Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Author: press-release

Cuppa Folk features great music over coffee and cakes in The Good Farm Cafe

Listen to spellbinding songs by local storytellers over coffee and delicious cakes on March 16 at 4 pm in The Good Farm Café in Mandaue City (check location). In honor…

Listen to spellbinding songs by local storytellers over coffee and delicious cakes on March 16 at 4 pm in The Good Farm Café in Mandaue City (check location).

In honor of International Women’s Month, 22 Tango Records has lined up a fresh batch of storytellers and poets that are ready to take listeners on a spellbinding journey, fueled by the sweet smell of coffee and cakes.

 

Mary Anchit

Mary Anchit

 

This latest Cuppa Folk features artists Lourdes Maglinte, JRuss & DT, The Labrats, and Mary Anchit, giving you songs that are drawn straight from the heart and played specially to feed your soul. Catch them on March 16 at 4pm at the JDN Square Building, 5th floor P Remedio St. Mandaue City.

This coffee series was organized to provide musicians and supporters alike a safe haven to connect, collect, and appreciate homegrown music. Because we feel that these songs are valuable, conscious listening is what’s encouraged from the listeners; thus, the #shhhhpolicy will be implemented as artists share their stories without the fear of opening up in front of an audience.

The Labrats

The Labrats

 

For more information and updates, follow 22 Tango Records on Facebook and Instagram. (Press Release)

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M. Butterfly to be staged in Cebu City from March 14-17

World-class masterpiece M. Butterfly will be staged in SM Seaside Centerstage from March 14-17. The theater event of the year is presented by Tony and Grammy award winning producer Jhett…

World-class masterpiece M. Butterfly will be staged in SM Seaside Centerstage from March 14-17. The theater event of the year is presented by Tony and Grammy award winning producer Jhett Tolentino and FRONTROW Entertainment, the producer of highly-acclaimed independent films Bhoy Intsik and Bwaya.

The schedule of performances of M. Butterfly in Cebu City are as follows:

  • Mar. 14 – Thursday – Opening Night – 7pm
  • Mar. 15 – Friday – 7pm
  • Mar. 16 – Saturday – 2pm / 7pm
  • Mar. 17 – Sunday – 2pm / 7pm

Tickets are available in any SM mall or via SMTickets.com.

Producers decided to stage a national tour for M. Butterfly to bring the world-class masterpiece to those who did not have the opportunity to catch its 2018 Manila run. Before Cebu City, it was staged in Iloilo City and Dumaguete City.

M Butterfly Cebu

 

Theater companies are rarely able to bring successful productions in Manila to other parts of the country of many challenges. Organizers said Jhett Tolentino and FRONTROW Entertainment are taking this bold step “to carry on their mission and advocacy in the performing arts and to further enhance audience development throughout the Philippine archipelago.”

This revival production of David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly is the winner of the 2018 Aliw Awards for Best Play, Best Actor and Best Director and got nominations for The Best Featured Actress in a Play.

The play tells the story of René Gallimard, a member of the French embassy in China. He meets and falls in love with Chinese opera star Song Liling, a woman whom he considers to be the embodiment of the perfect woman, Madame Butterfly.

Targeting audiences from ages 18 and older, the producers are hoping that this classic drama, inspired by Giaccomo Puccini’s opera ‘Madame Butterfly’, will likewise resonate to theater audiences from Luzon, Vizayas and Mindanao that “love, power and deception hold no boundaries.”

RS Francisco M. Butterfly

RS Francisco

 

RS FRANCISCO, the 2018 Aliw Award Best Actor for M. Butterfly will reprise his iconic portrayal of Song Liling, the Chinese opera singer who is Gallimard’s object of affection and seduces him through his biases of the East then exploits their intimacy to collect classified information for agents of the Chinese Communist Party.

RS first essayed this role in May 1990 for Dulaang UP, opposite veteran actor, writer and critic Behn Cervantes. On its debut, M. Butterfly immediately rose to critical acclaim with packed houses and box office success in over 100 performances throughout the Philippines.

In the many years thereafter, RS Francisco’s theater credits in numerous productions and variety of roles continued to hone his craft as a complete artist. In films, his most awards include the SINAG MAYNILA Best Actor, the STAR AWARDS Movie Actor of the Year and the SUBIC BAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Best Actor.

When M. BUTTERFLY was revived recently on Broadway, RS had thought of bringing it to life once again to the new theater audiences of today. After all, this is the only ‘one’ role that continues to remain as closest to his heart.

Aira Igarta M. Butterfly

Aira Igarta

 

To add a diverse twist to the M. Butterfly National Tour 2019, young actor AIRA IGARTA will step into the role of Song Liling as alternate in certain performances. As an original member of the Kurogo ensemble of the play’s 2018 Manila run, Aira is a stage and film actor from the Theatre Arts Program of UP Diliman where he took part in several Dulaang UP and Dulaang Labortoryo productions. Trained by the likes of Tony Fabella and Luther Perez, Aira was originally a dance and voice scholar at Quezon City Performing Arts Foundation (QCPADFI).

RS Francisco, Olivier Borten, and Aira Igarta M Butterfly

RS Francisco, Olivier Borten, and Aira Igarta.

 

French actor OLIVIER BORTEN will essay the role of Rene Gallimard, a former French diplomat, who relates the story of his passionate, disastrous affair with Song Liling from his cell in a Paris prison, where he is serving a long sentence for treason.

Philippine theater royalty JENINE DESIDERIO, who among many other theater, film, television and recording credits, assumed the lead role as Kim in the West End’s original Miss Saigon, will portray Gallimard’s wife – Helga. The pair married as a matter of convenience; Helga’s father had diplomatic connections that helped Gallimard ascend in his career.

After 25 years of stage acting experience in the United Kingdom, Scottish NORM MCLEOD has stepped into the Philippine stage as Manuel Toulon, the French Ambassador to China who also happens to be the dominant and strong-willed superior of Gallimard at the embassy in Beijing. Toulon promotes Gallimard to vice-consul and charges him with collecting information to aid the American war in Vietnam.

Jenine Desiderio M. Butterfly

Jenine Desiderio

 

Trilingual American actor LEE O’BRIAN will once more personify Marc, the sexually unapologetic best friend of Gallimard. He encourages Gallimard to take sexual advantage of the women around him without regard for their feelings or even their consent. Although M. Butterfly was Lee’s first theatrical endeavor, his acting skills have already been tried and tested in international films “Edsa Woolworth” and “Forgive Me Father”. O’Brian also portrays Sharpless in M. Butterfly for a brief time.

Portraying the different roles of Suzuki, Comrade Chin and Shu Fang is powerful and well-rounded artist MAYEN ESTAÑERO. Her impressive performance in the 2018 run of M. Butterfly landed her an Aliw Awards nomination for Best Featured Actress. Mayen’s previous theater credits include Dalanghita Production’s Corazon Negro, An Operetta as Maestra, Virgin Labfest’s Mula sa Kulimliman as Leila and Sugid Production’s Buwan at Baril as Asawa. Comrade Chin is a member of the Red Guards, a paramilitary arm of the Communist Party in China. Song communicates with Comrade Chin often, to pass on the classified information he gathers from Gallimard.

