Little Me Academy Launches ACADEME Philippine Online High School

October 22, 2018

The Grand Launch is slated for 5PM at the Centrio Mall Activity Center with Singer-Songwriter and Education Advocate T.J. Monterde as Guest of Honor and Performer. However, the ACADEME exhibit will be open to all guests from 10AM to 9PM.   Through a partnership with QUIPPER, a Japan-based e-learning platform, APOHS ensures the highest quality digital curriculum that is rigorous, engaging and aligned to Philippine's K-12 Basic Education Curriculum.   The school's structure ensures flexibility, accessibility, and affordability, which are ideal for the present-day, independent, Filipino learner.   Little Me Academy's Chief Education Officer, Teacher Ramonette Olandesca, notes a large percentage of high-school age students and a considerable number of adults lack access to high school education due to several personal limitations, including location, work, and physical ability.   "Today, Filipinos seeking high school education come from all sorts of backgrounds - local talents engaged in outside pursuits, children who frequently travel with their families, housebound or working students, and so much more," said Teacher Ram.   "It is difficult or nearly impossible for the traditional, brick-and-mortar classroom to accommodate these learners,' she noted. "But in an online learning environment, these limitations - from location to physical ability, from availability to age - are overcome." The school's online structure ensures accessibility and flexibility for Filipino students, allowing them to complete coursework in any place and at an time.   A supportive community of specially trained instructors and counsellors help keep students on track with daily reminders, check-ins, tutoring, live instruction and corrective feedback.   Additionally, a strong sense of community and connections are made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups.   "With this," Teacher Ram said, "the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience."    Little Me Academy has made a name for itself as a caring, familial environment amongst its students.   "We are imparting that to the online school through personal communications made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups," Teacher Ram said. "With this, the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience."   Although the program appeals to independent learners and builds on student freedom, instructors remain an integral part to the curriculum. Specially trained instructors and counsellors provide daily reminders, check-ins, tutoring, live instruction and corrective feedback.   APOHS students have the freedom to complete their 100% online coursework wherever they are in the world, ensuring accessibility for Filipino students from around the globe.   Because lessons are modular, learners can work whenever they want and at their own pace. This is helpful for students who have fallen behind, optimal for those who want to get ahead, and accessible for any Filipino learner.   "The faculty and staff at APOHS are highly qualified educators passionate about teaching, having undergone rigorous training for years at Little Me Academy," said Teacher Ram. "Little Me-an teachers are known throughout CDO for their dynamism, creativity, and outstanding communication skills. They'll bring that and more to the online school setting with tutoring, live instruction, corrective feedback, daily reminders, and check-ins."   Socialization is also taken into account at the school. Personal connections and communications are made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups. "With this," Teacher Ram said, "the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience." (StarPod.PH/Buma Dimate)

