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Friday, December 9, 2016

CyreneQ: From a Snapchat artist to a Snapchat storyteller

Posted By: Patti Salas - Friday, December 09, 2016
CyreneQ during the NDAA 2017 call of entries

Cyrene Quiamco, commonly known as Cyrene Q in social media, has been amusing everyone with her unique artworks – from celebrity portraits to collages of Disney characters in Snapchat.

Quiamco joined Snapchat in 2014 when she was still working as a web designer for a telecommunications company. Her celebrity selfie series became viral on social media and opened a lot of doors for the 27-year-old Filipina social media influencer.

In 2015, she decided to quit her stable job to become a full-time Snapchat storyteller. Since then, Cyrene Q has been successful in turning her favorite hobby into a lucrative job. She has worked with big companies such as Walmart, Samsung, MTV, and Disney where she creates her own snaps and doodles for a specific project and earns as much as $500 million per year.

Cyrene Q believes that brands are now choosing Snapchat as a platform for advertising because it is more engaging compared to other apps. “People do not only watch you but they interact with you”, Quiamco said. She tries her best to converse with her followers and she thinks that it is the reason why brands choose her and why people love her.

Visit for more information on the National Digital Arts Awards 2017.

Young Programmer Establishes “Girls Will Code”

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, December 09, 2016

Isabel Sieh was just 10 years old when her teacher observed her adeptness in mathematics. The teacher encouraged her to try out “coding”, that is what was used to be called “programming”. At that age, she took up coding tutorials online and eventually became proficient with HTML and JavaScript. 

HTML is the basic for designing and developing a webpage and determines the content of the webpage. This includes the visual aspect of the webpage. While HTML forms the structure, JavaScript is a programming language that brings to “life” the webpage or website. It is for the behavior of the webpage.

Although online tutorials have been the foundation of her coding skills, she went to the next level when her mother, noting her increasing ability to do code got her tutors to further enhance her skills. 

In February 2016, she founded Girls Will Code. It is a company that teaches coding to youngsters like her. She initially taught 10 elementary students at the Bagong Nayon 2 Elementary School basic programming. They learned Scratch Jr, a programming language that was designed and developed  for children aged 5 – 7 years old. 

This enables children to make interactive stories and games. This is how children can cobble together graphical programming blocks for command driven tasks such as graphical images of actions (jump, run, sing and even dance).

The instrinsic logical nature of programming is that it instills a structured approach wherein programming language can be learned just like normal language when at a youthful stage. Thus, fluency is achieved. Sieh wanted it to be learned as being part of a “community” wherein all the young coders will be given specific routines to be coded and then they will all be interfaced as the finished product. The “community” aspect makes it more fun to do coding and at the same time teaches them the value of teamwork. This also applied Game Theory in solving problems, developing and designing solutions for these problems.

This is the same structured learning that will be used in all phases of life for everybody and starting them young will make them assets for their schools and communities. This is a good for any child.

Isabel Sieh is now 13 years old and has entered the field of Engineering. She hails from Antipolo City, Rizal.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Transportify Gears Up for the Holiday Rush

Posted By: Karlo Simon - Thursday, December 08, 2016

We all know too well that the holiday season can be problematic amid higher demand for consumer products and the capability to distribute them on time.

Through the years we have seen time and time again how the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila compounds this problem. For many of holiday gift-givers and the would-be Santas, making their loved ones wait is simply not acceptable.

Fortunately, this can be addressed by a few logistics providers that can help move things around the metro.

Transportify now gives the market a cheaper and more efficient alternative for their on-demand logistics needs.  

A mobile and web application that connects customers with qualified independent contractors (driver partners), Transportify is the ideal logistics solution for delivering anything within Metro Manila and even surrounding areas. With a pool of over 1,500 driver-partners in less than 5 months of operations in the Philippines, Transportify has the network and capacity to address on-demand logistics not only during holidays but all year round.

For MPVs, customers only need to shell out P250 for the first 3 kilometers and P20 for every km thereafter. Need a bigger vehicle? No problem, they also have L300s that start at P600 for the first 3kms and P30 for every km thereafter.

Noel Abelardo, Head of Business Program, said: “We want to help move things faster and more efficiently in Metro Manila this holiday season. Transportify will help business customers and even individuals manage their logistics needs so they can focus on things that really matter to them. Our value proposition for on-demand logistics needs is better than what is available in the market."

