Saturday, September 23, 2023

VP Sara urges education ministers to reshape education, embrace technology in GEIS 2023

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Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte calls for reshaping of education and embracing of new technologies to improve current education landscapes across the globe in her keynote speech during the 2023 Global Education and Innovation Summit (GEIS) on Thursday.

“We now live in an era where undeniably, technology must be harnessed to improve access, quality and equality in education. And the advent of artificial intelligence will certainly create another paradigm shift in education. While this possibility will present newer and greater opportunities, it will also present many uncertainties in our vision of digital education,” Vice President and Secretary Duterte said.

VP-Sec Sara, who is also the current Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council President, acknowledged the impending shift of technology once again as Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes surface. She then proposed three (3) points to ensure that technology remains to be an effective weapon to aid education.

Duterte first highlighted that critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity should be considered before using technology.

She then emphasized the need to be responsive to the effects of technology on educational systems wherein ministers should closely monitor these technologies and provide adequate steps for its continuing improvement.

Lastly, she stressed that adaptability and sustainability of new technology in education systems must be studied by the end users before implementation to ensure that these technologies can be of utmost benefit to their stakeholders.

“I believe this is the reason why we are all gathered here today. Let us take this opportunity to reshape education in our respective countries in order to provide our learners the all-important opportunity of reaching their full potential,” she added.

The GEIS is spearheaded by the Korean Ministry of Education in efforts to convene education ministers across the globe to discuss and collaborate on the innovations, best practices, and adaptability of the countries in terms of education.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Camella is Developer of the Year and Best Premium House in Lamudi The Outlook 2023: Philippine Real Estate Awards

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Camella celebrates a resounding victory at The Outlook 2023: Philippine Real Estate Awards by Lamudi, cementing its prominent presence in the real estate industry with triple prestigious accolades.

Proudly receiving the awards for Camella are Division Heads Rey Montoya, Lily Donasco, Tanette Pardito, and Rochelle Alpasan (photo above)

Best Developer in Luzon

With unwavering dedication and a commitment to excellence, Camella is recognized as the Best Developer in Luzon, a testament to its outstanding contributions to Luzon's property landscape.

Division Head for North Luzon, Rochelle Alpasan, expresses pride and gratitude for the recognition, "along with the many men and women who have made Camella the Philippines' largest homebuilder for close to give decades. We will continue building not only houses for Filipinos, but forever homes they can celebrate their milestones in."

Best Developer in Visayas and Mindanao

In Visayas and Mindanao, Camella's influence shines even brighter as it secures the coveted title of Best Developer in Visayas and Mindanao, showcasing its widespread impact and commitment to quality across these regions.

Upon receiving the award, Division Head for Visayas, Lily Donasco says that the "acknowledgment not only gives importance to the accomplishments we have made over the past years but inspires us to reach greater heights in the region and beyond."

Best Premium House in Visayas and Mindanao

Adding to these remarkable achievements, Camella's commitment to crafting premium homes of unparalleled quality in Mindanao is also acknowledged as it proudly receives the award for Best Premium House in the region. The award was conferred to Camella Gran Europa, located in the scenic vicinity of Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro. The thriving community that showcases excellently crafted homes is part of Vista Land's expansive estate in the city.

This recognition underscores Camella's unwavering dedication to providing quality and comfortable living spaces to its discerning clientele in Mindanao, with Division Head for Mindanao, Natanette Pardito, emphasizing the "affirmation of the hard work and dedication our stakeholders have graciously provided every day."

Trophies awarded by Lamudi to Camella as Developer of the Year in Luzon, Developer of the Year in Visayas and Mindanao, and Best Premium House in Mindanao.

Camella is the country's largest property developer with nearly five decades of building experience and pioneering concept leadership. Its focus is on building communities that embody innovation and progress with family and community life in mind, creating a legacy of value for generations.

The developer has provided a roof for more than 500,000 families in locations where they wish to set down their roots. Camella chooses to reach farther across the country than any other property developer because it understands Filipinos' ties with the places where they grew up and created their most beautiful memories in. This is why Camella has earned its rightful place as the top-of-the-mind brand in the Philippine housing industry.

Camella's triumphant performance at Lamudi The Outlook 2023: Philippine Real Estate Awards reflects its dedication to setting new standards in the industry, further solidifying its reputation as a premier developer and a symbol of excellence in the real estate market.

To know more about Camella communities and their developments nationwide,

Camella's popular "Grande Series" model houses, Greta and Freya.

Bee nests inspire UP scientists to make new 'smart' materials

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Bee nests are a marvel of natural engineering that have inspired human engineers and inventors for centuries. Now, Filipino researchers are investigating ways to create porous materials that not only mimic the strengths of beehives but are also able to selectively trap microparticles. These new materials have potential uses in everything from water purifiers to medical sensors.

