Friday, August 5, 2016

Unilab Foundation’s Play It Forward-On The Move builds resilience among children in Tacloban

The first batch of Play It Forward-On The Move facilitators in Tacloban City. 25 volunteers spent four days to become Play It Forward facilitators through the Training of Trainers workshop, held last July 26-29 at Ritz Tower De Leyte.

Twenty-five volunteers give the power of play to 100 children in four communities in Tacloban to help them build their resilience to face disasters.

For four days, volunteers shared their time and talent to become Play It Forward-On The Move play facilitators during a Training of Trainers seminar from July 26 to 29 in Tacloban City.

Play It Forward (PIF) is the therapeutic play intervention of Unilab Foundation. It is a science- and evidence-based program that employs the use of a play space and a curriculum to facilitate recovery among children in post-disaster areas.

Play It Forward-On The Move (PIF-OTM) was created as a mobile play kit for faster deployment to communities in need. Designed as a bag with a waterproof hood and cape, the kit contains traditional Filipino games and art materials, as well as activity books developed by the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychology Services to provide adaptive coping strategies and build resiliency among children in disaster-prone areas. The bag is designed in partnership with Taclob, a Tacloban City-based social enterprise that produces disaster-preparedness gear made by Typhoon Yolanda survivors themselves.

The volunteers who attended the PIF-OTM training came from all walks of life. There were young volunteers from Football for Life, who helped children heal from trauma through the power of sports. There were healers of physical ills, like the barangay nutrition and health officers. And there were those who had no background in providing psychosocial support at all, such as community leaders, parents, even a 70-year-old grandmother; survivors who had witnessed firsthand how calamities can paralyze children and plant seeds of fear in them, long after the storms have left.

After four days of dedicated training, these volunteers were equipped to provide the needed psychosocial support to children. They learned the basics of psychosocial support and went through therapeutic play modules themselves, in preparation of conducting sessions with children. Moreover, they learned how to conduct the training workshops, so that they could bring therapeutic play to other vulnerable areas in Tacloban City and in the country.

Building resilience among the children of Tacloban

A child enjoys playing with her sepak takraw.
This is part of the Play It Forward On The Move
mobile play kit
Tacloban City has always received a significant amount of rainfall, ranging from 1,853mm in 1998 to 4,768mm in 2011*.

One of the most devastating typhoons to ever hit Tacloban was Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

With Eastern Visayas geographically vulnerable to typhoons and the La Ni┼ła phenomenon threatening to bring more rain, children stand to be the most affected.

Through the new PIF-OTM facilitators, 100 children were given access to therapeutic play. These kids, aged six to ten years old, came from relocation sites and poor communities in Tacloban City: GMA-Kapuso Foundation Village, Habitat for Humanity Village, Ridge View Park Village, and Barangay 70 Anibong. Barangay 70 Anibong was heavily devastated during Typhoon Yolanda, when huge cargo ships swept the shores and dismantled houses.

The children and the volunteer facilitators gathered together in a Play Day last July 30. The children learned how to express their feelings, how to seek help from their parents, and how to be in control when disaster strikes. They also heard the story of Ufie, a dog who survives many challenges, that they, too, can be heroes. During the Play Day, 17 Tacloban parents also underwent a parallel seminar, in order to reinforce the importance of play even in their homes.

The power of play

Experts have proven that children use play not only to cope with difficult emotions, but also as a way for them to accelerate healing and recovery from trauma. Unilab Foundation launched PIF in 2012 after Typhoon Sendong, to help children in post-disaster areas recover from trauma. It is a child-focused, community-based resiliency program that empowers local communities to provide their children with the necessary emotional and psychosocial support.

The first PIF play space in Brgy. Canitoan in Cagayan de Oro City was fully turned over to the community in 2016. From the physical play space, PIF developed mobile play spaces in several designs: one design features a backpack and a chair, while another contains both a bag and a cape. Both versions were designed to be able to provide a child with space to play under any circumstance. The backpack and chair design was pilot-tested to over 200 children from Tacloban who were relocated in Metro Manila, Navotas and Bulacan.

Unilab Foundation Executive Director Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi asserts, “A healthier Philippines can only be achieved when every child is healthy, where every child has a sacred space to play, when every child can bravely face disasters and cope with it.”

Jomar reviews the UFIE activity book, part of the Play It Forward On The Move mobile play kit. The book is filled with activities that are designed to enable children to express their feelings.

