Friday, November 16, 2012

Join now! $1,000.00 Prize for the Filipino Photo Essay Contest

Around Philippines and whenever there's a chance to meet respectable and empowered individual, I made sure that I'll grab the opportunity and meet them with a smile. "Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. or "People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile" from the unknown author, these are just some of the proofs that a smile can make a difference or a smile was the result of a good and happy experience. Filipinos are not technically defining a smile as just a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth and by flexing muscles throughout the mouth.A smile is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, or amusement. Smiling from the dictionary could be something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known. Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world.

The official poster 

The Embassies of Chile under Ambassador Roberto L. Mayorga
and Brazil, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific, Ateneo University, De La Salle University, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and The Philippine Star have joined together in a project called “Calidad Humana” , a project in order to preserve and promote the traditional human compassion, friendship and sense of humanity of the Filipino people and in order for everyone around the globe to understand how Filipinos can still manage to smile inspite of natural calamities and problems. With this goal, a photo contest, “Smiles for the World” has been launched with a first prize award of US$1000.

Ambassador of Chile Roberto L. Mayorga and me 

Ambassador Mayorga welcomed me with a smile when I reached the Chilean Embassy today, November 15, 2012 to discuss the dissemination of information to different social media practitioners that could give more entrants and to give awareness not only to the Filipino people but to the world the positive outlook of Filipinos in life and to encourage all the races to be the same in spite of the different experiences we are facing everyday. The project would like you to share your photo to represent the cheerfulness of a Filipino and to address your message to the rest of the world. Tell stories and let the rest of the world to know the uniqueness of that smile you took.

Deadline for submission will be on February 28, 2013 while awarding ceremonies are expected to be held in the first week of July. The cash awards are US$ 1,000 for first place; US$ 600 for second place; and $ 400 for third place. There shall likewise be non-cash prizes.

Competition Rules

1. This year’s competition is open to all Filipino citizens, regardless of age, place of residence, and occupation.

2. There shall be only one entry per person, submitted in soft copy to the following address:

3. An entry, to be considered, shall comprise the following:

a. An original 8×10 photo showing one or more Filipinos at home, in school, at work, at play, at leisure, or in portraiture. The photography subject(s) shall be existing persons, with the setting identifiable upon request of the organizer. Qualifiers and winners might have to be asked to produce 13R photo size.

b. A positive, encouraging message with no more than 140 characters (letters, numbers, and punctuation marks) in font Arial 12 spreading the smiles in the photo to the rest of the world.

c. A one to three-paragraph essay in English, with no more than 200 words (excluding punctuation marks), appropriately titled, that succinctly explains the message of the photo. While the essay shall be in English, Filipino words or terms may be used if deemed expedient by the author for absence of satisfactory equivalents in English. The concept of calidad humana (see above) should be explicit in the essay.

d. An accomplished form, see below, that indicates:

Full Name (First, Middle, and Last), Age (with Date-Month-Year of Birth)
Title of the Photo-Essay, Brand of Camera Used and Technical Settings (if any)
Home Address, Land Line, Mobile Number, and e-mail Address
Current School and/or Place of Work and Corresponding Mailing Address
Personal Certification on the originality of the photo

4. Deadline for submission is 28 February 2013; awarding ceremonies are expected to be held in the first week of July.

Entries shall be the property of the Embassy of Chile, which reserves the right to use the work, edit and publish it as deemed appropriate, but always duly acknowledging the author.

A panel of five (5) individuals shall decide on the preliminary qualifiers based on the criteria below. A final panel of five (5) judges, to be selected by the organizing committee, shall determine the winners without regard to scores earlier given to qualifying essays. Winners shall agree to be interviewed on camera on matters related to the theme of the competition

The decision of the preliminary and final panel of judges shall be deemed final.

Without attempting to give weights to the criteria for qualifiers and winners, the basis for judgment shall be as follows:

Effectiveness of the photo, with the corresponding essay, to capture the spirit behind the Filipino smile and what it stands for;

The overall quality of the photo and essay entry as a medium of expression, without necessarily appealing to technical considerations, except perhaps for grammar, mechanics, and usage in the case of the essay;

The uniqueness and impact with which the photo and the essay convey the theme of the competition

Judging shall always be on the photo and the essay in combination.

According to the project site “CALIDAD HUMANA is human compassion, sense of humaneness, strength of character, and human tone. It is unique to the world. It is expressed through our cordiality and friendliness, our positive outlook in life, and SMILES on our faces. “CALIDAD HUMANA, literally translated as the quality of being human and loosely translated as strength of character, may refer to the sum total of distinctively human characteristics that dignify and ennoble a person and enable him to contribute to a culture of excellence either in his immediate, mediate, or broader environment … either in unusual or day-to-day situations and circumstances. It is not a state a person is in but a constant movement to attain the state of human perfection.“Calidad humana marks the person noble in his dealings, steadfast in his convictions, and unfaltering in his equanimity, without any pretensions … everything that contributes in the end to LIFE WELL SPENT. “One need not have most, or much less all, positive traits in heroic proportions, nor would one need to be exempt from defects of character. What is needed for calidad humana is a quality or a cluster of qualities that steadily stands out in one’s personal and social life, hand-in-hand with an unwavering struggle for the other human virtues.”

