Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Author: press-release

Experienced hospitality professional named Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s resident manager

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu recently welcomed Austrian national Michaela Priesner as resident manager of the hotel. As an experienced hospitality professional, Priesner has filled managerial positions for a number of…

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu recently welcomed Austrian national Michaela Priesner as resident manager of the hotel.

As an experienced hospitality professional, Priesner has filled managerial positions for a number of hospitality companies, including Kempinski Hotels, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Aleenta Resorts & Spas in UAE, Austria and Thailand.

Michaela Priesner

“I wanted to work again in a business hotel while still being able to visit the beach every now and then and Cebu City could offer me both. I love the warmth, the smiles, and the hospitality of this city,” Ms. Priesner said on why she chose to work with the hotel.

Priesner studied at the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute finishing with a Hospitality diploma, and started her managerial career in Embassy Suites in Sharjah, UAE. She is an experienced, outgoing, customer-focused manager with a successful history of working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry.

Priesner said she is looking forward to get to know the community and the Cebuanos. “It’s an honor to be a part of this amazing team. Marco Polo is a true landmark in Cebu City,” she added.

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Top 3 exciting reasons why you shouldn’t miss SM City Consolacion sale

There are three big reasons not to miss SM City’s Consolacion’s 3-day sale. From September 14-16, SM will once again fill stacks with good finds at up to 70 percent…

There are three big reasons not to miss SM City’s Consolacion’s 3-day sale.

From September 14-16, SM will once again fill stacks with good finds at up to 70 percent off in prices. But what is it that makes this sale the biggest north of Cebu?

Here are the top three reasons:

1. Freebies for early birds

It always pays to come early and, in this case, SM City Consolacion will reward early shoppers with freebies that will satisfy morning cravings.

For the three days of sale, the first 100 shoppers to claim their raffle coupons in the redemption booth will each be given a Jollibee Yum burger, a Dunkin’ Donuts donut, and a glass of Greenwich iced tea. In addition to these treats, the first 50 shoppers will also receive World of Fun and Quantum game tokens.

You get more with your shopping as the mall’s establishments will also be giving away freebies and novelty prizes to the first 100 shoppers who can present a single receipt purchase worth 500 pesos. They’ve also gone digital with their QR Code promo “Yes You Scan” where 20 lucky shoppers can win up to 1000 pesos worth of SM GCs.

SM Consolacion Sale

2. Discounts upon discounts for cardholders

SM’s loyal cardholders are always treated like royalty with the exclusive discounts from affiliate stores: Ace Hardware, Miniso, SM Appliance, Surplus, Watsons and The SM Store.

On Friday, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards cardholders will enjoy additional 10 percent discount for the whole day. SM Advantage, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards cardholders get another exclusive 10 percent off for the first three hours on Saturday.

If they can’t make it on Saturday morning, SM City Consolacion extends the same 10 percent discount to SM Advantage, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards cardholders from 5-7 pm.

SM Consolacion

3. A chance to win a brand new Suzuki Celerio

The sweet icing on the cake will be the grand raffle prize, which is a brand new Suzuki Celerio. One lucky shopper gets to bring this fine ride home. To join, you simply present your receipts to the redemption booth. For every P1000 worth of purchases, the shopper gets one raffle coupon.

Those with the SM Mobile App get 2 extra coupons. On Saturday and Sunday, they get double coupons. Raffle draw is on September 16, 10 pm, at the Event Center.

Everyone’s a winner with huge discounts, prizes, and freebies at SM City Consolacion’s 3-Day Sale from September 14 to 16. Mall hours on September 14 and 16, Friday and Sunday, will be from 10 am-10 pm. Mall opens early at 9 am and closes 10 pm on Saturday, September 15.

Block your schedules, write down your shopping list, and be ready for non-stop shopping and entertainment. For details and more updates, please call 2600132 or like the official SM City Consolacion (Official) page on Facebook. (Press Release)

SM Consolacion Sale

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Have a Spanish fiesta in Marco Polo with Sabores de España

Discover Spain in the most delicious way possible by joining Sabores de España in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu from September 14 to 16. On these days, Gema Pido, Cebu’s authority…

Discover Spain in the most delicious way possible by joining Sabores de España in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu from September 14 to 16. On these days, Gema Pido, Cebu’s authority on Spanish cuisine, will lead the hotel’s team of culinary experts in preparing a delectable spread of Spanish dishes.

