Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Press release

Philippines – KANYE WEST and adidas announce the much anticipated release of the YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 White / Core Black / Red.

This YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 features an upper composed of white and black Primeknit with a subtle contrasting off white streak, mirrored ‘SPLY-350’ mark, distinct center stitching, and heel tab.

A semi-translucent rubber outsole and TPU sidewalls create a striking effect while providing superior traction. The YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 midsole utilizes adidas’ innovative BOOST™ technology to create a durable, shock-resistant, responsive sole.

The YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 is already available for 11,495 PhP.

A full list of adidas retail locations can be found at adidas.com/KANYE  

For this release, adidas has released the YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 through an online raffle across the following countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines; and a silent raffle for Australia and New Zealand.


Monday, February 27, 2017


Press release

Parks successfully breed Southeast Asian animals threatened by illegal wildlife trade; Baby cheetah and fennec foxes hand-raised under human care to be ambassador animals

Singapore – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo have reported over 600 animal births and hatchings in 2016, and among them are highly threatened Southeast Asian animals. These include the Sunda pangolin, painted terrapin, proboscis monkey, Bali mynah and black-winged starling, all of which are on the brink of extinction.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said, “We have a mission to protect and conserve biodiversity in Singapore and the region, and are happy to report that our animal care team did well in breeding some of the rarest Southeast Asian animals in 2016. This is but one of the many ways we work on to help save these animals from extinction. We also actively support conservation and research efforts in the animals’ native habitats.”

Southeast Asian animal babies
Nine painted terrapins, one of Southeast Asia’s most endangered freshwater turtle species, hatched in April in Singapore Zoo. The park also welcomed another proboscis monkey baby in April, an endangered primate native to the island of Borneo. Since 1999, Singapore Zoo has seen 30 proboscis monkey births and Singapore lays claim to the highest number of proboscis monkey births outside of their native Indonesia.

Southeast Asian animal births in Night Safari include Neha, the juvenile Asian elephant born on 12 May who charmed her way to fame with her playful antics. The park also welcomed a fifth successful birth of the critically endangered Sunda pangolin since 2011, on 7 October. This makes Night Safari one of the most successful wildlife parks in the world in caring for and breeding the world’s most trafficked mammal. Two Malayan tapirs born in October and December brought up the park’s impressive track record to 30 successful births to date.  
Threatened Southeast Asian species continue to thrive at Jurong Bird Park, with the hatchings of three black-winged starlings and four Bali mynahs, both species critically endangered due to their popularity in the illegal songbird trade. The park works closely with organisations like Begawan Foundation and Cikananga Conservation Breeding Centre in Indonesia who are striving to safeguard a population of these rare birds, and hope to eventually reintroduce them to their native habitats.

Ambassador babies
Amidst recent reports that cheetahs are increasingly threatened with extinction with only 7,100 left in the wild, Singapore Zoo welcomed cheetah cub Deka. Born on 3 October, Deka was abandoned by her inexperienced first-time mother. Vets and keepers made the decision to save the cub by hand-raising her. Starting out weak and malnourished, Deka spent her first four days in the animal hospital. Vets and keepers worked tirelessly to provide round-the-clock care for the next two months until she was strong enough to be independent. Today, she is an active and healthy juvenile that enjoys sprinting about her play area.

Night Safari’s first pair of fennec foxes successfully bore three kits in November. Kit trio Nia, Nailah and Zaire were also hand-raised after exhibiting minor injuries from mishandling by their mother. Parents Zuri and Izem, the first fennec foxes in the collection across the four wildlife parks, were brought in as confiscations by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. Singapore law prohibits the keeping of exotic animals such as fennec foxes. The illegal pet trade threatens the survival of wild species and amateur pet owners are often ill-equipped to manage the animals’ welfare. The fox family is set to make its debut in Night Safari’s Creatures of the Night show as animal ambassadors, to educate guests against keeping exotic pets illegally.

Dr Cheng said, “Each animal baby born and hatched in our parks is an ambassador in their own right. Individually, they represent their wild counterparts, but collectively they embody the need to conserve not just each individual species but the environment as a whole.”

Over at River Safari, the manatee herd welcomed Joella, a calf born in April. The park’s giant otter family continues to grow with four new additions in March, bringing the total to eight. The park also saw the births of an emperor tamarin, a small primate species, and a trio of ocellate river stingrays, both native to the Amazon Basin.     

