Saturday, December 11, 2021

Two Filipino Films To Compete in the Sundance Film Festival


Wazzup Pilipinas!?


The largest independent film festival in the United States selects a Filipino feature film and a short film to take part in its 38th edition of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah to be held from January 20 to 30, 2022.

Competing in the prestigious World Cinema Dramatic section is Martika Escobar’s feature film Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago (Leonor Will Never Die), while short film The Headhunter’s Daughter by Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan is part of the Shorts Program 4 section. Both films will have their world premiere and onsite delegates at the festival.

“The selection of two Filipino films chosen to participate in the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world’s largest and most influential independent film festivals, is already a huge win for Philippine Cinema. We are proud that our country’s delegation to Sundance will be led by two promising independent filmmakers, especially Martika and her film which were part of the Agency’s Full Circle Lab Philippines and CreatePHFilms funding program,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

A Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) CreatePHFilm fund grantee and a Full Circle Lab alumni, Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago (Leonor Will Never Die) is about retired screenwriter Leonor, who becomes the action hero in her own screenplay after falling into a coma. The film’s delegation, including director Escobar and producers Monster Jimenez and Mario Cornejo, will fly to Utah to attend the festival onsite.

The Headhunter’s Daughter tells the story of Lynn, an aspiring country singer and her trusty brown horse July, who endure an arduous descent along the Cordilleran highlands to make it on time for the audition of her dreams in the city. Her journey leads her to a path where her indigenous identity is confronted by the unseen forces of the landscape’s colonial American past. Director Eblahan will be attending the festival together with US-based producer Hannah Schierbeek.

Since 1978, the annual Sundance has brought artists and audiences together from all over the world, championing stories that inspire new ideas and amplify original voices in support of independent storytelling.

The Sundance Film Festival 2022 organized by Sundance Institute will be held in a hybrid format that will run from January 20 to 30, 2022.

SSS reminds members of guidelines in filing of UMID Card applications

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) is reminding its members who would want to apply for a Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) Card to follow the application guidelines implemented in its branches to minimize their risk of exposure to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Under the guidelines, members may submit their UMID Card applications at SSS branches following the number coding system. They may also set first an appointment with their preferred branch using the Appointment System in the My.SSS Member Portal.

The list of SSS branches accepting UMID Card applications can be accessed at

“We encourage our members to accomplish the UMID Card Application Form before going to their preferred SSS branch to lessen the time they will spend in them,” SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio said.
Together with the properly accomplished UMID Card Application Form, members are also required to bring one primary valid ID, or in its absence, two secondary valid IDs.

UMID Card Application Forms can be downloaded through the SSS website at

Starting September 27, 2021, the SSS gradually resumed the acceptance of UMID Card applications in its branches.

Qualified to apply for SSS-issued UMID Cards are members with at least one posted contribution. It is free of charge for first-time applicants, but for those who lost their UMID Cards or need to update them, they will have to pay a P200 replacement fee at the SSS branch.

“The SSS is the only authorized institution that accepts applications and issues UMID Cards for its members working in the private sector. The biometrics data capturing, which is an important process in the issuance of UMID Cards, is currently done only through our branches. We are reminding our members to refrain from transacting with fixers to avoid any inconvenience,” Ignacio added.

Meanwhile, members who applied for an SS Number online beginning December 10, 2020, will no longer need to fill out a UMID Card Application Form. They just need to set an appointment with their preferred SSS branch for biometric data capture and present their printed SS Number application and transaction number slip.

The SSS advises its members that there will be delays in the production and availability of UMID Cards until further notice. A notification will be issued to UMID applicants when their cards are available for pick-up. For members who are applying for work in Taiwan, the SSS will continue to issue certification in lieu of the SSS-issued UMID Card to facilitate their visa application.

For more information, visit the uSSSap Tayo Portal at, follow the SSS on Facebook at “Philippine Social Security System - SSS,” Instagram and YouTube at “mysssph,” Twitter at “PHLSSS,” or join its Viber Community at “MYSSSPH Updates.”

4 Tips for Building Great Teams

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Many people understand that it takes more than their efforts to become successful. They need the support of the right people to get their desired results. When you have diverse individuals working together, they can overcome many challenges as each member can bring unique ideas and solutions. As such, a lot of team leaders realize that great teams are developed and don’t just happen by chance.

If you are looking into developing your unit and need talented individuals to help you reach your business goals, here are some tips for building great teams.

Refine the Recruitment Plan

Building a great team starts with the individuals you hire into the company. This is why the hiring process is a crucial step that you’ll want to be involved in. Fast hiring in Davao or where your office is located can help you fill up vacancies quickly, and having a checklist of requirements can make it easier to choose the right candidate. Focus on the skills you are looking for and consider how the new recruit will fit with the rest of the team.

To do this, make sure you include both hard and soft skills you are looking for in the job postings. Hard skills are teachable abilities and they are often easy to quantify based on educational degrees, test scores, and other certifications. Such skills can easily be found on an applicant’s resume. On the other hand, soft skills refer to interpersonal skills or the way a person relates and interacts with other people. These are subjective skills and harder to quantify but abilities like time management and work ethic are important considerations for working in a team.