You can be a hero

Resilience can’t be built overnight. That’s why Play It Forward takes on a holistic approach, involving the parents, community, and the local government.

With more than twenty typhoons entering the country every year, therapeutic play is even more important, and play champions are needed nationwide. If you are a parent, give your child at least an hour of play every day. If you are a teacher, incorporate play in your lessons. If you are part of an organization that can help make play happen, you can work with Unilab Foundation in building a healthier Philippines, one community, one child at a time.

Twenty-first century heroes don’t have capes, but they can give capes to children, true heroes who are capable of overcoming any disaster that comes their way.

For more information about Play It Forward-On The Move, contact Judy Santiago at 0917-531-6524, or email

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ginebra San Miguel reveals "Gindependence Day" plan

This month, Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. announced their plan to herald in the new gin culture, as they connect with a larger audience.

Dubbed as "Gindependence Day!," the brand is branching out to become more hip, fun, and upscale. GSMI will have different activities to push this new agenda.

With the flagship brand Ginebra San Miguel, they have readjusted it to target the younger market, after having championed the hardworking Filipino working class.

Case in point: they put this ad out last year:

Whilst retaining its "Ganado" concept, the brand this year highlights the young Overseas Filipino Worker and his family, including an upcoming tv commercial.

Are you part of the Gin Nation?

To spread the word about the "Ganado" spirit, GSMI will have the Gin Nation Roving Caravan among the different university events and food festivals, aiming to change how people to drink Ginebra San Miguel one location at the time. (Details and schedules of the Roving Caravan can be seen on their Facebook page)

The Gin Truck in the middle

One can taste five different mixes (Manila Sunrise, Blue Fizz, Mojito Slush, Sweet Lemony Martini, All Nighter) at the truck.


GSMI will also continue with their nationwide Ginumanfest concert series, which is going on for the past four summers. Top bands and performers will share their passion and the "Ganado sa Buhay" spirit.

With their involvement in the PBA, it is not surprising that they will also incorporate basketball in the campaign.

In this case, they are slated to conduct a 3-on-3 basketball competition across the different barangays for those over the age of 18. Qualifiers will take place starting on March 12. Details on this tournament will be on Facebook page.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Unilab Foundation and Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology launch exhibit to address health literacy

Unilab Foundation, Inc. (ULF) has partnered with the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST) to address the country’s health literacy gap through Health Science On the Go (HSOTG)–Traveling Science Centrum.

The intervention is a unique educational platform that stimulates curiosity through hands-on learning among students. It aims to be a meaningful and fun way to educate them on the health sciences, and develop a generation that is more equipped to live healthier lifestyles.

Interactive exhibits for health literacy

The US Centers for Disease Control defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” 

In 2014, the Philippine College of Physicians reported a low health literacy rate among Filipinos. This gap is reflected in the Philippines’ top leading causes of morbidity and mortality, which feature mostly preventable infectious diseases such as respiratory infections, diarrhea and tuberculosis – diseases virtually eradicated in most developed countries.

In line with Unilab Foundation’s mission to build a healthier Philippines, HSOTG aims to promote and demonstrate how personal choices affect health. Its thirty-one (31) engaging and interactive exhibits are grouped into five (5) main clusters: physical fitness, nutrition, hygiene, public health and medicines. It will also feature popular interactive exhibits for general science.

The exhibits complement the K-12 competencies in Health and Science, in support of Department of Education’s Reformed Basic Education Curriculum.

Unilab Foundation Executive Director Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi emphasizes the importance of this endeavor. “When we invest in the students’ learning through Health Science On the Go, we invest in the future of our country. We need to continue investing in knowledge and experience of the students because that would determine how far they will go in the future.”

Exhibit launch and highlights

In cooperation with the DOST Region IV-A and DepEd Rizal, HSOTG–Traveling Science Centrum launched its second run on January 25, 2016, at San Jose National High School, where it was open to visitors until February 12. From there, the exhibit will be housed at the Tomas Claudio Memorial Elementary School from February 15 to March 4, 2016.

The exhibit will cater to elementary and high school students from over thirty (30) districts in Rizal. Highlights of the exhibition include: Kelly, the Skeleton (skeletal movement); Dance to be Healthy (cardiovascular health); Platong Makulay for Healthy Eating (balanced diet and the food pyramid); Brush Your Teeth the Right Way (oral health care); What happens when you sleep? (stages and effects of sleep); Bacteria 101 (exponential growth of bacteria); How vaccines work in the body (immunization); Van de Graaff generator (hair-raising activity); What Are OTC Medicines? (over-the-counter medicine for common symptoms); and more.

