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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Philippines agency wins silver & bronze in Cannes Lions

A Philippine advertising agency has won two awards during the first three days of competitions in the 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity here, raising recognition of Filipino creativity to the global level.
BBDO Guerrero|Proximity Philippines’ “Bottle Light” campaign for Pepsi won the bronze medal in the promo and activation and media categories, and the silver medal in the direct category.
The Philippines is competing against 86 other countries in Cannes Lions 2012, to which the world’s leading advertising agencies have submitted 34,000 entries in 15 categories.
This year’s Lions have drawn 10,000 delegates from all over the world.
BBDO Guerrero|Proximity Philippines created the Bottle Light campaign for Pepsico Philippines and MyShelter Foundation.
The agency and Pepsico Philippines celebrated the honors. “On behalf of MyShelter’s Liter of Light and Pepsi, we are very proud to see Filipino ingenuity recognized at the highest level,” said David Guerrero, BBDO Guerrero|Proximity Philippines’ chief creative officer.
“We will continue to support the Liter of Light program as part of our aim to deliver performance with purpose,” said Steve Romasanta, Pepsico marketing director. “We are honored that our efforts in partnership with BBDO Guerrero to support MyShelter Foundation has been recognized on such a global level.”
“Most of the juries love it,” said DDB Group Singapore’s executive creative director Thomas Yang, a juror in the direct category. “It changed the behavior of the society, especially the whole country. This is the simplest implementation. Pepsi being commercialized in the whole campaign to publicize the innovation, I think that’s fantastic.”
Short-listed entries
The Philippines has 11 short-listed entries across press, media, outdoor, and radio categories from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO Guerrero, DM9 JaymeSyfu, Lowe Philippines, and Ogilvy & Mather Philippines.
Out of 281 entries, Ace Saatchi & Saatchi’s “Tiger Energy Playground” and BBDO Guerrero’s “Bottle Lights” received short-list status in the media category.
The same entries are also competing in the outdoor category, where the shortlist includes DM9 JaymeSyfu’s “Volcano” for the Department of Tourism and Smart Communications.
Ogilvy & Mather Philippines’ entries titled “Dave,” “Marc,” and “Joseph” for Vaseline Men took three short-listed spots for the Philippines in the Press Lions category while DM9 JaymeSyfu took two spots for its entries “Mouse Deer” and “Dugong,” both for Bantay Kalikasan (ABS-CBN Foundation).
The press category has a total of 501 shortlisted entries.
Lowe Philippines’ “Lorem Ipsum” is the sole Philippine entry in the Radio category, where there are 185 entries.
The Philippines failed to gather short-list spots in the PR, creative effectiveness, mobile, cyber, and design categories.
The competitions run until Saturday. Results have yet to be announced in the film, titanium and integrated, film craft, branded content and entertainment, and grand prix for good categories.
Philippine delegation
The Philippines submitted 315 entries, an increase of 50 percent from last year’s 210.
Twenty-seven delegates are representing the Philippines, and they come from the advertising, marketing, academic, telecommunications and manufacturing industries.
DM9 JaymeSyfu’s chair and chief creative officer Merlee Jayme is representing the Philippines on the outdoor jury. She chaired the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival (AdFest) outdoor jury in March.
Training course
This year, the Philippines has a delegate to the high-profile advertising, marketing, and communications training ground Roger Hatchuel Academy.
University of Asia and the Pacific’s Jolo Valdez, a 5th year student doing masteral studies in integrated marketing communications, is the Philippines’ representative in the weeklong course, which has lectures and workshops conducted by global leaders in the industry.
The country also has three teams for the Cannes Young Lions competition: DDB Philippines’ Donna Dimayuga and Mark Ngo represent the Philippines in the film category; TBWA’s Abi Capa and Nolan Fabular, in design category; and Johnson & Johnson’s Justine Gaurino and Rodrigo Sotto, in young marketers category.
Seminars, workshops
During the festival week, delegates can view more than 34,000 pieces of work, attend an extensive and unique program of 53 topical seminars, 17 workshops and, new to 2012, 30 forums delivered by the most innovative thinkers in the global communications industry, honor the winning work at four awards ceremonies as well as network, celebrate and enjoy two beach galas.
Among the speakers are former US President Bill Clinton, Microsoft chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, PHD Worldwide CEO Mike Cooper, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Starcom MediaVest Group Global CEO Laura Desmond, MTV president Stephen Friedman, MPG Global CEO Maria Luisa Francoli Plaza and Y&R Global chief creative officer Tony Granger.
(Story courtesy of Angel Guerrero of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Top U-S bank Wells Fargo looking to move more jobs to Phl

