By Angelo Lorenzo
Ten-year-old writer Bettina Reika A. Namoco from Cagayan de Oro City released her debut book, The Girl with the Gift in December 2022.
The book, which Namoco wrote in a span of three months, follows the fantastical adventure of a teenager with magical abilities who goes on a quest to rescue lost children from an evil antagonist.
In January 2023, the book received recognition and critical acclaim from local readers and prominent writers.
Inspiration amidst the pandemic
“I read a lot of adventure books during the pandemic,” Namoco said, sharing her inspiration. “I also watched shows like Stranger Things.”(Namoco signs copies of the book. As a homeschooler, Namoco takes every chance to learn new skills and uses her talents to produce creative projects.)
As a student of the Catholic Filipino Academy Homeschool (CFAH), Namoco utilized most of her time by learning, applying what she learned from her studies, and putting her ideas into good use.
She pitched the concept to CFAH’s extracurricular group, The Book Writers’ Club (BWC) in August 2022. The group is composed of CFAH students who are passionate about reading. After receiving approval from the BWC editors, Namoco started writing the manuscript with the help of her mother.
They completed the final draft in November 2022 and submitted it to the editors.
“It is a story about family and friendship,” Namoco reflected, explaining how the book is relatable to children her age and how it can inspire them to appreciate the value found in family and friends.
“Bettina is enjoying every learning opportunity,” Rhoda Namoco, the author’s mother, said. “Being homeschooled, she mostly spends her time at home.”
(Ten-year-old writer Bettina Reika A. Namoco publishes her first book, a rare but special achievement for children her age.)
“During her free time,” she added, “Bettina continues to learn to play the violin. She bakes new recipes she finds online, makes her own tea, and conducts science experiments.”
While completing a book is a major milestone and accomplishment for children her age, Namoco’s creativity expands to other crafts.(A month after its release, The Girl with the Gift reached critical acclaim from prominent writers and popularity among local readers.)
According to her mother, Namoco is also fond of drawing and painting.
“If it makes you happy, then just do it!” Namoco said.
Commendations and future collaboration
Namoco is planning to collaborate with her best friend as the illustrator for the book’s potential sequel, which they estimate to be launched before the year ends.(The Girl with the Gift follows the quest of a teenager who possesses powers to rescue missing children.)
As readers are waiting for the second book, the current literary work has received critical acclaim from renowned writers.
CFAH founder Bo Sanchez, who is also a best-selling author of Christian-themed books, encouraged Namoco in a blurb found on the book’s back-end cover: “Continue to write more awesome stories and use the talent that God has given you.”
Meanwhile, CDO-based writer and Palanca Award recipient Ma. Elena Paula praised the juvenile writer for her style: “The merging of fantasy and reality, the use of words in a book within a book is a stellar exercise of the imagination and writing skills of this young author.”
With the support of her parents and CFAH, Namoco continues to develop her talents and discover new skills with her creative hobbies.
“Allow them to explore the world with guidance,” Namoco’s mother said in her advice to parents who are raising creative children.
Readers can purchase copies of The Girl with the Gift online.
Christmas season is always a favorite time of the year for Filipinos.
Mallers and shoppers feel the presence of the Christmas Spirit and appreciate the twinkling lights around SM CDO Downtown Premier with this year theme: "Dazzling Downtown Christmas."
The Mall turned on the lights through Christmas on October 23, 2022, witnessed by a lot of amazed shoppers.
Mr. Joey M. Tumolva, Regional Operations Manager for SM Supermalls Mindanao, cited that SM always loves celebrating Christmas and make sure that everyone enjoys the amazing lights, foods to dine with, and products and goodies discounts during the season.
"Give us your Mall gain, your time, your attention and your laughter this holiday season. There's no place to do this than at SM CdO downtown premier, Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for giving us hope here in Cagayan de Oro."
Gracing also the event were Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya representing Mayor Rolando Uy.
" We Kagayanons always celebrate Christmas everyday. Because according to our subscribed understanding, Christmas is loving and to give love every day. And this ceremony symbolises acts of kindness and generosity and there is no institution that would lead and open Cagayan de Oro to this act of kindness and generosity other than SM Cagayan de Oro."