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Thousand ways Sprout won the hearts of Metro Manila’s HR last Valentine’s

Press release

HR people are probably the most unpopular folks in any office. No one really pays much attention to what they do, except when problems arise with time records, benefits, and payslips – in which case they get the brunt of people’s ire. Few people realize that if those HR people don’t do their jobs, corporate life can get quite messy. Like can you imagine what will happen if your salary and tax records are not updated?

Certainly, if there’s anyone who deserves some love in the office, it’s the HR people. Yet no one really seems to know this…except Human Resource (HR) and payroll solutions startup, Sprout Solutions.

Knowing what it takes to spark a connection with its target partners, Sprout Solutions sprinkled love dust in HR offices across the business district on the day before Valentine’s Day.

Thousands of HR practitioners in corporate offices located all around BGC, Ortigas, and Makati received a special Valentine’s package from the software company including a stem of rose and a hand-written (yes, HAND-WRITTEN) note that says:

“Whether or not you have a date,
 we want you to know you’re loved.


Visit sprout.ph/loveHR to get your special treat.”

Especially prepared by Sprout’s employees -- all of who believe that people are at the heart of any organization -- the roses conveyed the sincere appreciation that Sprout has for the hard work and efforts of HR folks. 

Sprout Solutions CEO Patrick Gentry shares the heart behind their #SproutLovesHR campaign, “Whether we admit it or not, the HR department is probably one of the least appreciated teams in a company. We probably just remember them when we have issues with our benefits or complaints in the office policies, right? So our team decided, why not make them feel loved this Valentine’s?
True enough, love was overflowing from the recipients of this “special Valentine’s package”. Squeals of delight were heard across offices from pleasantly shocked and excited HR workers who didn’t expect the Valentine surprise.

Here are some of the reactions we got from the social media space:

Watch the full recap video to find out what this buzz is all about here:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Neymar Jr’s Five Finals

MANILA, Philippines - Neymar Jr’s Five is the Brazilian forward’s signature football tournament which pits five-a-side teams in head-to-head in 10-minute matches with a twist. Every time one team scores, the opposition loses a player. It’s fast, technical, and tactical.

What:             Neymar Jr’s Five, Philippine Finals

When:                         Saturday, March 4, 2017 | 12:00NN

Where:            SPARTA Philippines
                        126 Pioneer St.
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila

Who:               Top 8 teams from Qualifier A (includes former Philippine Azkal, Anton Del Rosario, and professional PFL, Graham Caygill) and Qualifier B (TBD 2/25/2017).

Why:   To crown the Philippines’ first-ever Neymar Jr’s Five National Champion. The winning team will fly to Brazil to represent the Philippines against 53 other countries at the World Championships!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rogin-E: Your battle gear for success

Press release

Getting to the top requires a lot from you. Staying there demands even more. Balancing both work and your personal life, while keeping an active healthy lifestyle, can take a toll on both mind and body, even more as you age. This is why it is important to be equipped with all the right weapons.  

What do you need to stay on top of your game?

Physical Endurance

Ace your work and personal life by having the capacity to give one hundred and ten percent to all your activities. Greater physical endurance enables you to stay energized when tackling multiple roles and responsibilities at work and at home. Take a multivitamin that contains Korean Panax Ginseng that enhances physical performance and improves endurance. 

Mental Power

Crunch time? Prepare your mind by channeling positive energy and getting enough sleep. To optimize your mind’s maximum potential through long work hours, take a multivitamin with Deanol for improved concentration plus increased mental agility.

Vitality of spirit

When things don’t go your way, stay resilient, stay on course. Continue to work and believe in yourself. Keep the fire in you burning and sustain your success by staying positive and surrounding yourself with positive thinkers. Royal Jelly’s antioxidant properties can also give you youthful vitality so you can live life to the fullest. 

Balance of work and play

To avoid burnout, be sure to make time for other interests and passions like  golf, biking, or photography. Spend time with your family and loved ones to create moments that you can remember whenever life gets tough. 

