Thursday, October 29, 2015

Filipino High School Student Aces World Math Tilt!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 29, 2015

By garnering a perfect score, Filipino high school student Andres Rico Gonzales of Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila aced the 2015 Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC), which drew more than 300,000 participants worldwide.

Andres Rico Gonzales. A high school student in Colegio de San Juan de Letran – Manila scored 100 percent in the 2015 Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC). The competition drew more than 300,000 participants worldwide.

Professor Mike Clapper, executive director of the University of Canberra announced the results of the annual competition during awarding rites at the Manila Hotel. The competition was held last August 4, 2015 in 41 countries that included the Philippines and that other perfect scores were registered at Australia, China, Taiwan, Bulgaria, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Gonzales who is a Grade 8 student and aged 13 was awarded an Amc Medal and a Peter O’Halloran Certificate.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, three other Filipino students belonged to the Top 0.02 percent of the contestants and that there were 4,000 coming from the Philippines. 

The students are Kyle Patrick Dulay, Vince Jan Torres and Farrell Eldrian Wu from Philippine Science High School (Quezon City), Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and MGC New Life Christian Academy in Taguig City, respectively. They each received AMC medals.

Eleven students bagged Prize Awards for being in the Top 0.3 percent of participants. They were Clyde Wesley Ang from Chiang Kai Shek College; Nicholas Marcus Lua, Kei Hang Derek Chan and Alexandra Gochian, St. Jude Catholic School; Raphael Dylan Dalida, St. Mary’s Academy-Pasay; Erin Christian Noceda, SPED Center for the Gifted-Subic; Bryce Ainsley Sanchez, Grace Christian College; Filbert Ephraim Wu, MGC New Life Christian Academy; Annika Angela Mei Tamayo, Ateneo de Iloilo; Frederick Ivan Tan, Xavier School, and Sean Ty, Zamboanga Chong Hua High School.

Eighty-three other students received Certificates of High Distinction being in the Top 2 percent of the examinees.


Healthcare Innovation Solutions Day Series of 2015

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 29, 2015

Healthcare Innovation Solutions Day Series of 2015

Part 1

Healthcare Innovations 2015 presented its Solutions Day last October 27, 2015 t the Dusit Thani Hotel. The theme was Redefining Access to Modern Healthcare.

Seeing the fast changing dynamics in the healthcare industry, Healthcare Innovations provided a forum wherein stakeholders in the industry would be presented with a national healthcare situationer, the demands and challenges of the present and the future and the corresponding technology and systems driven solutions that are currently available.

Dr. Mike Muin, President of Health Level 7 (HL7) Philippines presented on the State of Health Information Systems in the Philippines, the Challenges and outlook of the Philippine Healthcare I.T. Market, the importance of interoperability between the different healthcare stakeholders so as to improve health delivery and the Next steps towards an integrated healthcare I.T. systems. Dr. Muin also discussed about HL7 Philippines and its current status with regards to interoperability in different healthcare providers.

During the Panel Discussion wherein future trends in healthcare in the Philippines, Christine Donnelly, VP for Nursing and Patient Care Services of Makati Medical Center espoused empowering nurses via the use of technology wherein the patients will also be empowered. The challenges facing the medical professions today as represented by the  gap in the patient to medical professionals ratio can be narrowed by investing in new technologies.

Mr. Mark Wade, HCM Practice Lead for Australia, NTT Data Business Solutions,   discussed about integration of all devices and that technology is part of patient satisfaction. That Electronic Medical Records will also harness the full potentials of medical professionals.

Mr. Callum Bir, Director Health and Social Services, Microsoft Asia stated that there is a shift in workforce migration patterns in relation to medical professionals. That by using new technology, the healthcare industry can attract other medical professionals, retain the current medical professions and develop further the talents of new medical professionals. What is important is that there be standards and compliance between data being transmitted and conveyed among the healthcare stakeholders and the patients.

Mr. Allen Bacallan, VP and CIO of Cardonal Santos Medical Center disclosed that since the financial sector such as banks were able to integrate their data systems such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) then the same is also possible with the healthcare industry. That there is a “Cost of Friction” wherein,  obstacles in standardized communication Rove detrimental to all stakeholders. That an ecosystem be created so as to reduce the “Cost of Friction” in the interconnection between healthcare providers and stakeholders.

