Asia-EU Cartoon Connection 2019 Meeting

17 06 2019

Last March 5, 2019. Top Peg Animation & Creative Studio Inc. was invited by the Korea Trade Center Manila (KOTRA) to the ASIA-EU CARTOON CONNECTION 2019, which will be held on May 30-31, 2019 at InterContinetal Hotel, Seoul, South Korea.

The event will be attended by professionals and industry experts and leaders in the animation/cartoon industry. It was a meeting with potential partners in the industry from around the world. There would be one-on-one business meetings, project pitchings, animation conference, and capital consultation. KOTRA Manila also offered 100% accommodation expenses (subsidy) to interested companies.

Top Peg was interested, but the finances of the company were a bit low, and we knew that airfare to Korea is a bit high, so we declined at first.

Then on March 11, 2019, Ms. Ingrid M. Javalera of the Department of Tourism and Industry (DTI) forwarded the invitation to the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI) and they mentioned that both airfare and hotel accommodations would be free but limited to one per company.

Top Peg decided to send Luis B. Dimaranan, to the event. Luis decided to invite his son, Baron A. Dimaranan, who has a partner/startup company Fallacious Owl that does Software Development. Luis thought it would be good training for Baron to speak with contemporaries and to see what are the trends in the industry today.

They left Manila on the evening of May 28, 2019. Baron, who had an earlier flight, was supposed to arrive in Incheon airport at 12:00 midnight and Luis at 4:00 AM the next day. Due to a flight delay, Baron arrived at 2 AM and he just needed to wait for 2 hours for Luis. Other delegates took a cab to their airport, but since the bus transfer from the airport to the hotel was free, Luis and Baron waited until 8 AM.

Unfortunately, they missed the courtesy call at the Philippine Embassy, which the other delegates were able to attend. Luis and Baron arrived at their hotel -the InterContinental Seoul COEX, which is located at Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

Philippine Embassy Courtesy Call

An orientation for the delegates was held in the afternoon, which Luis and Baron were able to attend. According to Baron, almost all the companies that attended were basically the same as ours: service providers, except for France which provides funding to eventual partners, and Thailand that was looking to outsource their project.

The program schedule was also announced, in the morning of May 30, would be the pitching of companies, and on the afternoon would be the Business Meetings, that Luis pre-picked before arriving in Korea. On the last day, it will all be business meetings.

Each company was introduced on stage and Luis also introduced Baron. It was the first conference for Baron and he said that it was nerve-wracking and exciting. He was also excited to see the AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality)  pitch.



Philippine Delegates

May 30, 2019

This was the official opening of the event it also coincided with the Korea Service Market 2019, which had an exhibit at the same venue (InterContinental Seoul COEX).

There was a booth for AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) and Unity.

Then the pitching started. There were a number of companies that pitched, but Baron only listed those who he thinks were relevant to our needs.

Luis and Baron in the foreground

Nick Hall presenting

CBeebies Animation & Acquisitions (UK)

The first speaker was Nick Hall, Senior Programme Executive of CBeebies Animation & Acquisitions, BBC, UK. CBeebies is basically the Children’s broadcast media of BBC. He was in charge of BBC Children’s series such as Hey Dugge and Sarah & Duck.

They had their own IPs, and they also commission work. What interested Baron here was that they were looking for content, and since we had content in The Crop Circle Warriors, Baron listened to what were their needs.

They listed criteria on their needs. Since most of their IPs were for small children, they were looking to target content for TEENS. They also said that the IP did not have to be finished already, even 25% completion would be good for them. In fact, they would like to share ideas to further enhance an IP. They were also looking for IP with a female lead, as well as IPs with Loud, Funny Action.

Studio Canal (France)

For Studio Canal, they were looking for Talent based IP, which Baron was confused at. Basically, they were looking for something unique, “Artsy”, high-tier animation with cultural relevance to France. They also touched on cultural relevance, because each region in France had a different thematic.

Danish Animation

There was a speaker for who basically promoted their school.

Big Void and other companies (China)

Baron felt that the speakers from China were really not interested in services or selling, and they were just boasting on the IPs and technology that they had.

They said they had Big Demand in China but had small services.

When making cartoons for China, it needs to appeal to the Government, and it should be based on the Cultural Heritage of the country.

One speaker said that China was a great opportunity but they lack content. They had IP that won the Golden Dragon Awards which is the highest award for cartoon characters in their country.

Another speaker gave a history of comics in China.


The speaker was Faza Meonk, creator and author of the webcomic SI-JUKI.

