PLDT Smart Watch: The Latest Gadget for Kids

Kids these days are entitled.  I must admit Kib has lots of everything--clothes, toys, shoes, books, and even gadgets.  While Kib has lots of stuff, he is also generous in sharing them to his friends, relatives, and even to the less fortunate.

Last August 14th, we were invited to launch of PLDT's latest roster of gadgets available to their subscribers, the Smart Watch.  

The Smart Watch from PLDT Home is today's coolest gadgets for kids, and parents love it too.  It can be used for taking photos, playing music, and even recording sounds, music, or funny messages.  Kids can also get notifications from games or apps like Facebook, and calls and text messages thru the watch when it is paired with the PLDT Home Telpad or a smart phone so Mommy or Daddy can easily send messages and friendly reminders if needed.

Bae-by Baste of Eat Bulaga is the brand ambassador of PLDT Smart Watch.

Bae-by Baste proudly showing his Smart Watch

Bae-by Baste's family is also into Smart Watch craze.  They use it as a wi-fi remote for the Telpad or smart phone cameras so it's easier to take selfies or fun family groupfies together.  His parents, Sol and Sheila, also like the anti-lost feature because it lets them know if the connected Telpad or smart phone is up too far away.  This feature is good for kids who sometimes carelessly misplaces things.  To use the anti-lost feature, one must click a button on the watch so that the connected Telpad or smart phone will make a sound to help locate it when it is misplaced.  

Baste with Mommy Shiela having a wonderful moment using PLDT Telpad

Baste and his younger brother both enjoying their respective Smart Watches

We won a Smart Watch during the event and Kib loves it so much!  He even mastered the functionality of the smart watch ahead of me, hahaha.  It also gave him a reason to be more active (I always tell him that he's already fat and he needs to exercise more).

Yay! We won a Smart Watch!

PLDT Home has lots of subscription bundles to choose from, including the Smart Watch plan!  PLDT Home subscribers who upgrade to a Telpad plan automatically get a 1Mbps Home DSL speed boost, and for only an additional Php199 per month, they can already top it up with a Smart Watch. Fret not, existing Telpad subscribers can also avail of the Smart Watch plan!  Simply order online and it will be delivered at your doorstep at no cost!  For more information, you may visit

Baste having some 'me time' playing with PLDT Telpad

Kib also had his playing moments using PLDT Telpad

To stay connected with our kids, let them wear Smart Watch!

HOOQ Hangouts: Your Next Date with Your Loved One

One of the bonding activities that Kib and I do is TV and movie watching.  Since I have a son, most of the movies that we watch together are action and animated movies.  I only get to watch romance when it's already shown on movie cable channels.  I don't regret it, as long as my son is happy, I'll support his preferences.

When we were invited to the first-ever HOOQ Hangouts event, we got excited.  

We're so excited to be part of the first HOOQ Hangouts!

HOOQ is Asia's first and largest video-on-demand service.  It is a start-up joint venture established in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television, and Warner Bros.  Presently, HOOQ delivers over 10,000 Hollywood, regional, and local movies and TV shows to their customers anytime, anywhere by enabling them to stream and download on their Internet device or platform of choice.  HOOQ was also recently named as the Best Mobile App in the Media, Film, TV or Video category at the GSMA's Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  Currently, HOOQ operates in the Philippines, Thailand, India, and Indonesia with a population footprint of over 1.6 billion people.

The HOOQ Hangouts event is the biggest outdoor cinema event in the Philippines.  This event was made possible together with Globe LIVE and Samsung.  Globe LIVE is the Globe's new original productions arm.  This first HOOQ Hangouts event featured Hollywood TV's hit DC's Legends of Tomorrow.  This TV series will be available exclusively on HOOQ.

HOOQ Hangouts event was held in BGC Ampitheater and it was made free for all with massive LED screens set-up, beanbags, blankets, and cushions so that viewers were able to enjoy the show.

What a nice set-up! Very relaxing and no obstruction of the view

Jane Cruz-Walker, Country Manager of HOOQ Philippines said that HOOQ Hangouts aims to build a stronger HOOQ community by building them together so they can watch the best movies and hottest TV releases.  "This is the first of its kind for any video-on-demand service in the country.  Thanks to Globe LIVE, we are very excited to announce that HOOQ Hangouts will now be a regular monthly event," said Walker.

In addition, Dan Horan, Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business said that events like HOOQ Hangouts achieve the intent of Globe LIVE to produce quality on-ground events to create more meaningful engagements with our customers.  "Together with HOOQ, we are able to give everyone access to an extensive library of the best TV and movie titles making the Filipino digital lifestyle experience more wonderful," said Horan.

During the event, HOOQ Hangouts attendees enjoyed on-ground entertainment, such as free popcorn and LED photobooth.  Prizes were also given to some lucky participants.

Jessy Mendiola and Xian Lim welcoming everyone to the first HOOQ Hangouts event

Jessy Mendiola and Xian Lim tried the interactive photowall

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: When Heroes are not Enough

DC's Legends of Tomorrow is a spin-off from equally successful TV series Arrow and The Flash, and further expands the "Arrowverse".

