Friday, January 25, 2013

Aboitiz Launches 8th Future Leaders Summit

Sometime, spending at least four years of collegiate education is not enough to get prepared for the real world. We need to get the experience that a the four corners of a classroom cannot give. What the classes offer are only theoretical but it also needs to be put to practice. This makes the graduating workforce not equipped enough to work so they undergo on-the-job training or OJTs to get work experience.
Mr. Txabi Aboitiz

This is why Aboitiz is going to have it's 8th Future Leaders' Summit for this year. Each Summit, they invite students from different colleges and universities to join. But since there is limited capacity, they select only students with potential talent.

This Summit can help Aboitiz to find "the right talent to handle the business" says Mr. Txabi Aboitiz, chief human resource and quality officer. Aboitiz sends invitation from these different educational institutions including DLSU, St. Paul Univ.Manila, Univ. Of Asia and Pacific, PUP, Arellano Univ., Poveda, Ateneo de Manila Univ., Adamson Univ., PCU, EAC, St. Louis, University of the Cordilleras, UE-Manila, San Sebastian, UST, Assumption, UP Diliman, UPLB,  etc.

The Summit will provide different trainings, workshops and team buildings that can equip the student for the working atmosphere fueled with desire to be the future leaders. Besides the summit, Aboitiz also held lectures series available to the schools upon request. Aboitiz also grants scholarship to selective students that shows potential in the work place.

For the screening process and selection, they have qualifications they need to see from the student and the school they also represent.  First of all they have to be leaders. If they have no active leadership in school, how will they show that they have initiative to work. The student needs to show enthusiasm.

Mr. Efren Penaflorida
I was able to attend Aboitiz Academe Lunch along with the representatives of different educational institutions. I also got to eat on the same table with Mr. Efren Penaflorida who also shared his insights. I agree with how Aboitiz thinks about what the students should do. They not only motivated just to gain employment status but also needed to think out of the box.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A New Smile Waiting in the New Year

The New Year brings with it hope and happiness. The future is bright and warm for anyone given the ability to smile at life and its unpredictable twists and turns.  Fortunate children were given hope and happiness this New Year by two generous and ingenious organizations looking to help kids and adults with facial deformities. In the New Year, they get a new smile.

Operation Smile Philippines and the scar expert, Dermatix, have partnered in giving thirty more kids new smiles as they ring in the New Year. Through their charity and hard work, they are giving opportunities to lives scarred terribly by the pain of living with a cleft lip and/or palate. 

Scars are natural repercussions of healing. It occurs when the skin repairs wounds caused by accident, surgery or disease. Scar formation is affected by age, location and genes.
But scars are not limited to physical manifestations. More often than not, scars, especially facial scars, affect the way a person perceives himself regardless of who he is and what he’s done.

Facial scars can negatively affect a patient’s self-esteem. It is with great wonder as to how people with cleft lip and/or palates have survived the continuing pangs of being different. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Operation Smile Philippines, in partnership with scar expert, Dermatix, is exerting much effort and support to such a cause.

Dermatix is an advanced scar formula that integrates the innovative CPX (cyclopentasiloxane) technology to flatten and soften scars while providing Vitamin C ester for photoprotection and skin lightening.

A formula recommended by doctors, Dermatix is easy to apply and is safe to use even for children. It also has excellent cosmetic properties that give it a smooth and silky feel.
With Dermatix, scar reduction can be seen in as early as seven days for facial surgeries.

On the other hand, Operation Smile is present in over 60 countries worldwide including Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Peru, Russia, Venezuela, Vietnam and the Philippines, which is where the organization was founded 30 years ago.

In the Philippines alone, Operation Smile has served over 24,000 kids and adults with facial deformities and is not stopping there, as they continue to forge partnerships with brands that care, such as Dermatix.

In the Philippines, one in every 500 babies born every year has a cleft lip, palate or both. That means that around 4,004 babies out of the 2,064 million born do not have the physical tools to give a smile that they deserve.

There is hope for the over 4,000 born with a facial deformity every year. There are still people and organizations that care for children and adults who cannot smile. A new smile awaits everyone in the New Year and that means everyone including those who survived the pangs of having a slightly different smile.

To learn more about Operation Smile Philippines and opportunities to help, visit

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2013

Puerto Galera is one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is known for it's beaches. But there is more to Puerto Galera than just beaches. For 2 years in a row, Puerto Galera had been hosting a music and arts event during the first quarter.