With Transportify, delivery needs for the holiday are no longer worrisome. May it be for your corporate giveaways, event and promotional materials, office raffle prices from huge appliances to small tokens for your employees, or just simply gifts for your loved one.

Download the Transportify app on Apple Store for iOS devices, and on Google Play Store for Android devices. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

27 Medals for Filipino Students in World Math Tilt

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A total of 27  medals consisting of 3 gold, 7 silver and 17 bronze were won by Filipino students competing in the World Math Team Championship in Incheon, South Korea. The Math completion was held last Nov. 23 – 27, 2016.

Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Intermediate Team and Xavier School for their Advanced Team garnered top honors in the competition.

The World Math Team Championship was established in the year 2009. The difference with other world math competitions in the world is that it is a team driven series of examinations. Also, cultural exchanges and interactions together with tours give a well-rounded exposure to the participants. 

Here is the list of awardees:

Gold medal awardees:

Advanced Division - Sedrick Scott Keh (Xavier School)
Raphael Villaluz and Rafael Jose Santiago (Philippine Science High School)

Silver awardees: 

Advanced Division: Lorenzo Jaime Y. Flores (PSHS)
Alexander Go, Xuan Li, Mark Christopher Uy (Xavier)

Intermediate Division: 
Jose Lorenzo P. Abad, Bert Joseph A. Tropicales, Dominic Lawrence R. Bermudez(PSHS) 

Bronze awardees: 

Advanced Division: 

Joaquin Jose S. Lopez, Rodrigo Dexter A. Perando (PSHS) 
Edward Akiro Manuel & Earle Anderson Ng (Makati Hope Christian HS)
Matthew Johan Uy (Xavier) 

Intermediate Division: 

Shoshannah B. Tiu, Josh L. David, Jose Tristan Tan, Mallory Gillian Cua, Haziel Vanessa C. Lim (MHCS)
Sinead Dylan P. Vallester, Frederick Ivan Michael T. Tan, Wesley Gavin Go Palomar (PSHS) 

Junior Division: 

Shaun Nicolo V. Salazar (PAREF Southridge School)
Jerome Samuel D. Tan, Dean Alistair R. Yu, Jasmine Ngo, Kimberly Ang (MHCS) 

Merit Awardees: 

Advanced Division: 

Lance Ricco L. Teng, Margarita Patrice S. Penson, Pei-Hsuan Lee, Arvin Christian S. Tan (MHCS)
Mikhaela Marie V. Diaz (PSHS)
Kimmayong Ayahao (Xavier) 
Intermediate Division: 
Jarvy Larz San Juan (MHCS) 

Junior Division: 
Kim Chan-E

Mikaela Alyn C. Motol 

The coaches of the respective teams are Jose Manresa Enrico Espanol IV (PSHS Advanced Team), Mario Danilo R. Lanura (PSHS Intermediate Team) and Roberto Ongaria (MHCS Teams).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Educational app brings Filipinos a step closer to their dreams

Posted By: Patti Salas - Monday, December 05, 2016

Press release:

[17 NOV 2016] For Danica Rose Garay, shifting careers from teaching to being a doctor is not easy. For one, she has to take and pass the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), and she doesn’t have the luxury of time to enroll in a review center as it tend to be expensive. Self-study is her only viable option.

Zookal was like manna from heaven for Danica Rose. With Zookal’s help, she is now reviewing for free for her upcoming NMAT exam.

“I find reviewing with Zookal is so much easier. Questions are categorized so I can go straight to those relevant for me.  The immediate response from the app, whether the answer is right or wrong, and the accompanying explanation are very helpful features,” says Danica Rose.

“Zookal also changed my study habits.  Since I carry my phone anywhere and anytime, I can study in between tasks, or when commuting. There’s no need to lug around books, and wads of papers as review materials, I just click on the app, and start reviewing,” she added.

Criselda, who’s preparing for the Licensure Examination for Teachers, says reviewing while working is no longer an impossible task.

“Zookal helped me a lot in such a way that it gave me a chance to review everywhere. I was working while preparing for the LET so it was really convenient for me. I could just open the app and read during my free time at the workplace. I could even do it during my commute time. It's amazing!” says Criselda.

