Friday, July 19, 2024

PH Curling Team Dares to Dream for a 2026 Winter Olympics Bid


Can a team from a tropical country excel in an ice sport like curling?

 

That’s what the Philippine National Curling Team – composed of four Fil-Swiss players -- are out to prove when they go through the rigorous preparations of vying for a slot in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milan, Italy.


 

Alan Frei, Filipino-Swiss entrepreneur, economist, curler and spokesman of the team said the Philippine men’s squad bagged a silver medal in the B-Division of the Pan Continental Curling Championships in Kelowna, Canada in 2023. The team aims to repeat the feat this October in Alberta to move up to the A-Division in the 2025 championships.The top two teams there get guaranteed spots in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

 

Frei, a relative newcomer to curling, joined the Filipino team in March 2023, a year after he sold his Swiss e-commerce business and decided “to become an Olympian”. Sharing his dream are teammates Christian Haller, a two-time world junior championship medallist, and brothers Marc and Enrico Pfister who previously competed for Switzerland in world curling championships. 

 


All Swiss-born like Frei, Haller, and the Pfister brothers are eligible to play for the country because of their Filipino mothers.

 

“The sport of curling is like playing chess on ice. It’s a combination of strategy and physical skill. We have a huge advantage in the strategy part because we have the experience of the three guys who have played on the world stage,” said Frei.


 

To test their skills further, the National Men’s Curling Team will be competing in an off-season tournament this August, the Baden Master’s in Switzerland where they will face World’s No. 1 Italy in their first game. Currently placed at 51st in the men’s rankings of the World Curling Member Association, Frei said the team is excited to play Italy so they can gauge exactly where they stand.

 

The Swiss-Filipino team hopes that more Filipinos can become aware of their goals and what they’ve been doing so they can be inspired even more.

 

Frei said the curling team shoulders all their expenses at present, citing their need to first achieve “success” before asking for financial support from the POC and other possible sponsors.

 

The Swiss-Filipino athletes are also eyeing a podium finish against top Asian countries like China and Korea in the 2025 Asian Winter Gamesin Harbin to gain national recognition.

 

“The curling team aspires to pave the way for future curling athletes from the country in their bid for the Olympics. We are trying to foster [Filipino talent] more and more just by being a role model and having this super ambitious goal,” Frei said.

 

With the help of the POC and national sports associations, the team plans to hold exhibition tournaments in the country and provide training for aspiring Filipino curlers. The Curling Winter Sports Association of the Philippines, which the team is a part of, also aims to increase its membership from about 50 to 100 people this year according to Frei.

 


Frei said Filipino communities come out to support them anywhere they play, worldwide.

 

Single-minded in their dream to bring honor to the country, Frei revealed they want to achieve what the Jamaican Bobsled Team did in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Received as underdogs in a cold weather sport, the Jamaicans competed against all odds and came out the favorites.  

 

“We don't have a plan B. We have only one plan and that is to go to the Olympics,” Frei concluded.

DOST PCIEERD Presentation, “Boosting Semiconductor Industry Through Upskilling and Career Development

Government and Private Sector Come Together to Regain PH High-Value Market Position and Reach Target 128,000 Semiconductor Engineers and Technicians By 2028. Officials from DTI/BOI, DOST-PCIEERD, industry associations, integrated circuit (IC) design companies and the academe exchange views about boosting the semiconductor industry through upskilling and career development. 

Present during the press briefing were (L-R) Engr. Robert James Y. Lomoton, Dean, Colegio de Muntinlupa; Dr. Alex Co Abad, Asst. Professor, Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering, Gokongwei College of Engineering, De La Salle University – Manila; Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa, DTI-Board of Investments; Earl Qua, President, EIAPI (Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines Inc.); Dr. Danhhhhh Lachica, President, SEIPI (Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc.); Engr.  Niñaliza H. Escorial, Deputy Executive Director, DOST PCIEERD (Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development); Dr. Louis Alarcon, Head - Microelectronics Department, University of the Philippines and Director, CIDR (Center for Integrated Circuit and Devices Research and Charade Avondo, President and General Manager, Xinyx Design.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