Next: Solutions Presentations (Part 2)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Say "I do" to Bridestory

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Southeast Asia’s leading wedding marketplace earning trust of vendors

 A Southeast Asian company is taking the wedding industry by storm. Using technology to their advantage, Bridestory connects wedding professionals to couples across the globe in the most convenient way possible. It is the leading wedding marketplace in the region.

“Wedding vendors are very good at what they do, however, not all of them can market their brands in an appropriate way, which is an important factor for success. Bridestory is here to solve that problem,” said Kevin Mintaraga, Chief Executive Officer of Bridestory.

The platform works both as an inspiration site and a directory of wedding professionals. Through Bridestory, couples can get inspirations from a catalogue of works accomplished by professionals. Bridestory also enables wedding professionals to expand their reach by providing an avenue for couples around the world to contact them easily.

After launching in January 2014, Bridestory has garnered the trust of couples and vendors in its home country, Indonesia, as well as from neighbours such as Singapore and Australia.

Over 15,000 vendors from 39 countries, including 12,000 hailing from the Southeast Asian region, are doing business with the help of Bridestory. Vendors are categorized based on their expertise, be it dress and attire or photography, among others.

Bridestory already has 200 local vendors shortly after launching their Philippine website ( last August.

“Bridestory has a good reputation overseas for featuring the best wedding inspiration for readers and serving as a channel for different suppliers to feed the needs of particular clients,” said Sheena Caburog of Mayad Studios, who signed up in August.

”We expect for Bridestory to continue upholding the same here in the Philippines, inspiring couples to get the best for the best days of their lives,” Caburog added.

Mayad Studios have been commissioned to photograph weddings around the world including ones in Fiji, Africa, India and London among others.

Bridestory is the right partner for vendors aiming to seize the opportunities of the growing digital market, adds Mintaraga.

“We signed up with Bridestory because of the market and its potential. We don’t usually join bridal fairs so we only get to promote online,” said Chyv Reyes of MangoRed, a photography studio in the Philippines.

MangoRed photographed the weddings of Kitchie Nadal and Carlos Lopez and Iya Villania and Drew Arellano.

According to Similarweb, a traffic estimator tool, Bridestory has become the most visited wedding website in Southeast Asia by August 2015, with more than 500,000 visits per month.

A tech company at its core, Bridestory provides their vendors with invaluable electronic data.

“We give real time leads with contact and measurable marketing. We have experts on digital marketing and we invest on optimizing the vendor’s online presence via digital marketing tools,” said Mintaraga.

The company has just launched their very own vendor app, Bridestory Pro, which enables vendors to manage and promote their business in Bridestory through mobile devices.

Bridestory Pro allow vendors to view their profile statistics, receive notifications regarding inquiries from users, manage such queries, manage their subscription, and update their business profile information.

With Bridestory, vendors can promote their products globally and receive inquiries from prospective clients. Vendors will be able to self-upload and update their portfolios to the site. In addition, there is a vendor tagging feature with which vendors can ‘tag’ others who they collaborated with on a project.

“Bridestory is a great platform because when couples find something, they can easily see the vendor in the tag and they can connect with them,” said Reyes.

Bridestory also owns an international blog and a social media network with a global audience of more than 2 million. Wedding inspirations submitted by both couples and vendors are featured daily in these channels.

Weddings are becoming more “imaginative, creative and personal” all at once said Caburog. Through Bridestory, vendors can show couples their unique touch.

With Bridestory, wedding professionals can help more couples around the world make their special day, the best there is.

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Province of Compostela Valley and Municipality of Mina, Iloilo topped this year’s eGOV Awards or the Awards for Excellence in ICT for Good Governance for Local Government Units organized by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Announcement and awarding of winners were held last October 24 in Legazpi City, during the closing ceremonies of the 7th National ICT Summit of NICP hosted by the Legazpi ICT Council and Albay ICT Association led by its president, Rosemarie Quinto-Rey.

Now on its fourth year, the eGOV Awards is an annual search for the best practices in local government units in utilizing information and  communications technology (ICT) to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.