One of the highlights of this year SM's Christmas lighting ceremony is the magnificent giant christmas tree, tunnel of lights, and golden fountain where shoppers can enjoy and take instaggramable photos.
Whether at home, at the office, or on the road, gadgets have made our lives easier, more convenient, and even happier – as in the case of home entertainment – through the most creative of innovations and the most advanced technology.
The good news for SM Appliance customers is that they not only can shop for the latest gadget finds, but also have a chance to win exciting prizes in its Gadgets Everyday Raffle Promo, which is ongoing until July 31, 2022.
Create a smart home with LG Stylers that refresh and sanitize garments by reducing allergens for clothes, pillow and more in minutes, keeping you fresh and hygienic. There are also energy saving Samsung inverter washing machines that can customize washing habits with automatic selection drying course with AI Control technology. Cooking your family’s heart-healthy favorite recipes also made faster and more efficient with the high performance Beko Range with specially-designed burners and multifunctional oven.
At your home entertainment center, upgrade your movie nights to an ultimate cinematic experience with the Samsung The Serif TV’s elegant white frame, QLED technology and smart features that elevate streaming standards. You may move The Serif literally anywhere in the room because of its Detachable Floor Stand.
Get the ultimate cinematic experience at home with Samsung The Premiere TV Projector with elegant minimized design and built-in speaker. This is not only space saving, but uses a triple laser light source for a dramatic home cinema viewing that’s just like being in a theater.
Stay connected with family, friends, and associates with smartphones like the foldable and water resistant Samsung Galaxy ZFold 3 with unrivalled camera zoom, big storage capacity and long battery life. With its Flex Mode feature, it splits the large screen into two or three apps at once for instant multitasking. Taking best night shots also made easy with premium Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra series Nightography camera feature. The Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3 that folds to fit small-sized pockets can also be found at SM Appliance.
Now is the best time to shop for your favorite gadgets and appliances with SM Appliance’s Gadgets Everyday Raffle Promo which is ongoing until July 31, 2022. Every P1000 single receipt of purchase at SM Appliance branches or online channel at www.smappliance.com or ShopSM at https://shopsm.com/
Sixty (60) lucky winners will bring home these amazing Samsung gadgets and more! All winners shall receive KonsultaMD vouchers where they can get access to 24/7 online consultations, Grab vouchers, Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi with 10GB load bundled with 1-year Discovery+ subscription.
Head over to your nearest SM Appliance branch or visit their online channel at www.smappliance.com or ShopSM at https://shopsm.com/
Enjoy watching your favorite movies and TV shows with this stylish 43-inch Samsung The Serif 4K TV with its 360 All Round Design. You may place The Serif literally anywhere in the room because of its Detachable Floor Stand. One (1) lucky winner can bring home this Samsung The Serif TV. Check out Gadgets Everyday Raffle Promo.
The iconic Genghis Khan directed by Manuel Conde is based on the life of the Mongol ruler and emperor. It was the earliest film to depict the Khan's life, and the first Filipino film to be acclaimed at an international film festival.
Japanese lifestyle retailer Miniso recently launched its Miniso Wink Rewards Card loyalty program with lots of exciting perks and rewards. Now, there’s more reason to check out and shop for Miniso’s fun and fashionable finds.
That’s because cardholders get a 10% off on regular items upon registration, a double reward points during special days and occasions, and priority lane access when you visit the store. There are also promo of the month’s discounts and offers exclusive to members only, and a 20% off discount on regular priced items during the member’s birth month.
And the good news is that the card can also be used as a Beep Card at all partner merchants and transport stations like P2P, LRT, MRT, etc. and it has the same function as the ordinary blue beep card which is reloadable and can be also used to pay at merchants/terminals that accept beep.
The Miniso Wink Rewards Card which only costs P200 can be used to earn points on all merchandise purchases and redeem points for in-store credit. Customers must present their Miniso Wink Card at the cashier during check out and points will be awarded. For every P200 spent, customers will collect 1 membership point automatically credited to account after 7-10 days from the date of purchase. It can be redeemed inside Miniso stores as cash to purchase any item from Miniso (1 point = P1.)