He is one of the “biggest” guys in the country, because of the popular webcomic. He owns the IP and he started this comic as 4-panel comics until it evolved into a full comic book.  It is a comedy about everyday life. There is merchandising and there are plans for an animated series and movie.

He talked about the history of comics and animation in Indonesia. He said that the market basically wants content FREE. They have a platform (app) for comics called CIAYO Comics where you can download and read their content. The game industry is booming as well, but they are only a few games that do localization for Indonesia. Their goal is to collaborate with other countries.

Studio Animal

They have IP that they want to reboot, basically, their IP was made back in 2003, and they felt that the story and plot are outdated. They are also looking for funding for this reboot.

Popcorn Pictures

They are a service provider for animation, film, tv and internet productions.

2Spot Studio

The makers of Bloody Bunny, a popular character with 50,000 likes on Facebook.  I remember this character, they won the Grand Prize for the Asean Character Awards 2014 during the Tokyo Game Show.

Gold Frame Animation Inc.

They are the creator of Nana Family, a series about a genius child with EI (Emotional Intelligence). It is about mishaps and learning from mistakes. They are looking for funding but they have all the designs for merchandise and animation locked in. Baron was surprised by this, which I was also surprised when I encountered these in Hong Kong Filmart. Basically, they create a project plan for a character for every media they can think of, then sell it to potential producers.

D&C Media

The last speaker was from a famous comic book company from Korea, which Baron was a big fan of. I did not know that the comic industry in Korea was big, in fact, they had their own term like Manga from Japan. They call them MANWHA, which is based on the Chinese word manhua, meaning comics.

They are a Web Toons Company and are publishing only in Korea. They have many platforms (apps) in Korea that distribute their comics. They introduced their comic “Only One Level UP” or more popularly known as “Solo Levelling”, which is about the weakest warriors/swordsman in a society of monster hunters, but suddenly gains the ability to see his abilities numerically. He basically sees a chart of his abilities and their percentages, so he knows what he needs to improve on. This basically helps him improve or “level up” until he becomes a great swordsman.

After this was a Q&A session where the audience can ask questions.

Baron is a big fan of D&C Media and he was excited to see them. He asked a question and he said he was a real fan of the comic.

May 30-31, 2019 – Business Matching

Luis was able to schedule business matching with the following companies. And to Baron’s surprise, D7C Media was one of them, but they then learned that their meeting was canceled because of the number of people who scheduled with them. Luckily their interpreter, seeing Baron was a big fan, convinced them to reconsider. And they did.

D&C Media

Baron again was excited to talk to them. They had a question though since Baron told them that he was able to read their comics in English. They said that their comics weren’t available in English. This is where Baron realized he was reading illegal copies of their work that was translated.  He apologized and said he did not know that they were illegal, and he said that there are apps that translate comics and make them available in other countries. He said that in the Philippines, there is a huge fan base for Manwha but there is no portal on where they could get it. Since Baron had a startup company for Software development, he suggested that their company can set up a portal for them. Which sparked their interest. They were also interested in having their comics made into an animation, which Baron said that Top Peg is interested in.


Another webcomic company that has 100+ IPS (comparing it to D&C Media that has thousands), so it’s a smaller company. They are looking for content and they basically want to market it in Korea. They also want to launch a portal that Baron also suggested to them. They can be a possible platform for the UCCW comic in Korea.

Art Licensing

A company that buys IP.

Ani-J Productions

They have an IP about animals, which Season 1 is already finished. The title is “The Earth Human and Animals”, 5 mins each which can be lengthened to 11 mins if needed. They are looking co-production since their budget is not that high. They are willing to give the licensing rights for a fair amount. They are looking for 104 episodes. The animation is basically very limited and based on their website, they have their characters planned to different merchandise.


They are looking for animation service providers for their Pilot. They do IP selling, which I mentioned back, which they pre-sell character designs. They have pilot episode done to help them sell their IP.

Cheeks Media

They do IP Acquisition.

B2B with Audacity Studio from Bacolod City

B2B – BPhilippines Booths

Blissful Fun Animation Inc.

B2B –Top Peg Animation & Creative Studio Inc.

B2B – Rene Misa of the Animation Council of the Philippines

B2B- Toast & Brew Animation

All the Attendees

Philippine Delegates

Philippine Delegates

Article by: Alstaire Sarthou (Interview with Mr. Baron Dimaranan)

Photos by: Courtesy of Mr. Rene B. Misa and DTI – Export Marketing Bureau.



