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TomasinoWeb launches 4th JFFC conference

THE FOURTH Junior Form Function and Class (JFFC), the Philippine’s only web design conference for students, was launched at the Escaler Hall in Ateneo de Manila University last Sept. 27.

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THE FOURTH Junior Form Function and Class (JFFC), the Philippine’s only web design conference for students, was launched at the Escaler Hall in Ateneo de Manila University last Sept. 27.

TomasinoWeb, in collaboration with the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO), invited several professionals in the field to share their knowledge and expertise to students from different schools and universities in numerous talks and workshops.

The JFFC conference convenes students around the country who want to expand their knowledge and discover further potentials in the field of web design by learning from professionals and interacting with web design enthusiasts, according to the JFFC website.

From student to “professional”

Ronnie Morales, CEO and founder of digital marketing company RMDC, opened the conference by discussing career opportunities for aspiring web designers and developers. Fields such as marketing and freelancing were cited as professional prospects for graduates.

“[Find] any opportunity that can grow your talent,” said Morales.

He further urged the delegates to join organizations and to participate in contests to gain mentorship and experience.

“You should be working [in] something that you are very interested in and not something you are not sure about,” he continued.

In transition from students to professionals, however, Morales stressed the need to “clean-up” one’s profile – especially in social media platforms.

“One must look professional,” Morales emphasized, “build your portfolio, build your network; [a] team you can collaborate with […] and never stop learning.”

Parallax and trends in Web Design

Potatocodes Inc. co-founder Mhariell Mosqueriola discussed the evolution of parallaxes from Mario to websites, and further continuing with the advantages of adapting parallax scrolling to boost site traffic.

“Parallax, actually, is one of the website trends of today […] and has three compositions. It has: foreground, middleground and background. Itong tatlong compositions na ito it moves in a way na magkakaiba yung paces nila – in short magkakaiba yung speed,” explained Mosqueriola.

Mosqueriola reiterated that the parallax provides a unique experience for the viewers as well as simplifies re-directing the visitors to different sections of a website.

The concept was met with criticism, however, regarding the country’s slow internet speed caused by the heaviness in excessive usage of parallax.

Hindi po ba mas babagal mag-load yung site kapag gumamit ng parallax?” asked one delegate.

Mosqueriola acknowledged this problem, and further advised that web designers would still have to choose between aesthetic and content accessibility for the effective usage of parallax.

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Going solo

Angela Chua, a freelance designer from Toffeenut Design, elaborated her talk with eight points on design entrepreneurship and on how to “become your own boss.”

Preparing to fail was highlighted by Chua, however, telling that “failing does not become the finish line.” She encouraged them to “make mistakes” and take them as learning experiences. Chua also advised following routines for effective work management.

“When your body clock is off, you work is off,” she said.

To have a successful career in web design, Chua said that “the key [to success] is to not be afraid to say no.” She emphasized taking on passion projects and that entrepreneurs should be picky to avoid dull or underpaid projects, as well as knowing when to pass work opportunity to others.

The delegates attended two of their chosen workshops during the latter half of the conference where they engaged in a series of activities managed by their mentors. Workshops were held simultaneously.

Hands-on workshops

Juan Miguel Alvarez, founder of Potatocodes Inc., taught HTML5 basics and showed examples of web elements that can be created solely through HTML5. He later challenged the delegates to code in HTML5, and create their own concepts using basic shapes and other elements.

PWDO’s Design Lead Aceler Chua gave insights on principles and application of typography in the web. Aside from refuting the concept of web typography, he also cleared up common misconceptions posed by the delegates. One of the activities during the workshop included the sorting and pairing of typefaces.

Leonid Lintag discussed on using WordPress as an open-source Content Management System and later gave a demonstration on installing and creating a WordPress account alongside the delegates through a step-by-step process.

User experience (UX) Designers Mica Diaz de Rivera and Sam Chan started their workshop by making critiques on the UX elements of different websites – including the JFFC website. Their workshop tackled the analysis and building of user experience design through prototypes. The delegates were then asked to create application prototypes based on given user profiles, and present their designs after.

JFFC was co-presented by Zalora, KimStore and John Robert Powers and sponsored by WRIST and Birkenstock in partnership with Computer Science Society, Society of Information Technology Enthusiasts, Junior Philippine Computer Society, Information Systems Society, Computer Business Association, and Grids.

Photo by Agatha Charlotte M. Imbao

Text by Ysabel Hilado and Philip Jamilla

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‘Bakit, Why Not?’: Schumi’s climb to the top

Hip-hop artist Schumi talks about his journey as he establishes himself not only as another artist but a fresh prince in kingdom.