Wells Fargo & Co, the fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets, is looking to move some jobs outside the United States as it pushes forward with a company-wide cost-cutting program.
The bank is considering sending work in its retirement division, technology areas and other business lines to India and the Philippines, spokeswoman Bridget Braxton said. She declined to say how many jobs could be lost.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Wells Fargo was preparing to outsource jobs in its institutional retirement division to India and the Philippines, citing an internal memo sent to employees.
Braxton said the San Francisco-based bank could also shift positions within the United States and is examining which markets are the most “economically attractive.”
A global workforce could also help it meet the demands of clients worldwide who want round-the-clock service, she said.
Wells Fargo had about 265,000 full-time employees at the end of the first quarter. The vast majority will continue to based in the United States, Braxton said.
Wells Fargo has told investors it aims to reduce quarterly expenses by about $1.7 billion to $11.25 billion by the end of this year.
The bank has said it would consolidate technology units and streamline staff functions as part of the efficiency initiative, called Project Compass.
David Carroll, Wells Fargo’s head of wealth management, brokerage and retirement services, told Reuters in February his business was looking at areas where it could use less expensive workers overseas, mostly for back-office processing tasks.
His business has about 35,000 employees, with about 500 in India and Chile, he said at the time. Financial services firms often shift technology and processing tasks offshore.
In 2006, Wells Fargo opened a “technology resource center” in India’s Hyderabad to provide software development. Wachovia, which Wells Fargo acquired in 2008, began partnering with Indian outsourcing firms such as Genpact Ltd in 2005.

OFW guide: Think before you click and post on social media sites

Few people realize that what they post on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can make or break them.
Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook's mission  was to make "the world more open and connected," there are still limits on what people must share, the news site Huffington Post said.
What people post on social media sites can be viewed by employers, stalkers, insurance companies, and others whom they did not necessarily want to share the information with.
Huffington Post said some of the things people must avoid sharing on social media sites are personal information and even trip schedules.
Birthdates, addresses, and children’s names can be used by scammers for malicious purposes including identity theft.

On the other hand, it said posting trip schedules was like a “rob me” invitation to burglars.
Social Media in the workplace
Posting something inappropriate or scandalous can cost a person his or her job.
According to a report of  the news site The Poc, improper posting, ranting, and reduced employee productivity are some of the pressing concerns that come along with irresponsible use of social media.

It noted that most companies nowadays allow their employees to access social media sites while some restrict access.
The Poc listed some simple tips to go by when using social media:

  •     Respect company policy.
  •     Think twice before posting.
  •     Be responsible for your productivity.
  •     Don’t write what you don’t want to be published.

Top 2011 Social Media Blunders
Meanwhile, a report of the news site Inc. said an insensitive or inaccurate post could travel the globe faster than anyone could type an apology.
It cited some of the top social media blunders of 2011:
(1) Insensitive comment on the deadly tsunami in Japan
Nearly everyone around the world was devastated when a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake ravaged Japan in March 2011.

At that time, Gilbert Gottfried, spokesperson of the company Aflac, said on Twitter:  “Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking.”
Aflac, which had a large branch in Japan donated to the International Red Cross and fired Gottfried.
(2) Uproar over Kenneth Cole's tweet
In the heat of the violence in February 2011 in Egypt, designer Kenneth Cole thought of making the best of the situation by promoting his brand.
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KC.” Cole apologized after receiving negative feedback.
(3) US lawmaker’s 'almost-naked' private photos
Anthony Weiner was a respected Congressman but everything changed when almost-naked photos of him circulated on social media.

Pressured by various sectors, Weiner resigned a month after admitting that the photos were hacked from his social media account.

(4) Steve Jobs, dead or alive?
In September last year, Columbia Broadcasting System made one of its biggest news report blunders.
CBS’s ‘What’s Trending’ Twitter web show tweeted: “Reports say that Steve Jobs has passed away. Stay tuned for more updates.”
The late Jobs, Apple pioneer and mastermind, was still alive at the time of posting.