GameCon PH Exhibit

13 07 2017

      Last July 8 -9, 2017, GameCon PH held a small exhibit for local game developers, computer and art schools, animé and game merchants, hardware game peripheral suppliers, robotics competition, 3D printers, virtual reality demos and Cosplay competition at the SM Megamal trade exhibit hall B.  I was only informed by Top Peg Animation of the exhibit on the last minute – June 21, 2017 and at first I did not want attend the exhibit because of the over budget for the creation of our mobile game.

      It took me a few days to ask about the rental fee and  I found out that the price for the two day exhibit was substantially discounted, so I gladly paid for the fee before the July 1 deadline. The said exhibit was good timing for us as we only put our mobile game – The Crop Circle Warriors at Google Play last July 3, 2017. 

      I arrived on July 8 at around 11 am up to 1:20 pm to inspect the Top Peg Animation booth for our mobile game. Since our budget was small for the exhibit, we just used the old tarpaulin we used at the ESGS exhibit last October 28 – 30, 2016.  At first I was a bit disappointed with the small venue and few number of people at the beginning. But after lunch time there were more people steadily coming in. Alstaire, Anthro and Jap stayed on for the rest of the day, I just hoped there will be more people coming in so that we can promote our mobile game more to the local market.

      I noticed that none of the local independent (indie) developers have developed or created any games or e-novels with any local theme, looks, costumes and titles . I think all the developers were geared to develop mobile or desktop games for the international market.

Principal Game Developers: Alstaire, Jap and Anthro (Standing)

      It was my first time to see our finished mobile game (five levels for one environment), and I was very pleased with it as the animation was clear and the flow of the game was smooth and fun to play with. I witnessed that some of the people who tried our mobile game were excited in playing it but some already had difficulty in the first minute. The first player I saw was a 9 year old kid with his father; the kid enjoyed the game by jumping or kicking with his feet. He was followed by some adults, some who were also exhibitors. For those who tried the game, they were given a flyer to visit Google Play to download our game for free and visit our other properties.

The Crop Circle Warriors Flyer

Below is the essay of Alstaire for the GameCon PH Exhibit:

     Last May 30, 2017 we were sent an invitation by Red Wizard Event Management to become an exhibitor at Game Con 2017, at the Megatrade Hall 2 in SM Megamall. They said that the event highlights were launchpads for Indie games, trade show, game competition, cosplay, development workshops and others. Knowing from the previous trade show we attended (ESGS 2016), having a booth is a bit expensive, so we really didn’t think we would be joining the event. 
     On June 23, Red Wizard emailed again an invite, this time they offered a discounted price, with the event really close maybe they needed to fill up some spaces. Edith told our producer about the booth and he agreed to join as a means to promote our game – The Crop Circle Warriors. We had about 2 weeks till the opening of the event which was on July 8-9. Since the game had some more polishing needed, I gave Anthro and Jap the schedule to polish the game. 
     At ESGS, we learned that showing the game through a cellphone wasn’t attractive to the people going around the exhibit. So we planned on connecting the cellphone ,with the game installed, to a 40″ LED TV. I found some HDMI adapters online and ordered them immediately.  Unfortunately, they did not function as advertised, so we had to have a backup plan. Jap packaged the game for PC use, and we installed it in a notebook computer. The notebook was then connected to the TV, also a game controller was installed so that the gamers could play comfortably.  I also had Jap remove the visual buttons on the screen  so there would be no distraction of giant buttons on the big screen TV. 
Lap Top Behind the TV to Play the Game on TV
    Jap added more sound effects into the game, especially for the teleportation and orb pick ups. Also some bugs were fixed as well as some additional fixes on the background.
     July 7, Friday was the schedule for the ingress; the time given was from 2 pm to 8 pm, since it was a work day, we planned on leaving by 2 pm thinking we would get to the venue in 2 hours. We were able to leave the office by 3 pm but because of the Friday traffic, we got to the venue at exactly 8 pm! The worst traffic I’ve experienced in EDSA before this was 3 hours, so it was really frustrating. When we got to the venue, we just dropped all the stuff, and decided to come back early tomorrow. The event organizer said that it would be okay to fix the booth on Saturday morning, so we had dinner and went back home.
    July 8, Saturday – Anthro , Jap and I, together with Jap’s girlfriend Princess, arrived at the venue at 9 am, so we had plenty of time to setup the booth. We placed the TV on the center, with the notebook hidden behind. The setup was a success, because we attracted kids and adult gamers to try our game. Sadly, we forgot to print out a feedback form, also we lacked signs that said “PLAY OUR GAME!” or “DOWNLOAD OUR GAME!” so I wrote down these signs around 12:30 pm so more people would take notice.
   Paper Signs Were Placed in Front of the TV  
     One gamer said that the game looked interesting, and he was surprised that it was done here in the Philippines. They said the quality was good and the animation was nice too. When Edward arrived, that is when I was able to go around and show him the different areas of the exhibit. There were animé and manga merchandise, contest for League of Legends and other online games, there were booths of schools, with game development as a course, there was booth for Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) and some toy stores. We even saw one of our former student having his own table for art commissions.
     The most interesting to me was the Indie Game area, because here we get to see the competition and where our game level stands. There were different Independent game developers there, with some 3D games, 2D games, animated novels, Virtual Reality games and even card games. All developed by Filipinos, some were a small group of 3 and others were a small company that had already a number of games in the Playstore. There was even a one man developer. They were all there to showcase their game to either find investors (to help them finish their games), publishers or just to market it to the public. I was happy because, in my opinion, we really had a cool looking game. There really wasn’t any game there that was similar to ours, so being an animation studio that is developing their first game, we were proud that we were able to create this game.
     I was also invited to an interview for a blog. While they showed the game at the back, another guy was playing the game, while the other was interviewing me. They loved the look of the game and was excited on what we planned for it. I said that we were an animation studio and this was our first game that we are developing. I told them that we did game art for other foreign games and we wanted to try to build one ourselves. The interviewer – Harold said that being an animation studio is evident in the game; the player said that he loved the characters smooth  moves and attacks. The unique moves gave the characters their own game identity. He also liked that it was cute for kids, but also that the game had some difficulty to play. It gave the gamers a challenge and not just a game that consumes your time. He wants to play and know more about the game; so when he asked when can they see the final game; I said hopefully, we could be at ESGS again for the launch for the full game – wishful thinking.
    After the interview, I saw that more people were in line to play the game at our booth, then I also saw 2 guys downloading the game to their phones. There was also a pitching of games from the Indie Booths at the stage with members of GDAP having a panel that was like an audition. 
    July 9, Sunday – I wasn’t able to go but Jap said that there were more cosplayers because of the competition; but the number of players who went to our booth was just the same as Saturday. Even though the venue was much smaller than that of ESGS, in my opinion, we had a better showing here and we saw that The Crop Circle Warriors mobile game had potential.
Article by Edward L. Tan and Alstaire A. Sarthou
Pictures by Edward L. Tan