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Photo grabbed from Schumi's official Facebook page

One may wonder who this new face on the hip-hop scene is, among the countless others who have added their own touch to the growing local music scene. Schumi, the man whose drive lies in the simple words “Bakit, Why Not?”, elbows his way through the sea of pretenders and establishes himself as not only another artist but a fresh prince in his kingdom. Underneath the surface of an artist who strives and pushes to be the best that he can be, is a person that holds his friends and family close to his heart.

To those who haven’t yet listened to his music, Schumi describes it as “no rules”, further explaining that he makes music according to what he feels. It is never limited to a single genre, pointing out that with his recent album, “Fresh Prince”, there is not one track that sounds like another. His album Fresh Prince is based on his emotions; condensed in a way that others can enjoy, understand, and relate to. He expresses himself through these songs, with a wide array of emotions defining the underlying soul of each track. 

During the face to face classes, one may not have noticed the unassuming artist among the masses, but upon further exploration, there is much more to the man that is Schumi, also known as Albert Michael Guallar, is currently a second-year student under the program BS Information Technology. He talks with TomasinoWeb about his journey in honing his craft.

Photo courtesy of Schumi

He explained that his name was derived from the legendary Ferrari race car driver Michael Schumacher, of whom his mother was a fan of, “My mom was a racecar driver sa UP, parang nag-drag race siya noong college days niya, and yung idol niya doon si Michael Schumacher, yung Formula 1 Racer. Eh yung nickname niya is Schumi.” He elaborated that the “Michael” part of his name was influenced by this. As a great family man, he considers his family as one of the greatest inspirations and motivations in his life, noting that they were the reason that he pushes himself to go to a hundred every day. 

Names aren’t the only thing influenced by the racecar driver, as he was growing up; Schumi would be a great fan of racing and cars and explained that he lived his life having difficulties relating to others and having trouble fitting in. He attributed this to a part of his personality that seemed to go at a speed that everyone else had trouble trying to understand. During his high school days, he shared that he tossed aside what made him unique in a bid for him to fit in with the various cliques and groups. But as he went through this, it made him miserable, being unable to express his true self.

He describes himself as a risk-taker. He expounds, “it’s not bad to take risks, but you always need to make sure that it’s safe in the long run. It’s all about taking risks and thinking ten years ahead.” 

As he went into college, he allotted a great amount of thanks to his friends for helping him realize that it was much better being himself and was grateful that they helped him in his journey to realize that he was more than Albert Guallar. His best friend Esca was also a major motivator through his journey to become Schumi. He accompanied his friend through gigs, supporting in his own way, seeing another side to the hip-hop scene that opened his eyes and was the inspiration that paved the path for the Fresh Prince. 

A major catalyst that lit the fuse to his career would be an emotionally daunting breakup with his girlfriend, through which his best friend urged him to try and express his emotions through writing his own songs. The process would eventually spark something in him, and in his own words, “It was like I discovered fire!” he said with a beaming smile on his face.

When asked about his foremost inspiration in music, without hesitation, he replied, “Ang pinaka-idol ko na artist is Drake, kasi, I look up to him, binreak niya yung norm ng genre namin [hip-hop]. Kasi hip-hop should be gangster, should be street. Pero yung ginawa niya, hip-hop should have feelings pa rin. Music should have no rules, so ang ginawa ko ‘yung no rules. Bakit ka may sinusundan na formula, ‘di ba?”

Photo courtesy of Brin Isaac

Everyday, he continued writing his own songs whenever inspiration struck and would never let up if an idea came up––following an exercise method of writing songs whenever inspiration strikes. Impassioned songwriting revealed itself in his tracks, added further by his unrelenting pursuit of the perfect lyrics that matched his feelings.

May formula ako dyan eh, binalikan ko ang mga dati ‘kong sulat na drafts, I go through my drafts and I see something that fits, and I place it there. Mga kanta na ‘di ko pa narerecord or narerelease, I just do it daily, I do rhymes daily, parang naging exercise siya. Importante talaga yung exercise method.” he said when asked whenever the occasional drop of inspiration happens and the ever-so inevitable writer’s block strikes.

Schumi’s journey as an artist was not without potholes and barriers, however, as he would experience criticism and ridicule during his journey to the top, he recounted, “I was ridiculed by my peers, sobra, as in sobrang pinagtatawanan ako, like, ‘Oh my God, that’s trash. Ano ba iyan, ano bang ginagawa mo sa buhay mo?’” Despite these setbacks, he found that his family was the one thing that he could count on. 

Describing himself as a sort of rebel against the norms established by society, his signature color of pink is a form of speaking out against what society has deemed acceptable for males and females to adhere to.

