Categories
Events

Usher the Christmas season with Pinoy music in Ayala Center Cebu

Start your Christmas celebration with Pinoy music at Halu-Halong Pasko, on November 9, 7 p.m. at The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu. The hour-long event is free and open to all.

The show aims to usher in the festive holiday season and celebrate different forms of music and dance from folk, rock, pop, ethnic, R&B, and more.

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Business Community

Vivant Energy subsidiary bags contract to supply power to Bantayan

A subsidiary of Vivant Energy Corporation has been chosen to supply 15 megawatts (MW) of net dependable capacity to Bantayan Island, a major tourist destination in northern Cebu.

Following a competitive selection process, the Bantayan Electric Cooperative (BANELCO) awarded a 15-year power supply contract to the consortium of Vivant Integrated Diesel Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivant Energy, and Gigawatt Power Inc. To ensure availability of dependable power, the installation and operation of a 23-MW power plant in the island will be undertaken by the consortium.

The supply contract expands Vivant Energy’s capacity in off-grid small power utilities group (SPUG) sector.

Categories
Food Lifestyle

Pinoy craft soft drink Loompie highlights tropical flavors

Cebu Brewing Company (CBC), Cebu’s first craft brewery founded in 2013 is proud to announce the release of the country’s original pinoy pop, Loompie.

Based on a recently unearthed family recipe from the early 1900s, Loompie comes in many delicious tropical flavors highlighting the Philippines’ treasure trove of tropical fruits. Loompie comes in a large 420ml all-glass bottles, continuing the CBC tradition of environmentally focused, sustainable packaging corporate policy.

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Lifestyle Travel

Hydro Flask opens in Cebu

When it comes to keeping your drink hot or cold, nothing beats the performance of Hydro Flask. The insulated stainless steel flasks can keep your drinks cold up to 24 hours and your hot drinks steaming hot up to 6 hours.

The award-winning leader in high-performance insulated flasks is now in Cebu. The brand, which originates from Bend, Oregon, has opened a kiosk in SM Seaside Cebu.

The Hydro Flask kiosk offers high-performance insulated bottles that come in different sizes – ranging from 12 oz to 40 oz – and colors. The bottles feature TempShield technology, a double-wall vacuum insulation to lock in temperature. Hydro Flask bottles are easy to carry and travel-friendly.

Categories
Tech

Smart to roll out Google Station free WiFi in Iloilo City

To boost Iloilo City’s bid to be one of the country’s best urbanized cities, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. has signed an agreement with the Iloilo City government and Mayor Jerry Treñas to deploy free Wi-Fi services via Google Station across key public areas in the city.

Under the agreement, Smart will roll out Google Station in the Iloilo City Hall, the Esplanade, La Paz Plaza, and Mandurriao Plaza, as well as in the Cultural Heritage Tourism Zones of Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex.

AGREEMENT. Mayor Jerry P. Treñas are joined by PLDT Enterprise One Visayas AVP and Head Jimmy V. Chua and PLDT Enterprise Senior Manager Arturo S. Carandang during the signing of the MOA for Google Station at the Iloilo City Hall.
GOOGLE STATION AGREEMENT. Mayor Jerry P. Treñas are joined by PLDT Enterprise One Visayas AVP and Head Jimmy V. Chua and PLDT Enterprise Senior Manager Arturo S. Carandang during the signing of the MOA for Google Station at the Iloilo City Hall.
Categories
Tech

3 students from Cebu top worldwide robotics competition in China

CHONGQING, China — A team of high school students from Cebu representing the Philippines placed 2nd in the recent World Adolescent Robotics Competition (WARC).

TechFactors Philippines, led by Coach Jomar Cruz, displayed amazing teamwork and one of a kind interschool collaboration between Sacred Heart School Cebu, and University of San Carlos North and South in the competition after their two-week intensive preparation focused on programming, troubleshooting, and designing the robot.

Grade 10 Nicolas Francisco Amor acted as the team captain while Grade 7 students Hernan Herven Morale and Charles Matthew Ty fulfilled the roles of project manager and publicity manager.

FROM CEBU. (From left) Jomar Cruz, head coach Techfactors Inc; Nicholas Amor, Sacred Heart Cebu; Charles Matther Ty, University of San Carlos South; and Herven Morales, University of San Carlos North.

FROM CEBU. (From left) Jomar Cruz, head coach Techfactors Inc; Nicholas Amor, Sacred Heart Cebu; Charles Matther Ty, University of San Carlos South; and Herven Morales, University of San Carlos North.

Categories
Events Lifestyle

Super Crazy Sale at Landers Superstore on October 16-20

With less than 100 days before Christmas, it is time to get a headstart on your holiday shopping with Landers Superstore’s Super Crazy Sale from October 16 to 20, 2019, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Get exciting surprises, member-exclusive discounts of up to 50% and Buy 1 Get 1 deals on their selection of local and premium international goods plus discounts on food and drinks at their New York-style diner Landers Central and coffee shop Doppio.

Landers Superstore offers the true membership shopping experience with its wide range of products from grocery items to general merchandise. Members enjoy exclusive perks from fuel discounts of up to Php 9 per liter at Landers Caltex Gasoline Station; online grocery shopping at http://landers.ph with same day delivery; free haircut, shampoo and blow-dry at Federal Barbers; and lowest-priced medicines at Capital Care Pharmacy.

Landers Superstore Cebu Crazy Sale

Visit Landers Superstore Cebu to avail yourself of great finds and big savings. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram @LandersPH and their website landers.ph.

Landers Superstore Cebu is located at 23 Minore Park, Cardinal Rosales Ave. cor Pope John Paul II Ave, Cebu City and is open daily from 9am to 9pm.

Categories
Tech

Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 8, Redmi Note 8 Pro in the Philippines

Xiaomi recently launched two powerful smartphones in the country–the Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro.

The Redmi Note 8 Pro is the first 64MP quad-camera phone in the Philippines. It features a powerful LiquidCool system, making it an ideal companion for photographers, gamers, and anyone seeking an accessible flagship-quality experience. The Redmi Note 8, on the other hand, is sure to impress with its high-end specifications, premium design, and a 48MP camera at an entry-level price.

Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro are packed with 4,000mAh battery and 4,500mAh battery, respectively. Both support Type-C fast charging of up to 18W. The phones are built with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and provide a comfortable viewing experience with their TÜV Rheinland certified blue light protection.

“The Redmi Note series is among Xiaomi’s most popular devices, with the Redmi Note 7 becoming the best-selling smartphone in the recent 9.9 online sales events in the Philippines,” said Steven Shi, Xiaomi’s Head of Southeast Asia.