Update on TESDA and Animation Council of the Philippines

13 03 2017


     Animation NCR Validation Team

     To keep the Training Regulations (TR) of each Qualification relevant and up to date. TESDA updates each qualification every 5 years. Training Regulations for Animation NCII, 2D Animation NCIII, 3D Animation NCIII and Visual Graphics Design NCIII was created last 2005, so these were overdue for an update. (NC stands for National Certificate)

      As one of the original developers for these 4 qualifications, Ms. Grace Dimaranan was tasked by TESDA to form a new team of experts to update them. You may ask, why does TESDA need to update in the first place? It may be because of new techniques, new technology, or even new definitions, but the main reason is to make sure that the candidates who will be training under these qualifications, will be sure that the skills they learn are what the industry needs today.

      Last October 2016, we were one of the Industry Experts tasked by TESDA to update the Training Regulations of Visual Graphics and Design.  The venue was at the TESDA Main Office in Taguig, we all gathered at the room assigned to us at about 9AM. To better organize, all the experts for the 4 qualifications were all together in one place, for orientation. TESDA assigned experts to guide us to make sure that all adjustments made to the current TRs are based on the standards of TESDA.

Training Regulations (TR) Development

      It was explained that we could work on the TRs at home and when we were done we would send it online for the TESDA representatives to check when all the TRs were ready, we would then meet at TESDA to polish the work we have done.

      One TESDA objective was to streamline the Core Competencies of each qualification and to make sure that the Core was all critical to learning that particular skill. We had to take out certain Core elements or merge 2 elements into 1, so it would much clearer for both the Trainor and the trainees when the new TR is released. As an example, in the original TR for Visual Graphics Design, Creating Vector Graphics using graphics application, was a core or unit of competency. In the new TR, this is now incorporated in Creating a Logo Design, since using software was not really a skill but only a tool to apply the skill, which was designing a logo.

     We were given until the end of November 2016 to finish the TRs, we then needed our work validated by Industry experts for each qualification. Ms. Grace again was tasked to invite 5 experts for each qualification. The validation was scheduled on December 15, 2016, 9am to 5pm at the TESDA Main Office in Taguig.