“It was like I discovered fire!” he said with a beaming smile on his face.

When asked about his personal motto and actual song title of “Bakit, Why Not?”, he explained in his own words,“ ‘Di ba ang ‘Bakit, Why Not?’ is breaking social norms, parang bakit yung lalaki naka-blue, yung babae naka-pink? I wear pink kasi it’s a protest, it’s a protest na sinasabi na gender fluidity, ganyan. It should be normal. It should be normal for everyone to wear any color they like while being secure sa masculinity nila.”

Believing that a person is free to express themselves in any way and should be free of discrimination—this is the motivation behind how Schumi chooses to dress in his signature pink hoodie as well as his bandana streaking across his head, in a blatant show of “Here I am and you will hear me out!”

He describes himself as a risk-taker. He expounds, “it’s not bad to take risks, but you always need to make sure that it’s safe in the long run. It’s all about taking risks and thinking ten years ahead.” He also explained that a person needs to escape what is usual and comfortable to go beyond one’s barriers. Additionally, if someone doesn’t have anything to lose, why shouldn’t they risk trying to do something, as every single event is an opportunity to learn and grow as an individual. 

Photo courtesy of Schumi

Schumi says that his passion for meeting new people and experiencing new perspectives is a driving force of his exploratory nature. He explains, “Kung nandoon ka lang sa teritoryo mo palagi, wala ka matututunan doon, or meet unexpected people like Brin […] gusto ko ‘yung fresh new perspectives, meet new people.”

Leading his rapid rise to stardom is his daring nature—beginning with the first semester of his first year in college to culminating with signing with Viva Records. Schumi explains that these risks led him to the success he holds right now. He says that it is in humanity’s nature and in his that whenever he goes out, he wants to get something, and will never accept nothing. 

When asked what he would like to share with aspiring Thomasian artists, or even those looking to break into the local hip-hop scene, he immediately quipped “Yun nga yung parang mali eh, you want to fit in, eh you’re never meant to fit in. Don’t ever try to fit in when you’re meant to stand out. Yun talaga for me.”

Schumi is a diamond in the rough—a prince carving out his space in the industry, hoping to be a king of his space in the future. You can check out his new album, “Fresh Prince”, on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. Antonio Emmanuel A. Espina

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TikTok as a Platform for Advocacies and Educational Content

From tutorials on how to make Dalgona coffee, channeling one’s inner feistiness by doing the malditang classmate trend, to the never-ending bop dance routines, the artistry on video content just keeps on improving. 

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Photo from Unsplash / Solen Feyissa

TikTok’s fame has been skyrocketing for quite some time now. With its stepped-up updates and millions of people showcasing their talents––its end seems far from reach. From tutorials on how to make Dalgona coffee, channeling one’s inner feistiness by doing the malditang classmate trend, to the never-ending bop dance routines, the artistry on video content just keeps on improving. 

For a while now, some content creators have stepped up their game by sharing their advocacies and imparting awareness without leaving that one aspect that lures the audience into watching which is entertainment. 

Learn on TikTok, Thomasians Edition

When it comes to funny and meme-worthy TikTok videos, the Thomasian community is surely up for the challenge as several Thomasian content creators are also using this platform to voice out their opinions and share facts on their programs or anything about the community.

John Deseo, who has over 84,000 followers, has been sharing informative and relatable Thomasian videos ranging from facts about UST to tips for UST freshies. Having experience in the TikTok world, he shared with TomasinoWeb his thoughts on the platform. 

“Since Tiktok has a lot of features and tools, it’s easier to create fast content where you can share your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining way. I guess one of the advantages of TikTok for students is that it’s a good source of entertainment and learning since a lot of people are free to share and tackle different topics, mostly school-related ones and issues from all over the world,” he said.

Screengrab from TikTok / @johndeseo

When asked why he started posting content on the entertainment application, Deseo stated that “Tiktok has been a great avenue/outlet for me to connect with others, especially now that we are all stuck in our houses due to the pandemic. I was introduced to Tiktok during the first half of the quarantine and until now, I still continue to make content that will allow other people to learn about certain things that I am much familiar [with] such as UST facts, my experiences during my stay at the university, Pinoy facts, and more. I think people see me as their ‘Thomasian Kuya’.”

His message to his viewers on TikTok is to enjoy and have fun. “This pandemic has been tough for us and brought a lot of adjustments in our lifestyles. TikTok is a good breather, a platform where you can just pause and even interact with other people and see how they are coping. Although, there [is] still toxic stuff there. But you can just remove it on your feed and carry on,” he added.

