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DepEd, DPWH to construct 1,500 classrooms with PAGCOR funds

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino
  • The Department of Education (DepEd) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the construction of around 1,500 classrooms worth P2B.

    DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said, “Our vision is to be a pillar of national development in investing in education. Over the past years, PAGCOR has made substantial changes to ensure that part of vision is really implemented.”

    Luistro expressed his gratitude to the agencies that continue to help in ensuring that “Filipino students get what they deserve.” He said, “We want to thank PAGCOR for being the biggest and most consistent partner in substantially investing in education, and DPWH for ensuring that school buildings will have building integrity.”

    “Classrooms are the most basic social infrastructure that we should continue to provide all over the country,” DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said. He added that DPWH will deliver their commitment in building classrooms that are safe and beneficial for the students.

    PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said, “Kami ay nagagalak na kami ay kabahagi kami ng DepEd para sa aming project na “Matuwid na Daan para sa Paaraalan.” Naguiat reiterated PAGCOR’s commitment in the continued delivery of education to the learners.

    He said that PAGCOR believes that the future of the country lies in the youth. “The classrooms we are going to build are for them. Tuluy-tuloy po ang ating pagtulong sa DepEd. Hindi po tayo nagtatapos dito. Makakaasa po kayo na may karagdagan pa ito—either sa school buildings or computers. Let us work together for the dreams of our youth to be realized.”

    The classrooms to be built will be constructed by DPHW in accordance to the “build-back better” design with specific PAGCOR design elements. PAGCOR shall designate certain locations based on DepEd’s data on classroom needs which will be prioritized for the construction of classrooms.

    A Minion Reasons Why LANCASTER New City Cavite is Not Despicable

  • Sunday, October 12, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • Had the chance to tour around "Lancaster New City" Cavite last week. They are Cavite's newest township development spanning across 1,000 hectares covering Imus, Kawit, and Gen Trias. Included in the said tour is our visit at St. Edward Integrated School, an academic institution inside LNC. We saw a catchy sign in their billboard that says, "a minion reasons why sir pat's class is not despicable." and we thought it was a good idea for a blog post. ;)

    Here are the reasons why LANCASTER New City Cavite is not despicable:

    It's not far.
    Being just 15 minutes away from Metro Manila via Cavitex,  LANCASTER New City Cavite is the most accessible development of its kind. When owning a new home, the first thing we consider aside from the price, is the location and in that category, LANCASTER New City Cavite is perfect.

    It's not pricy.
    Considering all the amenities, the accessibility of the place, the security and the 15 years experience of Pro-Friends in building quality Filipino homes, the typical selling price range of Php 870,000 up to Php 3,100,000 is reasonable enough. After all, having your own home is an investment for the future.

    It's not crowded.
    Filipinos buy homes outside Metro Manila because of this reason: they want space. Spanning more than a thousand hectares of land covering the towns of Imus, Kawit, and Gen Trias, the development plans focus on creating a new lifestyle in the heart of Cavite with a breathing space in mind.

    I DO village and Lancaster New City model houses.

    Perfect place to say, "I Do."
    LANCASTER New City Cavite is the chosen location for the ABS-CBN reality series "I DO." Too bad, we can't go inside the "I Do" village because the TV show is still ongoing.  Their initial phase of development is set to plant it roots in the community and eventually grow into a full-fledged "new town." Perfect for the soon to be couple, who wants to settle in a picturesque location without breaking the bank.

    Made by Pro-Friends.
    Property Company of Friends, Inc., also known as PRO-FRIENDS, is one of the fastest growing property developers in the Philippines. For over a decade, they have completed and delivered 15 projects and currently have 11 on-going projects. The company was founded in 1999 by a group of friends who believed in creating communities and transforming lives of the Filipino families.