NICP Trustee and chair of the 2015 eGOV Awards Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the awards aim improve local government units across the country by harnessing the potentials of ICT towards raising the bar in delivering public service. By drawing attention to the best practices in integrating ICT capabilities and solutions, the different sectors of society, and local government units are enabled in their roles as catalysts of change.

There are two categories, namely Best in Costumer Empowerment (G2C) Award which recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices using ICT solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services; and the Best in Business Empowerment (G2B) Award which recognizes the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT solutions and the commitment of its administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business opportunities

The Municipality of Mina, Province of Iloilo garnered first place in the G2B category with its Municipal Agriculture Information System (MAIS). It is a dynamic software and an information system that provides a mass storage of agricultural data that serves as a decision-making tool with an up-to-date inventory of all agricultural commodities of farm production and provides easy access to farmers on a commodity’s supply and production situation real time, designed to facilitate linkages from its place of origin (farm) to market local and global.

The Province of Compostela Valley topped the G2C category with its Decision Support System (DSS) for Provincial Voluntary Blood Services Program, which clients include the provincial blood coordinator, municipal blood coordinators, blood donors, blood customers and potential blood donors and helps blood coordinators monitor program implementation by way of generating blood status reports such as donation statistics, list of deferred donors and list of donors due for donation. DSS supports collection of safe blood by processing donor donation records and identifying corresponding donor donation status and provides facility for potential and existing donors to check donation eligibility and to view blood collecting drive schedules in their localities.

Second place in G2B is Tagum City with its Business Permit and Licensing System designed to link various LGU offices involved in tax assessment and collection, which shortened and expedited the process of securing business permits in the city.

Placing second in G2C is Bogo City, Province of Cebu with PROJECT CHARLIE (Communication Hub Accessible in Region and LGUs for Information and Emergencies), and a voice-based system that harnesses voice technologies, combining IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Technology, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Technology, Text-To-Speech (TTS) Technology and Wireless Technology to help establish a single point contact for all Government Services. PROJECT CHARLIE is essentially a phone-based support or Information Board for LGU which answers routine inquiries and allows a citizen to get as much information from LGU by simply making a call to the LGU’s phone support number anywhere, anytime 24/7.

Third place in G2B is the Muntinlupa Online Real Property Tax System (MORPS), a web service created by the city government of Muntinlupa, built for the purpose of creating another payment system that is convenient and accessible, using computer or mobile devices at home or anywhere and allows and allows users to view their bills, manage their accounts and choose their mode of payment.

Third Place in G2C is San Fernando, La Union’s Barangay Information System (BIS), a collaboration project between the city government and the 59 barangays which is an in-house developed web-based application that provides simple and easy to use scheme in the administration and management of small-sized data in the barangay level that is translated into the city level demographics. The system was designed to capture substantial data at the grassroots level that are critical in the formulation and implementation of the development plans for both the barangays and the city.

Tying in the third spot for G2C with San Fernando is the Municipality of Mlang, Cotabato’s 3 e’s community based ICT program, an integrated ICT enabled services which address education, employment, and entrepreneurship and livelihood utilizing values education as the central component of the program. The program is holistic approach towards community development by combining technology with the right values to create a sustainable and lasting impact to its intended beneficiaries such as out-of-school-youth, college drop-outs, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, indigenous people, unemployed or job seekers, informal sector, children affected by mad made calamities, solo parents, child laborers, grassroots women, farmers and others.

The eGOV projects of the LGUs are adjudged based on four criteria, namely, innovative management, or the degree to which the entry explored, applied and managed the  elements and “outside-the-box” strategies that brought about the success of the entry; impact or the major results, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service (public, employees, or business); or relevance or how the entry relates to the overall objectives of the LGU and to the category to which it is nominated; and replication potential or the model qualities of the practice with the possibility and applicability of replicating it in other localities.

The objectives of the annual eGOV Awards are to encourage the effective and efficient utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) in the delivery of services  and in the performance of duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGU’s), to commend, collate and document best practices of LGU’s in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s, to improve the business ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and/or invest in the growth of the LGU’s, and to promote transparency and accountability in local governance, Batapa-Sigue said.