The Wink Rewards Card can only be used at Miniso stores nationwide except Miniso stores inside SM Hypermarket, Savemore, and Alfamart.
Conveniently shop and earn rewards using Miniso Wink Rewards Card! For more details, visit Miniso in-store or online via shop.minisoph.com or follow MinisoPhilippines in Facebook and Miniso PH in Instagram. (PR)
Get beyond excited with the trendy and fun summer fashion collection at Surplus located in most SM Supermalls. For a more convenient shopping experience, you may check out Surplus at Lazada, Shopee, SM Malls Online, and ShopSM. Surplus Order to Deliver is also now available; join their Viber community and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @SurplusPH and @Surplus_ph for more details. (PR)
Cool and casual tropical print shirt.
Get a fit and fab body this summer with SM Woman Active’s Mid-Rib with U-back Sports bra with Ribbed Bike shorts.
Filipinos love weddings! Perhaps it’s because of the romantic in us and these have a way of bringing families and friend together. While many still prefer traditional weddings, new concepts like destination weddings and ready two wear bridal gowns have become popular in recent years.
Weddings have become more intimate occasions attended by only immediate family members during the past two years because of the pandemic. But with the recent easing of restrictions, we see couples planning grander ones closer to their dream weddings.
Whether you’re planning a simple or grand ceremony, you can still walk down the aisle in style with Kultura’s Selebrasyon collection. There are beautifully designed bridal gowns and barongs - traditional or reinvented for modern brides and grooms – and marked by the elegant craftsmanship of our local designers and
artisans. All of these can also be worn by entourage, sponsors, and guests.
Brides-to-be will love Kultura’s exquisite Filipiniana embroidered, beaded, or hand painted ensembles. There are exquisite gowns that will make walking down the aisle breathtaking when worn with delicate veils from the store. For the modern bride, there are pieces like terno sleeved tops that can be mixed and matched with silk pants and long skirts.
Grooms can choose from Kultura’s selection of elegant barongs in Piña Silk, Silk Cocoon, Cotton Silk, Organdy, and Jusi materials with intricate embroidery details.
Favors, tablescape dining accessories, entourage gifts, and decors are also available making Kultura a one-stop shop for your Filipino-themed wedding.
Check out Kultura’s Selebrasyon Wedding Collection in store, online or thru call to deliver for all your Filipino-themed wedding needs. Kultura ships here and abroad. (PR)Embroidered blue organdy barong with a mandarin collar.
Sheriff Woody, Andy’s favorite pull-up cowboy doll and the leader of the group. . . Buzz Lightyear, the space ranger. . . Bo Peep, the porcelain doll . . . Hamm, the piggy bank . . . Forky, the recycled fork toy. These are among the well-loved living toys from Pixar-Disney’s iconic Toy Story that kids of all ages can now find in the Miniso X Toy Story collection.
The Miniso X Toy Story Collection brings together the Japanese lifestyle retailer for the young and the nostalgic Talking toys from Disney-Pixar in a fun collaboration for new generation.
The 1995 iconic movie “Toy Story” was the first Pixar-Disney collaboration on a feature-length computer-animated film that made childhood classics toys come to life like Mr. Potato Head, Etch-A-Sketch and toy soldiers on the big screen.
The Miniso X Toy Story collection features fashionable yet functional creatively cool items. These include gadget accessories such as mouse pads and earphones; accessories such as bucket hats and caps; sling and tote bags; coin purses, keychains and other novelty pieces.
Relive the infinity and beyond fun with Woody and the gang in Miniso x Toy Story Blind Box Collection.
The Body Shop and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth launch global collaboration calling for more young voices in the halls of power their joint the Be Seen Be Heard campaign.
That’s because millions of young people are missing from public life. With the climate crisis, global conflict and generational inequalities running rampant, the inputs, perspectives and representation of youth are needed more than ever.
Almost half the world's population is under 30. Yet, they make up only 2.6% of parliamentarians around the world. The average age of a world leader is currently 62. Of all the parliaments in the world, 37% do not have a single Member of Parliament (MP) under age 30 and less than 1% of these young MPs are women.