The tweet was pulled out a minute after it got posted.
Shira Lazar, host of the show apologized for “inaccuracy” and blamed a junior staffer for the mishap but CBS decided to sever ties with the web show, saying it had no newsgathering ties with CBS. - VVP, GMA News

OFW guide: Make creativity a habit

BOSTON - Not all of us have the creative firepower of a Charles Dickens or a Steve Jobs, but clearing a pathway to innovative thinking can be surprisingly simple, says Harvard Business Review.
The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.
"Creativity is an essential skill for navigating an increasingly complex world. And yet the path to innovative thinking can be surprisingly simple.
To improve your own ingenuity, practice the following:
1. Reduce stress, but not too much. Being overly relaxed won't get your creative juices flowing. Embrace an in-between emotional state, neither complacent nor stressed out.
2. Get out of the office. Walk to work, take public transportation, wander about to see how real consumers behave and spend their time. If you never take the time to fill your creative well, you'll have nothing to contribute.
3. Let your mind wander. Studies show that day dreaming stimulates a unique mental state. You'll connect dots in new ways when you allow your mind to roam." - Reuters
Today's management tip was adapted from "Creativity Lessons from Charles Dickens and Steve Jobs" by Anne Kreamer.

First Filipino Guam senator visits Pinoys in Saipan

Guam Senator Shirley "Sam" Mabini, the first Filipino woman elected as senator in Guam, met with Filipino community leaders at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) in Saipan last June 21.

Mabini was among the visiting dignitaries attending the 31st General Assembly Conference of the Association of Pacific Island Legislature (APIL), hosted this year by the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)Legislature.

"Senator Mabini... was born and raised in Guam to a mother who worked as a seamstress and her father a carpenter and was among those recruited in the 1960s to rebuild Guam following the Second World War," the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

At the meeting, Mabini reminded some 60 Filipino leaders from Saipan and Rota and Tinian islands about their value as part of the Commonwealth's workforce.

She said their "biggest asset" is their own contribution to the economic development and success of the islands.

Mabini also reiterated how the Filipino workers in the CNMI serve as the "backbone" of the island's economy.

Mabini also guested at a local radio station, Magic 100.3 FM KWAW, hosted by Filipino program director Rovel Caberos.

During the radio program, she said coordination is being undertaken by both Philippine Consul General to Saipan Medardo Macaraig and Consul General Bayani Mangibin, for the smooth transition of the consular jurisdiction to Guam, and the continuity of providing efficient service to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Embassy Officer-In-Charge Jose Sto. Domingo, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) officer-in-charge Julia Fabian, and the staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Saipan joined the 2012 APIL members and staff of the CNMI Legislature in welcoming Mabini and other delegates.

Other delegates to the APIL were from Hawaii, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae and Kiribati.

This year's gathering of the "Blue Continent" leaders conference focused on economic development challenges and solutions, particularly in the field of tourism, airlines, and the environment.

The four-day APIL meeting concluded on June 23. — LBG, GMA News

Friday, June 29, 2012

Katy Perry wears creation of Filipino designer Furne One

International pop star Katy Perry is seen wearing a Filipino designer’s creation in one of her newest music videos.
Perry wore one of Dubai-based Filipino designer Furne One’s outfits in her music video for the single “Wide Awake.” Perry’s One creation in the freshly-launched video, has been described by fans as “Game of Thrones”-like, and which Perry describes as “the labyrinth of her life.”
One has also designed outfits for the American pop star in the recent MTV Video Music Awards.
Aside from Perry, the designer has been dressing rapper Nicki Minaj, singer Natasha Bedingfield, supermodel Heidi Klum and candidates of Germany’s Next Top Model (which Klum hosts), among others. Germany’s Next Top Model is a franchise of Tyra banks’ America’s Next Top Model, where Banks is also seen wearing Rajo Laurel in their most recent cycle.
One’s designs have also been featured in various international magazines, among them Industry and Tantalum, where his work appeared on one issue’s triple cover.
One, who hails from Cebu said that he hopes to open a shop in the Philippines and have his own ready-to-wear line.
One showed his “Matahari” collection, which he said costs more than P7 million.
“I made this collection for four to five months. [I used] a lot of Swarovski crystals, threading, gold threads, studs, silver and copper studs,” Furne said.
His advice to Pinoy designers: “Nothing is impossible. Just have the vision and determination, and believe in yourself.”