On February 18, Bayer Philippines held the Rogin-E ManCon 2017, at the Metro Walk Tent in Pasig—a whole-day event especially designed for men who want to stay on top of their game. Attendees were encouraged to try out activities that showcased different interests and passions. Think cars and motorbikes for those who love speed and mobility; sports activities for those who want to stretch the limits of their physical strength and power; fashion and grooming for those who have an eye for fashion; and a selection of toys and hobbies to engage a man’s mind and body. Developed by Bayer, Rogin-E is a multivitamin especially formulated for men who want to be on top of their game, at work and at home. It contains Korean Panax Ginseng that enhances physical and mental endurance; Deanol for mental potency, improved concentration and mental agility; and Royal Jelly for youthful vitality. Rogin-E gives the extra energy that men need to do well in all his activities both at work and at play.

Experience life to its fullest and be the man on top with Rogin-E.

Multivitamins + Minerals + Deanol + Royal Jelly + Korean Panax Ginseng is the generic name of Rogin-E.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pinoy Big Brother Goes Big on Twitter with 580.000 Tweets

Press release

Manila, 20 February 2017 - Twitter is about what’s happening in the world right now; whether it’s sport, music, or other entertainment news. In the Philippines, last week was a big week for Pinoy Big Brother (@PBBabscbn). Filipinos all over the world went to Twitter to shower their love and support for their favorite dream team. There were at least 580.000 Tweets surrounding last week’s shows. Click the below image to go to the interactive chart.

Every night, viewers tuned in to the daily telecast of PBB Dream team and used their respective Twitter accounts to vote and help their favorite team to make it into the big night.

The remaining PBB housemates namely Tanner Mata (@PBBTannerMata),  Cora Waddell (@CoraleenWaddell),Cornillo ‘Yong’  Mujahil (@iamyongm_), Kisses Delavin (@delavinkisses), Maymay Entrata (@MarydaleEntrat5), Edward Barber(@Barber_Edward), Elisse Joson (@ Ellisejosson), Nikko Natividad (@Hashtag_nikko13) and McCoy De Leon (@hashtag_mccoydl) face difficult challenges and tasks inside the Big Brother’s house. What makes the experience truly trying is that they are not allowed to communicate with the outside world. But this hasn’t stopped the fans from cheering for the housemates through Tweets.

To get  the latest updates and  happenings inside Pinoy Big Brother’s house and vote for their favorite dream team housemates, fans can follow Pinoy Big Brother official Twitter accounts (@PBBabscbn) and the hosts Twitter accounts: Toni Gonzaga (@SIMPLY_TONI),  Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) and Robi Domingo (@robertmarion).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

All Smiles at #SmileMakerAko Exhibit

Press release

Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, encourages everyone to be a Smile Maker and change lives.

Smile Train Patients spend time with Smile Makers at #SmileMakerAko Exhibit in Glorietta 3

MANILA, Philippines — Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, invites more Filipinos to be Smile Makers as the organization unveiled an all-smiles photo exhibit in Glorietta 3, Makati.

Revealed to the public on February 13, the #SmileMakerAko Exhibit gives Filipinos a peek into how the cleft charity has given more than one million children around the world not only new smiles, but also second chances at life.

“Holding this week-long photo exhibit is an effort to showcase to the public what Smile Train has achieved in the Philippines, and at the same time, serves as an invitation among Filipinos to bring more smiles to children with clefts,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director, Smile Train Philippines.

Cleft and Making Smiles
#SmileMakers From Ayala Malls (from left to right): Mitch Dumlao, General Manger of Glorietta; Celina Baylon, Marketing Associate of Glorietta; Ica Narvaez, Resource and Development Manager of Smile Train Philippines; Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director of Smile Train Philippines

Smile Train Philippines partnered with Ayala Malls to mount the exhibit in order to reach more Filipinos in showcasing the cleft patients the organization has treated—and continuously treats—and to celebrate some of the moments the charity has had with supporters, which they fondly call “Smile Makers.”

Photographs of local Smile Train celebrity ambassadors Marian Rivera and Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach interacting with children are on display at the exhibit. Pediatricians, patient care staff, among other healthcare professionals, are featured as well. One of the more notable Smile Markers is Angel, a former Smile Train patient who is now a nurse.

“We continue to raise awareness about cleft lip and palate in the Philippines, and how Filipinos can help give children with clefts a chance to smile through this #SmileMakerAko exhibit,” says Flaviano. “By showcasing to the public the Smile Makers we have on board; our goal is to encourage more people to be Smile Makers as well.”