CICC, GCash Nagbabala Ukol sa mga Fake Messages

Nagbabala sa publiko ang nangungunang finance super app na GCash, kaisa ng Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), ukol sa nagkalat na pekeng social media channels na nagpapanggap na GCash. Kaugnay sa mga fake social media page o group na ito ay mga followers na magkakalat ng mga phishing links na magiging sanhi ng account takeover o pagnanakaw sa kanilang mga account.
Kadalasang gambling o gaming ang mga fraudulent accounts na ito at may mga pangalang tulad ng “GCash88 Media”, “GCash Update”, at kung anu-ano pang mga mapanlinlang na pangalan.
“We always advise the public to avoid clicking any links from unknown or suspicious senders." ("Lagi naming pinapayuhan ang publiko na iwasang mag-click sa anumang link mula sa hindi kilala o kahina-hinalang mga nagpadala ng mensahe online,”) pahayag ni CICC executive Director Alexander K. Ramos. "Scammers used to send such links through SMS, but now they have found another platform.” ("Dati ang mga scammer ay nagpapadala ng mga link sa pamamagitan ng SMS, ngunit ngayon ay nakahanap na sila ng ibang platform,") dagdag niya.
Nagpahayag din ng patuloy na suporta si Ramos para sa kaligtasan ng digital ecosystem sa bansa. “Our combined resources with our fellow law enforcement agencies have already traced many suspects behind these social media pages and arrested them in law enforcement operations. Let this be a stern warning to other cybercriminals out there, you will be pursued, you will be found, and you will be apprehended." (Ang aming pinasagsamang pwersa kasama ang iba pang law enforcement agencies ang naging daan para matukoy at matunton ang mga suspek sa likod ng mga social media pages na ito. Magsilbi sana itong babala sa mga nagkalat na cybercriminals, kayo ay matutukoy at mahahanap, at kayo ay mahuhuli ng mga awtoridad,”) aniya.
Samantala, muling nagpaalala si GCash Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Gilda Maquilan na iisa lamang ang social media page ng e-wallet.  "GCash’s official pages are @gcashofficial, which is where we come out with our promos, and @wearegcash, the official corporate page of GCash, nothing else.” We believe that social media platforms are still the best means to engage our users. However, we strongly warn our users that any other profile or username is fraudulent and should be avoided."(“Ang mga official Facebook page ng GCash ay ang @gcashofficial, kung saan kami naglalabas ng mga promo at ang  @wearegcash, na siyang official corporate page ng GCash,  wala nang iba pa. Naniniwala pa rin ang GCash na ang social media ay mananatiling pinaka epektibong paraan para makipag ugnayan sa aming mga users. Binabalaan po namin ang mga users na iwasan ang mga naiibang social media profiles at usernames na nagpapanggap na GCash,”) pahayag ni Maquilan.

Upang higit pang maprotektahan ang mga user laban sa mga online scam, patuloy ding nakikipagtulungan ang GCash sa mga awtoridad kabilang ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG). Bilang resulta, nasa mahigit apat na milyon mga fraudulent ang naipasara nito, habang nasa 810 phishing sites at 45,000 malisyosong mga post at account sa social media naman ang na-block ng awtoridad noong 2023 sa tulong ng GCash.
"We will continue to work closely with our partners from law enforcement agencies, including the PNP, NBI, CICC, and others, in tracking down scammers behind these deceptive online channels and ensuring they are pursued by the authorities." ("Kami ay patuloy na makikipagtulungan sa aming mga partners mula sa gobyerno kabilang ang PNP, NBI, CICC, at iba pa, sa pagsubaybay sa mga scammers sa likod ng mga mapanlinlang na online channels at pagtiyak na sila ay matutugis ng mga awtoridad,") dagdag ni Maquilan.
Muling nagpaalala ang GCash sa mga users na huwag kailanman ibahagi ang MPIN o OTP kaninuman at iwasang mag click sa mga hindi kilalang websites, emails, at messaging apps.
Para sa tulong, maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa PNP-ACG sa kanilang hotlines sa (02) 8414-1560 at sa 0998-598-8116, o sa email na acg@pnp.gov.ph.
Para isumbong ang mga scams at iba pang ilegal na gawain, maaaring ring bisitahin ng mga users ang official GCash Help Center sa help.gcash.com, o mag message kay Gigi, at i-type ang “I want to report a scam.” Pwede ring tumawag sa GCash hotline na 2882 para sa anumang katanungan at concerns.
Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, bisitahin ang www.gcash.com.ph.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

HONOR Unlocks AI Portrait Master HONOR 200 starting at Php 24,999 Only!

Manila, Philippines, July 17, 2024 – Global technology brand HONOR Philippines today announced the launch of the new HONOR 200 Series, an accessible flagship lineup that delivers flagship-level performance and unparalleled AI portrait photography experience. Starting at Php 24,999, you can now pre-order HONOR 200 and HONOR 200 Pro from July 17 to 26, 2024 to get FREE JBL Soundgear Frames worth Php 9,499! 
 
“With an unwavering commitment to innovation and unlocking new possibilities in smartphone photography, the HONOR 200 Series product team has collaborated with Studio Harcourt, a legendary Parisian portrait photography house, to co-engineer the HONOR AI Portrait Engine. By combining Studio Harcourt’s expertise and HONOR’s cutting-edge platform-level AI capabilities, the HONOR 200 enables users to unlock studio-level portrait photography on smartphones,” said Stephen Cheng, Vice President of HONOR Philippines. 
 
