Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Taking the First Step to STEM

The moment our child is born, we parents are already thinking of good education. When the time comes that our child is ready for school, we want the best education. Being a parent, I am aware that it is not that easy to find the right school – it takes time, effort and research. Aside from school, we also want to go extra mile of giving them more learning aside from what they study.

Back in 2009, a parent named Dori Roberts had a hard time finding an educational program to get her six- and eight-year-old started on engineering. The Virginian mother was also an educator specializing in math and science, and she quickly realized that there is a need for a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) program that is geared towards young children.

Where most parents would have just given up and enrolled their children in regular schools, Robert saw opportunity. With her extensive background in STEM and a passion for teaching, she started Engineering for Kids (EFK), which is now one of the world's most popular child-friendly STEM programs. It is franchised and implemented in 30 other countries.

Thankfully, Philippines, will not miss out on this excellent STEM course. Montessoride San Juan, a local school that utilizes the latest in techniques in both tradional and progressive learning, recently partnered with EFK and is offering the after-school program as an extra-curricular activity to its students.

The program is offered to students four- to fourteen-years old, and features fun and interesting ways to present engineering concepts appropriate to each individual child. It goes beyond just classes by giving children opportunities to learn more about STEM through workshops, camps, and other events. Through these exercises, the children learn problem-solving, cooperation, critical thingking, and many other skills that will serve them well in the future.

MDS proprietor Sandy Arellano, who has a Masters Degree in Education and is one of the country's leading voices on integrated learning, believes that the EFK program will not only teach, but also inspire students. "The hands-on activities offered in EFK will foster their natural curiosity," said Arellano. "Once that curiosity is activated, the students will continue to explore and develop their problem-solving, analytical, and applied knowledge skills."

Currently, the EFK program is not available for Senior High School Students, MDS offers top-rated tracks in Humanities, General Academics, and Accounting & Business Management for its Senior High curriculum.

To learn more about Montessori De San Juan and its programs, you may contact 725-6306 or 239-1102, or visit http://montessoridesanjuan.com.

RAAMpage Cycling: Now Open for Race Across America Qualifier Registration in the Philippines

Filipino athletes are among those who I believe are tough challengers in sports and will do what it takes to be the best even in tough times. Will Filipino athletes take the challenge on what is known as the world's toughest bike race?

Race Across America (RAAM) is regarded by many as the most challenging of bike races globally because of its gruelling format – non-stop cycling across 13 states. On July 28, 2018, all athletes and cycling enthusiasts from the Philippines and Asia are welcome to experience RAAM  through RAAMpage – the first official Southeast Asian qualifier for RAAM. Registration and sign-ups are now open and can be reached through www.cyclingraampage.com.

As a qualifier recognized and approved by Race Across America, RAAMpage will be embodying the format of RAAM via a time trial race.
  • 6 hour time trial
  • 12 hour time trial
  • 24 hour time trial
This is to make the race friendlier to athletes and cyclists of all levels, professional and non-pro cyclists are all welcome to join. Team David's Salon, the team behind RAAMpage, wanted to ensure that all cycling enthusiasts would have the opportunity to experience RAAM on the level that they are comfortable with.

"We are extremely excited that Race Across America has recognized our capability – both as athletes and hosts – to put up the first official qualifier in Southeast Asia. We know that RAAM is on the bucket list of many cyclists and are thrilled to be bringing that experience here and who knows – we may have have race finishers who will actually join RAAM," said Carmela Pearson, head of RAAMpage and herself, a second place mixed-relay finisher in Race Across America in 2017.

David Charlton, owner of Team David's Salon believes that not only will RAAMpage be a great opportunity to showcase how the Philippines can organize world-class athletic events, he also knows that the Filipino athlete is more than capable of taking on RAAM, "I myself was with Carmela and our awesome team of four and we actually placed in the world's toughest bike race! Imagine when we open this experience to even more Filipino athletes," he concludes.

RAAMpage will be held on July 28, 2018 at The Villages in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. For interested participants and more information on RAAMpage, visit www.facebook.com/cyclingraampageph and www.cyclingraampage.com.

Monday, May 7, 2018

MAD4Arts: CENTEX After Hours Program Benefit Concert Headed by the Italian Maestro

Manila, Philippines – CENTEX, Ayala Foundation's flagship education program, offers bright children from underprivileged families access quality primary public education. It's an inspiration for all to support and believe in children's talents and skills in different ways. 

CENTEX gives students the opportunity not only in academics, but also to hone their talents in the arts, particularly in music and dance. Through the after-hours program, students excel not only in academics; they also hone their skills in other areas of learning and development.