“As we move into the new era of smartphone photography, Xiaomi pioneers the 64MP quad camera smartphone in the Philippines with Redmi Note 8 Pro, and offers one of the best bang-for-buck quad-camera phones in the market with Redmi Note 8. These devices strengthen the company’s commitment to provide amazing products at honest prices,” Shi said.

Redmi Note 8 Pro

Redmi Note 8 Pro

Pioneering 64MP Quad Camera

Redmi Note 8 Pro has our high quality shooters. Its ultra-high resolution 64MP primary camera captures stunning photos that can be printed up to 3.26 meters tall. It also uses 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel to capture more light for bright night shots. An 8MP ultra-wide angle camera with a 120° field of view, a 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth sensor come together to create Redmi’s most versatile camera yet. The 20MP front camera’s built-in AI technology lets users put their best face forward through detailed portrait selfies, scene detection, and face unlock.

Equipped with a large 6.53” FHD+ Dot Drop display and rear fingerprint sensor, the device achieves a 91.4% screen-to-body ratio.

Redmi Note 8 Pro is powered by the latest MediaTek Helio G90T processor, an octa-core CPU clocked up to 2.05GHz for extended everyday use. The device also features LiquidCool – a first for the Redmi Note series – to facilitate high-speed, hassle-free gaming without overheating.

Redmi Note 8’s 48MP Quad Camera

Redmi Note 8 is a photography powerhouse, sporting a quad camera setup on the rear. Its 48MP ultra high-resolution primary camera features a ½-inch sensor with an f/1.79 aperture and 79.4° field of view. Its 8MP ultra-wide camera with 120° field of view, 2MP macro lens, and 2MP depth sensor join forces to capture stunning images at any distance. It also has a 13MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, and built-in AI technology. It also has a panorama selfie feature — a first for the Redmi Note series. — that can capture group images without cropping anyone out.

Redmi Note 8

Redmi Note 8

Equipped with a 6.3” Dot Drop Display with 2.5D rounded rear glass design, Redmi Note 8 offers an incredibly immersive FHD+ visual experience that achieves a 90% screen-to-body ratio.

Redmi Note 8 runs on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset to enhance the overall user experience through its advanced AI technology, and improvements in power-efficiency ensure peak performance that will last all day.

Availability, pricing

Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 will go on sale at the Mi Authorized Stores and Lazada starting October 12.

Redmi Note 8 Pro will come in Forest Green , Mineral Gray, and Pearl White in 6GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB for P11,490 and P12,990, respectively.

Redmi Note 8 in Space Black, Neptune Blue, and Moonlight White will be available in 4GB+64GB for P8,990. The Redmi Note 8 3GB+32GB for P7,990 and 4GB+128GB for P9,990 will be available soon. (Press Release)

Categories
Properties

Megaworld to open 3rd Savoy Hotel in Mactan

The company’s first hotel development in Cebu offers 547 rooms and suites, with close accessibility to Mactan Newtown Beach and future ‘beach mall’

Township developer Megaworld is opening its first hotel development inside its 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu next month.

The 18-storey Savoy Hotel Mactan will offer 547 guestrooms and suites, targeting mostly business travelers and family vacationers because of its close accessibility to the beach and resorts around Mactan, as well as the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

“Savoy Hotel Mactan is just 15 minutes away from the airport, which makes it a perfect choice for business travelers. Its location also allows one to experience the beach and the township at the same time, where restaurants, cafes, supermarket, spa, and other retail shops are just within easy reach,” said Raymundo Melendres, managing director of Megaworld Hotels.

The hotel offers superior and deluxe rooms, deluxe premier, and junior suites – all fully equipped with essential amenities, in-room electronic safety box, 43” LED TV, coffee and tea-making facilities, mini-bar, and wireless internet connection.

Interiors

Savoy Hotel Mactan’s interiors are designed by world-renowned Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the same firm that designed Marina Bay Sands and Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, as well as Shangri-La Dubai and St. Regis Abu Dhabi in UAE.

The hotel also has a wide range of function and meeting rooms. It also has food and beverage outlets such as the Savoy Café for breakfast and all-day dining, Lobby Café for coffee and pastries, Zabana Bar at the lobby area that offers cocktails and drinks, Pool Bar at the third level, and the Patio, an outdoor dining area located at the second level.

Savoy Hotel Mactan, Cebu

The hotel’s amenities include a swimming pool, paved sunbathing lounge, fitness center, business center, and a flower garden.

“Savoy Hotel Mactan caters to smart travelers who appreciate the harmony between work and leisure, where they can discover and experience the hospitality of passionate Filipino hoteliers,” said Grace Bartolome, Savoy Hotel Mactan general manager.

To be operated by Megaworld Hotels, Savoy Hotel Mactan will offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the Mactan Newtown Beach. Transport services will also be offered to guests traveling to and from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Introductory rates

As the hotel opens its doors in November, it will offer introductory rates of P3,288 to P5,888 per night, inclusive of buffet breakfast for two, depending on the room category.

Megaworld spent P1.7 billion to build the hotel, which is one of the many hotels that it plans to put up inside The Mactan Newtown.

Savoy Hotel Mactan is the third hotel under the Savoy Hotel brand, a homegrown hotel chain established by Megaworld. Other Savoy Hotels have already opened in Boracay Newcoast and in Newport City, Pasay City.

To date, Megaworld Hotels has already opened four other homegrown brands aside from Savoy: Richmonde Hotels, Belmont Hotels, Twin Lakes Hotel, and Hotel Lucky Chinatown, with around 3,200 hotel rooms. In the next 5 years, the company will also open new homegrown hotel brands in Parañaque, Bacolod, Iloilo, Boracay, and Laguna.

Just last month, Megaworld also opened the P2.1 billion Belmont Hotel Boracay inside Boracay Newcoast, a 150-hectare tourism township being developed by its subsidiary, Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI).

During the first quarter this year, Megaworld’s hotel business became the fastest-growing segment of the quarter, soaring 56% to P574 million compared to last year’s P368 million.

Categories
Tech

Realme Philippines unveils quad-camera realme 5 series to disrupt sub-P15K category

Realme Philippines, the fastest-growing smartphone brand in the country, launched its first quad-camera smartphones, the realme 5 Pro and realme 5. Designed to deliver premium mobile experience, these phones are equipped with exceptional smartphone essentials such as strong system performance, superior camera capabilities and long battery life set to disrupt their respective segments.