Unlocking the Mastery of Studio Harcourt Portrait Photography on Smartphones  
  
Recognizing the most important tools in portrait photography are light and shadow, and the HONOR 200 Pro has been equipped with advanced hardware and meticulously co-engineered AI-powered software that recognizes even the most subtle nuances of lighting. The HONOR 200 Pro features a 50MP Portrait Main Camera with a Super Dynamic H9000 Sensor, enabling users to capture compelling images with the perfect balance of light and shadows in even challenging lighting scenarios. With support for 4-in-1 pixel binning technology with a pixel size of 2.4μm, users can capture intricate details in their images even in low light scenarios. Additionally, the HONOR 200 Pro features a 50MP Portrait Telephoto Camera and a customized telephoto sensor from Sony, the HONOR 200 Pro provides better light sensing capabilities, ensuring clear and faithful captures of distant objects with exceptional details.  
 
The HONOR 200 Pro takes portrait photography to new heights with the powerful AI-enhanced HONOR AI Portrait Engine. With a rich history of photographing legends from Roger Federer to the esteemed Queen Rania of Jordan, Studio Harcourt is synonymous with timeless portraits that showcase a symphony of visual storytelling through the skillful use of light and shadows. In collaboration with Studio Harcourt, the HONOR AI Portrait Engine distilled Studio Harcourt’s craftsmanship and understanding of shadow and light expression, empowering users to capture unique, distinctive portraits on their smartphones effortlessly.  
 
The mutual ideation process involved an extensive exploration by more than 20 Studio Harcourt and HONOR imaging experts over 400 days. The team analyzed over 1,000 scenarios and millions of datasets, ensuring Studio Harcourt's classic essence can be captured on smartphones. In addition, the triple 50MP Portrait Camera incorporates an upgraded HONOR RAW Domain Algorithm, producing well-balanced portraits that manage exposure in bright areas while preserving intricate details in darker lighting scenarios. 
  
Innovative Eye Comfort Display for Extended Immersion 
  
Adhering to its commitment to human-centric innovations, the HONOR 200 Pro features 3840Hz Risk-free Dimming1, as verified by the TÜV Rheinland Flicker Free Display Certification and the TÜV Rheinland Full Care Display Certification. To ensure extended eye comfort, the HONOR 200 Series also features Natural Tone 2.0, which optimizes the display color temperature gradient based on ambient light, and an AI Circadian Night Display that leverages AI to intelligently adjust the color temperature of the screen to regulate blue light and transition to a melatonin boosting setting at night to improve sleep quality based on users’ sleep cycle. Furthermore, the HONOR 200 Series supports Adaptive Dimming, which adjusts screen brightness based on external light input and the application use, ensuring a more comfortable viewing experience. With the 1.5K Quad-curved Floating Display2 and a peak HDR brightness of 4000 nits3, the HONOR 200 Series allows users to enjoy excellent visibility even in the most challenging scenarios such as direct sunlight.   
 
Enhanced Hardware Performance for Seamless Connectivity  
 
The HONOR 200 Pro is packed with a large 5200mAh4 Silicon-carbon battery that enables up to 61 hours5 of continuous music streaming on a single charge. To maximize user productivity, the HONOR 200 Pro features powerful supercharge capabilities. With lightning-fast 100W Wired HONOR SuperCharge6 and 66W Wireless HONOR SuperCharge7, users can charge their device fully in only 41 minutes8, making it the ideal device for busy users who are always on the go. The HONOR 200 Pro also provides an impressive 12GB memory and large 512GB storage drive, which allows users to store and access their data without limitations, guaranteeing a seamless and hassle-free experience.   
  
Equipped with the robust Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform, the HONOR 200 Pro achieves a CPU clock speed of up to 3GHz, guaranteeing seamless graphics rendering and real-time responsiveness. Featuring MagicOS 8.0, the HONOR 200 Pro offers an intelligent user experience enriched with a range of AI-powered smart functionalities. MagicOS 8.0 also offers flagship features such as Magic Portal, Magic Capsule and Magic Ring on the HONOR 200 Pro that streamline user digital interactions.  
 
Pricing and Availability 
 
Get your hands on the AI Portrait Master! HONOR 200 and HONOR 200 Pro are now available for pre-order priced at Php 24,999 and Php 29,999 respectively with FREE JBL Soundgear Frames worth Php 9,499. Drop by at any HONOR Experience and Partner Stores, or online via Lazada https://bit.ly/Laz_H200Series_PR, Shopee https://bit.ly/Shop_H200Series_PR, and Tiktok Shop https://bit.ly/TikTok_H200_PR.  
 
For more affordable offers, the HONOR 200 is also available at Home Credit for as low as Php 1,619/month. Inquire now via: https://bit.ly/HONORPH_HomeCredit
 
To know more about HONOR 200, head on to: https://bit.ly/Web_H200_PR. For more exciting announcements, check out HONOR Philippines’ social media platforms: Facebook (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), Instagram (Instagram.com/honorph/) and TikTok Shop: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines). To check out HONOR’s complete list of retail stores, go to https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/

Toastin' and Roastin’ at SM City Valenzuela

Get ready for a flavorful double delight at SM City Valenzuela, where two exciting new spots are set to elevate your coffee and dining experiences. Both ZUS Coffee and Kenny Rogers Roasters have officially opened, promising to infuse shoppers’ daily routine with quality, convenience, and a touch of indulgence.