Lee O'Brian and Olivier Borten M. Butterfly

Lee O’Brian and Olivier Borten.

 

Twice a finalist as Best Actress for the Aliw Awards, MAYA ENCILA receives her third nomination as Best Featured Actress for her unique characterization of Renee and Pin-Up Girl in M. Butterfly. The stunning Arizona native plays a young, sexually liberated Danish woman with whom Gallimard has an affair. Renee’s boldness presents a stark contrast to Song’s modesty, which Gallimard finds both exciting and obnoxious. A true expert in performing arts, Maya has taken the stage countless times as Mary Lennox for The Secret Garden, as Belle for Repertory Philippines’ Beauty and the Beast musical and as Lara for Philippine Stagers’ KATIPS, to name a few.

Rising soprano star JASMIN SALVO will be the new Opera Singer for the national tour.

The members of the ensemble playing the role of Kurogo are as follows: PHEITH IENA BALLUG, ULLYSES BASA, SASA CABALQUINTO, FRANCO FERRER and JOHN PAUL ORTENERO.

The artistic team of M. Butterfly are as follows: Jhett Tolentino and RS Francisco (Producers), Ohm David (Set), Eric Pineda (Costume), John Batalla (Lighting), Jethro Joaquin (Sound), Joed Balsamo (Music) and Carissa Adea (Choreography).

The M. Butterfly National Tour 2019 will benefit 10 charitable institutions: Iloilo Prima Galaw, Philippine National Red Cross Iloilo Chapter, The Children of Cebu Foundation, Silliman University Culture and Arts Council, the Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Halfway Home for the Boys and St. Louis University Culture and Arts Center.

Check out M. Butterfly at the following social media accounts:

Facebook: /MButterflyPH
Twitter: @MButterflyPH
Instagram: @MButterflyPH
YouTube: MButterflyPH

For further inquiries, please contact JHETT TOLENTINO at (0906) 576-6914.

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Fitflop on sale up to 60% this weekend

With summer fast approaching, make sure you have comfortable footwear in time for your travels or daily commute by stocking up on Fitflop. Primer Group of Companies will be holding…

With summer fast approaching, make sure you have comfortable footwear in time for your travels or daily commute by stocking up on Fitflop. Primer Group of Companies will be holding a sale on Fitflop with discounts of up to 60% this coming March 15 – 17.

Internationally known as comfort footwear brand, Fitflop believes that there is no need to compromise on style to enjoy comfort. Complete your wardrobe essentials and get a new pair of Fitflop at discounted prices. Fitflop items on sale are for both men and women.

Get a new pair of Fitflop to add to your collection. Discounts are up to 60% this coming March 15 – 17, 2019 at the Level 1 of Robinsons Galleria Cebu.

Fitflop Cebu sale

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TOA Global opens in Cebu, seeks accounting professionals

A large number of accounting firms in Australia, New Zealand and the United States are looking to hire accountants, bookkeepers, finance professionals and other support roles. Due to the steady…

A large number of accounting firms in Australia, New Zealand and the United States are looking to hire accountants, bookkeepers, finance professionals and other support roles. Due to the steady demand for different offshore roles, TOA Global anticipates more positions to open in the coming months.

“2018 has been an awesome year for TOA Global. We’ve witnessed an enormous amount of growth—we’re now at over 1,000 accounting and support professionals. This year, we are amplifying our efforts to bring more awesome opportunities to people here in Cebu,” said TOA Global Founder and Chairman Nick Sinclair.

Cebu talent

“The amount of talent here in Cebu is astounding. As a matter of fact, during the last CPA board exam, 11 of the highest scorers are from universities in Cebu. That’s an awesome indicator of the quality of professionals we can tap for our clients,” Sinclair said.

A market leader in dedicated outsourcing solutions for accounting firms. TOA Global is continuously on the lookout for talented professionals. The introduction of the Cebu facility is part of its continued efforts to establish a footprint in the country’s major economic hubs.

Currently, the company houses more than 1,000 employees in its one Manila office and three Clark sites. Construction of another building in the Philexcel compound in Clark, Pampanga is ongoing. The Cebu facility brings to six TOA Global’s base of operations.

TOA Global

 

Australia training

Thanks to the opportunities made available by TOA Global, several of its Luzon-based employees have already been sent to Australia for training and leisure. It’s only one of the many perks accounting professionals enjoy at the company.

TOA Global aims to bring these sought-after global career opportunities previously available only to those in Luzon to exceptional Filipino accounting professionals in the Visayas and Mindanao region who wish to explore broader career paths.

The thriving business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Cebu—bullish economy and upbeat atmosphere—gives accounting professionals more reasons to explore career opportunities here, like work-life balance, enhanced learning, skills development, and global career advancement.

Ideal offshoring destination

“Our expansion reinforces the fact that the Philippines is an ideal offshoring destination. The influx of job requests from enterprises not just in Australia but other countries like the UK, New Zealand, and the US, shows that businesses value the work ethic, skills, and knowledge of Filipino professionals,” said TOA Global CEO Craig Mansell.

A significant factor in the company’s robust growth is its focus on people. Empowering its employees through platforms for learning and development has allowed TOA Global to provide excellent services to its clients and create more opportunities for local professionals.

“We are always on the lookout for highly talented and motivated professionals who aspire to grow in their careers,” said Mansell. “If you think you are one of the A-players we are looking for, join us today.”

Interested applicants can send their applications to [email protected]. They can also view available job openings on the official website, https://toaglobal.com/job/.

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Smart gets special award for free Wi-Fi in Cebu City library

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City…

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL), the country’s first 24/7 public library.

Smart received the Mayor’s Special Award for Outstanding Institution from Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña alongside 14 other individual and institution awardees honored during Cebu City’s 82nd Charter Day Anniversary celebrations.

Last year, PLDT and Smart signed a Memorandum of Agreement to make carrier-grade Smart WiFi available to students, researchers and other visitors of the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center, which at the time had just started its 24/7 operations.

Smart WiF award

AWARD. Representatives from PLDT-Smart, led by Visayas-Mindanao Public Affairs head Atty Maria Jane Paredes, receive the award from Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

 

Access to online materials

“This award is in appreciation of Smart’s invaluable support to Cebu City by providing free Wi-Fi services in the Cebu City Public Library, the country’s first 24/7 public library that gives its clients access to online course materials and allows them to download research subjects and academic journals,” the citation read.

“This is a night of recognition, it’s not about me, it’s about Cebu, and all the people who make this possible,” Mayor Osmeña said, addressing the honorees.

“By providing quality connectivity for Filipinos across the country, PLDT and Smart continue to lead the country’s digital transformation in an ever-evolving digital world,” said Juan Victor 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 empower individuals, businesses and enterprises, and improve the quality of life of Filipinos all over country,” Hernandez added.

Best digital experience

“PLDT and Smart are proud to join forces with government partners like Mayor Osmeña and the Cebu City government, in helping build a nation of well-informed citizens across the country and making the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet accessible to more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head.

