Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Philippines Became First Host of World Health Tourism Congress in Asia

In the effort to place the country as the premier health and wellness tourism destination in Asia, the Philippines was the first country in Asia Pacific to host the World Health Tourism Congress held last March 26 – 28, 2009 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Organized by Aura International, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, the World Health Tourism Congress is an exclusive congress where buyers and vendors of medical and wellbeing services have the opportunity to interact in a one-to-one meeting format as well as during workshops and informal gatherings.

During the event, corporate buyers, or those who decide when and where to send their citizens, client, and employees for medical travel, had the chance to meet up with solution providers, which consists of spas, hotel, medical center, and clinics, and forged partnerships in order to find cost effective institutions which can deliver the needs of their clients seeking medical attention. Also, participants were introduced to the latest news and updates about the health and tourism industry.

The first annual was hosted in Germany last May 25 – 27, 2006, the Second annual was hosted in Cyprus last March 23 – 25, 2007 and the Third annual was hosted in Spain last April 4 - 6, 2008.

The 4th World Health Tourism Congress is sponsored by the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (Asian Hospital and Medical Center, The Medical City, Health and Leisure - Medical Tourism Integrator, Makati Medical Center, Asian Eye Institute, Philippine Retirement Authority, Manila Doctors Hospital, Capitol Medical Center, Tagaytay Hospital and Medical Center, University of Santo Tomas Hospital, and St. Francis Cabrini M.Cat), Prince Court Medical Centre, Cyprus Tourism Organization, Cebu Health and Wellness Council Inc., Jayan International, Parkway Holdings, Singapore Medicine, Take Care, Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Bellevue Medical Center, ARDI Health Services Inc., Kliniken des Bezirks Oberbayern, Zulu Kingdom, and Discovery Suites.

Anime Fans Dressed up for 2nd Philippine Cosplay Convention

The young and young at heart showed off their love for anime by dressing up like their favorite characters during the 2nd Philippine Cosplay Convention (PCC) held last March 28, 2009 at the Midtown Grand Atrium in Robinsons' Place Manila.

Organized by Cosplay.ph and Hobbiworx, the event gathered some of the best coplayers in the country to show off their creative style and interact with cosplay (costume roleplay) enthusiasts as well. A special awards cermony was held to honor and recognize the talented cosplayers behind award-winning costumes, which bagged laurels from previous events. Nominees were chosen based on the feedback of their peers and winners were chosen through text and online voting. The 2008 Cosplay Contest of the Year awardees are:

  • Best Male: Mr. Robert Torio (Iron Man)
  • Best Female: Chai Domingo (Lili Rochefort from Tekken 6)
  • Best Child: Alexa Alegria (Alchemist from Ragnarok Online)
  • Best Crossplay: Marky Ilano (Dark Magician Girl from Yu-gi-oh!)
  • Best Mecha/Monster: Abraham Cruz (Poring King from Ragnarok Online)

A cosplay competition was held showcasing costumes depicting different characters from anime series, comics, movies, even historical figures. The winners for the 2nd PCC Cosplay Competition are:

  • Best Male: Jacob Gil (Omnimon X of Digimon)
  • Best Female: Jemelyn Canlas (Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHolic / Tsubasa Chronicles)
  • Best Kids: Vien Testa (Robocop) and Vincent Testa (T-800 from Terminator 3)
  • Best Robot/Mecha: AC Hernandez (Warmachine from Ironman)
  • Best Performance: Belldandy Grimarez (Voltron)
  • Best Craftsmanship: Mark David Cerezo (Marcus Fenix from Gears of War)
  • Best Historical: Selwyn Alojipan (Guardia Civil Sarhento from Noli Me Tangere)
  • Best Group: Lame Cosplayers

Individual winners of the 2nd PCC Cosplay Competitiion received Php. 5,000.00 worth of gift certificates and prizes while group cosplayers received Php.10,000.00 worth of gift certificates and prizes courtesy of the event sponsors. Winners of the 2008 Cosplay Contest of the Year were given a hand-crafted medallion and Php. 1,000.00 worth of gift certificates and prizes.

The 2nd Philippine Cosplay Competition is in partnership with Midtown Grand Atrium – Robinsons' Place Manila, TV5, Toys R Us, Jack TV, Playground Magazine, RJ Underground Radio 105.9, Wish Washable Haircolor Spray, Wasabi Toys, LazerXtreme, and 2Rats.

Philippine Lawyers Visited Bacolod City for the 12th IBP National Convention

Over 2,000 lawyers from all over the Philippines participated in this year's 12th National Convention of Lawyers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) held last March 26-28,2009 at the Bacolod Pavilion Hotel and Resort in Bacolod City.

With the theme, “Upholding the Rule of Law: IBP’s Continuing Challenge”, the biannual event is the culminating activity of every term of IBP Board of Governors. The convention aims to find solutions for some of the issues that have affected the country involving the implementation of law and to participate in the continuing task of upholding the Rule of Law.

Several notable personalities graced this year’s convention. These include Senators Francis Escudero and Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II, Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Supreme Court Justices Magdangal de Leon and Zenaida Elepano, Professor Harry Roque, Jr., Department of Finance Secretary Margarito ‘Gary’ Tevez, Atty. Ma. Carolina T. Legarda, Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal, Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Nimfa C. Vilches, and Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) Partylist Representative Edgar L. Valdez.

IBP National President Atty. Feliciano Bautista represented the IBP during the symbolic presentation of the key to the province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, courtesy of Negros Occidental Governor Isidro P. Zayco and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia, respectively.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines 12th National Convention is supported by Smart Communications, Inc., San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), St. Luke’s Medical Center, and UBIX Corporation.

