Toontastic 3D: New Storytelling App for Kids

Great news for parents and teachers all over the world! You can now download Toontastic 3D, a playful storytelling app for kids to draw, animate and narrate their own 3D cartoons.

Today’s digital devices and tools offer amazing opportunities for kids to imagine, invent and explore with technology—and perhaps most important of all, have fun! Over the years, we’ve worked closely with educators to build programs for kids to create through code, doodle their dreams, explore exotic locales with virtual reality, and even tour the Himalayas with a very friendly Yeti named Verne.. Today, we’re unveiling our latest project for kids—one that will give voice to their imaginations and transform their devices into playful and powerful tools for learning creative skills. It’s called Toontastic 3D.

With Toontastic 3D, kids can draw, animate and narrate their own adventures, news stories, school reports, and anything else they might dream up. All they need to do is move characters around on the screen and tell their story. It’s like a digital puppet theater… but with enormous interactive 3D worlds, dozens of customizable characters, 3D drawing tools, and an idea lab with sample stories to inspire new creations.

Like the original Toontastic (released in 2011 and widely praised by educators, kids, and parents around the globe), Toontastic 3D enables kids to build whatever they like—including book or science reports for school, design pitches, short stories and cartoons.

Toontastic 3D is available and free to download today for phones, tablets and select Chromebooks, on both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. We hope the app will empower kids to imagine, invent and explore while developing skills for the creative jobs of tomorrow—whether they dream of becoming a filmmaker, a teacher, a designer, a cartoonist, or just want to explore the boundaries of their imaginations.

 

Happy 40th Papa P !!! ♥♥♥

pioloForever heartthrob and my forever favorite hunky actor Piolo Pascual celebrates his 40th birthday today January 12 with a lot of gratitude from Up Above and to showbiz where he has been part of for the past 20 years or so. Papa P started at the prime of his youth.
But before this happy occasion, we bloggers met up with the one and only Papa P to look back and excitedly find out his awesome plans this year onwards. 
piolo2We shall be seeing him again very soon on the big screen with newcomer actress Yen Santos in the film, “Once in a Lifetime”. More details to be shared once more updates gets out.
piolo4Papa P is also thankful for the gift of great health and he also proudly shared he is already “pensionado” thanks to his life insurance that he has been with for two decades. He also stressed the importance of one having insured whether it be medical, dental, accident and the likes. The benefit is very essential and one gets to have a source of funding when the need arises. Piolo likewise thanks his Sun Life Insurance family here in the PH. 
piolo3Papa P is also on the cover of Star Studio Magazine wherein he allowed public camera to shoot and feature his man-cave bachelor pad somewhere in Makati. A rare treat that we all can share and see on print!

More and more activities from Papa P as the months roll on…I am also grateful that I met him some years back due to sports in the wonderful world of running! Love love love you Papa Piolo !!!!!! May blessings be more abundant to you from this day forward… ♥♥♥

Here’s Looking At You New Year 2017

ny2017I guess it’s not too late to greet you and your families a very Happy and exciting New Year 2017 !!!
If you’re up to it, you can also share what are your New Year’s Resolutions no matter how cliche it sounds.

A lot of people I know are turned off with what happened last 2016 entertainment-wise. So here’s looking that this year will be a lot kinder.
Let\s just continue to hope and pray that globally, we will be more considerate and caring to Mother Earth so as to lessen the dangers that climate change could bring which is basically not so favorable. As for the rest, let there be world peace!

What is your kind wish for 2017?  ☺☺

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My Mom, My Travel Angel

When was the last time you said “Thank You” to someone?

I guess this written post is an overdue tribute in saying Thank You to a special someone in my life.
230834_220761107937357_6274623_nI have always expressed my Thank You’s and gratitude to my beloved Mama in private. And as far back as I can remember, I say it through love letters or small Post It notes then I would sneak it inside her bag, under her plate or even her blouse pocket. Once she finds out, she would always respond and give her feedback by writing me back or throwing me a big, tight Mom hug!