ZUS Coffee: A Fresh Take on Your Daily Brew

ZUS Coffee is revolutionizing the coffee shop experience with its mission to make specialty coffee a daily delight for everyone. The new coffee shop brings high-quality, expertly crafted brews into everyday life, ensuring that specialty coffee is no longer a rare indulgence but an everyday pleasure. With a menu that ranges from a simple Americano at P60 to a lavish Triple Java Jelly frappe at P160, ZUS Coffee combines top-notch ingredients and advanced brewing technology to cater to diverse tastes and budgets.

Beyond serving exceptional coffee, ZUS Coffee fosters a lifestyle where students, professionals, and friends can gather in a welcoming space. It’s a haven where quality meets affordability, transforming exceptional coffee from a luxury into a daily necessity for the people of Valenzuela.

Kenny Rogers Roasters: A Taste of Tradition and Quality

On the savory side of things, Kenny Rogers Roasters brings its globally renowned rotisserie-roasted chicken to SM City Valenzuela. Known for its commitment to quality and flavor, Kenny Rogers Roasters invites patrons to savor tender, marinated chicken prepared with a blend of secret herbs and spices. Pair it with their homemade muffins, freshly baked to perfection, and you have a meal that promises warmth and satisfaction with every bite.

With meals prepared fresh daily, Kenny Rogers Roasters is dedicated to providing wholesome, delicious options for both individuals and groups. Whether you’re seeking a satisfying meal or a hearty gathering place, Kenny Rogers Roasters delivers with a focus on quality and a warm, inviting ambiance.

Head to SM City Valenzuela to experience the innovative brews of ZUS Coffee and the culinary delights of Kenny Rogers Roasters. It’s time to toast to great coffee and roast to flavorful meals!

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

ChildFund Philippines and SEAMEO INNOTECH Launch the Country's First Localized Social and Emotional Learning Framework

Manila, Philippines – ChildFund Philippines, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH), recently introduced the country’s first localized social and emotional learning (SEL) framework.

 The 2024-2027 SEL program is designed to resonate with the unique cultural nuances of Filipino students in public schools. It aims to: 
Develop adaptable SEL curriculum models that can be tailored to different cultural contexts, 
Foster a sense of ownership and sustainability within communities by involving them in the adaptation and implementation processes,
Provide evidence-based recommendations for integrating localized SEL into educational policies at local, regional, and national levels, and; 
Share findings through academic publications, conferences, and workshops to contribute to the global discourse on effective SEL localization.

“When we started building the SEL framework, we envisioned a localized approach engaging all stakeholders in the country – teachers, parents, and students. This collaborative effort ensures the framework addresses the holistic development of both learners and educators, making it culturally relevant and impactful,” said Anand Vishwakarma, Country Director of ChildFund Philippines.

Marlene Floresca, Education Specialist of ChildFund Philippines, emphasized that the SEL framework helps students develop "pagpapakatao" (being humane) and "pakikipagkapwa-tao" (fellowship), to become capable and self-trusting individuals.

The social and emotional learning competency framework showcases that Filipino students and learners must develop "pagpapakatao" (being humane) and "pakikipagkapwa-tao" (fellowship) to become capable and self-trusting individuals.

The competency framework also equips teachers with tools to better support students, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. “The success of the SEL framework depends on the active involvement of teachers, along with parents and communities. Their participation ensures that the framework addresses the specific social and emotional needs of both learners and educators,” said Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, Center Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH. 

Developing SEL skills early, starting in kindergarten and potentially even earlier, supports long-term success. According to Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, President and CEO of Center for Educational Measurement, assessing SEL skills alongside cognitive skills is imperative. “We are working with the education department to integrate these assessments into the SEL framework, ensuring evidence-based progress.” 

Implementing the Framework

Implementation will begin this year with a pilot in select public schools to test the framework's effectiveness. Following this, it will be integrated into school-wide practices and policies for students, educators, and non-teaching staff.

The technical working group, who has been involved in the development of the framework including the Department of Education (DepEd), will endorse SEL modules accessible via an e-learning platform. Teachers and school heads will complete these courses and earn professional development points through the National Educators Academy of the Philippines and the Professional Regulation Commission. 

The framework supports the DepEd’s MATATAG Agenda: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa, which aims to take care of learners by promoting their well-being and give support to teachers to perform better. It shall be implemented across the K-12 curriculum and expanded to mental health programs in schools nationwide.

“This SEL framework responds to the call for an education system that imparts knowledge and cultivates the social and emotional foundation children need to build their dreams, equipping them beyond what books can teach,” said Dr. Dexter Galban, Assistant Secretary for Operations of the DepEd. 

The organization and its partners interviewed K-12 and Alternative Learning System students across Metro Manila, Apayao, Negros Occidental, North Cotabato, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi to develop the framework.

For more information about the SEL competency framework, visit https://childfund.org.ph/.

