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The Spark Project: Creating Spark in Crowdfunding



From L-R: Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc.; Rico Gonzalez, Chairman of Ashoka Philippines; Paolo Agloro and Luis Gaza, Co-founders of The Spark Project; Patrick Dulay, Founder and CEO of The Spark Project; Paola Betita Community and Product Manager of The Spark Project; and Mikey Garrovillo, Head of Innovation, Globe Telecom

There is no doubt that “crowdfunding” has become the default avenue to raise funds for a campaign, a project, an appeal for help, and other issues that tug the heart. This phenomenon has reached global levels and has sparked numerous initiatives, especially in developing socially relevant projects that seek to create a difference.

One such crowdfunding website is “The Spark Project,” a Filipino crowdfunding website and community spearheaded by Founder and CEO Patrick Dulay. It aims to create a “spark” among local entrepreneurs or the so-called “changemakers” and doers and empower them through an online platform to showcase their creations and projects while at the same time, attract people who are willing to provide exciting and socially-meaningful projects.

Thus, Dulay was elated when The Spark Project was chosen as one of the Top 5 winners of the Globe Future Makers (GFM) program, besting 130 other entries. “Globe enables our technology and there are a lot of potential for synergies with Globe. GFM can really help the project by creating a bigger community and expanding our membership, or through resources to help us grow in the next few months. Our goal is to spark 100 projects and to achieve that, we need all the help we can get,” he said.

“Through our partners in GFM such as Kickstart Ventures, Inc. and Ashoka Philippines, we are facilitating the winners’ access to relevant startup workshops or clinics, introductions to potential partners, mentors, advisers, and investors so that they can build their products faster and launch sooner to benefit the communities that they aim to serve. Together, we hope to influence and build a whole ecosystem of social innovators who use technology to create a positive impact on society,” said Chelle Gray, Director for Globe Citizenship.

It was in 2009 when Dulay started to toy with the idea of funding something by the people. He later on began his own project together with his co-founders. “I felt there are a lot of ideas and I believe in people’s talent. Being abroad gave me a deeper appreciation of Filipino talent being world class and I’d like to contribute to that, make their ideas happen through technology and crowdsourcing so they can enable their dreams and ideas to fly,” he said.

Dulay was proud to note that in five years, they were able to “spark” a total of 63 projects valued cumulatively at more than P5.8 million. On average, a project can raise from Php 80,000 to Php 120,000. To qualify for crowdfunding, creative entrepreneurs and change-makers should be local or homegrown. Even if not enterprising, the effort should have an impact on society and community and should be innovative enough.

Through crowdfunding, Dulay reported that they were able to help a lot of interesting projects, mostly product-based or consumer goods. One example is the Gouache Waxed Canvas Bags. The business was launched through Spark in 2013 and already opened a mall-based store last September. “Crowdfunding really helped them raise more than Php180,000 to produce their first batch of bags and grow their business,” he said.

Another noteworthy project, though not a money-making venture but more of a civic action project, was the rehabilitation of Estero de Paco, one of the 48 tributaries or “esteros” of the Pasig River through the group Earth Ventures which came out with a treatment “ball” that uses Bokashi or Japanese water treatment technology that eliminates bad bacteria using good bacteria. “They used crowdfunding to create those balls and organized a mud-ball throwing into the estero. This is an example of a community-based project and due to their campaign they got a lot of exposure. Through Spark, they were able to raise awareness and bring more people in to participate. Those were really intangible benefits and not just financial,” added Dulay.

He cited that the most challenging part is how to draw the public to a project since there is a high degree of accountability where project proponents have to be able to deliver what they promised. There should always be transparency, Dulay said, so everyone goes through a screening process to determine if they can really deliver.

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US-Based Pinoy Doctors to Hold Free Surgical Mission in Palawan




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A US-based association of Filipino physicians is set to conduct the first-ever medical and surgical mission in Palawan for this year at the newly-constructed Aborlan Medicare Hospital (AMH) in Barangay Ramon Magsaysay in the town of Aborlan.

The medical mission would be from Jan. 22 to 24, Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta Jr. said on Saturday.

It will be led by the North Texas Association of Philippine Physicians (NTAPP) in cooperation with Governor Jose Alvarez, 3rd District Congressman Gil Acosta, 3rd District Board Member Albert Rama, and the municipal government of Aborlan.

Acosta said the NTAPP was composed of 44 Filipino physicians who arrived Sunday to bring free medical and minor surgical services to indigent residents of Aborlan town.

These are circumcision, harelip, breast-lumpectomy, biopsy, simple mastectomy, herniorrhaphy, hysterectomy-myomectomy, oophorectomy, appendectomy, colon resection with end to end anastomosis, amputation for gangrene, thyroidectomy, lysis adhesions, colostomy, cesarean section and tubal ligation.

Dr. Maria Arlin Josue, AMH chief, said they had already prepared for the medical and surgical mission, and were excited for the residents of Aborlan.

“Para sa mga nais makibahagi sa naturang aktibidad, maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa mga Operation Centers ng Rescue 165 na nakatalaga sa mga munisipyo sa lalawigan (For those who want to avail of free medical and surgical services they offer, residents can coordinate with the Operation Centers of Rescue 165),” she said.

Josue added they are grateful that the first medical and surgical mission in the province for this year chose Aborlan as it will surely help a lot of residents who lack funds to pay even for minor surgeries.

