September 15, 2014

Sharp Calculators launched the search for Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians

‪The Search for Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians has been launched recently and is open to all public and private high school students in the National Capitol Region. The Sharp TOYM has been announced at the media launched held at the Makati Shangrila Hotel last Friday, September 12, 2014, hosted by Atom Araullo. 

The importance of mathematics has never been greater than now and for the foreseeable future and is crucial for a wide array of analytical, technological, scientific, and economic applications. 

The search for Ten Outstanding Young Mathematicians seeks to promote the development of science culture among young Filipinos by recognizing their accomplishment in the field of mathematics and inspire more students to be better at Math. 

Six years ago, Sharp Calculators through Collins International Trading Corporation launched the SHARP Minds Program to help uplift the standard of education in the Philippines particularly in teaching Math subjects.

Partnering with two of the biggest Mathematics organizations in the country, Mathematics Trainers Guild, Philippines (MTG) and Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP), the SHARP Minds Program sponsored Mathematics activities and programs in member schools with the goal of recognizing the sharpest math minds and transforming the pedagogy of mathematics teaching in the Philippines.

This year, Sharp Calculators furthers its advocacy by partnering with more educational institutions such as the Department of Education-National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR), Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), Mathematics Trainers’ Guild Philippines (MTG), Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP), Philippine Council of Mathematics Educators, Inc. (MathTEd) as it launches the very first search for the TEN OUSTANDING YOUNG MATHEMATICIANS (TOYM) from National Capital Region.

“With TOYM Awards, Sharp Calculators aims to foster the academic excellence of the Filipino Youth in Math as we recognize their extraordinary math skills to motivate them further in becoming the future think tanks of this country. We also hope to raise the status of mathematics in society -- to stimulate the interest of the students, the academic and the general public to the significance of Math in the development of the society,” said Collins International Trading Corporation’s Assistant Vice President Mr. Lucero Ong.

“Notable Filipino mathematicians such as Raymundo Favila, Casimiro del Rosario, Gregorio Y. Zara, Amador Muriel, Tito A. Mijares and Jose A. Marasigan have all been recognized for their contributions to diverse fields of physics, astronomy, biophysics and biotechnology. Who knows maybe the next great Mathematician would be among our TOYM awardees,” Mr. Ong added.

The search is open to all public and private high school students in the National Capital Region who have completed at least two years of high school. They must be Filipino citizens, either naturalized or born. The nominee must be among the Top 3 students in math as certified by the school principal and the award will be based primarily on the nominee’s performance on national and international competitions.

A recommendation from School principal / Mathematics head with supporting documents will be the basis of judging. For students who are chosen to the top 20, each involvement on activities included in the recommendation of the principal/math head or other recognized authority will be reviewed and assessed by judges/co-presenters. The said recommendations will be the basis of the judges’ questions for the panel interview. 

The Deliberation/ Final interview of finalist will be conducted by representatives from Department of Education NCR, DOST-SEI, MTG Philippines, MSP, MathTed

The TOYM awardees will be the first batch of Sharp Calculators’ Youth Ambassadors that will inspire and encourage the Filipino youth to strive and achieve academic excellence through school tours and mathematics symposiums. They will be receiving plaque of excellence, cash prizes and gifts from Sharp Calculators and sponsors.

The deadline for nominations will be on January 5, 2015, with the awarding ceremonies scheduled on February 2015.

Nomination kits are now available at selected National Book Store Branches in National Capital Region or can be downloaded through For more information please contact Sharp Calculators at 681-6161/646-2867 and look for Ms. Mary Rose Rocha or Ms. Clara Camille Ocampo.

1.     Open to all public and private high school students in the National Capital Region who have   completed at least two years of high school. They must be Filipino citizen either naturalized     or born.
2.      Nominee must be among the Top 3 students in math as certified by the school principal.
3.  The award will be based primarily on the nominee’s performance on national and     international competition. These competitions must be recognized by the Department of   Education or Department of Science and Technology.
4.     Presentations or publications of original work in mathematics are desirable.
5.   Students who contribute to the promotion of Mathematics and show leadership skills are desirable. Good moral character will be considered


Performance in Mathematics Competition
Research and Publications in Mathematics
Leadership and Promotion of Mathematics

a.   Performance in Mathematics Competitions 75%
Nominee’s performance on international, national and regional mathematics competitions that are recognized by the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology.

b.   Research and Publications in Mathematics 10%

c.   Leadership and Involvement in Promotion of Mathematics
A recommendation from School principal / Mathematics head with supporting documents will be the basis of judging. For students who are chosen to the top 20, each involvement on activities included in the recommendation of the principal/math head or other recognized authority will be reviewed and assessed by judges/co-presenters. The said recommendations will be one of the bases of the judges’ questions for the panel interview


The screening procedure is summarized in the diagram below. All nominees will undergo a pre-screening process by pre-screening committee. On the basis of a nominee’s performance in mathematics competitions and their research and publications, 20 nominees will be selected for an interview by a panel of judges. Interview questions may be based on the nominee’s involvement in activities that promote mathematics, as indicated in (1) the recommendation from the school principal/mathematics head, (2) the nominee’s essay, and (3) other information submitted.  

Atom Araullo

·   In the latest World Economic Forum WEF Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, the Philippines has been ranked 96th out of 142 countries in perceived quality of Math and Science education. The survey questioned business executives around the world to rate the quality of education, among other things, in their respective countries.
It is a considerable improvement from being ranked 115th(WEF 2011-1012), but still far behind our other Asian counterparts such Indonesia (35th), Japan (34th), Malaysia (27th), Taiwan (11th) Hongkong (10th). Singapore continues to be on top of the list.

Dr. Raymundo Favilais famous for advancing the knowledge and education of math throughout the Philippines contributing to many fields of mathematics including theoretical physics, geometry, algebra and trigonometry.

Casimiro del Rosario received the Presidential Award in 1965 in honor of his achievements in astronomy, meteorology and physics. He also researched soft X-rays, which helped bring him national acclaim.

Amador Murielfounded the Quantum Theory of Turbulence, contributed to theoretical physics, kinetic equations, stellar dynamics and self-gravitation.

The works of Tito A. Mijares have been internationally published in the Annals of Mathematical Statistics with his research into multivariety hypothesis and its analysis. He also serves as the executive director of the National Census and Statistics Office as well as deputy director-general of the National Economics Development Authority.

Jose A. Marasigan was among those who launched the Philippine Mathematical Olympiad and created the Program for Excellence in Mathematics. He has received a number of mathematical honors, including the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology.


New KakaoTalk features: Anipang capturing the hearts of Filipinos

SundayToz’s signature puzzle game jumps in popularity among KakaoTalk users

Anipang was featured on Pinoy Big Brother All In. In the episode, current housemates took on eliminated cast members in a heated game of Anipang for Kakao, with the winners receiving limited edition character items. With user interest in the game high, Kakao Philippines made Anipang a featured app within KakaoTalk for both Android and iOS so user could gain easy access.

The popularity of SundayToz’s Anipang for Kakao seems to be reaching its apex. The puzzle game available on KakaoTalk’s mobile social platform is climbing up the charts and ranking among the top downloaded games in various app stores. 

Anipang is already a blockbuster hit in Korea, where it has been downloaded more than 30 million times. Approximately 80% of all smartphone users in Korea have played Anipang, making it the undisputed no. 1 game on mobile platform. Many of the country’s top stars, including G-Dragon of Big Bang, Lee Byung-hun, as well as members of TVXQ and SNSD, have expressed their love for Anipang and its characters.

A major part of Anipang’s appeal is the ability to send and receive hearts with other KakaoTalk friends. Hearts function as play tokens within the game, and with Anipang being the perfect game to enjoy with friends and family, exchanging heart messages has emerged as huge cultural phenomenon among players since it debuted two years ago.

“Kakao Game is one of the successful aspects of KakaoTalk’s various social platform services, with around 520 million subscribers worldwide,” said Jean Lee, Head of Kakao Philippines. 

“The key reason for its popularity is the fact that you can compete and compare scores with other KakaoTalk users, making it a very social, connective experience. Anipang is certainly a great example of this, and we’re glad Filipinos are embracing this great game,” Lee added.

For more information on KakaoTalk’s features and offerings, visit

September 14, 2014

Sugarleaf Makati and Jertie’s Kitchen Tie Up for The Green Guide To Eating Right, A Healthy Food Preparation Workshop Series

Sugarleaf Organic Market and Café Makati recently launched another healthy food preparation series dubbed The Green Guide to Eating Right workshop series running from October to February 2015 to be held at the Makati Café in MEDICard Lifestyle Center. 

In another of its signature fun, learning-filled media events, well attended by friends from the media and blogging community, attendees got a sneak preview of vegan dishes included in the four workshops.

Sugarleafer Angelo Narciso Songco emceed the event while vegan and gluten-sensitive resource speakers Jertie and Jaclyn Abergas shared their story and knowledge in healthy yet affordable and practical healthy cooking.

"We all know that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, that’s a fact. In this workshop, we’ll teach you five easy-to-prepare plant-based dishes that’ll incorporate more of these nutrient dense food into your existing diet," Songco said.

Jertie and Jac introduced how to cook healthy, vegan and gluten-free lifestyle using plant-based ingredients.

Here's the Green Guide to Eating Right workshop series, as you can enjoy your journey towards health.

Sugarleaf Organic Market and Café Makati launches another healthy food preparation series dubbed The Green Guide to Eating Right workshop series. In tandem with Jertie's Kitchen, Sugarleaf invites all to any or all of our four exciting workshops from October to February 2015:

18 October–Eating A Plant‐Based Diet On A Budget

We all know that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, that’s a fact. In this workshop, we’ll teach you five easy-to-prepare plant-based dishes that’ll incorporate more of these nutrient dense food into your existing diet. Demo menu includes coconut fried rice, corn and tomato stew, basil pesto, minestrone, chow mein, lettuce wraps, Thai vegetable stew plus bonus recipes!

22 November–Noche Buena Vegan Feast

Eat heartily this Yuletide season without the guilt with these plant‐based versions of your favorite festive dishes! Demo menu inludes ginataang halo-halo, paella, "chick"pea sopas, arroz Valenciana, macaroni/fruit salad, casserole and Christmas dessert!

10 January 2015–Lose Holiday Weight with Green Smoothie*

Had a little or way too much fun during the holidays? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you get back to your old self–or maybe even better! Green smoothies will help you slip back into those skinny jeans without having to jump and down.

7 February 2015–Love, Chocolate

Love is in the air! And chocolate definitely rules this month. Let us teach you new plant-based chocolate dishes to romance your lover (or would-be lover) – mostly sweet with a savoury dish as well.

Sugarleaf and Jertie's promise another info-filled and yummy series complete with handouts, hearty samplings of at least five recipes, bonus recipes and tips.

Jertie Abergas and her sister Jaclyn have always believed great-tasting nutritious food should be accessible to anyone and everyone. And more than that, everyone should be able to make it easily without burning a hole in your pocket. Eating a plant‐based diet should not be any different. Neither should it be complicated, intimidating and boring!

"A lot of people hesitate to commit to a plant‐based diet because they believe it to be difficult and expensive to create. Me and my sister Jaq want to debunk that misconception! It can be expensive, especially if you always go for the high-end option but most of the time it’s as affordable as it can get. In The Green Guide to Eating Right workshop series we’ll show you how affordable plant-based dishes can easily be prepared even by those who’ve never stepped into a kitchen before. And the great thing about this workshop, you don’t need lots of fancy equipment. You just need a toaster, a rice cooker or a pan with a stove.