Batapa-Sigue also said that for 2016, there will be an additional category which is G2P/P2G or the use of e-payments or electronic or online modes of payments for transactions between persons and government, such as taxes, salaries and benefits.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Anahaw: The Next Level in Philippine Retail Industry Systems

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, October 26, 2015

Exist Software Labs, engaged in technology solutions and consulting worldwide has launched its fully integrated and browser based system for the Philippine retail industry. This is designed for the Filipino retailers so as to streamline and make more effective its operations, its service delivery to its customers and to optimize profitability.

Anahaw offers an innovative solution so as the retailers can gain a competitive advantage via a more streamlined operation and harnessing their full potential. Anahaw is a system that is wholly a Filipino developed integrated system designed for the Philippine retail industry. It features point-of-sale (POS), inventory, merchandising management Marketing, CRM, reports generation, analytics, financial management and workforce management  in an integratd end-to-end retail solution. 

With Anahaw, data is updated on a real-time basis and that the entire retail operations can be viewed holistically. Customer demands can then be met with a faster and data-driven system that will be responsive and decisive.

Mike Lim, CEO of Exist Software Labs cited that the experience in developing the system for Carrefour Indonesia enabled Exist to identify the challenges encountered by retailers and that only an integrated, scalable and cost effective system can be the solution. This will solve the requirements in on-time reports delivery which affects decisions. Sales and profitability.

Anahaw has 3 product offerings:

1.    Basic POS Solutions – full POS solution with a powerful back office system
2.    Enterprise Retail Suite – End-to end Solution that covers all aspects of a business
3.    Custom Developed software  - retail solution tailored specifically to the customer’s requirements

This is the next level in the systems of the Philippine Retail industry. The Philippine Retail Industry is one of the drivers of the Philippine economy. This has been the case since 1990 when it first became apparent that the economy was mostly consumer driven and that it is attributable to the then increase of OFW remittances which is now supplemented by the growing BPO industry sector.

For more information about Anahaw, Exist Software Labs will be participating at the Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition on October 28-30, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Philippines.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Congratulations to the the newly-elected 2016 National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Board

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, October 23, 2015

President – Wilfredo Sa-a, Jr. (CEDFIT-Cebu) Vice President – Atty. Samuel Matunog (Davao ICT)
Secretary – Danah Fortunato (Dumaguete ICT) Treasurer – Rosemarie Quinto-Rey (Legazpi-Albay ICT)
Auditor – Michael Tiu Lim (Zamboanga ICT) Board of Directors:Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue (BNEFIT – Bacolod)
Willy Tanagon (Quezon City ICT) Gregorio Jison (Metro Clark ICT) Raymund Diaz (Saranggani ICT)
Engr. Ed Esperancilla (EVFIT – Eastern Visayas

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Philippine SQL Server Users Group Tech-Talks

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 22, 2015

The SQL Server Users Group will resume its database centric tech-talks  on October 28, 2015 at the 8th Flr. of the 6750 Ayala Office Tower.

The theme would be BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE which will consist of presentations on the following:

1.    Data – Mr. Toto Gamboa Microsoft Data Platform MVP will give insights into a data centric career. This will help in deciding on which to specialize with regards to a data centric career. The presentation will include big data, analytics and machine learning.

2.    Reports Generation. Mr. Humprey Cogay, Data Specialist from Hewlett Packard will discuss developing reports in SQL Server Reporting Services.

3.    SQL Server Analysis Service – Ms. Jonelle Castaneda, PHISSUG product owner @Lanworks Pte. Ltd. will present the subject of data analytics.

Registration can be undertaken via this link:


1.    Please bring your printed tickets
2.    This is a FREE Event
3.    Food Will be served
4.    No Certificates will be issued

DOST-ICTO Boosts Philippine Tech Startups

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 22, 2015

DOST-ICTO Boosts Philippine Tech Startups

The Department of Science and Technology through its Information and Communication Technology Office has formulated Outcome 4. It aims to achieve global leadership in the ITBPM Industry by generating at least 1.3 million jobs in the ICT industry by 2016.

SeedPH initiative is part of the program called DigitalPH composed of three other flagship initiatives; Next Wave Cities, Stepping Up the Value Chain and Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS).

