Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Singapore Math Add-venture

I would like to believe that I am a person who loves to try on anything new just for the fun of experiencing it. I once did some bike stunts on my BMX because I want to bond with my friends. I got a tattoo to find out how painful it is to have one and boy it really did hurt (a lot) that I decided to get inked with another design. I kill roaches when their presence strikes fear to my wife.

Astig me, right? Not really. Since I have yet to overcome some things in life that has been my Waterloo for years--- heights, deep waters, dance floors and mathematics.

I’m willing to take on each of them one at a time and try to overcome my fears which ever comes first in sight. That’s why when fellow blogger and friend Ruth Floresca of Mommy Writes told me that Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc. has an event for parents about the fast-becoming popular Singapore Math, I made sure to be there not only to see how I fare against numbers, 15 years after graduating from college but also to check out new things I can share to my toddler.

How serious am I? I took a leave from work and was actually at Fully Booked – BGC in Taguig City, the venue of Unlocking the secrets of Galileo Singapore Math event, an hour before the start of the session. There I met other parenting bloggers who some share the same dilemma in math that I have with me since I experience some horror stories with Algebra in high school.

Before we were introduced to Singapore Math, the very accommodating CEO of Galileo Ma. Rowena J. Matti welcomed us and introduced us briefly to the many exciting learning journies they offer.  She said that the idea of Galileo was born out of the intention to uplift the education industry. They saw that the model for learning was evolving with the time. 

“We saw the growing rate in tutorial services prompted by fast-paced schools trying to cope with the demands to produce competent and competitive members of society,” Matti added.  “However not all children march at the same pace. There are those who learn differently and others who are not suited for big classroom environments.

Teacher Beth
Maribeth R. Lamis or Teacher Beth, Operations Head for Galileo, then came next to teach us the basics of Singapore Math. In my head I was telling my self not to make eye contact because I might get called since I am sitting smack in front of her in the middle of the room where the event was happening. 

But as the actual session begun to unfold, my fear of math starts to get lost in my system as I start to enjoy the activities that afternoon. We played a game about numbers with four teams competing for the bragging rights of being the first one to solve the challenge. My group ended last in the race but the fact that we were able to solve it without the help of a calculator is already a good sign that were doing good.

We were then  presented new techniques in solving problems the Singapore Math way and I must say, it was quite a simple yet effective and fast way of solving problems. After a few math exercises, I found myself in front of the class and was actually solving one of the challenges given to us. And thank God my answer’s correct!

Now, I think I can erase the item “overcome fear of math” from my bucket list.

In a nutshell, the Singapore Math method differentiate itself by integrating the system they referred as the C-P-A approach:
  • Concrete – manipulatives
  • Pictorials – visual models and drawings
  • Abstract – written number and symbols
Singapore Math as presented by Galileo follows the golden rule of topic mastery to achieve a lifelong learning. Using audio-visual materials, kids will be engaged in a fun yet effective way of learning as the company lives up to its promise ofLearning can be fun“.

There I was receiving my early bird prize from Galileo CEO Rowena Matti

I was actually so impressed with the program that I signed up and will be attending the 2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival February 9, 2013 at Crowne Plaza, Ortigas Center, Quezon City. The math festival from Galileo Enrichment Learning Program is highly recommended for parents and educators to bring fresh ideas and exciting innovations that can be adopt to classrooms and parent-child tutorial sessions.

The conference will focus on how Singapore Math can complement and provide supplementary learning to the implementation of the K-12 program, a new development of the Department of Education.

Please click the event poster to view the bigger version
There will be concurrent learning sessions that will tackle topics such as the basics of Singapore Math, how Singapore Math can be applied in various activities inside and outside the classroom, manipulatives and materials to enhance a child’s learning capabilities, innovative activities in teaching geometry and fractions, and how Singapore Math helps students transition from basic to Algebraic concepts.

The conference will also feature a plenary lecture by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua – Math professor and multi-awarded educator – and her son Scott Chua, a multi-awarded student and a Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature.