102-year-old Pinoy becomes US citizen

Joaquin Arciaga Guzman, 102, now holds the record of being the oldest Filipino immigrant to become a United States citizen.

On Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) he was one of some 7,300 candidates from 120 countries who took their oath of citizenship at a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.
Joaquin Arciaga Guzman, 102, now holds the record of being the oldest Filipino immigrant to become a United States citizen. Getty Images/AFP

According to a report of the news site Pinoy Weekly on Thursday, Guzman came to the US as a youth in 1928 to pick lettuce and cabbage south of San Francisco.

He returned to the Philippines, married Paz Irene Gatchalian, before returning to the US. They had six children.

Guzman's wife and two adult children later went to the US in 1984 and became American citizens.

Guzman, however, did not immediately submit an application for citizenship, "for reasons that aren’t clear," the report said.

Los Angeles Daily News said Guzman’s wife Paz did not live to see her husband become a US citizen. She died in 2007 at the age of 89.
Citing US Citizenship and Immigration Services data, the Pinoy Weekly report said only 27 people older than 100 years old have become citizens in the past 50 years. 
So far, Manik Bokchalian, who was 117 when she took the oath in 1997, holds the record of being the oldest immigrant to become a US citizen. - VVP, GMA News

Madrigal Singers to perform in Malaysia

MANILA, Philippines - World-class Filipino acapella chorale, The Philippine Madrigal Singers, will be performing in Malaysia as part of their Asian Goodwill Tour.
“The Philippine Madrigal Singers has exemplified musical excellence and virtuosity throughout the years. The Philippines takes pride in presenting one of the world’s best to Malaysia,” said Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya.
Also known as the MADZ, the group will be performing on July 1 and 2 at the Georgetown Festival (GTF) in Penang as one of its featured performers.
The GTF is a month-long celebration of art, music, theatre, dance opera and film to commemorate George Town's inscription on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage listing on 7 July 2008.  This year’s GTF is running from June 15 to July 15.
Meanwhile, the MADZ will also perform at the Philippine embassy in a "by invitation" only event on July 3.
After that, the group will conduct a two-night concert at the Trinity Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya on July 5 and 6, in support of the Philippine Community Fund. 

According to the embassy, Malaysia is the group's second stop for their Asian Goodwill Concert Tour.
Organized in 1963 by National Artist Professor Andrea Veneracion, the group is composed of students, faculty members and alumni from the different colleges of the University of the Philippines. 
Through the direction of Mark Anthony Carpio, the corps of composers and choral arrangers of the Madrigal Singers continue to produce innovative compositions and choral settings of Philippine, Asian and international songs, thus contributing to the growth of world choral literature.
The choir is one of the world’s most awarded, having consistently won all the top prizes in most of the world’s prestigious  choral competitions: Arezzo and Gorizia in Italy, Marktoberdorf in Germany, Spittal in Austria, Neuchatel in Switzerland, Tours in France, Varna in Bulgaria, Debrecen in Hungary, Cantonigros, Tolosa and Torrevieja in Spain.
They hold the distinction of being the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice, in 1997 and 2007.
More recently, the group was honored by the UNESCO as Artists for Peace.  Similarly, they were bestowed the Guidoneum Award by the Concorso Polifonico Guido d’ Arrezo Foundation in September 2010.
The ensemble performs a wide repertoire of various styles and forms: renaissance music, classical music, Filipino and international folksongs, contemporary and avant-garde music, opera and even popular music. Their specialization and focus on the madrigal idiom has inspired their unique set-up of singing while seated in a semi-circle, without a conductor.