The realme 5 Pro and realme 5 feature a quad-camera setup comprising an ultra-wide-angle lens, main camera, portrait lens and ultra-macro lens to elevate the photography experience of every Filipino.

Premium features

“We at realme Philippines are thrilled to revolutionize the smartphone experience of the Filipinos by leading the leap to attainable quad camera technology, which marks realme’s new era of smartphone imaging technology. By bringing the realme 5 Pro and realme 5 to the Philippine market, we put an end to the notion that only flagship phones can have premium features. Both these cutting-edge devices are a testament to our steadfast commitment of providing Filipinos, more specifically the youth, with the smartphone experience they deserve,” said realme Philippines Marketing Director Austine Huang.

Realme Philippines also maintains strong relations with key players in different industries such as Home Credit, which introduced a 9-month 0% plan for realme devices; and Qualcomm, whose powerful processors are present in the realme 5 Pro and realme 5.

To further cement its position in mobile gaming, realme Philippines also reinforced its partnership with Moonton, the developer of the No.1 MOBA game Mobile Legends, which is spearheading the realme Mobile Legends Cup Season 2 finals on October 18 and 19 at SM Southmall. Realme is also the official Epic Sponsor of the Mobile Legends: Bang Professional League Philippines Season 4 Finals which is set to happen on October 5 and 6 in collaboration with Moonton.

realme 5 Pro
realme 5 Pro

realme 5 Pro

The realme 5 Pro comes with features and specs unparalleled in its price segment. The device boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 AIE processor to provide the best operation, game and entertaining experience to its users. It is also equipped with the Qualcomm Adreno 616 GPU, which improves the phone’s graphics performance and energy efficiency by up to 35 percent.

The phone is available in two variants – 4GB RAM+128GB storage and 8GB RAM+128GB. The realme 5 Pro sports a new holographic color and cutting textures reflective of the design gene of realme, with upgrades on the material and hardware technology to achieve a richer layered visual. It is available in Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue colors.

To provide users with a more immersive display experience, the realme 5 Pro features a 6.3-inch FHD+ screen with a dewdrop design for a wider and clearer display. This gives the phone a high screen ratio of 90.8 percent, providing users a bigger display for even more enjoyable web navigation, data checking, image browsing and video streaming.

Taking photography to another level, the realme 5 Pro has a flagship quad-camera setup comprising an 8MP 119-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP portrait lens, a 2MP ultra-macro lens and a 48MP Sony IMX586 main camera that provide users with an all-around photography experience for various scenarios. The IMX586, which underwent stringent research and tests by users and industry experts, features sensor optimization to deliver higher-quality images.

The realme 5 Pro also features a 16MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture and Sony IMX471 image sensor with 5sP high-concentration lens. It supports Quad Bayer smart pixel 4-in-1 technology that can synthesize 2μm large pixels for excellent selfie performance in low light.

The realme 5 Pro also features the Nightscape and Chroma Boost modes that are original to realme smartphones. Like the realme 5, it supports slow-motion video recording but in 960fps and 720p. Users can also edit videos on the device, allowing them to adjust video speed and add filters, text and soundtrack effects. They can also render edited videos through the theme function, which enables more convenient social network sharing.

The realme 5 Pro is equipped with a 4,035mAh high-capacity battery. Its AI Freezer function can intelligently predict the user’s app usage and freeze unused apps accordingly to save power. The smartphone also supports a 20W VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge Technology, which uses a low-voltage, high-current mode to ensure fast charging speed while reducing the heat of the adapter and the mobile phone in the process.

realme 5

The realme 5 runs on a powerful Snapdragon 665 processor with 11nm process technology, 2.0GHz clock speed, enhanced gaming performance and third-generation Qualcomm AI Engine. It is also equipped with an Adreno 610 GPU to guarantee real visual sense and allow users to play a variety of mobile games with a seamless experience resulting from smooth frame rate, rapid operation, surround sound and HD true image. A 6.5-inch HD+ mini-drop full-screen display allows users to enjoy an immersive smartphone experience excellent for gaming and video marathons.

The realme 5, which comes in three variants—3GB RAM+32GB storage, 4GB RAM+64GB and 6GB RAM+128GB—boasts the largest RAM and storage combinations in the market today. It features a 5000mAh large-capacity battery, allowing users to take advantage of the phone’s features all day long.

The phone’s imaging features kick up photography in the midrange smartphone segment a notch higher. The AI quad-camera setup is designed to deliver upgraded imaging. The realme 5’s primary camera adopts a 12MP image sensor to secure enough lighting for clearer and brighter pictures. The phase-detect autofocus (PDAF) guarantees rapid and precise focus. The 8MP 119-degree ultra-wide-angle lens allows users to take photos of landscapes and other distant scenes while the ultra-macro lens takes clearer photos in closer distances for easier capture of subjects with small details. The 13MP AI front camera optimizes the selfie beauty function for the best self-portrait. It adds AI beauty algorithms to accurately recognize photographed subjects using a total of 296 feature recognition points, thereby providing 8 million beauty effects for different groups of people.

The realme 5 has the two unique camera features of earlier realme smartphone generations – the Chroma Boost mode, which optimizes photos and produces a richer color presentation, and the upgraded Nightscape mode, which smartly adjusts the exposure of images taken in extremely low-lit scenarios. The realme 5 video function can also record slow-motion videos in 240fps and 720p.
The phone sports two new colors – Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple. It has an upgraded diamond-cut design with holographic color and reflecting texture, which is different from the matte diamond pattern of the previous generations. It now adopts the original polished surface and new nanometer holographic color with cutting touches.

real me 5 and real me 5 pro prices

Set to disrupt the sub-P15k price segment, the realme 5 Pro 4GB+128GB storage and 8GB+128GB storage variants are priced at P11,990 and P13,990, respectively, while the realme 5 is available in 3GB+32GB, 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB variants for P6,990, P7,990, and P9,900, respectively.

The offline pre-order for the realme 5 Pro will run from October 4 to October 11 with a minimum deposit of P500. Purchasers may claim their brand-new devices on October 12 in all realme kiosks and partner stores nationwide during realme’s first day sale. Those who will pre-order will receive a realme 10,000mAh power bank worth P1,599.

Those keen on purchasing the realme 5 Pro online may avail of the device through pre-order starting October 3 until October 8 in Lazada. Realme 5 Pro smartphones pre-ordered online can be redeemed beginning October 9. On the same day, October 9, at exactly 12 midnight, realme will be holding its very first Lazada online sale for the realme 5 Pro.

The realme 5 will also be available in all of the 4,500+ realme kiosks and concept stores nationwide on October 3 starting 7:30PM. While the 3GB+32GB variant of the realme 5 will be exclusively available through online platform Lazada.