For more information about the 12th National Convention of Lawyers, contact the Integrated Bar of the Philippines at (632) 631-3018, 631-3014, 634-4697 or visit their website, http://www.ibp.org.ph/

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eco-Products International Fair 2009 a Success

The Philippines went all green last March 19 – 22 as it hosted the fifth Eco-Products International Fair (EPIF) held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. The EPIF is a yearly activity of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), a Tokyo-led group composed of 20 countries across the continent dedicated to the promotion of quality management and green productivity.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) as the country’s National Productivity Organization (NPO) and representative to the APO, acted as the de facto host to this biggest environmental fair in Asia. The DAP was supported by the Philippine government, designating Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Peter B. Favila as chairman and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. as Vice-Chairman. DAP was assisted in the management of the exhibit by the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation. The Philippine Business for the Environment, on the other hand, provided the much needed linkage with the private business sector.

During the first day of the four-day event, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies of the EPIF. In his address, Sec. Ermita expressed the Philippine government’s pleasure to host the fifth EPIF. He said that the most pressing worldwide issue is not the global economic crisis but rather that of global warming, climate change, increased flooding and other environmental concerns that cannot be easily reversed and mitigated overnight.

President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo graced with her presence the second day of the event. President Arroyo formally launched the DTI’s Bayong Development Project, a component of the government’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) under the Economic Resiliency Plan as response to the global economic crisis. This project aims to create a source of sustainable livelihood and to contribute in preserving the environment through bayong weaving.

Later in the evening, DENR Secretary Atienza hosted the DENR Night: Eco-Fashion Show for the Environment. The dinner featured innovative and breakthrough fashion creations from recycled and eco-friendly materials by the fashion design students of La Salle College International. Likewise, winners of the Young Miss Earth of Department of Education (NCR-Pasig City) paraded in gowns fashioned from recycled waste materials.

Part of the night’s program is the EPIF Handing Over ceremony from the Philippines to Indonesia, which is tasked to host the EPIF 2010. Indonesia’s Vice President for Industry, Technology and Maritime Affairs Rachnat Gobel received the EPIF flag from Secretary Atienza and DAP President Antonio Kalaw, Jr. in the presence of APO Secretary General Shigeo Takenaka and EPIF Preparatory Committee Chair Teisuke Kitayama.

The third day EPIF 2009 was highlighted by several activities including the Eco-QuizBee Competition with questions focused on environment and biodiversity. Twenty-one elementary students from public and private schools participated in the said event. After a grueling battle of brains, Diana Hina R. Breboneria of San Roque Elementary School emerged as Champion, while Joshua Vicente of St. Anthony School placed as first runner-up. St. Paul College’s Frances Ysabel Reyes was second runner-up.

After which, visitors were treated with the film showing of the movie, Donsol and a musical presentation by folk music artist Grace Nono.

As a gesture of goodwill to all those who supported the event, the DAP hosted a thanksgiving dinner to end the third day of the EPIF. APO Sec-Gen Takenaka congratulated the organizers of the EPIF ‘09 for a successful implementation. EPIF ‘09 Advisory Committee Chair and Former First Lady Mrs. Amelita Ramos led the Farewell Toast before the Philippines formally turned over the task of organizing the next EPIF to Indonesian Ambassador Prof. Irzan Tandjung.

EPIF 2009 was concluded with the showing of the film, Panahon: Ang Pinoy at ang Climate Change, product demonstration by Earth Asia Institute, thanking tour by the organizers, and a mini-concert.

The EPIF 2009 was designed to accomplish two things: the advocacy of green productivity among the citizens of its 20 member-states and the dissemination of environment friendly technologies, processes, and products developed by participating companies.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Integrative Medicine Highlighted at UP Conference

Local and international doctors highlighted the benefits and effects of integrative medicine during the Conference on Integrative Medicine for Physicians and Medical Students held last March 14-15, 2009 at Basic Science Lecture Room-East, University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine in UP Manila.

The event, carrying the theme, “Integrative Medicine: Collaborating to Address Changing Illness Patterns” was organized by the UP College of Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and UP Medicine Class '80 in collaboration with Clinica Blumea and the Invitation to Health Medical Center in Australia and France. The conference was created to serve as an avenue for Philippine doctors to learn from the experiences of doctors and practitioners working in two integrative medical centers located in Australia and France and encourage medical practitioners in the Philippines to work in an integrative manner together.

During the event, local and foreign medical practitioners shared their expertise with the conference participants. Dr. Jaime Galves Tan guided the audience back to their roots and grounding to identify the “Filipino Medicine Concept”. Dr. Isidro Sia talked on the “Evidence-based Guide to the Use of Medicinal Plants”. Dr. Penelope Caldicott from Australia presented about "Biochemistry of Mental Illness and Other Disorders". Dr. Nicole Avard from Australia discussed "Treating the Current Childhood Epidemics-Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Asthma and Allergies". Dr. Richard Plet presented his experience treating autistic children through bone alignment therapies.

On the second day, Dr. Susan Ballinger, PhD of Australia, presented the first published, peer-reviewed study on “Harmonization”, showing its effects on heart rate variability, respiratory rate and brain waves (electroencephalograph). Dr. Paulita V. Baclig discussed about Chronobiology and Chronomedicine. Dr. Beatrice Milbert from France enlightened the participants on “Quantum Medicine'. Lastly, Dr. Catherine De Bartha, a Neurological Rehabilitation Medicine specialist from France, shared her experiences in providing holistic care of patients with degenerative neurological disorders.

Later, eleven workshops were conducted for the delegates for practical applications of the lectures presented during the two-day event. Aside from practical applications, additional workshop provided learning experiences to serve as reinforcement. Workshop topics include nursing home remedies, art therapy, speech and breath therapy for asthmatics, preparing healthy meals, stress management in a holistic way, and new clinic models of management in integrative medicine.