Since it’s not enough for applicants to say they possess certain skills, you need to uncover this through a comprehensive interview process. In the last interview, focus on the candidate’s habits by asking open-ended questions. It will help you discover their behaviors and competencies. Compared to the previous interviews where you ask questions that are work-related and measure the applicant’s knowledge, the final interview is when you can have a better understanding of the candidate as a person. It can also help you determine if an individual is a great fit for your team.

Equip Members with the Right Tools

If you want your employees to perform well, you need to help them develop and improve their skills. The first few weeks of the job should be designed to help new team members adjust to the organization and learn the ropes. In many instances, newly-hired employees are given an orientation about the company and introduced to other team members. They may also be asked to shadow an experienced employee as a way to learn about their jobs. While this can work for some people, it is not as purposeful. Instead, focus on teaching newly-hired members about their responsibilities and expected results. It is also best if you can give them a rundown on what a typical day might look like for them. Then, provide a period of adjustment for members to get accustomed to your company’s process and ways of working. Some companies dedicate up to 60 days for the adjustment period.

Create an Environment Conducive to the Members’ Well-Being

Many people know that success requires a lot of hard work. But if this is the only focus, success will not be sustainable. This is why you also need to pay attention to the overall well-being of every member of your team. As jobs can sometimes be mentally and physically taxing, you need to ensure team members are able to adequately rest and recover. Consider offering benefits or programs that allow employees to take care of their physical and mental health. Good work etiquette, like being respectful of work hours and leaves, is also important for a good work environment. By creating a healthy work-life balance, your team members can avoid burnout and have the energy to go the extra mile to achieve your team’s success.

Foster Team Spirit

Cultivating a strong team spirit can drive employee success and retention. When you engage people, they can feel a sense of belongingness and develop loyalty. You can achieve this by having consistent meetings where all members can talk about their tasks and challenges. During these meetings, encourage all members to contribute ideas. Being able to share their inputs can make members feel valued and respected. You can also use the time to effectively communicate expectations so everyone understands their responsibilities.

Another way to foster teamwork is by creating team goals. It helps members to come together and be on the same page. When members work on a collective goal, it makes them feel they are contributing to the success of the team.

A lot of talented individuals can contribute to your business objectives. By following the suggestions mentioned above, you can ensure these people become part of your growing team and continue to play an active role. While the road to success can be challenging, it is possible to achieve when you have great teams working with you.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Sheraton Manila Bay lines up festive holiday offerings

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Sheraton Manila Bay offers wide array of delectable offers this Christmas season.

Sheraton Manila Bay lines up festive packages and options for catering, dining and gifts to keep you on top of your holiday checklist. The Sheraton Kiosk has its shelves filled with nicely wrapped goodies, pastries, grazing boxes, and hampers for you and your family to enjoy. All delish holiday goodies are available for delivery or pick-up at our pop-up kiosk located at Robinsons Place Manila, Padre Faura Wing, mall entrance, available daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm.


Keep the gift giving tradition alive with a basketful of holiday goodies with our spruced up Classic Sheraton Hamper priced at Php 2,688 net which includes Christmas banana bread, Christmas crinkles cookies, assorted macarons, French fruit cake, luxury jam and honey, honey, and red wine. For a more luxurious treat, our Luxury Sheraton Hamper at Php 3,688 net features French fruit cake, assorted macarons, assorted chocolate truffles in jar, orange pound cake, assorted Christmas cookies, sesame peanut brittle, German fruit bread baguette, homemade granola, luxury jam and honey, and red wine. Each basket includes an eco-friendly Plantable Cards of Care, a 10pcs Christmas Greeting Cards Set made of biodegradable paper infused with basil and spinach seeds and are FREE on all Sheraton Hampers. Proceeds from the Cards of Care will be donated for the educational needs of the underprivileged students of Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School and children of Barangay 699.

To upgrade your hamper, Adopt-A-Panda for only Php 1,000 net and take home a signature WWF Plushie Panda which come with an adoption certificate. Proceeds from the sale of panda plushies will be donated to the wildlife conservation projects of World Wide Fund


For your gifting pleasures, our artisanal charcuterie graze boxes are filled with specialty cheeses, tapas delights and indulgent festive treats. Good for sharing of 2 persons, our Deluxe Grazing Box priced at only Php 599 net includes Beef Pastrami, Smoked Sausage, Brie Cheese, Cheddar, Nuts, Crudités, Red Grapes, Olives, Dried Fruits, Salted Pretzels, Crackers, and Sesame Grissini while the upgraded Premium Grazing Box priced at only Php 888 net includes Chicken Terrine with Roasted Capsicum & Spinach Homemade Liver Pâté, Chorizo Pamplona, Beef Salami, Smoked Sausage, Mortadella Herbed Cream Cheese, Cheddar, Nuts, Crudités, Red Grapes, Olives, Dried Fruits, Salted Pretzels, Crackers, and Sesame Grissini. For the ultimate grazing experience, our Supreme Grazing Box good for sharing of 6-10 persons includes Chicken Terrine with Roasted Capsicum & Spinach, Homemade Liver Pâté, Prosciutto di Parma, Chorizo Pamplona, Smoked Sausage, Beef Salami, Mortadella Herbed Cream Cheese, Brie Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Marinated Anchovies, Red Grapes, Olives, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Crudités, Salted Pretzels, Crackers, Sesame Grissini with complimentary super country baguette and assorted macarons priced at Php 2,499 net.