The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is unlike any festival. It is held at Puerto Galera's Mount Malasimbo for three days where they actually made an amphitheatre from grass terraces which gives it a more engaging exposure with the environment. For the past two years, the organizers of Malasimbo festival brought to perform the biggest names in the underground music industry. Local and foreign.
Bird's eye view of the Malasimbo Festival at night

When you define underground or independent category in music or movies, you are sure that it is different music that you don't hear in mainstream but with same quality and most of the time even better because it is something new and unique. The ideal music of the Malasimbo festival is reggae, jazz, and hiphop. Not the mainstream hiphop but the underground hiphop.

I haven't been to the Malasimbo festival yet but I got an idea the kind of atmosphere in this event. Last year, the organizers of Malasimbo organized the first Manila Music Festival. It was held at the ASEANA property in Paranaque facing the Manila Bay. Despite the rains in some parts of Metro Manila, the event was spared as it partied from its opening during that afternoon until the the next morning. The festival reminds me of Woodstock but only much more tamed.
Joss Stone(middle) with her group Superheavy. Photo courtesy of MCA.

If the Manila Music Festival was fun enough, I am sure that the Malasimbo Festival will be a blast. You have the mountain amphitheatre, the nature, the sounds, and the scenery. The festival is three days long. Each night will have a main performance by Joss Stone and Jimmy Cliff. I suggest you get the three-night passes so you can maximize the whole event.
Organizers and sponsors of Malasimbo Festival 2013

Besides the music, there is also an exhibit showcasing different art works by local and foreign. This is not just a regular festival, this festival also helps promote awareness for the environment and promoting the local culture especially the Mangyan tribe of Mindoro. The organizers of Malasimbo festival is also an advocate for environmental awareness and they also help building up the Mangyan community.

What is good about this that this festival can boost Puerto Galera's tourism and could bring more business and job opportunities without leaving a mess at the venue. Puerto Galera has limited hotel accommodations but the local government already coordinated with the town that they will be opening their homes to tourists for reasonable price. But it is also advisable and cheaper to camp out. There will be designated areas for special trips from different points in Puerto Galera to Malasimbo for a special fare.

If you haven't been to Puerto Galera, it was advised to take any bus that can take you to a pier in Batangas where you can take a ferry to Mindoro. The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2013 will be on March 1-3 2013. For tickets/passes, read this previous blog entry.

For more updates about the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival 2013, LIKE the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, January 11, 2013

adidas Opens New Store In BGC

I remember during my college days when BGC was still hectares of vacant lots where I spend my ROTC days for bivouac. Now, the area is booming commercially. January 10, 2013. I attended the opening of adidas' new outlet in BGC just more than a week after New Year's Day.

adidas also showcased their new line of sports attire for men and women. This line not only covers the athletics type but those with active lifestyle. Since Filipinos now have growing interest in football, adidas offers the ideal outfit and shoes for the game. There are still selections for basketball and also for those who are just simply working out or running for both men and women.

The store opening also displayed seasoned adidas originals for the Year of the Snake. While this is going on, house music were provided with a live DJ just out at the corner where the newly opened stored is located. The new adidas outlet in BGC is located at Two Parkade in High Street.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Five-time Emmy Award® winner Kelsey Grammer in Drama Series BOSS

PHILIPPINES, JANUARY 2, 2013 – Starring five-time Emmy Award® winner and two-time Golden Globe® winner Kelsey Grammer as Kane, with two-time Academy Award® nominee Gus Van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting) directing its premiere episode, BOSS tells the story of one powerful Mayor Tom Kane who holds sway over just about everything in Chicago — except his own life.
Photo courtesy of HBO Asia

Set in a fictional Chicago mayor’s office, this brand new eight-episode drama series premieres in Asia on Monday, January 14 at 10pm on HBO / 9pm on HBO HD , with subsequent episodes airing at the same time weekly.

Mayor Tom Kane sits like a spider at the center of Chicago’s web of power; a web built on a covenant with the people who want to be led, have their disputes settled, jobs dispensed and loyalties rewarded. If he achieves all this through deception and immorality, so be it. As long as he gets the job done, everyone looks the other way. 

He has become estranged from his wife, Meredith, and daughter, Emma, leaving him with no one to turn to when he is suddenly diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder; a secret that he deliberately conceals because it threatens to topple all the dominoes that preserve his power.

It's in facing this adversity that his true character is revealed. It's not power that corrupts Tom Kane, but his fear of losing it.  He must therefore remain vigilant - always staying a step ahead of his enemies who've been waiting years to see him fall.

