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Ayala Foundation launches interactive art installation celebrating Moro Art

At the Manāra launch, with (standing, fifth from left) Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Foundation co-chairman; Aliah Cimafranca, Ayala Foundation consultant; artist Lilianna Manahan; artist Toym Imao; and Ruel Maranan, Ayala Foundation president

Two acclaimed Filipino artists come together to celebrate Moro culture through Manāra, an interactive art installation at the Ayala Museum Plaza, officially opening on May 3.

Manāra—the Arabic word for “minaret”—is the result of the creative collaboration between internationally acclaimed sculptor and painter Toym Imao and industrial designer and installation artist Lilianna Manahan.

Featuring 23 minarets and lanterns, the Manāra interactive art installation features Moro textiles, wood and metal work, music, and indigenous patterns. Manāra is a project of Ayala Foundation.

Traditionally, minarets served as lighthouses, providing light to people and vessels that needed to find their way. Minarets, which are also important architectural features of mosques, are also where calls to prayer are made.

Similarly, the Manāra art installation hopes to shed light on the richness and diversity of Moro culture, and in the process inspire a deeper understanding of Muslim Filipinos. At the same time, the interactive art installation serves as a call for unity—for Filipinos, even though they come from diverse backgrounds, to become more open to dialogue and cooperation.

“In an increasingly digital environment, art continues to be a powerful expression of today’s realities and an important medium to convey messages of enlightenment, action, and community. We see this interactive exhibit as an opportunity to promote awareness and further educate people about the rich and inspiring culture of Mindanao communities and the significant role the Moro culture plays in our country’s history and heritage,” Ayala Foundation Co-Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.

“The spirit of collaboration, mutual respect, and creativity shown in Manāra is the exact same spirit that we live by at Ayala Foundation,” says Ruel Maranan, president of Ayala Foundation. “Through our various initiatives in education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihood, and arts and culture, we make sure that we are aligned with the needs of our stakeholders, and focus on programs that make an impact in the lives of the people we serve, which include our conglomerate, our communities, and the rest of the country.”

For over 50 years, Ayala Foundation has been implementing community development initiatives in Mindanao. One of the foundation’s first projects was the Sumilao Cattle Research Project at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro in the 1960s. At present, the foundation has been nurturing its partnership with the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao for its youth leadership program Leadership Communities, and its education program Training Institute.

Ayala Foundation has also partnered with the City Government of Marawi for the community-based Siyapen Drug Rehabilitation Center, which was started earlier this year.

Guests are welcome to explore and interact with Manāra at the Ayala Museum Plaza from May 3 to May 30. The installation will then be brought to key sites in Visayas and Mindanao later this year.

2017 Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence Opens Nominations


Nominations are now officially open for the 2017 run of the first-ever nationwide search for exemplary engineers and scientists who have developed and implemented projects that champion water, sanitation, environment and sustainability for marginalized communities.

The biennial Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence, which was first launched in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2015, previously honored five distinguished Filipinos who have paved the way for reinvention, creativity, and discovery that provided solutions to problems and difficulties that plague our nation.

Joining Manila Water Foundation (MWF) and DOST this 2017 is the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), the umbrella organization of all accredited professional engineering organizations recognized by the Professional Regulation Commission and self-certifying engineering professional organizations in the country. The triumvirate will join forces to find five new individuals who will be given PhP500,000 each for their inspiring engineering and scientific solutions that have resulted in positive social impacts.

MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz intimated his gratitude for the support that the Prize has been receiving from DOST, as well as his delight for having PTC starting this year. “We are truly grateful to the new DOST administration, led by Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña and Undersecretary Brenda Nazareth-Manzano, for agreeing to extend the partnership we have forged during the maiden edition of the Prize in 2015. Accolades are also in order for Former Secretary Mario Montejo, Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, and their team for contributing to the success of the first run. Now with PTC on board, we are optimistic that we will be able to reach out to more ingenious engineers and scientists like the first batch of awardees who are still soaring to greater heights up to this day,” he said.