For more information about the Conference on Integrative Medicine for Physicians and Medical Students, contact Clinica Blumea at (632) 474-8208 or 396-5386.

Filipino Creativity Shines at National Trade Fair ‘09

The Philippines’ most comprehensive domestic trade fair has a new home!

On its 18th year, the National Trade Fair (NTF) began last March 12, 2009 at the SMX Convention Centre, SM Business Park Bay City, Pasay City, and will run until March 15, 2009.

Featuring more than 200 small and medium enterprises, NTF brings the finest indigenous products from across the country under one roof. The creativity and craftsmanship unique to each region were evident throughout the convention center. From food to fashion, furniture, arts and crafts, and home furnishings, NTF showcases the best the Philippines had to offer. Also featured in the 2009 edition of NTF are the semi-processed materials fair that displayed various new production processes and technologies that can be applied to semi-processed materials with enormous potential such as piƱa, abaca, pandan, and coco wood. Business matching activities, trainings and seminars are likewise available to the participants and trade visitors of this comprehensive trade fair.

For the last 18 years, the NTF has been bringing together manufacturers of the best and finest products throughout the archipelago from food to fashion, arts and crafts, furniture, and home furnishings. NTF is a subcontractors’ fair that serves as a meeting point for small and medium enterprise exporters and local as well as international large buyers.

The 18th National Trade Fair is led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and co-presented by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Regional Operations Development Group (RODG) and the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

MICROSPHIL Schedules Annual Scientific Conference

The Microscopy Society of the Philippines (MICROSPHIL) will be holding its annual Scientific Conference and General Membership Meeting on March 13 – 14, 2009 at the Yuchengco seminar rooms, Yuchengco Building, De La Salle University, in Taft Avenue, Manila.

With the theme “Microscopy: Top-down and Bottom-up Approaches”, this annual event is an important venue for professionals from different scientific disciplines whose common interest is microscopy. The two day affair will present technical papers in all fields that deal with any type of microscopy will be presented; general assembly for all members; Photomicrograph exhibit and competition; and scientific workshop on Advanced Microscopy Techniques.

Furthermore, local and foreign experts in the field of microscopy will also be invited to share their knowledge and breakthroughs in microscopy. A peer-reviewed 2008 MICROSPHIL Conference Proceedings (ISSN registered publication) will be available for the conference.

For inquiries, email MICROSPHIL at microsphil07@yahoo.com.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cable Television Heads Gathered for PCTA 2009

The country's cable television executives, operators, stakeholders, as well as members of the allied industry gathered for the 17th Annual Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) National Convention held last March 11 to 13, 2009 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

The annual event, co-presented by PCTA and Solar Entertainment Corporation, in cooperation with Trinity Broadcasting Network - Asia – South Pacific, SES New Skies, and Al Jazeera Network, carried the theme, “Cable TV: Making the Big Difference”.

The event started off with the traditional PCTA Golf Tournament held at the Riviera Golf and Country Club in Cavite last March 10, 2009. In the afternoon, a pre-convention session was held highlighting Corporate Social Responsibility, a core topic in line with this year's theme.

Acclaimed speakers from the academe, cable industry, and allied companies such as Prof. Felipe Alfonso, Executive Director of the Asian Institute of Management—Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility Center (AIM-RVR CSR Center); Ms. Maureen Aquino, General Manager of Satellite Cable Network/Infomax 8; Ms. Marivic Gamo, Head of Channels and Marketing of Cisco Systems International; and Atty. Alexander Lacson, author of the national bestseller “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help. Our Country" took time to discuss both corporate and individual social responsibility topics that inspired all the attendees.

Vice President Noli "Kabayan" De Castro served as the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony. In his speech, Vice President De Castro talked about the role of the cable industry in the development of a well-informed and culturally-refined citizenry. The opening ceremony ended with the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the exhibit graced by former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr., PCTA 2009 Convention Chairman Philip Chien, PCTA President Allan Dungao, and special guests.

Forty-five international and local companies took part in the exhibits, which included program providers, technical suppliers, and service providers. Plenary presentations and discussions about the lastes technology in cable broadcast were held at the conference hall. The topics centered on internet protocol television (IPTV), direct-to-home (DTH) service, and Digital Terrestrial TV.

Industry stakeholders also presented business opportunities that will benefit the industry in the coming years such as internet via satellite and digital head end in the sky. Content provisioning and cable advertising were also presented to the delegates. Simultaneously, the PCTA Technical Committee held technical sessions that discussed headend and outside plant preparation, equipment selection, and implementation for digital migration, together with conditional access, set-top box management, and value added services.

The government, represented by the National Telecommunications Commission and the Intellectual Property Office, likewise discussed the role of the state and the government plans on certain technology issues and concerns.

PCTA 2009 was capped with the Cablelympics, a quiz-show type competition participated by technical personnel from different cable companies in the country. This year, 11 cable companies fielded contestants who answered questions in three stages. In the end, Mr. Dindo Amoyo of Negros Cable TV emerged as the champion, besting 29 other contestants. Afterwards, thirty-one regular members and six affiliate members received the coveted PCTA Loyalty Awards for their continuous membership to the association.

The 17th Philippine Cable Television Association National Convention is sponsored by HBO Asia, TV5Monde, Cable Box Office Shows & Systems Corporation (Cable Boss), Conax, Home Shopping TV Network, Deutsche Welle, Chase Technologies Corporation, Irdeto, Discovery Channel, Eagle's Wings Enterprises, Padi's Point, Reyes Haircutters, Kabayan Hotel, Tamayo's Catering, The Spa, Atrium Hotel, Amity Satellite Systems, Inc., and the following media partners: Philippine Graphic, Business Mirror, TV Guide, Business World, Cable Line, ContentAsia, DZMM Teleradyo, and 97dot9 Home Radio.

