Worth a listen: February 2021 in music

Audiophiles, want to know what’s up in the world of music this month? Check out my rundown below!

Dark pop songstress Naomi G upholds feminist virtues on new song “Prey”

Singapore-based artist Naomi G has released her contemplative pop single “Prey” in an attempt to reclaim greater tenure as a woman knowing her worth in a relationship. The track, invocative of Banks’ chilling despair on some notes and The Weeknd’s midnight sentiments on others, resolves itself by criticizing structural behaviors that oppress women and upholding virtues that are necessary to curb patriarchal pressures. 

As Naomi G puts it, “I wanted to empower young people who are faced with unwanted or unhealthy sexual attention that causes them to psycho-socially feel like ‘Prey’. This song is an anthem of power to those who have been gaslighted, dominated, manipulated, harassed and controlled based on their gender and looks. This song is a movement about saying no quickly and firmly, whilst understanding all the microaggressions that be before getting into any kind of deception.”

“Prey” is a brooding synth-pop jam that begins with motif-roving synths whose presence comes in forcibly and dips out in an exhale after the purposeful exercise of each line. A minimal percussion drives it, morphing into a choppy, playful, and hard-hitting stomper that’s enough to catch listener’s attention. 

The resulting musical concoction builds up into a riveting climax where dark pop, trap and hip-hop accents come together seamlessly, complementing pop feminism in its own terms. 

“Prey” is the second single for Naomi G’s debut EP which is scheduled for release over 2021.

SZA makes a splash on PH charts with hit single “Good Days

The numbers are in: SZA’s “Good Days” is officially her biggest hit to date in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. In the country alone, the soulful single remains unstoppable with its No. 2 peak at Spotify Philippines Viral 50 and a top 15 placement at Spotify Philippines Top 50.

Over at mainstream radio, the critically acclaimed R&B songstress is performing well on several top 40 stations. This week, “Good Days” ranks No. 5 on 99.5 Play FM, a major pop station; No. 7 on Wave 89.1 FM, a rhythmic and urban-leaning station; and has gained prominent spots on Magic 89.9 (No. 23), and more.

“Good Days,” the second track following 2020’s “Hit Different,” is one of her two new headline releases since 2017’s groundbreaking multi-platinum debut, CTRL—an album that garnered significant critical attention for “laying bare the kind of vulnerability most often whispered in private” and for its “believable insights into one woman’s quest for erotic self-determination.”

Written and produced by SZA, Jacob Collier, Carlos Muñoz, Carter Lang, and Christopher Ruelas and mixed by Shawn Everett, the laid-back tune was released as a surprise drop on Christmas eve last year. More than a week after its debut, the buzzy empowerment anthem skyrocketed at No. 1 on US Spotify Streaming Chart, and has since peaked within the top 10 of other major music markets including the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, and New Zealand.

To date, the track has racked up more than 75 million streams on Spotify and more than 20 million cumulative hits on YouTube in just a month.

Aside from its commercial triumph, “Good Days” also made an indelible impression among music critics. Hip-hop magazine, The Source praised the new song for “mastering bliss and serenity all at once.” The publication adds, “In particular, the rawness of her vocals creates an ethereal energy that dives deeper into SZA`s unmatched creativity as a songwriter.” British music bible, NME called her comeback single “worth the wait,” citing how her voice has grown more sophisticated and carefree through the years.

Elha Nympha reasserts confidence with new soulful single, “Do It”

Elha Nympha arrives with both finesse and maturity on “Do It,” her comeback single under MCA Music Inc.

Now exploring a more sophisticated take on R&B, pop, and neo-soul, the former champion of The Voice Kids Season 2 reasserts confidence and sass in delivering a romantic confession that appeals beyond her particular demographic.

When she sings, “Come on over a little closer / Take me where I’ve never been,” she takes full control of the quiet storm brewing: her voice fluttering effortlessly over dreamy arrangements and soft keyboard tones, taking the spotlight with ease.

“Do It” is a suave R&B jam that tackles the beauty of taking bolder steps when it comes to love. Upon hearing the song for the first time, Elha got excited to record the material as it barely sounds like anything she’s recorded in the past. “I’m happy with where the direction of my music is going,” the 16-year-old star said in a statement. “Do It unravels a more vulnerable side of my artistry, and this is exactly the kind of music that I want to keep making—something that is young and current, but very much me.”

“Do It” has earned comparisons with the likes of SZA, Jhené Aiko, and H.E.R., embracing the fundamental agency of womanhood and young love in all its messiness and glory. While Elha is elated with the feedback that she’s been getting from her mentors and music listeners, she wants to forge a path of her own and make music that is distinctly a product of her own sense of style and adventurousness. The promising pop sensation admits, “As a fan, I can definitely see myself doing the same kind of music. But there’s more to my sound than being pigeonholed into a category. For now, I’m ready for where this journey would take me, musically. I’m definitely looking forward to creating something that is original and unique.”

SB19’s Justin De Dios stars as Alex Bruce’s love interest in “Yakap” music video

SB19 fans (or A’TIN) are in for a treat as their very own Justin De Dios makes a surprise cameo in the music video of Alex Bruce’s endearing bop “Yakap”—released on February 5 (Friday) on video-sharing platform, YouTube.
Justin De Dios portrays Alex Bruce’s love interest in this visual spectacle filled with incredibly surreal and romantic scenes. “It’s a fun and creative concept,” De Dios said. “I really like the fact that the MV showcases both the ‘maangas’ and cute sides of Alex.”

Appearing like a P-pop charmer that Alex Bruce has been pining for in her dreams, De Dios was seen exchanging smiles with the young hip-hop sensation, sharing cute moments together as they engage in pillow fights, fake tattooing, and other onscreen activities.

According to the R&B/hip-hop star, working with Justin De Dios was totally fun, especially given how friendly and warm he is with everyone on the set. Alex Bruce fondly shares in a statement, “I’m really into Korean dramas, and Justin somehow looked the part: innocently good-looking and very much charismatic. As a leading man, he really shone effortlessly in terms of acting, and gave us the kilig that we truly deserve.”

De Dios returns the favor by praising Alex Bruce’s artistry and talent. “I am really impressed with her skills. I wanted to introduce her to A’TIN as she could be a source of inspiration for a lot of young dreamers too.” He recounts how Alex was very shy during their first meet, but as the shoot went on, they eventually got along very well. “She’s an interesting kid, and we had a lot of fun talking to each other about random things. One thing I also noticed while working with her is how close she is to her parents. It’s very adorable!”

Alex Bruce is grateful to the production for allowing her to showcase some of her personal artworks and Beanie Boos collection. “I love owls, so there’s plenty of them in my shelf—as seen in the music video. I had a great time drawing and showcasing my artworks for the very first time. I hope it won’t be the last.”

