Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wildcard Wins First ASI Technovation Challenge

It was a good fight among the five schools that entered the finals of the Advance Solutions Inc. (ASI) Technovation Challenge, and a wildcard finalist brought home the grand prize. Informatics Eastwood Icons headed by Frederick Lee with members Romeo Roque, Joboy Hiceta, Nikko Espiritu and Isaac Pabuayon led all other schools and garnered the admiration and approval of a demanding panel of judges.

Winning cash and IT Products, the team jumped for joy when the Champion spot was left for them to fill.

‘iLight’ project is a system that is inspired for busy households and small businesses.  It will make use of Internet connection and mobile devices to conserve energy even if you’re out.

Grand Winner Informatics Eastwood Icons
Romeo Roque, general manager of Advance Solutions Inc. (ASI) Jefferson Plaza, president of COMDDAP Juan Chua, DENR Chief Officer-In-Charge for Management Information System Division Roberto De Leon, Frederick Richard Lee, Joboy Hiceta, Isaac Catalino Pabuayon, Nikko Espiritu, vice president of COMDDAP Bing Lastrilla, and vice president for Business Development of ASI Rowena Sanchez.

Awarded as Top 4 finalists (in alphabetical order) are teams A.R.C.from University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) with the project ‘ASI Eco Fan’ composed of Alvin Angeles, Ronell Ian Lomibao, Ma. Cherrie Estrellado; The BBN Project from De La Salle University with the project ‘Recycle Reward’ composed of Patrick Delos Reyes, Valerie Jean Lualhati, Daniel Gravador, Erina Therese Valdes and Erin Joy Caiga; Royal from University of Sto. Tomas with the project ‘Water Sensor’ masterminded by Jasmon Delfin; and SMSDR also from University of Perpetual Help System Dalta with the project ‘Aluminum Cans and Plastic Bottle Waste Management composed of Edlen Joy Salazar, Kris Angelique Melicano, Zingso Santera, Emman Rillo and Ernest Alphonzo Diez.

Meanwhile, declared the Runners up of ASI Technovation are teams Cyber Arceri also from De La Salle University composed of Theresa Mendoza, Arianne Caitlin Ong, Baron Dimaranan, Wilbert Luy and Zed from University of Sto. Tomas, on solo is Jian Mateo. 

UPHSD teams bagged Special awards gathering the most number of likes on Facebook and votes during the COMDDAP Expo 2012.  Team A.R.C. awarded People’s Choice, voting duration from November 16-18, 2012. Team SMSDR awarded Most-Liked Prototype on Facebook with almost 3,000 ‘Likes’.

ASI Technovation Challenge: Green I.T.! is endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education, in partnership with Computer Manufacturer, Dealers, and Distributors Association of the Philippines (COMDDAP). Supported by Acer, BenQ, Coby, CaféFrance, HP and Intellipen.

“Technovation challenge was a thrilling experience. Not just for the organizers but also for everyone who worked hard for it – students and participating schools, said Jefferson Plaza, general manager of Advance Solutions Inc.

When asked what would be next year’s challenge, “Definitely more challenging and rewarding for 2013.  We hope more students and schools would take on the challenge”.

See project demonstrations and awarding photos on Facebook, visit and ‘Like’

More photos are available 
for download:

For more information about Advance Solutions Inc., its products and services, please call 524-7710 or visit

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Global Startup Battle 2012 Voting Begins

From November 9th through the 19th, several teams from all over the world competed in more than 130 Startup Weekends. A winner from each was crowned and uploaded their videos, and now hope to get your votes. In the Philippines, there was the Startup Weekend in Davao and Cebu, and out of the many teams that joined, “My Startup Academy” emerged as the top winner.

My Startup Academy bested 13 other pitches during a presentation last Sunday at the University of San Jose-Recoletos Basak Campus at the Startup Weekend in Cebu. Although judges said the idea had a weaker business model compared with some of those pitched, SWC 2 judge and ClickingLabs president and co-founder Jean-Patrick Bisson said that if the idea is executed and evaluated well, it could become an excellent product.

Michie Ang, leading the team that developed the web service, said “My Startup Academy” is a place where startups can get guidance from the community and experienced mentors. The web service will provide tools that start-ups need to build, thrive and succeed in the industry. This will also allow startups to learn from people and companies “who have been there, done it and made it.”