Sun Life Garners Three Wins at the Insurance Asia Awards 2024


MANILA, PH – July 2024 – Sun Life, the no. 1 life insurance company in the Philippines in terms of total premium income, recently earned three recognitions at the Insurance Asia Awards 2024. The company’s triple win consists of the following categories: Business Insurance Initiative of the Year, Insurance Product Innovation of the Year, and Marketing Initiative of the Year. 

 

Sun Life’s Sun Future Proof program was awarded as the Business Insurance Initiative of the Year. This program crafts financial plans according to the stage of the business – from start-up to growth to maturity – and covers four aspects: personal goals, business continuity, succession planning, and leaving a legacy.  Since its launch, Sun Future Proof has generated impressive results, growing the company’s business owner segment. 

 

Meanwhile, recognized as the Insurance Product Innovation of the Year, the Sun Peso Maximizer (Hybrid Income) and Sun Dollar Maximizer (ProIncome) plans offer insurance coverage and fixed annual payouts, to address Clients’ needs for stability and growth. These products achieved record-breaking sales as it gained support from both Clients and advisors.  

 

The Wheel of Life campaign was lauded as the Marketing Initiative of the Year, as it utilized a game show format to raise awareness on critical illnesses. Surpassing all success metrics, the campaign increased the company’s health product sales and strengthened the message that Sun Life is here to be the Clients’ partner in living healthier lives.   


 

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the Insurance Asia Awards, one of the region’s most prestigious recognition programs for insurance companies,” said Carla Gonzalez-Chong, Sun Life Philippines Chief Client Experience and Marketing Officer. “These accolades are proof that putting Clients at the center of everything we do will always lead us to our best work. We look forward to continuously providing them with innovative solutions and exceptional value.” 

 

The Insurance Asia Awards ceremony, held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on July 9, 2024, was attended by Sun Life’s Carla Gonzalez-Chong, Chief Client Experience and Marketing Officer; Lennie Arboleda, Head of Public Relations and Communications; and Renee Co, Market Segment Manager. 

 

To know more about Sun Life, visit www.sunlife.com.ph. Meanwhile, more information about Insurance Asia Awards can be found at https://insuranceasia.com/event/insurance-asia-awards/ 

Monday, July 15, 2024

HONOR PayDay Sale: Get up to 80% off and 0% Installment Interest via Shopee and Lazada

Manila, Philippines, July 15, 2024 – Checkout and have better payment options sans breaking the bank with HONOR, a leading global technology provider, only on July 15 via Lazada and Shopee for the 0% interest installment voucher. If you haven’t checked out the last double-digit sale, this is the perfect time to have your desired HONOR gadgets.  
 
“We love treating the HONOR fans! It’s high time to buy your well-deserved HONOR gadgets! Stay tuned as we’re nearing the grand launch for HONOR 200, another addition to our roster of quality products,” said Stephen Cheng, Vice President of HONOR Philippines.  
 
The PayDay Sale runs from July 13 to July 17, but the 0% interest installment voucher is redeemable only on July 15. HONOR fans can purchase HONOR X6 for as low as Php 930/month for 3 months, the HONOR X5 Plus for as low as Php 1,363/month for 3 months, and the HONOR X7b for as low as Php 2,463/month for 3 months.  
  
The HONOR 70 remains on sale for as low as Php 16,790 from its original price of Php 26,990 with FREE HONOR JBL Go 3; the HONOR X9a is such a steal from its original price of Php 16,990 down to Php 11,790 with FREE Bluetooth Speaker II. The same freebie applies to HONOR 90 Lite available for only Php 8,790 from its original price of Php 12,990. Lastly, in the premium high-end category, the HONOR Magic5 Pro is worth the hype from its original price of Php 59,990 down to Php 48,990 with FREE JBL Flip 5.

Big news to watch out for is the arrival of the AI Portrait Master HONOR 200 on July 17! Catch it live on Facebook: https://bit.ly/HONOR200SeriesLaunch_PR and get a chance to win your very own HONOR 200! Stay tuned for the full mechanics on HONOR Philippines’ social media platforms: (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), (Instagram.com/honorph/) and : (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines). To check out HONOR’s complete list of retail stores, go to https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/.

Last Call for Entries to the OPPO imagine IF Photography Awards 2024

OPPO today issued a last call for entries to the OPPO imagine IF Photography Awards 2024. Since the competition was launched on January 17, over one million submissions have been received from 73 countries and regions, each showcasing a vibrant tapestry of cultures and traditions from around the world. As the global submission deadline approaches on July 28, OPPO is calling on photography enthusiasts to seize the final opportunity to capture spectacular moments through the lens of their cameras and collectively demonstrate the power of mobile imaging.

imagine IF Campaigns Gather Inspiring Work from around the World

Since inaugurating the competition at the start of the year, OPPO has initiated a series of themed activities aimed at encouraging its global user base to use the power of images to expand their imaginative boundaries. From May to July, coinciding with Mother's Day and the beginning of the summer season, the 'Road to Paris' campaign invited users to portray the grace of mothers and capture the excitement of sport through the photographic lens for the chance to win a spot at Paris Photo 2024. The 'In Sync with the World' campaign meanwhile sought images that portrayed exploration around the world. Across both campaigns, the wide breadth of entries received showcased strong and emotive works that help to foster exchange and understanding between different cultures. 