Both devices may also be availed through a Home Credit plan. The 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant of the realme 5 Pro may be availed through a 6 or 9-months 0 percent interest plan while the other storage variants of the realme 5 Pro and realme 5 may also be availed through a 6-month plan at 0 percent interest.

Customers are encouraged to follow the realme official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Purchasers of the realme 5 Pro and realme 5 are also welcome to join the realme community on Facebook to see the latest news and discussions about the brand. Members also get exclusive invites to gatherings, special offers and many more.

Categories
Tech

Smart leads in Opensignal’s independent analysis of PH mobile experience

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) delivers the best video experience across the Philippines and in 18 regions and provinces, based on the latest independent report from mobile analytics company Opensignal.

The Philippines Mobile Network Experience Report September 2019, which covered the period May 1 to July 29, 2019 and independently analyzed over 533 million measurements from over 190,000 devices, found that Smart won in four categories—Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience—and scored a draw in 4G Availability.

Smart’s Video Experience score was 47.6, well ahead of competition’s score of 30.4.

Smart won 4 awards in the latest Opensignal report. PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan received the awards from Opensignal executives Andy Burns and Rob Lerner. Also present during the ceremonies were Smart President Al S. Panlilio and PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn.

“Smart’s Video Experience score of 47.6 out of 100 places it comfortably in our Fair ranking bracket (40-55), which means its users may be able to watch videos with reasonable load times and minimal stalling at low resolutions,” Peter Boyland, Opensignal senior analyst, wrote. “Globe’s score of 30.4, however, is well into Poor ranking (0-40) territory, meaning its users will struggle to get anything close to an acceptable Video Experience, even at the lowest resolutions.”

In terms of overall Download Speed Experience, which factors in both 3G and 4G download speeds along with the availability of each technology, Smart posted 9.4 Mbps, ahead of Globe’s 6.5 Mbps. In terms of 4G Download Speed alone, Smart scored 12.7 Mbps, compared to the competition’s 8.3 Mbps.

In terms of overall Upload Speed Experience, Smart posted 3.3 Mbps, ahead of the competition’s 1.7 Mbps.

In terms of Latency Experience, which is measured in milliseconds and refers to the delay users experience as data makes a round trip through the network, Smart also scored better at 61.9ms, compared to competition’s 64.2ms. When measuring Latency Experience, a lower number is better.

Regional analysis

The latest Opensignal report also includes data from 19 regions and provinces across the Philippines – Aklan, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Iloilo, Laguna, Metro Manila, Misamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, South Cotabato and Tarlac.

Smart dominated Video Experience in 18 provinces, leading by as much as 29.4 points and 21.4 points in Nueva Ecija and Metro Manila, respectively.

In terms of Download Speed Experience, Smart was also ahead in Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Quezon, Cebu, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental and South Cotabato, while in terms of Upload Speed Experience, Smart also led in 18 provinces.

In terms of Latency Experience, both operators scored a draw in most areas, with Smart leading in Metro Manila and Quezon province.

“These results are a testament to Smart’s commitment to continuously improve and expand our network across the country in order to support our customers’ growing appetite for mobile data,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

Smart won in 4 categories – Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience.

Smart won in 4 categories – Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience.

Network transformation

Amid Smart’s Video Every Day and Giga Gaming offers, increasing data usage for video and games, alongside robust subscriber growth and increasing adoption of LTE SIMs and smartphones, have boosted PLDT’s consumer wireless business revenues for the first half of 2019, which grew 20% year-on-year to P34.4 billion.

Powering these services is PLDT and Smart’s sustained fixed and mobile network roll out and modernization. PLDT’s total fiber infrastructure spanning over 283,000 kilometers at the end of June also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links to its more than 19,000 LTE base stations.

PLDT has set aside a historic-high capital expenditure program in 2019 amounting to P78.4 billion, to further enhance the reach and capacity of its fiber-powered fixed line broadband network and LTE and 3G mobile networks, as well as modernize its IT support systems.

Categories
Business Properties

Megaworld to build P1.5B beach mall in Mactan Newtown

New mall on a shoreline cliff to be highlighted by a man-made lagoon, boutique hotel, garden chapel, beach walk, and rows of retail shops & restaurants including four cinemas

Property giant Megaworld is building a two-level mall along the beachside cliff of its 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown development in Lapu-Lapu City.

With a total gross floor area of 30,000 square meters, the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk will be highlighted by a 1.4-hectare man-made lagoon at the center.

The lagoon will have floating boardwalks and a bridge that will connect both sides of the mall. With a maximum depth of around 1.5-meters, it can also serve as venue for future water sports activities such as jet ski, wakeboarding, stand-up paddling, and boating. It will also have its own man-made shoreline at its perimeter.

Mactan Newtown Beach Walk

The Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, which is designed and to be operated under the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls brand, will also have its own chapel that will be surrounded by a garden by the Cliffside, overlooking the sea.

Panoramic view

It will also have four state-of-the-art cinemas, a Food Hall, al fresco areas, Traveler’s Lounge, and a view deck, allowing visitors and mallgoers to have a panoramic view of the sea and nearby islands.

“Megaworld Lifestyle Malls is bringing a fresh, new concept of mall development in Cebu that recreates and innovates the beach lifestyle experience. We take inspiration from some iconic coastline commercial developments in South California, where visitors can enjoy coffee, meet friends over lunch or dinner, watch a movie, or simply shop around in this laid-back beach atmosphere,” explains Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.

The mall complex will also have its three-storey boutique hotel, offering 48 spacious guestrooms with retail shops at its ground level. This will be operated under the Megaworld Hotels brand.

True to its commitment to sustainability, Megaworld will use solar roof panels for this new mall, and will utilize an open layout scheme for passive cooling and natural lighting in most of the development’s common areas.

Green, open spaces

Around 40% of the entire development will be dedicated to green and open spaces.

“We will even have some untouched areas for bike trails, airsoft shooting, and tree-top activities. This part of the Mactan Newtown is abundantly surrounded with trees, and we want to keep them,” adds Tan.

Megaworld will spend P1.5-billion to build the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, which is expected for completion in 2021.

Categories
Events Food

Eat, drink Italian at El Viento Restaurant & Pool Bar with La Dolce Vita

In celebration of Marco Polo’s 765th birthday, Marco Polo Plaza is throwing an Italian party at the El Viento Restaurant and Pool Bar.