TFC, CFO ink pact to benefit OFWs

MANILA, Philippines - A memorandum of agreement was signed between The Filipino Channel (TFC) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) which aims to solidify the ties of overseas Pinoy workers to the Philippines.
“As the largest communications network that pioneered in providing up-to-date information on the Philippines and its diaspora communities, our decision to link up with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas is a strategic move,” said Raffy Lopez, chief operating officer of ABS-CBN Global Ltd.
In his speech, Lopez said, “Together, we hope to equip them for a life far different from their lives in the Philippines, guide them in their journey and to continue to be their pillar of strength as they trudge the unsteady, early stages of life as an overseas Filipino.  In all these, CFO and TFC have found specific ways to bring our efforts together”.
For her part, CFO Secretary Imelda Nicolas said the agreement with TFC is a result of both parties "collective desire to provide good governance to the Filipino people, where ever they may be".
“With TFC, the overseas Filipino community feels closer to home and is updated on what is happening in the Philippines and hopefully will be informed about the programs and activities the Philippine government is undertaking especially through our agency,” she said.
Nicolas added that TFC captured migrants' post arrival anxieties, job search experiences, bouts of loneliness and eventual adjustments in vignettes entitled, "Ako ang TFC". The video clips aim to show the reality that beset migrants, as well as how TFC can help ease their resettlement concerns.
"These will also make Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars more realistic since these are authentic accounts from Canada, Australia, the United States and other destinations under the TFC umbrella,” said the CFO Secretary.
The joint efforts will increase the promotion and protection of the welfare of overseas Filipinos.
“The information that will reach our constituencies shall get more people involved and inspired and will strengthen the “bayanihan spirit” among our more than nine million overseas Filipinos,” Nicolas said.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kentucky teammates go 1-2 in NBA draft

NEWARK, New Jersey - The New Orleans Hornets selected University of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 National Basketball Association entry draft on Thursday.
"A great feeling, great experience. I've wanted this all my life, so it's finally here," said the 19-year-old. "To be drafted No. 1 overall means a lot to me."
The Charlotte Bobcats used the second pick to take another Kentucky forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
"I didn't really care where I went. I was just surprised. I was just very surprised," Kidd-Gilchrist said of being taken No. 2.
It marked the first time in draft history that two players from the same school were taken with the top two picks. Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist had led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national title.
The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, took Florida guard Bradley Beal with the third pick.
In his lone season at Kentucky, Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and had a school-record 186 blocks.
The Hornets will need Davis' scoring. They finished with the worst record in the Western Conference last season, averaging 89.6 points, which was the second-lowest in the NBA behind the Bobcats.
The Hornets won the draft lottery last month despite having just a 13 percent chance at landing the first pick.
The only other time they had the top pick was in 1991 when they used it to select Larry Johnson.
Kidd-Gilchrist also played in just one season for Kentucky and averaged 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, with 39 steals and 37 blocked shots.
He joins a struggling team that finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history after going 7-59. They have finished below .500 in seven of the last eight seasons.
Beal, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Thursday, averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while starting all 37 games for Florida.
Dion Waiters was taken fourth by the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Sacramento rounded out the top five by taking power forward Thomas Robinson.
© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

Israel town honors PHL for helping Jews during World War II

An Israel town recently honored the Philippines for opening its doors to European Jews escaping from the Holocaust during World War II, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

According to a news release of the DFA on Wednesday, the town of Rishon LeZion recognized the Philippine government’s assistance to the Jewish people during their darkest hour.

The honor rites were held at the Holocaust Memorial Park during the third anniversary of the inauguration of the Open Doors Monument on June 21, the DFA said.

"When it seems that nobody in the world cares, the Philippines opened its doors to welcome people like us. Although I am not one of those who were lucky to benefit from the kindness of the Philippine Government, I could relate and feel the warm welcome accorded to us by the Filipino people," Asher Cohen of the municipality's foreign relations department said at the ceremony.
Cohen, one of the survivors of the Holocaust from Romania, highlighted the kind gesture of the Philippines, under the regime of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon, when it offered a safe haven to Jews escaping oppression from Nazi Europe.
During the ceremony, Ambassador to Israel Generoso Calonge handed Holocaust survivor Max Weissler a memorabilia-letter from the daughter of President Quezon, Maria Zenaida Quezon-AvanceƱa.
Weissler was among the 1,200 Jews who benefited from the "open door' policy of Quezon, and recounted his family’s ordeal in fellow refugee Frank Ephraim’s book "Escape to Manila from Nazi Tyranny and Japanese Terror."
The other Filipino attendees during the ceremony were visual artist Luis Yee, who designed the Open Doors Monument in 2007; embassy officers and staff, and other members of the Filipino community.

