Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Boost your internet connectivity with Linksys mesh WiFi system

With family members having multiple devices requiring good internet connectivity, modern homes now require good WiFi coverage. Apart from good internet provider service, one can improve coverage by using new…

With family members having multiple devices requiring good internet connectivity, modern homes now require good WiFi coverage. Apart from good internet provider service, one can improve coverage by using new devices like a mesh WiFi system.

Signing up for high-speed Internet service and using the default modem as WiFi router is like having a large pipe and using a faulty faucet, said Linksys Philippines Country Sales Manager Jason Villados.

Among the common problems of WiFi connectivity at home are: dead spots in certain areas, multiple SSIDS or WiFi access point names, gadgets not always connecting to the strongest network, interruptions during real time streaming such as during Facetime or Skype calls, speed reduction due to channel interference, and multiple and inconsistent product experiences working with various devices.

Linksys Velop WiFi

WIFI NODES. The WiFi nodes for the Velop mesh WiFi system extends coverage and makes consistent the connectivity in various parts of your house or office.

 

Villados said all these problems can be solved by using a mesh WiFi system like their Velop Whole Home MeshWifi Systems.

Villados launched Velop in a press event in Cebu City on Tuesday.

Seamless WiFi experience

He said a home mesh WiFi system like Velop offers a “seamless WiFi experience similar to an enterprise system.” He said it offers consistent and complete coverage of a home or even a small office.

Using a router and extender setup will have unstable WiFi signal that degrades over the distance. This can present a problem when one uses a gadget and moves to another part of the house, Villados said. The setup also provides poor WiFi to such devices as security cameras or smart TVs.

A mesh WiFi like that of Velop, on the other hand, “creates continuous connections at the edge, providing high performance WiFi to devices on the edge of the home, such as security cameras,” he said.

Linksys Velop Home WiFi

CEBU LAUNCH. Linksys Philippines Country Sales Manager Jason Villados talks about the Velop Whole Home MeshWifi Systems during the launch in Cebu.

 

Simple to set up

“Velop is compatible with any ISP modem or gateway,” the company said in a statement. It comes in several packs that differ on the number of nodes. The different nodes are placed in various areas of the house or office to create the seamless connection.

Villados said the system is very simple to set up and one needs only to install an app to be guided on the configuration as well as the optimal placement of nodes for a reliable and consistent connection.

The company said the system offers True Modular Mesh Design. “Each node is built to connect with each other over WiFi or wired Ethernet or combination of the two for best performance. They auto-configure to connect in multiple different mesh topologies.”

Linksys Velop WiFi

SMART HOME. Devices such as security cameras, smart speakers, plugs, and lights work best when you have good WiFi coverage. This is something Velop can address, the company said.

 

Velop also has Intelligent MeshTechnology “that simplifies WiFi networking and optimizes end-to-end performance. The Velop system adapts to a user’s WiFi needs. It self-heals and optimizes to consistently deliver fast, flawless WiFi everywhere in the home.”

Automatic updates

The system is interoperable and one can just add nodes to extend coverage.

Velop also “comes with custom Amazon Alexa “skills” that can turn the guest network on/off and read back the credentials of both the main and guest networks.”

With automatic software updates, Velop “will always remain up-to-date and highly secure without having to update hardware.”

Linksys Velop WiFi

VELOP comes in different packs with different number of nodes.

 

“Velop will automatically monitor for updates and apply new software that unlock new features, resolution to security vulnerabilities, and improved performance as they become available,” the company said.

In Cebu, Velop can be purchased in NGenius IT Hub, Metro PC, Thinking Tools, Octagon Computer Superstores, and Silicon Valley.

The Dual-Band systems cost P5,995 (1-pack), P10,995 (2-pack), and P15,995 (3-pack).

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Vivant Foundation lights up Hilotongan School with off-grid solar power installation

WHEN students of Hilotongan Integrated School (HIS) were ushered into the computer lab after a turnover ceremony on Friday morning, Grade 9-Prudence pupil Barbi Villadolid headed to computer unit 7,…

WHEN students of Hilotongan Integrated School (HIS) were ushered into the computer lab after a turnover ceremony on Friday morning, Grade 9-Prudence pupil Barbi Villadolid headed to computer unit 7, opened Microsoft Word, and typed 2 words: Thank you.

Villadolid expressed on her computer monitor the gratitude the school and the wider island community felt for being the recipient of an off-grid solar power installation by the Vivant Foundation.

The foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Cebu-based energy company Vivant Corporation, installed solar panels, batteries, and the system that finally allowed the school to use computers that have been idle for lack of power.

Vivant Foundation Hilotongan

TURNOVER. Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia (center) turns over a solar panel to Hilotongan Integrated School Principal Nelita Cervantes to mark the turnover of the solar power system that now powers the school. The turnover was held at the school last Friday. With them on stage are Vivant Corporation Assistant Vice President Grant Clark (4th from right), DepEd 7 Assistant Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez (4th from left) and other officials from DepEd and the local government unit.

 

LED lights, electric fans

The solar power system also allows the school to finally have LED lights and electric fans in its classrooms.

Before the system was installed, students took turns using a laptop charged by a generator, said Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia.

HIS Principal Nelita Cervantes said that to use computers, students used to take a 30 to 45-minute boat ride to Bantayan Island that costs P20 roundtrip and rent computers at an internet cafe by the minute. That is a fortune for students lucky to have P10 as daily allowance, Cervantes said.

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

COMPUTER LAB. Grade 9 student Barbi Villadolid (left) works on her unit during a tour of the computer lab after the turnover ceremony. The solar power installation donated by Vivant Foundation powers this computer lab as well as the lighting and ventilation in all of the school’s classrooms.

 

Now, Villadolid said in an interview, they are able to listen to lectures comfortably in their airconditioned computer lab and use the computers to work on their assignments and projects. From presentations on manila paper, she said, they have started to submit digital reports.

“Our school rooms are now well-lighted and well-ventilated because of solar power. Our students can now use computers,” Cervantes said during the turnover ceremony at the school.

Hilotongan is an island barangay off Bantayan Island. It is accessible by boat only during high tide.

Improve students’ performance

The donation is seen to help the school improve its performance in educational measures, said Department of Education (DepEd) Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez. He said the facility and the comfort of studying with the electric fans in classrooms and air conditioning in the computer lab will increase the interest and eagerness of students to attend classes.

Garcia said the foundation chose HIS because it has the biggest student population, at 734 pupils, among un-energized islet schools in Cebu Province.

Juvimar Montolo of DepEd Cebu Province said she is sure academic performance will improve at the school. She said the area performed poorly in science and she sees the donation as helping the school do better on the subject.

The solar rooftop panels power the 2 computer processing units and 46 monitors connected to it in the high school computer lab. It also powers the 6 computers in the grade school computer room and the air conditioning for both rooms.

The installation also powers the school’s sound system as well as the perimeter lights that secure the campus at night. Vivant also upgraded the school’s electrical wiring.

Hilotongan Island Vivant Foundation

ROOFTOP INSTALLATION. This rooftop installation powers the schools computer lab and the lighting and ventilation in all classrooms. Vivant Foundation made sure the system will function even under cloud cover.

 

More than enough

“The solar power system includes inverters and batteries that ensure that lighting and appliances continue to function even when there’s cloud cover and that perimeter lights remain on at night,” the company said in a statement.

The solar rooftop system is more than enough for the school’s future load, the foundation said.

Garcia said the foundation spent over P4 million for the Hilotongan project. The installation, however, is just one component of the Liadlaw Off-Grid Solar Electrification Project. The project is named after Liadlaw, the pre-Christian Visayan god of the sun.

The other component, which is unique in the country, is the equipment donation and training of senior high students of Bantayan National High School on solar power installation and maintenance as part of the Electronic Installation and Maintenance (EIM) national certificate.

Training of students

The Bantayan students who will be trained on solar power will then maintain the off-grid installation in Hilotongan. This exchange allows the EIM students to get actual experience on solar power and HIS to have its systems checked regularly and maintained.

The donation and new EIM curriculum that incorporates solar power has sparked interest among students in Bantayan National High School. For the first year of EIM, 32 students enrolled in the course. This dropped to 15 the next year when students realized there were no equipment to work with. After Vivant’s donation, enrolment this year shot up to 90.

When these students graduate, they will have 2 certifications: for EIM and solar power.

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

BIGGEST POPULATION. Hilotongan Integrated School was chosen as pilot beneficiary because it has the biggest student population among un-energized islet schools in Cebu Province.

 

A step ahead

Apart from maintaining the Hilotongan system, these Bantayan students will be able to work on other solar projects in the area, Garcia said.

He said he talked to people who have businesses in Bantayan Island and they told him their hesitation with using solar power is the lack of workers to maintain it. Garcia said the foundation hopes that when the students graduate from the course, they can serve as local workers to maintain installations and encourage businesses to adopt solar power.

Garcia said the students will be “a step ahead of other electricians” when solar power use at home and business go up exponentially as it did in China and other developed countries.

He said the foundation hopes to work on more schools in the future.

 

Hilotongan Vivant Foundation

HILOTONGAN Island is 30 to 45 minutes by boat from the mainland Bantayan Island.

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Cebu Landmasters launches mixed-use Astra Centre in Mandaue

Two high-rise towers with a world-class hotel, residential units, and office spaces linked by a podium hosting an upscale boutique mall will make up Cebu’s upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre,…

Two high-rise towers with a world-class hotel, residential units, and office spaces linked by a podium hosting an upscale boutique mall will make up Cebu’s upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre, Cebu Landmasters, Inc.’s second full-range mixed-use development.

Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, said during the launch of the P3.6-billion project yesterday, August 8, that Astra Centre is “an astounding, aspiring, and all-in-one development” well suited to the dynamic lifestyle of the Cebuanos.

Astra Centre Landmaster Joe Soberano III

CHANGE LANDSCAPE. Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, says Astra Centre “will change the landscape of Mandaue City.”

 

Mandaue growth corridor

It will rise on a 1.2-hectare lot along AS Fortuna St., which Soberano described as Mandaue City’s new growth corridor.

“Astra Centre will change the landscape of Mandaue City “ he added, citing that the project espouses a compact community concept where everything is within walking distance—from residence and workplace to shopping and entertainment.

First Radisson RED

CLI plans to finish the first phase of the project, which will include the 30-floor first tower and lifestyle mall, in three years or by 2021, according to the company’s chief operations officer, Jose Franco Soberano.

Astra Centre Jose Franco Soberano

LIFESTYLE HUB. CLI COO Jose Franco Soberano talks about upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre during its launch.

 

He said the high-rise building will host both the first Radisson RED in the Philippines and the residential component One Astra Place.

The 146-room hotel, to be operated by the Radisson Hotel Group, will have a unique design and upscale service offerings that will be informal, aspirational, and targeted towards millennials, according to a press statement released during the launch.

One Astra Place

One the other hand, One Astra Place will occupy 15 floors consisting of 478 units with such amenities as an infinity pool, kiddie pool, function rooms, gym, al fresco area, and skydeck.

The three-level Astra Centre Mall will be a new concept as well, with half of retail spaces located outdoors, said the younger Soberano.

Tower 2, which is part of the development’s second phase, will combine Astra Corporate Center’s 12 floors of modern office spaces and residences.

 

Astra Centre Cebu Landmasters

LAUNCH. Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, leads his team in unveiling Astra Centre.

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Top Chinese restaurant Hai Shin Lou opens in Cebu

The freshest ingredients prepared by top-notch chefs from Hong Kong are what distinguishes Hai Shin Lou dishes from those of other Chinese restaurants, said one of its founders. Hai Shin…

The freshest ingredients prepared by top-notch chefs from Hong Kong are what distinguishes Hai Shin Lou dishes from those of other Chinese restaurants, said one of its founders.

Hai Shin Lou held a soft opening today, August 8, 2018, as part of preparations to a grand inauguration on October 10. The Cebu branch of the highly-regarded Chinese restaurant is located at the ground level of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. It is only the restaurant’s second branch – the owners previously having decided not to expand beyond the first one they set up in Makati City, said co-owner Alejandro Tengco.

Hai Shin Lou Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Pork Siomai

Tengco said their group is very particular with the food and service at the restaurant, which they opened on December 8, 2003. He said they thought that expansion via franchises would dilute the brand and these new locations would not be able to keep the quality.

Seafood King

Tengco said that among the restaurant’s most loyal patrons were the Ty family and their businesses. Through the years, the Tys told them they wanted to open a Chinese restaurant and wanted to work with them. Tengco said they were eventually convinced and saw the opportunity to partner with the family and open in a top hotel in Cebu.

Hai Shin Lou means “Seafood King” and the phrase banners the restaurant’s specialty, Tengco said in an interview. The restaurant is so particular with the quality of their ingredients that they produce their own soy sauce and chili sauce, which Tengco highly recommends. In preparing its tasty Fish Fillet with Home Made Bean Curd in Hot Pot, he said they use fresh Lapu-Lapu that they fillet themselves. The tofu they also made from scratch in the kitchen.

 

Hai Shin Lou Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Taro Puff.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Barbecue Pork

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

A personal favorite: Soyed Chicken.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu will be headed by Executive Chef King Kwong Chan, one of the best roasting chefs in Hong Kong, the restaurant said. Working with him are Chinese Dimsum Chef Moon Chau Lo and Chinese Wok Chef Raymund Hui, who are also from Hong Kong.

Fine dining Chinese cuisine

We are fine dining Chinese cuisine, Tengco said. We do not compete with these “noodle stores.”

Tengco said that in terms of menu prices, Hai Shin Lou Cebu will be about 10% higher than those offered by Chinese restaurants in the city. The restaurant will also have menu packages that start from P7,888 for a table good for about 10 to 12 persons.

Tengco is confident that just as how it fared in Manila, Hai Shin Lou Cebu will also be the top Cantonese food destination in Cebu.

He said that they will soon offer in Cebu roast goose, which is a favorite among many food afficionados, with some flying to Hong Kong just to buy it.

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Steamed Shrimps.

 

Soft opening

Tengco said they are still tweaking the operations and enhancing the training of the staff now that they have finally opened to the public. He said they would only be catering to 50 diners at a time during the soft opening and advised people to call ahead for reservations at +6332 234 8155 or +6332 234 8188 or send an email to [email protected].

He said they are also working to source ingredients from local suppliers.

Hai Shin Lou Cebu is open daily at 11:30 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 6 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner. The restaurant said in a statement it will serve full capacity by the second week of September,

The restaurant has a capacity of 200 persons with 9 private rooms.

More photos of the soft opening of Hai Shin Lou Cebu

 

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Fish Fillet with Homemade Bean Curd in Hot Pot.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Fresh Crab Meat With Seasonal Vegetables.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Snow Ball.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

Almond Jelly With Fruit Cocktail.

 

Hai Shin Lou co-owner Alejandro Tengco

HAI SHIN LOU STORY. Co-owner Alejandro Tengco talks about how they started Hai Shin Lou and why they eventually decided to open in Cebu.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

PRIVATE DINING. Hai Shin Lou Cebu has a capacity of 200 persons with 9 private rooms.

 

Hai Shin Lou Cebu

SOFT OPENING. Hai Shin Lou Cebu is currently in soft opening and would only be catering to 50 diners at a time.

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The Mactan Newtown holds grandest “Lechon Festival” in Cebu

Everyone agrees that the best lechon is found in the “Queen City of the South.” In the Philippines, no festival would be a complete celebration without the world-renowned lechon on…

Everyone agrees that the best lechon is found in the “Queen City of the South.”

In the Philippines, no festival would be a complete celebration without the world-renowned lechon on the table.

In celebration of this culinary pride, The Mactan Newtown, in partnership with the Lapu-Lapu City Government, is once again putting the spotlight on the world-famous Cebu lechon, along with the rich history, artistry, and skill that goes into preparing this celebrated dish, with its very own “Lechon Festival.”

Mactan Newtown Lechon Festival

 

From August 1 to August 12, foodies can indulge in the finest lechons right off the roasting pit of Cebu’s best lechon makers as The Mactan Newtown Lechon Festival showcases Cebu’s mouthwatering dish for tourists, guests, and locals.

“This annual gastronomic and cultural celebration is aimed at bringing awareness to small-scale and less commercialized lechon businesses. Apart from giving local businesses the platform to showcase their lechon products, we are also looking to raise the status of this great dish as a main pillar of food tourism in Cebu. Through this, we hope to grow Cebu’s reputation further as a top tourist attraction, while also becoming a catalyst for regional economic growth and more livelihood opportunities,” said Kevin Tan, Head of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls.

Lechon Festival Lapu-Lapu

LIVE ROASTING. Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Head Hembler Mendoza and Megaworld Lifestyle Mall Vice President and Head of Marketing and Business Development Tefel Pesigan-Valentino lead the live lechon roasting at The Mactan Newtown as part of the Lechon Festival.

 

Week-long ‘lechon’ festivities underway

Experience a dining celebration like no other at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco where you can savor the best iterations of Cebu’s beloved pork dish. Sample the signature lechon varieties from Cebu’s best lechon-makers, including delicious arrays of lechon-themed dishes and lechon pairings.

Making this delicious gathering even more appetizing is The Mactan Newtown’s introduction of exclusive lechon deals throughout the week-long festival. From August 3 to 12, guests can avail themselves of a whopping price drop of P400 per kilo of lechon for a limited time only from all participating lechon sellers.

Lechon sisig by KKB Seafood.

Lechon sisig by KKB Seafood.

 

Festival goers can also immerse themselves through the entire lechon preparation process at Mactan Alfresco’s very own Lechon Pit. Here, they can witness how a lechon is prepared right before their very eyes—from seasoning to roasting at the coal pit, to portioning, and serving on their own plates.

The 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown of Megaworld is the country’s first “Live-Work-Play-Learn” lifestyle township with its own beachfront located in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu. For more information, visit www.megaworld-lifestylemalls.com or like The Mactan Newtown on Facebook or follow @mactannewtown_ on Instagram and Twitter. (Press Release)

Lechon Festival Mactan Newtown

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5 Cebu teams make it to national finals of Accenture Program The Future 2018

Technology solutions to monitor Cebu City’s free medicines program, facilitate and track donations for calamity-hit communities, teach speech to kids with cleft palate, support cancer patients deal with their disease,…

Technology solutions to monitor Cebu City’s free medicines program, facilitate and track donations for calamity-hit communities, teach speech to kids with cleft palate, support cancer patients deal with their disease, and help the blind read via conversion of text into Braille feedback topped Saturday’s Accenture Program The Future 2018 in Cebu.

The five student teams chosen from the 11 that joined the semifinals in Cebu will head to Manila on August 18 to compete in the national finals.

“Your solutions and apps prove that you can accomplish extraordinary things by combining talent, collaboration, technology, and compassion for others,” said Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Arvin Yason during the awarding of winners.

“Help future-proof talent”

Program The Future: The Accenture Technology Campus Challenge, Yason explained in a press conference after the event, was started five years ago to reach out to the academe.

“Through Program the Future, Accenture is actively collaborating with the academe to help future- proof talent, equipping them with the necessary skills to succeed and lead in the digital age,” the company said in a briefing paper.

“The intent really is through the months-long program, we want to help students rediscover their power to shape the future through technology,” Yason said. “We’re also helping them see that it’s not just about technology it’s also about creativity, imagination, teamwork–because we’re a very team-oriented organization–and the power of technology to make the world a better place.”

Arvin Yason Accenture

EXTRAORDINARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Arvin Yason: “Your solutions and apps prove that you can accomplish extraordinary things by combining talent, collaboration, technology, and compassion for others.”

 

New technologies to solve social problems

This year, the competition’s theme is “Tech4Good.”

Accenture said the competition provides students the opportunity to learn about new technologies such as blockchain, cloud, Internet of things or IoT, extended reality, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

The students underwent training and mentoring sessions by Accenture employees on design thinking and the new technologies that they should tap in building their solutions, Yason said.

He said the program received 132 submissions from 21 schools all over the country.

In Cebu, the following teams won and will compete in the national finals:

 

Team: A1 of Cebu Institute of Technology University
Project: Aeon

Cebu Institute of Technology University

Team A1

Aeon is an app and platform that will help Cebu City Hall’s Long Life Program, a project that delivers maintenance medicines to residents with with hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. The app aims to solve problems on the program such as manual recording by digitizing records. It uses GPS to verify and track deliveries. It also has a predictive stock ordering capability to make sure there is enough stocks for beneficiaries. The platform can also be used to gather health data of beneficiaries to evaluate potential health risks.

 

Team: Aid 2.0 of University of San Carlos
Project: Tactus: Tactile text to Braille glove for the blind

University of San Carlos

Team Aid 2.0

Tactus taps AI and IoT to transform text into Braille feedback on the fingertips of a glove. The team says it offers a “portable, wearable, and affordable” solution for the blind and visually-impaired to read.

 

Team: Amigos of University of San Jose Recoletos
Project: JUANation

University of San Jose Recoletos

Team Amigos

The project taps IBM Watson AI to analyze data from verified news sources about calamities and then generate assessments, based on location and population, on needs of the community for donations. It also taps the blockchain for monitoring of the donations.

 

Team: Repository Blues of University of the Philippines – Cebu
Project: Cancervive

University of the Philippines – Cebu

Team Repository Blues

The project is a support platform for people with cancer deal with their ailment. It has a profile of the patient, a private diary to track the treatment, reminders and tracking of medications, and a community portal for interaction with other cancer patients and medical personnel.

 

Team Coop of Cebu Institute of Technology University
Project: Tingog

Cebu Institute of Technology University

Team Coop

Tingog is an app that aims to teach speech to children with cleft palate. It is meant as a complement to professional speech therapy. During the presentation, team leader Fritz Hoyle said the team will be working with Smile Train Philippines to deploy the app, whatever the outcome of the contest.

Yason said the teams in this year’s edition of the event “pleasantly surprised us in terms of the readiness of their prototypes.”

Unlike in the previous staging of the events when they focused on specific technologies, Yason said this year is more open-ended in terms of solutions.

Integrate multiple technologies

“That actually mimics real life. In real life, we rarely deliver solutions just on one technology. When we build solutions for our clients, we integrate multiple technologies,” Yason said.

“The evolution this year is tech for good. We wanted these students to actually look at society’s problems and ask themselves how can we start solving these problems with new and emerging technologies,” he said.

The 10 finalists that made it to the national competition will get P20,000 cash each team. The team that deploys solutions closely aligned with Accenture’s Tech Vision will receive P50,000 cash. The grand champion will win P300,000 cash and the school will receive P50,000. The Accenture mentor of the winning team will get a gadget.

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Sing Your Story: learn about singing, songwriting in crash course by Cattski

Room Eleven Recording Studio and 22 Tango Records are hosting a singer-songwriter workshop on August 11. Presented by singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and studio director Cattski Espina, the workshop covers…

Room Eleven Recording Studio and 22 Tango Records are hosting a singer-songwriter workshop on August 11.

Presented by singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and studio director Cattski Espina, the workshop covers establishing musician identity, learning stage essentials, laying out the process of collaboration, preparing for recording, and exploring the business side of music.

Formerly called the Singer Songwriter Bootcamp, the upcoming crash course aims to educate and encourage aspiring singer songwriters to tell their stories by fostering interaction and creativity through the use of voice. The workshop will culminate with a co-writing activity.

Cattski Espina

Cattski Espina

Espina’s years-long expertise led her to co-founding 22 Tango Records, a local independent record label and publishing house, and the establishment of Room Eleven Recording Studio. She has released over five albums and has performed in New York City, Nashville, Tennessee, and Vancouver, Canada. Her most recent projects included the production of the Wonggoy’s single “Wa’y Blema” and Vincent Eco’s album “Kiss and Disappear.”

The workshop will run from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm at the Room Eleven Recording Studio Annex, Mango Square Mall, Gen. Maxilom Avenue. Registration slots are limited at P1500 each.

For more inquiries, visit www.room11.studio or email [email protected].

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OCEAN18 conference in Cebu to focus on how to protect, expand homegrown innovation

A conference that started after the World Economic Forum was held in the Philippines in 2014 will focus this year on homegrown innovation and “how to protect, grow, expand, and…

A conference that started after the World Economic Forum was held in the Philippines in 2014 will focus this year on homegrown innovation and “how to protect, grow, expand, and make sustainable our own industries.”

“We’re beginning to worry about our industries, like we consume a lot more shoes from outside the Philippines than shoes made here. We’re beginning to lose our furniture industry, we’re beginning to import more and more rice, we’re beginning to depend so much on imports and our exports are also declining so we wanna try to make sure that we can focus on that,” said Winston Damarillo, co-chair of OCEAN18 and founder and CEO of Amihan Global Strategies.

Multi-sectoral strategy for growth

The Open Collaboration with East Asian Networks or OCEAN18 will be held in Cebu this November.

Organizers said that the conference seeks to “shape the future of the Philippines by bringing together indiepreneurs, sector industry champions, and policy makers to create a multi-sectoral strategy for economic growth.”

Damarillo said indiepreneurs or independent entrepreneurs are early-stage ventures “have the potential to scale up tremendously and shake up their sectors.”

Damarillo is a venture capitalist and founder of several successful startups.

Unlike in the previous two stagings in 2014 and 2016, however, this year’s OCEAN conference will have a series of masterclasses throughout the country starting in this Friday, July 27, at the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu.

OCEAN18 Cebu

HOMEGROWN INNOVATION. Cecilia Martinez-Miranda and Winston Damarillo discuss the theme of the OCEAN18 conference in Cebu and masterclass roadshow.

 

6 high-impact sectors

This will then be followed by masterclasses in Iloilo, Davao, and Manila.

The masterclasses will focus on 6 high-impact sectors identified by the team: Creative Economy, Education, Food, Global Filipino Engagement, Healthcare, and Tourism, said organizer Cecilia Martinez-Miranda.

This Friday, Damarillo said indiepreneurs will learn about business basics that are “foundational” to enterprises.

This Friday’s masterclass in Cebu will have Damarillo, who is also a WEF Young Global Leader, discuss key business fundamentals. Niña Terol of Kick Fire Kitchen will handle a session on design thinking techniques, and Richard Dacalos of Upstart the Game will talk about effective pitching.

At the end of the day, participants will close the master class with a round of benchmark pitches.

Global Filipino

In coming up with the 6 high-impact sectors, Damarillo stressed the importance of engaging the “Global Filipino.”

“We call them OFWs. That is so 1980s because we tend to forget that 10 million Filipinos are no longer in the Philippines and some of them go out to work overseas but a good part of them are Filipinos who have emigrated from the Philippines who still care a lot about the Philippines. And they remit a lot of money,” he said.

“The idea of this particular discussion is how do we look at those Filipinos who are still very connected to the Philippines as an expansion of our market. The Filipinos who are not in the Philippines, they have a lot of buying capability. They would be the most likely to patronize our exports. And they miss the Philippines, they miss our content. they miss our products and I think it’s a huge opportunity for us to address them as a buyer of our services and not just remitter of money,” Damarillo said.

The masterclass workshops are free and organizers will choose 6 teams to represent each high-impact sector and attend the OCEAN18 in November. They will also get mentorship and assistance in getting access to markets.

Filipino way

Damarillo said that in encouraging entrepreneurship, the country should look to build “Filipino startups the Filipino way, not the Silicon Valley way, not the Singapore way.”

“I think the model that would work in the Philippines is more like the examples of Injap Sia of Mang Inasal, from small to big and growing it. An example more like Penshoppe of Bernie Liu, right from tshirt to an empire. More like Jay Aldeguer from tshirts to Island Souvenir,” Damarillo said during the press conference to announce OCEAN18.

Damarillo said that what differentiates OCEAN18 and the masterclasses from other events is that “we’re going grassroots.”

“We wanted to make sure that as many people are touched. Dili lang siya novelty, it impacts our overall economy not just the tech economy,” he added.

OCEAN18 is a collaboration among the Global Shapers Communities of the Philippines, independent initiatives of the World Economic Forum; DevCon Philippines, a nonprofit aimed at promoting IT Pinoy Talent, and Kaya Collaborative, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring, educating, and mobilizing diaspora youth as partners to long-term, locally led social change in the Philippines.

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Big Bad Wolf joins Cebu LitFest

The Big Bad Wolf book sale is the talk of Cebu with over a million brand new books and over 20,000 titles on sale at 80% off regular prices. The…

The Big Bad Wolf book sale is the talk of Cebu with over a million brand new books and over 20,000 titles on sale at 80% off regular prices. The sale at the IEC Convention Center continues to draw massive crowds.

Behind Big Bad Wolf are its founders Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng. Cebuanos can get to know them more at the Cebu Literary Festival.

Scheduled to speak at 11 am on Sunday, July 22, at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu, the leaders of the pack who brought the world’s biggest, baddest book sale to Cebu for the first time, will talk about their Big Bad Wolf Cebu journey, their Cebu experience, and how and why they started the movement in Malaysia in 2009.

BIG BAD WOLF book sale founders Jacqueline Ng and Andrew Yap.

BIG BAD WOLF book sale founders Jacqueline Ng and Andrew Yap.

Andrew and Jacqueline will also answer questions from the audience who want to know more about the Big Bad Wolf books. Joining them will be Miguel Mercado, marketing head of Big Bad Wolf Philippines.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is known for offering a wide selection of high-quality English books at huge discounts. Readers can expect to find bestsellers, novels, business books, art and design titles, cookbooks and a fantastic range of children’s books ranging from activity books, story books, and interactive books. Big Bad Wolf first arrived in the Philippines last February 16 to 25 in Manila, drawing huge crowds and sparked an online campaign from cities like Cebu and Davao.

Big Bad Wolf Cebu

UNTIL JULY 23. The Big Bad Wolf book sale in IEC Convention Center is open 24 hours daily until 11:59 pm on July 23.

Their advocacy to promote the love for reading and to make books more accessible to the masses ties in with Cebu Literary Festival’s aim to celebrate the written word.

The Cebu Literary Festival is an annual gathering of all things literary — talks, stories, books, spoken word, theatre, music, and poetry among others. Now on its fifth year, the CebuLitFest x KomiKet will be held for two days starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. This year’s featured names include Manix Abrera, Hulyen, Myke Obenieta, Merlie Alunan, Denver Torres, Gingging Dumdum, Larry Ypil, Resil Mojares, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Ian Rosales Casocot, and TEAM Magazine’s Phil De La Torre.

Join the hunt and discover bestselling books that have been restocked and new titles to devour at the IEC Convention Center. Bibliophiles have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 23 to grab their favorite books at 60% – 80% off their regular prices. The sale is open 24 hours daily until the very last day and admission is free. (Press Release)

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Boost your home, office security with network cameras

Easy to install and convenient to use, the CP Plus network camera line offers a great option for home and office security. With increasing incidents of theft and vandalism near…

Easy to install and convenient to use, the CP Plus network camera line offers a great option for home and office security.

With increasing incidents of theft and vandalism near where we live in Lapu-Lapu City, our family decided to install a security camera. We studied options for video surveillance including standard CCTV packages and decided that our best option was to use an IP camera system.

Unlike the old analog CCTV camera, IP or internet protocol cameras are digital video surveillance systems that connect to your home network and the internet. The digital capability allows you to remotely control the camera, store video footage, listen to and talk to people within audio range, and even set triggers such as movements to capture photos and video clips.

ezykam cp plus

CONTROL. You can control and configure your ezykam cameras on your computer by accessing it using its IP address (example 102.168.1.17). To find out your camera’s IP address, you can use an app like Fing. Notice the REC notification to indicate that the camera is recording video. This was triggered by the motion detection system when the trisikad passed by.

 

We checked on a few options and decided on the Ezykam line of CP Plus. I had attended a company demo some months back and was familiar with the line.

Ezykam EP10, HC10

We got the Ezykam models EP10 and HC10 from CP Plus distributor RC Goldline. The EP10 retails for P3,490 while the HC10 sells for P2,490. The 2 units have basically the same functionalities except for a key difference: the EP10 allows 360-degree pan and tilt while the HC10 is fixed.

Installation and setup of the devices were easy. You just need to follow the manual on which parts to attach to which, download the app, and then go through the process of connecting to the devices. To connect, you just need to scan a QR code at the bottom or behind the unit. Not being a handyman, it took me longer to install the camera to the ceiling outside the house than to set the system up. You can then control or configure your ezykam camera through your desktop by entering its IP address (such as 192.168.1.4). To find out the IP address of your camera, you can use an app like Fing to scan your network.

CP PLUZ ezykam EP10

CP PLUS EZYCAM EP10. This has pan and tilt capability.

 

Ezykam app for iOS, Android

The ezykam app for iOS and Android also makes it easy to monitor not just one camera but several others on your phone. That way, you can actually surround your house or office with different ezykam units and have a comprehensive video surveillance system that costs less than what CCTV systems used to sell for.

The ezykam cameras have a motion detection system with sensitivity settings that you can define. You can then set it to send you an email whenever it detects movement and provide app notifications. At the same time, it will also take photo snapshots and videos and save it to a microSD card for later retrieval via app download. You can also set it to send these files to a NAS or network attached storage via FTP if you have a home computer network.

CP Plus ezycam HC10

CP PLUS EZYCAM HC10.

 

You can also set the ezykam cameras to record videos on certain days and hours. The system will just overwrite the data on your microSD if it needs the space.

The exykam also has excellent night vision capability of about 10 meters. The video and photos it takes at night are clear and people’s features are easily discernible.

Video monitoring

You can also define several preset views with ezykam for devices like the EP10 that supports pan and tilt. That way, you can let the camera pan to a certain view just by entering its preset number. You can even set it to do vertical and horizontal patrols.

We’ve used the cameras for several weeks now and are very happy with its performance. We’re now assured that if anything untoward happens within our immediate vicinity, we’ll be able to capture it on video. It also allows us to remotely check our home whenever we’re out for work or even traveling. The most important feature, however, is that all these capabilities and control are available on the phone.

CP Plus ezykam phone

MONITORING, CONTROL ON YOUR PHONE. You can monitor and control your network of CP Plus ezykam cameras on the phone via its iOS and Android apps. This makes home or office security mobile and convenient.

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Want to market to Chinese tourists? Go digital, mobile, social, says airline exec

China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market and offers a lot of opportunities for destinations like Cebu and the Philippines, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan. To…

China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market and offers a lot of opportunities for destinations like Cebu and the Philippines, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

To engage with Chinese tourists, however, brands have to go digital, especially mobile, Tan said.

“What’s happening is that if you look at China they now have 1 billion smartphone users, it’s a cashless country right now. Everyone pays using the mobile,” Tan said during an interview held at the launch of AirAsia’s daily Cebu-Shanghai flights.

AirAsia China Kathleen Tan

AIRASIA China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan with AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador.

 

Tan said “social media is a must-have channel today” for brands.

“AirAsia is a very big brand in China because we started before anyone. We were the first low cost airline-we put the low cost concept into China. When we started no one has heard of the AirAsia brand, no one has heard what is the low cost concept,” she said. “So we spent a lot of years educating young Chinese and it is now a brand that when you search on Baidu, AirAsia is a brand name that pops out.”

Tan said this is important because young independent Chinese travelers comprise a huge market.

AirAsia China Kathleen Tan

MUST-HAVE CHANNEL. AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan says social media is a must-have channel today for brands.

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World’s biggest book sale in Cebu from July 13 to July 23

The world’s biggest, baddest book sale arrives in Cebu to captivate Cebuano book lovers from July 13 July to July 23 at the IEC Convention Center, Cebu. Enjoy 24 hours…

The world’s biggest, baddest book sale arrives in Cebu to captivate Cebuano book lovers from July 13 July to July 23 at the IEC Convention Center, Cebu. Enjoy 24 hours of non-stop browsing of 1 million brand new English books, all at 60% to 80% off regular prices.

“In an aim to advocate English literacy, we are bringing a variety of books to Cebu across diverse genres including children’s books, literature, non-fiction, business books, biographies, cookbooks and more,” said Miguel Mercado, Head of Marketing of Big Bad Wolf Philippines. “Physical books are here to stay as they stimulate deep reading and engage readers more. We are really happy to bring the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to Cebu as we want to make affordable books available to all,” Mercado added.

Part of the proceeds from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will benefit programs by Gawad Kalinga (GK).

“Gawad Kalinga believes in empowerment. Books and reading allow us to reach our potentials. The presence of Big Bad Wolf gives all communities – not just GK’s, not just Cebu’s – everywhere in the Visayas the opportunities we otherwise would not have. We would like to thank Big Bad Wolf for coming to Cebu and for making GK their partner,” shares Toby Florendo, Cebu Provincial Head of Gawad Kalinga.

Big Bad Wolf book sale Cebu

PRESS CONFERENCE. Gawad Kalinga Provincial Head Toby Florendo, Big Bad Wolf Philippines Marketing Head Miguel Mercado, and Marketing Manager Amelia Peng during the press conference to announce the Cebu leg of Big Bad Wolf book sale.

 

To all Cebuano book lovers, mark your calendars and get ready to grab your favorite titles at the Sale. No two visits are the same, so come hungry and ready to explore!

Selected invitees will also stand a chance to attend a special preview of the Sale on 12 July 2018, from 10:00am – 11:00pm, a day before the sale opens to the public. Eager readers can stand a chance to get their hands on these exclusive preview passes through Big Bad Wolf’s social media pages.

Big Bad Wolf Cebu

BIG BAD WOLF BOOK SALE. From July 13 to July 23, head to the IEC Convention Center, Cebu and enjoy 24 hours of non-stop browsing of 1 million brand new English books, all at 60% to 80% off regular prices.

 

Big Bad Wolf social media pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbwbooksphilippines/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bbwbooksph

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AirAsia launches daily Cebu-Shanghai flights; Cebu told to be ready for influx of Chinese tourists

Cebu is the “perfect destination” for Chinese tourists because they are into diving and love the water and islands, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan. AirAsia launched today…

Cebu is the “perfect destination” for Chinese tourists because they are into diving and love the water and islands, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

AirAsia launched today its daily Cebu-Shanghai flights at the new Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

“Cebu has so much to offer. You have a rich culture and amazing, beautiful islands,” said Tan during the inaugural ceremonies. “The Chinese love to eat. Food is very important to them, and shopping.”

“Cebu,” Tan told those gathered at the event, “your city will never be the same again with China coming in.”

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai

DAILY FLIGHTS TO SHANGHAI. AirAsia launches its daily flights to Shanghai with an inaugural at the newly-opened Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport. Present during the event are (center stage, from left) AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu, Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, AirAsia China and North Asia President Kathleen Tan, Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin, and AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador.

 

Long-term growth

AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new terminal provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”

He said AirAsia now has 3 planes based in Cebu, which is the most outside Manila, ground equipment to support it, and about 200 employees.

“It’s a huge investment for us but we’re very happy that we did the right thing in connecting with China. It’s the largest market.” Comendador said.

 

AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu

MUCH TO OFFER. Cebu has much to offer to tourists based in China, said AirAsia China, North Asia President Kathleen Tan.

 

Market doing very well

He said they initially only wanted to divert passengers from Boracay, with the closure of the island in April, but “we found out that the market is working very well.”

“It’s a good problem for me,” Comendador said, “because when Boracay opens, I will need to find other planes to fly that route because I cannot, I will not, pull out the routes that we have established as alternate to Boracay.”

Tan described the development as “very exciting” because the airline has been able to connect “Cebu to a very important market. China is now ranked as one of the biggest outbound travel market in the world.”

Encouraging response

She described the initial response as very encouraging, with the inaugural flight from Shanghai to Cebu set to arrive past midnight at 99% of load capacity with 179 passengers.

Tan said forward sales also show good booking rates. She said they are aiming to have at least 80% load factor for the routes.

She said the Chinese “now have a big appetite for travel.” It is a “lifestyle commodity” especially for travelers from Shanghai.

She also said that she learned from Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Antonio Chiu that after they opened their routes to China, there have been Chinese business people who expressed interest in investing in Cebu.

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai

CEBU IS READY. Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said Cebu is ready for the influx of tourists from China with the new flights by AirAsia.

 

Young, independent travelers

Tan said many of their customers are those born in the 1980s and 1990s and they see more independent and young Chinese travelers. To engage them, she encouraged those in the industry to go digital, mobile, and social.

Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale welcomed the new routes as opportunities for Cebu to get more exposure to the Chinese market.

Magpale said that with the opening of Terminal 2, Cebu can accommodate more international flights.

AirAsia Shanghai-Cebu

EXPANSION. AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador said the new Terminal 2 of MCIA provides the airline “great capacity for long-term growth and expansion in Cebu as AirAsia’s hub.”

 

Cebu is ready

“Cebu is really, really ready for more Chinese tourists,” she said during the event.

“With these added flights, we know that we will hit our 10 million mark for Cebu. We’ve asked the hotels, the resorts and they are really ready. The Provincial Government as well as the City Government are right behind the business community to make Cebu ready,” she added.

Chinese Embassy Deputy Consul Wu Xiaomin said that last year, the number of tourists from China to the Philippines increased 75%, the fastest growing among foreign markets.

“Tourism brings economic benefits both to the host country and the tourists’ home country,” he said. “I believe that improved relations between the Philippines and China is a key factor in the improved tourism market.”

 

AirAsia Cebu-Shanghai flights

The cake to mark the new flights.

 

Facebook Livestream of event

 

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3-day Grand Travel Bazaar offers top deals on airfare, travel packages

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane…

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane fares and tour packages.

Book flights with such premier airlines as Cathay Pacific, SilkAir, EVA Air, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Airlines at super discounted rates.

The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

ZERO PERCENT INTEREST. The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

 

Longer installments are also available with a little add-on interest rate, said BPI Cards Visayas Regional Marketing Head Fe Emlyn Boltron-Aleonar. She said flights booked during the event already include travel insurance.

Cathay Pacific bestsellers

For the 3-day event up to Sunday, July 8, 2018, Cathay Pacific offers travel deals out of Cebu on economy class to Hong Kong for as low as USD185, to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and Busan for as low as USD335, and to Taipei for as low as USD225.

Cathay Pacific District Sales and Marketing Manager Hazel Tagimacruz urged Cebuanos to take advantage of the really good deals offered up to Sunday.

North America destinations out of Cebu via Hong Kong start from USD695 while Australia flights start from USD460. Cathay Pacific fares to several European cities from Cebu are priced around USD700.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

OPENING. Organizers cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the 3-day Grand Travel Bazaar in Ayala Center Cebu.

 

Extensive SilkAir network

Jake Jeow, SilkAir Country Manager, said they are offering discounted fare rates for economy, premium economy, and business class flights to more than 100 destinations in their network.

SilkAir flights to Singapore go for as low as USD168 for travel in 2018 and USD184 in 2019.

Promo fares to SilkAir’s Southeast Asian destinations like Phuket, Vientiane, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur is at USD237 for travel in 2018 and USD243 in 2019 for return trips.

Return flights to London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Barcelona, Paris, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Moscow, and Rome are at USD737 all-in for travel within 2018.

Grand Travel Bazaar Cebu

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL. Customers get discount coupons for Delsey products courtesy of the Primer Group.

 

More Europe destinations

Turkish Airlines joins the Grand Travel Bazaar with flights out of Manila to Europe and Asia.

Patricia Villagracia, airline sales executive, said they fly to more destinations in Europe and their extensive network even includes Belarus, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, and other key European cities. Return fares on economy class range from USD600 to USD800. From Manila, flights to the Turkish Airlines hub in Istanbul is only about 12 hours with layover of 2-3 hours before proceeding to the final destinations.

 

Facebook Livestream of opening

 

International, local flights

EVA Air offers the lowest return flights to Taipei at USD200. Other airline destinations on sale include the US cities of Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Houston, and Chicago.

Direct return flights from Cebu to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, and Incheon via Philippine Airlines go for as low as USD209. PAL’s Cebu-Bangkok round-trip fare is at USD149.

PAL is also offering discounted rates to 14 local destinations from Cebu, with one way-fares starting from P699.

Korean Air also joins the bazaar for the second year with flights to the West and East coasts going for as low as USD697 and USD789.

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Cebuano kids, parents urged to download Kaalam learning app

Third grader Christine Sosas of Argao Central Elementary School recently discovered a fun mobile application that enables her to learn important lessons in her native Cebuano. Sosas enjoyed exploring the…

Third grader Christine Sosas of Argao Central Elementary School recently discovered a fun mobile application that enables her to learn important lessons in her native Cebuano.

Sosas enjoyed exploring the Kaalam app, launched recently by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications and its local partners in Cebu. The app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play, features Cebuano culture and folklore. It also teaches kids to count, read, and write in Cebuano.

Sosas said her favorite feature is Magbasa na ta (Let us Read) which contains local stories. “Siyempre ang story, kay nindot gyud kaayo unya makakat on pud ka sa story (The stories are my favorite because they are very nice and you can learn lessons from them).”

Kaalam app launch

KAALAM LAUNCH. (From left) Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino, CTU-Argao Campus Director Dr. Juanita Pinote, Smart Public Affairs Center Head Atty. Jane Paredes, Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero, and DepEd Regional Director for Region 7 Dr. Juliet Jeruta during the launch of Kaalam in Argao.

 

Moma Ortega, dean of the College of Computer Studies at University of Cebu-Banilad campus (UC Banilad), encouraged parents like her to download the app for their children. “The output is very good and it can help the kids. It is also timely for the K-12 program wherein we have the mother tongue-based lessons.”

UC Banilad is one of Smart’s partners for the Kaalam app. Other partners are the local government of Argao in Cebu, Department of Education (DepEd) in Cebu Province and Cebu City, and Cebu Technological University-Argao (CTU-Argao).

The Argao local government and CTU-Argao provided content for the app, which includes local folktale. This content was then digitized by UC Banilad students. Smart took care of app development.

Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero said the Kaalam app facilitates learning for kids using technology with which they are very familiar. “The app is a very effective way of trying to marry culture, heritage and infuse these in the learning environment of the children.”

During the recent launch of the app, Smart also turned over 10 tablets preloaded with Kaalam to the local government of Argao.

Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino said the Kaalam app is part of Smart’s larger efforts to help develop literacy apps in different local languages. She said studies show that children learn better when they are taught using their mother tongue.

Smart and its partners have worked on apps in Arabic, Ilokano, and indigenous languages. For more information on Smart’s efforts to use technology for development, please visit the Smart Communities page on Facebook. (Press Release)

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Morissette to hold homecoming concert on July 14

Morissette Amon, a native of Cebu, is holding a homecoming concert titled “Morissette Is Made” at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on July 14 at 8 p.m. It…

Morissette Amon, a native of Cebu, is holding a homecoming concert titled “Morissette Is Made” at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on July 14 at 8 p.m. It is the first major solo concert of the Filipino pride in Cebu.

“It is a dream concert for me. I cannot wait to sing for my fellow Cebuanos.” says Morissette. The concert comes on the heels of her successful, sold- out concerts in Araneta Coliseum and Biñan City.

Morissette recently released her new single titled “Panaginip.” Her fans will hear her perform her new song as well as some favorite Cebuano songs.

Morissette Amon

CEBUANA SINGER Morissette Amon. (Photo from her Facebook page)

Touted as the most awaited concert of the year, “Morissette Is Made,” which will also have some special guests, is also a birthday concert of sorts for the lady singer who earned the moniker Asia’s Phoenix.

“Morissette Is Made” is directed by Paulo Valenciano with Adonis Tabanda as musical director.

The concert is produced by AEP- Aldueza Events Production of Glenn Aldueza and co- presented by Waterfront Hotel and Casino and Wish 107.5.

For tickets, please call 0916 230 0796 and 0915 535 3873 or visit Waterfront Hotel lobby, SM City Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu Concierge and Robinsons Cebu. You can also buy at www.ticketworld.com.ph. (Press Release)

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MVP is Asia’s telco CEO of the Year

PLDT and Smart Communications chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan was named Telecom CEO of the Year at the Telecom Asia Awards ceremony held on June 26 in Singapore. The…

PLDT and Smart Communications chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan was named Telecom CEO of the Year at the Telecom Asia Awards ceremony held on June 26 in Singapore.

The Telecom Asia Awards is the region’s longest-running industry awards program, which seeks to recognize the continent’s premier service providers and telco executives. It is organized annually by Telecom Asia, the largest telecom publishing group in the region.

Also nominated for the award won by Pangilinan were Andrew Kwok of HGC Global Communications Limited, Bill Barney of Reliance Communications & Global Cloud Xchange, Chua Sock Koong of the Singtel Group, Dian Siswarini of XL Axiata, Ernest Cu of Globe Telecom, Vinod Kumar of Tata Communications, and Yang Jie of China Telecom.

Reinvent businesses

“I accept this award with caution and humility,” Pangilinan said. “I am very mindful that in this age of relentless disruption, each new day brings fresh challenges. If anything, this award serves as a reminder that we must keep striving to reinvent our businesses and improve the lives of our people.”

He added: “I must also thank my colleagues at PLDT and Smart for the great work they have done in transforming our network and creating new digital businesses for the group. In these times, collaboration is critical to success. This honor belongs to them as well, and I am proud to accept this on their behalf.”

Under Pangilinan’s leadership, PLDT and Smart have committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. This year, capital expenditures are expected to reach P58 billion, and will likely stay at that level over the next two years, bringing the group’s total capex to nearly P260 billion since it embarked on its network and IT transformation programs in 2016.

Improved coverage

Aiming to bring world-class connectivity to Filipinos all over the country, Smart accelerated the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE-Advanced, and carrier aggregation technology by re-equipping cell sites with low-frequency and high-frequency bands for improved coverage, capacity, and speeds. Carrier aggregation is the capability of LTE-A to combine two or more radio frequency bands to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds.

Manny V. Pangilinan

MVP. PLDT and Smart Communications chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan.

In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Smart installed more than 1,300 LTE base stations, raising the total count to more than 10,000. This year, Smart plans to double the number of LTE base stations on its network to about 17,700 and raise the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to 6,800.

The accelerated rollout has boosted revenues, with mobile data revenues jumping 21% to P6.5 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2017. Data now accounts for 44% of the revenues of the wireless individual business.

Improvements in network

Third-party tests have also noted improvements on Smart’s network. Independent mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has cited Smart for having the Philippines’ fastest LTE network. Apart from winning the best in 4G LTE download speed award from OpenSignal, Smart was also cited for having the best overall download speed, best 4G latency performance, and best 3G latency performance.

Smart is also at the forefront of heralding fifth-generation wireless broadband technologies and services in the country, or 5G. Just last week, Smart, together with its technology partner Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., successfully breached 5G speeds of over 14Gbps during a test held at the recently launched 5G TechnoLab, PLDT-Smart’s flagship facility for the research and development, standardization, and testing of 5G. (Press Release)

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American favorites on the buffet menu in Marco Polo Plaza

To mark American Independence Day, iconic Cebu hotel Marco Polo Plaza has prepared a sumptuous spread of classic American dishes on top of its regular international buffet spread for lunch…

To mark American Independence Day, iconic Cebu hotel Marco Polo Plaza has prepared a sumptuous spread of classic American dishes on top of its regular international buffet spread for lunch and dinner in Cafe Marco.

The latest of the hotel’s Culinary Journey, which highlights specific cuisines to time with a global celebration, will run from July 4 to 7.

At the Fried Bar, diners can get buffalo wings and potato mix fries. Those who want burgers can have their choice of beef, chicken, and lamb patties at the Burger Station. The café also has a Barbecue Corner and Mac and Cheese Bar.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu burger

BURGER. You have the choice of beef, chicken, and lamb patties.

Food choices

At the Carving Station, diners can have their fill of USDA grade roast beef, herb roast chicken, and a lot more options.

Cafe Marco also set up a DIY station for quesadillas, burritos, tacos, enchaladas, and nachos. A must-try is its chili con carne.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu apple pie

APPLE PIE.

 

Leave room for desserts and get a slice of All American favorites apple and pecan pie. You should also try the delicious star spangled ice cream cake.

On July 7, a Saturday, you can bring your friends and family to the hotel and avail yourselves of the Star Spangled Celebration Lunch Buffet, which includes free use of the swimming pool.

World Chocolate Day

Also on July 7, Cafe Marco will mark World Chocolate Day with an array of chocolate goodies.

“The dessert buffet will be overflowing with these bitter-sweet confections that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth,” the hotel said in a press release.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu chili con carne

CHILI CON CARNE.

 

Cafe Marco will serve chocolate-infused dishes such as baked chocolate pasta, coffee and chili crusted barbeque back ribs with tablea sauce, dark chocolate corn tacos, chocolate salami, and many more.

Cafe Marco buffet rates are P1,230 nett per person for lunch and P1,520 nett per person for dinner.

For bookings and inquiries, you can email [email protected] or call Cebu: (+6332) 253 1111 or Manila at (+632) 887 1263.

 

More photos of Star Spangled Celebration at Cafe Marco

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MARCO POLO LOBBY.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu July 4 culinary journey

BEEF FAJITAS.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu dessert station

DESSERT STATION.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

BERRY SHORTCAKE.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

BURGERS.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

CHICKEN FAJITAS.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

SMOKED BARBECUE PORK.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

CHIMICHANGA.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu baked fish

SALT-BAKED FISH.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

PINTO BEANS SALAD.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

SPICY SHRIMP.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

TORTILLA SALAD.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

TORTILLA ROLLUP.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

TEX-MEX chicken chopped salad.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

ICE CREAM CAKE.

 

Marco Polo Plaza buffet

FISH AND CHIPS.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu burger station

BURGER STATION. At the burger station, you have the choice of beef, chicken, and lamb patties.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Cafe Marco

ROULADE.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu buffet

UNTIL JULY 7. The Star Spangled Celebration in Cafe Marco will run until July 7.

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Chicken, donuts, pizza, tempura, tacos all you can every Wednesday in June

Diners are in for a treat this June. Every Wednesday during the month, 8 brands that are part of the Max’s Group, Inc. will be offering All-You-Can sets for P349…

Diners are in for a treat this June. Every Wednesday during the month, 8 brands that are part of the Max’s Group, Inc. will be offering All-You-Can sets for P349 per brand for 2 hours starting at 2 p.m. until closing time.

This is the first cross-branded promotion by the country’s biggest casual dining group, said Max’s Group Marketing Services Head Charlene Marie Sapina.

The Max’s Group All-You-Can Wednesdays promo will be available in more than 600 stores nationwide on June 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 2 pm until closing time. For 24-hour stores of Yellow Cab, its All-You-Can Pizza deal starts at 12 midnight. For other Yellow Cab outlets, the promo is available for the duration of its opening hours.

All-You-Can Wednesdays Max's Group

ALL-YOU-CAN WEDNESDAYS. Every Wednesday this June, get a dining treat in 6 Max’s Group brands with their all-you-can offerings.

Customers who sign up for the All-You-Can promo will be provided stickers for identification upon entry to the store. They will then have 2 hours to eat as much of the featured product as they could.

Senior Citizens or PWDs may choose to avail themselves either of the promotional discount or the 20% discount

The company said the cross-brand promotions allow them to “leverage their portfolio and store network to delight loyal customers.”

The different All-You-Can promos are:

Max's All-You-Can Chicken

Max’s All-You-Can Fried Chicken with 1 glass of Sago’t Gulaman


All-You-Can Pizza Yellow Cab
Yellow Cab’s All-You-Can Pizza in Hawaiian or #4 Cheese and Mountain Dew with 1 order of regular Salt & Pepper Hustlers


All-You-Can taco Pancake House
Pancake House’s All-You-Can Best Taco in Town and Iced Tea


All-You-Can Donuts
Krispy Kreme’s All-You-Can Original Glazed Doughnut and Signature Coffee


All-You-Can Sisig Dencio
Dencio’s All-You-Can Krispy Sisig (Regular) and Iced Tea


All-You-Can Tempura Teriyaki Boy
Teriyaki Boy’s All-You-Can Ebi Tempura and Iced Tea with 1 cup of Steamed Gohan


All-You-Can Sizzlin Steak
Sizzlin’ Steak’s All-You-Can Beef Belly Strips and Iced Tea with 1 cup of Plain Rice


All-You-Can Jamba Juice
Jamba Juice’s All-You-Can Banana Berry Smoothie with 1 Reusable Metal Straw.


Apart from the individual promos, the Max’s Group is also offering All-You-Can Bundles for barkadas and families. The packages start at P849.

The All-You-Can Bundles are:

  • Get Max’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Fried Chicken with 1 glass of Sago’t Gulaman + a free Plush Toy for P1,249
  • Yellow Cab’s 2 sets of All-You-Can Pizza in Hawaiian or #4 Cheese and Mountain Dew + 1 full order of Chicken Alfredo Pasta for P849
  • Pancake House’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Best Taco in Town and Iced Tea + 1 order of Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Large) for P1,199
  • Krispy Kreme’s 3+1 All-You-Can Original Glazed Doughnut and Signature Coffee for P999
  • Dencio’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Krispy Sisig (Regular) and Iced Tea + 1 order of Hot & Spicy Tofulutan for P1,099
  • Teriyaki Boy’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Ebi Tempura and Iced Tea with 1 cup of Steamed Gohan for P999
  • Sizzlin’ Steak’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Beef Belly Strips and Iced Tea with 1 cup of Plain Rice + 1 order of Cheese Dip with Nachos for P999
  • Jamba Juice’s 3 sets of All-You-Can Banana Berry Smoothie with 1 Reusable Metal Straw for P999

All customers who avail themselves of an All-You-Cam officer will get Delivery Treat Vouchers. For Max’s, customers get a free Sizzling Tofu with a minimum delivery order of P1,500. For Yellow Cab, get a free Ice Cream for every order of Squad Stuff, Boom Bundles, or Hustle Bundles. Pancake House offers free 2-piece Classic Pancakes with a minimum delivery order of P800.

For Krispy Kreme, get a free box of 3 Original Glazed Doughnuts with a minimum delivery order of P1,000. Dencio’s offers free Lumpiang Shanghai with a minimum delivery order of P1,500. Get Teriyaki Boy’s 8-piece California Roll for free for every order of Kazoku Set Meal and for Sizzlin’ Steak, enjoy a free Cheese Dip with Nachos for every order of Platter of 3.

“Max’s Group’s very first All-You-Can promo is the result of a momentous synergy among MGI’s well-loved brands—all of which have become deeply ingrained in the lives of Filipinos,” Ariel Fermin, Group COO for Max’s Group, Inc. said in a press statement.

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Need a cab? Micab app now provides ride-hailing service for 3,000 Cebu taxis

Getting a taxi is now easier in Cebu, thanks to ride-hailing platform Micab that was developed by a team of young entrepreneurs. If you haven’t installed it yet, download the…

Getting a taxi is now easier in Cebu, thanks to ride-hailing platform Micab that was developed by a team of young entrepreneurs.

If you haven’t installed it yet, download the Micab app from the Play Store or App Store to get access to 3,000 taxis enrolled in the platform for Cebu alone.

Micab Systems Corp. was granted accreditation as a transport network company (TNC) by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) last April 30, said founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez.

What makes Micab different from transport networks like Grab and Uber is it doesn’t charge a booking fee when you hail a taxi using the app.

Micab founder Eddie Ybañez

INTERVIEW. Micab founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez answers questions during an interview by Cebu journalists.

 

Taxi 2.0

Ybañez said taxis subscribed to the Micab platform pay P500 a month and the fee covers the tablet and data that drivers need to run the app.

Without the booking fee, Micab Systems Corp. plans to get its main revenues from MiAds advertising. It has partnered with ad agencies to get companies to advertise on the tablets in the taxis.

Ybañez said the Micab platform, which he co-founded with Kenneth Baylosis during the Startup Weekend Cebu in 2012, came about as a solution to the perennial difficulty of getting a taxi that he used to frequently experience.

The TNC accreditation is a step forward in the company’s vision of a Taxi 2.0, which will involve clean and modern cabs driven by polite and friendly drivers. Although drivers can see a passenger’s destination in the Micab app, they won’t be able to cancel a booking once they’ve accepted it.

Micab target

The Cebu-based Micab company also now covers Metro Manila, Baguio, Bacolod, and Iloilo. In Manila, taxi bookings through Micab now go as high as 10,000 per day.

Although 80 percent of taxis in Cebu are already covered by the Micab platform, it still has to catch up with Manila in terms of usage, said Ybañez.

He added that they will continue to work with LTFRB and other government agencies “to innovate how Filipinos commute across our cities” to reach a shared goal that is the convenience of the country’s riding public.

Micab Eddie Ybañez

NO BOOKING FEE, NO SURGE PRICING. Micab founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez says their app does not charge a booking fee.

 

Digital hailing stations

Ybañez said they will also be soon deploying what he described as digital taxi hailing stations in major malls in Cebu City. Through these stations, commuters without the app can book a Micab unit.

The target for the year is to increase the number of taxi units enrolled in the Micab platform from 5,000 to 15,000.

Ybañez also said they will be building a system based on Micab for route-based units like buses, jeepneys, and vans-for-hire. He said this would likely be deployed early next year.

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