I guess I am more of a Thank You daughter than a saying I Love You person. Well, from time to time I do. But the impact of saying “salamat” is vast and wide and to be specific, I am extending an eternal Thank You to my everdearest Mama when it comes to travel. Because of her, I am able to go, see and enjoy places domestically and internationally. It is true that everytime you travel, appreciating the culture of a new place and territory and it’s people makes it even more exciting!

Mom is the most energetic travel bug and outdoorsy person I have known. Travel is her way of communing and being one with nature. And everytime she goes out of town it’s when she releases tension and stress from work and sometimes from stubborn daughters like me and my sister. Ouch!
29785_129130587100410_225939_nA dedicated and passionate teacher even before I was born, Mom has gone to many out of town provinces thanks to the travel subsidy of their school which they call “Lakbay Aral”. So every summer, she and her co-teachers pick a really good destination and get there. My sister Michelle at times was able to tag along and join her in many wonderful trips to Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, Leyte, Bukidnon, Cebu, Bacolod and even Thailand which was her first ever international trip. And what a memorable trip to Bangkok they had from staying at a great hotel, haggled shopping, riding the “tuk tuk”, food trip galore and being impressed with a 747 boeing plane.

And speaking of airplanes, I came across this “Thank You” video campaign from Air Asia Philippines during my research online for a blog I was doing. The ad was a brief reminder especially this Yuletide season that we must indeed spread gratitude. That we should be grateful to whoever and whatever. Very touching isn’t it? I believe that appreciation be not limited to Christmas, but should be expressed for all time.

So thank you to my travel mate Mom, I was able to enjoy our unforgettable mother-daughter bonding when we went to Beijing, China! Too bad my sister was unable to come along because of work. Climbing the historic Great Wall of China was extra memorable with her and so were our street food tripping, thrift shopping and cold evening walks outside of our hotel. The best international travels we had with my sister were our trips to Hongkong and Singapore where we teased Mom to be the girlfriend of The Merlion because she literally did not want to leave the famous iconic symbol for some weird and strange reason after seeing it upclose. Well, that’s my Mama! ♥ 
29785_129130557100413_5059594_nShe would always remind me to travel when budget allows and to travel while we were still young with family to better appreciate the many wonderful and awesome spots out there waiting to be seen. Speaking of budget during our family travels, she would collect our monthly share of a thousand pesos for like a year or six months depending where our itchy feet would take us. Our ever favorite destinations are Baguio and Boracay and for the latter, we would patiently ride the RoRo bus getting there which takes like 16 hours to do so. But once we have arrived, we kick back and relax and enjoy the best sunsets along the beach in between Stations 1 and 2. Su-weeeeet!!!
sgBut Mama’s ultimate dream travel destination is the Holy Land and visit all the places Our Saviour went to. She dreams of even taking a relaxing cruise with my Dad. Everytime she see Bethlehem on TV or in cable, I would always here her say, “One day I am going to get there by the grace of God.” She never ceased praying.

In the past couple of years, Mama travelled less due to health reasons. She got herself into various medications. Good thing she took a lot of travel videos and would play them from time to time and it made her feel really good. There were so many accumulated clips my sister and I transferred them on CDs coming off the video cam. There are still a lot of short videos left in our cellfones waiting to be relocated.

