Friday, October 31, 2008

10 Years and Counting – 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival --- (Press Release)

Not long ago, acclaimed director Amable ‘Tikoy’ Aguiliz VI took inspiration in National Artist for Film Lino Brocka’s independent production firm, Cinemanila and turned it into a film festival that would nurture and present to the world the Filipino filmmakers and their stories. All he had then was a bag full of dream and a seemingly empty pocket.
But after ten years, ten years of overcoming adversities and challenges; ten years of colorful history marked by superb films from all over the world etching the minds of its viewers; ten years of paying tribute to these outstanding works and the artists who created them; ten years of exposing a new breed of film makers and giving them the venue to spread their wings; ten years of reviving the unblemished face of the Filipino Film industry, Cinemanila’s fame never dimmed. Not one bit.
Now, Dekada Cinemanila has become the “Festival of Festivals” and gives everyone a view of the true Filipino story with its theme “Raising Our Voices, Telling Our Stories” (Kuwento ng Pinoy, Isigaw sa Mundo). The opening night of the festival was held at Gateway Cineplex 10, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City last October 16, 2008.
A crowd composed of film critics, directors, actors, press people, celebrities and movie fans gathered to watch Cinemanila’s appetizer for this year’s festival, Sparrow directed by Johnnie To, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.
From October 17 – 29, more than 100 films will be shown under different categories which included those who will vie for the Lino Brocka Award (International Award), Ishmael Bernal Prize (Young Cinema Section) Best ASEAN Film, (SEA Competition), Digital Lokal, and Best Documentary. Other awards will also be given in the field of acting, screenplay and directing.
Seven films will square off for the Brocka Award which include works from the Philippines (Melancholia) Australia (Lucky Miles), Israel (Band's Visit), Iran (Night Bus), Iceland/USA/ Philippines (The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela), Japan (United Red Army) and Russia (Vanished Empire).
One of the country’s young filmmakers, either Joanna Vasquez Arong(Amihan), Ivy Universe Baldoza (Bunot), Carlo Obispo (Esbat), Nelson Caliguia (Inday Wanda), Vic Acedillo, Jr. (Kalawang Na Ginto), Christopher Gozum (Surreal Random MMS Texts Para Ed Ina, Agui Tan Kaamong Ya Makaiiliw Ed Sika : Gurgulis Ed Banua), Antoinette Jadaone (Tumbang Preso), Emmanuel Palo (Undertakers), Mikhail Red (Kamera) or Michael Juat (Frou Frou Ssh, Wag Mong Sabihin Kay Itay) may have the chance to place ‘Ishmael Bernal Prize winner’ in his or her resume after the awards night.
This year, Cinemanila gives its Lifetime Achievent Award to screenwriter Pete Lacaba who inscribed and immortalized Lino Brocka’s best-known works such as Bayan Ko (1984) and Orapronobis (1989). The laurel for Director in Focus will be given to multi-awarded Brillante ‘Dante’ Mendoza.
The awards ceremony of Cinemanila will commence at the Malacañang Palace on October 20.
The festival will be concluded with one of Broka’s masterpieces, Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (1984) which was nominated for the Palm d’Or during the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.
Dekada Cinemanila is presented by the Independent Cinema Association of the Philippines (ICAP), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). This event is supported by Gateway Cineplex 10, Screen Australia and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and Philippine Airlines.
The 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival is also made possible by Cinema One, ABS-CBN, TBWA\Santiago-Mangada-Puno, Business World, Manila Bulletin, Solid Video Corporation, Scenema Concept International, Rene Barbier Wines, Orion Chocopie, Mike & Ike Candies, NU 107, XFM 92.3, and Philippine Entertainment Portal. Special thanks to the Office of the President, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Department of Tourism.