Get-togethers, virtual or not, are best done over servings of tasty and generous Christmas Gourmet Bundles created especially by our seasoned chef. Good for sharing of 5-6 persons, choose among 3 selection of curated spreads.

Priced at Php 3,899 net are Sobremesa which includes honey glaze leg of ham, roasted potato, chorizo, cherry tomato, Lengua in creamy mushroom sauce, pesto and truffle pasta, seafood paella, tiramisu in tin can, assorted Christmas cookies, and soft roll, and Home for Christmas for only Php 4,899 net which includes roasted turkey in butter, garlic, and herbs, seafood lasagna supreme, classic buffalo wings, steamed rice, country baguette, pumpkin pie, and Ube salted caramel in a tin can. Elevate your home parties further with Christmas Gourmet Feast priced at Php 6,899 net featuring our bestsellers and signature cuisine such as slow-cooked us striploin, baked potato and root vegetables, salmon en croute stuffed with spinach cream and Parma ham with tomato and chorizo rice, Vongole pasta, Grand Marnier chocolate cake, Christmas banana cake, French macaroons, focaccia bread.

Sheraton Manila Bay is accepting order for pick-up and home deliveries. Advance order required. Please allow 48 hours before pick-up. Check our holiday E-brochure at

Sheraton Manila Bay is located at M. Adriatico cor. Gen. Malvar Streets, Malate, Manila. For reservation please call +632 5318 0788, 0917 583 7294, 0917 583 7326, or email Like us on Facebook and Instagram @sheratonmanilabay and Twitter at @sheratonmnlbay.

Greater sharing of best practices and technical expertise needed to help Philippine cities fight climate change

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Cities in the Philippines need help when it comes to technical expertise and guidance so they can come up with energy plans that will help them fight climate change and also improve the lives of their citizens, according to WWF-Philippines.

“Because we are still a developing country, we have many challenges such as lack of technical expertise, insufficient manpower and resources, and limited budgets of local government units (LGUs). Despite these hurdles, we are moving forward and coming up with solutions using what little we have and that includes the sharing of knowledge and expertise,” said Cheerylyn S. Agot, WWF-Philippines’ manager for the Financing and Integrating Renewable Energy in the City of Butuan (FinRE-Butuan) project.

“FinRE-Butuan is the first project of its kind in the Philippines where we bring together the LGU, national government agencies, electric utilities, academic sector, chambers of commerce, civil-society organizations, and banks to work together in crafting and implementing grid-connected city energy plans which aims to help in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” Agot said.

The over 300,000 population of Butuan City, located in the province of Agusan del Norte in northern Mindanao, suffered from power shortages back in 2014 prompting the local government to come up with their energy plans for the future.

The project in Butuan is ongoing and there is already a lot of interest from other cities on how they can also implement a similar project that will help them come up with their energy plan which will contribute to the country’s fight against climate change.

WWF-Philippines’ Climate Change and Energy Program Head Atty. Angela Ibay and Ms. Agot co-presented with Butuan City at two recent online conferences organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on November 19 and the European Union’s (EU) Access to Sustainable Energy Program - Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASAP-CELLs) on November 24. Both events were attended by over 100 representatives from LGUs, national gov’t agencies, electric cooperatives, academe, and civil society organizations.

The learnings and best practices of the FinRE-Butuan project which started in 2018 will be compiled into a guide handbook so that other local government units can gain an understanding of the process of transitioning to sustainable and green energy.

“The national policy is already in place in the form of the Renewable Energy Law and the National Renewable Energy Plan 2040 but how can we move forward in implementing plans in our cities so that our fight against climate change can reach more people and have a greater impact?” Ibay said.

“By helping the local governments identify the potential renewable energy resources in their locality, providing them with the step-by-step guide on how this can be developed, and connecting them with financiers or investors, cities can get started on their own path towards a climate-resilient future,” she added.

The FinRE-Butuan project, which is part of the International Climate Initiative, supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag, uses a two-pronged approach to helping the city transition away from fossil fuels: (1) lowering the electricity consumption of the city through energy efficiency and conservation measures and (2) developing renewable energy that reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These will be outlined and discussed in the proposed Butuan City Energy Development Plan.

GHGs are the primary drivers of global warming and they come from multiple sources such as fossil fuel-based power plants and from transportation. In the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) countries all over the world signed the Glasgow Climate Pact and pledged to reduce GHGs emissions in order to limit the change in global temperature to 1.5C.