Guest Chef Luca Genco

Guest Chef Luca Genco

From September 11 to 15, eat and drink Italian at the hotel’s poolside restaurant. The special event is done in collaboration with Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. Together with the Marco Polo culinary team, Marco Polo will feature the delectable Italian culinary masterpieces of Chef Giuseppe Genco and Chef Luca Genco.

Enjoy traditional Sicilian comfort food and indulge in delicately prepared Italian pastas such as Spinach Ravioli, Rigatoni Pasta, Farfalle Seafood pasta, Penne Pesto Genovese and Italian Sausage Cannelloni. Hand-made and wood-fired cooked pizzas are a must-try together with different kinds of Sicilian Roasts. Of course, this fete would not be complete without a glass of Italian wine to complete the Italian experience.

PIZZA SLICING CEREMONY. Opening La Dolce Vita with a pizza-slicing ceremony are (from left) Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly and guest chefs Giuseppe Genco and Luca Genco.

PIZZA SLICING CEREMONY. Opening La Dolce Vita with a pizza-slicing ceremony are (from left) Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Brian Connelly and guest chefs Giuseppe Genco and Luca Genco.

The La Dolce Vita menu will be available at El Viento Restaurant & Pool Bar from September 11 to 15. For inquiries and reservations, call (032) 253-1111 or email [email protected]. For more updates, follow the hotel at facebook.com/marcopolocebu and instagram.com/marcopolocebu. (Press Release)

Categories
Business Tech

Avigilon holds technology awareness seminar

Aiming to make Cebu a safer and secure place to live in, Avigilon gathered attendees from the community, business leaders, and government agencies for an AI powered video surveillance Technology Awareness Seminar by Hello Marketing in partnership with Motorola Solutions Company.

With the theme: “Embracing Artificial Intelligence for Public Safety & Security: A Unified Approach”, the event was held on September 4, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Golden Prince Hotel & Suites.

Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

“Seeing an increase in the demand on secure communications and AI/video analytics surveillance system particularly for peace and order, public safety, and disaster preparedness, we are committed to providing public an integrated solution for video security, access control, and critical communications,” said Engr. Francis Dy, General Manager for Hello Marketing.

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions Company, designs, develops and manufactures from North America solutions in video analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software, hardware and access control.

Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

Key technologies that were discussed in the seminar included:

  • Appearance Search – Locate and track people & vehicles across a site without
  • the need for conventional fast forward / rewind technology
  • Unusual Motion Detection – Deep learning capability to detect abnormal motion
  • Focus of Attention Interface – A completely new UI for monitoring live video
  • High Definition Stream Management – High resolution with minimal bandwidth
  • Ultra-High Resolution – Cover more area with fewer cameras
  • Self Learning Video Analytics – The next generation in object classifications
Avigilon Hello Marketing Cebu seminar

Within the information flowing between citizens, responders, and agencies is the intelligence that builds a safer city. It will help you collect more of it, make it actionable and securely distribute it across mission-critical devices and easy-to-manage networks. It’s the technology and expertise that turns noise into information, information into intelligence, and intelligence into safety. And it’s how to do the absolute most with less — build safer cities, counties and states, and communities that thrive.

To learn more about Avigilon and its products and services, visit its official website at www.avigilon.com or contact Hello Marketing at (+63 32) 253 3493 / 412 2211.

Categories
Travel

Cebu Pacific marks start of ‘BER’ months, Christmas season with seat sale

Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Christmas season with a #CEBPACSuperSeatFest to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

Coming soon this September is the Cebu Pacific super sale covering over a million seats to domestic and international destinations.

Get great deals as well on flight-bun-deals, with as much as 30% off on prepaid baggage fees and inflight meals.

The Super Seat Fest also gives you a chance to win a Fly Easy flight + hotel package by simply redeeming raffle entries using your GetGo points.

End 2019 with amazing getaways on a deal. Enjoy the Deepavali Festival of Lights, take the family to a fun adventure in Sentosa Island and Universal Studios in Singapore, or say ‘hello’ to Hallyu in South Korea.

Can’t take time off this year? Start your 2020 instead with a quick escape to a pristine white beach or by basking in the splendor of lights in Macau. While you’re at it, why not plan for a summer break or a long weekend getaway in 2020.

#CEBPACSuperSeatFest. Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Philippine Christmas season with a seat sale to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

#CEBPACSuperSeatFest. Cebu Pacific greets the start of the Philippine Christmas season with a seat sale to kick off the first of the ‘BER’ months.

No need to burn the midnight oil or spend the entire night trying to book those seats on sale! An array of exciting travel deals awaits you over the next few weeks.

Having difficulty getting fare deals? Here are some great hacks to book those flights on sale:

Plan ahead

Seats on sale get booked fast so always have alternative destinations and travel dates ready. Read on the details of any seat sale—including destinations covered and travel period—and prepare your Plan A, B, and even Plan C. Make your travel decisions before the seat sale opens.

Need for speed

Each visitor in the Cebu Pacific website is allotted a limited time to book per session to give time to others.

The faster a transaction is completed, the higher the chance of scoring seats on sale so get your details down. Ready all personal details—including complete name, date of birth, contact information, as well as passport number and expiry date—to complete the booking process faster.

Make sure to also have payment details on-hand. For credit card or debit card, required details include card number, full name of the cardholder, the security code (or the CVV number), expiry date, and billing address.

More importantly, make sure to clear your device’s cache and browsing history before logging on to cebupacificair.com. A fast, reliable internet connection is also a plus.

Get updates

Like or follow the official accounts of Cebu Pacific on Facebook (@cebupacificairphilippines), Twitter (@cebupacificair), and Instagram (@cebupacificair) to get timely updates on the Cebu Pacific Super Seat Fest. September’s just the beginning. Gear up and BEReady for a holiday season to remember with #CEBSuperSeatFest!

Categories
Community

Vivant Foundation gives science lab equipment to 3 Cebu schools

Vivant Foundation Inc. (VFI) has turned over science laboratory equipment to two public schools in Mandaue City and one in Cebu City.

VFI, the corporate social responsibility arm of publicly listed company Vivant Corporation, donated one set of science laboratory equipment to Mandaue City Science High School, Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School (MCCNHS) and Mabolo (Cebu City) National High School.

The foundation also shouldered the training of the science teachers of all three schools on the use of the donated equipment, which are meant to improve the learning of chemistry, physics, biology and robotics.

EMPOWERING THE YOUTH. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella (2nd from right) and Mabolo National High School principal (2nd from left) thank Vivant Foundation, represented by its executive director Shem Garcia (right), for donating various science laboratory tools and equipment to the school. During the turnover last Aug. 19, Mayor Labella and Department of Education officials saw the donation, which aims to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Also present during the turnover were Bianito Dagatan, Department of Education Cebu City Division superintendent, and lawyer Jess Garcia (4th from right) of Vivant Corporation.

