Good Pinoy

PicLyf, a social photo blogging network which is proudly Pinoy!

I’ve been a user of PicLyf since last year after hearing about the Filipino-made application from fellow bloggers. I like how it automatically posts to my social networks like Twitter, Plurk, Facebook and Google+ whenever I upload a photo. I recently interviewed Andrew dela Serna, one of the founders, about his company and their future plans.

My PicLyf dashboard

ProPinoy: What is PicLyf and what makes the app awesome?

Andrew dela Serna: PicLyf is a social photo diary, it makes it easy and fun to store and share snapshots of your moments, things and interests. I think what makes PicLyf awesome is how it lets you tell more from a single picture and the way it makes you want to document your life more.

PP: How did PicLyf start?

ADS: PicLyf came from a project called Twidl it! which was supposed to be a Meme generator on top of twitter. For that project, Eric asked me (Andrew) and BJ for help in exploring a cool idea and went for it.

PP: What made you start PicLyf?

ADS: Twidl, it was cool toy and we realized we could be doing so much more, something that can change people. We looked inside ourselves to see what problems we were passionate about and a couple of things popped up. We wanted an app that will make us want to document life (it was such a boring task) and a platform that was fully aimed at sharing Life that the noise level will be low. Substantive content will naturally float on top. So that’s how the vision of PicLyf came about.

PP: Who are the people behind PicLyf and what are their backgrounds?

ADS: There’s Eric Su, who manages the product. He’s a former university sys admin turned graphic artist and game designer. BJ is the CTO, he was a lead developer in a few pioneering tech outsourcing shops in Davao. And me, Andrew dela Serna, who helped fund the startup.

PP: Is it doing well in the international market?

ADS: We haven’t considered ourselves launched in any international market. We feel that we need to have a kickass iOS app to be competitive there, so we have spent months and months building expertise in the iOS platform and releasing a globally great app soon. Until that’s done, we are calling it open beta period 🙂

PP: Will there be an iOS and BlackBerry version of the app?

ADS: There will be an iOS app in a few weeks but we have too little bandwidth to make the Blackberry app ourselves. Hopefully we can soon work something out with a 3rd party using our API.

PP: Are you working on other apps right now? What are your plans for the future?

ADS: We are focused on the iOS app, as well as incorporating a proper thing tagging feature. There is also a cooler PicLyf userpage coming in the pipeline. Look for a proper marketing outreach once our iOS app is out. Thanks for the support!

The very handsome Andrew dela Serna

Drew, I’m still waiting for the iOS version. I promise to use it a lot.

Let’s all support the Dava0-based PicLyf! You may download Piclyf for Nokia here and Piclyf for Android here. There’s also a plugin for WordPress available at’s also like their Facebook page and follow @PicLyf on Twitter.


New Beacons of Hope: 9th Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations

I’ve been a part of the search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations for three years already because of the nature of my job. No, I am not one of the finalists, let’s just say our office is pretty much involved in this annual search for youth organizations who have created huge impacts in their communities.

Being a staff in the Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan, an institutional partner of the search, I’ve been involved in this annual search in various ways, but the 9th search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations is probably one of the most memorable TAYO searches I have experienced. Not only because I was chosen as one of the national judges for NCR but also because of the once in a lifetime opportunity to have a seat down chat with some of the TAYO 9 finalists, who, too much of my delight, emerged as part of the Top Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations this year. (5 finalists in our table won)

L-R Joeby Barrientos (Aklan Catholic College Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants); Rox Murillo (Industrial Engineering Council of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University); Cyril Sayre (Association of Locally Empowered Youth in Northern Mindanao); Lesly Anne Bangoy (MACO Youth for Peace); Rob Basco (Youth Solidarity for Peace); and Lea Asuncion (Indak Kabataan Youth Organization)

Indak Kabataan, a youth organization in a depressed area in Alabang, Muntinlupa, who’s main program “Organisadong Binyagan,” focuses on kids ages 3 and above in their community to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. The group raise money to fund the project by joining dance contests, cleaning canals in nearby communities, and through support from some City officials. Unknown to many, due to poverty in slum areas, some parents can’t even afford to have their babies baptized. And this is where Indak Kabataan Youth Organization (IKYO) comes in. All the nitty-gritty is covered by the group, the church, priest, clothes and a simple gathering after the christening.