The Philippine government submitted to the UN Climate Change Convention a pledge to reduce its GHG emissions by 75% for the period of 2020 to 2030 for the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy. However, out of the total 75% reduction, 72.29% is considered “conditional” meaning the government will require additional assistance such as funding while only 2.71% is “unconditional” meaning the government will do it regardless of external support.

“We need to work together to achieve our national plans and our international pledges,” Agot said. “On the global scale, the Philippines is not a major contributor of GHGs. But if we can take the lead in implementing these innovative solutions in cities, we can show the world that we can fight climate change and Change the Ending for the planet.”

“The pilot project to make renewable energy a major part of Butuan City will hopefully be a trailblazer for the other cities in the Philippines. We want everyone to see that cities are capable of joining the fight against climate change through planning, developing, and implementing their local energy development plans that incorporate renewable energy use, energy efficiency and conservation measures at the local level,” Agot said

Furries of Pawssion Project spends a howl-idate with Doggo, Nico Bolzico

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Here in the Philippines, Christmas festivities are not only for people — but for fur friends too. As home to approximately 109.6 million Filipinos and more than 12 million stray cats and dogs, local dog care brand Doggo is back with another initiative with Pawssion Project, a Philippine-based non-profit organization committed to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome stray animals, just in time for the holidays.

Kicking off the Christmas Drive, Doggo ambassador and fur dad Nico Bolzico joined Doggo CEO Kurt Cheng and Pawssion Project founder Malou Perez for a full day of fun activities with the dogs in the shelter.

Photo B: Doggo CEO Kurt Cheng and Doggo ambassador Nico Bolzico give Keisha and Charlie a bath using Doggo Madre De Cacao Organic Shampoo and Organic Conditioner.

Photo C: Doggo CEO Kurt Cheng and Doggo ambassador Nico Bolzico work hard to feed tasty treats to over 230 doggos in the shelter.

In the true spirit of Christmas as the season of giving, Doggo gifted several gallons of Doggo Shampoo, Doggo bowls in various sizes, and Doggo collars to Pawssion Project in hopes to continue providing the essentials to create a better environment for the animals.

Additionally, a percentage of Doggo’s sales from 1L Doggo Jasmine Shampoo, 500ml Doggo Jasmine Shampoo, and Doggo collars will be given to Pawssion Project by the end of the year.

“We started Pawssion Project as a means to save dogs on death row and it eventually grew into an organization that aims to find a new home for our fur friends. These gifts from Doggo will help make their stay in the local shelter more comfortable while waiting to be adopted,” says Perez.

Photo D: Doggo CEO Kurt Cheng, Doggo ambassador Nico Bolzico, and Pawssion Project founder Malou Perez with Doggo products.

“We are always ready to lend a hand and share quality dog food and products to make the world a kinder place for animals to live in,” says Cheng. “Working with an organization who shares the same values, passion, and commitment as Doggo makes it easier for us to carry out our mission to help animals in need. We are looking forward to more initiatives with Pawssion Project in the years to come.”

This is not their first project with the local shelter — and definitely won’t be the last. Bound by their promise to build a healthier environment and better well-being for all pets, Doggo remains committed to continue partnering with Pawssion Project for all their CSR efforts. And the fact that Doggo was established just a year after the birth of Pawssion Project in 2018 makes this partnership all the more meaningful. With the shared goal of helping strays and neglected animals, both Doggo and Pawssion Project work together to make the much-needed change for the pet community.

For donations to Pawssion Project, interested individuals can visit Pawssion’s official website link. Those who want to purchase the Doggo products whose proceeds will go to Pawssion Project may purchase from Doggo’s official Lazada store at

About Doggo

Doggo is a proudly Filipino-owned dog brand that carries a full range of excellent quality dog products including tasty treats, toys, accessories, and grooming essentials that are curated and sourced from abroad. With hopes to make life easier for both the Filipino dog owners and their fur babies, Doggo offers the best quality products at the best price points.

Doggo is available online on Shopee, Lazada, GrabMart, and Pet Express. Follow @doggo_ph on Instagram and @doggophilippines on Facebook for updates.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

SDCA Comm majors make it two in a row in video contests

Wazzup Pilipinas!


A group of third year Communication students from St. Dominic College of Asia (SDCA) made it to the shortlist of the 5th Rotary Public Service Announcement (PSA) Festival, a 30-second video making competition co-hosted by the Rotary Club of Circuit Makati (RCCM) with 24 other Rotary organizations.

The PSA “WI-HA” by Jhody Sacramento, Kristzen Joy Mendoza, Lourdes Mae De Gala, and CK Dela Cruz, collectively known as JKLC Production, is among the 35 semifinalists chosen out of 355 submissions received by RCCM from 27 different high schools and colleges all over the Philippines.

Last month, the same group barged into the finals of the Three Shots Film (3SF) festival organized by Media Underground or MUD Studios with their short film “Laruan.”  

