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Author: Press Release

This Valentine’s Day, have a gastronomic love affair at The Pig & Palm

What makes for a Michelin-level dining experience? For Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton, it is benchmarked by three standards: great food, quality ingredients, and a passionate chef. His culinary gem in…

What makes for a Michelin-level dining experience? For Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton, it is benchmarked by three standards: great food, quality ingredients, and a passionate chef. His culinary gem in Cebu, The Pig & Palm, upholds these three pillars for a gastronomic love affair at one of the Top 20 restaurants in the country.

For Valentine’s Day, this modern European tapas-style restaurant whips up 2 delectable 5-course menus for you and your loved one.

To start, tease your palates with a Foie Gras Parfait with apple and French toast. To follow, savor a Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Risotto. For the main course, indulge in a serving of Beef Short Rib with fondant potato and braised king oyster.

The Pig & Palm

Foie Gras Parfait with apple and French toast

Head Chef Karl Emsen has also concocted a non-meat option with Tuna Tataki with cucumber, radish and ponzu for starters and Roasted Salmon with peas, ham and lobster bisque for the main dish.

Both menus finish with a flourish with a decadent Strawberry, Rose, and White Chocolate Lollipop, and Blackberry Eton Mess.

The Valentine’s set menus are available for dinner on February 14 and served with a round of Cava at P2,800 per person for the meat course and P2,300 for the fish course.

Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Risotto

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Pig & Palm, honored by T. Dining’s Best Restaurants Guide for 2018 as one of the Top 20 Restaurants in the Philippines. The Pig & Palm is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:00 a.m. onwards, and is located at the MSY Tower, Pescadores Road, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City. Visit www.thepigandpalm.ph and follow @thepigandpalm on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates. For reservations, contact +63 917 657 6866 or (032) 255 8249. (Press Release)

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Get chance to win all-expense paid trip to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Maldives with PayMaya

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the…

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the PayMaya Travel Blowout, running from February 1 to May 31, 2018.

For each month from February to May, one lucky PayMaya account holder will win a 5-day trip for 2 to each of the featured destinations: Taiwan in February, South Korea in March, Japan in April, and Maldives in May.

The prize includes roundtrip airfare and accommodation for two, and P50,000 in PayMaya credits to shop, dine, and explore with the convenience of going cashless. Each trip is also complete with tours and a well-curated itinerary so winners can just pack their bags and enjoy the best of what the country has to offer.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Japan

How to join promo

There are many ways to join the promo. Account holders can do any of the following to earn one raffle entry: register a PayMaya account, purchase and activate a PayMaya physical card, have a PayMaya account upgraded, pay bills in full (minimum P300), or pay using PayMaya (minimum P1,000 single-receipt). Raffle items are cumulative until the end of the promo period.

“Gone are the days when overseas travel is only for the carded few. With PayMaya, millennials can seize travel opportunities online, expand their worldview, and dive into exciting adventures even without a credit card. Every Filipino deserves to reach their must-visit travel destination and PayMaya is here to help them take the first step,” said Paolo Azzola, PayMaya Philippines COO and Managing Director.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Maldives

Ticket to best deals

“The Travel Blowout promo is our way of thanking our PayMaya customers, the #NowNation, and helping them pursue their love of travel. PayMaya is by far the fastest way to book a flight, even during a seat sale, for those who don’t have a credit card. It’s their ticket to enjoying the best deals and making the most of their lives, right here, right now.” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of PayMaya Issuing Business

PayMaya is a free and secure prepaid e-wallet that allows account holders to send and receive money, pay their bills, and shop anywhere online that accepts Visa or Mastercard payments. Account holders simply have to download the PayMaya app or activate an account via PayMaya in Messenger (@PayMayaOfficial), register, and load up in over 15,000 touch points nationwide including 7-Eleven branches, SM Business Centers, Robinsons Business Centers inside Department Stores, Touchpay Kiosks, UnionBank ATMs, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go, ExpressPay, Cebuana Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop branches, Smart Padala centers, and Metrobank Online.

PayMaya Travel Blowout South Korea

PayMaya physical card

PayMaya enables customers to book flights via seat sales, take advantage of travel promos online, book affordable accommodations via Airbnb and other providers, purchase travel essentials via Lazada and ZALORA, travel cashless via transportation apps like Uber and Grab, and tap-to-pay at toll gates in NLEX and CAVITEX.

Account holders may also opt to have a PayMaya physical card, which can be linked to their mobile wallet, so they can pay in groceries, malls, or any store that accepts card payments. Moreover, customers can instantly convert their PayMaya funds to foreign currency by withdrawing cash in ATM machines abroad. Physical cards can be ordered online at www.paymaya.com/shop.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Taiwan

PayMaya Philippines is the digital financial services arm of PLDT’s Voyager Innovations. To know more about PayMaya’s products and services for consumers and businesses, visit www.paymaya.com. Be the first to know PayMaya’s latest promos and announcements by following @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Press Release)

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Indigenous students to benefit from localized learning content

Imagine being a child from an indigenous tribe going to school for the first time and finding out that the lessons there are conveyed in languages and stories that are…

Imagine being a child from an indigenous tribe going to school for the first time and finding out that the lessons there are conveyed in languages and stories that are foreign to you.

It is a challenge faced by many IP (indigenous people) students, given the lack of teachers who hail from their own tribes or are knowledgeable of their language and culture.

To help address this, specifically for the benefit of young learners from the Blaan tribe in Sarangani, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications organized workshops for the creation of traditional and digital learning materials in the local language and incorporating local culture. One of the workshops, conducted in partnership with the PLDT-Smart Foundation, also introduced a learning method that would help IP educators effectively handle multiple grade levels at the same time.

Easier to learn

According to the Department of Education, there are 125 IP schools in Sarangani alone, catering mostly to Blaan students.

“It’s better to have stories about the children’s own community so they could relate to these. If you use stories like Rapunzel, they would not understand that. If you use local stories it would be easier for them to learn,” said IP teacher Edna Alicaba.

An elder of the Blaan tribe in Sarangani checks the accuracy of illustrations and learning content created by teachers for young Blaan learners.

She added, “It is so easy to impart knowledge if you use their language. You can’t keep speaking in English if your audience is composed of IP pupils.”

For five days in January, a team of teachers and illustrators learned scriptwriting and storyboarding so they could produce animated versions of Blaan stories and make lessons more fun and interactive. Smart will help put all the content in a mobile app especially made for Blaan learners. The plan is to include sections on Blaan prayers, songs, and greetings, on top of lessons on numbers and letters.

Digital tools

Smart is spearheading the development of learning apps in different languages because studies show that the managed use of digital tools can boost the literacy of young students and heighten their interest in learning. It is for the same reason that the company has donated mobile devices packed with learning content to underserved public schools.

“Nowadays, most of our learners are visual. When they see something, when the process of learning is interactive, it becomes easier for them to learn,” said teacher-illustrator Reynald Dapar.

A separate team of IP teachers were introduced to the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) created by Ramon Magsaysay awardees Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido. Under this method, students learn independently in classrooms 80% of the time by working on activity sheets. The remaining 20% is when the teacher checks on their progress and helps them process what they already learned on their own. Schools implementing the DLP have reported better retention and mastery of concepts among students.

Activity sheets

During the workshop organized by Smart, the IP teachers created learning activity sheets (LAS) in the Blaan language. These activity sheets also featured local cultural elements, and can be used as a template for other learning communities.

