Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

Basic Reading of Global Filipinos

Archive for August 2011

A New Social Media Website for the Filipino Community

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Home page of PinoyKubo.com

I’m wondering what Canadian company Astraqom, describing themselves as “a world leading provider of online community platforms leveraging IP communications,” is doing playing a “me, too” venture with the Facebook vs. Google+ world of social media networking by coming up with PinoyKubo, its social networking platform beta-tested in June this year. Here are some of the quips I’ve seen so far:

PinoyKubo is home to several online games, Filipino e-cards, chat, blogs, videos and more.

PinoyKubo is a global online meeting place reaching people of the Philippines around the world.

PinoyKubo offers the following applications: Chat, Video Chat, Photo and Video Uploads, Online Games and a lot more!

“The online community’s audience, membership, and market include Filipina and Filipino expatriates, business people and students who are in the Philippines as well as abroad. It also is popular with those who are in a position to develop business with those in the Philippines and those who wish to learn Tagalog or just be immersed in the exciting Philippines world culture.” I do hope it’s not one of those Match.com-wannabes touting “Filipina” (notice that was the first word description talking about membership).

What does it have that Facebook doesn’t have? That should be one of the first few questions that comes into mind. PinoyKubo has an answer:

“You can record your own audio and then save it and load it as message to your friends. You can enjoy a lot of our OPM songs or choose and play with something like 20,000 games. Take a test or make a test. But most people really love how they can draw and write a message literally and send it via the PK chat! Sing-along on the Karaoke! Make friends and have endless chatting, gaming or listening fun.”

PinoyKubo touts groups, too, but it relates it to businesses and organizations becoming popular, or as champions, via sponsorships, ads, partnering options, and special events. Add the phrase “…and be an important part of 2011 and future image and branding.” The list of companies who are taking part in the new Filipino social networking site are Astraqom (obviously, the creators of PinoyKubo), Manuel S. Enverga University, Virtual Phone Line, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

There’s an e-commerce component mentioned by PinoyKubo. “Any PinoyKubo member can start and operate his or her own electronic store and sell services and products online. Because of the company’s emphasis on empowering Filipinas and Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad and also those who enjoy the culture, there are no fees for transactions. Payments are made via Paypal.” (Again, the emphasis on Filipinas. Why not use a generic, non-gender term?) Their PR.com publication writes, “The PinoyKubo e-store is available to retail brand names or home hand-crafted items. The PinoyKubo community members do not have to buy their own store website, nor do they have to install anything to get started. With a minimal few minutes of effort, they are up and running with their own stores.” Click here to watch a YouTube video of a demo in setting up an e-store.

Jonathan Sowah is the founder of PinoyKubo and AstraQom. He is reported to say that the PinoyKubo social network’s stores is an effective way to expand entrepreneur and businesses’ reach into the benefits of social media.

TMCNet contributor Rahul Arora writes that with PinoyKubo’s features and tools, the participants can easily meet long-term social and entrepreneurial goals. They can make friends to collaborate with, get appreciated for one’s talents, accomplishments and abilities, and discover and employ new methods and tools to reach social and business (also may be entrepreneurial and financial) goals. But most of what he writes are copied from the Astraqom website.

Let’s summarize. PinoyKubo is:

  • Social networking site, like Facebook (photo, links, chats, etc.)
  • Online gaming site, like Friendster;
  • Blogging site, like Blogger or WordPress;
  • Meeting place, maybe like LinkedIn Groups
  • e-Cards? Plaxo.com comes to mind
  • e-Store, like Multiply
  • Video uploads, like YouTube
  • Anything else I missed?

PinoyKubo today has about 50,000 members (they call it “friendships”) after three months of beta-testing. They are planning a comprehensive game archive with over 14,000 different games and activities, plus social-oriented ones.

AstraQom Corporation merged with Aon Communications (Canada) Inc. in 2009 and has operations in Ottawa, Montreal, Maniwaki, Toronto, Miami and Mexico City (Mexico). It is a member of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).

I salute a Canadian company offering a service for Filipinos, worldwide. I advocate cloud-based applications and social media for the workplace. I’m not much of an online game afficionado but maybe it’s a carrot to the younger generation who are prospective buyers of its e-stores. So, join http://www.PinoyKubo.com and see what a predominantly Filipino market can do for you and your small business.

Sources: Facebook Page | PinoyKubo Info & Fansite | SGE Entrepreneurs | PR.com | TMCNet.com | American Banking & Marketing News

Image of Home Page at PinoyKubo.com

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Preserving a Culture of Life in the Philippines

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Freedom to Love Conference poster by CBCP for Life

A short documentary film entitled “The Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life” was recently aired on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in the USA and Canada. Produced by Human Life International (HLI), this film has been aired several times at EWTN in the Philippines.

