Saturday, September 26, 2015

My first Comedy Cartel experience

When it comes to comedy bars here in the Philippines, the first impression is getting embarrassed in public. The way comedy acts are usually done in this country is dominantly is embarrassing the patrons unless they drop the buck.
Dr. Bong Ramirez of Zen Holistic Center(left)

For Westernized standards, comedy acts are smart comedy when doing punchlines in situations. It also involves observation and quick thinking. Back in the 90's in the advent of internet, one Fil-Am stand-up comedian got noticed online because of his acts.

It is similar to Saturday Night Live which is the longest running comedy act on TV. The Comedy Cartel is the local group that holds smart comedy acts that caters to different types of audience without making fun of the audience.

I got to see four stand-up comedians with different styles of doing comedy acts. One of them is even a doctor named Bong Ramirez who owns a wellness center Zen Holistic Center and a practitioner of alternative medicine . One is a college student who told me that one of his influences was Chris Rock. One is also a puppeteer who already appeared in Pilipinas Got Talent. He uses three puppets for his act but owns at least twenty.

It also helps that some stand-up comedians who made it big on television like Ryan Rems help boost this kind of comedy acts. If you are looking for different kind of comedy acts that won't ridicule you, look out for the name Comedy Cartel.

For more entertainment features, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Thanks to JAB Hauz and Zen Holistic Center for this night of fun and laughter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WWF-Philippines Deploys Solar Lamps in Beton, Palawan

Press release

About 15 million Filipinos have no access to electricity. Living in far-flung villages which are not directly connected to power grids, they instead rely on highly-flammable kerosene to light up their homes. This lack of access to a safe, stable, and sustainable energy source hinders opportunities for social and economic advancement.

Located in the municipality of Taytay in northern Palawan, the remote island-community of Beton is home to an estimated 300 families who rely on subsistence fishing and seaweed farming for food and livelihood. The majority of them make do with living in darkness after sundown.

“Our children study and do their homework under the light of kerosene lamps, which are dangerous and expensive. We spend about PHP 150 for a month’s worth of kerosene. This amount could have been allotted for other necessities like food and school materials,” said Romela Dominguez, a mother of four.

To spark hope, top climate solutions provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) recently distributed solar-powered lamps to dozens of families in Beton. Solar lamps rely on the power of the sun, eliminating the need for fuel.  

The units were obtained through funds raised from Gift of Light, a crowdfunding project that WWF-Philippines initiated during the Earth Hour campaign in March 2015.

Earth Hour is the world’s largest voluntary mass action for the environment. What started out as an annual lights-off event has grown into a movement that catalyzes environmental and social projects with tangible outcomes. Earth Hour has paved the way for online crowdfunding initiatives like Gift of Light to introduce practical yet long-term climate solutions.  

Before distributing the portable solar home systems, which include two lamps each, WWF-Philippines organized an education session among Beton residents, who learned about climate change, renewable energy, and how they can maintain their new lamps.

“Renewable energy is free, safe and clean. With these lamps, there is no need to waste money on kerosene, the burning of which contributes to climate change,” said Atty. Gia Ibay, who heads WWF-Philippines’ Climate Change unit and the Earth Hour Philippines campaign.

Romela’s eldest daughter, sixth-grader Kyla Joy, shared, “The solar lamps capture the power of the sun during the day so that we can have a bright light source at night. With this, I am able to properly read my books, do my homework. I really hope to be a teacher one day. Thank you to the generous individuals for giving us the gift of light.”

For children who have big dreams like Kyla Joy, Gift of Light brings hope for a brighter future.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Inside Martin's Mancave

Like blogging, podcasting is part new media. Both considered part of the digital or internet platform. Podcasting is similar to radio broadcast but the difference is you can listen to it again. I admit that I also participate in podcasting with a couple of fellow movie bloggers after a movie together as if we have our own amateur talk show inside a car with a mobile phone as a recording device and it was fun.