This culinary delight will feature Spanish specialties such as jamon serrano, paella, fabadas, lengua estofado, assorted tapas, and of course Café Marco’s very own Spanish sangrias.

Explore this distinctive cuisine that has influenced the Filipino cooking and eat your way through the sumptuous lineup of Spanish dishes together with Café Marco’s regular delicious spread of international cuisine.

For inquiries and reservations, call (032) 253-1111 or email [email protected].

Sabores de España Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

SPANISH INFLUENCE. Sabores de España will run from September 14 to 16 in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

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22 Tango Records releases Mary Anchit’s debut album

For her debut album, Mary Anchit sings about the people she encountered and the many forms of love in them. The album, Miss Mary, will be launched at 8 pm…

For her debut album, Mary Anchit sings about the people she encountered and the many forms of love in them. The album, Miss Mary, will be launched at 8 pm on September 8 via a show at Sugid, A SPACE Cebu.

The launch will be supported by homegrown acts J Russ X DT, The Vast, and Mandaue Nights.

As a singer-songwriter and full-time high school teacher, Anchit draws from outward experiences and weaves them together to form the 7-track foundations of Miss Mary. The album is produced by Cattski Espina and recorded, mixed, and mastered at Room Eleven Recording Studio.

Mary Anchit

Mary Anchit

Miss Mary will be released under 22 Tango Records and will be available on all digital streaming platforms. CDs will also be available for purchase.

“Mary Anchit is a wordsmith. Her non-commercial music is not capable of telling just one story. One song has four stories in it. She does not care that her music is not commercially appealing. She is not in the business of earning; only of living,” said Espina on the 3-year creative process of the album.

With her album, Anchit hopes to contribute to the vision of making Cebu a destination for music.

For inquiries and updates, follow Mary Anchit and 22 Tango Records on Facebook.

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Get huge discounts in Ayala Center Cebu’s Midnight Madness Sale on August 31

Get ready for an all-nighter as the region’s premier lifestyle destination gives mallgoers great discounts of up to 70% off plus the chance to win exciting prizes at their midnight…

Get ready for an all-nighter as the region’s premier lifestyle destination gives mallgoers great discounts of up to 70% off plus the chance to win exciting prizes at their midnight sale on Friday, August 31.

Shop and dine to join the raffle. At stake are two 2 sleep bracelets, a massage chair, and a mattress and two pillows when you present a minimum receipt of P500, P1,000 and P1,500 respectively to the concierge near Vero Moda.

Rocksteddy

Redeeming of raffle coupons is until 12 midnight only on August 31. Gift items will also be given out every hour starting 8 p.m. until midnight.

On the same day, enjoy live music at The Terraces. Performing at 8 p.m. are the young students of the Brown Academy of Music. Rocksteddy will then perform live at 10 p.m. (Press Release)

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Nanay group, Basadours host “Mother and Child Day” in Calawisan

It was a day of stories and art for 120 day care students in Barangay Calawisan in Lapu-Lapu City last August 11. Cebu Nanays for Nanays and Basadours Inc. hosted…

It was a day of stories and art for 120 day care students in Barangay Calawisan in Lapu-Lapu City last August 11.

Cebu Nanays for Nanays and Basadours Inc. hosted the “Mother and Child Day” event in the barangay on that day. The event was sponsored by Jollibee and Avon.

Basadours storytellers read stories and facilitated arts activity for the day care pupils.

Baadours Calawisan

Jollibee provided snacks for 200 people and donated school signs to Calawisan Centro Day Care Center. Day care teacher Charisse Tanudra received the donations.

Avon, on the other hand, conducted a make-up workshop and livelihood talk with women and gave out raffle prizes and special tokens for the best attire and best dancers in the zumba dance session in the afternoon.

Basadours Calawisan

“It is our goal to bring the joy of reading to children and likewise share knowledge and expertise to the women of the barangays,” said Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo, chairperson of Basadours Inc.

Ruffolo, who is also the creative director and founder of Cebu Nanays for Nanays, said the September session will be held at the Cebu City Public Library to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law.