The researchers from the UPD-CS Institute of Chemistry include the paper’s authors (counter-clockwise, from middle left) Jose Jesus Gayosa, Dr. Susan Arco, Gillian Kathryn Yap, and Marco Laurence Budlayan. Not in photo is fellow UP researcher and co-author, Jonathan Patricio. Also in photo (at back, L to R) are Leo Sabolboro and Miguel Karlo Santos. (Photo credit: Dr. Susan Arco)

Jonathan Patricio, Gillian Kathryn Yap, Jose Jesus Gayosa, and Dr. Susan Arco of the UP Diliman College of Science’s Institute of Chemistry (UPD-CS IC) and colleagues from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) were able to control the physical properties of porous polyvinyl chloride (PVC) films by adjusting the drying temperature used in the manufacturing process.

The PVC is formed around droplets of water which, when they evaporate, leave a pattern of microscopic holes reminiscent of a bee’s nest. Such honeycomb structures have long been recognized for their engineering applications:

“One of the most interesting structures inspired by nature is the honeycomb pattern... Its unique properties and structure inspired the construction of light and robust aircraft and spacecraft, protection gear, panels, packaging, and cushioning because of an ability to absorb impact and energy,” the researchers explained in their paper.

“The repeating units of a honeycomb pattern can also effectively trap particles and impurities thus making them a promising structure for air and water filters,” they added.

The UP researchers investigated the difference in the honeycomb structure of PVC films that were dried at room temperature (a) and at temperatures above 80°C (b). (Photo credit: M. L. M. Budlayan)

Drying temperatures in the manufacturing process for PVC films affects the wall thickness and cell size of the films’ honeycomb structures. These PVC films have a wide range of potential uses. (Photo credit: M. L. M. Budlayan)

The researchers also explored the wettability of the various honeycomb PVC materials they created, as well as the potential of selectively trapping microparticles by subjecting the honeycomb to an electric charge.

The study “opens the possibility of integrating polymeric honeycomb structures into substrates used for microparticle trapping, sensing, and other related applications,” the researchers concluded.


Budlayan, M. L. M., Patricio, J. N., Yap, G. K. B., Gayosa, J. J. A., Arco, S. D., Diaz, J. M. A., & Guerrero, R. A. (2023). Honeycomb pattern formation on poly(Vinyl chloride) films: Electrically-driven microparticle trapping and the effect of drying temperature. Materials Research Express, 10(8), 085304.

Breathing Easier: Know the Benefits of Air Purifiers

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Have you ever given the air you are breathing any thought? Well, if you have never thought of it, it is worth noting that the air quality you breathe impacts your health and happiness, despite how easy it is to take it for granted. The allergens, pollutants, and minute particles in the air can harm your respiratory system. But you do not have to fret since there is a perfect solution.

Indoor air quality can be improved with air purifiers by eliminating airborne contaminants. These purifiers pull air from the surrounding area, filter it, and then emit the clean, purified air back into the atmosphere. They can remove many contaminants, such as dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. This article will examine the benefits of air purifiers to help you breathe easier and live healthier.

Improved Respiratory Health

With a modern in-room air purification system you can breathe easier and need less medication because allergens and other irritants that cause asthma and allergies will be considerably reduced.

Millions worldwide suffer from allergies and asthma, which frequently cause uncomfortable symptoms and frequent doctor visits. Dust mites, pollen, and pet dander are typical airborne causes of these illnesses. These allergens can aggravate the respiratory system and cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath when breathed.

Air purifiers provide a proactive method of controlling respiratory health by reducing exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. This decrease in allergen levels may result in fewer asthma attacks and milder allergy symptoms, which may reduce your need for medication and enhance your quality of life overall.

Enhanced Sleep Quality

Sleep is crucial for general health. Thus, getting a restful night's sleep is of the utmost importance. Dust, allergens, and other airborne irritants can aggravate allergies or respiratory conditions, causing pain and disrupting sleep.

Air purifiers effectively eliminate these irritants from the air you breathe, promoting a more hygienic and healthy sleeping environment. Pollutant and allergen levels can be reduced so that you can breathe easier and get more restful sleep. Some air purifiers serve as white noise, obscuring annoying noises and encouraging a relaxing resting environment.

Odor Removal

With purifies, you can put an end to unpleasant odors! Smoke, cooking scents, pet odors, and other odors can all be successfully eliminated by air purifiers, leaving your home feeling clean and fresh.

More than just an annoyance, unpleasant odors in your house can have an impact on your attitude and the ambiance of your living area. These smells can be a persistent cause of pain, whether they are the lingering odor of yesterday's food, the mustiness of a closed-up room, or the unmistakable smell of pets.

Your best defense against foul odors is an air purifier with activated carbon filters. These specialist filters are made to neutralize and absorb a variety of odorous molecules, leaving only clean, fresh air behind.

You won't have to stress about your house smelling like a fast food restaurant after dinner or scrambling to find air fresheners to mask pet odors. Air purifiers operate quietly and effectively to keep your home's atmosphere pleasant and free of any offensive odors.