Pinoy Seafarers Preferred by Japanese Ship Operators -- (News)

Japanese ship operators, managers and owners still prefer to hire Filipino seafarers for their ships. This was revealed by the Chairman of the International Mariners Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ)
Capt. Takao Manji, Chairman of IMMAJ shared during the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Metro Manila, that the reason Japanese companies hire Filipino seamen is because of their reliability, flexibility, diligence, and discipline.
The chairman expressed his appreciation to the Filipino seafarers who serves as the backbone to the expansion and domination of Japan in the shipping industry. According to the website of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), one of the oldest shipping companies in Japan, 60 percent of their seafarers are Filipinos. Second are Indians with nine percent. Only four percent of their crew members are Japanese.
In return, these companies give their Filipinos employees generous salaries, good accommodation in the ship and special privileges, such as free calls to their families and two months paid vacation when they are off board.
In addition, Japanese shipping companies have invested in training centers here in the Philippines. In 1993, MOL built a training center in Dasmariñas, Cavite. This training center is in partnership with Magsaysay Maritime Corporation. On the other hand, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (“K”-Line) opened its "K" Line Maritime Academy in Pasay City last February of this year.
Web Philippines, Inc. thanks the following sources:
Japan Corporate News (JCN) Network. Opening Ceremony of "K" Line Maritime Academy – Philippines (Posted February 22, 2008) Retrieved October 29, 2008 Filipino seafarers remain a top choice of Japanese ship owners. (Posted October 28, 2008) Retrieved October 29, 2008
Manila Times Internet Edition. For Japanese, Filipino seafarers still top pick (Posted October 29, 2008) Retrieved October 29, 2008
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. CSR and Environment Protection. Seagoing Employees - Seafarer Education and Training
Philippine News Agency. RP seafarers still the top choice of Japanese ship owners and managers. (Posted October 28, 2008) Retrieved October 29, 2008

Outstanding Research Paper Hailed During National Conference on IT Education

Student delegates, IT educators, and IT administrators from several higher education institutions and companies attended the 6th National Conference on Information Technology Education (NCITE 2008) was held last October 23-24, 2008 at the NCAS Auditorium, University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UP-LB), Laguna

The event served as a venue to present innovative ideas, approaches, developments and results of research projects in the areas of Information Technology and Technology-based Education. The conference also promoted the exchange of information between researchers, faculty, administrators, and I.T. practitioners.

NCITE 2008 organizers invited authors to submit their original, unpublished full research papers on Information Technology. A review of all papers was undertaken by the members of the Paper Review Committee to determine the outstanding paper award.

During the conference, the Best Paper Selection Committee, chaired by Dr. Allan A. Sioson, awarded the Best Paper to the group of Kevin Christian D. Palis, Aaron M. Medina, Dr. Vladimir Y. Mariano, and Prof. Margarita C.S. Paterno from UP – LB among 12 other oral papers presented during the conference. The paper, entitled “Enhancing Theater Performance Using Augmented Reality”, suggest the used of a program which identifies a unique color integrated in the costume of the character that will serve as reference point of a graphic which serves as special effects, and enhance theatrical performances.

NCITE 2008 is organized by the Philippine Society of I.T. Educators (PSITE) in cooperation with UP-LB and PSITE Region IV Chapter

Real Estate Head, Gov’t Officials Convened For CREBA Confab

Real estate brokers, builders, developers, suppliers, and other allied professionals together with government officials met at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center in Subic Free Port, Zambales last October 24-25, 2008 for the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations (CREBA) Inc., National Convention and 35th foundation anniversary.

With the theme, “Managing Land and Environment for Today’s Communities: Best Practices and Success Stories”, several notable personalities shared their experiences and insights on the current situation and challenges faced by the real estate industry. Among them are Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro who discussed about "Balancing Land Use for Food, Shelter and Environment". Architect Stephen Sy Lau of the Hong Kong Department of Architecture joined by Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development discussed "Green Technology: An Asian Perspective."

At the gala night and culmination of the event, Sen. Manny Villar received the first CREBA Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his achievement in the real estate industry, especially in providing shelter to Filipinos of lower income groups. The award was given by CREBA National President, Reghis Romero II, and other members of the Council of Leaders.