A backhaul capacity of up to 200 megabits per second allows users to have the best digital experience when participating in online classes and interactive learning sessions, as well as when discovering relevant digital content online.

Connected Cebu

Aside from the CCPL, Smart WiFi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, Sacred Heart Ateneo de Cebu, University of Cebu Banilad, Don Bosco Cebu, Holy Name University, University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Velez College and UP Cebu, to name a few.

In 2015, Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart WiFi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, and Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3.

The nationwide rollout of Smart WiFi complements Smart’s ongoing network expansion and modernization program across the country. Early this year, Smart also fired up LTE sites in the mountain barangays of Bonbon and Guba, Cebu City, where residents, their businesses and livelihoods, and vital facilities like schools and hospitals now can tap mobile data services to improve their lives.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion, including allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.

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Professionals in Philippines have better work-life balance than those in Singapore, Malaysia: study

Filipinos have some of the best experiences of work-life balance in Southeast Asia, according to a new study by recruitment portal Monster.com. Nearly two thirds (65%) of working professionals in…

Filipinos have some of the best experiences of work-life balance in Southeast Asia, according to a new study by recruitment portal Monster.com. Nearly two thirds (65%) of working professionals in the Philippines said they are generally satisfied with their current work-life balance, although 28% said they would like more options to spend time with their friends and family.

The study found 41% of Filipino professionals feel “content” with the balance of their personal and professional lives – significantly higher than employees in Singapore and Malaysia, where just 24% and 32% respectively reported feeling the same way.

● 41% of Filipinos feel ‘content’ with their balance between personal and professional lives.
● 59% of professionals said having flexible working hours that are suited to their lives and needs is a key aspect of work-life balance.
● 44% said their managers are supportive and understand that there is life beyond work

#WorkLifeBalance campaign

The data was gathered from more than 1,000 respondents across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines as part of Monster’s #WorkLifeBalance campaign, which aims to explore working professionals’ sentiments around work-life balance and raise awareness among employers as to what aspects of work-life balance are most valued by their employees.

#WorkLifeBalance Monster.com

The major aspect of work-life balance for Filipino professionals is having flexible working hours that are suited to their lives and needs (59%). Beyond this, Filipinos want to be able to leave work on time (51%), while 47% say they simply strive to find the right blend between work and life.

On the employer side, bosses in the Philippines were more accepting of work-life balance, with 32% offering official flexi-work policies – this is more than double the numbers reporting the same across Singapore and Malaysia. An impressive 44% of Filipino respondents said their managers are supportive of them finding balance – once again trumping Singapore (23%) and Malaysia (31%).

Overall, almost half of respondents across all three countries rated their current overall work-life balance as “average, but could have more balance”. More than 80% felt good work-life balance can enhance productivity and positively impact the business.

Positive impact on business

“The Philippines is considerably ahead of its Southeast Asian peers in terms of fostering a workforce that is satisfied with the equilibrium between their professional and personal commitments. This has a positive impact on the business, increasing engagement and boosting happiness levels, which in turn encourages higher productivity and overall business growth,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO, Monster.com – APAC & Gulf.

“A supportive company culture, understanding managers, and clearly communicated initiatives go a long way in helping employees cultivate better balance. As more professionals seek non-financial incentives, employers need to be proactive in taking necessary steps to attract and retain quality talent.”

Online recruitment platform Monster.com is launching its first #WorkLifeBalance campaign this March, aiming to highlight the the importance of ensuring that professional responsibilities do not overpower other aspects of the lives of employees, and to encourage employers to formulate policies which promote a wholesome, complete and harmonious life.

Please see this infographic for a full breakdown of the survey findings. (Press Release)

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Marco Polo Plaza joins Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2019

Thinking of your 2019 travel goals? Shop ahead as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu joins Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2019 at the Ayala Center Cebu from today until Sunday, February 17….

Thinking of your 2019 travel goals? Shop ahead as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu joins Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2019 at the Ayala Center Cebu from today until Sunday, February 17. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy great discounts on Room Accommodations, Café Marco Buffet, and Spa Packages.

Spend a staycation in the comforts of our Deluxe Room with a starting rate of P4,300 with a sumptuous breakfast buffet for two waiting for you at Café Marco. Experience the superb Café Marco international buffet spread at a discounted rate of P750 net for breakfast, P980 net for lunch and P1,180 net for dinner.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

DELUXE ROOM. Spend a staycation in the comforts of our Deluxe Room with a starting rate of P4,300 with a sumptuous breakfast buffet for two waiting for you at Café Marco.

 

Unwind and relax in the hands of our spa specialists at our Wellness Zone. Discounted spa vouchers start at P600 and choose from Foot Reflexology, Foot Spa, Hilot Massage, Facial and Dead Salt Sea Scrub & Massage.

Value Vouchers for rooms, spa and restaurant use are also available at increments of P1,000. These are ideal for gift giving. For every P4,000 net purchase of the Value Vouchers, get a complimentary P1,000 voucher.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

 

Visit our booth at the lower ground floor of Ayala Center Cebu across Pull & Bear. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. For more information, you can call (032) 253-1111 or visit www.marcopoloplazacebu.com.

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Megaworld to further expand lifestyle malls footprint this year

Property giant Megaworld is expanding its commercial retail portfolio this year, with the opening of 11 commercial properties across its townships all over the country. By end of the year,…

Property giant Megaworld is expanding its commercial retail portfolio this year, with the opening of 11 commercial properties across its townships all over the country.

By end of the year, the company will open new retail spaces in Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City; Alabang West along Daang Hari in Las Piñas City; McKinley Hill and Uptown Bonifacio, both in Taguig City; Arcovia City in Pasig City; Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island, Aklan; and Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City.

These new commercial properties cover around 54,000 square meters in gross floor area.

Festive Walk Iloilo

FESTIVE WALK. During the second half last year, Megaworld opened its first full-scale lifestyle mall in Iloilo Business Park, the P2.2-billion Festive Walk Mall, offering around 90,000 square meters of retail spaces.

 

“The biggest chunk of the new retail spaces will be in Uptown Bonifacio, as we embark on an expansion of our new retail row in front of Uptown Mall and Uptown Parade. We are also launching a new retail development inside Arcovia City, our newest and must-visit township along C-5 in Pasig fronting Valle Verde. Down south, there is something exciting coming up in Alabang West, which is part of our Beverly Hills-themed commercial row,” said Kevin L. Tan, Megaworld chief strategy officer.

During the second half last year, Megaworld opened its first full-scale lifestyle mall in Iloilo Business Park, the P2.2-billion Festive Walk Mall, offering around 90,000 square meters of retail spaces. It also opened three new community malls in Alabang and Makati, namely, The Village Square in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Three Central in Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City; and San Lorenzo Place in EDSA corner Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City. These three new commercial centers offer around 26,500 square meters in retail spaces.

“Every mall that we build has curated spaces that evoke the character of the township where it is located. We want to create commercial properties that are not just for shopping and dining, but those that help drive tourism,” said Tan.