EMPOWERING THE YOUTH. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella (2nd from right) and Mabolo National High School principal (2nd from left) thank Vivant Foundation, represented by its executive director Shem Garcia (right), for donating various science laboratory tools and equipment to the school. During the turnover last Aug. 19, Mayor Labella and Department of Education officials saw the donation, which aims to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Also present during the turnover were Bianito Dagatan, Department of Education Cebu City Division superintendent, and lawyer Jess Garcia (4th from right) of Vivant Corporation.

Improve STEM education

“Vivant is a company that is forward-looking and adaptable and we believe that improving STEM (science, education, engineering and mathematics) education will help our public schools produce graduates who will support our mission to provide solutions to a changing world,” VFI Executive Director Shem Jose Garcia said.

During the turnover at MCCNHS, Garcia announced that VFI will also refurbish classrooms that are currently used for science classes into fully functioning STEM laboratories.

Mabolo National High School principal Dr. Rosemarie Novabos said that teaching science effectively requires more than textbooks and classroom lectures.

IN MANDAUE. Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes (center) vows to use his authority to promote education for the city’s youth and thanks Vivant Foundation, represented by its executive director Shem Garcia (5th from right), for donating various science and laboratory tools and equipment to the Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School. Also present at the turnover ceremony last Aug. 20 were MCCNHS principal Marilou Mabansag (2nd from right), Mandaue City Councilor Malcolm Sanchez (2nd from left), Department of Education officials, and Ramontito Garcia (6th from right) and lawyer Jess Garcia (4th from right), both of Vivant Corporation.

IN MANDAUE. Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes (center) vows to use his authority to promote education for the city’s youth and thanks Vivant Foundation, represented by its executive director Shem Garcia (5th from right), for donating various science and laboratory tools and equipment to the Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School. Also present at the turnover ceremony last Aug. 20 were MCCNHS principal Marilou Mabansag (2nd from right), Mandaue City Councilor Malcolm Sanchez (2nd from left), Department of Education officials, and Ramontito Garcia (6th from right) and lawyer Jess Garcia (4th from right), both of Vivant Corporation.

Make students more competitive

“The laboratory equipment can offer great opportunities to the students in learning science through hands-on experiences. The donation from Vivant will help the students become more competitive,” she said during the turnover last Aug. 19.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes thanked Vivant Foundation for the assistance to the schools and for helping improve the future of the youth in their areas. The two mayors were present during the separate turnovers at MCCNHS and Mabolo National High School.

Apart from donating science lab equipment and training teachers, VFI also supports the annual Regional Science and Technology Fair (RSTF) of the Department of Education. The corporate foundation picks an RSTF participant as recipient for its college scholarship, a program that it launched this year. (Press Release)

Categories
Tech

Xiaomi introduces Mi A3, expands Android One lineup

Xiaomi’s latest mid-range smartphone features a 48MP ultra-wide triple camera setup with the most advanced in-screen fingerprint sensor on the market

Global technology leader Xiaomi today announced Mi A3 as an extension to its best-in-class Android One lineup. Priced at P11,990, Mi A3 has a 48MP triple camera, in-screen fingerprint sensor, updated design and massive battery, making it an ideal daily driver for recent grads to tech enthusiasts, or anyone who appreciates exceptional features at an accessible price. 

“We look forward to expanding our Android One series in the Philippines with the introduction of the Mi A3,” said Steven Shi, Head of Southeast Asia, Xiaomi. “It enables Filipinos to enjoy an amazing Android experience on a sleek Xiaomi smartphone.”

MI A3. Priced at P11,990, Mi A3 has a 48MP triple camera, in-screen fingerprint sensor, updated design and massive battery.

MI A3. Priced at P11,990, Mi A3 has a 48MP triple camera, in-screen fingerprint sensor, updated design and massive battery.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Xiaomi to add another great device to the Android One portfolio this year,” said Jon Gold, Director of Partner Programs, Google. “The all-new Mi A3 will deliver a software experience that is up-to-date and easy to use, with built-in malware protection and regular security updates that keep users safe.”

Flagship-level camera

Mi A3 sports a triple camera setup on the back with 48MP main lens and a large 1/2” sensor for ultra-high-resolution day photos. Its 8MP ultra-wide angle lens intelligently detects when users are shooting large images and recommends when to switch to ultra-wide angle mode for a more optimal shot. And to top it off, built-in AI scenes detection automatically applies photo tuning to help users capture the perfect image, every time.

On the front, Mi A3 uses a 32MP AI-equipped sensor for its selfie camera which merges four pixels to form large 1.6μm pixels and allows it to capture more detail in low-light conditions. Its unique panorama selfie feature lets users capture stunning group images without having to switch to the rear camera, use a selfie stick or cut people out. And its palm shutter feature eliminates the possibility of camera shake from pressing the shutter button by adding a simple gesture to start a countdown towards the perfect selfie.

Stunning AMOLED display, in-screen fingerprint sensor

Featuring a large 6.088” AMOLED Dot Drop display, Mi A3 offers more vivid colors and deeper blacks with a blazing fast response speed and enhanced power efficiency. For a more secure user experience, Mi A3 features an improved in-screen fingerprint sensor with a 15% increased fingerprint detection area. Compared to its predecessor, the sensor pixels and size has been doubled, allowing for an increased reliability and a 30% increased unlock success rate in extreme conditions – from dry fingers to strong light and ultra-low temperatures.

MI A3 CAMERA. Mi A3 sports a triple camera setup on the back with 48MP main lens and a large 1/2” sensor for ultra-high-resolution day photos. Its 8MP ultra-wide angle lens intelligently detects when users are shooting large images and recommends when to switch to ultra-wide angle mode for a more optimal shot.

MI A3 CAMERA. Mi A3 sports a triple camera setup on the back with 48MP main lens and a large 1/2” sensor for ultra-high-resolution day photos. Its 8MP ultra-wide angle lens intelligently detects when users are shooting large images and recommends when to switch to ultra-wide angle mode for a more optimal shot.

All-new dynamic design

Tech enthusiasts will be pleased to find impressive new design upgrades in Mi A3 that enhance the overall look and user experience. With a weight and thickness of 173.8g and 8.475mm respectively, the device’s compact size gives it a leg up for multi-taskers seeking single-hand operation.