Around Philippines, you will find Filipinos with their happy smiles in spite of the hardships or problems. We are born to be tough and to show to the world that we could do everything and we have proofs, not only around Philippines but we are scattered and proving our worth around the world.

Join the contest here:

The Nutcracker Christmas at Manila Hotel

Around Philippines, there are so many luxurious and stand out 5 star hotels but there's only One Rizal Park where the historical and already in it's 100 years in giving prestige, unforgettable stay and world class service is located. Manila Hotel which opened in 1912 and extensively remodeled in the 1970s is a Philippine landmark, home to high society and to political intrigue, and often a scene of historic events.

This season, enter into the world of magic and fantasy as Manila Hotel takes inspiration from The Nutcracker, one of the well loved Christmas fairytales of all time. Take a trip to a magical land of sweets and experience a sparkling holiday classic. Huge nutcracker dolls, toys, gingerbread clock house, a giant christmas tree, and other festive arrangements will be on display at the Grand Lobby beginning November 14, 2012.

Executive Vice President of Manila Hotel Dr. Enrique Y. Yap Jr. and The Nutcracker

Celebrate the Yuletide season with the entire family and let manila Hotel give you an unforgettable holiday experience with room packages, grand feast and other exciting activities.

The lighting of the Christmas Tree led by Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey Lina, and Manila Hotel Executive Vice President Dr. Enrique Y. Yap, Jr., signaled the beginning of the festivity. Children from the house of Refuge joined te celebration and treated with fun games and activities. Ballet manila led by Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja- Elizalde will be also performing The Nutcracker ballet at the Manila Hotel on weekends.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim with the executives of Manila Hotel after the Christmas Tree Lighting

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Manila Hotel will also offer The Nutcracker Cookie Jar wherin part of the sales will be donated to the House of Refuge.

Room Packages

Come home to Manila Hotel this holiday season and experience a Nutcracker- inspired Christmas celebration with your loved ones. For the entire Month of December, experience the warmth of home with one room packages through a host of exclusive priveleges including accomodation in our luxurious suites, Christmas buffets, complimentary shuttle service to different tourist areas, and gifts for the kids.

For a more exciting Manila Hotel holiday, guests who will get the especially marked The Nutcracker room ving cards upon check-in will get a special prize. Also, whoever finds the hidden The Nutcracker card in the room will also receive a gift from Manila Hotel.

Former Laguna Governor and now Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey D. Lina and me

F & B

Grand feasts will be offered for holidays so gather the family ‘round the dinner table as we serve you a delightful feast of your traditional favorites. Diners at CafĂ© Ilang-Ilang are in for a grand feast as Manila Hotel Executive Chef Konrad Walter prepares an exciting selection of traditional holiday and Manila Hotel favorites for Christmas Eve and Day buffets for PhP 2,500.00 ++ per person only. Enjoy your favorite puto bumbong,bibingka, and hot chocolate offered from PhP 1,000.00 ++ per person from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Formal table set up at the Champagne Room

Treat your taste buds with authentic Cantonese specialties at the Mabuhay Palace. A Traditional Yuletide Delights Set Menus will be offered from December 12 to 25, 2012. Price starts at PhP 1,300.00 ++ per person. For a sophisticated dining experience, the Champagne Room is offering impressive French cuisines fit for the festivity. Christmas Eve Dinner Set Menu with choice Cote du Boeuf or Roast Lamb will be offered with a glass of sparkling wine. A special lunch set menu will also be offered on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Mayor Alfredo Lim and Odessa Escaler

The Nutcracker with Odessa Escaler with a chest from Manila Hotel with goodies

Christmas is about sharing and you can find the perfect gifts for your loved ones in our Land of Sweets Gift collection available at the Deli. Nutcracker-inspired cocktails are also available at the Taproom and Lobby Lounge that will definitely set the celebratory mood.

Me and Dr. Enrique Y. Yap of Manila Hotel

Around Philippines, don't forget to go to Manila and still, there is no better way to spent your night and be part of history but at Manila Hotel. I myself feel the warmth and hospitality, maybe because Manila Hotel shares the character that we Filipinos love most which is trust.

Received these chest box full of goodies from Manila Hotel

For inquiries, please call 527 0011. Visit
 For updates, follow us on Twitter @manilahotel and on

Saturday, November 3, 2012

18 Sites. One Nation for Mother and Child Protection: PhilHealth Launches First Nationwide Run at Nuvali, Santa Rosa City, Laguna

I am an advocate of Information maybe that is why I am into Social Media first before I became part of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) as their Regional Media Coordinator. People must understand that an advocate is different from an employee who can be there only because of salary. An advocate is there to be informed and to be the catalyst of something that they think could be a great contribution to the community.