A fresh and clean-smelling home might be good for your mental health. You feel more relaxed at home since it provides a more welcoming and inviting atmosphere.

Increased Productivity

The quality of the air can enhance mental and physical performance. Better air quality may help you concentrate and stay awake, significantly impacting how efficiently you do daily tasks.

Studies have shown a relationship between deterioration in cognitive function and poor indoor air quality. Breathing in filthy and unpleasant air can cause brain fog, fatigue, and attention issues. However, clean air may increase your mental understanding, allowing you to think more clearly and make better decisions.

Your brain works best when the air is clean. You'll have improved abilities to manage challenging assignments, adhere to deadlines, and take accountability. Whether you manage a hectic household, are a student, or work from home, increased productivity can positively impact every aspect of your life.

Long-Term Cost Savings

Long-term healthcare costs may be decreased due to purchasing an air purifier. Financially speaking, buying an air purifier makes sense because doctor visits and medication costs can add up over time.

Consider how much it would cost to treat respiratory conditions like allergies and asthma. Your budget may be strained by frequent doctor's appointments, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications. On the other hand, an air purifier can produce cleaner air, reducing exposure to allergens and irritants, leading to fewer health problems and a decreased need for medication.

Final Remarks

The air you breathe impacts your overall health and well-being. Therefore, it is best to ensure that you are breathing in clean air, devoid of pollutants. Air purifiers offer a practical solution to combat the ignored dangers of indoor air pollution, with many benefits that can help promote a healthier and happier life. To start breathing easier, make an air purifier investment right away!

Exploring The Benefits Of Ultraviolet-Accelerated Weathering Test Chambers

Have you ever wondered how manufacturers ensure your house’s paint, automobile parts, or even your favorite outdoor furniture will withstand the harsh sun’s rays? Stop pondering now! In this piece, we will begin an informative journey into the world of ultraviolet-accelerated weathering test chambers.

In our fast-paced world, where products must withstand the test of time and the environment, UV-accelerated weathering test chambers are the unsung heroes. We can advance through the deterioration of nature in these high-tech chambers that act as time machines for science and quality control.

But what makes these chambers unique? Keep your eyes on the road as we explore the benefits they offer. Realistic simulations and time and resource savings are only some benefits these chambers offer. Come with us as we unravel the mysteries of ultraviolet-accelerated weathering test chambers, whether you’re a curious client or a product developer trying to increase durability.

What is an Ultraviolet-Accelerated Weathering Test Chamber?

A weathering chamber, also known as an Ultraviolet-Accelerated Weathering Test Chamber, is a specialized device used in many industries. It mimics the damaging effects of sunlight and weather on materials and products. Consider it a well-regulated setting that acts as a time machine, rapidly exposing products to intense UV radiation, temperature swings, and humidity changes.

In a much shorter time than actual exposure, this simulation helps manufacturers and researchers understand how materials and products age, fade, or degrade. It serves as a lab where we can speed up the aging process. Thus, it’s a helpful tool for ensuring the quality and durability of various things.


Benefits of Ultraviolet-Accelerated Weathering Test Chambers

1. Realistic Simulations

Let’s say you’re building a stunning new outdoor chair. It should withstand the sweltering sun, drenching rain, and even a little snow. But how can you tell if your design will withstand the weather? UV-accelerated weathering test chambers are useful in this situation.

These chambers mirror the laboratory of Mother Nature. They replicate the challenging environmental conditions that your product would face outdoors, including direct sunlight, temperature swings, and humidity. This glimpse into the future will help you forecast how elegantly your chair—or any other object—will age.

2. Quality Assurance

These chambers are used by manufacturers to rigorously test their products before they release them into the market. Think of it this way: You plan to buy a brand-new car and want it to last a long time. Most likely, a UV-accelerated weathering test was conducted on it.

Early testing allows manufacturers to find any potential issues or defects. This helps them save time and money and guarantees they release a product that will resist everything nature can dish out.

3. Reduced Time and Costs

Traditional outside testing can take as long as waiting for the paint to dry. However, UV-accelerated weathering tests are like skipping boring scenes in a movie. They significantly reduced testing times, enabling companies to make quicker product decisions. And guess what else? In the long term, this saves money as well.

4. Customizable Testing

These chambers resemble skilled cooks who painstakingly prepare each meal. Researchers can change variables such as UV radiation intensity, temperature, and humidity to replicate the precise conditions in which a product would be used in the real world. The fit is ideal, just like when a suit is tailored.

5. Consistency and Reproducibility

UV-accelerated weathering tests offer consistency in contrast to outdoor testing. A producer and researcher’s dream comes true when you get identical circumstances each time, and that’s what these chambers do. This dependability makes comparing the performance of various materials or products simple, ensuring they hold up to scrutiny.

6. Material Selection

Have you ever wondered how experts choose the best materials, from satellites to eyewear? Based on information from UV-accelerated weathering tests, they come to wise decisions. It’s like having a hidden weapon to choose the ideal materials for the project when you know how different materials respond to UV radiation.