A healthier Philippines, one student at a time

In September 2015, the HSOTG–Traveling Science Centrum was visited by over 6,000 students during its first run in Davao.

From January 25 to March 4, 2016, the exhibit aims to attract over 10,000 students and teachers from both public and private schools in the province. This “science beyond the classroom” approach encourages visitors to better understand and appreciate the value of health.

Palomar-Fresnedi shares, “Every person who was the aspiration to become healthy contributes to a healthier Philippines. Even if we do not have grand dreams or capabilities to make a different in whatever profession we have, we could still make a difference in the way we live. And the time starts now. That experience starts now.”

As Unilab Foundation and PFST join forces for this noble initiative, it is envisioned that every visitor be equipped with the right information, get involved in its dissemination, and become an active advocate in the creation of a healthy environment for future generations – contributing to a healthier and more health literate Philippines, one student at a time.

For more information, please visit and

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Liam Neeson featured in LG's first Super Bowl commercial

LG Electronics (LG) showed its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, which features blockbuster actor Liam Neeson and its new LG SIGNATURE OLED TV. The commercial — father-son collaboration with Ridley Scott, executive producer, and Jake Scott, director — showcases LG’s commitment to bringing the future of television to consumers today.

The spot focused on how LG brings future-forward home entertainment innovations to consumers with its revolutionary OLED TV technology, centering on their newest flagship OLED TV, which delivers OLED technology’s superior picture quality with perfect blacks, unparalleled contrast and more colors on an elegant, stunningly slim glass panel. The unique Picture-on-Glass design aesthetic is only possible with OLED technology.

“It’s a dynamic short film,” said renowned director and the commercial’s executive producer, Sir Ridley Scott. “It’s about the race to be on the vanguard of innovation and to be able to create tomorrow’s technology.”

Neeson’s character is “the man from the future” and is tasked with releasing the future of television to the world for the masses to enjoy today, much like LG has continued to do through its pioneering innovation in the OLED TV category.

“My character is an enigmatic man from the future who has traveled back to the present day on a very important mission,” said Neeson. “He represents that inner appeal, that curiosity we have to find out about the future.”

“The objective was to create a world you’ve never seen before or a world that was unique and specific to the OLED,” said Jake Scott, who directed the LG commercial.

LG’s commercial draws upon the expertise and creativity of two Hollywood heavy-hitters, Ridley and Jake Scott, who aren’t just known for their award-winning films but also their acclaimed commercials. Each has already left their mark on the big game with previous successes including Ridley’s iconic 1984 commercial for Macintosh and Jake’s top performing ad, Budweiser’s Lost Dog.

Adding to his ever-growing resume of entertainment gold, this will be Neeson’s second Super Bowl commercial following his famous Clash of Clans spot from last season, which was named the most viewed Super Bowl ad on YouTube. Neeson and Ridley Scott last worked together in the action-packed 2005 film, Kingdom of Heaven, and the latest LG commercial is promising to be just as electric.

“Ridley and Jake are an amazing creative team,” said Neeson. “You know you’re in good hands.”

The award-winning LG SIGNATURE OLED TV, which was recently named Best TV Product by the Official Best of CES® 2016 Awards presented by Engadget, is defined not only by its amazing picture quality, but also its aesthetic design. With a sophisticated OLED panel featuring an impossibly thin depth (measuring about one-tenth of an inch) with a translucent glass back and a powerful, forward-facing sound bar speaker system, it is an outstanding feat of modern engineering and design.

“At first I was struck by its form. It’s just beautifully thin, clean and simple and elegant,” said Ridley Scott.

The flagship 77- and 65-inch class LG SIGNATURE OLED TVs feature exceptional contrast and color as well as 4K Ultra HD resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) capability. Certified as UHD Premium by the UHD Alliance, the series supports the industry-standard HDR formats established by the world’s leading broadcasters, film studios and consumer electronics manufacturers, including HDR10 and DolbyVision™ technology, making them among the first to be compatible with all formats.

Unlike LCD displays where the LED backlight can only locally dim sections of the screen, each pixel on an OLED panel can switch on and off independently. As a result, OLED TVs render crisp, vibrant colors and rich shadow details, even when bright objects are directly next to deep, dark areas — unlike LCD TVs which have a halo effect from light bleeding.