Basadours Calawisan

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Get chance to travel, dine in London and Paris with Ayala Center Cebu

Filipinos love to eat and travel. Whether in the country or abroad, wanderlust drives the thirst for adventure and hunger for foodie experiences. Diners at Ayala Center Cebu will get…

Filipinos love to eat and travel. Whether in the country or abroad, wanderlust drives the thirst for adventure and hunger for foodie experiences.

Diners at Ayala Center Cebu will get the chance to win one of 5 tickets for 2 to London and Paris including 5 days and 4 nights luxury accommodations, land transfers, a private tour, spa treatment and dinner at 3 Michelin-starred restaurants between the 2 destinations.

To join, present to the concierge near Vero Moda a valid transaction slip of at least P1,000 issued from August 17 to December 31, 2018 using a credit, debit or prepaid Mastercard from any participating or specialty restaurant to receive a raffle coupon. This Bon Appetrip promotion is ongoing until December 31.

The Mastercard cardholder is entitled to 1 raffle coupon for every transaction made at selected specialty restaurants, and 2 raffle coupons for every transaction made at restaurants who participate in the Buy 1 Get 1 promo of Bon Appetrip, where a complimentary dish is given when ordering the featured dish of the day on August 17, August 27, September 2, September 28, October 15, October 28, November 3, November 12, December 5 and December 18.

 

For the complete list of participating restaurants, visit Ayala Center Cebu on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AyalaCebu and follow @AyalaCenterCebu on Twitter and Instagram. For more information, contact the Ayala hotline at 888-3808 or 888-3790.

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Abaca Baking Company opens in Robinsons Galleria Cebu

The freshly-made artisanal pastries of Abaca Baking Company (ABC) are now available in Robinsons Galleria Cebu with the recent opening of the company’s 9th branch in the city. The handcrafted…

The freshly-made artisanal pastries of Abaca Baking Company (ABC) are now available in Robinsons Galleria Cebu with the recent opening of the company’s 9th branch in the city.

The handcrafted pastries are freshly baked in-house every morning using only 100% unbleached flour, which assures flavorful goodness in every bite, the company said in a press statement. This keen attention to the fine details of production continues to make a mark that elevates the local culinary scene by setting the standard of hearty, delicious treats that are sure to hit the spot every time.

 

Abaca Baking Company vegetable salad

Vegetable chopped salad

 

Abaca Baking Company

Fish and chips, home made spam, and chopped salad with strawberry blueberry banana smoothie.

 

Abaca Baking Company

Classic BLT sandwich

 

Aside from freshly baked pastries and decadent desserts, ABC is also known for its day-long, all-time breakfast favorites such as pancakes, hand rolled bagels, and their signature bakery benedict, along with a selection of other savory delights. Their selection of pressed sandwiches are standouts on the menu as well.

Indulge in your ABC cravings in any of their nine branches: Crossroads Mall in Banilad, The Terraces and Rustan’s 2F at Ayala Center Cebu, Paseo Arcenas in Banawa, Robinsons Cybergate and Galleria, TGU Tower and Filinvest Cyberzone in IT Park, and The Northwing of SM City Cebu.

Abaca baking company bakery benedict

Bakery benedict.

 

Abaca Baking Company

Buttermilk waffle with fresh fruits.

 

Abaca Baking Company burger

Burger with fries.

 

Abaca Baking Company is a locally grown concept by The Abaca Group, which also owns and operates Abaca Boutique Resort + Restaurant, Luncheonette, Maya, Phat Pho, Red Lizard, Tavolata, and the soon-to-open Reef Hotel.

Visit www.theabacagroup.com and follow @theabacagroup on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates. (Press Release)

 

Abaca Baking Company Robinsons Cebu

9TH BRANCH. The Abaca Baking Company in Robinsons Galleria Cebu is the company’s 9th branch in Cebu.

 

Abaca Baking Company

FRESHLY-BAKED. Abaca Baking Company’s artisanal pastries are freshly-baked every day.

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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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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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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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Get P75 cashback when you shop with GCash QR in National Book Store branches

Shopping for bags, paper, notebooks, pencils, and all other school items at the National Book Store is a yearly back-to-school ritual. This year, shopping is even better because everything you…

Shopping for bags, paper, notebooks, pencils, and all other school items at the National Book Store is a yearly back-to-school ritual.