Joining Grammer in the main cast are Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate) as his wife Meredith, a formidable Chicago power player in her own right; Jeff Hephner (The O.C., Hellcats, Easy Money) as ambitious young politician Ben Zajac; Hannah Ware (Cop Out) as Kane’s estranged daughter Emma; Kathleen Robertson (Girls Club, Beverly Hills 90210, Hollywoodland) as Mayor Kane’s supremely organized chief of staff Kitty O’Neil; Martin Donovan (Weeds, Unthinkable) as Kane’s senior advisor; and Troy Garity (Sunshine, Bandits) as enterprising journalist Sam Miller, who is zeroing in on Kane.

The series was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto) who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Bulochnikov, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene. Lionsgate Television is producing BOSS in association with Grammer’s Gramnet Productions and Sher and Bulochnikov’s Category 5 Entertainment.

Catch the season premiere of this exciting new series BOSS on Monday, January 14 at 10pm on HBO). Or catch it in high-definition an hour earlier at 9pm on HBO HD.

Singapore-based HBO Asia is able to bring the best of Hollywood to Asia first because of its exclusive licensing deals with major Hollywood studios - Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros., as well as a large number of major independent studios. HBO Asia has proprietary and award-winning HBO Original programs that are produced exclusively for HBO viewers. HBO Asia offers five subscription movie channels with uninterrupted programming – HBO, HBO SIGNATURE, HBO FAMILY, HBO HITS and CINEMAX – as well as HBO GO, the brand new Internet streaming service, HBO ON DEMAND, a subscription video-on-demand service, HBO HD, the first regional movie channel to broadcast in high definition in Asia, HBO HITS HD, which delivers Hollywood blockbuster hits 24-hours a day in high definition, and RED, HBO Asia's first premium Asian movie channel. HBO Asia is the exclusive distributor of BabyFirst and WarnerTV in Asia and a joint venture of HBO (a Time Warner company) and Paramount. Log on to for more information.

HBO and Home Box Office are service marks of Home Box Office, Inc. Used with permission.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gee Canlas: From being TV’s fastest talker to Amazing Race Philippines’ surprise frontrunner

TV host Gee Canlas impressed audiences when she was introduced in the now-defunct ABS-CBN show Music Uplate Live, where he made a name for herself as Speedy Gee because of her ability to talk really fast.

She then was given a hosting assignment in Pilipinas Win Na Win, alongside Pokwang, and Kris Aquino. The show however was axed after only a few months.

Recently, however, Gee made a surprise, bold move when she figured as one of the finalists of TV5’s Amazing Race Philippines, where she is paired with her good friend Sheena Vera Cruz.

Her inclusion in the program also showed her transformation. Since she started her stint in the business, she lost considerable weight.

“Joining Amazing Race Philippines is an opportunity that presented itself, so I grabbed it. In fact, even before this local edition, I auditioned for the regional show,” says Gee. “Pero ngayon, with a new partner Sheena who is a very good friend of mine, we were chosen to be part of the show, so thankful talaga kami.”

In the reality show, Gee and Sheena were tagged as the “reunited friends” because Sheena lives in New York. Their team became the 4th top team.

The “reunited friends” positioning served the team well because their friendship became one of the strongest assets of their partnership.

“We know each other since we were in College. We both love to dance. She is a member of the Philippine All Stars. Kabisado naming ang isa’t-isa,” adds Gee. “Pero her being an Inglisera also became a problem for us.”

Gee recalls that in one challenge, where they should have the same answer to a question, Sheena mistook the word “malas” to “malakas,” which obviously made the two have different answers.

In retrospect, however, Gee feels that their sense of humor made their team last that long in the competition.

Malaking bagay talaga yung marunong kaming pagtawanan yung mga pangyayari,” admits Gee. “Pero, one thing I’ve really learned was that we were guided by two things as we joined the competition- FAITH and FATE.”

Their journey on the show, according to Gee, is something she would cherish for the rest of her life.
Any regrets?

“Nothing really. It is just that after I saw the episode where we got eliminated, I felt na sayang, andun na e. That’s the only painful part,” says Gee. “But it is something that I will never forget.”

Aside from her participation in the show, Gee has been reaping commendations for her portrayal in the independent film Melodrama Negra. Which won Audience Choice award.

“I welcome every opportunity that comes my way – hosting, acting, dancing,” enthuses Gee, who is now part of MediaNation, management of Marvin Agustin, Aiza Seguerra, David Pomeranz, among others.