How to reserve seats:
  1. Download Registration Form from or call (632)845-1234 to get a copy.
  2. Submit the accomplished Registration Form, copy of School ID and current school registration (if student) to or fax to (632)845-1234.
  3. Deposit payment to BPI bank account, details are as follows:Ban k of the Philippine Islands (BPI) – San Lorenzo, Makati Branch. Account Name: Galileo Enrichment Learning Program Inc.Current Account No.: 1811-0001-12.

To confirm your reservation, fax validated bank deposit slip together with accomplished registration form to (02) 845-1234  (telefax)  or email  For more inquiries on the conference, contact the head office at (632)845-1234 or send an email to You can also visit their website and Facebook fan page for other updates and special announcements.

This is just the start of my Singapore add-venture. My son will start schooling next year and I want him to be well-equipped in his class. We  will definitely visit Galileo in the near future.

NOTE: Images in this post are from Ms. Ruth Floresca of Mommy Writes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

School-Industry Partnership for Global Competitiveness through DTS

Halloween is past approaching and many people are already planning how to spend it from what scary movies to watch to the freaky costumes to wear.

But here’s one horror story we should not ignore:  Almost half a million college students graduate in our country every year. A recent survey conducted by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), an organization of HR practitioners and people managers, revealed that 40% of job applicants fail in the job interview and most of them are fresh graduates.

This is one disturbing tale that should not be happening considering our country is home to world-class skills and talents.  We have the best boxer in the world in Manny Pacquiao. It is in this land that the enchanting voices of Leah Salonga, Arnel Pineda and Charice were first heard. Dado Banatao, the Father of Semiconductor, has changed the way we live today with his innovative inventions . They are just some living proofs that Filipinos are globally competitive. 

Now going back to the horror story of college students, how can we have a happy ending? How can we improve their employability and readiness to work after graduation?

Thank God for TESDA!

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority have been implementing programs that aim to develop the skills of every Filipino who want to have a brighter future. One of them is the ideal training modality for enterprise-based training called dual training system (DTS).

DTS combines theoretical and practical training where learning takes place in two venues: the school and the work area of a partner company. With close coordination between the school and office, the trainees are groomed to be fully equipped with employable skills, work knowledge, and attitudes at the end of the training.  Under the DTS, a participant undergoes at least 40 percent of the training/learning time in school and 60 percent for practical training in the company.

TESDA, under the leadership of Director General Joel Villanueva, is celebrating the 2012 Dual Training System Week from October 21-28 with the theme “School-Industry Partnership for Global Competitiveness through DTS.”  The German model of DTS was first practiced in the 80’s through a joint project of the Southeast Asian Science Foundation and the Hanns Seidel Foundation in the pioneer school- Dualtech Training Center. In 1994, DTS was institutionalized in accredited public and private educational institutions, training centers, and agricultural, industrial and business establishments through Republic Act No. 7686 under the administration of then President Fidel V. Ramos.

Since then, TESDA has been the leading government institution that promotes, coordinates, and administers the dual training system.

A landmark year was in 2009 when 348 companies and 57 schools were accredited in the DTS program with 1,187 trainees competing their training during the year in various courses like automotive and motorcycle technology, refrigeration and air-conditioning, network administration, marine technology and others. 

For inquiries on TESDA programs and services, call 887-7777 or email You may also visit for updates and important announcements.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell them about Telpad

I don’t know what could have been life without PLDT.

I grew up with great respect with the company who has live up to their promises of “keeping me in touch” with my loved ones and “touching lives” of those who feels they’re alone in the other side of the world.

From my first telebabad call in high school to a wrong dialled number that resulted in meeting a new friend and from that joyful feeling of being offered my first job after college to a sobbing long distance call to my family as an overseas worker, there with me is my PLDT--- my Partner in Light and Difficult Times.

For me, the telephone is one of the best things that were ever invented. I could have been stuck in high school until now if not for a telephone tutorial by a classmate before our trigonometry final exam the next day. I could have never enjoyed the privileges of working for my current boss, the best in the whole world (I hope she can read this in time before releasing our Christmas bonus), if not for that friendly chat over the phone after reading her job placement ad in the paper. Or I could still be single at 36 today if not for those daily overseas calls with my then girlfriend (now my wife) for a year.   

