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Karen Felix Santos wins 2nd prize for her short video EPiC 10 in ASEAN video competition.

The short video EPiC 10 created by Karen Felix Santos, a senior UPOU Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia, was awarded the 2nd prize at the ASEAN Youth Video Contest 2015 as announced on 8 August 2015. The contest was organized through the collaborative efforts by the ASEAN, the ASEAN Foundation (with funding from the Government of the Philippines) and National Youth Council (NYC) Singapore.

EPiC 10 was the Philippines’ official entry to the said competition. The entries were judged on the basis of originality, content, and production quality. "I was elated upon learning I was chosen as one of the top 3 winners. Only Jesus made this possible. All entries are potential winners so we really could not guess," Ms. Santos said.

Ms. Santos first learned about the contest through an announcement posted on UPOU’s twitter account. "After checking it, I felt relief knowing ASEAN was only screening storyboards in the initial phase."

After her storyboard was chosen as one of top 9 submissions out of 66 entries received, Ms. Santos flew to Singapore in June for the video production training workshop. "The 4-day workshop in Singapore was amazing! Aside from the free airfare and accommodation, I also received an allowance worth around USD 500," she said.

The workshop was conducted by ASEAN, in partnership with the ASEAN-US Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS), funded through the United Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department. It aimed to assist the finalists in transforming their storyboards into two-minute videos.

The storyboard for EPiC 10 was inspired by her advocacy in child welfare. "I had to highlight 3 current issues facing South East —natural calamities, human trafficking and illegal drugs," she explained.

"I believe I was given this opportunity to raise awareness on child-sex trafficking and its prevention. In addition to these issues, we’re all aware that natural calamities are part of our yearly struggles in the region but we always manage to rise," she added. The final video was animated and featured superhero characters, which she believes would resonate well with children.

Ms. Santos, who is currently an ESL teacher, was drawn to the flexibility that UPOU provides to its students. "My exposure to useful websites and software has equipped me in teaching. I feel more confident because I’m always updated with the latest trends through UPOU. All my professors are tech-savvy and intellectuals," she said. She hopes to become a multimedia strategist someday. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

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UPOU Class of 2015 graduates with UP President as guest commencement speaker.

The University of the Philippine Open University conducted its 19th Commencement Exercises on 25 July 2015 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, with UP President Alfredo Pascual as the Commencement Speaker.

A total of 378 degrees were conferred…

Read more: UPOU Holds 19th Commencement Exercises, Confers 378 Degrees

21st Century Education in an Open World