For the fifth straight year, RCCM is holding the Rotary PSA Festival for amateur and student filmmakers. Five semifinalists were chosen for each of the seven Areas of Focus of Rotary International, namely Basic Education and Literacy, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Economic and Community Development, Maternal and Child Health, Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Supporting Environment, and Water and Sanitation. “WI-HA” falls under the last category.

Cameraperson and editor Mendoza, who currently serves as the president of the Association of Dominican Communicators, a student organization made up of SDCA Communication majors, stressed that drinking unclean water can cause serious health problems. “With this PSA, we want to remind everyone that we must be careful and aware of everything that we drink. Also, we should take action for people who don't have permanent homes and don't have enough sources of clean water,” she shared.

“We would also like to emphasize that when talking about water, we should not only concern ourselves with what we are drinking but also with our surroundings. Children along the streets are likely the first ones to be the victims as it is normal for their innocent age to play outdoors,” director De Gala added.

SDCA student Lara Mae Tamio previously placed third in RCCM’s annual video competition for her entry “Pasa Pasa” during the awards night held two years ago at Spotlight Theater, Circuit Makati.

Aside from Tamio, SDCA’s Anne Camacho, Bien De Guzman, Jasmin Claire De Guzman, and Jereen Tagle of Rinoa Productions also made it to the shortlist in 2019 with their two entries, “Basura Mo Kayamanan Ko” and “Tubig Para sa Kalusugan Natin.”

“As for our group, we've seen that water is one of the easily accessible resources here on our planet, but this comes with a price. Especially for those people who live in the streets or a community that is festering with contaminated water sources that they struggle to keep their essential well-being in check,” scriptwriter Dela Cruz explained.

After making it to the 3SF cut last November, Mendoza’s co-editor, cameraperson, and assistant director Sacramento revealed that they were not planning to shoot an entry for another contest. “It started with a stray kid we saw in front of our school’s drinking water fountain. Upon experiencing this situation, the deadline for submission of entries in Rotary PSA happened to be extended. This gave us the reason to push through with this concept,” she concluded.

“WI-HA” can be viewed here:

Animation prof inspired by quarantine blues in motions graphics art

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A motion graphics artist aims to show “the unseen experiences we faced during the online learning setup” in an immersive illustration showcased as part of an online digital art exhibition.

Yo Homecillo’s “Mga ‘Di Nakikita ng Mata” is fueled by his observations while in quarantine. “We met people through our screens, Zoom meetings, chats, and emails yet failed to empathize with them. With this piece, I was hoping to spark a little empathy in the hearts of the audience,” he explained.

“The more they immerse themselves and explore the virtual world I created, the more they will empathize with the characters and their experiences. I hope that this empathy will translate to the people they meet, talk to, and interact with online,” the artist added.

Homecillo, who teaches motion graphics, virtual reality, and thesis, among others, as a full-time faculty at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Animation Department, revealed that working on the project allowed him to release what he felt inside.

“The transition to online learning amidst the pandemic was challenging for everyone. It came as a surprise and gave us the teachers a short amount of time to absorb and learn how to teach in the online mode. Students were expected to possess a conducive online learning environment even though having a decent internet connection was already a challenge. Everyone was exhausted, frustrated, and hurt.”

“Because of this, the idea of empathizing with others was overlooked. I always checked the social media feeds of my students, peers, and co-teachers and tried to understand what they felt,” Homecillo shared.

“During the early months of the pandemic, I saw posts that were full of hate, teachers hating on their students and students hating on their teachers. Everyone forgot to empathize with one another. We failed to realize that we were in the same storm but not in the same boat,” he observed.

When the DLS-CSB Center for Campus Art and the New Media Cluster collaborated again for “To Differ, Digitally 2: Love and Dissent in the Time of Pandemic” (, another digital art exhibit, it became a medium with which he can share it with people.

The motion graphics artist worked on the project using Oculus Quill VR rendered through 3D software and uploaded on an online 3D Viewer. “I used Sketchfab online 3D viewer so that the audience can freely explore the different angles of the artwork. Since my message revolves around empathy, I’ve decided that the audience be the ones to start empathizing with the characters. By using a 3D viewer, they can choose how to immerse themselves in the artwork, with the characters, and seeing the bigger picture. Sometimes to understand a person, you need to look at their background,” he expounded.

Homecillo, who uses motion graphics to tell stories from life, wishes “with a hopeful heart” to open the minds of the people with his art. He believes that art and animation are great tools for disseminating information, telling stories, and sharing experiences with people.

“It made everything lighter and more bearable. I was able to look back on my experiences and remind myself to empathize with the people around me. I learned a lot from this experience, and I hope that the audience, as they immerse themselves in the illustration, learn a lot from it as well,” he stressed.

Homecillo graduated with a degree in Multimedia Arts at Benilde and finished his MA in Fine Arts and Design at Philippine Women's University. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Pasko 2021 stamps inilunsad sa pagtatanghal ng Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Inilunsad ng Philippine Postal Corporation (Post Office) ang “Pasko 2021” postage stamps kasabay ng maningning na gabi ng pagtatanghal, handog ng pamosong Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra sa makasaysayang gusali ng Manila Central Post Office kamakailan.