“Yakap” was penned by Bruce as a tribute to young love, and was conceived as a three-way collaboration featuring the fourteen-year-old teen star, her Australia-based dad, and music producer Cursebox. The song garnered significant attention in late October 2020 for its infectious pop sensibilities and to quote Rappler, for its “first brushes at puppy love.”

Foo Fighters release tenth studio album: Medicine at Midnight

Foo Fighters have finally released their highly anticipated 10th studio album, Medicine at Midnight under Roswell Records/RCA Records.

Following delays due to the unprecedented challenges of releasing an album during the pandemic, Medicine at Midnight finally landed late last week with nine tracks of power-driven, anthemic rock tunes that drummer Taylor Hawkins described as more “pop-oriented” than previous releases.

On its first day, the American rock band’s latest record peaked at No. 1 on several iTunes album charts worldwide, and is raring for one of rock music’s biggest debuts on major music markets this year, including the United States, UK, Australia, and more. It also garnered significant traction from several music publications worldwide, with Wall Street Journal calling it “one of Foo Fighters’ best albums of this century,” and British music publication, NME declaring the new release as “the soundtrack to the summer we all crave.”

Medicine at Midnight’s release wraps up Foo Fighters’ week-long partnership with Spotify, which featured surprise ‘Midnight Drops’ of exclusive video, audio, and playlist content— an occasion marked by the band’s larger than life appearance on Spotify’s Times Square billboard.

To celebrate the release of their new album, the Foo Fighters will host a special six-part radio series: Medicine at Midnight Radio on Apple Music Hits. Each band member will host an hour-long episode where they’ll explore their personal inspirations and reflect on the creative process behind the album. Fans can tune in every day next week, beginning Monday, February 8th at 4:00p PST on Apple Music Hits at apple.co/FFRadio and simultaneously on the band’s new limited-run SiriusXM channel, Foo Fighters Radio (channel 105). Dave also joined Zane Lowe on his daily Apple Music 1 show earlier this week to chat about the album.

Medicine at Midnight is produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, engineered by Darrell Thorp and mixed by Mark “Spike” Stent.

Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, and Rami Jaffee.

YouTube sensations Agassi Ching and Jai Asuncion star in Sponge Cola’s “Siguro Nga” music video

Content creators Agassi Ching and Jai Asuncion are featured in the latest music video of Sponge Cola’s “Siguro Nga.”

The onscreen and offscreen love team amassed a fandom in social media with pranks, viral videos, and challenges. In “Siguro Nga,” JaiGa—as they are popularly known for—portray a fictional romantic couple in disarray.

According to the band’s vocalist and guitarist Yael Yuzon, Agassi is a dear friend whom he plays basketball with every Tuesday. “I also produced the song he wrote for Jai during the stricter quarantine period through file sharing,” he said. “I also watch their daily vlogs. On some level, I felt like I was always involved in their love story. It just made sense to cast them.”

The video shows Agassi Ching singing “Siguro Nga” in a neon-lit karaoke bar, while Jai Asuncion is in the very same room with friends, silently crying and hurting inside. Separated by their own version of realities, both characters try to move forward with the changes in their respective lives, albeit having a difficulty wiping out their memories together—especially with the song forever binding them in spirit.

“A person’s go-to videoke song says so much about who they are and what they are about,” Yuzon reveals. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

Guitarist Armo Armovit shares that the visual treatment focuses on honoring people who are no longer present by living lives with meaning and memory. “We want them to feel nostalgia for a person in their past who was a meaningful presence in their lives; sadness for the loss, but also, hope for the future.”

The music video also comes with a meta-karaoke version of the track that allows fans to sing their hearts out and engage with the narrative.

Inspired by the hit K-drama, StartUp, Sponge Cola’s “Siguro Nga” was written by Yael Yuzon as a tribute to one of its beloved characters, Han Ji-Pyeong. Its lyric video features various footage from Seoul, South Korea that includes locations from the series.

Zack Tabudlo maps his music journey with new single “Iyong-Iyo”

The beginning of Zack Tabudlo’s Island Records journey saw the young singer-songwriter going full speed ahead. His song ‘Sigurado’ hit the Top Viral PH charts and stayed there for four weeks, following its feature in the online series Your Home. There’s also ‘Cruel,’ whose music video was released a few months ago and has racked up more than 70,000 views on YouTube and more than 240,000 streams on Spotify.

Zack’s biggest single to date, the first one under Island Records Philippines, is the sultry ‘Nangangamba,’ whose play count on Spotify clocks in at over a million streams.

And Zack shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by his latest single ‘Iyong Iyo.’ Written by Tiny Corpuz and performed by Zack Tabudlo, ‘Iyong Iyo’ sees Zack putting it all on the line and giving everything—literal possession. “Kahit pa ba sa kabilang buhay, ‘di maglalaho,” he croons in the glimmering chorus, showcasing his lyrical penchant for themes like romance and longing. Gentle harmonies and mellow instrumentation make you feel like you’re floating, and allow Zack to flex the upper register of his vocal range, his high notes triumphant and sincere.

“I was really in touch with making the album art of the song as well, having a Halloween-like ghost costume in it which shows a person under a white cloth with holes in it, but has this heart glowing from his chest,” says Zack. “He wants to be like the ghost to really feel the same connection, with his heart glowing, symbolizing how much love he feels for the ghost.”

According to Zack, the song was inspired by the original Thai song for the “Let’s Fight Ghost” series, which is set to air on March 2021. The acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer shares, “I wanted to take it to a different world with different styles and vibe compared to the original. It has a very slow blues-pop feel to it production wise. I wanted to go for something mellow having the foundation from the original one but has a “slow dance” feel to it instead of going full ballad.”

Ben&Ben surprise listeners with Valentine’s-themed track “Inevitable”

Filipino folk-pop outfit Ben&Ben have officially dropped a soaring new single called “Inevitable” this Valentine’s Day via Sony Music.

Inspired by recent events surrounding the band’s lives, their latest song encourages listeners and music fans to live in the moment freely and truthfully without the need to succumb to expectations.

Ushering into a reinvigorating sense of calm, the empowering track ascends to a place where love can be inevitably beautiful even in its simple, unassuming terms. It was written by Paolo Benjamin (lead vocals and acoustic guitars) during a random afternoon run by the beach near the place where Ben&Ben live—coming into fruition after a solitary moment spent with nature and the spiritual force above him. Paolo reflects, “Inevitable is a song that tries to describe the nature of fate, and how all our actions somehow lead us to some better place that is destined for us. It’s also a song about being real with someone, and that no matter how scary that may seem at times, there is freedom in bearing your truest nature with someone dear to you, even if that someone is yourself.”