Mi A3’s front display and curved back is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5, offering a durable yet comfortable experience.  Importantly, the device’s compact form factor doesn’t sacrifice on audio — Mi A3 sports a cutting-edge front audio system and a 3.5mm jack.

Mi A3 is available in three attractive color choices to suit all different styles: Kind of Grey, Not just Blue and More than White. A nano-level holographic pattern enhances the blue and white color options to create a dynamic design effect that will appeal to style-conscious consumers.

DESIGN. With a weight and thickness of 173.8g and 8.475mm respectively, the device’s compact size gives it a leg up for multi-taskers seeking single-hand operation.

DESIGN. With a weight and thickness of 173.8g and 8.475mm respectively, the device’s compact size gives it a leg up for multi-taskers seeking single-hand operation.

Peak performance

Mi A3 packs a punch with its massive 4030mAh battery — the Mi A series’ largest power capacity to-date. By pairing extended battery life with the efficiencies of Android One, Mi A3 enables a more reliable and extended experience for users on the go. And when it’s time to recharge, the device offers up to 18W fast charging via USB Type-C.

As one of the very first devices powered by Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 665 Mobile Platform, Mi A3 also boasts smoother performance, faster speed, and improved AI capabilities for those taking advantage of features like AI Beautify and Google Lens.

Android One with Google Assistant

Mi A3 is powered by Android One and runs on the latest Android 9 Pie operating system out of the box. Users can enjoy the latest Google innovation and stay productive with the Google Assistant, Digital Wellbeing Dashboard and Wind Down. With Google Assistant on Mi A3 you can get things done and stay on top of your plans while on-the-go, in the car or at home – using just your voice. You can ask questions, pull up your schedule, navigate places, set reminders, call, text and control connected smart home devices, hands free.

The Mi A3 4GB+128GB variant will be available at P11,990. It will come in three colors- Kind of Grey, Not just Blue, and More than White. Sales will start on September 9 via Lazada and Shopee, and will be available in Mi Authorized Stores starting August 24. (Press Release)

Mi A3 product specifications
Categories
Community

Eager Cebu seniors are newest ‘Millenniors’

From north to south, Cebu youth are coming together to make sure that Cebu’s seniors are keeping up with the changing times

Nanay Miliang of Colawin, Argao stood out in more ways than one. Apart from being the oldest learner in the room, she also had the most interesting companion—where other lolas had their small grandchildren in tow, Nanay Miliang’s companion was her four-legged guardian, a 9-year-old dog named Tanduay.

Already 82, Nanay Miliang’s age did not stop her from energetically participating in a recent Smart Millenniors session held in their barangay.

Smartphones, social media, internet safety

Ever faithful, Tanduay stayed by Nanay Miliang throughout the session. Together, they listened to the lecturers as they shared their knowledge about smartphones, social media and internet safety. They even participated in icebreakers side by side.

Smart Millenniors session

Nanay Miliang, 82, with her dog Tanduay d Smart Millenniors session in Colawin, Argao.

“I’m happy to have learned all these things, but I admit I still have more studying to do when I get home,” she said after the session.

Nanay Miliang and 60 other senior citizens from Sts Peter and Paul Parish in Bantayan Island, and from Colawin and neighboring barangays in Argao joined the recent runs of the Smart Millenniors Program in Cebu.

Video calls, online shows

During the sessions, the elders were paired up with youth volunteers from their communities, who assisted them as they became more familiar and comfortable with smartphones and social media platforms like Facebook.

The volunteers, who were from the Sts Peter and Paul Parish Youth Coordinating Council and the Colawin National High School, also taught the seniors how to do video calls in chat apps like Messenger, as well as how to watch shows online via video streaming services like YouTube.

Nanay Miliang, 82, is one of the oldest participants in the Argao session. She and her fellow seniors learned more about smartphones, social media and internet safety during the session.

Nanay Miliang, 82, was one of the oldest participants in the Argao session. She and her fellow seniors learned more about smartphones, social media and internet safety during the session.

In Bantayan, participant Marilyn Negapatan, a retired teacher from Bantayan National High School, was all smiles at the end of the session.

“I started with only a little knowledge, but thanks to this program, I was able to enrich myself,” said Negapatan, who was joined by churchmates and fellow chapel leaders. “I learned a lot and enjoyed while at it, too.”

More connected

In Colawin, the excited seniors trooped to the Colawin National High School (CNHS) to learn from their teachers–digital-savvy senior high school students of CNHS.

Last year, Smart fired up a Long Term Evolution (LTE) site in Colawin. Since then, the once quiet and remote barangay has seen big changes as it became more connected to the rest of the country and the world, with families growing closer, and students performing school tasks better.

Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., a native of Colawin and a ‘millennior’ himself, dropped by the session to address fellow seniors. “Technology has made the world smaller, because it brings people closer through connectivity,” he said. “I encourage all of you to learn as much as you can during the program, and to use technology for good.”

The seniors, who mostly had children now living away from them, expressed how much they wanted to learn and keep abreast with technology. “We don’t want to be left behind,” they said.

The youth volunteers teamed up with Smart employee volunteers in facilitating the whole-day training sessions. “I feel overwhelmed. I realize now that I know how to teach,” shared Colawin student Joana Kristelle Albeos.

Smart Millenniors. Seniors from Colawin and neighboring barangays in Argao, Cebu are the latest addition to the growing ranks of tech-savvy Smart Millenniors.

Her classmate Lessly Jyn Orbeta, on the other hand, was more excited about teaching her own grandmother at home. “I am very happy that Smart came back to our school. I am very excited to teach my grandma as well,” said Orbeta, who grew up with her lola, but is currently living away from her. “I can’t wait to see her again and teach her all of this,” she added.

Bring communities together

Cebu-based Smart employee Kenneth Asuncion was among the volunteer lecturers. “It’s heartwarming to do something that has a direct impact to people. This is proof that technology can really bring communities together,” he said, adding that making seniors aware about online scams and identity theft on the internet is important, too.

Aside from the lectures, the group also engaged in an interactive game on internet safety concepts, as well as a photo contest to put their new smartphone photography learnings to use. At the end of the program, Smart raffled off new smartphones to a lucky Millennior and volunteer.

Help in school work

“This phone will definitely help me make my reports for school,” said Hannah Grace Omas-as, the CNHS volunteer who won in the raffle. An honor student, Hannah shared that without a phone and the internet, she had a hard time researching for her papers. “But more than this phone, my experience teaching the elders—that was also a gift,” she added.

The Smart Millenniors program, spearheaded by Smart, enlists the help of youth volunteers in teaching senior citizens about technology, particularly how to use their smartphones, mobile data, social media and video to enrich their lives.