NYC Chairman Leon Flores III explains all about NYC and its projects and advocacies during the NYC Bloggers Night
NYC Chairman Leon Flores III explains all about NYC and its projects and advocacies during the NYC Bloggers Night

Personally, I must admit that This youth organization struck me the most because of how it helps rehabilitate juvenile delinquents, whom, they admitted, were mostly “drug addicts” when the group was formed on 2006. As I have mentioned, I was one of the judges during the NCR Area finals and I was moved by the story of Lea Asuncion, the group’s President and representative for TAYO 9. I thought to myself that the group has a lot of potential if only given the proper guidance and support. And in my personal opinion, helping CICL (Children in conflict with the law) prove that there’s always a room for change and growth really gives a direct impact, not only in their community, via their projects, but also in the lives of their volunteers. Congrats to Indak Kabataan Youth Organization for being one of this year’s winners. This group is a concrete example that everyone can change, especially the youth, if they are given proper guidance and care. Thus, as how they put it, the once “perwisyo sa komunidad” is now the “pag-asa ng bayan.”

On the other hand, another youth organization from Mindanao, called Association of Locally Empowered Youth in Northern Mindanao (ALEY NM) sparked my interest upon reading their group’s entry this year. Yes, ALEY NM was also a TAYO finalists last year but they weren’t able to make it to the Top Ten so I was happy that this year, they were able to make it.

Their project entry “Improving Food Security among Rural Youths and their Families” rings a bell, especially nowadays that food security is an issue that the Philippines should really focus on.

Cyril Sayre, one of the volunteers and this year’s representative of ALEY NM was very passionate as he was explaining to me their project entry this year. I find their project an out of the box way addressing food security in the rural areas of Misamis Oriental, which is also one reason why others may find it a bit odd. But hey, they won’t bag the the Lenovo Most Innovative Project special award for nothing. ^_^

But really, the technology or system that they use to produce vermi-composted organic matter as fertilizer mixed with human waste (feces and urine) is really brilliant. Not to mention they are also helping poor families to have their very own concrete toilets (yes, believe it or not, most rural families in their area still don’t have toilets) aside from teaching them the value and importance of backyard farming, by providing their beneficiaries with seedlings and teaching them how to grow it even if they don’t have their own backyards. (Most of their beneficiaries live in coastal areas)

Aside from vegetables, tree seedlings are also sold to be able to raise fund for their projects. These tree seedlings are commonly used for tree planting activities. “Food always in the home” is ALEY’s vision.

Me with Cyril Sayre of the Association of Locally Empowered Youth in Northern Mindanao

Another entry from Mindanao, specifically in Zamboanga City, is the Youth Solidarity for Peace – Peace Advocates. Like the two previous groups and projects I just mentioned, what could be even more timely, especially in Mindanao, but the issue of peace.

And like ALEY, YSP was also a TAYO 8 finalists but wasn’t able to make it to the Top 10 so I’m happy for the group that they were able to enter the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations this year.

Robert Bacso, YSP volunteer and the group’s representative for this year’s search was overflowing with energy as he was explaining to us during the NYC Bloggers Night their project and how helpful their summer camps are, especially to the Mindanao youth.

Their project entry this year is “Peace Education through Summer Peace

NCR Commissioner Georg Nava explains all about the TAYO Search

Camps.” It is an initiative that aims to “build a peace constituency among children and youth through the culture of peace and framework. This summer camp is being held annually and is composed of youth leaders from different institutions, out-of-school youths, young professionals, as well as young people with special needs regardless if they are Muslims, Catholics, or are a part of the indigenous tribes. Good thing about this summer camp is that it’s TOTALLY FREE! YSP believes that conducting peace camps will help instill the culture of peace in the minds of the young people, which will eventually eliminate signs of apathy and violence. Very interesting indeed! He even told us that we can join in one of their summer camps if we wish. ^_^

By the way, after the awarding ceremonies in Malacanang last October 27, we congratulated Rob (Robert’s nickname) and he handed us (Liz Reyes and I) a sort of kit, which I really find very cute and creative by the way, and a book entitled “The Thread that Binds.” And based on the book’s introduction, “the book is not only a narration of what had happened in the project areas [jn Mindanao] over a period of four years, rather, they are an expression of what it means to be liberated from the grinding chains of poverty and disposession, to finally have something to hold on to, and to know once more what it means to be a human being.” Haven’t read the whole book yet, just scanned through the pages but it seems a nice read.