I've been with different running events because I believe with the objective and cause; to share and for people to become aware about the vision of the organizing team. Now, with the invitation of PIA, we went to Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna last October for the media launch of the PhilHealth first nationwide run.

PIA Provincial Coordinator Allan Ortilliano and Philhealth Officers

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) launches its first ever nationwide running event on February 17, 2013 to mark its 18th year of establishment. Following the agencys Vision and Mission:

"Bawat Pilipino, Miyembro,
Bawat Miyembro, Protektado,
Kalusugan Natin, Segurado"

"Sulit na Benepisyo sa Bawat Miyembro,
Dekalidad na Serbisyo para sa Lahat"
Core Values
Quality Service
Utmost Integrity
Social Solidarity &
Total Care

PhilHealth will have a nationwide awareness program for the protection of Mother and Child. Dubbed "PhilHealth Run 2013: Nationwide Run for Mother and Child Protection", the event aims to continuously draw national attention and support to its mission of providing all Filipinos with access to quality health care through social health insurance.

"The PhilHealth Run 2013 is part of our 'Be PhilHealth Now' campaign and indeed an excellent platform for us to celebrate our mandate of Universal Health Care as we move closer to achieving universal coverage next year" announces PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon during the event’s media launch in Quezon City.

PhilHealth is mandated to provide all Filipinos regardless of status in life with financial access to quality health care services. In July this year, President Benigno Aquino III announced during his State of the nation Address that it reached its 80 million mark which translates to 85 percent of the entire Philippine population of 96 million.

The website address and singlet design

"This time, we are running towards bringing UHC a reality as well as making a statement on the importance of mother and child health in support of our country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals" he added.

PhilHealth declared that the event also aims to help increase public awareness and create more advocates who will advance the issue. Proceeds from registration fees and sponsorships will benefit one national and 18 other local institutions that work for and cater to the health and welfare of Filipino mothers and children.

"We are targeting some 90 thousand professional and amateur runners from different parts of the country to take part in this historical event" adds Banzon, adding that the "run will be held simultaneously in 18 sites so they can better express support to our cause right where they are."

The event is open to all Filipino and even non-Filipinos who are in good health condition. They can register in three-, five-, ten- or 18-kilometer category either online or at any PhilHealth regional and local health insurance offices where they are supposed to run.

The 18 sites are Manila, Baguio, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Clark, Malolos, Laguna, Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Koronadal, Marawi and Butuan.
Mr. Greg C. Rulloda
Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group
(02) 687-2699

18 Sites. One Nation for Mother and Child Protection:
PhilHealth Launches First Nationwide Run at Nuvali, Santa Rosa City, Laguna

2013: Spark a Change

Because of poverty and lack of means, even kids now ages from 12 to 15 years old are working hard just to make ends meet or to help their parents, irony. Filipinos have extended families. Our parents treasure us and as much as possible would love to take care of us even already were adults. Some fortunate few went abroad to work as OFWs to support our brothers/sisters studying in College or our parents. Filipinos sacrificed a lot even to be far from our love ones in order for them to survive. 

Just like Paciano as a farmer when he supported the young Jose to finish his degree. A brother who will do everything for his family. Filipinos even then and right now are the same. Will sacrificed his own life for the sake of others. We still have Paciano with us, the question will be, when are we going to meet him. 

May 2013 is coming and campaigning period is getting nearer. The candidates will introduce once more their platforms, some candidates are new in the position but most of them are already an elected government officials but did they accomplished already their social contract to their constituents before? We need to check their track record.

Another year, another opportunity but how about the masses? Do they have a chance for change? Do we have a choice? 

Yes, we do have a choice. Campaigned period is not only for the candidates to show off their credibilities, their Partylist, their super wide smile or their firmed handshake. Campaigning period is the time, we could listen to their platforms, check their backgrounds, track records, ask questions during the meeting de avance or scrutinized every details about their capability to become a leader. The power is within all of us. We need to choose the best. We need to choose those candidates who have a will. Will to fight for what is right, will to fight against corruption, will to sacrifice himself for the sake of his constituents, will to show to others that in-spite of poverty, the community can do it as long there's unity. 

The candidates are campaigning because they know he needs each and everyone of us. Check the bills they are supporting, from there you will find what kind of person he is. Check their educational attainment, we need competent, knowledgeable and educated leader who could stand in any stage or could talk to all leaders around the world who could help the community for investments, infrastructure and could entice world leader not only national to visit the community. Let's all aim higher. Let's not settle for the "pwede na" but for the best of the best. Let's spark a change. The power is within our fingertips in this coming election.