This year, CENTEX celebrates its 20th anniversary, and to mark this occasion Ayala Foundation, in partnership with the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative, is hosting "MAD4Arts," a benefit concert for the CENTEX After-Hours Program on May 9, 2018, at the Ayala Museum, Makati City.

Serving as musical director for this concert is Maestro Ruggero Barbieri, former music director and principal conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He will be joined by acclaimed violinist Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata and the Pundaquit Vurtuosi, which is the resident chamber orchestra of CASA San Miguel.

"MAD4Arts" also showcases the talent of CENTEX students who went through the arts program. Five CENTEX alumni, personally trained by Bolipata himself, will be performing with the Pundaquit Virtuosi, while a CENTEX alumna will be lending her voice to the event through a song number. Alumni of the STEPS Dance Program will also be performing at the event.

"Art plays an important role in the holistic development of the children," said Ruel Maranan, President of Ayala Foundation, "which is why the After Hours Arts Program has helped our CENTEX students become more confident young men and women."

"We at the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative believe in the importance of providing the under-privileged youth a brighter future and have pursued Education, whether in the classroom or the arts as its advocacy," said Lourdes Orosa, general manager of the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative. "We are honored to partner with Ayala Foundation to promote After Hours Arts Program at CENTEX."

Founded in 1998, CENTEX has two campuses—one in Tondo, Manila, and the other in Bauan, Batangas. Aside from these two schools, the program has also trained over 800 teachers from public elementary schools across the country, thus effectively bringing the CENTEX education model across the country. 

About the Performers

Maestro Ruggero Barbieri
Musical Director
Maestro Ruggero Barbieri was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra from 1996 to 2004. Having been mentored by the most prestigious conductors in Europe, he has worked with the world's best orchestras and was awarded by His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Cruz de Isabel la Catolica, the highest honor given to artists. In 2005, Maestro Barbieri formed the Filipinas Chamber Orchestra.

Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata
Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata is one of the Philippines' leading artists. A seasoned performer, writer, educator, and administrator, he is widely recognized as an advocate for cultural development.

Mr. Bolipata began playing the violin with Mr. Oscar Yatco at the age of 8, then later on with Basilio Manalo and Rizalina Buenaventura. He won first place in the National Competition for Young Artists at the age of 12, then studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York under the tutelage of various world-renowned violin mentors. He has performed all over the world as a soloist and a chamber musician, and is a regular soloist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. 

He co-founded the Metro Manila Community Orchestra, a community-based orchestra designed for the urban area, and the Symphony by the Sea Community Orchestra composed of gifted students from CASA San Miguel with musician employees at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Mr. Bolipata also served as a Trustee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines for 18 months.

He continues to perform professionally, but devotes equal time to working with gifted musicians, molding young artists who have won competitions, attended international seminars, an currently members of various professional orchestras.

Pundaquit Virtuosi
The Pundaquit Virtuosi is a chamber ensemble composed of scholars from CASA San Miguel's Cuerdas-Cuadros music program.

Steps Dance Project
The Steps Dance Project caters to various premier events in the country and showcases ballet, modern dance, and jazz performances by young gifted Filipino scholars of the Steps Scholarship Foundation founded and currently managed by Sofia Zobel-Elizalde. It is headed by Manager and Choreographer, James Laforteza, a young seasoned teacher at the Steps Dance Studio and choreographer for major dance and performing arts groups including Repertory Philippines, Trumpets, Stages Production Specialists, Ballet Philippines, and of course, Steps Dance Studio.

Mariel Reyes, Soloist, Voice
Mariel Reyes is an alumna of CENTEX Manila, Class 2007. she studied in Berea Arts and Sciences High School, Major in Voice and went on to study BS Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas. She was a former member of Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children's Choir and the UST Singers, and has performed with the groups both locally and internationally. She is a licensed and registered architect and master plumber, and is currently working as a project coordinator for construction firm based in Taguig City.

MAD4Arts tickets are available at:
  • Ayala Museum lobby (tel. no. 759 8288)
  • Ticketworld outlets
  • ticketworld.com.ph (tel. no. 891 9999)
About Ayala Foundation
Ayala Foundation is the social development arm of the Ayala group. As a non-stock, not-for-profit organization that envisions communities where people are productive, creative, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. AFI seeks to achieve this through programs in education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihood, and arts and culture.

For more information, visit www.ayalafoundation.org.