As how Rob would put it, they want people to see Mindanao in a different light. And one of their projects is actually to keep Mindanao away from the shadow of war, thus they have this vision of “terrorism to tourism.”

The creative YSP Summer Camp Kit and book given by Rob

I would love to get to know more the other groups as well because based on their introductions and project descriptions, their entries are very much interesting, but due to lack of time and for fear that this piece might go on forever, I would just like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the Top 20 finalists for being an agent of change at a young age. Truly, they are inspirations worth emulating. They give hope to our nation that there are still people who, despite their lack of resources and support from the government, still try to help their fellowmen the best way they can.




The Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations for 2011 (TAYO 9). Awarding was held at Heroes Hall, Malacanang Palace with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as Keynote Speaker

Please visit for more information about the TAYO search. Check the LIST of TAYO 9 Winners HERE.


PostScript: A representative from La Salle Worlds Debate presented their project and the upcoming worlds debate this year and early next year. Mind you, it’s very interesting!!! I’m not a debater but I would definitely love to watch brilliant minds debate. Hope I can watch it. ^_^ Here’s DLSU Worlds website for more information. TAKE ME TO MANILA!!!


Worlds Debate


***Thanks to the National Youth Commission (NYC) for the invite***



A call to aspiring filmmakers to join the 1st Sineng Pambansa Contest


The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is holding a nationwide scriptwriting and film competition to help develop the local film industry.

Filmmakers and scriptwriters who have not made more than 3 films prior to this contest are eligible to join.

The competition has 2 stages:

A. he Scriptwriting Competition for Feature Film, Full-length Documentary, and Animated Short Film Competition in August 18, 2011 to November 15, 2011.

B. The National Feature Film Competition which will gather all the films produced from the winning scripts of the Feature Film Scriptwriting Competition, Full-length documentary Competition, and the Animated Short Film Competition in January 20 to May 2012.

For the feature film and full-length documentary categories, there are three divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The participants’ entries must be set in the geographic location corresponding to the division, and must be in a language or languages indigenous to the setting.

FDCP will reward the finalists with seed money to translate their stories into quality films for local and even foreign exhibitions. Finalists for the feature film competition will receive 600,000 pesos each, while finalists in the full-length documentary competition will be given 300,000 pesos each.

Three finalists for the nationwide animated short-film competition will be awarded 100,000 pesos for their storyboards.

Midnight of November 15, 2011 is the deadline for submission of screenplays. Announcement of finalists will be on December 20, 2011. The filming is scheduled for January 2012. Final submission of films is on April 15, 2012. The festival will be held in May 2012 in Davao City or Cebu City

Visit for the complete guidelines.


Homeless World Cup Team Philippines now with 3 wins; founder writes letter of gratitude

As of press time, Homeless World Cup Team Philippines has already scored three wins: the first, against Ghana (3-2); the next, a stunning upset against the United States (4-3); and, this just in, another upset over a strong team, Switzerland (8-2). According to one administrator of the Kaholeros Official Facebook page, “The win gives the team 9 points with 4 games played and places them in 2nd place after Netherlands.”

Just shortly before the win over Switzerland was announced, we received this letter from Bill Shaw, founder of Urban Opportunities for Change, which started Jeepney Magazine and Homeless World Cup in the Philippines. We are reprinting this letter with his permission.


A foreigner holds up the Philippine flag for Team Philippines during the Homeless World Cup, held at Champs de Mars, Paris, France | Photo by Ramon Hikboy Lecomberie
A foreigner holds up the Philippine flag for Team Philippines during the Homeless World Cup, held at Champs de Mars, Paris, France | Photo by Ramon Hikboy Lecomberie

Dear Friends,

This is a wonderful report from Paris, where the Homeless World Cup is in full swing. As are most of you, I am watching the games from a distance. Urban is represented by our board menbers Baste and Amor Quiniores, and staff member Cecill Artates.

Bill Shaw


Our Gracious Donors,

Day 3 was fantastic! The TV crews here from GMA 7 and ABS CBN and the overwhelming support we are getting from the Filipino community is so uplifting. Everyone knows when the Philippine team is playing by the roar of the Pinoys!

God granted us two wins: Ghana (3-2) and USA (4-3)! More than that though the Filipino community was touched by the stories of hardships of the boys and are pledging support. Our meals are sponsored by different groups: Hiligaynon (Illongos), Batanguenos, Mindorenos and even Dan Palami, the manager of Team Azkals is in town to give support. The team starts all things with prayers, their games, our meals, their briefings…. God is great!