Production-wise, Ben&Ben retain the sonic hallmarks of their prior releases, while employing ultimately rewarding experiments in texture and tone. Its ‘world music-meets-acid jazz’ sound displays the band’s newfound musical direction, melding sporadic bursts of colors with their otherworldly approach. Thanks to the song’s eclectic blend of sitar-sounding riffs, propellent rhythms, jazzy chords, and ethereal arrangements, the nine-piece band ventures beyond the confines of their radio-ready sound without alienating the distinct pop sensibilities that made their songs a streaming and crossover hit in the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia.

“The songwriting in itself presents a concept of the state that is both a surreal mystery and a peaceful certainty, so we wanted to create an aural representation of what these lyrics felt like,” Miguel Benjamin (lead vocals and acoustic guitars) reveals in a statement. “Our process started with a mix of acoustic guitars, which I tweaked with sitar effects as the main intro riff; kind of like a representation of the two contrasting feelings working together. We then built everything around this contrasting union with Jam’s drums and Agnes’ bass carrying the steady base of the song, and then Pat’s piano, Poch’s electric guitar and pads, Keifer’s violin, Andrew and Toni’s percussions; Andrew, Miguel, Poch, and Toni’s backing vocals, and some ambient sounds.”

Unlike their usual process where the members of the band jam their song a few times before recording the material, “Inevitable” was born out of a shift in production perspective. “With this song however, we decided to record a demo individually then went to record our parts a few days after without knowing how the song would sound like in the end,” Poch Barretto (lead guitar, backing vocals) said. “During the time we were creating the song, one of our bandmates, Toni, was also recovering from a major surgery and had to record her parts from home. Thankfully she was able to send her parts on time with the help of our producer.”

Despite the several challenges during its recording phase, “Inevitable” ended up reaping significant attention before its actual release. The song eventually made it as the official theme of Smart Communications’ newest commercial ad featuring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin—stars of the highly acclaimed and popular Korean drama, Crash Landing on You. Patricia Lasaten shares, “Many of us are mega fans of the CLOY couple, so this is definitely a dream collaboration with Smart. We can’t help but be kilig and at the same time wish that our co-fans who would hear the song would also connect it with the evolving story of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin. It’s also our gift to the fans, and to the couple as well. We’d like to thank Smart for this amazing opportunity.”

Details provided in recent press releases.

Get started on your wellness journey with Sunlife’s GoWell Studio

We’re halfway through the first month of the year and if you haven’t gotten around to making good on your New Year’s resolutions to live healthy, here’s a good place to start.

GoWell Studio is an on-demand holistic wellness platform launched by Sun Life Philippines as part  of its commitment to help Filipinos live healthier lives.

GoWell Studio

In this site, you can find top-notch content such as follow-along exercise programs, guided meditation sessions, various masterclasses, short courses, and healthcare awareness and education. These will be led by some of the country’s leading fitness coaches, doctors, allied health professionals, and educators.

GoWell Studio

Got a question for a specialist?  Using the platform, you can look up from a directory various experts from whom you can seek personalized health and wellness advice. The line-up includes Ginastica Natural Philippines Founder Mark Cupino; Bukodon, Yin and Vinyasa Yoga Instructor Anna Manalastas; Myotherapist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Filbert Tan; Pilates Coach and Animal Flow Instructor Trisha Buhat; Founder of Awake.ph and Modern-day Kriya Yogi Neil Salang; Sound Healer Coach Yeyette San Luis; World Kettlebell Club Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim Ayson; Alab Pilipinas, UP men’s basketball, and Petrogazz Angels Volleyball team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Chappy Callanta; and Sports Performance Specialist and F45 Functional Strength Coach Andro Amador, among others.

Access to the GoWell Studio may be enjoyed exclusively by Sun Fit and Well, Sun Senior Care, and Sun Cancer Care policyholders simply by registering in the GoWell website (gowell.com.ph).

GoWell Studio

“We take pride in GoWell Studio’s team of highly credible experts and carefully curated content, all of which a member can access in the comforts of his own home,” Sun Life Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer Gilbert Simpao said. “Taking care of ourselves remains crucial now that we are still in the middle of the pandemic. We invite everyone to become members of GoWell, Sun Life’s community that promotes holistic wellness through a fit and active lifestyle, healthy eating, and living a healthier life.”

Those who wish to know more about Sun Life’s health and accident insurance products are encouraged to consult a Sun Life advisor or visit sunlife.com.ph. For more about Sun Life’s health and wellness initiatives, visit gowell.com.ph and follow @SunLifePH and @GoWellPH on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Details provided in a recent press release.

Creativity Lives On: DTI and PFFI showcases a new breed of creativity as the 7th Filipino Footwear Design Competition pushes through for 2020

Adapting to the age of digitally accessible media, FFDC 2020 aims to highlight the creativity and ingenuity of these Filipino creatives to a bigger online audience.

Earlier this year, the Department of Trade and Industry alongside the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc., announced the upcoming annual Filipino Footwear Design Competition for the year 2020. Since the initial call for participants, unforeseen circumstances arose and put a hold on the national contest. With the effects of the CoVid-19 pandemic that struck a nationwide quarantine as well as the recent devastating onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, FFDC 2020 seemed albeit subject to a hindered come through. 

Despite these challenges, hope and optimism rose above for the local shoe industry and the organizational hosts of the competition still persevered to meet their hopes of presenting the talent and ingenuity of Filipino design and craftsmanship. 

The Industry that upholds heritage and innovation 

The Filipino Footwear Design Competition is the annual national competition organized to rally and present the creations of the talented designers and makers of the country. It is often a pre-set in preparation for the International Footwear Design Competition, a prestigious event that highlights footwear design concept and development on a global scale. The objective of FFDC is to encourage more local talents to pursue footwear design as a profession or business and to showcase to the world the resourcefulness and Filipino creativity.

The Department of Trade and Industry along with the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. (PFFI), serves as the host and presenter of the Filipino Footwear Design Competition. Both parties recognize the importance of raising awareness and support for the local shoe industry as well as developing a commune for skill enhancement to empower the Filipino talent pool. This coincides with DTI’s agenda of supporting the local creative industries to hone its potential towards building the Philippines as one of the top creative economies in Southeast Asia by 2030. PFFI serves as the main founding party behind FFDC given that it is the largest Filipino organization devoted to promoting local footwear. Through the leadership of DTI Regional Director Marcelina Alcantara with PFFI President Antonio Andres, FFDC 2020 will continue the legacy of creativity and innovation brought on for the past seven years. 