Flaviano adds that the exhibit is the first of many initiatives they have under their #SmileMakerAko campaign, which seeks to reach more Filipinos and encourage them to be Smile Makers. Representatives from GLAD Philippines and CAPE Philippines have also expressed support
#SmileMaker Paolo Lao, Sales and Marketing Director of The Clorox Company, Makers of Glad products, with some Smile Train Patients 
The #SmileMakerAko Exhibit is open for public viewing from February 13 to February 19 at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 3, Makati City, at the pathway near Marks & Spencer and Zara.
#SmileMakers from Cape East Philippines, Inc. visit the #SmileMakerAko Photo Exhibit

For more information about Smile Train's global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.


About Smile Train

Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.

To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Manila Improv Festival 2017

I first got introduced to Improv during a launch event years ago and it was Silly People’s Improv Theater or SPIT got me hooked after doing a special treat. Originated from the word, “improvise”; Improv is a performing art skill that involves theatrics, quick thinking and focus.
SPIT performing one of their trademark acts.
There is no script in improv but there is an outline depending on the act. Unlike traditional theater, it has limited props used and it can be done anywhere besides the stage. When I first encountered SPIT, it was just outdoors in BGC area.

What makes improve appealing is the interaction. It requires participation from the audience. For example, depending on the theme or subject; they will ask the audience to say something that comes to mind in the alphabetical manner. From there, SPIT Impovisers will able to gather all the words and create a song based on the words contributed.

During last year’s Improv Fest launch, I was able to try out Improv with SPIT by completing a sentence one word per person. It was fun and hilarious. This is probably the only way where people can be goofy for once.

What’s also interesting about Improv is that it’s for everyone. I usually see SPIT in events but they actually did it in a public place like a market place. They got a lot of participation here more than they had with high ranking corporates.
SPIT is also connected to a global community of Improvisers thanks to the internet, there is a frequent partnership with other Improv groups worldwide like Japan, Hong Kong, India etc. and they were here last year for the Improv fest and they are coming back again along with our local Improv groups.

Unlike theater, you don’t need to have a background in theater to do Improv. SPIT also held sessions and they also have leveling up just like schooling. Most of the participants are from all walks of life. One of the Improvisers I met also has a day job and I just found out that one columnist also took sessions in Improv.

The Manila Improv Festival 2017 will kick off on March 22 and March 24 at PETA Theater Center. It is only held every two years. Don’t wait till 2019 for the next one. Check out PETA for the tickets and package deals of the festival. For more updates on PETA activities. follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hitachi Unveils New Video Analytics Software to Deliver Operational Intelligence and Security Insights for Smart Cities and Digital Enterprises

Press Release

Hitachi Video Analytics Provides Rich Insights, Real-Time Alerts and Other Enhancements to Increase Efficiencies, and Enhance Safety and Services
Philippines, February 9, 2017 – Hitachi Insight Group, which is responsible for driving the global unified internet of things (IoT) business and go-to-market (GTM) strategy for Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501), today unveiled new video analytics software to enhance and extend its Smart City and Public Safety solutions portfolio. Hitachi Video Analytics (HVA) combines computer vision and advanced analytics to extract rich insights and generate real-time alerts that can provide cities, airports, campuses, transportation agencies, and businesses with:

·     Operational and business intelligence: People counting, queue detection, activity analysis, directional counting, and image enhancement deliver insights that help cities, businesses and other organizations improve operations and customer experiences. It also helps to protect individual privacy, which can help to reduce their risk and liability.
·     Smarter transportation, traffic and parking management: Vehicle counting, traffic analysis, parking space detection and license plate recognition help cities and businesses to improve traffic and parking for residents, commuters and customers.
·     More effective public safety and security: Intrusion detection, left-behind object detection, facial recognition and camera tampering alerts provide a force multiplier for public safety departments to help keep people and property safe.
“Cities and enterprises looking to fully benefit from digital transformation need visibility into a variety of data insights. And as attacks and natural disasters in public and private areas continue to increase, safety has become a top priority. Although video is a significant opportunity to increase operational efficiencies, ensure safety and serve as a force multiplier for municipalities, law enforcement and security teams, the proliferating use of video technologies continues to raise privacy concerns,” said Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, global director, smart cities strategies at IDC. “With its end-to-end video stack, Hitachi is helping public and private sector organizations to better utilize the full potential of their video assets.”
HVA unleashes the potential of video analytics by offering a privacy protection feature that can be used in conjunction with all of its robust insights and alerts. With this concern alleviated, HVA can help customers make better use of their video data by providing critical intelligence that can help to improve operations and better protect people and assets. Cities, airports, transportation systems, campuses, manufacturers and retail environments are all examples of the types of organizations that may benefit from Hitachi’s powerful video analytics solution.
For example, airports can use HVA to help enhance safety for travelers and also to detect long queues and optimize staffing at security checkpoints or enhance passport control processes in customs. As a result, passengers can get through more efficiently and spend time shopping, dining or enjoying attractions in their terminals. Retailers can also take advantage of HVA to gain the same level of actionable insight from their brick and mortar properties as they do from their websites. Insight that can help them understand where visitors are coming from, how they spend their time in their stores and what promotions or product placement help to increase sales. And cities can use HVA to improve safety, operational efficiencies and transparency, while providing better public services through metrics—such as foot traffic combined with traffic analysis in downtown areas—that can help local businesses make smarter decisions about how they position their shops and do business.
HVA brings advanced analytic methodologies and unique features to Hitachi’s comprehensive video security and monitoring stack, which improve user experience, deliver a higher quality video data for analysis and help to protect privacy. These include:

·     Object Detector: Most video analytics solutions available today only analyze video pixels or provide a simple trip-wire methodology that can lead to high rates of false-positives. In contrast, HVA’s Object Detector technology provides 4-D reconstruction of two-dimensional video images by using particles, perspective, velocity, path deviation and travel distance to improve accuracy and dramatically reduce the number of false-positive incidents—even in the case of poor visibility due to inclement weather.
·     Scenario-Based Analytics: Ensures that each analytic module uses a custom algorithm for the analytical engine to improve performance and accuracy to further reduce the risk of false-positive incidents.
·     Privacy Protector: Cities, government agencies and private enterprises all share a common concern for the privacy of their constituents and customers when using video security and monitoring technologies. To address this, HVA offers automated and enhanced identity protection. Many technologies today only offer the ability to pixelate faces, which can still reveal personally identifiable information (PII) like clothing or body areas. HVA’s Privacy Protector feature automatically detects and protects entire human figures. In addition, it tracks and records all access to video data to help support transparency and help combat misuse. This feature can also be crucial for organizations like hospitals and schools, where the privacy of patients and minors is vital and protecting PII in video data can help to reduce risk and liability.
·     Video Enhancer: Filters out interference like rain and snow, which could negatively impact video resolution, to provide clearer views and support high quality video monitoring and more accurate analysis.
·     Camera Health Monitor: Provides automated detection of camera-tampering or damage. HVA’s Camera Health Monitor will send an alert if issues arise to ensure valuable video data can be maintained as continuously as possible.  

HVA is the latest addition to Hitachi’s Smart City and Public Safety solution portfolio and builds on the company’s expansive expertise in IoT and video technologies. HVA integrates with and extends Hitachi Video Management Platform (VMP): a powerful virtualized storage, networking and compute appliance that offers high availability, fault tolerance and simple, cost-effective scalability. It can also be used with Hitachi Visualization Suite, which integrates internet of things (IoT) data from video cameras and other disparate systems and sensors to provide a map-based unified view for enhanced situation awareness. Together, these solutions form a comprehensive video stack designed to help Hitachi’s government and private enterprise customers unlock greater value and insight from video data to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences and increase security.

“Video is an effective tool for keeping people and property safe, but still remains a significantly underutilized source for operational, business, and public safety data today. In a world where security cameras are mission critical and deployments are growing exponentially, our customers want to get greater value and insight from their video environments,” said Mark Jules, vice president, public safety and smart city solutions at Hitachi Insight Group. “Hitachi Video Analytics is an intelligent solution for public and private sector organizations to extract rich operational and security insights from video data, while helping to safeguard the privacy of their customers, employees and the citizens they protect. With this advancement to our Smart City and Public Safety portfolio, Hitachi is setting a high bar for innovation that challenges the industry to evolve and provide better value to its customers.”