May 2015

More movie screenings for deaf and blind held

Written by  Tribune Wires

Inspired by the warm response to the first simultaneous movie screenings for the deaf and blind last year, SM Supermalls opened more theaters for the special screening to cater to more audience in other parts of the country.

From four theaters last year, SM’s Movies for the Deaf and Blind, the first of its kind in the country, has been expanded to 31 malls all over the country, reaching more people with visual and hearing impairments.

SMMK - communications track students from Marikina Kalumpang High School

Conducted in partnership with the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Deaf-Blind Support Philippines (DBSP), CALL Foundation and SM Cinemas, 31 malls held simultaneous screenings of movies especially suited for the deaf and blind. The movies featured an audio-description and closed captioning to benefit the visually impaired and deaf audience.

SM launched the program last 2013 with a single screening at the SM Megamall. Buoyed up by the positive feedback, SM, through its corporate social responsibility arm SM Cares, expanded the program to four malls in 2014.

Edgardo “Bong” Garcia, president of DBSP, said they initiated the project as it is part of their advocacy to provide accessibility of information and all forms of communication for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

“We want all mediums to be available to PWDs and that includes visual and audio entertainment for the Deaf and Blind because it allows them the simple pleasures of watching movies,” Garcia said. “In audio-described movies, concise narration of action and key visual scenes are inserted into pauses in between dialogs for additional context to visually impaired watchers. Closed captioning not only displays spoken dialog as printed words but also identifies speakers, indicates sound effects, music and laughter for the benefit of deaf audience.”

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This year, SM extended the program even more to include more malls and make the screening quarterly instead of just a once-a-year screening.

Asked on why SM agreed to be a partner in the program, Bien Mateo, SM’s vice president for operations and program director of Disability Affairs of SM Cares, explained this is consistent with the thrust of SM in prompting inclusion rather than segregation.

“It has been part of the corporate social responsibility of SM to make all SM malls a Mall for All, that no one gets left behind, even those members of the family that are physically challenged such as the blind and the deaf. This is one way to integrate them in our society, for them to enjoy the malls and all their offerings just like everyone else,” he stressed.

He said the whole PWD community expressed its warm gratitude for the pioneering effort of SM to hold the event.

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“They really enjoyed the movies and cherished them as a rare opportunity to witness and experience the special screening. They look forward to the next screenings,” he said.

He added the whole SM community is extremely elated for the strong and positive response that they got from their partners and the public.

“We are truly inspired by the warm response. Slowly, we are making it a new lifestyle for the PWD community, especially those who are visually and hearing impaired. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with MTRCB, DBSP & CALL Foundation and we look forward to more movie dates with our PWD community,” Mateo said.

To know more about SM Cares, please visit www.smcares.smdccn.com, www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares or e-mail smcares@smsupermalls.com.

SM Global Pinoy holds financial management seminar for OFWs

  • Written by Charlie V. Manalo from the Daily Tribune

Emphasizing the need to manage their finances to prepare for their eventual return to the Philippines, SM Global Pinoy, in partnership with the Couples for Christ Migrant’s Program, is conducting a nationwide financial management seminar for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

Dubbed “Seminar on Financial Growth, Abundance and Stewardship (FGAS), Manage Your Money, Manage Your Life,” the seminar is designed to help guide migrants and their families towards financial empowerment and independence by equipping them with knowledge in the proper use of their financial resources.

11157447_1001032936593198_3311752022462068861_o  Participants doing a group activity at SM City Bicutan

Glenn Ang, program director of SM Global Pinoy, said the seminars, conducted in various SM malls all over the country, are geared towards supporting communities, especially OWFs and their families. Some 800 participants so far have taken part in the seminars.

“So many times we hear stories of our migrant workers who, despite their years of service abroad, end up much worse than when they left the country because of failure on their part and of their families to value the financial blessings they received. We want to address that to make them better prepared for the future,” Ang said.

The three-hour seminar also aims to make the participants understand the value of their blessings so that they would be inspired to take care of them.

“OFWs, especially their families, so often just take the money given to them for granted so they just squander it. This seminar aims to make them realize the value not just of saving but taking care of the financial resources being received by each family,” Ang said.

Participants are given modules on the information and skills to pay off their debts and control indiscriminate spending, prepare a budget and prepare a financial plan and teach them how to increase their savings and put their money on investments.

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Couples for Christ facilitator at SM City Novaliches.

The seminar is open to all SM Global Pinoy members, OFW’s and their immediate family members, for free, including those who are part of different religious groups.

The seminar kicked off on March 25, 2015 at SM South Mall and SM City Sta. Rosa. Upcoming seminars are scheduled as follows: May 6 — SM City Cagayan de Oro, SM City Baguio, SM City Lucena, SM City Bacolod, SM Lanang, and SM City Taytay; May 8 — SM City Dasmariñas; May 10 — SM City Pampanga; May 18 — SM Center Muntinlupa; June 27 — SM City Clark and July 2 — SM City Fairview.

Ang said they have agreed to be involved in the project because they believe that OFWs and their families should be given all the tools to enable them to grow not just financially but holistically in order to create a more positive impact to their families and communities.

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Participant sharing his learnings at SM City North Edsa.

“This is part of our continuing tribute to their heroism in this modern-day age and this project will make sure that they achieve financial success so that their sacrifices and hard work will not be put to waste. This is in line with SM’s commitment to supporting communities,” Ang said.