Tampok ang temang “Paskong Pilipino”, inilalarawan sa selyo ang mensahe ng parol na nagbibigay liwanag at komukonekta sa sama-samang selebrasyon ng pamilya, magkakaibigan, magkalapit o magkalayo daman-dama pa rin ng bawat isa ang Pasko.

Makikita sa selyo ang mga makukulay na parol hudyat na eto ng simula ng masaya at sama-samang pagdiriwang ng Paskong Pinoy.

Ayon kay Postmaster General Norman Fulgencio, “ang mga karanasan sa nagdaang sakuna o trahedya ang ngsilbing lakas at gabay upang lumago, tumibay at mapanatili ang ating pananampalataya sa Diyos”.


Hinarana ng Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra ang mga Manileno sa libreng konsiyertong inihandog ng Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).


Ipinakita dito ang pagtugtog ng iba’t ibang kantang pamasko at mga awiting pinasikat ng mga lokal at internasyunal na mang-aawit sa kumpas ng baton ni Maestro Herminigildo Ranera. Pinamalas din ang galing ng pinakabatang sopranong si  Alexa Kaufman at ang The Nightingales. Ang  aktres  na si Issa Litton ang naging host ng  espesyal na konsiyertong pinamagatang “PPO@PPO” .


Nagpasalamat si Postmaster General Fulgencio sa Office of the President sa pangunguna ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte at kay Direk Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Pangulo ng Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) at chairperson ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) sa kanyang adhikain na maitampok ang konsiyerto sa makasaysayang gusali ng post office upang patuloy na maitampok ang mga programang pangkultura at sining. Ang Post Office, NCCA at CCP ay pare- parehas na nasa ilalim ng Office of the President.


Ang gusali ng post office ay idineklarang mahalagang yamang pangkalinangan ng Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas. Ayon kay Postmaster General Fulgencio, “ang  makasaysayang gusali na ito ang  magsisilbing backdrop upang mas lalong mapahalagahan ang talento ng mga Pilipino na siyang tunay na kayamanan ng bansa”.


Idinesenyo ni in-house graphic designer Ryman Dominic Albuladora, ang mga “Christmas Stamps”, Souvenir Sheets at First day cover envelope ay mabibili sa  Manila Central Post Office Postshop sa Liwasang Bonifacio.

Monday, December 6, 2021

2021 East Asian SEAS Congress opens successfully, carries message of H.O.P

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

True to its theme of “Charting a New Decade of H.O.P.E. (Healthy Ocean, People and Economies), the 2021 East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress opened successfully onsite in Sihanoukville, Cambodia and virtually today, December 1. An atmosphere of optimism, determination and resilience following a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marked the beginning of a two-day series of events and sessions that brought together various ocean stakeholders from 11 countries across the region.

The 2021 EAS Congress is a triennial event widely recognized as a platform for dialogue, knowledge exchange, strategic action, partnership building and cooperation in support of the region’s common vision of sustainable development of the Seas of East Asia. The event was hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia, and co-organized by the Ministry of Environment, Province of Preah Sihanouk, and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).


Kicking off Day 1 of the EAS Congress was the inauguration of the PEMSEA Network of Learning Centers (PNLC), and the approval of the network’s Charter formalizing the PNLC. The PNLC Charter specifies the ground rules on membership; identifies joint activities and outputs amongst its members; and explores options for sustainability and funding support through voluntary member contributions or joint fundraising initiatives. The approval of the network’s Charter also translates to the implementation of the PEMSEA Training and Capacity Development Plan for the next 5 years.

Signing the PNLC Charter during the event were Burapha University (BUU), Thailand; Cavite State University (CvSU), Philippines; De La Salle Lipa (DLSL), Philippines; Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan; IPB University – Center for Coastal and Marine Resources Studies (IPB-CCMRS), Indonesia; Oriental University of Timor Leste (UNITAL), Timor-Leste; Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Cambodia; Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL), Timor-Leste; University of Da Nang (UD), Viet Nam; University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), Philippines and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (XU), Philippines.

Other universities who approved the PNLC Charter include Kim II Sung University (KISU), DPR Korea; Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Thailand; and Xiamen University- Coastal and Ocean Management Institute (XMU-COMI), China.

In his Opening Remarks, Dr. Vann Monyneath, PEMSEA EAS Partnership Council Co-Chair, said that the signing of the PNLC Charter is a “very important first step in formalizing the network and promoting collaboration amongst its members.” Dr. Wansuk Senanan, President of the PEMSEA Network of Learning Centers, acknowledged that the inauguration of the PNLC “reminds us we can achieve so much from working together.” She also highlighted that the network’s regional synergies provided extensive technical services supporting on-the-ground Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) projects and initiatives; as well as facilitating technology transfer and providing a platform for learning towards achieving SDG 14 (Life Below Water).