For more information about the event, contact the Philippine Cable Television Association at (632) 638-8541, 638-8544, email cableconvention@pcta.org.ph or visit their website at www.pcta.org.ph

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Government Staged First Siganid Summit for Fisherfolks

Various government councils involved in aquaculture and marine life development and research staged for the fisherfolks of Pangasinan the First National Summit on Hatchery and Culture of Siganid (Rabbitfish). The event was held last March 10 –12, 2009 at the Asian Fisheries Academy, in Binloc, Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

The summit was jointly organized by the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center and National Fisheries and Development Institute (NFRDI) of the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD) of the Department of Science and Technology.

The summit aims to gather information on the present practices and available technologies on siganids (Siganus spp.), identify gaps in the development of rabbitfish hatchery and culture industry, identify strategies for the formulation of a five-year road map for the industry, and prepare a resolution for the promotion of rabbitfish as high-value cultivable species.

Topics discussed during the event include:

  • Taxonomy and Geographical Distribution of Siganids in the Philippines
  • First Feeding in Wild Siganid Larvae Inferred from Otolith Microstructure
  • Alge and Reproductive Potential of Domesticated Siganus guttatus Breeders
  • Status of the Siganids Fry Production in Northern Mindanao
  • Feed Quality and Nutrition Standards
  • Nutritional Study on Siganids
  • Feeds and feeding trials of siganids for culture
  • Culture techniques for Siganids
  • Cage Culture of Siganid
  • Developments on Hatchery and Culture of Siganids
  • Status & Prospects of Siganid Hatchery and Culture in the Philippines
  • Broodstock Development & Hatchery Techniques
  • Seagrass Ecosystems in Relation to Siganids
  • Population Dynamics of Siganids
  • Diseases & Emergency Preparedness
  • Diseases of Siganids
  • Best Aquaculture Practices Postharvest, Market & Trade, & Promotion
  • Philippine National Standard for Dried Danggit
  • Siganid Processing in Bantayan Island, Cebu
  • Padas Processing in Pangasinan
  • Improved Processing of Lamayo from Siganids in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
The First National Summit on Hatchery and Culture of Siganid is sponsored by Tateh Aquafeeds.

Indie Music and Film Artists Shine at PHILDIGI Awards 2009

Independent and commercial filmmakers and music artists received their well deserved spotlight at the first Philippine Digital Music and Short Film Festival and Awards (PHILDIGI Awards) held last March 11 -12, 2009 at the World Trade Center in Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.

This music and film festival, organized by Isys Business Solution and Thumbsinteractiv, in cooperation with Blue Fish Asia and Business Mirror aims to serve as an avenue for independent filmmakers and music artists to showcase their talents and works, encourage consumers to fight piracy, give equal opportunities for artists to earn while they broadcast their music and films online and other platforms, and to give record labels and publishers borderless earning avenue in selling music and videos to consumers.

The two-day event was filled with music, film, and animation seminars and workshops. Areas of discussion include artist development and management; stage performance; copyright infringement and publishing rights; anti-piracy; marketing and distribution; trends and opportunities; short film making, directing, and making; and internet marketing and e-commerce.

Over 300 music entries and 40 short film entries from rising Filipino artists competed in various categories and the following works stood out as the best:

Music Categories
  • Best Digital Album - Access 2 Love
  • Best Jingle Entry - Kamandag Theme by First Circle
  • Promising New Artist - 2 Days Ago
  • Promising Male Artist - Njel De Mesa
  • Promising Female Artist - Debbie Nicodemus
  • Best Male Artist - Brenan Espartinez
  • Best Female Artist - Yeng Constantino
  • Best Composer - Arne Martelino
  • Best Composition - Ang Tanging Patnubay by John Paul Dabon
  • Best Independent Group - Sensitivo
  • Best Music Video - Call to Life By Salamankero
  • Best Indie Music - Isa’t Kalahating Araw by Sensitivo
  • Best House/Electronica Music - Frequency by Emorej
  • Best Gospel/Praise Music - Alay sa Iyo by Era Ann Oblefias
  • Best Contemporary Christian Music - Sagip Song by Rommel Gojo

Film Categories
  • Best Short Film - Fantasy/Horror - Parihaba by Engelbert Paculangan
  • Best Short Film – Comedy - Salingpusa by Antoinette Jadaone
  • Best Short Film – Documentary - Namamaybay by Erwin Escalante
  • Best Animated Short Film - Bas Bayabas by Kid
  • Best Animated Short Film - Fantasy/Horror - Kumot Ng Panaginip by Jedd Chris Dimaguina
  • Best Short Film - Action/Drama - Pirata by Al Eduardo
  • Best Independent Solo Artist - Lynman Bacolor

Sponsored Categories
  • Entertainment Central (ETC) Category Winner - Nosebleed by Jason Paul Laxamana
  • Jack TV Category Winner - Buy the Book: Gabay sa Ordinaryong Taong Katulad Mo by Timmy Harn

The First Philippine Digital Music and Short Film Festival and Awards is supported by 6Underground, ERAS Equipment Rental and Setup Services, Ballyhoo Records, Rode Microphones, Promac and the following media partners: Business World, Circuit Magazine, ETC, Jack TV, Muse Magazine, The Manila Times, Philstar.com, Jam 88.3, NU 107, GMA-7, The Edge Radio, TV5, and Sport Radio (DZSR 918 kHz). Online partners are hotoccasions.com, Yehey.com, ClicktheCity.com, Digijooze.com, and Musikko.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Support Earth Hour 2009

On March 28, 2009, over 1,000 cities and towns across 80 countries will participate in what is referred to as the ‘first global election’. People of all ages, nationalities, race, and background will vote between two competing candidates – planet earth and global warming – to determine the future of the human race.