The ICT Office already has initiatives for the IT-BPM industry sector is also focused on the development of the Philippines’ IC oriented startups. There are currently at least 100 tech startups and around 20 accelerators, incubators and venture capitalists although the US$50 million mark in valuation has yet to be reached. But as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and with a lively and dynamic  community of  technopreneurs, the potential for being a global startup hub is present.

Currently, the Philippines is home to around 20 accelerators, incubators, and venture capitalists as well as at least 100 tech startups. And while there are many success stories among local startups to date, none have yet to surpass the $50 million mark in valuation.
According to their press release, The DOST-ICTO will kick off its Alpha Startup Bootcamp in Cebu City on November 9 to 13, 2015. This is will benefit startups that are in their idea and validation stages by having the pre-acceleration program.

The inaugural 5-day Bootcamp will feature workshops on customer and product development, pitching, mentoring sessions, and networking sessions that will help startups advance from idea generation to developing viable products and business models.

Workshops on customer and product development, mentoring sessions, pitching and networking sessions will be featured in the Bootcamp. This will be helpful in making startups advance from idea generation to developing viable products and crafting business models. The conclusion of the Bootcamp will be the presentation and demonstration of outputs by startups that will be attended by key investors.

“This Alpha Startup Bootcamp will help early stage startups get off the ground by teaching them the basics of building a digital business. This is a gap we currently see in the Philippine startup ecosystem that this initiative will help address,” said DOST-ICTO Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim.

In response to such a gap, the DOST-ICTO has partnered with and Malaysia-based accelerator1337 Ventures for this Bootcamp. and1337 Ventures – champions of startups in the country’s grassroots communities and the ASEAN, respectively – see the first Alpha Startup Bootcamp as an opportunity to meet promising Philippine startups they can potentially work with to further develop the startup communities in the country and the ASEAN region.

Startups that successfully graduate from the program will have a chance to receive micro-funding and resources that are helpful for their startup as well as gain priority admission into funding programs run by 1337 Ventures. More importantly, they will become validated startups with stronger pitches and will be more ready to pursue business ventures.

Entrepreneurs can now apply for the Bootcamp at A one-minute video pitch must be submitted as an entry point. The deadline for submission of entries is on 26 October 2015.

Qualified entrepreneurs will be notified of the application results by November 2. The Bootcamp is open to 50 startup founders and co-founders of early stage startups who have initially started conceptualizing innovative ICT startups.

The Alpha Startup Bootcamp is part of the ICTO’s larger initiative of promoting technopreneurship and innovation in the country through its seedPH program.

Towards this, seedPH leverages the use of ICT for relevant economic and social change through establishment and unification of the Philippine startup ecosystem and the proliferation of innovative ICT businesses. Key projects under seedPH include Startup Weekends, Startup Workshops, the Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups, and the annual Philippine Startup Challenge.

For inquiries on the Alpha Startup Bootcamps and seedPH, follow us at or email

Phil. Science High School and Integrating Science in the Phuilippines Gearing up for Discovery Science Camp 2016

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Integrating Science in the Philippines (ISIP) and Philippine Science High School (PSHS) and PSHS Batch 2015 are partnering for the 2016 edition of Discovery Science Camp to be held at the PSHS Campus in Quezon City.

The Discovery Science Camp was the initiative of ISIP wherein those who are not students of PSHS but have an inclination to experience a “Science High School” are given the opportunity in a 5-day camp by being immersed in a science environment. This aims to have a wider promotion of the importance of science in the development of the country and nation building among its youth.

The 5 day program is conducted by utilizing informal learning techniques and features workshops that make science a practical and applicable discipline in everyday life. These are the results of science related adventure activities, teambuilding events, movies, game nights, research and investigatory project proposals, quiz bee and hands on activities. All of these are done in a cheerful atmosphere that is conducive to learning and palatable to the youth participants.

In order to complete the experience, the campers are made to sleep in the PSHS dormitories, eat at the cafeteria (food review from the participants is excellent), use astronomic instruments (different kinds of telescopes) and even use the laboratories.