Alicaba expressed optimism that the DLP would help teachers perform their duties better. “It is very nice because when you handle three different classes with different grade levels, you can handle them at the same time via parallel classes. While the two classes are working on their activity sheets, you can focus on the remaining class.”

A Blaan student shows off her answers to a learning activity sheet written in her mother tongue.

Battle discrimination

To make sure that the use of Blaan cultural elements and language was accurate, a tribal elder was invited to validate the LAS and illustrations created by the teachers. The materials will also be tested on students before full implementation.

The elder, Fulung Siamen Tumandan, expressed his appreciation for the effort. “It is a challenge to get Blaan children to be interested in studying. Many of them reach only grade school and stop because they want to get married. But slowly, more of them now understand that studying has a purpose and will help their future.”

“Education is very important for us because it will help us battle discrimination,” he added. (Press Release)

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Smart Infocast boosts disaster preparedness of Bogo City

Residents of Bogo City in Cebu will now benefit from the services of Smart Infocast, a communications solution by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications. Smart Infocast is a web-based platform…

Residents of Bogo City in Cebu will now benefit from the services of Smart Infocast, a communications solution by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications.

Smart Infocast is a web-based platform that offers various SMS facilities catering to the needs of an organization.

The system will enable the local government unit of Bogo to send news broadcasts, weather bulletins, and other critical information to residents via text message, making it an effective emergency communications solution. It also allows registered subscribers to send reports or feedback to the system administrator.

Empower communities

Just last month, Bogo was placed under state of calamity when Tropical Storm “Urduja” (Kai-tak) hit the Visayas. In 2013, it was also one of the cities devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). Located more than 100 km from Cebu City, Bogo has a population of more than 70,000, based on 2015 census.

By providing a means to disseminate timely messages to the public, Smart empowers communities to strengthen their communication and disaster preparedness efforts, according to Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Atty. Maria Jane Paredes.

“We’re very happy that the City of Bogo believes in Smart Infocast as a vital tool of communication in times of disasters. It can also be used by the LGU to send out important information to the community, such as advisories, reminders, and safety precautions,” Paredes said during the inauguration of the service at the New Bogo City Hall.

Smart Infocast Bogo City

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. Smart Infocast will enable the local government unit of Bogo to send news broadcasts, weather bulletins, and other critical information to residents via text message, making it an effective emergency communications solution.

Mitigate disaster risk

The platform will further enhance Bogo’s existing communication services, according to Bogo public information officer Rhett Vincent Minguez. “With the Smart Infocast broadcast system, we’ve been given the opportunity to strengthen our communications system. It complements our existing channels and ensures our messages reach our audience,” Minguez said.

Smart Infocast has boosted the communication efforts of the institutions where it has been implemented, among them local government units, government agencies, and other organizations.

Under its #SafePH advocacy, Smart promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities. The company has developed other preparedness programs and solutions, such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS); the Batingaw emergency app; and the TNT Tropang Ready youth readiness caravans, among other projects, in its efforts to reduce vulnerabilities.

Representatives from Smart and the Bogo City local government and disaster risk reduction and management office pose for photos during the turnover of Smart Infocast to the city at the New Bogo City Hall.

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Grab, Samsung to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU…

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia.

Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.

Grab is the market leader in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest growing Internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion market by 2022 in this region. As part of the wide-ranging strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customized solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions.

Grab, Samsung agreement

AGREEMENT. Lee-Sangchul, president and CEO of Samsung-Electronics SEA-Oceania, and Anthony-Tan, Group CEO and co-founder of Grab, shake hands after signing the agreement.

Mobile payments ecosystem

The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab, said, “Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”

Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”

The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering:

Micro-financing of mobile devices for drivers

More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing program focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features. This is part of Grab’s Better 365 program that provides more benefits and cost savings to drivers.

This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, where only 30% of adults have access to formal financial services, and will soon be rolled out across the region. Currently, drivers in Myanmar who sign up with Grab can purchase and own high-quality Samsung devices and get a micro-loan from CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks and Grab’s local banking partner, to finance the device. In less than three months of the pilot, more than 1,400 drivers in Myanmar have benefited from this program.

Grab, Samsung financial inclusion

PROGRAM FOR DRIVERS. More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing program focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features.

Enhanced customer experience at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths

To make Grab’s services more accessible to commuters and customers in Southeast Asia, Grab will introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. These feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity.

The Samsung devices are designed for robust everyday use in public spaces. The devices at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Indonesia and Myanmar have been installed with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software, ensuring the information security of Grab’s devices, reducing downtime and maintenance costs, enabling Grab to better serve its customers. This will be rolled out in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.

Infotainment services in selected cars

Grab and its content partners will pilot in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers. Grab offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 8 countries and 168 cities in Southeast Asia. (Press Release)

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Sakroots celebrates free-spirited global girl on the go with unique products

From backpacks, mini bags, convertible bags, crossbodies, satchels, shoulder bags, totes, and carry-alls, Sakroots’ wide array of lifestyle products encourage women to pursue the best in life. Sakroots was introduced…

From backpacks, mini bags, convertible bags, crossbodies, satchels, shoulder bags, totes, and carry-alls, Sakroots’ wide array of lifestyle products encourage women to pursue the best in life.

Sakroots was introduced in 2009 as a free-spirited American brand that not only delivers fresh and unique artist-driven products but also takes part in a social mission to support various nature-related charities.

Sakroots was borne out of a desire to promote authenticity and individuality among young women.

Life of passion, peace, harmony

Today, Sakroots continues to inspire women to lead a life of passion, peace, and harmony through its authentic and empowering range of products. From its first-ever “Peace Print” collection with a Paris-born graffiti artist, Sakroots’ archive now features a wide selection of beautiful, vibrant, and meaningful patterns by various artists from around the globe.

Whether one is into fashion, music, art, or travel, the diverse assortment of bag shapes and prints by Sakroots all serve to reflect one’s unique sense of style and personality. Choose from Sakroots’ exciting pool of artist patterns that are each tied to a nature and wildlife conservation charity.

A neon safari dream come true, the Wild Life print by Niki Pilkington supports the Wild Life Conservation Society. Taking inspiration from ikat designs and the image of the American Indian war horse, the fierce and whimsical Brave Beauti print by Barbara Ignatiev supports Horses Healing Humans.

Sakroots basic crossbody

Basic Crossbody in Lilac Flower Power.

Influenced by both Tribal Americana and Aztec themes, the Spirit Desert print by Valentina Ramos is vibrant and teeming with life. The Spirit Desert print supports the Wild at Heart organization. Stimulating and colorful as can be, the One World print by Diane Barcelowsky represents the idea that we all share one world and are united by our collective desire for peace. The One World print supports the Elephant Nature Park.

Sakroots prints

Also breathing life to Sakroots’ roster of prints are Olivia Schoeff’s Xen Garden, which supports the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, Joshua Davis’ Flower Power, which supports the North American Butterfly Association, and lastly, the Sakroots’ signature Peace Print, which supports the Earth Day Network, the largest civic observance in the world.

Sakroots believes that a life led by purpose is a life worth living. With its assortment of products that each bear mindful designs that are crafted from the heart, Sakroots seeks to be a part of the meaningful journeys of its wearers.

Sakroots is available in all Bratpack and Ladybag stores nationwide and at select The Travel Club stores and shopping website, Zalora.

To get to know more about Sakroots, check out www.sakroots.com/our-story/ and follow Sakroots Philippines Facebook and Instagram accounts. (Press Release)

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Megaworld elevates township standards with tech, design, connectivity

Property giant Megaworld is embarking on a company-wide program to future-proof its developments around the country through the creation of “iTownships.” The company said its 28-year leadership in pioneering the…

Property giant Megaworld is embarking on a company-wide program to future-proof its developments around the country through the creation of “iTownships.”