DC's Legends of Tomorrow characters

Time Master Rip Hunter saw the future and he is tasked with assembling a group of heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat--one in which not only puts the planet at stake, but all of time itself.  For this seemingly impossible mission, Rip brings together a ragtag team of divergent talents, which includes Sara Lance (aka White Canary), Jefferson Jax Jackson, Dr. Martin Stein (aka FireStorm), Ray Palmer (aka Atom), Hawkgirl, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave.

People are all eyes watching the first three episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow

What a nice Saturdate!

DC's Legends of Tomorrow completes HOOQ's catalogue of DC shows which includes The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, and Supergirl (which is also a HOOQ exclusive).  All the latest seasons of these DC shows are also now available on HOOQ.  

Other Shows in HOOQ

This August, Lucifer, a fantasy police procedural comedy-drama series, will also debut on HOOQ.  The story revolves around Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), who abandons his throne to retire in L.A. where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.  The charming, charismatic, and devilishly handsome, Lucifer is enjoying his retirement, indulding in wine, women, and song until a former "client" is brutally murdered outside Lux.  Lucifer becomes involved with the LAPD when he takes it upon himself to assist Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) in finding the one responsible so that he can "punish them".  Lucifer is available exclusively on HOOQ.

Moreover, HOOQ subscribers can also check out other binge-worthy TV shows on HOOQ such as Damages, Selfie, Community, The Big C, Lost Girl, and Two and a Half Men which recently premiered on the service.  In addition, movie franchise fans will also be very delighted with the complete series from The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and Harry Potter, will all now be available on HOOQ.

Getting on HOOQ

It's easy to get on HOOQ!  Sign up today for a 7-day free trial on  Globe mobile customers can use HOOQ up to 90 days free on selected GoSURF plans.  Broadband customers with Plan 1299 and up can also get HOOQ for free on Globe Home Broadband.  Once the trial period expires, Globe customers can continue enjoying HOOQ at P149 subscription fee monthly charged to your Globe bill.  Simply text HOOQ149 to 8888 to activate subscription.  

Let's get HOOQed and be invited on the next HOOQ Hangouts this August!

Homeschool Global: Bringing Homeschooling Beyond Your Borders

I like writing about homeschooling because this is one of the advocacies that I support and believe in.  I like what homeschooling does to me and to my son.  Yes, I still receive a lot of criticisms about our lifestyle, I just bear in mind that I cannot please everybody.  I do what I believe will benefit my son the most and I'm happy to reap rewards from it.

Homeschooling still raises controversy around the world.  Some countries ban homeschooling, and if a family is caught homeschooling, the parents might face charges by the government.  Like the case of the Romeike family, a German family who sought asylum in the United States because it is illegal in Germany to homeschool.  They faced deportation but with the grace of God, they were allowed to stay in the United States indefinitely so that they can continue homeschooling.  You may read the story about it here

In the Philippines, we are blessed to have homeschooling as an option to educate our children.  Presently, there are 15 million school-aged children in the country, and only about 700,000 licensed teachers are there to teach these children in both private and public schools.   You can see the burden of the school teachers in providing quality education to our children.  Our country lacks teachers to reach out to all students all over the country.

Good thing, the Philippine Constitution upholds the right of parents to teach their respective kids (Article XIV, Section 1).  This provision from the Constitution resulted in Department of Education (DepEd) to create a "Home Education Program" (Memorandum No. 216, Series of 2007) to encourage and protect over 12,000 homeschoolers in the country.  Out of 12,000 homeschoolers, approximately 7,000 of them are affiliated with different homeschool providers who comply with DepEd standards and requirements; the rest are unregulated, or what we call 'independent homeschoolers'.

For so many years, homeschooling was thought of only for children whose parents are licensed teachers because they are more knowledgeable or equipped enough to teach their children.  Thank God for the Internet and other available resources available today, parents who are not Education majors can already teach their own children without thinking much of their qualifications to be a home teacher.  As mentioned by Debra Bell on one of her books (The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling), "Our pioneer days are over."

Presently, we can hear a lot of stories from homeschooling families on how homeschooling helped their families in improving their way of living.  Edric Mendoza, President of Homeschool Global (formerly TMA Homeschool) said that, "Being able to homeschool is a privilege that not many can avail of, but for those that can, it is literally life-changing." 

Homeschool Global is one of the homeschool providers in the Philippines.  It is a Christian organization focused on providing comprehensive homeschool services.  Homeschool Global has already been in the business for 17 years and it serves over a thousand students in 21 different countries, from preschool to Grade 10.  They also offer US and Philippine accreditation assistance.  Presently, Homeschool Global is now expanding to establish hubs all over the globe.  

Homeschool Global's logo.  Homeschool Global is big on bringing the learning experience to the max.  The stylized round emblem alludes to the home: books on all sides--windows and doors of opportunities for learning, roof of protection against the dangers of "not knowing".  Its round shape punctuates globalness--literally, as the students are now global; figuratively, it means families can homeschool anytime, anywhere. "The works is truly our classroom."

