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MILLENNIALS LOOK up to that rousing moment, to something inspiring that will jolt them up from stupor and idleness, out of the present-day quandary of a generation whose mindset is largely shaped by the abundance of easily accessible digital information and technology.

When PLDT, the country’s leading telecoms and digital services provider, opened its doors to these millennials―specifically those belonging to the virtual reality (VR) community―it not only stirred them to unleash their potential but also helped them achieve feats worthy of emulation by their generation.

“PLDT inspires the country’s young and brilliant minds, just like our team, to pursue the great potential of Virtual Reality,” said Juan Paolo Espiritu during the recent opening of PLDT’s newest Innovation Laboratory (Innolab) at the Makati CBD.

PLDT Innolab’s all-out support to the VR community

PLDT’s seventh Innolab in Makati CBD (after Manila, Clark, Subic, Cebu, Davao and Baguio) is a world-class facility where innovative products and business solutions are tested and developed, and where PLDT’s field experts provide training, ICT services and other technical assistance to the digital clientele, including the VR community composed of start-ups in software and gaming industry, and VR other enthusiasts.

Espiritu is an engineer in his mid-20s who also led Team VROS which developed the Diwata VR, an app for students that simulates accurate rotation movements and sensor measurements in space as well as a breathtaking view of the Earth.

Team VROS bagged the Overall Winner, the Most Innovative Use of VR, and Best Application at the three-day 1st Philippine Virtual Reality (VR) Conference recently held at the PLDT Innolab in Manila.

Espiritu’s team mates and fellow millennials, John Hay Supetran and Mark Joseph Basibas, said “PLDT has helped many college students and young professionals open their minds to innovations,” and especially referred to their VR entry as an educational platform which, in the future, may be tapped by the academe and other institutions.

“PLDT is at the right time and the right place in supporting these young VR leaders of the community,” Joey Limjap, PLDT vice president for ICT Research and Development, said, adding that PLDT’s support in various technology advancement programs, including tech start-ups in VR, is PLDT’s unceasing advocacy to promote innovative technological breakthroughs in the country.

Developing VR in the Philippines might still be a dream without PLDT’s sponsorship, said Paul Gilbert Maglaya, a 24 year-old coach of Team Arstar and a faculty member who teaches animation and game development course at the Jose Rizal University.

“PLDT helped us in many ways as it pioneered VR and helped a lot of developers, artists and enthusiasts make dreams a reality,” Maglaya said, whose team was awarded the Most Immersive and Best User Experience for their Nayong Pilipino VR App.

Team Arstar is composed of team captain Neil Joshua Realubit, and members Renato Sotomayor and Keaton ‘Batman’ Varlez, all junior animation and game development students from the JRU.

The convenient and cutting-edge facilities at the PLDT Innolab are enough to elicit appreciation from the Team Supremo for PLDT’s support to the VR community.

“Having a nice and larger space for the VR Game Jam and Conference really helped us (along with) good internet connection during the hackathon and game jams,” said the 20-year old Ace Lobos from the Cavite State University, whose team’s entry, ‘The Leaning Tower of Piza,’ was adjudged The Best Game during the VR Conference.

Team Supremo is composed of Kristoffer Lirazan from the CIIT College of Arts and Technology, and John Kevin Pineda, Maekell Ivan Mina and Shaun Torralba from the Far Eastern University-Institute of Technology who said they named the team after the great proletarian Andres Bonifacio “because the team aims for something revolutionary or for a supreme output.”