El Circulo Zamboangueño de Cagayan de Oro celebrates 61st Fiesta Pilar

October 16, 2018

Luis “Chito” Potenciano, one of the head coordinators of the over six decades old association of families who originated from Zamboanga, then known as “The City of Flowers,” said the Circulo also held the traditional nine-day novena for Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, the city’s patron saint at the  Immaculate Conception Church at Aluba Village Subdivision, Barangay Macasandig. As has been traditionally practiced by El Circulo for the past 61 years, a Comida Comunal followed the celebration of the mass at the Our Lady of Manaoag Chapel, near Shopwise, Limketkai Center, El Circulo Zamboangueño de Cagayan de Oro was organized in 1957 by Carmelita Willie Larabaster, Gloria Atilano-Rivera, Ester Causin and Col. Manuel Jaldon (Ret.)   “The first gathering was at our residence then at Del Mar corner Carmen streets where Gazebo is now (present day Don Apolinar Velez and Mayor Gaerlan streets),” recalls Jose “Sonny” W. Larabaster, Carmelita’s son, during the 61st anniversary gathering. “I was 6 years old at that time, “Our old house burned down a long time ago.”   He remembers Col. Jaldon as an Olympic celebrity at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games who later became police chief at Zamboanga City at age 25.   Also present was businessman Nonie Rivera, son of one of the original Circulo organizers, Gloria Atilano-Rivera, who shuttles his time between Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro.   Approximately seventy five Zamboangueños and their kin attended the fiesta celebration held at Alavar’s Seafood & Grill, one of Zamboanga’s iconic restaurants which was brought over to Cagayan de Oro by Tessie Alavar, who originally concocted the famous sweet, mildly spicy, aromatic Alavar Sauce, and gained a nationwide following through their branches in Manila, Cebu, Iligan and now, Cagayan de Oro.   Among those who joined this year’s fiesta celebration were Dina and Raul Rodriguez; Titing and Alexandra Morales; Baby Escudero, Glor Delado, Jun & Julie Chee Kee; Edwin, Judith, Julienne & Erick Amik; Mike, Gardy and Leon Baños; Rhia Sebastian, Jonathan Fernandez, Emil Santos, Sam Xavier Kumar, Carmelia Namoc, Emilie Apdian, Reeno and Cherry Cabato;  Manny, Manjo & Marca Aliñabon; Thomas & Eiya Pupos; Isidro & Juana Audal; Nonito P. Emilio, Chito, Dulce, Angelo and Luigi Potenciano; Paul and Joy Paladio; Ana Bella Patiño, Art & Krista Surdilla; Absin Sebastian, Natz, Mae, Beth & Kaye Jumangit; Emmanuel Sebastian, Queenie Sabastian, Bobby, Annika & Arlyn Enriquez.   The veneration of the Lady of the Pillar as Zamboanga City’s patroness is closely tied with its historic Fort Pilar. Perhaps no other institution has played as big a role in shaping Zamboanga City’s Christian Hispanic Heritage as Fort Pilar, and has made it the sole city in Asia that can rightfully lay claim to the moniker of “Asia’s Latin City.” Started in 1635, it was built at the instance of Jesuit missionaries and Bishop Fray Pedro of Cebu to ward off Moro pirates. Originally called Real Fuerza de San Jose (Royal Fort of Saint Joseph), its cornerstone was laid by the Jesuit engineer Fray Melchor de Vera, on June 23, 1635 on orders of then Spanish Governor of the Philippines Juan Cerezo de Salamanca. This event marks the founding of Zamboanga as a city, formerly known as Samboangan. However, subsequent events related to the construction of the fort have sealed its place in the Chabacano heritage of the city which it unique among similar local cultures in the Philippines and Asia. Renamed the Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar Zaragoza (Royal Fort of Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza) in honor of the patron saint of Spain, Our Lady of the Pillar, it was also the venue of many Marian apparitions, most notably on December 6, 1734 when she appeared to a soldier, and again on September 21, 1897 when she appeared over the Basilan Strait and saved the city from a tsunami following a strong earthquake. Tradition reveals the Virgin Mary appeared to a soldier on December 6, 1734, at the gate of the city. Not recognizing her, the soldier asked her to stop. Upon recognizing her, he fell down to his knees. A relief of the Our Lady of the Pillar was subsequently placed above the eastern wall of the fort making it an outdoor shrine with an altar for praying.  Old folks said the image actually mysteriously appeared in its present site after a pirate attack on the fort while a procession in her honor was being held.  On September 21, 1897, a strong earthquake struck the western region of Mindanao. According to the people who witnessed it, they saw the Virgin Mary floating in mid-air over the Basilan Strait, with her right hand raised to stop the onrushing waves, and saved the city from a tsunami.

World Stroke Day 2020: Walk 202020

October 16, 2018

Two Cagayan de Oro based stroke groups are aiming to make a bold stroke (pun intended) to curb the rising global incidence of stroke. “We will conduct a 20-minute walk on October 28, Sunday (instead of October 29, which falls on a Monday), from Rodelsa Circle to Gaston Park in preparation for a bigger, more ambitious event,” said Dr. Arturo F. Surdilla, Director of the AKBAY Stroke Care & Neurological Rehabilitation Center and president of the Stroke Society of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Chapter (SSP-NMC). “Through World Stroke Day 2020: Walk 202020, we aim that by October 2020, Cagayan de Oro would have led the world in “Walking 20 Million People for 20 Minutes by 2020, to Reduce Stroke Risk 20% Worldwide,” Surdilla said.   “SSP-NMC and AKBAY Stroke Team join the World Stroke Organization (WSO) campaign celebrating World Stroke Day (WSD) every October 29th. This year we highlight post-stroke support and the preventive aspect of stroke,” he added. For this year, Surdilla said they are recruiting 2,000 or more healthy citizens and patients to walk on October 28 in Cagayan de Oro together with simultaneous walks against stroke to be conducted in other cities.   “We would like to invite your institutions and organizations in this mass walk for health,” Surdilla said.  “After the walk, we will have a short program followed by stroke prevention activities in Gaston Park (i.e., lay forum, mini-lectures; and free hypertension, anemia and diabetes screening for participants.”   Included in the program will be testimonies from Stroke Survivors Atty. Manuel Ravanera and Mrs. Minda Ravanera.   Interested groups and individuals who wish to join the walk please contact AKBAY Stroke Care & Neurological Rehabilitation Center, Polymedic Medical Plaza National Highway, Kauswagan 9000 Cagayan de Oro City, PHILIPPINES with mobile #s +63 917 308 9633 or +63 922 892 9331.