    It's complete: 
    Live. Learn. Work. Play. Worship. Shop & Dine.
    • Suntech IT Park: the first business park of its kind in Cavite. It is a 25-hectare development that house BPO buildings.
    • The St. Edward Integrated School a partner of Quality Education Design, Inc. (QED), is a school for pre-school, grade school, and high school students that offers quality education at affordable rates.  
    • Leighton Hall: is a 3-storey, modern clubhouse with function rooms, grand ballroom and spacious swimming pool. Reservations can be made for functions with up to 400 guests, so everything from big parties to intimate engagements can now be held within the community.
    • Church of the Holy Family: Never miss Sunday Mass with a spacious community chapel for spiritual upliftment right where your live.
    • Lancaster Square: the first establishment of the 6-hectare commercial area of the New City.  Have a retail spaces on the first floor and a 400 seat BPO on the second floor. The first wave of tenants include a number of restaurants, a wellness center, a bookstore, a pet store, a payment center, a pharmacy, a salon, and anchor tenant Welcome Supermarket. Soon: multi-purpose hall and a transport terminal.
    The picturesque Church of the Holy Family; The view from Buckingham on top of Leighton Hall; St. Edward Integrated School's spacious gymnasium.

    It's for me. 
    With  it's secured entrance gates, centralized water system and 24-hour security I will feel safe here. I can imagine myself waking up in a spacious home, while having enough time to have breakfast with your family and bring your kids to school before going to work. Imagine being able to relax and pamper yourself at a salon, while still having enough time to do the groceries and head home to prepare dinner.

    LANCASTER New City Cavite is for me. Dahil dito, "Lahat puwedeng pwede!" :)

    Impressive Cavalcade of Characters & Voices in "THE BOOK OF LIFE" (3D)

  • Friday, October 10, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • Director Jorge R. Gutierrez's love for family, tradition and storytelling created a truly singular, a first of its kind animation in "The Book of Life" where it will reveal never-before-seen characters and will take the audience in three fantastical worlds - the town of San Angel, The Land of the Remembered and The Land of the Forgotten.

    "The Book of Life" is also about remembrance and cherishing memories composed of a voice cast led by Channing Tatum, Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana, along with multi-talented actors Christina Applegate, Kate Del Castillo, Ice Cube and Ron Perlman. In the movie, following Maria’s (Saldana) return to San Angel, she is reunited with her best friends Manolo (Luna) and Joaquin (Tatum) at the bullfighting arena, where Manolo is preparing for his first match. Manolo, like all the Sanchez men who preceded him, battles bravely and skillfully. But unlike his forebears, when the moment comes for Manolo to finish the bull, he refuses. The whole town turns on Manolo, including his father who feels terribly let down. Moreover, Manolo fears he may have thrown away his chance to woo Maria.

    As if bucking family tradition wasn’t enough of a barrier to Manolo’s romantic pursuits, two other principals have thrown themselves into the romantic triangle, and they’re betting it all on who ends up with Maria’s hand. The battling husband-and-wife deities La Muerte (Del Castillo) and Xibalba (Perlman) have made a wager, and the stakes for all of them couldn’t be higher. Resolute in her belief in the fundamental goodness of mortals, La Muerte puts her faith in Manolo. If he succeeds in winning Maria’s hand, then La Muerte will remain the beloved ancient god who oversees a wondrous world called The Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba must stop his meddlesome ways with humans.

    When La Muerte and Xibalba's wager started, Manolo gets swept up in the parade of his ancestors, who to Manolo are superheroes he’s been hearing about his entire life. But his joy is tempered when he discovers that Maria is not there – and indeed never made the journey to The Land of the Remembered. With the support of his ancestors, Manolo embarks on an extraordinary mission to find La Muerte, who is the only one who can help him return to San Angel.

    But first, he must travel to a portal, the Cave of Souls, between all the magical lands. There, Manolo meets another spirit, the Candle Maker. With a body made of wax and a beard made of clouds, the Candle Maker is a larger than life – and kind of nutty – ancient god. He makes billions of candles, with each candle representing a life. “The Candle Maker looks over – and geeks out over – humanity,” says lead animator Eric Dobrile.

    Though he’s supposed to be hands-off with mortals, the Candle Maker bends the rules a little to help Manolo. “He sees something special in Manolo,” says Ice Cube, who makes his animated feature debut voicing the Candle Maker. “The Candle Maker has never seen blank pages in The Book of Life, so this is an exciting thing for him. Also, it’s The Day of the Dead, which provides some license for him to break a few rules.”