By yearend, Megaworld’s commercial retail footprint will reach around 771,000 square meters, with presence all over Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day comfortably with honestbee

How can you enjoy Valentine’s Day with Cebu’s traffic gridlock? And after you inch your way through the traffic jam, you still have to deal with crowded restaurants. This day…

How can you enjoy Valentine’s Day with Cebu’s traffic gridlock? And after you inch your way through the traffic jam, you still have to deal with crowded restaurants.

This day of hearts, there’s a better romantic dinner option: honestbee delivery. Honestbee is Asia’s leading online concierge and delivery service.

With an extensive selection of restaurant partners that can deliver sumptuous meals, you will be able to express just how much your loved one means to you, without the hassle and fuss of traffic and restaurant reservations.

honestbee Valentine's Day

 

With just a few taps or clicks on the honestbee app, Cebuanos can have culinary treats delivered from merchants such Acacia Steakhouse, Dolce Café, Dong Juan, Fudge, Ilaputi, Pasta Bella, Raphael’s Sports Café, The Old Spaghetti House, Weekend Kitchen, and Taproom.

Honestbee is an on-demand delivery service that is buzzing in Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila. Through the honestbee app, one can have food and groceries delivered fresh and fast from restaurants and stores straight to your doorsteps to make life easier and give everyone more time for the things and more importantly, the people that matter — like your loved one on Valentine’s Day.

Download the honestbee app for free on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. Visit www.honestbee.ph or you can visit their Facebook and Instagram page at https://www.facebook.com/honestbeePH and https://www.instagram.com/honestbeeph.

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Nokia 3.1 Plus offers big screen, dual cameras, 2-day battery life

A large HD display, 2-day battery life, dual cameras, and an affordable price: that’s what the Nokia 3.1 Plus offers consumers. HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced…

A large HD display, 2-day battery life, dual cameras, and an affordable price: that’s what the Nokia 3.1 Plus offers consumers.

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced the availability in the Philippines of the Nokia 3.1 Plus. It is the most affordable Nokia smartphone with dual cameras and is the latest device to join the Android One family, delivering the best of Google with monthly security patches.

“We went big in a more accessible category to deliver premium experiences at an exceptional value. The Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers a large display, dual cameras, two-day battery life and the power of an octa-core processor – all in an affordable package,” said HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas, “And we didn’t stop there. The phone is encased in a metal body with die-cast metal interiors and the craftsmanship and attention to detail you expect of a Nokia smartphone. In short: with the Nokia 3.1 Plus go big without having to spend big.”

Nokia 3.1 Plus

 

Great viewing experience

HMD Global Country Manager for the Philippines Sancho Chak said “I am more than thrilled to begin my journey in the Philippines with the introduction of the Nokia 3.1 Plus to our beloved Filipino Nokia fans. We will continue playing in the ever-competitive Philippine smartphone market, with its constant growth and rising demand for new models featuring enticing innovations. With the Nokia 3.1 Plus, Filipinos can get refined performance without compromising on the experience.”

The Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers great viewing experiences in its category, thanks to its 6-inch HD+ display and 18:9 aspect ratio, which enables users to view more content on their screen. All these make social media browsing through favorite newsfeeds, apps and videos ideal and more fun.

With its 3500mAh battery that lasts two days between charges, the Nokia 3.1 Plus can also effortlessly get you through your Netflix binges without needing a top-up.

Nokia 3.1 Plus

 

Crisp images, fast focus

Bringing crisp images with fast and accurate focus even in low light, the Nokia 3.1 Plus steps up the photography game with its 13MP Phase Detection Auto Focus main camera. The rear camera also includes a 5MP sensor for rear depth sensing imaging, making professional studio style shots possible. The selectable bokeh blur feature allows users to adjust blur even after the image has been taken.

On the front is an 8MP camera designed to make selfies stand out. With its high-quality dual camera photography and AI-accelerated experiences powered by the octa-core chipset, the Nokia 3.1 Plus makes premium photography features available at an affordable price point.

With the MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core processor’s perfect balance of high performance and power efficiency, the Nokia 3.1 Plus delivers only the necessary power by using fewer cores during basic tasks for optimal efficiency. The chipset also provides a boost during intensive tasks such as watching videos to ensure sustainable high performance and a consistently reliable experience.

 

Android One

The phone’s precision-fit, CNC-machined rear aluminium cover delivers a seamless, pure design which, combined with a die-cast metal structure, provides impressive solidity. The Nokia 3.1 Plus’s matte, highly tactile finish with diamond cut detailing and curved 2.5D glass offers a precision-crafted feel in the hand expected of a Nokia smartphone.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus joins the comprehensive lineup of Nokia smartphones in the Android One family, delivering high-quality experience endorsed by Google. Nokia smartphones with Android One offer great storage and battery life out of the box but also come preloaded with the very latest in AI-powered innovations developed by Google.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus will receive three years of monthly security patches and two years of OS updates as guaranteed in the Android One program. This ranks the Nokia 3.1 Plus amongst the most-secure phones out there and is kept always up-to-date with the latest Google services, including Google Assistant and Google Photos with free unlimited high-quality photo storage.3

Nokia 3.1 Plus availability

The Nokia 3.1 Plus ships with Android Oreo preloaded so you’ll immediately be able to enjoy the latest and greatest features, including Google Lens, picture-in-picture for multitasking and Google Play. Discover and run new apps whilst enjoying the phone longer through Android One’s AI-powered battery-saving features that intuitively limit background usage.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus comes in Blue, White or Baltic, and may be availed at all authorized Nokia mobile resellers, MemoXpress and Megacellular, and at Nokia mobile-branded stores, kiosks and exhibits for P9,990. (Press Release)

 

Nokia 3.1 Plus datasheet

 

Nokia 3.1 Plus datasheet

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Stronger signal improves life in mountain barangays of Cebu City

From being able to quickly call for emergency vehicles to bring patients to bigger hospitals to being able to receive orders for flowers, residents of Barangay Guba and Bonbon in…

From being able to quickly call for emergency vehicles to bring patients to bigger hospitals to being able to receive orders for flowers, residents of Barangay Guba and Bonbon in Cebu City say their lives have improved with the stronger cellphone signal in their area.

The two mountain barangays that are an hour’s drive from the central Cebu City business district now have better connectivity after Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) turned on 2 4G LTE cell sites in the area.

With the improved signal coverage, residents can now tap mobile services to improve their lives and boost their livelihood and businesses. Vital facilities like schools and hospitals also benefitted from the improved connection.

Smart LTE Cebu City

IMPROVED SPEEDS. The connectivity in Barangay Bonbon, a mountain barangay in Cebu City.

 

Emergency communications

Fr. Peter Necesario, parish priest of St. Niño Parish in Guba, said that with stronger signal, they no longer feel isolated, especially during emergencies.

“In times of emergencies such as storms, it is easier for us to communicate and be updated about the weather through the internet,” Fr. Necesario said.

He added that Guba is a strategically located barangay with a community hospital and church, so communications is very important.