Dr. Jae Ryoung Oh, Chair of the Technical Session of the EAS Partnership Council, closed the session and provided the next steps for the PNLC which includes the conduct of a General Assembly by February 2022; and the call for nominations for PNLC Officers; drafting of PNLC Code of Conduct; drafting of the 5-year Operational Plan; and drafting of the 2023 work plan and budget.

Launched in 2015, the PNLC is a forum for information exchange, networking and sharing of expertise and experience on Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) across countries in the EAS region. The network is comprised of professionals and scientific experts from several universities and scientific institutes that include three PEMSEA Regional Centers of Excellence (RCOE) and ICM Learning Centers and 15 members across nine countries.


Immediately following the PNLC inauguration was the holding of the annual forum of the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG). The PNLG is a self-sustaining network of local governments implementing ICM programs with a view to pursuing blue economy pathway. PNLG members led by current PNLG President Mdm. Noraini Binti Roslan were on hand to witness the signing and approval of the Preah Sihanouk PNLG Declaration adopting the 2022-2030 PNLG Strategic Action Plan (SAP). The PNLG SAP features key actions on strengthening governance and partnerships, implementation of management programs related to the four UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6, 11, 13, 14), and enhancing monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

In his welcome remarks, H.E. KUOCH Chamroeun, Governor of the Provincial Administration of Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia said, “We recognize the PNLG Forum as a platform for all coastal provinces and cities in the East Asian Seas, particularly PNLG network members, to share their knowledge, lessons learned, experiences, input, and new interventions resulting from their practices in development, recreation, and conservation of the marine environment and ocean toward sustainability.”

“As a result, all local governments should join the PNLG family in order to be involved in the management, protection, and rehabilitation of the resources in our coastal, marine, and oceans in a sustainable manner for future generations,” he added.

Dr. Vann Monyneath, Secretary General of the Cambodia Ministry of Environment and Co-Chair of the EAS Partnership Council said, “Thanks to the support of our PNLG members, we were able to achieve our targets set in the Da Nang Compact 2015, specifically the completion of a regional State of Oceans and Coasts report and 10 equivalent reports at the national level focusing on the blue economy. Likewise, we have scaled up our ICM efforts, which at present cover an estimated 40 percent of the region’s coastline and contiguous watershed areas, which is well beyond the 25 percent target set by the Compact by 2021. We have also facilitated the formulation, adoption, and implementation of policies, action plans and programs on coastal, rivers, associated watershed areas, and ocean ecosystems.”

Other highlights included the election of new PNLG officers (Dr. Le Quang Nam of Viet Nam as President and Mr. Ahmed Zaki Iskandar of Indonesia as Vice President); the induction of Busan, RO Korea as the new 55th PNLG member; and the announcement of Tangerang Regency of Indonesia as the local government host of the next PNLG Annual Forum in 2022.


Senior government officials from Cambodia were in attendance including H.E. Eang Sophalleth, Secretary of State, who delivered the welcome remarks from the host country; while H.E. Kuoch Chamroeun, Governor of Preah Sihanouk, also welcomed the participants. Overall EAS Congress Chair Minister Say Samal, Minister of Environment and Vice President of the Cambodia National Committee of Coastal Management and Development, delivered the keynote address. Mr. Arief Yuwono, EAS Partnership Council Chair, delivered remarks on behalf of PEMSEA.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Eang Sophalleth, Secretary of State of Cambodia, said “The last two years have been a challenging period for our region and the whole world, plunged into an unprecedented health crisis caused by the global outbreak of COVID-19. While this pandemic wreaked havoc to many lives and livelihoods, it has taught us many lessons. It makes us rethink and reset our relationship with nature. Overcoming the pandemic and striving to restore livelihoods and economic growth have been the top priority for all countries. We must work collaboratively in synergy to build back better.”

In his keynote address, Minister Say Samal said, “The first thing I am pleased to emphasize here is the many achievements of our collaboration under PEMSEA mechanism. These have laid a strong foundation for moving forward our agenda to further ensure marine protection, sustainable livelihood of the people and sustainable blue economy, which is an important driver of growth; we need to build on these achievements.” He added that “There is, therefore, the need for our PEMSEA to foster and sustain healthy and resilient coasts and oceans, communities and economies across the Seas of East Asia through integrated management solutions and partnerships. Through PEMSEA mechanism, we are in a good position to provide solutions for effective management of coasts and oceans across the shared seas of East Asia, as we have been doing over the past two decades.”

The conference featured a plenary session focusing on the future of the coasts and ocean in the region with global experts and their respective presentations:

· “Promoting sustainable coastal and ocean governance in the run- up to 2030” by Dr. Andrew Hudson, Head, Water and Ocean Governance Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);

· “Harnessing private and public financing and investment to promote blue economy” by Sir Danny Alexander, Vice President for Policy and Strategy, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and

· “Empowering young scientists and promoting innovation under the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science” by Dr. Gil Jacinto, Philippine National Focal Person for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

A moderated discussion followed the presentations with Dr. Gil Jacinto; Ms. Akiko Yamamoto, Regional Team Leader for Nature, Climate and Energy, Bangkok Regional Hub, UNDP; and Mr. Frank Belitz, Principal Officer, Strategy and Policy Department, AIIB on the panel. PEMSEA Executive Director Aimee Gonzales also shared the conclusions and recommendations from the Plenary and knowledge sharing sessions held in the lead up to the EAS Congress.