      For Visual Graphics Design, we had 1 Illustrator, 1 Web Designer/Teacher, 2 Graphic Designers and 1 Window Display artist. For 2D and 3D Animation, we had animation trainers, animators, animation supervisors, as well as animation studio/training center owners and managers. We needed to get their signature and approval for these NEW TRs to pass. After a whole day of validation, with a few revisions regarding terms and criteria, all 4 Qualifications passed. It was both tiring and draining, but it was all worth it.

3D Animation NC III Validation Team

Luis Presenting to the 3D Animation NC III Validation Team

Grace and Aceron Presenting to the Animation NC II Validation Team

2D Animation Validation Team

Visual Graphics Design (VGD) NC III Validation Team

Alstaire Presenting to the Visual Graphics Validation Team

Validators Received a Certificate and…

Catered Food for the Whole Day

      We thought that we’ve finished our tasks but TESDA explained that after developing the TR, the next step was to also update the Assessment Tools, which according to TESDA, will be much more difficult to do. Assessment Tools are the questions, tasks, and demos that the candidate needs to do to qualify for the particular skill. I would compare it to a FINAL EXAM for the skill you trained for. 

Assessment of Tools Development

     At first, we were thinking why TESDA says it will be difficult than updating of the TRs.  We thought this would be easier since we will be making a test paper for TESDA to use. That was easier than creating a curriculum which was the TR. But when they explained that we had to connect our questions to each performance criteria in the TR, it wasn’t easy as we thought it would be. As an example, if the criteria asked, “Read the design brief”, we had to ask questions such as, “Give an important part of the design brief?” Then the next criteria were “Analyze the design brief”, which the question you formulated can still be used. But TESDA had rules, we needed to formulate 3 questions for each performance criteria, and we can’t reuse the questions.

     After finishing the questions we also needed to create a Task or Actual Demonstration of the Assessment of each qualification. Then we had to give the hours needed to complete each task. We were told by TESDA that after all the tools are finished, we will then again be validated but in a different way. We will need to invite a TESDA certified assessor plus 3 dummy candidates to use the Assessment Tools we made in a mock assessment. Validation is needed so we know if the tools we made fit to the current length of time for each assessment; to know if it is understandable by both the assessor and the candidates; to see if the assessment is too difficult or too easy. We needed to get 3 dummy candidates to get the average time of completion. Once all data are gathered, if needed, we can then adjust parts of the assessment tools to make it better. After validation, a regional validation will be scheduled, either in Davao or Cebu. This will then be cleared in front of the TESDA board, like defending a thesis in front of a jury. When this is all approved, then will it be released by TESDA nationwide.

     Our deadline to complete our Assessment tools is this March 2017. As of now, Animation NCII has already been completed, so validation for that qualification is already set next week.

March to September 2017

We had a number of meetings to create questions for each performance criteria in each Certificate of Competencies (COC). Which was difficult because we needed to make the questions so both students and professionals can understand it. Plus we needed to make the questions according to the standard of TESDA, that it should start with a What, who, how and why.

     It was also difficult because it was difficult to synchronize everyone’s schedule. TESDA wouldn’t allow only 1-2 people to deliberate.

     Eventually, with the help of our TESDA representative,  we were able to fix it and schedule the validation. But it still had to go through checking from the higher-ups in TESDA before we could go through validation.

VGD Validation September 29, 2017

To validate the Competency Assessment Tools or CATs we invited students and people working in the  Graphics Design industry. Visual Graphics Design has 4 COCs (Certificate of Competencies), develop designs for

1) Logo and Print Media

2) User Experience and User Interface

3) Packaging Design

4) Booth and Product/Window Display

 For each COC we needed 1 Assessor, 1 Observer, and 2 candidates (a student and a professional). Plus we needed people who will be taking all 4 COCs or Full Qualification for the National Certificate. So we needed a total of 10 people to invite.

     We got some of our students and also some from other schools, we also invited some members of the Graphics Design group on Facebook. Validation started at 10 am since we had to wait for all the participants, some of them coming all the way from Marikina. The Validation ended 8 pm, and we gathered everyone’s feedback.

     Most of the difficulties were towards COC 2, User experience and user interface. Which wasn’t a surprise since this was still new. There were a few confusion on words in the instructions, and also some clarifications with some questions. Overall, the feedback was positive. We will need another day to schedule with TESDA to finalize and polish the assessment tools.

     To be continued….

