Miyerkules, Pebrero 23, 2022

Two Filipino Kids Named among the Top 10 Young Storytellers by Scholastic Asia

2021 SAYSA Winners

Two Filipino kids were among the 10 children across Asia who were awarded the 2021 Scholastic Asia Young Storytellers Award (SAYSA).  The virtual awarding ceremony was held on the 22nd of January, 2022.

Cassandra Ysabel Ignacio and Phoebe Niguidula were among the 10 who best delighted the SAYSA judges who chose from the 70 finalists shortlisted from more than 1,700 participants.  Scholastic Asia received read aloud entries from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The SAYSA judges were Ms. Selina Lee, Vice President of Scholastic Asia, Ms. Christabel Pinto, Senior Director, Global Literacy Program of Room to Read,  Ms. Catherine Wu, Scholastic Asia’s Reading Ambassador, and Mr. Peter H. Reynolds, Award-winning Author and Illustrator.

Among the 70 SAYSA finalists were these 14 Filipino kids, selected through public voting and judging by Scholastic Asia:

2021 SAYSA Winners

Scholastic launched the Scholastic Asia Young Storytellers Award (SAYSA) in October 2021, leveraging the use of the digital space to provide a platform for children to showcase their many talents.  SAYSA invited readers aged 4 to 10 years to express their creativity through storytelling. 

Scholastic wants to encourage children in Asia to be confident as they narrate and read from their favorite Scholastic storybook while instilling a competitive spirit and a sense of camaraderie among peers.  Moreover, Scholastic wants children to be able to share with other kids their love for books and reading.

With the successful inauguration of the Scholastic Asia Young Storytellers Award, Scholastic Asia has announced that SAYSA 2022 will be in October.

For over 100 years now, Scholastic has been championing a love for reading and learning all over the world.  In the Philippines, Scholastic is partners with over 250 schools in its Reading and Math Programs – PR1ME English and PR1ME Mathematics.  In PR1ME English, reading aloud to students by their teachers, parents, and peers is integral in nurturing students’ comprehension and critical thinking skills, and instilling in them a love for reading.  Scholastic Philippines is happy and proud that 9 out of the 14 Filipino kids who made it to Asia’s Top 70, including Cassandra and Phoebe, are from among its current partner schools in PR1ME English.

Scholastic Philippines is sharing the 14 SAYSA read aloud videos from the Philippines to the public as part of the WORLD READ ALOUD DAY (WRAD) Celebration in February.  The videos may be viewed on YouTube:

As part of the WRAD Campaign, Scholastic Philippines is also sponsoring the Scholastic Voice of the Youth Awards – interschool contests amplifying the voice of the Filipino youth through reading, writing, and speaking.  The contests are open to Scholastic’s partners in PR1ME English.

For more information about Scholastic’s programs, please visit scholasticph.com.

Lunes, Pebrero 21, 2022


As Avis Philippines head into its 50th year, it does so with much pride and joy! - as it marks a new chapter of dynamic leadership under CEO and President, Celia G. Lazaro, the second-generation franchisee of the country’s most trusted transportation service provider. (The Guevaras, under Domingo M. Guevara, first secured the franchise in 1972.) 

“For decades, Avis Philippines has been going the extra mile to deliver service that’s beyond expectation. And now, we’re so excited to develop new practices and systems in line with digitalization. As we head into a more competitive digital future, we’re committed to innovating and creating new products and services that will make us more accessible to a younger generation! We Try Harder’ is more than just a statement for us. It’s something we make real every single day. We look forward to seeing you on your next ride! This year, we have so many initiatives lined up to mark our 50th milestone. We will continue to go above and beyond, so our customers can too.” ~Celia G. Lazaro, CEO and President

The company has endured for decades due to its ability to adapt to the ever-changing market and consumers.

“Our services reflect our commitment to our customers. We will continue to evolve, adjust, and innovate to meet the demands of our discerning clientele. Proudly, we’ve been the longstanding partners of our clients for years, because they trust us with the big and small responsibilities. We take pride in the fact that for decades, we’ve been the one they can rely on and whom they call on to help make their daily lives better and easier – whether it’s picking up loved ones from the airport or hospital, ensuring the safety of their children with rides to and from school and other destinations, or even just making their daily commute a little more luxurious and hassle-free. We’re happy to be of service.” ~Tatyana Guevara-Hipolito, Marketing Head

Now, as it celebrates it golden anniversary, Avis is taking the rider experience to newer heights with its latest innovation – the Avis Mobile App - which brings premium chauffeur services to your fingertips. Be driven in style wherever you want to be!