We have games today, Suisse and Nederlands, both very strong teams. Another win and we advance to the higher levels.

Our voices are hoarse, our feet are aching but we have good food, great company with the Filipinos and everyone else and absolutely great pride on being able represent our country! Please also note that none of our players has been given a blue card (suspension). France got 2 in one game and thus immediately lost the match!

Savor this shot of a goal by the team!

HWC Team Philippines scores a goal! (Photo courtesy of Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation/Homeless World Cup Team Philippines)
HWC Team Philippines scores a goal! (Photo courtesy of Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation/Homeless World Cup Team Philippines)

Urban Board in Paris

Filipino social enterprise a finalist in “Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World”

Image from the Hapinoy website

HAPINOY, a Filipino social enterprise working to empower “nanays” (mothers) through sari-sari store-based micro-enterprise and micro-finance programs, is a finalist in Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World, a joint initiative of UN Women Singapore and Mastercard.

The project is a global search for projects that “help empower disadvantaged women and girls, through education, skills training, financial inclusion, social entrepreneurship.” At stake is a US$25,000 grant “to go out there and bring your vision to life.”

Established in 2007 by MicroVentures Incorporated, Hapinoy extends credit and capital infusion for nanays to set up their own Hapinoy Stores and learn to operate and grow their businesses through Hapinoy’s proprietary system. By aggregating stores and using a franchise-like system, Hapinoy is able to assure its beneficiaries of access to lower-priced goods, training, and a support system that the nanays will not otherwise get on their own.

Run by a young and dynamic team of social entrepreneurs led by Bam Aquino and Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy and its founders have been the recipient of several awards, including the first-ever MVP Bossing Awards by PLDT, the Go Negosyo Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneurs Award, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, and several others.

Part of their Project Inspire application was a five-minute video pitching their cause (see below), which, as a finalist of the global search, will be put through a public vote and a panel screening. Voting closes on August 19, 2011 and, unlike other voting contests that allow multiple voting (such as for CNN Hero of the Year), only one vote per user is allowed.

Hapinoy – Project Inspire entry

If you would like to put another Filipino social enterprise on the global map, click this page and cast your vote HERE.



Asia Society honors outstanding Filipino young leaders

The Asia Society, a well-renowned international organization based in New York that aims to strengthen relationships and understanding among the leaders of the Asia Pacific region, has selected 9 outstanding young Filipino leaders to become this year’s batch of honorees for its Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders program. Aimed to identify a core group of next generation leaders, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Program aspires to help develop a critical mass of individuals who will take up the challenge to collaborate on creative solutions in order to address national and regional issues. The honorees will also take part in the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit where Asia Society gathers the top 200 young leaders of the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s summit will be held this coming November in New Delhi, India. Former Filipino fellows include, education advocate Ching Jorge, former National Youth Commission Chairperson Bam Aquino, DNA Forensics Scientist Dr. Ma. Corazon De Ungria, human rights lawyer Atty. Damcelle Torres-Cortez, social entrepreneur Lt. Col. Dennis Eclarin, IPVG’s Enrique Gonzalez and Mayor Jeng Reyes of Alicia, Isabela.


For the selection of this year’s delegates of the summit, the Asia Society center in the Philippines screened more than 100 nominations of Filipino leaders between the ages of 25-40 years old. These leaders come from various sectors such as government, academe, media, business, health, non-profit, military and culture and the arts. The top Filipino young leaders were chosen based on their leadership experience, achievement in their chosen field, impact of their leadership and service to our country. The program is currently being supported by Metro Pacific Investments.