The 2015 awardees are, indeed, continuing to dedicate their genius for the benefit of society. Dr. Rex Demafelis has successfully scaled up his community-based biofuel program, which gives benefiting farmers from several provinces more crops and higher-yielding sources of income. Dr. Merlinda Palencia and her team have made their organo-mineral project more accessible and open for use in more communities in the Philippines with the construction and launch of a manufacturing plant that ensures better waste management and treatment for the benefit of our water systems. Dr. Enrico Paringit continues to lead the Phil-LIDAR 1, which is more commonly known as Project NOAH for disaster-risk reduction. He and his team's mapping resources have been providing the knowledge and tools for gathering details necessary for assessing risks and exposure of communities to floods and storm surges, which are now becoming more frequent and destructive due to climate change. Dr. Evelyn Taboada, who is also a recipient of the ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, incessantly finds ways to make her brainchild of converting mango wastes to high-value products helpful to marginalized communities in Cebu. Lastly, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, who heads the group of scholars and engineers working on Diwata 2 that is set to launch in 2018, is one of just three practicing engineers and educators in our country to be conferred the title of "Ambassador" from Hokkaido University.

Eligible to be nominated are bona fide Filipinos who have a degree in any engineering course or related sciences and have been actively performing engineering functions in the Philippines for a cumulative total of at least ten years.

More details, as well as downloadable forms, can be seen at Nominations will close on June 30, 2017.

Buong Taong Programa para sa Kalusugan, Inilunsad ng MWF

Upang mas lalong mapalawig at mapaigting ang pagsulong ng wastong paghugas ng kamay at matiwasay na kalusugan sa mga kabataang Pilipino at sa mga taong responsable sa paghubog ng kanilang kamalayan ay inilunsad ng Manila Water Foundation (MWF) ang programang “Health in Our Hands” sa Quirino Elementary School sa Anonas, Quezon City.

Ang bagong programang na kaloob ng mandato ng MWF na may kinalaman sa water education ay naghahangad na lalong pasidhiin ang halaga ng pansariling kalinisan o personal hygiene sa pagapapanatili ng magandang pangangatawan at kalusugan sa pamamagitan ng pangbuong-taong kampanya sa mga paaralan at komunidad. Tampok sa pagapapasinaya ng nasabing programa na dinaluhan ng higit 300 mga mag-aaral at guro ay ang masaya at interaktibong pagtuturo ng pitong hakbang ng wastong paghuhugas ng kamay at ang mga oras kung kailan dapat itong gawin. Bukod dito ay nagkaroon din ng hand painting, handwashing at pledging na sumisimbolo sa pakikiisa ng lahat ng dumalo sa pagsasabuhay at pagsusulong sa pagpapanatili ng maayos na kalusugan na nagsisimula sa malilinis na mga kamay.

Ang kahalagahan ng kampanyang ito ay ipinagbunyi ni MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz na ipinaliwanag din ang naging motibasyon ng kanilang organisasyon sa paggawa ng programang ito. “Noong nakaraang taon ay ipinagdiwang naming sa buong buwan ng Oktubre ang “Global Handwashing Day.” At ngayong taon nga ay napagasyahan namin na dapat ang kaalaman sa tamang paghuhugas ng kamay ay hindi lamang sa buwan ng Oktubre. Kaya minarapat namin na palawigin ang programang ito sa pamamagitan ng Health in Our Hands program. Buong taon kaming magtuturo ng wastong paghuhugas ng kamay upang lalo pang patibayin ang adhikain ng Manila Water Foundation,” sabi niya.

Ang pahayag na ito ni Dela Cruz ay sinegundahan naman ni Soroptimist International (SI) of the Philippines Governor Maria Tumaneng Rosario na ibinahagi rin ang misyon ng kanilang organisasyon kaakibat ang pagsuporta sa mga programang makakatulong sa kabataan.

Ang SI, sa pamamagitan ng kanilang Congressional Club, ay nagkaloob ng handwashing facility sa Quirino Elementary School matapos lapitan ang MWF upang humalili sa pagtuturo ng tamang paggamit nito para masiguradong maging daana ng pasilidad sa pagiging malusog ng mga mag-aaral na gagamit nito. Ang pagpapasinaya ng nasabing donasyon na mapapakinabangan ng halos 3,000 mag-aaral, guro at kawani ng paaralan ay parte ng programa noong araw na iyon.