There will be no ballot boxes; no voter’s ID needed. All those in favor of earth will only need to do one thing: turn off their lights for one hour. And those who are in favor of global warming will let their lights on during the given ‘voting’ period.

From the Chatham Islands to the Arctic Sea, people from all corners of the world will turn off their lights for Earth Hour to cast their vote for action on climate change. Join them and be part of this historical event.

By simply turning off your light, you can say, “We care about Earth”. Your participation, along with millions of people from all over the world, can send out a strong message to the leaders of our country that we want a better, safer, and more-environment friendly Philippines in the future.

For Earth to win, the World Wildlife Fund aims to gather 1 billion votes. This means 1 billion families across seven continents will have to turn off their lights for one hour. This means trillions of light bulbs will not be used for one hour. Each vote is crucial. Each switch turned off is important.

VOTE EARTH Let’s help Earth win! Spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors, relatives, and your social network. Email or text your friends about the first global election and convince them to vote for earth. Post a blog about how can you help join the crusade to fight climate change. Add Vote Earth web banners or online badges to your social network account. Let the world know that Filipinos are in one with the world in the call to save earth.

For more information about Earth Hour 2009, visit http://www.earthhour.org/ or http://www.voteearth2009.org/

Web Phil Info.com, together with Kasal.com and Trabaho.com joins the world in celebration of Earth Hour 2009 and its call to inform the world about global warming and act to save our planet for future generations.

Marketing Regulators and Expert Sought Reform and Regulation at Philippine Capital Markets Conference

Key personalities from the banking, finance, and government sector met for the inaugural Philippines Capital Markets Conference held at the Pan Pacific Hotel Manila last March 10 – 11, 2009 to seek out solutions to fight or lessen the impact of the global economic downturn.

The Philippines Capital Markets Conference, organized by the Pinnacle Group International, also served as the platform for corporates, investors and bankers who wish to tap on this fast growing market.

During the event, speakers, which include Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Francisco Ed. Lim, BDO Capital and Investment Corporation President Eduardo Francisco, and Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Ma. Juanita Cueto stressed the need to create capital market reforms to shield the economy against the effects of the financial crisis experienced worldwide.

Financial institutions, government agencies, law firms, and private companies participated during the two-day conference. These include ACCRA Law, Asian Development Bank, American Data Exchange Corporation, Atchison Consultants, Baker Mckenzie - Quisumbing Torres, Bloomberg L.P., BNP Paribas, BPI Asset Management, Business Processing Association of the Philippines, CB Richard Ellis Philippines, Inc., Chinatrust Commercial Bank Corporation, Citi Philippines, Commodity Warrants Australia PTY. LTD, Contact Centre Association, Development Bank of Philippines, Global Investment Research Associates, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), Hudson Capital Energy, ING Investment Management, Macquarie Bank Limited, Maybank Philippines, Inc., Northbridge Capital, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Philippine Senate, Philippine Long Distance Company, Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law (PJS Law), Quisumbing Torres, Romulo, Mabanta, Buenaventura, Sayoc & De Los Angeles, Sapalo Velez Bundang & Bulilan Law Offices, Standard Chartered Bank Philippines, and Sycip Gorres Velayo and Co.

The Philippine Capital Markets Conference is sponsored by Numerix Bloomberg, Anchor Land Holdings, Inc., PJS Law, and ALFM Peso Bond Fund in cooperation with PSE, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Investment House Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, and Money Market Association of the Philippines. Official Media Partners are MoneySense Magazine, Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing, AseanAffairs.com, ABS-CBN News Online, Philstar.com, Business World, China Hedge, ACN Newswire, Asia Monitor, and Emerging Markets Monitor.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Resiliency of Cebu Furniture Industry at Cebu X 2009

Despite the challenging times experienced worldwide, Philippine furniture exports are getting more and more attention elsewhere, including at home. The challenging times are opening up new opportunities for the furniture manufacturing and export industry. There is still a lot of promise as the sector prepares for country's premier trade event, the Cebu International Furniture and Furnishings Exhibition (Cebu X) 2009 slated on March 5 to 8, 2009 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.

"These are challenging times yet we see this as an opportunity to solidify Cebu's position as the design destination of Asia," Chairman Allan Murillo said. "While our competition holds back, we are as aggressive as ever to bring our products to the attention of the international market," Mr. Murillo added.

This year, Cebu X will bring not only international furniture buyers. One can expect a surge in attendance from interior designers, architects, resort and hotel managers as well as property developers in the country, representing the new growing market furniture manufacturers are tapping starting this year.

"These are trying times but there is still business as long as we focus on our strength in design and manufacturing," shared Mr. Eric Casas, president of Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), the organizer of Cebu X. Mr. Casas adds, "These companies would not be here if they are not in it for the long term. These companies have shown their resilience and strength in design and in managing their business. That is why they were able to keep their customers despite the hard times and that is why their business has survived all these years”.

As general market sentiments try to hold back on spending, expect furniture players to push the boundaries of design, creativity and craftsmanship to new heights.

"It is during times like these when the bolder players take the risks and push their limits of design and innovation. It is during times like these when passionate players prepare themselves for the recovery of the world economy. We are certain that the market conditions will get better in the future; and when they do, we will take full advantage of our position." Mr. Murillo said.

With extensive efforts like the Design and Product Development Program (DPDP) in place, companies joining Cebu X will be trained by key players in the industry on new techniques in design and materials manipulation. Upcoming designers from the academe are also given the chance to launch their bold breakthrough creations through the Student Internship Program (SIP), also under the DPDP. The annual Mugna Awards, where the best creations featured in Cebu X are recognized, remain one of the most anticipated side events of the show, being the spring-board for the local designers of the future.