CREBA is composed of real estate companies, developers, professionals and allied sectors. It has chapters nationwide and affiliates in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asian countries. CREBA is a member of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), the special consultant to the United Nations Organization - Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The CREBA National Convention 2008 is sponsored by Boysen Paint, MB Villar Group of Companies, Durawood Construction & Lumber Supply, Moldex Group of Companies, Pag-IBIG Fund, V.V. Soliven Group of Companies, R-II Builders Inc., Prime Estate Ventures Inc., Harbour Centre, Sta. Lucia Realty Development Inc., Central Country Estate Inc., BPI Family Savings Bank, Manila Water Company, and Hausland Development Corporation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

RP climbs in Asian IT competitive rankings --- (News)

The Philippines moved one rank higher in a study on IT competitiveness conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit, placing itself at 10th among 17 countries in the Asia Pacific.
However, the country remained 47th among 66 countries worldwide with a score of 28.7%.
The study was commissioned by Business Software Alliance (BSA) in order to measure the competitiveness of a country in terms of business environment, human capital, IT infrastructure, legal environment, research and development (R&D) environment, and support for the IT industry.
Results show that the Philippines have an encouraging business environment, having set government policies on foreign capital, investment protection, government regulations, and fair competition, to name a few.
Also, the country has a strong human capital, or workforce equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills related to IT, who can cope up with the needs of the industry. Aside from technical skills, college graduates here in the Philippines have good ‘soft’ skills or communication skills in English, in particular. They are able to express themselves and present ideas in a clear, concise manner.
Meanwhile, government should increase focus on R&D, particularly in harnessing new technology, stronger legal environment, building IT infrastructures and should support and pursue patent of locally made IT products.
IT infrastructure is measured by the percentage of personal computer (PC) ownership, high broadband penetration, good internet security, and level of spending in IT.
Patent is the exclusive right granted to an individual who has produced or created an invention or product which is intended for distribution or production. It protects the invention from being copied, reproduced, sold or promoted without consent of the patentee.
By pursuing patents, companies who are into IT development, whether in the form or software or hardware will be protected. BSA Vice-President and Regional Director for Asia Pacific Jeffrey J. Hardee told the press that companies and the government must focus and allocate funds dedicated to R&D, else, no patents will be made and the country will continue to lag in this field.
Furthermore, Hardee adds that strengthening the Intellectual property (IP) laws of the land should also be a priority to ensure maximum protection of IT-based patents.
As a form of assistance, BSA has appointed Atty. Bienvenido Marquez III as Consultant to the BSA Philippines Committee. Atty. Marquez has been working as an associate lawyer specializing in IP Laws. Marquez shall be working close at hand with BSA and the government to facilitate and promote better ways to protect and promote IP in the country.
Web Philippines, Inc. thanks the following sources:
Business Software Alliance. The means to compete - Benchmarking IT industry competitiveness (in .PDF format entitled EIU IT Competitiveness Index Whitepaper) Retrieved October 17, 2008
Business Software Alliance. Business Software Alliance appoints RP Consultant Retrieved October 17, 2008
Montecillo, Paolo Luis G. BusinessWorld Online / IT Matters. Research tagged as IT’s biggest challenge. Retrieved October 17, 2008
Silva, Veronica C. GMANews.TV RP maintains global IT competitiveness ranking Retrieved October 17, 2008
Amojelar, Darwin G. Manila Times Internet Edition RP fails to lift competitiveness in information technology Retrieved October 17, 2008
Olchondra, Riza T. Philippine Daily Inquirer Philippines up in IT competitiveness Retrieved October 17, 2008
Valmero, Anna Retrieved October 17, 2008 EIU study says RP ranks 10th in IT competitiveness. Retrieved October 17, 2008

Agri, Fish and Food Folks Meet at Agrilink 2008 --- (Press Release)

Thousands of small and medium entrepreneurs, along with suppliers and manufacturers gathered at the World Trade Center Manila, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City for the Agrilink, Foodlink and Aqualink 2008 held last October 9 – 11, 2008.
A total of 267 exhibitors from different regions of the country, 47 of which are international companies, brought their products and knowledge in their respected fields and shared it with other farmers, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and guests.
Its organizers, the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development Inc. (FRLD) came up with the theme “Sustaining Agricultural Growth through Niche Markets”, giving high importance to the growing niche market of several agricultural products that have been left untapped by entrepreneurs from these disciplines.
In an interview with Mr. Antonio Roces, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of Market Information Dissemination (MARID), because farmers have limited capital and undersized lands; aiming at a bigger market is a financial risk. By starting at smaller markets, their innovations and technology at hand, higher advantage can be achieved, thus, producing greater profitability.
“If they are going to a niche market, they can maximize their learning and innovative skills rather than depend on big capital. You become like the big fish in the small pond. Pizza before was a niche market. But now you have pizzas all over the place. It has graduated from a niche market to a big market. This is how we hope we can get the smaller entrepreneurs who have the knowledge and the expertise and the innovative and creative skills [to] get into the market even with a limited capital”, said Mr. Roces.
According to him, the initiative for Agrilink started during the drafting of Republic Act 8435 or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997.
“We saw that there was a need for an exhibit so that our farmers and fisher folks would see what was available and they could now choose what was most appropriate for them to be able to modernize and become more productive and more competitive”, he added.
Mr. Roces further shared that, “Part of the missionary effort is to reach out to many people all over the country. So we realized that our main clientele here are the agri-businessmen – people who can buy the equipment. But still, we want, even the smallest farmers to have access to information and get an idea of what he has to get into by himself or by a group so they can have the economies of scale.”