    Manolo’s feisty and quick-witted great-grandmother, known simply as Grandma (voiced by Grey Griffin), is sure to become another audience favorite. Short in stature but long of whisker and tough to boot, Grandma is more than a match for the men in her family – past, present and future. “Grandma’s kind of seen it all and been through it all, and she’s kind of our Peanut Gallery,” says producer Brad Booker, who adds that she’s his favorite character in the film.

    "The Book of Life" (2D and 3D) opens nationwide in cinemas on October 16 (Thursday) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

    Solaire Presents: The Jacksons Concert on November 3 (8PM) at the Solaire Grand Ballroom! ‪#‎SolaireTheJacksons‬

  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • Come for a stellar night of groovin’ filled with nostalgic pop and a whole lot of dancing as the siblings Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito Jackson bring to the Solaire stage more than four decades’ worth of chart-topping hits and timeless pop favorites.

    Buy your tickets now at Solaire Concierge (888-8888) and Ticketworld (891-9999)/ and be part of history as the biggest-selling family in music of all time brings their rhythm to Manila. ‪#‎SolaireTheJacksons‬

    Promo Extended: You Can Still Make Your Dream Wedding a Reality

  • Wednesday, October 08, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • What if I trip on my dress? What if the caterer messes up? What if the groom doesn’t show up? All these and so many more worries run through our heads when planning our dream wedding. Now, Colgate Optic White is giving brides-to-be one less thing to worry about – that perfect white smile and a chance to have Jason Magbanua and Pat Dy capture their special moments during their big day.

    What if I missed the deadline for the Colgate Optic White Dream Wedding? Scratch that out of your worry list as the submission for promo entries is extended until October 31! 

    Just like Steph Kienle-Gonzalez, Maggie Wilson-Consunji, and Cat Arambulo-Antonio, you too can have your perfect wedding captured by the best in the industry. If you’re getting married next year any time from January to June, share your biggest wedding worries through a 20 to 40-second video and get a chance to have the wedding dream team, Jason and Pat, give you one less thing to worry about in making your dream a reality.

    Neil Patrick Harris on Finding Amy in “GONE GIRL”

  • Thursday, October 02, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • Gillian Flynn’s massively popular, nail-biting bestseller “Gone Girl” adapted to screen by director David Fincher and produced by blockbuster filmmakers Arnon Milchan, Joshua Donen with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (also as producer) takes Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike at the center of a couple’s marriage that has gone from bliss to national issue when the Mrs. vanished on the day of their fifth year wedding anniversary.

    Nick Dunne arrives home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find the front door ajar, furniture strewn in the living room and not a single trace of his beautiful, semi-famous wife. Thus begins his instant public transformation from fortunate husband to man flailing in the media spotlight. Tagged as the proverbial suspect No. 1, the former town golden boy erupts in a series of lies, deceits and inappropriateness that does him no favors. His media persona is not pretty: he has disappointments; he has resentments; he has the kinds of secrets that feed imaginations. But is Nick a killer?

    The entire cast, each of whom puts Nick under a different microscope – investigating Nick, defending Nick, suspecting Nick -- impressed Affleck. He says: “There are a lot of interesting choices. Tyler Perry has never done this sort of character, Carrie Coon is so unexpected as Go, and Neil is a brilliant choice because he’s so fearless and you have no idea what’s really going on inside him. This casting is the sign of a director whose interest is in always surprising the audience.”

    Among the possible suspects in Amy’s disappearance are former boyfriends, including Desi Collings, Amy’s long-suffering ex from prep school who, though breathtakingly wealthy, has continued to write her lovelorn letters. Taking the role is stage, screen and television star Neil Patrick Harris.

    Harris gained notoriety on the small screen as the much-adored title character in “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” a role which also garnered him a Golden Globe nomination. Created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, the television comedy-drama ran for four seasons and told the story of a brilliant, young doctor who faced the problems of being a normal teenager.

    Like so many, Harris was stunned by the novel. “It was one of my favorite books of all time,” he says. “I loved that Gillian was able to write so perceptively from the point of view of both sexes. It was also among the most unsettling books I’ve read. I felt it really broke down the myths of what relationships are and this whole fairy tale ideal that partners can always share everything.”