When my sister Jaq became vegan, she pressured me to create vegan pastries she can eat. I felt inspired and added it to my line-up of home-baked goodies. Then, almost at the same time I found out I was gluten‐intolerant and tweaked my products to include gluten‐free and vegan items.

Since then, me and Jaq have devoted ourselves to sharing their plant-based and gluten-free lifestyle with the people we meet and those interested. We strongly believe people need to start taking charge of their health and not wait until it’s too late.

Aside from creating great‐tasting food, we teach health and cooking workshops and offer health coaching. We know how difficult it is to transition and want to support other people in their own journey towards health," Jertie shares.

“After a long hiatus, we are happy to have partnered with Jertie who shares our commitment in promoting a heathy and sustainable lifestyle. After four separate series over the past three years, we’ll hold another four part food preparation class–not completely raw anymore as healthy can be cooked! With the promise that all ingredients are easy to find and affordable,” Angelo of Sugarleaf shares.

Sugarleaf invites all to any or all of our four exciting workshops from October to February 2015. 

Each class stands on its own and builds up your stock knowledge on healthy vegan food prep.

P1500 per person per workshop. P1300 for early bird, senior citizens, students, pairs and groups. 

Attend three and get the 4th at 50% discount! 

Contact Angelo Narciso Songco on 0917 8039 055 and/or e-mail:

Visit and Like Sugarleaf on Facebook by clicking here.
Visit and Like Jertie's Kitchen on Facebook by clicking here.

Pay P1300 one week before each class at Sugarleaf Makati or deposit to Healthy Eats Inc. checking account number 0012 4002 7660 (Union Bank World Center branch) to avail of early bird rate. Please bring your deposit slip which will be collected upon registration.

September 12, 2014

Rico Blanco, newest endorser of Valda Pastilles, Soothes & Cools

Rico Blanco
Rico Blanco is one of the most talented musicians in the Philippines. As we all know, he is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur.

And now, the newest endorser of Valda Pastilles, Rico Blanco was presented to a media launch event held this Thursday, September 11, 2014 at Alphonse Bistro in Pasig.

Valda Pastilles, a green, conical-shaped, chewy pastilles, has been known for soothing and cooling throats for more than a century now.

Believe it or not, your throat is as hardworking as you are. It also gets stressed and experiences a lot of wear and tear, especially when your profession requires you to sing or speak every second of every day or night. So as much as you want time to relax your mind and body, your throat should also be given time for some R and R.

Rico is every inch a rock star, oozing with a cool persona. His voice alone holds a refreshing power that can captivate the hearts of every Filipino with just the first note, much like how Valda Pastilles gives instant cooling sensation in every chew. No wonder Rico is the perfect face for the brand.

During the launch event, the new Valda Pastilles TV commercial was revealed, which showcased no less than Rico and the brand’s single that he wrote and composed entitled, “Time For You”.

With the brand and Rico’s collaboration, they have created a fresh song that leaves nothing but cool vibes.

Aileen Domingo Puzon, Aspen Marketing Manager and Rico Blanco
In addition, the feel good song’s full-length music video was also unveiled, which was as soothing as the song alone.

So, now that Valda Pastilles has teamed up with Rico Blanco, there will always be time for you to soothe and cool your throat wherever you are and whenever you feel like it.

For more highlights of the event, visit 

For product inquiries and concerns, email or call 792-8000.

Philippines investors look far and wide for opportunities, but stay close to home for investment and advice – Manulife Survey

·      Philippines investors favor developed economies over emerging Asia and show least home-market bias of any investors in Asia

·      Personal networks, bricks and mortar dominate approach to investing

·      Philippines investors remain most optimistic in Asia

Investors in the Philippines are among Asia's most optimistic and most outward-looking, given their willingness to invest outside the Philippines to gain returns, according to the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index* covering the second quarter of 2014.
Philippines investors reach across emerging Asia to mature markets
When asked which region they think is best to invest in, Philippines investors point to developed Asia, Australasia and North America over emerging markets, including emerging Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.