Designed with improved user accessibility, the app allows you to conveniently pre-book your own premium ride - with choice of sedan, van, and premium vehicles. Ride in style point-to-point or on an hourly car rental basis to enjoy your own personal chauffeur services. Just book at least four hours before pick-up. With the latter option, your chauffeur can even help you with errands and shuttle you to and from all your destinations. This is service at its best!

All Avis vehicles are fully equipped with COVID-19 amenities, and are disinfected for every ride. In addition, their roster of chauffeurs are all fully vaccinated and are well-trained on safety and security protocols. 

What sets Avis apart is their premium service at reasonable rates and the unmatched expertise of their chauffeurs. 

Through the app, Avis expands its offerings and is now able to cater to the wider, more digitally savvy crowd. Though, loyal patrons can still book via Facebook and their hotlines. 

Download the Avis Mobile app on Google Play and the Apple Store. For more information, call 8462-2881 to 83 or email confirmation@avis.com.ph.

Sabado, Pebrero 19, 2022

Fan of mobile vlogging? Samsung has an epic smartphone for that!

Video blogging has been the digital diary of Gen MZ. They love capturing daily activities, milestones, and achievements, or even travel trips with loved ones. To fully capture epic moments, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S21 FE 5G that allows creators to make their content more seamless and sharp, day or night. Here’s how:

  1. Shoot from a distance. It becomes a challenge when creators capture long-distance subjects to get a clear shot of the subject; sometimes resulting in blurry or unclear snaps of faces because of the lens capacity of the camera. That is why having the right device is important to capture detailed shots at any angle. The 30x Space Zoom feature snaps any long-distance subjects and still provides a high-resolution image. Fans who enjoy capturing the sceneries would appreciate this feature since it gives them better results in vlogging epic moments from afar. 
  1. Be unique in storytelling. Fans love to be unique to express their adventurous concepts. The Dual Recording feature can capture epic moments simultaneously from the front and back with its cameras. This is fun and resourceful– making it more realistic by recording the real-time “OMG” moments along with the scenery. 
  2. Make sure the lighting is proper and appropriate for you to make a video. Perfect lighting is the key in every content creation, especially with vlogging. Creating a natural ambiance may sound like a hassle, but it helps develop high-quality output like a pro. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G is also packed with impressive camera lenses that will capture any clip seamlessly. The best part? Content creators can even use the Night Mode to still snap sharp images in the low-lighting.

The video blogs take time to master and develop a jaw-dropping output, and with the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, fans can start making epic vlogs like a pro effortlessly. 

Experience epic flagship features of the Galaxy S21 FE 5G for Php 38,990 SRP (128GB) and Php 41,990 SRP (256GB), now available on Samsung.com, Samsung Experience Stores, authorized Samsung stores, Lazada, Shopee, Abenson.com, and MemoXpress Online, with amazing color palettes of Olive, Graphite, Lavender, and White. 

For flexible payment terms, pay as low as Php 1,624.58/mo at 0% interest for up to 24 months in participating Authorized Samsung Stores. 

Get the first-month installment for FREE when you pay at 0% for 24 months using a PNB credit card in select Samsung Experience Stores.

Know more about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G at samsung.com/ph.

Safe Samsung Shopping
Health and safety protocols are strictly followed at all Samsung Experience Stores to keep consumers and employees safe. Adhering to the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Samsung observes a 50% capacity in its stores, implements the mandatory use of face masks, and performs frequent sanitation.

Samsung Experience Stores require customers to fill up health declaration forms by scanning a QR code on display. Product demonstrations are done side-by-side instead of face-to-face while keeping a distance of one (1) meter to observe physical distancing.

To find the nearest Samsung Experience Store, visit samsung.com/ph/samsung-experience-store/locations.

For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI and LED solutions.

Miyerkules, Pebrero 9, 2022

Ateneo, BSP ink agreement to cement research collaboration

“Central banks have been supporting research in the academia and other research institutions in many ways. The BSP, in particular, has always attached great value to interactions with the academe and with other research institutions. Through this Memorandum of Understanding on research collaboration with UP Los Baños and with the Ateneo de Manila University, the BSP affirms the importance of collaboration and intellectual exchange in strengthening research. These MOUs serve as means to promote collaborative research efforts between BSP researchers and researchers at UPLB and Ateneo. Thus, we reinforce our joint commitment to increase the capacity of our institutions in conducting objective, rigorous and policy-relevant research.” ~Benjamin Diokno, BSP Governor 
Ateneo, BSP ink agreement to cement research collaboration_MOA  signing

The Ateneo de Manila University and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently inked an agreement that will establish greater collaboration between the two parties to further enhance the research capability of the latter. 