“The momentum suddenly drops after the 54-hour activity and this is something that we should address,” said Ang during her five-minute presentation before a panel of judges.  She said the web service is helpful in a way that it will help expand knowledge of startups in terms of entrepreneurship and technology. It will also help bridge startups to mentors and angel investors.  “The goal of the team is to build more successful startups that can boost our economy and build more opportunities for everybody,” she said.

My Startup Academy” won a six-month free physical incubation at the University of the Philippines, on top of other prizes. Ang, who is from Manila, brought in a team she met from various Startup Weekend activities. Brian Bibat, Franz Sarmiento and Rubilyn Santa Cruz make up the technical team while Maie Bauza and Rochelle de Leon handle the marketing side.

Zachary Cohn, bootcamp director/ hacker relations of Startup Weekend Headquarters in Seattle was impressed at how Startup Weekend activities are making an impact in the Philippines. Cohn who facilitated Startup Weekend in Davao last Nov. 9-11 and Startup Weekend Cebu 2  last Nov. 16-18 said ideas pitched by participants are “at par” with the pitches in other countries. “Ideas are quite similar but the important thing is how to get things done and make people keep learning through the experience,” he said. Cohn believes Startup Weekend is a great way to accelerate the growth of the entrepreneurial communities. He said if it can achieve a critical mass by getting people involved the rest of the infrastructure will happen.

“Accelerators and incubators will pop up. More angels and venture capitalists will start investing. Infrastructure itself such as faster internet connection, will improve as there is an increase in demand. Once it’s obvious that there is opportunity, universities may even start changing their curriculum to help better prepare students for starting their own companies instead of working for someone else,” said Cohn.

Voting started on November 21st at 12pm PST and EVERYONE can come vote for the team they think should be the winner of Global Startup Battle based on their idea and their video. You can vote once per day until voting closes at midnight on November 27th PST.  This will soon narrow things down to a top 15, and from there, a panel of star judges will crown an ultimate winner!  A panel of experts will decide who will take the top honors — and it’s quite a panel: Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Foundry Group’s Brad Feld, TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque, prominent fund manager Chris Hollod, and actress/serial entrepreneur Jesse Draper.

The prizes are crazy awesome, so be sure to support the team you think deserves it. The winning team at the Global Startup Battle will have the chance to earn $15,000 worth of startup support services, VIP plane tickets to Rio de Janiero for the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Congress on March 18-21 and to the San Francisco for the VIP tour of Googleplex.

Let us vote for the Philippines entry to the Global Startup Battle: “My Startup Academy” – a web service that aims to guide startups in developing their ideas.

Global Startup Battle is in its second year and this year has doubled in size from 67 events to 130. Last year’s Global Startup Battle champion, AfterShip, launched a service for e-commerce merchants and buyers that provides live notifications for customers and gives merchants the opportunity to personalize their shipments with up-to-date messages that bolster customer service capabilities. The winner of this year’s Global Startup Battle will be announced the first week of December.


AfterShip launched an e-commerce platform for merchants and buyers that provided live notifications for shipments. Earlier this summer, it already raised a seed round from Australia’s Business Switch with an undisclosed sum.

AfterShip helps online stores to auto track packages and notify their customers of the latest delivery status with a simple one-time setup. Without knowing the tracking number, customers always know where the package is. Learn more at . You may follow them on Twitter: @aftership and on Facebook:

Click on the link below to vote for “My Startup Academy”:

You may check out the My Startup Academy website: . You may follow them on Twitter: @mystartupacadem or their Facebook account:

Epson’s GPS Running Monitor Meets Athletes’ Needs

Launched this year in Japan as the "WristableGPS*", Epson's newly developed GPS running monitor is an accumulation of the company's technologies and expertise. By simply strapping it to their wrists, runners can accurately measure and record their speed and the distances they have run. This new product combines high GPS accuracy with a light, compact design and long-battery life.

With the number of leisure runners increasing worldwide, many companies have introduced GPS-based wristwatch-type devices that allow athletes to record their distances, routes, and speed. However, products that are light and compact often sacrifice GPS positioning accuracy, and products with accurate GPS often have poor battery life. It has to date been difficult for manufacturers to come up with a product that combines all the key factors of GPS positioning accuracy, compact design, and long battery life.

Epson engineers began work on designing the new GPS running monitor with the aim of solving all these issues. The first challenge was to reduce energy consumption to a level that would allow the battery to operate for 14 hours or more while the GPS function was in operation. To achieve this, the team used an accurate, energy-efficient GPS module that Epson had designed for mobile devices.

