Archive of ‘Advocacy’ category

World Sight Day 2013

TOMS_logo

THIS WORLD SIGHT DAY, IT’S OKAY TO #BESHADY

285 million people are visually impaired. 80% don’t have to be. Together, we can raise awareness for visual impairment around the world by wearing sunglasses inside on

WORLD SIGHT DAY.

With TOMS Eyewear, the One for One™ Company Helps Give Sight Around the World Through Prescription Eyeglasses, Cataract Surgeries and Medical Treatments
 

This year, to show support and raise awareness for WORLD SIGHT DAY TOMS  challenges people to wear sunglasses inside on October 10th, 2013. Whether you’re at work, in bed, at a restaurant, inside a movie theatre, at the mall, in the library or anywhere your day might take you, “Be Shady” and show your support for WORLD SIGHT DAY.

WSD 2013 - Evite

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness created to focus global attention on blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired. Blake MYcoskie, founder of TOMS related that, “Nearly every single human being can identify with not being able to see clearly, whether it’s personally or through knowing someone who has had an issue with his or her eye sight.”  He also shared that, “Realizing that so many millions of people are struggling with this issue each and every day, we feel compelled to continue to do our part to raise awareness and help those in need.”

 According to WHO and VISION2020, the magnitude of visual impairment and blindness and their causes have been estimated as follows:

     About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide.

    39 million people are blind.

    19 million children are visually impaired.

    About 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries.

    Globally, uncorrected refractive errors (often correctable with glasses) are the main cause of

    visual impairment.

    Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness.

 Leading up to World Sight Day 2013, TOMS is activating both online and offline through the creation of a dedicated microsite, and will be harnessing the power of social media and numerous events.  Online, TOMS supporters can go to http://www.toms.com/world-sight-day/l to learn more about this important issue and find out how they can personally participate.  Visitors can also download World Sight Day toolkits that include uniquely inspiring eye charts, and are invited to utilize a new hashtag, #BESHADY, through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 

To promote this day, TOMS will team up with celebrities and our TOMS com­munity to create collateral with people wearing sunglasses to inform and get everyone excited about the day. Collateral will encourage people to post a picture of themselves wearing sunglasses inside on social media to raise awareness for WORLD SIGHT DAY.
 

So on October 10, 2013, let’s join TOMS and “Be Shady” together to raise awareness for visual impairment. Keeping the same momentum and excitement of ODWS, we will focus on World Sight Day as the day to rally together to bring awareness and ultimately an end to preventable blindness and visual impairment by wearing sunglasses inside. This campaign will help educate the world that visual impairment is a serious problem and we can start fixing it today by purchasing TOMS Eyewear. Every eyewear purchase helps give sight to a person in need.

Since its launch, TOMS (http://www.TOMS.com) targets to help give sight by the end of 2013 to over 150,000 people in need in 13 countries through the purchase of TOMS Eyewear. TOMS helps give sight through sustainable eye care organizations worldwide that use TOMS’ support to provide patients with prescription eyeglasses, sight-saving surgery, and medical treatment. TOMS’ giving program is supported and administered by the company’s lead sight giving partner, Seva Foundation (http://www.seva.org).  Based in northern California, Seva has been implementing sustainable blindness prevention and sight restoration programs for over 30 years. Seva programs and partners have helped nearly three million people worldwide to see again.

About TOMS: In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One™. Last year, TOMS evolved from a shoe company into the One for One company,and is now addressing an entirely new need in addition to shoes through eyewear – helping give sight to people in need around the world.

Loudbastard: For The Love Of Music

It is not everyday that I come across a product that I would really love and rave about. Though it doesn’t take much to please me, it actually takes a lot for me to write about something.

I am an avid music fan and like any other music buff, I give much importance to the way I enjoy my sound. It is no secret as well that I have always been very vocal about my support for anything local and sustainable.  To actually find a product that marries both is a pure joy in itself. So let me share with  you this amazing local company that is behind this genius of a product.

Loudbasstard is a local company that was formed in Cebu last October 2012.  Their products, specifically their sound amplifiers, are made from natural materials and are created by skillful and talented Cebuano artisans. This company came about because of the founders’ passion to spread and share the love of music.