Led by the dramatic new LG SIGNATURE models featured in the commercial, LG’s 2016 OLED TV lineup features four series with eight total models, each with LG’s new webOS 3.0 smart TV platform, featuring advanced new features that make finding and switching between LG’s expanded content options — including broadcast TV, streaming services and external devices – simple and fast.

For more information about LG home entertainment products, please visit

PLDT introduces game-changing broadband plan with mobile data sharing

The country's first data sharing feature by the PLDT HOME DSL Speedster Fam Plan strengthens family connections even further as it lets them share their most meaningful experiences even beyond the home.

Leading telecom and digital services provider PLDT has introduced the country’s first broadband plan that cuts across home and mobile broadband subscriptions with the launch of PLDT HOME DSL Speedster Fam Plan 1299.

Offering five times faster speeds of up to 10 megabits per second (Mbps), the Speedster Fam Plan has shareable monthly data allowance of 50 gigabytes (GB).

“To enjoy the Speedster Fam Plan’s data sharing feature, subscribers can get a Smart mobile line that comes with a free smart phone for an additional P299 per month or with a free iPhone for P799 per month,” said PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali. “Subscribers can share 6 GB of the 50 GB monthly data allocation to up to four mobile phone lines, which they can use even outside the home. Bundled with the Speedster Fam Plan, these are all conveniently billed under one subscription.”

“Internet today is not just about high-speed connectivity,” Dujali added. “More importantly, it’s about sharing and nurturing the connections that matter most in this digitally-driven world. This data sharing offer from PLDT HOME DSL, in partnership with Smart, is only the beginning of more game-changing innovations that we’ll be unveiling this year.”

Aside from giving subscribers access to an array of multimedia entertainment options from iflix, Fox and Netflix, the Speedster Fam Plan revolutionizes the way subscribers can share data. For instance, parents can share data with their children so they can book an Uber going home or check up on their kids while they’re out through video call. This feature can also be used to plan an impromptu dinner with the family or make travel plans with loved ones despite being away from each other.

The Speedster Fam Plan, which is powered by the PLDT Group’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks, will also allow subscribers to access and enjoy exclusive offers from PLDT HOME and Smart’s other digital lifestyle partners such as Zalora, foodpanda and Airbnb, whether at home or on mobile.

Just watch the clip below and check out

Monday, February 8, 2016

JolliSavers offering satisfying meals PhP50 and below

Stretching a small budget to fuel up for a long workday is a challenge, especially in those days just before the next paycheck comes in. But why settle for light, bland meals that leave you unsatisfied?

Enjoying your favorite breakfast, lunch, and merienda doesn’t have to mean spending more. With JolliSavers, you can satisfy your cravings for flavorful meals at any time of the day—for only P50 or less.

Sulit-sarap breakfast treats

With Jollibee’s Breakfast JolliSavers, a delicious breakfast is no longer out of one’s budget.

Go for the new Breakfast Shanghai (P50)! This lunchtime favorite gets a delicious twist that makes it ideal for a power breakfast. Three tasty shanghai rolls served with a steaming cup of garlic rice, a fried egg, and a serving of sweet-chili sauce make for an affordable, and delicious breakfast meal.

If you’re a big fan of the Yum Burger, you’ll definitely enjoy the new Breakfast Yum Burger (P45). The nation’s favorite langhap-sarap burger gets a breakfast makeover—100% pure beef patty, a layer of Jollibee’s special burger dressing, and a fried egg are sandwiched between soft buns—for a yummy treat on-the-go.

Rounding out the roster of Breakfast JolliSavers is the Bacon & Egg Pancake Sandwich (P50). A perfect combination of favorite breakfast flavors—two fluffy pancakes, a slice of cheese melting between crispy bacon strips and fried egg—this JolliSaver will definitely satisfy your craving for your all-time breakfast favorites.

Payday sarap all day, every day

Continue your sulit-sarap enjoyment throughout lunch and merienda with JolliSavers, a selection of Jollibee’s affordable bestsellers. You don’t have to excuse yourself from lunching out with officemates during petsa de peligro—Burger Steak (P50) makes for a completely delicious meal with a 100% pure beef patty, Jollibee’s signature mushroom gravy, and rice.

Jolly Spaghetti (P50), the meatiest, cheesiest spaghetti in town, is great for lunch or merienda, and is an excellent partner for Yum Burger (P30). For an alternative merienda treat, opt for the Jolly Hotdog (P50)— juicy hotdog nestled in a soft, warm bun, topped with a cheesy dressing, grated cheese, and tomato catsup.