CDO hosts November 10 DevCon Summit

October 11, 2018

Expected to attend are over 600 software developers and information technology professionals and hobbyists from Cagayan de Oro and adjacent areas, the second edition of DevCon Summit features a myriad of events in a day including talks from both local and international personalities, fun and exciting games.   Themed “Transformation in Action”, this satellite conference aims to follow the success of its maiden edition last year in promoting the growth and competence of Kagay-anon developers.   The conference will tackle topics ranging from emerging technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning, to the classic and timeless discussions on trends and best practices on product development. All of this brought by local and international personalities whose technologies, practices, and advocacies made an extensive impact in the IT and related communications industries.   #DevConSummitCDO is organized by DEVCON CDO, a Cagayan de Oro Chapter of Developers Connect (DevCon) Philippines, a volunteer organization that promotes the growth and competence of Filipino developers.   This summit is made possible with the support of the sponsors and partners who are actively helping the IT community in Cagayan de Oro City: Co-presenter CDO ICT Business Council, Bronze Sponsors AWS, Streetby andCoffeemate, and Contributing Partners Digital Ocean, Stackoverflow, Josbtreet, Nescafe, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Canva and Innovuze Solutions.   The world is changing at an exponential rate; the frontrunners led by those who believe in the potential of innovation. Be part of this movement and venture into the transforming world of IT in this year’s DevCon Summit: Cagayan de Oro Edition. For more details, you may visit   For partnerships and sponsorships, email Event Website: Poster URL: DevCon CDO Facebook Page: DevCon Summit CDO FB Event Page: Official Hashtag: #DevConSummitCDO