The "Manilaners," the Jewish people who lived in the Philippines in the 1930s to 1940s, were also present at the event, as well as some Holocaust survivors.
Calonge said the Filipino delegates were deeply honored to attend the third anniversary celebration of the Open Doors Monument.
“We will never forget those days of darkness when a race was elevated to be superior to another, when a people who served their countries of residence were rejected as members of that polity and when the vital contributions of that people to the societies where they lived were ignored," he said.
Calonge also said their generation's duty "is not to forget that the Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient Seas, responded.  It saved precious lives and gave all it can."
He heralded the Manilaners who were present in the ceremony. - with Gian Geronimo, VVP, GMA News

10-year-old Fil-Chinese among top video finalists of 'America's Got Talent'

A 10-year-old Filipino-Chinese has the chance to perform live on the talent search "America's Got Talent" after she made it among the top 20 video finalists from YouTube.

Dominique Dy of Hendersonville, Tennessee was among the 20 finalists selected by the producers of "America's Got Talent" because of her video rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Edge to Glory” with a piano accompaniment.
In an email to GMA News Online, Dominique's uncle John Kenneth Dy said only one of the 20 finalists will have the opportunity to perform this August on "America's Got Talent," a show produced by theNational Broadcasting Company (NBC). 
The finalist who will perform live on "America's Got Talent" is the one who will receive the most votes during the voting period from June 25 to July 7.

Voting can be done through the official YouTube channel of "America's Got Talent" or by downloading the show's auditions application software to your Apple or Android mobile phones for free.

Dominique also made a YouTube video where she is seeking support for her bid to become part of "America's Got Talent."
Not new to performing before large crowds
Dominique, despite her young age, is not new to performing before large crowds.

Her uncle said in 2009, Dominique sang the American national anthem at the National Football League game of the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Atlanta Falcons.
Dominique first joined the singing contest the "Mule Town Idol" at the age of 7 where she won the first place in her division, according to the blog site Famocracy.
Aside from this, she became the youngest choral member of La Boheme and Tosca, two productions by the Nashville Opera.

Dominique is an incoming sixth grader at Merroll Hyde Magnet School, where she is a “straight A” honor student Famocracy said. - VVP, GMA News

Two young Pinay students win awards at Global Art Contest

Two young Filipino students -- Jamille Bianca Aguilar, 16, and Maria Angelica Ramos Tejada, 6 -- won awards at the recent Global Art Contest for children and youth, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a news release, the DFA said Aguilar won the silver prize in the 16 to 20 years old category, while Tejada received a special mention in the 5 to 10 years old category.

The DFA said the contest was organized by the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
The exhibit featuring the 34 winning art pieces was launched on June 20 at the United Nations Office in Geneva to coincide with the opening of the Rio + 20 Conference in Brazil.

The Global Art contest received 160 submissions from 18 countries.
The exhibit will run until July 11.

Global Art Contest
The theme of the recent Global Art Contest was, "Stockholm at 10: Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" and what it meant to young people around the world.
The contest was held as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty to protect people and the environment from harmful chemicals. 
The contest was open to three art media categories: drawing, photography, and short videos.

It had three age categories:

  • 5-10 years old;
  • 11-15 years old, and
  • 16-20 years old.
According to the Global Art Contest’s website, three of the Stockholm Convention’s Regional Centers are organizing parallel virtual exhibitions of the winning entries:
  • Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX) in Brno, Czech Republic;
  • Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, and
  • Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Dakar, Senegal.

International recognition

Before winning at the Global Art Contest, Aguilar has already won other national and international awards for her works.
She won a “Special Prize to International Artist” at 12th International High School Arts Festival in Tokyo, Japan in 2010.
She likewise won an award in the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation's Love Your Body Campaign in 2008.
To see Jamille’s art works online, click here.
- with Rouchelle Dinglasan, VVP, GMA News