A New Breed of Creativity

The official call for participants was held last March 2020, garnering more than 70 unique entries from a number of talented local designers. The design boards submitted are in line with the six categories presented for the competition: Men’s Shoes, Lady’s Trendy, Lady’s Leisure, Lady’s Boot, Children Shoes, and Sports Shoes. These designs then underwent the vetting process of drafting the initial shortlist of finalists who will then be given the opportunity to have their designs professionally prototyped by local manufacturers. 

Launched this December 2020, the 7th annual Filipino Footwear Design Competition pushes through with the theme: Creative Virality; carrying on the objective of reaching a wider audience to celebrate the uniqueness and originality of Filipino talent. Presented by DTI alongside PFFI, and co-presented by the Philippines’ first creation hub for footwear design and development, Zapateria, the national competition gathers the community of the local shoe industry to team up in the mentorship and production of the designs of the Top 8 National Finalists; with the final output to be presented to an esteemed panel of judges. 

FFDC 2020 will also host a number of experiential learning activities; setting forth a program that also empowers the new generation of local creatives. These workshops on footwear making 101, sketching, designing, and cost and projection are also offered for the public to join.

Adapting to the age of digitally accessible media, FFDC 2020 aims to highlight the creativity and ingenuity of these Filipino creatives to a bigger online audience. The development  and creation process of the Top 8 National Finalists will be digitally showcased on the PFFI and Zapateria’s official Facebook and Instagram.

Links:

PFFI – https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineFootwearFederation

Zapateria – https://www.facebook.com/zapateriahub https://instagram.com/zapateriahub

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

TikTok Launches Creative Competition to Solve Real-World Marketing Challenges

TikTok invites marketing and creative professionals as well as agencies in Southeast Asia to participate in the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition. Winners to receive up to US$40,000 in prizes and mentorship with TikTok Global Business Marketing (GBM) executives

TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos, is calling all marketing and creative professionals as well as agencies in Southeast Asia to think outside of the box and join the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition. Launched last November 9, 2020, TikTok Trendsetter aims to inspire professionals and agencies in the Philippines to harness the untapped potential of TikTok to solve real-world marketing challenges.

“The power of TikTok is clear, but it requires a new and different way of thinking. Utilizing an entertainment-based platform allows marketers to engage with users in a ‘sound on’ environment, opening an entirely new window of opportunity,” said Ng Chew Wee, TikTok Head of Business Marketing. “Just like our users, we invite marketers to be experimental and explore their creative side while addressing today’s brand challenges through the Trendsetter creative competition.”

Running for over the course of six weeks, the TikTok Trendsetter creative competition is divided into three separate categories including:

  • Individual Category: Individual contestants to submit one TikTok video creative idea that addresses marketing-related challenges for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs), and sectors such as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Government.
  • Agency Category:Agency contestants to submit a storyboard for at least four TikTok video creative ideas, a media plan leveraging TikTok and one sample TikTok video that addresses marketing-related challenges for industries such as Fintech, Luxury, Automobile, and Telecoms.
  • Existing Campaigns: Campaigns that have already run on TikTok this year can also participate in the competition.

All submissions will need to be submitted by 24 December 2020 with voting for the most creative ideas taking place from 4 to 22 January 2021. The following panel of judges representing in-house and agency creative executives, as well as CMOs and TikTok Creators, will be determining the winners of the competition which will be announced on 1 February 2021:

  • Ng Chew Wee, TikTok Head of Business Marketing
  • Katie Puris, TikTok Managing Director of Global Business Marketing
  • Dianchen Yao, TikTok Head of Client Solutions SEA
  • Nguyen Dinh Toan, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Suntory Pepsico Vietnam
  • Sutirapan Sakkawatra, EVP Head of Marketing at Siam Commercial Bank
  • Roberto Saputra, Chief Brand Officer at Smartfren Telecom
  • Jeff Cheong, DDB Group Singapore Deputy CEO and Tribal Worldwide Asia President
  • Maryzyle Fernadez Galinato, Group Creative Director at Hakuhodo Saigon
  • Pingkan Rarumangkay, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Indonesia
  • Tay Guan Hin, Chief Creative Officer of BBDO Singapore
  • Sompat Trisadikun, Chief Creative Officer at The Leo Burnett Group and Publicis Group in Thailand

For each category, regional and local winners will be selected. Agency teams will have a chance to win up to US$40,000 in prizes, while Individual applicants can win a mentorship session with TikTok Global Business Marketing (GBM) executives.

Kantar research shows that in order to tap into the powerful audience response, it is vital to understand TikTok and engage with users on their own terms. To provide a deeper understanding on how to leverage TikTok for marketing purposes, TikTok will also hold a creative workshop on 24 and 26 November in partnership with BBDO Singapore, hosted virtually at https://www.tiktok-trendsetter.com/ for anyone who is interested in learning about leveraging the platform to solve creative challenges.

To enter the competition, view tutorials, best practices and creative playbooks, please visit: https://www.tiktok-trendsetter.com/.

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Details provided by Tiktok in a recent press release.

SM Supermalls dedicates “#AweSMLearning Week” for SuperKid-learners nationwide

The school year 2020-2021 is truly extraordinary as families across the country will transform their homes into fun learning spaces for students who will be on homeschool, blending learning, or distance education programs.

With this, SM Supermalls kicks off its annual Kids’ Month celebration via a special “#AweSMLearning Week” dedicated to all SM kiddie shoppers nationwide. From September 28 to October 4, SM Supermalls’ digital pages will feature various homeschooling tips for students of all ages plus smart shopping hacks for parents.

Also, all SM malls will be happy to assist moms and dads who are set to complete their school essentials list – from traditional school supplies like notebooks, pen, and coloring materials; to educational toys and #AweSMLearning gadgets from SM Cyberzone. So never miss all school supply deals and promos at your favorite SM malls!

For more gadget updates, join the #SMTechAndGadgets Viber Community and access SM Cyberzone’s online gadget reservation portal.

Indeed, everything’s here at SM for your SuperKid-learner’s back-to-school needs!

For more details about #AweSMLearning Week and #SMKidsMonth2020, visit smsupermalls.com.

Header photo created by torwaiphoto – www.freepik.com

CNN and ‘Sesame Street’ to host a town hall on going back to school

Momshies, how are you and your kids adjusting to learning in the New Normal?

As families try to navigate school amid a deadly pandemic, “Sesame Street” and CNN are teaming up for the “The ABCs of Back to School, A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families.”

From staying safe in classrooms to making the most of virtual learning, the 60-minute special will provide tools and information for families dealing with unique circumstances of school in the era of coronavirus.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Erica Hill will moderate the hour. They will be joined by Sesame Street Muppets and school-aged children in a variety of learning environments, with Elmo going to preschool during the week, Big Bird in hybrid learning and Rosita fully remote.