October of last year I received an exclusive invite to travel down Coron, Palawan aboard a vessel that specializes in going to Tubbataha Reef. I have never been to Palawan before so I excitedly told Mama I am going there with a limited number of media people and the rest would be experienced divers. Mom had been there before but she was opposed to the idea of me joining. Maybe it was the mother instinct in her that she felt something was not good. But after convincing her not once but a few more times, she gave the green light. On the day of my departure for Batangas, I hugged her really tight and informed I shall share all my great Palawan experiences after five days.
196010_209049915775143_4970169_nMom reminds me to always pray especially when travelling. Along the way en route to Batangas Pier she sent me several text reminders and to pray the rosary for safety and guidance to our destination. She’s really a loving and caring mother. And when our group finally arrived in Palawan after two days I was ecstatic and thankful for experiencing this side of paradise. Coron is such a beautiful piece of nature! Makes you want to stay there longer. I took lots of pictures and videos for me to show Mom afterwards.
217252_220761687937299_4761167_nBut for some reason, fate did not allow me to share all my selfies, videos and wonderful and unforgettable adventures of Palawan to her. Mama went to heaven on the day our group arrived back to Batangas en route to Manila. I was crushed…so devastated and emotional to the point of breaking down in big sobs when my sister broke the sad news on the phone. I was in denial she was gone. Moreso, I was away but on my way back to her when she left. I was really looking forward to hugging her and sharing all the stories comparing notes of beautiful Palawan. If only she waited for me much longer…
200152_210758472270954_441294_nThat was more than a year now. It still hurts everytime I would recall that very bittersweet moment. The pain of losing someone you love dearly will never go away. Her personal travel videos are more meaningful and seeing her so happy in them makes more sense now. As family we miss her so much! I still cry a bucket everytime I watch the vids.
11143570_1175819105764881_1294158158339650966_nMy Mom…My Travel Angel has gone to the Holy Land. And tomorrow or later, she’s at Vatican City or on top of the Eiffel Tower or sipping a juice or two by the shoreline of her favorite beach spot in Boracay…

Thank You Mama…for everything… and for the lovely gift of travel which I will continue to do because by visiting and exploring more places, you are very much alive! Love youuuuuu!!! ♥♥

1521537_950154808331313_4890712711350786131_nSo please say and express THANK YOU not later…but now…
ty

Unexpected “Sunday Beauty Queen” Wins Best Picture, Irma Adlawan Named MMFF Best Actress

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Congratulations to all the winners of the recently concluded 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 that was held at the KIA Theater in Cubao, Quezon City. It has been a remarkable year for this year’s MMFF that did away with the traditional films the movie goers got used to watching year in and year out. CHANGE was the significant essence.

Who would have thought a dark horse documentary like “Sunday Beauty Queen” would win Best Picture? And so they did with flying colors thanks to the stories of four real life Hongkong domestic helpers. Director Erik Matti did a back to back win as Best Director for his suspense thriller “Seklusyon” but was not around to accept his trophy. Also a no-show was the evening’s Best Actor and king of make up transformation Paolo Ballesteros for his remarkable role as Trisha Echevarria in “Die Beautiful” while seasoned theater actress and sought after “mother” Irma Adlawan of the advocacy film “Oro” finally brought home a Best Actress title upsetting Noranians in the audience who routed for superstar Ms. Nora Aunor’s “Kabisera”.

I was personally surprised that “Kabisera” did not win anything at all not even a special award considering it has a talented and award-winning ensemble cast led by Ms. Aunor. 

Heavily favored Best Supporting Actor and “Die Beautiful”s Christian Bables won for the coveted title while Phoebe Walker aka Sister Cecilia in “Seklusyon” was awarded Best Supporting Actress and very thankful for such honor she did not expect. 

  Here’s the complete list of the MMFF 2016 winners : 

  • Best Picture: Sunday Beauty Queen
  • Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award: Sunday Beauty Queen
  • Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award: Oro
  • Best Director: Erik Matti, Seklusyon
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Paolo Ballesteros, Die Beautiful
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Irma Adlawan, Oro
  • Best Ensemble Cast: Oro
  • Special Jury Prize: Rhed Bustamante, Seklusyon
  • Best Screenplay: Seklusyon
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bables, Die Beautiful
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Phoebe Walker, Seklusyon
  • Best Cinematography: Seklusyon
  • Best Sound Design: Seklusyon
  • Best Theme Song: “Dominus Miserere” Seklusyon
  • Best Editing: Sunday Beauty Queen
  • Best Musical Score: Saving Sally
  • Best Production Design: Seklusyon
  • Best Float: Die Beautiful
  • 42nd MMFF My Most Favorite Film: Die Beautiful
  • Children’s Choice Award: Saving Sally, Sunday Beauty Queen, Vince & Kath & James
  • Male Celebrity of the Night: Ronnie Alonte
  • Female Celebrity of the Night: Rhian Ramos
  • Short Film – Best Screenplay: Mitatang
  • Short Film – Special Jury Prize: Manila Scream
  • Short Film – Best Picture: EJK
  • Short Film – Best Work for Children: Passage of Life
  • Best Short Film Director: Jarell Serencio for Mga Bitoon sa Siyudad