Sharing the Foundation’s endeavor are various groups from the private and local government and international sector. These include the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, French Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (Le Club), Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, Philippine Association of Hog Raisers, Inc., Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc., Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc., (PHILFOODEX), and Philippine Sugar Research Institute Foundation.
Seminars concerning various topics were conducted in makeshift seminar halls inside the Trade Center. San Miguel Foods, Inc. spearheaded discussions on hog raising. The important aspects on niche marketing was discussed by Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center. Agri-Aqua Network International educated the listeners about medicinal herbs and organic fertilizers. The rest of the topics are found here.
International Agribusiness Exhibition and Seminars (Agrilink), which focuses on the agricultural products and needs of farmers, started in 1994 as a trade-seminar focused on hog raising. Its scope was broadened since then and has been held consistently for 14 years. On the other hand, the International Food Processing, Packaging and Products Exhibition (Foodlink), dedicated to new developments on food preservation, preparation and storage has been continuously organized for nine years. And the most recent addition, the National Fisheries Exhibition and Seminars (Aqualink) began in 2005 as a way to tackle the different needs of the fishing industry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Young Journalists Met Veterans at Inkblots 2008

Campus journalists, editors, advisers, and journalism educators from all over the country filled the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Thomas Aquinas Research Complex for the Inkblots 2008: the 10th UST National Journalism Fellowship held last October 20 to 22, 2008.

Organized by The Varsitarian, the Official Student Publication of UST and oldest Catholic campus paper in the country, Inkblots 2008 aims to mold aspiring writers through a series of journalism seminars and workshops from the country’s veteran journalists. Since 1998, the three-day workshop has integrated lectures on news, features, sports, opinion writing, book reviews, Catholic journalism, investigative journalism, broadcast journalism, cartooning, and campus paper management.

This year, the event gathered several respected journalists in the country which include Ces Drilon, host for ABS-CBN’s Evening News Program Bandila; Romeo Gacad, Agence France-Presse (AFP) chief photographer, and Pulitzer Prize nominee; Michael Coroza, PinoyPoets consultant and Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards recipient ; Sandra Aguinaldo, host for GMA-7’s I-Witness; and Arlyn Dela Cruz, Net-25 reporter.

The roster also included Nestor Cuartero, Philippine Panorama writer and Tempo entertainment editor; Vergel Santos, Chairman of Editorial Board of Business World; Felipe Salvoza III, Business World sub-editor; Quinito Henson, sports commentator and The Philippine Star columnist; Manuel ‘Manix’ Abrera, comic strip artist for Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI); Volt Contreras, PDI reporter and Catholic Mass Media Awards recipient for Best Investigative Report; Ruel de Vera, Associate Editor for the Sunday Inquirer Magazine; John Nery and Conrado de Quiros, PDI columnists; and Alice Colet-Villadolid, former New York Times correspondent.

To conclude the event, and mark the 10th anniversary of Inkblots, current Varsitarian editor-in-chief Anthony Divinagracia and adviser Lito Zulueta blew 10 candles on the Inkblots ‘birthday’ cake. Fireworks at the UST Football Field lit up the night. And finally, local rock bands 6cyclemind, Urbandub, and Hale performed at the UST Quadricentennial Square.

Friday, October 24, 2008

TelCo Giants Gather for the 4th Asian Carriers’ Conference --- (Press Release)

The biggest names in the telecommunication industry came together at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Cebu City for the 4th Asian Carriers’ Conference with the theme, “Opening doors, building bridges, expanding horizons”.