This year, shopping is even better because everything you need for school are made available at all National Bookstore branches. Head to any of the over 230 branches nationwide and you’ll find Back-to-School Zones – areas where basic school supplies, uniforms, shoes, bags, and more are grouped together for a quick, easy, and convenient shopping experience.

National Bookstore also launched the 2018 Grand Back to School Fair in select mall locations.

GCash National Book Store

“National Book Store is one of the most recognizable names in the Philippines, and being able to extend GCash’s reach to Filipinos is a big step for us in encouraging more and more people to have a better shopping experience. In recognition of their 75thyear, we are happy to support National Bookstore’s Back-to-school program by offering a 75 pesos Cashback with GCash QR for a minimum spend of 300 pesos at any National Bookstore nationwide,” said Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt, which operates GCash.

To use the scan to pay feature, Globe users must download the GCash app on their smartphones and update to the latest version of it before registering an account. Get P50 when you use referral code “NBBTOS” upon registration.With over 12,000 GCash partner outlets nationwide, including Globe Stores, SM Business Centers, Puregold branches, Robinsons Business Centers, 7-Eleven Cliqq kiosks, and TouchPay kiosks, shoppers can easily fund their GCash wallets.

Visit www.gcashpromos.com/gcash-national-bookstore-75-cashback to learn more. (Press Release)

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Cashback, discounts, freebies at GCash Digital Weekend Cebu

Have you tried paying through GCash QR scan to pay? Head to the Cebu IT Park from May 18 to 20, use GCash QR to shop with merchants, and get…

Have you tried paying through GCash QR scan to pay? Head to the Cebu IT Park from May 18 to 20, use GCash QR to shop with merchants, and get exclusive discounts and freebies.

GCash QR is a system launched last year that allows you to quickly pay via scanning a QR Code at the counter. We wrote about the experience in using it here: With GCash Scan To Pay, transactions are quick, cashless.

If you still haven’t tried it, this weekend’s event will be a great venue to test the future of payments. During GCash Digital Weekend Cebu, get 50% cashback on your first transaction. You can get a stamp packet that allows you to win prizes as you complete the stamps by purchasing from GCash QR merchants.

The popular weekend food market and culinary destination Sugbo Mercado now also accepts GCash QR.

Gcash QR scan to pay Cebu Digital Weekend Cebu IT Park

 

Gcash QR scan to pay Cebu

 

Gcash QR Cebu

GCash QR is now accepted in Sugbo Mercado.

Gcash QR scan to pay Cebu

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Smart, Ateneo to boost Central Visayas health programs with SHINE OS+

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to…

The Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center with its existing reporting tool to enhance the region’s health programs.

SHINE OS+ or the Secured Health Information Network Exchange open-source system enables health units to submit aggregated medical data directly to the region’s Health Console for faster retrieval of information.

An efficient electronic medical record system redounds to better health care by ensuring that patient information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. The system also guards against loss of or damage to patient files.

Smart, Ateneo DOH Central Visayas

Signing the memorandum of agreement are (in photo, from left) Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Attorney Maria Jane Paredes, Regional Health Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, and AJWCC executive director Ma. Regina Estuar. (Press Release)

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Smart employees, families donate digital learning packages to far-flung communities

English teacher Dexter Masiado has a problem with student absenteeism. Not even half of his 75 pupils at Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo attend his classes at any given…

English teacher Dexter Masiado has a problem with student absenteeism. Not even half of his 75 pupils at Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo attend his classes at any given day.

He doesn’t blame his students, who are composed mostly of indigenous people. To get to school, they need to walk three hours on a mountain path – and that’s on a good day. On rainy days, they need to trudge muddy trails wearing nothing on their feet but plastic. They would arrive at school drenched and shaking.

“A lot of them also forgo classes to help their parents earn a living. Instead of attending classes, they would plough the field, harvest rice, or weave sawali,” Masiado said.

The teacher was thus very happy when he learned that their school would receive a School-in-a-Bag from Smart Communications. This is a big backpack containing a laptop, tablets, TV, a solar panel with batteries, pocket Wi-Fi, and educational content. The package also includes teacher training and yearlong monitoring.

“The students will definitely be more interested to go to school now. They have not yet been introduced to 21st century tools like tablets, laptop, and the internet,” Masiado said.