For inquiries, call CFIF at (32) 422-8081, (32) 422-8083, (32) 420-7109 or email info@cebuexhibition.com

Philfoodex Gears Up For Philippine Food Expo

The Food Expo for Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization (Philfoodex), the country’s biggest food organization, will be holding the 8th Philippine Food Expo at the SM Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City from March 5-8, 2009.

With the theme “Strategic Regional Cooperation Towards Food Self-Sufficiency,” the Expo will showcase over 200 exhibitors, which will exhibit new food products, technologies, raw materials and services. Realizing that a competitive food industry relies on high quality and affordable ingredients, it will also feature a supply-based food fair featuring home-grown raw materials in the co-located event Food Source Philippines.

The 22-year-old Philfoodex, as the leading organization in the food sector, will draw up a strategic framework to help the government in its pursuit of food security. Moreover, the first Asian Buyers Forum (ABF) will be held simultaneously with the four-day expo where foreign buyers from Malaysia, China and Thailand are invited to see the products of the exhibitors.

Organized in cooperation with the Philippine Agriculture Attache’ in China and the Department of Trade and Industry, the ABF will tackle important issues on cooperation between ASEAN importers and local food manufacturers, growers, farmers groups, and exporters.

The Philippine Food Expo also includes consultative workshops and business matching among exhibitors, and other relevant sessions. Awards will be given to participating regions that will showcase the best processed marine, fruit and meat products, best fresh produce, and the most innovative product and ingredient.

The 8th Philippine Food Expo is supported by the Department of Agriculture , the Department of Trade and Industry, SM Megamall, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport), and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For more information, call Cut Unlimited at 687-0654, 687-2955 or visit http://www.philfoodex.com/.

RP Furniture Makers Took Center Stage at Manila Now 2009

Despite the global economic downturn, the Philippine furniture industry showed that they can keep up with the times and continue to penetrate the global market during the Manila Now 2009: Philippine International Furniture Show held last March 5-8, 2009 at the SMX Convention Center, Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Organized by the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), and managed by Global-Link Exhibitions Specialist Inc., the event gathered over 50 exhibitors from the furniture and manufacturing industry that showcased their ingenuity and creativity using imported and indigenous materials. The event aims to serve as a venue for local furniture manufacturers to introduce and offer their unique creations to the local and global market.

The event also hopes to produce more global stars like Kenneth Cobonpue, whose designs are featured in international magazines, and Clayton Tugonon, a craftsman whose work has gained rave reviews in Japan, Slovak Republic and Singapore.

Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro graced the opening ceremony of Manila Now 2009. Vice President De Castro lauded the participants for their craftsmanship in turning ordinary materials like cogon grass and driftwood to useful and world-class furniture. The first two days were open to trade visitors. It was opened to public from March 7-8.

Manila Now 2009 also served as a venue for this year’s Likhang Pilipino Awards. The winners of the Likhang Pilipino Awards 2009 are:
  • Best in Furniture Design - Passad
  • Best in Furnishing Design - Asia Embroideries
  • Best in Furnishing Design - Kalikasan Crafts
  • Bagong Sibol Award – Evolve Designs
  • Best in Visual Merchandising - Azcor

The Manila Now 2009: Philippine International Furniture Show is sponsored by Metrobank Foundation Inc., MADE, Furniture Shanghai, Manila Bulletin, Business World, The Philippine Star, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, AREA, SMX Convention Center, Centrex, Uratex Philippines, Inc., JIMAC, Inc., Chase Technologies Corp., Agility Logistics, Coltrans, Global POS, Makati-Shangri-La Manila, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Century Park Hotel Manila, The Heritage Hotel Manila, and Bayview Park Hotel Manila.

Manila Now 2010 is scheduled on March 3-7, 2010 at the SMX Convention Center. For more information about the event, contact CFIP at (632) 631-2834, 632-9007, 631-2977, fax (632) 637-2743, email info@cfip.ph, or visit the event website at www.manilanow.ph.

Bisayas United at One Visayas

Bisayas (native of the Visayan region) from all over the Visayan region united their arts, crafts, and culture during One Visayas held last March 1 – 8, 2009 at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, Cebu.

With the theme, “One People, One Vision”, the week-long event aims to bring together the arts, crafts and culture of the Visayan provinces. Moreover, the event serves as a celebration and tribute to indigenous visual arts, theater, film, architecture, literature and most of all, being Bisaya.

Senator Mar Roxas, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano, DOT 7- Director Dawnie Roa, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Jonas Cortes, along with the leaders from 16 Visayas provinces (Aklan, Biliran, Guimaras, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Antique, Cebu, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Siquijor, Leyte, Bohol, Iloilo and Capiz) graced the opening ceremony of One Visayas last March 1.

Each festival day was highlighted with one form of art in the Visayas. Theater Arts was featured on March 2 and showcased, “Kasanag Batok Sa Sugal” of Antique; “Dagohoy, the Musical” of Bohol; and “Inodoro”, a musical production on waste management of Calbayog City, Samar.

Literature, Theater and Dance were highlighted during the third day. Dr. Alicia Magos of Antique conducted a lecture on “West Visayan Maritime Traditions” while Dr. Virgie Miquialba talked about “Mystical Siquijor”, a lecture on healing arts. Later, talented artists from Samar staged "Calbayog Lakub”. Finally, Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company of Tacloban City, Leyte presented a dance concert.

Dance was featured on March 4 and the presentations included a folk arts dance concert from Capiz; “Poseidon” by Teatro Amorseko of Negros Occidental; and “Balangiga Encounter 1901" of Eastern Samar.

Music was the tune of the day last March 5 with the “Tunog Karay-a” and “OKM Concert” of Antique; Sopranos of Capiz; and a lecture on “Cebuano Languages as Heritage” by Dr. Erlinda Alburo. This was followed by the launching of Dr. Aluro's new book, “A Dictionary of Bisayan Arts, Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Waray”. In the evening, the “Pasundayag, Kulturang Southern Leyte” was presented together with the music of Pinoy rock icon Mike Hanopol.