About the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative
The Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative is an independent cooperative with over 33,000 regular and associate members from the Ayala group. Its assets are currently valued at P2.7 billion.

for more information, visit www.ayalacoop.com.


Cel Amores                          
Senior Director
Corporate Communication
0917 810 9945

Paul de Guzman
Corporate Communications
0917 558 6764

Monday, April 30, 2018

Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational Kicks Off

Manila, Philippines – The road to a dream training in Munich begins at the 2018 Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational (ANYFI), which fires off later this month.

Staged by Allianz PNB Life Insurance, Inc, in partnership with the Henry V. Moran Foundation and in coordination with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), the ANYFI provides the venue for Filipino youngsters to showcase their skills and vie for slots at the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) for training with Bundesliga champ FC Bayern Munich.

Age brackets (boys and girls):

  • 12U
  • 14U
  • 16U
Local eliminations (9 areas):
  • April 27 to May 13
  • May 19 to May 27
National finals (Sta. Cruz, Laguna):
  • June 2 to June 3
There will be eight deserving kids who will be chosen to join counterparts from other Asian countries in the AJFC in Thailand in July. From here, there will be selected to go to Munich in September for the ultimate experience of training at Bayern's home city and seeing their idolslive at the Allianz Stadium.

"We're very pleased to be part of this worthwhile national initiative. Through the ANYFI, we're giving kids the chance to get the best training possible with Bayern Munich and help them pursue their dreams of becoming professionals and national team mainstays someday," said Allianz chief operating officer Alex Grenz.

The 2018 ANYFI follows up the successful initial staging last year. After a well-attended and competitive elimination  and finals, five standouts were selected to represent the Philippines in the AJFC in Bali, joining counterparts in seven other countries in sessions with Bayern Greats Giovane Elber and Klaus Augenthaler. Two of them, JM Mitra and Aeron Tenollar were later picked for the AJFC World Camo in Munich.

Local eliminations schedule:
  • Iloilo - April 27 - 28
  • Dipolog - April 28 - 29
  • Baguio - April 30 - May 1
  • Metro Manila - May 4 - 5
  • Bacolod -May 16 - 17
  • Cebu - April 7 - 29
  • Davao - May 5 - 6
  • Cagayan de Oro - May 5 - 6 and May 12 -13
The top two teams from the 14U and 16U advance to:the Luzon Regionals:
  • Luzon Regionals (Sta. Cruz, Laguna) - May 19 - 20
  • Viasayas Regionals (Bacolod) - May 25 - 26
  • Mindanao Regionals (Davao) - May 26 - 27
The champions in each regional meet then compete together in the national finals, which is scheduled on June 2 - 3 in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Bong Tan: Every Bottle of Tanduay is Made from Green Intentions

Tanduay president Lucio “Bong” Tan, Jr. has been actively supporting grassroots sports. Beyond sports, Tan is also passionate about green initiatives. He himself was on top of the transformation to a zero-waste facility of Absolut Distillers, Tanduay’s alcohol distillery based in Lian, Batangas. The facility bagged numerous environmental awards, including the prestigious Green Apple Awards, an annual international campaign to recognize, reward and promote environmental best practices around the world. Absolut Distillers is the only local distillery to have received this award up to this day. The company likewise has since been a recipient of awards by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for their outstanding environment conservation practices.      

Lucio "Bong" Tan, president of Tanduay Distillers, said: "“We understand the need to lessen our impact by making our operations cleaner and greener. We do not just want to make the best rhum in the Philippines, but we want everyone to know that our rhum is made with good intentions and we hope to improve our operations year after year,” Tan continued, adding that, they have started investing in solar energy as a cleaner alternative as well. “We want our consumers to know that every bottle of Tanduay that they drink is made from green intentions and green energy.”

“We understand the need to lessen our impact by making our operations cleaner and greener. We do not just want to make the best rhum in the Philippines, but we want everyone to know that our rhum is made with good intentions and we hope to improve our operations year after year,” Tan continued, adding that, they have started investing in solar energy as a cleaner alternative as well. “We want our consumers to know that every bottle of Tanduay that they drink is made from green intentions and green energy.”

The Tanduay president further shared that the concern for the environment sprang from the knowledge that the distillery industry is considered as one of the dirtiest. “Before we took over Tanduay, there have been cases filed against its practices pertaining to pollution. We said, let us clean up first. We started investing in technologies that we are using in our Absolut distillery in Batangas in order to reduce our carbon footprint. It was a long process, and we did it.”