SOGIE Bill

In a TikTok video with 227.5K views posted on June 26, Atty. Cher Alcantara discussed the SOGIE bill or “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression and Proving Penalties Therefor” which acknowledges the LGBTQ+ as equals while ensuring that their rights are protected. However, during the Committee Hearing on the 16 SOGIE-specific Anti-Discrimination Bills in Congress on November 4, Lawyer Lyndon Caña of Coalition of Concerned Families of the Philippines calling the LGBTQ+ a “super special elite class” for seeking passage of the SOGIE bill caused an online uproar. 

Screengrab from TikTok/ @attorneycher

Caña argues that the rights of the “straight community” will be compromised if ever the SOGIE bill is passed. He even asks about the sake of straights’ identity, stressing how there’s no attempt in protecting them.

In a tweet by Bahaghari, Perci Cendaña of Babaylanes said that “Recognizing our rights in no way diminishes yours…Today, the LGBTQ+ community reiterates our appeal. Di na mabilang na kwento ng diskriminasyon ang nabahagi namin sa inyo. 21 years na po kami nagpapaliwanag.

 

Numerous TikTok videos have been posted about the SOGIE bill with people airing their grievances through creative effects and favorite soundtracks that match what they want to say.

On a TikTok video, Sassa Gurl, who has a whopping 687.9K followers, stated that members of the LGBTQ+ and straight people have different realities, emphasizing how the “straight community” isn’t oppressed as a group and further stressing that the patriarchal society doesn’t allow the LGBTQ+ to be themselves.

Screengrab from TikTok/ @itssassagurl

 

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As of writing, the hashtag #SOGIEEqualityNow has reached nearly 820K views on TikTok, gaining mostly violent reactions from people with the majority of them advocating for the passage of the SOGIE bill.

Safe Space

Originating in gay and lesbian bars around the 1960s, the term safe space refers to places where members of the LGBTQ+ community can put themselves out there without the fear of judgment or any form of discrimination. However, many changes regarding its connotation have been made through these years wherein one meaning states having your voice heard in times when everything sounds muffled. But in this case, it’s TikTok––a social media platform where millions of people are actively using. 

With over 58 million views on the app, the hashtag #safespace has prompted countless content creators to communicate with millions of TikTok users through their videos. The topics of the videos range from the confusion of one’s sexuality to awareness from misconceptions around certain mental health conditions where content creators encourage people to share their experiences, in some ways helping others who might have been feeling the same way but fear that they’re alone in their battles. 

Content creator Gab Campos has been posting videos of his sampayan episodes on TikTok where he talks about social issues like misgendering, stereotypes, and online behaviors that social media users should be aware of. His TikTok video, episode 14: Hala Barbie, which has over 700K views became a safe space for those who have been misgendered. The comments section is filled with people sharing the same experience and sentiments as Campos with some saying his video boosted their self-esteem. 

Screengrab from TikTok / @yourlologab

Promoting Self-love

Not only is TikTok becoming a safe space for everyone, but it is also a platform that promotes self-love. The hashtag #selflove has amassed 11.7 billion views on TikTok where thousands of content creators have posted their approach to loving themselves, showing their transitions of insecurities to acceptance and encouraging viewers to prioritize their well-being. 

Screengrab from TikTok

However daunting the word self-love may sound, it actually comes in different forms and there’s no absolute formula or definite set of guidelines on how to achieve it because self-love is a dynamic process that differs depending on an individual’s take on things. TikTokers are using the platform to make content focused on self-love that is applicable for everyone.

A user of the app, @taylorcassidyj on TikTok has a video of self-encouragement that focuses on seeing and appreciating one’s growth which is much appreciated by the 828K people who liked it. The comments section is filled with gratitude for Cassidy as they share how much they needed to hear those words and how listening to her helped them get through their day, with some using the video as their live wallpaper as a reminder when they open their phones.

Screengrab from TikTok / @taylorcassidyj

Register to Vote Challenge

The hashtag #registertovotechallenge on TikTok began as a way for American content creators to encourage people from various states to register and cast their votes wisely. The same case goes with some Filipino content creators who are posting videos and sharing information on how to register as a voter during this pandemic. 

Miguel Valdez posted a TikTok video where he explains the step-by-step procedure of voter registration, starting with downloading and filling out the application form on the COMELEC website and submitting the form to the nearest COMELEC office. Get the biometrics done, receive the acknowledgment receipt, and wait for the COMELEC registration board to accept the application. With these steps done, so is your registration.

Screengrab from TikTok / @miguellvaldez

Recently, COMELEC has launched the iRehistro which voter applicants may use to accomplish their registration form online. iRehistro has an additional feature where applicants have an option to set an appointment with their local Comelec offices.