15726249_1537829236230531_67441350387843576_nChristian Bables and Gladys Reyes for “Die Beautiful” 
15781517_1538061832873938_3114806551113280742_nSeklusyon’s Phoebe Walker played a mysterious nun in the movie
15740742_1538224262857695_7256552639927599699_nTeam “Die Beautiful” with Director Jun Robles Lana, Best Supp Actor Christian Bables, Perci Intalan 
15780802_1537932379553550_7658799447286286851_nF emale Celebrity of the Night went to the ever gorgeous Rhian Ramos of “Saving Sally”

15781107_1538228056190649_100470046853751310_nSo happy and proud of my theater idol and seasoned Best Actress Ms. Irma Adlawan for her title role in “Oro”

15747870_1538220359524752_5073172111005740939_nBest Picture winners straight from Hongkong! Congrats to documentary “Sunday Beauty Queen” for the win! Hazel and Mylyn were so gorgeous in their long gowns!  Kudos direk Babyruth Villarama-Gutierrez.

15665666_1538202452859876_3321048606888529048_nWith director Jun Robles Lana and his “Die Beautiful” won four awards including Best Actor for Paolo Ballesteros and Best Supporting Actor Christian Bables.

Profoundly missed…Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia

open-uri20150608-27674-1ly2wd_eb4b4064Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia Organa sadly passed on December 27 2016 just two days after the unexpected death of pop singer and 80s icon George Michael.  She was only 60.

Princess Leia is a symbol of fierce femininity when she took on the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga as one of the defenders of good and sister to Luke Skywalker and forever love by Han Solo.
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It was breaking news when she had a heart attack on board a plane from a long flight from London to Los Angeles. But her condition was stable after she was confined. And now yesterday December 27 her time and life was taken back and now faces eternal love and gratitude for all the things and legacy Ms Carrie Fisher leaves behind.
js113856188_rex_features_the_star_wars_episode_v_-_empire_strikes_back_-_1980-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqeji1grhjsosgt35kcrg67yxf5qjfrx82qwtvzskzjl8
May we all be blessed with her advocacy and fight for what is right!

As the STAR WARS family would say:  The force will always be with You!  You will be missed profoundly ♥♥♥

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Happy 40th Anniversary ACER!

acer

On October 26, Acer and its co-hosts held a forum titled “Smart Cities of a New Si-vilization” in Taipei. As the final event to wrap up the company’s 40th anniversary celebration, Acer invited government and industry leaders to discuss and share their thoughts about the future of global technology.

Stan Shih, Acer’s Co-founder and Honorary Chairman took to the stage to deliver a keynote speech where he called on governments and businesses to encourage new thinking, people-centric innovation and integrated cross-industry capabilities with a service-oriented mindset.

Keynote speeches were also presented by industry leaders from Microsoft and TSMC. The keynote speeches were followed by a number of panel discussions and breakout lectures to discuss the many facets of creating smart cities and the New Si-vilization.”
The day-long event also included Acer’s Tech Showcase which gave attendees a look at what an early phase of the New Si-vilization could be by exhibiting a full suite of the company’s latest BYOC products in the segments of smart transportation and smart cities, smart retail and integrated enterprise communications, programming kits, life and wellness solutions, among other applications of new people-centric technologies and solutions.

The forum was hosted jointly by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, National Development Council and Acer Inc.

 

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