Saturday, December 31, 2011

COWO is Open for Business!

COWO is open for business!

Finally, after the expected start up birth pains, our coworking space in Ortigas has opened its doors for membership. COWO is one of the things that my partner and I participated in, completing our business roster for 2012. I pray for success and blessings for our new investment next year.

COWO is a spacious, cool environment where entrepreneurs, freelancers and professionals can collaborate with each other. Importantly, you are ensured that you are working with trustworthy individuals because we do check before signing in our members.

COWO members can use the laptops if they forget to bring their own computers. 

The nomad area is the open space for collaboration with free WIFI access. It has access to the COWO coffee shop for great brewed coffee and pastries, and access to conference/meeting rooms for private meetings.

The two meeting rooms can open up into one big meeting room. 

COWO residents can avail of comfortable and private cubicles if they want a more permanent space inside COWO. Each cubicle has its own whiteboard, magnetic board, lamp and a local number.

We put up COWO for those people starting their own business, those wanting to expand their business and those working from home, so that they may have an affordable space to hold office, be credible and network. Inside you will find services that make it convenient for you to do business such as secretarial services, legal, courier, a print shop, travel assistance, and more. If you wish to know more, please get in touch with us by going to the COWO fan page or calling our Business development manager Pettizou at 0917-8922560. 

Let's COWOrk!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

HARANA.PH Launches Fresh New Artist : INKY

Our online retail brand, HARANA.PH, has kicked off it's artist management and production group by launching a great new singer, INKY, with her single MY DEAR. A pretty, talented and cool girl from  Olongapo City with a voice that you could never forget, INKY is positioned to make waves in the pop music scene. 

In just a short while, INKY has released her debut music video - 

and her single, MY DEAR is being sold in iTunes music stores worldwide (iTunes US and iTunes Australia, Canada, UK, France, Japan, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Chile.) 

See more of Inky in the coming months. HARANA.PH aims to develop and produce untapped talents in the Philippines. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Future of Education in Muntinlupa is Here Today

Our company, Prime Logic, will be signing an agreement with the Department of Education, City of Muntinlupa to implement our flagship collaborative learning product, Virtual Campus, to 65,000 public school students and about 2,000 teachers. I'm truly excited about this because this first step is very important in innovating education in the Philippines.

I was pleasantly surprised how the city of Muntinlupa readily embraced technology as a tool for learning and teaching. With limited budget, the Muntinlupa Science High School improvised and created their own technology in making teaching more effective in their classrooms - a technology I still cannot reveal (which I'm really excited about). Through the use of an online collaborative learning platform, our goal for this project is to raise the National Assessment Test scores and periodical test scores of the students. If we can do that, it would really mean a lot to us in terms of measuring the effectiveness and relevance of eLearning in the public school system. This is a study we will readily share and publish for the academic community. A lot is still to be done, but at least we are already taking the steps in making this a reality. After that, we hope to roll this out to the rest of the municipalities across the nation. 

We are an advocate of online collaborative learning. Through Virtual Campus, we aim to make eLearning not only possible, but raise the bar in Philippine education. If you haven't done so, please do read my blog entry on Social media and eLearning.

Pepper Lunch

We got to eat at Pepper Lunch MOA for the first time after so much contemplation. We wanted to see if it is anywhere as good as the Sizzling Pepper Steak restaurant that practically served the same thing. The prices were a bit steep, considering the serving size. One thing that ruined our dining experience was that the cashier got all my orders wrong, and not all the things I ordered were served to us. But I let that go, since the waiters for courteous enough. We ordered the beef and chicken sizzling plates so we could try both.

It's the same procedure. Cook the beef on the sizzling plate by turning it over, then put the garlic and honey sauce, mix everything around so that the butter and corn makes the rice tasty. The final product looked appetizing, and the taste was also really good. I guess it's also doing a trial and error with the sauces.

The chicken sizzling plate was just so-so. We liked the beef one better.

Overall,  we enjoyed Pepper Lunch, but hopefully next time, the staff would be a little more attentive. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why Is the Sisig So Good in Pampanga?

Last Tuesday night, we went to check out Bubusuk, which came highly recommended by our friends from Pampanga. After a long trip, I was looking forward to savor some sizzling Kapampangan foods.

Why is sisig always awesome in Pampanga? I thought it was just psychological, but tasting it over and over again made me realize that I haven't tasted sisig this good in Manila. The tokwa't baboy was also very good, with a different kind of pork. Instead of the usual liempo type pork with the fat, this was fried, and had no fat at all. Yummy.

Good, buttery fried rice.

Thank you to our hosts for treating us to really great sizzling food. Looking forward to going back for the sisig and tokwa't baboy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Virtual Campus and APSAM: Moving Education Forward in Muntinlupa City

Last Saturday, our company, Prime Logic, forged an agreement with the Association of Private School Administrators in Muntinlupa (APSAM) at the De La Salle Zobel auditorium, witnessed by almost 300 school teachers and administrators. This was to launch the eLearning program of close to 80 schools in Muntinlupa using our social learning platform, Virtual Campus.

Virtual Campus Coordinators Kim and Monica, together with Virtual Campus Curriculum Director Marybeth Nave.

The event was graced by an inspirational message from the Hon. Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac.

Virtual Campus Curriculum Director with APSAM directors, President Eric Ambat and APSAM eLearning Program Head Danny Carandang.

Virtual Campus Program Director Gelix Mercader explains the vision of Virtual Campus to connect schools within Muntinlupa City.

APSAM President Eric Ambat talks about the future of Social Media in Education.

Here I talked about how social learning can bring about revolutionary changes in education.

Me with the Virtual Campus-APSAM team! Here's to a great future in education for Muntinlupa City.

Virtual Campus Coordinators Monica and Kim poses for the camera.

I feel really excited about this, since our advocacy is to bring social learning to the entire country, improving learning and teaching through technology. We hope to turn Muntinlupa City into a true eLearning hub, and improve educational standards by putting in place online methodologies and innovative instructional design.

I'd like to thank the Virtual Campus team for a job well done in making the event possible.

For the full press release, please jump to the note here:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

COWO is Around the Corner

Finally, our coworking and colearning cafe in the heart of Ortigas, COWO, is nearing the launch date. We inspected the place, and things are really taking shape. 

The reception area where people can inquire, and members can get exclusive services from COWO staff.

Meeting rooms A & B. These will be skinned with polycarbonate material to make beautiful
translucent walls.

The nomad area, or the regular members area - where they can network, drink coffee,
work on their laptops or study.

Our business development manager walking around, feeling the space.

Rolls of polycarbonate material ready to be installed.

The area where the COWO coffee shop will be installed.

Shelves for the COWO staff behind the reception counter.

Just a small sneak peak :) Everything else will be a surprise!  Contact us not if you want to become a member of the most exciting work place you will ever have :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Insights on Social Media, eLearning and Education in the Philippines

Insights on Social Media, eLearning and Education in the Philippines
By: Jason dela Rosa, CEO Prime Logic, founder Virtual Campus

As an aggressive advocate of distance education in the country, our company constantly involves itself in creating applications, meeting with schools, giving free training, creating focus group discussions and talking to the academe that allow eLearning to quickly penetrate the snail-paced utilization of technology in our schools. In this tedious process, I've encountered long stretches of painful stumbling blocks and challenging walls - such as the willingness and acceptance of teachers, irresponsibility of students for independent learning, change management, bandwidth and infrastructure, lack of content, and lack of political will among other things. 

Lately, I've come to realize that millions of Filipinos are on Facebook (and others), both young people and not-so-young people, which means that we easily catch up on technology to communicate, just like the texting phenomena that swept the nation several years ago. This tells me that the wall is not in the availability of infrastructure, because as users we find ways to access it. 

Because of this, I've come up with several insights how social media applications and education  are tightly linked together to nurture the growth of social learning - and hopefully help others realize too, that this is the key to the essential evolution of our educational system.

1. Kids of this generation are always in front of the computer, so why not bring learning to them?

The kids nowadays (or what I would call the Facebook generation) are called the Generation Y. After school, instead of going out to play patintero or sports, they go straight to their laptop to play online games or log on to their social media account to catch up with their friends. They don't open their thick books anymore. To accomplish their homework, they surf Google. They get their facts not from Britannica, but from blogs written by experts or from Wikipedia. These kids have a very short attention span. They want information bite-sized and available wherever-whenever. They have developed their own language, writing in shortcuts that the older generation wouldn't be able to understand such as "LOL", "WTH", "ROFL" or ":)". They learn faster by watching a video, and can quickly sift content and information available on the web, to view things that are only applicable to them. They also believe in what their friends post or say, even sharing this to their friends, accepting this information as a fact. This type of Generation Y mentality or "skill" has to be harnessed and organized into what we can call social learning - bringing the formal education to their informal environment where they are comfortable. However, it must be facilitated by credible mentors who are also adept in doing this online, and understands the behavior of the Generation Y students.

2.We've learned so many things from social networks by watching videos, photos and links posted by our friends - why not organize all of these for formal learning?

Nothing can be more current than the web.

With a wide and intricate network of information and users, sooner or later, a certain video will reach your wall post. In fact, there are so much content out there, not everything is shown to you, but only things that are relevant to you. Social media has become more than just "what I ate for breakfast". It has become a virtual place where there is real feedback from peers, insights from credible users and integration of current, real time information from institutional sources. This is done through integrated social application that include blogging, wikis, discussion boards, real time-chat, social bookmarking, video conferencing, news feeds and online reference tools among other things.

If programming code can sort out information for you, why not mentor-facilitated content? More and more, we are moving from teacher to student instruction, to a more reflective and collaborative learning-teaching environment.


3. The quiet person you never spoke to in college, posts insightful things on Facebook. Can people speak their minds more online?

I have found this quite a valid insight - seeing a lot of striking, borderline rebellious comments in Facebook from those timid and unassuming students back in the day. Could we create more innovative genius content by minimizing physical contact? Could that person who was afraid to raise his hands in class, suddenly asks intriguing questions for the teaching community online? I personally believe that the essential key to successful teaching and learning is through constant collaboration - student to teacher to teacher to student. The stumbling block in face to face is the shyness or the fear of our ideas being rejected by people, but with social media, communication is so dynamic because there is no hesitation to express our thoughts. We minimize physical contact BUT eliminate isolation.  

Spark collaboration by minimizing physical contact and eliminating isolation.

4. A teacher says "I am a teacher, and I saw that most of my students are talking about art and music in the social networks. Should I refocus my lesson plan?"

Why are the web companies making so much money from online advertising? Because they know their users. With all the data they have, they can actually post a certain advertisement on your profile page that is only applicable to you. They know your preferences in music, sports, philosophy - and that is because of all the posts you have made, and information that you have willingly updated on your profile. Imagine what kind of intelligence a teacher can gather just by checking out a particular student's data from a social media application. With this information, he can actually adjust or alter his lesson plan to suit the needs of a student, therefore creating a better, effective learning environment for better information retention. Not only that, the social application can do it automatically for the teacher. All he needs to do is facilitate it. 

The world is fast moving from Web 2.0 (Content + Social Media + Collaboration) to Web 3.0 (Content + Social Media + Collaboration + Analytics). Our Philippine educational system when it comes to technology is still lingering between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. We are hoping to jumpstart this and catapult our schools to the level we want to be, and that's with the rest of the world.

Build better curriculums with better insights to create better students.

5. The Philippines became the #1 texting capital. Now the #1 Social network capital. What can't we be #1 in education technology? 

The lack of a sound network infrastructure is not an excuse for not utilizing technology in education. To send a text message, you need a cellphone. Now even the jeepney driver has a cellphone, just to be able to communicate. Students cut class to play online games in a nearby Internet Cafe (and these are sprouting everywhere in the country), which means lack of financial resources cannot be an excuse as well. The telcos give unlimited Internet for a very small amount of money through any 3G enabled device (which is getting really cheaper by the month.) This just reaffirms that technology is very accessible in the country by a percentage of the population. Even if that's 10%, we should give that 10% the opportunity to be able to experience learning through technology. 