“Ang tema namin para sa milenyong ito ay ang pagbigay ng malinis at ligtas na tubig sa mga kababaihan, matanda man o bata, at ang paglinang mga kaalamang dapat nilang taglay sa pagkakaroon nito alinsunod sa aming tagline na ‘Water is wealth for women.’ Kaya naman kami ay nagpapasalamat sa pagkakataon na maging kaakibat ang Manila Water Foundation na may kapareho naming pananaw at adbokasiya. Ang pasilidad na aming ipinagkaloob ay isang regalo dahil alam naming isa sa mga pinakamainam na paraan para makapagpabago ng buhay ay sa pamamagitan ng tubig,” pahayag ni Rosario.

Para naman magtuloy-tuloy ang pagbibigay tulong at kaalaman ay nag-iwan ng mga information education and communication materials ang Manila Water Foundation kasabay ng mga libro mula Scholastic na isa sa mga aktibo nitong kasangga. Dahil dito ay pawing mga salita ng pasasalamat ang namutawi sa punung-guro ng Quirino Elementary School na si Gng. Maricris Santos. “Isa kami sa pinakamapalad na nilalang sa mundong dito. Kahit papatapos na ang taong ito ng pag-aaral ay mayroon pa ring napakalaking regalo na ibinigay ang Manila Water Foundation at Soroptimist International para sa aming paaralan. Ang handwashing facility, mga kaalaman at aklat na ibinigay sa amin ay narito upang kami ay laging maging malinis at malayo sa sakit,” sabi niya.

Naroon din sa pagapapasinaya si Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte na isa ring miyembro ng Soroptimist International at taga-suporta ng Manila Water Foundation na nagbigay ng makabuluhang mensahe ng panghihikayat sa mga mag-aaral na lalong pangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan. “Ayon sa mga pag-aaral, ang mga kabataan ay madaling dapuan ng germs at ‘yan ang dahilan ng kanilang pagkakasakit tulad ng sipon, ubo at pagsakit ng tiyan. At ang kalutasan sa mga sakit na ito ay ang tamang paghuhugas ng kamay. Kaya naman ang mensahe ko sa mga kabataan ay palagi silang maghugas ng kamay upang mapanatili ang kalusugan,” saad niya.

Ang “Health in Our Hands” ng MWF ay dadalhin din sa iba pang mga paaralan sa Metro Manila sa mga susunod na buwan.

Manila Water Foundation formally launched its “Health in Our Hands” program via an inaugural event conducted at Quirino Elementary School last March 17, 2017. The event also served as the formalization of MWF’s partnership with Soroptimist International of Congressional who donated a handwashing facility for the school.

In this photo are (L-R) Soroptimist International of Congressional President Judy Gutierrez, Soroptomist International of the Philippines Governor Maria Rosario Tumaneng, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Quirino Elementary School Principal Maricris Santos and Manila Water Foundation President Ferdinand Dela Cruz.

More than 300 pupils from grades 1 to 3, who all learned about the importance of making handwashing part of their lifestyle, attended the pilot run of the “Health in Our Hands” program at Quirino Elementary School.

Through MWF’s “Health in Our Hands” program, the advocacy on proper handwashing can be shared to more individuals all year-round.

By sharing the same advocacy of providing clean water for all, Manila Water Foundation and Soroptimist International explore the possibility of conducting the same engagement in other schools in the future.

Si Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte na isa ring miyembro ng Soroptimist International at taga-suporta ng Manila Water Foundation ay nagbigay ng makabuluhang mensahe ng panghihikayat sa mga mag-aaral na lalong pangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan.

BDO Foundation and UST Donors Construct School Buildings in Tacloban

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, has constructed two school buildings in San Jose Central School in Tacloban City, Leyte in partnership with private philanthropists from the University of Santo Tomas Medicine Class '79 and Soroptimist International Makati. 