Celebrating Culture in All Its Diversity

Many of the entries submitted so far this year have seen participants from around the world showcase the unique landscapes and traditions of their home countries through stunning photographs. From the lively coastal life of Rio de Janeiro to the profound natural wonders of the Amazon rainforest, each image offers a portal into a new world for audiences to step into. 

Alongside the main OPPO imagine IF Photography Awards, OPPO has also collaborated with Discovery Channel to showcase the diversity and allure of world cultures through the 'Culture in a Shot' program. Kicking-off in June in northern Thailand, the program has so far seen OPPO capture traditional crafts and musical instruments in a series of captivating images that bring the region's rich and colorful cultural heritage to global audiences while advocating for deeper cross-cultural exchange.

Share Your Imagination for the Chance to Win Incredible Prizes

Entries for the OPPO imagine IF Photography Awards 2024 remain open until 24:00 (UTC+8) on July 28. Submission to this year's competition will be judged by a prestigious global judging panel that includes the likes of contemporary photography icon Steve McCurry, together with National Geographic Photographer Michael Yamashita, Hasselblad Master Tina Signesdottir Hult, Magnum Photos member Alec Soth, and OPPO Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer Pete Lau. A series of exciting awards are on offer to all participants, including individual prizes of up to USD24,000 and the chance to have their work exhibited at Paris Photo 2024.

Get a Chance to Win a Brand-New HONOR 200 Weekly when you join the Back2School Promo of Maya Philippines!


Manila, Philippines, July 10, 2024 – Global technology provider, HONOR, has partnered with Maya Philippines in redefining portraiture with HONOR 200, the AI Portrait Master. Through a prior partnership with Harcourt Studio Paris, the HONOR 200 is engineered to capture photos with upgraded AI Shadow and Light, Optical Effects, and Artistic Style Enhancement.  

 

Now that the HONOR 200 is coming in the Philippines, its partnership with Maya will revolve around bringing the Harcourt Studio Paris experience to Filipinos through the Back2School Promo with Maya Philippines.  

 
The Back2School Promo includes “Enroll now, pay later” for up to Php 30,000 and let joiners earn raffle entries upon using Maya as their mode of payment for every back-to-school spends, investment, and savings or even earn rewards through referral.  

 

There will be a weekly selection of 20 lucky winners of Php 10,000 and 4 lucky winners of HONOR 200, HONOR Band 6, HONOR Premium Bluetooth Speaker, and HONOR Earbuds 2 from July 1 to August 31, 2024. 

 

The AI Portrait Master is coming to the Philippines on July 17! Excited for it? Catch it live on Facebook: https://bit.ly/HONOR200SeriesLaunch_PR and get a chance to win your very own HONOR 200! Stay tuned for the full mechanics on HONOR Philippines’ social media platforms: (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines),  (Instagram.com/honorph/) and : (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines). To check out HONOR’s complete list of retail stores, go to https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/.Facebook (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), Instagram (Instagram.com/honorph/) and TikTok Shop: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines). To check out HONOR’s complete list of retail stores, go to https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/.Instagram (Instagram.com/honorph/) and TikTok Shop: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines) 

Pascual: “Made in the Philippines” Stands as Symbols of Quality, Innovation, and Sustainability

Pasay City, Philippines—The Tatak Pinoy Act envisions extending the sterling Filipino reputation to locally-made products and services. Our objective is to ensure that products bearing the label ‘Made in the Philippines’ stand as symbols of quality, innovation, and sustainability,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual at the Tatak Pinoy Act Forum, July 15.

Themed "Tatak Pinoy Act: In Pursuit of Economic Complexity and Globally Competitive Industries," the forum convened influential leaders across industries to advance the implementation of Republic Act No. 1198, the Tatak Pinoy Act, and unlock its potential in revitalizing the Philippine economy.
 
“With this, we at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) remain at the forefront of our mission to elevate enterprises and entrepreneurs. As part of the DTI’s mission of Angat Negosyo, we develop local industries by promoting and supporting enterprises to build a solid domestic market base and eventually expand into the export market,” Secretary Pascual added.
 
As the implementing agency of the landmark act, the DTI has designed a comprehensive industrial strategy under the banner, “ANGAT Negosyo.” This strategic approach encompasses fostering a vibrant start-up ecosystem, empowering established businesses to enhance their competitiveness, and strategically targeting key sectors for growth.

 Beyond aerospace, the Philippines also sets its sights on the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market. The government’s strategy encompasses the entire EV ecosystem, from green metals mining and processing to battery production, EV assembly, and charging infrastructure. Leveraging the country's electronics expertise, the Philippines seeks to become a central hub for automotive electronics manufacturing.
 
