Saturday, October 15, 2022

Selected SSS branches in Metro Manila now open on Saturdays

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Social Security System (SSS) announces that its branches located in shopping malls in the National Capital Region (NCR) are now open on Saturdays until December 31, 2022 to accommodate members who can only transact with SSS on weekends.

A total of 12 branches in shopping malls within Metro Manila are now accepting SSS transactions except the tellering services on Saturdays which include Cubao, Malabon, Novaliches, Paso de Blas, Antipolo, Mandaluyong-Shaw, Marikina, Ortigas, Las Piñas, Makati-Chino Roces, Parañaque, and Taguig.

These branches are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. except for Novaliches and Ortigas which are open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Regino said that SSS extended the business hours of several branches to accommodate transacting members even during weekends.

“We understand that many SSS members cannot visit SSS offices during weekdays given their working schedule, so we decided to open our branches in shopping malls on Saturdays until the end of the year,” Regino said.

Meanwhile, 43 SSS branches in NCR will start assisting members as early as 7:00 a.m., an hour earlier than their regular servicing hours. These branches include Batasan Hills, Congressional, Cubao, Deparo, Diliman, Eastwood, Fairview, Kalookan, Malabon, Navotas, Paso de Blas, San Francisco Del Monte, Valenzuela, Antipolo, Mandaluyong-Shaw, Marikina, Marikina-Malanday, New Panaderos, Pasig-Mabini, Pasig-Pioneer, Pasig-Rosario, San Juan, Tanay, Binondo, Legarda, Manila, Pasay-Roxas, Pasay-Taft, Sta. Mesa, Tondo, Welcome, Alabang-Muntinlupa, Alabang-Zapote, Bicutan Sun Valley, Las Piñas, Makati-Chino Roces, Makati-Gil Puyat, Makati-Guadalupe, Makati-JP Rizal, Parañaque, Parañaque-Tambo, Taguig, and Taguig Gate 3.

“These initiatives reflect our continuous commitment to serve our members and their beneficiaries better, especially during this Holiday season. We further encourage them to take advantage of this extended business hours, which is one way of showing our dedication to serve the growing number of transacting members and stakeholders,” Regino added.

Likewise, SSS members and their beneficiaries, employers, and pensioners may also opt to conduct their transactions through SSS online channels such as the My.SSS portal on the SSS website ( and the SSS Mobile App for a more convenient way of transacting with SSS.

PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival caps off a successful 21st edition at Shangri-La Plaza Cinemas

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

From 14 to 16 October, the 21st edition of PELÍCULA-Spanish Film Festival will end with strong showings at Shangri-La Plaza Cinemas, proving that once again Filipinos are slowly ready to enjoy arts and culture the best way there is --- face to face.

After two years of having a virtual festival, PELÍCULA opened to a full house screening of the Goya award-winning film El buen patrón (The Good Boss) starring Javier Bardem. This return to the big screen is, according to Instituto Cervantes Director Javier Galvan, “a true evidence to our commitment to quality cinema”.

“For the past few months, Shangri-La Plaza has been collaborating with different embassies to bring foreign films closer to our community. We wanted to give them a venue where they can widen cultural knowledge and for them to appreciate the unique, yet relatable stories shown in the films. I am thrilled that the Instituto Cervantes finally brought PELÍCULA to Shangri-La Plaza’s Red Carpet Cinema”, shares Ms. Joy Polloso, Executive Vice President for Retail and Commercial, Shang Properties, Inc.

After a second leg at the Instituto Cervantes Intramuros showcasing Spanish cinema classics and a Basque retrospective entitled “Ventana Vasca”, PELÍCULA will cap off its 2-week long fete at Edsa Shangri-La Plaza with an exciting weekend for cinema buffs.

Don’t just be a spectator – vote!

Viewers are invited to vote for their favorite movie with the Audience Choice Award. The film with the highest ratings will receive this year’s Premio del Público (Audience Choice Award) and will be screened again during the closing of PELÍCULA 2022 on October 16 at The Red Carpet at Shangri-La Plaza. Meanwhile, lucky winners drawn from the raffle will win exciting prizes – such as free Spanish courses at the Instituto Cervantes, a Christmas “cesta de Navidad” (Christmas hamper) and limited edition PELÍCULA hoodies.

Since its first editions, PELíCULA has had activities that served as a space for meeting and interacting with Spanish and Filipino filmmakers. In line with this, on October 14, PELÍCULA will be holding “En corto: Short films from the Philippines and Spain”, an activity that will feature recent short films from both countries. The selected Filipino short film, Dosena (2022), directed by Kyla Romero, is a coming-of-age tale of a boy who deals with confusion and tragedy on the night of his 12th birthday. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the audience. This will be complemented by the 2020 short drama Totem Loba, the directorial debut film of Spanish actress Verónica Echegui.

PELíCULA 2022 is a project of Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines and Australia, and the AECID, in collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Shangri-La Plaza, Instituto Etxepare, Filmoteca Vasca, the Embassy of Colombia in the Philippines, the Embassy of Panama in the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, the University of the Philippines, Intramuros Administration, Vibal Foundation, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Acciona, Rustan’s, Arthaland, La Pícara, and Emperador.

All the screenings are FREE admission. All the movies are in Spanish (or their original language) with English subtitles. For updates on the Festival, please visit the website of the Festival ( or the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes de Manila:

UPD-CS faculty work to address PHL’s most disaster-prone country’ status

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, according to a recent international study. But a handful of scientists from the University of the Philippines - Diliman College of Science (UPD-CS) hope to change that.

NATURAL DISASTERS: SCIENCE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS. UP Officials and scientists composed of (From L-R) Dr. Mario Aurelio, Dr. Gerry Bagtasa, Ms. Jamaica Pangasinan, former UPD Chancellor Michael Tan, current UPD Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo, Dr. Giovanni Tapang, and Dr. Lemnuel Aragones, conduct a press briefing on the Taal Volcano Eruption in January 2020. (Photo: Andro Sampang, UPD College of Science)

The 2022 World Risk Report warned that, out of 193 countries, the Philippines has the greatest risk, exposure, vulnerability, and susceptibility to disasters, further aggravated by a deep lack of coping and adaptive capacities.

However, timely to the release of the Report, the University of the Philippines recently conferred the UP Centennial Professorial Chair and Faculty Grant on 98 UPD-CS faculty members from the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology and the National Institute of Geological Sciences, as well as from the National Institute of Physics, Institute of Biology, Institute of Chemistry, Marine Science Institute, Institute of Mathematics, and National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

The conferment also came just days ahead of the UN-declared International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction last October 13.

“The Centennial Grant is a welcome acknowledgement of, and support for, the hard work that UP’s scientists and researchers put into their respective fields. It helps us to focus on the tasks at hand so that we can bring the science to where it is most needed,” said UPD-CS Dean Giovanni Tapang.

“There are a lot of research studies to understand the physical, social, and economic components of risk. Our main role as scientists is to communicate and disseminate information on hazards and their impacts, hoping these will guide efforts in disaster response,” added Centennial Grant awardee Dr. Noelynna Ramos, a professor of Geomorphology and Geohazards at the National Institute of Geological Sciences and the head researcher of the Geomorphology and Active Tectonics Research Laboratory.

"Much of the research we undertake is very meticulous and painstaking. For outside observers, they may not seem immediately important or even necessary. But patient persistence pays off, because we are eventually able to find underlying patterns that enable us to come up with practical, real-world solutions," explained Centennial Grantee and atmospheric physics expert Dr. Gerry Bagtasa. “There is much that can and should be done in terms of disaster response in the country, and I'm thankful that UP and the College of Science understand this and enable us to help address these."

The Centennial Grants are awarded annually to UP faculty members in recognition of their outstanding performance in the areas of teaching; research or creative work; and public service. In their various capacities, the Grantees’ research is helping improve our understanding of the natural world and, more specifically, the nature of natural disasters and how best to respond to them.

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