March 6 featured Architecture and Fine Arts and showcased the “Heritage Sites and Structures of Cebu” lecture by Architect Melva Java; “Marketing for Artists” lecture by Dr. Ed Hallar; and the launching of the the book “Sukaran: The Heritage Houses of Loboc and Baclayon”, co-authored by heritage architect Inno Manalo and Marianito Luspo.

Visual Arts and other forms of arts were highlighted on March 7 before the closing ceremonies held during the last day of the festival.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

RP Architects Held Annual National Convention at CSI Stadia

Architects from Pangasinan, Manila, Baguio, Benguet, Ilocos-Laoag, Cebu, Davao, Batangas and Zamboanga attended the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA) 76th Annual National Convention held last March 4 – 7, 2009 at the CSI Stadia in Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

Organized by the Philippine Institute of Architects, the event was guided by the theme “Building Quality Architects. The event was highlighted by panel discussions on the latest trends and challenges faced by Philippine architects, exhibit featuring products and construction suppliers, and sports fest.

Dagupan City Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, PIA National President Architect Benedict Loy, and convention chairman Architect Theresa Velasco led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the four-day convention.

In her speech, Vice Mayor Fernandez commended all the architects for their efforts and contributions in helping transform Dagupan City as the premier center of the Northern Luzon region. She added that, through the works of architects, Dagupan City can become a clean, green, orderly, healthy and progressive city in the future.

Meanwhile, Architect Loy thanked Vice Mayor Fernandez for allowing them to hold the annual convention at CSI Stadia, which the Belen family owns, and desribed the venue as the “largest, most beautiful and most sophisticated convention center in Northern Luzon."

For more information about the event, visit the Philippine Institute of Architects website, http://pia-architects.org/.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Magayon Wedding Festival – Kasalang Filipino 2009 – Legazpi Leg

From the legend of the pride of the province, Mount Mayon, to the characteristics of the Bicolanos, Albay simply spells love and romance. On April 24 – 25, 2009, Albay invites all soon-to-wed couples to experience a magayon (lovely) wedding Wedding at Legazpi City, Albay. Photo by Ariel Javelosa.

Blessed by Daragang Magayon and Panganoron. A newlywed couple kisses with Daragang Magayon (Mayon Volcano) and her lover Panganoron (the clouds) as witnesses. Photo courtesy of Ariel Javelosa Photography

during the Magayon Wedding Festival to be held at the Peperland Hotel in Legazpi City.

The event is the fifth leg of Kasalang Filipino 2009 12-city wedding fair road show, which is co-presented by Kasal.com and ABS-CBN Regional Network Group in cooperation with Peperland Hotel and Pacific Mall Legazpi.

Kasalang Filipino 2009 is a nationwide wedding fair road show which ties twelve (12) Philippine cities with one goal of promoting the local wedding industry. The following are the 12 cities of the 2009 road show – San Pablo, Tagaytay, Tarlac, Dagupan, Legazpi, Dumaguete, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Bacolod, Manila, and Cebu.

Numerous activities have been lined up for attending couples such as talks on wedding planning and wedding trends, floral arrangement demonstration, wedding cake decoration and baking demo by known local pastry chef Renan Yulo, bridal makeup competition made possible by Ever Bilena, and a bridal fashion show featuring the latest collection of Fashion Literacy. Lucky couples will get a chance to win free wedding giveaways, honeymoon packages, and appliance showcases during the bridal fair.

Admission is free. Register online at www.kasal.com to take part in this nationwide bridal road show. For inquiries, contact Pepperland Hotel at (052) 481-4428, 0920-914-2349 or Kasal.com at 415-9249, 414-3596 or email kasal.com@gmail.com, info@kasal.com.

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Kasalang Filipino 2009 is co-presented by Kasal.com and ABS-CBN Regional Network Group and made possible by Max's Restaurant, Ever Bilena Cosmetics,Goldilocks, Hewlett-Packard Philippines, Ariel Javelosa Photography, QP Designs, and the following media partners: Lifestyle Network, Sky Cable, WRR 101.9, My Only Radio, Metro Weddings, Metro Home and Entertaining, Food Magazine, Foodie Magazine, Flavors Magazine, China Business Philippines, The Manila Times, Business Mirror, Philstar.com, Tsinoy.com, and LocalDirect.com.Technology partners are Touch Solutions, Toshiba, Bitstop Network Services, and Too Many Memory.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Physicist Couple Wins 3rd Gawad Haydee Yorac

A physicist-researcher-educator couple from Jagna, Bohol were conferred the 3rd Gawad Haydee Yorac during the Awarding Rites held last March 4, 2009 at the Meralco Theatre in Pasig City.

The awardees are Dr. Christopher C. Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio Bernido, President and Principal, respectively, of the Research Center for Theoretical Physics in Bohol.

Their partnership to build a nation through science, research and a new method of teaching founded on excellence and values won the judges’ approval over nominations received from different parts of the country.

In early 1990s, the couple who were then University of the Philippines physics professors - director and assistant, respectively, of the UP National Institute of Physics –uprooted themselves from the campus and moved to Jagna, described as a seaside 4th class municipality a little over one hour away from Tagbilaran, Bohol.

There they established the Central Visayan Institute Foundation (CVIF), the home of the Dynamic Learning Program. The Institute Foundation comprise of the Research Center for Theoretical Physics, the high school department that strengthens the science focus of its students, and the Education Research Center for continuing development of the learning program.

The research center they founded has been hosting physics workshops every three years, drawing experts from all over the world including two winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics, Gerard t’Hooft and Frank Wilczek. The international workshops have been connecting departments of physics in the Philippines with that of the global community, giving faculty and graduate students the chance to network with fellow scientists abroad.