The Loudbasstard bamboo amplifier is a genius in itself. Made from homegrown bamboo, it merges evolving technology, industrial design, and sustainability. Each piece is organically hand-treated, hand-cut, hand-dyed and hand-packaged in Cebu, Philippines.  Check out this video to see how this amazing product is made:

 

A Loudbasstard amplifies the sound from a mobile phone about two times its present volume.  It fits most mobile phones and comes in eight colors.  What I like about the loudbasstard sound amplifier is that it isn’t just a piece of technology, it is an excellent piece of handicraft. It pays homage to our local artisans in Cebu whose talents are simply remarkable. To me, its beauty lies in its simplicity, ingenuity and sustainability.

To know more about Loudbastard, visit their website here (CLICK HERE).  And if you want a Loudbasstard of your own, you may purchase them at the airport, Republic of Banilad Town Center, and at The Give Project store in SM North Wing.

Let’s support our local artisans, lets enjoy our music with Loudbasstard, and buy Pinoy.:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Care to Share

I have always been very vocal about my support for anything handmade. I am a great fan of the creative minds and hands behind them. Recently, my friend Irene’s amigurumi dolls caught my attention not only because she did a wonderful job crocheting eleven of them but also because of her purpose in creating them. You see, these dolls were created to support the “I Share. You Share. We Care” project of her brother-in law, Gerry Lita. They represent the eleven beneficiary kids of the project. Here are some of them.

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I Share has been partially supporting the schooling of eleven kids from a marginal community in Cabuyao, Laguna for the past two years now.  I  Share provides them with complete sets of school supplies for the year including school uniforms and a small amount of at least 500 monthly for their snacks and other school needs. To date, it still continues to do so.  Sad  part though is it is running low on funds. These amigurumi dolls were lovingly created in the hope that it will help generate the funds needed to support and sustain the cause. Those who will make a pledge in kind or in cash, wether on a one time, monthly or quarterly basis in exchange will get one of the dolls.

ishare

I always believe that it really doesn’t take much on our part to change the world. And that our actions need not be grand as well for it to be considered life changing. In fact, our little concerted efforts and actions can do the trick. As simple as sharing your extras to help others and living up to the teaching of 2 Cor 9:7-8 can make a difference already.

In case you want to step up and help, you may send me a note at blancnotes@yahoo.com or pm  I Share at their facebook page here. Everyday we spend a lot on little stuffs that give us quick dose of happiness like a box of insanely expensive J. Co Donuts and Starbucks coffee. We get googly eyes when we see expensive designer bags, clothes, and shoes.  We don’t even think twice in buying them. If we can afford such luxury I guess we can afford to help one child stay in school as well. We’re not asking for much, whatever you can give as long as it comes from your heart will do. Believe me, it will not only give you quick dose happiness but a lifetime supply of blessings as well.

Chronicles of A Reluctant Widow #7: Leap of Faith

Answered prayers are not magic, they’re miracles and love. And since they’re love, the answer is not always a yes. Sometimes its difficult to understand why certain things need to happen or why things did not go as planned. Yes, we know that they do happen for a reason but many times, the reason is simply lost to us.

Our faith dictates us though to trust that everything will make sense in the future. To believe with all our heart that God will reveal His great design for us in His own perfect time. It moves us to wait patiently without questioning His purpose nor demand for an answer.

His loving grace, if we just allow ourselves to fully embrace it, will aid us as we finally come to terms with our current situation. We are never alone in our painful journey, He’s just right there beside us. It is just that sometimes we are blinded by fear and numbed by pain that we fail to see and feel His presence.

It will be good to remember that when we want to do little else but pull our hair out or throw our hands up in the air in frustration and surrender, there’s always heaven to look up to and God to call on. When we want nothing but to run up to the hills screaming in despair, there’s that peak at the top where we can take that big leap of faith. God is just right there waiting to catch us with open arms.

Post originally created for the Eat and Cheat Cancer Book Project

Our Role As A Social Media Influencer

Me As A Social Media Influencer

I remember starting this online journal back in 2008 when my husband gifted me with my very first laptop. At that time, I rediscovered my love for writing and was excited at the thought of stringing words into meaningful sentences again. All I wanted then was to write, write, and write. I didn’t care much if people read my posts. I was my own writer, reader, and follower.

When one of my blogpost about my experience as a scoliotic patient got quite a number of hits from people suffering from the same physical condition as mine,  I began seeing blogging in a different light. When people started turning to me for questions and referrals on how to best deal with their situation,  I realized that without intending to, I have become a social media influencer myself.