Essay and Pictures by Alstaire A. Sarthou

Animation Production Entrepreneurship NC 5

    TESDA Complex, Taguig City

     Last July 20, 2017, Grace Dimaranan invited industry experts and professionals composed of studio owners, producers, directors, business development managers, marketing and financial managers, school and training owners to validate the Training Regulations (TR) for a new program being formed at TESDA called: Diploma for Animation Production Entrepreneurship NC V (APE NC 5). The said NC or National Certificate is the highest level given by TESDA. The said program has been developed by Grace and other industry experts since May 2017 and the invited professionals for the validation were asked to give comments and suggestions to improve the TR.  Unlike other courses, the said course will not undergo validation of the TR in other areas such as Cebu and Mindanao. Another new course: Web Development NC 3 will be validated by other industry experts and professionals at some other time. 

     For the past few months, Grace’s schedule has been very hectic, with lots of meetings and coordination with many industry experts and professionals. Grace is the Animation Council of the Philippines’ (ACPI) representative to head the development of the TR and CATS of the Animation NC 2, 2D Animation NC 3, 3D Animation NC 3, Visual Graphics  Design NC 3 , Diploma in Animation Production Entrepreneurship NC V and Web Development NC 3. One program can take many months to finish as professionals and industry experts cannot be expected to meet regularly on a weekly basis for the validation of the TR and CATS. 

Grace A. Dimaranan

    The validation of the TR for the new course was held at the TESDA main office basement at the Qualifications and Standards Office (QSO) meeting room from around 9:40 am to 6:00 pm. The standard TR of TESDA was first explained by Mr. Venzel C. Concoles, a QSO specialist and later connected these standards with the TR draft of APE NC V. The main purpose of TESDA for bringing out the course is to provide more jobs to the country among other things.  

     The said diploma course will help prepare animators or other business people who want to go into animation production to set up their own studios, market their services and be able to sustain their business. From past observation, many animators who put up their own studios were not able to sustain their business mainly from their lack of marketing and entrepreneurship know how. The one year program requires the candidate to devote his full time to get the diploma. However, the candidate can opt to get a Certificate of Completion (COC) for 3 months upon completion of certain modules of the program.

Mr. Venzel C. Concoles, QSO Specialist at TESDA

     The comments and suggestions by the professionals were then inputted in the TR draft of the APE NC V by Samuel E. Calado, Jr., a QSO specialist. The validation was a bit tiring as there was only a working break time in the morning, short lunch break, and working afternoon break time to provide some respite from the continuous explanation, presentation, validation and correction of the TR.  There were many topics of core competencies that were covered.


Samuel E. Calado Jr. in Blue

     If the TR is approved, it will be followed by the Competency Assessment Tools (CATS), it’s like the exam for the candidates, this will take another 2 to 3 months to develop with assigned industry experts. It will then be followed by the computation of the  Assessment (of) Fees of the Candidates.  The whole developed TR, CATs and computed assessment fees will be presented to the TESDA Board for deliberation and approval. Once approved it will be promulgated nationwide and the printed booklets for the said course will be distributed nationwide and uploaded at the TESDA website.  

   A sample of TESDA TR Booklet for a Course

Pictures and Essay by Edward L. Tan

 February 12, 2018

      Training Regulations (TR) Presentation to the TESDA Board – Standards Setting and Systems Development Committee (TB_SSSDC) at the 7F TESDA Admin. Bldg., TESDA Complex, Gate 1, East Service Road, South Luzon Expressway, Taguig City. Schedule set was 9 am – 11 am, but we concluded by 2 pm. Buffet Breakfast and Lunch were provided by TESDA. The presenter was Grace A. Dimaranan.

Qualifications and TR Developers present

  1. 2D Animation NCII &
  2. Animation NCIII

            – Aldwin Ayao

            – Angi Palanca

            – Aceron Ramirez

  1. 3D Animation NCIII

            – Edgardo Bayani

  1. Visual Graphics NCIII

            – Alstaire Allison Sarthou

            – Junnar Orioque

            – Joseph de Vera

  1. Web Development NCIII

            – Rom Verdan

            – Mike Torres

            – Karlo Martin Robosa

 TESDA Board Representatives

      Grace presented all 5 TRs with changes that were made from the last version. The TESDA Board asked why ACPI was handling all the courses, especially Web Dev and Visual Graphics. Apparently, there is no official group for these and since clients for animation come from these industries, Grace suggested these TRs with the developers being from each industry so the current standards are applied.


      The TESDA Board asked for data on ACPI membership as well as job opportunities for each TR. One of the developers tried to explain the difference of 2D animation NCII and Animation NCIII, using bicycles and motorcycles as an example; but one of the TESDA Board says you can’t use an analogy if you don’t have data to back it up. The developers were allowed to intervene or help with the presentation.