7. Accelerated Aging Studies

Aging in the real world takes time, but we can’t wait to see how our goods perform. However, UV-accelerated weathering chambers work like product-based time machines. They speed up aging, enabling researchers to study how materials alter with time. This is important in aerospace and auto manufacturing industries, where product lifespan is important.

8. Product Improvement

These chambers allow producers to develop through testing and evaluation continuously. They can develop new coatings, enhance designs, and find materials that can withstand the demands of outdoor living. These trials could improve the comfort and toughness of Your upcoming outdoor chair.

9. Eco-Friendly Endeavors

Let us not forget about the environment. Understanding how materials respond in UV-accelerated weathering tests can have a favorable influence. Companies reduce waste by creating items that endure longer. That’s a win-win situation for nature and your wallet.

10. Compliance with Standards

Every industry has its own set of laws and regulations. UV-accelerated weathering testing assists producers in ensuring that their products satisfy these standards. Whether it is safety requirements or performance benchmarks, these chambers act as the referee, assuring a fair game.


The creation of weather-resistant products is aided by ultraviolet-accelerated weathering test chambers, saving time and money. So, the next time you unwind on your outdoor chair on a warm day, you’ll know it underwent thorough testing to guarantee your comfort and satisfaction. Cheers to smart testing and even smarter products!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Best Halloween Stores Near Burbank, California

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When the spooky season rolls around, residents of Burbank, California, are in for a treat – and perhaps a few tricks! Halloween enthusiasts and costume aficionados alike are in luck, as this city is home to a vibrant array of Halloween stores.

Whether you're in search of the perfect costume, decorations, or just want to soak up the festive spirit, these Halloween stores near Burbank will have you covered.

Glendale Halloween

Situated just a stone's throw away from Burbank, Glendale Halloween is your one-stop-shop for everything Halloween-related. From intricate costumes to eerie decorations, this store has it all. It's no wonder locals flock here each year to prepare for the spookiest night of the year.

The Costume House

For those who demand the finest quality and craftsmanship, The Costume House in North Hollywood is a must-visit. They specialize in unique and professionally crafted costumes, making it a favorite among Burbank residents.

Hollywood Toys & Costumes

Located in the heart of Hollywood, Hollywood Toys & Costumes is a treasure trove for Halloween enthusiasts. This iconic store boasts an extensive collection of costumes and accessories that will help you stand out at any Halloween party.

Alex in Wonderland

If you're seeking a more personalized touch to your Halloween costume, check out Alex in Wonderland. Located in Burbank, this store offers customized costumes and makeup services, ensuring you're a standout on Halloween night.

Stage Hollywood

For those who take their Halloween costumes seriously, Stage Hollywood offers professional-grade costumes and theatrical makeup. Located in Burbank, it's a haven for aspiring actors and Halloween enthusiasts alike.

Party City

With several branches in and around Burbank, Party City is a convenient choice for your Halloween needs. They offer a wide range of costumes, decorations, and party supplies, making it a go-to destination for many locals.

Robinson Beautilities

Robinson Beautilities, located in Hollywood, specializes in makeup, wigs, and special effects. It's the ideal place to add the finishing touches to your Halloween look, ensuring you leave a lasting impression.

Roma Costume

Last but not least, Roma Costume in North Hollywood boasts an impressive selection of costumes and accessories. Whether you're looking for a classic or contemporary look, you'll find it here.

Halloween in Burbank, California, is an exciting and vibrant experience, thanks to these fantastic Halloween stores. Make sure to visit one or more of these stores to create memories and enjoy the spookiest night of the year to the fullest!


As Halloween approaches, the residents of Burbank, California, have an abundance of options when it comes to preparing for this thrilling holiday. These Burbank Halloween Stores offer a diverse range of costumes, decorations, and accessories to ensure you have a memorable and spooky Halloween experience.

Five Trends Shaping the Hospitality Landscape in 2024

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WATG’s advisory team shares insights on emerging trends, from luxury brand collaborations to innovation, that will shift the paradigm in Asia Pacific

Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve nestled in Jiuzhaigou, China, was the host venue for a high jewellery exhibition curated for high-net-worth travellers. Photo Courtesy of Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

WATG, the preeminent leader in integrated luxury hospitality design since 1945, has revealed five emerging trends that will shape Asia Pacific’s hospitality industry in 2024 and beyond. With the return of travel, consumer preferences and expectations have evolved as indicated by the increased demand for all things responsible yet purposeful. This heightened sense of self-awareness and personal lifestyle has triggered changes in the ways hospitality stakeholders personify their brand promise.

Unique to the design space, WATG’s research-led advisory and analysis team provides informed insights for business direction and guest experience, forming the foundation for commercial success. Guy Cooke, Associate Principal and Studio Director of Advisory Services, shares his observation on five emerging trends that will shape the hospitality industry in the months ahead.