“I actually recommended Zookal to some of my friends already. I told them they need not to pay for an expensive review center to prepare for a test. All they need is to download this impressive app. Zookal is an amazing tool to help people achieve their dreams, I am just so grateful it was developed,” adds Criselda.

Embracing technology

HR practitioner and Sunlife Advocate Aaron Hinlo-Roca handles Internship Relations and is a community service partner of universities in regions 7 and 8.

He required incoming interns to pass the Civil Service examination and be eligible to work for government. They reviewed for the exam for two weeks using the app on a dry run, and he saw that it was effective as an online learning resource.

“It was very interactive.  While we also used books for the review, the app was very helpful.  Zookal revolutionizes studying, you just need data connection and you can learn anytime, anywhere.  We must embrace technologies like this.  It is timely and relevant not only for students but also for professors, and practitioners like me,” says Aaron.

Wish list

One thing Aaron wishes for is an offline version of Zookal so students without connectivity can still use it for their learning.

Meanwhile, having administered admission tests as a teacher, Danica Rose would like to see more of practice questions involving abstract reasoning.

“This type of test measures the spatial and the IQ of the test taker in predicting outcome. Also, you can master it through constant practice. It’s quite hard to make but I know it will help a lot of test takers.  For the tips I guess, they could put videos and mnemonics styles to cater learners who have diverse learning styles,” Danica Rose suggests.

She also wants to see a “timer” feature in the app so one can easily evaluate how fast one can answer the questions and challenge to do it faster next time.  It makes for good practice since almost all exams are timed.

In its latest update, Zookal already has a timer feature that allows just that.

Zookal for all

If you think Zookal is relevant only for those who are reviewing for exams, you are so wrong.

“I recommended it to my friends and family members to help them boost their intelligence in their field of expertise as well as in other areas of learning,” says Danica Rose.

“It may be an online reviewer but it is never boring using the app.  My friends and I use it for fun just like the popular TV show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.  With Zookal, learning is never boring,” adds Aaron.

100,000 Filipinos and counting

Since its launched in September, Zookal has now grown to one hundred thousand (100,000) users in less than 2 months time. “There are now more than 100,000 Filipinos closer to their dreams; that alone assures me and my co-founders that we are doing an excellent job in doing good for the future of Filipino students and professionals through Zookal,” said Jon Tse, Zookal co-founder. [END]

Saturday, November 26, 2016

12 Senate bills to benefit local entrepreneurs

Posted By: The Mail Man - Saturday, November 26, 2016
ADB Report states that Philippine MSMEs and Startups greatest challenge is acquiring funding from banks and non-bank financing sources. 

A number of senators at the upper house of the 17th Congress of the Philippines have filed bills that would help local businesses, ranging from reforming the corporate income tax to helping small and medium businesses look for funding.

Here are 12 pending Senate bills that would help boost entrepreneurship:

1. Senate Bill 1204: Corporate Income Tax Reform/Senate 698: Reducing the Corporate Income Tax Rate

Both bills were filed to reform the Corporate Income Tax and amend the National Internal Revenue Code. Senator Nancy Binay’s bill (SB 1204) proposes the rates of income tax on domestic corporations be pegged at 28 percent by January 1, 2017, down from 30 percent in 2009. On the other hand, Senator Bam Aquino’s bill (SB 698) pushes for 25 percent by January 1, 2017 within the same period.

2. Senate Bill 1135: Informal Economy Transition Act of 2016

This bill filed by Senator Grace Poe is a Magna Carta for workers, enterprises and organizations in the informal sector. This bill would protect members of the informal sector—which provides almost 50 percent of the country’s total employment and 50 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP)—by giving them adequate social protection or assistance (like SSS membership).

3. Senate Bill 264: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Filed by Senators Ralph Recto and Joel Villanueva, this bill would help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by pushing the Development Bank of the Philippines to help finance these businesses. 

4. Senate Bill 1019: Micro and Small Enterprises (Returns and Payment Percentage Taxes Exempt)

Though SMEs are exempt from VAT payment, they still need to pay a three percent percentage tax; a “business tax imposed on persons or entities who sell or lease goods, properties, or services in the course of trade or business.” This bill, filed by Senator Recto, would exempt SMEs from paying the percentage tax via an amendment of the National Internal Revenue Code.  

5. Senate Bill 866: Fast Business Permit Act

Another bill filed by Senator Recto, this bill would promote the ease of doing business in the country by “mandating the automatic approval of business permit applications after thirty days of inaction and extending the validity period thereof” given that all necessary documents have been submitted. This, in turn, would reduce barriers to the growth and development of SMEs.