With the agreement, which was signed last January 26 in a virtual ceremony, the BSP and the Ateneo, through the Department of Economics and the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, can now undertake research independently, jointly, or collaboratively with the aim to help inform policy formulation and decisions. 

Ateneo, BSP ink agreement to cement research collaboration_Zoom  Attendees

Researchers from the Ateneo will be designated as Visiting Research Economists (VREs) while conducting their study. At least four members of the Economics Department Faculty will be VREs at the BSP, and together with economists at the Central Bank and a graduate student from the Ateneo, research can be undertaken in various fields such as financial sector governance, banking systems, competition, and financial inclusion. 

“Through the publications and conferences that we expect to result from the research, we hope to educate and influence even more academics, researchers, and practitioners in the fields of finance and economics, thus leading to a more robust economic system for our country and better lives for our fellow Filipinos.” ~Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, President of the Ateneo de Manila University

Aside from the Ateneo, the BSP also signed an agreement with the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB) to foster collaboration in the field of research. 

For more information about Ateneo, please visit www.ateneo.edu. Ateneo is also on Facebook, like and follow them at www.facebook.com/ateneodemanila/.

CitySavings Supports DepEd in Promoting Health and Safety

City Savings Bank, Inc. (CitySavings) joins DepEd in promoting teacher vaccination through the “Masayang Pamasko 2021 Raffle Promo”. Over 230 teaching and non-teaching staff were doubly delighted last December 2021 after winning PHP 2,000 each.

“Para sa (mga) bata, at para sa bayan. Libre naman magpabakuna. Pumunta ka lang sa vaccination center.” ~Teacher Benjar Ferrer of Galarin Elementary School in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan

This is what teacher Benjar Ferrer of Galarin Elementary School in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan believes about his being fully vaccinated against COVID. He understands the importance of teachers being bakunado, especially with the gradual roll-out of face-to-face classes. 

Teacher Robert Baluyot of Alabel National High School in Alabel, Saranggani admits that there is still some vaccine hesitancy from his colleagues. Some of the reasons are or stem from.

“(the kind of) knowledge and information sources my co-teachers access, experience (or lack of) with vaccine-preventable diseases, the role of health professional recommendations, social norms, parental responsibility, trust, and religious beliefs.” ~Teacher Robert Baluyot of Alabel National High School in Alabel, Saranggani

The Department of Education’s (DepEd) “Vacc2School” campaign seeks to address these concerns through proper awareness and information on getting protected with the vaccine. Another is through positive reinforcement, encouraging teachers to get their shot(s) by incentivizing them. 

In December 2021, City Savings Bank, Inc. (CitySavings) joined DepEd in promoting vaccination among teachers through the “Masayang Pamasko 2021 Raffle Promo”. All teaching and non-teaching staff who applied and qualified for a Teachers’ Salary Loan with the Bank and presented their vaccination cards or certificates were automatically included in the raffle for a cash prize of PHP 2,000. 

For the whole month, there were 234 winners in total from all over the country, which made many teachers doubly delighted last Christmas, including Albien Arayan of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur who said: 

“Thank you, CitySavings! Simple is good indeed! Inilaan ko ang kalahati ng aking napanalunan sa Noche Buena package para sa napili kong mag-aaral sa aking advisory class. Ang kalahati naman, ibinigay ko sa aking Nanay. Konti man kung tutuusin, pero ang tuwa nito sa kanila ay hindi matatawaran ng anumang halaga.~Carlo Masangcay of Northern Naguilian National High School in La Union

Charity and generosity also resonated for winners like Carlo Masangcay of Northern Naguilian National High School in La Union.

As talks begin on further expanding face-to-face classes, being fully vaccinated is just one more step in making sure this will be done safely and in compliance with strict health standards. With the right kind of encouragement and reinforcement, we are reassured that our teachers can slowly recover and even improve the state of the country’s educational system “para sa mga bata at para sa bayan”.

About City Savings Bank:
City Savings Bank, Inc. (CitySavings) is the thrift bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and a member of the Aboitiz Group. It is one of the largest thrift banks in the country, providing  a range of mass market financial products and services, such as salary loans to public and private school teachers, pension loans to GSIS and SSS pensioners, seafarer loans, motorcycle loans, company employee loans, LGU salary loans, and traditional deposit products. 