You see, a phone call can be one of those life-changing moments in your life. How many inspiring stories have you heard about the wonders of this thing called telephone?  A call is where thousands of love stories begun, a way families reunited for a moment even a distance apart and a how million more individual "best day of my life" events started.

Indeed, we have been in a long journey in the company of a telephone. I am sure you’ll also be interested to know some important facts how telecommunication started in the Philippines. I made a little research about PLDT and created this trivia by the numbers using the image of an old school rotary phone unit which was a thing to have in every home then. Take a peek at the rich history of PLDT, the country’s largest telecommunications company.

Please click the image to see a bigger version
Tell me who your friends are and for sure in your list, you’ll have names of people there that you first interacted with via telephone conversations or have bonded with after numerous friendly phone chats. You need not to go to places to meet new friends or create strong connections with others. Sometimes, a sincere voice is all it takes (and a good and clear line, of course).

And as time goes by, things get better. In a fast-paced world that is today, it seems that almost everything gets its turn to be upgraded to be more useful, efficient and maximize its capability. Our good old landline is no exception.
From the genius men and women of PLDT, our telephones got to level up and thus a innovative way of communication is born--- the PLDT Telpad. Thousands of homes have already made the big leap towards technology on your finger tips.  

Now you can enjoy all the features and benefits of using a telephone (landline and mobile phone) plus the awesome features of an Android tablet (Yup, Angry Birds, Temple Run, Instagram and more).

Please click the image to see a bigger version
Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell them about Telpad. There are 1,001 reasons to upgrade your landlines and let me tell you my reason why I will make the right decision soon.  I want a Telpad because with it, I can make our home a more exciting place to live in.    
Who says you can do only few activities at home. With a Telpad, I can watch videos and listen to music, browse the internet anytime I want 24/7 and a whole lot more. Just want to share a productive day I had while surfing the net.  I was able to research ways to have a minimal-cost Christmas celebration by making personalized gifts to my love ones. Below are some gift ideas that you can actually make using materials you can find inside your house.

Recycle gifts. While attending a big business conference last October, I received almost a dozen of pens with logos of the companies where they came from. They are all still unused and my niece and nephews can definitely make use of them in school.  I’m sure they won’t mind using pens with words printed on the body with words they can’t understand like “anti-haemorrhoid” and “Prozac.”  

Clippings of Mickey Mouse and Friends. I have a stack of old magazines and newspapers just waiting for the right offer from a passing magbobote-dyaryo at home. I remember reading a lot of articles about Walt Disney characters when they staged a show in Manila recently. I did hear one of my goddaughters sang a few lines from the “Mickey Mouse Club House” theme song before so I suspect she is also a fan.

Homemade toy. When I was in kindergarten myself, I used to have a pet pebble just like any ordinary kid (hey, owning one then was normal as per Super Grover). I have a few shiny stones I collected from my first trip in Boracay kept in the attic (now, I’m not sure if that is normal). My younger brother who talks to lizards when drunk can have those shiny things as goodluck crystals or use as pamato in piko. I’ll just have to include an instruction sheet and indicate that imagination is not included in the kit.

Cartoon collection on CD. Youtube and Nero have save me for a number of times when I am blank with gift ideas. I once surprised my father-in-law with a CD full of Eat Bulaga episodes on Father’s Day. He’s a sucker of classic TVJ jokes and he officially heart me na after that day. It’s been two years ago since I gave him the gift and I think it’s a perfect time now to give him new episodes of his favorite show that he only gets to see on weekends.

I’m sure you too can come out with more and better ideas than those in my list using a PLDT Telpad. Now if you like what you have read, I would appreciate if you can vote for my entry in the PLDT Telpad’s BloggerChallenge. As an added bonus, you can get a FREE 16g Micro SD card when you vote and sign up for a Telpad upgrade online.

For more information, visit

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just Beyond The Sunset, Lies a Home For Me

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator”

Truly, one of the most colorful moments of the day is when the sun goes down to rest behind the horizon. It’s an ideal time to capture the beauty of the world through the lens. However, it’s also quite a challenging time to capture the light just the way you want. As the sun falls closer to the horizon you can count on dramatic changes in lighting every minute. If you miss the shot you’re aiming to get, you have to wait another 24 hours to get another chance at it.