TikTok has always been a platform for people sharing short-form videos of entertainment with topics as one desires, exhibiting creativity in every video posted but has evolved into a platform for advocacies, elevating discourse from issues not discussed enough and leaving its users aware and educated. 

 

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What Project Bento Films brought to the table

Produced by Communication Arts alumni, the short film Baon Royale! made its way into the Student Category (in-competition) of the Maginhawa Film Festival 2020 which will be streamed online.

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Screengrab from Baon Royale!

With cinemas and independent movie theaters closed because of the pandemic, film festivals go virtual for the comfort and safety of its moviegoers. Produced by Communication Arts alumni, the short film Baon Royale! made its way into the Student Category (in-competition) of the Maginhawa Film Festival 2020 which will be streamed online.

The film features the story of a transfer student Maggie, who attempts to win friends through her class’ underground contest called Baon Royale. In hopes of the sweetest prize, each student vies for the favor of their game master, Maestro, by offering him the best-tasting baon.

Photo courtesy of Project Bento Films

Screenwriter and former TomasinoWeb Executive Editor, Cielo Erikah Cinco shared that the idea of creating Baon Royale came from a “chill out session” in Domino’s Pizza in España with her team, Project Bento Films. The production team consisted of Grace Clarisse Cinco, the director; Cielo Erikah Cinco, the screenwriter; Roline Ricafort, the producer; Juan Rojas, the cinematographer, and editor, Julienne Tan, the production designer, and Mark Cinco, the sound designer. She said that they’ve just settled to throw out all of their outrageous ideas on the table. And for their love of anime, someone exclaimed, “What if may pa-contest tayo ng pasarapan ng baon?”

Conceptualizing the film brought enjoyment to the team because for them, it is personal and each character mirrors someone from the team. They were also inspired by the success of former TomasinoWeb president Julius Renomeron’s film, Heist School for it is simple, humorous, witty, yet filled with substance. Because of this, they also wanted their film to have that kind of feeling—to be their own. A film they crafted that will inspire others as well. 

What grew out to be more than just a final output for their film class, Baon Royale! bagged the awards for Best Picture and Best Editing in Sine Reel 2019, an annual filmmaking competition by UST Communication Arts Student’s Association. Joining an outside film festival was never part of their original plan but when they found out that their film was included in Maginhawa Film Festival 2020, ecstatic and surprise took over them, knowing that there are people out there who appreciate their work and vision makes them delighted.

“What if may pa-contest tayo ng pasarapan ng baon?

Since her team knows that Cinco writes for TomasinoWeb, she was entrusted to be the writer for the film. It was new territory for her—the expectations and the unknowns terrified her. However, she shared that being a part of the organization opened opportunities to be better not only as a writer but also as a person and that even if they are composed of individuals with different pasts, she didn’t feel indifferent; And with each passing day, she learns something new from the organization. She also gave thanks to her team, especially her best friends, Tetay and Red, who gave the “extra brain cells” she needed to write the story.

Struggles cannot be escaped and it is always present on every occasion. In writing the script, Cinco said that experiencing writer’s block was one. Since filmmaking is a collaborative work and with 11 members in their team, she struggled to harmonize with everyone’s ideas. For her, that is the beauty of scriptwriting—”it is bound to get rocky at some point.” she said. “Our conflicts and clashing ideas gave birth to the essence of Baon Royale!,”

Screengrab from Baon Royale!

Sleep-deprived, struggling, and creating the film at the same time as their thesis season, patience and support were the keys to overcoming problems. She said that having the patience to continue despite the obstacles and frustrations led them to where they are now, but the support of their loved ones pushed them to keep going.

“This short film would be nothing if wala yung family and friends ng buong team. Kaya I just want to take this opportunity na pasalamatan ang mga magulang at kaibigan namin para sa walang sawang suporta na ibinigay niyo sa amin,” she said. 

Cinco shared that filmmaking is all about teamwork. For the aspiring filmmakers, she advised valuing everyone’s ideas—”walang tapon, walang basura.” she firmly states.  “Every idea has the potential to grow into something new and unexpected,” she added. Although she is still new to the industry, she felt the difficulty in the process such as coming up with a concept or finding a source of funds. Her message to the aspiring filmmakers and writers is to just continue the fight. And to all those who supported them since day one, “wala kami dito kung wala kayo sa tabi namin,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Project Bento Films

Baon Royale! is included in the Maginhawa Film Festival 2020 along with 26 competing short films and will be streamed online from November 11 to November 22 through www.moov.cinemacentenario.com.

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