'Father of Litson Manok' shares success story

MANILA, Philippines – The man who is now dubbed as the “Father of Litson Manok” had his share of disappointments when he first started out.
But if Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr., the owner and CEO of Andok’s Corporation, allowed disappointments to overcome his passion, there wouldn’t be 300 Andok’s stores across the country today.
Javier was at the forefront when the “litson manok” (roasted chicken) craze in the Philippines began more than 20 years ago.
Back then, Javier said he did not have the capital to start a business and he was forced to borrow 12 chickens from his mother’s friend to sell.
As luck would have it, Javier only sold two chickens.
However, the aspiring entrepreneur did not stop there.
Set your target
Unlike other entrepreneurs who had the capital to put up their own business, Javier struggled financially to jumpstart his litson manok stall.
But this struggle, Javier shared, is what inspired him to strive harder.
“Ang sikreto talaga diyan ay kung saan ka nanggaling, sa kahirapan. You have to get out of the difficulty in life kaya kailangan you have to set your target. Kailangan labanan mo ‘yung kahirapan,” he told dzMM on Thursday.
Find your passion
Javier said he experimented with the ingredients to capture what we know today as the trademark Andok’s taste.
From the 12 chickens he started with, Javier’s small stall along West Avenue in Quezon City boosted its daily inventory to 80 chickens.
“You will start evolving. Magkakaroon ka ng passion. Hindi ka pwedeng magsayang ng oras at kapag ikaw ay nagkamali, tayo ay tao lang nagkakamali, pero you just have to learn from your mistakes and keep going,” he said.
Determined and passionate, Javier continued to grow Andok's, with its menu expanding to include pork chop, sinigang, fried chicken, Bicol express and desserts.
Litson manok, the signature item of Andok's. Photo from Andok's website
Don’t procrastinate
The success of Andok’s is hinged on the drive of Javier to pursue his dreams of running a restaurant business.
But Javier said drive alone will not be enough if you don’t act on it.
“Sa amin, bawal ang mamaya, bawal ang bukas. If you think of doing something and you think it will contribute to being the best, ituloy mo na kaagad,” he said.
From a corner stall in Quezon City, Andok’s branched out to the provinces, opening at least 10 stores in the Visayas in just two years.
“Maraming tao na may mga magagandang ideas, ang problema hindi nila ginagawa. Kapag inumpishan mo, tapusin mo,” said Javier.
Don’t overspend
Andok’s became popular not only because of its distinct Filipino taste, but also because of its affordable menu.
One of its more popular products, the Dokito Frito (fried chicken), costs less than P50.
Customers come in droves to Andok’s because of its practicality, an ethos followed by the brand’s owner himself.
“Huwag sobra sa iyong kikitain ang iyong gagastusin. Huwag mo gagastusin ang hindi mo makikita,” Javier said.
Share your blessings
With the success of Andok’s, Javier does not forget to look back on his roots.
Now the mayor of Javier town in Leyte, he said he has made it a point to share his blessings to the less-fortunate.
“If you share your blessings, more blessings will come. Kailangan tulungan mo din ‘yung kapwa mo,” he said.
Javier believes that the success he has received in his business has a deeper purpose than just earning a good living.
“Noong nag-umpisa ako talagang mahirap eh at masarap ang pakiramdam ng matulungan. I know how it feels,“ he said.
“Pag nanggaling ka sa wala, that will inspire you to move on. Nothing deserves better applause kung hindi ‘yung taong natupad ‘yung gusto niyang gawin sa buhay,” he added.

Jessica confirms signing with Interscope

MANILA, Philippines – “American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez has confirmed that she’s already signed with Interscope Records.
"American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez
In her official Twitter account, Sanchez answered a fan asking whether she had been signed to any record label yet. “Yup. Interscope,” Sanchez tweeted on Tuesday.
The following day, Sanchez announced, also through Twitter, that she is already working on analbum.
"At the stuuuuudio recording some amazing tracks for the upcoming album ;) <3," she tweeted.
In an interview with Reality Rocks last week, Sanchez said her debut album will be released sometime in October.
According to the Filipino-Mexican-American singer, her album will contain songs with the “urban vibe.”
“It’s more of like an urban kind of feel. It’s coming out sometime in October I believe, no set date yet. It’s gonna be totally different. There’s gonna be an urban kind of feel. I’m not a straight pop singer,” she said.
Other poplar artists who are with Interscope are Eminem, 50 Cent, Black Eyed Peas, Keyshia Cole, JoJo, Lady Gaga, LMFAO, U2 and "Idol" Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, among others.
Sanchez has kept busy after nearly winning the top-rated talent competition last month. She sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the US Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C. lasy May 27, and again at the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight last June 5. She also sang the U.S. national anthem in Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.
She is also in talks for a possible recurring role in the hit TV show "Glee" but not before joining the rest of the Top 10 for the "American Idol" tour.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pinoys join bike ride for cancer research