The innovative, “Learning Physics as a Nation” is beginning to revolutionize high school education in the country, with over 30 high schools in different provinces of Regions 1 to 12, ARMM, CAR, Caraga and NCR already using it. It supported by the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) with a special grant from the Department of Education. Under the program, lectures are only 20 minutes, individual or group work is 40 minutes and students, who come from very poor families, have no homework so they can still do chores and have family time. After eight years, their students have began passing the UP College Entrance Exam.

They addressed a grassroots issue, and had the courage to blaze new science trails in their home province of Bohol, in isolated and marginalized communities, demonstrating that there are no constraints or limits to achieving the lofty vision of “building a nation” when courage, commitment and intellectual excellence are applied to the task.

The physics program they pioneered in and advocated has been responsive to the needs/existing environment of very poor students, with the improved learning standards of the students and the adoption of the program by various high schools in the country as well. Amidst all this, the couple was able to pursue their continuing passion for physics. Such achievements were deemed remarkable and inspiring.

The Bernidos rated highly in: personal attributes - personal qualities worthy of emulation (courage, excellence, selflessness, professionalism, fairness, credibility, integrity), traits that characterize the late Haydee Yorac; professional excellence and accomplishments – competence and qualifications and made significant accomplishments in their chosen field, and impact of accomplishments to the community and to the nation – the long-term impact of their program and example, and the promotion of the common good.

The Gawad Haydee Yorac is an award established in 2006 by Meralco in cooperation with the University of the Philippines in honor of the late Haydee Yorac, former Meralco legal counsel and multi-awarded UP alumna, UP Law professor and, among other positions, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), a post she held before her demise. It recognizes Filipino leaders from the private sector, government service and volunteer organizations whose personal qualities, ethics and lives are worth emulating in leadership with integrity and public service with selflessness.

For more details, contact the award secretariat at 632-8481 or 632-8801, or email gawadhaydeeyorac@meralco.com.ph, or visit www.meralco.com.ph/gawadhaydeeyorac.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kuwait in need of 5,000 Pinoy Workers

Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Ricardo Endaya disclosed during a press conference that despite the increasing number of companies laying off workers, he is glad that Kuwait has not been greatly affected by the economic downturn. Instead, several companies have opened a total of 5,000 jobs for Filipinos.

Amb. Endaya gave this statement during the Philippine Employment & Remittance Summit 2009 held at the Tayba Tent, Movenpick Hotel in the Kuwait Free Trade Zone in Shuwaikh, Kuwait. The ambassador stated that companies in Kuwait will employ staff for hotels, restaurants, as well as semi and skilled workers and health sector workers like nurses and caregivers.

Local manpower recruitment, counterparts from Kuwait and various remittance companies were present during the event, which began last January 27. The event aims to promote skilled Filipino workers to potential employers in Kuwait and to highlight the vital role played by foreign remittance companies in ensuring the fast and safe remittance of overseas Filipino workers to their families.

The Philippines Employment & Remittance Summit 2009 is sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in cooperation with the Asian Cultural Network.

Web Philippines, Inc. thanks its following sources:

Santiago, Michelle Fe,Arab Times. Kuwaiti firms need 5,000 Filipino workers. Retrieved January 28, 2009 from

Tan, Kimberly Jane T., GMANews.TV. 5,000 new jobs open in Kuwait for Pinoys. Retrieved January 28, 2009 from

RP Foreign Visitors at High for 2008

Based on the latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT), a total of 3.14 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines last year.

The increase is attributed to the increase of tourist arrivals from European countries such as Russia, which rose up to 34%, France by 19%, and United Kingdom by 10%. On the other hand, visitors from United Arab Emirates and Vietnam also increased by 28%.

South Koreans are still the most frequent visitors of the country, with 611,629 arrivals in 2008. Next in line are USA (578,246 arrivals), and Japan (359,205 arrivals).

Chinese and Taiwanese tourist arrival in 2008 expanded to 163, 689 and 118,782, respectively. The DOT worked with Chinese travel agents and airlines to mount new charter flights between Shanghai and Nanning to Cebu, Guangzhou to Clark, and Nanning and Kunming to Manila. In addition, the department worked closely with Mandarin Airlines to increase chartered flights between Taipei to Kalibo, Taipei to Cebu, and Kaoshiung to Cebu.

Other countries that posted significant increase in tourist arrivals are Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, and Indonesia.

Earnings of other tourist-based industries improved with the growth of tourist arrivals. The English as secondary language (ESL) program generated PhP. 180.8 million, with Baguio and Bacolod City garnering the highest profit. Dive shop operators in Cebu and Bohol generated PhP. 8.8 million in gross receipts. The medical tourism industry also had it share of good revenue. DOT-accredited medical tourism facilities in Manila earned PhP. 108.8 million from 1, 071 foreign patient-tourists who sought medical services here in the country last year.

Web Philippines.com. thanks its following sources:
Department of Tourism. Philippine Tourism: Stable Amidst a Global Tourism Downturn (in PDF format) Retrieved February 6, 2009 from

ABS-CBN News. RP tourism growth takes a hit from global crisis (Posted February 4, 2009) Retrieved February 6, 2009 from

Inquirer.net (Newswire from Agence France-Presse) Tourist arrivals hit 3.14M in 2008 (Posted February 4, 2009) Retrieved February 6, 2009 from

GMA News.tv RP foreign tourist arrivals barely improve in 2008 (Posted February 4, 2009) Retrieved February 6, 2009 from

Alave, Kristine L.,Philippine Daily Inquirer. Tourism up; 3.14 million visitors in ’08 (Posted February 5, 2009) Retrieved February 6, 2009 from