1. Luxury Brand Collaborations Fueled by the ‘Experience’ Economy

We observed a growing prominence of luxury fashion and lifestyle brands within the hospitality space as they seek to capture growth in the ‘experience’ economy by aligning their brands with aspirational High-Net-Worth Individuals’ (HNWIs) recreation and way of life. Some examples include the emergence of pop-up beach clubs like Fendi Puente Romano and Dior Bali, exclusive suites within famed hotels such as the Bentley Suite and Dior Suite at St Regis NYC, entire luxury hotels like Bulgari, Armani, and Baccarat, and the proliferation of branded residences by such brands. With WATG, these include the collaboration between Bulgari and the newly opened JW Marriott Jeju Hotel & Resort in Jeju, South Korea, to showcase the timeless glamour and heritage of the renowned Italian watch and jewellery maker, as well as the Louis Vuitton “Deep Time’ luxury jewellery exhibition held at Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve nestled in Jiuzhaigou, China – Ritz-Carlton’s first all-villa resort .

2. Private Members Clubs Targeting ‘Daycations’ Sector

Growth in concept with the line blurring between hotel and club is observed as hotels now turn to the local community for patronage. An array of amenities is activated to create club-like concepts for these ‘daycations’. The subscription model these clubs are based on offers hotels more diversified and stable revenue streams than from transient trade. Rosewood, Six Senses and Aman are all opening private clubs for local residents integrated within urban hotels. At the same time, there is growth and innovation from the traditional private members club space targeting specific market segments with increasingly curated offering comprising a guestroom component or offering ‘retreat’ concepts away from the city.

3. Branded Ecosystems Offering an Integrated & Expansion of Guest Experiences

Hotel operators are extending their services and brands beyond traditional hotels into other adjacent lifestyle concepts. This includes the branding and operation of a range of synergistic components within an urban mixed-use development including residences, wellness hubs, serviced offices and private members clubs. Accor, for example, has launched a dedicated service line Accor One Living to focus on the development, operation and branding of these mixed-use spaces with a focus on creating complementary experiences under a single brand for a range of users from guests, onsite residents to the local population. Hotel operators are also continuing to expand their presence into non-hotel leisure experiences through the branding and management of standalone vacation rentals, superyachts and private jets.

4. Scaled-up Accommodation, a Typology That is Here to Stay

The post-pandemic trend for multi-generational and blended travel is having a demonstrable impact on the demand and supply for larger accommodation typologies within a resort setting. Hotels are being designed today with a greater consideration for this market. Larger villas are making up a greater proportion of total inventory. Family-friendly in-villa amenity is being bolstered while flexibility to cater to the different needs of a travel group is being designed into the product. This growing transient multi-generational demand dovetails neatly with the growth of branded residences, creating an all-round beneficial scenario from a cashflow and end user demand perspective.

5. Amenity Innovation to Go Against The Conventional

As the experience economy enters a new phase, there is an arms race underway in the hospitality sector for amenity programming that helps destinations to stand out from the crowd. Developers are going extra lengths, investing in wow-factor concepts that capture the imagination and place the destination on the map. Leveraging the unique context of each destination, including natural assets and local cultural themes, is central to anchoring amenities and providing one-of-a-kind experiences that cater to growing expectations for authenticity. Partnerships with third party ‘specialist’ operators, brands and celebrity endorsed concepts are also adding a new dynamic and visibility to the destination offering that speaks directly to the targeted guests. Be it kids’ clubs, sports and fitness facilities, wellness programming, cultural experiences and translating through into the F&B offering and poolside experience, each new resort requires a new layer of thinking in terms of experience curation through the guest stay.

“As the hospitality landscape evolves in Asia Pacific, we must rethink what this means to us, to our clients, their guests and to the planet. It is imperative that we continue to innovate as we strive to respond quickly to market needs, to elevate guest experiences and recapture revenue to optimise returns for our clients. Backed by a thorough research-led framework, our deep understanding of what today's travelers seek allow us to set new standards for what guests can expect in a new era. We believe that these trends don’t just guide our clients to build a more resilient business model but also shape our industry to ensure we can keep on thriving in 2023 and beyond,” said Guy Cooke, Associate Principal and Studio Director of Advisory Services at WATG Singapore.

For more information and insights on these trends and their impact on the hospitality industry in Asia Pacific, please visit


Founded in Honolulu in 1945 by George ‘Pete’ Wimberly, WATG is the preeminent leader in integrated luxury hospitality design. Grounded in rigorous strategy and incomparable domain expertise, WATG creates bespoke, exhilarating and culturally significant destinations.

WATG remains independent to this day with a profound respect for its heritage. Its five studios – Advisory, Master Planning, Architecture, Landscape and Wimberly Interiors – stay true to their values, designing spaces that respect, protect and enhance the natural magic of their surroundings while delivering long-term value for clients and communities.