Generally speaking, GPS modules use a high proportion of the energy consumed by mobile devices. This means that an efficient module can contribute significantly to the energy consumption of the product overall. Epson leveraged its many years of experience of designing and marketing GPS devices to create a module that achieved the aims of the design team.

The next step was to create an algorithm to improve the accuracy of the distance data. GPS positioning data accuracy can be adversely affected by a wide variety of factors, including the reflection of electronic waves from high-rise buildings. The diagram on the left below shows how positioning data recorded in a high-rise urban environment can be recorded as 60% greater than the actual distance run. However, Epson managed to greatly reduce discrepancies by employing a specially-designed algorithm.

The third point was to make the product light and compact. Diagram 2 below shows the shape and mounting layout of conventional GPS running devices. The antenna is mounted in such a way that it points to the sky when you attach the device to your wrist and start to run. However, the angle of the mounting requires the device to be a certain thickness. Epson therefore designed an antenna with a new shape and a wider reception angle, and achieved a thin design by mounting the antenna alongside the battery (as shown in diagram 3).

Epson also took care to make the thin design water resistant and minimize the number of components used. These efforts combined to enable the creation of a running monitor whose compactness, thinness and lightness makes it possible for runners to wear unobtrusively.


Diagram 2
Shape and mounting layout of the antenna receiving signals from GPS satellite

Diagram 3
Shape and mounting layout of the antenna of the Epson GPS running monitor

By combining its compact, energy-saving, and high precision technologies, Epson has been able to develop a unique GPS running monitor capable of meeting the needs of runners.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rizal Adventure: Exploring Angono and Binangonan

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We've been going to very far places to get a taste of Philippine heritage and culture. I've travelled by plane, by cruise ship, by bus, and by car ... and endured the number of hours of travel just for the sake of adventure. It never dawned onto me that there exists several places near the Metro that's already rich with history. With just very little time, we can immediately immerse ourselves with the festivities, the interestingsites and destinations just right here at the Rizal province.

We were invited to attend the Higantes festivities, along with opportunities to visit other tourist destinations like the Balaw-Balaw Specialty Restaurant and Art Gallery, the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs, and to stay at the luxurious Thunderbird Resorts hotel.

Thunderbird Resorts generously sponsored our travel to Rizal by providing the transportation, accommodation, meals, and guided tour of those three prime tourist spots I mentioned earlier plus the opportunity to stay overnight at their luxurious hotel, eat meals at their restaurants and try the casino for fun.

Smiles for the World: A Photo-Essay Contest of the Chilean Embassy

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day“ by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. This is just one saying that a smile can make a difference or a smile could be the result of a good and happy experience.

A smile is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, or amusement. Filipinos are not technically defining a smile as just a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth and by flexing muscles throughout the mouth. Smiling from the dictionary could be something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known. Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kitchen's Best "Heavenly" Anniversary Dessert Buffet

"There goes my diet!"

"Amalayer" if I would say that I did not enjoy each bite of every dessert variations and clever sweet concoctions available during the buffet. It was simply heavenly and dreamy!

No, wait! It was like a paradise of unlimited desserts where all you do is eat all day and get fat! Ha ha ha !

Too bad my belly could only take so little, I would have stayed until 6 pm....and if I had no other event to attend to that day scheduled at 6 pm in Makati, I could have rested awhile and ate some more after a few minutes (Lol!).The travel time from BGC to Makati would take at least 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the traffic situation.

I'm serious! But if the body is too weak already, the mind could no longer control it. Such wasted sweets.

Seriously (now I'm very serious), the sweets served at the dessert buffet would make you wanna ignore whatever diet restrictions you have. Indulge and enjoy and be merry!

Star Magic Gives Us 24/7 In Love to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Fifteen of the brightest ABS-CBN actors and actresses starring in the movie entitled “24/7 In Love”. The “7″ in the title actually represents the seven individual episodes with different stories but with a common link in the movie. Four directors were given the opportunity to direct the seven individual love stories focusing on different perspectives of love. The directors include Mae Cruz, Dado Lumibao, John-D Lazatin and Frasco Mortiz. 

Barbecues and Grilled Food to Celebrate BAGA Manila's First Anniversary

The BAGA Manila Grill and BBQ Festival is located at the grounds of the A. Venue Mall in Makati.