Today, CitySavings has more than 140 branches nationwide. It is well on its way to become the finest mass market bank in the Philippines, paving the way for inclusive and sustainable prosperity across the country.

Shoppers and partners of The SM Store give back to communities

Sharing joy through toys. The SM Store and Toy Kingdom’s Share A Toy collected around 45,000 toys in 2021. The SM Store branches nationwide are currently rolling out the distribution to the selected communities.

Through the generosity of its shoppers and partners, The SM Store was able to gather more than 130,000 books and 45,000 toys through its Donate-A-Book and Share-A-Toy programs in 2021. The SM Store gave shoppers a Php 100 discount coupon for each toy or book that they donated. Along with the books and toys, The SM Store also donated backpacks and school supplies.

The community programs were implemented in partnership with SM Foundation for children in public schools, orphanages, pediatric hospitals, health centers, Christian- and Muslim-run charitable institutions, non-government institutions, and Indigenous 

People communities. Each of the 68 branches of The SM Store identified two or more community beneficiaries for the donation drive. A list of beneficiaries can be found at www.thesmstore.com.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of our shoppers for our Donate-A-Book and Share-A-Toy. Our shoppers are looking for ways to give back, especially during challenging times, and we at The SM Store are happy to share this mission with them.” ~Chelo Monasterio, President of The SM Store 

She added that last years’ programs were special because aside from the generous shoppers of The SM Store, academic institutions, private companies, and non-government organizations took part in the initiative and donated books and toys for the communities. 

Sharing the gift of learning. The SM Store’s Donate-A-Book gathered more than 130,000 books in 2021 from customers and partner organizations. The books were distributed to over 100 public schools and community organizations nationwide. 

Schools, publications, and NGOs mobilized communities to share the joy of learning

For Donate-A-Book, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA); Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAPSCU); and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) mobilized their members to donate quality books and reference materials that will help rebuild and enrich the collections of community and public school libraries.

Olivia Camatog, principal of De La Salle Zobel in Alabang, a member school of PAPSCU and COCOPEA, said the books they donated came from their library collection, some of which have multiple copies. Through this program with SM, Camatog expressed their happiness in giving a meaningful contribution toto rebuilding other schools' libraries.

Publishing companies like Learning Is Fun WS Publication, one of the business partners of The SM Store Stationery, donated reference and activity books. Trailblazing Publishing from the PAPSCU network also shared brand new K to 12 books for public schools.

Representatives from Learning is Fun WS Publication turned over its book donations to The SM Store and SM Foundation through an online event. The donated books were given to children from hospitals, health centers and charitable institutions.

The Philippine Commission on Women and the National Council of Women of the Philippines also shared books they gathered from partner NGOs.

“Through the distribution network of The SM Store and their presence all over the country, we are happy to partner with them so that our book collection will reach more girls and boys in far flung communities.” ~Sandy Montano, Chairwoman of the Philippine Commission on Women

Donate-A-Book was implemented in select branches of The SM Store from August 15 to September 30, 2021. Books were donated to more than 100 public schools and community organizations.

Trade partners and private firms shared toys to make kids happy

The SM Store and the Toy Kingdom teamed up for Share-A-Toy from December 1 to 31, 2021 in all branches of The SM Store and Toy Kingdom nationwide. 

HSBC Global Service Center Philippines adopted the Share-A-Toy program as part of its employee engagement activity. HSBC employees shared 4,000 new toys and educational materials. 

Sharing clothes for Odette-hit communities. Share Your Extras is currently accepting clothing donations in participating The SM Store branches nationwide until February 28.

The SM Store is currently rolling out the distribution of donations to the selected communities. The SM Store branches already distributed a portion of the donated toysto children from remote Aeta communities in Guimaras and Antique; Jalaud Elementary School in Iloilo; Bahay ni San Jose orphanage; Benguet General Hospital and Medical Center; Philippine General Hospital; Mary the Queen Parish in Quezon City; and San Mateo Elementary School and Guitnang Bayan Elementary School in Rizal.

This year, The SM Store started its donation drive with Share Your Extras to benefit communities impacted by Typhoon Odette. SM shoppers were encouraged to donate old and new clothes. Collections from Metro Manila and Luzon branches will be distributed to typhoon-hit areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. Share Your Extras will run from January 15 to February 15, 2021, for Metro Manila branches and February 1 to February 28 for north and south Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao branches. For every donation, shoppers will receive a Php 100 discount voucher valid for their next purchase.