AMH is a 50-bed capacity medicare hospital in the first class municipality of Aborlan, located 69 kilometers from the capital of Puerto Princesa.

Its construction was funded cooperatively by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Health (DOH)-MIMAROPA, the Palawan government, and the local government unit of Aborlan.

It was part of 15 others being constructed in different municipalities in the province, including the island town of Coron.

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Fiesta Señor and Sinulog 2018 Goes Digital



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Amid the digital era, organizers of the Sinulog festival have decided to tap social media to help deliver the message on the real essence of the celebration, which is the devotion and gratitude to the Holy Child Jesus, Sto. Niño.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. has launched the Sinulog 2018 app, where users can plot their own Sinulog route and schedule, as well as take a good look at various Sinulog activities, parade contingents, and the official route maps.

The app also enables the user to vote for this year’s Sinulog festival queen of their choice.

“One of the goals for the Sinulog 2018 is to bring back the essence of Sinulog to the Sto. Niño, especially to the younger generation who generally just wants to party,” said Stephanie Villarica, Sinulog Foundation Inc. Marketing and Promotions head.

In coordination with the social media teams of the Cebu Provincial Government and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the organizers are also exerting efforts in expanding social media presence.

Both government institutions will serve as reliable sources and will provide real-time updates during the celebration.

Aside from downloading the Sinulog 2018 app, Sinulog head secretariat Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes also encourages the public to download prayer apps.

Sinulog activities

Dubbed as “Kalingawan sa Plaza,” nightly activities are held at the Plaza Independencia for free. Fresh farm produce are also sold around the area.

The organizers also stressed that there will no longer be booths and Sinulog activities held along the Fuente Osmeña circle.

The Cebu City Government recently banned all parties and sale of liquor within 300 meters of the route.

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GCash to Raffle off 10 iPhone X for The SM Store Shoppers



The SM Store shoppers nationwide are in for a treat as GCash mobile wallet is set to raffle off 10 iPhone X from February to April this year.

To qualify, existing and new GCash App users just need to pay their The SM Store purchases using the GCash scan to pay feature which all The SM Stores in the country started accepting last December. Each single receipt value of at least P500 is equal to one raffle entry. Promo is valid on a monthly basis from January 15 to April 15, 2018 per DTI-FTEB Permit No.0579 Series of 2018.

Distribution of prizes, draw schedules, and valid entries are as follows:

Spend Period

Jan 15 – Feb 15, 2018

Feb 16 – March 15, 2018

March 16 – April 15, 2018

Draw date

Feb 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

April 20, 2018

Number of iPhones




While monthly winners are no longer qualified for the succeeding raffle draws, others may still get a chance to win the following month by transacting using GCash scan to pay in The SM Store again.

The winners will be notified by GCash through registered mail, mobile number (SMS and phone call) for instructions on how to claim their prize. The announcement of raffle winners will also be done through the Official GCash Facebook Page ( according to announcement schedule.

How to use GCash scan to pay:

  1. Download the GCash app on your smartphone and sign up, or update the GCash app to the latest version and login.
  2. Click “Pay QR” on the dashboard, then click “Scan QR Code” to access the QR scanner. You can also swipe left from the dashboard to access the scanner immediately.
  3. Scan to pay in The SM Store during payment
  4. Input the amount to be paid as stated by the merchant’s POS and frontliner
  5. Confirm the payment details of the transaction
  6. Upon success of payment, an sms will be received by the customer and the merchant front liner indicating that payment has been done.

Not yet a GCash subscriber? Register to GCash now by downloading the GCash App or by dialing *143#, select GCash and register.

Learn more about GCash by visiting Follow its social media channels:,, and

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Calape’s ‘Fishyalan’ Opens in February




In an effort to offer an alternative tour site to mall and resorts goers, the local government unit of Calape and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is set to open its ‘fishyalan’ next month.

Located at BFAR’s Central Visayas Multi-Species Nursery Demonstration and Training Center at Barangay Bentig, the ‘fishyalan’ is a unique place for visitors to hang out and learn new fisheries technology.

This way, BFAR can also better disseminate its advocacies, as well as information about its different programs and projects toward the development of the fisheries sector in the region.

Calape Information Officer Nicolas Sendrijas said when they open ‘fishyalan’ to the public, an entrance fee of P20/person will be collected.

The rate for children 12 years old below is P15, while rental for fishing gear with bait is P5 wherein visitors pay for the fish they catch.

They can opt to cook it there or they may bring it home.

Sendrijas, also the President of the Association of United Development Information Officers in Bohol (AUDIO-Bohol), held their first out-of-town Bisita Opisina and agency familiarization program hosted by LGU Calape at the Conference Room of BFAR’s Central Visayas Multi-Species Nursery Demonstration and Training Center on January 11.

The people’s organization, Bentig Farmers-Fishermen’s Association, is set to undergo a training on entrepreneurship to be conducted by the University of San Carlos (USC) Business Administration.

When operational and at the end of the fiscal year, the net income generated will be shared 50-50 between the PO and LGU Calape, according to Sendrijas.

As of now, worth P3 million of milkfish ( bangus, ) siganid (kitong) , pompano (talakitok) , tilapia, mangrove crab, and grouper (pugapo) have been stocked in the two fish ponds of fishyalan.

The Memorandum of Agreement for the operation of fishyalan was signed by Calape Mayor Nelson Yu and BFAR Regional Director Allan Poquita. (ecb/PIA7-Bohol)

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