Moreover, the Philippines is expanding beyond manufacturing and hardware, with a flourishing Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector set for growth. Through the Tatak Pinoy Act, the DTI seeks to upgrade the IT-BPM sector towards higher-value services like engineering service outsourcing, software development, AI and data science, and game development.


Alongside its technological strength, the DTI nurtures a dynamic creative economy, targeting for the Philippines to be Asia's top creative hub by 2030. The DTI's strategy focuses on developing four creative industry clusters: entertainment and media, digital creative services, creative goods, and creative tourism.
 
Innovation and technological progress are integral to these sectors. Acknowledging AI's pivotal role, the DTI has launched the National AI Strategy Roadmap 2.0 and introduced the Center for AI Research (CAIR). This initiative positions the Philippines as a leader in AI R&D, fostering innovation and attracting investments, particularly in manufacturing.
 
Complementing CAIR, the DTI is establishing an Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory and Industry 4.0 SME Academy. These initiatives aim to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies such as intelligent robotics, automation, Internet of Things, and smart factory solutions in the manufacturing sector.
 
In parallel, the DTI is nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem to drive entrepreneurship and innovation. In partnership with Plug and Play Philippines, the Department launched the National Startup Accelerator Program at the Manila Tech Sphere. This initiative aims to enhance the quality and quantity of local startups, connect them with corporations, and attract investments.
 
Enhancing its innovation capabilities, the DTI is also collaborating with the Asian Development Bank on the Promoting Research and Innovation to Strengthen Transformation of Industries and Enterprises (PRISTINE) Project. This initiative is designed to accelerate the commercialization of research and development projects, particularly those originating from universities, and facilitate their successful entry into the market.

Building on all these efforts outlined in its industrialization strategy, supported by the Tatak Pinoy Act, the DTI is set to unveil the National Innovation Gateway by 2027. This will be a dynamic convergence platform for regional innovation hubs that will elevate the Philippine brand of innovation on the global stage and position Manila as a premier destination for collaboration and progress.
 
In line with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino) Act is a key component of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s industrial policy. Enacted last February 26, this focuses on fostering the manufacturing of diverse, sophisticated, and high-quality products and services.
 
Furthermore, this law underscores the government's dedication to establish robust partnerships between public and private sectors that drive collaborative progress towards national development goals.
 
“We recognize that government cannot achieve this vision alone. We need a
whole-of-nation approach, the cooperation and active participation of all
stakeholders—from the private sector, academe, development partners, and civil
society organizations.” 

Red Bull Dance Your Style Showcases Cebu’s Dance Scene in Provincial Qualifiers

Cebu, Philippines — The city of Cebu came alive with rhythm and energy for the Red Bull Dance Your Style Qualifiers last July 13, at APEX Super Club. Cebu’s finest dancers brought out their impressive skills and extraordinary talents, and went head to head to earn a spot in the upcoming National Finals.

Red Bull Dance Your Style, a global 1-on-1 street dance competition, encourages dancers’ individuality and creativity, and celebrates diverse dance styles from all over the world. Dancers are pushed to show off their insane improvisational skills and freestyle dance moves while dancing to unpredictable songs.


The global competition stands out for its unique battle format, with the crowd deciding who moves on to the next stage of the competition.  The competition was fierce with 16 dancers showcasing a stunning array of dance styles. Finalists at the Cebu qualifier did not disappoint, delivering jaw-dropping performances that left the audience in awe. JPY (Jeffrey Casas Toledo), Nemesis (Sam Rivera), Khlai (Khlai Vargaso Batula), and Baby Titan (Shihan Maui Ricablanca) made it to the Top 4. After a series of intense battle rounds, Nemesis was crowned as the winner. Her flawless performances throughout the competition earned her the top spot and a ticket to the National Finals.

“(It) feels great,” remarked Nemesis, who also participated in last year’s Cebu qualifier. “Last year, I only won second place so this serves as my redemption.”

Nemesis shared that what she found to be one of the highlights for this year’s competition was getting to compete with fellow members of her dance crew, “Underground.” She said, “This year, there are a lot of dancers from outside Cebu; some are my friends and some I just met during the competition. I think one of the highlights for this year is meeting new friends and competitors.”

Photo Provided by Red Bull


Asked how she plans to prepare for the National Finals, she said “Since the competition for the National Finals is already filtered from Baguio, Davao, and Manila, I need to level up my training.”

First runner up Khlai, who also secured her spot in the National Finals, expressed her joy for placing in the competition. “It feels so surreal, I don’t even know where to begin,” she said. 

Khlai shared that her motivation to join the competition, despite her long-term knee injury, was her late grandfather. “Today is the birthday of my grandfather who passed away. The performance that I did was dedicated to my grandfather and grandparents.”

In preparation for the National Finals, Khlai said she wanted to work on her stamina stating, “I don’t really prepare that long or have a specific training, but I’ll try to do cardio for my stamina so that I can keep up with the dancers.”