Working a longtime for local TV news, Martin Andanar is passionate about delivering his own beat in a new level and found out podcasting as a solution. He set up a room at his place, made it nearly soundproofed and set up some technical recording equipment with microphones and Martin's Mancave was born.

For Martin's case, what makes podcasting an essential tool in communication was there are lots of stories, beat materials out there that goes unpublished or not yet broadcasts due to the limitations of slots in print columns or aired broadcasts in traditional media. But the best part of this the liberty to deliver information with substance without any executive producer or station manager making revisions of what do you wish the public should know.

In a span of one year of podcasting, he already invited various personalities including former president Fidel Ramos and Lani Misalucha. Recently, Martin is doing a series of interviews of presidential candidates. So far, Vice President Binay and Mayor Duterte were able to guest in the show.

He now juggles his time at the network he's connected and the Mancave. He also invited his colleagues to join him. Benjie Felipe is doing a show about dreams and horoscope. Benjie is also part of the ghost hunting podcast with Deah Ricacho. Jun Sabayton also joins them for the adult-oriented show called Dear Bayaw. This made them the first institution of podcasting in the Philippines.

Since Podcast.Ph continues to grow, Martin turned his garage in a second podcast room. Even his daughter Alexa podcasts about high school life. During my visit there, Martin told me that it also podcasting also helps to spread the message to the netizens but also to the Pinoys abroad so they will be updated on what is happening in the country of birth.
The podcasters and bloggers

Martin also told me that there is no actual script for the podcast. He only have an outline but when conversing with a guest, it's anything goes. After orienting and tour at Podcast.Ph, we got to talk about our country's conspiracies, politics, history, ghosts and we didn't realize it was already past nine in the evening. If only we have more time to talk. It would be cool if they used our discussion for their next material.

You can listen to Martin's Mancave via or download it free on Soundcloud or iTunes. For more updates, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Destiny Rose begins telecast on GMA afternoon slot

GMA began telecast of their new series Destiny Rose on afternoon slot. For the first time in Philippine television, they picked a transexual as a protagonist. I was invited to chill at Rufo's and watch the show with the fans of Ken Chan who played the title character.

What made me appeal is the passion of the fans for the actor and the series. It reminded me of  the midweek screenings of Star Trek episodes when it was still airing. Even though the series has comical moments, it still has a serious theme. The struggles and conflicts of the protagonist may be too real as well as the violence but relevant to the story that it was rated SPG. 

It seems that GMA TV series shows empowerment and support of the LBGT movement in the previous projects they had. Rich Man's Daughter is about lesbianism, My Husband's Lover is obviously about gay relationships. Dading is about bisexuality and now transexuals in Destiny Rose. Destiny Rose airs on weekday afternoons. For more updates, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Thanks to the Chan family and the supportive fans of Ken Chan for the hospitality during the screening at Rufo's during the first episode. For more updates of television shows, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Samsung S Carpet Launch

Last September 1, I was invited to a fashion event unlike any other. I am not into fashion but I made an exception on this one. Because it is the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge++ and Note5.

What does fashion have anything to do with the Note5 and S6? Samsung collaborated with the country's leading fashion designers. By using the latest models of the Samsung gadgets, the designers were able to come up with an inspiration for the event which they showcased during the launch.

This event was done in collaboration with the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines. On the same week, the S6 and the Note5 were now available. An old friend of mine was already in line at the Samsung outlet in Megamall as he was waiting to purchased his new S6.