Young people have the right to be included in political decisions that affect them, however, numerous barriers prevent their participation. The Body Shop and the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth are collaborating to change this through the global Be Seen Be Heard campaign to amplify youth voices in public life.
The campaign seeks to create long-term structural changes to decision-making to be more inclusive of young people. It was launched last May 11 with the release of a joint report, ‘Be Seen Be Heard: Understanding young people’s political participation’. The report which includes findings from the largest-ever survey carried out by The Body Shop in December 2021, covering 26 countries with 27,043 respondents in total, over half of which were under age 30.
The research found that 82% of people surveyed agree that political systems need drastic reform to be fit for the future. Across the board, 84% of people described politicians as ‘self-interested’ and 75% of people surveyed think politicians are corrupt.
The majority, two in three people, also agree that the age balance in politics is wrong, with 8 in 10 people of all ages believing the ideal voting age (the age when someone can first vote) is 16 to 18, despite that in most countries around the world the voting age is 18 or over. A third of those under age 30 surveyed would consider running for office versus only a fifth of those over age 30. People across all age groups agree that more opportunities for younger people to have a say in policy development and/or change would make political systems better.
David Boynton, CEO of The Body Shop says, “Our position is clear. The world’s problems cannot be solved by the same people making the same choices. Our research indicates the majority of young people are positive about the future, and we need to hear their views and ideas inside the halls of power. Be Seen Be Heard is rooted in creating a fairer world with and for young people, and together with the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth – we are on a mission to do exactly that.”
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth says, “The intergenerational gap in power, influence and trust constitutes one of the biggest challenges of our time. As young people have made abundantly clear through their activism on the streets, in civil society and on social media, they care deeply about the transformational change needed to create more equal, just and sustainable societies. Participation is a right, and this campaign is an opportunity to change that.”
The Body Shop and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth push for transformational change. Among other actions, young people’s participation in public decision-making could be improved long-term by lowering voting ages, increasing formal youth representation through youth councils, parliaments, or committees, removing barriers for young people to participate in public decision-making, simplifying registration for first-time voters, and improving young people’s leadership skills.
Campaigning in 2,600 stores, in over 75 countries, across six continents. The collaboration between The Body Shop and the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth will mean that young people and other stakeholders will be able to engage with the campaign through many routes. Local campaign activations will include partnerships with specific youth-led or youth-focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and/or opportunities to support through petitions and other activations.
The campaign launched globally in May 2022 and will run until mid-2025. Check out the campaign website for further information
About The Body Shop
As a B Corp business, The Body Shop is committed to ambitious social and environmental targets. Earlier this year, it established a Youth Collective to help amplify youth voices within its own business. The Body Shop Youth Collective is formed of 10-12 people from inside and outside the business, all aged under 30. They will advise The Body Shop Executive Leadership Team with the views and voices of young people.
The Body Shop invests heavily in activism and has a dedicated activism team, focused on research and tactics, operating around the world. Long before activism was an industry buzzword, The Body Shop has pushed for change where other brands saw risks. It has mobilised its global collective and campaigned for over 20 years on issues such as the rights of indigenous peoples, animal rights, sex trafficking and the burning of the Amazon rainforest.
About the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
In 2017, the UN Secretary-General appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Special Envoy on Youth and as the youngest senior official in the history of the organization.
The Envoy on Youth’s mandate is to harmonize the UN system efforts on youth development, enhance the UN response to youth needs, advocate for the development needs and rights of young people, as well as to bring the work of the United Nations on youth closer to them. For more information, follow @UNYouthEnvoy on social media and visit our website at www.un.org/youthenvoy. (PR)
The Body Shop and United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth launch ‘Be Seen Be Heard’ to amplify young voices in the halls of power. From left to right; Samson Itodo, Gina Martin, Jayathma Wickramanayake, Chris Davis. Photo by Joel Sheakoski, Joel S Photo
Sprint Peak Sneakers from the SM Men’s Shoes Department.
It’s summer whenever, wherever at SM Beauty! Just scan the QR code to shop your summer essentials online. You may also check out SM Beauty outlets located in most SM Supermalls nationwide.