Smart School-in-a-bag

Smart meets three of its latest School-in-a-Bag recipients. In the photo are Smart employees led by Chief People and Culture Officer Liza Sichon (center) and People Group AVP Cheryll Agsaoay (standing fourth from left), and representatives of Trangka Elementary School in Maasin, Iloilo; Jubilee Shelter Program in Plaridel, Bulacan; and an Alternative Learning System center in Tanay, Rizal.

Previous recipients of the Smart School-in-a-Bag have reported enhanced literacy and heightened interest in learning among their students. One teacher in Albay noted that some of her students would even go to school despite class suspensions so they could learn from the tablets.

The School-in-a-Bag is donated by Smart and its partner individuals and organizations to remote communities, including those without electricity, to help enhance the learning of students through technology and non-tech solutions.

The package that Trangka Elementary School will receive is a donation from Smart employees and their families, who sponsored the P100,000 kit by participating in a program called Smart Saturdays.

For three Saturdays last year, employees were invited to watch blockbuster movies with their loved ones and buy special event shirts for a certain amount. The collected amount was enough to put together seven School-in-a-Bag kits for underserved schools.

“I am really pleased that thousands of our employees participated in the program, not just to enjoy the movies with their families, but also to help other people,” said Smart People Group AVP for Communication and Engagement Cheryll Agsaoay. “I’m proud to say that our employees have taken to heart Smart’s mission of improving the lives of Filipinos through technology. The devices, connectivity, and educational content included in the School-in-a-Bag will help students in remote areas learn more about the world beyond their hometowns.”

Agsaoay added that Smart would continue its Smart Saturdays program to reach more far-flung schools.

So far, Smart and its partner donors have delivered 38 School-in-a-Bag units to 65 learning communities all over the country. Those interested to help can email [email protected] for more details.

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4 teams from Cebu in finals of Smart’s innovation competition

Four student teams from Cebu are in the running for the country’s biggest technology competition, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards. Three teams from the…

Four student teams from Cebu are in the running for the country’s biggest technology competition, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Three teams from the University of San Carlos and one from the University of San Jose Recoletos are among the 10 student teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that would battle it out next week in SWEEP.

The other teams are from Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Aurora State College of Technology, Davao Central College, and Gordon College in Zambales.

SMART Sweep 2018

SWEEP Awards finalists undergo a two-day boot camp so they could polish their entries in time for judging.

The teams will compete for the P300,000 top prize in the final judging to be held on May 11. The second placer will get P200,000, while the third placer will receive P100,000. Schools of the top three teams will each get a digital campus package from Smart Communications and parent company PLDT.

Smart received more than 300 applications for the 14th SWEEP Awards, which has the theme “#LifeLikeNeverBefore: Digital Innovations for a Better Tomorrow.”

Projects that made the cut include an app that could help farmers reach produce buyers directly, an app that could link sports enthusiasts with each other so they could schedule games, and a chatbot that could enable users to control home appliances remotely via a messaging app.

To help the finalists improve their projects before the judging, Smart introduced them to mentors who, over two days, taught them to validate the existence of problems before creating solutions, the importance of getting feedback from peers and potential customers, and the need to adjust their plan of action based on these feedback.

Smart SWEEP 2018 pitching

Students get a taste of what it’s like to pitch proposals before potential investors, during their presentation to SWEEP Awards judges.

The mentors also taught the finalists how to pitch their proposals to judges and potential investors.

Participant Gian Guerrero said the two-day boot camp helped his team create a business model for its project. “What was very hard was the business model because we’re into IT (information technology) and engineering, so we’re not very knowledgeable about it. But the SWEEP Awards experience proved to be a treasure trove of knowledge. It’s fun, more than I expected, and I’m thankful to be part of it,” he said.

The SWEEP Awards was launched in 2004 to provide college students with the platform to create innovative applications that solve consumer pain points. It is an initiative under SWEEP, a long-running collaboration between Smart and the academe which aims to raise the standards of engineering and IT education in the country.

Because of SWEEP, Smart was cited in 2016 by international magazine Fortune as one of 50 companies that have “changed the world.” For more information on SWEEP and the SWEEP Awards, please visit facebook.com/sweepschools and smartsweep.ph. (Press Release)

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Honor 9 Lite: Your perfect wanderlust companion on sale at Shopee today

Our phones have become an integral part of our toolbox to freeze and create our most memorable and cherished memories. They have become our go-to companion for entertainment, connection and…

Our phones have become an integral part of our toolbox to freeze and create our most memorable and cherished memories. They have become our go-to companion for entertainment, connection and relaxation. At no time do we depend on our devices more than during our travels.