Edric Mendoza, President of Homeschool Global

Gerry Argosino, Managing Director of Homeschool Global

Homeschool Global's Core Values are based on the following:

  • Passionate -- actively commited to the cause; energetic
  • Unconventional -- creative, out-of-the-box, resourceful, imaginative
  • Nurturing -- proactive, sincere, "walking alongside"
  • Competent -- able to get things done excellently, always looking for better ways of doing things
  • Christ-centered -- the standard for what we do and how we do things

Its Core Programs are divided into three: Learn, Connect, Shine.

  • Learn Program -- equips you to homeschool well.  LEARN is the academic program of Homeschool Global.  A Homeschool Advisor walks alongside each family helping them to homeschool well.  The Advisor also recommends homeschool curriculum most suited for a child's learning style.  Is your child more visual, kinesthetic, verbal, or aural?
  • Connect Program -- helps get families into small groups called Learn Groups.  Through Learn Groups, homeschoolers can exchange ideas and best practices, encourage each other, and even allow friendships to be formed among the children.
  • Shine Program -- mounts big events that bring the whole Homeschool Global community together, allowing showcase of talents and skills, service or good works, and bonding moments between families.  Some of these events are the Purity Ball, Graduation, Parents Conference, Yaman ng Lahi, and Family Christmas Get-Together.  These big events foster a strong sense of community, the "we're in this together" in this exciting journey called homeschooling.  Also, children get to hone their God-given talents and sense of purpose

Homeschooling is an education where parents create an ideal climate for their children to achieve success.  This climate consists of a conducive home, intentional parents, a customized curriculum, a comprehensive support system, and clear goals towards true success.  At Homeschool Global, they can show how this climate can best be achieved.

Are you ready to homeschool?  Homeschool Global can assist you in your homeschooling needs!

Homeschool Global's main office can be found at Upper Ground Floor, Fun Ranch, Frontera Verde, Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City.  You may also call them at +632 234 0432 for more inquiries.  You may also visit their website at for further details.

Eye Can Play--An Event for Special Olympics Athletes Supported by Essilor Vision Foundation

I have a heart for kids with special needs.  I have some units on learning about their needs in undergraduate and graduate studies that is why I can understand a bit of their needs and behavior.  I admire families who are proud of their children with special needs because sadly, there are some families who treat their children with special needs as jinx ('malas' in Filipino).  Support groups are also there to support each other and to encourage each other whenever there are challenges around them.  There are also activities for special children to recognize their abilities and skills.  One of them is the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is also like the regular Olympics but the athletes here are children with intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The Special Olympics is also held every four years, the last one was held last year.  To know more about the Special Olympics, you may visit their website,

The Philippines is also participating in the Special Olympics.  Last year, the Philippine delegation was able to bring home 59 medals for the country, and as early as now, our country is preparing for the next Special Olympics.

Excitement and laughter filled the air as athletes with intellectual disabilities and their families visited booth after booth of games testing visual acuity, visual memory, depth perception, color vision and eye tracking at “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair.” The event was sponsored by Essilor Vision Foundation, one of the philanthropic giving initiatives of Essilor, the world’s leading ophthalmic optics company.

Held at SM Sucat Entertainment Hall, “Eye Can Play” specifically used an “edutainment” approach to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision through interactive and engaging games. After undergoing quick vision screenings with Essilor volunteers, excited participants played “Pop the Bubble”, “Twister”, “Name It Quick”, ‘Finding Nemo”, “Finding Dory”, “Catch the Marble” and “Eye Can See”.

“Twister” is one of the games during the "Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair" to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision

Filipino athletes with intellectual disabilities had their vision tested for vision problems during the event.  Having a good vision affects their sport scores and quality of life.

Brina Maxino and Sashi MontaƱa, the founders of “Eye Can Play”, saw the need for Filipino athletes with intellectual disabilities to test their eyes as good vision can affect not only their sport scores but also their overall quality of life. The two teens, who are part of the Special Olympics Philippine team, also envisioned the event as a venue to encourage people with intellectual disabilities to excel in sports and games. They presented the project at the 2015 Social Impact Summit, held during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California that same year, where it earned a spot in the Top 5 out of 70 proposals.

“Essilor and Essilor Vision Foundation feel passionately that healthy vision is fundamental for every individual,” stated Essilor marketing manager Jinky Navo. “Our mission is to improve people’s lives by improving their sight, for everyone and everywhere. In line with this objective, we want to help people with intellectual disabilities to see the world better so that they can achieve more and aim higher, which is what some of the athletes have already done at the Special Olympics ” she added.

Special Olympics Philippines executive director Kaye Samson remarked, “We believe that youth leaders, through the examples of Brina and Sashi, can be powerful advocates in leading behavioural change in the society towards accepting and respecting our fellow Filipinos who have intellectual disabilities.” She added, “We also thank our friends from Essilor and Essilor Vision Foundation in supporting this event by setting up a booth and deploying a team of volunteers to check our athletes eyesight.”

About Essilor

The world's leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, EyezenTM, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, BolonTM and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.
Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €6.7 billion in 2015 and employs 61,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 32 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 5 research and development centers around the world.
The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.
Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.
For more information, please visit