6. Senate Bill 974: Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Act

Filed by Senator Sonny Angara, this bill would institutionalize the “poverty reduction through social entrepreneurship” program (or PRESENT) and help create “social enterprises.” These “social enterprises” are social mission-driven organizations that would help the poor in setting up businesses.

7. Senate Bill 820: Expanded Coverage of Micro Enterprises

A fourth bill filed by Senator Recto would widen the coverage of enterprises as beneficiaries in the Magna Carta for MSMEs. Micro enterprises will now be defined as having assets of not more than Php 7.5 million, up from Php 3 million. Likewise, small enterprises will now be defined as having assets ranging from Php 7.5 million to Php 15 million.

8. Senate Bill 720: Small and Medium Enterprises Stock Exchange (SMEX) Act of 2016

Filed by Senator Cynthia Villar, this bill proposes the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises Stock Exchange (SMEX). Similar to the Philippine stock market exchange and serving as an equities market, the SMEX would help small businesses get capital to fund growth and expansion.

9. Senate Bill 210: Financial Literacy for Workers Act

This bill filed by Senator Villanueva would help minimum-wage workers who want to set up businesses by teaching them financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.  

10. Senate Bill 740: Enhancing the Welfare of Self-Employed Workers and Craftsmen

This bill filed by Senator Chiz Escudero would support self-employed workers and craftsmen by helping them gain social benefits (via SSS enrolment), occupational continuity (through agency programs) and decent living wage.

11. Senate Bill 169: Small Business Tax Reform Act

Filed by Senator Aquino, this bill would establish a simplified tax regime for small businesses via amendments to the National Internal Revenue Code. Similar to the corporate tax reform bill, this bill would help small businesses via measures like special assistance during tax payment, exemptions from tax audits, lowering their income tax rate and exemptions from VAT.

12. Senate Bill 354: Secured Transactions Act

A third bill filed by Senator Aquino would help SMEs through the creation of “a comprehensive legal framework to govern lending transactions that involve the use of personal property as collateral” and the creation of a national collateral registry.


Visayas’ Vision 2019: 100K New IT Jobs

Posted By: The Mail Man - Saturday, November 26, 2016

Visayas aim to generate 100,000 new jobs in information and communications technology (ICT) by 2019. This goal was set last Thursday, November 24 and 25, during the annual planning of the Visayas ICT Cluster Organization (VICTOR) of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) held in Iloilo City. 

The planning was attended by various ICT councils in regions VI, VII and VIII are affiliated with NICP, which includes the Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT), Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT), Cebu Educational Development Foundation for IT (CEDFIT), Eastern Visayas Federation for IT (EVFIT), Capiz ICT Council, Aklan ICT Council, ICT Association of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental, Antique ICT Council, Bohol ICT Council, Bogo ICT Council, Northern Samar ICT Council and Siquijor ICT Council. 

CEDFIT Executive Director and NICP President Wilfredo Sa-a, Jr. explained the importance of ICT councils in the Visayas in learning from one another and creating strategies to promote their respective locations.

The planning also featured as workshop of IT micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) conducted by the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Trade and Industry and consultation by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Visayas. 

The Visayas ICT councils reviewed their plans starting from the first VICTOR summit in 2012. They agreed to unite for a common vision of making the Visayas a premier location for IT-BPM/KPM (business process management and knowledge process management) services by 2019, focusing on six key areas, namely, organizational structure, human resource development, techprenuership, research and development, business environment and marketing and promotions.

Among its major goals is to help develop one technology business incubator (TBI) in every province in all Visayan Regions, design trade missions targeting the ASEAN market, and implement a comprehensive set of programs under the Building A Startup Ecosystem (BASE) program.

BNEFIT Executive Director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue shared the Philippine IT-BPM Roadmap 2022 which includes a segment for startups, citing it as a very positive sign to promote and support the development of more startups in the countryside.

For 2017, VICTOR will be holding its 5th Visayas ICT Summit and 3rd Visayas National Creative Congress (CreaCon) in Tagbilaran City, Bohol in February to be hosted by Bohol ICT Council, and the 1st Visayas Startup Convention in July to be hosted by IFIT in Iloilo City. 

Source: JBS



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