    Desi, Harris notes, has his own fairytale ideas of who Amy is and how they might end up together. “He’s somewhat delusional,” observes Harris. “But your first lover never really leaves you and Amy was certainly that for Desi. So he’s blinded by this undying idea that they’re meant to be.”

    Harris notes that Desi is not alone in his reaction to Amy, though he has his own reasons. “Amy seems to have a strong power over everyone in her life but especially men who desire her,” he says. “She kind of sucks you into her vacuum. I think Desi is a little socially off, so he likes the idea of that. He’s rich but he’s the recipient of family money that was never earned so he doesn’t have a strong sense of himself. I see him as weirdly fragile in his own right. There’s something heightened about him, but I felt I really needed to understand why he behaves the way he does.”

    Working with Fincher for the first time was also a revelation. “I’ve been a big fan of what he has created on screen but watching him create in person made me even more so,” he says. “He has such deep passion for the entirety of the filmmaking process -- from light refractions and dolly moves to pacing and the written word. He is a true director in the most dynamic sense.”

    Harris especially enjoyed Fincher’s way of peering into the infinitesimal details of performance. “It felt like we were all in a kind of meditation together,” he says, “and you knew by the time David was happy, a scene had been distilled to its essence. I think he’s a visual poet, nay, a sculptor. He takes a moment and chips away until he gets at something true.”

    Neil Patrick Harris recently concluded his run as the womanizing Barney Stinson in the hit CBS comedy series, “How I Met Your Mother,” a role which has garnered him multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations, as well as two People’s Choice Awards for Favorite TV Comedy Actor, and a Critics’ Choice Award for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Harris is a five-time Emmy Award winner for his guest-starring role on "Glee," and his role as host of the 63rd, 65th, 66th and 67th Annual Tony Awards. He also served as host and producer of the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as the 67th Annual Tony Awards. Named one of the “2008 Entertainers of the Year” by Entertainment Weekly, Neil was included on Time Magazine's 2010 Time 100 List, an annual list of the world's leading thinkers, leaders, artists, and heroes.

    Find out what happened to Amy in “Gone Girl” when it opens in cinemas nationwide on October 8 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

    Music from the Heart in “THE BOOK OF LIFE”

  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino

  • One of the world’s most influential personalities, Oprah Winfrey, was recently enthralled by the upcoming animated feature “The Book of Life” from 20th Century Fox directed by Mexican filmmaker Jorge R. Gutierrez whose unique visual and storytelling flair were enjoyed by many in his television works such as “Mucho Lucho,” MAD” and “El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera.”

    Another new song, “No Matter Where You Are,” is performed by a real-life married couple known as Us the Duo, who introduced the tune as their marriage vows – and then landed a record deal. The song is performed by Diego Luna and Zoë Saldana. “Us the Duo” is the first musical (artist) act to have been established via Vine and had become Vine’s first major-label signing. Oprah became so enthralled by the end-credits song entitled “No Matter Where You Are” that she had the real-life married artists “Us The Duo” included in her U.S. tour of “The Life You Want Weekend.” The couple introduced the tune of the song as their marriage vows that landed them a record deal.

    In a recent interview with Billboard, “Oprah fell in love with the movie and she heard about us,” says Michael Alvarado, married to Carissa. “We are super jazzed about what’s being spoken about and just trying to inspire the listeners there,” says Alvarado further who shared that their mission is to “inspire people through music, encouraging people to pursue the passion they have in life and showing that love still exists, that relationships are important.”

    In the “Book of Life,” Gutierrez presents yet another unique, vibrant and visually spectacular world and characters with a stellar voice cast that includes Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube and Kate Del Castillo.

    “The Book of Life” tells the legend of Manolo (Luna), a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to reunite with his one true love and defend his village. Manolo, Maria (Saldana) and Joaquin (Tatum) – three best friends – have been close since childhood. Their bond was interrupted when Maria, who was a bit too rebellious for her father’s taste, was sent to Europe to become a proper lady. Joaquin joined the military academy and became a legendary bandit-fighter. But Manolo didn’t go anywhere – he stayed in San Angel and practiced to become a bullfighter, as his father did before him, and his father before him.