Now, Tan would like to bring public attention to a project he started in 2011 to protect what little is left of the old Boracay. The island has been noted as one of the world’s top destinations, but it has encountered controversy lately due to the amount of pollution that has been plaguing the once-pristine paradise. There are talks of a government shutdown to tourists in order to rehabilitate the natural landscape.  Tan pioneered the project “Roots for Boracay” to save the last mangroves in the island. “When we first got there, we already saw the amount of solid waste that lay among the mangroves. Before we started reforesting the area, we needed to have it cleaned up,” Tan revealed.

He noted that if the mangroves have not been cut down indiscriminately, the problems being faced by Boracay today would have been much lesser. There would be no need to set up expensive artificial waste treatment facilities for the island’s recovery, as the mangrove roots will naturally filter water waste. According to him, Boracay is far from any of his business interests, but the need to respond to an impending crisis was what drove him to act.

“It took awhile to bring together the various people who will help us in our quest to get hold of the right to implement our project to clean up and re-plant in order to stop the continuous degradation of the mangroves in that area of Boracay,” Tan further related.     
But Tan had the right man on his side to make sure his visions will be realized. Gerry Tee is the chief operating officer of Absolut Distillers. He is the same person with whom his father Lucio Tan Sr. entrusted the green transformation of the Batangas alcohol distillery. With the help of Tee, they engaged the Tan Yan Kee Foundation led by Philip Sing to gather a 200-strong workforce that began the clean up efforts in Barangay Manoc Manoc, where the mangroves are located. They have gathered four truckloads of garbage by the time they finish cleaning the mangroves area.

“To protect Boracay, it is important to go down to its roots. In this case, we seek the last frontier of Boracay – the mangroves. It is where the fish and other sea creatures get nutrients, it is where life starts. Without the mangroves, the island would also cease to exist, as it protects the island from typhoons. The beautiful fine white sand will go back to the sea because their roots are the ones holding the island together,” Tee explained.

He added that aside from building the infrastructures and replanting mangroves, the mission of the project is to showcase that part of Boracay that is often neglected, so people can know what it takes to protect the beaches that tourists love so much.    

The project had partnered with the local government unit, the DENR and concerned non-government organizations to come up with a sustainable development in the area which involves the locals, educating them about the importance of the mangroves to their island. “So much has been cut down to make way for real estate, others cut them down for firewood. A portion is also dying out, because a road development cut off water supply. With Roots For Boracay, people have begun to understand what needs to be done,” said Tee.
The Tanduay executives underscored that it is not about the company, which has also instituted other environmental campaigns in partnership with the Tan Yang Kee Foundation such as The Canopy Project, which replants trees in the denuded forests in the North. “Boracay is only part of the market for Tanduay, we are more concerned about our legacy. It is not about Tanduay, it is about the locals – their subsistence, their livelihood, and their existence. Tanduay is just there as a vehicle to raise awareness,” Tee said. 

They cautioned that if the lack of concern for the environment continues in the name of profit, Boracay will not be the only one. “If Boracay is closed down, people will move on to Palawan. This has happened before, just look at how Matabungkay deteriorated,” Tee admonished. “The issue is lack of awareness, and we are trying to address that with our project.” 

They said that the plans of shutting down Boracay will hurt a lot, but from their perspective of what they have seen in the mangrove forest, it could be a one-step-backward, two-steps-forward situation. “It is about moving forward, and we can all help in our own little way, by doing things like picking up a cigarette butt and not throwing your garbage just anywhere,” Tee said.  

“It was a directive from the Chairman, Mr. Lucio Tan to follow the concept of sustainable development, where we do not profit at the expense of the environment. We make sure that everything we do is about reducing our carbon footprint and become more independent from the environment where we do not use to dump our waste,“ Tee further shared.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Herbalife Nutrition Healthy Breakfast Survey in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines – Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Because, we break our fasting from long sleep and it's important to refuel once we wake-up to have energy for us to move and work well. Skipping breakfast may lead to overeating which may cause obesity.

In the recent Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey conducted in February this year by Herbalife Nutrition, there were more than 5,500 respondents in 11 markets, including 500 from the Philippines.

It was intended to show observations of the attitudes and habits of eating breakfast among consumers in the region. The survey revealed that a greater number of respondents understand the importance of a healthy breakfast in promoting their health and in managing their weight. However, many of them experienced hurdles to eating breakfast daily and would encourage them to eat more regularly if it was more convenient and accessible.