As of 2022, its global yet local team – representing more than 45 nationalities across offices in Honolulu, Irvine (California), Los Angeles, New York, London, Cairo, New Delhi, Singapore and Shanghai – has designed and delivered over 500 built projects in 170 countries and territories, pushing the boundaries of possibility while delivering enduring client success across the globe.

Holiday Card Tips For Businesses Looking To Impress Clients

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Sending holiday cards to clie­nts is a cherished tradition that allows businesse­s to foster stronger relationships and de­monstrate gratitude. It goes beyond merely offering e­xceptional products or services; it e­mbodies genuine appre­ciation that nurtures human connection. These gesture­s not only bring in the festive spirit but also provide a unique opportunity for businesses to impre­ss and strengthen their re­lationship with clients.

However, not all holiday cards are made equal. The value of a we­ll-crafted physical holiday card cannot be overstate­d. To optimize this tradition, businesses need to approach it strategically. They should e­nsure their cards stand out, convey he­artfelt messages, and re­flect the brand's commitment to e­xcellence.

This article will provide six tips for businesse­s aiming to impress clients and leave a lasting positive impact.

1. Personalization is Key

When designing holiday cards for clients, it's essential to avoid the one-size­-fits-all approach. Instead, focus on personalization to leave a lasting impression. Begin by addressing e­ach card with the client's name and, if possible, include a personalized message that refers to a specific project or interaction you've had with the­m throughout the year.

This demonstrates your appreciation for their business and highlights the individual thought you've put into their card.

Personalization e­xtends beyond the message itself. It is worth considering the utilization of custom-branded cards that showcase your company's logo and colors. This approach reinforce­s your brand identity and lends an air of distinctivene­ss to the card. When clients receive a personalize­d card, they are more likely to experience a sense of appreciation and value, fostering stronger client loyalty.

2. Timing Matters

Sending holiday cards at the wrong time can diminish their impact. To ensure that your cards are received and appreciated, it is essential to send them at the right time. Ideally, aim to se­nd holiday cards between late­ November and early December. This timing allows your clients to enjoy them during the holiday season without feeling rushed or overwhe­lmed.

Sending them too early might make them fee­l out of place, while sending them too late may give the impression that they were an afte­rthought.

Remember, international clie­nts may have various holiday traditions and timelines. It is essential to consider their cultural pre­ferences and adjust your timing accordingly. By se­nding your cards at the appropriate time, you de­monstrate organizational skills and thoughtfulness, which positively reflects on your business.

3. Quality Over Quantity

When expressing gratitude to clients, prioritize­ quality over quantity. A personalized, we­ll-crafted card holds more impact than gene­ric ones sent to your entire client base. Consider inve­sting in premium cardstock, high-quality printing, and professional design.

By paying attention to the visual appeal and meticulous de­tails of the card, you convey a positive impression of your brand and dedication to excelle­nce.

Consider adding a small, thoughtful gift or ge­sture to accompany the card. You could include a pe­rsonalized ornament, a gift card, or even write a heartfelt note­. These extra touche­s demonstrate genuine­ care and effort on your part in making their holiday se­ason memorable.

Such gesture­s not only help in forming stronger connections with clie­nts but also increase the chance­s of them remembe­ring and appreciating your business.

4. Keep It Neutral and Inclusive

When choosing holiday cards for your business, it is essential to maintain an inclusive and unbiased approach. It is crucial to acknowledge that not everyone obse­rves the same holidays and to avoid uninte­ntionally excluding or offending anyone.

Conside­r selecting cards with imagery that re­presents winter landscape­s, snowflakes, or festive de­corations instead of specific religious symbols. By doing so, you ensure that your cards are appreciate­d by clients from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

Crafting your holiday message requires using inclusive language that encompasses the e­ssence of the se­ason. Choose expressions like "warm wishes" or "joyful celebrations" to convey unity and joy. It's advisable to avoid religious or specific holiday re­ferences unless you are sure about your client's pre­ferences. This approach de­monstrates respect for diversity and inclusivity, reinforcing your business's reputation as conside­rate and respectful.

5. Handwritten Touch

During this era of digital communication, adding a handwritte­n touch to your holiday card can make it truly stand out and leave a lasting impression. Consider including a personal, handwritten note­ in each card, even if it's just a brie­f message conveying your gratitude­. The authenticity of handwritten messages demonstrates the thoughtfulness you've put into every individual card.

If you possess an extensive cliente­le, the illusion of a handwritten ae­sthetic can still be achieve­d through the use of handwriting-like fonts or by including a signature­ or initials. This extra endeavor brings about a pe­rsonal touch that your clients will undoubtedly appreciate, setting your card apart from the sea of ge­neric holiday greetings.

6. Keep the Message Short and Sweet

During the bustling holiday se­ason, time becomes a pre­cious resource for both businesse­s and their clients. That's why maintaining concise and focused holiday card messages is crucial. It may be te­mpting to pour your heart out in a lengthy note, but it's crucial to re­member that people­ have limited time and atte­ntion spans during this busy period.