    Music is a big part of the magic of “The Book of Life,” and the production was lucky to land the formidable talents of two-time Oscar® winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the father of Latin alternative music, making his animated feature film debut. Under his supervision, the filmmakers landed rights to cover, with a Latin twist, beloved songs from Mumford and Sons (“I Will Wait”), Elvis Presley (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”), Radiohead (“Creep”), Biz Markie (“Just a Friend”), Rod Stewart (“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”). Additionally, there are beautiful, original songs written by Santaolalla and the award-winning Paul Williams.

    “The music hails from all cultures and eras,” says Gutierrez. “The story is set in the past but the music is current. And the idea behind the characters singing these familiar songs is that mariachis don’t compose music; they sing familiar songs. So that’s what Manolo does; he grabs music from the culture.”

    “Gustavo is known to mix the sound of Latin America with Northern influences, including electronic, punk and rock,” del Toro elaborates. “That became the sound of “The Book of Life” – the idea that these songs from all over the world, and from different eras would go through the film’s ‘sound machine’ to sound authentically Mexican, but at the same time have a global reach.”

    For example, Manolo’s soulful singing of Radiohead’s “Creep” emanates from what he thinks is a quiet moment of solitude – though Maria is listening. He then embarks on the time-honored tradition of serenading the girl of one’s dreams. Accompanied by his rotund mariachi friends, the Rodriguez brothers (voiced by Cheech Marin, Gabriel Iglesias and Ricardo Sanchez “Mandril”), they try fun, though hardly romantic versions of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” – the latter to the accompaniment of a toy piano.

    These are great songs, to be sure, but Maria is unimpressed. That is, until Manolo, absent his three pals, warbles a new song, “I Love You Too Much” (music by Gustavo Santaolalla, lyric by Paul Williams), which touches Maria’s heart. “Manolo realizes he has to sing from the heart and not use someone else’s song,” the director explains. “‘I Love You Too Much’ is a love song that pours out of his heart and soul, and it works!”

    “The Book of Life” is set in Mexico, but its music, heart, humor and themes are universal – as are its talented cast and crew. “We have people from all over the world who worked on this movie,” says Booker. Above all, the film is about the importance of shaping one’s own destiny. As The Candle Maker (voiced by Ice Cube) tells us, “Write your own story.” “The Book of Life” opens October 16 in cinemas (2D and 3D) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

    OUTOTEC Opens Office in the Philippines to Strengthen its Presence in Southeast Asia

  • Wednesday, October 01, 2014
  • by
  • ★JayL Aquino
  • At your service, this time in Manila, the Philippines! Outotec is committed in helping the Philippines develop its world-class resource industry in a sustainable way. With the opening of the new office in Manila they now have offices in 28 countries.

    OUTOTEC opened a new office in Manila, the Philippines, as part of the company's expansion in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Outotec is a Finnish company, headquartered in Espoo, aimed at providing technologies and services for the metal and mineral processing industries. The firm concentrates on producing machines and methods which facilitate the various stages of extractive metallurgy and mineral processing from ore through to pure metal or mineral, including the grinding and physical separation of ores and the smelting and leaching of base and precious metals. The company also provides engineering and after-sales services for its products.

    The new office was inaugurated by Mr Stuart Sneyd, President of Outotec's APAC region, in the presence of customers, ministries and industry associations.

    The Philippines is ranked as the fifth most mineralized country in the world and has some of the world's largest resources of gold, copper and nickel. Approximately 30% of the country's total land area is believed to contain important metallic mineral deposits. Outotec is committed to helping the Philippines develop its world-class resource industry in a sustainable way. The new office in Manila will focus on serving Outotec's customers, driving sales in the growing market, and supporting project implementation in the Philippines.

    Speaking during the event, Stuart Sneyd said, "Outotec has sold technologies for copper smelting and concentrating in the Philippines since the 1960s. Through our industry-leading technologies we want to make a strong contribution to sustainable development of the Philippines mining and metallurgical industry. Apart from the mining and metals sector, this market also offers attractive growth opportunities for Outotec in industrial water treatment and renewable energy sectors. With the opening of our Manila office, we will take our capability to deliver sustainable technology solutions and local customer support services to a whole new level in the Philippines."
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