The new two-storey, eight-classroom buildings were turned over on February 17 in an event attended by BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, BDO Tacloban-Rizal Avenue branch head Lucille Yao, donors, local government officials and Department of Education heads. 

At the event, the donors also distributed food and toys to the pupils. 

The school building project is in keeping with BDO Foundation's disaster response advocacy and rehabilitation program in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda. 

Like many structures in Tacloban, the buildings of San Jose Central School were destroyed by the supertyphoon. About 90 percent of its 98 classrooms have been damaged, and more than 120 students reportedly perished due to Yolanda's storm surge. 

The structures built by BDO Foundation and its partners replace the ones completely destroyed by the disaster. 

Through the donation of the school buildings, the partners aim to give underprivileged youth greater access to education and help rebuild the lives of their families. The new classrooms are furnished with teachers' desks, school chairs, blackboards and fans. 

The new buildings could also serve as evacuation centers should calamities hit the area. 

San Jose Central School is situated on a 2.2-hectare property with an athletic oval that serves as venue for interschool athletic competitions in Eastern Visayas. The academic institution accommodates approximately 4,000 students.

BDO Foundation and donors from the University of Santo Tomas Medicine Class '79 and Soroptimist International Makati have partnered for the construction of two school buildings with a total of eight classrooms for Typhoon Yolanda-stricken San Jose Central School in Tacloban City, Leyte.

Auto Brands with Best CSR Programs Recognized

Auto Brands with Best CSR Programs Recognized

The Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) recognized the outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs in the automotive industry at the first-ever ‘Driven To Serve Awards’ held last 23 February 2017 at the Ceremonial Hall of the Marriott Grand Ballroom at Resorts World Manila.

The winners are as follows:


Platinum: Ford Philippines – Driving Skills For Life

Gold: Volkswagen Philippines – Child Safety Initiative 2015-2016

Gold: Honda Cars Philippines Inc. – Teensmart & 1-M Blue Eco-Safe Driving Campaign


Platinum: Toyota Motor Philippines – Toyota Motor School of Technology

Gold: Isuzu Philippines Corporation – TESDA-Isuzu Auto Mechanic Training Center

Silver: PGA Cars Inc. – Porsche Training & Recruitment Center Asia


Gold: Toyota Motor Philippines – Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project

Silver: Isuzu Philippines Corporation – Annual CSR Projects on Environment 2002 to 2013

Silver: Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. – Batad Restoration Project 2012 & 2015


Platinum: Toyota Motor Philippines – GK Village in Sta. Rosa, Laguna

Silver: Nissan Philippines Inc. – Shelter Rebuild Drive with Habitat for Humanity

Silver: Ford Philippines – One Better World Project

Also given citations for their CSR efforts were Asian Carmakers Corporation (BMW Philippines), Auto Hub Group, Bermaz Auto Philippines (Mazda), Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia), Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., and The Covenant Car Company (Chevrolet).

Winners were determined by a distinguished board of judges which included: Millie Dizon, chairperson of the International Public Relations Association based in the UK, and SVP of the marketing communications group of SM Retail; Rodrigo Franco, president and CEO of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation; Edgardo Gapuz Lacson, chairman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines; Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., honorary chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dr. Cristina Padolina, president and chief academic officer of Centro Escolar University; Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, president of Aeropagus Communications.

“The first Driven To Serve Awards recognized the most outstanding from the already outstanding good deeds done through the past decade by the car makers and distributors. Unknown to many, the car industry participants have been very active in giving back to the community,” notes SPMJ president and Manila Bulletin executive editor Pinky Concha-Colmenares.

SPMJ founding chairman Ray Butch Gamboa adds, “We share the common goal of uplifting the lives of our fellow Filipinos, hence this latest project which we call Driven To Serve aims to recognize the best CSR programs of automotive companies.”

The 1st SPMJ Driven To Serve Awards received invaluable support from venue host Resorts World Manila, cooperating sponsor Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI), and Petron Corporation.

The Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) is composed of established motoring journalists, editors, producers, publishers of respected publications and motoring shows on print, new media, television and radio.

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