By keeping your message short and sweet, not only do you re­spect your clients' valuable time­, but you also increase the likelihood of them reading and appreciating your card.

When crafting your message, prioritize brevity without sacrificing warmth and since­rity. Keep your holiday gree­tings and appreciation concise. For instance, a simple yet effective way to convey your sentiments is by saying, "Wishing you a joyful holiday se­ason and a prosperous New Year! We value your partnership."

Impressing clie­nts with holiday cards goes beyond sending a se­asonal greeting. It's an opportunity to showcase appre­ciation, attention to detail, and commitment to pe­rsonalized customer relationships.

By following these six tips, you can create me­morable holiday cards that leave a lasting positive impression on your clients. This not only strengthe­ns business relationships but also lays the foundation for continued success in the upcoming year.

ML Wallet: M Lhuillier's Mobile App Providing Convenience in Various Financial Transactions

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Pioneers of TRC: Girls & Gears champion advocacy over rivalry, experience over the crown

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“No matter what happens, girls support girls, and girls are always for girls.”


This is the short yet meaningful response of Gecille T. Abeleda, grade 9 student of Quezon City High School, when asked about the most significant lesson she learned from joining the Tagisang Robotics Competition (TRC): Girls & Gears; and she is proof of its triumph to become an intense yet friendly competition that piques young girls’ long-standing aspiration for equality and unites them to fight for one specific advocacy – to celebrate women and champion their absolute potential to take part in robotics and engineering.  


When joining competitions, contenders surely have one ultimate goal: to win. But for the pioneers of the TRC: Girls & Gears, the main dream was never to just win the battle, but to break the norms that try to render girls weak and voiceless. 


More than aiming to win the highly coveted TRC championship title, the TagRobo girls hope to prove that girls are more than just girls and that they have what it takes to take part in highly male-dominated STEM competitions.  


Most particularly, in robotics, they aim to evince that even in the supposed game of men, girls can earn their place and represent Filipinas well.  


All of these they have achieved as they turned tables in a trailblazing all-female robotics battle, and successfully finished the championship round of the competition – courtesy of the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). 



Slaying the competition, one task at a time 


Embodying the best of ingenuity and the broadest of skills, the TagRobo girls battled it out for the final game of the competition, acing every challenge and exhibiting their power to move, sense, and deliver. 


Conducted on August 16, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, the Championship Round focused on the holistic capability of the school-teams to perform the robotics tasks, showcasing their mastery of interfacing and programming their mobots.  


Dr. Randolf S. Sasota, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the DOST-SEI, formally opened the TRC: Girls and Gears Championship Round.  


In his message, Dr. Sasota reiterated the vital role that women and girls play in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and how crucial their presence in these fields is to the country’s economic and social prosperity. He encouraged the TagRobo girls to continue using their voices to take bold, concerted actions towards equality in STEM. 


Meanwhile, to guide the TagRobo girls in doing their task-based challenges, Engr. Edison A. Roxas, professor at the University of Santo Tomas Department of Electronics Engineering, presented the mechanics and criteria for judging. He wished the girls good luck and congratulated them for their hard work and drive in honing their skills in coding, programming, and electronics.  


Joining Engr. Roxas in assessing the performance of the girls were University of the Philippines Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (EEEI) professor Engr. Percival Magpantay and Ateneo de Manila University School of Science and Engineering professor Engr. Carlos M. Oppus, his fellow veteran TRC judges and members of the competition’s technical working group. 


With the final tasks being score-and-timer based, the TagRobo teams truly showed that they have fully capacitated themselves with knowledge on how to control and program Arduino-based Microcontrollers interfaced with different peripherals such as servo and direct current (DC) motors, line and color sensors, and outputs such as red, green, and blue light-emitting diode (RGB LED) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) to maneuver around a grid-designed playing field. 


The championship round commenced after a series of preliminary rounds which, specifically, were designed to enrich and test the teams’ mastery of basic, intermediate, and advanced mobot build and programing. For the second and third preliminary rounds, time-based tasks were also included, determining the fastest mobots with correct color detection, pallet lifting sequences, and output display. 

Caption: Engr. Carlos Matti Oppus joins Mr. Mark Jason De Jesus of ThinkLab in assessing and rating the performance of the TagRobo teams’ mobots during the first preliminary round of the competition. 

Caption: The TagRobo team from Pasig City Science High School is in a heart-stopping moment as they watch their mobot execute the codes to autonomously move around the playing field and perform tasks for the TRC: Girls & Gears Championship Round. 


With all the phases they have undergone – from the technical training and workshop to the preliminary rounds and championship game – the girls have repeatedly expressed their deep appreciation and fascination for the competition’s strong and vital advocacy.  


They shared that the TRC: Girls & Gears was an undeniably remarkable experience and a true testament to the DOST-SEI's commitment and dedication to foster an open and diverse scientific community for women and girls. 