Enter a new travel companion: the Honor 9 Lite.

With its professional-grade performance producing the most striking photographs, superb quad-camera technology, and a long-lasting battery, the Honor 9 Lite has won global awards and raves.

The phone is finally available in the Philippines at an exclusive price of P7,990 between 12:00pm to 3:00pm today, May 5, through https://shopee.ph/honor9lite.

Honor 9 Lite dual cameras

The Honor 9 Lite is packed with dual cameras on both the front and rear of the phone: the front camera features a 13MP + 2MP dual-lens system, while the rear boasts of a 13MP+2MP dual-lens camera that features one lens for capturing the image and another for depth detection.

Through the wide-angle panoramic function and the help of an upgraded beauty algorithm, you will be able to capture more stunning, natural portraits, whether with panorama selfie, hand-gesture shooting, fun selfie, or other modes. The upgraded Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) also makes the Honor 9 Lite ultra-fast in focusing.

Equipped with the latest Kirin 659 Octa-core processor and powered by a CPU that runs as fast as 2.36GHz, and 3GB of high-speed RAM and 5th generation smart battery technology that lasts one full day at a single charge, the Honor 9 Lite is built for road warriors.

Honor 9 Lite.

Exclusive partnership

Moreover, the 18:9 screen ratio (that is close to the 21:9 ratio used by cinemas) combined with the 2160 X 1080 resolution, allows for ultra-high definition and remarkable display quality, making this phone the ultimate companion to have on long-haul travel for game-playing, binge-watching and multiple app use all at once.

From the 2.5D glass to the stunning layered nano-etched design on its back and its mirror-like reflective glass back, the Honor 9 Lite is simply beautiful and definitely feels like a bona fide luxury item. The phone is sleek, light, and stunning. It is made to enable light to flow around the device, bringing a seamless visual experience.

In just a few years, Honor is impressively emerging as one of the fastest growing brands globally, having accumulated over 80 million fans worldwide and it is no surprise how this feat was achieved. Honor is part of the Huawei Consumer Business Group.

On the back of this momentum, Honor is bringing the 9 Lite to consumers in the Philippines through its exclusive partnership with Shopee.

Available in Sapphire Blue and Glacier Grey, consumers can purchase the Honor 9Lite exclusively on Shopee at https://shopee.ph/honor9lite and at the best price yet of P7,990 between 12:00pm to 3:00pm on May 5, 2018. (Press Release)

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UBS Phils, PSF turn over School-in-a-Bag for Mindanao learners

Students of remote schools in Talayan, Maguindanao and Patikul, Sulu will soon benefit from digital learning made possible by Smart Communications’ School-in-a-Bag. Containing a laptop, five tablets, TV, a solar…

Students of remote schools in Talayan, Maguindanao and Patikul, Sulu will soon benefit from digital learning made possible by Smart Communications’ School-in-a-Bag. Containing a laptop, five tablets, TV, a solar panel with batteries, and educational content, the learning package is donated to far-flung communities, especially those without electricity.

UBS Investments Philippines and the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) recently turned over two School-in-a-Bag packages to the Department of Education (DepEd). These are part of the P1 million donation UBS made to the PSF last year.

School in a bag UBS

DONATION. Photo shows (from left) Smart Public Affairs Senior Manager Stephanie Orlino, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua, and PSF President Esther Santos.

Smart created the School-in-a-Bag to improve the quality of education in remote schools. Since launching the program in 2016, Smart and partner donors have delivered 38 School-in-a-Bag units to 65 learning communities all over the country. Each bag, inclusive of training for teachers, costs P100,000.

Because there are about 6,000 public schools that still do not have access to electricity, organizations and even individuals are encouraged to donate School-in-a-Bag units. Interested parties may send an email to [email protected]. (Press Release)

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Cebuano energy firm, partners launch hybrid power plant and micro-grid

Vivant Corporation, a publicly listed energy company established and based in Cebu, broke ground Tuesday to launch Palawan’s first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to electrify the growing needs…

Vivant Corporation, a publicly listed energy company established and based in Cebu, broke ground Tuesday to launch Palawan’s first hybrid power plant with a micro-grid to electrify the growing needs of the area that hosts the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vivant partnered with WEnergy Global and Gigawatt Power Inc. to form the Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC), a Department of Energy-registered renewable energy (RE) developer that aims to provide households and businesses in Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa with 24/7 electricity.