The trio will be joined by Abby Cadabby and her brother Rudy, Super Grover and other friends from Sesame Street, along with Sesame Workshop’s Vice President and Education Publisher for Sesame Learning Akimi Gibson.

This special airs Saturday, September 12 at 10pm on CNN (SKYcable ch 27SD | 181HD in Metro Manila and ch 503SD | 705HD in regional areas).

Asian-American rapper Blahza drops new single “Bandz”

Los-Angeles based Asian-American rapper Blahza recently released his first solo single ‘Bandz’ under Umami Records on all digital platforms worldwide.

The latest single follows his previous collaborations with Singaporean electronic producer Xinister on ‘Break’ and with Malaysian lo-fi producer OnlyM on ‘Perfect.’

On the sparse, trap-influenced track, Blahza rhymes about hustling in life, minding your own business, and keeping your cool when the chips are down. Blahza shares the story behind ‘Bandz:’ “The hook is about not worrying about what another person has. And when you don’t have it yourself don’t hate – just go out and get it for yourself.”

According to the Umami Records hip-hop artist, the first verse was written to document his struggles and humble beginnings, trying to make a fortune out of hard work and perseverance. He lays down the second verse with details about his romantic preference, seamlessly changing subjects like a pro. Blahza says, “When the beat played the hook came to me instantly, I felt the message so clearly when I was writing it. The cadence is so catchy.”

‘Bandz’ is the lead single from Blahza’s upcoming EP, Sad Songs For Happy People, scheduled for release in 2021. Blahza also has several collaborations dropping later this year.

About Blahza

Los-Angeles based Asian-American hip hop artist and producer Blahza makes music with a larger than life sound about his afflictions, aspirations, and accomplishments, inspired by the American counterculture of the late 1960s and music from the early 2000s.

Blahza recorded, mixed and mastered Blueface’s record ‘Next Big Thing’ in 2018. In 2019, Blahza opened for Members Only at the first stop of their album tour, and released his EP ‘Bloom’. Blahza has been featured on major playlists including Spotify’s Beats & Rhymes, New Era: Asian Hip-Hop, Border Beats and 都会の空と音楽と.

Born and raised in Van Nuys, of Chinese and Puerto Rican parents, Blahza grew up surrounded by music and diversity. He fell in love with rap music and especially how it bridged different cultures.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster includes releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Details and image provided by Umami Records in a recent press release.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach interviews “candidates” seeking to join online ESL platform 51Talk

Pia Wurtzbach interviews candidates who wish to be part of online English platform 51Talk. The live stream, with hints of a reality and talent show, aims to attract 30,000 new online English teachers to join the platform.

51Talk, together with their new Philippine brand ambassador, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, held its first-ever live stream interview via Facebook after hundreds of aspiring online English teachers signed-up to get a chance to be part of the show. The live stream is part of 51Talk’s campaign to invite qualified Filipinos who are interested to take advantage of the 30,000 home-based online teaching opportunities offered by 51Talk where people can teach, learn and most importantly – earn. 

Listed in the New York Stock Exchange, 51Talk is the leading online English education platform that connects thousands of Filipino teachers to foreign English language learners via an interactive virtual classroom.

More than 70,000 viewers tuned in and joined the fun and inspiring live stream which allowed them to learn more about the teach at home opportunity and acquainted them with the application process that can be completed in as fast as three days. Pia interviewed nine pre-selected candidates from different backgrounds who shared their heartwarming stories on how they found hope in 51Talk after losing their jobs or livelihood.

Several of the candidates expressed how the pandemic has affected their current livelihood, especially those who belong to the travel and events industries. 

Paula, a professional dancer and instructor who has been performing and teaching for 14 years, had a lot of her events and classes cancelled due to COVID-19. She came across the 51Talk online teaching opportunity and decided to give it a shot since she has teaching experience.

“I want to be able to translate my teaching skills from dance and performance arts into teaching English. I just love sharing what I know and see my students grow into the best versions of themselves,” shared Paula. 

Trina, a professional events host, found herself in the same boat as a lot of her hosting gigs were cancelled or postponed indefinitely. 

“While the situation we are in can be very disheartening, I decided to try out as a 51Talk teacher and I’m happy that I made it to this fun interview with no less than Miss Universe  Pia Wurtzbach!” exclaimed Trina. Trina gave the viewers a taste of her fun, entertaining energy as she sang songs both in English and Chinese

Pearl, another one of the candidates, candidly shared how the past few months have been very tough for those in the travel industry. She was about to return as a flight attendant after her maternity leave but her retraining was put on hold as travel restrictions are still in place. Having no income, Pearl said she had to find a stable and sustainable livelihood that would allow her to help her husband, especially now that they have their first child. 

“When I learned about the opportunity in 51Talk, it gave me hope and made me revisit my childhood dream of becoming an educator,” shared Pearl. “Even if I don’t have any teaching experience, I didn’t hesitate to sign-up. I borrowed my sister’s laptop just so I could apply. I’m very excited to start teaching in 51Talk.”

According to 51Talk teacher Angelo Lex who co-hosted the show, being an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher is very profitable as he gets to earn at the comfort and safety of his own home in his preferred schedule. He also shared his excitement when he learned of the platform’s recent announcement about the 20 million pesos incentive program exclusively for 51Talk teachers this month. 

Pia felt ecstatic and inspired since this is her first stint in interviewing candidates online. “It’s a humbling experience to interview such incredible candidates from all walks of life, to hear their unique stories and to witness how talented and passionate they all are,” shared Pia.

Towards the end of the show, Pia said she was moved after hearing the story of one of the candidates, Pearl, the flight attendant who borrowed her sister’s laptop just so she could sign-up to be a teacher at 51Talk. Pia surprised everyone as she decided to personally give Pearl a laptop to help her get started in her online teaching career. 

“We see your hard work and we’re very sorry for what you’re going through as a young mom. I find you very engaging and who has so much potential,” said Pia.

“It’s such an honor to represent 51Talk as their brand ambassador and to be able to connect to thousands of Filipinos through this live stream. I hope it inspired them and gave them joy.” 

Pia considers empowering Filipinos as her top advocacy, now more than ever when thousands of Filipinos have lost their livelihood due to the pandemic.

“I am encouraging all qualified individuals to sign-up and to seize this wonderful livelihood opportunity. See you in our next live stream!” exclaimed Pia. 

Next month, 51Talk will be doing another round of interviews with a new set of candidates via their official Facebook page. To get a chance to be interviewed, showcase your talent, and have a #DateWithPiaAt51Talk, sign-up via 51Talk’s website at www.51Talk.ph.