From then on, I started taking my passion for writing and sharing ideas seriously.  Since I envision this little space to be a source of inspiration to others, I began presenting information here in a way that would empower readers and make them take proactive steps to change the/their situtation. And as  Blancnotes become more and more visible in the netosphere,  I also felt a pressing need to be extra mindful of my duties and responsibilities as a social media influencer. If you are wondering what a Social Media Infuencer is, here’s a video from Janette Toral which pretty much sums it all up.

 

You As A Social Media Influencer

Nowadays, social media influencing isn’t only confined to bloggers. In fact anyone who posts his reactions, thoughts, and opinions  in their own blog page, facebook, twitter, google, and IG accounts is considered a social media influencer himself. As each one of us engage in some form of social networking activity everyday, we are influencing and forming other people’s thoughts. Therefore proper care especially in the choice of words to be used must be exercised for whatever consequences that may arise from our innocent article or  simple status message  can proved to be irreversible.

Our Role As A Social Media Influencer

With the elections in the offing, a lot of candidates are turning to social media influencers to make their online presence known. I have to admit that at some point I have written a couple of articles here on some electoral candidates that turned out to be quite a disappointment.  I have to agree though with Ms.Janette Toral  in her article Tapping Social Media Influencer To Inform or Misinform that, “If we have helped in the past in spreading the word about them and their advocacies – and having doubts at the moment, I think it is important for that to be articulated and let those who interacted with us then and now help process our thoughts on this subject.” The job of a social media influencer doesn’t stop when the article gets published or when the status message have been posted, we always have to set things straight if need be. As social media influencers we have to make our online presence count by promoting fair, honest, and truthful exchange of opinion and ideas.

In the end, our aim as social media influencer should not be about gaining some sort of power with our words. It is about affecting change, inciting people to think, and mobilizing them to take action whether it be in major decisions that would affect our country such as the upcoming election or in pressing environmental concerns and issues that affect our community.

Do you think you have become an effective and responsible Social Media Influencer yourself? I will be happy to read your thoughts here.

 

On The State of Our Airports and The Digichive Issue

An online article reacting on reports that Philippines has the worst airports in the world caught my attention yesterday.  Not so much because the news comes as a surprise to me (it does not since I have read about it a couple of times already) but because of the rather disturbing issue associated with it.

I am admittedly not a seasoned traveler but  I’ve been to some of our airports a couple of times to honestly say that they aren’t as bad as others claim them to be.  Most of them are  well kept and clean though we can’t really discount the fact that some if not most of them badly need a major make over too.

Busuanga Airport

 (Busuanga Airport)

I remember when we landed at Cebu International airport, the first thing that came to my mind was, it doesn’t look like an international airport at all, it looks rather beaten and old.  And when my group was at Busuanga airport following our trip to Coron, Palawan, I was rather shock to discover that they don’t have an xray machine, the airport personnels literally check each and every luggage themselves.

The few occasions I got to travel overseas,  I also can’t help but compare NAIA terminal 1, 2, and 3. In my personal opinion, NAIA 2 and 3 can hold their own against other international airports in Asia in terms of upkeep, façade and facilities but can’t say the same thing with NAIA 1.  It needs more than a facelift, it badly needs a total renovation especially since it is the official landing strip of almost if not all international inbound flights . It can do with a newly improved look.

NAIA 2 (I liked that's its relatively small, no chance of getting lost and missing the flight)

NAIA Terminal  2

NAIA 3 (The wide space tends to make that trip to the boarding gates rather tiring)

NAIA Terminal 3

With the big influx of tourists and travellers coming in and out of the country everyday, you would think that MIAA would have by now accumulated enough funds to start or continue their upgrade and upkeep projects, but sad to say that’s not the case at all. Everyday it is loosing money due to mismanagement of funds, income, and revenues.  The news on Philstar.com about the Digichive Philippine’s  aiport advertising contract  issue with MIAA is a prime example. According to the article, MIAA has not been getting its fair share of advertising revenue from  Digichive, the ad agency that has been managing the ad spaces in our airports.  It was reported that Digichive pays only about 13.5 million advertising revenue to MIAA when the revenue that it should be receiving is supposed to be much more than that. When Mr. Honrado took over the management and decided to rebid the exclusive advertising concession rights, Digichive scrambled to offer a much higher revenue commitment than what it has previously been giving. And when Digichive didn’t win, it requested a temporary restraining order on the awarding of the project to the highest bidder. I don’t know, this act definitely looks shady. The fact that Digichive Philippines gave a meager advertising revenue to MIAA than what it rightfully deserve all these years does cast a shadow of doubt to its integrity and intention.  My two cents, we should know better by this time based on how the events are playing out.