The company said its 28-year leadership in pioneering the Live-Work-Play concept of property development in the Philippines gave birth to “Townships.” It is elevating the standards by incorporating digital technology, design innovations, and connectivity into its townships.

“We have assigned teams to study how we can seamlessly integrate smart technology and innovations into our townships. In this fast-changing digital world, we see the importance of aligning our developments to quickly adapt to the disruptions, which we perceive as opportunities,” said Kevin L. Tan, Megaworld senior vice president.

Megaworld AG Tower

Megaworld’s AG Tower.

iTownships projects

Among the projects to be implemented under the program include the digitization of customer service and payment processes, integration of smart home technology in residential units, utilization of digital technology and energy-efficient materials in structural designs, creation of Township Operation Centers across all developments which maximizes 24/7 security and safety monitoring and emergency response in every township, urban art installations and creative pedestrian crosswalks, smart parking system including provision for electric vehicle charging in mall developments, among others.

Green and sustainable features will also be at the core of the program. Some of the initiatives that will be implemented include the conversion of old streetlights to LED and solar-powered lights, green roofing for office buildings, provision of vertical green spaces across developments.

Townships of the future

“iTownships will become our new brand in creating the townships of the future. It is about innovation, integration, internet and interconnectivity. Having these features in our townships does not only make our developments ‘future-ready’, but it also allows us to take greater steps towards sustainability and environmental responsibility,” said Tan.

During the last 28 years, the Megaworld Group built over 660 residential developments, 54 office towers and 15 lifestyle malls in 22 townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the Philippines. (Press Release)

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Singapore Tourism Board lines up exciting prizes for travellers in Cebu travel fair

Catch special rates and incredible packages to Singapore when the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 opens tomorrow, January 26, at Ayala Center Cebu. At Cebu’s three-day travel bazaar, the Singapore…

Catch special rates and incredible packages to Singapore when the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 opens tomorrow, January 26, at Ayala Center Cebu.

At Cebu’s three-day travel bazaar, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will reward customers who have booked trips to the city-state with exciting prizes, including free roundtrip tickets, hotel stays, shopping vouchers, attraction tickets, and more.

Visit STB at Booths 49-50 and 51-52 for a chance at a perfect Singapore getaway.

Tourism brand

As a destination that constantly evolves, reinvents, and reimagines itself, Singapore always has something new to offer visitors.

Head on to Singapore for a recharge, as the Lion City provides fresh possibilities to deepen passions or explore new ones.

Its new tourism brand is “Passion Made Possible” and it encapsulates the spirit that permeates Singapore, from its hard-working people and amazing experiences to the delicious food and stunning architecture.

Singapore

LION CITY. As a destination that constantly evolves, reinvents, and reimagines itself, Singapore always has something new to offer visitors.

New places

Here are some of the new things in store for you in Singapore.

Reinforcing its title as “Garden City,” Singapore has added the Ethnobotany Garden to the Botanical Gardens. Split into four zones according to whether the plants are for construction, domestic, medicinal, and spiritual uses. Visitors can join hands-on activities offered at the garden.

It also now offers an exhilarating adventure for adrenaline-rush junkies among nets, giant Zorb balls, slides and mazes at Airzone. Located at the City Square Mall, this massive attraction encompasses six floors of exciting mazes, slides between levels, and a ball pit with 10,000 balls.

Sentosa’s newest attraction, AJ Hackett, provides another adrenaline-charged experience. On the shores of Siloso Beach, the colossal 50-meter structure offers risk-takers such experiences as an exciting dive atop its Bungy Tower, whooshing and swooping in on a high-speed giant swing, taking a death-defying walk on a 44-meter Vertical Walkway, and enjoying the feeling of walking on air in the glass booths at the open-air SkyBridge.

Revamped attractions

For the newly-renovated Maritime Experiential Museum in Resorts World Sentosa, it’s all about taking visitors on a voyage of epic proportions.

The experiential journey includes exhibits of intricate ship models, fun workshops on navigation, nautical charts and knot tying, and exciting simulations that will transport you along the Maritime Silk Route, get you in an adventure with pirates, and take you on a terrifying voyage into stormy seas.

Meet your favorite superheroes at Madame Tussauds Singapore with its new Marvel 4D experience. Watch a fun, action-packed 4D movie, localized to feature some of the country’s top attractions in the film’s background, with high-impact special effects. Strike a pose with Captain America and Iron Man, the newest additions to their wax figure family, and even try out Iron Man’s armour to channel the hero in you.

Fun-filled activities

Soak up some culture at Singapore’s biggest Lunar New Year celebration, the Chingay Parade. The word Chingay means “the art of costume and masquerade” so it’s no surprise that the vibrant parade includes spectacular floats, dancing dragons, stilt walkers, and so much more.

Another annual event that everyone looks forward to is i Light Marina Bay, Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival. On its 6th edition, visitors can expect 20 sustainable light art installations at the festival’s three fun zones – The Fantastical World of Eco.me, Art-Zoo and Gastrobeats.

At the Promontory, people can check out the first hub which is complete with an eco-friendly market that sells organic clothing, upcycled furniture, accessories and more.

The Art-Zoo installation at The Float is perfect for kids and kids-at-heart with a playground that resembles a zoological garden with huge inflatable animals.

Gastrobeats, at the Bayfront Event Space, is for foodies and music enthusiasts who can grab some mouth-watering goodies from different food stalls and enjoy live musical performances from different local artists.

Singapore Tourism Brand

TOURISM BRAND. Its new tourism brand is “Passion Made Possible” and it encapsulates the spirit that permeates Singapore, from its hard-working people and amazing experiences to the delicious food and stunning architecture.

Music events

It’s also an exciting year in the entertainment scene as Singapore brings back the St. Jerome Laneway Festival, the country’s leading music event that brings fresh sound to the coolest locations and is often visited by enthusiasts from all over the world.

This year’s diverse line-up includes a Filipino indie band, The Ransom Collective, alongside global acts like American indie alternative artist Billie Eilish and four-piece alternative rock band Wolf Alice.

There’s also Ultra Singapore, the world’s premiere electronic music festival, which takes place across three stages that feature blockbuster artists and the freshest DJs. There’s more to look forward to as the biggest names in music, including artists like Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, The Script, Super Junior, and many more, are coming to the country to perform one-of-a-kind concerts.

So pack your bags, book that ticket, and fly on over to explore the Lion City and infuse some of the country’s fiery spirit into your year.

About the Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, it shapes a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. For more information on STB, visit www.stb.gov.sg or www.visitsingapore.com or follow them on Twitter @STB_sg. (Press Release)

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USC Boys Class ‘78 marks 40th year, holds grand reunion

The University of San Carlos (USC) Boys Class ‘78 is throwing the grandest reunion, celebrating its 40th year on January 18 to 22, 2018. “High school is the best. It’s…

The University of San Carlos (USC) Boys Class ‘78 is throwing the grandest reunion, celebrating its 40th year on January 18 to 22, 2018.

“High school is the best. It’s when friendship is pure. There are no inhibitions.” This is how Mel Sarmiento, who volunteered to initiate the gathering, remembers their high school days.

Sarmiento took the role after Ed Pebenito, who organized the reunion for both 25th and 35th year, migrated to the US.

“The reunion was supposed to be every 10 years. So the next would have been on our 45th year or perhaps celebrate 50 years. But we’re not getting any younger. We thought why not celebrate our grand reunion while we’re still fit, can play and enjoy,” he said.

“We’re already at our retirable age. Sad to say that a good number of our batch are not with us anymore. It’s high time to enjoy life. We tried our best to work hard, to provide for our family. This (reunion) is also for us to de-stress,” added Sarmiento.

University of San Carlos (USC) Boys High Class '78

University of San Carlos (USC) Boys High Class ’78 led by Mel Sarmiento, Bebot Ruiz, Agul Espinosa, and Boogie Tuaño went on a mission and gathered fellow Carolinians in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of its preparations for their 40th Grand Reunion. With a theme “USC Boys High Class ’78 goes Retro @ 40”, the reunion will be held here in Cebu City on January 18 to 22, 2018.

The preparations

What is quite challenging with his task, admits Sarmiento, is gathering people as he has lost contact with some people while a few others are unresponsive.

And so the preparations started early. The first talk about their reunion plans happened in December 2016. “We opened a chatroom for our batch and from there we assigned committees. We named point persons per area,” Sarmiento said.

The organizing group also prioritized funding and checked their costing. They decided not to solicit and instead go for corporate sponsorship as they want to provide free tickets to the event and encourage attendees.

Sarmiento and three others even went to Las Vegas on a mission. The purpose of their visit was to encourage their batchmates already residing there to come home to Cebu and join their grand reunion.

Retro at 40

The theme for the Grand Reunion is “USC Boys Class ‘78 Goes Retro at 40”. It will be a five-day activity and some of the highlights to look forward to are Pinoy Olympics, Jamming Night, Feeding Program, Sportsfest with tennis, golf, billiard, table tennis and basketball tournaments.

Sarmiento said they expect 176 batchmates to attend their grand reunion. “We have batchmates coming from abroad, Luzon and other parts of the country. We want to maximize their stay here that is why we have outlined various activities for them to enjoy.”

For more details of the Grand Reunion, you may contact Steven Sasam of Green Concepts and Events at mobile +63.923.5223321 and +63.917.5787964. For activity schedules and latest updates, visit the official website of USC Boys High ‘78 at www.uscboyshigh78.wordpress.com or official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uscboyshigh78. (Press Release)

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Mandani Bay Boardwalk offers best view of fluvial procession

The fluvial procession, when the miraculous image of the Sto. Niño is transported through the Mactan Channel, is a much-anticipated Sinulog event. This year, the procession will be held on…

The fluvial procession, when the miraculous image of the Sto. Niño is transported through the Mactan Channel, is a much-anticipated Sinulog event. This year, the procession will be held on Saturday, January 20.

One of the best places to view the annual event is at the Mandani Bay Boardwalk. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities at the Boardwalk. This is the third year that Mandani Bay is hosting the fluvial parade from the vantage point on the mainland, part of its participation in the Fiesta Señor and Sinulog celebrations.

Mandani Bay’s participation is also part of the City of Mandaue’s overall safety, security, and logistics program for the annual observance of the Feast of the Señor St. Niño.

Mandani Bay

MANDANI BAY. At the heart of the development is the Green Promenade, a wide tree-lined avenue that cuts through the centre of the property, lending the environment a refreshing spirit that encourages an active lifestyle amongst residents. The Boardwalk enables relaxation, evening walks and lounging to a spectacular view of the Mactan Channel.

Best view

The Mandani Bay development presents the best view of the galleon, which, this year, will be the Philippine Navy’s BRP Bagobo AT-293, bearing the image of the Holy Child and other seacraft, as it is an unobstructed stretch on the mainland bank of the Mactan Channel.

Gates open at 4:30 am. Sinulog street dancing, drum beaters and songs will engage guests as everyone waits for the procession to pass through.

Food will be available onsite. Concessionaires will have food booths serving a variety of meals and delicacies. Guests with invitations will be served breakfast.

The event at Mandani Bay will be aired live on Y101 with Jiggy Jr.’s Jiggy in the Morning.

Mandani Bay is Cebu’s most promising development. With a 500-meter water frontage facing the Mactan Channel, this world-class 20-hectare development has a stunning view of the coast and encompassing cityscape.

Premium mixed-use community

Built around a lifestyle of connectivity, this premium mixed-use community hosts a series of expansive podium blocks interconnected by footbridges. Residential towers rise from each of the podiums’ amenity roof decks, whilst street front retail thrives along the wide boulevards.

At the base, the buildings are also connected by a system of exclusive parking spaces weaving throughout the property. For strolling aboveground or driving and parking underground, Mandani Bay provides complete convenience allowing time for loftier pursuits.

At the heart of Mandani Bay is the Green Promenade, a wide tree-lined avenue that cuts through the centre of the property, lending the environment a refreshing spirit that encourages an active lifestyle amongst residents. The Boardwalk enables relaxation, evening walks and lounging to a spectacular view of the Mactan Channel.

Mandani Bay has set the bar for a new era of development in the Philippines. (Press Release)

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Send PayMaya pamasko to loved ones with ‘aguinaldo’ service via Facebook Messenger

Sending “aguinaldo” or Christmas cash gifts to family and godchildren is now easier than ever as pioneering digital financial services company PayMaya today announced the launch of a “digital aguinaldo”…

Sending “aguinaldo” or Christmas cash gifts to family and godchildren is now easier than ever as pioneering digital financial services company PayMaya today announced the launch of a “digital aguinaldo” service in Messenger, in partnership with Facebook.

“Ninongs” and “Ninangs” can no longer hide from their godchildren during this gifting season, as the usual Christmas joke goes, because all it takes to send money gifts to their “inaanak” is a simple tap on their smartphones.

“Today, just like many facets of our modern lives, sending ‘aguinaldo’ to godchildren during Christmas has now become digital,” said Paolo Azzola, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at PayMaya Philippines. “This is yet another way we are helping our account holders #ShareTheLove this Christmas, at the same time helping build a ‘cashless’ society in the Philippines through services that are relevant to Filipino culture.”

Adapting Filipino tradition for the modern times

A time-honored tradition, giving “aguinaldo” to young family members and godchildren is one of the unique ways Filipinos are celebrating Christmas, but the usual way of doing it is by handing out paper bills—usually freshly-printed ones withdrawn from the bank that still emit a distinct smell.

But times are changing, and sending “aguinaldo” via digital means, anytime, anywhere, is now possible. To be able to do this via PayMaya in Messenger, anyone can follow these simple steps:

1. If the sender already has a PayMaya account, they only have to link their account to Messenger by chatting with @PayMayaOfficial. If not, they can sign up for an account using any mobile number from all networks using Messenger.

2. Once the account is linked to Messenger, they can upgrade their accounts to use the ‘Send Aguinaldo’ feature and load up their accounts via the more than 15,000 top-up partners that PayMaya has nationwide.

3. To send an ‘aguinaldo’, simply chat with @PayMayaOfficial in Messenger, click the “Promos & Gifts” tab, and click the “Send Aguinaldo” option.

PayMaya Aguinaldo

AGUINALDO VIA CHAT. Through ‘PayMaya Pamasko,’ account holders can now send ‘aguinaldo’ to their godchildren, friends and family via the Messenger app, and even choose from a variety of holiday designs available within the app.

4. Choose which Facebook friend to send the ‘aguinaldo’ to, enter the amount of money to be sent, and swipe right or left to choose the perfect design to go along with the money gift.

5. After tapping the “Pay” button, the user will be asked to enter their Facebook password, after which the money will be sent to the recipient.