Shopee supports the development of tech talent with Shopee Code League

From June 8 to August 1, tech enthusiasts can broaden their knowledge, upgrade their skills, and increase exposure as they connect with like-minded people across the region in the first-ever regional virtual coding competition.

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, has launched Shopee Code League, a first of its kind ‘Code from Home’ challenge made available across the region. This initiative offers tech enthusiasts an opportunity to learn and upgrade their skills as the demand for tech talents continues to rise.

A two-month-long program, Shopee Code League is an online coding challenge that includes weekly competitions and digital training workshops open to all students and professionals. Through this initiative, all tech enthusiasts will get equal access to learning opportunities, including the chance to work on real data sets and challenges in the tech industry. Registered participants will also have the opportunity to attend numerous free online training workshops touching on topics including data analytics and data science. Participants will also gain access to talks by industry leaders, including Andrei D. Coronel Ph.D., Chair in the Department of Information Systems & Computer Science. He will be sharing his views on the importance of technology and nurturing the next generation of tech talent.

Martin Yu, Associate Director at Shopee Philippines, said, “We are excited to help tech enthusiasts learn and upgrade their skills from home through the Shopee Code League. Shopee has successfully organized past coding challenges, and we are taking it a step further by bringing tech communities from across the region together for the first time virtually. Shopee Code League aims to help potential tech talents to make a difference in the tech community. We will continue to empower the growth of tech talents and develop a tech ecosystem that will drive the Philippine digital economy forward.”

Registration is open until June 30. For more information about the Shopee Code League,
please visit https://careers.shopee.sg/codeleague/.

Program details and image provided by Shopee in a recent press release.

Pop-jazz sensation Ardhito Pramono invites Ben&Ben as special guests for digital concert

As part of the initiative to forge regional ties with like-minded artists in Asia, Indonesia’s very own Ardhito Pramono will be joining forces with acclaimed Filipino band, Ben&Ben and Singaporean alt-pop artist, Benjamin Kheng for a star-studded virtual show.

Aptly titled From His Backyard, Online #HappyConcert with Ardhito Pramono and Friends, the first online concert in Indonesia to feature local and international artists, will happen on June 8, 2020 (Monday) at 9 PM (Philippine time) via Loket. Tickets are available here.

The digital show will highlight special collaborative performances and live sessions from his latest EP, Craziest Thing Happened In My Backyard. Released this year, Ardhito’s fourth mini-album pertains to the “backyard” as a metaphorical place to keep good and bad memories, secrets, opinions and ramblings; hence, coming up with songs that “talk about darkness with a twist of cheerful music.” His new single “Here We Go Again / Fanboi” was released on YouTube last June 3, 2020 via a lyric video that sees the Indonesian star performing amidst beige curtains.

 

Prior to the upcoming digital show which will be streamed live next week, Ardhito Pramono and Ben&Ben have recently collaborated on video-sharing platform, TikTok. Their paper towel challenge, which featured a snippet of Ardhito’s new song, “Here We Go Again,” broke records as one of the most viewed team-ups that featured Asian artists on the app, amassing 47.8 million views in less than 2 months.

About Ardhito Pramono

Born on May 22nd 1995, Ardhito Pramono garnered instant success with the release of his self-titled debut album. In 2019, he won Best Vocal Jazz Artist on Anugerah Music Indonesia, and bagged endorsement deals with big brands such as Biore, Teh Javana, Bintang Marina. This year, the “wonder boy” crooner starred in the box office hit, Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini. He also dropped his critically acclaimed EP, Craziest Thing Happened In My Backyard last February 2020 via Sony Music.

Z Hostel and Makati’s Tourism Office offer a different kind of walking tour to the public

The late artist, tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran described Manila as “can be chaotic and spiritual, dirty and divine, gritty and gorgeous all at once.”

The same can be said about the area in Makati known as Poblacion.

Long saddled with the reputation of being the red-light district hiding in the shade of the soaring skyscrapers of Makati’s Central Business District, Poblacion has slowly but surely been shedding its seedier veneer to reveal a place with its own character. It may be crowded and wornout in some places, but it has its own vibrance and local flavor.

Z Hostel, known as “one of the hippest hostels in Makati,” itself stands on what used to be the site of a brothel. Today, it is the place where young travelers and backpackers stay for a few days of comfort and relative luxury.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Z Hostel recently partnered with Makati City’s International Relations Department in offering its Poblacion Walking Tour, not just to the hostel’s guests but also to locals who want to see another side of Poblacion, all for free.

Together with my daughter #ExhibitA, I took part in the tour to check out Poblacion’s happenin’ places.

An alternative to the usual walking tours wherein museums and heritage sites are the destinations of choice, this is essentially a pub crawl which takes its guests around the immediate radius of the hostel to check out some of the establishments they can hang out in (and have a drink or two) during their stay.

Tour guide Jian Miranda, himself a Makati resident for twenty-one years, shared his knowledge and love of the place by picking out spots worthy of note (such as the former drug den turned events venue, where to get the best barbecue in Poblacion and the names – and ingredients – of the streetfood being hawked on street corners) and the stories behind the various joints featured in the tour.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

The first stop in the walking tour was Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen. With the branches of an old Balete tree serving as the shelves of the bar, Agimat serves up magic and mystery with every drink. Prior to presenting you with your concoction of choice inspired by the four elements apoy (fire), lupa (earth), tubig (water), hangin (air) and buhay (life), the crew would perform a ritual complete with ethnic masks, drums and chants. Being a foraging kitchen and bar, Agimat takes ingredients and culinary influences from various parts of the country to come up with unique and memorable dishes and drinks. It’s definitely worth a second visit.

The second stop of our walking tour was Julyan Coffee Spot, a newly opened coffee shop that also showcases artwork by the owners’ son, Julyan. More than a quiet place to sit and relax while enjoying artisanal coffee, Julyan Coffee Spot is also a social enterprise: it provides training and employment to persons with disability (PWDs). In fact the baristas serving coffee are deaf and communicate by sign language. I’d love to spend more time here with just my laptop and my cuppa joe, to work on my blog, or maybe get around to writing the Next Great Filipino Novel (yeah, I can dream, right?).

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Kartel Roofdeck Bar, the next stop in the tour, offers a scenic view of the Makati skyline from the towering buildings in the CBD to the hotels and night spots in the surrounding the area. Here, we were given free shots to help us loosen our reserve and get to know our fellow tourists. I wouldn’t mind a return visit where I can leisurely enjoy a light mocktail along with the cool evening breeze.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

The final stop in the walking tour is Kondwi. Set in a big, black, boxy type of building, it actually houses a vibrant cocktail lounge at the ground floor and an exhibit space for artwork on the second floor. The last time I was here was when the upper floor was occupied by the Johnnie Walker Highball Arcade earlier this month. I’d love to see the next exhibits, take part in the salsa dance lessons, as well as taste more of Kondwi’s artistic takes on food and drink.