For its efforts in expanding the technological know-how of seniors across the country, the Smart Millenniors program was awarded a Silver Anvil at the recent 54th Anvil Awards. Since its launch in 2017, it has already conducted sessions with seniors around Metro Manila, Laguna, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.

Categories
Business

PLDT, Smart retailers win big at Ka-Partner Rewards 2019

Five brand-new millionaires, and more than 100 winners of motorcycles, mobile gadgets, load wallets, grocery items, and other premium items—these are the exciting highlights of this year’s Ka-Partner Rewards program of PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications.

The program’s latest winners of P1 million in cash and livelihood packages are two housewives and sari-sari store owners from Leyte and Davao. The two winners join three other new Ka-Partner millionaires, bringing the total number of this year’s retailer-millionaires to five. The Ka-Partner program, which started in 2015, now has a total of 19 retailer-millionaires.

The winner from Leyte has a son who just graduated from college, and a husband who works as a taxi driver in Manila. “I sell load to add to my husband’s income and help pay for my son’s schooling,” she said. The couple hope that their son will soon find a decent job and get married.

Actor Jameson Blake serenades the retailers during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention held at SMX Davao.

Actor Jameson Blake serenades the retailers during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention held at SMX Davao.

Load as necessity

The retailer from Davao, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of having mobile load at all times. “I think load has become one of life’s necessities, like rice, sugar, cooking oil. It’s important because it allows us to communicate with others, especially during emergencies,” she said.

They encouraged fellow load retailers to sell more to improve their chances of winning the grand prize at next year’s Ka-Partner assembly. Load sales are automatically converted as entries to the raffle during the succeeding retailers convention.

PLDT-Smart Ka-Partner retailers are usually found at our neighborhood sari-sari or grocery stores. They can also be a friend or a relative from whom we can buy airtime credits or load, wherever they may be.

Close to 20,000 load retailers from all over the Philippines gathered for a day of entertainment, fun games, and exciting prizes at the PLDT-Smart Amazing Ka-Partner convention, which was held between May and August in 20 various locations nationwide.

The winner from Leyte (fourth from right) receives the grand prize during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention at Leyte Academic Center in Palo.

The winner from Leyte (fourth from right) receives the grand prize during the Amazing Ka-Partner convention at Leyte Academic Center in Palo.

Incentives to retailers

The activity is part of PLDT-Smart’s Ka-Partner Rewards program, which gives incentives to the companies’ more than 1 million load retailers to help them grow their businesses and enhance their livelihood, while enabling communities to stay connected.

This year’s convention theme is #PLDTSmartAmazingSaBenta as load retailers are assured of bigger income and better business opportunities given the improved mobile and internet experience of PLDT and Smart customers. The improved connectivity can be attributed to PLDT-Smart’s network upgrades, with the expansion of fiber network and accelerated deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service nationwide.

A lucky Ka-Partner retailer wins a raffle prize during the convention in Leyte.

A lucky Ka-Partner retailer wins a raffle prize during the convention in Leyte.

The convention is PLDT-Smart’s way of giving back to load retailers or Ka-Partners, whose sales account for a significant share of the company’s revenues.

The gathering featured topnotch entertainment from today’s hottest stars, and raffle draws where as much as P1 million was given away. The venues also hosted a trade fair, where Ka-Partners availed of products, services, and various opportunities to help them grow their business further.

Load retailers also received assistance in using the Ka-Partner app, which could help them keep track of their sales with its digital sales ledger and inventory management features. (Press Release)

Categories
Tech

Video, mobile games boost Smart’s data usage and revenues

PLDT Inc.’s resurgent mobile business posted record revenue growth in the first quarter of 2019, riding on the growing appetite of its customers for online video and mobile games.

Service revenues of its individual wireless business, which includes the consumer sales of its Smart, Sun and TNT mobile brands, jumped 18% year-on-year to P16.9 billion, net of interconnection costs. The surge in revenues was driven by a robust increase in data and broadband revenues which accounted for 65% of the total.

PLDT’s wireless brands also added 3.4 million customers in the first quarter of 2019, adding to a subscriber base that is increasingly becoming more active in using data. About two-thirds of these subscribers are smartphone owners, of whom about 70% are data users. Mobile data traffic rose by 127% year-on-year to 304 petabytes.

Video, mobile gaming

These data-savvy customers are watching more and more video on their smartphones. With the introduction of the Video Every Day data packages late last year, more customers have been accessing various video services like YouTube, NBA, iWant and iFlix.

The monthly users of YouTube, already boosted by last year’s Free YouTube promo, further increased by 35% in the first quarter. Viewers of other popular video apps also increased sharply: users of the NBA video service nearly doubled; those of iWant soared 153%; and iflix, 170%.

Mobile gaming has contributed to the continuing increase in data usage, following PLDT and Smart’s initiatives to organize their official professional eSports team, “Omega”. They also sponsored the professional league in the Philippines of the popular mobile game Mobile Legends.

The upshot: the number of monthly unique users of Mobile Legends increased by 5x from June 2018 to end-March 2019.

Mobile gaming Smart, PLDT network

PLDT network upgrades

To support Filipinos’ increasing appetite for data, PLDT and Smart are continuously expanding and modernizing their fixed and mobile networks, backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic. The ultimate aim is to deliver the best data customer experience.

The growth of mobile video viewing among Smart subscribers, for example, has been supported by the ability of its cellular network to deliver what internet analytics firm OpenSignal called, in its latest country analysis, “the better video experience.” Other third-party organizations like Ookla, Tutela and P3 have also recognized the network superiority of the PLDT group network.

More LTE base stations

Smart has added about 1,700 LTE base stations in the first quarter, raising the total to about 18,000. Smart is also activating carrier aggregation across its sites, enabling the network to deliver even faster mobile internet services by combining the capacity of two or more frequency bands. Smart has likewise also increased its 3G base station count to about 12,100.

Meanwhile, PLDT has further expanded its total fiber optic cable network footprint to 259,000 kilometers. PLDT’s fiber-powered fixed line broadband network has now passed 6.7 million homes as of end-March, while total number of fiber ports available has reached 2.96 million, of which 1.2 million are available for new customers.

PLDT’s fiber network also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links to cellular base stations.

PLDT has also partnered with global technology leader Cisco to help transform its fiber transport network in to a fully automated, software-defined 5G-ready IP transport network over the next three years.

“This transport transformation program is a crucial part of our ambition to strengthen the network leadership that PLDT and Smart nave won through consistent efforts over the past three years,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering. (Press Release)