Held last September 10 -13, PLDT and mobile subsidiary SMART Communications were the hosts of the annual convention which aims to gather international telecommunication companies to discuss and find solutions on current issues affecting the industry.

In his keynote speech, PLDT Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan stated that the conference is a great way to forge and strengthen partnership among participating companies, introduce new trends and technologies to each country, and widen the reach of a company’s market.

The Philippine-based telecommunication giant has also revealed its plan to shift to a full Internet Protocol network to counter the significant drop in voice revenue of PLDT brought about by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Mr. Pangilinan added that the transition will be gradual, covering a three-year period as computer ownership and penetration rate in the country go up.

Tracing its roots in 2005, the Asian Carriers’ Conference has been one of the most attended events in the telecommunication industry. Composed of middle and senior-level managers, participants come from different parts of the world including Asia, North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.

The 4th Asian Carriers’ Conference is supported by Orange, Belgacom, Global Settlements Carrier Group, iBasis, Tata Communications, IDT, Sprint, Deutsche Telekom, Arbinet, Directo, Telarix, Verizon, iXLink, PCCW Global, HKCOLO, Alcatel-Lucent, and Ancotel.

Medical Experts Come Together for the 2008 Health and Wellness Tourism Summit --- (Press Release)

In celebration of the Philippine Health and Wellness Tourism Month, the Department of Tourism, and established names in the medical industry from all over the world gather for the Philippine Health and Wellness Tourism Summit from October 22 – 25, 2008 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

With the theme, “Embracing Health and Wellness in the Heart of Asia”, the summit aims to present the latest in medical technology, procedures, and issues delivered by the best practitioners in the industry. It also takes into consideration the value of prevention of diseases and achievement of holistic health and development through the proper combination of alternative therapies and scientifically tested medication. Furthermore, it gives high importance to the value of emotional support which significantly contributes to the speedy recovery and healing of patients; this of course can only be experienced in Asia, the Philippines, in particular, due to the Filipinos’ caring and nurturing nature.

Among the list of respected speakers include Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, MSc, Philippine representative in the World Health Organization; Dr. Manuel Fernandez Jr., chair of the Philippine Board of Cosmetic Surgeons; Dr. Samuel Bernal, Director Emeritus of the Cancer Center of the Greater Los Angeles VA Health Care System; Renee-Marie Stephano, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Medical Tourism Association; Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President of Health Futures Foundation Inc., and Susie Ellis, President of SpaFinder, Inc.

A pre-conference seminar was held on October 22. Plenary sessions begin on October 23. The summit will be concluded with a tour of Makati City and Gala dinner at Dusit Thani Manila.

For more information, call HIM Communications, Inc. at 440-3354/ 437-7090 or visit their website at

RP joins others in mapping the world --- (News)

The Philippines, along with 121 others, will take part in Google's newest service that will allow users to create, modify, and update the geographic contents of the country's online map.

Called Google Map Maker, this tool is an enhanced version on the Google Map that presents street maps, routes and locations for business establishments through the use of satellite imaging.

The Map Maker gives its users first-hand information about the details and establishments present in a certain area. Users can also edit or modify existing content to make sure that the map is up-to-date. Contents may include photos, business contacts, reviews and even payment methods. Aside from content, users can also draw the roads and place names of streets for reference purposes.

Since the satellite images has limited quality, the presence of roads and marking establishments would further enhance the usage and purpose of Google Maps.

Because of possible misinformation, Google will use a voting or approval moderation system to make sure that information is accurate. Comments are also honored so that corrections on current data are replaced and updated.

Much like other services of Google Inc., Map Maker is open to all Google Account holders.

In an interview with, Dr, Carlo Garcia, Director of UP National Institute of Geological Sciences said that he may integrate the use of this feature in his lesson plan in order for his students to actually apply their knowledge in the said field of study.

The country believes that this project will benefit both public and private sector particularly those involved in business, both small and medium enterprise, tourism and education, even in agriculture.

Web Philippines, Inc. thanks the following sources:

Calimag, Melvin G. Google calls out to user community to map RP. Retrieved October 13, 2008,

Google Map Maker Moderation Guidelines. Retrieved October 9, 2008

Octia, Janie Christine. Google unveils user-generated maps in RP. Retrieved October 8, 2008 ,

Silva, Veronica C. GMANews.TV. Google launches map making tool. Retrieved October 8, 2008,