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

Poblacion Walking Tour (Z Hostel and MakaTurismo)

After the tour, the group was treated to cocktails at the Z Roofdeck. Too bad I wasn’t able to join as #ExhibitA and I had the rush home for our dinner date. Oh well…

The walking tour is primarily geared towards tourists looking for places where they can tipple, but it can also be the springboard for a local foodie’s rediscovery of the gritty and gorgeous Poblacion area.

The Poblacion Walking Tour is offered to Z Hotel guests and, recently, to locals as well every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday T 4pm with Z Hostel as the meeting point. Want to take part in the next Poblacion Walking Tour? Sign up here.

Here are the locations of the places we visited today:

  • Z Hostel: 5660 Don Pedro St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 8898531 or +63 2 88560851)
  • Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen: Second Floor, 5972 Alfonso Corner Fermina Street, Poblacion, Makati City. (Tel: +63 917 8904039)
  • Julyan Coffee Spot: 5936 Gloria Street, Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 6860895)
  • Kartel Rooftop Bar: 5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 5638811)
  • Kondwi: 6109 Albert Street,Poblacion, Makati City(Tel: +63 917 7771633)

UKEAS Study World UK Education Fair Postponed to March

The UKEAS Study World UK Education Fair, originally set for the 18th of January 2020, has been rescheduled for the 21st of March 2020, due to the Taal Volcano explosion. It will be held at the same venue at Shangri-La Hotel Makati, where UKEAS Philippines and the British Embassy are still intent on providing Filipino students with the opportunity to attain higher education at leading universities in the United Kingdom.

“The British Embassy Manila, UKEAS, and the British Council have partnered together to make education in the United Kingdom more accessible to Filipinos,” says the United Kingdom’s Director of Trade & Investment, Richard Colley. “The institutions of the UK are among the best in the globe, and it is our pleasure to share opportunities and values of education as we become more globalised.”

What is Study World UK?

Representatives from United Kingdom’s top universities will be present during March’s Study World UK to accommodate student queries on post-graduate studies overseas, host workshops, and give keynote speeches. Participants in these activities will obtain information necessary to pursue an education in the UK, including visa application and interview opportunities.

“The Embassy has prepared a host of events for the Study World UK Education Fair,” continues Colley. “This will afford Filipino students a look at the spectrum of UK education. It is our belief that partnership between our countries will improve joint opportunities for students and faculty alike.”

Participating universities include:

  • Birmingham City University
  • HULT International Business School – London
  • Kaplan – University of Liverpool
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • QA Higher Education: Solent University, Ulster University London, University of Roehampton
  • University of Leeds
  • University of South Wales
  • Coventry University
  • INTO Global
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • University of Sunderland
  • Henley Business School
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) Philippines

In addition, the Study World UK Education Fair will also host a series of workshops:

  • 12:15-12:30 PM Opening Remarks from the British Embassy
  • 12:40-1:25 PM UK Visas: Tier 4 Student Visa and 2-Year Work Visa
  • 1:35-2:20 PM Studying Abroad: Application to Graduation with UKEAS Alumni Panel
  • 2:30-3:15 PM Chevening Scholarships: Developing Future Filipino Leaders
  • 3:25-4:00 PM Digital Career in Business by Birmingham City University
  • 4:10-4:50 PM ELTS Writing Tips & Techniques by the British Council
  • 5:00-5:30 PM  QA Higher Education: Career Opportunities in the 21st Century

How has Study World Affected the Lives of Students in the Philippines?

In addition to helping students gain entry to universities, the British Embassy will deliver a session on applying for a Tier-4 Student Visa and the new 2-year post-study work visa for international students. These programs have allowed UKEAS to help countless students attain their dreams of studying in the UK, including personality Divine Lee.

“I heard about UKEAS through a good friend,” shares Divine Lee. “UKEAS facilitated all my requirements and helped me find the best school in the United Kingdom for my masters.”

Register Now!

Do not miss the opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad with UKEAS’ Study World UK Education Fair on March 21, Saturday at Shangri-La Hotel Makati Isabella Ballroom.

“The British Embassy is really pleased to once again be working with UKEAS. The UK has a world-class education offering, and our higher education institutions are amongst the most renowned and prestigious in the world,” adds Richard Colley. “UKEAS’ Study World makes studying in the UK accessible to many Filipinos who aspire to broaden their horizons through learning at our prestigious universities”

Education is great! Register now at https://www.ukeas.ph/registration/ to begin your journey to study overseas. #YouCanWithUKEAS!

SKY partners with Asian Eye Institute to give eye care to students in Luzon

Hundreds of students from Luzon have received free eye care to help them with their productivity and well-being as SKY partnered with the Asian Eye Institute to bring the “Kislap Mata: Malinaw na Mata, Malinaw na Kinabukasan” project.

Beneficiaries of the eye care program held in San Isidro Elementary School, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Sto. Tomas North Central School, and at Lagundi Elementary School, Morong, Rizal received free consultation, proper eye care workshops, and prescription glasses.

Student looking at Snellen chart2

Zacquia Chua and Cassandra Baral of Lagundi Elementary School have difficulty in reading and catching up in class because of their poor eyesight. But as two of the beneficiaries of the eye care project, their glasses have been replaced.

“Mas makakapag-aral na po akong mabuti kasi makakakita na po akong mas maigi, salamat po sa SKY at Asian Eye” Cassandra said.

Across the various legs of the project, 575 students have attended the eye talks, 338 have received eye checkups, 108 have been given eye glasses while 23 have been referred to clinics for further checkup at Asian Eye Institute’s EyeSite is an ambulatory eye center with branches located in St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; SM City Fairview; SM City Batangas and SM City Dasmariñas.

Arlene Torres on introductory remarks

“We are happy to be part of this initiative. It gave us an opportunity to teach children what it means to have healthy eyes,” shares Asian Eye Institute Chief Operating Officer Alwin S. Sta. Rosa. More than just giving glasses to students that need them, it’s also important for children to learn good eye care habits early. “Kids are constantly exposed to technology so it’s good practice for them to rest their eyes every 20 minutes of studying or playing on gadgets. It’s also an effective way to prevent eye fatigue that can lead to headaches.”

Eye care workshop conducted for SKY's Kislap Mata program at Lagundin ES

Another factor to consider is good hand hygiene. Sta. Rosa adds, “We also remind children not to rub or scratch their eyes, because it’s the best way to avoid eye irritation or infections like sore eyes.”