If fashions designers can do this with their mobile devices, I can't wait to see my comic book artists friends to try it out. For more tech events, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Walk Your Talk, Walk The 51Talk

Press release

51Talk, the fastest growing online English Language Teaching (ELT) platform in China and the Philippines, recently gathered its e-Educators for a teachers’ conference for a day of training, team building and a celebration of individual and organizational achievements.
(L-R) AJ Rivera, Associate Manager, Teacher Support Team, Jen Que, Vice President for Philippine Operations; Michele Gumabao, 51Talk Brand Ambassador; Teacher Nelli, One of the 51Talk Top Teachers (Overall); Shu Ting, Country Manager and Co-founder; Mel Quozon, Manager, Teacher Support Team
“In 51Talk, we want to continuously groom and develop our teachers so we make it a point to organize events that will bring our teachers together to learn from each other,” said Sues, Country Manager and Co-founder of 51Talk. “We organize events like Walk the 51Talk for our home-based e-Educators to strengthen the relationship between their fellow e-Educators and the 51Talk administration. We want to reignite their passion for teaching through the learning sessions and most importantly, to uphold the 51Talk teaching standards.

The event at Crowne Plaza in Ortigas, Pasig City started with a brief introduction of the Chinese culture by 51Talk’s Co-founder followed by trainings, raffles, and the highly anticipated awarding of the top 51Talk teachers. The event culminated in performances by 51Talk teachers in the 51Talk’s Got Talent contest.

Sue added that what sets 51Talk apart from other online English educators is that they consider their teachers to be the assets of their company. With this mind-set, the company prides itself on a complete support system for new teachers and continuously improves the quality of their lessons and trainings for their teachers.

“In the last six months we have grown exponentially and we have a rigorously trained support team to assist our teachers,” said Jen, 51Talk’s Vice President for Philippine Operations. “This passion for quality is why we’re the number one ESL online school in China and the fastest growing here in the Philippines.”

51Talk does not only provide its teachers with room to grow but it also gives its employees a shot at a better life.

“In 51Talk, we give Filipinos time to spend with their family rather than going abroad to work.” said Michele Gumabao, multi-awarded professional volleyball player, inspirational speaker and 51Talk brand ambassador. “We give them time to spend with their family. We also provide them with safety as they no longer have to leave the comfort of their homes.”

“I’ve been working with 51Talk for almost two years now,” said Teacher Nelli, one of the 51Talk Top Teachers (Overall) Awardee for 2015. “What I like about the company is that you can work for them from the comfort of your home. I would recommend working for 51Talk as it gives better compensation and the job can adjust to your lifestyle.”

The 51Talk Top Teacher Award is given annually to the top ten 51Talk teachers who had the most outstanding track records. Teachers were judged based on their reliability, the average service score from their students, booking rate, and tenure.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

CitiGlobal welcomes the Bossings to their new home

Most Filipinos at least has one relative who is working abroad as migrant workers. It is not easy for the family to lose one member to work in another time zone with different culture, language and most of the time ethnicity. These are some sacrifices families have to make a better life.

The overseas Filipino workers are the new heroes and heroines in our country. They bring the money for the economy even though they endured many sacrifices. This is where real estate company CitiGlobal assists them to make an investment to make them profitable.

CitiGlobal offers affordable housing units in Tagaytay Fontaine Villas. In this manner, the OFWs will have their own retirement house or make a business out of it as a transient house since Tagaytay is a major tourist destination.

Just so happens that most of the residents in Tagaytay Fontaine Villas are usually OFWs because they are eager to finally own a property in a scenic location like Tagaytay. Ms. Grace Alfonso who is based in U.S., still longs to go back to the Philippines and retire. She shares that when she saw the ad online; she immediately inquired and decided to invest in it. Now, she is one of the proud owners of a property in Tagaytay Fontaine Villas.

Presenting them for the ceremonial turnover for their new house is none other than CitiGlobal ambassador  Vic Sotto despite his hectic schedule of his daily noontime show; he still made the time to surprise them that afternoon in a thanksgiving meal.

Most are not aware that despite the popularity of Vic Sotto, he was very discreet when it comes to helping people. He never publicize anything for public service. That is why the reason he is the ambassador for CitiGlobal. For Vic Sotto, they are the bossings.

I see a future in our country when we no longer need to send OFWs because there are stable investments that CitiGlobal can do for all Filipinos.  But it all depends if you make the big step. For more updates, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.