From sun up to sun down, may sarap na pang-payday, sa presyong pang-everyday, only with Jollisavers! Breakfast JolliSavers are served every day from 7 to 11 AM, while JolliSavers are available the whole day. Both are also available for drive-thru and delivery transactions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

LG Electronics: A CES 2016 standout with future-proof TV technology

On top of the bar-raising OLED, UHD and Smart TV line-up, LG proved in CES 2016 that its top-quality innovations are endless as it revealed the revolutionary 18” OLED TV that can be rolled up like a newspaper.

Global technology innovator LG Electronics wowed International Consumer Electronics (CES 2016) attendees with its future-proof innovations, which include three Smart TV technologies. CES has been the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for over 40 years, attracting thousands of inventors, developers and manufacturers of tech products, as well as investors, enthusiasts and journalists sniffing out the next big thing in the wide, wonderful world of consumer electronics.

To stand out among the competition, LG Electronics focused on what matters most today and the years to come: uniqueness, efficient design, intuitive technology and affordability. The core needs of its consumers—technology that enhances their lifestyles and experiences—remain at the heart of LG’s research, development and manufacturing activities.LG’s latest version of its OLED, UHD and Smart webOS 3.0 TV lines are evidence of the company’s pursuit of a consumer-centric direction.

Award-winning OLED technology
At last year’s CES, LG unveiled the curved and flat variants of its 4K OLED (organic light emitting diode) TV line, which featured deeper blacks, richer colors and four times the clarity and resolution of Full HD. Tech publications dubbed the OLED technology as the future of TV, as it uses never-before-seen self-lighting pixels that can turn on and off individually.

This year, LG announced an expansion in its groundbreaking OLED TV line, adding eight more models to its current roster. The LG G6 OLED line touts a remarkable “HDR Pro” technology that perfectly complements OLED’s displayof seamless black and “infinite”color contrasts. This allows LG’s OLED sets to replicate the screen’s brightness and contrast intelligently to display the color spectrum closer to reality as possible. This outstanding revelation on the LG G6 OLED new technology, more specifically with the 77-inch model heading the line-up, earned LG the 2016 CES Best of Innovations Award.

Perfect detail
The smallest details can distinguish a fad product from technology that can withstand fickle trends—and perfect details are what set LG’s SUPER UHD TV models apart from the rest of the pack at CES 2016.

SUPER UHD boasts of higher color reproduction rates (True Black Panel), picture-enhancing features (Contrast Maximizer), an alluring ULTRA Slim design and mind-blowing audio in collaboration with audio pioneer Harman/Kardon and the unique Magic Sound Tuning function, which automatically makes adjustments to tailor-fit sound quality to the viewer’s environment.

Enhanced versatility, UI for next-level entertainment
At the CES 2016, LG unveiled the webOS 3.0, the latest iteration of its acclaimed Smart TV platform. Building from the technology the company introduced in 2014, webOS 3.0 features the combination of consumer insight and LG’s tech breakthroughs for enhanced versatility, an improved user interface specifically designed for convenience and intuitive navigation, and a wealth of new features and content.

We are excited about webOS 3.0, a major update since this advanced TV platform technology was first introduced in 2014,” said Brian Kwon, President and CEO at LG’s Home Entertainment Company. “The webOS story ofSimple Connection, Simple Switching and Simple Discoveryhas really connected with customers and illustrates very clearly our commitment to securing a leadership role in the Smart TV market with innovation and creativity.

CES 2016 attendees experienced the new, unobtrusive webOS interface, which set the stage for the three magic smart features: Magic Zoom, Magic Mobile Connection and the improved Magic Remote. A new feature called Multi-View allows users to watch two screens—from different channels or input sources such as cable channel and Blu-Ray player—simultaneously.The new webOS 3.0 also brings in a whole new world of premium content through Channel Plus.

Alongside the cutting-edge innovations launched globally at CES 2016, LG recently announced that multinational Internet TV provider Netflix is already available in selected Smart TV models in the Philippines as part of its global rollout. LG was chosen as Netflix’s primary global business partner due to the superior picture quality and performance it lends to the Smart TV industry and Netflix viewing experience alike.

For more information, visit; like LG Philippines’ Facebook page or follow @LGPhilippines on Twitter and Instagram.