During one fine day with friends, I held on my camera and aimed at the blissful rays of the sun that was about to rest. There was no feeling of goodbye but a promise instead that no matter what happens, a new day will come tomorrow.

The photo above is one of the many amazing scenes that can be captured on a camera on top of the soon to be launched Grand Riviera Suites that offers luxury living along Roxas Boulevard.  Each of us can be an artist in our own right. We have different tastes on beauty and an eye for detail. But there are things that bonds people who share a common fondness in some of life's wonders like a calm sea, cold breeze or the warm sensation that only a sunset can give. Such wonderful feeling can make one declare, "This is home."

If you are looking for a home that can provide you convenience and great comfort, you need not go far away from the city because there is an abode waiting for you within the metropolis. Below are some of the reasons why Grand Riviera Suites is a top choice to consider and these will be enumerated using the trusted name of Moldex, a company that has been part of many Filipinos lives in the past 25 years. And so I say, if you are searching for the right home and investment for you and your family, think of MOLDEX:

Modern living. Grand Riviera is located near malls and entertainment hubs, airport, seaport and major thoroughfares. We are now living in a fast-paced world thus one's location is an important thing to consider in choosing where to stay because people are always on the go and on the hunt of new exciting things everyday.

Offers comfort and security. Our family's welfare is always a priority. If you have kids, you want the best school for them. We also see to it that in case of emergency, help is just a phone call away. Grand Riviera is situated along a number of reputable educational institutions, hospitals and government offices.

Lower cost. Compared to their competitors, this Moldex Realty, Inc. project has arguably the best offer. Condo X is priced at P121k/ sqm. (P2.8M) while Condo Y is at P104k/ sqm. (P3.0M). That's way way far to the Grand Riviera price tag of P98k/ sqm. (P1.9M).

Dependable company. Grand Riviera is just one of the many successful home projects of Moldex Group of Company (MGOC) in the country. This is the same company that makes quality pipes and other products managed by respected businessmen MGOC Chairman Jacinto T. Uy and Vice Chairman Michael O. Uy.

Excellent facility. The condominium is designed to provide nothing but convinient living to all its prospetive residents. From its grand lobby to elevators and parking ramp to commercial spaces, Grand Riviera offers an experience like no other.

Xciting life. Living in Grand Riviera is a gift, a taste of good life, a woderful feeling, a wise investment, a story worth sharing, a priceless smile and more best moments still waiting to happen from sunrise to sunset.

For more information on Grand Riviera Suites and other Moldex properties, please call 254-0980, 09178639473 or visit

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ngumiti ka naman sa iyong paglisan

"Salamat sa iyong paglisan"

Sa unang dinig ay maaaring hindi maganda ang dating sa sinumang makarinig ng mga katagang ito. Lalo pa siguro kung isusulat pa ng malaki ang mga titik nito sa isang lugar na madalas daanan ng mga tao.

Ngunit sa halos araw-araw na paglabas-masok ko sa isang village sa barangay San Miguel sa lungsod ng Pasig, ngiti sa mga labi ang idinudulot nito sa akin at hindi inis.

Una, dama ko ang sinserong pabaon ng pasasalamat ng taong nagpatayo ng arkong ito sa bawat bisitang dumalaw o dumaan sa nasabing lugar, Marahil, ang gustong ipahiwatag nito ay " Sa iyong paglisan, baunin mo ang aming pasasalamat sa iyong pagpunta sa aming komunidad."

Pangalawa, isa itong maituturing na Pinoy humor at klasikong ehemplo ng isang sablay na hirit na imbes na suya ay saya at tawa ang ibinibigay nito sa karamihan.

At pangatlo, pagpapakita din ito ng kabutihang asal at pagtanaw ng utang na loob ng isang Filipino sa kahit na anong paraan, simple man o engrande, at kahit mali-mali pa ang ingles ay pipiliting iparating ang lubos na pasasalamat sa kapwa.

Ang larawang ito ay ang aking lahok sa Saranggola Blog Awards.