Philippine All-Stars legends and dance consultants Lema Diaz and Vince Mendoza were seen at the event. “All I can say is that (the competition) was full of inspiration and new faces,” said Vince Mendoza. “Compared to last year, we multiplied by a lot. A lot of dancers supported Red Bull Dance Your Style and the skills really leveled up from last year.”


“Nemesis had really unpredictable moves and undeniable skills,” said Mendoza. 


Photo Provide by Red Bull


He expressed his excitement for the next round of qualifiers saying, “It’s going to be more crazy. We’re excited for the Manila qualifiers. There’s a lot of dancers and new faces. I’m excited that I can witness that moment.”

Asked for advice he wanted to give dancers competing in the National Finals, Mendoza said, “We always tell them to always have fun no matter what. Win or lose, it’s all about the transformation. If you win, there’s transformation. If you lose, there’s transformation. It’s all about giving love to the community, to the next generation, to the OGs, to our past, present, and future.”

With the conclusion of the Cebu qualifiers, all eyes are now on the thrilling next round of the competition. The Red Bull Dance Your Style journey continues with the Manila qualifiers set for July 27, 2024, at Octopus Makati. More hopeful dancers across the country will compete for their chance to shine at the World Finals. 

Be part of the excitement! Keep an eye out for the last round of qualifiers and follow the Red Bull Dance Your Style Philippines journey to the World Finals in India on November 9, 2024. Witness the Red Bull Dance Your Style Philippines National Finals in September. You won’t want to miss this!

For more information and updates regarding this year’s season of Red Bull Dance Your Style, visit the official Red Bull website and the following social media pages (Facebook | Instagram | Tiktok )

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SUN LIFE GREPA BOOSTS HEALTHCARE SERVICES WITH DIGITAL INNOVATIONS

Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (Sun Life Grepa), one of the major insurers in the country, continues to upgrade its services under the Sun Life Grepa Healthcare unit with more digital innovations. 
 
The most recent service is its latest digital innovation, the medical locator tool.  The most recent addition is the “Digital Healthcare Locator”. This new feature, accessible through Sun Life Grepa’s website, allows clients to effortlessly search for accredited service providers including hospitals, clinics, and doctors nationwide.

“Our commitment to enhancing client experience and providing accessible healthcare options remains unwavering,” Sun Life Grepa Vice President for Group Business Peter Miranda said. “The new Digital Healthcare Locator is a significant step in that direction, ensuring our clients can find the medical assistance they need quickly and conveniently.”

This tool offers comprehensive search capabilities which enable clients to search for hospitals, clinics, and doctors using various filters such as location and doctor's specialization. It also provides information including addresses and phone numbers for hospitals and clinics. For doctors, it includes the hospital or clinic they are affiliated with, along with their contact information.

This tool adds to the list of Sun Life Grepa digital innovations. In recent years, Sun Life Grepa has launched several other digital solutions that include the Healthcare Teleconsult service which allows group clients to consult with doctors remotely and receive medical advice from the safety and comfort of their homes.  A 24/7 Facebook Messenger service is also available on Sun Life Grepa Healthcare's Facebook page. 
 
Apart from Healthcare, Sun Life Grepa also has digital services for all its other individual clients. The Remote Online Medical Exam service enables clients to undergo medical examinations online, making the process of applying for life insurance more convenient and accessible. Moreover, Sun Life Grepa clients can also download the mobile app from Google Play Store and Apple App Store which provides easy access to their policies, claims status, and other important information.
 
“Our suite of digital tools reflects our dedication to innovation and our focus on meeting the evolving needs of our clients,” Richard S. Lim, Sun Life Grepa President, added. “We are proud to offer solutions that bring healthcare services closer to our clients especially now that health protection and life insurance are crucial for protecting one’s family’s future.”
 
To learn more about our products and services, talk to a Sun Life Grepa Financial Advisor, visit your RCBC Branch of Account, or go to www.sunlifegrepa.com for details.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Loans Can Fuel Business Growth


In today's very competitive market landscape, ease of access to funding may well be one factor that will ensure any growing business's success. Entrepreneurs need the assurance that they have easy access to financing through banks. This allows them to take advantage ofvopportunities in the marketplace, thereby ensuring business growth.

As one of the country's leading thrift banks that provides various business solutions to its clients, Sterling Bank of Asia (SBA) has pledged its support to help small and medium enterprises thrive in the ever-competitive marketplace.

SBA offers a wide range of business loan products that cater to the different needs of its customers, ranging from startups to established enterprises. Their offerings include term loans, trade check discounting, developmental loans, domestic bills purchase, and more.

Choosing the right bank financing product is crucial for a business's success. With the appropriate loan funding, businesses can reach their full potential. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to carefully evaluate their funding requirements and select from the wide array of banking products available to meet their specific goals.

Sterling Bank of Asia is committed to supporting businesses every step of the way. Their team is always ready and willing to assist clients in finding the perfect financial solution to achieve their business aspirations.

For those looking to grow their business, explore SBA's loan products and contact their team today to begin the journey toward success.

Tap Into AI with the OPPO Reno12 Series 5G, Now Available in the Philippines