My hat goes off to MIAA’s general manager, Jose Angel Honrado’s wise move though. I agree with Mr. Honrado’s decision of putting the exclusive advertising concession rights up for bidding, this gives equal footing to all interested parties. I personally believe that every contract that a government agency enters into has to be transparent and has to go through proper bidding process.

Hopefully, when MIAA manages to bring some order to its revenue collections, it will prioritize the upgrading of all the security and navigational equipments of our airports, improvement of  all their facilities, expansion of those with limited space, and completion of pending airport projects & addition of more airports in key provinces.

Honda Donates 1 Million To Victims of Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao

With the news of widespread devastation, loss of lives, and displacement of families and communities caused by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao, Honda Foundation Inc. lost no time in reaching out to its partner institution, ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., and donated Php1million to sustain rescue and relief efforts to severely affected areas.

HFI is the corporate social responsibility arm of the subsidiaries of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) in the Philippines. The subsidiaries of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) in the Philippines are comprised of Honda Philippines, Inc., Honda Cars Phils., Inc., Honda Parts Manufacturing Corp., and Honda Trading Phils., Ecozone Corp.

HFI had also donated to victims of strong typhoons such as Ondoy, Sendong, and Habagat.

Pre-Christmas Bodega Sale at Paref Woodrose School

Don’t forget to check out Friends of Woodrose Foundation’s Pre-Christmas Bodega Sale next week at Paref Woodrose School, Alabang especially if you are within the area. Get a chance to score great deals from international brands like XOXO, 101 New York and many more!

This Pre-Christmas Bodega Sale is for the benefit of the Friends of Woodrose Foundation’ scholarship fund. See you there!

Chiz Escudero: Will You Vote For Him Again?

I don’t know about you but I am starting to note down the senators who are deserving of my vote come election next year.  I vow to myself  after some senators proved to be such a disappointment that I will be a wise voter next time around.  As most of the candidates seem to be making their presence known again in different media after successfully managing to fade in the background after the 2007 election, I thought it wise to share some of my thoughts here.

An online article written by Janette Toral on top senatorial bet Chiz Escudero caught my attention. It referred back to an earlier post she wrote about him in 2007 where Chiz Escudero laid his cards on the table. He spoke of his plans of working on a legislation that would “guarantee accessibility of education to all Filipinos up to college and not only up to high school.”  He also mentioned of creating programs for the “protection and security of our nationals working abroad, fair terms of employment and forward looking policies to predict labor demands from abroad” among other things. Five years later, I dare ask,”What happened to all these plans?”

I tried to search in the net for some information about legislations or bills that he authored, co-authored, presented or seen to the very end in relation to his supposed political plans and programs, but sad to say I didn’t find any that can be attributed to him as the father or primary proponent. Although Lexi Fenando in her article, Senator Chiz Escudero for 2013?, did mention that she found  a number of bills and resolutions he sponsored, co-sponsored, co-authored, these are not easily available in the internet for reference too.  There was  a law that he voted to be approved, the Cybercrime Law, which he later admitted was a mistake and oversight on his part since he missed reading the part about libel.  This has attracted much criticism on his part as being a senator, people expected him to thoroughly review documents with razor sharp eyes before approving it.  It didn’t help also that in one interview he disclosed that, “Nakalusot sa amin yun, nung pumirma naman kami nun wala pa yun.  Inamin namin yun agad kaya nga amendatory bill ang agad naming ifile,” (see complete story here).I can’t help but wonder again, Ano pa kaya nakalusot sa kanila? and Ano na kaya nangyari sa ammendatory bill?

Sad to say, among the top results of my searches on Chiz was that of his current relationship with showbiz princess, Heart Evangelista and his annulment to his then wife, Chistine Robles Flores.  And then there are those articles that called him a fake and a traitor too.  Since I am not privy to his personal affairs, I will take his word that he found true love with Heart at face value and believe that it is real and not politically motivated like how some believe. They seemed genuinely in-love and I know for a fact that love is not easy to fake.

