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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)

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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)

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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.

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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
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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)

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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.

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‘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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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)

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Smart nominated as CSR company of the year

PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications is shortlisted by the prestigious Asia CEO Awards for the Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year. The Asia CEO Awards recognizes outstanding leadership achievements…

PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications is shortlisted by the prestigious Asia CEO Awards for the Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year.

The Asia CEO Awards recognizes outstanding leadership achievements by individuals and organizations in the Philippines. The CSR award is for the company with the best projects on environmental protection and awareness, livelihood, and youth development.

Winners will be announced in a ceremony on October 18 at the Marriott Hotel Manila.

Smart CSR’s 5 pillars

Smart’s CSR program draws its strength from partnerships with communities, and aims to use technology for development. It has five pillars, namely education, disaster preparedness and response, health, environment, and livelihood.

Among its programs is the Smart TechnoCart, which aims to improve the literacy of kindergarten students in public elementary schools through online and mobile educational resources.

Each donated TechnoCart is 2ftx2ft tall and contains 20 tablets for students as well as a laptop, projector, tablet, and pocket WiFi for the teacher. The tablets are preloaded with the Batibot mobile application, the country’s first app for kids in Filipino aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Smart school in a bag

DIGITAL AID TO EDUCATION. Children from a remote community in Rizal see a laptop and other digital tools for the first time, after Smart donated a School-in-a-Bag to their school.

Improved students’ performance

Since June 2015, the TechnoCart has reached 30 schools with 246 classes and 6,173 students. Independent evaluation showed that the TechnoCart has helped improve students’ academic performance in various competencies.

Smart together with its employee volunteers have also been conducting tree-planting activities nationwide since 2003. Smart employees have planted more than 2 million seedlings and propagules for mangroves with the help of community stakeholders and volunteers from partner organizations.

Partnerships

Other activities aligned with Smart’s environmental pillar include reducing electricity consumption, recycling batteries, and exploring environmentally sound solutions like marketing materials made from stone and recycled paper.

Smart has also partnered with the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, and USAID-ECOFISH for DALOY, an SMS hotline enabling concerned citizens to inform the police about maritime violations. It has generated 95,468 broadcast messages, and has resulted in 25 arrests and the seizure of more than 4,000 pieces of contraband worth nearly $135,000. (Press release)

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Globe launches free eLibrary to benefit over 15 million public school students nationwide

Over a thousand educational e-books for K-12 learning will be made available to over 15 million public elementary and high school students and some 500,000 public school teachers nationwide beginning…

Over a thousand educational e-books for K-12 learning will be made available to over 15 million public elementary and high school students and some 500,000 public school teachers nationwide beginning September 30 as part of the Global Filipino School (GFS) program of Globe Telecom.

The GFS Library launch coincides with the National Teachers Day celebration of the Department of Education (DepEd) at Ateneo de Manila University in Davao City where Globe is one of the participants.

“With the expansion of the Global Filipino Schools Program and awareness of the GFS Library around the country, public schools can more effectively make use of reading resources and promote digital learning to more students and teachers nationwide, particularly in schools where access to quality books is limited and usage of technology for learning is not maximized,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship.

GFS Library

GFS LIBRARY. The website is a component of the Global Filipino School program, a long-term Globe educational initiative that seeks to transform public schools into centers of Information and Communications Technology excellence.

Free ebooks

GFSLibrary.com is a web-based platform that provides free and quick access to digital story books for children and young adults as well as textbooks on core subjects such as Math, Science, English, Filipino, Music, Arts, among others. The ebooks may be opened via their desktop, laptop or mobile device using any basic ebook reader.

The website is a component of the GFS program, a long-term Globe educational initiative that seeks to transform public schools into centers of Information and Communications Technology excellence and innovative teaching methods in order to set the stage for 21st Century Learning.

At the same time, Globe announces its partnership with schools in three Davao schools which will carry the GFS program. They are Catalunan Paqueno National High School in Davao City, Davao del Sur; Carmen National High School in Carmen, Davao del Norte; and Matti National High School in Digos City, Davao del Sur. This is in line with Globe Telecom’s ongoing activity to expand GFS to all 221 school divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd) nationwide within a five-year period.

Globe Ebooks

DIGITAL LIBRARY. The GFS library will offer over a thousand educational e-books for K-12 learning to over 15 million public elementary and high school students and some 500,000 public school teachers nationwide.

Connectivity

Under GFS, schools are provided with online connectivity to give homeroom teachers access to teaching and learning engagements available on the internet that will help further improve their craft and make learning fun and interesting for the students.

The schools are also given a Globe Digital Laboratory package containing netbooks/tablets, wifi devices, and a mobile cart with a built-in projector screen and workstation while teachers are trained on ICT education and project-based learning through the GFS Master Teachers Workshop and Online Coaching Course.

All schools under GFS are intended to become teacher training hubs and training partners of the DepEd Division Offices in conducting teaching workshops for neighboring schools of each division. The workshops include lessons on Digital Thumbprint Program cyber-wellness advocacy. DTP offers three exciting modules designed to increase students’ knowledge of digital citizenship and cyber safety by taking a critical look at their online behavior and helping them develop insights into the influences of the online world and the choices they are making.

Fun, interactive, interesting

Likewise, teachers in select schools are also trained in science through Globe and Mind Museum’s Science Wonder Workshop that is guaranteed to make classroom learning more fun, interactive, and interesting. The one-day workshop emphasizes the essential role of student participation, especially through experiments in teaching science. The teachers get a chance to practice doing hands-on science demonstrations which can be performed with readily available materials.

The activities are aided by The Mind Museum mobile app which contains guides to all experiments in the workshop as well as daily cool science thoughts to encourage curiosity. The app, which is open to all education technology platform, also gives teachers, students, and anyone interested in learning, access to over 250 museum exhibits anytime and anywhere.

It deals with a wide array of topics and questions especially relevant to those who do not have the time, means, or opportunity to visit the museum. It is the first educational museum app in the country and promises a rich multimedia experience to anyone who downloads it. (Press Release)

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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