PSHS Batch 2015 is partnering with PSHS Batch 2020 in a block screening of Part 2 of  Mockingjay (Hunger Games) on November 18, 2015 at Trinoma 7 at 11:00 a.m. Proceeds will go directly for the funding of Discovery Science Camp, 2016 scheduled on  May 2016.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015: Back to the Future Revisited

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When Marty McFly and “Doc” Brown burst into 2015 in a time machine, straight from the year 1985, they encounter a brave new world of garbage-fuelled flying cars, self-tying shoes and robot waiters.

This is the day when Marty McFly and “Doc” Emmet Brown arrived in the De Lorean from 1985. By that time cars were flying and the main fuel was garbage. It was an exciting world to imagine wherein the kids used “hoverboards” self-drying clothes, self lacing and tightening Nike sneakers and even drones that walked the dogs.

But many of the gadgets that the script-writers imagined have yet to be realized during this time. But there are realities that was not conceptualized by the same script-writers. Today’s 2015 was not what Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale would have imagined. There were no smartphones in their 2015. Even back in 1985, it was hard to conceive of a smartphone.

“Their capabilities today, including access to all information on the planet, would have absolutely astounded even most futurists of 30 years ago… who didn’t imagine a phone would be for anything other than speaking and texting,” Sydney-based futurist Ross Dawson told Agence France-Presse.

“Back when the movie was made, people looking at the reality of today would find it quite mind-boggling.”

If we were transported to that 2015, we would also be struggling like Marty since that parallel universe did not have Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, GPS and even online shopping.

In the film, Marty, played by a young Michael J. Fox, receives a dismissal notice at home by fax—a now-clunky technology that seemed cutting-edge in the 1980s. The Internet revolution was lurking just around the corner, and the world had yet to receive email.

In 1985, only about a quarter of US households had a microwave oven, and videocassette recorders (VCRs) were the must-have viewing technology.

Today you can buy a home 3-D printer on the Internet for a few hundred dollars, which can produce anything from a gun that squirts water to one that shoots bullets.

We can “download” songs and “stream” films—terms that did not even exist in 1985.

The Human Genome Project at that time was in its infancy so that we could not have imagined stem cell therapy that we have now. We would have not thought of landing a probe on a comet and get hamburger meat from cloned cow muscle tissue.

“Humans very quickly get used to innovations and take them for granted,” said Dawson, founder of the Future Exploration Network, which offers scenario planning services.

Still, the film did get some things right.

We do have flat screens, live video-calling, tablet computers, and portable up-to-the-minute weather apps.

Though not yet in full swing, we also have biometric technology for paying bills or unlocking doors with a fingerprint, and off-the-shelf smart glasses similar to those worn by Marty’s offspring.

“It was actually quite visionary of them to get so many things right,” said Thomas Frey of the DaVinci Institute, a futurist thinktank.

“They depicted it in kind of a comical, goofy way actually, but I think they did quite a phenomenal job back then of anticipating things that must have seemed fairly ludicrous at the time.”

Some predictions were ahead of their time.

Thirty years ago, most futurists would have given flying cars by 2015 “greater than 50-50 odds,” independent futurist Jack Uldrich told Agence France-Presse by telephone from Minneapolis.

“There are some companies that are working on flying cars, but what they don’t have is that take-off (vertical) lift,” as demonstrated by Doc’s DeLorean.

Innovators have drawn inspiration from the movie: California-based firm Hendo is creating a hoverboard which works on magnetic repulsion. Shoemaker Nike is working on sneakers with self-tightening “power laces” like the ones Marty wore.

Sci-fi has influenced scientific advancement through the ages, but the task may become harder as technological development accelerates exponentially.

Will humans be teleporting, traveling in time, or discover the secret to eternal life by 2045? Who knows, the experts say.

“One of the things which we could very easily see in 30 years is… humanoids and other robots just being a complete part of our environment,” Dawson said.

Also likely is “people using their thoughts to control the world around them, even to use their thoughts to communicate directly with other people.”
Dawson foresees a future not with flying cars per se, but rather self-driving pods—a cheaper and safer alternative.

One thing that the movie got right. There are still politicians.

ICT Office: Planting the Seeds of Filipino Technopreneurship

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Department of Science and Technology through its Information and Communication Technology Office has formulated Outcome 4.It aims to achieve global leadership in the ITBPM Industry by generating at least 1.3 million jobs in the ICT industry by 2016.