Fig. 1 – Philippines investors favour developed and distant markets over China and emerging Asia

Philippines investors seem less affected by home-market bias than any other investors in the survey. Given a selection of single markets, they show most enthusiasm for Canada (76 points) and Japan (73) above the Philippines itself (51), and show least for China (44), which most other Asia investors rank relatively higher.
When it comes to growth, Philippines investors are also most optimistic about Japan and Canada, with 19 percent believing that Japan’s economy will be the fastest growing in the next two years, followed by Canada, China and Australia. This contrasts markedly with the average Asia investor, 27 percent of whom expect China’s economy to grow fastest, followed by much lower expectations for Japan Australia and Canada.

Fig. 2 – Philippines investors’ views of which markets will grow fastest
contrasted markedly with investors elsewhere in Asia

"Our research suggests that Philippines investors’ preference for Japan is likely related to Japan’s first quarter GDP growth which came in at 6.7 percent on strong consumer demand ahead of the implementation of a new goods and services tax," said Aira Gaspar, CFA, Chief Investment Officer of Manulife Philippines.
“It's also interesting that Philippines investors seem so keen on Canada. We think there is a sound basis for this given that Canadian equities outperformed their developed market peers in the first quarter."
Philippines investors rely on friendly advice, ‘bricks and mortar’ approach to portfolios
Despite their international outlook, Philippines investors place their faith closer to home when it comes to making investment decisions, with 88 percent relying on or referring to family, friends or colleagues as a source of advice – the highest level in the region and well above the regional average of 58 percent. They are less dependent on industry staff, mass media or online sources of investment advice.
Philippines investors also have a very ‘bricks and mortar’ approach to portfolio composition, with 61 percent saying they own investment property (against the Asian average of 19 percent) and 75 percent owning their own home (against an Asian average of 50 percent). Cash and property together make up the bulk of their portfolios. Conversely, they have much lower ownership of stocks (15 percent versus the Asian average of 48 percent) and mutual funds (6 percent versus 23 percent) – even though their sentiment towards equities is the highest in Asia.
“Philippines investors rely largely on their own networks for their investment decisions" said Ryan Charland, CEO of Manulife Philippines. "While it is comforting to speak with family and friends for investment advice, investors would benefit from consulting investment professionals, who could help them build a sound and diversified portfolio that meets their medium to long-term financial goals.”
Philippines investors are Asia's most optimistic
In addition to their positive views about investing overseas, Philippines investors remain optimistic about investing at home with the sentiment index for domestic investment at 59, the highest in Asia. This optimism was spread across all asset classes in the survey, which all saw increases except cash. Fixed income saw the biggest increase, up 5 points to 50; followed by stocks, up 4 to 45. Mutual funds rose 1 point to 36. Property has taken the lead as the most favored asset class, with home property highest at 75, up 1 in the quarter, while investment property rose by 4 points to 74. Cash was the only asset class to see a decline, down 9 to 73, but still remains high.

”Filipino respondents were generally upbeat, despite weaker-than-expected first quarter 2014 GDP growth and uninspiring corporate earnings for the same period,” confirmed Ms. Gaspar. “We believe sentiment was boosted by a credit rating upgrade from Standard & Poor’s and an increase in government spending on much-needed infrastructure projects. The country’s resilient private consumption, rising investment cycle, recovering manufacturing industry and favorable consumer and business confidence bode well for economic activity and a positive earnings growth story. However, investors’ sentiment could turn sour if policy reforms aimed at addressing infrastructure deficiencies and fostering inclusive economic growth stall.”

For more findings and related information from the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia, please visit


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