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Showing posts from October, 2009

In this garage-based school, 'bulilits' are 'iskolars'

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In this garage-based school, 'bulilits' are 'iskolars'
By Walter Ang
October 17, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Having grown up along the railroad tracks of Muntinlupa, Danidon Nolasco knows how difficult life can be for children who have to grow up in low economic conditions. To help out, Don has been providing free pre-school education to children of Bgy. Buli for the past eight years.

Don's project is called "Bulilit Iskolar" (Little Scholar). "It concentrates on the fundamentals of learning, like how to read and count, arts and crafts, and, most importantly, social interaction," he says. "The program prepares them for elementary education. There is also a feeding program. A nourished mental faculty is better for absorption of learning."

The thing is, Don isn't a teacher. He took up computer science in Adamson University and joined the banking industry during the big Millennium Bug scare. The idea for Bulilit Iskolar was actually…

Boom, Zoom, Pow, Art (The new Filipino art scene)

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Boom, Zoom, Pow, Art (The new Filipino art scene)
By Walter Ang
Oct. 12, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Filipino art scene is in the midst of a renaissance. Last year, Filipino artists set record highs in auctions abroad. Local galleries have been expanding and multiplying. This year saw the first-ever Manila Art Fair.

As part of this explosion, the Nokia and Inquirer Lifestyle Series will hold an exhibit of the country's "10 Most Exciting Young Artists" on October 28 at The Gallery of Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati.

The exhibit's curator, multimedia artist Jaime "Jay" Pacena II, says there is growing awareness of Filipino art and artists by collectors, and also awareness by the artists themselves of where their art is going.

"Filipino art is beginning to be recognized locally and internationally," he says. This is due in part to the unique forms and content that set apart Filipinos from other Asian artists.

Pacena notes that Filipino artist…

Pop goes my art, Gallery 7 Digital Studios makes inkjet prints

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Pop goes my art
By Walter Ang
Oct. 10, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Andy Warhol (Andy who? Google him.) believed that art is for everyone. In this vein, Gallery 7 Digital Studios has been quietly churning out personalized art services that can transform people's photos or personal artworks (digital or otherwise) into decorative wall art for homes or offices.

Owned and managed by husband-and-wife team Enrico and Bing Gaw, the most popular service the studio provides is giclée prints on various media, which is a fancy way of saying that they do inkjet color printing of any image you give them onto materials like photo paper and canvas. From as small as bond paper size to as big as an entire wall.

"We want to make art accessible, affordable and fun," says Enrico, who handles the marketing side of the studio. Gallery 7 lets you have your photos printed as is, or you can choose from a variety of rendering styles to transform your photos into: Andy Warhol, Che Guevara, Comic …

Pharex Health Corporation: Over 20 years of affordable medicines for Filipinos

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Over 20 years of affordable medicines for Filipinos
By Walter Ang
Oct. 5, 2009
Manila Bulletin

Access to generic medicines has given Filipinos a deeper involvement with healthcare. As evidence of growing awareness, acceptance and use of generic medicines, Filipino pharmaceutical company Pharex Health Corporation is already on its second decade of offering a wide range of unbranded medicines in the country.

The company has an advocacy program titled "Pharex Economix," which aims to provide Filipinos greater access to a wider range of premium quality, affordable medicines. Pharex prices its medicines anywhere from 50-70% lower than other brands, especially for high-risk maladies like hypertension, infections, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

According to Pharex president and CEO Tomas Marcelo Agana III, Pharex's simvastatin (a cholesterol lowering medicine) is only around P17 compared to branded labels that can cost up to P35. Its amlodipin (a blood-pressure lowering drug) i…

Dan Lichauco tells us what Ondoy can teach us about urban planning

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What Ondoy can teach us about urban planning
By Walter Ang
Oct. 5, 2009
Philippine Daily Inquirer

As Manila and the cities surrounding it slowly attempt to recover from the Ondoy catastrophe that struck last week, discussions and debates about accountability and blame have been (and still are) raging.

There are so many factors to consider: an extraordinary weather incident (and so, we also consider the climate changes that have been happening), lack of government and civic foresight and vigilance in relation to monitoring the warnings from Pagasa, waste management (if the creeks and rivers had not been clogged, would they have allowed the a way for the released waters from the dams and the flood waters to have somehow drain out faster?), environmental issues (denuded watersheds), and locations of property development (why are communities allowed to grow near creeks, rivers and dams anyway?). These, among many others.

Architect and urban planner Dan Lichauco, associate professor in the …

Gardasil HPV vaccine for men: Don't wait for the warts to come and get you

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Don't wait for the warts to come and get you
By Walter Ang
October-November 2009 issue
Garage Magazine

As responsible young men, you can protect yourself and your loved ones by getting the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. This vaccine has been publicized widely in the past few years as a preventive measure against cervical cancer (of which virtually 100% or nearly half a million cases per year worldwide are associated with HPV). Then why, you ask, should men and boys get the vaccine, too?

Because, as it turns out, there is another HPV illness (aside from cervical cancer) that affects a greater number of men and women worldwide: genital and anal warts. This is according to the visiting Chief Examiner in Gynecological Oncology for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The thing is, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and you can get it (and pass it to others) whether you are male or female. There are more than 40 HPV typ…