SURREY, British Columbia - Over 3,000 cyclists participated in the annual 2-day bike ride in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.
Among the participants were fellow Filipinos who trained hard to make the 200 kilometer trip from Surrey, BC to Seattle, Washington.
“We did several runs in April. So at least minimum kami mga 30 kilometers per day. But we go as much as 100 kms that's like every weekend, rain or shine pa. It’s worth it kasi you really have to strengthen your muscles saka yung stamina mo, endurance na din,” said Ryan Ferrer, participant to the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Apart from the physical and mental preparation, Ferrer, Christine White and Kevin Green held several fundraisers to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
“I'm doing it in memory of my sister. Ultimately it’s not about our own individual causes, it’s a collective whole for the generation after us which is to research innovative treatment for cancer,” said White.
For his part, Green said it was the passing of a dear relative due to cancer that encouraged him to join the event.
 “Last year, my tita passed away from cancer as well. i obviously ride for her. She's very close to my family and she meant a lot to me,” he said.
Ferrer and his team crossed the finished line in downtown Seattle after cycling for more than 6 hours on Day 2.
Despite the pain and exhausting they are proud to have contributed $53,000 to the worthy cause.
Now on its 4th run in BC, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer raised over $11.2M for the BC Cancer Foundation.

DFA to set up appointment system for passport applications

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has vowed to make passport application and other consular services more accessible to the public.
"To make our 114th founding anniversary more meaningful, we are making a promise to the Filipino people and that promise is to make it easier for them to apply for their passports," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.
Del Rosario said the DFA Office of Consular Affairs has until the end of the year to put in place a call center that would enable passport applicants to choose their appointment date and time at any of the DFA consular office nationwide.
"This appointment system and other measures that the DFA has been taking during the past several months will significantly reduce if not eliminate the long lines that have been associated with the passport application process," del Rosario said.
The proposed appointment system will complement the ongoing transfer of DFA consular offices to shopping malls nationwide under Public-Private Partnership arrangements. This, he said, will save the government an estimated P1.04 billion in operating and other costs in the next 10 years.
He expects the DFA to open the first 13 consular offices in Metro Manila and other key cities and at the same time conclude negotiations for similar arrangements for the hosting of consular offices in other parts of the country.
The new guidelines also require all mall-based DFA offices to operate beyond regular office hours from Mondays to Saturdays to allow them to accommodate applicants who could not afford to be absent from work or school. These offices will also be open for three hours on Sundays to allow applicants to claim their passports.
In addition, the DFA head also ordered the decentralization of authentication services and to make this service available in Metro Manila and San Fernando, Pampanga; Cebu and Davao.
The guidelines also cover the conduct of special and mobile passport services and the accreditation of travel agencies that would allow them to continue assisting applicants until December 31, 2012.
"All the steps we have been taking during the past several months are in line with our commitment to bring government closer to the people," he said.
The DFA has no plans of increasing its passport fees, which are currently pegged at P950 for regular processing and P1,200 for expedited processing.

Demand for foreign workers still high in Gulf countries: study

MANILA, Philippines - Employment opportunities in the Gulf Regions remains strong despite political and financial turmoil that some countries in the region are experiencing.
“Despite the political uprisings and civil unrest in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the region is still witnessing moderate growth, and in the Gulf countries there is an even stronger imperative to sustain economic growth and meet social needs. We expect opportunities for international workers to remain strong and with that remittance flows from host to home countries.” said Jean-Claude Farah, Western Union’s Senior Vice President for the Middle East and Africa.
Farah was referring to the result of the Western Union sponsored study called "The Economic Impact of the Uprisings in the MENA Region". The study said that economic forecasts for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are much better than those for the Middle East North Africa Region (MENA).
The GCC countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The Asia Pacific region has been a significant source of labor for Gulf countries – led by India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal.  This study should instill greater confidence for global workers seeking employment in these countries”, said Drina Yue, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific.
Authored by Dr. Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, professor of Economics at the Cairo University, he said the real GDP growth in the GCC was expected to remain strong despite short-term disturbances, from a base of 3.1% to 20% in 2011.
“In relative terms, the financial crisis and oil and food price increases have had only mild effects on MENA economies, owing to their limited integration into the world economy,” he said, adding, however, that Gulf countries did face modest inflationary pressures from increased social spending.
Within the MENA region, Dr. Ghoneim said, labor markets are facing different types of problems, but “migration and remittances constitute a common cure” for high unemployment in some countries of the region and the need for workers to sustain growth in others.