The project is expected to be operational in 2019 and will be run by SREC under an Energy Regulatory Commission-approved Qualified Third Party (QTP) Agreement with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO). As QTP, SREC is authorized to generate and distribute electricity in Barangay Cabayugan, which has been waived from PALECO’s franchise area.

ENERGY. Vivant and its partners will provide households and businesses in Barangay Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa with 24/7 electricity. (Creative Commons Photo by Ryan Kaldari)

Renewable, reliable energy

“We are proud to become part of a project that supports the economic development of Barangay Cabayugan by providing renewable and reliable energy,” said Emil M. Garcia, SREC chairman and VP-Operations of Vivant Corporation.

The hybrid power plant will consist of 1.4 MWp solar PV with a 2.3 MWh battery storage system and 1.2 MW diesel generators to power its 14-circuit kilometer distribution facility. Due to its solar component, SREC will provide an average of 50% of renewable energy and will be less vulnerable to the volatility of imported fuel prices.

Every year, thousands of tourists visit Cabayugan—located about 80 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa city proper—but only a few households and tourism-related establishments in the area have electricity, with supply lasting for about three to six hours from small diesel generators. The SREC project will electrify more than 650 residential, public and commercial establishments that will enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

Hybrid power generation technology

“We will continue to invest in projects that empower communities and improve everyday living, particularly in off-grid areas,” Vivant Corporation COO Arlo G. Sarmiento said.

SREC’s hybrid power generation technology will avoid about 25,700 metric-tons of CO2-equivalent emissions over a 20-year lifetime. (Press Release)

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Fire-proof your business to protect your assets

The rising temperatures during the summer months put properties at risk of fires. From 2013 to 2017, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recorded 77,724 fire incidents, averaging 15,545 fire…

The rising temperatures during the summer months put properties at risk of fires. From 2013 to 2017, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recorded 77,724 fire incidents, averaging 15,545 fire incidents every year. In this time frame, the BFP estimates that property damage reached P23.273 billion or an average of P4.65 billion every year.

Avoiding fire emergencies becomes vital to the operation of every business. Here are a few things to keep in mind to fire-proof your business:

1. Research fire safety requirements. Your business property needs to comply with the fire safety requirements as mandated by the Fire Code of the Philippines. Additionally, for new businesses, acquiring a Fire Safety Inspection Certificate is a pre-requisite for various permits and licenses from local governments and other government agencies. Taking time to research these requirements will help you cover all your bases.

2. Install fire safety equipment. This encompasses fire detection systems like alarms, to firefighting equipment like fire extinguishers and automatic sprinklers. Should a potential fire start in your property, the equipment help control and avoid the spread of fire and ensure the safety of people in the property.

3. Conduct regular fire drills and training. It is not enough to have fire safety equipment if nobody knows how to use it. Fire drills can teach personnel how to suppress a fire, and if needed, how to evacuate the property. These not only help people absorb the emergency plan better but can also update them on any changes that have been made in fire safety equipment and fire escape routes.

4. Routinely review and maintain fire prevention mechanisms. Like most things, equipment and processes need to be reviewed in order to ensure that they function should the need arise. Inspecting, replacing or repairing faulty equipment, combined with checking and updating evacuation plans will better the chances of avoiding losses in fire emergency.

5. Get protection from fire and other business and property damage. Business insurance, like Malayan Insurance’s Business Protect, covers fires and a wide range of other risks such as liability, accidents and Money, Security and Payroll. Business Protect is an SME insurance package that offers asset protection for business establishments such as retail stores, offices, restaurants, clinics, shops and even small kiosks. For as low as P2,750.++, you can rest assured that in the event of a fire emergency, your business is protected.

To learn more about Business Protect, visit www.malayan.com.

Founded in 1930, Malayan Insurance is a member of the Yuchengco Group of Companies. Malayan Insurance is the leading non-life insurer of the Philippines. (Press Release)

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