Resident Gemma Sandigan, 40, said that the better mobile phone service helps them address the needs of the community, especially on health care. Her father was the former head of Guba Community Hospital. Since the community hospital is small, it can’t cater to complex medical procedures and has to refer patients to bigger hospitals. However, there are times when no vehicles are available to transport the patients.

LTE Cebu City

LTE CONNECTION. The improved connectivity allows residents of Barangays Guba and Bonbon to tap online services like live streaming of community events.

 

Contact family members

“With better signal, we can call for vehicles and ask for help in transferring patients to bigger hospitals faster,” Gemma said.

The activation of 2 new cell sites is part of a larger rollout plan covering several more mountain barangays of Cebu City at the request of Mayor Tomas Osmeña. The city government plans to deploy new services for these communities that require improved mobile phone coverage and data services.

For Gemma’s mother, 62-year-old Emerlisa Veloso, the benefits are personal. She is thankful for the stronger signal because she can now contact her children who work away from home.

“Before, we really have to get out of the house just to get signal. Now, we can just stay indoors to contact my children. This is a huge help,” Veloso said.

In terms of education, better signal also means improved learning.

Research, school work

For 14-year-old Grade 8 student Faith Mae P. Tabal, communication with teachers and classmates for school-related activities has become easier, now that she can use LTE for research and other school work.

In Barangay Bonbon, meanwhile, farmers are reaping the benefits of good signal and data connection.

Flower farmer Donyo Tapia, 71, said that the better Smart signal has helped him a lot with his flower deliveries.

“Stronger signal is a huge help. They (customers) can just call us when they order flowers. Even if we don’t have the flowers, we can still look for them,” he said.

Tapia also said they have the phone numbers to the local market and the customers can now call them for orders anytime and anywhere.

LTE in Guba, Bonbon, Cebu City

STRONGER CONNECTION. The new LTE connectivity allows students in Barangays Guba and Bonbon to use the internet to research and to link up with family, friends, and classmates.

 

Strong signal anywhere

“We can make sure to deliver flowers immediately, especially rush orders, now that the signal is stronger. Unlike before when we still have to go to higher places just to look for signal. It was hard. Now the signal is very strong anywhere,” he added.

Another thankful resident of Barangay Bonbon is 50-year-old micro-entrepreneur Marites Cabos. Upon experiencing stronger signal for calls and LTE for mobile data, she now sells Smart SIM cards in her store.

“Before we didn’t have network signal from Smart, now we finally have it. We are very thankful because this is a huge help for us here in Bonbon, especially because our children live far away. Now I am also a retailer here because the signal is faster. The LTE data (signal) is now very fast here in Bonbon,” she said.

Over 80% of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE.

This continuous expansion of LTE services across Cebu is part of efforts to provide the best mobile data experience across the country.

LTE is the best technology to help bring fast, affordable and reliable mobile internet services to as many customers as possible. It is also quickly upgradable to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones.

In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City already have LTE-A sites.

LTE in Guba and Bonbon

IMPROVED LIVES. The stronger Smart signal in Barangays Guba and Bonbon have improved the lives of people in the community.

 

Award-winning network

Smart has also already fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access within three years from the grant of the use of frequencies by the NTC in 2016.

Smart has increased its total LTE base station count across the country by 65% in the first three quarters of 2018. PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network, the country’s most extensive fiber network at 221,000 kilometers, meanwhile, provides high-capacity fiber connections for these LTE base stations.

For these continuous network upgrade efforts, both PLDT and Smart have been cited by third party firms for being the country’s fastest networks. Earlier this year, PLDT and Smart were cited for being the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1-Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis. Mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has also consistently cited Smart for having the country’s fastest LTE network for its past four study rounds.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion.

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The Aces: top singers to hold shows in Cebu, Davao

Darren Espanto, Jona, and Lani Misalucha are 3 of the country’s top Original Pinoy Music (OPM) singers. The three are scheduled to hold a concert in Cebu and Davao aptly…

Darren Espanto, Jona, and Lani Misalucha are 3 of the country’s top Original Pinoy Music (OPM) singers. The three are scheduled to hold a concert in Cebu and Davao aptly headlined “The Aces.”

On February 2, they are set to perform at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City. On March 2, they will take center stage at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

He may be the youngest but 17-year-old Darren is more than capable of holding his own in the company of veteran singers like the other Aces. Darren started singing at 2 and rose to fame in the Philippines after placing second in season one of The Voice Kids in 2014.

Darren Espanto

 

His first album, Darren, debuted at No. 1 and has since been certified Double Platinum; his second album Be With Me also went to No. 1 and is now certified Platinum. Darren’s current single “Poison” is currently climbing the charts, and his third studio album will be released soon.

Shortly after winning season one of GMA-7’s Pinoy Pop Superstar, Jona—who at the time was still going by her real name Jonalyn Viray—became an in-demand performer and recording artist. Jona’s first studio album On My Own turned Gold, and her self-titled second album yielded a hit single in “Help Me Get Over.” It went on to win Song of the Year at the 2014 PMPC Star Awards for Music.

A year later, she made headlines when she transferred to the Kapamilya network and changed her stage name. She has released an album under ABS-CBN’s in-house record label Star Music, which was eventually certified Platinum. She has also filled concert venues here and abroad, both as a solo performer and as part of a group.

The diva known as Asia’s Nightingale hardly needs an introduction. Lani’s career spans decades and includes an impressive stint performing in Las Vegas, where she became known as the Siren of the Strip. During her time there, Lani performed with the Society of Seven at Bally’s and the Flamingo, making her the first Asian to headline a main showroom on the Las Vegas Strip. All of Lani’s albums have been certified Gold or Platinum.

Jona

 

Individually, Darren, Jona and Lani are phenomenal. Put them together in one show and what do you get? A concert that will highlight the very best of OPM, featuring four of its most excellent singers—the Aces.

The Aces is directed by Marvin Caldito. Tickets are priced at Php3,710 for Platinum, Php3,180 for VIP, Php2,120 for Gold and Php850 for Silver tickets. Tickets are available in all SM Tickets outlets. (Press Release)

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Mactan Cebu Airport welcomes China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines

GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), welcomes China Southern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines with…

GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private company managing the terminal operations and other related areas of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), welcomes China Southern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines with the launch of its direct flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively.

On January 22, China Southern Airlines started the Cebu-Guangzhou direct route thrice weekly every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. About 147 passengers arrived in MCIA on its inaugural flight from Guangzhou using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

More connections for Cebu

“As the largest airline in China and a SkyTeam Alliance member, China Southern Airlines will open up more connections for Cebu to Europe and North America via Guangzhou,” said Aines Librodo, GMCAC Head of Airline Marketing and Tourism Development.

China Southern Airlines operates two hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing and is a member of SkyTeam alliance since 2007.

China Southern Airlines

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES crew together with DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines General Manager for Philippines Pan Feng, Chinese Consul General Jia Li and GMCAC Chief Commercial Advisor Ravishankar Saravu.