     All the TRs were approved with fixes. The main argument was, a line stating that “ACPI shall provide a certification on who can be a teacher or instructor of the new TRs.” The TESDA board says this will cause problems in the long run, 1. The facilitators, aside from TESDA, will need to go to ACPI to secure a certificate, which could cause confusion 2. What if ACPI dissolves, etc… Other areas that were questioned were more on gender equality as well as job opportunities for the disabled.

Pictures and Essay by Alstaire A. Sarthou

May 27 to 29, 2019

Last January 28, 2019, I received an invitation for a meeting with ALL national experts for February 12, 2019. The TESDA Certification Office will be conducting a Capability Building Program (CBP) for Prospective Lead Assessors for 31 new/amended Training Regulations for 2019. This program aims to ensure uniform/standard conduct of competency assessment and develop the pool of prospective competency assessors for the different qualifications.

To my surprise, Ms. Grace Dimaranan, and Joseph de Vera, VGD developer,  did not know about this meeting, but since they were scheduled to go to the TESDA Qualification Assurance Office at the same day. We scheduled to go together.

February 12, we attended the meeting, and together with other qualifications, such as Warehousing Services, Animal Production (Swine), Carpentry, etc… The purpose of the meeting is to check all the Training Regulations (TR) and Competency Assessment Tools (CATs) that was printed if there are any errors before being promulgated. Ms. Grace was surprised that she wasn’t invited to the meeting since she was the lead expert for 5 qualifications that were included. We learned that the person in charge of inviting just picked out 2 names of experts from each qualification and invited them. She did not know Ms. Grace was the lead expert. And since the other experts did not really know what the meeting was about, they declined to attend. At this time, Jonathan Martin, an expert for Web Development, arrived and joined our group. So some qualifications did not have representatives in the meeting, these qualifications won’t be included in the program. So we decided to represent each qualification that had no representative, Alstaire represented 2D Animation NCIII, Joseph represented Visual Graphics Design NCIII, Jonathan represented Web Development NCIII and Grace represented 3D Animation NCII, unfortunately, we were a person short, so Animation NCII had no representatives and it was dropped for the Capability Program.

From Right to Left: National Experts, Jonathan Martin (WebDev), Grace Dimaranan (3DAnim), Joseph de Vera (VGD), Alstaire Allison Sarthou (2DAnim) and Ms. Dianne Naag-Marfil, TESDA Certification Office.

During the meeting, we found some typo errors, as well as documentation that was supposed to be removed. So we marked those and the Central Office said that it would be sent back to the Qualification Office. Anyway, they also discussed to have the attendees be National Lead Assessors for the program. In order to be National Lead Assessors, All experts should undergo assessment for Training Methodology I – Conduct Competency Assessment Training, so they can be a qualified assessor. This was an opportunity for Grace, Jonathan, and Joseph since Alstaire was already an assessor, he did not need to take the assessment.

They scheduled a face to face coaching/mentoring on Conduct of Competency Assessment on February 28, 2019, to orient the experts on the assessment. Then the Assessment was scheduled on March 2, 2019.

Grace, Jonathan, and Joseph, as well as the other experts for the different qualification all,  passed the assessment. We were then scheduled for the Capability Building Program that would be held on May 27-29, 2019.

The next thing that TESDA needed to do were to find candidates of Lead Assessors from the different regions to attend the program because they will be taking the assessment for this new TRs and we will be explaining to them the changes so that they can also explain these to their following regions as well.

We learned that a number of candidates registered into multiple qualifications such as Visual Graphics, 3D Animation, 2D Animation, and Web Development. Which they were later told to only choose one, other candidates backed out because they did not qualify due to the new entry in the TRs that they needed to have 5 years of industry experience.

Last April 1, Ms. Dianne Naag-Marfil of the TESDA Certificate Office sent us a list of nominated candidates from the different regions and how many were qualified.

– 2D Animation NC III: 14 nominated; 12 qualified

– 3D Animation NC III: 3 nominated; 3 qualified

– Web Development NC III: 16 nominated; 14 qualified

– Visual Graphics Design NC III; 27 nominated; 24 qualified

TESDA requested the Human Resource Development Institute (HRDI) located at the Philippine-Korea Technological and Cooperation Center, Bayano Road, Taguig, as the venue of assessment. But due to the limited number of computers available, a 2nd venue was requested in eTESDA Center, PEVOTI Building at the TESDA Complex, Taguig. TESDA, due to the number of candidates, requested additional experts and that they commit to the dates needed. Each assessor is only allowed to assess 10 candidates in an assessment. So we were split into teams together with other experts. Mr. Aceron Ramirez and Mr. Aldwin Ayao (already Assessors) would handle 2D Animation, Ms. Cynthia Javier for 3D Animation, and Mr. Jonathan Martin and Mr. Rom Verdan for Web Development, would be conducting the program at the HRDI, while Alstaire Allison Sarthou, Joseph de Vera and Grace Dimaranan would be handling the Visual Graphics Design at eTESDA.