The film is a pro-life documentary that highlights the fight for life in the Philippines. It features pro-life advocates who are leading the fight against the RH Bill, the likes of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Congressman Golez, HLI Director Bullecer, and former pro-abortion Department of Health manager Dr. Ligaya Acosta.

HLI is presently working with other pro-life organizations in the Philippines to promote the new documentary, groups such as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Filipinos for Life, a volunteer group whose mission is to speak the truth about the dignity and sanctity of human life in all its stages, from natural conception to natural death.

HLI is also hosting a contest on Facebook where pro-lifers are invited to leave a brief prayer for the Philippines or a note of encouragement for a chance to win a free DVD copy of the documentary.

Read more at LifeNews.com

Photo by CBCP For Life at their Facebook Page

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Have You Seen the Belo Billboard Ad of Angelicopter?

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Instead of writing about it, I’ll let her pictures paint a gazillion words! But, two words: uberly awesome!

Photo ad from Belo

Here’s a look-and-see of the billboard ad along EDSA (is that Guadalupe?)

Photo by Juice.ph

Let’s capture Angelicopter from her personal photos.


Photos above came from her Facebook Page.

Okay, best I describe her. She’s Angelika Schmeing-Cruz (yeah, that’s a hyphenated married surname – too bad) using the radio deejay call sign Angelicopter at Magic 89.9 FM. You can listen to her during Mondays through Thursdays starting at 6:00am Manila time.

She definitely beats the Lovi Poe Bench Billboard at EDSA that was Head-turning and Eye-straining

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Study Shows Philippine Paper Money Lowest in Toxic Chemical

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Philippine paper money bills

The Philippines is in the top three countries where its paper money or bills have the lowest toxic chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). This was reported in an article published at the U.S. News Health.

According to the report, “BPA is used to make some plastics and consumer products such as water bottles, household electronics and sports equipment. Research suggests that BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means that it acts like the hormone estrogen, and may be linked to a number of health problems.”

“Researchers analyzed 156 pieces of paper money from 21 countries and found that all of the bills contained traces of BPA. Paper money from Brazil, the Czech Republic and Australia had the highest BPA levels, while bills from the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam had the lowest levels. U.S. notes had average levels, the study authors said in a news release from the American Chemical Society.”

Read more of the article at U.S. News Health

Photo by SuperDooperDapper at Flickr.com

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Overseas Filipino Workers Can Loan Up To 2 Million Pesos Payable in 7 Years

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Filipino Migrant workers in Hongkong

The Macau Daily Times recently reported that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) working in area are now eligible to borrow from 300,000 Pesos up to 2 million Pesos with a fixed interest rate of 7.5 percent per annum. This program is a joint effort of the Department of Labor and Employement (DOLE), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines. This special loan program is open to all migrant and overseas Filipinos legally working abroad.

Eligibility rules require the applicant to have a net monthly income of no less than 10,000 Pesos and has made at least one contribution to OWWA. Approved applicants have seven years to pay the loan.

Source: Macau Daily Times

Photo by dying_of_the_light at Flickr.com

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Noynoy Aquino Wants To Be An Eliot Ness

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Noynoy Aquino as the Eliot Ness of the Philippines

…or a Kevin Costner? Too soon to tell. Bloomberg is reporting that Philippine President Benigno Aquino III wants his government to start acting like Eliot Ness by protecting those officials whose job is to catch the tax evaders in the Philippines in an aim to rid the country of corruption.

Eliot Ness, to those who never watched the movie “The Untouchables,” was an American prohibition agent of the United States Treasury in the roarin’ 20’s and was charged to bring down Al Capone’s breweries and supply routes during the prohibition era. The 1950s up to the 1960s brought a TV series of the same title that spawned a full-length movie starring Kevin Costner.

Will P’Noy live up to the name of the famous treasury agent that nabbed the famous Chicago gangster of tax evasion?

Read more at Bloomberg

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San Miguel Corporation to Buy Shares of Esso Malaysia, Local ExxonMobil Companies

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San Miguel Corporation, today’s conglomerate in the Philippines, is planning to acquire 65 percent of Esso Malaysia or 175.5 million shares from ExxonMobil International Holdings, including two local ExxonMobil companies, for more than 600 million USD. This acquisition adds to the portfolio of oil refining and marketing businesses outside the Philippines that San Miguel owns or has shares with.

Esso Malaysia has about 560 retail stations in Malaysia. Currently, San Miguel also owns 68 percent of Petron Corporation, the largest oil refining company in the Philippines.

Read more at The Star Online

Photo by nafim at Flickr.com

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm