Sunday, August 21, 2005


For the first time, an interactive billboard standing in Edsa Guadalupe serves as a public forum for Filipinos to debate on “What is beautiful?”. The billboard also features a running tally of the votes and the advocacy campaign’s URL,

Dove encourages consumers to use their mobile phones to vote directly to the billboard and the percentage of the votes actually appear on the billboard itself, with the technology called “SMS cross carrier” polling consumers nationwide and making their vote count.

The huge billboard, which stands one hundred and sixty feet high and one hundred and sixty feet along Edsa Guadalupe depicts an image of Australian Kristina Vrick, asking consumers to decide if she is “Extra-Large?” or “Extra-Sexy?”, as the billboard provokes the thought “Will more curves actually make you more attractive?”. In the ocean of billboards along Edsa that stars tall, slim and fair models, this Dove billboard indeed stands out from it all, in size and in thought.

The interactive billboard is part of beauty brand Dove’s global Campaign for Real Beauty, which challenges the stereotypical view of beauty. Kristina’s picture is one of four provocative images included in the global advertising campaign intended to serve as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. Other billboards depicting women of diverse beauty, likewise challenging the narrow, stifling definition of beauty are located along the South Luzon Expressway, Metro Walk in Ortigas and in North Edsa, all calling in Filipinos to debate!

Everyone can text in their vote thru SMS by sending in Dove I vote to 3993 or by logging on to Make a stand and voice out your opinion.

Bloggers, on the other hand, can also start arguing the issue in their respective blogs which I intend to do here.

1. Is hair length a true measure of beauty?

No, it is how you carry it. What you are and how you feel affects your aura. A person with a beautiful aura radiates beauty that is not seen in the eye but felt by the people you interact with.

I used to have a very long hair and this made me easy to remember when I was lobbying for the E-Commerce Law then. Late 2000, I decided to cut it and that happened in Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco. As I returned to Manila, friends and relatives were shocked but said that I looked even better.

2. Will more curves actually make you more attractive?

For getting a one night stand date, maybe yes. But for serious relationship, it is not. I agree that women should work hard to stay fit but do so because you want to protect your health and live longer.

Being overweight can bring you harm, but not eating enough can make you vulnerable to other sickness. Over-exercising without proper diet may result to osteoporosis.

3. Does age matter in determining beauty?

No. The beauty inside a person is more important than what one can see outside, regardless of age.

4. Does skin have to be flawless to be beautiful?

No. Natural spots are ok. Just keeping a clean face is enough.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Call for regional entries! Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006: Inspire and Unite!

Attention: All elementary and high school teachers!

Engage students in performance-based, collaborative, project-design competition this school year 2005-2006!

  • Support standards-based, authentic learning
  • Connect students to their local communities
  • Increase students' global perspective
  • Increase real-world, transferable skills
  • Involve students in the assessment
  • Teach students information-age skills (research, project management, publishing, digital media) is launching the 5th Philippines School CyberFair Project with the theme, "Inspire and Unite". This competition encourages students to "shine the spotlight" on people, places, businesses and other things in their local community -- that serve to "inspire, motivate, and encourage positive change."

All Philippine entries shall also join the International School CyberFair. On its 11th year, it has been described as the largest educational event of its kind ever held on the Internet. This program has brought together more than one million students from over 100 countries.

It is also an authentic learning program used by schools and youth organizations around the world. Youth conduct research and publish their findings on the Web. Recognition is given to the best projects in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. This program encourages youth to become community ambassadors by working collaboratively and using technology to share what they have learned. Students evaluate each other's projects by using a unique online evaluation tool.

CyberFair encourages youth to connect the knowledge they learn in school to real world applications. It also supports current education subjects such as Filipino, English, Computer, Social Studies, Science, Music, Practical Arts, Character Education, among others.

This year, schools can submit multiple entries. However, it should only be limited to one entry, per category, per division (elementary / high school). All entries must be written and presented in English and Filipino.

We are launching earlier this year to give way to the regional competition. Prizes this year includes:

Regional level (August to November 2005)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • Regional IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants

Note that regions with less than 40 entries shall be merged with nearby regions or be directly included in the national competition.

National level (November 2005 to March 2006)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • National IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants
  • Train the teachers on E-Learning Content Development 5-days workshop

For more details, visit

Do you like to support the Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006? Here's how.

  • Disseminate this information to the schools in your area.
  • Coach teachers and students in preparing the CyberFair entry.
  • Volunteer as a reviewer of website entries.
  • If you are from the media or have a blog, write or talk about this initiative.
  • Become a corporate sponsor by providing resources needed for this project.
  • Become an individual supporter by buying a book, e-book, research report, or become a club member at

Friday, August 05, 2005

Looking for case studies: Promotional strategies of women-owned businesses

Hello folks. I am currently part of an international team working on "guidebook for women-owned SMEs." This is a joint project of Global Knowledge Partnership and International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development. This is project agreed upon after the Women Entrepreneurship and ICT track in the World Knowledge Forum 2004.

Part of the requirement is to feature as much international case studies as possible. I believe that those who will be featured can consider this as an opportunity to be promoted for free and impart your experience as well.

I'm handling the Promotional Strategies chapter of the said book. Case studies should be willing to share their experiences in the following areas:

1. Sources and channels of marketing: This section will give an overview of how women-owned SMEs market their products, how they distribute them, how does this differ across different types of businesses and stages of business development (e.g., when starting,when growing, etc.)

2. Communication: This section will tackle communication practices ofwomen-owned SMEs (what works? what doesn't?) in reaching out to target market segments and suppliers.

3. Challenges in marketing: This section will discuss both weaknesses, barriers, challenges, advantages of specific promotional strategies women use.

4. Upgrading competencies of women-owned SMEs: This section will take a general look at where promotional strategies could be upgraded. List what governments, business support organisations, women entrepreneurs themselves could do or have done, in the form of recommendations, but also identifying good practices.

Your referral will be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Monday, August 01, 2005

E-Business Training for Women SMEs

I just finished the APEC E-Business Training for Women SMEs last week. For the past two years, there's always a desire to have a similar training conducted in the Philippines. It seems that the opportunity is finally shining. The National Computer Center and UP-ISSI expressed interest in this area. Will you be interested to participate or volunteer as trainer? Let me know!