Benefits of consuming breakfast
Based on the Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific Healthy Breakfast Survey,  the majority (69 percent) of consumers in the Philippines consider breakfast extremely/very important, with 86 percent choosing it as the most important meal of the day. In comparison, only 11 percent opted for lunch opted for lunch and 2 percent for dinner. 
  • 99 percent said that eating breakfast gives them energy in the morning
  • 96 percent felt that it contributes to their personal well-being
Breakfast Habits
  • 84 percent make it a priority to eat their first and most important meal at home
  • 67 percent doing so within 1 to 2 hours of walking
  • 10 percent would just grab their breakfast at work
  • 4 percent on the way to work
  • 2 percent do not eat breakfast

What are the consumers in the Philippines eating for breakfast?
According to the survey, 41% of respondents consider protein as the predominant nutrient needed in their breakfast, carbohydrates in fact made up most of the actual breakfast nutrients in the consumption pattern of the respondents. Carbohydrates such as bread or toast and hot beverages top the list of breakfast foods regularly consumed.

Obstacles to a daily breakfast
While the survey indicated that a good majority are eating breakfast, it is also found that many had encountered obstacles to eating it daily. 

       Top 3 barriers:
  • 44 percent - lack of time
  • 30 percent - don't feel hungry in the morning 
  • 18 percent - trying to maintain my weight

Factors that would make them eat breakfast daily
  • 54 percent - "If my breakfast contributes to my health and well-being" and "if breakfast helps give me more energy"
  • 53 percent - making breakfast readily accessible
  • 48 percent - having something that is more convenient and easy

Breakfast is often known as the most important meal of the day. Consuming a healthy breakfast can have wide-ranging benefits on the human body, including:
  • supporting the body's metabolism
  • better brain health
  • improved mental alertness
  • muscle mass maintenance
  • improved digestion 
According to the Herbalife Nutrition Philosophy, every meal consumed should have a calorie intake breakdown of :
  • 40 percent carbohydrates should include some fruits and vegetables)
  • 30 percent protein
  • 30 percent fats
According to Mr. Chin-Kun Wang, Ph.D, Nutrition Advisory Board Member, Herbalife Nutrition, during the Asia Pacific Wellness Tour in the Philippines, "After one night rest, you need energy. Some people would like to control their body weight, and will combine breakfast and lunch. Without breakfast you cannot regulate hunger. Without breakfast you will eat a lot at lunch. Food absorption is very high without breakfast, so this is the problem. We should provide balanced breakfast."

Skipping breakfast is not beneficial. Less energy to do some chores or works, and may also affect our mood. It will just boost hunger that will make us eat a lot at lunch.  For a healthy life, eat a healthy breakfast with balanced nutrition.

Friday, April 27, 2018

PHA Heart Run Participants will get 100K Free Personal Accident Liffe Insurance Coverage from Allianz

Manila, Philippines –  Participants of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) Heart Run Powered by Allianz happening at the SM By the Bay on May 13, 2018. will all recieve a one-year free accident life insurance worth Php100,000 from Allianz PNB Life. 

Running and walking gives us the benefit of having a healthy lifestyle. It's good to see that a lot of Filipinos, young or not so young,  now are participating in different run events. Having a healthy lifestyle is wonderful and getting a life insurance is splendid. It is good news to all of us to hear that Allianz cares.

Rei Abrazaldo, Brand Communications and Digital Director of Allianz PNB Life, made the announcement at a recent press conference held together with the PHA doctors and officers.

"Allianz is there to provide protection, so every participant gets a Php100,000 Free Personal Accident Life Insurance," Abrazaldo said.

He also declared that the first place winners of the 21K leg of the race will receive an all-expense paid trip to Thailand to represent the country at the Allianz Ayudhya Run in November.

Allianz has supported the PHA and its advocacy in promoting healthy active lifestyle and in emphasizing that prevention is better than cure as more Filipinos suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

"Allianz globally builds partnerships with organizations that share our values, especially our belief in embracing new ideas and technologies that have a positive impact on people's lives," he explained referring to the partnership with the PHA. 

Also present during the event were Dr. Olaf Kliesow, president and chief executive officer Allianz PNB Life; Gae Martinez, chief marketing officer, Allianz PNB Life; Dr. Jorge Sison, PHA president; Dr. Nanette Rey, vice president, PHA; Dr. Ronald Cuyco, board member, PHA; and Dr. Aurelia Leus, board member, PHA.

The PHA Heart Run is also sponsored by Watsons, Omron, Fitbit, Fitbar, and Eaton Mini Suites. Its media partners include the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, Business Mirror, Travelife Magazine, The Manila Times, Wheninmanila, and Multisports.ph.

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