I understand why he is the top choice as senator, he’s articulate, he has proven to be an engaging conversationalist, he can keep up and exchange quick fire ideas in a snap of a finger and he’s pleasant looking. The youths love him because he can relate with them like no one else can never mind if he was vocal in his support for the abolition of Sangguniang Kabataan before . He was able to successfully established himself in the online community as well in the boob tube by aggressively using these two media as tools to reach the “generation connect” which  admittedly will be the driving force this coming election. What seems to be lacking though  is an effective machinery, may it be in print or online, where people can easily refer to to know how far he has accomplished his supposed plans and programs  (more than his rising popularity in TV hosting and guesting). As of the moment, there seems to be none of that, his official pages sad to say are not up to date.

As a mom, working professional, and citizen hungry for leaders with thick professional portfolios and impeccable track records, it makes me wonder yet again if Chiz Escudero truly deserves my second vote? As it is I only have his TV appearances,  guestings, and interviews as basis for now.  What do you think, I will be happy to read your thoughts here.

 

 

 

The Villar Foundation’s Villards Cup

I remember during the height of my husband’s courtship back in the 90’s, he would bring me to this billiard joint in Malate in the hope that I would be impressed with his billiards prowess. Well, I was I guess because he was at his element when he was in front of the billiard table. Aside from basketball, this was the other sport that he truly loved.  The mere sight of a billiard table excited him to no end.  Happiness for him and his friends back then was a couple of rounds of billiards game where losers get to buy 1.5 liter of Coca-Cola for everyone.  It was not the money he said that would get you hooked in the game but the intensity of play that the game requires and the camaraderie it presents.    He seldom watch TV when he was alive, the few occasions that I found him glued to the boob tube were when there’s a mean billiard competition on the sports channel or Ginebra’s playing.  I imagine that he is having the time of his life in heaven now playing billiards with the angels.

Back in those days, I remember seeing quite a number of college students and dropouts hanging out at the same billiard joint we were frequenting.  My husband, then my suitor, would tell me when I look at them disapprovingly that it is better that they get addicted to the game than to illegal drugs.  I had to agree with him on that.

With the influx of technology, particularly the introduction of hi tech game consoles where everything can be played with just a flick of a finger, the game of billiards took a backseat.  Only a  few are into the game now.  It makes me sad because I have to admit, I do have a strong admiration for the game because it is more than just getting the balls to shoot in the holes.  It is all about concentration, focus, timing, strategy, and aim.  Life skills that teenagers need to acquire in order to be successful in life.  I wish the government would do more to revive the game of billiards, given the chance…and the fund…and the support…a lot of Filipino amateur billiard players would fair well in international competition because they have the talent and heart for it.  If this happens, we’ll have more youths trading dota, wii and xbox for the billiards cues.

It was a pleasant surprise then to learn that The Villar Foundation of  Mrs. Cynthia Villar, through their annual Villards Cup, continues to support the game by providing budding billiards players a venue where they can compete and play alongside Philippine billiard legends such as Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Ronnie ‘The Volcano’ Alcano and Dennis ‘Robocop’ Orcollo.  The Villiards Cup has been around since 2008 as part of The Villar Foundation’s advocacy of developing sports at the grassroot level throughout the country.  As we all know, billiards is larong pang-masa.

Villards Cup

Villards Cup

The Villar Foundation has been staging the Villards’ Cup in key cities.  Last September 23-24, the Villards Cup 2012 was held at San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan. On its first day, Philippine Billiards legends “Bata” Reyes, “Django” Bustamante, and “Robocop” Ocollo played an exhibition game to the delight of the amateur billiard players and enthusiasts present. On the second day, they played alongside this year’s Villard Cup winners Edgie Geronimo of Marilao (champion) and Eduardo Lim of Meycauayan (2nd placer).

Villards Cup

Villards Cup

The complete list of winners of the Villards Cup 2012 are as follows:
1st: Edgie Geronimo (Marilao)
2nd: Eduardo Lim (Meycauayan)
3rd / 4th: Resty Labastida (Bocaue) / Roberto Bilicario (Sta. Maria)
5th / 6th: Kennet Matheu Garcia (Marilao) / Marlon Glinogo (Bulacan)
7th / 8th: Jonas Paolo Ramos (Baliwag) / William Trinidad (Angat)

With this, I hope to see more enthusiasm towards the game. We need to break the balls so everyone will take their cue and get into the game of billiards again.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romancingthestone/

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