Monday, April 18, 2022

Hamilo Coast safeguards 20-hectare mangrove forest

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Hamilo Coast through its developer, SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo, Inc. safeguards a 20-hectare mangrove forest, the largest of its kind in Nasugbu, Batangas. Together with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines), Hamilo Coast continues to preserve over 50,000 mangrove trees to date as it remains committed to its advocacy for environmental and social sustainability.

Microsoft announces new research and technology to make hybrid work work in the Philippines

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Microsoft Corp. Recently released its second annual Work Trend Index report, “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work.” The company also announced new features across Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Surface Hub, and Microsoft Viva to empower hybrid work and address employees’ new expectations for the workplace. 


After sitting on the cusp of hybrid work for more than a year, many companies are at a long-awaited inflection point: the lived experience of hybrid work.  


One thing from the research is clear: We are not the same people who went home to work in early 2020. The past two years have left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how people define the role of work in their lives. The challenge ahead for every organization is to meet employees’ great new expectations head on while balancing business outcomes in an unpredictable economy.  


To help leaders navigate the shift, the 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five urgent trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including the Philippines, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labor trends on LinkedIn:  


  1. Employees have a new “worth it” equation. 67% of employees in the Philippines say they’re more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic. And the Great Reshuffle isn’t over: 46% of Gen Z and Millennials in the Philippines are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead. 
  2. Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. 69% of leaders in the Philippines say their company is planning a return to full-time in-person work in the year ahead, compared to 50% globally. 46% of managers in the Philippines say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations and 81% of managers in the Philippines say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.   
  3. Leaders need to make the office worth the commute 48% of hybrid employees in the Philippines say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office yet only 38% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.    
  4. Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on.” 66% of workers in the Philippines are open to using immersive digital spaces for meetings in the next year, compared to 52% globally.   
  5. Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. With 60% of hybrid workers in the Philippines considering a shift to full-remote in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital we’ve lost the past two years. 43% of leaders in the Philippines say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote.    

“There’s no erasing the lived experience and lasting impact of the past two years, as flexibility and well-being have become non-negotiables for employees,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Modern Work, Microsoft. “By embracing and adapting to these new expectations, organizations can set their people and their business up for long-term success.”  


As the company marks five years since the launch of Teams, more than 270 million people rely on Teams for hybrid work. 


Making hybrid work work for everyone will require intentional leadership around how, when and where to work — and technology has a key role to play. Today the company is introducing new product innovation designed to improve the hybrid work experience. 

  • Available in public preview at the end of the month, Teams Connect shared channels enable collaboration with people inside and outside the organization from a shared workspace. 
  • To bridge the gap between digital and physical workspaces, a new meeting layout for Teams Rooms, front row, is now available in preview. 
  • New touch-enabled display solutions for Teams Rooms from Neat and Yealink are in the process of being certified for Teams Rooms on Android. These devices combine audio, video, touch display and compute in a single unit — allowing easy deployment and enhanced collaboration experiences. The new AI-powered Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera uses automatic framing technology to dynamically adjust your Teams video feed to provide remote team members with a dynamic view of in-room interactions.  
  • The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time. The meeting organizer can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation. 
  • Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings. 
  • To improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail. RSVPing for a meeting in Outlook now allows attendees to note whether they plan to join in person or virtually. 
  • Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect Mobile, in partnership with some of the world’s largest telecom operators. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions. 
  • With vibrant and fun styling, over 1,800 new 3D fluent emojis can infuse expression and playfulness into messages. And with the skin tone selector, users have the option to pick emojis that better represents themselves. 
  • To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting. 
  • A new feature called the Inspiration library is coming to Microsoft Viva in public preview as part of the Viva Insights app in Teams. The library is designed to give employees, managers and leaders easy access to thought leadership and best practices from top sources such as “Harvard Business Review” and “Thrive.”  

To learn more, visit the Official Microsoft BlogMicrosoft 365 Blog and the new Work Trend Index report. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Mapúan wins POV grand prize

Wazzup Pilipinas

An experimental film from Mapúa University recently won the top prize at the 18th Piling Obrang Vidyo, an intercollegiate film competition managed by the University of the Philippines Cinema, a student film organization based at the UP College of Mass Communication in Diliman.

The triumph of “RAMBUTAN,” directed by third-year Digital Film student Shayla Claire Perales from Mapúa’s School of Media Studies (SMS), was enough to push her school back to its winning ways in the film festival circuit after a long drought during the pandemic.

This is Mapúa’s second Best Film victory at the UP filmfest following Celina Mae Medina’s “Ophelia” in 2019. Mapúan filmmakers Hiyas Bagabaldo (“Sins, Senses and Saints”), Tricia Sotaso (“Ang Pagkalaglag ng Ginintuang Salamin ng Pagkakilanlan”), and Lloyd Reyes (“Ang Mambabarang at ang mga Taong Pinatay sa Limot”) took home POV’s Best Experimental Film prize in 2016, 2017, and 2019, respectively. SMS Multimedia Arts alumna Beverly Ramos also won Best Documentary at POV for “Dory” in 2018.

Perales, who submitted “RAMBUTAN” to Dr. David Corpuz as a project for Experimental Film Production, previously received a Special Citation for Subject Matter for the same film from the VanGarde Experimental Film Festival last year. It is a collaboration between Perales and her fellow writer, cinematographer, and editor Shiela Mae Tanagon. Composer Ryan Mangaliag provided original music.

Perales shared that she cannot express how grateful she is for the award and how unexpected it is. “RAMBUTAN is a very dear film to me because its concept came from my little brother, Shawn. He went into my room before and asked me, ‘Ate, gusto mo Covid?’ and then handed me a rambutan. From there, the film was born!” Her brother likened the appearance of the edible fruit to the coronavirus.

In the film, a rambutan interacts with an orange and suddenly doubles its number. The oranges rot every time they interact with a rambutan. Bananas use their capabilities to clean the rambutans and help address the chaos, to no avail. Fruits start to protect themselves with plastic, but others still die.

Meanwhile, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde film majors CM Bautista, David Edric Collado, and Xyron Parapara hauled six major prizes this year. Bautista bagged the Jury Prize and Best Screenplay for “Pig’s Game” while actor James Ramada was awarded Best Performance for the same film. Collado’s “Salamin” secured Best Editing and Best Sound Design while Parapara’s “Taya” got the Viewers’ Choice award.

Kukay Zinampan of UP Diliman earned Best Direction for “Nang Maglublob Ako sa Isang Mangkok ng Liwanag,” a tale of two friends who ponder on mundane things during the pandemic. The film also merited Best Production Design and shared Best Performance award for Jzar Tabilin and Serena Magiliw.

Sophie Casasola of Far Eastern University won Best Cinematography for “Waltz of Qualm” by Francis Tavas. “Tara, Laro Tayo!” by Ben Francis De Lima and Patrick Demition of University of Santo Tomas was awarded Best Music/Original Score.

“Mga Salitang Inanod” by Gabriel Carmelo of UP Los Baños received the Cinemasters’ Choice award or garnering the highest number of votes among UP Cinema members while “An Eidolon Named Night” by Hans Piozon of UP Diliman was given the Lansangan Award for best embracing this year’s POV theme.

The POV XVIII jury is composed of filmmakers Carla Pulido Ocampo and Ligaya Villablanca, actress Therese Malvar, and film critic Jason Tan Liwag.

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