview before the turnover.

With the right guidance, kindergarten kids will learn how to use the tablets to learn such subjects as English, Reading, Science, and Math in fun ways, she added.

ACC Smart Technocart

SMART TECHNOCART. Each Smart TechnoCart contains 20 tablets which come preloaded with the Batibot app. It also has a laptop and projector for use by the teacher; a Smart Bro pocket WiFi with prepaid load for connectivity; and the Smart One Campus, a learning management system that helps administrators and teachers track and measure their students’ academic performance.

Technocart beneficiaries

Two other institutions in Cebu, the Regina Mercado Elementary School and Banilad Elementary School, were among 15 learning institutions all over the country that each received a Smart-sponsored digital laboratory last June.

The other schools include three in Tawi-Tawi, two in Basilan, three in Bacolod City, two in Legazpi City, two in Pangasinan, and one in Parañaque City. According to Orlino, the early program recipients were those who had undergone Smart’s Tap and Learn: Tablets for Education or other training programs.

Orlino said Smart is opening an additional 20 program-matching slots for the Smart Technocart program this year. This means that an interested sponsor only puts up half of the amount for the mobile digital laboratory package and Smart takes care of the rest. Sponsors can be a company, foundation, local government unit (LGU), an individual, or even a group of friends, she added.

The Technocart package also comes with a one-year subscription to the learning management system called Smart One Campus. The platform allows school administrators and teachers to track and measure the performance and progress of students.

The tablets already contain the Batibot app, which is the first mobile application for literacy aligned with the K-12 curriculum. Outside of the Technocart program, the Batibot app may be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store to Android mobile devices.

To know more about Smart’s education initiatives, as well as how to sponsor Smart TechnoCarts for schools, please visit www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart.

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RAFi donates P1.5 million for ERUF training center

To help train emergency responders, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. donated P1.58 million to the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) for the construction of its five-room training center at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

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To help train emergency responders, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. donated P1.58 million to the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) for the construction of its five-room training center at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

Calling the people of ERUF “angels,” RAFI President Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz said RAFI is glad to help the foundation, which “has been making miracles for the last 29 years.”

Creating better community

“This is another one of the steps towards creating a better community. This (donation) is not the only time. Whenever we can (donate to ERUF), we will,” he told ERUF officials who accepted the check last August 11.

ERUF said the center would provide “training for emergency medical and pre-hospital care and rescue and rehabilitation services to the needs of the community.”

Mobile triage

RAFI Chief Operating Officer Dominica B. Chua said RAFI is also outfitting a Hino truck to serve as ERUF’s mobile triage costing P1.91 million. She praised the foundation for being a “reliable intervener in terms of emergency.”

She also said that with climate change now being the new normal, everyone should help equip ERUF.

Dr. Pek Eng Lim, ERUF Board of Trustees chairman, assured that they “will continue at what we do best,” adding that theirs is the only group in the Philippines accredited by the US and Hong Kong as emergency responders.

Disaster response

ERUF was also among those that responded and went to Tacloban City in the aftermath of super-typhoon Yolanda in November 8, 2013.

According to the Memorandum of Agreement that the two foundations signed, the training center “will develop, professionalize and standardize the provision of pre-hospital emergency care for patients needing treatment.”

“After Yolanda, everybody has ambulances. We support by training them,” said Mona Li, ERUF BOT treasurer.

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