Ang Saranggola Blog Awards 2012

ay inilunsad sa pakikipagtulungan ng 

Maraming Salamat sa mga sponsors :

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The face behind Saint Pedro Calungsod

A Cebuano will officially be canonized as the second Filipino Saint this coming October 21 in Rome.

Catholic cardinals have approved in Rome the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod of Cebu, that will make him the second Filipino to be recognized a saint by the Catholic Church after San Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila.

Here's some info I found via Wikepedia:  very little is known about Calungsod except that he was an Ilonggo and was born and raised in Iloilo City. In the register for the process of beatification, he was born in Molo, a Chinese district in Iloilo City. He just came to Cebu to preach Christianity then move to Guam.

It is known that he was just one of the boy catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the to evangelize the Chamorros in the Ladrones Islands in the western Pacific in 1668.

Pope John Paul II beatified both Father Diego Luis de San Vitores (October 6, 1985) and Pedro Calungsod (March 5, 2000) at Saint Peter's Square in Rome.

Pedro was beatified along with other 43 servants of God. About Pedro, the Pope said:

    (...) From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr Diego, but as a "good soldier of Christ" preferred to die at the missionary's side (...)

Now, here's some trivia so we won't get confused which one is San Pedro Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz when their holy images are place beside each other. Calungsod doesn’t look Chinese, while Lorenzo Ruiz has Chinese distinction. Second, he is holding the ‘Doctrina Christiana’ and palm leaves while Ruiz holds a rosary.  Lastly, notice that Calungsod’s feet are not positioned firmly on the ground. One foot is slightly raised because it shows his being a missionary, a young man on the move. It shows his dynamism.

Astig316 meets Mr. Fearless

Now, do you want to know about the man who was tapped to be the face of Pedro Calungsod, here's the post The Legend of the Saint that I have written two years ago about my favorite athlete Ronald Tubid, a PBA All-Star who once donned a Brgy Ginebra Kings jersey before he was traded to the Barako Bull Energy early this year. I am just delighted about this news because I'm sure my idol will be more popular in the coming days.

Read on and share your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello Again, Australia!

It's not everyday that I check my blog stats so it came into a surprise that as of noontime, I had 27 page views today coming from Australia which comes second to Philippines (of course).

This made me wonder what posts could have bridged my blog to our friends from the land down under. I don't remember writing about Australia or publishing anything on kangaroos, boomerang, or the Tasmanian devil, perhaps.

Which made me pause for a while and ask myself why I haven't written anything about this continent/ country which has been very close to my heart one time in my life.  You see, I once worked for a call center and handled an account based in New South Wales.

Before I took my very first call, I was part of a group that had undergone a week of seminar about the country's history and culture and important information about its people.  For the next seven months, I talked to an average of sixty (60) different Australians (with their undeniably hard to understand yet pleasant-to-hear accent) either to assist them with a query or pacify them after an unpleasant experience with our product. I got cursed and my ego hammered for a number of times although there are some who praised me from the way I talked, handled the inquiry and exchange thoughts about what's happening in the world.  

It was a very challenging job and thankfully I got promoted as a quality analyst which basically took the "taking in calls" task away from my job description. I was monitoring calls for the next two years before I decided to look for a new cubicle outside the company that promises a normal work sked, better sleep and a chance to check my Friendster account from time to time.

My "Australian" experience may not have been a perfect set-up that I have thought will be. Just imagine the headaches that I get in every irate call I receive, misunderstandings and unexpected problems that comes almost everyday. But today, how I wish I can get a call from any of the irate callers I've talked to in my previous work. I'd just want to say that I have forgiven you and I hope you feel like doing the same to (for the unpleasant words I just keep within me because you are a well-loved customer). After all, I would like to believe that I became a better employee because of the experience, good or bad. Well, I think you guys deserve a "thank you" for that. 

Today, I'm just happy that something or someone have reconnected me with a country that was once a part of my breakfast and catnaps.  Let me say this to all my Australian readers, thanks for visiting my blog and being part of my wonderful journey. Keep on visiting this site since I might be featuring the Brumbies or the Reds or the Australian Open or even a kangaroo's life.