To further support the aim of improving the students’ school performance, SKYcable and SKYdirect connections were donated to each school.

“We feel privileged and blessed that our students have been chosen as recipients of the ‘Kislap Mata’ program of SKYcable. Eyesight is very important for students. Without healthy eyes, they won’t be able to understand and read their lessons. Thank you very much to SKYcable and Asian Eye. Of all the schools in the Philippines, Morong got picked,” Lagundi Elementary School principal Claire Rino said.

SKY Head of Integrated Marketing Gidgette Faustino, shared SKYcable’s eagerness to help students, “We at SKY are grateful for the opportunity to help in any way we can, we envisioned ‘Kislap Mata’ project to help select students learn in their full capacity and more comfortably with clearer eyesight. We look forward to more learning advocacies that will help promote learning and education in the country,” she enthused.

Lagundi ES students with SKY team

SKY Head of Integrated Marketing Gidgette Faustino, shared SKYcable’s eagerness to help students

Asian Eye Institute is a world-class eye institute that put the Philippines on the map of quality health care. It started in 2001, and provides a full range of specialized medical services, delivering safety and comfort of modern facilities, with some of the most advanced technology worldwide.

For more information on SKY, visit mysky.com.ph.

Program details and images provided in a recent press release.

UKEAS to Partner with British Embassy Manila for Study World UK Education Fair

UKEAS Philippines is proud to announce a joint partnership with British Embassy Manila for the upcoming Study World UK Education Fair on 18 January, 2020, at Shangri-La Hotel Makati. The Study World UK Education Fair will provide students with the chance to explore opportunities to complete their post-graduate studies at the top universities in the United Kingdom.

“The British Embassy is really pleased to once again be working with UKEAS. The UK has a world-class education offering, and our higher education institutions are amongst the most renowned and prestigious in the world. For 2020, the British Embassy Manila, UKEAS, and the British Council are partnering together to bring this message across to students in the Philippines,” shares Richard Colley, the United Kingdom’s Director of Trade & Investment. “UKEAS’ Study World makes studying in the UK accessible to many Filipinos who aspire to broaden their horizons through learning at our prestigious universities. As education becomes more globalised, we want to make sure that everybody hears about educational opportunities in the UK. To do so, we choose to work with partners who exemplify British values.”

What is the Study World UK Education Fair?

This January’s up-coming Study World UK Education Fair will bring representatives from the leading universities in the United Kingdom to Manila. The event will allow students to gain all the necessary information needed to pursue an education in the UK, while giving them access to seminars and keynote speeches.

UKEAS4

“Students and universities in the Philippines will be able to see the spectrum of UK education in a series of events that the Embassy is organising in partnership with UKEAS and the British Council. As well as the Study World UK Education Fair, we will also host a UK-PH University Partnership Conference and a series of networking events for academic institutions,” says Richard Colley. “We believe by establishing UK-PH partnerships, we will create more opportunities to unlock joint research projects, broadening of curricula and access to new resource materials and exchanges for both students and faculty members.”

Participating universities include:

  • Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (NEW)
  • Birmingham City University (NEW)
  • Coventry University (NEW)
  • University of Sunderland (NEW)
  • QA Higher Education (NEW)
    • Northumbria University London
    • Solent University
    • Ulster University London
    • University of Roehampton
  • Navitas
  • INTO – City University
  • INTO – University of Liverpool
  • University of Leeds
  • Hult International Business School – London
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of South Wales

“The UK is serious in its commitment to make education accessible and relevant. This also supports Philippine industries and their workforces for the future,” adds Richard Colley. “Study World UK Education Fair will give prospective students, whether undergraduates or professionals seeking to top-up their qualifications, access to special sessions on university applications, essay writing, visa applications, and living in the UK. There will also be a helpdesk, to give advice and information on student funding opportunities including self-paid and part or full scholarships.”

Attain World Class Education at Study World UK 2020

“We are committed to championing the breadth and diversity of UK education. As a destination of choice for students from around the globe, we are committed to supporting our global partners in their educational objectives, and to sharing UK knowledge and expertise,” says Richard Colley.

Get one step closer to your dream of studying overseas with UKEAS and British Embassy Manila at the Study World UK Education Fair on 18 January, 2020, at Shangri-La Hotel Makati.

“We are proud of the UK’s outstanding reputation for education. Four UK universities are in the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings. University degree qualifications from the UK are among the best and desirable in the world and highly valued by employers globally,” says Richard Colley. “UK education programmes are delivered in many innovative ways. As well as classroom-based learning, there are opportunities for online, community-based and immersive study. Degree courses can also be studied at a Philippine university but with 6-12 months of the course being completed in the UK.”

Education is great! Register here to begin your journey to study overseas.

“Education is Great” and #YouCanWithUKEAS

Program information and images provided in a recent press release.

Kiddie treats to enjoy on BabyTV this September and October

The “ber” months are here and with the heightened anticipation for the holiday season comes more opportunities for us parents to have bonding moments with our little ones.

And what better way for us mommies to enjoy the company of our kids than to share in their wonder and laughter at these new shows on BabyTV coming this September and October.

STITCHES

A little child plays imaginary games with her felt toys. Her hero is a little cactus who interacts with whatever comes his way. A new environment is created in each episode which forms challenging and funny situations for him to deal with.

Baby TV Sep and Oct

JUMP OUT OF BED, SLEEPYHEAD

Waking up the castle every day is not easy, but our two heroes manage to overcome obstacles and get the kingdom ready in time for the new day.

Baby TV Sep and Oct

SNAIL TRAIL

A friendly snail explorer ventures outdoors to investigate the wild. On his journeys he meets different animals and makes important discoveries about their lifestyle and habits by asking some very funny questions.

Snail Trail 2.png

TUTTI FRUTTI

Tutti Frutti is a musical series paying homage to Laurel and Hardy’s street performances. In each episode Tutti the strawberry and Frutti the pineapple perform a well-known musical number in front of a live audience of fruit and vegetables that laugh and join in.

Baby TV Sep and Oct

So mommies, gear up for some fun learning adventures with the kiddies in these months leading to the holidays!

BabyTV is the world’s leading baby and toddler network for children ages four and under and their parents, airing 24 hours a day and completely commercial-free. It features top quality, original and exclusive shows, created by child development experts and designed for for children and parents to enjoy together. Each hour on BabyTV is an enriching journey full of stories, songs, rhymes and lovable characters.

If you’re a SKYcable subscriber, you can add BabyTV to your cable TV subscription plan for only Php20/month. To subscribe to BabyTV and other kids channels, fill up this form.

Show details and images provided by BabyTV.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Check out my other posts on mom life and raising kids: