No spillages please! Waiters Race on its 3rd Year in Batangas

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Professional waiters from different local restaurants and Hotel and Restaurant Management students from various schools gathered as Lima Park Hotel, in cooperation with FAITH’s College of International Hospitality Management (CIHM), hosted the third Batangas Waiters Race recently at the Lima Park Hotel, Lima Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas.

Lipa City Colleges took home the most medals with three wins. The school dominated the male categories, with Reggie Gabales getting the first place in the male sprint and, once again, Reggie Gabales with his teammates Arela Lita and Jonarex Pusa finishing first in the male relay.  In the female category, Leo Leona Ehrigalz took the silver medal.

The female category sprint was won by Sapphire International Aviation Academy’s Arnie Escata.

Batangas State University (BSU) Malvar also proved their prowess in walking as fast as possible without knocking over drinks on their trays. BSU bets Harold Copue is 2nd placer in the male sprint and the trio of Ivan Fereria, John Kristopher Salapare and Jane Genosas placed second in the male relay.

In the professionals’ category Jenica Popoy of STI Tanuan finished first in the professional female sprint.   Tabobels Catering, meantime, got both first place at the professional male sprint and professional male relays.

Winning in the professional male sprint is Jordan Delas Alas of Lima Park Hotel.  For the professional team relay, Jordan Delas Alas, Kevin Chavez and Rachel Fernandez of Lima Park Hotel finished first.

Lima Park Hotel and FAITH CIHM aim to popularize the waiters’ race in the Philippines which has gained popularity in countries such as Hong Kong, Australia, US, and France.  This year’s waiters race was held as part of Lima Park Hotel’s Karipasan 2015.

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New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships

Opening of Applications in the Philippines

The New Zealand Government through the New Zealand Aid Programme offers scholarships for eligible postgraduate students from the Philippines to undertake development-related studies at a tertiary institution in New Zealand.

An indicative allocation of 18 scholarships is made available for Filipinos who wish to obtain a postgraduate degree (i.e. postgraduate diplomas, masters degrees or doctorates) in New Zealand commencing in 2016. New Zealand ASEAN Scholarships empower individuals with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to contribute to economic, social, and political development within the Philippines.

The scholarships aim to contribute to the achievement of Philippine human resource development objectives, particularly in areas where New Zealand has recognized expertise. Priority themes for this year are agriculture development, renewable energy, disaster risk management, public sector management and private sector development.

Applications are welcome from the public, private and civil society sectors. Deadline for application for the 2016 school year is 31 July 2015.

The Bato Balani Foundation Inc. with its commitment of uplifting the quality of education in the country is assisting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) through the New Zealand Embassy in searching for Filipinos who will most benefit from the opportunity to study in New Zealand and will contribute to the development of the Philippines on their return. A roadshow of activities which includes scholarship orientations and consultations will be conducted in key provinces nationwide to promote the New Zealand Scholarships in the Philippines.

Full details of the scholarship and application form are available on the New Zealand Aid Programme website: http://www.aid.govt.nz/funding-and-contracts/scholarships/eligible-countries/philippines. To know more about the schedules of scholarship orientations and education events, please contact (632) 8925462 / (0923) 5364303 or email bbfi@diwamail.com.

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Cavite City wins big in nationwide creative writing competition

Cavite City’s Statesfield College and Saint Joseph College delivered the winning entries in the grade school division of this year’s Wordworks National Creative Writing Competition and Gawad Tambuli Patimpalak sa Malikhaing Pagsulat, respectively.

Grade 6 student Bianca Elise Alarcon of Statesfield College, in her poem entitled “Journeylism,” talked about her dream of becoming a global news writer or blogger. The 12 year old’s piece was judged the best in the Wordworks, the Abracadabra Poetry Writing Contest.

Second place went to Bianca Bruno of Santa Rita de Cascia Parochial School of Paranaque City and the 3rd place was awarded to Alexa Claire Estaniel of Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges, Inc. of Cotabato City.

Meantime, in the Tagalog writing competition, Azriel Yosef Pal of Saint Joseph College expressed his desire to travel the world; his dream of becoming a doctor, firefighter, police, engineer, lawyer, architect or pilot; and his ultimate of becoming a good citizen who is able to give glory to his nation.  The Tagalog poem won first place in the Gawad Tambuli, the Kaluskos’ Paligsahan sa Pagsulat ng Tula

Renee Cristen Enriquez also of Saint Joseph College and Gabriel Alvarez of Statesfields School of Cavite City, won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The competition was organized by Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the leading provider of print and digital educational resources for basic education in the Philippines

The six bested almost 300 students nationwide who joined the competition.  It was open to all subscribers of Diwa Learning Systems Inc’s Supplemental Educational Magazines for English “Abracadabra,” “Magica,” and for Filipino “Kaluskos” and “Tambuli.”

Entries were judged based on creativity, content and writing mechanics.  The theme was “Be the Change” for WordWorks and “Ikaw ang Magsimula ng Pagbabago” for Gawad Tambuli.

The competition, which started in 2004, aims to nurture young English and Filipino writers.

The competition also has categories for high school students –  for Wordworks, the Magica Essay Writing Contest and for Gawad Tambuli, the Tambuli Paligsahan sa Pagsulat ng Maikling Kwento.

Top prizes for the essay-writing contest went to Rea Alexis Dolores of the School of La Salette of Bulacan, Ria Ann Roldan of Saint Pedro Poveda College of Mandaluyong City and Samantha Abello, also of Saint Pedro Poveda College of Mandaluyong City.

In the Gawad Tambuli high school division, Marc Lesney Maddumba of Olivarez College of Paranaque City, Rona Eilsel Deraco of San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools Pampanga, and Ma. Ana Christina Tantengco also of of San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools Pampanga brought home the medals.

All works will be published online at www.diwa.ph.

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Teachers, Innovation and Education

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It’s awesome to see all the innovative classroom technologies available today. But, it raises an interesting question. Are our teachers ready to handle these innovations? Diwa Learning Systems Inc, the leading provider of print and digital educational resources for basic education in the Philippines, gathered some of the country’s administrators and teachers to find out.

The first Genyo e-Learning Innovation Summit was held recently at the SMX Convention Center.  Genyo e-Learning is the first and only fully integrated learning management system for basic education in the country.

For the company, having the most high-tech tools and the most advanced software are not enough.  “e-Learning is one catalyst that makes innovation possible. But e-Learning alone is not innovation in itself. It is just a tool,” says Ana Alipit, Diwa Learning Systems Vice President for e-Learning.

The whole day activities were designed to inspire educators to creatively use technology for education, with Miriam College President Dr. Rosario O. Lapus sharing her school’s journey to innovation, and Diwa Learning Systems Inc Executive Director for Genyo e-Learning Training Mr. Jun Sayson telling stories about how different partner schools become successful in integrating technology in their curriculum.

The state of innovation

The more animated part of the event happened in the afternoon when it was the participants’ turn to exchange experiences on how they use technology, particularly Genyo e-Learning, to create an innovativeteaching and learning experience.

One such school is St. Paul College Pasig, which decided to utilize Genyo e-Learning in delivering learning modules to its student athletes training and competing abroad in its academic support program.  “Even when they are not inside the classroom, they can access their current lessons through Genyo,” says Ms. Lilibeth Coronel, administrator from St. Paul College Pasig.

Other participants shared how Genyo e-Learning is being used to prevent disruptions of lessons. This is applicable for students who are sick or when classes are suspended.

Within the confines of the classrooms, increase in usage is being noted. “By this year, we’ve increased our usage by 400%.  It is only now that our seasoned teachers are learning the usage of Genyo.  It is pleasing to see that once they learn how to use Genyo, they appreciate it.  It was a nine-year journey for us though,” shares Mr. Raymond Samonte of St. Paul College Makati.

The road to innovation has challenges

Being the pioneer in introducing technology in education in the country, Diwa Learning Systems attested that there were a lot of hurdles. To start with, many schools were apprehensive because of the cost. They also had to face educators who prefer traditional lesson delivery, essentially because of fear of using technology.  There werealso parents who are concerned about the increased Internet usage of their children.

But at the Innovation Summit, participants agreed that the country’s Internet infrastructure, considered as the slowest in Southeast Asia, is one of the biggest deterrent in integrating technology in education. “They (teachers) prepare for a Genyo class, but when they cannot use it because of (intermittent) Internet connection. They become frustrated,” shares one participant. “There were really issues on (Internet) connectivity.  Our Internet provider did not give us the promised bandwidth so we terminated their contract.”

But despite this challenge, many schools persisted. The challenges brought about the school administrators’ creativity. For instance, one school devised a bandwidth management system, which controlled the number of devices that access the Internet at specific schedules to ensure that Genyo e-Learning has dedicated and strong connection during classes.

Innovation should not be delayed

Diwa Learning Systems also remained unfazed. To help schools with slow Internet connectivity, it has made available a local areanetwork-based version of Genyo e-Learning.  With Genyo iXL, teachers and students can enjoy most of the benefits of Genyo e-Learning even without Internet connection.

And since the company believes that the heart of innovation are the educators themselves, Diwa is continuously deploying itsLearning Integration Specialists, who are technology integration assistantsassigned to schools, to provide teachers with the latest trainings to help them better use technology in their classes.

As the company says, “Diwa believes innovation fuels the future. The future is inevitable, but whether it’s going to be bleak or bright, this depends on how we innovate today.”

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The Many Faces of the Teacher 2014 honoree Genevieve Kulong gets local recognition

10620453_10152739194983014_1010013222796501264_oThe city government of Zamboanga recently honored exemplary citizens who have contributed significantly in their fields of interest.  Among those given the Local Achievers 2015 award were Ms. Genevieve Kulong (4th from left), master teacher from Zamboanga City High School and 2014 honoree of The Many Faces of the Teacher award of Bato Balani Foundation Inc. and Diwa Learning Systems.  The ceremony was one of the highlights of the 78th Dia de Zamboanga celebration. Leading the ceremony was Mayor Ma. Isabelle  Climaco (2nd from left), who bestowed the prestigious awards to the winners.  Also in photo are (from left) Councilor Roel Natividad, Mayor Climaco, Husband Ronnie Val Kulong, Kulong, Councilor Ismael Musa, Councilor Ma. Paz Abubakar and Councilor Vincent Paul Elago.

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Travel at ease with the AirAsia Asean Pass! Highly anticipated AirAsia Asean Pass is now available for sale on www.airasia.com

AseaPassinPhpBANGKOK, 23 February 2015 – AirAsia introduced the “AirAsia Asean Pass” and the “AirAsia Asean Pass+” in an effort to boost travel by making traveling within the region a seamless experience. The passes are available from today at www.airasia.com, with the AirAsia Asean Pass retailing at P7,200 for 10 credits and AirAsia Asean Pass+ for P12,900 with 20 credits exclusive of terminal fees and airport taxes.

The co-founders of AirAsia; Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun announced the  development of this product at the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “As a truly Asean airline, we are extremely proud to introduce the AirAsia Asean Pass, which is a product specifically designed to further liberalize and encourage travel among the Asean community. The pass allows us to bridge communities and attract more foreign tourists to the region- it’s the perfect instrument to promote Asean integration.”

“We are constantly enhancing the way guests fly with us and the AirAsia Asean Pass is another innovation that we have put in place to make flying more efficient and enjoyable. We are working on additional enhancements that will further benefit guests traveling from non Asean destinations.”

Holders of the AirAsia Asean Pass and the AirAsia Asean Pass+ can enjoy flights at a fixed-rate to over 148 routes across all 10 Aseancountries. Acting like a single currency, it diminishes the hassle of different foreign exchange rates as flights are valued according to credits, allowing guests to be creative in planning their ideal trip through Asean.

Flights with duration of below two hours are valued at 1 credit, while flights of two hours and above are valued at 3 credits. No processing fee applies for flight redemptions using the AirAsia Asean Pass and Asean Pass+. Airport charges/tax and other fees will be payable separately. The pass can also be purchased as a gift for another traveller.

The AirAsia Asean Pass and Asean Pass+ credits are redeemable for travel with AirAsia Malaysia (AK), Thai AirAsia (FD), AirAsia Indonesia (QZ) and Philippines AirAsia (Z2 & PQ) to Asean destinations only.

For a detailed list of flights redeemable with the AirAsia Asean Pass and Asean Pass+ and other applicable terms and conditions, guests may refer to the airline’s website at www.airasia.com.

Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).

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About the AirAsia Group 

AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the most extensive network with over 90 destinations. Within 13 years of operations, AirAsia has carried over 250 million guests and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to over 180. The airline is proud to be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and India, servicing a network stretching across all Asean countries and beyond. AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for six consecutive years from 2009 – 2014. AirAsia is the first airline globally to collaborate with INTERPOL to implement the I-Checkit system to screen the passports of all its prospective passengers against information contained in the world police body’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.

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Bato Balani Foundation Call for Nominees for Teacher Search

There are lots of stories of true heroisms that affect minds of young students, molding them to greatness and leaving them inspirations to become heroes themselves.  In one of the more than seven thousand islands of the country, a teacher is there with a story that needs to be told to inspire thousand others.

Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (DLSI) and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI) once again open its search for true heroes of our generations, the teachers with its The Many Faces of the Teacher program.

Now on its 12th year, The Many Faces of the Teacher (TMFT) is an advocacy campaign aimed to extol the virtues of teaching by providing role models who inspire excellence.

Organizers believe that by discovering these educators and honoring them, it will make every Filipino aware of the sublime nature and valuable contribution of the teacher to society thereby encouraging every Filipino mentor to achieve excellence in teaching.

Last year, it honored young, inspirational speaker Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko from Manila; culture preserver and leader Elsie C. Padernal from Calinog, Iloilo; ALS coordinator and community organizer Darwin T. Tadifa from Tubungan, Iloilo; mobile school teacher andtribal Filipino educator Jinglebert P. Collado; and ICT and peace advocate Genevieve Kulong from Zamboanga City

The search is open to teachers of all ages, who are actively teaching in private or public primary, elementary or secondary schools, colleges, and universities.  He or she must demonstrate exceptional performance in teaching; has employed creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness in teaching; and importantly, lives out his esteemed values  inteaching, family, and personal life.  The nominees should also have a deep sense of nationalism and are committed toteaching for the benefit of the country and its people.  He or she must be respected in school andcommunity and is a role model for students, colleagues, and family. In addition, he or she must be an active member of the community and has engaged in socio-civic activities.

Partner organizations, school associations, religious organisations, the Department of Education, and the school heads, students, and teachers can nominate.

The organizers will use the following criteria for evaluation:  person of integrity and morality; in good relations with students, colleagues, community members, and family; commitment and dedication to the teaching vocation; strength of values/principles applied in teaching and personal life and involvement in school and community activities.

To nominate, log on to www.batobalanifoundation.org.ph to secure a nomination form or visit BBFI office at 6/F PDCP Bank Center, V.A.Rufino cor. Leviste Streets, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Nomination forms may be sent to bbfi@diwamail.com/batobalanifoundation@gmail.com or to fax number 892-9543.

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