Have a cinematic experience in your home this summer with this innovative Skyworth 4K LED Smart TV exclusively from SM Appliance Center.
The annual SM Stationery ArtFest combines inspiration with modern technology - and great prizes – in its TikTok Artfest: Art is Hope Contest.
Art, after all, is said to be a source of healing and home during difficult and uncertain times. During the pandemic, some found comfort in sketching and drawing; while others have unleashed their creativity with some DIY craft kits like Miniature woodcraft, and Slime Making.
A joint project of SM Stationery, with brands Faber Castell, Sharpie, Elmer’s, Sakura, Artline and Artherapy, the contest encourages shoppers to share their art journey on TikTok to inspire others, and have a chance to win exciting prizes.
Every P500 worth of sponsored brands Artherapy, Elmer’s, Artline, Maped, Sharpie, and Faber Castell in-store at the SM Stationery section or online at shopsm.com and at the www.smstationery.com.ph entitles one to join the contest. There are two categories: Adult (ages 18-50) and Kids (ages 12-17).
Prizes include P10,000 worth of SM Stationery items and a Realme Cellphone for 2 Winners in the Adult Category and 2 Winners in the Kids Category. There will also be weekly prizes worth P5,000 for six winners in the Art is Hope raffle.
Create an artwork, show the progress of your artwork on TikTok, and show why this signifies that Art is Hope. Upload your art TikTok and make sure to tag @smstationery and put these hashtags #SMStationeryArtFest2022 #ArtIsHopeContest to qualify. The announcement of winners will be announced on May 31, 2022.
The SM Stationery TikTok Art Fest 2022: ART IS HOPE is in partnership with Sharpie, Faber Castell, Artline, Artherapy, Elmer’s, Sakura and Realme. Also, Be one of the lucky winners with the SM Stationery #ArtIsHopeRaffle. Simply, follow @smstationery and their brand partners on TikTok and comment on their post using #SMStationeryArtFest2022 and #ArtIsHopeRaffle hashtags. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2022. For more info, visit our website www.smstationery.com.ph and follow us on Instagram and Facebook in smstationeryph. (PR)
Art is Hope at the SM Stationery TikTok ARTFEST where you can create your own inspiring work or be one of their lucky raffle winners. Promo runs until May 31, 2022.
Easter makes a stop at SM! And bunnies, toys, chocolates, candies and lots of egg-citement celebrate the hope and new life that comes with spring and Christ’s resurrection.
The SM Store’s Kids’ Accessories section is a great Easter bunny stop. There are fun and functional plush Bunny Headphones, Bunny Arm Pillows, Bunny Plush Round pillows, Plush Cuddle Buddies Rabbit pillows, and Bunny fans.
Snack Exchange has chocolates, candies, and other sweet treats for your Easter Egg Hunt! There are colorful toy eggs and baskets from Dutche Chocolates; as well as lollipops in festive spring colors, swirls, and Easter shapes like bunny ears and colored eggs. An egg-citing surprise awaits kids with Kinder Joy’s hidden toys.
Toy Kingdom has amazing stuff that highlight the Easter Spirit with its cuddly Kawaii Bunny plushies. There are colorful and delightful eggs, wonderful pails and baskets that you can design for Easter egg hunting.
Shop in-store or online and celebrate the Eggs-traordinary Easter Fun with the SM Store, SM Snack Exchange and Toy Kingdom. Visit www.thesmstore.com or order via The SM Store Call To Deliver services at #143SM (#14376) and have a personal shopper assists you. For more updates and exciting deals, follow TheSMStore in Facebook and on Instagram. (PR)
Have a delightful and cool Easter with this fashionable AXCS Plush Bunny wired and adjustable Headphones. Available in pink, white and purple color at the Kids’ Accessories Department at The SM Store.
Topping the list are new toys from Batman and Barbie that have brought happiness to kids for many generations. This summer, the incredibly detailed McFarlane DC Comics Multiverse Batman Figure and Barbie’s Color Reveal Mermaid sets will be delightful additions to their collection.