Dark Undas Weekend Looms

October 30, 2015

A confluence of unexpected and expected events are pushing the power supply in the Mindanao Grid to the edge of crisis and all but guarantees a long, dark weekend for consumers as they head to the cemeteries for the All Saints-All Souls Day weekend.   Saboteurs who bombed two transmission towers of the state-owned power grid apparently knew just when to time it because it happened just as a previously scheduled preventive maintenance of the island’s largest power plant fell due.   “All is set for the planned preventive maintenance schedule (PMS) of Unit 2 from October 31 to November 2,” said Jerome R. Soldevilla, communications officer of the STEAG State Power Inc. (SPI) at the Phividec Industrial Estate, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. The coal fired power plant has two units producing 105 MW each, and at present is the largest power generating plant in Mindanao.   Industry sources earlier said it would take at least a week to repair and restore Transmission Towers 19 and 20 in Patani, Marawi City along the Agus 2-Kibawe line which were bombed around 9:20PM Thursday evening, 29 October and put out of commission with improvised explosive devices (IED).   As a result, the Mindanao Grid has lost power supply from both the Agus 1 (80MW) and Agus 2 (180MW) hydroelectric power plants which were isolated since other lines for grid connections had already decommissioned due to trees and other obstructions deliberately planted by landowners in District 2, Lanao del Sur.   The Mindanao Grid faced a deficit of 150MW as of Friday, 30 October 2015. This is expected to climb further to 250MW with the planned PMS of SPI’s Unit 2 for the next three days.   “We can no longer move this scheduled PMS because all the needed technical experts, materials and parts have already been prepared,” Soldevilla said.   “The mechanism for information is the Mindanao Grid Management Committee,” he explained further. “All generating companies (Gencos), NPC/PSLAM and NGCP meet quarterly to discuss among other things, the scheduled PMS year round to assure proper coordination. This scheduled PMS would have not adversely affected the grid because it’s scheduled on a weekend. It’s just unfortunate the Marawi bombings coincided with it.”   The loss of 260MW from the Mindanao Grid will mean the resumption of rotating brownouts all across the island even within franchise areas of distribution utilities with embedded generators since the slack is too great and can only be dealt with manual road dropping by the DUs. Industry sources estimate it will take over a week to restore power through the Agus 2-Kibawe line.   “PSALM only gave us 50+MW and other IPPs another 50MW, so our short would be about 70MW during peak periods,” said Jaime Rafael U. Paguio, Senior Vice President of the Cagayan Power & Light Co. (CEPALCO) in an SMS to this writer. “We will have to curtail and already activated our Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to bolster our supply.  However, we will have to impose rotating brownouts for the duration.”   However, the Iligan Light and Power Company (ILPI) report it has not had to resort to rotating brownouts since its power supply is still adequate despite the curtailment.   “We’re getting an additional 22 MW from Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) and embedded Mapalad Energy Generating Corp. (MEGC),” said Ralph B. Casiño, ILPI President. “We have also asked our industrial consumers to curtail their power consumption for the duration of the emergency so as not to affect the residential consumers.”   The Iligan City Council has also declared November 2 as a holiday hence Casiño expects the load for the day to be even lower with most people heading for the cemeteries, unlike in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.   “Hopefully the load won’t be so high because of the holidays,” Casiño added. “God save us all!”   Meantime, the Misamis Oriental Rural Electric Service Cooperative 1 (MORESCO-1) also disclosed it has not imposed any rotational brownouts and expects to keep it that way through the weekend.   Marabec O. Cagalawan, MORESCO-1 corporate public relations officer, said the situation in their franchise area has been relieved by the voluntary curtailment of participating industrial consumers through its ILP like Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI), Regent, Daichi and Holcim, the largest industrial consumer in the Mindanao Grid, which curtailed its normal 26.5 MW allocation to only 10.5MW for the duration.   “Our 2MW embedded modular genset has also been a big help,” she added.   The power shortage has been aggravated by the lack of concrete government action against errant landowners in District 2 of the Mindanao Grid in Lanao del Norte.   Landowners in District 2 of the Mindanao grid in the vicinity of Balo-I, Lanao del Norte have planted trees under the Right-of-Way(ROW) of transmission lines operated by the NGCP that have now grown to heights that trigger faults in the power lines linking the hydroelectric power plants in Iligan City and Lanao del Sur to the Mindanao grid.   Already, the growing trees have forced NGCP to condemn its lower transmission lines along some lines from Agus 1 & 2 since the branches were already causing continuous faults along the line and could not be operated reliably. Landowners along the affected areas have refused NGCP linemen access to the affected areas.    Last Tuesday, 27 October 2015,  almost 30 megawatts (MW) supplied by the Agus 1 hydroelectric plant was isolated from the Mindanao grid as a landowner identified as Mitmug Dimaampao refused NGCP linemen entry to his property to conduct line maintenance and repair activities. Dimaampao had previously barred NGCP linemen from entering his property to trim trees he himself planted which obstruct the transmission lines. The tie line was finally energized at the Agus 2 switchyard side at 11:37AM.   Earlier last 17 October NGCP’s right-of-way (ROW) woes breached critical level with the sustained tripping of the Agus 2-Kibawe Line 1 in Mindanao at 9:39AM on October 17 again, due to trees deliberately planted by landowners.

Claire’s to open in Centrio this March

December 12, 2012

Claire's is a retailer of accessories and jewelry to girls and young women, with headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Its first store is scheduled to open this coming February in Metro Manila followed by the Centrio store in March. A total of ten stores are planned to be opened all over the country for 2013.   “Claire’s is an accessories store selling all imported earrings, bags and teen and tweens fashion for girls aged 5-18 years”, said Anton S. Gonzalez, president of Planet Sports Inc. which owns the local franchise.   Claire’s will bring to four the number of concept stores Planet Sports Inc. has opened so far in Centrio. Nike Stadium, Nautica, and Planet Sports opened last Nov. 9 simultaneously with the grand launch of Centrio Mall. A second store in Mindanao is planned for General Santos City.   To date, Claire's has 3,469 stores in 36 countries: 1,947 in the US & Canada), 1,141 in Europe, and 381 franchised and licensed stores elsewhere in the world . Their stores are in 95 percent of all U.S. shopping malls,   Leslie Mann of the Chicago Tribune said “The name Claire’s is as familiar to female Baby Boomers as Ringo. To the Boomers' mall-cruising daughters—and, more and more, to their sons—it's right up there with singer Puff Daddy."   The majority of Claire’s stores are of the Claire's store concept, the only concept that operates outside North America. These stores are aimed principally at teens and tweens, and have a kid's section.   “We are familiar with that age group who and they are very social media conscious,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “We are considering tapping Twitter and Facebook for social media marketing, and will partner with Nike by the end of 2013 on social media.”   Claire’s stores are typically located in malls, and carry the widest selection of merchandise among Claire's brands. Claire's merchandise is targeted at various age groups ranging from babies to young adults.   Customers can find earrings, necklaces, bracelets, purses, hair accessories, and fashion accessories. Claire's stores are merchandised to accommodate these different ages, and fashion trends are geared to appeal to all ages.   Centrio is open daily from 10:00AM-9:00PM


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