The feature is currently available to Android users and those with upgraded PayMaya accounts, which means they would have to undergo the standard know-your-customer (KYC) process that requires additional information from the account holder.

Once the person receives the money via Messenger, it automatically goes to their PayMaya account if they have already registered, or they will be given the option to create one if they don’t already have a PayMaya account set up.

Expanding digital payments services

This is a new feature that has been made available for account holders of PayMaya in Messenger released in time for Christmas. Aside from sending “aguinaldo,” they can also buy prepaid load for themselves, send prepaid load as a gift to others, or pay their bills using the Messenger app.

PayMaya has also led the charge in enabling Filipinos with new ways to pay and do financial transactions via digital means through PayMaya QR, which allows them to do in-store payments by simply scanning a QR code displayed within the merchant’s premises. And as a Christmas treat for all account holders, PayMaya is giving a 50% rebate to all PayMaya QR transactions in merchants where it is available until December 24, and a 10% rebate from December 25 to 31.

Aside from this, account holders can pay for items they buy online or subscribe to digital services by using their virtual VISA card, which is available when they download the app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Account holders can load their PayMaya wallets in more than 15,000 top-up facilities already available nationwide such as Robinsons Department Store Business Centers, SM Business Services, TouchPay kiosks, 7-Eleven, Cebuana Lhuillier, ExpressPay branches, Palawan Pawnshops, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go outlets, Petron stations along NLEX, and Smart Padala centers down to sari-sari stores in grassroots communities, and Unionbank ATMs.

PayMaya Philippines, the country’s pioneer and leader in cashless payments, is the digital financial services arm of PLDT’s Voyager Innovations. To know more about its products and services, visit www.paymaya.com. (Press Release)

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Reward yourself, loved ones with an investment

This year, UTrade gives you another option to reward yourself from working hard – a gift that will be cherished and felt not only during the holidays are but even…

This year, UTrade gives you another option to reward yourself from working hard – a gift that will be cherished and felt not only during the holidays are but even for years to come.

UTrade encourages you to consider giving your loved ones a gift that they can invest and a gift that will grow and contribute to their long-term financial success. How? By giving them the gift of investment – one that will enable and encourage them to invest in the Philippine stock market.

Everyone is invited to join and learn how to begin investing in the stock market with UTrade! Open a UTrade account and start investing in the stock market for only P2,500 instead of the standard P10,000 when you attend seminars during the holiday season in UTrade Cebu office at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Cebu office, 2nd floor, Insular Life Building, Cebu Business Centre, Cebu City.

As the online stock trading platform of Unicapital Securities, Inc., UTrade offers the convenience of investing in the Philippine stock market via online trading platform that provides free and easy access to market information that can be accessed from any device using the internet.

This is a chance to learn the basics of stock market investing geared towards making Cebuano young professionals and entrepreneurs appreciate and understand the stock market. These seminars are free. To reserve a slot, message the company on Facebook/UTrade by Unicapital Inc. or send an email to utrade@unicapital-inc.com. Visit www.utradeph.com to know more about UTrade. You can also contact the Cebu office at (032) 266-6241 or (+63908) 879-9754 or visit us at the 2nd floor, PSE Cebu Office, 2/F Insular Life Building, Cebu Business Center.

UTrade by Unicapital Securities, Inc. is licensed by the SEC and a member of the Philippine Stock Exchange. UTrade is not just a brokerage, it is part of Unicapital Inc. – a full-service investment house that provides a wide array of finance and investment banking-related product lines including underwriting of initial public offerings or IPOs. (Press Release)

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Communities benefit from Smart’s disaster preparedness, environment programs

To serve more communities in the areas of disaster preparedness and environment, Smart Communications (Smart) expanded its existing programs, launched new ones, and developed solutions in 2017. Building a #SafePH…

To serve more communities in the areas of disaster preparedness and environment, Smart Communications (Smart) expanded its existing programs, launched new ones, and developed solutions in 2017.

Building a #SafePH

Smart aggressively rolled out its TNT Tropang Ready Caravan learning series to state universities from Northern Luzon to Mindanao in order to empower the youth in mobilizing their communities in times of disasters. Tropang Ready schools to date include Batangas State University, Bulacan State University, Southern Leyte State University, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines–Cagayan de Oro, University of Baguio, Isabela State University, Eastern Visayas State University and public and private educational institutions in Ormoc, including St. Peter’s College. Plans are underway to encourage more schools to become Tropang Ready in 2018.

Smart Tropang Ready

TROPANG READY. A student learns how to use a fire extinguisher during the TNT Tropang Ready “Training of Trainers” disaster preparedness and emergency management activity organized by Smart at Eastern Visayas State University in Tacloban City in November.

Smart also enhanced the capability of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) by turning over to the agency the Emergency Cell Broadcast System. ECBS issues quick location- and hazard-specific alerts using a channel separate from that used by calls and text messages, which may get congested in times of calamities. This makes ECBS an effective warning system during disasters.

Republic Act No. 10639 or The Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act mandates all telecommunication services providers to send free mobile alerts in the event of natural and man-made disasters and calamities. Smart acquired the latest cell broadcast platform, investing P400 million, to effectively comply with this law.

The Philippines faced a number of natural and man-made hazards this year. Batangas, Leyte, and Surigao del Norte were affected by earthquakes, while several areas in the country experienced flooding and landslides due to typhoons. Marawi was also besieged with conflict that displaced most of its residents. In these trying times, when access to communication could get limited, PLDT and Smart offered communication services as aid, allowing residents to reconnect with their loved ones and get information on where to avail of basic necessities and state services.

Libreng Tawag, Charging Stations

Services offered include Libreng Tawag and Charging stations, free calls and texts in affected areas, SMS and pocket Wi-Fi credits to responders, and the Infocast SMS facility, which enables authorized users to disseminate information to registered subscribers.

PLDT and Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto emphasized the importance of staying connected in times of disasters. “Communications is vital in any emergency situation,” he said. “As a telecommunications company, our primary job is to keep the network running so that we can provide continuous emergency communications services.”

Libreng Tawag

A Libreng Charging Station was set up in Barangay Linao in Ormoc following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Leyte in July.

Through its ramped-up network expansion program, Smart ensures that customers will have uninterrupted wireless coverage even during emergencies, and that nearby cell sites have the capacity to compensate for the affected ones.

Smart also provided anew emergency communications support during the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drills held in Cebu, Davao and Cavite. The services deployed include multi-equipment on wheels (MEOW) portable cell sites, ECBS, free calls and charging, satellite communications, and the SOS Dispatch solution, which enables LGUs to monitor, record, and dispatch reported incidents while keeping responders connected in near real-time.

Meanwhile, the Batingaw disaster management app, a project by the NDRRMC, Tudlo developers group, and Smart, was replicated in the Horn of Africa. It was adopted in Kenya as an early warning tool during their national elections, and for disaster risk management, with the high probability of El Nino in the region.

Smarter, greener earth

Harnessing technology to protect the environment, Smart teamed up with technology partners to deploy solutions in forests and critical habitats. The company is working with Ericsson to implement the Connected Mangroves project in Bangkung Malapad, Sasmuan, Pampanga. This IoT (internet of things) solution will use Smart’s wireless connectivity to capture data relevant to mangroves’ survival such as water level, humidity, soil moisture and temperature, and other hazards in the environment.

Connected Mangroves

CONNECTED MANGROVES. This mobile phone screen shows the interface of the Connected Mangroves dashboard, which may be accessed at ericsson.luimewah.net. The website shows information that has been recorded from the sensors attached to the mangroves.