 

Meanwhile, Juneyao Airlines will launch its Cebu-Shanghai Pudong flight on Thursday, January 24, with thrice weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It will utilize an Airbus A320 with a capacity of 158 passengers, with business and economy accommodations.

It is a privately-owned airline and operates two hubs at Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports. It is also the launch carrier of the Star Alliance Connecting Partner.

Mainland China destinations

Juneyao Airlines previously operated charter flights in the same route but only for a few weeks in November 2017.

“We are delighted to welcome back Juneyao Airlines to MCIA. With its strong domestic connection, Juneyao Airlines will offer more opportunities for Cebu into the vast Chinese market, specially that it is headquartered in Shanghai,” Librodo said.

Juneyao Airlines

WATER CANNON salute ceremony for Juneyao Airlines inaugural flight Cebu-Shanghai in November 2017. (File Photo)

 

Currently, scheduled flights connect MCIA to seven destinations in mainland China namely, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Kunming and Shenzhen. Charter flights are also available during the peak season.

In total, MCIA is connected to 32 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations, with 8 Philippine-based airline partners and 18 foreign airline partners. (Press Release)

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Toyota introduces entry-level, top-quality Vios XE sedan

The Toyota Vios is the best-selling subcompact sedan in the Philippines. With the recent introduction of the Vios XE, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) further strengthens the line’s hold on the…

The Toyota Vios is the best-selling subcompact sedan in the Philippines. With the recent introduction of the Vios XE, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) further strengthens the line’s hold on the market.

Created to provide customers with an entry-level but top-quality sedan with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is easy to own at 735,000 SRP, the Vios XE is aptly named for being Xtra Economical, Xtra Efficient, and Xtra Easy to Drive.

“Now more than ever, Filipino drivers will get to experience the comfort of automatic transmission while enjoying all the hallmark features of the Toyota brand,” said TMP First Vice President Cristina Arevalo.

 

Under the Vios XE’s hood is the tried-and-tested 1.3L Dual VVT-i engine, which has proven itself to be a preferred powertrain for fuel efficiency. The XE also shares the same safety features present across all Vios variants: a 5-star ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rating, 7 SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, and Anti-Lock Brake System.

With the Vios XE, drivers can relax on the road with their carefully curated playlist as the newly introduced variant comes equipped with a touch screen 7” Display Audio with CD/MP3, weblink for both iOS/Android, as well as Bluetooth, USB, and AUX connectivity. In addition to its continuously variable transmission, the Vios XE makes the daily city drive easier with power steering, front and rear power windows, and power door locks.

 

“As a testament to the quality, durability, and reliability of its entire model lineup, Toyota brings together a new variant that combines the signature elements of an enduring automotive icon,” Arevalo added. “And because it’s a Vios, customers can still expect to get the most out of their investment with the high resale value and reasonable maintenance cost that the model has been known for.”

The SRP for the current Vios lineup including the XE variant is as follows.

 

Vios Variant SRP
1.5 G Prime A/T 1,095,000
1.5 G A/T 1,040,000
1.5 G M/T 981,000
1.3 E Prime A/T 933,000
1.3 E A/T 878,000
1.3 E M/T 828,000
1.3 XE 735,000
1.3 J M/T 685,000
1.3 Base 659,000

 

The new Toyota Vios XE comes in 4 colors: Thermalyte, Red Mica Metallic, Freedom White, and Alumina Jade Metallic—now available in all Toyota dealerships nationwide.

For more information on the Vios, visit TMP’s official website at www.toyota.com.ph or join the official Facebook group at www.facebook.com/ToyotaMotorPhilippines.

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Cebu Pacific gears up for Sinulog 2019

Cebu Pacific, the largest carrier in the Philippines, is all set for one of the country’s grandest festivals —Sinulog. The Sinulog is held in honor of the Santo Niño de…

Cebu Pacific, the largest carrier in the Philippines, is all set for one of the country’s grandest festivals —Sinulog.

The Sinulog is held in honor of the Santo Niño de Cebu. While the annual Sinulog in the Queen City of the South features colorful street dancing, its essence is all about prayer, thanksgiving and celebration of Roman Catholicism and the Christian faith of Filipinos.

Cebu Pacific kicked-off Sinulog 2019 with colorful décor at its check-in counters at the Mactan Cebu International Airport—its largest hub in VisMin. A collaboration with social and cultural enterprise Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Ingenious/Indigenous Little Livelihood Seekers (ANTHILL), the Sinulog décor features colorful tribal masks and ‘Pit Senyor’ signages made from scrap materials such as discarded fabric and manufacturing waste. Life-size statues of Sto Nino made of recycled materials are prominently displayed at the airport’s check-in hall to give travelers a feel of the festival.

CEbu Pacific Sinulog

 

Cebu Pacific also joined forces with travel platform Klook to host Cebu’s biggest music beach festival yet—The 2019 Sinulog Beach Festival at The Happy Beach, home to the happiest floating playground in Asia. The festival promises heaps of fun and exciting carnival games and activities. The fanfare will also feature Cebuano talents Sepia Times, Mandaue Nights, & 22 Tango’s Vincent Eco and Lourdes Maglinte for the event’s sunset sessions. Acclaimed Manila DJs are also joining the party. Can’t-miss Performances by Deuce, Nix Damn P!, John Bosque, Victor Jao, & Renzo Seninig will make for a hyped-up night.

Tickets to the 2019 Sinulog Beach Festival are available through the Klook app. For as low as P500, get a Sinulog Beach Festival Barkada Bundle, which includes complimentary shuttle services between Cebu Mandaue, and Mactan Island.

Cebu Pacific Sinulog

 

Cebu Pacific will also be participating in the much-anticipated Sinulog Grand Parade on January 20. With the theme ‘Best of Cebu’, the CEB float will highlight famous landmarks and produce that are reminiscent of the Cebuano identity.

Tracing its roots in Cebu, Cebu Pacific has grown to become the largest carrier in the Philippines, flying to 36 domestic and 26 international destinations. Cebu is its second-largest hub in the Philippines, with direct connections to 26 domestic and international destinations.

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Celebrate Sinulog at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu

The beat is getting louder and louder for the grandest festival in the Philippines, Sinulog. A business hotel strategically located right on the pulse of Cebu City, Quest Hotel &…

The beat is getting louder and louder for the grandest festival in the Philippines, Sinulog. A business hotel strategically located right on the pulse of Cebu City, Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu takes part in the merriment with a series of activities throughout the week.

Starting January 16, guests may visit a replica of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño at the lobby, featuring a collection of images of the Señor Santo Niño. It will also house a mini kiosk offering Sinulog memorabilia and souvenirs.

Puso Sinulog buffet

BUFFET. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Pusô Bistro & Bar offers Cebuano classics including the famous lechon, humba, fresh kilawin, and more at the Sinulog Lunch Buffet on Sunday, January 20.

 

As the weekend approaches, guests will witness a show of color and talent. The hotel’s very own Tribu Quest Dancers together with a Sinulog Queen will grace the lobby and present a Sinulog dance at 10 am and 2:30 pm on January 19 and 20. To perk up the beat on Sinulog Day, January 20, drum beaters Infinity Tribe will have an electrifying performance at 4:30 pm.