SeedPH initiative is part of the program called DigitalPH composed of three other flagship initiatives; Next Wave Cities, Stepping Up the Value Chain and Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS).

The ICT Office already has initiatives for the IT-BPM industry sector is also focused on the development of the Philippines’ IC oriented startups. There are currently at least 100 tech startups and around 20 accelerators, incubators and venture capitalists although the US$50 million mark in valuation has yet to be reached. But as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and with a lively and dynamic  community of  technopreneurs, the potential for being a global startup hub is present.

Currently, the Philippines is home to around 20 accelerators, incubators, and venture capitalists as well as at least 100 tech startups. And while there are many success stories among local startups to date, none have yet to surpass the $50 million mark in valuation.

In order to boost the ecosystem of Philiuppine startups, the ICT Office initiated a series of pitching activities, workshops and bootcamps for students and young professionals. This will promote technopreneurship via technology oriented startup businesses and e-commerce. This will be helpful in attaining the goal of having a conducive environment for startups.

SeePH co-organizes activities such as :

Startup Workshops
Startup Weekends
National Olympiad for Informatics (HS Students)
Philippine Startup Challenge
Lean Startup Bootcamp
TechSpark Exhibit

Startup Workshop s have been conducted in Bataan, Cavite, Palawan, Iloilo City, and Iligan City.

Startup Roadmap

1. The Internet Related Startup Ecosystem summarizes internet technology ecosystems and defentions and terms in the business. Also features benchmarks and goals.

2. Patterns of Technology Startup Ecosystems have examples of tech startup ecosystems around the world, with emphasis on the main features in these ecosystems. SWOT Analysis and situationers on the progress in key areas of the country’s tech startup ecosystem.

3. After the SWOT Analysis, recommendations (short, medium and long term) are given  for all stakeholders in the tech startup ecosystem so as to further improve the ecosystem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Filipino Physicist Wins in Nuclear Olympics

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Anton Tanquintic, a young Filipino physicist won honors in the World Nuclear University (WNU) 2015 Olympiad. Tanquintic came in second place among five finalists for his presentation on the production of radioisotopes and their application on food and agriculture.

A 22-year cum laude graduate of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University, Tanquintic’s “Nuclear Solutions for Today’s Needs” video of digitally drawn animation shows the daily application of nuclear energy and the positive impact of nuclear science that benefits medicine, food production and industry.   

Contrary to conventional belief, nuclear techniques are commonly used today and that these techniques are safe and beneficial and the fear of the word “nuclear” is unfounded. It is a “Rebranding” of the word “nuclear” that is needed.

Applications of nuclear techniques such as in medicine where Cobalt-60 is cited wherein it sterilizes over half of medical supplies in modern hospitals. Industrial applications such as detection of defects in metal structures is conducted by using gamma rays were also given as an example.

Pest control in farming and food production is also a beneficiary of nuclear techniques wherein it was used to sterilize insects thus making them incapable of reproducing are utilized in pest control in farmlands.  

Improved harvests are achieved by use of hereditary changes that employs mutation breeding that is radiation induced. Desirable traits are made by changing the DNA of plants by radiation thus new varieties are made.  
The use of Ultra-Violet (UV) lights in vegetable compartments in refrigerators lengthens the shelf life of the produce.
The topic of the nuclear olympiad for this year is “Nuclear Techniques for Global Development”. It is an opportunity in showcasing the creativity and knowledge of the participants with regards to Nuclear Sciences and Applications and their impact on human lives.

The Final round of the Olympiad was held in Vienna, Austria.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hosted the event on the margins of its 59th General Conference.

I.T. Industry Engine for Growth: The Countryside

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ICTO's Rural Impact Sourcing Initiative

The Department of Science and Technology through its Information and Communication Technology Office has formulated Outcome 4.It aims to achieve global leadership in the ITBPM Industry by generating at least 1.3 million jobs in the ICT industry by 2016. The countryside will contribute 40% of these jobs via programs and projects by the ICTO which will promote inclusive growth and development throughout the country.

The Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) initiative is part of the program called DigitalPH composed three other flagship initiatives; Next Wave Cities, Stepping Up the Value Chain and SeedPH.