“So knowing that most STEM-related competitions na ‘pwedeng salihan ay meant for boys, this competition parang solidifies that girls have the right to be here, [and that] girls deserve the same quality of skills and training that the boys have,” said Dalila Isabel De Los Santos of Manila Science High School. 


The TagRobo girls admitted that most of them were new to robotics. Hence, joining the TRC: Girls & Gears has helped increase their awareness that there is such discipline that they can pursue, which, in a way, has also boosted their eagerness to discover other careers in STEM.  



Creating history, not by awards but their bravery 


On the same day of the final game, the first-ever TRC: Girls & Gears champions were named. 


Besting the 20-participating school-teams, Rizal National Science High School was crowned as the first champion of the first and only all-female robotics competition in the country. They were followed by Rizal High School as the 2nd placer and Caloocan National Science and Technology High School as the 3rd placer. 


Below are the names of students, with their coaches, who were conferred with place awards for the TRC: Girls & Gears Championship Round: 



Rizal National Science High School 


Airish N. Alonso 

Kristine I. Butaran 

Janielle M. Loyola 

Maica Miyabi A. Santos 

Marlon P. Sta. Catalina (Coach) 


2nd Place 

Rizal High School 


Princess N. Ada 

Hazel Faye L. Bangcaya 

Kurtney Adelline A. Bihag 

Xia Gloridan M. De Nieva 

Marlo A. Alvarez (Coach) 


3rd Place 

Caloocan National Science and Technology High School 


Sophia Abigail T. Bandoy 

Anjae Maria S. Bejerano 

Janella Mairabelle L. Campo 

Anika Louisse N. Sujratos 

Rex Mendel Capili (Coach) 


The teams took home certificates, trophies, and cash grants worth Php 100,000.00, Php 75,000.00, and Php 50,000.00, respectively. Coaches of the top three (3) teams also received cash grants. 

Caption: TagRobo girls from Rizal Science High School are all smiles as they finish first and bag the championship title in the first and only all-female robotics competition in the country. Awarding their trophy and certificates were DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo and members of the Board of Judges Engr. Carlos Oppus, Engr. Percival Magpantay, and Engr. Edison Roxas.  

Caption: Students of Rizal High School pose for a photo as they secure second place in the Championship Round of TRC: Girls & Gears. 


Caption: Participants from Caloocan National Science and Technology High School proudly wave their school’s banner and raise their trophy after finishing third place in TRC: Girls & Gears. 



Through a short yet sweet message, Engr. Oppus described how it was like to witness the extraordinary performance of the TagRobo girls in running their mobots and expressed hopes that more girls would join robotics competitions that promote equality, inclusivity, and diversity. He congratulated the girls for finishing the cycle and wished them luck in their future endeavors. 


The DOST-SEI also awarded the best-performing school teams during the three (3) successive preliminary rounds of the competition. Quezon City High School (QCHS) and Taguig Science High School (TSHS) tied for first place during the first round. TSHS once again got the highest score during the second round, while Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science (VCSMS) topped the third round. All of them received certificates and special tokens from the Institute. 


The TagRobo teams proved that girls have what it takes to rise above the challenge, whenever and wherever. And with their robotics experience, they hope to inspire more young girls to take the quest and also venture into various STEM-related competitions. 


“Kami as participants, since we’re all women, we can serve as an inspiration to other girls na interested din to learn robotics to take the challenge kahit wala silang background sa programming. So maiinspire sila na parang ‘kung kaya nila, kaya rin namin,’” said Kristine I. Butaran of Rizal National Science High School, the first TRC: Girls & Gears school champion. 


The TagRobo girls were glad to have participated in the competition as they picked some lessons which would prove beneficial in their future journeys. They echoed how the training, practice rounds, and champion game have uplifted their confidence as girls and enlightened them about the true essence of joining such kind of competitions.  


“This competition can really help me in the future because even if we’re having a hard time, even if we’renot succeeding or ranking that high, we’re still gaining experience. And I believe that losing doesn’t mean that you’re a loser. It just means that you’re always gonna end up finding something that you’re gonna improve on,” said Rijana Lake S. Catacutan of Manila Science High School when asked about how she thinks this robotics competition experience can help her in her future studies. 


After joining the competition, Rijana plans to pursue computer science. And she is sure that the experience she has gained in the competition can help her to get approved for scholarships in the future. 


DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo officially concluded the first cycle of TRC: Girls & Gears and commended the young TagRobo girls for their hard work, perseverance, and enthusiasm in successfully finishing the competition. She expressed hope that their TRC: Girls & Gears experience can help all of them jumpstart a career in science and technology, and eventually contribute to the growing pool of S&T professionals in the country. 

Caption: DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo delivers her closing message and congratulates the student-participants for successfully finishing the competition’s preliminary rounds and championship game. 


The first cycle of TRC: Girls & Gears proved that winning the title makes one stand out in the competition. But nothing beats the learnings, newfound camaraderie, and empowerment that all the girls have gained throughout the competition, which could make them the future’s brightest young Filipinas in the field of robotics. 
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