Toys that allow kids to discover outdoor fun come next. With eased restrictions, this is the best time for kids to enjoy and explore the great outdoors. They make a splash in your own backyard with cool inflatable pools, floaters and bubble blasters. Create your own exciting water adventure with a Giant rectangular pool or Waterslide with Gator sprinkler pool.
Or they can have a blast biking around the neighborhood or in the park. There are Disney-inspired bikes, foldable e-Scooters, and protection sets for active kids on the go; as well as motorized Motor Trucks and Go Karts by Rux and Segway. These will make your kids love cycling and electronic mobility as they explore the outdoors.
Rounding up the list are portable playsets from Frozen and Barbie; and Play-Doh sets where kids can explore their creative side.
Check out the Toy Kingdom’s Hooray for Play Collection in-store or on their website at www.toykingdom.com.ph and order now thru their Call to Deliver services at 0917.5578797 and have a personal shopper assist you. Follow ToyKingdomPH in Facebook and Instagram. (PR)
Take frozen fun on the go with Disney’s Frozen 2 Elsa’s Fold & Go Ice Palace Playset.
With summer ahead and easier travel, it’s the perfect time to have a pawsome break with your fur babies. Whether it’s just a stroll in the park, an afternoon in a mall’s Paw Park, spending a weekend getaway like swimming at the beach or a day hike with your dog, Pet Express has outdoor essentials that will keep your adventures safe and worry-free.
Pet Express, the one-stop shop for all your pet’s essentials, has a wide variety of outdoor accessories like collapsible pool and feeding bowls; tug toys and treat dispensing toys; and pet wagons and strollers, that will keep your dog active and safe this summer. Here are some practical tips to keep your active dog safe on your next adventure:
1. Create a checklist on your dog’s needs. Pack a lot of dog treats and meals that can be easily fed to your dog; and bring plenty of water and cool mat to beat the heat.
2. Have your dog checked with your vet before going on an outdoor adventure. Make sure that your dog’s flea and tick treatment and vaccinations are up-to date too.
3. Try not to feed your dog for an hour or two before you travel, this can help prevent motion sickness during your ride.
4. While on the road, have a bucket car seat for your dog to keep them in place while moving.
5. Start slow on your hike and always keep your dogs on a leash while walking on your trail.
6. Make sure your dogs are always place in a fully shaded and cool area after a long walk and keep them hydrated. Always bring cooling collars, vest and mats that are very
useful during hot summer days.
7. Watch out for signs of heatstroke brought about my extreme temperatures - heavy panting, difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, dizziness, profuse salivation, vomiting, and
a deep red or purple tongue.
Pet parents can now place their order online thru www.petexpress.com.ph and on their Call and Collect services in selected branches and shop thru a PAWSONAL SHOPPER at 0917.8091864. Also, Pet Express is now open at The SM Stores in SM Ortigas, SM Makati, SM Southmall, SM Bicutan, SM East Ortigas, SM Marikina, SM Novaliches, SM Bacoor, SM Marilao, SM Clark, and SM Cebu. For more info and updates, follow PetExpressPH on Instagram and Facebook. (PR)
Teach your pet to talk with these Pet Express Speech Buttons.
Japanese lifestyle retailer Miniso brings sporting fun and cuteness to your home and office with its new MINI Family Series.
The MINI Family Series is an original collection from Miniso, featuring MINI Family pals: Minisau, the Dino: Memo, the kitten; Shiba Inu, the puppy, Bunbun, the rabbit; Piglet, the piggy; and Penpen, the penguin. These warm and comfy, cuddly and adorable plushies believe that “Life and Sports is Fun”, which makes them a great team for the sports they love, Football.
The Miniso x MINI Family Sports Series features functional yet playful items that will get you fit-spired. These include gadget accessories such as desk and mouse pads in Team Red and Team Blue designs; as well as wireless speakers with night lights for your cool down.
Play some hoops with its storage bins and keep your home tidy with a floor mat. There are also coasters and ceramic mugs for your coffee breaks.
Conveniently shop for your favorite Miniso x MINI Family Sports Series in-store or online via shop.minisoph.com. For more updates, follow MinisoPhilippines in Facebook and Miniso PH in Instagram. (PR)
The MINI Family Sports Series brings active fun to Miniso PH stores.