RIS is a program intended to create meaningful ICT-enabled jobs in socio-economically disadvantaged areas in the country. The program specifically focuses on areas where there is high population but low employment due to lack of investors

The RIS aims to create ICT-enabled jobs where there is high population but low in employment because of lack of investors. This will benefit areas in the country that are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Thus, RIS has the following Projects and Events

Impact Sourcing Workshops
Research on Rural Impact Sourcing

The target of RIS are cities that are not yet ready to host big IT-BPM locators. The objective of  program aims to promote ICT enabled jobs as a high value economic opportunity in  communities, which have access to Internet connection.

In partnership with various online jobs portals, ICT Councils, and local government units (LGUs), impact sourcing workshops were conducted to inform and capacitate students and young professionals residing along the countryside of the basics and advantages of building online job careers.

Virtual Assistance

One of the most promising jobs in impact sourcing is an online job called Virtual Assistance (VA). In this kind of online job, home-based workers provide administrative and technical assistance services to clients from other countries through phone, email, or instant messaging.


The main target of the RIS are the Freelancers that currently is more than a million in number in the Philippines. The goal for 2016 is an additional 500,000 that will be the product of the RIS initiative. Rural Impact Sourcing Workshops have been conducted in Iriga City, Bohol, Tacloban, Mindoro and Romblon.

The Group also promotes impact sourcing especially in areas that are not yet ready to house BPM locators. Through impact sourcing, Filipinos from provincial areas can take advantage of home-based but high-paying jobs through online job sites such as Freelancer and Upwork.

To inform college students and young professionals in rural communities about online opportunities, the ICTO will conduct a series of impact sourcing workshops in coordination with ICT Councils and local government units (LGUs).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Forecasting: Not only the Weather but the Future of Philippine Science

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, October 19, 2015

The Philippines is gets to experience more than 20 storms in 1 year. There are years, the names of storms outnumber the number of letters in the Filipino alphabet that is 25 since every storm gets named in alphabetical order.  This country is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world, geographically located along the typhoon belt and also in the Pacific Ring of Fire which is a seismically and volcanically active part of 2 continents.

As such, the Philippines would be in need of meteorologists and seismologists in order for it to have a viable and responsive disaster, risk reduction and management policy and plan. By nature, such technical expertise would require a national agency that will manage, plan and implement such policies and plans so as to prepare, mitigate and respond to disasters and calamities.

The Philippine Atmospheric , Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA), is one of the attached agencies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under its Scientific and Technical Services Institutes, is mandated to “provide protection against natural calamities and utilize scientific knowledge as an effective instrument to insure the safety, well being and economic security of all the people, and for the promotion of national progress.”  (Section 2, Statement of Policy, Presidential Decree No. 78; December 1972 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1149; August 1977).

Thus, PAGASA is a highly technical agency of the government which is part of the first line of defense of this country and actually was initially under the Department of National Defense in 1972. Given this mandate, it Science and Technology personnel are supposed to be the cream of the crop in Philippine meteorology and seismology.

Losing Personnel

PAGASA has lost 33 of its experienced personnel in recent years. This “brain drain” affects the dependability of weather forecasting at this time of Climate Change wherein past weather and climate models have been severely disrupted.

The exodus of PAGASA Weather Specialists were due to offers from other countries, particularly Singapore, Australia and countries from the Middle East that require expertise and experience in weather forecasting and climate modelling. There are instances wherein the compensation package was a much as 7 times the local salary of PAGASA experts and that according to Sen. Ralph Recto, Senate Chairman of Science and Technology “We must recognize that Talent goes where the money is”.

Although the PAGASA Budget increased from Php767,481,000.00 in 2009 to 1,386,603,000.00 in 2014 and Personnel Services budgets rose from Php238,478,000.00 in 2011 to 466,581,000.00, the discrepancy between local and international payscales must be recognized.

PAGASA, although losing such personnel to foreign entities was able to replace those who left and maintained top scientific and technical positions wherein it has currently 7 PhD holders and 49 MS/MA degree holders. That means the knowledge and technical materials are still there. What has been lost is the “Experience” inside those who have left. There must be a balance between harking to nationalism and just compensation for the very few in the frontlines of watching over the country.




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