This year’s batch of honorees include Atty. Paulino Salvador Leachon, Atty. Lesley Jeanne Cordero, Maria Doris Dumlao, Jeffrey Tarayao, Alvin Cloyd Dakis, Michael Sandejas, Soledad Sylvia Nubla-Lee, Annalie Edday and Joy Anya Lim. Proving that there are still many inspiring leaders in our government, Leachon and Cordero represent the government sector. Cordero was chosen for her contributions as the Assistant Secretary for Legislative affairs under the Presidential Communications Operations Office while Leachon is being honored for his effective management and policy implementations as the Mayor of Calapan City. During his term, Calapan City was awarded by the Asian Institute of Management in 2008 as one of the Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines.  Nubla-Lee and Edday both represent the non-profit sector with Nubla-Lee being honored for her work in providing access to quality higher education for underprivileged public high school students through Pathways to Higher Education and Edday being honored for her advocacy of improving educational systems in the rural areas through programs such as Quality Education in Sarangani Today (QUEST). Tarayao was chosen for his achievements in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being the current Chief CSR Officer of Meralco and previously, the CSR Head of Globe Telecom. Under his leadership, Globe Telecom’s CSR Programs has allowed the company to help public school teachers in rural areas access educational videos that they can use for their classes. Dakis, the Founding Chairman and National President of Alliance of Young Leaders & Advocates International, Inc., is being honored for his active advocacies in health and human rights. Lim, a social entrepreneur from Cebu, founded ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, an organization that promotes cultural preservation of the Philippines’ weaving industry. Dumlao is being honored for her work as a multi-awarded business reporter from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Finally, Sandejas represents the arts and culture sector by using his films as a means to shed light on marginalized sectors of society such as the deaf. His films such as Dinig Sana Kita (2009), Tulad ng Dati (2006) and What floor ma’am (2009) have won local and international awards.

For more information regarding the Asia Society’s Philippines 21 Young Leaders Program, you can contact Migel Estoque at 7524374 or send an email to [email protected].

Pinoy “mathletes” top international competiton

At age 11, Farrell Eldrian Wu can be considered a veteran “mathlete” or mathematics athlete.

Farrell, a Grade V pupil at MGC New Life Christian Academy in Taguig City, has been competing in international math competitions since 2009, when he was just in Grade III.

He is the youngest member of the Philippine delegation that won 11 awards in the 14th Po Leung Kuk Primary Mathematics World Contest (PMWC) held here from July 13 to 17.

Farrell shone brightest for the delegation by taking the gold medal in the individual contest.

“I’m very happy. I really love math,” he said after receiving his award. The boy has already collected five gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals in international tournaments.

Read more at Manila Bulletin

Philippine winners in Cannes Lions Festival bared

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the official country representative to the Cannes Lions Festival has announced the preliminary metals of the Philippine delegates.

BBDO won a Silver Lion for Cannes Outdoor for Bayer Saridon “Laundry”/ “Snail”/“Fish’’ campaign; TBWA/SMP won a Silver Lion for Boysen Paints “Jelly Fish’’/“Snail’’ campaign; and a Bronze Lion for DM9Syfu for Department of Tourism and Smart “Limestone” poster.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity which is being held from June 19-25, in Cannes, France, is the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications.

As the most prestigious international advertising awards, more than 24,000 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winners receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, presented at four award ceremonies throughout the week.

Read more at Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine team wins HSBC award

Environment-friendly coffee cups and food boxes made from corn cobs and rice stalks produced by small-scale farmers won for a team of young Philippine entrepreneurs the “Best of the Best Award” at the 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) Regional Finals of the HSBC last Monday here.

This was the second time that the Philippines won the YEA award, the first being in 2009.

The winning Philippine team – Sing Terns – is composed of Czaesar Emil Callo of the University of the Philippines, and Mary Kathleen Chan and Eduard Edwynne Capacio, both of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Read more at Manila Bulletin


Pinay wins business challenge award in Netherlands

For the second time, a Filipina took home the grand prize in the BiD Network Women in Business Challenge, a yearly competition for women entrepreneurs from around the world held here.

Hailing from Bukidnon, Philippines, Nathalie Arsonillo bested 140 businesswomen from Asia, Africa and South America with her organization Sustainable Growth for Rural Venture Inc. (SUGRUVI), which aims to better the lives and income of cassava farmers in her home province, particularly the Matinsalog-Manobo tribe.

Her goal to bring mobile cassava processing units to remote mountains in Bukidnon, in order to minimize spoilage and increase farmers’ profits, earned the nod of judges from Dutch Bank ING, and business organizations United Success and iCCO.

“I’m very happy but this is just icing on the cake. My coming here and their efforts to connect me to future investors, I would not get it if I’m alone or if I’m just staying in the Philippines. I made a lot of contacts, I met a lot of people so the future looks great, not only for me but also for all the cassava farmers in the Philippines,” said Arsonillo in Tagalog.

The overwhelmed Arsonillo received 5,000 euros worth of business coaching from and membership to United Success, a women-only business network helping women entrepreneurs all over the world. She would also receive assistance in finding possible investors.

Read more at ABS-CBN News