A fiesta is not complete without a spread of time-honored homegrown recipes. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Pusô Bistro & Bar offers Cebuano classics including the famous lechon, humba, fresh kilawin, and more at the Sinulog Lunch Buffet on Sunday, January 20.

Sinulog Queen

SINULOG QUEEN. The hotel’s very own Tribu Quest Dancers together with a Sinulog Queen will grace the lobby and present a Sinulog dance at 10 am and 2:30 pm on January 19 and 20.

 

Guests dining in groups of 8 or more enjoy a celebratory 15% discount on the regular buffet rate. Regular rates are P700 net for lunch and P850 for dinner. To mark the wonderful occasion, a free Sinulog photo booth will be stationed at the lobby from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm also on Sunday.

It truly is a fun fiesta throughout the Sinulog weekend at Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu. For inquiries or reservations, please call (63 32) 402 5999 or send an email to [email protected]. For real-time updates, guests may follow @questhotelcebu and @pusobistro on Instagram; and facebook.com/cebuquesthotel and facebook.com/pusobistro on Facebook.

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Disaster preparedness, response in communities boosted via tech, partnerships

Communication services, technological innovations and partnerships with various organizations—these factors have helped communities all over the Philippines bolster disaster preparedness and response efforts. As the Philippines faced typhoons, volcanic eruptions…

Communication services, technological innovations and partnerships with various organizations—these factors have helped communities all over the Philippines bolster disaster preparedness and response efforts.

As the Philippines faced typhoons, volcanic eruptions and other hazards in 2018, several communities weathered the storm with the help of solutions initiated by PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications.

As part of its #SafePH advocacy, Smart ensured the availability and quick restoration of its services in areas hit by calamities. These areas include Albay, which was affected by the eruption of the Mayon Volcano; Benguet and other provinces in the Northern Luzon, which bore the brunt of Typhoon “Ompong” (Mangkhut) and “Rosita” (Yutu); and other areas all over the country that experienced heavy rains, strong winds and floods.

Smart disaster response Ompong

A resident from Benguet (left) uses the free charging station put up by Smart and Vodafone Foundation at the Typhoon Ompong command center in Itogon.

 

Free calls, charging, Wi-Fi

In areas where communication services were limited because of damage to infrastructure and power lines, Smart offered libreng tawag (free calls), charging and Wi-Fi services to both affected residents and responders.

Smart also forged cooperation with international organizations to further enhance its emergency communications services and enable these solutions to serve more communities.

When Ompong hit Northern Luzon and triggered a deadly landslide in Benguet, Vodafone Foundation teamed up with Smart to provide emergency solutions for those affected by the typhoon. Smart and Vodafone set up free charging and Wi-Fi stations at the command center and the retrieval site in Itogon for the use of both responders, evacuees and family members of landslide victims and others in need of assistance.

Nokia drone disaster response

Representatives of Smart, Nokia and PRC during the drone and network solutions presentation. They are (from left) Thomas Eder (Nokia), Leonardo Ebajo (PRC), Ramon Isberto (Smart), Nicolas Bouverot (Nokia), Christina Cabrera (Nokia), Elizabeth Zavalla (PRC), Colin Von Hardenberg (Nokia), Ana Mariquina (PRC), Dullip Tillekeratne (GSMA) and Alvin Ilano (Smart).

 

Nokia drones

Nokia also tapped Smart to be its connectivity partner for a program that employs drones and network solutions for disaster response. The Nokia Saving Lives program seeks to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams. In the Philippines, Smart will provide high-speed connectivity to the drone system to help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.

For its pioneering and collaborative system, the Nokia Saving Lives project received funding from GSMA, the organization representing mobile operators globally. Early this year, GSMA selected Nokia Saving Lives as a recipient of its Humanitarian Innovation Grant.

On the local front, Smart joined forces with the academe and local government units to help bring disaster preparedness closer to the youth. Through its TNT brand, Smart brought its Tropang Ready disaster preparedness caravans to more state colleges and universities all over the country. TNT Tropang Ready aims to train the youth and their friends (tropa) on disaster preparedness. With their agility and technological know-how, the youth are best suited to mobilize their communities in times of calamities.

The Tropang Ready program recently won in the Community Engagement category at the prestigious Golden World Awards, which recognizes public relations practices that meet international standards of excellence.

Smart Vodafone response Itogon

Vodafone volunteers (in red) get help from Itogon residents as they set up the free charging and Wi-Fi stations for responders and affected residents near the area hit by landslide in Barangay Ucab.

 

TNT Tropang Ready

Since 2016, the TNT Tropang Ready program has covered more than 10,000 students and school personnel in more than 10 state colleges and universities nationwide. Joining the roster of Tropang Ready schools this year are the following universities: Holy Name University in Tagbilaran, Bohol; University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City; Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, and Mindanao State University in Marawi City. The students were trained to cascade their learnings to their extension communities, bringing the lessons to more residents and amplifying its benefits.

Smart Naga landslide free calls

A resident of Naga, Cebu, uses Smart’s free calls service to contact a relative following the landslide that hit their community.

 

Smart also extended support during nationwide earthquake drills by providing various emergency communications facilities, allowing residents and responders to experience first-hand the solutions that are available to them as the need arises. The drills were held in San Mateo, Rizal; Davao City; and in various locations all over Metro Manila.

As Filipinos gear up for 2019, Smart also recognizes the importance of being prepared for the year ahead. Smart continues to ensure the reliability of its services and, in times of distress, offer communications as relief, as part of its commitment to a #SafePH. (Press Release)

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Diagold celebrates 10th anniversary

DiaGold, synonymous with elegant and timeless jewelry, marks a decade of brilliance. Through the years, the premier jewelry brand for engagement and wedding rings, and exquisite pieces made of diamonds…

DiaGold, synonymous with elegant and timeless jewelry, marks a decade of brilliance. Through the years, the premier jewelry brand for engagement and wedding rings, and exquisite pieces made of diamonds and different gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires after gemstones, has been celebrating different women of strength, power and integrity. Their newest ambassadress, Charo Santos-Concio exemplifies these values.

Diagold

 

In Cebu last month to commemorate their 10th anniversary, she shared her love for jewelry and trust in the brand which led to their partnership.

“When I was a young girl, I grew up with a mom who had an admiration for the finer things, who loves good pieces of jewelry. I had that influence from my mother. So, when they asked me if I could be the endorser for DiaGold, I said yes right away. They showed me the pieces and they were beautiful. I was amazed by the collection,” she said.

Diagold Charo Santos-Concio

Charo Santos-Concio

 

DiaGold was established in January 2008. It has eight stores nationwide with branches in Cebu, Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao and is soon to open in Metro Manila in 2019.

In Cebu, DiaGold is located in Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu and SM Seaside City. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/diagoldjewelry/ and follow @diagoldjewelry on Instagram. (Press Release)

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#Tanders Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison to serenade Cebu with Giselle Sanchez

Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison are not your ordinary senior citizens. These three hitmakers—all of whom entered the music scene in 1970s—look like they haven’t aged a day…

Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison are not your ordinary senior citizens. These three hitmakers—all of whom entered the music scene in 1970s—look like they haven’t aged a day and show no signs of slowing down.

In fact, their upcoming concert at the Waterfront Grand Ballroom on January 18, is aptly titled #Tanders, a term which they plan to redefine.

“It’s not something we hide, because even if we don’t say our age, people know that we have been performing since 1970s,” said Zuñiga.

Rey, 64, threw in, “Ang importante diyan, e, tanggap mo. Hindi yung nag papanggap na parang feeling bata pa, di ba.”

“Pero walang naming dapat ikahiya sa pagiging 60-plus na edad. Ibig sabihin kasi nun, marami kanang pinagdaanan, malayo na ang narrating mo, kumbaga, bihasa kana sa buhay.”

The youngest of the three OPM icons, Marco, pointed out that his age, 61, has never posed any restriction to him as a performer.

“Ngayon, when we say senior citizen, yung pumapasok sa isip mo ay hindi na yung parang uugod-ugod or matanda na.

“Like me, as a singer, I don’t say, ‘Hindi ko na kayang kumanta sa stage, I’m 60 na.’ Walang ganun. Hindi ko nga naiisip minsan.

“I guess it’s a good thing that music chooses no age.”

Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison Cebu

Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison.

 

ALMOST TANDER LEVEL. Meanwhile, Giselle Sanchez will be the rose among the thorns, and, “the only Cebuana in the cast.”

The seasoned comedienne and performer is not a senior citizen yet (she’s just 43!), but she does not shun something that is inevitable.

Giselle said, “Anyone who is born before 1989 is already considered a tander. Sorry but let’s face the truth, after the millennial, the next level is the tander level.

“Why do I love them because I am one of them. It takes one to know one!”

JAM WITH #TANDERS. It’s guaranteed that the show will be more than just a walk down the memory lane.

Surely, Nonoy will include some of his timeless tunes such as “Never Ever Say Goodbye,” “Kumusta Ka,” “Doon Lang,” “Love Without Time,” to name a few.

Rey will most likely sing his greatest hits “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” “Maging Sino Ka Man,” “Kung Kailangan Mo Ako,” “Naaalala Ka,” “Sorry Na, Puwede Ba,” and many others.

And the crowd can sing along with Marco as he belts out his classic pieces “My Love Will See You Through,” “Si Aida, Si Lorna, O Si Fe,” “Always,” and “Make Believe.”

Giselle Sanchez, Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Sison

The 3 OPM icons with Giselle Sanchez.

 

Nonoy remarked, “Isa siyang parang jamming session, kasi yung mga fans namin, for sure, alam ang mga kanta namin.”

Rey added, “Medyo maiiba nang konti. Base sana rinig ko, ha. Pero okay pa rin.”

Marco preempted, “Basta, makikiuso tayo. Yung mga kantang sikat ngayon, meron din.”

The comic relief will be provided by Giselle.

“Expect new jokes and new songs apart from my usual repartee because this is a concept show…I’m actually very excited.

“I just get challenged when I sing a duet with them because these are timeless hitmakers.

“It’s really an honor to be working with them.”

Tickets are sold via Ticketworld, Platinumlist, SM Customer Service and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel Lobby for the following prices: P3,000 (SVIP), P2,500 (VIP), P1,500 (Gold), P1,000 (Silver) and P600 (Balcony).

The show is presented by Echo Jam Entertainment Production, in cooperation with Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. (Press Release)

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Accenture expands coding tutorial to 15 languages for Hour of Code 2018

For the fourth consecutive year, Accenture is teaming up with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches over 100 million students through a one-hour introduction…

For the fourth consecutive year, Accenture is teaming up with Code.org to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches over 100 million students through a one-hour introduction to computer science. This year, in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week (December 3-9), Accenture is expanding its coding tutorial across 15 languages – English, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Vietnamese – to bring coding to more students around the world through lessons in their native languages.

Nearly 2,500 Accenture employees have committed to teach an hour of code at local events in their communities, helping to inspire more than 100,000 students around the world to learn coding and computer science skills.

Accenture Hour of Code

Accenture Philippines Country Managing Director Lito Tayag joins other company leaders in teaching students code as part of the global Hour of Code event.

 

“As disruptive technologies advance and have a growing impact on society, a significant skills gap is also growing – so much so that already millions of jobs requiring STEM skills are unfilled worldwide,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer and “chief coder.”

“It is critical that we equip today’s students – tomorrow’s workforce – with not just these skills, but also an understanding of how they can harness creativity and innovation to improve the way the world works and lives,” Daugherty said.

Accenture is building on the success of last year’s launch of the Accenture Intelligent Space Exploration, a coding tutorial in which students discover how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can be applied to teach a robot to explore a new planet – recognizing animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants. Approximately 110,000 individuals have participated in the tutorial since its debut.

“By learning to code, kids will grow up understanding how humans and technology work together—an important first lesson in preparing for the future,” said Jill Huntley, global managing director for corporate citizenship at Accenture. “Hour of Code is a fantastic opportunity for Accenture volunteers to help to build New Skills Now all over the world.”

Accenture’s global commitment to provide more opportunities for students to learn to code supports the company’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, which addresses urgent workforce needs around the world—including preparing the next generation with the skills to work in the digital economy.

 

As part of this year’s Hour of Code collaboration, Accenture employees are developing and leading engaging activities around the world aimed at inspiring students in new ways. Among these activities include:

  • Marty Rodgers, senior managing director and local office managing director for Accenture in Metro Washington, D.C., is joining Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Kevin Rutherford, and 60 community organizations to launch #thecitythatcodes – a year dedicated to STEM education in Baltimore. The program kicks off with an hour of code taught to adults, by elementary school students.
  • In Texas, Accenture is hosting 200 students at NASA’s Space Center Houston, taking students out of the classroom and showing them first-hand what a future in computer science can look like.
  • In the Philippines, Accenture is organizing Hour of Code sessions for over 450 grade school students from public and private schools across its sites in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Ilocos. As part of its corporate citizenship commitment, Accenture in the Philippines is rallying its more than 50,000 employees to participate and volunteer in company-wide Hour of Code sessions set on December 5 as well as create their own coding events.

“We are excited to support Hour of Code once again as part of our corporate citizenship commitment to drive digital upskilling and equip our next generation of Filipino talent with coding skills. Through Hour of Code, we can help our students build a strong foundation for success in the digital age in a fun and creative way,” said Lito Tayag, country managing director, Accenture in the Philippines.

“Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science – it provides a critical foundation for success in any 21st-century career path – not just in ‘traditional’ IT, but also creative vocations – everything from graphic design to theater production,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org. “To-date, over 100 million students around the world have participated in Hour of Code. This is because organizations such as Accenture go above-and-beyond to advance our shared vision of equipping the youth of today with skills they’ll need in the future.”

To learn more or participate in Hour of Code visit www.accenture.com/HoC2018 or code.org. (Press Release)

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