TESDA would be handling accommodation and food expenses for all the candidates.

NOTE: I will only be documenting the program conducted at the eTESDA for Visual Graphics, but I have pictures of the program held at the HRDI, which I will add at the end.

TESDA Capability Building Program for Prospective Regional Assessors

For Visual Graphics Design NCIII, 2D Animation NCIII, 3D Animation NCIII and Web Development NCIII

May 27,2019

The program started at 9 AM, and as usual at TESDA we were provided breakfast and free flowing coffee. TESDA facilitators discussed what were the expectations from the program, they identified the objectives and they presented the activities of the program. A pre-test was then given to the candidates. Then the floor was given to us experts, we explained the changes in the Training Regulations as well as why it was changed. After a hearty lunch, we continued explaining the evidence gathering process for Competency Standards and discussed the use and correct interpretation of the Competency Assessment Tolls (CATs).

Most of the candidates were excited to take the assessment, and they think that assessment would be much more aligned to the industry. During the afternoon, TESDA focal persons from each region were given an assignment for assessment on the next day. There was also another Q&A to see if there were other concerns. The program ended at 5 PM.

Grace and Alstaire explaining the changes.

Alstaire explaining the changes

A candidate discussing expectations.

Joseph introducing himself.

A hearty Lunch

Visual Graphics Design Experts

May 28,2019

The assessment started at 8 am and was scheduled to end at 5 PM, 24 candidates arrived and took the assessment. We divided the candidates into 3 groups, where each expert would handle 8 candidates each. There were 2 parts of the assessment, the first part was the demo, where each candidate was given a task, and2nd the Oral Interview, where the assessors can learn the candidate’s knowledge as well their background. During the demo, we already saw some candidates that obviously did not have any skill in Graphics design. The skilled finished in time while the rest asked for an extension. During Oral Interview, we learned that some of them were just nominated by their region because there was no one qualified. Like in Alstaire’s group, there were 3 who did not really have industry experience. Assessment finished at 10 PM.

Visual Graphics Design Assessors

Alstaire observing assessment Demo

Grace observing assessment

Joseph observing demo

May 29,2019

At 9 am, we started the Plenary Session, the debriefing on the Conduct of Assessment.  Discussed, were the concurrence on a uniform and standard conduct of assessment as well as the areas of improvement for the candidates who will pass. The candidates who passed would be conducting this same program at their respective regions.

According to the TESDA facilitator, passing the assessment is not the only requirement for the candidate to become the Regional Lead Assessors. They had to pass the pre-test and post-test (which will be done at the end of the program), and they would be graded for their conduct and appearance, and a recommendation from the experts will also be needed.

There was a very positive response on how the assessment was conducted, and most of the complaints were from personal experiences each assessor encountered in their region. Which the TESDA facilitators answered expertly. The post-test was then given to the candidates, and the candidates and their respective TESDA focal persons were asked to give an evaluation on the program as well as the National Lead Experts.

For the closing of the program, the candidates who passed the assessment were awarded their National Certificates in Visual Graphics Design NCIII. And the National Lead Assessors, namely Alstaire, Grace and Joseph were also awarded their Grandfather National Certificates for Visual Graphics Design NCIII, for being the experts for the Training Regulations.

After reciting the Assessor’s Credo and singing the TESDA hymn, we then proceeded to photo ops. The program ended at around 4 PM. Some former Top Peg artists, Joel Orcena (BG Artist from Daet) and Bryan Lumantas (Animator from Davao) that attended the 2D Animation Assessment at the HRDI, went to meet us and joined us back to Top Peg.

Candidates at the Plenary Session

National Lead Assessors together with TESDA facilitators Ms Nash and MS. Rachel

Alstaire receiving his Grandfather NC

Group shot

A candidate receiving his NC

A TESDA focal person giving her evaluation

Grace and Alstaire together with former Top Peg animator Bryan Lumantas (Davao)

With Joel Orcena (Daet) and Bryan Lumantas (Davao)

Assessment at HRDI

New Assessors for 3D Animation

NewAssessors for 2D Animation NCIII

Group Shot – 2D and3D Animation, Web Development 2


Essay and Pictures by Alstaire A. Sarthou