Capping the events on Day 1 was PEMSEA’s Partnership Night, a fun and nostalgic homecoming segment featuring former and current partners, staff, sponsors and stakeholders. A key feature of the celebration was the launching of “SEA CHANGE: The PEMSEA Story,” a coffee table book and online publication that chronicles PEMSEA’s 28-year journey from its early days as a regional marine pollution project to becoming a regional coordinating mechanism for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA).

Dr. Chua Thia-Eng, Chair Emeritus of the EAS Partnership Council, and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident Representative, Philippine Country Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shared their thoughts on PEMSEA’s contributions to the SDS-SEA and other global sustainability efforts.

Other event highlights included an Appreciation and Recognition ceremony for the many invaluable contributions of some of PEMSEA’s long-time collaborators. Receiving the PEMSEA Special Citations Awards were Mr. Long Rithirak, PEMSEA’s focal point in Cambodia and Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Dr. Jose Padilla for his role in assisting PEMSEA in helping secure regional multi-million projects such as the UNDP/GEF Scaling up the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and the GEF/UNDP Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Phase II (ATSEA-2).

A copy of The PEMSEA Story will be available for download starting December 1, 2021 at

For more information on the 2021 EAS Congress, visit

Benilde MMA prof animates metaphor for pandemic

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A multimedia artist, inspired by “the isolation, danger, and anxieties we face during the pandemic,” has channeled her art into an animation for an online project.

Set in an imaginary kingdom in a virtual space, Hannah Ruth Sison’s “Portal” focuses on “a space that we also share and travel to everyday.” It is one of the artworks featured in “To Differ, Digitally 2: Love and Dissent in the Time of Pandemic,” a digital art exhibition initiated by the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Center for Campus Art in collaboration with the DLS-CSB New Media Cluster faculty.

Sison, who has been teaching MMA as a part-time faculty at Benilde since 2010, intended “Portal” to be an allegory. “Media has been our mirror to the outside world – seeing the atrocities, being jealous of those who have it better, seeing deaths, but at the same time, it is also our portal and space to be together with loved ones and our last time to be with those who depart. It is also a portal to learn from each other and reach out to people,” she explained.

Like many Filipinos, her family has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so working on the project felt very personal to her. “Challenging because of time, energy, and some limitations in knowledge, yet learning never stops,” the freelance multimedia artist stressed.

Sison lost one of her best friends, Mark Mijares, who is also her brother-in-law and co-faculty at Benilde. She dedicates her project to the victims of the pandemic as well as those who had to go through these hardships. She is grateful to CCA led by Architect Gerry Torres, TDD2 co-curator Karen Ocampo Flores, and NMC headed by Associate Dean Maria Sharon Mapa Arriola for making “Portal” possible.

“What was supposedly a series of intricate drawings turned out to be more simple illustrations with added music and little animation because hopefully, the story will be best shown that way. Portal, hopefully, can become a series if time and efforts persist. But it is one part for now. Succeeding parts will be produced soon,” the multimedia designer revealed.

“The story through its hidden meanings and symbolism also aims to open our eyes to the darkness and the love during this pandemic. And that despite our physical isolation, we can still be together in our own world,” she added.

Sison graduated with a degree of Multimedia Arts at Benilde and a Master of Arts in Communication Major in Applied Media Studies at De La Salle University. She is currently taking up her doctorate degree in Media Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Her research interests include the virtual, new media, and the link between media and her love for music, games, art, and others.

Apart from teaching, she has been working as a multimedia artist for various brands, events, and companies, mostly on graphic design, photography, and illustrations. She also dabbles as a part-time model on the side, being a Binibining Pilipinas first-runner up winner in 2015.

Joining Sison in TDD2 are motion graphics artist and designer Yolec Homecillo, 3D artist Volty Garcia, graphic designer and writer Katrina Juane, visual communicator Vanessa Puente, visual artist Emily Mones, designer, writer and artist Brian Bringas and graphic designers Dino Brucelas and Rafael Liao, writer and designer Erika Garalde, multidisciplinary artist Teta Tulay, event consultant Mito Tubilleja, writer and content developer Penny Angeles-Tan, filmmaker and creative producer Seymour Barros Sanchez, film educator and writer Jag Garcia, photographer Jay Javier, and animator Benjie Marasigan.

TDD2 looks at the digital landscape as a platform to communicate constructive protest based on love and empathy. Aside from animation, it also features photographs, live action films, 2D and 3D models and rigs, texts, audio, applications, software, graphic design, and illustrations. The works are available at CCA’s new website (

For more information about the exhibit and other projects, visit CCA’s social media accounts on Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and YouTube channel ( “Portal” is available for viewing here:


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