Saturday, November 9, 2019

Big Boost for Junior Tennis as Elite US NCAA Division 1 Coaches Visit Manila at the DreamBig Gold Series Tennis Tournament and Camp in January 2020

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Here’s a unique opportunity for junior tennis players to hone their skills and train under top-notch college coaches right here in Manila.

DreamBig Events will stage the “Gold Series College Exposure Tennis Camp”, a two-day tennis camp preceded by a two-day UTR tournament, at the Manila Polo Club on January 9-12, 2020. The sports events company stages tournaments and camp experiences to junior athletes so they can improve their skills and tournament performances.

Touted as the “Road to College Tennis”, the Event will give young athletes in the Philippines the all-important training and opportunity to network with world-class coaches – putting them in a good position to potentially get recruited to top U.S. University/ College tennis teams.

The event aims to provide young tennis players with play level-based competitions with an opportunity to build up their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR). The UTR is the world’s only results–based rating system in tennis that provides an accurate measurement of a player’s level – from newbie to pro to the world’s top tennis players. Armed with a UTR, tennis players get a higher chance of being recruited by top U.S. College coaches who use the rating for their rosters.

Three top collegiate coaches – Alex Wong from Brown University, Rob Raines from Cornell University in New York and Jessie Frieder from Boston University -- will run the camp. They will evaluate each player carefully, with advice and guidance for improvement in specific areas of their game while assessing their readiness to move on to the next level on their journey to possible career as a tennis professional or as a top collegiate tennis player.

Why the need to go through the US collegiate system to excel in tennis? “Because US universities are the gateway to international competition and recognition. The schools are equipped with the newest technology and uphold the highest game standards. Coaches there work extremely hard, not just on individual fitness and skill levels, but also on the athlete’s mental, psychological and competitive outlook to give them the best opportunity to maximize their talents and reach new heights,” said Akshay Maliwal, Founder and CEO of DreamBig.

“Ambitions have to start somewhere – and for many of our participants, their ambition is to study and play their sport in the US. DreamBig Events enables student-athletes to experience the life of a US collegiate that takes them to the edge of world class competition,” Maliwal added.

Previous DreamBig Gold Series Camps have produced top local athletes like Stefan Lhuiller, Nik Gatmaytan, Jerome Romualdez and Tomi Arejola, among others, who have successfully pursued their US collegiate athletic dreams

Interested participants may register now at

Thomasian Filmmakers Strut Their Wares

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Student filmmakers from the University of Santo Tomas have recently registered their mark in different local film festivals.

The short films “Heist School” (Last Minute Films) and “Gáring” (1PM Films) and the documentary “Beyond the Mats: The UST Salinggawi Journey” (Tiger Media Network) have competed in different film festivals such as Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Cinestudyante, Maginhawa Film Festival, One La Salle Film Festival, and De La Salle University’s Indie Un-Film Festival.

“Heist School” bagged the Audience Choice award at this year’s Cinemalaya short film category. It also won Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Trailer and Best Sound in last year’s Sine Reel competition organized by the UST Communication Art Students’ Association. In addition, it was also officially selected to the IUF, the inaugural edition of the One La Salle Film Festival and the first Maginhawa Film Festival.

The short film tells the story of two best friends who form a group of students to steal their teacher’s answer key to their examination from the faculty room. Joedel (Jemuel Cedrick Satumba) and Omar (Bryan Bacalso) pull off every trick available to them as they try to save their friendship and themselves from the brink of failing high school. Providing support is Teri Lacayanga as their teacher Ms. Suzy, Ella Mae Libre as Reymarie, Son De Vera as Jerique, Brylle Parzuelo as Jacob, and Kevin Ramos as Edward.

Director Julius Renomeron Jr. teamed up with his classmates Johmar Damiles, Klaire Ellise Dulay, John Paolo Barrameda, Alvin Jamora, Keanu Managuas, Ezren Caneda, Pauline Carlos and Zhino Koe. They have been friends who have created short films long before their film production class in UST.

“Gáring,” on the other hand, brought home Second Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actress for Chin Jongko and Best Trailer at Sine Reel this year. After winning at Sine Reel, it was officially selected to the IUF and Cinestudyante. The short film tells the story of a loving mother who faces the hardest challenge of her life, pushing her to the brink of how far she will go to save her son.

Director Dan Pablo also took charge of lighting and editing the film, as he got ample support from production manager Katarina Mendoza, screenwriter Georgie Cerbolles, associate producer Ynna Dizon, assistant director and casting director Charlaine Mutia, fellow A.D. Emery Principe, production designer Shaira Calleja, casting director and location manager Alex Garcia and art director Barbara San Diego.

Meanwhile, “Beyond the Mats” is a documentary on the inspiring story of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe. Dan Angelo Eligado directed, photographed and edited the documentary, with the help of executive producer Gwen Segarra, supervising producers Jomari Hernandez and Pauline Linsangan, writer Oscar David Poblete, co-editor Ma. Lynette Pamintuan, and production assistants Mivel Ambas, Charlene Jaranilla and Clarissa Sulit.

Aside from Sine Reel, UST holds two other student film festivals in the campus. Sine Abierto, formerly Sine Tomasino, is founded in 2015 and organized by the Thomasian Film Society, which counts Renomeron and Damiles as alumni. It was initially restricted to UST filmmakers, but after a year, a category was opened to non-Thomasians. On the other hand, Sining Sine is a film competition of the UST College of Fine Arts and Design for students enrolled in a film elective.

TFS President Kathleen Doblado hopes these film festivals will discover fresh new talents from among the Thomasian community and encourage them to join film festivals outside UST.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Instituto Cervantes Holds a Lecture on the Critical State of our Oceans

Wazzup Pilipinas!

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 4pm, the Spanish expert on Marine Sciences Dr. Emma Huertas will impart a talk on the state of the oceans at the Intramuros branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila.

The lecture, entitled “The Oceans, 500 Years Later”, is organized under the framework of the 5th Centennial of the first circumnavigation of the world, an unprecedented feat by explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano in a voyage commissioned by the Spanish crown.

The talk will provide an environmental aspect to this historical achievement, in which we are encouraged to reflect on the impact of transoceanic voyages on our seas, starting from the first circumnavigation of the world. The lecture will make a comparison of the situations of our oceans from 500 years ago until the present, and will present the value of scientific and historical knowledge as a tool for the conservation of our planet.

The speaker, Dr. Emma Huertas, is an expert in Marine Sciences. She holds a senior scientist position at the Spanish National Research Council, and previously worked as a research associate in the Universities of York and Toronto. Her main research lines lie within the field of marine biogeochemistry, specifically on the role of the ocean in the climate system.

Organized by Instituto Cervantes and the Commission for the V Centennial of the First Circumnavigation of the World, this project is done in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain-AECID and with the support of Intramuros Administration.

The Intramuros branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila is located in Plaza San Luis Complex, Intramuros, Manila. Entrance to the conference is for free on a first come, first served basis. For further information, please visit Instituto Cervantes’ website at and its Facebook page at
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