Smart is also collaborating with startup Instigators Inc. for the Biosentinel environment monitoring system, which will be deployed in Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve. The system has three components: the web dashboard; the app, which can be used by forest patrollers; and the analytics data software.

The company is also steadfast in its commitment to protect the Marikina watershed by expanding livelihood assistance to the communities working to rehabilitate the protected area.

Smart will continue to provide communications support and work with the government and other partners in building better prepared and environmentally sustainable communities. (Press Release)

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Smart Wifi: Powering Filipino connections across the country

Carrier-grade Smart Wifi is now available in Metro Manila and 40 other provinces, following PLDT wireless arm Smart Communication Inc.’s (Smart) ramped-up roll-out of the service in the Metro Rail…

Carrier-grade Smart Wifi is now available in Metro Manila and 40 other provinces, following PLDT wireless arm Smart Communication Inc.’s (Smart) ramped-up roll-out of the service in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), government offices, hospitals, schools, restaurants, airports and transportation hubs, and other key high-traffic areas across the country this year.

Hundreds of establishments nationwide now have Smart Wifi, including the 13 stations of the MRT, where around 230,000 commuters can already benefit daily from the service.

“Carrier-grade” means that Smart Wifi implements a network infrastructure following world-class standards, allowing mobile devices to experience fast and secure internet connection with high reliability, connectivity, and coverage. This also allows customers in areas where there are large numbers of users like airports, bus terminals, and entertainment centers to experience Value Added Services such as shopping, gaming, and streaming, among others.

Capacity

A backhaul capacity of up to 100 megabits per second (expandable to 1 gigabit per second) allows users to have the best digital experience when accessing their emails and social media accounts, downloading and sending files on-the-go, and checking out relevant digital content and services online.

“Smart and PLDT continue to be at the forefront of the country’s digital transformation by providing Filipinos with quality internet connection wherever they go,” said Jovy Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.

“With the help of our partners and government, we continue to invest in ICT infrastructure to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos all over country,” Hernandez added.

In June this year, Smart, in cooperation with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, launched the Smart Wifi service in the MRT stations and along the stretch of EDSA to improve the mobile experience of commuters traversing the country’s busiest highway.

LGUs powered by Smart Wifi

Carrier-grade Smart Wifi has also been installed in various locations in Benguet, Batangas, Laguna, Cebu, Cagayan, Cavite, Ilocos Norte, Bulacan, Palawan, Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Iloilo, Davao, and Metro Manila, making online government services more accessible.

“By making quality internet access available to more Filipinos through Smart Wifi, we are helping make the delivery of public service more efficient, and contributing to the development of rural areas,” Hernandez said.

Smart Wifi is also available at the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) headquarters in Manila, as well as in its offices in Bacolod, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Pampanga, Cebu, Benguet, Leyte, Isabela and Sarangani.

The nationwide rollout of Smart Wifi complements Smart’s ongoing rollout of LTE and 3G facilities across the country, which has significantly improved the quality of Smart’s voice and SMS services, as well as its mobile Internet coverage and quality.

Smart Wifi

TRAVELERS passing through the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and key domestic airports across the country have been able to use Smart Wifi to access their flight details, research about their destinations, and keep in touch with their loved ones via their social media accounts while on the go.

Smart Wifi in schools

Students have also been able to access Smart Wifi in their schools, where they have been able to use the carrier-grade connection for their research papers and other school projects.

“With Smart Wifi in schools, colleges and universities, we are equipping our students with the best connection to help them with their research projects and other school tasks,” Hernandez said.

Smart Wifi is now available in over 40 schools nationwide, including Adamson University, De La Salle University, UP Diliman, Ateneo de Naga, Pangasinan State University in Lingayen and Alaminos, Divine Word College in Laoag, Letran Calamba, Southern Luzon State University, Cebu Institute of Technology University, Eastern Visayas State University, Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu, University of Cebu, University of Negros Occidental Recoletos, West Visayas State University, Bukidnon State University, and Holy Cross of Davao College, among others.

Boosting health facilities

Patients and their families have also been able to access online services in hospitals nationwide via Smart Wifi, which is available in Asian Hospital, Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, Bacoor Doctors Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Cebu Doctors University, Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital, Davao Doctors Hospital, De Los Santos Medical Center, Doctors Hospital Bacolod, Dr Jesus M Delgado Hospital, Emilio Aguinaldo Medical Center, Lipa Medix, Marikina Valley Medical Center, Philippine Orthopedic, and West Metro Medical Center.

“Smart Spots”

Over 60 entertainment hubs called “Smart Spots” have also been launched, providing super speed Smart Wifi to more than 500 restaurants, resorts and other entertainment establishments across the country, where customers have been able to use Smart Wifi to keep their social media feeds updated while wining and dining.

Smart Spots have been launched in resorts in the surfing town of La Union such as Fatwave Surf Resort, San Juan Surf Resort, Sebay Surf Central, Flotsam & Jetsam, and Planet G; restaurants and food hubs around the metro like Streat Maginhawa, The Yard Underground in Pasig and Quezon City, Kalye1 Abad Santos Food Park, Open Kitchen in Congressional and Cubao, The Vibe Gastro Hub in Quezon City, and Arca Yard in Valenzuela City, among others; and in lifestyle destinations in the Visayas and Mindanao, like Damosa Complex and Matina Town Square in Davao City, The Marketplace in Bacolod, One Providence Lifestyle District in Cagayan de Oro, and Larsian in Cebu.

Smart Wifi in airports, transportation hubs

Meanwhile, travelers passing through the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and key domestic airports across the country have also been able to use Smart Wifi to access their flight details, research about their destinations, and keep in touch with their loved ones via their social media accounts while on the go.

Super-speed Smart Wifi is also available at the Bacolod Airport, Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport, Davao International Airport, Dipolog Airport, Dumaguete Airport, General Santos International Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Kalibo International Airport, Laoag International Airport, Legazpi International Airport, Puerto Princesa Airport, Roxas Airport, Tacloban Airport, Tagbilaran Airport, Tuguegarao Airport, Zamboanga International Airport, and Caticlan Airport, the gateway to Boracay.

Those who travel by land and sea have also been able to connect to Smart Wifi available in Bacolod Port, Cagban Boracay Jetty Port, Caticlan Jetty Port, Cebu Port, Daima Port in Misamis Occidental, Dapitan Port, Dumaguete Port, the Port of Batangas, the Port of Calapan, Puerto Princesa seaport, Tagbilaran Port and Zamboanga Port, as well as in bus terminals in Bacolod, Cebu (North and South), Imus, Partas in Vigan, Solid North Bus Terminal in Quezon City, and Victory Liner in Pasay.

Internet for All

“Through this Smart Wifi rollout, Filipinos with Wifi-capable devices, regardless of network, can have access to quality connectivity,” Hernandez added.

The Smart Wifi and Smart LTE roll-out are components of PLDT’s three-year network expansion program, and form part of an overarching effort to make the Internet accessible to all. (Press Release)

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Cebuano football player journeys to FC Barcelona

A 10-year-old Cebuano football player had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending special training sessions with FC Barcelona legend Eric Abidal and other top club players. Ethan Jacob Roxas of Paref…

A 10-year-old Cebuano football player had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending special training sessions with FC Barcelona legend Eric Abidal and other top club players.

Ethan Jacob Roxas of Paref Springdale was among a group of 55 young international players from different countries, including Australia, Colombia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Tahiti, Thailand, Singapore, and Panama that was part of the MILO FCB Road to Barcelona.

The program culminated in a 9-day journey of extraordinary football opportunities, multicultural camaraderie, and unforgettable memories for the very first Philippine delegation.

MILO FCB Road to Barcelona

INCOMPARABLE EXPERIENCE. Ethan Roxas ((left) with FC Barcelona legend Eric Abidal, who headed an exclusive training session which the Philippine team joined.

Making friends

Roxas said he made friends with kids his age from all around the world—which is what he considers to be the ultimate highlight of his trip to Spain.

“Making friends with other young football players from different countries gave me different perspectives about the sport. What I learned from them helped me become not only a better player, but also a better person altogether,” Roxas said.

He has been playing football since he was 4 and loves the game because it allows him to learn how to work together with other kids. When asked what advice he can give to other young Cebuano players who are interested to try out for next year’s MILO FCB Training Camp, he said, “There are three things to keep in mind: be yourself, don’t feel pressured, and most importantly, enjoy the whole experience.”

MILO FCB Road to Barcelona

PARTNERS IN BUILDING CHAMPIONS. The MILO FCB Philippine delegation headlined the launch year of the four-year global partnership.

Football community growing

His father, transplant surgeon Alvin Roxas said, “Sports is important for children to learn life values. It instills discipline and allows them to learn how to relate with other kids. This is why Ethan has our full support. We see his passion and want nothing else but to see him thrive and succeed in his football journey.”

“The football community is growing in leaps and bounds. Now, nearly every school in Cebu has a football team. I encourage all parents to get their kids into sports by finding a good team and coach that will harness their talents,” Dr. Roxas said.

MILO FCB Road to Barcelona

MILO Sports programs, including Road to Barcelona, offer kids a chance to showcase their athletic excellence, determination and drive in the national arena, and give them the opportunity to enhance their talents further in the international stage. (Press Release)

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Waze your way out of Christmas traffic

Christmas is best spent with family and friends. Not on the road and in standstill traffic. Knowing which roads to take or avoid and having the ability to plan ahead…

Christmas is best spent with family and friends. Not on the road and in standstill traffic. Knowing which roads to take or avoid and having the ability to plan ahead for the best time to leave and the shortest travel time to a destination is one Christmas treat we all want.

Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, collected data over the past year and came up with the date and the hours of the day when traffic is at its worse. The data includes places that increased in traffic during the holidays. In the hands of a seasoned driver, this information will shorten travel time so families can spend more time together.

Worse times and dates for driving

Waze Worse Times

WORSE TIMES. These are the worse times to drive, according to Waze based on company data and insights based on total drivers per hour, December 2016.

Waze also came up with a report on Philippine cities that had increased traffic over the holidays.

Key metros with heavy traffic

Waze Philippines data

Source: Waze data, Insights based on total drivers per day, December 2016

With the exception of Angeles City in Pampanga and Naga City in Bicol, most cities with increased traffic volume are found in the southern part of the country. If you have plans to go through these areas, best schedule hitting the road earlier than usual or just go somewhere else to celebrate.

But if staying away from these places is not an option, Waze has a solution – Planned Drive. The function gives drivers the estimated time of departure and arrival.

Set planned drives

 

Waze planned drives

Christmas tunes for Wazers on Spotify

Earlier this year, Waze and Spotify announced a partnership to bring your favorite Spotify playlists into the Waze app. With the integration in full swing, your commute, road trip or holiday-related traffic jam becomes much more tolerable, enjoyable even, especially as Wazers get into the holiday groove with Spotify!

It’s no surprise that our favorite diva Mariah Carey has topped the list with “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Top Christmas tunes on Spotify for Wazers

Top Christmas tunes on Spotify for Wazers

Top 5 Most Popular Christmas Songs for Wazers on Spotify:

1. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
2. “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé
3. “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande
4. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – 2010 Digital Remaster” by John Lennon
5. “Last Christmas – Remastered” by Wham!

Trip to the North Pole: PH Ranks Slowest

In the unfortunate event that Santa’s sleigh breaks down, Waze can help plan your trip from Philippines to the North Pole to get your gifts. Based on Filipinos’ average driving speed, it will take about 22 days to reach Santa’s house. In APAC, Philippines is ~1,400KM closer to the North Pole than Singapore, yet Filipino drivers would take 8 more days to get there. Globally, Italian drivers are among the fastest in the race to the North Pole.

For your return trip to ring in 2018, Waze recommends avoiding the roads between 3pm – 5pm on Sunday, Dec 31, especially if you’re hoping to make it back home in time for your New Year’s Eve party.

Waze Christmas

Race to the North Pole: PH among slowest.

In a race based on Days to NP at 100 KPH and Days Added Due to Region Speed, Waze ranked the Philippines, followed by Australia and Brazil as the 3 Slowest Countries, while USA, Italy and France, no surprise there, as the 3 Fastest Countries to reach the North Pole.

Enjoy this holiday season and let Waze and Spotify be your best road companion wherever you may go to celebrate. Download the Waze and Spotify from the Play Store or the App Store. For more information, please visit the Waze at www.waze.com. (Press Release)

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JanSport releases holiday accessories, small packs

This holiday season, it’s the small things that count. JanSport has released its newest line of accessories and small packs for everyday essentials and it definitely packs a punch. JanSport’s…

This holiday season, it’s the small things that count. JanSport has released its newest line of accessories and small packs for everyday essentials and it definitely packs a punch.

JanSport’s Lil break and Right Pouch are nifty small packs to keep your accessories organized while on the go. Be it coins, cards, a charger, earphones, and other items, you won’t have to sweat the small stuff.

Jansport pouch

If you love organization, the JanSport burrito is the one for you. This quirky accessory securely stores electronic cords, a powerbrick, and other daily essentials and it folds up perfectly to fit inside your backpack.

The JanSport Hippyland fanny pack allows for everything you need to be within close reach and leave you hands-free for the more important stuff. This handy waist pack will be by your side wherever you go!

Small and light, the JanSport Half Pint Mini backpack is the perfect throw-on-and-go miniature pack for those no-nonsense, on-the-go adventures you’re raring to scratch off your bucket list.

Jansport Half-Pint

JanSport Half Pint Mini

It’s a backpack, it’s a cross-body, and it’s the Indio. And it may very well be the hybrid essential you need for all your OOTDs.

Take only what you need, do only what you love, with the Weekender crossbody bag. This small but sturdy sidekick holds your essentials in one main compartment with an exterior stash pocket, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Jansport Indio

JanSport Indio

Check the full collection at JanSport Store and select BratPack, The Travel Club, The SM Stores nationwide or follow us on Facebook and Instagram: JanSport Philippines. (Press Release)

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Globe, SM team up for seamless GoWiFi digital experience in Supermalls

Get seamless digital connection while shopping and dining in SM malls nationwide through GoWiFi Auto. The service has been deployed in 34 select SM malls nationwide through the partnership and…

Get seamless digital connection while shopping and dining in SM malls nationwide through GoWiFi Auto. The service has been deployed in 34 select SM malls nationwide through the partnership and collaboration between Globe Telecom and SM Supermalls.

Ernest Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe Telecom; Hans Sy, chairman of the executive committee of SM Prime; and Willy Ocier, president of Philippine Global Communications, Inc., signed a memorandum of agreement last November 23, 2017 to roll out GoWiFi Auto in SM malls.

“The new GoWiFi access in SM Supermalls is in line with our company’s mission to create wonderful experiences for customers that include premium connectivity even while they are out with their family and friends,” Cu said in a statement.

GoWifiAuto SM

CONNECTIVITY AGREEMENT. (From left) SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, SM Prime Holdings President Jeffrey Lim, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy, Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu, and Philippine Global Communications, Inc. President Willy Ocier during the signing of the agreement to deploy GoWiFi Auto in SM malls.

Internet while shopping, dining

He said having GoWiFi access in all 34 SM malls gives customers a swift and dependable option when they connect to the internet while shopping and dining.

Globe GoWiFi Auto is a seamless way to connect to WiFi automatically while in a GoWiFi coverage area. Customers who avail themselves of GoWiFi Auto will be able to connect automatically to the Internet and enjoy uninterrupted browsing without ads, and without having to enter user names and passwords.

GoWiFi Auto also allows customers to connect automatically when moving to other locations within the mall and extends browsing time beyond the free daily time allotted to users.

Free GoWiFi Auto trial

A one-time free trial allows new users to access GoWiFi Auto for three days from the moment of successful activation on the GoWiFi portal. The free 3-day trial promo runs until December 31, 2017.

GoWiFi internet access can be used by Globe and TM customers as well as customers from other networks.

Both prepaid and postpaid users can use the paid premium GoWiFi service where charges can be deducted through their load and postpaid bill.

The partnership signing was witnessed by Globe Telecom executives, including Don Rae, head of the WiFi Business Group; Christopher Cheng, vice president of the WiFi Business Group; Adrian Te, director of the WiFi Business Group, and Dominador Perez, head of rollout and deployment, WiFi Business Group.

Globe GoWiFi Auto

PAID PREMIUM SERVICE. Both prepaid and postpaid users can use the paid premium GoWiFi service and charges can be deducted through their load and postpaid bill.

SM branches with GoWifi Auto

SM top executives who joined Sy included Jeffrey Lim, president of SM Prime, and Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls.

The 34 SM malls branches with GoWiFi Auto include: SM Southmall, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM City Cebu, SM City Consolacion, SM City Sucat, SM Center Angono, SM City Novaliches, SM Center Sangandaan, SM City Baguio, SM City Olongapo, SM City Baliwag, SM City Iloilo, SM City San Jose del Monte, SM City Bacolod, SM City Molino, SM Center Pasig, SM Megamall Fashion Hall, SM Aura Premier, SM City San Mateo, SM City Santa Mesa, SM City Cauayan, SM City Masinag, SM City Santa Rosa, SM City San Pablo, SM City Rosales, SM City Tarlac, SM Center Valenzuela, SM City Trece Martires, SM CDO Downtown Premier, SM City Cagayan de Oro, SM City Cabanatuan, SM City Calamba, SM City Puerto Princessa, and SM City San Fernando Downtown. (Press Release)

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Feel the force with Havaianas Star Wars collection

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters soon, the Force is strong among fans of this longtime global phenomenon. Havaianas, the world’s favorite brand of flip flops, joins the…

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters soon, the Force is strong among fans of this longtime global phenomenon.

Havaianas, the world’s favorite brand of flip flops, joins the excitement of the latest Star Wars chapter with the unveiling of its latest Star Wars collection.

Feel the Force with 4 must-have designs inspired by the saga’s most well-loved characters: A printed beige pair with green straps that calls to mind Master Yoda, a fun graphic print on a rust-colored sole for Chewbacca, Darth Vader’s armor on a distinct black-and-red pair, and the unmistakable details of R2-D2 in a blue-and-white one.

Havaianas Star Wars Collection

Master Yoda

 

Havaianas Star Wars Collection

Darth Vader

 

Havaianas Star Wars Collection

R2D2

 

Havaianas Star Wars Collection

Chewbacca

There’s no need to head into a galaxy far, far away to get these flip-flops! In Cebu, the Havaianas Star Wars collection is available at All Flip Flops in Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, SM Seaside City Cebu, and SM Consolacion; Rustan’s, and Robinsons Galleria.

To get the latest Havaianas updates and promos, visit their website at www.havaianas.com and follow @havaianasphils on Instagram and Twitter, and HavaianasPhilippines on Facebook. (Press Release)

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Big discounts, promos await PayMaya account holders this Christmas

With lots of discounts, rebates, and freebies coming your way, it is a great time to be a PayMaya account holder this Christmas. Use your PayMaya to shop and complete…

With lots of discounts, rebates, and freebies coming your way, it is a great time to be a PayMaya account holder this Christmas. Use your PayMaya to shop and complete your holiday gift list so you can share the love to family and friends during this season of giving.

“Christmas is a season of giving and we’re happy to help our customers share the love over the holidays with PayMaya. This is our way of thanking our customers in helping us achieve a very fruitful year as the leader in digital payments in the Philippines,” said PayMaya Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Paolo Azzola.

Spreading the Christmas cheer to all is also made easier with exclusive discounts to PayMaya account holders when they shop at Lazada and Zalora. Users can enjoy an additional 20% discount when they shop at Lazada until December 15 by using the code PYMYDEC.

Meanwhile, fashionistas looking to complete their holiday outfits can look forward to a 20% discount this month when they shop at ZALORA, simply by entering the code PAYMAYAHOLIDAY upon checkout. The discount increases to as much as 25% during Zalora’s Online Fever sale event on December 12 to 15 with the code PAYMAYAFEVER25.

These discounts are on top of the already deep discounts being offered by Lazada and Zalora this December.

Get as much as P1,250 on referrals with PayMaya in Facebok Messenger

With PayMaya, it’s easy to let your friends and loved ones know that you care about them. And with PayMaya in Facebook Messenger, both of you can feel the love as well!

Simply sign up or link your existing PayMaya account in Facebook Messenger and refer friends to sign up too and you will both get P50 in your PayMaya accounts.

To do this, all you have to do is share the promo link that you will receive from PayMaya in Messenger to up to 25 friends with Android devices to start earning the referral bonus. Subscribers of all mobile network in the Philippines may sign up until December 19 and get the bonus amount, which will be credited to their accounts in 2 to 3 business days.

“All of these privileges highlight that paying with your PayMaya is now better than simply paying with cash. Using their PayMaya accounts, shopping online and in-store, sending money to others, and purchasing load or paying bills is easier than ever. We can’t wait to share even more exciting things and experiences exclusive to PayMaya account holders that we have in store for the coming months,” shared Raymund Villanueva, Issuing Head at PayMaya.

Getting a PayMaya account is easy and instant. Just download the PayMaya app via iOS or Android and register.

A million ways to #ShareTheLove

With PayMaya, there are a million ways to share the love to your friends and family because all PayMaya app registrations, physical card activations, and purchases worth at least P1,000 from today until December 23 will earn raffle entries for PayMaya’s #MerryMillionaire promo.

Users stand a chance to win P10,000 in the weekly draw and a whopping P1 million tax-free in the grand draw, which will give them even more reasons to spread the love to others this holiday season.

And to make it even more convenient to load your account, PayMaya has further expanded its long list of loading partners to include all branches of Cebuana Lhuillier and ExpressPay, as well as the online banking platforms of RCBC and Metrobank.

This is on top of the more than 15,000 top-up facilities already available nationwide such as Robinsons Department Store Business Centers, SM Business Services, TouchPay kiosks, 7-Eleven, Palawan Pawnshops, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go outlets, Petron stations along NLEX, and Smart Padala centers down to sari-sari stores in grassroots communities, and Unionbank ATMs.

PayMaya Philippines, the country’s pioneer and leader in cashless payments, is the digital financial services arm of PLDT’s Voyager Innovations. To know more about its products and services, visit www.paymaya.com. (Press Release)

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