We are not afraid of technology. In fact, we come in large crowds.

6. I just learned more about Einstein's theory of relativity by watching a video on YouTube recently more than by reading a book about it more than a decade ago. 

This is actually a true story. I was browsing through YouTube one day, and I saw a video simply explaining how Einstein's very difficult theory of relativity is related to GPS. I couldn't believe how simple the concept was. Bandwidth has improved so much that any large-sized blocks of data can now be streamed effortlessly through digital lines, even to households - that it makes it possible to learn about something visually, rather than by reading lines of text. And if there was something I didn't understand, I could connect to the person who uploaded the video, and get more information. How often do we decide to purchase a product over the web by reading the comments and reviews of other people? Pretty much, it's what we rely on nowadays, because that information is readily available in real time.

That's the beauty of social learning. 

We haven't changed what we need to learn. Just how we learn.

7. A student said, "My teacher is on my Facebook friend list". 

Do you remember the time when you were so afraid to enter the Faculty Room to talk to a teacher? Well, that was during my time. But now, that teacher is on my friend list on Facebook. In fact, even students now have their current teachers on Facebook. I saw a blog post before that makes fun of the teacher as a "calamity" particularly as an earthquake. Apparently, this teacher was a terror when it comes to giving exams. The funny thing is, that blog post became an online countdown to the final exam, where all the students are connected posting comments on it as the D-day was nearing. The amazing thing is, unconsciously, everyone was reviewing for the exam within the particular blog post. And yes, the teacher was part of it, playing along.

It was amazing how social media sparked this kind of a learning experience for students in a particular class who are all in different locations. Not only that, teachers learn from other teachers as well. And admittedly, teachers will learn from students as well. 

We are all connected whether we like it or not.

8. Socialization Ignites Passion

Filipinos are very social people. We perpetually crave to be part of communities. We tend to group ourselves together based on our interests and passions. This is why we have associations and organizations sprouting left and right like wild mushrooms. Social media has made it even easier. Intelligence filtering systems can connect you to people of the same interests so fast, that your online groups grow in numbers overnight. Once you are connected to people who think the same way you do, passion for your chosen field ignites, therefore learning increases. We love to share information to people, if we know that these people we are sharing to will appreciate it.

We are addicted to comments and notifications! Why do we check our social network accounts everyday? Is it not to check likes or comments? Real time notifications to all our mobile phones, emails and other devices allow us to be in touch with our social groups. Before, if someone had a comment about a certain issue about a topic or project, he had to wait until the next day to bring it up in class. Now, I get notified for any updates in my class through the web or the mobile phone, and immediately can act on it. 

Learning is no longer just knowledge transfer. It's about being constantly connected to communities for learning.

9. A student says, "My mind is more active at 12 midnight."

Try going online on your favorite social network past midnight, and you will see several people still there chatting and posting messages. The web space has no opening or closing time. It is a perpetual machine. You are connected to people 24/7. In my experience, a lot of students' creativity suddenly mutates late at night, just like singers' voices open up late at night too. That's why most album recordings happen in the evenings. eLearning allows you to connect to people and resources when it's already too late to call people. It is silent but effective. 

The beauty of eLearning is that it doesn't matter what time it is. Students can keep repeating lessons, keep practicing review questions, and constantly connect with people.

 eLearning is going to class in my pajamas.

10. eLearning as a benefit, rather than a cost center.

Some schools in the Philippines, not properly oriented, will definitely see Social Learning as a cost center, but personally, I know that it is will minimize administrative costs both in the short and long run. Imagine the cost of one day in a school - electricity, paper, printer ink, food, miscellaneous expenses, utilities - will be reduced, but learning will be increased and maximized. 

A certain school in Manila has already implemented what I would call a huge step in education here in the country. Students are not required to go to school two Fridays in a month. Instead, they will stay home during those days (or wherever they are) to do their study/homework online. I can foresee heaps of advantages for this, not just the money savings for the school. Students will be able to spend more time with their families and at the same time, have more knowledge about the theoretical facts before an actual classroom activity, and sharpen independent learning skills.

11. Social Media has sparked the transformation and addition of roles for almost all people.

I've witnessed a lot of role transformations and role additions in the social networks, even among friends and peers. Friend A is a call center manager, but uses Facebook to sell gadgets online through wall posts. Friend B, who is a nurse, uses social media to get students for her online English tutoring. Friend C who is a day trader, has become an activist with thousands of followers on his fan page. The convenience of administering content online, as well as its limitless network reach, has made people realize that they can go beyond what they currently do. Imagine what this can do to student portfolios, projects, and activities - and how it can develop their full potential. 

12.  Close involvement of all stakeholders, and the ability to get out of the closed circle.

In the learning cycle of a student, many people are involved - the teacher-mentor, the administrator, the parent, the third party experts, and the classmates. With the advent of collaborative systems, the geographical gap between them has been greatly narrowed.  Parents can now connect to their children's teachers online, even if they are OFW parents. Schools can invite experts in the field to blog in the school's eLearning social network in order to allow students to comment and learn about current trends from a real world professional. 

More importantly, however, students are able to reach out to a diverse culture globally, without having to fly out of the country to experience it. More than ever, we are able to get out of our school circle, and learn from outside this circle - and the web is the only way we can do it.

13. A teacher say, "eLearning will replace us!" Why, will Facebook replace you?

Social networks, just like any other type of web application, are made up of thousands of lines called programming code constructed by brilliant human beings. Users like us are the other intelligent beings who log on to these applications, and post content regularly. Without us, the social network cannot survive. Without us punching in our content each day, Facebook will be just an empty shell. So let's look at the analogy for a second. If Facebook is a reflection of "you", will it eventually replace "you"? Of course not. Same goes for eLearning. As a matter of fact, the teachers are the champions of eLearning. It is their content, instructional design and follow through that will make social learning effective for the students. 

There are just some insights I have on social media and eLearning in the country. We are working towards making an impact on education, hopefully in a big way.

I'm really excited that we are about to implement Social Learning in several schools this month, including deploying Virtual Campus to 620 home schoolers in the country, and integrating several schools in Muntinlupa. Please contact me if you are interested in this topic, or you would like to learn more. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HARANA.PH Cash Cash Pinoy Promo

 As kick-off to a series of promotions leading to our anniversary, our retail company, HARANA.PH, launched a great deal with group buying site CASHCASHPINOY.COM. For a Php 7,000 regular serenade package, we are offering it for just Php 3,500 - and for the Php 13,000 Premium package, Php 7,000. On the first hours, as you can see, "1 BOUGHT" hahahaha. Well, let's see how it will fair on the next 2 weeks of the promo. is the first and only serenade and surprise service in the company that brings artists straight to your loved ones, with an intimate performance and a message of love. 

Here's the link of the actual promo -

Get one now while supplies last :) Watch out for the exciting promos right after this one!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken Charlie: Quick Wings Fix

While working on my laptop in the office, my Senior Project Manager Migs came in with this paper bowl in a plastic bag. I peeked inside and to my delight, I saw chicken wings that looked a lot like Bonchonn chicken. It was good since I hadn't had lunch yet. Thanks Migs!

It had two toothpicks inside, obviously the utensils that came with the chicken.

The color of the chicken looks really appetizing. 

The chicken itself was delicious and tasty - sweet/salty with mild heat. You really can't go wrong with chicken wings.

It was my first Chicken Charlie experience, and it was a good one. I would order this again for a quick chicken wing fix, but I wouldn't mind getting it for free again. Calling Migs.

COWO: Things Shaping Up!

Today, we finally covered up our COWO site to start bringing in fixtures and furniture. After a quick board meeting with a breakfast of McDonald's, we put up the tarps that would cover the glass. Things are shaping up rather quickly! We are aiming for a launch date of Nov. 15, 2011 - hoping for the best! COWO, again, is a collaboration space and virtual office for entrepreneurs, freelancer, artists and businessmen who wants to have a shared area so that they could conduct business professionally, but not in a restrictive environment - and also without the heavy burden of big overhead.

Call us for membership! 0917-0892-2560 :) Look for Ms. Pettizou Tayag.