The Barbecuers and Grillers Association (BAGA) Manila’s 1st Anniversary Celebration was held last November 16 at A. Venue in Makati City. There were a lot of  Grill & BBQ comparisons and discoveries made possible by this very successful event – Pork BBQ on Skewer, Pork Belly, Pork Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Inasal, Kebabs and Sates. Several bloggers agreed to promote the BAGA Manila 1st Anniversary Grill  and BBQ Festival 2012 event to help the Filipino micro-entrepreneurs who participated to get the much needed publicity.

The Nescafe "Grand" Fans Day

Unlimited coffee for everyone! All that caffeine added more boosts to the overflowing energy that night they dubbed as Nescafe Fans Day....for all the fans of the most popular coffee brand in the Philippines - so that means you and me, and almost everyone we know!

November 17 marked a whole-day affair packed with pocket events such as interactive video and photo booths, games, and variety shows to reward fans that have made the success of the brand possible. Merienda were also served, with the favorite Pinoy coffee sidekick - the pandesal, and other special NESCAFE treats. It was a day dedicated to entertain and bring enjoyment to the people, capturing millions of memories through a one-day-only event.

Resorts World Manila Celebrates Grand Fiesta 2012

The Grand Fiesta 2012 Launch and Media Appreciation Night dubbed as “Noche Buena En Noviembre” featured several performers top-billed by Ms. Lani Misalucha and the cast of The King and I. It was held last November 14 (Wednesday), 6:00pm at the Genting Club, Maxims Hotel.

European Higher Education Institutions Participate in the EHEF 2012

Marking the 25 Years of the European Union’s Erasmus Scholarship Programme, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines in collaboration with the EU Cultural Group, EU Cultural Institutes and the Commission on Higher Education held the second ”European Higher Education Fair Manila 2012: Brighter Prospects” last November 14, 2012 at The Manila Peninsula HotelA total of 22 European Higher Education Institutions exhibited at the Fair which were open to the public for free from 2 to 8 pm last 14 November.

Hello Kitty Blogger Tour at SM North EDSA

Who doesn't love the adorable Hello Kitty? It has been the favorite character of not only little girls but even by adults who like to have the Hello Kitty merchandise as their collection, especially the rare items available in limited numbers or editions.Collecting these "toys" is no longer a kid thing. It's for everyone, even the boys who also love watching the cartoon incarnation of these creations.

Here is your chance to visit a place where Hello Kitty rules and will only be there temporarily until January 6. So continue to read on and find out all about what you can expect to see.

Swensen’s Philippines Launches “The Ultimate Ricecream” for the Christmas Season

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With its goal of providing a variety of new products to its sundae choices, an international ice cream sundae shop that started in San Francisco, California, introduces “The Ultimate Ricecream Sundaes”, five new delectable sundaes to satisfy a broader spectrum of customers.

We were invited to try out the latest Swensen’s mouth-watering concoctions focus on all-time Filipino favourites namely, ripe mango and sticky rice. They now have five variants of the Mango flavored RiceCream servings.

Established in 1948, Swensen’s opened his first ice cream parlor in San Francisco, California. Since then, for 64 years, more than 180 flavors of ice cream have been created and enjoyed by both young and old.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dimsum Break Opens at SM North EDSA

Ribbon cutting ceremonies at Dimsum Break

If you're one of the "suki" of the best dim sum in Cebu, then you're in for a big surprise as Cebu's popular dim sum house has now opened its very first branch in Manila as well.

Dimsum Break, the fastest growing brand of Harbour City Dimsum House Co., Inc. (HCDHCI) based in Cebu, is now in Metro Manila. This new venture is the latest addition to HCDHCI’s growing chain of restaurants.

“This is our first fast food chain in Luzon, but including Visayas region, it is already our 16th branch. We are optimistic that this number will continue to increase. Our confidence is based on the significant investment and development we have put in the past five years to support our growing branch network,” shares HCDHCI Marketing Manager Steven Kokseng.

Updated Study Presents Business Risks and Opportunities for Four More RP Cities

In Chinese, two characters comprise the word crisis – the first signifies danger, while the next represents opportunity.

Guided by this, top environmental solutions provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation released the second version of a multi-phase study on climate adaptation for Philippine cities.

Manila Hotel Brings You a Healthy Feast at the Mabuhay Palace

After thousands of years, the Chinese way of dining still thrives and continues to inspire people to have a healthy lifestyle. Keeping this is mind, the Mabuhay Palace of Manila Hotel launches a revitalized vegetarian menu that reflects the Chinese view on food as nourishment and improves one’s health.

Using the freshest and best vegetable produce, these new veggie dishes are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

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